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The Coalition has announced the Royal Australian Air Force will be acquiring uncrewed autonomous systems with an additional $454m in funding for the Loyal Wingman program.

Uncrewed autonomous systems (UAVs) are colloquially known as drones and are increasingly being seen as a valuable asset by militaries following their use by the Ukrainian army against Russia and the recent invasion of Armenia by Azerbaijan.

The minister for defence, Peter Dutton, said in a statement that the investment would deliver seven UAVs – recently named MQ-28A Ghost Bat – to come into service with the RAAF within the next two years.

Since 2017 the Coalition government has invested more than $150 million to support the joint venture between the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Boeing Defence Australia to deliver a world-leading air system that will team with existing air combat aircraft and conduct air combat, reconnaissance and surveillance missions.

In just four years our partnership with Boeing has successfully designed, manufactured and flown the first Australian-built military combat aircraft in 50 years.

This investment today will see the MQ-28A systems expected to enter service with the RAAF in 2024-25.

Dutton said more than 70% of its components would be sourced, designed and manufactured in Australia, at facilities around the country.

This investment will more than double the Australian workforce directly associated with the program, generating a significant number of advanced engineering and high-tech jobs in the aviation and defence advanced technologies sectors, particularly in Brisbane.

In addition to the direct engagement with Boeing Defence Australia, our investment will see the program expand to support engagement of an additional 46 Australian companies, alongside international partners and allies.

This will result in the number of businesses engaged in this program growing from 35 to 81 companies, along with many more highly-skilled jobs.

The MQ-28A aircraft first flight took place in February 2021, just two years and three months from the beginning of the project.

A second aircraft has joined the flight-test program, with a third aircraft being readied for flight testing later this year.

© Provided by The Guardian An MQ-28A Ghost Bat combat drone. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

 

The Property Council of Australia supports the government’s plan to allow those over 55 five to “right-size” their homes.

Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison said helping older Australians find more suitable homes made sense, but housing supply remained a pressing need and more action was required by all governments on the issue.

“We know many older Australians face barriers to ‘right-sizing’ their housing and these announcements will help people move to a home or a purpose-built age-friendly community that serves their needs better,” Morrison said.

“The measures would also free up larger housing for younger, growing families.

“The Property Council has long advanced solutions to encourage older Australians to right-size their housing and we welcome these Government announcements and the Opposition’s support for them.

The Retirement Living Council of the Property Council of Australia has today welcomed a commitment from the Coalition to incentivise older Australians to unlock their home equity and get the country on a critical path to “right-sizing”.

Ben Myers, executive director of Retirement Living at the council said the policy would help older Australians find a more suitable home, while freeing up housing supply for younger people.

“Incentivising older Australians to unlock their home equity and right-size into more suitable housing options, especially purpose-built age-friendly communities, is a wise move by government,” Mr Myers said.

“We know many older Australians face barriers to right-sizing their housing and today’s announcement will provide real incentives to encourage people to unlock their home equity and move into a home that supports them to live independently for longer.

“Encouraging older Australians to right-size, not only contributes to healthier ageing, it’s also one of the smartest and fastest ways a government can boost much needed housing supply for families.”

The Property Council also called for more focus from policy makers – at all levels of government – on the need for solutions to Australia’s housing supply challenges.

Meanwhile:

Gunman shot dead in Queensland

A man armed with a gun has been fatally shot during a stand-off with police at Ipswich, AAP has reported.

As mentioned on here earlier, police declared an emergency situation in One Mile, south-west of Brisbane, about 11.15am on Sunday after reports of a man armed with a firearm.

Residents were warned to stay inside their homes as police attempted to negotiate with the gunman before multiple shots were fired.

Police declared Ernest and Woodford streets crime scenes and public access was restricted, with an update expected later on Sunday.

Paul Keating condemns Liberal party’s housing policy

Paul Keating has described the Liberal party’s policy to allow people to access superannuation to obtain housing deposits as “another frontal assault by the Liberal party on the superannuation system”.

In a statement on Sunday, the former Australian Labor prime minister and architect of the superannuation scheme says the policy is an attack on the role of government in public life.

The Liberals hate the superannuation system – they object to working Australians having wealth in retirement independent of the government.

The Libs believe ordinary bods should be happy with the age pension. Let them know their place.

The superannuation taxation concessions exist solely to produce a retirement income for people. Its key is preservation. Accumulated funds preserved to age 60 so working people secure the power and benefit of compounding.

Preserved, superannuation savings double roughly every eight years. Over a 40-year working life, at 12% contributions, savings should accumulate to approximately $2 million in today’s dollars.

Too good for them, says the Liberal party. We’ll let them pilfer it away in the supposed good cause of housing deposits. Next it will be aged care or longevity or paying out HECS debt – anything to puncture the pool of money they do fervently hate.

If the public needs yet another idea to put this intellectually corrupt government to death, this is an important offence – and with the government, its unprincipled prime minister.

 

Many thanks to Royce Kurmelovs for guiding us through a big day of political news. I’ll be with you for the rest of this fine Sunday.

 

The Housing Industry Association has welcomed the Coalition’s announcement it will allow young people to use their superannuation to buy their first home.

In a statement HIA managing director Graham Wolfe says it was a policy the organisation as “championed”.

Access to finance for a deposit is the biggest obstacle for Australians trying to buy their first home, especially those paying rent while saving for their deposit.

This scheme builds on the many positive home ownership schemes now in place to support first home buyers achieve their aspiration to own a home.

It means that funds that are available to Australians via their super can be accessed to get their foot on the home ownership ladder.

When the house is sold they can put the money back into their retirement fund with a proportion of the capital growth in value of their home.

They are effectively borrowing from themselves.”

 

05:46 Sarah Martin

The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has defended the lack of public hearings in the government’s proposed federal integrity commission, saying he opposes a model that would see politicians “guilty until proved innocent”.

Frydenberg, who is under pressure in his Melbourne seat of Kooyong on the issue of integrity and climate change, said that while he agreed with the need for a federal anti-corruption commission, he disagreed with the independents on two elements – public referrals and public hearings.

“If we have public referrals, then what we will see is the weaponisation of an integrity commission,” Frydenberg told the ABC’s Insiders program.

“We want to see other integrity bodies like the AFP, the ombudsman, being able to provide the referrals to the integrity commission and ultimately it’s for the courts to decide guilt or innocence. If there is a sufficient case, those matters should be referred to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for the next stage.”

On the issue of public hearings – which some within the Coalition had publicly supported – Frydenberg said that in NSW, the supreme court had been forced to delay trials because of “prejudicial” ICAC hearings.

He said he did not believe that subjecting politicians to public hearings was “the best way to get justice”.

For the full story from Guardian Australia chief political correspondent Sarah Martin see below.

Related: Josh Frydenberg opposes independents’ call for public hearings and tip-offs in proposed federal Icac

 

05:35 Amanda Meade

Guardian Australia’s media correspondent Amanda Meade is monitoring an ABC Friends rally.

 

Reactions to the Coalition’s housing policy continue to trickle in.

Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Jason Clare, is expected to share a few more thoughts from Labor at a press conference in Sydney at 3.30pm.

 

Liberal party senator Simon Birmingham is speaking to the ABC now following the prime minister’s speech and is projecting a sense of calm confidence. He repeats the same themes we’ve heard over the course of the day: the world is uncertain, change is risky, stick with the devil you know.

It’s been challenging as a government, as the prime minister acknowledges. We haven’t got everything right. When faced with situations faced unlike anything in Australia’s modern history. At we have done things very, very well. The determination as to whether we get re-elected, that is for the Australian people to make that choice.”

 

If you’ve checked out of this federal election campaign but still want the SparkNotes to keep up the appearance of having followed events, Guardian Australia political reporter Amy Remeikis has you covered.

 

About that plan to let people use superannuation to buy their own homes …

 

A little more on the Coalition’s housing policy plan from Guardian Australia’s Paul Karp who surveyed the political landscape when it first was floated in 2017 under the leadership of Malcolm Turnbull.

It contains a series of interesting quotes from current and former high profile Liberal and National candidates.

For instance, social services minister Anne Ruston told ABC Radio Adelaide it risked pouring “a bucket of kerosene on a fire”:

I’ll agree with [Labor’s Nick] Champion … We need to be careful that you don’t pour a bucket of kerosene on a fire. We need to look at all of the measures in total.”

It was also opposed by former finance minister Mathias Cormann:

Increasing the amount of money going into real estate by facilitating access to super savings pre-retirement will not improve housing affordability. It would increase demand for housing and … would actually drive up house prices by more.”

Another surprise were comments by Sussan Ley:

Young people need their super for retirement, not to try to take pressure off an urban housing bubble, better solved by decentralisation.”

Even Nationals MP Andrew Broad came out swinging against the policy:

I think we need to ensure that superannuation is maintained to provision for people’s retirement. The beauty of super is compound investment – so a person puts a little bit of money in super, and the sooner they do the better off they are in retirement. You strip that away from superannuation to put that towards a house, you run into a whole lot of extra complications.”

For more, check out the full story below.

Related: Kerosene on the housing bonfire? Who said what about using super to buy a home

PM announces super scheme for first-home buyers

Morrison is now detailing the super home buyer housing scheme which would, under the Coalition government, allow first home buyers to invest a “responsible portion” of their own superannuation savings into their first home.

Under the scheme, first home buyers will be able to invest up to 40% of their superannuation, up to a maximum of $50,000 to help with the purchase of their first home.

Our plan for the future is focused on supporting more Australians to realise their dream of home ownership. Super should be harnessed to support the aspiration of many thousands of families who want to buy a home.

Our plan makes it easier for first-home buyers to save for a deposit, reducing the time people need to pay rent, and also means a smaller mortgage with less debt and smaller repayments.

It’s a plan that gets the balance right – it utilises money that’s currently locked away to transform a family’s life, with the money then responsibly returned to the super fund at the time of home’s sale.

Morrison continues:

Superannuation is there to help Australians in their retirement. The evidence shows that the best thing we can do to help Australians achieve financial security in their retirement is to help them own their own home.

Other countries such as New Zealand and Canada also have policies that allow people to use their retirement savings to help them buy their home. And under a Morrison government, you will be able to do that too.

© Provided by The Guardian Morrison has announced a scheme that would allow first-home buyers to buy a property with their superannuation. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

 

Morrison concludes his speech with a shopping list of why he loves Australia.

I love Australia and Australians because of our hope … I love their optimism. I love their kind heartedness to one another when it really, really matters. I deeply admire, as Josh and I know, their resilience [as] we have gone through this terrible pandemic. I admire their aspiration; the aspiration of Australians who want the best for themselves, their families and their fellow Australians in their own community and across our nation …

As a prime minister, you pour your heart and soul into this job every single day. You do all you can to help Australians achieve their aspirations. You don’t get everything right. I’ve never pretended that I have. But I tell you what, I never leave anything on the field. It’s a great privilege to serve in this role. It’s the great professional privilege of my life. And I’m seeking a second term to ensure that we can take this to the next level, to those better days.

Our team will continue to put it in every single day because we all love our country and we love our fellow Australians … That’s why this election is a choice about who is best placed to manage our $2.1tn economy into the future. A choice between a strong economy or a weaker one that only makes your life harder, not better. A choice between a stronger future or a more uncertain one in an already terribly uncertain world. A choice between a government and a prime minister that you do know and a Labor opposition that you just don’t know …

Together, we are building a strong economy and a strong future. Let’s not turn back now.

 

Queensland police have declared a crime scene in Ernest Street, One Mile, after announcing they were negotiating with a man in the area.

 

04:30 Paul Karp

Morrison has finished his speech to the Liberal launch.

The thing that struck me is that Morrison attempted to subtly continue his repositioning that the dark Covid days are over and therefore bulldozer Morrison can be put away.

He said:

This was a time for strength, it was a time for pushing through. I had one focus, as your prime minister: save the country.

It’s quite a feat to try to transform a much-disliked personal style into a positive by arguing that he was simply too aggressive trying to solve problems. In truth, Morrison is best known for the trip to Hawaii during the bushfires – absence, and a failure to tackle the task at hand, rather than doing so too vigorously.

The biggest announcement was that first-home buyers will be able to access a “responsible amount” of superannuation for a first home deposit.

The contrast Morrison is attempting to set up is between giving “more Australians the opportunity to own their home with their own money” and the Labor Help to Buy scheme, which involves the government owning a portion of the home.

 

Morrison turns to the cost of living. He confirms there will be “no new taxes” on Australian workers under his government.

Under our plan, more than $100 billion in permanent tax cuts will be delivered over the next four years … We have a practical plan to deal with cost of living pressures and can I tell you, the most important thing you can do to achieve that is to manage the government’s finances well. In the budget, we also announced a series of initiatives that soften the impact right now on cost of living – [on] petrol tax, direct payments to pensioners, providing further tax relief.

He says the government has also announced it is expanding eligibility for the seniors health card and bringing down medicine prices and has a “strong plan” to allow people to buy their own home via the home guarantee scheme.

He says that for most – “including Jen and I” – owning a home is the “largest asset” you will ever own.

Protests at LNP campaign launch

04:27 Paul Karp

At noon the Coalition campaign launch will kick off at the Brisbane Convention Centre. Scott Morrison and the Liberal National party were greeted by union protesters:

Listening to the speeches, the core grievance was the increased casualisation of work, which speakers noted the Coalition had encouraged by using the building code to indirectly ban clauses in workplace pay deals that limit employment of casuals and allow casual conversion.

At the launch, Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce and Liberal deputy leader Josh Frydenberg will speak before Morrison.

Also in attendance are the employment and acting education minister, Stuart Robert, superannuation minister Jane Hume and Queensland MPs Luke Howarth and Bert Van Manen.

The Coalition is playing defence in Queensland. Polls show that Labor is competitive in Brisbane, held by Trevor Evans, and Ryan, held by Julian Simmonds, with the Greens a close third and potentially able to leapfrog Labor and able to win in those seats.

Longman, which takes in Caboolture and Bribie Island just north of Brisbane, is also a traditional marginal and Labor target.

Frydenberg against public hearings model for federal Icac

Frydenberg says a federal Icac “needs to be the right model” and says the Coalition disagrees with Labor and the independents over “public referrals and public hearings”.

“If we have public referrals, then what we will see is the weaponation of an integrity commission. We want to see other integrity bodies like the AFP, the ombudsman, being able to provide the referrals to the integrity commission and ultimately it’s for the courts to decide guilt or innocence.

“If there is a sufficient case, those matters should be referred to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for the next stage.

“With respect to public hearings, we’ve seen with the New South Wales mod model, the Supreme Court had to delay trials because what’s been seen as prejudicial Icac hearings.

“Again, being able to say after a public hearing that someone is cleared may be too late for their reputation to be restored. That will be seen guilty until proved innocent. That’s not the right way to go.”

These are really interesting comments. Open justice means almost every other legal process in the country takes place in public. Under this plan, any incident will be sorted out behind closed doors – quietly.

 

The last thing Morrison wants to touch on is defence. We live, he says, in a “far more dangerous and disorderly world” demonstrated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as increased militarisation in the Indo-Pacific.

Morrison announces an additional investment of $454m for a next generation of stealth unmanned aerial vehicles, “leveraging artificial intelligence to support manned aircraft to conduct air reconnaissance and surveillance missions”.

The first military combat aircraft to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in 50 years. How good is that? World leading … the investment will fund the build of a further seven aircraft and the establishment of more than 120 additionally highly skilled engineering and other technology jobs, especially right here in Brisbane.

 

Morrison says the housing scheme is about “increasing the choices available to you” within your super.

“It’s your money!” he cries.

We’ve been careful about the design of our policy, we think these things through, we do not want it to affect your long-term savings for retirement. So this will responsibly ensure that the majority of your super remains in your existing fund and maintains the diversification of your savings. But this will be a game changer for thousands of Australian families.

There is no limit on who can use it. You don’t have to sell it if you get a pay rise or someone wants to go back to work full-time. There are no complex rules about income thresholds or who gets what. When you do an improvement, you don’t have to check with the government every time you go to Bunnings to buy a can of paint.

It’s your home and it’s your super. This will make it a bit easier, though, for Australians to buy their first home sooner, taking years off the need to pay rent and the challenges of saving, because it’s tough. And it’s going to get you closer to the life you want for you and your family. Only the Coalition has a comprehensive plan to help Australians realise their dream of owning their own home, and there are 300,000 Australians today who can attest to that fact.

 

Morrison continues:

I appreciate your patience today, ladies and gentlemen, but as you can see, I’ve got a big plan. I am seeking a second term because I am just warming up. So let me give you some more plans. Let me tell you some more plans!

He announces $375m to provide a new cancer centre “right here in Queensland”.

I’m sure we know someone within our own lives … perhaps even indeed yourself, who is being touched by cancer and impacted by cancer … and while Australia has some of the leading cancer survival rates in the world, with a five-year survival rate of 70% for all cancers, we are determined to do more.

That is why today I announce that we will put $375m on the table to establish a new comprehensive cancer centre right here in Queensland … to provide world-class cancer care for Queensland cancer patients, combining research, diagnosis, treatment and care through a comprehensive cancer centre that is proven to lead to better health outcomes and a great chance of survival for patients.

 

Morrison turns to “priorities and dreams for the future”:

This election is about you. It’s about how we create the right conditions for you to reach your goals, the ones you have said for you and your family.

By keeping our economy strong with more jobs, better wages and lower taxes and putting downward pressure on those rising interest rates and rising costs of living that we all know [are influenced by] global forces. By supporting more Australians into homeownership, in caring for their family, perhaps starting a business, contributing to their community and retiring with dignity.

… record investments in Medicare and hospitals and schools and aged care and other services, by keeping our nation safe, by protecting women from violence and abuse. By keeping Australians safe online, especially our children, by taking on the social media platforms and big tech companies. By building our resilience to the impacts of the natural disasters and investing in stronger defence and keeping our borders and secure.

We also know that as individuals, we can only reach our full potential with the support and the sense of belonging that comes from others – most powerfully, expressed in the family. Strong families, they are the building blocks of a good society. Indeed, a great one.

© Provided by The Guardian Scott Morrison addresses the audience. Photograph: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

 

04:05 Paul Karp

Frydenberg is chipping Labor for not yet having submitted their policies for Parliamentary Budget Office costing – the same trick that Tony Abbott pulled before the 2013 election I might add.

Frydenberg said:

Over the last 35 days [Anthony Albanese] has shown himself to be completely out of his depth. Albanese says he’s eminently qualified because he was acting prime minister for all of 48 hours. I never thought I would ever say it: thank you Kevin Rudd for only making it 48 hours. In an election about jobs, Anthony Albanese does not know the unemployment rate. In an election about cost of living, he doesn’t know the cash rate.

Frydenberg is arguing that – despite repeatedly ruling them out – Labor will revive $387bn of taxes proposed at the last election. Which is crazy because some of those, like the stage-3 income tax cuts, are already law, and passed with Labor support. He concludes:

Politics is a serious business – you change the government, you change the economy … This election is not a time to risk Labor with a weak and unproven leader.

© Provided by The Guardian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg at the Liberal party campaign launch on Day 35 of the 2022 federal election campaign in Brisbane. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Liberal campaign launch kicks off

04:05 Paul Karp

The Liberal candidate for Griffith, Olivia Roberts, was up first at the party’s campaign launch.

Roberts said she was aiming to win the old seat of Kevin Rudd – the last Labor prime minister to give Australians “buyers’ remorse”.

Then deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce gave his pitch, saying said the Coalition believes the individual is above the state, whereas Labor believes they are “the servant of the state”.

© Provided by The Guardian Barnaby Joyce at the Liberal party campaign launch on Day 35 of the 2022 federal election campaign. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Joyce is making a pitch for Nationals target seats of Nicholls and the Hunter, in a jumble of words apparently about the safeguard mechanism, and claims Labor will “bring down the ceiling on taxes”.

He said:

They believe we should shut down the second and third biggest export – economic suicide.

 

Morrison says the Coalition “loves this country” with a “patriot’s love”.

Throughout this campaign, I’ve been inspired by so much of the energy throughout communities of Australia and well before that. Our mission is not to mould these communities into some government template or to put government at the centre of community life. God forbid! But to empower communities, to create their own future and a strong economy.

Returning to jobs, he says the government has a plan to create 1.3 million jobs over the next five years, including 450,000 jobs in regional Australia.

He says creating jobs and driving down employment will create “conditions for sustainable increases in wages” rather than, presumably, putting itself “at the centre of community life”.

We all want to see wages rise, of course we do, but those who think you can just arbitrarily do it, you can increase wages some other way than the one I’ve just outlined to you, [they] don’t get it. That approach only results in higher interest rates and higher costs of living, taking back any gains, leaving you worse off.

Our plant to grow the economy, it begins with keeping taxes low and cutting red tape to drive the investment and enable Australians to get more of what they earn.

 

Morrison says that only the Liberals and Nationals can lead Australia into the next stage of the pandemic because “we understand the Australian economy”, and remarkably returns to the loose units line.

You know we are not loose units on the economy. We are not uninformed or reckless on the economy. We know how our economy works. We know how to manage money. And those before us knew as well, and I acknowledge our former prime ministers here today, John Howard and Tony Abbott.

They showed us the way. And we follow that way. We know what government can do and importantly, though, we know what it can’t and it shouldn’t.

 

Morrison says that during the worst of the pandemic, the government knew “Australia’s longer term success would be determined by what we did during the pandemic to set up for success on the other side”.

He lists tax incentives for businesses to purchase new equipment, the modern manufacturing plan, deals with the UK and the US including Aukus, big building and infrastructure projects and a “comprehensive and real plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, through technology, not taxes”.

Friends, we’ve been building a bridge to the other side economically in a time of global uncertainty and here we are. We now stand on a different edge to the one that I spoke of before, one where fear doesn’t dominate but aspiration – something we know a lot about as Liberals and Nationals – for the Australian people.

This requires a different approach from us as a government to the mode we’ve had to be in over these many difficult years, but it’s also been one that we have been preparing for and we are ready to get on with, if you give us your support Saturday.

We stand on the edge of a new era of but we cannot take them for granted. As a government, we have the high ideas to secure that opportunity and I know our economic plan is working because Australians are working, and heading in the right direction.

© Provided by The Guardian Scott Morrison at the Liberal campaign launch in Brisbane. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

 

Morrison turns to jobs. He says “nothing fires up my heart” more than getting young people into jobs. Then he gets quite philosophical about a moment shared with the treasurer.

When Josh and I stood together before the Australian people in the early stages of the pandemic back in March 2020, we stood in my courtyard, our courtyard, the PM’s courtyard in Canberra, a nation was gripped by fear and uncertainty. We stood on the edge of an abyss and as we stared into it, Josh and I were confident of one fundamental truth: if we backed Australians, Australians would prevail.

And so jobkeeper was born, and the many other measures that followed, constantly supporting Australians to find their way forward. We kept our head in the crisis … and we made sure we got it right as best as we could. But we weren’t perfect. And not everything went to plan but you know, when it didn’t, and while others were criticising, we just worked feverishly to turn it around … What followed was the largest economic and public health response in Australia’s history.

We gave our fellow Australians that assurance in those very difficult times that tomorrow would be OK. So they could say the same thing to their children, to their employees, and I’m quite sure indeed to themselves also.

As a leader, this was a time for strength, it was a time for pushing through. I had one focus, as your prime minister: save the country.

 

Morrison continues:

Despite everything thrown at us, Australia has stood tall. Our economic growth is higher than any other advanced economy, our AAA credit rating [is] intact, we’re one of only nine countries to do that in the world – the biggest budget turnaround … in 70 years.

More Australians in work than ever before. Unemployment at 4%, the equal lowest level in 50 years and down from 5.7% when we first came to government. Youth unemployment at 8.3%, down from a peak of more than 16%. On almost every measure – growth, jobs, debt levels, fatality rates, vaccine rates – Australia’s recovery is leading the advanced world.*

This will need a fact check.

 

Morrison goes on to tout what he loves about the nation, including its economy, living standards, access to healthcare, education system and acknowledgment of Indigenous Australians.

He goes on to say despite the hardships the country has faced, “Australia has prevailed”.

None of us could have imagined what followed that last election. We already knew drought … particularly here in Queensland, we already experienced devastating floods … but more would follow, as we know, and most recently, as with the fires, as with the cyclones, the pandemic, one in 100 years, and the global recession it caused.

It’s been one of the most challenging times we have ever known. But I’m here to tell you today that despite what we have based, we have remained true to the promise of Australia. And Australia has prevailed. We have kept, as a government, the promise of Australia.

‘A time of great consequence’: PM speaks at campaign launch

The prime minister is up, starting off his speech with “how good is Queensland” and acknowledging the traditional owners on the land in which the Coalition gathers.

I also thank all those who have served or are serving in our Australian defence force, and I just thank them. I thank them for their courage. I also honour those who for the past two years in particular have come together to support their fellow Australians in times of great need – our health workers and researchers and scientists, our emergency workers, our community leaders. We love our country.

We gather at a time today of great consequence and decision for our nation. For you. For your family. For our nation. And three years ago, we faced a very similar decision. At that time, I spoke to you about the promise of Australia [and] how I planned to keep it as prime minister. I allow Australians quietly going about their lives to realise their simple, honest and decent aspirations, where you are rewarded and respected for your efforts and contribution.

I said: if you have a go, you get ago. And in Australia you are accepted and you are valued regardless of your age, your ethnicity, your religion, your gender, your sexuality, your level of ability, any needs you may have, your wealth, your income.

South Australia records no new Covid deaths

South Australia has released today’s Covid update. There have been 3,796 new cases detected and no new deaths overnight.

There are 231 people being treated in hospital with the virus including nine people requiring intensive care.

Albanese says Morrison government’s ‘wheels are falling off’

03:27 Josh Butler

Anthony Albanese got a warm introduction from Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the pair warmly embracing on stage as the Labor leader entered the venue through the back of the crowd, as Ganggajang’s Sounds of Then played on the PA.

He began his speech with a fun callback to Morrison’s infamous reference to the animated movie The Croods, a metaphor he used about ending Covid lockdowns in claiming Western Australia wanted to stay “in the cave”.

Normally Labor has used that line to claim Morrison hadn’t supported WA – today, Albanese widened this to claim Morrison had tried to “bag Queenslanders as cave dwellers when your premier does the right thing to protect the health and safety of her state”.

© Provided by The Guardian Palaszczuk and Albanese acknowledge the crowd during the Labor party rally in Brisbane. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Albanese again referred to himself as a “builder”, in contrast to Morrison’s self-description as a “bulldozer”. In that vein, he pledged $733m to upgrade Queensland’s Bruce Highway.

“Today [Morrison] has likened himself to a car. If this government is a car, it’s blowing smoke, it’s low on fuel and the wheels are falling off,” Albanese said, proving Jason Clare isn’t the only one prepared to launch a zinger.

 

03:24 Paul Karp

Joyce said:

Labor have no regional health minister. But they do have a minister for the republic. So they can’t bring your blood pressure down but they can take down a picture of the Queen.

Joyce referred to union protesters outside as “raving banshees yelling and screaming”, seeking to tar Labor with that brush in comparison with the “competency of government”.

He concluded by talking about the need to make Australia “as strong as possible”.

Despite Scott Morrison’s pivot to being less bulldozer, the “strong” talking points are still getting a workout.

Up next, the deputy Liberal leader, Josh Frydenberg, quips that “I wish I got that reception in Kooyong” after a standing ovation. At least he can laugh at himself!

Frydenberg says the Coalition has “delivered” on promises of more jobs, lower taxes and “essential services guaranteed”.

 

Here are a few highlights from the opposition leader’s Twitter account, which has miraculously remained active while he is speaking live.

Anthony Albanese has also announced a Labor government would partner with the Queensland state government to upgrade the Bruce Highway between Anzac Avenue and Uhlmann Road.

WA records four Covid deaths

Western Australia’s premier Mark McGowan has just released the state’s daily Covid update.

There have been 12,399 new cases overnight.

Sadly, there have been four further deaths recorded. There are 294 people being treated in hospital with the virus, including 10 cases requiring intensive care.

 

03:03 Josh Butler

Anthony Albanese is expected to use his Brisbane campaign rally to further detail this morning’s announcement of $1bn for advanced manufacturing.

Part of Labor’s $15bn National Reconstruction Fund, the latest block of funding is said to be to “rebuild our industrial base creating new capabilities and opportunities to innovate in transport, defence, resources, agricultural and food processing, medical science, renewables and low emission technologies manufacturing”.

The announcement was somewhat light on detail and specifics on what the money will go to – which is perhaps partly explained by the accompanying pledge that Labor would hold “wide-ranging consultations” with unions, state governments, local communities and other bodies to identify projects worthy of cash. A major focus will be on “sovereign capability” for “essentials”.

Albanese’s announcement reads:

Labor’s plan will give businesses access to capital to diversify operations, industrial processes and use research and development to climb the technological ladder.

Serious countries should make things. Serious countries can stand on their own two feet when it comes to manufacturing essentials.

 

03:00 Josh Butler

Labor’s shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers is next up at the Brisbane rally, and unsurprisingly he’s lobbing some bombs at the prime minister.

Scott Morrison started this campaign saying people know who I am. It’s only now that it’s dawned on him that that’s the problem,” Chalmers said, which earned a round of applause and laughs from the crowd.

He wants you to believe that the past three or four years, the past nine years, was just a phase he was going through.

 

Attorney general Michaelia Cash speaking on the ABC now making a heroic effort to sell the prime ministership of Scott Morrison.

We not been seeing the real Scott Morrison? There I completely disagree. Voters understand a once-in-100-year global pandemic, it did demand strong decision-making, decisive decision-making.

The question I say to Australians is this: do you want to risk our economic recovery from Covid-19 with an untried and untested Anthony Albanese? Do you in particular, given the global situation, want to risk our national security with an untried and untested Anthony Albanese? That’s the choice that Australians are making.

 

Cash is asked about the decision to prosecute Bernard Collaery and Witness K – and deflects, saying:

This is still before the court so I will not comment, but I will say when it comes to the economy and national security as we move into this final phase of the campaign.

I personally think the choice is clear: why would you compromise Australia’s economic recovery from Covid-19? Why would you compromise Australia’s national security with an untried and untested Anthony Albanese?

 

With the Coalition campaign launch about to start in 10 minutes, Guardian Australia political correspondent Paul Karp will be bringing you the latest.

 

Greens leader Adam Bandt spoke earlier to the ABC, where he was discussing the future of the Greens and the independents who may end up the winners in a fractured political landscape if they hold the balance of power.

Bandt is very clear about what the Greens want to see:

It is time to turf out this terrible government. They have had years in power, they have made housing more expensive and haven’t acted on the climate crisis.

We are a real chance in lower house seats, in inner-city Brisbane, in northern NSW and here in Melbourne, in McNamara, amongst others. We’re campaigning very strongly some seats that there are independents running with a shot.

As you say, in those seats there is a chance that they might knock off some Liberal members – we are recommending preferences to those independents.

Elsewhere we are recommending preferences to Labor because you want to see a change of government. I think a strong crossbench with a climate focus would get the action this country needs.

 

Bandt says he has been spending time in coal communities in Queensland and New South Wales with a clear message – “coal and gas workers are not the enemy”.

One coalminer said to me in New South Wales: ‘Look, the worst kept secret in this area is coal has a use-by date,’ he said.

The problem is all the others, Liberal, Labor, keep saying, ‘We can keep opening coalmines to 2050 and meet climate targets’ – we can’t.

Workers and communities know this – they’re looking for an honest discussion and a plan.

© Provided by The Guardian Greens leader Adam Bandt: ‘Coal and gas workers are not the enemy.’ Photograph: James Ross/AAP

 

Guardian Australia political reporter Josh Butler has joined Labor’s campaign bus and is in Brisbane, where the opposition is holding a campaign rally.

We will bring you updates as they come.

‘Mood for change’: Kevin Rudd kicks off Labor’s Brisbane campaign rally

02:50 Josh Butler

Labor’s Brisbane campaign rally has begun with playing a montage of the party’s own TikTok videos on a big screen.

A few gags about Star Wars and viral video memes isn’t the most traditional way to gee up an election rally, but the hundreds of red-shirted Labor supporters seemed to lap it up.

It came after a live DJ at the front of the room spun a slew of upbeat dance and disco music. “DJ Albo” and his normal playlist of 80s dad-rock somehow didn’t make the cut.

Former PM Kevin Rudd kicked off the event, listing a veritable “I’ve been everywhere man” list of seats he’s visited during the campaign, and roared:

You can feel it right across this nation of ours today, there is a mood for change.

© Provided by The Guardian Kevin Rudd warms up the crowd at the Labor rally in Brisbane. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

“The people of Australia want to toss this mob out,” Rudd said – harking back to the famous News Corp “Kick This Mob Out” front page on the eve of the 2013 campaign which urged readers to vote out Rudd’s Labor.

In case you can’t quite remember events from political campaigns long gone, here is a helpful refresher:

Related: ‘Kick this mob out’: Murdoch flexes his election muscle from day one | Roy Greenslade

 

First question is about the style and approach of Scott Morrison in leadership – given the prime minister has been trying to rapidly pivot from projecting an image of a tough leader to one who will listen and change if re-elected to government.

Frydenberg works to bolster these credentials and suggest that with everything going on in the world, now is not the time for change.

“I saw him up close, worked with him as deputy and the treasurer over the last three years. I know a person of compassion, I know a person of decency. I’ve seen how he interacts with his family and seen how on important issues like mental health and youth suicide, he’s been absolutely focused on delivering results for the community.”

© Provided by The Guardian Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg at a press conference on Day 23 of the 2022 federal election campaign, in Treasury Place in Melbourne. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

 

Interview closes with a curly question from Speers about whether the Coalition would have been better off being led by Josh Frydenberg.

The treasurer says:

No. Scott Morrison is the right person to lead the government and the country … [We’ve] benefited from having stability at the top in our party, but he is somebody who’s done an outstanding job in really difficult times.

 

02:34 Melissa Davey

Samantha Hodgson met all the criteria for a possible heart attack, saying:

A tight, crushing pain that started in my shoulders and spread through my chest and ribcage. I was dizzy, and the pain had escalated over 24 hours so that it hurt to breathe.

Hodgson was also on day nine of being infected with Covid-19, and until the chest pain hit, she had been feeling better. According to health guidelines, she needed an ambulance for a suspected heart attack.

But when Hodgson, who lives in Potts Point in Sydney, rang triple zero, the operator told her “You could be waiting a while, we don’t know how long it might be”. In too much pain to walk far, she put on two masks and called an Uber to take her to the nearest public hospital.

When arrived she was told to wait outside in the rain because she had Covid.

Hodgson said:

I sat under a little tarp outside of emergency, next to a carpark. I stayed out there for at least two hours. I don’t remember exactly as I was so out of it.

For the full story on how the pandemic is exposing the cracks in Australia’s healthcare system, check out the weekend feature by Guardian Australia’s medical editor, Melissa Davey.

Related: Emergency overload: how Covid exposed Australia’s straining hospital system

No new Covid deaths recorded in ACT

Six people with Covid-19 are in ICU in the ACT. The territory recorded 885 new cases on Sunday, with 75 people in hospital and two on ventilation.

Record number of Australians voting early

Australians are voting early in record numbers in the 2022 federal election, with many saying they’re “sick” of the drawn-out election campaign and want to avoid expected queues on 21 May.

Some 314,095 Australians cast their ballots on the first day of early voting this year, almost three times the 120,000 people that voted on day one of pre-poll in 2019.

As of Friday, more than 1.2 million of the 17 million Australians registered to vote had already pre-polled after just four days of early voting.

The safe Nationals-held seat of Hinkler topped the list, with 18,060 early voters, followed by the marginal seats of Gilmore (16,902), Paterson (16,271) and Richmond (15,111), according to data released by the Australian Electoral Commission.

Related: ‘Sick of it’: why so many Australians are voting early this election

 

02:30 Josh Butler

After appearing on the ABC’s Insiders, Anthony Albanese will headline a Labor campaign rally in Brisbane this morning.

The opposition has its eyes hungrily set on the seat of Brisbane, held by Coalition assistant minister Trevor Evans on a 4.9% margin.

The rally will also feature Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, former prime minister Kevin Rudd, former treasurer and ALP president Wayne Swan and numerous Labor frontbenchers from the Sunshine State.

Also billed on the lineup is Madonna Jarrett, Labor’s candidate for Brisbane – a clear sign the ALP has high hopes for this seat next Saturday.

The rally will go up against the Coalition’s campaign launch, also in Brisbane today – literally just across the city’s famous river, affectionately known as the “brown snake”.

Albanese is not expected to give a press conference today and is to head to Perth this afternoon.

Queensland records two Covid deaths

Two people with Covid-19 have died overnight in Queensland. The state recorded 4,812 new cases on Sunday, with 417 people in hospital, 17 in ICU and two on ventilation.

Victoria records 10 Covid deaths

Ten people with Covid-19 have died overnight in Victoria. The state recorded 10,197 new cases on Sunday, with 528 people in hospital, 27 in ICU and four on ventilation.

NSW records four Covid deaths

Four people with Covid-19 have died in New South Wales overnight, with the state recording 9,036 new cases on Sunday morning, 1,377 people in hospital, and 59 in ICU.

 

Good morning

Another live blog opens on another Sunday morning as we head into the final week of the 2022 federal election.

It is looking like it will continue to be wet and wild in Queensland today where both Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese will begin the day.

Morrison is in town to officially launch the Coalition’s election campaign – a week out from polling day – where the party is expected to announce a plan to allow Australian’s over 55 to plow $300,000 from the sale of the homes into superannuation. More on that later.

Labor, meanwhile, will be promoting its $1bn advanced manufacturing fund which it wants to use to rebuild the country’s manufacturing base. The fund will be designed to build capabilities in transport, defence, food processing, medical science and renewables.

The Coalition has flagged it will ask the Australian Electoral Commission to investigated Labor’s candidate for Parramatta, Andrew Charlton over an alleged breach.

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 …

Flood warnings for southeast Queensland

Major flood warnings remain in place for some parts of southeast Queensland as the rain eases slightly, AAP reports.

Between 200 and 300mm fell across the state over 48 hours, the Bureau of Meteorology said on Saturday.

The state’s highest rainfall was 179mm at Bellthorpe, located between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

The Mary River, which runs through Gympie, is expected to peak at about 16m with major flooding possible at Tiaro late Sunday morning.

Rainfall dropped considerably on Friday night with only 10 to 20mm recorded over a six-hour period.

“That easing trend is good news,” the bureau’s Matthew Collopy said on Saturday.

But there are still major flood warnings in place for the Condamine, Logan and Bremer rivers, and the Warrill, Laidley and Lockyer creeks.

Most of those waterways have already peaked or will peak later with flood warnings easing over the next few days.

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Chelepy has warned residents not to get complacent.

“While we’re seeing the rain easing…we still have a number of creeks that are flowing,” Chelepy said on Saturday.

“It is highly likely that you’ll still see road closures. Please don’t enter those roads.”

Eighty-seven buildings have been affected by flood waters in Warwick, with 49 people using shelter services due to the Condamine River breaking its banks.

All Queensland beaches have been closed over the weekend due to coastal erosion and heavy surf conditions.

Queensland Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said schools should resume on Monday unless cut off or damaged by floods.

Indigenous voice to parliament a ‘nation-changing moment’, Albanese says

Albanese now asked about the specifics around a First Nations Voice to Parliament and whether a referendum can be held given it needs bipartisan support.

“I don’t want to wait,” he says. “This has been a change that’s been a long time coming.”

This is a nation-changing moment. Just as the apology to the Stolen Generations made our country stronger, this is a generous offer from First Nations people.

All they’re asking for is a bit of politeness, basically, good manners. It says that if you have an issue, that affects directly the health, education, housing, lives of First Nations people, you should consult them. That’s what a voice to parliament is. It’s not a third chamber.

 

15 May 2022 00:56

There is a brief discussion over the comments made by Catherine Deves regarding transpeople and the Prime Minister’s stance on these issues. It’s not worth repeating them.

The next questions are on constitutional recognition of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Frydenberg says this is “important”.

On the cost of living and real wages, Frydenberg continues the government’s attack lines that any raise to wages will throw 100,000 people out of work.

“You can’t run a 2.1 trillion dollar economy from press conference to press conference. That is what Anthony Albanese seems to want to do.”

 

15 May 2022 00:50

Speers pointedly running through a shopping list of policies “where the Prime Minister refuses to change”. On climate change, Frydenberg says Australia represents only a small fraction of the world’s climate emissions.

Australia are 1.3% of the world’s emissions. I’s a global challenge but we need to dour part. When we went to the Paris meeting, we agreed to reduce emissions by 26-28% by 2030 on what they were in 20505.

We have now reduced our emissions by 20% and we’re on track to get them down by 35% by 2030. In comparison, Canada has seen emissions down by 1%, New Zealand by 4%. The OECD average 7%.

Australia is one of the biggest per capita emissions and the Coalition’s successes to date are open to some debate.

 

15 May 2022 00:41

Interview rounds with questions about international relations before we say goodbye to Albanese and hello to Josh Frydenberg, who is speaking now.

 

15 May 2022 00:40

On climate change, Albanese is asked whether he will go further than Labor’s stated emissions target of 43% by 2030 if the science says the government needs to do more, faster.

“We have an opportunity to end the climate wars our policy will result in a 43% reduction by 2030, but on the way through we will create 604,000 jobs.”

“Five out of every six will be in regional Australia. The renewables will be 82% of the national energy market by 2030 under our plan.

“We will see growth in new industries, so clean, cheaper energy driving new industries through our national reconstruction fun and skilling up Australians for those jobs through fee-free TAFE and additional university places.”

This response is interesting as it focusses on the benefits of dealing with climate change, and not the costs.

 

15 May 2022 00:33

Questions now turn to housing policy and the national debt.

Albanese says he will support the government’s proposal to allow empty nesters to roll $300,000 from the sale of their home into their superannuation fund.

On the national debt, the Labor leader stresses that his government will be “fiscally responsible”

“Debt is a product of inputs and outputs, David. What we’re saying is that our investments are boosting the inputs, making sure we put downward pressure on debt, making sure we’re fiscally responsible.”

“The other thing we’ve done is clearly indicate that the departments of Treasury and finance will be tasked this year to go through line by line and to get rid of the waste and rorts that are riddled through this budget.”

 

15 May 2022 00:29

Albanese now talking about how those on minimum wage are “doing it really tough”.

“This government has had a conscious effort to put downward pressure on wages. They say it is a key feature of their economic architecture and to be fair to them, they have delivered just that – real wage cuts. We say that people should be lifted up, that everyone should have a stake in the economy.”

Worth noting that Labor ruled out conducting a review into social security payments, which remains below the poverty line, in its first term of government.

 

15 May 2022 00:26

Labor leader Anthony Albanese appearing on ABC Insiders now, opening with a cheeky comment about how “it’s good to have a political leader appearing on the ABC”.

First question is about cost of living and an increase to the minimum wage, which Albanese uses to wedge the government.

“There is a very clear divide here. A government that says that low wage growth was a key feature of their economic architecture and Labor that says that, “We want an economy that works for people, not the other way around” and that people who are on minimum wages are doing it tough.”

 

15 May 2022 00:22

Former Australian Test cricketer Andrew Symonds has been killed in a Queensland car crash, AAP reports.

The 46-year-old was involved in a single-vehicle crash late on Saturday.

Queensland Police are investigating the crash, which occurred at Hervey Range, about 50km from Townsville.

“Early information indicates, shortly after 11pm the car was being driven on Hervey Range Road, near Alice River Bridge when it left the roadway and rolled,” a police statement read.

“Emergency services attempted to revive the 46-year-old driver and sole occupant, however, he died of his injuries.”

Symonds played 26 Tests for Australia and was a crowd favourite in the short format game as a big-hitting allrounder.

In recent years Symonds had worked as a TV commentator for Fox Sports and was a regular on the microphone for Big Bash League broadcasts.

Symonds’ death follows the shock demise of cricketing peer Shane Warne who died in March in Thailand.

Related: Former Australian Test cricketer Andrew Symonds killed in Queensland car crash

 

15 May 2022 00:09

ABC Insiders starting now where Labor Leader Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will be making an appearance.

 

15 May 2022 00:01

Ukraine is currently ahead in the Eurovision song contest after receiving a boost with the popular vote.

Australia is currently on 125 points.

Former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds dies aged 46

14 May 2022 23:58

Australian cricket legend Andrew Symonds has died in a car accident.

The 46-year-old played 26 Tests for Australia as well as 198 one-day internationals and 14 Twenty20 internationals.

In mid-2008 Symonds was stopped from playing over disciplinary issues and announced his retirement from the sport in February 2012.

More to come…