Australia news LIVE: Greens to back Labor’s climate bill; RBA flags slower growth, higher unemployment

Key posts

  • Great Barrier Reef report piles pressure on Labor’s climate target
  • Keating fires up over climate wars
  • Albanese says parliament will now debate Voice details before referendum
  • This morning’s key headlines at a glance
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Great Barrier Reef report piles pressure on Labor’s climate target

A key UNESCO scientific report set to be released soon is understood to flag that Australia’s climate targets are still not in line with the global action needed to stop the worldwide degeneration of coral reefs, piling pressure on the Albanese government over its climate targets.

The rising threat of global warming to the Great Barrier Reef was confirmed by the Australian Institute of Marine Science in today’s annual report, which highlights the potential for the powerful heritage authority UNESCO to officially downgrade the reef’s status to “in danger”.

Bleaching on Stanley Reef, part of the 500-kilometre stretch of the Great Barrier Reef that copped a mass bleaching event last summer.Credit:Australian Marine Conservation Society/Climate Council/Harriet Spark

UNESCO inspected the reef in March during a mass bleaching event and is expected to release updated findings by September. Those findings could be the first step to removing the reef from world heritage lists.

More on the reef’s outlook here.

Keating fires up over climate wars

Former prime minister Paul Keating has savaged Greens leader Adam Bandt for branding Labor a “neoliberal” party in a row over the environment after Labor secured the numbers to legislate its 43 per cent cut to greenhouse gas emissions.

Hours after the Greens said they would vote for the government’s landmark climate bill, Keating launched a spirited defence of Labor’s legacy on climate and the environment.

Adam Bandt says he will keep fighting new coal and gas projects.Credit:James Brickwood

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has welcomed the Greens’ support for the Labor bill as a sign the “climate wars” could be over, but he bluntly rejected a proposal from Bandt to use the government scheme to curb emissions as a way to halt new coal and gas projects.

With Labor and the Greens voting together on one issue while sparring on others, Keating has intervened to tell Australian voters they can trust Labor on the environment.

Read the full story here.

Albanese says parliament will now debate Voice details before referendum

Federal parliament will hammer out key details of what an Indigenous Voice to parliament will look like and when a national vote is held, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says, in a shift from his position that much of the detail would happen after a referendum.

The PM has indicated that the model for the Voice outlined by Professors Marcia Langton and Tom Calma in a 2021 report to the former Morrison government will be central to the debate and design.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during yesterday’s press conference at Parliament House in Canberra.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Last Saturday, Albanese announced Australians would be asked whether they supported or opposed enshrining an Indigenous Voice in the constitution, and the three sentences that would be added to what he dubbed Australia’s “birth certificate”.

More on this issue here.

This morning’s key headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Thursday, August 4. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started.

  • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says parliament will thrash out the details regarding an Indigenous Voice before the upcoming referendum. As James Massola writes, it’s a shift from the PM’s earlier position where he wanted a referendum first and then key details hammered out.
  • Former prime minister Paul Keating has fired back at Greens leader Adam Bandt after the member for Melbourne labelled Labor a “neoliberal” party during his recent speech to the National Press Club. During that speech, Bandt announced the Greens would support Labor’s key climate legislation. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the legislation today.
  • And a limited number of monkeypox vaccines will be available for vulnerable groups in Australia from next week, according to Michael Koziol and Mary Ward. The federal government has faced criticism over how quick it’s been to act on acquiring monkeypox vaccines.
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