Australia’s economy will be 6% smaller, there will be 880,000 fewer jobs and $3.4tn in economic opportunities will be lost if the climate crisis goes unchecked for the next 50 years, a Deloitte Access Economics report says.
Westpac reports 66% drop in profits
The banking giant Westpac has reported a 66% drop in full-year profits, down to $2.29bn.
Part of this is the $1.3bn penalty paid by the bank for the wire transfers scandal.
Westpac’s chief executive, Peter King, said:
2020 has been a particularly challenging year and our financial result is disappointing. Our earnings have been significantly impacted by higher impairment charges, increased notable items and the sharp decline in economic activity. At the same time, we have incurred higher expenses due to increased resourcing to handle unprecedented Covid-19 demands and fixing our compliance issues.
King said Westpac had provided certain special interest rates, fee waivers and temporary loans to customers, and had deferred home loan repayments for 215,000 customers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
at 10.41pm GMT
It has been pointed out to me that Victoria used to have a cash for cans scheme many years ago, albeit not one run by the state government.
Look what I found – it was run by Alcoa. https://t.co/JysoDw7iS2
November 1, 2020
I can (as someone originally from NSW) only remember the South Australia scheme being advertised on cans, until NSW got its own scheme a couple of years ago.
at 10.39pm GMT
We will get an announcement from the New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, on who the new deputy PM will be at 11am AEDT, after an NZ Labour party vote, AAP reports.
The party room has assembled in the capital to ratify Ardern’s cabinet for her second term in office, including her deputy and – crucially for Australia – a new foreign minister.
On Monday morning Ardern’s deputy party leader, Kelvin Davis, ruled himself out of the deputy PM role, saying his decision not to run was “my decision and my decision alone”.
“I came into politics for two reasons. To represent [my electorate] Te Tai Tokerau and to make a difference for Māori,” he said. “I see myself as supporting the wider caucus [and] I will look to remain as leader of the Labour party.”
Ardern’s previous deputy prime minister and foreign minister was Winston Peters, who was unsuccessful in returning his New Zealand First party to parliament in last month’s election.
The most likely deputy PM is Grant Robertson, the finance minister and Ardern’s closest political ally. Robertson, 49, would be the first openly LGBT person to hold the office.
The new cabinet will be wholly made up of Labour MPs, supported by two Greens ministers outside cabinet.
Jacinda Ardern arrives at a Labour caucus meeting on November 02, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images
at 10.33pm GMT
It’s always interesting going through the paid Facebook ads in the ad library to see what exactly the parties are pushing through social media.
the LNP paid to promote Kevin Rudd’s video promoting Jackie Trad pic.twitter.com/P3QNTDdGVe
November 1, 2020
Victoria reports zero Covid cases
Victoria has now reported three days in a row of zero cases. This brings the 14-day rolling average down to just 1.9, and there remains just one case in the 14-day window with an unknown source.
Zero new cases and no lost lives reported in the last 24 hours. The 14 day average is down to 1.9. There is 1 case with an unknown source. More info: https://t.co/eTputEZdhs#COVID19VicData pic.twitter.com/XG94AhLGzI
November 1, 2020
at 10.02pm GMT
Manufacturing improves from pent-up demand
Australia’s manufacturing sector has seen a marked improvement despite the weight of Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown, AAP reports.
The Australian Industry Group’s manufacturing index increased by 9.6 points to 56.3 in October. It is the first time since July the index has been above 50 points, indicating the sector is in expansion.
The surge was led by NSW, while respondents across all sectors noted a jump in sales and new orders as a result of pent-up demand from initial coronavirus restrictions.
Ai Group’s chief executive, Innes Willox, said the lift in sales and strong growth in new orders were encouraging signs of improving household and business confidence.
“The solid national performance was achieved despite another month of contraction in Victoria,” Willox said. “With restrictions in Victoria being lifted there are very good prospects of further strength in the closing months of 2020.”
at 10.22pm GMT
The head of the Australian Banking Association, Anna Bligh, was on ABC TV just then to respond to the agriculture minister David Littleproud’s comments about ANZ’s action on climate change. Bligh said ANZ was doing what every bank in Australia and around the world was doing:
The minister is right, banks are there to lend money into the economy but also there to make sure they lend the money with the appropriate degree of risk and the ability to manage the risk and that’s important for all of us because they are lending your money out of your deposit account and they have to do is in a way that is safe which is taking account of all known risks including climate change.
There is nothing unusual about ANZ, every bank is doing it, not only here and around the world and they are required to do it by regulators. ANZ has made it clear they are there to back Australian farmers. They are talking about the 100 biggest emitters and make sure they have a transition plan as the market changes over the coming years.
Bligh also wouldn’t predict whether there would be a rate cut announced tomorrow. She said about half a million Australians had switched their home loan to another bank this year.
at 10.23pm GMT
Proposed cash for cans scheme unveiled in Victoria
Under a new recycling scheme proposed by the Victorian state government, people would be paid 10 cents for each can, bottle or carton dropped off to a collection point.
Collection points will include shops, vending machines and drive-through depots. There are also plans for pop-up collection points at music festivals and other special events.
Under the proposed model, the Victorian government will provide regulatory oversight, while the beverage industry will be involved in managing the operation of the scheme. One or more network operators will also be appointed by the government to manage collection points and refunds.
The proposed model will provide opportunities for a range of organisations to manage collection points, including community groups, charities and sporting clubs.
The Victorian government is conducting public consultation on the proposal, which would be rolled out in the state in 2023.
at 10.24pm GMT
The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, will make an announcement about the Sydney Gateway project at 11am today, where we will also get a Covid-19 update.
at 10.24pm GMT
Speaking of Angus Taylor, my colleague Anne Davies has obtained WhatsApp messages from Taylor’s office after a lengthy freedom of information battle, revealing that the minister’s staff were in a panic when they realised the figures were wrong in the data provided to the Daily Telegraph’s story over the City of Sydney’s travel expenditure.
at 10.25pm GMT
Health professionals want Angus Taylor out
More than 700 health professionals have written to the prime minister, Scott Morrison, expressing their concern about the emissions reduction minister, Angus Taylor, and his ability to fulfil his responsibilities in that portfolio.
The letter states that Taylor is failing in his ministerial duties by allocating public money to gas and other fossil fuel projects, while overseeing a 50% decline in large-scale renewables investment, failing to reduce Australia’s emissions in line with our international obligations, and for not committing Australia to a 2050 net zero emissions target.
“We are … united by our concern about the climate crisis and the impact it is having on the safety and wellbeing of Australians and our neighbours,” the letter states. “Public health is inextricably linked to climate health. Climate damage is here now – and it is killing people.”
The letter was coordinated by the Australian Conservation Foundation, and some signatories include Prof Nick Talley, the editor-in-chief of the Medical Journal of Australia; Dr Clare Skinner, the incoming president of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine; Dr Rob Phair, the president of the Rural Doctors Association of Victoria, and Assoc Prof Brigid Lynch, the president of the Australasian Epidemiological Association.
Energy minister Angus Taylor. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian
at 10.27pm GMT
David Littleproud was also asked about his criticism of ANZ for requiring high-emissions customers to develop emissions reduction plans. He said it wasn’t for banks to be the “moral arbiters of society”:
It is about them understanding the risks when they lend money to the Australian economy. Their job in the Australian economy – a privileged one – is to lend money and make sure that someone can may it back. It is not to pass a moral compass from well-heeled CEOs and board members of their own philosophical view. You should let the Australian government do that. We have a clear pathway to reduce emissions and we will stick to that pathway, because we have made international commitments around that and we won’t deviate from that.
Agriculture minister David Littleproud. Photograph: Lukas Coch/EPA
at 10.28pm GMT
Lobsters may be victim of China trade spat
There are reports that tonnes of Australian lobster are stuck on a tarmac at a Chinese airport, amid ongoing trade tensions between China and Australia.
David Littleproud confirms the lobsters are subject to inspection in China but Australia is seeking clarifications:
They’re saying they want to understand if there’s trace elements of minerals and metals in it. We will clearly be able to demonstrate because we test before they go and that that is not the case so we’re asking why this action is being taken against Australian rock lobster, as we’ve asked around the cotton issue, understanding that officials were telling those importers not to bring in cotton from Australia.
We need to get clarification of that. We’re a fair country. We play by WTO [World Trade Organization] rules and we expect countries we trade with to do that. If they don’t, we’ll have to make consideration with industry around what our next action is around the independent umpire, being the WTO, and what we would do next.
at 10.29pm GMT
The agriculture minister, Queenslander David Littleproud, is on ABC TV.
He says the premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, did a good job in campaigning around keeping Queensland safe with the border closures but he says it is ultimately the federal government picking up the bill for it:
Unfortunately we have to understand that we not just have to keep ourselves safe but we also have to keep the economy going. The states can easily stick to that mantra but unfortunately it’s the commonwealth government and the Australian taxpayer who’s got to pay for it.
at 10.30pm GMT
Re-elected Queensland Labor government works on budget
Just on Queensland, AAP reports that the returned premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, is working on the state’s budget, as Labor is on track to pick up an additional four seats, up to 52, AAP reports.
The Liberal National party appear to have lost a net four seats, taking its numbers to 34 in the 93-seat chamber.
Palaszczuk says putting together a state budget is her first priority.
Labor didn’t deliver a budget because the federal budget, which includes crucial GST forecasts, wasn’t delivered until 6 October when the state government was already in caretaker mode before the election.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Photograph: Darren England/AAP
Palaszczuk, her treasurer, Cameron Dick, and the deputy premier, Steven Miles, are meeting with departmental director generals Monday to keep their promise of delivering a budget before Christmas.
She says the state budget is likely to be handed down on 8 December, the week after the new parliament is sworn in.
Queensland’s economy is sluggish, with the unemployment rate at 7.7% in September, the highest in the country, and 209,000 people out of work.
The Labor government already has a $11bn stimulus plan in place to try to deal with the impacts of Covid-19.
Dick forecast net debt to hit $101.96bn by June 2021, up from the $83.8bn predicted in December, in a financial and economic update delivered in early September.
at 10.33pm GMT
Hello and welcome to Monday. I’m Josh Taylor and I will be on the Australian Covid-19 live blog for today.
The health minister, Greg Hunt, says Australia is close to securing two more sources for a coronavirus vaccine, which he expects will start rolling out in 2021.
So far the Morrison government has two vaccine contracts in place – the Oxford-AstraZeneca for 33.8m units and the University of Queensland-CSL for 51m units.
“The results from both of those have actually been positive, more positive than we had expected,” Hunt told reporters on Sunday. “We are now close to additional contracts and there are two further ones on the advice of the medical expert panel which are being pursued and which I am confident will be completed within the coming weeks if not earlier.”
Health workers and the elderly would be prioritised, but he said the aim would be to give the vaccine to every Australian who wants to be vaccinated over the next 12 months.
Victoria reported two days of zero cases of Covid-19 at the weekend, as Melbourne marked its first weekend of cafes, restaurants and pubs opening up to customers.
People dine at a cafe in Melbourne. Photograph: Sandra Sanders/Reuters
Local councils had converted parking spaces on streets out the front of venues for more seating to allow the venues to increase their capacity, which now only allows for 20 indoor, and 50 outdoor.
That capacity could likely increase this weekend if the low case numbers continue to drop and restrictions are further eased.
Here’s some of the other news you might have missed at the weekend:
Australia officially recorded no new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases on Sunday, the first time since 9 June. A local case recorded in NSW after the 8pm cut-off point – that of a second child linked to a trampoline park in Sydney’s south-west – will be included in today’s official tally.
The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, has put her historic election win down to her Covid-19 response allowing voters to maintain their lifestyles.
Regional Victorians will be allowed to travel to the Northern Territory from today.
The interim hotel quarantine inquiry report is due this Friday.
Tasmania will open its border to NSW residents from Friday, when Queensland reopens to all of NSW bar greater Sydney.
Let’s get into it.
at 10.36pm GMT