Profit over passenger well being is explored this week on 60 MINUTES

60 Minutes
Source: Nine Network



It was an almighty slap. A few days ago Australia was described as chewing gum on the boot of China that needed to be scraped off on a rock. The insult came from an influential Chinese newspaper editor who is backed by the ruling Communist Party. Australia’s crime? The Chinese think we’re troublemakers because the Morrison government is calling for an independent inquiry into the origins and spread of coronavirus. It’s fair to say Canberra’s relationship with Beijing is currently fractured, but understanding why China is so defensive, not to mention petulant, can be difficult because the regime is so suspicious of the western media. However, in an exclusive and at times robust interview with Tara Brown, Professor Chen Hong, head of the Australian Studies Centre in Shanghai, argues the Chinese case.

Reporter: Tara Brown

Producer: Thea Dikeos


“Coronavirus Super Spreader” is an unwanted label which is forever now attached to the cruise ship industry. In Australia, and all over the world, cruise liners have proven to be the perfect host for the disease. In confined spaces with lots of people partying, COVID-19 thrives. The companies which operate the ships say the wellbeing of their passengers is their priority, but on 60 MINUTES, Tom Steinfort reveals how profits are the real captains of this industry.

Reporter: Tom Steinfort

Producer: Laura Sparkes


At Channel Nine, Richard Wilkins’ high-profile job means he meets a lot of people. Six weeks ago he spent time with Hollywood royalty, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. He didn’t know it then, but they seem to have given him more than a welcoming handshake and a great interview – he also got coronavirus. Wilkins was lucky. He didn’t suffer symptoms, but when it was confirmed that he had the disease an incredible mission began, to track down all the people he’d had close contact with and determine if they had been infected too. Medicos, social workers and even military people were tasked with stopping this potential spread of COVID-19. But this wasn’t special treatment just for Wilkins. Liz Hayes reports that there are extraordinary operations like this for every coronavirus case in Australia.

Reporter: Liz Hayes

Producer: Garry McNab


With the total dominance of the coronavirus pandemic in our lives, many of us now characterise the way we live as the “new normal”. The truth is it’s not normal. Nothing like it. The disease itself, the social distancing, the massive job losses and the world’s blown-up economies are completely alien to us. Governments are throwing enormous amounts of money at the problem but it’s still impossible to accurately calculate the human cost of this catastrophe. And as Sarah Abo finds out, there’s a priceless quality that also needs to be factored into the equation – our extraordinary resilience.

Reporter: Sarah Abo

Producers: Darren Ally, Natalie Clancy


She swears like a trooper and has a lightning left and right hook that would make a prizefighter proud. Bianca Saez is a very lively 27-year-old woman. She is also Australia’s most recognisable sufferer of Tourette syndrome; in fact she’s one of the worst cases in the world. Bianca lives with constant, uncontrollable tics combined with sudden outbursts of inappropriately colourful expletives. Tourette syndrome is, without question, an enormous burden, but the way she’s getting on with her life is remarkable. For more than a decade Bianca has allowed 60 MINUTES to tell her story publicly with the aim of increasing awareness about Tourette’s. And now she has more inspiring news to share.

Reporter: Tara Brown

Producer: Naomi Shivaraman



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