10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

10 things you need to know this morning in Australia
(Photo by Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

Good morning all. Hope you had excellent weekends.

Former Attorney-General Christian Porter resigned from federal cabinet yesterday rather than reveal who secretly financially supported his defamation action against the ABC. Scott Morrison announced Porter’s resignation (and return to the backbench) in an afternoon presser, which was followed by a lengthy issued statement from Porter. It’s a doozy of a statement.

Victoria announced its roadmap out of lockdowns yesterday. It’s a little slower and more cautious than its NSW counterpart. Stay-at-home orders will lift once the state reaches its 70% double-dose vaccination target, which is not expected until late October. The government is aiming for 30 household visitors just in time for Christmas. “We are opening up, no doubt about that,” Premier Daniel Andrews said. “There will be no turning back. We have to normalise this, we have to pass through this pandemic.”

The modelling supporting the reopening plan forecasts that Victoria could see case numbers of nearly 3000 a day within a month. This has led some health bodies to call for an even more cautious approach. “The health system needs to be much better prepared to deal with the growing burden of COVID-19, as well as be able to deliver non-COVID-19 related care,” AMA president Dr Omar Khorshid warned.

The 12 local government areas of concern in NSW now have the same outdoor rules as the rest of Greater Sydney. That means residents have no limits on outdoor exercise. Outdoor swimming pools will be allowed to reopen from next week. The state recorded 1083 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 13 deaths.

The French submarine deal continues to spin out into an international incident. Scott Morrison said that France should have been aware Australia was not happy and was prepared to break the $90 billion deal. Paris recalled its ambassadors to Australia and the United States over the decision by Canberra to abandon its deal.

Representatives for South Australia’s shipbuilding workforce have shared deep concerns over the new defence deal under the AUUKUS treaty. While the federal government has committed to the industry in the short term, the future of Australia’s nuclear submarine program is yet to be determined. Electrical Trades Union national assistant secretary Michael Wright said the decision was a “betrayal” of Australia’s non-nuclear policies and traditional shipbuilding jobs.

There are 254 “high risk” suburbs where property values could fall if Australia’s banks ignore accelerating climate change, the Reserve Bank of Australia says. In new worst-case scenario modelling, the RBA states a small number of homes exposed to extreme weather could “result in credit losses” for the banks. Brisbane and the Gold Coast could be impacted by 2050, although the vast majority of postcodes will not face the same property value risks.

A new report has laid out a possible path forward to ensure the quality and accuracy of content spread by influencers. The Australian Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology argues traditional Australian rules on advertising and proper licensing should be extended online to prevent misinformation and bad advice spreading. “Social media influencers are profiting while spreading misinformation and shoddy advice online,” said Jordan Guiao, a research fellow at the organisation. “It is a criminal offence to provide unlicensed medical and financial advice, yet many influencers are doing just that on social media.”

Established companies in health and fitness have transformed their offerings to join the burgeoning holistic wellness space. Along with startups like homegrown fitness app Sweat and fitness influencers, businesses now market products and services that go beyond physical appearance. The wellness market is now centred around apps and building a “thriving online community”.

Over the past week or so, The Wall Street Journal published a series of reports finding Facebook to be “riddled with flaws”. The series found the company turns a blind eye to its impact on everything from young girls using Instagram to human trafficking. Facebook responded over the weekend by slamming the series as full of “deliberate mischaracterisations” in a statement penned by Nick Clegg, the company’s vice president of global affairs.

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