NSW Police
The NSW Police Force and the Australian Defence Force conducting public health order checks at homes and businesses in Sydney. (AAP Image/Supplied by NSW Police)

DIGGERS DEPLOYED

Because cops threatening people on benches apparently isn’t scary enough, The Australian reports ($) that members of the Australian Defence Force have joined NSW police in undertaking random self-isolation checks across Sydney.

Riot squads have also been deployed to parks and beaches to enforce the two-person rule, while the soldiers, in a small blessing, are at least unarmed and have no “additional powers”.

THE COPS ARE, URGH, TECHNICALLY RIGHT: Turns out, according to The Conversation‘s experts, no one in Queensland, NSW or Victoria is actually allowed to sit on benches. But please, go for a goddamn walk!

QUEENSLAND’S RENT RELIEF

In a Facebook Q&A last night, Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad announced emergency rent relief of up to $500 a week for four weeks for tenants hit by the economic crisis, while also promising to backdate the state’s incoming six-month eviction moratorium to March 29.

Details of the program are otherwise scant but, as The Courier-Mail reports, Trad justified a need for immediate support by noting new Centrelink applicants may not access payments until April 27. Residents can reportedly apply for the four weeks of relief through the Residential Tenancies Authority by calling 1800 497 161.

REAL ESTATE AGENTS STRIKE BACK: Melbourne Real Estate has created relief application forms — which requests information such as entertainment expenses, accrued leave and access to superannuation funds — while McInnes Property Management has pre-emptively threatened to evict anyone who leans on the moratorium once their six months are up, Domain reports.

HEALTHCARE EXPANSIONS

Victorian will fast-track the return of thousands of retired medical professionals and call-on paramedics, anaesthetists and critical-care nurses to staff intensive care units, according to The Age, as part of a $1.3 billion plan to create 4,000 new beds — almost double Australia’s existing 2,400.

Over in NSW — which is also aiming to double ICU capacity under March’s $700 million plan — the government has launched a portal for companies willing to build parts or supply hand sanitiser, examination gloves, disinfectant and cleaning products, handwash and soap, masks, eyewear, gowns or paper products including toilet and tissue paper.

TURNS OUT YOU MAY, LEGALLY, BONK: As The Australian ($) reports, Victoria’s chief medical officer has overruled Dan Andrews on the state’s bonk ban. Dan, to put it lightly, was not happy.

OTHER STATE ANNOUNCEMENTS

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

And in order to avoid those very high numbers, we have to do at least several things: one, we have to depend on what the president’s going to do right now. And first of all, he has to tell, wait ’til the cases before anything happens. Look the whole idea’s, he’s got to get in place things that we’re shortages of.

Joe Biden

The presumptive Democratic nominee takes a swing at Donald Trump‘s monstrous failures over the pandemic and does. not. miss.

CRIKEY RECAP

‘I could be dead by then’: slow NDIS support puts thousands of lives at risk

“Crucial disability support services have been slashed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Support workers are pleading for testing kits and personal protective equipment, and warning that slow-moving procedures are risking the lives of thousands.”


Gasping for air: what is it really like to have COVID-19?

“By now, the early signs are well-documented: a dry, hacking cough, a temperature, body chills, fatigue.

“But when you suspect you have the coronavirus, even the process of getting tested is unpleasant. It involves someone in full protective gear sticking a swab very far up your nose.”


‘People are brandishing their dogs like papers at a checkpoint’: life in a ghost town

“Exercise is one reason you may leave the house, and for my first hour out, which I spent in neighbouring Seddon, I barely see anyone not either camouflaged in active wear, or brandishing their dog like papers at a checkpoint.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

‘Manifestly inadequate’: Disability carers plead for PPE, warn of collapse without more support

Telcos move to ease COVID-19 pain

Australian universities change admissions as coronavirus disrupts education

Coronavirus pandemic sees Wimbledon cancelled for first time since World War II

Doctors warn of deadly coronavirus risks for refugees, guests at Melbourne hotel

Coronavirus Australia: Jail for people sending face masks, sanitiser to China

ASX to drop, Wall St reels on virus data

Indonesia bans foreigners as study warns 240,000 could die from coronavirus

‘Be very, very careful’: Internal messages reveal difficult state of Sydney hospitals

Labor says parliament should sit to scrutinise government’s coronavirus emergency powers

Profiting from a pandemic: former Chinese general accused of huge COVID-19 mark-ups

THE COMMENTARIAT

Coronavirus: Stubborn yet supple, Morrison pivots at crisis speedNiki Savva (The Australian): “Yet faced with this potentially soul-destroying, nation-destroying threat, he has relented at critical points to do things he said he wouldn’t and that no centre-right ­government would ever contemplate. John Howard defied his natural constituency to toughen gun laws. Morrison has done it with $130bn to pay the workers.”

Beneath the virus lurks a bigger emergency, but the world is distracted from the climate threatBob Carr (The Sydney Morning Herald): “What did our battered old planet do to bring this run of wretchedly bad luck? Just before the 2008 Wall Street disaster, Washington was about to force emitters to pay for the privilege of dumping carbon waste in the upper atmosphere. Congress approved a cap and trade scheme so its economy could trade its way to a low carbon future. In a similar spirit the Rudd government was legislating its own carbon trading model.”

Reality has endorsed Bernie SandersKeeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (The New Yorker): “The case has never been clearer for a transition to Medicare for All, but its achievement clashes with the Democratic Party’s decades-long hostility to funding the social-welfare state. At the heart of this resistance is the pernicious glorification of ‘personal responsibility,’ through which success or failure in life is seen as an expression of personal fortitude or personal laxity.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines