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Australia news LIVE: Another rate rise expected as RBA meets for final time this year; PM’s COVID diagnosis delays energy price talks

A meeting between federal and state leaders to strike a deal on power prices has been delayed after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese came down with COVID-19 yesterday, dragging out talks when NSW and Queensland are warning against any hit to at least $9 billion in combined annual coal royalties.

Albanese returned a positive test for COVID-19 last night, shelving plans for him to discuss the energy strategy with state and territory leaders at a dinner at Kirribilli House this evening and forcing a delay to the national cabinet meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese came down with COVID late on Monday.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

It is not known when the meeting will be rescheduled, throwing into doubt the likelihood that a solution to soaring power prices could be signed off before Christmas.

Albanese was preparing to discuss the issue of compensation with premiers to help broker a solution to the energy crisis, as NSW and Queensland repeat their demands for payments to be included in any proposal to cap coal prices.

It’s the second time the PM has contracted the virus.

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