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Beirut’s day of destruction: Explosion lays waste to Lebanese capital

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beiruts day of destruction explosion lays waste to lebanese capital

Entire buildings were razed to rubble in Beirut yesterday after a chemical explosion punched through the city and wreaked devastation for miles. 

The industrial port that provides Lebanon with crucial trade routes was virtually flattened by the blast, which is believed by officials to have been caused at a warehouse storing ammonium nitrate.  

Sobering scenes showed citizens in despair as their homes were damaged, with walls blown through and windows shattered. 

Wounded men, women and children were seen navigating the mangled wreckage of buildings and debris which was sprayed all over the streets of the capital last night.  

Vital infrastructure such as hospitals sustained damage, as did the city’s airport despite its location six miles away from the blast site, laying bare the magnitude of the trauma.

The explosion, which has killed at least 73 and injured at least 3,700 laid waste to sections of the city as Lebanon grapples with its worst economic crisis in decades. 

Entire buildings were razed to rubble in Beirut yesterday after a chemical explosion punched through the city and wreaked devastation for miles

Entire buildings were razed to rubble in Beirut yesterday after a chemical explosion punched through the city and wreaked devastation for miles

Entire buildings were razed to rubble in Beirut yesterday after a chemical explosion punched through the city and wreaked devastation for miles 

A large explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut today. The blast, which rattled entire buildings and broke glass, was felt in several parts of the city

A large explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut today. The blast, which rattled entire buildings and broke glass, was felt in several parts of the city

A large explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut today. The blast, which rattled entire buildings and broke glass, was felt in several parts of the city

Sombering scenes showed citizens in despair as their homes were damaged, with walls blown through and windows shattered

Sombering scenes showed citizens in despair as their homes were damaged, with walls blown through and windows shattered

Sombering scenes showed citizens in despair as their homes were damaged, with walls blown through and windows shattered

A view shows the damages entrance of a store in Burj Abu Haidar area in Beirut

A view shows the damages entrance of a store in Burj Abu Haidar area in Beirut

A view shows the damages entrance of a store in Burj Abu Haidar area in Beirut

Glass is shattered by the explosion at the Cavalier Hotel in Beirut following the explosion

Glass is shattered by the explosion at the Cavalier Hotel in Beirut following the explosion

Glass is shattered by the explosion at the Cavalier Hotel in Beirut following the explosion 

A mobile phone image showing a general view of the harbor area with smoke billowing from an area of a large exoplosion, with damage and debris after a large explosion rocked the harbor area of Beirut

A mobile phone image showing a general view of the harbor area with smoke billowing from an area of a large exoplosion, with damage and debris after a large explosion rocked the harbor area of Beirut

A mobile phone image showing a general view of the harbor area with smoke billowing from an area of a large exoplosion, with damage and debris after a large explosion rocked the harbor area of Beirut

It lay waste to the immediate surrounding buildings, where firefighters were still battling flames this evening, and even wreaked havoc on districts miles away from the blast site

It lay waste to the immediate surrounding buildings, where firefighters were still battling flames this evening, and even wreaked havoc on districts miles away from the blast site

It lay waste to the immediate surrounding buildings, where firefighters were still battling flames this evening, and even wreaked havoc on districts miles away from the blast site

Fires burning at the port on Beirut well into the night following an explosion, believed to be from chemicals

Fires burning at the port on Beirut well into the night following an explosion, believed to be from chemicals

Fires burning at the port on Beirut well into the night following an explosion, believed to be from chemicals 

Smoke billows at the site of the large explosion and buildings are reduced to twisted wreckages

Smoke billows at the site of the large explosion and buildings are reduced to twisted wreckages

Smoke billows at the site of the large explosion and buildings are reduced to twisted wreckages 

The blast ripped through buildings and blew bricks out of walls and brought them crashing down on to the street.

The blast ripped through buildings and blew bricks out of walls and brought them crashing down on to the street.

The blast ripped through buildings and blew bricks out of walls and brought them crashing down on to the street. 

People ride past a car destroyed after a building wall collapsed because of the blast which wreaked havoc for miles

People ride past a car destroyed after a building wall collapsed because of the blast which wreaked havoc for miles

People ride past a car destroyed after a building wall collapsed because of the blast which wreaked havoc for miles

Images showed port buildings reduced to tangled masonry, devastating the main entry point to a country that relies on food imports to feed its population of more than six million

Images showed port buildings reduced to tangled masonry, devastating the main entry point to a country that relies on food imports to feed its population of more than six million

 Images showed port buildings reduced to tangled masonry, devastating the main entry point to a country that relies on food imports to feed its population of more than six million

The explosion laid waste to sections of the city as Lebanon grapples with its worst economic crisis in decades

The explosion laid waste to sections of the city as Lebanon grapples with its worst economic crisis in decades

The explosion laid waste to sections of the city as Lebanon grapples with its worst economic crisis in decades

Firefighters douse a blaze at the scene of an explosion at the port of Lebanon's capital Beirut

Firefighters douse a blaze at the scene of an explosion at the port of Lebanon's capital Beirut

Firefighters douse a blaze at the scene of an explosion at the port of Lebanon’s capital Beirut

The lobby of a building overlooking the Lebanese capital Beirut's central Martyrs' Square, with rubble and debris from covering the street following massive explosions earlier at the nearby port of Beirut

The lobby of a building overlooking the Lebanese capital Beirut's central Martyrs' Square, with rubble and debris from covering the street following massive explosions earlier at the nearby port of Beirut

The lobby of a building overlooking the Lebanese capital Beirut’s central Martyrs’ Square, with rubble and debris from covering the street following massive explosions earlier at the nearby port of Beirut

Images showed port buildings reduced to tangled masonry, devastating the main entry point to a country that relies on food imports to feed its population of more than six million.

Several of Beirut’s hospitals were damaged in the blast, with Roum Hospital putting out a call for people to bring it spare generators to keep its electricity going as it evacuated patients because of heavy damage.

Beirut’s Hotel Dieu Hospital was reported to be overwhelmed with more than 500 wounded patients and not able to receive more, while Lebanon’s Red Cross said it had been drowning in calls from injured people, many who are still trapped in their homes. 

Outside the St George University Hospital in Beirut’s Achrafieh neighbuorhood, people with various injuries arrived in ambulances, in cars and on foot.

The explosion had caused major damage inside the building and knocked out the electricity at the hospital. Dozens of injured were being treated on the spot on the street outside, on stretchers and wheelchairs. 

Miles from the scene of the blast, balconies were knocked down, ceiling collapsed and windows were shattered. 

Residents said glass was broken in houses from Raouche, on the Mediterranean city’s western tip, to Rabieh 10 km (6 miles) east). 

And in Cyprus, a Mediterranean island lying 110 miles (180 km) northwest of Beirut, residents reported hearing two large bangs in quick succession. One resident of the capital Nicosia said his house shook, rattling shutters. 

Beirut’s main airport, six miles away from the port, was reportedly damaged by the explosion, with pictures showing sections of collapsed ceiling.   

A huge explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky

A huge explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky

A huge explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky

A car was flung upside down by the blast which hit Beirut yesterday and caused widespread damage

A car was flung upside down by the blast which hit Beirut yesterday and caused widespread damage

A car was flung upside down by the blast which hit Beirut yesterday and caused widespread damage

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31562082 8593445 image a 38 1596579025078

There was a structure fire near the port of Beirut followed by a second massive explosion, which damaged surrounding buildings and injured thousands

There was a structure fire near the port of Beirut followed by a second massive explosion, which damaged surrounding buildings and injured thousands

There was a structure fire near the port of Beirut followed by a second massive explosion, which damaged surrounding buildings and injured thousands

Vital infrastructure such as hospitals sustained damage, as did the city's airport despite its location six miles away from the blast site, laying bare the magnitude of the trauma

Vital infrastructure such as hospitals sustained damage, as did the city's airport despite its location six miles away from the blast site, laying bare the magnitude of the trauma

Vital infrastructure such as hospitals sustained damage, as did the city’s airport despite its location six miles away from the blast site, laying bare the magnitude of the trauma

Rescue crews search a street for survivors after a large explosion caused buildings to collapse

Rescue crews search a street for survivors after a large explosion caused buildings to collapse

Rescue crews search a street for survivors after a large explosion caused buildings to collapse

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Mentally ill man frogmarched out of Brisbane hospital wearing hospital gown

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mentally ill man frogmarched out of brisbane hospital wearing hospital gown

A woman watched in disgust as security escorted a mentally ill man from a hospital ward and left him on the side of the road just a day after he was admitted with hypothermia.

The man was still wearing his hospital gown when he was left out the front of Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital on Sunday.  

He had been found a day earlier naked and in a swampy creek, suffering from hypothermia, the Courier-Mail reported. 

A woman was 'disgusted' when she watched security escort a mentally ill man from a hospital ward and leave him on the side of the road a day after he was admitted with hypothermia

A woman was 'disgusted' when she watched security escort a mentally ill man from a hospital ward and leave him on the side of the road a day after he was admitted with hypothermia

A woman was ‘disgusted’ when she watched security escort a mentally ill man from a hospital ward and leave him on the side of the road a day after he was admitted with hypothermia

Mother-of-three Hayley Birtles-Eades told the publication she was ‘horrified’ when she watched the man as he was ‘frogmarched’ out of the hospital.

‘Protective services marched a mentally unwell and clearly unstable man out of the hospital… What the actual f**k is going on with the world?’ she posted on Facebook after the incident.  

‘This man is clearly unable to take care of himself, he’s a danger to himself and to the public, tossing him out on to a main road is NOT duty of care.’

Ms Birtles-Eades went on to say that the man should have been sedated and put in a psychiatric ward if that was what he needed, but that ‘tossing him outside wearing only a hospital gown and a nappy’ wasn’t the answer.  

‘I am shocked and horrified with what I just witnessed.’   

 Ms Birtles-Eades recorded part of the ordeal.

The man was still wearing his hospital gown when he was left out the front of Royal Brisbane and Women's hospital on Sunday

The man was still wearing his hospital gown when he was left out the front of Royal Brisbane and Women's hospital on Sunday

The man was still wearing his hospital gown when he was left out the front of Royal Brisbane and Women’s hospital on Sunday

Ms Birtles-Eades called an ambulance when she noticed the man had been left outside the hospital

Ms Birtles-Eades called an ambulance when she noticed the man had been left outside the hospital

Ms Birtles-Eades called an ambulance when she noticed the man had been left outside the hospital

In the footage, the man can be heard moaning and whining as he is forcibly dragged from the premises.  

‘You’ve been discharged – let’s go, come on… you’re going… off,’ one guard says.

The mother-of-three was in the emergency room waiting for her husband to receive treatment for a suspected stroke. 

She was asked to stop filming the incident and was told it was ‘illegal’, but Ms Birtles-Eades said that was the least of her concerns. 

‘The hospital can fix broken bones, but if you’ve got a broken brain, you’re stuffed,’ she said.

‘How many times does a person have to ask for help before they get it? How bad do you have to be – dead?’

Ms Birtles-Eades called an ambulance when she noticed the man had been left outside the hospital.

The Queensland Ambulance Service transported him right back to the same hospital emergency room. 

A Queensland Health spokesman told the Courier-Mail that staff gave the man a gown as he arrived naked and said that the man’s GP was contacted before he was discharged. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Queensland Health for comment. 

Mother-of-three Hayley Birtles-Eades said she was 'horrified' when she watched the man as he was 'frogmarched' out of the hospital

Mother-of-three Hayley Birtles-Eades said she was 'horrified' when she watched the man as he was 'frogmarched' out of the hospital

Mother-of-three Hayley Birtles-Eades said she was ‘horrified’ when she watched the man as he was ‘frogmarched’ out of the hospital

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Todd Sampson reveals dark family secret in Anh Do Brush With Fame interview

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todd sampson reveals dark family secret in anh do brush with fame interview

An award-winning film maker and television presenter has candidly revealed the dark family secret he discovered as a child by hiding a recording device under the couch when he went to bed.

Todd Sampson appeared on Anh Do’s latest episode of Brush With Fame on Tuesday night and revealed that the girl he believed was his cousin for most of his childhood was in fact his older sister.

As Do painted his portrait, Sampson revealed his mother grew up in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada, in an extremely religious family.

Before he was born, she moved out of home, got a job behind the till at KFC and was pregnant by the time she was 15 years old.

Todd Sampson appeared on Ahn Do's latest episode of Brush With Fame on Tuesday night and revealed that he believed his older sister was his cousin for much of his childhood. His mother (left) gave her away after she gave birth to her

Todd Sampson appeared on Ahn Do's latest episode of Brush With Fame on Tuesday night and revealed that he believed his older sister was his cousin for much of his childhood. His mother (left) gave her away after she gave birth to her

Todd Sampson appeared on Ahn Do’s latest episode of Brush With Fame on Tuesday night and revealed that he believed his older sister was his cousin for much of his childhood. His mother (left) gave her away after she gave birth to her

‘At the time and in the area, it was quite religious. She was basically told she had to give up the child. She gave up the child to her sister – and she was raised as my cousin,’ he revealed.

Sampson went on to say the decision haunted his mother in the years to follow.

‘[It was] the biggest regret of my mother’s life,’ he said, before adding that he had no idea his cousin, Wendy, could have actually been his sister.

Do was completely flawed by the admission, and stopped painting as he asked how Sampson eventually came to learn the truth.   

‘I was such an investigative kid – also known as a little sh*t,’ he confessed.

‘I used to record my parents’ conversations when I would go to bed. I got a recorder for Christmas, and just before I’d go to bed, I would hit record under the sofa where my parents were, then go off to sleep.’

As Do painted his portrait, Sampson revealed his mother grew up in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada, in an extremely religious family

As Do painted his portrait, Sampson revealed his mother grew up in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada, in an extremely religious family

As Do painted his portrait, Sampson revealed his mother grew up in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada, in an extremely religious family

Sampson now has two daughters of his own and said he could never imagine giving them up

Sampson now has two daughters of his own and said he could never imagine giving them up

Sampson now has two daughters of his own and said he could never imagine giving them up

The following day, Sampson would quietly retrieve the recorder and listen back to what his parents discussed after he was asleep.  

‘That day, I’m listening to the recording and I’m like, ”Wait now, did they just say that Wendy’s my sister?”,’ he said.

During the conversation that he had recorded, Sampson’s parents were debating whether or not they should share the secret with he and his biological sister. 

‘They were debating at night whether they should tell us, and whether we were old enough to comprehend what had happened. But Wendy had been in and out of our lives as our cousin,’ he said.

Rather than sit around and wait to see if his parents ever told him, Sampson simply decided to confront them himself. 

‘I remember her face – it was just shock and relief,’ he recalled.

Sampson appeared in Anh Do's Brush With Fame documentary on Tuesday night

Sampson appeared in Anh Do's Brush With Fame documentary on Tuesday night

Sampson appeared in Anh Do’s Brush With Fame documentary on Tuesday night

Sampson, himself a father-of-two, said he personally couldn't ever fathom giving a child away

Sampson, himself a father-of-two, said he personally couldn't ever fathom giving a child away

Sampson, himself a father-of-two, said he personally couldn’t ever fathom giving a child away

‘She said, “yes, she is”.’ Then, it was only as an adult, many many years later, that I reconnected with her as my older sister. Now I’m super-proud that she’s my sister, and all that she’s done in her life.’

Sampson, himself a father-of-two, said he personally couldn’t ever fathom giving a child away.

‘But I’m not 15,’ he added. ‘She had Wendy in a room all by herself.’ 

In spite of the enormous family secret and the incredible way in which he learned the truth, Sampson said he had a great childhood.

‘It was filled with fun, adventure, danger, stress… I remember my mum worked at KFC,’ he said.

‘I’d wait for her to come home, but I couldn’t do it because I was so tired… I was just a kid. She wasn’t getting home until like 11, 12pm.’   

In spite of the enormous family secret and the incredible way in which he learned the truth, Sampson said he had a great childhood

In spite of the enormous family secret and the incredible way in which he learned the truth, Sampson said he had a great childhood

In spite of the enormous family secret and the incredible way in which he learned the truth, Sampson said he had a great childhood

Sampson moved to Australia in the 1990s and had become a familiar face on programs such as Gruen and The Project.

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Why struggling businesses will miss out on JobKeeper 2.0 as two million workers lose wage subsidies

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why struggling businesses will miss out on jobkeeper 2 0 as two million workers lose wage subsidies

Struggling businesses are set to miss out on JobKeeper from next week – causing two million workers to lose their wage subsidies and potentially their jobs.

Australia’s economy is already in recession for the first in 29 years, after coronavirus shutdowns caused a record plunge in economic activity.

Since the pandemic began in March, the number of jobs across Australia has plunged by a national average pace of 4.5 per cent, official payroll data released on Tuesday revealed.

In Victoria, the tally of jobs have plummeted by an even more dramatic 8.3 per cent over six months – a level more than double the 3.7 per cent decline in neighbouring New South Wales and the 3.1 per cent drop in Queensland. 

Melbourne, Australia’s second biggest city, has been placed into a strict, Stage Four lockdown since August 2 with an 8pm to 5am curfew.

Struggling businesses are set to miss out on JobKeeper from next week - causing two million workers to lose their wage subsidies and potentially their jobs. From September 28, JobKeeper will cover 1.4million workers instead of 3.5million. Pictured is Melbourne's Chadstone Shopping Centre during the Stage Four lockdown in the Victorian capital

Struggling businesses are set to miss out on JobKeeper from next week - causing two million workers to lose their wage subsidies and potentially their jobs. From September 28, JobKeeper will cover 1.4million workers instead of 3.5million. Pictured is Melbourne's Chadstone Shopping Centre during the Stage Four lockdown in the Victorian capital

Struggling businesses are set to miss out on JobKeeper from next week – causing two million workers to lose their wage subsidies and potentially their jobs. From September 28, JobKeeper will cover 1.4million workers instead of 3.5million. Pictured is Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping Centre during the Stage Four lockdown in the Victorian capital

Despite that economic carnage, the number of workers across Australia eligible to receive JobKeeper wage subsidies from their employer will plunge from 3.5million to 1.4 million from September 28.

Australia’s COVID-19 jobs carnage by state

VICTORIA: Down 8.3 per cent

NEW SOUTH WALES: Down 3.7 per cent

QUEENSLAND: Down 3.1 per cent

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Down 2.7 per cent

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Down 0.9 per cent

TASMANIA: Down 4.3 per cent

NORTHERN TERRITORY: Down 2 per cent

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY: Down 4.5 per cent

AUSTRALIA AVERAGE: Down 4.5 per cent 

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics payroll jobs data showing the changes between March 14 and September 5 

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That will see more than two million people lose JobKeeper as a flat $1,500 a fortnight payment is replaced with a $1,200 subsidy for those who work 20 hours or more.

Part-time workers putting in fewer hours will be eligible for just $750.

JobKeeper is being phased out completely in March with the October 6 budget reportedly ruling out another extension. 

Making matters worse, businesses receiving JobKeeper 2.0 will be required to demonstrate their Goods and Services Tax turnover had plunged by 30 per cent in the September quarter of 2020 compared with the same three months in 2019.

Tax agent H&R Block’s director of tax communications Mark Chapman said this would see many small businesses miss out, even if they had suffered a sharp revenue fall, putting jobs at risk.

‘That could jeopardise the survival of many businesses because if, for example, they only show a 20 per cent fall, that is significant enough to make many small businesses non-viable, but not significant enough to qualify for JobKeeper,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘At the very least, many affected businesses will let go of staff over the next few weeks as they can no longer afford to keep them on the books.’

Since JobKeeper debuted in April, 928,864 businesses have qualified for a wage subsidy.

Sydney’s city centre, the home of struggling cafes, had 10,948 businesses receive JobKeeper while Melbourne’s central business district had 7,165 firms propped up with a taxpayer subsidy.

While these businesses are set to continue receiving JobKeeper, the likes of suburban shops are likely to miss out by virtue of having revenue falls of less than 30 per cent.

Sydney's city centre, the home of struggling cafes, had 10,948 businesses receive JobKeeper

Sydney's city centre, the home of struggling cafes, had 10,948 businesses receive JobKeeper

Sydney’s city centre, the home of struggling cafes, had 10,948 businesses receive JobKeeper

Small business accountant Ben Johnston, a director of Johnston Advisory, said stricter JobKeeper 2.0 rules would be devastating for the economy and would hurt the construction sector which didn't need help in March. Pictured is a Melbourne building site in September

Small business accountant Ben Johnston, a director of Johnston Advisory, said stricter JobKeeper 2.0 rules would be devastating for the economy and would hurt the construction sector which didn't need help in March. Pictured is a Melbourne building site in September

Small business accountant Ben Johnston, a director of Johnston Advisory, said stricter JobKeeper 2.0 rules would be devastating for the economy and would hurt the construction sector which didn’t need help in March. Pictured is a Melbourne building site in September

Small business accountant Ben Johnston, a director of Johnston Advisory, said stricter JobKeeper 2.0 rules would be devastating for the economy – following a record seven per cent plunge in Australia’s gross domestic product during the June quarter.

THE JOBKEEPER RED ZONES BY POSTCODE

SYDNEY (2000): 10,948 businesses

MELBOURNE (3000): 7,165 businesses

LIVERPOOL, SYDNEY’S SOUTH-WEST (2170): 4,293 businesses 

CRANBOURNE, MELBOURNE’S SOUTH-EAST (3977): 3,134 businesses

BAULKHAM HILLS, SYDNEY’S NORTH-WEST (2153): 3,096 businesses 

BANKSTOWN, SYDNEY’S SOUTH-WEST (2200): 2,505 businesses 

ROUSE HILL, SYDNEY’S NORTH-WEST (2155): 2,333 businesses 

CROWS NEST, SYDNEY NORTH SHORE (2065): 2,126 businesses  

CHATSWOOD, SYDNEY NORTH SHORE (2067): 2,090 businesses 

Source: Treasury 

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‘It’s going to have an alarming, a huge impact on the economy,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘We’ve got people that are heavily reliant on it for their businesses to support employment which is now going to be taken away from them.’

The tighter rules would be particularly devastating for dine-in restaurants – already battling the effects of social distancing rules – as reduced JobKeeper subsidies diluted the spending power of their customers.

‘A lot of the suburban restaurants, where people are now eating out, what I can’t understate is the economy has been ticking over on artificial money,’ Mr Johnston said.

Adding to those woes, Australia’s 1.45million JobSeeker recipients will have their unemployment benefits, as of September 25, reduced from $1,115.70 a fortnight to $815.70 as the temporary coronavirus supplement is halved from $550 to $250.  

Under the new JobKeeper wage subsidy rules, companies only qualify if they were in financial strife at the start of the pandemic in March. 

Mr Johnston, who has been an accountant for 24 years, said construction firms that didn’t need JobKeeper the first time around were particularly vulnerable now as an economic slowdown belatedly reduced demand for home renovations.

‘Every construction client that I’m talking about is really, really worried about that impact leading into Christmas,’ he said.

‘People are unsure about job retention and people are getting made redundant. 

Adding to those woes, Australia's 1.45million JobSeeker recipients will have their unemployment benefits, as of September 25, reduced from $1,115.70 a fortnight to $815.70 as the temporary coronavirus supplement is halved from $550 to $250. Pictured is a Gold Coast Centrelink queue in March

Adding to those woes, Australia's 1.45million JobSeeker recipients will have their unemployment benefits, as of September 25, reduced from $1,115.70 a fortnight to $815.70 as the temporary coronavirus supplement is halved from $550 to $250. Pictured is a Gold Coast Centrelink queue in March

Adding to those woes, Australia’s 1.45million JobSeeker recipients will have their unemployment benefits, as of September 25, reduced from $1,115.70 a fortnight to $815.70 as the temporary coronavirus supplement is halved from $550 to $250. Pictured is a Gold Coast Centrelink queue in March

‘The construction industry didn’t feel it at the start because home owners had pre-approved construction loans and builders were on site so they kept working away through coronavirus because they had access to money.’

JOBS FALSE DAWN

Unemployment rate fell from a 22-year high of 7.5 per cent in July to 6.8 per cent in August

Participation rate rose from 64.7 per cent to 64.8 per cent 

Number employed rose by 111,000 to 12,583,400

Jobless ranks fell by 86,500 with women making up 55,000 or 64 per cent of those

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics  

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H&R Block said companies that sold their assets to meet cash flow challenges may also have trouble qualifying for JobKeeper 2.0.

‘Businesses need to include sales of capital assets – like plant and machinery, fixtures and fittings – in turnover for the purposes of the 30 per cent test,’ Mr Chapman said.

‘Some businesses have been forced to sell off their assets to survive – they will now be penalised because the proceeds of those sales will be included in their turnover, meaning that they may not qualify for JobKeeper.’

Australia’s unemployment rate fell from a 22-year high of 7.5 per cent in July to 6.8 per cent in August, as 111,000 new jobs were created. 

The good news, however, was more the product of more retrenched people declaring themselves to be self employed. 

Westpac senior economist Justin Smirk said the latest payrolls data, based on tax office figures, showed sectors that had previously weathered the coronavirus shutdowns were now shedding staff. 

‘The downtrend continues in Victoria while the job losses in NSW have broadened out to sectors not affected by the earlier lockdown,’ he said.

How are the support payments changing from September?

JOBKEEPER

* The $1,500 fortnightly wage subsidy will continue until September 27 – covering 3.5million workers

* From the end of September to December 31, JobKeeper will be reduced to $1,200 for full-time workers and $750 for people working 20 hours or less – with 1.4million workers eligible

* From January to March, the full-time rate will be $1,000 and part-time will reduce to $650 – with the scheme covering 1million workers

* Businesses turning over less than $1billion will have to requalify for the program at both stages through showing a 30 per cent drop in revenue.

* Businesses with more than $1billion in turnover have to demonstrate a 50 per cent fall

JOBSEEKER

* The elevated unemployment benefit will remain at $1,100 a fortnight until September 24

* From that date until the end of the year the $550 coronavirus supplement will be cut by $300 to make the overall fortnightly payment $800

* People will be able to earn up to $300 without having their payment reduced

* The mutual obligation rules requiring people to search for four jobs a month will restart on August 4

* Penalties for people refusing a job offer will be reintroduced

* Job search requirements will increase in September when the assets test will also return

* The permanent JobSeeker rate to take effect from January next year will be announced in the October 6 budget.

 

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