Australia politics live: NDIS review to be published; Israeli ambassador ‘very sad’ about rise in antisemitism | Australia news #Australia #politics #live #NDIS #review #published #Israeli #ambassador #sad #rise #antisemitism #Australia #news

Key events

Good morning

Thank you to Martin for starting us off. You have Amy Remeikis with you for the rest of the day. It’s the last parliamentary sitting day of the year and at least a five coffee day.


Let’s get into it.

‘Wake up call’ for energy industry as confidence dips

Soaring energy bills have dented confidence in the market as consumers feel they are not getting value for money from gas and electricity services.

A consumer sentiment survey conducted by Energy Consumers Australia revealed market confidence was the lowest it had been since 2018.

More than 2200 households and 500 small business owners were surveyed nationwide, with energy costs identified as a major concern.

Just 54% of households believed their electricity service provided value for money, compared to 59% a year ago and 67% in 2021.

Confidence that technological advances would help better manage energy supply and costs also fell.

The fall was particularly noticeable in the largest states, down six percentage points in NSW and seven percentage points in Victoria.

A lack of confidence in the market could spell trouble as Australia transitions from coal and gas to renewable sources, Energy Consumers Australia chief executive Brendan French warned.

“Consumers do not have trust in the market, yet we need them to be engaged for the energy transition to be successful,” he said.

– Australian Associated Press

NDIS review to be published today

People involved in National Disability Insurance Scheme have been promised a better experience and broader support, Australian Associated Press reports.

The federal government will on Thursday release the report of an independent review of the scheme by one of the architects, Prof Bruce Bonyhady, and former senior public servant Lisa Paul.

The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, struck an initial deal with state and territory leaders at a national cabinet meeting on Wednesday to respond to the review.

Albanese said the NDIS, which is putting pressure on government budgets as demand and costs rise, needed reform to ensure it could continue to provide “life-changing support” to people with a disability.

The prime minister and premiers agreed to work on new laws which he said would “improve the experience of participants and restore the original intent of the scheme, to support people with permanent and significant disability, with a broader ecosystem of support”.

Fronting the government’s response to the review will be the NDIS minister, Bill Shorten, who will address the press club in Canberra at lunchtime.

And in case you missed it, Ali Schnabel, a registered clinical psychologist who works with autistic women, and Clem Bastow, an autistic advocate and critical autism studies scholar, have written for us about why people in the scheme should stop being vilified.

Australia’s economy suffering from bracket creep, weary consumers

As mentioned below, Grogonomics argues that we need to ditch the rose-tinted glasses and start to get our heads around the fact that Australia’s economy is not in brilliant shape. He points to how we have had three consecutive quarters of falling GDP on a per capita basis – something which last happened 40 years ago during the 1982-83 recession. All that kept the economy afloat, he writes, was government spending and population growth, while household living standards plummeted due to the removal of tax offsets and rising interest rates.

Read his whole column here:

We also have an article by our economics correspondent Peter Hannam today which looks at the same issue but points to the phenomenon of “bracket creep”, which is sucking billions out of the economy in extra taxes. At the same time, households are being hammered by higher mortgage payments making for a squeeze that is good for the economy in the sense that is cooling inflation. But bad for consumption.

Here’s Peter’s piece:


Good morning and welcome to our rolling coverage of the day’s events in Canberra and beyond. Yes, politics is back – but for a limited time only and Amy Remeikis will be along soon to take you through the day. In the meantime, I’m Martin Farrer and these are some of our top overnight stories.

Court documents released last night have revealed that News Corp paid Bruce Lehrmann $295,000 in damages for its original reporting of the allegation that he raped a colleague at Parliament House, an accusation he strongly denies. It also emerged that the ABC paid Lehrmann $150,000 to settle a claim he brought against the broadcaster that it acted maliciously for showing a National Press Club speech by his accuser, Brittany Higgins, in February last year. The revelations came after another dramatic day in his defamation case against Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson in which a former colleague said she resigned because she had been concerned about Lehrmann’s treatment of Higgins before the alleged rape. The defamation trial continues today and we’ll have regular updates.

The Israeli ambassador says he is “very sad” about a rise in antisemitic incidents in Australia and has urged the government to “take all necessary measures” to ensure people of different faiths feel safe. In an interview with Guardian Australia, Amir Maimon said he was “so, so upset” about the presence of pro-Palestine protesters at a Melbourne hotel where relatives and friends of Hamas-held hostages were staying last week. He also said he had assured the Australian government that Israel was “doing its utmost” to avoid civilian deaths in Gaza, where the Hamas-run ministry of health has reported more than 16,000 deaths, including thousands of children, since 7 October.

A lack of suitable jobs and a trend towards insecure work is locking hundreds of thousands of people in poverty, according to a new report that finds there are 26 jobseekers for every entry-level position in Australia. Anglicare’s annual Jobs Snapshot found that of the 26 people out of work for each entry-level position, 18 are technically “long-term” unemployed, meaning they have been out of the workforce for more than 12 months. Our economics columnist Greg Jericho would no doubt see this as evidence for his piece today which argues that Australia’s GDP is going backwards.

#Australia #politics #live #NDIS #review #published #Israeli #ambassador #sad #rise #antisemitism #Australia #news

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