Australia news LIVE: Voice, economy top of parliamentary agenda; China says America’s shooting down of suspected spy balloon ‘obvious overreaction’

Key posts

  • China warns of ‘further actions’ after US shoots down suspected spy balloon
  • Super-sized rate rise on the cards: CBA
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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China warns of ‘further actions’ after US shoots down suspected spy balloon

In case you missed it over the weekend, a suspected Chinese spy balloon that had been flying across the United States has been shot down off America’s east coast – prompting a response of “strong dissatisfaction and opposition” from China.

China’s foreign ministry responded to the use of force saying it was “an obvious overreaction and a serious violation of international practice”.

It added: “China will resolutely uphold the relevant company’s legitimate rights and interests, and at the same time reserving the right to take further actions in response.”

In a statement on Sunday morning local time, China’s Foreign Ministry reiterated claims the airship was a civilian vessel that had unexpectedly drifted off course, adding that “the Chinese side has clearly asked the US side to properly handle the matter in a calm, professional and restrained manner”.

Later on Sunday, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei added, without elaborating, that the Chinese military reserved the right to use “necessary means” in response to similar incidents in the future.

More on these developments here.

Super-sized rate rise on the cards: CBA

The Reserve Bank could use its first meeting of the year to deliver a super-sized 0.4 percentage point lift in official interest rates with the nation’s biggest home lender predicting the RBA’s aggressive tightening of monetary policy is now starting to bite across the economy.

While most economists and financial markets expect a rise of 0.25 percentage points, the Commonwealth Bank believes there’s a one-in-four chance the Reserve will use tomorrow’s board meeting to take the official cash rate to 3.5 per cent, which would add at least another $150 a month to the monthly repayments on an average-sized home loan.

The Reserve Bank may increase interest rates by 0.4 percentage points at its first meeting of the year on Tuesday.Credit:Peter Rae

The RBA started lifting the cash rate, currently 3.1 per cent, in May last year after taking it down to a record low of 0.1 per cent in late 2020. Before tomorrow’s decision, the annual repayments on a $758,000 mortgage will have climbed by almost $16,000.

Read the full story here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Monday, February 6. I’m Broede Carmody 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.

  • Federal parliament is sitting this week. It comes as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese ramps up his calls for the opposition and Greens to throw their support behind an Indigenous Voice to parliament.
  • Mortgage holders are bracing for another interest rate rise when the Reserve Bank’s board meets tomorrow to discuss inflation.
  • In state news, all poker machines in NSW will be cashless within five years under a plan to be unveiled by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet. NSW voters will head to the polls next month.
  • In Victoria, a highly touted flood alert system failed to deliver promised warnings last year when Melbourne’s Maribyrnong River burst its banks.
  • The parents of the 16-year-old killed in a fatal shark attack in Western Australia have paid tribute to their daughter.
  • And in international news, China has labelled America’s shooting down of a suspected spy balloon “an obvious overreaction”.

Also, please note that comments are closed today due to staffing arrangements. We hope to have the moderator capacity tomorrow.

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