10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Good morning all.

Queensland is opening ahead of schedule. The state will reopen to vaccinated travellers without the need for quarantine next Monday, December 13. This was originally supposed to happen on the 17th, but Queensland is now expected to hit its 80% double vaccination target this week. “Our goal was to get to 80% double-dosed, to get as many Queenslanders as we could vaccinated before the borders open, because we know how important it is to reunite families, especially coming up to this really special time of year of Christmas,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Labor has defended its climate policy platform, including its plans for coal power plants. They would let the market decide when coal plants go bust, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said. “Let me be very clear: No coal-fired power station closures as a result of Labor policy,” Bowen said. Using Liddell as an example, Bowen said the market is choosing not to extend the lifespan of coal generation out of its own volition.

It comes as the party rules out a negotiation with the Greens on climate targets in an effort to quash potential scare campaigns. The Greens want a more ambitious target than Labor’s 43% cut by 2030, but Bowen insists that it is set in stone. Scott Morrison’s strategy for the election appears to be the classic “A vote for Labor is a vote for the Greens” messaging.

Menulog says a new, modern award is required that specifically covers the “on demand delivery industry”. It has presented a case to the Fair Work Commission (FWC), along with other industry stakeholders. The Transport Workers Union on the other hand supports the company’s move to reclassify its workers as employees, but believes existing frameworks will better protect workers.

An increasing number of Australians who seek financial counselling have buy now, pay later debt. A new report from Financial Counselling Australia says many users are now “overcommitted” to BNPL products. The report calls for tougher government regulation, which major industry players have consistently rejected.

Super funds with rigorous ESG frameworks in place went on to claim 42% of the market’s assets through 2021. They outperformed the sector’s laggards, too, with a lead of 87 basis points over the last year, and 56 basis points over the last seven. Simon O’Connor, CEO at the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia, said the year’s results make plain what has been on the cards for quite some time.

Craig Wright, the Australian computer scientist who claims he invented bitcoin, was told by a US jury to pay $US100 million in damages over claims he cheated a deceased friend over associated intellectual property. The jury rejected most claims against Wright, and it’s very unlikely the case will go very far towards revealing the identity of Satoshi Nakomoto. Wright claims the verdict proves he invented bitcoin, but the community isn’t so sure.

Elon Musk reportedly berated a Tesla manager for wanting to create a system to monitor Autopilot malfunctions. The Tesla CEO said it would slow Autopilot’s progress, according to an explosive new report in The New York Times. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the software after 12 crashes.

There are indications from the US that the supply chain crisis is easing somewhat. Recent US manufacturing indicators show supply starting to match Americans’ spending. Bottlenecks at ports are also easing, hinting the months-long supply crisis is finally wrapping up. If trends in the manufacturing surveys hold true, the US could see a wave of supply hit stores in a matter of months. That could be the silver bullet for ending pandemic-era inflation. 

US and UK Rohingya refugees from Myanmar pursued legal action against Facebook on Monday. US Rohingya refugees sued Facebook for $US150 billion, alleging it helped foster genocide in Myanmar. The plaintiff will seek to apply Burmese law to her claims in order to circumvent Section 230.

BONUS ITEM

The Gladys chat heats up.