Australia politics live: climate bill passes House of Representatives; tax loophole that exempts richest companies to be closed

Climate bill passes the House of Representatives

The votes are in:

Ayes: 89

Noes: 55

“Hear, hear!”

“The bills as amended have been agreed to,” the Speaker Milton Dick says.

There are cheers in the chamber. The bill has passed the lower house.

Liberal MP Bridget Archer (centre) votes with the government.
Liberal MP Bridget Archer (centre) votes with the government. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Updated at 23.04 EDT

Key events

Adam Bandt press conference

We move to the Mural Hall where Adam Bandt and the Greens are talking about the climate legislation which just went through the house:

What we need to do first off is stop making the problem worse. You can’t put the fire out if you’re pouring petrol on it. You can’t fix the problem if you’re making the problem worse. So the fight now turns to not only ensuring the safeguard mechanism that safeguards our future, but we get a climate trigger in our environment laws so new projects don’t go ahead if they’re going to make the climate crisis worse and destroy our environment.

And we’ll also be going through the budget line by line to ensure that no public money is going to support coal and gas projects. And we know there’s a lot of money in the budget that previously Labor has backed that would go to open the Beetaloo. These tax dodging corporations should start paying tax, they shouldn’t get a public handout to make the climate crisis worse.

The press conference pretty much ends there, with the prime minister taking one last question on the upcoming skills senate and then leaving to prepare for question time in 40 minutes.

Does Professor Paul Kelly think the latest covid wave is peaking earlier than expected, and what does that mean for the extended health and hospital funding?

Kelly:

So firstly, yes, I’m increasingly confident we have reached the peak and certainly the actual data we’re seeing from hospital admissions decreasing in all states over the last few days and week support that. I like to say – this will be a segue to what the Prime Minister will answer in the second part – this is not the last wave. This is the end of this wave – this is coming towards the end of this wave, or peaking of this wave, there will be a tail in hospitals, many older people with many other diseases other than COVID have been admitted. That’s the word we’re getting from clinicians on the ground. But this will not be the last wave. And we’ll continue to have to plan for that, be ready to know when that’s happening and to respond to it accordingly.

Anthony Albanese:

The update that national cabinet received today I’m pleased to say is consistent with what was envisaged when we met on a Saturday three weeks ago after I came back from the PIF. In terms of when the peak looked likely to be, and our funding arrangements and the decisions that question made by the national cabinet then in terms of those dates are consistent with the advice we received.

Does the renewables target hasten the end of fossil fuel projects?

Anthony Albanese:

No. If you have a look at what has been happening, with projects in spite of the gap that’s there, in the rhetoric of the former government, remember Liddell – they used to talk about Liddell. The former member for Kooyong used to stand up regularly and speak about keeping Liddell open. It didn’t happen. Markets are operating in a way that is shifting towards cleaner cheaper energy. The problem has been that whilst that has been occurring, there hasn’t been the investment certainty for renewables and there also hasn’t been the work done on transmission to make sure that the grid is up graded for the 21st century. That’s what this legislation will do

How is the centre for disease control Labor promised during the election going and what is the timing on that?

Anthony Albanese:

I had discussions with at least a couple of Premiers who are very keen to have it located – we’ll provide funding for our commitments like other commitments in the October budget.

…The reason why you have budgets is to say you have a few announcements in the budget. Stay tuned.

Q: On monkeypox, are you expecting cases to increase and if so, what kind of order of magnitude can we expect?

Mark Butler:

I may throw to the CMO on that. As I said, case numbers have increased quite quickly around the world in those countries that don’t have the history of monkeypox, essentially all countries outside of Africa. It’s been 13 weeks since the first case was reported in the UK and the CDC reported more than 25,000, 6,000 in the US, 4,000 in Spain, 3,000 in the UK, only 58 cases here in Australia. So we’ve managed to avoid the worst elements you have seen in North America and Europe. I may throw that question to the CMO:

Professor Paul Kelly:

I’m not going to pick a number, but the important thing is all the work done since May in Australia, and the added benefit of the vaccine, will continue to help us to control the epidemic here in Australia and I’m very confident that will happen.

Is the government confident it has David Pocock’s vote?

Anthony Albanese:

I have always found it best for people to speak on their own behalf. Mr Pocock is quite capable of speaking on behalf of himself. But he made it very clear, he made it very clear this legislation should pass in his own words and indeed called upon the Greens to vote for this legislation previously.

Updated at 23.23 EDT

How does Anthony Albanese see the renewables target rolling out?

Albanese:

I see when I talk to the business community, including the investors group, what they say is they’re – this investment has been in the pipeline, it has been held back, if you’re going to invest in something that produces a return over a period of time, but lasts for decades, not for years, then you need that investment certainty.

I have given the example of Rio Tinto and their operations in Gladstone, the aluminium refinery and other heavy manufacturing that they have there.

They’re looking at powering that with some backup in terms of base load, but powering it through renewables. That’s a major Australian based operation there in Gladstone, they have three different plants, and they’re looking for the future. They’re looking at that as a step and they’re looking at hydrogen as a major step forward as well. I think that business are just waiting for the signal. They’ve got that in terms of the House of Representatives. I hope they receive that from the Senate as well. But today is a good day for business and a good day for workers and a good day for our environment.

Updated at 23.23 EDT

Coalition not acting like they have Australia’s interests at heart, Albanese says

On to the questions and Anthony Albanese is asked if he is worried the Coalition may try and undo the climate legislation if it is elected in three years time.

Anthony Albanese:

They’re not acting much like an alternative government. They’re acting like a permanent opposition.

They are not acting like they have the interests of Australia at heart, and I believe that the calls by the Business council, by ACCI, by AIG today could not have been clearer.

This so-called party of private enterprise has today thumbed its nose at the business community of Australia who are crying out for certainty going forward.

They wanted people to legislate across the Parliament and it could – it could have sailed through.

We have been constructive, we’ve made it very clear across the Parliament what our position was, that the powering Australia plan was not up for negotiation, but if people had constructive suggestions on amendments we were happy to consider them and some of them were supported, ones that weren’t consistent with the objectives were not supported.

And it’s extraordinary that they chose to do that. I believe going forward, though, when this is in place, what people – the coalition will have to consider its own position, and they bear the political responsibility for that. But by the time we get to the next election, in my view, it would be very brave indeed for an alternative political party like that – that seeks to govern, as opposed to a minor party – to say we’re going to tear down the structures that have been put in place that were supported overwhelmingly by the business community and by the mainstream of the conservation movement, but most importantly as well, by the Australian people.

The Australian people want action on climate change. Today we took some important steps forward.

Updated at 23.22 EDT

First delivery of new monkeypox vaccines to arrive this week, Butler says

Mark Butler has released a statement on the monkeypox vaccines – here is part of it:

The Albanese Government has secured 450,000 doses of the new third-generation monkeypox virus (MPX) vaccine by Bavarian Nordic.

The first delivery of around 22,000 doses will arrive in Australia later this week. The remainder will arrive later this year and in 2023.

Australia is one of a limited number of countries to secure supplies of this vaccine in 2022 and in doing so, is ensuring the increased safety of those at higher risk of exposure to MPX.

In preparation for the arrival of the vaccine, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended key groups to be vaccinated.

The states and territories will immediately receive MPX vaccine from the first delivery and will manage the vaccine rollout within their jurisdictions. This includes prioritising access to the initial doses to manage the immediate outbreak, based on who is at greatest risk of exposure or severe illness and their local context.

Updated at 23.19 EDT

Monkeypox presenting differently in current outbreak, CMO says

The chief medical officer says there are differences with how monkeypox is presenting:

This disease in Africa, it is very easy to spot. There’s a lot of rash on the whole body as well as flu and flu-like symptoms. In this current outbreak, though, it is – it can be quite specific and often affects the genital areas, it can cause a very painful condition as well as other ways it presents.

So it’s a – there’s been a difference in the way it’s presenting. It’s generally does not cause severe disease but there’s some deaths in Spain recently. This week. And it can affect other people who are immunocompromised, children, pregnant women, if it gets into that – those populations, it can be quite severe. So that’s why we’re taking the steps we’re taking. And the vaccines will really help with that.

Updated at 23.20 EDT

Chief medical officer says monkeypox can affect anyone

Professor Paul Kelly gives a run down on what monkeypox is:

Firstly, what is it? It’s a viral disease, as has been mentioned by the minister, it is spread by very intimate contact and at the moment the international, as well as the local epidemiology demonstrates it’s mainly in the international sphere and exclusively in the Australian sphere found among gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with other men.

But this can affect anyone.

That’s why we’ve got the guidance nationally to prepare and respond to this outbreak. The vaccine announcement today is absolutely important but it’s only one part of the many things we’ve been working on as the minister said since May.

I was in Geneva that first week when the WHO had their very first briefing about monkeypox and so we’ve been following that and the international situation in particular throughout that period.

Updated at 23.12 EDT

The official statement on the national cabinet meeting:

The Commonwealth, State and Territory leaders discussed the continuing impact of COVID-19 on health system capacity and that they would work together to plan and prepare for likely future waves of COVID-19.

First Ministers agreed to continue to work together to manage the response to Monkeypox, following an update from Professor Kelly on the emerging situation.

The Chief Medical Officer declared MPX a Communicable Disease of National Significance on 28 July following the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (23 July).

Internationally, there have been ten MPX deaths reported this year.

First Ministers also discussed the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in Indonesia and work to ensure FMD preparedness in Australia.

The Commonwealth is providing a $14 million biosecurity package to bolster Australia’s frontline defence and provide more technical support for countries currently battling FMD and Lumpy Skin Disease.

Through this package, the Commonwealth continues to increase its biosecurity measures, including additional biosecurity officers, detector dogs, sanitation foot mats and increased messaging at airports.

First Ministers agreed to continue to work collaboratively on FMD preparedness to protect Australian livestock and businesses from the devastating impacts of this disease.

The Prime Minister also provided an update on the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit and National Cabinet discussed how states and territories would work together on priorities issues for consideration at the Summit.

Updated at 23.13 EDT

Australia has 58 monkeypox cases and 450,000 doses of new vaccine, Butler says

Mark Butler steps up and says there are now 58 cases of monkeypox in Australia, and he says that Australia has secured 450,000 doses of the third generation of monkeypox vaccine (which can be used as a vaccine and a treatment) and the first 22,000 will be arriving in within the next fortnight.

Butler:

We will be rolling out the vaccine through state and territory largely central health clinics and we have been in discussions with state and territory governments for some weeks about those arrangements and we are confident that they will start to be putting in place very quickly at ATAGI has clearly spelt out the cohorts, the at-risk cohorts will be the priority group for those vaccines. I am very pleased we have been able to secure supplies, one of the few countries in the world that have been able to do that.

Updated at 23.16 EDT

Albanese: Coalition can make themselves ‘relevant’ to the climate debate

Anthony Albanese then moves on to the climate legislation passage through the house of representatives:

Can I also say I am very pleased that the climate legislation has passed the House of Representatives.

This is a fulfilment of a core promise that we met at the election of 43% reduction in emissions by 2030, a renewable sector that will grow to 82% of our national energy market by 2030.

A program that will see some some 600,000 job created [especially in the regions].

Even though the crossbench did not get the demands met that were not consistent with the program that we were to the election, added passed the Parliament and the Parliament functioned effectively to support the mandate that we received at the election.

With the exception of the Coalition, who continue to be stuck in time while the world warms around it.

The truth is that the Business Council, Australian Industry Group and Australian Chamber of Commerce and industry were all asking the Coalition to vote for our legislation

They have an opportunity when the legislation gets to the Senate to change their mind and to bring themselves into the 21st century and make themselves relevant to the debate, which Australians have been impacted by droughts, floods and bushfires, know the impact of climate change is real, we need a response which is real and the Government is offering up. I’m pleased it received the support of the House of Representatives.

Updated at 23.06 EDT

Anthony Albanese holds press conference

The prime minister opens with the national cabinet meeting, which included discussion about the Covid pandemic, monkeypox and foot and mouth disease.

Anthony Albanese:

It is important that people get their booster shots if they are eligible. We know that last summer there was another spike and another wave, and we should not be complacent about this. Even though it would appear that we are hopeful that we have reached a peak and hospital numbers are down and we should not be complacent about this.

Albanese has also invited all the first ministers to the jobs and skills summit with the next national cabinet to be held the day before the summit is held in Canberra.

Updated at 23.06 EDT

Adam Bandt will hold a press conference at 1.15pm to talk all things climate

Updated at 22.59 EDT