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Australia politics live: Covid vaccine approved for vulnerable children under five; Barilaro inquiry continues


Adam Bandt gives national press club address

The Greens leader, Adam Bandt, is delivering a speech to the National Press Club.

Bandt (without a tie – no one tell LNP MP Bert van Manen) is speaking on the Greens’ place in the 47th parliament.

That place is an important one – the Greens are kingmakers in the senate.

Key events

Adam Bandt:

Labor is now the party of the centre right.

You don’t need Vote Compass to tell you that, although it was good to have that confirmed since Keating and Hawke Labor has adopted neoliberalism, which has privatised public services, cut taxes for the wealthy and adopted more and more austerity.

The Greens are now the only social democratic party in Australia.

We say it is our job to get the country back to a fairer place so that everyone can have an affordable home, a free education, health care health care that includes our teeth and our mental health.

We want to put an end to the outrageous stage through tax cuts. And in the billions of dollars of public money going straight into the hands of big corporations and invest instead in paper so that everyone can have a better life.

Our working presumption is that Australia will end this term of Parliament with Labor the country’s centre right party. The Liberals are far right irrelevance and the Greens the dominant social democratic party in a country that still has a big beating progressive heart.

Adam Bandt: ‘The Greens are now in a powerful position’

Bandt says:

We had a climate alternative and an economic alternative to both of the establishment parties.

Labor’s vote went backwards. The Liberals’ vote went backwards and the Greens’ vote went up.

This record Greens vote is a floor, not a ceiling.

People voted for the Greens in record numbers to help shape this country’s future.

They voted for us to fight.

They voted for us to work with others and they voted for us to get things done. And we will. We will fight for our clear, popular demands and we offer a realistic pathway to achieving them.

The Greens are now in a powerful position.

The Liberals are irrelevant.

With Peter Dutton as their leader we expect they will go back if they continue their denial, their defensive economic inequality and a profound lack of integrity. They deserve to be irrelevant.

Adam Bandt, after acknowledging country, First Nations people and his party room, has begun his speech.

He is recounting the Greens election success – he says it is a “floor, not a ceiling”.

The transcription service Tveeder is down, so I will be live transcribing – so bear with me on this.

Adam Bandt gives national press club address

The Greens leader, Adam Bandt, is delivering a speech to the National Press Club.

Bandt (without a tie – no one tell LNP MP Bert van Manen) is speaking on the Greens’ place in the 47th parliament.

That place is an important one – the Greens are kingmakers in the senate.

Cost of living has risen for all groups in past 12 months, ABS data shows

This won’t come to a surprise to anyone, but here is AAP on the ABS Living Costs Indexes:

Inflation raised the cost of living across four household types in the June quarter, with higher transport and food costs the biggest contributor, statistics show.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Living Cost Indexes, released on Wednesday, showed the cost of living for employees and self-funded retirees rose 1.5% in the second quarter.

Pensioners and beneficiaries faced a smaller 1.3% rise because healthcare costs declined over the three-month span, in part because more consumers qualified for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme subsidies.

Over the 12 months to June the cost of living has risen for all groups by between 4.6% and 5.2%, the ABS said.

Flooding, rising freight costs and supply chain disruptions raised the cost of food by two per cent in the June quarter, with the prices of fruit and vegetables jumping the most.

Transport costs were up 2.3% in the June quarter, compared to March, as global sanctions on Russian oil lifted fuel prices. As calculated by the ABS, the price of automotive fuel is up 32% from a year ago.

Paul Karp asks Mark Butler for an update on attempts to secure third generation monkeypox vaccinations (which can be used pre- and post-infection) and he says the government has been working “very hard” and will have more to say on that “in the next 24 hours”.

Tamsin Rose

Tamsin Rose

Investment NSW head says minister told her John Barilaro ‘could be quite good’ for trade role

Investment NSW head Amy Brown told the inquiry that she had a conversation with then trade minister Stuart Ayres in January this year about John Barilaro’s application for the New York job in which he told her he thought the former deputy premier “could be quite good” in the role.

Recounting the conversation, she said:

I gave him a heads up that Mr Barilaro had indeed applied and he said ‘given he has been the trade minister I would suspect he would have relevant experience to represent the NSW government’.

The sentiment of it was John Barilaro would have some attributes, positive attributes, that are relevant to the role.

She said she agreed that due to his experience as a former trade minister, Barilaro would be a strong candidate for the role.

Asked if the minister’s praise for Barilaro carried weight with her, she said it did and she agreed it was “fair” to say that Barilaro was always going to be shortlisted for the gig.

Mike Bowers has been busy this morning. Here is some of where he has been:

Prime minister Anthony Albanese with deputy PM and minister for defence Richard Marles, former CDF Angus Houston and former Labor minister Stephen Smith at a press conference
Prime minister Anthony Albanese with deputy PM and minister for defence Richard Marles, former CDF Angus Houston and former Labor minister Stephen Smith at a press conference. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian
Sir Angus Houston expresses his thanks
Sir Angus Houston expresses his thanks. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Just repeating:

At this stage, Covid-19 vaccination is only recommended for children aged six months to under five years with severe immunocompromise, disability, and those who have complex and/or multiple health conditions which increase the risk of severe Covid-19.

If your child is eligible for a vaccine for under five-year-olds – don’t try to make an appointment just yet. More information is to come before the program is rolled out next month.

Eden Gillespie

Eden Gillespie

Queensland government to introduce bill to improve gender identity changes on documents

Queensland’s attorney general says the state government will introduce a bill before the end of the year to better recognise trans and gender-diverse people on their identity documents.

Shannon Fentiman told budget estimates on Wednesday that Queensland is the only state which requires trans people to undergo gender affirmation surgery before updating the gender marker on their identity documents.

That is one of the key reforms we are continuing to consult on for this bill,” she said.

Fentiman said the government was also consulting on whether the proposed changes would include non-binary people.

Greens MP Michael Berkman asked the attorney general when the legislation would be introduced, noting the government had promised to introduce the legislation in 2021.

Fentiman said the bill would be introduced by the end of the year and said the delay was due to several roundtables where the government received further feedback from LGBTQ+ stakeholders.

Vaccine program for children six months to five years old to start 5 September

Australia will be one of the first countries to roll out a vaccination program for this age group – but not the first.

The program won’t start until 5 September. The vaccines arrive tonight, but they have to be batch-tested. The federal health authorities will then work with the states, as the doses will mostly be rolled out through children’s hospitals.





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