Victoria has recorded 317 new cases of coronavirus as the state’s outbreak gets worse.
A man and woman wearing a facemask walking along Lygon Street in Melbourne on Wednesday
Meanwhile, New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian has vowed to avoid locking down Sydney amid fears Victoria’s outbreak is spreading north of the border.
‘We can’t keep going into lockdown and that is something we need to avoid at all costs,’ she told Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson on KISS radio.
Victoria has suffered a triple-digit increase in cases for the past ten days.
Asked if Sydney would be locked down if it saw the same infection numbers, Ms Berejiklian said: ‘We would avoid that happening.’
With around one million Australians on the dole, the premier is desperate to avoid the economic damage that further lockdowns would bring.
She also ruled out suburb-by-suburb lockdown as tried in 12 postcodes in north-west Melbourne.
New South Wales will avoid lockdown ‘at all costs,’ Gladys Berejiklian said today (pictured: Sydney residents enjoying a meal out after restrictions eased in May)
New South Wales recorded 13 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with ten of those cases coming from the Crossroads Hotel outbreak (pictured)
Sydney residents have been warned to watch for symptoms if they have visited one of these places, which were attended by people who have tested positive
Ms Berejiklian said locking down a suburb where an outbreak happens is ineffective because people who may have been infected there travel ‘all over Sydney’.
‘It’s all or nothing. You can’t lockdown a suburb, because [people who have passed through] live elsewhere,’ she said.
Health officials are trying to control an outbreak linked to the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, south-west Sydney.
The outbreak is understood to have began when an infected freight driver, known as Patient Zero, went to a work party at the pub after driving from Melbourne.
But Ms Berejiklian said her concern was that community transmission was happening before the border shut down, without being picked up on.
Ms Berejiklian wants to avoid having to shut down gyms (pictured in Sydney on Monday) and other businesses even if virus cases continue to grow
‘Our case numbers are relatively low but what we don’t know is if there was community spread months ago when people from Sydney and Melbourne were moving in and out.
‘Things can get out of control very quickly,’ she warned.
The premier said Victorian officials failed to spot community transmission was happening before it was too late.
‘They didn’t pick it up early enough. People who should have stayed at home didn’t know they had to stay at home or didn’t stay at home and then that spreads through the community
‘We’re hoping that hasn’t happened here in New South Wales.’
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant on Wednesday said there were 34 cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel, with at least 20 of them patrons.
Two of the 34 cases to date are ‘tertiary’ cases, or contacts of contacts.
Pictured: The Crossroads Hotel in Casula, in Sydney’s south-west which has become a coronavirus cluster
Medical workers are seen giving coronavirus tests in Sydney’s Bondi on Tuesday (pictured) amid fears the Melbourne outbreak may spread to NSW
Dr Chant said this highlights how rapidly coronavirus can spread, describing it as a ‘stealthy’ virus.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard told residents not to expect the state to frequently have zero COVID-19 cases as the virus can bubble away under the surface for some time.
‘This virus will continue to transmit lowly through the community and from time to time we can fully expect (this),’ he told reporters.
NSW Health has also named several venues where confirmed COVID-19 cases spent time including the YMCA at Revesby, Wests Leagues Club at Leumeah, Macarthur Tavern in Campbelltown and Casula Kmart.
The Milky Lane burger joint in Parramatta and the Bavarian Macarthur restaurant in Campbelltown were later added to the list as well as Woolworths in Bowral.
The state reported 13 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, with only three of them unconnected to the hotel.
A man wearing sunglasses and a facemask walks towards parliament house in Melbourne
Scott Morrison announces new $1BILLION JobTrainer scheme to help 340,000 Australians to find jobs – and expands plan cover apprentices’ wages
Thousands of Australians will be able to take new courses to help them get a job under Scott Morrison’s $1billion JobTrainer plan which he will announce on Thursday.
Dozens of new short courses at TAFE and other registered training organisations will be available from September as around one million Aussies look for work during an economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The free or low-cost courses will prepare workers for jobs in expanding sectors including healthcare, social care, transport, postal services and warehousing, manufacturing and retail.
Alongside the scheme, the Prime Minister will expand the apprentice wage subsidy to cover half the wages of eligible apprentices by up to $530 per week until March 2021.
Thousands of Australians will be able to take new courses to help them get a job under Scott Morrison’s $1billion JobTrainer plan. Pictured: A retail worker at a Sydney shopping centre
The federal government will hand over $1.5billion – in addition to the $1.3billion already pumped into the scheme – to pay 50 per cent of apprentices’ wages.
At the moment the program helps 47,000 small-business employers keep 81,000 apprentices and trainees in work and training.
The policy will now extend to medium businesses with fewer than 200 employees, meaning the scheme will help around 90,000 businesses employing around 180,000 apprentices.
The program will also be extended by six months to cover wages paid up to March 2021.
It is estimated that 340,000 Australians, including up to 250,000 teenagers who are leaving school this year, will take the new TAFE courses.
The federal government is contributing $500million towards the JobTrainer scheme and the states and territories will together tip in another $500million.
The courses, which will be free or low cost, will prepare workers for jobs in expanding sectors including healthcare, social care, transport, postal services (pictured) and warehousing, manufacturing and retail
Mr Morrison discussed the plan with state and territory leaders at the National Cabinet meeting on Friday and talks are ongoing to work out a full list of courses and their fees.
The new National Skills Commission will provide a list of skills that are in demand to help unemployed people chose a course that will lead to a job.
‘JobTrainer will ensure more Australians have the chance to reskill or upskill to fill the jobs on the other side of this crisis,’ the Prime Minister said.
‘COVID-19 is unprecedented but I want Australians to be ready for the sorts of jobs that will come as we build back and recover.
‘The jobs and skills we’ll need as we come out of the crisis are not likely to be the same as those that were lost.’
The jobs required are likely to include nursing due to the pandemic. Pictured: A health care worker doing Covid-19 testing in Casula, Sydney