Good morning everyone.
Sydney’s hospital system is preparing for coronavirus cases to peak as early as next week. Limited modelling released by Premier Gladys Berejiklian predicts Sydney’s worst-affected COVID-19 areas will have 2000 cases a day by next week in a worst-case scenario. NSW recorded 1281 new cases yesterday.
Pubs could re-open in Sydney in the coming weeks as part of vaccine passport trial, 9News reports. The trial will see pubs open in LGAs with high vaccination rates and low COVID-19 infections — which is possibly galling for those under hard lockdown in the LGAs of concern. Hairdressers and barbers could also be on the cards.
Victoria reported 246 new coronavirus cases yesterday, the highest daily number in over a year. The state will likely hit its 70% first vaccine dose target in under two weeks. Meanwhile, Matthew Guy has been elected leader of the Victorian Liberal Party, becoming opposition leader once again following his landslide defeat in the 2018 election.
Apple, Google, Facebook and other big tech companies could face tough new regulation in Australia. The AFR reports such regulation could include “legislation banning on Apple and Google from self-preferencing their own apps, services and payments platforms ahead of competitors, and could even see services like app stores declared to be regulated services”.
You may not have been able to see your family on Father’s Day, but the Prime Minister did. Scott Morrison gained an exemption from health authorities to cross the ACT border with NSW. Labor disability spokesperson Bill Shorten said it was poor judgement. “I think Mr Morrisons’s exercised poor judgement in this case. I was a bit surprised when I read he had done this, to be honest,” Shorten said. “It’s not that he doesn’t deserve to see his kids but so does every other Australian.” One of the perks of the job!
The federal government and Australian Taxation Office are facing unprecedented pressure to reveal the list of profitable JobKeeper recipients. The $90 billion program was designed to shield workers through lockdowns, but some $13 billion went to companies which grew their turnover through 2020. Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar told ABC’s “News Breakfast” that the scheme didn’t need “clawback” provisions.
It comes as the Nine papers report luxury brands like Gucci, Bulgari and the company behind Cartier and Montblanc claimed more than $10 million combined in JobKeeper while also making multimillion-dollar profits. Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh has been banging the drum for more info to be revealed about the companies who profited while taking wage subsidies. “At a time when people are being asked to tighten their belts, when real wages are forecast to fall for the typical Australian, it’s only right to be putting a bit of a spotlight on who got JobKeeper and then saw their revenues rise,” he said.
Don’t expect an easy bounce-back for the economy from the Delta outbreaks. That’s the message from Gareth Aird, head of Australian economics at the Commonwealth Bank, in a piece in the AFR this morning. “We forecast the Australian economy will contract by a whopping 4.5 per cent in the September quarter,” he writes. “This massive loss of production will be accompanied by a huge fall in jobs.”
Neobank Volt will provide banking services to customers of crypto exchange BTC Markets in a new ‘world-first’ partnership. The bank accounts will safeguard the cash of traders, with deposits guaranteed up to $250,000. It comes as traditional banks face criticism for ‘debanking’ crypto and fintech customers, as they remain reluctant to get involved in digital assets.
A group of 251 medical journals published a rare joint article warning about the climate crisis. The editors urged governments not to wait until COVID-19 is under control to tackle it. The consequences of ignoring it could be “catastrophic” and irreversible, they wrote.
Publishers of misinformation on Facebook got six times more engagement than factual news, a new study says. Facebook said engagement, which includes likes and shares, does not show how many people saw a post. Responding to the study, a Facebook spokesperson told Insider in a statement that the report looked mostly at how people engage with content from Facebook Pages, “which represents a very tiny amount of all content” on the platform.