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Jennifer Hewett


Jennifer Hewett is the National Affairs columnist. She writes a daily column on politics, business and the economy. Connect with Jennifer on Twitter. Email Jennifer at

Jennifer Hewett


Demand for data centres is soaring.

New data centres mean surging power needs

The rush is on build new data centres, but their massive energy requirements are adding to strain on the power grid.

This Month

Resources Minister Madeleine King.

Critical minerals plan less work in progress than idea in germination

The Albanese government is keen to promote critical minerals and US cooperation as key to the energy transition and green manufacturing jobs.

Smoke rises after an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip.

Why the Middle East risks exploding

Anthony Albanese arrives in Washington as the Middle East crisis threatens to destabilise the entire region with unpredictable consequences.


Israel confronts its grim choices

Hamas has already succeeded in its aims of stirring up hatred of Israel and antagonism towards the US across the Middle East.

The takeover deal has been  accepted by Origin’s board and will now go before shareholders.

Why Origin takeover is not a done deal

Arguments over the proposed takeover of Origin Energy demonstrate the confusion about energy transition. What is clear is that the business is performing well.

President Joe Biden is visiting Israel to see Benjamin Netanyahu.

Biden tries shuttle diplomacy on brink of war

The Hamas assault provoking Israel’s fierce response makes the Middle East a powder keg, and Joe Biden is expected to show solidarity for Israel while urging restraint.

Wesfarmers chairman Michael Chaney was among high-profile corporate backers of the Voice.

How big business will handle a backlash over the Voice

Much of corporate Australia strongly backed the Voice. The result means they are reassessing how to address social issues as past of the ESG agenda.

Anthony Albanese at  his press conference

The hard cost of a failed referendum

The resounding defeat of the Voice referendum leaves many Indigenous leaders disillusioned and Yes voters broken-hearted, but Anthony Albanese still argues it was the right thing to do.

Energy Minister Chris Bowen at the Energy and Climate Summit

Bowen and D’Ambrosio insist targets should be hard to achieve

Chris Bowen says the renewable energy targets have to be difficult to meet or there’s no point having them. But what is Plan B if - as is likely - they are too hard?

The energy transition is faltering.

The energy transition is gridlocked, regulators have no answers

It’s crunch time for the switch to renewables and regulators are pleading with business to invest more and quickly. But progress is stalling.

The rental crisis is one predictable factor for Michele Bullock amid the global economic turmoil.

Bullock’s predictable problem in an unpredictable world

The confusion roiling global markets won’t end, but Australia’s rental crisis is a more fundamental imbalance of supply and demand. It means the RBA governor’s job won’t get any easier.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil.

Why immigration numbers don’t add up

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil is announcing big changes to the visa system, but that won’t do much to deter surging net immigration numbers.

Why Bullock’s first move is standing still

Michele Bullock did the expected by keeping rates on hold, but there’s nervous uncertainty about what the next move will be.

The problem with the boom in international students

Contrary to pandemic-era claims, international students are back in a big way. The Albanese government wants to clamp down on visa rorts and shonky agents, but that’s only part of the challenge.


Jens Goennemann, managing director of the Australian Growth Manufacturing Centre

Government bets on a manufacturing future

Australia’s ability to revive domestic manufacturing without ending up in an economic cul-de-sac is a key policy question for this decade.

  • Updated
Several key transmission projects look set to be supported by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Nuclear power is a non-starter - there’s a bigger problem to fix

Arguments about nuclear power won’t help the urgent problems of energy transition, with a growing gap between reality and Australia’s renewable energy plans.

 Andrews’ tenacious and brutal campaign to eliminate COVID-19 came to an end on Tuesday.

Exiting Andrews insists he did the right thing

Daniel Andrews has stood down as Victoria’s premier after thoughts about life after politics started to “creep in”.

Alan Bond and John Bertrand celebrate victory in Newport on September 26, 1983.

The day young blokes from Down Under curdled the mood of America

How the America’s Cup race spectacularly sailed into Australia’s national psyche – and my life – 40 years ago.

The NSW government will begin talks with Origin Energy to keep Eraring power station open longer.

Origin Energy suitors facing more investor scepticism

More investors are deciding the bid for Origin undervalues its assets and growth prospects. The imminent ACCC decision will force the issue out into the open.

Qantas is now in extreme difficulties and the Prime Minister will be keen to keep his distance

Qantas hits High Court brick wall

The ruling against the airline is another hit to its reputation, and it can no longer rely on protection from the traditional cushion of national goodwill.