10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Good morning, team.

1. Victoria recorded 295 new cases on Tuesday – its lowest daily increase in more than a week. So that’s a positive sign. NSW reported 19 new cases, and four schools were closed.

2. Queensland will close its borders to people from the Greater Sydney area from 1am on Saturday. “From 1am Saturday, more hotspots will be declared and no one from Sydney will be allowed into Queensland,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

3. It comes as Queensland Health issued public health alerts for 11 locations across Brisbane’s south and CBD. Two people returned from Melbourne to Brisbane via Sydney after visiting COVID-19 hotspots, allegedly failing to tell Queensland border authorities. “While we are still determining where the virus may have been acquired, we are working closely with these women to gather necessary information, including other places they may have visited whilst infectious,” said the state’s chief health officer Jeannette Young in a statement.

4. Gyms in New South Wales have new guidelines to follow from Saturday August 1. From that date, gyms will have to register their COVID-19 Safety Plan and have a hygiene marshal on duty at all times. The hygiene marshal will ensure social distancing is enforced and equipment is cleaned after it is used.

5. Victoria has experienced the most job losses in Australia, according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The ABS found payroll jobs fell 7.3% in Victoria since March, followed closely by a 6.8% decline in Tasmania. Overall, the ABS revealed a 1.1% drop in the number of jobs in Australia between mid-June and mid-July.

6. Nearly one in three Australian businesses are failing to comply with their state’s contact tracing requirements, a new study suggests. Even those that do may prove “useless”, with information unverified, possibly incorrect and improperly stored. “Simply adopting a QR code does not make a business compliant,” a spokesperson for tracing app SafeEntry told Business Insider Australia. “If personal details are incorrect, this would undermine the process of contact tracing. Therefore, if a business does not verify the data, the data is in fact useless.”

7. Treasury has warned young Australians face ten years of pay cuts as the economy enters a recession. With youth unemployment having spiked just shy of 5%, it says graduates can expect to “earn roughly 8% less in their first year of work and 3.5% less after five years”. That’s on top of the “scarring” to be dealt out by diminished career prospects and wasted potential. Grim!

8. Telstra has accused rival Optus of misleading customers over the size and quality of its mobile network in a new court case. This is a long-standing dispute between the two telcos. Telstra has the larger network – covering about 99.5% of the population, as compared to Optus’ 98.5% – but Telstra alleges Optus’ current ad campaign insinuates Optus actually covers more.

9. The Congressional inquiry into big tech has begun. You can follow our coverage of it here. One nugget worth mentioning: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted the company has “adapted features” from competitors.

10. The UK could be hit with a second coronavirus wave within just two weeks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly believes. Johnson said on Tuesday that other European countries already appeared to be getting hit by a second wave. A senior government source told the Daily Mail that a similar surge in cases could soon hit the UK.


Quite an interesting project, this:

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