Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

Australia politics live update: Anthony Albanese to launch Labor campaign in battleground state of WA | Australian election 2022

There’s another exchange where Speers pushed Birmingham on claims about Labor’s safeguards mechanism which the Coalition have tried to paint as a “sneaky carbon tax”.

Speers asks Birmingham that “if it’s so sneaky, can you tell us what have businesses had to pay?”

Birmingham says he “doesn’t have the figure to hand”.

Insiders host David Speers doing a good job of pushing Birmingham on claims made without evidence. Birmingham claims about “Labor’s plan to gold-plate electricity transmission” by asking what evidence. Birmingham says the government has “undertaken analysis” but when asked whether he could provide it, Birmingham doesn’t answer.

Birmingham is pushed on what the Coalition will actually do on cost of living, but there isn’t a clear answer. See this exchange:

Q: So essentially to get wages going is to keep doing what you’ve been doing for the last nine years?

A: David, our plan is a comprehensive economic plan and in contrast to the Labor Party. We have outlined clearly plans for, why he, that jobs growth. Jobs growth fuelled by lower taxes and tax relief for Australians that continue to be implemented in terms of lower income taxes, support for more businesses.

Q: More of the same, basically, doing what you’ve been doing?

A: David, it is a plan that we’ve outlined in quite a lot of detail, compared to. …

Q: But I’m right. There is no new plan to get wages going, are there?

A: If you look at this year’s budget, small business, a particular focus in relation to investment in technology, in […]

Asked about whether the Coalition might take inspiration from policies being introduced by state governments, Simon Birmingham says it would be “waste” for the federal government to “duplicate those measures”:

The approach we’ve taken is to fix a particular problem in the housing market and that was the fact that you had to save, of course, for your deposit, takes months and months, years and years, to get that 20% deposit to avoid having to pay mortgage insurance, that was meaning that people were having to pay rent at the same time as saving.

So in other words the Coalition’s plan is to make it easier to access debt finance, a policy which may have worked well when inflation was zero or near-zero and interest rates had fallen to match.

Bizarrely, Simon Birmingham is at pains to describe Labor’s housing policy as one where Anthony Albanese will part-own your home:

I think our policies are working, it is helping now really lift the rates of first home ownership, it is delivering outcomes for Australians and importantly you get to own your own home. You don’t have Mr Albanese at the kitchen table with you owning part of your home with you.

It goes without saying that’s not how financing works – or that when you take out a mortgage, the bank technically owns your home …

Finance minister Simon Birmingham speaking now as he attempts to pour cold water on Labor’s housing plans with a stream of numbers:

Our policies have proven to be working. We saw 160,000 new first home owners into the Australian market last year. That is up from a five-year average of around 100,000.

It is showing strong growth in relation to first home ownership, and so we are expanding our first home owner as guarantee to 50,000 places per annum, versus a Labor policy that is of 10,000.

Our policy is about ensuring that Australians get to own their own home. Labor’s policy is about the government owning parts of your home with you.

And it’s Sunday, so you know it’s time for ABC Insiders where finance minister Senator Simon Birmingham and Greens leader Adam Bandt will be making an appearance.

The issue today is the eye-watering cost of housing and the cost of living, with competing plans for prices and social housing.

With the Labor party looking to build enthusiasm with its launch in Perth today, there is no official word yet about when the Coalition will hold its own launch.

Next Sunday would have been a good moment as the country enters the closing weeks of the campaign but, with a leaders’ debate organised for that day, the prospect of an election launch seems unlikely.

The alternative is for the Coalition to wait until the bitter end and hold its launch in the final week of the campaign in an effort to convince undecided voters to go with what they know.

This would be a risky gambit as there would be little time to correct course if something went wrong.

Amy Remeikis

Amy Remeikis

Been busy? Work or family taking up all your mental bandwidth? Checked out of the campaign and need a catch-up so you can maintain the illusions of having kept up with events?

Amy Remeikis has you covered with her wrap of all the major events from week three of the federal election campaign.

Think of it as the SparkNotes for Australian politics.

Australian election 2022: week three of the campaign with Amy Remeikis – video

NSW reports five Covid deaths and 9,303 new cases

Five people with Covid-19 have died in New South Wales overnight, with the state recording 9,303 new cases on Sunday morning, 1,604 people in hospital, and 75 in ICU.

COVID-19 update – Sunday 1 May 2022

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

– 96.2% of people aged 16+ have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
– 94.8% of people aged 16+ have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) April 30, 2022

– 62.4% of people have had three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine*
– 83.2% of people aged 12-15 have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
– 79.5% of people aged 12-15 have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine
– 50% of people aged 5-11 have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) April 30, 2022

– 1,604 hospitalisations
– 75 people in ICU
– 5 lives lost
– 9,303 positive tests: 4,607 RAT & 4,696 PCR

*Includes both immunocompromised people who have received a third dose and all people aged 16+ who have received a booster.

More info:

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) April 30, 2022

Victoria reports seven Covid deaths and 7,654 new cases

Seven people with Covid-19 have died overnight in Victoria. The state recorded 7,654 new cases on Sunday, with 437 people in hospital, 30 in ICU and three on ventilation.

3 doses (18+): 67.7%
2 doses (12+): 94.5%
Doses yesterday: 2,389
Doses total: 6,203,279

Hospital: 437
ICU: 30
Ventilated: 3
Lives lost: 7

New cases: 7,654 (Rapid antigen test cases: 5,095, PCR test cases: 2,559)
PCR tests: 14,866
Active cases (all): 55,513

— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) April 30, 2022

We’re picking up the live blog once more on this fine Sunday morning when all eyes will be on Western Australia as Labor prepares to officially launch its campaign – into week four of the 2022 federal election race.

The state was the scene of a rout for the Coalition at the last state election, which left the WA Liberal party holding just two seats in the state’s lower house. Now the federal government is on the defensive in the west, pitching to voters they can have both Labor premier Mark McGowan and Scott Morrison as PM.

So it’s hardly surprising federal Labor wants to make a show of their launch in Perth. It’s hoping Swan (on a 3.2% margin), Pearce (5.2%) and Hasluck (5.9%) could fall with a swing just one-third as big as McGowan’s.

Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese is expected to announce a $329m housing initiative for low and middle income Australians during the event, which will kick off about 1pm AEST. Guardian Australia’s political editor Katharine Murphy is on the ground in Perth to bring all the latest news and analysis.

I’m Royce Kurmelovs, taking the blog through the first part of the morning, with Tory Shepherd taking over mid-morning to bring you the latest political twists and turns.

With that, let’s get started …

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