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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Dutton stays silent in question time – as it happened

Dutton stays silent in question time – 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 early tomorrow morning. Until then, have a great evening.

‘Extraordinary stuff’: Labor MP claims Deeming contradicted Pessuto in tweet

The Labor MP Josh Burns is highlighting a tweet from Moira Deeming that appears to contradict the Victorian Liberal leader, John Pessuto’s statements about her earlier today.

Pessutobuckled to pressure earlier today and withdrew his bid to expel Deeming from the party room. Instead, after a two-hour meeting, the Liberal party room on Monday unanimously voted to suspend the upper house MP for nine months, as well as strip her of the position of upper house whip after she belatedly condemned anti-transgender activists.

Pessuto said he had proposed the new outcome after receiving “important concessions” from Deeming at 6.30am on Monday that included a condemnation of comments made by Kellie-Jay Keen and the rally’s organiser, Angie Jones:

Whilst it took a few days, Moira actually provided the condemnation I’d been seeking all along and that provided an opportunity during today’s meeting for me to propose a slightly different outcome.

Pesutto said Deeming “specifically” condemned comments made by Keen and Jones that were contained in a 15-page dossier sent by the Liberal leadership to MPs last week.

On Twitter a short time ago, Deeming said she never condemned Keen and Jones.

Study to probe how electric vehicle drivers recharge

Hundreds of electric car owners are being sought for a study looking into whether Australia’s electricity grid will be able to charge millions of the next-generation vehicles by 2030.

The research, by the University of Queensland, will also test whether new electric vehicle owners can be tempted to change their charging behaviour to use solar power and what incentives would encourage them to do so, AAP reports.

The findings will add to data collected in a 2021 study that found three in four electric vehicle drivers were already charging their cars outside peak demand times.

Chief investigator Andrea La Nauze said the research team hoped to survey 400 Australian Tesla owners for the latest stage of the study.

Even though tens of thousands of electric vehicles were already being used in Australia, Dr La Nauze said little was known about when and where owners were powering their cars:

We’re interested in charging behaviour, what determines charging behaviour and what consumers really want to shift their charging behaviour.

We want to know how responsive they are to incentives and do they like pricing programs that encourage them to charge at different times of the day.


Analysis: Labor-Greens deal on safeguard mechanism gives each party a win

Chief political correspondent Paul Karp has just filed analysis on the government’s signature climate bill and what’s likely to happen in coming months.

The Labor-Greens deal on the safeguard mechanism won’t put a stop to new coal and gas projects, but it will put a hard enough brake that we’ll hear the screech if any get the government’s go-ahead. For weeks the climate and energy minister, Chris Bowen, has been locked in negotiations determined to pass the signature climate bill without taking up the minor party’s “offer not ultimatum” of no new coal and gas.

The Greens can argue that they have made giant carbon bombs like Beetaloo unviable.

Through rounds of interviews urging them to help reduce emissions, Bowen has ruled out a ban, a pause and a climate trigger in environmental approval laws. But behind the scenes, the Greens were fashioning demands they say amount to the next best thing.

On Monday the deal was revealed. At its heart is a cap on participants’ emissions of 1,233m tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030 or about 140m tonnes a year.

Expect to hear these lines all the way to the election: “we tried to stop new coal and gas and they wouldn’t let us” from the Greens; “Labor has caved to the Greens, hobbled our industries and hurt households” from the Coalition.

In the meantime, a deal is a win for the government, which somehow continues to find a way on climate change despite sky-high demands.

Read the full piece here:

QLD minister supports calls for state ban on Nazi salutes

We’re set for another big sitting week in Queensland parliament with anti-hate crime legislation to be introduced and a housing roundtable kicking off tomorrow.

On Monday, it was the transport minister, Mark Bailey’s turn to field questions from the media ahead of a Labor caucus meeting.

Bailey said the banning of Nazi salutes was a matter for the attorney-general but expressed his strong personal support for such a move:

I have zero time and very open hostility to fascism and Nazism and extremism … There is no place for fascist or Nazi symbolism. I would support any ban on the Nazi salute.

The Victorian government confirmed it would seek to ban public displays of the Nazi salute after “disgusting” scenes at an anti-trans protest.

So far the Queensland government has steered clear of explicitly confirming whether they would follow suit.

A spokesperson for Queensland’s attorney general, Shannon Fentiman, told Guardian Australia the legislation “will introduce a circumstance of aggravation for a range of offences, including public nuisance, where the offence is motivated by hatred or prejudice”.

This will mean that a court is able to impose more severe penalties for these offences. Whether the new laws will apply to certain behaviours or situations will depend on the specific circumstances in each case.

It comes after Fentiman confirmed the Queensland government would move to ban Nazi tattoos as part of a hate symbol framework it has dubbed “among the strongest in the country”.

Some Sydney nurses to strike tomorrow morning

The NSW premier-designate, Chris Minns, has barely put his feet under the desk, but strike action is already looming in the state.

NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association members will hold a one-hour stop work meeting from 7am at Mater Private Hospital in North Sydney and ban requests for overtime for a 24-hour period. Union members at St Vincent’s Private will also ban requests for overtime.

The union’s assistant general secretary, Michael Whaites, said he wanted to highlight the frustration private sector nurses and midwives have reported about staff shortages. According to a statement by the union, nightshift staffing levels will be maintained in all wards and units.

Property market showing signs of stability, small uptick

It wasn’t that long ago that people were predicting steep dives of 20% or more in property prices, with higher interest rates to be the main driver.

Lately, the real estate market has been showing signs of stability, if not a bit of an uptick. That’s despite 10 consecutive rate rises by the Reserve Bank, and the prospect of one or two more to come.

According to CoreLogic’s preliminary numbers, auction clearances over the past week were 71%, or the highest since mid-April last year.

It’s worth highlighting that auction totals remain well down on a year ago, but if vendors see a higher proportion of auctions succeeded, we will likely see more of them willing to sell.

Prices, it seems, have stopped falling too – after losing about 9% from their peaks.

It’s mixed news, of course. Those owning a home want to see its value retained. Those desperate to escape from rising rents, however, would rather see those prices fall further.

And RBA board members want to see more proof higher borrowing costs are sapping excessive demand before they opt to pause rate hikes. March, it seems, won’t provide much evidence on that front, at least.

Liberal MP calls for ban on gambling ads

Just circling back to Russell Broadbent’s appearance on ABC Afternoon Briefing. After declaring an interest in racehorses, Broadbent supported calls for a ban or heavy restrictions on gambling ads.

I can’t stand the advertisements. Are we not mature enough a nation to listen to what Zoe Daniel is saying and get those ads off the television? Especially ‘bet with your mate’. The underlying [message] is you are not really a mate unless you bet with me.

Malcolm Turnbull criticises ‘right wing angertainment complex’

Helpful as always, Australia’s 29th prime minister has his say on the message the NSW election result sent to the Liberals.

The former federal MP Trent Zimmerman, a moderate, said the NSW election result should provide “some deep soul searching in Liberal ranks”:

One of the debates already under way is whether this new national picture reflects a common theme or if there are factors unique to each state that makes a national narrative more difficult to ascertain. It’s an important question and will determine some of the learnings for the Liberal party.

You can read his full piece here:

Labor signals spending to avoid 30 June budget cliffs

The Albanese government has hinted it will spend billions to avoid going off the edge of funding cliffs in the budget, with arts institutions, e-safety, My Health Record and even the radioactive waste agency otherwise slated for cuts.

The treasurer, Jim Chalmers, and finance minister, Katy Gallagher, have released details of agencies and programs they say the Coalition failed to budget for, with many set to run out of funds from 30 June.

The move is the strongest signal yet that arts and collecting institutions, including the National Library’s Trove database will see funding restored in the May budget.

Trove – an online image library run by National Library of Australia, as well as other state libraries.

It follows $4.1bn of additional spending in the October budget to avoid so-called budget cliffs.

According to Chalmers and Gallagher, the My Health Record and public health dental schemes were due to receive no funds from 1 July, leaving 23 million people without access to health records and 180,000 without subsidised dental services.

The Australian Radioactive Waste Agency was to receive no funding from mid-December 2023.

The National Emergency Management Agency and the eSafety Commissioner were both due to have “significant” reductions in funding from 1 July.

Labor made the funding cliffs a significant focus in question time on Monday, with dorothy dixers to the communications minister, Michelle Rowland and arts minister, Tony Burke.

Burke told the lower house that additional funding is due to run out on 30 June for the maritime museum, portrait gallery, national museum, the national film and sound archive, the national gallery, and old parliament house.

He said:

Part of telling the Australian story isn’t just the institutions themselves but it’s about digitising that story and keeping it through the process of trove and many members on this side and across the crossbench have contacted me for some time about Trove. Trove is one of the Australian government’s most visited online services. More than 50,000 visits a day. Over 1,500 digitised newspaper titles. 900 partner organisations. But under their proposal, it would be funded until, guess what date? 30 June. And at 30 June, the money for the National Library to be able to continue funding Trove was all going to finish.

Australia’s wine industry fizzing over prosecco

Taking a very quick break from politics to talk about something else most of us love – prosecco.

Australian winemakers are being urged to have their say on the European Union’s proposal to claim the naming rights for key products including prosecco, AAP reports.

A final round of major negotiations with the bloc will take place in Brussels next month, as delegations work to seal a free trade deal by a mid-year deadline.

One of the biggest sticking points is Australia’s unwillingness to give ground over geographical indicators on locally made produce such as prosecco and feta.

The government is running a public objections consultation process on wine GIs put forward by the EU.

Lee McLean, head of Australian Grape & Wine, said prosecco growers first went into battle in 2013 to protect the Australian industry which is now worth $200m.

Here’s what McLean told AAP:

We will certainly be voicing our grievances about the EU’s push to protect prosecco as a geographical indicator.

Prosecco is a grape variety, just like shiraz is, just like chardonnay is. We need to make sure that Australian producers maintain that right to use the grape variety name on their labels.

Deeming resolution ‘a missed opportunity’, Thwaites says

The Labor MP Kate Thwaites, also a Victorian, has a very different take on the Moira Deeming development to Russell Broadbent. She’s told the ABC the Victorian Liberals should have taken a much stronger stance.

I think it’s a missed opportunity. John Pesutto tried to take a stand and show that the Victorian Liberals don’t stand for hate and they don’t stand for division and his party room has rolled him. I think that is really unfortunate message.

I had parents in my electorate who have transgender children contact me and say those children have found the past weeks very difficult.

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