Tag Archives: Scott Morrison

The latest Australian Coronavirus: a week at a glance Australian News | Instant News


Good evening, here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in Australia. This is Luke Henriques-Gomes and this is Friday 31st July.

Victoria is in crisis

Victoria is on the verge of implementing further coronavirus restrictions after weeks of horror that saw a few more death and a record 732 new cases on Thursday. Daniel Andrews, the prime minister, announced that face masks are mandatory throughout the state, expanding regulations that make them mandatory in Melbourne. He also acknowledged the government was considering further steps, and that of the country it is not possible to abandon stage three restrictions in three weeks if the trend continues.

The elderly care system is in chaos

The increasing death rate in Victoria is triggered by the spread of the virus in several nursing homes, whisper authorized to take over several facilities. A number of nursing homes are in various countries chaos, said the family, while Victoria and the federal government increasingly fought over the crisis that ensued. Blaming the privatized system, Andrews said he did not want his own mother living in a number of nursing homes.

NSW confidently tracks even though the cluster is growing

New South Wales continues to record new cases of coronavirus, with a growing group on the outskirts of Sydney Potts Point involving two restaurants and a yacht club. Some schools, gymnasiums and other places were forced to close, but the authorities believed that the NSW tracking effort kept the outbreak under control, even though the situation “at the tip of the knife”. The government also issued a suburban stretch watchlist from Potts Point to the west of the city including Prestons, Cabramatta and Bonnyrigg. Queensland also closes its border with people from greater Sydney.

Three women were charged with the Covid case in Queensland

Queensland authorities were very angry after that three women allegedly lied on their border declaration form to avoid quarantine after a trip to Melbourne. Two of the three women went on to test positive for the corona virus, forcing the health department to issue a long list of locations on the south side of Brisbane now connected to Covid-19. The Queensland human rights commission also criticized the decision several media to publish the names and photos of women.

Passenger Ruby Princess released the ship after army officers disrupted flu and coronavirus test results

The document revealed that an officer was an Australian Border Force allowing passengers to descend to Princess Ruby because she mistook the negative flu results for a negative Covid-19 test. Labor called on the federal government to apologize, noting that the ABF chief had previously blamed the NSW government.

Woolworths asks customers to wear face masks

Supermarket giant Woolworths said it would be “very encouraging” customers wearing masks at NSW and ACT stores from monday. Similar recommendations began in several regions of Queensland on Friday. Face masks are mandatory in Victoria and are recommended in parts of Sydney where there is high community transmission. However, Woolworths said it would not reject customers if they did not have masks.

Police arrested demonstrators at BLM carrying out a demonstration in violation of Covid

A peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney continued despite being ruled “illegitimately” by the highest court of NSW after a request from the NSW police. The decision was later upheld by the appellate court. Police arrested and fined six people at the rally on Tuesday. The protesters have promised to cancel the demonstration if the government approves the NSW SafeWork investigation of the death of David Dungay Jr.

Kylie Moore-Gilbert moved to a notorious Iranian desert prison

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a British-Australian academic who served a 10-year prison sentence in Iran for espionage, was transferred to the Qarchak women’s prison, southeast of Tehran, and was reportedly affected by a coronavirus. He was scared, scared, and unwell in Qarchak before he was forcibly transferred quarantine to the general prison population, said the source.

Senior advisers to the PM are forced to isolate

Nico Louw, senior adviser to Scott Morrison, went to quarantine himself after he was linked to the Covid-19 case. Louw has visited the Greek restaurant Apollo at Potts Points, which is the center of a growing group in the suburbs of Sydney. The PM’s office confirmed the development but said Morrison’s schedule would not be affected, according to health advice.

The ATO crackdown on a super withdrawal

The Australian Tax Office said this week already launch a pilot program aimed at detecting people who have withdrawn their retirement savings when they don’t qualify. It happened after the government allowed an initial super release in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. But the ATO said people who had withdrawn money against the rules could be taxed for withdrawals or face penalties of up to $ 12,600 for misleading statements.

What you need to know: get the most important information from some of our key explainers

Looking for further coverage? Read the latest news from all Guardian global networks

.



image source

Asia Today: 723 cases in Australia, closure in Vietnam | Instant News


Australia’s coronavirus hot spot Victoria will make a mandatory mask across the state after reporting a record 723 new cases

MELBOURNE, Australia – Australia corona virus Victoria’s hot spot will make a mandatory mask across the state after reporting on Thursday a record 723 new cases.

Masks have been required in the state capital of Melbourne and adjacent semi-rural districts for the past week. Prime Minister Victoria Daniel Andrews said the move would be extended from Sunday.

Residents around the city of Geelong will not be allowed to have visitors in their homes from Thursday night.

723 new cases and a daily record of 13 deaths exceeded the previous record of 532 cases posted on Monday.

“These numbers today are a reflection of an increase in cases in elderly care,” Andrews said, referring to new infections in Melbourne nursing homes.

Melbourne and its neighbor, Mitchell Shire, are halfway through the six week closure, which according to Andrews can be extended.

He said expanding mandatory masks and banning home visitors was intended to keep infection rates low in regional centers. “We have to keep those low numbers jealously,” Andrews said.

“Even though this is a challenge, it is within our control,” Andrews said. “All of us, as proud Victorian people, if we follow the rules, if we play our part, then we can defeat this. We can reduce these numbers. “

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said weeks of lockdown did not produce the desired results. He said additional restrictions, while needed, would have an impact on the economy. “But neither containing this plague will have that effect either,” he said.

In other developments around the Asia-Pacific region:

– India reported more than 50,000 cases for the first time in 24 hours on Thursday, bringing the national total to 1,583,792. The amount of recovery from coronavirus also exceeds 1 million because the recovery rate of 64.4% continues to increase. The Ministry of Health reported 775 more deaths, bringing the total to 34,968. India has the third highest caseload in the world after the United States and Brazil. Deaths reported in India, however, marked a much lower mortality rate at 2.23% than in the other two countries.

– China on Thursday reported 105 confirmed COVID-19 cases, almost all of them in Xinjiang. The northwest region accounted for 96 cases, with five in northeastern Liaoning province and one in Beijing. The remaining three were brought by Chinese tourists from abroad. While China has mostly contained the virus in other parts of the country, the Xinjiang outbreak centered on the regional capital and the largest city of Urumqi continues to grow with 96 new cases. The authorities have locked several housing communities in the city, restricted public transportation and ordered extensive testing. Hong Kong is also struggling to contain its latest outbreak, with more than 100 new cases reported Thursday.

– China is stepping up its COVID-19 test in an effort to tackle a new outbreak that has opposed the country’s success in controlling the corona virus that was first detected in central Wuhan late last year. In the northeastern city of Dalian, authorities issued an open letter urging all 5.6 million residents to be tested after consecutive days of new cases. At midnight Wednesday, samples were collected from more than 4 million people, and a second round of tests was launched in high-risk areas. Extensive testing has also been carried out in Urumqi, where more than 100 specialists from the Centers for Disease Control are investigating the outbreak. Leading epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan also urged tests to be carried out on every one of the 7.5 million Hong Kong residents following a new wave of infections which added about 100 new cases per day. The city’s Hospital Authority said it planned to adapt the exhibition center into a community care facility.

– Vietnam on Thursday reported nine cases of COVID-19, when the first outbreak in more than three months spread to cities while authorities said they could not trace the source. The Health Ministry said eight of the new infections originated from the Da Nang hot spot, while another case was confirmed in Hanoi in a man returning from the coastal city. The outbreak has spread to five other cities and provinces with 43 cases reported since the weekend. Dak Lak Province is the latest to re-apply social distance, close non-essential services and ban public gatherings of more than 20 people. Da Nang neighbors, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai have closed their beaches and limited businesses. Meanwhile, Hanoi canceled public events, closed bars and clubs and plans to mass-test around 21,000 people returning from Da Nang.

———

Follow the AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

.



image source

The Australian PM Department refuses to issue Covid-19 commission documents Australian News | Instant News


The prime minister’s department refused to publicly release 1,100 documents related to Covid-19 discussions about gas projects and 690 documents about potential conflicts of interest, while also reducing the minutes of his meetings on economic and national security grounds.

The government has faced ongoing criticism about the lack of transparency around the Covid-19 National Coordinating Commission, a body designed to guide Australia’s economic recovery.

The leak shows that the NCCC has encourage government support new gas projects as a way of driving economic growth, and that a interim report from the NCCC manufacturing task force recommending greater support from the gas industry.

The taxpayer-funded commission is stacked with directors of high-powered companies and is chaired by the former head of Fortescue Metal Nev Power, who move aside from his position as vice chairman of the gas company Strike Energy in May.

A series of requests for freedom of information – including from the Guardian, Australia’s 350 environmental groups, the Australian Institute, and journalist Hannah Ryan – have requested documents that are likely to reveal how potential conflicts of interest are handled by the commission.

Requests so far have been rejected for practical reasons or have been severely removed by the Prime Minister’s Department and Cabinet.

The Guardian requests a declaration of conflict of interest made by the commissioner, and related internal correspondence, notes, internal notes, briefings, or external correspondence. The department said it had identified 690 relevant documents and refused the request on the grounds it would be too heavy to process. Now processing a revised request.

350 Australia requests documents and correspondence held by DNPI regarding existing or proposed gas projects. Activist groups were told the department had identified 1,100 relevant documents. The request was rejected due to overwork.

Ryan makes similar request for minutes of meetings and agendas. The documents were released but very deleted.

In one example, department ask for part of the Freedom of Information Act which prevents release if information will “cause damage to the security of the Commonwealth”.

Meanwhile, the Australian Agency requested all policy documents and procedures governing NCCC operations. Was told there were no such documents. The Department said that the DNPI was under its authority and subject to its policies and procedures.

Critics say that the demand for free information shows two things: a significant lack of transparency around commission considerations, and significant gaps in governance, policies and procedures commonly used by public servants.

Richie Merzian, director of the Australia Institute for Climate and Energy, said the Institute’s FOI revealed that the normal governance, processes and expertise involved in public services were completely absent at the NCCC.

“This is cause for concern because the commission is composed of business people who use, in the words of the chairman himself, their ‘contact list’ for ‘problem solving’ without ‘being managed from the center’,” Merzian said.

He said the lack of transparency around the conflict made the public a little confident that the problem was handled well.

“The Commission also refused to issue minutes of its meetings, including references to enthusiastic support for more gas projects. Strangely, the commission claims to deal with information that threatens the whole Australian economy and even national security. “

The public relies heavily on leaks to understand what DNPI is doing, including leakage of Wednesday’s interim report proposing taxpayer support for the gas industry.

350 Senior Australian campaigner, Shani Tager, said such proposals had to be rejected, and again showed the danger of secrecy.

“This is another example of the lack of transparency with the NCCC, with the government sitting in this report since the end of May without releasing it,” Tager said. “The prime minister must release a report and reject the recommendation to subsidize the gas industry.”

.



image source

‘Toxic climate’ stops Australian business leaders from talking about China, thinktank | Australian News | Instant News


Australian business leaders fear being involved in public debate China because of the “toxic climate” in which supporters of close economic relations can be labeled as defenders or evaluators, according to the head of the thinktank.

With diplomatic relations between Australia and its biggest trading partners come under increasing pressureMichael Clifton, chief executive of China Matters and former Australian trade commission official, said people should be free to comment “without their character or loyalty being damaged”.

Clifton said some business leaders were willing to submit a case to balance security interests with commercial interests “for fear of being labeled apologist” for the Chinese government, with some critics “quickly disrupting calls for involvement with acts of appeasement”.

“It is not in Australia’s national interest to continue this toxic climate,” Clifton wrote in the latest issue of the China Matters Explores newsletter, published on Wednesday.

“Keeping a low profile makes sense in good times when business relationships remain strong and may be given greater emphasis than other aspects of the overall relationship.

“But the good times have passed and are no longer an option for business leaders. Covid-19 has triggered a global recession and the impact of strained diplomatic relations has been well and truly extended into trade and investment relations. “

The Australian government joined the United States on Tuesday in voicing “deep concern” about the Chinese government moved to erode freedom in Hong Kong and “the suppression campaign against Uighurs and other minority members” in the Xinjiang region, after Ausmin talks in Washington.

But while sharing a lot of US concerns – and promised to intensify defense cooperation – the Australian government also made it clear that they differed from their allies in some aspects of Chinese policy, and were not committed to freedom of navigation operations within 12 nautical miles of the disputed feature in the South China Sea.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, told reporters in Washington that Australia “had no intention of hurting” its important relationship with Beijing, while the defense minister, Linda Reynolds, said the pair was “very clear in articulating” Australia’s Chinese policy during talks with their US counterparts.

Scott Morrison refused on Wednesday in support of recent comments by the US foreign secretary, Mike Pompeo, that “countries that love freedom in the world must encourage China to change”.

When asked about the statement, the prime minister responded with more general comments that talks in Washington were focused on peace and stability.

Morrison suggested that strengthening partnerships between Australia, Japan, the US and India “contributed to the strategic balance in the Indo-Pacific that promoted peace and stability”. He also said that Australia wanted the Chinese economy to be strong and successful.

The prime minister played down Canberra’s potential to be drawn into US election politics ahead of the November presidential election, saying Australia was setting its foreign policy based on its own national interests.

“Even though we have the deepest and most lasting friendships and alliances with the United States, that doesn’t mean we always share every view with small details and there are often differences in nuance or emphasis or time and, sometimes, on substance,” Morrison said .

Earlier this month, representatives of the Australian wheat industry raises concerns they bear the burden of “broken bones” in relations with China, after Beijing imposed high tariffs on the product amid the fallout from Canberra’s call for an independent investigation of the corona virus.

However, Clifton of China Matters said Australian business leaders were “too cautious in responding to the crisis of Australia’s relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC)” and “were largely silent or their words were drowned out by louder voices”.

Clifton, who has a career of 20 years at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission including six years as head of its network in China, said Australian businesses knew they would suffer if there was a long-term freeze in the relationship.

“Even though our iron ore exports are most famous, we must not forget the thousands of unremarkable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) whose livelihoods depend on the PRC – orange farmers, wine makers, lobster fishermen, beef farmers and dairy farmers, tourism operators, and more, “he wrote.

“Their success is very difficult and is a major driver of national prosperity.”

Clifton believes that the business community needs to do more to highlight China’s contribution to Australia’s national prosperity and “deserves far better than being publicly ignored as a greedy and self-serving” pro-Beijing lobby “.

He said business must encourage increased trade and investment climate and “reasonable engagement”, without ignoring the legitimate security concerns raised by the more stringent China.

To be a “credible voice”, Clifton said business leaders must also “support the Australian government the decision to call a horrific act such as cyber espionage, harassment of the Chinese diaspora and interference in domestic affairs. “

The intervention came just weeks after former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull rebuked Australia’s chief business and academic leader for criticizing the government for tensions with Beijing, said it would only “encourage more intimidation from China”.

.



image source

Asia Today: The Australian outbreak was caused by sick workers | Instant News


The badly hit Australian state has posted another daily record of 532 new COVID-19 cases

MELBOURNE, Australia – Victoria’s hard-hit state of Australia on Monday set a new daily record of 532 new COVID-19 cases, and government leaders warned that the closure in the city of Melbourne would continue while infected people continued to work.

Melbourne is almost halfway through a six-week lockdown aimed at limiting the spread of the community corona virus. Wear a mask AustraliaThe second largest city became mandatory last week.

New cases and six deaths reported on Monday surpassed the previous record of 484 new infections reported on Wednesday last week.

Prime Minister Victoria Daniel Andrews said the biggest driver of new infections was that people continued to go to work after showing symptoms.

“This is what drives these numbers and the locking will not end until people stop working with symptoms and instead go and be tested,” Andrews said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison asked for patience in Victoria.

“There has been a significant community transmission in Victoria. “It will take time to reach its peak,” Morrison said.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

– Vietnam has delayed hosting the biggest security forum in Asia, which includes North Korea, and the annual meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers a month to September due to the coronavirus pandemic. Two Southeast Asian diplomats said Monday that Vietnam, which chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year, hoped to hold a face-to-face meeting in mid-September instead of doing it via online video because of travel restrictions if the annual meeting would be held as originally scheduled for the end this week. The 10-nation bloc hosts the ASEAN Regional Forum, which unites its top diplomats with colleagues from the United States, China, Japan, Russia, India, two Koreas and other Asia Pacific countries to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and others. security problem. Most of the 1,300 ASEAN meetings this year have so far been shifted online due to the coronavirus pandemic, including the annual summit of ASEAN leaders last month. More sensitive talks, including secret negotiations between China and ASEAN member countries for the so-called “code of conduct” in the disputed South China Sea, have been postponed indefinitely, said two diplomats, who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. . due to lack of authority to discuss this issue openly.

– China on Monday reported 61 new cases of coronavirus, spreading between the northeast and northwest. The northwestern Xinjiang region reported 41 new cases, while the northeastern Liaoning and Jilin provinces experienced 16 cases. The other four cases were brought by Chinese travelers from abroad. China has reported 4,634 deaths among 83,891 COVID-19 cases.

– South Korea reports 25 new cases, bringing the total number of national cases to 14,175 infections and 299 deaths. The South Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 16 new cases were related to people who came from abroad. The country has in the past few days reported dozens of cases among crew members of Russian-flagged cargo ships anchored in Busan and hundreds of South Korean construction workers flown in from the virus-ravaged Iraq. Eight of the nine local transmissions are from the Seoul metropolitan area.

.



image source

Australia’s recycling crisis: is the government $ 190 million in new infrastructure worth it? | Living environment | Instant News


meslipped quite calmly amid the chaos of Covid-19, but earlier this month Coalition the government received something that was hard to come by for almost seven years in power – praise for environmental problems.

Praise is eligible, and can still be withdrawn. That follows the environment minister, Sussan Ley, announcing the government will do it spent $ 190 million on new recycling infrastructure, said it would help divert 10,000 tons of plastic, paper and glass waste from landfills.

The funding is expected to be juxtaposed by the states, although the details have not been explained, and by the waste industry, forming a “recycling modernization fund” worth $ 600 million to help build infrastructure. Australia needs to sort waste so it becomes uncontaminated and can be turned into a product helpful.

The government also said it plans to amend the law which includes “product control”, which is intended to ensure producers and retailers are responsible for the products they sell once they become waste.

It said companies that failed to comply would be “named and shamed” and it would be easier for consumers to recycle electronic goods. Grants were promised from a fund of $ 20 million to help businesses take on greater responsibility for products throughout their lifetime.

Waste and recycling organizations and environmental groups agree that these are important steps to overcome what is widely agreed as a crisis in the industry. They also agreed that it would fail from what was promised unless the government ensured there was a far greater demand for recycled materials.

That Boomerang Alliance 52 environmental groups and communities wrote to Ley and his assistant minister for waste reduction, Trevor Evans, welcomed steps to make laws, including a suggestion that the new law will introduce possible prison sentences for companies that violate government plans. The essence of the plan is gradual ban on exports of glass waste, plastic and paper tires.

But the alliance director, Jeff Angel, said the steps needed to go further, including the minister’s authority to make the use of recycled content in packaging mandatory, rather than relying on the company’s good intentions. The latest official data shows that only 16% of plastic packaging is recycled, and the rest will be stockpiled.

He also called for honesty in labeling “so that labeled packaging products can be reused, recycled or compost is really reused, recycled or compost – something that clearly hasn’t happened yet”.

“We look forward to legislation that faces the challenge of stopping waste and putting Australia on a much higher recycling path,” Angel wrote. “Undoubtedly, greater employment, new manufacturing industries, and improved environmental performance of our economy will follow.”

Australia was caught unprepared

The seeds of the government’s recycled announcement were planted more than two years ago, when China introduced what, according to Australian standards, is a limit that cannot be reached at the level of contaminated material. it will accept shipments of foreign plastic waste.

This throws global waste and recycling trade into chaos. Australian companies are transferring recyclable materials to Southeast Asia, but in 2019 more countries will begin to return recyclable waste containers, stated that they would not become a landfill.

Australia was caught unprepared. Compared to other developed countries, it generates more waste than average and recycles less. Australia has exported around 4.5 million tons of waste to Asia every year, mostly to Vietnam, Indonesia and China. When the waste company struggles to find new buyers, operator Victoria SKM leaves in administration and warned that up to 180,000 tons of recyclable material would be disposed of at the landfill.

Scott Morrison responded last August with the promise of its own ban. Speaking after a meeting with the state prime minister, he said too much garbage ended up in the ocean and promised Australia would respond by stopping exports of plastic, paper, glass and tires “as soon as possible”.

The pledge became the core of a speech before the UN general assembly in New York when, facing criticism of his government’s harsh attitude to the climate crisis, he stated Australia was “act to protect our oceans“And leads practical research and development in recycling. Experts say this is not true, but welcomed the intention.

Respond to the announcement of government funding, the Australian Council Recycle, which represents about 70 companies, said it was a “big milestone” that would help change recycling. But its chairman, Pete Shmigel, said dealing with soft plastics – the kind that you can rub into your hands and collected in supermarkets – remains a big challenge.

He said there are possible solutions for some recyclable materials – technology can be attached to paper mills to help deal with contamination from paper clips, diapers and plastic bottles, for example – but there are several factories to deal with soft plastics and there is no market for them after recover. He said this could be overcome by requiring the use of recycled materials not only in packaging, but also road construction and major construction projects.

“Actually we don’t have a market for that. We need to create infrastructure to convert soft plastic into resin and produce a place that will use it, “he said.

“If we do two major road projects in each constituency across the country, we can double the percentage of soft plastic that is recycled and reduce oil use. Obviously, that would be a good thing. “

Make it mandatory

Shmigel said companies could be encouraged to improve recycled content in several ways, citing the use of British and French tax credits for those who use recycled goods. He suggested a different approach for Australia: the declaration that recycled goods would be used to build a multibillion-dollar infrastructure, such as Snowy 2.0 pumped development hydro or west Sydney airport.

“They can only say ‘this is where we will show how easy it is to use recycled materials’,” he said. “If you do that, then the state and other local governments will have an example and see it as not too difficult.”

Industry believes that this pathway makes sense both economically and politically. Shmigel said there was three times more work in recycling than at landfill for the same amount of waste, and showed the success of the ABC War on Waste documentary series that people wanted to do more. “This is popular. If voting is not mandatory, more people will recycle rather than vote, “he said.

But he said individuals also have a responsibility – that people need to switch from just thinking about recycling after they use something to thinking about whether they buy recycled goods when they shop.

Angel said the goal must be a circular economy, a term that is still used little in Australia but is common in the European Union, with all parts of society and the economy heading in the same direction. He warned that this included plans to burn more waste to create energy, roads which he said created pollution and greenhouse gases and were slightly better than sending them to landfills.

He said the government required to introduce mandatory procurement of recycled goods by departments and agencies, and noted the state and federal environment ministers had previously suggested they could make mandatory action if the Australian Packaging Covenant Organization, which represented more than 900 million companies, did not show it. can meet recycling target.

The Morrison government opposed, preferring – as in the case of climate change policies – incentives funded by compulsory taxes. It says business and household will not accept larger rulesespecially during recessions.

Angel believes this is not a good sign. “The problem with the current approach is that you end up with pilots and case studies, you don’t end up with the market,” he said.

“There is a reason we have a mandatory container deposit scheme. That’s because all decades of voluntary schemes have failed. “

.



image source

The US demands greater support from Australia in its confrontation with China | Instant News


The US demands greater support from Australia in its confrontation with China

By Mike Head

July 25, 2020

Ahead of the annual US-Australia (AUSMIN) ministerial-level talks in Washington DC next week, the Trump administration insists that the Australian government must increase its role at the forefront in increasing US attacks on China.

These demands include more aggressive participation in US provocation in the strategic South China Sea, near where five Australian warships last week joined the US aircraft carrier and Japanese naval vessels in a show of force near the Chinese occupation reef. The Australian fleet then sailed near the Spratly Islands claimed by China on its way to join the US-led “RIMPAC” military exercise in Hawaii.

Despite the increasingly intensive danger of COVID-19 in the US, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Secretary of Defense Linda Reynolds will personally attend the AUSMIN session in Washington, with US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. Payne and Reynolds even had to be quarantined for two weeks after they returned.

Last Thursday, Pompeo called for all “free countries” to rise up as one against China’s “tyranny”, regardless of economic consequences. Pompeo did not name Australia or any other country but he said some US allies were afraid of facing China because they were afraid of economic retaliation.

Pompeo’s message was reinforced by the US ambassador to Australia, Arthur B. Culvahouse, who said at a meeting of the Center for the Study of the United States (USSC) in Sydney this week: “US investment is very important for Australia’s prosperity in the future.” He warned against trying to separate “economic security” from “national security,” adding: “This is not just about money.”

Seeking to compare Australia’s relations with China with the US, Culvahouse claimed that China was guilty of economic intimidation, but “Australia will never see a day when a US ambassador threatens to withdraw from trading with and investing in Australia.” In fact, his statement was a veiled threat.

Culvahouse hailed as “extraordinary” and “brilliant” a report commissioned by the big business of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, which concluded that the US was far more important to Australia economically than China, recently beating Chinese investment by 40 percent.

The report said the US had become the single largest foreign investor in Australia, with a total of $ 984 billion in 2019 – more than a quarter of all foreign investment. Australian exports to the US and income generated from US investments in Australia contribute $ 131 billion per year, or 7 percent of Australia’s annual economic growth.

As a result, the report highlights the vulnerability of Australian capitalism to economic, as well as military, pressure from the US. It was said that even before the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia’s public and private debt to the world was $ 1.1 trillion. “To recover, Australia knows it must and will have access to the US capital market,” the “deepest” in the world.

In a video message to the same USSC event, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison tried to convince the Trump administration of the reliability of his government. He said relations between the two countries were “never stronger and never more important.”

Morrison said Australia was “a trusted partner of the United States” but “we did not hand it over to the US. We did our part in lifting the burden in this partnership. We led. We pulled our weight.”

Likewise, on the eve of their departure for the AUSMIN talks, Payne and Reynolds published an article in Australian said the consultation “has never been more important.” The pair echoes the increasing barrage of provocative allegations of the Trump administration against Beijing.

Without providing the slightest evidence, they accuse China of “coercive actions” and “militarization” in the South China Sea, carrying out cyber attacks, controlling the internet, spreading false news, “damaging the rights, freedoms and futures of millions of people” in Hong Kong and threaten the sovereignty of other countries.

Payne and Reynolds emphasize that the Liberal-National government increases military spending. They say “our investment of $ 270 billion in defense capabilities over the next decade, including stronger, long-range capabilities,” will “enable us to make stronger contributions to the alliance and achieve greater combined effects with US forces to prevent aggression. and respond with military force. “

Australian military and intelligence agencies have helped feed offensive US propaganda against China. Last week, they immediately supported the cancellation of US charges of two former Chinese engineering students engineered alleged hacking, allegedly to steal COVID-19 vaccine research data.

The indictment claims that over the past decade the pair has also targeted unnamed defense contractors and the solar power business in Australia “for profit,” while sometimes helping the Chinese Ministry of State Security.

Despite the lack of evidence to support the unclear accusations, the Australian Signal Directorate – a partner agent of the US National Security Agency – joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of the Interior in issuing a statement welcoming “actions designed to hold the cyber criminal responsible. “

This is the partisanship of two parties. The Labour’s opposition shadow shadow assistant for cybersecurity, Tim Watts, jumped to urge the government to go further to protect “our important infrastructure and business” from “cyber security threats.”

Under the Liberal-National and Labor government, the Australian ruling class is increasingly committed to Washington’s efforts to weaken China and prevent it from threatening the US domination established by victory in the last world war. It did not begin with the Trump administration, even though it could potentially trigger a potentially catastrophic conflict.

Australian troops have been sent to join every major US military intervention since the Korean and Vietnamese wars and continue into the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The Labor Party last registered with Obama’s military “axis” for Asia to face China, and agreed to place US marines in the strategic city of Darwin in the north.

Since taking office in 2013, the Liberal-National Coalition – with Labor support – has been at the forefront of anti-China campaigns, including by enacting predetermined “foreign interference” laws that can criminalize relations with China or involvement in anti international. war activity.

The Australian Federal Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organization, an internal political spy squad, have recently activated the law attack the home and office of the parliamentary MP of the Labor Party of New South Wales, Shaoquett Moselmane, amid media headlines accusing him, without evidence, as “a Chinese agent.” In a warning that intimidated all political organizations, Moselmane, who protested his innocence, was forced to suspend himself from parliament.

Pompeo’s speech and Payne and Reynolds’ call to Washington signaled a request for more. As a medium-sized imperialist force that is strategically dependent on the US, the Australian ruling elite is left with no choice but to play a warlike role in the US war effort, despite the impact caused by its large dependence on exports to China.

The author also recommends:

The Australian Government is trying to put the country on a war footing

[4 July 2020]

The US threatened to “cut off” Australia if it deviated from the conflict with China

[26 May 2020]

Ten years since the US-backed coup against the Australian Labor PM

[24 June 2020]

Access to Coronavirus vaccine can return to old alliances because world powers are increasing the search for a cure for COVID-19 | Instant News


First is the Tams Team. Then it’s Marmite. Could the coronavirus vaccine be the next?

Records of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson using the Tim Tams package to begin formal negotiations for a new free trade agreement with Australia is a proverbial ship that launches a thousand memes.

But there is a possibility – outside – that the next picture from England could become a mop-haired Eton graduate brandishing a very important medicine bottle, saying: “Here it is, friend, and it will come to you.”

Replace Team Tams with the coronavirus vaccine? The Australian Government this week has held talks with Britain.(Provided: YouTube)

This week, a global search for one of the most important medical prizes has ever entered a new phase.

The University of Oxford in England, considered one of the leaders in the search for the COVID-19 vaccine, announced its candidate safe and has produced an immune response in early clinical trials.

The British government has committed to producing 100 million doses Oxford vaccine candidates, if it succeed.

It came amid further news this week that Britain, which is has been damaged by this disease, signing two separate agreements, one with a French company and the other with global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer – understood to be in at least hundreds of millions of dollars – to receive as many as 130 million possible doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Although the three vaccine candidates might not succeed, the deal effectively orders supplies for the UK if they do.

Returning to Australia, these steps naturally triggered the question: so Britain has a plan … but what do we do?

Wait and see Australia approach

Australia has invested $ 5 million in a University of Queensland vaccine candidate – which one conducted a trial on humans earlier this month.

He also invested $ 19 million to help develop vaccines, and claims to have spent $ 256 million in “vaccine-related activities”.

But no formal commercial arrangements such as the UK have been announced in Australia.

And according to vaccine expert and Federal Government advisor Tony Cunningham, the UK strategy is something the Government needs to consider.

Tony Cunningham from Sydney's Westmead Institute
Tony Cunningham is the lead advisor for the Government’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy.(ABC News: Chris Taylor)

“We are in an interesting position right now,” he told ABC. “And I think we need to look at what Britain is doing.

“But the problem is, and many experts say this, we just don’t know what will win – we don’t know which type of vaccine is the best.”

And he will know.

A contagious disease doctor, clinical virologist and scientist, Professor Cunningham was very involved in launching the vaccine for the latest global pandemic, 2009 swine flu.

He is now the director of virus research at the Westmead Medical Research Institute and lead author of the Australian Academy of Sciences vaccine advice to the Government, where 21 scientists and researchers based in Australia describe which vaccines they think are “most promising”.

But this is a busy field.

There are now more than 200 COVID-19 vaccine candidates worldwide, with 22 in clinical trials.

Professor Cunningham described it as an “inverted triangle”.

“And, in the end, when the triangle gets smaller, you have to return one,” he said.

“But, maybe, the first vaccine might not be the best.”

At the moment, although it does not sit in the hand, it seems that the Government is taking that “wait-and-see” approach, and supporting more global initiatives.

Through a spokeswoman, Health Minister Greg Hunt said Australia was the “main contributor” to the Gavi Vaccine Alliance COVAX initiative.

COVAX is an alliance that includes the Bill Gates-funded Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization, to fund a “global response” to accelerate the development, production and delivery of a fair COVID-19 vaccine.

But apart from this approach, there seems to be an alliance that is forming – and Australia is maneuvering.

The global community is ‘watching’

The government this week confirmed that they were discussing “international licensing arrangements for the COVID-19 vaccine” with the Johnson Government, which would allow Australia to “access and supply” vaccines developed in the UK.

Speaking at a press conference after Friday’s National Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the UK discussion, describing Oxford’s results as “very interesting”.

The Prime Minister also confirmed that he had discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron. Sanofi France – a specialized vaccine company – has two candidates in development.

However, some experts question whether countries like China or Russia – both accused of carrying out cyber attacks on US and British vaccine research weapons – would be tantamount to any vaccine breakthroughs.

Morrison said the global community was watching.

“Right from the first G20 meeting that we held a few months ago, there was a strong enough commitment to ensure that [when] “someone found it, we have to make it available,” Morrison said.

“And any country that will hoard vaccine discoveries, I think, will not be welcomed with a welcome weapon by the whole world.”

Someone holding a Coronavirus vaccine bottle
There are more than 200 active candidates for the coronavirus vaccine worldwide.(AAP)

What about manufacturing?

Further questions have been raised this week about Australia’s ability to produce vaccines quickly for mass distribution.

Some vaccine technologies, such as the mRNA technology developed by Monash University, cannot yet be produced in Australia.

That’s because the Australian medical supply and vaccine company CSL – the only company in Australia with the ability to make mass vaccines – only creates certain types of influenza vaccines.

But they have raised their hands to move to a new field of vaccine making.

Vaccine bottles on the factory floor.
CSL said it was trying to move to various fields of vaccine manufacturing.(Provided: CSL)

The Prime Minister said he was confident “in the vast majority” of cases that CSL would be able to reproduce vaccines locally.

CSL told ABC that the UQ vaccine – which it had committed to make – was its priority,

However, CSL vice president of product development Anthony Stowers said the company was committed to “improving [its] manufacturing skills and abilities “to support the development of each vaccine candidate

“This includes the capacity to carry out” downstream “aspects of vaccine production, such as processing licensed vaccine ingredients into bottles at [facilities] in Melbourne, “said Dr Stowers.

“We are exploring ways to support the manufacture of other vaccines that are being developed and will continue to open discussions.”

But despite all the global maneuvers and uncertainties, Professor Cunningham said he believed Australia was in a good position.

“We don’t know which strategy works best – there are so many unknowns,” he said.

“But I would say I’m very pleased with how well the government is listening to scientists.

“And looking around the world, I don’t want to be anywhere else.”

.



image source

Australian retailer urges government to expand employers’ power to cut work hours Australian News | Instant News


The Australian retailer called on the Morrison government to expand the power of employers to reduce working hours and change duties, as the Labor Party signaled it would oppose measures to expand flexibility related to wage subsidies for workers’ wages.

The chief executive of the National Retail Association, Dominique Lamb, told the Australian Guardian that the government should consider giving businesses all the flexibility of varying working hours – not just companies that receive subsidized wage workers.

In addition to expanding flexibility, he said, the government must also make it easier for eligibility requirements so employers with temporary workers do not lose wage subsidies.

The government has intensified the drive for flexibility in workplace regulations, arguing that employers need flexibility to keep their businesses alive because the current trajectory of the corona virus is uncertain, and having the power to various conditions will help businesses recover after the crisis is over.

The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, used an excursion at the National Press Club on Friday to press the case. She said the current recipient of the work guard needed to be able to exercise discretion with their staff until next March even if they were found to be ineligible for payment after the business is rechecked in October.

Frydenberg said all businesses that made use of job guards during the crisis had “experienced a period of stress and they would still struggle to get back up while there was no vaccine”. He said legislation for that effect would be introduced when parliament resumed in August.

The treasurer limited his comments on Friday to the group, but he indicated more would be needed in industrial relations reform. He said the temporary change had shown “how much impact a more flexible system can have”.

“There is no doubt that our industrial relations system is too complicated and rigid and for a system to provide more jobs, it needs to evolve to meet the employment challenges facing the country.”

With the government raising its request, Labor digs his heels. The opposition objected to the proposal that employers would maintain flexibility even when they no longer qualified to become permanent workers.

Labor industrial spokesman Tony Burke, told reporters in Sydney, the government’s position represented “a direct attack on job security” and was not necessary because employers could always change conditions with agreement with their workforce.

Burke said when the government first introduced industrial relations flexibility the reason was “Australian taxpayers effectively subsidized wages”.

“Now the government says that where there are no wage subsidies … flexibility … doesn’t have to do with an agreement, [allowing] clock cutting, cutting conditions, shifting the full timer to part time, “he said.

But Lamb told the Australian Guardian that “no matter what size your business is, many people are injured” and the ability to reduce shift length is an important way to manage labor costs and unemployment risk.

Asked whether all entrepreneurs should be able to change the length of the shift, Lamb replied: “I encourage the government to apply the flexibility of industrial relations broadly – whatever assistance can be given is important.

“Certain industries get temporary flexibility through changing awards but it becomes clear that this pandemic is affecting more and more industries, so additional flexibility in the Fair Work Act and awards will be very helpful.”

The job guard will extended from an expiration scheduled for September to March 28, although the rate will drop from $ 1,500 every two weeks to $ 1,200 then $ 1,000 in gradual withdrawals, with lower rates for applying for people who work less than 20 hours a week in February.

Even though payments are open to new businesses with a reduction in income needed, workers must be hired on March 1, which drives fears of a turnover of workers will make employers have fewer qualified employees.

Lamb said that “job guards do not apply to new staff” which means that industries including retail and hospitality with more labor while “unable to access subsidies to support their workers”.

“That is causing problems for businesses that are trying to move forward and reopen.”

On Friday the acting industrial relations minister, Mathias Cormann, poured cold water on the possibility of extending flexibility to all businesses, told the Australian Guardian that the government was considering doing it only “on a temporary basis as part of the continuation of the job guard program”.

“The legislative amendment was never intended to be permanent and no one has proposed it now,” he said.

Cormann noted that the industrial relations round table regarding company negotiations, the complexity of awards, casual work, greenfields projects and compliance and law enforcement took place in separate talks between trade unions and employers’ groups.

On Friday, Scott Morrison were also asked about employers who might fall through the cracks because they could not show the necessary decline in both the June and September quarters, such as car sellers who had a bump in June sales.

Morrison replied that job guards “intended to be there for businesses that experienced a sustained decline in income above Covid-19” and that the Australian due diligence was more generous than other jurisdictions.

He noted the tax commissioner had the discretion to allow employers into the scheme despite “distortions” or “unusual events in [revenue] data”.

“I also emphasize that the level of existing job guards will continue until the end of September – so there are still a few more months.

“We want businesses to graduate from job guards … not for them to be able to remain permanently dependent on job guards.”

.



image source

New Zealand’s ‘bubble trip’ may be with the Cook Islands, not Australia | Instant News


Australia’s hopes for a trans-Tasman trip bubble will soon disappear, with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying he will prioritize travel arrangements with other countries before us.

New Zealand looks set to step down from a travel bubble proposal that was forged with Australia in May because it surged corona virus case numbers in Melbourne and new outbreaks in NSW.

Instead of Australia as the first choice, Ms. Ardern now giving first prize to COVID-free Cook Islands, which is part of the New Zealand Realm in the Pacific, along with Tokelau and Niue.

“It is clear to us that opening up with Realm countries, given that they are New Zealand passport holders, will come before opening with Australia,” Ardern told Newshub.

Cook Islands has pushed a travel bubble with New Zealand, with Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown said earlier this month that he had “encouraged” discussions with New Zealand authorities on the issue.

RELATED: Follow our coronavirus update directly

RELATED: Big clues about when the trip abroad will continue

Cook Islands, with a population of more than 15,000, is one of the few countries in the world that does not report COVID-19 cases during a pandemic.

Ms Ardern will not comment on the possible time schedule for the bridge trip with the South Pacific country but said the New Zealand airport is already working on logistics that allow the entry of tourists.

“(Officials) cooperate with the airline. That will take several weeks. Then we will get the report back on the exact date when we will be able to start relaunching, “he told Newshub.

Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran has supported Ardern, saying the idea of ​​a travel bubble with Australia “feels a little closer eight weeks ago”.

“Now it seems possible, that maybe, at most, (it can come at the end) this year, and maybe more likely next year,” he told the parliamentary committee on Thursday.

Mr Foran also agreed with previous comments by Ms. Ardern that the complicated problem of separating transit passengers was part of why the travel bubble took so long to build.

“If you have a COVID-free country effectively with another COVID-free country, you should sort out how you will deal with blending, or ideally not blending, passengers who transit through,” he said, according to Newshub.

“That is something that as a team we all have to wrestle on the ground, specifically that will be important for Australia.”

But New Zealand’s ACT party leader David Seymour rejected the suggestion, saying separating passengers at the airport was “among the easiest tasks” and the New Zealand border was “the most foolish in the world”.

“Living hard in the post-COVID world will require more sophistication than simply saying, ‘It’s too difficult, we can’t even separate passengers to get off one plane with passengers over another,'” he said.

New Zealanders seem to be waiting for the prospect of traveling to Cook Islands, with the advice of the latest Booking.com data Resorts on Rarotonga Island are increasingly in demand compared to Melbourne and Sydney.

But there is still a glimmer of hope for a trans-Tasman travel bridge between New Zealand and Tasmania, which has only one active case of COVID-19.

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said he had arranged to speak with Tasmanian Prime Minister Peter Gutwein.

“I always believed that it was possible between us and Tasmania,” he said Canberra Times reported.

“Likewise with Premier Gutwein. His job is to persuade Scott Morrison. And from there, we can go to Queensland.”

Developments in the gutter come as Australia was given a big clue about when international travel can continue, with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg revealing he hopes the Australian border will reopen on January 1, 2021.

That date was mentioned in yesterday’s federal budget update.

“From 1 January to 30 June 2021, it was assumed that the travel ban was lifted, but a two-week quarantine period was required for arrival to Australia,” the Treasury document said.

“This leads to the resumption of arrivals by temporary and permanent migrants, but at a lower rate overall than usual.”

But Frydenberg stressed on Thursday that no policy decisions were made on this basis.

“In terms of borders, the assumption is that gradually begin to return, that quarantine is applied, that you begin to potentially bring in some international students,” he said.

“Now this is the work we have done but of course the environment in connection with coronavirus is very fluid. So no decision has yet been taken regarding the start date for it. “

.



image source