Australia news live: Sydney Harbour shark attack victim ‘stable’ in hospital; fresh floods after intense rain in Queensland | Australia news

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Sydney harbour shark attack victim stable in hospital

We’ve just spoken to St Vincent’s hospital and confirmed that the woman bitten by a shark in Sydney harbour last night remains in hospital in a stable condition.

The woman, in her late 20s, was bitten on the right leg by a suspected bull shark in Elizabeth Bay last night. You can read the latest details on this below:

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Key events

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service conducted 13 rescue jobs overnight, as south east parts of the state were lashed with rain and flooding.

A spokesperson said 13 swift-water rescue jobs were completed overnight. Majority of these were in the Moreton Bay region, where people were trapped in their homes with rising floodwaters.

Rescue jobs were also completed in Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Darling Downs.

Meanwhile, the SES received 28 requests for assistance in the Moreton Bay area in the past 24 hours.

Greens MP for Brisbane Stephen Bates says “no one should have to ring around for hours” to find a bulk-billing GP, after the health minister Mark Butler encouraged people to do so.

As Josh Butler reported, the health minister yesterday encouraged Australians to “ring around” doctors in their area and “vote with your feet” to find GPs offering bulk billing. This comes as concerns continue over whether enough is being done to stop medical clinics winding back subsidised visits:

Bates claimed that only around 5% of GPs in his electorate bulk bill new patients. He wrote on X:

Stop treating healthcare as a market place and telling people to ‘vote with their feet.’

No one should have to ring around for hours trying to find affordable healthcare. It should be free at the point of use.

Around 5% of GPs in my electorate bulk bill new patients.

Stop treating healthcare as a market place and telling people to “vote with their feet.”

No one should have to ring around for hours trying to find affordable healthcare. It should be free at the point of use.

— Stephen Bates (@stephenbatesmp) January 29, 2024

Zoe Daniel agreed that we need to have a broader conversation around Australia’s tax system and the economy.

I think broad-based tax reform, big structural changes, that is the kind of thing that you would take to an election and quite frankly, given where we are in the electoral cycle, we wouldn’t be able to get it done in time anyway.

So, you know, it is the kind of structural policy shift that the government could build, to take to the election. It will have to happen eventually. It is inevitable. So the government at some point is going to have to be brave and step into this conversation, which is affecting all different parts of our society and economy in different ways… it has to be everything on the table.

Kate Chaney agreed with the sentiment and said because it is “politically unpalatable to talk about tax … nothing ever changes”.

I completely agree that it should be an election issue at the next election.

Chaney argued the government needs courage, but also the opposition – so that if they don’t like a proposal or reform “they come up with an alternative and and give people a choice”.

But that will actually depend on having that conversation with the community about why change is needed, and building some momentum behind it, and building an appetite so that we can see that the necessary changes, rather than focusing on what it all means for me, if one little bit of the tax system is changes.

Kate Chaney argued that both sides of politics need to “put down [their] weapons” and engage in a broader conversation about the country’s economy:

We have a situation where we have an ageing population, over reliance income tax … inadequate revenue for our natural resources and compared to other countries, lower consumption tax and smaller base, we have a structural deficit. We can’t pay for the things that we think we deserve, and we need to have a broad conversation … over the next 20 years about how we’re going to pay for this.

Both sides are willing to talk about tax cuts, but no one’s worried about where the money’s actually going to come from… In the [19]80s we managed to have some significant economic reform, and a big part of that was that the Liberal party didn’t just block it for the sake of it, [they were] willing to talk about what actually was good for the country, and how we’re going to get there. We need to put down our weapons, and have a similar discussion now about what our economy looks like over the next 20 years.

Zoe Daniel on tax changes: ‘There is strong support in the community for this shift’

The independent MPs Kate Chaney and Zoe Daniel are speaking to ABC RN and are asked for their thoughts on the stage-three tax cut changes.

First up, Chaney said that “on balance” she does support them:

The reality is we are just frozen on tax reform. And we can’t actually say you can never change your mind ever on anything. When circumstances change, we also need to be able to change policy.

Daniel said she was still finalising her position and speaking to her electorate of Goldstein for their thoughts:

I’ll wait to see the actual legislation but at this point, there is strong support in the community for this shift … I’ve had a lot of people contacting me who earn more than that [$180,000] threshold saying, look, it would be great to have that money, but other people need it more.

Independent MP for Goldstein, Zoe Daniel. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

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Sydney harbour shark attack victim stable in hospital

We’ve just spoken to St Vincent’s hospital and confirmed that the woman bitten by a shark in Sydney harbour last night remains in hospital in a stable condition.

The woman, in her late 20s, was bitten on the right leg by a suspected bull shark in Elizabeth Bay last night. You can read the latest details on this below:

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Some train delays in Sydney this morning

For those commuting into the Sydney CBD for work this morning, expect delays along some key routes.

Sydney Trains said that services on the T3 Bankstown Line, T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line and South Coast had been suspended in both directions after an emergency incident at St Peters earlier this morning.

Trains are now running again between Sydenham and Redfern, according to the latest update.

Sydney Trains said:

Passengers should continue to allow plenty of extra travel time as some services continue to experience delays.

Passengers should also listen to announcements and check information displays for service updates.

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Sydney councillor ‘extremely concerned’ about shark attack in Elizabeth Bay

Sydney councillor Linda Scott says she is “extremely concerned” about the shark attack in Sydney harbour last night.

Last night, a woman in her late 20s was bitten on the right leg by a suspected bull shark in Elizabeth Bay. Paramedics were called about 7.45pm to help the woman, who managed to swim to a jetty following the attack. You can read all the details below:

Scott urged people to “please, stay out of the harbour until further notice”, writing on X:

Thank you to the bystanders who stood in to bravely help, and to [St Vincent’s Hospital] for their care for the victim.


I’m extremely concerned to learn of a shark attack in our City of Sydney this evening.

A women has received severe injuries as a result of an attack near Billyard Avenue, Elizabeth Bay.

Please, stay out of the harbour until further notice.
📸 Amelia Schremmer

— Councillor Linda Scott (@ClrLindaScott) January 29, 2024

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Good morning

Emily Wind

Emily Wind

Thanks to Martin for kicking things off this morning! I’m Emily Wind, and I’ll be with you on the blog today.

See something that needs attention? You can get in touch via X, @emilywindwrites, or send me an email:

With that, let’s get started.

Josh Butler

Josh Butler

Morrison says he thought Prince Philip knighthood news ‘was a gag’

One lighter moment among the serious political machinations of the episode was the discussion among Coalition MPs of Abbott’s “captain’s call” decision to extend a knighthood to Prince Philip.

“I was on my way to my first citizenship ceremony and to my horror, at about 7:45, the news came over the radio that we’d made Prince Philip a knight on Australia Day,” said former minister Christopher Pyne.

“And I won’t say what I said because it’s on television, but I thought, ‘this is going to be a really bad day’.”

Reminded of the episode, Barnaby Joyce simply said: “Prince Philip. Oh god. That was a shocker.”

Morrison claimed: “I thought it was fake news. I thought it was a gag.”

Turnbull responded: “[Abbott] was, at least on this occasion, quite crackers.”

Abbott didn’t appear in the series so didn’t get a chance to respond on-camera to those remarks. But you can read how we reported on this at the time and how it contributed to Abbott’s exit.

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Josh Butler

Josh Butler

Scott Morrison asked about robodebt in ABC documentary

Returning to last night’s ABC documentary: while later episodes of Nemesis will take in the end of Turnbull’s leadership and the start of Scott Morrison’s, the most recent former PM does make quite an appearance in the first episode.

At one stage, the conversation turns to the robodebt scheme, which was championed by Morrison as social services minister and then treasurer. Asked by host Mark Willacy what he would say to people affected by the robodebt scandal, Morrison gave a similar answer to his responses after the royal commission report was released:

“Policy decisions you make from time to time won’t go as you had intended them to. [We didn’t want to] cause harm to anyone.

“If we had been advised by the department that they had legal advice which said this was not lawful, it would never have been taken forward.”

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More on the floods in Australia’s north

“The Boulia road through to Alice Springs has currently got three metres of water over the crossings,” Winton Mayor Gavin Baskett told AAP.

“Some of the crossings are at the highest (flood levels) some graziers have ever seen them.”

Winton’s local disaster management group has been activated with some properties bunkering down for a long, isolated period in flood waters.

“They are all graziers out there, lucky it isn’t tourist season,” Mr Baskett said.

The Bureau of Meteorology said ex-tropical cyclone Kirrilly was expected to linger between Mount Isa and Longreach for the next few days.

Flood warnings are current for large parts of central Queensland as well as the south-east.

Flood watches have also been issued for parts of western Queensland as well as much of central and southeast of the state plus NSW’s northeast.

The bureau said forecast rainfall in those areas could lead to flash or riverine flooding in the next 48 hours.

“In the worst case it could lead to inundation of homes, properties, businesses and agricultural land,” the bureau warned.

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Flood warnings in Queensland as rain and storms continue

Widespread showers and thunderstorms look set to continue at rain-lashed Queensland regions, sparking flood warnings, Australian Associated Press reports.

Isolated falls of up to 300mm are predicted this week, with moderate to heavy rainfall set for much of Queensland’s southern interior and south-east.

Showers and storms are forecast for south-east Queensland and northern NSW today, slowly moving north.

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Kirrily is also ensuring more wet weather in Queensland’s northwest, days after crossing the coast.

South of Cloncurry has been one of the worst hit out west with Seymour Gap receiving 256mm in 24 hours, while 244mm fell at Kirby.

Further south at Winton, all rural roads are cut with some properties set to be isolated for six to eight weeks due to flood waters.

West of Winton towards Boulia, the Middleton community has recorded about 450mm since the weekend.

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Turnbull tells ABC about Abbott’s reaction to being ousted

Josh Butler

Josh Butler

Malcolm Turnbull claimed Tony Abbott “didn’t welcome my inquiries” when he reached out after the 2015 Liberal leadership coup.

“He generally told me to fuck off. He had quite a few variations on that,” Turnbull said in the ABC series Nemesis, the first episode of which aired last night.

Abbott did not accept an invitation to appear in the series.

The series, about the Coalition government’s time in power, tracked the Abbott prime ministership in last night’s episode. It catalogued the thoughts of Turnbull, Scott Morrison, George Brandis, Barnaby Joyce and Josh Frydenberg – among many others – at key points of Abbott’s time in office, from the knighthood for Prince Philip to Bronwyn Bishop’s choppergate scandal.

Asked about the aftermath of the leadership spill that saw Abbott deposed and Turnbull promoted to the prime minister’s office, Turnbull said: “I did reach out to Abbott to see how he was going. He didn’t welcome my inquiries.”

The next episode in the series will air next Monday at 8pm.

Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull in the House of Representatives in September 2015. Photograph: Sam Mooy/AAP

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Good morning and welcome to our rolling news blog. I’m Martin Farrer and I’ll be bringing you some of the best overnight stories before my colleague Emily Wind takes the reins.

He might have copped a booing at the tennis, but Anthony Albanese will be able to take heart from our latest Essential poll showing that one in two voters approve of his controversial tax overhaul. Almost half of voters support revising the stage-three tax cuts to help low- and middle-income earners while only 22% of people thought the Coalition’s original plan should proceed unchanged.

The total number of rental listings in Australia hit a record low in December at 30.2% below the average for the month over the past decade, according to the PropTrack rental report. It means tenants are facing ever higher rents with the median rent on surging 11.5% over the year to $580 a week. We also have Emily Wind describing what it feels like to be caught up in Sydney’s rental madness where she has been hit with a $400-a-week rise.

Malcolm Turnbull has told the ABC’s Nemesis documentary that Tony Abbott strongly rejected his attempts to reach out after the former’s leadership coup in 2015. The first episode also featured Scott Morrison’s ruminations on the robodebt scheme and former Coalition cabinet members on how they reacted to Abbott’s decision to give Prince Philip a knighthood. More coming up.

A woman was fighting for her life overnight after being seriously injured in an attack by a suspected bull shark while swimming in Sydney harbour. We’ll bring you updates on that when we have them.

And Queensland is, yet again, facing new flood warnings as widespread showers and thunderstorms continue.