West Australian Premier Mark McGowan is seeking support from other state leaders to limit exemptions for leaving the country, WAToday reports, after a quarantine infection in the wake of a return trip to a wedding in India sparked lockdowns in Perth and Peel.
McGowan, who warned the state would not lift its reduced travel cap unless the Commonwealth opens up new quarantine facilities, said it was too early to say if restrictions will ease tomorrow after WA recorded no new community cases yesterday and two at the end of last week.
Guardian Australia explains that Peter Dutton earlier knocked back McGowan’s call for the Commonwealth to do more when it comes to quarantine, insisting states had agreed to take responsibility and arguing the WA government had made a “mistake” by using a facility, the Mercure hotel, he says was identified as unsuitable.
Elsewhere, WA Department of Health yesterday added several new sites to its exposure list, with restaurants in Joondalup, Morley, Northbridge, Kardinya and East Victoria Park listed as high-risk. More than half of the passengers on board a Perth-Melbourne flight with the COVID-positive man have since tested negative.
Meanwhile, federal cuts to repatriation flights have left Australians stranded in India, which yesterday recorded 2624 deaths as the now-dominant UK variant and a new “double-mutant” variant overwhelms the country.
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The ABC reports that the federal government will extend financial support for telehealth until December 31, after the pandemic saw the number of online services pass the 54 million mark in the year to March 31.
And ahead of the May budget, The Sydney Morning Herald reports the Business Council of Australia, Chief Executive Women, and several economic and early education organisations will today propose the government lift the maximum childcare subsidy from 85% to 95% for families earning less than $80,000 and scrap the annual cap on support to boost GDP by up to $11 billion a year.
The government is reportedly working on new superannuation, domestic violence, and childcare announcements, after it was criticised for slashing JobKeeper for childcare workers in July and allocating just $240.4 million over five years in the 2020 budget to gender equity initiatives.
PS: Following a personal approval dip in the wake of several parliamentary assault scandals, the latest Newspoll ($) suggests Scott Morrison has regained seven points to hit a net satisfaction of 22, with the Coalition apparently jumping a point to trail Labor 49-51 on two-party preferred.
REMAINS OF SUBMARINE FOUND
Finally, Indonesian military officials have confirmed they have found the remains of a missing submarine deep in the Bali Sea, which has broken into three parts and, it is believed, has left 53 dead.
President Joko Widodo has sent condolences to the decedents’ families. Navy chief of staff Yudo Margono has said the ship’s main body was found cracked and the crew were not to blame for the accident.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
The thing I worry about is when we actually reflect on what our forebears did. I think of the 10th Light Horse who fought bravely at Gallipoli, who didn’t go into lockdown in the trenches when the bullets started flying.
They did their job and long term, my fear is that we will become more risk averse, than courageous. We need a courage culture in this country, particularly, if we’re going to push back against cancel culture.
In something of a stretch on Chris Smith’s show, the WA MP and assistant defence minister jumps from Perth’s lockdown, to how diggers were apparently not into preventative periods of shelter, to that 2GB classic, cancel culture.
“It was entirely appropriate that Scott Morrison was on mute when he began his address to Joe Biden’s climate summit overnight. He had nothing to say or offer, and although Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said ‘Mr Prime Minister I’m not sure we’re hearing you,’ the message Morrison was sending the world was clear enough. Morrison may as well just have stuck his middle finger up at the camera.”
“In the past year Christensen has pivoted to campaigning against technology platforms like Facebook and Twitter banning and fact-checking users, he’s held an inquiry into China’s ‘economic infiltration’ of Australia, and he’s pushed for anti-abortion laws.
“Even his local campaigns have aligned with international culture wars, like his dogged campaign to terminate the lease of a Chinese company that bought property on Keswick Island.
“The MP set up dozens of websites for these causes, each of them encouraging users to sign a petition — cleverly harvesting emails, an important source of data for modern political campaigning.”
Afterpay delivers an unprecedented $426m bonanza to its US team — and has yet to turn a profit or pay a dividend
“It’s not often that Australian entrepreneurs create a globally noteworthy start-up in the financial services space, but with buy-now pay-later outfit Afterpay we have certainly got that.
“As things stand, Afterpay continues to power ahead with a current market valuation of $35.3 billion. This week it announced it was preparing for some form of US listing — the latest chess move that entrances the FOMO crowd.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
As Port Arthur anniversary approaches, let us never speak his name — Andrew Leigh (The Sydney Morning Herald): “A quarter of a century ago this Wednesday, a man shot Zoe Hall in Port Arthur, Tasmania. She’d been assigned as my mentor at the law firm where we worked. Zoe was a talented lawyer and a generous soul. She would be 53 today, and I imagine her with a loving family and admiring colleagues. The same man murdered 6 year-old Alannah and 3 year-old Madeleine Mikac. Their father, Walter, established the Alannah and Madeleine Foundation, which works to keep children safe from violence. Yet when Australia remembers the event, we are less likely to hear the names of Zoe, Alannah, Madeleine and the other 32 victims than we are to hear about the murderer.”
Newspoll: Breathing space for Scott Morrison but he’s not there yet ($) — Simon Benson (The Australian): “Scott Morrison is beginning to wrestle back control of the political agenda ahead of the budget. And he needed to. The past three months have tested his leadership and the integrity and competence of his government. After steering the economy through the worst ravages of the pandemic, he was at risk of being swamped by events and issues he was accused of failing to grasp.”
Let me tell you how they move us — Mardin Arvin (Overland): “On Sunday night, we watch the footage from Kangaroo Point Central Hotel, Brisbane: blue plastic gloves on working men’s hands, uniformed arms pulling and lifting bodies that beg for the ground. The bodies are men who have been imprisoned in hotels since 2019 under medivac legislation for asylum seekers in indefinite detention. We see them, face down, torsos and arms and legs grabbed by those blue hands. We can’t see their faces, they don’t turn to their friend who is filming the relocation to share it with the networks of people against detention. Where are they being taken?”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Premier Peter Gutwein and Labor leader Rebecca White will speak in a Sky News-The Mercury election debate.
Opening day of Melbourne Knowledge Week.
The 2021 Academy Awards will begin at 10am AEST.