WARNING OF SUICIDE SPIKE
According to The Australian ($), modelling on the mental health impacts of the pandemic suggest we could face a generational crisis with suicide rates rising as much as 50% over the next five years.
The modelling, conducted by Sydney University’s Brain and Mind Centre and backed by the Australian Medical Association, will be taken to next week’s national cabinet ahead of a second-phase mental health package.
The news comes after a public plea from Scott Morrison last week for people take up new telehealth options that are available to them. Elsewhere, The Herald Sun ($) reports that the federal government will launch a new online mental health hub to support frontline health workers throughout the pandemic.
PELL FINDINGS TO BE RELEASED
The royal commission findings on George Pell’s handling of sexual abuse claims in the Catholic Church are expected to be tabled in the Senate this morning and, shortly afterwards, publicly released.
The findings were initially redacted to avoid prejudicing Pell’s trial, however, following Pell’s High Court acquittal, Attorney-General Christian Porter has received department advice approving their release.
AFP INVESTIGATING SUPER SCAM
The ABC reports that the Australian Federal Police are investigating attempts to defraud the early access superannuation scheme. The tax office reported that a small number of people have had their details used illegally in an attempted scam, as more than 1 million Australians attempt to access their super early.
The news comes ahead of the deadline for JobKeeper applications tomorrow, while Josh Frydenberg has confirmed in an ABC interview the government intends to eventually bring JobSeeker back to $40 a day.
It’s a truly bumper day for state and territory program launches.
- Victoria has announced $17 million in disability support funding, and a plan to support and redeploy 3000 casual public sector workers who, under federal guidelines, are ineligible for JobKeeper.
- NSW has joined the Emergency Support Volunteering initiative, a platform to coordinate volunteers with local organisations. The state has also announced a $9 million regional court upgrade program, $1 million for digital adaptation grants of up to $5000 for Creative Kids providers, and four-week extensions on hunting licences as hunters regain access to state forests.
- Queensland has dedicated a further $2 million for domestic and family violence service providers, in addition to an April boost of $5.5 million, at yesterday’s virtual summit. The government also issued a warning against potential scammers ahead of Mothers’ Day.
- The Northern Territory has announced one-off grants of up to $10,000 for NT childcare operators, an extension of the Urban Sport Vouchers program to June 12, and news that the Home Improvement Scheme has officially begun in Alice Springs.
- Western Australia has launched the second stage of its asymptomatic testing program to target FIFO workers, after initially launching at schools last week.
- South Australia has announced a new health and wellbeing website, “Open Your World”, dedicated $20,000 to Volunteering SA&NT to help manage new registrations, and announced a new freight route delivering produce to Singapore.
- Tasmania has launched, AGFEST 2020 in the Cloud, a three-week digital version of the AGFEST exhibition.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
You’ve attacked two Liberal MPs in the last week. I wonder if that’s the view of @GWSGIANTS? Or is your outrage, confected or otherwise, a self-appointed position?
Faced with a mild online dunk from a GWS Giants recruiter, the Victorian Liberal MP invokes Twitter’s worst sin: snitch-tagging the boss.
“Yesterday furnished a nasty little lesson in why, despite Australia facing its worst economic crisis in 85 years, neither the government nor the legacy media are interested in being completely honest with us about it.”
“When the High Court quashed the sexual abuse convictions of Cardinal George Pell last month, it was reported as the end the biggest legal saga in our recent history.
“But actually, it isn’t. Still to come: 18 people face criminal charges as a result of the Pell matter, and the Victorian director of public prosecutions wants them found guilty and imprisoned.”
“So lockdowns are a vital weapon in the fight against coronavirus. But in some homes they have also meant crucial services have been slashed.
“Inq has heard cases of meal services cancelled, limited grooming and a health specialist denied visits to her elderly clients.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Eden-Monaro: Send in the clowns? They’ve already been and gone — Niki Savva (The Australian): “The collapse of the campaigns of the two supposed frontrunners, John Barilaro and Andrew Constance, even before they began, partly thanks to their spoiling tactics against one another, has seriously damaged them, smeared egg over Scott Morrison and his numbers man Alex Hawke, and left NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian with a Deputy Premier and a Transport Minister looking foolish, vindictive and/or inept.”
Pardon your expression — Shirley Le (Overland): “Mohammed, Winnie and I never received a reply to our inquiries from the Arts editor at The Sydney Morning Herald. I had hoped for, but not necessarily expected a response. However, I was still deeply saddened to hear Monday’s announcement that all of the grant money had been invested towards five white Australian emerging ‘culture critics’.”
Is history our post-pandemic guide? — Frank Bongiorno (Inside Story): “As is often the case with any set of complicated and perplexing events, there are optimistic and pessimistic ways of looking at where we might go from here, and of what it will look like on the other side of the pandemic. When we engage in this kind of speculation, we tend either to be projecting our personalities, sunny or dark, or using historical analogies.”
WHAT’S ON TODAY
The Senate inquiry into the government’s COVID-19 response will hear from the Australian Federal Police, Australian Taxation Office, and Treasury.