Australia news live: NSW Labor says independence of John Barilaro’s appointment ‘stretches credibility’

Key events

Hugo Lowell

Trump says FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago home

Federal investigators seized the contents of Donald Trump’s safe at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, the former president said in a statement on Monday, the latest indication of an intensifying criminal investigation by the justice department into his affairs.

The FBI executed a search warrant around 6pm at Trump’s post-presidency residence, according to a source familiar with the matter. The full extent of the raid was not clear, and whether it came as part of an investigation connected to the January 6 Capitol attack.

Reactions to the raid of Trump’s home

Donald Trump has released a statement revealing his home is being raided by FBI:

These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.

Eric Columbus, part of the Senate judiciary counsel to Joe Biden, shared this message on social media:

The day that ended with a raid on Mar-a-Lago started just like any other day: with one scoop about Trump flushing official papers down the toilet and another in which he compared himself to Hitler.

— Eric Columbus (@EricColumbus) August 8, 2022

Joyce Vance, the former US attorney for the northern district of Alabama, said:

We don’t know yet what crimes the FBI had sufficient evidence of to convince a federal judge there was probable cause to search Trump’s residence, but the execution of a search warrant isn’t a raid. It’s a judicially overseen process. Still unknown: the subject of the search.

— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) August 8, 2022

Updated at 19.23 EDT

Breaking news: Trump says his home is ‘under siege’ by FBI agents

In a statement, former US President Donald Trump says the FBI is raiding his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.

Updated at 19.11 EDT

Australian leaders remember Newton-John’s cancer advocacy

As Australia learns of the death of one its biggest stars, Olivia Newton-John, Victorian premier Dan Andrews highlighted her generosity when it came to helping the state’s cancer patients.

Newton-John supported Melbourne’s Austin hospital in building the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre, and promoted the LIV-KIT device for breast cancer detection, AAP reports.

Newton-John was born on September 26, 1948, in Cambridge, England, where her father Bryn had been working on the Enigma project at Bletchley Park during WWII.

When she was six years old her family emigrated to Melbourne, where she attended Christ Church Grammar School and University High School.

Olivia Newton John was one in a million.

She gave the world her music and movies – but for Victorians she was so much more.

Her generosity through the ONJ Cancer Wellness and Research Centre has saved lives, and her advocacy has given Victorians hope as they battle cancer.

— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) August 8, 2022

We’ve lost a true star. Olivia Newton-John defined a generation, and built a legacy that will live on.

In recent years, she dedicated herself to helping other cancer patients, while battling her own diagnosis.

Joyful, compassionate, and generous – a class act. What a loss.

— Tanya Plibersek (@tanya_plibersek) August 8, 2022

Updated at 19.00 EDT

Reflecting on legacy of Olivia Newton-John

Thank you so much those of you who have been sharing your tributes to Olivia Newton-John, who has died at the age of 73.

We are closing comments on this blog but please continue to share your memories of the star on this page:

Updated at 18.53 EDT

Adam Morton

Adam Morton

New threatened species listings include south-eastern glossy black-cockatoo

Two Australian species that were badly affected by the 2019-20 black summer bushfires have been officially listed as threatened.

The environment minister, Tanya Plibersek, said the south-eastern glossy black-cockatoo had been listed as vulnerable and the mountain skink as endangered after recommendations by the threatened species scientific committee.

Plibersek said a national recovery plan would be developed for the vulnerable cockatoo and legislatively required comprehensive conservation advice was in place for both species.

The damage caused by the black summer bushfires is still being felt today and can be seen reflected in these listings today.

The fires had an immense impact on our environment, from a small reptile found in the mountains to a bird that is at home on the coast. There is still a lot of work to do.

The minister said the federal government was investing $1m in projects that benefited the south-eastern glossy black-cockatoo, including citizen science surveys, nest box installation and revegetation and protection of the black she‑oak, its main source of food and habitat.

She said $800,000 was being invested in supporting the recovery and conservation of alpine reptiles, including the mountain skink, which is found in isolated patches of rocky habitat in mountain and subalpine areas in Victoria, NSW and the ACT.

Updated at 18.41 EDT

Idea Barilaro was appointed independently ‘stretches credibility’, Minns says

Chris Minns, the NSW opposition leader, went on to say:

It seems as though these positions are being offered around almost like lolly bags to senior members of the New South Wales government rather than what they’re intended to be, which is senior positions funded by the taxpayer. We shouldn’t operate like that in New South Wales. We’re slowly but surely finding out the contours of what is an absolute scandal.

There’s many questions to be asked. At the end of the day we’re expected to believe of the 8 million people who live in New South Wales, John Barilaro was independently chosen to represent our interests. I think that … stretches credibility.

In terms of public administration in New South Wales it need to be very clear to everyone at the end of the day these are taxpayer-funded positions, if they’re supposed to be an independent public service appointment process, that needs to be respected. When questions are asked, answers need to be provided by the government. For the last eight weeks we’ve had stonewalling from senior ministers in the New South Wales government.

If there weren’t questions asked, Mr Barilaro would be serving in New York city and no one would be the wiser as to his appointment.

Updated at 18.40 EDT

NSW government reluctant to answer ‘serious questions’, opposition leader says

Chris Minns, the NSW Labor leader, also appeared on ABC Breakfast News this morning to discuss the state of the NSW Liberal party amid the ongoing revelations from the inquiry into the former deputy premier John Barilaro’s appointment to a lucrative New York trade role.

Asked what he thinks of Barilaro claiming he was the victim not the perpetrator in this, Minns said:

I mean, it’s a bit ridiculous. At this point, this is taxpayer money. We need to know how it’s been spent. Circumstances around this appointment have been completely un-transparent from the very beginning. The government has worked very hard at obscuring from the public exactly what happened in relation to the Barilaro appointment.

And in the last two weeks we’ve had a situation where the deputy leader of the Liberal party has resigned, we’ve got someone from the panel, the public service commissioner, who believes that she was misled. And most of the information has reluctantly been released from the New South Wales government. So there’s serious questions to be answered and the government seems reluctant to do so.

Chris Minns
NSW Labor leader Chris Minns. Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AAP

Updated at 18.38 EDT

Marles commits to plugging capability gap with submarines built in Australia

Asked if military will now a top priority of the budget, Richard Marles tells ABC Radio:

Making sure we have the most potent defence force we can have is absolutely a top priority of the government.

We are very focused on making sure we have an evolving capability for our defence force, that it’s as potent as it can be.

We need to be open-minded about how we plug the capability gap, but we must plug it.

It is going to be essential for us in terms of that future submarine capability to build the submarines in Australia.

Richard Marles
Deputy prime minister Richard Marles. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Updated at 18.37 EDT

‘What we want to see is calm,’ defence minister says of China military build-up

Richard Marles, the acting prime minister and defence minister, appeared on ABC Radio this morning as China steps up military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

Australia’s foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, is calling for a cooling of tensions. Marles joins her in calling for “calm”.

Marles had this to say on the significance of the escalation:

What underpins all of this is that China has engaged in the biggest military build-up we’ve seen since the end of the second world war and that’s the fundamental fact that shapes the strategic circumstances of the region.

Asked if he is concerned about a looming capability gap, he said:

We’re completely aware of the military build-up China has engaged in … and it’s of enormous concern … it’s certainly one of the key facts in shaping Australia’s strategic circumstances.

Is China rehearsing a militarily complex blockade and possible attack on Taiwan?

“This is a demonstration of its [China’s] capability .. of it’s force and that is significant”


— RN Breakfast (@RNBreakfast) August 8, 2022

He adds:

What we want to see is calm and what underpins our position is a view that we don’t want to see any unilateral changes to the status quo on either side of the Taiwan Strait.

Updated at 18.35 EDT

NSW Liberals expected to elect Matt Kean as deputy leader

While the nation and international community mourns Olivia Newton-John, the cogs in the wheels of politics continue to turn.

The New South Wales Liberal party will today elect its deputy leader after Stuart Ayres resigned last week.

Treasurer Matt Kean is the only candidate running, after transport minister David Elliott pulled out yesterday.

As my colleague Michael McGowan reported yesterday:

The meeting is likely to be a coronation for Kean, but not before a nasty public fight prompted by the transport minister David Elliott’s determination to block him from winning the job.

After insisting he would run for the role, Elliott went on Sydney radio station 2GB on Monday to announce he would withdraw.

“Yes, I’m disappointed,” Elliott said. “Yes, I’ve had to eat humble pie. Yes, I’ve had to say to the premier, ‘Yep, you’re the boss.’”

Matt Kean
NSW treasurer Matt Kean. Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AAP

Updated at 18.33 EDT

Daughter remembers Newton-John as ‘best friend’

Olivia Newton-John’s daughter Chloe Lattanzi shared this beautiful childhood image with her late mother, with no words.

Only three days before Lattanzi had shared a recent image with her mother captioned: “I worship this woman. My mother. My best friend.”

Updated at 18.35 EDT

Radiohead guitarist remembers Newton-John for being more than his first crush

Ed O’Brien, the guitarist for Radiohead, remembers Newton-John for being his first crush, as well as for helping him through the “really rough time”.

“My imaginary friendship with you, which lasted from 1978 until 1980 helped me to deal with the fallout of my parent’s divorce,” O’Brien wrote on Instagram.

Updated at 18.34 EDT

‘Your Danny, your John’: Travolta pays tribute

Grease co-star John Travolta shared a message to Newton-John on social media signed “Your Danny, your John”:

My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!

Fellow entertainers and leaders the world over have paid tribute to the beloved star.

Oh man!!! You were my childhood!! Your talent, poise, beauty!! Rest in glorious peace. God bless your family….and thank you for creating eternal memories. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

— Viola Davis (@violadavis) August 8, 2022

Very sad news we are waking up to today that the wonderful Olivia Newton John has passed away. She almost seemed immortal and her star power was always shining bright. Her work to raise awareness and fund cancer research will live on. Vale ONJ. #RIPOliviaNewtonJohn

— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) August 8, 2022

Updated at 18.31 EDT

Good morning

Australia is waking up to the news that one of its biggest stars, Olivia Newton-John, has died aged 73.

Beyond Sandy and a career as a bestselling singer, Newton-John was known for her advocacy for cancer research after her own diagnosis.

In a statement posted on social media, Olivia Newton-John’s husband John Easterling said:

Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends.

Guardian Australia would love to receive your tributes in the comments.

Updated at 18.30 EDT