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Fallout from leaders’ debate continues as early voting centres open – as it happened | Australian politics

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What we learned today, Monday 9 May

People’s ears were still ringing today from last night’s debate, but the election campaign rolled on … and on …

Here are some of the highlights:

See you back here tomorrow afternoon, after Amy Remeikis shepherds you through the main part of the day.

The Liberal candidate for Warringah, Katherine Deves, has chosen to appear on Sky News to repeat some of her earlier comments:

Katherine Deves has doubled down on use of term “surgically mutilated” to describe trans teenagers ensuring PM will he bounced on this issue again and can no longer say she’s walked away from the comments https://t.co/y0PA7pRXYN

— Samantha Maiden (@samanthamaiden) May 9, 2022

First Dog on the Moon:

It’s gotten so bad even Guardian columnists are allowed to swear now.

Now for something different! And it’s happening right about now …

As independents challenge the major parties in safe seats across the country, former Indi MP Cathy McGowan joins Gabrielle Chan to discuss the state of play in rural electorates in the 2022 campaign and what it might mean for politics in the next decade. We will going live straight into the event page and onto our Guardian Australia Facebook page.

And here’s the livestream.

Here are some more details on the flood danger in Queensland, from Caitlin Cassidy. Stay safe, everyone!

Earlier, Paul Karp factchecked the leaders’ debate. One of the biggest clangers? Prime minister Scott Morrison’s claim he blew the whistle on neglect in aged care.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation says the claim is “not only astonishing, it’s offensive”. The federation’s chief executive, Annie Butler, says aged care nurses and workers have been campaigning to fix the crisis “for years”, but were ignored:

It was only following the shocking expose on aged care by Four Corners that the prime minister finally acted – not to fix the problems in the sector but to, yet again, ‘kick the can down the road’ by calling a royal commission into safety and quality in aged care.

The government has had almost a decade to address the worsening situation in aged care. It has failed to deliver.

And here are some images from Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s day (including another gratuitous dog):

The Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, and South Australian premier, Peter Malinauskas, speak to the media during a visit to Flinders medical centre in Adelaide
The Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, and South Australian premier, Peter Malinauskas, speak to the media during a visit to Flinders medical centre in Adelaide. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP
The Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, and Labor candidate for the seat of Boothby, Louise Miller-Frost, speak to voters during a visit to a prepoll booth at Colonel Light Gardens in Adelaide
Albanese and Labor candidate for the seat of Boothby, Louise Miller-Frost, speak to voters during a visit to a prepoll booth at Colonel Light Gardens in Adelaide. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP
Albanese poses for a selfie with students during a visit to his old school at St Mary’s Cathedral school in Sydney
Albanese poses for a selfie with students during a visit to his old school at St Mary’s Cathedral school in Sydney. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Some snaps on the trail of prime minister Scott Morrison today, thanks to AAP:

Prime minister Scott Morrison at a community afternoon tea at the Nowra Golf Club in the seat of Gilmore
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, at a community afternoon tea at the Nowra golf club in the seat of Gilmore. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP
Prime minister Scott Morrison with a rainbow at a press conference at the Sikorsky Hangar at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, in the seat of Gilmore
Morrison at the Sikorsky Hangar at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, in the seat of Gilmore. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP
Prime minister Scott Morrison looks at a Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk helicopter at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, in the seat of Gilmore
Morrison looks at a Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk helicopter at HMAS Albatross. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Katharine Murphy and Sarah Martin have taken a look at the whirls and eddies of preference flows:

Josh Butler’s election briefing is in. He takes a look at the leaders’ moves today, the biggest issues, the fallout from the debate – including that surprise admission from prime minister Scott Morrison:

7,516 Covid deaths in Australia:

Spotted: One Alan Tudge. Cait Kelly finds out what the elusive minister has been up to:

Peter Hannam

The Australian dollar today dipped below 70 US cents for the first time since late January, testing a level that it’s nudged a couple of times in the past 20 months.

The falling dollar reflects expectations the US federal reserve, that country’s central bank, will be more aggressive in lifting interest rates than the Reserve Bank of Australia at least in the near term. (Investors move money to where they hope to get a better return.)

Australian dollar has dipped below 70 US cents today, a shift that will ‘import’ more inflation. Expectations the US Fed in the near term will increase interest rates faster than the RBA one of the factors. #ausvotes #auspol pic.twitter.com/qLbi1j8rNL

— Peter Hannam (@p_hannam) May 9, 2022

A gauge of six major currencies shows the US currency is now at its highest since 2002, Reuters said. So it’s not just an Australian thing.

Still, the Aussie dollar is supported by the fact the country happens to be a big exporter in commodities that are both in high demand and priced in US dollars.

And as Westpac said this afternoon:

Last week Australia reported its 51st consecutive monthly trade surplus. Coal prices are on the rise again though metals prices have wobbled somewhat as China’s Covid lockdowns continue.

Still, a weaker Australian dollar means Australia will import more inflation, and increases the odds the RBA will have to hike the cash rate faster too. Fuel will be among goods that will be more costly as the Aussie dollar slips. (As noted in an earlier post, investors are predicting the RBA’s cash rate will rise from 0.35% after last week’s board meeting to 1% as soon as its July gathering.)

While a weaker local dollar isn’t great if you were planning to visit a country where their currency is pegged to the US dollar, there are other attractive places to go.

For instance, the Japanese yen has been particularly weak versus the greenback for months, while the Aussie dollar also rose above NZ$1.10 last week for the first time since August 2020, Westpac said.

Today’s Campaign catchup has dropped! Katharine Murphy is on the mic with Jane Lee, talking about the shouty debate, and the whispers to prepoll voters:

Looks like the short-term sugar hit isn’t helping with those spikes:



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