Gas to fire up post-Covid recovery: PM Morrison
(See translation in Arabic section)
Canberra - M E Times Int'l: The Federal Government is setting a target for the electricity sector to deliver 1,000 megawatts of new dispatchable energy to replace the Liddell power station before it closes down in 2023.
To protect families and businesses against the risk of price rises, the Government will step up and back a new gas power plant in the Hunter Valley if the sector doesn’t replace Liddell’s capacity.
The Liddell Taskforce found closing the plant without adequate dispatchable replacement capacity risks prices rising by around 30 per cent over two years, or $20 per megawatt hour to $80 in 2024 and up to $105 per MWH by 2030.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Government’s JobMaker plan was focused on delivering affordable, reliable energy that would ultimately support the economy and new jobs.
He said the potential price increases were unacceptable and would represent a huge hit to families, businesses and job creating industries in NSW if the energy generated by Liddell wasn’t replaced.
Gas will help re‑establish a strong economy as part of government’s JobMaker plan, making energy affordable for families and businesses and supporting jobs as part of Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 recession.
Prime Minister Morrison said the Government would reset the east coast gas market and create a more competitive and transparent Australian Gas Hub by unlocking gas supply, delivering an efficient pipeline and transportation market, and empowering gas customers.
The Government will get more gas into the market by:
• Setting new gas supply targets with states and territories and enforce potential “use-it or lose-it” requirements on gas licenses
• Unlock five key gas basins starting with the Beetaloo Basin in the NT and the North Bowen and Galilee Basin in Queensland, at a cost of $28.3 million for the plans
• New agreements with the three east coast LNG exporters;
• Support CSIRO’s Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance with $13.7 million.
• Exploring options for a prospective gas reservation scheme.
“To help fire our economic recovery, the next plank in our JobMaker plan is to deliver more Australian gas where it is needed at an internationally competitive price,” the Prime Minister said.
“We’ll work with industry to deliver a gas hub for Australia that will ensure households and businesses enjoy the benefits of our abundant local gas while we hold our position as one of the top global liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters,” the Prime Minister said.
PM continues to 'duck and weave from responsibility': Albanese
Canberra: Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the federal government for not using national resources to bring stranded Australians home from overseas.
“It is simply unacceptable that the prime minister continues to say there is nothing he can do about and he hopes to have these families home by Christmas,” Mr Albanese said.
“Well I think those who are desperate to get home should be brought home in September.
“It’s not like there’s a shortage of hotel space in this country, the prime minister might have noticed that tourists aren’t coming here and hotels certainly have available space, so it is just beyond my comprehension how the prime minister can continue to duck and weave from responsibility on this issue.
Berejiklian government pledges $2.4 billion to projects across state
Sydney: More than 30 new and fast-tracked health, education and transport and roads projects will be delivered across the state within two years, creating up to 20,000 estimated jobs thanks to the NSW Government’s $3 billion Jobs and Infrastructure Acceleration Fund.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Fund is part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan, which will include an accelerated $600m in funding for projects built in four separate fields: health, education, transport and roads worth $2.4 billion, creating thousands of jobs at a time when the state needs them most.
$1,000 fines to everyone at gatherings exceeding 20 people
Sydney: New South Wales Police have begun cracking down on those exceeding limits on private gatherings as Australia heads into warmer months.
From Tuesday, $1,000 fines would be issued to anyone attending private gatherings exceeding the 20-person limit.
Previously, only the host would receive the fine.
Apprenticeship numbers in NSW tumble during pandemic
Sydney: NSW Labor is warning the Government must support young workers during the recession, after the latest figures revealed a dramatic fall in the number of apprentices and trainees.
A National Centre for Vocational Educational Research report shows that in the March quarter, there were 8.6 per cent fewer apprenticeship commencements in NSW than the same period last year. Trades based employment plunged 9.6 per cent.
“Youth unemployment has hit 20 per cent in parts of NSW,” said Shadow Minister for TAFE and Skills Jihad Dib.
“These figures do little to ease the frustrations from the trades industry that’s reeling from the impact of Covid-19. These shocking figures highlight the urgent need to address this dramatic drop in the commencement of apprenticeships.
“Apprenticeships and traineeships give young people a start in their employment journey and with close to 4000 fewer apprentices in the 12-month period, alarm bells should be ringing.
“The Berejiklian Government must provide practical support for businesses and young people, bolstering their skills and experience to help rebuild the economy.”
Keating’s aged-care plan ‘misses the point’
Sydney: Proposals for a HECS-type model to fund aged-care misses the point, according to public finance expert Dr Marc Robinson. The scheme was proposed by former prime minister Paul Keating in evidence to the Aged Care Royal Commission.
Dr Robinson said the biggest problem facing aged care was the minority of elderly people who ended up needing particularly long periods of expensive residential care because they suffered from dementia or other severe disability.
“Everyone should be protected against this risk through social insurance, which would pay for aged care costs above a certain threshold,” he said. “Everybody should pay a premium, in the form of a supplement to the Medicare levy, in order to pay for this insurance.”
Dr Robinson addresses the aged-care challenge in his new book Bigger Government: The Future of Government Expenditure in Advanced Economies.
He said an effective aged-care system was one looked after people who had limited capacity to pay and protected everyone against the risk of drawing the short straw in the “dementia lottery”.
Coalition turmoil as Barilaro faces No Confidence Motion
Sydney: The NSW Parliament will tomorrow debate a motion of no confidence in the Deputy Premier, John Barilaro.
Labor today gave notice of the motion before Mr Barilaro said he would not resign and two senior ministers refused to back down from their earlier, scathing public criticism of him.
Ms McKay said: “It’s Labor’s belief that NSW needs stable Government during the recession and pandemic. That cannot be achieved when the Coalition is embroiled in political infighting and while John Barilaro remains Deputy Premier.”
Sydney 2000 Olympics a ‘win for Commonwealth’: Carr
Sydney: Former NSW premier Bob Carr has recounted the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games as being a “win for the Commonwealth of Australia” on the monumental event’s 20-year anniversary.
Mr Carr – who was the premier at the time – said the Olympics were historic because it was the first time the games had been paid for without incurring debt.
“I wasn’t going to see one generation have a party at the expense of the generations who came after us,” he said. “One of my proudest boasts about the games is we paid for them as we went.”
Mr Carr revealed he placed emphasis on the fact the 2000 Olympics were to be a national event rather than be Sydney-central.
“I wanted all of Australia to think there’s nothing to do here wither interstate rivalries, this is a win for the Commonwealth of Australia.”
Build coal power station to bring manufacturing to Australia: Canavan
Brisbane: Nationals Senator Matt Canavan says Australia must get back to investing in power sources such as coal and gas, and not “unreliable, part time renewables” to get the nation’s manufacturing industry back up and running.
“The key problem our manufacturing industry has had in the past decade is escalating energy prices as we’ve shut down coal and gas fired power stations,” Mr Canavan told media.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday threatened the private sector, saying the government would forcibly intervene in the gas market and build a new power station in the NSW Hunter Valley unless it came up with a plan and funding over the next seven months.
“I’m a bit sceptical though whether we can rekindle manufacturing just through gas alone,” Mr Canavan said.
“I think we should build a coal-fired power station if we want to bring manufacturing back to Australia.
“We should look to invest in all energy sources if we’re serious about bringing energy prices down.
Parramatta backs NSW Government’s 24-hour economy plan
Sydney: City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer has welcomed the NSW Government’s strategy to transform Sydney into a 24-hour city.
“I am pleased the NSW Government is progressing its bold plan to create a 24-hour economy for Sydney, which aligns with Council’s visionary Parramatta Night City Framework 2020-2024,” Cr Dwyer said. “We want Parramatta to be a shining example of a 24-hour economy with diverse business offerings, late-night events, and vibrant experiences.
“City of Parramatta’s night time economy is valued at $1.1 billion and we’re excited that Parramatta has rightfully been earmarked as a critical precinct in the NSW Government’s plan. Revitalising Sydney’s nightlife will provide a much-needed boost for businesses and the economy.”
Parramatta’s Night City Framework 2020-2024explores ways council can cater to the whole community; attract diverse businesses and make the city safer and easier to navigate at night.
Parramatta Council won the Local Government of NSW 2020 Planning Award in August for its proposal for a 24-hour city.
To read Council’s Parramatta Night City Framework 2020-2024, visit: