WA Parliament James Hayward
(Image: AAP/Richard Wainwright)

ACCUSED MP TO CONTINUE RECEIVING SALARY

Western Australian MP James Hayward, who has been charged with child sex abuse, has not resigned from state Parliament and will continue to receive his salary and allowances until February, WA Today reports. Hayward’s five charges relate to an eight-year-old girl and allegedly took place earlier this year. He was suspended from the Nationals on Thursday and resigned from the party the next day following the revelation, as news.com.au reports, but WA Governor Kim Beazley — who signs off on Parliament’s resignations — hadn’t received anything from Hayward yet.

Hayward showed up to Parliament about 8pm last night, ABC continues, the first time since the charges were laid. Next week is WA’s last sitting week, so his appearance means Hayward will be paid until things start up again in February — The West ($) says he’s on a $320,000 salary, including allowances. WA Today continues that Hayward was staring down contempt of Parliament after missing three sitting days last week without a leave of absence.

So who is Hayward? He was a journalist before joining the Nats in 2012, working as a state president and the federal vice president of the party at different times between then and now. Until his resignation, he was WA’s shadow minister for Local Government, Water, and Regional Cities. Now Hayward’s under strict conditional bail — his case was adjourned ’til December 13.

BY THE BOOK

Labor’s shadow education minister Tanya Plibersek has ripped into her Coalition counterpart Alan Tudge over comments he made about the new school curriculum. Plibersek’s speech, as Guardian Australia reports, says that what separates us from a totalitarian state is that we don’t erase “uncomfortable memories from public life”. It’s an apparent reference to Tudge who, writing for The Australian ($), argued the new curriculum suggests “that nothing bad happened before 1788 and very little good has happened since”. He also claimed that ANZAC Day was presented as a “contested” day, but Plibersek said it’s not right to teach the bravery of Gallipoli without showing the British command’s mistakes. She continued that history is a quest for truth — in comparison to Tudge claiming the curriculum left kids with “a hatred” of their country.

Incidentally, Plibersek has become Australia’s longest-serving woman in the House of Reps, The Daily Telegraph reports, after 23 years in office. She spoke to the Tele about the milestone, saying she’s happy that the number of women around her has doubled during her tenure but wants to see a better balance. Plibersek has scored some notable wins for the gals during her time — she ensured an early-term abortion drug would be subsidised, as ABC reported in 2013, allowing a larger number of women the right to choose. The same year, in a world-first, she ensured free HPV vaccinations for boys and girls in 2013, as SMH reported at the time.

TOGETHER IN ELECTRIC DREAMS

South Australians can get up to $5000 if they buy an electric car and get a smart charger installed in their homes, The New Daily reports. Or, nab yourself a hydrogen fuel cell car — which literally only emit water vapour and warm air — and the government will subsidise $3000 of it. There are 7000 spots to be filled, and people can also have their registration fees waived for three years too. Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan reckons SA will see the number of electric cars on the road grow from 1900 to 29,000 in the next four years. One catch — your car has to be worth $68,750 or less — that’s to encourage car companies to make them more affordable.

And it’s not just the home of the big battery that’s looking greener. Countrywide, renewable power is actually cheaper than coal-fired power, the SMH reports, so then why is 70% of our electricity coming from coal? Labor’s new plan is banking on that basically flipping — they want 82% of our power to be renewable by 2030 (incidentally, outgoing Liberal Greg Hunt was actually the “unsung architect” of Labor’s plan, as ABC reports). Labor analysis says we’ll save $378 a year, but one expert cautioned against over-optimism, saying a fall in wholesale prices doesn’t mean an equal fall in our bills, as AFR reports. Still, it’s not going to go the other way, according to the Grattan Institute — economic modelling proved it’s was a myth that renewables will see the bill go up.

It’s good to see some good things going into “Earth’s black box” in Tasmania. It’s a bus-sized structure which is programmed to collect every single skerrick of climate-related information published — research, news headlines and even tweets. CNN reports that it’s “indestructible to the climate crisis itself and is meant to outlive humans”. The idea is to show future civilisations to see how we solved, or — ominously — failed to solve, the climate crisis. Yikes.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

Staring at a plaque inscribed with a save-the-bees message from perhaps the world’s most famous naturalist, David Attenborough, volunteer conservationist Heath Hunter was incensed. The message, which accompanied a large honeybee wall mural, read: “In the last five years the bee population has dropped by a third. If bees were to disappear from the face of the Earth, humans would have just four years left to live”. Hunter complained to the Adelaide shopping centre’s management about the plaque — they brushed him off, and the plaque remained. Hunter could not stand it. He sat down a penned a letter to “the big man himself” about the travesty. Incredibly, Attenborough wrote back.

Why? First of all, Attenborough didn’t say it. It’s a meme, thought to be traced back to a passage written in a book from 1901, making the rounds on Facebook in recent years. Secondly, Hunter says, the honeybees don’t need saving. It’s the many native bees that are threatened. It’s weird to think of honeybees as livestock, but that’s actually what they are, and when they escape, they compete with the many native bee species for pollen, even bullying them out of their tree hollow homes.

Attenborough confirmed to Hunter that he didn’t say it, and asked Hunter to forward his letter onto the shopping centre. Quite the rude shock for the centre, one would think, and after some local media attention, the false plaque finally came down. Hunter’s parting words? There’s more to bees than the honeybee — and the other species desperately need our attention.

Wishing you a little determination this Wednesday.

SAY WHAT?

I want to assure Australians there are plenty of normal people in The Nationals partyroom who are doing their best every day to represent the interests of regional communities. Like me, they condemn the conspiracy theories, lack of respect & ill-informed comments of Christensen.

Darren Chester

The Nationals MP sought to distance his party from his colleague and set the record straight about the Nationals, but one tweet may not be enough to do so considering his boss, Barnaby Joyce, has said before that he’d rather not “[prod] the bear” by pulling Christensen into line. Acting leader David Littleproud condemned Christensen’s appearance on a far-right podcast, calling it an “error of judgement”.

CRIKEY RECAP

OK, I admit it. The conspiracy theorists were right…

“We know that enormous corporates like BlackRock and SoftBank have fingers in pies in almost every sector around the world, giving them an incredible amount of power. We know that industries like the fossil fuel industry spent decades misleading the public, obscuring the truth and buying influence with political elites in order to line the pockets of executives. (And don’t even get me started on Jeffrey Epstein and his little black book.)

“Maybe I’ve spent too long in insane Telegram channels and Facebook groups because I’m starting to feel that the future feared by these communities is already here. Let me explain.”


Two reasons why progressives need to temper hopes of victory, if not shelve them

Asmar v Albanese is thus now visible as nothing much more than the ragged forces around Bill Shorten and the AWU making a last stand, to hold on to something in the party — especially on the chance that Labor loses in 2022 and (zing!) Bill’s back, y’all.

“There’s almost no chance the appeal will win, but if it did, landing in February, Labor would be thrown into chaos — and all amid the tough marginal struggle outlined above. Is this ragged faction of the right about to perform one last anti-service to the forces of Labor?”


Morrison’s ICAC attacks part of a Trump-style war on accountability

“It’s difficult to overstate how passionately Morrison hates the idea of accountability, or any system or standard against which he can be assessed that he doesn’t control. He passionately loathes it.

“From the start of his ministerial career, Morrison has sought to shut down capacity for external scrutiny of his actions, invoking the fiction of ‘on-water matters’ to throw a blanket of secrecy over most of his activities as immigration minister and pushing the AFP to investigate journalists to identify immigration whistleblowers.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Simon Holmes a Court’s climate cabal of independents in $20m Liberals hunt (The Australian) ($)

Chris Luxon v Jacinda Ardern in first Question Time clash (NZ Herald)

At least 4 killed as as explosion rocks Iraq’s Basra (Al Jazeera)

Jamal Khashoggi: Suspect in murder of journalist arrested (BBC)

UAE announces 4.5-day workweek, Saturday-Sunday weekend (Al Jazeera)

Uyghur community urges Australia to boycott Beijing Olympics over human rights abuses (SBS)

Biden and Putin hold talks amid Russia-Ukraine tensions (BBC)

Why the Turkish lira is falling like a rock (The Wall Street Journal)

China Evergrande heads toward default as it misses payment deadline (The Wall Street Journal)

How many countries will follow the US boycott of Beijing’s Olympics? (The New York Times)

Huge fire tears through Burundi prison, kills dozens (Al Jazeera)

New York billionaire Michael Steinhardt surrenders $70m of stolen ancient art (CNN)

THE COMMENTARIAT

The richest 10% produce half of greenhouse gas emissions. They should pay to fix the climateLucas Chancel (The Guardian): “Consider the US, for instance. Every year, the poorest 50% of the US population emit about 10 tonnes of CO2 per person, while the richest 10% emit 75 tonnes per person. That is a gap of more than seven to one. Similarly, in Europe, the poorest half emits about five tonnes per person, while the richest 10% emit about 30 tonnes — a gap of six to one. (You can now view this data on the World Inequality Database.)

“Where do these large inequalities come from? The rich emit more carbon through the goods and services they buy, as well as from the investments they make. Low-income groups emit carbon when they use their cars or heat their homes, but their indirect emissions — that is, the emissions from the stuff they buy and the investments they make — are significantly lower than those of the rich.”

Why I stand behind our teachers and their strike actionJanet Albrechtsen (The Australian) ($): “At the peak of their careers, Australian teachers are paid barely 40% more than a first-year teacher. In Canada, the figure is 80%. A decrepit lock-step system offers measly rewards for plodding stayers and fails to recognise and reward high-achieving teachers. The paltry pay increases go to teachers who are expert at filling out forms.

“The best teachers deserve much higher salaries commensurate with their ability to transform young lives. That means empowering principals so they can reward great teachers. None of these reforms featured in Tuesday’s strike manifesto from the NSW Teachers Federation. The union’s demand for across-the-board pay rises is worthy but it won’t attract great teachers to the profession, and it won’t keep them there.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Australia

  • FamilyVoice’s Greg Bondar will chat with Attorney-General Michaelia Cash about the religious discrimination bill, held online.

  • National Seniors’ Ian Henschke is among the speakers at a National Seniors Australia webinar who will discuss the aged pension system.

  • Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull will launch the Accountability Round Table’s new paper, Integrity Now! The Rule of Law, Accountability and Public Trust, held online.

Yuggera Country (also known as Brisbane)

  • Musician Sean Sennett is in conversation with author Tony Wellington discussing the latter’s new book, Freak Out: How a Musical Revolution Rocked the World in the Sixties. You can also catch this online.

Eora Nation (also known as Sydney)

  • NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet will address the National Press Club in a special Sydney-based event.