Morning, folks. Hope you had good weekends.
1. Some ~political intrigue~ for you on your Monday morning. A huge report by 60 Minutes and The Age dropped last night focusing on Adem Somyurek, a Victorian Labor powerbroker who is accused of masterminding a massive branch stacking operation. Tip: if you're going to do that, you can't let yourself be filmed taking huge sums of money out of an ATM while furtively looking around. Bad optics.
2. Rents are being slashed across Australia’s capital cities as COVID-19 changes upend the market. One in three Sydney and Melbourne rentals have been discounted in recent months, according to Domain analysis. The change has been attributed to job losses, paused migration, increased housing stock and dwindling demand.
3. Australian job ads are beginning to rebound, growing in number for the fourth fortnight in a row. In the fortnight ending June 7, advertised roles soared by 60.6%, as businesses begin reopening. However, while growing, the number of ads still haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels while the number of jobseekers has grown significantly.
4. In case you missed it on Friday arvo: Scott Morrison announced the 100-person limit on indoor gatherings will be scrapped in July. Instead, a one person per four square metres rule will be enforced. Stadiums will be allowed to admit more people, with venues of less than 40,000 seats allowed to operate at 25% capacity.
5. NSW is certainly leading the cavalry charge on lifting coronavirus restrictions. From July 1, all businesses, including cinemas, theatres, performance halls, theme parks, show grounds, strip clubs and brothels can reopen. Nightclubs are still out, but Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that restriction will probably be gone too in August. Meanwhile, NSW and Queensland are considering opening a travel bubble between the two states.
6. More on the Rio Tinto destruction of an Aboriginal heritage site. A recording of a meeting last week obtained by The Australian Financial Review reveal iron ore boss Chris Salisbury saying the company was not apologising for blowing the site to smithereens – only for the "distress caused". "People have seen how we've positioned our response with an apology for the distress caused, not for doing the wrong thing," he said, also saying the company maintained muted support from both major political parties through the scandal.
7. Federal and state governments will fast track approvals for 15 major infrastructure projects as part of the push to kickstart the economic recovery from the coronavirus recession. These will include the Brisbane-Melbourne inland rail and an electricity interconnector to Tasmania.
8. Unrest continues in the US after 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police in Atlanta after being found asleep in a vehicle in a drive-through. The death of Brooks has provoked a fresh wave of protests against police brutality in the city, with the Wendy's where the incident took place burnt to the ground Saturday. The officer who shot Brooks has been fired, and another placed on administrative leave.
9. Prince Andrew is said to regret not showing “sympathy” for Jeffery Epstein’s victims during a BBC Newsnight interview last year. While he regrets the fallout from his interview, the Duke of York believes that the decision to do it in the first place was correct, according to a close source. Prince Andrew is also unwilling to cooperate with the FBI investigation into Epstein unless he gets offered “an olive branch,” the source said.
10. Let's round out with something amusing. Yesterday, President Trump made what was instantly a top five tweet for himself after video emerged of him slowly tottering down a flight of stairs coming off a stage. "The ramp that I descended after my West Point Commencement speech was very long & steep, had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery," he tweeted. "The last thing I was going to do is 'fall' for the Fake News to have fun with. Final ten feet I ran down to level ground. Momentum!"
Not sure I would particularly want to be seen hooning around the city on one of these.