CLIMATE ACTION NOW
Business leaders say the cost to taxpayers will spiral unless new climate policies are introduced now, The Guardian reports. A joint letter by 10 business organisations, including the Australian Industry Group and the National Farmers’ Federation, says the government will have to dramatically increase taxpayer spending on climate programs in the future unless they introduce climate policies that drive private-sector action. The letter reminds the government that it has committed to net zero emissions under the Paris agreement.
Resources Minister Matt Canavan, meanwhile, is “desperate” for approval for a new coal-fired power station to proceed after signaling federal support for an expansion of the Vales Point power station in NSW and a feasibility study for the Collinsville power station in Queensland.
MENTAL HEALTH COSTS
The Productivity Commission has found that mental illness and suicide are costing Australia up to $180 billion a year, calling for major reforms to ensure people get help.
Nine reports that the commission’s review of Australia’s mental health sector found lost productivity from mental health and suicide is costing up to $18 billion a year (with the total hit to the economy estimated at $51 billion), while costs associated with diminished health and life expectancy cost another $130 billion. Data shows that around half of all Australians will be affected by mental ill-health in their lifetime. The reports calls for sweeping changes to health services, schools, workplaces, housing and the justice system.
AGED CARE REPORT
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s interim report will be handed down this afternoon following 10 months of horrifying revelations, the ABC reports.
The interim report is not expected to contain specific recommendations, with the final report not due until November 2020, but many in the sector are calling for immediate action. The Council on the Ageing is today calling for an aged care provider online review system, with consumers able to post public comments and reviews as they would with a hotel or restaurant, while the Victorian government is pushing for staff-to-resident ratios ($), as well as improved screening and regulation of workers.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Americans need to chill.
The outgoing ambassador to the US says Americans should take a lesson from Australians on how to relax.
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“One reason the Labor leadership is not yet fully awake to this paradox is that it still does not fully accept the key class division between itself and its supporters: being in command of knowledge, policy, information and culture, as opposed to being commanded by it, and subjected to it. Witness Richard Marles’ recent, embarrassing musings on how his post-university beginnings as a lawyer for the TWU gave him an appreciation of, and closeness to, the lives of truck drivers. It’s hard to know which is more cringeworthy: believing that yourself, or believing that truck drivers would believe that.”
“Enter the Drought Communities Program, one of the government’s main initiatives, a program where 123 local government areas are eligible for $1 million each to spend on community projects which employ farmers. That’s a sizeable chunk of money — one which, by our own analysis, appears to have been handed out at random. But maybe there’s some method to this madness: Of the 123 LGAs eligible for funding, just six were in electorates that voted for Labor. This doesn’t necessarily imply favouritism — Nationals and Liberal members hold more rural seats than other parties. Still, of the six LGAs which did vote for Labor in the federal election, two voted Liberal in the state election, two voted for the Nationals, while the two Tasmanian LGAs are in the State electorate of Lyons, which is represented by three Liberal and two Labor members.”
“Last week, I found out at Senate estimates that more than 104,000 people have dropped out of Jobactive — the government’s employment services program. To be clear: this means that more than 104,000 Australians did not re-engage with the system after having their income support suspended under the Targeted Compliance Framework’s “demerit point” system. Many of these people would have made the choice to go without any income at all, rather than engage with the notoriously punitive and difficult program. Dropping out of the system is not a choice that people make lightly; we should really want to know why.”
Young and powerless: why retail staff endure sexual harassment – Pru Goward (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “There is, however, a critical takeout from this survey that should challenge managers, business owners and boards on another level. Sexual harassment is the most unimpeachable evidence of workplace sexism. It can be a one-off but more often recurs in an organisation, an inevitable indicator of culture. How each company not only manages sexual harassment but prevents it is about the values and example set by the leadership and the application of processes and practices that uphold them. It is impossible to believe a company is genuinely interested in gender diversity, for example, if sexual harassment levels are high. Sure, there can be female appointments to the board, but how can this be anything other than gesture politics if sexualised behaviours and harassment reoccur.”
After three inquiries, let’s hope for a care blueprint ($) – Doug Taylor (The Australian): “This royal commission followed the inquiry into the sexual abuse and violence against children in institutions across Australia. And it will be followed by another royal commission into the abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disabilities. Three royal commissions into vulnerable people in our society in the space of three years. Surely this is cause for deep reflection. What does it reveal about us as a society and how we think about vulnerable people? And what of the organisations that provide people with care and support? And how are governments regulating and funding these sectors?”
If economics is a science, why isn’t it being more helpful? – Richard Denniss (The Guardian): “The reason that the government’s two most senior economic advisers disagree about macroeconomic policy is that neither of them have ever seen an economy with wage growth as low as ours, low productivity, low GDP growth and record low interest rates. Their instincts and advice should be taken seriously, but neither of them has any experience managing an economy like the one the Coalition has created, and neither of them know what will happen next, even if their advice were to be followed. Similarly, when it comes to decisions about increasing unemployment benefits or reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it is absurd and unhelpful to suggest that an economist – or any economic model – can determine what we ‘should’ do. The meaning of the words: efficient, allocation, scarce and resource are all contestable. One person’s trash is another’s treasure and one woman’s call to close the gender pay gap is another man’s loss of privilege.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
An Iraqi man will reappear in court over a 2001 people smuggling venture that resulted in more than 350 deaths.
Cricket Australia will hold its annual general meeting.
Legislation banning plastic bags in Victoria comes into force.
Harvard Kennedy School professor Laura Manley will speak on how Australia can ensure the development and adoption of technology is done in the public’s best interest.
ANZ will unveil its full-year results at its head office.
A public hearing will be held into the HMAS Watson Redevelopment Project.
The Legislative Council Select Committee Inquiry into short stay accommodation in Tasmania will table its final report.
A book launch will take place for WHIT, about the life and death of South Australian organised crime task-force leader inspector Geoff Whitford, by Amanda Schultz and Greg Mayfield.
The Northern Territory award recipients in the Australian of the Year Awards will be announced.