Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Dept Of Defence will not end DCNS/Naval Group submarine contracts, despite DCNS threatening non-compliance with terms: Frydenberg naive to believe that DCNS will agree to his call for "hibernation" of business activity,Morrison must show leadership and terminate contracts

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg wants to put the global economy into a “controlled hibernation”. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg wants to put the global economy into a “controlled 
hibernation”. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMOSource:Supplied

The ABC reported in February this year:

Relations between the Federal Government and the French company designing Australia's future submarines have hit a new low, with the Defence Minister declaring she will hold the group to account on its local industry commitments.

The Minister's blistering attack followed comments from France-based Naval Group questioning the capability of local suppliers, and suggestions Australian businesses may not get half of the value of contracts under the $80 billion program.

Naval Group Australia chief executive John Davis told The Australian newspaper on Thursday that the company "didn't know the Australian market before we joined the program".

"Now we have a much deeper insight, and we recognise there is a lot more work to be done than we anticipated," he said.

A furious Defence Minister Linda Reynolds expressed her disappointment at the comments and said she would discuss the Government's expectation of strong Australian industry involvement when she met her French counterpart in Europe on Friday.

"I am disappointed by the comments attributed to Naval Group Australia on the Future Submarine Program as they do not reflect the strong collaboration between Naval Group and Australian industry on this program of national significance," Senator Reynolds said in a statement.

Meanwhile the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is trying to finance his record breaking spending by asking nicely that the rest of the world follow his lead and go into hibernation: 

“Our priority should be putting the global economy into controlled hibernation while quarantine measures are in place,” he said.
“That is, finance the global health response, maintain financial stability, minimise job losses, keep businesses going, and ensure the basic needs of the global population are met.”

That is not going to happen and the rest of the world, including DCNS,will expect payment from the Australian Government whenever it falls due. The Prime Minister Scott Morrison should take charge and end the DCNS/Naval Group dud sub contracts. As explained (see below) Covid-19 may well be a force majeure event that can enable the  Australian Government to terminate the contracts without penalty.



"Generations to come" committed to financing the $230 Billion Wuhan Virus rescue package : Better that Morrison start cutting expenses now, start with the $250 Billion DCNS/Naval Group contracts.

Monday, March 30, 2020

"Generations to come" committed to financing the $230 Billion Wuhan Virus rescue package : Better that Morrison start cutting expenses now, start with the $250 Billion DCNS/Naval Group contracts.

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has warned that  "generations to come" have been committed to financing his  $230 Billion  Wuhan Virus rescue package: 

The Government has announced more than $230 billion in measures in recent weeks aimed at buffering the Australian economy from the pandemic.
The Treasurer said while it would take generations to pay off the debt the Government would incur, it was essential in unprecedented times.
"I'm obviously very conscious of the debt burden that will be shouldered by generations to come," he said.
"But that is why having a responsible fiscal position is so important."

Surely " having a responsible fiscal position" requires review of all government contracts, and surely that must involve a review of the DCNS/Naval Group submarine contracts, which have been estimated to cost Australia $ 225 Billion over the 60 year life of the contracts, and $ 80 Billion just to acquire? 
The $ 80 Billion does not account for  cost blow outs, which are common in defence contracts.


Monday, March 23, 2020

PM Morrison can save billions by terminating the DCNS/Naval Group "Attack Class" submarine contracts : Covid 19 could be a Force Majeure event

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Collins class submarines HMAS Dechaineux, HMAS Waller and HMAS Sheean
PHOTO: Australia is being urged to buy nuclear-powered submarines when it replaces its fleet of Collins class subs. (ADF)

The Covid-19/Wuhan Virus contagion has economic consequences that are already becoming apparent, and Australians have been told that matters can only get worse.

The contagion and its consequences could not have been foreseen when the Australian Government entered into contracts with DCNS/Naval Group to design and build Australia's next generation of submarines. It does appear to be a force majeure event; indeed the consequences might create a series of force majeure events in for example continuing and  extreme Commonwealth budgets deficits that put the cost of even designing the submarines beyond the capacity of the Commonwealth.

See Also

Now that Alan Jones has (correctly) condemned the Turnbull submarines, l'affaire Adelaide has become a Sydney as well as Canberra issue

To Be Read With
French submarine program 'dangerously off track' warns report urging Australia to consider nuclear alternativeBy defence correspondent 

Andrew Greene

Updated 11 Mar 2020, 9:41am

Australia's $80 billion Future Submarine Program is "dangerously off track" according to a new report that urges the Government to ditch the controversial project and consider a nuclear option.

Key points:

  • The report indicates there are fears the current project is at a high risk of failing
  • The Defence Minister denies those fears and maintains the project remains on track
  • Under a proposed "Plan B" scenario, the company that designed the Collins class submarines would prepare an updated design
Businessman Gary Johnston, who commissioned and funded the study, fears the current plan to build 12 attack class submarines designed by French company Naval Group is at "high risk" of failing.
His report, prepared by Insight Economics, suggests Australia should instead immediately begin work on a "Plan B" — an evolved version of the current Collins class fleet — before eventually acquiring nuclear-powered boats.
Earlier this year, a report from the auditor-general confirmed the Future Submarine Program was running nine months late and Defence was unable to show whether the $396 million spent so far had been "fully effective".
"The Government's own advisory body, including three American admirals, even recommended the Government should consider walking away from the project," Mr Johnston said.
Under the proposed "Plan B", Swedish company Saab Kockums, which designed the navy's Collins class submarines, would be asked to prepare an updated design for the future submarine fleet.
In 2022-23, both Naval Group and Saab will present their competing preliminary design studies for building the first batch of three submarines in Adelaide — based on a fixed price, capability, delivery and local content.
Mr Johnston, along with former naval officers in the Submarines for Australia organisation, argue that over the long term the Government should begin preparing to acquire nuclear submarines.
With Beijing's growing military assertiveness in the South China Sea, Mr Johnston said the most disturbing finding in the report was that by the 2030s the effectiveness and survivability of Australia's submarines in a high-intensity theatre would be threatened.
"If the Government wants to continue deploying submarines to this theatre alongside the US Navy, the nation's duty of care to the dedicated men and women of the ADF means we will need to begin the long and difficult process of acquiring nuclear-powered submarines," Mr Johnston said.
"With our very small nuclear industry, that will not be easy — but we can make a start."

Government rejects report, issues warning

The Submarines for Australia report will be formally launched by ANU Emeritus Professor Hugh White at the National Press Club today, but it is already drawing fire from the Morrison Government.
"I totally reject the premise that this project is 'dangerously off track', as stated in the new Submarines for Australia report", Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said.
"The delivery of the attack class submarine remains on track, with construction set to commence in 2023."
Senator Reynolds said the technical feasibility of delivering an evolved Collins class submarine was reviewed in 2013-14, but a review found it would be equivalent to a whole new design, involving similar costs and risks, without a commensurate gain in capability.
"This assessment by Submarines for Australia will only increase cost, delay the delivery, and put at risk our submarine capability."
The Defence Minister also flatly rejected any suggestion of a nuclear-powered submarine in the future.
"As has been the policy of successive Australian Governments, a nuclear-powered submarine is not being considered as an option for the attack class submarine," Senator Reynolds said.
First posted 11 Mar 2020, 2:28am

While the terms of the contracts have been kept confidential it does appear that Covid-19 is a Force Majeure event that the Morrison Government could rely on to terminate the contracts at minimal penalty, if any.

As reported by very many (see for example story below) the contracts are riddled with problems, and the economic consequences of Covid-19 will amplify those problems. 

Virgin Australia: Why a bail-out, and not a rights issue,and why is the Australian taxpayer being asked to underwrite the Chinese Government controlled HNA's 19.85% stake in the airline?

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Virgin Australia Ltd's market capitalisation has collapsed since listing.

China's HNA owns a 19.85% stake in Virgin. HNA has been in financial trouble for quite some time, and is in the process of being taken over by the Chinese Government. 

Virgin seeks an Australian Government cash bail-out, when it should instead seek funding from its shareholders, including HNA. To put this in another way, the Australian Government is being asked to take the risk that Virgin's major shareholders are not prepared to take. 

Virgin Australia is 90 per cent owned by offshore airlines including Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Nanshan Group, HNA Group, and Richard Branson's Virgin group.

Nanshan of China also owns about 20% of Virgin, and appears to have strong Communist Party links.

Nanshan founder Song Zuowen was the man who took the company from nothing to what it is today. At one stage, he was both the chair of Nanshan (he has since stepped down in favour of his son) and Communist party head of Nanshan the village. That is highly unusual in China. Nanshan Group basically was the government in Nanshan.  Supplied


China may take over HNA, which has a 20pc Virgin Australia stake
Will Willitts

Online editor
Mar 2, 2020 – 1.39pm


China plans to take over HNA Group and sell off its airline assets as the coronavirus outbreak has hit the Chinese conglomerate's ability to meet financial obligations, Bloomberg has reported.

China has begun assuming control of debt-laden HNA Group, which has a 19.85 per cent stake in Virgin Australia, as Beijing tries to soften the blow from the coronavirus' hit to the national economy, Bloomberg reports.

Virgin Australia shares closed at a record low last Tuesday, but were up 4.8 per cent at midday at 11¢ a share. Glenn Hunt

At the weekend, the Hainan provincial government appointed new leaders for HNA and "assuming management of its liquidity risks is tantamount to China declaring it’s taking over decision making at the group", the news agency cited people familiar with the matter as saying.

"State authorities will now go through HNA’s books to figure out how to sell off the group’s assets and pay off debt," Bloomberg reported.

"HNA said the move doesn’t translate to a takeover and doesn’t involve changes in the controlling shareholder. A representative for HNA didn’t immediately respond to requests for further comment," Bloomberg reported.

Virgin Australia shares closed at a record low last Tuesday, but were up 4.8 per cent at midday at 11¢ a share. The major shareholders in Australia's second-biggest carrier also include Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Nanshan Group and Richard Branson's Virgin Group.

HNA's travel business has been so "decimated" by the coronavirus outbreak that Beijing has concluded "the Hainan-based group wouldn’t be able to avert collapse without state intervention". HNA has debt totalling some $US75 billion ($115.2 billion).

“What’s happening to HNA is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s coming for a lot of companies in China," Bloomberg quoted Warut Promboon, managing partner at credit research firm Bondcritic, as saying.

HNA owns several carriers including its flagship Hainan Airlines. About 80 per cent of China flights have been halted because of the coronavirus outbreak, and the Montreal-based International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates the epidemic will cost the global industry about $US30 billion in lost revenue, the report said.

Revisiting Robert Gottliebsen's warning to Australian politicians and public servants in 2017 : Misleading the public is an offence , punishable with 12 months in jail. For application to the Wuhan Virus crisis see ABC 4 Corners "Pandemic"

by Ganesh Saahthevan

An excerpt from Robert Gottliebsen's column in THE AUSTRALIAN , published in March 2017, where he was writing about another (and ongoing) policy debacle: 

We are fortunate in Australia to have a section of the criminal code that covers politicians and public servants who make false statements or mislead the public. It sets out that if they are guilty of an offence they can be punished with 12 months jail. Every word uttered by ministers as they vandalised the network and created higher prices needs to be examined to determine whether an offence has been committed. It’s not my job to say they have committed an offence and, as is their right, the politicians will fight any prosecutions with great vigour.

As to what Australian politicians and public servants have not done to protect the health and wealth of Australians from the Wuhan Virus watch and read ABC Four Corners Pandemic:

Pandemic: The fight to contain coronavirus


Stakes raised over gas ‘crime’The Australian
Robert Gottliebsen
30 March 2017
Former trade minister Andrew Robb has taken an unprecedented and important step towards bringing the politicians who vandalised our power and gas systems before the courts.
I emphasise that Robb did not describe as “criminals” the politicians who put NSW, Victoria and South Australia at risk of blackouts and forced hundreds of thousands of Australians to consider installing their own generators or batteries.
But at this week’s Food Forum Robb did describe what happened as a “crime”. I believe it is the first time a former Coalition minister has used the word “crime” to describe the destruction of low-cost energy.
He did not discuss blackout danger but, if anything, that is a greater “crime”.
I emphasise that Robb did not say politicians should be prosecuted, but now the “crime” word has been used, if we have power blackouts in NSW, Victoria, or South Australia over the next two summers an enraged community is going to demand that the perpetrators of the “crime” — the politicians — be hauled before the courts.
As I have described previously there is a 75 per cent risk of blackouts in NSW and Victoria. But it might not happen. The politicians could be lucky.
We are fortunate in Australia to have a section of the criminal code that covers politicians and public servants who make false statements or mislead the public. It sets out that if they are guilty of an offence they can be punished with 12 months jail. Every word uttered by ministers as they vandalised the network and created higher prices needs to be examined to determine whether an offence has been committed. It’s not my job to say they have committed an offence and, as is their right, the politicians will fight any prosecutions with great vigour.
The question for the courts to decide will be whether the community was told by the politicians that, to guarantee supply security, solar and wind installations required backup facilities and a reconfiguration of the power network, which the politicians did not undertake.
In addition, was the community told that blocking gas developments in NSW and Victoria would create supply dangers given Gladstone required southern gas. Prices of energy would have to rise.
Quite rightly, Senate crossbencher Nick Xenophon is refusing to allow tax cuts until the power and gas mess is sorted out. And he is right. Few local or overseas groups are going to make substantial new investments in Australia while power and gas prices are out of control, plus substantial gas shortages and blackouts are on the menu.
The federal government may need to declare a state of emergency and restore Hazelwood, given that a “crime” has been committed, as well as accelerating the Snowy plan and quickly taking other emergency measures.
Like Andrew Robb and my readers, I can’t help thinking about why our politicians made such fundamental and catastrophic errors. I have written about the need for advice outside the public service and the “yes” people among the ministerial advisers. But watch question time in state and federal parliaments and you will see politicians using too much of their time thinking up ways to abuse each other.
That time could be used to make sure we avoid blackouts.
Vast amounts of state and federal government resources are used to duplicate what the other is doing, and usually one bags the other so no decisions can be made. We need to synchronise power structures so states control some areas and Canberra others. When duplication is ended, not only do we save countless billions but real policy can be determined, rather than developing new weapons for the state/Commonwealth fights.
Paradoxically, it was Andrew Robb who in the lead-up to the 2013 Abbott election victory was shadow finance minister and set out detailed plans to save those billions by ending state-federal duplication.
But Tony Abbott made him trade minister, and since then the Coalition in government has set about increasing duplication and infighting, which takes state and federal politicians’ eyes off the ball and leads them to poor decision-making.
Maybe long blackouts and gas shortages are what the community needs to rewrite federation and change the way we make decisions. It is the most important issue in the nation.
The Australian

Berejiklian says "act like you have it" now but did not think this was necessary when inviting Chinese to come celebrate the Sydney Lunar New Year Festival in January,and then there was the Ruby Princess disaster: Berejiklian and her SEMC Chairman Andrew Cappie-Wood must face consequences immediately

by Ganesh Sahathevan

                   ‘Act like you have it’: NSW Premier says community transmission is the focus

NSW Premier Gladys Berejuiklian now says "act like you have it" now but for some bizarre reason did not think that attitude was necessary early this year after the Wuhan Virus became evident in China and Chinese.As reported on this blog:

City of Sydney Lunar New Year 2020 Festival became an obvious security risk by mid-Jan if not earlier-NSW Premier to blame

To understand the  extent of Berejiklian's sense of panic, read story below and compare that to her attitude to entrants from China in January and February, and her management of the Ruby Princess disaster.

It is obvious that the Premier, and her State Emergency Management Committee Chairman Andrew Cappie-Wood are attempting to cover-up their mistakes by imposing ever more draconian, expensive measures on the people of NSW.
Both of them and the officers involved must stand down, and face the consequences of their actions.


NSW Authorities are pleading with residents to just pretend they have the virus, in order to reduce community spread.

But Premier Gladys Berejiklian says these aren’t the number to be focusing on right now.
“Whilst the number of cases have stabilised there’s a number of reasons for that, and what’s of concern to all of us is that unknown.
“That level of community to community transmission that you might not pick up because people don’t have the symptoms.
“And that’s the real threat, people walking around without symptoms not realising they have the disease.
“That’s why its really important for everybody to assume they have it, and act like they have it,” Premier Berejiklian said this morning.
The state’s Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant says NSW Health will be ramping up testing in those areas that have seen community transfer breakouts, including in Bondi.
“It’s pleasing to see a decline, but we need to remain cautious, we have seen a decline in testing numbers.
“Hence today, I’m really urging that we increase the testing, particularly in areas where there’s community transmission, or around clusters and that’s really to assure ourselves that we have identified as many cases as possible in the community.
“It’s important to know that case detection, us finding those cases early, and then isolating cases and quarantining – that’s putting into isolation those cases around that confirmed case – are important strategies for preventing onward transmission in the community.
“And this important public health measure complements the social distancing strategies that the government has put in place.
“But the contract tracing by identifying these cases early in the community and identifying contacts is an important public health measure that we will need to continue with throughout this pandemic, as the community spread occurs,” Doctor Chant said.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Australians returning to Australia are subject to mandatory quarantine under police and army guard; why were the 30,000 Chinese students who returned in February 2020 not subject to the same?

by Ganeh Sahathevan 

Even Nine/Fairfax owned SMH was compelled to report on 12 March 2020:

A third of the 106,000 Chinese students initially trapped offshore by the coronavirus travel ban have made their way to Australia after waiting out their 14-day isolation periods in third countries.
Since mid-February, 31,196 Chinese students have landed in Australia, Department of Home Affairs figures show. In recent weeks, up to 1000 students a day have been arriving to start or return to their studies.
Phil Honeywood, chief executive of the International Education Association of Australia and chair of the global reputation taskforce co-ordinating the response to the coronavirus, said it was not surprising students were doing whatever they could to return to Australia.
"We are talking about young people who have invested an incredible amount of time and finances into getting an education outcome from an Australian university or other provider," he said.
Some universities, including Western Sydney University, the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University, have helped students with travel and other costs incurred by the disruption.
....Australian Border Force commissioner Michael Outram said Chinese students returning via third countries "did what we wanted them to do" by quarantining themselves.

Border Force has not provided any evidence of how it monitored the students.Yet now Australians returning to Australia are subject to quarantine under police and army guard, and criminal penalties.
Given the Ruby Princess debacle,Australians are entitled to know why the Morrison Government did not subject the Chinese students to the same quarantine orders.
Importantly we are entitled to know how the Chinese students and other visitors from China have or have not contributed to the Wuhan Virus contagion.


To Be Read With

ScoMo's new quarantine orders should have been introduced in January,Brendan Murphy's advice to blame, he must pay the price. Meanwhile expertise of the Special Operations Engineer Regiment required immediately if Wuhan Virus damage is to be managed efficiently

ABC timeline of Wuhan Virus illustrates clearly how Virus was brought into Queensland by Chinese from Wuhan as early as Jan 21 2020: State & Cth negligent in not imposing mandatory quarantine in January

Friday, March 27, 2020

ABC timeline of Wuhan Virus illustrates clearly how Virus was brought into Qld by Chinese from Wuhan as early as Jan 21 2020: State & Cth negligent in not imposing mandatory quarantine in January

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy speaks during a press conference updating on the novel coronavirus at Parliament House in Canberra.
In January Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy seemed 
more interested in playing Human Rights Commissioner

This is a timeline published by the ABC. It illustrates clearly how the Wuhan Virus was brought into Queensland   by Chinese from Wuhan as early as Jan 21 2020.

 State & Commonwealth governments refused to to impose Singapore style mandatory quarantines like Singapore, despite there being a discrete group of travellers who could have been identified at entry, tested and quarantined.

Australian governments were more concerned with issues of discrimination and racism, and the country is now paying the price.

Queensland's coronavirus timeline: How COVID-19 cases spread around the state

January 21

A Brisbane man is tested for coronavirus after returning from Wuhan in China. The state's chief health officer Jeannette Young sends advice to all GPs, emergency departments, private hospitals and clinical groups in Queensland.
"This is a new virus, we see that every so often," Dr Young said.
Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
VIDEO: Queensland Health monitoring man for deadly new virus (ABC News)

January 27

A group of Chinese nationals from Wuhan arrives on the Gold Coast on a Tigerair flight via Melbourne and Singapore.

January 28

First confirmed case: A 44-year-old man from the group is put into isolation at Gold Coast University Hospital. Queensland Health tells people returning from Hubei province to self-isolate for 14 days. The Chinese women's soccer team is quarantined in a Brisbane hotel. Brisbane boarding school Stuartholme at Toowong also quarantines 10 students returning from China.

January 29

The Queensland Government declares a public health emergency.

January 30

Two cases are now reported in Queensland after a 42-year-old woman tested positive. The World Health Organisation declares the outbreak of COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern.
Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
VIDEO: The Virus: Jeremy Fernandez tracks the major coronavirus developments (ABC News)

January 31

The Queensland Premier accuses the Federal Government of withholding information about the whereabouts of people who may have coronavirus.

February 1

The Queensland Government begins contacting 3,760 school students who recently returned from China, including Hong Kong, telling them to stay away from school for two weeks.

February 19

The eight-year-old boy from Wuhan becomes Queensland's first COVID-19 patient to recover and leave hospital on the Gold Coast.
A Sunshine Coast man aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked off Yokohama in Japan is among the Australians onboard who have tested positive for coronavirus.

February 20

Queensland Health says anyone who has been to China in the last 14 days and feels unwell should see their doctor.

February 22

Seven cases: Two women, 54 and 55, from the Diamond Princess cruise ship are transported to a Brisbane hospital. University of Queensland researchers claim they are days away from testing a new vaccine for COVID-19 on animals.

February 28

Nine cases: A 63-year-old Gold Coast woman who returned from Iran and a third Diamond Princess passenger test positive.

March 3

10 cases: The latest is a 20-year-old UQ student from China who lives in Toowong, and had spent at least 14 days in Dubai before re-entering Australia.
"Our understanding is that he has not attended campus at all and so that means the risk of person-to-person transmission is very low," Health Minister Steven Miles said.
The first 8 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospital.

March 4

11 cases: A man, 26, from Logan who returned from Iran is put into isolation in the PA hospital.

March 8

15 cases: Including a 38-year-old Gympie woman who returned from London via Dubai.

March 10

18 cases: A 42-year-old Sunshine Coast woman who is the partner of the Gympie woman, a 46-year-old Brisbane woman who had travelled to Austria and France, a 42-year-old Brisbane man who travelled to Spain, Italy and France all test positive. Ten patients in total remain in hospital.

March 11

20 cases: Including a 32-year-old Gold Coast woman who travelled to the US and a 31-year-old Gold Coast man who was in close contact with her. Queensland Health confirms it is doing contact tracing at Brisbane nightclub Fridays and UQ amid concerns visitors came into close contact with a 22-year-old university student who has coronavirus.
"We have to prevent transmission to … vulnerable people," Dr Jeannette Young said.

March 12

US actor Tom Hanks and singer wife Rita Wilson test positive on the Gold Coast, where Hanks is filming an Elvis biopic. His social media post brings worldwide attention to the spread of COVID-19. The Federal Government bans gatherings of more than 500 people. Australians are told not to go overseas unless essential.

March 13

35 cases: Including Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who returned from a trip to the US and the White House.
A 77-year-old Sunshine Coast woman becomes the state's first death. She died after flying to Sydney. Authorities say she was likely infected from contact with her daughter who returned from San Francisco in the US.
All cases are concentrated in South East Queensland except for one in Kingaroy and one in Rockhampton.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young warns up to one in four people will be infected in next six months.
Queensland Health stops detailing patient travel histories and says anyone who has been overseas in the last 14 days and has fever and respiratory symptoms should call a GP.

March 14

Queensland's biggest health service toughens criteria for COVID-19 testing twice in a day amid shortage of testing kits as the state records its single highest-day jump in cases so far.

March 15

There are now 55 cases in Queensland, among them: a 69-year-old Townsville man who travelled in New Zealand before learning he had tested positive.

March 16

69 cases: Including Federal senator Susan McDonald in Townsville. The RSL cancels all ANZAC Day services. All jury trials suspended indefinitely, police suspend roadside drink and drug driving tests. UQ pauses lectures for a week after three more students test positive.

March 17

78 cases: Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad says the virus could cost the state economy more than $10 billion over two years. The State Government announces it will offer $500 million interest-free loans to local businesses.

March 19

Australia bans all arrivals by non-citizens and non-residents. Queensland passes laws to allow postponing council elections, ministers to pass new legislation via video-conferencing, greater powers for health officials to force people into isolation and $13,000 fines for anyone who flouts their orders.

March 20

184 cases: A ban on travel into remote Indigenous communities under federal biosecurity laws is put in place. School NAPLAN tests are cancelled. The State Coroner adjourns all inquests until after July.

March 22

259 cases: After 38 more people test positive to coronavirus. The Prime Minister announces a $66 billion coronavirus stimulus package to keep businesses afloat and workers employed.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announces $17 million in funding for University of Queensland researchers to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine.
Gold Coast theme parks run by Village Roadshow, such as Movie World, Sea World and Wet n Wild, will temporarily close.
Following a national cabinet meeting between state, territory and federal leaders, the Prime Minister criticises the public's failure to practise social distancing and announces closure of non-essential indoor venues.

March 23

319 cases: Sixty more cases of coronavirus are confirmed overnight in Queensland bringing a new total to 319. It is Queensland's highest daily rise so far. Queensland Health has conducted 32,000 tests for COVID-19. One Queenslander is in intensive care in hospital.
Shutdown of non-essential services, including pubs, clubs and restaurants, begins at midday with many people finding themselves out of work. The Premier confirms Queensland council elections will go ahead and state borders will be closed from midnight Wednesday.

March 24

397 cases: Queensland records a jump of 78 confirmed cases. Most of the cases are in the south-east corner. A total of 37,334 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the state. The Queensland Government announces a $4 billion package to extend tax breaks for small to medium-sized businesses in a bid to prevent significant job losses.

March 26

493 cases: The State Government announces Queensland schools will become 'student-free' from Monday with children whose parents work in essential services still allowed to attend. The next sitting of Queensland Parliament gets cancelled with the next sitting date to be in April.