Australia news LIVE: RBA to decide on interest rates; Voice to parliament campaign continues
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- Teals condemn Labor on transparency as Marles faces questions over VIP flights
- Sluggish spending supports case to hold rates again
- Australian MPs travel to Washington to sway politicians on Assange
- Kim to meet Putin in Russia this month to discuss selling arms
- This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Bandt says Greens will consider inquiry into Qatar decision
Turning now Greens leader Adam Bandt, who is speaking about the government’s decision to reject Qatar’s application for extra flights to Australia.
Bandt was asked whether he would support a Senate inquiry into the decision, which Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie called for yesterday.
He said the Greens wanted to know what advice was given to the government about the decision.
“We’re seeking to understand the advice that was given to the government about the decision, and we’ll have a look at that, and we’ll consider our position [on the inquiry],” Bandt said on ABC radio this morning.
The Greens leader said the party would meet to discuss the issue, but the primary question was about whether the government was acting in the public interest or corporate interest.
“The opposition may have different bones to pick, but we’ll have a look at what inquiry they’re proposing.”
Teals condemn Labor on transparency as Marles faces questions over VIP flights
Defence Minister Richard Marles will face a Senate vote to reveal his flights on VIP aircraft after weeks of dispute over the $3.6 million cost of the flights, as Labor faces a test on transparency amid criticism from independent MPs.
Today the Greens and Coalition will move to order the release of government documents that show the dates and costs of every flight as well as their origins and destinations, seeking a return to the standard of disclosure in place under former prime minister John Howard.
Defence Minister Richard Marles was on Monday asked if he had ‘taken his golf clubs’ on any VIP flights.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen
Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie united with six teal MPs, who were elected on an integrity platform last election, to express disappointment about the Albanese government’s commitment to transparency and the non-release of key information on climate change and VIP planes.
Coalition defence spokesman Andrew Hastie challenged Marles in question time on Monday by asking whether he had “taken his golf clubs” on any of the government aircraft and if anyone outside his family or staff had travelled with him on the flights.
Continue reading about the issue here.
Sluggish spending supports case to hold rates again
The largest fall in spending on goods including clothing, footwear and home furnishings since the start of the Delta wave of the pandemic has bolstered the case for the Reserve Bank to hold interest rates steady for a third consecutive month.
Outgoing RBA governor Philip Lowe will today helm his last meeting of the board, which is widely expected by economists to keep the official cash rate at 4.1 per cent as the economy continues to show signs of slowing and inflation pressures ease.
Households have continued to pull back on spending for non-essential items as inflation and interest rates bite.Credit: Nick Moir
AMP deputy chief economist Diana Mousina said there was no solid reason for the Reserve Bank to raise the cash rate on Tuesday after holding it steady for the past two months.
“If we look at all the data that’s come out since the last meeting – wages growth has been softer, the unemployment rate’s gone up, inflation is coming down quicker than the Reserve Bank had been expecting, consumer spending is soft and retail volumes have been declining since December,” she said.
“There is no argument right now that could push you towards another rate hike if the Reserve has already been on hold for two months, so I think the chance of a hike tomorrow is pretty low.”
More on interest rates here.
Australian MPs travel to Washington to sway politicians on Assange
Australian MPs from across the political spectrum will travel to Washington this month in a bid to recruit American politicians to the campaign to pressure the Biden administration to drop its pursuit of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
With Assange, an Australian national, rapidly running out of options to avoid being extradited to the United States, the cross-party parliamentary delegation intends to meet members of the US House of Representatives and Senate as well as officials from the Department of Justice and State Department.
Monique Ryan will head to the US to campaign on behalf of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen
Among those pleading Assange’s case are former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, Liberal senator Alex Antic, Labor MP Tony Zappia, independent MP Dr Monique Ryan and Greens senators David Shoebridge and Peter Whish-Wilson.
Their trip, scheduled for September 20-21, is intended to raise the profile of Assange’s plight in the weeks leading up to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s first prime ministerial trip to Washington at the end of October.
Find out more about the trip here.
Kim to meet Putin in Russia this month to discuss selling arms
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un plans to travel to Russia this month to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the possibility of supplying weapons for the war in Ukraine, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing US and allied sources.
Kim would travel from Pyongyang, probably by armoured train, to Vladivostok, on the Pacific Coast of Russia, where he would meet with Putin, the newspaper said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un in Vladivostok in 2019.Credit: AP
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The planned trip would come as Russia discusses holding joint military exercises with North Korea and after Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had tried on a visit to North Korea to convince Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition to Russia.
Here’s the full story from Reuters.
This morning’s headlines at a glance
Good morning, and thanks for your company.
It’s Tuesday, September 5. I’m Caroline Schelle, 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:
- Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will fly to Indonesia today, before visiting the Philippines and India as it seeks to deepen economic ties with South-East Asia.
- Australia will start running joint military patrols with the Philippines in the contested waters of the South China Sea, in part of its bid to strengthen the relationship with the country.
- Legal experts have dismissed a call from Opposition Leader Peter Dutton to change the question on the Indigenous Voice before the October 14 referendum.
- Almost $1 billion a year is expected to be added to the wage bill in the gig economy and the labour-hire sector under Labor’s industrial relations reforms.
Outgoing RBA governor Philip Lowe, will helm his last meeting of the board today.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen
- Outgoing Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe will today helm his last meeting of the board, which is widely expected by economists to keep the official cash rate at 4.1 per cent.
- Australian MPs will travel to Washington this month to pressure the Biden administration to drop its pursuit of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
- Defence Minister Richard Marles will face a Senate vote to reveal his flights on VIP aircraft after weeks of dispute over the $3.6 million cost of the flights.
- Westpac could face millions of dollars in penalties for failing to respond to customers’ hardship notices quickly enough, with the finance watchdog launching civil penalty proceedings today.
- And overseas, New Zealand Labour has flashed its pearly whites for the election campaign, promising free dental care for under-30s.
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