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Philip Lowe’s RBA term ends, new chief will be appointed

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Lowe has overseen a controversial period of high interest rate rises

Philip Lowe, the current governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), will not be reappointed to his position.

The Cabinet is expected to meet today to decide on his replacement, with an announcement from Treasurer Jim Chalmers to follow.

While Chalmers holds Lowe in high regard, it is believed that the Cabinet will opt for a change.

Three individuals are considered front-runners for the role: Michele Bullock, the deputy governor of the RBA, Steven Kennedy, the Treasury secretary, and Jenny Wilkinson, the secretary of the Finance Department.

Lowe’s seven-year term was scheduled to end in September, but the decision not to reappoint him comes amidst criticism and calls for his resignation.

The RBA’s decision to repeatedly raise interest rates, from 0.1 percent to 4.1 percent over the past year, has drawn fury and discontent.

Lowe had previously indicated that rates would remain at the record low level until at least 2024 but faced criticism for not clearly conveying the caveats to that statement. Inflation, which has been running higher than the RBA’s target range of 2 to 3 percent, eased to 5.6 percent in the year to May.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has argued against considering Kennedy and Wilkinson for the position due to their existing relationships with the government in their current roles as department heads.

“We will support somebody who is independent, and that’s an absolutely essential criteria. You can’t have somebody who is in the pocket of the treasurer or the finance minister,” Mr Dutton told Channel Nine.

“You can’t have somebody who is tainted by an association or a friendship, or worked very closely with the treasurer, the finance minister and the prime minister.”

Having been appointed directly from Treasury, former RBA governor Bernie Fraser dismissed that suggestion as “silly”.

According to Mr Fraser, Mr Lowe had made a mistake in stating he didn’t expect interest rates to rise until 2024, but had handled the situation well.

“I think he’s done a very good job,” Mr Fraser said.

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Helicopter carrying Iran’s President Raisi crashes

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A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister crashed on Sunday as it was crossing mountain terrain in heavy fog.

The official said the lives of Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were “at risk following the helicopter crash”, which happened on the way back from a visit to the border with Azerbaijan in Iran’s northwest.

“We are still hopeful but information coming from the crash site is very concerning,” the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi takes off, May 19, 2024. Ali Hamed Haghdoust/IRNA/WANA via REUTERS

State TV quoted an official as saying at least one passenger and one crew member had been in contact with rescuers. It also said the helicopter had been found, though Iran’s Red Crescent denied this report.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran’s nuclear programme, sought to reassure Iranians, saying there would be no disruption to state affairs. #iran #trending

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Why Australia is becoming the new home of the Hollywood blockbuster

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Australia’s multimillion-dollar campaign to attract Hollywood productions to its shores appears to be paying off.

The allure of Australia lies not only in its picturesque locations but also in its competitive financial incentives.

The government offers generous rebates and tax breaks to international productions, making it an attractive proposition for filmmakers looking to maximise their budgets.

Despite the recent intake of Hollywood productions down under such as ‘The Fall Guy’ and ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’, Aussie independents are still finding the space to carve their own creative path.

Rob Fantozzi joined the program to discuss the latest in Hollywood, and showcased his own upcoming project – ‘Omerta‘. #featured

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Portal between countries shut down after international flashing

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An international video portal has been forced to shut down after an OnlyFans model reportedly flashed passersby from across the globe.

On this episode of Ahron and Mike Live – Which would you prefer; pay rise or work perks, an international portal closes, the military reveal a submarine stingray and are you on a top or bottom burger bun?

Ticker’s Ahron Young & Mike Loder discuss. #featured #trending

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