Peter Dutton (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

ENERGETIC SOLUTIONS

Opposition leader Peter Dutton says the Coalition will probably take an emissions reduction target of 35% to the next election, Guardian Australia reports. It’s an improvement on Morrison’s 26%-28% by 2030 but well short of the 43% Labor wants — and Dutton confirmed suspicions the Coalition would not support legislating Labor’s target in Parliament. Dutton also rejected comments from his fellow Liberal leader, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, that a very public “ideological war” over climate change and energy policy had left private investors too scared to put money into the market, as the SMH reports (indeed, Qantas is the latest to take things into its own hands, asking businesses to pitch in to support biofuel projects to prop up our sustainable fuel industry). But Dutton, ever the politician, retorted that there’s “fault all round here”, arguing state governments have all taken different positions too.

Speaking of — the peak energy regulator says it’ll be up to the states to choose whether coal and gas will be part of our new standby market, known as the “capacity mechanism”, the SMH reports… but the regulator thinks both should be, the AFR adds. The mechanism would basically pay generators to plug gaps in the electricity market — and the regulator hopes it’ll attract enough dosh to build the equivalent of 50 Snowy Hydro schemes by 2050, Guardian Australia continues. But Victoria is like, there’s no way we should include fossil fuels in the mechanism considering we are facing climate doom — so the regulator suggested states could choose to opt-in. That means they would decide what energy sources would keep the lights on in their jurisdiction — the regulator did warn that Victoria could get blackouts from renewable droughts, though.

GRIM FINDINGS

An art collector who donated up to 100 paintings to a Wollongong art gallery was a Nazi collaborator, according to The Australian ($). Bronius “Bob” Sredersas moved here in 1950 and amassed an impressive art collection with iconic Australian artworks from Arthur Streeton, Margaret Preston, and Norman Lindsay in the years that ensued. Five years before Sredersas died, he gave the lot to the art gallery — so they named a room after him. But the council was a bit sus, and asked the Sydney Jewish Museum to look into Sredersas’ past — they found he was an intelligence officer in the Nazi security service and a collaborator during the German occupation of Lithuania. Yikes.

Speaking of digging into people’s pasts — the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) is in damage control this morning after it revealed it created a job for now-notorious paedophile Roy Wenlock, ABC reports. Wenlock worked there for 29 years until his death in 2007, leaving many victims in his wake, but the WACA says it didn’t know about his offending until 2012-13. In 2000, Wenlock received the Australian Sports Medal for services to cricket. Civil litigation continues.

SEEING GREEN

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em — that’s the attitude of green thumbs in Victoria, who are flocking to nurseries to purchase seeds and seedlings to beat skyrocketing produce prices, The Age reports. Iceberg lettuce is about $10 a head — mindboggling — and nurseries told the paper sales had doubled. So why has rabbit food been skyrocketing in price? Partly the cost of transport and fertiliser, as well as labour shortages and industry consolidation, as The Conversation reports, but also in large part climate change — more bushfires, droughts and floods.

Meanwhile, the cops have raided a property in Sydney’s Colo to stop a climate activism protest, The New Daily reports. While they were searching the place, officers say a bunch of people, allegedly from Blockade Australia, surrounded their unmarked car — the statement says the people “damaged the vehicle tyres, preventing it from leaving”. But NSW Greens MP Jenny Leong tweeted that the Greens support nonviolent direct action and the right to protest, continuing: “Solidarity with all the climate activists at the camp that was raided by NSW Police today”.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

Doug Hendrie suffered for two long, gruelling years of the pandemic. His daily pain was unrelenting, like a woodpecker working on a tree trunk. The source? A fusillade of the same daily question from his young son: “Dad, can we get a bird?”. His “bird boy”, as Hendrie fondly describes him, had become entranced suddenly with the winged erratic vertebrates in a way only a child can (heaps of time, pretty much no self-control). To prove it, his kid nursed a sick crow he found on the street and even made a pigeon trap out of a box (let’s assume this was done in good faith). Hendrie and his partner tried to tide the kid over with goldfish, frogs, geckos, but no pet sated his avian desire. “And so we gave in. Bird boy would not be denied,” Hendrie writes.

That’s how a green-cheeked conure — kind of like a mini-lorikeet with fewer colours — named Kiwi joined the Hendrie family. At first, it was weird as hell. “It was like living with a small alien,” Hendrie says of Kiwi’s weird, darting eyes and murky intentions. The worst part? His kid was over it — his new obsession was soccer. But Hendrie’s was just beginning. Kiwi burrowed his way into Hendrie’s “cold, dead heart, as he stole and ate my headphones, tried to make out with his reflection, and pulled out beard hairs”, he writes. Recently Hendrie found himself repeating a fond story about Kiwi stealing scrabble letters to a bored listener. It was then he realised the cold, hard truth: Hendrie is the real bird boy.

Wishing you a little spring in your step this morning.

SAY WHAT?

I don’t know. But it does, apparently. I’m even surprised it takes this long. I mean I made the announcement a while ago and the first brief that came back was that it takes two years to do. I’ll go to Bunnings myself and climb up there and put the pole up. But apparently it does, apparently that’s the costing, and I think that it’s an important decision that we’ve made.

Dominic Perrottet

The NSW premier doesn’t know why it’ll cost $25 million to fly the Aboriginal flag on Sydney Harbour Bridge all year ’round or why it’ll take until the end of the year to do so — but told reporters he’ll bloody well do it himself if they don’t get a bloody move on. At the moment we only fly the Aboriginal flag 19 days a year.

CRIKEY RECAP

Six months on, lies and lying still need close attention

“The long dossier of Scott Morrison’s lies belongs in the history books. Public perceptions of Morrison’s character — which tended to drift toward visceral loathing of him among many voters who would normally vote Liberal — played a crucial part in the massive defeat his government suffered on May 21. Perhaps to an extent, Lies and Falsehoods had a small role in shaping those perceptions.

“Certainly, after Crikey began routinely calling out Morrison’s lies, parts of the media lifted their game. During the election campaign, Morrison got away with far fewer blatant lies and falsehoods than he had in 2019. Journalists would keep at him on single issues and single questions, pressing him and arguing with him. In one case, the then prime minister was forced to reluctantly concede that the lie he had put forward earlier in the media conference — on the availability of gender reassignment surgery for minors — was wrong.”


From career feminism to care feminism: the case for reshaping our economy

The undervaluing of women’s work accounts for about one-fifth of the gender pay gap in Australia, but it is rarely talked about outside of the most earnest of policy circles. The situation in the UK at the time was broadly similar. The EOC paper warned that the undervaluing of women’s work was contributing to “a caring time bomb”. Those words, and that stark warning, have stayed with me ever since.

“The undervaluing of women’s work is essentially the fact that female-dominated industries are valued less than male-dominated industries simply because the work is done by women. Working in a female-dominated occupation can reduce pay by as much as 9%. Nowhere is that clearer than in the caring professions, where we have — for too long — expected women to work for poverty wages as ‘labourers of love’.”


The unvaxxed will always be with us. But their power and presence has been dealt a blow

“Politicians who (perhaps cynically) figured that they could ride the wave of outrage from people unable to get a haircut or grab a coffee at their local café were undoubtedly disappointed by the election results. Fear-mongering text messages about vaccine-adverse events that were sent on behalf of Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party failed to win the party a single seat in the House of Reps.

“But this doesn’t mean that vaccine outrage is a problem of the past. The unvaxxed remain a minority in Australia — less that 5% of people aged over 16 are unvaccinated against COVID-19. But their presence in our lives is both universal and universally perplexing. Why do people get duped by misinformation, why do others seek to dupe them, and what can we do to protect ourselves and others from the inexorable rise of misinformation?”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Palestinian, 53, killed by Israeli forces in occupied West Bank (Al Jazeera)

Third man arrested in Amazon slayings of journalist and activist (The New York Times)

Spain, Germany battle wildfires amid unusual heatwave in Europe (Al Jazeera)

‘Let’s make history’: Colombia could elect first leftist president in runoff (The Guardian)

Republican drive to tilt courts against climate action reaches a crucial moment (The New York Times)

[Swimming’s world governing body] Fina bars transgender swimmers from women’s elite events if they went through male puberty (BBC)

Recession probability soars as inflation worsens (The Wall Street Journal) ($)

Rainbow-colored toys and clothing are seized in Saudi Arabia for indirectly ‘promoting homosexuality’ (CNN)

THE COMMENTARIAT

Why all investors will feel the pain from the crypto carnageKaren Maley (The AFR): “Already, global financial conditions have tightened dramatically, as the US Federal Reserve grapples with the highest inflation in four decades, which has pushed the US share market deep into bear market territory. But investors now worry that global share markets could feel even more pain if investors dump shares to make up for their deepening crypto losses. The total crypto market value has now slumped to about US$800 billion from a peak of US$3.2 trillion last November, as prices of digital currencies such as bitcoin and ether have plunged. Hundreds of thousands of shell-shocked retail traders have had their crypto investments liquidated after they failed to meet margin calls to top up their security on loans they took out to buy digital currencies.

“More worrying still are the enormous contagion risks that are now becoming apparent within the crypto industry, as the turmoil in the sector has prompted some crypto lenders to suspend or limit redemptions. A week ago Celsius Network, one of the largest lenders in the crypto world with close to US$12 billion in deposits, announced that it would no longer allow customers to withdraw cash from their accounts because of extreme market conditions. Other crypto platforms are taking similar steps. Crypto savings app Finblox imposed a limit on withdrawals and stopped paying interest because of uncertainty over the future of the crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, which was backing the company.”

The Tories’ Brexit obsession has no future in a changing Britain. They just won’t admit itJohn Harris (The Guardian): “What the government’s current contortions really betray is its anxiety about the Brexit project’s long-term survival. As they try and shore up an increasingly feeble prime minister, Brexiters are not behaving like people who won, but people brimming with fear and paranoia. On the day of Johnson’s no-confidence vote, Jacob Rees-Mogg warned – despite plenty of evidence to the contrary — that Tory opponents of the prime minister were ‘hostile to Brexit’ and that the ballot would ‘undermine the Brexit referendum’. Suella Braverman, the government’s in-house brains trust and attorney general, last week dismissed concerns about Northern Ireland as ‘remainiac make-believe’. The right-wing press is full of talk of remainer plots, including Keir Starmer’s alleged secret plan to take us back into Europe.

“Somewhere in their souls, the cleverer Brexiters presumably know two things. One is that there will be no material benefits from life outside the EU, and that its dire effects on the economy are now becoming crystal clear. The other echoes what I found in Sleaford: the fact that the vote to exit the EU was the product of a unique political moment based on delicate age demographics that have already shifted, which confirms the sense that hardcore Brexitism is a doomed creed. It will fade as the future takes shape and Brexit’s dire consequences become inescapable. But as panic sets in, the strongest Tory instinct is not to rethink. Instead, the most doctrinaire and stupid Conservatives see no other option than to double down.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Online

  • Body Safety Australia’s Deanne Carson and Lauren French, and ANROWS’s Erin Carlisle are among the speakers at a webinar about young people’s understanding of domestic violence.

Yuggera Country (also known as Brisbane)

  • Psychiatrist Manjula Datta O’Connor will speak about her new book, Daughters of Durga, which explores domestic violence in South Asian communities, at Avid Reader bookshop. You can also catch this one online.

Kulin Nation Country (also known as Melbourne)

  • Writers Katerina Gibson, Eda Gunaydin, Akuch Kuol Anyieth and more will be at The Wheeler Centre’s Next Big Thing held at the Moat.