Crikey Worm: Backyard blitz – Crikey

Good morning, early birds. Victoria has launched a COVID-19 testing blitz across 10 priority suburbs, and ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose has reportedly accused Communications Minister Paul Fletcher of lying about the national broadcaster’s efforts to collaborate with SBS. It’s the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.

(Image: AAP/Daniel Pockett)


In a bid to control community transmission and trace unknown cases, Victoria has launched a free testing blitz for everyone, symptomatic or asymptomatic, across 10 priority suburbs — Keilor Downs, Broadmeadows, Maidstone, Albanvale, Sunshine West, Hallam, Brunswick West, Fawkner, Reservoir and Pakenham — complete with a fleet of mobile vans, more than 1000 door-knockers, and new testing clinics opening in Casey Fields, Melbourne Showgrounds and Broadmeadows Central amongst other new sites.

While Dan Andrews announced ADF personnel will be assisting with logistics and tests, The Age reports that the request has been scaled down from more than 1000 members to about 250.

The blitz comes as NSW Health advises a two week quarantine for travellers from Melbourne’s hotspots, and, on the tracing front, reports that, two months after launch, COVIDSafe is yet to identify any unknown cases.

RACISM WATCH: Although clusters have emerged everywhere from cruises to schools to factories — thousands in England literally just swarmed beaches in a declared “major incident”Andrew Bolt has unsurprisingly jumped at an outbreak in Melbourne’s multicultural suburbs for an ad-hoc, “diversity is bad” op-ed Herald Sun has somehow deemed fit to publish.


According to The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose has accused Communications Minister Paul Fletcher of lying about the national broadcaster’s efforts to collaborate with SBS and slammed the Morrison government’s handling of the $84 million budget cut.

While largely invisible in the public discussion of the ABC’s 250 job losses, Buttrose has reportedly accused Fletcher of twice failing to provide the ABC board and management with data supporting a savings report that proposed closing two broadcast channels and sharing back-office and support services with the SBS.

PS: According to The AFR ($), the Morrison government will respond to this week’s other massive job blitz with an airline assistance scheme consisting of either a JobKeeper extension or tailor-made package.


According to The Guardian, the Research Bank has joined with more than 60 other central banks in world-first climate risk assessment that warns global GDP could fall by 25% by 2100 if countries don’t significantly ramp up decarbonisation efforts.

ROOM FOR HOPE: While it may have been another depressing week in Australian renewable news, Guardian UK reports that Britain hit almost 50% renewables for the first three months of 2020.


As America hits a “second surge” across states, Reuters reports that the governors of north-east governments New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have announced quarantine rules for eight high-risk states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

REVERSE-ROBODEBT: According to The Guardian, the Trump administration has sent almost $1.4 billion in coronavirus support payments to dead people due to a synchronisation failure between the IRS and US treasury, while also not using death records as a filter.


Finally, in maybe the first good news this year, the ABC reports that Australia and New Zealand have won an historic joint effort to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The trans-Tasman bid beat out final rival Colombia by 22 votes to 13 at a FIFA council meeting in Zurich overnight.


  • The Queensland government announced plans for a Clinical Stock Reserve, to be led by Queensland Health working with departments such as Treasury, the Departments of Premier and Cabinet, Housing and Public Works, Regional Development and Manufacturing, and others
  • In the latest federal-state JobMaker infrastructure pledges, $46 million will go towards Tasmanian projects
  • The South Australian government announced that, under the global #GoingGreenForParkies campaign celebrating open spaces and parks staff during the pandemic, buildings across Adelaide will be lit up in green until June 30, including Adelaide Oval, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide Town Hall and the Bicentennial Conservatory at Adelaide Botanic Garden.


There are no cuts … The ABC’s funding is increasing every year. The ABC would be the only media company or organisation in Australia today whose revenue, their funding, is increasing.

Scott Morrison

In what must be a big relief for 250 redundant staff, the prime minister explains that — unlike the $254 million slashed in 2014 — the ABC’s $84 million indexation freeze is not a budget cut: it’s just money they won’t get anymore.


Time to ban facial recognition in Australia before it wrecks more lives

“As the profound flaws and poor track record of facial recognition become apparent, Australian lawmakers, especially at the state level, look set to be left behind in an international move to block a technology that is already wrecking lives.

“Overnight, Boston banned the technology, following Oakland and San Francisco which banned it last year. Boston’s ban had the support of the Boston police, who declared the technology unreliable. States such as California, New Hampshire, and Oregon have more limited bans and a number of other states have restrictions on its use.”

Conflict of interest: does Deloitte have an issue in the Virgin sale?

“Deloitte is only days away from deciding who gets to buy Australia’s second biggest airline, Virgin.  But the independence of the accounting firm as administrators of one of the biggest corporate insolvencies in Australian history is in question.

“Crikey understands that Deloitte is the official auditor of a fund held by one of the two remaining bidders, Cyrus Capital Partners, meaning a sale to the company could potentially benefit Deloitte.”

Ten reasons why Jacqui Lambie should reject the university funding reform bill

“Strolling in my mind through Rome’s Tivoli Gardens, musing on Chapman’s Homer I… oh look, this article is just a direct communique to Jacqui Lambie (and to the strange DLP-Trendies mix — the Centre Alliance — a bit) but the rest of you can read it if you want.

“Jacqui, here’s why you should vote against Education Minister Dan Tehan’s higher-ed funding proposals, and not even do that peekaboo horse-trading, get a new playground for Ulverstone in exchange for abolishing the Health Department stuff.”


Coalition spends $2m on prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Witness K, even before trial

Quentin Bryce praises ‘strength and courage’ of Heydon’s alleged victims

China, India border dispute could flare again after China builds structures in Galwan Valley

Fiji proposes a ‘Bula Bubble’ to allow Australians to travel during the coronavirus pandemic

Flinders Street Station staff not told about cleaner’s coronavirus infection

Morrison government has failed in its duty to protect environment, auditor general finds

CFA boss resigns ahead of controversial fire services merger

Trump’s power to deport asylum seekers boosted by supreme court ruling

Warnings that migrant communities are being unfairly blamed for Melbourne coronavirus spike

The Australian Instagram influencers being paid to promote gas


Partisanship was never the problem. Labor needs to learn to leadKetan Joshi (RenewEconomy): “A few years ago, I came across an old video of a young Anthony Albanese standing his ground on his home turf, in the Inner West, in Sydney. A relatively big crowd of seething, infuriated climate deniers had gathered outside of his electorate office. They were protesting the time Albanese had referred to the anti-carbon-price protest, named the ‘convoy of confidence’, as the ‘convoy of no consequence’.”

Jim Chalmers may be a man with perhaps a better economic plan ($) — Graham Richardson (The Australian): “There can be no argument Scott Morrison is a good manager. Luck has been on his side too — other than the pandemic and its damage to us all. Assuming that no fiasco is on the way, there’s no doubt Labor has an Everest to climb. Australians must be given a convincing reason to vote against the Morrison government. So far that reason has not seen the light of day.”

The ABC and the dance of a thousand cutsAlan Sunderland (Meanjin): “So here we are again. Shuffling around in the same old dance, performing the steps we all know so well. The Government cuts the ABC’s funding yet again, blandly asserting that times are tough and we all need to live within our means. The public, who love and trust the ABC more than any other media outlet because they see it as their own, express their anger, sadness and fear.”




  • University and high school students will protest Education Minister Dan Tehan’s decision to double the cost of arts degrees.

  • Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders will speak at another national cabinet meeting, to include next phase restrictions and reopening arts venues.

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What’s On? Things to do from 25-27 June – Neos Kosmos

Entries still open for photographers to submit their work for the Athens Photo Festival 2020. The festival features work of emerging and established artists the world over. The festival aims to reflect the diversity of photography and visual culture today. The chosen works will be exhibited at the Benaki Museum in Athens from 16 September to 15 November
Closing date for entries: 30 June
For more information:

This year’s online edition of the annual Summer Nostos Festival features electronic music and dance performances at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Cultural Centre park in the south of Athens. Also available free online are the discussions from SNF Dialogues sessions.
Where: SNF Cultural Centre’s Park
When: Running until 28 June

The Ninth Penny Marathon an animal welfare fundraiser will be one with a difference. Thanks to COVID-19, participants are invited to send videos and photos of their fitness activities to the organizers. Registration to this year’s event is a symbolic commitment.
When: Sunday, 12 July.
Online platforms: post photos and videos to #pennymarathon2020 or email/Drop Box footage to:
Info: Go to the Penny Marathon Facebook page

The Hellenic-African Chamber of Commerce and Development are hosting a Doing Business with Africa webinar for Greek businesses exporting to African countries following the COVID-19 pandemic. Will include MrExportToAfrica and Greek embassy officials in North Africa.
When: 2pm (Greece time), 14 July.
Platform: Zoom
Information: Webinar link


Professor Louise Hitchcock will be presenting  a talk under the 2020 Greek History and Culture Seminars on the theme NaueII Swords, Germs and Iron: What the COVID-19 Pandemic can tell us abou the Bronze Age (12th Century BCE) Collpase in Greece.
Online: Greek Community of Melbourne’s links on  YouTube Live Stream or on Facebook Live Stream. To actively participate and ask questions you can pre-register through the Zoom Webinar link
Contact: Call 03 9662 2722 or email:
When: Thursday, 25 June. 7pm

This is the second instalment of the Isolated Digital Concerts. The stream is produced in collaboration The Boite, Harmonic Whale with support from the Clifton Hill/North Fitzroy Community Bank Branch
When: Friday, 26 June, 7pm to 8.30pm
Where: Online event streamed via Rebetika in Melbourne Facebook Page
Tickets: $20 via contribution link:
Information: Con Kalamaras 0419 194 030

Meet the Australian Sickle Cell Advocacy’s official ambassador Federal MP Maria Vamvakinou and listen to SCD talks with Agnes
When: Saturday, 27 June; 3 to 4pm.
Where: via Zoom

Rebetika in Melbourne present Wednesday Rebetiko Nights starting 1 July.
Where: Triakosia, 300 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill
When: 7pm every Wednesday, starting 1 July to 26 August
Contact: 94824931 or Wednesday Rebetiko Nights on Facebook

Membership applications for GCYM are now live. The organisation promotes shared Cypriot and Greek culture and creates a platform for youth to socialize with the community
Contact: or email: cy.apostolosandreas@gmail

The Ladder Art Space offers a different night out. Painting workshop all painting materials provided with tuition by professional artist. Take home your finished artwork on 30×40 stretched canvas. Bring your own nibbles and drinks. Social distancing requirement apply: 12 persons per studio
When: 16 July. 6.45pm to 8.45pm
Where: Ladder Art Space, 81 Denmark Street, Kew
Tickets: $55 via Eventbrite

Join series free online workshops that celebrate the diverse arts and crafts of Victoria’s multicultural communities hosted by the Victorian Multicultural Commission. The workshops are also suitable for older primary school and secondary school learners.
When: June and July
Contact: Telephone (03) 7005 1267; or email: to get a programme and register for each event or try this Link to the VMC.


The Greek Stage Theatre presents four performances of the comedy Ζωή Μετά Χαμηλών Πτήσεων (Living Flying Low) by the anonymous Greek playwright Arkas, every Saturday in July.
Where: Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales premises, 206-210 Lakemba Street, Lakemba
When: 6pm every Saturday in July (4,11,18 and 25)
Contact: 0450 724 600
Tickets: $35 including meal.
Social distancing rules apply.

Greek lessons for adults via Zoom or small classes organised at Greek Bilingual Workshop.
When: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Beginners to advanced intermediate. Reading groups, conversation and vocabulary. Skype lessons available
Cost: Group lessons from $25; $65 at the bookshop, $75 from home
When: Lessons held Mondays, Tuesdays Wednesdays
Where: Online or 837 New Canterbury Rd, Dulwich Hill, Sydney
Contact: or call 0400 436 079


The Kalymnian Brotherhood Darwin and the Greek Orthodox Community North Australia (GOCNA) and the Cyprus Community are holding a Festival to celebrate the Feast of St Panteleimon. Food, drink and dance, children’s activities
Where: Kalymnian Brotherhood, 64 Batten Road,Marrara, Darwin
When: Saturday, 25 July. Starting at 10am until late