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The Informer: Coal stoush turns up the heat on a smoky Sunday | The Canberra Times


coronavirus, the informer

Let’s kick things off on the other side of the globe today. In Glasgow, an agreement was reached for countries to set stronger emissions-reduction targets by 2030 in an effort to ensure global warming is capped at 1.5 degrees. But a last-minute effort by India saw the watering-down of language calling for an end to the use of coal, with the agreement instead calling for it to be “phase[d] down”. Back at home, questions remain as to whether the recent “not zero” modelling released by the government will need to be revised – or will it be left up to “can do capitalism”? Things were also heating up at Kurri Kurri today, with more than 80 firefighters – including reinforcements from Sydney – converging on an industrial complex to fight a huge fire reported to have started in a pallet of hand sanitiser. Weston Aluminium managing director Garbis Simonian believes the fire may have caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage, including the destruction of two buildings. Calling the complex a “crime scene”, he said it’s “highly likely it was arson, because the place was closed and this stuff doesn’t burn by itself”. A proposal for a new amusement park at Stanwell Tops near Wollongong is also no laughing matter for some angry residents. Bruce Coleman’s latest venture promises a “family-orientated environmental recreation park” – but environmental concerns (and the increased traffic) top the list of residents’ concerns. The first stage of the development would include a miniature railway, model cars and airplanes and jumping castles, while later stages could include a splash park, rope course and flying foxes. Residents are concerned work on the park – including laying down tracks – has already started, despite no development application being lodged or approval granted. In the bush capital, Canberrans took a step towards a COVID-normal Christmas, with masks now only required at high-risk locations such as hospitals and aged-care facilities. Caps on gatherings have also been abolished in the ACT. The territory on Sunday recorded 15 news cases of the virus, with case numbers across the nation in decline. Health Minister Greg Hunt highlighted the good news as he looked for an image boost on Sunday morning. Appearing on the ABC’s Insiders, Mr Hunt claimed Australia’s booster shot program would be “one of the earliest in the world”, but claimed child vaccines would not be implemented by at least January. “We’ve done that very carefully, and that’s led Australia to a position where we are one of the most highly vaccinated societies and one of the first after Israel to have a whole-of-nation booster program,” Mr Hunt said. Did you know you can receive this daily digest by email? Sign up here THE NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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