Weekly Wrap Up
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a $30 million partnership with Singapore to deploy low emissions fuels and technologies in maritime and port operations.
- The latest Newspoll reported a one-point gain for the Coalition on a two-party preferred basis, now tied with Labor 50-50.
- Australian and Japanese Foreign and Defence Ministers met for the ninth Japan-Australia 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations. The Ministers reaffirmed the Special Strategic Partnership, supported presence of the US in the Indo-Pacific and opposed a number of concerns surrounding Chinese policy.
- The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security Committee held its first public hearing for the Review of the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2020 and Statutory Review of the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018.
- Tourism Minister Dan Tehan provided $6.5 million in funding to support the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) conference, held in Sydney this week. The conference was attended by more than 2,000 industry representatives to address the sector’s response to COVID-19.
- The Prime Minister allocated $146 million for the first phase of the National Strategy to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse.
- The NSW Government announced[PDF] a pilot plan to house international students in purpose-built quarantine accommodation, enabling 250 students to arrive per fortnight from mid-year.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke at the Perth USAsia Centre this week ahead of his attendance at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in the UK. The PM said it was important for Australia to work with other advanced and liberal democracies to address threats against the global trading system. It was made clear that the PM would like the Summit to cooperate on the challenges of economic coercion and the undermining of international law. In an oblique reference to China, the PM said Australia was open to engaging with all countries ‘when they are ready to do so’. Mr Morrison also emphasised the importance of building a prosperous ‘net zero emissions’ economy without risking traditional Australian blue-collar jobs, specifically in the regions.
Trade Minister Dan Tehan reiterated Australia’s approach to constructive global engagement in a speech to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noting trade with China is important to the domestic economy. However, the Minister said the Government is currently committed to establishing trade agreements with the UK and the European Union.
Following National Cabinet last week, the Prime Minister announced the leaders’ had agreed that vaccinations would open to a number of additional groups by 8 June, including people aged 40-49. Residential aged care providers will also be required to report on the number of staff vaccinated weekly from 15 June. To support the rollout, a new digital certificate for proof of COVID-19 vaccination status was made available online through the government apps myGov and Express Plus.
In Victoria, Acting Premier James Merlino announced the gradual easing of restrictions from 11:59pm Thursday 10 June. Metropolitan Melbourne is no longer in lockdown, however, masks are required at all times outside of the home due to unlinked cases in Reservoir. The Acting Premier foreshadowed further easing of restrictions next Thursday, provided there is no risk to the community.
The Federal and Western Australian Parliaments will sit. The Queensland 2021-22 State Budget will be delivered, and the NT Parliament will hold Budget Estimates.
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