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What we know today, Wednesday June 1

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Anthony Albanese’s new 30-strong ministry, which contains a record number of women, has been officially sworn in by Governor-General David Hurley at Government House in Canberra.

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Albanese ministry sworn in

Anthony Albanese’s new 30-strong ministry, which contains a record number of women, has been officially sworn in by Governor-General David Hurley at Government House in Canberra.

The group contains the first female Muslim minister in Anne Aly and the first Muslim to serve in cabinet with Ed Husic joining the frontbench.

Linda Burney becomes the first woman, and the second First Nations person, to serve as Indigenous affairs minister and will take the lead on enshrining a voice to parliament in Australia’s constitution.

South Australian MPs Mark Butler, Amanda Rishworth and senator Don Farrell will join Penny Wong on the frontbench, with the 13-member inner ministry populated by four South Australian representatives.

Butler was given the important health and aged care portfolio while Rishworth, the member for the southern suburbs seat of Kingston, was promoted from early childhood education to social services – a portfolio previously held by Liberal South Australian Senator Anne Ruston.

Farrell has been promoted to deputy senate leader after former Labor frontbencher Kristina Keneally vacated the role in an unsuccessful attempt to parachute into a Lower House seat.

The powerful right faction powerbroker from South Australia will also take on the trade and tourism portfolios as well as special minister of state.

Wong, who is leader in the senate, was sworn in as Minister for Foreign Affairs last week.

Albanese said he was proud to lead “an inclusive government that is as diverse as Australia itself”.

The major cabinet shakeup by Albanese had some questioning the shift of more senior MPs, after Tanya Plibersek was stripped of the education and women portfolios and moved to environment and water.

Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles defended the move, saying the environment ministry could not be characterised as a demotion, with the area front and centre of Labor’s priorities.

“It’s one of the most important ministries we have got which has been an enduring passion for Tanya Plibersek,” he told the Nine Network on Wednesday.

“It’s always been a very senior portfolio in government, particularly Labor governments.”

Thirteen women were appointed to a ministerial role with a record 10 in the cabinet.

Marles defended not going with a 50-50 gender split in cabinet.

“It’s a significant moment in the nation’s history,” he told the ABC ahead of the swearing in.

“We have women of enormous calibre in the most senior roles who are going to play a critical part in shaping the policy of this government and the character of this government.”

SA records 2901 new COVID-19 cases

South Australia has reported 2901 new cases of COVID-19 today taking the number of active cases in the state to 18,091.

The number is slightly up on the 2689 new cases reported yesterday.

A woman aged in her 70s who tested positive to the virus has also died.

There are 244 people with COVID-19 in hospital, including six people in ICU.

Of those hospitalised, 133 people have received three or more vaccine doses and 86 people are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and 18 have an unknown vaccination status.

Key roles for SA MPs in new Labor cabinet

Four South Australian MPs and a record number of women feature in Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s first cabinet, which will be sworn in at Government House today.

The prime minister’s 30-member frontbench has 13 women appointed to a ministerial role and 10 of them in the cabinet.

South Australian MPs Mark Butler, Amanda Rishworth and senator Don Farrell will join Penny Wong on the frontbench, with the 13-member inner ministry populated by four South Australian representatives.

Butler was given the important health and aged care portfolio while Rishworth, the member for the southern suburbs seat of Kingston, was promoted from early childhood education to social services – a portfolio previously held by Liberal South Australian Senator Anne Ruston.

Farrell has been promoted to deputy senate leader after former Labor frontbencher Kristina Keneally vacated the role in an unsuccessful attempt to parachute into a Lower House seat.

The powerful right faction powerbroker from South Australia will also take on the trade and tourism portfolios as well as special minister of state.

Wong, who is leader in the senate, was sworn in as Minister for Foreign Affairs last week.

Albanese unveiled his cabinet on Tuesday evening, with a balance of new faces and MPs who had served in the previous Labor government.

“This is the largest number of women who have ever served in an Australian cabinet,” he said.

“We have an overflow of talent on our side of the parliament … it’s the most experienced incoming Labor government in our history since federation.”

The swearing in coincides with Labor securing 77 seats in the House of Representatives, after the marginal seat of Gilmore on the NSW south coast was called for incumbent Fiona Phillips.

While some MPs retained their portfolios from when Labor was in opposition, there was a shakeup in some key areas.

Tanya Plibersek has moved from the education portfolio to being the new environment and water minister, while education will now be held by Jason Clare.

The right faction’s Clare O’Neil will take on home affairs, while deputy prime minister Richard Marles is also the new defence minister.

Tony Burke is the minister for employment and the arts, while Chris Bowen will become climate change and energy minister.

Linda Burney will be just the second First Nations person to be appointed Indigenous Australians minister.

She will work alongside Pat Dodson, who was named a special envoy for reconciliation and implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

New faces to the frontbench include Anika Wells in aged care and sport, Anne Aly in early childhood and youth, and Kristy McBain in regional development, local government and territories.

Parliament declares climate emergency, but Environment Dept in limbo

A Malinauskas Government push to declare a climate emergency has passed both houses of state parliament, but Labor has shot down an amendment to quarantine the Environment Department from cuts ahead of tomorrow’s State Budget.

Both the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council on Tuesday afternoon passed a motion, without requiring a division, declaring “that we are facing a climate emergency and [commit] to restoring a safe climate by transforming the economy to net-zero emission”.

The motion also recognised the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report’s findings that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and “current plans to address climate change are not ambitious enough to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels”.

The symbolic move makes South Australia only the second state or territory to declare a climate emergency after the ACT. More than 20 national governments across the world have declared climate emergencies.

But Labor, along with the Greens and SA-Best in the Upper House, voted down an amendment put forward by the Liberal Party to quarantine the Department for Environment and Water from budget cuts.

The amendment also inserted targets of zero net emissions by 2050 and 50 per cent by 2030 noted that “addressing the changing climate presents significant economic, employment, innovation and technological opportunities for South Australia” and these opportunities “should be actively pursued and supported”.

Opposition leader David Speirs, the former Environment Minister, accused Labor and the Greens of “virtue signalling and gesture politics”.

“The hypocrisy here is that while yesterday Labor were declaring a climate emergency, tomorrow they will deliver a budget which will slash expenditure for the Department of Environment and Water,” he said in a statement this morning.

Environment Minister Susan Close said Labor would be voting down the amendment because there was “a degree of hypocrisy” from the Liberals on Environment Department cuts.

“This comes from a leader who in his first budget … cut $34 million out of the Environment Department, and in fact, specifically took $11.6 million dollars out on climate change in the Environment Department,” Close told parliament on Tuesday.

“The level of hypocrisy is almost breathtaking.”

Greens MLC Robert Simms also defended voting down the amendment, telling InDaily “of course we don’t want to see cuts to the enviro department but the Liberals’ amendment was disingenuous – presented with no consultation and with action being deferred until 2050”.

“We couldn’t support a motion that deferred action until 2050.”

The Environment Department looks likely to be among the agencies squeezed for savings in tomorrow’s State Budget, after the Malinauskas Government excluded it from a list of “frontline services” – such as health, courts, police and child protection – which are quarantined from cuts.

Treasurer Stephen Mullighan said last Friday that Treasury, the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Attorney General’s Department would be doing “the bulk of the heavy lifting” on savings.

“I think that’s what the community expects, if we’re putting more money into frontline services … then we’ve got to find room for that spending in other areas of government which are not as high a priority for the community,” he told reporters last week.

Asked specifically whether the Environment Department and Primary Industries would face cuts in the budget, Mullighan said: “They’re some of those agencies that were not specifically exempt from the savings task.”

“We will be delivering all of our election commitments … and you’ll be seeing on Thursday how we’re going to account for that.”

Damage from Adelaide’s ‘mini tornado’ revealed

Damage to a house on Earl Avenue in Salisbury. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

More than 60 properties have been damaged in the storms which swept across Adelaide’s northern suburbs earlier this week, the State Government has revealed.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Joe Szakacs told parliament on Tuesday that more than 400 incidents across the state were recorded on Sunday and Monday during a winter storm which pelted most of the Adelaide metro area with between 30 and 70mm of rain.

The Salisbury area copped the worst of the deluge, including a “mini tornado” which swept through around 5am on Monday.

Rainfall upwards of 60mm was recorded in the northern suburbs on Monday morning, damaging homes, felling trees, flooding roads, leaving thousands without power and forcing the temporary closure of Gulfview Heights Primary School.

Szakacs told parliament that approximately 65 properties had been “significantly impacted” by the storm.

He also revealed 150 SES volunteers, 300 CFS personnel and “numerous MFS strike teams” were deployed to respond to the storm.

“SES will be working with the City of Salisbury and Department for Environment and Water hydrologists to better understand the circumstances surrounding the localised flooding in that area,” Szakacs said.

“Work also continues to resupply consumables and sandbags to emergency services units and community self-help sandbag stockpiles.”

The Bureau of Meteorology currently does not have a severe weather warning in place for the Adelaide Metro area. The city has a forecast maximum of 14C today and a 10 per cent chance of rain.

NSW missing man is SA murder victim

A man found dead in a holiday home on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula has been identified as 64-year-old Peter Hillier, who left NSW to travel around Australia.

Hillier was reported missing by a relative last week. His travelling companion, a 43-year-old man, has been charged with his murder.

Both were last known to have lived in Lake Haven on the NSW Central Coast.

The younger man had been reported missing about two years ago.

A supplied image from police of Peter Hillier.

Detective Superintendent Des Bray said it was believed the pair left NSW about a month ago and were travelling in a motorhome Hillier had recently purchased.

On Monday, a call to the ambulance service indicated he had been injured after falling from a vehicle while drunk on the way back from a fishing trip.

But when crews arrived at the Venus Bay property, he was already dead.

Bray said subsequent investigations led police to believe Hillier had not been injured in a fall but had been killed.

He said the motive or the exact location of his death were not clear with police working to determine his movements since leaving NSW.

“His injuries are significant and we don’t believe it’s consistent with falling from a vehicle,” Bray said.

“He had been dead for a period of time.

“Our picture of what happened and how it happened is pretty incomplete at this stage.

“Except to say that we can clearly establish that Peter was the victim of a murder as opposed to some accidental death.”

The man charged with his murder was refused police bail and was expected to appear in Port Lincoln Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Detectives also returned to the Venus Bay address on Tuesday and issued an appeal for anyone with dashcam footage from the Flinders Highway or surrounding roads on Sunday, May 29 to make contact.

VIDEO: Man faces court after abduction arrest

The man accused of stealing a car with an infant inside at Klemzig, sparking an urgent police search, has faced court and apologised for triggering Monday’s city-wide manhunt.

Alleged child abductor faces court

10 News First Adelaide – Disclaimer

Channel Ten

UK PM may face no-confidence vote 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a looming threat to his prime ministership. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing the growing threat of a confidence vote as two more MPs suggest they have lost faith in his government over the Partygate scandal, while a former party leader says he could be challenged next week.

John Stevenson, a Conservative member of parliament, said he has been “deeply disappointed” by the rule-breaking parties during the COVID-19 lockdowns and called for the prime minister to put himself forward for a vote of confidence as a way to “draw the line” under the issues.

“Sadly, the prime minister appears unwilling to bring matters to a head,” Stevenson said in a statement.

“Therefore, the only option is for the Conservative MPs to facilitate a vote of confidence. I have already taken the appropriate action.”

A damning official report published last week detailed a series of illegal parties at Johnson’s Downing Street office during COVID-19 lockdowns, prompting a new wave of calls for the Conservative prime minister to step aside.

More than 25 Conservative MPs have called on Johnson to resign while at least a further six have criticised his conduct but stopped short of saying he should resign.

At least 54 Conservative members of parliament are required to formally request a confidence vote to the chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee for one to be triggered.

Should Johnson lose a confidence vote, he would be removed as prime minister.

William Hague, who led the Conservative Party from 1997 to 2001, said Johnson is likely to face a vote of confidence by the end of June and could face one as early as next week when members of parliament return from recess.

Hague said the report by a senior civil servant into the illegal parties represented a kind of “slow fuse explosion” and with more Conservative MPs publicly criticising Johnson “the fuse is getting closer to the dynamite”.

“Johnson is in real trouble here,” he told Times Radio.

The party is “moving towards, either next week or around the end of June, they are moving towards having a ballot”.

– With AAP and Reuters

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