Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orders".

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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:10 am


7 deaths, 35 cases as Victoria edges closer to freedom
Victoria has reported 35 coronavirus cases and seven deaths as the state continues to move down the roadmap out of lockdown.

Today's new case numbers are the lowest in Victoria in almost 12 weeks.

"Our thoughts go out to all those affected," Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

Australia's death toll now sits at 817, with 730 of those fatalities in Victoria.

The 35 daily infections are the lowest since June 25, when Victoria recorded 28 near the start of the second wave.

After six weeks of tough stage four coronavirus lockdowns, Melburnians are waking up this morning to some small freedoms.

Children can now go back to playgrounds and people are allowed out of their homes for an extra hour each day.

99 mystery cases in Victoria greatest threat to easing restrictions,Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth has warned that the 99 mystery coronavirus cases in Melbourne are the greatest threat to restrictions easing.

He told Today he hoped to see the number reduced to single digits in coming weeks.

"They will need to head down into something that is clearly manageable, as it is in NSW," Dr Coatsworth said.

From today people living alone can welcome a visitor and visit other households as part of a social bubble.

Two people can also meet outdoors for recreation.

Speaking on Today, Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth said "it won't be long now" for restrictions to ease in Victoria.

"The light at the end of the tunnel is getting bigger every day," he said.

"It is a conservative roadmap but it shows a way out."

Premier Daniel Andrews is scheduled to speak with media later today.

Victoria yesterday reported 41 new cases and seven deaths.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton is confident the state's 14-day average will be between 30 to 50 by September 28.

If successful, this level would activate the threshold for the second step of easing restrictions. ... d=msedgdhp ... 16bb56ccb4

Metro-rolling 14-day average falls to 54.4 daily cases
Vic. Premier Andrews says he wants to be sure the state will not have to lock down once again before opening up the state's economy. ... d=msedgdhp

Australia sees lowest one-day rise in coronavirus cases in almost 3 months
Australia reported its lowest one-day rise in novel coronavirus infections in nearly three months on Monday as authorities began to ease restrictions aimed at slowing its spread.

Thirty-nine people were found to be infected with the virus in the past 24 hours, the lowest one-day increase in new cases since June 26, when 37 infections were detected.

With dwindling numbers of new infections, the epicentre of Australia's latest outbreak, Victoria state, has begun easing restrictions, allowing people to leave their homes for longer periods for exercise and shortening a curfew at night.

Still, frustrations are high, with hundreds of people taking part in protests on the weekend against the weeks-long coronavirus lockdown. Authorities urged patience.

Brett Sutton, Victoria's chief health officer, likened the cautious easing of restrictions to "baby steps".

"We can't have short-term memories on this," Sutton told reporters in Melbourne, referring to the virus.

"It starts with small numbers and it explodes."

Australia's second largest city was placed under strict lockdown in early August after more than 700 cases were detected in Victoria state in a single day.

In Queensland state, which has effectively eradicated the virus, authorities are under pressure as they decline to open its borders to other areas that are also free of infections.

With families separated, even for funerals, the state's chief health officer is under police guard after getting death threats.

Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, was the only other to report any new cases with four in the past 24 hours. All but one of the cases was in quarantine after returning from overseas, though officials warned against complacency.

Australia has recorded a total of 27,000 novel coronavirus infections and 817 deaths. ... d=msedgdhp


Vic lockdown restrictions ease
Regional Victoria moved down to stage three restrictions as of midnight, meaning they are now allowed to socialised outdoors in groups of up to five people from a maximum of two households.

While Melbourne residents also get some relief from stage four measures as of today, with the increase of allowable daily exercise up from one hour to two, with socialising also permitted during this time.

Playgrounds will reopen with children allowed to use the equipment for up to two hours each day as part of the minor easing of restrictions.

Single people living alone or with only their dependent children will be permitted to form "singles bubbles" with one other person and Melbourne's curfew will move from a start time of 8pm to 9pm.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday flagged the possibility of swiftly lifting restrictions further for the regions, with the state set to reach the necessary case numbers around the middle of this week.

The regions recorded zero new cases of transmission yesterday, with a 14-day daily case average of 4.1.

"I hope that people in Melbourne are looking to what is occurring in regional Victoria as proof-positive – not a model, not a theory, but the actual delivery of this plan," Premier Daniel Andrews said yesterday of the government's roadmap out of lockdown.

"This strategy is delivering low numbers and keeping them low and it is at that point that you can open with real confidence that having got the numbers low, we can you keep the numbers low.

"That is what we will deliver in regional Victoria and right across metropolitan Melbourne – not bouncing in and out of lockdowns, but making sure that everything that Victorians have given counts for something."

The next step in the government's roadmap allows residents to leave home for any reason, with no restrictions on distance travelled.

Public gatherings outdoors of up to 10 people are also permitted, as well as "household bubbles" of up to five visitors from one other nominated household.

It remains "highly unlikely" Melbourne will meet the necessary criteria to allow businesses to reopen before the scheduled date of October 26.

Under the government's roadmap, the 14-day average of daily COVID-19 cases needs to be less than five cases before businesses like hairdressers and outdoor dining can reopen.
Once this target is met, the curfew will no longer apply, there will be no restrictions on leaving home and public gatherings outside will increase to 10 people.

The premier said it was "highly unlikely we will meet those case number thresholds" before the scheduled date.

"It is not just about numbers, but about the passage of time," he said.

"The passage of time is, I know, very painful and very challenging for businesses and for families, but in terms of taking safe steps, it is a positive thing." ... d=msedgdhp

Restaurants, cafes are not deemed 'high risk settings': Andrews
Premier Daniel Andrews has admitted restaurants and pubs are not “high risk” settings but insists they need to remain closed while the coronavirus is still present in the community.

“They are closed because it would only mean more virus if we allowed their customers, many hundreds of thousands, indeed millions of people, to freely move around metro Melbourne,” he said.

When questioned as to whether there was evidence of higher infection levels when hospitality venues were open, Mr Andrews said there was actually a greater risk of transmission while dining “at a mate’s place”.

“There is no time limit, there is no waiter making sure we keep our distance. There is not necessarily all the kind of infection control, cleaning tables, cleaning common areas, all of those things,” he said.

“Our publicans, our cafes, restaurants and others have done a fantastic job and I am confident they will when we open up.” ... d=msedgdhp

Victorian Government announces cash grants for business impacted by coronavirus lockdown, with focus on outdoor dining
The Victorian Government has promised another $290 million to help struggling businesses survive lockdown and implement an outdoor dining culture that will be enjoyed "for many summers" to come.

The package, aimed at helping business "reimagine" its operations and helping Melbourne host a New York-inspired dining and culture revival, is on top of yesterday's $3 billion support fund for business.

Today's announcement includes $100 million for sole traders who will be closed or restricted under the second step of Victoria's roadmap to reopening.

The money is expected to go to around 33,000 sole traders across the state, who will be eligible for grants of $3,000 to help pay overheads.

Another $100 million will go to a Melbourne city recovery fund to help businesses set up outdoors, convert rooftops and courtyards, and fund COVID-safe events to encourage people to return to the CBD over summer.

It will be jointly funded by the State Government and the City of Melbourne.

Industry Support and Recovery Minister Martin Pakula said it would "utterly transform the city, and not just for this summer".

"It will be something that I think Victorians will love and appreciate and it will create a new alfresco environment for CBD dining which will, I suspect, be enjoyed for many summers hence," he said.

There will also be an $87.5 million outdoor hospitality package for businesses outside the CBD with a payroll under $3 million, which will be paid in grants of up to $5,000 to cover the cost of umbrellas, outdoor furniture and screens to separate diners.

$30 million will go to local councils to streamline the new permits which will be required to expand outdoor hospitality. Some of that money can be passed on to businesses in the form of reduced or waived permit fees.

Dining in streets, parks and gardens on the cards
Premier Daniel Andrews said embracing more outdoor dining would "change the way the city operates". It could prove so popular, it becomes "a lasting feature" of hospitality in Victoria, from the city to the suburbs and the regions.

"There needs to be some urgency with this," he said. "We don't want bureaucratic delays. We don't want arguments and debates. We want as many people seated in as quick a time as possible, utilising public space that has never been on offer previously.

"We are going to see more and more tables on footpaths. Some of that foot traffic may move to the kerbside parking area where kerbside parking would no longer be allowed."

He said some streets and laneways were likely to be closed, parks and gardens near restaurants could be transformed and shared areas could be created between different businesses.

Opposition spokesman David Davis said the Government's business support was "too little, too late".

"What we need is for businesses to be opened with proper safety regimes, proper rules in place," he said.

Mr Andrews said decisions were still being made around the rules for hospitality, including whether perspex screens between tables would be mandated and what the density limits and spacing requirements would be.

But with regional Victoria expected to move to the third step as early as this week, thereby allowing hospitality venues to again offer table service, he said those decisions would be announced "quite soon".

"Then that will, at least in part, inform where we land in metropolitan Melbourne," Mr Andrews said.

The Premier said once coronavirus numbers were low enough, he believed hospitality venues could operate safely.

"We are often at our greatest risk when we're at a mate's place having dinner because there is no time limit, there is no waiter making sure we keep our distance, there is not necessarily all the kind of infection control, cleaning tables, cleaning common areas," he said.

Business fears effects of cuts to JobKeeper
Business and industry groups have been lobbying hard for more government assistance to survive lockdown.

The Government said Sunday's $3 billion package — which includes grants of up to $20,000 and tax breaks — was the largest business support fund in the state's history.

It was welcomed by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which previously criticised the Government's restrictions roadmap as a "road to nowhere".

"A good announcement today," CEO Paul Guerra said on Sunday. "Some great cash injections for businesses that really need that cash flow."

But some business and industry groups fear many companies will not survive shutdowns under the current timeline.

Mario De Pasquale, who runs Marios cafe in Fitzroy, said business was down 80 per cent compared to before the COVID-19 crisis.

He has started selling groceries out of the cafe and believes income from this and his takeaway sales, as well as federal and state government support, will get it through the pandemic.

"I don't want to be running a grocery store, I want to be running a cafe," he said.

"If it wasn't for JobKeeper and State Government support, we would not be able to keep going. We'd be closed down," he said.

On Sunday, he said the business would face difficulty when the JobKeeper rate is cut from $1,500 to $1,200 a fortnight per employee after September.

"We'll have to cut their hours back," he said. "We just can't afford to pay people." ... d=msedgdhp

Iconic Summer sport competitions threatened by Melbourne lockdown
Iconic sporting events such as the Boxing Day test, the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup could be cancelled or go ahead without crowds due to Victoria’s draconian lockdown restrictions and strict reopening criteria.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he couldn’t provide a “definitive answer” on how Summer sports would be run this year claiming it was “too early to determine whether they will have crowds”.

“I don't think it will be a Boxing Day test like it normally is, nor will the Australian Open be exactly the same as it normally is," he said.

“There are lots of other events that would normally occur over summer and we have to work through each of those event by event and venue by venue."

The Premier said "teams and players coming from overseas and coaches and officials will all have to quarantine".

"We don't want one event to necessarily set us back and cause us a problem." ... d=msedgdhp

Long recovery ahead for Victoria's Great Ocean Road as Cape Otway Lightstation attraction calls it quits
It is synonymous with Australian surf culture and natural attractions like the Twelve Apostles but now, like many tourist destinations nationally, Victoria's Great Ocean Road is facing an uncertain journey ahead.

The strip of Victorian coastline, west of Melbourne, has been largely empty of tourists throughout the state's lockdowns.

It has been a hard time for many tourist attractions, including the Colac Otway Lightstation.

After 24 years, the tourism operator at Victoria's oldest working lighthouse has decided to call it quits in March 2021.

The automated solar beacon operated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority at the site will be unaffected by the closure.

"We've had to be realistic around the future for the lighthouse," Matt Bowker, who manages the attraction, said.

Mr Bowker told his 26 staff the bad news last week.

"They took it terribly, obviously," he said.

"We've had staff who've been with us for 20 years. They're really committed."

The lighthouse site at Cape Otway includes walking guides and attractions around WWII history, dinosaurs and the local Indigenous culture.

Where did the lighthouse's woes begin?
The attraction is managed by the private company Mr Bowker works for, Tourism Great Ocean Road.

The company has been battling to secure another long-term lease, which Mr Bowker says has been denied by the State Government because of changes to how leases on public land are determined.

"We're unfortunately in a perfect storm of government departments and government departments' inability to make decisions," Mr Bowker said.

Discussions with Parks Victoria about the future management of the attraction are ongoing and the State Government has been contacted for comment.

Mr Bowker said the present lease was due to end by 2022 and he was unlikely to be able to secure a short-term lease, and even if he could they were "bad for business" because he could not plan ahead.

Like most tourist operators on the Great Ocean Road, the Lightstation has been largely closed during COVID-19 and has only been able to keep paying staff through JobKeeper subsidies.

However, those Federal Government subsidies will not continue indefinitely. And with Victoria's borders closed, it is unlikely that interstate or international tourism will return to the region anytime soon.

"We have a very high international and interstate visitation at the lighthouse. About 70 per cent, traditionally," Mr Bowker said.

"With none of that happening within the next year or so, we just have to look after our staff and let them know it's unlikely we can open the doors."

Mr Bowker said if it was not for the uncertainty around the lease, he probably would have borrowed money to see the business through COVID-19.

But he said it was unlikely that any financial institution would loan money on a short-term lease anyway.

Major hotel on Great Ocean Road in administration
A major hotel and golf course on the Great Ocean Road was also put into administration in July.

The administrators of The Sands Resort in the major tourist town of Torquay, near Geelong, are seeking expressions of interest from new owners, but that will be a tough sell to investors in the present climate.

In a statement, administrators PKF said the hotel was still trading due to JobKeeper and the support of staff.

In April, the Great Ocean Road Tourism Organisation released modelling that found the region would not fully recover until 2024.

The organisation's chairman, Wayne Kayler-Thomson, told the ABC that they were updating that economic modelling, now that Victoria had been locked down even longer than initially expected.

"We are anticipating there will be significant business failures once support through JobKeeper ends and increasing debt starts to mount," he said.

However, that sentiment is being challenged. Data from Xero this week shows the rebound post-lockdown in Victoria could be fairly swift.

On Sunday, the Victorian Government announced the biggest stimulus package in its history to help businesses through the pandemic.

Premier Daniel Andrews also believes this will be a "summer like no other" in Victoria, with regional Victoria likely to be the main choice of destination for locked-in Melburnians.

However, the Victoria Tourism Industry Council is warning that regional tourism operators cannot survive off tourists from Melbourne alone.

"It will be a summer like no other in that we're all dying to get out," VTIC chief executive Felicia Mariani said.

"But I think we need to be realistic in that intrastate travel cannot sustain the industry. It can't replace interstate and international."

There is one potential glimmer of hope for the Great Ocean Road's tourism operators — its two major hubs, Lorne and Torquay, are typically hot-spots for schoolies.

It is unclear whether the popular school-leavers' event will be allowed to take place under pandemic restrictions, but a police spokesperson has told the ABC that "resourcing options" are being assessed in relation to it.

Some locals have questioned whether that would be worth the health risk. ... d=msedgdhp

Why people get angry at coronavirus rule-breakers and want to call the police
Witnessing others apparently breach coronavirus restrictions during pandemic lockdowns is infuriating for some Australians.

Thousands of people have been more than happy to dob in those they see breaking the rules.

While we might feel like it's justified, turning people in doesn't come without a moral cost.

This is how some Australians feel about the issue and what experts have to say about it.

'It has absolutely destroyed an eight-year friendship'
Melbourne has been under the latest round of Stage 4 restrictions since August 2, severely limiting who can visit a home, and how much time someone can spend away from their home.

For Amanda from Melbourne, frustration with a neighbour she believes is breaking the rules has ended an eight-year friendship.

"My neighbour's adult children and their children visit them daily," she said.

"The daughters go to drop their kids off there because they are nurses — but they are there for four hours beforehand and four hours after.

"I am out the back with my daughters listening to their family gatherings, when all my daughters want to do is see their cousins."

Amanda said she confronted her neighbours to tell them their actions were causing her anger and stress, but she says she was met with indifference.

"It has caused me grievous mental health issues, I have started speaking to a counsellor for the anger it has caused me," Amanda said.

"It has absolutely destroyed an eight-year friendship with our neighbours to the point we are now looking to move."

Amanda said she had to close the curtains on the side of the house facing her neighbours as a result.

'I am very concerned that this may undermine everyone else's hard work'
The announcement of a social bubble for those in Melbourne has been a welcome relief for some.

It will allow people who are single or live alone to nominate one other person they are allowed to visit.

But Aaron, from Melbourne, said friends are looking to find loopholes in the law to visit more people.

"It just seems disastrous because people have told me they will have several bubbles," he said.

"It completely defeats the purpose and it seems like it is going to be widespread."

Aaron said he sympathised with his friends who were living alone.

He said he understands people are "fed up" with restrictions, but fears the social bubble would create another wave of infections.

"They say there is no way for authorities to stop them from doing so," he said.

"I am very concerned that this may undermine everyone else's hard work if these people are able to socialise with lots of other people in their homes."

'I have spoken to another neighbour and they were concerned as well'
A person, who asked remain anonymous, said they were frustrated with what they consider is a lack of rule enforcement.

After watching neighbours have several people over — including non-relatives — they called the police.

"This is reported but the police don't come out to investigate. No wonder the virus is spreading," they said.

They said it has happened more than once and made others in the street angry.

"This family we know had two of her sons and their girlfriends over for Mother's Day, while we were all trying to do the right thing," they said.

"I have spoken to another neighbour and they were concerned as well. We don't want to spread the virus."

If you breach COVID-19 solidarity, 'you're on your own'
People are usually reluctant to dob in their neighbours. But the seriousness of the pandemic means people now feel that calling the police is justified if they see apparent breaches, according to University of Queensland social psychologist Jolanda Jetten.

The steps made to contain the disease in Melbourne means people there are especially happy to inform authorities, she said.

"People have made huge sacrifices so I think there's the idea that if you break the solidarity [in containing the virus] then 'I don't have to show any solidarity with you and you're on your own'," Professor Jetten said.

Because of the pandemic she said people feel "quite happy for people to go after others" who don't follow the coronavirus restrictions.

"I think there's a lot of rule violations in other aspects of life that people wouldn't dob their neighbour in about, where you get irritated but you won't do anything," she said.

"But [the pandemic] is different I think. There's too much at stake."

Dobbing 'can be something that's easily resented'
Despite the seriousness of the pandemic, dobbing doesn't come without a cost, said Griffith University ethicist Dr Hugh Breakey.

"It can put a strain on relationships, it can be something that is easily resented," Dr Breaky said.

"The simple reason is that the person who calls out another person is putting themselves in a position of authority.

"[An informant is] saying they know the rules and the other person doesn't know the rules, won't follow the rules or isn't following them properly and needs to be policed, punished or chastised."

He said people generally follow rules because they think they are legitimate, or because they are afraid about what those in their social circle would think.

"So being able to show that we do disapprove, that this isn't appropriate, that there is a social cost in breaking these regulations, is actually very important because we're human beings, we're social creatures," Dr Breakey said.

"Then the question is, does that apply to dobbing?

"Is dobbing part of showing that social pressure, and if it is, is it a constructive part of showing the social pressure of knowing that other people are watching and they disapprove?

"Or is it a step too far because we're putting ourselves above the person when we're calling in the forces of the state and we get more resentment than a sort of social disapproval?"


How do you know if someone has broken the rules?
Each state and territory has different rules and restrictions.

So before you think about dobbing in a neighbour, it would be best to make sure if a rule is being broken.

You can click on your state to find what rules are in place where you live.

New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
South Australia
Western Australia
Northern Territory
How do I report a COVID rule breaker?
All states and territories have the same telephone number for Crime Stoppers, and a police assistance line , and you can of cause 000 , this will force the issue as the police are obligated to investigate and your are less likely to be 'FOGGED OFF''. ... d=msedgdhp

<< MY OPINION, FOR WHAT ITS WORTH , people who thumb their noses at the rules everyone else is following ( and making sacrifices for the greater good ) are selfish and don't care about YOU , so dob them in , make sure it's done anominously ( let them guess who dobbed them in ) . You don't own them any favours.

Police arrest 74 'aggressive and violent' protesters in Melbourne
A violent clash between anti-lockdown demonstrators and police has culminated in more than 70 arrests as hundreds stormed Melbourne's CBD chanting 'freedom' in protest of Dan Andrews' lockdown measures.

Up to 250 residents amassed at Queen Victoria Market on Sunday for a second day of riots as tensions escalate over the city's tough stage four restrictions, which prohibit Melburnians from leaving home for non-essential reasons.

Protesters chanting 'Freedom' and 'Power to the people' were outnumbered by officers, with some demonstrators throwing fruit at police after raiding market stalls.

Victoria Police arrested 74 people and issued at least 176 infringement notices for breaching the Chief Health Officer directions.

A 44-year-old Burwood East man, believed to be a primary agitator for these protests, remains in police custody and is expected to be charged with incitement. His home will be subject to a search warrant.

nother person was arrested for assault police.

Police said many protestors were aggressive and threatened violence towards officers, however no members of the force were injured.

'It was extremely disappointing to see people not just protesting, but putting the lives of other Victorians at risk despite all the warnings,' a Victoria Police spokesperson said.

'Our investigations into this protest will continue, and we expect to issue further fines once the identity of individuals has been confirmed.'

Victoria police warned that anyone caught breaching COVID-19 directives will be punished.

'While it remains unlawful for Victorians to leave home to protest, you can expect that Victoria Police will hold people to account,' he said.

'We again urge people not to leave home to protest'

Footage of violent scuffles and officers on horseback moving through a group inside the market has been posted online.

'There were a few tense moments when protesters started grabbing fruit and throwing it at police,' photographer Erik Anderson said from the scene.

Protesters yelled 'this is not a police state' and 'you've got to be on the right side of history'.

Huge crowds of protesters were filmed marching down empty streets in Melbourne, calling for Daniel Andrews to ease the city's draconian lockdown restrictions.

One man was spotted kicking a police horse as officers attempted to calm crowds hurling abuse at them as they rode through the markets.

Melbourne remains in a Stage Four lockdown, meaning residents cannot leave their houses without a valid reason, and restrictions are in place to limit movement more than 5km from a person's home.

The restrictions remain in place, and both a State of Emergency and State of Disaster, have been extended a further four weeks despite the embattled state only recording 41 new cases and seven deaths on Sunday.

The latest figures released on Sunday morning take the state's death toll to 723 and the national count to 810 since the start of the pandemic in late January.

Leading up to the demonstration, organisers used encrypted phone apps to communicate, in an attempt to avoid police finding out the location of the planned rally, Herald Sun reported.

In messages sent to participants, organisers encouraged people to 'be agile, like water' and stick together throughout the course of the day.

'Be ready to swarm the location to assemble. Once we have assembled, we are all safe,' one of the organisers said.

'Conducting these protests is dependent on having sufficiently large numbers to outnumber any police presence at a location of assembly.

'Best way to achieve this is to ensure you have talked to everyone you know that might be interested in attending, and attempt to just bring at least one other person with you.'

Tensions between police and protesters escalated 11.45am on Sunday when about 50 people were cornered by police on Peel Street.

Riot police had to separate the crowd and Peel Street remains blocked off to the public.

Pictures taken at the scene show officers shepherding protesters through the streets and arresting people who do not comply with orders.

One man wearing a red and black bandanna told police he had lost faith in authorities throughout the pandemic.

He told police he felt unsafe in their presence, and that contributed to his decision to attend the illegal protest.

'Dude I'm scared. I don't even know how I'm going to pay this fine,' he said.

'Heartless soulless people. We've all lost faith.'

The second protest for the weekend comes hours after a woman shared footage of police dragging her from her car.

Natalie Bonett, 29, said she was making her way through the COVID blockade in Wallan, 60km north of Melbourne, on Saturday when she was stopped by police.

They informed her it was against the law to have her phone attached to a car charger which was mounted onto her windshield.

Following a brief and tense exchange, video shows the officer reach in drag the masked woman from her car as her passenger tried to pull her back in.

Ms Bonett, a lash technician in Melbourne, screamed and pulled away from the officer in the footage, demanding he stop touching her and get out of her car.

A passenger in the car attempted to hold her back, trying to tell the officer she's 'got anxiety' while Ms Bonett became increasingly distressed.

'What the f**k are you doing, what the f**k, get off me,' she shouted at the officer.

Moments earlier, the cop had given her an opportunity to state her name, and asked her several times to get out of the car.

'No, I don't feel safe. You're armed,' she responded.

olice previously vowed to issue more $1,652 fines ahead of Sunday's protest.

'Police had significant prevention activity in the lead up to and duration of today's which included visiting 90 persons of interest to urge them not to attend,' a police statement on Saturday said.

'Our investigations into this protest will continue, and we expect to issue further fines once the identity of individuals has been confirmed.'

'Anyone thinking of attending a protest can expect the same swift and firm response from police as has occurred today and at previous protests that were in breach of Chief Health Officer restrictions.'

Officers on horseback and in riot gear marched through the city during Saturday's protests.

Demonstrators were taken away in handcuffs as police tried to avoid a repeat of last week's protest that saw violent clashes leading to 17 arrests.

One man was arrested on Saturday after holding an anti-lockdown sign and calling out to police outside the Shrine of Remembrance.

The man told News Corp he wasn't a conspiracy theorist but was anti-government and nodded when asked if it was 'worth the fine'.

Another mask-wearer was seen being spoken to by an officer while holding a sign that read: 'I am just exercising... my human rights'.

One elderly woman had her details taken by police after she held up a sign with the message: 'open our churches'.

One woman was dramatically restrained on the ground by multiple officers at the Observatory Gate because she wouldn't give her ID, the Herald Sun reported.

She was shoved into the back of a police car while screaming to be let go.

'They've arrested me because I won't say my name. I've been in Melbourne all my life, I just want to go for a walk,' the woman said.

Meanwhile a man with a picture of Premier Daniel Andrews stuck to the back of his face shield paraded through the protest while another had a mask saying 'sack Daniel Andrews'.

The 'Freedom Walk' is believed to be the doing of sacked Clive Palmer political candidate and conspiracy theorist Tony Pecora, 43.

Mr Pecora was arrested by police after allegedly planning the event and charged with two counts of incitement.

The 43-year-old allegedly created the event on social media under the alias Arkwell Tripellego.

He believes the deadly coronavirus was 'genetically engineered by world banks to kill off weak humans'.

He then quoted Midnight Oil, allegedly telling police if someone contracted coronavirus at one of his events 'it would be better to die on your feet than live on your knees'.

On Sunday, Mr Andrews announced an extension of the State of Emergency and State of Disaster in Victoria.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos said the extension of the State of Emergency, which will now last until at least October 11, was crucial for the implementation of necessary COVID-safe guidelines.

'The State of Emergency ensures we have all the tools we need to fight this virus – keeping all of us safe,' she said.

Meanwhile Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville said it wasn't an easy decision to make.

'Extending a State of Disaster is never a decision we make lightly – and it won't be in place a moment longer than it needs to be,' she said on Sunday.

'We are at a critical point right now. And we have to do everything we can to hold onto the gains we've made, which means giving Victoria Police everything they need to enforce the Chief Health Officer's directions as we keep driving down cases.'

The financial rescue package will inject up to $1.1billion into small and medium sized businesses that are most affected by coronavirus restrictions.

A further $251million will be dedicated solely to support bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs and hotels which have been decimated during the two lockdowns.

The Licenced Venue Fund will provide grants of up to $30,000 to venues, while the government has also waived liquor license fees for 2021.

'For our state to recover, we need our businesses to recover too. As we take our first safe and steady steps towards COVID Normal, this support will help make sure we get through this together,' Mr Andrews said.

'We'll continue meeting with and listening to businesses, so we can do everything we can to support them and their workers.'

From Monday, the city of Melbourne will move from the strict Stage Four lockdown into the first step of the roadmap toward reopening.

While modest, the changes will allow for more time outdoors and social interactions.

Mr Andrews said if numbers were kept low the state could open with 'real confidence' and keep them low.

'You can open up and stay open,' he said. 'That is what we want and that is what we will deliver.

'That is what we will deliver in regional Victoria and right across metropolitan Melbourne, not bouncing in and out of lockdowns, but making sure that everything that Victorians have given counts for something and delivers us, as I said, a summer that will be like no other.'

What is the difference between a 'State of Emergency' and a 'State of Disaster'?
State of Emergency

A State of Emergency can be declared when there is a serious risk to public health.

It first came into effect in Victoria on March 16 to give Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton wide-ranging powers to enforce new coronavirus restrictions.

Professor Sutton had the authority to direct health officials to detain people, force entire suburbs and regions into lockdown or search premises without a warrant if he felt it was necessary to protect the health of the public.

The State of Emergency initially allowed the government to enforce social distancing and mandatory quarantine.

State of Disaster

While the State of Emergency grants powers to Professor Sutton, a State of Disaster grants additional powers to police and enforcement agencies.

The State of Disaster came into effect on August 2nd and has faced several one month extensions since then.

To declare a State of Disaster, the premier must be concerned that an emergency 'constitutes or is likely to constitute a significant and widespread danger to life or property in Victoria'.

A pandemic, plague or epidemic falls into this bracket.

The State of Disaster allows the enforcement of curfews and restrictions of movement within a city.

People living alone or single parents will be able to invite one other person into their homes.

Mr Andrews said he would allow 'social bubbles' even when exercising outdoors, which will now be extended to up to two hours per day - which can be split over two sessions.

Playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment will reopen, and Melbourne's 8pm lockdown has been pushed back to 9pm.

Regional Victoria will also enjoy the loosening of several restrictions after successfully stemming the spread of the virus.

Up to five people from two separate households will be able to gather in public places, while outdoor pools and playgrounds will also open.

Religious services will be able to go ahead with up to five people. ... r-BB18ZF8l
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12621
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:50 am

NSW records 4 new cases of coronavirus, 1 from local transmission
Health authorities in NSW say an aged care resident who returned a positive COVID-19 result is no risk to the community.

The resident of Newmarch House in Sydney's west has recovered after being infected during the facility's outbreak earlier this year

They were was tested in hospital yesterday after experiencing shortness of breath.

The result came back positive, however a subsequent test returned a negative result.

NSW Health said the "weak positive" result reflected the resident's past infection.

"It's not uncommon for patients who have recovered from past infection to have a positive result," a spokesperson said.

"These patients are not infectious and do not pose a risk to the community.

"A cause for this resident's symptom, unrelated to COVID-19, has been identified and is being managed."

Anglicare Sydney, which operates the facility, earlier told families the resident would remain in their room for 24 hours and be cared for by staff in full personal protective clothing.

Health authorities in NSW earlier confirmed four new coronavirus cases and expressed concern about declining testing rates.

One case was a result of local transmission, with the other three found among returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

NSW Health's Christine Selvey said the case confirmed today was a contact of a previous infection who attended the Eastern Suburbs Legion Club in Sydney's Waverley.

A total of 9,316 tests were completed in the reporting period, down from over 14,000 on Saturday.

It's the first time testing rates have dropped below 10,000 since July 7, when 9,746 swabs were recorded.

Dr Selvey said health authorities had become increasingly concerned about testing rates over the past two weeks.

She said people in south-west, south-east and Western Sydney were particularly at risk of catching coronavirus and should be proactive about seeking a swab.

Meanwhile, authorities have tightened rules around who is punished if private gatherings exceed COVID restrictions for guest limits.

NSW Police said anyone at a private party of more than 20 people risked a $1,000 fine, under changes designed to reduce the spread of coronavirus over the festive season.

Previously only the organiser of an event was liable to receive a fine, but from midnight tonight all attendees will be held responsible for a breach.

Operation Corona Virus Commander, Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell said the changes would ensure community safety ahead of an expected increase in Christmas and end-of-year gatherings.

"Coming into the warmer months, and with end-of-year festivities around the corner, it's only natural that people will have additional reasons to want to gather and get together," he said.

"These amendments aim to ensure that an increase in expected gatherings doesn't mean an increase in COVID-19 cases."

Dr Selvey said the risk of outbreaks and resurgence of the virus was significantly higher when testing rates dip.

"It's vital that everyone who does have the virus is tested and diagnosed in order to stop further spread to others," she said.

She said school holidays, which begin on September 28, place the state further at risk as people from Sydney travel to regional or rural areas. ... d=msedgdhp

NSW records one locally acquired case of COVID-19
Just one case of community transmission of COVID-19 was reported in Sydney on Monday but, as testing numbers drop, NSW Health warns there is still a risk of outbreaks.

Four new cases were recorded in NSW overnight. Three were in returned overseas travellers and one was a locally acquired case linked to a known cluster.

NSW Health spokeswoman Christine Selvey said the new local case was a close contact of a previously confirmed case who had attended the Eastern Suburbs Legion Club in Waverley.

"This person had been in self-isolation while infectious," she said.

Almost 2.5 million tests have been conducted in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic, but testing numbers have dropped over the past two weeks. Just over 9300 tests were reported in that period, down from more than 14,400 the day before.

"While there has only been one new locally acquired case recorded in the past 24 hours, the virus is likely circulating among people in the community with mild symptoms," Dr Selvey said.

"This means there is still a risk of outbreaks and a resurgence of cases."

Dr Selvey urged anyone with symptoms, particularly those living in the south-western, western and south-eastern Sydney areas to come forward for testing.

"This is even more important with the upcoming school holidays, when people will travel across the state," she said.

Cases without a known source are the biggest worry for health authorities in easing any lockdown measures, said Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth, as Victoria recorded 35 new cases and a further seven deaths.

In the past week there have been 99 new cases without a known source, or "mystery cases" in Victoria. Speaking on Nine's Today show, Dr Coatsworth said Victoria needed to get down to single-digit mystery cases.

"They will need to head down into something that is clearly manageable as it is in NSW," he said.

Playgrounds have reopened and single people are now allowed to have a single visitor in their social bubble in the first easing of Melbourne's stage four restrictions today.

Queensland recorded no new cases, but the state's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said Queensland would need to hit a 14-day streak of no cases of community transmission before restrictions in the south-east would be eased again. ... d=msedgdhp


20 the limit in NSW or cop a fine
Each and every guest could cop a $1000 fine if there are more than 20 people partying together in NSW as the festive season gets under way.

NSW police are warning that amendments have been made to the Public Health Order, with partygoers now risking a $1000 fine if the gathering exceeds the 20-person limit.

Where previously, only the organiser of a gathering was liable to receive a fine if the number of people at the premises breached the Public Health Order, every reveller will now be held responsible for the breach.

The changes, which come into effect at midnight, aim to ensure the safety of the community ahead of the expected increase in gatherings associated with Christmas and end-of-year festivities.

"Coming into the warmer months, and with end-of-year festivities around the corner, it's only natural that people will have additional reasons to want to gather and get together," Operation Corona Virus Commander, Assistant Commissioner Crandell said on Monday.

"These amendments aim to ensure that an increase in expected gatherings doesn't mean an increase in COVID-19 cases.

"The new changes come in addition to other restrictions which remain in place, including a limit on numbers at outdoor gatherings and licensed premises," he said. ... d=msedgdhp

NSW government to unveil strategy to revive Sydney's 24-hour economy
More late-night transport, longer opening hours and fewer restrictions for live music could be introduced under a plan to revive Sydney’s 24-hour economy.

On Monday, the New South Wales government is expected to reveal a new strategy to unlock the cities cultural and economic potential.

A new coordinator general will be tasked with cutting red tape and regulation and the plan will include a city-wide map identifying night-time hotspots. ... d=msedgdhp

<< While I expect this is the NSW govt caving into the tourist and club and pub industries , and IMO too much too soon BECAUSE there is still significant levels of covid19 circulating in Sydney ( up to 20 new cases per day , many untraceable , this means Sydney could very quickly go the same way Melbourne did in June and July if millennials & GenZEDs took this as signal to party and get together like "there is no tomorrow".
NSW already has more than it's share of covidiots who are more than willing to spread covid19 around .>>

SCHOOLIES --- they can't go on a Schoolies Cruise, or to Bali , they can't go to the Gold Coast ( from NSW or Vic ) , they are known for outrageous behavior and many won't bother social distancing .
Schoolies urged to stay away from Byron Bay until COVID-19 threat passes
Key points:
Large gatherings will not be allowed in Byron Bay during the schoolies celebration period
School leavers are urged to postpone their trips by at least a few months
Nightclubs will be closed and other venues will operate under COVID-19 social distancing rules

School leavers are being urged to stay away from Byron Bay until the threat of coronavirus decreases.

Schoolies celebrations usually begin in the popular northern New South Wales tourist destination in November.

However, Byron Bay community leaders have united in their call for young people to postpone their trips to a later date.

Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said schoolies would be disappointed with what's on offer compared to previous years.

"We're not going to be offering the experience they're hoping for," Councillor Richardson said.

"Night clubs won't be open, there'll be no dancing, public spaces will be closed for public gatherings, bars and licensed venues are very different too.

"If you do come, we will hold you responsible for your actions. We want you to leave with great memories — not regrets."

Councillor Richardson said it was not a matter of whether schoolies was "on or off" as New South Wales residents were still free to travel within their state.

"Unlike the Gold Coast, we don't put anything on for schoolies, we don't have a festival with a big stage or anything like that," he said.

"For us it's a matter of saying: 'If you don't have to come it would be way better from a community perspective, a safety perspective, and a schoolies perspective if you could come another time'.'"

Police will crack down on gatherings
Tweed-Byron Police Detective Acting Superintendent Cameron Lindsay said a significant police presence would still be deployed in Byron Bay, including officers from Sydney.

Detective Lindsay said police would be enforcing public health orders that did not allow gatherings of more than 20 people.

"If school leavers think they're going to come to Byron Bay to have a holiday from COVID, that's not the case," he said.

"If there are parties in Airbnb and rental properties or rental properties of over 20 people, police will be taking action.

"We can't allow it for the safety of people in Byron Bay who have sacrificed so much and done so well to be COVID-free. We do not want to jeopardise this community."

Northern New South Wales Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones said "it was no accident" that the region remained free of coronavirus cases.

"Our communities have worked tirelessly to ensure physical distancing, all the strategies required to limit the risk of COVID," Mr Jones said.

"If you do come, and there are the slightest symptoms at all, go and get tested. Don't put yourself, your friends, and our community at risk."

Hit to local economy
Councillor Richardson acknowledged the message could be seen as a hit to the already struggling local business community.

"It's another kick in the guts after 12 months of horrendous external pressures on our economy," he said.

"Schoolies though isn't an incredible economic driver, some shops do quite well like the supermarkets or the kebab shop, but a lot of other shops do badly because other visitors and locals don't come into town.

"We're not saying 'We don't want you', we're saying 'We'd just love, on behalf of our community, for you to come at a different time.

"We'll be here and open and would love to see you." ... w/12660668

Cameras, drones to patrol distancing on state's beaches
A new operations centre is being opened to patrol physical distancing on Metro , Newcastle , Central Coast and Illawarra beaches ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12621
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:25 am


Queensland premier would rather lose election than bow to border pressure - The Sunshine State recorded zero new coronavirus cases overnight for the second consecutive day
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she's prepared to lose the election rather than bow to pressure to reopen the state's border.
"If it means losing the election, I will risk all that if it means keeping Queenslanders safe," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"I'm putting myself out there, I'm putting myself on the line."

Commenting on the recent border controversies, Ms Palaszczuk said her government was "beefing up" its exemptions team to deal with the number of requests coming through.

"In relation to individual personal cases, we are trying to do more, we are going to be better at dealing with the individual circumstances of people's individual stories," she said.

"That's why we have an exemptions unit and we are beefing that up. These are very difficult times for everybody.

"My heart goes out to everybody, but these individual cases, the exemptions unit and the clinicians will make those decisions in the best of the best possible way that they can."

Ms Palaszczuk indicated Queensland was also open to adding more spaces in hotel quarantine for travellers coming from overseas.

Earlier today, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian called on other states to take on some of the burden of caring for returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

"I would love to see the other states take their fair share," Ms Berejiklian said.

"We're doing so much more than all the other states combined."

Ms Palaszczuk said the matter would be discussed at national cabinet on Friday.

"Where we can take some more, I think we should, because I think it's really important that overseas families can come home during this global pandemic," she said.

During the press conference, Ms Palaszczuk joined her colleagues in defending the state's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.

Today, it was revealed that Dr Young had been forced to engage police protection outside her home after receiving threats.

Queensland chief health officer receiving death threats over border closure
Revelations have emerged this morning that a permanent police team has been deployed to accompany Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young after she received numerous death threats over the state's tough border stance.
AMA Queensland president Chris Penny on Monday revealed the situation had become “toxic,” prompting a police guard to be appointed to follow her at all times as well as officers stationed outside her home.

Reports revealed Ms Young received threats in relation to her recent denial of exemption requests from interstate travellers to attend a loved one’s funeral.

Online trolls also targeted the chief health officer after she admitted she granted border exemptions for film and television stars and crew because they were bringing money into the economy.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejkilian appealed to her Queensland counterpart to reopen the border on account of low community transmission numbers.


"Dr Young is one of the most professional women I have ever met," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Her advice has kept Queensland safe during this pandemic. It's not right that a public servant of her high standing, she is regarded as one of the best in the nation be attacked for giving her clear advice." ... d=msedgdhp

Hopes Queensland Health's purchase of Gladstone's private hospital will be a turning point
Health advocates say crunch time for the future of medical services in Gladstone is looming.

Queensland Health purchased the Mater Hospital in April this year after Mercy Health and Aged Care announced in 2019 that it would close the facility.

Procedural services were reduced in August.

Oncology services are due to finish on September 25.

Local GP Gaston Boulanger said medical services were "not up to scratch" in the industrial city.

"I've seen now so many people leave the region because of the lack of medical services," he said.

"This needs to stop."

Retaining specialists
Dr Boulanger said he was concerned by the local health service's priorities.

"If you make Gladstone a centre of emergency medicine, it means that you deplete the non-emergency services, and that's what we have seen happening," he said.

He said about 10 specialist doctors had left the area and were working in the neighbouring Wide Bay.

But "staff turnover is part of life," according to Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service (CQHHS) chief executive Steve Williamson.

"While some have left, we have recruited others," he said.

"Numbers at Gladstone Hospital have grown substantially since 2014.

"There are 52 doctors, up from 18, 291 nurses, up from 198, with a total staff number of 508, up from 247."

Cramped conditions
Dr Boulanger said calls for an ICU to support specialist services had gone unanswered since 2012.

"[The theatres] were too small to do a normal operation like a orthopaedic surgery or ENT surgery," he said.

"An anaesthetist over 1.8 metres had to bend, otherwise he would hit his head on the ceiling devices.

"You can only build an ICU if you have decent sized theatres."

Dr Boulanger said the purchase of the Mater "could solve a few problems" if the right decisions were made.

"We instantly have decent theatres … we could have more beds … and we also have a space where we could build an ICU," he said.

"We have to hope that this will work out otherwise it would be a disaster.

"It's about the patients of Gladstone, it's about the cancer patients who need their chemotherapy, it's people who need operations, it's about our kids.

"I really hope that CQHHS sees the light and finally is going to do something about the depletion of the Gladstone Hospital."

'Little brother'
Dr Boulanger said the port city's medical services came second to Rockhampton.

"It's all the things that people in Gladstone feel," he said.

"The little brother who gets the second-hand clothes — that's the general feeling here in the community."

Mr Williamson said three of CQHHS's nine board members were from Gladstone.

"Rockhampton remains the main referral centre," he said.

"This is a matter of effective resource allocation.

"It is simply not possible to provide every service in every location, but we work hard to ensure seamless services across the region for our patients."

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said in a statement he had been working to improve health services in the town "after decades of next to no investment".

"ICU capabilities and integration of the public private partnership" were part of CQHHS's 10-year plan, he said.

Dr Boulanger said a 10-year timeframe was "absolutely not good enough". ... d=msedgdhp

Alert for Queenslanders in Goddna, Redbank Plains & Redbank
Qld Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said that all Queenslanders must work through the pandemic together ... d=msedgdhp


Flight Centre CEO calls for Queensland to open up
light Centre's CEO Graham Turner has called on the Queensland Government to open its borders. ... d=msedgdhp

Push to make Far North Queensland a COVID-19 'quarantine hub' for Australians returning from overseas
A Federal MP is calling for a quarantine hub to be established in Far North Queensland to help Australians stranded overseas get back home in time for Christmas.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said states needed to increase their hotel quarantine capacity to allow more Australians back into the country after international arrivals were capped at 4,000 people per week in July.

Currently travellers who are able to get back must spend 14 days quarantining in a hotel at their own expense.

Far North Queensland Federal MP Warren Entsch said Cairns, where many hotels were empty because of travel restrictions, was well positioned to become a quarantine hub.

"We have an international airport here, they could fly directly from whatever country they are stranded in," Mr Entsch said.

"We have the facilities here, we have hotels that have shut down because of this pandemic.

"We already have hotels here that are operating as quarantine hubs — they've got the experience.

"They have never had a problem, they have worked exceptionally well.

"We have got a very capable hospital here that is fully equipped to be able to deal with any emergency.

"This move would re-create jobs."

The ABC has sought comment on the idea from Home Affairs and from the office of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Cairns economy takes $1b hit
Queensland Hotels Association chief executive Bernie Hogan said the economic benefits of making Cairns a quarantine hub for returning Australian citizens would provide a boost for the region.

"This may be an opportunity to have those Queenslanders get back to work, who are in those hotels," he said.

"But also in the food preparation and the transport and the services that go into running one of these hotels.

"It is a decision [individual operators] have to make, and it will be widely considered, I'd say, by the hotel industries.

"It may not be the typical guests or patrons that they're used to, but they're large, long-term contracts that would obviously help those hotels that are able to secure them."

A Cairns Regional Council report found the local economy was expected to take a $1 billion hit, with nine out of 10 businesses in the region impacted by COVID-19.

The report found the unemployment rate was expected to climb to 12 per cent, with 13,000 jobs affected, including 7,700 job losses.

The 4870 postcode – which encompasses the city – has the highest number of people receiving the Federal Government's JobKeeper program in Queensland. ... d=msedgdhp

Norfolk Island pitched as quarantine-free 'overseas' holiday destination for Queenslanders amid coronavirus
It might be a domestic destination, but Norfolk Island is being pitched to Queenslanders keen to get on a plane again and head "overseas".

The island, situated between New Caledonia and New Zealand, boasts stunning vistas, coral reefs and a rich colonial history, but the island's Administrator, Eric Hutchinson, is using a different selling point to market the island to Queensland holidaymakers.

"There's no need to quarantine when you arrive on Norfolk Island from Queensland," Mr Hutchinson told ABC Radio Brisbane.

"Similarly, for Norfolk Island residents and Queenslanders returning, there's no requirement to quarantine in Queensland at the moment."

"It is a wonderful opportunity for Queenslanders who may be looking to travel further afield than what is possible on the mainland now."

When it comes to arrivals, Emergency Management Norfolk Island has adopted Queensland's coronavirus hotspot approach, meaning there are restrictions for people coming from New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, who are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Norfolk Island not just for 'newly wed or newly dead'
Mr Hutchinson also spruiked the island's "paddock to plate" food experience, its beaches with "the most southern coral in the world", its national park and convict world heritage site.

"I think many Australians would enjoy and have an experience that you can't really get in any other part of the country," he said.

Mr Hutchinson said the island's temperate weather also offered respite from Queensland's blistering summer.

ABC Radio Brisbane listeners called in to share their experiences on the island.

One listener, Vicky, said she had a "funny experience" when she told family they were going to Norfolk Island.

"We told my father-in-law that we were going to Norfolk Island for a holiday and he said, 'Why would you want to go there? It's for the newly wed or the newly dead,'" she said.

"We went and had the most wonderful time.

"Its stunning naturally beauty, friendly residents and peaceful atmosphere were just what we needed."

Another listener, Claudette, said she had been there twice and loved it, noting it was full history and stunning beaches.

"Emily [Bay] is a horseshoe-shaped cove where you can swim out onto a pontoon," Claudette said.

Rita from Acacia Ridge said it was "absolutely beautiful".

Island desperate to restart economy after lockdown
The island went into lockdown when a state of emergency was declared on March 16. It reopened on July 10.

While Norfolk is yet to record any cases of COVID-19, measures to prevent the virus reaching the island have come at a cost.

Tourism is a major economic driver on Norfolk Island, which 1,750 people call home.

"The economy here … is very substantially dependent on that visitor economy," Mr Hutchison said.

"The decision that we made back in March to lock the island down has had a significant impact on many, many businesses here."

He said without the Federal Government's JobKeeker scheme, the consequences of the restrictions would have been "catastrophic".

But with the stimulus package being reduced this month, Mr Hutchinson said reopening the island to tourists would be essential. ... d=msedgdhp

Tourism boom in Southern Queensland expected to last three to five years
A renewed road tripping trend is behind a tourism boom in Southern Queensland that is expected to last three to five years.

With international and interstate travel brought to a halt by COVID-19 restrictions, many Queenslanders have started exploring their own state by road.

Dalby Homestead Motel manager Margaret Brotchie said she was getting many visitors from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast who had never been to Dalby.

"The last couple of months have been exceptionally busy," Ms Brotchie said.

"Most people who live on the coast stay around that area, but they've decided 'Well, we've seen this area, so we'll go for somewhere different'.

"Most of them have said how impressed they were about the place and they would be back at some point, which is great for tourism in Dalby."

Southern Queensland Country Tourism CEO Peter Homan said some operators were reporting the best calendar year on record.

"That's just amazing given that for a couple of months some [businesses] completely closed," he said.

"There's a lot stronger inquiry into that sort of six-to-10-month period than there ever has been before in this area."

Attractive destination
Through surveys conducted by the tourism body, Mr Homan said they had found people were wanting to escape metropolitan areas and explore nature.

"But from what we're looking at, the next three to five years will be incredibly strong," he said.

Mr Homan said regional Southern Queensland had become a more attractive tourism destination because of the lower COVID-19 infection rates.

"We're deemed as a safe destination to come to," he said.

"We've got great products, we've got really good food and wine in our areas, and we've got terrific national parks. And I think that's what people are looking for.

"And it's in abundance and it's beautiful, it's healthy."

Mr Homan said the Dalby region had many attractions such as fishing, bushwalks, and mountain biking trails.

"I think we've got the right things here in this region to offer them within a short drive," he said.

"The one thing we'll continue to market is our beautiful natural assets and food that we produce in this area." ... d=msedgdhp

People buying homes 'sight unseen' as Queensland's regional property market runs hot
Regional Queensland is experiencing a real estate boom, with the market so hot some buyers are purchasing houses without even seeing them in person.

Sold signs are littered across Bundaberg, a dramatic turnaround from a few years ago when some homes sat on the market for up to 12 months.

Third-generation real estate agent Kurt Dempsey said he had never seen the market so busy, with interest coming from around the country and overseas.

Mr Dempsey said the coronavirus pandemic was playing a major role, as city dwellers looked to move away from inner-city density for a more relaxed, open-air regional lifestyle.

"The real estate in Bundaberg is going off," he said.

"I think Bundaberg has so much to offer, and with all the madness that's going on in the [capital] cities, people are making the change to move to regional areas."

'Reason to move'
With its coastal location and proximity to Brisbane, Mr Dempsey believed it was not just rum and ginger beer that Bundaberg had to offer.

The region produces 25 per cent of Australia's small crops, has consistently mild weather, and easy access to natural wonders like Fraser Island (K'gari) and the southern Great Barrier Reef.

A median house price of $280,000 is also hard to beat.

"Now we are selling properties sight unseen; we are doing Skype tours," Mr Dempsey said.

"The value is there, people are just prepared to pay the price — this is the best it's ever been.

"I think they have needed a reason to move, and they have literally bought a house in Bundaberg to get out of the situation they are in."

'Community feel'
Bundaberg is not the only centre where houses are selling quickly.

About 200 kilometres to the west, buyers are snapping up homes in the North Burnett town of Monto for less than $100,000.

Real estate agent Louisa Bambling has sold 40 houses this year, more than she ever expected.

Ms Bambling said she believed affordable prices and access to essential services made Monto attractive to retirees wanting a home base while traveling around Australia.

"Price point is definitely a part of it," she said.

"We've had a lot of sales under or around $100,000, but I think buyers have been looking to regional areas, and the community feel of Monto really captures them.

"They don't want to go to a small town where there is nothing. They want a hospital, doctor, chemist, supermarkets — they are all pretty important."

A few hundred kilometres south of Monto is the South Burnett town of Kingaroy, but it is not peanuts or the local bacon festival that are attracting people.

Builder Peter Davidson said he had had his busiest-ever period as tree-changers looked to escape regions like Brisbane, Sydney or the Sunshine Coast.

"We've probably got 20 houses ahead of us, but we could have more," Mr Davidson said.

"I think people are trying to get away from the hustle and bustle.

"They can sell their house in Brisbane or Sydney and buy a cheap block of land, build a nice house and afford to retire."

The regional property boom has not pushed up property prices yet.

However, the chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, Antonia Mercorella, said as border restrictions eased, housing demand could jump higher, pushing up prices.

"We've seen modest house growth, we haven't seen that frenzy that Sydney and Melbourne has experienced, and that's not a bad thing," she said.

"It's been steady and reliable, but I do think in a post-pandemic world, our property market is set to do incredibly well."

Ms Mercorella said listings were down, creating higher demand.

"My advice to sellers is if you are waiting, pressing pause, don't do so," she said.

"If anything, that is our biggest challenge — we just don't have enough stock.

"The data is telling us it is a very good time to sell." ... d=msedgdhp

Former bikie Shane Bowden charged over border breach
Former Queensland bikie Shane Bowden will face court in October after allegedly breaching quarantine in Victoria to travel to Queensland last month.

Queensland police issued a statement on Monday alleging a 48-year-old Queensland man flew from Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne on August 31 and provided false information on his border declaration.

Police investigations revealed he had also allegedly breached quarantine in Victoria.

He was immediately put into hotel quarantine under border restrictions requiring Queenslanders returning home to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Mr Bowden was arrested after completing his 14-day quarantine on Sunday night, and charged with one count of providing false or misleading documents under the Public Health Act.

The maximum penalty is $13,345.

He will appear before the Southport Magistrates Court on October 1. ... d=msedgdhp

Brisbane man hires a tow truck in a failed bid to re-enter Queensland after visit to NSW COVID-19 hotspot
A Brisbane man, who drove to Wollongong to rekindle a relationship with a former partner, has been caught re-entering Queensland on foot and trying to have his car towed through a Gold Coast border checkpoint.

The 51-year-old was stopped at the M1 border checkpoint on Saturday night and was told by officers that he could not re-enter the state unless he arrived by air and then spent 14 days in hotel quarantine.

Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said the man had driven from Wollongong, south of Sydney.

"He's come directly from a hotspot," he said.

"He was warned that if he attempted to gain entry from another checkpoint he would be identified and he would be fined."

Police said the man called a tow truck company which transported his vehicle into Queensland on Saturday via the Griffith Street checkpoint at Coolangatta.

"One of our vigilant and diligent police officers saw the vehicle and just decided to do a registration check on it and of course we had flagged that vehicle," Chief Superintendent Wheeler said.

"The vehicle was dropped off to an address at Tugun and that person was located there, so he had walked across the border.

"He told police he'd gone down there to rekindle a relationship and he's blatantly breached the Chief Health Officer's direction."

The man was handed a $4,003 infringement notice and ordered into 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine at a cost of $2,800.

Queensland Police said the tow truck company that transported the man's vehicle had done nothing wrong.


Police aware
Chief Superintendent Wheeler said police were aware that someone may try and use a tow truck to get their vehicle through a checkpoint.

"It's not something we haven't thought of before, we have done checks before," he said.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time we have identified the vehicle and been able to match it up with the driver.

"I'm not surprised really at anything, but it doesn't really help the cause when people are blatantly breaching the Chief Health officer's directions."

The latest border infringement comes one week after 43-year-old Brisbane man was caught trying to re-enter Queensland after driving to Tweed Heads to buy a fishing rod.

The man was handed a $4,003 infringement notice and will be forced to spend 14 days in quarantine on his return to Queensland. ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12621
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:38 am

The NT clinically eradicates coronavirus; Health Minister open to overseas arrivals
The Northern Territory has clinically eradicated coronavirus for the second time, but the NT Health Minister has reiterated her prediction that the jurisdiction will record more cases of the virus.

The NT was the first Australian jurisdiction to clinically eradicate coronavirus, back in June.

To meet the definition for clinical eradication there need to be no new recorded cases for 28 days since the last recovered case of the virus.

The Northern Territory's last case of coronavirus was confirmed on July 31, when a Darwin man who was flying from Melbourne to Darwin was told he had coronavirus in mid-flight.

Health Minister Natasha Fyles said despite eradicating the virus, the Government remained on high alert for potential future outbreaks.

"Although we have hit this clinical definition of eradication we were, and still are, aiming for a suppression strategy," she said.

"I do believe we will see COVID-19 in the Territory, but we are well prepared to deal with that.

"In terms of the eradication, we may see cases again in the NT but we have the resources in place, the testing, the contact tracing, to keep Territorians safe, to contain and supress that outbreak."

Ms Fyles said it was important Territorians with any symptoms of the virus, no matter how mild, continued to submit themselves for testing.

Open entry to Sydney arrivals firms
Ms Fyles backed the Government's plan to remove the hotspot declaration for Metropolitan Sydney on October 9 if case numbers in the area continue to trend down.

The removal of the hotspot declaration would mean arrivals from Sydney would no longer need to enter 14-day mandatory supervised quarantine.

She said removing the Metropolitan Sydney hotspot could provide a major boost to tourism numbers in the Northern Territory.

"[It] would allow Territorians to visit family and friends that they may have been cut off from, and also the potential of millions more visitors coming into the Territory," she said.

"But these border measures will be kept in place and that will be based around the clinical advice."

Ms Fyles said 70,000 people had entered the Northern Territory since the jurisdiction reopened its borders on July 17, when the Government introduced rules barring open entry to arrivals from designated hotspot zones.
Government undecided on changing quarantine cost
Ms Fyles confirmed the Government was "looking at the cost" of the fee coronavirus hotspot arrivals are charged for quarantining in the NT, after the Chief Minister last week flagged it could be adjusted.

Currently, people arriving in the Northern Territory and undertaking mandatory quarantine are charged $2,500, and low-income earners can apply for a reduced fee.

Ms Fyles said the current quarantine charge did not cover the Government’s costs, and that weighing up where the financial burden should fall was a "complex" calculation.

"We need to remember that [the quarantine program] is in place to keep the Territory safe from coronavirus," she said.

"The Chief Minister last week, in his comments acknowledged, that the fee we are charging people … is not reflective of the true cost, but we need to balance that up against a number of factors.

"It is a deterrent that fee, but there are Territorians that have to pay that that are going through hardship situations."

Last week the Chief Minister also said the Government could look at discounting the cost of mandatory quarantine for NT residents returning home.

Could the Howard Springs quarantine program expand?
Asked if Darwin's Howard Springs quarantine facility could be used to repatriate Australians stranded overseas due to coronavirus, Ms Fyles said the Government was "certainly open" to the idea.

The prospect of using the facility to quarantine international arrivals is being pushed by Federal Labor MP Luke Gosling, who has suggested Howard Springs could be a solution to "Australian citizens … being denied entry to their own country".

Previously the Howard Springs facility has been used to quarantine Australian coronavirus evacuees from Wuhan and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, and Ms Fyles said the facility could potentially quarantine up to 2,000 more individuals.

"The NT of course is well set up, particularly with the Howard Springs facility, and we will continue with the Chief Minister to work through that at the National Cabinet level," she said.

"There would be a lot of work to be undertaken if we were to see international flights arriving into the Northern Territory … but the NT is certainly open to that.

"We do need to be careful, as we saw from the Victorian quarantine and outbreak into that community, which has been absolutely devastating." ... d=msedgdhp

NT is COVID-free, but tourism will bring virus back, minister warns
The Northern Territory has eradicated coronavirus for the second time with the last confirmed case now recovered.

No new cases have been detected in the territory for 28 days, but Health Minister Natasha Fyles said coronavirus will make its way back as more hotspot areas are lifted and travellers from interstate visit the Top End.

Last week the Chief Minister announced the hotspot declaration for Greater Sydney will be lifted on October 9 after Sydney recorded seven days without any new cases.
Standing beside border protection workers at the Darwin International Airport, Health Minister Natasha Fyles said it's a positive step for the Territory.

"We have already seen Qantas schedule direct flights from Sydney to Darwin and return so this is an important step forward but the health of Territorians comes first," she said.

The Health Minister warned now was not the time to be complacent, as the number of tests increases each week.

"Early on in coronavirus we were testing 500 or 600 people per week, that has lifted to over 2000, last week was 2500 people," she said.

Federal Labor Member Luke Gosling has put pressure on the Commonwealth to increase the number of Australians able to return home, adding they could be housed at the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility.

Ms Fyles said the NT Government was looking at whether that could be an option.

"There would be a lot of work to be undertaken if we were to see international flights arriving into the Northern Territory," she said.

"It's always the health and safety of Territorians that comes first, but the Northern Territory is certainly open to that."

The NT Government is also discussing changes to the costs for Territorians staying at Howard Springs.

"There are Territorians that have to pay that who have gone through hardship situations so it is very complex in terms of prescribing those fees," Ms Fyles said. ... d=msedgdhp

Singapore Airlines suspends direct flights to Canberra as COVID-19 further hampers aviation industry
Singapore Airlines has announced it will no longer fly direct from Singapore to Canberra, even once coronavirus restrictions ease.

The airline scrapped its Canberra to Wellington leg in 2018, just 18 months after its maiden flight.

That decision was made after lacklustre passenger numbers in the early months, and a review of the route.

Now Singapore Airlines has indefinitely suspending all flights to the capital.

The airline will also halt flights to between Melbourne and Wellington, the replacement to the Canberra-Wellington leg.

The company cited a lack of demand as the reason behind the decision.

"Unfortunately the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry has led to Singapore Airlines having to make the very difficult decision to suspend services to Canberra and Wellington," the statement read.

"This decision is an extremely difficult one considering the dedication and commitment of our staff, and the hard work put in with our partners over the past few years … but it is necessary as we expect travel demand to remain stunted for a long period of time.

"We will carefully review our plans going forward, and make adjustments to our network to meet the changing demand patterns.

"Australia and New Zealand remain key markets for the SIA group and we remain firmly committed to ensuring both countries remain connected through our Singapore Hub."

Canberra's last direct international flight
The decision means there will no longer be any direct international flights out of the national capital.

Qatar still operates a flight between Canberra and Doha, but the service runs via Sydney.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, who has long campaigned for Canberra to be a major international transport hub, said Singapore Airlines' decision was expected given the impact of coronavirus on the tourism and aviation sectors.

"This suspension came as part of a broader announcement from Singapore Airlines that they are also laying off over 4,000 people from their workforce," Mr Barr said.

"Airlines are having to make extremely difficult choices to ensure their long-term survival as it will be many years before any normality returns to international travel."

Canberra Airport's head of aviation Michael Thomson agreed that the aviation industry had been "decimated" by the COVID-19 pandemic and said the announcement came "as no great surprise".

"We've enjoyed a successful partnership with Singapore Airlines since our first flight on September 21, 2016, and remain hopeful that this service will resume once the demand for international travel returns," he said.

"Canberrans hold a lot of affection towards Singapore Airlines and we look forward to welcoming them back to Canberra at some time in the future."

Government hopes route will resume 'when the time is right'
Canberra Business Chamber chief executive Graham Catt said a major airline withdrawing from the capital should be seen as a warning sign.

"I think we need to be acting very quickly, and we need to be sitting down with government and the business sector and thinking about what this means and what specific actions we need to be taking," he said.

Singapore was the first airline to offer regular international flights to and from Canberra since 2004, after Asia-Pacific's short-lived service to Fiji.

The Singapore-Canberra service had been running four times per week since 2016 before the pandemic hit.

The ACT Government said it hoped to see the service restart in the future.

"We are grateful for the fantastic relationship we have built with Singapore Airlines over the last five years and we have proven that the business case works," Mr Barr said.

"When the time is right we look forward to working with Canberra Airport and Singapore Airlines to return international flights to Canberra."

Canberrans will still be able to fly non-direct to Singapore under codeshare arrangements with Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand. ... d=msedgdhp


Union slams SA Health after elderly woman waits 110 hours in RAH emergency department
An elderly woman has waited almost five days for mental health treatment after presenting to the Royal Adelaide Hospital's emergency department, SA's doctors union says.

The long wait time led South Australia's Salaried Medical Officers Association (SASMOA) to declare a "mental health pandemic".

"The hospital is full, resuscitation areas are full, mental health patient beds and resources — all full," SASMOA's chief industrial officer Bernadette Mulholland said.

Ms Mulholland said she inspected the RAH this morning, and found more than 16 mental health patients waiting for a bed.

"One elderly patient has been waiting 110 hours for a bed," Ms Mulholland said.

"It is criminal that we see elderly patients waiting that extent of time to get care in South Australia."

Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) chief executive, Leslie Dwyer, confirmed the woman had been moved to a "very specific" bed this morning.

"I unreservedly apologise to that woman, her family, and the staff … it's not our intention to have people waiting that long," she said.

"We need to get much better at quickly seeing those people, and assessing the type of care they need."

It's not the first time the RAH's emergency department has come under fire for its treatment of mental health patients, with SA's Chief Psychiatrist launching an investigation into the use of restraints.

SA Labor said the showed there were 89 people waiting for a bed in emergency departments across metropolitan Adelaide this morning — 40 of those at the RAH.

At the time of publication, eight people had been waiting longer than 24 hours for a bed, and six people had been waiting longer than 12 hours.

SASMOA said it did not believe the Marshall government was doing enough to provide adequate resourcing for mental health patients in SA.

"Simply asking 'are you okay?' is not enough. We need to provide clinicians with more support, resources, and beds for patients in this state," Ms Mulholland said.

"It's human rights abuse and it's got to stop."

The state government blamed the surge in mental health presentations across Adelaide emergency departments on the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This has been a very stressful time for Australians, and we’re not immune from that in South Australia," Premier Steven Marshall said.

"That's why we're massively increasing the ED capacity at the Flinders Medical Centre, which will alleviate some of the stress on the RAH."

The Premier added that overall, emergency departments presentations were down compared to this time last year.

Mental health clinic privatisation sparks concern
In an effort to address the surge, the state government has announced a 40-person rgent mental health care centre in Adelaide's CBD, to be opened by mid-2021.

But the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has criticised the government for awarding the contract to a private provider, rather than SA Health.

"When private enterprise is offered essential service, they simply skim the profit, and when things go awry the public is left with the consequences and the payment," ANMF's SA branch secretary Elizabeth Dabars said.

The Central Adelaide Local Health Network ultimately lost its bid to run the centre in Adelaide to US-based provider, RI International, despite offering to keep the facility open four hours longer per day.

Shadow Health Minister Chris Picton said the move would ultimately lead to worse outcomes for patients and the health system.

"We've heard from concerned clinicians that this is going to mean less service, less connection between the hospitals and this private provider, and it's only going to increase the number of transfers that will inevitably have to go to the already over-ramped public hospital emergency department," Mr Picton said.

However Health Minister Stephen Wade said the right decision was made.

"All bidders including SA Health were considered as part of the tender process and the recommendation from that process was that this is the best model," he said.

"We strongly believe that we need to have alternative care pathways for people other than in EDs." ... d=msedgdhp

South Australian Premier hints at opening border with New South Wales and ACT tomorrow
South Australia's Premier has hinted a decision on reopening the border with New South Wales and the ACT could come as soon as tomorrow, as SA Police sound out other emergency services to relieve police officers working in COVID-19 monitoring.

Premier Steven Marshall said the Transition Committee would meet on Tuesday to discuss the data around coronavirus cases in NSW and the ACT.

"If they [Transition Committee] make a decision … authorising travel with the ACT or New South Wales, that will be made [public] immediately," he said.

"We want to give as much of a leg-up to those people who are wanting to travel for business … family reunions … as soon as possible.

"The numbers are looking really good, and it's obviously a decision that the Transition Committee needs to decide. But if they give us that advice tomorrow, we'll be very quick to act on that.

"It could be tomorrow but … I don't want to pre-empt it."

Mr Marshall said once a decision was made, border restrictions would be relaxed "very quickly".

"I'm very keen to open that border the minute we get the advice it's safe to do so," he said.

"We usually try to give people advice in advance if we're going to close the border, whereas opening a border is a different matter.

"If we make a decision to open the border I think it would be done very, very quickly."

Police reach out to firefighters for help
South Australia Police are reaching out to the state's other emergency services to see whether they may have capacity to lend a hand with COVID-19 monitoring efforts.

"The Commissioner of SAPOL has requested support from the emergency services with a range of activities related to policing the COVID restrictions," Country Fire Service (CFS) Chief Mark Jones said in an email circulated within the organisation last week.

"In doing so, [Commissioner Grant Stevens] recognises the fact that we work in disciplined environments and have some enforcement powers and experience.

"SAPOL have cancelled leave and scaled down many operational activities but their staff are still suffering greatly from a lack of stand down and the recession indicates rising crime levels.

"The Commissioner has indicated that any help we can provide would be very gratefully received."

Mr Jones said the CFS, the Metropolitan Fire Service and the State Emergency Service would "try to offer some support to SAPOL" in a spirit of all services "facing this challenge together".

Areas SA Police has requested assistance in include enforcing border controls with Victoria, policing COVID restrictions in entertainment venues and gatherings, monitoring entry points such as Adelaide airport, and conducting home visits for those required to isolate.

"It is helpful that the (fire) season start looks like being slightly later than last year, which may give us the chance to offer a slightly longer period of support than might have been the case," Mr Jones wrote.

"We propose to enrol volunteers for these purposes on short-term contracts and make them paid staff for the period. The payment level has been determined as OPS3 ($32.55 per hour)."

The CFS confirmed it had been approached by SAPOL, but said any move to assist police was only in its preliminary stages.

In a statement provided to the ABC, SA Police said it was the coordinating agency for the major pandemic emergency.

"They have had discussions on all aspects of the COVID-19 response in this state with emergency service response organisations and other government agencies that perform compliance roles within the community, including the Local Government Association," it said.

"These discussions have related to ensuring an appropriate response to COVID-19 and other emergency incidents as we approach the fire danger season." ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12621
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:11 am


New Zealand to lift coronavirus curbs in most of country on Sept. 21
New Zealand on Monday reported one new case of coronavirus in the community, taking the total number of cases to 1,447 and 24 deaths.
New Zealand will lift coronavirus restrictions across the country on Sept. 21, except in its biggest city, Auckland, which is the epicentre of a second wave of infections, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.

Ardern said Auckland's restrictions would be reviewed next Monday. She also said the government would immediately ease all physical distancing requirements on planes, a boost for Air New Zealand, which has had to limit passengers on its planes for months.

"I know this change will make a real difference to Air New Zealand and those parts of the country seeking increased numbers of visitors," Ardern said in a news conference in the South Island city of Dunedin, where she is on an election campaign trip.

Masks will still be mandatory on all public transport, she said.

New Zealand, a nation of five million, had appeared to have succeeded in halting community transmission of COVID-19, but a fresh outbreak in Auckland in August prompted the government to place the city back in lockdown.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is facing a general election on Oct. 17, scaled back the restrictions this month, but the city is still under alert level 2.5, meaning social gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed.

Ardern cabinet will review the current rules for Auckland at its meeting on Sept. 21, with a view to increase gathering limits if the situation stays stable.

That change, if it comes, will take effect on Sept. 23, she said. ... d=msedgdhp
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12621
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:14 am


Guam boy, 10, dies as Covid outbreak threatens country's health system
A 10-year-old boy has become Covid-19’s latest fatality on Guam, as the island struggles to rein in an outbreak that threatens to overwhelm its public health system.

The boy, who had underlying health conditions, died on Sunday night at the US Naval Hospital, 10 days after contracting the virus. He is the 26th person to die from Covid on Guam.

More than 1,890 infections have been confirmed – 249 of them US military service members – on an island of just 166,000 people. Testing has found Guam’s Covid-positive rate at 10%.

The governor of Guam, Lou Leon Guerrero, offered her condolences to the boy’s family in their “immeasurable grief”, and said “this island grieves with you”.

Related: Sailor dies from Covid-19 and almost 600 test positive after outbreak on USS Theodore Roosevelt

“The loss of a young child is different: children are innocent.

“When that light is put out too soon ... we have all lost. As a mother and a grandmother, losing a child seems especially senseless. But that’s because this virus isn’t reasonable, it won’t discriminate, it won’t get lazy, it will not grow tired, divisive or complacent. It will take what it can and it’s our job to protect each other.”

Leon Guerrero said the battle against Covid in Guam “is the fight of our lifetimes”. She has previously warned Guam’s healthcare system risks being overwhelmed.

“We are in very dire straits. We are in very desperate times. Our island right now is sick,” she said in extending the island’s public health emergency and stay at home orders.

Ten people remain in intensive care. Seventy per cent of Guam’s cases have occurred in August and September, Guerrero said: “If our numbers don’t change, I’m afraid we will reach a point where our hospital is so full of Covid patients that we may not have room to treat any other ailment, and doctors may be forced to choose who should be treated because we lack the resources to do so.”

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt docked in Guam – an unincorporated territory of the US – in March, unloading sailors in the midst of a mass outbreak of Covid-19 on the ship.

The 1,156 infections from the ship are not counted in Guam’s domestic total, but Guam officials have publicly detailed nearly 250 military-linked cases on the island, including 35 airmen who went to local restaurants, raising concerns about military personnel as vectors for the virus.

lsewhere in the Pacific, French Polynesia has recorded another 67 Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, raising its total to 1,020.

Of those cases, 958 have been detected since August, when the government and the French high commission re-opened borders and abolished quarantine restrictions for tourists.

On 9 August, there were just 69 infections. Since that date the number of confirmed cases has increased nearly 1,500%.

In Papua New Guinea, the number of infected cases has surged past 500, with new cases in the capital Port Moresby and in Western Province taking the total to 507, with five deaths.

But the number of actual infections is likely far higher as only 17,000 tests have been done across all of Papua New Guinea during the pandemic. ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12621
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:21 am


Scott Morrison announces $211million plan to keep fuel prices low
Scott Morrison has announced a $211million plan to keep fuel prices 'as low as possible' as the nation emerges from the coronavirus-caused recession.

The prime minister wants to protect the nation from any future 'price shocks' by increasing domestic fuel storage and supporting local oil refineries.

New domestic storage facilities to hold 780ML of diesel will be built at a cost of $200million, creating 950 jobs during construction.
The government will also pay refineries to stay open and turn oil into fuel when they may otherwise close because they are struggling to make money.

Coronavirus restrictions around the world cut gasoline demand by 50 per cent and jet fuel demand by 70 per cent, in turn slashing the profits of refineries.

In April Caltex temporarily shut down its Brisbane refinery - one of four refineries across Australia - as the oil price plummeted.

If all four refineries are closed then fuel prices would jump by about 1 cent per lite, costing the economy $4.9billion over ten years, according to government modelling.

The government will also pass laws to require a minimum amount of fuel that has to be held in Australia.

The nation currently has 20 days' worth of diesel, 27 of jet fuel and 25 of petrol on shore. The government wants to increase diesel stockholdings by 40 per cent.

Diesel is essential to the farming, mining and transport sectors.
Australia's oil refineries
Altona, Melbourne - Mobil

Lytton, Brisbane - Caltex

Geelong, Victoria - Viva Energy

Kwinana, WA - BP

Source: AIP

It comes after the government bought $94million of crude oil at record low global prices to be stored in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve for access during a global emergency.

Mr Morrison said Australia's fuel security was essential for national security and that the country had been fortunate not to have experienced a significant fuel supply shock in over 40 years.

'Our positive changes to the fuel market will ensure Australian families and businesses can access the fuel they need, when they need it, for the lowest possible price,' Mr Morrison said in a statement.

'Fuel security underpins our entire economy. Not only does it keep Australia moving, the industry supports thousands of people across the country and this plan is also about helping keep them in work.

He said like all sectors of the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on Australia's fuel industry and was a reminder not to be complacent.

'We need a sovereign fuel supply to shield us from potential shocks in the future,' he said.

Minister for Energy Angus Taylor said Australian refineries are under significant financial pressure and the government is committed to working with the sector to ensure it has a long-term future.

'Almost all Australians are reliant on fuel and it is the lifeblood of so many sectors in our economy,' Mr Taylor said.

'Our farmers and miners rely heavily on diesel to do their jobs and provide services, while the transport sector sources 98 per cent of its energy from liquid fuels.' ... d=msedgdhp

Expanded fuel storage package to secure onshore supply for ‘crisis situations’
Energy Minister Angus Taylor says securing a reliable fuel source for Australia in the case of a potential crisis is the focal point of the federal government’s $211 million boost to onshore fuel storage.

On Monday, the prime minister and the energy minister are expected to announce a plan which will see a 780 megalitre increase to the nation’s fuel storage capacity.

New legislation will also be introduced to ensure a minimum number of days of fuel is kept in Australia, including 24 days for petrol and jet fuel and 28 days for diesel.

Mr Taylor told Sky News increasing domestic diesel supplies were a pivotal element of the plan, saying diesel fuelled essential services - including transport, mining and agriculture - were integral sectors in a crisis.
“The critical point here is were making sure there is enough fuel supply for extenuating circumstances,” he said.

“The good news about all of this is we’ve done it in a way that will add supply, add competition and put downward pressure on prices.

He said it was important the storage package was achieved “in a way that doesn’t impact consumers at the bowser”.

“This is so crucial to this package, making sure we get the balance right, extra supply, extra competition but extra reliability and control over our own destiny in extenuating circumstances,” Mr Taylor said. ... d=msedgdhp

Pregnant woman granted exemption to travel to Canada and visit dying mother bumped off flight home to Canberra
At 32 weeks pregnant with her first baby, Bobbie Dawson readied herself to board a flight to Canada to visit her mother, who was being transferred to palliative care.

It was not a trip she was looking forward to undertaking, but the Canberra-based resident had been granted exemption from the Australian Government on compassionate grounds to make the journey.

"It was obviously a difficult decision [for me] based on all the different factors," Ms Dawson said.

"My mother's health was deteriorating very rapidly, she was receiving palliative care and given a couple of weeks to live.

"But not many people are leaving the country unless it is under difficult circumstances."

As she was over 28 weeks pregnant, Ms Dawson required approval from her doctor to fly, but, because she had had "a very healthy pregnancy", she felt "confident going in the first place, up until that 36 week mark."

"When I booked the flights there were a lot of non-negotiables I had — what was going to make it viable for me to go back to Canada in a way that I thought was going to be safe and prudent and manageable if things like pre-term labour would occur," she said.

"I had put together a kind of personal risk management plan, and weighed up the pros and cons."

So, Ms Dawson flew to Canada for what would be a difficult and emotional trip — and during which all but a handful of days would be spent away from her mother, by herself in mandatory quarantine.

However, less than a week before she was due to fly back to Australia, Ms Dawson missed a call from Emirates.

Much to her surprise, she had been bumped from the third leg of her flight, which should have taken her from Dubai to Sydney, where she would complete another fortnight of quarantine.

"When the cancellation of the seat came, that was something that I hadn't anticipated," she said.

"When you're trying to wrap up the final days of a visit … it ended up being an almost chronic state of stress."

Nearly 36 weeks pregnant and no flight home
Despite booking her return flights through a registered travel agent in Australia, and with clear documentation detailing both her travel approval and her pregnancy timeline, Ms Dawson received "a flick of an email" from Emirates, notifying her that her economy seat had been cancelled.

"They tried to call me once," Ms Dawson said.

"The email on August 20 said, 'We have been unable to reach you regarding changes to your booking. Your flight from Dubai to Sydney has been cancelled due to Government regulations. Sorry for any inconvenience' … It was an automated message."

Stunned, Ms Dawson called Emirates "every four hours" to try and figure out what was going on and why her seat had been cancelled.

She eventually spoke with a supervisor who said, due to a cap on the number of people allowed to enter Australia, she had been bumped off her economy seat.

"Emirates was unwilling to discuss with me, from who made the decision to why they wouldn't consider my medical circumstances," Ms Dawson said.

"I was told in no uncertain terms that I couldn't be put back on my original flight."

In an email to Ms Dawson, Emirates said the airline was "constantly" making changes to their operations "depending on operational and government requirements".

"There are capacity restrictions mandated by the Australian Government and the selection is random," a customer sales representative told Ms Dawson.

"The situation is beyond our control."

In a statement to the ABC, Emirates said all of their customers were important to them and they continued to adopt a "balanced approach to seat allocation … across all of [their] cabins on flights".

"Despite the capacity restrictions, in most cases a large portion of our seats are allocated to economy class travellers with the remainder allocated to first and business class travellers. This proportion varies for each flight and depends on several factors," a spokesperson said.

"In addition, Emirates, in conjunction with embassies, consulates and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), continues to assess compassionate and humanitarian grounds as a priority to assist passengers seeking to return to Australia, with the earliest possible flights."

'Prepare to deliver the baby in Canada'
Since July, the Australian Government has capped the number of people coming home to Australia to just over 4,000 each week.

Sydney arrivals are capped at 350 passengers per day.

When Ms Dawson booked her return flights through a travel agency and left the country the next day, the caps had been in place for over a month.

But Ms Dawson, like other Australians currently stuck overseas, claims, in order to fit within the government cap, airlines are bumping economy passengers to prioritise passengers who have paid more for their fares in business and first classes.

Desperate to secure a flight home, Ms Dawson asked Emirates about being re-booked in business class, despite the additional cost.

"They said that there was nothing available until November," she said, noting that her yet unborn baby would be about six weeks old by then.

Instead she began calling travel agents in Canada and in Canberra, as well as the Australian High Commission in Ottawa.

The people she spoke to at the High Commission were "really supportive and lovely" but cautioned Ms Dawson to have "back-up plans".

If she was not able to fly before her pregnancy reached 36 weeks the High Commission advised she might have to consider delivering her baby in Canada.

$8,000 for a one-way ticket home
The High Commission suggested the "best case scenario" would be to apply for exemption from NSW hotel quarantine so that Ms Dawson would not "count" in Sydney's cap, and they offered to make some calls on her behalf.

Ms Dawson had in fact already applied to NSW Health for this exemption when she first arrived in Canada, and prior to her flight being cancelled.

As part of that application, she had a supporting doctor's letter outlining the late term of her pregnancy, and a plan for her husband to temporarily relocate from the family home so she could quarantine by herself.

But after eight days waiting, neither Ms Dawson nor her husband had heard back from NSW Health. When she followed it up, Ms Dawson was told that her exemption had been denied.

Her request for it to be reconsidered based on new circumstances was also denied.

"I ended up on the Friday, in the middle of the night, booking with United," she said.

"I wasn't particularly keen to fly through the US for a range of reasons, but there was no other option.

"Each day the flights were more and more limited, and even the business class tickets were more and more expensive."

In the end Ms Dawson paid $8,000 for a one-way ticket home, and travelled only a day later than her original flight.

She said, while she would have preferred not to have paid the extra money and did not need the stress of the cancelled flight, she was fortunate to be able to afford the airfare.

The ABC has heard of tickets for a business class seat on a plane from the United States costing up to $34,500.

Local politicians rally to get Ms Dawson home
On her final day in Canada, after what was a mentally draining time due to the nature of her trip, Ms Dawson received an automated email from Emirates confirming her flight from Dubai to Sydney.

This notification came with no prior notice that her seat had been reinstated, and three hours after she would have had to check in for the first leg of her original trip.

"They reinstated on me on a flight that I couldn't take," Ms Dawson said.

"So there was quite clearly some scope."

When Ms Dawson finally arrived in Sydney on August 27 — the day she ticked over to being 36 weeks pregnant — she was placed in a health-managed hotel to quarantine.

But Ms Dawson's husband had been petitioning both sides of ACT Government to secure her exemption from hotel quarantine.

"On the Friday, we heard from Alistair Coe's office. [They] had received an in-principle approval from the director of the Exemptions Unit … basically saying that she had requested that I be put into the police-managed quarantine facility, and pending approval from ACT Health, I could complete my quarantine back in Canberra," Ms Dawson said.

"Lucky for us, my husband had already heard back from ACT Health, and … I got the approval from ACT Health by the Friday afternoon."

Ms Dawson was finally able to return home.

So who is responsible for returning citizens on travel exemptions?
Ms Dawson's situation poses another question: What responsibility does the Australian Government have, to ensure those who are granted exemptions to travel and leave the country with return tickets, actually make it home?

"I don't think the Government has considered fully that, in granting the exemptions, that they are responsible, I think, for that return," Ms Dawson said.

"The fact is that it is a very rigorous process for leaving the country … that's where it's a little bit different to those living abroad and trying to get back.

"There needs to be a responsibility for the return of those who aren't residing overseas and who have permission to travel. What sort of recourse or advice is available to them to make sure they can actually return, and return safely?"

Furthermore, Ms Dawson said she thought the Government also had a responsibility to ensure price gouging did not happen.

"It's not ok to expect people to pay that much money," Ms Dawson said.

"The Government is saying there's nothing they can do because it’s the airline. But the inequity is something that they really need to take some responsibility for."

Earlier this month, Labor moved a motion in the Senate urging the Morrison Government to take "urgent action" on increasing quarantine capacity, increasing the number of permitted international arrivals, chartering flights if Australians are stranded, and "stopping price gouging by airlines flying into Australia".

"We have 23,000 Australians stranded overseas, 3,500 who are vulnerable," Senator Penny Wong said.

"We have our high commissions and embassies suggesting people crowd-fund. We have people not being able to get flights, and we have airlines behaving unfairly, cancelling economy seats and only allowing people to book first class or business class. We have people who haven't been refunded.

"The reality is, we are not even reaching the cap on current arrivals."

Many more Australians trying to get home
After a national cabinet meeting last week, Prime Minster Scott Morrison said that state premiers had agreed more Australians needed to be able to come home.

"We noted that New South Wales has been doing all the heavy lifting on this, and they really are at their capacity for the time being," Mr Morrison said.

"And so, as I discussed with Cabinet during the course of this week, the Transport Minister will be working with others to see if we can get flights that currently all seek to come to Sydney, to see if we're in a position to try and get them to go into other ports, whether that be in Perth, in Adelaide, in Darwin, the ACT, or elsewhere, even Tasmania."

On Sunday, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Government was working to boost hotel quarantine capacity and allow Australians stranded overseas to get home in time for Christmas.

But for people like Ms Dawson — Australian citizens, with family overseas — those discussions are already too late.

"I understand I appreciate the various restrictions and why they're in place, but I think at the core of it, there is an exemption process, and there should be — both with the Government and with the airlines — better handling and transparency around assisting people, rather than leaving people to scramble," Ms Dawson said.

"Those who have left and are trying to get back are in a different set of circumstances than those who are residing overseas and trying to return." ... d=msedgdhp

Scott Morrison blamed for marring Queensland father's funeral to 'advance political agenda'
Prime Minister Scott Morrison created "a media circus" at a Queensland father's funeral to advance his "political agenda", one of the man's daughters says.

A step-sister of a woman denied permission to go to her father's funeral in Queensland has accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of using her family's tragedy to advance his "political agenda".

Alexandra Prendergast is the step-sister of Sarah Caisip, who was in coronavirus quarantine after arriving in the state from Canberra and not allowed to attend her father Bernard's funeral in Brisbane.

The prime minister called Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk asking her to intervene on Thursday, but she would only refer it to the chief health officer.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington asked the premier about Ms Caisip's case in state parliament on the day, and later Mr Morrison phoned 2GB radio host Ray Hadley to talk about the case live on air.n the end, Queensland Health gave Ms Caislip, 26, permission to view her father's body, alone and dressed in full PPE, after the funeral on Thursday.

Footage and photos of Ms Caisip and her family were shown around the country on the nightly TV news and in the newspapers.

A number of federal coalition politicians including Mr Morrison, Matthias Cormann and Peter Dutton, as well as former Liberal party staffers and commentators like Peta Credlin attacked the Labor premier over the case.

But Ms Caisip's step-sister has reprimanded the prime minister and accused him of for conjuring up a media storm to further his political agenda, marring her final memories of her father.

Dying father in Queensland granted wish to have Sydney family visit amid debate on border policy
"Mr Morrison, I am extremely disappointed that you have used my family to try and advance your political agenda ... Your announcement of my father's funeral on [radio] prompted a media circus outside the crematorium at which the service was held," Ms Prendergast, 32, wrote in an open letter to the prime minister published by various media outlets.

"I am devastated that the final memories of my father have been marred by the media you have used to prosecute your political agenda."

Ms Prendergast said Mr Morrison's actions made "an absolutely devastating time for my family even harder".

"Sarah Caisip should not have been used as a tool to vilify the actions of the Queensland Premier and Health Department" on border controls, she wrote.

Ms Prendergast also called on Mr Morrison to apologise because while he highlighted her family's case "there's been many, many other cases that are very similar to this case where he has not intervened".

The federal coalition's criticism of the Queensland premier's border controls comes less than seven weeks out from the Queensland election.

Ms Frecklington has been calling for "consistency, compassion and common sense" on border exemptions" while criticising exemptions for "the rich and famous" after AFL executives and US actor Tom Hanks were given permission to do mandatory quarantine at hotels of their choosing in Queensland. ... cal-agenda

Tony Abbott blasts state border closures as 'heartless' - after being given preferential treastment and abandoning ship to feather his own nest in a very lucrative new role in the UK.
Tony Abbott has branded state border closures as 'heartless and mind-boggling'.

The former prime minister said states with low coronavirus case numbers should open up to each other.

Last week Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was slammed for refusing to let a 26-year-old nurse from Covid-free Canberra go to her father's Brisbane funeral.

Several other stories have emerged of families being torn apart by border closures, including a father dying of cancer who was told that only one of his four children in New South Wales could visit him in Queensland.
Mmm looks like a dunce's cap on his head LOL

'We are now seeing the heartless and mind-boggling bureaucratic bloody-mindedness that goes with these border closures,' Mr Abbott told The Australian.

'That New South Welshmen coming from a state with almost no cases and going into a state with almost no cases should be seen as somehow toxic to Queenslanders is simply crazy.'

The 62-year-old also said that Scott Morrison should lift the ban on Australian citizens and permanent residents going overseas unless they are exempt.

He said the rules should be 'liberalised as soon as possible' - but he supported quarantine remaining in place for Australians returning home.

Mr Abbott is currently in hotel quarantine in Sydney after returning from a trip to the UK, where has has been appointed a trade advisor.
<< too bad he didn't stay in the UK , I'm sure there are many in his own party who couldn't get rid of him fast enough >>

The 62-year-old will be tasked with helping Britain strike trade deals with nations around the world, including Australia, after leaving the European Union.

Mr Abbott lost his seat in Warringah, on Sydney's northern beaches, at the federal election in May 2018 and has been looking for a job since.

During Australia's devastating summer of bushfires, he filled his time by volunteering as a fireman with his local rural fire service branch.

Australia's state border closures
Victoria: Completely open, but other states are banning residents from going there

NSW: Border with Victoria is closed but others are open without restriction

Queensland: Open to everywhere but Victoria, NSW, and the ACT

Northern Territory: Open to everywhere but Victoria and Sydney, which must do hotel quarantine

South Australia: Closed to Victoria, NSW arrivals must self-isolate, rest are open

Tasmania: Closed to Victoria, everywhere else must do hotel quarantine

Western Australia: Closed to everywhere without an exemption

Questions have now been raised about whether Mr Abbott will have to register as an agent of foreign influence under Australia's transparency laws.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison brushed off those questions earlier last month, simply saying the appointment was a 'good hire'.

'I'll leave that for the attorney-general to sort out and I'm sure there's paperwork for Tony to fill out - I'm sure he'll get that done,' the prime minister told reporters in Canberra.

'But well done Boris, good hire.'

The UK is currently negotiating trade deals with Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States.

Queensland's border madness: The heartbroken families
Mark Keans

Mark Keans, from Brisbane, was diagnosed with inoperable brain and lung cancer in late July and the doctors believe he won't make it past Christmas.

Health authorities had initially said only one of Mr Keans' four Sydney-based children - all of whom are under the age of 13 - could cross the border to see him one last time.

Queensland Health did not at first respond to multiple requests for an exemption from the truck driver's family, but later told them they can drive into the state and pay for two weeks quarantine in a Brisbane hotel.

A fundraising page to pay for their quarantine has raised more than $200,000, including a $1,000 donation from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Kimberley Brown

Kimberley Brown and her husband Scott, from Ballina, in northern New South Wales, were told on August 12 that their unborn twins had developed twin to twin transfusion syndrome.

Mrs Brown needed urgent surgery but despite living just two hours away from Queensland's Mater Hospital doctors told her she would need to apply for a border exemption, which took too long.

She was flown 750km to Sydney but lost one of her twins.

It came ten days after Premier Palaszczuk declared that Queensland hospitals are 'for our people'. Jayne Brown

Jayne Brown, 60, spent two weeks confined to a tiny hotel room in Brisbane following her recent return from Sydney, where renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo removed two large tumours on her brain.

The grandmother-of-seven requested an exemption from hotel quarantine to self-isolate at home on the Sunshine Coast, but was rejected twice.

She blasted Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who allowed 400 AFL players and officials from coronavirus-riddled Victoria to enter the state and quarantine in a luxury hotel.

Sarah Caisip

Sarah Caisip, who lives in coronavirus-free Canberra, applied for an exemption last month to visit her sick father Bernard Prendergast in Brisbane - but it took 20 days to get approved and he died of liver cancer two days before her flight.

The young nurse was banned from attending her father's funeral on Thursday because officials believed she is a Covid-19 risk even though the ACT has had no cases for 60 days.

Ms Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father's body, surrounded by guards and forbidden from seeing her shattered mother and 11-year-old sister. ... d=msedgdhp

The $680 million Homebuilder program will create just 9,600 jobs, Treasury says, as construction goes 'off a cliff'
Treasury has estimated that the federal government's HomeBuilder scheme will create 9,600 jobs in the latest public-facing figures.
Housing industry groups however have disputed the new numbers, however, claiming they "grossly underestimate" the true impact of the $680 million program.
Others are calling for it to be expanded, either for a longer duration or to include public housing investment.

Early signs indicate Morrison government's HomeBuilder scheme runs the risk of overpromising and underdelivering.

It was claimed the $680 million scheme, aimed at incentivising a wave of home building and renovating, would support "hundreds of thousands of jobs" when it was unveiled back in June.

Three months later, Treasury analysis suggests that number may be grossly over-exaggerated.

"The scheme is expected to generate an additional $1.6 billion in residential investment in 2020-21 on top of the investment that would otherwise have occurred," officials told the Senate Committee on COVID-19 in a response to questions taken on notice.

"On average, every million dollars of residential construction activity supports employment for around six jobs in construction and related industries."

In other words, Treasury says just 9,600 new jobs will be created as a result of the scheme, a far cry from the numbers being touted by the Coalition.

"The HomeBuilder program, we felt, was so important – to protect hundreds of thousands of jobs," Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar told the ABC.

It's a line the government has often repeated.

"HomeBuilder will help to support the 140,000 direct jobs and another 1,000,000 related jobs in the residential construction sector," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, unveiling the program.

But not everyone accepts Treasury's analysis, with the Housing Industry Association (HIA) saying it "grossly underestimates" the number of jobs that will benefit.

"The $680m HomeBuilder program provides $25,000 support for new homes and renovations that meet the eligibility criteria – that is, 27,520 individual home building projects," HIA managing director Graham Wolfe said in a statement issued to Business Insider Australia.

"With a workforce of around 4 full-time workers per project, the program will support over 110,000 workers, not including the workforce engaged in manufacturing, retailing and supply the products, materials, fixtures and fittings that go into building a new home."

However, while Treasury certainly accepts indirect support will flow through the sector as a result of the scheme, the figures appear to point to a far smaller impact.

Less than 250 applications were lodged in the first few weeks of opening, with none approved.

HomeBuilder is 'too small' as construction goes 'off a cliff'
Industry bodies still support the scheme and are calling for it to be expanded further still.

The Master Builders Association say it is working to stimulate demand, pointing to a 9% jump in lending in July, but says it should also incorporate the commercial sector.

"The outlook for the industry and the economy is extremely grim and HomeBuilder should be extended for 12 months in the Federal Budget to help maintain a pipeline of work and be a lifeline for builders and tradies," CEO Denita Wan said.

"HomeBuilder Mark II, will require an investment of $1.3 billion, return a boost to GDP of up to $4.5 billion, create more than 4,500 additional new jobs and result in the construction of more than 6,000 new homes in addition to those created in HomeBuilder Mark I."

Property experts, however, say any pickup will simply bring forward projects that were going to happen anyway.

"While potential homeowners are likely to be keen to take advantage of the scheme, many have noted that the policy largely creates stimulus for those that were planning to build and renovate anyway," CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said.

While it will help get some off the ground earlier, Owen says it's akin to robbing Peter to pay Paul, simply creating a vacuum further down the road.

Labor MP Jason Clare claimed Treasury's figures show stimulus measures should be expanded, as the sector goes "off a cliff".

"This is concrete proof that the HomeBuilder Scheme is too small and more action is needed to save the jobs of tradies in the home building industry," the Shadow Minister for Housing said, calling for the government to fund the "construction and repair of social housing".

"We did it during the GFC and it worked. It saved the jobs of tradies, helped to stop us going into recession and put a roof over the head of people who really needed it."

The government has not indicated it is considering any major changes ahead of its October budget. ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12621
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:49 am







no one is hospitalized w/ covid19 in SA, TAS, ACT, WA or NT.

CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12621
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:38 am

15 SEPTEMBER , BIG CHANGES HERE TODAY , lots of news ( a lot of it good )

Zero COVID-19 deaths yesterday in Victoria, with 42 new coronavirus cases recorded
Victoria has recorded 42 new coronavirus infections and no deaths overnight, as the 14-day case averages in regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne continue to fall.

It is the first day without a coronavirus death in more than two months. The last day with zero deaths recorded was July 13.

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced regional Victoria will be able to progress to the next step of the restrictions roadmap from 11:59pm tomorrow.

"It is a massive thing. It is a very positive thing," he said.

"It is something we should all be very pleased and proud of, the job that regional Victorians have done."

Metropolitan Melbourne's 14-day daily case average is now 52.9, down from 54.4 yesterday.

Regional Victoria's is now 3.6, down from 3.9 yesterday.


In the two-week period from August 30 to September 12, metropolitan Melbourne recorded 82 cases with an unknown source, and one was recorded in regional Victoria, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

The "mystery" case in regional Victoria was from September 1.

The trigger points for regional Victoria's next step were a 14-day average below five, and zero mystery cases over two weeks.

Melburnians warned going to regional Victoria would put gains 'at risk'
Mr Andrews warned people from Melbourne against travelling to regional areas "unless you absolutely need to".

"There will be a time later in the year when we can have that freedom of movement," he said.

"We can't have it now, because it puts at risk everything that is possible in regional Victoria because the numbers are low."

The Premier flagged upcoming announcements about changes to how Victoria Police monitors the border between Melbourne and regional Victoria.

He said today's announcement was a credit to "every single person in regional Victoria".

"This shows every Victorian you can get these numbers low if we all stick together, if we all work together and if we all stay the course," Mr Andrews said.

In order for metropolitan Melbourne to progress to the next stage of the roadmap, scheduled for September 28, the 14-day daily average must drop to between 30 and 50.

But even if that caseload is reached early, Professor Brett Sutton said the September 28 date was set in stone.

"We need that time for the [policy] settings that we have, but I am very confident we will be in the 30-to-50 range for average daily cases," he said yesterday.

Coronavirus patient numbers in hospital fall
The Premier said there were now 118 Victorians with COVID-19 in hospital, down from 122 yesterday.

The 118 includes 11 people in intensive care, seven of whom are on a ventilator.

More than 8,800 COVID-19 tests were processed yesterday.

The total number of cases with an unknown source has decreased by nine to 4,282 overnight. ... d=msedgdhp

Urgent warning to thousands of residents in two new Melbourne hotspots
Residents in Hallam and Narre Warren have been urged to get tested for coronavirus after a spike of cases in the city's outer southeast
Thousands of residents from two new Melbourne hotspots have been urged to get tested for coronavirus.

Nine of Victoria's 35 new cases identified on Monday were in Hallam and Narre Warren, in the city's outer south-east.

Authorities are concerned the COVID-19 cluster will grow as testing rates have dropped across the state over the past few weekends.

Chief health officer Brett Sutton called on residents from the two suburbs to attended testing clinics if they experience any symptoms.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrew warned decreased testing rates could jeopardise the state's roadmap to recovery.

'We don’t want a situation where test numbers are not an accurate measure – not enough tests being done for us to have confidence that we have a clear picture of how much virus is out there,' he said.

'We don’t want any steps in this safe and steady roadmap to be deferred or to be compromised. It is important that each and every Victorian comes forward and gets tested.' ... d=msedgdhp

COVID-19 lockdown will be lifted in regional Victoria TOMORROW
Lockdown restrictions in regional Victoria will be lifted from Thursday as the state recorded zero COVID-19 deaths and only 42 additional cases of the virus.
The state's 14-day new case average for Melbourne dropped to 52.9 and 3.6 for regional Victoria.

It is was the first time since July 13 that the state has recorded no deaths.

Premier Daniel Andrews said there are still 11 Victorians in intensive care, seven of whom are on ventilators.

Outdoor gathering limits in regional parts of the state will increase to 10 people from midnight on Thursday morning - as will weddings and outdoor religious gatherings.

Funerals will be allowed 20 mourners and regional Victorians can welcome five visitors from another nominated household.

'This is a great day for regional Victoria,' Mr Andrews said on Tuesday. 'This will be welcomed I’m sure, and there’s no greater evidence to the people of Melbourne that these strategies - getting numbers low - is possible, and it is essential.'
He emphasised though residents of metropolitan Melbourne - the borders of which he will confirm in detail on Wednesday - should not be travelling to regional Victoria unless they have an essential reason.

The move comes as Mr Andrews was heavily criticised for a $290million plan to revive the state's crippled entertainment sector.

The under-fire premier unveiled a funding package on Monday to help the state's sole traders and entertainment industry survive when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Mr Andrews said the plan would turn the city into an al fresco dining hub - but the head of Melbourne's largest restaurant group has already labelled the proposal unworkable.

Outdoor gathering limits will increase to 10 people. That number does not include infants under the age of 12 months.

People in regional Victoria will also be able to leave their homes without restriction.

Limits for outdoor religious gatherings and weddings will increase to 10 people, while funeral limits will rise to 20 mourners.

Five visitors are allowed in a home from a nominated household.

Schools will return to normal operation over the first two weeks of Term 4.

Outdoor auctions will be allowed to have a maximum of 10 people in attendance.

Children can return to community sport and adults can take part in non-contact sport.

Regional Victorians can travel and holiday within regional parts of the state - with tourist accommodation in those areas also opening up .
'The government thinks this is going to be some sort of outdoor Disneyland for dining, but it's not going to work,' Luca Restaurants chief executive Chris Lucas told the Herald Sun.

'The majority of the city's restaurants cannot work outdoors. Outdoor dining really only suits cafes, not to mention Melbourne's problematic weather.'

Restaurant and Catering Industry Association chief Wes Lambert said though the package would help lift the city's restaurants out of lockdown.

'This is a generous and comprehensive package that matches calls from industry organisations like R&CA to help businesses operate outdoors,' he said.

Mr Andrews compared the revival plan - which will see $100million go towards a Melbourne City Recovery fund to inject life back into the city - to New York's Open Restaurants initiative.

The program in the US' largest city involved footpaths, laneways and streets being temporarily transformed into dining areas.
But Mr Lucas said as many as 60 per cent of New York's businesses could still not be saved by the program.

Premier Daniel Andrews has meanwhile flagged regional Victoria may move to the 'third step' of its roadmap plan as early as this week.

That step, allowing people to leave their homes without restrictions and hospitality businesses to reopen, is triggered if its 14-day average remains below five and no 'mystery' cases are recorded.'There won't be a lot of notice,' Mr Andrews told reporters on Monday.

'That is preferable in making people wait for another week or so.

'Hopefully we can have very good news for regional Victoria tomorrow.'

Under the state government's plan, Melbourne's bars, cafes and restaurants can open for outdoor dining from October 26.

Melbourne will move to its next step of reopening on September 28 if the 14-day average falls to 30-50.

The city took its first tentative steps out of lockdown on Monday, with those living alone or single parents allowed to have one visitor, outdoor exercise extended to two hours and the curfew's start time extended an hour to 9pm. ... d=msedgdhp

Australia's COVID-19 epicenter reports no deaths from the virus for first time in two months
Australia's second-most populous state Victoria, the country's COVID-19 epicentre, on Tuesday reported zero deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours, a milestone not recorded for two months.

Victoria state said 42 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, a small increase from the figure posted one day earlier and well below the peak of more than 700 infections detected in August.

Victoria last recorded no COVID-19 deaths on July 13.

The result will buoy optimism that a stringent lockdown of nearly 5 million people for nearly seven weeks has curtailed the spread of COVID-19.

Melbourne, Australia's second most populated city, is on an extended hard lockdown until Sept. 28. But with the steady fall in cases, some restrictions were relaxed from Monday, allowing people to leave their homes for longer periods for exercise and authorities shortened a night curfew.

Victoria, home to one-quarter of Australia's 26 million population, now accounts for about 75% of the country's more than 26,700 coronavirus cases and 90% of its 816 deaths.

Queensland state reported one new case on Tuesday, a returned traveller from overseas and in quarantine.

New South Wales state, Australia's most populous, will report its case numbers later in the day. The virus has been effectively eliminated in all other states and territories.

With dwindling numbers of COVID-19, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison has turned to reviving an ailing national economy, unveiling a series of policies to lower the price of gas to fuel a manufacturing recovery.

"We continue to do better than almost every other developed country in the world when it comes to protecting lives and livelihoods," Morrison said in a speech in Newcastle, 161 km (100 miles) north of Sydney.

"If we are shut, we are not living alongside the virus, the virus is actually keeping us from living." ... d=msedgdhp

No virus deaths in Victoria, as 42 new cases reported
Victoria's latest coronavirus outbreaks
Highest number of active cases:

• 13 active cases are currently linked to Bulla Dairy Foods in Colac (total cases: 20)

• 8 active cases are currently linked to Vawdrey Australia Truck Manufacturer (total cases: 61)

• 7 active cases are currently linked to Footscray Hospital (total cases: 7)

• 7 active cases are currently linked to Wydinia Kindergarten in Colac (total cases: 13)

• 6 active cases are currently linked to Dandenong Police Station (total cases: 14)

Restrictions easing a 'dry run' for Melbourne
The success of regional Victoria's transition into a more open economy will be treated as a 'dry run' for the more populated areas of Melbourne.

"What regional Victoria are doing now will be a dry run for what will happen in Melbourne," Deputy Chief Health Officer Professor Allen Cheng said.

"I expect that we'll be making the same sort of assessment hopefully in a number of weeks' time to say that it's safe for Melbourne to open up." ... d=msedgdhp

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton offers to speak to Melbourne community with spike in coronavirus cases
Most local government areas across Melbourne are recording declining coronavirus case numbers, but a small spike in the City of Casey has caught health authorities' attention.

Nine new cases were recorded in Narre Warren and Hallam on Monday, accounting for nearly a quarter of the state's 35 daily cases.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, said there was "certainly" community transmission in the area.

"We haven't linked all of the households definitively; they might be linked by a workplace that hasn't been identified, they might be linked by going to a single setting that hasn't been identified," he said.

Professor Sutton said he thought the latest increase in numbers was associated with high-risk workplaces.

There have been a small number of significant outbreaks just outside the City of Casey during the state's second wave — including at the Dandenong Police Station and at Vawdrey Australia, a truck manufacturer — but both of those sites now have declining numbers of active cases.

Professor Sutton said as contract tracers worked to link the more recent cases, health services would engage with and test members of the area's multicultural communities.

"I have made an offer to personally speak to that community," Professor Sutton said.

"Having been to Afghanistan a couple of times over the years, I want to be able to reflect on my cultural experiences and the fact I know that there are universal motivations that every family has: to do the right thing, to protect their families."

Community leaders say this latest outbreak can be contained
Casey North Community Information and Support Service's Julie Leonidas said she believed the area would get on top of this latest outbreak if people there kept doing the right thing.

"We see people walking around the streets with masks on, anybody who comes to the door in our service is wearing a mask and understanding the restrictions," she said.

Ms Leonidas said the area included many multicultural communities, but she believed most families understood the state's health messages around coronavirus.

She said many families from diverse backgrounds in the area had some family members who spoke English and were connected to other families or community and cultural groups.

"Given it is a worldwide event as well, I am very confident they are aware of the situation," she said.

Ms Leonidas said the City of Casey included a large population, and that needed to be considered when looking at case numbers. ... d=msedgdhp

Victoria's state of emergency extension has received a lot of attention, but that could be due to parliamentary scrutiny
The use of emergency powers during the COVID-19 pandemic — allowing governments to restrict individual freedoms, suspend constitutional norms and bypass normal parliamentary scrutiny — has prompted intense public debate across Australia.

A recent focus of debate in Victoria was the State Government's push to extend, from six months to 18 months, the maximum period a state of emergency can remain in force.

Liberal MPs labelled the Government's plan "" and "". The business community said it was an "".

The debate was marked by confusion, with some thinking the change would mean Victorians would remain in lockdown for another year, and it highlighted the tension between emergency powers and normal democratic processes.

In the end, the Government compromised, with legislation passed to extend the period from six months to 12 months, during which it can opt to roll over its state of emergency every four weeks without requiring parliamentary approval.

Often lost in the debate was the fact that Victoria is the only state that caps the maximum length of time a state of emergency can remain in force.

Public health acts provide states and territories with base-level powers to manage community health. The declaration of a state of emergency activates stronger powers for a certain period of time to address serious public health threats, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The period of time that a state of emergency may remain in force varies across states and territories, but it can be extended as long as a health minister considers it necessary.

As mentioned, Victoria can extend an initial state of emergency, but unlike other jurisdictions, the maximum period is capped at 12 months.

New South Wales is the only state where a state of emergency does not need to be declared to activate stronger powers to manage a severe public health risk because these powers already exist within its Public Health Act.

The Federal Government can also declare a human biosecurity emergency across Australia, invoking strong powers to manage a public health risk for a period of time, and it too can extend this indefinitely if the health minister considers it necessary.

, a senior law lecturer at Monash University, told RMIT ABC Fact Check that Victoria's hard limit on the maximum period of a state of emergency provided "accountability and transparency".

"It became a focus of media attention because that required the Parliament to sit and debate it," she said.

"But other jurisdictions, including the Commonwealth, are able to extend their state of emergency declaration without such scrutiny because their legislation allows it.

"So, they've gone under the radar. They haven't been subject to the same media attention [as Victoria]."

Monash University , a legal theorist and expert in state of emergency legislation, told Fact Check that "Victoria has the strictest relationship" between the legislation and rule-making powers conferred to officials under a state of emergency.

"As to which is more democratic: going back to Parliament, in some ways, is more democratic," he said.

So, how long can a state of emergency remain in place in jurisdictions around Australia? RMIT ABC Fact Check takes a look at what the law says in each of the states and territories, and at the federal level.

On March 18, 2020, the Governor-General declared a human biosecurity emergency across Australia under the . COVID-19 marks the first time that emergency powers have been activated under this act.

The act provides special powers for dealing with emergencies involving threats or harm to human health on a nationally significant scale.

The declaration of a human biosecurity emergency gives the Government broad powers to take any necessary measures to minimise the spread of the COVID-19, such as banning overseas travel and limiting international passenger arrivals.

Under sections 475 and 476, an emergency period may run for three months. It can be extended for further periods of three months provided the Health Minister considers it necessary.

There is no cap on the number of times the declaration can be extended.

The current emergency period until December 17, 2020.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos declared a state of emergency across Victoria on March 16, 2020 to manage the spread of COVID-19, using powers under the — the principal act for public health powers in Victoria.

Once a state of emergency has been declared, the act gives the Chief Health Officer expansive powers to issue directions and take actions to manage risks to public health, such as the power to detain people, restrict their movement within the state and prevent anyone from entering Victoria.

Under section 198, a state of emergency can run for four weeks, after which it can be renewed for a further four weeks, up to a maximum period of six months.

Victoria is the only state or territory in Australia that caps the total time period during which a state of emergency can be in force.

The current state of emergency has been renewed a number of times but the maximum period of six months was due to expire on September 16, while stage 4 restrictions were still in place.

This is the reason the State Government sought to pass : that is, to lengthen the total period over which a state of emergency declaration could continue for COVID-19.

It initially sought to expand the total to 18 months, but eventually compromised, agreeing to 12 months. The amendment has cleared the Upper House, paving the way for a one-off extension that relates only to the pandemic.

In other words, the total period during which a state of emergency declaration may remain in force in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria will be lengthened from six months to 12 months.

The amendment will also enhance reporting requirements when a state of emergency declaration in respect of COVID-19 pandemic is extended beyond six months.

In Victoria, a state of disaster was also declared on August 2, under the , as Victoria entered stage 4 restrictions. This gave Victoria Police greater powers to enforce public health directions such as nightly curfews, a five-kilometre travel limit and bans on mass gatherings.

A state of disaster can be renewed every four weeks.

New South Wales
The State Government has powers under the to deal with public health risks generally, provided the relevant areas of NSW are declared to be "public health risk areas".

Under section 7, the Health Minister has broad powers to make any direction necessary to reduce or remove a risk to public health; segregate or isolate people; and prevent or give access to parts of NSW.

Unlike other states and territories in Australia, a state of emergency does not need to be declared in NSW for these powers to be used.

The powers expire after 90 days but can be renewed on an ongoing basis. There is no cap on the length of time that these orders can remain in force.

Should NSW wish to adopt measures that require a stronger police response, such as nightly curfews, the Government could declare an emergency under the , which would more clearly set out the powers that can be used.

However, the State Government has not taken this step to date as it has not required such powers.

The State Government declared a public health emergency on January 29, 2020, using powers under the .

A public health emergency declaration gives Queensland's Chief Health Officer broad powers, including restricting people's movement, restricting contact between people, and providing any other directions the CHO believes are necessary to protect public health.

The declaration also allows the Government to use new powers added to the act to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sections 322 and 323 allow a public health emergency to be declared for seven days. It can then be extended for 90 days without a cap on the total period that the declaration is in force.

Queensland's state of emergency has been .

South Australia
South Australia declared a public health emergency on March 15, 2020, using powers under the .

Section 87 allows this declaration to remain in force for 14 days and "for such periods (which may be for any length) as may be approved by the Governor".

On March 22, the State Coordinator, who is currently the police commissioner, under the .

This gives the State Coordinator broad powers to do whatever is necessary to manage the public health emergency, such as direct a person to self-isolate or undergo medical treatment, as well as prohibiting activities.

Section 23 allows this declaration to remain in force for 14 days and "for such periods (which may be for any length) as may be approved by the Governor".

This declaration has been and currently runs until September 19.

Western Australia
There are two emergency declarations in force in WA.

A state of emergency was declared on March 15, 2020, under the

Sections 57 and 58 allow a state of emergency to run for three days and then be extended for 14 days. The latest until September 17, 2020.

A public health state of emergency was also declared on March 16, 2020, under the .

Sections 168 and 170 allow a public health state of emergency to run for seven days and then be extended for a further 14 days, but there is no limit on the number of extensions.

Both declarations give the Chief Health Officer and the State Emergency Coordinator (the commissioner of police) powers to manage the emergency using a range of measures including prohibiting the movement of people, and directing a person to be quarantined or undergo a medical examination, treatment or vaccination.

There are two emergency declarations in Tasmania.

A public health state of emergency was declared on March 17, 2020, under the .

This grants the Tasmanian Director for Public Health powers to manage a threat to public health, including quarantining and controlling the movement of people.

Under section 15, a state of emergency may be in force for seven days and then be extended for a further seven days.

However, as a result of new powers added to the act, a state of emergency in relation to COVID-19 can be in force for 12 weeks and then extended for 12 weeks at a time.

A public health emergency can be extended indefinitely while a threat to public health continues.

On March 20, 2020, a under the .

Under this state of emergency, the State Controller has powers to shut down public spaces and limit the movement of people in and out of Tasmania.

Section 42 allows this declaration to remain in force for 12 weeks in the case of an emergency relating to disease in humans or animals, or for 2 weeks in any other case.

If a declaration of a state of emergency relating to disease in humans or animals is made for a period exceeding four weeks, the need for the declaration is reviewed by an emergency management committee at the end of the first four weeks and then every two weeks while the declaration continues to have effect.

Australian Capital Territory
A public health emergency was declared on March 16, 2020, under the .

This gives the Chief Health Officer broad powers to take any action or give directions to manage a public health risk. This can include restricting gatherings and self-isolation if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19.

Under section 119, the declaration can remain in force for five days. This can be extended for 90 days in relation to COVID-19 or two days in any other cases.

If a COVID-19 declaration is extended, the CHO must advise the minister every 30 days whether the declaration is still justified. This provides formal monitoring, but there is no cap on the length of time a declaration can remain in force.

Northern Territory
A public health emergency was declared on March 18, 2020, under the .

Under section 50, a public health emergency can remain in force for 90 days and then be extended for a further 90 days, but there is no cap on the total length of time.

As with other states and territories, the act gives the Chief Health Officer the power to manage the emergency, using measures such as isolation, preventing movement and issuing warnings. ... d=msedgdhp

Regional Victoria to take third step out of restrictions tomorrow night
In the regions, most workplaces will be able to open, patrons can dine at restaurants with limits on capacity, and travelling for a holiday will all be allowed. ... d=msedgdhp

Camping and caravan parks to reopen as coronavirus restrictions ease for regional Victorians
egional Victorians are dusting off their camp chairs and hitching up their caravans in preparation for the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions to take effect on Thursday.

In changes announced Tuesday, regional Victorians will be allowed to travel freely within regional Victoria from 11:59pm on Wednesday.

And that means regional motels, hotels and private rental holiday homes can reopen and take last-minute bookings in time for the school holidays which start next week.

"Businesses are desperate to reopen," Destination Gippsland chief executive Terry Robinson said.

"And they're all saying, 'We'll have Covid safe plans. We'll follow the rules and regulations, so just give us that flexibility and allow people to start travelling and we will live up to our end of the bargain'."

But any chance of an overnight escape for Melbourne residents is still a far-off dream.

The Victorian Government has confirmed, some regional Victorian camping grounds and caravan parks will reopen for regional Victorian travellers.

Victorian Upper House MP, Harriet Shing said shared facilities such as toilets, showers and camp kitchens at caravan parks and camping grounds could reopen, but masks and physical distancing would be required.

"Camping in the same accommodation is OK but limited to people in the same household, intimate partners and people in your household bubble," Ms Shing said.

Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) confirmed each camping or caravan park booking was restricted to only people living in regional Victoria. Groups will be restricted to only members of a single household; or only intimate partners; or only members of a single household and a maximum of five members of another household part of the nominated "household bubble".

In a statement DHHS said members of separately booked groups were not allowed to share bedrooms at a facility like hostel arrangements, but there were no restrictions of sharing kitchens, toilets and showers.

"Our national parks are putting the final preparations in place to open safely and we will have more information on this shortly."

Destination Gippsland chief executive Terry Robinson said indoor recreation and games rooms at caravan parks would remain off-limits.

"Obviously Melbourne can't travel, and nor can interstate, but for regional Victorians to be able to move around and come to areas like Gippsland and enjoy all of our great experiences is something that we do welcome," he said.

'Lot of happy businesses'
Earlier in the year, caravan parks were unable to open their shared toilet, shower and kitchen facilities, but Mr Robinson said that would not be the case this time around.

Lakes Entrance Recreational and Camping Reserve operator, Jo Martin said her telephone had been 'ringing off the hook' since Premier Daniel Andrews held his press conference Tuesday morning.

"They're asking, 'Can we come? Can we come?', but I am just having to say, 'I have to wait to see whether I can open my amenities before I confirm any bookings'," Ms Martin said.

The Victorian Government is expected to further officially clarify the rules around camping by Wednesday evening.

During the last reopening between lockdowns, Ms Martin said she could only accept bookings from people who were completely self-contained, with ensuite caravans.

"But the thing is, we couldn't have our toilets open, yet the public toilets were open around the corner. So we had our guests, who didn't want to do number twos in their caravans, jumping in their cars and racing off to the public toilets in a hurry," Ms Martin said.

Ms Martin said it was definitely time to "get things happening again" in regional Victoria.

"Regional have done everything right. There are so many businesses on their knees, so we just need to get moving now," she said.

"Of course, we will have to ask people for their licences and make sure they're not from metro — and we will follow all of the guidelines, but it's about time, for sure.

"There will be a lot of happy businesses in regional Victoria today."

The Victorian Government is yet to clarify whether overnight stays will be allowed in state and national parks including Wilson's Promontory National Park and the Alpine National Park in Gippsland.

In a statement on its website, Parks Victoria said it was currently working through how the easing of restrictions in regional areas would impact state and national parks. ... d=msedgdhp

Mildura Base Hospital and hundreds of its staff back in public hands as Victorian Government takes over
When Premier Daniel Andrews last year announced Victoria's only privately-managed public hospital would be brought back under Health Department control, few thought the complicated changeover would coincide with a pandemic.

More than 900 staff at the hospital, including contract medical specialists, have been brought across to the public service today as the Victorian Government takes over operation of Mildura Base Hospital after two decades with Ramsay Health Care.

Ahead of the changeover, the transition team had urged people to stay away from the hospital unless necessary while some 400 computers were taken off Ramsay's network and on to the public system.

New hospital CEO Terry Welch said the exercise was the state Health Department's largest technological transition since the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre was launched in 2016.

"I don't think people understand the scale," Mr Welch said.

"If I try and download Windows on my computer I struggle with that, but we're doing 80 of the biggest health apps available right now."

Mr Welch conceded the easing of regional coronavirus restrictions during the changeover period "poses some challenges".

"But if you look at the systems we have from day one today and what's been in place — and it's a credit to the team who have put it in place — the COVID management here has been absolutely in line with what's required," he said.

Fruit of a long campaign
Members of the Mildura community campaigned for years for private operation of their local, public hospital to end.

But it was not until well after the 2018 state election, when independent Ali Cupper unseated Nationals MP Peter Crisp, that the Andrews Government decided not to extend Ramsay's contract to manage the hospital.

Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos today said she was "very proud of the people of Mildura and the Mallee who advocated for [the hospital's] return".

Mr Welch said he would "let the critics [of the decision] be the critics" but declared his team "won't make a promise we can't keep".

He said any decisions about future capital spending at the hospital would depend on a new service plan due to be finished at the end of the year.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation branch secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said she was hopeful the change would address "the retention and recruitment issues" Mildura faced by bringing staff in line with their counterparts around the state.

At a media conference to mark the handover, Ms Cupper paid tribute to her cousin, Ilona Legin, who in 2012 became a pivotal figure in the campaign for the hospital to return to public management even as she battled terminal bowel cancer.

"I stayed up really late just so I could watch the clock tick over to 12 o'clock, and later on today I'm going to pick up [Ms Legin's mother] Sue and we're going to go out to Ilona's grave," she said. ... d=msedgdhp

COVID-19 messaging proving effective in Indigenous communities
Victoria's Aboriginal communities have so far managed to keep coronavirus infections relatively low, with just five active cases. And experts are in part putting that down to effective public health messaging. ... d=msedgdhp

This factory owner hasn't heard from COVID-19 contact tracers 50 days after one of his staff tested positive
Factory owner David Van Rooy put a COVID-19 plan in place early in the pandemic. (
As Melbourne's second wave of coronavirus took off in July, David Van Rooy got on the front foot.

The factory owner identified at-risk staff members, asked them to wear a mask and introduced strict cleaning processes.

When one of those employees texted him on Sunday the 26th of July to say he'd tested positive, Mr Van Rooy's plan kicked into gear.

While he waited for contact tracers to call with official advice, he emailed all staff, isolated the worker's close contacts, shut down the infected work area and sanitised the factory.

But 50 days later, contact tracers still haven't called.

"I expected a phone call within 24 hours. That call didn't come," Mr Van Rooy told 7.30.

"You're hearing one thing on the press conference saying 'We're under control, we've got this, we're doing the contact tracing', and you think, well, you're not doing it to me."

Employers required to contact the Department
The lack of communication meant Mr Van Rooy felt like he was flying blind.

"We had all these things that we were doing, we were kind of taking the bull by the horns," he said.

"We had a crack but ultimately it would have been nice to have had direction from DHHS (Victorian Department of Health and Human Services) to say, this is what you need to be doing.

"Ultimately we were feeling very let down by the Government that should have been doing their job."

Mr Van Rooy managed to isolate the case and no one else in the workplace tested positive.

Professor Euan Wallace from DHHS told 7.30 Mr Van Rooy should have contacted them.

"Employers are required under Victorian law to notify us of the close contacts within an open workplace setting," he said.

But the Department also said contact tracers phone every close contact, whether that's at work or in other settings.

Paper and pen scrapped
Mr Van Rooy's staff member was one of 384 people who tested positive that day in July, leaving contact tracers reliant on a pen and paper system stretched to the limit.

"Our case interviewers were on the telephones, writing down the interviews on paper, and then that interview being typed in separately," Professor Wallace told 7.30.

"That paper-based system is exactly the same system that's used elsewhere in the country."

Late last month, that system was scrapped in favour of a cloud-based digital system from software giant Salesforce.

"When we're dealing with, day after day, 400 or so cases a day, we need hundreds of people on the telephones doing those interviews," Professor Wallace said.

"So the system has been stressed.

"We have made improvements.

"Had those improvements been in place two or three months ago, would our performance have been better? I think so."

No national tracking database
Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia are now all using the same contact tracing software.

But there is no national database to track and identify close contacts across state and territory borders.

Professor Wallace said that is something he would like to see introduced.

At the moment, when a positive case is identified, it is processed manually.

"We would just phone the relevant public health department in that state, we'd just lift a phone and speak to them directly ... then allow them to follow up further," he said.

Epidemiologist Professor Catherine Bennett said that may cause issues when state borders reopen.

"It'd be really good to bring all states into alignment, to make sure that they do speak to each other," she told 7.30.

"Once we open up borders and we allow interstate travel, then connecting information on cases who might have moved from one jurisdiction to another is going to be really critical."

The Federal Department of Health said each state and territory was responsible for managing the COVID-19 response under its own public health legislation.

"The Australian Government continues to assist states and territories in their contact tracing efforts when required, and does so in line with the relevant jurisdiction's health system," a spokesperson said in a statement to 7.30. ... d=msedgdhp

Police say officers shot man at Melbourne shopping centre after he rushed at them with a knife
Witnesses say police repeatedly asked the man to put his weapon down
Police say a man armed with a knife refused to put down his weapon and rushed at officers before they shot him at a Melbourne shopping centre this morning.

Police were called to Hutchinson Street in Lilydale about 8:30am, following reports of a man with a knife.

Deputy Commissioner Neil Paterson said officers repeatedly told the 24-year-old man to back off and put his weapon down.

"The man did not back off from police after quite a period of negotiation and then rushed the police members," Deputy Commissioner Paterson said.

He said a number of shots were fired by two separate officers.

Deputy Commissioner Paterson said the man was given immediate medical attention and taken to hospital, where he is being treating for non-life threatening injuries.

He is believed to have been staying in the Lilydale area but may be from the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

Police body cameras were turned on
Deputy Commissioner Paterson said officers had activated their body-worn cameras but he had not seen the footage yet.

"No police member comes to work expecting or wanting to engage in the use of force and particularly to shoot someone," he said.

Deputy Commissioner Paterson said the man had posed a threat to the public and to officers.

He said before police arrived, the man had been inside a medical centre with the knife and in a toilet in the Lilydale Marketplace Shopping Centre.

Deputy Commissioner Paterson said the man repeatedly yelled at police to kill him, while police were telling him to back off and put his knife down.

He said the officers involved did not have tasers on them, but officers who arrived just after the shooting did.

But Deputy Commissioner Paterson said tasers require police to be close to people, which was not always possible when a person has a knife.

He told media one of the officers had only graduated from the police academy weeks ago, and police would support the officers involved and family of the man shot.

Witness says police repeatedly yelled for the man to put his knife down
Annette Barbour, who witnessed the stand-off, told the ABC she saw the man standing with a large knife and officers trying to get him to put the weapon down.

"Countless amounts of times they told him to put the knife down, put the knife down," she said.

"He wondered out onto the road, around the carpark, all sorts of things like that and they still kept telling him to put the knife down.

"They were actually losing their voice they were telling him so many times."

Another witness, Julie, said she heard yelling before she saw a man with a very big knife.

"Two police officers had their guns drawn at him, the male police officer was trying to talk to him but he was very agitated," she said.

She said three or four more officers arrived about five minutes later.

"We were ushered into Lilydale Marketplace and the doors were locked, we were in there for about 20 minutes," she said.

Julie said she heard three gunshots but did not see the shooting.

Police union calls for tasers for frontline officers
The Police Association of Victoria released a statement after the shooting, saying the incident highlighted the prevalence of mental health issues in the community.

It said police were "having to work in a broken system that fails to provide adequate support for vulnerable people when they need it".

The association said officers needed non-lethal options to help them deal with situations like the one today.

"All frontline patrols need urgent access to conducted energy devices or tasers," the union said.

Detectives from the Armed Crime Squad will investigate the incident with oversight from Professional Standards Command. ... d=msedgdhp
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:33 am


NSW records 7 new cases of coronavirus; 4 in hotel quarantine, 2 of which are linked to known clusterS
New South Wales has recorded seven new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

Four of those are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

Of the three locally acquired cases one is a household contact of a previous case linked to Concord Hospital, and another is a healthcare worker at Liverpool Hospital.

The third case is still under investigation. ... 8991067137
Another student at Blue Mountains Grammar school has also tested positive to the virus and will be included in tomorrow's figures, NSW Health said.

"The school is now closed while further tracing and cleaning is undertaken."

One of the four cases in hotel quarantine is a person who came from Victoria.

All passengers on the same flight from Victoria into Sydney are in hotel quarantine, NSW Health said.

The other three returned travellers came from overseas.

NSW Health said testing numbers have dropped and are urging people with even very mild symptoms to get tested. ... d=msedgdhp ... d=msedgdhp

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she is "concerned" about the state's testing numbers after health authorities confirmed seven new cases of COVID-19.

Two of the new infections are linked to a known case or cluster while one is still under investigation.

Testing rates fell to just over 8,800 people, down from 9,316 yesterday.

This is the lowest number of daily tests in more than two months for NSW.

Ms Berejiklian said the low rate of community transmission was a "solid result" but testing rates needed to be much higher.

"We are concerned about testing numbers. We really need the community to stay vigilant and not be complacent," she said.

"We are doing well in relation to COVID but we need to do extremely well for us to keep numbers low during the [upcoming] vital school holiday period when we know families will be moving all across the state."

The Premier had previously said the state should aim for 20,000 tests per day.

Chief health officer Kerry Chant said she was eager to get over that 20,000 benchmark again for a few consecutive days.

"I'm urging people, can you work with us at this critical time?" she said.

One of the new cases is a household contact of a case linked to Concord Hospital in Sydney's inner west and another is a healthcare worker at Liverpool Hospital in Western Sydney.

One of the four travellers who tested positive was a NSW resident returning from Victoria.

All passengers who were on the same flight are also in hotel quarantine.

NSW Health also revealed a second student at Blue Mountains Grammar School has tested positive after an initial case on Saturday.

The new case will be included in tomorrow's figures and the school is now closed.

Although community transmission is very low, NSW Health said the virus was still silently circulating in the community so the risk of outbreaks remains.

South-western, Western and south-eastern Sydney are at particular risk, Dr Chant said.

These areas have had lower testing rates over the past six weeks as well as locally acquired cases without links to known clusters.

"There have potentially been chains of transmission that haven't been detected," she said. ... d=msedgdhp

Berejiklian urges residents against complacency following drop in testing numbers
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged New South Wales residents to continue presenting themselves for testing after noting a concerning drop in testing numbers.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Ms Berejiklian revealed only about 8,900 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours.

“Families, and rightly so, will be travelling through all parts of NSW during that time so mobility will be increasing and families will be moving all across the state and so its really important for us to keep testing rates high to make sure that we control the spread ahead of the school holidays," she said.

“If I could just please ask everybody not to be complacent, we are doing well in relation to COVID but we need to do extremely well for us to keep numbers low during the vital school holiday period.

“We know from the data and our experience with COVID that mobility and people moving around, different communities mixing, is the highest risk to the spread of the virus.”

NSW recorded seven new cases overnight, including four identified in hotel quarantine. ... d=msedgdhp

NSW Covid-19 hotspots: list of Sydney and regional outbreak locations
List of outbreaks in NSW
If you were at the following venues on these dates you must get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, even if your test is negative.

The Crocodile Farm Hotel, Ashfield: 5.30pm to 6.30pm on Friday 4 September for at least an hour. Patrons who were there for less than an hour are considered casual contacts and must monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if they develop.
The New Shanghai Night restaurant, Ashfield: 6.30pm to 8pm on Friday 4 September for at least an hour. Patrons who were there for less than an hour are considered casual contacts and must monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if they develop.
Oatlands Golf Glub, Oatlands: 6.30pm to 8.45pm Friday 4 September
Albion Hotel, Parramatta: 8.15pm to 11.15pm on Saturday 5 September, guests who attended the beer garden and pavilion for at least an hour.
Fitness First, Randwick: Anyone who attended between Sunday 23 August and Tuesday 1 September should monitor for symptoms and if they develop, get tested right away and self-isolate.
Hyde Park Medical Centre, Sydney: Monday 24 August to Saturday 5 September. Anyone who worked at Hyde Park Medical Centre (including physiotherapy, pathology, dermatology and dental practices and pharmacy on the ground floor of the building) should get tested immediately and self-isolate until a negative result is received.
Eastern Suburbs Legion Club, Waverley: Tuesday 1 September from 6pm, Friday 4 September from 4.30pm, Saturday 5 September from 4.15pm, Sunday 6 September from 5pm, Monday 7 September from 3pm
With the growing number of cases in the area, NSW Health is asking all people who live in, or have visited, the following areas in the past two weeks to get tested if they have any symptoms of Covid-19 at all, even the mildest of symptoms such as a runny nose or scratchy throat.

Bankstown (suburb)
Cumberland local government area (LGA)
City of Sydney (East) LGA (includes central Sydney and the suburbs Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Woolloomooloo, Potts Point, Rushcutters Bay, Elizabeth Bay, Centennial Park)
Fairfield LGA
Ku-ring-gai LGA
Liverpool LGA
Mt Druitt (suburb)
Parramatta LGA
Randwick LGA
Sutherland LGA
Waverley LGA
Willoughby LGA
Woollahra LGA
If you were at any of the following locations on these dates, monitor yourself for symptoms and self-isolate and get tested if symptoms occur.

Clovelly Hotel, Clovelly: 12.45pm to 1.45pm on Saturday 5 September
KFC, Concord: 1pm to 1.20pm on 6 September
Croydon Park Pharmacy, Croydon Park: 1pm to 2pm on Thursday 3 September
KFC, Emerton: 12pm to 9.30pm on Monday 7 September
Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre, Katoomba: 11.30pm to 1.40pm on Friday 4 September
The Railway Hotel, Liverpool: 10.00pm to 11.30pm on Friday 4 September
Fitness First, Maroubra: 8am to 12pm on Saturday 5 September
Aldi, North Strathfield: 10am to 10.30am on Tuesday 1 September
Charles St Kitchen, Putney: 10.45am to 11.30am on Saturday 5 September
Rouse Hill Town Centre, Rouse Hill: 12.30pm to 1.30pm on Saturday 5 September
Stanhope Village Shopping Centre (including Kmart), Stanhope Gardens: 8.30am to 9.30am on Monday 7 September
Coles St Ives Shopping Centre, St Ives: 1pm to 2pm on Friday 28 August
Missing Spoon Cafe, Wahroonga: 4.45pm to 5.30pm on Saturday 5 September
Eastwood Netball Association, West Ryde: 12.15pm to 1.30pm on Saturday 5 September
China Doll Restaurant, Woolloomooloo: 6.30pm to 10pm on Thursday 3 September
If you travelled on any of the following public transport routes on these dates, monitor yourself for symptoms and self-isolate and get tested if symptoms occur.

Tuesday 8 September:

Bus route 316 Avoca St Randwick – Bondi Junction station, 8 September, 10.44am to 11.05am
Monday 7 September:

T1/T9 North Shore Line, between 9.17 to 9.29am from Milson’s Point to St Leonards
T1/T9 North Shore Line, between 9.53 to 10.14am from St Leonard’s to Milsons Point
Bus route 379 Bronte Beach – 11.08am to 11.24am Bondi Junction station
Bus route 316 Randwick – 10.44am to 11.05am Avoca Street, Randwick, to Bondi Junction Station ... d=msedgdhp

Newmarch House resident tests false positive for COVID-19
A resident at one of Australia's deadliest coronavirus outbreaks has tested negative to COVID-19, a day after they returned a positive result.

NSW Health confirmed to 9News a resident at the Anglicare Newmarch House in Kingswood, in Sydney's western suburbs, had now tested negative and was in fact a false positive case.

"We are all relieved and sincerely appreciate the support received from NSW Health," a statement from Newmarch House said.
"We are continuing our precautions and retaining our infection control procedures and other protocols for the time being.

"Residents and families will be updated on the latest information and we will continue to speak to them directly."

Last night, NSW Health told 9News said the patient's result was a "weak positive", which "reflects past infection".

"It is not uncommon for patients who have recovered from past infection to have a positive result," NSW Health said in a statement.

"These patients are not infectious, and do not represent a risk to the community.

"A cause for this resident's symptom, unrelated to COVID-19, has been identified and is being managed."

Over a two month period this year, coronavirus turmoil was seen at Newmarch House, with 19 people killed, and 37 residents and 34 staff infected.

The outbreak was one of the deadliest periods of the COVID-19 pandemic seen in Australia.

On June 15, NSW Health declared that outbreak —believed to have been sparked by an infected staff member who worked multiple times with extremely mild symptoms — over.

The response from Anglicare and government bodies has since been harshly criticised after new infections continued to appear more than two weeks into a full lockdown of the home.

Family members of some of the elderly residents who died during the outbreak are now preparing to launch a class action against operators, Anglicare.


Tougher COVID-19 gathering limit comes into force in NSW
Anyone at a private event with more than 20 people can now be fined $1000 each.

Changes coming to COVID-19 fines that could see people fined $1000
Drones will be used to monitor social distancing and crowd numbers at some of New South Wales' most popular beaches this summer.

Surf Life Saving NSW President George Shales said he hopes beachgoers respect the measures 'particularly regarding beach safety but also regarding social distancing requirements'.

More than 20 people are currently banned from gathering in public places under NSW public health orders.

Despite drones circling the busiest NSW shorelines, Director of Lifesaving Joel Wiseman said it won't be the job of lifeguards to actively police social distancing rules.

'Life savers are not there to police the public, that is not our job,' he said.
'We're there to ensure a safe aquatic swimming environment. We will obviously notify NSW Police if we have any suspicions or concerns around the numbers that are at the beaches.'

Meanwhile, hefty new fines have been announced for NSW residents caught at private gatherings of more than 20 people.

Each and every guest could cop a $1000 fine if there are more than 20 people partying together as the festive season gets under way.

NSW Police are warning that amendments have been made to the Public Health Order, with partygoers now risking hefty fines fine if the gathering exceeds the 20-person limit.

Where previously, only the organiser of a gathering was liable to receive a fine if the number of people at the premises breached the Public Health Order, every reveller will now be held responsible for the breach.

The changes, which come into effect at midnight, aim to ensure the safety of the community ahead of the expected increase in gatherings associated with Christmas and end-of-year festivities.

Operation Coronavirus Commander Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell said on Monday it's only natural that as the weather warms up, people will be more likely to gather.

'These amendments aim to ensure that an increase in expected gatherings doesn't mean an increase in COVID-19 cases,' he said.

'The new changes come in addition to other restrictions which remain in place, including a limit on numbers at outdoor gatherings and licensed premises.'

NSW has recorded just one new locally acquired COVID-19 case but health authorities are warning there's no room for complacency amid lower testing rates and with school holidays due soon.

Four new cases were recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday including three returned travellers in hotel quarantine and one linked to a known cluster.

The locally acquired case is a close contact of a previous case who attended the Eastern Suburbs Legion Club.

NSW Health acting director Christine Selvey said testing rates had dropped recently and urged people with the mildest symptoms to make sure they get tested.

'Testing numbers have dropped over the past two weeks and this is a concern particularly in areas like southwestern, western and southeastern Sydney,' she said in a video update on Monday.

More than 9300 people were tested in the latest reporting period, down from 14,426 the previous day.

Although weekend test numbers usually drop, Sunday's figure is well below recent weekend numbers, which have been in excess of 20,000.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian implored people to not become complacent, saying every day is a battle against the virus.

'Remember we let our guard down earlier in the year and the Victoria situation arose unexpectedly,' she told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

She also urged other states to help ease the burden of accepting returned travellers into hotel quarantine. ... d=msedgdhp ... d=msedgdhp

NSW Police to issue $1,000 fines to everyone at gatherings exceeding 20 people
New South Wales Police have begun cracking down on those exceeding limits on private gatherings as Australia heads into warmer months.

From Tuesday, $1,000 fines would be issued to anyone attending private gatherings exceeding the 20-person limit.

Previously, only the host would receive the fine.


Women in regional NSW finding access to abortion tougher during coronavirus pandemic
When 23-year-old Hayley* had an unplanned pregnancy last year, she discovered just how difficult it can be for women in regional NSW to get an abortion.

The tertiary student lives in Wagga Wagga and the nearest doctor who could terminate the pregnancy was across the border in Victoria, a 90-minute drive away.

Hayley says the trip is known among local women wanting an abortion as "Going to Wodonga".

On September 25 last year, the NSW Parliament passed a Bill decriminalising abortion.

Women's health workers say the legislation has done very little to improve access to abortion in regional NSW, a problem only made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hayley went to Gateway Health, a not-for-profit health service that bulk-bills the cost of an abortion to Medicare.

She was to have a medical termination of pregnancy, but hit a snag.

Patients having a medical abortion need to fill a prescription for two medications that induce a miscarriage, have a blood test, and an ultrasound.

When Hayley got to Wodonga for her appointment, the blood test results had not come through and the appointment had to be cancelled.

"It was pretty gut-wrenching because we'd gone all the way out there and when they told me they could not do anything for me that day, I was thinking, 'Damn, what am I going to do?'" she said.

Gateway Health explained that because they were managing so many patients, the next available appointment Hayley could get was a surgical abortion at around 10 weeks.

Medical abortion medications are only licenced for use up to nine weeks of pregnancy.

That meant being an in-patient at Wodonga hospital and she was not hopeful her then-employer would give her time off work.

"I did not feel great about needing to be pregnant for longer than I wanted to be, I would have been approaching the second trimester by the time I could do anything about it," she said, and so she cancelled the appointment.

There is another option — if you can afford it
With a Medicare-funded medical abortion off the cards, Hayley took the only other option available to her.

She found almost $400 for a telehealth medical abortion with the not-for-profit Marie Stopes Australia, plus about $200 for a six-week dating ultrasound.

Jamal Hakim, the managing director of Marie Stopes Australia said it aimed to just to break even on medical telehealth services, keeping costs about $300.

"We have that as a priority access model, we are keen to have medical abortion available for communities that have no access," he said.

Marie Stopes allocated $561,000 in financial bursaries to women who could not afford abortions in 2019, and 64 per cent of that money went to women in NSW.

Mr Hakim said other private operators had stopped providing telehealth medical abortions because they had not been able to sustain the business model without a Medicare rebate.

Things changed during the pandemic, when the Federal Government introduced telehealth Medicare items in late March.

It meant doctors were able to provide medical abortions to patients remotely.

But in July, telehealth items were restricted to regular patients who had seen their doctor in the last 12 months, putting them out of reach for most abortion providers.

Pandemic exposed holes in regional abortion services
Amanda Cohn, a GP at Gateway Health in Wodonga where Hayley had planned to have her abortion, said her service was providing medical abortions for women in the "border bubble" Albury-Wodonga Health catchment area.

But the service helps all women, including those from the Riverina region, which is proving challenging at the moment.

"For those women around Wagga and Narrandera, if they were to come and see us in Wodonga, they would need to self-isolate for 14 days when they return to NSW," she said.

Then there's the time it takes for those women to organise a permit to re-enter NSW, pushing them closer to the nine week cut-off that would require a surgical abortion.

All of the regional women's health services the ABC spoke to said there had been a spike in requests for abortions since the pandemic started, which they put down mainly to an increase in domestic violence.

GPs reluctant to prescribe abortions
Medical abortion medications were licenced by the TGA in 2014 and can be prescribed by GPs after they have completed an online training program.

Data given to the ABC by Marie Stopes Australia, the sponsors of the drugs, shows only 7 per cent (2,462) of the 37,000 GPs are certified, and not all of those are actually prescribing.

NSW has one of the lowest per capita rates of GPs who can do medical abortions, and most of those are concentrated around Sydney and Newcastle.

Danielle Mazza, professor of general practice at Monash University said lack of knowledge and support was stopping GPs providing abortion services.

"There's also a lot of fear that in small communities, if GPs become know as abortion providers, they will receive a backlash, they will be threatened and they are concerned about that."

Julie Mecham, crisis and support worker at the Wagga Wagga Women's Health Centre, said in the conservative atmosphere of the town, GPs who were conscientious objectors of abortion also contributed to the problem.

"We hear some horror stories [of] GPs who claim they don't know where to refer to, ultrasounds having the volume turned up to hear the foetal heartbeat, having the visual, even when women have requested not to see it," she said.

Under the new law, healthcare practitioners with a conscientious objection to abortion have a duty to refer their patient to another doctor.

Ms Mecham knows of one GP in Wagga Wagga whom she can refer women to for a medical abortion, and understands there are now seven GPs providing this service in the city of 60,000.

But she said there was still nowhere in Wagga Wagga to get a surgical termination.

Surgical abortion still difficult to access
Professor Mazza said women should be able to access both medical and surgical abortions, particularly when a medical abortion was not appropriate.

This included for women with no support at home, or those experiencing family violence.

A spokeswoman for Albury-Wodonga Health told the ABC it provided surgical abortions only for women within the catchment area, though some women outside the catchment had accessed the service in the past.

Ms Mecham said women in Wagga Wagga had to travel to Queanbeyan in the ACT for a surgical abortion, a round trip of about 500 kilometres.

"Access is absolutely critical, otherwise it [decriminalisation] is completely useless," Ms Mecham said.

"As a regional community, it is not as simple as going to the next suburb or catching public transport and accessing procedures."

Manager of the Shoalhaven Women's Health Centre Tracy Lumb also said access to surgical abortion in her region was no better since decriminalisation.

The local hospitals do not do surgical abortions and she has had to send patients to Wollongong or Sydney.

That creates delays, pushing women into a late-term abortion and she has had to organise external funding from other organisations to help women pay for it.

"When you're talking late-term, it is about $1,500, it's a two-day procedure, and also overnight accommodation in Sydney," she said.

Little support from NSW Government
Mr Hakim said the Queensland Government did a lot to ensure that abortion services were provided to priority groups following decriminalisation in 2018, setting up engagement with stakeholders to ensure immediate access.

"In NSW it has been very much decriminalisation is done, now walk away."

Mr Hakim said organisations like Marie Stopes Australia were subsidising public health provision for priority groups and would like other state governments to "step up to the plate".

"We've been providing this service for a long time and it's unsustainable," he said,

A NSW Health spokesperson said following the change in law last year, it launched a pregnancy options helpline, wrote to all health districts and GPs to inform them of the provisions in the law, and to support access to pregnancy termination.

Hayley is just glad she could get the right outcome.

"I'm English-speaking, I'm health literate, I'm educated, I have money, I can travel," she said.

"But if you don't have those things, that access is just gone for you."

*Name has been changed ... d=msedgdhp

UTS recommended staff censor for Chinese students
Uni recommended staff avoid politically sensitive lessons
A Sydney university has recommended staff self-censor teaching material to keep students in China enrolled during the pandemic.

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) conducted a working group in February to discuss how to keep Chinese international students enrolled by teaching them online.

An internal university memo obtained by the ABC highlighted concerns the Chinese Government may "turn off" all communication from the university over any teaching material that may be seen as politically sensitive.

The university's working group recommended teaching material avoid any mention of topics which may be politically inaccurate, citing territories of China as one example.

UTS said there have been no issues with teaching students online so far.

A UTS spokesman said while the memo recommended staff to avoid contentious issues, the policy was not officially endorsed. ... d=msedgdhp

Concussion links to domestic violence which has been on the rise since the 1st wave of covid19 in NSW and elsewhere in Australia , especially in periods of lockdown.
Labor MP Anna Watson will today lodge a notice of motion in the NSW Parliament calling on the Government to introduce concussion protocols for domestic violence victims.

Ms Watson said the protocols could mirror those already in place for sports-related head injuries.

"A Brain Injury Australia report has already said that 40 per cent of victims of family violence sustain a brain injury so what are we waiting for here — it is obvious what needs to be done."

Illawarra-based psychiatrist Karen Williams said guidelines were needed so women who present with unexplained head injuries can be identified, asked the right questions and provided treatment for potential brain trauma. ... d=msedgdhp

NSW Deputy Premier faces joint meeting of Liberals and Nationals
The New South Wales Deputy Premier has faced a joint meeting of Liberals and Nationals for the first time since threatening to split the coalition over a koala policy. ... d=msedgdhp

Build coal power station to bring manufacturing to Australia: Canavan
Nationals Senator Matt Canavan says Australia must get back to investing in power sources such as coal and gas, and not “unreliable, part time renewables” to get the nation’s manufacturing industry back up and running.

“The key problem our manufacturing industry has had in the past decade is escalating energy prices as we’ve shut down coal and gas fired power stations,” Mr Canavan told Sky News.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday threatened the private sector, saying the government would forcibly intervene in the gas market and build a new power station in the NSW Hunter Valley unless it came up with a plan and funding over the next seven months.

“I’m a bit sceptical though whether we can rekindle manufacturing just through gas alone,” Mr Canavan said.

“I think we should build a coal-fired power station if we want to bring manufacturing back to Australia.

“We should look to invest in all energy sources if we’re serious about bringing energy prices down.

“If we close off opportunities, we will make energy prices higher, which will make it very hard for our manufacturing industry.

“We’ve got to face facts that we can’t change geology and in eastern Australia, we have not found the geology consistent with affordable gas resources.

“That’s just the facts.” ... d=msedgdhp

Qantas mulls moving Sydney head office interstate
Qantas says it is considering moving out of its corporate headquarters in Sydney's Mascot and could shift to Western Sydney Airport or interstate as it prepares for life as a smaller company in the post-pandemic future.

The airline has decided to lay off close to a third of it workforce since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, or around 8000 workers, and on Tuesday said it was looking to shrink its physical footprint accordingly.

A review of Qantas' corporate property footprint will focus on its 49,000 square-metre head office near Sydney Airport and Jetstar's head office in Collingwood, Melbourne, which could be merged into the one location.

"Like most airlines, the ongoing impact of COVID means we'll be a much smaller company for a while," Qantas Group chief financial officer Vanessa Hudson said.

"We're looking right across the organisation for efficiencies, including our $40 million annual spend on leased office space.

"As well as simply right-sizing the amount of space we have, there are opportunities to consolidate some facilities and unlock economies of scale."

Ms Hudson said Western Sydney Airport was on the cards as a location for a new Qantas office, while it will also look at moving aviation facilities including its flight simulators in Sydney and Melbourne and its heavy maintenance facility in Brisbane. ... d=msedgdhp

ADF member in hotel quarantine fined $1,000 for breaching coronavirus order by entertaining female guest
A serving member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has been fined for entertaining a woman in his room at a Sydney hotel where he is in mandatory quarantine.

During a security check at 12:45am a woman's voice was heard coming from the room of the 26-year-old man, who is in quarantine after returning from overseas deployment.

ADF officers managing the hotel took the woman away from the quarantine area and police were called.

The pair were charged and each fined $1,000 for failing to comply with coronavirus directions.

The 53-year-old woman was a guest staying at the hotel. She was told to check out and get tested for the virus before self-isolating at her Hornsby home.

An ADF investigation into the incident has begun.

"Defence takes its responsibilities for the safety and wellbeing of its members and the general public seriously, and will not tolerate breaches of COVID-19 procedures," a spokesperson said. ... d=msedgdhp

New parents slapped with fines for illegally crossing Victorian border to find work in NSW
A couple from Malaysia has been dealt fines for illegally crossing the Victorian border in "desperation" to finding farm work on the New South Wales Mid North Coast.

Mohammad Hashim, 28 and his wife Fadline Rasani, 26, were arrested in late August after police received a tip-off that Ms Rasani had recently given birth at Coffs Harbour hospital.

Nursing their newborn in court, the new parents pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to comply with COVID-19 regulations.

Magistrate Ian Rodgers said the pair's case highlighted the adversity they faced during the pandemic.

"[It was] a demonstration of the level of desperation they were going through due to their financial circumstances," he said.

The court heard the couple, who arrived in Australia in January on temporary working visas, were evicted from their rental home and lost their jobs in regional Victoria.

In desperation, the couple made their way to Coffs Harbour in a last-ditch attempt to get work picking blueberries.

They have been sending money back to Malaysia to provide support for their two children, aged eight and two, who are being cared for by relatives.

Couple in 'dire financial situation'
Prosecutor Sergeant Heidi Warren argued the couple's offences were more serious than the on-the-spot, $1,000 fines dealt by NSW Police for COVID-19 breaches.

The maximum penalty for the pair's charge of failing to comply with COVID-19 directions is six months' jail or an $11,000 fine.

Sergeant Warren said Ms Rasani and Mr Hashim had lied on their border pass application about securing work in NSW.

She added that there had been a degree of planning to unlawfully journey to Coffs Harbour after their plans to work on a farm at Tooleybuc in the Riverina did not eventuate.

"There needs to be a message sent that the court won't tolerate offences like this," Sergeant Warren said.

She told the court their actions strained resources at the Coffs Harbour hospital because Ms Rasani had to be isolated due to her COVID-19 risk.

But lawyers for the couple said their ability to pay a large fine was low because Mr Hashim's income was sporadic, earning about $340 a week picking blueberries.

They also told the court that Ms Rasani and Mr Hashim, who were supported in court by a postnatal worker, needed specialist care for their newborn who required surgery for a birth complication.

Magistrate Ian Rodgers said a strong message needed to be sent about COVID-19 regulation compliance but he recognised the couple's "dire financial situation".

Ms Rasani and Mr Hashim were issued with fines of $1,200 each. ... d=msedgdhp
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:44 am

Queensland records one new case of coronavirus, an overseas arrival who is in quarantine
Queensland has recorded one new case of coronavirus overnight taking the state's total to 1,150 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new case is an overseas arrival who is already in quarantine.

It is the third consecutive day that Queensland has recorded no new cases outside of hotel quarantine.

Yesterday Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said there needed to be 14 consecutive days of no new cases outside of hotel quarantine before Queensland would ease restrictions.

There are now 31 active cases in Queensland after 4,933 tests were conducted in the last day.

At least 24 of those cases are located in Ipswich and Brisbane's south-western suburbs.

As a result, additional testing resources have been deployed to those areas.

It comes as Queensland Health added three more suburbs to its list of places undergoing contact tracing after a patient who tested positive to coronavirus visited the areas.

The suburbs include Goodna, Redbank and Redbank Plains.

Anyone who has visited those suburbs in the past 14 days are urged to monitor their health and immediately get tested if they develop COVID-19 symptoms.

The locations on the public health alert list are removed after a fortnight.

The most recent locations added include the Hungry Jack's at Redbank Plains Shopping Centre and two shops in Westfield Garden City. ... d=msedgdhp

Queensland Covid-19 hotspots: list of Brisbane and south-east Qld outbreak locations
Queensland authorities have released a list of hotspots where Covid-positive people visited while infectious.
Those who attended some locations must isolate immediately for 14 days. Others will be contacted by members of the public health team to discuss next steps.

Related: NSW Covid-19 hotspots: list of Sydney and regional outbreak locations

More detailed information is available on the Queensland government website. This list will be updated as more locations are added or removed.

Hotspot locations
All passengers sitting in rows 25 to 29 on flight VA962 from Brisbane to Sydney on 17 August must isolate immediately for 14 days. If they develop symptoms they must get tested.

All other passengers on board the flight should monitor for symptoms.

Public health officials will be also contacting all those who dined at the Jam Pantry cafe in Greenslopes on 16 August between 9.45am and 11am.

Those who attended the cafe outside those hours should monitor for symptoms.

Potential hotspot locations
According to the Queensland government, everyone who attended these locations during the listed time should monitor for Covid symptoms and immediately get tested if they develop.

8 September

Hungry Jack’s Town Square Redbank Plains Shopping Centre, Redbank Plains: 8pm to 1am
7 September

St Edmund’s College, Ipswich: morning to afternoon
4 September

Super IGA Supermarket, Russell Island: 8.00am-8.30am
Coles, Karalee: 9.30am-10.15am
Ipswich Garden Centre, Raceview: 12.30pm-1.30pm
Westfield Garden City - Pandora, Mount Gravatt: 11.20am to 11.31am
Westfield Garden City - Taylormade Memorabilia, Mount Gravatt: 11.45am to 11.59am
3 September

Super IGA Supermarket, Russell Island: 12.00pm-2.00pm
2 September

Russell Island Pharmacy, Russell Island: morning
Orion Springfield Central shopping centre – Big W, Springfield Central: 12.33pm to 12.42pm
Orion Springfield Central shopping centre – City Beach, Springfield Central: 12.42pm to 12.59pm
Orion Springfield Central shopping centre – Woolworths, Springfield Central: 1:02pm to 1.13pm
Orion Springfield Central shopping centre – Stacks Discount Variety, Springfield Central: 1.14pm to 1.19pm
Orion Springfield Central shopping centre – Peter McMahon’s Swim Factory, Springfield Central: 4pm to 4.30pm
1 September

Canaipa Nursery & Tea Centre, Russell Island: 12.00pm-12.30pm
Super IGA Supermarket, Russell Island: 12.40pm-12.50pm
Passenger Ferry: Russell Island to Redland Bay: 1.30pm-2.10pm
Passenger Ferry: Redland Bay to Russell Island: 4.00pm-4.30pm
31 August

Woolworths, Yamanto: 11am to 11.15am
Country Market, Yamanto: 11.20am to 11.40am
Priceline, Yamanto: 11.40am to 11.45am ... d=msedgdhp

The Queensland Government says its closed border is saving lives. Others say it’s just 'bloody-mindedness'
Greg and Gloria Newlyn are desperate to visit Greg's 93-year-old mother in Queensland.

The Canberra couple have been told she only has a short time to live.

"She's very thin now and it's just surprising that she's actually still alive at this time," Ms Newlyn told 7.30.

The Newlyns can only enter Queensland if they undergo two weeks in quarantine, even though the ACT hasn't had an active case of COVID-19 in months.

They are happy to go into quarantine if the Queensland Government will let them, but not in one of the designated hotels.

They fear they are more likely to catch the virus in a hotel — a risk they are not willing to take.

"I have a lung condition," Ms Newlyn said.

"I'd probably die."

The Queensland border rules treat Canberra as a hotspot due to the porous border with NSW.

"I feel very sorry for everybody in Canberra who's in a similar position," Mr Newlyn said.

"I think it's just bloody-mindedness by the Queensland Premier."

'Zero-risk' patient baffled by border red tape
The Newlyns are not the only people unhappy with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's decision to keep Queensland's borders largely closed to residents of Victoria, NSW and the ACT.

Trish Schneider has endured years of pain and surgery from severe complications from a pelvic mesh implant.

She lives in the northern New South Wales town of Casuarina, just over an hour by car from her team of specialists across the border in Brisbane.

"I did have my last consultation with my specialist on Zoom, and neither of us was particularly satisfied with that," she told 7.30.

"When I made the next appointment, my specialist was very clear: 'Trish, we need to see you.'"

Ms Schneider's home is within the so-called "border bubble", so she can actually enter Queensland, but only as far as the Gold Coast.

"Whilst I do not, today, need life-saving treatment by this team in Brisbane, I have in the past, several times, needed life-saving treatment by this team in Brisbane," she said.

"I've no interest in repeating that performance."

Ms Schneider said she was initially told by Queensland Health over the phone that she could not travel beyond the border bubble into Brisbane.

After a series of calls and online applications for border passes, Ms Schneider's understanding is that she can only see her doctors if she quarantines in a Brisbane hotel for two weeks.

She said that raises its own risks.

"To manage my health, there's a lot of stuff I've got to do, and some of it is difficult," she said.

"If I was in a hotel in Brisbane by myself, I'm not sure I could manage that."

The Queensland Government insists someone in Ms Schneider's position is allowed to travel for a day trip and back, without hotel quarantine, so long as they have a note from a treating doctor.

But Ms Schneider, who is a trained midwife, said the system had never made such a pathway clear.

"When you apply for a border pass every week, you give to them the same information, and you get a very different answer each time, it becomes a little overwhelming and frustrating," she said.

Ms Schneider believes she doesn't pose a risk to anyone in Brisbane.

"I've got a background in health. I get it. I know the risks. I know the transmission. I understand it," she said.

"But at the end of the day, [the current system's] not working for people who need health care now.

"I pose zero risk, zero to the people of Brisbane, absolutely zero."

Government defends tough border stance
The Queensland Government insists the hard border is needed to prevent a major COVID-19 outbreak in the state.

"We need to remember that globally this pandemic is still getting worse, more people are still dying," the state's Health Minister Steven Miles said.

"That's precisely why we need to keep this virus out."

He said criticism from the Federal Government and the Queensland Opposition was "an attempt to make this a political issue in the lead up to the Queensland state election" next month.

"We have processes in place to allow people to visit dying relatives and loved ones," Mr Miles said.

"We have processes in place for people to get exemptions to come to Queensland for funerals. They're very similar arrangements that apply in South Australia, Tasmania, WA.

"Sometimes those decisions have been hard.

"But the result of those decisions, the cumulative result of those decisions, is Queensland having been kept safe."

The Queensland Government said additional staff had been employed to handle medical and other exemption applications.

Newlyns fear they are running out of time
The Newlyns are hoping there will be a change of heart and policy by the Queensland Government.

But they believe they don't have much time.

"The last information a couple of days ago was that my mother would probably last only one or two weeks," Mr Newlyn said.

"I think she's just hanging in there, waiting for us to come," Ms Newlyn said. ... d=msedgdhp

Coronavirus and Queensland's health system: Just how costly will the pandemic be into the future?
Queensland's Chief Health Officer has highlighted the long-term health impacts for patients who have contracted coronavirus, but what ramifications is the virus likely to have on the state's health system?

UQ School of Economics research director Brenda Gannon said it was still too early to forecast the economic impacts of the pandemic on the state's health service, but she said it would be costly.

"No-one has done it here in Australia, or indeed anywhere actually, in projecting forward because the issue is follow-up costs have to be included," she said.

"For example, once the person recovers from COVID, [there's] x-rays, pathology, medication and future hospitalisation, so we don't know what the follow-up epidemiology will be of this yet.

"Even for a person who doesn't go into hospital, in the United States they found the average cost of a person with COVID was around $3,000, and they say that's four times the cost of treating a person with the flu, so it's quite an expensive virus."

The Australian Government has committed $2.4 billion for a health package to support primary care, aged care, hospitals, research and the national medical stockpile during the pandemic.

The Queensland Government has set aside $1.2 billion to respond to coronavirus, funding which will double intensive care capacity, triple emergency department capacity, increase the number of paramedics, ambulances, acute care services and expand fever clinics, along with a raft of other measures.

Professor Gannon said measures such as telehealth had been great for healthcare during the pandemic but could become costly in the long run.

"I do think it could be an expensive item going into the future and, if it is going to be used, it will have to be re-evaluated at least annually to ensure the costs are there for good reasons and they're looking after people with healthcare needs," she said.

"The other thing is the COVID crisis has really highlighted the aged care sector across Australia and the world … so the main aim for the future would be we want to have people at home and out of hospital, regardless of COVID.

"You also have to consider the current and long-term cost to productivity losses to the labour force, even education losses to people in the future.

"So the cost of COVID can't be taken in isolation to health care costs … it's everything around it as well."

Health authorities had to 'rewrite rule book'
Jeannette Young, Queensland's Chief Health Officer, said the state's tough border restrictions were in place to reduce the number of people contracting the virus and having to live with future health issues.

"We're now eight months in and we're learning that this is not a disease of the respiratory system," Dr Young said.

"That might be how it's transmitted, but it's not flu.

"It affects every cell in the body and leaves long-lasting problems for different organs in the body, whether that be the heart or the kidneys, the brain, the lungs — so it is really important that we minimise the number of people who get this disease.

"That's why we have the very strict protocols that we have in Queensland for quarantine — this is about people not getting this disease."

Dr Young, who has come under mounting criticism due to her stance on border restrictions, said responses and processes were being refined as authorities learned more about the disease.

"Unfortunately, there's no rule book for this pandemic," she said.

"We had to, right at the start, rewrite the rule book for and we're now still learning about this virus and the processes we've put in place."

COVID-19 can cause high levels of inflammation in the body, with the immune system going into overdrive to get rid of it, which can impact the body's vital organs.

Last week, Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said an 81-year-old man who was on the Ruby Princess cruise ship had spent 77-days in ICU, making him the state's COVID-19 patient in hospital the longest.

The man will be moved to a rehabilitation bed for treatment this week. ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12621
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:23 am

NT police arrest NSW man for allegedly illegally crossing border during COVID-19
Northern Territory police have arrested a 23-year-old New South Wales man after he allegedly illegally crossed the Northern Territory border.
Sydney man drives 2,800km to the Northern Territory, gets caught
A NSW man has dumped his car in outback South Australia and hiked across the Northern Territory border in a bid to dodge COVID-19 quarantining.

NT police found the 23-year-old in a remote town about 450km south of Alice Springs on Tuesday.

He has been charged with contravening an emergency declaration and making a false statutory declaration after allegedly illegally crossing the NT border.
A day earlier, officers found the man's car abandoned in a culvert about two kilometres south of the Kulgera Border Control Point on the Stuart Highway.

Police say the man crossed the border into the NT on foot and then hitchhiked to Yulara, just outside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The man had approached the border crossing after driving from Sydney, which has been declared a virus hotspot by NT Health.

Officers told the man he'd have to quarantine for 14 days if he wanted to enter the Territory.
The man declined before driving back toward South Australia, police said.

He has since been placed in hotel isolation in Alice Springs where he tested negative for COVID-19.

The man will appear in Alice Springs Local Court on September 28.

All travellers to the NT from COVID-19 hotspots must undergo 14 days' mandatory quarantine at their own expense. ... d=msedgdhp
NT police found the 23-year-old in a remote town about 450km south of Alice Springs on Tuesday.

He has been charged with contravening an emergency declaration and making a false statutory declaration after allegedly illegally crossing the NT border.

A day earlier, officers found the man's car abandoned in a culvert about two kilometres south of the Kulgera Border Control Point on the Stuart Highway.

Police say the man crossed the border into the NT on foot and then hitchhiked to Yulara, just outside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The man had approached the border crossing after driving from Sydney, which has been declared a virus hotspot by NT Health.

Officers told the man he'd have to quarantine for 14 days if he wanted to enter the Territory.

The man declined before driving back toward South Australia, police said.

He has since been placed in hotel isolation in Alice Springs where he tested negative for COVID-19.

The man will appear in Alice Springs Local Court on September 28.

All travellers to the NT from COVID-19 hotspots must undergo 14 days' mandatory quarantine at their own expense. ... hp#image=1

According to police, the man arrived at the Kulgera Border Control Point, about 275 kilometres south of Alice Springs, on September 13.

At the checkpoint, police said they told the 23-year-old he would need to spend 14 days in mandatory hotel quarantine if he entered the NT as he had recently visited a NSW hotspot.

Anyone who enters the NT from a declared COVID-19 hotspot — which includes the state of Victoria and Greater Sydney — needs to enter the forced government-managed quarantine and pay $2,500 to cover the cost.

Police said that after explaining this to the traveller, the man chose not to enter NT and drove back towards South Australia.

But later that same day, police say they found the man's car "abandoned in a culvert" about 2km south of the border control point.

Police arrested the 23-year-old yesterday in the community of Yulara, a remote township near the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and said they believe the man "crossed the border on foot and then hitchhiked".

Incident controller Acting Commander Sachin Sharma said the man had been tested for COVID-19 and returned a negative result.

"He is currently undergoing quarantine in Alice Springs," he said.

"The vast majority of travellers have been very cooperative and it is disappointing to see some continue to risk other people's safety."

The 23-year-old man has been issued a notice to appear in court for contravening an emergency declaration and making a false statutory declaration.

He is due to appear in Alice Springs Local Court on September 28.

The infringement penalty for failing to abide by the Chief Health Officer's directions is $5,056 for an individual and $25,280 for a business.

In the NT, 2,391 compliance checks have now been completed and 150 fines issued. ... d=msedgdhp

Alice Springs COVID-19 quarantine facility bans care package deliveries after alleged drug drop-off
are package deliveries to hotel guests in quarantine will soon be banned in Alice Springs after police said they uncovered a drug smuggling attempt.

Care packages have never been allowed in the Howard Springs Facility in Darwin, but that has not been the case at the Todd Facility in Alice Springs.

Guests could have food delivered from local cafes and friends and family could drop off coffee, food and amenities.

A spokesperson for NT Police said that "a small quantity of cannabis was detected in a package" during a "routine inspection" last week.

No-one has been charged over the incident and investigations are ongoing.

The ABC understands the drugs were detected inside food.

'A bit frustrating'
Ash Steel, a former resident of Alice Springs who has returned to the centre for work after moving to Melbourne, has been in quarantine at the Todd Facility since Friday.

She said she was disappointed to hear about the changes.

"I was really looking forward to halfway through the quarantine, when things got really rough, to someone bringing me my favourite toast and a coffee," she said.

"But I suppose that won't be allowed anymore."

She said it would be particularly hard for people who had local friends and family.

"To take away a small bit of a connection with the outside world when you are stuck inside for two weeks is a bit frustrating," she said.

Major supermarkets only
Mandatory hotel quarantine administrator Territory Families said in a statement that from September 18 only "click and collect" deliveries from major supermarkets would be allowed at the Alice Springs facility.

"These deliveries will still be subject to the same screening process," a spokesperson said.

"This process is carried out by government employees with the support of police."

The spokesperson said that the grace period was introduced to "allow residents to shift to the new practices".

Ms Steel said that Territory Families told her she would be contacted on every day of her stay to check in, but that that had not been happening.

"They called on Friday, but I haven't heard from anybody since then," she said. ... d=msedgdhp

Ellenbrook families step up to support neighbours through poverty, hardship as tough times bite in the suburbs
Ten years ago, Samantha Judd's marriage ended and she and her two young children had to move back in with her mother.

Money was so tight that she could not afford to give her children a birthday party; something they had always had before.

Ms Judd found it difficult that she was not able to provide for her children in the same way they were accustomed.

"That was awful," she said.

"I think the biggest thing that I felt was a failure as a parent — you are supposed to be able to provide for your kids.

"Up until then they had always had birthday parties with their friends over."

Fortunately for Ms Judd, her mother was able to pay for a birthday cake and a celebration, but the experience left a lasting impression.

These days, she is back on her feet with a full-time job and a home of her own in Ellenbrook, in the Perth north-eastern suburbs.

And two years ago Ms Judd founded a charity, Birthdays from the Heart, for people who find themselves in the same situation and without family support.

"We provide birthday parties to disadvantaged kids who wouldn't get one otherwise," she said.

Families are referred by support agencies and refuges and every Saturday Ms Judd puts together everything a parent needs for a party and delivers it herself.

Personalised birthday cakes, handpicked presents
In a small room in Ms Judd's home, she has shelves of presents, paper plates, cups and wrapping paper.

A large freezer holds party food and a small group of volunteers bake individual cakes for each child.

The gifts come from donations from supporters who hold gift drives at work or among friends, or who just drop them off, as well as items Ms Judd buys to make sure the store is fully stocked.

Each gift is then photographed and listed on the organisation's website so that parents can choose the gifts for their child themselves.

"We give the mums a code and they shop for the kids — we don't pick the gifts," Ms Judd said.

"Normally she'd go down the shops and buy gifts so she can still do the same here."

'The kids were so happy'
When she started the charity, Ms Judd did not expect to meet the families and children the service provided for.

She thought she would drop off the party packages and leave, but often she has been able to see the impact the service has on disadvantaged families.

"You love it; you meet the kids and they have these big beaming smiles," Ms Judd said.

"I think the first ever party we did was 20 kids at one of the refuges and one of the mums said, 'We actually cried because the kids were so happy, because they just didn't think they were going to get anything'.

"It's just everything. I know how I felt when I was that mum."

Ms Judd also knows how much children compare themselves to other children and can sense when they are missing out.

"At school, every kid talks about their birthday coming up," she said.

"You think, 'How do these kids feel when they think they don't have anything coming this year?'.

"[Through this service] they can invite their friends over, their friends get a little loot bag to take home and they have games to play."

At the moment, the organisation is run primarily by Ms Judd and her now grown-up daughter, but she is reaching out to more agencies to raise awareness about the service and is expecting to get busier as more requests come in.

Providing food hampers, cooked meals
Ms Judd is not the only person in Ellenbrook who has been moved to help people facing difficult times.

Over in another quiet street, Aniwa Graham-Siliva, her parents and a handful of volunteers are running a small food relief service from their garage called the Angel's Mission.

While the streets and houses in the outer suburb look new and prosperous, Ms Graham-Siliva says there is a great deal of hidden hardship in the area and there are many people who are new migrants without family support.

"There are a lot of young families here because there is a lot of new development happening here and it's a smorgasbord here for first-home buyers, because of the affordability," she said.

"Coming here, starting out as first-home buyers, it's like they are just trying to navigate their way to a stronger foundation, for their husbands to find full-time work as opposed to casual work or being uber drivers.

"We have a few families that rely on that sort of income, and that's not very reliable."

Ms Graham-Siliva and her family, using supplies from food rescue organisation Second Bite, supply food hampers from their garage twice a week and deliver cooked meals, mainly to older people.

Their double garage has become a small shop with hampers piled high with bread, fruit and vegetables and other groceries on shelves and inside fridges.

Ms Graham-Siliva's mother Pine Graham, who likes to be known as Ma, said the need was acute especially since COVID-19 hit.

"People have lost their jobs, they aren't even able to make ends meet anymore," she said.

"It's just been really hard. There are a lot of sad stories out there."

Poverty more 'prevalent' than people realise
Volunteer Maureen Lemmy said the aim of the food service was to be generous and give help to people without prying.

"They come, we treat them with dignity and extra special care because they are not coming because they want to — they have come here because they have to," she said.

"We are aware of that so we try and just have a conversation with them about life.

"They get the hamper and we try to make them not feel embarrassed for being here."

While the service is small and has no external funding, the group hopes to grow its services and would like a van for doing deliveries and aim to offer cooking classes as well.

"We are only little but we have big plans. We are just taking little steps," Ms Graham said.

Ms Judd also suspects the poverty is more widespread in the area.

"I think it's more prevalent than what you would expect," she said.

"It's hard to say because I'm not involved on a deep level, but just the bits that we do with families, we know that it's really needed."

While it was sometimes a mad rush to get packages together and delivered for multiple parties every Saturday, Ms Judd said she derived great satisfaction from lifting the stress from other parents' shoulders.

"Everyone has got pride," she said.

"When I was in that position nobody knew how bad it was except my mum.

"Just being able to say to someone, 'OK, don't worry about it, here it is, enjoy. See you next time' — it's good just to hand it over." ... d=msedgdhp

WA could quarantine international arrivals at Christmas Island and Yongah Hill, WA Premier suggests
The WA Government is willing to take on more Australians travelling home from overseas if they can be quarantined in Commonwealth facilities, Premier Mark McGowan said today.

There has been a cap in place since July on the number of international arrivals allowed into the state each week of 525 to slow the burden on the state's hotel quarantine system.

The Federal Government has said it wants to try to get everyone home to Australia by the end of the year and would be willing to double the cap on international arrivals if the states boost hotel quarantine capacity.

Federal Labor yesterday called for what it estimates to be 25,000 Australians stranded overseas due to COVID-19 border closures to be brought home.

Mr McGowan said if the Commonwealth was willing to open some of its facilities to allow them to quarantine, he would be willing to see the cap increased.

"Basically, we're taking virtually our entire share," Mr McGowan said.

"But if we want to increase it, the way to do it is open up more facilities, particularly Commonwealth facilities, and we're more than happy to work with the Commonwealth to do that."
Detention centres could be used for returning Australians, McGowan says
Mr McGowan flagged a number of Commonwealth facilities in WA.

"There is Christmas Island, there is Yongah Hill [immigration detention centre]. There are the defence bases with numerous accommodation facilities both in Western Australia and all over the country," he said.

"They could literally take thousands of people into those if they wanted to, and I think that would be a good back-up to what the state is doing."

Mr McGowan said WA took the second-largest amount of Australians arriving from overseas after New South Wales, and there were nearly 2,000 people currently in the hotel quarantine system.

"We saw in Victoria, when you overload your hotels you can have very, very, very adverse consequences," Mr McGowan said.

"We have a problem, let's work together to fix it."

Unacceptable to put Australians 'behind razor wire', Opposition says
WA Opposition Health spokesperson Zak Kirkup said the request was "completely unacceptable".

"The Government is suggesting that stranded West Australians, who are returning home who have to isolate, should be put behind razor wire alongside some of our country's worst criminals who are being deported, and (the Government) can't find the hotel room somewhere else in Perth," Mr Kirkup said.

Mr Kirkup rejected the Government's argument that the hotel quarantine system was at capacity and could not be expanded to house more arrivals.

"The Premier can't be seriously suggesting that every hotel room in Perth is full. That isn't the case," he said.

Home Affairs says Christmas Island 'not suitable'
In a statement, a spokeswoman for Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the North West Point detention centre on Christmas Island was being used to detain "unlawful non-citizens who have been convicted of crimes involving assault, sexual offences, drugs and other violent offences".

"Due to global COVID-19 measures, such as flight reductions and border closures, the Australian Border Force's (ABF) ability to remove unlawful non-citizens from Australia has been curtailed," the spokeswoman said.

"With unlawful non-citizens continuing to move from prison to immigration detention, and with required COVID-19 distancing measures in place within the detention network, this is placing the detention network under pressure.

"Yongah Hill Detention Centre falls within the detention network and is at near capacity as well.

"For these reasons, it would not be appropriate for returning Australian citizens to quarantine in these facilities."

Currently around 4,000 Australians return each week in total.

Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram told ABC Radio National it would be possible to use Commonwealth facilities to house arrivals but they would still to be staffed by nurses and doctors which could be an issue.

"At the moment the Ausmat (Australian Medical Assistance Teams) capability I would imagine would be pretty stretched because of the need for the states and territories to be running, obviously, their own health services," he said.

"Plus other things that are going on around the pandemic."

More hotels, Rottnest Island not an option
Mr McGowan said an eighth hotel in the CBD would be opened as a quarantine facility on Thursday to "cope with the numbers".

But when WA Health Minister Roger Cook was pressed further on why the state could not open more hotel quarantine facilities in the CBD, he said the system could not be stretched further.

"We are pretty much at capacity," Mr Cook said.

"We maintain a particular standard in relation to the way our hotels work and because we maintain a high standard there is a limitation to how many hotels we can commission."

Mr Cook also rejected Rottnest Island, which had previously been closed and used as a quarantine facility for cruise ship passengers, as a suitable alternative for international arrivals.

"There are limits around Rottnest, we can't put big numbers there and there are also logistical challenges associated with the health and welfare issues," he said. ... d=msedgdhp

Police allege 59yo man illegally crossed WA border via outback track
A 59-year-old man accused of illegally crossing into Western Australia via an outback dirt road has appeared in court.

The Kalgoorlie Magistrates Court heard that Rikard Buzinkic had applied for a travel exemption in June but was refused.

Police alleged he entered WA from South Australia this week and attempted to cross the Nullarbor on a dirt track known as the Trans Access Road.

The remote road runs parallel to the Trans-Australian Railway Line.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Kirsten Addiscott told the court the man's car ran out of fuel near Forrest, and he was spotted by a train driver.

She said the man would not provide information to police regarding the incident.

Mental health assessment ordered
Mr Buzinkic appeared via video link from custody in Kalgoorlie.

As he was addressed by Magistrate Erin O'Donnell, Mr Buzinkic, who was wearing a face mask, shouted continuously.

Snr Cst. Addiscott told the court there were concerns for his mental health.

"He's been very erratic … he's been speaking about aliens and a lot of conspiracy theories," she said.

Magistrate O'Donnell ordered the man be taken for a mental health assessment.

After she was provided with the assessment report, the judge ordered the man be remanded in custody at the Frankland Centre — a secure forensic mental health facility in Perth.

He is due to reappear in the Kalgoorlie Magistrates Court next week on the charge of failed to comply with a direction.

The case was heard on the same day a 28-year-old Perth woman won an appeal against a six-month prison sentence for breaching border rules.

She admitted to sneaking across the WA border, hidden inside a truck. ... d=msedgdhp

Quarantine-dodging truck stowaway has jail sentence slashed on appeal
A Perth woman who sneaked into WA from Victoria hidden in a truck will not spend any more time behind bars after winning her appeal against her six-month jail sentence.
Asher Vander Sanden, 28, was originally sentenced in August by Magistrate Andrew Matthews for secretly entering the state in order to avoid 14 days hotel quarantine at her own expense.

It was the harshest penalty handed down to a person breaching WA's emergency management orders, with others imprisoned for one month at most for failing to quarantine.

Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Hill on Tuesday set aside Vander Sanden's original sentence and imposed a six month community based order with a requirement she complete 50 hours community service.

"Whilst there are no express errors in the sentencing remarks of [Magistrate Matthews], it is difficult to understand, with the greatest respect to the learned magistrate, how a sentence of immediate imprisonment could have been reached," she said.

"In my view, while I do not consider that a pecuniary penalty was open given the seriousness of the appellant's conduct, options other than immediate imprisonment, including a suspended sentence or partially suspended sentence, were clearly both open and appropriate in all of the circumstances.

"In those circumstances, I consider a sentence of immediate imprisonment of 6 months and 1 day should not have been imposed."

Vander Sanden snuck into WA in early August after hitching a ride with a truck driver she met at a Mildura roadhouse.

She hid in a car inside the truck as it passed through the border checkpoint, and was then dropped at a petrol station to be collected by a friend.

She then "shacked up" with the friend at his Scarborough unit and ignored police's attempts to contact her to establish her whereabouts after she failed to arrive in Perth by plane on August 11, as expected.

Her lawyers argued she should have received a fine while state prosecutors pushed for jail time.

The maximum penalty for failing to comply with a direction under the Emergency Management Act is a $50,000 fine or 12 months imprisonment.

Vander Sanden spent three weeks at Bandyup Women's Prison prior to her appeal.

More than 100 West Australians have been charged with the offence, with most already dealt with through the courts receiving a fine. ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12621
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:42 am


South Australia could reopen border with NSW and the ACT today
outh Australia is set to reopen to NSW and ACT this week, allowing eastern residents to travel to the state without spending 14-days in quarantine. Pictured: Barossa Valley
South Australia could reopen its borders and allow NSW and ACT residents into the state without quarantining as early as today.

SA Premier Stephen Marshall said he hopes open the border to business and family travel as soon as possible.

The South Australian Transition Committee will meet on Tuesday morning to discuss the border restrictions as well as COVID-19 cases in NSW and the ACT.

But Mr Marshall says he will not do anything that is contrary to health advice.

'We want to give as much of a leg up to those people who want to travel as soon as possible,' the premier said on Monday.

'The numbers are looking really good. Just four new (coronavirus) cases in NSW. If they give us the advice tomorrow, we'll be very quick to open that border.

'I'm very keen to open that border the minute I get the advice that it's safe to do so.'

Visitors from NSW and the ACT have been forced to quarantine on arrival in South Australia since March and must self isolate for 14 days.

The anticipated border announcement is set to remove this mandatory quarantine period.

Eased restrictions would allow families to be reunited in the lead up to the September school holidays and the October long weekend.

In other changes to coronavirus rules, the premier said he was hopeful crowds of up to 25,000, or about 50 per cent capacity, would be possible at Adelaide Oval for any AFL finals matches.

Dolphin Bay on the Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

SA reported no new virus cases on Monday, leaving the state's total since the start of the pandemic at 466. Pictured: Murray River

He said significant crowds were at games over the weekend, and SA Health officials were reviewing how those games were managed to consider any next steps in increasing numbers.

SA reported no new virus cases on Monday, leaving the state's total since the start of the pandemic at 466.

The state has no active infections.

Meanwhile, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has faced growing calls to reopen her state for the sake of the national economy.

The pandemic-induced lockdowns and border restrictions have jeopardised one million tourism jobs, and are set to cost the country a whopping $54.6billion this year.

But on Monday, Ms Palaszczuk doubled down on her stance, telling reporters she is prepared lose the election to maintain hard borders and keep COVID-19 out of her state.

The premier has come under sustained fire from federal Coalition politicians like Prime Minister Scott Morrison, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the state's opposition Liberal National Party over the Queensland's strict border policies in recent weeks.

Political opponents have accused Ms Palaszczuk of being heartless for not being more lenient about exemptions on compassionate grounds ahead of the election on October 31.

She's promised to speed up the exemption application process, but she will stake her political future on keeping borders shut.

'Now if it means I have to lose the election, I will risk all that if it means keeping Queenslanders safe,' Ms Palaszczuk said on Monday. ... d=msedgdhp

South Australia opens its borders to the ACT but not to NSW
South Australia will open its borders to allow residents from the ACT into the state but remain closed to New South Wales.

The South Australian Transition Committee met on Tuesday morning and decided the new border restrictions would come into effect at midnight.

ACT residents will be able to enter the state without completing a 14 day mandatory quarantine while NSW residents will remain subject to the restrictions.

'Effective midnight tonight the requirement to quarantine will be lifted for people travelling between ACT and South Australia,' Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said.
He said the 14 day quarantine would remain in place for NSW residents 'for the foreseeable future'.

'The advice from the Chief Public Health Officer is that we want to see a better situation in terms of community transmission before we relax the restrictions on NSW.

'It's not possible to put a time frame on it but the indicators are that NSW is heading in the right directions,' Commissioner Stevens explained.

He said health authorities were looking for a period of at least two-weeks without community transmission before opening the border.

Travellers from the ACT will still be required to fill out approval forms and declarations they have not been outside the 'safe community transmission zone' prior to travelling.

'This is our way of assuring as best as possible that those people travelling between SA and other places have not exposed themselves unnecessarily to the risk of COVID-19 and bringing it into SA. 'You can only come from ACT by air because to come by road you would have to travel through NSW and then the 14 day quarantine period would apply,' he said.

SA Premier Steven Marshall previously said he would not do anything that was contrary to health advice.

'We want to give as much of a leg up to those people who want to travel as soon as possible,' the premier said on Monday.

'I'm very keen to open that border the minute I get the advice that it's safe to do so.'

The eased restrictions will allow families to be reunited in the lead up to the September school holidays and the October long weekend.
In other changes to coronavirus rules, the premier said he was hopeful crowds of up to 25,000, or about 50 per cent capacity, would be possible at Adelaide Oval for any AFL finals matches.

He said significant crowds were at games over the weekend, and SA Health officials were reviewing how those games were managed to consider any next steps in increasing numbers.

SA reported no new virus cases on Tuesday, leaving the state's total since the start of the pandemic at 466.

The state has no active infections.

New South Wales recorded seven new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, two are linked to known clusters and one remains under investigation.

The remaining four cases are travellers in mandatory hotel quarantine.

The ACT has not reported a coronavirus infection since July 10. ... d=msedgdhp

Mental health patient waited days for hospital bed in Adelaide
An elderly mental health patient was forced to wait four and a half days for a bed amid South Australia's ongoing hospital crisis.

Patients were treated in ambulances outside Flinders Medical Centre following a nightmare weekend for hospitals in Adelaide.

Today, 40 people were waiting for a bed at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and the doctors union has raised the alarm.
"It would be reasonable to say that the last seven or eight months have been extremely difficult for all of us, particularly in the emergency department," Dr Megan Brooks from the RAH told 9news.

The local health district said that part of the problem was that some mental health patients should be receiving care elsewhere.

"We know that we can't see absolutely everybody all the time, so we do need to have somewhere else to be able to meet patients with those types of needs," Dr Brooks said.

The hospital's short-term solution is to free up extra beds.

A dedicated mental health facility is to open next year, taking pressure off the rest of the system. ... d=msedgdhp

SA to get more police as COVID-19 persists
SA Police will take more than 100 extra staff over coming months, including 72 new cadet police officers and 54 protective security officers.

The program will cost up to $16 million.

"Our response to the pandemic has required the diversion of resources from normal policing duties and there is no way of knowing how long this pandemic will continue to affect us," Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said on Tuesday.

"While it takes nine-and-a-half months to train police recruits, given the uncertainty of COVID-19, this is an important step to ensure we are ready for whatever may eventuate throughout 2021 and beyond.

"The pandemic has impacted upon our ability to provide normal policing services for the community and by recruiting additional staff we are better positioning ourselves to meet the increasing requirements on policing as we move forward."

Police Minister Vincent Tarzia said the boost in officers would help guard the community as the state continued its fight against COVID-19.

"Our emergency service workers such as police and protective security officers are to be praised for putting themselves forward to support our community through these tough times," Mr Tarzia said. ... d=msedgdhp

Adelaide gets green light to host State of Origin as NRL confirms fixture details
Adelaide has retained the right to host Origin 1 this year after the NRL announced the venues for all three games of the men’s series as well as the standalone Women’s Origin encounter.

While the City of Churches was initially announced as the location for Game 1, the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had raised doubts about whether it would remain in South Australia.

However the NRL today announced the venues for the State of Origin fixtures would remain as originally scheduled, with the Adelaide Oval hosting Game 1, ANZ Stadium in Sydney Game 2, and Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium Game 3.

“We are excited to play this historic game in South Australia for the very first time,” NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said.

“In recent years Origin has captivated Melbourne and Perth and we cannot wait to see how the people of Adelaide respond. The interest from states, outside NSW and Queensland, to host our showpiece event is extraordinary.”

The dates for the series were also confirmed, the series to be played on consecutive Wednesdays in November: the fourth, 11th and 18th on the month.

Women’s State of Origin, meanwhile, will take place in between Games 2 and 3 of the men’s series at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Friday, November 13. It will be the first time the women’s match has been played in Queensland.

“To be able to play our third ever women’s Origin match on the Sunshine Coast as originally hoped is incredibly important to us,” Abdo said.

“The women’s game is such an important part of our game and despite the pandemic we will play both NRLW and Women’s Origin this season. In a year full of challenges, we will make history again with the first women’s Origin match in Queensland.”

Details around crowd capacity are still yet to be confirmed, however with crowds attending matches in all three states at the moment, decent in-house audiences are expected for all four games. ... d=msedgdhp

Hospital registrars claim patients are dying unnecessarily at Launceston General Hospital
Patients are dying unnecessarily at the Launceston General Hospital (LGH) in northern Tasmania, clinicians claim.

Registrars at the hospital's emergency department (ED) have written an explosive letter to management saying it is unsafe for patients, with one person dying recently in a waiting room.

The letter, dated September 14, is signed by almost 20 clinicians who say they can "no longer remain silent".

In it, doctors raised concerns about consistent bed block they labelled "unacceptable, dangerous and unsustainable".

"We come to work each day knowing that our workplace is not safe for patients and that we will be forced to give sub-optimal care," the letter says.

"Morale amongst colleagues is low and continues to decline."

The Australasian College of Emergency Medicine has previously found the LGH had the worst bed block in the country.

The letter said doctors were forced to assess patients in chairs, on ambulance stretchers, or examine them in corridors monitored by security cameras.

"These cameras are not monitored by clinical staff, they are monitored by contracted security staff," the letter said.

"This is not acceptable, this is not appropriate, this is not what our community deserves."

Doctors said they regularly had to take blood and insert cannulas in overcrowded areas, mentally unwell patients were forced to remain in overcrowded and over-stimulated areas and opioids were given in unmonitored areas.

"Our patients have died unnecessarily, they have died because we did not have appropriate space to treat and monitor them," they wrote.

"A patient recently died in the waiting room under these circumstances.

"It is the general feeling amongst staff that if he had been in a monitored area his deterioration would have been noticed well before his death."

The letter also included a list of areas that needed to be urgently addressed:

They included:

Utilising all available beds in the northern region
Improving the availability of diagnostic services after hours
Ensuring allied health staff were available seven days a week and mental health services 24 hours a day
Fixing negative pressure facilities
The doctors also outlined concerns that it was not possible to socially distance in ED.

Doctors at 'breaking point'
Deputy Labor leader Michelle O'Byrne mentioned the letter in State Parliament, saying it was a "devastating account" of the conditions at the hospital.

"Doctors at the Launceston General Hospital have now reached breaking point," Ms O'Byrne said.

"Minister, how many patients have died at the LGH as a result of chronic bed block and understaffing?"

Health Minister Sarah Courtney said she had not seen the letter.

Ms Courtney thanked staff for their hard work during the pandemic and outlined planned upgrades at the hospital including the redevelopment of Ward 4K.

"We'll continue to make sure that we are doing the best we can to support our hardworking clinicians," she said.

"We understand there is still more work to do to support our hardworking clinicians and Tasmanians who need our care."

The Ombudsman's Office said it had received 90 inquiries and complaints about the LGH in the past two years, with 11 related to services provided in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

None of those related to either bed block or ramping. ... d=msedgdhp
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:17 am


Young Australians could be given jobseeker payments as incentive to pick fruit
Young Australians could be incentivised with jobseeker payments to pick fruit as short-staffed farms desperately seek to make up for absent backpackers due to Covid-19 border restrictions.
A parliamentary inquiry on Tuesday recommended the government “urgently” set up a program targeted at year 12 and university students, encouraging them to “have a gap year at home” by moving to regional Australia to pick fruit.

At the same time, a growing list of MPs – including Labor’s shadow immigration minister, Kristina Keneally – are also backing an idea where refugees are offered permanent residency if they pick fruit on short-staffed farms.

The inquiry into working holiday makers released its interim report on Tuesday, looking at solutions for the labour crisis facing farms due to the coronavirus.

Chaired by Liberal MP Julian Leeser, it recommended that domestic farm workers be made eligible for jobseeker payments while working, meaning they could receive two income streams.

Related: Harvests could be lost if coronavirus travel restrictions lead to labour shortages on Australian farms

Workers would get one-off payments to cover travel and living costs, and could also have their Hecs/Help debts reduced, according to the inquiry’s recommendations.

Under coronavirus restrictions, the number of working holiday makers has halved from 140,000 to 70,000 between March and June.

Also on Tuesday, Labor MP Julian Hill, Nationals MP Damian Drum and Liberal MP John Alexander said they would personally back a system where refugees on temporary visas were given permanent residency if they worked on farms.

The proposal, suggested by the Refugee Council of Australia, would offer people on temporary protection visas (TPV) or safe haven enterprise visas (Shev) permanent residency after one or two years working on farms.

Currently, thousands of people who have been found to be genuine refugees are on the temporary visas, and have waited in Australia for years without permanent residency.

The Refugee Council of Australia told the inquiry that there are 17,000 people on either TPVs or Shevs who “are able to fill labour shortages across Australia”.

Hill told Guardian Australia that the idea would be a “win-win”. Alexander told the Sydney Morning Herald it was “a reasonable idea” and Drum said “it merits a genuine look”.

Keneally said on Tuesday afternoon she was also “keenly interested” in the idea.

“With the right safeguards in place to prevent the exploitation we’ve seen in the backpacker visa scheme, this could be a win-win for both farmers and refugees,” she told Guardian Australia. “I’m keenly interested to understand how the government MPs who proposed this idea see it working in practice.”

According to an ongoing survey conducted by the Refugee Council, 81% of temporary visa holders said they would be willing to work in regional areas of Australia if promised a permanent visa after one year.

Hill said he received positive feedback on the proposal and was excited by the cross-party support.

“My personal view, as a Labor MP, is that TPV and Shev holders should simply be given a permanent visa,” he said.

“However, we are not the government, and this proposal supported by the Refugee Council and many farmers’ groups, is absolutely worth exploring as a compromise position and a win-win.”

Greens senator and immigration spokesman Nick McKim said that permanent residency should “not be conditional on doing hard labour”, and the government could instead speed up the processing of temporary visas.

“We are deeply concerned about people on protection visas being used in this way,” he said. “If people are owed protection, that protection should be permanent, and not conditional on doing hard labour.

“The way to resolve this is for the government to start processing claims in a timely fashion, not tying protection to the ability to do manual labour.”

Related: How the climate crisis is changing Australia's wine industry

He added that a way to fix the labour shortage on farms would be to pay workers more.

“There is a significant labour shortage in the agriculture sector and the way to address it is for the federal government to ensure that workers are adequately paid and supported to do this work.”

Hill, Alexander, Drum and McKim are all on the standing committee on migration, which wrote the interim report, but the committee has yet to make recommendations on the temporary visa proposal.

In its report, the committee said it was still receiving evidence on that proposal.

A spokesman for the Department of Home Affairs said it would “consider the recommendations of the inquiry” but did not offer any comment on the temporary visa proposal.

“The government has already made changes to allow working holiday makers and seasonal workers to stay an additional 12 months if they work in agriculture,” it said.

The inquiry on Tuesday also recommended that the government offer incentives to those on international student visas to pick fruit.

That would include payments for transport and living costs, and extending visas or “where applicable as counting towards a pathway to permanent residency”. ... d=msedgdhp

Aged care homes with multiple Covid cases named on list published by federal government
he Australian government has begun releasing a weekly snapshot of Covid-19 deaths and infections in aged care homes, despite earlier attempting to keep secret the identity of providers with fewer than five cases.
he health department secretary, Brendan Murphy, had previously asked the Senate’s Covid-19 committee not to publish a full list of providers with outbreaks, claiming publication of the data could distract from care and discourage staff from attending work.
The first snapshot, published on Saturday, contains the names of 115 aged care providers with two or more cases of Covid-19, but still omits the names of a further 98 providers with just one case.

It reveals there are 83 active outbreaks in aged care, with 454 active resident cases and 166 staff cases. A further 130 providers have had their outbreaks “resolved”. A total of 508 people have died of Covid-19 in Australian aged care facilities.

Related: 'She deserved better': Melbourne aged care home continued to charge Covid victim as she lay in hospital

The federal government has been at odds with the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, about responsibility for outbreaks in aged care. Damaging leaks have highlighted the prevalence of the virus, including Guardian Australia’s revelation that four out of every 10 Victorian aged-care deaths due to coronavirus occurred across just 10 facilities.

On 4 August the Greens senator Rachel Siewert asked the health department on notice to provide a list of all the current outbreaks of Covid-19 in residential aged care facilities in Victoria.

On 20 August, Murphy replied that although residents and their families were advised of any cases in their facility, the department’s preference was “not to disclose information about individual services”.

“Publication of the names and sites of aged care services affected by Covid-19 has resulted in significant media attention and distress for families of residents,” he said.

“It distracts services from their primary response to an outbreak, diverts needed resources and in some circumstances has contributed to a reluctance of staff to come to work, negatively impacting the capacity of the service to provide quality care.”

Murphy said some centres might have only one member of staff infected, which does “not constitute an outbreak in the generally understood meaning of the term”. He asked the committee not to publish the names of providers with between one and five cases.

On 8 September the chair of the committee, Labor’s Katy Gallagher, wrote back indicating the committee would publish the information but offering the department a chance to add “additional commentary to accompany the list of facilities” to ease its concerns.

“[The committee] believes that access to timely information regarding Covid-19 outbreaks in residential aged care services is in the public interest,” Gallagher said. She asked for an updated table by Monday for publication on Tuesday.

Murphy wrote back to say the government had begun publishing the statistics for all providers with more than one positive case. Although the department “remains concerned about the effect that public disclosure of this information may have on facilities, their staff and residents, it recognises this must be balanced with public interest in providing transparency for residents and families”, he said.

The snapshot shows four outbreaks in New South Wales aged care centres – including Dorothy Henderson Lodge and Newmarch House – and one in Tasmania, all of which have been resolved.

Related: Millions for aged care investors, but homes lack nurses: where does $13bn in federal funding go?

The remaining 110 centres with two or more cases are all in Victoria. Some 37 aged care providers on the list had no residents infected, only staff.

The list reveals the identity of 18 providers with at least one resident infected but five or fewer total infections.

The federal government has argued that outbreaks in aged care are a function of the second coronavirus wave in Victoria. Andrews has responded by noting very few cases are in state government-run facilities, highlighting that aged care is a federal responsibility.

The aged care minister, Richard Colbeck, said the report “provides greater transparency for residents and their families around the situation in aged care facilities”.

“It shows that of the 2,706 aged care facilities in Australia, 213 – or 8% – have had cases of Covid-19.” ... d=msedgdhp

State-based genomic screening labs to be united in $3.3M project
Australia's genomic sequencing capability will be upgraded as part of a major new project as scientists continue to work through a backlog of cases in Victoria.
Genomic sequencing, which interrogates the genetic code of each strain of virus to look for transmission links between infected people as well as tracking the real-time evolution of the virus, has emerged as a crucial technology in the fight against COVID-19.

But in Australia, each state runs its own genomic sequencing.

Just to get data from NSW, Victorian scientists often have to go through a multi-step process - or turn to a public database.

Different labs analyse the data differently, making comparisons between states difficult.

And Victoria's second wave has strained existing capacity, with the Doherty Institute still working through a backlog.

The new project, led by the Communicable Disease Genomics Network, funded by the federal government and with support from American biotech company Illumina, hopes to address those flaws.

"What COVID-19 has done is really highlighted the need for this and pushed the development of it. This is a new technology, and we have not needed it before, but we need it now," said University of Melbourne Professor Ben Howden, director of the microbiological diagnostics unit public health laboratory at the Doherty Institute.

The $3.3 million project will bring all genomic sequencing laboratories in Australia together into one system, with all labs using the same standards and data able to be shared in real time.

Currently, genomics researchers from a lab in one state have to formally request genomic data from another state, which uploads it in one database before it is downloaded again.

"There was a lot of toing and froing," said Professor Howden.

In other cases, researchers trying to understand the spread of the virus have had to use public databases to get genomic data.

Part of the funding will also be used to upgrade Australia's genomic sequencing capacity, with new sequencing machines from Illumina expected to arrive at labs across Australia next week.

Victorian labs currently sequence between 1000 and 1200 new cases a week. Professor Howden said his team was still working through a backlog of cases.

The new project's overall goal is to ensure that every single case of COVID-19 is genomically sequenced.

The system will also allow scientists to monitor how the virus genome is changing in Australia.

There is emerging evidence a particular strain of the virus has picked up a mutation making it more infectious, for example.

Professor Bill Rawlinson, a University of NSW researcher who works on genomic sequencing, said he was particularly interested to see if the introduction of a vaccine might cause the virus genome to change - something that could only be picked up with national genomic sequencing.

It may be the vaccine works particularly well on one strain, but not another, Professor Rawlinson said, or the virus may pick up a mutation that confers resistance.

"That's going to be really important. As you start vaccinating, you will sometimes start to see changes in the virus," he said.

"It doesn't necessarily mean it's a problem, but it means you get on top of it early." ... d=msedgdhp

Virus adviser tops MP expenses list
One of Scott Morrison's key advisers on coronavirus has notched up the highest travel allowance bill of any MP between April and June.

But it could have been less of a hit to the taxpayers' pocket if Western Australia had not had such a hard border lockdown and flights so hard to access.

Official figures released on Monday showed Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister Ben Morton spent $20,370 on travel over three months.

The bill reported to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority was higher than any other WA-based minister, including Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.

The expenses included 15 consecutive nights in March and April spent in Canberra, and a further 32 nights across May and June working alongside Mr Morrison to respond to the pandemic.

A spokeswoman for Mr Morton told AAP the assistant minister had taken on temporary responsibilities for the Australian Public Service as well as his role in assisting the prime minister.

"(Mr Morton) has been required to spend a significant amount of time in Canberra to support the Prime Minister and Cabinet in the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic," she said.

"This has resulted in greater than normal nights based in Canberra, away from his home in Perth.

"During this time the ability to travel between Canberra and Perth has been severely restricted, including as a result of reductions in flight availability."

Nationals MP David Gillespie had the highest office administration bill, notching up $142,625 in three months, most of which went on printing and communications.

Https:// ... d=msedgdhp

Why are more than 25,000 Australians still stranded overseas, six months into the pandemic?
When international borders shut at the beginning of the pandemic in March, tens of thousands of Australians living and travelling overseas upended their plans and began to return home, as the government told them to.

Australia’s first wave of Covid-19 was largely attributed to the hordes of international arrivals, who were testing positive during their stays in mandatory hotel quarantine.

Six months after Scott Morrison called on citizens to return home, more than 25,000 Australians who want to fly home are still stuck in countries around the world.

So, why can’t Australians overseas get home?

Are planes still flying into Australia?
Yes. After serious halts to flight movements earlier in the pandemic, planes carrying both passengers and cargo have resumed flying into Australian cities.

Related: Australian diplomats sent to Heathrow airport to help citizens stranded due to travel caps

Far fewer flights and airlines are coming in, in large part due to Australia’s strict ban on citizens exiting the country and restrictions on non-citizens arriving for non-essential purposes, such as tourism.

But all planes landing at Australian airports are well under capacity, with some flights carrying fewer than 30 passengers.

Why can’t the empty seats be used?
Australia’s international passenger arrival caps strictly limit how many people can enter the country.

Designed to ease pressure on the state- and territory-run hotel quarantine systems, the arrival caps were agreed to and implemented by the national cabinet in July, and tightened later that month.

State and territory leaders request their limits, based on what they think their quarantine system can take, and the limits are enforced by the commonwealth, which controls borders.

How many people can enter Australia?
The cap is set at about 4,000 a week. Sydney airport takes the most international passengers, with 350 a day. Perth takes about 525 a week, while Brisbane and Adelaide each take 500 a week.

Canberra and Darwin can negotiate passenger limits on a flight-by-flight basis, while Melbourne is accepting no international passengers as Victoria focuses on containing its second wave of Covid-19.

What does that mean for Australians stranded overseas?
The caps mean that flights landing in Australia are, on average, limited to between 50 and 70 passengers.

Since the introduction of the caps, the cost of flights into Australia has soared, as airlines look to cover the expense of running the service.

Related: 'Shattered, heartbroken, financially ruined': stranded Australians plead for help

But even as Australians desperate to return home pay tens of thousands of dollars for one-way flights, their tickets are being repeatedly cancelled, as airlines have to trim their daily passenger lists each day to meet their limit.

As many Australians living overseas had booked their flights home before the caps were introduced, while others have since left the country for short trips (having secured exemptions from the exit ban on compassionate grounds), the caps are creating a bottleneck of Australians trying to fly back.

Frustrated airlines have acknowledged they are cancelling economy and, increasingly, business class tickets so they can prioritise higher-paying customers to remain profitable. Some planes are flying with as few as four economy passengers.

Some stranded Australians who have contacted the Guardian said their airline had told them their tickets could not be honoured until 2021.

How many Australians are stuck overseas? And didn’t they all ignore the government’s advice to come home months ago?
More than 25,000 Australians have registered with the government as wishing to return, but many have told the Guardian they had not been told about the registration website and were not counted in the government’s figures.

Related: Constitutional question: is it legal to limit how many Australian citizens can fly home each week?

The organisation representing airlines that fly into Australia estimates that 100,000 Australians have either had their flights home cancelled or will have them cancelled before the end of the year, as a result of the cap. This estimate is based on ticketing data provided by the airlines.

Many of the stranded Australians were living overseas at the beginning of the pandemic, and point to government advice that said they should stay put if they had a secure job and accommodation. As economies around the world have deteriorated, many have since lost their jobs and now want to return.

Others have told Guardian Australia that, after hearing the government’s advice to return home in March, they began selling their homes and ending leases but, by the time they had settled their affairs, their tickets had been cancelled.

There are also Australians who have left the country with valid exemptions, often on compassionate grounds to visit sick relatives, and have been stranded by the caps. While many booked brief visits overseas, they have found their return tickets cancelled without being rescheduled.

Who can fix this?
It depends who you ask.

The federal government has so far maintained that the caps are a matter for premiers and chief ministers, and it reviews the caps at the fortnightly national cabinet meetings. On Sunday the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, said he “would be happy to double the number of people tomorrow” but it was ultimately a decision for state leaders.

Related: 'Desperate' Australian hotels want overseas passenger caps raised to fill quarantine rooms

The Coalition has ignored Labor’s calls to set up federal quarantine facilities – similar to those used to repatriate Australians from Wuhan early in the pandemic – so it can quarantine larger cohorts of incoming Australians without having to rely on state leaders to increase their caps.

No state leaders have so far announced any increase to the caps since they were introduced.

How long will the caps last?
The caps last until 24 October but national cabinet could extend them, or reduce or remove them, at each fortnightly review.

What can Australians who are stuck overseas do?
They can register their wish to return home at this government website.

The federal government has introduced a loan initiative to help Australians pay for their living costs as they wait for flights home, and to help fund a more expensive ticket home. But the loans have specific eligibility requirements and the government is advising stranded Australians to rely on their friends, families and local community organisations for financial assistance. Consular staff have also been advising stranded Australians to start crowdfunding campaigns. ... d=msedgdhp

Government to use $52.9m funding to unlock more gas for domestic market
he Morrison government will use a looming negotiation with Australia’s LNG exporters to try and ensure sufficient supply is made available to the domestic market without having to impose a formal gas reservation policy – a scheme the industry would strenuously oppose.

The prime minister, who has been championing a “gas-led recovery” from the economic shock caused by the coronavirus, will use a speech in Newcastle on Tuesday to point to new commitments in the October budget, including funding of $52.9m to unlock more supply of gas and boost transportation infrastructure.

In a warm-up for substantial budget commitments, Morrison will hold open the option of taxpayer underwriting for priority gas projects, streamlining approvals, or creating special purpose vehicles for new investment.

Related: Phasing out gas would benefit Australian manufacturers and households | Richard Denniss

The prime minister will say the government intends to pursue 13 measures designed to establish an open and competitive hub model – an Australian version of the Henry Hub in the United States. The Louisiana distribution hub connects gas pipelines from across the US, and the pipeline is the pricing point for natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Morrison will flag further developing the Australian hub at Wallumbilla in Queensland. The Australian Energy Market Operator first implemented that hub in March 2014 as an exchange for the wholesale trading of natural gas. A single trading location was established in 2017.

The government says it will develop a national gas infrastructure plan to lay out the requirements for the industry into the future. The government will hold consultations with the gas industry to identify gaps, barriers and opportunities across the supply chain.

Morrison will on Tuesday commit funding of $28.3m to develop five strategic basin plans, beginning with the vast Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory, and followed by the North Bowen and Galilee Basin plans. As well as the basin plans, Morrison will flag his intention to set new gas supply targets with states and territories and enforce potential “use-it or lose-it” requirements on gas licenses.

Morrison will also keep live the option of imposing a domestic gas reservation scheme. But the prime minister will telegraph the government’s intention to use the process of negotiating a new heads of agreement with the three east coast LNG exporters to strengthen current commitments on domestic supply and price.

The current heads of agreement is due to expire later this year. The government is wary of massive pushback from the industry to a domestic gas reservation, and concerned about the risk of capital flight.

The gas-led recovery has been championed by the government’s business advisers, including Nev Power, the former Fortescue executive who heads Morrison’s Covid coordination commission.

A leaked report from the manufacturing taskforce attached to the commission headed by Andrew Liveris, a former Dow Chemical executive and current Saudi Aramco board member, recommended the government underwrite an increased national gas supply and that government agencies partner with companies to accelerate development of new fields such as Beetaloo Basin, and that states introduce subsidy schemes for gas-fired power plants.

That report, revealed by Guardian Australia, also proposed a role for government in helping develop gas pipelines between eastern states and the north, and potentially a $6bn trans-Australian pipeline between the east and west, by either taking an equity position, minority share or underwriting investments.

The government says any future pipeline investments would be based on evidence from the gas industry plan it intends to formulate.

Environmentalists are increasingly concerned that the Coalition is preparing to lock in fossil fuels for several decades at a time when it could be championing a green recovery after the pandemic.

Fugitive emissions from the booming LNG industry have led to increases in greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, and the Coalition has not telegraphed how it intends to address that problem given Australia’s commitments to reduce pollution under international climate agreements.

Related: Gas companies say they are working with Covid commission and expect federal support soon

As well as the pollution problem associated with any expansion of the industry, Australia’s biggest oil and gas companies, Woodside Petroleum and Santos, face ongoing pressure from shareholders concerned about the financial risk of these companies backing long-term investments if the world moves towards the Paris agreement goal of net zero emissions by mid-century.

In a statement issued ahead of Tuesday’s speech, Morrison said the initiatives over the coming months were about “making Australia’s gas work for all Australians”.

“Gas is a critical enabler of Australia’s economy,” Morrison said. “Our competitive advantage has always been based on affordable, reliable energy.

“As we turn to our economic recovery from Covid-19, affordable gas will play a central role in re-establishing the strong economy we need for jobs growth, funding government services and opportunities for all.”

Taking the cue from the government’s positive signalling, the gas industry is lobbying Canberra to adopt a range of changes in the budget, including making wages and salary costs tax deductible, creating a new investment allowance for the industry, extending roll-over relief from the capital gains tax, amending environmental regulations to streamline new development and remove the water trigger, and providing loan guarantees. ... d=msedgdhp

Dispatchable power 'not subject to the weather' creates more market stability: Morrison
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he understands businesses need a reliable energy grid in the wake of the coronavirus, highlighting the importance of a dispatchable power supply over energy sources that rely on the weather.

“With a more reliable grid, with dispatchable power that isn’t subject to the weather, then that, of course, creates greater stability and businesses need stability to operate,” he said.

The Prime Minister said “having a more efficient cost base for all Australian businesses is how you create jobs,” and he flagged energy as a key resource which he was seeking to make more cost-effective.

“We have to have ways of getting that down at a sustainable and consistent level”.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the government’s $200 million energy package would help the nation to shift towards a grid run on dispatchable energy to avoid enforced load shedding for energy-intensive industries.

He spruiked the Snowy Hydro expansion as a key new source of dispatchable power. ... d=msedgdhp

PM pitches gas to lead economic recovery
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has delivered his plan for the future of reliable and affordable power, whilst highlighting the significant role coal will continue to play in the nation’s rebuild from the economic destruction caused by the coronavirus.

“In Australia, you cannot talk about electricity generation and ignore coal,” the prime minister said.

“For decades, coal-fired generation has been a source of competitive strength for our economy – reliable, low-cost energy. This is still true."

In his speech Prime Minister Morrison outlined his government’s agenda on energy, whilst making his pitch to the private sector.

“To ensure affordable, reliable power, we need the market to deliver 1,000 megawatts of new dispatchable capacity of 2023-24, with final investment decisions by the end of April 2021.”

“So, this is the plan – if the energy companies choose to step up and make these investments to create that capacity – great! We will step back,” he said.

“If not, my government will step up and we will fill the gap. And to this end, Snowy Hydro is already developing options to build a gas generator in the Hunter Valley should the market not deliver.”

The move is in response to the planned closure of the Liddell coal-fired power station, slated for 2023, and the significant cost it would have on Australia's energy market as the government seeks to pay down debt accrued as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. ... d=msedgdhp

M threatens private sector with government intervention in gas market ( the Snowy Hydro Corp will build gas fired powerstations on Kooragang Is or Old BHP Steelworks site to replace the power generation that will go when Liddell PS is retired in 2023 )
The Prime Minister has threatened the private sector the government will forcibly intervene in the gas market and build a new power station in the NSW Hunter Valley unless it can come up with a plan and funding over the next seven months.

Scott Morrison will today call for the exploration of more gas reserves including the creation of a new gas hub in Queensland.

"As we turn to our economic recovery from COVID-19, affordable gas will play a central role in re-establishing a strong economy we need for jobs growth, funding gas services and opportunities for all of us," Mr Morrison will say in a speech.

The move is in response to the planned closure of the Liddell coal-fired power station, slated for 2023, and the significant cost it would have on Australia's energy market as the government seeks to pay down debt accrued as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. ... d=msedgdhp

New Zealand minister calls for finance sector to disclose climate crisis risks in world first
New Zealand’s left-leaning Green party said it would require the financial sector to make annual disclosures about the impact of the climate crisis on their business, if it once again formed a government after October’s election. The policy would be a world-first, said James Shaw, the climate change minister and co-leader of the party.

“Australia, Canada, [the] UK, France, Japan, and the European Union are all working towards some form of climate risk reporting for companies,” said Shaw in a statement. “But New Zealand is moving ahead of them by making disclosures about climate risk mandatory across the financial system.”

Businesses covered by the requirements would have to make annual disclosures or explain why they had not done so. It is a model based on the taskforce on climate-related financial disclosures framework – formed by the international financial stability board – which is widely acknowledged as international best practice, he said.

Related: Corporations told to draw up climate rules or have them imposed

About 200 organisations will be required to disclose their exposure to climate risk, Shaw said, including large crown financial institutions, such as the country’s accident compensation scheme and the national superannuation fund.

Firms covered by the requirements would have to make annual disclosures covering governance arrangements, risk management and strategies for mitigating any climate change impacts, said Shaw. If they were unable to disclose, they would have to explain why.

Those covered by the proposed law include all registered banks, credit unions, building societies, managers of investment schemes, and licensed insurers with total assets of more than NZ$1b NZD. It would also cover all equity and debt issuers listed on the NZX.

That would include 90% of assets under management in New Zealand within the disclosure system, said Shaw.

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, praised the policy in a video statement supplied by the Green party.

“Once again, New Zealand is leading the world … It led the world in showing how democratic countries could manage the risks of Covid-19,” he said. “And now, New Zealand is leading the way in showing how we can help manage the risk of climate change.”

“Many large businesses in New Zealand do not currently have a good understanding of how climate change will impact on what they do,” said Shaw. “The changes I am announcing today will bring climate risks and resilience into the heart of financial and business decision making.”

The plan faces practical hurdles – New Zealand’s parliament has dissolved ahead of the 17 October election, so the scheme is a campaign pledge, rather than a policy set in motion. In order for it to become a reality, the Greens, a minor party, would need to form part of a coalition government after the election – they are currently part of a ruling bloc with centre-left Labour.
Their proposed law would then require approval by a majority of parliament.

The climate risk reporting would begin in 2023 at the earliest. ... d=msedgdhp

Bledisloe Cup: Ardern relaxes Covid rules for All Blacks-Wallabies clash
New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Adern, has confirmed quarantine rules will be relaxed to allow the Wallabies sufficient time to prepare for next month’s two Bledisloe Cup matches against the All Blacks.

Adern spoke late on Monday to her Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, in a bid to ease tensions between the two nations after new Wallabies coach Dave Rennie baulked at the scheduling, which he said favoured the All Blacks.

Related: Bledisloe Cup boycott is a big threat but Australia cannot have it both ways | Bret Harris

The All Blacks intend for the first match to go ahead on 10 October which Rennie claimed would represent too tight a turnaround for the Wallabies, because the Super Rugby AU season does not come to an end until this weekend.

Under the New Zealand government’s strict quarantine rules imposed upon arrival in the country, players would be in self-isolation and unable to train with teammates until 5 October, putting the Wallabies at a serious disadvantage in terms of preparation, according to Rennie.

He even went as far as to suggest a boycott of the series, but Adern’s government, after consulting with the director general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, offered to allow the Wallabies to train in small groups from the third day of quarantine and as a full squad from day six.

“The quarantine changes are more around whether or not the director general is happy for teams to be training together while they are in quarantine. The answer is yes,” Ardern said on Tuesday. “What Ashley Bloomfield has said is training can happen in three days.

“And he said because of the risk profile for Australia being lower relative to the other teams being talked about previously – that full squads can also train together from the six-day mark – so that means you can have full regular training while they’re in quarantine. Everyone is pulling out all stops to make it work.”
Ardern on Monday played down concern about voter turnout in the election on 17 October, given it clashes with the second scheduled match. Traditionally, elections and international rugby matches have been kept apart to ensure the best possible turnout at the polling booths.

“I think that New Zealanders are perfectly able to engage in the Bledisloe Cup and an election,” Ardern said. “These are unusual times and I’m pretty sure that we are able, as a nation, to accommodate both a rugby game and an election.

“Ultimately I would rather see us enjoying rugby and a match with the Australians than say we can’t because of the election. I don’t think that would be right.”

Rugby Australia is yet to confirm acceptance of the proposal, but Ardern said she was confident the two matches would now go ahead as planned, before both teams head back to Australia for the Rugby Championship.

Asked if she thought Australia would pull out of the trip, Ardern said: “There is no reason why they should or would. I can’t see why they would make that decision.”

New Zealand was handed the two Bledisloe Tests after losing out to Australia on hosting rights for the Rugby Championship, the southern hemisphere competition involving the Wallabies, All Blacks, Argentina and world champions South Africa, due to its tough biosecurity protocols.

New Zealand’s minister for sport, Grant Robertson, said Christchurch was the most likely location for the Wallabies to quarantine, with details of match locations and times yet to be confirmed.

“It will be in a dedicated isolation facility, and they will be able to bus to and from their training grounds,” Robertson told TVNZ. ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12621
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:35 am






No covid19 patients in hospital in SA, Tas, ACT, NT, or WA.

Zero deaths recorded from covid19 today.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12621
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm
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