What’s New? – 10 May 2023

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Australia Set to Achieve First Budget Surplus in 15 Years

Australia is on track to achieve its first budget surplus in 15 years, with an estimated surplus of approximately A$4 billion for the fiscal year ending in June. Furthermore, deficit projections for subsequent years have also been reduced.

Australia Implements Major Public Health Measure by Banning Public Vaping

Australia is taking a strong stance against the vaping epidemic by imposing a ban on public recreational vaping. Additionally, the sale of vaping products will be restricted to pharmacies, and minimum quality standards will be introduced.

Australians Show Greater Interest in Queen’s Funeral Coverage than King Charles’ Coronation

While millions of Australians tuned in to witness the coronation of King Charles III, the number of viewers fell short compared to those who watched the late Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in 2022. The funeral, which was broadcasted on every major network, attracted hundreds of thousands more viewers than the coronation.

Australia and New Zealand Celebrate King Charles’ Coronation with 21-Gun Salutes

The leaders of Australia and New Zealand attended the coronation ceremony in London, while their respective countries celebrated the event with 21-gun salutes.

Changes Introduced to the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has announced an increase in taxes on gas industry profits, aiming to provide Australians with a “fairer return” on their natural resources. This tax adjustment will result in the offshore LNG industry paying more taxes sooner, and it is expected to generate an additional $2.4 billion in tax receipts over the forward estimates.

Australia’s Budget Includes a $10 Billion Financial Package to Combat Record-High Inflation

The Australian government has unveiled a $10 billion financial package spanning four years to assist citizens in coping with significantly increased living costs. This financial aid will support low-income families, small businesses, and pensioners grappling with high energy prices.

Australia’s Exports to China Reach Record High as Relations Improve

In March 2023, Australia’s exports to China reached a record high, with shipments amounting to A$19 billion—an increase of 28% from February, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This achievement marks the highest monthly figure since records began in 1988 and signifies a thaw in relations between Beijing and Canberra. Earlier in 2023, Beijing removed all remaining restrictions on Australian coal imports.

Australian Business Activity Remains Robust in April, Cost Pressures Persist

Supported by strong sales and a robust labor market, Australian business activity maintained its solid performance in April, surpassing the long-run average. National Australia Bank Ltd Chief Economist Alan Oster’s statement indicated that the economy remains resilient, with demand remaining strong despite persistent cost pressures.

Implications of the RBA’s Latest Interest Rate Hike on Australian House Prices

Australia’s housing market continues its recovery, with rising home prices and rebounding clearance rates from their lowest levels. Factors such as a shortage of housing listings, soaring rents, and high immigration contribute to this ongoing recovery.

Chinese Automakers Flood Australia with Affordable Luxury Cars

While many automakers are embracing electrification, Chinese carmakers are focusing on gasoline-powered vehicles. Chery Automobile Co, for instance, is offering its mid-size Omoda 5 model across Australia, starting as low as A$32,000 for the base model, which comes equipped with numerous features.

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