10.37pm GMT

There’s been a bit of a groundhog day moment on the ABC.

Insiders host David Speers is interviewing Labor’s environment spokeswoman, Terri Butler, following Labor’s previous public brawling over gas and this week’s decision to support new gas projects.

He asks her the same question four times: “Would you like to see more gas used in Australia or less?”

Butler answers, mostly, the same way each time: “Australia can become a renewable energy super power and we also believe that gas will be an important part of the transition to getting there”.

Labor’s environment spokeswoman Terri Butler. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Speers asks Butler repeatedly to clarify if this means “more gas or less”.

Butler replies: “We would like to see gas form an important part of the transition to Australia becoming a regional superpower.”

Speers: “I will try one more time: does that mean more reliance on gas or less?”

Butler: “It means that gas is an important part of the energy mix while we transition to becoming a renewable energy super power.”

She tells him: “I know it is not the answer that you necessarily want, but … that’s the ambition we have for this country.”

at 10.42pm GMT

10.25pm GMT

Counting will resume in the Queensland state election, and more results in the closer seats will trickle in today.

It is clear that premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has won a third term – the first woman in Australian history to win three consecutive elections – and she could have an increased majority.

The ABC’s election analyst, Antony Green, has just been on the Insiders program with a morning update.

Third term Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Saturday night. Photograph: Jono Searle/Getty Images

“It is certain that Labor has a majority,” he said. “47 is the bare majority in the parliament, but as it is, at the end of the night, based on prediction, the Labor party could end up with 50 or 51 seats by the end.

“Labor has held all of the Townsville and Cairns and regional city seats, so the concerns that Labor had in the north of the state were washed way.”

at 10.39pm GMT

10.07pm GMT

Record numbers of children in Australia are being vaccinated, statistics released today show.

AAP reports:

Notably the vaccination rate has also risen among five-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, where it has reached 97% coverage.

The vaccination rate for all five-year-olds, from January to September this year, rose to 94.9%.

Among all two-year-old children, the coverage rate has risen to almost 92.4%, which is the first time it has climbed above 92% since 2014.

Photograph: Hotli Simanjuntak/EPA

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander two-year-old vaccination rate has also risen to almost 91.2% in the current quarter.

The overall vaccination rate for one-year-olds has also increased in the past 12 months, reaching 94.7%, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander one-year-old vaccination rate increased to 93.5%.

The federal health minister, Greg Hunt, said the results were “a clear indication that the Morrison government’s childhood immunisation education campaign is getting results”.

“The most recent phase of the campaign specifically targeted parents of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0-5 years,” he said.

at 10.20pm GMT

9.52pm GMT

More than 9.6m Texans voted early

In the US, Texas’s final early voting statistics are in. And it’s huge. More than 9.6 million Texans have voted early this year – which is more than the total number of votes cast in the state in all of 2016.

My colleague Alexandra Villarreal reports that 30.4% of this year’s early ballots have been cast by voters who didn’t participate in 2016.

at 9.55pm GMT

9.22pm GMT

Victoria records zero cases and zero deaths

The state of Victoria in Australia has recorded zero new cases of coronavirus, and zero deaths, for the second day in a row.

The 14 day average is now down to 2.2.

Yesterday was also a day of zero cases in the state, after one reported in the morning turned out not to be new.


In the past 24 hours, no new cases reported and no lives lost. The 14 day average is down to 2.2. There is 1 case with an unknown source. More info: https://t.co/eTputEZdhs

#COVID19VicData pic.twitter.com/zNmzqBgAbt

October 31, 2020


UPDATE: Follow up testing has confirmed that today’s single reported coronavirus case is NOT a case.
Therefore there are officially 0 cases for today. This change will be reflected in the overall case numbers tomorrow.#COVID19Vic #COVID19VicData https://t.co/snzwoujI7N

October 31, 2020

at 9.48pm GMT

9.21pm GMT

Hello everyone, and welcome back to our continuing global coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s Naaman Zhou here in Sydney. We’ll take you through the developments in Australia and around the world as they happen.

So far, in the past 24 hours:

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has announced a second month-long national lockdown for England, as the UK surpassed 1m infections on Saturday.
Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has urged Scots not to travel to England.
The number of Covid-related hospitalisations hit record numbers in at least 14 European countries this week, as the second wave of the pandemic hit.
Italy recorded 31,758 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Saturday, its highest daily tally since the start of the pandemic.
Austria announced a night-time curfew and the closure of cafes, bars and restaurants on Saturday amid “exploding” coronavirus infections.
Brazilian health minister Eduardo Pazuello is in stable condition in a hospital after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

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