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Benita Kolovos

Benita Kolovos

Victorian Labor promises new veterans card to help with rising cost of living

Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews has announced that if re-elected his government will spend $37m to introduce a veterans card to help those who have served the nation with the rising cost of living.

The Victorian Veterans Card will entitle veterans to a $100 discount on the registration of one vehicle, free trailer and caravan registration and free fishing and boating licences as well as free public transport on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.

On top of the discounts, the card will give veterans access to dedicated employment programs to help them find careers after finishing their period of service.

Andrews says there are more than 90,000 veterans in Victoria. He says the veterans card will particularly assist younger veterans who aren’t eligible for the Commonwealth government’s gold card program:

We want to make sure that every veteran whether they be a bit older or a bit younger, because they’re from a more contemporary conflict, gets the access and that streamline access into employment.

The ADF have invested in them very, very heavily with their skills and training and it only makes sense for us to utilise those skills, particularly when we’ve got workforce shortages in so many different parts of the Victorian economy … I can’t think of a better way to invest $37m in saying thank you to our vets, they’ve done a great job.

We’re very proud of them. We’re very grateful to them. All the things that we enjoy today is because of them and their sacrifice and their service.

And that’s a wrap from Insiders this morning.

Noongar community ‘really hurting’ from Cassius Turvey’s death

Chaney is asked about the death of Indigenous teenager Cassius Turvey while walking home from school in Perth.

Chaney says police are investigating and it is too early to discuss motive.

It is a huge challenge and I was at the vigil on Wednesday, and it was very moving, and the Noongar community in Perth and the broader community is really hurting about this.

On the broader issue of racism, we don’t yet know what the motivation for that alleged murder is.

I think every mum has a right to expect that her child can walk home from school safely, and I think as a community, we all need to be thinking about what role we play in creating a situation where that is possible.

For more on the reaction to the death of Cassius Turvey, read the full story from Guardian Australia’s Indigenous affairs reporter Sarah Collard.

Chaney ‘not convinced’ IR changes will ‘drive an increase in wages’

On the proposed industrial relations changes, Chaney says she supports the proposal where it will lift wages in low-paid sectors of the economy but is wary of introducing “another layer of complexity” into workplaces and is not convinced multi-employer bargaining will actually lift wages.

I’m completely supportive of the fact that we need to increase wages and increase share of wages to GDP. I think the expansion – the multi-employer bargaining for the supported stream is a good thing, [in] those low-paid industries, and that may well get wages moving.

[It will benefit] childcare, aged care, largely feminised industries, and that seems to make a lot of sense. I’m concerned about the overreach and this extension of multi-employer bargaining to any group that are deemed to have a common interest, as determined by the Fair Work Commission. I think it’s great for IR specialists and lawyers.

It is probably great for unions and improving their relevance. I’m not convinced that it will actually drive an increase in wages across the board because it just adds this new layer of complexity into our already complex system.

Stage 3 tax cuts ‘should be delayed’

Chaney says “the stage 3 tax cuts are not very responsible policy” and the government should reconsider or delay introducing them.

I can understand the government’s desire to keep its promises, but when you look at where we are, really there is nothing to take the place of the revenue lost in those tax cuts, so it needs to be part of a broader review of how are we going to pay for the things we need.

Asked to clarify whether she wants to see them scrapped, Chaney says she believes they should be delayed.

I reckon they should be delayed, pending a broader review of the tax system and it may be that a result that have could be trimming them at the top, or it could be looking at different sources of revenue that mean we can rely less on personal income tax as we see our population age.

Chaney says residents in her electorate have been contacting her office to voice their opposition to tax cuts.

No new gas projects should be opened up, Chaney says

Chaney says the focus needs to be on decarbonisation over the long term and Australia won’t be served by entrenching gas into its energy grid over the long term.

We can’t lose sight of the longer-term goal to decarbonise our economy so we actually have a strong economy in 20 years’ time, so I think it’s really important that we focus on that, that these are fossil fuel issues that are driving the challenges that we have now and we focus on the longer-term goal to decarbonise.

On whether new gas projects should be opened up:

I don’t think so. Globally when you look at the cost benefit that have, there are enough gas projects that are already approved to meet the gas needs that we need in the energy mix for a long period, and so opening up new oil and gas exploration sites that won’t be developed for between four and 10 years seems like really mixed messages that we are sending to the market.

The burning of fossil fuels including gas is a key driver of global heating. Last year the International Energy Agency said exploitation of new fossil fuel basins had to stop in 2021 to limit heating to 1.5C, a goal set out in the Paris agreement.

Chaney: case for gas exports super profits tax

Independent MP Kate Chaney says there is a good case to be made “for a short-term super profits tax on gas exports” to “make sure that we are looking after the most vulnerable”.

The most vulnerable at the moment is not our gas companies.

However Chaney says whatever approach Australia takes to its gas prices and shortages needs to be “short-term”.

I think that [a windfall tax] would be potentially a better solution than the export controls or price controls that end up being quite hard to reverse, but obviously the second tier of options would be those export controls or price controls in.

‘No sense’ to tax cuts, Remeikis says

Guardian Australia’s political reporter Amy Remeikis is on the ABC Insiders panel, where talk has focused on gas prices and the tax cuts.

Remeikis: There is no moral commonsense, economic, anything justification for these tax cuts. They were bad policy when they were introduced.

David Speers: Not even at the middle end?

Remeikis: There is no sense to them. There isn’t. Because when you look at the cost to the budget and what people will have to forgo, because if you don’t think that we are not going to get into some sort of austerity situation to pay for them, then you are kidding yourself.

We are already having conversations about whether we can afford the NDIS or not, and that is absolutely also abhorrent when you think about what the NDIS represents and what it is meant to be. It [the tax cuts] was bad policy when it was introduced. It is even worse policy now.

Asked about the risk of Labor breaking a promise it took to the election, she says:

How people interpret the broken promise is on us, the media. If we hound them, then that becomes the narrative which is also bad policy, so we have a responsibility as well.

Herald Sun’s curious editorial choice

There is a saying that news doesn’t work backwards but today’s Herald Sun has made a curious editorial choice.

The entire front page *and* a two-page spread are dedicated to…the steps Dan Andrews fell on over a year ago.

Yes, that is three pages of prime news real estate for steps pic.twitter.com/2y0BndC2be

— Belinda Barnet (@manjusrii) November 5, 2022

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is expected to begin a press conference any moment now and it is anticipated he’ll have thoughts.

Guardian Australia’s Victorian state correspondent Benita Kolovos will have the latest as it comes in.

Daniel Hurst

Daniel Hurst

Burke hits back at employer group

The workplace relations minister Tony Burke has joined the prime minister Anthony Albanese in hitting back at a threat by an employer group to launch a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign against the workplace relations changes.

Burke said he had been meeting with a range of business groups over the past week, but the Australian Resources and ­Energy Employer Association had not contacted him. Burke questioned whether the group’s membership wanted to pay for “a political campaign”.

Burke said an advertising campaign would not “make this government not care about people’s wages”.

The leaders of the Nationals David Littleproud is on Sky News now. He calls the concessions announced by Burke as “baby steps”. Littleproud argued employees might get a “sugar hit” from higher pay but this might have an impact on employment or prices at the checkout.

Daniel Hurst

Daniel Hurst

Workplace relations bill to be amended

The workplace relations minister Tony Burke has agreed to amend the government’s workplace relations bill, including the way voting works in the expansion of pay deals covering multiple employers.

Speaking to Sky News, Burke said he had been meeting with business groups each day last week. One of amendments that has now been “locked down” will change how voting works on multi-employer bargaining. The concession aims to address employers’ concerns that votes in bigger workplaces could overwhelm vote share of smaller employers.

Burke said the votes would be counted employer by employer – including when it comes to voting on whether to pursue multi-employer agreement, potential industrial action and the approval of the final agreement.

This puts an end to the argument that you’ll end up with workplaces that didn’t want to be part of an agreement but somehow got roped in some way, or didn’t want to be part of industrial action. If you vote against any of the stages at that business level, then you’re not part of it.

Burke said also considering grace period of six months prior to multi-employer bargaining.

Workplace relations minister Tony Burke has spoken to Sky News this morning and independent MP Kate Chaney is speaking to ABC Insiders.

We’ll have the latest as it comes.

Good morning

And welcome to another Sunday morning Guardian live blog.

New South Wales emergency services have conducted 25 flood rescues overnight following 253 requests for help as the state struggles with renewed flooding. Nearly 100 warnings have been issued across the state, including 21 emergency warnings, 58 watch and act notices and 18 warnings at advice level. The developing situation comes after central-west NSW on Saturday marked its biggest floods since the 1950s.

Police in the ACT are continuing to search for an eight-year-old boy after the body of a young woman and another boy were found in Yerrabi Pond in Gungahlin. A member of the public first raised the alarm after finding the bodies, believed to be a mother and son. Divers have been in the water while a search is also being conducted of the surrounding bushland.

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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