In July, the ACT continued to reawaken from COVID-19 restrictions, while down in Victoria the situation was rapidly escalating. This month, we dealt with border closures and a by-election ‘next door’ in the federal seat of Eden-Monaro.
On Sunday 5 July, Labor candidate Kristy McBain claimed victory in the Eden-Monaro by-election, with 94,000 votes counted. She said she was “pleased and honoured” to be elected as the federal member for Eden-Monaro and would work with “anyone and everyone” to achieve outcomes for the electorate, which encompasses the region surrounding the ACT including the Yass Valley, Cooma and the Queanbeyan-Palerang region.
On Monday 6 July, Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced a strict travel ban for Victorians travelling to the ACT, in response to the outbreak at that time in parts of Melbourne. From 7 July, people travelling from Melbourne to the ACT were required to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense or return to Victoria.
On Sunday 19 July, a man died after a disturbance at Kokomo’s bar in the city in the early hours of the morning. It was the second fatality at a licensed premises in the ACT in July. On Sunday 5 July, a 44-year-old man died after an alleged altercation in the poolroom of the Kingston Hotel.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are imprisoned in the ACT at eight times the rate of their non-Indigenous peers. That is why 18 ACT organisations rallied for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised while addressing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the prison system. In an open letter to the Territory’s political figures released on Thursday 23 July, the service delivery, human rights, legal and representative organisations detailed their support to raise the age from 10 to 14.
With news Woolworths would “strongly encourage” shoppers in the ACT and NSW to wear face masks in its stores, despite a lack of community transmission in the ACT, Bunnings followed suit, asking their customers to wear face masks in store from Monday 3 August.