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Michelle Grattan

Word from The Hill: On interest rates, people smugglers, parliamentary sitting, and Julian Assange

On the economy, people smugglers, parliamentary sitting, and Julian Assange.

As well as her interviews with politicians and experts, Politics with Michelle Grattan includes “Word from The Hill”, where she discusses the news with members of The Conversation politics team.

Politics editor Amanda Dunn and Michelle discuss Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe’s Tuesday statements about the economic outlook. Lowe has again warned of more rate rises, indicating the bank is determined to reduce inflation from a likely 7% at year’s end down to the 2-3% target range. But the Governor says he doesn’t expect Australia to face a recession.

Meanwhile Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil has visited Sri Lanka this week amid concerns the people smugglers are looking to test Australia’s borders now there’s a new government. Australia, which needs Sri Lanka to be as active as possible in stopping boats leaving, has announced $50 million in aid for that country, directed to its food and health needs.

With Wikileaks founder Julian Assange facing extradition from Britain to the United States, Anthony Albanese is under pressure to make strong representations to have the Australian freed. Albanese is sympathetic, but whether he can achieve any progress is another matter.

The calendar for the new parliament has now been released, showing only four sitting weeks between now and the October budget.

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