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Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Australia to deliver first budget surplus in 15 years

Australia is set to deliver its first budget surplus in 15 years, with a small surplus of around A$4 billion for the fiscal year ending June and deficit estimates for subsequent years also decreased.

Australia to ban public vaping in major public health move

Australia will ban public recreational vaping, part of a crackdown against an epidemic. Additionally, the sale of vapes will be restricted to pharmacies and minimum quality standards will be introduced.

Australians tuned in to coronation but preferred Queen’s funeral coverage

Millions of Australians watched the coronation of King Charles III, but that number still fell short of those who tuned in for the late Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in 2022. Hundreds of thousands fewer tuned in for the coronation than the funeral, which was aired on every major network.

Australia, New Zealand mark King Charles’ coronation with 21-gun salutes

The leaders of Australia and New Zealand attended the coronation ceremony in London, while in their respective countries the coronation was celebrated with 21-gun salutes.

Changes to the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax

Treasurer Jim Chalmers announced higher taxes on gas industry profits, which he says will give Australians a “fairer return” on their natural resources. The tax will mean the offshore LNG industry will pay more tax, sooner and is expected to increase tax receipts by $2.4 billion over forward estimates.

Australia’s budget to provide $10 billion financial package amid record-high inflation

The Australian government has announced it would provide a $10 billion financial package over four years to help its citizens address significantly increased living costs. The financial assistance will help low-income families, small businesses, and pensioners dealing with high energy prices.

Australia’s exports to China hit record High as relations thaw

Exports from Australia to China hit a record high in March 2023, with shipments reaching A$19 billion, up 28% from February, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That monthly number is the highest since records began in 1988 and is the result of an easing of relations between Beijing and Canberra. Earlier in 2023, Beijing removed all remaining restrictions on Australian coal imports.

Australia business activity robust in April, cost pressures still a challenge

Supported by robust sales and labour market strength, Australian business activity remained solid in April, staying above its long-run average. A statement from National Australia Bank Ltd Chief Economist Alan Oster indicated the economy remains resilient and demand is still very strong.

What the RBA’s latest hike means for Australian house prices

Australia’s house price recovery is continuing, with home prices increasing and clearance rates also rebounding from their lowest levels. A shortage of housing listings, skyrocketing rents, and high immigration are all playing a role in the recovery.

China automakers flood Australia with budget-priced luxury cars

While many automakers are pushing for electrification, Chinese carmakers are pushing gasoline-powered vehicles. Chery Automobile Co is selling its mid-size Omoda 5 across Australia for as low as A$32,000 for the base model, which comes loaded with many features.

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