Australia News LIVE: Government weighs energy action; Wages in focus; Penny Wong races back to the Pacific

Key posts

  • ‘We need to work together like never before’: Wong races back to the Pacific
  • ‘Biggest energy crisis in 50 years’: East coast cold snap ignites gas price fears
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‘We need to work together like never before’: Wong races back to the Pacific

Penny Wong will race back to the Pacific to match China’s diplomatic advance, flying into Samoa and Tonga just days after Beijing’s top envoy signed new deals with the island nations.

The foreign minister was sworn in on May 24 and will make her second trip to the Pacific in nine days. The period has been marked by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s tour through five countries, a dozen bilateral agreements and a failed attempt to secure a security and trade deal with 10 Pacific nations.

China and Australia’s foreign ministers Wang Yi and Penny Wong are competing for influence in the Pacific region.Credit:AP/Getty

Ahead of her flight on Wednesday night, Wong said Australia understood that the security of the Pacific “is the responsibility of the Pacific family, of which Australia is a part”.

“We understand that we need to work together like never before, for our peoples and for generations to come,” she said.

Click here to read the story.

‘Biggest energy crisis in 50 years’: East coast cold snap ignites gas price fears

A cold snap on the east coast and a shortage of coal at the nation’s largest power station are threatening to deepen the worst energy crisis for Australia in decades, sparking calls from manufacturers and consumer groups for the Albanese government to intervene to curb spiralling power bills.

Freezing temperatures in Sydney and Melbourne led to a forecast spike in wholesale gas prices of more than 50 times normal levels this week, causing the Australian Energy Market Operator to impose a price limit.

Problems at the Eraring Power station threaten to deepen the worst energy crisis in decades.Credit:Peter Lorimer

The price spike, described by a key business lobby group this week as “apocalyptic”, will in the short term mainly hurt smaller manufacturers who do not have long-term contracts.

But with coal, gas and oil prices hitting multi-year highs on global markets due to sanctions on Russian exports in response to its invasion of Ukraine, there are concerns the problems will inevitably feed through to consumers.

Click here to read the story.

The front pages – June 2 2022

Here is a look at The Age front page this morning:

Here is the Sydney Morning Herald front page:

Good morning

G’day everyone. I’m Roy Ward and welcome to our national news live blog for June 2 2022.

There is plenty of news to come today and please feel free to leave a comment on the blog at any time.

Enjoy the day to come.

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