Trans-Tasman Hosts For 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

The awarding of joint hosting rights for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is a landmark decision for women’s sport in our region Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern said.

For the first time in history, Australians and New Zealanders will be able to experience a tier one football tournament on home soil.

The 2023 event will be the largest, and no doubt the best, Women’s World Cup that has ever been staged.

This is a huge positive for the footballing and sporting industries on both sides of the Tasman as we recover and rebuild from COVID-19.

As sporting nations we have had a long history of producing some of the best female footballers in the world and this tournament will further inspire our next generation and provide the platform for them to compete on the world stage.

It will also help drive Australia’s goal of achieving a 50/50 split of male and female participation in the game by 2027, and builds on New Zealand’s 35 percent increase in female participation over the past five years.

The event, which will be held between 10 July and 20 August 2023, will provide a near $500 million boost to economic activity for host countries, a significant jobs boost for host cities, and an opportunity for tourist regions in both countries to capitalise on new visitations.

Australia and New Zealand are world leaders when it comes to co-hosting major events with a track record that includes the 2017 Rugby League World Cup and the 2015 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

We also lead the world in equality and fairness, and we are committed to promoting these values through the tournament and beyond.

Thank you to Football Federation Australia, New Zealand Football, the Matildas and Football Ferns, as well as the broader football family who have supported our bid from the outset.

Defence ‘the worst way’ to spend $200 billion

Australian Greens Peace & Disarmament spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said today that buying new military technology to equip Australia for future wars was the “worst way to spend” $200 billion, especially during a pandemic.

“Hundreds of thousands of people across our community are struggling right now and are unable to access the support they need,” Steele-John said.

“Aside from investing it directly into coal, this government would be hard pressed to come up with a worse way to spend $200 billion during a global pandemic, and against the backdrop of a climate crisis.

“Casual and migrant workers, people on the DSP and carer payment and renters have all been forgotten by this government in the economic response to COVID-19 and in just a couple of months time the JobKeeper payment will cease and the rate of JobSeeker will be cut almost in half, putting even more financial stress on thousands of Australians families and businesses.

“We need a new approach to defence spending that is focused on preparing our defence forces for the impacts of climate change instead of wasting public funds on unnecessary and outdated weapons.

“For Defence MInister Linda Reynolds to double-down on this commitment now is to rub salt into the wounds of every single Australian who is struggling right now.”

$250 Million Jobmaker Plan To Restart Australia’s Creative Economy

Thousands of jobs across Australia’s arts industry will be backed with a new $250 million targeted package to help restart the creative economy and get the entertainment, arts and screen sectors back to work, as they rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19.

A range of new grant and loan programs will roll out over the next 12 months to different parts of the arts sector to support the $112 billion creative economy and the more than 600,000 Australians it employs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the commercial arts and entertainment sector was one of the first sectors to be impacted by COVID-19 and will be one of the last to come out of hibernation as social distancing restrictions are eased.

“Our JobMaker plan is getting their show back on the road, to get their workers back in jobs,” the Prime Minister said.

“We’re delivering the capital these businesses need so they can start working again and support the hundreds of thousands of Australians who make their living in the creative economy.

“These measures will support a broad range of jobs from performers, artists and roadies, to front of house staff and many who work behind the scenes, while assisting related parts of the broader economy, such as tourism and hospitality.

“This package is as much about supporting the tradies who build stage sets or computer specialists who create the latest special effects, as it is about supporting actors and performers in major productions.

“Many in the sector will find a new way to operate while the current social distancing measures remain in place and while that won’t be easy I know there’s a strong desire among all Australians to see the return of gigs, performances and events.

The support package includes:

  • Seed Investment to Reactivate Productions and Tours – $75 million in competitive grant funding in 2020-21 through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund. This program will provide capital to help production and event businesses to put on new festivals, concerts, tours and events as social distancing restrictions ease, including through innovative operating and digital delivery models. Grants of varying sizes will be available, from $75,000 through to $2 million.
  • Show Starter Loans – $90 million in concessional loans to assist creative economy businesses to fund new productions and events that stimulate job creation and economic activity. The loans program will complement the RISE Fund and will be delivered through commercial banks, backed by a 100 per cent Commonwealth guarantee.
  • Kick-starting Local Screen Production – $50 million for a Temporary Interruption Fund, to be administered by Screen Australia, that will support local film and television producers to secure finance and start filming again, supporting thousands of jobs in the sector. Filming of new productions has largely been halted as insurers are not providing coverage for COVID-19.
  • Supporting Sustainability of Sector-Significant Organisations – $35 million to provide direct financial assistance to support significant Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations facing threats to their viability due to COVID-19, which may include organisations in fields including theatre, dance, circus, music and other fields. The Government will partner with the Australia Council to deliver this funding.
  • Creative Economy Taskforce – establishment of a ministerial taskforce to partner with the Government and the Australia Council to implement the JobMaker plan for the creative economy.

Minister for Arts Paul Fletcher said the comprehensive package will deliver jobs and give creative and cultural experiences back to Australians.

“We are backing over 600,000 Australians in the cultural and creative sectors whose work contributes $112 billion to our economy. These sectors have been hit hard during the pandemic, and the Government’s investment will play an important role in the nation’s economic recovery,” Minister Fletcher said.

“We are injecting $100 million per month into the arts sector through the JobKeeper program and cash flow assistance, delivering an important lifeline for many businesses, but as social distancing restrictions ease, our plan supports businesses getting back on their feet and getting people back in jobs.”

Following the successful development of COVID-19 safe working guidelines to support the reopening of our National Collecting Institutions and the screen sector, the Government is working with the Australia Council to develop broader guidelines for the arts and entertainment sector to protect the public and workers. The Prime Minister will also seek approval from National Cabinet to give our entertainment industry greater certainty about the timetable for them to be able to re-activate their business, so they can better plan their path forward.

In coming weeks, the guidelines for the grant and loan programs will be released and the members of the Creative Economy Taskforce will be announced.

This plan builds on previously announced measures, including the injection of $100 million per month into the arts through JobKeeper and cashflow support over April and May; $10 million for regional and remote organisations; $7 million to Indigenous Art Centres; $10 million to Support Act to assist with mental health and crisis support; the Australia Council’s $5 million Resilience Fund and flexible management of existing funding agreements with Government.

This package also builds on the Government’s investment of $749 million in the arts and cultural industry in 2019-20 – the largest amount ever provided to the sector. The package is in addition to the support being provided by state and territory governments, totalling more than $170 million.

For more information about COVID-19 and arts support visit: www.arts.gov.au/covid-19-update

$145 Million To Unlock Infrastructure Jobs In SA

The Morrison and Marshall Governments will support construction jobs across South Australia by jointly investing an additional $145 million to deliver shovel-ready infrastructure projects and urgent road safety upgrades.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said further investment in infrastructure would play a critical role in the Commonwealth’s JobMaker plan and help the South Australian economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Partnering with state and territory governments to invest in more major infrastructure projects across Australia is a key part of our JobMaker plan to rebuild our economy and create more jobs,” the Prime Minister said.

“This funding injection means we have brought forward or provided additional funding in excess of $440 million to South Australia in the past eight months.

“This package builds on the fast tracking of $327 million for infrastructure in South Australia which we announced last November, locking in priority upgrades that will bust congestion, increase productivity, improve safety, and boost jobs at a time we need it most.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Government had worked closely with State, Territory and Local Governments to identify shovel-ready projects to keep the economy moving and get money flowing back into jobs and businesses as soon as possible.

“This package includes a $52 million Regional Road Network Package, which will build on investments under the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative to deliver pavement treatments, shoulder sealing and safety enhancements to benefit the freight industry and regional communities across the state,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“We will also fund a $12 million higher-capacity North-South Freight Route bypassing Adelaide. This will deliver upgrades along the route between Murray Bridge and the Sturt Highway to remove speed restrictions and improve productivity, with initial works to get under way within six months.

“In all, this package will support more than 200 jobs during construction, which is good news for locals and communities across South Australia.”

Premier of South Australia Steven Marshall said the $145 million infrastructure investment is an important part of our plan to create local jobs and help re-build our economy.

“This significant infrastructure investment is part of our strong plan to create more South Australian jobs and support local businesses,” the Premier said.

“We have worked very closely with the Federal Government to fast track funding for these shovel-ready projects which will complement our record $12.9 billion infrastructure pipeline here in South Australia.”

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the funding injection will deliver shovel-ready projects across SA.

“Our investment in road safety infrastructure will transform and modernise the Heysen tunnels under the South Eastern Freeway,” Mr Tudge said.

“We’re also upgrading the freeway to deliver speed-activated signage on the steep descent into Adelaide.”

South Australian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Stephan Knoll said the focus on regional road upgrade across the state would stimulate regional economies and improve road safety.

“This massive investment in regional roads will support regional jobs, communities and more importantly, help save lives on our country roads,” Mr Knoll said.

“We are funding a suite of safety improvements across the state which will include fixing Long Valley Road through localised widening, shoulder sealing, intersection treatments, safety barriers and sight distance improvements.”

The jointly funded package is supported by investments from the Morrison ($115.6 million) and Marshall Governments ($28.9 million).

Commonwealth funding for the package has been drawn from the recently announced $1.5 billion allocation to priority shovel-ready projects and targeted road safety works.

The Morrison Government has now committed more than $9 billion to transport infrastructure in South Australia.

SA INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE

Shovel-ready projects

Project Federal funding Total funding
Heysen Tunnel refit and safety upgrade $12 million $15 million
Regional North-South Freight Route $9.6 million $12 million
Regional Road Network Package $41.6 million $52 million
Adventure Way and Innamincka Airport access road $4.8 million $6 million

Road safety upgrades

Project Federal funding Total

funding

Installation of safety barriers at high-risk crash sites across South Australia $8 million $10 million
Long Valley Road safety improvements: localised widening, shoulder sealing, intersection treatments, safety barriers and sight distance improvements $4.8 million $6 million
Activated Safety Signing on South East Freeway $3.2 million $4 million
Median Wire Rope – Dukes Highway $4 million $5 million
Audio Tactile Line Marking on strategic corridors $8 million $10 million
Shoulder Sealing Program $4 million $5 million
Road lighting improvements at critical rural intersections $6.8 million $8.5 million
Variable Speed Limit Signs $800,000 $1 million
Minor improvements to junctions along key corridors $8 million $10 million
Total $115.6 million $144.5 million

Australia’s AAA Credit Rating And Stable Outlook Reaffirmed By Moody’s

Moody’s has today reaffirmed Australia’s AAA credit rating and maintained the stable outlook supported by the “underlying resilience of the economy” and our “track record of proactive and effective policymaking.”

In its report, Moody’s notes that Australia’s “diversified economy, adaptable labour markets and flexible exchange rate” will continue to support growth while our “fiscal strength will remain broadly resilient” supported by “sound institutions with track records of responding effectively to shocks”.

Today’s report confirms Australia has maintained a AAA credit rating from all three major ratings agencies in an expression of confidence in the Morrison Government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Moody’s notes that “the fall in GDP is smaller than in other advanced economies” with “the resilience of the Australian economy supporting a return to positive growth next year.”

We are not through this crisis yet but with restrictions starting to ease, there are encouraging signs across the economy. Consumer confidence increased for nine consecutive weeks after the announcement of JobKeeper recovering around 93 per cent of the fall from mid-March. Business confidence rose in May and has recovered around 70 per cent of its record fall in March.

Australia entered this crisis from a position of economic strength which in the words of Moody’s provided “scope for the government to implement very large fiscal policy support packages.”

The Morrison Government’s economic response to the Coronavirus crisis is providing $260 billion or 13.3 per cent of GDP in support for workers, households and business.

This unprecedented level of support reflects the unprecedented moment that we find ourselves in.

Moody’s action today, in reaffirming our AAA rating and stable outlook, is a reminder of the importance of maintaining our commitment to medium term fiscal sustainability.

Our disciplined economic and budget management saw the Federal Budget return to balance for the first time in 11 years and the Budget was on track to achieve a surplus in 2019-20 before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Our measures are temporary, targeted and proportionate to the challenge we face and will ensure Australia bounces back stronger on the other side, without undermining the structural integrity of the Budget which Australians have worked so hard to restore.

$46 Million To Unlock Infrastructure Jobs In Tasmania

The Morrison and Gutwein Governments are supporting construction jobs across Tasmania by jointly investing an additional $46 million to deliver shovel-ready infrastructure projects and urgent road safety upgrades.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said further investment in infrastructure would play a critical role in the Commonwealth’s JobMaker plan and help the Tasmanian economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Partnering with state and territory governments to invest in more major infrastructure projects across Australia is a key part of our JobMaker plan to rebuild our economy and create more jobs,” the Prime Minister said.

“This funding injection means we have brought forward or provided additional funding in excess of $200 million to Tasmania in the past eight months.

“This package builds on the fast tracking of $173 million for infrastructure in Tasmania which we announced last November, locking in priority upgrades that will increase productivity, improve safety and boost jobs at a time we need it most.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the funded projects in Tasmania include a number of road improvements, such as widening, surface work and bridge strengthening.

“The nine funded projects across the state will improve road safety for all users, while also enhancing accessibility and connectivity of the road network,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“$8 million is going towards main road and highway enhancements and another $7.2 million will go towards the widening of Railton Main Road and Richmond Road.”

Premier of Tasmania Peter Gutwein said the investment will create jobs for Tasmanians and save lives on the state’s roads.

“The Tasmanian Government will also invest $11.7 million in these projects, with $7 million going towards selected shovel-ready projects and $4.7 million to road safety improvements,” the Premier said.

“Many of the projects are due to start later this year, creating jobs and boosting the Tasmanian economy once COVID-19 has passed. This initiative complements Tasmania’s job-creating Construction Blitz plan to stimulate the economy and support thousands of jobs across the state.”

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said Tasmanians will benefit from improved road connections right across the state.

“Working with the Tasmanian Government, we are developing heavy vehicle rest areas, installing roadside barriers and upgrading the Huon Highway and Sandfly Road junction,” Mr Tudge said.

“Roads are vital for keeping population centres connected in Tasmania, and this funding package will improve reliability of the network and make sure more people get home sooner and safer.”

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson said the package will particularly improve the safety of school students across Tasmania.

“$3 million will be used to provide electronic signs in school zones across the state, while $6 million will also go to the construction of a pedestrian underpass, with an improved new engineering design including disability access, on the Midland Highway at Campbell Town,” Minister Ferguson said.

“The safety of all road users in the state is a priority, whether they are pedestrians, cyclists or drivers.”

Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck said getting shovels in the ground on local construction projects was crucial in maintaining jobs and economic growth across the state.

“This funding forms part of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s record $100 billion dollar pipeline of infrastructure projects which is laying the foundations of a financial bridge to recovery on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Senator Colbeck said.

The jointly funded package is supported by investments from the Morrison ($34.3 million) and Gutwein Governments ($11.7 million).

Commonwealth funding for the package has been drawn from the recently announced $1.5 billion allocation to priority shovel-ready projects and targeted road safety works.

The Morrison Government has now committed nearly $2.9 billion to transport infrastructure in Tasmania.

TASMANIAN INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE

Shovel-ready projects

Project Federal funding Total funding
Railton Main Road shoulder widening $2 million $4 million
State Road Network enhancements: Bass Highway, Arthur Highway, West Tamar Highway, Channel Highway, Bell Bay Main Road and Bridport Main Road resurfacing $8 million $10 million
Richmond Road shoulder widening $5.2 million $6.5 million
Pedestrian underpass on the Midland Highway at Campbell Town $4.8 million $6 million
Bridge Strengthening Upgrades $2 million $2.5 million

Road safety upgrades

Project Federal funding Total funding
Electronic school zone signs $1.5 million $3 million
Heavy Vehicle rest areas $4 million $5 million
Roadside barriers $1.8 million $2 million
Huon Highway/Sandfly Road junction $5 million $7 million
Total $34.3 million $46 million

Climate wars won’t end by surrendering

The Australian Greens Leader, Adam Bandt, has said Labor’s latest offer to embrace carbon capture and storage won’t help tackle the climate emergency, saying you don’t end the climate wars by surrendering.

“You don’t end the climate wars by surrendering,” Greens Leader Adam Bandt said.

“We need a plan to get coal out of the system, not to lock it in.
“The Liberals don’t care about climate change, so holding out for bipartisanship is just a recipe for inaction.”

“An energy plan premised on the unicorn technology of carbon capture and storage is doomed to failure.”

“It’s a red letter day for coal in Australia and a terrible day for the climate. Queensland ports recorded a record export, NSW revealed that their plans were based on the world ignoring the Paris Agreement and now the ALP and Liberals want to keep coal in the system for longer.

“The Liberal, National and Labor parties accept millions of dollars in donations from coal, oil and gas companies. Today’s news demonstrates that fossil fuel interests continue to have too much influence on our politics.

“After repealing the carbon price, it’s clear to anyone paying attention that not having a plan for coal is indeed the Liberals’ plan, and today Labor offered to sign on to it too.” Bandt said.

LABOR: IT’S TIME FOR A ROYAL COMMISSION INTO ROBODEBT

Federal Labor will today call for a Royal Commission into the Morrison Government’s illegal Robodebt scheme so a disaster like this never happens to the Australian people again.

Millions of Australians were targeted for four long years by this Government, in a bid to artificially boost the budget bottom line with up to 740,000 unlawful debts.

The Prime Minister himself was the architect of this cruel scheme designed to extract $1.5 billion in unlawful debts from the Australian people.

A Royal Commission would shed light on critical questions that might otherwise go unanswered, including:

  • Who came up with the idea for the scheme and what due diligence was done, what advice was obtained, prior to its implementation?
  • When did the Government first learn that its Robodebt scheme was unlawful?
  • Did the Government settle legal challenges, and choose not to appeal adverse AAT determinations in order to avoid a court ruling that the scheme was unlawful?
  • How was such a fundamentally – and obviously – flawed scheme allowed to continue for as long as it did?
  • In total, how much has the failed scheme cost the Australian taxpayer?
  • In total, how many debts have been issued under the illegal Robodebt scheme?
  • How many Australians have been harmed by the Robodebt scheme?
  • How many Australians have taken their own lives after being pursued by the Government, or by debt collectors paid by the Government, for debts under the illegal Robodebt scheme?

A Royal Commission could also make recommendations – including for law reform – on the sole use of “data matching” and automated processes.

Australians deserve the truth. Australians deserve action to stop this from happening again.

The Morrison Government is all spin and no delivery. Whether it’s Robodebt, allowing criminals to steal people’s superannuation or the HomeBlunder package, then never deliver and it’s Australians that feel the painful consequences.

The Government has continued to hide from scrutiny and refused to answer basic questions about the scheme. Only a Royal Commission will ensure they are held to account.

 

National sick leave vital as COVID containment remains precarious: Bandt

As new infections increase again with many happening at workplaces, the Greens say there is new urgency to give every worker 14 days COVID sick leave, especially for the millions of Australians without any sick leave at all.

The ACTU has backed national sick leave, the Greens have a bill before parliament for 14 days’ COVID sick leave and the Greens will raise the issue at the COVID Senate committee hearings tomorrow.

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing that this pandemic is not conquered yet. Making sure workers can take sick leave when they need to is an important public safety measure,” Greens Leader, Adam Bandt said.

“3.3 million Australians are without sick leave. In addition to being a terrible situation for those individuals and their families, it’s a public health risk and makes it harder to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“Working people need to know that they’ll be supported if they self-isolate. We shouldn’t have people facing the choice between having no income or risking their and the community’s health.

“The government should step in and help employers meet the cost. This modest but vital provision could be easily funded with a sliver of the $60 billion dollar overestimate for JobKeeper.

“Some states are assisting workers, but there remains no provision for the rest of the country.

“The Greens believe that all workers should have sick leave during the crisis,” Bandt said.

LABOR: CYBER SECURITY ATTACK

The national security of Australia is paramount at all times.

We understand from briefings from the relevant federal agencies that all levels of government, critical infrastructure and the private sector are being targeted by a sophisticated state-based cyber actor.

We support our security agencies and their efforts to address this serious and growing threat. We urge all Australians, Australian businesses and other organisations to listen to the advice that the Australian Cyber Security Centre provides to the public.

Individuals and business can visit www.cyber.gov.au to access up to date information and advice. We urge everyone to be proactive and vigilant when it comes to cyber security.

We acknowledge the first-class work of our intelligence and defence authorities and thank them today, and every day, for their hard work to protect our nation.

We take today’s news extremely seriously and we will continue to work with the Government to ensure Australia’s national security, including cyber security, is not only maintained but strengthened.