The Headlines: 28% By 2030 — Are Australia’s Largest Polluters in For a Shake-Up?

Hello folks, welcome to the only January 11 to happen in 2023. And, on this day, we have a number of super important news stories to tackle. Here are some of this Wednesday’s biggest headlines

Unpacking the New Safeguard Mechanism Reforms

Australia’s Safeguard Mechanism is a scheme that requires companies that produce over 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year to keep their overall emissions below a baseline. However, the Federal Government believes that these requirements aren’t ambitious enough. They are proposing that companies that produce this much greenhouse gas cut their emissions by a further 28% before 2030

“I think it’s pretty reasonable to say that 215 facilities are responsible for 28% of our emissions, therefore, they’ll be responsible for 28% of our emissions reduction,” said Chris Bowen, our Climate Change and Energy Minister. 

“Reforms to the Safeguard will help create an effective, equitable, and efficient trajectory to net zero. We know that 70% of facilities, representing over 80% of scheme emissions, already have corporate commitments to net zero by 2050: This reform helps deliver the framework to get there.”

The Folks Who Don’t Want Our Referendum Laws Altered

Speaking of the Federal Government, they’re wanting to scrap some referendum rules. Currently, if the government wants to put a constitutional change up for a public vote, they must first send the general public some voter pamphlets. These pamphlets contain essays from individuals that are for and against said constitutional change.

The government believes these pamphlets are outdated and not useful in current-day Australia. However, a bunch of groups want to keep Australia’s rules as is. They do not want them changed before Australia votes on whether or not a First Nations Voice to Parliament should be enshrined in the Constitution. 

As Kerry Pinkstone, Uphold and Recognise’s Executive Director, said, “For a vote this important, parliamentarians must consider if electors should rely on social media to be the provider of information on such an important issue.”

Additionally, the Australian Human Rights Commission has said, “The provision of an official ‘yes/no’ pamphlet is a way of ensuring that electors are provided with alternative points of view in the one document, to consider and compare, and that all electors are provided with the same basic information about the substantive arguments.”

Whether or not the Federal Government will follow the advice of these organisations is yet to be determined. We’ll keep you posted on this salient and unfolding situation.

Related:  What’s Happening in Australia in 2023

Related: “History Is Calling, Let’s Get This Done” — It’s Time for a First Nations Voice in Parliament

The Twinnies’ Pelican Rescue Centre Has Been Saved

The twins Bridgette and Paula Powers have run a pelican and native bird rescue centre for over 22 years. Additionally, their base has the iconic name: Twinnies Pelican and Seabird Rescue’. However, due to the cost of living crisis pushing this centre’s bills higher and higher, it was at serious risk of closing down. 

“One vet did tell us if we weren’t here, the birds would be euthanased, and that really broke our hearts,” said the Twinnies. 

Fortunately, a philanthropist named Dr Peter Sharwood has stepped in and saved the day. Sharwood donated $1 million to the centre in order to keep it open.

“I was so impressed by them,” said Sharwood.

“They were so genuine, and their total concern was for the birds. It wasn’t for themselves and that was very telling.”

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