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Australia COVID and climate on parliament agenda

21:50  14 june  2021
21:50  14 june  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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Climate, coronavirus and superannuation will be key issues on the agenda for the last fortnight of federal parliament before the winter break.

Trent Zimmerman et al. standing in front of a television: Scott Morrison won't be present for Tuesday's session, but is expected to dial in from overseas. © Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS Scott Morrison won't be present for Tuesday's session, but is expected to dial in from overseas.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison won't be present for Tuesday's session, but is expected to dial in from overseas later in the sitting.

He's been at the G7 summit in Cornwall and will complete talks in London and Paris with the British and French leaders before heading home.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack will take the lead for the government, while Labor takes aim at the coalition over a lack of ambition on climate policy, the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and seeks to block changes to superannuation in the Senate.

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Energy Minister Angus Taylor plans to force a vote on Tuesday on a Labor motion to disallow a move by the government to expand the remit of Australia's renewable energy agency to include carbon-capture and "blue" hydrogen.

The opposition, which is expected to lose the vote, argues the proposed regulations would give Mr Taylor the power to unilaterally assert that new technologies were low-emissions.

Mr Taylor says Labor is seeking to "cosy up to green activists" while threatening 1400 jobs and $192 million of extra funding for ARENA.

The G7 leaders sent a strong signal to the world that zero net emissions must be achieved by 2050 and fossil fuels phased out.

Mr Morrison says Australia is committed to net zero emissions "as soon as possible, preferably by 2050".

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  The US is banking on G7 summit to revitalise transatlantic ties G7 leaders are meeting to rally democratic spirits and develop deals on global taxes and COVID-19 vaccine distribution.In addition to the United Kingdom, which is hosting the meeting, heads of government from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan will be present. Leaders from South Africa, Australia and South Korea are also attending, with India’s planned attendance waylaid due to COVID-19.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese says Mr Morrison is looking "increasingly isolated" on climate policy.

Meanwhile, the fate of a package of superannuation reforms remains in doubt.

The bill would "staple" members to a single super account that would move with them between jobs, saving multiple sets of fees and insurance premiums.

It would also introduce an annual performance test that would prevent the worst performing funds from taking on new members.

The government was forced to strip a provision to give the treasurer veto power over investments by super funds after losing the support of several coalition backbenchers.

But Centre Alliance says more is needed to prevent workers being stapled to underperforming funds.

Independent senator Rex Patrick is also moving amendments around dangerous occupations and the best financial interests of members.

As international travel remains blocked to most Australians, independent MP Zali Steggall will introduce a petition calling for parents to be classified as immediate family members.

Under the current laws, parents who are not Australian citizens and live overseas are not eligible for exemptions to travel to Australia.

More than 70,500 people have signed the petition, also calling for more compassion in allowing citizens to leave Australia to visit family.

Ms Steggall said her office is being inundated with desperate calls for help, particularly from new mothers whose parents are unable to come into Australia to assist them.

Salamanders have a secret to surviving climate change .
These slippery amphibians are teaching scientists about the power of adaptation and the limits of prediction. To be clear, salamanders aren’t guaranteed a bright future. These small scamperers often like to stay hidden, making it difficult to collect good data — and one study from 2009 found “dramatic declines” in salamanders in Central America and Mexico. Meanwhile, more than 40 percent of the 200-plus species in North America are threatened with extinction, by some estimates. That has researchers worried.

usr: 1
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