Daily News Roundup

June 23, 2020



Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has threatened to reintroduce a state-wide lockdown after 17 new coronavirus cases were reported in the state overnight

The Victoria spike pushed Australia’s number of new cases per day to its highest level in more than six weeks.

Mr Andrews said the fact that many of the state’s new cases have come from unauthorised family gatherings is “just not on”.

“It doesn’t matter how many people are doing the wrong thing – everybody, everybody will pay the price if we get to a point where restrictions either localised or across the state need to be re-introduced,” he said.

Mr Andrews said the pandemic was “not over” and implored people to maintain physical distancing, to not shake hands or greet others with hugs and kisses.

“If you’re sick you can’t go out. If you even have just mild symptoms, you have to come forward and get tested and if you’re asked to quarantine you need to do as you are asked,” he said.

“If people don’t do the right thing… and spend a modest amount of time with others, it is almost certain they will give the virus to other people.”

Brunswick East Primary School in Moreland and Keilor Views Primary School in Brimbank have both been closed for a deep clean after students from both schools tested positive to COVID-19.

Moreland and Brimbank are two of six local government hotspots, identified yesterday by the State Government, where there is high community transmission of the virus.


Regional Australia has become a magnet for millennials, according to a new report challenging the perception that young people in the country are itching to leave for the big smoke.

The report, “Big Movers: Population Mobility in Australia”, released today looks at population trends between the last two national censuses in 2011 and 2016.

It found more regionally-based millennials — people aged between 20 and 35 years old — moved to other regional places than to capital cities in the period.

“Sydney actually lost more millennials to the regions than it gained during that time, and that was well before COVID-19,” Regional Australia Institute (RAI) chief economist and report co-author Kim Houghton said.

According to the report it’s the kind of mid-sized town millennials seek. It has a hospital, airport and university, jobs and lifestyle choices.

The report’s findings included:

  • Regional Australia had a net inflow of 65,204 people in the five years to 2016
  • In that time, 501,643 moved from capital cities to regional Australia and 436,439 moved from regional areas to capital cities
  • Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide experienced net population losses to regional Australia
  • In total, more than 1.2 million people moved to regional Australia from a capital city, or moved from one regional location to another
  • More millennials moved to capital cities from regions (31,999) than the other way around
  • But 207,510 millennials moved between regional communities
  • About 30 per cent of young people who move from a region to a big city after school end up returning to a regional area

The report focuses on millennials because regional leaders regard them as the “golden demographic”.

“They’re younger, they’re enthusiastic, and they’re often in the early stages of family formation so if [that happens], they’ll make deep roots in those communities and stay on for a long time,” Dr Houghton said.

The report shows that nearly 179,000 millennials moved from regional Australia to the capitals between 2011 and 2016 — 32,000 more than the other way around.

But even more millennials, 208,000, shifted between communities within regional Australia, rather than head to the major metropolitan cities.

The top three regional destinations for millennial movers were the Gold Coast, Newcastle and Sunshine Coast.

Greater Geelong, Cairns, Toowoomba, Ballarat, Maitland, Greater Bendigo and Lake Macquarie were also popular.

The research found most people who left a city for the regions stayed within in their respective state.

Mining communities with high-paying jobs were popular with all millennials, but especially those moving from the city, the report found.


People in south-east Queenslanders have been warned to rug up as a sudden cold snap moves across the state.  

Maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to plummet between two to five degrees below average.

Most areas of Queensland will have their coldest morning of the year on Thursday, with minimums to be in the single digits.

Brisbane is forecast to drop to 6C on Thursday, as is Surfers Paradise and areas of the Sunshine Coast.

Stanthorpe is expected to be the coldest part of the state with a forecast of -1C on Thursday. Warwick is expected to hit 1C, Toowoomba and Ipswich are forecast to drop to 3C and Mackay is set to drop to a minimum of 5C.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Shane Kennedy said the coldest part of the state is expected to be the southern Darling Downs, where the temperature is expected to get close to or below zero in the middle of the week.

The cold blast is expected to last until the weekend before temperatures begin to rise again next week.


Sexual harassment allegations against former High Court judge Dyson Heydon must result in workplace change, the Law Council of Australia says.

An independent investigation commissioned by the High Court found six former court staff members were harassed by Mr Heydon, claims which have been categorically denied by the former justice.

Law Council of Australia president Pauline Wright said the findings were indicative of broader cultural problems within the profession.

“Perhaps this is an us-too moment for the legal profession,” she told AM.

The Law Council of Australia conducted a survey into the progression and attrition of male and female lawyers in 2013, and Ms Wright said the findings were disturbing.

“Sexual harassment is one of the key reasons that women cite for leaving the legal profession early,” she said.

“We know that about one in six female respondents to our survey indicated they had experienced some kind of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace.”

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins said allegations of sexual harassment were not confined to the legal sector.

She pointed to a recent report by the Australian Human Rights Commission that examined the nature and prevalence of sexual harassment in workplaces.

“Our inquiry told us that one in three Australian workers have been sexually harassed and particularly young people under 29 and women are at the highest risk and we know that it happens in all different workplaces but particularly ones where there is a great hierarchy of power,” she told AM.

Lawyers for Mr Heydon told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers their client categorically denied “any allegation of predatory behaviour or breaches of the law”.

In a statement, his lawyers noted the inquiry was not conducted by a judge or a lawyer, and if any conduct of his had caused offence, “that result was inadvertent and unintended”.

High Court Chief Justice Susan Kiefel said the findings were of “extreme concern” and that the women’s accounts “have been believed”.

“We have moved to do all we can to make sure the experiences of these women will not be repeated,” Chief Justice Kiefel said.

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