HALT IN THE WOUND
According to the ABC, Wall Street has triggered a second trading halt as both the outbreak itself and Donald Trump’s European travel ban — which, to correct just one of three falsehoods from his national address, doesn’t actually apply to trade — cause shares to plunge.
The turmoil, as The New Daily reports, also knocked the ASX down to GFC levels, while The Sydney Morning Herald — in, arguably, a silver-lining for us jocks — reports it did much the same for Bitcoin.
HOW WILL THE $17.6 BILLION BE SPENT?
You could also try Treasury’s dedicated website, which focuses on business investment, employer support, stimulus for households, and regional support.
WHAT OF THE OPPOSITION: Labor has committed to passing the stimulus but, in relation to the $2.6 billion medical package, has called for more drastic self-isolation measures, national school and event closures and speedier rollouts for dedicated clinics— with Shadow Health Minister Chris Bowen specifically taking issue with the May deadline.
GRAND PRIX IN HEADLIGHTS
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews is under pressure to cancel Sunday’s Grand Prix, with McLaren Racing withdrawing from the event last night after a team member tested positive and, in a candid interview with ABC Radio, physician and journalist Dr Norman Swan calling it “stupid and hypocritical”.
Elsewhere, The Guardian reports NSW health workers have been told to prepare for 1.6 million cases, 8,000 deaths and a “first wave” of the virus that could last for up to 22 weeks.
HEALTH TIP: As Buzzfeed’s extremely readable, GIF-friendly guide explains, social distancing and hand-washing will prove crucial in delaying the outbreak as long as possible and helping to “flatten” the healthcare burden.
SHOULD WE BAN AMERICAN TOURISTS?
In that same interview, Swan also called for an American travel ban, considering the country hit over 1,300 cases yesterday and, according to Science, has a hospital system beset by delays in testing equipment and privatised healthcare. See, for example, this account of paying US$10,000 to try and fail to be tested.
However, with travel bans to China, Italy, Iran and South Korea extended another week, The Sydney Morning Herald reports the Coalition has instead considered a Europe-wide ban, which their health advisors have rejected.
PALADIN IS BACK
In a new spin on an old rort, an investigation by The Sydney Morning Herald has found Manus detention centre contractor Paladin secretly engaged two politically connected firms to lobby Papua New Guinea officials to grant visas for its workers.
FUN FACT: It’s been roughly a year since we really dove into that little, $483 million contract that could.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Of course, people who have come in close contact with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson will need to self-isolate.
What? That’s just the Queensland premier issuing a quarantine warning for anyone who came in contact with Hollywood icon Tom Hanks while he was shooting Baz Lurhmann‘s ‘Elvis’ biopic on the Gold Coast. Weird you needed an explanation.
“The Coalition has abandoned its decade-long hostility to fiscal stimulus, today revealing a substantial economic package designed to preserve jobs and stimulate demand. Unlike 2008-09, however, there’s a real question about whether Australians will respond with confidence and keep the economy moving.”
“They’re still trying to bang the drum for a political response on the right, but it’s starting to get as confused as an ageing tabloid columnist feeling a bit woozy, and thinking ‘arrrrrr, it’s just the flu’.”
“The story is 6000 years old, but without world-first digital projection technology and a new funding model that turns traditional arts sponsors on their head, it simply couldn’t be told.
“Yabarra: Dreaming in Light, the immersive cultural experience that has become a breakout hit at this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival, is an ancient story told in a very modern way.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Scott Morrison nails coronavirus response as Donald Trump founders ($) — Paul Kelly (The Australian): “Morrison’s package is well designed, temporary but heavily targeted, trying to avert an Australian recession in the June quarter. Trump’s ineptitude on Thursday in his economic response raises a fresh doubt: that the lack of US leadership will damage Australia and the world.”
Covid-19 is pushing sports rorts from the news. But at least one potential crime must be investigated — Tony Harris (The Guardian): “There is nothing good about Covid-19 but it does distract from the imbroglio called the community sports infrastructure program. This advantages the Morrison government but it detracts from those wanting a government that governs without deceit.”
Cancel everything — Yascha Mounk (The Atlantic): “We don’t yet know the full ramifications of the novel coronavirus. But three crucial facts have become clear in the first months of this extraordinary global event. And what they add up to is not an invocation to stay calm, as so many politicians around the globe are incessantly suggesting; it is, on the contrary, the case for changing our behavior in radical ways—right now.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Federal and state COAG leaders will meet to discuss the coronavirus.
Architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement Christiana Figueres and climate economist Ross Garnaut will speak at the Wheeler Centre event “Climate Solutions Now”.
Former Greens senator Lidia Thorpe and refugee lawyer Julian Burnside will address Extinction Rebellion’s protest “March Against Murdoch” at Treasury Gardens. The event is directed at climate change disinformation from News Corp.
Chair of the Australian Council for International Development Susan Pascoe will launch Trevor Batrouney and Andrew Batrouney’s new book Lebanese in Australia: A Changing Mosaic at Trades Hall.
Day one of the two-day Brisbane European Fashion Festival at The Grove.
Opening day of the four-day UN Youth Tasmania State Conference.
The South Australian Productivity Commission will launch two new inquiries into the state’s research and development sectors, one focused on health and medical research and another on other R&D areas.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Today marks the one year anniversary of the Christchurch anti-Muslim terror attacks.