‘No buyer.’ NSW’s largest coal mine to close.
BHP says it plans to shut down its Mt Arthur coal mine in NSW’s Hunter Valley in mid-2030 after an attempt to sell the biggest coal mine in the state failed to result in a viable offer.
The open-cut mine near Muswellbrook employs about 2000 people and provides thermal coal to international customers. It is the largest coal mine in NSW.
“We will work with our people, local business partners, Traditional Owners and local and state governments to operate safely and productively, prepare for closure and sustainable rehabilitation of the site, and ensure the pathway to closure is managed in a way that meets community and regulatory expectations,” said Adam Lancey, vice president of BHP’s NSW Energy Coal operation.
Breaking: coalhttps://t.co/OdXxxd3hpP— Australia Institute (@TheAusInstitute) June 16, 2022
Under pressure from investors to respond to climate issues, BHP has been divesting its thermal coal and lower-grade coking coal assets, such as the Poitrel and South Walker Creek coalmines in Queensland it sold to Stanmore Resources last year for $US1.35 billion.
Lock the Gate Alliance national coordinator Carmel Flint said the environmental group was pleased that BHP was closing the mine, although it would have liked it to happen in 2026 rather than 2030.
“This is a very significant step by BHP, and the absence of buyers for the mine sends an incredibly strong message that thermal coal is in decline globally, as customer countries act on climate change.”
Harriet Kater, Climate Lead (Australia) at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, said that closing the mine instead of selling it was the right call.
“Use of asset divestment as a tool to lower carbon footprints and avoid responsible closure is not acceptable,” she said.
For more on this subject, you can listen to tonight's episode of The Quicky.
‘Drink less tea’ plea angers Pakistanis.
A minister in Pakistan’s newly elected government has faced criticism following his plea to the nation to drink less tea to help save on imports amid a deepening economic crisis.
Pakistan is among the world’s top tea importers, a hugely popular drink among both the rich and the poor in this country of 220 million people. The government has to spend about $US600 million ($A856 million) from the central bank’s hard currency reserves for tea imports annually.
Pakistanis are believed to each drink at least three cups of tea a day on average.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who took over in April after Imran Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament, has pledged to improve the ailing economy and meet conditions set by the International Monetary Fund in an effort to revive a $US6 billion bailout package.
Still, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal’s appeal to drink less tea surprised many.
“I appeal to the people to reduce their tea drinking by one or two cups a day because we also borrow money for the tea, which is imported,” Iqbal said at a news conference on Tuesday.
Some have openly advised Iqbal on social media to resign.
“Yesterday Ahsan Iqbal asked us to consume less tea and tomorrow they may say eat less. Is it a solution?” asked Dil Sher, who owns a roadside tea stall on the outskirts of Islamabad.
The government has so far hiked the price of fuel, natural gas and electricity by up to 45 per cent, sending food prices soaring. Last week, Sharif’s cabinet presented its first budget to parliament for approval, levying more taxes on the rich and vowing to remove subsidies on energy and fuel as demanded by the IMF.
Pakistan minister slammed for ‘drink less tea, save money’ appeal https://t.co/QlfCQpBC6Q— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) June 16, 2022
A Bachelor couple’s OnlyFans shame spiral.
Amber Heard has given her first interview since the defamation case between her and Johnny Depp reached a verdict and has doubled down on claims that Depp did abuse her and that the jury was swayed by the online hatred against her and his Hollywood stardom. Here’s everything you need to know.
Plus, it’s the picture everyone can't stop staring at today (but not in a creepy way). We’ve finally been given our first proper look at a bleach-blonde, tanned, and very ripped Ryan Gosling as Ken in Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie movie. Most importantly, it’s given us a clue as to what his storyline might cover.
And a conversation around OnlyFans, reality TV stars and morality is dominating group chats and social media feeds today after The Bachelor stars Jimmy Nicholson and Holly Kingston made disparaging comments about people who use the platform. It’s prompted a conversation around privilege and the stigma around OnlyFans and sex work with a lot of famous voices weighing in on the subject. For more on this, you can read our explainer here: "No judgement but..." Why everyone is talking about The Bachelor's Jimmy and Holly.
Listen to The Spill below:
Extra year of free schooling, and all the news you need to know this morning.
Morning all and welcome to your live news feed for Thursday, June 10.
Here are the top news stories you need to know this morning.
1. VIC and NSW to introduce an extra year of free schooling.
Every child in Victoria and New South Wales will receive an extra year of free schooling, as part of a multi-billion dollar plan.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet aim to introduce the extra year of school for four and five-year-olds, in the biggest education reform in a generation.
“This is incredible reform that will change lives and deliver enormous educational benefits for children across the state, securing a brighter future for NSW families," said Perrottet.
"We’re ensuring our youngest learners thrive by introducing a full year of preschool education before Kindergarten, as we know how important it is to have a strong educational foundation."
Today we embark on the greatest transformation of early education in a generation. pic.twitter.com/DLkw9Pun7e— Dom Perrottet (@Dom_Perrottet) June 15, 2022
For families in NSW, the extra year of free schooling will begin from 2030 and will take place a year before kindergarten.
In Victoria, the new initiative will start from 2025, with the new year taking place before prep.
The NSW government has committed $5.8 billion over the next 10 years on the new reform, while Victoria has set aside $9 billion.
2. Businesses warn of closures over wage rise.
Businesses could be "sent to the brink" of collapse by the size of the increase to the minimum wage, according to industry groups.
The Fair Work Commission ruled on Wednesday, the nation's lowest paid workers will receive a weekly $40 pay rise from July 1.
The 5.2 per cent increase - the highest in 16 years - means the new rate will sit at $812.60 per week, or $21.38 per hour. The aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors will have their wage hikes deferred to October.
We welcome the Fair Work Commission’s announcement of a $1.05 an hour pay rise for Australians on the minimum wage.— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) June 15, 2022
While unions and the Labor government welcomed the decision, Australia's peak bodies representing hospitality and retail businesses have sounded the alarm that the level of increase could send them bust.
Restaurant and Catering Australia chief executive Belinda Clarke said the decision would compound inflationary pressures for businesses struggling to get back on their feet following the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is sadly going to mean more business closures," she said.
"Whilst we are glad that the commission agreed with our submission in deferring the implementation of the award rate increase to October, I know a lot of business owners will have limited ability to absorb the extra cost."
3. Australia updates UN climate submission with new targets.
Australia is set to submit more ambitious climate targets to the United Nations.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Energy Minister Chris Bowen will today formalise the government's commitment to a 43 per cent emissions reduction by 2030.
They will meet with industry stakeholders for the signing of the modified nationally determined contribution.
Albanese made the announcement of revised targets at a joint media conference with his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern in Sydney on Friday.
"We'll submit an updated nationally-determined contribution to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change soon," he said. "(It is) also an opportunity for us to grow jobs and increase economic activity."
Labor took a 43 per cent by 2030 emissions cut target to the federal election, while the Coalition stood by its 26 to 28 per cent pledge. Both major parties supported a net zero by 2050 target.
Albanese and Bowen will also hold an emergency meeting with industry leaders today in response to the energy crisis.
4. PM welcomed to QLD by Tamil family.
The Nadesalingams welcomed Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to central Queensland after returning home to Biloela on Friday.
Albanese was greeted by the asylum-seeker family in Gladstone yesterday, after they were released from immigration detention following the election of the Labor government.
The Sri Lankan family of four had travelled about 120 kilometres from their town to meet with the prime minister and gift him flowers for their freedom.
Photos posted to Twitter show the prime minister and the family in a warm embrace.
"So lovely to meet with the Nadesalingam family today. They're finally home, Tharnicaa and Kopika are going to school, and the Biloela community have welcomed back a much loved family," Albanese wrote.
So lovely to meet with the Nadesalingam family today. They’re finally home, Tharnicaa and Kopika are going to school, and the Biloela community have welcomed back a much loved family. pic.twitter.com/eBS610f5Zf— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) June 15, 2022
During the election campaign, Labor pledged that if elected, the family would be allowed to go back home to Biloela after four years in detention.
The cabinet met in the regional city as part of the prime minister's first visit to Queensland since winning last month's election.
5. SA gets first Indigenous senator.
Kerrynne Liddle has become the first Indigenous senator for South Australia, after winning the sixth Senate seat up for grabs in the election.
The Liberal senator will also be the first female Indigenous parliamentarian from South Australia to serve at state or federal level.
Congrats to my good friend @KerrynneLiddle on being elected to the Senate @LiberalAus. South Australia has selected a great representative with the most amazing and broad set of skills and experience. Proud to serve with you. pic.twitter.com/Gz2APgGzaU— Anne Ruston (@Anne_Ruston) June 15, 2022
Of the six seats up for election, the Australian Electoral Commission has listed the Liberals with three, Labor with two and the Greens with one.
Former finance minister Simon Birmingham was re-elected on the top of the Liberal ticket, while the new Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong topped Labor's.
Liberal senator Andrew McLachlan and Labor senator Don Farrell - who has been sworn in as the new trade and tourism minister - were also re-elected.
That's your morning news wrap up done and dusted. We'll be back to bring you more of the top news stories throughout the day.
- With AAP.
Can billionaires save the world?
Aussie billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes is attempting to buy energy company AGL so that he can influence their future plans for renewable energy.
But who exactly is this guy, and why is a software developer so interested in climate change? Can he and his billionaire friends like Elon Musk actually do anything to save the fate of our planet?
Feature Image: Getty.