Australia

$ 1 billion budget to subsidize 100,000 jobs for new apprentices

Employers will be encouraged to hire new apprentices as part of a $ 1 billion wage subsidy program to be announced in the federal budget.

The program would support 100,000 new apprentices and interns amid an explosion of unemployed youth struggling to get their foot in the door.

The federal government would cut wages by 50 percent to encourage employers to hire new young workers.

The move follows the Morrison government’s current $ 1.5 billion program, which increases the wages of apprentices already in training as of July 1.

However, the new spending announced in Tuesday’s budget may not be enough to offset the drop in funding for vocational education and training under the Coalition.

More soon.

Threat of beach closure

Police fined St Kilda Beach as groups of people flocked to the hot outside. Photo: ABC

Police remain vigilant on Melbourne beaches after an angry prime minister criticized “selfish” residents for not wearing masks and failing to maintain social distancing.

Patrols will continue in St Kilda Beach after large groups disregarded the restrictions on Friday, raising concerns that such behavior could thwart the state’s COVID-19 recovery.

“No one has the right to break the rules and endanger everything that good and decent law-abiding Victorians created, built,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said on Saturday.

“Their whole sacrifice must be worth something.”

“Spending time at the beach without a mask, without social distancing now just means you won’t be able to go to the beach all summer long. It just doesn’t make sense.

Chief health worker Brett Sutton said disobeying the restrictions was “an insult to anyone who has done difficult things for months, months and months.”

The pair have repeatedly urged the people of Melbourne to stay disciplined, especially as the hot, springtime weather is causing people to leave their homes.

The daily average of cases in Victoria continues to decline, with the two-week moving daily average of 12 cases.

The state reported three more COVID-19 deaths and eight other cases on Saturday, bringing the state’s toll to 805 and the national death toll to 893.

There were 11 cases with an unknown source in the fortnight of Wednesday.

A cluster of cases at the Butcher Club in Chadstone Shopping Center in southeast Melbourne rose to 17.

The premier challenged the Victorians to consider the potential impact of a cluster in such a large and busy environment and used it to illustrate why the restrictions cannot yet be eased.

A significant easing of restrictions could take place on October 19, but authorities expect the daily average of cases to drop to five.

Police continue to catch people who refuse to obey health instructions, issuing 82 fines within 24 hours through Saturday.

The recent violations include two men from the Victoria area on their way to Melbourne to attend a strip club, only to find that none of those premises were open.

NSW COVID Free Series

NSW will look to extend its streak of days without community transmission of COVID-19 to nine on Sunday.

As of Friday, 10,334 tests were recorded within 24 hours to 8 p.m., with only one positive result: a returning traveler in hotel quarantine.

NSW has now spent eight consecutive days without community transmission.

However, the potential exposure of nearly 50 people who shared a flight to Sydney with an infected Victorian traveler could soon end the streak.

The potentially infectious passenger traveled on Jetstar flight JQ510, which left Melbourne at 11 a.m. last Sunday and tested positive on its second day of quarantine.

Despite NSW’s series of zero community transmission, the Queensland-NSW border will not reopen until November 1.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the hard border will be lifted the day after Queenslanders come to the polls, provided NSW does not have any mystery cases of COVID-19 in the previous 28 days .

The announcement follows months of tension between Ms Palaszczuk and New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian over the issue.

-with AAP



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