Weekly Wrap Up
- Latest Newspoll data shows Labor remains in the lead on a two-party preferred basis, 54-46.
- The ABS released the national accounts data for the June quarter, revealing 0.7 per cent growth in the national economy between March and June.
- The Business Council of Australia published an open letter — signed by 80 Australian CEOs — urging state and federal governments to stick to the National Plan out of COVID.
Parliament set for another break
Parliament returned this week for its final sitting of the session with a raft of legislation debated and finalised. Most notably the Government’s Respect@Work legislation passed both houses, implementing a number of reforms following the findings from Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins Respect@Work Report. The new legislation makes a range of amendments including adding sexual harassment as a valid reason for dismissal and removing the exemption of state and territory public servants (including members of parliament and judges at all levels of government) from the Act.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Phil Gaetjens announced his inquiry into the alleged sexual assault in Parliament House in 2019 would be put on hold pending active legal proceedings.
Parliament will now go on a six-week break, resuming on 18 October.
NSW has recorded its highest daily numbers to date with 1,431 new locally acquired cases announced today and a further 12 deaths. Premier Gladys Berejiklian issued a warning that the next two weeks are likely to see the worst in terms of daily case numbers. Yesterday, NSW reached the milestone 70 per cent of people aged over 16 years having received at least one dose of the vaccine. In Victoria, 208 new locally acquired cases were reported along with the first death since the beginning of the latest outbreak. This is the highest daily figure recorded across the state since August last year.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged the states and territories to consider adopting home quarantine as an alternative solution to hotel quarantine once travel bans are lifted. Home quarantine solutions have been a hot topic lately as South Australia begins its pilot trial of home quarantine involving 50 fully vaccinated participants. The trial is using geo-locator and facial recognition technology to monitor participants and conduct random check-ins. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has warned state leaders that once the 80 per cent vaccination is met, borders should be reopening, with no excuses for further border bans.
National Cabinet will meet today with discussions set to focus on assisting the public health system to keep up with the strain being put on the industry due to the ongoing issue of rising daily COVID-19 numbers.
Click here for information on Finance, Resources & Energy, Infrastructure, and Health updates.