As it happened: Labor asks states to impose $125 coal price cap, promises energy price plan before Christmas – The Age

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Australia’s minister for women says the justice system does not have the right balance when it comes to supporting people who make sexual assault complaints.
Katy Gallagher said she cast “no aspersion” on the important principles of the presumption of innocence but the federal government had a responsibility to reform systems and processes to better support complainants who were predominantly women.
Minister for Women Katy Gallagher.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen
“We have a responsibility … to see where we can make a difference to ensure that women do feel able to come forward, they are supported through that process, they are encouraged to report violence and that it will not cause them to be re-traumatised,” she told ABC Radio.
“I don’t think we’ve got the right balance at the moment.”
Gallagher said sexual and domestic violence and coercive control were at “unacceptable” levels and those problems needed to be addressed before they got to the justice system.
“I fundamentally believe the Commonwealth government has to provide leadership in this space,” she said.
If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline 131 114, or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636.
Stocks closed broadly lower on Wall Street on Tuesday, extending the market’s recent string of losses, as traders ponder the Federal Reserve’s next moves in its campaign to cool stubbornly hot inflation.
The S&P 500 fell 1.4 per cent, its fourth straight drop. The Dow Jones fell 1 per cent and the Nasdaq composite lost 2 per cent.
The Australian sharemarket is set to slide further, with futures at 5.01am AEDT pointing to a fall of 37 points, or 0.5 per cent, at the open. The ASX lost 0.5 per cent on Tuesday after the RBA unveiled its latest rate rise.
Technology stocks, communication companies and retailers had some of the biggest losses. Apple fell 2.5 per cent, Disney slid 3.8 per cent and AutoZone dropped 2.8 per cent.
Speaking after the AUSMIN meetings in Washington, Defence Minister Richard Marles said the US and Australia alliance had never been stronger.
“There is a huge sense of alignment that we feel between the Biden administration and the Albanese government in the trajectory of the alliance,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles has conducted high-level meetings in the US along with Foreign Minister Penny Wong.
“And there is an enormous sense of gratitude and pleasure that we have in the way in which America is engaging in the Indo-Pacific.”
Marles said he looked forward to travelling to Tokyo later in the week and inviting Japan to participate in US-Australia military exercises in Australia.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong hailed the US as “Australia’s vital security ally” and “our closest global partner”.
Contrasting the Albanese government with its Coalition predecessor, Wong said the alliance had “a different approach and an enhanced emphasis” to the past.
Climate change and clean energy had emerged as a “new pillar” of the US-Australia alliance, Wong said.
“Obviously, the new Australian government is committed to ambitious domestic action on climate and to being an ambitious and constructive international player on this issue.”
Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Defence Minister Richard Marles have met with their US counterparts in Washington this morning for the annual Australia-US Ministerial consultations.
The talks come at a crucial time with the war raging in Ukraine and a decision looming early next year about which type of nuclear-powered submarine Australia will choose to acquire under the AUKUS pact.
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the nations have agreed to deepen their defence co-operation in “several important ways”, including increased rotations of US troops and military equipment in Australia.
“That includes rotations of bomber task forces, fighters, and future rotations of US Navy and US Army capabilities,” Austin told reporters.
“We will also expand our logistics and sustainment co-operation, and that will deepen our interoperability and create more agile and resilient capabilities while also continuing to find ways to further integrate our defence industrial bases in the years ahead.”
Importantly, Austin announced the US and Australia will deepen defence cooperation with Japan by inviting Japan to integrate into their military initiatives in Australia.
“These efforts just don’t demonstrate the closeness of our alliances,” Austin said.
“They also show the work that we’re doing together to deliver tangible results toward our common vision.”
Meanwhile, in Russia, a third military base has caught fire after an apparent drone strike from Ukraine.
However, local authorities say there are no casualties.
The development comes after two air bases in Russia’s south and west were struck earlier this week. It signifies Ukraine’s ability to strike back at Russia and target locations hundreds of kilometres from the border between the two countries.
Further details are available courtesy of our world desk.
To international news now, and Donald Trump’s company has been convicted of tax fraud in a case brought by the Manhattan District Attorney – a significant repudiation of financial practices at the former president’s business.
The guilty verdict came on Tuesday, US time, on the second day of deliberations following a trial in which the Trump Organisation was accused of being complicit in a scheme by top executives to avoid paying personal income taxes on job perks such as rent-free apartments and luxury cars.
Former US president Donald Trump.Credit:AP
The conviction is a validation for New York prosecutors, who have spent three years investigating the former president and his businesses, though the penalties aren’t expected to be severe enough to jeopardise the future of Trump’s company.
Read the full story here.
Finance Minister Katy Gallagher says while she doesn’t expect Australia to experience a recession next year, the economy will experience “moderated growth”.
Here’s what she told the ABC’s RN Breakfast earlier:
We released our budget in October and the treasury forecast at that time didn’t predict a recession. We do predict moderated growth and that is linked to the tightening we’re seeing in monetary policy and the impact that has on household consumption.
But … I think the full effects of these monetary policy decisions are still yet to be felt. It’s a very challenging set of circimstances that are confronting the economy at the moment and the government is focusing on the areas where we can meaningfully make a difference.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Defence Minister Richard Marles are in the United States today.
Watch the playback of their press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III.
Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen says he’s confident that the prime minister and state and territory leaders will be able to finalise a plan to tackle rising power prices when they meet on Friday.
Here’s what the Labor frontbencher told ABC Radio a few moments ago:
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen.
In one way, the situation is very complex. But in another way, the objective is very simple: Ensure that Australian industries and business are shielded from the worst impacts of the war in Ukraine. Governments around the world are grappling with this [market intervention] … including centre-right governments.
We’re obviously not contemplating these measures for fun. We’re contemplating these measures to lower energy prices. That’s why we’ve looked very, very carefully at all the options and ideas. Those conversations have been had in good faith. Obviously, the energy ministers’ meeting tomorrow, followed by the national cabinet meeting Friday where the key decisions will be made and announced, will be very important.
Bowen refused to say whether the federal government will compensate the states for lost coal royalties if a price cap is introduced.
Australia and the United States will deepen their already “unbreakable” military alliance by announcing plans to accelerate Canberra’s push to secure precision-guided missiles and expand the American military presence in the Top End.
The US and Australia will also vow to work closer together on foreign policy initiatives in South-East Asia and the Pacific as they seek to restrict China’s influence in the region.
Defence Minister Richard Marles, left, and US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin meet outside the Pentagon.Credit:AP
Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Defence Minister Richard Marles are meeting their US counterparts in Washington today for the first annual Australia-US Ministerial consultations since the Albanese government took office.
This year’s talks are particularly significant, coming just three months before the government releases a sweeping review of the nation’s defence forces and reveals which model of nuclear-powered submarine it will adopt under the AUKUS pact.
More on the high-level meetings here.
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