Dawn chorus:3 Waters in trouble

Whangarei joins Auckland and Christchurch with doubts on big reform as deadline nears; Australia's climate wars take more ugly turns; China cracks down on bitcoin and on iron ore demand


TLDR & TLDL: Whangarei Council looks set to formally reject being involved in the Government’s Three Waters amalgamation reforms, joining Auckland and Christchurch as sceptics on the sidelines. (Newsroom) The backlash is partly due to the Government’s decision not to go ahead with a big highway from Whangarei to Marsden Point.

The debate is coming to a head as details about where the boundaries are drawn and who gets what assets are due out this Thursday, potentially unleashing council revolts with just over a year before local elections and forcing the Government to bludgeon its way through with legislation.

Overseas, Barnaby Joyce was re-elected to the leadership of the junior National Party in Australia’s governing Federal Coalition Government after party members liked his plans to block Scott Morrison’s hopes of declaring Australia would target zero emissions by 2050. (The Guardian) The move came as Australia blocked plans for a $53b renewable energy hub in the Pilbara, which would have built solar and wind generation to create hydrogen for export to Asia. It was blocked because of fears of damaging the local environment. (PV Tech) There was more difficult news for Australia’s economy over the weekend with China dumping iron ore supplies into the market to try to drive down the price, citing ‘malicious speculation’. (FT)

Meanwhile, China has widened its crackdown on bitcoin, telling state banks to root out traders and accounts. It has already banned mining in many provinces, including those using hydro-electric power. Bitcoin fell another 10% in overnight trade. (Reuters)

Also, in a sign that climate change and housing affordability are the big issues everywhere, Sweden’s centre-left Government fell overnight after a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Stefan Lofven because he tried to remove rent controls on new homes. (Reuters)

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