China imposes crippling tariff on Australian barley

China has effectively ended Australia’s barley trade with the country, by slapping a whopping 80 per cent tariff on imports.

It’s understood the decision could devastate our grain industry, with the Chinese market worth around $1.5 billion to Aussie farmers.

Beijing had threatened the move after Australia’s strong push for an inquiry into the coronavirus origin, and has already banned beef exports from four Australian abbatoirs.

Over 110 countries came forward to back the inquiry push, on the eve of this new tariff introduction.

However, Beijing claims the move is to stop Australia dumping cheap barley onto the Chinese market.

Australia’s Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says the federal government may appeal the the 73.6 percent anti-dumping tariff, and the 6.9 percent anti-subsidy tariff.

“Australia is deeply disappointed with China’s decision to impose duties on Australian barley.

“We reject the basis of this decision and will be assessing the details of the findings while we consider next steps.

“We reserve all rights to appeal this matter further and are confident that Australian farmers are among the most productive in the world, who operate without government subsidy of prices,” Mr Birmingham said in a statement.

Covid-19 Mask Walking Dog Beach Gold Coast

Take care ‘pandemic is not over’

Australians are enjoying the benefits of restrictions being gradually lifted across the nation – a reward for enduring weeks of curbs that have helped limit the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

But the repeated message from health authorities is to approach these new found freedoms with care for fear of sparking a second wave of the disease.

States and territories have begun the first stage of a three-stage process to lift restrictions on outdoor and indoor gatherings and business operations.

Australians are able to sit in pubs, cafes and restaurants for the first time in weeks after isolation and social distancing measures kept the lid on infections and COVID-19 deaths.

But Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said people cannot afford to be complacent.

“The pandemic is not over. The risk to vulnerable people remains significant,” he told reporters in Canberra on Saturday.

Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone said there is still a risk the virus could flare up as hot spots or small outbreaks.

“If we do the wrong things, we risk undoing all the gains that we’ve made so far,” Dr Batone told ABC television.

“So, the message is, yes, appreciate all the efforts, appreciate the opportunity to release some of those measures, but let’s not have a party, let’s not go to town.”

He said people must still maintain social distancing, cough etiquette, washing hands regularly and staying away from others if they are unwell.

“Those messages are really the backbone as we progressively lift those restrictions,” he said.

The number of cases in Australia now stand at 7036 after 20 new cases were reported over the past 24 hours.

The death toll from the pandemic remains at 98, extremely low by international standards.

Professor Kidd said over one million Australians have now been tested for COVID-19.

The new cases included 11 in Victoria,, including a further two infections connected to the west Melbourne abattoir cluster, which now stands at 98.

Elsewhere, a McDonald’s restaurant in the north Melbourne suburb of Fawkner has recorded an additional case, with the outlet’s cluster growing to 11.

There was only one new case in Queensland, while 193 people have been tested for COVID-19 at the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre after a nurse working at an aged care facility was diagnosed with the disease on Friday.

All tested negative, including 114 residents.

In NSW there were three new cases, while Tasmania recorded its first case in a week, a 70-year old man who was on the ill-fated Ruby Princes cruise ship.

The national cabinet met on Friday and endorsed a $48.1 million mental health response plan that is set to roll out in coming months, including research and support services.

Prof Kidd recognised that many people are enduring “anxiety and stress and fear” as a result of the pandemic

“Many people are experiencing very significant financial stress due to job losses, many people are feeling very lonely and isolated, separated from family members and loved ones in other parts of the country,” he said.

While Labor’s health spokesman Chris Bowen welcomed the announcement, he wants the number of free Medicare mental health consultations increased, at least as a temporary measure during the crisis.

“I would call on the government to continue to work with mental health professionals and consider extending the Medicare mental health plans from 10 consultations to 20,” he told reporters in Sydney.

© AAP 2020

CONFIRMED: Exactly what beauty treatments are allowed in Qld from this weekend!

Ladies and gents, the countdown is officially on!

In just a few days time, we can finally say goodbye to our dodgy DIY home jobs and head back to our beloved beauty salons…

I don’t know about you, but this pandemic has really made me appreciate the finer things in life… like a mani and pedi, oh and fresh air and family too of course.

For those looking forward to finally getting some much-needed R&R this weekend, but are still confused as to what will actually be open, do not fear!

The Queensland Premier has this morning clarified what beauty therapies will be allowed to take place.

“My office has been inundated with messages about what beauty services are going to be available this weekend,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said at a press conference a short time ago.

“So this is very important for not only the people in the beauty industry, but also for a lot of women and men across Queensland.

“From this Saturday, nail and beauty salons can open for a maximum of 10 clients and of course, hair dressing salons have been open prior to that.”

The Premier went on to list the beauty services that will be allowed to take place, including waxing, laser treatments, manicures, pedicures, nail painting, eyelash extensions, facials and cosmetic injections.

“There is a lot of interest in this issue and I hope today that I have provided some clarity,” she said.

The following month, more beauty therapy businesses will be added – including spray tanning, saunas and other water based spa services, during Stage Two of the State Government’s road to recovery plan.

However, the Premier confirmed there will be no more walk-ins, with everyone required to make an appointment.

“They have to have a COVIDSafe plan in place, they must operate by appointment only and they must keep a register of clients to assist with contract tracing,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

She also urged all Queenslanders to ensure they have downloaded the Federal Government’s COVIDSafe app.

“Can I please stress to everyone, please download the app… It’s going to make contact tracing now and into the future a whole lot easier.”

Form a line, ladies!

Another Ruby Princess passenger dies from coronavirus

New South Wales authorities have announced that another passenger from the Ruby Princess cruise ship has passed away yesterday.

The 81-year-old woman passed away during yesterday’s reporting period, with NSW Health confirming she was a passenger.

The Ruby Princess docked almost two months ago, on March 19.

It comes as New South Wales records another six cases of the virus overnight, with three of those cases suspected of being from community transmission.

There have now been 47 deaths overall within the state, with the latest death the 22nd from the Ruby Princess cruise ship.

Australia’s death toll has now reached 98, though there has been some confusion over the official figure, due to a couple of deaths at a Sydney aged care facility, that weren’t directly due to coronavirus.

Penrith stars Cleary, May slapped with NRL bans and fines

PENRITH stars Nathan Cleary and Tyrone May have both been handed NRL suspensions and substantial fines for being ‘untruthful’ in dealings with the NRL’s Integrity Unit, as they were quizzed about the infamous TikTok fiasco.

It comes after Cleary was caught breaking social distancing rules when photos of him emerged sitting with a group of girls on his couch at home in April.

At the time, he said the women were at his home for only 10 minutes as they waited for an Uber.

However, the Penrith star was apparently caught in a lie when a contradictory TikTok video was released on social media.

The NRL has now slapped him with a two-match ban and a $30,000 fine.

May has also been handed a two-game suspension and a $15,000 for also allegedly lying about the same incident.

The 23-year-old is already serving a four-match suspension after he was convicted of filming four sex tapes without the consent of the women involved.

He was also fined 25 per cent of his NRL salary.

Both players have five days to respond to the breach notices before a final determination is made.