Brisbane awarded 2032 Olympics

Brisbane has been officially awarded the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, after the International Olympic Committee voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Queensland bid.

What we know:

  • The decision was revealed at an IOC event in Tokyo following a presentation from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, federal sports minister Richard Colbeck and Brisbane mayor Adrian Schrinner (AP); 
  • The IOC voted 72 to five in favour with three abstentions, with no other cities included after Brisbane was installed as the preferred candidate in February;
  • Brisbane is the first city to be awarded the event under a revamped procedure that sees a small group of members identify and propose hosts to the IOC executive board;
  • President of the Australian Olympic Committee John Coates, who orchestrated the new system, denied the Brisbane win indicated a conflict-of-interest, as he had recused himself from meetings (Inside The Games); 
  • Crowds packed South Bank and other live sites across south-east Queensland to watch fireworks in celebration (InQueensland); 
  • “We want to show the world that mid-sized cities and regions can host the Games without financial distress or missed deadlines,” Palaszczuk said;
  • The price tag for hosting is estimated at $5bn in today’s money, including $690m on existing and new venues (news.com.au); 
  • The cost for the Tokyo Olympics, set to formally open on Friday, was initially US$7.3bn before ballooning to US$28bn (Forbes). 
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Long queues for Covid cash

Locked-down Australians are waiting for hours in queues and on the phone to access Covid disaster payments, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues to resist a reintroduction of JobKeeper.

What we know:

  • Services Australia was inundated with 71,000 claims on Tuesday alone (The Guardian);
  • Many people are being forced to go to Centrelink in person for physical identification requirements to access Covid payments of up to $600 a week;
  • Services Australia general manager Hank Jongen said physical distancing requirements made Centrelink queues look longer than they are;
  • The Community and Public Sector Union criticised forcing people into branches for identification checks during a pandemic;
  • Roughly a million people under lockdown already receiving income support including JobSeeker or youth allowance have been barred from the payments;
  • Morrison defended the scheme, arguing that some payments were reaching people on the same day as applications were lodged, while JobKeeper took up to six weeks (7News); 
  • University of Melbourne modelling suggests Sydney’s lockdown will need to last until September (news.com.au);
  • NSW recorded 110 new cases in 24 hours, with at least 60 spending time in the community while infectious (ABC). 
  • Victoria recorded 22 new local cases, 16 of whom were in quarantine for their entire infectious period (Nine); 
  • South Australia’s cluster has doubled to 12 cases, after six new cases were detected at a winery (InDaily).
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Ley appeals duty of care

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley has argued in an appeal against a court ruling that she does not have a duty of care to protect children from the climate crisis.

The court found Ley owed a duty of care after eight Australian teenagers challenged a proposal to extend its Vickery coalmine (SMH). 

In new appeal documents Ley argued, “The primary judge erred in finding that the minister owed a duty to take reasonable care ... to avoid causing personal injury or death to persons who were under 18 years of age ... arising from emissions of carbon dioxide.”

The appeal also argued that the judge was wrong to find that 2℃ of warming might trigger an exponentially increasing risk of feedback loops that would take the Earth to 4℃ of warming.

Lead litigant Anjali Sharma said it was an “embarrassing” stance for the government to take.

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Council housing too cold for comfort

A new study has found many NSW social housing tenants live in homes that fall short of the healthy temperature recommendations of the World Health Organization — particularly in winter.

The research, led by the University of Wollongong, examined the relationship between energy consumption and thermal performance in 42 social housing dwellings (The Conversation). 

One quarter of properties recorded winter temperatures below the WHO recommended minimum of 18℃ for more than 80% of winter.

Tenants said they could not keep their homes warm due to the financial pressure of energy bills, which also forced them to give up daily showers and cooked dinners.

The research suggests that social housing upgrade programs should focus on improvements to insulation and sealing draughts, instead of their current prioritisation of heating and cooling systems.

More than a million Australians live in homes that are in poor condition.

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Heaviest rains in a millennium

At least 25 people have died in the Chinese province of Henan in what meteorologists called the heaviest rains “in a thousand years”.

Twelve of the victims drowned after being trapped in a flooded subway in Henan’s capital Zhengzhou, from which 500 people were rescued (Reuters). 

In the space of four days, 617.1mm of rain fell in  Zhengzhou — almost its usual annual total.

More rain is forecast across Henan for the next three days.

It comes as the German government unveiled a €200m initial support package for victims of historic floods that have so far claimed more than 200 lives across Europe (DW). 

Scientists say the extreme rains in both Europe and China are almost certainly linked to global warming.

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Chicken brains. You know, chickens have a head. And in there, there’s a brain. And they are delicious little things. There’s only one little bite.

Australia’s oldest man Dexter Kruger, who died peacefully at a West Queensland nursing home aged 111, revealed an unlikely secret to longevity (InQueensland).

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Postscript: The big business of nobility titles

There are plenty of sites that promise to make you a Russian tsarina, a German count, or an Irish lord  — all for a mere $10. For a bit more, you can upgrade a loved one or your entire family, a popular gift for the Downton Abbey fan who has everything except noble blood. Or, you could join Ed Sheeran and become a baron of Sealand — a WWII defence platform just off the coast of England. For $45, you’ll get a deed and documents about Sealand, and the ability to connect with fellow Sealand barons around the world (The Hustle).

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Max Opray is Schwartz Media’s morning editor and a freelance writer.