A Sniippet of weekly news #13 – July 2020

Australia looks headed for lockdown 2.0 with the number of coronavirus cases climbing in Victoria and Sydney.

Concerned about the impact of the Victorian lockdown on the nascent economic recovery, the Treasurer is looking to bring its tax cuts forward. Other measures are pending.

Declassified letters have cleared the Queen from any direct involvement in Whitlam’s dismissal.

In the personal finance section, we look at how to improve your credit score.

And on Japanese roller coasters, no one can hear you scream! 

The one-minute weekly recap

A Sniippet for You

Biggest drop in apartment rents in 15 years (AFR, 9 July)

  • National apartment rents fell 3.2 percent in the June quarter, the biggest drop in more than 15 years
  • Hobart’s rents fell by 8.4 percent while Sydney’s fell 3.8 per cent 
  • Sydney rents are now at their lowest in five years, having fallen 9.1 per cent from their 2017 peak

Retail investors pile in as professionals exit (AFR, 13 July)

  • Retail investors have bought $9bn in shares since March while institutional investors have sold $11bn according to research by Vesparum Capital
  • ASIC has reported a spike in first-time investors
  • Despite warnings early in the crisis, investing during the crisis has paid dividends so far

Frydenberg could bring forward tax cuts (AFR, 8 July)

  • The government could bring forward already legislated personal income tax cuts in response to the outbreak in Victoria and its effect on the national economy
  • The government is also considering  targeted income support measures for workers post-September
  • The government will announce the future of JobKeeper and JobSeeker on July 23

NSW government awards $1m grant to develop ‘flying car’ (The Guardian, 10 July)

  • Startup AMSL Aero is building an electric aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter but flies like a plane
  • The prototype will be the size of a family car with a range of Canberra to Sydney
  • The grant will be used to build a test facility in Narromine

The fish in your “Fish & Chips” has been listed as critically endangered (The Guardian, 13 July)

  • ‘Flake’, the fish used by fish and chip shops is actually the school shark
  • The school shark was designated critically endangered last week by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • In Australia, the species is listed as “conservation dependent”, which allows commercial sales to continue

Queen Elizabeth given no warning of Whitlam dismissal (AFR, July 14)

  • Kerr was in frequent communication with the Queen’s Private Secretary over the crisis. He feared Whitlam was going to replace him.
  • Kerr decided it was best not to tell the Queen he was going to sack Whitlam
  • Whitlam wanted the Queen to reinstate him

A Sniippet of Finance advice

How to fix your credit score (moneysmart.gov.au)

  • Contact the credit provider or credit reporting agency if they have obvious details wrong e.g. a debt is listed twice or they don’t show that you have entered into a payment plan for a debt
  • lower your credit card limits
  • limit you applications for credit cards and loans
  • pay your bills within 60 days

A Sniippet of Brain food

Different physical exercises to help different brain functions (The Guardian)

  • Walk or cycle while revising something to improve retention
  • Both aerobic and resistance exercise can be “moderately effective” in treating depressive symptoms
  • Walking leads to more creative thinking
  • Weightlifting has positive effects on the brain

A Sniippet of Trivia

Japanese theme parks reopened but with screaming on roller coasters banned (The Daily Mail, 13 July)

  • Japanese theme parks reopened last month but with a ban on screaming because of the risk of coronavirus
  • Visitors have been complaining about the rule
  • In response to complaints, two Japanese theme park executives have filmed themselves riding their park’s roller coaster in silence
  • When opened in 1996, it was the world’s largest roller coaster 

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