Liberal party preselectors will decide on Thursday evening who will be the probable next member for Wentworth. As Julia Banks last night lashed what she called the “appalling” behaviour she has witnessed in parliament such as bullying and intimidation, the Coalition once again faces scrutiny over its level of female representation in parliament. Increasing women’s representation in parliament is not just about the increasing the number of women preselected – Anne Davies and Nick Evershed have crunched the numbers and found a disproportionate number of female candidates are still being placed in unwinnable or marginal seats.
In the Coalition, there are only six women in safe seats with margins greater than 10% – or 17% of the government’s safe seats. Labor is a little better but the prizes of safe seats still fall mainly to men. There are 10 women in safe seats, which is 34% of those seats with a margin of 10% or more. You can also listen to our political editor, Katharine Murphy, discussing gender in politics with the sex discrimination commissioner, Kate Jenkins, in our weekly politics podcast.
Transport-related emissions have increased by 63% since 1990 as Australia lags behind other developed countries, according to a new report by the Climate Council. Responsible for nearly one-fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, a lack of mandatory pollution standards, common in almost all other OECD countries, and a failure to incentivise the use of electric vehicles are major contributing factors. The report found that fuel emission standards, such as those have been in operation for at least a decade in the US, Japan or China, could prevent up to the equivalent of 65m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.
More than 1.4 million residents across North and South Carolina have been ordered to evacuate, with concerns for half a dozen nuclear power plants that stand in the projected path of Hurricane Florence, expected to make landfall on Thursday night. Authorities have raised concerns about drinking water supplies that could become contaminated by industrial site runoff, with the southern state of Georgia also declaring a state of emergency. Winds of up to 225km/h and a four-metre storm surge are expected, with pig farm manure pits and coal ash dumps the biggest risks for potential environmental contamination.
Rates of cancer worldwide are set to rise dramatically, with 18.1m new cases and nearly 10m deaths predicted this year. One in five men and one in six women will get cancer in their lifetimes, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the majority of cancers having root causes in lifestyle-related choices including smoking or alcohol. “Efficient prevention and early detection policies must be implemented urgently,” said the IARC director, Dr Christopher Wild, “to complement treatments in order to control this devastating disease across the world.”
Archaelogists in South Africa have confirmed what is believed to be the world’s earliest known drawing – dating from 73,000 years ago. Lines made by an ochre crayon on a rock, believed to be part of a larger criss-cross pattern, push back the oldest drawing recorded, previously believed at about 40,000 years. “This is first known drawing in human history,” said a researcher, Francesco d’Errico. “What does it mean? I don’t know. What I do know is that what can look very abstract to us could mean something to the people in the traditional society who produced it.”
The veteran Spaniard Alejandro Valverde has set up an engrossing final few stages of the Vuelta a España, cutting the race leader Simon Yates’ lead to just 25 seconds after stage 17 on a day that was won by the Canadian Michael Woods.
Australia’s cricket selectors have picked their squad for the upcoming series against Pakistan in UAE but Geoff Lemon asks why there’s no place for the talented Glenn Maxwell.