Morning Mail: hope for voice breakthrough, Aukus subs bill ticks higher, Boris Johnson admits ‘good faith’ fibs

<span>Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP</span>
Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Morning, everyone. It’s shaping up to be a busy fortnight in Canberra. Anthony Albanese warned the Labor caucus that few of the party’s efforts to change the constitution down the years have succeeded but there is hope today that the Coalition could be prepared to swing behind the Indigenous voice referendum bill – the laws setting the vote in motion. On the downside, the Aukus subs deal may mean paying even more to boost the submarine industrial capacity of the US and the UK than the announced $3bn, a minister tells us.

Overseas, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have finished their Moscow meeting with warm words for each other but no change in the “peace” plan that China has proposed for Ukraine, which has been criticised for allowing the Kremlin to keep its territorial gains from the invasion. Plus, why Boris Johnson lied in “good faith” – and Gwyneth Paltrow’s disastrous 2016 skiing trip is the subject of the latest big celebrity trial.


A Collins-class submarine at HMAS Stirling in Perth
A Collins-class submarine at HMAS Stirling in Perth. Photograph: Richard Wainwright/AAP
  • Exclusive | Australian taxpayers may end up spending more than the $3bn initially announced to boost the submarine industrial capacity of the US and the UK under the Aukus deal, the defence industry minister, Pat Conroy, has revealed.

  • Voice hope | A breakthrough on the voice to parliament impasse could be close after stakeholders held talks into the night, with the Coalition considering a backflip towards supporting Labor’s referendum machinery changes in a potential rare show of bipartisanship on the issue.

  • Fit to drink? | Angry residents of Menindee made government officials drink a mug of tap water at a heated town hall meeting last night after they told sceptical residents that it met the national standards despite the catastrophic fish kill in the Darling-Baaka River.

  • Below the breadline | The majority of people on jobseeker and parenting payments are living in poverty while about a third of single parents are also below the breadline, according to a study.

  • ‘It’s very big’ | A large new species of trapdoor spider – Euoplos dignitashas been discovered in Queensland, with females growing up to 5cm long.


Boris Johnson in London
Boris Johnson in London. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Full Story

How the Catholic Church is blocking survivor compensation claims

Our reporter Christopher Knaus explains why the Catholic church appears to be returning to the aggressive approach it once took to save money and silence abuse survivors. He has also written this excellent piece exploring the stories of those victims, including Craig Waters (pictured), and their fight for compensation and justice.


The retirement of popular sitting MPs and the mix of state and federal issues make for an intriguing NSW election night on Saturday, with western Sydney as usual expected to be the decisive battleground. But despite Labor’s campaign by candidates such as Karen McKeown (pictured) focusing on the cost of living, it’s not clear voters blame the Perrottet government for the pain, writes Anne Davies.

Not the news

With elections in mind, this week’s Stream Team pick is Don’s Party, the 1976 Bruce Beresford film that follows a group of mostly Labor-supporting friends who gather for a polling night party in 1969. As it slowly becomes clear it won’t be their night, the guests turn to alcohol and sex, demonstrating why Australians should never talk politics with friends.

The world of sport

Team Japan celebrate after beating their Mexican rivals in Miami
Team Japan celebrate after beating their Mexican rivals in Miami. Photograph: Sam Navarro/USA Today Sports

Media roundup

The Hobart Mercury reports that an anti-transgender rally outside parliament was drowned out by LGBTQI+ supporters. The Victorian Greens have decided against supporting an opposition bid to establish a parliamentary committee to investigate concerns of government corruption, the Herald Sun reports. Voters in Newcastle say tackling climate change is the most important issue as they head to the polls this week, according to the Newcastle Herald. There are calls for greater security at bottle shops in Darwin after a store attendant was stabbed to death at the weekend, the NT News says.

What’s happening today

  • NSW election | The final leaders’ debate takes place on Sky from 7.30pm AEDT.

  • Sydney | The will be a court mention for a man facing 91 charges of defrauding the NSW government of $246,450 via Covid and natural disaster payment schemes.

  • Housing | The ABS will release figures estimating the level of homelessness.

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Brain teaser

And finally, here are the Guardian’s crosswords to keep you entertained throughout the day – with plenty more on the Guardian’s Puzzles app for iOS and Android. Until tomorrow.