We’ve all made it through another week – what now feels like the 76th of 2020 – so huzzah for us.
The parliament sitting ended with the government pushing through it’s EPBC legislation, without debate, in the House, which essentially seeks to bring back Tony Abbott’s ‘one-stop’ environment check shop. That led to a rush of frustration and anger from non-government MPs, and will now be fought out in the Senate come the October sitting.
But Scott Morrison has another fight on his hands today – it’s national cabinet and the prime minister wants a unified definition on what makes an area with a Covid outbreak a ‘hotspot’.
Victoria is a maybe. NSW is a yes, and South Australia is a probably. But Queensland and WA are not on your lifes, the NT doesn’t seem inclined and Tasmania is kinda happy where it is.
So it’s not looking great for a unified decision.
Also on the agenda – the international arrival caps, which is under discussion, but doesn’t look like having any changes made.
In terms of national cabinet meetings, this one is shaping up as one of the first where not a lot of progress looks like being made. It’s been described as a test for Morrison, but it’s actually just the federation. The states don’t like to give up powers.
And it now being September, the six month pause on evictions, and loan repayments, is coming to an end in some jurisdictions. That was set up in March, following national cabinet meetings, but is rapidly running out of days. That’s going to bring a whole raft of other issues, as people continue to struggle to find work in a depressed economy.
But Melbourne is also one day closer to learning what the plan is for the next month. Stage four restrictions were meant to be in place until September 13, but looking at the numbers – which were in three figures again yesterday – it doesn’t look like they will be low enough for restrictions to lift in two weeks time. But it has been a long, hard, frustrating and lonely winter for a lot of Melbourne residents, so at the same time, they need some hope that things will get better. It is a tough line to walk. We’ll find out more on Sunday.
We’ll bring you the day’s events as they happen. You have Amy Remeikis with you.