power plant carbon emissions carbon capture
(Image: Getty)

ZERO SUM GAME

According to The Age, former climate change envoy Howard Bamsey has warned that China’s 2060 net zero emissions target amounts to a leadership declaration that stands to leave Australia behind, threaten future trade deals, and impact the government’s influence in the Pacific.

Australia’s seven-year climate policy vacuum and subsequent emissions spike mean we are increasingly seen as a global pariah; just yesterday, we were slammed by both former UK environment minister John Gummer (RenewEconomy) and Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama (The Australian $).

The warnings come after NSW’s Independent Planning Commission approved the $3.6 billion Narrabri coal seam gas project — courtesy of major Coalition donor Santos. There is some local support for jobs creation, however as both ABC and RenewEconomy explain, the project faces a range of opponents i.e. local Gomeroi people, farmers, environmentalists, plus analysis from groups such as IEEFA suggest its cost of production would exceed current targets required for lower gas prices.

PS: Conversely, The Australian ($) reports that BHP chief executive Mike Henry will today throw his support behind a “gas-led recovery”, and announce an $800 million traineeship package.

MANUFACTURED REPSONSE

According to the ABC, Scott Morrison will today make a pre-budget National Press Club address pledging almost $1.5 billion into manufacturing under a post-COVID budget initiative aimed at self-sufficiency.

$1.3 billion of this will go towards co-investing in six priority areas over the next four years:

  • Resources technology and critical minerals
  • Food and beverages
  • Medical products
  • Recycling and clean energy
  • Defence
  • Space

Another $107 million will go towards strengthening supply chains for essential goods such as medicines and medical products, while the government’s manufacturing modernisation fund will receive a $52 million top up.

The package is apparently designed at shoring up Australia’s supply chain; as the ABC reported back in July, the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work has found that Australia ranks last in the OECD for manufacturing self-sufficiency, and produces about two thirds as much manufactured output as it consumes.

BUDGET WATCH: UNI BILL DAMNED?

As The Sydney Morning Herald reports, the government’s uni fee plan has been dealt a serious blow after Senator Jacqui Lambie slammed the shake-up’s impact on poor families and the Coalition’s “weird and obscure culture wars”. This means the government would now need Centre Alliance’s Stirling Griff, who has not yet made a decision either way.

Lambie’s announcement comes after Education Minister Dan Tehan pledged $326 million for university places, as well as Tuesday’s $7 billion digital economy announcement — which The Australian ($) explains includes the $800 million digital business plan, $1.67 billion cyber security strategy, and $4.5 billion Labor-lite NBN plan.

PS: In another one of those pesky reports into trickle-down economics, The New Daily unpacks a new paper from The Australia Institute’s Nordic Policy Centre that finds countries with higher taxes also have higher average incomes, lower rates of inequality, and better levels of economic wellbeing.

ANOTHER HOTEL STORY, IN THIS ECONOMY?

Following media warnings over Melbourne’s “hot” hotels for COVID-positive patients, The Age reports that the Andrews government hastily replaced private security with police at the final site — the Novotel in Southbank — mid-shift yesterday.

The paper also notes that the South Australian government will today consider opening its border to Victorians from regional areas, where no community transmission of coronavirus has been reported in the past fortnight, while the Herald Sun ($) reports that a Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey shows that 56% of respondents say it is time for Melbourne’s restaurants, pubs, cafes and clubs to re-open with correct social distancing, up 19 points from three weeks ago.

MOMENT OF TRUTH: WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?

Chances are you may have caught at least some of yesterday’s Trump v Biden dissociative eventpresidential debate, but if you’re after some alternative reflections on top of Crikey’s general, Trump and Biden analysis, check out:

Alternatively, you could check out The Sydney Morning Herald’s James Massola’s wrap of yesterday’s other debate between Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand opposition leader Judith Collins.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

The Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.

Donald Trump

In a hell debate filled with choice lines, lies, and requests to “shut the hell up, man”, the US president tacitly endorsing a very stupidly-named white supremacist group has to be the worst.

CRIKEY RECAP

Trump shouts, Biden dodders in a debate to confirm stereotypes

“Despite incessant interruptions from Donald Trump that infuriated even the moderator, both Trump and Democrat candidate Joe Biden stuck fast to their areas of strength in the first presidential debate, focusing on domestic issues.

“Both candidates seemed to work hard to reinforce their stereotypes: Trump routinely tried to shout over both Biden and the moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, and uttered some astonishing lies, while Biden at times appeared doddery, stumbled over his words and relied on his stock phrase ‘Here’s the deal’. And both tried to turn debate questions to their areas of perceived strength.”


News flash! 40 ships missing off Sydney!

“‘I cannot have Australians who need what’s on those ships being held on those ships — 40 of them out there,’ Scott Morrison told the Canberra press gallery on Tuesday. Then he added: ‘You can go down to Port Botany or down to Kurnell and have a look out there and you can see them lining up.’

“You know that line about how if someone says it’s raining and someone says it’s not, it’s not journalism to report them both — you should stick your head out the window to see if it’s raining?

“Well if anyone bothered to stick their head out of the window in Botany or Kurnell they wouldn’t see ships lined up.”


No screaming headlines as the ABC’s ‘youth crime wave’ in Townsville quietly recedes

“If you believe the media hype, Townsville is in the midst of a crime wave that has driven locals in the north Queensland city to take matters into their own hands.

“Locals like Robbie, who cruises around Townsville in a clown mask roughhousing ‘suspicious-looking’ teens.

“The ABC talked to Robbie. An article published yesterday called him a ‘self-described patriot’, quoted him liberally (and uncritically), and documented his exploits scouring the streets for potential young offenders. The article, which warned of a ‘youth crime surge’, was splashed across the ABC News home page.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

DFAT email fail reveals email details of at least 1,000 Australians stuck overseas during coronavirus pandemic

US intelligence sources discussed poisoning Julian Assange, court told

FBI gives Aussies inside running on China tactics ($)

‘Test case in fairness’: Minister challenged to hold firm on housing targets

NSW energy minister says ‘the business case for gas is on the clock’

Coalition hides conflicts of interest of staff involved in $30m land purchase near Western Sydney airport

Cardinal George Pell returns to Rome for first time since 2017, purpose of visit remains unclear

Sports Minister used hand-picked grants to promote himself ($)

Former execs say Toll was all tactics, no strategy ($)

Greenland’s ice melting faster than at any time in past 12,000 years

THE COMMENTARIAT

Helen Reddy’s music made women feel invincibleMichelle Arrow (The Conversation): ‘Show business’, Helen Reddy once said, ‘was the only business that allowed you to earn the same salary as a man and to keep your name’. The singer and actress best known for her trailblazing feminist anthem I Am Woman has died in Los Angeles, aged 78. She was one of the most famous Australians in the world during the 1970s, and an icon of women’s liberation.

A rapid Chinese energy transition is far more feasible than you might thinkKetan Joshi (RenewEconomy): “The future gets described in confusing ways. Things that are likely, improbable and impossible are constantly muddled. As RenewEconomy has documented for a good part of the past decade, the recent history of clean energy has sat in the middle of this muddled language. Many have peeked into the future, and declared the rapid growth of renewables improbable, or impossible.”

Crumbling case against Assange shows weakness of ‘hacking’ charges related to whistleblowingMicah Lee (The Intercept): “By 2013, the Obama administration had concluded that it could not charge WikiLeaks or Julian Assange with crimes related to publishing classified documents — documents that showed, among other things, evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan — without criminalising investigative journalism itself. President Barack Obama’s Justice Department called this the ‘New York Times problem,’ because if WikiLeaks and Assange were criminals for publishing classified information, the New York Times would be just as guilty.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Brisbane

  • The Brisbane International Film Festival opens today and runs until October 11.

Sydney

  • NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay and MLC John Graham will outline NSW Labor’s plan for a vibrant night-time economy in a webinar event.

Australia/New Zealand

  • Greens leader Adam Bandt will speak with Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand co-leader James Shaw in a webinar election event.