An extraordinary $122.9 billion, that’s one-third of the $368 billion dollar price tag for nuclear submarines, has been allocated to a so-called “contingency” budget, according to new figures released by the Parliamentary Budget Office, commissioned by the Greens.

The PBO analysis, which is based on Defence figures, for the first time shows that $122.9 billion dollars has been earmarked for “contingency” funding as part of the government’s projected budget. The amount of contingency funding is setting off alarm bells about the sheer scale of no-strings-attached public funding allocated to the deal. 

The PBO figures also show the unfair intergenerational impact of the AUKUS subs. Hundreds of billions in costs will be heavily skewed to future budgets, forcing deep cuts to public spending for decades.

Australian Greens Defence Spokesperson Senator David Shoebridge said:

“The Albanese government is giving Defence a totally unprecedented $122 billion stuff-up fund. This is a license to fail on contract negotiations and project delivery for the AUKUS submarine deal.

“It’s extraordinary that a whopping one third of the $368 billion nuclear submarines budget comes with no strings attached. 

“The scale of this contingency fund demonstrates that the government has no real idea how they will deliver these hugely expensive submarines or what the true costs of the nuclear sub deal will be.

“No serious project planner in any other industry would be allowed to have a third of the total budget as contingency – this is worse than a blank cheque, it’s an incentive for profligate Defence spending.

“For the AUKUS subs deal Defence has persuaded the Albanese government to take away any restraint on future spending or project delivery. When you add in the repeated failures of Defence to deliver past projects on time or on budget this is worse than negligent.

“To help sell the deal the Albanese government is burying the most exorbitant expenditure across future budgets, in a brazen attack on future generations. This is deceptive and reckless budgeting and it means young people and future generations will inherit a savage debt. 

“Babies who haven’t even been born yet will spend their lives paying for these nuclear subs rather than getting essential public services and support because Labor has signed up to this toxic deal.

“It’s grossly unjust to steal from future generations to pay for today’s political mistakes, but that’s exactly what is happening here with our children and grandchildren saddled with the bulk of the $368 billion bill, ” Senator Shoebridge said.

Budget Analysis provided by the Parliamentary Budget Office below.File

PBO- Nuclear Submarine Contingencies_0.pdf167.11 KB


Senator Jordon Steele-John responds to Labor’s announcement that the Federal Government would implement an annual growth target of 8 percent for the total cost of the scheme by 2026. 

Senator Jordon Steele-John, Disabled Person and Australian Greens spokesperson for Disability Rights and Services said:

Let’s be really clear, The Greens want to see an increase in funding for the NDIS. Right now, too many disabled people are not able to get the support they need to live a good life. 

“Labor’s announcement to have a target for spending growth is sounding a lot like a cap on the NDIS. The notion of a cap is a broken promise from the Albanese government and is causing tremendous concern in the disability community.

“If the federal government caps funding to the scheme at 8% growth, this announcement will see over $50 Billion less allocated to the NDIS over the decade. De-funding the NDIS by this amount is completely unacceptable. 

“My question to Minister Shorten is who is no longer going to get the support they need because the Labor government is choosing to prioritise tax cuts for Billionaires and spending billions of dollars on submarines as part of the AUKUS pact?

“The Greens will be watching the budget, and any proposed changes to the rules on who can and can’t get on the NDIS, very closely. The NDIS must be available to all who need it. 

“The NDIS provides disabled people with the opportunity to participate in the community, go to work, do the basics like have a shower. There are social and economic benefits to the NDIS. Money invested in the NDIS has a positive return for the economy and for our community – let’s not forget that.” 


After sustained pressure from the Greens including the threat of using balance of power in the Senate, the Prime Minister has today been forced to concede that rents are skyrocketing, and has confirmed that the National Cabinet is now scoping a rent freeze and rent caps as part of a stronger national approach to renters rights.

The Greens have been calling on the government to put a two-year freeze on rent increases to allow wages to catch up, followed by a limit on the amount and frequency of legal rent increases that a tenant can receive.

The Greens will now continue our campaign to force action from the Prime Minister and the States on implementing a rent freeze and rent caps, as well as doubling rent assistance in the Budget and  increased funding for building affordable and public housing funded by ending tax breaks for wealthy property investors.

Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP said:

“The Prime Minister has finally admitted the Greens are right. Labor can freeze rents.

“Only weeks ago the Prime Minister was calling a rent freeze ‘pixie dust’, but now it’s being discussed at the highest levels, just as the Greens have been pushing for.

Labor now has no excuse for not freezing rent increases for 2 years and capping any rent rises thereafter.”

Greens Housing and Homelessness spokesperson Max Chandler-Mather MP said:

Now the Prime Minister has finally admitted the National Cabinet can freeze rent increases and cap rents he and the Premiers must act.

Because of months of campaigning and pressure we are one step closer to a national freeze on rent increases and the Greens won’t stop until the National Cabinet signs off on a concrete plan to stop rent increases and give renters real relief. 

There are millions of renters across the country staring down the barrel of another massive rent increase, and every week Labor fails to take action another family will be shoved onto the streets because of an unfair rent hike.

Transcript – National Cabinet press conference

Q: You mentioned strengthening renters before rights across the country? Obviously they’re different across the jurisdictions, is the report about reform on national settings?

ALBANESE: There’s a range of measures that each of the state and territory jurisdictions have different provisions. And so what we’re not seeking to do is to have absolutely uniform because different states will have different circumstances. But there are measures and commitments every state and territory is doing something in this area. So what will occur over coming months is looking at the different programs that are in place. Some of those are around the frequency of any rent increase that can occur in at least one jurisdiction’s case, it’s also over the amount that can occur of any increase. There are a range of measures that will be considered by state and territory governments to strengthen the system of renters’ rights, agreement on that. There will – it’s up to states and territories – this is within their power to determine. So I doubt whether you’ll have a completely uniform system coming out. What you will have is that exchange and housing ministers working together over coming months.

Earlier this week at the National Press Club, Mr Bandt said:

“Many state governments already limit rent rises to once a year, and if they simply extended that to two years, there would be a two year rent freeze.

It is unacceptable and irresponsible for the Prime Minister to throw his hands up and put the Greens’ rent freeze proposal in the too hard basket when Labor holds almost every seat around the National Cabinet table.

With wall to wall Labor State governments on the mainland, Labor can’t pass the buck on the rental crisis anymore.”

The Dark Side of Big Immigration: A Ponzi Scheme that’s hurting Australians

The politicians Ponzi scheme: Big Immigration

A Ponzi scheme is a scam that can only continue as long as new victims sign up. Eventually, the scam falls down under its own weight. The major parties’ “Big Immigration” plan for Australia works the same way.

Politicians have relied on ever-increasing levels of immigration for decades.


Immigrants grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP is a measure of all the economic activity happening in the country. Every purchase, sale and government dollar spent counts towards the total GDP.  

Every new immigrant needs to spend money to survive, as we all do. This spending on food, housing and other essentials all adds to the country’s total GDP. 

Politicians want higher GDP numbers. If total GDP shrinks for two quarters in a row, the country is defined as being in a recession. Going into a recession is a political disaster for the government. They want to avoid it at all costs. 

The government’s solution to avoid an ugly recession is straightforward: keep immigration levels high, and the total GDP will keep increasing!  

The problem is total GDP doesn’t measure how good our lives are. It doesn’t measure affordability, access to services or happiness. The average GDP per person (or per capita) tells us more. 

In fact, before COVID, Australia was in a “per-capita recession”. 2 This means that while the total GDP was still increasing because of immigration, the average GDP per person was getting worse. 

Everything seemed fine to the government. The total GDP was rising on paper, so we weren’t in an official recession. In the real world, the economy was getting worse on average for every Australian. 

Like any Ponzi scheme, the immigration scam will eventually buckle under its weight. As more immigrants arrive, they put more pressure on our hospitals, roads, housing and rental markets and other infrastructure. The tension builds up far quicker than we can build infrastructure to catch up to the population growth. 

With more pressure on essential services, Australia is less productive, dragging down the average GDP. The Government notices this and has to increase immigration to keep the total GDP up. Yet, this immigration puts even more pressure on our essential services dragging the average GDP down again. 

This continues in a vicious cycle. The total GDP keeps increasing, and the average Australian’s life keeps worsening. Increasing immigration is like pouring fuel on a fire that immigration started. As the problem worsens, the government needs to bring in more immigrants to cover it up. 

At least 650,000 immigrants will arrive in Australia over the next two years, a surprise increase of more than 50 per cent on forecasts in the October 2022 Budget.3 

If this exponential increase is allowed to continue, the economy and our essential services will eventually buckle. We are already seeing the signs of Australia bursting at the seams. 

Australia is already in the middle of a housing and rental crisis. Many young first-home buyers are entirely priced out of the market. Desperate tenants continue to tell horror stories of unaffordable rent increases. 

Every one of the 650,000 arrivals will need to find a home, meaning today’s horror stories are just the start of the pain to come. We can’t build houses quickly enough, especially if the government locks up everyones’ land to save the Koala trees. The increased demand will skyrocket rents and make homes even more unaffordable.  

The immediate decision we need to take as a country is clear. We must immediately cut immigration to net zero. That means Australia only takes the same number of arrivals as people who depart the country. 

We must use this time to build essential infrastructure. We must allow essential services time to catch up to our current population level. 

Most of all, we need the government to stop doing things to make themselves look good on paper and look after Australians. 

A prominent immigration plan hurts Australians. Tell the government no and stop the immigration flood. 




National Cabinet met in Brisbane today to agree a national approach to a range of priorities for Australians, including making healthcare more accessible and affordable and better planning to ensure communities thrive as they grow.

A Better Future for the Federation takes as its starting point that Australia can be more than the sum of its parts. That by co-operating more closely on everything from planning and housing to skills and services we can generate a multiplier effect for productivity gains and economic growth.

First Ministers had constructive and positive discussions on key national priorities including health, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the transition to net zero and strengthening national renters’ rights.

First Ministers agreed the federation should be a driver for practical and meaningful reform, not a barrier.


First Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to health as the priority for National Cabinet in 2023. To guide this, National Cabinet articulated their shared vision for ‘a patient-centred and sustainable Australian healthcare system that delivers the best outcome for our community’.

To support this, a range of tangible Strengthening Medicare measures that will make health care more accessible and affordable were agreed, including:

  1. Supporting workforces to work at top of scope, including pharmacists, paramedics.
  2. Expanding the nursing workforce to improve access to primary care.
  3. Improving access to and delivery of after-hours primary care.
  4. Introducing MyMedicare (patient ID) to support wrap around care for patients registered with their local GP through new blended payment models.
  5. Providing flexible funding for multi-disciplinary team-based models to improve quality of care.
  6. Investing in digital health to improve health outcomes.

This $2.2 billion package of measures will address immediate challenges in primary care, take pressure off the hospital system, and lay the foundations for long term Medicare reform.

First Ministers also endorsed the Independent Review of Overseas Health Practitioner Regulatory Settings Interim Report, led by Ms Robyn Kruk AO. The Interim Report recommends measures to immediately boost the health workforce and ensure Australia is a competitive destination for the global health workforce into the future, while maintaining high standards of quality and safety.

National Cabinet tasked Health Ministers to progress recommendations and report back to National Cabinet as a priority. The Interim Report will be released on

First Ministers agreed to a dedicated National Cabinet meeting on health reform in the second half of 2023.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

First Ministers committed to an NDIS Financial Sustainability Framework to ensure the NDIS can continue to provide life-changing outcomes for future generations of Australians with disability.

Noted that the Commonwealth is working with the NDIA Board to take immediate action to ensure a sustainable Scheme, and is committing more than $720 million in the 2023-24 Budget to lift NDIA’s capability, capacity and systems to better support participants.

The Framework is the next step, and will provide an annual growth target in the total costs of the Scheme of no more than 8 per cent by 1 July 2026, with further moderation of growth as the scheme matures.

Governments share the goal of reaching long term sustainability for the Scheme and have elevated this objective to National Cabinet. A sustainable growth trajectory for the NDIS will support equity and fairness for all Australians living with disability, including for those not eligible for the NDIS, and ensure that every dollar goes to those who need it most.

Better Planning for Stronger Growth

First Ministers agreed to a range of meaningful reforms to support a national approach to the growth of our cities, towns and suburbs, including: 

  • Housing Ministers will develop a proposal for National Cabinet in the second half of 2023 outlining reforms to strengthen renters’ rights across the country.
  • As part of the new national Migration Strategy, the Commonwealth will ensure states and territories have a greater contribution to Australia’s migration settings, to ensure migration meets the local needs of communities across the country.
  • The Commonwealth is commencing an independent review of its Infrastructure Investment Program and adopting a refreshed approach to infrastructure investment. States and territories have agreed to support the review.
  • States and territories will also work with the Commonwealth to support a more sustainable infrastructure pipeline, in the short term, at around $120 billion over 10 years that provides certainty to the market and delivers the highest priority projects for growing communities.
  • Within the next six months, Planning Ministers will develop a proposal for National Cabinet outlining reforms to increase housing supply and affordability, working with the Australian Local Government Association.
  • The Commonwealth will also reinstate a vision to ensure growth in cities is sustainable in partnership with state and territory governments via the National Urban Policy.

In addition, the Commonwealth is also making new investments to promote better growth, including:

  • Supporting a better migration system through increased visa processing capacity, expanding pathways to permanent residence for temporary skilled sponsored workers and taking steps to address migrant exploitation.
  • Continued investment to enable a pipeline of new social and affordable dwellings, including delivering the Housing Australia Future Fund and expanding the capacity of the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator by expanding the liability cap by $2 billion.
  • Offering incentives to increase the supply of housing by:
    • increasing the depreciation rate from 2.5 per cent to 4 per cent per year for eligible new build-to-rent projects where construction commences after 9 May 2023; and
    • reducing the withholding tax rate for eligible fund payments from managed investment trusts to foreign residents on income from newly constructed residential build-to-rent properties after 1 July 2024 from 30 to 15 per cent, subject to further consultation on eligibility criteria.

National Skills Agreement

First Ministers continue to work collaboratively on long-term skills reform and agreed that Skills Ministers will finalise a new five year National Skills Agreement, informed by the vision and guiding principles endorsed by National Cabinet. The National Skills Agreement will ensure that high-quality, accessible education and training will be available to equip Australians with skills and prepare them for the jobs of now and the future.

Net Zero Transformation

National Cabinet discussed how to best support regions that are exposed to socio-economic changes associated with decarbonisation.

The Prime Minister also provided an update on roles and responsibilities across Australian governments for the implementation of the National Transformation Principles, agreed by National Cabinet in 2022. These reflect a shared commitment to capture the benefits of the energy transformation and support regions transitioning to decarbonisation.

Care and Support Economy

National Cabinet discussed the development of a national strategy for the care and support economy. First Ministers agreed to work together to progress a first tranche of reforms to streamline worker screening, improve worker safety, and grow the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander care and support workforce. The strategy will set the vision for a sustainable and productive care and support economy that delivers quality care and support with decent jobs.

Referendum on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Recognition

National Cabinet reaffirmed its Statement of Intent in February, of the unanimous support of State and Territory Leaders for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and listening to them to achieve practical outcomes to close the gap.


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will travel to the United Kingdom from 2 – 6 May to represent Australia at the Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort. 

The Prime Minister will join the Governor-General, State Governors and a number of other Australian representatives, including Ms Sam Kerr OAM who will be the Australian flagbearer at the Coronation.  

The United Kingdom is a close partner and friend to Australia. During his visit, Prime Minister Albanese will meet with Prime Minister The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP to discuss AUKUS and our efforts to support an open, prosperous and secure Indo-Pacific region. 

With the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement close to entering into force, the Prime Ministers will discuss realising the opportunities for business and consumers in Australia and the UK. 

The Prime Minister will highlight Australia’s high level of ambition on climate change and the mutual economic benefits of our clean energy transition.

The Prime Minister will travel to Barrow-in-Furness to inspect the shipyard where the first British SSN-AUKUS submarine will be built. These state of the art facilities will help build Australia’s experience and expertise for the next generation of Australian defence manufacturing. 

More information on Australian representation at the Coronation is available on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website

Prime Minister Albanese said:

“I’m honoured to represent Australia at the Coronation of The King and The Queen Consort, a historic occasion. I am proud to join a group of remarkable Australians who will also attend the Coronation, showcasing our truly diverse and dynamic nation.  

“This will be the third occasion that I meet with Prime Minister Sunak. We will discuss the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement, which will shortly enter into force, and will deliver benefits for Australian exporters, Australian workers and our economy more broadly.

“I will meet with the highly trained and skilled workers at the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard, who will be an important part of helping Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines through AUKUS.”


The Australian Government will commit an additional $65 million towards the planned UTAS Stadium redevelopment in Launceston.

This matches the commitment already made by the Tasmanian Government, and will accelerate the transformation into a hub of economic activity for Tasmania’s north.

The funding injection means stages 1 and 2 are now able to be completed and the project can be enhanced to meet the regions needs for the longer term.

The co-investment will guarantee Tasmanians have access to world-class entertainment no matter where they live. UTAS Stadium is already set to benefit from a new entertainment precinct, dining options and player facilities.

Stage 1 works are expected to be completed in early 2025 and a new Stage 2 work program will now be planned, with input from stakeholders.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said:

“My Government wants to realise a whole of state vision, one that will strengthen Tasmania’s economy, create jobs and provide better facilities for people to enjoy.

“The Government is already investing in the redevelopment of the University of Tasmania’s Inveresk Campus will help revitalise the Launceston region, with a modern campus which is also a hub for all members of the community.”

Premier of Tasmania, Jeremy Rockliff said:

”The Tasmanian Government’s $65 million had been committed to the UTAS redevelopment to deliver a new, enhanced Eastern stand, improved playing facilities and a new entertainment precinct.

“This will ensure UTAS Stadium is future-proofed and able to deliver economic benefits for the region across the long term,”

the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King said:

“The funding for the UTAS Stadium upgrades is part of our commitment to support growing cities.

“The Australian Government’s investment will support the economic growth of Launceston, while also enhancing the sporting legacy of this great city.”


A once in a generation vision for Hobart’s last remaining waterfront and urban development site will be realised, under a partnership between the Australian and Tasmanian Governments.

A Federal Government investment of $240 million under the 2023-24 Budget, will help unlock the potential of the Macquarie Point precinct, cementing the site as the next step in building a more vibrant Hobart.

The Tasmanian Government will develop a refreshed precinct plan that stretches from Macquarie Point through to crown land at Regatta Point, including a focus on transport connections, while prioritising Hobart port upgrades and housing for Tasmanians.

Housing is recognised as a central part of the broader precinct. In consultation with stakeholders, crown land at Regatta Point will be developed through a public-private partnership, delivering a mix of waterfront housing, including affordable homes and housing for critical health workers and veterans.

A refreshed plan for the site and engagement with the community, will guide the project so it delivers on the priorities of the Hobart locals. This includes working with First Nations groups, Hobart City Council and RSL Tasmania to ensure all existing and proposed uses respect the history of the site and region.

The Australian Government will also invest $65 million towards the planned UTAS Stadium redevelopment in Launceston, supporting economic activity and the proud sporting legacy of Tasmania’s north.

Australian Government funding in the site supports existing investments in Macquarie Point by the Tasmanian Government of $375 million and UTAS Stadium of $65 million.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said:

“This exciting precinct plan will provide real affordable housing for Tasmanians, real jobs and new transport solutions.”

“This sets up Macquarie Point as the future jewel in the crown for Hobart. A place where people can live, work and come together.”

Premier of Tasmania, Jeremy Rockliff said:

“The Urban Renewal project has a multi-purpose stadium at its core, which will inspire economic activity around it and strengthen our economy for decades to come.”

“It will be a unique destination to attract visitors to our state, and will finally mean Tassie can host events that have previously bypassed the State. It creates certainty for investment and thousands of new jobs which will give young people a reason to stay in Tasmania.”

Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said:

“The Australian Government is committed to working in partnership with the Tasmanian Government and local councils to revitalise this site in a way that benefits everybody who uses it and wants to be part of it.”

“This site has been dormant for too long and I am pleased that this Federal Government funding will unlock its potential. Negotiations with the Tasmanian Government have ensured that the infrastructure the state needs will be prioritised on the site.”

“These investments are part of our Government’s commitment to creating a sustainable investment framework for our growing cities.”

Federal Housing and Homelessness Minister Julie Collins said:

“After a decade of inaction at Macquarie Point, this plan represents a huge opportunity for Tasmania. I’m particularly pleased that housing is a central part of the precinct plan.”

This will build on the work the Albanese Government is already doing to ensure more Tasmanians have a safe and affordable place to call home.”

Body found in search for missing man – Muswellbrook

A body, believed to be that of a man reported missing from Muswellbrook, has been located.

The 66-year-old was last seen about 6.30pm on Tuesday 4 April 2023 at Muswellbrook Hospital.

When he could not be located or contacted, the man was reported missing to officers from Hunter Valley Police District who commenced inquiries to locate him.

About 3.35pm today (Friday 28 April 2023), police were searching for the man in bushland at Muswellbrook, when a body was located.

While the body is yet to be formally identified, it is believed to be that of the 66-year-old man.

A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.

Bandidos OMCG member charged over alleged hotel fight near Cessnock

A member of the Bandido outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) has been charged following an alleged brawl at a hotel in the Hunter region.

About 5.30pm on Tuesday (25 April 2023), emergency services were called to Cessnock Road, Weston, following reports of an affray.

Police will allege in court that a 33-year-old man entered the hotel and abused other patrons before assaulting a 58-year-old man.

It will be further alleged that the younger man became involved in a brawl before picking up a bar stool and throwing it towards the older man.

The older man suffered facial injuries and was treated on scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics.

Officers from Hunter Valley Police District established a crime scene, with investigators from State Crime Command’s Raptor North commencing an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Following inquiries, investigators arrested a 33-year-old man at Cessnock Police Station about 9am yesterday (Thursday 27 April 2023).

The man, who police allege is a member of the Bandidos OMCG, was charged with affray, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Kurri Kurri Local Court on Tuesday 23 May 2023.

Inquiries are continuing.