News digest: Wild storms lash east coast, 3 cases in Vic and Littleproud calls for ANZ boycott

Oct 29, 2020
More storms have been forecast for south-east Queensland on Saturday. Source: Shutterstock.

Much of Australia’s east coast was lashed by wild storms on Wednesday, with New South Wales and Queensland recording heavy rainfall, flash flooding and strong winds, with huge hail stones even falling in some parts of south-east Queensland and regional NSW.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe storm warning for both states on Wednesday evening and Queensland’s south-east copped a total of 50mm of rain yesterday, with around 5,000 homes in Brisbane left without power as a result. And it’s not over yet for the Sunshine State, as further storms have been predicted for Saturday, following a day of warm weather and sunshine on Friday.

Meanwhile, just over 24 hours since lockdown restrictions were eased in metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria has recorded an additional three cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of mystery cases in the capital to four. However no further deaths have been recorded over the past 24 hours.

Taking into account the new cases, Melbourne’s 14-day rolling average now sits at just 2.4, while regional Victoria’s average is 0. Premier Daniel Andrews is yet to step up for his daily media conference, therefore it is not yet known whether the new cases relate to people already in hotel quarantine.

And finally today, there’s been a lot of talk online after Agriculture Minister David Littleproud called on those living in regional parts of the country to boycott big four bank ANZ. The Nationals MP said regional Australians should reconsider using banks that “impose crippling new carbon targets and penalties on Australian farming families and industries”.

It comes after ANZ announced it would adopt climate change as a condition of lending, which in turn will increase pressure on farmers, construction firms and a range of companies to establish low-carbon transition plans of their own by 2021.

“While ANZ has confirmed with me this morning that this will not impact family farms, this policy is disgraceful,” Littleproud said in a statement shared online. “Banks are not and should not try to become society’s moral compass and arbiter – the Australian people decide that by who they elect. We can’t let unelected, profit-driven financiers from Pitt Street dictate to society how to produce food and fibre or how we run our economy.

“Banks have been given a privileged position in our society and our economy and they shouldn’t interfere in markets but simply facilitate them with capital. That is their role and they should stick to it.”

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