The day that was, Sunday 1 October
We are going to wrap up the live blog for Sunday. Here’s what made the news today:
Sydney has recorded its hottest 1 October on record, with temperatures rising to at least 35C
New South Wales is subject to at least nine fire bans
In Victoria, an evacuation warning has been issued for a region in Gippsland after a bushfire began burning out of control in a south-easterly direction
Two Sydney men have died after attending a festival on Saturday
Greens senator Jordon Steele-John has called for a disability rights law and the end to segregation of people with disabilities within Australian institutions
Melbourne has partyed hard in the wake of Collingwood’s grand final win
We’ll be back with you tomorrow morning to bring you all the latest developments. Until then, enjoy your evening.
Blue singlet record smashed? Ute better believe it
The Deni Ute Muster has failed to beat its previous world record for the greatest number of utes gathered in on place, despite more than 7,000 vehicles counted.
But in better news, the event in Deniliquin, in the NSW Riverina region, broke its previous record for the number of people gathered in one place in blue singlets, with 4,367 attendees participating in the count. This breaks the previous record set at the event in 2022 with 4,136.
Over 18,000 people joined the muster, with some coming from New Zealand, the Netherlands, Denmark and the US. More than 60% of the attendees crossed the border from Victoria to attend the event.
The Deni Ute Muster, general manager, Vicky Lowry, thanked volunteers, contractors, emergency services and partners for their work this year.
Deniliquin turned on the weather for this year’s Deni Ute Muster and over half of our attendees arrived a day early to set up and enjoy the sunshine. And for the first time we had a visit from a NSW premier, with Chris Minns dropping by.
We also had a lot of first-time attendees ticking off another one of their bucket list adventures. The Festival Arena was jam packed each day with our big and small attendees all getting into the action.
Breast cancer screenings down following pandemic
Women are being urged to take the health of their breasts seriously as rates of the deadly cancer climb.
The Australian Institute for Health and Welfare estimates about 20,428 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, up from 19,866 two years ago.
An estimated 212 men are expected to be diagnosed with the cancer, too.
As breast cancer awareness month begins, Breastscreen Australia says there was a major drop-off in both screenings and diagnosis over the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 50% of eligible women still failing to take up free checks.
Just 1.88 million screenings were recorded in 2019-2020, with even fewer over the years of 2021-2022, which had just 1.82 million participants.
Mater breast cancer clinical nurse consultant Ash Mondolo said women need to be screened every two years, even if they don’t have a family history of the disease.
Most women with breast cancer have no family history of it, so screening is absolutely essential for all women aged 50-74.
Also, mammograms should not hurt, just let the radiographer know if you experience any discomfort.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer globally according to the World Health Organization, and the most common cancer diagnosed in Australian women.
WA to end commercial logging of native forests
Western Australia has joined Victoria in banning commercial logging of native forests from next year.
The WA forestry minister, Jackie Jarvis, says timber will only be removed from the state’s native forests in the future to maintain forest health and for approved mine site operations.
This move by the Cook Government will safeguard our iconic forests for generations to come.
The government will spend $350m investing in the state’s softwood pine plantations to provide building material and protect existing jobs, as well as provide another 140 new positions.
The investment would help ease the state’s housing crisis as well as prevent climate change by boosting pine forest populations, Jarvis said.
The record investment in WA’s plantation estate will ensure we can continue to build houses in WA, supporting both the local construction industry and the South West forestry industry.
The government had already spent $80m on the Native Forest Transition Plan that included significant industry restructure payments.
WA environment minister, Reece Whitby, said nearly 2m hectares of native karri, jarrah and wandoo forests will be protected for future generations.
This decision reflects the changing attitudes of the community towards our native forests, building on the legacy of the Gallop Labor Government ending old growth logging.
The move follows the recent announcement by the Victorian government that native timber harvesting in state forests will be gone by the end of the year.
Australian economy faces multiple threats to recovery
The Australian share market and broader economy have navigated some difficult moments recently but now face multiple threats that could upset end-of-year trading.
The incoming challenges include the delayed impact on consumers of the fast-rising rate cycle and the prospect that borrowing rates will stay higher for longer to combat stubborn inflation.
In other words, the era of cheap money may not return any time soon, hurting the ability of households and businesses to borrow and expand, and making it harder for governments to service debts.
There are also the large cracks in China’s property sector, and anticipated diminished need for construction materials such as Australia’s iron ore, as well as rising oil prices, and any global fallout from the political divide in the US over debt levels.
Each individual threat may be contained, but together, the damage could be substantial.
For more on this story, read the full report by Guardian Australia’s Jonathan Barrett:
The temperature has continued to rise at Observatory Hill in Sydney, with the mercury hitting 35.1C as of 2.10pm – blasting through the previous record.
These temperatures have been matched by scorching recordings at Sydney Airport, which hit 36.3C at 1.51pm and Penrith which topped 37.3 at 1.37pm.
Boost to aged care nursing requirements kicks in
New aged care standards requiring access to nurses for all residents have come into effect.
From Sunday, aged care homes will be obliged to deliver an average of 200 care minutes per resident per day.
Of those minutes, 40 must include care by a registered nurse.
The new standards include care delivered to residents by registered or enrolled nurses, as well as personal care workers and assistants.
Aged care minister, Anika Wells, said the changes would boost the level of support received by residents in aged care facilities.
The introduction of mandatory care minutes targets today means that every older person in an aged care home will receive the dedicated care time they need.
We’re ensuring that all aged care residents can have their clinical and personal needs met.
Figures show the number of care minutes received range from 183 minutes a day to almost 194 minutes a day since last year’s federal election.
The mandatory care minutes will increase again to 215 minutes of care and 44 minutes of care from a registered nurse from October next year.
Sydney records hottest ever 1 October
Sydney has sweltered through its hottest start to October on record as fire danger warnings have been issued across the state.
According to data from the Bureau of Meteorology, there are two years tied for the hottest 1 October on record; a temperature reading of 33.1C was recorded at Observatory Hill weather station in both 1961 and 2009.
However the temperature at the site as of 1.40pm on Sunday was recorded as 34.3C, easily smashing the record.
The sweltering heat comes as the NSW fire service has declared nine total fire bans across the state and raging fires in Victoria’s east have forced authorities to issue evacuation warnings for residents near Briagolong in Gippsland.
Man shot outside motorcycle gang’s Ballarat club house
A Victorian police taskforce is investigating the shooting of a senior Bandidos outlaw motorcycle gang member in Ballarat.
A 29-year-old Sebastopol man presented at a hospital in Ballarat with a gunshot wound early on Sunday morning.
The man’s injuries are not believed to be life threatening, but police believe he was shot near a Bandidos club house.
The incident occurred as the Bandidos gathered in Ballarat for their national run.
Treasury flags further action against PwC
The federal Treasury is assessing what further action to take against PwC Australia in response to the firm revealing a number of additional confidentiality breaches involving government secrets.
The Treasury has already referred the firm to the Australian federal police, which has an ongoing investigation into how confidential information about multinational tax policy was misused to make millions of dollars from private sector clients.
Separate to that breach, PwC Australia has now admitted that, in 2016, a partner forwarded documents related to confidential consultation with Treasury and Australian Taxation Office (ATO) officials regarding the GST treatment of digital currencies to colleagues who had not signed a confidentiality agreement.
A Treasury spokesperson said:
As you know, Treasury referred previous unauthorised disclosures to the AFP for investigation.
Treasury is reviewing the statement of facts released by PwC, including some of the claims over other disclosures made by PwC personnel, and will consider what further appropriate action should be taken.
For more on this exclusive, read the full report by Guardian Australia’s Henry Belot:
Opposition not responsible for lack of bipartisanship on voice: McKenzie
The success of the Indigenous voice referendum would be “unprecedented” because of the lack of bipartisanship on the issue, Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie says.
Australians will head to the polls in a fortnight to decide whether to enshrine an Indigenous voice to advise parliament and executive government into the constitution.
Opinion polls ahead of the 14 October referendum have shown the no campaign ahead.
McKenzie told Sky News on Sunday that while there was division about the voice, there was high support for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.
What is unprecedented is a referendum question getting up that doesn’t have bipartisan support in this country.
If this was a referendum about recognising First Australians in the constitution, it would have bipartisan support and I think, 95% of Australians will be voting yes.
The Liberals and Nationals have come out against the Indigenous voice, saying the body would not deliver positive outcomes for Indigenous people.
However, McKenzie said the opposition was not responsible for the lack of bipartisanship on the issue.
Federal crackdown on international student visa system
The education minister, Jason Clare, says changes to be announced later this week will close loopholes that allow people to enter the country on student visas to work in Australia without actually studying.
This will be one of several visa reforms to be announced in the wake of a review of the immigration system conducted by former Victorian police commissioner Christine Nixon.
The review was commissioned by the home affairs minister, Clare O’Neil, following reports of human trafficking and exploitation within the visa system.
Jason Clare told Sky News on Sunday the changes aimed at international students were needed to protect the education industry.
Where there are shonks or dodgy operators trying to exploit students and make money out of it, it’s important that we crack down on this fast to protect the integrity of the system.
International education is a key asset for this country, it’s the biggest export we don’t dig out of the ground.
Clare said changes had already been implemented to crack down on potential visa rorting by banning international students from enrolling in two courses simultaneously during their first six months in Australia.
The new measures would “tighten the screws”.
[Some students] might get approached by an education agent telling them to enrol in a vocational course.
They drop out of the university course and never turn up to the vocational course.
They end up using the [student] visa as a back door just to work here.
Two men confirmed to have died after attending Knockout festival
The Australian Festival Association has confirmed two men have died after attending a music festival in Sydney over the weekend.
The organisation has been liaising with the NSW health department and says it has been advised both men attended the Knockout festival prior their deaths.
Meanwhile, NSW police have charged more than 70 people with drug offences as two music festivals were held in Sydney over the weekend.
Approximately 27,500 people attended the Listen Out festival at Centennial Park, where 85 people were detected in possession of prohibited drugs. Of those, 37 field court attendance notices, 29 criminal infringement notices and 19 cannabis cautions were issued.
Additionally, eight people – five men and three women – were charged with supplying a prohibited drug, two people were arrested for assaulting police, one for wilful and obscene exposure and another for breach of bail.
About 53,000 people attended the Knockout festival, where police charged 27 people with possessing a prohibited drug and four people – two men and two women – with supplying a prohibited drug.
Groundhog Day The Musical coming to Melbourne
Groundhog Day The Musical is heading to Australia for a limited season in January 2024, its producers have confirmed.
The award-winning musical will make its premiere in Melbourne, with tickets to go on sale at 9am on Friday 6 October and casting announcements to be made soon.
Based on the hit 1993 film, the show will not be staged anywhere else in Australia.
Tim Minchin reunited with Matilda The Musical’s director, Matthew Warchus, who, together with the film’s original writer, Danny Rubin, worked on the stage adaption.
In the film, a cynical Pittsburgh TV weather reporter is sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day in a small town before he gets stuck in a time loop where he is forced to relive the same day again and again.
Minchin said he had “waited seven years for this moment”:
Groundhog Day The Musical, like Matilda The Musical, has a unique mixture of darkness and light, of head and heart, and of complexity and joy, and I’ve been convinced since its first iteration that Australians will love it.
I’m so excited that the run is going to be in Melbourne, the city I lived in when I wrote my break-out comedy shows, and the place where – when things weren’t going so well – I learned how important it is to find the beauty and hope in the day to day.
The Victorian tourism, sport and major events minister, Steve Dimopoulos, said the performance will attract visitors from around the country and overseas, “creating jobs and delivering significant economic benefits to the state”.
Melbourne will be the only place people will be able to see Groundhog Day The Musical, and only the third city in the world to stage the production – a genuine coup for Australia’s creative capital.
UK petroleum supply chain company confident of industry’s future
A British multinational firm working in the petroleum supply chain has told its Australian employees it is confident of the industry’s future.
The comments come as the International Energy Agency published an update to its Net Zero Roadmap on Tuesday reiterating its call for no need for investment in coal, oil and gas and revising down the role of carbon capture and storage.
Wood Asia-Pacific president of operations, Ralph Ellis, has said oil and gas producers across Australia, Europe and North America are responding to increased pressure for action on climate change by squeezing more from existing assets, as these companies try to reduce their direct emissions.
We have a chance to play in the energy transition both from the energy side and the resources side.
Artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics are being used in a tool called maintAI to monitor and collect operational and emissions information from fields, including flaring and methane leaks.
Ellis said that pool of data can be used to improve operations and safety, sometimes without needing to reconfigure production.
We’re having huge success in working with customers when we can take that artificial intelligence and apply it to noise, to maintenance and to other parts of our business.
Wood has more than 2,100 employees in Australia, with offices in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, and generates approximately $635m of revenue.
Clients include international critical minerals leader Albemarle, as well as fossil fuel firms Woodside, Santos, Beach Energy, Chevron and ExxonMobil.
NSW subject to extreme fire danger warnings
Extreme fire danger warnings are in place for much of NSW on Sunday and nine total fire bans are in place, with strong winds and soaring temperatures expected to worsen conditions.
More unseasonable spring heat is building up across Australia’s eastern seaboard, with a hot weekend across much of the country ahead of an expected cool change later this week.
Adelaide reached 32C on Saturday, and extreme fire conditions were in place for the west coast district with hot, dry and gusty northerly winds.
The AFL grand final was played in 29C in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon, one of the hottest grand finals ever.
The Bureau of Meteorology said severe winds began affecting south-eastern parts of Victoria on Saturday and were expected to push up the coast overnight into Sunday.
Damaging winds are then expected in the Snowy Mountains and parts of the NSW south coast, the southern tablelands, south-west slopes and the ACT.
The north-western and upper central-west plains of NSW, the greater Hunter, greater Sydney and far-south coast regions are facing extreme fire danger conditions.
The NSW RFS has declared nine total fire bans for the state on Sunday from the northern slopes down to the border with the ACT and Victoria.
Five separate regions are declared at extreme risk of fire, with high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity combining to raise the risk.
Temperatures are forecast to reach up to 36C in Sydney’s west, where the NRL grand final is due to get under way in the evening.
In Victoria, high fire warnings for east, west and south Gippsland.
Queensland has also issued similar warnings for six regions covering the majority of the state.
Queensland fire and emergency services are battling blazes from Townsville down to the Gold Coast, with another fire burning at Camooweal near the NT border.
A fire weather warning is also in place for the NT’s Simpson East region for Sunday.
Here are some photos of the drama and emotion in Melbourne on Saturday as Collingwood beat Brisbane for a historic AFL grand final win.
Evacuation warning issued over Gippsland fire
Victorian authorities have issued an emergency warning for campers near Briagolong in Gippsland to evacuate immediately after a fire broke out.
Residents in Briagolong, Culloden, Moornapa, Stockdale and surrounds are advised to leave immediately as a fire at Duffy Road is not yet under control.
The blaze is travelling in a south-easterly direction.
Authorities advised the best evacuation route is south towards Sale using Briagolong Road.
For more, you can monitor the latest updates on the Vic Emergency website.
Two men die after attending festival
Two men have died after reportedly attending the Knockout music festival in Sydney this weekend.
New South Wales police responded to an incident at Sydney Olympic Park, where the festival was being held, as paramedics were treating a man.
The 26-year-old was taken to Concord hospital, where he died.
Police were also called to St Vincent’s hospital about 1am on Sunday following the death of another man.
The 21-year-old man also reportedly attended the Knockout festival before collapsing at a hotel on George Street, where he was treated by paramedics. He was then taken to the hospital, where he died.
Detectives have opened an investigation into both matters and will prepare reports for the coroner.
*This post has been corrected to clarify that both men attended the same festival.
Reserve Bank not likely to move on interest rates
Australian borrowers are likely to be spared more interest rate pain this week, following the first Reserve Bank of Australia board meeting under its new governor.
The central bank has been on the sidelines for the past three meetings and most economists say it will leave the cash rate unchanged at 4.1% again in October.
Board members will meet on Tuesday for the first time under the leadership of Michele Bullock, who took over from Philip Lowe as governor last month.
The RBA remains alert to anything that threatens its plan to bring down high inflation, however, especially after the monthly consumer price index ticked up a little in August.
But the board will likely wait to see the quarterly inflation numbers, due on 25 October, to get a fuller picture.
Australia will also get fresh home value data from CoreLogic early this week, with the September report due on Monday.
The property market has been recovering strongly after prices slumped last year.
More housing-related data will be released on Tuesday, with building approvals and lending data to be dropped by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
International trade data for the month of August is due from the bureau on Thursday, along with the monthly household spending indicator.
Auction activity down across Australian capitals
Auction activity has dropped sharply, with 1,215 auctions held this weekend.
This is lower than the 2,648 auctions held last week and the 1,215 auctions that took place at the same time last year.
Based on results collected so far, CoreLogic’s summary found the preliminary clearance rate was 70.3% across the country – lower than the 72% recorded at last weekend and the 66.1% actual rate on final numbers.
Across the capital cities:
Sydney: 594 auctions with a clearance rate of 71.7%
Melbourne: 159 auctions with a clearance rate of 66%
Brisbane: 82 auctions with a clearance rate of 70.7%
Adelaide: 58 auctions with a clearance rate of 79.3%
Canberra: 64 auctions with a clearance rate of 62.5%
Tasmania: No auctions held with two expected this weekend
Perth: Six of 13 auctions have been held
Australian house prices on the up
Australian house prices have fully reversed lows seen in 2022 and are only expected to climb further.
National prices recovered to reach peak levels from lows last year after climbing by 0.38% in September and by 4.31% this year, according to PropTrack’s Home Price Index report released on Sunday.
PropTrack senior economist Eleanor Creagh said home price growth has been driven by record levels of net overseas migration, tight rental markets and a housing shortage.
While a sharp increase in the number of properties hitting the market in Sydney and Melbourne has been improving choice for buyers, strong demand has seen prices continue to lift.
Sydney led the country in September after prices grew by 0.48% last month and by 6.86% since the start of the year.
The city’s median house value is now more than $1m, with demand remaining red-hot in the areas around the CBD and north of the Harbour Bridge.
Melbourne house prices ticked up by a quarter of a per cent in September and have returned to positive annual growth for the first time since 2022.
Brisbane’s market has grown for a ninth consecutive month, with prices going up by 0.39% in September to reach a new record.
Relatively affordable prices and limited stock leading to intense competition in Adelaide have defied rapid interest rate hikes.
Darwin was the only major capital city to see a decline in house prices, dropping by 0.01%^ in September and 1.64% this year, with the report attributing this to the fact the NT capital didn’t experience a large downturn compared to other cities.
Perth led the gains in house prices in September, rising by 0.71% but remains one of the cheapest cities to buy after Darwin.
Crowds well-behaved as Melbourne celebrates Pies’ triumph
Only a fraction of spectators were booted out of the AFL grand final, with police praising the behaviour of Collingwood and Brisbane fans.
In front of a crowd of more than 100,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday, Collingwood notched a record-equalling 16th AFL/VFL premiership with a four-point win.
Thousands more watched the match from live sites at Melbourne Park, Yarra Park, Federation Square and Collingwood’s Olympic Park training ground.
The Magpie army flocked to Smith Street in Collingwood and Swan Street in Richmond to celebrate, singing and chanting into the evening.
Victoria police said crowd behaviour at the decider was overwhelmingly positive, with 17 people evicted. A police spokesperson said on Sunday:
The evictions were for enter without a ticket, drunk, fail to leave venue after being directed to do so by an authorised officer and enter field of play.
The overwhelming majority of footy-goers supported their team in a safe and responsible manner.
For more on the grand final wrap, read the full report by Guardian Australia’s Jack Snape:
– with AAP
Safely fund NDIS ‘rather than spending $30bn on tax cuts’ – Greens senator
Among the changes he’d like to see, Jordon Steele-John said he wanted an “end this campaign that seems to be going on within government to get people with psycho-social disability off” the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Asked about how the NDIS could be funded, either through a levy similar to Medicare, Steele-John said “rather than spending $30bn on tax cuts for the very rich or submarines that will cost $368bn”, the scheme could be safely funded.
And that’s a wrap.
Bring children with disabilities into ‘mainstream education system’
The senator says it is possible to end segregation by 2030, with efforts to bring children with disabilities “into the mainstream education system” so they are not “educated in segregated settings, paid $2 an hour and forced to live in group settings”. Steele-John:
The reality for 20,000 disabled people in Australia is that they are paid between $2.90 but somehow something lower than that.
Many were also denied superannuation.
There shouldn’t be a caveat in the minimum wage that says except for disabled people.
He also said state governments needed to step up to hammer out how to build diverse schools in order to stop setting up disabled children in “cycles of poverty and financial pain”.
End ‘cycle of segregation’ of people with disabilities – senator
Jordon Steele-John said a disability rights law would create a “mechanism for redress” that would allow for a “radical transformation … that is needed to end ablism and segregation in Australian society”.
The senator also called for the end of segregation in Australia’s disability care system – this refers to what was once known as “sheltered workshops”, where people with disabilities live and work.
What is really clear is that in Australia we have a cycle of segregation and a disabled child will start education in a segregated school and then moved through to a segregated workplace where they are again segregated. The result of that cycle of segregation is abuse.
We will break that cycle by transition away from those segregated settings and ending them.
‘Comprehensive’ disability rights law needed – Steele-John
Senator Jordon Steele-John has called for a “comprehensive” disability rights law to allow those living with a disability to take action where they have experienced violence and abuse.
The disability royal commission has recorded harrowing evidence of violence against disabled people from those who are supposed to care for them.
Steele-John said such a law would help prevent discrimination.
What the disability community need to see is a comprehensive piece of legislation aimed at upholding our rights as articulated under the United Nations convention on the rights of disabled people, under every setting in which we exist.
Greens senator Jordon Steele-John will be speaking to ABC Insiders host David Speers about the disability royal commission report.
We will bring you all the latest as it happens.
And welcome to another Sunday morning Guardian live blog.
Collingwood fans have celebrated long into the night as the Magpies brought home their 16th AFL premiership, edging out Brisbane in a narrow four-point win.
Police were forced to close busy roads in Melbourne’s inner north last night after fans stormed the streets to celebrate the win, while Lions fans in Brisbane’s South Bank commiserated their nail-biting loss.
Meanwhile, Australian house prices continue to climb. Recent data shows that national prices have fully reversed previous lows seen in 2022 to reach peak levels on the back of high levels of migration, tight rental markets and a housing shortage.
Prices climbed by 0.38% in September and by 4.31% this year, according to PropTrack’s Home Price Index report released on Sunday.
Buyer and seller confidence is on the rise, with a significant increase in choice in the major capitals, PropTrack senior economist Eleanor Creagh said.
“Home price growth has been driven by record levels of net overseas migration, tight rental markets and a housing shortage,” she said.
“While a sharp increase in the number of properties hitting the market in Sydney and Melbourne has been improving choice for buyers, strong demand has seen prices continue to lift.”
Sydney led the country in September as prices grew by 0.48% in the month and by 6.86% since the start of the year. The city’s median house value is now more than $1m, with demand remaining red-hot in the areas around the CBD and north of the Harbour Bridge.
I’m Royce Kurmelovs and I’ll be taking the blog through the day.
With that, let’s get started …