Exclusive: A leaked government database shows hospital transmission is key to Victoria’s recent Covid-19 cases, as new concerns are raised about access to protective equipment.Hospitals have become a key risk area in this phase of the pandemic. Staff at some of these hospitals have not been told about the transmissions happening in their workplaces and are not being offered extra protection.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has flagged that the lifting of state borders within Australia will delay reopening international travel between the two countries, as Victorian cases continue to surge. Ardern on Monday said New Zealand would only open borders to places that have border controls in place to areas with community transmission. “Ultimately it's up to Australia to decide whether or not they'll go for a whole of country approach, or a state-by-state approach,” she said. New Zealand may instead pivot to reopening to other Pacific countries. While most Australian states have no recent reported community transmission, Victoria recorded another 75 cases on Monday, largely locally acquired. The Queensland Government will today decide on whether to continue with plans to reopen the border, and South Australia is also reconsidering a timetable for easing restrictions on travel with Victoria. Meanwhile, the European Union is preparing to open its borders to travellers from 14 countries including Australia on July 1, but Australia will maintain tight restrictions on international travel by its own citizens, with exemptions for reasons including compassionate care.
The Australian Associated Press newswire has been sold to a philanthropic consortium led by Nick Harrington and John McKinnon. The deal was signed a day before the end of the subscription of majority shareholders News Corp and Nine, and will see the AAP Newswire retain 85 editorial positions and relaunch on August 1, but job losses are expected. It comes as the federal government announces it will give community television stations including Melbourne’s Channel 31 and Adelaide’s Channel 44 an extra year to transition to online delivery.
Liberal MPs Warren Entsch and Craig Kelly have claimed to Guardian Australia that the $1500 fortnightly jobkeeper payment had caused workers to refuse shifts, echoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s messaging on Monday that JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments have resulted in Australians choosing not to work. News Corp publications are today pushing the message, with The Australian reporting National Skills Commission data shows one in five businesses are seeking to hire, and that a lack of applicants is among the hiring challenges. Meanwhile, new research from credit bureau illion and economics analysis firm AlphaBeta finds spending by low-income earners during the downturn has sustained the Australian economy
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today announce $1.35 billion in existing defence funding over the next decade is to be reallocated to the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Cyber Security Centre. The boost to cybersecurity, which could create 500 jobs, follows Morrison’s warning earlier this month of escalating cyber attacks from a sophisticated “state-based” hacker that Australian authorities suspect to be China. Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said $12 million would be spent on “active disruption” options to protect Australians, including allowing “major telecommunications providers to prevent malicious cyber activity from reaching millions of Australians by blocking known malicious websites and computer viruses at speed”.