The ABC reports that the NSW lockdown is expected to be extended by one week today after several crisis meetings took place yesterday. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is, according to the ABC, reportedly set to announce the extension at 11am. The current lockdown prohibits leaving the home except for essential reasons (shopping, medical, exercise). The Guardian published this really useful read earlier this year about coping with lockdowns — worth a read if this news is troubling for you.
Students in Greater Sydney will start term three online, the ABC reports, as remote learning is in place for the first week. Their regional counterparts, however, will be back in the classroom next week. Schools in Greater Sydney will be open for children of essential workers and no child will be turned away, The Sydney Morning Herald says.
Restrictions are set to be rolled back in Victoria, the Herald Sun ($) reports, according to senior government sources who spoke to the paper.
Premier Daniel Andrews said his state was ready to relax restrictions after six days without a local case yesterday — but comes after three Victorians returning from interstate hotspots were found flouting isolation rules, The Canberra Times reports.
A “family tree” obtained by the SMH shows for the first time the twisted web of politicians and staffers embroiled in the circulation of Malcolm Turnbull’s then-unpublished manuscript of his memoir A Bigger Picture. The chart was compiled as part of the long-running investigation into the egregious copyright infringement that has so far yielded $30,000 in settlement payments.
According to the chart, (and loosely to the tune of “the leg bone connected to the hip bone”) Abbott staffer Sam Jackson Hope forwarded it to Tony Abbott (as well as Andrew Bolt, Matthew Canavan, Peta Credlin and three others). Giorgia Christmas forwarded it to Sophie Scott (and 18 others). Adam Fitzgibbons forwarded it to Barnaby Joyce (as well as David Littleproud and 15 others). Nico Louw forwarded it to Scott Morrison (and 57 others). Several, including Sophie Scott, David Littleproud and Mitch Fifield, deleted it on receipt, according to publisher Hardie Grant and its investigators, who created the chart.
People were charged the recommended retail price of the book — which is $49.95 — for every person they sent it to. For Louw — the assistant economics adviser — that figure was just under $3000. What a mess indeed.
SOME CHOICE WORDS
The Coalition’s uphill effort to win female voters has been hindered again. The Nationals’ top NSW Senate pick was subject of an apprehended domestic violence order application in 2014, Guardian Australia reports. The AVO application was made against Ross Cadell by police on behalf of his former wife, who later withdrew it. Guardian Australia says senior figures were aware of the AVO application, but the wider grassroots party membership was kept in the dark. Cadell, the former state director of the NSW Nationals, was backed by Deputy Premier John Barilaro in the contest for the position.
After his successful appointment, Cadell oversaw Barnaby Joyce’s sexual harassment investigation, which ultimately did not reach a verdict about the now-resurrected leader of the Nationals’ sexual harassment allegations. Cadell now works for the Port of Newcastle.
A SHOT IN THE ARM
In a bid to encourage vaccine uptake and dispel myths about the jab, the federal government’s COVID vaccine campaign is set to hit TV and YouTube this month. The New Daily asks: maybe we need a famous face to front the campaign?
In Singapore, an infectious pop song starring comedian Gurmit Singh as his much-loved character Phua Chu Kang was roundly well received, while Elton John, Michael Caine and Dolly Parton have all spruiked the vaccine elsewhere.
Uptake Group’s Jessica Kaufman said the government could do a lot better than the short video ads that featured deputy medical officer Nick Coatsworth and others. She suggests Kylie Minogue — though do we really want to see I Believe in You repurposed into a vaccine campaign? The Good Guys’ mash-up of the iconic Beach Boys hit Good Vibrations still leaves me feeling cold.
The Conversation published a beautiful read this week by Euahlayi man Bhiamie Williamson about three ways we can help (even in lockdown) in NAIDOC’s call to Heal Country. “Heal Country invites all Australians to walk with us, to stand beside us, to support us,” Williamson writes. “But perhaps most importantly, it invites Australians to love, treasure and fight for this land, as we have done, and will do, forever.”
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
It was agreed that the Aboriginal students would be vaccinated through the state health system at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s vaccination hub. Through an error, the wider group of boarders in year 12, a total of 163 students, were also vaccinated.
The student body at prestigious Sydney boarding school St Joseph’s lucked out, we guess. The Sydney Local Health District boss apologised, while the NSW Teachers Federation slammed it as “absolutely obscene” in the way it highlights inequality in Australia.
“That is, every time Julia Banks raised a specific issue of public interest — bullying of MPs — Morrison ignored the issue and instead portrayed Banks as unwell and in need of support. He distracted from a serious issue by feigning a top-priority interest in a colleague’s welfare.
“Compare and contrast the treatment of another MP who quit in the wake of Turnbull’s ouster, Craig Laundy. Laundy quit the ministry in disgust after Turnbull was dumped, and then announced in March 2019 he wasn’t recontesting his seat. He, too, expressed concern about bullying, calling for parties to establish internal panels to which MPs could take complaints about bullying. Laundy’s departure from politics was rumoured months in advance, but not once did Morrison seek to portray him as an emotional wreck in the wake of the coup.”
“But my experience also points to another theme among young people. Most are using informal channels — DMs, group chats and the like — to secure their bookings. In Sydney, several friends told me they booked Pfizer shots by using links meant for families of health workers which are doing the rounds. The links normally ask you to fill out a form and requests your birth date. But you can still secure the booking even if you’re not technically old enough. It’s a loophole many are exploiting.
“Edward,* who was unclear about his eligibility after discussions with his doctor despite being immunocompromised, had no qualms about using a link sent by a friend whose sister is a nurse. Sarah* got passed on a link to be part of a Pfizer trial for testing antibodies. People in their 20s are getting vaccinated at Randwick, Westmead, Liverpool and other centres across Sydney. All you really need is to know someone who knows a health worker. The group chats are blowing up with ‘secret’ links.”
“[Julia Banks] should be respected for holding a light to the sordid reality she found, and she may encourage other women in that and other political parties to do the same. The predators she has declined to name will continue to operate in plain sight until replaced by others no better and potentially worse.
“That will continue until the party decides that its corporate interests are meaningless if Banks’ experience continues to be the norm. No story better than hers illustrates the Liberal Party’s empty heart.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Senior Afghan official pleads for Aussie visa as Taliban advance (The Australian) ($)
Thailand seizes $38m heroin haul bound for Australia (The New Daily)
Politics of vaccine sure to change – Paul Kelly (The Australian) ($): “Having unveiled a new national cabinet road map intended to run far into next year, Scott Morrison now confronts his most difficult political challenge this term with a vaccine rollout long limited by supply and a growing list of political opponents, federal and state, to threaten his survival. The prime minister’s problem is lack of control. He lacks the means to solve the vaccine problem any time soon.
“Once Morrison sees the vaccination rollout completed — provided the coverage is relatively high — the opportunity arrives to restore his leverage and authority. The pivotal issue is: how much political harm will be done in the interim?”
If I didn’t have autism, would my encyclopedic knowledge of dinosaurs be a problem? – Clem Bastow (Guardian Australia): “A deficit model of autism frames special interest as something unsettling and obsessive. Why, countless parenting blogs ask, does my son sit for hours reading about the Tube? Why is my daughter constantly telling me about the mating habits of the green sea turtle?
“It is considered odd to engage with one’s (autistic) passion for hours, rejecting food, socialisation and sleep. And yet, on the other hand, we can observe neurotypical neoliberal fantasies of mastery that essentially present the same behaviours (stripped of autistic context) as aspirational, such as Malcolm Gladwell championing the 10,000 hours one is supposed to sink into a topic in order to become an “outlier”, or a prodigious talent, as described in his 2008 book, Outliers.”
RBA shrugs off lockdown to slowly unwind QE – John Kehoe (AFR): “More importantly for home owners, [Philip] Lowe remains of the view the first rise in the 0.1% overnight cash rate won’t happen until 2024 — despite markets pricing in a late 2022 or early 2023 rate increase. That first cash rate hike will be closely watched by the 70% of households and 85% of businesses paying variable interest rates.
“Despite the economy roaring back, the RBA feels it is at a much weaker starting point on wages and inflation than most of the world. Indeed, it would be aware that Australian wages growth pre-COVID-19 slumped to virtually the slowest pace out of the world’s advanced economies, and is a long way off the 3-plus% Lowe desires.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Dr Norman Swan, co-host of popular podcast Coronacast and a permanent fixture on Australian screens during the pandemic, is in conversation about his new book, So You Think You Know What’s Good For You? in a webinar by Readings.
Sweden’s former foreign minister Margot Wallström discusses feminist foreign policy in the latest webinar for the Australia Institute. Wallström’s new book, The Nordic Edge, details her introduction of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy as minister, including its adoption by the UN Security Council.
Author Laura Elizabeth Woollett will launch her second novel, The Newcomer, at Carlton’s The Collective. Woollett’s first novel, Beautiful Revolutionary, was shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.
Former Socceroo and activist Craig Foster will address the National Press Club, exploring human rights, democracy, and Australia’s place in the world.
To celebrate NAIDOC week, artists from Marra Dreaming are running a dot painting and placemat painting workshop at Campbelltown Public Library. There will also be a basket-weaving class.
The Queensland Department of Education is hosting a special NAIDOC lunch featuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performances, speakers, and lunch.