Morning Mail: Labor’s cost-of-living budget, parliament fundraiser ‘shock’, manhunt in France

<span>Treasurer Jim Chalmers after his budget speech on Tuesday night.</span><span>Photograph: Lukas Coch/EPA</span>
Treasurer Jim Chalmers after his budget speech on Tuesday night.Photograph: Lukas Coch/EPA

Morning everyone. Jim Chalmers will be touring the TV studios today to defend his textbook budget bet that a giveaway for households will shore up votes. But will it affect inflation? And what does it mean for your generation in particular? We have the answers to these and many more questions in our extensive budget coverage, including good news for fans of sweet potatoes.

In other news, one MP is shocked that Liberal colleagues are holding fundraisers in the “people’s House”. Plus, there’s a huge manhunt in France after two guards were killed in a prison convoy ambush, how Queensland’s red-earth interior has turned green, and has Ange influenced the Premier League title destiny this morning?


  • Beyond drought | Months of rain has turned Queensland’s dusty red-earth interior into a network of swollen creeks and green shoots and means that the state has been declared completely free of drought for the first time in 11 years.

  • ‘Tax cuts for all’ | A $300 energy rebate, rent assistance and cheaper medicines are all part of the budget package, which Anthony Albanese and his treasurer Jim Chalmers will be hoping creates enough winners to persuade voters to stick with Labor after what could be the last budget before the next election. Our political editor says they are saying to voters “we feel your pain”, and please remember us at the ballot box. More on the budget coming up.

  • Fundraiser ‘shock’ | A federal crossbench MP says she is “shocked” after discovering that Liberal MPs are charging between $1,000 and $2,000 for a ticket to budget-reply fundraising events within Parliament House despite rules outlawing the practice.

  • Driving on | Carmakers are continuing to aggressively market SUVs and 4x4s to Australians even as the government rolls out new fuel efficiency standards, according to a climate advocacy group.

  • Victim immunity | Victims of sexual assault and harassment will be immune to defamation lawsuits for reporting crimes to Victorian police under new legislation to overcome fears that people were being deterred from coming forward.


  • French manhunt | Elite French police forces are hunting gunmen who rammed into a prison van, killing at least two prison officers and allowing the inmate they were transporting to escape.

  • ‘Phoney invoices’ | Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen testified in Manhattan court on Tuesday that he submitted phoney invoices for legal services to cover up what were, in fact, reimbursements for a $130,000 hush-money payment to the adult film actor Stormy Daniels on his then boss’s behalf.

  • Rafah assault deepens | Israeli tanks have advanced further into eastern Rafah, reaching some residential districts of the southern border city in Gaza.

  • Tesla ‘threat’ | A leading professor of corporate governance has accused Tesla of threatening to fire one of its law firms over his objections to Elon Musk’s claim to a massive $56bn compensation package.

  • ‘The Canadian Chekhov’ | The short-story writer and Nobel prize winner Alice Munro, who examined everyday life through the lens of short fiction for more than 60 years, has died aged 92.

Full Story

Lenore Taylor and Karen Middleton unpack budget 2024

Editor-in-chief Lenore Taylor and political editor Karen Middleton speak to Nour Haydar about the budget Labor hopes will bring down inflation, ease cost-of-living pressures and win the next election.


In looking for different generational perspectives on the budget, we asked our very own representatives of the boomers, Gen X, Y and Z to say what they thought. Gen Z-er Rafqa Touma (pictured left) welcomes some of the changes but thinks her peers will still be anxious about affording the things their parents took for granted, while Boomer Peter Hannam (pictured right) sees cheaper medicine as a plus. Our economics columnist, Greg Jericho, highlights his six key charts including a look at the projected deficits to come as “unavoidable” spending ramps up. Chalmers also pledged $23bn for “industrial transformation” under the Future Made in Australia scheme, there’s $2.6bn for Aukus, a possible reprieve for Robotax victims, and how NDIS is being slugged for $14.4bn to pay for everything else. And if you’re still non-plussed, Matilda Boseley’s video explainer tells you everything you need to know.

Not the news

The budget day backdrop of autumnal trees always seems to herald the changing of the season and what better way to contemplate that than with some delicious autumn recipes from the chef Ella Mittas. She has drawn on a mix of things she saw, ate and was taught while working in the mountains of Crete and the hot, loud streets of Istanbul, as well as her own Greek heritage to conjure up chicken rice, chickpea bake and wheat salad.

The world of sport

  • Premier League | Manchester City can get one hand on the title if they beat Ange Postecoglu’s Tottenham Hotspur this morning.

  • Rugby league | Melbourne Storm prop Christian Welch is “articulate, funny, and quite smart”, according to the club’s boss. He talks to Jack Snape about pay talks, injuries and getting an MBA.

  • Boxing | Oleksandr Usyk says he will use the bad blood shown by the Tyson Fury camp as motivation in this weekend’s heavyweight title clash in Saudi Arabia.

Media roundup

“Labor splashes billions on cost of living relief” is the Australian’s summary of the budget’s main points, while the Fin Review reckons that government spending will bring “a new decade of deficits”. Western Australia’s opposition leader has called premier Roger Cook “weak” for allowing the federal government to ban live exports, the West Australian reports. The grocery store that claims to have introduced Melbourne to gelato and fresh panettone is closing for good after 70 years, the Herald Sun reports.

What’s happening today

  • Canberra | Jim Chalmers gives his post-budget address to the National Press Club at 12.30pm.

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Brain teaser

And finally, here are the Guardian’s crosswords to keep you entertained throughout the day. Until tomorrow.