Australia news LIVE: RBA holds interest rates in Michele Bullock’s first meeting as governor; Dutton backs Price’s calls for Indigenous spending audit

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  • RBA keeps interest rates on hold for fourth consecutive month
  • Russia says it downed Ukrainian missile off Crimea coast
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Liberal senator slams government on inflation as RBA hold rates

Liberal senator Jane Hume says the economy is shuddering to a halt and the only thing keeping Australia out of recession is extraordinary levels of immigration.

It comes after the Reserve Bank decided to hold interest rates yesterday, but warned that inflation could remain uncomfortably high for some time.

Speaking on Seven’s Sunrise this morning, Hume said the country was already in a per capita recession and that the government didn’t have a plan to tame inflation.

“The RBA has had to do all the heavy lifting [on inflation], that’s why we’ve had these 11 straight, successive interest rate rises,” the senator said.

“Let’s face it the economy is shuddering to a halt … the only thing that’s kept us out of recession because we’re in a per capita recession … is the extraordinary levels of immigration.”

She said unless the Labor government could contain cost of living pressures, Australians would have to continue living with this pain for another two years.

RBA keeps interest rates on hold for fourth consecutive month

Inflation will remain uncomfortably high for some time, thanks in part to soaring petrol prices, even as the economy continues to slow, new Reserve Bank governor Michele Bullock has warned as the board held interest rates steady for a fourth consecutive month.

With economic growth expected to ease further as high rates bite, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has urged the federal government to boost competition by reducing the red tape preventing millions of workers from moving around the country.

In her first board statement as governor, Michelle Bullock said inflation would remain above target for some time.Credit: Bloomberg

The RBA board left interest rates at 4.1 per cent on Tuesday to allow more time to assess the effect of its previous rate rises, although it said further increases might still be necessary to get inflation down as rents and fuel prices surge.

The bank’s aggressive tightening of monetary policy over the past 17 months has pushed up monthly repayments on an average $600,000 mortgage by more than $1350.

Continue reading about the pause here. 

Russia says it downed Ukrainian missile off Crimea coast

In the latest on the war in Ukraine, the Russian Defence Ministry said it shot down a Ukrainian missile off the Crimea coast, and the local Russia-appointed governor reported damage to dwellings from debris from a downed drone.

The ministry statement said Russian air defence systems had downed a Ukrainian Neptun missile over the northwestern part of the Black Sea off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula.

Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Russia-appointed governor of the port of Sevastopol, said debris from the drone had landed on the roof of an apartment building, though there were no injuries. Some windows had been blown out.

An emergency worker uses a flashlight to survey the damage to an apartment building after Russian missile attacks in Odesa, Ukraine in July. Credit: AP

Razvozhayev, writing on the Telegram messaging app, said emergency services were determining how to remove explosive materials from the site.

“Specialists from the Sevastopol emergency services are now on site and a decision will be taken on moving explosive materials,” Razvozhayev wrote.

“All forces and services remain on full combat alert.”

Ukraine has in recent weeks stepped up attacks on Crimea, which was occupied and annexed by Russia in 2014.


This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning, and thanks for your company.

It’s Wednesday, October 4. I’m Caroline Schelle, 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:

  • New Reserve Bank governor Michele Bullock has warned inflation will remain uncomfortably high for some time, thanks in part to soaring petrol prices.
  • The recycling industry is generating three jobs for every one in landfill as the federal government works to meet ambitious waste reduction targets.
  • Transport Minister Catherine King is refusing to front an inquiry into her rejection of Qatar Airways’ bid for more flights in Australia, accusing the Coalition of a political stunt.
  • Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said spending on Indigenous programs should be checked to ensure it was going to “the most deserving” people.
  • Advocates for the Indigenous Voice will issue a new appeal to multicultural Australians to back the proposal.
  • Lawyers were hired to cancel the 2026 Commonwealth Games at least three weeks before the Victorian government told the public.
  • Turning to overseas news, a 14-year-old boy has been arrested after a shooting at a luxury shopping centre in Bangkok left a woman dead and five people critically injured.
  • And in the US, the son of US President Joe Biden has pleaded not guilty to federal gun charges.
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