Pacific nations haves a long-standing reason to be wary of all things nuclear. Yet here is our government high-handedly joining a deal to send nuclear-powered submarines patrolling the region. Prime Minister Scott Morrison failed to consult Pacific nations about the plans to form AUKUS, the tripartite defence deal that will produce a fleet of nuclear-powered Continue reading »

Organisation’s founder faced multiple allegations of sexual abuse before his death, but denies all wrongdoing and refuses to join the plan

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Annette Stephens abandoned her children. Michelle Ring says she was given antiseptic lollies so she didn’t get a mouth infection after being sexually abused as a child. A father says his teenage daughter alleged abuse, and that she and others deserve to be heard.

Another person who says they have a wealth of knowledge about Kenja Communications says they are too afraid to speak publicly about it.

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Social media giant teams up with newswire AAP to push videos encouraging voters to critically examine facts

Facebook and the Australian Associated Press newswire service will roll out “check the facts” videos over the next month as the social media giant prepares for a federal election campaign that could be filled with misinformation and disinformation.

The videos, to be pushed in Australia on the Facebook and Instagram platforms until 24 November, will encourage people to critically examine information they are presented with and improve their overall media literacy. AAP will also provide material on how to identify misinformation.

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Andrew Shearer’s unreported meeting in April with Joe Biden’s top Indo-Pacific adviser may have been the clincher for the Aukus security agreement

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It was late April when one of Australia’s top intelligence chiefs arrived in Washington for important talks with key officials in the relatively new Biden administration.

Andrew Shearer, a longtime foreign policy hawk and one of Scott Morrison’s most influential advisers on how Australia should position itself at a time of rising tensions with China, met with Joe Biden’s top Indo-Pacific adviser, Kurt Campbell, in the building next to the White House on 30 April.

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Five young people argue 2030 emissions target fails to uphold the rights of young Australians

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Five young Australians, including members of First Nations and disability communities, have lodged three human rights complaints with the United Nations over what they claim is the Morrison government’s inaction on climate.

The complainants – aged between 14 and 24 years old – argue that the Australian government’s 2030 emissions reduction target fails to uphold the rights of every young person in Australia.

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Conservative Coalition leaders have a history of committing Australia to overseas military adventures – and the ‘patriotic’ media have never questioned the propaganda. Australian media have accepted the line that strategic planners in the US and the UK have rationally decided that an alliance with Australia is important for Western security. Historically, the media have Continue reading »

Labor has extended its lead to 54-46 in the latest Newspoll, days before Prime Minister Scott Morrison prepares to head to Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit.

The results of the exclusive poll, which is conducted for The Australian newspaper and released on Sunday night, shows support for the Coalition at its lowest level in three years as talk of action on reducing emissions dominates the political landscape.

It highlighted increasing community support for greater climate action, with 47 per cent of voters saying the goal of reducing emissions should be prioritised over lower energy costs (40 per cent).

It is a stark reversal from 2018 when 64 per cent of voters said energy prices should be the priority and only 24 per cent said reducing greenhouse gas emissions was more important.

The Coalition has fallen to its lowest level of support in three years in the latest #Newspoll #auspol

— The Australian (@australian) October 24, 2021

The two-point fall to 35 per cent represents the Morrison government’s lowest standing since December 2018, four months after Malcolm Turnbull lost the leadership amid a rebellion over climate change policy.

In contrast, Labor gained a point to 38 per cent.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation rose a point to 3 per cent, and the Greens remained on 11 per cent.

Support for minor parties, which includes Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, stayed steady at a post-election high of 13 per cent.

Mr Morrison is hoping to seal a commitment to meet a 2050 net-zero emissions reduction target – a far cry from the global goal of increasing 2030 targets – before heading to Scotland on Thursday.

Voters surveyed believed Labor – 35 per cent to 28 per cent – would be better leading Australia’s response to the challenge of climate change.

An average of 10 per cent of voters said energy security – avoiding blackouts – should be the key priority.

Lockdown letdown

The poll covered a period in which Victoria and NSW have reopened following months of lockdown, and Queensland announced its intention to lift border restrictions before Christmas.

On a two-party-preferred basis, the Coalition trails Labor 54-46, losing ground since the 53-47 result three weeks ago. It mirrors the result posted in August.

The Prime Minister’s approval ratings have also fallen further into net-negative (-4) territory, with 50 per cent dissatisfied with his performance.

But they are well above his -21 net approval ratings recorded during the 2019-2020 summer bushfire crisis.

A significant percentage of voters have yet to make up their mind about Mr Albanese, with 17 per cent unable to rate his performance as Opposition Leader.

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Scott Morrison will be relieved the Nationals have limped across the line on net zero by 2050, but the detail of what was negotiated with Barnaby Joyce is yet to be seen

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Barnaby Joyce came back to the leadership of the National party in the middle of the year believing that he was the leader to stop Scott Morrison landing a net zero commitment.

Joyce said as much publicly shortly after regaining the top job. In mid-July, he declared there would be zero chance of the Nationals party room agreeing to net zero.

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Agreement is conditional on cabinet submission reflecting negotiations between Scott Morrison and Joyce, who refused to reveal if he supported the target

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Nationals MPs have agreed to sign up to a net zero emissions target by 2050, despite the opposition of leader Barnaby Joyce, in exchange for a regional transition package and an extra cabinet position.

In a two-hour long partyroom meeting on Sunday, Joyce said the party had agreed to a “process” to support the net zero target, dependent on cabinet signing off on a package that would protect regional economies.

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Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has indicated his party will support the process towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

The in-principle support would depend on the submission to go before federal cabinet, Mr Joyce told a press conference on Sunday afternoon following a two-hour meeting of the junior Coalition party in Parliament House.

“We are in support of a process going forward to net zero,” Mr Joyce told reporters in Canberra after a week-long series of negotiations with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

It is understood the key to getting the junior Coalition partner over the line was a “socio-economic safety valve” that would include regular reviews of the effect of the emissions target on jobs and industries in rural and regional areas to ensure no one was left behind.

News Corp papers also reported the demands included the prospect of changes to federal legislation that would open the way for nuclear power.

But the announcement was greeted with derision by opponents, who argue the target should be for 2030, not 2050.

Mr Joyce refused to say if he personally supported the net-zero decision, and said “I don’t have to” reveal what Nationals had asked for or were agreed to by the PM.

Asked whether there would be any ministers stepping down from cabinet for disagreeing with the stance, Mr Joyce also refused to answer.

‘‘It’s a vexed issue and people have strong feelings on both sides,’’ he said.

The decision, if approved at Wednesday’s meeting of cabinet, means Mr Morrison can fly to the Glasgow climate talks hours later with a 2050 target.

One week to go until #COP26 🌏

Paris promised, Glasgow must deliver.#TogetherForOurPlanet | #ClimateAction

— COP26 (@COP26) October 24, 2021

Green leader Adam Bandt tweeted his disapproval of the announcement.

“Delay is the new denial. 2030 is the climate’s deadline, not 2050,” Mr Bandt wrote on Twitter.

“Net zero by 2050 is a fraud if you’re expanding coal and gas and refusing to lift 2030 targets.

“Of course Nats and Libs will strike a fraudulent climate deal, based on more coal and gas & 2030 targets that will fry us.

“Australia’s run by an accountant in a cowboy hat and a coal-hugger in a cap, neither of whom really want to take climate action. That’s our main problem.”

Former PM Kevin Rudd agreed, tweeting that ‘‘the political charade rolls on’’ and ‘‘All to distract from the real question of what Morrison will commit to in real and additional carbon reductions by 2030, as the Liberals committed to do this year in the Paris agreement of 2015’’.

breaking – Nationals support a net zero target, subject to final details

Barnaby Joyce: “we are in support of a process going forward to net zero”

— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) October 24, 2021

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese earlier said it was extraordinary Mr Morrison isn’t in the room where decisions are being made about Australia’s economic and environmental future.

“This is a government that is frozen in time while the world warms around. This is not really a government, more like a rabble,” he told reporters in Canberra.

Before the meeting Nationals deputy leader David Littleproud declined to disclose what was in the party’s list of demands to secure a deal.

But News Corp newspapers reported that the demands include changes to federal legislation that would open the way to explore nuclear power in Australia, overturning a long-standing ban.

“Nuclear is something the Nationals party obviously stands firmly behind as a party room, but we understand you have got to educate before you legislate,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The electorate isn’t necessarily there with us at the moment. We have to be pragmatic about that. You have still got to win elections.”

-with AAP

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