NSW’s new multibillion-dollar support package will benefit a “casual worker, a permanent worker, a small business, a large business”, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet says. Guardian Australia breaks down who’s eligible, what support is available, and what we know so far.
The SMH says the big-budget package is enough to cover four weeks of lockdown, but NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is unlikely to announce an extension of that length. A lockdown update is expected today. Sydney’s lockdown is costing the national economy $700m a week, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told ABC’s 7.30 last night.
The Victorian Government has issued a strongly worded statement, Guardian Australia reports, about NSW’s economic support package. A disgruntled spokesperson said “Victorians are rightly sick and tired of having to beg for every scrap of support from the federal government”, adding that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s job is “not to be the prime minister for NSW”. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg served back, telling ABC he thought people were sick of the “whingeing” from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, and called his fan base “bots and trots”, an apparent reference to the Trotskyist branch of Marxist political theory. Yikes.
LACKING ESSENTIAL INFORMATION
NSW recorded 89 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with 21 in the community while infectious. It’s that second number that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is watching closely, stressing yesterday that the lockdown would not be lifted until there were no COVID-19-positive people in the community.
The SMH has charted the movement of the Delta variant in the community and found people had been moving around the northern beaches and inner west more than those in hard-hit Fairfield for retail and recreational purposes. However, those in Sydney’s southwest have travelled for work more.
The rules just became trickier for essential workers in Fairfield, where cases are high. Residents have been told not to go to work, except if they are really essential, and to get a swab every three days if they do, The Oz ($) reports. The problem? No one has defined what an essential worker is, Guardian Australia says. Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it’s “very challenging” to define and that “common sense” should prevail. Erm, except the Victorian Government managed it just fine — during May’s lockdown in Victoria, the state government released lists that spelled out workplaces that should stay open.
NSW added several new exposure sites on Tuesday, including a dental centre in Bankstown, a medical centre in Lakemba, and a glass and aluminium shop in Smithfield. Victorian health authorities added two more sites to the exposure list on Tuesday night: a Caltex and a Hungry Jack’s at Kalkallo on the Hume Highway about 30km north of Melbourne. Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has several new hotspots after the state recorded two local cases on Tuesday. Despite Victoria clamping shut to NSW and ACT earlier in the week, Queensland is yet to close their border — ABC explores why.
The Australian ($) says almost one in two aviation workers is not vaccinated, according to a survey of nearly 800 cabin crew, pilots, cleaners, baggage handlers, and ground workers. The Transport Workers Union called it a “gaping hole” in the country’s fight against the Delta variant. It comes after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the infection of patient zero — an unvaccinated, unmasked limousine driver working around Sydney Airport — “should not have happened” on ABC’s 7.30 last night.
GREAT BARRIER GRIEF
In non-COVID news, the Queensland Government has made a last-minute call to the federal government to help keep the Great Barrier Reef off the “in danger” list of World Heritage sites, just days before the United Nations convention will announce their decision.
But 10 Australian environmental groups (including the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, WWF-Australia, Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, The Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation) are lobbying for the opposite, Guardian Australia reports. The groups wrote to the UN committee urging that they consider it “in danger”, stressing that the reef is under “existential threat from climate change” and had suffered terrible coral bleaching. “How else can we expect the world to act with the scale and urgency necessary to protect one of the world’s most iconic world heritage properties?” the letter asked.
UNESCO also recommended the Great Barrier Reef be placed on the list, a move that “blindsided” Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley. Ley said the reef was “the best-managed reef in the world”, but the Reef 2050 Plan’s progress has been “insufficient”, UNESCO says.
In urging more action from the federal government, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also asked for $2 billion to safeguard tens of thousands of jobs, The Brisbane Times reports, that rely on the reef’s reputation.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE
A Chinese man, who travelled more than 500,000km over 24 years in search of his lost son, has found him.
Guo Gangtang’s toddler was allegedly snatched by human traffickers in 1997 while the two-year-old played outside his home in Shandong. Gangtang reportedly travelled to more than 20 provinces around the country on the back of a motorbike in search of son Guo Xinzhen. Gangtang carried banners with his son’s picture on them and is said to have spent his life’s savings on the mission. He slept under bridges and begged for money.
Incredibly, police were able to trace now 26-year-old Xinzhen’s identity using DNA testing and found he was living in a nearby province. BBC have the heartwarming moment (via state media CCTV) that they embrace for the first time.
“Now that the child has been found, everything can only be happy from now on,” Guo told reporters.
Hoping you can see the bright side of things today.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Awkward moment @ausgov refuse your citizenship application (again). Wearing the green and gold 70 times apparently is not enough these days
It seems the Australian Government wasn’t satisfied the Wallabies star had “engaged in activities of benefit to Australia” despite representing the country at two World Cups over a nine-year tenure on the national rugby union team.
“The real concern — especially for the Indigenous people Crikey has spoken to — is ultimately about cultural appropriation: that a “white” take on history, such as that Pascoe is accused of propagating in Dark Emu, insults Indigenous Australia and passes the wrong information to Indigenous kids about their people’s achievements.
“This appraisal needs to be set against white Australia’s need for a myth as a salve for its guilt about the colonial invasion of Indigenous Australia. That is what Dark Emu offers: a description of a people’s achievements that white people can relate to and a way to atone for it.”
“Recently both women have won big accolades: [Kerry] Chant is NSW premier’s woman of the year; [Jeannette] Young is governor-designate of Queensland. But if not for a pandemic the two doctors would have remained largely anonymous, their big minds and strategic skills a secret, hidden away in the public service.
“How do we stop that? How do we find those quiet, talented and unassuming women whose leadership could help change the narrative of our nation? And do we really want to? Despite death threats and sleepless nights, long days and life-and-death decisions, we still quickly look beyond their talents when it comes to women like Young and Chant.”
“Two weeks after the first case was reported, the total number of local cases in NSW’s current outbreak was higher than any other Australian outbreak so far, including Victoria’s first and second wave.
“The current number of Sydney’s current unlinked cases are also exploding, showing that the state’s contact tracing efforts are being stretched in a way that they hadn’t in previous outbreaks.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Australians fight for the right to repair our phones and gadgets (The Brisbane Times)
France stuns Wallabies 28-26 in Melbourne to level Test series (The New Daily)
Google cops $790m French fine for ‘serious breaches’ of news deal (The Brisbane Times)
The dark side of chess: Payoffs, points and 12-year-old grandmasters (The New York Times)
‘Wake-up call’: What Canada’s heatwave means for Australian summers (The Canberra Times)
Supanova, we need to talk — Nich Richie (IndigenousX): Supanova Pop Culture Expo is a hive for people with interests in film and television, cosplay, gaming, and overall “geek culture.” You will also find that that this convention is a great place for people to display and sell art, books or any merch. And Supanova is greatly visited by diverse groups from First Nations People to LGBTQA+ People. Which is why it is surprising and awfully shocking to find out that a stall at Supanova was selling Nazi and bigoted hate-filled merchandise.
“Daniel Zachariou and Supanova, itself, are no strangers to controversy. Supanova had already in its history faced a boycott for Zachariou’s stance on Safe Schools and also an incident involving a guest being invited who was a key inciter of one of [the] internet’s biggest hate [groups]. With all this information circling because of this incident, users began to call out sponsors of the event.”
No, we can’t treat COVID-19 like the flu. We have to consider the lasting health problems it causes — Zoë Hyde (The Conversation): “Many people who have had COVID-19 and survived haven’t returned to their previous state of health … A Sydney study found one-third of people with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 were left with persistent symptoms lasting at least two months, including fatigue and shortness of breath. More than 10% had impaired lung function.”
“The UK’s Office for National Statistics has calculated about one in seven people who contract COVID-19 will experience persistent symptoms lasting at least 12 weeks. They estimate nearly one million people are currently living with long COVID in the UK, and 40% of them have been living with the condition for over one year.”
Lib Dems aim to fill vacuum on centre-right — Janet Albrechtsen (The Australian) ($): The party will run a candidate in each state at the next federal election. And John Ruddick, a former long-time Liberal who tried to introduce democratic reforms into that party, has joined the LDP. Ruddick is a political warrior and plans to run in the NSW seat of Warringah against independent Zali Steggall, who won the seat from former prime minister Tony Abbott at the 2019 election.
The Lib Dems have two big targets: ham-fisted COVID responses that have stripped Australians of too much of their humanity; and financially irresponsible government that will take even more from future generations of Australians with the country sinking into $1.3 trillion of debt.
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is holding a press conference with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet at Kirribilli House.
ACTU Secretary Sally McManus discusses Australia’s growing wage crisis for the latest webinar by the Australia Institute.
Athlete, author and engineer Turia Pitt speaks about how stories can lead to social and political change at the National Press Club.
A public briefing on the World Heritage Committee’s recent decision on the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area will take place at the University of Tasmania.
Curators Chris Malcolm and Michelle Broun discuss artworks from the Curtin University Art Collection which provide insights into the lives of Stolen Generations children.
Six industry leaders will discuss the future of energy at The Queensland Futures Institute’s breakfast at Customs House.