JollyPostie The Saturday Paper Taylor hid energy hikes, Tudge exit leaves seat exposed, plan set out for 1m homes

Text-Only Mode Of The Email Taylor hid energy hikes, Tudge exit leaves seat exposed, plan set out for 1m homes

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10 February, 2023

Max Opray

is Schwartz Media's emails editor.


Taylor hid energy hikes

Former energy minister Angus Taylor was behind a decision to delay revealing projections of electricity price rises until after the May election, according to new revelations.

What we know:

Taylor told media

in October that he didn’t know about incoming price rise projections of between 11.3% to 12.6% and that he didn’t see the report proposing to increase the default market offer (

The Guardian


Taylor told Sky News

at the time that notice of price rises was in “a report from the Australian Energy Regulator” but said “it puts it out, not me, and I didn’t see it”;

Answers to questions

on notice from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet  reveal that the industry department undertook a review of the default market offer “in late 2021 and early 2022 … on behalf of the former minister for industry, energy and emissions reduction [Taylor]”;

That included

a review of whether to push back the date on which the AER is required to release its final determination, which Taylor then decided to delay to days after the May election;

The answers

also reveal that then prime minister Scott Morrison was informed by treasurer Josh Frydenberg that he had given Taylor power to delay notification of the price rise;

Taylor spent

the election campaigning on the message that Labor policies would lead to electricity price increases (

Renew Economy


In opposition,

the Coalition has pursued Labor over power price rises, targeting the government’s projection that renewables can help bring bills down by $275;

Between April and October 2022,

the median annual bill of an Australian resident increased by 23% (



The increases

have been primarily driven by rising coal and gas prices, but market interventions by Labor are expected save households an average of $230 in bills in the coming financial year;

This week juice producer

Nippy’s revealed its energy bill was set to nearly double with a $900,000 increase (





Tudge exit leaves seat exposed

The Liberal-held Melbourne seat of Aston will go to a byelection, following the resignation of scandal-plagued former cabinet minister Alan Tudge.

What we know:

In a statement

to the house of representatives, Tudge said the decision, cemented after his father’s recent death, was necessary for his health and for his family, “amongst other reasons” (

The New Daily


It comes

shortly after damning revelations at the robo-debt royal commission, including that Tudge released the personal information of a man who had killed himself after being hounded by Centrelink debt collectors (

The Saturday Paper


Tudge was

also accused by his former media adviser, Rachelle Miller, of emotional and physical abuse, and was implicated in the commuter car park rort (

The Politics


Aston was

formerly a safe Liberal seat, but Tudge suffered a two-party swing against him of more than 7% in 2022, and it is now on a margin of 2.8%;

Former treasurer Josh Frydenberg,

who lost the nearby seat of Kooyong at the election to teal independent Monique Ryan, has ruled out contesting the byelection (



The byelection

presents an early test of Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s ability to campaign in Victoria, where he is particularly unpopular (

The Conversation




Plan set out for 1 million homes

Federal, state and territory treasurers will today discuss how to implement the Albanese government’s plan to build 1 million homes by the end of the decade.

At the meeting

of the Council on Federal Financial Relations, Treasurer Jim Chalmers will encourage states and territories to increase the speed of rezoning and property approvals (



The plan

emphasises in particular faster reforms around “well-located” state land near train stations and TAFE campuses.

Housing Minister Julie Collins

on Thursday introduced legislation to set up the housing future fund, which will provide up to $500m a year.

This will go

towards building social and affordable homes, repairing housing in remote Indigenous communities, and providing transition housing for women and children leaving domestic violence.

The Greens

said the plan does not go far enough towards meeting the need for affordable housing, while independent senator David Pocock has expressed doubt the fund will be able to finance 30,000 homes.


Minister ‘untenable’ after betting gift

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland has been urged to resign following reports she accepted donations from a gambling company ahead of the federal election.

In new revelations,

Sportsbet paid $8960 for a dinner to support Ms Rowland's election campaign in March, and made another donation of $10,000 in the days before the May poll (



The Greens

and independent MP Andrew Wilkie described Rowland’s position in charge of a portfolio part responsible for online gambling policy as “untenable”.


who has spent much of his career lobbying against gambling firms, added that Rowland had accepted tickets from Tabcorp to the Melbourne Cup and a rugby match since becoming minister.

“If the prime minister

is fair dinkum about restoring integrity in this place, and I believe he is … then he will act decisively to dismiss the communications minister if she doesn’t have the honour to resign herself,” said Wilkie.

Government leader of the house Tony Burke

told parliament there was no evidence Rowland had favoured wagering firms in her decision-making and she had, in fact, done the opposite by leading the government’s harm-minimisation agenda in the face of industry lobbying.



Poor construction buries thousands

Attention is

turning to the failure of builders in Türkiye to adhere to modern building codes, as the death toll from the massive earthquakes surges beyond 20,000.

Türkiye has

now recorded 17,100 deaths and more than 70,000 injured, while Syria has reported more than 3100 dead and 5000 injured (



In Türkiye

at least 6444 buildings collapsed, with the double punch of two big earthquakes meaning some structures weakened in the first were then taken down by the second (

Al Jazeera


Although building codes

have strengthened in recent years, authorities in Türkiye failed to sufficiently enforce them, with even new structures and public buildings collapsing in the quakes.

The government

has provided periodic “construction amnesties” — effectively legal exemptions for the payment of a fee, for structures built without the required safety certificates (



Just a few days

before the latest disaster, local media reported that a new draft law was awaiting parliamentary approval to grant a further amnesty for recent construction work.

‘We can change 500,000 lives’: Jordon Steele-John’s ADHD mission

If you think you might have ADHD, it can take months, maybe even a year to get a diagnosis. A public conversation about the condition, led by advocates, has meant more people are seeking help — but the system for getting assessed is laborious and costly. Now, Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John, a key force behind getting the disability royal commission set-up, is taking on ADHD and will use a parliamentary inquiry to advocate for an overhaul in how the condition is treated.



Some island nations in the southern hemisphere might survive a severe sun-reducing catastrophe such as nuclear winter and be well placed to help reboot-collapsed human civilisation.

The good news is that researchers have found Australia and New Zealand are best placed to survive a nuclear winter. The bad news is that academics seem to think that surviving a nuclear winter is something worth investigating right about now (

Risk Analysis


Postscript: A real estate agent offers to help landlords hike rents 24/7. So I tried them at 1.30am

A now-deleted post to the r/Sydney subreddit showed a flyer for the services of a “rentals expert” emblazoned with the text: “Landlords, rents are at a new level. Is yours too low?” The advertisement then instructs the reader to text their address to the agent, who Crikey has chosen not to name, to find out if their rent is too low in just three minutes. The flyer’s kicker is a picture of the agent with a speech bubble coming out of their mouth, saying: “We never sleep 24/7” (




What would Bob Hawke do?

It’s 40 years since Bob Hawke became Labor leader. Now the Albanese government must throw off nostalgia while continuing the Labor tradition of reform.

Read more

The Saturday Paper

How politics is hindering the Kimberley flood emergency

As Western Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the state faces the vast task of post-flood rebuilding in a way that prepares for more extreme rainfall events.

Read more


Lidia Thorpe and the Greens: How did it come to this?

Tension in the Greens over the Voice to Parliament has culminated this week in the abrupt defection of high-profile senator Lidia Thorpe. Publicly, Greens Leader Adam Bandt is calling her resignation “sad”. Privately, other Greens members are reportedly calling it a catastrophe.

Listen now

The Saturday Paper

Novak Djokovic, Bridget McKenzie and hypocrisy

As debate rages over Novak Djokovic’s tennis supremacy – surely beyond question now – the hypocrisy of a certain former minister for Sport should also be garnering attention.

Read more


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