Friday, May 10, 2019

Call a climate emergency: Garrett

Former federal environment minister Peter Garrett has called on the Labor Party to declare a climate emergency if it wins the federal election. In a speech to the Carbon Market Institute summit in Melbourne on Wednesday, Garrett said opposition leader Bill Shorten should “declare runaway climate change a bona fide national emergency”, build a standing parliamentary caucus on climate change and entice Liberal MPs to support climate policy action. Garrett also warned that “the Australian defence forces and the reserve need to be geared up and ready to play a greater role given climate chaos will put significant pressure on domestic infrastructure and emergency services”.

The federal Labor Party will release its policy costings today, with the Parliamentary Budget Office expected to estimate that the party’s targeting of multinational tax avoidance would raise $154 billion over 10 years. Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said its proposed taxation changes meant Labor would deliver “a surplus of 1 per cent of GDP by 2022-23, four years earlier than the current government trajectory”. In an interview with Nine newspapers, opposition leader Bill Shorten appealed to younger voters, nominating penalty rate cuts, tax concessions for older Australians and climate change as evidence “people under 40 in this country are getting a dud deal from the government”.

Uber and Lyft drivers in several countries have gone on strike to protest poor pay and working conditions. Drivers in the United States, Britain, Australia, Brazil, India and Chile logged out of rideshare company apps for 24 hours, protesting their classification as independent contractors rather than employees. Rideshare Drivers United, a US-based driver advocacy organisation, said drivers demanded a 10 per cent commission, increased fare pricing transparency, and an improved appeals process. The strike was timed to coincide with Uber’s launch as a publicly tradable company today.

And in the United States, the House of Representatives judiciary committee has ruled that attorney-general William Barr should be held in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena and release the full report into foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election compiled by special counsel Robert Mueller. While Barr repeatedly claimed the Mueller report cleared president Donald Trump and his administration of wrongdoing prior to the report’s release, Mueller detailed 10 instances where Trump may have obstructed justice. Trump responded by using his power of executive privilege to block the release of the unredacted report, while the Senate intelligence committee subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr, forcing him to testify before Congress.



“The legacy of Australia’s offshore processing policy on Nauru is not limited to refugees. And while the number of refugees decreases in the country, a wildly destabilising legacy remains for its people. It is a legacy shared by both major Australian parties, regardless of who wins government on May 18.”


“As the seventh and final season of Veep unfolds, it’s the show itself that finds itself in a tight spot. How do you send up American politics when it has been transformed to such horrific extent by the real-life presidency of Donald Trump?”


“Molière’s 17th-century comedy remains perennial because privilege never goes away. In a time when the wealth gap exceeds even the obscene inequality of the Ancien Régime, The Miser feels particularly pertinent, although I’m not certain whether it is more depressing or reassuring that, after all these centuries, we’re still making fun of the same human foibles.”


“Liberal heavyweight John Howard has thrown a line to his vulnerable friend Peter Dutton in his marginal seat of Dickson, north of Brisbane. In a letter sent to voters in the tightly held electorate, the former prime minister has attempted to give Dutton’s campaign a much-needed boost.”


“Former prime minister John Howard is one of 10 people to provide a character reference for George Pell after his conviction for child sex offences, while Melbourne’s Archbishop says he plans to visit Pell in prison. Howard said none of the matters in the context of the charges ‘alters my opinion of the Cardinal’.”


“Are you sick of that crotchety old billionaire Rupert Murdoch siphoning off your hard earned cash each week? Are you tired of reading newspapers so biased, they make the Chaser seem like serious journalists by comparison? Want to just cancel your subscription to the Daily Telegraph that keeps clogging up your mailbox, but can’t be arsed waiting on the phone for three hours? Well wait no more! For a limited time, we at are willing to bite the bullet for you and do the legwork.”

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.