Weekly Wrap Up
- The Reserve Bank of Australia maintained interest rates at 0.1 per cent but decided to discontinue the 0.1 per cent yield target for government securities.
- Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke announced two new permanent residence visa streams for Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders.
- The NSW and Victorian Governments agreed to the opening of borders between the two states effective from 11.59pm on 4 November.
- Victorian Liberal MP Tim Smith resigned as Shadow Attorney-General following a traffic incident over the weekend.
Spotlight on Diplomacy
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has returned to Australia following a seven-day overseas diplomatic tour where he attended the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Rome and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. Mr Morrison’s trip overseas marked the first time he and French President Emmanuel Macron had spoken since the cancellation of the $90 billion future submarine contract between the two countries, with President Macron asserting the Australian Prime Minister had lied to him.
Following the French President’s candid remarks to journalists, private text messages between the two leaders were published in the media suggesting Mr Macron had received some form of forewarning of the contract’s status. In an address to the National Press Club, the Ambassador of France to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault criticised the leaking of text messages, while Mr Morrison has said he will be moving on from the issue.
In more positive news, Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan announced the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) to strengthen the trade relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) from 1 January 2022.
The Prime Minister used his address at the COP26 climate summit to outline Australia’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, saying technology will enable a decarbonised economy. The Government has since announced an international climate finance commitment of $2 billion over the next five years to assist developing countries throughout the Indo-Pacific to address the impacts of climate change.
Additionally, the Prime Minister and Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor announced that Fiji has signed onto the Government’s Indo-Pacific Carbon Offsets Scheme as its first international partner. The Scheme was recently allocated an additional $44 million in funding. This will enable the Scheme to run for 10 years and fund policy framework, emissions reporting and transparency support for partners signed onto the Scheme.
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