Prime Minister Tony Abbott was in campaigning mode as he faced the National Press Club today, campaigning not to win an election but to keep his position as Leader. With promises that he has listened and learned when it comes to his “Captain’s Calls” on parental leave and Knighthoods, Abbott was hoping his return to core messages on stopping the boats and scrapping the carbon tax would be enough to shore up public support. But the media aren’t so confident. The media were confident though, that the LNP would win in Queensland regardless of whether Campbell Newman lost his seat – so how did they get it so wrong?
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National Affairs Correspondent for New Matilda, Ben Eltham
Margo Kingston, Executive Editor, No Fibs
Housing affordability was the focus in Senate Estimates Committee hearings today after over half a billion dollars was cut in the budget from programs designed to address Australia’s housing affordability crisis. Charities say homelessness will rise and families will suffer after funding for the National Rental Affordability Scheme was stripped. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam says it’s not the only housing program affected.
The National Rental Affordability Scheme is no longer being funded, the Housing Supply Council was abolished in November 2013, along with the Prime Minister’s Council on Homelessness and the COAG body co-ordinating funding between the Commonwealth and the States. When asked how many people would be made homeless by the cumulative effect of budget cuts, Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells was unable to provide an answer.
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Greens Senator Scott Ludlam
Director of Advocacy and Research at Anglicare Sydney, Sue King
Dr John Falzon, CEO, St Vincent De Paul
The federal government announced today it will walk away from its so-called ‘Contract for Closure’ – the plan to help reduce carbon emissions by buying 2000 megawatts of energy from the top five polluting power stations in the country.
It’s a move which has disappointed environment groups, but the Opposition is happy.
Catherine Zengerer speaks with Tony Moore, Climate Change Campaigner, Australian Conservation Foundation, Sean Murray, Friends of the Earth Spokesperson on Coal and Greens Member for Melbourne, Adam Bandt.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott launched his response to the carbon tax bills today after yesterday staging a walk–out when the legislation was introduced. It was a long and vitriolic attack, in which he claimed that not only will the $23 dollar a ton impost on the top 500 polluters wreck our economy and cause job losses, but he says it won’t actually reduce emissions.
One person who’s been following the carbon tax debate closely is Ben Heard. He’s the Director of Think Climate Consulting – a strategic advisory firm on climate change – and the Founder of Decarbonise SA.
Catherine Zengerer asked him whether he believes Tony Abbott’s claims today that the carbon tax will bring about job losses.
Unemployment has risen to 5.1% after the loss of 22,200 full-time jobs in July – its highest level since November last year.
According to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today, the number of people employed in full-time work dropped by a seasonally-adjusted 22,200 in July.
Jobs Minister CHRIS EVANS says Australia’s unemployment rate remains comparatively low and is still the envy of the world, but Opposition Leader TONY ABBOTT says federal government plans to return the budget to surplus in 2012-13 will be just “a dream” by the weekend.
For analysis of today’s poltics, Catherine Zengerer speaks with Crikey’s Canberra Correspondent, Bernard Keane.