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Around 2500 businesses to hit the wall unless insolvency supports extended

Here’s some more of the story on page one of both papers this morning, from economics reporter Jennifer Duke in the Canberra bureau.

Insolvency firms are preparing for a spike in the number of companies going broke at the end of this month, when safe harbour rules introduced in March to help businesses hibernate through lockdowns are due to end.

The government is thinking of pushing back the deadline to allow companies to trade while insolvent beyond September 30, sparking a debate over how long to continue federal support to struggling companies.

The shielding of businesses, including billions of dollars in government stimulus and wage subsidy spending, has resulted in a dramatic drop in insolvencies on CreditorWatch data. While some employers that have been protected will recover, CreditorWatch chief executive Patrick Coghlan warned there were about 2500 businesses that were no longer viable being kept afloat by the rules.

Today’s front pages

Here’s what is making news on the front pages of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald today.

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Robert Pattinson ‘tests positive for COVID-19’, pausing production of The Batman

Actor Robert Pattinson has tested positive for COVID-19, causing production in Britain on the set of his film The Batman to pause, Vanity Fair and the Hollywood Reporter reported on Thursday.

Warner Bros, the Hollywood studio behind the movie, said in a statement that “a member of The Batman production had tested positive for the coronavirus”, but did not give a name.

Robert Pattinson has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

Robert Pattinson has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.Credit:Invision

“Filming is temporarily paused,” the Warner Bros statement added.

World passes 26 million cases

There have now been 26 million coronavirus cases recorded across the world, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.

Most of those have been in this US, which has now hit 6.1 million cases. Brazil has recorded 3.9 million cases and India 3.8 million cases. Looking at each of these country’s curves, we can see India’s numbers are looking like they will rise sharply over the next few weeks.

Welcome to today’s blog

Good morning and welcome to today’s blog, on what is shaping up to be quite a busy Friday. This is Mary Ward taking you through the morning’s developments.

National cabinet will meet today, with the Prime Minister set to discuss a number of border matters with state and territory leaders. On the agenda is a nationally agreed upon definition of a hotspot to guide border closures, a more general discussion about when borders can reopen and the closures’ effect on regional communities, and a code guaranteeing free movement for agricultural workers.

The Victorian inquiry into hotel quarantine is also on again today, with a police officer stationed at one of the hotels as well as representatives from the state Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions being questioned.

In amongst all of this, there will of course be the day’s numbers. Victoria’s new cases went back into double-digits on Thursday, as NSW deals with ongoing community transmission – recording three new cases with no known source.

We will be bringing you live coverage throughout the day. As always, please send me a tweet or use this form if there is something happening in your community that you think we should be covering.

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