Afternoon Update: Coalition’s nuclear ‘fantasy’; Cape York’s Unesco dream; and Ash Barty’s tennis return

<span>Anthony Albanese has labelled the Coalition’s claims of reducing energy bills via nuclear power a ‘fantasy’.</span><span>Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP</span>
Anthony Albanese has labelled the Coalition’s claims of reducing energy bills via nuclear power a ‘fantasy’.Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

Welcome, readers, to Afternoon Update.

As the federal Coalition begins its soft-sell on nuclear energy, the government has muscled up to push back, with Anthony Albanese labelling the Coalition’s claims of reducing energy bills via nuclear power a “fantasy”.

The fallout continued throughout the day, with the South Australian premier, Peter Malinauskas, the Victorian premier, Jacinta Allan, and the Queensland premier, Steven Miles, all joining the choir of objection regarding the Coalition’s nuclear policy.

Since rolling out the plan, senior Coalition members have struggled to explain how they would overcome key obstacles, including costings, federal and state bans on nuclear and unwilling sellers of the seven sites.

Though they have now revealed seven sites across Australia for proposed nuclear reactors, Dutton said the lack of further specifics was “a deliberate step not to be held hostage by the Labor party in the scare campaign”. The shadow treasurer, Angus Taylor, confirmed the opposition would unveil its costings before the election.

Top news

  • Parts of Cape York listed on tentative Unesco world heritage list | The tentative list is the first step to full international protection and recognition, and it could take several years before full protection is granted. Australia currently has 20 world heritage sites, five of them in Queensland.

  • Mackay man charged with murder | The 31-year-old was arrested outside a service station hours after allegedly shooting a woman dead and injuring another man in north Queensland.

  • Australia renews calls for ceasefire | The Australian government has reiterated that “what is occurring in Gaza is horrific” as it renewed calls for Israel and Hamas to agree to the ceasefire proposal pushed by the US president, Joe Biden. The foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, said “we have to find a pathway out”.

  • Putin arrives in Vietnam | The Russian president’s plane touched down at Hanoi airport where he was met on a red carpet by the Vietnamese deputy prime minister, Tran Hong Ha, and top party diplomat Le Hoai Trung. The trip has drawn the ire of Vietnam’s top trade partner, the US.

  • Arrests after deadly New Caledonia protests | Police in New Caledonia have arrested the pro-independence leader Christian Tein and 10 others over their alleged roles during last month’s unrest when nine people died, including two police officers.

  • Madonna fans who sued singer dismiss lawsuit | In January, Michael Fellows and Jason Alvarez filed a class action case against the singer, the Brooklyn venue the Barclays Center and her tour promoters Live Nation after she came on stage at 10.30pm, two hours late, on 13 December.

  • Ash Barty’s tennis return | Former world No 1 Ash Barty will return to the scene of one of her greatest triumphs next month after Wimbledon organisers announced the three-time grand slam winner would play an invitational doubles match at this year’s championships.

  • Walking three times a week reduces back pain | People who walked three to five times a week, for an average of 130 minutes a week, remained pain-free for nearly twice as long compared with those who did not, and the time they had to take off work almost halved.

  • SA red wine wins prestigious international award | A $22 bottle of red wine from McLaren Vale in South Australia has won the highest accolade at the prestigious 2024 Decanter World Wine awards in London. South Australia took home three of Australia’s top eight accolades.

In pictures

Juneteenth celebrations across the US

The Juneteenth National Independence Day marks the day in 1865 when the last enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas learned that they had been freed two years earlier by the Emancipation Proclamation.

What they said …


“A toxic threat to our health, environment and future.” – Prof Steve Robson

With the Senate soon to review vape reforms, the president of the Australian Medical Association, Steve Robson, said anything other than support for the reforms was “a betrayal of a healthier, safer and cleaner future for our kids”.

In numbers

More than half of the 4,000 migrants interviewed for a new report from the Migrant Justice Institute were aware they were being underpaid, with 90% of that cohort taking no action. The associated risks and costs far out weigh the marginal prospect of success with just one subject’s claims making it to court – but recovering none of their wages.

Before bed read

‘People yell “Cousin!” at me all day’: Ebon Moss-Bachrach on thirsty fans, food porn and The Bear

From Girls to Andor to The Dropout, he is one of the best character actors around – now with the Emmy to prove it. Ahead of the debut of The Bear season 3, Moss-Bachrach discusses stress, fantasy and why he will happily work until he keels over.

Daily word game

Today’s starter word is: REST. You have five goes to get the longest word including the starter word. Play Wordiply.

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