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Australia news live updates: buybacks recommended for NSW flood victims; China tensions escalate; Splendour meningococcal warning


Key events

There’s a question about the stoush between Greens leader Adam Bandt and former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating.

For those who missed it, Bandt accused Keating and Labor being a “neoliberal party” and Keating shot back at the Green’s leader.

Here’s Faruqi on that exchange:

What Paul Keating said this week about Adam, I think was pretty disappointing and pretty disgusting. Neo-liberalism and the Labor Party for the last 30, I think, years have been inextricably linked. It was in the Keating era that the Commonwealth Bank and Qantas were privatised — neo-liberalism 101. We saw free education go, more privatisation, so I think these debates can be robust, but they should not descend, as Mr Keating descended, into basically those really terrible and disgusting comments about the character of Adam.

Faruqi says it is still “thoroughly disappointing that Labor will still back coal and gas mines.”

We know we can’t address the climate crisis without addressing coal and gas, and so our fight to stop new coal and gas continues.

We will make sure that there is no new coal and gas. We are in existential crisis.

Asked about the decision to block Clive Palmer’s proposal to build a coal mine on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Faruqi says it is a “big step forward”.

One down and 113 of the 114 coal and gas mines in the pipeline to go. We will make sure it happens.

Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi is speaking to the ABC this morning on the passing of the climate bill in parliament this week. The first question is: why did the Greens support the bill?

Faruqi:

When the Greens always went into discussions with the Labor Party on this, hoping to improve this weak bill, and we have done that. We have secured improvements to the bill and they come in the form of Dutton proofing the bill, so it has a floor and you know, we can ratchet up the target as well, over time. It can’t go backwards, it can be ratcheted up. The Climate Change Authority is strengthened, more accountability and transparency and for the first time ever government organisations which previously have funded coal and gas projects l have to consider the targets.

It’s worth a reminder that Green’s leader Adam Bandt has spent the weeks leading up to this moment saying the party’s position is to “improve and pass the bill”.

NSW records 30 new Covid deaths

Thirty people with Covid-19 have died in New South Wales overnight, with the state recording 11,998 new cases on Saturday morning, 2,187 people in hospital, and 57 in ICU.

COVID-19 update – Saturday 6 August 2022

In the 24-hour reporting period to 4pm yesterday:

– 96.8% of people aged 16+ have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine*
– 95.3% of people aged 16+ have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine* pic.twitter.com/f09WB85uqj

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) August 5, 2022

– 69.2% of people have had three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine**^
– 82.4% of people aged 12-15 have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine*
– 78.7% of people aged 12-15 have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine*
– 49.8% of people aged 5-11 have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine*

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) August 5, 2022

– 2,187 hospitalisations
– 57 people in ICU
– 30 lives lost
– 11,998 positive tests: 6,176 RAT & 5,822 PCR

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) August 5, 2022

The 30 deaths notified to NSW Health in the past 24 hours includes 8 deaths notified through the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) August 5, 2022

From 9 August labs will test all samples from state-run PCR clinics for COVID-19, Influ A, Influ B and RSV. This means that if you are tested on 8 August, your sample may be tested for all four viruses. From 9 August onwards, everyone will be tested for all four viruses.

— COVID Tasmania (@CovidTasmania) August 5, 2022

Buybacks and land swaps recommended for NSW flood victims

An inquiry into the New South Wales flood response has recommended the state government buy back or perform a land swap for victims living in flood-prone areas.

New South Wales premier Dominic Perrottet has been handed the report which also called for the natural disaster agency Resilience NSW be dismantled and its head, Shane Fitzsimmons, be made redundant.

The scheme would form part of a $3bn response to the deadly Northern Rivers floods in February and March which killed 13 people and destroyed more than 4,000 homes.

Perrottet has promised to make the report by former police commissioner Mick Fuller and chief scientist Mary O’Kane public, but is yet to do so.

– with AAP

Good morning

And welcome to the Saturday morning Guardian live blog.

Defence minister Richard Marles has called for an end to the live-fire military operations after China fired 11 ballistic missiles during exercises around the island of Taiwan, including directly over the capital of Taipei. Marles said the exercises, which began in response to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Foreign minister Penny Wong has also expressed Australia’s concern about rising tensions with her counterpart, Wang Yi during a meeting of the East Asia Summit in Cambodia. Wong said in a statement that Australia is “deeply concerned about the launch. of ballistic missiles by China into waters around Taiwan’s coastline”.

An independent review into the New South Wales flood response has recommended the state government buyback homes that have been built in flood-prone areas or perform a land swap. The scheme will form a $3bn response to the Northern Rivers floods in February and March that killed 13 people and destroyed more than 4,000 homes.

Authorities have also told people who attended Splendour in the Grass to be on alert for symptom of meningococcal disease after a man in his 40s who attended has since died. Two cases of meningococcal have been confirmed in people who attended the music festival in Byron Bay, including the man in his 40s who died this week. The much anticipated festival fell into crisis last month when torrential rain turned the field into a mud bath.

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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