Daily Links Jun 18

Nine long years of being ashamed of our government are over, thankfully. We’ve so much ahead of us to restore our reputation and we’ve started. Penny Wong doing us proud internationally, Albo at Biloela, Chris Bowen getting stuck into the energy mess, Jason Clare changing chaplains to counsellors, an Arts portfolio, Minister for Science, Plibersek on environment, Dreyfus on integrity – ah, the sense of relief.


Post of the Day

Watch out for “net zero induced technical faults” – they might be contagious

Giles Parkinson

Right wing think tank says “real Australians” are being hit by “net zero induced” technical faults in coal plants. And we wonder how we got in this mess.


On This Day

June 18


Ecological Observance

Sustainable Gastronomy Day


Climate Change

Joe Biden implores the world to join America’s $90B net-zero push

US President Joe Biden will urge China and other major economies to ramp up their efforts to combat climate change by cutting methane emissions, adopting ambitious targets for zero-emission vehicles and cleaning up shipping.

Fossil fuel firms ‘have humanity by the throat’, says UN head in blistering attack

António Guterres compares climate inaction to tobacco firms dismissing links between smoking and cancer


UN climate talks end in stalemate and ‘hypocrisy’ allegation

Adviser says European nations are sourcing fossil fuels abroad but failing to help developing countries



‘There was a bit of gaming’: Prime Minister says gas generators took advantage of energy crisis

The Prime Minister says gas generators were “gaming” the energy crisis for profit, as he looks to rewrite the rules on how the market operates.

Five policy decisions behind our energy mess

If you aren’t a long-term energy policy news junkie, you’d be forgiven for thinking today’s crisis arrived fairly suddenly.

Fact check: Coalition senator drills in wrong direction on Labor gas policy

A shadow assistant minister has made a broad claim on the energy policy of both the Greens and Labor.


Lack of contingency planning has contributed to current energy crisis in eastern states, RMIT expert says

RMIT expert comments on the energy crisis and energy infrastructure


AFPA looks forward to working with Senator Janet Rice, reaffirmed Greens forests spokesperson

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes returning Federal Greens forests spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice and looks forward to working with her and the rest of the Federal Greens on advancing Australia’s sustainable forest industries, Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Ross Hampton said.


Renewables help landlords dodge energy storm

A focus on improving building efficiency and rolling out renewables is shielding Australia’s largest landlords from soaring energy prices.


There you go, Joe: Albo to give Biden the first look at Australia’s new climate plan

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will lay out Australia’s climate plans in a speech to a forum being organised by US President Joe Biden.


Claims of profiting from energy crisis slammed [$]

The Australian Energy Council, which represents power generators, says claims its members were looking to profit from the power crisis were wrong.


‘It’s ridiculous’: Architect of WA policy calls for national gas reservation

Former WA premier Alan Carpenter said east coast states must adopt a similar scheme to the one he implemented in 2006.


‘You can’t fix a decade of inaction in 10 days’: Albanese addresses Australian energy crisis – video

Prime minister Anthony Albanese criticises previous government’s inaction on energy policy while announcing Australia’s new climate targets  


Tony Wood on the unprecedented energy crisis – Politics with Michelle Grattan podcast

As the energy crisis continues to grip Australia’s east coast with consumers told to limit their consumption and warnings of blackouts Tony Wood, director of the energy program at the Grattan Institute, speaks with Michelle Grattan about why this has happened and what can be done to fix the system.


I measured gas pollution in my kitchen and this is what I found (yikes)

Miki Perkins

Concerns about the health risks of cooking with gas indoors prompted our environment reporter to trial a pollution monitor in her home.


Our spectacular energy failure: governments hobbled the market and now they must rescue it

Bruce Mountain

The days of conjuring tricks are over. Governments have to step in to drive new investment.


What is happening in our electricity market is a national disgrace [$]

Chris Kenny

The only reason we are not seeing a vicious reckoning in our political debate is because all the major political stakeholders are complicit in this reckless abandonment of responsibility.


Power bill reality to bite amid climate symbolism [$]

Australian editorial

Far from ending the wars over emissions cuts, the rows will continue.


Energy fix must keep the market in the NEM [$]

AFR editorial

This week’s electric shock had mostly outside causes. But it is a grim warning for the politicians supervising an electricity system with a huge transition in front of it.


How to rouse a sleeping giant? The burning question for energy-rich Australia

Peter Hartcher

Australia’s energy ministers have started the ball rolling on our renewable energy future. If we remained reliant on carbon fuels, we would have become a “stranded asset”.


What’s a grid, anyway? Making sense of the complex beast that is Australia’s electricity network

Katja Ignatieva

News about the energy crisis engulfing Australia’s east coast seems inescapable. Terms such as “grid”, the “National Electricity Market” and “transmission” are being tossed around alongside the frightening prospect of soaring power bills – but what does it all mean?


Turn with caution: Potholes ahead as PM tries to round climate corner

Michelle Grattan

The government claims the climate wars are over. But that’s misplaced optimism, especially with the nation gripped by a climate crisis that will be exploited by the opposition.


Why nuclear energy won’t work in Australia [$]

Scott Ludlam

There is something almost comical about the Liberals and Nationals throwing the forlorn spectre of nuclear power back into national energy debates, right after their loss in the 2022 ‘climate election’.”


The week the energy crisis hit home [$]

Paul Bongiorno

This week, the need for the new Albanese government to fix the mess it has inherited became personal for millions of Australians at the mercy of a failed energy market. The threat of blackouts and of freezing in their homes in the middle of one of the worst winter cold snaps for years brought with it an unexpected urgency.


A decade of state capture is to blame for the energy crisis [$]

Bernard Keane

Having gained massive power through political influence, fossil fuel companies decided to abuse that power to the point where the electricity market broke down.


Renewable energy or reliable energy, but not both [$]

Viv Forbes

Europeans can pretend to run a modern society with intermittent energy from windmills and sunbeams because they have life-lines.

Watch out for “net zero induced technical faults” – they might be contagious

Giles Parkinson

Right wing think tank says “real Australians” are being hit by “net zero induced” technical faults in coal plants. And we wonder how we got in this mess.


The cow and milk for free [$]

Saturday Paper editorial

Angus Taylor knew what he was doing. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he is a bright man. He understands accounting tricks. He knew there was a crisis and he preferred to wait for it.



Warning to divers after unsafe carbon monoxide levels found in cylinders at Victorian retailer

The warning from Victoria’s workplace safety regulator applies to tanks and cylinders filled up at Cross Diving Services at Marlo in East Gippsland.


Blackout warnings lifted as national cabinet weighs up energy solutions

The reprieve came as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he was willing to consider new gas projects while reaffirming his government’s ban on coal seam gas extraction.


Using a straw could cost you $54,000 [$]

Victorians caught using straws or other single-use plastics next year could be fined $54,000 under a phase-out plan.


Raising these giants means taking to the treetops in the need for seed

Desperate efforts to regenerate Victoria’s towering ash forests, which are being regularly decimated by bushfires, involves a dedicated group searching high and low to bank enough seeds for their survival.


Loggers accused of Wombat forest ‘smash-up operation’ [$]

Kath Wilson

In an area approved for national park status, bulldozers cleared swaths of forest, destroying vital ecosystems. Now VicForests is accused of exploiting traditional owners in a propaganda war against scientists.


New South Wales

NSW minister granted emergency powers to ‘keep the lights on’ amid energy crisis

NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean says the temporary powers are part of a “toolkit” in case he needs to act to secure the state’s energy supply. 


Budget boost keeps Lord Howe Island pest free

Australia’s World Heritage listed Lord Howe Island and the future of some of the world’s rarest species of plants and animals are being safeguarded with a $32.9 million NSW Budget investment.


NSW energy supply ‘much healthier’, minister says

NSW households have dodged a blackout amid the ongoing energy crisis, with Energy Minister Matt Kean declaring a stable supply of power was returning as ageing generators came back online.

Kean seizes special powers over coal supplies for old, unreliable “bits of machinery”

Coal to the rescue? Hardly. NSW energy minister underscores the unreliable nature of Australia’s remaining coal plants – “particularly when we need them.”


NSW’s biggest coal mine to close in 2030. Now what about the workers?

Liam Phelan and Kimberley Crofts

The clock is now ticking on New South Wales’ largest coal mine. BHP has announced it will close its Mount Arthur mine in the Hunter Valley in 2030 – 15 years ahead of its scheduled end of life.



Canberra roads are filling up. What would it take to get you on your bike?

A push to get more people on bikes has run flat.



Carbon farming ‘small countries’ the next step for Genex trio

One of the founders of the north Queensland pumped hydro project is moving into carbon farming based on northern cattle properties.


Looking for peace in paradise when mining no longer pays the bills

For the first time, the Queensland government has earned no money from sand mining on Straddie. Native title is also changing the landscape, so where does that leave the community?


Urgent native title mediation over $1.4b Toondah Harbour project

Developers have for a decade planned a large marina and residential complex at Cleveland, but questions around native title are yet to be answered.


Inconvenient truth behind the snivelling Left’s ‘energy crisis’ [$]

Des Houghton

While Queensland was developing its gas fields, Victoria and NSW were stupidly blocking exploration and development. And it was Queensland gas that kept the lights on in those states.


South Australia

KI plan to turn trees into charcoal

The company seeking to bulldoze 14,000 hectares of plantation forest on Kangaroo Island and convert it into grazing land says it now wants to turn 4.5 million tonnes of the fire-damaged timber into biochar.


SA council switches bin collection to avoid food scraps going to landfill

Under the changes, residents on Adelaide’s beaches will have their red landfill bin emptied fortnightly and their green food and garden waste bin emptied weekly.


Tasmanians face 12pc power price hike

Tasmanians’ energy bills are set to rise by almost 12 per cent from July 1, equating to roughly $200 per household per year.


Hydro profits secure without Basslink revenue, says chief

Hydro Tasmania will not forego future profits as a result of the termination of the Basslink Service Agreement, the Public Accounts Committee has heard.


Tamar irrigation scheme ‘may no longer go ahead’ as planned [$]

A major irrigation scheme in the Tamar Valley may not go ahead as planned after farmers have failed to reach the viability threshold in water sales, forcing TI to reopen the sales for a further six weeks in an attempt to reach the required megalitres.


Greens move to delay kooparoona niara proclamation

The Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania (ALCT) has requested the Tasmanian Greens move a motion to ‘disallow’ low-grade reserve proclamations in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA), giving Premier Jeremy Rockliff an opportunity to properly consider and respond to ALCT’s 15 month-old formal land claim for a kooparoona niara National Park, first presented to past-Premier Gutwein in response to his 2021 State of the State invitation.


Plibersek wants more time to consider takayna submissions

The new Minister for the Environment, Tanya Plibersek, is seeking to delay a Federal Court challenge by Bob Brown Foundation which aims to stop mining company MMG’s proposed toxic waste dump in Tasmania’s takayna / Tarkine rainforest.


Northern Territory

Gas giant, DFest major sponsor defends climate action [$]

Gas giant Santos has responded to calls for it to be removed as a sponsor for a major event.


Western Australia

How this ‘conservation king’ made a stand for WA’s bushland [$]

At a crucial time in WA’s history when much of the State’s unique bushland could have been cleared forever, Peter Thorn helped drive a pioneering conservation movement that has left a lasting green legacy


The frogs have stopped calling where Perth wetlands have dried up

Lake Gnangara and Lake Mariginiup have become acidic after previously submerged soils were exposed to oxygen because of dropping water levels.


Once used to moor rowboats, the jetties on this Yanchep lake now sit 10 metres from the shore

The water loss at Loch McNess and the caves of Yanchep National Park have been dramatic over the past 20 years.

More than 1GW of battery storage to replace coal in world’s biggest isolated grid

How will the WA government prepare for the closure of its last two coal generators? Lots of wind, solar and batteries.



Court rules Japanese government not responsible for Fukushima nuclear disaster damage

Japan’s government is not liable for damages demanded by people whose lives were devastated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the country’s top court rules.


U.S. agency ordered to reassess glyphosate’s impact on health, environment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was ordered by a federal appeals court on Friday to take a fresh look at whether glyphosate, the active ingredient in Bayer AG’s Roundup weed killer, poses unreasonable risks to humans and the environment.


Nature Conservation

Rare birds’ arrival an ‘unmissable sign’ climate emergency has reached Britain

Pushed north by global heating, birds like the European bee-eater seen in Norfolk likely to become established visitors


Invasive species are taking over some American forests

A new botanical survey of southwest Ohio found that invasive species introduced to the United States over the past century are crowding out many native plants.


Maelor Himbury
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