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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

James Hennessy
·3-min read

Happy Friday, team.

1. Hey, we're doing alright. Australia is better placed than most of the world when it comes to mounting a fast recovery, the OECD believes. In its latest analysis, it forecast the country could minimise the hit to the GDP to 5% and keep unemployment below 8% if it can stave off a second wave of infections. A fast recovery will then depend on the federal government’s response, the OECD concluded, with strong fiscal stimulus required to keep Australians confident enough to continue spending.

2. The ATO is preparing for “a tax time like no other” as millions of Australians claim expenses for working from home during the pandemic. Think about it: every white collar employee in the country is going to be claiming (or attempting to claim) all sorts of expenses as crucial remote work support. If you're not bothered with that, the ATO has implemented a 'shortcut' which allows taxpayers to simply claim 80 cents for each hour they’ve worked from home.

3. The Morrison government has demanded states reopen their borders in July. Ahead of Friday's meeting of the national cabinet, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said there were no medical reasons why intrastate travel should not resume ASAP. "Closed borders cost jobs," Frydenberg said. Premiers are more hesitant – with at least one saying they are waiting to see if there is an outbreak following last weekend's protests.

4. Virgin Australia is ramping up its domestic flights as states continue to ease travel restrictions. The airline is increasing its flights between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, adding around 30,000 seats over 320 flights.

5. Property research house CoreLogic has revealed the 10 areas in Australia with the most number of households eligible for HomeBuilder renovations. Dominating the list is Melbourne and Perth, with the two cities sporting seven areas with almost 800,000 eligible homes between them. However, the analysis shows that there's likely to be far fewer Australians ready to take on the renovations, especially given a national recession.

6. Sony announced the PlayStation 5, set to arrive this holiday season. The new console is primarily white – a departure from the last three generations of black PlayStation consoles – and it comes in two versions. At launch, there will be a standard edition of the console, as well as a “Digital Edition,” which doesn’t have a disc drive.

https://youtu.be/RkC0l4iekYo

7. US stocks tanked on Thursday as cautious commentary from the Federal Reserve and rising coronavirus infection rates prompted investor concern. All three major indexes posted their biggest single-day declines since March 16. The Dow, for example, plummeted 1,862 points.

8. Following Amazon's move, Microsoft now says it won't sell facial recognition software to US police until there is national regulation "grounded in human rights". Hundreds of Microsoft employees have called on the company to end relationships with police departments in general.

9. Tim Bray, the senior Amazon engineer who dramatically resigned in protest, told a union meeting of engineers and workers the company should be broken up. “Why on earth should an online retailer, a cloud computing company, a smart speaker company, an organic supermarket company, and a video production company all be conglomerated into one corporate entity controlled by one person?” said Bray.

10. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel addressed concerns of racism at the company but said he would not release diversity numbers, sources told Business Insider. But the CEO told employees that the company’s diversity breakdown was in line with those of other Silicon Valley tech companies, which heavily skew white and male.

BONUS ITEM

If you're the gaming type, there's plenty of titles which were announced today for the PS5. Our friends at Kotaku Australia were on it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq594XmpPBg