The Loop: Barilaro faces trade jobs probe, banks split over interest rate expectations, two killed in Brisbane attack and ancient finds in Pompeii

Hi there. This is monday august 8 and you’re reading The Loop, a quick summary of today’s news.

Let’s Start Here: John Barilaro to Lead US Business Jobs Survey

The former deputy premier of New South Wales was questioned Monday during the parliamentary inquiry into his appointment to the lucrative role of American trade.

Here are the main takeaways:

  • He said he wished he never applied for the job and said “the trauma I’ve been through over the past six to seven weeks has been significant.”
  • Mr Barilaro dismissed suggestions he had fast-tracked the cabinet’s bids on business roles so he could apply for one, saying “you are making me look corrupt”.
  • He told the inquest he first expressed interest in the job with current New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet last November after he resigned from cabinet, and said that “no one ever mentioned to me that it would be politically sensitive”.
  • Mr Barilaro also told the inquest he was unaware that Jenny West had been selected for the job in August 2021. Ms West had previously testified that she had been told she was the successful candidate, for the revoked soon after, and that it must have been a “gift” for someone
  • The former NSW Nationals frontman said he withdrew his candidacy for the American commercial role on February 23 this year, before putting his hat back in the ring two days later.

You can revisit the evidence of the day as it happened with our blog.

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John Barilaro says he regrets applying for a sales position.

Economists at Australia’s big banks are divided on the interest rate outlook for the rest of the year.

In one camp, economists at Westpac and ANZ are confident the cash rate target will top 3% by the end of the year, but those at NAB and Commonwealth Bank believe the rate n probably won’t achieve that goal.

Westpac chief economist Bill Evans predicts the rate will rise to 3.35% – and says it should if the Reserve Bank is to fight inflation – while Commonwealth Bank’s Gareth Aird expects the cash rate to reach 2.6%.

So what impact could a cash rate of 2.6% to 3.35% have? For someone with a $600,000 30-year mortgage, that’s about $284 more each month on their repayments.

The cash rate is currently at 1.85%, having been raised by 0.5 percentage points last Tuesday by the RBA.

Westpac and ABC logos
Westpac and CBA have different interest rate expectations.(ABC News)

News alerts you may have missed

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

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What Australia searched online

  • Strington: Queensland Police have established a crime scene in the southern suburbs of Brisbane after the bodies of a man and a woman were found inside a house this morning in what police described as a “frenzied attack”. A 49-year-old man has been arrested and the victims have not yet been identified. Neighbors say they are shocked to see a crime scene set up on their street.
Police officers in blue HAZMAT gear take pictures.
Police have recovered two “bladed weapons” which they say were used in the attack.(ABC News: Alfred Beales)

One more thing

Archaeologists have unearthed other artifacts from the condemned ancient Italian city of Pompeii that paint a picture of its vulnerable middle-class society.

A wooden chest of drawers, a three-legged side table with decorative bowls and a chest with its lid open are among the latest finds inside a house that was first excavated in 2018 in the park archeology of Pompeii.

Director Gabriel Zuchtriegel said the finds provide valuable details about ordinary citizens of the city which was destroyed in AD 79.

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

you are up to date

We will come back with more tomorrow.

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