Australia news live: Queensland braces for Cyclone Jasper; fog causes Melbourne road chaos | Australia news #Australia #news #live #Queensland #braces #Cyclone #Jasper #fog #Melbourne #road #chaos #Australia #news

Key events

Evacuation centres set up in north Queensland

Preparations are under way for Tropical Cyclone Jasper to hit the Queensland coast, bringing potentially disastrous consequences, Australian Associated Press reports.

Gales are expected to hit several communities from today, including Cairns, Innisfail, Palm Island and Wujal Wujal.

The system weakened to a category 1 as it moved west towards the coast across the weekend but could reintensify before making landfall near Port Douglas, north of Cairns, as a category 2 by tomorrow afternoon.

If the slow-moving cyclone is delayed further, it could develop into an even more intense system, prompting authorities to take considerable precautions. The Bureau of Meteorology said:

If the system is slower and crosses overnight Wednesday or Thursday, a slim chance remains of a severe category 3 crossing.

Evacuation centres have been set up across the region, with deputy premier Steven Miles warning of a significant risk of flash flooding when Jasper makes landfall.

Welcome

Good morning, all, and welcome to our rolling news coverage. I’m Martin Farrer and I’ll be bringing you some of our top stories this morning before my colleague Emily Wind takes over.

Anthony Albanese probably didn’t need reminding that cost-of-living pressures are the No 1 concern for Australians right now – but that’s what our Guardian Essential poll stresses today, showing that 57% of households are either financially struggling or facing serious difficulty. The final poll of the year points to a gloomy economic outlook for 2024, with only 24%% thinking next year will be better.

Increasing immigration is widely expected to push up house prices in years to come as we struggle to build enough homes for newcomers. But our data reporter Josh Nicholas has been digging into the figures and finds that the link between the two issues is not completely clear.

Infrastructure Australia warns today that the $230bn infrastructure pipeline, the energy transition and plans to build 1.2m new homes are under threat from a shortfall of 229,000 workers. And, in an effort to put the government on the front foot on housing affordability, Jim Chalmers is going to triple the fees foreigners have to pay when buying established homes and double the penalties for leaving a property vacant. Will it make any difference? Reserve Bank governor Michele Bullock gives a speech today which may shed some light on these key economic issues.

Shannon Fentiman last night pitched herself as the antidote to the old regime in her bid to be next Queensland premier as she runs against Annastacia Palaszczuk’s anointed successor Steven Miles. We’ll have more on the Queensland drama as it happens.

Plus: we will keep track of news of how Cyclone Jasper is tracking as it heads towards the north coast of the state. And at the other end of the continent, about 30 cars have been involved in traffic accidents in Melbourne in heavy fog overnight, with two men in critical condition in hospital.

#Australia #news #live #Queensland #braces #Cyclone #Jasper #fog #Melbourne #road #chaos #Australia #news

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