10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Good morning, all.

Pfizer booster shots were approved yesterday for everyone aged 18 and over. Health Minister Greg Hunt said that the government intends to start the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot rollout “no later” than November 8. Scott Morrison said the rolllout will begin in aged care homes, as with the initial vaccine program. “We will be approving those plans over the course of the next week or so,” Morrison told “Today”. 

Shoppers in Victoria will not need to be vaccinated when non-essential retail reopens from 6pm on Friday, the state government has clarified. Shoppers at non-essential retail stores will not be required to be vaccinated until 90% of Victorians aged over 12 were double vaccinated. Yes, sort of confusing, but there you go.

Ahead of the return of international travel next week, the government’s official travel advice website Smartraveller has removed its blanket “do not travel” warning. “At this stage, no destination will be set lower than level two ‘exercise a high degree of caution’ due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19,” the site reads. “We’ll continue to advise ‘do not travel’ for some destinations if there are extreme security and safety risks.”

Institutional investors and asset consultants have generally welcomed Australia’s commitment to hit net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. But the decidedly technology-heavy plan could be damaged by the nation’s comparatively weak 2030 emission reduction targets. Modelling conducted by the IGCC suggests Australia could lose out on $43 billion in investment by 2025 if it carries on its current pathway, instead of strengthening its climate credentials.

Some 62% of ASX200 companies failed to publish the details of their ESG commitments over the last year.  New research suggests that investor expectations continue to outpace the efforts of Australia’s largest companies amid shifting expectations and a broader democratisation of share trading. Only 36% of ASX200 companies have a net zero target, while just 4% have carbon-negative plans or goals.

New data from CoreLogic shows the proportion of household income committed to rent is on the riseBrisbane and Sydney recorded the fastest rental gains, with Melbourne remaining the most affordable of Australia’s capital cities. National rental prices have climbed 8.9% year-on-year, the data shows. 

Planning to post some gifts for Christmas? Australia Post has published its cutoff dates for delivery within Australia. “For parcel post for most destinations around the country, [the expected deadline] is December 13,” said the company’s executive general manager, Gary Star, on the ABC this morning. “For Express Post, it’s December 20. Locations like Perth and Darwin and outside metro areas is a little earlier, so I’d ask everyone to check the Australia Post website.

Byron Bay will soon be home to Australia’s largest bitcoin mine, powered entirely by renewable energy. The mine’s founders hope the project could see bitcoin mining lead decarbonisation efforts around the world. One of the groups behind the project said Australia could soon be home to more large-scale bitcoin mining projects if the Morrison government legislates the recommendations handed down in a recent Senate report.

Sales at supermarket giant Woolworths have soared for the first quarter of the new financial year. Total sales across all divisions for the three months to the end of September grew 7.8% to $16 billion. Despite the great results, chief executive Brad Banducci labelled the period as Woolworths’ “most challenging COVID quarter”.

Neo-lender Wisr has reported its 21st straight quarter of growth in the face of surging demand for auto finance and personal loans. The demand has seen Wisr transfer some of its loanbook to backers NAB and Revolution Asset Management to make room for more. Wisr chief executive Anthony Nantes expects company to crack $50 million in revenue this financial year. 

BONUS ITEM

Good for him!