(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

IS TODAY THE DAY?

The Coalition will today announce an economic stimulus package expected to hit $15 billion/$17 billion/“just shy of $20 billion” (seriously, the number depends on which outlet you prefer) — at least $8.7 billion of which The Conversation reports will be spent on $25,000 handouts for small-to-medium businesses, an apprenticeship subsidy and incentives for equipment.

PS: The ASX closed 3.6% down yesterday, The Guardian reports.

PPS: States and territories are expected to outline their own stimulus plans when the Council of Australian Governments meets tomorrow, The Australian ($) reports.

RICH PEOPLE BEHAVED… UNETHICALLY?

The Australian Taxation Office has found that “artificial and non-commercial arrangements” by the country’s wealthiest people — individuals who, together with associated entities, control a net wealth of $50 million or more — robbed the country of $770 million across 2016-17, the ABC reports.

AND ALSO: In unrelated coronavirus news, some of Australia’s poorest workers — that is, people without paid sick leave — would have to wait at least a month and a half before obtaining the Sick Allowance (less than 40% of the minimum wage) if forced to quarantine, according to The Conversation.

VIRUS WATCH

  • The Australian Medical Association NSW has complained of confusing guidelines over “who to test, when to test them, how to test them and where to test them” (ABC).
  • Victoria has activated its State Control Centre ahead of the severe disruptions — i.e. school and event closures — expected within weeks (ABC).
  • Northern Territory has cancelled “non-essential trips” to Indigenous communities (ABC).
  • Brisbane locals probably won’t be surprised to learn that a University of Queensland student repeatedly checked out local nightclub/grease stain Friday’s while unknowingly infected by the virus (The Courier-Mail ($)).

WEINSTEIN GETS 23 YEARS IN PRISON

Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for the rape of a woman and sexual assault of another, with Buzzfeed reporting the disgraced producer told the court he was “remorseful” but “totally confused” over the convictions.

IN RELATED NEWS: Back at home, Christian Brothers will pay a record $1.3 million in damages to survivor John Lawrence over historic child sex abuse at its WA orphanage, with the ABC reporting the congregation failed to argue the sum should be downgraded because of, quote-unquote, “poor economic and educational prospects regardless of the abuse”.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

[Journalist Katharine Murphy: “Who made these changes after April 4, and on what legal authority, given that, my understanding is that ministerial advisors cannot make decisions in the way ministers can make decisions?”]

The ministerial authority for the program was with the minister for sport. That is the position.

Scott Morrison

Once again, the prime minister provides an answer about the sports rorts saga entirely separate to the one that was asked.

CRIKEY RECAP

Coronavirus reroutes travel industry to dark — but not uncharted — territory

“Lake Tyrrell covers over 200 square kilometres in the sprawling Mallee region in north-western Victoria, about 400km north of Melbourne. It is rarely deeper than five centimeters at any point.”


The challenge of government intervention when you oppose government

“One of the key differences between the current crisis and a decade ago is the very different nature of the leaders in charge of major Anglophone economies — and it’s not a difference that instils confidence in our ability to respond effectively.”


How much could businesses save if all CEOs took an Alan Joyce-style pay cut?

“Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, one of the country’s best-paid CEOs, announced on Tuesday that he would not be taking home a salary for the rest of the financial year, as the coronavirus played havoc with the airline.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Manus Island refugees recount violent attacks by armed locals on apartment compound

Industrial umpire lashes universities ‘obsessed’ with rankings and reputation

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is under fire for not sidelining embattled police minister David Elliott ($)

Domestic violence victim rejects ‘sham’ settlement offer in Queensland police case

‘I’d do it all again’: Celeste Barber responds to fire fund critics

Greenberg pushes case for new contract to ARL commissioners

Health minister says Australia cannot predict how many will die from coronavirus

Guardian journalist Russell Jackson ‘unpaid for five weeks’ ($)

Regional NSW town to host large-scale hydrogen energy storage project – state’s first

Matildas defeat Vietnam to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

THE COMMENTARIAT

‘Mayhem looms just around the corner’: diary from the frontline of the coronavirus health crisisAnonymous (The Guardian): “I am a doctor in a small, remote hospital with a predominantly Aboriginal patient load. My colleagues and I know we are facing an unprecedented disaster when Covid-19 takes hold in our area, as it seems it must inevitably do.”

Lessons from Ebola: Australia needs to get its COVID-19 message rightPrue Clarke (The Sydney Morning Herald): “It is critical that the campaign is clear, engaging, constant and delivered by trusted sources. News that doctors are receiving confusing advice from the federal government and different state health authorities on who to test, when, where and how, does not encourage confidence that the government will get it right.”

Biden on a roll but he’s yet to be strafed by Trump ($) — Greg Sheridan (The Australian):Biden is a deeply flawed candid­ate, yet he will be a formid­able challenger to Trump, who is himself a flawed candidate. The human race, to which so many politicians belong, tends to prod­uce flawed people (there aren’t any others).”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Perth

  • Curtin Law School will host the two-day “Law, Technology and Labour Governance Symposium”.

Brisbane

  • The Australian Earth Laws Alliance will launch “Future Dreaming”, a new not-for-profit created by Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners to increase cross-cultural understanding and ecological collaboration.

Mackay, Queensland

  • Public hearings will begin for the select committee inquiry into the effectiveness of the government’s Northern Australia agenda.

Melbourne

  • Health Minister Greg Hunt and Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos will help launch the National Drug Discovery Centre at the Walter And Eliza Hall Institute Of Medical Research.

  • Bendigo Library will launch photographic exhibition, “1.6 Billion Ways To Be Muslim”, inspired by the work of artist Peter Drew.

Beechworth, Victoria

  • The Wheeler Centre will host a Women at the Edge series event titled “History and Beyond” with local leaders, historians and experts from Goulburn North East.

Corryong, Victoria

  • The inspector-general for emergency management Tony Pearce will conduct hearings as part of the independent inquiry into the 2019–20 Victorian fire season.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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