Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Mon 10 Aug 2020



The Northern Territory news Mon 10 Aug 2020

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT






Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

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News Corp Australia

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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News Corp Australia



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MONDAY AUGUST 10 2020 NEWS 11 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA FINANCE Minister Mathias Cormann has said Australia needs to taper its reliance on JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments, as the countrys debt estimates rise above $850bn. Speaking on ABCs Insiders program, the Liberal senator said the economy needed a phased transition back to normal conditions by the end of March 2021. At the end of September, the federal governments JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme will lower payments from $1500 to $1200 per fortnight. We do need to transition out of this historically unprecedented crisis-level fiscal support and get the economy into the new normal in an appropriately phased transition, Mr Cormann said. If facts change, well reassess what may or may not be appropriate at the time. Treasury has previously predicted gross debt for the end of the financial year would stand at $852bn, or 45 per cent of gross domestic product. Mr Cormann said the uncertainty surrounding Victorias inability to contain the virus, and newly imposed border shutdowns, could result in changes to the governments current policy stance. Weve been flexible in the past when it comes to what has been a rapidly evolving and fluid situation., he said. Weve responded to things as theyve emerged. But moving forward, our intention is to transition the economy and to transition the fiscal policy settings back to the new normal by the end of March. A FORMER Lone Wolf bikie charged with damaging commonwealth property after staging a headline-grabbing two-day rooftop protest at the Villawood detention centre, was released on bail back to the scene of the alleged crime. Fatongia Hanisi, 44, and two other men climbed onto the roof during Easter, and fashioned makeshift nooses tied to the roof and threatened to hang themselves if they and others were not released to escape the threat of COVID-19. The men made a video message to Scott Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, showing one of the men demonstrating how he would put a pillowcase over his head and jump if detainees were not released. After two days, Australian Border Force officers intervened and the men were removed from the roof, arrested by NSW police, charged and remanded in custody. Mr Hanisi had been on remand in Parklea Prison until late last month, when he applied for bail. The Tongan national, in Villawood for three years as a visa overstayer, had been fighting moves to deport him to Tonga when he climbed onto the roof to protest. A Home Affairs spokesman said the decision to grant bail and the conditions of release were made by the NSW courts. It is understood that after inquiries by News Corp, Mr Hanisi has been removed from Villawood and is understood to have been flown to a detention centre in Northam, near Perth. Cormann eyes March 2021 for a new normal GERARD COCKBURN gerard.cockburn@news.com.au PHARMACISTS are adding up to five charges to the price of prescription medicines that nearly quadruple the cost. A News Corp Australia investigation has found the problem has been made even worse by a new agreement reached in secret between the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) and the federal government. A bitter pill to swallow Secret fees pushing up the cost of prescription meds SUE DUNLEVY sue.dunlevy@news.com.au The price of the most commonly-used prescription medicines plummeted after they came off patent in recent years, with 14 of the most commonly prescribed drugs now costing less than $6 when they leave the manufacturers door. Some cost as little as $1.20 per pack to produce. However, under a deal reached in secret between the PGA and the government, chemists are permitted to add five separate fees totalling $18.11 that can drive up the cost to more $20. The fees which cover the cost of pulling the packs off the shelves and sticking a label on them can be even higher for more expensive medicines. The charges are set out in the recently-negotiated Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement, which governs what chemists can charge for medicines supplied under the nations medicines subsidy scheme. Under the deal reached between the PGA, which represents 3500 pharmacy owners, and the federal government in June pharmacists can add on to the manufacturers price: A WHOLESALE mark-up worth 41 cents (from January 2021) AN administration and handling fee of $4.28 A DISPENSING fee of $7.74 A SAFETY net recording fee of $1.29 and AN additional allowable patient charge of $4.39 The price of the most commonly-prescribed medicines could rise by up to 67 cents per script from January as a result of this new agreement. Consumer health groups were banned from taking part in the negotiations over the increased charges. The Consumers Health Forum chief Leanne Wells said she was disappointed that the new agreement between the federal government and pharmacy owners had failed to give more weight to proposals for greater input from consumers and more transparency. But PGA national president George Tambassis said consumers could and did shop around for the best price if that is their priority. Ex-bikie sent back to scene of the crime NATALIE OBRIEN natalie.obrien@news.com.au Bitcoin bounces back, but buyers beware ANTHONY KEANE anthony.keane@news.com.au BITCOIN has doubled in value since the COVID-19 crash in March, but potential investors are being warned that its future direction remains a mystery. The cryptocurrency that captured Australians im agination three years ago is back in the spotlight, and seen by some as a safe haven investment in an uncertain world. One of the worlds most volatile investments, the price of a single Bitcoin surged from $1000 to $25,000 between late 2016 and late 2017, then tumbled back to $5000 by early last year, and is currently back above $15,000. Many traditional investors shun it, despite the growing importance of its technology in the finance world and its stellar rise since it cost 10,000 Bitcoins to buy two pizzas a decade ago. AMP Capital head of in vestment strategy Shane Oliver said he was still pretty sceptical. If you got in when everyone was talking about it three years ago, you are still a way behind, he said. Its incredibly volatile, he added. You may as well throw darts at a dartboard or throw a dice. The cryptocurrency is seen by some brave investors as a good bet during these uncertain economic times. Picture: AFP

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