Australia politics live updates: Albanese and Morrison to face off in election leaders’ debate, Nine says; Coalition pledges to cut medication costs; 49 Covid deaths | Australia news


National Covid update

Here are the Covid numbers reported around Australia today:

NSW

  • Deaths: 20
  • Cases: 11,709
  • In hospital: 1,623

Victoria

  • Deaths: 19
  • Cases: 9,064
  • In hospital: 448

Western Australia

  • Deaths: four historical deaths
  • Cases: 6,829
  • In hospital: 234

Queensland

  • Deaths: five
  • Cases: 5,885
  • In hospital: 468

Australian Capital Territory

  • Deaths: one
  • Cases: 939
  • In hospital: 68

South Australia

  • Deaths: four
  • Cases: 3,907
  • In hospital: 250

Tasmania

  • No deaths
  • Cases: 1,054
  • In hospital: 15

Northern Territory

  • No deaths
  • Cases: 395
  • In hospital: 45

Tasmania records 1,054 new Covid cases

The state has seen no deaths and 1,054 reported Covid cases in past day, according to the Tasmanian department of health.

There are 15 people in hospital for Covid symptoms, while 26 others are Covid-positive patients who are being treated for unrelated medical conditions.

Zoe Daniel, who is running as an independent candidate in the seat of Goldstein, has reported that human excrement has been smeared on signs placed outside a supporter’s house. Police will be called, she says.

Albanese and Morrison to face off again in leaders’ debate on 8 May

Anthony Albanese and Scott Morrison will face each other in a second election debate to be broadcast on Nine on 8 May, according to the network.

The hour-long debate will take place on Sunday, May 8 at 8:30pm at Nine’s Sydney studios. It will be broadcast on the network’s main free-to-air channel, streaming service Nine Now and the websites of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The pair first debated each other in Brisbane on 20 April, which was broadcast by Sky News. Albanese was chosen as winner of the election forum by an audience of undecided voters, receiving 40% of votes to Morrison’s 35%.

South Australia records four Covid deaths and 3,907 cases

There have been 3,907 Covid cases reported in South Australia today, with sadly four deaths.

There are currently 250 people in hospital for Covid across the state.

National Covid update

Here are the Covid numbers reported around Australia today:

NSW

  • Deaths: 20
  • Cases: 11,709
  • In hospital: 1,623

Victoria

  • Deaths: 19
  • Cases: 9,064
  • In hospital: 448

Western Australia

  • Deaths: four historical deaths
  • Cases: 6,829
  • In hospital: 234

Queensland

  • Deaths: five
  • Cases: 5,885
  • In hospital: 468

Australian Capital Territory

  • Deaths: one
  • Cases: 939
  • In hospital: 68

South Australia

  • Deaths: four
  • Cases: 3,907
  • In hospital: 250

Tasmania

  • No deaths
  • Cases: 1,054
  • In hospital: 15

Northern Territory

  • No deaths
  • Cases: 395
  • In hospital: 45

In case you missed it earlier, Jo Dyer, an independent candidate for the seat of Boothby, announced this morning she had received confirmation that a renunciation of her British citizenship was processed back in February. It means she is eligible to run for election.

She’s tweeted about the development with a dig at her Liberal counterpart:

To summarise the last 2 days: on Thursday @theTiser raised questions about my eligibility to run for office due to dual citizenship. It was confirmed overnight my application was revoked in February with nearly two months to spare..so homework done early, @drrachelswift! #auspol pic.twitter.com/qBJYW4GZRI

— Jo Dyer – an independent voice for Boothby (@instanterudite) April 30, 2022

In a statement earlier today, Dyer criticised the requirement that political candidates renounce secondary citizenship. She said:

[It] is an inhibitor to attracting the widest possible range of people from diverse backgrounds to stand for election to our federal parliament. This in turn prevents us from ensuring that our parliament is truly representative of the Australian people it serves.

Some good news: Australian scientists have discovered a new species of frog in south-east Queensland. The bad news: it’s already endangered.

The frog’s only known habitat is the world heritage-listed Gondwana rainforests which were extensively burned during the 2019-20 black summer bushfires.

Queensland’s environment department said it was already moving to protect the habitat of the newly identified species, a mountain frog with the scientific name Philoria knowlesi.

You can read more here, from AAP:

In Queensland, a $6.75m mental health and wellness package has been announced to mark the start of Queensland small business month.

The minister for employment and small business, Di Farmer, said the month would have a particular focus on small businesses hit by the pandemic and recent floods.

As part of our $14.5bn Queensland economic recovery plan, we are rolling out the small business support and wellness package.

The package will directly address the pandemic’s toll on business owners – with coordinated promotion of support services, as well as triage points for small businesses doing it tough.

Queensland employment and small business minister Di Farmer
Queensland employment and small business minister Di Farmer. Photograph: Dan Peled/AAP

Included in the package will be the appointment of six specialist small business wellness coaches across Queensland, a $3m small business support services fund and the extension of the education program “Small Business Smile4Biz”.

Farmer said:

It has been an incredibly challenging time over the last two years and some Queensland small businesses are still rebuilding while contending with worker and supply shortages, which places added mental pressure and stress on business owners.

ACT records Covid death

A 96-year-old man has died with Covid in the ACT.

There have been 939 new cases detected in the territory.

There are 68 people being treated in hospital, including three in intensive care.

ACT COVID-19 Update – 30 April 2022
COVID-19 vaccinations*
◾Aged 5-11 years (1 dose): 80.7%
◾Aged 5-11 years (2 doses): 65.2%
◾Aged 5+ years (2 doses): 97.0%
◾Aged 16+ years (3 doses): 75.2%
COVID-19 case numbers
◾ New cases today: 939 (505 PCR and 434 RAT) pic.twitter.com/gWlJ2io6hx

— ACT Health (@ACTHealth) April 30, 2022

The Victorian department of health has released additional information regarding today’s Covid-19 update.

Eleven of the 19 deaths recorded occurred in the past week, and four were in the past two days.

Sadly, the department was notified of 19 deaths yesterday of people aged in their 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s. Eleven of today’s reported deaths occurred in the past week including four deaths that occurred in the past two days. This brings the total number of deaths in Victoria since the pandemic began to 2,967.

Now is not the time to take a risk on what you don’t know.

Interesting argument. When is?

PM at rally in Launceston:

“You may not like everything we’ve done, you may not like me that much, but that’s not the point. The point is you know what our plan is … now is not the time to take a risk on what you don’t know.”

— Finbar O’Mallon (@finbaromallon) April 30, 2022

Peter Hannam

Clive Palmer’s centrepiece campaign pledge to cap homeowners’ interest rates for five years has been dismissed by economists as “radical”, “crazy” and “utterly irresponsible” even though it will probably appeal to some gullible voters.

According to the United Australia party’s website, the mining billionaire’s “economic plan for freedom and prosperity” pledges to set a maximum 3% interest rate for all home loans to head off a looming mass default as lending rates start to rise.

Wednesday’s surprisingly large 5.1% consumer price inflation figure has stoked expectations the Reserve Bank will be forced to lift its cash rate target from 0.1% when its board meets on Tuesday. Market home loan rates have been rising for months, with most fixed rates now between 3% and 5% with variable rates above 2%.

Read the full story here:





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