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Former prime minister supports gas export controls

In this morning's blog, we reported on comments by federal Industry Minister Ed Husic who branded gas companies as "tone-deaf" for not offering lower prices to the Australian market amid a projected 20 percent increase in domestic gas prices next year.

Now, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has backed calls for gas export controls to help curb electricity prices – and for investment in renewable energy as a long-term solution.

Here's what he had to say at the Australian Institute event in Sydney today:

“It's crazy that the largest or second largest exporter of liquefied natural gas is not able to control gas at affordable prices for its own residents.

The government should use its power to control gas exports to ensure that there is enough gas available in Australia to keep those prices at or around pre-crisis levels.

The long-term solution is very clear – it's renewable energy plus storage, it's not even a debatable or debatable issue, it's just a question of how quickly you can roll it out.”

Turnbull also said it was a mistake for the east coast not to deploy domestic gas reserves, similar to those in Western Australia.

It comes after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released a report in August warning exporters not to sell all their non-contracted gas overseas next year.

“In today's environment of high international energy prices (including gas and LNG), a tight LNG market, broader supply chain issues, geopolitical instability, inflation, and uncertain demand for gas-fired power plants domestically, we support Australian government to focus more on energy security. ," the report reads.

As energy prices heat up, David Crowe reports on a growing debate along state lines about whether states like Queensland and Western Australia should increase gas supplies to NSW and Victoria.

Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said on Monday that Australia wanted their gas to go to the domestic market first before meeting demand from overseas customers.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean also suggested liquefied natural gas from Western Australia could be shipped to NSW and pumped into the eastern gas pipeline.

The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy and the Queensland Resources Council were among those who criticized a proposal they said would make their states pay for NSW and Victoria's failure to develop their own resources.

Teachers more than double the risk of assault: learn

By Caitlin Fitzsimmons

Staying on the topic of teacher shortages, a new study has revealed Australian educators face a higher risk of being attacked in the workplace or suffering from mental health conditions than any other profession.

Monash University academics analyzed 1.5 million workers' compensation claims from 2009 to 2015 and found 4.5 percent of teacher cases were assault-related, compared with 2 percent for non-educators.

High school teachers, specialist educators, and aides suffered assault-related injuries and the highest mental health conditions.

Overall, educators still have lower claims than other professions and less time off work.

Co-author Dr Tyler Lane, from Monash University's School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said there may be a link between violence and students working with educators.

"There may be some increased risk, at least in terms of assault, for working with someone who has a need and there could be an explosion that isn't special, but could injure someone," Lane said.

Conditions that are frequently reported include injuries from student violence, psychological stress, and musculoskeletal pain.

The researchers suggest more injuries may occur because educators may be reluctant to apply for workers' compensation because of their workplace culture, leadership attitudes and using school holidays for themselves.

Clare's teacher shortage will 'take time to fix'

By Caitlin Fitzsimmons

Federal Education Minister Jason Clare has spoken to teachers about the difficult times ahead as the government tries to fix the labor shortage plaguing the education sector.

Clare, speaking to hundreds of school principals earlier today for the launch of the National Teachers' Action draft, said there has been a 16 percent drop in student enrollments during training over the past decade and only 50 percent complete their degrees.

He said teachers have weighed the brunt of the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused burnout and people leaving the profession.

This is the taste of his words:

this is not easy. It took 10 years to create this crisis, and it will take time to fix it. The next few years will be difficult.

The $328 million action plan was developed through discussions with the education minister, teachers, principals, trade unions and the higher education sector.

This includes approximately $160 million to train more teachers, $70 million to encourage mid-career professionals to move into industry and $25 million to try new ways to reduce workloads.

Australian Union of Education federal vice president Meredith Peace welcomed the opportunity to provide feedback on the plan but has resources for public schools from state and commonwealth governments.

"The draft national plan alone will not remedy the shortage experienced in public schools across the country," he said in a statement.

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