Australia news LIVE: NSW, Victoria split on whether to reduce COVID isolation period; renewed calls to axe stage three tax cuts

Key posts

  • Climate independent defends fossil fuel shares
  • States split on question of reducing mandatory COVID-19 isolation
  • Axe stage three tax cuts, veteran Liberal MP says
  • This morning’s key headlines at a glance
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Climate independent defends fossil fuel shares

Climate 200 independent Kylea Tink says she purchased “small shareholdings” in two fossil fuel companies to better understand their operations and potentially drive change from within.

Tink – who was elected as the federal independent MP for North Sydney in May alongside several other “teals” – owns shares in Viva Energy Group, which refines oil for Shell in Australia and owns Geelong Oil Refinery, and Beach Energy, an oil and gas exploration and production firm.

Kylea Tink said she bought shares in two fossil fuel companies so that she could be a shareholder activist.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The investments were revealed in Tink’s recently published declaration of interests, a requirement for all MPs.

Through a spokesperson, Tink told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age she bought small shareholdings in a number of companies “where she felt shareholder activism may be a way to both better understand the entities involved and potentially exert pressure from within to drive reform”.

Tink chose Viva Energy as she was “concerned the refinery was not being pushed to produce the highest quality fuel for the Australian market”, while she chose Beach Energy to “provide her with insight into how they were proceeding with oil and gas exploration”.

Read the full story here.

States split on question of reducing mandatory COVID-19 isolation

Australia’s two most populous states are divided over whether to reduce the nation’s week-long COVID isolation period, with NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet leading the charge to wind back the days people must stay at home, while Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews remains cautious about any change.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly will brief Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, premiers and chief ministers at Wednesday’s national cabinet meeting in Sydney on the implications of following the United States in reducing isolation from seven to five days.

But Health Services Union national president Gerard Hayes has called for Australia to follow the UK model, saying that mandatory isolation should be scrapped entirely and workers trusted to stay home if sick – arguing for “personal responsibility and community respect” to underpin the rules as workers struggle to make ends meet.

Albanese yesterday signalled that an end to mandatory isolation may be on the horizon, noting that daily case numbers are falling.

More on this issue here.

Axe stage three tax cuts, veteran Liberal MP says

Veteran Liberal MP Russell Broadbent has broken ranks with his party, saying the $243 billion stage three tax cuts that will flow to the nation’s highest-paid workers should be abandoned and the money put back into government services.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese yesterday reaffirmed his pledge to stick with the tax cuts that start in mid-2024. But Broadbent said the government should “bite the bullet” and axe the policy.

Liberal MP Russell Broadbent says the world has “turned on its head” since the stage three tax cuts were introduced.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Labor has been pressed by some of its own MPs, economists and unions to ditch the tax cuts, which abolish the 37 per cent tax bracket and reduce the 32.5 per cent rate to 30 per cent for all incomes between $45,000 and $200,000.

Over the weekend, this masthead revealed nine of the 19 crossbench MPs and senators favoured scrapping or delaying the tax cuts. Two want to retain them, three are undecided and four did not respond to requests for comment.

Broadbent said the tax cuts, which were made law in 2018 as part of an overhaul of the personal income tax system, reflected a different time and not the financially challenged post-COVID world.

Read the full story here.

This morning’s key headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Tuesday, August 30. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started.

  • Australia’s two most populous states are divided over whether to reduce the nation’s week-long COVID isolation period. NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet is leading the charge, but Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews remains cautious about any change.
  • Shane Wright reports that a veteran federal Liberal MP has broken ranks with his own party to say the Albanese government should axe the $243 stage three tax cuts that flow to the nation’s highest workers. He says the tax cuts reflected a pre-COVID world.
  • A climate 200 independent has defended buying “small shareholdings” in two fossil fuel companies. She says she did so to better understand their operations and potentially drive change from within. Michael Koziol has the full story.
  • Jordan Baker writes that Australian authorities have served Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Instagram with world-first legal orders to come clean on what they’re doing to detect and report child sex abuse.
  • The controversial Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal could be making a comeback, Nick Bonyhady reports.
  • And 100 scientists and academics have called on emissions from new coal and gas projects to be considered in federal approval processes for new energy projects.
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