School students across the country will strike today to protest government inaction on climate change. Speaking on Thursday, New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was “appalled” at state Labor leader Michael Daley’s comments in support of the strike, saying “I absolutely support them expressing themselves but not during school”. Daley said on Wednesday that he supported the students’ “right to protest especially when it comes to climate change and our fragile environment”. Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten split the difference, saying on Thursday that while “kids are allowed to have an opinion … in an ideal world, they would protest after school hours and on weekends”. Details about your local strike can be found here.
In London, the British parliament has voted to postpone Brexit until at least June 30, forcing prime minister Theresa May to seek an extension from European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker. The House of Commons overwhelmingly voted to postpone invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which outlines how an EU member state must withdraw from the bloc. MPs also voted down a motion giving the Commons the power to attempt crafting its own Brexit plan, while the first substantive motion to hold a second Brexit referendum was easily defeated after the opposition Labour Party largely abstained from the vote.
Former New South Wales deputy police commissioner Nick Kaldas has declined an offer to run as the Liberal candidate in the marginal Sydney seat of Reid, further imperilling the government’s hopes of holding the seat at the federal election. Speaking to Nine newspapers on Thursday, Kaldas said that prime minister Scott Morrison had repeatedly asked him to run in the seat, and that his law enforcement credentials would help the Coalition in the event of home affairs minister Peter Dutton losing his seat in Queensland. Current member Craig Laundy, a moderate who supported former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in August’s leadership spill, is widely expected to retire at the next election, but has reportedly delayed announcing his resignation while the Liberals looked for a replacement.
And Australia would have the highest minimum wage in the world if federal Labor adopted a policy pursued by the union movement. Earlier this week, opposition leader Bill Shorten said Labor may require the Fair Work Commission to set the minimum wage at a level that ensured nobody working full-time would endure poverty. The Australian Council of Trade Unions has demanded the minimum wage be set at 60 per cent of the median full-time wage, translating to a pay rise of $133 a week. A weekly minimum wage of $852 would see Australia surpass France and Luxembourg to deliver the highest minimum wage in the world.