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Jennifer Hewett

Columnist

Jennifer Hewett is the National Affairs columnist. She writes a daily column on politics, business and the economy. Connect with Jennifer on Twitter. Email Jennifer at jennifer.hewett@afr.com

Jennifer Hewett

Today

Suncorp chair Christine McLoughlin and ANZ chair Paul O’Sullivan sell the benefits of the deal.

Why ANZ needs the Suncorp deal

There will be plenty of execution challenges in the $4.9 billion deal in a tough new era for the economy and the banking and financial services industries.

  • 1 hr ago

Yesterday

July 18, 2022

Labor learns to live with governing

Labor’s necessary backflip on COVID-19 payments is part of learning to live with governing rather than being stuck in opposition. There will be plenty more tough decisions to come – with less leeway to change course.

This Month

Dave Pynt grew up in Perth and says he has always been passionate about food cooked over a wood-fuelled fire.

The Perth-born chef on global diners’ hot lists

You have to be quick to secure a booking 30 days ahead at Burnt Ends in Singapore, where Dave Pynt has foodies fired up over his wizardry cooking on wood.

Foreign ministers Penny Wong and Wang Yi met in Bali last Friday

China offers a first step, but hostilities remain on both sides

Despite the meeting between China and Australia’s foreign ministers in Bali, the Labor government will largely continue the approach of the Morrison government towards China - minus the more excitable rhetoric.

Nathan Merritt is one of a growing number of Uber drivers using electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles face a potholed road ahead

Labor’s modelling assumes 89 per cent of new car sales will be electric by 2030. Without dramatic policy change, the car industry doesn’t think it’s feasible.

  • Updated
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The price of power just keeps going up.

Nasty energy bill shock awaits companies that thought they had escaped

The politicians and the regulators accused generators of gaming the system last month but all consumers will end up paying generators the compensation for being forced to operate at a loss.

Stop spending so much if you want lower rates

Philip Lowe wants the pain of higher rates to alter spending behaviour as part of the bank’s belated attempt to hammer inflation. It won’t be a popular message.

AFR

Millennials balance falling prices and rising rates

Australia is back to the property market guessing game. How much will house prices fall as interest rates rise? And what does that mean for the economy and a new generation of property owners with massive mortgages?

June

More transmission is urgently needed to create a grid that can support increased renewables.

The cost of building a renewable future

How do we pay for a power system that no longer uses coal-fired power? The short answer is that consumers’ bills are only headed in one direction.

The ruins of a shopping centre struck by Russian missiles in Ukraine.

Why sanctions hurt the West more than Russia

G7 leaders and the NATO summit are strong in their condemnation of Russia but new sanctions and military assistance won’t end a grinding war that Moscow is funding with help from the West’s actions.

Passengers wait in line at Sydney airport last Easter

Where did all the workers go?

The yawning gap between available jobs and suitable applicants not only ensures travellers’ frustrations will continue. It will hold back businesses’ ability to expand to meet demand.

OECD secretary-general Mathias Cormann is in a much happier place than his former home in the Western Australian Liberal Party.

Liberals look for love in all the wrong places

The party’s disastrous financial and political decline in Western Australia is just the most extreme example of its state-by-state fall from political grace.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers and RBA governor Philip Lowe.

Government goes for broke on wages

This year means rising inflation, higher interest rates, and growing debt pressures that will slow economic growth. Treasurer Jim Chalmers has his hands full.

Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen says risks remain in the electricity market.

The price of keeping the lights on

The National Electricity Market is returning to a version of normal as the regulator steps back, but that’s not going to fix the problems of price and supply.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean is confident his budget will deliver politically, socially and economically.

NSW Liberals determined to avoid the fate of their federal colleagues

The NSW Liberals want to present a very different image to Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton. A big spending budget aimed at helping families is the down payment on the election next March.

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese  and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews .

Why it’s hard to join the dots in Australia’s energy puzzle

Anthony Albanese and the Energy Security Board are determined to get the states to agree on a capacity mechanism for back-up power, but it’s a tough act.

Ageing coal-fired power plants are closing down.

New tripwire for power politics

The Energy Security Board warns Australia is likely to get the timing and mix of the energy transition wrong unless it has a capacity market that includes all resources.

Chris Bowen after signing the government’s letter to the UN on upping Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target

Climate wars may be over, but the blame game continues

Threats of blackouts and the regulatory takeover of power generation amid the collapse of the national electricity market highlight long-term domestic policy failure.

Mike Cannon-Brookes at the ESG summit

More like a horror show than a transition plan

The fragility of Australia’s energy market was on dramatic show this week with regulators reversing decades of privatisation.

Free apples for kids are part of Woolworth’s ESG sell

ESG, the acronym in search of a fashion makeover

It has become part of the corporate mainstream in the past few years. But most Australians do not really understand the term.