THURSDAY , APRIL 23
Queensland’s Parliament last night passed laws to deliver $4.5 billion in funding to support households, businesses and the health sector hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move came as the state recorded another two cases overnight.
There are now 1,026 known cases in the state with the majority of those people recovered.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the low figure was more good news adding that health authorities know the source of both new cases.
The new measures voted in last night included tax breaks for businesses, cuts to water and electricity bills and loans for
Special laws protecting tenants who cannot pay rent during the coronavirus crisis were also passed with unanimous support.
It gives a six-month moratorium on evictions for tenants who can prove they have lost substantial income because of COVID-19.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the laws have bi-partisan support.
In other COVBID-19 news:
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he has struggled with seeing the impacts of some of the unprecedented social-distancing restrictions his Government has put in place, including asking older Australians to self-isolate. “So many hard things,” he told Sky News on Wednesday night. “Young kids who can’t see their grandparents and vice versa.” But he said he was most troubled by the pandemic restrictions that bar more than 10 people attending a funeral. “The one that really tears me up … is how many people have had to deal with loved ones who’ve passed away and to go through funerals with so few people,” Mr Morrison said. “It’s just horrible,” he went on, becoming visibly upset.
- NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed just five new cases of coronavirus in NSW, including two health-care workers, bringing the state’s total to 2,976. A male NSW paramedic based in Liverpool has contracted the virus, and health authorities said the source of his infection was unknown. A nurse at Sydney Adventist Hospital was also among the coronavirus cases confirmed today.
- The UK Government’s chief medical adviser has warned that restrictions on everyday life in the UK will need to be in place until a coronavirus vaccine can be developed. Chris Whitty said there was a need to be “realistic” about how long it would take to develop a cure or vaccine, and the chances of it happening in the next year are “incredibly small”. The UK will have some form of social distancing in place until a vaccine or “highly effective drugs” to combat coronavirus are found, England’s chief medical officer has warned. Professor Chris Whitty said the chance of either of those being available before the end of the year was “incredibly small”.
- The global death toll from coronavirus has passed 182,000. There are more than 2.6 million known cases of infection but more than 709,000 people have recovered, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
- The driver of a Porsche car, who fled the scene of a crash which killed four police officers on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway yesterday, posted photos of the aftermath on Facebook, police have said. The officers died when they were hit by a truck after pulling the Porsche 911 over late on Wednesday afternoon. This morning, police said the 41-year-old male Porsche driver had an extensive criminal history and investigators had since made contact with him. Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the driver tested positive for “some type of drug” after police stopped him and before they were hit. “There have been some images placed on Facebook that appear to have been taken by this individual at the scene, before he has left the scene,” he said. “Some of those photographs were circulating last night online. “We are talking to Facebook this morning about removing them.” He said the truck was travelling at 100 kilometres per hour and hit the police car so hard it spun across the lanes of the freeway, coming to a stop in the nature strip between the inbound and outbound lanes. The driver of the truck is in hospital under police guard this morning.
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