The Andrews government cannot identify any legislation it needed to override, but experts say that is the point.When Daniel Andrews signed a declaration for a state of disaster in Victoria at 1.43pm on Sunday, it was a part of a final salvo in a battle to control a resurgent and invisible enemy.
One day after warning of historic government deficits, federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will today push a recovery plan featuring the fast-tracking of deregulation, tax cuts, and industrial relations reform. In a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra, Frydenberg will explain how the government plans to use the October 6 budget to initiate a five-year blueprint for a business-led recovery, reports The Australian. Frydenberg will consider bringing forward tax cuts due to start in 2022 and 2024 at a cost to government coffers of $143 billion over a decade, with higher-income earners to reap the largest benefits. On Thursday he described industrial relations reform as the “first cab off the rank” for his policy agenda. Labor’s industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke said the government was using the crisis to “leave workers permanently worse off”. Greens leader Adam Bandt criticised the “trickle-down orthodoxy” of tax cuts and pushed government spending to boost employment instead.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today discuss a plan to rework environmental protection laws at today’s national cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders. The meeting comes as the Morrison government moves ahead of a review into environmental regulation, to introduce legislation to federal parliament next month allowing bilateral agreements with states and territories to devolve approval powers. Guardian Australia reports that some of the states are concerned the plan will further weaken environmental protection laws. National cabinet will also discuss new Treasury forecasts regarding the impact of the pandemic on the economy, plans for containing localised Covid-19 outbreaks and status updates on Closing The Gap targets.
Victoria recorded 403 new Covid-19 cases and five deaths on Thursday. There are 201 patients in Victorian hospitals with the virus, 40 of whom are in intensive care, with hospitalisations expected to continue to grow. The deaths include a man aged in his 50s, and another aged in his 70s, with three more linked to aged-care facilities, including a woman in her 70s, a man aged in his 80s and another man in his 90s. “My thoughts and my sympathies are with those families and this demonstrates the growing toll this terrible virus is taking on our community," Victoria’s Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said. NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Thursday confirmed the state recorded 19 new cases.
Refugee advocate Elise Ganley has been charged with trespass after attempting to visit an asylum seeker receiving medical treatment in a Brisbane hospital. Ganley, who says she is friends with Iranian man Farhad Rahmati, was told she needed Australian Border Force approval and was asked to leave, reports SBS. She refused to move on and was subsequently arrested. Rahmati was transferred from Manus Island to Brisbane last July under the now-repealed medical evacuation laws and had been held in detention in Kangaroo Point until June. Rahmati had fallen ill while in the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation detention centre.