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Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly has called on Australians of all ages to spread the word about the health dangers of e-cigarettes.

The national health and medical research council released its latest report on e-cigarettes on Thursday and NHMFC chief executive Anne Kelso and Kelly spoke about the report at a press conference.

An anti-vaping message from NSW Health.

An anti-vaping message from NSW Health.

The report found “the vapour from e-cigarette devices can be harmful and there is limited evidence that e-cigarettes are effective at helping smokers quit.”

It further found that scientific evidence showed that:

  • All e-cigarette users are exposed to chemicals and toxins that have the potential to cause harm. In addition to nicotine, more than 200 chemicals have been associated with e-liquids.
  • E-cigarettes containing nicotine are addictive and people who have never smoked are more likely to take up tobacco smoking.
  • E-cigarettes are not proven safe and effective smoking cessation aids. There are other proven safe and effective options to help smokers quit.

Kelly said nicotine was often found in vaping products sold as being “nicotine free” and health experts thought it was a serious, emerging health issue.

“One in five people aged 18 to 24, who had never smoked, reported having tried e-cigarettes,” Kelly said.

“Only one in three people who used e-cigarettes reported that they use them to help quit smoking, so most people are using them recreationally.

“One of my colleagues has said recently that e-cigarettes are the next big health issue after COVID and I think that’s a really important statement to take on board.

“Please discuss this evidence with your children, your nieces and nephews, students, players in your football or netball team, your brothers and sisters – we need that conversation out there. We need these matters to be barbecue stoppers.”

NSW Labor leader Chris Minns says this week’s state budget was designed to address the Coalition’s “teals challenge” instead of enacting real change to target the cost of living and help households.

In his budget reply speech to the parliament on Thursday Minns said Labor would do four things differently: give immediate help to household budgets, grow jobs at home, invest in education and ensure the economy delivers for “the many, not just the lucky few”.

“A Labor government will back NSW jobs with a comprehensive package of measures to get the job done,” he said.

“We’ll do things differently…creating jobs in NSW through local procurement and domestic manufacturing, ending the obsession of offshoring jobs…and stopping the gutting of regional TAFE.”

Minns announced these measures:

  • A target of 50 per cent minimum local content for future rolling stock contracts by the end of Labor’s first term in office;
  • 100 government preschools co-located with primary schools in its first four years;
  • A ban on the sale of major state assets without the approval of both houses of the NSW parliament;
  • A commitment to keep the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Harbour Tunnel in government hands;
  • Dismantling the state’s controversial rail corporation and returning rail assets to Transport for NSW.

”After four premiers, four treasurers, 12 budgets, the Liberals and Nationals are going to ask for 16 years in government,” Minns said.

“The treasurer and the premier still think they can somehow announce their way into a better future for the people of this state. The future isn’t shaped by spin.”

Minns said it was time to “turn the page on this government and begin anew,” adding “there is a better way.”

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly and National Health and Medical Research Council Professor Anne Kelso spoke about health concerns from vaping at 11am AEST.

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WA Premier Mark McGowan is due to speak to the media at 11am AEST.

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ACTU secretary Sally McManus has challenged Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe over his claim that wage growth would prolong the inflation problems in Australia.

Lowe spoke earlier this week and said he wanted to see wage growth “with a three in front of it” as a way to avoid wage inflation, while unions are calling for wage growth that is closer to inflation so Australians are not left worse off.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus said there were underlying problems with wage growth unrelated to the inflation spike.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus said there were underlying problems with wage growth unrelated to the inflation spike.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“I don’t know how he can say that – wages on March 31 were 2.55 per cent up, how is that anywhere near what he is saying in 3.5 per cent?” McManus told RN Breakfast this morning.

“We’re not achieving 3.5 per cent, let alone 5 per cent, let alone 7 per cent.

“To think somehow that the system is going to deliver across the board pay increases of 5 or 7 per cent is Boomer fantasyland and not realising that a whole system would be incapable of delivering that.

“We do not have centralised bargaining in this country. It would not be possible for that to happen. Even if the union movement wanted that to happen this year., it’s not possible to all of a sudden turn around and have a 2 per cent, 2.3 per cent overall pay increases and be delivering that amount of money.

“I think what he is saying is that in future, if you deliver pay rises above inflation, then it could lead to inflation – I think it is a warning rather than saying it is a problem right now.”

The delayed trial of Bruce Lehrmann, who is charged with allegedly raping Brittany Higgins, will now happen in October.

Former ministerial staffer Lehrmann is facing one charge of sexual intercourse without consent, relating to an alleged incident in Parliament House in 2019.

Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann will now face trial in October.

Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann will now face trial in October.

His trial in the ACT Supreme Court was supposed to start on June 27 but was delayed on Tuesday amid a fresh round of public commentary after Network 10 journalist Lisa Wilkinson won a Logie award for her interview with Higgins about the allegations.

Click here to read the story.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews believes the state’s science and innovation can match it with the world’s best.

Andrews announced $100 million from the Breakthrough Victoria fund to universities so groundbreaking ideas can be turned into commercial propositions.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.Credit:Wayne Taylor

Among the examples was a prosthetic bone which can replace the work done by screws and other surgical devices which has been developed at RMIT in partnership with other companies and investors.

Andrews said turning the ideas of innovators into jobs and profits would help Victoria continue to grow after the pandemic.

“This is a big part of our future. But it’s happening right now,” Andrews said on Thursday.

“It’s not about waiting with a sense of hope that there’s private sector investment. You’ve got to make these things happen. You’ve got to capture these ideas, help them come to fruition and then make sure that the jobs are right here in Melbourne and across Victoria, in every single industry.

“What we’ve seen today is a unique capability. This is a fantastic centre of training and learning and the partnerships with industry are second to none.

“We can’t take anything for granted. We’ve got big challenges as a state as a nation coming out of COVID. And the only way to deal with those challenges is to grow our way out of those challenges. And if you have all the best ideas coming from Melbourne, but the profits and the jobs are going to Singapore or to San Francisco, that’s no good for Victoria.

“This is about supporting universities and those who through universities make these amazing, amazing discoveries. Coming up with these great ideas. They just need some support to take those ideas and turn them into products, profits and jobs and that’s exactly what this platform will do.

“We’re delighted to be here today. It’s $100 million. It’s not a cost of the budget. It’s a profound investment in making sure that we make more things here and that we have more people in work right here.

“When you talk about great cities of the world for science – and the same can be said for innovation and product development – for tech, you’ve got London, you’ve got Boston, and you’ve got Melbourne and we need to make sure that we value that and we continually invest to make sure that leading position is guaranteed, guaranteed for the future.”

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has directed the secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet to conduct a review into the appointment of John Barilaro as a New York-based trade commissioner.

Perrottet on Thursday said he had tasked Michael Coutts-Trotter with completing the review into the circumstances that led to the former deputy premier’s appointment to the $500,000 a year job.

Former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro has been appointed to the plum role of US trade commissioner.

Former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro has been appointed to the plum role of US trade commissioner.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

“He will provide that report to me. I will review it and I will make it public,” the premier said.

Liberal ministers and backbenchers remain angry that the job was handed to the former deputy premier six months after he quit state politics. They questioned why the decision did not go to cabinet for approval.

A 2021 selection panel shortlisted four candidates, with claims one NSW bureaucrat was even offered the position before it was rescinded later that year.

Perrottet on Wednesday moved to distance himself from the decision and shifted focus towards the senior public servant he said was ultimately responsible for the appointment.

Premier Dominic Perrottet has defended the NSW government’s plan to dramatically hike fines for illegal industrial action ahead of intended public sector strikes next week.

Nurses and teachers intend to strike next Tuesday and Thursday in response to the government’s 3 per cent public sector wage increase.

“These fines today should act as a deterrent for not conducting illegal strikes”: Premier Dominic Perrottet.

“These fines today should act as a deterrent for not conducting illegal strikes”: Premier Dominic Perrottet.Credit:Brooke Mitchell

The penalty for the first day of an illegal strike has jumped from $10,000 to $55,000. A fine of $27,500 will be handed down each day after that.

Repeat union offenders will be hit with a penalty of $110,000 for the initial day followed by $55,000 every day after that.

“These fines today should act as a deterrent for not conducting illegal strikes. These are strikes the Industrial Relations Commission has deemed to be illegal,” Perrottet said in a press conference on Thursday morning.

“If we have to take further action, we will,” he said before adding that the penalties brought NSW into line with the rest of the country’s jurisdictions.

He then asked the unions to be “fair and reasonable” and to “work with the NSW government”.

Judges, social workers and bureaucrats assessing child protection cases will be required to weigh up the impact that colonisation and intergenerational trauma has had on vulnerable Aboriginal families under legislation being debated in the Victorian parliament.

Under the proposed law, fewer Aboriginal children will be separated from their families – and for shorter periods of time – while Indigenous organisations, such as the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, will be empowered to manage cases.

Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency chief executive Muriel Bamblett said the new laws would end the cycle of child removals from Aboriginal families.

Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency chief executive Muriel Bamblett said the new laws would end the cycle of child removals from Aboriginal families.Credit:Jason South

“This bill will enable us to not just stop the cycle of child removal but hopefully stop the cycle of family violence, mainly by non-Indigenous men against Aboriginal women and their children,” the agency’s chief executive, Muriel Bamblett, said.

“Strengthening the whole family is the only way forward.”

Click here to read the story.