Key posts

  • Thousands of childcare workers to walk off the job
  • Cost of living pressure mounts on Albanese ahead of first budget
  • Solomons PM blasts Australia over election offer
  • This morning’s key headlines at a glance
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Thousands of childcare workers to walk off the job

The ministers governing Australia’s haemorrhaging aged-care and early learning industries say multi-employer bargaining will help women secure higher pay as tens of thousands of families across the country brace for childcare centre shutdowns while their workers strike.

In a major test for Labor, early educators will rally at Parliament House today as part of nationwide industrial action involving thousands of workers to force the government to overhaul childcare funding to guarantee better pay and conditions.

Minister for Early Childhood Education and Youth Anne Aly during a swearing-in ceremony.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Early Childhood Education Minister Anne Aly and Aged Care Minister Anika Wells say allowing controversial multi-employer bargaining will help women in the care sector negotiate better agreements and pay rises.

However, the key childcare union and operators say changing bargaining rules alone won’t fix the issue, and without a financial contribution from government, early learning providers would have to increase the fees they charge families to fund wage rises.

Read more here.

Cost of living pressure mounts on Albanese ahead of first budget

Anthony Albanese is facing growing calls to deliver substantial cost-of-living relief in his first budget next month as inflation pressures intensify and the Reserve Bank drives up interest rates to their highest level in seven years.

After the RBA yesterday took the cash rate to 2.35 per cent, adding another $242 to the monthly repayments on an $800,000 mortgage, the prime minister declared the October budget would give some respite to voters being hit by a surge in price pressures.

Anthony Albanese says the budget will deliver cost of living relief as he comes under pressure to go further.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The bank, which had official interest rates at just 0.1 per cent at the start of May, has now increased rates by a combined 2.25 percentage points in five months. It is the most aggressive tightening of monetary policy since 1994, with the bank signalling it will continue to increase rates in coming months.

The lift in rates is aimed at bringing inflation, currently at 6.1 per cent and forecast by the RBA to reach 7.75 per cent by year’s end, under control. But it is also adding thousands of dollars a year to the interest bill on mortgages which climbed to record highs during the pandemic.

Read the full story here.

Solomons PM blasts Australia over election offer

In case you missed it, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has launched an extraordinary attack on the Albanese government, blasting Australia’s offer to subsidise the Pacific nation’s elections as “an assault on our parliamentary democracy”.

Sogavare, who is seeking to delay next year’s scheduled elections by seven months, said Australia’s offer of financial assistance constituted “direct interference by a foreign government in our domestic affairs”.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has blasted Australia’s offer to help fund the Pacific country’s next election.Credit:AP

Yesterday, Foreign Minister Penny Wong announced the government had formally offered to help fund Solomon Islands’ elections, saying Australia has a longstanding commitment to promoting democracy throughout the Pacific.

Sogavare’s broadside follows his signing earlier this year of a controversial security pact with China and a recent decision to temporarily ban naval vessels from countries such as the United States from docking in the country.

More on this issue here.

This morning’s key headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Wednesday, September 7. 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.

  • The prime minister of the Solomon Islands has blasted Australia’s offer to subsidise his country’s upcoming election as “an assault on our parliamentary democracy”.
  • In case you missed it, the RBA yesterday lifted the official cash rate to 2.35 per cent. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says his government’s upcoming budget will contain cost-of-living relief, but tough decisions will have to be made. The PM is due to hold a press conference around 7.30am AEST.
  • And in other news, childcare workers across the country are striking for better pay and conditions. And a Senate fight looms over changes to the taxes governing electric vehicles.
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