news

The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Tuesday May 26.

Scott Morrison outlines path out of unemployment crisis with JobMaker.

Scott Morrison announced on Tuesday the Coalition’s plan to fix Australia’s flawed skills and training system in a plan he’s calling ‘JobMaker’.

Morrison warned businesses must “get off the medication before it becomes too accustomed to it,” referring to temporary schemes like JobKeeper.

The next step, he said, is JobMaker.

“We must enable our businesses to earn Australia’s way out of this crisis. And that means focusing on the things that can make their businesses go faster,” Morrison said.

What is JobMaker
Scott Morrison. Image: Getty.

Under Morrison's plan, funding would be more closely linked to skill gaps based on what businesses need.

Industries will be given greater power to shape training, with pilot schemes established across human services, digital technologies and mining.

"This will provide the platform then to reset our economy for growth over the next three to five years as Australia - and the world - emerges from this crisis. The overwhelming priority of this reset will be to win the battle for jobs."

One of the key principles of the new scheme is ensuring the Australian government is living within their means, "so we don't impose impossible debt burdens on future generations.

"That violates that important caring for country principle."

Read: What is JobMaker and how will it help Australians out of unemployment?

Celeste Barber responds to court ruling.

Comedian Celeste Barber has responded to a Supreme Court judge ruling that the $51 million she raised in a bushfire crowd-funded campaign cannot go to other charities other than the NSW Rural Fire Service.

In an official statement, she said she had “hoped” the money could have been distributed to other states and charities, because it was “such a big and ‘unprecedented’ amount".

“Turns out that studying acting at university does not make me a lawmaker,” she wrote. “So the money will be in the very capable, very grateful hands of the NSW RFS."

ADVERTISEMENT

Last night on The Project, NSW RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers copped a grilling from the panel over how the huge amount of money will be distributed.

Under insistent questioning from Waleed Aly, Rogers pointed out that given NSW was hit hardest by the fires, and the mammoth donation was still desperately needed. He also suggested he didn’t see it necessary to “gift” a proportion of the funding to other states.

Royal commission focusing on impact of bushfires.

A royal commission into the summer's bushfires, which killed 33 people, destroyed 3100 homes, and burnt 12 million hectares, has started this week.

"The tragic loss of life, the destruction of homes, the significant loss of livestock and millions of hectares of forest has been devastating and continues to deeply affect people and their recovery," said chair Mark Binskin yesterday.

bushfires
An inquiry into the bushfires will continue today. Image: Instagram/Getty.
ADVERTISEMENT

The royal commission will today focus on the impact of the 2019-20 bushfires on people and communities, with witnesses to include the Australian Red Cross programs director Noel Clement.

The charity faced criticism over the slow rollout of bushfire donations, saying it was retaining some funds for a minimum three-year recovery program in affected communities.

Other witnesses on Tuesday include experts on the medical and mental toll of bushfires, as well as, the financial complaints and small business ombudsman.

The royal commission will also hear pre-recorded accounts from two Mallacoota locals, including its school principal.

WA clean up like "whack-a-mole".

Roofs have collapsed, fallen trees have destroyed cars, and thousands of properties remain without power in Western Australia, as the state cleans up after a second day of wild weather.

The once-in-a-decade storm has been the result of remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Mangga, clashing with a cold front and trough, with the southern part of the state bearing the brunt yesterday.

car WA storm
WA's cleanup will properly get underway today after two days of "rare" weather. Image: Twitter/@AussieKPOPMum.

About 62,000 properties have experienced power outages across WA over the past two days, with about 11,000 still without electricity.

"It's like whack-a-mole at the moment, unfortunately," Western Power spokesman Paul Entwistle told 6PR radio.

"We can actually restore customers by back-feeding but with the storm still going through, it's creating new hazards on the network."

Wind gusts reached 132km/h at Cape Leeuwin, the strongest wind recorded there in May since 2005.

Aussie scientists using umbilical cell in COVID-19 treatment.

In a world-first, researchers in Melbourne have discovered a way to treat patients with serious forms of coronavirus, with blood cells from the umbilical cord.

24 patients with severe pneumonia - which develops in the most severe COVID-19 cases - will take part in a trial which is expected to be finished before the end of the year.

ADVERTISEMENT

News.com.au reports it's not going to cure coronavirus, but it will stop patients progressing from a mild form of the virus to something more severe.

Aussies are stockpiling cash.

Australians weren't just stockpiling toilet paper during the COVID-19 crisis, they have also been hoarding crisp new banknotes.

The Reserve Bank of Australia says there has been a spike in demand for banknotes, despite the use of cash being reduced during the pandemic.

"This included a small number of customers making very large withdrawals - more than $100,000, and in some cases into the millions of dollars," said the RBA.

"When people are more uncertain about things they tend to hold more liquidity around them. No one's suggesting there's any concern with the banks - people just do that," a banking insider told AAP.

Boris Johnson's aide refusing to resign after "breaking" COVID-19 rules.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's closest aide has refused to resign, saying he had done nothing wrong by driving 400km from London to access childcare, when Britons were being told to stay at home to fight COVID-19.

Dominic Cummings has faced calls to quit from MPs, Church of England bishops, police officers, and scientists, over his trip to County Durham, northern England, which they said had damaged citizens' trust in public health messaging.

APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Britain
Dominic Cummings, senior aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes questions after breaching lockdown restrictions. Image: Jonathan Brady/Pool via AP.

But he plays a vital role for Johnson, and the Prime Minister's own judgment has been called into question for defending him and keeping him in his job, leaving many Britons thinking the rules did not apply to the people in charge.

"I did what I thought was the right thing to do," Cummings said in response to reporters' questions, after reading a statement defending his decision to travel to Durham with his wife, who was ill at the time, and his four-year-old son.

ADVERTISEMENT

Johnson had come out fighting for Cummings at a news conference on Sunday, but his intervention backfired after he failed to provide any detailed justification for his adviser's actions.

Britain will reopen thousands of shops, department stores and shopping centres from June 1. The death toll in the country rose by 121 in the previous 24 hours, taking the number of fatalities to more than 36,900.

Brisbane man charged with murder of 4yo.

A man has been charged with murder after a four-year-old was found dead in a Brisbane home yesterday.

The 43-year-old was denied bail and will appear in court today.

The Cannon Street property is now a crime scene, as detectives determine a cause of death.

The little girl's family are assisting police with their investigation.

Around the world.

- The World Health Organisation is warning that countries where coronavirus infections are declining could still face an "immediate second peak" if they let up too soon. While many countries are seeing a drop, cases are increasing in Central and South America, South Asia and Africa.

- Employees for a major group of French nursing homes have protested across the country for better pay amid the pandemic.

- US President Donald Trump has defended his round of golf on the weekend, writing on Twitter: "I played golf over the weekend. The Fake & Totally Corrupt News makes it sound like a mortal sin - I knew this would happen!"

- The Polish Prime Minister has been forced to apologise after being caught not adhering to the country's social distancing rules at a local cafe.

- Japan has ended its coronavirus restrictions nationwide.

- Spain will welcome foreign tourists from July.

- With AAP

Feature image: Getty/AAP/Instagram @celestebarber.

00:00 / ???