Home » Australia News Live Update: Barnaby Joyce Sure Australia And France Can ‘get Over’ Submarine Rift; Mark McGowan Stands Firm On WA Hard Border Policy

Australia News Live Update: Barnaby Joyce Sure Australia And France Can ‘get Over’ Submarine Rift; Mark McGowan Stands Firm On WA Hard Border Policy

03:59

The Victorian Electoral Commission has clarified unvaccinated people won’t be banned from voting in next year’s state election.

VEC (@electionsvic)

We are aware of misinformation circulating on social media incorrectly stating that unvaccinated people will be banned from voting in the 2022 State election. This is categorically untrue (1/2)

November 1, 2021

03:48

Marise Payne meets with French ambassador

The Australian foreign minister has met with France’s ambassador – just hours after the French president accused the Australian prime minister of lying about the now scrapped submarine contract.

Marise Payne met today with Jean-Pierre Thebault, the French ambassador who was recalled to Paris shortly after the Aukus nuclear submarine plans were announced in September. Thebault returned to Canberra a couple of weeks ago and finished his stint of quarantine at the weekend.

The meeting is understood to have finished. We’ll bring you more details as soon as we have them.

Updated

03:34

The Pacific Islands Forum secretary general has welcomed climate commitments by Australia and New Zealand heading into Cop26.

Henry Puna:

We welcome the recent commitments to tackle climate change from New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand and Australia are the two developed country nations in the 18-member Pacific Islands Forum, but as one Blue Pacific and in accordance with Forum Leaders’ Kainaki II Declaration for Urgent Climate Change Action Now, we are all taking concrete action to address climate change.

New Zealand has pledged to reduce net greenhouse emissions by 50% (below 2005 levels) by 2030 from its previous target of 30%.

This was in addition to an earlier announcement to increase its climate finance commitment to $1.3bn from its current levels of $300m.

Last week Scott Morrison announced Australia’s commitment to net zero by 2050.

These enhanced contributions are the sort of action we need from all developed countries at Cop26. We have been very clear that the future of our Blue Pacific and the future of our Blue Planet depends on international efforts to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Updated

03:25

New superannuation laws come into effect

Superannuation will now follow Australians when they change jobs after new laws came into effect today, AAP reports.

Superannuation accounts will now be stapled to workers, ensuring new employers pay super contributions into existing accounts in a bid to avoid expensive double ups and lost money.

Treasury estimates $2.8bn will be saved from duplicate fees and lost interest returns over the next decade, with around 850,000 duplicate accounts created every year.

Employees are still able to nominate a different super account. The new laws address a key recommendation of the banking royal commission and build on measures implemented under the Your Future, Your Super reforms.

The government estimates these reforms will save Australian workers almost $18bn over the next decade.

Updated

03:18

It comes as 75% of New Zealanders are now fully vaccinated.

RNZ (@radionz)

#BREAKING Waikato will step down a level to step 2, level 3 from 11.59pm tomorrow.

November 1, 2021

03:05

The number of people with disability parking permits in NSW is increasing but there aren’t enough places for them to park, AAP reports.

Mobility parking permits have increased by 60% since 2007 but despite almost 400,000 drivers with a disability holding a licence in NSW, “there have been no attempts to keep pace with the growth in accessible spaces”, the NRMA says.

Shopping centres require 2% of parking spaces to be accessible, while residential areas require 1%, but 8% of NSW drivers have a mobility parking permit.

Disability parking signs. Photograph: Simon McGill/Getty Images

Permitted parkers are also in competition with other drivers, with almost 13,000 fined in the last financial year for parking in spaces for which they had no permit displayed.

A review of accessible parking suitability and enforcement of violations will deliver “long overdue improvements” and “reduce barriers for people with a disability to access mobility parking spaces”, the NRMA said alongside Spinal Cord Injuries Australia.

Some of those improvements include using real-time technology to monitor parking spaces, signposted warnings about the consequences for parking in accessible parks without a permit, and harsher penalties for repeat offenders.

SCIA CEO Dianne Lucas said cities need to take into account a growing population of disabled drivers. Almost a quarter of her organisation’s workforce have physical disabilities but need to drive to be independent, Lucas said.

Updated

02:51

The premier of South Australia Steven Marshall says the state has to take a “realistic” view to reopening:

Andrea Nicolas (@AndreaLNicolas)

“NO DEATH IS PALATABLE but we have to be realistic… we can’t keep delta out forever”.

The Premier responding to expected 13 deaths when borders open November 23.

The modelling suggests worst case 51 could die even before we lift restrictions. @7NewsAdelaide #covidroadmap pic.twitter.com/zxz5wstOjH

November 1, 2021

Andrea Nicolas (@AndreaLNicolas)

“We will be able to cope” …

Prof Spurrier wants to reassure South Australians our hospitals will manage according to modelling as we open up on November 23. ⁦@7NewsAdelaide⁩ #covidroadmap pic.twitter.com/edCgClsV8Y

November 1, 2021

02:43

Information provided to the Australian Electoral Commission by people considering standing as a candidate for parliament will be reviewed via a new inquiry into the qualification checklist relating to section 44 of the Australian constitution.

The proposed checklist responds to recommendation one of the joint standing committee on electoral matters’ report on the conduct of the 2019 federal election.

Committee chair senator James McGrath:

Although the candidate checklist worked well in the 2019 election, there were some critical elements, such as requiring information on a candidate’s date and country of birth, that were not required as mandatory data. This information is highly relevant to ascertaining a candidate’s citizenship status.

It is important to examine the proposed amendments to the Candidate Qualification Checklist and ensure there is adequate time to incorporate any revisions before the next election.

Updated

02:39

Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP)

Dr Jeannette Young will be sworn in as the 27th Governor of Queensland this afternoon 🎥

Watch the ceremony live from 2pm on my Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

November 1, 2021

02:35

Josh Butler (@JoshButler)

Gladys Berejiklian outside ICAC after her final day of evidence: “what has occurred to me is a difficult situation… I intend to get on with my life”

[rough Tveeder transcript] pic.twitter.com/VU263Yt5Gr

November 1, 2021

Catch up on another big day here:

02:31

The federal government has provided further detail on two dedicated visa streams that will allow people from Hong Kong to claim permanent residency in Australia.

Stephen Dziedzic (@stephendziedzic)

The Federal Government has unveiled the details of the two new “dedicated and simpler” visa streams it’s opened up to Hong Kong passport holders 1/ pic.twitter.com/HxHcTwLRbH

November 1, 2021

Stephen Dziedzic (@stephendziedzic)

These visa streams are open to about 8800 people who already hold temporary skilled, graduate and student visas (i.e. – not all HK residents) 2/

November 1, 2021

02:22

WA premier stands firm on state’s hard border policy

Mark McGowan is refusing to budge on his hardline border stance as a returned overseas traveller pleads with the West Australian premier to be reunited with his sick mother, AAP reports.

There were emotional scenes on Monday as Australians returned home to Sydney and Melbourne, which have scrapped quarantine for vaccinated travellers.

The pathway to return to WA is considerably more narrow given the state has placed NSW and Victoria under “extreme risk” border restrictions.

Families reunited at Sydney International airport on Monday, 1 November 2021. Photograph: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

A man who arrived in Sydney from Los Angeles was in tears as he spoke of his desperate wish to travel to WA to see his sick mother after two years overseas.

He told Seven network:

I’m really scared and emotional because I really want to see my mum. The doctor said that she hasn’t got long … she’s been in permanent care for a few years and it’s been so long since I’ve seen her. I love her heaps and I just want to get back there.

Under the extreme risk border rules, most NSW and Victoria travellers are banned from entering WA and those who are permitted must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days.

McGowan said the man’s case would be assessed for a possible exemption on compassionate grounds:

Obviously these situations are very sad and very difficult. The police and the chief health officer will analyse his case if he makes an application so that a decision can be made.

Any decision on reopening WA’s borders will be delayed until after the state has reached 80% full vaccination, a benchmark expected to be reached by early December.

WA premier Mark McGowan. Photograph: Richard Wainwright/AAP

McGowan has insisted WA is well-placed to make a “soft landing” out of the pandemic, reaching high levels of vaccination whilst avoiding the need to reimpose restrictions such as capacity limits and mask-wearing within the state:

We have a virtually unique opportunity to get to very high levels of vaccination before such time as we have Covid come in. Really, it’s a matter of a few months. We’re heading towards the end of this, we’re just going to remain safe whilst we get there.

The premier has outlined mandatory vaccination requirements for most of the state’s workforce, including a 31 January deadline which would coincide with the end of the school holidays and potential reopening of borders.

WA’s cap on returned overseas travellers will double to 530 once it reaches 70% full vaccination.

Opposition health spokeswoman Libby Mettam said another “horror month” of ambulance ramping figures showed WA’s health system was not prepared for a possible Covid outbreak.

Updated

02:10

Updated

02:04

It may not seem like it but house price rises are easing ever so slightly.

Figures from CoreLogic out today saw values rose 1.49% for the month, down from 1.51% in September, and remain at close to half the 2.8% monthly pace in the consultancy reported in March.

Sydney’s rise was pretty much bang in line with the national rate, while Melbourne’s trailed at just under 1%, and Perth notched its first negative monthly result since June, dropping 0.1%. You can also see the drop if you squint.

Brisbane topped the monthly growth rate among the capitals with a 2.5% rise in October.

As CoreLogic’s research director Tim Lawless (aptly named, perhaps, given the market) said national house prices are now 21.6% higher than a year ago, an incredible advance when you consider how the increase compares with wages:

Housing prices continue to outpace wages by a ratio of about 12:1. This is one of the reasons why first home buyers are becoming a progressively smaller component of housing demand.

Those still desperate to get into the market may take some solace that gains in new listings and tighter regulations on credit assessment that come into force today may take some of the fizz out of the market.

Rents, meanwhile, were up 0.7% for the month, up from a pace of 0.6% in September.

Other stats out today also point to an easing of demand for housing. The ABS reports new loan commitments in September reached $20.7bn, down 1.4% seasonally adjusted from August. While down for a fourth consecutive month, the amount remains 21% higher than for September 2020, and 49% higher than pre-Covid levels in 2020, Katherine Keenan, head of the ABS’s finance and wealth unit, says.

Victoria’s new loans went backwards by 12.7% in the month, while states like NSW saw another rise. The average loan in the state has now climbed to a record of $750,000, the ABS said.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it is investor demand that is driving the prices up. The number of new loan commitments (not their size) dropped for an eighth month in a row, dropping 5.6% in September, the ABS said, adding they are now 11.4% down from the same month a year ago.

More hints of how much momentum the wider housing market could lose may be clearer tomorrow after the RBA holds its monthly board meeting on interest rates, with a verdict known at 2.30pm AEDT.

A change to the record low official case rate of 0.1% is not expected but market watchers and anybody on a variable loan rate will be watching for any prospect that official rates are heading higher.

The RBA’s stated aim has been to keep the rate at its record low into 2024 to ensure the wider economy withstands the Covid storms but the commercial banks are tipping increases to start towards the end of 2022.

Not surprisingly, the AFR are among those reporting a big jump in people switching to fixed-rated mortgages before the inevitable increase kicks in.

Updated

01:50

Crown Resorts says all visitors to its Sydney and Melbourne venues will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19, effective immediately, AAP reports.

The policy includes customers, workers, and contractors.

A similar policy at Crown’s Perth casino is still being finalised and is expected to be implemented from 31 January.

Crown Resorts chief executive Steve McCann said the new rules were critical to stop the spread of the virus.

We must do whatever is in our power to help limit the potential for further impact at our resorts – whether that be to our people, our guests or to business continuity.

McCann said the move had overwhelming support from stakeholders. The company announced a vaccine incentive scheme in September, offering workers three hours’ paid leave to get the jab as well as extra sick leave for those who needed it.

A recent royal commission into Crown Resorts castigated the company for “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative” behaviour, but stopped short of recommending it should lose its Melbourne casino licence.

Earlier this year, the NSW Bergin report found Crown had “enabled or facilitated” money laundering at its Perth casino.

Updated

01:40

Over in Victoria, the feral horse action plan has been released today for the Alpine national park.

Erin Somerville (@erinbsomerville)

Parks Victoria’s released its Feral Horse Action Plan 2021 for the Alpine National Park. It features the continuation of trapping and rehoming, and using professional shooters in some

November 1, 2021

Parks Victoria will continue to work closely with our partners in the humane control of feral horses to reduce their impacts; including removing small, isolated populations and preventing spread into new areas using the most humane, safe and effective techniques, including lethal and non-lethal methods. The preferred methods of managing feral horses include trapping and rehoming, tightly managed shooting and construction of small-scale exclusion fences.

Updated

01:30

Good reminder.

The ambassador of France to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault is set to address the Press Club this Wednesday.

It will be very interesting watching following Macron’s rather explosive language this morning.

Laura Tingle (@latingle)

Seems a fortuitous time to mention that Ambassador of France to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault will be addressing @PressClubAust on Wednesday at 12.30. The speech will be broadcast on @ABCTV t.co/pPoDNS5ISH

November 1, 2021

Updated