In just a few short hours, Barnaby Joyce will once again be your deputy prime minister. And he’s already renegotiating the Coalition agreement, which sets out what the Liberals and Nationals want from each other and can dictate decisions from ministries to government policy, but you won’t ever be allowed to see it. Good times! And given Joyce has spent the past three years on the backbench agitating for more coal, and his party just decided to vote him leader, you know what just got a lot more harder? Doing anything on climate!
Just wonderful. Coincidentally Joyce officially becomes deputy prime minister on the day Unesco has ruled the Great Barrier Reef is officially ‘in danger’. Why? Because of the climate, mostly (and also farming run off). Sussan Ley, the environment minister, says the government was ‘blindsided’ by the decision. (Which seems strange because I remember covering the warnings when I was still a reporter in Queensland and that was more than five years ago.)
Queensland is also where the Nationals want to build a new coal fired power station, so you can see where this is all going. The Great Barrier Reef is not only an environmental wonder that is critical for ocean health, it’s also supports a multi-billion industry and jobs for an entire region. So it being officially listed as ‘in danger’ is an issue.
We’ll bring you all of the fallout, as well as everything else happening today.
Last night, NSW Health released new exposure sites – so the Sydney cluster is not over as yet
We’ll bring you those updates as well.
Being a sitting day, you’ve got Amy Remeikis on the blog with Mike Bowers. Katharine Murphy, Sarah Martin, Paul Karp and Daniel Hurst are here as well, with the entire Guardian brains trust at your disposal.
This morning calls for cake for breakfast. Or something stronger. It’s going to be a loooong day.
So let’s get into it