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Australia news live updates: Labor pledges aged care reform; body of woman found in Lismore floodwaters

Good morning everyone, it’s Matilda Boseley here with you again to see off the week.

Unfortunately, we are starting the day with some tragic news, NSW police recovering the body of a 55-year-old woman whose car became trapped in water earlier this week.

Police said the body was yet to be formally identified but is believed to be that of a missing woman who became trapped in her white station wagon at Monaltrie, south of Lismore, about 10pm on Tuesday.

The 2017 Holden Captiva that the woman was driving has not yet been located.

Strong gale force winds, heavy surf and high tides are expected over southern NSW today as flood waters in the north of the state recede.

The Wilsons River, which runs past Lismore, had peaked at 11.4 metres but that was below higher expectations of 12m. The Bureau of Meteorology says waters are now below the levee height of 10.6m.

But with two low pressure systems colliding along the south-east of the state, rainfall is expected to hit Newcastle and Sydney today, extending down to the Victorian border into the weekend before easing on Sunday.

Changing our focus to politics and Anthony Albanese used his budget reply speech to pledge $2.5bn to help the country’s aged care sector, laying out a five-point plan, including requirements for every aged care facility to have a registered nurse on site 24 hours a day, and new minimum care mandates.

Our older Australians aren’t just a number, they aren’t a burden, they are people who deserve respect, courtesy and the best possible attention.

As part of the aged care announcement, Labor would also support a wage rise for aged care workers, as well as work with the sector to institute new mandatory food standards in residential facilities.

While Albanese said the plan has been fully costed, finance minister Simon Birmingham has already dismissed it, calling it a sweeping promise with no mention of how it would be funded.

Clearly, there is plenty to talk about today, so, with that why don’t we jump right in.

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