South Australian premier Steven Marshall has thrown his full support behind the national Covid-19 recovery plan, indicating state lockdowns and lockouts will become a thing of the past before Christmas, reports Colin Brinsden from AAP.
The plan that sees restrictions start to ease at vaccination rates of 70 and 80 per cent has caused some consternation among some states, but not SA.
Marshall told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program:
Once we get to double dose 80 per cent vaccination across South Australia we will certainly move away from state lockdowns…
I think we will get to the double dose vaccination well before Christmas here in South Australia.
Double dose vaccinations for people aged over 16 in SA are currently running at a fraction above 40 per cent.
He said he was not seeing much hesitancy to get vaccinated compared to a couple of months ago.
There is a lot of time to go until we get to that position, but we do know that as we increase our vaccination rate we reduce that transmission rate, we reduce hospitalisation…
It is going to be a tough period over the next three or four months.
He also expects to move away from state lockouts, and more towards LGA and exposure site exclusions rather than whole of state.
The premier expects businesses may insist on people being vaccinated, but that is not something that will be endorsed by governments unless it is agreed at the national cabinet level.
Federal trade and tourism minister Dan Tehan welcomed Mr Marshall’s backing of the national plan, telling Sky News:
That’s wonderful news, in particular for our domestic tourism industry.
Victoria’s regional train services have been suspended today after more than 180 drivers and operational staff were placed in isolation following four positive coronavirus tests among workers, AAP reports.
The department of transport released a statement late on Saturday evening, stating:
Out of an abundance of caution we are suspending all trains on Sunday to limit the spread and to keep everyone safe…
Replacing trains with coaches will allow for services to continue to operate, give passengers certainty for Monday and help contain the outbreak.
Coaches will operate to an hourly frequency across most lines and not the scheduled Sunday train timetable.
Queensland CHO ‘genuinely hopeful’ that latest outbreak has been contained
The Queensland chief health officer is discussing the Covid-19 positive people who legally crossed the NSW/Queensland border this week, leading to a family of five becoming infected.
She said she is “genuinely hopeful” that this latest outbreak, which involves one family across two households, including a 13-year-old schoolgirl, has been contained.
They came across the border with appropriate passes…
I sincerely hope that we have [caught all the cases] and it’s because Queenslanders have just done everything right, yet again.
We’ve got the school closed, because if you remember in previous outbreaks the school kids had a weekend, while there were infections out in the community and that caused all of the issues, whereas this time, we’ve got to the school while there were only during the school week.
So we’ve managed to quarantine those 1,000 families. So this is quite a different situation from previous outbreaks. I don’t know that we can say we’ve dodged it yet, but I’m hopeful, I’m genuinely hopeful.
OK back to Queensland.
The deputy premier, Steven Miles and health minister Yvette D’Ath is up now at the Redcliffe KiteFest in Brisbane, and the latter is wearing a very fun red hat.
They have confirmed a truck driver from NSW who has now tested positive for Covid drove through Brisbane while infectious on 7 and 8 September, and while there are some exposure sites to be listed, chief health officer Jeanette Young is not overly concerned.
Well, what would a Sunday morning be without some classic Labor faction in fighting!
Plibersek, the senior Labor leader has been asked about accusations levelled at Labor senator Kristina Keneally that her bid to move to the lower house has come at the expense of a promising local candidate, Tu Le, who better represents the multicultural electorate.
And well, Plibersek has opted to avoid addressing the key racial issues by discussing female representation in parliament, which is…well, not really what we are talking about, is it?
I’m a glass half-full person. Aren’t we lucky in the Labor party to have three fantastic women, all who want to be in parliament representing the Labor party?
We’ve got Deb O’Neil and Kristina Keneally who have done such great work, both of them n the Senate, and we’ve got Tu Le…
I will give you this message for Tu Le: I really hope that she sticks with it because her work standing up for exploited migrant workers, her connection to the Vietnamese community and the Buddhist community, that is exactly the sort of experience Labor wants to see in our federal parliament. We have a very diverse parliamentary group. We’ve got people from all different racial, religious, ethnic backgrounds.
The Labor frontbencher has been asked for her thoughts on last week’s federal woman’s safety summit.
I think there were some excellent contributions from a range of really good speakers. The criticism that I and many others have is so much of this stuff we already know.
We know what we need to do to keep women safer and we are not doing testimony just the week before the summit, this government voted against measures that would have prevented sexual harassment in the workplace, measures that were recommended by the sex discrimination commissioner…
We’ve already said we back 10 days paid domestic violence leave. The government won’t agree to that, despite the fact that a lot of businesses already do it and the Business Council of Australia agrees that we should do it.
We know so much of what has to happen. We’ve got to stop talking about it and actually do it.
I think it’s really important that frontline workers get vaccinated and the real problem here is we have thousands of frontline workers, including teachers and school staff who are desperate to get vaccinated haven’t had the opportunity to do so.
Insiders host David Speers:
So should it be mandatory?
Well, first of all, before we talk about mandatory, let’s talk about the people who are desperate to get vaccinated who can’t because this prime minister has failed to do enough deals with enough companies to get enough jabs into enough people’s arms. People want to get vaccinated and they can’t, so let’s get them vaccinated first.
Plibersek says she is concerned about NSW’s hospital capacity, coming into (what the premier believes will be) the peak week of the outbreak.
Well, we are already hearing stories about people dying at home, instead of going to hospital. We are hearing stories about ambulances ramping in emergency, queuing up to get patients into emergency. It is troubling when we know how the hospital system is already under a lot of pressure.
So, absolutely, Labor supports reopening as soon as it’s safe to do so. We know people have had a gutful of the lockdowns, we understand that, but the premier needs to be more transparent about any competing advice she is being given, and the prime minister needs to actually play a role as a national leader and perhaps finally get the vaccine rollout and a national quarantine system properly operating.
Federal opposition frontbencher Tanya Plibersek has called for the NSW premier to release the modelling concerning the state’s outbreak, implying she might not be following health advice to the letter.
Plibersek is speaking with the ABC Insiders program now:
I know people are desperate for New South Wales to reopen…I would be much more confident about the 70% target if it was clear that the premier was getting health advice that backed it and that it was clear that those other things that the Doherty modelling talks about, like tracking, tracing, the capacity of our hospital system to cope with the number of sick people – if those things were taken care of.
But we are not going to get answers to those questions because the premier has suspended parliament and cancelled the daily press briefings that she was giving…
I just think it has been clear from the reporting this week that the health advice that the premier is getting might not be enthusiastic about opening up at 70%.
Federal health minister Greg Hunt has released Australia’s latest vaccine campaign, where residents are encouraged to think about all the things they can do once they are vaccinated.
There’s another sunny day expected in NSW, with a max of 29 degrees for the city.
This has raised concerns that residents could once again flock to the beaches, as they did yesterday, potentially creating worrying crowds as the state continues to record high cases.
Police in NSW will be patrolling beaches to enforce social distancing rules, but it’s worth noting that just yesterday the NSW health minister voiced support for relaxing outdoor recreation rules for fully vaccinated adults.
A woman has been found dead in an abandoned house in Melbourne’s outer east, prompting a homicide investigation, AAP reports.
The body was discovered at the Ringwood house late on Saturday night, with police setting up a crime scene.
She is yet to be formally identified.
On 30 June 2020, Victoria’s Covid cases were doubling. Within a week the state would be in its second lockdown.
That same day Pfizer wrote to the federal health minister, Greg Hunt, with a clear sense of urgency, wanting to discuss a vaccination deal.
Act fast, they hinted – other nations are signing deals.
Almost four months and hundreds of deaths later, Victoria’s lockdown ended. Two more weeks after that, Australia finally signed the Pfizer contract.
Several stumbles have hampered Australia’s vaccination efforts. A local effort from the University of Queensland had to be dumped after false positive HIV results were found. Rare AstraZeneca side effects saw its use – and its popularity – curtailed. Moderna and Novavax are still on their way.
You can read the full story below:
Victoria records 392 local Covid-19 cases
Good morning all, and wow, aren’t you up early on a Sunday morning. It’s Matilda Boseley here, taking you through the weekend’s news.
Unfortunately, it’s bad news to start off with, as Australia’s local Covid-19 case numbers look set to break records for a third consecutive day, after more than 2,000 infections were reported in the previous 24 hours.
NSW makes up the lion’s share of this, with 1,599 cases but Victoria’s numbers are also rising with 450 logged on Saturday. The ACT recorded 15 and, usually Covid-19 free Queensland had five.
Speaking of Queensland, we are watching the state closely today, with premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday stating there wasn’t yet a need for lockdowns, but she warned on Saturday authorities would monitor the situation over the next 24 to 48 hours.
So far the outbreaks have been confined to one family, but today’s numbers will likely be vital to deciding what the state will do next.
Now, despite NSW’s record high case numbers, health minister Brad Hazzard has voiced his support for the possibility of easing some outdoor activity restrictions before the state reaches its milestone goal of 70% of the over 16 population vaccinated.
Yesterday he said:
I think we need to be looking at, as the [vaccine] numbers go up, what are the freedoms, what other normality we can bring back into our lives…
Fresh air we know is the safest place to be at the present time.
The minister was asked if he would be in favour of increasing the number of fully vaccinated people allowed to attend a picnic from five to 10.
I’m totally supportive of that, if I could just get some time to work with the team I would be doing it.
We will be keeping an eye out for all of that and more, but for now, why don’t we jump into the day.