Australia news LIVE: Government to partner with France to provide more ammunition to Ukraine; robo-debt inquiry continues

Key posts

  • Australia and France to jointly provide ammunition to Ukraine
  • Voice campaigns to battle it out for migrant vote
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
  • 1 of 1

Australia and France to jointly provide ammunition to Ukraine

Australia will partner with France to produce several thousand rounds of ammunition for Ukraine’s armed forces as it struggles to defend itself against Russia’s invasion.

The announcement was made in a diplomatic meeting in Paris on Monday, European time, between Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Defence Minister Richard Marles and their French counterparts.

From left: Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Defence Minister Richard Marles, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna and French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu in Paris. Credit:Nathan Laine

The plan’s unveiling comes as the nations rebuild a relationship that hit rock bottom 18 months ago following the cancellation of Australia’s submarine contract.

French defence company Nexter will manufacture the 155 mm shells, a NATO-standard artillery calibre that is used in many field guns, howitzers, and gun-howitzers. Australia will provide the gunpowder for the ammunition.

Read the full story here.

Voice campaigns to battle it out for migrant vote

Migrants will be told to vote yes for an Indigenous Voice at religious services, in ethnic newspapers and through non-English radio stations, while No campaigners will tell migrants to reject the notion that Australia is a racist nation.

The No campaign’s Indigenous leader, Warren Mundine, told this masthead ethnic communities will be receptive to the argument that the Voice is an elitist project that talks down the country, as he argues that migrants should also be recognised in the constitution.

Warren Mundine is leading the No campaign.Credit:Brook Mitchell

Signalling a divisive fight to win the votes of new Australians, ethnic community leader Carlo Carli suggested Mundine’s pitch was a red herring designed to pit immigrants against Indigenous Australians.

More on this issue here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Tuesday, January 31. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started:

  • Australia will partner with France to produce thousands of artillery shells for Ukraine. It comes just 18 months after the former Morrison government cancelled the country’s French submarine contract. Europe correspondent Rob Harris has the full story.
  • Australia’s AAA credit rating has been affirmed. But home buyers could face another four interest rate rises by August.
  • The Yes and No campaigns for the upcoming referendum on an Indigenous Voice to parliament are planning to battle it out for the migrant vote.
  • Former Coalition staffer Rachelle Miller is due to give evidence to the robo-debt inquiry later today.
  • Meanwhile, pathologists have made a formal bid for Medicare funding to test for “bad cholesterol”.
  • In state news, the pokies lobby is targeting NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet due to his cashless poker machine proposal.
  • In Victoria, a coroner has paved the way for significant changes to the way Indigenous Victorians are treated by the criminal justice system.
  • Elsewhere, West Australia has a new Liberal leader. And South Australia’s assisted dying laws come into effect from today.
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