Good morning, this is Richard Parkin bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Thursday 29 October.
The NSW government paid $4.7m to acquire a two-hectare block of land near the Western Sydney airport, almost the same rate-per-hectare as the federal government’s heavily criticised $30m acquisition of a nearby 12.26-hectare block, known as the Leppington triangle. The figures were revealed by a federal audit, with the $4.7m price tag considerably higher than comparable sales in the area. It follows bruising disclosures made during a state anti-corruption hearing about land purchases. A police investigation is also set to examine the federal purchase.
Donald Trump has bemoaned the extensive news coverage of coronavirus on a day in which the US president claimed “ending the Covid-19 pandemic” as one of the highlights of his presidency. Twenty-six US states are now at, or near, record numbers for new infections, with more than