LABOR WILL REVERSE MORRISON’S ABC CUTS TO SAVE REGIONAL JOBS

An Albanese Labor Government will reverse Scott Morrison’s $83.7 million cut to the ABC to save regional jobs, protect critical emergency broadcasting and support local news and content.

ABC emergency coverage saved lives during the summer bushfires and staff came off leave to ensure Australians were kept informed. Now 250 dedicated ABC staff face the sack as a result of Scott Morrison’s cuts.

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese will make the announcement in Eden-Monaro today with Labor candidate Kristy McBain.

This builds on Labor’s pledge to improve broadcast coverage across Eden-Monaro with a focus on ABC local radio black spots, as well as power back-up for broadcasting transmission facilities so they work for longer during natural disasters.

The ABC has worked tirelessly to support regional communities across Australia, particularly through drought, bushfires and now coronavirus. Labor thanks hardworking ABC staff for their dedication.

This Saturday, the people of Eden-Monaro have the chance to send the Government a message: Don’t cut ABC jobs, regional news or emergency broadcasting.

The only way to ensure a strong voice for Eden-Monaro and the ABC is to vote for Labor’s Kristy McBain.

Rio Tinto must sack boss and front Environment Committee: Greens

The Australian Greens have called on the chief executive of Rio Tinto Iron Ore, Chris Salisbury, to resign or be sacked over the growing scandal regarding his company’s destruction of the sacred Pilbara site.

The Greens will also move for Rio Tinto and the Federal Environment Minister to be called before the Senate Environment References Committee.

“The mining industry in WA have a long history of disregard of First Nations peoples connection to their sacred sites and land. The Aboriginal Heritage Act in WA is so weak because of the mining industry influence and their agenda of prioritising profit and access to land over all else,” Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Rachel Siewert said.

“This site was knowingly destroyed and someone must be held accountable. Rio Tinto knew this site was of deep cultural significance and should have been protected, not blown up.

“This time Rio Tinto have been caught out and they will be held accountable.

“This must be the last time this wanton destruction occurs. All laws must be strengthened to ensure this never happens again.

“I am deeply upset for the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people.”

“After this morning’s train wreck of an interview it is clear that Chris Salisbury needs to resign or be sacked,” Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP said.

“Rio can not just wash its hands and move on. They can’t walk away from this. Responsibility rests at the top and they need to be held accountable.

“Continuing to obfuscate and pretend they didn’t know what they were doing is just further injury.”

Chair of the Senate Environment References Committee Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the Greens will move for Rio Tinto and the Federal Environment Minister to be called before the committee.

“Rio Tinto needs to be held to account for what they have done and the Environment Minister has serious questions to answer about her involvement or lack thereof,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“It seems lots of people knew about this and nobody did anything to stop it.

“More than 40000 years of heritage and history has been destroyed. If it was Stonehenge or the Pyramids there would be global outrage.

“Every Australian should be angry that our nation’s history has been trashed in the name of corporate profit.

“This has happened on Sussan Ley’s watch and if we are going to stop such wanton destruction from happening again we need to know what went so wrong and what changes are needed to the law to make this type of destruction illegal.”

New And Stronger Energy Laws To Put Australian Families And Small Businesses First

The Morrison Government’s new measures to deal with misconduct in the electricity sector and ensure Australian households, businesses and industries get a fair deal on energy are now in force.

For too long, electricity companies have, in the words of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), “played a major role in poor outcomes for consumers”.

To address this, the ‘Big Stick’ legislation which holds the energy companies to account for misconduct comes into effect today, six months after royal assent and will drive down energy prices and strengthen supply.

The ‘Big Stick’ legislation will ensure reductions in wholesale costs are passed on to customers, while penalties will apply for anti-competitive behaviour or moves to manipulate electricity prices.

This new law comes at an important time, with an increased number of households and small businesses experiencing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ACCC will be responsible for enforcing the legislation, and will have a graduated range of penalties at its disposal to punish misconduct ranging from public warnings and court ordered fines.

For the most egregious breaches, the legislation makes available two additional significant remedies:

  • Treasurer-issued contracting orders that will require electricity companies to offer electricity financial contracts to third parties; and
  • Federal Court ordered divestiture orders relating to misconduct in the wholesale market.

This legislation is part of the Government’s plan to deliver a fairer, more affordable and reliable energy system and a stronger economy for all Australians. This includes:

  • Establishing an ongoing ACCC inquiry into the National Electricity Market to 2025.
  • Introducing the Government’s Default Market Offer ‘price safety net’, leading to reductions in both standing offers and high-priced market offers for Australian families and small businesses.
  • Getting rid of sneaky late payment penalties.
  • Extending the Consumer Data Right to energy, to make it easier for consumers to switch energy providers to get a better deal.
  • Progressing the Underwriting New Generation Investments program to improve competition and reduce wholesale prices.
  • Establishing a new $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund, to support Government investment in new energy generation, storage and transmission infrastructure.

More information about the new laws is available at energy.gov.au

JOB CREATION THE REMEDY TO COVID RECESSION

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the state’s focus on job creation in its economic response to COVID-19 was the right approach to recovering from Australia’s first recession in almost thirty years.

National account figures out yesterday indicated consumer and business confidence had fallen to their lowest levels on record, reflecting the combined impacts of the drought and bushfires, as well as the beginning of COVID-19 social distancing and travel restrictions. In NSW, ABS data showed NSW state final demand (SFD) fell by -1.5 per cent in the March quarter, the weakest result in 20 years.

Mr Perrottet said the figures were worrying but not unexpected given the impact the pandemic has had on spending, with household consumption down 1.6 per cent, partly offset by a 1.8 per cent increase in government financial support.

“Right from the start of this pandemic, we’ve said we’ve got to keep our infrastructure projects moving and keep people in jobs and businesses in business,” Mr Perrottet said. “That’s why our pipeline has increased to over $100 billion and this will be an infrastructure led recovery.”

“We’ve allocated almost $11 billion in self-funded stimulus support measures – more than any other state – and we’re committed to supporting projects that create jobs across NSW.”

Mr Perrottet said figures for the next quarter are unlikely to be much better and the end of the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program in September is likely to see a further increase in unemployment.

“When hundreds of thousands of people are losing their jobs, we need to divert every dollar to create many more jobs through stimulus programs.”

“That’s why we need to hit the pause button on public sector pay rises so that we can get thousands of people off the Centrelink queues and back to work.”

“Household saving increases during times of crisis and a pay-rise would only boost that. What we really need right now is more jobs, jobs, jobs.”

“The only people who are unaware we are in a pandemic-induced recession is the NSW Labor party and they need to get with the program or get out of the way.”

The GDP result is expected to be just the start of bleak economic figures for the country, with the next set of national accounts figures due out in September.