Labor’s plan will only meet 3% of social housing need

Analysis provided by the Parliamentary Library predicts that Labor’s housing plan will deliver only 3% of the social housing Australia will need by 2032. 

According to estimates provided by the Parliamentary Library, Australia currently has a shortfall of 524,200 social housing dwellings, and this is projected to grow to 670,600 dwellings by 2032. 

This estimate takes into account the number of people who are homeless, currently on social housing waiting lists and low-income renters who are in rental stress, to provide an estimate of the total unmet need for social housing dwellings in Australia.

Under Labor’s policy, the Housing Australia Future Fund will build 4,000 social houses each year over 5 years, a tiny fraction of what is needed.

Max Chandler-Mather Greens Federal Member  for Griffith said:

“Housing in Australia is in crisis and Labor’s plan falls short by 97%, which is a pretty spectacular failure.” 

By building only 3% of the social housing Australia needs, Labor is guaranteeing the housing crisis will get worse – millions will remain homeless, stuck for years on social housing waiting lists or in serious rental stress. 

“The Federal Labor Government plans on spending $224 billion over 10 years on the Stage 3 tax cuts, but only $10 billion on building social and affordable housing, which is a real kick in the teeth for the hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need of a home.”

“The Greens plan would see at least 250,000 public and affordable homes built over 5 years, and 1 million over 20 years, which is exactly what we need to ensure everyone has a place to call home.”

“We have the capacity, money and resources to build enough public housing for everyone who needs one, we just need to break the hold banks and property developers have over our political system.”

International offset accounting tricks won’t stop climate crisis, says Greens Leader

On the Climate Change Authority Report into the international offsets market released today, attributable to Greens leader Adam Bandt MP:

“The government must reject international offset accounting tricks.

“This Morrison-era report, commissioned by Angus Taylor to justify his government’s Paris accounting tricks, should be binned.

“We need to cut emissions here in Australia so that we get the benefits of transitioning to a zero economy. These international offsets just delay action and could also undercut our farmers, who could earn income from helping draw down pollution locally.

“The EU no longer allows international offsets and Australia should ban them too.

“If climate action is left to accounting tricks, pollution will go up and we won’t stop the climate crisis.

“Some of these supposed “carbon credits” are nothing but hot air: they don’t represent real cuts to emissions, they get traded hundreds of times, and they give corporations a free pass to keep pumping pollution into the atmosphere.

“The climate crisis and the threat of floods and fires is urgent. Any carbon reduction scheme must see emissions actually come down and carbon drawdown activities increased.

“If we want to turn the tide on climate breakdown we need to see negative emissions, with more carbon drawdown through reforestation than pollution output. The time for ambition is now and we can’t waste time on schemes that achieve net nothing.”

On Tamboran Resources’ submission to the Climate Change Bill enquiry, attributable to Greens leader Adam Bandt MP:

“The gas industry would rather the government sign off on widespread crop failures, water insecurity, extreme heat and flash flooding rather than take reasonable steps to avert the worsening of the climate crisis.

“No amount of spin from the gas grifters changes the fact that the Beetaloo Basin project will lift Australia’s pollution by up to 13%.

“Fracking the Beetaloo Basin is impossible if the government wants to meet even its weak 43% target.

“There’s no room for new coal and gas in our future.”

Plibersek must choose: Rinehart or climate

The Greens have urged the Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek to consider the emissions and climate impact of billionaire miner Gina Rinehart’s proposed expansion of a coal seam gas project in Queensland.

According to reports today, South Korean steel maker Posco will partner with Rinehart to lift production at the Senex venture in the Surat Basin with work set to begin in coming weeks. 

The plan still needs approval by the Environment Minister and comes just days after the Albanese Labor Government passed their 43 per cent climate target bill through the Lower House. 

Greens Environment Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

“Any new or expanded coal or gas projects will blow Labor’s already weak 43 per cent target out the water. 

“Approving more coal and gas in the midst of a climate crisis is reckless and dangerous. Minister Plibersek should rule this one out too.

“It is clear we need a climate trigger in our environment laws to require the Minister to consider the impact the emissions from the project will have on the climate crisis. 

“The comments from the Resources Minister backing in the future of coal and gas are a very worrying sign. 

“If the Albanese Labor Government is truly committed to tackling the climate crisis then making sure they, and the government that comes next, don’t approve projects that make it worse is a must.

“Gas is not a transition fuel, there’s no shortage and expanding production only further lines the pockets of billionaires like Rinehart and big fossil fuel corporations, while making the climate crisis worse and doing nothing to lower power prices for everyday Australians.”

Greens spokesperson for mining and resources Senator Dorinda Cox said:

“Mining companies operating in the Surat Basin have repeatedly breached Native Title Land Use Agreements and have not enacted free, prior, and informed consent with Traditional owners and we simply cannot let it happen again. Enough is enough.

“Governments must stop destroying First Nations people’s cultural heritage in favour of untaxed billionaires who get public funding and resources for free.

“The Federal Government is heading the wrong way by creating a vision for Australia’s future resources industry that is backed in by coal and gas. It should be focused on investing in green resources and creating a clean energy export industry, including renewables-generated fuels such as Green Hydrogen.”

Museum visitors invited to drop-in and explore Newcastle’s skateboarding subculture 

You mightn’t know the meaning of Shralp before going into the Newcastle Museum exhibition, but visitors will certainly leave appreciating the tricks, terrain and talented individuals involved in Newcastle’s skateboarding subculture.

Curated by local skateboarder and academic James Turvey, and named after the act of ‘shredding and ripping simultaneously while on a skateboard, surfboard, or snowboard’, the aptly titled exhibition is an exploration of the Newcastle skateboarding scene from 1985 to today.

Newcastle Councillor Carol Duncan, Newcastle Museum Director Julie Baird and exhibition curator James Turvey at the launch of the Shralp exhibition at Newcastle Museum.

Newcastle Councillor Carol Duncan said Shralp, which opens to the public tomorrow,is another fantastic example of Newcastle Museum interpreting and preserving our city’s fascinating history, with a display of photos, magazines and skateboard decks and ephemera from local skating identities including John Bogaerts’ pro-model Bonzer board. In 1988, John became the first Novocastrian skateboarder to turn pro and have his name on a board.

“The exhibition highlights the significant role Newcastle has played in the history of Australian skateboarding and celebrates local skaters who have gone on to national and international success including Rowan Davis and Russell Grundy,” Cr Duncan said.

“Exhibitions such as this provide a vehicle through which we can share our stories and explore our identity.”

Newcastle Museum Director Julie Baird said by collaborating with the community to tell their stories, the free exhibition offered a unique insight into this urban subculture.

“Skateboarding culture has flourished in Newcastle for over 35 years and when Museum Park opened in 2020, skaters flocked to the space to skate and socialise,” Ms Baird said.

“Finding this inclusive subculture on our doorstep inspired Newcastle Museum to collaborate with the community to produce a new exhibition.

“Curated by James Turvey, Shralp uses skateboarding print media as a lens to view the spots, people, and art of the Newcastle skate scene and how it has exposed Newcastle to the world.

“It also explores the role this community plays in documenting the changing nature of Newcastle’s urban environments as our city evolves over the decades.”

James Turvey said skateboarding was more than just a form of transport, it was a subculture with a rich and diverse history in Newcastle.

“Skateboarding as a subculture has always been more than transport. It has its own world, one that seeks to find new terrain, new tricks and new talent. The average bench or steps become a landmark of who’s done what and when,” James said.

“For over thirty-five years Novocastrian skateboarders have been archiving their own history; the city’s stairs, skateparks, benches and backyards have featured in print all over the world.”

The free exhibition opens to the public on 12 August and will run through to 30 October.

Expanding the dust diseases scheme and protecting worker entitlements

The NSW Government today introduced the Workers Compensation (Dust Diseases) Amendment Bill 2022 to support the operation of the Dust Diseases Care Scheme.
The Scheme provides financial compensation and health care support to people affected by work related dust diseases. If passed, the Bill will simplify benefit calculations to ease the administrative burden on injured workers and their families.
The amendments will remove anomalies in historical legislation that could have given rise to inconsistencies in the calculation of benefits for injured workers. The changes will mean that all current benefit rates are protected and there is no reduction in entitlements.
Minister for Finance Damien Tudehope said the amendments will support the Dust Disease Authority to deliver the Scheme effectively.
“The passing of these amendments will contribute to improving the customer experience for workers in the Scheme by removing any potential ambiguity over their entitlements and simplify the calculation of benefits for historical claims.” Mr Tudehope said.
The introduction of this Bill was brought forward in the same week that the NSW Government passed the Workers’ Compensation (Dust Diseases) Amendment (Scheduled Diseases) Regulation 2022 (Regulation).
The Regulation ensures the expansion of the Schedule 1 list of diseases as recommended by an independent review conducted by Professor Tim Driscoll.
These diseases are based on a current, evidence-based understanding of work-related dust disease and include the following:

  • Diffuse dust-related pulmonary fibrosis
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • Pneumoconiosis (any form)
  • Silica-induced carcinoma of the lung
  • Systemic sclerosis 

“Developments in the protection of workers within the workers compensation scheme represent another important step to expanding and safeguarding support for injured workers,    
“This is an effort to modernise the Scheme with the interests of those who are gravely ill at the heart of these changes.”

Ground-breaking plans to keep excellent teachers in the classroom

New, higher paid roles for outstanding teachers could be introduced in NSW under ground-breaking plans being driven by leading educational expert Professor John Hattie. 

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said creating a stronger career path for classroom teachers which better rewards excellence in teaching is key to modernising our education system.  

“NSW has some of the best teachers in the world, but they often leave the classroom and move into management roles to secure higher pay and career progression,” Ms Mitchell said.  

“The structure of our teaching profession should reflect our teachers, by being innovative, ambitious and modern, keeping more of our best teachers in the classroom.  

“This model is not ‘performance pay,’ this is about expanding the career options for teachers and keeping our best in the classroom.”  

Newly graduated teachers in NSW start on a competitive annual salary of $73,737, which sees them out-earn graduates entering many other professions. A classroom teacher’s pay reaches a maximum of $117,060 if they gain accreditation as Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher, or $126,528 if they take on additional responsibilities as an Assistant Principal.  

A better system for rewarding and retaining excellent teachers could also help attract more people to teaching profession. 

The Department of Education will produce a policy paper on the issue with initial recommendations later this year.  

Professor John Hattie, a world-leading expert on education outcomes and student learning, is providing independent expert advice on the reform.  

“The rewarding of excellence and expertise is the right topic to realise high standards and maximise positive impacts on students,” Professor Hattie said.  

“It is exciting to be part of these NSW discussions and I look forward to hearing the views of the profession.”  

The paper will also draw on input from some of the most experienced educators in our public education system. 

The Government will carry out extensive public consultation, including with teachers, parents and other stakeholders, before implementing any changes.  

Flexible school hours pilot proving popular

Nine schools across NSW are trialling the benefits of extending the school day as part of a research pilot, with initial reports indicating positive experiences for schools, students and their families.
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell was at Kings Langley Public School today, where students are taking part in the flexible school hours trial with Cricket NSW.
Students at the school in North West Sydney can now access a range of extracurricular activities including fitness and breakfast programs before school, as well afternoon sessions of coding, dancing and Mandarin language lessons.
Ms Mitchell said the NSW Government is committed to providing parents with flexibility and delivering quality activities for kids at school outside the standard 9am to 3pm school day.
“The trial is now in its second week and already has seen more than 450 students take part in high quality extracurricular activities,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Principals, teachers and parents are telling us that children are excited about the new experiences available, while parents are also enjoying more flexibility balancing work and family life while knowing their children are positively engaged in a safe environment.
“Over the next two terms, this research pilot and insights from wider parental consultation will help inform how this flexible approach could be introduced across NSW schools.”
“More than 27 organisations such as Cricket NSW, NRL League Stars, Code Camp and PCYC have signed up to partner with us in this flexible school hours trial,
“It’s great to see so many providers on board, creating exciting opportunities for students that previously they may not have been able to access.
“The trial has also provided parents with more options and greater flexibility when choosing the most suitable after school activity for their child.”
The other schools involved in the trial are:
Cawdor Public School
Hanwood Public School
Hastings Secondary College (Westport Campus and Port Macquarie Campus)
Kentlyn Public School
Matraville Soldier’s Settlement Public School
Orange High School
Ruse Public School
Spring Hill Public School
Schools involved in the trial, taking place in Terms 3 and 4 of this school year, worked closely with their local communities to develop unique programs tailored to the needs of their families.

Appeal for public assistance following public place shooting – Lake Macquarie 

About 9.10pm on Friday 8 April 2022, emergency services were called to a carpark on Arnott Street, Edgeworth, following reports of a public place shooting.

A 27-year-old man was found suffering a gunshot wound to the right leg. He was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics and taken to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

He has since recovered and been released; however, has failed to provide any information as to how he came to be injured.

Detectives from Lake Macquarie Police District continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting under Strike Force Undola and have established the man was linked to the Nomads Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMCG) at the time.

As part of their inquiries, investigators have also established that the man may have been shot near the intersection of Wakefield and Sugarloaf Range Roads, near Freemans Waterhole, just north of Lake Macquarie and will be conducting an extensive search of the area commencing at 10:30am today (Thursday 11 August 2022).

As investigations continue, police are appealing for any witnesses or anyone who was in the area on the evening of Friday 8 April 2022 and may have dash cam vision, to contact Lake Macquarie Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Strengthening Australia’s Biosecurity Partnership with Indonesia

The Albanese Government has announced a new $10 million biosecurity cooperation package to assist Indonesia as it responds to the outbreaks of both foot and mouth disease (FMD) and lumpy skin disease (LSD).

The package announced by Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt at the National Press Club today, will see Australia supply additional vaccinations, as well as technical and advisory support to strengthen Indonesia’s biosecurity measures.

Australia will deliver personal protective equipment and disinfectants, train staff on the ground, and provide biosecurity expertise to tackle these outbreaks.

Minister Watt said one of the ways to prevent any outbreak in Australia was to assist the Indonesian Government in their efforts to stop the spread of FMD.

“This package includes $4 million for the purchase of both FMD and LSD vaccines. This is on top of support already announced for Indonesia, which included 1 million doses of FMD vaccine and almost half a million doses of LSD vaccine already committed by the Australian Government,” Minister Watt said.

“The Indonesian Government will direct these vaccines to the areas of the country that need them the most.

“We’ve also included seed funding so Indonesia can get a livestock identification system up and running.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong said the package was another demonstration of the close partnership between Australia and Indonesia.

“Indonesia is one of our closest neighbours and partners in the region and the Australian Government wants to offer whatever help we can at this time,” Minister Wong said.

“Safeguarding the biosecurity of our region is a shared concern and this package will build on our longstanding health cooperation including through the Australia Indonesia Health Security Partnership.

“We are committed to working together to respond to this common threat.”

Greens welcome ACTU’s call for Stage Three tax cuts to be repealed

Greens Treasury spokesperson, Senator Nick McKim, has responded to the ACTU’s paper to the Government Jobs Summit saying the pressure is growing on Labor to walk away from the Stage 3 tax cuts.

“The Greens welcome the ACTU’s paper and congratulate them on making the case for serious economic reform.

“Scott Morrison’s Stage 3 tax cuts will overwhelmingly flow to the wealthiest people in the country, with a $9000 tax break for people earning $200,000 but nothing for those on the minimum wage.

“Instead of giving a tax cut to billionaires and politicians, we should be putting dental and mental health into Medicare and making childcare free.

“There is a cost of living crisis being driven in large part by big corporations and the super wealthy – they need to pay their fair share of tax so everyone in Australia can benefit.

“The Greens also welcome the ACTU’s call for the introduction of super profits taxes to rein in corporate profiteering and a reform of business tax to encourage productive investment.

“CBA has just reported an obscenely large profit in the face of rising inflation and rising interest rates.

“While the government and the RBA are asking workers to take more pain, big corporations are filling their shareholders’ pockets.

“Super profits taxes are needed to curb corporate profiteering that is exacerbating inflation and to fund cost of living relief for Australians who are struggling to make ends meet.”