10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

10 things you need to know this morning in Australia
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Good morning all.

The Greater Sydney lockdown is over. Well, perhaps not entirely, but restrictions are easing after more than 100 days. Masks are no longer required outdoors and 10 fully vaccinated visitors are allowed in homes. Here’s a helpful rundown from the Sydney Morning Herald on what you can and cannot do right now. The vaccine passport is not ready, but you can show your vaccination status with a digital certificate or an immunisation history statement.

There were 498 new local cases of COVID-19 and eight deaths in NSW today. Premier Dominic Perrottet said today would be a “big day” for the state. “You’ve earned it. We’re back in action tomorrow after more than 100 days making enormous sacrifices,” he said. On breakfast TV this morning he insisted that statewide lockdowns would be “a thing of the past”.

Seems there was a flurry of activity overnight as Sydney reopened. A number of venues including pubs, hairdressers and retail shops opened at the stroke of midnight. Kmart stores in Blacktown and Mt Druitt saw “dozens of shoppers queuing before midnight in lines which snaked 50m from the entrance”, news.com.au reports.

Victoria is preparing for the return of select major events as it plans its own reopening. The state government is hoping to have 10,000 people at this year’s Melbourne Cup on November 2, and a Sidney Myer Music Bowl concert is being planned for the end of the month. Yesterday, the state recorded 1890 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths.

Australia’s international borders could re-open for vaccinated travellers in NSW as early as November 1. “The NSW Premier and I have been discussing how we can accelerate our plan to open international travel when home quarantine is made available,’’ Scott Morrison said on Sunday. The replacement of hotel quarantine with home quarantine will be key to this plan.

Smaller independent delivery services say they’ve seen an increase in business as consumers and companies seek alternatives to the weeks-long delays reported by Australia Post. The number of companies taking business online each month more than doubled from pre-pandemic levels. Independent delivery companies have the ability to sidestep some of the current issues facing logistics systems and pick up the slack. 

Tech industry association DIGI, which includes Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft and TikTok, will establish an independent board to police its voluntary code for misinformation and disinformation. “When we launched the code in February, DIGI made a public commitment to introduce independent oversight in order to strengthen its governance, which we’ve been developing over the last few months,” DIGI chief executive Sunita Bose said. Activists are generally skeptical that this kind of self-regulation is going to work.

Truck drivers nationwide are prepared to strike if delivery giants do not come to the negotiation table, the Transport Workers Union says. Citing a new survey of transport workers, the union says those companies must commit to new workplace protections. The pressure comes as deliveries ramp up to the Christmas season.

Aussie super funds could tip billions into crypto, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Jeff Yew, the chief executive of Monochrome Asset Management and former local head of global cryptocurrency exchange Binance, said there could be a flood of investment into the sector from super funds and financial advisers, but only if there is a better effort to regulate and educate on the new asset class.

The valuation of Elon Musk’s SpaceX skyrocketed to $US100 billion, CNBC reported. A secondary sale of shares valued them 33% higher vs. a fundraising round in February. It’s now the second-most valuable private company, just trailing behind TikTok parent Bytedance, which is worth $US140 billion.

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