Here are the latest coronavirus numbers from around Australia today so far. We will continue to update this post as case numbers come in:
- Deaths: 0
- Cases: 809
- In hospital: 90 (with 2 people in ICU)
- Deaths: 7
- Cases: 6,348
- In hospital: 1,406 (with 50 people in ICU)
- Deaths: 0
- Cases: 2,959
- In hospital: 444 (with 7 people in ICU)
- Deaths: 2
- Cases: 1,910
- In hospital: 217 (with 10 people in ICU)
- Deaths: 1
- Cases: 609
- In hospital: 29 (with 1 person in ICU)
- Deaths: 19
- Cases: 5,472
- In hospital: 422 (with 27 people in ICU)
- Deaths: 14
- Cases: 3,896
- In hospital: 280 (with 14 people in ICU)
Australia’s ski resorts are enjoying bluebird days this weekend after record dumps across the Victorian and New South Wales alps.
The weather continues to provide welcome relief to ski resorts, which were battered by pandemic restrictions across the past two snow seasons, severely limiting attendance and forcing some closures.
The perfect conditions will continue over the next week, with more snowfall predicted.
At Perisher and Thredbo, more snow is forecast for Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Mt Buller and Mt Hotham are forecast for snowfall every day from Tuesday to Sunday.
It’s Christopher Knaus here, taking over the blog for the next half an hour.
Good news out of the Illawarra. Emergency services have declared the fire at the Yallah substation, near Dapto, to be contained.
Fire and Rescue NSW said the fire was caused by a “mechanical failure of a redundant transformer”.
Approximately 100,000 litres of oil was involved in the incident, which has since been confined to a bunded area, and poses no threat to the environment.
Specialist hazardous materials firefighters remain on scene monitoring the smoke plume and the temperature of the impacted transformer and oil tanks.
The fire has significantly reduced in intensity. However, it is anticipated it will burn for a number of days. Although there is minimal smoke in the area, residents are encouraged to monitor the situation and stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed as required.
Shellharbour airport has also resumed normal operations.
FRNSW continues to work with Transgrid and the NSW Environment Protection Authority to monitor the situation to ensure the safety of residents and the environment.
Earlier this morning, opposition treasury spokesman Angus Taylor insisted the Morrison government “managed the energy crisis” just before the election, and blamed Labor for it.
Taylor was on Sky News, and said Labor needed to get more supply into the market, but couldn’t actually say how they should do that.
We had managed this in the lead-up to the election successfully. We had managed it successfully. And we showed how you do that, which is to focus on supply and don’t demonise traditional sources of fuel.
Taylor also echoed his leader, who earlier would not say if they would support Labor’s effort to legislate its 43% mid-term emissions target.
We’ve always been very clear: we don’t commit to a target unless we know how we’re going to do it, and how we’re going to do it without raising the cost.
The NSW government has announced a $780.4m shared-equity scheme for housing that targets frontline workers.
The program, which is near identical to the policy the Albanese government took to the election (and was mocked for by the then PM), could see the state government contribute up to 40% of equity for a new home or 30% for an existing home.
Frontline workers such as teachers, nurses and police officers, and single parents and single people over 50 would be eligible for the scheme.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the scheme would run as a two-year trial and work alongside the federal government’s program:
We want to make sure that people right across NSW have that opportunity because we know home ownership is crucial to growing wealth.
The program intends to help with the purchase of 3,000 homes a year, but Perrottet said that could be expanded. People will need to earn $90,000 individually or have a combined income of $120,000 to be eligible.
The program will also cover homes worth $950,000 in metropolitan areas and $600,000 in regional areas, a figure treasurer Matt Kean says is about what 60% of properties are worth.
The Victorian government have announced a multimillion-dollar expansion of the Royal Children’s hospital in Melbourne.
At a press conference earlier this morning, health minister Martin Foley announced the expansion, which will include an enlarged emergency department and a new 30-bed inpatient unit.
The nearly $50m investment from the Andrews government is intended to expand the hospital’s capacity, which is already experiencing more than 300 presentations a day.
Foley said the investment was to ensure children and parents can rely on the hospital in emergencies.
A bigger and better Royal Children’s hospital will ensure Victorian kids continue to receive the world-class healthcare they deserve when they get sick or an emergency strikes
Earlier this morning, employment minister Tony Burke said inflation was not rising due to wage growth, instead pinning the issue on the previous government’s “neglect”.
Burke was on Sky News and was asked about the Fair Work Commission’s decision to raise the minimum wage, and whether that might contribute to an inflation spiral:
Inflation is not being driven by high wage growth.
We don’t have high wage growth. The wage price index has been running at 2.4[%] at the same time that inflation was coming in at 5.1[%].
I want to get wages moving and enterprise bargaining has been the best way of doing that hand-in-hand with productivity.
Wage stagnation happened when we were told we couldn’t have wage improvements because inflation was low. Now some people are arguing we can’t have wage improvements because inflation is high.
Burke was also asked if pensions and jobseeker payments will be raised in line with inflation, to which he responded by saying they will be assessed in the October budget.
We said during the campaign all of those benefit payments get reassessed for what’s affordable every budget.
The AAP is reporting that the Liberal National party has retained the Queensland state seat of Callide in a byelection.
Bryson Head was voted in on Saturday after former LNP member Colin Boyce vacated the seat to run for federal politics.
Head will be the youngest member sitting in the Queensland parliament.
“He’s young, he’s hungry and he’s ready to advocate for a better future for his area,” Queensland LNP leader David Crisafulli said in a statement.
The big two-party-preferred swing towards the LNP shows the importance of choosing strong local candidates who are focused on issues that matter to Queenslanders.
The seat of Callide covers some 74,000 sq km from central Queensland to the Western Downs, north-west of Brisbane.
Head comfortably defeated Labor’s Bronwyn Dendle, securing 50.83% of first-preference votes, according to initial results from the Queensland Electoral Commission.
The federal minister for social services Amanda Rishworth has today announced the government will provide $7.8m to Western Australia for disability employment provider Activ Foundation.
The funding is intended to keep large-scale industrial work sites open for another 18 months to better support the transition of employees into new placements.
It comes after an announcement in May that Activ Foundation intended to close its large-scale industrial work sites, where more than 750 supported employees with disability currently work.
Rishworth said she was concerned the timeframes initially announced by Activ didn’t provide people with enough time to move into other employment:
Many of the supported employees have been with Activ for decades and this announcement came as a significant shock to them. We need to put these employees first and make sure they receive the support they need to manage this significant transition in their lives
This funding will slow the closure of the work sites, from a few weeks to 18 months. During this time, all of the 756 employees may continue working with Activ in their roles, if they wish to do so, meaning they have a guarantee of continuing employment in the immediate future.
The McGowan government will also provide a funding pool of $4m to support Western Australian-based Australian Disability Enterprises through the transition period.
The grants will help the organisations build contemporary service models and associated workforce capability.
Pushed on whether he continues to think an Indigenous voice to parliament was a “third chamber”, something Barnaby Joyce echoed at the time, and has since retracted, Dutton again dodges the question:
I don’t see what the government is proposing, and during the course of the campaign I’m happy to support anything that supports reconciliation that does it in a sensible way, but I don’t – as Linda Burney herself has pointed out, she is having discussions with Anthony Albanese to decide what it is they are putting forward.
I think we are 20 step ahead of what the opposition and other parties will do until the government itself knows what it is doing.
Just wanting to note that most of his answer is about Labor, and not his own position.
Next, Dutton was pressed on his position on an Indigenous voice to parliament, to which he gave an answer laced with references to “practical outcomes” and domestic violence.
While refusing to provide clarity on his own position, Dutton alleges that the government is not clear on what it wants to do and that we are “20 steps ahead”:
I made very clear this the one is that the government itself doesn’t have the detail yet and so we want to see that detail and there are lots of questions that will come from that.
I don’t think the public has any understanding yet of what the government is proposing. So let’s see all of that detail and we are not going to make a decision until we see it, which is a reasonable position. But the action I want to see now, which is not a reflection of failure on the Morrison government or Gillard government or Howard government, it is a collective failure of all of us.
I want to see practical outcomes, the closing of the gap, a massive reduction in the violence against women and children, particularly the sexual violence against children in Aboriginal communities.
I don’t want to see little kids in Indigenous communities in our country in year 2022 locking themselves in shipping containers to get through the night to save themselves from being sexually assaulted, and that is what is happening. I want to see that practical effort … I know that Anthony Albanese has outlined his four priorities so far. It doesn’t include this priority and I encourage him to put it to the top of the list.
It should be noted that these are general, non-specific and sensational allegations, and our reporting of Dutton’s comments should not be taken as any more than an attempt to accurately reflect his remarks.
There is a long history on both sides of politics of weaponising allegations of child sexual assault against Aboriginal communities.