That's it for today, thanks for reading

Here are the main stories on 31 May:

We will see you all again tomorrow.

The Australian Medical Association president, Dr Omar Khorshid, has welcomed the appointment of Mark Butler as health minister and called for upcoming discussions on healthcare to address the “growing crisis in Australia’s hospital system”.

In a statement, Khorshid said Butler had invaluable experience as a former minister for ageing and Australia’s first minister for mental health in the Gillard government, as well as in the role of opposition health spokesman. But he urged him to “grasp this opportunity to start a new relationship with the states and territories on reforming the health system”.

Khorshid said:

While we need a long-term funding solution, we also need practical, short-to-medium-term solutions that can be implemented soon and don’t have any unintended consequences, including extending the short-term 50/50 hospital funding that’s due to expire in September.

Covid is not over. We need to work on way to make our society and health system more resilient to endemic Covid in order to avoid unnecessary deaths and the huge disruptions to our hospital system. This winter, we need to make sure people with respiratory illnesses are getting the care they need in the right settings.


Just on Albanese’s comments earlier about his cabinet containing more women than any other in history: he has 10 women in the 22 cabinet positions, and 13 in total in the ministry of 29.

Worth noting that climate change is not part of the environment portfolio held by Tanya Plibersek, who also has responsibility for water. Chris Bowen is minister for climate change and energy.

Albanese unveils ministry

  • Richard Marles (Deputy prime minister, minister for defence)
  • Penny Wong (Minister for foreign affairs)
  • Jim Chalmers (Treasurer)
  • Katy Gallagher (Minister for finance, minister for the public service, minister for women)
  • Don Farrell (Minister for trade and tourism, special minister of state)
  • Tony Burke (Minister for employment and workplace relations, minister for the arts)
  • Mark Butler (Minister for health and aged care)
  • Chris Bowen (Minister for climate change and energy)
  • Tanya Plibersek (Minister for the environment and water)
  • Catherine King (Minister for infrastructure, transport, regional development and local government)
  • Linda Burney (Minister for Indigenous Australians)
  • Amanda Rishworth (Minister for social services)
  • Bill Shorten (Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Minister for government services)
  • Mark Dreyfus (Attorney general)
  • Brendan O’Connor (Minister for skills and training)
  • Jason Clare (Minister for education)
  • Julie Collins (Minister for housing, minister for homelessness, minister for small business)
  • Michelle Rowland (Minister for communications)
  • Madeleine King (Minister for resources, minister for Northern Australia)
  • Murray Watt (Minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry, minister for emergency management)
  • Ed Husic (Minister for industry and science)
  • Clare O’Neil (Minister for home affairs, Minister for cyber security)


  • Matt Keogh (Minister for veterans’ affairs, minister for defence personnel)
  • Pat Conroy (Minister for defence industry, Minister for international development and the Pacific)
  • Stephen Jones (Assistant treasurer, minister for financial services)
  • Andrew Giles (Minister for immigration, citizenship and multicultural affairs)
  • Anne Aly (Minister for early childhood education, Minister for youth)
  • Anika Wells (Minister for aged care, minister for sport)
  • Kristy McBain (Minister for regional development, local government and territories)


  • Justine Elliot (Assistant minister for social services, assistant minister for the prevention of family violence)
  • Matt Thistlethwaite (Assistant minister for defence, assistant minister for veterans’ affairs, assistant minister for the republic)
  • Andrew Leigh (Assistant minister for competition, charities and treasury)
  • Patrick Gorman (Assistant minister to the prime minister)
  • Jenny McAllister (Assistant minister for climate change and energy)
  • Carol Brown (Assistant minister for infrastructure and transport)
  • Ged Kearney (Assistant minister for health and aged care)
  • Emma McBride (Assistant minister for mental health, assistant minister for rural and regional health)
  • Malarndirri McCarthy (Assistant minister for Indigenous Australians, Assistant minister for Indigenous health)
  • Tim Ayres (Assistant minister for trade, assistant minister for manufacturing)
  • Anthony Chisholm (Assistant minister for education, assistant minister for regional development)
  • Tim Watts (Assistant minister for foreign affairs)


OK, we have a full ministry list:

the full Albanese ministry and portfolio list

also in the PM's announcement was Patrick Dodson, named as a special envoy for reconciliation and the implementation of the Uluru statement from the heart

— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) May 31, 2022


Anthony Albanese has declined to offer a public update on any representations he might be making to the US about the case against the Wikileaks cofounder, Julian Assange. The prime minister gave a response that indicated any discussions would be conducted behind closed doors.

Albanese has previously expressed concern about the case against Assange for disclosures related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, saying in December 2021 he did “not see what purpose is served by the ongoing pursuit of Mr Assange” and that “enough is enough”.

Penny Wong, who is now minister for foreign affairs, told the National Press Club on 13 May:

I think whatever the views people have about Mr Assange’s behaviour, I think the case – it is clear that this has dragged on a long time. And certainly, we would encourage, were we elected, the US government to bring this matter to a close. But ultimately, that is a matter for the administration.

Guardian Australia asked whether Albanese’s position, as prime minister, was that the US should be encouraged to drop charges against Assange and whether he had made any representations to that effect. The prime minister replied with a single-sentence response:

My position is that not all foreign affairs is best done with the loudhailer.


A few people have pointed out that the Billy Bragg reference Albanese made was to the song “to have and to have not”, and specifically to the lyric: “just because you’re going forwards, doesn’t mean I’m going backwards”. Which makes a little more sense than what I’d heard earlier.

OK, here’s a bit of a cobbled together list for now, in no particular order:

  • Penny Wong, foreign affairs
  • Jim Chalmers, treasurer
  • Katy Gallagher, finance and women
  • Tanya Plibersek, environment and water
  • Chris Bowen, climate change
  • Jason Clare, education
  • Richard Marles, defence
  • Don Farrell, trade and special minister of state
  • Clare O’Neil, home affairs
  • Amanda Rishworth, social services
  • Bill Shorten, NDIS and government services
  • Julie Collins, housing
  • Anne Aly, childhood education and youth
  • Brendan O’Connor, skills and training
  • Murray Watt, agriculture
  • Ed Husic, science


Albanese says the fact Labor lost two cabinet ministers (Keneally, Terri Butler) was the reason for more substantial reshuffle.

Says Plibersek was "very happy to take up environment" (though doesn't say it was her choice).

— Paul Karp (@Paul_Karp) May 31, 2022

That’s it from Albanese, we will bring you that ministry in full when we have it to hand.

Anthony Albanese leaves after announcing his ministry in the blue room of Parliament House, Canberra this evening.
Anthony Albanese leaves after announcing his ministry in the blue room of Parliament House, Canberra this evening. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian


What was the thinking behind Plibersek’s swap from education to environment, Albanese is asked. He says Plibersek has a long-term interest in the environment, and having lost the shadow minister, Terri Butler, he needed a replacement. He says Plibersek knows how to get things done, and will have a focus on the Murray-Darling Basin plan.


Albanese is asked specifically about Kristy McBain, and why she has been included in the ministry ahead of seemingly more experienced candidates.

He says he personally approached her to run for Eden-Monaro, and he then, somewhat confusingly, quotes a Billy Bragg song “one step forward, two steps back”.

I’ve covered every transition/change of government at the federal level since 1996. This one is certainly running at a clip.

Earlier today, Anthony Albanese (who scampered to Tokyo shortly after last Saturday’s election and will scamper to Jakarta this weekend) urged his colleagues not to waste a moment of being in government. Now, following an afternoon of calls to colleagues, the prime minister has unveiled his first cabinet and ministry.

It’s late in the day for a major announcement but it needed to be done, given the governor general is expecting Albanese and his colleagues at 9.30am tomorrow for a swearing in ceremony.

In broad terms the line-up is largely what we expected – Richard Marles gets defence, which was long mooted. Penny Wong of course foreign affairs, Jim Chalmers, Treasury. Bill Shorten gets the NDIS.

A few surprises here though – Tanya Plibersek getting the environment portfolio – I’d assumed she’d get education. Also Clare O’Neil, the Victorian rightwinger gets home affairs. She’s super smart, so this is a big opportunity for her. The South Australian rightwinger Don Farrell will be deputy Senate leader and gets trade, tourism and special minister of state. Another SA rightwinger, Amanda Rishworth, gets social services, which is a huge portfolio.

The former shadow defence minister Brendan O’Connor will get skills and training (I thought it was possible he’d get home affairs). The Queenslander Murray Watt also gets a promotion to cabinet with agriculture.


Albanese says it’s a “difficult day” for those who haven’t been included, and is specifically asked about Shayne Neumann, who he described as an outstanding shadow minister.

“We have a rule of affirmative action and that meant that some people who were there ... were impacted by that.”


Albanese says his cabinet has more women than any other in history

But he says he wants to work towards 50-50 representation more broadly.

The ministry will be sworn in tomorrow, and key committee meetings will be held Thursday, as Albanese says the government is hitting the ground running.


“We have an overflow of talent on our side of the parliament,” Albanese says.

Albanese Labor ministry announce:
- Marles: defence
- Farrell: trade, deputy senate leader
- Gallagher: minister for women
- Plibersek: environment, water
- O’Neil: home affairs
- Rishworth: social services
- Shorten: NDIS, Govt services
- Clare: education
- Collins: housing

— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) May 31, 2022

OK, there’s a lot here as expected but a few portfolios jumping out:

Clare O’Neil will be home affairs minister (Brendan O’Connor had been mentioned but he’s skills and training), Richard Marles is minister for defence, Anne Aly minister for child education and youth, and Tanya Plibersek is minister for environment and water.

Labor member for Hotham, Clare O’Neil, has been named home affairs minister.
Labor member for Hotham, Clare O’Neil, has been named home affairs minister. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


Anthony Albanese is speaking in Canberra

He will announce his ministry shortly.

Journalists covering the Chinese foreign minister’s tour of the Pacific say they have been blocked from filming or accessing events, and that not a single question from a Pacific journalist has been allowed to be asked of Wang Yi.

The allegations raise serious press freedom concerns and alarm about the ability of Pacific journalists to do their jobs, particularly as the relationship between the region and China becomes closer.

Wang is midway through a marathon trip visiting eight countries in 10 days. He has held bilateral meetings in Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa and Fiji to date, with trips to Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste to come.

Full story here:

We’re still standing by for the announcement of prime minister Anthony Albanese’s ministry.

Final seat decided

Guardian Australia electoral analyst Ben Raue is also projecting Gilmore for Labor. We now have all seats decided in the 2022 federal election.

The final totals: Labor 77, Coalition 58, Greens/Independents 16.


We reported earlier that Labor had claimed Gilmore, and now the ABC has also given that seat to Labor. It is the final seat in the parliament.

77 🗳️@abcnews projects Labor's Fiona Phillips will retain Gilmore 🎣

That's every House of Representatives seat now settled 🏠

— Jamie Travers (@JamieTravers) May 31, 2022

Albanese was pretty proud of the diversity in the caucus earlier today. Let’s see how diverse the ministry is when it’s announced in the next few minutes.

Proud to lead an inclusive government that is as diverse as Australia itself. Welcome to all these new Labor members.

— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) May 31, 2022

We’re expecting prime minister Anthony Albanese to unveil his ministry about 5.40pm.

Morrison may leave parliament early like Rudd, Gillard: Dutton

We mentioned earlier today that opposition leader Peter Dutton had flagged that former prime minister Scott Morrison may not see out the full term as the member for Cook.

AAP has filed a little more on an interview Dutton gave later where he fleshed out those comments:

Former prime minister Scott Morrison won’t be on Peter Dutton’s list when the new opposition leader finalises his shadow ministry.

Dutton is putting the finishing touches to his coalition frontbench in the wake of taking over the Liberal leadership unopposed. The former defence minister said Morrison, whose government was defeated at the 21 May election, had not sought a shadow ministry role.

Dutton also hinted his predecessor could leave parliament during the term, triggering a byelection in the NSW seat of Cook.

“The reality is, as we saw with Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and others right since federation, that you would expect to see a byelection at some stage,” Dutton told Sky News.

“But that’s an issue for Scott to work on and I’ll have those conversations with him at the appropriate time.”

Peter Dutton
Peter Dutton arriving for a press conference on Monday 30 May. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Dutton said the party honoured Morrison’s service.

A large chunk of the Liberal seats lost came at the hands of inner-city independents, while the party also lost ground to the Greens in Brisbane.

Dutton said the party did not need to swing too far towards progressive politics to win back those constituencies at the next election.

“The Liberal party is not the conservative party, it’s not the moderate party, it’s not the conservative moderate party – it’s the Liberal party,” he told the ABC.

“We’re a party that will stand up for our country on many issues, including national security, including the economy, including sensible climate change policy.”

Analysis shows that while 200,000 Australians shifted towards “teal” candidates, 700,000 abandoned the Liberals in favour of minor right-wing parties, Dutton said.

“Frankly, there was a ‘pox on both your houses’ in this election,” he said.

“When you look at many of the seats where Labor’s primary vote went backwards, they lost a seat to the Greens here in Queensland.

“So plenty of lessons to learn. We’ve got to have significant policies and we’ll have that in the run-up to the election in 2025.”


Choice: ‘the law is insufficient for these types of major data breaches’

Further to our post from earlier about NDIS user data being compromised, Choice’s consumer data advocate Kate Bower, told Guardian Australia that the company involved, CTARS, had done everything required under the law, but it was too little too late for people whose data may have been compromised. She said:

I think what this highlights is how the law is insufficient for these types of major data breaches. Particularly where it’s such a large amount of data, but also the type of data that has been breached is at high risk of identity theft and cyber crime.

Bower said the law should be updated, potentially through the review of the Privacy Act, to force businesses to pay compensation to people affected by data breaches.

I think if we were able to see ... either through law reform or through the Privacy Act review, [a system] that ensured that consumers have some kind of ... compensation available to them from these data breaches, that would be a very big incentive for companies to do the absolute most to ensure that this doesn’t happen in the first place, but also so they act swiftly and in consumers’ best interests.


The Liberals will retain Deakin, according to ABC projections. The incumbent Michael Sukkar had been battling to hold out Labor candidate Matt Gregg.

The ABC projects the Liberals win Deakin

— casey briggs (@CaseyBriggs) May 31, 2022

NDIS user data compromised, posted on deep web

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) user data including sensitive medical information has been compromised in a hack of a client management system used by providers, with some personal data found posted to the deep web.

CTARS, which provides a cloud-based client management system for NDIS providers, announced on its website that it had become aware on 15 May that an “unauthorised third party” had gained access to its systems, and the third party had claimed it had taken “a large volume” of data.

A sample of the data was later posted to a deep web forum, the company said, but it could not confirm what data had been taken. It said:

Due to the very large volume of information held by CTARS and the very lengthy time it would take to review in detail, we are unable to confirm exactly what personal information of yours was affected by the incident.

The cloud services provider is treating any information held in its database as being compromised, including health information such as details of diagnoses, treatment, or recovery of a medical condition or disability. Medicare and tax file number information may also have been compromised, CTARS said.

A spokesperson for the company refused to say how many of the company’s clients or their NDIS users were affected by the breach “in the interests of the privacy of our customers’ clients and staff”. They also refused to explain what sort of attack the company had been hit with “due to sensitivities and security concerns.”

CTARS said NDIS participants will be notified by their NDIS or out-of-home-care provider if their information has been compromised. CTARS has offered support in the form of IDCARE and other credit protection services for people who need to prevent identity theft as a result of the breach.

A spokesperson for the National Disability Insurance Agency said the breach was not of NDIA’s own systems. They said:

Business decisions, including the use of software and data storage, are a matter for individual organisations.

NDIS participants can be assured that the NDIA takes the protection of participant data and information security extremely seriously.

Since being made aware of the breach, the agency has been in contact with CTARS.

CTARS reported the attack to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and the Australian Cyber Security Centre.


Humans undertaking biggest transformation since taming fire: Finkel

AAP has filed this report:

Former chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel has said that to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the impact of global warming, human civilisation was undertaking the biggest transformation of energy systems since the taming of fire.

“So substantial that in the naming traditions of the stone age, the iron age, the bronze age, and the industrial age, it could be argued that we are entering the electric age,” Finkel told the Australian Hydrogen Council in Adelaide today.

“We need to use all the tools available to us to deploy renewable energy as quickly as possible.

“The key to bringing net zero [emissions] within reach will be to electrify everything.”

Finkel conceded that electricity would not be ideal in some circumstances, highlighting the need for hydrogen and other products.

But he said the urgency of the situation was underscored by the Russian invasion of Ukraine which had thrust energy security into the spotlight.

“Australia can and should play a key role as a reliable and trusted partner in exporting energy at scale, in the form of hydrogen and its derivatives, to our friends and neighbours around the world,” he said.

“Australian governments and industry are taking decisive action to make this happen.

“This will bolster our partners’ energy security and help them on the path to net-zero.”

Fairly hectic hail on the Vic-NSW border:

Minutes ago in #Albury 🌧️ @bordermail

— Mark Jesser (@MarkJesser) May 31, 2022

Lismore MP slams agency’s flood response

AAP report that the NSW agency tasked with preparation and response for natural disasters was missing in action following disastrous flooding in the state’s north, an inquiry has been told:

Janelle Saffin, the Labor MP for Lismore, told an inquiry hearing Resilience NSW were “simply not there”.

“They were missing in action and they never made their presence known,” she said.

The hearing is being held on Tuesday in Lismore, the northern NSW town hardest hit by disastrous flooding from relentless rain in February and March.

Saffin said the agency hindered instead of helping the disaster response and the role or existence of the agency needed to be reevaluated. The agency was unprepared to respond and struggled to coordinate evacuation and recovery centres, some of which had no staff when residents arrived seeking help, she said.

submerged car in Lismore
A submerged car in Lismore following flooding in March earlier this year. Photograph: David Maurice Smith/The Guardian

Steve Krieg, the mayor of Lismore, told the hearing Resilience NSW struggled with the concept that an evacuation centre would be a 24/7 operation.

Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus was transformed into an evacuation centre following the floods, housing up to 1,200 residents on campus at its peak. Schools, government agencies and charities had also been based there.

Vice-chancellor Tyrone Carlin told the hearing the university has been asked to help in previous disasters, but the 2022 floods had prompted a review of how it could do it better in the future.

Without mentioning Resilience NSW directly, he said there was a lack of leadership and coordination of various state agencies in the flood response, which is the agency’s role.

Chris Gulaptis, the Nationals MP for Clarence, told the hearing communities and government agencies were caught off guard by the scale of the flooding, which contributed to shortfalls in the response.

He said the Bureau of Meteorology’s systems should be reviewed.


Energy prices ‘apocalyptic’, industry group says

AiGroup is describing the run-up in energy prices as “apocalyptic”, which should be of concern.

Innes Willox, AiGroup’s chief executive, said:

The extraordinary price rises, including a 50-fold spike in wholesale gas prices in Victoria, have seen market price caps imposed in some of our largest local energy markets.

Coal outages and rising energy prices globally are the main factors. (Note to certain news outlets: the cost of solar and wind energy has not changed, and remains virtually zero.)

Willox said:

With Europe announcing further steps today to wean itself from Russian energy, we can expect international factors to sustain high energy price pressures for years to come – especially in natural gas.

The price pain is already intense for those businesses who’ve found themselves suddenly needing new energy contracts amid local and global turmoil.

Households will feel the punch from higher default electricity prices from July, and more pain is coming for all.

Meanwhile, energy retailer ReAmped Energy, has become the latest electricity retailer to throw in the towel. It has told its 70,000-plus customers across the eastern mainland states that they are better off getting their power from another retailer because those who don’t move their accounts can expect a doubling of their bills.

Here’s the story:

You can say it’s “extraordinary” but it might well become a common suggestion to customers from smaller retailers in the next little while. Yes, some may be hedged, but that’s not free and those contracts are often short-run, or so ReAmped tells us.

More pain, indeed, may be coming.


Investigation continues into Guide Dogs boss despite resignation

AAP have filed this update on the news we brought you earlier:

Guide Dogs Victoria’s CEO, Karen Hayes, has resigned, but an investigation continues into her endorsement of former treasurer Josh Frydenberg for re-election.

Hayes was featured in a flyer and a promotional video on social media backing Frydenberg as the member for Kooyong ahead of the May 21 federal poll.

The charity’s board confirmed it had not approved the material and requested its immediate removal while launching an internal investigation.

Karen Hayes on a flyer for Josh Frydenberg
An election flyer distributed by the office of then federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg featuring Guide Dogs Victoria CEO Karen Hayes. Photograph: Liberal party

Hayes stood down on April 26 and on Tuesday, Guide Dogs Victoria announced it had accepted her resignation.

The flyer and video were authorised by Mr Frydenberg’s Hawthorn East office, in compliance with electoral laws.

However, charity groups are bound by regulations enforced by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and can be stripped of their status if unable or unwilling to rectify serious breaches.

Hayes also appeared in a similar promotional video for Frydenberg before the 2019 federal election.

The then-Morrison government gave Guide Dogs Victoria $2.5m the following year to upgrade its facilities.

Guide Dogs Victoria’s chair, Iain Edwards, said Ms Hayes had made an incredible contribution, most notably on a redevelopment program to meet future needs.

The independent investigation is ongoing, he said.
Hayes described her resignation as a “difficult decision” but did not reference her reasons for leaving in a statement.

“I am overjoyed at what we’ve achieved, and will watch from the sidelines with enthusiasm and support to see the program through to finalisation,” she said.


Sam Lim: Gough Whitlam is my hero

The new Labor MP for Tangney in Western Australia, Sam Lim, is making an early charge for the title of happiest politician in Parliament House. The Malaysian-born man won headlines for knocking off Scott Morrison’s consigliere, Ben Morton, then more as people discovered his CV included time as a dolphin trainer.

But in a series of interviews across the media in recent days, Lim appears to be genuinely stoked to be here, and has been sharing some of the more profound musings on politics, life and the future that we’ve heard in Canberra in some time.

Sam Lim shaking hands with Anthony Albanese
Sam Lim prepares to sign the caucus register with prime minister Anthony Albanese at the first meeting of the Labor caucus in Parliament House. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

He gave an interview on Sky News today, and upon walking back out into the Parliament House press gallery, was greeted by half a dozen journalists who just wanted to hear his story. It turned into an impromptu doorstop interview, as he waxed lyrical on his time as a policeman in Malaysia and rural Western Australia, growing up in a house with dirt floors and studying homework by kerosene lamp, and the surprising emotional toll of dolphin training.

He said Gough Whitlam was his hero, adding:

He was the prime minister who removed the white [Australia] policy and because of that, we are a multicultural community... [Whitlam] is like a God to me, he introduced multiculturalism. That’s why we are so multicultural in Australia.

Without him doing that big step, none of us will be here happily taking this place.

Lim’s CV says he speaks 10 languages. He explained that he spoke Chinese, Mandarin, Malay, Indonesian and English – plus a number of regional dialects of those.

He said Morton, the former Tangney MP, called him on Monday to share congratulations. Lim said he wanted to collaborate with Morton on some things:

I said ‘you’ve got six years of experience running Tangney, and I wish I could learn from you, so can we meet up and talk?’... I wish I could catch up and learn something from him, he’s very experienced in politics, much more than me.

Lim said dolphins can “feel you”, adding that he didn’t communicate with the mammals with words – instead, with whistles, and feelings.

If you are very happy, you jump into the pool and they come and play with you. If you are very sad, they’ll come and rub you and give you affection.

If you jump in with anger, none of them come close to you.

We expect to be hearing a lot more from Sam Lim in the next three years.


Dutton 'just a different kind of bulldozer': Chalmers

The treasurer, Jim Chalmers, says the Labor government wants to work collaboratively across the parliament but intends to implement the climate policy it took to the election.

Chalmers told Sky News the government wanted to work with anybody across the parliament who shared the objective of increasing the uptake of cleaner, cheaper energy.

Labor’s medium-term target is a 43% cut in emissions by 2030, against 2005 levels – compared with the former government’s formal target of a 26% to 28% reduction.

Chalmers said if the new opposition leader, Peter Dutton, borrowed from the Scott Morrison or Tony Abbott “playbook” on emissions reduction, it would show the Coalition had “learned absolutely nothing” from the election results.

Here’s what he said about the prospect of the Coalition respecting Labor’s electoral mandate:

I hope so, but to be blunt about it, I think Peter Dutton is just a different kind of bulldozer. He’s a different bulldozer with a different coat of paint.

(That’s a reference to Morrison’s election-eve confession/line that the then prime minister could be “a bit of a bulldozer”.)

Jim Chalmers with Anthony Albanese
Treasurer Jim Chalmers with Anthony Albanese as Labor prepares to receive a treasury briefing in the cabinet room of Parliament House. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Chalmers said Labor wanted to work with the whole community, including different parts of the parliament.

He said an obstructive approach by the Coalition would be “bad for the country.”

Chalmers said the prime minister, Anthony Albanese “had indicated that “this is Australia’s opportunity to come together around these big challenges”.

Chalmers added:

It would be a shame to waste this opportunity.

Meanwhile, Chalmers said the mood in the Labor caucus room this morning was “buoyant”.


It’s snowing in central Victoria, apparently. Trentham is about 90km north of Melbourne.

Snowing in Trentham 🙂

— Peter Wicks (@madwixxy) May 31, 2022

Chalmers looks to 'trim' spending

The treasurer, Jim Chalmers, has warned that there are “no shortage of economic challenges” and suggests the new government will look to “trim” spending in the October budget.

Chalmers is due to give an economic statement when parliament sits in July. He told Sky News that would be an opportunity to speak “bluntly” and not “tiptoe around” the big economic challenges the nation faced. He said he would use the statement to give Australians “our sense of expectations for the economy”.

Chalmers said he would then deliver a budget in the second half of October. He said Labor would deliver its election promises, but added a word of caution:

We’ll implement our commitments but people should expect there will be more trimming of spending, the spending that we inherited.

He said the new government’s priority was to focus spending on “more productive investments”, and it had not been contemplating a budget repair levy.


Man accused of Victorian camper murders in court

The case has been delayed, AAP reports:

The case of an airline pilot accused of murdering the Melbourne campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay has been delayed so prosecutors can continue to build their case.

Gregory Stuart Lynn, 55, remained quiet as he faced Sale magistrates court via videolink on Tuesday afternoon.

Lynn is accused of killing Hill and Clay at a remote Wonnangatta campsite in the Victorian alpine region in March 2020.

Lynn was arrested late last year following a long-running police investigation into the case, and detectives found the bodies of Hill and Clay in remote bushland outside Dargo, Victoria in February.

Prosecutor Angela Liantzakis on Tuesday requested a long adjournment so the prosecution could obtain more transcripts and other material.

Lynn’s lawyer, Chris McLennan, also sought an adjournment so Lynn could review a hard copy version of the brief in prison.

Lynn will remain behind bars until the case returns to court on 23 August.


NSW SES issues wind warning

Be alert and prepared, the NSW SES is warning, as violent winds cut through the state. It has had almost 1,000 calls for assistance in the past 24 hours.

It says in a statement:

New South Wales State Emergency Service (NSW SES) is warning the community to be alert and prepared, as damaging winds at speeds of more than 90km/hour continue to lash the state, off the back of a cold front which first hit NSW yesterday (Monday 30 May 2022).

With severe winds expected to continue throughout the afternoon and into the evening, people are being urged to take preventative measures to ensure the safety of themselves and their property.

Over the past 24 hours, the NSW SES has responded to just under 10,00 (956) requests for assistance. Of these requests, over 700 included trees falling on homes, powerlines and roads.

The worst hit areas overnight were Newcastle, Maitland, Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, and Armidale. Damaging winds have been forecast to hit the Sydney metropolitan area this afternoon and continue into this evening.

Thunderstorms are possible later in the day across south-eastern parts of the state and power outages are still occurring in some storm-affected areas.

The NSW SES deputy commissioner, Daniel Austin, is encouraging members of the community to proceed with caution while outdoors.

“Recent rainfall has saturated the ground, increasing the risk of trees and branches falling in the wind,” said Austin.

“Reconsider whether it’s necessary for you to be on the roads, and if it is, drive to the conditions. Consider that powerlines may be tangled in fallen trees. If you’re at home, secure any outdoor furniture and avoid parking your vehicle under trees.”

“Our volunteers are trained and ready to assist the community, but we are urging you to not put yourself and our volunteers at risk. Communities have already been impacted by extreme weather conditions this year and we thank you for your efforts to be prepared for storms and floods,” he said.

⚠️Severe Weather Warning⚠️ for DAMAGING WINDS

To read more and view all current weather warnings, visit @BOM_NSW

Take the time now to secure or store items that could blow around in strong winds. LM:

— NSW SES (@NSWSES) May 30, 2022


Updates from Can-brrrrrrr.

The perks of living in Canberra include snow hunting before work. This morning I was up 1,412m at the summit of Mount Corree. Snow was falling about 1,200m. ❄️🌨️

— Tahlia Roy (@TahliaRoy) May 31, 2022

In which the Australian Electoral Commission suggests some people used telephone voting because of Covid asked the operator who filled out their ballot to draw a penis on it:

People legitimately asked to do this...

— AEC ✏️ (@AusElectoralCom) May 31, 2022

Guide Dogs Victoria CEO Karen Hayes resigns

Nine newspapers are reporting that Karen Hayes, the chief executive of Guide Dogs Victoria who appeared in promotional material for Josh Frydenberg during the election, has resigned.

Guide Dogs Victoria CEO Karen Hayes has resigned. She stood aside temporarily during the election after appearing in flyers promoting Josh Frydenberg.

— James Massola (@jamesmassola) May 31, 2022


Queensland earthquake
An earthquake has reportedly been felt in south-east Queensland.

Just in: Mag 3.0 earthquake has been felt across south-east Queensland after striking in the Dayboro area, north west of Brisbane.

— Josh Bavas (@JoshBavas) May 31, 2022


The independent member for Kooyong, Dr Monique Ryan, has shared this quite lovely note from a volunteer on her campaign:

The Liberal Party remains convinced that the Independent movement is of the petulant, entitled, wealthy and middle-aged.

Letters like this from one of our vollies tell the real story- one of generosity, dedication, and active hope. From people of all ages. #Mon4Kooyong #auspol

— Dr Monique Ryan (@Mon4Kooyong) May 31, 2022

Remains found near busy NT highway

Police are on the scene after human remains were found, AAP report.

Human remains have been found beside a busy Northern Territory highway, where police have established a crime scene.

The remains were discovered on Tuesday morning on the Stuart Highway in Coolalinga, 30km south of Darwin, police said.

Forensic officers have been searching the nature strip and the highway is closed in both directions.


Sixth case of Legionnaire's disease linked to Sydney CBD

NSW Health has just released a statement saying that a sixth case of Legionnaire’s disease has been identified in a person who spent time in the area in the past fortnight.

The people involved independently visited locations between Elizabeth Street, Clarence Street, Park Street and Martin Place in the 10 days prior to their onset of symptoms.

The statement says:

Five cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported in a public health alert on Thursday May 26, all in people who had also spent time in the CBD area.

While no single source of the cases has been identified, and it is possible the cases are unrelated, NSW Health environmental health officers have worked with the City of Sydney to inspect and sample 124 high priority cooling towers in the area.

Additionally, owners of six towers have been directed to undertake immediate measures to rectify identified defects. Microbial sampling results are expected later this week, to determine if any of these towers are a potential source of the infection.

All six people have been identified with the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, which is often associated with contaminated cooling towers of large buildings. People can be exposed to the bacteria if contaminated water particles from the cooling system are emitted into the air and breathed in.

The six people, two women and four men ranging in age from their 40s to 70s, independently visited locations between Elizabeth Street, Clarence Street, Park Street and Martin Place in the 10 days prior to their onset of symptoms. All six people were admitted to hospital for treatment of their pneumonia, with one person now discharged.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease can develop up to 10 days from the time of exposure to contaminated water particles in the air and include fever, chills, a cough and shortness of breath and may lead to severe chest infections such as pneumonia.


National Covid-19 update

Here are the latest coronavirus case numbers from around Australia on Tuesday, as the country records at least 56 deaths from Covid-19:


  • Deaths: 1
  • Cases: 673
  • In hospital: 93 (with 4 people in ICU)


  • Deaths: 19
  • Cases: 7,342
  • In hospital: 1,185 (with 36 people in ICU)

Northern Territory

  • Deaths: 0
  • Cases: 265
  • In hospital: 15 (with 1 person in ICU)


  • Deaths: 11
  • Cases: 4,397
  • In hospital: 359 (with 4 people in ICU)

South Australia

  • Deaths: 0
  • Cases: 2,689
  • In hospital: 232 (with 6 people in ICU)


  • Deaths: 1
  • Cases: 829
  • In hospital: 48 (with 1 people in ICU)


  • Deaths: 20
  • Cases: 9,595
  • In hospital: 527 (with 31 people in ICU)

Western Australia

  • Deaths: 4
  • Cases: 8,201
  • In hospital: 318 (with 10 people in ICU)


Labor claims Gilmore: reactions from Parliament House

Labor has claimed the seat of Gilmore, with incumbent MP Fiona Phillips currently ahead by 222 votes on the official Electoral Commission count.

The Labor caucus gathered in Canberra today, for their first meeting after the election, with returning and new MPs meeting in Parliament House. A few dozen Labor caucus members had gathered at the famous Aussies Cafe for lunch and coffee, and they exploded in cheer as news of the Gilmore result filtered through.

“Hello 77!” one MP yelled as they hugged Phillips, referring to Labor’s 77th seat in government.

A lot of back-slapping and handshakes followed.


South Australia records 2,689 new Covid cases

There are 232 people in hospital, six in ICU.

South Australian COVID-19 update 31/05/22.
For more information, go to or contact the South Australia COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.

— SA Health (@SAHealth) May 31, 2022

Star not fit to hold Sydney casino licence, inquiry told

Counsel assisting says evidence heard over 36 days underlines what has gone wrong, AAP reports:

Star Entertainment’s Sydney gaming venue is not fit to hold a casino licence, with the gambling giant only at the start of its journey on remedying corporate failings, an inquiry has been told.

The NSW gaming regulator inquiry has examined claims the ASX-listed Star enabled suspected money laundering, organised crime, fraud and foreign interference at The Star Sydney as part of assessing whether the venue should retain its casino licence.

The 36-day inquiry was told the notorious gang-linked junket Suncity operated an illegal cage at the casino; that the venue flouted rules on the use of Chinese debit cards on which $900m was transacted; and that Star staff lied to banks and did not do enough in dealings with regulators.

There was evidence that Star worked covertly to stop the public hearings taking place.

“We submit that the evidence in the public hearing establishes that The Star is not suitable to hold the casino licence and that its close associate Star Entertainment is not suitable either,” counsel assisting Naomi Sharp SC said in closing submissions on Tuesday.

Sharp said Star and its Sydney casino were only at the start of their journey “about what has gone wrong within these organisations”.

“There has not yet been the period of deep reflection which of course will be necessary in order to develop a concrete plan about what ... can bring these corporations into a position of suitability,” she said.

She urged Adam Bell SC, who is helming the inquiry, to adopt the approach set out in the Finkelstein review of rival Crown Resorts that if “most norms” are infringed then a company’s “journey is at its end”.

The inquiry continues on Tuesday.


Labor claims seat of Gilmore

It means the Albanese government will have 77 MPs in the House of Representatives.

New: Labor has just called Gilmore for Fiona Phillips. 77 she shall be #auspol

— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo) May 31, 2022


Curious ... you can also read that position paper here.

China 🇨🇳 has released its position paper after yesterday's meeting with Pacific leaders. It's similar to the draft communique but no mention of free trade, joint policing and cybersecurity cooperation... it seems clear which topics were most contentious for Pacific nations.

— Marian Faa (@marianfaa) May 31, 2022


WA records four Covid deaths and 8,201 new cases

Western Australia’s premier has released today’s Covid update.

There have been 8,201 new cases detected and, sadly, four further deaths reported to WA Health.

There are 318 people being treated in hospital with the virus including 10 people in ICU.

This is our WA COVID-19 update for Tuesday, 31 May 2022.

For official information on COVID-19 in WA, visit

— Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) May 31, 2022


Tasmania records 829 Covid cases and one death

Tasmania has recorded 829 new Covid cases and one further death.

There are 48 people being treated in hospital for the virus with symptoms including one person in ICU.

Sadly another reported death

Daily stats in tablet 👇

— COVID Tasmania (@CovidTasmania) May 31, 2022


New Nationals leader David Littleproud says there will be a Coalition agreement in Opposition, the terms of which he and new Liberal leader Peter Dutton are working through now #auspol

— Jamieson Murphy (@jamiesonmurph) May 31, 2022

Thank you Caitlin Cassidy. You certainly left it all out on the field.

With that, I will pass the blog baton on to Nino Bucci, to keep the sport metaphors flowing. He will keep you company until the final siren sounds.


Canberra might be greeting its incoming MPs with snowfall. Ready your toboggans on the Parliament House hill!

❄️ The #snow line will drop to 800m tomorrow, with further falls in the mountains likely. It will be very cold in #Canberra once again, with winds, possibly damaging developing across the #ACT.

— ACT Weather Watch (@actweatherwatch) May 30, 2022


The face of a jubilant prime minister.

Pix: Labor Caucus Meeting

— AAP Photos (@aap_photos) May 31, 2022

Queensland records 4,397 Covid cases and 11 deaths

Queensland Health has released today’s Covid update.

There have been 4,397 cases reported and, sadly, 11 deaths.

There are 359 people being treated in hospital with the virus including four people in ICU.

Today we have recorded 4,397 new COVID-19 cases.

Sadly, we have reported 11 deaths in the past 24 hours.

Full details➡️

— Queensland Health (@qldhealth) May 31, 2022


NSW Icac to hold pork barrelling forum

The New South Wales independent commission against corruption (Icac) will hold a forum examining whether the practice of pork barrelling could constitute corrupt conduct under the Icac Act 1988.

The forum, to be hosted by chief commissioner Peter Hall QC, will discuss whether the practice of pork barrelling is lawful and ethical, and whether it could constitute corrupt conduct and ministerial discretionary power in relation to grant funding.

The panel will also canvass whether regulation of grant funding programs by statutory instrument is necessary to ensure, in the public interest, that public money is only expended for public purposes, and the safeguards necessary to prevent breaches of trust.

The panel will be moderated by journalist and author Kerry O’Brien and will draw from experts including Prof Anne Twomey, Joseph Campbell, Dr Simon Longstaff, NSW deputy auditor general Ian Goodwin and Prof AJ Brown.

The forum will take place on Friday, 3 June.

@nswicac will hold a forum on Friday 3 June 2022 to examine the practice of pork barrelling, including whether it is lawful and ethical, and if it could constitute corrupt conduct under the ICAC Act. The forum will be live streamed from 10am. More details

— NSW ICAC (@nswicac) May 31, 2022


Winds of up to 100 km/h are possible on Tasmania’s King Island from this evening to early tomorrow morning as wild weather lashes large parts of Australia’s east coast.

A Severe Weather Warning has been issued for the King Island district in #Tasmania. Winds may be damaging with gusts to around 100 km/h from late this evening to early Wed morning. Gusty thunderstorms are also possible.

— Bureau of Meteorology, Tasmania (@BOM_Tas) May 31, 2022


'It's been a while': emotional Albanese addresses Labor colleagues in government party room

Anthony Albanese’s first address to Labor’s caucus proved a little challenging to a few new and even veteran MPs, who milled around Parliament House’s cafe appearing a little lost as they tried to get to the government party room.

After winning the election, Labor moved from the opposition meeting room to the larger room reserved for government. Caucus chair Sharon Claydon, addressing the group of MPs, joked: “It’s our first time in this room in a very long time.”

Labor has assembled a display of photographs of not only their past leaders, but also what Claydon called a “wall of women” – pioneering female politicians including Julia Gillard, Linda Burney and Penny Wong.

Albanese was a few minutes fashionably late to the address, with Claydon vamping for time as she awaited his entrance from the prime minister’s office. “He is just seconds away,” she said after the second or third false start, to laughs from the room.

The packed room gave a standing ovation as Albanese walked in with deputy PM Richard Marles and foreign minister Wong. The PM hugged Fiona Phillips, the Gilmore MP still waiting for the final results from her knife-edge seat. Albanese and his senior ministers hugged and shook hands with the big group of new MPs, seated on the front row of the room.

“It’s been a while,” Albanese laughed, noting Labor was in the government party room for the first time in a decade. The PM said it was a privilege “we shouldn’t take for granted”, adding “I don’t intend going back” to the opposition rooms.

Albanese pledged Labor would end the climate wars and introduce legislation for a federal anti-corruption commission this year – both to big cheers.

“We need to change the way politics works in this country,” he said.

Leaning back into his favoured football metaphors about “kicking with the wind” in the “fourth quarter” of the election campaign, Albanese claimed the “umpires didn’t really go with us” – seemingly a reference to negative media coverage.

“Maybe they don’t have as much influence as they think, because we refused to go off track. We had a good story to tell,” Albanese said.

Anthony Albanese is welcomed by colleagues during the Labor party caucus.
Anthony Albanese is welcomed by colleagues during the Labor party caucus. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


Albanese tells colleagues to stay grounded but ‘enjoy the journey’

Albanese concludes his speech on a note of humility, a quality echoed in his working class upbringing.

He instructs his colleagues to “keep your feet on the ground, but enjoy the journey”, and laughs at the luck of “newbies” entering parliament at an optimum time, after Labor spent nine years in opposition.

Opposition is not fun. At all. At all. So enjoy being part of the government – a government that can make a difference, a government that will implement our policies and programs, a government that will bring people with us on the journey of change. Thank you for the incredible, incredible honour of being a Labor prime minister. It’s a big deal.

Two thumbs up: new PM Anthony Albanese acknowledges his Labor colleagues.
Two thumbs up: new PM Anthony Albanese acknowledges his Labor colleagues. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


Albanese says it was his idea to launch the election campaign in Western Australia. Perth had never been the location of a major campaign launch before this year.

I want to [thank] Paul Erickson, our magnificent campaign director ... now, this room doesn’t leak, of course, so one of the things that Paul wouldn’t mind [you] knowing of course was when I said, ‘I’ve got this idea’ – it was a about a year ago – ‘I’ve got this idea that we’re going to launch the campaign in Western Australia.’

It’s got to be said, not everyone was rapt ... but wasn’t that a good call in WA? So we have an opportunity to shape the future from this position.

We know the policies that we have in place, but I said on election night as well, the how is important. I’m serious about the how. We need to change the way that politics operates in this country. We need to be more inclusive. We need to be prepared to reach out. We need to be prepared to engage on those issues. We can do that in this parliament.


Parliament to return in last week of July

Albanese says parliament will be brought back in the last Tuesday of July. Before then, he will travel to Indonesia and return to Western Australia.

So you can plan your period between now and then ... I will travel to Indonesia, a very important relationship that we have. After I travel to Adelaide ... I’ll be in Perth later on Saturday night and on Sunday as well to say thank you to the people who gave us support this time around. My objective is to not keep this room as it is. My objective is to grow this room.

Albanese says Labor 'wasn't intimidated by anyone' during campaign

Albanese also gives a shoutout to Fiona Phillips, who is in attendance though her seat hasn’t officially been called.

Thanks to my good friend Fiona sitting up the back there quietly. Fiona ran a magnificent campaign. If she gets across the line, no one’s allowed to call her Fiona anymore. We’ll just call her 77.

Labor’s Fiona Phillips, who might get the nickname ‘77’.
Labor’s Fiona Phillips, who might get the nickname ‘77’. Photograph: Blake Sharp-Wiggins/The Guardian


Albanese promises to be a more inclusive leader

Albanese also takes aim at wedge politics, and the comments by Liberal candidate Katherine Deves targeting transgender athletes.

I’m serious about reaching out to multicultural communities, to people of faith, to ensuring that people, regardless of who they are, who they believe in or whether they don’t believe at all ... who they love, who they are, reaching out.

We saw division ... during the election campaign, whereby some very vulnerable people were singled out ... adding to their vilification. We’re a better country than that.

We shouldn’t do that. Ever. Ever. What we should do is seek to reach out and to be an inclusive society and how we conduct ourselves is very much a part of that.


Albanese says it’s “only Labor” that implements big reforms like universal healthcare and superannuation, making clear he hopes his legacy as a Labor leader will be universal childcare.

I want the economic transformation that dealing with clean energy and creating those high-value jobs powered by cheaper, cleaner energy will do – to be part of the great Australian story as well.

I want part of the Australian story to be dealing with the national security challenges that we have in our region that we’ve set about making a difference on. And I believe we can do that if we maintain the sort of discipline that we have shown over the last three years.


Albanese has a little dig at the media the coverage of the campaign:

But it was a magnificent campaign ... fair to say, to use a footy analogy, the umpires didn’t really, you know, go with us all the time. I say in front of some of those umpires here today.

But we dealt with that, and maybe they don’t have as much influence as they think.

But we refused to go off track. We had a good story to tell. We weren’t intimidated by anyone. We didn’t get distracted. We stayed on course. And the discipline that we showed was magnificent.


Anthony Albanese eyes ‘back-to-back premierships’

Albanese celebrates the successful campaign strategy and encourages his newly elected candidates to stand up and celebrate, to resounding cheers.

He says the party has its eye on “back-to-back premierships” and a long-term Labor government.

You might have noticed we got on with things pretty quickly and were sworn in quicker than any government has been in Australia’s history. But we’ll also get rid of the waste and the rorts ... and we will produce a budget in October of this year.

We showed discipline, we showed unity, we showed a sense of purpose. And I do want to thank, as the leader, the support people in this room for the support that you gave over the last three years. Getting from opposition from government is tough. Sometimes Labor looks at ourselves rather than looks outward. We looked outward for the three years.

But we outlined clearly the strategy ... it wasn’t a small strategy. It was a smart strategy. It was one that is achievable and it was one that is fashioned on, as I said, continually in my list of analogies that we would kick with the wind at our back in the fourth quarter. And wasn’t that wind magnificent?

But I also spoke ... about back-to-back premierships. I spoke about two elections. I said I had two dates in mind – election day on May 21 but secondly, as well, where we would be positioned in 2025 to be able to say, we said we would do the following measures – cheaper childcare, ending the climate wars, anti-corruption commission, more secure work, lifting wages, taking pressure off the cost of living, affordable housing measures, fee-free Tafe, all the measures that we put in place, and that we would be able to point to that in 2025, because the way that you really change the country ... is to entrench reforms and to do that you need a long-term Labor government.


Albanese says Labor is joining a global effort on climate change after “nine wasted years”.

You might have noticed that the world has noticed that the government has changed. We’re already in both our region, in terms of Penny’s very successful visit to Fiji ... but at the Quad leaders’ meeting with our most important ally, president Biden of the United States, but also our important friends in prime minister Kishida from Japan and prime minister Modi in India. We changed the statement that was made and they very much welcomed our changed position on climate change. We’re joining again the global effort which we needed to do after nine wasted years. And waste is what I want to talk about in two areas. I want to remind you that you shouldn’t waste a day in government. We don’t intend to.

Foreign minister Penny Wong with Henry Puna, the secretary general of the Pacific Island Forum, in Fiji.
Foreign minister Penny Wong with Henry Puna, the secretary general of the Pacific Island Forum, in Fiji. Photograph: Pita Simpson/Getty Images


Albanese rifles through what Labor intends to deliver in its first term: more secure work, taking pressure off the cost of living, cheaper childcare.

We will strengthen Medicare. We will fix aged care. We will make sure that we make more things here in Australia and become a more resilient economy with advance manufacturing. We will end the climate wars.

We will introduce legislation for an anti-corruption commission this year. We will show that we’re an inclusive and mature country by recognising the privilege that we have of sharing this great island continent of ours, this great multicultural nation, with the oldest continuous civilisation on the planet and recognising that in our constitution with an enshrined voice to parliament.


Albanese confirms Labor has secured a majority government and reflects on past Labor leaders now adorning the walls.

We asked Australians to vote for change, and they did that, and when you do change the government you do change the country. And we made history. It seems like a long time ago I’ve got to say, May 21, but just a bit over a week ago.

We have formed government from opposition four times since the second world war. That story is pretty familiar – heroes up there, Bob Hawke, Gough Whitlam and Kevin Rudd.

The truth is, though, that if you go back a bit further, we have formed government five times since the first world war, five times in a century of our great party with over 130 years of proud history.

Australians have placed their trust in us and that brings with it an enormous responsibility – an enormous responsibility to deliver on the commitments that we made, the commitments for which we have a clear mandate as part of a majority Labor government.


Anthony Albanese addresses Labor caucus

Anthony Albanese is speaking now.

He acknowledges the land’s Traditional Owners, and reiterates his committment to implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Friends, what a privilege it is to gather in this room, one which we should cherish, one which we should never take for granted.

I’ve been in this building now for 26 years. I’ve had six at this end of the corridor. I don’t intend going back.


Labor well placed for 77-seat government

It’s possible incoming Labor MPs may be absent from today’s caucus meeting as they’re yet to have won their seats. Here’s where the remaining two seats in question stand from AAP.

Incumbent Labor MP Fiona Phillips remains narrowly ahead in the seat of Gilmore on the NSW south coast, some 142 votes clear of Liberal candidate Andrew Constance.

Preference flow has seen Phillips lead the race despite 36% of the primary vote compared with Constance’s 42%, although the latter is somewhat closing the two-party preferred gap via postal votes.

Meanwhile, incumbent Liberal MP Michael Sukkar is 619 votes clear of Labor candidate Matt Gregg in the Victorian seat Deakin in Melbourne’s east.


ACT records 673 Covid cases and one death

ACT Health has released today’s Covid update.

There have been 673 new cases detected and, sadly, one further death.

There are 93 people being treated in hospital with the virus including four people in ICU and two on ventilators.

ACT COVID-19 Update – 31 May 2022

💉 COVID-19 vaccinations
◾ Aged 5-11 years (1 dose): 80.6%
◾ Aged 5-11 years (2 doses): 67.9%
◾ Aged 5+ years (2 doses): 97.2%
◾ Aged 16+ years (3 doses): 76.4%

— ACT Health (@ACTHealth) May 31, 2022


The curtains have officially been changed.

The prime minister Anthony Albanese is due to hold a caucus meeting at 11am.

Standing by for the Government party room meeting - MPs will start trickling in shortly - the new decor already up! @SBSNews #auspol

— Shuba Krishnan (@ShubaSKrishnan) May 31, 2022


Nationals leader flags nuclear intentions

David Littleproud: Pro nuclear.

Peter Dutton: “It’s not on the table at the moment.”

New Nationals leader David Littleproud flags nuclear energy as something his party will pursue this term #auspol

— Jamieson Murphy (@jamiesonmurph) May 31, 2022

.@PeterDutton_MP on Nuclear

“It’s not on the table at the moment. If that’s to change it would be a decision of shadow cabinet/partyroom”

He goes on to cite successful nuclear policy in the UK

“We want to reduce emissions credibly. We should consider our policy in due course”

— Laura Jayes (@ljayes) May 31, 2022

On the other hand ...

Totally bizarre, this. Every piece of analysis I've seen says nuclear is not economically viable in the absence of a carbon price. And yet it is always the most trenchant opponents of carbon pricing who push nuclear.#auspol

— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo) May 30, 2022


Be careful out there, readers amongst the wind.

“Just blew in from the windy city …” #winterchill @9NewsGoldCoast @9NewsQueensland

— Petrina Zaphir OAM (@zaphski) May 31, 2022

The state of play as Albanese prepares to unveil cabinet

Here’s a reminder of where we’re at from AAP. An interim cabinet of five members was sworn in days after Albanese claimed victory in the federal election.

They included deputy prime minister Richard Marles, treasurer Jim Chalmers, foreign minister Penny Wong and finance minister Katy Gallagher.

While Albanese had earlier indicated MPs who held a shadow ministry in opposition would likely hold a similar portfolio in government, some changes are expected.

Among them will be a replacement for home affairs, with previous Labor spokeswoman Kristina Keneally failing to win the seat of Fowler in Sydney.

Labor’s previous environment spokeswoman Terri Butler also lost her seat of Brisbane to the Greens.

Other portfolios have already been announced, with Linda Burney set to be indigenous affairs minister and the second Aboriginal person in the role.


Welcome to the Albanese government's ‘warp speed’ transition

Good morning, folks. We are waiting in Canberra for Anthony Albanese to first finalise and then unveil his new ministry. I’ve covered every transition to government since 1996 and it’s fair to say this one is playing out at warp speed.

MPs have returned to Canberra to clear out their offices.

Albanese moved into the prime minister’s suite and the adjoining cabinet digs on Monday.

The party rooms have also changed over.

Pictures of Liberal leaders now sit in the caucus room that Labor occupied for the past nine years, and pictures of Labor leaders have shifted down the corridor.

Albanese has moved into The Lodge. It’s not yet clear to me whether the Morrison family have vacated the residence in Kirribilli in Sydney. Albanese is still living at home in the inner-west when he returns to Sydney.

Anthony Albanese has moved into the prime minister’s resident, The Lodge, in Canberra.
Anthony Albanese has moved into the prime minister’s resident, The Lodge, in Canberra. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP


Victoria’s free flu shot scheme to start tomorrow

Victoria’s health minister, Martin Foley, says cases of flu in the state have increased by more than 30% in the past week alone – from 10,000 to 15,000. It comes after two years of Covid-19 restrictions and border closures meant limited immunity to the virus.

From tomorrow more than 3,000 GP clinics and community pharmacies will be able to administer flu shots for free to all Victorians, as part of a $33m package.

Flu shots are already free for children under five, people over 65, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people and those with medical conditions.

Foley said the government would reimburse GPs and pharmacies for flu vaccines administered to Victorians who were not usually eligible for free shots – so they can continue to use vaccine supplies they have already purchased.

The government will also provide $2,000 grants to immunisation providers who roster on more staff and open for longer hours to manage the additional demand.


This will be the first time in two years that we will face a real flu season – we need all Victorians to roll up their sleeves and help protect their loved ones and our health system by being vaccinated.

He said anyone with cold and flu symptoms should get tested for Covid-19 and remain at home until their symptoms have resolved – even if it turns out to be the flu.


NT records 265 Covid cases

The Northern Territory has recorded 265 new cases of Covid in the past 24 hours to 8pm last night.

That includes 152 cases recorded in the top end region, 56 in central Australia, eight in east Arnhem, 15 in the big rivers region, three in the Barkly region and 31 under investigation.

There are 15 people being treated in hospital with the virus, including one person in ICU.


Fewer people smoke daily but more young people taking up vaping

Statistics show more young people are taking up vaping, even as the number of daily smokers in NSW continues to fall, AAP reports.

People over the age of 16 lighting up every day fell from 9.2% in 2020 to 8.2% in 2021, according to the 2021 NSW population health survey.

Speaking on World No Tobacco Day, NSW’s chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said she was impressed some 23% of NSW residents were now successful former smokers, and urged more people to kick the habit.

Of those who still smoke, 41% are serious about quitting in the next six months and one in five (19%) plan to quit in the next month, according to 2021’s NSW smoking and health survey.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant. Photograph: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things a person can do for their health, Chant said.

While the number of smokers has dropped, there has been a growing use of vapes, or e-cigarettes, among young people. More than one in 10 young people aged 16 to 24 vaped between 2020 and 2021 – double the rate of 2019-20.


This is a worrying trend for our young people because vapes can contain many harmful chemicals and toxins, even if they are nicotine-free. We know vapes can harm your health in the short-term, but the long-term effects are largely unknown.


Victoria to offer free flu shots

Victoria is following Queensland, South Australia and NSW by making the flu vaccination free from tomorrow following rapidly rising influenza cases.

Flu cases increased by 30% in the past week in the state.

Free flu shots for all Victorians from tomorrow @theheraldsun

— Mitch Clarke (@96mitchclarke) May 31, 2022


“If you change the government, you change the country,” is one of those hoary old gumnuts that was novel when Paul Keating made the comment back when but is becoming a little hackneyed.

Consumers don’t seem to have noted much change, if the latest survey of sentiment by ANZ and Roy Morgan is any guide.

Since 2008 when the gauge went weekly there have been five elections, including changes of government in 2013 and 2022. The latest iteration showed barely a budge in the reading.

Consumer confidence more or less steady in the wake of the election, @ANZ_Research and Roy Morgan say in their latest weekly survey. #auspol

— Peter Hannam (@p_hannam) May 30, 2022

David Plank, ANZ’s Head of Australian Economics, says:

Of the four elections prior to this one, there has been little immediate reaction in consumer confidence, with no large swings in either direction. Confidence going into the 2022 election was, however, well below previous pre-election levels.

One reason for the dim view might be that the RBA’s first of what could be quite a few rate hikes in the coming year. The central bank is keen to stamp out expectations that prices will keep rising – which they might well do for a while, if electricity and food prices are any guide.

Those expectations nudged higher again in the past week, the survey found:

Weekly inflation expectations, meanwhile, ticked higher (perhaps on news of the higher electricity prices). Source: @ANZ_Research and Roy Morgan. #auspol

— Peter Hannam (@p_hannam) May 30, 2022

As it stands, investors remain pretty firm that rates will climb sharply, including by a full percentage point in just the next three meetings.

Ahead of the last of the March Qtr GDP ingredients out later today...investors still predicting a full percentage point increase in the RBA's cash rate to 1.35% by August.

— Peter Hannam (@p_hannam) May 30, 2022

The RBA board meets in a week’s time, on 7 June, which will be new treasurer Jim Chalmers’ outing to explain that it wasn’t Labor’s fault. A not unreasonable claim but one that will be harder to make as each month passes ...


Greens call for legislated timetable of coal-fired power station closures

Speaking of climate change, the Greens have called for Labor to legislate a timetable for the regulated closure of coal-fired power stations after AGL’s failed demerger plans.

Greens leader Adam Bandt said AGL’s decision was a “game changer”:

Everyone knows coal is over, and now we need to phase it out in a planned way that supports workers and communities through the transition.

Instead of leaving these decisions to corporate boardrooms, Labor needs to update its climate legislation to include a regulated timetable of power station closures by 2030. Given the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to support workers and communities through the transition, a legislated timetable of closures makes sense.


Joyce rules out early retirement

Before we leave Barnaby Joyce, he’s asked about the Labor party’s intention to reduce emissions by 43% by 2030. David Littleproud has been more coy, arguing you don’t have to legislate targets to act on climate change.

Joyce reiterates that the Coalition, in their agreement, didn’t support a 2030 target:

We did support a 2050 target, we didn’t support a 2030 target. That is the position I told the Australian people on my behalf ... and once more, if you say you are going to try and move in that direction too quick, people say I will be out of a job if we do this. Also, the treasurer, good luck to them – the treasurer will be getting strong advice like if you start shutting down industries, your coal, gas, you will be poor. Be really careful what you suggest.

He then rules out any suggestion of early retirement:

Says he would accept a frontbench position if offered, and rules out retiring before the next election #auspol

— Finn McHugh (@FinnianMchugh) May 30, 2022


Joyce 'won't' support transition from coal

Barnaby Joyce is asked if he’ll support the conversation within National held seats about the need to transition from coal.

“No,” he replies, “I won’t.”:

I think it is really important that we understand where the wealth of our nation comes from. If you start saying we will take away our second biggest export, you have to say what services will you give up as well? Because the money is no longer there. NDIS or maybe pensions or maybe schools or health? Which – you can’t – you have to move away from this slightly naive ideas that if you shut down your major exports, you somehow keep the same standard of living. You don’t, you become poorer.


‘I had to stand because I had a contract to the Australian people’

Barnaby Joyce is asked why he would wait until half term to give up the Nationals leadership and instead contested the ballot yesterday. And why wasn’t David Littleproud aware of this intention to stand down?

I said it actually when I stood for the leadership, when there was a change between Michael and myself. I said this is a transition to a new leadership team. I have said that all the way through ... also I didn’t think it was fair to the Australian people to say I was the leader last week and I am not the leader this week. I had to stand because I had a contract to the Australian people and they would be pretty disappointed ... it was incumbent upon me to stand and I stood and I didn’t win and that is life.


Barnaby Joyce pushes move into nuclear energy

Barnaby Joyce is speaking to reporters now. He congratulates new National party leader David Littleproud and then abruptly turns to talking about the possibilities of nuclear energy:

I would like to congratulate David and Perin. It has been a big shift up for Perin and good luck to her. I hope she goes really well ... it is really important now that the Nationals reset, go forward, I will be supporting them in doing that. To be frank, it is a weight off my shoulders, to be honest. I went to the election saying that on behalf of my colleagues, I would hold every seat and we did that, got close to winning another two.

We got ourselves another Senate position and the whole time, as deputy or leader, I never lost a seat, only won them. That was in the last two elections, the Libs unfortunately lost over 30 seats in the two I was leader. We did it against the tide and that was pretty hard.

I always said, and I am surprised it never leaked, I was transitioning out of the leadership and that was what I was going to do. I probably didn’t want to do it yesterday but that is life. That is politics. Now there is a new leadership team and I wish them all the very, very best.

I think it is important we get a couple of things in opposition to give you a chance to take a few things on. It is really important that Australia goes into nuclear energy. That will be incredibly important for us if we are going to talk about net zero. We have to be brave enough and smart enough to make hard decisions ... I would love to see the Labor party come onboard with us and not turn it into some sort of ridiculous fight of ‘you’re going to put a nuclear reactor in someone’s backyard’, which divides the place up.


I suppose you think I am sad:

Barnaby Joyce describes losing the Nats leadership as “kind of a weight off my shoulders” #auspol

— Finn McHugh (@FinnianMchugh) May 30, 2022

Barnaby Joyce, having run for the party leadership yesterday, says he always planned to transition out of the Nationals leadership #auspol

— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo) May 30, 2022

Says when he returned to the leadership last year his plan was to "hold all our seats" and then hand it back to someone. #auspol @SBSnews

— Naveen Razik (@naveenjrazik) May 30, 2022


It is worth looking at this chart in the context of the lives that are lost each day.

It is based on ABS data from 2020 to now.

COVID nearly outpacing leading causes of deaths in prior years.

— Citizen Science (@DeadInLongRun) May 30, 2022

Victoria records 20 deaths, 9,595 new Covid cases

It’s a high day for fatalities in Victoria, where 20 people have lost their lives in the latest reporting period. Condolences to their loved ones.

There have been 9,595 new cases recorded. There are 527 people being treated in hospital with the virus, including 31 people in ICU.

We thank everyone who got vaccinated and tested yesterday.

Our thoughts are with those in hospital, and the families of people who have lost their lives.

More data soon: #COVID19VicData

— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) May 30, 2022


NSW records 19 deaths, 7,342 Covid cases

NSW Health has released today’s Covid update.

Sadly, it has been a high day for fatalities – 19 people have lost their lives.

There have been 7,342 new cases detected in the past 24 hours. There are 1,185 people being treated in hospital including 36 people in ICU.

COVID-19 update – Tuesday 31 May 2022

In the 24-hour reporting period to 4pm yesterday:

- 96.4% of people aged 16+ have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
- 94.9% of people aged 16+ have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) May 30, 2022


Rural Fire Service in demand as wild weather batters NSW

The NSW RFS has responded to more than 60 jobs since a cold front hit the state yesterday evening, with strong winds set to continue until late this afternoon.

Late yesterday a vigorous cold front swept across NSW bringing heavy rain and damaging winds. The strong winds brought down a number trees and damaged property. #NSWRFS crews attended just over 60 jobs since the change hit. Strong winds set to continue today.

— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) May 30, 2022


Two-thirds of Australians think expanded crossbench is a positive, Guardian Essential poll finds

The latest Guardian Essential poll suggests Australians are comfortable with the substantial increase in the number of independents in the new parliament where Labor has now secured a majority.

The first voter survey since the federal election also suggests support for a constitutionally enshrined voice to parliament and a treaty with First Nations peoples is on the rise.

The poll of 1,089 voters shows 64% of respondents say an expanded crossbench would be positive because it would ensure a wider range of views were represented in the 47th parliament. Only 36% of respondents expressed concern about the potential for instability or delay in decision-making.



Today Anthony Albanese moves to Australia's 30th longest serving Prime Minister - out of 31 - overtaking Frank Forde who served for 7 days.@AlboMP #auspol

— Stephen Koukoulas (@TheKouk) May 30, 2022

Alex Dyson bows out

Independent candidate for Wannon Alex Dyson has contacted Liberal party MP Dan Tehan to congratulate him on retaining the seat after a close contest between the pair.

There was a 6.1% swing against the Liberals in Wannon, with Dyson receiving 19.7% of primary votes, in front of Labor and other minor parties. Dyson said:

After a spirited campaign it was the right thing to do to make the call. Ideally the official results would have been known much sooner but, as the votes are still being counted due to the tightness of the race, I decided it was in Wannon’s best interest to bow out and allow the member to get to work on addressing the many issues that were brought up with me throughout the campaign.

Dan was very gracious, as always, we complimented each other on the spirit in which the campaign was run, and I wished him well for the next three years. In the meantime, I also want to call on the Labor government to support his efforts over the next term to support Wannon on a needs basis, and not allow partisan politics to allow our home to be left behind for a moment longer.

With a strong campaign, gaining Wannon could be “probable” in 2025, Dyson said.


Gone are the days when there aren’t severe weather warnings.

⚠️#SevereWeatherWarning ongoing for #NSWweather. Damaging winds likely on and east of the Great Dividing Range, higher gusts possible about exposed higher ground. Continue to monitor warnings and take care on roads due to fallen trees.
Full details:

— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) May 30, 2022

Josh ‘Mr Majority’ Burns pay tribute to Greens rival and her team

Member for Macnamara Josh Burns was just up on ABC Breakfast, laughing off his apparent new nickname of “Mr Majority”.

Asked whether the Greens vote was “coming for” him after a strong contest this election from candidate Steph Hodgins-May, who received a 5.5% swing for the party, he replied:

I would pay tribute to the Greens candidate and her team of volunteers. They ran a really strong campaign and they fought hard ... and help make our democracy vibrant and strong and that’s a wonderful thing.

But we have an opportunity now to deliver. And a lot of young people have never seen what a Labor government can do and what a Labor government looks like. But we can deliver climate action, we can deliver incredible economic reform and on the Uluru statement from the heart, something I’m really passionate about and I want to get cracking and working on straightaway. A Labor government means opportunity. I hope even those people who didn’t support us, we work hard to give them some things to think about and consider voting Labor at the next election.


South-east Queensland battered by high winds

Parts of Queensland are being battered by wild winds hitting much of the east coast.

3,500 homes and business are without power as of 8am due to the strong winds across South East QLD. @Energex says it’s working to restore power to those properties, bulk of them are on the Gold Coast and in the Hinterland. @TheTodayShow @9NewsQueensland

— Mia Glover (@miaglover_9) May 30, 2022

Here’s the latest from the Bureau of Meteorology:

A strong trough and cold front swept across southern Queensland overnight, with strong west to southwesterly winds developing in the wake of the trough system.

Damaging winds with peak gusts in excess of 90 km/hr are possible over the southeastern interior ... including Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast during this morning, although primarily on and east of elevated terrain.

Saturated soils in southeastern Queensland are bringing an increased risk of gusty winds toppling trees and powerlines.

Locations which may be affected include Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Brisbane, Maroochydore, Gympie, Stanthorpe and Ipswich.

Brisbane airport is also experiencing delays:

.@BrisbaneAirport says it’s experiencing delays from arriving flights, some cancelled altogether, due to the strong winds in Syd and Melb.
Many flights are being amalgamated. At this stage no delays for departing passengers, despite strong gusts in Bris @TheTodayShow

— Mia Glover (@miaglover_9) May 30, 2022


Key event

‘I’ve got a soft centre, tough exterior,’ Peter Dutton says

Peter Dutton also had quite an electric interview on Sunrise as he did the rounds this morning.

David Koch: Scott Morrison apologised for being a bulldozer, with respect you have the reputation of being a bulldozer as well.


You know I’ve got a soft centre, tough exterior and I want to show people the complete character that I have.

Kochy: Do you play the ukulele?


I don’t play the ukulele, I used to get a clip ... for not learning the piano as I should have.


Gladys Liu eyes move to state politics

Former Liberal MP Gladys Liu looks like she might be launching her comeback tour.

Defeated federal Liberal MP Gladys Liu is eyeing off a move to Victorian politics and is set to challenge for a seat in the upper house. "When one door shuts, another door opens," she says. Nominations for preselection opened on Friday and close on June 20. #springst #auspol

— Shannon Deery (@s_deery) May 30, 2022


Scott Morrison may not serve a full term, Peter Dutton suggests

Interesting. Speaking on the Today show earlier, Peter Dutton, who was introduced with, “Buckle up, because there’s a new sheriff in town,” floated the idea Scott Morrison may not hang around for a full term.

Peter Dutton on Scott Morrison's future:
"I think his intention is to sit on the backbench and reassess where he is at in 6 or 12 months"
So potentially a by-election down the track?
"Potentially" #auspol @9NewsAUS

— Fiona Willan (@Fi_Willan) May 30, 2022


Quotas ‘might be’ something for Liberals to consider, Sussan Ley says

Deputy leader of the Liberal party Sussan Ley followed David Littleproud.

Asked about why a large section of women were broadly turned off by what the Liberals were selling this election, she said quotas “might be” something the party should look at moving forward.

Women didn’t hear much of what we were saying, says Sussan Ley…

— Gabrielle Chan (@gabriellechan) May 30, 2022

She also pushed against legislating a net zero by 2050 target, suggesting there are many other ways to tackle the issue:

It doesn’t need to be legislated, however those policy discussions will happen through our party room and our shadow cabinet ... Demonstrating you’re serious about climate change doesn’t just include a conversation about targets.


Interesting that @Albo has been on the phone to @D_LittleproudMP #auspol

— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo) May 30, 2022

You bump into this constant networking often reporting @AlboMP - he makes a priority of keeping lines of communication open #auspol

— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo) May 30, 2022


‘We’re great mates,’ David Littleproud says of PM

Nationals leader David Littleproud has been up on Radio National. He told Patricia Karvelas he had been on the blower to the prime minister.

“We’re great mates,” he said, but that doesn’t mean he thinks Anthony Albanese will be a great prime minister.

What will be different about your leadership?

"My leadership is about making sure the primacy of the party room is at front and centre.. and it's done us well in the past, you look at where we got to as a party room on net zero"

- @D_LittleproudMP , Nationals Leader

— RN Breakfast (@RNBreakfast) May 30, 2022

Some Liberals blame Barnaby Joyce for the loss of blue ribbon seats to Teals and Greens. What's your view?

"I don't think it's wise for anyone in an emotive state to be laying blame.. when we do get that data back, understand and learn from it"

- @D_LittleproudMP

— RN Breakfast (@RNBreakfast) May 30, 2022


Peter Dutton says election ‘wasn’t a great night’ for Anthony Albanese

A record one in three Australians didn’t vote for major parties this election. What went wrong?

Peter Dutton says Labor also saw its primary vote going backwards and lost a seat to the Greens.

It wasn’t a great night out for Anthony Albanese because people thought that he wasn’t quite up for it.

Asked if the teal seats can be won back, Dutton says:

There’s no seat that won’t be a target for us ... about 200,000 Australians voted for teal candidates. At the other end of the spectrum, about 700,000 people left the Coalition to vote for parties on the right ...

The Liberal party is not the conservative party, it is not the moderate party, it’s not the conservative moderate party – it is the Liberal party. We’re a party that will stand up for our country on many issues, including national security, including the economy, including sensible climate change policy. And we’ll do that in a way that is sustainable.


‘I’ve made some poor-taste jokes like any person over the years, and I’ve apologised’

Peter Dutton is asked about decisions he made which may have influenced public perception in the past, including joking about water lapping at the doors of Pacific countries, his tough stance on the Biloela family and boycotting the apology to the stolen generations:

I’ve been in public life for 20 years. I’ve had tough jobs. But I’ve also been able to make decisions in the immigration space, for example. Hundreds of cases, literally, where I acted compassionately on the facts. I looked at particular family circumstances and I was able to grant those people visas ... the Syrians that we brought in. The people that we lifted out of Afghanistan – over 4,000 people.

And in some cases, you have to make tough calls. You’ll see that in this government as well. The people smugglers ... they’re evil people. They trade in sex slaves ... illicit drugs and human beings. And I didn’t want to see people drowning at sea and I made tough decisions in relation to that.

I’ve made some poor-taste jokes like any person over the years, and I’ve apologised for that. I’m as human and as frail as anybody else. There are decisions that I’ve made, that I think have been tough, about you in our country’s best interest. And that’s the job of being a minister.

Peter Dutton talks to the media yesterday
Peter Dutton talks to the media yesterday. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Pushed on whether, if he had his time again, he would show compassion for the Biloela family, he said:

The government has got to take the advice from the experts ... you’re dealing with organised criminal syndicates. These people couldn’t care less whether the Biloela family made it to Australia or drowned at sea.


‘I want people to make judgments on what they see,’ Peter Dutton says

Opposition leader Peter Dutton is up on ABC Breakfast. Asked whether his opening speech yesterday demonstrated he’s “up for a fight”, he replied:

Well, it’s a contest of ideas and we believe very passionately, both sides of politics, right across the board, in our fundamental values, our beliefs and what we see as the future of this country. The opportunities and the risk and the threats. So you would expect it to be a contest of ideas and we’ll argue that very passionately.

What about his softer side? Where is the warm and fuzzy Dutton we keep hearing about?

Look, I’ve had tough jobs in government. I was the home affairs minister. We deported something like 6,000 people who had committed sexual offences against women and children. Murderers and people who committed serious crimes otherwise. As defence minister, I made tough decisions and when you’re up talking about those decisions, it’s pretty hard to crack into a smile or a joke or whatever.

In this portfolio, in this job now, I have the opportunity to talk more broadly about issues which are important to our country. I want to do a lot for families. I want to do a lot for small businesses and the micro businesses and people who have really been hurting over the course of Covid. I want to grow Australian jobs and manufacturing ... I want people to make judgments on what they see, not what they believe from some of the media interpretation or some of the online trolling and commentary.


Lord Howe Island records winds of up to 148km/h

Whopping 148km/h winds were recorded over Lord Howe Island overnight.

Hold your umbrellas close, friends.

Low in Tasman brought significant wind to Lord Howe Island overnight with a gust of 80KT (148km/hr) recorded. Windy over NSW today with possibly damaging wind gusts in the east. Snow today down to 900m. Warnings at

— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) May 30, 2022


‘The Australian people have voted for climate action’

Josh Burns was also confident the strong gains by independents gave the Labor party a mandate to enact impactful climate legislation:

There’s two houses of parliament, nobody has majority in the Senate and that’s going to require negotiations ... driving that agenda will be a good, decent, hardworking government.

Clearly this election demanded climate action and we now have an opportunity to shape that agenda ... the Australian people have voted for climate action [and] the Labor government is going to deliver it.

Macnamara MP Josh Burns
Macnamara MP Josh Burns. Photograph: James Ross/AAP


Australians want to see unity, Macnamara MP Josh Burns says

Labor MP Josh Burns appeared on Radio National this morning, hopeful he had retained his seat in Macnamara after a close contest between the Greens and the Liberal party.

Asked how he felt about being “Mr Majority”, he said:

Antony Green has called it and there’s still a few more votes to be counted but I’m feeling hopeful and thinking about all the work that needs to be done.

Burns said Anthony Albanese had shown he was “ready for the job” in his first week of parliament, while Labor had also demonstrated it was willing to work with crossbenchers on issues including climate change, a voice to parliament and cost of living issues:

Australians have put in a group of people into parliament [and] want to see them working together across party lines and want to see unity. It’s not good enough to not have a positive agenda for the future, Australians want to have collaboration ... legislation that won’t wedge but make people’s lives better.


Good morning

Labor is settling in to its second week of government and first day of a majority. As the dust settles, Anthony Albanese is poised to announce his full ministry today, including the highly speculated roll of Speaker.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie’s name has been frequently mentioned, while Zali Steggall has called for the role to be filled by a woman.

You have Caitlin Cassidy here to guide you through it all, with Labor likely to be in good spirits.

Antony Green yesterday called the seat of Macnamara for Labor MP Josh Burns, securing the party its crucial 76th seat.

Burns told Patricia Karvelas this morning that while there were a few more votes still to be counted, he was “feeling hopeful” and “thinking about all the work that needs to be done”.

Two more seats, Gilmore on the south coast of New South Wales and Deakin in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, are still to be called in tight contests between Labor and the Liberal party.

Outside of federal politics, NSW is again being battered by seemingly endless wild weather. The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds stretching from Lismore in the north to Cooma in the south including Sydney, Newcastle and Canberra this morning, with gusts reaching up to 100km/h.

The deep low pressure system will persist until the afternoon, with saturated soils bringing an increased risk of toppling trees and powerlines.

There’s much to get to, so let’s dive on in.



Nino Bucci and Caitlin Cassidy (earlier)

The GuardianTramp

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