10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Australia

Pat Rafter Lleyton HewittPat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt on court in Melbourne last night. Pic: Getty / Scott Barbour

Good morning! 10 Things You Need To Know is a Business Insider speciality, with the US edition publishing Tech and Finance editions each weekday from New York. From this week you’ll find an Australian news edition each morning from Sydney.

  1. Adelaide could be on track to break its all-time record high temperature of 46.1C today. A top of 46C is forecast, making it likely the hottest city in the world today. Melbourne is headed for 44C. Total fire bans are in place across South Australia and Victoria.
  2. As we reported yesterday, this is playing havoc with the energy markets, with brownouts expected and the wholesale prices spiking by thousands of per cent during key demand periods. Retailers better be hedged. Also, there’s a report from the Climate Council warning that heatwaves in Australia are getting worse and more frequent.
  3. Sadly, Pat Rafter and Lleytown Hewitt lost their doubles match at the Australian Open last night. Rafter got a rousing welcome back from the crowd, but his previous warnings that he might not be up to scratch proved true. (Channel 7 even switched from coverage of the game before it finished.) Sam Stosur made it through 6-2 6-0 against Tsvetana Pironkova – the 17th-seeded Aussie will now face 14th-seeded Ana Ivanovic in the next round. Go Sam.
  4. The federal government’s Commission of Audit (unsurprisingly) signalled yesterday that privatisation of government assets is one of its favoured methods of helping get the budget back to surplus – but it also revealed that it has had discussions with Australia Post and SBS. A goal of a budget surplus of 1 per cent of GDP by 2023 is what they’re working towards, in order to build up capacity to absorb future global economic shocks as was the case with the GFC. There was also mention that they’re looking at state taxes. The Australian has a good summary of yesterday’s Senate committee hearing.
  5. The Daily Telegraph reports the cost of the student loans scheme stands at $30 billion, with some $7 billion of the debt categorised as “doubtful” – meaning it might never be repaid.
  6. Global private equity giant CVC Markets says it won’t be buying Australian again any time soon, after its horror experience with buying into Nine. The foray ended up costing CVC some $2 billion and for the next few years at least; Hong Kong-based CVC will be focusing on other parts of Asia. MD Brian Hong says: “What is harder about (Australia) is it is a very competitive market. (In terms of) the amount of private equity capital and other capital chasing deals, it is a small country. The practical reality is that outside the resource space the rest of the country is quite small.”
  7. Qantas is raising the fuel surcharge on a range of international flights on January 23.
  8. The big miners will report on iron ore output in the coming weeks, with records likely from BHP, Rio and Twiggy’s Fortescue. Reuters reports that while demand from China might be slipping and commodity prices falling, it makes sense for the giants to build on their economies of scale.
  9. A group of nine asylum seekers have sewn their lips shut at Christmas Island, and there are concerns that their next step may be to stitch their eyelids closed.
  10. A man has come forward to authorities saying he fell ill after eating at the Bali restaurant where Noelene and Yvana Bischoff dined before they died.

Bonus item: this incredible video, shot with a GoPro and a drone, is being called the best surfing footage ever taken. Find four minutes and treat yourself to it today.

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