Good morning, early birds. Following Victoria’s spike in COVID-19 cases, Victorians have been advised against travel to and from six state hotspots until control of community transmission has been confirmed, and last summer’s extreme temperatures and bushfires reportedly pushed Australia’s electricity and gas infrastructure to the brink. It’s the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.
VICTORIA RETURNS TO TIGHTER RESTRICTIONS
Following Victoria’s fifth consecutive day of double-digit new cases, the ABC reports that the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee has advised against travel to and from six state hotspots — Hume, Casey, Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin — until control of community transmission has been confirmed.
The state has today re-entered tighter restrictions — i.e. five visitors per house, 10 people per public gathering, 20 customers per business — while, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday sought emergency briefings ahead of the school holidays. Additionally, The Courier-Mail ($) reports Queensland and South Australia are reviewing potential border “reopening” dates of July 10 and 20 respectively.
BAN HUGS, WEAR MASKS? As the ABC explains, current outbreak sources include the Stamford Plaza Hotel (total of 13 associated cases), a Keilor Downs family cluster (11 over nine households) and a family in Coburg (14 over multiple households). Meanwhile, there is currently no evidence of transmission amongst (overwhelmingly masked) crowds at the June 6 Black/Indigenous Lives Matter rally, although two protesters have since tested positive.
GRID STRAINING FOLLOWING APOCALYPTIC SUMMER
According to The Age, The Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) latest annual review reports that last summer’s extreme temperatures and bushfires pushed Australia’s electricity and gas infrastructure to the brink, with “environmental limits and temperature tolerances for coal plants … increasingly being approached and exceeded”.
The energy operator issued 178 directions to deal with supply or system security issues — a figure 10 times higher than the previous three years — while, of eight actual shortfalls, half were in NSW, three in Victoria, and one in South Australia.
WELCOME, COMRADE COAL: After a proud decade of helping gut everything from the mining tax and emissions trading scheme, to last year campaigning for the largely fraudulent “Kyoto credit” emissions scheme, the Minerals Council of Australia will today endorse the Paris Agreement and, according to The Australian ($), outline a plan to use electric vehicles and renewable energy across mining operations.
MORE FRESH HORRORS FROM THE US
Weeks after the killing of George Floyd, CNN reports that one person has died and 11 have been injured in a Minneapolis shooting, although no arrests have been made and any motive remains unclear.
With Black Lives Matter protests continuing across both America and the world, America has seen another weekend of fresh horrors:
- Los Angeles police officers have chased and killed an 18-year-old security guard, Andres Guardado, outside an auto repairs shop (The Guardian).
- A teenager has been shot and killed by an unknown assailant inside a section of Seattle that has been taken over by protesters, known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (ABC).
- After six Americans of colour were found hanging in trees since Floyd’s killing — one of whom was originally ruled a suicide despite an ongoing investigation — NYC residents have reported sightings of nooses across the city (Gothamist).
IN HORRORS ACROSS THE POND: According to the BBC, UK police have labelled a park stabbing, that saw three people killed, a terror attack.
TIKTOK, MR TRUMP. TIKTOK.
At a Tulsa rally allegedly ruined by TikTok users buying free tickets and then not turning up, Donald Trump canvassed making flag burning illegal, spent 14 minutes talking about walking down some stairs, and alleges to have tried slowing down testing rates in order to artificially suppress America’s figures — which currently sit at 2.2 million infected and over 120,000 deaths.
ELECTION WATCH: Ahead of more primary elections this week, The Independent reports that the state of Kentucky has cut their number of voting booths by 95%, fostering concerns over both a Georgia-style outbreak and voter suppression.
STATE WRAP: 10,000 QUEENSLANDERS PER STADIUM
- The Queensland government yesterday announced that up to 10,000 spectators will be permitted across football stadiums from Saturday June 27
- As The Age reports, the Victorian government plans to implement a wage freeze for senior public servants — a move that will reportedly not affect politicians or frontline workers
- Ahead of the Northern Territory’s quarantine measures lifting from July 17, Tourism NT has launched an interstate tourism campaign, The Territory is the answer, to run June through to October
- The Western Australian and federal governments announced a joint investment of an additional $223 million to deliver shovel-ready infrastructure projects and road safety upgrades
- The Tasmanian government will this week introduce the HomeBuilder Grants Bill 2020, which will provide for the implementation and administration of the state government’s $20,000 grant along with the federal government’s $25,000 grant scheme.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Too little early testing.
Too many excuses for left-wing protesters.
All Chairman Dan’s work.
Please, no matter what the former Victorian Opposition Leader, his state colleagues, IPA mates, or anyone tweeting secondary school insults might imply, know that the number of infections attributed directly to the nationwide, heavily-masked Bla(c)k Lives Matter protests currently sits at zero.
“Take your pick as to the most outrageous Order of Australia award over the last two or so years.”
“Was it to Bronwyn Bishop (AO), the former speaker of the House of Representatives whose extreme partisan behaviour besmirched the independence of the role, and who resigned from the position after misusing taxpayer funds?”
“The Australian arm of the church, it turns out, has been collecting JobKeeper. Not only that, but the church bureaucracy has been writing to its priests who, in their capacity as its “employees” have been receiving the federal money, asking them to pay between $500-700 a fortnight of it back. To the church. Which intends to keep it.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Why we need humanities graduates in our workforce — Joy Damousi (The Age): “Education’s distinct purpose is to be forward-thinking, but the government’s sweeping changes to university fee structures are short-sighted. Under the changes, students studying humanities, arts and social science (HASS) subjects will face huge fee increases to help fund decreases in costs for students enrolled in other subjects deemed a higher priority for the COVID-19 recovery.”
Labor tribalism defies our spirit of democracy ($) — Jennifer Oriel (The Australian): “The fatal contradiction at the heart of modern Labor is that its tribal factional system is in permanent conflict with the egalitarian spirit of democracy. Labor cannot stand for universal equality when factions depend on ethnic division. The party’s preference for tribalism is laid bare by the Somyurek scandal engulfing Victorian Labor. It reveals the naked manipulation of ethnic groups for political power.”
Deflecting from the real issues of Black Lives Matter — Osman Faruqi (The Saturday Paper): “The morphing of a campaign focused on policing, justice and structural disadvantage into a culture war over statues, movies and TV isn’t an accident. It’s a deliberate attempt by conservatives – both in politics and in the media — to shift this debate onto terrain where they are more comfortable fighting.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Lord Mayor Sally Capp and Oscar-winning filmmaker Adam Elliot will join director Kitty Green in reopening an iconic movie theatre, Carlton’s Cinema Nova, per the state government’s new 20-person restrictions.