Category Archives: Australia

Western Australia may never reopen borders due to ‘very tight’ coronavirus targets | Instant News

An Australian state that may NEVER reopen its borders as coronavirus targets are ‘very tight’

  • Western Australia stands firm in its refusal to reopen its borders across Australia
  • Said states and territories should not record community transmissions for 28 days
  • Health experts warn the country’s ‘awesome’ benchmark may never be achieved
  • The state’s chief health officer said tough borders were essential to managing the coronavirus threat

Western Australia may never reopen its tough borders to the rest of the country unless ‘senseless tightening’ is relaxed, an epidemiologist warned.

Prime Minister Mark McGowan has refused to reopen borders until all other states and territories do not register community transmissions for 28 consecutive days.

His stance was echoed by state chief health officer Andy Robertson this week, who argues that tough borders are essential to managing corona virus threat in WA.

But the NSW University Professor World Health Organization advisor Mary-Louise McLaws has warned WA benchmarks may never be reached.

WA closed its border with the rest of the country six months ago and has not reopened it. Pictured are police stopping a driver at a checkpoint 110 km south of Perth

‘I think those 28 days are nothing to watch out for,’ said Professor McLaws A B C.

‘This is admirable, but seeks total eradication, or close to (it). And I don’t think we can do it. ‘

He believes the two-week rolling average of less than five cases across all states and territories is more realistic.

It’s been six months since WA closed its borders with the rest of the country for the first time on April 2.

McGowan is the only state or territory leader not committed to reopening borders before Christmas at the recent National Cabinet meeting.

The state government website says Western Australia’s borders will only reopen ‘when necessary’, based on health advice for WA.

“It is assessed and considered regularly,” the website added.

The West Australian border will not open until all other states and territories have not recorded community transmissions for 28 consecutive days.  Pictured is the sleepy Perth Airport

The West Australian border will not open until all other states and territories have not recorded community transmissions for 28 consecutive days. Pictured is the sleepy Perth Airport

Dr Robertson said the country is constantly monitoring the developing situation.

“If you look at the modeling, we are now probably one of the most vulnerable states if the infection gets in here,” he told the ABC.

WA health authorities are struggling to contain an outbreak of 17 cases on the cargo ship Patricia Oldendorff which is anchored off the coast of Port Headland on the northwest coast.

No new cases were reported as of Wednesday, but nine people remain on board as top crew, seven of whom have tested positive.

There are also 12 crew members in quarantine at the fenced Hedland Hotel, where all but two of them tested positive.

The state government website says Western Australia's borders will only reopen 'when necessary'.  Pictured is the state capital of Perth

The state government website says Western Australia’s borders will only reopen ‘when necessary’. Pictured is the state capital of Perth

NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian slammed states with strict border restrictions, claiming they “live in a false sense of security”.

“They welcome people from other states,” Berejiklian told Sunrise on Wednesday.

“ We’ve said if you want to keep the economy going, get rid of borders, allow people to move freely, run the tourism industry and of course, we can see opportunities to allow more people into the hospitality scene, but we need to make sure we’re ready for that. ‘

NSW has recorded the sixth consecutive day of zero community transmission as Queensland opened its borders to 152,000 far north shore NSW residents on Thursday, in time for a public holiday weekend and the second week of school holidays.

The only two new cases recorded in NSW on Thursday were tourists in hotel quarantines,

The two-week rolling average in virus-hit Victoria has dropped to 15.6, although there were 15 more cases as of Thursday.

WA chief health officer Andy Robertson said tough borders were essential to managing the coronavirus threat.  Pictured is Perth's Elizabeth Quay Bridge that lights up red on Wednesday evening

WA chief health officer Andy Robertson said tough borders were essential to managing the coronavirus threat. Pictured is Perth’s Elizabeth Quay Bridge that lights up red on Wednesday evening



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Asia Today: September is India’s worst pandemic month | Instant News

India has reported more than 86,000 cases of the new coronavirus and another 1,181 deaths in the past day

NEW DELHI – India on Thursday reported 86,821 new coronavirus cases and 1,181 other deaths, making September the pandemic’s worst month.

The Ministry of Health’s updates over the past 24 hours raised India’s total to more than 6.3 million infected and 98,678 died from COVID-19. India added 41% of confirmed cases and 34% of deaths in September alone.

India is expected to be the worst-hit country by the pandemic in weeks, surpassing the United States, where more than 7.2 million people have been infected.

The government announced further easing of restrictions starting October 15. Cinemas, theaters and multiplexes can be opened with a seating capacity of up to 50%, and swimming pools can also be used by athletes in training.

The government also said India’s 28 states could decide to reopen schools and coaching institutions gradually after October 15. However, students will have the option of attending online classes.

International commercial flights will remain suspended until 31 October. However, evacuation flights will continue to and from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Japan and several other countries.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a tight world lockdown across the country in late March, but began easing restrictions after two months to revive the hard-hit economy which contracted an unprecedented 24% in the April-June quarter. The lockdown costs more than 10 million poor migrant workers their jobs in the city.

In other developments around the Asia-Pacific region:

– Tens of millions of Chinese people traveled during the combined National Day and Mid-Autumn festivals, amid continued camouflage and other security requirements aimed at preventing an outbreak of the new virus in a country that has not had a case of local transmission in more than a month. However, less travel is expected, for fear that restrictions could be reinstated if a new outbreak occurs. In Beijing, students and teachers are advised not to leave the city to ensure classes can continue smoothly after recess. Partly as compensation, cinemas and tourist attractions in the capital were allowed to operate at 75% capacity. China has the second largest box office in the world and watching movies is a major holiday activity.

– Singapore will allow entry of tourists from Vietnam and Australia, excluding the coronavirus-stricken Victoria state, starting October 8. The small city state last month welcomed visitors from Brunei and New Zealand, and cautiously reopened its borders after the virus shutdown to help revive its airport, a major regional aviation hub. Aviation authorities said there was a low risk of virus imports from the two countries. Travelers must undergo a virus swab test on arrival, travel on a direct flight without transit, and download a mobile app for contact tracing. Singapore’s move was not reciprocated by the other four countries. But Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook post Wednesday that “with every step of opening the safe border, we are starting to rebuild the bridge and resuscitate Changi Airport.” Singapore has managed to bring the pandemic under control after a previous increase in infections among foreign workers living in overcrowded dormitories. It has confirmed more than 57,000 cases of infection with 27 deaths from COVID-19.

– South Korea reported 77 new cases of coronavirus infection as officials called for caution around one of its biggest national holidays. Figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency bring the national caseload to 23,889, including 415 deaths. Health Minister Park Neung-hoo has pleaded with people to stay home during the Chuseok harvest holiday which continues into the weekend, calling it a critical period to determine whether the country will experience a major outbreak in the fall.


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China’s carbon pledge leaves Australia economically isolated and vulnerable | Instant News

Diplomacy aside, the potential economic impact for Australia from China’s carbon neutrality pledge should not be underestimated. In the 2018/19 financial year, Australia exported $ 14 billion worth of coal to China. This trade is far more important for Australia than it is for China. This adds little to China’s domestic supply, but makes up a large part of what is Australia’s second largest export industry.


Unfortunately, China thirst for coal likely to remain unabated for the next few years, thanks to what looks set to be a carbon-intensive economic recovery. However, recent trade tensions and China’s better access to other markets have emerged already put our coal exports under threat. Last week’s announcement is likely to be their death knell for the next decade.

Analysis exit from China indicates that current coal use will start to decline towards the end of China’s next Five-Year Plan in 2025. By 2035, it will be on an accelerating trajectory of decline. China will come under pressure to bend this curve faster. And whenever this time comes, Australia will not be able to simply close the gap in our export market by supplying more coal to countries like India.

Even the government does it conceded, putting all hopes on India will pose a “significant risk” given the suggestion that India could ban all coal imports in the next few years. India is also investing heavily in solar power in a bid to leapfrog the carbon-intensive development that has characterized the Western world as well as China. The fact that India could now become the world’s biggest emitter will also see geopolitical pressures for greater action shift in its direction.

Therefore, this brings another sharp reality to Australia. The perennial debate around renewable energy has too often focused on domestic consumption and the need for affordability and reliability. Both are important but ignore the massive industrial and export opportunities that accompany Australia into what Ross Garnaut has called a “low carbon superpower”. These are odds measured in trillions, not billions.


Fortunately for Australia, the worldwide renewable energy industry is still in its infancy. But unlike the industrial revolution, which lasted 100 years, the finish line of this tectonic shift to the global energy system and our present society is set only three or four decades from now. Like any other race, those who miss late are unlikely to win.

This was something Biden came to understand with hers commitment to establish the Clean Energy Exports and Climate Investment Initiative to make America the world leader in clean energy technologies. And that is why the decisions Australia has taken in response to this global depression are so important.

We may be slow to miss, but the real test will come in the second half of the decade as China – which represents 27 percent of global emissions today – peaks overall emissions and adopts a steep trajectory to reach net zero in just 30 years. To put it in perspective, it’s a transition that took twice as long for the UK, having peaked its emissions in 1991. And while the real test for China is still to come, a top-down, highly centralized system now has targets. where long-term planning and policy decisions will inevitably revolve.


When this happens, China’s thirst for renewable energy technologies will be far greater than ever for Australian coal. For example, the Bernstein Research has was found that solar PV installed capacity in China is likely to grow from about 300 gigawatts currently to over 2500GW by 2050, as the share of the energy mix grows from 3 percent currently to over 32 percent. Wind power generation is also likely to grow by more than 600 percent.

Xi’s announcement therefore fundamentally changes the economic table for Australia. It can no longer be a question of just how much coal China is burning. Now the question is how many solar panels and wind turbines we produce. Otherwise, Australia will not only remain diplomatically isolated, but also increasingly vulnerable economically.

Thom Woodroofe, a former climate diplomat, is senior multilateral affairs adviser to the president of the Asian Society of Policy Institute, where he manages projects on future US-China climate cooperation. @tokopedia

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Australia’s virus hotspot state, Victoria, reported its 800th death, other states are easing restrictions | Instant News

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s coronavirus hotspot state, Victoria, reported its 800th death from the virus on Thursday, but the low number of cases raises the prospect of “COVID-normal” 2021 without social lockdowns or restrictions, said the state prime minister that.

FILE PHOTO: A cyclist wears a face mask in Melbourne after becoming the first city in Australia to enforce the wearing of masks in public as part of efforts to curb the rise of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), 23 July 2020. REUTERS / Sandra Sanders

“We believe we will be able to build a normal Christmas COVID, a normal summer of COVID and the virus at a level so low that we can sustain it over the long term,” Victorian state Prime Minister Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

“It’s even possible for the majority, or even for the whole of 2021.”

Victoria, the second most populous state in the country, accounts for 90% of the national COVID-19 deaths. Australia, with 888 fatalities, fared much better than many other developed countries.

The lower figure came after a tight lockdown in the Victorian state capital, Melbourne. Strict measures are set to remain in effect until the average of new daily cases during the two-week window drops below five.

Victoria on Thursday reported 15 new cases, pushing the two-week average below 16.

As fears of a second national COVID-19 wave subside, the state of Queensland on Thursday said it would ease restrictions on some people entering from Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales (NSW).

Queensland hotels, clubs and dining establishments can now have double the number of outdoor visitors, with a capacity limited to just one person per two square meters, while up to 1,000 people can attend outdoor events, said Queensland state Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk .

NSW reported no locally acquired cases of COVID-19 for six consecutive days. The state reported three new cases with two in quarantine while the third was an old case added to the tally. The state of Queensland reported no new cases.

Three other Australian states and two territories have no or few local or only imported cases.

Reporting by Renju Jose and Colin Packham; Edited by Tom Hogue and Michael Perry


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Australia’s manufacturing sector received an AU $ 1.5 billion boost from the federal government | Instant News

Six Industries – resource technology and critical minerals, food beverages, medical products, recycling and clean energy, room, and defense – all pledged as part of the Australian government’s AU $ 1.5 billion manufacturing revitalization package over the next four years, starting in 2021.

“The aim is to scale and generate revenue in high-value manufacturing where Australia has established competitive strengths or emerging priorities,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in his pre-budget address at the National Press Club on Thursday.

“This will require our manufacturing sector to be more productive and highly skilled, to be more collaborative on the cutting edge of R&D, commercialization and technology adoption, to look more outwardly, and to continue to find a foothold in global markets.”

Of the AU $ 1.5 billion, which is the latest pledge by the Morrison government ahead of next Tuesday’s federal budget, AU $ 1.3 billion will be used to encourage businesses to collaborate with other businesses, commercialize ideas, and integrate with international markets and supply chains.

Morrison added that the government will target priority areas and invest in “cross-cutting technologies and processes that improve production efficiency, such as data analysis automation, artificial intelligence and other supporting technologies that make things work.”

Another AU $ 52.8 million will be distributed towards the federal government’s existing manufacturing modernization fund designed to support “transformational investments in technology and processes”.

See also: 89% of manufacturing companies have reported a business impact due to COVID-19 (TechRepublic)

Morrison added that the government will partner with industry before April to draw up plans for the next two, five and 10 years. The plan will also include benchmarks such as how many jobs are being created, what the level of R&D is, and how much investment has been made.

The modern manufacturing strategy also includes AU $ 50 million for the government’s industrial growth center initiative, which aims to support projects in six priority areas by the end of June 2022.

There are also plans to refresh the Australian Science and Innovation board, which will continue to be led by Andrew Stevens, former head of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Growth, as well as to conduct a “comprehensive review” of existing programs under Industry. , Science and Technology to make sure it is more aligned with strategy.

The federal government’s pledge to the manufacturing sector coincides with BHP’s plan to commit up to AU $ 450 million in contracts with Australia’s mining, equipment, technology and services (METS) sector. The company said it would work directly and through its top technology providers to source more local products and services, and invest in piloting technology and emerging businesses.

Earlier this week, the federal government announced AU $ 800 million Digital Business Package, which includes expanding its digital identity system, launching Consumer Data Rights, introducing a one-stop shop for business registrations, and wasting money on blockchain trials.

Shadow Secretary for Science Brendan O’Connor and Assistant Shadow Minister for Manufacturing Louise Pratt have jointly accused the Morrison administration’s latest announcement as “nothing more than a repackaged announcement”.

“Currently AU $ 1.5 billion is less than what this government cut from the Research and Development Tax Incentive – an important initiative for our advanced manufacturing future,” they said.

“Morrison’s government bill before parliament will rob nearly AU $ 2 billion of research and development, directly hurting Australian manufacturing.

The six priority areas announced today were all identified in the 2012 Labor PM Manufacturing Task Force Report and announced in the 2013 Australian Jobs Plan, raising the question – where has this government been for the last seven years? “

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