10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Good morning all.

Australia, the US and the UK have announced a new security partnership, dubbed “AUKUS”. The new trilateral security partnership deepens cooperation on nuclear subs, cyber, AI, and more. US officials told Politico that a subtext of the agreement is countering China.

The upside for Australia is that it’ll be picking up its first fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. AUKUS is expected to see Australia end the controversial $90 billion deal with French submarine maker Naval Group. Scrapping that deal could cost taxpayers $400 million. Australia will be the only other country besides the UK to have access to the highly-prized nuclear submarine secrets of the US.

Sydney’s local government areas of concern had the 9pm-5am curfew lifted. It has been a controversial policy from the get go. NSW recorded 1259 new coronavirus cases and 12 deaths yesterday. The state is set to break its 80% first vax very soon, with nearly half having received both doses.

Victoria recorded 514 local COVID-19 cases today. The state’s lockdown could be eased today to allow small outdoor gatherings and relaxed restrictions on exercise. Meanwhile, Ballarat was plunged back into lockdown to prevent an outbreak spreading into regional Victoria. The state is expected to hit its 70% threshold of first vaccine doses today, a week ahead of schedule.

The Reserve Bank has lashed successive federal governments for failing to address housing affordability. RBA assistant governor Luci Ellis said negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts essentially encourage “speculative investment”. Ellis also pointed out previous policy efforts had failed because “you don’t increase affordability by giving people more money to spend on housing”.

Sydney-based visual communications company Canva has hit a new milestone with a $US40 billion valuation following a fresh round of capital raising. Now one of the world’s fastest-growing software companies, it plans to double its head count in the next 12 months to meet demand for its products. The largest area of growth has been its enterprise business, as companies adapt to remote work and communication brought on by the pandemic.

The work-from-home revolution started by COVID-19 will persist beyond the pandemic, the Productivity Commission predicts. Data put out by the commission today suggests Australians who work from home one day a week are saving equivalent of seven working days in travel time and $394 in public transport costs over a year. Almost a third of surveyed people said they would like to work three days a week at home.

Lengthy lockdowns are beginning to crush small businesses, new data shows. Defaults began rising in August for the first time since May 2020, while bank loan deferrals increased six-fold. “This is a very concerning scenario for the Australian economy,” CreditorWatch CEO Patrick Coghlan said.

Corporate watchdog ASIC has said it is reviewing the activities of finance influencers. This is active confirmation they are considering the proliferation of finance content on social platforms. It had previously flagged social media influencers giving financial advice as an “area of big concern” for the agency. The statements come amid a surge of new entrants into financial and crypto markets.

Bank of America analyst John Murphy said Lucid could become the next Tesla or Ferrari based on estimates. Murphy called Lucid “one of the most legitimate start-up EV automakers” in its report. Lucid Group went public earlier in July via a SPAC and unveiled its first car earlier this month.

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