Trad in clear but no recall to cabinet

Original article by Michael McKenna, Charlie Peel
The Australian – Page: 7 : 3-Jul-20

Queensland’s Crime & Corruption Commission has cleared former deputy premier and treasurer Jackie Trad of deliberately trying to intervene in the appointment of a secondary school principal in her electorate. However, the Commission stated her involvement in the appointment process created a "corruption risk". Trad says she feels vindicated by the Commission’s findings, and that the issue had been turned into a "political witchhunt" by the Liberal National Party. Despite being cleared by the Commission, it is believed Trad will remain on the backbench until the state election on 31 October, when she is expected to struggle to hold her seat of South Brisbane against the Greens.

CORPORATES
QUEENSLAND. CRIME AND CORRUPTION COMMISSION, LIBERAL-NATIONAL PARTY OF QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIAN GREENS

Judges urged to report concerns

Original article by Nicola Berkovic
The Australian – Page: 7 : 3-Jul-20

The New South Wales Supreme Court has issued a new policy on unacceptable workplace conduct, covering issues such as sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying. It applies to judges and ­judicial staff, and encourages judges and staff to report unacceptable workplace conduct or suspected misconduct. The policy has been introduced in the wake of sexual harassment allegations raised against former High Court judge Dyson Heydon, and includes the appointment of an external consultant to investigate complaints of unacceptable workplace conduct against judges and other judicial staff.

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SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Fears of Victorian outbreak acceleration amid rise in intensive care admissions

Original article by
The New Daily – Page: Online : 3-Jul-20

Victoria recorded 77 new coronavirus cases on 2 July, including 31 that have been attributed to community transmission. A total of 86 new cases were reported nationwide, with eight in New South Wales. This includes a Woolworths employee who had returned to Sydney after leaving hotel quarantine in Melbourne; 50 workers at the Woolworths store in Balmain are now in lockdown. Meanwhile, the Northern Territory has recorded its first coronavirus case in four weeks, with another person who was in hotel quarantine in Melbourne testing positive after returning to Darwin. Australia now has 807 active coronavirus cases, with the nation’s total number of infections having risen to 8,001.

CORPORATES

Can the Federal Government’s $50 million regional media bailout package save community newspapers?

Original article by Ainsleigh Sheridan, Peta Doherty
abc.net au – Page: Online : 3-Jul-20

Launched in April, the federal government’s $50 million Public Interest News Gathering fund aims to support high quality news in rural Australia. The fund has announced that it is offering financial assistance to five television stations, 13 radio stations and 92 newspapers, with major media companies Australian Community Media and Seven West Media among those to receive assistance. Country Press Australia president Bruce Ellen claims small regional publishers did not get overly much in the way of money from the fund. Noting the federal government gave regional airlines $300 million, he questions whether the government values independent and local journalism

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, COUNTRY PRESS AUSTRALIA

JobSeeker’s $200 boost could cost $4 billion for six months

Original article by Shane Wright
The Age – Page: Online : 3-Jul-20

The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre’s director, Alan Duncan, says the JobSeeker payment should be increased when the coronavirus supplement ends in September. Duncan contends that the unemployment benefit was insufficient prior to the pandemic, and he has suggested that it could be increased by $200 a fortnight; he estimates that this would cost about $3.8bn over six months. Duncan adds that the JobSeeker payment must be scaled back in order to provide people with an incentive to seek work.

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BANKWEST CURTIN ECONOMICS CENTRE

‘A national security scandal’: Kevin Rudd names three gaps in defence strategy

Original article by Anthony Galloway
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 3-Jul-20

The federal government’s new defence strategy includes expenditure of $270 billion over the next 10 years on boosting the Australian Defence Force. However, former prime minister Kevin Rudd contends there are three major gaps in the strategy: failing to build up Australia’s cyber defences with sufficient speed; insufficient spending in the Pacific region, and delays in the delivery of new submarines. Rudd noted his government’s 2009 Defence White Policy had called for a doubling of Australia’s submarine fleet, and he claims the submarine project has been "comprehensively botched".

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AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE

Feds eye charges for ABC reporter

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 3 : 3-Jul-20

A spokesman for Attorney-General Christian Porter has declined to comment on the Australian Federal Police’s decision to refer an ABC journalist for possible prosecution. The AFP has forwarded a brief of evidence to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions following a two-year investigation into the ‘Afghan Files’ case. However, the brief only names one of the ABC journalists responsible for the series of reports, Dan Oakes. Porter would have to approve any decision to prosecute Oakes, and he has previously stated that he would be unlikely to authorise the prosecution of journalists for publishing classified information.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

Australian visa fast track for HK nationals fleeing strife

Original article by Simon Benson, Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 3-Jul-20

Tensions with China may increase after the federal government advised that it will consider options for allowing Hong Kong nationals to migrate to Australia. The skilled migrant visa program is expected to be the government’s preferred option when cabinet discusses the issue on 8 July. However, part of the annual refugee intake could potentially be allocated to Hong Kong nationals who are at risk of persecution under the Chinese government’s national security laws for the former British colony. China has criticised the UK’s decision to offer citizenship to more than three million Hong Kong nationals.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

BHP’s fresh punt on Bass Strait

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 3-Jul-20

BHP is one of several companies that provided funding for a 11,500sq km seismic survey in Bass Strait. This has prompted speculation that BHP may be hoping to make a new gas discovery as a prelude to divesting its 50 per cent stake in the Bass Strait joint venture. ExxonMobil is pressing ahead with plans to sell its stake; some observers believe that BHP’s non-operating stake could be more appealing to prospective buyers, and that it could potentially secure a deal before ExxonMobil.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION

Over 2 million Australians still unemployed in June, down 42,000 on May

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 3-Jul-20

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says the unemployment estimate for June shows 2.05 million Australians were unemployed (14.5% of the workforce) and 1.41 million (10.0%) under-employed – a total of 3.45 million Australians (24.5%). The small changes in unemployment and under-employment in June show how much new growth is required to provide jobs for the more than 1 million Australians now unemployed that were working prior to the Australia-wide shut-downs enforced in mid-March. In addition the renewed outbreak of COVID-19 in Melbourne over the last two weeks demonstrates the virus poses an ongoing threat to lives, livelihoods and the economy more broadly.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED