Victorian police have called a press conference for 10.45am
Hopefully we will get some additional information on how the localised lockdowns will work.
The ATO site is having a few traffic problems today – being July 1, there are a lot of people trying to log on to register for Jobkeeper for the new financial year, as well as the additional tax traffic.
If you are having trouble, keep trying – it seems to be coping off and on
With flights being diverted from Melbourne for the next two weeks, Sydney will see an uptick in returned travellers, and therefore it is expected to see their case numbers increase – but that’s if they are returned travellers.
There are reports of another 14 cases in NSW – we don’t have a breakdown of where these cases have come from.
On the borders and state responses, Anthony Albanese says:
It’s appropriate that state governments take advice from their state medical officers. That’s what is seeing us through this. This should not be the subject of political argy-bargy.
This is whether it be Steven Marshall’s government in South Australia, the Liberal government in Tasmania, the Labor government in WA, or the Labor government in Queensland, and I note government in Queensland, and I note here in New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian is saying to Victorians they’re not welcome here and New South Wales visitors shouldn’t go to Victoria.
So what I think is appropriate is that this not be two messages which is what for a while we got from this government including from the state government of Gladys Berejiklian who was critical of Queensland is now saying exactly the same message with regard to Victoria. I think that this needs to be based upon medical and health advice, not based upon politics.
Daniel Andrews and health minister Jenny Mikakos will hold a press conference at 11.30am today.
For those wanting more information on the defence announcement, Daniel Hurst has you covered:
You get a little bit more control over your data from today:
Following the successful implementation by the four major banks of the IT infrastructure needed to enable the Consumer Data Right in banking, “Open Banking” will now commence in relation to deposits, transaction accounts, credit and debit cards.
Open Banking is a game-changing reform for Australians and will revolutionise the way that consumers and small businesses use their data to compare prices and switch between products and providers in the banking sector.
The government has been working closely with the four major banks, the FinTech industry, the ACCC and Data61 to design, build and test the rules and infrastructure that will allow consumers to securely direct their banking data to another major bank or accredited FinTech provider.
FinTechs that become accredited through the ACCC will be able to connect into the system and with a consumers express consent, be able to use the latest technology to analyse their data and help consumers determine whether their banking products are best-suited to their needs. As the technology evolves, so will the offerings that FinTechs will be able to provide to individuals and small businesses.
The Covid-19 Senate committee is on again today.
The international coronavirus blog is up and running:
Also, happy new financial year.
From July 1 2020, small and family businesses will be paying less tax as a result of legislated tax cuts passed by the Morrison government.
As the 2020-2021 financial year begins, incorporated small and family businesses with a turnover of less than $50m will see their company tax rate reduced from 27.5% to 26%.
Unincorporated businesses will also benefit as the rate of the small business income tax offset increases from 8% to 13%.
The changes mark the next stage of the Morrison government’s accelerated small business tax cuts, legislated in October 2018, which brought forward tax relief for small and medium businesses by five years.
For those asking, if you live around one of the locked-down postcodes in Victoria, but are not locked down yourself, yes, you can travel through one of the locked-down suburbs to get to where you need to go.
But if you can avoid it, you should.
Basically, the guidelines are you can travel through the area, but you shouldn’t be making plans to hang around in the area, if that makes sense.
And if there is another route available to you, maybe take that, at least until 29 July.
Marise Payne expresses ‘deep concern’ for Hong Kong over China’s national security law
The foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, has also released an official statement on China passing new security laws, which will seriously curtail protest action in Hong Kong:
Australia joins many international partners in expressing our deep concern about Beijing’s imposition of a national security law on Hong Kong. This decision to impose the law undermines the “one country two systems” framework and the city’s high degree of autonomy guaranteed in the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration and Hong Kong’s Basic Law.
Australia is troubled by the law’s implications for Hong Kong’s judicial independence, and on the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong, both of which underpin the city’s success.
That this decision was made without the direct participation of Hong Kong’s people, legislature or judiciary is a further cause for concern. The people of Hong Kong will make their own assessments of how this decision will affect their city’s future. The eyes of the world will remain on Hong Kong.
Australia has a substantial stake in Hong Kong’s success. The city is home to our largest commercial presence in Asia and one of our biggest expatriate communities globally.
We also continue to recognise the great contribution that people from Hong Kong have made, and continue to make, to Australia. Our people-to-people links are deep – stretching back 200 years – and continue to strengthen.
Australia has been a favoured destination for people from Hong Kong, and we will work to ensure it stays that way.
We will continue to work with international partners to fully assess the implications of the new laws.
There are 55 applications which have been made against those institutions. The redress scheme was established following the royal commission into institutional child sexual abuse.
The minister in charge, Anne Ruston, told ABC radio it was unacceptable organisations had not signed up to the scheme:
Think about the reputational damage by you saying as an organisation that despite having a history of working with children, despite having applications against your organisations for child sexual abuse, you still refuse to accept your moral obligation and responsibility to come forward and allow these people the small thing of a bit of redress and a small amount of money to acknowledge that they actually have wrongs righted against them.
I don’t understand how any organisation can take that kind of course of action.
The federal government has followed through with its threats to name institutions which have not signed up to redress scheme:
The institutions are
- Australian Air League
- Boys’ Brigade NSW
- Fairbridge Restored Limited
- Lakes Entrance Pony Club
- Jehovah’s Witnesses
- Kenja Communications.
These institutions will now be ineligible to apply for any future commonwealth funding and the government is investigating options to revoke tax concessions such as charitable status.
‘Mask use may be part of the solution’
Paul Kelly says he has not changed his mind about the need for mass mask wearing in Australia.
But he concedes that Victoria may need a different solution right now and says Victorian health officials are working on a plan:
I haven’t changed my mind and we have very clear national guidance in relation to masks. I think we – we have been very clear that masks are not the 100% answer that some people want to make them, but they can, in certain circumstances, be part of the solution.
And one of those circumstances is a large community-based outbreak and so in certain circumstances in those hotspots in air, hotspot areas in Melbourne, it may be useful as part of the response to rethink mask use. And I know that the Victorian chief health officer, Brett Sutton, who I speak to daily, is working through that with his staff right now and we’ll back him in with that because that has always been part of our response, that in certain circumstances, mask use may be part of the solution.
Was the acting chief medical officer shocked to discover some people, as Calla Wahlquist reported in the blog yesterday, were refusing to be tested, in the hotspot Victorian areas:
I believe Premier Andrews mentioned over 900 people have refused tests. I think let’s look at the positive – there’s been over 100,000 people who have accepted a test and I think it talks to (and Victorians are absolutely aware of this) Victorian authorities that explanations in multiple languages and getting people on the ground that can work with communities is, is absolutely crucial to this effort and they have reached out to us and the commonwealth government to assist in that area.
There’ll be 500 people from our commonwealth staff in Victoria will be put on the ground, talking through with people, they’re very experienced in community engagement. And I think that’s a crucial thing. And there is enforcement power there is available if required. So that’s the decision for the Victorian authorities.