Anthony Albanese outlines Labor's budget reply.
Tonight Labor leader Anthony Albanese gave his party’s budget reply, outlining Labor’s economic plan if they are to be elected.
Albanese said he wanted to lead a country that gave its people "the chance to follow their dreams, to study what they want, to learn the trade or get the job they want, to buy a home, to start a family".
He concluded: "I went into politics because I believe good government can change the lives of Australians for the better. Working together, we can build a better future."
Here are some of the main takeaways:
Aged care reform.
Albanese made a $2.5 billion pledge to improve the treatment of older Australians. The aged care package would force every facility to have a registered nurse on site at all hours, hire more carers, set higher standards for meals for the elderly in care, and fully fund a boost for workers through an appeal to the Fair Work Commission to set higher wages.
Cheaper child care.
Albanese pledged cheaper child care for "almost every family". This would be achieved by enacting a more generous subsidy rate for families with more than one child under six years of age. This would reportedly make 96 per cent of all families in the system better off under the changes.
Albanese promised that Labor would adopt every recommendation in the [email protected] Report on the treatment of women in the workforce.
Australian self-determination and reliance.
Also during his budget reply, Albanese spoke to the theme of self-reliance in Australia, saying "the pandemic has shown us that we are not immune to global events". This will come in the form of focusing on Australian industry, renewable energy, manufacturing, oil supplies, and cybersecurity. He also vowed to establish a Disaster Ready Fund which would respond to natural disasters like floods and fires.
Albanese pledged to "end the climate wars". As to how Labor would do this, he said his party would enact policies to reduce emissions.
Albanese said he would commit to "embracing the Uluru Statement from the Heart", as well as to "seek a referendum to include an Indigenous voice to parliament in the constitution".
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to call the election in a matter of days, with the poll to be held in mid-May.
Leader of the opposition, Anthony Albanese, has used his budget reply speech to outline changes to the aged care sector should Labor form governmenthttps://t.co/xpi9RyV6pv— SBS News (@SBSNews) March 31, 2022
Former NRL player Tristan Sailor found not guilty of sexual assault.
This post deals with the topic of alleged sexual assault and may be triggering for some readers.
Former NRL player Tristan Sailor has been found not guilty of rape charges involving a woman who says she was so intoxicated that she woke up naked with no memory as to what happened.
The former St George Illawarra player was accused of having sex with the woman while she was either unconscious or too intoxicated to consent after a night out in Sydney with friends in October 2020.
Tristan - the son of Australian rugby league player Wendell Sailor - maintained the sex was consensual and testified that he asked the woman "three times" for her consent.
On Thursday, the jury deliberated for under three hours and found him not guilty of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent, recklessly inflicting actual bodily harm, and for a less serious alternative charge.
Premiership-winning coach Wayne Bennett had vouched for the character of the former NRL player, saying he was "a respectful and decent young man".
- With AAP.
If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.
You can also call safe steps 24/7 Family Violence Response Line on 1800 015 188 or visit www.safesteps.org.au for further information.
The Men’s Referral Service is also available on 1300 766 491 or via online chat at www.ntv.org.au.
Nurses walk off the job calling for more staff.
Thousands of nurses across NSW are striking for 24 hours for the second time in 10 years to pressure the state government to accept their demands for better pay and mandated nurse-to-patient ratios.
Today’s industrial action comes more than a month after the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association first voted in favour of statewide action that subsequently saw demonstrations at 150 public hospitals.
"Patients play Lotto depending which day they go to hospital," union General Secretary Brett Holmes told AAP. "They [patients] could get lucky and get a properly staffed shift or they could get unlucky. So our members want to see a better health system that will guarantee that there are enough nurses to look after patients."
Nurses are demanding a nurse-to-patient ratio of one-to-four on hospital wards and a midwife-to-patient ratio of one-to-three, as well as a 4.75 per cent pay rise versus the 2.5 per cent a year allowed by the state government.
Nurses from up to 170 hospitals took part in a series of rallies. It comes as earlier in the week, the paramedics union shared photos of ambulances queuing outside hospitals waiting to offload patients at emergency departments.
Solidarity with @nswnma nurses and midwives on strike today! The second strike in 10 years. Thousands marched on NSW Parliament calling for safe nurse-to-patient ratios, pay and conditions. It's time for @Dom_Perrottet to act.#strikeforratios pic.twitter.com/lifQXjPSUv— Unions NSW (@unionsnsw) March 31, 2022
Nurses and midwives from St George Hospital ready to strike for patient safety and take their concerns about unsafe staffing right to the Premier on Macquarie street. #strikeforratios #nswpol pic.twitter.com/IsE2fVikMw— NSW Nurses & Midwives (@nswnma) March 31, 2022
The IEU stands in solidarity with the @nswnma and their members! They are on strike today to demand safe workplaces, better workloads, and legislated staff-to-patient ratios. Nurses deserve better! #StrikeForRatios #NSWpol pic.twitter.com/sRad0lL4Wo— IEU NSW/ACT (@IEUNSWACT) March 31, 2022
- With AAP.
New penalties in NSW for loss of an unborn child through a crime.
This post deals with the subject of pregnancy loss and might be triggering for some readers.
NSW has announced tougher sentences for those who cause the loss of an unborn child through a crime.
NSW is the first state to introduce stand-alone crimes for "causing the loss of a foetus". Previously, if an unborn child was killed as a result of a criminal act against its mother, it was classed as an injury to the mother, with no inclusion or acknowledgement of the foetus.
The NSW Government has also revealed that bereaved families who have been victims of these crimes will then potentially be eligible for a one-off $3,000 payment, to receive counselling and support services.
Attorney-General Mark Speakman said: "These reforms better acknowledge the heartbreak suffered by families and hold offenders more appropriately to account through stronger sentences. The new law marks the culmination of years of advocacy by expectant parents."
To discover the case that prompted this new tougher sentence, you can read this article: Zoe’s Law passed in NSW Parliament this week: Let’s not forget the personal story behind it.
If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24-hour support line on 1300 072 637.
The fall of Zoe Kravtiz.
Zoe Kravitz was Hollywood’s reigning golden girl until this week when two Instagram posts caused people to band together and plot her downfall. The movement has been described as 'the fall of Zoe Kravitz' and it says more about a change in celebrity culture than it does about Zoe.
And in very sad news, Bruce Willis is stepping away from his acting career at age 67 after being diagnosed with aphasia. His family banded together to release a statement to his fans to let them know how they came to the heartbreaking decision.
Plus, Lizzo has made an exciting announcement, via a lovely butt tattoo, about her new business and we have no time for anyone calling it problematic.
Listen to The Spill now!
Bruce Willis retires from acting.
Some sad news this morning: Bruce Willis is retiring from acting because of a health issue.
The Die Hard star has been diagnosed with aphasia, a language disorder that has hampered his "cognitive abilities", his family says.
"This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support," his family said in a statement, shared on social media by his wife Emma Heming Willis, ex-wife Demi Moore and their children, Rumer, Scout and Tallulah Willis.
"We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him."
Willis, 67, rose to fame in the 1980s comedy-drama Moonlighting, and has since appeared in more than 100 films. He garnered acclaim for roles in Pulp Fiction and The Sixth Sense, but is perhaps best known as one of Hollywood's biggest action stars and the Die Hard franchise.
Even after four decades, Willis remained in demand. He appeared in eight movies in 2021, and was scheduled to appear in just as many in 2022.
The Mayo Clinic explains aphasia as a condition that "can affect your ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written".
It typically occurs after a stroke or head trauma, but can also be caused by a degenerative disease.
Floods continue to devastate NSW, and all the news you need to know this morning.
Morning all, it's Thursday March 31, also known as Trans Day of Visibility.
Today, people all around the world will celebrate trans pride and recognise trans and gender diverse achievements.
Here at Mamamia, we will be publishing part one of a three-part series shedding light on the journeys of Australian trans people, so keep your eyes peeled for the first story to hit the site.
For now, let's get you across the biggest news stories you need to know today.
1. Flood water rises in NSW as concerns for missing woman grow.
River levels in the northern NSW city of Lismore have peaked, as a search continues for a missing 55-year-old woman.
Police are appealing for any information on the whereabouts of aged-care nurse Anita Brakel, from South Lismore, who was trapped in her white Holden station wagon in floodwaters on Tuesday night.
"Just before 10pm last night a call was received by an associate that she was trapped in floodwaters," Assistant Commissioner Cassar said, on Wednesday.
Lismore braced again for Wilsons River to reach 12 metres overnight - a record that was only broken in unprecedented floods last month.
Instead, the river reached 11.4m about 5pm last night, after the town's levee was breached for a second time.
In Byron Bay, the town's central business district was under water for most of the day yesterday, and the Bureau of Meteorology says further river rises in the devastated Northern Rivers region are expected.
The State Emergency Service performed more than 55 rescues in the 24 hours to Wednesday night, with evacuation orders affecting some 28,000 people.
2. Ukraine’s president to address Australian parliament, as Russia goes back on its word.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will address Australia's parliament today, after Russia bombed parts of Ukraine hours after they said they would scale back operations there.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will both speak ahead of Zelensky, who will address the House of Representatives at 5.30pm AEDT today via video link.
"I have no doubt that the Ukrainian president will make more requests and wherever Australia can practically help we have and we will and we will continue to stand with them," Morrison told SBS News.
Nearly five weeks into Russia's invasion in which it has failed to capture any major cities, Russia said it would curtail operations near Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv "to increase mutual trust" for peace talks.
But Chernihiv's Mayor Vladyslav Astroshenko said on Wednesday Russian bombardment had only intensified over the past 24 hours, with more than 100,000 people trapped in the city with just enough food and medical supplies to last another week.
"This is yet another confirmation that Russia always lies," he told CNN in an interview. "They actually have increased the intensity of strikes," with "a colossal mortar attack in the centre of Chernihiv" on Wednesday wounding 25 civilians.
3. Ernie Carroll from Hey Hey It's Saturday dies aged 92.
Ernie Carroll, best known as Ossie Ostrich’s puppeteer on Hey Hey It's Saturday, has died aged 92.
He died of natural causes at his retirement home in Victoria, surrounded by family on Wednesday morning
"It is with overwhelming sadness I announce the passing of my beloved friend and mentor Ernie Carroll," Hey Hey It’s Saturday host Daryl Somers wrote on social media.
"He was a man of few words with a quiet countenance but when he did speak he imparted great wisdom... I loved him very much. Rest in peace Ern. Forever in my heart."
Carroll voiced Ossie from 1971 until 1974, and is survived by his partner Miffy Marsh, daughter Lynne and son Bruce.
4. CCTV footage shows Rowan Baxter’s movements before murder.
CCTV footage of Rowan Baxter purchasing items before he killed his wife Hannah Clarke and their three children has been shown at an inquest.
The inquest into their deaths, which will close today, was played CCTV footage of Baxter buying a jerry can and zip ties in a Brisbane Bunnings Warehouse on the night of February 17, 2020, 9News reports.
The next day, he visited a service station where he bought 4.7L of petrol, lollies and three Kinder Surprise eggs.
This week, the inquest was told Baxter received a "glowing endorsement" from psychologist Vivian Jarrett barely a month before he torched his family and then fatally stabbed himself.
Dr Jarrett wrote a reference saying she had no concerns about Baxter's mental health.
She told the inquest on Wednesday that she agreed Baxter was at a high risk of harming others.
Dr Jarrett was also aware Baxter may be trying to "pull the wool" over her eyes during their six sessions from December 2019, to create good evidence for the family court in a bid to regain access to his children. But she did not detail those concerns in her notes.
Instead, she wrote a favourable reference and provided police a statement a day after the family's deaths saying Baxter was "level headed" and "low risk".
"I did not have any evidence before me to say he was an unfit parent," Dr Jarrett said.
5. Shane Warne remembered by family and stars.
Shane Warne has been remembered as a cricket legend, loveable larrikin and devoted dad at a state memorial in Melbourne.
About 55,000 people flocked to the MCG for last night's service after the 52-year-old died from a suspected heart attack in Thailand earlier this month.
In a touching speech, Warne's father Keith led tributes and described his son's death as the "darkest day in our family's life".
"Mate, your mother and I can't imagine a life without you. You have been taken too soon and our hearts are broken," he said.
Warne's children - Jackson, Summer and Brooke - unveiled the renamed Great Southern Stand as the Shane Warne Stand after each delivered emotional speeches.
"You told me that I could either live with these demons or fight with them and come out stronger at the end. You saved me, dad. You truly did," his youngest daughter, Brooke, said.
The Shane Warne Stand. pic.twitter.com/dwnJgOxErj— Melbourne Cricket Ground (@MCG) March 30, 2022
Musician Elton John followed a minute's silence with a pre-recorded version of Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me, while Coldplay's Chris Martin sang a remote rendition of Yellow and Robbie Williams performed Angels.
Australian actor Hugh Jackman also paid a virtual tribute, saying Warne made the most of every second in his 52 years.
You can read more about the speeches from the night in our Wednesday 30 live news feed.
That's everything you need to know this morning. We'll keep you updated with more of the biggest news stories throughout the day.
- With AAP.
Budget 2022: A simple guide to what's in it for you.
On Tuesday night, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg handed down his fourth Budget. But what's in it for you?
The Quicky speaks to an expert in Australian politics, and a specialist in women's equality to find out whether the billions of dollars that have been announced will actually help you and your family, or if it's all just smoke and mirrors.
- What women were talking about on Wednesday
- What women were talking about on Tuesday
- What women were talking about on Monday
Feature Image: Getty.