33 ALFRED STREET REMAINS IN QUARANTINE
According to the ABC, residents from eight of Melbourne’s nine public housing estates are now free to leave under stage three quarantine rules on the condition they have returned a negative coronavirus test, are not a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and have not been to North Melbourne’s 33 Alfred Street housing tower over the past week.
Police will, however, remain in some capacity, and residents who tested positive along, with their close contacts, are encouraged to enter hotel quarantine.
Residents of 33 Alfred Street will be entering into another nine days of quarantine after recording 55 cases — with infection rates estimated to grow from here — but residents will now be able to leave for medical care and supervised daily exercise.
In other Melbourne updates, The Age reports that:
- outbreaks have spread through two more emergency departments
- coastal councils have urged lockdown dodgers to return to Melbourne, and;
- the Department of Health and Human Services has only encouraged — not mandated — that staff and students confirm they are negative before returning to Al-Taqwa College, the epicentre of the state’s worst outbreak at 113 cases.
BLAME GAME: According to The Australian ($), the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee’s preliminary assessment of the state’s second wave has found health officials did not adhere to national contact tracing guidelines for following up close contacts for flu-like symptoms.
CHINA SLAMS MORRISON’S ‘GROSS INTERFERENCE’
According to The Guardian, the Chinese government has accused Australia of “gross interference” after Scott Morrison suspended an extradition treaty with Hong Kong and announced five-year visa extensions and residency pathways for Hongkongers currently living here.
Following the introduction of the new national security law, DFAT has also warned the more than 100,000 Australians living in the city to reconsider their need to remain and that they, “may be at increased risk of detention on vaguely defined national security grounds [and] could break the law without intending to”.
As the BBC reports, New Zealand is also reconsidering their relationship with Hong Kong, Canada has also suspended its extradition treaty, and the UK, in a similarly-received earlier announcement, has made citizenship offers for up to 3 million Hong Kong residents.
TRUMP’S TAX RECORDS FAIR GAME, BUT NOT UNTIL AFTER NOVEMBER
CNN reports that the Supreme Court has ruled that Donald Trump is not immune from a New York prosecutor’s subpoena for his financial records, but for now has blocked Congress — or specifically House Democrats — from accessing the documents.
Both cases have been sent back to lower courts for review, essentially ensuring that the documents — which Trump has fought to keep hidden since coming into office — will not be handed over before November’s election. Do check out Trump’s Twitter feed to see just how well the president is handling a technical loss, if practical victory.
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ALSO, EARTH IS STILL SET TO BURN!
Finally, in case the hundred other catastrophes this year have justifiably diverted anyone’s attention, The New Daily reports that a new study by the World Meteorological Organisation warns that the global mean temperature will likely exceed pre-industrial levels by 1.5 degrees in one of the next five years.
The news comes after the latest Resources and Energy Quarterly report identified more than 50 new coal mines planned across Australia. The majority of these are in Queensland, and one in particular — the New Acland expansion in the Darling Downs, which is currently stalled ahead of a High Court appeal from 60 local farmers — has received federal support in the form of a week-long ($), pseudo anti-Palaszczuk campaign from Labor’s agriculture and resources spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon.
STATE VIRUS WATCH: SO HOW IS EVERYONE ELSE TREATING VICTORIA?
- As the ABC reports, all states and territories have closed their borders to Victoria with limited, and apparently varying exemptions
- Queensland will today open its borders to every other state and territory so long as travellers sign a border declaration and agree to present for testing if they develop symptoms
- As news.com.au reports, NSW Health has had to clarify that a new isolation order for Victorians will not apply retrospectively to people who arrived before it came into effect on Wednesday, although, as the ABC notes, the department still recommends that anyone who arrived from Melbourne after June 23 isolate for two weeks or until they get a negative test result
- According to the ABC, the ACT has postponed eased restrictions meant to come into effect today after a fourth case was identified yesterday following a month of inactivity
- Following today’s national cabinet meeting, Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein will outline which interstate restrictions will ease in two weeks, which, according to The Mercury ($), could likely include every state and territory but Victoria.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
絶叫は心の中で [Please scream inside your heart].
The Japanese theme park announces an unofficial COVID-19 “scream ban” with terrifying — and, considering where society stands right now, perhaps redundant — advice to pandemic-era thrill seekers.
“Australia faces major losses from its $38 billion export revenue higher education sector unless the government and university leaders can resolve a diabolical problem created by the Melbourne lockdown and the need to further curb what is already just a trickle of foreign arrivals at airports across the country.”
“An Inq investigation into private security firms reveals the government has been acutely aware of the industry’s record of dodgy behaviour going back to at least 2015, but it and the industry have failed to rein it in.
“In mid June, as hotel quarantine cases had well and truly breached security and made their way into the community, the Andrews government quietly kicked off a long-promised review into Victoria’s private security industry.”
“John Fraser is a prick. He really is.
“These are his words — not mine.
“The former Treasury chief now AMP director has been in the news this week for an atrocious interview where he describes how he ‘guards against sexual harassment’.
“Not how he guards female staff against sexual harassment, but how he guards himself against accusations by bringing along a couple of ‘mature’ women to stand beside him as his personal praetorian guard.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Victoria needs to use lockdown to eliminate coronavirus or risk being nation’s pariah ($) — Professor Tony Blakely (Herald-Sun): “First, tighten the definition of essential workers. Unlike during the last lockdown, there shouldn’t be builders working on residential projects two houses up my street. Second, don’t reopen schools. I am apologetic in saying this — I know how hard this is for parents. But while kids don’t usually get too sick from COVID-19, they still transmit the virus — from one family to the next. We need to stop this.”
Morrison’s Hong Kong visa changes fall short of ‘safe haven’ — Abul Rizvi (The Sydney Morning Herald): “After days of speculation about offering safe haven for Hong Kong citizens, the Prime Minister has adopted the most limited and least costly option he could find. Given current international travel restrictions and limitations of Australia’s visa system, that is understandable.”
Naysayers cry that a measly super increase after years of flat wages will ruin the country. It won’t — Paul Keating (The Guardian): “When I introduced the Superannuation Guarantee in 1992, raising it at the rate of 1% of wages for each year until 2001, there was a cacophony of business voices and critics arguing that Australia, emerging from a recession, simply could not afford it. That the advent of the Superannuation Guarantee would lift costs and slow job growth.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
A parliamentary inquiry into Peter Dutton’s new ASIO bill will hear from the Law Council, ASIO, IGIS, AFP, Home Affairs, and the Human Rights Commission.
National cabinet will meet to discuss Victoria’s outbreak and a potential cap on the number of Australians returning from overseas.