The pandemic is allowing the right to build a new New Britannia in Australia

The right have no loyalty to Australia as an independent country.

right queen victoria UK
Queen Victoria Statue at Queen Victoria Markets, Sydney (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Coekon)

The Morrison government’s political war on all fronts continued this week, and nothing it did led to any conclusion other than that everything can be trashed to get a political edge.

This is a new style of right politics, something rather more than we’ve seen before. It’s worth trying to get one’s head around it, because their political ambition is now vaulting and global.

The main game is to turn the averted crisis of COVID-19 into an opportunity for a bit of disaster capitalism. The Morrison government knew that it wouldn’t be able to avoid what we’re calling “a recession”, so it’s going to try and get the usual right-wing advantage out of it — disciplining labour, launching further attacks on its institutional power. 

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Why Is India Allowing App Developers to Use Its Biometric Database? – The Short Answer – Briefly

India’s government is allowing app developers to use its biometric database of more than a billion citizens as part of an initiative called “India Stack.”

The developers can use customers’ fingerprint and iris scans to compare against records stored as part of the government’s vast biometric data-collection program, to create new ways to access insurance, banking, healthcare and employment.

As outlined in a Wall Street Journal article, the world’s largest biometric-identity database has excited the tech community, and prompted Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates to say India could become “the most digitized economy”. However, privacy advocates worry the program could lead to excessive government surveillance and be vulnerable to hackers.

Here is the short answer on how the so-called India Stack initiative will work.

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Number of states allowing to-go cocktails has surged from 2 to 33 during coronavirus

The coronavirus is shaking up America’s liquor laws.

At least 33 states and the District of Columbia are temporarily allowing cocktails to-go during the pandemic. Only two — Florida and Mississippi — allowed them on a limited basis before coronavirus struck, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

Struggling restaurants say it’s a lifeline, letting them rehire bartenders, pay rent and reestablish relationships with customers. But others want states to slow down, saying the decades-old laws help ensure public safety.

Julia Momose closed Kumiko, her Japanese-style cocktail bar in Chicago, on March 16. The next day, Illinois allowed bars and restaurants to start selling unopened bottles of beer, wine and liquor, but mixed drinks were excluded.

Momose spent the next three months collecting petition signatures and pressing lawmakers to allow carryout cocktails. It worked. On June 17, she poured her first to-go drink: a Seaflower, made with gin, vermouth, Japanese citrus fruit and fermented chili paste. A carryout bottle, which serves two, costs $32.

Momose has been able to hire back four of her furloughed employees. A group she co-founded, Cocktails for Hope, is now helping restaurants buy glass bottles in bulk for carryout.

“Part of getting cocktails to go approved was embracing the fact that this isn’t going to fix everything, but it is going to fix something,” Momose said. “All these little things that we do will keep us open and keep our staff employed.”

U.S. liquor laws — many of which date to the end of Prohibition in 1933 —are a confusing jumble that vary by state, city and county.

Carryout cocktail regulations — which were passed starting in March — only deepen that confusion. Lawmakers approved carryout cocktails in some states; governors approved them in others. Nevada passed no statewide measure, but individual cities like Las Vegas and Reno allow them. In Pennsylvania, only restaurants and bars that lost 25% of average monthly total sales can sell cocktails to go.

Most carryout cocktail regulations require customers to buy food with their mixed drinks. Lids or seals are generally required, but some states say drinks also need to be transported in the trunk. Marbet Lewis, a founding partner at Spiritus Law in Miami who specializes in the alcohol industry, says IDs should be checked — online or in person — by restaurants and bars as well as by delivery drivers.

Some states, like Arizona, allow third party delivery companies like DoorDash to deliver cocktails; Kansas only allows delivery within a 50-foot radius.

The laws also have different sunset dates. Alabama is only allowing carryout cocktails through Sept. 15, while Colorado and Massachusetts have extended them into next year. Michigan is allowing them through 2025.

Last month, Iowa became the first state to permanently allow carryout and delivery of cocktails. Lawmakers in Ohio and Oklahoma are considering a similar measure, and the governors of Texas and Florida have expressed support for the change.

There is overwhelming public support for making cocktails to go permanent, says Mike Whatley, vice president of state and local affairs for the National Restaurant Association. Between 75% and 80% of respondents have said they support carryout cocktails in numerous state polls, Whatley said.

U.S. restaurants and bars have lost an estimated $165 billion since March due to lockdowns and social distancing requirements, the association said. In a May survey of 3,800 restaurants, the association found that 78% of operators who were selling alcohol to go had brought back laid-off employees, compared to 62% of operators overall.

But some are urging states not to be too hasty. Mothers Against Drunk Driving worries that permanent carryout cocktails will lead to an increase in drunken driving unless laws make clear that the drinks can’t be consumed until the buyer is in a safe location.

The U.S. government hasn’t released preliminary drunk driving data for 2020. But Jonathan Adkins, the executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, said there’s no anecdotal evidence that drunk driving has spiked during the pandemic.

Patrick Maroney, a former liquor control officer in Colorado who is now a consultant, said carryout beer and wine — which was allowed in around 15 states prior to the pandemic — are different from cocktails because the containers are sealed by the manufacturer and the alcohol content is lower. Cocktails are mixed at the bar, so the alcohol content can vary and they may not be properly sealed, he said.

Maroney said states need to make sure police and health officials are consulted before changing laws that have worked for decades. He noted that California reported a spike in reports of alcohol delivery to minors in April.

“Are law enforcement officials worried about an ‘open air’ type atmosphere?” he said. “Is the law restricted to at-home consumption? How do they enforce it?”

Even before the coronavirus hit, there was a push to modernize alcohol laws to reflect the growing popularity of food delivery, Lewis said. She thinks lawmakers will have a hard time reinstating bans on carryout cocktails once the pandemic eases.

“Once you get the genie out of the bottle and there hasn’t been a problem, how do you get it back in?” she said.

Still, restaurant and bar owners say they’re not worried that patrons will get so used to carryout that they’ll stop going out even after the coronavirus has passed.

“I think that people are social. People enjoy the bar experience and like being waited on,” said Dave Kwiatkowski, who owns the Sugar House cocktail bar in Detroit, which closed March 15 but was able to reopen July 10 for carryout service.

Kwiatkowski normally employs a staff of 16. For now, it’s just him at the door and a bartender making drinks.

“It’s enough to pay the electricity and the insurance, and it’s nice to give at least a couple of people some jobs,” he said.

Kwiatkowski does wonder how he’ll handle carryout demand once the pandemic has ended and there’s a crowd in the bar on a Saturday night. But that will be a good problem to have, he said. He wants carryout cocktails to be permanently legalized.

“I think this is probably going to change how we do business forever,” he said.

More must-read finance coverage from Fortune:

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Coronavirus restrictions will move to stage 3.1 in the ACT on Monday, allowing food courts and the Canberra Casino to reopen

Coronavirus restrictions in the ACT will ease further from Monday, with the territory moving to stage 3.1 as it marks almost one month since the last confirmed COVID-19 case was recorded.

This morning the ACT Government announced that from 9:00am on Monday August 10, Canberrans would once more be allowed to dine-in at food courts and gaming could recommence in clubs and at the Canberra Casino.

Steam rooms and saunas, strip clubs, brothels and escort agencies can also reopen, and 24 hour gyms can have a maximum of 25 people when unstaffed.

But while some restrictions will ease from Monday, the Government said others originally flagged as part of stage 3 were not being introduced.

The rule of one person per four square metres remains in place, as do restrictions around keeping gatherings to a maximum of 100 people, both inside and outside.

Bars must continue to serve alcohol only to seated patrons, though there are no longer limits on the size of group bookings.

And while most businesses were already displaying occupancy limits, the ACT Government has now made it a requirement.

“However, the requirements under the public health directions are not just the responsibility of businesses, they extend to all of us, to all Canberrans,” ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said.

The ACT has been at stage 2.2 of restrictions since June 19, with the Government deciding to hold restrictions in place on multiple occasions due to outbreaks in Victoria, Sydney and Batemans Bay.

“The ACT continues to be in a strong position in regard to COVID-19 cases and our readiness to respond to cases in the event that they were to occur,” Dr Coleman said.

“We have in place firm travel advice on specific areas of New South Wales, including the Greater Sydney region. We also have in place border controls with Victoria, which have proved to be effective.


But Dr Coleman said while restrictions were easing once more, businesses must continue to follow their COVID Safety plans.

“In partnership with our colleagues in Access Canberra and ACT Policing, we will continue to work closely with all business sectors to support them to implement these public health guidelines and to implement COVID Safety plans that are a requirement,” she said.

She said the next checkpoint to decide whether restrictions would be eased further would take place in a fortnight, on August 20.

Restriction easing comes one day after ACT declared a hotspot by Queensland

The decision to ease restrictions came one day after Queensland said it would close its borders to all of NSW and the ACT from Saturday.

The ACT’s Chief Minister Andrew Barr said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk did not warn him about the travel ban, but conceded the ACT was listed as a hotspot as it was being treated as if it is part of NSW.

“I’m surprised with this announcement,” Mr Barr said yesterday.

Mr Barr said he understood Ms Palaszczuk’s reasoning was that some NSW residents were flying into Queensland via the Canberra Airport.

“I’m not sure there is evidence to support that, but I’m happy to see it if it is the case and we could endeavour to address that specific question,” he said.

“But the ACT has had no active cases for most of this week now and no new cases for the best part of three weeks.”

ACT police testing fake COVID-19 flyers for DNA

A letter shows false information about coronavirus.
The fake COVID letter has been condemned by ACT Health.(Supplied)

ACT Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan said investigations were continuing into the hoax letters containing false information about coronavirus which were distributed in some Canberra suburbs.

The flyer purports to contain an important COVID-19 health warning, but instead alleges that coronavirus is being spread by the government through the water supply, and that a possible vaccination against the virus could include a tracking device.

“I thank all Canberrans who have provided ACT Policing with some substantial information in relation to this investigation,” Deputy Commissioner Gaughan said.

“The letters are being examined forensically, hopefully for fingerprints or DNA.

“We also have received extensive CCTV footage from different premises.”

The flyers were distributed near testing centres in Garran and Watson.

Due to wet weather forecast this weekend in Canberra, the Government announced the drive through testing centre at Kambah would be temporarily closed from Friday August 7 until Sunday August 9.

Testing will still be available all weekend at the Garran Oval, Weston Creek and EPIC drive through sites.

On Friday testing will also be available at the West Belconnen Child and Family Centre in Kippax.

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Is NSW allowing a second COVID-19 surge to grow in pubs?

With effective forces pushing to hold NSW pubs open up, will the govt inadvertently let venues to be ground zero for a next wave?

(Graphic: David Mariuz)

It is a person of the oldest tricks in the lobbying handbook: if you want favourable regulations, write them by yourself. 

The effective Australian Resorts Association took that to new extremes this 7 days with a guarantee to introduce new limitations in New South Wales pubs to make it possible for them to continue to open — even in the experience of a developing outbreak at the Crossroads Resort in Sydney’s south west.

In an remarkable display of just who is in demand of the state’s coronavirus reaction, Premier Gladys Berejiklian handed about the microphone to AHA’s NSW main John Whelan at a press conference on Tuesday, thanking Whelan’s organisation for “proactively coming forward” and functioning with the federal government to lessen the chance of COVID-19 spreading at large gatherings. 

“It was basically the AHA’s suggestions to us which explained that if you decrease bookings from 20 to 10, it decreases the chance for folks who may perhaps mingle,” Berejiklian claimed. 

“This is a fantastic example of marketplace and govt performing together to minimize the danger for the duration of a pandemic.”

While acknowledging the virus spreads much more swiftly in indoor environments (these as pubs), the leading declared that the new limits, developed in partnership with the industry, would be sufficient to curtail the virus devoid of even further shutdowns. 

The new limits involve lessening the variety of folks sitting at a desk from 20 to 10, and stationing hygiene marshals at pubs to consider specifics and make sure organizations are conference hygiene and “COVID-safe” criteria such as socially distancing.

If the AHA’s motivations weren’t previously obvious, The Guardian disclosed on Wednesday that the AHA, alongside potent gaming foyer ClubsNSW, had been in urgent talks with the government since the cluster at the Crossroads Hotel began, in an work to prevent actions that would potentially see the sector, or components of the field, shut down yet again.

Both of those groups had reportedly issued blunt warnings towards more shutdowns, indicating the move would cripple operators and final result in some firms not reopening.

With NSW staring down a likely surge of situations stemming from the Crossroads cluster, it raises the issue of whether or not the new limitations will do everything to gradual the unfold of the virus, or if it is just a circumstance of the sector writing its very own policies. 

Crikey requested the NSW federal government who would be accountable for positioning the marshals in pubs and policing the new limitations. It didn’t react to thoughts, but Crikey understands the marshals will be used, qualified and supervised by the accommodations themselves.

Exhaustive’ negotiations

Tuesday’s brazen intervention by the foyer team was much from the first since the crisis started, with even health and fitness selections getting deferred to the market for thing to consider. 

In Could, when the government announced pubs, clubs and dining places would be permitted to seat up to 50 persons from June 1, the minister for Purchaser Service Victor Dominello explained the choice experienced been built right after liaising “exhaustively” with each the AHA and ClubsNSW. 

“This has been actually deemed and considered-out to make confident we have the most effective regulatory settings in location,” Mr Dominello reported.

These liaisons continued as the government negotiated with the business above the capacity for men and women to be in a position to wander up to the bar and purchase a drink, alternatively than be confined to table support. 

Chief health officer Kerry Chant mentioned at the time she was “absolutely concerned” about men and women mingling at bars. But Wellbeing Minister Brad Hazzard was much more comfortable: “The desire at this phase for general public health is that individuals sit at a desk,” he said. “But let us listen to the field to convey to us whether or not which is realistic and if that operates.”

Then, when NSW turned the 1st point out to let gambling on the pokies considering the fact that the COVID-19 shutdown — even forward of Key Minister Scott Morrison’s own anticipated reopening date — the ABC discovered the marketplace boasted to its members that it experienced “heavily influenced” state government conclusion-earning.

Minister Dominello said that the conclusion had been pushed by both equally health and financial things to consider. “We are doing work intently with a range of business groups to help save organizations and careers, but they ought to comply with the principles and will be carefully supervised,” he explained

Power and impact

Gambling, alcohol and tobacco companies have been banned from donating to NSW election strategies given that 2010. But the rules however enable “not-for-profit” associations, these as industry teams, to donate, even if they symbolize these pursuits. 

Last yr the AHA emerged as 1 of the greatest federal political donors in the place, with declared political gifts soaring from $153,000 in 2016-17 to $1.1 million in 2017-18.

The AHA’s energy also will come from its users and their political connections. It signifies some of the most important names in corporate Australia, together with Woolworths-controlled ALH group, the country’s largest poker device venue operator, and James Packer-backed Crown Resorts.

Whelan himself is a previous Labor get together staffer, and son of former NSW law enforcement minister Paul Whelan. And representing the group’s pursuits in Canberra is Michael Photios, a Liberal social gathering heavyweight and previous NSW minister. 

With so numerous potent forces pushing to retain NSW pubs open, will the govt inadvertently allow these venues to be ground zero for a next wave? 

Is NSW placing industry profits just before community basic safety? Are pubs prepared to open? Enable us know your thoughts by creating to [email protected]. You should include your full identify to be thought of for publication in Crikey’s Your Say part.

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SA Government considers allowing interstate kangaroo processors to buy local carcasses, businesses fear for livelihoods

South Australian kangaroo processors are worried a change in industry regulations could put them under pressure or even out of business.

The SA Government is mulling over a change that could mean out-of-state processors could buy kangaroo carcasses from SA without needing to establish an abattoir in the state.

In Orroroo, in the state’s mid-north, Dews Meats uses kangaroo meat to make products like kangaroo schnitzels and kebabs.

Owner Taryn Ackland was worried that with the drought knocking down kangaroo numbers, the extra competition from other processors could cost jobs.

“It’s going to have a large impact because of anybody out of Broken Hill, or out of anywhere in Victoria, they can just come across, take the numbers that they want … then take them out of the state to process them,” she said.

Ms Ackland says the industry is only harvesting about 20 per cent of its kangaroo quota.(ABC Adelaide: Lauren Waldhuter)

Kangaroos are not farmed so processors pay shooters for carcasses.

Rosedale Meats owner Tony Gyss said out-of-state processors could simply headhunt SA shooters rather than bringing in their own, leaving SA processors with no way to get meat.

“So, you’re still going to have the same shooters shooting the same amount of kangaroos and potentially putting us under pressure and potentially putting us out of business.”

Kangaroo populations fall

The SA Government estimates there are about 1.5 million red kangaroos in the state, followed by 1.3 million western grey kangaroos and 570,000 wallaroos, or euros.

For red kangaroos, that is a fall of 39 per cent from the previous year and 4 per cent down on the average.

Kangaroo Meat for sale at the Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne.
Kangaroo meat for sale at the Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne.(Supplied: Eric in SF/Wikimedia CC BY-SA)

Eastern grey and euro populations are estimated to be above the long-term average.

However, Mr Gyss said in practice he was having a hard time finding kangaroos to process.

A bad time for change

Macro Meats buys kangaroo carcasses from interstate to use in its abattoir in SA as well as paying shooters locally.

Managing director Ray Borda said he was not opposed to out-of-state processors being able to eventually buy carcasses shot in SA.

However, he said now was a bad time to introduce this change due to the drought and the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is such a thing as free trade between states and I do agree with that; the only problem is the timing,” he said.

“Everybody is looking to employ people within SA and this, in its own little way, does not help.”

Ray Borda, National President of Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia wears a cooking apron at Tokyo Game Fair
Mr Borda says allowing out-of-state processors to take kangaroos could put the industry under pressure.(ABC News: Jake Sturmer)

The change was meant to come into effect from Wednesday, but a State Government spokesperson told the ABC the change has been deferred.

“As a result, the Government will defer the implementation of the changes and further consult with industry stakeholders to ensure that the needs of all market participants are taken into account going forward.”

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Queensland Government loosens coronavirus restrictions, allowing more fans in sport stadiums

The cheering in Queensland stadiums will be a little louder from next weekend, as the State Government further loosens coronavirus restrictions.

Speaking on the pitch at Lang Park, Health Minister Steven Miles said up to 10,000 fans would be allowed in time for Saturday’s clash between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans.

“Beginning next weekend, our stadiums will be allowed to have up to 25 per cent of their usual crowd capacity, up to that cap of 10,000 that was set by the Prime Minister and National Cabinet,” Mr Miles said.

“Queenslanders have earned this reward.”

The increase in crowd capacity at stadiums follows a trial run yesterday, with 2,000 fans allowed at Lang Park and the Gabba under COVID-safe plans.

But while Queensland footy fans enjoy more freedom, the State Government is clamping down on visitors from Victoria, in the wake of a rise in coronavirus cases there.

Victoria recorded 19 new cases overnight, the fifth day in a row of double-digit increases.

Chief health officers around the country are meeting today to discuss the outbreak, but already Queensland Health has declared 36 local government areas in Victoria coronavirus “hotspots”.

“All of greater Melbourne is now considered a hotspot,” Mr Miles said.

“What that means is that anyone who travels there and returns to Queensland … will be required to quarantine for 14 days”.

Despite Victoria extending its state of emergency by another four weeks, the Queensland Opposition is still calling for Queensland to reopen its borders on July 1.

“There is no medical advice that says the borders should be closed,” Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said.

“Right now in Queensland, we are losing a thousand jobs a week, up to $170 million a day.

“The Premier has asked us to flatten the curve. We’ve done that. Now it’s time to restart the economy.”

But the Health Minister dismissed the calls, branding them “reckless”.

Mr Miles said the Government would continue to assess the situation in Victoria as it moved towards the July 10 date on its roadmap to open interstate borders.

Queensland reported no new COVID-19 cases overnight.

The state has three active infections, with one patient in hospital.

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Queensland police allowing politics to motivate operational decisions, Greens councillor says

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has been accused of allowing politics to guide its operational decisions, after a weekend asylum seeker protest that resulted in a Brisbane councillor being charged.

Greens councillor Jonathan Sri said he was singled out for arrest at a Brisbane protest on Saturday.

“It’s very clear that the Queensland Police Service is making political decisions about what kinds of issues they investigate and prioritise resources towards,” Cr Sri said.

He was arrested after taking part in protest against the detention of asylum seekers at an apartment complex in Kangaroo Point and later charged with contravening the direction of a police officer.

In a written statement, Cr Sri said: “Out of the hundreds of people who participated in the authorised peaceful assembly, I was the only one to be charged with an offence on Saturday.”

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I was singled out.

“Police were using violent force in a manner that escalated rather than defused the situation.

“My firm view is that the police presence on the ground actually increased the danger to members of the public.”

Cr Sri says the Kangaroo Point protest was peaceful.(ABC News: Tim Swanston)

Protesters have been campaigning for the release of asylum seekers who are being housed at Kangaroo Point and had set up tents and marquees on the footpath.

Yesterday Police Inspector Tony Ridge said the structures were taken down.

“The protesters have set up camp for a number of days and were using it as a base to blockade the site,” he said.

“On Saturday there was a large protest, where they had the main street blocked for several hours.

“After what we saw on Saturday night, these situations can become quite volatile and emotional, if we don’t address them properly. So the number of police here today [Monday] are for everyone’s safety.”

‘Officer singled me out’

Protest organiser Dane de Leon was arrested on Sunday for failing to comply with a move-on direction.

Cr Sri said Ms De Leon’s arrest “seemed to constitute a deliberate misuse of move-on powers to suppress peaceful assemblies”.

Cr Sri also said several protesters were injured “due to rough police treatment”.

He said he complied with police direction to leave the roadway during the protest and was confused when later arrested.

A crowd of people, many wearing masks and standing apart from eachother, with one holding a sign saying 'free all the refugees'.
Cr Sri says several protesters were injured by police.(ABC News: Timothy Swanston)

“We were preparing to leave the area when an angry and aggressive officer singled me out and arrested me without further warning,” Cr Sri said.

“The police have clearly used this bail condition to prevent me from attending and supporting protests calling for the refugees to be freed.

“I intend to fight this charge, and the undemocratic bail conditions on human rights grounds, not simply for my own sake, but because these attacks on the right to peacefully gather in public spaces must be stopped.”

QPS told the ABC it could not comment on the nature of Cr Sri and Ms De Leon’s arrests and the events leading up to them.

Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram yesterday said he was “concerned by the actions of some protesters”.

“The individuals residing in the alternative places of detention in Brisbane and Melbourne were brought to Australia temporarily for medical treatment. They are encouraged to finalise their medical treatment so they can continue on their resettlement pathway to the United States, return to Nauru or PNG or return to their home country,” he said in a statement.

“In line with Australian government policy, no one under regional processing arrangements will be resettled in Australia.”

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NT remote residents welcome lifting of the Biosecurity Act, allowing free travel

Clayton Hunter and his family have big plans this weekend: going to the supermarket.

After more than two months relying on the only store in their remote community, the family is keenly anticipating the 350km drive to Alice Springs.

“The shop was nearly empty many times, and very dear … blankets are $100, instead of maybe $20 in town.”

Mr Hunter and his family, who live in the Utopia Homelands, are among thousands of remote residents grateful the Biosecurity Act is lifting tomorrow, allowing free travel through the NT.

Implemented to keep coronavirus out of remote communities, the restrictions caused hardship as residents struggled with food security, separation from loved ones and higher costs.

Utopia resident Clayton Hunter said the community’s only store often ran out of food.(Supplied: Clayton Hunter)

No access to services

In Central Australia’s largest remote community, Yuendumu, restrictions led to the closure of the community’s Centrelink office and other services.

Resident Otto Sims said the experience was stressful and he welcomed the end of the road blocks.

“It’s been unfair for Indigenous people [compared to other Territorians].”

Otto Sims stands outside the centre, wearing an Akubra and a t-shirt that says "New York City".
Otto Sims was born and raised in Yuendumu, and welcomed the end of the road blocks.(ABC News: Nick Hose)

Despite being a large community, Yuendumu’s ATM only received money once a fortnight.

“You have to wait there really early, and line up, there were huge lines like I have never seen,” Mr Sims said.

He said people also struggled to access their benefits without a local Centrelink office.

“There will certainly be lots of people going in to catch up on their shopping after 16 weeks being in lockdown, people want their freedom back.”

Families separated

Painter Isobel Major Nampitjinpa lives in Papunya, a four-hour drive west of Alice Springs.

With her partner permanently in Alice Springs to receive dialysis, Major moved to town to be with him when the biosecurity road blocks came into effect.

Isobel Major Nampitjinpa paints a canvas with orange paint. She is wearing a red polo and a yellow beanie.
Isobel Major Nampitjinpa said that it was hard not being able to visit her family in Papunya.(Papunya Tjupi Arts: Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore)

“Can’t visit your family, you have to stay in one place, it’s been hard,” she said.

With family spread across several western desert communities, she said she would be busy once the restrictions lifted.

“We will see each other this weekend — we have been talking on the phone, that makes you feel a little bit better.”

Organisations welcome change

The Central Land Council said it supported the reopening of communities, but would like to see interstate border restrictions in place until there was certainty communities would remain safe.

In Darwin, Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation welcomed the anticipated arrival of hundreds of people from remote communities across the Top End.

Larrakia Nation CEO Robert Cooper wears classes and a branded shirt. He looks serious.
Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation CEO Robert Cooper said they were expecting a significant number of people returning.(ABC News: Ian Redfern)

“We are here to help.”

The organisation helped about 1,100 Indigenous Australians get back to remote communities as the lockdown began to take effect in the Top End two months ago.

Mr Cooper said they were expecting a significant number of people returning.

“We have been preparing, alongside the government sector, for this for a little over two months,” he said.

“We are in a good position to be helping people who require our services.

The NT has no active cases of coronavirus and has not recorded a case of coronavirus in more than a month.

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Allowing businesses to move to half capacity could save some doing it tough, says Business SA

Allowing more flexibility about patron numbers could help many businesses who will struggle with current restrictions, Business SA chief executive Martin Haese says.

In our recent Business SA-William Buck Survey of Business Expectations, 70 per cent of businesses said their sales had dropped by more than 30 per cent with 28 per cent of businesses recording a drop of more than 80 per cent. That’s a lot of ground to make up for. It’s the kind of damage that will take years for a business to repair, not months.

Fortunately, we are in a good position here in South Australia. The Premier and the State Government should rightly be commended for their handling of the COVID-19 health crisis, which has not only flattened the curve sooner than many were expecting but also enabled the opportunity of a phased return back to business.

So good has the response been, the State Government was able to fast track the start date for Stage 2, which kicked off yesterday. This undoubtedly will help more businesses to survive the crisis and get thousands of South Australians back into jobs.

Venue capacity has also increased this week, with 20 people allowed in each room of many businesses up to a maximum of 80 people. These changes are warmly welcomed by our larger pubs and hospitality businesses, particularly in the State’s regions where these businesses also play a vital role in their local communities. However, some smaller businesses will still be restricted to only 25 per cent capacity, with the one person per four square metre rule to remain in place.

Business SA, as the independent and local peak industry body for all South Australian businesses, has been advocating to the State Government for the review of the one person per four square metre rule and to replace it with a 50 per cent capacity limit, which is more workable for many businesses. The timing of this is crucial. In Business SA’s Survey of Business Expectations, 36 per cent of all businesses surveyed cast doubt on whether they could survive another three months of restrictions. When we looked at the accommodation, hospitality, and retail sectors this figure was even higher at 52 per cent.

That deadline is now fast approaching. Businesses are hanging on for dear life.

If our good health numbers continue, we encourage the Government to revisit the one person per four square metre rule and increase venue capacity limits, which will allow even more South Australian businesses to take advantage of Stage 2.

Business SA’s “Buy Local to Save Your Local” and “Made in SA” campaigns continue to gain momentum with the community.

There has never been a better time to support locally owned South Australian businesses and to buy locally made products.

For many business owners getting back to “normal” is still a far-off concept. So, even though the doors may now be reopened, we are not out of the woods yet.

Not by a long shot.

Martin Haese is chief executive of Business SA

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