Australia news LIVE: 2021 Australian census data released; Sydney train commuters prepare for delays amid industrial action; Albanese arrives at NATO summit

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Australia news LIVE: 2021 Australian census data released; Sydney train commuters prepare for delays amid industrial action; Albanese arrives at NATO summit

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Victoria’s Deputy Premier tests positive for COVID one day after being sworn in

By Ashleigh McMillan

Australia capable of strong economy and robust environmental protections: Plibersek

By Ashleigh McMillan

Australia’s Environment Minister says there needs to be some “accommodation” between supporting policies for climate change and ensuring the strength of the economy.

Tanya Plibersek is currently attending the 2022 UN Oceans Conference, and says it is important for Australia to “cooperate” with other Pacific nations on issues like overfishing and pollution.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“People that we’re talking to are just delighted that Australia has a higher ambition on climate change,” she said on Tuesday morning.

“I have to say a lot of the meetings I’ve had – particularly with Pacific nations – the focus has been on issues like blue carbon on plastics, pollution in the oceans, overfishing … all of these (matters) have been really important to our Pacific community.

“They’re areas where Australia has traditionally cooperated really well with Pacific partners and we want to see that cooperation.”

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When asked why the Labor government was supporting explorative gas fracking in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin when fossil fuels contribute to climate change, Plibersek said there needed to some “accommodation”.

“We absolutely know that we need a strong growing economy and the jobs that come with that, but we also need stronger environmental protections,” she said.

“I’m not gonna start commenting on individual projects but I will say this: we are capable as a nation of having a strong, growing economy, and stronger environmental protections.”

Eleven fatalities after Russian missile strikes crowded mall

By Simon Lewis

Kremenchuk, Ukraine: Two Russian missiles have slammed into a crowded shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, killing at least 11 people and wounding 50, the regional governor said.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said more than 1000 people were in the shopping centre at the time of the attack on Monday (Ukraine time), which witnesses said caused a huge fire and sent dark smoke billowing into the sky.

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a shopping centre burned after a rocket attack in Kremenchuk.

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a shopping centre burned after a rocket attack in Kremenchuk.Credit:Ukrainian State Emergency Service via AP

A Reuters reporter saw the charred husk of a shopping complex with a caved-in roof. Firefighters and soldiers were pulling out mangled pieces of metal as they searched for survivors.

“It is impossible to even imagine the number of victims … It’s useless to hope for decency and humanity from Russia,” Zelensky wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

A shopping centre in the Ukrainian town of Kremenchuk after it was hit by a Russian missile.

A shopping centre in the Ukrainian town of Kremenchuk after it was hit by a Russian missile.Credit:AP

Dmytro Lunin, governor of the central Poltava region, wrote on Telegram that 11 people had now been confirmed killed by the strike, adding that rescue workers would keep searching through the smouldering rubble, with more bodies likely to be found.

“It’s an act of terrorism against civilians,” he said separately, suggesting there was no military target nearby that Russia could have been aiming at.

Reuters/AP

OK, Boomers, move aside for the Millennials’ reign

By Shane Wright, Carla Jaeger and Angus Thomson

The Baby Boomers’ time at the centre of Australian economic and policy debate is ending, with the 2021 national census revealing they have been matched in number by Millennials.

The first elements of the census, to be released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, show Boomers and Millennials now each account for 21.5 per cent of the nation’s 25.5 million residents.

Millennial Demi Kotsoris, working from her van in Bondi, says her generation is one in limbo.

Millennial Demi Kotsoris, working from her van in Bondi, says her generation is one in limbo.Credit:Wolter Peeters

There are about 5.4 million in each generation. Just 5662 more Boomers were counted on August 10 last year.

A decade ago, Boomers – people born between 1946 and 1965 – accounted for more than 25 per cent of Australians while 20 per cent of the population were Millennials.

Australian Statistician David Gruen said the information about the changing number of people in each generation would help frame government policy over coming years.

“The data collected by the census assists governments and community organisations to understand the needs of each generation,” he said.

Police ‘out in force’ as more disruptive climate protests expected in Sydney

By Jenny Noyes and Ashleigh McMillan

Police say they are poised to pounce on climate protesters planning to conduct further unauthorised protests this week after members of the Blockade Australia group caused major disruptions across Sydney’s CBD on Monday, leading to 10 arrests with more expected in coming days.

Adding to the chaos, train commuters across NSW have been warned to expect “significant delays” on Tuesday due to protected industrial action, which will see peak-hour services reduced by 50 per cent.

Blockade Australia climate change protestors in Sydney CBD on Monday.

Blockade Australia climate change protestors in Sydney CBD on Monday.Credit:Brook Mitchell

Most of the group – numbering about 60 – converged on Hyde Park about 8am on Monday before dispersing across the streets, deliberately getting in the way of traffic and making use of objects in their path – chairs, sandwich boards and traffic barricades – to maximise their impact.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Paul Dunstan told reporters police would review CCTV and other video footage and warned protesters to “expect a knock on your door”.

Police were “unaware” of what Blockade Australia has planned for Tuesday, he said.

But as the group has flagged the entire week for protest action, police would be “out in force in all locations”.

Jonah Shabtay, the spokesman for Blockade Australia, told the ABC’s RN Breakfast that activists would be using “creative tactics” in the Sydney CBD again today.

Blockade Australia climate change protestors on Monday.

Blockade Australia climate change protestors on Monday.Credit:Brook Mitchell

“It’s not something we’re excited about – blocking roads,” he said on Tuesday morning.

“We’ve seen rallies in the city with 100,000 people that haven’t produced any results, so we really want people to see what we’re doing and realise that it’s for everyone.

“Everyone should care about having a healthy, livable planet, and the minor inconveniences caused are nothing compared to what we’re all facing.

“Making a disruption in that way is really the only way we’re going to see change.”

Albanese says Russia’s ‘brutal’ invasion has major consequences for world

By Rob Harris

Madrid: Anthony Albanese says a strong and united NATO is in Australia’s strategic interests, as he called on democratic nations to stay the course on their support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s “brutal” invasion.

Landing in Madrid on Monday evening (Madrid time), the Australian prime minister told journalists that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of its neighbour in late February had broken international law and had major consequences for the world.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrives at Torrejón Air Base.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrives at Torrejón Air Base.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Albanese is among four Asia-Pacific leaders – along with Korea, Japan and New Zealand – invited to the two-day summit of the North Atlantic Alliance in Madrid, which will help shape the military pact’s posturing over the coming decade.

His comments coincided with the Group of Seven club of wealthy nations vow on Monday to stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes”, promising to tighten the squeeze on Russia’s finances with new sanctions that include a proposal to cap the price of Russian oil.

The announcement came after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, addressing G7 leaders at their summit in the Bavarian Alps via a video link, asked for weapons and air defences to gain the upper hand in the war against Russia within months.

Read the full article here.

Today’s headlines at a glance

By Ashleigh McMillan

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Tuesday, June 28. I’m Ashleigh McMillan and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started.

  • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrived in Madrid overnight for the NATO summit. He said a strong and united NATO was in Australia’s strategic interests, as he called on democratic nations to stay the course on their support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s “brutal” invasion.
  • Australia’s 2021 census data has dropped this morning. Some of the most interesting points include the fact that the number of Millennials has drawn equal with Baby Boomers, while the proportion of self-identified Christians has dropped below 50 per cent for the first time.
  • Train commuters across NSW have been warned to expect “significant delays” today due to protected industrial action, which will see peak-hour services reduced by 50 per cent.
  • Further on the census, one-third of Australians have a diagnosed long-term health condition, with mental health issues surpassing every other chronic illness.
  • Three independent MPs say federal Labor is deliberately cutting their staff allocation to damage their electoral chances, while new Kooyong MP Monique Ryan has warned a second wave of independents could target Labor marginal seats in Melbourne at the 2025 election.
  • Two Russian missiles have slammed into a crowded shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, killing at least 11 people and wounding 50. President Volodymyr Zelensky said more than 1000 people were in the shopping centre at the time.

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