Scott Morrison COVID-19 JobTrainer
(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

IT’S TRAINING JOBS, HALLELUJAH?

Really running with the naming theme, the Morrison government will today unveil its latest skills investment program, “JobTrainer”, which the ABC reports is aimed at overhauling the state-federal training sector and creating around 340,000 free or low cost training places in high demand areas such as healthcare, manufacturing and trade.

The billion dollar scheme reportedly received support at last week’s national cabinet meeting and would be partly funded by states that sign up. Ahead of likely-depressing new labour force data dropping today, the government will also pledge an extra $1.5 billion for its apprenticeship wage subsidy scheme.

Elsewhere, The Age reports that Labor leader Anthony Albanese will call for a slow “taper” in JobKeeper payments, and oppose a sudden halt, ahead of looming parliamentary talks and a revamp of the scheme.

RECESSION WATCH: In another brutal night in jobs news, the University of NSW will slash almost 500 positions while the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will get rid of 60 through “natural attrition”. Across the pond, The Guardian will cut up to 180 staff, including 70 coming from editorial, while the BBC will slash 70.

TESTING OUR PATIENTS

According to The Australian ($), Victorian health authorities went against their own COVID-19 rules in advising McDonald’s that 26 close contacts of a confirme­d COVID-19 case at their Mill Park, Melbourne franchise should only self-isolate, not be tested, after the outlet was shut on June 25.

In other COVID-19 updates this morning:

  • Following another death and 238 new infections in Victoria yesterday, epidemiologists speaking with The Age have advised everyone to get used to wearing masks on public transport and other busy public spaces, while The Guardian has examined what the floated, if undefined “Stage Four” hard lockdown could look like
  • Half a million masks are on their way to aged care facilities in south-western Sydney amidst a surge in local cases (The New Daily)
  • Western Australia recorded eight new cases yesterday — the largest daily increase since May 29 — all from returned international travellers (ABC)
  • Finally, as the Crossroads Hotel cluster continues to grow, the Northern Territory has announced it will keep its borders closed to Sydney as well as Victoria when it reopens for domestic travel on Friday (Pedestrian.TV).

PS: Because no, Australia simply will not get a break, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the NSW Rural Fire Service has warned the bushfire royal commission that the upcoming season could be severely undermined by COVID-19, with hundreds of volunteers at increased risk through high-density working conditions, lack of access to soap and sanitisers, and the transient workforce.

HUAWEI OUT

Finally, days after successfully pressuring the UK government to ditch the Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei, the Trump administration has restricted some of the company’s employees from entering the US.

According to The Age, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused employees of facilitating human rights violations by providing “material support” to the Chinese government, with Pompeo citing the detention of more than one million Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

JUST WHERE IS OUR STUFF COMING FROM? In a not at all surprising result given our political and international rhetoric, The Guardian reports that a new survey by the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre found most Australians mistakenly think China is our largest source of foreign investment. Just one in six correctly nominate the US.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

We are aware of six confirmed cases who attended the Black Lives Matter protest. Currently there is no evidence to suggest they acquired the virus from the protest.

None of these cases are known to reside at a major public housing complex. Currently no known nor suspected episodes of transmission occurred at the protest itself.

Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services

Health officials continue to declare there is literally zero evidence of physical transmission at the BLM rally, but there’s some truly damning silence around the 30-degrees of separation conspiracy and claims of psychic overload.

CRIKEY RECAP

Yes, the Queen did have a hand in the Dismissal

“Well after more than a day and a night luxuriating in the folds of the Kerr-palace letters the first thing one can say is: wow. Wow. Maybe you have to know what you’re looking for but this collection is dynamite.

“It exposes how the power relations of the UK and Australia worked and still work, the many forces behind the Whitlam government dismissal, the clash of personalities that drove it to some degree and, most extraordinarily, the character of Sir John Kerr.”


For some, the pandemic has made it harder to get out of Australia than in

“Australia’s borders are closed and will stay closed until some time next year as coronavirus cases surge in Australia and around the world.

“A cap on international arrivals has been implemented, forcing airlines to cancel flights en masse. Qantas has announced all international flights — excluding to New Zealand — will be cancelled until March 2021.”


FOI documents reveal AFP used face-matching tech to search ‘persons of interest’

“Australian Federal Police officers have made more than 100 searches using Clearview AI, a controversial facial recognition company that identifies members of the public by matching them with more than 3 billion photos scraped from social media.

“Documents released under freedom of information law indicates the AFP used the artificial intelligence technology on behalf of foreign law enforcement agencies.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

St Kilda players’ medical files stolen in car smash-and-grab

‘Eat-healthy’ firm Outback Stores pockets tobacco rebate ($)

Company directors urge Australian government to extend Covid-19 regulatory relief

Canberra man Robert Glen Sirl wins appeal to have his rape conviction overturned

Superannuation withdrawals kick up as many return for a second serve

Academics fear Australian university fee overhaul to affect enrolments in Indigenous studies ($)

Woodside stalls project plans amid oil market rout

Can NZ’s ‘Iron Lady’ crush Ardern? ($)

Seven pulls 10-part ‘world exclusive’ series on Scientology on day it was due to air

Statue of Black Lives Matter protester replaces toppled UK slave trader in Bristol

Apple wins EU court case over $21 billion in claimed taxes

THE COMMENTARIAT

Truth-telling is the most important step towards reconciliationGeraldine Atkinson and Marcus Stewart (The Age): “Without an understanding of our shared pasts, we cannot move forward together. Without truth there can be no treaty. That is why the Victorian Government’s decision to work with the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria on developing a truth-telling process is so important. On June 18, the Assembly – the Aboriginal-elected voice to advance a treaty process in Victoria — overwhelmingly voted to call for a truth-telling to become a fundamental part of the treaty process.”

Morrison must recharge his batteries for the next phase ($) — Niki Savva (The Australian):Morrison’s decision to go on Saturday to watch his side get thrashed incited outrage on Twitter for daring to seek a few hours respite while Victorians were being treated like lepers. A ‘Scotty at the footy’ hashtag trended and not in a nice way. Those getting stuck into Daniel Andrews defended Morrison and those defending Andrews berated Morrison. Morrison has refrained from criticising Andrews, nor has Andrews criticised Morrison. They need one another.”

Lonely in lockdown? You’re not alone. 1 in 2 Australians feel more lonely since coronavirusMichelle H Lim (The Conversation): “Many Victorians are now well into their second round of stage 3 lockdown, under which there are only a handful of reasons one can leave home — and for many who live alone, it’s starting to grate. Under the rules, partnered people are allowed to visit a boyfriend or girlfriend without risking an infringement notice, which may feel unfair to single people.”

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WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • The parliamentary inquiry into tax treatment of employee share schemes will hear from Atlassian and Macquarie Group.

Peter Fray

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