Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has named federal Labor’s new frontbench team. Former leader Bill Shorten will take up the National Disability Insurance Scheme portfolio, while senator Kristina Keneally will become Labor’s first shadow home affairs minister. Former shadow treasurer Chris Bowen will become shadow health minister, Katy Gallagher will take the shadow finance position, and Queensland MP Jim Chalmers will move to the shadow treasury. The new shadow cabinet will embark on a “listening tour” before parliament resumes on July 2, aiming to hear from voters who handed the federal Coalition an unexpected victory at the election in May.
Prime minister Scott Morrison has announced $250 million in foreign aid would be reallocated to build infrastructure in the Solomon Islands. Morrison will meet Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare today in his first overseas trip since the election, promising a $3 million loan program to assist Solomon Islands temporary workers enter labour hire schemes. Church of Melanesia mission secretary, Father Nigel Kelaepa, told SBS locals were concerned about Australia’s inaction on climate change, saying “countries in the region who look up to Australia as a big brother would like Australia to lead our battle against the effects of climate”.
Local councils in Sydney are considering phasing out the use of the weedkiller Roundup, following a series of high-profile lawsuits brought against manufacturer Monsanto in the United States. Last month, a couple in California were awarded more than US$2 billion in damages after a jury agreed Roundup had likely contributed to their contracting non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Sydney’s Fairfield Council has already stopped using the weedkiller, while the Georges River council is in the process of phasing it out. While the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority maintains that Roundup and other weedkillers containing glyphosate “can continue to be used safely according to label directions”, two Australian law firms are considering class actions against chemical giant Bayer, which acquired Monsanto last year.
And in the United Kingdom, London mayor Sadiq Khan has hit out at United States president Donald Trump ahead of his state visit. Writing in The Observer, Khan criticised the UK government “rolling out the red carpet” for Trump’s visit, saying Trump “has given comfort to far-right political leaders” and that his policies could be compared to “the actions of European dictators of the 1930s and ’40s”. Trump will be hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace when he arrives in London today, and will meet with prime minister Theresa May on Tuesday.