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The Informer: Hope and optimism reigns as the COVID-19 way forward emerges

The emoji for today? A smiling face with tears of joy

If someone was to text this update to you, today would include a smiling face with tears of joy, a grimace, an astonished face, a koala and a unicorn.

The smiling face with tears of joy at the news from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews the hard work has been worth it. Regional Victoria will take the next step in its COVID-19 recovery and open up from 11.59pm on Wednesday. Phew.

"It is a day of hope and optimism. This strategy is working. It has worked in regional Victoria and is working in metropolitan Melbourne. I'm so, so pleased and proud of every regional Victoria that followed the rules," Mr Andrews said.

The grimace is a relaxation of the angry face emoji the NSW-Victorian border communities would've used so frequently for months since the lockdown was imposed.

Why? Because there just might be a skerrick of good news coming the border's way when NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian makes an announcement on cross-border restrictions tomorrow. The Premier says the public health order will be amended to provide "further relief for the Border communities."

Expect the astonished face to come from the "young Australian" demographic. An interim parliamentary committee report suggested young Aussies be given student debt discounts to work across regional Australia in a bid to plug critical labour shortages.

Also, people on the dole should be able to stay on JobSeeker while performing low-paid agricultural work, the committee said.

And this is the bit that might prompt most emjois - the federal government is being urged to develop a "have a gap year at home" campaign to attract year 12s and university graduates to work in regional areas.

For some time I suspect the koala emoji will come to reflect the NSW coalition. After last week's quality koala brouhaha (read political chest pounding) they were at it again today when parliament sat.

And the unicorn? Well, everyone deserves a unicorn. It's the ultimate emoji for 2020.

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