Australia news live: national cabinet agrees to shorten Covid isolation period to five days for people with no symptoms

Covid isolation reduced to five days for people with no symptoms

The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has announced that the Covid isolation requirement has been reduced to five days.

First ministers reinforce their commitment to continued collaboration between commonwealth, state and territory governments in managing the pandemic.

The national cabinet agreed the isolation periods for Covid-19 positive cases would be reduced from seven to five following a positive test, with the following caveats.

This would apply to people with no symptoms.

Updated at 03.01 EDT

Key events

‘New era of inclusiveness’: Albanese says jobs summit is just the start

Albanese is finishing by spruiking the jobs summit:

I thank all of those who in good faith have participated in trying to search for common solutions in the national interest and I feel very positive about not just the next two days, but for what it symbolises.

This is not the end of the discussion at the jobs and skills summit. This in many ways is the start of it. The start of what I hope is a new era of collaboration. A new era of inclusiveness, one where we look for ideas and input, where we look forward genuine engagement and respect, where we were sent to each other, even when people disagree.

Updated at 03.16 EDT

Albanese is pleased with cooperation in relation to jobs summit


The federal government sets the migration numbers and the federal government will continue to set our migration numbers. I’m very pleased at the level of cooperation which we are seeing in the lead up to the jobs and skills summit stop we are seeing genuine dialogue between business and unions and civil society. It is a positive thing.

I believe that we get a lot when we collaborate. When we maximise input and we are inclusive.

It is the sort of government that I want to lead, I said that people have conflict fatigue, people are looking for solutions and not arguments.

Updated at 03.13 EDT

Migration to be addressed at jobs summit – Albanese

Albanese has been asked if national cabinet discussed allowing refugees on bridging visas to work:

There was a discussion about visas and the visa backlog … and there was a discussion about migration numbers and about skill shortages.

But also about training Australians. About those two things, clearly there is a need to look at migration issues and they will be looked out over the next couple of days. That is a task, if you like for the jobs and skills summit.

Updated at 03.12 EDT

National cabinet may discuss Covid leave payments at future meeting – Albanese

Albanese is asked again if he will be cutting the paid pandemic leave in the future:

Let’s be clear. Seven days down to five days. That is what is occurring from September 9 with regard to paid pandemic leave, we want to time as well as is appropriate to consult about what we do with paid pandemic leave, we will have a meeting about that in a couple of weeks about where that goes.

The five days of leave at some time in the future, that will be reassessed but there is no timing for that. Gradually, as we come to deal with Covid a long period of time, we need to ensure that the mechanisms that have been put in place for, by government that impose restrictions on people that we reassess them at an appropriate time.

Updated at 03.10 EDT

Government will ‘respond appropriately’ to Covid – Albanese

We had a discussion about people looking after each other. People looking after their own health, being responsible for the and making sure that they look up to each other.

That is what has been happening. There aren’t mandated requirements for the flu or for a range of other illnesses that people are from.

What we want to do is to make sure that government responds to the changed circumstances, the Covid likely is going to be around for a considerable period of time.

And we need to respond appropriately to it. Based upon the weight of evidence.

Updated at 03.17 EDT

No change to Covid payments – Albanese

Albanese is asked if he won’t definitely extend Covid payments:

I’m saying that we made a decision today about reducing the leave, seven to five. That is a change. We haven’t changed the arrangements with regard to payments, we will have a meeting about that in a couple of weeks time.

Updated at 03.09 EDT

PM signals national cabinet will work on improving childcare access


We agreed to commence work on the new national skills agreement in place from January 1, 2024. For state and territory energy ministers to work towards implementing the reforms to accelerate the delivery of transmission projects, people would be aware that was identified in our rewiring the nation plan. And through the work on their integrated systems plan going forward.

We will work together on the long-term vision for early childhood education and care, to better support parents’ workforce participation.

We see this as a major productivity initiative. Childcare isn’t about baby minding. It’s about growing our economy and about women’s workforce participation and will be a very positive issue going forward.

Albanese said national cabinet will meet again in a fortnight:

We’ll discuss housing affordability issues in person at the next meeting of the national cabinet.

Updated at 03.07 EDT

Albanese says leaders agreed on national skills statement

Moving on form Covid regulations Albanese said they also discussed workforce issues:

Ahead jobs and skills summit, first ministers discussed the ongoing workforce shortages and skills shortages that are impacting our economy and impacting businesses’ ability to operate.

And we had a constructive discussion and agreed on a vision statement and guiding principles for a new national skills agreement that will come into effect in 2024.

First ministers discussed the essential role of early childhood education and care as part of the education system and as a powerful lever for increasing participation of women in the workforce.

We agreed on the importance of delivering nationally significant energy transmission projects. And supporting regional communities and workforces to capture the opportunities emerging from Australia’s transition to a net zero emissions economy.

Updated at 03.04 EDT

Masks no longer mandatory on domestic flights

Masks are no longer mandatory on flights, Albanese said:

National cabinet also agreed to remove the mandatory wearing of masks on domestic flights. This change will also come into effect from Friday September 9.

Updated at 03.21 EDT

Covid isolation changes to start from Friday 9 September

Albanese says if you have symptoms you need to stay home – and changes will start from Friday 9 September .

Clearly, if you have symptoms, we want people to stay home. We want people to act responsibly.

Seven days isolation will remain for workers in high-risk setting including aged care, disability care, home care is important as well. I believe, and first ministers agreed, that on the with of evidence, this was a proportionate response at this point in the pandemic.

These changes will come into effect from next Friday September 9, with the paid pandemic leave disaster payment eligibility to reflect the changed isolation period effective from the same date. Services Australia will provide advice in 48 hours. They’ll work through by the end of Friday to be able to update the advice on their website.

Updated at 03.19 EDT

Covid isolation reduced to five days for people with no symptoms

The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has announced that the Covid isolation requirement has been reduced to five days.

First ministers reinforce their commitment to continued collaboration between commonwealth, state and territory governments in managing the pandemic.

The national cabinet agreed the isolation periods for Covid-19 positive cases would be reduced from seven to five following a positive test, with the following caveats.

This would apply to people with no symptoms.

Updated at 03.01 EDT

Anthony Albanese to speak after national cabinet meeting

We are just waiting for the PM to appear after his meeting with National Cabinet – he should not be long.

Updated at 02.54 EDT

Zoe Daniel says stage three tax cuts ‘run counter’ to cost-of-living crisis

Just going back to Afternoon Briefing where Zoe Daniel was just asked if she thinks the distribution of the stage three tax cuts (which will benefit super high earners) is unjust.

This is what she had to say:

We know there are people on low and middle incomes who are struggling because of the cost of living. So it seems to run counter to that, to then give large tax cuts to high income earners.

There are many people in my electorate who think they pay too much tax. Put that on the table.

But I think from speaking to people in Goldstein, that they recognise perhaps now is not the time and … it’s time to have a conversation about what the priorities are. On multi-national taxes, bring it on.

Updated at 02.51 EDT

Unemployed workers’ protest outside jobs summit blocked

An event organised by unemployed workers to protest their exclusion from the jobs summit on parliament lawn in Canberra tomorrow has been blocked.

The Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union and the Antipoverty Centre billed the event as a “mini employment summit”, with a group of long-term unemployed people sharing their views on barriers to work and proposals for government to consider at the jobs and skills summit.

The groups said no explanation had been given.

Co-organiser of the event and spokesperson for the Antipoverty Centre, Jay Coonan, said:

First they wouldn’t let us inside the jobs summit, and now we’re not even allowed to be outside it.

It is vital that those who hold the power to implement changes recognise the expertise that comes with being unemployed – we should be the most important stakeholders for this summit.

Unemployed workers deserve to have their voices heard. We will not be going ahead on Thursday morning as planned, but we are not giving up.

We are working hard to try and change our plans at the last minute so we can go ahead on Friday, and we urge the decision makers in parliament to give us approval. But if they don’t we’ll be there anyway – with or without permission.

Updated at 02.46 EDT

Adeshola Ore

Adeshola Ore

Vote of no confidence carried against Victorian opposition frontbencher David Davis

A vote of no confidence against opposition frontbencher David Davis has been carried in the Victorian parliament’s upper house.

The motion was brought on by Transport Matters MP Rod Barton and called on Davis to resign as leader of the opposition in the upper house. The Andrews government backed the motion by the crossbench MP while the opposition labelled the motion a “political stunt”.

Barton said Davis should resign due to reports of inappropriate behaviour when drinking. In March, the Age reported Davis admitted to drinking too much at a multicultural event in Melbourne and said witnesses recounted he was told to leave by two Liberal party colleagues for behaving inappropriately towards guests. Barton also accused Davis of misleading the house after he called on the MP to say if his votes had been “corruptly” bought following a donation by a Labor-aligned union group.

The crossbencher received a donation from the Victorian Trades Hall Council – the state’s peak union body aligned with the Labor party – after he agreed to support the government’s pandemic legislation last year.

Former Liberal party MP Bernie Finn – who was booted from the parliamentary party in May after he posted on Facebook saying abortion should be banned, even for survivors of rape – also voted for the motion. Crossbench MPs Fiona Patten, Jeff Bourman and Andy Meddick also supported the motion.

The motion passed 21 votes to nine, but it does not force Davis to resign as leader of the opposition in the upper house.

Updated at 02.40 EDT

‘We’re waiting for a talkfest’: Sussan Ley stands by decision to boycott jobs summit

The deputy Liberal leader, Sussan Ley, is being interviewed on Afternoon Briefing about the jobs summit right now. She is standing by her decision to boycott the jobs summit:

Look, 10% of workers are in unions. But 25% of the attendees at the jobs summit are going to be the unions. So that’s already an overrepresentation of a certain point of view. I’m not saying it’s not a valid point of view, it needs to be included.

But I’m saying that by stacking the summit with people who have a predetermined outcome, led by a government with a predetermined outcome, who is taking instructions from those that it has installed at this summit is really not in the interests of small business, of workers and the economy more broadly.

She says the government should act now and adopt the Liberal’s policy to allow retirees to work more before their welfare payments are cut.

They could adopt our policy to have veterans and pensioners, retirees, back in the workforce without affecting their income. And there’s a workforce ready-made to start tomorrow.

They could allow the private sector to be more involved in training, industry-led training and quickly develops the skills that we need. And they could do something about visas.

They’re talking about that but they haven’t announced anything. All these things could be in place already. We’re waiting for a talkfest.

Updated at 02.29 EDT

Josh Taylor has more information on this morning’s shark attack here:

Updated at 02.14 EDT

Anthony Albanese is expected to address the media around 4.45pm – I will bring you that as soon as it happens:

The Prime Minister will hold a press conference following National Cabinet meeting, 4:45 PM Sydney #auspol

— Political Alert (@political_alert) August 31, 2022

Updated at 02.02 EDT

Adeshola Ore

Adeshola Ore

Little-known Canadian-born businessman Geoffrey Cumming has made one of the largest single philanthropic donations in Australian history, providing $250m for the creation of a global pandemic therapeutics centre in Melbourne.

The centre is designed to invest in developing treatments that can fight infectious diseases and will be named in honour of Cumming, who currently lives in Melbourne and whose donation will be used over a 20-year-period.