Australia’s Covid death toll is now 7,976:
Here’s cait kelly again – on how staff shortages might affect people’s access to a polling booth:
These are huge numbers – almost one in three people have already voted:
An update from the Australian Electoral Commission on the staff shortages and potential booth closures:
sarah martin has teased out Labor’s costings here:
the Morrison government finally got something to cheer about during the formal election campaign, with today’s jobless figures coming in clearly at a sub-4% rate in April, as we noted earlier.
Taking into account roundings and revisions, the April figure was 3.9%, unchanged from March’s 3.9%, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.
Closer inspection, though, indicates last month was more like 3.85%, a drop from the revised 3.93%, Barclays notes.
In short, then, April was better than March, and we can say we’re at levels lower than any time since 1974 when the ABS collected only quarterly figures.
After being forced to squirm over inflation (surprisingly strong), an RBA rate rise (and more than was expected), and wages growth (surprisingly weak), the prime minister could with reason trumpet those unemployment gains.
We can assume the government was also hoping motorists would be driving to vote about now with fuel prices well below the $2 a liter mark. The six-month, $3bn cut in the fuel excise had, after all, slashed 22.1 cents off prices.
However, that’s not been the experience of many, with NSW today joining other parts of Australia to tick over that $2 level. (Lucky Adelaide.)
rising oil prices lately are one factor, but the global prices are not near their post-Russian invasion of Ukraine highs.
One motoring agency suggested earlier this week that fatter margins from service stations weren’t to blame for the latest run-up in prices.
Data from the Australian Institute of Petroleum seems to bear that out too, with margin levels rising back towards average levels, at least according to the most recent weekly result.
We’ll have to wait until October to see whether a next or returning treasurer is brave enough to use up political capital and return the excise to its 44.2ca liter level.
In today’s campaign catchup podcast: $7.4bn additional debt. Irresponsible cash splash, or a drop in the proverbial? Katharine Murphy and Jane Lee discuss Labor’s costs.
Got questions? cait kelly have answers. Here’s her guide to everything you need to know about voting (with bonus Matilda Boseley explainer video):
On the comments below from the prime minister, Scott Morrisonabout the Biloela family, the Home to Bilo campaign says:
The prime minister repeated misinformation that “that matter is still undetermined in the courts”. There is nothing before the courts. Mr Morrison is incorrect. Further, the request for Tharnicaa to have her refugee claims assessed is before the minister.
Kelly asks Plibersek why Anthony Albanese‘s approval ratings have dipped. It’s a “tough job”, Plibersek says, but:
I’m sure Anthony has the goods to be the prime minister of Australia. We have the policies that will make this a better, stronger and fairer country.
And she says it’s “not good enough” that some polling booths will not be open on Saturday, and that it could make a difference to the outcome. she says:
It could be making a difference in individual seats, but there is a broader and fundamental principle at stake here. Every Australian citizen has the right to vote in an Australian election. It is the Australian Electoral Commission’s job to ensure that happens. They need to make sure that in this election, on Saturday, every Australian has the opportunity to vote.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism