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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

James Hennessy

Morning all. Let's do it.

1. We're likely getting details about the multi-billion dollar coronavirus stimulus package later this week, but ahead of that news, the government will today announce $2.4B in funding to fight the outbreak. According to reporting in the SMH, this money will go towards up to 100 pop-up clinics, as well as "subsidised video-link consultations and a targeted public health campaign."

2. Despite a decent enough recovery yesterday on the ASX, the economy is obviously taking a hit from the coronavirus, which is likely to continue. Here's what the analysts are saying we should anticipate next. The bottom line: don't expect a full recovery for a while yet.

3. The US markets also saw a recovery, as stocks surged on Tuesday a day after suffering their worst decline since the depths of the financial crisis. Trading was choppy as investors weighed the possible timing of a government stimulus package designed to boost US economic activity. The ASX is poised to rally again on the news.

4. On the other side of the public health coin: Business NSW has sent an advisory to employers saying they don't need to pay workers who are in isolation unless they have actually been diagnosed with the virus. The Australian reports the employer chamber’s legal arm, Australian Business Lawyers and Advisors, sent out a memo saying sick and carer's leave shouldn't be offered to those who have been put in self-quarantine without a positive diagnosis. Seems like a terrible way to fight a pandemic, but quite frankly the business lobby is often prone to a terrible idea or two.

5. Italy is on coronavirus lockdown, the first country to introduce such measures on a nationwide basis. Here are the rules all 60 million citizens have to follow, imposing restrictions on retail, leisure, worship, imprisonment, and travel.

6. The aviation industry is set to cop a drubbing from the coronavirus, and an expert tells us it will take a long time to recover. Chrystal Zhang, Associate Professor of Aviation at RMIT, told Business Insider Australia the industry will be affected on three fronts: the airlines, the airports, and travellers. “The scale of the effect of the virus is much, much larger than any other external events before that we have experienced."

7. The UK government is reportedly in "disbelief" about how bad the US response to the coronavirus has been. UK government officials told BuzzFeed News that the president’s slow response and his tweets seeking to downplay the spread of the virus had triggered disbelief among Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration. One UK official accused Trump of spreading misinformation about COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. I mean, this video should be enough evidence:

8. Fancy stationery retailer Kikki.K has collapsed into voluntary administration, becoming the latest casualty of Australia's retail bloodbath. Co-founder and CEO Paul Lacy said in a statement a recent potential partnership with a “big global business” fell through, forcing the company's hand. “It is with profound regret and sadness that we take this action,” said founder Kristina Karlsson.

9. I think it'd be a solid bet the Olympics aren't going to go ahead this year. One signal worth contemplating: the torch lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece, will have no spectators for the first time since 1984 this week. Usually there are thousands of spectators watching the torch be carried into an ancient stadium in the town, where the games were first held.

10. Uber Australia confirmed to Business Insider Australia they would compensate drivers who are quarantined or diagnosed with coronavirus for 14 days. It's part of a global scheme the rideshare company has promised, and it comes at a time when people are seriously wondering how casual staff are going to deal with coronavirus quarantines.


The darkest outcome of the coronavirus outbreak is the tragedy inflicted on the Liberal Party's merch store. As of this week, it no longer sells the surplus-celebrating 'Back in Black' mug, now that the budget is imperilled. Vale!