ALBO FINALLY SAYS SOMETHING
According to The Sydney Morning Herald and ABC, Labor leader Anthony Albanese will today deliver a broad vision statement calling for decentralisation, manufacturing, social housing construction, and (his personal favourite) a high-speed rail as part of a “once-in-a-generation” chance to reshape the economy post-COVID-19.
Albanese will also dismiss Scott Morrison‘s rhetoric about a “bounce back” economy as other Labor MPs suggest payments for JobSeeker and JobKeeper may need to be extended after September, SBS reports. This follows a report from SkyNews that the Coalition is “seriously considering” winding them down from July.
IN CASE WE NEEDED ANOTHER REASON: A new Deloitte report suggests unemployment is unlikely to return to pre-crisis levels until late-2024, according to The New Daily.
CHINA FIGHTS BATTLES ON MULTIPLE FRONTS
As The Sydney Morning Herald reports, Chinese authorities are facing a potential new wave of COVID-19 cases in north-east China, where a city in the Jilin province has been reclassified as the highest-risk category, as Wuhan reports its first new case in a month.
Meanwhile, The AFR ($) reports that Canberra is grappling with a 10-day deadline to convince Beijing not to raise tariffs of more than 80% on imports of Australian barley.
Finally, the ABC has unpacked a press release from China rebutting 24 “preposterous allegations” by US politicians over its handling of the outbreak; these range from denying the “man made” conspiracy theory to trying to justify the expulsion of US journalists as a weird tit-for-tat.
IN MORE GOSSIPY NEWS: According to The SMH, Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has backed a measured inquiry into the original outbreak, while The Guardian has George Christensen issuing a far-less tactful threat to summon the Chinese ambassador to a parliamentary committee.
QLD, TAS AND WA ANNOUNCE ROADMAPS
Following the release of Scott Morrison‘s broad, three-step plan to ease restrictions, the Queensland, Tasmania, ACT and South Australian governments have all unveiled roadmaps to reopening. South Australia’s ‘step one’, for example, will allow groups of up to 10 people in cafes and libraries from today.
Yesterday, Western Australia released its own guide — notably with ‘phase two’, May 18, to bring the number of intra-state borders from 13 to only four (not including the Commonwealth Biosecurity zone and remote communities) — while NSW announced it will allow outdoor and cafe gatherings of 10 from this Friday.
AND THEN THERE WAS ONE: According to The Age, Victoria will have to wait until Thursday for news of any changes to restrictions. The state will also see a $20 million funding boost to mass-testing as cases continue to be traced from the Cedar Meats outbreak.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Katie [Miller], she tested very good for a long period of time, and then all of the sudden she tested positive … This is why the whole concept of tests aren’t necessarily great … Today, I guess, for some reason, she tested positive.
Faced with news that a White House staffer has tested positive for COVID-19, the president of the United States takes aim at the linear nature of time.
“Well, whatever else the Morrison government falls short on, you can’t fault them on their appetite for political warfare.
“Under cover of the coronavirus emergency, they have performed a coup de grace on Australia’s universities, film and TV industries, and arts and cultural sector.”
Neoliberals urge policymakers to take the road to Beijing — putting profits first and national security aside
“The pandemic continues to serve up illuminating examples of the mindset of worried neoliberals, who fear they are watching the gains of the last 30 years crumbling before their eyes.
“Not merely have governments of all stripes been forced to embrace truly historic deficit spending to prop up their economies and hand-hold entire industries, but borders have been shut the world over, temporarily closing down the immigration that is fundamental to neoliberal economics and raising the possibility that the temporary migrants on whom so many industries rely to keep wage costs down will vanish.”
“The bleeding obvious award of this week has to go to the corporate regulator for its report finding small investors playing the market during the recent crash were likely to have lost money.
“No, really? There’s a turnup for the books.
“That inexperienced investors would throw their money into a market that most professional investors were avoiding — what could possibly go wrong?”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
The case for building a COVID-proof fence ($) — Grant Wilson (The AFR): “The eastern borders of the Northern Territory and South Australia remain closed, in the way they are today. Interstate travel would recommence, but not across this ‘COVID-proof fence’ without an exemption or quarantine. Importantly, rather than providing negative incentives for the west to ‘catch down’ to the east, the east would be provided with positive incentives to catch up to the west.”
Coronavirus: Morrison must stage a dramatic rescue of the arts ($) — Josh Burns (The Australian): “In 1994, Paul Keating released Creative Nation, an arts policy that was designed to ‘pull the threads of Australia’s national life together so we can ride the waves of global change and create our own’. These objectives are just as vital today as we face an arts sector on its knees.”
A-lop-bam-boom: Little Richard’s saucy style underpins today’s hits — Rebecca Sheehan (The Conversation): “Little Richard was washing dishes at a Greyhound bus station in Macon, Georgia when he wrote Tutti Frutti, Good Golly Miss Molly and Long Tall Sally. The singer, who died Saturday at 87, sent the songs as demos to Specialty Records.”