South Australian reforms to put two-thirds of local commercial fishers out of business, stakeholders say


A petition to address “loopholes” in the South Australian Government’s Marine Scalefish Fishery reforms has been launched by stakeholders who believe the changes will render the majority of local commercial fishers unviable.

With just four days until the Government’s licence buyback scheme finishes, the Marine Fishers Association (MFA) has warned licences are at risk of being bought up by corporate traders who will accumulate too much quota.

“This has already happened in other industry species; offshore and interstate investors already control over 65 per cent of our rock lobster industry.”

The reforms aim to manage four priority species: snapper, southern garfish, southern calamari and King George whiting, under what the Government calls Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQ)— except on the West Coast where whiting was last week removed from the ITQ system.

MFA executive officer Gary Morgan said it was working with the Government to address “ongoing issues, particularly around keeping the fishery local so that it continues to contribute to local communities and economies”.

King George whiting has been excluded from the quota system on the West Coast only.(Supplied: Primary Industry SA)

The Government has previously said it wanted to work with industry to entrench small, local family fishing businesses as the “enduring foundation of the industry”.

Primary Industries Minister David Basham said the Government was not proposing to change existing owner-operator provisions for the fishery.

He said 88 fishers had so far applied to surrender their licence under the Government’s $24.5 million reform package.

“This will be the only licence surrender process, so for those still considering their future in the fishery, time is of the essence if you are considering taking advantage of this offer,” Mr Basham said.

Redistributing wealth

The ITQs are being distributed from 20 per cent of a zone’s total allowable commercial catch, with the remaining 80 per cent calculated by an individual’s catch history between 2010 and 2016 — leaving many fishers with unviable allocations.

Spencer Gulf licence holder Hamish Ward bought in recently with his cousin to continue family tradition and to set up an income stream while he looks after his son, who has mitochondrial disease, in coming years.

He said they had been penalised under the 20:80 model after being allocated just 76 kilograms.

He said the Government had not listened to feedback that gave several different approaches to managing fisheries.

This included an adjustment period of between three to five years that would allow fishers with higher quotas to adjust down, and those with low quotas to regain the position they started from.

It also suggested a method, based on the SA Northern Rock Lobster Fishery, to give recent and new entrants into fisheries an industry average quota upfront that ensured they were not disadvantaged.

“It explained those methods and gave examples of how it has worked in other industries, but the Government has not followed it up,” Mr Ward said.

He said fishers were also annoyed by the Government’s last-minute decision to give long-standing fishers with un-amalgamated licences — worth half the cost of an amalgamated or full licence (about $140,000) — the same quota as amalgamated licences.

“The Government’s just making up the rules as they go, from what I can tell.”

Exceptional circumstances

Mr Basham said fishers, who had been allocated significantly less quota than they believed viable and were considering surrendering their licence, should also apply for an “exceptional circumstances” process for their quota allocation.

He said the Government had run “extensive consultation” and had received “significant input from fishers, including 69 written submissions and over 250 attendees at meetings.

“We asked for feedback on reform, and we listened and acted to that feedback as well as the scientific data.”

This included removing whiting from ITQs from the West Coast zone last week and instead choosing to manage it under an increased Total Allowable Commercial Catch of 473 tonnes for the 2021-22 season.

It was a move embraced by the MFA, which said it was based on science undertaken by the SA Research and Development Institute.

Mr Morgan added that recent claims made by some fishers that it would lead to conflict if those hit hard by ITQs elsewhere in the state relocated to the West Coast to fish whiting were “alarmist and without foundation”.

Fishers have until 5pm Friday to apply for the voluntary licence surrender program.



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Infection control checks skip two-thirds of aged care facilities


Labor’s aged care spokeswoman Julie Collins said this showed the commission – which did not receive any additional funding in last week’s federal budget, despite its forecast that a COVID-19 vaccine was a year away – “doesn’t have the powers and resources it needs” to protect older Australians.

Four of five COVID-19 deaths recorded on Wednesday were linked to aged care, all of them in Victoria, bringing the sector’s national death toll to 690.

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson last month told the COVID-19 Senate inquiry that the commission “would benefit” from broader powers and increased funding, saying: “If there were more resources, I would do more.”

The commission launched a national infection control monitoring blitz on August 3 as Victoria’s deadly second wave gathered pace, conducting an initial 448 checks nationally by September 11 across the nation’s more than 2700 residential aged care facilities.

Four weeks later, it had completed 961 infection control checks, including 385 in NSW – which has 949 aged care homes with 70,000 residents – and 345 in Victoria, which has 747 homes with 55,000 residents.

“It surprises me that they haven’t gone to every Victorian home, given the circumstances in Victoria,” Professor Ibrahim said.

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He said residents in NSW, where the number of new cases of community transmission hit 11 on Wednesday – higher than Victoria’s seven – were also vulnerable.

Professor Ibrahim said the federal government and the regulator appeared to be “closing their eyes” and leaving responsibility for outbreaks with providers, which had shown themselves to be ill-equipped to deal with them.

“More than ever, we need eyes in homes and people to be speaking up, and we don’t have that,” he said.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said the commission, as part of its wider activities, had undertaken a total of 1154 visits to facilities nationally relating to infection prevention and control since March. He said the Australian Defence Force had also made 593 compliance checks under the operations of the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre.

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Ms Collins said the Morrison government “must fix” the regulator to ensure it had “the powers and resources it needs to ensure older Australians are receiving high quality aged care.”

“It beggars belief that despite the deadly risk of COVID-19 in aged care, the regulator hasn’t done more visits,” she said.

Senator Colbeck said the commission has been “continuously engaged” in regulatory activity across the sector throughout COVID-19, including more than 12,000 “non-site contacts”, such as telephone assessments and self- assessment surveys, since March.

“The government has also provided additional funding to the commission during COVID-19 to bolster its regulatory activity during this time,” he said.

“Unannounced re-accreditation visits didn’t even exist under previous Labor governments.”

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Canada gains 245,800 jobs, recovering nearly two-thirds of COVID-19 losses


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Canada’s economy added 245,800 jobs in August, a fourth-straight month of gains that has recouped nearly two thirds of employment losses from the pandemic.

The hiring lowered the jobless rate to 10.2 per cent, from 10.9 per cent in July, and brings the number of jobs recovered since the height of the pandemic to 1.9 million.

Canada lost 3 million jobs in March and April. Economists had forecast a 250,000 increase and an unemployment rate of 10.2 per cent in August.

While the initial quick recovery in Canada’s labour market is welcome, economists predict it will fade, with many of those initially displaced by the pandemic already back at work and the economy as open as it can be for now.

The latest numbers capture the reopening of Toronto, Canada’s biggest city and one of the last to ease restrictions due to high COVID-19 counts. Ontario posted 142,000 new jobs last month.

But without any further lifting of COVID-19 restrictions anytime soon, future job gains are likely to be gradual.

Of the August gains, 205,800 were in full-time and 40,000 part-time.

Bloomberg.com



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Covid shifts to the young: Two-thirds of new infections in the UK are in the under-40s


Two-thirds of new coronavirus infections in the UK are in the under-40s, while the rate among older people has fallen sharply in an ‘extraordinary’ shift.

The number of over-50s testing positive for Covid-19 now represents just a fifth of those nationwide, compared with three quarters in the spring.

Just three per cent are now made up of those over 80, down from 28 per cent six months ago, reported The Times.

The peak age range for infections is now in the 20s but for most of the pandemic it was in the 80s – sparking hope further restrictions can be reduced because it seems older people are voluntarily shielding.

One Government adviser has suggested a Swedish-style effort to keep workplaces open while advising older people to stay at home.

This graph shows the number of new coronavirus infections by age group over the last two weeks

One Government adviser has suggested a Swedish-style effort to keep workplaces open while advising older people to stay at home. Pictured, the age of patients who died in hospitals in England during a week in mid-August

One Government adviser has suggested a Swedish-style effort to keep workplaces open while advising older people to stay at home. Pictured, the age of patients who died in hospitals in England during a week in mid-August

Mark Woolhouse of the University of Edinburgh, who sits on the government’s SPI-M modelling group, said ‘the epidemic is starting to divide’ people by age.  

Ministers have spoken out against plans to ask people to shield based on their age and are worried if infections are allowed to rise in the young it will eventually spread to more vulnerable members of society.

Especially after France reported a rise in hospital admissions just weeks after cases in young people increased.     

Last week 2,042 cases were confirmed in people in their twenties, more than ten times the number among over-80s. 

Professor Dame Anne Johnson, professor of infectious disease epidemiology, University College London, told BBC Radio 4: ‘This is indeed a critical moment. If you look at the data from PHE across the country, we are now seeing the highest number of detected infections in younger people aged 20-29 and also going up to 45. 

The number of over-50s testing positive for Covid-19 now represents just a fifth of those nationwide, compared with three quarters in the spring. Pictured, diners in Frith Street, Soho, on August 11

The number of over-50s testing positive for Covid-19 now represents just a fifth of those nationwide, compared with three quarters in the spring. Pictured, diners in Frith Street, Soho, on August 11

Government figures show around 20,000 were in hospital every day during the darkest days of the crisis in April

Government figures show around 20,000 were in hospital every day during the darkest days of the crisis in April

Around 3,000 people a day were admitted to hospital with Covid-19 at the peak of the crisis in April, according to government statistics. The correct figure is not yet known

Around 3,000 people a day were admitted to hospital with Covid-19 at the peak of the crisis in April, according to government statistics. The correct figure is not yet known

Ministers have spoken out against plans to ask people to shield based on their age and are worried if infections are allowed to rise in the young it will eventually spread to more vulnerable members of society. Pictured, women on a night out in Soho on August 29

Ministers have spoken out against plans to ask people to shield based on their age and are worried if infections are allowed to rise in the young it will eventually spread to more vulnerable members of society. Pictured, women on a night out in Soho on August 29

‘On the one hand, the good news is we aren’t at the moment seeing the uptick in cases in hospitals and in deaths but of course that reflects where the transmission is going on.’

She added that it would be ‘incredibly important’ to continue to tell young people about the risks of transmitting coronavirus. 

Cases started rising in younger people from July, when the hospitality sector was allowed to open up. 

The number of positive Covid-19 tests are lower in all ages than in the Spring, but the number of elderly people with the disease has fallen.

Sir David Spiegelhalter, professor of public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge, said the age shift was ‘affected by testing availability, but also a shift in who is infected’. 

He added: ‘The elderly and frail seem to be far better protected than they were at the start of the epidemic, but they need to be able to get their freedom back.’ 

There are now an estimated 2,000 new cases each day, on average – down 200 from last Friday, when the prediction sat at 2,200 – according to the Office for National Statistics.

Some 27,100 people in England are thought to be infected at any one time – 0.05 per cent of the population or one in every 2,000 people. This total is a decrease of four per cent from the 28,200 estimate last week. 

Manchester Airport saw arrivals from Portugal today

A holiday goer arrives home from Portugal today

Holiday goers arriving back to the UK after Portugal was not added to the UK quarantine list. The peak age range for infections is now in the 20s but for most of the pandemic it was in the 80s

Britain yesterday confirmed another 1,940 cases of coronavirus in the biggest surge for more than three months, with May 30 the last time so many people were diagnosed with the virus. 

There are 1,530 people testing positive, on average, each day – a jump of 30 per cent in one week. The seven-day rolling average has been steadily increasing since reaching record-low numbers in mid-July. 

Despite this, scientists say the soaring number of tests and still-falling hospitalisations show that a second wave is not incoming, and that a better testing system is simply picking up more young people who only get mildly ill and weren’t getting tested before. 

King's College London researchers also estimate there are 2,000 new cases per day across the whole of the UK. But this is a surge of 53 per cent on their estimate given the week prior - 1,300

King’s College London researchers also estimate there are 2,000 new cases per day across the whole of the UK. But this is a surge of 53 per cent on their estimate given the week prior – 1,300

Office for National Statistics data: There are now an estimated 2,000 new cases each day, on average

Office for National Statistics data: There are now an estimated 2,000 new cases each day, on average

A further 10 people are confirmed to have died across all settings, according to the Department of Health, taking the total to 41,537. 

Most are expected to be in England, considering none were reported by the individual health agencies of Wales or Scotland. One was in Northern Ireland.

The fact that deaths continue to fall – the seven day average is today 37 per cent lower than it was last Friday – also suggests that Britain is not staring down the barrel of a crisis like the one that struck in March and April. 

Instead, as different groups of people get infected and the threshold for getting a test is lower, the fatality ratio now should remain low.

Professor Carl Heneghan, a medicine expert at the University of Oxford, said this week: ‘What we are seeing is a sharp rise in the number of healthy people who are carrying the virus, but exhibiting no symptoms… They are being spotted because – finally – a comprehensive system of national test and trace is in place.’   

THERE IS NO SIGN OF A SECOND WAVE OF COVID-19 IN THE UK, SAY SCIENTISTS 

Britain is not entering a second wave of coronavirus infections and the young, mildly-affected people being diagnosed in rising case numbers are not likely to trigger a rise in hospitalisations, experts say.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock this week warned that the UK ‘must do everything in our power’ to stop a second surge of people going into hospital with the coronavirus, which he said was starting to happen in Europe. 

But experts told MailOnline Mr Hancock’s comments were ‘alarmist’ and that there is currently ‘no sign’ of a second wave coming over the horizon. The data shows hospital cases are also not rising by much in Europe, contrary to the Health Secretary’s claim.

As of Monday there were only 764 people in hospital with Covid-19 in the UK, just 60 of whom are in intensive care. This is a sharp drop from a peak of 19,872 hospitalised patients on April 12.

The falling number of hospital cases comes despite infections having been on the rise since lockdown restrictions were lifted at the start of July. Experts say this is because the groups getting infected and diagnosed now are completely different to those at the start of the pandemic. 

Scientists say it is younger people driving up infections and they are less likely to get seriously ill and end up in hospital. For that reason, hospital cases and deaths will not necessarily follow higher cases, and there may not be a deadly wave like the first.   

Professor Carl Heneghan, a medicine expert at the University of Oxford, said: ‘There is currently no second wave. What we are seeing is a sharp rise in the number of healthy people who are carrying the virus, but exhibiting no symptoms. Almost all of them are young. They are being spotted because – finally – a comprehensive system of national test and trace is in place.’

Mr Hancock said in the Commons on Tuesday that he feared this rise in infections in healthy people would creep into vulnerable groups if allowed to continue, saying it was a pattern seen in the US where cases are out of control again.  

But scientists have shot down Mr Hancock’s doomsayer comments, pointing out that deaths have not risen in France or Spain, and the reason hospital admissions have not risen in the UK with diagnosed cases ‘simply reflects increased testing’. 

Official data from the continent shows Europe’s hospitals are not filling up with coronavirus patients despite a surge in positive tests – hospitalisations have been falling in France, Spain and Germany while cases have risen.

Open University statistician Professor Kevin McConway told MailOnline: ‘An important point is that numbers of Covid deaths in France have shown very little evidence of a rise recently. There has been something of a rise in deaths Spain, but not very marked at all.’ 

Statisticians say expansion of testing capacity means infections are being found more easily than at the start of the pandemic. In the UK alone, the number of tests being carried out has increased by 20 per cent from the start of July to now. But the number of positive results has gone up by only 0.3 per cent in the same period, suggesting new cases are a combination of more tests, and only a slight rise in infections in hotspots.  



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Two-thirds of BAME people feel police forces are biased against them, study finds



Police chiefs said they are working to address racial inequality after a study found that two-thirds of black and minority ethnic people felt forces are biased against them.

Four out of five respondents of black and Bangladeshi heritage felt this way, compared with about half of those of Chinese and Indian backgrounds.

The research suggests the majority do not believe the issues are systemic, with most agreeing that any issues were down to a few individual officers.


The charity Hope Not Hate surveyed about 1,000 adults in Britain last month in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in the US and anti-racism protests in the UK.

Labour MP Dawn Butler, Team GB athlete Bianca Williams and Met inspector Charles Ehikioya, who were all stopped in their cars by police in London, have recently accused officers of “racial profiling”.

According to the report, some 64 per cent of ethnic minorities agreed that the police as a whole were good. Black communities were slightly lower on 58 per cent, but still a majority.

Three quarters of black people, 71 per cent of Bangladeshis and half of Indian respondents felt they are dealt with more severely in the courts.

Detective Inspector Andy George, interim president of the National Black Police Association, said the results confirmed its concerns around trust and confidence in UK policing.

Inspector Charles Ehikioya recorded the incident, which happened as he drove home from work in Croydon (Charles Ehikioya)

He said: “Now is the time to acknowledge the evidence produced in this report and build long-term strategies to increase trust and confidence in BAME communities.”

There was widespread anger in the survey about the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and feelings of political alienation.

Labour MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, quoted in the report, said BAME communities, who have been disproportionately affected by the virus, had been treated as “cannon fodder” in the war against coronavirus, adding: “These people’s lives are not, and should not, have been dispensable.”

Half of the BAME respondents said they have witnessed or experienced racist comments being made in public or on social media in the past 12 months.

Almost three-quarters said they support the recent Black Lives Matter protests, but there were fears that they might prompt a backlash from sections of the white population.

An National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman said it had “invested significant time and resources into working out how we can better engage with communities of all backgrounds”, adding: “We will take any action necessary to implement positive changes.”



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Morrison makes two-thirds of the right call on Hong Kong


The government has made the suitable get in touch with in dumping its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and allowing students and temporary workers to continue to be. But is it truly involved about human legal rights, or just about choosing up “expertise”?

(Graphic: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

The government’s twin conclusions to suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, and to offer de facto lasting residency to Hong Kong citizens by now below, is that unusual matter — the right ethical, financial and foreign plan get in touch with.

Its place on potential alternatives for Hongkongers to flee China’s tyranny, however, is tone deaf and in excess of-thought.

The government’s preferred rationalization for its choices yesterday is that China’s imposition of a draconian “countrywide safety legislation” on Hong Kong “constitutes a essential change of instances”.





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