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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

James Hennessy

Hello hello. We awaken this beautiful Wednesday to news that Victoria is still a growing point of concern in the Australian coronavirus recovery. Let's dig in.

1. There's a bit of growing tension about the whole Melbourne COVID-19 situation. As 20 new cases are announced in Victoria, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has reiterated her advice for people to "rethink any travel to Melbourne whatsoever". "We're recommending people just don't travel to Melbourne at this point in time until the government feels down there they have controlled the community spread," the Premier told ABC television this morning.

2. Australia is one of just 10 countries to retain its AAA credit rating through the coronavirus-induced global recession. "While large, the fall in GDP is smaller than in other advanced economies in general, consistent with signs that more normal work and spending behaviours are gradually returning as the epidemic recedes in the country," Moody's said in handing us the top grade. Guess running a huge deficit isn't as dire for our credit rating as we've been told for the past decade.

3. Woolworths has announced it owes underpaid employees around $390 million, higher than the original estimate of $300 million. The cherry on the cake here is the company also announced two new automated distribution centres in Sydney, which will lead to up to 1350 employees being made redundant.

4. Australian tech company and design platform Canva has nearly doubled in value and is now worth US$6 billion ($8.7 billion). The new, increased valuation comes after the company raised US$60 million in a private funding round. Canva says use of its platform has risen more than 50% since the coronavirus pandemic began.

5. The news keeps coming on increasingly disgraced former High Court justice Dyson Heydon. After reports an independent inquiry by the High Court found Heydon had sexually harassed six associates, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reveal allegations he was also subject to complaints about his behaviour when he taught at Oxford University in 2014.

6. The economy is back, baby! Okay, maybe slightly premature. But, according to Commonwealth Bank’s Flash PMI, we've ticked back into growth for the first time since the coronavirus shutdowns. “Confidence has improved in both the manufacturing and services sectors and the lift in both input and output prices is welcome as it suggests we are more likely to be in a period of disinflation rather than deflation,” CBA head of Australian economics Gareth Aird said.

7. An interesting indicator from LinkedIn. New research from the platform has found Australians are currently more likely to apply for a job outside of their current industry. This is particularly pronounced in sectors slammed by coronavirus, like travel and recreation, but its also observable in sectors like education and consumer goods.

8. Nestlé has announced it will ditch its Red Skins and Chicos brands, deeming the names "out of step" with the company's values. The actual products will live on, under new, yet-to-be-determined names. Predictably, this announcement has rankled some people, the vast majority of whom probably have not actually purchased and eaten a Red Skin since 2002. Not a great lolly anyway, if I'm honest. But I digress.

9. The European Union may issue a travel ban for Americans because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the US. Visitors from Russia and Brazil would also be barred, according to a report citing draft lists of acceptable travellers. The US has seen more than 2.3 million coronavirus cases and 120,000 deaths.

10. Twitter is continuing its warpath against Donald Trump's account. The company flagged and restricted another tweet from President Trump as “violating their policy against abusive behaviour” on Tuesday.


I'd been wondering.