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Victorian childcare providers and users should find out what the plan is for the industry in that state in the next hour, following the closure of centres to all but essential workers.

Bill Shorten however, says it shouldn’t need a new scheme, given Jobkeeper is already in place:

We can’t wind back the supports which were put in place for the pandemic when Victoria’s still going through the palm. It’s a sad day in Melbourne today.

We’ve got this… I sometimes feel, and you’ll excuse the degree of frustration, but it’s our small businesses who are doing it hard.

Marise Payne called in to Sydney radio 2GB this morning to talk about the Beirut blast:

Tragically, we have lost one Australian. We are not going into the details of that at the moment, while we work with family and consular authorities to support them. And we are very, very sorry about that and convey our sympathy to the family and friends of that Australian. But as you say, Ben, the size of this event, the size of the explosion, and its impact, is going to have caused a very significant number of fatalities. So we will work closely with local authorities to establish the extent of the impact on Australians. You’ve referred to, and I know the Prime Minister has said this morning, we think there are usually around 20,000 Australians, including dual nationals in Lebanon, at any one time. That figure may have been impacted by movements related to COVID-19, but it’s still a very considerable figure and our team has been working very hard to support them.

The Australian embassy has been considerably impacted. We had, I am advised by the Ambassador, about 95 per cent of our windows blown out by the impact. A number of staff have received glass injuries. They are being supported and looked after. Thankfully none of those injuries is very serious. But, of course, it’s a shocking and terrifying incident to be dealing with and I really send our thoughts to our teams who are on the ground in Beirut, including Ambassador Rebekah Grindlay.

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