Australia coronavirus live news: first person jailed for breaking quarantine as Frydenberg says WHO funding to continue – latest updates

By Amy Remeikis

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GetUp has emailed its supporters seeking donations for a campaign in support of various social reforms to support people through the Covid-19 crisis, including income protection and free childcare.

The campaign aims to force the Morrison government to retain the reforms, but also answers GetUp’s critics who say it only ever attacks conservative governments and supports progressive parties like Labor and the Greens.

From the email by Paul Oosting, GetUp national director:

We need to live up to our independence with a massive campaign in support of the Coalition government’s recent social reforms – so they stick. We’ll commission ads, polling and a comprehensive report by leading economists to show Morrison just how popular these reforms are ...The reforms Morrison has passed will keep millions out of poverty, millions in work, ensuring that everyone has a roof over their head and access to healthcare when they need it most.

The whole thing has real killing the Tories with kindness vibes, because in conservative circles a big endorsement from GetUp is not a good thing.

In fact, GetUp name checks all its enemies campaigning against the measures - the Institute of Public Affairs, Advance Australia, and even the Murdoch Press which it says has “waged a relentless campaign to smear the GetUp movement and question our independence”.

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In the interview on 6PR, Scott Morrison also gave short shrift to certain commentators who have claimed that the sweeping response to Covid-19 may be worse than the disease. When asked what he made of those criticisms, Morrison said:

I think they should google Italy, the United Kingdom, New York - any of these countries will do - Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, and look at the horror show that’s happening there and ask themselves the same question.

Morrison argued that Australia had bought itself time to find a way out of the crisis.

Absolutely I think we can, and no country at the moment has been able to successfully chart that course yet, but we’re in a better position than many and most to be able to do that.

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In an interview just now on Radio 6PR, Scott Morrison said he sympathised with US President Donald Trump’s criticism of the World Health Organisation. But he also noted the WHO did good work in our region.

I sympathise with his criticisms and I’ve made a few of my own. I mean, we called this thing weeks before the WHO did. If we were relying on their advice then I suspect we would have been suffering the same fate that many other countries currently are.

We were calling it a pandemic back in mid-January.

When asked whether the WHO was pandering to China, Morrison said:

Look, I’m not going to get into that, but what I am going to say is: while I have many criticisms of the WHO, and most significantly the unfathomable decision that they’ve had about wet markets - and there are lots of different kinds of wet markets, I’m talking about the ones that have wildlife - I won’t go into a colourful description, but to be sanctioning that is completely mystifying to me. But that said, the WHO also as an organisation does a lot of important work including here in our own region, in the Pacific, and we work closely with them. So we’re not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater here, but they’re also not immune from criticism and immune from doing things better.

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ACT records third Covid-19 death

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The communications minister, Paul Fletcher, has commented on the Smethurst high court decision, telling reporters in Sydney it shows the AFP is “subject to the rule of law”.

Fletcher says he hasn’t read the decision yet but he understands the high court found the “legal requirements when executing a search warrant ... weren’t met” and the raid therefore was “not validly executed”.

Fletcher said it was “entirely appropriate” for the court to make that decision, but declines to weigh in on the fact that prosecutions are still possible because police were not ordered to delete material.

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