Australia news live updates: price cap ‘incentivising’ generators to withhold power, energy boss says; airport mask rules to ease | Australia news

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has told ABC News energy producers are “gaming the system”, adding that Australia was being “held hostage” due to a “broken” system.

Hanson-Young called for a greater government response to reform regulations, which she implied were manipulated by corporations holding energy supply to profit from schemes encouraging them to produce more energy.

It’s quite clear that the rules are broken, and the market is broken. This whole system needs to be reviewed.

They’re effectively…withholding supply, waiting for the energy agency to beg them to bid into the market, only then to get more money through compensation.

This is highway robbery by these big corporations, and it’s time they were pulled into line.

It’s polluting, a dirty fuel that’s getting increasingly expensive, most of it is foreign-owned, the profits go overseas, and they don’t pay too much tax. Australians are sick of it.

SA premier urges federal intervention in east coast energy crisis

South Australian premier Peter Malinauskas urges the federal government to intervene in the energy crisis gripping the east coast, saying the situation results from a “market failure on a grand scale”.

Malinauskas was spoken ABC and said his government was wasting $600m on a hydrogen power plant to ensure the state’s “stable and secure” energy source.

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We are witnessing market failure on a grand scale … across the national electricity market in a way that I think many policymakers should be deeply ashamed of.

We are in an energy-rich first-world country, and the fact we’ve now got Australians being told to turn porch lights off to keep the system going, I somewhat of an embarrassment.

Premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas. Photograph: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Updated at 18.18 EDT

RBA boss says inflation could hit 7%

Last night the Reserve Bank governor, Philip Lowe, was on the ABC’s 7.30 giving a rare insight into his thinking.

Lowe said he was determined to ensure inflation is returned to 2-3% while warning it might reach 7% by the end of the year, well above the 6% forecast by the bank only a couple of weeks ago.

We’ll do what’s necessary to get inflation back to 2-3%. It’s unclear at thar interest rates will need to go up to get that.

I think inflation will get too close to 7% by the end of the year, and we need to chart a course to bring it back down.

Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Philip Lowe. Photograph: Louie Douvis/AAP

Lowe stressed that interest rates had been at “emergency levels” in response to the pandemic and that the situation needed to “gradually return to normal”.

I say that because the midpoint of our inflation target is 2.5%. Hence, an interest rate of 2.5% in inflation-adjusted terms is zero, a very low number in historical terms.

How fast we get to 2.5%, indeed whether we get to 2.5%, will be determined by events.

Updated at 18.04 EDT

Energy boss says price cap ‘incentivizing’ generators to withhold power

Australian Energy Council chief executive Sarah McNamara says the price cap might be “incenincentivizingerators to withhold power.

McNamara was on RN Breakfast this morning and blamed the $300 per megawatt hour price cap – which she said is “significantly below” the wholesale cost of electricity for most generators – for the energy crisis.

Some generators have responded by preferring, in some cases, to withdraw supply and wait to be directed to the market operator.

There is sufficient capacity in the market, but the situation is tight. The price incentivizes some generators to sit on the sidelines and awaits direction from the market.

That’Thoserators are being squeezed between the price cap and their high input costs. Either way, a compensation regime is available because we’re in an administered pricing situation. The industry is conversing with the regulator and the market operator about how these things work.

But the truth is, we’re in a unique situation and deep in the weeds of market rules that the market participants hadn’t engaged with before. So I hadn’t engaged with it back’s reallprecedented set of circumstances.

Updated at 17.51 EDT

Mask mandates to ease at airports

Daniel Hurst

Mask mandates are set to be eased in airport terminals across Australia after health officials found the rule was “no longer proportionate”, just days before Anthony Albanese meets with state and territory leaders.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) said in a statement issued late on Tuesday that it was proposing mask-wearing in airport terminals “no longer be mandated” from as early as this Friday night:

The AHPPC notes that all states and territories have relaxed mask mandates in most settings within the community and considers that it is no longer proportionate to mandate mask use in airport terminals. The AHPPC proposes that mask-wearing in airport terminals no longer be required from midnight on 17 June 2022.

Despite the proposal to no longer make them compulsory, the AHPPC said it “continues to strongly recommend continued mask wearing in airport terminals and other indoor settings, especially where physical distancing is not impossible body said masks minimized Covid-19 and influenza transmission and proteprotectse those who are unable to get vaccinated and people who have a higher risk of developing severe illness”.

The federal government responded to the new advice, saying it anticipated the traveling public would “notice this change in the days following Friday as individual state and territory jurisdictions make the necessary changes to their public health orders”.

The health minister, Mark Butler, and the transport minister, Catherine King, thanked “the thousands of people who work in our airport terminals around Australia who have followed the rules to keep us safe” and “the travetravelingic for continuing to comply with the ongoing regulations”.

The AHPPC brings together state, territory, and federal chief medical and health officers. At a national cabinet meeting, the prime minister will meet with state premiers and chief territory ministers on Friday.

It may soon no longer be mandatory to wear a mask in airports in Australia, although it is strongly recommended. Covid is a highly contagious airborne virus; transmission often occurs via fleeting contact with passersby. Photograph: Flavio Brancaleone/AAP

We begin with the Fair Work Commission, which will deliver its verdict on the increase to the minimum wage. The commission’s expert panel, headed by president Iain Ross, will announce its decision at 10 am, after the new government-backed 5.1% increase, in line with inflation.

Prime minister Anthony Albanese will be holding his first cabinet meeting in Queensland, in the manufacturing city of Gladstone, to reconnect with locals. The meeting will be paired with a lunchtime civic reception for residents to ask questions of the MPs.

Last night Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe said in a rare interview that the RBA expects inflation to hit 7% by the end of the year, warning he’d “do what’s necessary” to keep inflation down.

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on the energy crisis after each of the five states in the national electricity market (Nem) – from Queensland to Tasmania – had a forecast shortfall of electricity, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator (Aemo). Aemo has warned Victoria could next face blackouts this evening. We’ll keep you updated on that and everything else happening today.

Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.