10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Australia

Cate BlanchettPhoto: Getty

Good morning, and welcome to Friday! 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. Victoria and South Australia just need to make it through one more day of punishing heat ahead of an anticipated cool change in the late afternoon or early evening. Temperatures up to 44C are expected in Melbourne and Adelaide. There is a giant bushfire – more than 11,000 hectares – burning in Victoria’s Grampians National Park, after it grew quickly overnight. Yesterday may have been the worst of it; there were reports of people crying and throwing punches on Melbourne public transport yesterday. Just one more day.
  2. Rising stars Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios were bundled out of the Australian Open yesterday, losing to Rafael Nadal and Benoit Paire respectively. The Herald Sun gives Kokkinakis a massive rap this morning following his performance. Today Sam Stosur faces Ana Ivanovic in what should be a belter of a game (Go Sam!), while Casey Dellaqua will play China’s Jie Zheng.
  3. The Oscar nominations are out. Cate Blanchett is Australia’s big hope for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. Catherine Martin is also nominated for costume design and production design on The Great Gatsby. American Hustle and Gravity dominate the shortlists with 10 nods each, while The Wolf of Wall Street is in the running for five, including best actor (Leonardo Di Caprio), and best director (Martin Scorsese).
  4. The Australian dollar was crushed on the December employment data yesterday, and is sitting just above US88c after overnight trading. Shockingly, it’s now also heading for parity with the Kiwi, buying 1.055 pesos this morning.
  5. Elections! Tasmania will join South Australia in going to the polls on March 15th, after the Apple Isle’s premier Lara Giddings pulled the trigger yesterday and also declare an end to the party’s popularity-killing alliance with the Greens. Tassie’s odd electoral system always threatens surprises but the polls have had the Liberals comfortably ahead; in South Australia the Libs have been marginally ahead too but it’s a tighter race.
  6. Telstra chief executive David Thodey says the company is now moving towards “becoming a true pan-Asian business”. On one hand he says the company won’t “rush into anything” but, on the other, flags that by 2020 technological shifts including cloud computing and the growth of mobile will mean the company will be technologically “just about 100 per cent different from where we are today”.
  7. There’s more talk about a sale of Australia Post after the government’s Commission of Audit revealed during the week that it had met executives from the business and flagged asset sales as a means of bolstering the budget bottom line. This morning the Business Council of Australia says it backs privatisation, which could raise up to $3 billion for the government.
  8. In the Fin, the ACCC says it has been talking to the mobile app development industry about the dangers of in-app payments that allow kids to run up their parents’ credit card bills, after US regulators forced Apple to repay tens of millions of dollars in unexpected payments. Damn you, Candy Crush.
  9. Suspicions of wild overvaluations in the cloud computing sector have certain investors looking at the case for shorting the stock of some providers.
  10. Quade Cooper is growing up.

Bonus item: This girl has somehow managed to get her search for a date, attending the cricket on Saturday in Sydney, in The Daily Telegraph. She’s been struggling to find blokes who aren’t hipsters or roiders. “To be honest I have been doing a full-time masters degree in international relations and have been working loads at a cancer charity so I haven’t had the chance to get out that much,” she said.

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