Australia news LIVE: Treasurer flags childcare, parental leave subsidies in $7.5 billion cost of living relief package; Lehrmann trial jury to reconvene after verdict not reached

Key posts

  • What our experts think about Labor’s budget at a glance
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
  • 1 of 1

$75m to prepare for Indigenous Voice to parliament

In case you missed it, this Australia’s electoral commission will be beefed up by almost $70 million over two years to prepare for a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to parliament.

An agency helping drive the federal government’s Yes case will receive $6.5 million.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, at the Garma festival in East Arnhem Land in July, recently told the Voice working group the government was “all in” on the Voice referendum.Credit:AAP

In a move likely to provoke opponents of the Voice proposal, the National Indigenous Australians Agency will receive $6.5 million by 2023-24, with part of it to be spent on the working groups set up to advise the government on its referendum strategy.

The budget papers reveal the money is to go towards the referendum efforts, “including the establishment of a governance structure to support the special advisory groups that will engage with stakeholders and provide advice to government”.

Read more about what funding will be in place for the Indigenous Voice here. 

What our experts think about Labor’s budget at a glance

Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ first budget made good on several of Labor’s election promises, but there is still plenty of work ahead for him and the government.

Here’s what the experts had to say:

David Crowe: The devastating line that worked so well for Labor only months ago is now rebounding on Jim Chalmers in a budget that cannot guarantee the most important election promise of all.

Shane Wright : There are no longer four horsemen of the Apocalypse. There are five stubborn donkeys of debt and deficit, and their names are interest, aged care, health, defence and the NDIS.

Jessica Irvine: Australian households hoping for significant cost-of-living “relief” in this budget will be sorely disappointed.

Ross Gittins: This “solid and sensible” budget is not so much good or bad as incomplete.

Peter Hartcher: Dr Jim Chalmers has observed the doctor’s sacred obligation under the Hippocratic oath – do no harm.

Read more of the expert analysis on the budget here. 

Labor’s first budget is a financial reckoning

Households will be hit by a 56 per cent surge in energy bills in the coming two years but will receive no federal payments to help with the challenge in a crucial Labor decision to avoid cash assistance that would add to rampant inflation.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers warned of soaring prices and slowing economic growth in Labor’s first budget in nine years, revealing a grim forecast that included a potential spike in unemployment to 5 per cent if Australia is caught in a deepening global downturn or even a recession.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers delivers the 2022-23 federal budget on Tuesday.Credit:Getty Images

Chalmers revealed the bleak outlook with a pledge to use tougher regulation to control electricity and gas prices on the grounds that pouring more cash into the economy would undermine the budget effort to halt the rise in consumer prices.

Read more from chief political correspondent David Crowe on the budget here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning, and thanks for your company.

It’s Wednesday, October 25 and it’s the day after the budget. I’m Caroline Schelle, 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:

  • Households will be hit by a 56 per cent surge in energy bills in the coming two years
  • Australia’s electoral commission will be beefed up by almost $70 million to prepare for the referendum on an Indigenous Voice to parliamen
  • Voters deliver their verdict on Labor’s first budget in a decade
  • Controversial neurosurgeon Charie Teo defended surgeries, apologises for outcomes
  • The jury in the trial of Bruce Lehrmann has been sent home for “respite”
  • Russia takes Ukraine ‘dirty bomb’ accusation to the UN
  • The UK’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak vows to ‘unite’ the country
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