Australia news LIVE: Anthony Albanese marks 100 days in office; Labor says industry-wide bargaining could close gender pay gap

Key posts

  • Greens, independent want $100m in funding for anti-corruption commission
  • Industry-wide bargaining could close gender pay gap: Burke
  • This morning’s key headlines at a glance
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Greens, independent want $100m in funding for anti-corruption commission

The Greens and a key crossbencher want the proposed national anti-corruption commission to be independently funded and overseen by a parliamentary committee that operates at arm’s length from the federal government.

As discussions over the proposed agency continue, the Greens and independent Helen Haines – whose votes will be required to secure passage of the legislation – have already negotiated to lower the threshold for an investigation so the agency can examine “serious or systemic corruption”, rather than conduct that is both serious and systemic.

NSW Senator David Shoebridge and Greens leader Adam Bandt campaigned on a federal integrity commission.Credit:James Alcock

The Greens also want the agency’s powers expanded so it can “capture instances of potentially corrupting conduct by third parties in relation to government policies”, rather than just being able to examine third parties with government contracts.

Greens’ justice spokesman David Shoebridge said the agency should have “world-class financial independence” modelled on New Zealand’s integrity agencies (which submit their budget proposals to a parliamentary committee).

If the government declined to provide the recommended funding, it would have to explain why in writing.

More on the negotiations here.

Industry-wide bargaining could close gender pay gap: Burke

The government is examining a union proposal for industry-wide bargaining as a way to give low-paid workers in female-dominated industries a pay rise with the potential to close the gender pay gap.

Ahead of this week’s jobs and skills summit, Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke said he was “really interested” in the Australian Council of Trade Unions’ bargaining method. Leaders in aged care and childcare industries say they are open to discussing the landmark reform.

Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke says industry-wide bargaining could help close the gender pay gap.Credit:Rhett Wyman

“We won’t get meaningful movement on wages unless we can get bargaining moving in the feminised sections of the economy,” Burke told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. “Whether it’s aged care, childcare, cleaning or retail, closing the gender pay gap and getting wages moving are essential parts of the same story.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will today mark 100 days of government with a speech to the National Press Club to say cultural change is needed to revive workplace bargaining and “new leadership on respect and safety and fairness for working women”.

Read the full story here.

This morning’s key headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Monday, August 29. I’m Broede Carmody 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.

  • The workplace relations minister says industry-wide bargaining could help close the gender pay gap in industries like childcare and cleaning. Last week, the Australian Council of Trade Unions called for industry-wide bargaining to be debated at this week’s jobs and skills summit. Business groups are against the idea.
  • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is scheduled to address the National Press Club later today. It’s 100 days since the PM won the election.
  • National cabinet will meet on Wednesday. The prime minister and state and territory leaders are expected to discuss slashing the mandatory COVID-19 isolation period from seven days to five. NSW premier Dominic Perrottet has already publicly backed such a move.
  • The Greens and a key crossbencher are calling for the proposed national anti-corruption commission to be independently funded and overseen by a parliamentary committee that operates at arm’s length from the federal government. Negotiations with the government are ongoing.
  • And former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull have donated to Crikey’s legal fundraiser. The Australian news website is being sued by billionaire Lachlan Murdoch over an article that discussed the January 6 hearings in the United States.
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