Australia politics live: Perth and WA’s south-west enter Covid lockdown; media companies plead guilty to breaching George Pell court order

Victorian court hears most charges against 27 companies and individuals to be dismissed; Scott Morrison gives first major speech of 2021; much of Western Australia shut down. Follow the latest updates, liveMedia companies plead guilty to breaching Pell suppression orderPM lays out vaccine rollout planMuch of WA goes into five-day lockdown after hotel guard tests positivePerth and regional WA Covid hotspot locations; NSW Covid hotspotsFollow our global coronavirus live blog 6.43am GMT House prices have continued to soar, apparently driven by first-home buys. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has said new owner-occupier home loan commitments surged 8.7% in December, 38.9% higher than a year earlier.Federal and state government measures, such as homebuilder, and historically low interest rates are supporting ongoing growth in housing loan commitments.Better housing affordability, an opportunity for a lifestyle upgrade and lower density housing options are other factors that might be contributing to this trend, along with the new found popularity of remote working arrangements. 6.29am GMT The federal opposition has flagged it may challenge the categorisation of gig workers as independent contractors. Opposition industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke told Sky News earlier today that gig economy staff were being paid below minimum wage.Right now we have third-world working conditions in a first-world country – that can’t be allowed to go on.Someone driving their own heavy vehicle, they’ve got a mortgage over it, they employ someone to do the bookkeeping – there is no doubt that they’re an independent contractor. Continue reading…

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Author : Mostafa Rachwani (now) and Amy Remeikis (earlier)

Publish date : 2021-02-01 06:49:52

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Tags : The Guardian

Australia politics live: Perth and WA’s south-west enter Covid lockdown; media companies plead guilty to breaching George Pell court order  
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