HOTEL COMPLAINTS GROW AS ESTATES LOCKDOWN
Almost a week after Dan Andrews announced an inquiry into clusters at Melbourne’s quarantine hotels, The Age reports that staff, a healthcare worker, and a guest at the Holiday Inn have all separately raised concerns about guards and staff continuing to flout hygiene protocols.
Meanwhile, nine North Melbourne and Flemington public housing estates are in their second-and-or-third days of hard lockdown — despite the fact that some of them do not have confirmed cases. The Guardian reports that residents have cited poor access to food, milk and baby formula. Two local MPs, Bill Shorten and a more visibly critical Adam Bandt, have attempted to help with essentials.
Some residents and groups such as the Police Accountability Project have also called for the complete removal of armed police, even if some residents have expressed gratitude for broader government attention over the “vertical cruise ships”.
Finally, as the AFR ($) reports that all of Melbourne is on the brink of another shutdown, the SMH explains that the Australian Medical Association has urged all states and territories to temporarily stop lifting restrictions.
LITTLE RAYS OF HOPE: For a bit of a pick-me-up, check out ABC’s coverage of how locals, unions, politicians, charities and, apparently, Telstra are pitching in with everything from essentials to translation services to free internet.
WAVE GOODBYE TO $100 BILLION?
According to The New Daily, a new Deloitte Access Economics report has warned that a second wave of outbreaks could cost Australia up to $100 billion — in part, psychologically, as people lose faith in governments to keep them safe and therefore spend less — but predicts GDP will fall by 3% this year.
While that figure is an improvement on the OECD’s forecast of a 5% fall in June, Deloitte has — much like last week’s Grattan Institute Recovery Book — also cautioned against reducing JobKeeper or JobSeeker anytime soon.
INFRASTRUCTURE TIME: In the latest federal-state infrastructure pledge, The Age reports that $500 million will go towards Victorian regional rail and road safety upgrades. Additionally, The Guardian reports that the Coalition will today announce $190m for new recycling infrastructure.
MEANWHILE IN QUEENSLAND
An investigation at The Age has unpacked how the Maritime Union of Australia has, in the words of former Queensland secretary Bob Carnegie, suffered “toxic sewer” internal politics. His comments follow the discovery of a listening device, national reaction to his stance against the Adani coal mine, and the dismissal of a long-time office manager.
On the opposite end of Queensland’s political spectrum, The Guardian has explored growing fractures in the Liberal National party, in part due a growth in conservative members dubbed “Christian soldiers”, climate deniers, and the political and economic influence of Clive Palmer.
IT CAN ALWAYS, ALWAYS GET WORSE
Finally, as if we needed another reminder that it could always be worse, pubs reopened in England to predictably messy results — with CNN quoting a UK police officer who declared that it’s “crystal clear” drunk people cannot socially distance.
In the US, Donald Trump used his Fourth of July speech to falsely and dangerously claim that 99% of coronavirus cases are “totally harmless.” As Reuters’ list of daily global updates explains, the US is undergoing a massive second wave, with total cases nearing 3 million and confirmed deaths at 130,000,
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Voters in the bellwether electorate of Eden-Monaro last night delivered a savage byelection swing against Labor, with some senior Coalition figures declaring a Liberal victory. The result is a powerful endorsement of the Government’s handling of COVID-19 with Scott Morrison’s personal popularity driving the swing.
Annika Smethurst and Linda Silmalis
“Day two of the trial was a difficult time in the box for Geoffrey Rush as he was questioned for hours by his barrister Bruce McClintock, News Corp’s barrister Tom Blackburn, and Justice Michael Wigney about his relationship with cast member Eryn Jean Norvill.
“McClintock turned his focus to the scene in King Lear where Rush staggers in from stage left with a limp Cordelia in his arms, lets out a guttural cry and lays her on the ground — the scene during which Norvill alleged she was groped.”
“Whatever was the truth regarding Geoffrey Rush’s behaviour towards Eryn Jean Norvill, and whether his victory — now upheld by the full court of the Federal Court on appeal — accords with that truth, one thing has throughout this awful saga been true: The Daily Telegraph deserved to lose.
“Rush had won his defamation case handsomely; the damages award of $2.9 million is an Australian record. The Telegraph appealed, and lost every single appeal point in a unanimous judgment.”
“The decision the Morrison government must take soon on how it responds to the Chinese regime’s crackdown on Hong Kong is not uncomplicated, but should be fairly clear. For moral, economic, foreign policy and political reasons, Australia must follow the UK in offering some form of sanctuary to large numbers of Hong Kong citizens.
“The first step should be granting extensions to the temporary visas of all ~17,000 Hong Kong residents currently in Australia if they do not wish to return. As Labor says, no one should be deported to Hong Kong now.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
We knew about Covid in the towers and were taking care, but when we needed support there were only police — Hiba Shanino (The Guardian): “Yesterday I was in Carlton when Daniel Andrews held his press conference. I got a call from my sister-in-law saying ‘you are to be locked down, you can’t go out’. I rushed home, and there were police everywhere. There were no interpreters, no social workers, no medical workers, just lots of police. It was a very forceful way of handling it. Some single mothers who don’t speak much English were asking ‘why are they here? What have we done wrong?’”
Desperate Daniel Andrews has only himself to blame ($) — Greg Sheridan (The Australian): “Daniel Andrews is now clearly the worst-performing, most unsuccessful premier or territory leader in Australia in managing the COVID-19 outbreak, despite being the most authoritarian. The Victorian government’s failure is damaging for Victorians and for the whole of Australia.”
Eden-Monaro’s results are tight enough that Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese can take a boost from it — Jane Norman (ABC): “A status quo result in the hotly contested Eden-Monaro by-election has simultaneously helped to strengthen Anthony Albanese’s leadership of the Labor Party while giving Scott Morrison a shot in the arm, having withstood a possible protest vote over his handling of the bushfire crisis.”
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