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What we know today, Monday May 23


The Adelaide Christmas Pageant will return to its traditional street parade format this November after a two-year pandemic hiatus at Adelaide Oval.

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Christmas Pageant set for return to Adelaide streets

The Adelaide Christmas Pageant will return to its traditional street parade format this November after a two-year pandemic hiatus at Adelaide Oval.

The Christmas parade, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, will be held on November 12 from 9.30am to 11.30am, with the traditional floats to snake their way from South Terrace to the Adelaide Town Hall.

The Pageant was taken off the streets in 2020 for the first time in its history, migrating to the Adelaide Oval for a controversial ticketed twilight event with a maximum COVID capacity of 25,000 people.

The event stayed there in 2021 with an SA Health-approved crowd of 35,000 allowed to attend – well under the average street parade attendance of 300,000.

Premier Peter Malinauskas said bringing the Pageant back to the streets signalled “a major step forward in the state’s COVID recovery”.

“The National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is a wonderful Christmas tradition for South Australia, and I am delighted that many more children and families will be able to see the parade live and in its traditional format,” he said in a statement.

InDaily reported last year that Events SA believed the Christmas Pageant “may require ticketing services” until at least 2024 due to ongoing safety concerns associated with large crowds during the pandemic.

Former Premier Steven Marshall stated last August that “the days of having mass events – tens if not hundreds of thousands of people – interacting … are going to be on hold for some time to come”.

The Royal Adelaide Show is also set to make a long-awaited return in September after two straight pandemic cancellations.

SA records 3127 COVID cases, no deaths

South Australia has recorded 3127 new COVID-19 cases and an increase in hospitalisations.

SA Health reported a short time ago that the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 has risen from 224 to 238, with 10 people in intensive care.

Today’s 3127 cases are a slight increase from the 3053 cases reported on Sunday. The number of people to present for a PCR test decreased 11.8 per cent over the last 24 hours.

There were no COVID-19 deaths recorded today. There are more than 24,000 active cases across the state.

Around 99 per cent of South Australia’s cases are the BA.2 strain of Omicron, according to genome sequencing conducted by SA Health from May 1 to May 15.

Budget in better shape than predicted: rating agency

The incoming Labor government will inherit a budget that is in better shape than was predicted just a few months ago, according to global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s.

It also says a change in government by itself has no effect on Australia’s AAA rating or its stable outlook with fundamentals, such as a projected fiscal recovery, still sound.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his economic team of Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Finance Minister Katy Gallagher were sworn in on Monday after defeating the coalition at the election on Saturday.

S&P said the new government has made a range of promises around energy investment, manufacturing, housing, childcare, health, and education.

“We will examine the new government’s policies, and their impact on the economy and fiscal outcomes, when more details are known,” S&P said in a statement on Monday, noting Labor has promised a budget before the end of 2022.

“We expect this budget to set the fiscal tone and tolerances for spending.”

S&P expects Australia’s economic recovery and commodity prices to improve fiscal outcomes faster than the March 2022 budget anticipated.

“We believe significant upside is likely because commodity prices will outperform budget assumptions. Further, inflationary pressures will drive nominal GDP and taxes higher,” it said.

“It will take significant spending during the last three months of the 2022 fiscal year to hit the budgeted deficit of $A85.8 billion,” it said.

It said rising debt levels do not currently present a risk to Australia’s rating, being comparable to similarly rated peers.

“In addition, we expect borrowing costs to remain manageable. Despite interest rates rising from recent lows, they are still lower than in the past,” S&P said.

Albanese set for swearing-in as election count continues

Anthony Albanese will be sworn in as Australia’s 31st prime minister today just hours ahead of a trip to Tokyo to meet with US President Joe Biden, as Labor awaits further counting from Saturday’s election to determine whether it will govern in a majority.

Albanese will on Monday attend Government House in Canberra with Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, incoming foreign minister Penny Wong, new treasurer Jim Chalmers and new finance minister Katy Gallagher.

The ministers will cover all portfolios until the Labor caucus can meet in the week after next to put in place the full ministry.

Albanese and Wong will head to Tokyo on Monday afternoon for the Quad meeting with Biden, host leader Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The prime minister-elect issued a statement on Sunday night, saying he would use the meeting to talk about his government’s ambitions to tackle climate change and pursue a stronger foreign policy focus on the region.

“This will be my first international trip as prime minister and I am honoured to represent Australia at this important forum,” the statement read.

“The Quad Leaders’ Summit brings together four leaders of great liberal democracies – Australia, Japan, India, and the United States of America – in support of a free, open and resilient Indo-Pacific, with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at its centre.

“Under my government, Australia will continue to work through the Quad to deliver positive and practical initiatives in our region, including on health, security, and climate change.”

Official figures from the Australian Electoral Commission have Labor on 75 seats in the House of Representatives – one short of a majority – but the party is projected to hold as many as 77.

The Liberal-National coalition held 52 seats, with Scott Morrison set to stand down from the Liberal Party leadership once a party-room meeting can be scheduled.

An emotional Morrison told his local Horizon Church on Sunday that a life of faith called on people to “trust and obey”.

He is widely expected to be replaced by outgoing defence minister Peter Dutton, who may face resistance from moderates in the party – some of which have called for more ambitious targets on climate change.

Albanese will return to Australia on Wednesday.

One of the first major events in the next two weeks will be a meeting with state premiers and territory chief ministers when he will set out the new federal government’s stance on more ambitious climate action.

Ten independents are on track for victory and will be joined on the crossbench by sitting Mayo MP Rebekha Sharkie from the Centre Alliance and veteran Kennedy MP Bob Katter.

The Lower House crossbench will also likely feature three Greens after the minor party picked up the Brisbane seats of Griffith and Ryan while leader Adam Bandt held on to his seat of Melbourne.

Four seats remain formally listed by the AEC as “close”, including the South Australian seat of Sturt along with Gilmore, Menzies and Moore.

The final result has been projected as 77 for Labor, 59 for the coalition and 15 on the crossbench.

Sturt too close to call, Labor takes historic Boothby win

Liberal MP James Stevens remains in a fight to hold on to his former blue-ribbon seat of Sturt after a significant swing towards Labor, while the incoming Albanese Government has taken a historic victory in the long-time marginal seat of Boothby.

Stevens, the first-term MP who replaced Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne in Sturt, is currently leading Labor candidate Sonja Baram by just 723 votes, according to the latest figures from the Australian Electoral Commission.

There has been a 6.46 per cent swing towards Labor in the eastern suburbs seat.

The Liberal Party narrowly leads Labor 50.4 per cent to 49.6 per cent on two-party preferred, although Stevens’ lead is expected to grow as postal votes are counted.

A loss in Sturt would leave the federal Liberals without any MPs from metropolitan Adelaide. Grey MP Rowan Ramsey and Barker MP Tony Pasin are the only other Coalition representatives from South Australia.

Stevens said on Saturday night the Liberal Party would have to undergo a “very deep reflection” about why the election played out as it did.

Meanwhile, Labor candidate and former Vinnies SA CEO Louise Miller-Frost is poised to become Labor’s first representative for Boothby since 1949.

The perennial marginal seat finally fell to Labor following the retirement of incumbent Liberal MP Nicolle Flint, with Miller-Frost benefiting from a 4.7 per cent swing against the government to take out the seat over Liberal candidate Rachel Swift.

Greens on track for record election result

Greens pick up Brisbane seats

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The Greens could hold as many as 12 Senate seats and have five lower house MPs in the new parliament following a record result at the federal election, with the party set to regain a South Australian Senate seat at the expense of moderate independents.

The Greens picked up 12 per cent of the primary vote in the House of Representatives and 13.9 per cent in the Senate, with almost 2.2 million Australians casting ballots for Greens candidates.

If the trend continues, the Greens will hold 12 seats in the Senate, including South Australian senate candidate Barbara Pocock who is currently sitting on a quota of 0.92 after garnering 13.2 per cent of the South Australian vote.

And there could be Greens MPs in as many as five lower house seats.

Party leader Adam Bandt has been returned in his seat of Melbourne.

But he could be joined by MPs for Ryan, Griffith and Brisbane in Queensland, and Macnamara in Victoria.

Bandt said the result was a mandate for action on climate and inequality.

“We want to work with Anthony Albanese to deliver the stable, effective, progressive government that Australians have voted for but he will need to work constructively with the Greens and the rest of the crossbench,” he said.

He said Greens preferences had been critical to unseating many coalition candidates.

Meanwhile, the vote for incumbent independent South Australian senator Rex Patrick collapsed on Saturday, with the former Centre Alliance politician garnering just 2.1 per cent of first preferences – behind the Liberal Democrats and Legalise Cannabis Australia.

Nick Xenophon’s return to politics also proved unsuccessful with just 2.7 per cent of the Senate vote.

‘Fearless’ Titmus sets 400m freestyle world record in Adelaide

Ariarne Titmus jumps off the block for her world record Women’s 400m Freestyle run in Adelaide last night. Photo: Dave Hunt/AAP

Ariarne Titmus feels invincible after setting a world record in the 400m freestyle at the Australian Championships in Adelaide last night.

The dual Australian gold medalist is now daring her great rival, American legend Katie Ledecky, to take up the challenge to get the record back.

Titmus took Ledecky’s 400m freestyle record at the Australian Swimming Championships at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Oaklands Park on Sunday night.

The 21-year-old Queenslander clocked three minutes 56.40 seconds, bettering the previous benchmark of 3:56.46 set by Ledecky at the 2016 Olympics.

“I believe that Katie is the greatest swimmer of all time,” Titmus said.

“I can’t put myself up next to her. What she has done for female swimming has been insane, she has been at this level for 10 years.

“To be in the conversation with her, I feel completely honoured. And I hope now this is going to keep the battle going and give her some drive.

“Hopefully we can see how much faster we can keep going.”

Titmus beat Ledecky for Olympic gold in the 200m and 400m freestyle finals at last year’s Tokyo Games and finished second to the American in the 800m final.

And Titmus said her Olympic success had led to a new-found outlook on swimming, and life.

“I am the happiest I have ever been outside of swimming, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life in swimming,” she said.

“Olympic gold was obviously my childhood dream.

“And I feel like I now have that invincibility in swimming and it has translated to my life outside of the pool.

“I am definitely not putting the pressure on myself that I used to but it’s still a healthy amount. That has been the trick to me swimming well.

“Just going out there completely fearless, swimming what I used to feel like when I was 16 and first cracked on to the national team and just going out there and surprising myself.”

Extra-time winner sees Reds knocked out of A-League finals

Adelaide United’s Bernardo Oliveira and Melbourne City’s Scott Jamieson contest the ball during the A-League semi-finals second leg at AAMI Park in Melbourne last night. Photo: Rob Prezioso

Adelaide United has missed out on an A-League grand final berth in heartbreaking fashion after conceding an extra-time goal to Melbourne City to go down 2-1 on aggregate in their semi-final second-leg on Sunday.

Jamie Maclaren’s 92nd-minute goal sealed a dramatic comeback and tees up the first all-Victorian A-League decider against Western United at AAMI Park on Saturday, City’s third consecutive grand find appearance.

It will be the first all-Melbourne national league grand final since 1998. Melbourne City are also now one win away from becoming the first team to complete consecutive A-League Men premiership-championship doubles

Scores were locked at 0-0 after Wednesday’s first leg at Coopers Stadium and Zach Clough’s wonderful 48th-minute dink put Adelaide in front at AAMI Park, before City’s Marco Tilio equalised in the 74th to take the game to extra time.

Two minutes into extra time, Maclaren held up the ball for Connor Metcalfe and while United’s Michael Jakobsen got in the way of the midfielder’s shot, he didn’t properly clear it.

The shallow clearance fell straight to Maclaren, who buried his 16th goal of the season at the near post to seal the grand final berth and condemn Adelaide to back-to-back semi-final exits.

Adelaide coach Carl Veart said he “couldn’t be more proud of the boys, they gave everything tonight”.

“It’s been a long season and I think in the end we just ran out of petrol,” he said.

“We had some good opportunities in the game to kill it off but that’s football.”

Man City take EPL crown on extraordinary final day

Manchester City are celebrating their fourth English Premier League title in five years after an incredible comeback win against Aston Villa. Photo: Andrew Yates/EPA

An incredible day of late drama in the Premier League has ended with Manchester City champions, Burnley relegated and Tottenham in the Champions League.

City came back from a 2-0 deficit at home to Aston Villa with 15 minutes left to win 3-2 with three goals in an extraordinary five-minute blitz.

Meanwhile, at Anfield, Liverpool recovered from an early Wolves goal to win 3-1. It was not enough as City celebrated its fourth title in five years, one almost as dramatic as the one secured by Sergio Aguero 10 years ago.

The drama began early, Pedro Neto stunning a hopeful Anfield as he gave Wolves a third-minute lead, tapping in a cross from Raul Jimenez.

Liverpool lay siege to Wolves’ goal and levelled in the 24th minute. Thiago Alcantara’s clever backheel in midfield set Sadio Mane away, and he beat Jose Sa at his near post.

Anfield’s next roar came when news broke of a goal 40 miles away, at the Etihad, for Aston Villa full-back Matty Cash.

Meanwhile, at the bottom, a 19th-minute penalty from Callum Wilson put Newcastle 1-0 up and dumped Burnley into the relegation zone. Another penalty, from Raphinha at Brentford, gave Leeds a three-point cushion which looked firm when Wilson added a second.

Back at the top former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho put Villa – managed by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard – 2-0 up in the 69th minute.

But in a frantic, near-hysterical atmosphere, City came back with two goals from substitute Ilkay Gundogun and one from Rodri as Villa collapsed in the final stages.

The news stunned Anfield despite Mo Salah coming off the bench to put them ahead. Andy Robertson added a third, but their dream of winning four trophies this year is over.

The final whistle in Manchester sparked scenes of unbridled joy at the Etihad with the crossbar giving way during a pitch invasion.

Back at the bottom Maxwel Cornet pulled a goal back at Turf Moor to give Burnley hope with 21 minutes left. That hope grew when Sergi Canos equalised for Brentford.

One goal for Burnley or Brentford would have been enough. But Burnley could not find an equaliser and Leeds, facing a Brentford side reduced to nine through injury and a red card, scored in the 94th-minute through Jack Harrison to condemn Burnley to relegation.

The only non-event was the race for the fourth and final Champions League place. Spurs, needing to win at Norwich to secure it, won 5-0, Dejan Kulusevski and Son Hueng-min scoring twice and Harry Kane once.

– With AAP and Reuters

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