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In the news: Julian Burnside, Lacrosse tower ruling and more…

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Good news or bad news first? We’re optimists at The Fifth Estate, so good news it is.

Another high-profile individual has become worried enough about climate change and other issues to run for parliament. On Thursday, human rights lawyer Julian Burnside announced he would run as Greens candidate for Kooyong.

The seat is now a four-way contest with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Labor’s Jana Stewart and independent Oliver Yates, who was formerly a Liberal and also once head of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Refugee rights is a core issue for Burnside but according to the ABC he believes climate change is “the major issue” facing the planet.

He joined the Greens last week after reading the party’s policies and realising they were “consistent” with his views.

Burnside has come out the gate strong saying that the political system is “broken”, that the major parties has become “ineffective”, and that “the Greens seem to be the only party who have got grown-up attitudes to the real problems facing the world.”

The announcement comes at a time when moderates are dropping from the Liberal party like flies, and the energy minister Angus Taylor has been swearing black and blue on national television that emissions are “coming down” – a claim Climate Councillor Greg Bourne told ABC Radio was “unbelievably misleading.”

Taylor’s repeated declaration was enough to rouse the nation’s leading climate change and energy experts into action to debunk the claims.

“Anyone who goes into the data sets, and they’re really quite easy to look at, with some very nice graphs, show emissions rising ever since, basically, the Abbott government came in,” Bourne said.

But the fact that voters want action on climate change has not been lost on Scott Morrison and what remains of his party, who spent last week resurrecting former-PM Tony Abbott’s Emissions Reduction Fund in an attempt to convince the electorate that it’s taking climate change seriously.

The cladding scandal

In other news, late last week a tribunal ruled architects Elenberg Fraser, building surveyor Gardner Group and fire engineer Thomas Nicolas liable for the 2014 fire on Melbourne’s Lacrosse tower. Unexpectedly, builders LU Simon will not bear any of the liability for the aluminum cladding that caught fire.

The ruling marks the first in a series of cladding-related claims yet to come, according to the AFR (paywall), including the recent fires on the Neo200 building.

The builders will pay owners back $5.75 million in damages but the consultants on the project must reimburse the builder plus pay a further $6.8 million to replace the remaining cladding.

Other stories that have caught our attention:

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