The federal finance minister, Simon Birmingham, is making the rounds this morning, discussing rising cost of living.
Birmingham was on ABC News earlier and was asked about the fuel excise in light of the New Zealand government cutting that tax, but Birmingham was reluctant to commit to anything, repeating Morrison’s lines from yesterday:
We have a federal budget we’re handing down two weeks from today. In framing that, we’re working very carefully in terms of managing all the different issues there. Those issues are of course a complex global environment, the war in Europe as we were just discussing, the continued challenges of recovering from Covid-19, the inflationary pressures right around the world.
When it comes to fuel prices, Australians understand and know it’s been driven by Russia’s horrific actions again Ukraine and the disruptions that’s caused globally. It’s not a factor caused here in Australia …
I’m not going to give speculation to any particular measure. We need to weigh a complex global environment. We need to make sure we do nothing that jeopardises that continued jobs growth in Australia, 1.7m extra jobs created under our government.
On the Today show, Birmingham was similarly dismissive of any specific ideas to lower fuel prices:
If I start talking about what is or isn’t on the table for the budget in two weeks, it ignites all sorts of speculation.
We’re taking into account all of the economic advice we can about how we make sure we balance all of the difficult international factors, the war we face in Europe right now, the continued pressures of Covid recovery [and] how we manage the international inflationary environment.
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, was on Sky News last night speaking with Paul Murray, saying he is “happy in his own skin,” and referencing a 60 Minutes interview with the opposition leader, Anthony Albanese.
Morrison was referring to an exchange between Albanese and interviewer Karl Stefanovic, where Albanese discussed making changes to his life after a life-threatening car accident, including losing weight.
But Morrison elicited laughs from the audience when he said he hadn’t changed and still “enjoyed Italian cake”:
I’m not pretending to be anyone else, I’m still wearing the same glasses, sadly the same suits, and I weigh about the same, and I don’t mind a bit of Italian cake either.
So, I’m happy in my own skin, I’m not pretending to be anyone else.
NSW Fire and Rescue superintendent Adam Dewberry was on 2GB earlier this morning saying authorities were still unsure how the fire at the Newtown boarding house started:
It took about two hours to get this fire under control.
[Firefighters] found a very, very intense fire, very intense flames coming out of the first and second levels.
There are some people unaccounted for and that’s yet to be determined as the morning unfolds. Being a boarding house we are not too sure who was home, who wasn’t home. That will be part of the investigations through today.
One dead, multiple missing from Newtown boarding house fire
One person has died and multiple people are unaccounted for after a fire at a boarding house in Newtown in Sydney’s inner west.
Firefighters were called to the double-storey house at about 1am after reports it was burning.
NSW Police found a body inside on arrival, with five people taken to hospital with injuries.
Police said in a statement they had begun an investigation into the fire, which is now a crime scene.
Officers from inner west police area command have commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the blaze and are appealing for anyone with information to contact crime stoppers.
Good morning and welcome to another day on the blog, Mostafa Rachwani with you today to take you through the day’s news.
We begin in Sydney, where the federal government will today learn if it has won its fight to overturn a legal decision that found it owed Australian children protection from harm caused by climate change.
Eight high school students took the environment minister, Sussan Ley, to court in 2020 looking to block the expansion of the Vickery coal mine.
A federal court judge initially found Ley had a duty of reasonable care to not cause children personally injury due to her decisions. Ley appealed, with a decision due to be handed down at 10:15am, with protests expected outside the court this morning.
It comes as the federal government announced it will remove the need for developments in some areas to receive project-specific approval under national environment laws, to make it easier to approve projects without consideration of their impacts.
Pressure is increasing on the prime minister, Scott Morrison, as fuel prices continue to soar. Yesterday Morrison implied he would lean towards tax cuts as opposed to cutting the governments fuel tax, although reiterated a decision will be made with the budget.
Today also marks three years since the Christchurch massacre, with a report from the Islamophobia Register Australia recording a fourfold increase in reports of in-person incidents of anti-Muslim hate since.
Elsewhere, eyes will be on rising daily case numbers, amid calls for people to raise the lagging booster rate and the Omicron BA2 subvariant spreads.
There is still much going on, so let’s dive in.