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Unemployment in New Zealand goes DOWN during the coronavirus pandemic

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unemployment in new zealand goes down during the coronavirus pandemic

Data showing joblessness in New Zealand has actually gone down during the coronavirus pandemic have been welcomed, albeit with sharp skepticism from some quarters.

Stats NZ on Wednesday produced an eye-blinking figure of 4 per cent unemployment for the June quarter, down from 4.2 per cent last quarter.

In May’s Budget, Treasury predicted the June rate would be 8.3 per cent.

Data showing joblessness in New Zealand has actually gone down during the coronavirus pandemic have been welcomed, albeit with sharp skepticism from some quarters. Jacinda Ardern is pictured last week

Data showing joblessness in New Zealand has actually gone down during the coronavirus pandemic have been welcomed, albeit with sharp skepticism from some quarters. Jacinda Ardern is pictured last week

Data showing joblessness in New Zealand has actually gone down during the coronavirus pandemic have been welcomed, albeit with sharp skepticism from some quarters. Jacinda Ardern is pictured last week

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the figures showed the ‘robustness of the economy’ and were a vindication of NZ’s hard lockdown, which eliminated COVID-19.

‘Being able to reopen our economy sooner has saved jobs. It is proof that getting on top of the virus is the best thing we can do for our economy,’ he said.

Mr Robertson noted comparative unemployment rates of 7.4 per cent in Australia and 11.1 in the USA.

Yet, as he acknowledged, the headline result doesn’t tell the full story.

Labour force participation and overall employment are also down as people left the workforce entirely.

Hours worked (down 10 per cent) and the underutilisation rate (10.4 per cent to 12 per cent) also slumped at record rates.

New Zealand has slowly been returning to normal following its strict lockdown. People are seen in Auckland

New Zealand has slowly been returning to normal following its strict lockdown. People are seen in Auckland

New Zealand has slowly been returning to normal following its strict lockdown. People are seen in Auckland

ASB Economics said the result ‘quashed widespread expectations of a large increase’ owing to workers abandoning the job hunt in lockdown.

‘Laid off workers opted (or were forced) to leave the labour force given the difficulties,’ chief economist Nick Tuffley said.

‘Today’s data are certainly welcome to the extent they indicate a stronger-than-expected starting point for the labour market. However … we know labour market conditions are likely to deteriorate from here.’

Throughout the surveyed period, the NZ Government used a $NZ13 billion ($A12 billion) wage subsidy scheme to keep Kiwis in jobs.

It ends this month.

Those who lose jobs will go on a bulked-up benefit for a further 12 weeks before reverting to baseline welfare.

Opposition Finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith said people not trying to find work showed a confidence drop-off.

‘Today’s unemployment figures don’t tell the full story of the jobs crisis we’re in as a country and are masked by the 452,425 people on wage subsidies,’ he said.

‘With wage subsidies set to wind down from 1 September, the real cost of this economic downturn will be felt then.’

The Greens said the figures added weight to their proposal to lift baseline benefits, funded by a wealth tax on the top six per cent of Kiwi earners.

‘COVID-19 has left tens of thousands more people working less hours than they want, resulting in less stable incomes and more uncertainty for families,’ co-leader Marama Davidson said.

Mr Robertson said the outlook for the rest of 2020 was gloomy.

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Masked man shot a teenage girl with a crossbow while in Brisbane Aldi charged with attempted murder

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masked man shot a teenage girl with a crossbow while in brisbane aldi charged with attempted murder

A masked man has been charged with attempted murder after a 15-year-old girl was hit by an arrow inside an Aldi supermarket near Brisbane. 

Queensland Police claimed the 25-year-old man opened fire in the Aldi at Booval in Ipswich at about 4.30pm on Tuesday before shoppers took him down.

The Bundamba man, wearing a black hoodie and mask, allegedly fired the bow at a female jogger and moving vehicle before entering the supermarket and hitting the teenager.

A man has been arrested after allegedly shooting a teenage girl with a crossbow in an Aldi supermarket near Brisbane

A man has been arrested after allegedly shooting a teenage girl with a crossbow in an Aldi supermarket near Brisbane

A man has been arrested after allegedly shooting a teenage girl with a crossbow in an Aldi supermarket near Brisbane

A teenage girl was treated for injuries to her hand and stomach and was taken to Queensland Children's Hospital in a stable condition

A teenage girl was treated for injuries to her hand and stomach and was taken to Queensland Children's Hospital in a stable condition

A teenage girl was treated for injuries to her hand and stomach and was taken to Queensland Children’s Hospital in a stable condition

He was first seen on Tuesday afternoon walking from Booval Railway Station along South Station Road holding a compound bow.  

He allegedly shot an arrow at a woman who was jogging but missed as he headed towards Aldi.

The man is then accused of shooting the arrow at a passing car before going into the supermarket where he shot a third arrow and hit the girl. 

It is believed a mobile phone may have saved her life as the arrow went through her finger and hit the device before piercing her stomach. 

He was restrained by members of the public until police arrived.

The teenager was taken to the Children’s Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening with wounds to her hand and stomach.

The man has been charged with attempted murder, torture and going armed so as to cause fear.

He will appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court on Wednesday. 

Police fronted media on Tuesday evening to give details of the incident.

‘Preliminary investigations haven’t identified that it’s a targeted attack,’ Detective Inspector Heath McQueen said.  

‘A witness has identified that male person discharge that bow, an arrow, at a female jogger who was passing by.’

‘What I am aware of is that upon discharging that bow within the Aldi store and striking the 15-year-old female some bystanders have bravely acosted that male person and detained that male person until police have arrived.’  

Queensland Police said the man opened fire in the Aldi at Booval in Ipswich at about 4.45pm on Tuesday before shoppers took him down

Queensland Police said the man opened fire in the Aldi at Booval in Ipswich at about 4.45pm on Tuesday before shoppers took him down

Queensland Police said the man opened fire in the Aldi at Booval in Ipswich at about 4.45pm on Tuesday before shoppers took him down

Witness Michelle Woods said she thought the alleged attacker was about to fire the crossbow at her as she drove past.  

‘He had eyeballed us in the car – gave us this weird look – and sort of half lifted it up and we thought he was going to start shooting at the car,’ she told the Brisbane Times

Onlookers took to Facebook warning people to stay away from the supermarket, with one saying the alleged attacker was wearing a mask. 

‘PLEASE BE AWARE! YOUNG MAN JUST SPOTTED WITH LOADED CROSSBOW NEAR ALDI (HAS WEIRD FACE MASK ON),’ one person said. 

Another said: ‘My partner just went to aldi and was told don’t go in there’s a man shooting bow and arrows. (Someone ran up to the car and told her before she got out).’ 

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Airlines rush to put on more flights after border restrictions are set to be eased

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airlines rush to put on more flights after border restrictions are set to be eased

Several airlines are scrambling to offer more flights as border restrictions between New South Wales and South Australia are set to be eased.

Last week SA lifted the quarantine requirements for people coming from the ACT and will do the same for travellers from NSW from Thursday.

That’s prompted an immediate response from the airlines with Virgin planning to resume Canberra to Adelaide flights from October 12 and to increase flights from Sydney to Adelaide to three each week from October 2.

The airline has flagged adding even more flights from November.

Qantas is also expected to add flights from Sydney to Adelaide this week along with budget airline Jetstar.

The long-awaited decision on SA’s border with NSW was made at Tuesday’s meeting of the state’s transition committee and came after initial plans to lift the isolation measures were stalled for weeks because of a cluster of coronavirus cases in Sydney.

‘This is going to be a relief that will be felt across our state, from an economic perspective and from a family perspective,’ Premier Steven Marshall said.

‘We know that this has been a massive burden on the business community and also on families and individuals.’

The premier said health officials had examined the concerning case of an infected Sydney taxi driver but were satisfied it was a risk that could be managed.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the decision to ease the border measures came after 14 days of no community transmission in NSW involving cases with an unknown origin.

‘I know people will be concerned about the taxi driver. But I’m very confident that person is not representative of community transmission,’ she said.

‘He did spend some time in the community while infectious. But many people have been asked to quarantine because of those exposures.’

Professor Spurrier has urged anyone travelling between SA and NSW to keep a close eye on the latest information in relation to coronavirus cases in Sydney and called for all travellers on planes to wear masks.

SA reported no new coronavirus cases on Tuesday and has no active infections.

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NBN will spend $4.5billion bringing high-speed connections to 10 million Australian homes

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nbn will spend 4 5billion bringing high speed connections to 10 million australian homes

Millions of homes and businesses are set to gain access to ultra-fast broadband speeds of up to one gigabit per second in an upgrade to the National Broadband Network.

The $4.5 billion network investment plan will give up to 75 per cent of fixed line premises, or 6 million homes, across regional and metropolitan Australia access to ultra-fast broadband by 2023.

This includes two million households that can access high-speed plans by requesting an extension of the fibre network from the street to the home.

Millions of homes and businesses are set to gain access to ultra-fast broadband speeds of up to one gigabit per second in an upgrade to the National Broadband Network

Millions of homes and businesses are set to gain access to ultra-fast broadband speeds of up to one gigabit per second in an upgrade to the National Broadband Network

Millions of homes and businesses are set to gain access to ultra-fast broadband speeds of up to one gigabit per second in an upgrade to the National Broadband Network 

Another 2.5 million households can upgrade to the Hybrid Fibre Coaxial network, and a further 1.5 million through the newer fibre-to-the-curb network.  

It will be financed through NBN Co borrowing from private debt markets.

Australians wanting quicker web speed c an have their household connected by fibre to the network for free, but will pay higher prices for their broadband plan in line with the $149 a month paid by consumers already connected directly by fibre. 

The plan will involve on-demand fibre to the node upgrades, capacity upgrades on the hybrid fibre coaxial network and work on the fibre to the curb network. 

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said Australians have a growing appetite for faster broadband speeds.

‘This is the right time for this network upgrade,’ he said, ahead of a speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday.

‘There is a long term trend of broadband demand growth with a very significant spike this year as COVID-19 has changed the way we use the internet.’

‘If a customer doesn’t ask for it, we won’t roll the fibre to your home. If the customer demonstrates that he or she has got the demand, then we will roll the fibre [out].

‘This is totally consistent with the approach we’ve followed for seven years, which is being responsive to demand and tailoring the rollout to demand.’  

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd, who announced the original NBN, has previously slammed the Federal Government for ditching the fibre-to-the-home rollout.

‘Labor’s NBN would have connected 93 per cent of premises with superfast fibre-optic cable & the rest by wireless/satellite. The Liberals butchered it,’ Mr Rudd said in June. 

From an economic perspective, the NBN is estimated to increase Australia’s GDP by $6.4 billion a year by 2024, including $1.5 billion into regional areas. 

The $4.5 billion network investment plan will give up to 75 per cent of fixed line premises across regional and metropolitan Australia access to ultra-fast broadband by 2023

The $4.5 billion network investment plan will give up to 75 per cent of fixed line premises across regional and metropolitan Australia access to ultra-fast broadband by 2023

The $4.5 billion network investment plan will give up to 75 per cent of fixed line premises across regional and metropolitan Australia access to ultra-fast broadband by 2023

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