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Federal election 2022 live: Tanya Plibersek says PM has ‘given up’ on easing cost of living; NSW records six Covid deaths, Victoria four | Australian election 2022


Interesting end to ABC Insiders: a reminder that the PM has refused to appear on the program – but the invitation remains open, David Speers says.

Prime minister Scott Morrison has turned up in Melbourne this morning for a meet and greet at Melbourne IVF.

The Morrisons during the baby/small child meet and greet at Melbourne IVF in the seat of Melbourne held by Greens leader Adam Bandt. pic.twitter.com/r2otAkFBa8

— Georgie Moore (@gemoo4) May 7, 2022

Morrison is asked repeatedly abt a timeline for the intro of SDA changes to protect LGBTIQA kids, after reiterating he wants to deal with the religious discrimination laws separately and first. He won’t give one. “Sequentially,” he says.

— Georgie Moore (@gemoo4) May 8, 2022

We’ll have more from any presser as soon as it is broadcast.

Just a few quick observations from that interview: Spender was borrowing from the well-worn playbook of veteran independents Nick Xenophon, Andrew Wilkie, Jacqui Lambie and more recently, Zali Steggall.

The power of the independents is the ability to flit between both sides of politics in order to secure what they can for their community.

On policy, Spender presented herself as a careful, policy-driven, business-friendly centrist while adopting talking points that would not be – and should not be – out of place within the Liberal party.

The inevitable question comes about who Spender would back in the event of a hung parliament, noting that Zali Steggall has been reluctant to back forming government with the Coalition while Scott Morrison is leader.

Spender says it would come down to policy.

“I’m open to [Scott Morrison continuing as prime minster] and open to negotiating with everyone,” she says.

Speers surveys Spender on where she stands on various issues.

Spender says she supports more access for foreign workers in Australia, more engagement with China that does not compromise Australian national interests, will rely on defence briefings on issues that “need unity of purpose” such as nuclear submarines and supports an independent anti-corruption commission.

“The community feel that money is being spent in ways that is not in the interest of Wentworth, or not actually in the interest of Wentworth because it isn’t about the money that went with God. It is money being spent across the community.”

Spender, the independent candidate for Wentworth who is among the 20 so-called “teal” candidates that are challenging the hold of the Liberal Party in safe seats, is speaking now on climate change.

I think climate change is one of the most important factors in terms of what is right for the environment but is also a huge economic opportunity for Australia,” she says.

“You look at what the Business Council of Australia saying, they are saying we should take 46-50% reduction by 2030 because that is in the interest of Australian businesses, in the interest of Australian families.”

Spender says she wants the major parties to “come back to business” and makes the point that right wing governments have also embraced climate action.

“Climate change is an issue that affects the economy, defence, and the environment,” she says.

“Look at the New South Wales Coalition – they have a target in by 2030 which is 50%. You look at the Conservative Party in the UK, they have a very ambitious climate target.”

Allegra Spender appearing now and says she will “give a moderate, sensible, centrist government that is looking after the long-term of Australia”.

“If we govern for the long-term and have that approach, we will be better off. What I have said to people in Wentworth is that I will negotiate with either side if it comes to forming government, but on an issue, I will vote on the interest of Wentworth, I will consult widely with the community as well as with experts. I think that is crucial. It is about bringing the people and experts back into politics.”

Guardian Australia’s regional editor Gabrielle Chan is on ABC’s Insiders discussing the challenge being made by the Independent candidates to the major parties ahead of Allegra Spender’s appearance.

“They are talking more about climate change, they are talking about integrity. Then, it fractures locally,” Chan says.

“I think the challenge for the Liberal Party is that these voices for movement that have really got together community people to choose a candidate are hard to beat because it gives you both a volunteer base in.”

NBCF announces $12.4m in funding for breast cancer research

More than $12m in grants for breast cancer research will help save lives and revolutionise screening and treatment in Australia, experts say.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) has announced funding of nearly $12.4m for 20 research projects as part of a campaign to achieve “zero deaths from breast cancer” by 2030.

Associate professor Cleola Anderiesz, CEO of NBCF said:

Over the last 28 years NBCF has made a significant improvement to Australia’s breast cancer outcomes through its grants program.

I’m proud to present 20 additional talented researchers and their collaborators with the support they need to work towards NBCF’s mission of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030.

Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Australia and affects both men and women, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

This year alone, an estimated 20,000 people will be diagnosed and, each day, nine Australians die of the disease.

With AAP.

Plibersek is asked about the proposed stage three tax cuts that Labor has supported and which will lead to superannuation changes that will benefit men. She says it is something Labor will look at in government.

What makes a difference to the superannuation pay gap: when we invest more than $95bn, when we make child care cheaper, that allows those women who have been locked out of work, because it is too expensive – they actually lose money by working day four or day five in a week. They can earn more, have less time out of paid work, they can contribute to their own superannuation when they get back to work more easily.

As for the paid parental leave superannuation, it is something that we would look at in government. It is something that we would love to do when we can afford to.

Speers now asked about Labor’s policies on fair pay for women.

Plibersek says Labor’s policy includes getting rid of pay secrecy clauses, increasing transparency of wages by “asking large companies to report on their gender pay gap”, by tackling the issue in the public service and changing industrial relations laws that the equal pay is a requirement of the Fair Work Act.

Was that a little bit of snark?

Plibersek is challenged over whether Labor actually has a school policy and after a bit of an explanation, Insiders host David Speers interjects suggesting the explanation is “a little bit vague” leading to a little cross talk.

Almost no – Sorry, go on. I don’t want to interrupt you, David, please go on.

On education Plibersek says Labor will work with states and territories to address a skills shortage and has a $500m policy to create 20,000 “additional university degrees”.

At the moment more young people are being turned away from a university education than ever before, so we want to make sure that more Australians get the opportunity of upgrading their education and skills so they can get the job of their dreams. And places is not nothing.

Plibersek says PM has ‘completely given up’ on alleviating cost of living pressures

Tanya Plibersek is now live on ABC Insiders where she is attacking the government over its failure to act on cost of living issues.

The prime minister has completely given up on helping families with the extraordinary cost of living pressures they are under right now.

The deputy leader of the Labor party lists a series of failings of the government, including an industrial relations system that keeps wages low, a refusal to criminalise wage theft, act on gender equity, to provide cheap child care or lower power bills.

I think it’s really instructive we’ve got a prime minister who says, ‘I’ve got nothing. I’ve got nothing for you. I know you’re struggle, but I’ve got nothing’.

NSW records six Covid deaths

Six people with Covid-19 have died in New South Wales overnight, with the state recording 8,891 new cases on Sunday morning, 1,504 people in hospital, and 57 in ICU.

COVID-19 update – Sunday 8 May 2022

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

– 96.3% 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 pic.twitter.com/SMLD9fCTMc

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) May 7, 2022

– 62.8% of people have had three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine*
– 83.1% 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
– 50.1% of people aged 5-11 have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) May 7, 2022

Victoria records four Covid deaths

Four people with Covid-19 have died overnight in Victoria. The state recorded 8,744 new cases on Sunday, with 491 people in hospital, 38 in ICU and eight on ventilation.

3 doses (16+): 66.6%
2 doses (12+): 94.5%
Doses yesterday: 1,823
Doses total: 6,214,249

Hospital: 491
ICU: 38
Ventilated: 8
Lives lost: 4

New cases: 8,744 (Rapid antigen test cases: 5,769, PCR test cases: 2,975)
PCR tests: 17,038
Active cases (all): 61,366

— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) May 7, 2022

Coalition pledges $53m to support IVF procedures for cancer patients

The Coalition have promised $53m to support IVF procedures for cancer patients with genetic conditions who still wish to have children.

In an announcement timed for Mother’s Day, the ABC reports that those who might struggle with having children due to medical conditions will be able to freeze and store their eggs, sperm and embryos for free.

It is anticipated the plan will help up to 6,000 Australians access reproductive technology services with $14.4m dedicated to subsidise the storage costs of preserving this material.

Another $25m in the package will be spent over four years to deliver perinatal mental health and well being services.

Labor, meanwhile, has marked the day with their own announcement: $11m in extra funding for playgroups to help them recover from Covid-19 and expand their networks.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said playgroups were critical in childhood development.

On Mother’s Day, I can’t think of a better way to come out of the pandemic than by strengthening the communities that are built for mums and kids through increasing funding to grow and support playgroups all over the country.

With AAP.

Deputy Barnaby Joyce says he trusts Scott Morrison despite having previously described the prime minister as a “hypocrite and a liar”.

Joyce was pushed on the issue of trust during an early Sunday morning interview with Nine after text messages he sent to Brittany Higgins questioning the integrity of the PM were revealed in February.

The texts were sent on 22 March 2021 at 8.30pm, a month after Higgins’ sexual assault allegations were made public.

After attempting to avoid the question, Joyce backed the prime minister.

Trust is not about what I think of you Chris, and I do trust the prime minister because every agreement I’ve had with him, he has honoured.

This is a much bigger thing. This is about the nation trusting the capacity of a government to keep them in safe hands.

He also said the government could be trusted to meet its climate change targets.

You should trust it because every target that is set in regards to climate change we’ve met. Every target. We’re an honourable country. We should be trusted because we understand what is before us.

An analysis of the Coalition’s climate change commitments found it would not live up to the 2015 Paris agreement and would lock in more than 3C of global heating.

Good morning

It’s Sunday morning and we’re picking up the live blog once more as we head into week five of the 2022 federal election.

Deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce is out of the gate early with a quick interview on Channel Nine – more on that later.

Meanwhile both prime minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Anthony Albanese will be starting their day in Sydney. The Coalition will be talking about its plans to boost tourism and its $20m commitment promise for wineries, breweries and distilleries, while Labor will be continuing to highlight cost of living pressures.

Tonight Morrison and Albanese will square off in their second leaders’ debate. The event will be broadcast on Nine with the two candidates taking questions from the media.

I’m Royce Kurmelovs, taking the blog through the day. With so much going on out there, it’s easy to miss stuff, so if you spot something happening in Australia and think it should be on the blog, you can find me on Twitter at @RoyceRk2 where my DMs are open.

With that, let’s get started …


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