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Federal Budget 2020 winners and losers have a very surprising verdict

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federal budget 2020 winners and losers have a very surprising verdict

Women, tradies and working families are the Australians tipped to be the big winners from Tuesday’s Federal Budget – which is undoubtedly the most important since World War II as Australia battles a crippling Covid recession. 

The eyes of the nation will fall on Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday night as he finally details the economic rescue plan the Morrison Government has been designing since coronavirus lockdowns plunged the nation into its first recession in 29 years.   

Mr Frydenberg is set to unveil a mammoth cash splash including tax cuts for millions of workers, wage subsidies for bosses who hire apprentices and assistance for first home buyers. 

But the nation may be paying back the debt for decades to come, with the Government tonight expected to raise the debt ceiling to a record $1.1 trillion.   

So what do the people tipped to benefit the most from the Budget think?  

When Daily Mail Australia hit the streets on Tuesday, many Australians said they can’t say no to a big tax cut. 

But several said they probably won’t spend up big as Mr Frydenberg said, and that the funds could be better spent elsewhere. 

The professional families: ‘We’ll save it’  

Accountant Joe Pizzinga and his wife Kathy, who is a teacher, were happy with the tax cut announcement (Pictured: Joe and Kathy Pizzinga with their daughter Sienna, 9)

Accountant Joe Pizzinga and his wife Kathy, who is a teacher, were happy with the tax cut announcement (Pictured: Joe and Kathy Pizzinga with their daughter Sienna, 9)

Accountant Joe Pizzinga and his wife Kathy, who is a teacher, were happy with the tax cut announcement (Pictured: Joe and Kathy Pizzinga with their daughter Sienna, 9)

Accountant Joe Pizzinga and his wife Kathy, a teacher, will be among those who directly benefit from income tax cuts, which were originally earmarked for July 2022.

The stage-two cuts will likely be backdated to July 2020 and will mostly benefit middle-to-high income earners.

Those who earn $100,000 will be handed an extra $1,665 each year and those earning $120,000 an additional $2,565. 

The government hopes this will help drive spending and boost the economy. 

‘The tax cuts will hopefully mean a little more disposable income for us, which is a positive,’ Mr Pizzinga said.

However, the family man said he would like to see more money allocated to those who are struggling to find work.

‘Overall it seems pretty positive. Whether or not it will help those who are impacted, employment-wise, by the coronavirus, I’m not sure,’ Mr Pizzinga said. 

‘With the tax cuts, we are going to benefit but I’d probably say, in our position, we’re probably going to save it rather than spend it.’ 

Life insurer Luke Jones and his wife Van Jones, a business anaylst, will be among those benefiting directly from the income tax cuts (Pictured left to right: Luke Jones and his wife Van Jones with their children Daniel, 9, and Stephanie, 2)

Life insurer Luke Jones and his wife Van Jones, a business anaylst, will be among those benefiting directly from the income tax cuts (Pictured left to right: Luke Jones and his wife Van Jones with their children Daniel, 9, and Stephanie, 2)

Life insurer Luke Jones and his wife Van Jones, a business anaylst, will be among those benefiting directly from the income tax cuts (Pictured left to right: Luke Jones and his wife Van Jones with their children Daniel, 9, and Stephanie, 2)

HOW INCOME TAXES WILL BE BACKDATED 

The government will backdate the tax cuts to July 2020 – meaning workers will get an extra boost through until the end of the financial year. 

As soon as the tax cuts bill passes the Parliament, which is expected in the coming weeks, millions of workers will receive their tax cuts as part of their pay packets.

That could amount to as much as $200 extra per month for some workers.   

The government hopes putting instant cash in the pockets of Australians will help revive the pandemic-stricken economy. 

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Life insurer Luke Jones and his wife Van Jones, a business analyst, were pleased with the tax cut announcement too. 

Mr Jones said he was happy to be getting extra cash but felt the money would be better spent on those whose jobs had been directly impacted by the pandemic.

Being in the industries they’re in, both Mr Jones and his wife have been relatively unaffected by the pandemic, he said.

He and his wife have remained employed and have kept the same hours, however, they have been working from home. 

He questioned whether the money would be better spent on those who were struggling, as they need it more and would spend it rather than save it.

Women

Women are expected to be a central focus of the budget as they’re among the hardest hit by the economic crisis. 

Sydney-based lawyer Rebecca Mangos, 25, was thrilled that women would be the focus. 

‘Women are grossly overpopulated in the unemployment stats, I think if there’s evidence that it will boost the economy then I think it’s a good idea.’

She did have concern about the tax cuts as she feels people will be more cautious with their spending after so much uncertainty over the past few months. 

Ms Mangos said she hopes there will be something in the budget for the aged care sector after so many grandparents died during the pandemic.

Sydney-based lawyer Rebecca Mangos, 25, was thrilled that women would be the focus. 'Women are grossly overpopulated in the unemployment stats, I think if there's evidence that it will boost the economy then I think it's a good idea'

Sydney-based lawyer Rebecca Mangos, 25, was thrilled that women would be the focus. 'Women are grossly overpopulated in the unemployment stats, I think if there's evidence that it will boost the economy then I think it's a good idea'

Sydney-based lawyer Rebecca Mangos, 25, was thrilled that women would be the focus. ‘Women are grossly overpopulated in the unemployment stats, I think if there’s evidence that it will boost the economy then I think it’s a good idea’

Single mum Michelle Fazzani was working in retail when the lockdown happened. She said anything the government can do to help will be greatly appreciated.

Single mum Michelle Fazzani was working in retail when the lockdown happened. She said anything the government can do to help will be greatly appreciated.

Single mum Michelle Fazzani was working in retail when the lockdown happened. She said anything the government can do to help will be greatly appreciated.

‘After everything that has happened with the aged care facilities I think there needs to be more in place to monitor that sector.’

Single mum Michelle Fazzani was working in retail when the lockdown happened. 

Her company wasn’t eligible for JobKeeper so she has been stuck on JobSeeker for months hoping to find work.

Her goal was to work in tourism, she had been studying a diploma in tourism when the pandemic struck.

She said anything the government can do to help will be greatly appreciated.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said said women were more likely to lose their job during the health crisis than men.

‘In tonight’s budget, we’ll be releasing our second women’s economic security statement, helping to boost female workforce participation,’ he said on Tuesday morning.

‘We want to get it back to that record high that it was before this crisis began.’

It’s understood the statement will focus on improving women’s workforce participation, earning potential and economic independence.

Tradies 

Carpenter Doug Murray, 24, who has been working throughout the pandemic, said the cash splash was promising for future employment

Carpenter Doug Murray, 24, who has been working throughout the pandemic, said the cash splash was promising for future employment

Carpenter Doug Murray, 24, who has been working throughout the pandemic, said the cash splash was promising for future employment

Tradies were also among the big winners, with the government pledging to spend $7.5billion on fast-tracking about 50 road and infrastructure projects across the nation to support 30,000 jobs.

Carpenter Doug Murray, 24, who has been working throughout the pandemic, said the cash splash was promising for future employment.

‘I feel like it’s pretty good for us, getting people back into work is a pretty good thing.’

The government has indicated it will offer bosses who hire apprentices a 50 per cent  

Infrastructure: The Key projects 

There will be key investments across all states and territories including: 

• $560 million for the Singleton Bypass on the New England Highway in New South Wales;

• $528 million for the Shepparton and Warrnambool Rail Line Upgrades in Victoria; 

• $750 million for Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector (Coomera to Nerang) in Queensland; 

• $88 million for the Reid Highway Interchange with West Swan Road in Western Australia; 

• $200 million for the Hahndorf Township Improvements and Access Upgrade in South Australia;

• $150 million for the Midway Point Causeway (including McGees Bridge) and Sorell Causeway as part of the Hobart to Sorell Roads of Strategic Importance corridor in Tasmania; 

• $120 million to upgrade the Carpentaria Highway in the Northern Territory; and 

• $88 million for the Molonglo River Bridge in the ACT. 

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This is how much less tax you will pay after stage two tax cuts. Aussies earning more than $100,000 will get $1,665 back and those on more than $120,000 will get $2,565 back. Under current tax rules those on $120,000 only get back $315

This is how much less tax you will pay after stage two tax cuts. Aussies earning more than $100,000 will get $1,665 back and those on more than $120,000 will get $2,565 back. Under current tax rules those on $120,000 only get back $315

This is how much less tax you will pay after stage two tax cuts. Aussies earning more than $100,000 will get $1,665 back and those on more than $120,000 will get $2,565 back. Under current tax rules those on $120,000 only get back $315

The third stage of the federal government's tax cuts was designed to give generous relief to those on six-figure salaries from July 2024. This could be accelerated in Tuesday's budget. This table shows how much you will get back after stage three compared with 2017-18

The third stage of the federal government's tax cuts was designed to give generous relief to those on six-figure salaries from July 2024. This could be accelerated in Tuesday's budget. This table shows how much you will get back after stage three compared with 2017-18

The third stage of the federal government’s tax cuts was designed to give generous relief to those on six-figure salaries from July 2024. This could be accelerated in Tuesday’s budget. This table shows how much you will get back after stage three compared with 2017-18

 

Health workers are seen walking near RPA in Camperdown ahead of the Federal Budget

Health workers are seen walking near RPA in Camperdown ahead of the Federal Budget

Health workers are seen walking near RPA in Camperdown ahead of the Federal Budget

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34019942 8804861 image m 40 1601938906429

Millions of Australians will keep more of their money this year as the government plans to backdate tax cuts. Pictured: A tradeswoman at work

The huge tax changes coming to small businesses in 2020 budget 

Businesses with an aggregated annual turnover between $10million and $50million will have access to up to ten small business tax concessions. The changes are estimated to support about 20,000 businesses and 1.7million employees. 

Immediate deduction for certain start-up expenses

From 1 July 2020, eligible businesses can immediately deduct a range of professional expenses and Australian government agency payments associated with starting a new business, such as professional, legal and accounting advice. Currently, these costs are usually deducted over a five year period.

Immediate deduction for certain prepaid expenditure

From 1 July 2020, eligible businesses can immediately deduct certain prepaid expenditure where the payment covers a period of 12 months or less that ends in the next income year. Currently, business expenditure that relates to multiple income years is generally not immediately deductible.

Fringe benefits tax (FBT): small business car parking exemption

From 1 April 2021, eligible businesses would be exempt from FBT on car parking benefits provided to employees if the parking is not provided in a commercial car park.

FBT: multiple work-related portable electronic devices exemption

From 1 April 2021, eligible businesses would be exempt from FBT on multiple work-related portable electronic devices provided to employees – even if the devices have substantially identical functions.

Simplified trading stock rules

From 1 July 2021, eligible businesses can choose to use a simplified trading stock regime. Under this regime, eligible businesses may choose not to conduct a stocktake (and account for changes in the value of trading stock) for an income year, if the difference between the opening value of stock on hand and a reasonable estimate of stock on hand at the end of the year does not exceed $5,000.

Pay as you go (PAYG) instalments based on GDP-adjusted notional tax

From 1 July 2021, eligible businesses would have the option to have their PAYG instalments calculated for them by the ATO (based on previously reported information).

Currently, they are required to calculate their actual income for the period, as the basis for their PAYG instalment calculation.

Small business excise concession

From 1 July 2021, eligible businesses would be able to apply to defer settlement of excise duty to a monthly reporting cycle, instead of the current weekly reporting cycle. This only applies to eligible goods under the current small business entity concession.

Small business excise-equivalent customs duty concession

From 1 July 2021, eligible businesses would be able to apply to defer settlement of excise-equivalent customs duty from a weekly to monthly reporting cycle. This only applies to eligible goods under the current small business entity concession.

Two-year amendment period

From 1 July 2021 eligible businesses (excluding entities with significant international tax dealings or particularly complex affairs) will have a two year amendment period apply to income tax assessments for income years. The current exceptions, including for fraud or evasion, would continue to apply. Businesses can lodge an amendment application before the time limit and the ATO may extend the time limit to give effect to the application. Currently, they are subject to a four-year amendment period.

Simplified accounting methods

From 1 July 2021, the Commissioner of Taxation’s power to create a simplified accounting method determination for eligible businesses for GST purposes will be expanded to apply to businesses below the $50 million aggregated annual turnover threshold.

Remove fringe benefits tax for retraining (applies to all companies)

From 2 October 2020 the government will remove the 47 per cent fringe benefits tax on retraining provided by employers to redundant, or soon to be redundant, employees. 

This will encourage employers to help workers transition to new employment opportunities within or outside their business.

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Australia

Sydney is hammered by a huge rain bomb after wild storms in Queensland

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sydney is hammered by a huge rain bomb after wild storms in queensland

Sydney has been hammered by a huge rain bomb as wild storms continue to bear down on the east coast of Australia, while tennis ball-sized hailstones and flash-flooding have hit Queensland. 

The Harbour City woke to the deluge on Thursday morning, with up to 35mm of rain expected to fall by the afternoon.  

Emergency services are urging people to avoid floodwaters as parts of New South Wales brace for wild weather including thunderstorms, heavy rain and strong winds. 

The wild conditions come after south-east Queensland was battered by severe thunderstorms, which caused tennis ball-sized hailstones.

Pictured: Hail falls in a local's garden in Tamworth, north-eastern New South Wales, during wild weather on Wednesday

Pictured: Hail falls in a local's garden in Tamworth, north-eastern New South Wales, during wild weather on Wednesday

Pictured: Hail falls in a local’s garden in Tamworth, north-eastern New South Wales, during wild weather on Wednesday

Members of the Swift Water Rescue team from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were seen searching flooded cars on Longlands Street at Woolloongabba in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon

Members of the Swift Water Rescue team from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were seen searching flooded cars on Longlands Street at Woolloongabba in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon

Members of the Swift Water Rescue team from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were seen searching flooded cars on Longlands Street at Woolloongabba in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon

One motorist was pictured seeking refuge on the roof of his car, which was almost entirely submerged

One motorist was pictured seeking refuge on the roof of his car, which was almost entirely submerged

One motorist was pictured seeking refuge on the roof of his car, which was almost entirely submerged

Rain is expected to develop or return to a number of regions in coming days, including Sydney and the Central Coast.

‘Most of the state is going to be expecting some thunderstorm activity – the exception to that is through the southern half of the coast,’ BOM meteorologist Gabrielle Woodhouse said. 

‘As we move into Friday we’ll see another system that’s going to enter the west of the state – and that’s going to bring renewed thunderstorm activity, particularly across the southern inland on Friday and then across much of the state on Saturday.

‘But once we get into the new week, we’ll start to see those showers and storms easing up, particularly over inland areas where we’re looking at dry conditions.’

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Armidale, Orange, Tamworth, Moree and Dubbo.

‘Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones, damaging winds and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area,’ it said of Thursday’s conditions.

Pictured: A person holds hail in Biddeston, a rural town and locality in the Toowoomba Region, on Wednesday

Pictured: A person holds hail in Biddeston, a rural town and locality in the Toowoomba Region, on Wednesday

Pictured: Hail in Biddeston

Pictured: Hail in Biddeston

Pictured: Hail in Biddeston, a rural town and locality in the Toowoomba Region, on Wednesday

Flooded cars are seen on Longlands Street at Woolloongabba in Brisbane on Tuesday following torrential rain

Flooded cars are seen on Longlands Street at Woolloongabba in Brisbane on Tuesday following torrential rain

Flooded cars are seen on Longlands Street at Woolloongabba in Brisbane on Tuesday following torrential rain 

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Armidale, Orange, Tamworth, Moree and Dubbo

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Armidale, Orange, Tamworth, Moree and Dubbo

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Armidale, Orange, Tamworth, Moree and Dubbo

The NSW State Emergency Service is warning residents not to drive, walk or ride through floodwater in the event of flash flooding, as it can contain chemicals, garbage and sewage.

‘Floodwater can wash out roads that once lay underneath and just 15cm of water can start to float a small car,’ an SES spokesman said. 

Hail fell in Tamworth on Wednesday, with locals sharing pictures and videos of the drops of frozen water covering their gardens. 

The severe thunderstorms swept over Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and the Gympie area on Wednesday afternoon before heading out to sea.

But residents were largely spared from the destructive winds, hail, torrential rain and life-threatening flash flooding the Bureau of Meteorology warned was likely.

‘Luckily it wasn’t a repeat. It’s all fast-moving today, that’s what’s saved us,’ meteorologist Dean Narramore said.

The series of severe thunderstorms pushed west towards Warwick, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley and Kilcoy earlier on Tuesday. Pictured: Rescue teams searching for trapped passengers

The series of severe thunderstorms pushed west towards Warwick, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley and Kilcoy earlier on Tuesday. Pictured: Rescue teams searching for trapped passengers

The series of severe thunderstorms pushed west towards Warwick, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley and Kilcoy earlier on Tuesday. Pictured: Rescue teams searching for trapped passengers

Pictured: The rain forecast to hit Australia's south-east coast on Thursday at about 5pm

Pictured: The rain forecast to hit Australia's south-east coast on Thursday at about 5pm

Pictured: The rain forecast to hit Australia’s south-east coast on Thursday at about 5pm

A woman displays hail she picked up in Wyreema, in the Toowoomba Region, after wild weather hit Queensland

A woman displays hail she picked up in Wyreema, in the Toowoomba Region, after wild weather hit Queensland

A woman displays hail she picked up in Wyreema, in the Toowoomba Region, after wild weather hit Queensland

‘Yesterday [Tuesday] was quite slow-moving so it was allowed it to sit and rain for quite a while, whereas today [Wednesday] it was just a quick shot of rain and it was out again.’

Despite this, some areas did cop a bucketing. Tiaro, north of the Sunshine Coast, recorded 51mm of rain in an hour.

‘The impressive thing about that was 22mm of it fell in five minutes,’ Mr Narramore said.

Energex reported that more than 7000 electricity users in the south-east of the state suffered an emergency outage.

Large storms also drenched areas around Rockhampton, Gladstone and Bundaberg with nearby Cedar Vale recording 65mm of rain in an hour.

‘That’s almost a month’s worth of rain in an hour,’ Mr Narramore said.

The storms come a day after torrential rain and tennis ball-sized hailstones bucketed down across the region.

Beachmere recorded 80mm of rain in an hour on Tuesday, while 70mm bucketed down on The Upper Lockyer, west of Brisbane. Pictured: Flooded cars are seen on Longlands Street at Woolloongabba in Brisbane

Beachmere recorded 80mm of rain in an hour on Tuesday, while 70mm bucketed down on The Upper Lockyer, west of Brisbane. Pictured: Flooded cars are seen on Longlands Street at Woolloongabba in Brisbane

Beachmere recorded 80mm of rain in an hour on Tuesday, while 70mm bucketed down on The Upper Lockyer, west of Brisbane. Pictured: Flooded cars are seen on Longlands Street at Woolloongabba in Brisbane

Large storms also drenched areas around Rockhampton (pictured), Gladstone and Bundaberg with nearby Cedar Vale recording 65mm of rain in an hour

Large storms also drenched areas around Rockhampton (pictured), Gladstone and Bundaberg with nearby Cedar Vale recording 65mm of rain in an hour

Large storms also drenched areas around Rockhampton (pictured), Gladstone and Bundaberg with nearby Cedar Vale recording 65mm of rain in an hour

Rescue workers from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services search flooded cars on Longlands Street in Brisbane

Rescue workers from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services search flooded cars on Longlands Street in Brisbane

Rescue workers from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services search flooded cars on Longlands Street in Brisbane

Beachmere, near Caboolture, recorded 80mm of rain in an hour on Tuesday, while 70mm fell on on The Upper Lockyer, west of Brisbane.

Flash flooding inundated some Brisbane areas at the height of the storms, causing traffic delays and one driver to be stranded on the roof of his car.

‘It was the wettest October day for the city since 2010,’ meteorologist Rosa Hoff said. 

In Brisbane, drivers returned to their cars which were parked at garages and bus stops to learn they’d been flooded, while pictures show bins and random objects floating down main streets.  

Several car accidents had been reported by 6.30pm on Tuesday, while trees were down and flash flooding blocked access to other main roads out of the state’s capital.       

The series of severe thunderstorms pushed west towards Warwick, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley and Kilcoy earlier on Tuesday. Pictured: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services search flooded cars at Woolloongabba in Brisbane

The series of severe thunderstorms pushed west towards Warwick, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley and Kilcoy earlier on Tuesday. Pictured: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services search flooded cars at Woolloongabba in Brisbane

The series of severe thunderstorms pushed west towards Warwick, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley and Kilcoy earlier on Tuesday. Pictured: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services search flooded cars at Woolloongabba in Brisbane

THE WEATHER IN YOUR CITY 

 SYDNEY:     

THURS: Max 20, Showers.

FRI: Min 13, Max 21. Possible shower.

SAT: Min 18, Max 24. Rain. Possible storm.

SUN: Min 15, Max 23. Shower or two.

MELBOURNE: 

THURS: Max 22. Sunny morning. Shower or two developing.

FRI: Min 12, Max 20. Shower or two.

SAT: Min 13, Max 20. Possible shower.

SUN: Min 12, Max 21. Partly cloudy.

ADELAIDE: 

THURS: Max 21. Showers.

FRI: Min 12, Max 20. Showers easing.

SAT: Min 12, Max 21. Partly cloudy.

SUN: Min 11, Max 25. Sunny.

CANBERRA:    

THURS: Max 19. Shower or two.

FRI: Min 7, Max 21. Shower or two.

SAT: Min 11, Max 17. Rain.

SUN: Min 10, Max 21. Shower or two.

BRISBANE:

THURS: Max 30, Shower or two. Possible storm.

FRI: Min 16, Max 31. Sunny.

SAT: Min 19, Max 31. Shower or two. Possible storm.

SUN: Min 18, Max 32. Mostly sunny.

PERTH: 

THURS: Max 32. Sunny.

FRI: Min 19, Max 36. Partly cloudy.

SAT: Min 19, Max 26. Possible late shower.

SUN: Min 13, Max 21. Shower or two.

HOBART: 

THURS: Max 17. Partly cloudy.

FRI: Min 8, Max 17. Partly cloudy.

SAT: Min 8, Max 19. Partly cloudy.

SUN: Min 10, Max 19. Partly cloudy.

DARWIN: 

THURS: Max 34. Partly cloudy. 

FRI: Min 26, Max 34. Possible shower or storm.

SAT: Min 26, Max 34. Mostly sunny.

SUN: Min 26, Max 35. Sunny.

SOURCE: Bureau of Meteorology

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Drug use went UP across Australia at the height of the pandemic – with cocaine use soaring in cities

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drug use went up across australia at the height of the pandemic with cocaine use soaring in cities

Drug use rose at the height of coronavirus pandemic across Australia, with ice topping the list of illegal substances consumed.

That’s the major finding of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s latest wastewater monitoring program covering samples taken from one week in both April and June this year.

‘During the period monitored by the report, instances of record-high drug consumption have been reported,’ the ACIC said on Thursday.

Drug use rose at the height of coronavirus pandemic across Australia (file picture)

Drug use rose at the height of coronavirus pandemic across Australia (file picture)

Drug use rose at the height of coronavirus pandemic across Australia (file picture)

Nicotine and alcohol remain the highest consumed legal drugs measured by the program, but methylamphetamine or ice remains the highest consumed illicit drug.

However since the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a divergence between ice use in capital cities and regional centres, the report found.

Ice use has declined substantially in the cities but continued to increase in the regions.

As well, different areas had their favourite drugs.

In the regions, methylamphetamine and heroin consumption was more prevalent while cocaine, cannabis and nicotine use dominated in the cities.

But there was record low regional consumption of fentanyl and record low capital city consumption of oxycodone and alcohol during the period monitored.

The ACIC sampling covered around 56 per cent of the population, or more than 13 million people.

Some 55 wastewater treatment plants took part in the testing, which monitored the consumption of 13 substances.

ACIC CEO Michael Phelan said despite the restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic criminal groups were operating on a ‘business as usual’ basis importing, manufacturing and trafficking illicit drugs.

‘Results from this report underline the resilience and variety of regional drug markets in Australia,’ he said.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Australians use Decor storage container to cook rice perfectly in the microwave

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australians use decor storage container to cook rice perfectly in the microwave

Australian home cooks have discovered the true purpose of a popular red storage food container sold at the supermarket.

The $10 Decor product is actually widely used and promoted as a microwave rice cooker – and can cook up to four cups of fluffy rice in just minutes. 

Many insist it works better than an electric rice cooker and say the rice is just as good as if it were made using any other method. 

‘This is honestly the best rice cooker! As a cook I have used every method known to man to cook rice and using this my rice is perfect every time,’ one woman wrote on Facebook. 

This $10 Decor product is actually widely used as a microwave rice cooker - and can cook up to four cups of fluffy rice in just minutes.

This $10 Decor product is actually widely used as a microwave rice cooker - and can cook up to four cups of fluffy rice in just minutes.

This $10 Decor product is actually widely used as a microwave rice cooker – and can cook up to four cups of fluffy rice in just minutes. 

Many insist it works better than an electric rice cooker and say the rice is just as good as if it were made using any other method

Many insist it works better than an electric rice cooker and say the rice is just as good as if it were made using any other method

Many insist it works better than an electric rice cooker and say the rice is just as good as if it were made using any other method 

How to use the Decor container to make perfect rice in the microwave 

Preparation time one minute. Cooking time 12 minutes.

Put into container 1 cup basmati, jasmine or medium/long grain rice and two cups hot water. 

Microwave without lid on high until cooked through (about 12 minutes). 

Remove from microwave. Cover with lid and let rest for 2 minutes. Fluff rice in jug using two forks. Serve.

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Another said: ‘I struggled to cook rice [before] until I bought this rice cooker. I use it all the time now,’ while one wrote: ‘Best ever rice every time.’

And one home cook added: ‘This is the best rice cooker I’ve had, beats the electric versions hands down.’

Others admitted they never knew their storage containers could cook rice.

‘What?! I had no idea. I have a cupboard full of these,’ one said, while another added: ‘A workmate of mine once referred to this as a “rice cooker container” but I just thought it was a plain old container… Now it makes sense.’

The 2.75-litre product features a red steam release vent to offer a splatter-free heating and cool to the touch handles for lifting in and out of the microwave. 

Each container comes with a handy measuring cup, a rice paddle and instructions explaining exactly how to cook rice in the microwave.

The microwave-safe product, which doubles as a rice cooker and a vegetable steamer, can cook up to four cups of fluffy rice in just minutes

The microwave-safe product, which doubles as a rice cooker and a vegetable steamer, can cook up to four cups of fluffy rice in just minutes

The microwave-safe product, which doubles as a rice cooker and a vegetable steamer, can cook up to four cups of fluffy rice in just minutes 

Each container comes with a handy measuring cup, a rice paddle and instructions (pictured) explaining exactly how to cook rice in the microwave

Each container comes with a handy measuring cup, a rice paddle and instructions (pictured) explaining exactly how to cook rice in the microwave

Each container comes with a handy measuring cup, a rice paddle and instructions (pictured) explaining exactly how to cook rice in the microwave

While many amused home cooks were stunned by the multi-purpose product, others revealed they have been cooking out of the storage containers for years.

Meanwhile, several people shared their own methods of cooking rice in the microwave using the storage container.

‘Two cups of washed rice, add four cups of hot water, put in with lid off, microwave 18 to 20 minutes,’ one woman instructed.

A second said: ‘I use one cup of rice to two cups of water and microwave for 10 minutes. I also put a plate under the container to catch the overflow of water. Cook with the lid on.’

And a third wrote: ‘I do one cup of rice to one-and-a-half cups of boiling hot water and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. Then let sit for about five minutes.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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