Australia news live: Dutton’s approach to climate change ‘makes Tony Abbott look like Al Gore’, Clare says | Australia news

Australia news live Duttons approach to climate change makes Tony Abbott look like Al Gore Clare says | Australia news
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Coalition’s climate target move a ‘big mistake’, Labor says

Sarah Basford Canales

The education minister, Jason Clare, has criticised the opposition’s “big mistake” on its climate change goals after Peter Dutton reportedly told the media he would ditch Australia’s 43% emissions reduction target by 2030 if elected.

Dutton was quoted in the Weekend Australian on Saturday as saying there was “no sense in signing up to targets you don’t have any prospect of achieving”.

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On ABC’s Insiders on Sunday morning, the shadow communications minister, David Coleman, reiterated the Coalition would reveal its policy on meeting the Paris agreement “well in advance of the election”, but added: “We won’t maintain a Chris Bowen fantasy when it plainly won’t happen.”

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Clare, on Sky’s Sunday Agenda, described the move as a “big mistake” and said Dutton’s decision makes “Tony Abbott look like Al Gore”.

Peter Dutton
Peter Dutton reportedly says he will ditch Australia’s target of 43% emissions reduction by 2030 if elected. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

I think Peter Dutton’s made a big mistake. I think any Australian who thinks climate change is real would think now that Peter Dutton is a real risk – risk to investment or risk to jobs but just a risk that Australia will do nothing to tackle climate change. You know, even Tony Abbott didn’t pull out of a global agreement on climate change and he thinks it’s crap. You know, this makes Tony Abbott look like Al Gore. No wonder that you had a couple of Liberal MPs in the last few weeks hot to trot to bring Josh Frydenberg back.

The Coalition is expected soon to unveil its plan to introduce nuclear energy into Australia, if elected, following a repeal of the ban.

Clare said:

[Nuclear] costs a bomb. It costs a fortune wherever it’s been rolled out, or attempted to be rolled out. Around the world costs have blown out. So it costs a bomb. It takes too long. And to be frank, it’s about as popular as a mother-in-law on a honeymoon. Most Australians who look at this [plan] don’t want a bar of it.

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Police warn of surge in internet malware trying to steal information

Australian internet users have been warned about a jump in criminals secretly taking control of their devices by hiding viruses in legitimate email attachments and popular video games.

Australian Federal Police say there’s been a surge in Remote Access Trojans, also known as RATS, which allow third parties to spy on people and steal their personal information.

Computer video modifications and downloadable email attachments hidden in what appears to be legitimate links are the biggest culprits.

Criminals have targeted popular games including Runescape, Minecraft, PUBG: Battlegrounds and ARK Survival, the force said.

The malware allows criminals to access webcams, microphones, passwords, location history and other data held on the device.

The force’s Acting Assistant Commissioner Chris Goldsmid likened the viruses to the plague as he urged Australians to continually update their virus protection and software.

He said some viruses aren’t detected by antivirus software so victims may not even know if malware has already been installed on their device.

This type of cyber offending can evolve into extreme and malicious forms of data theft and victim manipulation, with criminals using stolen data to commit extortion or financial crimes.

In April, an Australian man was charged after allegedly developing and selling a RAT on a hacking forum while in June 2023 a Geelong man was sentenced to a three-year good behaviour bond for buying one of the viruses online.

A 27-year-old Maltese national was also arrested overseas in February for allegedly distributing a virus in the popular game Warzone, partly due to intelligence provided by federal police.

Using a Remote Access Trojan in Australia in any way carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

AAP

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Dutton vows ‘immediate’ deportation of non-citizens for dangerous crimes

Opposition leader Peter Dutton has pledged that his government will deport any non-citizen who commits a dangerous crime in Australia.

They don’t [deserve to say] and they should be deported immediately.

Dutton made the comments to the Weekend Australian, where he accused the Labor government of undermining faith in Australia’s migration system by ‘bringing in thousands of people who haven’t been properly checked from a war zone.’

[There are] millions of people who want to come to our country – be law abiding, help their neighbours, not rob them; ­go to work, not turn up to a Centrelink office.

The interview marks two years since the Coalition entered opposition and an effort by Dutton to frame the party’s political platform going into the next election.

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NSW health system gets $488m boost

More free telehealth appointments, a boost to Urgent Care Clinics and expanding emergency departments are part of a $480m bid to ease pressure on NSW hospitals.

The health funding boost in the upcoming state budget is designed to avoid 290,000 visits to emergency departments each year and improve the flow of patients through the health system, according to the state government.

It comes against a backdrop of a record number of serious presentations to triage services and ambulance responders.

Photograph: Paul Miller/AAP

Some $171m is being pumped into the Healthdirect Single Front Door program, allowing more people in need of urgent care to have virtual medical appointments instead of going to emergency if deemed appropriate.

The service is free for anyone with Medicare.

Urgent Care clinics that provide immediate care for non-life threatening conditions will also receive a $100m boost, while $70m will go towards expanding Emergency Department Short Stay Units.

An additional $31m will be spent on expanding the capacity of the Hospital in the Home program.

Health Minister Ryan Park said the funding has been targeted towards strategically important areas that can provide alternatives to emergency departments.

We are building on the success of our virtual and urgent care services that bridge the gap between primary care and emergency care, and ultimately improving access to healthcare for people across NSW.

The state government is expected to reveal further details of the package on Sunday morning.

AAP

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Opposition leader accused of trying to scrap Australia’s commitment to Paris agreement

Peter Dutton has been accused of planning to break Australia’s commitment to the landmark Paris climate agreement after he said he would reject the country’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target.

The opposition leader reportedly told the Weekend Australian that he would oppose the legislated 2030 emissions target – a 43% cut compared with 2005 levels – at the next election but remain committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

Dutton also reportedly conceded that the Coalition’s commitment to introduce nuclear power in Australia would not lead to plants being built before 2040, a point made by experts, and critics who have accused the opposition of planning to delay action to address the climate crisis.

The opposition leader said he would do more to promote the use of gas, a fossil fuel. He was quoted as saying there was “no sense in signing up to targets you don’t have any prospect of achieving”.

The News Corp story did not mention departmental projections that last year suggested the country was likely to make a 42% cut by 2030 based on an assessment of existing and announced policies. The government said it showed the 43% target was within reach.

For more on what’s going on with Australia’s emissions reduction targets, read the full report by Guardian Australia’s environment climate and editor, Adam Morton:

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Coalition’s climate target move a ‘big mistake’, Labor says

Sarah Basford Canales

Sarah Basford Canales

The education minister, Jason Clare, has criticised the opposition’s “big mistake” on its climate change goals after Peter Dutton reportedly told the media he would ditch Australia’s 43% emissions reduction target by 2030 if elected.

Dutton was quoted in the Weekend Australian on Saturday as saying there was “no sense in signing up to targets you don’t have any prospect of achieving”.

On ABC’s Insiders on Sunday morning, the shadow communications minister, David Coleman, reiterated the Coalition would reveal its policy on meeting the Paris agreement “well in advance of the election”, but added: “We won’t maintain a Chris Bowen fantasy when it plainly won’t happen.”

Clare, on Sky’s Sunday Agenda, described the move as a “big mistake” and said Dutton’s decision makes “Tony Abbott look like Al Gore”.

Peter Dutton reportedly says he will ditch Australia’s target of 43% emissions reduction by 2030 if elected. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

I think Peter Dutton’s made a big mistake. I think any Australian who thinks climate change is real would think now that Peter Dutton is a real risk – risk to investment or risk to jobs but just a risk that Australia will do nothing to tackle climate change. You know, even Tony Abbott didn’t pull out of a global agreement on climate change and he thinks it’s crap. You know, this makes Tony Abbott look like Al Gore. No wonder that you had a couple of Liberal MPs in the last few weeks hot to trot to bring Josh Frydenberg back.

The Coalition is expected soon to unveil its plan to introduce nuclear energy into Australia, if elected, following a repeal of the ban.

Clare said:

[Nuclear] costs a bomb. It costs a fortune wherever it’s been rolled out, or attempted to be rolled out. Around the world costs have blown out. So it costs a bomb. It takes too long. And to be frank, it’s about as popular as a mother-in-law on a honeymoon. Most Australians who look at this [plan] don’t want a bar of it.

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Weekend auction levels dive

Auction activity has fallen dramatically this weekend, with 1,281 auctions to be held over the long weekend.

This is nearly half the 2,380 auctions held last week but still above the 1,033 auctions that occurred at the same time last year.

Based on results collected so far, CoreLogic’s summary found that the preliminary clearance rate was 67.3% across the country, which is lower than the 71.4% preliminary rate recorded last week but just above the 66.2% actual rate on final numbers.

Across the capital cities:

  • Sydney: 408 of 508 auctions with a preliminary clearance rate of 70.1%

  • Melbourne: 342 of 468 auctions with a preliminary clearance rate of 63.2%

  • Brisbane: 94 0f 125 auctions with a preliminary clearance rate of 67%

  • Adelaide: 60 of 97 auctions with a preliminary clearance rate of 85%

  • Canberra: 42 of 67 auctions with a preliminary clearance rate of 52.4%

  • Tasmania: One auction to be held

  • Perth: Eight of 15 auctions held

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Queensland to lift stamp duty threshold for first-home buyers

Queensland will bump up the threshold for people to access a new homebuyers’ discount on stamp duty to help 10,000 people a year into the property market.

Queensland premier Steven Miles told a press conference on Sunday that the measure would feature in upcoming state budget, due to be delivered on Tuesday.

The discount means eligible homebuyers will save up to $17,350 when they buy.

The threshold for a concession on transfer duty will be raised from $500k to $799k, making thousands of new buyers eligible. It will phase out for values above $800k.

The measure will also apply to vacant land with the threshold rising from $250k to $350k, and phase out from $500k.

The Queensland government will offset the growth in demand by increasing the foreign investor land tax surcharge to 3% and the transfer duty surcharge for foreign buyers to 8%.

Queensland’s southern Gold Coast. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Miles described the policy as an “awesome” announcement.

The fact of the matter is, the best we can do for a Queenslander’s cost of living for the lifetime is help get them into their first home. We know that when someone owns their first home, once they are in the property ownership system, they will be better off alive. And so we don’t just aspire for Queenslanders to have a roof over their heads, we aspire for them to have prosperity for a lifetime, we aspire for them to own their own home.

In the past four years, $216m in transfer concessions has applied to 17,660 first home buyer transactions in Brisbane.

A further 76,241 homeowners had the transfer duty home concession applied to the purchase of their Brisbane home.

AAP

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Benita Kolovos

Benita Kolovos

Western Victorian power lines plan faces community backlash

The Victorian government is facing vocal backlash from communities across western Victoria over two proposals to build high-voltage transmission lines to transport energy between states as more renewables come online.

They are the Victoria to NSW Interconnector West – known as VNI West – and the Western Renewables Link, a transmission line intended to carry wind and solar-powered energy from a power station in Bulgana in western Victoria to Sydenham in Melbourne’s north-west.

For several years, communities have campaigned against the lines, which will travel hundreds of kilometres and include owners as high as 85 metres in some locations. They argue they should be built either underground or along different routes.

Consultation on the government’s proposal is open until 16 June, with a final plan to be published late this year. A bill creating the community benefit scheme is expected to be introduced to the Victorian parliament in early 2025.

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Benita Kolovos

Benita Kolovos

Neighbouring properties that are “significantly impacted” by upgrades or new lines could receive up to $40,000. This includes rural blocks within 400 metres of projects and urban properties within 200 metres.

To be eligible for the payment, the property owners must demonstrate a “significant loss of visual amenity, including surrounding natural landscape”.

The power lines would also need to be “clearly visible from the point of the dwelling, home occupation or other site of sensitive land use”, with payments to decrease in size the further owners are from the lines.

Photograph: Jono Searle/AAP

VicGrid is also seeking feedback on “exceptional circumstances” under which property owners could be paid more than $40,000, such as “impacts to culturally significant sites or practices”, or hospitality and tourism businesses that may lose income as a result of the change.

Under the scheme, funds will also be directed to regional communities and traditional owners.

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Benita Kolovos

Benita Kolovos

Victoria mulls up to $200k payments for properties affected by power line upgrades

Victorian landowners with power transmission lines on their properties could receive payments of up to $200,000 and their neighbours up to $40,000, under a plan being considered by the state government.

The state government’s new transmission planning agency, VicGrid, has opened consultation on a program that would collect funds from power companies to pay communities affected by new transmission lines.

Under the proposed community benefits scheme, landowners with lines on their properties will be paid $200,000 per kilometre – paid in annual instalments of $8,000 over 25 years and indexed to inflation – by the state government.

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