Australia

Morning Briefing: Australia NATO deal, Boris Johnson’s lockdown probe and NSW teacher strikes

Good morning. It’s Thursday 30 June, and here’s a wrap of the latest headlines.

Australia negotiating NATO trade deal

Australia is fast-tracking negotiations for a trade deal with the European Union, with talks potentially taking place sooner than October.
Talks had stalled because of Australia’s damaged relationship with France after it dumped a $90 billion submarine contract, and its lack of action on climate change.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is in the Spanish capital of Madrid for the NATO summit, a series of bilateral meetings with world leaders.

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Mr Albanese says discussions about entering into an economic relationship with the EU could resume in months, following a meeting with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.
“We know that in order to progress the agreement, we want to see between now and March real progress that had stalled,” he said.

“That means holding multiple meetings, identifying what the issues are that need resolving and then set about resolving them. It is quite clearly in Australia’s interest to diversify our trade relationships.”

Boris Johnson’s ‘partygate’ investigation plans

A UK parliamentary committee has set out the details of how it will investigate Prime Minister Boris Johnson, amid allegations he misled Parliament over COVID-19 lockdown breaking events at his Downing Street offices and residence.

The Privileges Committee is looking into whether Johnson, who earlier this month survived a confidence vote brought by his Conservative MPs, misled parliament with his various comments on so-called Partygate.

Britain Politics

In the confidence vote, 180 Conservative MPs would have to vote against Mr Johnson for him to be removed. Source: AP / Matt Dunham/AP

If the committee finds he knowingly did mislead, convention dictates he should offer his resignation.

Veteran opposition Labour Party MP Harriet Harman will chair the committee during its inquiry.

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Civil emergency declared after Austria mudslides

Authorities in Austria have declared a civil emergency after some villages in the southern state of Carinthia were cut off by mudslides and flooding, caused by heavy rainfall.
One person has died in the mudslides, and at least two others are known to be missing.
Some regions are without electricity, drinking water or phone connections.
Government disaster control officer Daniel Fellner says the situation is very bad.
“We’re witnessing devastating scenery. Many villages we can’t even reach. At the moment we’re trying to move forward metre by metre,” he said.

“The most important task right now is to somehow restore the main roads again, so that we can move the equipment and machines where we need them.”

Joe Biden to appoint first Native American treasurer

United States President Joe Biden is appointing the country’s first Native American treasurer.

 Marilynn "Lynn" Malerba stands next to a photograph of late Chief Ralph Sturges at Tribal offices in Uncasville, Conn/

FILE – Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba, who is Native American, was nominated to be U.S. Treasurer in a historic first. Source: AAP / Jessica Hill

Marilynn ‘Lynn Malerba’s duties will involve overseeing the U-S Mint, serving as a liaison with the Federal Reserve and overseeing Treasury’s Office of Consumer Policy.

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Malerba, who is the lifetime chief of the Mohegan Indian Tribe, previously worked as a registered nurse, according to the tribe’s website, and has served in various tribal government roles.

The tribe’s reservation is located on the Thames River in Connecticut.

New South Wales teachers take industrial action

Teachers from across the New South Wales education system are striking today.

It’s the third strike in six months called by both the New South Wales Teachers Federation and Independent Education Union, who are seeking improved pay and conditions.

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Teachers federation president Angela Gavrielatos says the teacher shortage is a crisis of the government’s “own making”.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell says she is deeply disappointed with the decision to strike.

She says the industrial action is “unnecessary” and will cause “major upheaval for hardworking parents”.


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