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Aussie companies lack climate plan

Aussie companies lack climate plan


Coles, Woolworths, Telstra and Qantas have no clear plan to stop using or supporting fossil fuels even though they have net zero targets, a new report revealed. The University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures assessed the major emitters in each industry against UN guidelines, Guardian Australia reports, and found Australian companies’ efforts were “disappointingly low”. Fewer than half the companies were on track to meet their own targets, the paper says. The government is set to introduce legislation this year to force companies to disclose climate change risk in financial reports. It will also soon include the climate impacts of foods in our official advice on diets, The Australian ($) says, which the paper whipped into a frenzy by reporting farmers are angry about an “ideological agenda” against red meat.

Pollution in Sydney’s underground train platforms is more than double the safe daily limits, the SMH has revealed, including at Town Hall and the deep levels at Central, Wynyard, Macquarie University, Epping, and North Ryde. Blergh. Interestingly, Australia doesn’t monitor air pollution in train stations, unlike Britain and South Korea. Meanwhile, Brisbane is getting hotter because of the concrete and bitumen in its urban development, the Brisbane Times reports. Some 717 Queenslanders went to hospital because of heat stress from 2019-2022, compared to Victoria in second place at 410. We need more heat mapping, one expert said, and more trees particularly around the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. It comes as parts of WA experienced their hottest-ever night on Sunday as temps fell to a low of just 27.5 degrees in Perth, WA Today reports. Yesterday the mercury climbed to 43 degrees, the fourth day of the city’s heatwave.


Liberal MP Julian Leeser said the West should be worried about Donald Trump becoming US president again, firstly because he denied the election result, and secondly, well, the whole crazed-mob-storms-the-Capitol thing. It’s a bad sign for democracy overall, Leeser told ABC’s Q+A, and gets even more ominous when you consider this person becoming “leader of the free world” again. Labor Senator Malarndirri McCarthy added Trump’s dismal treatment of women to the list. Meanwhile, Minister for Finance and Women Katy Gallagher will go to the G20 foreign ministers meeting in Rio de Janeiro this week, Sky News Australia says, as Foreign Minister Penny Wong is caring for her ill parent in Adelaide. Gallagher says she’s looking forward to supporting Brazil to bring more women’s voices to the G20.

Meanwhile, former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann has lodged a complaint of professional mis­conduct with the NSW legal watchdog against the Ten Network’s top lawyer Tasha Smithies, The Australian ($) reports. He alleged Smithies’s advice to presenter Lisa Wilkinson about her Logies speech delayed his criminal trial over a since-dropped rape charge, and was “a dereliction of her legal obligations”. The paper’s Janet Albrechtsen and Stephen Rice approached Smithies for comment, and noted “she had not been notified of the complaint”. Last week, a court was told Albrechtsen “infected” the chair of the inquiry into Lehrmann’s botched prosecution, Walter Sofronoff, with the SMH reporting 51 phone calls, texts and emails, and a private luncheon between the pair.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers please note that this article mentions deceased persons.

NSW police officer Benedict Bryant has been charged with killing Indigenous boy Jai Wright in 2022. The SMH reports Bryant was driving an unmarked police car when he allegedly hit Wright, 16, leaving him with severe head trauma. NSW Police claim the Sydney teenager had been riding a stolen bike. He died the next day. His parents described him as “vibrant”, “beautiful”, “witty” and “loved”, describing how he’d just started an apprenticeship to become an electrician. The charge followed an independent investigation from the NSW coroner, who then referred it to the director of public prosecutions.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians and Indigenous Health Malarndirri McCarthy says she’d support alcohol and drug testing for our politicians, the ABC reports, after two Nationals MPs appeared inebriated in a public setting (one in Parliament). The Yanyuwa woman said she’s constantly dealing with alcohol issues in the NT, whether it’s “family and children, with youths in detention and youth on the streets” — so pollies should set a better example. It comes as The Australian ($) claims crime in Alice Springs has “never been worse” with an average of 39 vehicles stolen monthly last year. Northern Territory Country Liberal Party senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said it was the “result of division, of a new apartheid driven by Labor and their progressive Green allies”.


Washington DC resident John Cheeks looked at his computer screen, then his Powerball lottery ticket. Then his computer screen. Then his ticket. He’d chosen his numbers using a random combination of family birthdays and other numbers that meant something to him. But now those very numbers were on his screen as the draw results. As the realisation dawned on him, The Guardian reports, he calmly picked up his phone to call his friend. I’ve won $340 million from the Powerball, he told them, and his gobsmacked friend urged him to take a photo of his winning ticket. It was a one-in-292,200,000 moment after all. “But that was it. I went to sleep,” Cheeks said.

Arriving at the office of lottery and gaming (OLG) to redeem his ticket, he sat down with an official. The thing is, they told Cheeks, your numbers aren’t the winning numbers. Your ticket “did not validate as a winner by the OLG’s gaming system”. Basically — computer says no. The official even urged him to throw the ticket in the bin. The bin?! Instead, he put it into a safe deposit box and got a lawyer. The OLG’s legal argument is that game contractor Taoti Enterprises was doing some testing on its site and accidentally posted fake numbers. They don’t match up with the ones drawn on 7 January, the OLG said, and besides, they were posted a day before the draw. But Cheeks’ lawyer said: prove it. We haven’t seen a scrap of evidence, their side said, and even if it is a mistake, what are you going to do about it? Time will tell.

Hoping your fighting spirit is strong today.


He is retired but I shouldn’t have said that… Angus are we going to leave it in there? If we are… Yeah, no, I think I’m done guys.

Brad Banducci

The Woolies boss, who appeared to be wearing a Woolies uniform and name badge, walked out on an interview with Four Corners after pointing out Rod Sims was retired and immediately regretting it. Banducci had been asked about the former ACCC boss saying our grocery market is concentrated. After a chat with his PR team, the CEO came back.


As Taylor Swift sells out the MCG, local festivals and music venues shut their doors

Taylor Swift performs at the MCG, Friday, February 16 (Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

“The most recent example of this came last week, when regional music festival Groovin the Moo was cancelled. The long-running event, which was to include a series of six regional music events — in centres including Bunbury, Bendigo, Newcastle and the Sunshine Coast — pulled the plug citing poor ticket sales.

“Groovin the Moo is just one of a string of music festivals that have been shuttered or postponed in the past couple of years, including Falls Festival, Dark Mofo, Vintage Vibes, Tent Pole and the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival. The trend has already spurred a series of postmortems.”

Who is still choosing private schools? Let’s look at the data

“In NSW and Victoria, private schools become more popular in Years 11 and 12. There are two main reasons for this: student attrition at government schools as kids drop out altogether, and parents vying for university places by putting their kids in private for the final two years of HSC/VCE.

“However, in Tasmania and the ACT, public schools pop up again in Years 11 and 12 due to their system of separate schools for the last two years of high school. In the ACT it’s not uncommon for students to transfer to two-year public ‘colleges’ with excellent reputations for their final two years of schooling.”

‘Strong arguments’: Assange’s family remains hopeful as crucial UK court hearing looms

“[Assange’s father John] Shipton spoke to Crikey while en route to London, where Assange’s legal team will argue before the High Court that the WikiLeaks founder should get permission to appeal the extradition. A two-day hearing has been scheduled for February 20 and 21, meaning arguments will be heard from about 9pm Tuesday, Australian time.

“Former detainee and Macquarie University Journalism Professor Peter Greste said Assange’s legal case had become ‘politicised’, and risked being impacted by the US presidential election campaign and the likelihood there’ll be an imminent election in the UK.”


Last chance for Julian Assange. It is time for Albanese to put his words into action. (Michael West Media)

Qatar criticises Israel’s Netanyahu over Hamas comments (Al Jazeera)

Yulia Navalnaya: Russian opposition leader’s ‘principled and fearless’ widow (BBC)

Ukraine’s defeat at Avdiivka darkens the mood in the West (CNN)

No more Pornhub [in Canada]? That will depend on what happens with a Senate bill (CBC)

US proposes UN Security Council oppose Rafah assault, back temporary Gaza ceasefire (Reuters)

10 million children displaced in 2023 – NGO (euronews)

China offers to deepen security ties with Hungary (The Guardian)

Houthis say they shot down a U.S. drone off Yemen (The New York Times) ($)


Parliament vowed to sober up two years ago. It’s time everyone got the memoJames Massola (The Age): “And why would they think so? The politicians tasked with setting up a parliamentary standards watchdog can’t agree on the consequences for a badly behaved MP, the alcohol policy languishes in draft awaiting sign-off and neither their party leader, David Littleproud, nor Opposition Leader Peter Dutton nor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will call it out. All sides of politics have skeletons in the closet and stories of bad behaviour, but both the prime minister and treasurer steer clear of alcohol, while it is widely acknowledged that Dutton is not a big drinker. That leaves the Nationals looking the odd one out.

“Labor and Liberal MPs mostly shy away now from the big, boozy staff parties. Some staff functions are alcohol-free. All have generous non-alcoholic drinking options. Official functions finish earlier in the building. The prime minister’s office is dry. And the amount of alcohol available at the Midwinter Ball, for example, has been slashed by about 40 per cent. But the Nationals just don’t seem to have gotten the message. For more than a week, the party’s MPs have circled the wagons around Joyce and then Davey and defended the pair and argued, variously, that Joyce had not hurt or abused anyone, that medication was a mitigating factor in Joyce’s case and that Davey had only had a couple of red wines before she returned to Senate estimates, where she was caught on camera slurring her words while attempting to interrogate government policy.”

Super and IVF: Whose money is it, anyway?James Kirby (The Australian) ($): “The controversial Covid-era early super release program from the Coalition broke the taboo that super was strictly for retirement. Under the program more than $36 billion was taken out of the ­system. More recently the Coalition has pushed for super to be available for first home deposits. ‘Superannuation is Australians’ money, not the government’s and not the fund managers,’ says opposition Treasury spokesman Angus Taylor. Tapping super money before retirement is traditionally difficult under the so-called ‘extreme hardship’ criteria. However, in recent years the ability to get money out on a ‘compassionate grounds’ criterion has changed the numbers. In the 2022 financial year there were 56,000 applications under the compassionate criterion, with 34,000 successful.

“The wider debate over how super money should be managed has been brewing in Canberra, with Treasurer Jim Chalmers trying a number of different strategies, including a request for a big super fund to help in nation building. This week The Australian reported the Treasurer’s latest idea, where super funds could follow government designs and offer a default retirement product to retirees, has been roundly criticised by leading industry players. The Financial Services Council and top industry fund Aware have openly rejected a one-size-fits-all solution for retiree super products. Meanwhile, the latest super figures show women are taking more control over their own super, especially among self-managed super funds where the average balance for women is rising faster than for men.”





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