The breaking news this morning is that Queensland will close its borders to visitors arriving from New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory on Saturday. The Qld border is already closed to Victorians. Queenslanders returning from NSW or the ACT will be forced to pay for their own mandatory 14-day quarantine after the 1am Saturday deadline. You can read more about closures here.
The border closures come after Qld police said they were investigating three men who allegedly lied on their border declaration passes after travelling from Melbourne.
Meanwhile, 7 News reports that Jim’s Mowing founder Jim Penman has taken on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews – in a move Penman says he has to make to keep his franchisees in business. Penman has told his franchisees to keep working amid the state’s strict lockdown, despite Andrews telling the media “there will be no cleaners, there will be no mowing your lawns”. Penman points out that the Victorian Government’s own guidelines say grounds maintenance workers are permitted to operate, and says he’ll pay the fines any franchisee attracts for doing so.
In non-Covid-19 news, Virgin Australia has revealed plans to cut about 3,000 jobs and dump it’s Tiger Australia brand, as the troubled carrier is sold to investor Bain Capital. The ABC reports customers with cancelled flights will receive travel credits to use for new bookings that must be made by July 31, 2022, while Velocity frequent flyer points would be maintained under Bain’s ownership.
The Australian reports that Aussie university lecturers are being bullied by groups of international students, with coordinated attacks on academics who made their courses “too hard’ for students able to speak little or no Eglish to pass.
And The Sydney Morning Herald dissects a farcical interview by Australian reporter Jonathan Swan with US President Donald Trump, likening the 37-minute discussion between the journalist for Axios and the world leader to a withering satire. The interview has hit the headlines of major news outlets in the US, where news outlets are cheering the Aussie’s style.
And in Beirut, Reuters reports that at least 78 people have been killed and nearly 4,000 injured after a devastating explosion at a port in the city’s downtown area. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue workers dig through the rubble. Lebanese President Michel Aoun admitted that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored at the port without appropriate safety measures, while the Red Cross called the blast a “huge catastrophe” in a country already battling an economic crisis and Covid-19.