TUESDAY, MAY 12
Alan Jones, Australia’s most influential radio broadcaster, will retire at the end of this month, saying doctors had told him his workload was “detrimental” to his health.
The 79-year-old 2GB host’s breakfast program has topped the Harbour City’s radio ratings since he began in the timeslot in 2001.
During his broadcast this morning Jones told listeners: “We are living in the world of Coronavirus. The most repeated statement we hear is ‘we must listen to the experts’.”
“Well, the experts are telling me in no uncertain terms, and not for the first time I might add, ‘continuing with the present workload is seriously detrimental to your health’.
“I have listened to the experts and I am taking this opportunity to indicate to my radio family that I will be retiring from radio at the end of this month.”
Ben Fordham, who hosts the drive program on 2GB, will replace Jones.
Jones’ broadcasting career spans 35 years and he has topped radio ratings in Australia a record 226 times.
Despite calling quits on his radio career, Jones will continue to broadcast on Sky News and write for The Daily Telegraph and The Australian.
Chairman of Nine Peter Costello said Jones had a “unique” place in Australian media.
“His ratings record will never be matched,” he said.
Two men have died after they were hit by a passing semi-trailer after stopping their vehicles and appearing to fight on the far north coast in New South Wales.
Emergency services were called to the accident on the Pacific Highway, south of Woodburn about 8:10pm last night.
NSW Police have been told the drivers of an SUV and a semi-trailer that was carrying logs, were both travelling south along the highway, when the drivers were involved in a minor altercation.
The drivers stopped about 5km south of Woodburn and got out of their vehicles.
Witnesses have told police the men were fighting in the northbound lane when they were struck by a B-double being driven by a 35-year-old man from Albury.
Both men sustained critical injuries and died at the scene.
Police are still working to formally identify the two men killed.
Some state economies could lose up to $1 billion every week if hard-line coronavirus restrictions need to be reimposed, according to the Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Mr Frydenberg was due to deliver the Budget tonight, but with COVID-19 throwing the economy into chaos, he will instead deliver a scaled-back financial statement to Parliament.
He will reveal Treasury Department forecasts showing the state-by-state jobs boost over coming weeks after the first easing of restrictions.
More than 80,000 roles are predicted to return in New South Wales, nearly 65,000 in Victoria, over 50,000 in Queensland and 25,000 in Western Australia.
South Australia is expected to add 17,000 roles, over 5,000 jobs will return in Tasmania, about 4,000 in Canberra and 2,500 in the Northern Territory.
“Rebuilding consumer and business confidence will be key,” Mr Frydenberg will say, according to speech notes seen by the ABC.
“The nation’s finances can only be sustained by a strong and growing market-led economy.”
In COVID-19 news from overseas, the White House is requiring everyone who enters the West Wing to wear a mask or face covering after coronavirus scares near US President Donald Trump.
However, the memo apparently doesn’t apply to Mr Trump, who has refrained from wearing a mask in private and in public, most recently at a White House press conference today.
The memo sent to all staff outlined the new directive after two staffers last week tested positive for COVID-19.
“We are requiring everyone who enters the West Wing to wear a mask or facial covering,” it read.
Staff will be allowed to remove their face coverings if they sit at least six feet (1.8 metres) apart from their colleagues.
Speaking about the White House infections at his latest press briefing, Mr Trump said everyone entering his office gets tested and he felt “no vulnerability whatsoever”.
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