Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has today slammed Liberal federal MPs who have been campaigning to prevent transgender women from participating in sports along side other women, stating that he has never encountered this as a legitimate concern among the wider community, and labelling the attacks as “cruel” to transgender children:
“What’s the problem we’re trying to fix here? Because I’ve been in the parliament for 20 years, and I’ve never had a school community come to me and raised this issue. I’ve never had parents come to me, I’ve never had a teacher come to me and raise this issue.
And let’s be very clear about something. Trans kids are 15 times more likely to self-harm. 15 times.
Anyone who thinks that this debate, when no one can point to a problem, what is the problem we’re trying to solve here?
Fifteen times more likely to self-harm.
I don’t think this debate is doing any of those young Victorians any good, or their parents. It’s not easy to be trans. There are, many challenges, there’s a lot of stigma, and there’s a lot of prejudice.
I don’t think that adding to that is particularly kind. It’s cruel, in fact.”
In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14.
One person with Covid-19 has died in Western Australia overnight. The state recorded 6,085 new cases, with 239 people in hospital and eight in ICU.
The update reported three new deaths but two were “historical in nature” and reported on Saturday.
It has been a tough time for WA Premier Mark McGowan who announced yesterday his child had been discharged from hospital after a four-day stay.
The child had been admitted on Thursday in a “serious condition” but is now understood to be well and recovering at home.
Prime minister Scott Morrison has announced a re-elected Coalition government will hand $100m to major fossil fuel producers to build carbon capture and storage operations.
Appearing with Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor, the election promise is part of a $300m commitment from the government to expand gas exports in Darwin.
The package will also set aside $70m to build a new hydrogen hub, but the lions share will go to Santos and other fossil fuel companies in the gas supply chain.
The PM said it would create a “jobs boom” in the Territory.
All eight people with Covid-19 who died overnight were over 50 years old, New South Wales health authorities say.
Two people were in their 50s, two in their 70s, two in their 80s and two people in their 90s.
The state also announced it will axe is daily Covid-19 media brief but will continue to post information through its social media account and website.
Australia’s defence minister, Peter Dutton, has suggested bribery was involved in helping China secure a security deal with Solomon Islands.
The Coalition has been on the defensive over heavy criticism about the handling of its relationship to its Pacific neighbour.
Speaking to reporters this morning, Dutton heavily implied China was able to edge out its competitors on deals by resorting to bribery.
“I make this point – China conducted their business in a very different way than we do. I mean, you asked the question about bribery or corruption, we don’t pay off, we don’t bribe people,” he said.
“The Chinese certainly do and they have demonstrated that in Africa and elsewhere. People can draw their own conclusions.”
In an interview with Sky News Dutton also suggested Australia may become a “tributary state to China” through its business dealings with its largest trading partner.
“China wants a relationship where they’ll come to the table and say we’re paying a fair price for your commodities but we don’t expect you to be critical of our human rights abuses,” he said.
“We don’t think you should say anything against China when there’s foreign interference, or theft of IP or interference on university campuses in Australia. They want us to remain silent on all of that.”
Dutton denied he was trying to frighten voters into voting for the Coalition.
South Australian police are investigating a dramatic fire at an Adelaide motel early this morning in which seven people were injured.
The dramatic scene unfolded just after 6.30am on Sunday morning as police and emergency services responded to reports of a fire on Melbourne Street in North Adelaide.
Police say the intense fire within the three-level complex was quickly brought under control by fire crews.
Fifteen people were rescued from the motel and seven were taken to hospital for treatment.
Investigators are currently at the site to determine the cause of the fire.
ACT has reported 725 new Covid-19 cases overnight, with 58 people in hospital, three in ICU and no deaths.
Queensland Health has issued a recall notice for vegan chocolates after they were found to contain milk.
More details would be provided but it looks as if the Foods Standards website is offline for maintenance.
Dramatic scenes from a fire in Adelaide where seven people have been reportedly injured following explosions at a motel just outside the CBD.
More as it happens.
Deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has defended the government’s handling of the relationship with Solomon Islands on ABC Insiders this morning saying the US and Australia were working in “lockstep”.
This is not something that we were blinded by.
Speaking about the energy transition in regional areas like Gladstone, Joyce sought to pour cold water on efforts to quickly combat the catastrophic risk of climate change by moving to a zero carbon economy.
In a heated exchange, Joyce said the government was supporting hydrogen developments but would not be giving up on fossil fuel industry.
Here is the vital difference – is that we are standing by the jobs they got and investing billions towards hydrogen but we’re not going to be saying to people the word ‘transition’ because that equals to unemployment. Transition to what? There is no other industry here.
The national death toll since the start of the pandemic is approaching 7,000 after 44 deaths have been reported since Saturday, AAP reports.
NSW and Victoria have recorded more than 18,000 new Covid-19 cases along with 10 deaths on Sunday morning.
Some 6,980 Australian lives have been lost to coronavirus, with data still to be reported in most states and territories on Sunday.
The federal Coalition say they are committed to a “lower tax guarantee” if reelected to government.
This decision will lock-in tax cuts of $100bn over the next four years in a continuation of existing government policy.
These tax cuts have been problematic as they overwhelmingly benefit men and those in the highest income brackets while creating future structural problems in the budget.
During an appearance on ABC’s Insiders this morning Labor shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers responded by saying “you can’t believe that Scott Morrison says about the economy and the tax”.
This is the second highest taxing government of the last 30 years.
When pushed for Labor’s commitments on tax reform, Chalmers said Labor was “not proposing any tax reforms beyond the proposals that we will shortly make about multinational tax reform”.
Later in the program he confirmed Labor would be looking to “trim spending”.
We made it clear we need to trim spending in areas like the commonwealth spending on consultants, contractors and labour hire. We think there are substantial savings to be made there. We would be inheriting, if we’re successful on 21 May, $1tn in debt and not enough to show for it.
Chalmers will be giving a press conference in Brisbane at 10am.
Labor shadow treasure Jim Chalmers is appearing on ABC’s Insiders just now and is lashing the government over its handling of the relationship with Solomon Islands:
Clearly, this is the consequence of a government which has cut foreign aid spending, they have mocked our Pacific friends when it comes to climate change, and they have dropped the ball when it comes to our national security and that’s what we’re seeing now.
Our country is less safe as a consequence of the mistakes that they have made on foreign policy. That is the net effect and the consequence of all of this chest-beating.
Now, this is a prime minister that went to the wrong island, you know, went to Hawaii during the bushfires when his focus should have been on the Solomon Islands.
A few shots from last night when prime minister Scott Morrison was in Sydney to attend Orthodox Easter services and naturally he had a photographer in tow.
Two people with Covid-19 have died in Victoria overnight. Health authorities in the state have reported 7,104 new cases, with 438 people hospitalised, 33 people in ICU and eight on ventilation.
New South Wales has recorded eight new deaths from Covid-19 overnight. The state has reported 11,107 new cases in the last 24 hours with 1,588 hospitalisations and 64 people in ICU.
Good morning and happy Sunday! We pick up the liveblog as the country is about to enter week three of the 2022 federal election campaign.
As we approach the midpoint, the major parties are turning their attention to the Northern Territory today.
Labor is announcing that it will hire 500 extra Indigenous health staff while prime minister Scott Morrison is also in Darwin and was photographed attending Greek Easter services last night.
Royce Kurmelovs will be on the blog and taking you through events of the day. If there is something happening in Australia you think should be on the blog, his DMs are open and you can reach him at @RoyceRk2.
In the meantime, let’s dive in.