We will wrap up today. Good evening from me, Graham Readfearn.
Thanks to Royce Kurmelovs for running the blog earlier today, and to my colleagues Benita Kolovos and Adeshola Ore for their reports from the two main Victorian state election campaign launches.
We’ve also had dispatches from our political editor Katharine Murphy who is following the prime minister at the East Asia Summit in Cambodia.
Here’s what happened.
Prime minister Anthony Albanese met US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit on Sunday afternoon.
Albanese spoke to the Chinese premier Li Keqiang through a translator at the East Asia Summit. The conversation lasted about four minutes, but was the first leader level conversation between the two nations since 2019.
In Victoria, Labor and the Coalition both held campaign rallies as the state election campaigns gather pace.
Labor premier Daniel Andrews announced a $207m package for Victoria’s specialist schools.
Victoria’s Opposition leader Matthew Guy said if elected, he would restrict gas produced in the state from being exported interstate or overseas in a bid to reduce household bills.
A band of intense rain and thunderstorms stretching from southern Queensland to Tasmania is moving east across already flooded communities this evening.
A series of tapes, leaked to Guardian Australia by a whistleblower, feature several Queensland police service officers using racist slurs and offensive language while working in the holding cells.
Australian cricketer Glenn Maxwell has had surgery today after breaking his leg running in the backyard of a 50th birthday party in Melbourne on Saturday evening.
Stay safe and keep in touch with your local SES and Bureau of Meteorology updates if you’re in the line of those thunderstorms.
Here’s our story on cricketer Glenn Maxwell breaking his leg at a birthday party in Melbourne yesterday.
Energy costs lead charge as major parties launch Victorian election campaigns
Bringing down the cost of power bills was a central theme at both Labor and the Coalition’s Victorian election campaign launches, with the premier, Daniel Andrews, pledging another $250 payment for households, while the opposition leader, Matthew Guy, vowed to temporarily scrap supply charges and reserve new gas supplies.
With two weeks of electioneering to go, the first to address party faithful on Sunday was Guy, who announced the Coalition would restrict newly discovered Victorian gas from being exported overseas or interstate.
Here’s our full story from Benita Kolovos and Adeshola Ore on a day that Victorian labor and the opposition both officially launched their state election campaigns.
Cricketer Glenn Maxwell breaks leg at birthday party
Australian cricket all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has broken his leg in a “freak accident” while at a birthday party in Melbourne and is facing a lengthy recovery, according to cricket.com.au.
Maxwell was reportedly running in a backyard at the 50th birthday party on Saturday night when he and the person celebrating their milestone both slipped “with Maxwell’s leg becoming trapped under the other person’s.”
The website reports Maxwell underwent surgery for the break of his left fibula on Sunday. “Neither were intoxicated,” the website says.
Australia’s chief selector George Bailey said:
Glenn is in good spirits It was an unfortunate accident and we feel for Glenn in the circumstances given he was in great touch in his last few games.
Glenn is a critical part of our white ball structure and we will continue to support him through his recovery and rehabilitation.
Maxwell will miss an upcoming one-day international series against England and has been replaced in the squad by Sean Abbott.
Albanese to meet US President Joe Biden in Cambodia
Good afternoon again from Cambodia. Given this is summit season, everything is running late. But I’ll bring you up to speed with the developments thus far.
Anthony Albanese has participated in the last Asean events this morning and in the East Asia Summit.
As I flagged a bit earlier, the prime minister will meet the US president here shortly on the sidelines of this event, and speak to journalists afterwards.
I gather during his remarks a short time ago to the East Asia Summit, Albanese (among other observations) underlined Australia’s commitment to advancing the Aukus deal as one part of Australia’s response to the complex regional security environment, and Australia’s commitment to the principles of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Politics watchers will know Aukus is contentious in the region. Some of our near neighbours are opposed to the deal on the basis it fuels an arms race in the region.
But the partnership is critical to our security alliance with the US.
Joe Biden (fresh from his happy news that the Democrats will hold the US Senate after the recent mid-terms) is addressing the East Asia Summit as we speak.
As well as talking to Albanese, Biden has a bilateral scheduled this afternoon with the Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida.
Australian recycling company raises $50m to scale up groundbreaking tech
Australian company Samsara Eco has raised more than $50m for its idea to use synthetic proteins that can break down plastics into reusable components, AAP reports.
The synthetic proteins, developed by researchers at Australian National University, chomp through plastics “like Pac-Man” with a textile and bottle recycling plant slated to launch in Melbourne at the end of 2023.
Paul Riley, chief executive of Samsara Eco, said:
The enzyme ... comes along and it literally just breaks the polymer chain and then we just separate out the various components that are left over.
It has the potential to be totally game-changing. It has the potential to move the dial on carbon.
Samasara’s enzymes produce a product identical to a virgin plastic equivalent unlike, conventional recycling.
Samsara has raised $54m to scale up its operations over the coming year. The target is to be recycling 1.5m tonnes annually by 2030.
The news so far on Sunday
Thanks to Royce Kurmelovs for navigating the turbulent Sunday waters of the ocean that is the live blog. Graham Readfearn here to try and keep the ship off the rocks for the rest of the day.
A quick summary of where we’re at.
Prime minister Anthony Albanese has spoken to the Chinese premier Li Keqiang through a translator at the East Asia Summit. The conversation lasted about four minutes, but was the first leader level conversation between the two nations since 2019.
In Victoria, Labor and the Coalition both held campaign rallies as the state election campaigns gather pace.
Labor premier Daniel Andrews announced a $207m package for Victoria’s specialist schools.
Victoria’s Opposition leader Matthew Guy said if elected, his government would restrict gas produced in the state from being exported interstate or overseas in a bid to reduce household bills.
A band of intense rain and thunderstorms stretching from southern Queensland to Tasmania is expected to hit already flooded communities this afternoon and this evening.
A series of tapes, leaked to Guardian Australia by a whistleblower, feature several Queensland police service officers using racist slurs and offensive language while working in the holding cells.
We’ll be here for a while longer yet.
Floods, hail, intense storms heading for NSW and Victoria
A band of intense rainfall and thunderstorms is about to drench many already overflowing rivers and flooded communities in New South Wales and Victoria, forecasters warn.
Stretching from southern Queensland to Tasmania, many areas will see up to 50mm of rainfall between Sunday and Monday morning, with 100mm or more expected in south-eastern parts of New South Wales and north-east Victoria.
The intense rainfall could bring large hail, damaging winds and intense bursts of rain to communities already suffering flooding after many months of drenching rain.
Much of Victoria was also under a warning that thunderstorms could trigger asthma, with the north of the state at highest risk.
For all the latest on the storms lashing the east coast, read the full story by Guardian Australia environment reporter Graham Readfearn.
Brisbane airport to be 100% powered by renewables
The airport of Queensland’s capital has signed a deal with government-owned generator Stanwell that will supply 100% of its electricity needs from renewable energy.
The Queensland government announced the deal on Sunday, saying Stanwell would supply up to 185 GWh of renewable energy every year to run everything from runway lights and travellators to retail shops and electric vehicles.
Stanwell would source the renewable energy from the Clarke Creek windfarm and the Blue Grass solar farm.
Brisbane Airport Corporation chief executive Gert-Jan de Graaff said the deal meant the company could meet its net zero emissions commitment by 2025, which was 25 years earlier than planned.
Leaked audio reveals racist comments by Queensland police staff
A series of tapes, leaked to Guardian Australia by a whistleblower, record several Queensland police service officers using racist slurs and offensive language while working in the holding cells.
The audio – which we have published below – features comments by several watch house officers (a non-policing role) and sworn police. It includes jokes about one officer’s desire to “skull drag” protesters, discussions of fears of “outbreeding” by Muslim immigrants, and, when speaking about African population growth, the comment “let’s just hope Ebola works”.
The recordings were submitted to the state’s commission of inquiry into police responses to domestic and family violence by watch house officer Steven Marshall.
Marshall, who gave Guardian Australia consent to publish his name, has worked at the Brisbane watch house for four years and was present during the conversations he recorded.
He says some conversations were about people of colour held at the watch house, including one black detainee being referred to as “a gorilla in the mist” and jokes made about a fellow officer that a female Indigenous detainee “won’t give you a fucking blowjob here”.
For the full details on this exclusive report by Guardian Australia reporters Eden Gillespie and Ben Smee, read the full story.
T20 Cricket Final likely to be hit by rain
There’s a band of thunderstorms ready to hit large parts of the country this afternoon, stretching from southern Queensland all the way down to Victoria.
And the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s T20 world cup final between Pakistan and England – scheduled for a 7pm start – is unlikely to escape.
Senior meteorologist Dean Narramore, of the Bureau of Meteorology, says the storm activity will persist around Melbourne into the early hours of Monday.
Showers and thunderstorms can be hit and miss and there could be long breaks [at the MCG] but there might also be bursts of heavy rainfall. There’s going to be showers and thunderstorms in the area at that time [from 7pm].
Australia accused of blocking fund for developing countries affected by climate change
Australia has been included among nations accused of attempting to delay the creation of a loss and damage fund to help developing countries respond to climate change.
Greenpeace says developed nations are using delay tactics to ensure no agreement is reached on the loss and damage fund until 2024 and a group of countries have not made any proposals to guarantee that such a fund will ever be created.
Developing countries have been calling for the creation of the fund since the early 90s but the issue has been treated as low priority by developed nations.
They are arguing for the creation of the fund to be operational from 2024 after an agreement this year to establish it. Developing countries are also proposing that the Loss and Damage entity would be located under the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC, similar to the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility.
Greenpeace says the EU is starting to shift its position but the US, New Zealand, Norway and Australia “are the most visible blockers”.
Seve Paeniu, finance minister of Tuvalu said in a statement realised by Greenpeace that Pacific Island nations urgently needed support that delay by “fellow negotiators” is “killing my people, my culture” – but he added he still had “hope”.
My home, my country, my future, Tuvalu is sinking. Without climate action, crucially on an agreement for a dedicated facility for Loss and Damage under the UNFCCC here at COP27, we could be seeing the last generation of children to grow up in Tuvalu.
Albanese to meet Biden at East Asia Summit
Good morning again from Phnom Penh.
Anthony Albanese is working through his formal interventions in today’s summits.
This morning, he’s addressed the Asean global dialogue and this afternoon, he’ll address the East Asia Summit.
The prime minister is about to have his first bilateral meeting of the day, with the president of the United States, Joe Biden.
The last lengthy meeting the two leaders had was at the Quad meeting just a few days after Labor won the May election.
They also caught up in Europe a couple of months back at the Nato summit.
South Australia has 500 reports of wires down
The storm system that’s about to hit large parts of the country is caused by the same atmospheric conditions that unleashed thunderstorms on parts of South Australia last night.
SA Power Networks says almost 100,000 people had their power supply affected and help from interstate power companies has been called in to carry out repairs. About 500 reports of wires down were received.
Repairs will be going “well into Tuesday” after lightning strikes, falling trees and high winds caused widespread outages from the state’s far west to the eastern border with NSW and Victoria.
Democrats win Senate in unexpected midterms result
The BBC, CNN and AP have issued alerts saying they project the Democrats will win the Senate race in Nevada, giving that party an unexpected majority in the US midterms elections.
The result would be a huge boost for the US president, Joe Biden, whose party has defied the historical trend for midterms despite the president’s personal unpopularity and a troubled economy.
It would mean Senate Democrats can reject bills passed by the House – which the Republicans are still projected to narrowly win, though results are still coming in – and keep some control of the legislative agenda.
In Nevada, Democratic senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a former prosecutor and state attorney general, was up against Republican Adam Laxalt.
Andrews announces $207m package for Victoria’s specialist schools
Andrews has announced a $207m package for Victoria’s specialist schools, which will involve expanding support for students in the classroom, delivering new accessible playgrounds and sensory gardens and introducing after-hours care to every specialist school in the state.
The program will be rolled out to the first 25 schools from 2024. It’s currently being trialled in five.
Families also told us how tricky it is for them and how tiring it is for the kids to juggle multiple health appointments every week. They pick their kids up from school and race across town for an appointment before trying to get dinner on the table. It’s exhausting. It’s impractical. And it’s going to change. A re-elected Labor government will work with schools to create dedicated onsite spaces for health appointments. It’s a simple fix that will make a really big difference
NDIS navigators will also be hired at each of the state’s specialist skills to help parents navigate the system.
Andrews says Labor will also fund 1,000 scholarships to attract speech pathologists, occupational therapists and disability workers to regional Victoria.
Swimming pools will be built or upgraded for aqua therapy, while software will be rolled out the help nonverbal kids express themselves and an animal therapy program expanded.
We know we can’t solve all the world’s problems or be the source of every solution. But we do know that with heart and with grit, we can change things. We’re going to make life that little bit easier for families who really need it. Earlier on I told you about what I learned from my dad, a man who worked with purpose. But I learned just as much from my mum. She’s someone who believes profoundly in the power of connection that every individual that is held back, holds us all back and that every person who reaches their full potential helps us reach our potential.
He wraps his speech up with a rallying cry to volunteers to sign up for an extra shift, have an extra conversation, for the next 13 days:
Speak to your neighbour’s families, friends, workmates and teammates. Be the person that answers the call. Do it because you believe that every child is entitled to a great education. Do it because you believe that every patient deserves care and dignity. Do because you believe that every worker should feel secure and safe. Do it because you believe in people over profits. Do it for our schools, our nurses, our ambos … do it for a state that is fairer, more equal and where everyone can be who they are.
Andrews starts his speech by talking about his late father, who he says was the hardest worker he knows:
He did it because like so many of that generation, he’d seen good times turn bad and because he hoped for something easier for his family.
Andrews has announced a slew of new election commitments, including that the revived Sec will employ 6,000 apprentices and trainees:
It’s no coincidence that ever since privatisation, we’ve seen shortages in so many trades. The Sec will help us find the next generation of tradespeople, maintenance workers, electricians but also welders, painters and mechanics highly qualified, highly paid, working not for profit, but for people and to make sure there really is that long-term pipeline of work. We will institute local content requirements on state owned and supported renewable energy projects worth at least $5bn by 2035.
As part of the plan, clean energy will be added to the list of free Tafe courses. As part of an overhaul of vocational training, 10,000 secondary school students will be able to complete a full week of work experience.
“[It will give] them a taste and training in clean energy, as well as other in-demand careers like nursing trades and early childhood education,” Andrews says.
From March next year, every Victorian household will also be eligible for a second round power-saving bonus of $250.
The premier’s family, wife Catherine and children, Noah, Grace and Joseph, were brought to the stage.
“A lot has changed since the last time we were up here – Noah’s finished secondary school and we can both vote now,” Grace said
“We’re all really proud of Dad,” added Noah.
Joseph says Andrews’ fall last year, in which he seriously injured his back and had to take several months off work, was “the hardest thing we’ve ever experienced”.
Catherine thanked the health workers who looked after him during this time:
The work you do is incredible, its life changing, it’s life saving and we’re incredibly thankful.
Andrews then arrived to the 1998 house tune, Sing It Back by Moloko. He received a standing ovation and a hug from his mum.
Deputy premier, Jacinta Allan, was just up talking about the State Electricity Commission, which Labor has committed to reviving if re-elected later this month.
First established in 1918, the SEC had by 1972 become Victoria’s sole provider of electricity generation, transmission and networks, and even ran shops selling appliances. The electricity sector was privatised in the 1990s by the Liberal premier Jeff Kennett, who gets a big boo when mentioned.
Our state’s energy system was sold off and carved up and abandoned to accountants. Suddenly profits became more important than people’s energy supply more important in people’s jobs, more important than people those communities … These Victorians were just collateral damage in an ideological war.
She’s repeating Labor’s line that opposition leader, Matthew Guy, will continue Kennett’s legacy of “cuts and closures”.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has stepped onto the stage for the state Labor party’s official election campaign launch.
Cranbourne MP, Pauline Richards, is the first speaker at Labor’s campaign. She’s telling the crowd about a local constituent Maria, who she met a couple years ago during a day of door knocking.
Maria, Richard says, works long shifts as a cleaner but manages to keep her garden meticulous:
A few months ago, I was back in her street and I turned the corner and there she was in exactly the same spot in the garden. We chatted about everything that had been happening in her life. I admired the new additions to her front garden and it was still perfectly maintained.
So she’s still working as a cleaner and she told me that she’s been crook … So I was able to let her know about our sick pay guarantee. And I gave her all the information she needed to be able to register. I regularly drive past Maria’s place and I reflect that she is what matters. Maria matters. Everything we fought for and everything we’ve achieved for Maria and for my community is all at risk. Schools, hospitals ambos, nurses.
As we know, they can’t help themselves and if they’re elected, they’ll continue to cut and close the things that matter to my community. And that’s why this election is so important. We can never forget what’s at stake. Because only Labor will invest in my community. Only Labor will invest in people like Maria and only Labor is doing what matters.
The Victorian campaign launch has begun with a highlight reel of Labor’s reforms during their term in government including their free breakfast program for disadvantaged students, free pads and tampons at public schools, level crossing removals, wage theft laws, LGBTQ+ protections, renewable energy targets, sick leave for casuals and subsided nursing and midwifery degrees.
“All of this progress is on the ballot this November,” the premier, Daniel Andrews, says in slick video.
“You’ve got to fight for it.”
Victorian Labor kicks off election campaign launch
We’ve arrived at Cranbourne Community Theatre for Labor’s Victorian election campaign launch.
Unsurprisingly, it’s a sea of red T-shirts. Among those in attendance are former premiers Steve Bracks and John Brumby who are seated next to each other, as well as MPs James Merlino, Martin Pakula and Richard Wynne, who have announced they are retiring at the election.
I’ve also spotted ministers including Ben Carroll, Lily D’Ambrosio, Shaun Leane, Tim Pallas and Gabrielle Williams.
Liberals promise gas reservation policy for Victoria
The Victorian opposition has vowed to restrict gas produced in the state from being exported interstate or overseas in a bid to reduce household bills.
Opposition leader Matthew Guy made the announcement at the Coalition’s campaign rally on Sunday morning. Under the proposal, a Coalition government would legislate a requirement that all new Victorian gas be quarantined for use within the state.
Guy said the policy would help boost the state’s manufacturing sector:
A guarantee supply of natural gas means we can keep the lights on and keep energy affordable while we transition to a clean, energy future.
McKenzie has ‘no regrets’ over sports rorts
McKenzie was asked about the Gaetjen’s report on the sports rorts saga that has now been made public.
I took the appropriate action in resigning in our system of government. You need to ensure that your integrity is maintained. And the only appropriate result response in a breach of ministerial standards should be for the minister to resign, which I did
Asked about whether she accepts there was a breach of trust.
Well, he also said that I acted within my remit as a minister within the guidelines etc of the policy portfolio.
McKenzie also defended her record on the issue:
I think, going forward, I have absolutely no regrets about my decisions at the time. I acted within my remit as minister with respect to ANAO recommendations, whether it is liberal, national or labor ministers ini programs are regularly reviewed. And the right response for the better administration and public funds is to accept those recommendations to better administer – which I did.
Australia’s methane pledge ‘trojan horse’: Nationals
Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie has described the decision to sign Australia up to a methane pledge ahead of the Cop27 climate summit as a “trojan horse” that will undermine farming and future oil and gas exploration.
She also said her party’s greatest concern is Australia’s signing up to the methane pledge.
We know that’s going to have a significant impact over time on agriculture. You just need to look across the ditch to New Zealand where estimates are they’re going to reduce farming by 20%.
So that’s sheep and dairy production but equally important, I think, for us in the midst of an energy crisis is what a methane pledge would do to the exploration and development of new coal and gas projects. So that’s I think, where we need to be focused, rather than thinking it’s all about agriculture.
McKenzie said the Australian Workers Union is “also similarly concerned” about the “lack of exploration and development of gas projects for our manufacturing sector”.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has previously said limiting global heating to 1.5C as set out in the Paris agreement meant there can be no new oil, gas or coal investment beyond 2021.
McKenzie also said she “hopes it is likely” that prime minister Anthony Albanese is able to arrange a meeting with president Xi Jinping as “continuing dialogue is important” but says “we need to make sure any meeting with China ensures that we continue to stand up for our Australian values in that relationship.”
McKenzie said the country needed to be focussing on “$20bn worth of trade sanctions”.
Victorian Coalition will freeze household electricity supply charges for six months if elected
Victorian opposition leader Matthew Guy has vowed a Coalition government would freeze household electricity supply charges for six months next year, in an effort to reduce the burden of rising costs of power bills.
Guy addressed party faithfuls, candidates and MPs at the Coalition’s election rally on Sunday morning where he made the pre-election promise. Guy said the charge freeze on electricity bills would be implemented for the first six months next year, if the Coalition was elected at this month’s state election:
It will save the average household up to $235 on their electricity bill within next year alone.
I would have liked to provide this for longer, more than 12 months, but the state of Victoria’s finances after eight years under Daniel Andrews means we simply can’t afford to do it.
Victorian Labor party to launch campaign this afternoon
Good morning bloggers. I’m on the Labor bus this morning heading out to the party’s election campaign launch in Cranbourne, in Melbourne’s south-east.
We’re expecting the premier, Daniel Andrews, will make a big policy announcement before early voting opens tomorrow. The event is expected to kick off about midday.
Yesterday, Andrews announced if re-elected, the Labor government will spend $23m to provide free pads and tampons in public places.
The seat of Cranbourne, where the launch is being held, is safe Labor territory – held by MP Pauline Richards on a 9.3% margin.
Victorian Coalition holds election campaign rally in Melbourne
The Victorian Coalition is holding its election campaign rally in Melbourne, ahead of the state heading to the polls this month.
Party faithfuls, MPs and candidates have gathered at the event in Port Melbourne. Opposition leader Matthew Guy will address the crowd later this morning.
The opposition has handed gatherers “frequent liar” cards feature an image of the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews.
The event has also been targeted by protesters dressed as lobsters – a nod to opposition leader Guy dining with the alleged head of Melbourne’s mafia prior to the 2018 Victorian election.
Early voting for the election begins on Monday and more than half of voters are expected to cast their ballot paper before polling day on 26 November.
Government to deliver on the Murray Darling Basin plan
Plibersek has hit back at criticism by the National party over concerns about plans for water buy-backs along the Murray Darling Basin.
I always think it’s extraordinary that the National party think it’s fine for farmers to sell their water to big state owned enterprises from overseas to the Canadian teachers, pension farmer to you know, anybody overseas but their own. Farmers aren’t allowed to sell their water back to the Australian government to be used for the environment to benefit all Australians.
Plibersek said previous environmental water flows “literally saved towns”.
There were towns that saw dry river beds for two years and then there’d be a flush of water flowing through that town. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to the mood of the town. The economy of the town, people’s ability to cope during the worst of the droughts. If we are going to be able to do that in the future.
She also said the government would “keep all options on the table” in order to fulfil the aims of the Murray Darling Basin plan saying: “I will deliver on the Murray Darling Basin plan because we have to.”
Australia to discuss loss and damage fund
Plibersek says Australia wants to have “the discussion” about the creation of a loss and damage fund for developing world countries who suffer as climate change advances but says Australia is not ready to put up money.
nAustralia supports having a discussion about how we help countries that have been really badly impacted by climate change, cope with those impacts. Nobody’s talking about committing money at this meeting, that might be a discussion for future meetings.
Plibersek also said Australia had increased its foreign aid budget to show its commitment to its partners in the Pacific.
A lot of that money will be to do exactly this to help our been so badly affected by climate change, to cope with those impacts.
You know, I’ve traveled to Pacific nations where you see villages that were once upon a time a while back from the shore of an island actually had been literally washed into the sea. You see countries where the salinity in the freshwater table that they were relying on for drinking water and for farming purposes that salinities crept into that freshwater, affecting drinking and crops and other freshwater uses.
And you cannot understand what an existential threat this is to many Pacific nations until you’ve seen it firsthand.
Plibersek said Australia has announced it would sign up to the International Mangrove Alliance for Climate to increase global coverage of mangroves by 20% by the year 2030.
Proposals for an international loss and damage fund were first put forward by developing world countries in the early nineties but have largely been ignored by the developed world.
Australia well represented at Cop27 even without PM: Plibersek
Plibersek defended prime minister Anthony Albanese’s absence at climate talks in Cairo by saying he was still engaged with international leaders in our own region.
Plibersek said Albanese had gone “straight from parliament to the G20, Asean and the East Asia Summit”.
He’s engaging with international leaders at the highest levels on issues including climate change, but with a particular focus on our region.
It is important for Australia to have a good close relationship with the Asean nations. This is an opportunity for the prime minister to speak directly with a number of Asean leaders.
Plibersek said Albanese will meet with US president Joe Biden and that Australia was “well represented in Egypt” by Chris Bowen, Pat Conroy and Jenny McAllister.
Asked about what Australia’s performance at Cop will mean for its Pacific neighbours, Plibersek said the government had been working to address the “strategic vacuum” that had been created by the previous government.
We’ve been scrambling since then to reassure our Pacific neighbours that they can rely on Australia as a good partner.
One of the reasons that we want to co-host Cop31 with the Pacific community is to show that we can cooperate on issues around climate change. But we have other really fantastic opportunities for cooperation as well. Australia has always been a good defence partner in the Pacific.
We’ve worked with Pacific nations, for example, to help them protect and manage their fisheries. Such an important source of income for Pacific nations. But there is a real opportunity for us to to rebuild the relationships that have been allowed, I think, to languish a little under the previous government when it comes to the Pacific.
China key to action on climate change: Plibersek
Minister for Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek has told Sky News this morning that a planned meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping would be “good for everybody” if “constructive” talks were possible on climate change.
Plibersek said China emits “about a third of the world’s greenhouse gases” and that it was necessary to bring “these very large emitters into the tent.”
In the past, even when there has been, you know, various times different issues where the US and China have disagreed they have managed to keep a conversation going about climate change, and if we can get that back on track, that’s great.
Plibersek also flagged a break fro the previous government’s approach to relations with China saying Australia would continue to assert its national interests but considered China an important member of the international community.
We will always raise issues with China that are in Australia’s national interests, but it is - wherever we can - it is in our interests for China to be part of the international community. Pn issues like the Pacific and climate change, if we can work cooperatively, of course that’s in everybody’s interests.
Last night’s conversation between Albanese and the Chinese premier is the first leader level conversation since 2019.
Li saw Albanese as they entered the gala dinner and sought him out as they entered the room.
Albanese meets Chinese premier at East Asia Summit
Good morning from Cambodia. I’ll keep you up to date with developments at the East Asia Summit today.
The most significant news overnight is the prime minister Anthony Albanese has spoken to the Chinese premier Li Keqiang through a translator for about four minutes at last night’s gala dinner.
That’s a significant development given we’ve been playing a will they or won’t they game for the best part of a week. As they say in our business, more to come
Storms to dump up to 150mm of rain bringing new floods to NSW
In summary, what all this means is that today’s risk is really around severe thunderstorms. And flash flooding that comes with significant winds they can come from thunderstorm activity.
It’s combining with a widespread rain band and it is likely to result in renewed river levels for all those catchments.
Monday is likely to see this particular system move further east and it will move away and affect mostly the south and the east during the latter part of Monday we should see sunny conditions again and a spell of cooler, dry weather from Tuesday to Friday before we start to look at another weather system potentially from next weekend.
More rain incoming increasing flash flooding risk
Berlusconi is listing notable mentions of rainfall, including a small town – I missed the name – where the local school recorded 41mm of rain within a 30-minute window.
There is a heap going on around around state, national and even international politics so I’m not able to keep up with this information, but the key takeaway message is: there has been a lot of water, there is more water incoming and flash flooding is a real risk – so don’t take chances and stay safe.
Rain to intensify over Sunday as tropical weather system moves across NSW
The Bureau of Meteorology’s Steve Berlusconi is speaking now given an update now on the weather system sweeping across the country. He says conditions will intensify over Sunday and into Monday, extended all the way to the coastline and the Sydney metropolitan area.
Berlusconi says a tropical weather system is moving into New South Wales from the tropics, creating unstable conditions in the atmosphere which is leading to “wide bands of rain”. This is creating thunderstorms with rain in some places of around 60mm in one day.
We do expect widespread rainfall to occur around about 38 and 40mm across much of the 11 parts of the state, and a very high chance of severe thunderstorms, with intense rain, damaging winds, and the potential to hail.
The greatest risk for today around that and early into Monday is around flash flooding, and that is rain falling in intense bursts at short periods of time, which affects creeks and streams and local areas.
NSW SES urges people to act on evacuation warnings
New South Wales SES commissioner Carlene York is giving an operations update. She repeats a reminder for people not to drive through flood waters.
She says the next 25 to 36 hours will be of concern and that authorities remained concerned about the prospect of flash flooding.
An effort is underway to supply towns that have been isolated or cut off due to flooding.
Not only are we preparing for the next 24-36 hours, as the minister said, we are also resupplying many communities across the state that are still isolated and will remain isolated for weeks if not months. We have 23 helicopters supplying those communities. In the response phase, we have rescue helicopters available across the areas as we are expecting extreme weather events to come.
York asks members of the public to act on evacuation warnings as early as possible otherwise there is a real risk people may be cut off and unable to receive assistance from emergency services.
NSW weather update
New South Wales emergency services minister Steph Cook is speaking to reporters with the SES and Bureau of Meteorology about the situation in NSW.
Once again it is the communities in New South Wales that will be in the firing line for these thunderstorms and heavy rain. Particular areas of focus on the south-west slopes, the central and southern tablelands, and the riverina and ACT.
Cook says the New South Wales landscape is already saturated and flooding is likely as more rain is expected.
She says a flood rescue area of operation has been established around the Goulburn area. Areas of concern included Aubrey, Wagga, Yass, Young and all towns along the Murray River system.
I know that you are flood weary. Our volunteers are also fatigued and weary at this time. I am asking everybody to continue working together. We have developed incredibly close relationships with communities right across New South Wales this year. It has been a very difficult year and we are not through it yet. As long as we continue to work together we will do everything that is possible to make sure our communities are safe and that people’s lives are protected.
Six feared dead after historic military planes collide at US airshow
Two historic military planes collided and crashed to the ground Saturday during a Dallas airshow, federal officials said, sending plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky.
Officials didn’t immediately make clear how many people were on board the aircraft or if anyone on the ground was hurt. Nonetheless, an ABC News producer – citing reporting from a colleague – said on Twitter that at least six people, all crew members, were feared dead after the crash.
Anthony Montoya saw the two planes collide.
“I just stood there. I was in complete shock and disbelief,” said Montoya, 27, who attended the airshow with a friend. “Everybody around was gasping. Everybody was bursting into tears. Everybody was in shock.”
Emergency crews raced to the crash scene at the Dallas Executive airport, about 10 miles from the city’s downtown.
Live news footage from the scene showed people setting up orange cones around the crumpled wreckage of a bomber, which was in a grassy area.
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed at about 1.20pm, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement. The collision occurred during the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas show.
For all the latest read the full story Guardian staff and agencies.
Government considering proposal to get rid of temporary protection visas
O’Neil says one of the changes being proposed is to get rid of temporary protection visas:
It is a promise, we have a number of people living in Australia on temporary protection visas who have been here for more than a decade. And I think there is real desire in the community to allow those people to have some sense of permanency.
She says the government is “working through it slowly and carefully” but won’t provide a timeframe for when and how this may take place.
O’Neil is also asked about other complexities like the backlog of people who were left in limbo without refugee visas. Again, she says that “complex and difficult problem” is to be determined.
Australia’s migration system is in ‘a state of disrepair’: O’Neil
O’Neil is being asked now about reforms to Australia’s migration system – specifically a national strategy for migration.
If you look at our country we have never done anything big or important or meaningful in the last 100 years without asking the best and brightest from around the world to come and help us do it.
And when I look at the migration system today, you know, we have come into office, this system is genuinely in a state of disrepair. It has no strategy, we have got enormous complexity in the system. Literally hundreds of different visa categories and subcategories. It’s expensive, it’s complicated it is bureaucratic. It’s not working for migrants or for business, or for the country.
O’Neill is canvassed about a series of proposals for bringing in skilled workers, wait times such as getting rid of the skills list and introducing a minimum salary thresholds but she is non-committal saying it will be considered as part of the review.
We have spent almost the whole of the last decade in a big conversation about immigration, about how to keep people out of our country.
We are in a global competition to attract the talent that we need for the future with the US and Canada and New Zealand and all the other countries, they are rolling out the red for the migrant they need. In Australia, it can take two or three years to get a visa to come here and then we will only let you stay for a couple of years and then send you back again.
We have to think about this as a competitive mind-set where we want Australians to be a destination of choice and that’s not what the migration system is doing at the moment
Fines against Optus and Medibank up to privacy commissioner: O’Neil
O’Neil says any decision about fines against Optus and Medibank is the responsibility of the privacy commissioner, not hers.
The government is undertaking a review of the Privacy Act at the moment to clarify what needs to happen around data deletion.
What we need to make sure is that companies are only holding data for the point in time where it’s actually useful and the data is otherwise disposed of.
So Mark Dreyfus is undertaking a review of the Privacy Act at the moment and he’s looking at that. It’s a complex question because as you noted on the panel there’s a lot of state and territory regulation about the retention of data that needs to be taken account of.
O’Neil is also asked about ransoms – the guidance is to not pay ransoms for fear of feeding the business model, but one of the questions is will the government make it illegal to pay ransoms.
Medibank and Optus defences not where they needed to be: O’Neil
O’Neil says she does not think “anyone can promise that cyber attacks will go away”.
One of the things that people need to understand is really how relentless this is. We had National Australia Bank come out a month or so ago saying they are subjected to 50m cyber-attacks a month. The ATO is subjected to 3m cyber-attacks a month. So we have to understand here, that we have got to adapt our whole approach and thinking about the new crime type.
O’Neil says she “doesn’t want to run a commentary” about the “technical aspects of every cyber event in Australia” but she says companies that hold large stores of “very personal information” “owe big obligations to Australians to protect that information”.
She says Optus and Medibank did not fulfil their duties.
I have been direct in my discussion with Medibank and Optus. There are criminal investigations on foot now. I’ve made it clear that I don’t think the defences were where they needed to be.
Australia must 'not be a soft target' for cybercriminals, O'Neil says
O’Neil is challenged over the effectiveness of this new taskforce force – specifically what can be realistically achieved when the people were responsible are in other jurisdictions where they may receive the protection of their governments.
There is an enormous amount we can do. I think we need to shift away from the sense that the only good outcome here is someone behind bars because that can be hard when we have people who are essentially being harboured by foreign governments and allowed to continue this type of activity.
But what we can do is two really important thing things. The first is hunt these people down and disrupt their operations. It weakens these groups if governments like ours collaborate with the FBI and other police forces and intelligence agencies around the world.
But the second important thing we need to do is to stand up and say that Australia will not be a soft target for this sort of thing and if people come after our citizens we will go after them.
‘Australia standing up and punching back’: Claire O’Neil on fighting cybercrime
Home affairs and cybersecurity minister Claire O’Neil is speaking to ABC Insiders host David Speers now where she has continued talking tough about the cyber threats to Australians over.
She says this is “Australia standing up and punching back”.
We are not going to sit back while our citizens are treated this way and allow there to be no consequences for that.
A permanent standing force of 100 of the best most capable cyber experts in this country that will be undertaking this task force for the first time. Offensively attacking these people, David.
So this is not a model of policing where we wait for a crime to be committed, and then try to understand who it is and do something to the people who are responsible, we are offensively going to find these people, hunt them down and debilitate them before they can attack our country.
Australia chases promise of a meeting with Chinese president at Asean
Anthony Albanese has sent a clear public signal to the Chinese leadership that Australia is open for dialogue during international summits over the coming days, saying he is prepared to meet his counterpart without “preconditions” .
With the US president, Joe Biden, set to meet the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, at the G20 summit in Bali on Monday, Australia’s prime minister told reporters at the Asean-Australia summit in Cambodia on Saturday a conversation was “not locked in at this point” and he was awaiting “finalisation of any meeting”.
Albanese was expected to attend a gala dinner at the summit on Saturday night, and the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, was to be present, as well as Biden and a host of other world leaders.
Australia’s prime minister noted that Canberra and Beijing’s foreign affairs and defence ministers had already met despite significant irritants in the bilateral relationship as part of a cautious diplomatic thaw following Labor’s election victory in May.
“If the leaders of our respective countries have a meeting, that would be positive,” the prime minister said. Albanese noted it was “the nature of these events that meetings get locked in at the last minute”.
For more on this story, read the full report by Guardian Australia political editor Katharine Murphy who is on the ground in Phnom Penh.
Minister for environment and water Tanya Plibersek has spoken to Sky News this morning – more on that to come shortly.
Home affairs minister Clare O’Neil will also be speaking to ABC Insiders this morning in the wake of an announcement on Saturday that the government will be mounting an offensive against cyber criminals.
And welcome to another Sunday morning Guardian live blog.
Another monster storm 3,500km in length is sweeping over eastern Australia and is expected to lash New South Wales with thunderstorms, damaging winds, heavy rainfall and giant hail. Severe thunderstorm warnings are in place for central NSW and severe weather warnings are in place along the southern half of the state and down across the Victorian state border. It is expected 70mm of rain could fall on Sunday.
Prime minister Anthony Albanese is attending the East Asia and Asean summits in Phnom Penh on Sunday but has been left waiting for a meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping. Xi, who has not had a formal meeting with an Australian leader since Malcolm Turnbull in 2016, has said he will meet with US president Joe Biden in Bali but whether a similar meeting will be held with the Australian prime minister has yet to be confirmed.
I’m Royce Kurmelovs, taking the blog through the day. With so much going on out there, it’s easy to miss stuff, so if you spot something happening in Australia and think it should be on the blog, you can find me on Twitter at @RoyceRk2 where my DMs are open.
With that, let’s get started ...