Tension between state and federal government over financial aid continues as Victoria enters day four of lockdown

Monday, May 31, 2021 00:05 BST

First published on May 30, 2021 22:34 BST

12:03 p.m. BST00: 03

Jim Chalmers conducted a doorstop interview this morning to discuss the need for federal financial support to workers during the Victoria lockdown:

We saw the state government come to the table with a support package has come that the federal government should too. Ideally, there is some kind of income support in place, whether it’s a jobkeeper or if they have a better way of doing it. We have been saying all along that economic support should be tailored to economic conditions.

We are concerned that this government is getting economic support very quickly, but is very slowly introducing vaccines and taking responsibility for the quarantine.

12:01 p.m. BST00: 01

The other problem that comes up alongside Victoria’s fourth lockdown – triggered by a hotel quarantine violation in Adelaide – is helping workers who have just lost a week of wages.

Dan Tehan said the people could go to Centrelink and request a payment – but that’s only for people who have been ordered to isolate or quarantine them – not people who are locked out and can still leave the house for one of the five main reasons. (It’s always better to check these things out before saying them on national television.)

Josh Frydenberg didn’t say there won’t be any help – just none right now. This was his response on Facebook yesterday after the Victorian government criticized the Morrison government for becoming MIA:

Since the end of JobKeeper, Victoria is the third state to introduce a brief lockdown. Greater Brisbane was subject to stay-at-home orders from March 29 to April 1, metropolitan Perth and the Peel area were subject to stay-at-home orders from April 24 to April 27 and Victoria was subject to stay-at-home orders from April 28 to April 28 May through June 3.

In either Queensland or Western Australia, no further federal assistance was required. In the case of Victoria, the Morrison administration has provided and continues to provide an unprecedented level of direct economic support. Over $ 45 billion has already flowed to Victorian families and businesses during COVID, with Victoria receiving more direct federal economic support per capita than any other state.

The federal government’s direct economic support for Victoria is roughly three times that of the state government. The federal government continues to support Victorian families and businesses through this pandemic.

The $ 1,500 Pandemic Vacation Disaster Payment is available, as is the National Health Emergency Crisis Payment. For companies suffering losses, the loss carryforward measure is available to increase cash flow at the end of the fiscal year.

The economic impact of the Victorian outbreak is not negligible, but the budget a little over two weeks ago was expecting more outbreaks. Our budgetary measures were calibrated accordingly, with the budget providing additional COVID-related economic support of $ 41 billion. If prolonged lockdowns are avoided and outbreaks are curbed, the economy can continue its strong recovery.

The Morrison government will continue to work with the Victorian government and closely monitor the situation.

I’m not sure what it is telling people they received a higher percentage of financial aid previously if they need help now. And it is possible that other Australian jurisdictions are in the same location. The last sentence is the interesting one – “monitor the situation closely” is usually code for “if this gets worse, we have to do something”. This is cold consolation for people who saw all the layers disappear without warning, just as they got back on their feet.

11:47 p.m. BST 11:47 p.m.

11.42 p.m. BST23: 42

Former Labor MP Emma Husar, who was forced to resign from the Bundestag after allegations of “slut shame” were reported against her (an investigation into the allegations later found no basis for the brutal claims against her, and Husar won a libel suit against her (Buzzfeed) wants an apology from Anthony Albanese (as leader) and damages from the Labor Party.

Who would have thought women needed protection from their own party? Sexual harassment is not new, women in Canberra deserve better, the ALP must take responsibility for their behavior, own their mistakes. & sorry #auspol https://t.co/hFbDgkQS9e

Bill Shorten was chairman at the time and is asked if Husar deserves an apology from the Labor Party:

I think Emma – she was too badly treated.

So I’ve talked to her in the past. I regret how she was treated. I am not saying this covers all matters, but I believe there were some people in New South Wales Labor who did not treat them well. Emma and I had our own conversations on the subject. I feel for her in part. I don’t think she was wrong here.

Look, Anthony wasn’t the leader back then. I won’t go into that. From my point of view, I think she received pretty unfair treatment and I’m happy to say that.

11:34 p.m. BST23: 34

Somehow the government has managed to limit itself to the word “race” – like competing with something, in this case a highly contagious virus – and whether Australia is rolled into one when it comes to a vaccination program.

Scott Morrison has said on numerous occasions, regarding the introduction of vaccines, that we are “not in a race” or “this is not a race”.

The government’s lack of urgency is one reason that the People delay getting their vaccine if they are eligible. With Victoria on lockdown, the whole country has been reminding the whole country why we are actually in a rather urgent situation, as Covid can shut down entire communities and economies at any time.

Shorten was asked by the ABC if Australia was “in one Race “when it comes to the vaccine:

Now it is now. I think there has been some level of complacency, not just from the government but maybe from the Australians too – if there is no Covid outbreak, the urge to get the vaccine doesn’t seem to be as great.

We have seen people in Melbourne attuned to these things, the vaccination rates have gone up and the queues have grown longer because there is now an outbreak.

I would suggest to my fellow Australians that after an outbreak I have to wait in line to get the vaccination, which seems too slow to me.

Maybe we need to get up from our kitchen tables and lounge chairs, and I would tell people in states and cities that didn’t have to go through the lockdown that my hometown Melbourne is going through. Do not wait to be vaccinated to be blocked. Simple common sense says if there is Covid anywhere it could affect any of us at any time.

11.20 p.m. BST23: 20

Bill Shorten is at ABC News Breakfast and says he understands that a resident or “possibly two” at the Arcare Maidstone nursing home tested positive for Covid – as did a geriatric nurse.

What is worrying is that both employees who had positive only one resident, possibly two, but one resident who appears to have contracted Covid, were vaccinated in the first round. This underlines me and I think to all of you who are listening that two vaccinations are what we need and when I heard the federal government said one vaccination was kind of a goal, well, as I understand it, it is only used Reports from the facility but the people who are sick actually had a vaccination so you will need two. One is not enough.

11:06 p.m. BST23: 06

There were five locally acquired cases yesterday. It is the mysterious case that has worried authorities – cases that cannot be linked to a previous infection are usually the ones that extend the lockdown.

11:01 p.m. BST23: 01

And Oz reported that the LNP blocked Queensland MP George Christensen’s offer for the $ 105,600 resettlement allowance after he announced his decision to step down from the Bundestag in the next election.

The allowance is open to MPs who are disappointed or lose their seat – anyone who “involuntarily retires”. Christensen announced his own resignation.

10:57 p.m. BST 10:57 p.m.

Controversial Liberal MP Andrew Laming, who returned to Parliament earlier this month after receiving empathy training, has defended an additional $ 15,000 in grants given to organizations led by a local LNP branch president, as Guardian Australia may reveal.

In the final round of the Laming’s Stronger Communities Funding program, two grants were awarded to Redlands Salad Bowl and Community Connections Redlands Coast, both by the President of the Redlands Branch of the Liberal National Party , Craig Luxton.

10:56 p.m. BST22: 56

Australia is still waiting to find out who its ambassador from the US will be under the Biden administration – Axios has reported that it could be a Kennedy.

The US media network reports that Caroline Kennedy, who served as the second ambassador to Japan during the Obama administration, is up for Canberra.

10:39 p.m. BST 10:39 p.m.

The “mysterious case” of an elderly caregiver in Melbourne has worried authorities as staff and residents prepare for further COVID-19 tests and vaccinations.

The residents of Arcare Maidstone were locked up and in self-isolation on Sunday after a health worker at the facility tested positive.

The woman from Altona was working on the grounds northwest of the city on Wednesday and Thursday and was potentially contagious at the time.

Colin Singh, Arcare CEO said no other employees or local residents had seen positive results, but more testing is planned for Tuesday.

“We know this is a fearful time, but we ask you not to call and ask about the results,” wrote Mr Singh in a letter.

The Altona woman, one of five am Local cases reported on Sunday, tested positive despite receiving her first coronavirus sting on May 12th. So far, only a third of Arcare Maidstone’s 110 employees and 53 of 76 residents have been vaccinated, and the federal government has that planned vaccinations brought forward to Monday.

10:32 p.m. BST 10:32 p.m.

Welcome back to Guardian Australia – you have a hybrid blog today. Parliament doesn’t sit in the ACT as a Day of Atonement, and therefore a public holiday, but all MPs are still in town, which means you get a helping of politics.

But of course, the greatest attention is on Victoria and the fourth lockdown, especially as authorities try to find the connection to a mysterious Covid case – a person who worked in an elderly care facility.

People who are prone to Covid should have been vaccinated by Easter. At the end of May we still have nursing homes where no vaccine doses were given.

What we got this weekend, however, was the Deputy Prime Minister and senior ministers arguing over whether it should be a “race” to vaccinate Australians against a virus that has caused a global pandemic.

While Dumb and Dumber were clear on whether or not the vaccination rollout was a race, the Victorian government changed the policy of the pandemic. Some comments on today’s events #auspol https://t.co/1cvn0VUFsP

We will cover everything that happens in Canberra, Victoria and any other place you need to know about.

You have Amy Remeikis with you most of the day, along with the confidence of the Guardian brain. It’s a cool day in Canberra so it’s already a two coffees and one tea situation – I hope you’re warm and ready to get involved.

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Ref: https://www.theguardian.com