Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Antoun Issa

Afternoon Update: Australia to get a poet laureate; US police allegedly beat homeless man; and a smart immigration interactive

Baker Boy playing a didgeridoo on stage
The Australian arts industry has welcomed $300m in funding and a range of overhauls by the Albanese Labor government. Photograph: Sam Tabone/Getty Images for NGV

Australia will have its own poet laureate – an honorary position the UK has had since the 17th century – under a major arts overhaul announced by the federal government.

“This is our soul. This is our identity,” the prime minister, Anthony Albanese, declared as he announced $300m in funding for the arts sector.

Would-be laureates were already crafting their pitches – some frivolously – on Twitter, with the news broadly welcomed by the industry.

Other major changes include minimum pay for professional artists, a crackdown on fake Indigenous art and a boost for regional galleries. The nation’s peak arts body will also be renamed Creative Australia.

Top news

A sign by the entrance to the court that says “Stop Black Deaths in Custody”
  • ‘Reform Victoria’s bail laws’ | … coroner Simon McGregor urged today, adding the laws had a “discriminatory” impact on First Nations people. McGregor handed down highly anticipated findings into the death in custody of Veronica Nelson, a First Nations woman, in 2020 – a death, McGregor said, that was preventable.

  • Catholic groups want progressive change | A coalition of 20 Australian Catholic groups will this week push for significant reform of the church in Australia to make it more inclusive, saying the conservative stance of the late Cardinal George Pell “may have galvanised the mood” for change.

The emergency sign of Rockhampton hospital
  • Queensland to deploy hundreds of junior doctors | More than 830 junior doctors will be deployed across 20 health facilities with the aim of improving access to care in rural, regional and metropolitan hospitals. It’s Queensland’s “largest intake ever”, and the latest response by a state government to deal with the nationwide GP bulk-billing crisis.

  • Adani hits back at fraud allegations | The group – which operates the Carmichael coal and rail project in Queensland – has published a 413-page rebuttal of fraud allegations by Hindenburg Research, likening the US investment firm’s report to an attack on India amid mounting financial pressure on the coal conglomerate. Hindenburg alleged Adani’s fraudulent scheme was the “biggest con in corporate history”.

James Johnson, CEO of Football Australia (R) and Graham Arnold (L) at a press conference
James Johnson, CEO of Football Australia (R) and Graham Arnold (L). Photograph: Muhammad Farooq/AFP/Getty Images
  • Graham Arnold signs new deal | … to remain Socceroos coach until 2026. The Socceroos’ thrilling run to the last 16 at the tournament in Qatar meant a new deal was always likely to be tabled for Arnold (pictured above left).

  • Florida police allegedly beat homeless man | Two Florida police officers are facing armed kidnapping and battery charges for allegedly assaulting a homeless man after handcuffing him without reason and taking him to an isolated location where they beat him unconscious. The news comes only days after shocking footage was released showing five Memphis police officers beating Tyre Nichols.

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking into a microphone
The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • Turkey-Sweden Nato stoush | Turkey’s strongman president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (pictured) has said he could accept Finnish membership in Nato without the membership of its neighbour, Sweden. Finland and Sweden both applied for Nato membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Turkey is yet to ratify their bids. Erdoğan’s main complaint is Sweden’s refusal to extradite individuals suspected of links to Kurdish militants.

  • Tunisia’s stalled transition to democracy | Once heralded as the success story of the Arab spring, Tunisia’s democracy is flailing. Only 11% turned out to vote in parliamentary runoffs, with critics of the president, Kais Saied, saying the empty polling stations were evidence of public disdain for his agenda and seizure of powers.

What they said …

Vladimir Putin and Boris Johnson.
Vladimir Putin and Boris Johnson. Photograph: Sputnik/Reuters


“Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a missile, it would only take a minute.” – Vladimir Putin, allegedly

The former UK prime minister Boris Johnson claimed Putin delivered the “sort of threat” in a call just before the invasion of Ukraine a year ago.

In numbers

The statistic for today’s afternoon update, which reads: 20% of mortgage holders will come off fixed loans this year, adding to cost-of-living pressures for many

This year is going to be tough for those coming off fixed loans – a fact acknowledged today by the finance minister, Katy Gallagher, who said the government will “work hand in hand with the RBA … not against them”.

Before bed read

Screenshot of the Guardian’s immigration interactive showing the proportion of countries of origin of migrants at the time of the First Fleet.

Our data team have put together a very smart looking interactive of Australia’s migration history. Scroll from 1901 to the present day to see how the makeup of our nation has changed.

Sign up

If you would like to receive this Afternoon Update to your email inbox every weekday, sign up here. And start your day with a curated breakdown of the key stories you need to know. Sign up for our Morning Mail newsletter here.

Contact us

If you have a story tip or technical issue viewing this newsletter, please reply to this email.

If you are a Guardian supporter and need assistance with regards to contributions and/or digital subscriptions, please email

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.