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Kiribati’s President appreciative of Australia’s ‘very active’ function at Paris climate talks

Updated December 15, 2015 01:11:04

The President of Kiribati, a tiny island nation in the Pacific at danger of disappearing if sea levels rise, says he is quite appreciative of Australia’s “quite active” part at the Paris climate talks.

President Anote Tong, an outspoken advocate for international action on climate adjust, mentioned the agreement reached at the COP21 summit was a “main achievement”.

“It is a quite optimistic step forward and of course, what was most gratifying was the position of the nations that we had thought would have taken a quite damaging position,” he told the ABC’s The Planet plan.

All 195 countries that attended the summit authorized the agreement, which aims to limit temperature increases to well beneath two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The agreement also references the “urgent need to have” to pursue efforts to limit the temperature enhance to 1.5C.

The text does not mandate particular measures or targets. As an alternative, it creates a program for making certain nations make good on voluntary domestic efforts to curb emissions.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop stated the deal was an essential step forward, but it has been criticised by some Liberal MPs.

President Tong, who is in Morocco for yet another round of climate talks, stated it was “definitely essential” that leaders followed by means of on the targets agreed upon in Paris.

“I think it is definitely essential. Of course, it’s component of the purpose why we are here in Morocco, to go over possibly what must be coming up at the next meeting, how the commitments that have been produced from Paris could be followed up and how they can be translated into concrete action,” he said.

“There was extremely clear acknowledgement of the special circumstances of the most vulnerable nations on the front line of climate adjust.

“We are hoping that in spite of the lack of clarity in the wording, there is this really clear understanding that if it comes to building up climate resilience and adaptation and just recovery, we are hopeful that the countries that made a commitment will provide.”

President Tong pleased the ‘miracle did happen’

Countries such as Kiribati and Fiji have lengthy argued for a 1.5C cap to make certain their countries survive extreme weather events and increasing sea levels, whilst industrial nations have favoured the 2C limit.

President Tong said the summit’s adoption of the 1.5C target was a victory.

“I feel [at] the begin of the discussions, fairly a number of countries did not go for the 1.5C boost, but by the end of the discussions … the miracle did take place,” he told The Planet.

“Even Australia, we felt, was supporting that. The atmosphere and perhaps the chairmanship, the presidency at the conference, was of course extremely instrumental.

“But Australia was quite active, we noted that. And of course the US, and a number of other countries that initially have been a bit negative.”

Negotiators have stated the long-term push by island nations was instrumental in bringing the 1.5C target to prominence.

Australia signed on to the 1.5 target when it cut a deal with St Lucia, a Caribbean island nation, to back the target in exchange for getting allowed to carry over its savings from the Kyoto Protocol.

President Tong mentioned the agreement, if followed by means of, will mean future Kiribatians will have a future.

“I feel we must be cautious in becoming too sceptical by what has taken spot,” he stated.

“I think it really is been quite, really significant and it sets the bottom line — it establishes the basis of the foundation of what future behaviour on energy must be.

“I know we did not get one hundred per cent of what it was that we went for, but nonetheless I feel what is happened … in the circumstances, could not have been better.”

Topics: climate-change, atmosphere, foreign-affairs, government-and-politics, planet-politics, kiribati

Very first posted December 15, 2015 01:01:52

Agen Sabung Ayam

Dwindling fuel supplies putting Australia’s safety at danger: Liberal senator

Updated December 09, 2015 00:29:29

Liberal senator Bill Heffernan has warned Australia’s safety is getting put at risk since of its dwindling fuel supplies and is urging the Government to address the problem.

According to an International Power Agency agreement, Australia is obliged to have at least 90 days of fuel in storage, but its reserves have fallen under 50 days in current years following a wave of refinery closures.

The situation was lately investigated by a Senate Committee which noted Australia had become a key importer of transport fuels, leaving it vulnerable to disruptions in supply.

Senator Heffernan was on that committee and mentioned he had recently had further discussions with senior Defence Force officials who have described it as the “greatest military threat” facing the nation.

“It is been identified as a significant problem not only for fuel supply for basic operations but when the military tells you it really is our greatest military threat, it really is time to get off our backsides and do one thing about it,” he said.

“If you believe like the enemy, all you would have to do is interfere with a couple of key tank loads coming from Singapore and we’d be in all sorts of problems.”

When the Government released its Energy White Paper in April, it promised a choice on how to deal with the oil reserve concern by the finish of the year.

At the time, the then industry minister Ian Macfarlane said he was thinking about two possibilities constructing larger tanks or buying supply contracts from other nations.

“Either selection is extraordinarily high-priced we’re talking billions and billions and billions of dollars,” he told the ABC.

He mentioned that expense would most likely be passed on at the bowser, escalating petrol rates by up to 2 cents a litre.

Subjects: defence-and-national-security, federal-government, australia

Initial posted December 08, 2015 23:10:47

Agen Sabung Ayam

Meet the females of Australia’s street art scene

By Eliza Buzacott-Speer

Updated December 05, 2015 07:53:09

Though its reputation as a “boys club” persists, street artists who come about to be female — many shun the “female artist” trope — are claiming their location on the streets.

Introduction

Street art by Baby Guerrilla in Footscray's Madden Square Photo: Street art by Baby Guerrilla on the back of the former Grand Theatre in Footscray’s Madden Square. (Supplied: Baby Guerrilla)

‘A wish to reclaim public place’

She goes by the name Child Guerrilla, and the figures she creates soar across the walls high above the streets of Melbourne, totally free from the confines of the classic, four-walled art gallery space.

The street artist, who prefers to stay anonymous, says there are several reasons — each private and political — why she operates on the street.

“I am interested in approaching space and perspective in new and innovative techniques that engage beyond the parameters of a gallery or standard art space,” she says.

“I also became involved due to the fact I was frustrated with the art world hierarchy.

“On the street I didn’t have to ask permission to express myself it was a way of taking back some of the energy from an often rarified, elite and exclusive art globe.”

Founder and director of Citylights Projects, Andrew Macdonald, who was heavily involved in the rise of street art in Melbourne, says street art has its roots in graffiti culture.

He says the graffiti movement reached its peak in Australia in the early 1990s, and then began to decline, leaving a gap out of which the street art movement grew.

I don’t believe that corporations and media moguls need to be the only ones in society permitted to have a voice within public space. I am motivated by freedom of speech, a need to reclaim public spot, to contribute to the urban atmosphere and finding an option to bland bureaucracy and vapid walls.

Child Guerrilla

“What became street art — stencilling, postering, installations, painting on walls in a way that is stylistically distinct to graffiti — begins to fill that vacuum in the late 90s,” he says.

It is likely thanks to these graffiti roots that street art, in its beginnings, was a male-dominated movement, according to the Associate Dean at the Sydney College of The Arts, Jacqueline Millner.

“Not to say that even in its early manifestations there had been not women active, but proof suggests it was a fairly macho culture,” she says.

“Its roots in graffiti — such as the usually death-defying acts to spray out of reach spaces for kudos, and its conjunction with early rap — associates street art with a specific teenage bravado much more common amongst males.”

Mr Macdonald says the “risk-taking” elements of graffiti and street art tended to attract teenage boys, and that likewise, the timing and locations typically alienated ladies, for safety causes.

“There are numerous, many studies about what young teenage boys do in that time of life and it’s about proving themselves to themselves and each and every other and their peer groups, and risk-taking is element of that,” he says.

“Usually it’s young teenage boys sneaking out to do this at evening time.

“Girls have been less drawn to sneaking around the streets and train yards at evening time, and I guess there are apparent reasons for that.”

But Mr Macdonald says the present iteration of street art is far significantly less covert or illegal than that of the early days.

“It really is grow to be an increasingly legitimised culture and a professionalised culture,” he says.

Baby Guerrilla at work on a mural at Victoria University Photo: Infant Guerrilla at function on a mural celebrating the power of connection, on the walls of Victoria University. (Supplied: Infant Guerrilla)

That is not to say that street art has lost its rebellious, defiant edge — far from it.

Child Guerrilla says street art allows ordinary men and women make their voices heard in a extremely public way.

“I do not believe that corporations and media moguls need to be the only ones in society permitted to have a voice within public space,” she says.

“I am motivated by freedom of speech, a wish to reclaim public spot, to contribute to the urban environment and locating an alternative to bland bureaucracy and vapid walls.”

But Mr Macdonald says that now, numerous street artists are “commissioned by the owner of a wall” and there is significantly less want to go underground.

He says this has broadened the spectrum of artists, including an increase in the participation of females.

‘You have to operate twice as hard’

But although there are an increasingly quantity of ladies getting into the scene, the gender balance nevertheless swings drastically towards males.

Charlotte Clemens, who, as one particular of the leaders of Neighborhood Art Workers, helped pioneer some of the earliest pieces of street art in Melbourne in the 1970s, says the male-dominated culture is a reflection of the wider art globe.

Vexta (right) with French street artist Fafi, participating in the GMO Curvy project Photo: Vexta (correct) with French street artist Fafi, participating in the Curvy project on the walls of Citylights Projects’ Hozier Lane. (Supplied: Andrew Macdonald)

“[Street art] is quite a lot a male domain, but I feel the art scene is also fairly a lot a male domain as nicely,” she says.

Infant Guerrilla says this is reflected in the palpable sexism that comes in when street art “is taken off the street and placed in galleries, public festivals, private collections, or in the documentation of it”.

“Public art festivals with no any female street artists [or] graffiti artists represented or galleries and studios that specialise in street art [or] graffiti with barely any female artists is bad for art and poor for diversity in general, but it really is still a normal occurrence in 2015,” she says.

“All artist residencies ought to allow girls to bring their youngsters and babies.

“I discover it disappointing that the art globe mirrors mainstream power structures and values as an alternative of questioning them and is, in reality, behind on so several of these problems.”

Dr Millner says the gender disparity is also partly due to the legacy of “public space” being gendered — the social construct that encourages guys to engage in a lot more public space than females.

“There is also tiny doubt that one’s relationship to public space … is dependent on gender to some extent, at least in how women and guys are acculturated,” she says.

Vexta, a veteran figure in the Australian street art scene who is now based in New York, says it is challenging not to be conscious of the gender disparity.

“Any lady operating not in a traditionally female role notices the variations,” she says.

“A lot of time the time you have to perform twice as hard and be twice as very good to get noticed.”

Some artists, including American Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, have tackled this idea head-on.

Her Quit Telling Females To Smile street art campaign features pictures of women’s faces captioned with statements such as “my outfit is not an invitation” and “you are not entitled to my space”.

The campaign “requires women’s voices, and faces, and puts them in the street — producing a bold presence for women in an environment exactly where they are so typically produced to feel uncomfortable and unsafe,” Ms Fazlalizadeh’s site reads.

Mural by Baby Guerrilla at Victoria University Photo: A mural by Infant Guerrilla on the walls of Victoria University, commissioned by the university. (Supplied: Andrew Haysom/Baby Guerrilla)

‘They can have the spotlight’

Like Infant Guerrilla and Vexta, Kaff-eine is making waves in the Australian street art scene.

Since she nonetheless had a corporate day job, Kaff-eine painted anonymously for the very first couple of years of her career, meaning people did not know if she was male or female.

Work by Vexta in the Retali8 project, which she also curated Photo: Work by Vexta in the Retali8 project, which she also curated in collaboration with Citylight Projects. (Supplied: Andrew Macdonald)

“That truly suited me because my function did not get judged as being an ‘artist’s’ or ‘female artist’s’ perform and I was genuinely content with that,” she says.

“I’ve never ever genuinely viewed myself as a female artist — I’m an artist — and that’s how I’ve gone by way of most of my life.

“Even to look at the art, you can not inform which is by a male, which is produced by a female.”

Kaff-eine says street art has a sense of democracy that does not exist in the planet of curated art.

“Street art is a truly democratic medium, and that permits anybody to pick up a paintbrush or a pen or a marker and mark surfaces,” she says.

Melbourne-based street artist Klara says street art is “for every person”.

“I like that you never have to go to a gallery or museum to see some wonderful artwork,” she says.

“It really is also wonderful for men and women to have a voice anybody can do it, with or with no pretence.”

For Child Guerrilla also, this is part of the appeal.

“In Australia no-one particular can really stop any individual from going out onto the street and locating a wall,” Baby Guerrilla says.

Yes, I could be being an idealist as it does come in to play often, but I will only let it inspire me and make me function tougher.

Klara

“I like to believe very good art will often discover an audience the public will vote with their feet.”

Klara says that for this cause street art ought to be void of gender, but that this is not always the case.

“Most street artists’ gender is assumed. How do we know the media’s beloved Banksy is not a female?” she says.

But the overriding feeling among these women is that no matter the gender politics, they will preserve painting and generating.

“I feel females are generating their personal opportunities, banding together against exclusion, forming their own networks,” Baby Guerrilla says.

“Female artists are feisty … I also feel they are frustrated with unequal representation and opportunities.”

Work by street artist Klara Photo: Operate by Perth-born, Melbourne-primarily based street artist Klara. (Supplied: Klara)

Klara says gender need to not have anything to do with good results.

“Yes, I could be becoming an idealist as it does come in to play occasionally, but I’ll only let it inspire me and make me operate tougher,” she says.

“Ladies aren’t represented by the media or these in the scene as considerably as our ‘male’ peers, but to me that’s not why I produce art.

“They can have the spotlight … I’ll just keep performing what I adore and am happy to offer any help or assistance to anybody who feels it has, or is, affecting them.

“And we undoubtedly have the sisterhood to match. There appears to be a distinct dynamic to what we do as ladies — we appear out for each and every other, help every other exactly where we can.”

Kaff-eine also says she does not apologise for “taking up public space, which is usually noticed as a masculine point”.

“I would hope that as we progress as a society — the a lot more that ladies really feel able to engage in public space — I would hope that extends to visual arts and street art as properly,” she says.

Subjects: arts-and-entertainment, street-art, contemporary-art, popular-culture, neighborhood-and-society, melbourne-3000, australia

Very first posted December 05, 2015 07:51:56

Agen Sabung Ayam

Planet leaders applaud Australia’s climate objectives in Paris: Hunt

Updated December 01, 2015 23:35:31

Planet leaders have applauded Australia’s climate targets at the United Nations Climate Alter Conference, Environment Minister Greg Hunt says.

Speaking to Lateline from the talks in Paris, Mr Hunt described Australia’s targets of 26 to 28 per cent reductions in emissions by 2030 as “ambitious”.

He stated compared to some of the excellent economies of the planet, Australia was performing far more than its fair share.

“In per capita terms, Australia is lifting heavily, we are undertaking more than our fair share, since we are proper at the front of the planet in per capita reductions, which is a proxy for work,” he stated.

Mr Hunt stated Australia’s efforts had been recognised by other heads of state in Paris.

“I’ve got to say, the response that other nations had offered us and the response from the floor of the conference hall has been overwhelming assistance,” he said.

“A sense that Australia is actually leading via our saving of 90 billion tonnes at a international level.

“Our personal commitments, the fact that we have created the announcement that we would meet and beat our targets and sign on to the Kyoto Protocol, these are key international achievements acknowledged by the international neighborhood.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who also visited Paris for the talks, final week announced Labor’s new climate policy with an emissions reduction target of 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

Greg Hunt says Australia's plans have been applauded at the Paris climate talksVideo: Greg Hunt says Australia’s plans have been applauded at the Paris climate talks (Lateline)

Mr Hunt admitted that Australia was a larger emitting nation per capita, but he mentioned that would modify.

“We are beginning from a larger base. I cannot change history or the reality of the economy as it is,” he stated.

“But what we have completed is set a policy that will see us decrease from becoming the 14th highest emitter in the world, down to the 25th highest emitter by 2030. That is a really important modify.”

Mr Hunt also backed the Federal Government’s program to commit $ 1 billion from the foreign aid price range to aid Pacific nations tackle climate adjust.

“Julie Bishop is a master in this space of delivery of Australian help in a way which meets our worldwide objectives, our regional objectives, but their national demands,” he said.

He mentioned it was yet another announcement welcomed by world leaders at the conference.

“It is something that has been embraced,” he stated.

“The conference of the climate change convention, when the Prime Minister announced that, stopped, and applauded widely.

“It really is a sign of Australia’s international standing.”

Subjects: climate-modify, environment, federal-government, government-and-politics, planet-politics, france, australia

Very first posted December 01, 2015 22:18:57

Agen Sabung Ayam

China slowdown to hinder Australia’s return to spending budget surplus: Deloitte

Posted November 30, 2015 01:23:48

The slowdown in China indicates the Australian spending budget is unlikely to return to surplus unless changes are made to its existing settings, a major economics forecaster says.

The latest budget monitor from Deloitte Access Economics forecast the total deficits more than the subsequent four years would be $ 38 billion worse than predicted in the federal spending budget in May possibly.

“China continues to slow, that puts stress on Australia’s economy in a quantity of approaches and you’re seeing that show up in a lack of taxes compared to spending budget expectations,” Deloitte Access Economics partner Chris Richardson stated.

The Might spending budget forecast a deficit of $ 35.1 billion for 2015-16, but Mr Richardson predicted the Mid Year Financial and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) in December would show the predicament had worsened to $ 40.3 billion.

“Over the subsequent four years we see a shortfall this economic year of a bit more than $ five billion, but that grows to $ 8 billion, $ 11 billion, and certainly that last year, 2018-19, we see a shortfall of nearly $ 13 billion compared to the official price range forecast,” Mr Richardson told AM.

Mr Richardson stated obtaining the budget back to surplus did not have to come about “tomorrow”, but should be a purpose for the next decade.

“On existing settings, no we’re not going to get a surplus,” he mentioned.

“China has produced it so difficult that unless Canberra gets its act together, the Senate has to pass stuff, and we would see a substantial savings task in spending, but also that you cannot ignore taxes as effectively.

“I would say the political ask about that is really fairly hard.”

NDIS, healthcare fees to hinder budget repair: Richardson

The Government has been taking into consideration a wide variety of choices to modify the tax system, but it has repeatedly mentioned it does not want to increase the general burden on taxpayers.

Mr Richardson mentioned that was a separate method to the job of spending budget repair.

“Those two issues you can have at the identical time,” he mentioned.

“Tax reform isn’t about cutting or raising taxes, it is about having greater taxes and that is a lovely discussion that the Government is leading, but it does imply that price range repair is not straight component of that tax reform equation, and spending budget repair itself continues to get tougher and tougher to do.”

Deloitte Access Economics mentioned while it believed Australia must have national disability insurance, the NDIS and predicted increases in fees for health and aged care would make returning to surplus even tougher.

“I do not think Australians recognize that they have voted for a assortment of promises to themselves that the tax method merely does not pay for, and that is a actual issue in our national social compact,” Mr Richardson mentioned.

“The federal budget will hold not adding up, unless and until Australians realise we need to reduce back on promises to ourselves and maybe to raise taxes as nicely to close that gap.”

Subjects: company-economics-and-finance, spending budget, tax, markets, australia, china

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