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Today the National Cabinet met virtually to discuss the evolving situation with the COVID 19 pandemic and agreed several new measures. The Commonwealth and all States and Territories remain committed to working together collaboratively to support the COVID-19 health response, as Australians continue to manage the impacts of this pandemic. Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly provided an update on the pandemic, including new variants and their potential impact, and the impacts on hospital capacity and broader health system. Australia is beginning to see a new wave of COVID-19 infections driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub variants, which will increase the pressure on our health system. In recognition of the risks associated with more infectious new variants through the winter period, the Commonwealth agreed to reinstate the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment to 30 Septembe.....
Beijing: China's monthly trade surplus soared to a record 97.9 billion in June as export growth accelerated following the easing of anti-virus controls that temporarily shut down Shanghai and disrupted trade. Exports rose 17.9% to 331.2 billion, up from May's 16.9%, customs data showed Wednesday. Imports rose just 1% to 233.3 billion in a sign of weak domestic demand. With almost no growth in imports, China's global trade surplus swelled by 90% compared with a year ago. Exports to the United States surged 19.3% over a year ago to 56 billion despite lingering tariff hikes in a trade war over Beijing's technology ambitions. Imports of American goods edged up 1.7% to 14.6 billion. China's politically volatile trade surplus with the United States widened by 26% from a year earlier to 41.4 billion. It was among irritants that prompted then-President Donald Trump to launch the trad.....
New Delhi: The new Australian government supports the trade pact signed with India, and they are expected to soon approach their parliament for approval of the agreement, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said. India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) signed in April needs ratification by Australian parliament before its implementation. "I met minister Mr Don Farrell, who looks after trade in the new (Australian) government, and he has confirmed that they will be taking the Indus-ECTA to parliament very soon and they support the agreement and would like to further expand their engagement with India in the months and years to come," Goyal told PTI. The agreement, once implemented, will provide duty-free access to the Australian market for over 6,000 broad sectors of India, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewellery and machinery. Goy.....
The total number of dwellings approved rose 9.9 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms in May, following a 3.9 per cent fall in April, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Daniel Rossi, Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS, said: "The increase in the total number of dwellings approved in May was driven by approvals for private sector dwellings excluding houses, which rose 32.0 per cent." "Approvals for private sector houses fell 2.7 per cent in May, following a 0.2 per cent fall in April." Across Australia, the number of dwelling approvals rose in Western Australia (38.7 per cent), Tasmania (26.8 per cent), Queensland (20.9 per cent) and New South Wales (4.7 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms. Dwelling approvals decreased in South Australia (-21.3 per cent) and Victoria (-6.6 per cent). Approvals for private sector house.....
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited Kyiv on Sunday, where he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and expressed Australia’s support for the brave people of Ukraine and the incredible defence of their homeland. During the visit Prime Minister Albanese saw first-hand some of the devastation caused by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. “My visit to Kyiv and recent visits by other world leaders sends a clear message that democratic nations like Australia will stand side-by-side with the Ukrainian people in their time of need,” Albaneses said on the occassion. He further added, “President Zelenskyy’s leadership has rallied the Ukrainian people to defend their country and inspired the world to support humanity and freedom. The road ahead is hard but I am confident Ukraine will prevail.” Following President Zelenskyy’s request for further support, Australia will p.....
New Delhi: India's petrol and diesel sales soared in June on the back of the start of cropping season, summer travels and overall pick up in economic activity, preliminary industry data showed. The start of the cropping season helped diesel demand register a double-digit growth over the pre-pandemic period -- a record in recent years. Diesel, the most-used fuel in the country, saw sales jumping 35.2 per cent year-on-year to 7.38 million tonnes in June. This was 10.5 per cent higher than sales in pre-pandemic June 2019 and 33.3 per cent more than June 2020. It was 11.5 per cent higher than 6.7 million tonnes of consumption during May this year. Industry sources attributed the pick up in diesel demand -- which first rose above pre-pandemic levels in April -- to higher consumption by the agriculture and transport sectors. Petrol sales by state-owned fuel retailers, which cont.....
New Delhi: In line with the government's COP26 commitments, the Ministry of Steel has asked the stakeholders to develop a time-bound action plan to lower emissions in the steel industry. According to a ministry document, the iron and steel industry globally accounts for around 8 per cent of total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions on an annual basis, whereas in India, it contributes 12 per cent to the total CO2 emissions. Thus, the Indian steel industry needs to reduce its emissions substantially in view of the commitments made at the COP26 climate change conference. India will meet a target of net zero emissions by 2070, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the COP26 global climate summit in November 2021. In a meeting held recently, Steel Minister Ram Chandra Prasad Singh "urged the stakeholders to develop a time-bound action plan and make concerted efforts for lowering the emissi.....
Reserve Bank of Australia has increased the cash rate target by 50 basis points to 85 basis points. It also increased the interest rate on Exchange Settlement balances by 50 basis points to 75 basis points. Inflation in Australia has increased significantly. While inflation is lower than in most other advanced economies, it is higher than earlier expected. Global factors, including COVID-related disruptions to supply chains and the war in Ukraine, account for much of this increase in inflation. But domestic factors are playing a role too, with capacity constraints in some sectors and the tight labour market contributing to the upward pressure on prices. The floods earlier this year have also affected some prices. Inflation is expected to increase further, but then decline back towards the 2–3 per cent range next year. Higher prices for electricity and gas and recent increases in .....
A series of NASA rockets will be launched into space from the Northern Territory later this month, with the Australian Government signing-off on a history-making moment for the local space sector. Three scientific suborbital sounding rockets will be launched between 26 June and 12 July 2022 from the Arnhem Space Centre, which is owned and run by Equatorial Launch Australia. This will be the first time NASA launches rockets from a commercial facility outside of the US. They will also be the first NASA rockets launched from Australia since 1995, when launches were conducted from the Royal Australian Air Force Woomera Range Complex. “The growth of launch related activities in Australia is helping to open up the full value chain of space activities, which will grow the sector and create new businesses and job opportunities here at home," said Head of the Australian Space Agency En.....
Scott Morrison is quick to blame the largest spike in inflation in more than two decades on international factors, such as the war in Ukraine, as well as supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But Australian exporters are also enjoying the biggest price boom in almost half a century, largely on the same factors. The prime minister says his government has been able to “shield” households from rising prices with a cost-of-living support package in last month’s budget that included slashing fuel excise for six months. This, he says, was only achievable through his government’s “economic plan” and a $100 billion turnaround in the budget bottom line. But new figures also show national income received a massive lift in the March quarter through soaring export prices – a major boost to the budget bottom line and outside the government’s control. .....
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.1 per cent in the March 2022 quarter and 5.1 per cent annually, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Head of Prices Statistics at the ABS, Michelle Marquardt, said "The CPI recorded its largest quarterly and annual rises since the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST)." The most significant contributors to the rise in the March quarter CPI were new dwellings (+5.7 per cent), automotive fuel (+11.0 per cent) and tertiary education (+6.3 per cent). "Continued shortages of building supplies and labour, heightened freight costs and ongoing strong demand contributed to price rises for newly built dwellings. Fewer grant payments made this quarter from the Federal Government's HomeBuilder program and similar state-based housing construction programs also contributed to the rise." said Ms Marquardt.....
New Delhi:Prime Minister Narendra Modi and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday agreed to launch an EU-India trade and technology council to address the challenges of ensuring trusted technology and security in the wake of rapid geopolitical changes. The decision was taken during talks between Modi and von der Leyen. The European Union said the strategic coordination mechanism will allow both partners to tackle challenges "at the nexus of trade, trusted technology and security, and thus deepen cooperation in these fields." It said both sides agreed that rapid changes in the geopolitical environment highlight the need for joint in-depth strategic engagement. "The Trade and Technology Council will provide the political steer and the necessary structure to operationalise political decisions, coordinate technical work, and report to the political level to .....
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