Rural Liberals are backing a move towards a net-zero emissions target despite warnings from some within the federal Nationals that regional Australia would “pay the cost” of decarbonising the economy.
The shifting support for the target – including from conservatives who have previously railed against emissions reduction policies – comes as a new report reiterates that Australia ranks among the worst performers in the G20 in addressing the climate crisis.
Ahead of a crucial meeting of the Nationals party room on Sunday where MPs will consider the Morrison government’s plan for emissions reduction cuts, Liberal MPs are speaking in favour of more ambitious targets.
Teachers are warning that schools in New South Wales and Victoria are not yet ready to go back, raising concerns over poor ventilation, a lack of air filters, and no guidance on how to safely manage class sizes.
“We have situations where room capacity leaves eight to 10 students out in the cold, literally,” the senior vice-president of the NSW Teachers Federation, Amber Flohm, said.
Teachers had asked the government to audit classroom sizes three months ago but had been ignored, she said.
In NSW, teachers say the government’s policy to have schools open their windows for natural ventilation means some students have already been forced to learn in freezing conditions.
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