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Christian Porter should be postponed and Linda Reynolds was sacked in changes to the coalition’s front bench. Australia is considering sanctions against Myanmar. Follow all developments live

Wed 24 Mar 2021 23.41 GMT

First published on Wednesday, March 24th, 2021 at 8:55 pm GMT

11:41 p.m. GMT23: 41

The Australian government has confirmed that it is considering increasing sanctions against the military in Myanmar as the situation in the country is « very volatile » and deteriorating.

Ridwaan Jadwat, a Dfat official, reported Senate that nationwide protests and civil disobedience continue to rise and the military response is becoming increasingly violent.

« We currently have five people listed … and I continue to take advice and check with colleagues. »

Payne cannot give a timeframe when it is expected to complete this sanctions review as the issues are « very dynamic ».

« It is an important matter, I take it seriously and I undertake to work with the committee on it appropriately . « 

Regarding the situation in a broader sense, Payne has worked with Asean and others to » identify possible avenues forward.  » She said she also spoke to the UN Secretary-General last week.

« There is no clear path, Senator, in terms of how to work with partners to address the implications of the coup and how to communicate with the leaders of the regime is working together on whether and how this is appropriate and what form it would take. « 

Penny Wong notes that the minister has recognized the situation as a coup and asks why Payne in an interview with ABC’s Sabra Lane has used the phrase « the new government in Myanmar ».

11:39 p.m. GMT23: 39

The government has not abandoned its plan for a purpose-built Howard Springs-style quarantine village in the Northern Territory.

Acting Prime Minister James Merlino says there is now a shortlist of 10 potential locations for the facility.

A business case is expected by the end of this month to limit this to one location, ”he said.

The government has decided to resume hotel quarantine in the meantime, as the planning and construction of the purpose-built facility is expected to take at least 6 months.

It’s time. You have to locate the site, do the business case, make a decision, and then build it, ”he said.

And how do you construct it then? Whether it is a completely permanent facility or, for example, it was designed and built so that you can pick up some of these buildings and walk around … a big bush fire or a flood that requires you to provide some of the shelter. « 

11:24 p.m. GMT23: 24

I observe estimates of community affairs in which Green Senator Rachel Siewert asked questions about job seekers’ pay. She has a lot of good questions, but not many answers.

We learned that on February 26th, 1,077.45 people received the coronavirus drug who also received a family tax break. That means they have children.

This means that there are more than one million children in families who will lose the $ 150 supplement as of April 1st. They get a $ 50 increase in the base rate on their payment, but in fact, that means a decrease of $ 100 for 14 days.

Starting April 1st, the affiliate income test will also be reduced (how much your affiliate can earn before you lose your payment). Similarly, the amount of money people can make before their payment is reduced goes from $ 300 to $ 150.

Matt Flavel of DSS says they don’t know how many people will lose job seekers pay because of the change. He says they haven’t broken it down by individual standards.

« You have no idea how many will be affected, » says Siewert. How many will then be affected by the changes together? The department takes note of it.

11:23 p.m. GMT23: 23

The Victoria government has also published its response to the « Hotel Quarantine Commission of Inquiry » final report. Of the 81 recommendations they accepted and acquitted, 49 recommendations, some of which have been accepted and already acquitted, have committed to fully implement eight and will forward 20 to the national cabinet.

Acting Prime Minister James Merlino says Victoria will work to ensure that all states and territories introduce stricter ventilation standards.

I wrote to the Prime Minister briefing him on Victoria’s capacity for return flights and our hotel quarantine system to advocate a nationally unified approach to ventilation.

Victoria is the only jurisdiction that has done this additional work related to ventilation. We want to share this.

11:07 p.m. GMT23: 07

The UK High Commissioner George Brandis was « treated the same » as any other Head of Mission when he returned to Australia for medium-term consultations and left, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Tim Ayres from Labor has asked a series of questions on Senate estimates about Brandis, the former coalition minister, who has been criticized for returning to Australia over the Christmas period and spending almost a month free in Queensland after two weeks of quarantine and a series of questions had meetings.

Dfat secretary Frances Adamson says heads of missions usually return for consultations and depart mid-term. After two weeks of quarantine (based on the rules in force in the state in which you are entering the country), you will typically have three weeks of consultations, then “regardless of the period of time to which you are entitled and which you are given Manage requirements for them by post ”. She says these arrangements would typically last over a month.

Adamson says she approved Brandis’ vacation. « It was definitely time for him to come back. » She says there is a lot going on in the UK relationship and Brandis was able to participate in discussions with Dfat officials, including Adamson, about these matters.

Adamson says she had an exchange with Brandis when he was in Australia , roughly when he returned to the UK, given the rising number of Covid cases there. Adamdson says her advice to him was to return to the post as planned, but she recalls that he may have left Australia a few days after the original appointment. « I think it was flight related. »

11:07 p.m. GMT23: 07

March 25, 2014: Prime Minister Tony Abbott added Knights and Dames in honor of the Australian Order. The awards were canceled in November 2015. Pic.twitter.com/nlB5xM2xZS

11 p.m. GMT 11 p.m.

Victoria will start accepting international flights again from April 8th as the government re-starts its hotel quarantine program with additional safeguards to combat highly contagious variants.

In a fortnight, the state will accept 800 international passengers per week and up to Scale to 1,120 per week in mid-April when the government completes ventilation tests and upgrades to hotel quarantine locations.

Around 93% of hotel quarantine workers in Victoria have now received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, with the second dose being administered becomes. A prime minister’s spokeswoman told Guardian Australia that only those who have received at least one dose of vaccine will work in « red zones » with personal interaction with travelers when the program is restarted.

In early February, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews announced suggested that all international flights landing in Melbourne would be disrupted after an outbreak of the UK variant of Covid-19 in a hotel quarantine facility plunged the state into a quick five-day lockdown.

Previously, the Prime Minister had came up with the idea of ​​converting a space such as airfields at Tullamarine Airport or Avalon into a quarantine village in the style of the Howard Spring facility in the Northern Territory. This plan is still under development, but the revised hotel quarantine, which is slated to restart in two weeks, will see less dramatic changes.

The government has developed a Victorian standard for quarantine ventilation that includes security that the air pressure in hallways and rooms is balanced in such a way that viral particles cannot be sucked into common areas. Ventilation tests and upgrades have been carried out in three hotels, and two more are partially in operation. Eight more locations are expected to go live in April.

PPE requirements are now being standardized across facilities to ensure employees in regular hotel quarantine facilities where travelers have previously tested negative are wearing the same level of PPE like employees in “health and complex care” hotels that accommodate positive patients. The tests for guests are carried out two to four times during their stay. Further testing is recommended after exiting.

The previous outbreak at the Melbourne Airport Holiday Inn hotel was in a regular facility.

10.55 p.m. GMT22: 55

Linda Reynolds’ office tells # 7NEWS that she « looks forward to going back to work as Secretary of Defense » and that talk of being transferred to another role is « entirely up to the Prime Minister. » #auspol

10:47 p.m. GMT22: 47

Foreign affairs officials have no clear answer as to when the 36,000 Australians currently registered as returning from overseas will all be home.

One official says, « The cup keeps refilling « (which means some are coming home and others are putting themselves on the list of Australians who want to return).

The answer is, once we get there … we won’t rest until they all are at home. « 

The Secretary of State, Marise Payne, says the Howard Springs quarantine facility in the Northern Territory – which will soon increase capacity from 850 places per fortnight to 2,000 per fortnight – is focusing on places for Australians that are at Return flights arranged by the Department of Facilitation, Foreign Affairs and Trade.

10.45 p.m. GMT22.45

The arts and entertainment sectors will be offered an additional $ 135 million to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Most of the money ($ 125 million) will recharge an existing recovery fund for art and production companies and increase its value to $ 200 million.

There will also be an additional $ 10 million for the Support Act, which provides financial relief to artists, crews and musicians in crisis.

However, since one in five Art worker still receiving unemployment benefits, big fears remain about what will happen if the wage subsidy system ends on Sunday.

Art Minister Paul Fletcher said the package is aimed at getting shows back on the streets. </ "We want to see our actors and creators on stage, we want to see jobs for the backstage crews, we want to see in front of the house," he said on Thursday. "All of this depends on and can be funded and supported by this funding."

The fund guidelines are also changing to allow more support for smaller organizations, venues and artistic groups.

Fletcher said the changes aim to help the music industry, which is calling for more help in the face of capacity and tour restrictions.

« Theater is on the way back but the music sector is lagging behind, » he said.

One of the most important Changes include reducing the minimum grant size under the program from USD 75,000 to USD 25,000.

10:44 p.m. GMT22: 44

Andrew Leigh spoke to ABC this morning about companies getting jobkeepers and making profits. He says there are some problems with companies that use taxpayers money to pay dividends:

I think there are two questions. It’s about corporate morale. I think it is important that companies that state in their corporate social responsibility statements that they are there for the general public do the right thing. If they got the good of the corporations and their profits grew, they should pay it back. It is also very worrying that, while Parliament gave Josh Frydenberg an extraordinary amount of discretion over the labor bill, he then ran a system where perhaps a fifth of the money went to companies with growing revenues.

Jobkeeper was designed for large companies whose income had fallen by 50%, and yet, according to an analysis by Ownership Matters, around a fifth of the money went to companies with increasing profits. That could mean $ 10 billion to $ 20 billion in tax dollars being wasted. That is enough to extend the jobkeeper for a further six months. That’s the cost of the entire Building the Education Revolution program that built schools in every school in Australia. That is a gigantic waste.

Ref: https://www.theguardian.com

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