Australia news live: Penny Wong heads to China; South Australia braces for largest flood in 50 years

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The premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas, is speaking to ABC Radio about the flooding his state is seeing.

","elementId":"d6f43983-0fca-4993-a39d-ec6fcc101898"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Malinauskas says the peak flow is approaching the state border, with the town of Renmark expecting its peak on Boxing Day. The premier says significant preparations have been under way for “an event they’ve known is coming their way for six to eight weeks”.

","elementId":"2028c5e1-e2c1-415f-bed9-5cff02587169"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

He says the current prediction of 1,000 homes inundated is likely to increase closer to 4,000 homes over the days ahead.

","elementId":"c3542801-9609-49db-bdc1-6d3b96f05625"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

While he acknowledges thethe trauma of people who will lose homes and businesses, he says it will also be an “extraordinary environmental event”.

","elementId":"8a965870-34af-4336-9e88-a9918a28e7d4"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.BlockquoteBlockElement","html":"

\n

We’ve got an imminent human tragedy on our hands.. and addressing that naturally is our main priority.

\n

But, this is the first time in 50 years we’ve had this volume of water coming across the river and it will bring with it profound environmental benefits.

\n

This event will naturally widen and open .. the Murray mouth and that has a massive flow on benefit into the fisheries.

\n

","elementId":"eb5574fd-92b2-47bd-8771-2e961d51f23a"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Further up the river, he says frog life has also been “coming to the fore that has otherwise been endangered”.

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A search is under way for four teenagers missing in waters off Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

","elementId":"aed3f2cf-a2a7-4f3e-8037-b3b64b97f205"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

It’s believed an 18-year-old woman, two 18-year-old men and a 19-year-old woman were using inflatable paddle boards off Rosebud Beach yesterday.

","elementId":"c0105e39-4e49-4b6c-b3a8-fe03d55ba75a"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Their belongings were found on the beach by a passerby about 8pm.

","elementId":"15d977fa-a215-4366-b5a0-8af48d271dd5"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

A man who said he was the father of one of the boys told Seven’s Sunrise program this morning the teens had just completed their final school exams and were in Rosebud for an end-of-year celebration.

","elementId":"ddf6b33b-7753-4738-a8b2-8051d186a5b7"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Specialist police immediately scoured the area for the group but the search was halted at 4am due to deteriorating conditions. It started up again at daybreak.

","elementId":"36dcb1c4-803b-4102-8208-ee18d37ce7d9"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

– from AAP

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Foreign affairs minister Penny Wong is due to touch down in Beijing tonight. Tomorrow she will attend events marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and China.

","elementId":"aa28ac40-1835-4dfa-b355-6bf4b7f297a0"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Wong will also meet her counterpart Wang Yi to hold the Australia-China foreign and strategic dialogue – last held in 2018.

","elementId":"af4416a9-2ce8-4eb2-9fdc-ec95fe780390"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

The trade sanctions imposed by China on Australian products including wine and barley are expected to be high on the agenda, as well as human rights and consular cases such as the plight of detained Australians Cheng Lei and Yang Hengjun.

","elementId":"92fb2be9-f8b3-4c95-8075-147e25e4fe94"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

You can read more about what we can expect of Wong’s visit from our foreign affairs correspondent, Daniel Hurst:

","elementId":"c559caeb-22b9-4a6b-a0b5-32dff0aa42c5"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.RichLinkBlockElement","url":"https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/dec/20/australia-seeks-direct-resolution-of-trade-dispute-with-china-ahead-of-wto-ruling","text":"Australia seeks direct resolution of trade dispute with China ahead of WTO ruling","prefix":"Related: ","role":"thumbnail","elementId":"b9bc8064-2a11-4691-aadb-255bbc221975"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

In Victoria police are still searching for four teenagers who went missing paddle boarding in the Morning Peninsula yesterday.

","elementId":"243fd2f6-f06b-47f8-aab5-1df16271a119"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

A passerby located belongings on the beach about 8pm last night, with police and emergency services beginning the search in waters off Rosebud overnight for the two 18-year-old men, an 18-year-old woman and a 19-year-old woman.

","elementId":"d2451778-f72d-49ee-ba29-df79e3ce9aa8"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Also today, the minutes from the central bank’s last board meeting are due to be released, which will confirm if the 25 basis point rate hike was the only option discussed.

","elementId":"46fff707-791d-44aa-a225-0725629674e9"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

The minutes could shed light on whether Australians can expect more rate rises in the new year.

","elementId":"070a3e76-cf20-42e7-aded-60c73279a924"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

In Queensland the state’s police union has revealed its intention to buy the block of land which was the site of the Wieambilla shooting, at which constables Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29, were killed.

","elementId":"472861ed-4eba-4dc9-910f-a51ea5bdd7f7"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Union head Ian Leavers told this morning’s edition of the Courier-Mail:

","elementId":"2f11c583-99e2-4671-9584-35b7e9bfdc11"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.BlockquoteBlockElement","html":"

\n

The QPU would never want to see this land fall into the hands of any other anti-vaxxer, pro-gun conspiracy theorist, sovereign citizens who may seek to utilise the reputation of this site to promote their own dangerous and warped views.

\n

","elementId":"de48bb6e-bfd4-4168-b2b9-4d1893055000"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

The union has asked the government for help resuming the land.

","elementId":"f5142e49-4af0-419c-8e94-97a5590b5055"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Let’s get going!

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Key events

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The premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas, is speaking to ABC Radio about the flooding his state is seeing.

","elementId":"d6f43983-0fca-4993-a39d-ec6fcc101898"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Malinauskas says the peak flow is approaching the state border, with the town of Renmark expecting its peak on Boxing Day. The premier says significant preparations have been under way for “an event they’ve known is coming their way for six to eight weeks”.

","elementId":"2028c5e1-e2c1-415f-bed9-5cff02587169"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

He says the current prediction of 1,000 homes inundated is likely to increase closer to 4,000 homes over the days ahead.

","elementId":"c3542801-9609-49db-bdc1-6d3b96f05625"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

While he acknowledges thethe trauma of people who will lose homes and businesses, he says it will also be an “extraordinary environmental event”.

","elementId":"8a965870-34af-4336-9e88-a9918a28e7d4"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.BlockquoteBlockElement","html":"

\n

We’ve got an imminent human tragedy on our hands.. and addressing that naturally is our main priority.

\n

But, this is the first time in 50 years we’ve had this volume of water coming across the river and it will bring with it profound environmental benefits.

\n

This event will naturally widen and open .. the Murray mouth and that has a massive flow on benefit into the fisheries.

\n

","elementId":"eb5574fd-92b2-47bd-8771-2e961d51f23a"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Further up the river, he says frog life has also been “coming to the fore that has otherwise been endangered”.

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A search is under way for four teenagers missing in waters off Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

","elementId":"aed3f2cf-a2a7-4f3e-8037-b3b64b97f205"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

It’s believed an 18-year-old woman, two 18-year-old men and a 19-year-old woman were using inflatable paddle boards off Rosebud Beach yesterday.

","elementId":"c0105e39-4e49-4b6c-b3a8-fe03d55ba75a"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Their belongings were found on the beach by a passerby about 8pm.

","elementId":"15d977fa-a215-4366-b5a0-8af48d271dd5"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

A man who said he was the father of one of the boys told Seven’s Sunrise program this morning the teens had just completed their final school exams and were in Rosebud for an end-of-year celebration.

","elementId":"ddf6b33b-7753-4738-a8b2-8051d186a5b7"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Specialist police immediately scoured the area for the group but the search was halted at 4am due to deteriorating conditions. It started up again at daybreak.

","elementId":"36dcb1c4-803b-4102-8208-ee18d37ce7d9"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

– from AAP

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Foreign affairs minister Penny Wong is due to touch down in Beijing tonight. Tomorrow she will attend events marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and China.

","elementId":"aa28ac40-1835-4dfa-b355-6bf4b7f297a0"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Wong will also meet her counterpart Wang Yi to hold the Australia-China foreign and strategic dialogue – last held in 2018.

","elementId":"af4416a9-2ce8-4eb2-9fdc-ec95fe780390"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

The trade sanctions imposed by China on Australian products including wine and barley are expected to be high on the agenda, as well as human rights and consular cases such as the plight of detained Australians Cheng Lei and Yang Hengjun.

","elementId":"92fb2be9-f8b3-4c95-8075-147e25e4fe94"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

You can read more about what we can expect of Wong’s visit from our foreign affairs correspondent, Daniel Hurst:

","elementId":"c559caeb-22b9-4a6b-a0b5-32dff0aa42c5"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.RichLinkBlockElement","url":"https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/dec/20/australia-seeks-direct-resolution-of-trade-dispute-with-china-ahead-of-wto-ruling","text":"Australia seeks direct resolution of trade dispute with China ahead of WTO ruling","prefix":"Related: ","role":"thumbnail","elementId":"b9bc8064-2a11-4691-aadb-255bbc221975"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

In Victoria police are still searching for four teenagers who went missing paddle boarding in the Morning Peninsula yesterday.

","elementId":"243fd2f6-f06b-47f8-aab5-1df16271a119"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

A passerby located belongings on the beach about 8pm last night, with police and emergency services beginning the search in waters off Rosebud overnight for the two 18-year-old men, an 18-year-old woman and a 19-year-old woman.

","elementId":"d2451778-f72d-49ee-ba29-df79e3ce9aa8"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Also today, the minutes from the central bank’s last board meeting are due to be released, which will confirm if the 25 basis point rate hike was the only option discussed.

","elementId":"46fff707-791d-44aa-a225-0725629674e9"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

The minutes could shed light on whether Australians can expect more rate rises in the new year.

","elementId":"070a3e76-cf20-42e7-aded-60c73279a924"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

In Queensland the state’s police union has revealed its intention to buy the block of land which was the site of the Wieambilla shooting, at which constables Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29, were killed.

","elementId":"472861ed-4eba-4dc9-910f-a51ea5bdd7f7"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Union head Ian Leavers told this morning’s edition of the Courier-Mail:

","elementId":"2f11c583-99e2-4671-9584-35b7e9bfdc11"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.BlockquoteBlockElement","html":"

\n

The QPU would never want to see this land fall into the hands of any other anti-vaxxer, pro-gun conspiracy theorist, sovereign citizens who may seek to utilise the reputation of this site to promote their own dangerous and warped views.

\n

","elementId":"de48bb6e-bfd4-4168-b2b9-4d1893055000"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

The union has asked the government for help resuming the land.

","elementId":"f5142e49-4af0-419c-8e94-97a5590b5055"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Let’s get going!

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Filters BETA

Ausgrid reveals power pole network to charge electric cars

Australian drivers will be able to ‘fill’ their electric vehicles at up to 30,000 new charging stations by 2029 under a plan by one of the country’s largest electricity distributors.

Ausgrid has revealed its project to install thousands of chargers on power poles around the country, in urban and suburban locations as well as tourist hotspots and regional towns.

The plan announced in Newcastle today is one of several big investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure revealed in recent weeks.

The first of Ausgrid’s chargers will be unveiled at Dixon Park Beach in Merewether, NSW in a move chief executive Richard Gross said it would give electric car buyers greater confidence:

We know the uptake of EVs is only going to increase in the coming years and projects like this show that if industry and communities work together we can use existing infrastructure to roll out this technology quickly and conveniently.

We believe we have a role to play to help our customers get ready for the energy transition, while making it as affordable and as convenient as possible.

The first chargers will be installed in a partnership between Ausgrid, charging firm EVX and the City of Newcastle.

Mr Gross said the company would confer with other local councils and technology providers to determine the best locations for its charging network, identifying areas in “busy suburban streets to popular tourist destinations and small regional towns”.

EVX chief executive Andrew Forster said the chargers, which will offer power at a flat rate of 50c per kilowatt hour, would make charging “more accessible and affordable for both residents and visitors to Newcastle”.

– from AAP

Updated at 16.10 EST

Families of missing teenagers wait for search to resume

Victoria police are set to return to the search for four teenagers who went missing paddle boarding in the Morning Peninsula yesterday.

A passerby located belongings on the beach about 8pm, after which a large-scale air, sea and land search of the area began but due to deteriorating conditions was paused about 4am.

Family members of those teenagers are waiting on the beach for the full-scale search to resume. Nine news journalist Izabella Staskowski has shared an image of that nervous wait:

<gu-island name="TweetBlockComponent" deferuntil="visible" props="{"element":{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement","html":"

Family of missing teenagers here at Rosebud beach waiting for full scale search to resume. Two teenage boys and two teenage girls still missing after going paddle boarding yesterday. Incredibly difficult for these parents. @TheTodayShow pic.twitter.com/FdtI0EEjFV

&mdash; Izabella Staskowski (@IzaStaskowski) December 19, 2022

\n","url":"https://twitter.com/IzaStaskowski/status/1604936542996533248","id":"1604936542996533248","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"bcd38c0c-797b-4878-b247-510e079909de"}}”>

Family of missing teenagers here at Rosebud beach waiting for full scale search to resume. Two teenage boys and two teenage girls still missing after going paddle boarding yesterday. Incredibly difficult for these parents. @TheTodayShow pic.twitter.com/FdtI0EEjFV

— Izabella Staskowski (@IzaStaskowski) December 19, 2022

Updated at 16.11 EST

Malinauskas backs stricter gun laws

Peter Malinauskas has also backed stricter gun safety laws after last week’s Wieambilla shooting. The SA premier told ABC Radio:

When I was police minister a few years ago we went through an extraordinary exercise of completely reframing gun laws in SA to make sure they are up to standard as being some of the best in the world in terms of restrictiveness … but I think we should always be looking for opportunities to improve gun safety laws.

Asked about whether he would bring it up at the next national cabinet meeting, Malinauskas indicated he thought energy was a more pressing issue.

Updated at 16.07 EST

South Australia prepares for largest flood in 50 years

The premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas, is speaking to ABC Radio about the flooding his state is seeing.

Malinauskas says the peak flow is approaching the state border, with the town of Renmark expecting its peak on Boxing Day. The premier says significant preparations have been under way for “an event they’ve known is coming their way for six to eight weeks”.

He says the current prediction of 1,000 homes inundated is likely to increase closer to 4,000 homes over the days ahead.

While he acknowledges thethe trauma of people who will lose homes and businesses, he says it will also be an “extraordinary environmental event”.

We’ve got an imminent human tragedy on our hands.. and addressing that naturally is our main priority.

But, this is the first time in 50 years we’ve had this volume of water coming across the river and it will bring with it profound environmental benefits.

This event will naturally widen and open .. the Murray mouth and that has a massive flow on benefit into the fisheries.

Further up the river, he says frog life has also been “coming to the fore that has otherwise been endangered”.

Updated at 16.14 EST

Four teenagers missing off Victorian beach

A search is under way for four teenagers missing in waters off Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

It’s believed an 18-year-old woman, two 18-year-old men and a 19-year-old woman were using inflatable paddle boards off Rosebud Beach yesterday.

Their belongings were found on the beach by a passerby about 8pm.

A man who said he was the father of one of the boys told Seven’s Sunrise program this morning the teens had just completed their final school exams and were in Rosebud for an end-of-year celebration.

Specialist police immediately scoured the area for the group but the search was halted at 4am due to deteriorating conditions. It started up again at daybreak.

– from AAP

Updated at 15.43 EST

RBA board meeting minutes to be released today

The Reserve Bank has been careful to keep its options open before its February cash rate decision, with analysts hopeful the minutes from the board’s last meeting will shed some light on the path ahead.

Due today, the minutes from the central bank’s December board meeting will confirm if the 25 basis point rate hike was the only option discussed.

NAB markets economist Taylor Nugent said a discussion of a return to a 50 basis point rise would bolster the case for more rate hikes in the new year.

Conversely, the consideration of a pause in December could support the argument that the RBA has already done enough to counter inflation and could hold rates steady when it meets in February.

St George economist Jameson Coombs said the bank’s 25bp cash rate rise in December – the latest in a series of hikes designed to cool sky-high inflation – was accompanied by “deliberately vague but decidedly balanced” commentary” from governor Philip Lowe:

Ultimately, the message was clear, the RBA expects to “increase interest rates further over the period ahead”, but the path to get there may not necessarily be a straight one.

– from AAP

Updated at 15.44 EST

Good morning!

Foreign affairs minister Penny Wong is due to touch down in Beijing tonight. Tomorrow she will attend events marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and China.

Wong will also meet her counterpart Wang Yi to hold the Australia-China foreign and strategic dialogue – last held in 2018.

The trade sanctions imposed by China on Australian products including wine and barley are expected to be high on the agenda, as well as human rights and consular cases such as the plight of detained Australians Cheng Lei and Yang Hengjun.

You can read more about what we can expect of Wong’s visit from our foreign affairs correspondent, Daniel Hurst:

In Victoria police are still searching for four teenagers who went missing paddle boarding in the Morning Peninsula yesterday.

A passerby located belongings on the beach about 8pm last night, with police and emergency services beginning the search in waters off Rosebud overnight for the two 18-year-old men, an 18-year-old woman and a 19-year-old woman.

Also today, the minutes from the central bank’s last board meeting are due to be released, which will confirm if the 25 basis point rate hike was the only option discussed.

The minutes could shed light on whether Australians can expect more rate rises in the new year.

In Queensland the state’s police union has revealed its intention to buy the block of land which was the site of the Wieambilla shooting, at which constables Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29, were killed.

Union head Ian Leavers told this morning’s edition of the Courier-Mail:

The QPU would never want to see this land fall into the hands of any other anti-vaxxer, pro-gun conspiracy theorist, sovereign citizens who may seek to utilise the reputation of this site to promote their own dangerous and warped views.

The union has asked the government for help resuming the land.

Let’s get going!

Updated at 15.32 EST

The Guardian

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