Please help keep this Site Going

Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

PM condemns salutes at rally – as it happened

PM condemns salutes at rally – as it happened

We’re going to wrap up the live blog now. Here’s what made the news today:

Amy Remeikis will be back with you again in the morning for the third sitting day of this week. Until then, enjoy your evening.

Health experts criticise National party’s views on vaping

Public health experts and doctors have roundly criticised the Nationals’ proposed vaping reforms, after the party’s leader, David Littleproud, said retailers should be allowed to dispense nicotine vaping products, but that sales should be limited to people 18 and over, and attractive packaging marketed to children should be banned.

The Public Health Association of Australia CEO, Adj Prof Terry Slevin, said by being the only major political party in Australia that takes tobacco industry money – “at least $276,062 between 2015-16 and 2021-22 from Philip Morris Ltd, the Nationals have ensured its views on vaping are worse than irrelevant”.

“It invites the community, and any serious policymakers, to see its pronouncements on tobacco and vaping to be likely to be influenced by the industry which seeks to continue to profit from ill health and nicotine addiction,” he said.

Asked by Guardian Australia if he had met with tobacco and vaping industry representatives and lobbyists recently, Littleproud said: “We’ve met with everybody.”

Nationals leader David Littleproud

Asked if he had met with Australia’s leading tobacco control experts and public health experts, Littleproud said: “There’s a doctor, I can’t remember his name, that’s made representation to us.

“But this isn’t about medicine,” he said. “This is about regulation.”

Asked if big tobacco and the retailers they represent are experts in regulation, Littleproud responded: “I think they are.”

In response to allegations tobacco companies are influencing Nationals policy and big tobacco donations are part of that influence, Littleproud said: “That’s a pure, petty political statement.

“If they [public health experts] don’t want to engage in a constructive way, in an adult way about protecting children, then unfortunately, they’ve talked themselves out of the debate,” he said.

He added that he was not aware of the situation in New Zealand where vaping laws that allow retailers to sell to people age 18 and above had led to an increase in youth vaping rates.

“I’m not going to get caught up in what other countries do; the psychology and culture are different,” he said. “Each country is different.”

Varroa mite cases on NSW Central Coast prompt mandatory monitoring of beehives in Sydney

Fresh cases of Varroa mite infestation in eastern NSW have prompted mandatory monitoring of beehives in Sydney for the first time since the outbreak began, AAP reports.

The potentially devastating mite was detected in six new hives across four locations including Mooney Mooney on the Central Coast, directly north of Sydney, authorities revealed on Tuesday.

It takes the total number of infested premises to 137.

An eradication zone, within which all beehives must be destroyed, now applies to Sydney’s northernmost tip of Palm Beach, according to a map on the Department of Primary Industries website.

File photo of a Varroa mite on a honeybee pupa

New rules also apply to any hives within a broadened surveillance zone, where officials will monitor and conduct inspections to reduce spread.

The new surveillance zone reaches as far south as Hornsby in Sydney’s north, and extends to Long Reef on the coast.

Other infestations were detected in Clarence Town, Mitchells Flat and Booral, which are all in the vicinity of Newcastle where the original outbreak was detected in June last year.

The department’s Varroa mite response state coordinator, Chris Anderson, said the new sites have low mite loads, suggesting they are very recent infestations.

The recent detection on the Central Coast, however, has meant DPI is now concentrating its Varroa response surveillance activities into the northern suburbs of Sydney, to ensure the infestation is localised and that there is no mite population in the area.

DPI has also had to extend the eradication (red) zone west of Stanhope, and west of Bulahdelah, following the new detections on the mid-north coast.

Republican movement to have male and female co-chairs to better reflect values

The Australian Republican Movement has announced after a special general meeting that the organisation’s constitution has been changed to adopt male and female co-chairs.

The co-chairs will be the Olympic gold medalist and former senator Nova Peris along side the former chair, Craig Foster.

Meredith Doig was elected deputy chair.

Peris said the change “reflects the value system of the ARM and the movement, one calling for access, inclusion and equality for all Australians in our constitution”.

The ARM believes deeply in reflecting both the cultural diversity of contemporary Australia along with deep respect for its First Nations in our institutions as part of the unifying vision of a truly inclusive, reconciled and multicultural Australia.

Queensland roadmap to low emissions ‘inadequate’, conservationists say

A Queensland conservationist has slammed the state government’s so-called “low emissions agriculture roadmap”, describing it as “a terrible disappointment”.

The roadmap reiterates the state government’s existing commitment to a 30% reduction on 2005 levels by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050 – a benchmark that critics say lags far behind other states.

The director of the Queensland Conservation Council, Dave Copeman, said the roadmap was “inadequate”, considering the significant proportion of emissions produced by the agriculture and land use sector.

This roadmap has no targets for emissions reductions for a fifth of Queensland’s emissions.

The fact that it came out on the same day as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a synthesis report detailing ‘a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all’ shows that when it comes to agriculture, the Queensland government is actively avoiding taking climate action seriously.

Copeman also pointed out that Meat and Livestock Australia had committed to reaching carbon neutrality for the entire industry for 2030 about three years ago.

“Minister [Mark] Furner is actively avoiding reiterating these targets and instead condemning Queensland to a future of increased extreme weather, which will be felt by farmers the most,” he said.

The minister for agricultural industry development, Mark Furner, said the roadmap “will help Queensland agribusinesses thrive while they reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Furner said the aim of the roadmap was to provide a “smooth” and “structured” transition “while minimising dramatic changes”.

“But this is not a set and forget approach – we will keep refining the roadmap as over time we develop even more emissions reductions solutions,” he said.

Libby Coker says she supports Aukus after raising questions in caucus

The Labor backbencher Libby Coker has clarified she supports Aukus, after raising questions about the program during this morning’s caucus meeting.

Coker said:

The Aukus plan is important for our security, it responds to the challenging times we face and it will create thousands of jobs for Australian workers. It has my support.

Victorian government raises trans flag following weekend protest

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has unveiled the trans flag flying above the offices of the Victorian government following the anti-trans protest that took place on the steps of parliament on Saturday.

ABC members of media union call off strike planned for tomorrow

ABC members of the media union have called off a strike planned for Wednesday but members of the Community and Public Sector Union will still walk off the job for two hours.

Journalists who belong to the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance called off industrial action after management agreed to address their concerns about career progression and gender and diversity issues.

MEAA and CPSU members were planning to strike for two hours on Wednesday. This is the second time in recent weeks a strike has been averted.

However, members of the CPSU, which represents ABC staff including editorial staff in the content-making divisions, will go ahead.

The MEAA media director, Cassie Derrick, said the prospect of a strike had focused the minds of management.

The new offer provides pay rises totalling 11% over three years, backdated to October 1 last year, plus a $1,500 sign-on bonus.

Management has also agreed to conduct a transparent audit of the gender and [culturally and linguistically diverse] pay gap, to fix the broken buyout system, and to put in place a new pathway for career progression for early and mid-career journalists.

Australia’s freedom of information backlog revealed

Evidence given to the federal court by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner shows that, as of last week, it was yet to resolve 587 FOI review requests submitted in 2020 or earlier.

Forty-two of those reviews were lodged in 2018, half a decade ago.

Another 220 were lodged in 2019.

The remainder, 325, were submitted in 2020. Of the 325 lodged in 2020, about 80% have still not even been allocated to a reviewer within the OAIC.

The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has condemned the presence of people doing Nazi salutes at the anti-trans rally in Melbourne on Saturday.

Albanese told Nova 100 Radio:

People should be able to disagree without having really hostile, nasty relations. In Melbourne on the weekend we saw an anti-trans rally, which is really disrespectful of who people are, and then it was joined by a bunch of people who were essentially doing Nazi salutes and slogans … That of course should be condemned by all Australians.

There is no place in Australia for Nazi salutes, and people basically paying tribute to Nazis, who were responsible for the Holocaust. I sometimes think that politics needs to be civil and we need to learn from history. That’s why I condemn the actions there.

[I don’t know] why people would attend an anti-trans rally in order to promote division – we saw from the whole Pride festival in Sydney, I think Sydney was enriched by that, it was celebrating diversity in Australia. That’s a good thing.

Here’s our full report on the machinations of the Victorian Liberals over what to do about Moira Deeming.

Please help keep this Site Going