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Morning Mail: AstraZeneca for under 60s, Perth locked out, private schools took advantage of Jobkeeper | Sydney


Hello. We have all the latest updates on the current Covid crisis in Australia with ongoing updates for you throughout the day.

Perth and Region of Peel to Head to Four-Day Lockdown after a third case of Covid was recorded in Western Australia. Monday, the number of cases acquired locally in New South Wales grew to 130, of which 124 are linked to the Bondi cluster. In Queensland, the Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said the next 48 hours will be crucial, as the number of local cases rose to 10. Northern Territory Health Minister Natasha Fyles said authorities expected more cases, with a total of six.

All Australian adults will finally be allowed to get vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine if they choose, while elderly caregivers will need to receive at least one dose of the vaccine by mid-September. The announcement comes after months of revising recommendations on who should get the AstraZeneca vaccine, as there aren’t enough doses of alternative vaccines yet. Why is this the case? “There aren’t enough alternatives because the Morrison government lost the bidding race in the middle of last year,” writes Katharine Murphy. Australia currently has one of the lowest vaccination rates of any developed country, with less than 5% of the population fully vaccinated.

The spread of the more infectious Delta variant of Covid-19 across Australia can be contained with a combination of strong adherence to public health guidelines and good luck, say infectious disease and virology experts, predicting “risky” times. “It’s about 40% more infectious than the Alpha strain, and about twice as infectious as the strains Australians treated last year,” says James Wood, an expert in mathematical modeling. Meanwhile, doctors are bracing for a long Covid tsunami, which can affect almost all organ systems in the body, with sometimes debilitating effects. Research suggests that one in three people who contract Covid will have symptoms that last more than two to two weeks, while about 10% of people have symptoms that persist for 12 weeks or more. Online, Covid-19 “long-haul” support groups have swelled to tens of thousands of members.


Animal rights activists have gone to the High Court to try to overturn laws preventing them from recording cruelty in slaughterhouses. Photograph: Michael Dodge / EPA

Animal rights activists have launched landmark High Court attempt to overturn laws suppressing secretly recorded view of slaughterhouse abuse, arguing that they violate Australia’s implicit right to political freedom of communication.

Private schools probably raked in hundreds of millions of dollars from Jobkeeper and other plans during the Covid crisis, although few saw a significant impact on their income. In some cases, school surpluses have increased by the same amount as the work maintenance allowance received.

The 2014 Hazelwood Coal Mine fire had lasting effects on the health of residents of the Latrobe Valley. Researchers say exposure to fine particles in smoke could lead to lung damage equivalent to four years of aging.

The world

Two more Catholic churches on First Nations reserves in Canada were destroyed by fires that investigators consider suspicious. The fires come nearly a week after the destruction of two other churches and amid growing anger over the church’s role in Canada’s campaign to forcibly assimilate Indigenous peoples.

Twenty people, including two children, were found dead on a drifting boat in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Investigators have ruled out foul play but are still trying to determine what happened.

Several hundred people took to the streets of the West Bank for the fifth day in a row to protest against the treatment inflicted on activist Nizar Banat, who died during an arrest on June 24.

Authorities in southern Italy have banned outdoor agricultural work during the hottest hours of the day after the death of a Malian farm worker, but critics wonder if the ban will be respected.

Recommended reading

Models before the Woolmark Prize show during last year's London Fashion Week
Models before the Woolmark Prize show during London Fashion Week last year. Photograph: Tabatha Fireman / BFC / Getty Images for BFC

The Trust in Australian Wool campaign was launched in March to reassure consumers that wool is a sustainable product in anticipation of the Sustainable Products Initiative of the European Union. Farmers fear that wool (and other natural fibers) will fare badly under the new legislation because of the methodology used, which ranks wool as worse for the planet than polyester. Wool Producers Australia President Edward Storey says this calculation “does not pass the publicity test” and more than one sustainability expert agrees with him. But wool’s poor score didn’t come out of nowhere.

Did Gladys Berejiklian wait too long to lock up Sydney? Health experts Peter Collignon, Zoë Hyde and Hassan Vally are discussing whether the NSW premier has acted quickly enough against the Delta variant. “The decision to go into confinement is a decision that should not be taken lightly. The lockdowns are brutal and costly, both personally and economically. So there is no doubt that trying to avoid a lockdown is a laudable aspiration. It’s a lump, which may be necessary sometimes, but it’s better for everyone if you can achieve the same result using a scalpel, ”explains Vally.

As Australians near year-end, eyes turn to sales and minds waver to the subject of tax deductions. June is traditionally a time when many donate to charity. But how has the way we give – and think about giving – changed, and how can we do it better? Here, professionals in the field suggest how to make the donations that matter. “The proof is that most people don’t do a lot of research on the web before they donate. We would like people to think more about this and find the right charities to donate to, ”said Australian philosopher Peter Singer.


In 2018, Melbourne tenant Orlando Skeete learned he would have to start paying rent through a company that planned to charge him a series of fees. Real estate agencies are increasingly outsourcing rent collection to companies that charge tenants only for the payment of their rent. Journalist Michael McGowan explores this confusing system and Skeete explains how he fought back, using nothing but a bicycle, an ATM, and relentless determination.

Full story

Why are tenants only charged for paying their rent?

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After years of internal struggles behind the scenes, the administration of professional A-League play has been resolved – for now. The clubs, under the aegis of the Australian professional leagues, are now masters of their field.

Super Netball caught napping with slow, opaque response to canceled game. It’s a shame that when the biggest controversy to hit Super Netball in its five-year history began to surface last week, league administrators failed to negotiate a compromise.

Media overview

The Courier Courier says Queensland is “on the verge of being plunged into lockdown”, which would be triggered if there were any cases of unrelated community transmission. Tourism operators in the Northern Territory are preparing to write off another year and lose hundreds of thousands of dollars due to border closures, according to the NT News. In some more positive Covid news, mRNA vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna may provide “years” protection against Covid-19, as reported in the Australian Financial Review.

To come up

The NSW government is expected to announce a support program for businesses affected by the lockdown.

And if you’ve read this far …

Homeowner of controversial Flintstones-themed home settles lawsuit with a city of San Francisco, which claimed to have violated local codes by placing dinosaur sculptures in the backyard. The deal will allow Fred Flintstone and his friends to stay.

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