Enter your email to read this article
Read news on any topic, in one place, from publishers like The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more.

Federal election: Anthony Albanese to urge Fair Work Commission to raise minimum wage, Barnaby Joyce faces challenge for Nationals leadership — as it happened

Watch ABC News Channel's comprehensive coverage of the 2022 Federal Election.

The Prime Minister will urge the Fair Work Commission to increase the minimum wage, while Liberal MP Stuart Robert says gender quotas in the party are "probably something we'll discuss".

Look back at Friday's developments with our blog.

Key events

Live updates

By Shiloh Payne

That's all for today's blog

Thank you for joining us.

You can follow the latest on the remaining seats as it happens here, and you can keep up-to-date with all the latest news here.

By Shiloh Payne

Friends react to Biloela announcement

Supporters of the detained Tamil asylum seekers from Biloela are celebrating the Federal Government's decision to allow all four member to return to Central Queensland.

The family were held on Christmas Island and have live in community detention in Perth since June last year.

Angela Fredericks is a friend of the Nadesalingam family, and says the community are eager to welcome them back.

"It was such an incredible moment," she said.

"We have been waiting for four years to hear those words that we were going to see our friends soon."

"[It's] such a relief up here in Biloela today, and we just can't wait for them to come home."

By Shiloh Payne

Labor officially claims narrow victory in key bush seat

Here's the latest from reporter Jesse Thompson on the seat of Lingiari:

Indigenous politician Marion Scrymgour has formally claimed a narrow victory in the Northern Territory electorate of Lingiari, ensuring the vast bush seat remains in Labor hands.

Ms Scrymgour had been in a tight contest for the seat with the Country Liberal Party's Damien Ryan, and Ms Scrymgour was ahead by about 1,000 votes on two-party preferred terms throughout the week.

In a statement, Ms Scrymgour said the counting of outstanding votes today made her confident she would maintain her lead.

"I would like to thank the electors of Lingiari for their support," she said.

"I look forward to being their voice in Canberra in an Albanese Labor government."

The ABC's election analyst, Antony Green, called the seat for Labor on Sunday.

The seat, which covers basically all the NT outside of Darwin, has been held by Labor stalwart Warren Snowdon since it was established in 2001.

By Shiloh Payne

So what seats are still in doubt?

Four seats remain in doubt as we edge closer to a week since voting day, they are:

  • Brisbane
  • Deakin
  • Gilmore
  • Macnamara

In Brisbane Stephen Bates is ahead for the Greens, leading with 52.2 per cent with 73.9 per cent of votes counted.

The Liberal Party is ahead in Deakin with 50.4 per cent for Michael Sukkar with 85.1 per cent of the votes have been counted.

It's a silimar situation in Gilmore where Andrew Constance from the Liberal Party leads with 50.1 per cent —85.3 per cent of the votes have been counted for this electorate.

Macnamara has the Labor Party's Josh Burns ahead with 61.3 per cent with 75.1 per cent of the votes counted.

The ALP only need to win one of these seats to form a majority government. 

By Shiloh Payne

Jim Chalmers says he has wished the Tamil family well

This afternoon Jim Chalmers exercised his power to intervene in the case of the Murugappan family.

"The effect of my intervention enables the family to return to Biloela, where they can reside lawfully in the community on bridging visas while they work towards the resolution of their immigration status, in accordance with Australian law," Mr CHalmers said in a statement.

"I have spoken to the family and wished them well for their return."

"This decision will allow them to get ‘home to Bilo’, a big-hearted and welcoming Queensland town that has embraced this beautiful family."

He said the government remains committed to Operation Sovereign Borders and keeping people smugglers out of business.

"Australian border protection authorities will intercept any vessel seeking to reach Australia illegally, and safely return those on board to their point of departure or country of origin."

By Shiloh Payne

Key Event

Tamil asylum seeker family to return home to Biloela 

Acting Home Affairs Minister Jim Chalmers has announced that Tamil asylum seekers, the Nadesalingam family, will be allowed to return to the central Queensland town of Biloela. 

The family will be able to return and live in the community on bridging visas while they await their case to be resolved in court.

Nades, Priya, and their two daughters Kopika and Tharnicaa have been in detention for the past four years after immigration officials detained them in 2018.

The family were held on Christmas Island for two years before their youngest daughter was medically evacuated to Perth, where they have been in community detention since June 2021.  

Labor promised during the campaign that if it won the election, the Nadesalingam family would be allowed to return home to Biloela.

By Shiloh Payne

Banned traders warn Labor government, all industries against reliance on China

Two years ago, Australia's rock lobster industry became a high-profile casualty in the trade war between Beijing and Canberra.

Overnight, the value of a trade worth more than half a billion dollars fell from the sky, dragging the wealth and the retirement plans of thousands such as Kim Colero down with it.

Worst of all, the 64-year-old saw the whole thing coming.

Just five years earlier, he had been elected to chair the board of the Western Rock Lobster Council on a platform of assessing the risks the industry faced.

That assessment found WA's lobster fishermen were dangerously overexposed to a single market and a single product in live exports to China.

It was as concerning as it was unsurprising for Mr Colero, who said the size of the prize on offer in China meant "it was easy to get sucked into that one market – we were all-in".

By Shiloh Payne

China Studies academics call for government to mend 'poor relationships'

Here's reporter Erin Handley with the latest:

Several high-profile China Studies academics in Australia are calling on the new government to "replace the language of war" and mend "poor diplomatic relations" between the two countries.  

The open letter to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong comes as Senator Wong pays a visit to Fiji and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi conducts a sweeping tour of the Pacific.  

“The change in government presents the opportunity for a circuit breaker in the poor diplomatic relations that have developed between Australia and China in the recent past,” the letter, which is signed by the all the directors of Australia’s major China Centres, reads.  

“We acknowledge that the new government is likely to avoid the over-aggressive approach of its predecessor.  

“In our view less public aggression is likely to be more effective in dealing with China: international engagement should replace the language of war.” 

The letter says the growth of China as a global power “is bound to be disruptive”, but that “two-way communication not ‘megaphone diplomacy’ is needed”.  

“While appreciating the tremendous difficulties ahead we urge this adjustment in approach to China.” 

By Shiloh Payne

Here's Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Australia recognising the Pacific's concerns about climate change

By Shiloh Payne

Government to argue against minimum wage cuts

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles says the government will make a submission to the Fair Work Commission to argue those on minimun wage shouldn't receive a real wage cut.

"We are experiencing in Australia a cost of living crisis because of the failures of the former Liberal government. We see that with rising power prices, with rising petrol prices," Mr Marles says.

"Now, we've outlined a plan to deal with the question of the cost of living, but a key component of that is to make sure that those who are on the minimum wage are not left behind, and that's why we will be making this submission."

By Shiloh Payne

LNP publicising asylum boat arrival a 'final desperate attempt', Marles says

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles says report that former prime minister Scott Morrison instructed the Australian Border Force to publicise the arrival of an asylum boat was the final attempt from a "dying government".

"In the last few hours of the Morrison government, what we have seen revealed is the true character of the Liberal Party because what's completely clear is that the Liberal Party does not care about the national interest," Mr Marles said.

"It's serious in that it risked lives and it undermined the national consensus that does exist around border security."

He said the politicisation of the event was "a complete willingness to sacrifice the national interest for their own political interests".

Mr Marles said the government has asked the secretary of Home Affairs to look into the matter.

By Shiloh Payne

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles is speaking from Melbourne

You can watch the press conference live here.

By Shiloh Payne

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles will be speaking shortly

Mr Marles will be standing up to speak soon. We'll keep you updated on what he says.

By Shiloh Payne

Religious leaders support constitutional referendum on Indigenous voice to parliament

Australian religious leaders gathered at Sydney's Barangaroo today to demand an urgent referendum.

The faith leaders have now all formally endorsed the Uluru Statement of the Heart, which calls for a "voice" — a representative body that can help shape policy directed at First Nations people — to be enshrined in Australia's constitution. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made a commitment at last weekend's election for a referendum on the Uluru Statement. 

Indigenous groups are now calling for a timeline on when exactly it could be held but new Indigenous Affairs Minister Linda Burney says it won't be called unless the government is sure the Australian people will pass it. 

By Jessica Riga

Announcement on future of Biloela asylum seeker family to be made today, PM says

An announcement will be made today on whether a Tamil asylum seeker family will be allowed to return home to Biloela in central Queensland, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says.

The Nadesalingams were removed from their home in the town by immigration officials in March 2018 after Priya's visa had expired and Nades's refugee status claim was rejected by the government.

The couple and their daughters, Kopika and Tharnicaa, have spent the past four years in detention — in Melbourne, on Christmas Island and most recently in community detention in Perth while their case to remain in Australia has been heard in court.

Over the years a group of tireless advocates championed their cause and what started as a local issue, grew into a national campaign.

By Jessica Riga

Is the Australian government concerned about the Chinese influence in the Pacific?

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong says "it is for Pacific nations to make their own decisions about who they want to partner with" and that Australia respects that. 

"We want to be a partner of choice and demonstrate to your nation, and other nations in the region, that we are a partner who can be trusted and reliable and historically we have been.

"I think you have seen a lot of Australian development assistance. We want to work with you on your priorities as part of the Pacific family.

"We have expressed our concerns publicly about the security agreement between the Solomon Islands in China and the reason why is because we have, as do other Pacific nations, we think there are consequences.

"We think it is important that the security of the region be determined by the region. Historically, that has been the case and we think it is a good thing."

By Jessica Riga

Penny Wong's trip coincides with the Chinese Foreign Minister. Is that coincidental?

"I was very keen to come to the Pacific as soon as I became Foreign Minister," Penny Wong says.

"This is my first bilateral visit and I was a few days late because I had to go to Tokyo. I am sure you will forgive that."

By Jessica Riga

How will Australia work with the Fijian government?

"I came to the Pacific a number of times with Julie Bishop when they were in government and one of the things I said to her was my wish to do this together because I do believe in bipartisanship wherever you can," Penny Wong says. 

"That we could say, together, as the minister and shadow minister, regardless of who is in government, our relationship and our relationship with your nation matters.

"But there are some differences. And the two I will go to our climate and the Pacific scheme. 

"In a course on climate, regrettably, the previous government for nine years, we have a lost decade on climate action and we are determined to make up for it."

By Jessica Riga

Key Event

Labor 'determined to make a difference on climate', Penny Wong says

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong is speaking from Suva in Fiji. 

"Our message to the Pacific is clear. We are listening and we have heard you," she says. 

"One of the areas we are determined to make a difference is on climate. I'm very pleased that the so many Australians voted for stronger action on climate. And I recognise that that has been something Fiji and other Pacific Islander nations have been saying for many years.

"It is not a political argument. It is real. So we have put on the table as a new government, much stronger policy on climate change, not only the net zero emissions by 2050 but a strong 2030 target of 43 per cent reduction, which will lead to the majority of Australia's energy and electricity grid being renewables, about 82 per cent renewables by the end of the decade."

By Jessica Riga

Peter Dutton says he and Scott Morrison are 'two different people'

When asked how he'll be different from former prime minister Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton said, "We are two different people," and cited his work ethic and desire to listen to Australians. 

"I have a lot of respect for Scott and all of my former leaders, but I grew up under John Howard, I was assistant treasurer to Peter Costello. I have an incredible work ethic and have a desire to do a good job for my country, I've done jobs in defence.

"I hope people can see the complete picture of who I am. I intend to traverse the country over the next three years, listen importantly to what people want.

"For me, I have come from the suburbs. I have never forgotten my roots. I have those values near and dear.

"I want to support families who will struggle, families who will struggle, families who will struggle to pay  higher prices under an Albanese government."

Top stories on inkl right now