Australia news live: Mark Butler warns long Covid a ‘major health challenge’, ACCC to investigate energy prices | Australia news

The proposed parliamentary sitting schedule for the rest of the year was released last night, and the opposition quickly criticized the government for its “remarkably light” program.

Almost as soon as the schedule was released, Opposition spokesman for Business in the House Paul Fletcher released a statement criticizing it for being too short.

This comes after the Coalition had designed a schedule with just 10 (ten) sitting days before August 2022.

Dan Tehan says Labor has given “no good reason” why Parliament isn’t sitting until July.

In government, the Coalition designed a schedule with just ten sitting days before August 2022.

Parliament, optional in govt, VITAL in opposition.#auspoI

— Paul Karp (@Paul_Karp) June 13, 2022

Nonetheless, here is what Fletcher had to say:

The Albanese Labor government is on a parliamentary go-slow.

The whole sitting days for the House of Representatives for 2022 will be just 40. This is a dramatic drop from 67 in 2021 and 58 in 2020.

The latest day to return the writs is June 28, and Labor is just scraping in within the 30 days by reconvening Parliament on July 26.

Australia news

This is entirely at odds with Labor’s claim that they do not waste a day.

Richard Marles arrives in India.

Deputy prime minister and defense minister Richard Marles arrived in India earlier this morning for his scheduled trip, where he will meet his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh.

Marles’ trip is intended to engage a “top-tier partner” to discuss defensive cooperation and ambitions for an “open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific”.

Arrived in India – a top-tier partner + close friend of Australia.

I look forward to advancing our ongoing defense engagement as Comprehensive Strategic Partners and reiterate our commitment to closer cooperation in the #IndoPacific.

— Richard Marles (@RichardMarlesMP) June 20, 2022

Updated at 17.59 EDT

Federal health minister says long Covid a ‘major health challenge.’

The federal health minister, Mark Butler, has begun the daily round of politicians in the media this morning, appearing on Sunrise and warning that there could be “very big” numbers of Australians suffering from long Covid.

Butler said the large Omicron wave may have contributed to the rising rates of long Covid, adding it was proving to be a “major health challenge”:

When you get the sort of numbers of Covid that we have had here in Australia – literally millions and millions of Australians – that will translate into very big numbers of people experiencing long Covid symptoms.

I am keen to talk with clinicians and researchers, look at international research and make sure our health system is prepared for a big wave of people experiencing these very long symptoms.

We see dozens and dozens of deaths every week. This is still a serious health challenge that we cannot take lightly.

Mark Butler. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Updated at 18.01 EDT

Good morning, Mostafa Rachwani with you this morning. I’ll take you through what I’m sure will be another busy day.

We begin with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which will investigate energy prices, including assessing power companies and whether they are gaming the system for profit. Commission chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, told the Nine newspapers the ACCC had “real breadth of powers” to investigate companies’ behavior

It comes as former chair Rod Sims pens an opinion piece for Guardian Australia today, saying the government should push against “the instincts of the corporate sector” and introduce more competition into the market. Sims argues there is inadequate competition in Australia, and that th government should be the one to foster greater competition.

Two state budgets from the New South Wales and Queensland state governments. The NSW government has already flagged a wide range of measures, including a $5.8bn investment into an extra year of education and $4.5bn boost to the health sector.

The Palaszczuk government’s eighth budget will also be handed down today, and expect. Expectations will focus on the cost of the living measures, including a $175 electricity rebate scheduled to be introduced.

Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.