Monday, 5 Dec 2022

Australia news LIVE: Sydney flood risks grow as rain continues to fall across the east coast; RBA hikes interest rates to 1.35 per cent

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Key posts

  • ‘We keep getting wiped out’: Clean-up begins as east coast low moves on, but residents are angry
  • Nick Kyrgios charged with assaulting former girlfriend
  • ‘A question of when’: Albanese backs fourth COVID shots as workplaces slammed
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‘We keep getting wiped out’: Clean-up begins as east coast low moves on, but residents are angry

The road through Shanes Park, in Sydney’s west, is usually lined with paddocks, chickens and a variety of farm animals. But since Friday, water, floating mattresses, milk bottles, car parts and bins line the street. It’s a sight that has become all too familiar for resident Suzette Turner, who said the area has been hit by four floods in the last two years.

The water now sits at the top of their double-storey house and she’s confident they’ve lost everything. This time was different from the previous floods. This time, Turner said, there was limited assistance from the emergency services, and delayed evacuation orders that not everyone in the community received.

For its part, the NSW SES says its resources are stretched but that it has thousands of volunteers and rescue teams responding to the flooding event, bolstered by additional interstate support.

The SES has issued more than 100 evacuation orders and 55 evacuation warnings across the state over the past few days, as many locations received more than double their monthly average rainfall. This includes Cessnock, which has received 137mm of rain to date – much higher than its 29mm July monthly average; Camden, which has seen 232mm in the past five days, 197mm more than its monthly average; and Kiama which has received 318mm more rain than its monthly average.

Nick Kyrgios charged with assaulting former girlfriend

Nick Kyrgios will chase a career-best grand slam semi-final berth at Wimbledon despite confirmation the tennis star will face court in Australia next month accused of assaulting his former girlfriend.

Tournament organisers declined to comment on the allegations on Tuesday, citing legal proceedings, but have confirmed the 27-year-old remains scheduled to meet Chilean Cristian Garen on court one on Wednesday evening (AEST).

Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon.Credit:Getty Images

“We are in touch with Nick’s team and he remains scheduled to play his quarter-final match tomorrow,” an All England Club spokesperson said.

Kyrgios has been summoned to appear at the Australia Capital Territory Magistrates’ Court on August 2 on an allegation of common assault against Chiara Passari. The charge carries a maximum jail sentence of two years.

ACT Police said in a statement on Tuesday evening that the allegations related to an incident in December last year, which Kyrgios’ barrister says was “in the context of a domestic relationship”.

Ranked 40 in the world, Kyrgios needs just one more victory to reach the final four at any of the sport’s four majors for the first time.

More large interest rate hikes expected as banks urged to pass it to savers

Banks are being urged to deliver the nation’s army of savers an increase in their interest rates to help offset some of the pain facing borrowers after the Reserve Bank again tightened monetary policy with the promise of more to come.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers says interest rate rise will put pressure on borrowers.Credit:Getty

As Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the country was strong enough to withstand a second consecutive 0.5 percentage point increase in official interest rates, economists said the RBA would push ahead with a similar lift when it meets again in August.

The bank took the official cash rate to 1.35 per cent following its Tuesday board meeting. It has lifted the cash rate by 1.25 percentage points in the last three months, the most aggressive tightening of monetary policy since 1994.

Chalmers said the hike will be felt by “hardworking Australians” as they face higher costs, with more pain to come as the NSW flooding is predicted to add even further pressure to grocery prices.

‘A question of when’: Albanese backs fourth COVID shots as workplaces slammed

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has backed state government calls to give more Australians access to a fourth COVID vaccine dose, saying it’s only a question of when those under 65 become eligible.

Albanese backs the widening of a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.Credit:Eddie Jim

The nation’s vaccine advisory body, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations (ATAGI), will consider fourth doses at its meeting on Wednesday, while the nation’s drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, will on Friday consider giving final approval for vaccines for children under five, who have so far been ineligible for any doses.

The prime minister intervened in the debate shortly after he returned to Australia from his NATO trip, following petitioning from NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to widen the eligibility criteria.

The call comes as one of Australia’s top pandemic advisers warned that the impending winter wave of Omicron could be the worst COVID-19 outbreak the nation has ever seen.

Albanese told radio station 6PR in Perth that it was vital all Australians got their third shot because it had a real impact on mitigating the disease’s symptoms. About 67 per cent of eligible Australians have had their third shot.

“I know that the authorities including ATAGI are looking at that [approving a fourth jab]. I think it’s a question of when rather than whether it will happen. We need to make sure that people continue to keep up their vaccinations,” he said.

Today’s headlines

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Wednesday, July 7. I’m Timna Jacks and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started.

  • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has backed state government calls to give more Australians access to a fourth COVID vaccine dose, saying it’s only a question of when those under 65 become eligible.
  • Nick Kyrgios charged with assaulting former girlfriend
  • Flood clean-up begins in Sydney as east coast low moves on, but residents are angry
  • Banks are being urged to deliver the nation’s army of savers an increase in their interest rates to help offset some of the pain facing borrowers after the Reserve Bank again tightened monetary policy with the promise of more to come.
  • At least 65 home owners have been left in financial limbo after another Victorian house builder collapsed, citing pressure from construction costs, supply-chain delays and labour shortages.
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