JollyPostie The Saturday Paper Greens draw line on emissions bill, cyclone thumps New Zealand, whistleblower cases top $7m

Text-Only Mode Of The Email Greens draw line on emissions bill, cyclone thumps New Zealand, whistleblower cases top $7m

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15 February, 2023

Max Opray

is Schwartz Media's emails editor.

1

Greens draw line on emissions bill

The Greens have offered to support the Albanese government’s flagship climate policy if Labor is prepared to stop new coal and gas projects.

What we know:

The Greens party room

resolved on Tuesday to issue the single condition, in exchange for support of Labor’s planned changes to the emissions safeguard mechanism (

The Guardian

);

“The Greens

have huge concerns with other parts of the scheme, such as the rampant use of offsets and the low emissions reduction targets, but we’re prepared to put those concerns aside … if Labor agrees to stop opening new coal and gas projects,” said Greens leader Adam Bandt;

Labor is set to

introduce its safeguard mechanism bill to parliament this week, which will modify the Abbott-era scheme to require the nation’s top polluting facilities to reduce or offset their emissions by 4.9% each year to 2030 (

ABC

);

Labor will

require the support of the Greens and two independent senators to pass the bill, after the Coalition resolved last week to oppose it, with shadow climate minister Ted O’Brien declaring it a “Trojan horse carbon tax” (

AFR

);

The Department of Industry, Science and Resources

has recorded more than 100 coal and gas projects either in development or being considered with commercial start dates before 2030;

The International Energy Agency

warned two years ago that no new coal or gas projects can go ahead if the world is to stay within safe limits of global heating;

Labor has

ruled out a ban on fossil fuel projects and Resources Minister Madeleine King told parliament on Tuesday that gas would be needed “for a number of years” during the transition to low emissions;

Independent senator David Pocock

criticised the plan’s controversial reliance on offsets, declaring “the only other jurisdiction in the world that allows full open access to offset emissions is Kazakhstan” (

AFR

);

To ensure

the changes are in place by the target date of July 1, Labor will need to pass the offset trading legislation through the lower house by early March, to give the senate time to consider the legislation before March 31.

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2

New Zealand thumped by cyclone

New Zealand has declared a national state of emergency for only the third time in its history, as the country reels from the devastation wrought by Cyclone Gabrielle.

What we know:

Heavy deluges

of rain and gale-force winds have impacted about a third of New Zealand’s population, and left a quarter of a million people without power (

BBC

);

Towns have

been inundated with water as riverbanks burst, landslides have blocked roads and falling trees have smashed houses;

The storm's damage

has been most extensive in coastal communities on the far north and east coast of the North Island — with areas like Hawke’s Bay, Coromandel and Northland among the worst hit;

Two deaths

have been reported in Hawke’s Bay overnight after a woman and her home were crushed by a landslip, while another body was found on a beach (

Stuff.co.nz

);

Fire and emergency crews

are searching for a firefighter who went missing after a landslide in west Auckland, while another firefighter was taken to hospital in  critical condition;

“The severity

and the damage that we are seeing has not been experienced in a generation," said New Zealand’s prime minister Chris Hipkins;

Climate Change Minister James Shaw

expressed fury about lost decades of “bickering” over the climate crisis, noting the cyclone was consistent with projections of stronger storms (

The Guardian

);

Shaw said

he was in discussions about a plan for those receiving insurance payments to rebuild their homes to relocate to more climate-resilient locations;

The cyclone

comes two weeks after record rainfall caused vast flooding in Auckland and Northland, damaging thousands of homes and killing four.

MREC 1

3

Millions spent chasing whistleblowers

The Commonwealth has spent more than $7.6m in legal fees pursuing whistleblowers, according to new revelations.

Officials from

the Attorney-General’s Department revealed the cost under questioning from NSW Greens senator David Shoebridge (

ABC

).

The case

against Bernard Collaery and Witness K, which has been dropped by the Labor government, alone cost the Commonwealth $5.5m.

Collaery had

been charged with helping his client Witness K to reveal classified details of a secret mission in Timor Leste.

Officials revealed

the cost of the prosecution of Defence whistleblower David McBride at $1.8m, while tax office whistleblower Richard Boyle’s case had reached $233,171.

Shoebridge described

it as using taxpayer funds for “monstering whistleblowers”.

The federal government

has been criticised for pursuing McBride and Boyle, particularly as it reviews Commonwealth whistleblowing protections.

4

Advocate attacked on run

Indigenous advocate Sissy Austin is in recovery after being brutally assaulted on the weekend.

Austin,

a former Greens candidate, is recovering at home after an unknown man assaulted her in the Lal Lal State Forest, near Ballarat (

ABC

).

The Djab Wurrung woman

said she was running along a remote motorbike track when an unknown man with "a rock tied to the end of the stick" approached and attacked her.

Detective senior sergeant Tony Coxall

said all authorities knew currently was that it was a “random attack on a jogger” and called for witnesses to come forward.

Police said

they would be ramping up patrols in the area as an added safety measure.

MREC 2

5

Home Affairs combats foreign interference

Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil has vowed to name countries found to be undermining Australia’s political processes and undertake initiatives to combat foreign interference.

In a speech

to the Australian National University, O'Neil said spy agencies will be tasked with designing programs for identified communities most at-risk of being targeted by foreign governments (

The Mandarin

).

She also

revealed ASIO recently foiled a foreign interference operation by the Iranian regime.

The plot

was aimed at an Iranian-Australian linked to locally held protests against the Iranian government.

It comes as

the Australian Federal Police is accused of dodging questions about the arrest of an Iranian-Australian protester that reportedly resulted in the man being hospitalised (

Crikey

).

‘I complained about abuse and the governor-general vilified me…’

He was one of the most senior members of the Anglican Church, then became the governor-general of Australia. But last week Peter Hollingworth sat in secret hearings that could decide his legacy. Those hearings are investigating his handling of child sexual abuse claims – with several complaints being heard about his decisions, while he ran the Brisbane diocese.

Listen

MREC 3

Infected by apprehended bias.

Justice Darren Jackson offers up a diagnosis for former prime minister Scott Morrison, over his use of a secret ministry to reject a gas exploration licence (

ABC

).

Postscript: Trump used folder bearing ‘classified’ wording to block light keeping him awake at night, lawyer says

“He has one of those landline telephones next to his bed, and it has a blue light on it, and it keeps him up at night,” Trump lawyer Tim Parlatore said. He added, “So now the president has to find a different way to keep the blue light out of his eyes,” (

NBC

).

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Manila’s countless dead

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The rise and fall of Gautam Adani

From his first investment in cling wrap, Gautam Adani built the third largest fortune in the world – but claims of stock manipulation have almost halved the value of his company.

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What’s behind the youth crime blame game?

Youth crime has become a national issue once again – front page stories from Queensland, to the Northern Territory, to Western Australia are all raising the alarm that young people in regional towns are making the streets unsafe. Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Jesse Noakes on the children who get caught up in the criminal justice system and what happens when they’re locked away.

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The Saturday Paper

Editorial: deeply suffers

This week, not quite to the hour, as Behrouz Boochani spoke in Parliament House, the Albanese government moved to suspend standing orders. It did not want debate on a bill to redesignate Nauru as a regional processing centre.

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