Anthony Albanese told Sky News the government remains “committed to delivering what we said we would” – including not scrapping the stage 3 tax cuts. When asked whether the budget and economic circumstances might trigger a rethink, the prime minister said: We’re committed to delivering what we said we would. And I’ve displayed on the stage three cuts that they have been legislated; people are entitled to operate based on that certainty.
But Albanese added that the treasurer, Jim Chalmers, and the finance minister, Katy Gallagher, have started work on an audit conducted by Treasury and Finance:
This is a budget that’s full of waste and rorts. And we’re going to search for them, find them line by line, and where there is the waste, we can act upon, we certainly will do so.
When asked whether there were lessons for Labor to learn from former frontbencher Kristina Keneally’s defeat in the seat of Fowler – and the risk of parachuting in candidates – Albanese said:
Of course, there are. You have to learn lessons from an outcome like that. And I think the classes are clear that the community sent a message. Kristina Keneally is a big loss to our team. She was a valued friend. She was the deputy Senate Leader, and it is a loss, but you have to accept outcomes in democratic processes and learn from them. And we will take note of the lessons which are there.
Newly minted Labor Finance Minister Katy Gallagher is appearing on ABC Insiders this morning.
We’ll bring you the highlights.
Victoria records 16 Covid-19 deaths.
Sixteen people with Covid-19 have died overnight in Victoria. The state recorded 7,372 new cases on Sunday, with 507 people in hospital, 30 in ICU, and four on ventilation.
3 doses (16+): 67.4% 2 doses (12+): 94.6% Doses yesterday: 1,450Doses total: 6,246,756
Hospital: 507ICU: 30Ventilated: 4 Lives lost: 16
New cases: 7,372 (Rapid antigen test cases: 5,260, PCR test cases: 2,112) PCR tests: 13,190Active cases (all): 63,428
— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) May 28, 2022
Updated at 19.10 EDT
Sky News host Kieran Gilbert asked the prime minister, Anthony Albanese, about his plans for an employment summit with unions, businesses, and others, expected to be held by September.
The key is a government prepared to broker, which seeks to unite people. And I’ve said that businesses and unions have common intereBusinessesiness can’t succeed without workers and a collaborative relationship through workers’ representatives through the trade union movement. Ifon’t have successful businesses, you haven’t got union members. And we need to recognize that.
The way to increase both profits and wages without putting upward pressure on inflation is, of course, productivity, and so that has dropped off in recent times.
And I’ve been very heartened by the comments of the business community and union leaders that they want to look for that win-win circumstance.
For more on this issue, see this story by Paul Karp:
Updated at 19.09 EDT
The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, says the response to the new Australian government’s Pacific policies has been “very positive”. He told Sky News:
We went to the election with a positive plan for the Pacific that involved increased cooperation about defense, including a defense training school, increased support for maritime security, increased aid of over half a billion dollars, increased action on climate change, including infrastructure required in the Pacific to deal with the challenge of climate change, but also increased parliamentary visits and exchanges, increased work programs for both temporary workers but also a permanent migration program specifically for people of the Pacific. All of this adds up to a re-engagement by Australia with the Pacific that is so important.
Albanese said it was “astonishing” that the former government knocked back a submission from the then foreign minister, Marise Payne, supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to ramp up assistance to the Pacific. That refers to the election-eve leaks athe bout cabinet’s national security committee’s deliberations. Albanese added:
The fact that it was knocked back last year shows, I think, complacency on behalf of the former government and that they had dropped the ball.
For more on new minister Penny Wong’s two-day visit to Fiji, see our story:
PM says he intends to have a ‘good relationship’ with crossbench
The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has been speaking on Sky News.
He has said he intends to have “a good relationship with people across the crossbench” in the new parliament and has warned his colleagues against underestimating incoming opposition leader Peter Dutton:
I never underestimate my opponents.
On foreign policy, Albanese said:
I’ve been very heartened by the conversations I’ve had with other world leaders.
As he has flagged many times before, he said his next international visit would be to Indonesia.
We’ll have more details from this interview soon.
Australia faces many challenges, and I know we can seize the opportunities before us and shape our future together.
Before heading to Canberra tomorrow, I sat down with @Kieran_Gilbert to discuss my government’s priorities. pic.twitter.com/d4B90n6BFe
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) May 28, 2022
Updated at 18.56 EDT
Another live blog, another Sunday tweaking you through all the day’s events.
On Monday, the Nationals will meet for a leadership spill, with Barnaby Joyce being challenged by David Littleproud.
Prime minister Anthony Albanese is kicking off the day by speaking to Sky News as Labor inches closer to the majority government. The party is just one seat away, with the count coming down to the wire in hearts like Macnamara.
Meanwhile, Labor’s Kristina Keneally was interviewed about her loss to Peter FitzSimons at The Sydney Morning Herald. More on that to come.
I’m Royce Kurmelovs, taking the blog through the day. With so much going on out there, it’s easy to miss stuff, so if you spot something happening in Australia and think it should be on the blog, you can find me on Twitter at @RoyceRk2, where my DMs are open.