Volume 73 – number 7 – political news

Published 2 April – Below is a summary version. Subscribe to access the full newsletter and other subscriber content.

The Week in Politics –  After time to analyse the data and determine the most effective method to stop the spread of coronavirus and flatten the curve, the Prime Minister announced on Friday March 27 the implementation of state controlled isolation at designated facilities such as hotels. 

Energy retailers and networks must protect Australian households and small businesses that have gone into hibernation

Government will be closely monitoring retailer and network compliance with these measures.

“The electricity and gas sector, as an essential service, has an obligation to support customers through these difficult times,” Treasurer Frydenberg said.

The Economic Cost of Social Distancing

On Monday Scott Morrison announced the biggest expenditure package ever delivered by an Australian government. This comes at a time when the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) forecasts that the Australian economy will contract by 22% this year. This is less than most other OECD economies.

The OECD analysis says that the majority of the cuts will come in face to face service industries such as airlines, accommodation and food services, tourism, arts and recreation and real estate.

Why Wages are Growing so slowly

At the moment wages are stagnating throughout the developed countries and have been since the end of the global financial crisis. The standard response to the question ‘why is this happening’ is that productivity is declining, which is true, however this is not the whole story.

Government agency attacks an Australian icon

The Australian Building and Construction Commission has argued that display of the Eureka flag on a building site, eg from the cable of a crane, breaches freedom of association of the federal building code. Yes, seriously! It doesn’t seem to oppose the display of the Australian flag, the defaced Blue Ensign, though.

The coronavirus response timeline 

March 27 – The Prime Minister announces that all travellers returning to Australia are required to undertake their 14 day self-isolation at designated facilities such as a hotel.

Read full media release

Photos from around the house

More photos can be viewed at https://photos.keatingmedia.com.au

Government’s historic health partnership with the private hospital sector

In a fast moving week Health Minister Greg Hunt announced on Tuesday that the government had struck a deal with the private hospital sector that brings online 30,000 hospital beds, and the sector’s 105,000 skilled workforce to be available along with the public hospital sector.

Around one million families to receive free child care during the coronavirus pandemic

On Thursday afternoon the Prime Minister along with the Minister for Education Dan Tehan announced a plan that would provide free child care for families that still need to work. 

The plan provides funding certainty to early childhood education and care services at a time where enrolments and attendance are highly unpredictable. This, along with the JobKeeper payment, means services can offer free education and care.

Reforms to modern awards and the industrial relations system rushed through to save tens of thousands of jobs

Attorney-General Christian Porter provided a summary of changes in industrial relations and workplace relations during a press conference at Parliament House on Thursday.

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