Energy Minister Angus Taylor will today detail his plan to pay coal, gas and hydro plants for their capacity rather than the energy they actually produce, in a radical shake up of electricity markets. The plan, which will also cover batteries, would see retailers like Origin and AGL pay on the basis of how much dispatchable power is available rather than merely how much energy is used, reports The Australian. Taylor says this will extend the lifespan of coal-fired power stations, which he supports to improve grid stability despite coal’s leading role in driving the climate crisis. The plan is part of the government’s response to a shortlist of options from the Energy Security Board to redesign the electricity system as more renewables enter the market, and also includes consideration of a government-built new 660MW gas plant in the Hunter Valley. The chair of Australia’s Energy Security Board told Guardian Australia that the taxpayer-funded gas-fired power plant is unlikely to be commercially viable given the abundance of cheaper green energy.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has issued a warning that identity politics and social media are forces seeking to undermine society. In a speech to the United Israel Appeal NSW donor dinner in Sydney on Thursday night, Morrison claimed that identity politics commodified human beings. “You are more than your gender, your sexuality, your race, your ethnicity, your religion, your language group, your age,” he said, adding that the Jewish community understood better than other groups what happens when people are “defined solely by the group they belong to, or an attribute they have, or an identity they possess”.
The former Liberal staffer sacked for masturbating on a female politician's desk has filed a police complaint alleging he is the victim of revenge porn. The staffer was sacked on March 22 after footage of the incident was provided to the media and aired on television. ACT police on Thursday confirmed that officers were looking into the matter. “ACT Policing received a report on 30 March 2021 in relation to the unauthorised sharing of intimate images at Parliament House,” the statement read. “At this time, officers are engaging with a complainant and completing an assessment of the report.”
More allegations have been made of inappropriate behaviour by government MP Andrew Laming towards women. The ABC reports a detailed account by Professor Gemma Carey of how Laming made her feel uncomfortable on a flight, while Megan Lewis, former assistant secretary of the ALP in Tasmania, says Laming persistently asked local female staff on an overseas delegation for their phone numbers. It comes as Laming revealed that his “empathy training” ordered by the Prime Minister was only an online course, and that he emerged from the training believing he actually had too much care for others. He claimed that his behaviour was attributable to a recent ADHD diagnosis, which experts say may partly explain but does not justify it. The claim has prompted others with ADHD to come forward, including writer Anna Spargo-Ryan with her Meanjin piece ‘Why I Do Not Routinely Act Like A Knob Even Though I Have ADHD’.
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