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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

James Hennessy

Good morning, and a hearty TGIF to you.

1. Big news in higher education this morning. The cost of studying humanities, law and commerce at university in Australia will increase, with Education Minister Dan Tehan set to announce the government will use a carrot-and-stick approach to funnel students into degrees it believes will stimulate job growth, like nursing, psychology, languages, teaching, agriculture, maths, science, health, environmental science and architecture.

2. What does that look like in practice? Someone studying a humanities or communications degree is currently paying $6,684 for a year of full-time study. That will more than double to $14,500. Fees for law and commerce, currently at $11,155 a year, will also increase to $14,500.

3. Australia’s unemployment rate has climbed to 7.1%, according to the latest labour force figures. Another 227,700 jobs were axed in May, following 600,000 losses in the previous month. However, had masses of unemployed Australians not simply given up looking for a job, the unemployment rate would actually be above 11%.

4. Sentiment has turned on Sydney’s property market, according to the latest survey from the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA). The percentage of residents expecting price falls in the next six months has doubled from last year. Buyers have also been driven out of the market, with three in four residents saying they’re totally unlikely to purchase a property.

5. It seems Australians are keen to get travelling again, at least domestically. Data from travel site Kayak has found searches in the Asia Pacific, including Australia, are starting to return to 2019 levels as restrictions ease. Domestic travel searches, in particular, are on the rise, with the top searches in Australia including the Gold Coast, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide and Cairns.

6. Also on travel: Scott Morrison has indicated there will be some scope to exempt certain Australians from the country’s international travel ban. On Thursday, he told 2GB Radio essential business travellers will be allowed to come and go, while a small cohort of international students will also “test” the country’s quarantine measures next month. “I can’t honestly see international travel more generally ... [happening] again any time soon,” he said.

7. The ACCC is set to probe Google's proposed $3 billion acquisition of Fitbit. The consumer watchdog says the tech titan's acquisition of the popular fitness wearables company could further entrench its dominant position and negatively affect competition, due to the increased access to consumer data.

8. A petition with over 10,000 signatures is calling for the TAFE curriculum to include education on afro hair in its hairdressing course. It's an interesting local manifestation of the recent global conversations about racial equality. TAFE says it already requires it – but petition author and hairdresser Chrissy Zumera says that isn't reflected in the actual instruction.

9. Facebook has announced several moves in response to the Black Lives Matter movement in the US. Firstly, the company says it will spend $1 billion annually with “diverse suppliers,” including $100 million with Black-owned businesses. Secondly, it says it is looking to increase the number of Black people and other people of colour in leadership positions by 30% over the next five years.

10. Spotify is continuing to expand its content empire. The company's stock surged to an all-time high after signing Kim Kardashian West and DC Comics for exclusive podcast deals. The share price hit $US229 per share Thursday. In May, the company signed a multi-year licensing deal with Joe Rogan for exclusive rights to host full episodes of his popular podcast.

BONUS ITEM

Couldn't tell you why, but this map is doing the rounds online. Having to detour all the way through Iran to get from Auckland to Sydney doesn't seem efficient to me, but I'm no urban planner.

https://twitter.com/daveloach2/status/1273434997500907520