Coronavirus Australia live update: Daniel Andrews says ‘now is the time to open up’ after Victoria records no Covid cases | Australia news


We communicate with far fewer people because we have so few cases left. We communicate persistently with those individuals and by and large the vast majority do the right thing.

We have day-to-day contact with individuals to explain to them what is going on, where they are out, we test them multiple times during their period, so the vast majority of people comply, which is the right thing to do, and if they don’t understand they ask the questions to the people who are keeping in contact.

We will continue to see what else we can do to make it clear, and as the cases come down that may become a bit easier, but we do not accept that in this case or in any other case that we have not been clear about our expectations of people about what those isolations and quarantine means.

Briefly, while we are talking about the northern suburbs, where we have landed over the last few days, as the premier said, 14,000 tests overall across Victoria yesterday and for all of Victoria that has been a really strong and exceptional response.

We conducted a lot of tests, almost 16 one-half thousand people have come forward for testing, and it has been a critical part of how we have managed to pull up this particular outbreak.

A huge spread of people across the northern suburbs really coming forward, which has been a phenomenal community response, and we are very grateful to all the organisations we have worked with.

We still have 39 active cases in that 11-household cluster and we continue to support and monitor those individuals and continue to work with them over the coming weeks ahead as they finish their isolation period.

We also have about 317 close contacts we have tested over the last few days. Those tests were done door-to-door. We had teams out over the weekend contacting these close contacts, making sure they got tested, making sure they have the care and support that they need to have.

We also tested 108 people at the Regis Macleod aged care facility, all staff and residents, and all those tested have come back negative.

This has been a really important community response, there have been many conversations that will continue for many days ahead with a whole range of community leaders to ensure people understand the message and to ensure that people have the support they need to come and get tested, and those have taken a whole variety of formats.



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Queensland Year 12 students overcome coronavirus chaos to sit for ATAR exams for the first time


More than 37,000 Queensland Year 12 students are embarking on crucial external exams for the first time in the state, rounding off a senior year dominated by coronavirus chaos.

The so-called “guinea pig” cohort will join graduates around the country in receiving an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) instead of an OP score.

Navigating the new system and its standardised exams has been an added challenge for students already facing the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic.

“I think everyone is a little bit nervous and stressed going into it because there’s a lot of unknowns,” Coomera Anglican College student Kyrra Wilks said.

“You look forward to [Year 12] for a really long time and then obviously with COVID-19, a new system … it was pretty chaotic.”

Griffith University’s Dean of Education, Professor Donna Pendergast, with her Year 12 daughter Kyrra Wilks.(ABC News: Steve Keen)

The class of 2020 was the first full cohort to attend Prep, the first Year Sevens at high school and now the first to graduate with an ATAR during a health crisis.

Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) chief executive Chris Rider said he was confident that students were ready for exams.

“I think we’ve done everything we can to prepare the Year 12s for the new system, but it has been difficult because of COVID,” Mr Rider said.

Earlier this year, the QCAA removed a piece of assessment from each subject syllabus to ease pressure on students during the pandemic.

Chris Rider sitting at a desk in an office.
QCAA chief executive Chris Rider says it’s been “difficult” to prepare students for the new system in 2020.(ABC News: Lily Nothling)

“We have 81 subjects that are going through external exams over just over a three-week period,” Mr Rider said.

“You can have confidence that the result you got in one school is exactly the same as the result you would get had you gone to another school.”

It will take 4,000 teachers about four weeks to mark all the test papers online, with results released on December 19.

‘They’re great survivors’

COVID-19 has forced schools to cancel or modify big events and rites of passage for Year 12 students.

Griffith University’s Dean of Education, Professor Donna Pendergast, said that had taken a toll on graduates who missed out on important milestones.

“They’re great survivors.”

With overseas gap years off the cards, Professor Pendergast said university applications were on the rise.

“Universities have changed their entry processes so there have been a lot of early entry offers,” she said.

“That’s given students confidence as they enter into their external exams.”

Ipswich State High School student Mandie Horrocks plays the violin.
Ipswich State High School student Mandie Horrocks says she’s learned to be more independent.(ABC News: Lily Nothling)

Ipswich State High School Student Mandie Horrocks has been studying hard to secure a scholarship to study engineering next year.

“[Learning from home] was challenging because we had to put up with technology issues and malfunctions.

“I just have to have faith in myself and all the work and effort that I’ve put in throughout the year that I’m going to get through it OK.”



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Coronavirus Australia live news: Victoria records zero cases for first time since June



Audience comment by Something in my eye

I may have shed a year when I saw that ZERO!!!<br>Tell me I’m not the only one?! 🎉🍩🙌

Audience comment by Yay

This is so exciting! Well done to all of us!

Audience comment by Bec

ZERO DAY!!! I’M CRYING WITH HAPPINESS!!!! 😭😭😭

Audience comment by JM

This is great news! Well done Victoria 🙂

Audience comment by Fingers crossed

Nearly there, Melbourne! Better start planning what to do, where to go, who to go with, and what to wear! You are all stars. Virtual hugs from a cold and windy South Oz.

Audience comment by yay

Its a NONEday Monday!<br>

Audience comment by WHAT?!

ZERO CASES?! ZERO?! <br><br>Oh my. I CANT BELIEVE IT

Audience comment by Rainy Sydney

Good luck Melbourne. Case figures looking good and last night’s grand final result should cheer you up!



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Formula 1, Live F1, Portuguese Grand Prix, grid positions, Lewis Hamilton pole, start time, how to watch on TV


Looking to win a record 92nd Formula One race, Lews Hamilton starts Monday’s Portuguese Grand Prix (12:10am AEDT) from pole position.

Hamilton claimed a thrilling last-gasp pole position, denying his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the final seconds of qualifying.

It took Hamilton to within three of his 100th career pole as his team claimed its 12th pole from as many races this season.

Watch the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship™ on KAYO. Every practice, qualifying session and race LIVE. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >



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AFL Grand Final 2020: Geelong, list, Patrick Dangerfield midfield time, Chris Scott press conference, premiership window, trade period, Jeremy Cameron, analysis


Geelong’s premiership hopes were dashed from the 20-minute mark of the second quarter on Saturday night.

After a period of absolute dominance in general play and time in forward half for middling reward, Geelong were confronted by a Richmond side that had not only ducked and weaved out from the corner, but had begun to land some damaging punches of their own for the first time.

Dustin Martin landed a haymaker to close the second term. Geelong fans had flashbacks to the 2019 preliminary final lead they squandered against the Tigers. By the end of the night, Martin would add three more goals to cap a reversal on the stats sheet that will leave Cats fans pining over what could have been if not for wasted opportunities.

Replay the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final in full on KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14 day free trial and start streaming instantly >

Grand Final

MORE AFL GRAND FINAL COVERAGE



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NRL Grand Final 2020: Melbourne Storm vs Penrith Panthers, start time, Clive Churchill medal, Cameron Smith, Nathan Cleary, past winners


Canberra’s Jack Wighton became the fourth player in history to win the Clive Churchill Medal in a losing side in last year’s grand final… who will win it this year when the Storm and Panthers face off?

For those not familiar with the medal, it’s named after Clive Churchill, who is regarded by many the greatest player the code has ever produced. The medal is awarded to the best player on the field in the grand final.

Catch Fox League’s Grand Final Week coverage on Kayo. Stream all the latest news and insight right up until kick off plus half-time and full-time analysis from the Fox League commentary team. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Wighton was sensational in his team’s heartbreaking loss to the Roosters and rightfully earned the honour. But the 27-year-old’s moment of glory was unfortunately overshadowed by a miscommunication where Roosters’ prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was told he had won the medal.

Grand Final

This year’s winner will join the impressive list of winners that traces back to the very first recipient, Parramatta legend Peter Sterling in 1986.



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NRL Grand Final 2020 pre-match entertainment: Amy Shark, Andrew Farriss, when does it start, Melbourne Storm vs Penrith Panthers, live updates, start time, score, video


Before all the action kicks off at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night fans will be treated to spectacular entertainment from two Australian musicians at different stages of their career.

Aussie indie pop sensation Amy Shark headlines the pre-match show only a week after earning multiple ARIA nominations.

Her latest single ‘C’mon’ featuring Travis Barker was released two days ago.

Catch Fox League’s Grand Final Week coverage on Kayo. Stream all the latest news and insight right up until kick off plus half-time and full-time analysis from the Fox League commentary team. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Grand Final

‘Biggest fear’ for Smith

1:47



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Traditionally a day for the faithful, on this Sunday Daniel Andrews prays for time


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The hope that those crucial days might be brought forward has now all but evaporated.

Andrews, who has placed himself at the centre of Victorian’s entire COVID-19 saga – and thus, has made himself a target for disaffection – knows his fortunes are stretched thin.

His media statement on Sunday made it clear: “We are so close – so close – to beating this thing. I’m asking each of you: keep going. Dig deep. Stay strong.”

It was a pleading, following a weekend of careful telegraphing that bad news was likely.

But the virus is withholding the mercy of time to Andrews, causing a growing number of Victorians, who have already displayed astonishing forbearance through the long winter and into the spring, to grow more than agitated.

The weekend’s The Age/Ipsos poll revealed that Andrews and his administration still had a store of support for most of the state’s lockdown restrictions, though patience with the continuing closure of restaurants and retail stores was clearly running short.

But that poll reflected the feelings of Victorians at a time when expectation was high that Premier Andrews would announce a significant easing of restrictions on Sunday.

He signalled only a week ago, on Sunday, October 18, that good news could be brought forward if the rate of new infections continued falling.

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The numbers played along for most of the week. Restaurateurs stocked up and called in staff.

That was then.

Now, as Premier Andrews declares, everything relies on the result of tests sitting in laboratories and yet to be taken. He needed to know there was “no bushfire burning out there”.

Just a few more days, he asked.

Sunday is traditionally a day for the faithful.

Andrews can only pray now that there are enough of his faithful still believing in his cautious approach to grant him those few more days, and that the virus doesn’t have an altogether different timetable.

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Now Is the Time to Shake Up Your Sales Processes


Executive Summary

Major sales force changes, such as restructuring or downsizing, are disruptive to how sales teams work and to the systems that support them. Not surprisingly, leaders often wait to implement major changes until a significant event forces them to do so. A crisis, such as the pandemic, makes sales leaders, managers, and salespeople more receptive to change. As implementing change gets easier, the key challenge becomes deciding what to change. Beyond the forced move to virtual connection during the pandemic, sales organizations are dealing with critical questions. How will customers buy in the future? How much of the sales process will remain virtual? What does this mean for sales organization design, sales success profiles, sales incentive structures, and other sales management decisions?

pepifoto/Getty Images

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Major sales force changes such as restructuring or downsizing are disruptive to how sales teams work and to the systems that support them. A poorly-orchestrated change can damage customer relationships, hurt the top line, and threaten salespeople’s sense of control and self-esteem. Not surprisingly, leaders often wait to implement major changes until a significant event forces them to do so.

A crisis like the pandemic makes sales leaders, managers, and salespeople more receptive to change. A crisis can also spark energy, courage, and perseverance as leaders bring people together to address a shared challenge.

As implementing change gets easier, the key challenge becomes deciding what to change. Beyond the forced move to virtual connection during the pandemic, sales organizations are dealing with critical questions. How will customers buy in the future? How much of the sales process will remain virtual? What does this mean for sales organization design, sales success profiles, sales incentive structures, and other sales management decisions? Four issues need urgent attention now, as changes will only get harder to implement as time passes.

Rethinking the Sales Process

Even before the pandemic, buyers had jumped ahead of B2B selling organizations in their digital savvy. Buyers’ expectations were shaped by online buying experiences with the likes of Amazon and Netflix in their personal lives. Three factors contributed to the slow progress of B2B selling organizations with digital. First, boosting digital and virtual selling usually meant taking some customers or sales tasks away from field salespeople. Salespeople naturally resisted, wanting to keep control of every step in the process. Second, sales leaders held back as they weighed the risk of disrupting customer relationships. Third, as the rigidity of technology collided with the fluidity of B2B selling, digital system implementation was fraught with delays and had questionable impact.

Further Reading

Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, remarked that as the pandemic affected every aspect of life and work, “We saw two years of digital transformation in two months.” Indeed, the technical barriers to change are falling rapidly. Salespeople and customers are ready to change too. A field salesperson wistfully observed of her new virtual sales world, “Customers are getting used to this.” To move forward, it’s important to know when field salespeople will still be prominent or dominant in the sales process and when they will have a diminished role.

The key is to align in-person sales channels with buying complexity and buyer uncertainty. Sales organizations will eliminate or reduce in-person visits in simpler selling situations, including:

  • Straightforward buying steps (sharing information, placing orders)
  • Customers who are comfortable with virtual connection
  • Decision makers who already know what to buy, especially on repeat purchases

Sales organizations will return to primarily in-person selling in complex situations, including:

  • Customers who have undefined needs or are unsure about a solution
  • Circumstances requiring collaboration and creativity
  • Buyers with many decision influencers

Resizing and Restructuring the Sales Force

Sales process redesign necessitates rethinking sales force size and structure. When work shifts to digital and virtual channels, downsizing the field sales force is likely.

Sales force downsizing is an obvious consequence for industries badly hurt by the pandemic, such as travel and transportation. But other industries are downsizing field sales forces as well. At a manufacturing equipment company, customers preferred to ask field sales engineers for help with technical support and fulfillment, rather than working through the service switchboard. During the pandemic, without sales engineers on site, customers were forced to go down the “right” channels for service. Customers discovered that service personnel were better equipped to help them with service issues than they’d expected. As in-person selling returns, the company plans to have fewer field sales engineers and less overlap between sales and service.

As many sales organizations face the trauma of downsizing, there are upsizing opportunities for industries such as cloud services.  Surprisingly, sales force expansions often lag business needs because salespeople generally dislike giving up customers — a natural consequence of adding salespeople. Upsizing may also create advantage when competitors are weakened by the pandemic.

Changing the Sales Success Profile

Changes to sales processes and roles create a need to rethink the sales success profile. This may be the hardest change of all if the capabilities of current sales team members don’t align with new role requirements. Digital fluency was forced on sales teams in the pandemic. Going forward, salespeople, managers, and leaders will need other new capabilities as well.

An industrial valve manufacturer rebounding from the pandemic is redefining its sales success profile to deemphasize relationship-based selling skills and focus more on the empathetic, value-based selling approach that informed customers prefer. The change is bringing more women to the formerly male-dominated sales team.

Other sales organizations are adapting to the multichannel sales environment by bringing more team-oriented salespeople on board. The profile for sales managers is changing as well — for example, emphasizing adaptability over the ability to direct structured processes.

Revising Incentives

A new sales process and success profile can create a need to redesign incentives to reinforce sales role changes. In addition, incentive plan redesign can address unresolved issues that were emerging before the pandemic began. Changes to consider include the following.

Matching pay with value. A mutual fund executive observed recently, “The inside salespeople, who have one-third the income, are doing a better job than the field salespeople.” As selling shifts from field sales to inside sales to digital channels, the pay level for each sales role needs to adjust to match the work performed and value added.

Changing the pay mix. In some cases, selling is becoming more multichannel and team-based, yet salespeople still earn large incentives tied to individual short-term results. It could be time to shift the pay mix to a larger salary and less incentive, or to tie incentives to metrics reflecting team-based rather than individual performance.

Rethinking plan type. Industries such as office supplies and medical supplies have high carryover sales (repeat sales for little or no sales effort). Yet these industries often pay salespeople commissions from the first dollar of sales. Switching to an incentive plan that pays for meeting and exceeding sales goals can motivate more sales effort and drive growth.

Aligning metrics with strategy. For example, say salespeople earn incentives for achieving a combined sales goal (total sales of all products) even though products have different margins or strategic value. It is a good time to revise the incentive plan to emphasize some products over others.

There are cascading implications to all these sales force changes. A new sales process has impact on sales roles and organization design, which affects the success profile, the incentive plan, and more. Alignment across sales decisions and programs is essential as leaders implement these and other challenging sales force changes.

If our content helps you to contend with coronavirus and other challenges, please consider subscribing to HBR. A subscription purchase is the best way to support the creation of these resources.



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Wanted: Stock investors with time and money to support profitable, well-run companies


“Corporate managers get the shareholders they deserve.” That old saying has rarely been more important. In today’s corporate proxy battles, when the margin of victory can be slight, managers and shareholders alike are subject to control by thin majorities. That’s why savvy corporate leaders sculpt their shareholder base. 

How? One way is via the bully pulpit, to deter shareholders unaligned with corporate philosophy. For example, at a Starbucks
US:SBUX
 shareholders meeting, CEO Howard Schultz once told a critic of the company’s hiring practices to sell the stock. In a letter to shareholders of The Washington Post Co., CEO Don Graham once stressed the company’s long-term outlook, adding: “If you are a shareholder and YOU care about our quarterly results, perhaps you should think about selling the stock.”

Besides hectoring to deter, many corporate practices are useful in attracting a certain shareholder base, one that is both patient and focused. This cohort was dubbed by Warren Buffett as “high quality shareholders” (QSs for short). While not rubber-stamps for incumbent directors or strategies, their voting records suggest a focus that makes them more knowledgeable than indexers or proxy advisers, and a patience that makes them more willing than transient shareholders to credit and support long-term thinking. 

Evidence shows an association between high densities of QSs in a company and the managerial quest for superior corporate performance. Why? One possibility is that QSs are drawn to companies which boast competitive advantages that boost performance and deflect rivals’ threats. Often referred to as “moats,” these include economies of scale, distribution systems, patents, network effects and brand strength. 

Rankings of some 500 companies by moat strength are regularly tallied by investment researcher Morningstar, and rankings of some 2,000 companies by QS density have been developed by the Quality Shareholder Initiative at George Washington University.

Comparing 200 companies common to both lists, one-third of the Morningstar moats are in the top 10% of the QSI ranking, two-thirds are in the top 25%; and the overwhelming majority — almost 90% — are in the top half. In other words, the data confirm widely known anecdotal evidence that moats attract QSs.   

Leaders in both moat strength and QS density

Among moats, brand strength appears to be a particular magnet for QSs. There is a strong association between managers regarded as the best stewards of great brands and QSI rankings. For instance, among U.S. managers ranked in the global elite for brand guardianship, a total of 38 executives, all but one are in the top half of the QSI rankings. In short, managers wishing to attract more QSs should invest in brand strength and other moats.

Leaders in both brand strength and QS density

A more intriguing reason why high densities of QSs are associated with corporate outperformance is that the QS cohort is itself a source of competitive advantage, akin to network effects.  These arise when a system’s value increases as more people use it.  In most cases, network effects represent a tangible benefit to customers, as with fax machines in the old days and social media today.  

Similar advantages can arise from a network of QSs. As a group, QSs are more likely than other major shareholder cohorts — such as indexers or transients — to care about the identity of fellow shareholders. This “birds of a feather” effect is visible among the companies held by leading QSs, such as those listed below.

Leading QSs that may draw fellow QSs 

Baker Brothers

Baupost Group

Berkshire Hathaway
US:BRK
 

US:BRK
 Blue Harbour

Cantillon Capital     

Capital Research Global

Fiduciary Management

Gates Foundation

Kensico Capital

Lone Pine Capital

Southeastern Asset Management

Temasek Holdings

Companies tap into the broader QS ecosystem, where members tend to know one another or know of one another. Resulting network effects reinforce all the advantages of a high-density QS base of patient and knowledgeable shareholders.

The QS cohort may also help brand a company. After all, consumer brands become competitive advantages when they assure that consumers recognize product features. A corporate reputation for attracting QSs is a competitive advantage when a company repeatedly commits to the values patient focused shareholders appreciate, including long-term performance metrics and rational capital allocation policies. 

To reach patient and focused individual QSs, many companies cultivate reputations among both consumers and shareholders. Examples include Churchill Downs
US:CHDN
 , where shareholders enjoy many racing days throughout the year and enthusiastic support of the Kentucky Derby day; Harley-Davidson
US:HOG
 , where shareholders ride their “hogs” in caravans to the annual meeting, and others whose brands and owners focus on particular sustainability commitments, such as Patagonia.  

Whatever explains the association between high densities of QSs and corporate outperformance, managers and companies alike benefit from having many QSs on the shareholder list. When ownership of corporate equity is dominated, as it is today, by unfocused indexers and impatient traders, such a cohort of QSs will often be the swing vote in corporate proxy battles. Properly courted and catered to, these loyal shareholders can determine the outcome of elections, as well as the course of corporate prosperity. 

Lawrence A. Cunningham is a professor and director of the Quality Shareholders Initiative at George Washington University.  He owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. His new book is Quality Shareholders: How the Best Managers Attract and Keep Them.  Register for his upcoming free book talk hosted by the Museum of American Finance and Fordham University here.

More: Here’s evidence that putting customers and employees first turns out to be profitable for a company’s stockholders too

Plus: Warren Buffett knows these are the best investors to follow with your own money



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