Australia live news updates: thousands attend first mass Anzac Day services since pandemic began; eight Covid deaths recorded

The Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, has been tweeting from isolation this morning, commemorating Anzac day and thanking Labor’s leadership team in Darwin for representing the party.

In his video published this morning, Albanese called serving personnel “warriors” and “keepers of the peace”:

He also tweeted some photos of the dawn service, saying Australia awaits a “brighter dawn”:

On Anzac Day, we think of those first Anzacs, huddled in their landing boats more than a century ago, wondering what the dawn would bring.

We gather in the dark of the early morning because they did.

We remember that because of them, we await a brighter dawn. pic.twitter.com/510lz0hVLX

— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) April 24, 2022

Victoria reports 7,643 new Covid cases and four deaths

Victoria is reporting 7,643 new cases overnight and four deaths:

NSW reports 7,985 new Covid cases and four deaths

New South Wales has recorded 7,985 new cases overnight, as well as four deaths:

COVID-19 update – Monday 25 April 2022

In the 24-hour reporting period to 4pm yesterday:

– 96.2% of people aged 16+ have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
– 94.7% of people aged 16+ have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine pic.twitter.com/ZFi7MQa9C1

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) April 24, 2022

I just wanted to return to Peter Dutton’s appearance on the Today show earlier this morning, because in addition to marking Anzac Day, Dutton also said Australians should “prepare for war” and compared current events in Ukraine to the 1930s.

Dutton was warning of the increased risk that China is posing in the Pacific, and lambasted anyone who wants to “curl up in a ball, pretending nothing is happening”:

Curling up in a ball, pretending nothing is happening, saying nothing, that is not … in our long-term interests and we should be very honest about that.

We have to be realistic that people like Hitler and others aren’t just a figment of our imagination or that they’re consigned to history.

We have in president Putin at the moment somebody who is willing to kill women and children. That’s happening in the year 2022.

It’s a replay, in part, of what happened in the 1930s.

Sticking with O’Connor for a moment, the shadow defence spokesperson says Labor would have “grave concerns” if a Chinese military base was established in Solomon Islands.

It comes after the PM yesterday said the establishment of a base there would be a “red line”, without saying how his government would actually respond, with O’Connor saying it was just “post-facto rhetoric”:

We understand what the prime minister says by that. But, really, it’s post-facto rhetoric. We need to see better investment and better engagement in the region … rather than react after the fact.

Given the change in tone and rhetoric and words used by the prime minister, we will seek a briefing from the government. We’ve been getting updates all the way through, and we appreciate that.

[But] the fact that we have to turn to using that type of language is too little, too late. We should have been doing more. I think it’s fair to say [former Liberal MP and foreign minister] Julie Bishop was right when she said the current foreign minister should have visited the Solomon Islands.

Labor defence spokesman, Brendan O’Connor, has dismissed the government’s plans to increase funding to support veterans, saying the amount pledged in “no way” would address the issue.

The federal government pledged $96m in the budget for veterans, after veterans affairs minister, Andrew Gee, threatened to resign from cabinet if his department did not receive enough funding to help clear unprocessed compensation claims.

Speaking on RN Breakfast, O’Connor disputed the $96m figure, while pledging that Labor will spend nearly $520m on veterans:

It was a smaller sum.

[The government’s plan] would go no way to provide support for veterans. It would not increase the frontline staff required to respond to their needs. It would do in no way enough to support those people who’ve put themselves in harm’s way.

People are waiting for days, weeks, months just for some of the more simple applications and claims.

We need to attend to that. And we can’t wait until the recommendations of the royal commission. There are some things we need to do and get ahead of.

Australia should ‘stare down any act of aggression’ in the region, says Dutton

Switching back to politics, the defence minister, Peter Dutton, has marked Anzac Day by saying Australia should “stare down any act of aggression”, stressing that Australians should not “take for granted the sacrifice” made by the Anzacs.

Speaking to the Today show, Dutton referred to the war in Ukraine as an example of the necessity to fight against rising “autocratic forces”:

I just think that’s the reality of our time. We have to have a proper understanding of it. We have to have a conversation and be frank about the intelligence and the advice that we’re receiving and reading.

We shouldn’t take for granted the sacrifice that was made by the Anzacs, or those in World War II or in Vietnam, in the Middle East, in every conflict in between, that somehow that will see us through to eternity without conflict in our region.

… We have to stand up with countries to stare down any act of aggression to make sure we can keep peace in our region and for our country.

In Currumbin, on the Gold Coast, surfers performed a burial at sea during the dawn service, to mark Anzac day:

A veteran attending the dawn service is seen wearing his war medals. Photograph: Jono Searle/AAP
People attend the dawn service at Currumbin, during Anzac Day in Gold Coast, Monday, April 25, 2022.
People attend the dawn service at Currumbin, on the Gold Coast. Photograph: Jono Searle/AAP
Surf boats perform a burial at sea at the dawn service at Currumbin, during Anzac Day in Gold Coast, Monday, April 25, 2022.
Surf boats perform a burial at sea at the dawn service. Photograph: Jono Searle/AAP
People attend the dawn service at Currumbin, during Anzac Day in Gold Coast, Monday, April 25, 2022.
Attendees at the dawn service. Photograph: Jono Searle/AAP
A didgeridoo is performed at the dawn service at Currumbin, during Anzac Day in Gold Coast, Monday, April 25, 2022.
A didgeridoo is performed at the dawn service on the Gold Coast. Photograph: Jono Searle/AAP
People attend the dawn service at Currumbin, during Anzac Day in Gold Coast, Australia, 25 April 2022. EPA/JONO SEARLE
People attend the dawn service at Currumbin. Photograph: Jono Searle/EPA

In Sydney, wreaths were placed on the Cenotaph during the dawn service at Martin Place, with many braving both the cold and the rain to pay their respects:

A member of the public attends the Dawn Service ceremony commemorating Anzac Day in Sydney, Australia, April 25, 2022
A member of the public attends the dawn service ceremony commemorating Anzac Day in Sydney. Photograph: Jaimi Joy/Reuters
Dominic Perrottet, Premier of New South Wales, and his daughters attend the ceremony commemorating Anzac Day in Sydney, Australia, April 25, 2022
Dominic Perrottet, premier of New South Wales, and his daughters attend the ceremony in Sydney. Photograph: Jaimi Joy/Reuters
A member of the Catafalque Party stands next to the Cenotaph during the annual Anzac Day Dawn Service at Martin Place in Sydney, Monday, April 25, 2022
A member of the Catafalque Party stands next to the Cenotaph during the dawn service at Martin Place. Photograph: Steven Saphore/AAP
Wreaths are placed on the Cenotaph during the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Martin Place in Sydney, Monday, April 25, 2022. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)
Wreaths are placed on the Cenotaph at Martin Place. Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AAP
The Australian Army Band performs at the Dawn Service ceremony commemorating Anzac Day in Sydney, Australia, April 25, 2022. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy
The Australian Army Band performs at the ceremony. Photograph: Jaimi Joy/Reuters

In Melbourne, thousands have gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance in the bitter cold of early morning, to remember the fallen:

A general view of attendees at The Shrine of Remembrance on April 25, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia.
Attendees at The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. Photograph: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images
A general view of attendees at The Shrine of Remembrance on April 25, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia.(Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
Thousands have gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance this morning. Photograph: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on April 25, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews in Melbourne. Photograph: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images
A member of the defence forces plays the last post on The Shrine of Remembrance on April 25, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia.(Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
A member of the defence forces plays the last post. Photograph: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

So, last night controversial Liberal candidate Katherine Deves defended her media-shyness, telling SBS News she has received death threats over her comments on the transgender community.

It was only a four-minute interview, where Deves said she had been avoiding the media because she feared for her safety, and that her family had left Sydney to avoid any risk:

I have received death threats, I have had to have the police and the AFP involved.

My safety has been threatened. My family are away out of Sydney because I don’t want them to witness what I’m going through nor do I want their safety put at risk.

However, NSW police released a statement saying it had not received any reports of threats made agains Deves.

In a brief statement, NSW Police said

“The NSW Police Force has not received any reports of threats made.”

AFP have not yet replied to the ABC’s request for comment. https://t.co/zzodBgbL6D

— Stephanie Dalzell (@steph_dalzell) April 24, 2022

Deves has previously likened her campaigns to stop transgender athletes from competing to standing up to the Nazis, as well as describing transgender children as “surgically mutilated and sterilised”; she has also declared surrogacy is a “human rights violation” in the past.

Anthony Albanese is still in isolation today, having tested positive for Covid last week, but was able to release a video to mark Anzac Day.

The Labor leader said the Australian “character” was confirmed at Gallipoli, and since then Australians had “stood steadfast as warriors and as builders and keepers of the peace”.

Yet as the war in Ukraine so tragically reminds us, darkness is not vanquished from the world.

It reminds us freedom cannot be taken for granted. It reminds us that freedom isn’t free.

So, I just wanted to expand on Scott Morrison’s comments today at the Darwin dawn service.

Morrison referred to Ukraine extensively, and another of his favourite topics, the so-called “arc of autocracy”.

Here’s a snapshot of his address:

Even now, as we come together, on this Anzac Day, around the world and particularly in Ukraine, there is a new fight for freedom.

And Australia is playing its part in that conflict, to support those who believe in freedom – freedom from those who would seek to coerce them, freedom from those who would seek to impose their will.

Australia has seen this before and we have stood against it.

… An arc of autocracy is challenging the rules-based order our grandparents had secured.

Democratic free peoples are standing together again, in facing this world we must remember again, if only then, it is only then that we truly appreciate what these times require.

A willingness to live for all of these things, but if necessary, to sacrifice to something far greater than ourselves.

This morning, far away from here, the people of Ukraine are doing exactly that.

Good morning

Good morning, Mostafa Rachwani with you this morning to take you through the day’s news.

It’s Anzac Day today, with services held at dawn around the country. It’s the first time in two years that capacity crowds have been able to gather in Sydney and Melbourne, but all eyes are on Darwin, where the prime minister and Labor leaders have gathered today.

PM Scott Morrison earlier addressed the dawn service, paying tribute to the resolve of the Ukrainian people, and spoke of the “debt and gratitude” owed to veterans. The PM also warned that war had returned to Europe, referring to the “arc of autocracy”.

Deputy Labor leader, Richard Marles, was also in Darwin, and also referenced Ukrainians in his speech. Marles said Anzac Day was an “opportunity” to imagine the fear and anxiety troops felt more than 80 years ago.

It comes as we enter the 14th day of this election campaign/slog, with less than a month to go until voters head to the polls. Both parties will be campaigning in the Northern Territory, and we will be bringing you every update as they come.



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