Published 1 May 2020.
Below is a summary of edition no. 11 for 2020. To access the full version you need to subscribe. Click the link to the left to view your subscription options.
The Week in Politics
A few weeks ago Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined a path forward for Australia. It was a plan to slowly return back to a normal life for Australians. One of the key indicators was to be able to have what the Prime Minister calls an industrial strength contact tracing system. At a Parliament House press conference on April 23 he said, “We are building the protections for this COVID-safe economy in the areas that I have mentioned. Importantly, in the areas of surveillance, or I should say sentinel testing, in the area of industrialising our contact tracing capabilities and our immediate response capability to outbreaks, wherever they may present themselves.”
Eden-Monaro By-Election Has National Implications
Mike Kelly, the member for Eden-Monaro, announced he was retiring from Parliament for health reasons on Thursday. His resignation will have national implications.
Dr. Kelly is a highly respected Labor Member of Parliament who is popular in his electorate. He was previously lawyer in the Army and reached the rank of colonel. He saw service in Somalia and Iraq, which is where he contracted his illness.
Will the Government Listen about JobSeeker?
A Senate committee has recommended an increase to JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment.
The government has resisted frequent calls to increase the allowances in the past however with the COVID-19 crisis it did introduce a short-term Coronavirus supplement to assist people that receive the above mentioned support payments. The supplement payment of $550 is paid from 27 April for up to six months.
Short courses now available to upskill Australians
The Morrison government has announced that Australians can now access at least 64 short courses from 11 universities. The courses are six-month, online courses that focus on areas of national priority including nursing, teaching, counselling, IT and allied health.
This program comes as part of the government’s Higher Education Relief Package.
Chinese Ambassador warns Australian government of a consumer boycott
China’s Ambassador to Australia Jingye Cheng has recently suggested the Chinese public may decide to boycott Australian product and also not visit in Australia. The reason for his comments was to exert pressure on Australia to not push for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.
The Australian government is not backing down on suggesting the inquiry.
Trade Minister speaking on radio said the following when asked about the Ambassador’s comments. “Well, we’re very disappointed by it and we have reached displeasure with the Ambassador. In no way is the Australian Government going to change our public policy positions on matters of public health or national security or other matters in Australia’s national interest, in response to any intimation of economic coercion or the like from other countries or governments.
Australians have earned an early mark
National Cabinet agreed to bring forward the review of the first phase of removing baseline restrictions on Friday 8 May 2020, including an assessment of achievement against precedent conditions.
The Prime Minister (pictured right) today said, “Australians have earned an early mark through the work that they have done,” when making the announcement at a press conference at Parliament House this afternoon.