A new survey reveals community sporting clubs require more than $1 billion in support to survive the Covid-19 crisis, as fresh revelations emerge in the sports rort saga. An Australian Sports Foundation survey found nearly a quarter of the country's 70,000 community clubs face being wound up if they do not receive support within six months, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. In one example, Sydney rugby league club Bondi United has been hit by the loss of registration fees and sponsorship as well as a shortage of volunteers to help carry out Covid-19 safety measures. It comes as Guardian Australia reports that the Senate inquiry on sports grants has found at least six community sport infrastructure grants were approved by former sport minister Bridget McKenzie in 2019 despite Sports Australia not even receiving an application form. Five more applications were approved without meeting the score to be recommended for funding, including $235,000 for a synthetic green at Westbury Bowls Club in Tasmania.
Some security guards were hired to work as independent contractors at Victorian quarantine hotels through WhatsApp messages, with some unaware of who they were actually working for. According to the ABC, Shayla Shakshi received a WhatsApp message offering her work as a quarantine security guard in Melbourne. “And I'm like, I don't know what you guys are, what company, nothing,” she said. “I just got told that you need to be here at a certain time and you're going to dress in a certain way and this is your pay rate. That's it.” She added there was no infection-control training at all for her first day. The quarantine hotels are linked to outbreaks in Victoria, where 374 new cases and three deaths were recorded on Tuesday. Rules for mandatory face masks apply from 11.59pm tonight. Tight new restrictions came into force overnight on the Victoria-NSW border, with the latter announcing 13 new cases on Tuesday.
Charities and social advocates have criticised the federal government’s reduction of the JobSeeker welfare payment from $1100 down to $800 per fortnight, warning it will dump thousands back into poverty. Homelessness Australia fears the cut “will result in a huge increase in homelessness”, and expressed particular concern at the possibility of the Covid-19 boost being phased out entirely at the end of the year. Treasury projections suggest that 2.1 million Australians will be taken off the JobKeeper payment by December, under tightened eligibility requirements announced yesterday. From September 28, JobKeeper subsidies will fall from $1500 to $1200 a fortnight for full-time workers and $750 a fortnight for part-time workers.
The federal government’s expert security strategy panel has released a report calling for Australia to consider imposing sanctions on nations linked to mass cyber attacks. According to The Australian, the report makes 60 recommendations including 25 priority actions, amid accusations that China is waging cyber attacks against Australia. The news comes as five Australian warships join up with the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and a Japanese destroyer for a “trilateral exercise” in the Philippine Sea. The exercises come as the US Defence Secretary Mark Esper accuses China of exploiting the pandemic to tighten control of the nearby South China Sea. An Australian defence contractor is among those targeted by two Chinese hackers, according to a US Justice Department indictment.