We’re full partners in Brisbane Olympics: PM

Original article by Charlie Peel
The Australian – Page: 7 : 23-Jul-21

The federal government has committed to funding half the cost of the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games. However, in his first press conference after Brisbane was announced as the host city, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was at pains to stress that the arrangement between the federal and Queensland governments is a "50-50 partnership" rather than a "50-50 funding partnership", with the cost of staging the Brisbane Olympic Games expected to be at least $5 billion. The event is expected to generate around $18 billion in economic benefit.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

$4.6bn in JobKeeper went to businesses that increased their turnover at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic

Original article by Dan Conifer
abc.net au – Page: Online : 23-Jul-21

The Parliamentary Budget Office has reported that 157,650 employers saw their turnover increase between April and June 2020, when compared to the same period in 2019. These employers received a combined $4.6 billion in JobKeeper payments during this period, and Labor MP Andrew Leigh says the figures show how much of taxpayers’ money was wasted on the wage subsidy scheme; he contends that these companies should return their JobKeeper payments.

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AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

AstraZeneca blitz: PM says get the jab now

Original article by Olivia Caisley
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 23-Jul-21

Prime Scott Morrison says he is sorry that the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout has missed a series of targets. However, he says it is "totally focused" on turning this around. Morrison has also revealed plans to ramp up the number of pharmacies that are able to provide COVID-19 vaccinations, while he has urged younger Australians to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. Morrison contends that the emergence of the Delta variant in Australia means that the AstraZeneca vaccine should no longer be restricted to people over the age of 60, and notes that the Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved its use among people aged 18+. Meanwhile, the TGA is set to approve Pfizer’s application for its vaccine to be given to children aged 12-16.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, ASTRAZENECA PLC, AUSTRALIA. THERAPEUTIC GOODS ADMINISTRATION

Beijing’s second spy ship surprise

Original article by Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 6 : 19-Jul-21

China has sent two intelligence-gathering ships to monitor military exercises in Queensland involving Australian and US forces. Defence Minister Peter Dutton said that the federal government had expected China to send one ship, but that the second ship was a bit of a surprise. He said he expects the Chinese to conduct themselves in accordance with the international rules of law, while a Defence spokesperson has stated that all participants in the Talisman Sabre exercises have taken appropriate steps to safeguard their information security.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF DEFENCE

Miners prefer casual jobs for loading

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 14-Jul-21

Representatives of labour hire firms have appeared before the Senate inquiry into job security. One Key Resources MD Ben Lewis said that less than one per cent of its workforce of about 900 asks to convert from casual to permanent employment each year, attributing this to the higher rate of pay when the casual loading is taken into account. He added that a similar proportion of workers opt to switch from permanent to casual employment. Chandler Macleod’s chief people officer Mark Graham also said that many of its casual workers have rejected an offer of permanent employment.

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ONE KEY RESOURCES PTY LTD, CHANDLER MACLEOD GROUP LIMITED

Victoria blasts Scott Morrison for double standard on Sydney COVID support

Original article by Josh Butler
The New Daily – Page: Online : 14-Jul-21

The Victorian government has criticised its federal counterpart over the COVID-19 financial support package for New South Wales. A state government spokesman says Victoria had to "beg" for financial support during its recent outbreak of the Delta variant. A spokesman for Prime Minister Scott Morrison says both states received the same level of financial support during the first two weeks of their respective lockdowns, and Victoria would get the same support if it were forced into another lockdown of more than two weeks. Meanwhile, the ACTU and the federal Opposition contend that the support package is insufficient.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Don’t trust Labor to cut high-income tax: Treasurer

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 14-Jul-21

Labor leader Anthony Albanese says the party will decide its stance on the stage-three income tax cuts at "an appropriate time". He adds that the COVID-19 pandemic is Labor’s top priority at present. Labor is expected to formally commit to retaining the legislated tax cuts if it wins the next federal election, after the issue was discussed by the party’s leadership group in recent days. However, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says Labor has consistently opposed the Coalition’s tax policy and it cannot be trusted to honour any commitment regarding the stage-three tax cuts.

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AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Virus exit plan leaves us behind: business

Original article by Hannah Wootton, Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 5-Jul-21

Business leaders have generally welcomed the federal government’s four-step plan to reopen Australia in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they have called for greater clarity regarding the timeframe for reopening the economy, as well as the vaccination targets that will be required for each step of the plan. The four-point plan aims to phase out snap lockdowns and state border closures in early 2022, while the nation’s international borders will re-open later in that year. Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott says the success of the exit strategy will depend on co-operation from the state and territory governments.

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BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Australia ranks last for climate action among UN member countries

Original article by Lisa Cox
The Guardian – Page: Online : 2-Jul-21

Australia Institute climate expert Richie Merzian says he is not surprised that Australia has been ranked last in a survey of 193 members of the United Nations in terms of action taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He says the federal government has no climate and energy policy, instead preferring to cherry-pick technologies, many of which support the fossil fuel industry. Australia’s last-place ranking on climate action was contained in a report on progress towards global sustainable development goals, with Australia ranking 35th in that area.

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THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED, UNITED NATIONS

PM seeks deal to end lockdowns

Original article by Greg Brown, Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 2-Jul-21

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will try to get an agreement from the premiers and chief ministers on the vaccination threshold that needs to be met in order to end COVID-19 lockdowns when national cabinet meets on 2 July. Morrison says the "magic number" for this threshold will be determined by medical science. The national cabinet has already been given modelling for a vaccination threshold based on the Alpha variant, while modelling for one based on the more contagious Delta variant is understood to be nearly finished. Meanwhile, some premiers have called for a big reduction in the number of international arrivals until the majority of Australians have been vaccinated.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET