China has broken its diplomatic freeze against Australia – sending a congratulations message to new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, the first time the government has contacted Australia in 2.5 years.
The message came from China’s Premier Li Keqiang, which is standard for how Chinese diplomacy usually works. State news agency Xinhua is reporting that the telegram said::
The Chinese side is ready to work with the Australian side to review the past, look into the future, and uphold the principle of mutual respect and mutual benefit to promote the sound and steady growth of their comprehensive strategic partnership.
This is a small sign that China wants to change things and keep the relationship on track.
The rain is not letting up in northern NSW.
AAP reports that people in the Northern Rivers region are enduring more rain as they try to recover from devastating floods earlier this year.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the Wilson river at Lismore peaked near the minor flood level on Monday night after heavy rain in recent days, with the downpour expected to continue all week.
A minor flood warning is current for the nearby Richmond River.
There’s a hazardous surf warning in place for much of the NSW coast, from Byron Bay in the north to Batemans Bay in the south.
The BOM says the La Niña conditions that brought unprecedented rain and flooding to vast swathes of the coast in summer and autumn will continue throughout winter, bringing above-average rainfall for much of eastern Australia.
The BOM said that some areas have already reached the average rainfall for May in the past few days.
Updated at 17.38 EDT
On the ABC, Joyce also suggested the Nationals would be looking to pick up extra cabinet positions when the new Coalition agreement is discussed.
Q: Is the prospect that you could suggest there is a split in the Coalition?
At this point, there’s no Coalition. That will be negotiated. It’s one of the big jobs ahead of us. To arrange the Coalition, negotiate ministries, and the guardrails of policy. Negotiate, you know, resources; these are – this is the big task that is imminently before us.
And you know, that’s what I’ll focus on, to ensure the Nationals get the best deal they can.
Q: Do you think the Nationals deserve more, given what you said is a very successful campaign?
Well, ,we are a greater proportion, if there was a Coalition, if there’s a Coalition, we’re a greater proportion of that Coalition. So that’s beyond dispute.
Q: So more frontbench positions?
You’re asking an obvious question. Mathematically, yes.
Updated at 17.35 EDT
Barnaby Joyce was just on the ABC, where he was asked if the party would drop its support for a net zero target.
Q: Why have you raised the prospect of not supporting net zero?
The Nationals party can talk about what issues they want. We won’t go into the party room saying this won’t be discussed or that won’t be discussed.
Q: But you left it open in your language that it was …
It’s up for discussion. Given it was agreed in November, in the party room, to support net zero, why do you even revisit … the prospect of it? I said I intended to stick to our deal. But if other people want to discuss it, that’s their right. I intend to stick to the agreement that I made.
Q: So the agreement from November in the party room doesn’t necessarily mean it’s locked in? The party room can change that view.
Any person – we’re going around the circles, aren’t we? I intend to stick to the deal that I negotiated. In the party room, people can discuss whatever they like. That’s how it works.
The Labor party is coming forward with a different proposition to the parliament. I don’t see anything remarkable about that. I imagine people want to discuss that.
Updated at 17.35 EDT
Good morning everyone – this is Cait Kelly, and I will be with you on the blog for the first part of the day.
Australia’s new PM, Anthony Albanese, and foreign minister, Penny Wong, will make their diplomatic debut on the world stage today after arriving in Tokyo for the Quad meet. Climate change, concerns over China’s assertiveness, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine will likely be discussed.
It will be another day of leadership speculation for the Coalition parties, with Peter Dutton still looking like the frontrunner for the Liberals. Jane Hume and Sussan Ley entered the race for the deputy position.
The Nationals have announced they will spill their leadership next Monday after Barnaby Joyce signaled they might abandon support for net zero. Joyce was speaking on ABC this morning and said he was confident of his leadership position:
At this point, I haven’t heard anybody publicly on the record saying they want to stand. I accept that if they do. That’s how the party works.
Slater & Gordon is investigating a possible class action against Victoria’s triple zero authority ESTA for what it says are systemic failures. Slater & Gordon’s lawyers noted that thousands had received unacceptable delays.
And Australian petrol prices are reaping, with the average price for the country now nudging $2.
Right – that’s the big headline; let’s get into it.