Category: Australia

Australian Government to Support Electric Vehicle Market

Australians will have a greater choice of electric vehicles as part of the federal government’s push to encourage more people to take up the low emissions cars. High prices, limited stock and long waitlists have excluded many from the market, but a new national plan could help change that, Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen has…


Vanuatu Parliament Dissolved as Prime Minister Tries to Avoid No-Confidence Vote

Vanuatu’s president has dissolved the Pacific nation’s Parliament hours before a no-confidence motion was brought against Prime Minister Bob Loughman. The latest incident continues a tumultuous few weeks for democratic institutions in the South Pacific—already susceptible to influence from Beijing. On Aug. 18, Vanuatu President Nikenike Vurobaravu signed the notice to dissolve Parliament—the next elections…


Challenging Economic Conditions Make Life Tougher for Australian Retirees

A new report has found that Australian retirees are significantly affected by the current economic conditions, such as inflation, supply chain disruptions, labour shortages, and other factors making it more expensive for them to maintain their lifestyles. The retirement standard report by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) showed that it costs $66,725…


EU Open to Helping Plug Australia Capability Gap

The European Union’s outgoing ambassador to Australia says the bloc remains ready and willing to sell Canberra military equipment to plug any capability gaps arising from the cancellation of a French submarine contract. The first nuclear-propelled submarines to be delivered by the US or UK under the new AUKUS agreement will not be ready for…


The Decision to Grant Early Release to Bali Bomber ‘Adds to Trauma’ Says Victims

Australia is continuing to make diplomatic representations to Indonesia following the proposed early release of the bomb-maker who assembled the explosives used in the Bali bombings. Umar Patek’s sentence has been reduced by a further five months, meaning he could walk free within days after only serving around half of his original 20-year sentence. The…


How Taiwan Became More Free Than Australia, for Now

Commentary I’m no fan of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. But credit where credit’s due, she went to Taiwan even when both Chinese Leader Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden told her not to. Even more praiseworthy is that once there, she celebrated that the people of Taiwan “have…


Solomon Islands Strikes Deal to Build 161 Huawei Towers With $66 Million Chinese Loan

The Solomon Islands government has agreed to a 448.9 million yuan (US$66.15 million) loan from the Chinese state-owned Export-Import Bank of China to fund the construction of 161 towers by controversial telecommunications giant Huawei. In response, defence expert Michael Shoebridge has warned that Beijing is “moving fast and in a broad way” in the South…


Minister Worried After Criminal Gangs Steal Billions From Australia’s Disability Insurance Scheme

The federal minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Bill Shorten, has said he is deeply concerned about allegations criminal gangs are stealing millions of dollars from the government’s disability scheme. The allegations were made by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Chief Michael Phelan to the Sydney Morning Herald on Aug. 14. Phelan is calling…


Australia’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 48-year Low

Australia’s unemployment rate fell again in July, hitting 3.4 percent–the lowest level in 48 years. While the unemployment rate for men slipped by 0.2 percent to 3.4 percent, women’s remained unchanged at 3.4 percent compared to June. In addition, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicated that the number of unemployed people in…


Former PM’s Portfolio Saga A Symptom of Decay in Australian Politics: Experts

While former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been roundly criticised for secretly swearing himself into five ministerial portfolios, some political experts say the episode is a symptom of long-running problems in politics. On Aug. 17, Morrison was forced to explain, in a press conference, his actions as well as his decision not to inform…