A security company attempted to cover up a potential breach of its hotel quarantine agreement with the Victorian Government, according to leaked correspondence. An email obtained by the ABC’s 7.30 suggests Wilson Security failed to inform at least one of its subcontractors of its obligations, and attempted to conceal this by asking the subcontractor to backdate documents nine weeks after it had hired guards. It comes as a Four Corners investigation detailed unhygienic conditions inside the hotels, a lack of protection for guards, and guards sleeping on the job. Reports last week indicate the source of Victoria’s outbreak, linked to a further 25 deaths yesterday, was a night shift manager not a guard. Four Corners also revealed that repeated requests for extra staff at Victoria’s Epping Gardens Aged Care home, the site of Australia's largest aged care outbreak, went unanswered by federal and state government agencies. Similar pleas were also ignored during outbreaks in New South Wales. An inquiry into Victoria’s hotel quarantine system continues today.
Google on Monday launched a campaign sending pop-up messages to Australian users of its search engine warning of “dramatically worse” services if a draft code of conduct comes into place forcing it to pay for Australian news content. In the message Google Australia and New Zealand managing director Mel Silva claimed the regulation would give an “unfair advantage” to media businesses over small businesses. “The proposed changes are not fair and they mean that Google Search results and YouTube will be worse for you,” the letter said. Today similar alerts will be issued to visitors of YouTube. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the message contained “misinformation” about the code. "Google will not be required to charge Australians for the use of its free services such as Google Search and YouTube unless it chooses to do so,” the ACCC said.
A company that hired former defence minister Christopher Pyne as an adviser secured two federal government grants worth nearly $7 million to develop Australia’s space capabilities, reports Guardian Australia. Saber Astronautics was the recipient of two government grants announced in June, including a $6 million grant to establish a mission control centre in Adelaide. Shadow industry minister Brendan O’Connor wrote to industry minister Karen Andrews last week asking how the grant was awarded, and whether the minister was aware that Saber had engaged Pyne’s business. Andrews said Pyne did not lobby in relation to the grants.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday he was ready to share power, following sustained nationwide protests against contested election results. His apparent concession came after exiled presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said she was willing to lead the country. Lukashenko faced heckling from workers at a factory he visited in Minsk on Monday, with people chanting “step down” as he tried to answer their questions. He told workers on Monday there would be no new presidential election unless he was killed, but he was willing to share power and change the constitution.