PM resists demands to commit to 2050 carbon neutral Pacific communique
(Translation appears in Arabic section)
Island of Tuvalu- M E Times Int'l: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has resisted Pacific Nations leaders' demands for Australia to commit to becoming carbon neutral by 2050 in an official declaration following a forum on the island of Tuvalu. Caleb Bond says coal has lifted many developing countries out of poverty and they ought to remember 'it's all well and good to condemn Australia's use of coal, but if we weren't digging it up, they wouldn't have much to burn... they would find themselves in an economic hole". Gemma Tognini says "the giant elephant in the room" is China, who are able to burn coal freely whilst "Saint Jacinda Ardern stands in the corner telling us what terrible global citizens we are".
Australia is out of step with Pacific neighbours
Island of Tuvalu: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has denied Australia is out of step with its Pacific neighbours despite late-night negotiations over climate change. Island nations wanted a strong statement on climate change and the phasing out of coal power, but Australia refused to agree on the threat climate change posed to Pacific nations. Prime Minister of Tuvalu Enele Sopoaga said he was disappointed he could not do more to help his people. Scott Morrison also suggested New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's comments that Australia "has to answer to the Pacific" were taken out of context.
Perrottet warns against gender selection
Sydney: New South Wales Treasurer Dominic Perrottet says he will do everything in his power to ensure abortions based on gender selection do not occur in the state. Mr Perrottet said he expected the upper house to pass the amendment banning abortions based on gender selection because “it’s illegal now and it should not happen”. “We will do everything we can to stop that," he said. A third hearing in to the bill to decriminalise abortion will get underway at New South Wales Parliament on Friday before going to a vote in the upper house next week. The bill, which passed the lower house late last week, would allow terminations up to 22 weeks and later if approved by two doctors.
George Pell's appeal judgment to be handed down this week
Melbourne: The supreme court of Victoria will hand down its judgment in the case of George Pell's appeal this Wednesday. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria will read out a summary of the Court's conclusions, almost three months on from the appeal hearing. Pell will either walk free from prison, face a re-trail or remain in jail to serve his maximum six year sentence.
It was announced today that judgment will be handed down on Wednesday, August 21.
A jury found Pell guilty last December of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and four counts of committing an indecent act with a child, making him the highest ranked Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sex abuse.
The proceedings will be live streamed on the Supreme Court of Victoria's website.
States must ‘finish the job’ by continuing foster care to 21
Melbourne: CEO of Anglicare Victoria Paul McDonald says states must “finish the job” of caring for children by offering the option of continued care until the age of 21. Speaking to media, Mr McDonald said the “simple reform with profound, positive impact” will halve the homeless rate for young adults and will reduce teen pregnancies by 40 per cent. He said these children shouldn’t be left alone and must be looked after until they’re ready to go.
Religious leaders to front inquiry into abortion laws
Religious leaders who support the NSW abortion decriminalisation bill are set to front an inquiry into the legislation on Thursday. Anglican bishop Peter Stuart and Uniting Church minister Margaret Mayman are among those appearing before Thursday’s hearing. Both leaders have publicly given their support for the bill, which would decriminalise terminations up to 22 weeks. Their appearance comes one day after a number of religious figures appeared before the inquiry to push for a six month delay on the final vote.
Telstra profit drops 40% as NBN hits hard
Melbourne: Telstra has reported a 40 per cent fall in full-year profit to $2.15 billion and flagged another earnings squeeze next year as construction of the national broadband network nears completion.
Profit for the 12 months to June 30 fell from $3.59 billion a year ago on $800 million in previously announced restructuring costs and $600 million in earnings lost to the government-owned NBN.
The company cut its final dividend to 8.0 cents per share from 11 cents a year ago, with its full-year payout down to 16.0 cents from 22.0 cents in FY18.
Telstra shares fell by 2.03 per cent in the first 15 minutes of trade to $3.86, having nudged a near two-year high of $4.00 last week.
Grants to boost cancer screening in multicultural communities
Sydney: Projects that boost bowel cancer screening rates and improve cancer care in multicultural communities have been awarded almost $385,000 under the NSW Government’s latest round of Innovation in Cancer Control Grants.
Minister for Multiculturalism John Sidoti, said the NSW Government contributes almost $1.2 million to the Innovation in Cancer Control Grants.
“Early detection of cancer can mean the difference between life and death so it’s critical we all undergo the necessary screening programs that can save our lives,” Mr Sidoti said.
Fresh review of nation's migration program
Canberra: Australia's migration program is set to go under the microscope at a new parliamentary inquiry.
The Morrison government will announce the upcoming review led by federal parliament's joint migration committee.
The committee typically looks at Australia's detention centres and visa laws, but the new inquiry is expected to cover population and infrastructure pressures.
The move comes after Infrastructure Australia warned the nation must spend $200 billion every five years on a range of infrastructure projects if it wants to keep up with the pace of population growth.
In a report, the authority said the wave of investment is needed to ensure roads and public transport, schools, water, electricity and health services support people's quality of life and economic productivity.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the report's findings pre-date the 2019/20 budget, in which the government announced $23 billion worth of infrastructure projects, 160 of which were focused on busting congestion.
The government has committed $100 billion to infrastructure over the next 10 years.
Australia must not 'concede ground' to China
Canberra: Australia must be prepared to take a short-term economic hit in order to stand up to China's growing authoritarian influence in the Asia-Pacific, according to security expert John Blaxland. Liberal MP Andrew Hastie drew the ire of the Chinese embassy last week when he warned Beijing posed an unprecedented economic and national security threat to Australia. While Trade Minister Simon Birmingham rebuked the comments, Labor MP Anthony Byrne said many parliamentarians “shared” Mr Hastie’s concerns about China’s growing authoritarian influence in the Asia-Pacific.
Morrison beefs up Australia’s special forces with $3 billion
Canberra: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled a $3 billion funding boost to beef up Australia’s special forces under a 20-year program called Project GREYFIN. The funding, which coincides with rising tensions between Australia, China and the United States in the Asia-Pacific, will help special forces respond to threats. The first stage will see $500 million spent over four years for upgrades such as new combat systems, unmanned vehicles, body armour, parachuting and diving technology. Speaking about the project, Mr Morrison said “we’re for an independent, sovereign Indo-Pacific”. It’s the “biggest single commitment to upgrading the capability of our defence forces since the Second World War” and “forms part of our commitment to increasing defence spending to two per cent of GDP”.
Solution to Sydney water demand is ‘dams, not desalination plants’
Sydney: Liberal MP Craig Kelly says Sydney will need more dams, not desalination plants, as the city’s population rises. Sydney's desalination plant, which turns seawater into drinking water, has only been operating for a few months but there's already talk of doubling its output. A growing water crisis has forced the New South Wales government to begin planning for an expansion of the plant in the next couple of years — if significant rain doesn't fall. Mr Kelly told Sky News on Sunday “going down the path of desalination plants in a temperate climate like Sydney is just complete and utter madness”. “If you look at rainfall records across Sydney going back to the 1840s, the peer-reviewed research, the climate, the rainfall has not changed.”
University debt and limited job prospects mean learning a trade at TAFE is better for income, report finds
Sydney: The earning capacity of many young Australians would be significantly higher if they learned a trade instead of going to university, a new report has found.
The Grattan Institute report found that for men, particularly those who scored lower ATARs at school, vocational qualifications in engineering, construction and commerce resulted in higher average earnings than a degree qualification.
The number of students enrolling in university has swelled by more than one-third over the past decade.
That increase has come at the expense of vocational education, with the number of students taking up a place in those trades-based courses down 43 per cent in the past five years.