The Loop: Barilaro faces trade job inquiry, banks divided on interest rate expectations, two killed in Brisbane attack and ancient finds in Pompeii – Michmutters

The Loop: Barilaro faces trade job inquiry, banks divided on interest rate expectations, two killed in Brisbane attack and ancient finds in Pompeii

Hi there. It’s Monday, August 8 and you’re reading The Loop, a quick wrap-up of today’s news.

Let’s start here: John Barilaro fronts US trade job inquiry

The former deputy premier of New South Wales faced questioning at the parliamentary inquiry into his appointment into the lucrative US trade role on Monday.

Here are the main takeaways:

  • He said he wished he never applied for the job, and said the “trauma I’ve gone through over the past six to seven weeks has been significant”
  • Mr Barilaro rejected suggestions that he fast-tracked cabinet submissions about the trade roles so that he could apply for one, saying “you’re making me out to be corrupt”
  • He told the inquiry that he first flagged his interest in the position with current NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet last November, after he resigned from cabinet, and said “no-one ever raised with me that this would be politically sensitive”
  • Mr Barilaro also told the inquiry that he didn’t know that Jenny West had been selected for the role in August 2021. Ms West had previously given evidence that she was told she was the successful candidate, only to have it revoked soon after, and that it was to be a “present” for someone
  • The former NSW Nationals leader said he withdrew his application from the US trade role on February 23 this year, before putting his hat back in the ring two days later.

You can look back at the day’s evidence as it happened with our blog.

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John Barilaro says he regrets applying for trade position.

Economists at Australia’s major banks are split about the outlook for interest rates for the rest of the year.

In one camp, Westpac and ANZ economists are confident the cash rate target will go above 3 per cent by the year’s end, but those at NAB and Commonwealth Bank think the rate is unlikely to reach that target.

Westpac’s chief economist, Bill Evans, is predicting the rate will climb to 3.35 per cent — and argues it should if the Reserve Bank wants to combat inflation — while Gareth Aird from the Commonwealth Bank is forecasting the cash rate will reach 2.6 per cent.

So what impact could a cash rate of 2.6 per cent to 3.35 per cent have? For someone with a 30-year, $600,000 mortgage, it works out to be around $284 extra each month on their repayments.

The cash rate is currently 1.85 per cent, after it was raised by 0.5 percentage points last Tuesday by the RBA.

Westpac and CBA logos
Westpac and CBA have different expectations when it comes to interest rates.(abcnews)

News alerts you might have missed

  • Amnesty International has apologized for the “distress and anger” caused by its report that accused Ukraine of endangering civilians, but says it stands by its findings. Last week, the rights group published the report saying Ukraine stationing troops in residential areas heightened the risk to civilians.
A man with a cigarette in his mouth walks through the rubble of a bombed out building
Amnesty has stood by the report claiming Ukraine has endangered civillians. (Reuters)
  • Australia won its 1,000th gold medal at the Commonwealth Games when the Diamonds claimed victory over Jamaica in the netball final. It means Australia is the first country to reach four figures in the history of the Commonwealth Games and did it on the penultimate day of the games. It remains top of the medal tally, with 174 won so far, including 66 golds.


What Australia has been searching for online

  • Stretton: Queensland police have established a crime scene in the southern Brisbane suburb after the bodies of a man and woman were found inside a home this morning in what police have described as a “frenzied attack”. A 49-year-old man has been arrested, and the victims are yet to be identified. Neighbors say they were shocked to see a crime scene established in their street.
Police in blue HAZMAT suits taking photos.
Police have recovered two “bladed weapons” that they believed were used in the attack.(ABC News: Alfred Beales)

one more thing

Archaeologists have unearthed more items from the doomed ancient Italian city of Pompeii that paint a picture of its vulnerable middle-class society.

A wooden dresser, a three-legged accent table with decorative bowls and a trunk with its lid open are among the latest discoveries inside a house that was first excavated in 2018 in Pompeii’s archaeological park.

Director Gabriel Zuchtriegel said the findings provide precious details about the ordinary citizens of the city that was destroyed in AD 79.

three bowls on a decorative table unearthed in Pompeii
The discoveries in the four new rooms include decorative bowls, an incense burner and an oil lamp.(Reuters: Archaeological Park of Pompei)

You’re up to date

We’ll be back with more tomorrow.



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