Greens push for major gas tax

Greens leader Adam Bandt will today outline his party’s position on Labor’s climate target bills, and unveil a cost-of-living package that taxes gas companies to pay for free dental and childcare.

What we know:

  • In an address to the National Press Club, Bandt will call on the Albanese government to make childcare and dental healthcare free to address the cost-of-living crisis (ABC); 
  • To pay for the plan, Bandt will point to Parliamentary Budget Office modelling that finds taxing companies that extract gas from Australian waters would deliver $60bn to the budget (The New Daily); 
  • Adding dental care to Medicare and making childcare free would cost a little over $47bn, the Parliamentary Budget Office also found;
  • Bandt will also provide further details on the Greens position regarding Labor’s climate bill, with the minor party holding multiple meetings on the issue on Tuesday after failing to reach consensus (The Age); 
  • The Greens are pushing for a “climate trigger” in federal law so the federal environment minister would have to consider the impact of a project on carbon emissions before deciding it should proceed — something Labor is yet to rule out (The Conversation); 
  • Bandt will declare the Liberals “irrelevant” with Peter Dutton as leader, and that the Greens are in a “powerful position” to determine the fate of the climate target;
  • The Greens have developed a four-point strategy to inform its climate negotiations with Labor (The Saturday Paper); 
  • Opposition leader Peter Dutton rebuffed moderate Liberal calls to support Labor’s bill, flagging a push for nuclear energy and a strengthened Coalition target in the future (The Guardian). 
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Betts retells Crows horror camp

Former AFL player Eddie Betts has opened up about a notorious Adelaide Crows camp he said was a cult-like experience that disrespected his Indigenous culture.

What we know:

  • In a new autobiography released today, Betts claimed the camp misused confidential information he had given in a compulsory private counselling session (The Age); 
  • “Another camp-dude jumped on my back and started to berate me about my mother, something so deeply personal that I was absolutely shattered to hear it come out of his mouth,” Betts wrote;
  • The Wirangu, Kokatha and Guburn man also said the camp appropriated a First Nations peoples’ ritual of a “talking stick” for non-Indigenous participants without the permission of an Elder;
  • “There was all sorts of weird shit that was disrespectful to many cultures, but particularly and extremely disrespectful to my culture,” Betts writes;
  • Betts detailed another exercise where players formed a circle and screamed obscenities at each other to emphasise their masculinity;
  • He said he returned from the camp with feelings of shame and humiliation that left him angry, paranoid, secretive — affecting his family relationships;
  • After addressing the playing group about how unsafe and uncomfortable the camp made him feel, Betts claimed he was dropped from the Crows’ leadership group just three weeks later;
  • A SafeWork SA investigation last year cleared Adelaide of breaching health and safety laws and an AFL investigation cleared the Crows of any rule breach (The New Daily). 
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Warmer ocean to drive more rain

Much of Australia can expect a rainy spring, with the first back-to-back negative Indian Ocean dipole weather event recorded.

The Indian Ocean dipole, driven by sea surface temperature differences, sees warmer water concentrate in the eastern Indian Ocean and moisture-rich air flow towards Australia (Weatherzone). 

According to Weatherzone's Ben Domensino, it is the first time there have been negative Indian Ocean dipoles in consecutive years since records began in the 1960.

While it will contribute to above average rain in eastern NSW, the influence from the negative dipole is more pronounced to the west of the Great Dividing Range (The Guardian). 

The Murray-Darling Basin in particular can expect greatly increased rainfall.

In addition to the two negative Indian Ocean dipoles, there have been two consecutive La Niña events driving heavy rain and flooding on the eastern seaboard, with a third La Niña anticipated for this summer.

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Rate rise hits home owners hard

The Reserve Bank of Australia has hiked interest rates for a fourth consecutive month, lifting the cash rate by another 50 basis points to a six-year high of 1.85%.

In a statement explaining the decision, RBA governor Philip Lowe cited rising inflation, which he said a higher cash rate would help to tame (7News). 

“The expected moderation in inflation reflects the ongoing resolution of global supply-side problems, the stabilisation of commodity prices and the impact of rising interest rates,” he said.

The rate rise will see those paying off an average Australian mortgage of $615,000 cop a $174 increase to their monthly repayments.

Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus said in a statement that the rate increases were heightening the need for pay rises.

“Economic recovery relies on workers having enough money to spend, and continuously raising interest rates while allowing record profiteering business to go responsibility free will be detrimental for all Australians,” she said.

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Pelosi’s Taiwan visit enrages China

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has enraged China, with Beijing moving to conduct military drills near the island in response.

Pelosi arrived late on Tuesday on a trip she said demonstrates US support for the self-ruled island, which China claims as part of its territory (Reuters). 

“Our congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honours America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan's vibrant democracy," Pelosi said in a statement.

Pelosi, the most-senior US political leader to visit Taiwan since 1997, will meet with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen for lunch today.

China’s defence ministry announced that its military would conduct targeted drills and missile tests around Taiwan in response (Politico). 

The operations will “safeguard national sovereignty” in response to Pelosi’s visit, the defence ministry said, vowing to “resolutely thwart external interference and ‘Taiwan’s independence’ separatist attempts”.

Experts warned the “unprecedented” drills would enter Taiwan’s territorial waters, with warships potentially encircling the island and Chinese missiles flying over the island.

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To even his most-rusted on partisans, Mr McGowan would be unlikely to have thought to resemble Ian Fleming’s fictional MI6 character James Bond.

Justice Michael Lee expresses doubt about Clive Palmer’s claim that WA Premier Mark McGowan thought he had a “licence to kill”. Lee on Tuesday ruled on the legal stoush between the pair, determining that they both defamed each other (ABC).

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Postscript: Taylor Swift’s Team Have Blamed Her Private Jet Usage On Lending It To Friends

Taylor Swift is the latest celebrity to be called out for her allegedly excessive private jet use after Kylie Jenner was dragged to hell for being a “climate criminal” last week. According to a report from sustainability marketing agency Yard, Swift used her jet 170 times between January 1 and July 29 this year … “Taylor’s jet is loaned out regularly to other individuals. To attribute most or all of these trips to her is blatantly incorrect,” a representative for Swift said (Junkee).

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Max Opray is Schwartz Media’s morning editor and a freelance writer.

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