Coalition offers qualified support for Indigenous voice as PM reveals referendum wording – as it happened

Key events

What we learned today, Saturday 30 July

That’s where I’ll leave you. Thanks as always for reading.

Here’s a wrap up of the day:

Updated at 03.46 EDT

Kate Bush fans gather for Wuthering Heights day in Sydney

A big day in a big year for Kate Bush fans.

Today, apparently, is Wuthering Heights day (I have no idea why). Sydney Park on a sunny Saturday is a fair way from the wily, windy moors of Bush’s 1978 debut single but that didn’t stop fans gathering in their best red dresses to celebrate the song.

It was the first gathering after a Covid-enforced two-year hiatus, but Bush has also won over a whole new generation of fans after another of her hits, Running Up That Hill, received heavy rotation in the latest series of the Netflix show Stranger Things.

Bertin Huynh was there to capture it for us.

‘The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever’: Kate Bush fans gather in red frocks to dance merrily – video

Updated at 03.44 EDT

Police allege that a teenager living in the suburbs of Brisbane created and sold a sophisticated hacking tool used by domestic violence perpetrators and child sex offenders to spy on tens of thousands of people across the globe – and then used the proceeds to buy takeaway food.

Given it’s quiet, I might give my own story a little plug.

Last December, as staff inside Investment NSW were preparing to resume the search for a senior trade commissioner based in New York, a brief spelled out instructions given to the recruitment firm charged with finding candidates for the job.

The company was to “focus on female candidates”, according to a copy of the brief prepared for the agency’s chief executive, Amy Brown, that was obtained through parliament.

Instead, in June, the former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro was announced as the successful candidate for the lucrative role. This week, attention turned to just how that happened, including questions about the role deputy Liberal party leader, Stuart Ayres, may have played in the saga.

Updated at 02.29 EDT

Carly Earl

Carly Earl

A few shots from Garma by picture editor Carly Earl.

Yolngu child playing at Garma festival
A Yolngu child playing at the Garma festival in East Arnhem. Photograph: Carly Earl/The Guardian
Prime minister Anthony Albanese during the Garma festival
Prime minister Anthony Albanese at the festival. Photograph: Carly Earl/The Guardian
Prime minister Anthony Albanese at the opening ceremony of the Garma festival
The annual Garma festival is held at Gulkula, a significant ceremonial site for the Yolngu people. Anthony Albanese at the opening ceremony. Photograph: Carly Earl/The Guardian
Prime minister Anthony Albanese at the opening ceremony of the Garma festival
The prime minister enjoys opening ceremony festivities. Photograph: Carly Earl/The Guardian
Ceremonial dancing at the opening ceremony
Ceremonial dancing at the opening ceremony. Photograph: Carly Earl/The Guardian

Updated at 02.31 EDT

And with that I will hand over the blog to the always excellent Michael McGowan, thanks for reading.

National Covid summary

Here are the latest coronavirus numbers from around Australia today, as the country records at least 127 deaths from Covid-19:


  • Deaths: two
  • Cases: 719
  • In hospital: 152 (with one person in ICU)


  • Deaths: 46
  • Cases: 13,425
  • In hospital: 2,210 (with 68 people in ICU)

Northern Territory

  • Deaths: 0
  • Cases: 303
  • In hospital: 56


  • Deaths: unreported
  • Cases: 18,678
  • In hospital: 861 (with 30 people in ICU)

South Australia

  • Deaths: four
  • Cases: 2,767
  • In hospital: 335 (with 10 people in ICU)


  • Deaths: one
  • Cases: 923
  • In hospital: 144 (with four people in ICU)


  • Deaths: 61
  • Cases: 8,937
  • In hospital: 837 (with 38 people in ICU)

Western Australia

  • Deaths: 13
  • Cases: 4,034
  • In hospital: 417 (with 15 people in ICU)

Updated at 01.51 EDT

South Australia reports four deaths and 2,767 new cases

South Australia is reporting four deaths and 2,767 new Covid cases overnight:

Queensland reports 18,678 new Covid cases

Queensland has reported a huge jump in Covid cases, reporting 18,678 new cases.

Queensland Health says the higher number is the result of an administrative error and today’s number includes infections as far back as 10 June.

There are 861 people in hospital and 30 in ICU.

Updated at 01.01 EDT

Parliament’s back – here is Amy Remeikis’s take on week one

So, this week marked the first for the 47th federal parliament and a lot happened, from first speeches to a return to the sparring of question time and a smoking ceremony.

To take you through it all, here is Amy Remeikis with her breakdown:

The week in Australian politics with Amy Remeikis: parliament is back – video

Updated at 00.35 EDT

Covid vaccine third dose take-up has ‘stalled to an alarming extent’

The federal health minister, Mark Butler, has conceded that take-up of the third dose of the Covid vaccine has “stalled to an alarming extent”.

In a statement, Butler said that while more than half a million people are getting the fourth does a week, about five million people have “effectively tapped out of the vaccine program”.

There are about five million Australians who effectively have tapped out of the vaccine program. These are five million Australians for whom it’s been more than six months since they had their second dose, but still haven’t had their third.

In spite of an information campaign that we’ve rolled out, information campaigns that the states have rolled out, some of them very clear that two doses is not fully vaccinated. That third dose rate creeps up only about 1% every week.

Updated at 00.04 EDT

Western Australia records 13 Covid deaths and 4,034 new cases

Western Australia is today reporting 13 new deaths overnight, and 4,034 new Covid cases. There are 417 people in hopsital with the virus, and 15 in ICU.

Updated at 23.40 EDT

Thanks Michael McGowan for covering my lunch break, Mostafa Rachwani back with you, with much still going on.

Updated at 23.26 EDT