Up to 1.5 million international visitors could be lost to Australia due to the coronavirus and bushfires, as cases of COVID-19 continue to spread globally. A draft Deloitte Access Economics report projects Australia will suffer at least a 10 to 15 per cent drop in travellers this year, reports The Australian ($). Tourism and travel companies have been hit hard, with the Australian Financial Review reporting losses of 10.8 per cent this month for Qantas and 5.8 per cent for Webjet, with the S&P/ASX 200 Index losing $129 billion in three days. The news comes as more cases were reported outside China than inside for the first time, with 427 new cases reported in other countries, compared with 411 in China, where numbers are falling. South America has reported its first case, with a 61-year-old traveller from Brazil falling ill after visiting Italy.
Net zero emissions: A new analysis by ClimateWorks Australia finds that existing technologies can get Australia to net zero emissions by 2050, but deployment of them needs to be massively accelerated. Guardian Australia reports that the target requires a transition to 100 per cent renewables by 2035 and ramp up the rollout of electric vehicles, electrified buildings and improved energy efficiency measures. Anna Skarbek, the chief executive of ClimateWorks, said Australia should also be “vastly scaling up carbon sequestration through forestry to buy us time”. The news comes as mining behemoth Rio Tinto unveiled a $1.5 billion plan to become carbon-neutral by 2050, although climate activists note the plan does not include Scope 3 emissions generated by the end users of the company’s products.
Sports rorts: In Parliament yesterday Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese highlighted 136 emails sent from Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s office to the office of former sports minister Bridget McKenzie regarding the “corrupt” Community Sports Infrastructure program. Morrison said his office only passed on information and made representations on behalf of proposals. A football club in Morrison’s electorate was given $50,000 for a building that had already been built, reports the ABC.
India clashes: At least 25 people are dead and more than 200 have been injured in four days of violent clashes in Delhi, where Muslims protesting against a discriminatory citizenship law were attacked in a surge of mob violence. Police and India's Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been accused of ignoring the situation, which has led to property damage and a mosque being set on fire.