10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Good morning all.

Former attorney-general Christian Porter has announced he will quit politics at the next election. It comes after he moved to the backbench amid the fallout from a historical rape allegation and secret donations to fund his legal bills for defamation action against the ABC. Speculation is mounting that Health Minister Greg Hunt will also announce the end of his political career today.

Victoria’s new pandemic laws are set to pass the state’s upper house today. It will give the premier and health minister the ability to issue public health orders. It has been the source of a great deal of controversy — and protests — but legal experts say it will include some of the most rigorous safeguards against human rights abuses in the nation, compared to similar legislation and powers in other states.

Australia’s economy contracted 1.9% in the September quarter, new figures show. The Australian Bureau of Statistics says household consumption plummeted in locked-down states. But the GDP downturn was far less severe than many economists expected, raising expectations for the fourth quarter.

Half of Australian capital cities recorded property value increases of more than 20% this year, a new CoreLogic report shows. While national growth remained unchanged, in regional markets conditions fluctuated, with housing values in some cities continuing to race ahead. CoreLogic’s head of research said the all signs pointed to an end to the explosion of price growth in 2022.

Private equity funds enjoyed a major rebound through FY21, with returns outperforming the ASX 200. Most of the rebound was driven by major deals in tech, media and telecommunications, as the global market shifted online. Sebastian Stevens, national private equity leader at BDO, said the industry has become more attractive to vendors as well post-pandemic. 

The RBA pledged to scale up its initiatives to improve employment and wealth outcomes for Indigenous Australians at a recent panel. Banking and access to finance should be areas where central banks could be doing more to help communities, deputy governor of the RBA Guy Debelle said.  The Australian central bank formed a voluntary network with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) and the Bank of Canada (BoC) to improve knowledge sharing in April.

Young Australians report a lower sense of financial wellbeing than older cohorts, a new ANZ report says. It outlines how factors like mental and physical health play into a sense of financial wellbeing. It also suggests health plays a larger role in financial wellbeing than an individual’s saving and spending habits.

Liquor & Gaming NSW will deploy secret shoppers in a bid to catch alcohol delivery services that aren’t obeying the rules. The move follows the introduction of new reforms in July, after an influx of entrants flooded the space. The new reforms require staff to be be trained on the responsible service of alcohol, among other things, by December 1.

The first US case of the Omicron variant has been identified in California. “We knew it was just a matter of time before the first case of Omicron would be detected in the United States,” said chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci. US stocks turned sharply lower on the announcement.

The head of WHO’s global vaccine program, Covax, said rich countries must prioritise sharing vaccines over booster shots. The UK and US ramped up booster shot drives after scientists identified the Omicron variant. WHO and global public health leaders warned booster shots would slow global vaccination efforts.