10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

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Good morning, and welcome to Monday.

Major moves for Australia’s new nuclear submarine program. Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today reveal plans to build a $10 billion operational base somewhere on the east coast, The Australian Financial Review reports. In addition, the government will also expedite its decision-making process over which subs to buy, exactly. The move comes as the federal government ramps up its rhetoric around regional security (read: expresses its fears over China’s territorial influence).

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A dozen of Australia’s most powerful advocates are demanding the federal government make genuine efforts to improve the safety of women in Australia. 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame, Brittany Higgins, former Liberal MP Julia Banks, and early childhood advocate Georgie Dent are among those calling for a legitimate shift. “Countless reviews, inquiries, promises, conferences and bodies established to assess and report on the inequity and injustice women face” have resulted in “no meaningful change,” Christine Holgate said in a launch video.

The next federal government must prioritise the economic participation of women, a leading advocacy group says. The Age reports Chief Executive Women has called for a surge of federal investment in early childhood care, where consumer prices have overwhelmingly surpassed the overall inflation rate. Further financial support for health, aged and disability care must also be priorities, the group said.

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Heavy rainfall is expected for Sydney and much of New South Wales’ coastal regions through Monday. The Bureau of Meteorology says severe downpours could lead to flash flooding across the Mid North Coast, Hunter, Sydney Metropolitan area, Illawarra, South Coast, and parts of the Tablelands. NSW SES Deputy Commissioner Daniel Austin today suggested further evacuation orders could arrive through the day. The state tallied six deaths linked to recent flooding on the weekend. Further north, Queensland has counted 12 flood-related deaths.

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Legendary Australian cricketer Shane Warne will receive a Victorian state funeral. On Sunday, Premier Daniel Andrews said the leg spinner’s family had accepted the offer, and the “opportunity for Victorians to pay tribute to his contribution to his sport, to our state and the country”. Warne died of a suspected heart attack on Friday while holidaying in Thailand. He was 52 years old.

Mike Cannon-Brookes’ multibillion dollar bid to acquire AGL Energy is over. The Atlassian billionaire on Sunday revealed he and asset manager Brookfield are “putting their pens down” after the company rejected a renewed bid worth some $9 billion. “This weekend, the board rejected our raised offer of $8.25 — 46 per cent more than the price of $5.55 about 90 days ago,” he wrote on Twitter. Cannon-Brookes said his plan, if successful, would see the energy giant dump its coal power plants years ahead of schedule.

Unable to redeem the travel vouchers you earned when the pandemic ended your getaway plans? You’re not alone. Consumer advocacy publication CHOICE reports one in five people whose travel plans were transferred to flight credits have not had the chance to make good on those vouchers. Consumers deserve better than flight credits and a potential gift card, CHOICE said.

Both Visa and Mastercard have suspended their Russian operations. The Australian Financial Review reports both payment platforms have joined an international effort to financially isolate Russia while the nation wages war on Ukraine. Global sanctions on Russia have contributed to the Rouble’s collapse, with 1 Rouble now worth $AU0.012, down from $AU0.019 a month ago.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked Elon Musk for the provision of Starlink communications systems. Earlier, Musk promised to furnish the nation with Starlink internet connection equipment to circumvent Russia’s attempts to stymie communication. “I’m grateful to him for supporting Ukraine with words and deeds,” Zelensky tweeted Sunday. “Next week we will receive another batch of Starlink systems for destroyed cities.”

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Australian businesses reported a dip in supply chain constraints in February. It could be short-lived. New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed 37% of businesses experienced supply chain disruptions, down from nearly half in January. However, flooding and the impact of war in Ukraine is likely to exacerbate supply chain concerns.

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Bowled, Shane.


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