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Australia live news updates: man found dead in Victoria flood waters; Albanese says budget will ‘close the book’ on wasted decade | Australia news

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‘We are seeking to rebuild…the purpose and value of government’: PM

Albanese ends his speech on a note that Labor is attempting to rebuild hope in government:

Australians in every state and territory voted for us, trusted in us, not just because we promised to be a different government, but we promised to be a better government. A government that treats people with respect, at a time when democracy is under challenge, when disinformation is rife and disillusionment with institutions is rising. We are seeking to rebuild trust and faith and hope in the purpose and value of government.

‘If not now, when?’: Albanese affirms commitment on Indigenous Voice

We will hold a referendum on a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament in the next financial year.

Now, I know that from time to time some commentators have said, ‘Oh, this is a risk.’ No team ever won a grand final by not running on the field.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart was five years in the making from 2012 to 2017. It has been five years since that generous, gracious statement was made, so I say this – if not now, when? If not now, when?

The Constitution is our nation’s birth certificate. Constitutional recognition will recognise that our history didn’t begin in 1788, we should be proud that it goes back at least 60,000 years.

It will give respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, but it will also give all Australians a greater sense of who we are, of the privilege we have to share this continent with the olds continuous culture on Earth. We should all be proud of that.

It will also send a message to the world that we are a mature, confident nation on the road to reconciliation. Delegates, in May, Australians across the nation voted for action on climate change and we are delivering.

Budget will close the book on a wasted decade, PM says

Anthony Albanese speaks at the NSW Labor state conference in Sydney. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

Anthony Albanese has now got to the upcoming October budget:

Ten days from now, the treasurer, Jim Chalmers, will deliver the first Labor budget in a decade. It will be a true Labor budget. Responsible, fair and reforming, and it will be a budget that closes the book on a wasted decade that has weakened our economy and held back our nation.

Of course we understand that not every problem can be solved in one budget or even one term of government. We all know that progress demands patience and change can be painstaking. Building to last always takes time. But this is not an excuse to delay. It is the reason we must begin.

Albanese has flagged funding for the energy transition, aged care and the national broadcaster as some of the areas that will benefit in the next budget.

After a wasted decade, my team and I are determined not to waste a day. After nine years of division and denial and dysfunction on energy policy, we are lifting Australia’s ambitions on climate change. After nine years of wage suppression, we’re getting wages moving again. After nine years of shameful neglect in aged care, we’re taking action to fix the crisis. After nine years of attacks on our national broadcaster, we’re restoring funding certainty to the ABC.

Albanese announces expansion of paid parental leave

The big ticket of the prime minister’s speech is, of course, the announcement that Labor will be expanding paid parental leave to six months.

Anthony Albanese says:

Today, I’m proud to announce that the first budget of our Labor government will deliver the biggest boost to paid parental leave since it was created by the former Labor government in 2011. We will expand paid parental leave to 26 weeks. A full six months.

By 2026, every family with a new baby will be access a total of six months paid leave shared between the two parents. And single parents will be able to access all 26 weeks. We will give families more leave and more flexibility to ensure the system works in a way that’s best for them.

Our plan will mean more families take up this leave, share in that precious time, and share the caring responsibilities more equally. This plan will support dads who want to take time off work to be more involved in those early months. It’s a modern policy for modern families. It delivers more choice. It offers greater security. And, importantly, it rewards aspiration.

Albanese says the expansion of parental leave will also deliver economic benefits:

And just like the cheaper childcare that we are delivering, this is economic reform. This was one of the strongest points of consensus and one of the clearest calls for action from our jobs and skills summit.

Businesses, unions, experts and economists all understand that one of the best ways to boost productivity and participation across our economy is to provide more choice and more support for families and more opportunity for women.

And let me be very clear, the government views this as the foundation, the baseline, a national minimum standard. And we’re encouraged that there are already enlightened employers across Australia competing to offer working parents the best possible deal, and we want to see more of it.

Because a parental leave system that empowers the full and equal participation of women will be good for business, good for families and good for our economy.

Prime minister addresses NSW Labor state conference

That press conference in Victoria has ended, and I’ll bring you now some of what the prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has been telling the NSW Labor state conference.

Albanese thanks those who have been working towards the NSW state election in March and supporting Chris Minns in his bid to become premier. Albanese says the federal victory helps create momentum at the state level too:

This victory’s a heavy responsibility. But also, it’s a great reward. It’s why Chris Minns and his team are seeking government in March. It’s why Prue Carr has come back to the fight. Friends, this is why Labor always seeks government. For the chance to change the nation for the better. To build for the future. To implement the reforms that transform lives. To pass on a better deal and greater opportunity to the next generation.

Albanese also touches on the Scott Morrison secret ministries saga in his opening address:

Now it’s still, frankly, beyond belief that the last prime minister, a man addicted to saying “that’s not my job”, was going around secretly swearing himself in to other people’s jobs!

Well, delegates, unlike the last occupant, I have a great team. A team that I trust.

‘Don’t go back there in basic footwear,’ SES warns residents returning to their homes

Wiebusch concludes:

As the flood waters start to recede, you will start to see the evacuation messages removed and a safe to return message replacing it. When you see those messages, that is where you need to think about what will you need to do before can you go back into your property

If your property has seen flood waters inside, you need to be checking your gas and electricity services by a professional. Be thinking about and working through who that might be now. We are advising people to make sure you are wearing strong boots and gloves. Don’t go back there in basic footwear and other clothing. Be prepared for the conditions that you might find your property.

1800226226 is the Victorian hot line for any services that you may need to access information from, whether it is flood warnings through to relief and recovery. I will pass over to Commissioner Crisp to round

Wangaratta peaking today, as orders lifted for Maribyrnong

Wiebusch says:

If we go around then to the Ovens and King which combine at Wangaratta. At Wangaratta we are expecting a peak of 12.8 this morning. An evacuation message is out for part of Wangaratta around the Parfitt Road levy. We have had techs out there this morning checking the levee. It is structurally sound and people are safe. If you are behind the levy, the message is to be out of that area until the flood waters subside.

At Mount Emu Creek, good news at Skipton, where we have seen the flood peak occur. There has been inundation of some properties in an around the township of Skipton but it is now receding. Emu Creek. We are seeing the convergence of the Lee and Barwon Rivers at Geelong. We are expecting moderate flood levels just below major which means the sporting grounds there, caravan parks and some properties around a dozen will be impacted by flood waters into this weekend.

Finally across the metropolitan area, the Maribyrnong River has now dropped just below minor flood level. The evacuation warning was lifted this morning with a safe to return message now current. There is a community meeting for Maribyrnong residents at 12:00 today where you can get information on relief and recovery services but also some of the safe to return actions that you can take.

On the Werribee River, we are expecting minor flooding to continue for another couple of days into early next week.

Finally, on the Yarra River, we are seeing moderate flooding in the upper reaches from Yarra Glen through to Coldstream and that is likely to continue at that level for a couple of days.

Major flooding at Shepparton ‘commencing at lunchtime today’, SES says

Wiebusch says:

That flood water will reach Shepparton on the Goulburn but join up with the flooding that has been occurring on the Broken River and Seven and Castle creeks. With those three drivers combining we expect a flood height of around 12 metres between Shepparton and Maroopna commencing at lunchtime today and moving to a peak on Tuesday.

An evacuation warning is out for Mooroopna, Shepparton, Kialla and Murchison right now. Now is the time to leave. We are going to see flood levels on the Goulburn where it meets at Shepparton … that is equivalent to 1974. These are record flood levels and over the coming days all of this water will continue to move towards the Murray River.

SES warns of further flood warnings for Campaspe River

Tim Wiebusch from the Victorian SES has provided an update about flood risks over the coming days, starting in the west of the state:

The Wimmera River is currently at major flood level at five metres around Glenorchy and that is just below what we saw as the record flood in January 2011. That flood water will move downstream early next week and on Monday at Horsham we will see low-end major flooding at around 3.7 metres.

Major flood warning to occur around Charlton. An evacuation warning was issued for Charlton yesterday and again we can’t emphasise that when we issue an evacuation warning, that is serious. We are asking people to leave and not stay in their homes. We are expecting levels just below what we saw in 2010, which is below the record flood of 2011.

On the Campaspe River, last night we saw at Rochester at peak at 115.7 AHD, that is 300mm above the record flood of January 2011. Sadly last night, as you just heard from assistant commissioner Clayton, we had 160 rescues in and around Rochester for people who had chosen to stay and not leave, despite the evacuation warnings.

We are going to see further evacuation warnings on the Campaspe River at Echuca later today and into Sunday. Again, for the community at Echuca, you need to be ready and preparing to evacuate in parts of Echuca. Also for Echuca, there will be a second peak which will come from the Murray River which will be mid to late next week. For Echuca residents, the first peak is later today into Sunday from the Campaspe River and then the Murray River midweek to the end of the week.

If we go around to the Goulburn River. As we have seen at Seymour, we saw that record peak of 8.26 metres. That has fallen yesterday to 7.4 metres. Goulburn Valley Water are releasing further inflows out of the dam and that will see the major flood level go back up to around about 7.5 metres and will sustain at that level for a couple of days. We are not expecting it to go anywhere near what the peak was at 8.26 metres. That flood water is moving downstream and there is evacuation warnings now in place for Murchison. Murchison has started to reach the major flood level already and will continue to peak over the next 24 hours.

More than 350 flood rescues in Victoria, police say

The Victoria police assistant commissioner, David Clayton, has provided an update about rescues over the last 24 hours:

I can report that emergency services agencies have responded to over 350 rescues during the flood event.

Of those rescues, more than 200 have been to homes, 150 to people driving through flood waters and 10 to capsized tinnies.

… I just want to talk you through what a rescue looks like. A standard rescue in a boat has a crew of three skilled operators who will respond to a rescue. If it is a swift water rescue, we have eight personnel involved in every rescue who are highly skilled, technically, and trained to a high level but they are difficult and dangerous rescues that sometimes, most often can be avoided.

A rescue involving a helicopter has four operators. A pilot, a winch operator, a person who will go down the winch and also a flight operator. Often that can be a perilous activity given the weather conditions and the environment they are trying to rescue somebody from.

We have seen examples where we have rescued people from vehicles where they should not have entered that swift-moving water. We have had a rescue of a truck driver in really difficult circumstances, where there were power lines and those operators were at peril because somebody chose to drive through flood waters.

We would ask you to make sure you drive to the conditions and heed the warnings that are provided. Police remain in areas that are evacuated to ensure that there is no looting. We have no reports of looting and there will be zero tolerance to any looting. We anticipate that in the coming days, we are going to see some of the largest evacuations that we have ever seen. Please heed those warnings and evacuate when you’re asked to.

Extra workers to be recruited to help Victoria’s ongoing recovery efforts

Andrews says:

We continue our discussions with the federal government, they are unfolding well.

We think we will have places for around 250 people for multiple weeks, and to that end we have already begun the process of recruiting the necessary staff, between 80 and 100 staff, that would be required to support those 250 people and we will continue to update you on that.

Man’s death shows ‘just how serious this is’

Andrews says:

It is my sad duty to have to confirm that a 71-year-old man has been found deceased in the back yard of his property in Rochester. We send our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

It is a proud and very tight local community and they will all be saddened to hear of one of their number passing away. I just make the point, we will stand with that family and all families affected by this, but it just brings home for all of us that this is serious, this is potentially very, very dangerous and our sympathies are with that family.

That sends a broader message of just how serious this is and that is why we are all working as hard as we possibly can to make sure people are safe.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2022/oct/15/australia-live-news-updates-victoria-braces-for-more-floods-albanese-to-speak-at-nsw-labor-state-conference Australia live news updates: man found dead in Victoria flood waters; Albanese says budget will ‘close the book’ on wasted decade | Australia news

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