More than two years after it was first established, the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has called for systemic overhaul of an underfunded and under-regulated sector.
ANZ has refused to continue funding the world’s largest coal export port at Newcastle, under its new climate change policy to cut back on loans to the fossil fuel sector. National Australia Bank has stepped in to help underwrite the port on the promise of a transition program to diversified and sustainable operations, reports The Australian. NAB claims the refinancing will support the port’s long-term shift into non-coal operations, including an automated, multipurpose deepwater container terminal. NSW Nationals senator Perin Davey hit out at the move, claiming banks were putting climate change ahead of the national interest. It comes as fellow National, federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, says farmers are well placed to profit from a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, thanks to carbon farming initiatives that will be unveiled in the May budget. Plans to exclude agriculture from any net zero target face a roadblock in the European Union moving to introduce a cross border carbon tax, which would mean Australian products entering the EU will be hit by a tariff to make up for Australia’s lack of a price on carbon.
China’s Foreign Ministry on Monday confirmed Australian journalist Cheng Lei has been formally arrested. Cheng disappeared from Chinese state television’s airwaves six months ago without explanation as tensions ramped up between Beijing and Canberra. Foreign Minister Marise Payne told reporters on Monday that Chinese officials had advised the Australian government of Ms Cheng’s arrest “on suspicion of illegally supplying state secrets overseas”. Payne expressed serious concerns about her welfare and conditions of detention. Chinese government spokesman Wang Wenbin urged Australia to “respect China's judicial sovereignty and stop interfering in China's handling of the case... in any way.”
Myanmar’s military leader has said the army will hold a new election and transfer power to the winner, as tens of thousands of people again took to the streets to protest against the coup. In Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s first remarks since he seized power, he repeated claims that there was fraud involved in November’s election easily won by detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party. In response to the growing demonstrations, on Monday the military imposed martial law in parts of Mandalay, sections of the largest city of Yangon and other townships.
Five of nine Australians playing on the first day of the Australian Open have won through to the second round. The winners include Nick Kyrgios, who defeated Portugal’s Frederico Ferreira Silva in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. John Millman was among the Australians to be eliminated, losing in five sets to Frenchman Corentin Moutet. Women’s number one seed Ash Barty headlines day two, facing Danka Kovinić in the evening session. Despite organisers allowing a cap of 30,000 spectators daily, fans stayed away on the opening day with the stands sparsely populated.