The day that was, Tuesday 11 October

That’s where we will leave the live blog for Tuesday.

Here’s what made the news today:

  • Adelaide airport was thrown into chaos this morning after a security breach was reported, forcing all passengers in the terminal to be rescreened.

  • The treasurer, Jim Chalmers, has said his first budget will be focused on cost-of-living pressures, improving economic resilience, and cutting back on wasteful spending.

  • Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has warned the heavy rainfall approaching the state will bring with it potential flash flooding.

  • The office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (Acma) have announced separate investigations into last month’s Optus data breach, which led to the records of 10 million customers being exposed.

  • A group of Apple retail workers have voted to strike amid ongoing negotiations with the tech giant over pay and conditions.

  • A new report looking at renewable energy in Australian agriculture has called for a national audit of its use by farmers, as well as more incentives to encourage take-up.

  • The ACCC has revealed that median power prices for residential consumers have risen by $300 since April.

Natasha May will be back with you again tomorrow morning, so until then, have a pleasant evening.


Queensland police’s Brisbane regional crime coordinator Det Supt Andrew Massingham held a press conference earlier regarding the officer shooting a man dead in South Brisbane this afternoon.

He said police had been called out to a business where a man was in the roof cavity. He alleges the man fell through the roof and attempted to assault people in the business, but left before police arrived.

Later a man matching his description was seen walking on the street, and attempted to enter the rear of a police van. When he was shot by an officer, he allegedly rushed at the police in an “aggressive manner”, Massingham said, with a 30cm metal rod.

Police attempted to use a stun gun, but it was ineffective. Massingham said he was shot two to three times after that, and died not long after.

He said the man is not yet identified, but is in his mid-30s and caucasian.


Stick to the Murray-Darling Basin plan, Greens urge government

The Greens’ water spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young has called on the water minister Tanya Plibersek to stick to the Murray-Darling Basin plan at the ministerial council meeting in Canberra tomorrow.

Sticking to the plan, she says, would include delivering 450 gigalitres to South Australia, and any deal with upstream states of NSW and Victoria would be a broken promise.

Hanson-Young says:

New South Wales and Victoria are demanding less water for the environment because they have failed to live up to their end of the bargain. It’s hard to believe they ever intended to deliver the environmental water required under the plan.

States cannot just opt in and out as they please, it puts South Australia and our drinking water in jeopardy and the long-term future of all river communities, small family farms and the environment at risk.

It’s clear the only way to return enough water to the system quickly and cost-effectively is to start buying water back and Minister Plibersek should announce tomorrow that she is taking this action.

Upstream states have wriggled out of every commitment they possibly could, with the environment and South Australia left begging.


Cybersecurity degrees need to improve to keep Australia safe, thinktank says

The Australian government must step in to regulate cybersecurity qualifications over fears junk degrees are leaving businesses vulnerable to attacks, a leading industry thinktank says.

Australian Information Security Association chair Damien Manuel said businesses were struggling to fill vacant cyber security positions because many graduates lacked knowledge or experience.

“To some degree, students could be wasting their time doing a tertiary course that doesn’t lead into a job role,” Manuel told AAP.

“There really needs to be some standardisation or transparency to help improve the quality of those courses and the education outcomes.”

Manuel made the comments as more than 4000 industry leaders gathered for the 2022 Australian Cyber Conference in Melbourne.

He also said workforce shortages were pushing up the wages of good cyber security workers.

He said they were more likely to be hired by bigger institutions such as banks rather than small and medium sized businesses, which may be in their supply chains.

“You have thousands of all these suppliers, who could then potentially not have perfect security in place because they can’t afford to get somebody.

“That creates a weakness that then the larger banks may become vulnerable or a larger supplier, like an Optus or a Telstra,” he said.

Manuel said Australia is now at risk of Optus-style data breaches every few months.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and 2022 Australian of the year Dylan Alcott addressed the conference on Tuesday, where the recent Optus hack was frequently referenced.

– via AAP

Australia is vulnerable to more frequent cyber-attacks like the one that hit Optus, experts say.
Australia is vulnerable to more frequent cyber-attacks like the one that hit Optus, experts say. Photograph: Richard Milnes/REX/Shutterstock


What’s the opposite of asking the hard questions?

There’s hard hitting interviews with politicians, and then there’s this: opposition leader Peter Dutton speaking with 4RO’s Michael J Bailey earlier today (this is shortened for space, but you get the idea).

Bailey: “So, Anthony Albanese – is he a one-term government or two terms?”

Dutton: “I think he’s shown over the last week he’s got a great ability to turn it into one term. And you’d expect that governments might stay longer than that, but I think in the modern age, to be honest mate, people are more prepared to change their vote, more prepared to think about the alternative.”

Bailey: “I flicked on the TV last night, I turned it off after about 15 minutes because all I heard was your name and how bad a defence minister you were and how the submarines have blown out and this has blown out and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. How do you combat such lies and deceitfulness?”

Dutton: “Well, I think you’ve got to rely on the common sense of Australians. They know that that’s all sort of political rhetoric.”

And here’s how it ends:

Bailey: “Peter Dutton, thanks very much for giving us the inspiration. Keep up the good work and we will see how long Anthony Albanese lasts, hey?”

Dutton: “Pleasure mate, we will work hard on it. Take care.”


Man shot dead by police in Brisbane

Queensland police have confirmed a man was shot dead by officers in Brisbane’s south this afternoon after allegedly threatening them.

Police say officers were called to Edmonstone Street in South Brisbane around 3pm, and after a “brief interaction” they allege the man threatened the officers and was shot. He died at the scene.

A crime scene has been declared, and the street is closed. The incident will be investigated by the Ethical Standards Command on behalf of the state coroner, and is subject to oversight by the Crime and Corruption Commission, police said.


Tasmania on alert for flooding

Tasmania’s State Emergency Service is warning of heavy rainfall and potential flooding over the next few days.

Acting SES director Leon Smith said:

Advice received from the Bureau of Meteorology today forecasts that heavy and consistent rain is likely from tomorrow evening, across Thursday, clearing Friday morning.

The forecast is for steady and significant rain state-wide, and specifically intense rainfall in the north and north-west.

People are encouraged to be aware of the forecast and prepare their property before the rain arrives - this means knowing your flood risk and understanding whether your property is prone to flooding.

With the ground being saturated in many areas of Tasmania, rivers will rise quickly over coming days.


Plibersek pushes for greater water market transparency after report

Water trading markets could become more transparent, with the federal government stating it wants to implement all 23 recommendations from a report into the market’s failings.

The water minister, Tanya Plibersek, said she would seek the support of states and territories to implement the recommendations at a Murray-Darling Basin ministerial council meeting on Wednesday.

Unlike Australia’s financial markets, water markets are poorly regulated and lack the features that make comparable trading markets work effectively and transparently.

For example, unlike in financial markets, there is no regulation around broker behaviour, no prohibitions against market misconduct, and few reporting obligations.

A lack of regulation, transparency and data means farmers and irrigators are unable to be sure they are dealing with brokers who are acting in their best interests. There are also too few penalties.

Plibersek said she would introduce legislation and a mandatory code of conduct to deliver integrity safeguards and lift conduct standards in line with other markets. However, the states will also need to take action to ensure transparency.

The water market reforms are likely to be the least controversial of the agenda items at Wednesday’s meeting which will also be discussing the future of the Murray-Darling Basin plan and the likely failure of NSW and Victoria to meet their obligations.

The water minister Tanya Plibersek.
The water minister Tanya Plibersek. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP


Streaming services’ access to major sporting events to be reviewed

More elite sports could end up on free-to-air television in Australia and streaming services such as Stan or Kayo could face increased regulation when bidding for broadcast deals, as the federal government looks to modernise rules governing which events can be shown on Foxtel pay TV.

A review of the federal anti-siphoning list, which gives free-to-air broadcasters first opportunity to acquire significant sporting events, will commence on Tuesday.

The list means pay TV broadcaster Foxtel can only bid to show those major events after free-to-air channels pass.

But streamers are not currently subject to the same rules as pay TV services.

The television peak body Free TV Australia wants streaming services to be subject to the same anti-siphoning laws when it comes to bidding on events.

She said there was a public interest in having free broadcasting.

What the list does is make sure that free-to-air broadcasters are in there and able to negotiate to try and obtain the best rights package for free TV viewers.


Queensland minister promises to work with environmental groups on protecting koalas

We have an update on the earlier story on environmental groups trying to halt deforestation in Queensland to protect koalas.

The state’s transport minister Mark Bailey has defended the government’s record in passing tougher laws, setting up a land restoration fund last year and supporting carbon farmers.

But AAP reports that Bailey conceded the government could always do more and promised to work with the alliance.

“They have worries and concerns about the environment, I’ll respect that,” Bailey told reporters.

“But our record is very strong, and we’ll keep working with the conservation movement.”

An alliance of environmental groups is calling for Queensland to halt deforestation to save koalas.
An alliance of environmental groups is calling for Queensland to halt deforestation to save koalas. Photograph: Weili Li/Getty Images


Earl Grey mixes solar plant into lithium project in WA

A lithium mine half-owned by Wesfarmers is a step closer to joining the global battery supply chain after adding a renewable energy source to its plans, AAP reports.

Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority on Tuesday backed changes to plans for the once abandoned Mt Holland mine site, about 105km south-east of the historic gold-mining town Southern Cross.

The changes to the Earl Grey Lithium Project will add a solar plant, alter the air strip, include the disposal of refinery waste, and modify exclusion areas for vulnerable banksia and ground-dwelling malleefowl by clearing an extra 56 hectares of bushland.

Mine proponent Covalent Lithium – 50/50 owned by Australian industrial giant Wesfarmers and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile – is developing the mine and a refinery in Kwinana that will take the raw material and produce battery quality lithium hydroxide.

The EPA said the amendment could go ahead, with environmental protection and restoration during and after mining a key part of the decision.

EPA chair Matthew Tonts said the authority noted the importance of lithium as a critical mineral.

“The proposed amendment includes critical infrastructure and renewable energy sources,” Tonts said.

Wesfarmers has added a renewable energy source to its plans for a lithium mine in WA.
Wesfarmers has added a renewable energy source to its plans for a lithium mine in WA. Photograph: Tony Mcdonough/AAP

The latest federal data has lithium on track to overtake wheat and beef as a leading export, as global automakers lock in secure and sustainable supplies of the critical mineral from Australia rather than China.

The new refinery is forecast to start in 2024 and produce 50,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide a year.

Construction is already underway at the mine site after approval was granted in 2019 to clear up to 386 hectares of bush for an open-cut mine pit, waste dump, processing plant, airstrip, accommodation and water supply pipeline.


Pat Conroy says US visit will have ‘special focus on Aukus opportunities’

The defence industry minister and minister for international development and the Pacific, Pat Conroy, is part of the delegation of ministers heading over to the US tomorrow.

He says he will go to meet senior leaders from the Biden administration, World Bank, and finance minister from the Pacific.

He says:

The priorities of Pacific nations will be central to my discussions and are at the forefront of how Australia engages with the Pacific family.

Australia welcomes the Biden administration’s strengthened engagement with the Pacific including President Biden’s recent successful US-Pacific Island country leaders’ summit. We have a shared commitment with New Zealand, Japan, and the UK to support and expand Pacific prosperity and resilience through the Partners in Blue Pacific.

My visit will have a special focus on Aukus opportunities. Defence industrial collaboration between Australia and the United States is a critical and growing part of our bilateral relationship. I will deliver a keynote address to the G’Day USA defence industry dialogue. I will focus on enhancing the way we work together to maximise opportunities for Australia’s defence industry and to build resilience in the supply chains that support our defence forces.

Defence industry minister Pat Conroy is off to the US.
Defence industry minister Pat Conroy is off to the US. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


Man shot by police in NSW after allegedly wielding knife near hospital

A man who was allegedly wielding a knife near a hospital in the NSW central tablelands has been shot by police, AAP reports.

The man was allegedly armed with the blade at Lithgow Hospital as police were trying to arrest him on Tuesday, according to initial reports from police. He was then fired at by police, NSW police said.

A critical incident has been declared by police and the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission has been informed.

Critical incidents are declared when police use their weapons, resulting in the death or serious injury of another person.

Police will investigate the incident and it will be overseen by the Professional Standards Command and the LECC.

An operation remains underway at the hospital and the man is being treated by paramedics.

Police are not seeking any witnesses in relation to the incident, however members of the public are urged to avoid the area.


WARNING - LANDSLIDE for Bogong Village and Falls Creek

More details at

There is a slow moving active landslide on Bogong High Plains Road in the area near Spring Saddle Track above Bogong Village.

— VicEmergency (@vicemergency) October 11, 2022

September rainfall was the 5th-highest on record for Australia as a whole and above average for most of the country, though below average for parts of #Tas, #Vic and #WA. The national mean temp for September was 0.69 °C warmer than the 1961–1990 average

— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) October 11, 2022

Sydney men to face court over allegations of bribery of foreign officials

Two Sydney men were charged with bribery of foreign government officials over allegations that SMC International was involved in bribing Sri Lanka officials for contracts worth more than US$8.8m.

The AFP said a Putney man, 67, and Newtown man, 71, were arrested and charged in September of this year.

The AFP alleges between 2009 and 2016 the men conspired to arrange the payment of more than AU$304,000 to bribe foreign government officials.

The two men have been charged with one count of conspiring to bribe a foreign public official; the maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years’ imprisonment.

They were due to appear in Downing Centre local court on Tuesday.

The investigation is ongoing.


Changes to law to allow data breach information sharing now published

The changes to telecommunications legislation to allow the companies to share information about customers affected by data breaches with financial institutions has been published now, after being flagged by the federal government last week.

You can see the changes here.

Those changes, along with a regulation to allow Optus to share data with Services Australia, were the first government changes in the wake of the data breach last month.

The next stage (aside from the various investigations now underway) will be the response to the review of the Privacy Act, and potential changes to cybersecurity legislation.


Victorian couple to stand trial for theft after receiving $10.5m in erroneous crypto transfer

A Victorian couple who were mistakenly refunded $10.5m by an international cryptocurrency company believed they had won a competition when they received the money, a court has heard.

AAP reports Thevamanogari Manivel and her partner Jatinder Singh appeared by video link from prison in Melbourne magistrates court on Tuesday, where they were committed to stand trial over theft and other charges. intended to refund Manivel $100, but she was erroneously transferred $10,474,143 in May 2021. The company did not notice the mistake until an audit was conducted in December 2021.

A worker in Bulgaria, who processed the refund, had entered the wrong numbers into an Excel spreadsheet, compliance officer Michi Chan Fores said.

Once processed, the refund payment request was sent to’s payment provider in Australia, who then transferred the money into Manivel’s Commonwealth Bank of Australia account.

Singh allegedly believed he had won the money after being sent a notification from the app about a competition to win $10m.

However, Fores said there was no such competition and did not send out push notifications to tell users about competition winnings.

The money was used to buy four houses, $4m was transferred to a Malaysian bank account and the rest bought vehicles, art and furniture, Victoria police senior constable Conor Healy told the court.

A majority has since been paid back but about $3 million remains outstanding, he said, with civil action underway to freeze the property and get money back from relatives who were given gifts.

Manivel pleaded not guilty to three charges, including dealing with proceeds of crime and theft from Commonwealth Bank for withdrawing the money.

She was arrested at Melbourne airport on 17 March this year while allegedly trying to leave Australia to fly home to Malaysia with about $11,000 in cash, which forms another charge.

Singh pleaded not guilty to theft for stealing the money from the bank.

Magistrate Peter Reardon committed Manivel and Singh to stand trial in Melbourne’s county court and will decide whether to grant Manivel bail on Tuesday afternoon.


Thanks for your attention today – I hand you over to the inimitable Josh Taylor who just brought you the news a little while ago about those Apple retail workers planning to strike. See you tomorrow!


We brought you the news earlier about the rallies that are happening in Australian capitals today in response to the latest Russian missile strikes to rain down on the Ukraine.

Here are some images from the rally that took place in Sydney at midday:

Protesters rally against the latest attacks in Ukraine, outside the NSW Parliament in Sydney, Tuesday, October 11, 2022.
Protesters rally against the latest attacks in Ukraine, outside the NSW Parliament House in Sydney. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
Protesters rally against the latest attacks in Ukraine, outside the NSW Parliament in Sydney, Tuesday, October 11, 2022.
Signs calling for the Russian government to be declared a terrorist organisation, held by protesters at a rally in Sydney against the missile strikes in Ukraine. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
Protesters rally against the latest attacks in Ukraine, outside the NSW Parliament in Sydney, Tuesday, October 11, 2022.
Protesters outside the NSW Parliament House in Sydney. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP


What’s led Apple workers to strike?

The announcement that Apple retail workers will strike (see last post) came after three weeks of negotiations between the unions and Apple after the tech giant came back to the table to negotiate over their enterprise agreement.

Josh Cullinan, the secretary of the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (which some Apple workers are part of) told Guardian Australia the negotiations have been “extremely frustrating”, with little movement from the tech giant.

Apple has proposed an enterprise agreement that includes a minimum rate of pay that is 17% above the award rate, outside of weekend penalty rates.

Staff would get higher pay rates for work after 6pm, an improvement from the previous offer of 8pm.

The company is also offering a 2.8% wage increase next year, followed by 2.6% in 2024 and 2025.

Since recommencing negotiations, Apple has also offered a more generous parental leave scheme. The company has also agreed to a minimum 19 hours per week for part-time staff, and 76 hours per fortnight for full-time staff, with overtime paid in excess of 76 hours.

The company has also agreed to giving staff two consecutive days off each week or a fixed day between Monday and Friday.

A spokesperson for Apple said its staff “are our soul and we’re committed to providing the best possible experience, including very strong compensation and benefits, annual stock grants and comprehensive leave policies, all of which exceed Australian industry standards”.


Apple staff to strike over pay and conditions

A group of Apple retail workers have voted to strike as the company extends negotiations with unions over better pay and conditions.

Apple workers who are members of the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union voted for a strike that will see staff in two Brisbane stores and one Newcastle store walk off the job on Tuesday next week for one hour each. The strikes are set to take place from 10am (AEDT) at Charlestown, 11am (AEST) at Chermside, and 12pm (AEST) at Brisbane.

Separate all-day work bans include banning use of the internal comms system, using store phones, working on carrier contracts, a ban on processing cash transactions, and a ban on providing technical support on Airpods, Homepods and Beats.

The union says there are close to 200 RAFFWU members in Apple stores across the country who can take part in the action, but the highest concentration is within those three stores.

There are around 3,700 Apple retail workers across Australia.

RAFFWU has split with the other unions representing staff – ASU and SDA, which have not endorsed the strike activity.

The two unions yesterday put out a statement welcoming two additional meetings to be held between unions and Apple this week over the agreement, meaning the agreement won’t come to a vote until next week at the earliest.


Parliamentary inquiry launched into anti-corruption commission’s access to metadata

We brought you the news a little earlier on the blog about the new investigations launched by the Office of the Information Commissioner and the Australian Communications and Media Authority into the massive Optus data breach.

Now, a parliamentary inquiry has also been announced to examine the proposal to give the national anti-corruption commission (NACC) access to metadata.

The government only just revealed the legislation around the highly anticipated NACC at the last parliamentary sitting – roughly around the same time the details of the Optus breach were emerging.

Not surprising (though good) but a separate parliamentary inquiry has been launched into the proposal to give the national anti-corruption commission access to metadata etc.

ACLEI would lose its power in favour of the NACC.

— Josh Taylor (@joshgnosis) October 11, 2022

At the time my colleague Paul Karp put together this nifty explainer if you’re still a bit hazy about how the NACC will actually work.


Here’s what WWF Australia spokesman Stuart Blanch told reporters today announcing that new plan from Queensland environmental groups to halt deforestation:

We’re losing koalas in Queensland, by 2050 most projections say there will not be koalas across most of Queensland.

That’s a future we don’t want, I don’t think the beef industry wants it, the real estate industry doesn’t want it.

We need to find a way that we have koalas, and beef, and homes, and I guess what the alliance is saying: we need a peace deal for koalas in our forests.

The four groups also want to government to pay farmers to protect trees on their land, which they say will sequester carbon and ensure local beef is produced without deforestation. Queensland Conservation Council director Dave Copeman said farmers must be part of any new plan to protect forests.

Copeman told reporters:

We do know that most farmers care for their country and they want regenerative agriculture that actually restores habitat.

What they need is the government to act so that a small number of bad actors don’t ruin their reputation, and it’s critical for the future in the beef industry.

The government’s expert panel, led by chief scientist Prof Hugh Possingham, held consultations and was due to hand down its draft discussion paper outlining causes and solutions for deforestation in August. However, a government spokesperson told AAP it is yet to receive that report.

AAP has sought comment from the chief scientist’s office.


Environmental groups in Qld form coalition to halt deforestation in the name of the koala

There won’t be any koalas left in Queensland within 27 years if the state doesn’t start halting deforestation, green groups are warning, AAP reports.

Queensland has been clearing more land, more quickly than any other Australian jurisdiction for at least a decade.

More than 6,800 sq km of land, an area bigger than Brunei, was cleared in 2018-19, according to the state government’s latest report.

An expert panel has been probing why deforestation is happening quickly despite the state passing stricter land clearing laws in 2017.

Conservation groups warn native species such as the koala are being pushed to brink of extinction, and Queensland is one of last states where land use is still contributing to carbon emissions.

The Queensland Conservation Council, Australian Conservation Foundation, the Wilderness Society and WWF Australia have launched a joint campaign to halt deforestation.

The alliance wants the government to come up with a plan to manage, regulate and restore 100 million hectares of forest and woodland.


State and territory leaders continue to pay tribute to International Day of the Girl Child.

We’ve come so far since I was a girl – but of course there’s still a way to go. #internationaldayofthegirlchild2022

— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) October 11, 2022

The minister for international development and the Pacific, Pat Conroy, took to social media to remind Australians of the importance of continuing aid to the Indo-Pacific region to advance initiatives including educating young women.

On #DayOfTheGirl I stand with girls and young women.

Educating girls improves #genderequality, communities and economies.

This is why Australia is doing something about it. We are committed to ensuring all girls in the Indo-Pacific receive a #transformingeducation.

— Pat Conroy MP (@PatConroy1) October 11, 2022

My colleague Helen Sullivan wrote this article last year about how the pandemic meant gender equality took a step backwards in south-east Asia and the Pacific, with many girls forced out of school and into marriage.


CSIRO pledge to help industry pivot to curb emissions

More on that announcement from the CSIRO, who says the nation not only needs to cut industrial pollution, but also change the way all sectors operate to make sure greenhouse gas emissions don’t grow in the future.

Dr Larry Marshall said their new project would help Australia’s hardest to abate sectors, including agriculture, aviation and steel, halve their emissions by 2035.

The industry minister, Ed Husic, told AAP the CSIRO commitment is:

A signal to industry that we want to work together, that there’s been a new government that recognises this is an issue that needs to be confronted.

There’s a lot of opportunity there to build commercial value and jobs.

He said the CSIRO mission gave industry a partner to problem solve with on their road to net zero.

The project lead, Dr Michael Battaglia, said heavy emitters like the farming sector and iron ore processors needed help to reach their targets. He told AAP:

We will specifically deal with these sectors and assist them to reduce their emissions.

In working with them, we will start to develop all sorts of analytic frameworks and collaborative approaches that help us apply it to other sectors as well.

Battaglia said the CSIRO was looking at how farmers reducing emissions and increasing sustainability could be rewarded for their work.

Embedding those into supply chain credentials starts to put a price on sustainability and allows some of the benefits to be passed back to farmers, he said.

As part of its mission strategy, the CSIRO worked with the Queensland agriculture department on how the farming sector could reduce emissions.

The report found methods to reduce methane from cattle could be the best way to lower emissions in the state’s $18bn agricultural food industry, and feed the world with sustainable food.

The red meat sector, of which Queensland contributes almost half of the herd, has a target of reaching net zero by 2030.


CSIRO commits $90m for research to achieve net zero

The nation’s top scientists have launched a mission that takes aim at the heart of the challenge facing Australia – cutting emissions while growing the economy, AAP reports.

The CSIRO boss, Dr Larry Marshall, says regions living with drought, flood and job losses don’t need another challenge, and that’s why the $90m plan focuses on the farming and resources sectors that Australia is built on.

In a keynote speech to a business summit today, he said:

This mission isn’t just about working with the hard-to-abate industries.

It’s done in deep consultation and close partnership within the communities across Australia, particularly regional Australia, where these industries exist.

Marshall said cutting harmful methane emissions can be fast-tracked by “future feed” livestock supplements made from seaweed and developing technologies that take carbon out of the atmosphere.

Low-emission steel and iron ore, sustainable aviation fuel and projects to offset emissions are also part of the plan, with leading companies on board.

He said CSIRO is “convinced” hydrogen is part of Australia’s future, whether that’s used to create ammonia fuel or other derivatives.

CSIRO is also working on Australia’s first stocktake of carbon sequestration potential, where soil and vegetation management could be key. That includes contentious carbon capture and storage methods that critics say attract more than their fair share of taxpayer subsidies for little result. Marshall said:

Countries across the world have shown, despite the criticism, that carbon capture and storage or carbon capture and utilisation is a necessary bet on the future. There is no silver bullet for this massive two-thirds of our emissions challenge, so we’re looking at everything.


Ukrainian-Australians rally around the country calling for Russian state to be declared terrorist organisation

The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations has condemned the latest Russian missile attacks, which have rained down on Ukrainian cities largely targeting civilians.

The federation is holding a series of rallies around Australia, with first ones held in Sydney and Hobart outside state parliaments. Another rally is just ending outside the Russian embassy in Canberra while Melbourne’s Federation Square will see a demonstration later this evening.

At these rallies the federation says it will renew its call for the Australian government to declare the Russian government, armed forces and FSB secret service organisation terrorist organisations under Australian law.

Stefan Romaniw, the federation’s co-chair, says:

The latest massive wave of Russian missile attacks on Ukrainian civilians are acts of pure evil. They make clear the genocidal intent of the Russian state, which already stands accused of over 21,000 registered military war crimes, the mass murder of civilians at Bucha and Izium, and individual atrocities such as bombing shopping malls, civilian train stations and hospitals.

Current sanctions have failed to stop the slaughter. It is time for Australia to draw a line and designate the Russian state a terrorist organisation.

Putin’s reign of terror in Ukraine must be stopped. Ukraine must be given more military aid so it can defend itself and bring peace to its people and the world. Australia can play a significant role here - our Bushmasters have been hailed by President Zelenskiy and Ukrainian soldiers as being extremely effective in real combat situations.


Thanks very much, Mostafa!

First up, we’ve been bringing you a lot of news about flooding on the blog – this map from meteorologist Jane Bunn is pretty handy to see where the flooding is occurring.

Blue areas on flood watch: heads up that projected rain could put those rivers back in flood. Minor to moderate is likely, risk of major flooding
Rain begins Wednesday, peaks Thursday, gradually clears Friday. 30-80mm, locally >100mm
I'll keep you updated on @7NewsMelbourne

— Jane Bunn (@JaneBunn) October 11, 2022


OK, and with that I will hand the blog back over to Natasha May. Thanks for reading.


The opposition leader, Peter Dutton, has offered his retort to the treasurer’s bleak assessment earlier today, saying the government shouldn’t be so negative.

Unperturbed by the practicalities of the situation, Dutton said the government’s “negative rhetoric” had dampened confidence in the economy.

Speaking in Queensland, the opposition leader claimed Labor had inherited a strong economy, and that Australia would only go into recession if Jim Chalmers makes “really bad decisions”:

I hope Jim Chalmers can start talking up the economy instead of talking it down.

They went to the election with a plan, and Australians voted for the Labor party based on that plan being delivered, but at the moment there’s no sign of it.

The budget is their opportunity to live up to their promises, and if they’re intending on breaking promises or implementing new taxes, then they should be very clear and upfront with the public that they have broken that trust.


Separate security breach at Adelaide airport

Adelaide airport was thrown into chaos this morning after a security breach was reported, forcing all passengers in the terminal to be rescreened.

The incident is reportedly unrelated to the security breach in Melbourne this morning, which means we’ve had two security breaches in a matter of hours.

The terminal in Adelaide was evacuated around 10am after a piece of security equipment had failed. The terminal is now completely reopened, with flight delays expected.

At a press conference, the managing director of Adelaide airport, Brenton Cox, said a security screen had malfunctioned, causing the rescreening of everyone in the terminal, and praised the “understanding and incredibly kind” passengers:

People were incredibly understanding and incredibly kind. We had a great customer care team in their pink vests to help people out this morning through what was an unfortunate situation, but we think was managed very well in the circumstances.

Cox said 10 flights were delayed, and around 2,000 people were caught up in the situation:

In this instance, we weren’t able to track down the initial passenger that went through. And as it happens, it’s a time based process where if people have already boarded the plane and that plane is off and disembark, then we know that safe. To the extent that that hasn’t happened, you do need to track it back. And unfortunately, that meant quite a lot of people that had to be rescanned.

Asked if there was any connection to the incident in Melbourne, Cox said it was “completely fortuitous coincidence”:

It really is unfortunate that that’s happened in two major airports this morning. And it was a completely fortuitous coincidence that that’s occurred in Melbourne and then has occurred in Adelaide. We’re, in the scheme of things, lucky in Adelaide because it fell outside of morning peak.

Evacuation at Adelaide airport @MatthewPantelis

— Jo De Silva (@Jo_DeSilva) October 10, 2022


⚠️ #Flood Watch issued for parts of #Victoria. Widespread minor to moderate flooding expected and major flooding likely in some catchments from Thursday. See for details and updates; follow advice from @vicemergency. #VicFloods @VicSESnews

— Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria (@BOM_Vic) October 11, 2022

A man has reportedly been shot in the NSW Central Tablelands this morning.

Police are currently on the scene, with the man understood to have been shot in the abdomen on the grounds of Lithgow Hospital.

He is in a stable condition and being treated at the hospital.

We will bring you more as it emerges.

The head of a new parliamentary inquiry into promoting democracy across the Indo-Pacific says he hopes a shared commitment to free elections will “bind Australia with our friends” across the region.

Labor MP Josh Burns, the chair of the foreign affairs and aid sub-committee, announced today that his committee was launching an inquiry into how Australia can partner with countries in the region to promote democracy.

Burns told Guardian Australia the military coup in Myanmar last year “showed how quickly democracy can be taken away”.

He said the committee would examine the merits of Australia “having a clearly defined policy” when it comes to providing funding and support to help countries in the region hold elections.

Readers may recall that the prime minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, last month objected to the timing of Australia announcing its offer to financially support the holding of the country’s next election (calling the way it was publicised “foreign interference”). But Sogavare later welcomed the offer and thanked the prime minister, Anthony Albanese, at a meeting in Canberra last week.

Burns said the new inquiry would also consider the important role a free and independent media and civil society organisations played in supporting democracy:

Clearly China is thinking about the long term and generationally in terms of their place in the region and I think Australia has to be thinking across generations about how we act in our interests with our friends in the Pacific.

Sharing democratic ideals and a commitment to democracy will hopefully bind Australia with our friends not just for five years but for the next 50 years.

The inquiry was launched following a referral from the foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, and it is open for submissions until 11 November.

Earlier today in a statement, Burns said this inquiry was “deeply personal” for him:

I think of my grandmother who had her citizenship and democratic rights taken away in Germany.

My family is very grateful to Australia for the democratic rights and freedoms that we, like so many other refugee and immigrant families, have today. We do not take them for granted. I want to see that others have the same.

The AAP is reporting that Telstra’s chairman said the telco’s cyber security capabilities are “considerable” but added he’s avoiding complacency and hubris after the devastating Optus hack.

“It is easy for third parties to be critical of companies who have suffered devastating cyber-attacks such as happened recently to Optus,” John Mullen told shareholders at Telstra’s annual general meeting on Tuesday.

Let me be blunt, however, and say it is easy to be critical when it isn’t you in the firing line.

We should all avoid hubris because no one can be complacent and no organisation can ever be 100% sure that it is completely protected and safe.

New chief executive Vicki Brady said a Telstra third party provider was recently hacked and some employee data was stolen, including her own information. But no customer data was lost, she said.

Ms Brady reaffirmed Telstra’s guidance of $7.8bn to $8bn in underlying earnings in 2022/23 on total income of $23bn to $25bn.

Mr Mullen said Telstra had been focusing on creating a better customer experience, hiring 2000 new team members across the country so it answers calls in Australia rather than overseas.

It has also brought all of its licensee stores in-house, so they are now Telstra owned and operated.

The meeting is continuing.


So I wanted to also rewind for a second, earlier this morning teal independent Monique Ryan was on ABC Breakfast, saying she believed the government was between a “rock and a hard place” on stage three tax cuts.

Nonetheless, Ryan believed the government should rescind the cuts, noting that “people will understand”:

I think people understand that a government’s role is to respond to the challenges that it has in front of it.

I think people understand that these tax cuts were legislated at a time before we had a trillion dollars in debt. And before we saw the cost of living and in fact, inflationary pressures on the economy that we’re seeing at the moment.

MP Monique Ryan in parliament wearing a black jacket and jumper
Independent MP for Kooyong Monique Ryan. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Ryan added that she thought the government would be reluctant to do that, though, in the face of strong criticism from the opposition, which she said was “not helpful”:

The opposition … doesn’t have a whole lot else to talk about (and is) is going to bang on about broken promises and lies in a way that is, I think, not helpful to the Australian people at this point in time.

But that probably does mean that the government is going to be reluctant to withdraw completely from the plans for the stage three tax cuts.


So Jim Chalmers has ended his presser, and there were a couple of interesting titbits. Apart from consistent questions about the budget blowouts and how much the NDIS contributes to that (Chalmers refused to be drawn in), there was a question about immediate relief for low-income families.

Chalmers took a shot at giving a balanced view, saying the government will attempt to address cost of living issues, while being cognisant of the “hard job” the Reserve Bank has on their hands:

It is going to be the most problematic aspect of it, of our inflation problem over the course of the next six or nine months. I have had a number of conversations with Treasury and with others about it. When it comes to support for cost of living, we need to be extremely cautious here that any cost of living support that we provide isn’t counterproductive.

We want to make sure that cost of living support that we provide doesn’t make the already hard job of the independent Reserve Bank even harder. We’re very conscious of that. It is rare that there’s a conversation with our colleagues which doesn’t weigh up in one way another this challenge that you’re getting at when it comes to providing cost of living relief.

What we will do in October is provide cost of living relief where we are supremely confident that it won’t make the job of the independent Reserve Bank harder and the way you do that is you provide cost of living relief in a way that has an economic dividend. Child care is an obvious part of that. Cheaper education costs obvious part of that.

Making medicine cheaper and a lot of people who will be under pressure from high power prices will benefit from cheaper medicines. This is how you go about providing cost of living relief. What I have tried to do for some time now and you have all heard me say it one way or another, is I don’t want to get into the situation of spraying cash around in a way that is counterproductive and just makes it harder for the independent Reserve Bank.


Treasurer Jim Chalmers says the world is on track for another economic “downturn”, saying Australia may not be spared, but the government is looking at ways to bring down gas prices ahead of a forecasted spike in consumer costs.

However he also said the government was weighing any potential cost of living relief, in a bid to alleviate power prices rising, against the risk of further adding to inflation.

Chalmers told his Canberra press conference that there was more the government could do to address spiralling gas prices. He didn’t say exactly what that would look like, but said he’d been working with resources minister Madeleine King and industry minister Ed Husic on measures to cut prices.

Asked about predictions electricity prices would balloon in coming months, Chalmers said that would be “the most problematic aspect” would be inflation and how to balance that against more government spending.

“When it comes to support for cost of living, we need to be extremely cautious here that any cost of living support that we provide isn’t counterproductive. We want to make sure that cost of living support that we provide doesn’t make the already hard job of the independent Reserve Bank even harder,” Chalmers said.

What we will do in October is provide cost of living relief where we are supremely confident that it won’t make the job of the independent Reserve Bank harder.

But specifically asked about gas, Chalmers flagged some changes could be made.

“There is more that governments can do and there will be more that we do.. I do think there is more that can be done,” he said.

Chalmers added his trip to the United States this week is “an opportunity to take the temperature of the deteriorating global economy” and what it will mean for Australia.


Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, says work is underway to prepare for storms expected later this week, including 200 generators ready to be deployed if communities lose power. The state’s fleet of emergency helicopters is also on standby to assist with airlifts of supplies, equipment and emergency personnel as needed.

The Emergency Management Victoria deputy commissioner, Chris Stephenson, says Victorians should prepare by having enough supplies on hand to last for up to 72 hours:

“You need to make sure that you are prepared for up to 72 hours of potential isolation and that includes making sure it’s not just yourself but your neighbours, you’ve got provisions for your pets, you’ve got your medication available, because we need our first responders to be able respond to those vulnerable people, those people that need the most so if you can take care of yourself, you must do so leading into an event like this.

Tim Wiebusch from the State Emergency Service is now speaking about Victoria’s upcoming storm event:

“The Dartmouth Dam has spilt for the first time in 26 years, Lake Eildon is about to reach a point where it’s spilling for the first time in 28 years. If you come across to the Thomson Dam indications from Melbourne Water, we could see that spill this weekend for the first time in 30 odd years.

So we are in a situation in Victoria where a number of our storages are reaching capacity right across the state. You’ll see if you look up your local water storage, many of them are now at 90+% and it won’t take a lot of rainfall to fill those ... The biggest risk for Melbourne in the coming days is flash flooding.

If we see that 20 to 50mm as we saw last week in metropolitan Melbourne, we will see localised areas of flash flooding. Again we can’t emphasise to people enough to not attempt to drive through flash flood waters. We don’t want to see cars and people on roofs at York Street at Dudley Street and all those other locations that are known hotspots around Melbourne. So please plan and have an alternative route.


The ACCC chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, has been asked by several members of the economics committee about “greenwashing”, particularly in light of claims about carbon neutrality and other climate action. (The queries were from the coalition’s Garth Hamilton, teal independent Allegra Spender and Labor’s Jerome Laxale.)

In short, this area of the competition regulator will be one to watch as it’s been made a priority this year.

As GCG noted, increasing numbers of consumers are making purchasing decisions “on the basis of the sustainability of products ... and we do not want to see a loss of consumer and community trust in these claims”. There are also competitive implications, “where we have businesses genuinely investing in what can be substantial investments in order to have a more sustainable production process”, and shouldn’t be undermined by rivals not making such investments but claiming similar environmental standards.

We are working on a significant body of work here,” the ACCC boss said, and just in the past week have started a sweep of the internet to check what online claims are being and which ones “set off alarm bells for us.

The ACCC is also planning to lay down the guidelines, so that companies only make claims that are “clear, defined, limited in their claims, and always have strong verification materials” since consumers can’t be expected to assess on their own, GCG said.

One issue will be worth watching, though, is how claims are divvied up between regulators. Some will fall within the ACCC’s remit, others for ASIC (for companies and investors), and the Clean Energy Regulator.

As we reported here yesterday, the Clean Energy Regulator is already under an independent review (due to report by the year’s end) but the Albanese government isn’t waiting for the outcome. It’s released draft legislation that will see a new type of carbon credit generated (by industries) to add to a market where there is scepticism about the current veracity of carbon credits.

(Laxale dubbed the latter as an area of “junk credits” with an intent, it seems, to prod ACCC to see where they stood.)


Chalmers says budget 'won't be fancy, won't be flashy'

Chalmers has continued, laying out the three priorities for his first budget:

Our priorities in the budget, as they have been over the course of recent weeks, as the expenditure review committee has met a number of times to finalise this budget - there are three priorities for the budget.

First of all: provide responsible cost of living relief that has an economic dividend.

Secondly: invest in the resilience of the economy. Investing in areas like skills and training where we’ve got obvious skills and labour shortages, so to make the economy more resilient.

headshot of jim chalmers in front of an australian flag
‘It will put a premium on what’s responsible and affordable and sustainable,’ treasurer Jim Chalmers said. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

And thirdly: to begin to unwind some of the wasteful spending which has been a feature of budgets in this country for the best part of a decade. So they will be the priorities for the budget.

It won’t be fancy, it won be flashy. It will be responsible. It will be solid. It will put a premium on what’s responsible and affordable and sustainable, and it will be targeted to the economic conditions that we confront together in the here and now, and also into the future and the global situation is obviously front of our minds as we put the finishing touches on the budget in two weeks.


Chalmers says world is bracing for third downturn in a decade

Next, treasurer Jim Chalmers is up to speak to the media (I thought we had moved past competing 11am pressers? Please guys, please), and has begun with a long prologue discussing his upcoming trip the United States to meet with the chairman of the US Federal Reserve.

Chalmers buttressed any discussion of the budget with a warning that the world is bracing for a third economic downturn this decade, and that the “deteriorating global situation” was the background to the budget:

The world is bracing for another global downturn. That’s the truth of it. And we’ve seen in the comments from the head of the IMF overnight, we’ve seen in recent commentary from the OECD and the World Bank and the IMF that the prospects for a recession in some of the major economies of the world has edged over from possible to probable, and that has obvious implications for us as well.

The world is bracing for the third downturn in the course of the last decade and a half. And if it goes that way as many expect, this will be a very different downturn to the two others that we’ve had over the course of the last decade and a half.

The first one, the global financial crisis, was a financial shock that became a demand issue. The second one was a health shock which became, mostly, a supply issue.

This one is an inflation shock, and the risk here is a hard landing around the world, brought about by the blunt and brutal, but in some ways necessary tightening of monetary policy that we’re seeing, particularly in the big advanced economies.


Victoria warned Thursday is 'heavy rain day'

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is fronting the news along with officials from the Bureau of Meteorology and SES, warning that the heavy rainfall approaching the state will bring with it potential flash flooding.

Andrews began by emphasising the danger of the incoming rainfall, adding that catchments are full, and that the risk of flooding was great:

The reason we’re here today is that we’re going to see a significant rain event
beginning tomorrow and pushing into Thursday. We know that our catchments are full. We know that we’ve had record rainfall to this point and the ground is absolutely sodden.

So even a minor amount of rain would be a risk in terms of flooding. But it’s not a minor rain event that we are forecasting. It will be significant rainfall in certain parts of the state and that will pose a flooding risk to communities in lots of different places.

Kevin Parkin from the Bureau gave a sense of the intensity of the rainfall predicted:

We’re expecting it to start Wednesday and intensify in force on Thursday resulting in widespread rain. So what does that look like? Well, Wednesday is a day where we’ll see showers and storms build across Victoria as the day unfolds.

We don’t think that there will be much in the way of heavy rainfall, although we’re quite concerned that severe storms in the western districts may produce localised bursts of heavy rain of 20-30mm.

The real concern, though, is from the very early hours of Thursday morning right through to Friday morning where we’re expecting widespread falls of 20-50mm across much of Victoria, except, perhaps, the far south-west, East Gippsland and the north-east.

Also higher falls of 60mm-100mm about the dividing range and the northern catchments, and that’s where catchments are saturated and we’ve already got riverine flooding. Melbourne is at risk as well - not only of flash flooding on the Thursday, but also seeing river rises through Melbourne’s catchments.

So, I can’t stress the importance that Thursday is very much a flash flood, heavy rain day. Be prepared.


Good morning, a quick thanks to Natasha May to begin, Mostafa Rachwani with you for a short while, there is much going on so let’s dive in.


And with that I hand you over to Mostafa Rachwani who will be on the blog for the next two hours and I’ll see you back here around 1pm!


Passenger who caused Melbourne Airport chaos had been screened in Perth

We brought you the news this morning about the security breach at Melbourne Airport causing flights to be delayed and at least one plane to be evacuated as passengers were asked to go back for re-screening.

The source of the chaos? A passenger who had passed from an unscreened part of the airport to a screened part without being checked.

Guardian Australia now understands the Qantas customer arrived in Melbourne from Perth this morning, where he had been screened on departure.

Instead of proceeding directly to his connecting flight he exited the sterile area of the terminal and made his way towards the baggage carousel.

He was in the baggage area for less than a minute, before he walked back through the one-way security doors the wrong way – apparently because he realised he didn’t need to collect his bag.

An alarm was triggered and the doors briefly locked, however the customer was able to get back into the sterile area.

Guardian Australia understands Qantas is looking into why the doors didn’t lock as they were meant to, but the initial view is that the number of people who were also exiting from the sterile area stopped the doors from locking.

The passenger was subsequently identified and interviewed by the Australian federal police, who are not laying charges.


NSW government backflips on hidden speed cameras

The NSW government is accused of performing a “spectacular backflip” after ditching its unpopular policy of removing signs warning drivers about mobile speed cameras, AAP reports.

Fixed signs for mobile speed cameras were taken down in November 2020, leading to a massive spike in revenue raised from low-level speeding offences.

The number where the limit was exceeded by 10km/h or less went from 3222 in October 2020 to 27,855 by February 2021.

Roads Minister Natalie Ward announced on Monday additional warning signs around mobile speed cameras would return next year, saying the government had listened to community feedback. She said:

Ensuring our local roads are as safe as possible for pedestrians and motorists is an absolute priority for this government.

Ward, an upper house MP, recently announced she would make a run for the lower house seat of Pittwater on Sydney’s northern beaches at the March election.

Roads Minister Sam Farraway said the government had been told of cameras concealed behind poles and trees, and the point of the signage was to slow drivers down. He said:

We have heard loud and clear from the community on this issue.

Labor leader Chris Minns said the government went from collecting about $4m a year in low-range speeding fines to about $45m during one financial year. With an election less than five months away, the policy reversal was timed to placate voters, he said.

The government’s basically admitted what we’ve already known for many years now. This has been revenue raising on a giant scale.

They’ve now backflipped in a spectacular fashion because they’ve been caught red-handed with their hands in your pockets.

The policy was introduced by former transport minister Andrew Constance, who said removing signage would change driver culture and behaviour. He said in 2020:

No warning signs mean you can be caught anywhere, anytime and we want that same culture around mobile speed cameras.

Check out the 2022 Nature Conservancy photo contest prize winners

Winners from the 2022 Nature Conservancy photo contest have been announced – chosen from more than 100,000 entries from 196 different countries and territories.

colourful lizard with wind turbines in the background
First place – climate. Lizards and Windmills by Sandesh Kadur, India Photograph: Nature Conservancy Photo Contest 2022

Some are so mesmerising they give the impression of a painted canvas rather than a photograph; others are gut-wrenchingly realistic in the brutal truths of the animal kingdom they reveal. If you check out the photos you’ll know exactly which one I’m talking about.


Median power prices up $300 since April, ACCC says

ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb has told the house of reps’ Economics Committee that median power prices for residential consumers had risen by $300 since April.

Gina Cass-Gottlieb speaks to the media wearing a black jacket
‘There are many reasons’ for the increase, ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said. Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AAP

That applies for those in the national electricity market, which covers the eastern and southern states (so it’s not really ‘national’, but covers about 80% of the populace).

Anyway, “there are many reasons” for the increase, GCG says. (Not least among them is the spike in global energy prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion, although prices had started to rise as economies came out of Covid lockdown highly juiced up with governments splurging just about everywhere).

The increase for residences amounts to about a 25% rise. For median small businesses, the power bill is up $1500, she said (without providing a % change).

As noted in this blog yesterday, Jeff Dimery, head of Alinta Energy, told the AFR energy conference he expected prices would rise another 35% in the middle of next year, once the typical tariff reset occurs. We’ll see if it’s as bad as that since a lot can change, with the price of gas likely to be crucial since that also influences power prices to a big degree.


Three investigations launched into Optus data breach

Three separate agencies are investigating Optus following the massive data breach revealed to the public on 22 September.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has today commenced an investigation into the personal information handling practices of the telco and its parent company Singtel Optus.

The OAIC released a statement to say their investigation will focus on whether the Optus companies took reasonable steps to protect the personal information they held from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure, and whether the information collected and retained was necessary to carry out their business.

The OAIC’s investigation will be co-ordinated with that of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (Acma), also announced today.

Acma will investigate Optus’ obligations as telecommunications service provider, including relating to the acquisition, authentication, retention, disposal and protection of personal information, and requirements to provide fraud mitigation protections.

The Australian information and privacy commissioner, Angelene Falk, said the co-ordination of investigations would lead to efficient regulatory outcomes.

These investigations come as the consumer watchdog’s scam team continues to respond to 600 complaints in total, between 22 September and 4 October, related to the breach, according to the head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The ACCC chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, said many scammers were taking advantage of the large-scale data breach and posing as the telecommunications giant or Equifax Protect, the credit reporting agency tasked with supporting victims of the breach, to swindle consumers.

She told a parliamentary committee:

What we can see is it’s only a small number of people who have become a victim to a scam, but many are alert to it and are most of all confused and anxious.

The OAIC’s statement said that their investigation could see Optus forced to redress any losses and potentially face civil penalties:

If the OAIC’s investigation satisfies the commissioner that an interference with the privacy of one or more individuals has occurred the commissioner may make a determination that can include requiring the Optus companies to take steps to ensure the act or practice is not repeated or continued, and to redress any loss or damage.

If the investigation finds serious and/or repeated interferences with privacy in contravention of Australian privacy law, then the commissioner has the power to seek civil penalties through the Federal Court of up to $2.2m for each contravention.


On international day of the girl child, the minister for women and finance, Katy Gallagher, has released this message, reinforcing the need to break down barriers to gender equality.

Girls are leaders.
Girls are change-makers.
Girls are breaking down boundaries & barriers to gender equality.

We must invest in a future that delivers on their potential.

Now is their time, their rights, their future. #InternationalDayOfGirlChild

— Katy Gallagher (@SenKatyG) October 10, 2022


SES operating ‘border to border’ in NSW as peak flooding delayed

Here is what Daniel Austin, the deputy commissioner of the NSW SES, told ABC News Breakfast about the flooding in the state:

The expectation yesterday was that we were going to see the peak start to roll through late yesterday afternoon. That has been delayed due to the way that basically the catchment has interacted upstream. We are expecting to see some of that occur during today and we will expect to see some further warnings for some further isolations and we believe a small number of properties may well be inundated as that water moves down the system.

Austin said the SES have “a really wide area of operations” at the moment.

Literally border to border at the moment… Numerous [different catchments are] at major flood levels still, particularly in the north and west of the state, where we are seeing, particularly around Namoi, Gundagai, Gunnedah, Wee Waa and Warren will be inundated and isolated to varying degrees as the water moves down and through that catchment again.

We are in almost a unique situation where we have varying flood heights on some of the rivers, depending on where the particular peak from that particular weather system has actually moved through.

We see some renewed peaks on one end of the catchment and we see some almost troughs on others and then we see the water coming back up in other places as well. Across the state there was over 450 SES volunteers out, supported by our emergency services partners yesterday and there is still over 100 flood warnings across the state from the New South Wales SES.


ACCC sees no ‘abnormal’ fuel price movements

The Standing Committee on Economics will hear from the main regulators today, kicking off with the competition regulator ACCC.

Gina Cass-Gottlieb, the new ACCC chair, was asked about what the watchdog had seen as far as fuel prices in the wake of the resumption of the full fuel excise for motorists about two weeks ago.

The good news, so far, is that the ACCC’s survey of all capital cities and 190 regional centres has found service stations have not taken advantage to hike fuel prices by more than the 25.3c per litre. The regulator has not seen “moves that were abnormal”, she said.

Perth is the one outstanding location, and the WA capital did reach the “top” of fortnightly fuel cycle, Cass-Gottlieb said. Apparently price swings are about 25-30c per litre, so the shift has been within that range. But presumably servos in that city are on notice.

It does seem that outlets might have anticipated the ACCC’s by hiking prices before the excise was fully restored. Margins over wholesale prices spiked to the highest in more than two years but have lately – perhaps conveniently – dropped back to below average, according to the Australian Institute of Petroleum.

So far the ACCC has found no "abnormal" movements in petrol prices since the reversal to the full fuel excise, which (with GST) added 25.3 cents to the price per litre. Interestingly the margin has also lately dropped below average.

— Peter Hannam (@p_hannam) October 10, 2022

The latest figures from the AIP show average retail prices across the country were 182.5c per litre for the week to 9 October, with wholesale prices rising to 170.7c. When those margins return to average levels we can expect fuel prices to increase closer to 190c, you’d have to expect.

Asked about whether there was an unusual run-up ahead of the excise increase, Cass-Gottlieb said that in cities where there are price cycles, fuel prices rose 3-7 cents higher than the previous peak.

Cass-Gottleib also said that “it can be difficult” to tell whether the recent peaks were out of line with previous cycles.


Nine flood warnings in Victoria with minor warnings in Queensland

More from AAP on emergency warnings across the country:

Victorians are urged to enjoy the warm weather while it lasts, with the State Emergency Service bracing for flooding in the next few days.

Nine flood warnings are already in place in Victoria.

The heaviest rain is expected to arrive on Thursday, with up to 100mm in some areas.

In Queensland, minor flood warnings are current for the Bulloo, Lower Macintyre, Paroo, Bokhara and Barcoo rivers.

The BOM has also released its severe weather long-range forecast into 2023.

It expects an increased risk of tropical cyclones and tropical lows and widespread flooding for eastern and northern Australia.

While there is “normal bushfire potential” in the eastern states, there will be an elevated risk of grass fires in southern Australia and a higher risk of prolonged heatwaves with higher humidity.

The forecast also warns of a possible increase in the risk of thunderstorm asthma events if 2023 conditions are dry in late spring and early summer.


NSW on flood watch ahead of midweek rain

With more than 100 flood warnings in place, people throughout NSW are bracing for another wet week, AAP reports.

Flood waters lap against a Cowra welcome sign
Flood waters in Cowra, New South Wales, this morning. Photograph: Stuart Walmsley/AAP

Heavy rain will lash western and southern parts of the state on Wednesday and Thursday but for now, conditions have eased with patches of sunshine peeking through.

Seven rivers could experience flooding in the coming days, the Bureau of Meteorology said. Major inundation is occurring along the Murrumbidgee River with people in Gundagai on high alert and flooding possible at Wagga Wagga.

Areas of concern include Gunnedah and Wee Waa in the state’s northwest, Warren, west of Dubbo, and Forbes in the central west.

Evacuation orders are current for parts of Dubbo, Wagga and the Hawkesbury area, north of Sydney.

SES volunteers have responded to more than 1000 calls for help since Friday evening, including 155 in the past 24 hours, and conducted six rescues.

Numerous rivers are at major flood levels, particularly in the north and west of the state.


SES issues 105 flood warnings across NSW

💧Prolonged flooding is continuing in Western and Southern NSW.

Heavy rain has resulted in increased flood levels in inland NSW. NSW SES has released 105 Flood Warnings across the State.

🔴 5 Emergency Warnings
🟠 44 Watch and Act
🟡 56 Advice

— NSW SES (@NSWSES) October 10, 2022


‘We did not discuss support for a no campaign on Voice’: Greens

We brought you the news a little earlier that Indigenous businessman Warren Mundine was on ABC radio following reports in The Australian he had met with Greens senator Lidia Thorpe and discussed ramping up a no campaign on the Indigenous voice to parliament.

The Greens have clarified that Thorpe was one of a number of crossbenchers at the meeting focused on the importance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

A Greens spokesperson told the Guardian:

As you would expect, Senator Thorpe meets with a range of First Nations stakeholders, and this meeting of Senate Crossbenchers with a number of stakeholders was to discuss the importance of progressing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Contrary to reports, we did not discuss support for a No campaign on Voice. Senator Thorpe and Greens Leader Adam Bandt are currently working with the government to ensure all elements of the Uluṟu statement including Truth, Treaty and Voice are delivered, and action to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Stolen Generations Bringing them Home Report.


We mentioned the defence minister, Richard Marles’s meeting with the Ukraine ambassador, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, a little earlier on the blog. Here’s a picture from that meeting Marles has just shared, saying that he was with the ambassador when news of the escalating missile attacks broke.

I was with @AmbVasyl yesterday afternoon when news broke of these attacks- the sense of heartbreak was completely palpable.

I am committed to supporting Ukraine and know that our military assistance is making a difference.

— Richard Marles (@RichardMarlesMP) October 10, 2022


Government tries to remove red tape around overseas health professionals entering Australia, Butler says

Butler says while the government “won’t compromise on our strong standards” when it comes to allowing overseas doctors into the country, they are trying to reduce red tape:

Applicants from overseas need to make five separate applications to five separate bodies. We have got to make that much simpler and ensure there is a one touch system so all of the different bodies that have to a these applications look at one application.

We know we can do this more quickly. We know visa processing times blew out over the last several years. We have already started to get them down after commitments we made at the jobs and skills summit. It takes now less than one week to process a visa for a nurse coming in from overseas. We are making the same changes for doctors also.

There are some real bureaucratic hurdles we need to work on, health ministers and I were talking about this last week and it was actually on the agenda of the national cabinet of the premiers, chief ministers and the prime minister last week as well. We’re determined to do everything we can so when doctors and nurses come in from overseas, they don’t spend months languishing in an apartment in Sydney or Melbourne or driving a cab or serving coffee, they go straight onto the hospital floor or into the aged care facility or into general practices to deliver healthcare that they are trained to.


What are the solutions on the table to the looming GP crisis?

Butler said that reversing the trend is going to take a while:

This is long-term reform after long-term neglect. There are immediate things we need to do which is why strengthening Medicare was the centre piece of our election health policy on working with the AMA, with other doctors, nursing and patients groups, allied health groups.

We are meeting regularly for several hours every month to work out the priorities of that $750m investment we committed to. That will be rolled out from next year and it will hopefully start to deliver the type of care that patients and doctors say is needed in modern Australia, more complex chronic disease means you need longer, deeper relationships with your doctor.

You need team-based care with nurses and allied health professionals involved and you need better use of digital health which is connected to other parts of the health care system. Those are the things we are working on right now. They won’t in and of themselves be enough. We need a shot in the arm to the Medicare system which is why we will be doing that in the short term, but this is long-term reform that is needed.

I can read the briefs and I can talk to the heads of profession but someone of my more mature years can only make an educated guess about what is happening in the minds of young medical graduates as they weigh up their life and career choices which is why sitting down with them today, as my opposition counterpart is doing as well, is really important.


State of general practice ‘worries me the most’, health minister says

The federal health minister, Mark Butler, and his opposition counterpart will today be involved in a roundtable discussion on how to tackle the looming GP shortage. Butler spoke to ABC News Breakfast:

Of all the pressures on the healthcare system, the thing that worries me the most now is the state of general practice, which I think is the most parlous state it has been in in the 40-year history of Medicare.

Patients tell me it has never been harder to see a doctor than it is right now. GPs are exhausted and worried about the financial viability of their practice and health ministers were only telling me last week that all of this is placing more pressure on an already-stressed hospital system.

I think it is very clear after nine years of cuts and neglect to Medicare, there is a sense that general practice has been run down, so not only is that placing pressure on the system today, it is, as you have said, leading young medical graduates to steer away from general practice and into other specialties.

Only one in eight medical graduates right now are intending to go into general practice, not too long ago that figure was four out of every eight. If it is hard to see a doctor right now, it will get much harder and I worry that general practice, as we understand it, is the back bone of Australia’s healthcare system, won’t be sustainable unless we’re able to reverse the trend. That is the title of the discussion that we are going to have with medical students today.


Government releases breakdown of defence cost blowouts

One of the big defence stories yesterday was the Albanese government’s complaints about the state of defence procurements – including the projected $6.5bn in total cost blowouts since projects were approved.

The government has released a breakdown of these blowouts this morning – with the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter program blamed for $2.4bn of these cost variations. That program’s original approved budget was $16.6bn.

aircraft line up on a runway in formation
F-35A aircraft. Photograph: Us Air Force/Reuters

Another significant cost variation affects the P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft (a $1.8bn increase from the $5.4bn approved budget).

Labor has argued the figures show the new government has inherited “a real mess” and that there is pressure on the defence budget. The Coalition has claimed that the government is softening the public up for future defence cuts.


Australia considers sending forces to train Ukrainian troops

Over on Sky News, Marles was asked whether the option of sending Australian troops to train Ukrainian troops was on the table.

He replied:

Training is one of the measures that is being looked at. We’re looking at a range of other ways in which we can provide support...

We just need to work out, obviously, what we can do, but what we can do in a way which gives the best bang for buck and actually does support Ukraine over the long term.


Delivery of Bushmasters to Ukraine on track as attacks escalate

The deputy prime minister, Richard Marles, said Australia’s delivery of the promised 60 Bushmaster vehicles to Ukraine is “on track”.

Green army vehicle on the tarmac in front of a grey airplane
A Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle bound for Ukraine in April. Photograph: LACW Emma Schwenke/AP

(He did not go into exact numbers, but reports have previously suggested Australia has supplied more than 40 of the 60 promised Bushmasters.)

Marles, the defence minister, told Seven’s Sunrise program:

The schedule of delivery is on track. But we talked with the Ukrainian ambassador about that. And we will be looking at ways in which we can continue support beyond the current commitments because we do see that this is a conflict which is going to be ongoing for a significant period of time.

And ultimately what we need to be doing here is putting Ukraine in a position where this conflict can be resolved on their terms. That has to be the case because this is unprovoked aggression on the part of Russia and it’s really important that Ukraine is allowed to resolve this on its own terms and that unprovoked aggression is not allowed to stand.

Marles said he had been in a meeting with Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, yesterday afternoon when news was breaking of Russian attacks on Kyiv and other cities.

The sense of heartbreak was completely palpable.


Australia could be 11,000 GPs short by end of decade, medical body warns

The government and the Opposition are being asked to commit to long term plans to address the shortage of general practitioners which is set to worsen over coming years as less young doctors are signing onto the practice.

The Australian medical student association is warning that the nation could be up to 11,000 GPs short by the end of the decade, unless the current and future governments take action.

Jasmine Davis, the president of the Australian medical student association, told ABC News Breakfast about what the impact of that shortage could be:

The shortage of GPs will have really significant detrimental impacts on our entire health care system. We know if we don’t have a strong primary care, we will see more people having to go to hospital and we will also have so much more pressure on that already pressured private hospital system as well.

Davis is set to meet with the health minister and the opposition spokesperson and says the medical student association are focusing on solutions and bringing different stakeholders together.

She says the decrease in Medicare funding over the years, which means GPs don’t make the money that they might make in other areas of practice, has affected students’ decisions.

It is definitely not the number one issue for students but we have seen that it is about the value that we’re placing in the career. If we are seeing that government isn’t investing in primary care, that is sending a message to students and to everyone that maybe that is not where the focus should be. Alongside that we do almost all our training in the hospital system so we don’t get as much exposure to general practice. The financial side is one piece of a very big and complex puzzle of why we’re not seeing the current interest in general practice.


Renewables report calls for farm subsidies

A new report looking at renewable energy in Australian agriculture has called for a national audit of its use by farmers, as well as more incentives to encourage take-up, AAP reports.

The “Farm Powered: Opportunities for regional communities” report, commissioned by Farmers for Climate Action, is being launched today by economist and climate expert Ross Garnaut.

The report calls on the state and federal governments to provide a mechanism for annual rent to be paid to producers for transmission lines, and subsidies to be made available for batteries.

Farmers for Climate Action chief executive officer, Dr Fiona Davis, said the report highlighted the need for a national climate change and agricultural policy that includes renewables. Davis said:

There’s a lot of untapped capacity here.

She said the report outlined the case for subsidies and renewable energy incentives, and ensuring existing solar panels worked well on farms:

Boosting on farm batteries with a subsidy will mean local energy is used locally, reducing strain on the grid and saving farmers money.

Australia’s renewables rollout has not been a smooth process ... we want to ... make sure that farmers can play that key role they have the potential to.

Australia is looking to build almost 135 gigawatts of renewable energy and more than 10,000km of transmission lines by 2030 to meet its emissions reduction targets.

Lead author of the report and farmer Karin Stark said a national audit of renewables in agriculture is needed so that targets can be set.

She said governments had to help farmers cover the high cost of batteries, which can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars:

There’s a role there for governments to really support and encourage farmers to use storage particularly ... and also to use more renewables to increase reliability, reduce costs and reduce emissions.

If we don’t make the right decisions now, we are going to miss those opportunities that set farmers up, that set regional communities up for a shared prosperity.

Davis said a subsidy for farm batteries would help protect Australia’s food supply and to keep food prices down:

Battery storage can reduce farmers’ costs, and reducing farmers’ costs can reduce the cost of food on supermarket shelves and reduce the cost of living for everyday Australians.


We kicked off the blog with the news about what is happening at Melbourne airport as passengers have been rescreened after one passenger managed to bypass security entirely.

Qantas said:

As a precaution all Qantas operations have been put on hold and passengers in the terminal are being rescreened, which is causing delays to some services this morning.

Here is some of the vision at Melbourne airport this morning, where passengers from at least one fully loaded plane were ordered to evacuate.

A security breach at Melbourne Airport has forced everyone including our fully loaded plane to evacuate the terminal and be sent back through security screening. They’ve informed us that someone has slipped through the security gates and entered the terminal without screening.

— Tim Joyce (@TimJJoyce) October 10, 2022

#melbourneairport isn't the place to be this morning.

— Dennis (@DennisCricket_) October 10, 2022


Marles condemns Russian indifference to civilian casualties

Defence minister and deputy prime minister Richard Marles has responded to the latest news out of Ukraine, where missile attacks have largely targeted civilians.

Marles has this morning called Russia’s actions “appalling and show no regard for human life”, while he appeared on Channel Seven.

The defence minister said government was considering how to provide long-term support.


Treasurer says surging electricity costs will make inflation ‘hang around longer’

We brought you the grim news on the blog yesterday that the head of Alinta energy has predicated a 35% increase to retail electricity bills next year, as energy providers juggle phasing out fossil fuels alongside investment in renewables.

Jim Chalmers told ABC Radio he is “very concerned” about surging energy costs:

I think one of the reasons this inflation will hang around longer than we want it to is because there are expectations around these electricity price rises being more problematic for longer.


‘Our job is to make sure that our budgets are perfectly calibrated

Patricia Karvelas:

You’ve said the government would put the economy above politics, can you really say that’s what you doing if you leave the stage-three tax cuts in place as they are?

Jim Chalmers:

I can say that, and I think what people will see in the budget in two weeks’ time is some difficult decisions in difficult times.

Asked about whether adjusting the tax cuts is something in Chalmers’ powers he says that government has made it “pretty clear that this budget in October will be about implementing the commitments we took to the people”:

Our job is to make sure that our budgets are perfectly calibrated to the economic conditions as we confront them.


Treasurer outlines three priorities for budget

ABC Radio asks Jim Chalmers when structural repair will start.

The treasurer doesn’t give a firm date but says his budget will have three priorities:

  1. Responsible cost-of-living relief with economic dividend.

  2. Investment in a resilient budget.

  3. Unwind wasteful spending.


Budget will need structural reform, treasurer says

The ABC is asking Jim Chalmers about the Nine poll showing people would prefer to cut spending rather than raise taxes:

It’s not always an either/or.

Chalmers says the government will need to trim spending and change the tax system. He says the budget will “most likely” need structural reform:

We do need a national conversation about all of that. The October budget was never meant to be the end of that conversation, it was intended to be the beginning of it.

I think it’s more fundamental than [increasing GST]. One of the kind things people say about our government is that the adults are in charge. Part of that is treating people like adults … levelling with people about challenges in the budget and our society more broadly.

Chalmers says he believes an important part of his job is to be upfront with people:

The challenges are so great, we won’t get through it without a foundation of real talk.


Treasurer expects Australia can avoid recession but not downturn

Is it getting harder for Australia to avoid a recession?

Jim Chalmers:

It’s not our expectation that Australia’s economy will go that way but it is the expectation of the global economic community that we could be facing the third substantial global economic downturn in the past decade and a half.


‘We will not be spared another global downturn,’ treasurer says

After the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund warned of a global recession overnight, treasurer Jim Chalmers is now speaking to ABC Radio.

RN Breakfast host Patricia Karvelas asks about the downgraded global forecasts predicating a global recession is becoming more likely. Where does this leave Australia?


Well, the world is bracing for another global downturn … we will not be spared another global downturn.


Defence minister assures Ukrainian ambassador of ‘unwavering support’ from Australia

As Ukraine has been hit with a deadly new wave of missile strikes from Russia, largely targeting civilians, the ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, spoke to ABC News Breakfast this morning:

It is horrendous what has happened in Ukraine, Russians have sense over 80 cruise missiles at different cities in Ukraine, about 14 of those hitting, deliberately, critical infrastructure, electricity, power generation. There are blackouts in many cities right now. Many missiles just came in central part of Kyiv, actually, Russians have hit a playground in the park next to the main building of the university. This is one of the most favourite playgrounds in Ukraine. This is where both my kids grew up and they hit the pedestrian bridge near the European Square, which is another central landmark in Ukraine. Many people were killed and wounded. This is horrendous.

The ambassador said he met with defence minister Richard Marles yesterday:

The only way how we can send a strong message to Putin is to provide more assistance to Ukraine. I had a great meeting with deputy prime minister Richard Marles yesterday. He assured me of unwavering support of Australia to Ukraine and we are thankful to the Australian government for all the support which is coming.

You can follow the latest on what is happening in the conflict on Guardian’s live blog here:


NSW parliament to debate stamp duty reform

NSW parliament is resuming with politicians due to debate changes to how first home buyers are taxed, AAP reports.

Premier Dominic Perrottet is confident the government’s first home buyer choice bill will pass through the parliament this week, despite staunch opposition from Labor.

The bill would give first home buyers the option to pay an annual land tax instead of being slugged with stamp duty. The premier believes the scheme is a game changer, saying a proposed trial in January had the potential to free prospective first home buyers from the burdensome task of saving a large home deposit.

Shadow treasurer Daniel Mookhey said Labor would oppose the attempt to push the changes through parliament before year’s end. He told reporters yesterday:

We would have much preferred he takes this policy to the election. The biggest change to NSW tax law in 50 years should not be rushed through the parliament in 15 days.

It’s not a change that [Perrottet] has a mandate for, and he shouldn’t be trying to rush this through the parliament in October when there is an election in March.

The return to Macquarie Street comes after parliament was adjourned last month following the death of the Queen.

You can read more about the stamp duty overhaul from NSW state reporter Michael McGowan:


Greens call on government to treat coal and gas differently for safeguard mechanism

Greens’ leader Adam Bandt says the government needs to design its new safeguard mechanism to ensure coal and gas companies bear most of the emissions reduction burden facing the country.

In a speech to the Australian Financial Review’s energy summit today, Bandt will call for the government to redesign the mechanism to treat industries differently according to whether they have a future in a carbon-constrained world.

Bandt will say, according to a draft of his speech:

We need policies that stop coal and gas expanding, but that support genuine Australian industry to thrive.

Unfortunately, Labor is determined to stick with Tony Abbott’s safeguard mechanism, grouping the industries that have a future together with the industries that don’t and treating them all the same.

Bandt said that despite 57% of emissions covered by the safeguard coming from coal, oil and gas facilities, the safeguard mechanism “puts every other industry in the same basket as coal and gas, as though they were all viable and potentially sustainable”:

The difference, however, is that coal and gas does not have a safe future, but the rest of Australian industry does.

Bandt points to the treatment of new entrants under the safeguard mechanism and how this would impact existing businesses given Australia’s finite carbon budget.

Labor’s consultation paper envisages 30m tonnes a year be allocated to new entrants, which Bandt says could cover the 42 coalmines now in the approvals process:

It’s a recipe for burden shifting and climate collapse. So, my message to genuine Australian industry is simple. Cut coal and gas loose. They are the new asbestos and tobacco. They are dragging you, your shareholders, your workers, your community and your country down.


Good morning!

Qantas flights from Melbourne have been delayed after a security breach at a terminal allowed a passenger to pass from an unscreened part of the airport to a screened part without being checked.

Qantas has said:

A passenger appears to have inadvertently passed from an ‘unscreened’ area to a ‘screened’ area of the airport in Melbourne.

As a precaution all Qantas operations have been put on hold and passengers in the terminal are being rescreened, which is causing delays to some services this morning.

Safety is our number one priority, but we know this disruption is causing some inconvenience for our passengers and we apologise for that. We are investigating how this incident occurred.

A similar incident took place at Sydney airport last month when a passenger bypassed security screening.

Indigenous businessman Warren Mundine has met Greens senator Lidia Thorpe as well as a number of cross-benchers about progressing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Mundine spoke with ABC radio this morning following reports in The Australian he had met with crossbenchers to ramp up a no campaign on the Indigenous voice to parliament.

Mundine said there are a “wide range” of people in parliament interested in a no campaign. The businessman confirmed he had sat down for a discussion with Thorpe and that they had got on “quite well” but could not confirm Greens support for the no campaign. He said he had also talked to Liberal and Labor spokespeople.

Mundine said while Aboriginal people were united in the 1967 referendum, the Aboriginal community was “divided” over the voice. He says some Aboriginal people have pulled him aside and said a voice is “not our culture”, which has always been based on traditional owner authority. Mundine believes a treaty would be better than a voice.

In weather news, more than 100 flood warning remain in place in NSW, with most concern around Gundagai, Gunnedah, Wee Waa, Warren and Forbes as well as for parts of the Hawkesbury area.

Let’s get going!



Josh Taylor (now), Natasha May and Mostafa Rachwani (earlier)

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