Coal and gas power stations would receive payments to secure reliable supply and keep Australia’s ailing electricity system operating, as the government faces pressure to avoid blackouts and fix the national energy crisis.
A week is an eon in Russia’s ever-evolving war narrative. Last week I reported here that Russia was telling its citizens that US mothers can’t get baby food due to its spending billions on Ukraine. Similarly, Germans had to save energy by closing the fridge door faster, drying their clothes on a line, not in a dryer, and washing their body parts selectively, presumably their head one day, and feet the next.
Sky News Business Editor Ross Greenwood says the markets are being significantly impacted by the prospect of further interest rate hikes and inflation. He said markets around the world have had “hundreds of billions of dollars wiped” this week. “The ASX 200 lost eight per cent in just the past week,” he said. “On Tuesday, it had had its biggest one-day fall since before the beginning of the COVID pandemic.”
The Australian National University’s Professor of Economics Warwick McKibbin says Australia can avoid a recession. “We didn’t have to have a recession in 1991 – it was bad policy choices,” he told Sky News Business Editor Ross Greenwood. “It’s not just up to the Reserve Bank … you have to coordinate monetary policy, fiscal policy, you need a very clear energy and climate policy so that investors will go out there and start investing in new technologies. “So this is an all policy issue that needs to be addressed.”
In January last year, having endured the pandemic from the confines of a two-bedroom one-bathroom apartment in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn, Andrew and Emma Satinover took the leap and bought a family home in Perth without having seen it in person.
Ambitious climate targets, a federal jobs and skills agency and more than a week of paid domestic and family violence leave are the major items on Anthony Albanese’s agenda as the first sitting week of parliament looms.
The Agency CEO Matt Lahood says Perth is one of the best places in Australia for liveability and affordability. Mr Lahood said he thinks there are a lot of people moving from the east coast to Perth. “Just accessibility, the lifestyle and the way everything is run, it’s just a beautiful place,” he told Sky News Australia. “I just feel that market is going to be very resilient to the rest of the country because it’s still very affordable.”
Business owners are being advised to protect their personal information as the volume of cyber scams in Australia grows exponentially. Banks have enacted safeguards to help consumers but NAB's Chief Executive for Financial Crime and Fraud warned people of the need to protect themselves as well.
For the first time in history, a woman has been appointed to lead NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It's an exciting time for women in the space exploration industry with newly appointed Dr Laura Leshin saying as a child she “could never imagine” this would ever happen. Dr Leshin started in NASA as a PhD student from Caltech before having a distinguished career as a geochemist, space scientist, and academic.
Entrepreneur Elon Musk's private company SpaceX has dismissed at least five employees over the curation and circulation of a letter denouncing the CEO and requesting more inclusivity within the workplace. In the open letter to executives, the employees called Mr Musk a "distraction and embarrassment" to the company. Elon Musk has recently featured in headlines and nighttime monologues over his quest to purchase Twitter as well as facing an allegation of sexual harassment, which he has denied. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell confirmed the employee terminations over email, saying the staff members made others feel "uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied" because the letter "did not reflect their views".
The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted the first rogue black hole – a black hole all by itself – according to ANU astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Brad Tucker. “We know there are a bunch of small black holes that exist in our Milky Way,” he told Sky News Australia. “But they’re obviously hard to see, we don’t really get an image of them directly, we can only see when black holes feed – these small black holes don’t.” Dr Tucker said the occurrence of rogue black holes is “more common” than has been previously measured and there may be “ten or 50 million” in the galaxy. “Generally, we find them with other stars so we can kind of see their effects through gravity,” he said. “But when they’re by themselves, obviously there’s no real other way of finding it so this one was a bit of luck.”
The fastest growing black hole in nine million years has been discovered by Australian researchers, according to ANU astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Brad Tucker. “A really cool discovery, so using the Siding Spring SkyMapper telescope, they were able to find this black hole,” he told Sky News Australia. “It’s a very big black hole so it’s 500 times bigger than the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy and it eats about the size of the Earth per second.” Dr Tucker said the discovery is part of “understanding how black holes grow” as it believed they end up as small things as stars end their lives and over time feeds more in order to grow. “When you find a black hole like this that kind of pushes that bound for how big you can get and how much you can eat, then it tells us a bit about that process that unfolds in the history of the universe,” he said. “And hopefully shedding light on how these monsters get to be the size they do.”
NASA's Artemis 1 rocket is set for another test, with today’s being a “wet rehearsal”, according to ANU astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Brad Tucker. The test marks the second attempt at launch after April's test found a few issues with the rocket. “You essentially take the rocket, you fill it up, get it ready to launch, you do the countdown, you do all the testing, essentially everything except launch,” he told Sky News Australia. “The idea here is they want to make sure that the filling up of the fuel and the emergency unfuelling – in the event that the real rocket doesn’t take off, they can pump out the fuel safely – that all of it works.” Dr Tucker said the wet rehearsal will take approximately 48 hours to complete.
A bushfire has hit the large national observatory in Arizona, according to ANU astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Brad Tucker. Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson is being threatened by a “massive grassfire” in the area. “Obviously, they’ve been working hard to fend it off but … overnight, it did breach the summit so there has been fire on the mountaintop,” he told Sky News Australia. Dr Tucker said the fire was very close to some of the observatory’s telescopes but there hasn’t been an assessment of the damage yet. “No one’s, obviously, been able to get up there,” he said.
Australia has nearly 2,000 professional beekeepers managing more than 500 and 30,000 hives. Natural disasters along the East Coast in recent years have had a dire effect – the crucial crop pollination industry is facing a worker shortage.
Chief Executive of Financial Crime and Fraud at NAB Chris Sheehan says the volume of cyber scams affecting the Australian economy has “grown exponentially” in the last two to three years. Mr Sheehan said the ACCC estimates losses from scams are likely to hit over $300 million this year. “That’s probably understating the impact by at least 30 or 40 per cent,” he told Sky News Australia. “People don’t report being the victim of a scam.”
Head of Batteries at Smart Energy Joel Power said rising costs of energy bills is a problem which is expected to continue for three-to-five years. Mr Power said rising energy prices is not a short-term problem. “We’ve obviously had a cold weather snap across the east coast recently, and at the moment we’ve got a series of coal-fire powered stations that are out, and then obviously we’ve got spike in commodity prices because of the war in Ukraine,” he told Sky News Australia. “Those three things coming together are really going to be bad news for the consumer.”
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has confirmed the east coast’s energy outlook has improved, as more generators have come online. AEMO says Australians on the east coast and in South Australia do not need to be worried about blackouts this weekend with sufficient supply. NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said AEMO had confirmed energy conditions were "much better".
The director of a major food distributor has shared fears that growing struggles in the food and food service industry could cause popular items disappear from menus and price rises of at least 20 per cent, as the burden to absorb extra costs become too much for eateries.