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‘Exhausted’ Melbourne businesses offered ‘ The Nothing Package’ during lockdown

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Melbourne businesses are again facing financial stress as the entire state swells through a fourth COVID-19 lockdown, caused by yet another outbreak.

The Victorian State Government has ordered many businesses to close while others will continue to operate with heavy restrictions.

The “embarrassing” Government Support Package

$250 million has been put on the table to support organisations impacted by the lockdown, with grants between $2500 and $3500 available to successful applicants.

Industry leaders however have slammed the government for not only their response to the developing cluster, but also the “embarrassing” package offered to those having by a thread during this fourth lockdown.

Chrissie Maus, the General Manager of the Chapel Street Precinct has criticised the Governments response, and says businesses are calling the support offered to them “the nothing package”

Maus told Ticker News host Holly Stearnes that many organisations have lost “much more than a couple of grand”. She detailed that in one night alone, restaurants within her hospitality precinct are losing around $40,000, and the amount “goes up” on weekends.

Melbourne once again in lockdown due to COVID-19.

No JobKeeper

This lockdown has been labelled ‘even harder than the previous ones,’ especially for workers who have been stood down as a result.

The Australian Federal Governments’ employee support package, JobKeeper, expired in March, meaning businesses are now effectively paying their employees once again out of their cash flow, rather than using the wage subsidy scheme.

Thousands of employees within the hospitality sector, retail, and travel industries have been temporarily stood down, many without pay due to being casual workers.

Chrissie Maus is now calling on the government on behalf of those industries, urging more support to be offered to those that will ‘go hungry’ because of no income.

Lockdown extension looming

The Victorian Government has not ruled out an extension of the lockdown, stating the next days are “critical”.

Health Authorities confirmed the virus was continuing to spread across the city, with the amount of active cases sitting at over 50.

Authorities hold great concern for the aged care sector after a worker tested positive to coronavirus.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

Climate Change

Australia places honeybees in lockdown

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Honeybees in Australia are in lockdown after a deadly parasite was discovered in Sydney

A parasite has been found to weaken and kill bee colonies, which could threaten the already-scarce bee population.

Australian bees have been into lockdown, which means beekeepers are not allowed to move hives, bees or honeycombs until further notice from biosecurity.

Local authorities say swift measures are being taken to contain the disease.

“We have immediately launched an eradication plan which involved setting up a biosecurity zone, containing the infected hives and euthanising the bees.”

NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders

Until now, Australia is one of a few continents who did not have the varroa destructor, which can attach itself to the body of a bee and weaken its fat.

Nearly one-third of Australia’s food production relies on bee pollination. But the outbreak could cost the honey industry millions of dollars.

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Crypto

North Korea bears the brunt of the crypto market crash

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The crypto market crash is impacting North Korea’s weapons programme

The recent crypto market crash has made its way to North Korea, where hackers are bearing the brunt.

The isolated country relies on stolen crypto to fund part of their weapons program.

But as crypto holdings drop by millions of dollars, the nation is reportedly scrambling to find new ways to fund Pyongyang’s missile plans.

KCNA

North Korea has ramped up its stolen crypto assets in recent times leading to one of the largest cryptocurrency heists on record earlier this year.

Hackers allegedly stole $615 million worth of crypto prompting the U.S. tplace a warning about potential workers who are hiding their identities to find jobs abroad.

Meanwhile, crypto holdings have decreased in value with the market sliding below $1 trillion for the first time since January 2021.

Katerina Kostakos contributed to this report

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Ukraine Crisis

Sean Penn visits President Zelensky in Kyiv

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Sean Penn is the latest celebrity to travel to Ukraine and meet with President Zelensky

Actor Sean Penn is reportedly creating a documentary on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He is seeking to visit the war-torn areas where Russian troops have allegedly committed war crimes.

The leader thanked Penn for his support during the meeting. It comes a week after Zelensky met with Hollywood star Ben Stiller, who was visiting for humanitarian reasons.

“The whole world will soon be able to see the whole truth about the war thanks to his film. Sean, thank you for the support of our state and our people.”

UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY

Meanwhile, fresh vision has emerged of a Russian missile strike on a crowded shopping mall in the country’s east.

It’s understood 18 people are dead, and dozens are still missing. Moscow says it struck a nearby arms depot and is claiming the mall was empty at the time.

The blast sent shockwaves around surrounding areas, where people can be seen running away from the areas of impact.

Meanwhile, President Zelensky is calling Russia a terrorist state. He urged his U.N. counterparts to stand up and pay their respects, as he dialled in for urgent talks.

“Who of you does not agree that this is terrorism?”

UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY

Zelensky named victims of the war, including a three-month-old. He also drew on the U.N. Charter for maintaining international peace and security.

Meanwhile, Russia’s representatives expressed concern about President Zelensky’s speech. Dmitry Polyanskiy says he did not receive any consultation beforehand.

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