Weekly Wrap Up
- The ABS released its labour force data for October showing an increase to the unemployment rate by 0.6 per cent while seasonally adjusted employment fell by 0.4 per cent.
- The Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee will launch an inquiry into the complaints handling mechanisms of the ABC and SBS.
- Victorian Liberal MP Tim Smith formally resigned from Parliament announcing he would not renominate for the seat of Kew.
- Former Prime Minister Paul Keating addressed the National Press Club on foreign policy matters.
- The Federal Government published[PDF] the economic modelling and analysis that supported the development of Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan.
A Clayton’s Campaign?
As the window to call a 2021 Federal Election comes to a close, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has given an early glimpse into his campaign trail ahead of a likely 2022 election. This week, after his return from overseas, the PM took advantage of the lifting of border restrictions and spent a considerable amount of time visiting electorates within New South Wales and Victoria. Mr Morrison first visited the Hunter region in Newcastle where he announced an additional $1.5 million in funding to support the viability study of a hydrogen hub at the Port of Newcastle.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison then went on to speak at the Toyota Hydrogen Centre in Altona North, Victoria, to promote the Coalition’s electric vehicles ambitions. While in Altona North, the PM and Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor released the first national ‘Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy’ in a bid to meet the Government’s emissions targets. The Strategy, which is coupled with a $250 million Future Fuels Fund, aims to increase the uptake of hybrid, hydrogen, electric and biofuelled vehicles to cut carbon emissions by more than eight million tonnes by 2035.
Additionally, the Prime Minister announced the establishment of a new $1 billion Low Emissions Technology Commercialisation Fund to be administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). The fund is expected to help commercialise low emissions technology, including carbon capture and storage (CCS) and soil carbon.
The Government will first need to introduce legislation to allow the CEFC to invest in CCS which may prove difficult given earlier this year the Senate blocked the Government from expanding the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) mandate to invest in the CCS technology. Liberal National senators Matt Canavan and Gerard Rennick have since said they would vote against the proposed legislation as they continue to campaign against net zero emissions targets citing concerns for rural and regional Australia.
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