Victoria’s coroner to investigate five deaths inside St Basil’s care home during coronavirus crisis

Victoria’s condition coroner is investigating the deaths of 5 inhabitants at an aged treatment household linked to the state’s coronavirus outbreak.

Choose John Cain has questioned Victoria Law enforcement to compile evidence about the deaths at St Basil’s Dwelling for the Aged.

Victoria has recorded far more than 160 deaths from COVID-19, with at minimum 20 connected to the Fawkner aged care property.

The investigation is at present restricted to 5 of these fatalities.

As of Wednesday, 159 coronavirus situations were being connected to St Basil’s, 84 of them citizens.

The coroner claims the concentrate of its investigation will be decided after evidence is presented to the court docket.

St Basil’s management has been accused of failing to comply with a prerequisite to notify federal regulators of an outbreak.

Federal officials say they had been not knowledgeable of an outbreak right until the condition govt notified them on 14 July.

Administration of the house says state authorities had been notified on 9 July.

Metropolitan Melbourne people are subject to Phase 4 limits and need to comply with a curfew involving the hours of 8pm and 5am. Through the curfew, people in Melbourne can only go away their home for operate, and important wellness, care or protection factors.

Concerning 5am and 8pm, people in Melbourne can go away the residence for exercising, to shop for important goods and providers, for operate, for health treatment, or to treatment for a ill or elderly relative. The total record of restrictions can be found below.

All Victorians should wear a deal with masking when they leave residence, no make a difference the place they live.

People in Australia need to remain at the very least 1.5 metres away from other folks. Examine your state’s limits on accumulating restrictions. If you are going through cold or flu signs, continue to be dwelling and prepare a check by contacting your physician or call the Coronavirus Well being Data Hotline on 1800 020 080.



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Aged care and the Victorian crisis


The reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic has discovered inadequate management within just the aged treatment sector, writes Dr Binoy Kampmark.

THE Press CONFERENCES have develop into frequent break classes, oddly and depressingly persuasive. A monitor seems in the screen of the ABC news channel, a very little prod in the base suitable corner as the primary show, for want of a greater time period, is working. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews then seems.

The press briefings the Leading provides these days provide a function analogous to the basic who updates the media on casualty counts. There are few victories, quite a few setbacks. The enemy is decided, resourceful. The range of coronavirus infections as they are uncovered each and every day, normally at 11 o’clock in the early morning, is hardly ever an event to rejoice. There is glumness and gloom.

On Thursday 30 July, it was announced that Victoria had recorded 723 COVID-19 circumstances, bringing the state’s total amount to 9,998.

The media launch from the Office of Overall health and Human Providers would not have been out of position in a war location, with a significant emphasis on killing off the aged and laying waste to a generation:

‘There have been 13 new fatalities from COVID-19 noted considering the fact that yesterday. They have been three men in their 70s, three women in their 70s, three guys in their 80s, two women in their 80s and two gentlemen in their 90s.’

Although Victoria masks up beneath the necessary directives of the Andrews Federal government, the virus carries on to do its little bit of unmasking when it will come to institutional bungling and incompetence. The way aged treatment services are run, not only in Victoria, but across the region, is getting a great deal interest.

As the launch goes on to mention, 10 of these who died on 30 July were being connected to ‘outbreaks in aged care facilities’. Casting an eye on the map of Melbourne’s an infection places concerning centres for aged care is much like recognizing epidemiological pumps of infection and despair: Regis Brighton aged treatment Estia aged in Heidelberg Glendale aged care, Werribee St Basil’s property for the aged, Fawkner and Epping Gardens aged treatment. The record goes on.

The conservative hounds have been baying for Andrews’ blood and the gilt has been knocked off a shine that seemed indestructible after his election victory in November 2018. His insistent gentle authoritarianism in responding to coronavirus transmission, along with his hyperlinks to Chinese infrastructure jobs, has gained him such monikers as Chairman Dan

Even with such measures, this wiliest of viruses managed to get by way of the improperly-managed quarantine procedure for returned travellers, driving on the coattails of poorly experienced workers and injudicious selections. 

But Andrews was within his legal rights to categorical a perspective on the way aged treatment amenities in the private sector ended up working:

“I are not able to stand below and explain to you that I have self esteem that workers and management throughout a quantity of private sector aged treatment facilities are ready to provide the treatment that is suitable to keep their residents safe and sound.” 

Such viewpoints did not sit properly with Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, who cited his father as an case in point of an individual who acquired exemplary care in these homes:

“The plan that our carers, that our nurses are not providing that care, I feel, is a harmful assertion to make. They are great human beings and I will not hear a phrase against them.”

Wren's Week: Conservatives blame Dan Andrews for second COVID-19 wave

A lot of a phrase, nonetheless, could be built towards these types of establishments and those who workers them. Centres these types of as St. Basil’s Home for the Aged in Fawkner have obtained the unwanted attention of the Aged Treatment Excellent and Protection Commission, the Commonwealth regulator.

The Fee has issued the centre a Observe to Concur, effectively threatening to revoke its license. No new residents could be admitted right until St. Basil’s could reveal, to the satisfaction of the Commission, that the “serious risk” posed to citizens experienced been tackled. An impartial advisor experienced to also be appointed right until all beneficial situations of COVID-19 have been eradicated and signed off by the Victorian Government’s General public Wellness Unit.

The seeds of chaos with which this sector have also been sown include circumstances of an infection among the aged treatment employees. This has necessitated momentary durations of isolation as examination final results get there, durations of furlough.

Primary Minister Scott Morrison went into a sign-up he is famed for — the promoting gentleman: 

“The Commonwealth has been performing, like with other states, to make certain that we can plug these gaps where ever we potentially can. But I want to be upfront with you: it’s incredibly challenging and it’s pretty tough to get people today into all those positions, especially given the complexity and issues of the scenarios they are facing.”

In 2018, Professor John Pollaers was entrusted with the job of mapping a grand approach for Australia’s aged care workforce, suggesting fourteen ‘strategic actions’ ostensibly to ‘prepare the workforce for the foreseeable future and improve the quality of aged care for all’. It proposed a ‘reframing’ of care to adjust ‘negative attitudes to ageing’, the institution of a voluntary business code of apply, addressing the qualification and competencies established of personnel and foster a office with ‘feedback actions by supporting purchaser, personnel and management surveys/feedback’.

In Oct 2019, just before COVID-19 had designed its debilitating mark on the globe, Pollaers explained to the Commission of his dissatisfaction at the Commonwealth’s tardiness.

Wren's Week: Liberal irresponsibility to blame for Victoria's COVID-19 resurgence

In distinct, he mentioned minimal in the way of addressing the creation of social adjust in the sector, the strengthening of the interface amongst aged care and main and acute care and improving training and recruitment practices for those in the Government’s aged treatment workforce: 

“There has been no thorough reaction at all to every of individuals recommendations but for a pre-election determination to fund the Aged Care Centre for Development and Translational Research… [w]hich I have not observed any development on.”

The interim report of the Royal Commission bore out substantially of what Pollaers found. ‘A surprising tale of neglect,’ have been words heading the findings.

The sector had turn into resolutely ageist, fragmented, unsupported and underfunded: 

‘With some admirable exceptions, they are badly managed. All also frequently, they are unsafe and seemingly uncaring.’

COVID-19 has accomplished its bit of dark magic to unravel, all over again, the appalling point out of aged care in Australia. A sleek technique bristling with protocols to regulate a pandemic unexpected emergency could have been anticipating much too much in a shorter time, but the lack of initiative or adjust has been tellingly lethal. This has accomplished considerably to set the fantastic Professor Pollaers on edge. His principal problem for the Federal Govt is: Why did you not act faster? 

https://www.youtube.com/view?v=4srZtN1dwJM

Dr Binoy Kampmark was a Cambridge Scholar and is an Impartial Australia columnist and lecturer at RMIT University. You can stick to Dr Kampmark on Twitter @BKampmark.

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Fears over data security in state border management apps during the coronavirus crisis


Digital rights experts fear people’s identification, health and work details could be on-sold by companies that have developed new phone apps to help state border management during the COVID-19 crisis.

In Western Australia and Tasmania, the state governments are urging the public to download a privately-developed application called the Good2Go Pass (G2G PASS) to track their applications for exemptions to quarantine or isolation restrictions.

Visitors can use the app to track their applications, and if approved, they are sent a unique code known as a QR code, which can help ease their entry at air and seaports.

It asks travellers to input identity documents such as a drivers licence, passport, Medicare card or Tasmanian Information card, as well as attach work and health documentation.

Good2Go Pass manages border travel exemptions between Tasmania and Western Australia.(Supplied)

Lyndsey Jackson, the chair of digital rights group Electronic Frontiers Australia, said it appeared to request more data than other apps, such as the Commonwealth’s CovidSafe contract tracing app.

“This company, looking at the terms on its website, certainly reserves the right to build products based on the data and information that people put into it.

“They also have some facial recognition capabilities.”

Trevor McKenna, vice-president of the Law Society of Tasmania, said there needed to be explicit laws preventing secondary use of the data.

Good2Go Pass screens.
Good2Go is supposed to help speed up entry at air and sea ports.(Supplied)

“There should be legislation that makes very clear what the app’s for, how the data is stored, how long it’s stored for and how long it can be used,” he said.

The Tasmanian Government told the ABC the only information collected by the app related to its performance and it did not collect personal data

The app was developed by a private company for the WA Police and the law enforcement agency is listed as the developer in app stores.

Ms Jackson said it raised the question of whether the WA Police could access data for criminal cases and whether they needed a court’s approval to do so.

The Law Society agreed it also raised jurisdictional issues.

“If I use the app to travel to Perth, I should have confidence it won’t be disclosed to police if they’re investigating a criminal offence,” Mr McKenna said.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) said the WA and Tasmanian databases were segregated to ensure data collected by each state was inaccessible to the other.

But it said information provided through the app “may form part of a prosecution regarding an offence under the Tasmanian Emergency Management Act”.

Australian data caught up in cloud concerns

There are also additional legal concerns about where data is stored.

Much like the CovidSafe app, the data is being stored by Amazon Web Services.

The US-based company is subject to the American Cloud Act, which means the US Government can potentially access data on cloud storage, even overseas.

Mr McKenna agreed, saying Australia was not captured as a recognised foreign entity by the Cloud Act, which meant there was no dispute resolution mechanism in the law and effectively US common law would apply.

“My understanding is that law is quite unclear,” he said.

Electronic Frontiers Australia said there were also the usual risks of hacking.

“[What] isn’t clear on the site for the app they talk about encryption but that doesn’t mean an administrator can’t get into the database,” Ms Jackson said.

“These private companies can change their terms and condition at any time so once that happens and your information’s in there you really don’t have a lot of recourse.”

A DPIPWE spokesman said the data was hosted in an Australian data centre and there were additional security measures in place to protect the confidentiality of the information.

“The Tasmanian Government considers that appropriate measures are in place to protect the information, which includes using industry-standard security practices, measures and data encryption,” they said.

Are people forced to use the app?

Ms Jackson said there was also a question of informed consent and whether travellers felt they were forced to use the app and had no low-tech alternative.

She urged the public to ask what happened to their data and if it could be deleted at a later date.

The WA Government referred the ABC to its G2G website, which indicated those travelling to the state who did not want to use the app could speak directly to WA Police.

A DPIPWE spokesman said travellers who arrived in Tasmania without an approved G2G PASS QR code would be given paperwork to complete at the border.

“However in most cases, they will be required to quarantine in government accommodation at their own cost whilst the application is assessed,” she said.

“Travellers who receive their G2G PASS QR code before arriving will be able to quickly pass through their port of arrival in Tasmania.”



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Gen X makes the most of a midlife crisis


Nick King’s bonus from his job as a corporate lawyer came at just the right time. At 44 and feeling deeply dissatisfied with how life was going, he knew he needed to do something to shake things up. “It probably was some form of midlife crisis,” he says. “I’d hit a rocky patch from my late 30s and was in an unhappy place. I was getting ever-more frustrated with life. I’d prioritised work over pretty much everything else, including my family and certainly my health. I was putting weight on, drinking a lot.”

So the British lawyer wrote out a cheque for several thousand pounds. But it wasn’t the down payment on a sports car, or for an around-the-world trip. It was for an intensive 12-week personal training program at a high-end gym – which meant three sessions a week, giving up booze and completely overhauling his diet.

In under a year he’s lost more than 44 kilograms. He’s since swum the English Channel, run a half-marathon and taken part in a 45-kilometre swim from Capri to Naples. “It started out as a physical thing, but mentally and emotionally it’s helped me a lot.”

Welcome to the modern – and mindful – midlife crisis, where you’re more likely to run a marathon than run away from your marriage. It’s less splurging on a Porsche, more searching for your purpose. As for trading in your spouse for a younger model? So last decade. Today’s crisis involves swapping your corporate career for something more meaningful.

“Midlife crises have been about the passing of youth and retaining that youth in some way.”

It’s the way of the world that each generation will rebel against the one that came before it. So if the Baby Boomers’ midlife wobble was hedonistic – involving affairs, tattoos and fast cars – then those hitting the halfway point now, aka Generation X (those born from 1965 to 1980), have found a more virtuous way to do things.

Take Kim Kardashian West, who turns 40 this year, training to be a criminal justice lawyer with a view to opening up her own practice focused on prison reform. “Just to know I can make a difference in my children’s lives and [others] by helping fix a broken system, that’s so motivating for me,” she says. Or British radio presenter and one-time hellraiser Chris Evans taking up running at 48, then completing six marathons in five years. “Am I addicted? Absolutely. But what a fantastic addiction.”

Since the term was first introduced by psychologist Elliott Jaques in 1965, midlife crises have become a bit of a cliché in popular culture, usually a male one. Think Reggie Perrin, Breaking Bad’s Walter White and Bill Murray’s character in Lost in Translation. But there’s plenty of evidence that they’re real – for men and women.

“In its most basic terms, the midlife crisis is that moment in your late 30s, early 40s onwards when you begin to realise that you haven’t achieved what you wanted to or done what you thought you might,” says University of Exeter professor Mark Jackson, who is writing a book on the history of the subject.

“Alongside that is a deeper psychological crisis in that, at the same time, you also realise you haven’t got much time left to do it.” An increasing awareness of mortality, through elderly parents, sick friends and our declining bodies, adds to this sudden sense that time is running out.

In Australia, the University of Melbourne’s survey of Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) says the lowest level of life satisfaction is felt at 45, while the Australian Bureau of Statistics says it’s anywhere between 45 and 54.

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Research across 132 countries published earlier this year by America’s National Bureau of Economic Research found that 47.2 is the age at which we’re at our most miserable (on the plus side, it’s all good from there on in), suggesting we might be hard-wired for a midlife crisis.

Meanwhile, Why We Can’t Sleep, a book published in January by American author Ada Calhoun, explores the specific crisis now facing Generation X women. Calhoun digs deep into why she – and so many other women she knows – find themselves awake at night, wondering if they’ve played the game of life all wrong.

She also pinpoints the specific struggles that midlifers now face compared to the Boomers who came before.

Unlike their parents’ and grandparents’ generations, many of whom were empty nesters at midlife, Gen X, she says, are at that point hitting peak stress in both their work and family lives.

“Our lives can begin to feel like the latter stages of Tetris, where the descending pieces pile up faster and faster,” writes Calhoun. Gen Xers, her book claims, were the first to grow up thinking they could have it all – and middle age is when many of us realise we probably can’t. “We thought we could have both thriving careers and rich home lives and make more and achieve more than our parents, but most of us have gained little, if any, advantage,” she says.

This generation have had more choices than anyone before them, yet that only leads to anxiety about making the right ones. “They’re sort of living with a complete mess where everything is possible,” says Jackson. “That can paralyse and lead to a crisis.”

Research from University College London’s Institute of Education found that Gen Xers were more likely to report symptoms of poor mental health around the age of 42 than the generation before them. Marrying and having children later may be a contributory factor, meaning many are raising children while simultaneously looking after elderly relatives. Our jobs are less secure. We don’t have generous pension pots waiting for us.

Michelle Obama: "I couldn’t get a sports car, they wouldn’t let me bungee jump.”

Michelle Obama: “I couldn’t get a sports car, they wouldn’t let me bungee jump.”Credit:Getty Images

While not quite as restricted as Michelle Obama was as First Lady – she said the fringe she adopted for her 49th birthday was because “I couldn’t get a sports car, they wouldn’t let me bungee jump” – Gen Xers are weighed down with responsibilities that make blowing up their lives a luxury most can’t afford. Besides, most have not long stopped partying anyway. So they’re finding new ways to channel the crisis.

“From the beginning, midlife crises have been about the passing of youth and retaining that youth in some way,” says professor Mark Jackson. Previously, that might have involved shacking up with someone younger. “But extreme sports or fitness or yoga are also a mechanism for doing that. There’s a very different feel to the midlife crisis now; a sense that it can be liberating and something that enables rather than closes down.”

For Nick King, hitting his 40s was the first time in two decades he’d stopped to take stock. “I was probably quite typical of my generation in that I prided myself on working really hard and being the first one in the office and last one out. Then you think, ‘Well, I’m halfway through my life, hopefully.’ ”

The drive that once made him fiercely competitive in his career, he now channels into fitness. For his 15th wedding anniversary last year, he and his wife went to New York. “We did two 10-kilometre runs around Central Park together,” he says.

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He’s certainly not alone in embracing fitness in midlife. Ultimate Performance, the London-based personal training program that King signed up to, has seen an 83 per cent increase in the number of clients aged over 40 signing up since 2017.

“For many it’s about turning back the clock, for others it’s about investing in their health for the future, to make them more resilient to stress, illness and ageing,” says its founder Nick Mitchell. Indeed, a 2018 study by health giant Bupa found that, for men, the new midlife crisis is marked by going vegan and signing up for a Tough Mudder challenge.

Another added pressure these days is social media. While “keeping up with the Joneses” has always been a temptation, it’s now easier than ever to compare ourselves to the Joneses’ seemingly perfect lives, even when they aren’t always what they seem.

Certainly to anyone on the outside, Geraldine Morelli looked as if she had it all worked out as she approached her 40th birthday three years ago. She had a well-paid job as the head of marketing for a large telecoms company, and was married with two children and a nice London home.

“I’d done everything I was told I was supposed to do. On paper everything was perfect, so I didn’t think I had the right to be unhappy,” she says. “But I’d wake up in the morning and not look forward to anything. I didn’t want to get ready for work each morning, but I didn’t want to come home and see my husband, either.”

In the end, she took a nine-month sabbatical to take a hard look at her life and focus on a passion project she’d started two years earlier: an African conservation charity called Wild & Free. “I thought, ‘If this is my midlife crisis, I’m going to make it bloody good. I’m going to make it worth it.’ ”

She took a piece of paper and wrote down every major factor in her life – from her career and the charity, to her family and where she lived – and thought about which ones she wanted to change. “Eventually, I realised that it was my marriage and my job that I had to move away from,” she says. “I divorced, resigned and moved out in 2017.”

“For Generation X, work forms part of our self-esteem in a way that it never did for any generation before us.”

She now splits her time between her charity and working as a specialist safari travel agent from home. “I’ve never been happier and I’m grateful that I love what I do every day. I honestly think my midlife crisis was the best thing that could have happened to me.”

Lucia Knight, a careers coach, thinks there’s a reason the midlife crisis is so often related to our jobs. “For Generation X, work forms part of our self-esteem in a way that it never did for any generation before us,” she says. “It’s part of our identity, our status. If that boat starts to rock, it has a huge impact on the rest of our life.”

Gen Xers have seen the world of work change radically. They grew up pre-internet, then watched as it came and cannibalised their industries. The most common questions Knight’s clients ask is: “Is this it?”

Many are experiencing burnout, having spent two decades climbing the ladder. “We put our careers on autopilot and keep going up and up and think that’s the definition of success, but the midlife phase causes us to question and redefine what we mean by success.”

It’s the way of the world that each generation will rebel against the one that came before it, and Gen Xers have found a more virtuous way to do things.

It’s the way of the world that each generation will rebel against the one that came before it, and Gen Xers have found a more virtuous way to do things.Credit:Getty Images

Paul Bridgeman, now 51, had spent nearly 20 years working in advertising sales when he was involved in a serious car crash in his late 30s. It was the beginning of what he calls “an existential crisis” that lasted several years. “I view that accident positively now, which sounds odd as I was lucky to come away with my life, but it put things in focus for me,” he says.

Spending time in hospital surrounded by doctors and nurses – “people having a huge impact on me” – meant he started to reflect on his own career choices. Shortly afterwards, on a work trip, he found himself talking to a Catholic priest. “He saw the scars on my face and we got talking about what had happened to me. He told me there’s nothing worse than when he encounters people who reach the end of their lives full of regrets. It stayed with me.”

Bridgeman started studying for an Open University degree in his spare time. Meanwhile, he felt increasingly distant from the job he’d devoted decades to. “I found myself sitting in meetings trying to persuade clients to take on products and services that I knew in my heart of hearts might not benefit them,” he says.

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Things came to a head when he was signed off with stress for six weeks; then, when he was 46, the chance for voluntary redundancy came up and he took it, deciding to apply for a teacher-training course.

“It is a cliché, but I wanted to do something where I felt like I was contributing to the lives of others,” he says. “Walking into the classroom on my first day as a qualified teacher, it did feel as though my whole life had been building to that point.”

Psychotherapist Michelle Scott, from The Recovery Centre, agrees that a midlife crisis can be a time of opportunity, to reassess what we want from life. “A successful way to get through it is to find a sense of worth and purpose,” she says. However, she adds that people need to manage their expectations, too. “There can be a lot of pressure to have a sudden profound realisation, an Eat, Pray, Love moment. That suddenly you’re going to go and completely change everything.”

Small changes, she says, can have just as much impact. Although try telling that to Nick King, who is already focused on his next goal: a series of 40-kilometre running and swimming events. “I probably could have bought a really nice car with what I spent on personal training,” he says. “But it’s the best investment I’ve ever made.”

This is an edited version of a story that first ran in The Telegraph Magazine, London.

To read more from Good Weekend magazine, visit our page at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Brisbane Times.

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Aged care crisis shows a disaster waiting in workplace ‘flexibility’


The Coalition wants to enable businesses to impose shorter-hour
contracts — exactly the bring about of the tragic aged care sector scandal.

(Impression: Adobe)

Regardless of attempts by the govt and media retailers to portray the Morrison authorities as the saviour in Victoria’s aged care crisis — entire with armed service healthcare teams — it is a scandal created in Canberra, and one particular that this govt needs to make appreciably worse.

The issue of aged treatment employees functioning at many internet sites — escalating the threat of transmission in between facilities — has worsened in current a long time as for-gain operators have utilised office legal guidelines to minimize do the job several hours.

Aged treatment is a very distinct office from what lots of Australians are made use of to: in accordance to 2016 figures only about 12% of personalized treatment attendants and allied health specialists in the sector have comprehensive-time careers, and only about 22% of its registered nurses do. And in 2016 about 10% of aged care staff labored much more than 1 position.





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NT Government blames coronavirus for worsening budget crisis before election


The Northern Territory’s finances have plunged deeper into the red, with projected net debt set to blow out from $6.9 billion to $8.2 billion this financial year. 

The deficit for this financial year has more than doubled to $2.3 billion, according to a COVID-19 financial report released by NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner this morning.

The jump is a $1.3 billion increase in both the deficit and debt compared with the last economic update given in November.

The report covers the outcome of last financial year and projections for 2020-21, but no estimates beyond that.

A full budget will not be produced until October after Territorians go to the polls next month.

The Government is predicting a $649 million hit over two years to its largest revenue source, the GST.

The Government said it had spent $382 million on its coronavirus response so far and has also announced $42 million in further spending on stimulus and business support measures.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Treasurer Nicole Manion say a full budget will not be produced until October.(ABC News: Rick Hind)

Before the pandemic, Labor had promised a raft of budget repair measures to rein in debt that threatened to balloon to $35 billion by the end of the decade.

But Mr Gunner said further spending in response to the coronavirus pandemic was unavoidable.

“Saving lives and jobs isn’t free, it costs money. We have thrown the kitchen sink at protecting Territorians and I make no apologies for that,” he said.

“The Government can afford to take the hit right now. We can recover down the track when we are through this crisis. It’s better that we take this hit than a business hit the wall or a worker hit the dole queue.”

The deterioration means the debt-to-revenue ratio will spiral to 134 per cent this financial year, when it previously was forecast to reach 102 per cent.

The outlook was given the day before the NT Government enters caretaker mode ahead of the NT election on August 22.

Mr Gunner used the update to appeal for votes, warning of “cuts and chaos” under previous governments led by his opponents.

“It is my hope that Territorians will stay the course, stick with this team and see this through,” he said.

“We are getting through this crisis, we are on the road to recovery, we have come too far to turn back now.”

The extra stimulus and business measures include $20 million worth of new $10,000 adaptation grants for small businesses as well as $12 million to extend the tourism and local business voucher schemes.

The Government will also spend an extra $10 million on a second round of the Immediate Works Grant scheme for not-for-profit and community groups.

The NT was expected to generate only $922 million in own-source revenue this financial year but predicted drops in payroll and mining tax will reduce that to $831 million.

Instead of growing 4.1 per cent this financial year, the NT economy is now expected to shrink 3.4 per cent.



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Crikey Worm: Aged care cluster crisis


Good morning, early birds. Melbourne reels from Australia’s most deadly day of the pandemic and battles a number of crises across aged care facilities, while in comparatively good news NSW recorded just 14 cases yesterday. It’s the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.

(Image: AAP/David Crosling)

MELBOURNE’S AGED CARE COVID CRISES

As Melbourne reels from Australia’s most deadly day of the pandemic — 10 deaths, including seven people linked to aged care clusters and one man in his 40s — the city is battling a number of crises across nursing homes, including:

  • Mounting miscommunications at St Basil’s Homes for the Aged, where The Age reports Nicholas Barboussas was told his father — 79-year-old Paul Barboussas — was isolated and safe on Saturday despite having been moved to Northern Hospital with the disease, where his family reports he died yesterday afternoon
  • An apparent lack of personal protective equipment, with The Herald Sun ($) reporting that more than 1300 providers had asked for access to federal PPE stocks by May, and
  • Serious delays — and outright refusals — over requests to transfer sick residents to hospitals (The Saturday Paper $).

Melbourne’s spike of 459 new cases yesterday also makes it unlikely the city will escape lockdown within the current six week timeframe.

GLOBAL WRAP: According to the ABC’s daily updates, global cases have exceeded 16 million, with the US leading the count (4.1 million) followed by Brazil (2.3 million) and India (1.3 million). In one of the more horrific developments, The Guardian reports that a surge in rural Texas has forced Starr County Memorial Hospital to set up a “death panel” to ration capacity.

SMALL SILVER LININGS

In relatively positive state news, the ABC reports that NSW recorded just 14 cases yesterday, although, in Sydney’s latest update, a Thai restaurant in Potts Point has been closed for cleaning after a staff member tested positive.

On the other side of the country, the broadcaster also reports that the WA government has effectively doubled their economic response with a $2.7 billion stimulus package, this time focused on renewable energy, building maintenance, health, tourism and more.

WILL SYDNEY’S BLM PROTEST GO AHEAD?

Sydney’s Black Lives Matter protest could still go ahead tomorrow despite NSW Police securing another supreme court win, with news.com.au reporting that Paul Silva — whose uncle David Dungay Jr’s 2015 death in custody has drawn immediate comparisons with George Floyd’s — intends to appeal their revoked authorised assembly status and, failing that, march in groups of 20 with COVID-19 safety protocols including masks, hand sanitiser, collected contact details, etc.

Since then, The Guardian reports that Silva announced the family will consider cancelling the protest if Premier Gladys Berejiklian commits to asking SafeWork NSW and the director of public prosecutions to investigate whether charges should be laid against the guards involved Dungay Jr’s death.

HOW BAD COULD IT GET? In news that makes those videos of NSW police macing and herding (perfectly legal) protesters in June look like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, CNN explains how heavily armed, unidentifiable border agents are rounding up BLM activists in Portland under a scheme Donald Trump plans to expand into other Democrat-controlled cities.

ALL ABOVE BOARD

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Energy Minister Angus Taylor has replaced the chair of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency with close friend and energy investor Justin Punch, and appointed former political adviser John Hirjee for a two-year board stint.

The body, which has funnelled roughly $2.5 billion into solar, wind and other clean energy tech since 2012, is currently sitting on less than $70 million. Will Angus succeed where Tony Abbott failed, not by gutting the clean energy accelerator but starving it?

In other very above-board energy news, The Guardian reports that Labor’s climate spokesman Mark Butler has requested an auditor-general investigation into how Shine Energy secured $4m for a feasibility study into the Collinsville, north Queensland coal-fired power station. This comes after the publication revealed the grant was announced two days before Shine even made an application, under, coincidentally, specific “grant guidelines for Shine Energy”.

RESHUFFLE CORNER: The Advocate ($) reports that South Australian Premier Steven Marshall will announce a new cabinet either today or tomorrow, after three state ministers and the Legislative Council president resigned from the front-bench over the state governement expenses scandal.

RAISE THE AGE ALREADY

According to The Age, federal, state and territory attorneys-general will meet today to consider the result of a two-year review into raising Australia’s age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 — a reform that, going off 2018-19 figures, could act as a lifeline to almost 600 kids, more than 60% of whom are Indigenous.

NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman is yet to declare a stance on the issue, even with Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessy slamming that overrepresentation of Indigenous children and committing to the results of the review. The Conversation also cites support from Indigenous communities, legal and human rights bodies, and child development experts; today’s Age editorial even lays out a strong economic case for not jailing 10-year-olds.

PS: The Council of Attorneys-General will also consider creating a new public interest defence within Australia’s notoriously repressive defamation laws, although The Australian ($) reports that the reform would rely on judges determining reasonableness in a system akin to an existing (and entirely toothless) qualified privilege defence.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

Thatcher and Reagan are figures of hate for the left because they were so successful. One got two terms, which was the maximum that you can get in the United States. Margaret Thatcher got 11 and a half years.

Josh Frydenberg

Facing both a global recession and pandemic exacerbated by insecure working conditions, the treasurer finds inspiration in the (electoral) success of Ronald ‘Trickle Down’ Reagan and Margaret ‘No Such Thing As Society’ Thatcher.

Victoria’s new outbreak marks the limits of finger-pointing

“When we talk about the second wave, we need to change our conversation. We need to abandon the scolding and the rush to point fingers. Rather than ask why so many Victorians ignored the tickle in their throats and went to work, we need to take a long look at how we’ve built a society where so many people had no other choice.”

Conflict of Interest: The West backs a winner for Perth

“It’s the type of media coverage most would-be mayors could only dream of: a story on the front page of the city’s best-read newspaper full of glowing praise for your love of the city.

“Lucky for Basil Zempilas he doesn’t have to dream. This is the reality for the sports presenter and TV personality, whose long affiliation with WA’s powerful Seven West Media, run by billionaire Kerry Stokes, has made broadcasting his ambition to be the mayor of Perth easy.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Newcastle hit by flooding that sees nine children rescued from a bus

Covid-19 to compound GFC’s lasting impact on young Australians’ pay and career progression – study

How a controversial union underwent a ‘quiet revolution’

Tax reform pushed back onto the states ($)

Identify host animal carrying COVID-19 or risk future outbreaks, says top scientist

‘Under the bus’: Emma Alberici vs the ABC ($)

‘Down here things look ugly’: remote communities feel familiar frustration ahead of NT election

Grounded aircraft and high fuel loads equals danger, union claims

Council of Europe ‘alarmed’ at Poland’s plans to leave domestic violence treaty

Seattle protest: Police and anti-racism demonstrators clash at march

THE COMMENTARIAT

Daniel Andrews’ hardest day, until the next ($) — John Ferguson (The Australian):Daniel Andrews looks drained and in genuine emotional pain. Each day, in a small theatre at the back of his office block in Melbourne’s Treasury Place, the Victorian Premier goes through the lengthy but necessary details of how the pandemic is unfolding. With staff and media distanced five or six seats apart in the blackened room, he and others talk for the best part of an hour about the hits and misses of the campaign to turn around the infection rates.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s masterclass speech busted a myth we should all rejectKirstin Ferguson (The Sydney Morning Herald): “That a man is a father or husband is not a prophylactic against them being an abuser of women. It doesn’t even guarantee they will respect women. Ocasio-Cortez’s speech was a masterclass in why we should reject this myth. It would make life a lot easier for women if it were.”

Offer of weak, voluntary CO2 standards means Australia will remain dumping ground for dirty carsGiles Parkinson (RenewEconomy): “The Australian car industry has finally admitted that it needs to clean up its act – but the voluntary scheme it outlined on Friday is so weak that it will barely cause a change from business as usual. And business as usual in Australia, unfortunately, means it is a dumping ground for dirty engines that car manufacturers can not sell in other markets.”

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Canberra

  • Hearings will be held for parliamentary inquiries into the class action industry, farm runoff along the Great Barrier Reef, and proposed amendments to empower law enforcement and security agencies to request/compel assistance from telecommunications providers.

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US diplomat says America keeps pushing to end Qatar crisis


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. continues to push for an end of the four-nation boycott of Qatar, even after the hospitalization of Kuwait’s ruling emir who led talks to resolve the yearslong dispute, a U.S. diplomat said Sunday.

U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook acknowledged the challenge ahead on ending the crisis that’s torn apart the Gulf Cooperation Council, with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates part of the boycott that’s targeted fellow member Qatar since June 2017. Egypt as well joined the boycott, which saw nations close their airspace and borders to Qatar.

Kuwait and Oman, the two other nations in the GCC, have sought dialogue between the nations since, with Kuwait’s emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah leading those efforts.

Sheikh Sabah was hospitalized in Kuwait City on July 18, underwent surgery the next day and later traveled via a U.S. Air Force C-17 flying hospital to Rochester, Minnesota, home of the flagship campus of the Mayo Clinic. Kuwait has yet to say what ails the 91-year-old ruler.

“My expectation is that the role that Kuwait has been playing will continue,” Hook told journalists on a conference call after meeting Qatari officials in Doha. “The emir is at the Mayo Clinic. As I said, the United States very much hopes and prays for his improved health.”

Hook said he planned to travel Monday to Kuwait City to meet with officials there.

“I’ve seen some steps backward over the last couple of years,” Hook said. “We’ve reached points where I think both sides were optimistic and we’ve reached points where both sides were pessimistic.

“I think our role and the role of Kuwait is to do what we can to foster dialogue, to help them make progress.”

The four countries cut ties to Qatar on June 5, 2017, just after a summit in Saudi Arabia in which Gulf leaders met with President Donald Trump. They say the crisis stems from Qatar’s support for extremist groups in the region, charges denied by Doha.

The four nations have also pointed to Qatar’s close relationship with Iran, with which it shares a massive offshore gas field that provides the peninsular nation its wealth. Qatar restored full diplomatic ties to Iran amid the dispute.

Hook, who is leading U.S. efforts to extend an arms embargo on Iran, said the topic came up during his talks Sunday with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.



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