Australia news live update: Scott Morrison a casual Covid contact; hundreds in Qld quarantine; potential Melbourne superspreader event | Australia news


The NSW government has pick, Kerry Schott, to chair its Net Zero Emissions and Clean Economy Board, hoping for a happier outcome than its first attempt.

Earlier this year, Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean chose former prime minister and mentor of sorts, Malcolm Turnbull to lead that role.

Within days, though, right-wing media stirred into action, demanding Turnbull be dumped. Then premier Gladys Berejiklian complied, with the ex-PM decrying the “thuggery” involved.

Schott, a seasoned official, was Turnbull’s choice to head the Energy Security Board but her appointment is unlikely to stir such animosity.

Dr Schott is one of the most outstanding public servants in the country and brings

with her a wealth of knowledge and experience which will be invaluable as NSW drives towards halving our emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050.

The Board’s role includes providing advice on the design of Net Zero programs,

opportunities for low-emissions research and industries in NSW and strategies to
support existing industries to adopt low- or zero-greenhouse gas emissions

We had a reminder of the challenges this week, with the NSW government’s own Natural Resources Commission warning that trapping carbon in the soil as a way of reaching emissions goals won’t be easy with warming temperatures likely to result in a rise in soil carbon emissions.

Kean, meanwhile, has a busy week with plans to release the state’s mid-year budget update tomorrow morning. Now also NSW treasurer, he has inherited a growing scandal over the accounts of $40b in assets of what was RailCorp.
The auditor-general Margaret Crawford is not satisfied with how the government has used the assets to make the overall budget look better than it is, and is refusing to sign off the government’s accounts. Read this explainer for more detail on this odd affair.



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