10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Hello everyone.

1. The Olympics will return to Australia for a third time. Brisbane was announced as the host of the 2032 Games last night. “This is a very proud day for Australia, make no mistake,” the Australian Olympic Committee president and IOC vice-president John Coates said. Hey, at least that means we’ve got a hard date on when international and interstate borders might be open.

2. Brisbane’s Olympic facilities will be a mix of old and new. The ABC has a decent writeup on what the effort to transform south-east Queensland into a new global metropolis might look like – including a proposed $1 billion rebuild of the Gabba that will increase its capacity to 50,000 spectators. Personally, I hope Brisbane gets at least one bit of insane, gimmicky infrastructure which will be torn down in a decade. Maybe a monorail.

3. Yesterday’s COVID numbers in NSW were not great. There were 110 new locally acquired cases, and 43 of those were infectious in the community. The source of infection for 56 was under investigation. As in previous weeks, Premier Gladys Berejiklian was not forthcoming on when the Greater Sydney lockdown might end, with modelling from Melbourne University suggesting it could run into September.

4. Victoria recorded 26 new cases of COVID-19 in the community and two in hotel quarantine this morning. All 26 new cases are linked to current outbreaks.

5. Today in federal politics: a non-apology tour. It seems the briefing for everyone from Scott Morrison down is to refuse to apologise for the nation’s clearly bungled vaccine rollout, with both the Prime Minister and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg dodging opportunities to do so in the media. Instead, both men said the government “accepts responsibility” but insisted that they will make up for the lost time. Considering a decent chunk of the population is under lockdown, that may not be good enough.

6. Nearly one in 10 coronavirus infections detected in New South Wales’ latest outbreak was contracted at work, according to NSW Health. The Sydney Morning Herald revealed the statistic as unions, social service advocates, and Labor put new pressure on the federal government to bolster financial support and consider a JobKeeper revival. Canberra is resisting calls for JobKeeper 2.0, insisting its new funding arrangements are suitable for sporadic snap lockdowns.

7. Retail sales plunged in June as the country headed towards lockdown. As you might imagine, July is looking even worse. Sales fell by 1.8% in June. “As the risks of a long Sydney lockdown increase, so do the risks of a muted recovery, particularly since fiscal support is not as strong as it was during the long Melbourne lockdown in 2020,” ANZ’s Adelaide Timbrell said.

8. More than one million welfare recipients are being excluded from COVID-19 disaster payments, despite being locked down and financially vulnerable. The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has urged the Morrison government to back down from its decision to exclude the group, warning it is becoming a “public health issue”. “People can’t stay home in lockdown if they lose their home because they cannot afford to keep it,” ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said.

9. A combination of economic uncertainty sparked by the pandemic, higher earning power, and an explosion of finance content created by women has led to a surge of women turning to the stock market. In the past two years, more finance content created by women for women has emerged, investment banker and author Danielle Ecuyer said. Young ‘finfluencers’ say their audiences are highly engaged because women are seeking to gain financial literacy from “diverse voices”.

10. Luxury properties in Sydney are expected to experience the highest level of price growth in the world over the next two years. Estate agency Frank Knight has forecast that sales in the top 5% of the market will grow by 10% this year and 7% next year, outstripping other global cities like New York and Paris. Given the prices at the top of the market, the forecasts translate to million-dollar price growth in just two years.

BONUS ITEM

If you want to quantify it.