Weekly Wrap Up
- The Opposition announced it will support the Government’s stage 3 tax relief measures and not make any changes to existing negative gearing and capital gains tax regimes.
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics released its Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for June showing CPI has risen 0.8 per cent this quarter and 3.8 per cent over the last year.
- Labor’s James Martin has won the Queensland seat of Stretton following the by-election on 24 July.
- Campbell Newman resigned from the Liberal National Party. The Former Queensland Premier has hinted that he might run for a federal Senate seat.
- A Joint Cyber Security Advisory statement was released by Australian, US and UK cyber agencies listing the top 30 vulnerabilities targeted by malicious actors during 2020 and beyond.
Cases in New South Wales continue to increase with Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday announcing 239 new cases – the highest number reported in a 24-hour period for NSW – but cases reported on Friday fell to 170. Tighter restrictions are now in place for eight Local Government Areas (LGAs) of concern: Fairfield, Blacktown, Cumberland, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Parramatta and Georges River. Residents in these LGAs must wear a mask at all times outside their homes and stay within a five-kilometre radius of their homes. From Saturday, construction can resume in Greater Sydney in non-occupied settings, with the exception of the eight LGAs of concern. Workers are expected to adhere to appropriate safety protocols including social distancing, and a limit of up to two workers for indoor settings and five workers outdoors.
The Police Commissioner Mick Fuller confirmed NSW formally requested assistance from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to support compliance enforcement across Sydney. Minister for Defence Peter Dutton accepted the request with up to 300 Defence personnel set to deploy to NSW over the coming days to work under the direction of NSW Police from 2 August. Penalties for not wearing a mask have also increased from $200 to $500 to address compliance across NSW.
In more positive news, Victoria is seeing its case numbers fall as the state lifted its lockdown earlier this week with restrictions still in place for masks, check in requirements and capacity limits.
National Cabinet will be meeting this afternoon to consider modelling provided by the Doherty Institute to help inform the Federal Government’s roadmap. The Prime Minister has previously said he is hopeful that vaccination rates will be high enough by Christmas to mitigate against future lockdowns. The vaccination rollout and support payments are also expected to be discussed.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced an increase to the COVID-19 disaster support payments with the new national payment rate taking effect from 2 August. Workers who have lost 20 hours or more a week will now receive payments of $750 per week with those who have lost under 20 hours a week set to receive $450 per week. Eligible businesses will have access to a maximum of $100,000 per week payment up from $10,000. The Treasurer also said Australia’s economic outlook for its third and fourth quarters of 2021 will depend on how effective NSW is in reducing its COVID-19 case numbers and coming out of lockdown.
Federal Parliament will resume sitting next week with many MPs set to attend remotely.
Click here for information on Finance, Resources & Energy, Infrastructure, and Health updates.