Australia politics news LIVE: Anger as prominent Yes advocate and comedian Adam Hills defends Voice spitter with four outrageous words


Here, follow Daily Mail Australia’s liveblog for all the updates on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum and Australian politics today.

Comedian Adam Hills defends Yes23 spitter

Comedian Adam Hills has defended the university professor caught on camera spitting at a man at a Voice Yes rally.

Shocking footage went viral on Thursday showing Emeritus Professor Denise Ferris, from the Australian National University, spitting at activist Andrew Thaler at an event in Cooma, in NSW’s south-east.

Now Hills, an outspoken Yes advocate, has defended the move with four shocking words: ‘talk s**t, get spit’.

Hills went on to clarify that he does not think either party displayed particularly admirable behavior.

‘I don’t reckon you should spit at another person. I also don’t reckon you should call someone a “stupid m**e”,’ he said.

His apparent defence of the actions Professor Ferris took sparked a wave of criticism from his followers, who encouraged him to rise above the fighting.

West Australian Department of Education starts its OWN Voice

The West Australian Department of Education has today unveiled its own advisory Voice body to help close the gap between Indigenous students and their peers.

The group will be comprised of 10 members, who will help to inform policies to assist in the education of First Nations children.

It comes amid revelations the number of Aboriginal students achieving the minimum requirements to complete year 12 had dropped from 47.7 per cent to 41.5 per cent between 2018 and 2022.

Kimberley Land Council CEO Tyronne Garstone will be part of this advisory body, and told The West Australian the outcome of the referendum into a Voice to Parliament could shape how much power the WA Voice holds.

He also noted that a Voice to Parliament could address and tackle problems within the education system which disproportionately impact Aboriginal children and their families.

‘If your parents only reached Year 9, they may not value education as much as a family that has been through university and who understand that education is critical,’ he said.

‘For many Aboriginal families, just getting through a week, dealing with the cost of living and securing housing, is a challenge.’

Federal budget back in black for first time in 15 years

Sky-high prices for Australia’s commodity exports and robust jobs growth have helped the federal government land a record $22.1billion surplus.

The surplus for the 2022/23 financial year is the first time in 15 years the government has brought in more revenue than it has spent.

The last surplus was delivered under John Howard’s Coalition government in 2007/08 – not long before the global financial crisis.

Labor will be celebrating a surplus well above the slender $4.3billion forecast in the May budget.

It also marks a dramatic improvement on the $77.9billion deficit predicted in the Coalition’s final budget last year.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said a stronger budget would serve as the foundation to ‘build everything that we want to do for our people and our society’.

‘The $100 billion turnaround achieved in our first year in office is the biggest nominal budget improvement in Australian history.’

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA, NewsWire Photos. AUGUST 24, 2023: Treasurer Jim Chalmers addresses the NPC on the release of the Albanese Government's first Intergenerational Report at the National Press Club in Canberra. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman