Daily News Roundup

July 8, 2020

Source: Getty Images

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 8

Australian Winter Olympics star Alex “Chumpy” Pullin is dead after a freak drowning incident while spearfishing on the Gold Coast.

The high-profile champion snowboarder is believed to have suffered a shallow water blackout at Palm Beach at 10.30am this morning.

Pullin was found unresponsive on the ocean floor at an artificial reef by a snorkeller, who called for help from a group of nearby surfers, Queensland Police said.

The alarm was raised and a lifeguard raced to assist, pulling him from the surf on a jet ski.

Paramedics performed CPR for 45 minutes but the 32-year-old couldn’t be revived.

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Personal income tax cuts for middle income earners worth up to $2565-a-year are likely to be brought forward to help boost spending, the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has revealed.

The tax cuts, worth $20 billion, were scheduled to come into force in 2022. 

A third stage of the tax cuts, with a tax rate of 32.5 per cent to apply to the vast majority of workers, is currently scheduled from 2024.

However, Mr Frydenberg has confirmed this morning that the fast-tracking of the tax cuts was now a live option in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are three stages to those legislated income tax cuts and, you know, the benefit was very clear. 

We’re creating one big tax bracket between $45,000 and $200,000 where people pay a marginal rate of no more than 30 cents in the dollar,’’ Mr Frydenberg said

“So we are looking at that issue and the timing of those tax cuts because we want to boost aggregate demand, boost consumption, put more money into people’s pockets and that is one way to do it.”

The second stage of the tax cuts lift the income threshold when the 19 per cent tax rate kicks in from $41,000 to $45,000 and the rate at which the 32.5 per cent tax rate applies from $90,000 to $120,000.

The 2022 tax cuts are aimed at middle income earners and will deliver annual tax cuts of $580 to a worker earning $40,000.

However, the value of the tax cuts rises to $1080 a year for workers earning $50,000-a-year in income.

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Victoria has recorded another 134 new cases of coronavirus, as authorities warn police will dramatically increase their presence in areas that are going back into lockdown.

The state will reimpose stage three restrictions on metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire from midnight tonight to try and bring a surge in COVID-19 transmission under control.

Today is the third day in a row Victoria has recorded more than 100 cases, and 134 is the state’s second-highest single-day total after yesterday’s record of 191.

Premier Daniel Andrews said 11 of the new infections were connected to contained outbreaks and 123 were still under investigation.

There are now a total of 75 infections linked to the nine public housing towers under “hard lockdown” in Melbourne, after some cases were diagnosed and others previously under investigation reclassified.

Forty-one Victorians with coronavirus are in hospital and seven of those are receiving intensive care, Mr Andrews said.

More than 1 million coronavirus tests have been conducted in Victoria since the start of the year, with a new record of 29,424 conducted yesterday.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said from tonight “several hundred more police” would be involved in Operation Sentinel, which launched in March to enforce COVID-19 restrictions.

The operation previously involved 500 police.

“It won’t be an absolute ring of steel but there’s going to be a significant police presence on a whole amount of those main arterial roads,” he said.

Stage three restrictions only allow residents to leave their homes for four essential reasons

Close to 265 Australian Defence Force workers will also be deployed to help monitor the boundary around metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

“You may see a bit more visibility of them now involved with us at checkpoints,” Chief Commissioner Patton said.

“They’re going to be invaluable assistance for us but they cannot replace police.”