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ASX down, Aussies moving and 6 other things to start your day

A composite image of the ASX board showing company price changes and a row of houses on a gloomy day.
The ASX is expected to open lower this morning. (Source: Getty)

ASX: The local share market is expected to fall this morning with no lead from the US overnight as the country celebrated the President’s Day public holiday.

Rate insights: The reasoning behind the most recent interest rate hike will be revealed today when the Reserve Bank (RBA) releases its February board meeting minutes.

The RBA lifted interest rates by another 0.25 per cent in February, taking the cash rate to 3.35 per cent.

Movin’ on out: Aussie families are gravitating towards affordable, city-fringe areas as cost-of-living pressures take a toll on household budgets.

The latest version of Domain's school zone report revealed shifting priorities among Australian families - from catchments with a lifestyle appeal, such as near the coast or national parks, to less expensive locations.

Lights out: New generation, transmission lines and energy storage are needed to keep the lights on in homes and businesses as ageing coal-fired power plants shut down.

In a national electricity market update released today, the Australian Energy Market Operator warned the reliability of the electricity grid was in doubt over the next 10 years without new investments - including gas.

Incentives: Speaking of energy, Aussie businesses will be able to dip into a $62 million pool to help them become more energy-efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Small- and medium-sized businesses in all sectors will be able to apply for grants of between $10,000 and $25,000 for installing energy-monitoring tools, upgrading or replacing air conditioners with high-efficiency units and replacing heat boilers with pumps.

Cashless: Prime Minister Anthony Albnanese said reinstating the cashless debit card in remote communities would do little to address antisocial behaviour.

The prime minister faced calls to bring back the compulsory income-management scheme during a trip to Western Australia, where communities - including Laverton and Leonora in the Goldfields - are dealing with a spike in youth crime.

Robodebt: A top government department lawyer will give evidence on the unlawful robodebt scheme when the royal commission resumes today.

The second day of the final hearing block of the robodebt royal commission will hear from the former chief counsel for the Department of Social Services, Paul Menzies-McVey.

Dark side of hotels: As travel demand continues to surge, Marriott International is spearheading a movement to address one of the biggest social issues in the hotel industry - human trafficking.

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