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 21, 2020 9:07 am

21 SEPT NSW

4 new cases in NSW, 3 in hotel quarantine
NSW has recorded four new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours. Three of these are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

The fourth case is locally acquired and linked to the Concord Hospital cluster, and the person was already in isolation, Dr Kerry Chant said.

NSW Health is still working to contact people who may have been in contact with a Sydney taxi driver working for the Silver Service over the past two weeks.

https://twitter.com/NSWHealth/status/13 ... 7786814464
A full list of these trips is available on the NSW Health website.

There were 7,760 tests on Sunday, Dr Chant said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has again called for borders within Australia to come down as cases continue to drop.

"Apart from the Victorian situation, which I am pleased to say is looking better and better every day, the rest of Australia has no reason to have any borders between us," Ms Berejiklian said.

She added that with the number of unknown cases of transmission dropping and states learning to keep the virus under control that states should reopen their borders.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

NSW coronavirus cases rise by four as focus falls on infected taxi driver
NSW coronavirus contact tracers have used a "variety of mechanisms" to identify passengers who travelled with an infected taxi driver, but have been left stumped by nine of his trips.

At the weekend, health authorities revealed the Silver Service driver worked eight days in several areas around Sydney's west and south-west earlier this month.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said authorities had already identified "a large number" of passengers who may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the cab from September 7 to 10, and 14 to 18.

"We have been urgently attempting to contact anyone who undertook trips with that taxi driver," Dr Chant said.

"We have managed to use a variety of different mechanisms to identify a large number of the people who shared a ride with that taxi."

NSW Health identified four new coronavirus infections in the 24 hours to 8.00pm on Sunday, three of whom were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

The other case was linked to the Concord Hospital cluster and was already self-isolating.

Meanwhile, NSW Health has used a combination of credit card transactions, trip data and booking information to contact many of the passengers who travelled with the infected taxi driver.

However, people from nine trips have still not been traced.

"The ones that we are less conscious of are those [passengers] who might have hailed the cab driver and it's not registered in some way," Dr Chant said.

The trips are:

September 8: Liverpool TAFE to Hoxton Park Road, Cartwright (13:03-13:14)
September 8: Liverpool TAFE to Glenwari Street, Sadlier (14:01-14:11)
September 9: Liverpool TAFE to Moorebank Shopping Centre (08:08-08:15)
September 10: Liverpool to Graham Avenue, Casula (14:38-14:44)
September 10: Haddenham Street, Chipping Norton to George Street, Burwood (19:15-19:48)
September 14: Riverside Road, Chipping Norton to The Mill Hotel, Milperra (15:50-16:04)
September 15: Riverside Road, Chipping Norton to Birnie Avenue, Lidcombe (08:31-09:11)
September 15: Milperra to Riverside Road, Chipping Norton (10:14-10:25)
September 15: Birnie Avenue, Lidcombe to Riverside Road, Chipping Norton (15:22-16:07)
Dr Chant said all passengers who had travelled with the infected driver were considered close contacts and had to self-isolate for 14 days and get tested for the virus.

She said authorities were working with the taxi and ride-sharing industry about introducing a "check-in" system, similar to restaurants and other venues, to make passengers easier to trace.

"Sit in the back, sit diagonally opposite the driver and also wear a mask when you're in a cab," Dr Chant said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/ns ... 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
Mama Wok, MacArthur Square, Campbelltown: 1.30pm to 2.30pm on Wednesday 9 September for a least one hour
Campbelltown Golf Club, Glen Alpine: 2pm to 4.30pm on Wednesday 16 September for a least one hour
Bannisters Pavilion Rooftop Bar & Grill, Mollymook: 12.30pm to 2.15pm on Sunday 13 September for a least one hour
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
Carlo’s Italian Restaurant Bar & Seafood, Ulladulla: 8pm to 9.30pm on Saturday 12 September for a least one hour
Milton Ulladulla Ex Servos Club, Ulladulla: 2pm to 6.15pm on Saturday 12 September for a least one hour
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)
Blue Mountains
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
Hunters Hill LGA
Liverpool LGA
Mt Druitt (suburb)
Parramatta LGA
Randwick LGA
Waverley 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.

Wray St Oyster Shed, Batemans Bay: 12pm to 1pm on Saturday 12 September
Anytime Fitness, Casula: 10.15am to 12pm on Friday 11 September
Five Stars Thaitanic, Casula: 4.20pm to 5.20pm on Saturday 12 September
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
Campbelltown Golf Club course, Glen Alpine: 9.30am to 2pm on Wednesday 16 September
Hunters Hill Bowling Club, Hunters Hill: 6.50pm to 9pm on Tuesday 8 September
Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre, Katoomba: 11.30pm to 1.40pm on Friday 4 September
Lawson oval, Lawson: 10.30am to 12.45 pm on Sunday 13 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
Picnic Point Bowling Club, Panania: 3pm to 6pm on Friday 18 September
JB HIFI Penrith Plaza, Penrith: 4pm to 4.30pm on Sunday 13 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
Springwood Sports Club, Springwood: 1pm to 2pm on Saturday 12 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
People who caught a taxi on 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 September in the following suburbs must monitor for symptoms and if any develop immediately get tested:

Moorebank
Bankstown
Chipping Norton
Liverpool
Lidcombe
Warwick Farm
Milperra
NSW Health is seeking to identify passengers who caught a Silver Service taxi on the following times and locations. These passengers should call the NSW Health Call Centre on 9391 9000 for further advice.

Tuesday 15 September:

Riverside Road, Chipping Norton 8.31am to Birnie Ave, Lidcombe 9.11am
Milperra 10.14am to Riverside Rd, Chipping Norton 10.25am
Birnie Ave, Lidcombe 3.22pm to Riverside Rd, Chipping Norton 4.07pm
Monday 14 September:

Riverside Road, Chipping Norton 3.50pm to the Mill Hotel, Beaconsfield St Milperra 4.04pm
Thursday 10 September:

Liverpool 2.38pm to Graham Ave, Casula 2.44pm
Haddenham St, Chipping Norton 7.15pm to George St, Burwood 7.48pm
Wednesday 9 September:

Liverpool TAFE college, Bigge Street 8.08am to Moorebank Shopping centre, Stockton Ave Moorebank 8.15am
Tuesday 8 September:

Liverpool TAFE college, Bigge Street 1.03pm to Hoxton Park Road, Cartwright 1.14pm
Liverpool TAFE college, Bigge Street 2.01pm to Glenwari St, Sadlier 2.11pm

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/sydney/n ... d=msedgdhp

Image

VIC - NSW BORDER
Berejiklian considers opening New South Wales border to regional Victorians
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says her government is considering opening the New South Wales-Victoria border to regional Victorians.

There are currently 27 border checkpoints manned by New South Wales police.

“I do want to make sure we don’t have those border checkpoints for a day longer than we need to,” she said in a press conference on Monday.

he premier pointed out the Victorian situation was looking “better and better every day".

“The rest of Australia has absolutely no reason to have any borders," she said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

PANDEMIC ALLOWANCE
NSW is the latest state to offer $1,500 pandemic leave payments to workers who don’t have any other accrued leave but need to isolate
* New South Wales is offering pandemic leave payments to workers who aren't receiving any other income support.
* Eligible workers will be able to get a one off payment of $1,500 for every 14 days they have to be in quarantine or have to self isolate.
* It comes after other states including Queensland, Victoria and South Australia introduced pandemic leave schemes.

New South Wales is offering pandemic leave payments to workers.

The state government is teaming up with the Commonwealth government to provide a one-off $1,500 payment to workers if they have been instructed to quarantine or self-isolate by NSW Health, or are caring for someone with the coronavirus. It includes people on temporary work visas.

The payment applies for each 14 day period that they have to self isolate.

However, there are some conditions for the payment: you can't already be receiving any leave entitlements, JobKeeper payments, or other income support.

To make a claim, you can either call Services Australia or fax in a claim form.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement that introducing the pandemic leave payment will help "protect the community against undetected transmission."

"Our priority is for people to get tested and follow all the health advice to stop the spread of the virus and keep the NSW economy moving," she said.

"We do not want some workers to have to choose between isolating and financially supporting themselves or their dependents."

New South Wales joins other states that have introduced a pandemic leave scheme including South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and the ACT.

In South Australia, the leave entitlement doesn't apply to people who have to self-isolate after returning from interstate or overseas. In August, South Australia's minister for health and wellbeing Stephen Wade said the scheme was designed to help casual workers follow the direction to self-isolate.

“The last thing we want is for any South Australian to have to make a choice between putting food on the table and protecting the community from possible infection and a potential second wave,” he said in a statement.

“Lack of leave entitlements for workers, particularly casual workers, is considered a significant risk factor in not complying with isolation requirements.”

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/ns ... d=msedgdhp

NSW residents can now apply for $1,500 coronavirus disaster payment
More Australian workers can now apply for a coronavirus payment if they're ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.

New South Wales is the latest state to have the $1,500 pandemic leave disaster payment approved by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The lump sum payment is available to eligible workers unable to earn an income because they've been ordered by health authorities to self-isolate for two weeks due to close contact with an infected case - or need to care for a loved one with COVID-19.

The financial relief is available to workers aged 17 and older who don't have access to personal, care or pandemic sick leave.
Eligible workers in NSW must show they're been ordered by health authorities to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days on or since September 17 - and prove a loss of income.

'We didn't want to declare a State of Emergency in NSW, which is what the criteria was to get the pandemic leave,' Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Sunday.

'I wrote to the prime minister saying "please can you support us in that way" and he very gladly accepted.'

'We want to make sure, first and foremost, that those who need to isolate do so.'

Parents caring for a child under the age of 16 with coronavirus or advised to self-isolate for 14 days are also eligible.

For couples, both parties can claim the $1500 payment.

'Our first and foremost priority is to keep the community safe,' Ms Berejiklian added.

'If you have been asked to isolate whether you have been a close contact or whether you have symptoms or for any other reason, please follow those instructions and the government is here to support you.'

Victoria was the first state to introduce the payment, followed by Tasmania and most recently Western Australia, despite no community transmissions of coronavirus in months.

'If we've learned anything from our counterparts on the east coast, it is complacency is deadly, complacency can bring down the state and will undo all the hard work each and every member of the community has given,' WA Premier Mark McGowan said last week.

'I hope that Western Australians don't have to take-up this payment arrangement however knowing it is available should we need it ensures we are prepared for the worst.'

Other states are also eligible if they request access to the payment.

About $13.3 million in pandemic leave disaster payments have already been paid out to 9,000 Australians since since August 6.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:10 am

kingofnobbys wrote:21 SEPT NSW

4 new cases in NSW, 3 in hotel quarantine
NSW has recorded four new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours. Three of these are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

The fourth case is locally acquired and linked to the Concord Hospital cluster, and the person was already in isolation, Dr Kerry Chant said.

NSW Health is still working to contact people who may have been in contact with a Sydney taxi driver working for the Silver Service over the past two weeks.

https://twitter.com/NSWHealth/status/13 ... 7786814464
A full list of these trips is available on the NSW Health website.

There were 7,760 tests on Sunday, Dr Chant said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has again called for borders within Australia to come down as cases continue to drop.

"Apart from the Victorian situation, which I am pleased to say is looking better and better every day, the rest of Australia has no reason to have any borders between us," Ms Berejiklian said.

She added that with the number of unknown cases of transmission dropping and states learning to keep the virus under control that states should reopen their borders.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

NSW coronavirus cases rise by four as focus falls on infected taxi driver
NSW coronavirus contact tracers have used a "variety of mechanisms" to identify passengers who travelled with an infected taxi driver, but have been left stumped by nine of his trips.

At the weekend, health authorities revealed the Silver Service driver worked eight days in several areas around Sydney's west and south-west earlier this month.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said authorities had already identified "a large number" of passengers who may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the cab from September 7 to 10, and 14 to 18.

"We have been urgently attempting to contact anyone who undertook trips with that taxi driver," Dr Chant said.

"We have managed to use a variety of different mechanisms to identify a large number of the people who shared a ride with that taxi."

NSW Health identified four new coronavirus infections in the 24 hours to 8.00pm on Sunday, three of whom were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

The other case was linked to the Concord Hospital cluster and was already self-isolating.

Meanwhile, NSW Health has used a combination of credit card transactions, trip data and booking information to contact many of the passengers who travelled with the infected taxi driver.

However, people from nine trips have still not been traced.

"The ones that we are less conscious of are those [passengers] who might have hailed the cab driver and it's not registered in some way," Dr Chant said.

The trips are:

September 8: Liverpool TAFE to Hoxton Park Road, Cartwright (13:03-13:14)
September 8: Liverpool TAFE to Glenwari Street, Sadlier (14:01-14:11)
September 9: Liverpool TAFE to Moorebank Shopping Centre (08:08-08:15)
September 10: Liverpool to Graham Avenue, Casula (14:38-14:44)
September 10: Haddenham Street, Chipping Norton to George Street, Burwood (19:15-19:48)
September 14: Riverside Road, Chipping Norton to The Mill Hotel, Milperra (15:50-16:04)
September 15: Riverside Road, Chipping Norton to Birnie Avenue, Lidcombe (08:31-09:11)
September 15: Milperra to Riverside Road, Chipping Norton (10:14-10:25)
September 15: Birnie Avenue, Lidcombe to Riverside Road, Chipping Norton (15:22-16:07)
Dr Chant said all passengers who had travelled with the infected driver were considered close contacts and had to self-isolate for 14 days and get tested for the virus.

She said authorities were working with the taxi and ride-sharing industry about introducing a "check-in" system, similar to restaurants and other venues, to make passengers easier to trace.

"Sit in the back, sit diagonally opposite the driver and also wear a mask when you're in a cab," Dr Chant said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/ns ... 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
Mama Wok, MacArthur Square, Campbelltown: 1.30pm to 2.30pm on Wednesday 9 September for a least one hour
Campbelltown Golf Club, Glen Alpine: 2pm to 4.30pm on Wednesday 16 September for a least one hour
Bannisters Pavilion Rooftop Bar & Grill, Mollymook: 12.30pm to 2.15pm on Sunday 13 September for a least one hour
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
Carlo’s Italian Restaurant Bar & Seafood, Ulladulla: 8pm to 9.30pm on Saturday 12 September for a least one hour
Milton Ulladulla Ex Servos Club, Ulladulla: 2pm to 6.15pm on Saturday 12 September for a least one hour
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)
Blue Mountains
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
Hunters Hill LGA
Liverpool LGA
Mt Druitt (suburb)
Parramatta LGA
Randwick LGA
Waverley 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.

Wray St Oyster Shed, Batemans Bay: 12pm to 1pm on Saturday 12 September
Anytime Fitness, Casula: 10.15am to 12pm on Friday 11 September
Five Stars Thaitanic, Casula: 4.20pm to 5.20pm on Saturday 12 September
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
Campbelltown Golf Club course, Glen Alpine: 9.30am to 2pm on Wednesday 16 September
Hunters Hill Bowling Club, Hunters Hill: 6.50pm to 9pm on Tuesday 8 September
Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre, Katoomba: 11.30pm to 1.40pm on Friday 4 September
Lawson oval, Lawson: 10.30am to 12.45 pm on Sunday 13 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
Picnic Point Bowling Club, Panania: 3pm to 6pm on Friday 18 September
JB HIFI Penrith Plaza, Penrith: 4pm to 4.30pm on Sunday 13 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
Springwood Sports Club, Springwood: 1pm to 2pm on Saturday 12 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
People who caught a taxi on 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 September in the following suburbs must monitor for symptoms and if any develop immediately get tested:

Moorebank
Bankstown
Chipping Norton
Liverpool
Lidcombe
Warwick Farm
Milperra
NSW Health is seeking to identify passengers who caught a Silver Service taxi on the following times and locations. These passengers should call the NSW Health Call Centre on 9391 9000 for further advice.

Tuesday 15 September:

Riverside Road, Chipping Norton 8.31am to Birnie Ave, Lidcombe 9.11am
Milperra 10.14am to Riverside Rd, Chipping Norton 10.25am
Birnie Ave, Lidcombe 3.22pm to Riverside Rd, Chipping Norton 4.07pm
Monday 14 September:

Riverside Road, Chipping Norton 3.50pm to the Mill Hotel, Beaconsfield St Milperra 4.04pm
Thursday 10 September:

Liverpool 2.38pm to Graham Ave, Casula 2.44pm
Haddenham St, Chipping Norton 7.15pm to George St, Burwood 7.48pm
Wednesday 9 September:

Liverpool TAFE college, Bigge Street 8.08am to Moorebank Shopping centre, Stockton Ave Moorebank 8.15am
Tuesday 8 September:

Liverpool TAFE college, Bigge Street 1.03pm to Hoxton Park Road, Cartwright 1.14pm
Liverpool TAFE college, Bigge Street 2.01pm to Glenwari St, Sadlier 2.11pm

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/sydney/n ... d=msedgdhp

Image

VIC - NSW BORDER
Berejiklian considers opening New South Wales border to regional Victorians
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says her government is considering opening the New South Wales-Victoria border to regional Victorians.

There are currently 27 border checkpoints manned by New South Wales police.

“I do want to make sure we don’t have those border checkpoints for a day longer than we need to,” she said in a press conference on Monday.

he premier pointed out the Victorian situation was looking “better and better every day".

“The rest of Australia has absolutely no reason to have any borders," she said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

PANDEMIC ALLOWANCE
NSW is the latest state to offer $1,500 pandemic leave payments to workers who don’t have any other accrued leave but need to isolate
* New South Wales is offering pandemic leave payments to workers who aren't receiving any other income support.
* Eligible workers will be able to get a one off payment of $1,500 for every 14 days they have to be in quarantine or have to self isolate.
* It comes after other states including Queensland, Victoria and South Australia introduced pandemic leave schemes.

New South Wales is offering pandemic leave payments to workers.

The state government is teaming up with the Commonwealth government to provide a one-off $1,500 payment to workers if they have been instructed to quarantine or self-isolate by NSW Health, or are caring for someone with the coronavirus. It includes people on temporary work visas.

The payment applies for each 14 day period that they have to self isolate.

However, there are some conditions for the payment: you can't already be receiving any leave entitlements, JobKeeper payments, or other income support.

To make a claim, you can either call Services Australia or fax in a claim form.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement that introducing the pandemic leave payment will help "protect the community against undetected transmission."

"Our priority is for people to get tested and follow all the health advice to stop the spread of the virus and keep the NSW economy moving," she said.

"We do not want some workers to have to choose between isolating and financially supporting themselves or their dependents."

New South Wales joins other states that have introduced a pandemic leave scheme including South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and the ACT.

In South Australia, the leave entitlement doesn't apply to people who have to self-isolate after returning from interstate or overseas. In August, South Australia's minister for health and wellbeing Stephen Wade said the scheme was designed to help casual workers follow the direction to self-isolate.

“The last thing we want is for any South Australian to have to make a choice between putting food on the table and protecting the community from possible infection and a potential second wave,” he said in a statement.

“Lack of leave entitlements for workers, particularly casual workers, is considered a significant risk factor in not complying with isolation requirements.”

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/ns ... d=msedgdhp

NSW residents can now apply for $1,500 coronavirus disaster payment
More Australian workers can now apply for a coronavirus payment if they're ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.

New South Wales is the latest state to have the $1,500 pandemic leave disaster payment approved by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The lump sum payment is available to eligible workers unable to earn an income because they've been ordered by health authorities to self-isolate for two weeks due to close contact with an infected case - or need to care for a loved one with COVID-19.

The financial relief is available to workers aged 17 and older who don't have access to personal, care or pandemic sick leave.
Eligible workers in NSW must show they're been ordered by health authorities to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days on or since September 17 - and prove a loss of income.

'We didn't want to declare a State of Emergency in NSW, which is what the criteria was to get the pandemic leave,' Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Sunday.

'I wrote to the prime minister saying "please can you support us in that way" and he very gladly accepted.'

'We want to make sure, first and foremost, that those who need to isolate do so.'

Parents caring for a child under the age of 16 with coronavirus or advised to self-isolate for 14 days are also eligible.

For couples, both parties can claim the $1500 payment.

'Our first and foremost priority is to keep the community safe,' Ms Berejiklian added.

'If you have been asked to isolate whether you have been a close contact or whether you have symptoms or for any other reason, please follow those instructions and the government is here to support you.'

Victoria was the first state to introduce the payment, followed by Tasmania and most recently Western Australia, despite no community transmissions of coronavirus in months.

'If we've learned anything from our counterparts on the east coast, it is complacency is deadly, complacency can bring down the state and will undo all the hard work each and every member of the community has given,' WA Premier Mark McGowan said last week.

'I hope that Western Australians don't have to take-up this payment arrangement however knowing it is available should we need it ensures we are prepared for the worst.'

Other states are also eligible if they request access to the payment.

About $13.3 million in pandemic leave disaster payments have already been paid out to 9,000 Australians since since August 6.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


COVID JOB LOSSES
NRL says 25 per cent of staff will lose their jobs as the league responds to COVID-19 financial crisis
Key points:
The sporting fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, with the NRL shedding 25 per cent of all staff in a bid to keep the league running
Staff will be told this week whether they will be among those to lose their jobs
A number of senior league executives have already departed this year, including former CEO Todd Greenberg

The NRL has culled one-quarter of staff across all roles to achieve a saving of $50 million annually trying to keep the business afloat after COVID-19.

Chief executive Andrew Abdo informed the NRL's more than 400 staffers of the cull over the phone on Monday morning.

"Our business has been hit by a hurricane called COVID which caused substantial damage. Our strategy moving forward is to stabilise, renovate and grow," Abdo said.

The code has acknowledged it will take years to recover from the loss of millions of dollars in 2020.

Staffers will meet with their managers this week to find out if they still have a job.

"We will lose some talented people, this is a painful but necessary process to survive, we all want to leave the game in a stronger position," Abdo said.

Developing the game is also part of the restructure.
"We will renovate by making our products more entertaining and dynamic for fans and develop bold plans for growth, looking at new products, new markets and how we can grow the game internationally," he said.

The league will prioritise two strategies: delivering world-class sports entertainment and investing in participation and community growth.

"We are aiming to transform faster than others to remain competitive in a dynamic market," Abdo said.

The restructure has streamlined the organisation into seven areas of focus:

Competitions
Partnerships
Fan Experience
Finance, Technology and Operations
Risk, Integrity and Performance
Brand, Media and Communications
Participation and Community
The NRL's executive team has also taken a hit, already cut from 11 members to eight during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In order to stabilise, we must secure revenues and reduce our expenses to ensure a strong foundation," Abdo said.

These retrenchments come after the loss of former CEO Todd Greenberg, chief operating officer Nick Weeks, chief of corporate affairs Liz Deegan and chief financial officer Tony Crawford.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys made it clear when he was appointed in October last year his desire to make the organisation more productive and sustainable.

"Rugby league, under the direction of the Commission, has led the way in Australian sport and I am confident we will continue to do so," Abdo said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-21/ ... r/12685820

MORE JOBS GONE
NRL says 25 per cent of staff will lose their jobs as the league responds to COVID-19 financial crisis
Key points:
The sporting fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, with the NRL shedding 25 per cent of all staff in a bid to keep the league running
Staff will be told this week whether they will be among those to lose their jobs
A number of senior league executives have already departed this year, including former CEO Todd Greenberg

The NRL has culled one-quarter of staff across all roles to achieve a saving of $50 million annually trying to keep the business afloat after COVID-19.

Chief executive Andrew Abdo informed the NRL's more than 400 staffers of the cull over the phone on Monday morning.

"Our business has been hit by a hurricane called COVID which caused substantial damage. Our strategy moving forward is to stabilise, renovate and grow," Abdo said.

The code has acknowledged it will take years to recover from the loss of millions of dollars in 2020.

Staffers will meet with their managers this week to find out if they still have a job.

"We will lose some talented people, this is a painful but necessary process to survive, we all want to leave the game in a stronger position," Abdo said.

Developing the game is also part of the restructure.

"We will renovate by making our products more entertaining and dynamic for fans and develop bold plans for growth, looking at new products, new markets and how we can grow the game internationally," he said.

The league will prioritise two strategies: delivering world-class sports entertainment and investing in participation and community growth.

"We are aiming to transform faster than others to remain competitive in a dynamic market," Abdo said.

The restructure has streamlined the organisation into seven areas of focus:

Competitions
Partnerships
Fan Experience
Finance, Technology and Operations
Risk, Integrity and Performance
Brand, Media and Communications
Participation and Community
The NRL's executive team has also taken a hit, already cut from 11 members to eight during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In order to stabilise, we must secure revenues and reduce our expenses to ensure a strong foundation," Abdo said.

These retrenchments come after the loss of former CEO Todd Greenberg, chief operating officer Nick Weeks, chief of corporate affairs Liz Deegan and chief financial officer Tony Crawford.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys made it clear when he was appointed in October last year his desire to make the organisation more productive and sustainable.

"Rugby league, under the direction of the Commission, has led the way in Australian sport and I am confident we will continue to do so," Abdo said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-21/ ... r/12685820
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:15 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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12573
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:11 am

kingofnobbys wrote:21 SEPT NSW

4 new cases in NSW, 3 in hotel quarantine
NSW has recorded four new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours. Three of these are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

The fourth case is locally acquired and linked to the Concord Hospital cluster, and the person was already in isolation, Dr Kerry Chant said.

NSW Health is still working to contact people who may have been in contact with a Sydney taxi driver working for the Silver Service over the past two weeks.

https://twitter.com/NSWHealth/status/13 ... 7786814464
A full list of these trips is available on the NSW Health website.

There were 7,760 tests on Sunday, Dr Chant said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has again called for borders within Australia to come down as cases continue to drop.

"Apart from the Victorian situation, which I am pleased to say is looking better and better every day, the rest of Australia has no reason to have any borders between us," Ms Berejiklian said.

She added that with the number of unknown cases of transmission dropping and states learning to keep the virus under control that states should reopen their borders.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

NSW coronavirus cases rise by four as focus falls on infected taxi driver
NSW coronavirus contact tracers have used a "variety of mechanisms" to identify passengers who travelled with an infected taxi driver, but have been left stumped by nine of his trips.

At the weekend, health authorities revealed the Silver Service driver worked eight days in several areas around Sydney's west and south-west earlier this month.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said authorities had already identified "a large number" of passengers who may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the cab from September 7 to 10, and 14 to 18.

"We have been urgently attempting to contact anyone who undertook trips with that taxi driver," Dr Chant said.

"We have managed to use a variety of different mechanisms to identify a large number of the people who shared a ride with that taxi."

NSW Health identified four new coronavirus infections in the 24 hours to 8.00pm on Sunday, three of whom were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

The other case was linked to the Concord Hospital cluster and was already self-isolating.

Meanwhile, NSW Health has used a combination of credit card transactions, trip data and booking information to contact many of the passengers who travelled with the infected taxi driver.

However, people from nine trips have still not been traced.

"The ones that we are less conscious of are those [passengers] who might have hailed the cab driver and it's not registered in some way," Dr Chant said.

The trips are:

September 8: Liverpool TAFE to Hoxton Park Road, Cartwright (13:03-13:14)
September 8: Liverpool TAFE to Glenwari Street, Sadlier (14:01-14:11)
September 9: Liverpool TAFE to Moorebank Shopping Centre (08:08-08:15)
September 10: Liverpool to Graham Avenue, Casula (14:38-14:44)
September 10: Haddenham Street, Chipping Norton to George Street, Burwood (19:15-19:48)
September 14: Riverside Road, Chipping Norton to The Mill Hotel, Milperra (15:50-16:04)
September 15: Riverside Road, Chipping Norton to Birnie Avenue, Lidcombe (08:31-09:11)
September 15: Milperra to Riverside Road, Chipping Norton (10:14-10:25)
September 15: Birnie Avenue, Lidcombe to Riverside Road, Chipping Norton (15:22-16:07)
Dr Chant said all passengers who had travelled with the infected driver were considered close contacts and had to self-isolate for 14 days and get tested for the virus.

She said authorities were working with the taxi and ride-sharing industry about introducing a "check-in" system, similar to restaurants and other venues, to make passengers easier to trace.

"Sit in the back, sit diagonally opposite the driver and also wear a mask when you're in a cab," Dr Chant said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/ns ... 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
Mama Wok, MacArthur Square, Campbelltown: 1.30pm to 2.30pm on Wednesday 9 September for a least one hour
Campbelltown Golf Club, Glen Alpine: 2pm to 4.30pm on Wednesday 16 September for a least one hour
Bannisters Pavilion Rooftop Bar & Grill, Mollymook: 12.30pm to 2.15pm on Sunday 13 September for a least one hour
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
Carlo’s Italian Restaurant Bar & Seafood, Ulladulla: 8pm to 9.30pm on Saturday 12 September for a least one hour
Milton Ulladulla Ex Servos Club, Ulladulla: 2pm to 6.15pm on Saturday 12 September for a least one hour
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)
Blue Mountains
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
Hunters Hill LGA
Liverpool LGA
Mt Druitt (suburb)
Parramatta LGA
Randwick LGA
Waverley 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.

Wray St Oyster Shed, Batemans Bay: 12pm to 1pm on Saturday 12 September
Anytime Fitness, Casula: 10.15am to 12pm on Friday 11 September
Five Stars Thaitanic, Casula: 4.20pm to 5.20pm on Saturday 12 September
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
Campbelltown Golf Club course, Glen Alpine: 9.30am to 2pm on Wednesday 16 September
Hunters Hill Bowling Club, Hunters Hill: 6.50pm to 9pm on Tuesday 8 September
Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre, Katoomba: 11.30pm to 1.40pm on Friday 4 September
Lawson oval, Lawson: 10.30am to 12.45 pm on Sunday 13 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
Picnic Point Bowling Club, Panania: 3pm to 6pm on Friday 18 September
JB HIFI Penrith Plaza, Penrith: 4pm to 4.30pm on Sunday 13 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
Springwood Sports Club, Springwood: 1pm to 2pm on Saturday 12 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
People who caught a taxi on 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 September in the following suburbs must monitor for symptoms and if any develop immediately get tested:

Moorebank
Bankstown
Chipping Norton
Liverpool
Lidcombe
Warwick Farm
Milperra
NSW Health is seeking to identify passengers who caught a Silver Service taxi on the following times and locations. These passengers should call the NSW Health Call Centre on 9391 9000 for further advice.

Tuesday 15 September:

Riverside Road, Chipping Norton 8.31am to Birnie Ave, Lidcombe 9.11am
Milperra 10.14am to Riverside Rd, Chipping Norton 10.25am
Birnie Ave, Lidcombe 3.22pm to Riverside Rd, Chipping Norton 4.07pm
Monday 14 September:

Riverside Road, Chipping Norton 3.50pm to the Mill Hotel, Beaconsfield St Milperra 4.04pm
Thursday 10 September:

Liverpool 2.38pm to Graham Ave, Casula 2.44pm
Haddenham St, Chipping Norton 7.15pm to George St, Burwood 7.48pm
Wednesday 9 September:

Liverpool TAFE college, Bigge Street 8.08am to Moorebank Shopping centre, Stockton Ave Moorebank 8.15am
Tuesday 8 September:

Liverpool TAFE college, Bigge Street 1.03pm to Hoxton Park Road, Cartwright 1.14pm
Liverpool TAFE college, Bigge Street 2.01pm to Glenwari St, Sadlier 2.11pm

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/sydney/n ... d=msedgdhp

Image

VIC - NSW BORDER
Berejiklian considers opening New South Wales border to regional Victorians
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says her government is considering opening the New South Wales-Victoria border to regional Victorians.

There are currently 27 border checkpoints manned by New South Wales police.

“I do want to make sure we don’t have those border checkpoints for a day longer than we need to,” she said in a press conference on Monday.

he premier pointed out the Victorian situation was looking “better and better every day".

“The rest of Australia has absolutely no reason to have any borders," she said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

PANDEMIC ALLOWANCE
NSW is the latest state to offer $1,500 pandemic leave payments to workers who don’t have any other accrued leave but need to isolate
* New South Wales is offering pandemic leave payments to workers who aren't receiving any other income support.
* Eligible workers will be able to get a one off payment of $1,500 for every 14 days they have to be in quarantine or have to self isolate.
* It comes after other states including Queensland, Victoria and South Australia introduced pandemic leave schemes.

New South Wales is offering pandemic leave payments to workers.

The state government is teaming up with the Commonwealth government to provide a one-off $1,500 payment to workers if they have been instructed to quarantine or self-isolate by NSW Health, or are caring for someone with the coronavirus. It includes people on temporary work visas.

The payment applies for each 14 day period that they have to self isolate.

However, there are some conditions for the payment: you can't already be receiving any leave entitlements, JobKeeper payments, or other income support.

To make a claim, you can either call Services Australia or fax in a claim form.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement that introducing the pandemic leave payment will help "protect the community against undetected transmission."

"Our priority is for people to get tested and follow all the health advice to stop the spread of the virus and keep the NSW economy moving," she said.

"We do not want some workers to have to choose between isolating and financially supporting themselves or their dependents."

New South Wales joins other states that have introduced a pandemic leave scheme including South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and the ACT.

In South Australia, the leave entitlement doesn't apply to people who have to self-isolate after returning from interstate or overseas. In August, South Australia's minister for health and wellbeing Stephen Wade said the scheme was designed to help casual workers follow the direction to self-isolate.

“The last thing we want is for any South Australian to have to make a choice between putting food on the table and protecting the community from possible infection and a potential second wave,” he said in a statement.

“Lack of leave entitlements for workers, particularly casual workers, is considered a significant risk factor in not complying with isolation requirements.”

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/ns ... d=msedgdhp

NSW residents can now apply for $1,500 coronavirus disaster payment
More Australian workers can now apply for a coronavirus payment if they're ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.

New South Wales is the latest state to have the $1,500 pandemic leave disaster payment approved by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The lump sum payment is available to eligible workers unable to earn an income because they've been ordered by health authorities to self-isolate for two weeks due to close contact with an infected case - or need to care for a loved one with COVID-19.

The financial relief is available to workers aged 17 and older who don't have access to personal, care or pandemic sick leave.
Eligible workers in NSW must show they're been ordered by health authorities to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days on or since September 17 - and prove a loss of income.

'We didn't want to declare a State of Emergency in NSW, which is what the criteria was to get the pandemic leave,' Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Sunday.

'I wrote to the prime minister saying "please can you support us in that way" and he very gladly accepted.'

'We want to make sure, first and foremost, that those who need to isolate do so.'

Parents caring for a child under the age of 16 with coronavirus or advised to self-isolate for 14 days are also eligible.

For couples, both parties can claim the $1500 payment.

'Our first and foremost priority is to keep the community safe,' Ms Berejiklian added.

'If you have been asked to isolate whether you have been a close contact or whether you have symptoms or for any other reason, please follow those instructions and the government is here to support you.'

Victoria was the first state to introduce the payment, followed by Tasmania and most recently Western Australia, despite no community transmissions of coronavirus in months.

'If we've learned anything from our counterparts on the east coast, it is complacency is deadly, complacency can bring down the state and will undo all the hard work each and every member of the community has given,' WA Premier Mark McGowan said last week.

'I hope that Western Australians don't have to take-up this payment arrangement however knowing it is available should we need it ensures we are prepared for the worst.'

Other states are also eligible if they request access to the payment.

About $13.3 million in pandemic leave disaster payments have already been paid out to 9,000 Australians since since August 6.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... 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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12573
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:38 am

21 SEPT NT
NT government offers cash incentives to boost tourism numbers
Interstate tourists will be given cash incentives of up $1,000 to travel to the Northern Territory.

The territory government will pitch in $200 for every $1,000 spend on trips which have to be booked through dedicated travel agents.

The trips need to be taken between October 1 and March 31, which is known as the territory's wet season.

< which means most the NPs will be inaccessible ( due to trail closures due to flooded rivers and creeks and very muddy tracks ( not even passable to most 4x4 vehicles ) ,camp sites will be closed for same reason, most guided tour operators 4x4 will be closed , few fishing charters will be operating , but you will be able to visit Darwin, Catherine, Kakadu , travel to on the sealed roads to Nth Qld and the Kimberley ( where access to NPs will be restricted and tourist activities mostly shutdown for The Wet.
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


21 SEPT QLD

One new case of coronavirus recorded in Queensland as Gabba seating trial planned ahead of AFL grand final
Queensland COVID-19 snapshot:
Confirmed cases so far: 1,153
Deaths: 6
Tests conducted: 1,065,078
Active cases: 17

Queensland has recorded one new case of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, a teenager who returned from overseas and is already in hotel quarantine.

Queensland has recorded one new case of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, a teenager who returned from overseas and is already in hotel quarantine.

Health Minister Steven Miles said the state's "very strong" hotel quarantine program has kept Queenslanders safe.

"I want to thank, on behalf of all Queenslanders, those hotels, hotel owners and hotel workers who have assisted us, and police, in enforcing this hotel quarantine," he said.

"It's been incredibly effective and important as we seek to increase the number of overseas travellers able to come back into Queensland."

Coronavirus questions answered
An illustration of a cell on an orange background with the word 'coronacast' overlayed.
Breaking down the latest news and research to understand how the world is living through.
There are currently 17 active cases in the state, including 11 in the West Moreton region.







Health Minister Steven Miles said the state's "very strong" hotel quarantine program has kept Queenslanders safe.

"I want to thank, on behalf of all Queenslanders, those hotels, hotel owners and hotel workers who have assisted us, and police, in enforcing this hotel quarantine," he said.

"It's been incredibly effective and important as we seek to increase the number of overseas travellers able to come back into Queensland."

There are currently 17 active cases in the state, including 11 in the West Moreton region.

"While the numbers continue to go down, they're clustered in the southern suburbs and around Ipswich," he said.

More than 2,700 tests have been conducted in the last testing period, with Mr Miles saying that was "well below the level we'd like to be tested at".

"If for any reason you think you may have symptoms, please do go get tested, especially if you're in the Ipswich region or the southern suburbs of Brisbane," he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-21/ ... l/12678874

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
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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


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https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... -locations

ANOTHER RALLY
Traffic delays as climate protesters take to Brisbane streets
Brisbane commuters have faced long delays with activists taking to the streets this morning to protest Australia's handling of climate change.

Extension Rebellion protesters rode slowly through the Brisbane CBD, with the intention of causing as much traffic disruption as possible.

After the ride, the group gathered at King George Square for a rally.

"The "Cycle Against Social Collapse" is aimed at warning people about the environmental crisis the world is facing.

"We are headed for complete annihilation. The amount of warming we are on track for, will literally mean the death of billions of people," a statement on the group's Facebook said.

"Scientists say that at 4 or 5 degrees of warming, the earth could sustain a billion people.

"Our government could push us to 7 degrees … Show up and don't let them get away with it."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp



https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-21/ ... l/12678874

BIG STADIUM CROWD COVID TRIAL
Grand final seating trial
Meanwhile, a small group of 200 AFL spectators at tonight's Collingwood and Port Adelaide game at the Gabba will be placed in a section at 75 per cent capacity in a seating trial ahead of the Grand Final.

Currently, crowd capacity at Queensland stadiums is capped at 50 per cent, but Mr Miles told ABC Radio Brisbane plans were underway to increase that density ahead of next month's trophy decider in Brisbane.

"This is a trial to see how that works, what the risks are, and whether the additional measures like masks, how effective that is," he said.

"It's highly unlikely that we'd see an infection, it's been quite some time since we've had a COVID case in our community, so we'll be measuring things like whether people move around, whether they leave their masks on, how often they sanitise their hands."

He said the Government hoped to increase the 10-person limit on households "very soon" as the state approached two weeks since the last community transmission.

But he said the risk from indoor gatherings was greater than stadiums.

"It's not possible in your homes to assign people to their seat, require them not to move from section to section … to have security in place to enforce those rules," Mr Miles said.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the stadium seating trial to test increasing density was an important step.

"It will be very easy to contact trace," she said.

"It's a really good thing, to test the processes rather than do it for the first time with a full stadium.

"Right from the start, I've said where we've got COVID-safe plans, we should use them. Now we don't have COVID-safe plans for people's own homes."

.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


BREACHES
Weekend fines
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said in the last 24 hours, police had checked more than 122,000 domestic passengers and refused entry to 2,207 people.

He said eight fines were issued over the weekend, including for a karaoke bar at Sunnybank and a hotel in Fortitude Valley that had previously come to the attention of police.

"What was disappointing was that both of these licensed premises had been warned — one about not keeping registers and the other around people not socially distancing," he said.

"They chose not to take that warning and they have now been fined."

He said the other six fines related to individuals not complying "with their exemption requirements".

Mr Miles said New South Wales and Victoria had both done "incredibly well" in bringing down coronavirus cases.

"What we consider when we consider opening borders it the risk of transmission in the places that we're opening borders to," he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


21 SEPT SA
SA could reopen border with NSW within days despite 'worrying' coronavirus case
South Australia's Premier says there are "good signs" the state's border with New South Wales could reopen this week, despite a "slightly worrying" coronavirus case in Sydney over the weekend.

The South Australian Government's coronavirus transition committee is meeting tomorrow and Premier Steven Marshall said it will consider allowing NSW residents to come across the border without having to quarantine for 14 days.

Mr Marshall is not a member of the committee, but has previously said the border could reopen as early as Tuesday night, or after the next committee meeting on Friday.

"We're hoping that we can get the border open with NSW this week," Mr Marshall told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning.

"It's not necessarily about the numbers but the type of infection, so we're more concerned obviously about community transmission.

"If there are a large number in hotel quarantine, well that's not so much of an issue, or if they're linked to a known case, again that's not community transmission.

"Again, we just need to look at the cases that have occurred and reported on Friday, Saturday and yesterday."

Mr Marshall said there was a "slightly worrying case" picked up over the weekend — a Sydney taxi driver who tested positive for coronavirus after working eight days while infectious and visiting several venues in Sydney and on the South Coast.

"But [SA's Chief Public Health Officer] Nicola Spurrier and the transition committee will look at that very closely," Mr Marshall said.

Mr Marshall said if a decision was made, the border relaxation would most likely be implemented the same night.

ACT residents were allowed to fly into SA from last Tuesday night after a transition committee meeting that day.

"We know this has been hugely inconvenient — massively inconvenient — especially for businesses but also for family reunions," the Premier said.

"You see families completely dislocated — parents not being able to see their children or grandparents not being able to see grandchildren — so there's a lot of reasons we want this to happen but we can't do it until it's safe to do so, but there's certainly some very good signs this week at this stage."

More than 1,800 people entered SA from NSW between September 11 and 17, according to the latest SA Police statistics.

If borders opened to NSW, South Australia would then only have stricter border controls with Victoria.

Mr Marshall said those would not be removed any time soon.

A reopened border would be welcome news for rugby league fans, with Adelaide Oval set to host the State of Origin series opener between NSW and Queensland in November.

Marathon a runaway success
The first large-scale running event to be held in Australia since the coronavirus pandemic began was held in Adelaide yesterday, attracting more that 1,500 participants, including two-time Olympian Jess Trengove.

She won the women's half marathon in her first major race since having a baby in November.

"It's really exciting to get amongst the locals and enjoy the atmosphere here, and have this opportunity, which we're very grateful for," Trengove said.

For the event to be conducted in a COVID-safe way, runners received individual start-times, and were released from the blocks in 10-second intervals to ensure social distancing.

Volunteers wore gloves at drink stations, and touchpoints like railings and portable toilets were regularly wiped down with antibacterial spray.

"Clearly we're not back to how we used to run a marathon, but we're adapting, and to be able to run this kind of event safety, that's the key thing," race director Greg Marsh said.

Professor Spurrier even lent volunteers a hand — by wiping down toilet doors.

"I've come down just to make sure the COVID-safe management plan was being kept to," she said.

"We noticed that the volunteers just needed some extra help here this morning, so my team's helping out — that's real public health!"

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

21 SEPT WA
WA Premier considers date for reopening state border
Mark McGowan has given no indication of when that might be, saying he's sticking to the current health advice; that the East Coast must go 28 days without community transmission before the state border will reopen.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

HOMEBUILDER EXTENSION SORT
WA building industry calls for building grant deadline extension to held ease demand
For decades, Australians have been working to attain the dream of buying a block of land and building their first home.

This year, the Federal Government — in partnership with the WA Governments — offered grants of up to $45,000 to help foot the bill of building a home.

For Melissah Craven and her husband and four children, the offer has turned their dream home into a very real possibility.

"It's a dream. It's 10 acres, on the river," she said.

"I've grown up on a station so having that much space close to town is phenomenal, really exciting."

But the dream might have to be put on hold.

'It's fairly chaotic'
In order to take advantage of the grant, the Cravens must purchase their block before the end of 2020 and begin building within six months.

Prospective home buyers around the state flocked to building companies in droves to try to secure blocks and lock in plans.

New homes sales increased 211 per cent between May and June 2020 following the announcement of the grants, according to the Housing Industry Association of WA (HIA WA)

That surge in demand has overwhelmed real estate agents, contractors, and builders like Warren Taylor.

"At the moment it's fairly chaotic," Mr Taylor said.

"It's put probably 12-18 months work into six months, so timelines have just totally gone out the window for everything.

"Everyone's struggling with it."

Where the finance for a house and land package was once finalised in 90 days, Mr Taylor said it was now taking more than 120 days.

Calls to extend 'unrealistic' timelines
Those delays could burst the first-home dream bubble for families like the Cravens.

If finance approvals fail to arrive within the next month, the land the Craven's have made an offer for could slip through their fingers.

"[We'd be] devastated. It would be a really big shame," Ms Craven said.

"The opportunity to build is huge and it would be devastating to lose it.

"We're going to have to apply for an extension [on the land sale] and hope the buyer is accepting to that."

The building industry is calling on the Government to extend the deadline until June 2021, in order to process the current demand for services.

"What the Government's done is great ... but they've got to extend it because it's unrealistic," Mr Taylor said.

"The timelines now is totally unrealistic, and it's putting pressure on the builders, and it's putting stress on the clients."

HIA WA wants deadline extended
An extension to the building timeframe would relieve that pressure and reduce safety concerns, HIA WA executive director Cath Hart said.

"We'd like the land developers to be given until June 30, 2021 to title lots, and once that's done we'd like the builders to be given six months to commence after lots are titled," she said.

"Smoothing out the workflow like this will be important for the safety and sustainability of our workforce."

Last week the WA Government added $30 million to the building bonus fund, taking it to $147 million, but did not agree to extend the plan.

"We continue to closely monitor the situation. Any potential adjustments to the program are being carefully considered," the Premier's office said in a statement.

In the meantime, Ms Craven said she would request an extension on the purchase of the land and keep her fingers crossed her family's dream could be kept alive.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

WA Gourmet Escape international food festival cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions
The organisers of Western Australia Gourmet Escape international food festival have cancelled the November event, citing ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The multi-million-dollar event has run since 2012 in Margaret River and featured celebrity foodies like Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein and Curtis Stone.

Event director Sarah Lovell said the event — which is marketed to international guests and backed by Tourism WA — just wasn't possible.

"We just can't see a way to do that this year," Ms Lovell said.

She said the event had attracted about 150,000 visitors from Australia and around the world since it began, with events held in Margaret River and in Swan Valley, near Perth.

Tourism disappointment
Tourism Council of WA chief executive Evan Hall said the cancellation was indicative of the devastating impact of the restrictions around COVID 19 on the events industry.

"Generally with events, we are finding that it's actually the interstate border restrictions is what are leading the events to be cancelled, more than the limits on gatherings," he said.

Mr Hall said the industry needed some indication about when WA's travel restrictions would ease.

"It's all about having some certainty and road map on the way forward, events have a long planning and lead time," he said.

"We want to get on with the planning of next year's events.

"Almost all of these events will require some movement across the interstate border, be it for a guest speaker or talent or entertainer.

"The whole 2021 calendar of events — Perth and regional — is really up in the air, and we need some certainly before March, or it will collapse."

The Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association's Sharna Kearney said the decision was disappointing, but not unexpected.

She said while they had strong support from domestic visitors, there had been a decline in people taking tours.

"We're taking every month on a case by case basis," Ms Kearney said.

Mixed views on event
Food writer and restaurant critic with The West Australian Rob Broadfield said the international event was a major boost for WA's food scene and provided vital publicity.

"You can't put a cost on it, it lifted everyone's game," he said.

"It is an international event, bringing international rock star chefs and barmen and so on to Western Australia as part of a broader tourism strategy, to get bums on seats out of China, Hong Kong, Singapore and even further afield, and that has worked emphatically well."

But former host of ABC's Consuming Passions — and Margaret River local — Ian Parmenter has long been an outspoken critic of the event, which he said benefited overseas companies rather than WA.

"The smaller operators down here couldn't afford to take part," he said.

Event director Sarah Lovell said the event would be back next year, as part of recovery efforts.

"We look forward to returning in November 2021 to continue promoting Western Australia's culinary offerings and boosting efforts to increase visitation," she said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/markets ... d=msedgdhp
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Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:35 am

21 SEPT FEDERAL

FACT CHECK ON PM'S CLAIM
Were NSW's coronavirus numbers higher than Victoria's thresholds for lifting curfew, as Scott Morrison said?
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The claim
Victoria's "roadmap for reopening" from coronavirus lockdown has not been well received by the Federal Government.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the plan as "crushing news", saying he hoped Victoria's trigger points for easing restrictions were a worst-case scenario.
"What I can't help but be struck by is that under the thresholds that have been set in that plan Sydney would be under curfew now," Mr Morrison said.

"Sydney doesn't need to be under curfew now. They have a tracing capability that can deal with outbreaks."

So, when Mr Morrison made his claim, were case numbers in NSW higher than the Victorian curfew threshold? RMIT ABC Fact Check investigates.

The verdict
Yes, NSW case numbers were higher than the Victorian triggers for removing the curfew, but there's more to it than Mr Morrison's claim suggests.

Under Victoria's roadmap, two criteria must be met for the removal of Victoria's curfew: a state-wide daily average of fewer than five cases over two weeks; and fewer than five cases in total with an unknown source over a two week period.

In both raw and population-adjusted terms, NSW's coronavirus numbers do not meet these criteria.

Even when netting out hotel quarantine cases from NSW's figures, the state still does not fall under the threshold.
However, linking the number of NSW cases and its contact tracing capability to the Victorian roadmap is problematic.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced Victoria's stage 4 coronavirus lockdown — including the introduction of a curfew — on August 2, as the state recorded 354 new cases. Two days later, on August 4, case numbers in Victoria peaked at 686.

Case numbers in NSW have been far lower. After an initial surge beginning in March was brought under control, daily cases peaked at just 22 on August 10.

As Victoria's Department of Health points out, Victoria's thresholds for easing restrictions are not the same as the thresholds for reintroducing restrictions.

And as one expert contacted by Fact Check noted, stronger measures might be needed coming out of lockdown than during "maintenance phase".

What is the road map?
On September 6, Premier Daniel Andrews released his much anticipated "roadmap for reopening", setting out five steps to reach "COVID normal".

There were some differences between Melbourne, where a curfew had been imposed on August 2, and regional Victoria.

Apart from the first step — which applies automatically from September 13 — these steps require "trigger points" before they can be enacted.

For example, to move to the second step, metropolitan Melbourne must reach an average daily case rate of between 30 and 50 cases by September 28, recorded over the previous two weeks.

Under this second step Melbourne's curfew would remain in place, preventing people from being out of their homes between 9pm and 5am.

According to the roadmap, the curfew would not be removed until the third step is reached.

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Testing the claim
Mr Morrison said under the trigger thresholds set in Melbourne's roadmap, "Sydney would be under curfew now".

Put another way, Mr Morrison was effectively suggesting that Sydney had not achieved the trigger threshold needed to move from the second step to the "no curfew" third step.

As noted, to move to the third step, two conditions must be met:

a state-wide daily average of fewer than five cases over two weeks; and
fewer than five cases in total with an unknown source over a two week period.
Mr Morrison made his claim during a September 7 media conference.

Case number data for New South Wales have been sourced from daily coronavirus statistics media releases published by the NSW Department of Health.

The department keeps a running tally, including recording the number of locally acquired cases with "contact not identified", and the number of returned travellers placed in hotel quarantine.

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak
Download the ABC News app and subscribe to our range of news alerts for the latest on how the pandemic is impacting the world
Coronavirus cases in NSW compared to Victoria
Victoria experienced very few cases during Australia's so-called first coronavirus wave in March and April, but a surge from late June.

https://i.postimg.cc/KYRs3Rnj/COMPARE.png

Mr Andrews announced Victoria's stage 4 coronavirus lockdown — including the introduction of a curfew in Melbourne — on August 2.

On that day, Victoria recorded 354 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm. The state's tally of daily cases peaked at 686 on August 4.

NSW, on the other hand, largely staved off a second surge, with case numbers peaking at just 22 on August 10.

It's worth noting that since Mr Morrison made his claim, NSW's numbers have been generally lower than the two weeks leading to his press conference.

However, Fact Check always tests claims with the data that was available at the time of the claim.

Did NSW meet Victoria's trigger threshold for no curfew?
Over the two weeks prior to Mr Morrison's media conference, NSW recorded a daily average of 9.2 cases, with the number of cases rising as high as 16 cases on September 1, and as low as three cases on August 23 and August 24.
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This is well above the first of Victoria's trigger thresholds, requiring a state-wide daily average of fewer than five cases over two weeks.

Over the same two weeks, the number of cases with no known source in NSW increased by eight.

This was also well above the second of the two thresholds, requiring fewer than five cases in total from unknown sources over a two week period.

What about hotel quarantine?
Victoria's roadmap is not explicit about whether returned travellers placed in hotel quarantine would be excluded in average daily figures when determining if the threshold for stage three has been reached.

Victoria is currently not receiving any returned travellers, although NSW has been.

A spokeswoman for Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services told Fact Check in an email the daily average thresholds needed to move to step 3 would exclude returned travellers placed in hotel quarantine.

Excluding returned travellers, NSW recorded a daily average of 7.4 new cases over the 14 days prior to Mr Morrison's press conference. This is still above the threshold needed to remove the curfew under Victoria's roadmap.
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Adjusting for population size
NSW's population is about 22 per cent larger than Victoria's. It accounts for about 32 per cent of Australia's population, compared to about 26 per cent for Victoria. That means case numbers do not have the same impact across the two states.

To adjust for this, Fact Check converted Victoria's trigger points into a rate per million people.

These rates can then be applied to case number rates in NSW.

For example, under Victoria's roadmap, the state must have a daily average of less than 0.75 cases per million people, over 14 days to reach the third step.

Over the 14 days leading up to Mr Morrison's press conference, NSW recorded a daily average of 1.1 cases per million people.

Excluding returned travellers, NSW recorded a daily average of 0.91 cases per million, which is again above the threshold for stage 3.

Under Victoria's second trigger point, the curfew will not be removed unless there are fewer than a total of 0.75 unexplained cases per million people over 14 days.

In NSW, there were eight unexplained cases in the two weeks prior to Mr Morrison's press conference.

That converts to a rate of 0.98 cases per million people. Again, this is above Victoria's threshold to move from the second to the third step.

What Victoria's health department says
A spokeswoman for Victoria's Department of Health said the thresholds for easing restrictions are not the same as the threshold for reintroducing restrictions, meaning "a comparison with Sydney is not meaningful".

"If Victoria returned to Sydney's levels after reaching the thresholds in the roadmap we would not necessarily return to stage 3 or 4 restrictions on that basis," the spokeswoman said.

"Those decisions would need to be made at that time as case numbers or thresholds need to be interpreted in the broader context of the local epidemiology at that time."

What the experts say
Deakin University chair of epidemiology Catherine Bennett said Mr Morrison was correct, and that Victoria's coronavirus modelling appeared to have generated unduly conservative trigger points.

Professor Bennett said as numbers fell, contact tracing and testing became increasingly effective tools to contain the virus. Professor Bennett said there was little difference in the risk of an outbreak between five and ten cases.

"The question is whether you need fewer than five cases to move to that next step," Professor Bennett told Fact Check.

"If you go from five to 10 cases, there is an only marginal shift in risk."

She said Victoria's lockdown "gives us an incredible advantage".

"We in Victoria in fact have another two weeks to work on these last cases in a way that the NSW health department would probably love."

Emma McBryde, professor of infectious diseases modelling and epidemiology at James Cook University, said the conclusion that Sydney would not qualify for the no-curfew third step as defined under Victoria's roadmap was correct.

But Professor McBryde said there were probably valid reasons for differentiating between the two jurisdictions.

"Coming out of lockdown Victoria may need stronger measures than the maintenance phase (i.e. NSW) for no other reason than to ensure we don't oscillate between lockdown and release too frequently and cause social distress," Professor McBryde told Fact Check in an email.

"Part of the reason for requiring such stringent thresholds may be that Victoria has failed from this point before and there are reasons for that based on the capacity of public health response. Furthermore, not all of the lockdown measures are rational and evidence-based."

Professor McBryde said there was good evidence that outdoor activity poses very low risk, with the notable exception of large chanting or singing crowds.

She said there was "no evidence that I am aware of for curfew and minimal rational evidence for arbitrary limits on movement per se."

Melbourne University's Dallas English, chair of epidemiology and biostats at the Melbourne School Of Population And Global Health, said "on the numbers" Mr Morrison was right.

Professor English said case numbers had been steadily decreasing by an average of 7 per cent per day since the peak on August 5. But he suggested it would be difficult to achieve Victoria's thresholds.

"We know NSW has been very successful, but they do have cases bubbling along," he said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-21/ ... c/12664546
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

HARSH LOCKDOWNS HELP ECONOMY IN MEDIUM - LONG TERM (
<this is something that's not understood by many who only see immediate hardship and self inconvenience>
Why harsh COVID-19 lockdowns are good for the economy
It has been a pile-on for the past few months as Team Australia has splintered right down the political divide.

Border closures in Western Australia and Queensland have been called out as unnecessary while the Victorian lockdown has been labelled an overreaction that has angered business leaders and drawn the ire of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The restrictions, we are constantly told, are costing the nation dearly, delaying a return to normal activity and pushing out the timetable for an economic recovery.

While some argue state governments are milking the pandemic for political gain, pointing the blame at regional and state governments for our current predicament ignores two important points.

The first is that the restrictions have been imposed to limit the spread of a pandemic.

It is the virus that is the fundamental cause, not the restrictions.

And the second is that, while it's almost impossible to measure the true cost of the lockdowns and the shutdowns, most critics look only at the costs and completely overlook the economic benefits the shutdowns have delivered.

How could lockdowns have helped the economy?
Here's one good example.

In June, as COVID-19 ravaged Brazil and the country surged into second spot when it came to global infections, a judge ordered Vale, the country's mining giant, to suspend operations at mines accounting for around 10 per cent of national output.

The order followed positive tests from 188 workers as fears grew the outbreak would spread through other mines, potentially nobbling the country's lucrative trade with China.
As China's second biggest supplier, the news sent iron ore prices surging beyond $US100 a tonne and since have topped out at more than $US120 a tonne.

Guess which country filled the breach?

Western Australia, which has seen its tourism sector slammed by the border closure — domestic and international — effectively eliminated community transmissions back in April and has experienced only minor outbreaks since.

While the restrictions have hindered some fly-in, fly-out workers, the Pilbara mines haven't missed a beat.

And once shipments from Brazil dropped, the three big miners, Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue, went into overdrive, shipping record quantities.
Exports to China are up more than 8 per cent compared a year ago and in the financial year to June 30, the commodity cracked the $100 billion export mark, up from the previous year's record $77.5 billion.

Given the Federal Government last year pencilled in a $US55-a-tonne iron ore price, that 35 per cent earnings windfall will directly feed into next month's delayed Federal Budget, providing much needed revenue.

It is a financial bright spot in an otherwise grim year that has been the result of our international border controls and to strict state lockdowns.

Doing nothing comes at a cost << look only as far as the USA, Sweden, Brazil and Blind Freddy can see the sequences of not stamping down hard and immediately and the releasing the restrictions way to fast >>
The popular argument is that harsh measures such as lockdowns are overly expensive — that future generations will be forced to bear the costs.

But there are costs associated with taking no action or insufficient action, particularly if health systems are stretched beyond capacity.

When intensive care and emergency units are overloaded, people with medical conditions other than COVID-19 suffer and die, productivity plummets and confidence dives.

A recent study by McKinsey, the New York based global management consultant group, found that it's not lockdowns that have caused a global recession — it's the pandemic.
So simple, so obvious and yet so true.

But it is a finding with serious ramifications for economic management and the way governments chart a course into the future.

"Ending lockdowns alone won't restore confidence or growth," the study says.

"Only when the novel coronavirus is under control will economic growth resume."

The study compares the economic hit between countries that have adopted wildly different strategies.

The results are surprising. It found only a weak link between lockdowns and economic damage.

Sweden, which had a lax approach during the first round of the virus, performed only mildly better than New Zealand's economy, which pursued the toughest strategy of any nation.

The UK took a far bigger economic hit than either Italy or France, even though both continental countries imposed much stricter lockdowns.

In the graph below, you need to add the blue and grey parts of each bar to gauge just how tough each country's approach to the first phase of the pandemic.

Image

The study found similar results when comparing the different responses from states in the US.

The study said there was "no significant difference in employment and consumer spending between the US states that maintained longer lockdowns versus those that relaxed orders early".

Uncertainty, not lockdowns, are the problem
The furore from the business community over Victoria's stringent second lockdown — from the above evidence at least — appears to be misguided.

There is no doubt the measures have delayed the national economic recovery, perhaps by as much as a year.

But it's not so much the lockdown that caused the economic problem.

It was the negligence and poor management that led to the outbreak.
Had the harsh measures not been implemented, Victoria would not have gained control as quickly as it had, and it would only have been a question of time before a state problem became a national disaster.

When the first round of the virus was raging through Europe a few months ago, Germany's central bank noted that uncertainty among consumers and businesses was the major driving factor behind the economic collapse.

Worried about their jobs, consumers stopped spending, which then fed into a rapidly rising jobless rate.

Despite our sterling performance nationally on containing the outbreak, that same uncertainty is coursing through the community.

The latest GDP figures, which a few weeks ago delivered the worst result since The Great Depression, showed a sudden shift in behaviour.

Australians are saving like never before — almost 20 per cent of income is being socked away.

That's not an altogether bad thing for a nation vying for gold in the global household indebtedness stakes.

But all that saving means Australians aren't spending.

And that's bad for business and, ultimately, employment.

Again, it is uncertainty driving a dramatic shift in behaviour.
The McKinsey study found that many Americans are reluctant to engage in normal routines and only 30 per cent feel safer when restrictions are lifted. That wont change until the virus is beaten.

So should we aim for eradication or virus control?
Given the importance of public confidence, the study argues that nations that have pursued more stringent lockdowns and have better contained outbreaks are more likely to be better economic performers over the longer term.

Nations pursuing a balancing act — trying to live with what they deem to be an acceptable level of infection — will struggle to rebuild confidence when compared to those opting for a near zero infection level, similar to our strategy.

That's because they are more likely to experience outbreaks.

"We estimate, for example, that for every three months' delay in getting the virus under control across OECD countries, the recovery in GDP to pre-crisis levels could be delayed by as much as six months," the McKinsey study noted.

It's what economists call opportunity cost. The cost of doing nothing, or not enough.

Killing the virus comes at enormous cost — doing nothing will cost more.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-21/ ... y/12683486

JOBSEEKER
The new LOWER JobSeeker rate is coming — here's what's changing at the end of the week
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On Friday, the Government will cut back the coronavirus supplement for JobSeeker recipients and others on some government payments.

The $550 coronavirus supplement, which effectively doubles JobSeeker to $1,100 a fortnight, will be slashed and other changes are on the way too.

Here's what you need to know.

The JobSeeker payment is changing
Currently, if you're single with no dependents, you're receiving about $1,115 each fortnight on JobSeeker.

That's made up of the $565-a-fortnight base rate — formerly known as Newstart — and the $550 top-up payment called the coronavirus supplement.

That's the bit that's changing.

From Friday, the fortnightly coronavirus supplement is being cut from $550 to $250.

Catch up on all the big COVID-19 news from September 21 in our coronavirus blog.
That'll take fortnightly payments for singles to $815 each fortnight, or about $58 a day.

JobSeeker will continue at that rate until the end of the year, but the Government is yet to say what will happen after that.

The change to the coronavirus supplement doesn't just affect people on JobSeeker either.

Other government payments, including Youth Allowance, Austudy, the Farm Household Allowance, will also fall as the coronavirus supplement drops.

What about means testing and income thresholds?
While your payments are decreasing, the Government is loosening the eligibility for both JobSeeker and Youth Allowance to allow you to earn a little more money without affecting your payments.

The income-free threshold for both payments will increase to $300 per fortnight from September 25, and you'll lose 60 cents in JobSeeker payments for each dollar you earn above that threshold.

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak
Download the ABC News app and subscribe to our range of news alerts for the latest on how the pandemic is impacting the world
Also changing are asset tests that determine when — and if — you can access JobSeeker.

Asset limits will be reinstated, meaning you won't be able to access JobSeeker if you have assets worth more than $482,000. If you own a home, that limit drops to $268,000, and the rates are different for couples.

The liquid-assets test will also be reinstated for new claims, which will require people with savings greater than $5,499 to wait a set period before receiving payments.

Will my partner's income affect JobSeeker?
Tweaks will also be made to how much money your partner can earn before you're disqualified from receiving JobSeeker.

Under the changes, you'll face a reduction of 27 cents to your payments for every dollar your partner earns above $1,165 a fortnight.

The change will mean your payments will reduce to zero if your partner earns more than $3,086.11 per fortnight.

Are JobSeeker mutual obligations coming back?
The Government is also toughening mutual obligation requirements for people on JobSeeker, meaning from Monday, September 28, you'll have to search for up to eight jobs each month.

"In economies and marketplaces where there's good employment, we'll be seeking people to undertake the search for eight jobs," Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said.

"We understand there are other parts of our economy that don't have high levels of employment available."

Mutual obligations were entirely suspended at the start of the pandemic, but the Government has been gradually requiring people on JobSeeker to search for work.

Jobseekers have been required to search for up to four jobs each month since early August.

The changes to mutual obligations will not apply in Victoria, where they remain suspended.

What about JobKeeper?
The JobKeeper rate is also set to drop from Monday, September 28.

The payment will be split into part-time and full-time rates, with the full-time rate falling from $1,500 per fortnight to $1,200.

The part-time rate will be $750 per fortnight for workers on less than 20 hours a week before the pandemic began.

Further cuts to the payment will come into effect from the beginning of next year before it is set to end in March.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-21/ ... d/12676644

JobKeeper recipients told to apply for JobSeeker when payments slashed
Anyone anxious about having their JobKeeper payment slashed is being told to apply for the dole.

The wage subsidy scheme is being extended at reduced rates for six months from September 28.

Payments for full-time staff are being cut from $1500 to $1200 per fortnight, while people who usually worked less than 20 hours a week before the coronavirus pandemic will receive just $750.

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston is encouraging people to top up their payments with unemployment benefits.
'We have temporarily put arrangements in place so that our social security safety net is not just for people who have lost their jobs,' Senator Ruston said on Monday.

'It is able to provide a cushion for people who have had or fear their hours or income will be reduced.'

JobKeeper recipients on $1200 per fortnight may be eligible for a partial dole payment, lifting their total income to $1476.

People receiving JobKeeper at the part-time rate of $750 per fortnight could receive another $546 in unemployment benefits, boosting their incomes to $1295.

More than one million workers are expected to come off JobKeeper over the next three months as businesses recover.

Almost 3.6 million people have received the fortnightly payments throughout the pandemic.

That number is expected to drop to 2.24 million in the December quarter as businesses whose turnovers have improved 'graduate' from the scheme.

It is tipped to tumble to 1.75 million in the first three months of next year.

The Morrison government is also preparing to slash JobSeeker booster payments from the end of this week.

People on the unemployment benefit have since March received an extra $550 per fortnight through a coronavirus supplement.

That is being reduced to $250 a fortnight from this Friday and is scheduled to be scrapped altogether at the end of December.

Senator Ruston said the increased dole payment would be extended into next year if required.

'I want to assure all Australians, if elevated supports are continued to be needed, they will be made available,' she told reporters.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

JobSeeker to be extended to December 31
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston has spoken about changes to income support measures, including JobSeeker which will be extended for another three months, until December 31.

“The supplement will be paid on an ongoing basis at $250 per fortnight, but in addition, we’ll be introducing an income free area of $300, which says to people who can get some work, we’ll allow them to earn the first $300 before they lose any payment,” Ms Ruston said.

She also reiterated the changes to JobKeeper, coming into effect from next Monday.

“As of Monday, the JobKeeper payments will be in two tranches, one for people who work more than 20 hours a week, and who will receive $1200 a fortnight, and another for those who work less than 20 hours a week, and who will get $750 per fortnight.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


TAX CUTS IN A PANDEMIC ??
Proposal to bring forward income tax cuts in Federal Budget criticised as benefiting high-income earners
Former Reserve Bank officials and senior bureaucrats are among a group demanding Treasurer Josh Frydenberg look towards more social spending rather than bringing forward legislated income tax cuts.

The Federal Budget is due to be handed down on October 6, with the nation staring down its largest deficit on record and the Federal Government considering a spending program of a scale not seen since the end of World War II.

Mr Frydenberg has floated the idea of bringing forward planned income tax cuts by two years, in a bid to kickstart spending by putting "more money into people's pockets".

Bernie Fraser, who served as Reserve Bank governor in the early 1990s, and Michael Keating, former secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, argued such a plan would not stimulate the economy as hoped because most of the beneficiaries would simply keep the money in the bank.

"These tax cuts are incredibly biased in favour of high-income earners," Mr Keating told the ABC.

"Because they're so biased in favour of high-income earners, the proceeds are very likely to be heavily saved, much more heavily saved than usual."

The Coalition has locked in three stages of income tax cuts. The first round delivered around $1,080 in tax relief for average income earners last year.

Stage two is due to come into effect from 2022, and would cut taxes for people earning more than $90,000 a year, as well as raising the threshold on the lowest tax rate.

The final stage kicks in two years later, and will result in people earning less than $200,000 a year paying no more than 30 cents for every dollar they earn.

Mr Keating believed the only legitimate reason for bringing forward the tax cuts would be that they were already legislated.

"If you're going to do it anyway, in a couple of years' time, there's an argument that it does less damage to the budget in the long run if you do it now, rather than wait two years," he said.

"But on the other hand, I don't think they'll achieve much out of it, in terms of their immediate objective, which is to increase demand and create jobs."

Mr Keating and Mr Fraser are among 40 political, economic and social policy luminaries backing a campaign by progressive think tank The Australia Institute.

"Those demanding tax cuts today will be demanding service cuts tomorrow," an advertising campaign rolling out from Monday said.

Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty and Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Cassandra Goldie are also part of the campaign.

Mr Frydenberg said Australians would have to tune in to his budget night speech on October 6 to learn what the Coalition's tax policy would be.

"But certainly we are focusing on lowering the tax burden for Australians," the Treasurer said.

Budget should have a strong focus on social spending
Mr Fraser told the ABC he was hoping Mr Frydenberg's second budget would have a strong social conscience.

"Pensioners aren't getting any pension increase from the usual adjustment mechanism — pensioners are a pretty deserving people, and spend the money they get," he said.

On Saturday, Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said there would be more support for pensioners announced in coming weeks.

Mr Fraser said spending on infrastructure, other than roads and transport projects, should be a priority.

"I was interested the other day when the Prime Minister was saying that 'look, if the private sector is not going to jump in and provide a gas-fired power station, the Government's going to do it'," he said.

"Well, the private sector's not providing any social housing either.

"And yet, providing social housing would be a tremendous economic stimulus, and would also do lasting benefit of the social kind, given that it would be occurring in a situation of sharp shortages of social housing and increasing homelessness throughout the whole community."

The Federal Opposition has said Labor would consider any proposals to bring forward the tax cuts, but has argued the October Budget would need to clearly spell out a plan for job creation.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

PANDEMIC SUMMER DOWNUNDER , FIRST ONE IN 100 YRS
'A summer like never before': Victoria and NSW prepare for Covid risk in the holiday season
State premiers in Victoria and New South Wales have begun outlining plans for “a summer like never before” as authorities scramble to prepare for large crowds at beaches and warn of the possibility of Covid-19 outbreaks in the warmer months ahead.

On Monday the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, said it was “a great day” after the state recorded 11 new Covid-19 cases.

But with Melbourne due to move to step two of the state’s roadmap next Sunday, the premier said it was too early to say whether restrictions could be eased sooner.

“This is not just a good day. This is a great day. We are seeing these numbers come down. This strategy is working,” he said.

Related: Coronavirus Australia live update: NRL proposes 25% staff cut as Victoria reports 11 new cases and NSW four

“All of us have to stay the course though, because if we were to open up right now, these numbers are still too high and, as has been noted many, many times, as recently as in the media reporting today, if you were to open up today you won’t see the impacts of that for two to three weeks.”

As east coast cities begin to enjoy warmer weather in the lead-up to summer, state governments in Victoria and NSW have begun planning for the holiday period to prevent a Covid-19 resurgence.

Flagging “a summer like never before”, Andrews said the Victorian government was working on “creative and inventive things” to allow for more use of outdoor spaces.

“Not just for this summer but potentially for every summer, notwithstanding the fact that this is not Spain [or] LA, we do have rain,” he said.

“We can close lanes. We can close streets. We can do all sorts of creative and inventive things and have [an] alfresco experience, not just this summer but every summer.”

NSW reported only four new cases of the virus overnight, including three people in hotel quarantine, but the premier, Gladys Berejiklian, warned the state was heading into “a bit of a high-risk period” as warmer weather begins to attract larger crowds to Sydney’s beaches and restaurants.

Related: Covid-19 has terminally ill in Victoria fearing dying alone if they go into palliative care

“During the school holidays, understandably, families will be moving all across NSW and if the virus is circulating in parts of the state with so much mobility going on we do worry about what that might mean for other parts of the state,” Berejiklian said on Monday.

“This is happening at the same time as we’re easing border restrictions between Victoria and NSW so there’s more people coming across … so all of this means we’re heading into a bit of a high-risk period and we just want to make sure everybody is aware and that nobody is complacent because the second we get complacent, [that’s] the second the virus will beat us.”

The NSW government announced on Monday its “Covid-safe summer plan”, including an already-flagged decision to relax outdoor drinking and dining regulations in Sydney to revitalise the city’s hard-hit hospitality industry and help avoid new Covid-19 clusters during the summer months.

Related: 'Looks silly': Eddie McGuire under fire for Gold Coast nightclub outing

The minister for customer service, Victor Dominello, has led a push to allow for more outdoor dining in Sydney, and said on Monday that he hoped for eased conditions at sites around the Rocks and the city’s CBD by next month.

The plan also includes social distancing guidelines at beaches after some were closed in March due to concerns around overcrowding and plans to promote “forgotten” Sydney parkland.

The planning minister, Rob Stokes, said the government had one “simple rule” for visiting beaches over the summer.

“It’s keep a towel length from the person next to you, that’s the best way you can ensure that you are keeping yourself and the people next to you safe,” he said.

NSW Health is also considering whether people who do not pre-book taxis should sign in using QR codes, similar to the ones used in restaurant and bars, after a taxi driver was diagnosed with Covid-19 on the weekend.
<< USE OF QR CODES ==> THEY HAVE A SMART PHONE , MANY OLDER AUSTRALIANS DON'T
<< LOTS OF TAXI DRIVERS LIKE TO DOUBLE OR TRIPLE BOOK ( WHEN PICKING UP FROM MALLS, SUPERMARKETS, CLUBS AND THEY ALL PREFER CASH ( BECAUSE OF OBVIOUS REASONS - SO A CULTURE CHANGE AMONGST CABBYS IS ALSO NEEDED - GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.


The taxi driver had worked a number of shifts before testing positive, and NSW Health has issued an alert for passengers who caught a taxi in the Moorebank, Bankstown, Chipping Norton, Liverpool, Lidcombe, Warwick Farm and Milperra suburbs.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

21 SEPT NZ
COVID restrictions relaxed in New Zealand
COVID-19 restrictions are again being ditched in New Zealand, apart from Auckland, after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her country had the virus "under control".

Ms Ardern's cabinet met on Monday and decided to move most of the country to alert "level one" settings as of 11:59pm.

That will mean gathering sizes will no longer be capped and the end of social distancing, allowing for the return of crowds at sporting fixtures, big weddings and funerals, mass congregations at religious services and the re-opening of nightclubs.

However, for the 1.6 million people living in Auckland, such freedoms will have to wait another fortnight.

After 102 days without a case of COVID-19 in New Zealand, the country's biggest city was the centre of a fresh outbreak last month.

A 16-day lockdown contained case numbers in the cluster to 178 people and three deaths.

On Monday, Director-general of Health Ashley Bloomfield confirmed that no cases had been linked to the cluster for seven days, but it would still be prudent to wait another fortnight with social distancing and gathering caps.

"Our actions more recently have managed to get the virus under control ... we are in a strong position to make our next move down our alert settings," Ms Ardern said.

"Auckland needs more time."

Ms Ardern said the government would decide on Monday October 5 whether to allow Auckland a similar shift to the rest of the country, based on whether case numbers stay "on their current trajectory with no surprises".

Such a shift would occur from Thursday October 8.

Dr Bloomfield also confirmed ongoing investigations into the source of New Zealand's last three cases.

A man returning home from India tested positive for COVID-19 this week after completing his 14-day isolation, including two negative tests, and subsequently passed the virus onto two family members in Auckland.

Health authorities believe the man may have had an abnormally long incubation period, or caught it on a domestic flight - and have ordered fellow passengers on that flight to isolate and test.

"In terms of how the man became infected, that is still under investigation and we are keeping an open mind," Dr Bloomfield said of the mystery cases.

Dr Bloomfield's team have still yet to identify the source of last month's Auckland cluster despite promising to reveal it.

New Zealand has also announced the investment of $NZ27 million ($A25 million) towards the World Health Organisation-backed COVAX vaccine.

"The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines," Foreign Minister Winston Peters said.

"It allows us to invest in a high-quality, diversified portfolio of COVID-19 vaccine candidates. This will ensure we are spreading risk and keeping our options open."

The funding will allow New Zealand and associated Pacific countries of Tokelau, Cook Islands and Niue to access COVID-19 vaccine developed by COVAX researchers, with further payments.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/co ... d=msedgdhp

TRANS-TAS BUBBLE
Air New Zealand boss: Trans-Tasman bubbled not to happen until 2021
Air New Zealand boss Greg Foran has ruled out a quarantine-free trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand until at least March 2021.

The Chief Executive Officer said establishing the plan 'could well be longer', and warned international travel would be 'clunkier' when it restarted.

Tracking and tracing needs to be upgraded and would be required, Mr Foran said.

Passengers might also be required to take rapid COVID-19 tests before and after flights.

The former Walmart CEO's comments follow Air New Zealand grounding the majority of its seven 777-300 aircraft until the end of 2020 as well as signalling it was unlikely to fly eight 777-200 aircraft in the foreseeable future.

The aircraft - stored at Auckland, Roswell, New Mexico and Victorville, California at the end of September - have operated the majority of the airline's long haul routes over the past 15 years.

'I certainly do not believe we will see anything across the Tasman this calendar year. It's hard to believe it would be before March next year and could well be longer. If it comes back quicker, we're going to pop some champagne,' Mr Foran told the Sydney Morning Herald.

This is because the vaccines likely to roll out from the end of 2020 will not be 100 per cent effective, he added, and only 50 per cent of people are likely to take it.

'In America ... they've recently done a survey over there and only half the people said they'll take the vaccine ... and then of course we have reinfection rates,' he said.

A trans-Tasman bubble allowing unrestricted travel between Australia and New Zealand was initially planned to be up and running by September.

But New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put it on hold in August as Victoria struggled with a second wave of infections, and clusters emerged in New South Wales and Auckland.

'Obviously this is going to be some time away now,' Ms Ardern told Radio NZ at the time, adding all of Australia would need to be free of community transmission for a minimum of 28 days before the travel bubble went ahead.

'Anywhere where we have COVID-free travel they have to be free of community transmission for a period of time - that will be some time for Australia.

'It will be on the backburner for several months.'

Mr Foran added flights to the US would also not likely resume until the end of 2021, and said wiping the coronavirus out was not realistic.

'Elimination, which is a worthy thing to go after, is probably not sustainable based on what we're now learning, which is the vaccine is not going to be 100 per cent effective, not everybody is going to take it, and it's going to take years to get distributed,' he said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on the other hand, remained optimistic about establishing the plan.

He told the Federal Cabinet on Friday the trans-Tasman bubble could be implemented between regions with zero community transmission of COVID-19.

'For example, the whole of the South Island is an area where there is no COVID,' Mr Morrison said. 'If we can get to the situation soon where those coming home from New Zealand are able to enter Australia without going into a 14-day quarantine in a hotel, or in the worst-case scenario, only having to do that in their home, then what that does is that frees up places in our hotel quarantine system.

'We see that as another way of enabling more and more Australians to come home.'

Air New Zealand, which reported an after-tax loss of $454 million for the year until June, announced on Thursday it would cut an additional 385 cabin crew staff due to the lack of long-haul international lights.

The company has lost about 37 per cent of its workforce - higher than cuts to Qantas with 30 per cent and Singapore Airlines with 20 per cent.

The figure will be added to the 4,000 jobs lost at Air New Zealand since February.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... 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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12573
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:02 am

21 SEPTEMBER DATA

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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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12573
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:42 am

22 SEPT VIC

Victoria records just 28 cases of coronavirus and 3 deaths
Victoria has recorded 28 coronavirus cases and 3 more deaths, sparking calls for the state to ease lockdown restrictions early.

The latest figures, which were released on Tuesday, show a slight spike in case numbers after the state recorded just 11 new infections on Monday and 2 deaths - the lowest number in three months.

Monday's figures pushed Melbourne's 14-day average down to 34.4, well below the state's target of 50 which was the mark for restrictions to be lifted.

Under Daniel Andrews' targets, restrictions will be eased in Melbourne on September 28 but the lockdown won't be fully lifted until after October 26 with a 14-day average of five or less coronavirus cases.

Despite the slight increase, Federal deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said health official were taking note of the low case numbers.

'If (case numbers) continue down into single digit territory there's no doubt that that will be provoking some thought on behalf of the Victorian government about the road map and when restrictions can be lifted.'

Premier Daniel Andrews said they would use 'common sense' when it comes to decisions around end restrictions earlier than planned.

'If circumstances change, if we find ourself ahead of schedule — not for one day, but in a manifest sense — common sense always guides us,' he said.

'We will look at what sits behind the numbers and then we will have to make a judgment. Has enough time passed for us to be confident that the numbers we are seeing are a true reflection of how much virus is out there?'

Mr Andrews on Sunday said the path towards easing rules would be constantly reviewed, but he is standing firm by his 'safe and steady' approach.

'That is proof positive beyond any question that this strategy is working,' he said at Sunday's press conference.

'There's no good opening up too early. There's no good letting our frustrations get the better of us.

'All that will mean is that everything metropolitan Melbourne has given, everything that everyone has done to produce these low, but still not low enough, numbers will count for nothing.'

Optimism has risen among Melbourne small businesses, with a survey showing 35 per cent now believe the Victorian economy will be better in one year's time.


Victoria has recorded 28 coronavirus cases and three more deaths, sparking calls for the state to ease lockdown restrictions early.

The latest figures, which were released on Tuesday, show a slight spike in case numbers after the state recorded just 11 new infections on Monday and two deaths - the lowest number in three months.

Monday's figures pushed Melbourne's 14-day average down to 34.4, well below the state's target of 50 which was the mark for restrictions to be lifted.

Under Daniel Andrews' targets, restrictions will be eased in Melbourne on September 28 but the lockdown won't be fully lifted until after October 26 with a 14-day average of five or less coronavirus cases.

Despite the slight increase, Federal deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said health official were taking note of the low case numbers.


'If (case numbers) continue down into single digit territory there's no doubt that that will be provoking some thought on behalf of the Victorian government about the road map and when restrictions can be lifted.'


Premier Daniel Andrews said they would use 'common sense' when it comes to decisions around end restrictions earlier than planned.

'If circumstances change, if we find ourself ahead of schedule — not for one day, but in a manifest sense — common sense always guides us,' he said.

'We will look at what sits behind the numbers and then we will have to make a judgment. Has enough time passed for us to be confident that the numbers we are seeing are a true reflection of how much virus is out there?'

Mr Andrews on Sunday said the path towards easing rules would be constantly reviewed, but he is standing firm by his 'safe and steady' approach.

'That is proof positive beyond any question that this strategy is working,' he said at Sunday's press conference.

'There's no good opening up too early. There's no good letting our frustrations get the better of us.

'All that will mean is that everything metropolitan Melbourne has given, everything that everyone has done to produce these low, but still not low enough, numbers will count for nothing.'

Optimism has risen among Melbourne small businesses, with a survey showing 35 per cent now believe the Victorian economy will be better in one year's time.

That compares with just 17 per cent in August believing the state's economy will improve by then, the Sensis Business Index shows.

More also think the national economy will mend, with 26 per cent saying it will be better in a year compared with 14 per cent last month.
.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

22 of 28 new cases linked to known outbreaks
Professor Allen Cheng reiterated that the Government will need to monitor the long term trend of COVID-19 in Victoria prior to lifting restrictions.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Melbourne 'absolutely on track' to take a step on September 28: Andrews
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says Metropolitan Melbourne is “absolutely on track” to move to the next step on Sunday September 28.

Melbourne’s rolling average as at September 21 sits at 32.8, and regional Victoria is at 1.6.

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“The band that we want to be in is between 30 and 50 cases for a 14 day rolling average,” Mr Andrews said.

“To be at 32.8 now with several days to go, is a testament to the hard work and the commitment of every Victorian who is following the rules.

“And I thank them.”

The state recorded 28 new cases, and a further three deaths on September 22.

There are currently 83 Victorians in hospital, with eight of those in intensive care.

Five of those are on ventilators.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/me ... d=msedgdhp

Majority of Victorians support Andrews' COVID response: Newspoll
Premier Daniel Andrews’ handling of the state’s second lockdown continues to be supported by the majority of Victorians.

A newspoll released by The Australian revealed 62 per cent of Victorians agree the premier has managed the crisis well despite the bungled hotel quarantine program and prolonged lockdowns.Approximately 61 per cent of voters around the country including 57 per cent of Coalition voters say the restrictions in Victoria have been appropriate.

Approval for the Victorian Premiers’ handling of the virus has not changed since July but has not recovered from April when support fell from 85 per cent.

<< LIKELY MORE SUPPORT AND THE POLL HAS BEEN CORRUPTED BY BOTS AND ANTILOCKDOWN GROUPS , LIKE SO MANY OTHER ONLINE POLLS HAVE BEEN .
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/ma ... d=msedgdhp

Victoria Covid hotspots: list of Melbourne and regional outbreak locations
< ITS ABOUT TIME GUARDIAN DID THIS FOR VICTORIA , LIKE IT HAS FOR NSW AND QLD AND SA AND WA.
List of outbreaks in Victoria
If you were at the following venues on these dates, you should watch for coronavirus symptoms and, if symptoms occur, immediately get tested and stay at home while you wait for your results.

Chemist Warehouse, 433 Sydney Road, Brunswick: 11 September
Burwood One Shopping Centre, Burwood East: 13-14 September
Provans Mitre 10, Clifton Hill: 10 September
Craigieburn Shopping Centre, Craigieburn: 11 September
Woolworths, “The Glen”, Glen Waverley: 6 September
Woolworths, Greenvales Lakes: 6 September
Westfield Fountain Gate, Narre Warren: 18 August – 6 September
Woolworths, Oakleigh South: 14 September and 16 September
Coles, Roxburgh Park: 6 September and 10 September
Freshplus, Roxburgh Park: 10 September
FMIG Radiology, St Albans: 10 September
Baby Mode, Sunshine: 13 September
Dan Murphy’s, Sunshine North: 14 September
KFC, Westgate, Port Melbourne: 11 September and 12 September
Public transport routes:

6.00am V/Line train Deer Park station to Southern Cross station and 3.45pm V/Line Train Southern Cross station to Deer Park station: 2-5 September and 7 September
8.42pm Reservoir to Flinders Street train: 6 September
6.30am tram 86 Southern Cross station to Northcote station and 3.15pm tram 86 Northcote station to Southern Cross station: 2-5 September and 7 September
Southern Cross/Ballarat V/Line train Southern Cross station to Ballarat station and return: 3 September
V/Line train Southern Cross station to Ballarat station: 7 September
1.12pm Southern Cross to Reservoir train: 6 September

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Victoria should take 'cautious' approach to early easing of coronavirus restrictions, expert says
Victoria's coronavirus case numbers are "very encouraging", a Melbourne epidemiologist says, but he advises against rushing through the stages to get out of lockdown earlier than planned.

Tony Blakely is a professor of epidemiology at the University of Melbourne and helped do some of the modelling that underpinned the state's "roadmap to reopening".

Under that roadmap, Victoria moves to the second step on September 28, as long as the case numbers remain in the 30-50 range.

Case numbers have been decreasing, with 11 new cases in on Monday, the state's lowest daily increase in more than three months.

Twenty-eight new cases were reported by the Department of Health and Human Services today.

It is the 12th consecutive day the state has recorded below 50 new cases per day.

The rolling 14-day cases average has dropped to 32.8 in Metropolitan Melbourne, down from 34.4 on Monday.

The rolling average in regional Victoria has remained at 1.6.

Professor Blakely said the numbers in recent days were "very encouraging".

"We're getting to a point now where we are actually tracking so well that there can be consideration of bringing some of these [steps] forward, although that's not my job to decide it," he told ABC Radio Melbourne.

Premier Daniel Andrews has taken a cautious approach saying although everyone wanted to open as soon as possible "if we do it too fast we simply run an unacceptable risk of losing control".

The curfew between 9:00pm and 5:00am and the the limit on people travelling more than 5 kilometres from home will remain in place in the second step, but outdoor gatherings of up to five people from two households will be permitted.

Childcare and early education will reopen and there will be a phased return to face-to-face learning for prep to grade two, VCE and VCAL students and specialist schools in term four.

The third step in the roadmap is on October 26.

The trigger for that is for the 14-day daily new case average to be below five, and have fewer than five "mystery" cases over a two-week period.

The curfew will be dropped, there will be no restrictions on leaving home, and up to 10 people will be allowed together outside.

October 19 would be earliest date to move to step 3
Professor Blakely said the key thing to remember was that there must be about three weeks between steps.

"You want to allow enough time for a few incubation cycles of the virus, in case, by stepping out to what we used to call stage three and is now called step two, it takes off on you," he said.

"You don't want to rush through those stages when you're loosening up."

[embed: 14-day average]
He said it could be possible to ease restrictions a certain amount a little earlier than September 28, but said he was not "advocating that".

"It may be just a little too late for that now. It might take too much logistics to set that up," he said.

The other alternative would be going to the third step a bit earlier.

"So if we release on the 28th of September as planned, probably the earliest we could pull the 26th of October back is to something like the 19th of October," he said.

Professor Blakely said he would be happy to dump the 5km rule and the curfew.

"I doubt they're having much effect at the margin," he said.

Deakin University epidemiologist Catherine Bennett said it was "really pleasing" to see the proportion of tests coming back positive had been on the decline for two weeks now.

If you take out the positive cases linked to known outbreaks, the proportion of cases coming back positive dropped to below 0.1 per cent.

She said as restrictions eased and there was more movement in the community, contract tracers should spread the net wider for contacts.

A cluster in Melbourne's south-east quickly grew to 43 cases when five households broke the stay-at-home rules to travel outside the permitted zone.

"I think we found in Hallam, when we find one case you go to their contacts and their contacts' contacts in the same 48 hours," she said.

She said there would be more teams to follow up each case and test their contacts whether they were symptomatic or not and monitor them.

"It might impact 100 people but it's better that than 100 who have been exposed," she said.

'Crazy' to go for herd immunity, but it has worked elsewhere
Other countries have taken different approaches to suppressing coronavirus, like Sweden, which is pursuing a herd immunity strategy.

"But they had to pay the price [in deaths] to get there," Professor Blakely said.

Herd immunity is also present in parts of New York and India and Professor Blakely said the experts were becoming more confident it would last.

But that is not a strategy he is advocating for Australia because a vaccine is getting closer and closer.

"It would be crazy to do that now," he said.

"So we really want to hold the line somewhere around tight suppression for Victoria that might mean keeping the numbers between 10 and 20 a day," he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

PEOPLE HELPING STRANGERS UNDER LOCKDOWN
Sikh volunteer group hits 189 days of delivering curries in Melbourne
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A group of selfless Sikh volunteers have reached nearly six months of consecutive days donating hearty meals to families in need in Melbourne.

Sikh Volunteers Australia on Tuesday reached 189 consecutive days of donating free curries to disadvantaged people across the city.

The volunteer group posted a video to their social media channels on Monday showing chefs hard at work in the kitchen getting their food deliveries ready for the day.

Five volunteers are seen in the footage packing dozens of containers filled with rice, salad and curry as they listen to music in their industrial cookhouse.

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Sikh Volunteers Australia have been donating food (pictured) to Melbournians in need for 189 consecutive days in the coronavirus pandemic

Volunteer Coordinator Manpreet Singh told Daily Mail Australia the organisation's 189-day donation streak had happened organically.

'We started on the 18th of March for two weeks due to government lockdown announcements and it slowly increased to more days and just happened continuously,' Mr Singh said.

'We've had continued support from our community and volunteers so we kept extending our service out to nearly six months.'

The organisation was launched in 2014, with their food delivery service starting in 2017 in honour of Sikh First Master Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who started a free food service in the 15th century to help people in need.

They began serving food to homeless people twice a week, but have grown into their full scale daily operation in response to COVID-19.

More than 260 volunteers have participated in the organisation during the pandemic, including up to 35 people every day to help with food preparation, cooking and delivering meals.

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At their peak the organisation deliver up to 900 meals per day to six councils around the city
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https://img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/ten ... 60&o=f&l=f[/img]
Their meals are given to the elderly, unemployed, health workers and COVID effected people

Ten vehicles transport food using contactless delivery to six councils around Melbourne, including City of Casey, Frankston, Dandenong, Monash, Mornington Peninsula and Kingston.

The organisation celebrated their 100,000th meal delivery on September 16, with daily delivery numbers fluctuating with the pandemic.

Mr Singh said the group peaked at 900 meals per day in the first lockdown.

'At the moment we have 450 meals going out every day,' he said.

'Our food is going out to elderly people, single mums, the unemployed, international students, health workers and people facing hard time due to COVID-19.'

The organisation delivered meals to thousands of residents stuck in lockdown across Melbourne's housing commission towers in July.

'When the news came out, we received a few messages saying people needed help,' Mr Singh said.

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Sikh Volunteers Australia food delivery service runs in honour of Sikh First Master Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who started a free food service in the 15th century to help people in need

'We didn't have much information, we just loaded up our food vans and went and served there for seven days.'

Sikh Volunteers Australia operates through donations of time and money from people and businesses in the broader community.

Mr Singh said community generosity is what has allowed their service streak to continue, with no sign of slowing down into the future.

'The response from the community has been overwhelming,' he said.

'Within six months we have received so many messages from people who are so thankful for this service.

'A lot of people have lost their jobs in the pandemic and it will take a long time for everything to go back to normal, maybe even years.

'We will keep this service running because people are still so effected.'

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Volunteer Coordinator Manpreet Singh told Daily Mail Australia the organisation are currently donating 450 meals every day


https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

QUARANTINE INQUIRY
Victorian health officials were concerned about 'cowboy' security industry, hotel quarantine inquiry hears
Messages between bureaucrats tasked with finding private security firms for Victoria's hotel quarantine program reveal officials were concerned they were dealing with a "cowboy industry".

WhatsApp exchanges between Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) staffers discussed names of potential companies, as well as the reputations of different security providers.

The messages have been tendered as evidence at the state's COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry.

The inquiry is looking into the decisions and actions of government agencies, hotel operators and private contractors to find out what went wrong with the hotel quarantine program.

Simon Phemister, the DJPR secretary, said the messages were between an engagement team charged with finding the best security firms to guard people in quarantine.

"We needed firms that were going to work with us, that had a track record of working with government," he told the inquiry.

But members of the message group expressed concerns over the use of private firms.

"Gotta be careful with a lot of security companies. Heaps of cash work [redacted]," one person wrote.

Another described security as a "cowboy industry".

Another person in the chat said: "Needs to be reputable. Don't want [redacted] rogue [redacted] prowling the corridors."

Private security firms hired 36 hours before hotel quarantine program began
Mr Phemister was first told private security firms were the preferred method of guarding the hotels by senior DJPR official Claire Febey.

Ms Febey attended a meeting at the State Control Centre at 4:30pm on March 27, less than 36 hours before the program was due to start.

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp was also at the meeting, along with senior members of Victoria Police and the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

"The critical component from the debrief (from the meeting) was that we had been asked to commission private security for the operation (hotel quarantine)," Mr Phemister said.

He added he did not ask who had made the decision to engage private companies.

"I didn't ask who, I knew who was attending the meeting and I knew of the calibre of military officials and State Control Centre officials and leadership and the Victoria Police officials so I didn't pause to ask who made those decisions," Mr Phemister said.

The top bureaucrat said members of the meeting had the expertise and "authority" to determine how the hotels were guarded.

Mr Phemister said it was not possible the decision to engage private security firms had been made earlier in the day, which had been suggested in other witness evidence at the inquiry.

"My department did not put in any mechanisms to engage private security until after the debrief I received," he said.

"The day was measured in minutes, not hours … every time a decision was banked and we were commissioned to act, we did so immediately.

"Off the back of the debrief, I immediately commenced the process of private security, I would have done that earlier had I been aware of it earlier."

Security firm not on Government's preferred list paid more than others
Mr Phemister said his team spent valuable time searching for private security companies for the program, despite the Government having already listed preferred operators on a public website.

He said the team "could have saved time" had they known the list existed.

Mr Phermister was also asked why Unified Security Group, a company not on the Government's preferred list, was paid more than the other providers.

The DJPR paid the contractor $49.95 an hour, per guard provided.

This is compared to Wilsons Security that was on the preferred list, and charged $45.21 an hour.

Unified Security Group also charged more on Sundays, added a daily meal allowance to the contract and charged the Government for personal protective equipment (PPE).

Despite being more expensive, the Government used more of Unified's guards — 1,750 compared to Wilsons Security's 650.

Mr Phemister said his team did take into account "value for money" as well as other safety factors.

"By the time we accepted those base rates, it came to more qualitative factors," he told the hearing.

But counsel assisting Rachel Ellyard told the board Unified Security Group guards were not being paid more, despite the company charging higher rates.

"There doesn't, on the evidence available to the board, appear to be any suggestions that the rates paid to sub-contractors or to end staff were any higher for Unified than they were for other contractors."

'Unwise' to speculate on replacement program, Premier says
Premier Daniel Andrews will appear at the inquiry on Friday, after originally being slated to appear on Wednesday.

In a tense exchange with journalists at his press conference on Tuesday, Mr Andrews would not comment on previous evidence provided by senior members of his bureaucracy.

"You can make judgements on the memories of others," he said. "When I appear before the inquiry I'll answer questions as honestly, frankly, clearly as possible."

He reiterated that unacceptable errors had been made in the program.

"Mistakes have been made in this program, they are not acceptable to me. I don't think anyone … is in any doubt about my views on that matter. These mistakes are unacceptable."

Mr Andrews said it would be "unwise" to speculate on what the new quarantine program would look like.

"We need to wait for the thing we don't have yet, which is the report."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

ASSISTANCE FOR AGED CARE FROM STATE GOVERNMENT
Andrews government announces $30 million aged care package
The Andrews government has announced a $30 million maintenance-based package to upgrade aged care facilities across the state.

Victorian Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan outlined the purpose of the new funding, saying the money would be used to upgrade gardens to make them dementia friendly and to renovate kitchens, common areas and flooring.

The Minister said 33 facilities would be upgraded in regional Victoria and 17 in metropolitan Victoria.

He also highlighted the dependence of the aged care sector in rural Victoria upon the government and pointed out the state was responsible for approximately 80 per cent of the sector.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/an ... d=msedgdhp

BREACHES
Despite the premier's upbeat tone, frustrations were evident on Sunday as anti-lockdown protests continued in Melbourne.

More than a dozen protesters illegally gathered at Chadstone Shopping Centre and belted out a rendition of John Farnham's You're The Voice before police intervened.

Two people were arrested and six were issued fines, adding to Saturday's 16 arrests and 21 fines after up to 100 people rallied in Melbourne's inner beachside suburb of Elwood.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:23 am

22 SEPT NSW

New South Wales records just 2 cases of coronavirus overnight
New South Wales has recorded just 2 more cases of coronavirus with both in hotel quarantine.

The new infections on Tuesday have brought the state's total number to 4,017.

Despite there being no new locally acquired cases, health authorities are urging residents to get tested for the mildest of symptoms.

The drop in infections comes after it was announced Queensland would open its border bubble to include five shires in NSW.

NSW Health said testing numbers had declined in recent weeks to more than 7,000 each day.

'NSW Health is appealing to the community to come forward for testing right away if you have a runny nose or scratchy throat, cough, fever or other symptoms that could be COVID-19,' health authorities said.

'If people don’t come forward and get tested, we can’t keep the pandemic at bay.

'We would like to see testing levels above 20,000 as achieved last week, particularly in South Western Sydney, and ahead of school holidays. For the sake of your friends and family, get a test.'

There are 77 patients being treated for COVID-19 with three in intensive care and one on ventilation.

On Tuesday Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that as of next weekend the state would be open to more NSW residents.

Residents in 41 postcodes including Byron Shire, Ballina, Lismore, the Richmond Valley including Casino and Evans Head, and Glen Innes will be added to the Queensland-NSW border bubble from 1am on October 1.

Ms Palaszczuk said those 152,000 NSW residents will be able to travel freely in Queensland and residents of her state will also be able to travel in far northern NSW.

'These areas have a lot in common with Queensland,' she said on Tuesday morning.

'They usually do a lot of their business in Queensland so we believe that this is the right measure to take and we have also been in contact with the NSW authorities to advise them of this today as well.'

The announcement of border changes come as Queensland prepares to welcome ACT travellers back up north on Friday.

The border will open only to Canberrans who arrive by plane and anyone coming from NSW via the ACT will have to wait 14 days before being allowed to fly.

It was also announced on Tuesday that South Australia would open its borders to residents in NSW from midnight on Wednesday as long there are no new coronavirus cases with community transmission.

SA Premier Steven Marshall made the announcement following the state's Transition Committee meeting on Tuesday - despite concerns an infectious taxi driver may have spread coronavirus across Sydney.

'This will be massive relief for people dislocated from family, friends and business opportunities. We know this has been a massive burden on the business community, families and individuals but we did this to keep people safe,' he said.

NSW Health is urgently contacting anyone who took trips with a Silver Service taxi driver who tested positive on Saturday and worked in Sydney's west and southwest.

Anyone who rode in his taxi between September 8 and 18 should monitor for symptoms, isolate for 14 days and get tested for coronavirus.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Covid-19 alert for Moorebank Sports Club
Sports club alert
NSW Health has issued a public health alert after a person who has tested positive to COVID-19 dined at a sports club in Sydney's south west.

The diner visited Moorebank Sports Club at Hammondville on the evening of September 14.

The venue has closed for cleaning and NSW Health is trying to identify patrons who may be considered close contacts.

Health authorities are advising anyone who attended the club that night to monitor for symptoms, isolate and get tested if they appear.

Safe taxi riding
As contact tracers scramble to find nine taxi passengers who may have been infected with COVID-19, there are ways Sydneysiders can protect themselves when riding in a cab.

NSW Health has urged passengers to sit in the back seat, diagonally opposite to the driver, and wear a mask.

Clinical epidemiologist Fiona Stanaway said people should limit their time in taxis and ride-share vehicles, and practice good hand hygiene.

"You need to try to be the maximum amount of distance from the driver, for the shortest amount of time in the taxi and with as minimal contact as possible," she said.

But she said passengers would be "safer on a train".

Selling the 'staycation'
NSW's peak tourism accommodation group says regional areas like Byron Bay, the South Coast, Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley are starting to see a return of travellers keen to get out despite COVID-19 border closures.

It comes as the NSW Government is pushing for Sydney 'staycations' to support local businesses.

Tourism Accommodation Australian NSW CEO Michael Johnson said upcoming school holidays would boost visitor numbers further.

Mr Johnson said Sydney hotels were also running below 20 per cent occupancy as he encouraged Sydneysiders to "have a world-class experience right on your own doorstep".

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Sydney club closed after patron tests positive for coronavirus
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A club in Sydney's southwest is closed for cleaning after it was recently visited by a person with COVID-19, NSW Health says.

The infectious person dined at the Moorebank Sports Club at Hammondville on the evening of September 14.

Anyone who attended the club needs to monitor themselves for symptoms, and if they appear, get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.

NSW Health is working with the venue to identify people who were at the club at the time and contact patrons to identify close contacts.

Anyone identified as a close contact must immediately self-isolate, get tested and remain isolated for 14 days even if a negative result is received.

Meanwhile, the NSW government has announced its plan for a COVID-safe summer, telling beachgoers to keep a towel length between themselves and others.

The plan encourages more outdoor dining and safe distancing will be marked out in parks and some public spaces from next month.

At the same time, COVID-safe summer program of events will be launched in outdoor areas to encourage people to get out and about safely.

Meanwhile, a coronavirus infection in a Sydney taxi driver could delay South Australia lifting border restrictions with NSW.

The state's health officials have sought details from NSW ahead of a meeting on Tuesday to consider lifting the 14-day quarantine requirement.

But any decision could now be delayed until Friday or later.

NSW Health is trying to contact anyone who took trips with the Silver Service taxi driver, who tested positive on Saturday and worked in Sydney's west and southwest.

The critical dates are September 8 to 18.

While a large number of people who rode with that driver have already been identified, the names of nine passengers is still unknown. It's likely they hailed the cab on the street.

NSW reported four new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, including three returned travellers in hotel quarantine and one case that was locally acquired.

That person had already been in self-isolation because they were a close contact of an infected person linked to the Concord Hospital cluster in Sydney.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


NSW coronavirus milestone as no locally acquired cases identified for first time in 76 days
NSW reached a coronavirus milestone today, when health authorities failed to find a locally acquired case for the first time in more than 70 days.

While two new infections were confirmed in the 24 hours to 8.00pm yesterday, both were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

It's the first time since July 8 there have been no locally acquired cases identified in Australia's most populous state.

At that time, NSW Health was unaware an infected man had visited the Crossroads Hotel in Sydney's south-west five days earlier, sparking a resurgence of the virus in the state.

Today's result marks two weeks in NSW without a mystery case — that is, a coronavirus case with an unknown source of infection.

The last mystery case confirmed in NSW was on September 8.

A total of 7,616 tests were completed in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday — the lowest number since June 14.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has previously expressed her wish that testing rates remain in the tens of thousands.

"We will only continue to beat this virus if we're able to increase the rates of testing," Ms Berejiklian said today.

NSW Health's Jeremy McAnulty said it was critical testing levels remained above 20,000 a day to "keep the pandemic at bay".

Dr McAnulty said people in Sydney's south-west were at particular risk.

"For the sake of your friends and family, get a test," Dr McAnulty said.

It comes as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed her state's border would open to people in five NSW local government areas from October 1.

Residents of the Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Glen Innes local government areas will be able to enter Queensland as long as they apply for a border pass.

It means people from 41 NSW postcodes will be able to travel into Queensland without completing a mandatory 14-day period of quarantine.

Queenslanders will be able to move freely through those NSW areas and return home without having to self-isolate.

The low transmission of the virus in Sydney has prompted South Australia's Government to reopen the state's border with NSW from 12:01am Thursday, as long as no mystery cases are announced tomorrow.

That means NSW residents will no longer need to complete a 14-day mandatory quarantine period when visiting SA.

Meanwhile, July 8 was the last time no locally acquired cases of coronavirus were found in NSW.

In that reporting period, 13 new COVID-19 infections were confirmed.

11 of them were in hotel quarantine and the other 2 were previously identified "probable cases" that were added to NSW's total as a formality.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

NSW Covid 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
Mama Wok, MacArthur Square, Campbelltown: 1.30pm to 2.30pm on Wednesday 9 September for a least one hour
Campbelltown Golf Club, Glen Alpine: 2pm to 4.30pm on Wednesday 16 September for a least one hour
Bannisters Pavilion Rooftop Bar & Grill, Mollymook: 12.30pm to 2.15pm on Sunday 13 September for a least one hour
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
Carlo’s Italian Restaurant Bar & Seafood, Ulladulla: 8pm to 9.30pm on Saturday 12 September for a least one hour
Milton Ulladulla Ex Servos Club, Ulladulla: 2pm to 6.15pm on Saturday 12 September for a least one hour
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)
Blue Mountains
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
Hunters Hill LGA
Liverpool LGA
Mt Druitt (suburb)
Parramatta LGA
Randwick LGA
Waverley 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.

Wray St Oyster Shed, Batemans Bay: 12pm to 1pm on Saturday 12 September
Anytime Fitness, Casula: 10.15am to 12pm on Friday 11 September
Five Stars Thaitanic, Casula: 4.20pm to 5.20pm on Saturday 12 September
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
Campbelltown Golf Club course, Glen Alpine: 9.30am to 2pm on Wednesday 16 September
Moorebank Sports Club, Hammondville: Evening of Monday 14 September
Hunters Hill Bowling Club, Hunters Hill: 6.50pm to 9pm on Tuesday 8 September
Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre, Katoomba: 11.30pm to 1.40pm on Friday 4 September
Lawson oval, Lawson: 10.30am to 12.45 pm on Sunday 13 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
Picnic Point Bowling Club, Panania: 3pm to 6pm on Friday 18 September
JB HIFI Penrith Plaza, Penrith: 4pm to 4.30pm on Sunday 13 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
Springwood Sports Club, Springwood: 1pm to 2pm on Saturday 12 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
People who caught a taxi on 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 September in the following suburbs must monitor for symptoms and if any develop immediately get tested:

Moorebank
Bankstown
Chipping Norton
Liverpool
Lidcombe
Warwick Farm
Milperra
NSW Health is seeking to identify passengers who caught a Silver Service taxi on the following times and locations. These passengers should call the NSW Health Call Centre on 9391 9000 for further advice.

Tuesday 15 September:

Riverside Road, Chipping Norton 8.31am to Birnie Ave, Lidcombe 9.11am
Milperra 10.14am to Riverside Rd, Chipping Norton 10.25am
Birnie Ave, Lidcombe 3.22pm to Riverside Rd, Chipping Norton 4.07pm
Monday 14 September:

Riverside Road, Chipping Norton 3.50pm to the Mill Hotel, Beaconsfield St Milperra 4.04pm
Thursday 10 September:

Liverpool 2.38pm to Graham Ave, Casula 2.44pm
Haddenham St, Chipping Norton 7.15pm to George St, Burwood 7.48pm
Wednesday 9 September:

Liverpool TAFE college, Bigge Street 8.08am to Moorebank Shopping centre, Stockton Ave Moorebank 8.15am
Tuesday 8 September:

Liverpool TAFE college, Bigge Street 1.03pm to Hoxton Park Road, Cartwright 1.14pm
Liverpool TAFE college, Bigge Street 2.01pm to Glenwari St, Sadlier 2.11pm

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

PROBLEMS IN THE HOUSE
Nationals members Troy Grant and Niall Blair quit, COVID-19 alert for Moorebank Sports Club
More Nationals ( NSW is governed by the Liberal - National coalition ) walk.
Former NSW Nationals leader Troy Grant has resigned but he says it "is just a coincidence" and has nothing to do with the stoush over a koala habitat policy earlier this month.

It comes after Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams announced on the weekend she was defecting to the Liberal Party.

She says she couldn't condone the actions of the party leader John Barilaro and other Nationals colleagues in threatening to move to the crossbench over the Government's koala regulations.

It's also understood former deputy Nationals leader and frontbencher Niall Blair hasn't renewed his party membership.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

THE PENNY HAS FALLEN - PEOPLE HAVE SUDDENLY WOKEN UP TO DANGERS OF TAKING A TAXI IN A PANDEMIC
How taxi passengers can be COVID-safe after a NSW Silver Service driver worked while infected
It's a challenge that's testing the skills of NSW's team of contact tracers — how to track down nine passengers who didn't book or pay for taxis with their credit card and who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

That's the task ahead of health authorities after a taxi driver worked while infectious over eight days in Sydney's west and south west earlier this month.

Anyone who caught a Silver Service sedan taxi on September 7 to 10 and September 14 to 18 in Moorebank, Bankstown, Chipping Norton, Liverpool, Lidcombe, Warwick Farm and Milperra, could be at risk — especially if they didn't book or give their details.

All nine mystery passengers are considered close contacts, so the race is on to identify them so they can immediately self-isolate and get tested for the virus.

The incident has called into question the risks associated with taxi travel during the pandemic.

Are taxis safe?
The NSW Taxi Council says point-to-point operators continue to provide an essential service for people in NSW and the industry is doing all it can to keep drivers and passengers safe.

Drivers have access to free vehicle sanitisation stations across the state where high-touch-point areas like door handles, seat belts and payment equipment are disinfected daily.

Despite the measures, clinical epidemiologist and senior lecturer at the University of Sydney, Fiona Stanaway, says there are better transport options.

"You'd be safer on a train, really," she says.

"There's almost no-one on the trains at the moment so you are more spaced than you can be in a taxi."

Dr Stanaway says the general rule is: "Your risk increases the closer you are and the longer the contact".

NSW Health says people are at risk of contracting coronavirus if they spend at least 15 minutes face-to-face with an infected person or in the same closed space for at least two hours.

While few taxi passengers would find themselves in a cab for more than two hours, the level of risk can also depend on where you sit in the cab.

Where should I sit?
NSW Chief Health Medical officer Kerry Chant recommends passengers sit in the back seat, diagonally opposite the driver, and wear a mask during their trip.

"I think it is an important part that we have to play as we go about our business in summer in a COVID-safe way," she says.

NSW Health also says passengers should use contactless payment and handle their own bags and other items, such as prams.

Dr Stanaway suggests other precautions, including keeping a window open for increased airflow and practising good hand hygiene.

She says drivers can make contactless payment even safer for passengers by placing the card machine in the back.

"You need to try to be the maximum amount of distance from the driver, for the shortest amount of time in the taxi and with as minimal contact as possible," she said.

Should I limit the length of my trip?
The nine mystery passengers' taxi trips ranged from six to 55 minutes.

"Every extra minute is extra risk," Dr Stanaway says.

She recommends people avoid taxis for longer journeys or split their journeys between different modes of transport, if possible.

"It's not like you can chose the amount of time you can be in a cab," she says. "It depends on where you need to go and the amount of traffic you encounter."

Will passengers be expected to 'check in'?
While NSW Health was able to track down many of the Silver Service passengers using credit card information, booking details and trip data, those who hailed a ride and paid cash remain unknown.

Dr Chant says authorities will work with the taxi and ride-sharing industry about introducing a mandatory "check-in" system, similar to QR codes used by restaurants and other venues, to make passengers easier to trace.

"I've found the QR codes personally effective and it may well be fit-for-purpose for Ubers and taxis," she says.

"I think it's worthwhile that you would expect us to pursue whether that will add and complement the approach we have."

Dr Stanaway encourages any system that is easy for consumers to use. But she says gathering passenger's details through QR codes is "still not perfect".

"They don't work when people have really old mobile phones, so there will always be people who can't [use it].

"There's still going to be people you miss, but it will reduce the numbers."

Uber says every trip is GPS tracked, is linked to payment details and an account, meaning no trip is anonymous.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

ON THE LAND - FARMERS ARE WORRIED
Coronavirus restrictions put pressure on upcoming bumper northern NSW grain harvest
For many farmers across north-western New South Wales, preparations for the upcoming grain harvest are reminiscent of the 2016-2017 season.

It was one that yielded decent returns.

But that season was also a time before a global pandemic, and before border closures north at Queensland and Victoria in the south.

Now, those in the industry are entering uncharted territory and new challenges are presenting themselves.

Versatility the key to a successful harvest
General Manager of Operations at GrainCorp Nigel Lotz said due to the pandemic restrictions, planning had been more crucial for this year's harvest than others.

Operators now have to consider the additional safeguards and restrictions that come with running an agricultural enterprise in a global pandemic.

"For an east coast harvest, normally as Queensland starts we'd have some of the Victorians going up there," Graincorp's general manager of operations Nigel Lotz said.

"We haven't been able to do that. And then normally as Victoria starts — Queenslanders go down there.

"We've just braced the conditions like we always do. It's never consistent.

"That's probably why we're all in it. Each year is different. The season comes at you, you've got to work out what works best."

GrainCorp will have all its 80 New South Wales receival sites open for harvest, a far cry from the last season.

And while some farmers have reported challenges accessing staff, Mr Lotz said after months of planning, the company had had around 5,000 applications for its harvest work opportunities.

About 800 of those workers will head to Northern New South Wales.

"To run a big east coast harvest like this year, we're going to need in the order of 3,000 to 3,500 extra people across the east coast," he said.

"We got onto this early. We're conscious of the challenge it's going to be with COVID, and we've implemented as many contactless sites as possible across the network."

Where to put a bumper harvest
In Moree, local agronomist Tony Lockrey said more and more growers had been preparing their own storage options, amid the current labour shortage in a race against the clock to store their grain.

"Probably the biggest change I'm seeing, because of that, is growers are starting to look more to on-farm storage, even if it's temporary storage," Mr Lockrey said.

"There's been quite a few bunker pads being prepared and grain bag machines being dusted off and greased, just in case."

"We just can't afford to leave the crop in the paddock."

"If it's right, we need to be getting it off and storing it in some fashion so it's out of the weather. We can market it later once we know what we've got."

'We haven't got the season in the bag yet'
In preparation to store more wheat than they've had in years, Australian-owned Manildra Group recently purchased three new bulk receival sites in the Riverina, Central West and at Bellata, to add to its portfolio which includes a site at Moree.

"It's probably a bit of luck of the Irish; buying sites and having a decent season come along as well," Head Grain Buyer, Peter Sloan said.

"We haven't got the season in the bag yet. We're all sort of waiting for finishing rain to sprite the crops back up, help with grain [to] fill and maintain the yields, if not improve the yield potential that's in the paddock now.

Mr Sloan said the need for extra storage reflected the increased demand.

"Rather than building more storage at some of our [flour] mills, we decided it'd be easier to utilise existing infrastructure that was already in place," he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

BREACHES / SLACK CLUB SECURITY
Security at The Star casino let in man with of 48C temperature (?? 48 degC ?? MUST BE A TYPO ??)
Image
The Star casino's coronavirus protocols have come under scrutiny after security guards told a man with a 48C temperature to 'cool down and come back'.

A viral video posted by the satirical news site The Chaser, put the Sydney venue's COVID-19 screening process to the test in a comedic video.

The presenter artificially raised his temperature by putting a heat pack on his forehead to find out 'how sick you have to be for them not to let you gamble?'

But The Star have labelled the 'edited' video a 'stunt' and said it doesn't represent what really happened.

When he attempts to enter the gaming floor, guards carry out a temperature check using an infrared thermometer gun.

But when reading comes back at 48C, the blasé security guards tell the man to 'cool down for 10 minutes or so' and 'come back'.

Seemingly unconcerned by the extremely high reading - 11C above what is considered normal at 37C - a guard suggests that perhaps his 'Russian hat' is to blame for the reading.

The alarmingly casual approach to the screening process comes after a coronavirus-positive man visited the The Star two months earlier.

A gambler visited the glitzy venue on July 4 and was later found to be infected.

At the beginning of the video, a Chaser presenter arrives at the casino in a hospital gown and attempts to make entry but he is refused.

The Star told Daily Mail Australia the 'gown stunt' was their last interaction with security officers.

'Clearly this has been created as a comedic and satirical stunt. It's what these guys do,' the casino said in statement.

'However, the video published completely misrepresents events through substantial editing and reordering of events.

'No one with a high temperature was permitted entry to the casino and the hospital gown episode was reported to police due to welfare concerns.

'Further, the claim that the person in the gown later gained entry after changing clothes is false.

NSW recorded four new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.

Three of the cases were returned travellers staying in hotel quarantine and one case was linked to a known cluster.

The patient had already been in self-isolation because they were a close contact of an infected person linked to the Concord Hospital outbreak in Sydney.

There are currently 136 active coronavirus cases in NSW.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:41 am

22 SEPT QLD

Queensland Covid hotspots: list of Brisbane and south-east Qld outbreak locations
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

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

BUILDING BACK UP
Hervey Bay couple strive to bring good vibes and positivity throughout pandemic with public dance parties
Rob and Glenda Towan lost their wedding car hire business due to the COVID-19 downturn, are battling cancer and remain separated from their adult sons, but they are putting aside their own problems to spread positivity during the pandemic.

The Hervey Bay couple has hit the road in their Kombi van, pumping out positive beats from a loudspeaker to spread joy across Queensland's Fraser Coast.

They decided to strap a large speaker to the roof of their 1975 Kombi and drive along the beachfront playing dance music.

The pair had seen other positive movements take-off during the coronavirus pandemic, like the Kindness Kombi and Bin Isolation Outings, and they wanted to spread some positivity too.

"People were COVID-down, I think you would call it. You would see arguments in the streets," Mr Towan said.

"I'm going through cancer treatment and I was feeling really, really down and we thought, 'Let's take inspiration from these guys'.

"I think we've turned Hervey Bay round from Cranky Bay to happy Hervey Bay."

People dancing, waving in the street
The couple has been thrilled by the reaction of locals as they cruise up and down The Esplanade each weekend.

"The first day we did it we thought, 'If we can get six people to wave, we've achieved something'," Mr Towan said.

"We didn't expect 40 to 50 people waving, flipping the peace symbol, getting out of their chairs in restaurants and dancing.

"Now it's gone to a 150 to 200 every time we go down — it's unbelievable."

Police and the Fraser Coast Regional Council have also embraced the movement, while the Towans have been careful not to breach any laws.

Mr Towan said even Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour jumped aboard the good vibes bus.

"The police said as long as the speaker hasn't got red and blue flashing lights, they don't care," he said.

"We covered every base before we went out to make sure it was legal and make sure we can keep people happy.

"There is so many acts of kindness people can do. This is not rocket science, just small acts of kindness make a difference to people's days and their lives."

The couple relocated from Victoria several years ago and have not been able to see their two sons in Melbourne due to the state's lockdown and border closures.

"We are really feeling for them," Mrs Towan said.

"Unfortunately, we can't do this for them, but hopefully when things pick-up a bit more that will happen for them."

Music good for the soul and body
Mr Towan still has a long road to recovery after undergoing invasive surgery and radiation treatment for squamous cell carcinoma.

He said his wife's support and their good vibes music missions have given him a reason to get out of bed each morning.

"We've been married 40 years and we are still on our honeymoon," Mr Towan said.

"Life's pretty good really."

But he says he leaves the dancing to his wife: "Glenda is an awesome dancer … I'm like a tree trunk swaying in the wind."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


BORDER ISSUES
Brain tumour patient David Jonsson denied Queensland home quarantine after surgery in Sydney
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David Jonsson said he made daily calls to 13HEALTH to find out if he could self-quarantine at home.
A Toowoomba father of two says he has been denied home quarantine after undergoing brain surgery in Sydney, despite advice from his surgeon he should be allowed to recover and rehabilitate at home.

It comes after the Queensland Government set up a specialist care unit to address health-related exemption issues.

David Jonsson had a tumour removed from his brain on August 31.

As the surgery was in New South Wales, he was required to quarantine for 14 days upon his return to Queensland.

He requested an exemption to be able to quarantine at his home, 130 kilometres west of Brisbane, to make his post-surgery rehabilitation and care more manageable.

"I applied for an exemption ten days prior to my surgery," he said.

Mr Jonsson said he did not receive the first response until two hours after leaving ICU.

"I received a phone call from someone from [Queensland Chief Health Officer] Jeanette Young's office," he said.

"They asked me a bunch of questions, and they pretty much said they didn't think my application would go through at that time because they couldn't trust me to stay at home.

"When the lady realised I'd only come out of ICU, and was under some pretty heavy medication, she decided it probably wasn't best to continue the conversation, and from that point I didn't hear anything back."

Application denied after month-long wait
Mr Jonsson said he finally received confirmation his application was denied after landing in Brisbane more than two weeks post-surgery and almost a month since first submitting the paperwork.

Mr Jonsson described the situation as "chaos".

"I went through all the right channels at a time I should have been focusing on rehabilitation," he said.

"I spent pretty much every day before I left on 13HEALTH trying to get through.

"As we landed [in Brisbane] I switched on my phone to get an email to say 'you've been denied the ability to quarantine at home'.

"The whole thing has been an emotional rollercoaster that I didn't need post-surgery."

Speaking to the ABC from his quarantine hotel, he said it was a challenge to keep up his rehabilitation.

"I've been trying to do squats and walking lunges, and I do 100 laps of the room every day," he said.

"I've put a request in for an exercise bike and dumbbells, but they won't give me any exercise equipment because of public liability, because I had my surgery in NSW.

"I'm left to doing stuff I was given on a print-out."

Quarantine logic questioned
Mr Jonsson said he had no choice but to leave the state for surgery.

"The people I saw in Brisbane told me my sort of tumour was inoperable," he said.

"I got an opportunity to get surgery with Dr Charlie Teo and flew down to Sydney."

He questioned the logic around interstate quarantine.

"If I was operated on in Ipswich, and I got COVID-19, I would still have been allowed to go home and self-quarantine for 14 days," he said.

Queensland Health said health and support services were available at each hotel for people in quarantine.

"We understand our restrictions can be tough, but hotel quarantine is a safe, supervised environment that also protects the wider community from harm," a spokesperson said.

"In every situation where an exemption has been granted the Chief Health Officer has been satisfied the same strict quarantine conditions that are required in government-arranged accommodation were able to be met.

"In some cases, they have exceeded what would be required in hotel quarantine by employing additional medical and safety requirements administered by a trusted third party."

'Medi-hotel' provided to patients: Dr Young
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said she was confident Mr Jonsson was receiving the best care.

"We now have a medi-hotel which essentially is a hospital in a hotel," she said.

"So any cases like that are being quarantined in that medi-hotel where they will receive a lot more care than they would if they were at home.

"So it would actually be better care for him."

Toowoomba North MP Trevor Watts has been advocating for the family after weeks of talks and said the case showed people were still falling through the cracks after the Government's specialist care unit was established.

"It's obviously not working; no compassion has been shown here," Mr Watts said.

"It is not too late to help David get home to his one-year-old and three-year-old and his wife and rehabilitate at home.

"This exemption can [still] be granted and he can show he's not a threat to the community at all."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

When will Queensland's coronavirus restrictions on borders and dance floors be relaxed?
While Queenslanders settle into "COVID-normal" freedoms, the Chief Health Officer has indicated restrictions could be eased further on Friday.

And today she announced Byron Bay, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Glen Innes and Ballina local government areas would be added to the border bubble from October 1 at 1:00am.

People will need a border declaration pass to travel into Queensland.

Inside parts of Queensland, some rules on public gatherings could also be eased within days.

What are the current restrictions?
The key restrictions still in place across Queensland are:

No visits to residents of aged care facilities in Brisbane
Limited visiting of patients in hospitals and disability support centres in Brisbane
A limit of 10 people in homes and private gatherings in parks in Brisbane — up to 30 elsewhere in Queensland
One person per 4 square metres in venues more than 200 square metres, or one person per 2 square metres in smaller venues, capped at 50 people.
No standing in licensed premises except while ordering food and drinks
No dancing in licensed premises
When will those restrictions be eased?
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said if there was no more community transmission from South East Queensland clusters, it could be by the end of the week.

"Thursday would be 14 days after the last case thought to be infectious in the community so that's an appropriate review point," Mr Miles said.

A trial at the Gabba last night, which tested for how people responded to a 75 per cent capacity scenario while seated, could also pave the way for further easing of restrictions in outdoor venues.

If the trial proves successful, Dr Young will grant the AFL permission to host 30,000 spectators for the code's Gabba grand final.

That means COVID-safe plans that allow a similar density of people in other settings could be on the horizon.

But when asked if the same rule might apply to homes or private gatherings, Dr Young made no indication of any future changes.

"We don't have COVID-safe plans for people's homes," she said.

"We can't go and dictate what people do in their own homes other than the size of the gatherings, and that's why that's in place."

When can we hit the dance floor?
Frankly, dancing in a public venue is unlikely to be allowed any time soon.

"Dancing is difficult because — no matter how you manage it — you don't socially distance when you dance, and we know that is a high risk," Dr Young said.

"So I think we just need to methodically manage this going forward so we don't get transmission."

When will border rules ease?
At every media conference, Queensland authorities are quizzed on when, and under what circumstances, various borders will reopen.

Dr Young and Mr Miles have repeatedly said that until there are 28 consecutive days of no community transmission in New South Wales, border restrictions will remain in place.

"At this point in time that's a rule for Queensland — that is what we've been using right from the start," Dr Young said yesterday.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian labelled it an impossible benchmark.

But the Queensland Government has already announced that residents of the ACT will be permitted entry to Queensland (by air only) from this Friday.

How hard and fast is the 28-day rule?
The answer is, not very.

When Queensland reopened its borders to all states and territories except Victoria following Australia's first wave, there were still cases of community transmission in New South Wales.

NSW Health Department records show that in the weeks prior to the border opening on July 10, there were at least five cases of community transmission where the source of the infection was unknown.

Dr Young said the decisions were based on levels of risk.

"They were enclosed and under control," Dr Young said.

"The Chief Health Officer [of NSW] was quite comfortable with what was happening, and I was quite comfortable with what was happening," Dr Young said.

She argued that because NSW had relatively low case numbers, it gave authorities the opportunity to risk-assess every case.

"So that's what I mean — we make decisions based on every single case, and what the ongoing risk to the community is from that case."

There was also the Crossroads Hotel cluster, with the first two cases confirmed on July 10 and the infectious period traced back to July 3.

Weeks later Queensland re-closed the border to NSW.

Mr Miles said authorities were still concerned about community transmission south of the border.

"NSW seems to be getting on top of their cases, although they still have some where there is reason to be concerned that people have been infectious in the community," Mr Miles said.

He said there would be a "major review" of the border restrictions at the end of this month.

"What we would look at is whether the case is linked to a known cluster, whether the case was in quarantine, whether the case was community transmission but in quarantine — and they are different levels of risk of course," Mr Miles said.

At the moment, authorities remain concerned about a taxi driver in Sydney who drove dozens of people while infectious with the virus.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/brisbane ... d=msedgdhp

Queensland is extending its border bubble to include more of northern NSW, allowing more people to enter the state without an exemption
* Queensland will extend its border bubble with New South Wales from October 1.
* An additional 41 postcodes along the NSW-Queensland border, as well as several communities further down the cast, will be included, meaning residents can travel to Queensland without an exemption.
* The news follows an announcement last week that Queensland would lift its border closure to travellers from the Australian Capital Territory.

Just days after announcing the state would open its border to travellers from the ACT, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland's border bubble would be widened to include areas of northern New South Wales.

As of Thursday, October 1, people living in an additional 41 postcodes representing NSW communities along the Queensland border will be allowed to travel into the state without a border exemption.

Queenslanders will also be allowed to travel to these postcodes.

Additionally, a number of NSW communities further down the coast will be exempted, including "the Byron Shire, Ballina, the city of Lismore, Richmond Valley, which involves Casino and Evans Head and Glen Innes," Palaszczuk said.

Queensland opens its borders to more NSW postcodes
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Queensland will open its borders to five New South Wales shires from next weekend after recording no new cases on Tuesday.

Residents of Byron Shire, Ballina, Lismore, the Richmond Valley including Casino and Evans Head, Glen Innes and 41 other postcodes will be added to the Queensland-NSW border bubble from 1am on October 1.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says those 125,000 NSW residents will be able to travel freely in Queensland and residents of her state will also be able to travel in far northern NSW.

'These areas have a lot in common with Queensland,' she said on Tuesday morning.

NSW shires added to border bubble
Byron

Ballina

Lismore

Richmond Valley

Glenn Innes

'They usually do a lot of their business in Queensland so we believe that this is the right measure to take and we have also been in contact with the NSW authorities to advise them of this today as well.'

Queensland recorded no new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 9am on Tuesday, with Deputy Premier Steven Miles pointing out that 12 days have passed since there was a case of community transmission.

The state has just 16 active on Tuesday, clustered around Ipswich in the state's southeast.

Aged care residents are in lockdown and there's a 10-person limit on home gatherings in eight local government areas, including Brisbane.

The announcement of border changes come as Queensland prepares to welcome ACT travellers back up north on Friday.

The border will open only to Canberrans who arrive by plane and anyone coming from NSW via the ACT will have to wait 14 days before being allowed to fly.

The announcement comes after weeks of criticism from Ms Palaszczuk's political counterparts and the public over her 'heartless' border closures.

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 the premier, who allowed 400 AFL players and officials from coronavirus-riddled Victoria to swan into the state and quarantine in a luxury hotel.

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 because officials believed she was 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.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott last week joined Ms Palaszczuk's long list of critics, blasting the premier's stance as 'heartless and mind-boggling'.

'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.'

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian also made a scathing review of her counterpart.

'Can I be absolutely frank, she has made a decision and isn't willing to talk about that decision and is refusing to budge,' Ms Berejiklian told 2GB radio earlier this month.

'It's not through want of trying. I've tried to establish a positive relationship but it's a bit difficult when decisions are made without them even telling us.

'And can I compare that to [Labor's Victorian Premier] Dan Andrews and the Prime Minister, the three of us worked together on a very difficult decision on the Victoria-NSW border, and I'd like to see that applied to all borders.'

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg also criticised Ms Palaszczuk's major coup in securing the AFL grand final, accusing her of favouring sporting stars over desperate families needing to cross the border for medical reasons.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

NSW-Queensland border bubble extension brings relief that 'sanity has finally prevailed'
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Queensland's extension of the coronavirus border bubble is being welcomed by some in northern New South Wales, while others say it does not go far enough.

From October 1 at 1:00am, New South Wales residents from Byron Shire, Ballina, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Glen Innes Severn local government areas will be able to travel into Queensland, with a border pass.

Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said the decision was "well overdue".

"It was unreasonable to begin with, but it's now really pleasing that sanity has finally prevailed," he said.

"I think it's great news for all the residents of Byron who have businesses over the border.

"It's also great news for the 100-odd medical professionals who live in Queensland who can't access their workplace in our hospitals."

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin said the bigger border bubble would make life easier for a lot of north coast residents.

"Yes we want no border bubbles at all, we want freedom of movement. But we are in a pandemic, we are in COVID and this is a great improvement," she said.

"It will mean that people that are in Kyogle, that always come over Lismore, don't breach going out of the bubble."

Shires on border left out
Meanwhile, the Nationals Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall called for the bubble to be extended to the Inverell and Gwydir shires.

"Unlike the Inverell and Gwydir shires, none of the five local government areas included in today's border announcement share a border with Queensland," Mr Marshall said.

"While this is great news for them, why include them and leave out two areas which actually border with Queensland?

"You can't tell me that a tourist hotspot like Byron Bay, which attracts visitors from right across NSW, has less potential for a coronavirus outbreak than Inverell, Warialda and Bingara, it just doesn't make sense."

State Nationals Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, whose seat is just south of Ballina, also expressed frustration at not being included.

"Why not extend the bubble down through to Grafton and include all of the Northern New South Wales Local Health District?" Mr Gulaptis said.

"We've got people who are in Grafton who need medical treatment in Queensland on a regular basis."

Nationals' Page MP Kevin Hogan said the broadening of the border bubble was "a good first step" but did not go far enough.

"We'll still be advocating very strongly to the Queensland Premier to lift all restrictions on the borders between Queensland and New South Wales," he said.

"We don't believe there is a medical reason to do it, given we're COVID-free in this whole wider region.

"I do believe it's political. She (Annastacia Palaszczuk) was polling very well on it."

'I'm so stoked'
Glen Innes Mayor Carol Sparks said she was surprised to get a call from a local journalist telling her the bubble had been extended.

"That will be so good for our tourism, it will just give us a bit more confidence and bring some more funds into our town," Councillor Sparks said.

Byron Bay photographer Craig Parry said he screamed with joy when he heard the news.

"We've been struggling to stay afloat," he said.

"It was really hard to accept we couldn't cross. I'm so stoked."

The expansion was also welcomed by Housing Industry Association executive director Toni Bull, who said thousands of tradespeople had been struggling.

"We've had tradies in some areas where they've had to remain in New South Wales away from family and friends," she said.

"At this stage they've been keeping their heads above board, but it was getting close."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

"So residents will be able to apply for a border pass and then they will be able to freely travel around Queensland and Queenslanders will also be able to travel there as well," the premier said at a press conference on Tuesday morning.

"I think this is a great effort to consider how we can make our border zones more effective, but also to look at these areas that have a lot in common with Queensland."

Last week, Deputy Premier Steven Miles announced that Queensland would lift its border closure to travellers from the ACT, as there had been no new cases of COVID-19 in the territory for 60 days.

"Now is the time and we urge them to start thinking to come up to Queensland for a holiday," he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/qu ... d=msedgdhp
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:17 am

22 SEPT SA

SA coronavirus transition committee decides to reopen border to NSW if no mystery cases
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South Australia will reopen its borders to New South Wales from late tomorrow night, as long as there is no community transmission of coronavirus recorded in NSW today.

From midnight on Thursday morning, NSW residents entering SA will no longer have to do 14 days' quarantine — provided the NSW Government confirms on Wednesday that no-one acquired COVID-19 from an unknown source on Tuesday.

People currently in self-isolation after entering from NSW will still have to finish their fortnight's quarantine, unlike people entering from the ACT from last week.

Anyone travelling into South Australia from any state other than Victoria is still required to complete an online approval form.

Apart from some exceptions, only essential travellers and Victorians living within 40 kilometres of the SA border can enter the state from Victoria.

SA Premier Steven Marshall said the "significant announcement" would relieve a "massive burden" on families and businesses.

"Subject to no community transmission occurring in NSW between now and midnight tonight we will open the border from midnight tomorrow," he said.

"So that means people from NSW wanting to come into South Australia from Thursday onwards will be able to do that without doing the 14 days of self-isolation.

"This will be a massive, massive relief to people who have been isolated from friends, from family, from business opportunities."

Yesterday, Mr Marshall said the case of a Sydney taxi driver who continued to work while infected was "slightly worrying", but today he said the risk had been assessed as worth taking.

"We're satisfied that's a risk that can be managed," he said.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the reason the NSW border could now be opened was that there had been no community transmission in that state in 14 days.

She said the last community transmission case, in which it was impossible to find a source of the infection, in NSW was on September 8.

'Heartwarming' decision praised
NSW this morning reported two new coronavirus cases, but neither of them was acquired locally — the first time in 106 days that was the case.

Dr Spurrier said the taxi driver was "not representative of community transmission" since NSW Health knew how he contracted coronavirus.

"There's always going to be some risk involved with this pandemic but we can't just wrap ourselves in cotton wool forever," she said.

She encouraged people flying into Adelaide from NSW to wear face masks.

More than 1,800 people entered SA from NSW between September 11 and 17, according to the latest SA Police statistics.

A reopened border will be welcome news for rugby league fans, with Adelaide Oval set to host the State of Origin series opener between NSW and Queensland in November.

Adelaide university student Mel Nguyen, who has been separated from her partner Zidan for two months, was delighted by the news the border would soon be reopening.

"It's been a tricky few months being apart, and it's been a long time since I've seen him," she said.

"All of his family are here and he doesn't really know many people in Sydney, so I think he feels really lonesome at times.

"I know some people aren't too keen on [the decision to reopen], but I think just remembering the families and relationships out there that will benefit from this is really heartwarming."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


22 SEPT WA

WA coronavirus cases rise by three as returned travellers test positive to COVID-19
WA has recorded three new cases of COVID-19 overnight, all returned Australians from overseas.

Premier Mark McGowan said the travellers, including two Western Australians and one person from New South Wales, had arrived from Britain, the Middle East and India.

One person has been admitted to hospital, while the other two cases remain in hotel quarantine.

Mr McGowan said it served as a reminder of how important the state's hotel quarantine system was in protecting the state from an outbreak of COVID-19.

"That just shows that we still have the threat of COVID coming in from overseas and that's why our hotel quarantine system is so important, that it's managed properly and we avoid any spread of the virus into the general community," Mr McGowan said.

"It's very important our hotel quarantine system remain in place in a viable and sustainable way to ensure that we don't have any cases from overseas come out or not be secured properly and therefore, go into the general community."

Government 'sympathetic' towards travellers
Mr McGowan said he felt for Australians trying to return home.

"We are sympathetic to everyone who is overseas who wants to come home from whatever environment," he said.

"But today we had three people come back to Perth in hotel quarantine and now [one is] in hospital who had COVID.

"We need to manage the system properly."

The WA Government and Commonwealth last week agreed on a compromised approach of increasing the number of international arrivals the state would accept each week.

WA currently accepts up to 525 international arrivals each week, but will take an extra 200 from September 27, and an extra 500 by October.

It will bring the total arrivals allowed into the state every week to 1,025.

Tensions escalated between the WA Government and the Federal Government last week, with Mr McGowan accusing the Commonwealth of planning to dump Australians on the state's doorstep without taking more responsibility.

There are currently eight Perth CBD hotels managing quarantine guests, but Mr McGowan last week said one or two more would need to be commissioned to managed the increased arrivals.

Mr McGowan said the increase would see WA accept the highest rate of returned travellers per capita out of all the states and territories.

"We have to be able to manage the hotels. So we're just going to work to make sure we have a steady flow of Australians coming home and we can manage the load safely and securely," he said.

'Urgent' ADF help needed in WA: Premier
Mr McGowan also expressed frustration after it was revealed last week the Commonwealth had decided to pull ADF personnel from the state's border checkpoints by the end of the month.

The WA Government had asked for additional personnel to help manage the pandemic, including 36 people for border checkpoints.


Last week, a Department of Defence spokesman said closer to 20 members were expected to arrive at the Eucla and Kununurra checkpoints over the weekend, but added that they would depart on September 30.

"It's very disappointing. We would have liked their help there," Mr McGowan said.

"The Prime Minister did offer support of the ADF for things we might have wanted and the thing we want is support on the borders.

"So what we now need to do is get additional ADF support into our hotel quarantine."

Mr McGowan said that additional support was "urgent".

"We're working out what can be done, but we want more than a couple of soldiers standing at the door. We want additional resources to help us manage what is a difficult situation," he said.

WA won't be pressured by SA's border call: McGowan
Today it was revealed South Australia would ease its border restrictions with New South Wales from midnight, as long as there were no cases of community transmission recorded in the state.

But Mr McGowan said decisions like that would not put WA under any pressure to lift its own border restrictions.

"We're going to be cautious. Look at what's happening in Europe, look what's happening in America," Mr McGowan said.

"The name of the game here is caution. Caution, caution, caution. Don't make a mistake and if we don't make mistakes we will continue to have a good record."

The latest coronavirus cases take the state's COVID-19 figure to 665.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

SCHOOL LEAVERS
WA leavers celebrations to go ahead despite ongoing coronavirus restrictions
Year 12 high school leavers celebrations will go ahead in Western Australia from November 23 to 26 this year with the night time party spot The Zone to be set up in Dunsborough in the state's South West.

The annual Meelup Beach Party has also been given the green light despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

After an uncertain final year of school the message to leavers from WA Police Acting Commander Tony Colfer was to "go down to the South West and thoroughly enjoy yourself".

"I've got full confidence that Leavers 2020 will go as planned," he said.

"If you're going to go down there with the intention of causing problems, you'll be dealt with accordingly and you'll be packing your bags and you'll be out of that location."

Police said the event was possible because of an easing of restrictions which would allow music and other festivals with more than 500 people to proceed, so long as organisers submit a COVID-19 event plan to the Department of Health.

Police said the two-square-metre rule would still apply to the leavers event and extra efforts would be made to ensure hygiene was prioritised.

WA Police and about 400 volunteers were set to be deployed to the event, with some acting as COVID marshals to maintain social distancing, but Acting Commander Colfer said the shift in police resources would not impact on current quarantine operations.

Accommodation booking out quickly
But given the recent rush on intrastate holidays, Acting Commander Colfer said accommodation was booking out quickly and if Year 12s did not have somewhere to stay they should not attend.

"If you haven't got accommodation booked, don't go," he said.

"The last thing that we want is people sleeping rough on beaches, national parks and being vulnerable to others."

The race for accommodation could be even more competitive this year because of travel restrictions preventing leavers from going to Bali, the Gold Coast and Byron Bay.

Busselton Four Seasons Holiday Park manager Natalie Darby said there had already been a strong demand for bookings despite the park being closed to other guests during leavers week.

"Our bookings have been pretty much on par with previous years … we're now pretty much at full capacity," she said.

But Ms Darby welcomed the news of the "party zone" because she had been concerned about how to keep the teenagers safe.

"The biggest thing is not allowing the kids to get bored, because that is when they start creating all sorts of issues out of boredom," she said.

"And our concerns were keeping them safe and occupied, and off the streets and not annoying the community."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

BORDER ISSUES & BREACHES

WA unmoved as states look to open borders
Three new COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Western Australia as Premier Mark McGowan continues to resist reopening the interstate border.

The trio tested positive after returning from the UK, the Middle East and India respectively. One has been hospitalised and the other two are in hotel quarantine.

WA has become increasingly isolated in its refusal to even set a date for bringing down its hard border.

All other states and territories have committed to reopening by Christmas with the use of defined hotspots to mitigate potential outbreaks.

South Australia has committed to lifting its border restrictions with NSW from midnight on Wednesday, removing the requirement to isolate for 14 days.

The decision came after two weeks of no community transmission in NSW involving cases with an unknown origin.

Mr McGowan remains adamant that WA's border won't reopen until NSW and Victoria go 28 days without community transmission.

"Our measures are working. Keeping COVID out, having a hard border and getting our economy back up and functional within the borders is working," he said on Tuesday.

"The price is that you can't freely travel to the other states and I note other premiers are critical of that. But other premiers don't have our record.

"Other states have COVID outbreaks and have had them now for seven months. We haven't had any for five months."

Despite a steady stream of returning travellers testing positive, WA has not had any known community transmission since mid-April.

Mr McGowan has repeatedly pointed to serious outbreaks in Europe and the United States when asked to justify his hardline stance despite the number of domestic cases continuing to fall.

Queensland recorded no new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday while NSW had just two, both of whom were returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.

In Victoria there were 28 new cases with the state's 14-day rolling average and number of cases with no known source both down on the day before.

Queensland has added five more northern NSW councils to its border bubble while Tasmania is considering reopening to some states next month and the Northern Territory is offering interstate travellers incentives to visit the Top End.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Grandfather banned from driving after fleeing a COVID-19 checkpoint
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A grandfather who led police on a 90 minute high-speed chase after fleeing from a coronavirus check point has been banned from driving for life.

Stephen Hall, 83, sped through an army road stop at Morangup, north-west of Perth on May 10 in his silver Jeep.

He pleaded guilty to failing to stop, failing to comply with a direction of the emergency management act and dangerous driving at Perth Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Hall, of Armadale, was fined $8500 in total for the three charges and prohibited from ever operating a vehicle again.

The court heard officers pursued him for 27km through the town of Toodyay before they finally punctured his tyres using a stinger.

The grandfather, who said he was on his way to see a friend in the town, stopped at the checkpoint to speak with an Australian Defence Force officer.

The elderly driver was told he was not allowed to pass through, but accelerated through the checkpoint regardless.

Police prosecutors said during the chase Hall had driven at speeds up to 136km/ph and veered into the other lane.

Lawyer Katherine Dowling argued against a jail sentence, telling the court Hall was in the first stages of Alzheimer's and dementia and has been living in squalor for years.

he said he is now living in a care facility.

Days after his arrest, Hall told reporters he believed he had done nothing wrong and police owe him a new set of tyres.

'There were four coppers after me. I gave them a right run for their money. They’ve never had a run like that,' he previously told 9News.

'First of all they are paying for a new set of tyres, all four of them, Coopers sports.'

'I’ve done nothing wrong, but I put my foot down.'

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

22 SEPT NT

NT teenager survives excruciating Irukandji jellyfish sting, vows to return to water
A teenage girl who became seriously ill after she was stung by one of Australia's most venomous creatures has vowed to return to her beloved Top End waters.

Indi Young, 13, was rushed to hospital on Sunday night after her family suspected she had been stung by a jellyfish while kitesurfing in Melville Bay, off the north-east coast of the NT.

"My skin was really tingling, my back and chest were really hurting," she said.

"The outer layer of my skin was like needles, but the real pain and the worst bit was like a big cramp — a tight cramp — and it felt like there was a lot of pressure squeezing my body.

"I was pretty scared."

Staff at the Gove District Hospital told Ms Young's family she was showing all the symptoms of a sting from an Irukandji — a type of box jellyfish that inhabits northern Australian waters.

According to NT Health, extreme cases of an Irukandji sting may result in "heart failure, swelling of the brain and death".

Teen realised situation was dire
The Nhulunbuy teen said she knew something was wrong as soon as she got out of the water on Sunday afternoon.

"I went back in to shore and it just kept getting worse and worse," Ms Young said.

"And then we were driving back home and it kept getting more painful, and then my skin was really sensitive to touch, and everywhere was just aching and hurting.

"I was really worried because I hadn't ever felt anything like that before."

Mining company worker Glenn Young said once he realised the seriousness of his daughter's condition, he whisked her straight to the emergency department.

"Within a couple of minutes, we realised it was more serious than just a little bit of stomach pain and suspected that it could've been an Irukandji, and it was," Mr Young said.

"We got to the hospital and she was in a lot of pain."

Ms Young said she was having difficulty talking by the time she got to hospital.

"My teeth were chattering, I couldn't feel if I was cold or if I was warm," she said.

Top End Health Service, which oversees the hospital, confirmed Ms Young was treated for an Irukandji sting and had since been discharged.

Mr Young said Indi had recovered after treatment and a dose of morphine.

'Can't wait to get back out there'
Having grown up on sailboats across the NT and Indonesia, Ms Young said she was no stranger to the hazards lurking in tropical seas, which also harbour crocodiles, sharks and sea snakes.

"I've never really been that afraid of it," she said.

She took Monday off school to recover from the ordeal but said she was already keen to return to the water — albeit in a stinger suit.

"I can't wait until I can get back out there," she said.

Stinger season, which sees an influx of box jellyfish into Top End waters, officially starts at the beginning of October and continues until the end of May the following year.

Each year, the NT Government warns those entering the water to ensure they are properly protected against stings.

Children are at greatest risk to stings, which can be life threatening.

The last recorded death from a box jellyfish in the NT was a six-year-old boy in a remote Aboriginal community in 2007.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

BORDERS

Queenslanders quarantining in NT to avoid arduous paperwork

Queenslanders trying to return home from Victoria and New South Wales are flying to the Northern Territory to quarantine.

Travellers wanting to return to Queensland from Victoria and other hotspots say the process is too difficult, with some waiting weeks to secure a border pass for Queensland.

They are avoiding the Queensland paperwork by flying into the Northern Territory and doing two weeks quarantine at the Howard Springs facility.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/qu ... d=msedgdhp


22 SEPT FEDERAL

CONSPIRACY THEORIST SUED
Conspiracy theorist ordered to pay $875,000 for online posts about Nationals MP Anne Webster
Key points:
Mallee MP Anne Webster, her husband Phillip Webster and the not-for-profit entity they founded, Zoe Support, sued a woman over "vile" Facebook posts
Karen Brewer has been ordered to pay aggravated damages totalling $875,000
Justice Jacqueline Gleeson says the posts were "deranged" but people may have believed them

Federal MP Anne Webster, her husband, and the not-for-profit organisation they founded to support young mothers, have been awarded a total of $875,000 in defamation payouts over a series of "vile" and "unjustifiable" online posts made to Facebook earlier this year.

Dr Webster, the Nationals member for the regional Victorian seat of Mallee, sued online conspiracy theorist Karen Brewer in the Federal Court over a series of posts and videos published on the social media site across a two-week period in April and May.

In her judgement today, Justice Jacqueline Gleeson found the posts claiming that the Websters and Zoe Support were "participants in a secretive criminal network involved in child sexual abuse" were false and untrue.

She said the defamatory publications "spread along the grapevine into the Mildura community" — where Dr Webster's husband, Phillip, is a GP — via her Facebook page and its several thousand followers.

While the judge found reasonable people would dismiss Ms Brewer's rants as "deranged and lacking in credibility", she accepted that "suggestible members of the Mildura community may have considered them credible".

Justice Gleeson, who said the Websters had "suffered intensely", awarded Dr Webster aggravated damages of $350,000, her husband damages of $225,000 and Zoe Support damages of $300,000.

Taking a stand
Speaking after today’s judgment was handed down, Dr Webster said she was interested in exploring legislative changes that could lead to publishers, such as Facebook, being made more accountable for material published online.

"It’s not an unknown world — but it is a bit of a scary world — where people can share whatever they like and it’s only by going through legal cases that things can change," she said.

"I wasn’t so aware of the whole conspiracy theory at the time — for me, it was an issue of justice and it was to make a stand."

Dr Webster, a former social worker with a PhD in sociology, said she hoped that people who used social media to falsely attack others would realise that their actions were not only harmful but could have costly ramifications.

Claims 'wholly indefensible'
Ms Brewer, who the court previously heard was based in New Zealand, did not file any defence to the defamation claim, made no attempt to justify her posts in court, and had not retracted her statements.

"It should have been obvious to Ms Brewer, at all relevant times and if she were capable of rational consideration on the subject, that her defamatory statements were wholly indefensible," Justice Gleeson said.

She said Ms Brewer's conduct — including posting another video targeting the Websters in late August — justified awarding aggravated damages against her.

"This evidence tends to confirm that Ms Brewer is obsessive and defiant, and may not be deterred by this proceeding from further defamatory publications concerning the applicants," Justice Gleeson said.

Deterrent to young mothers 'most harmful'
The court heard some of the posts were shared hundreds of times, including by one Mildura business, and that monthly referrals to Zoe Support had dropped since one of the posts in late April.

Zoe Support helps more than 150 mothers aged from 13 to 25 and their children to access education and medical appointments each week, and Justice Gleeson said any effect the untrue posts had in deterring young women from seeking support was "perhaps the most harmful aspect" of Ms Brewer's offences.

Several witnesses, including Mildura state MP Ali Cupper, former federal Liberal MP Chris Crewther and Mildura Mayor Simon Clemence, gave evidence attesting to the Websters' integrity.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-22/ ... s/12689178

JOBKEEPER MK2
Dire warning 'hardly anyone' will be eligible for JobKeeper 2.0
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Experts are warning 'hardly anyone' will be eligible for JobKeeper 2.0 when the coronavirus wage subsidy is slashed next week as part of a six-month extension.

From September 28, payments for full-time staff are being cut from $1,500 to $1,200 a fortnight, as those working less than 20 hours a week receive just $750.

More than two million workers are coming off JobKeeper from next week - despite Australia being in recession for the first time in almost three decades.

To be eligible for the first extension of JobKeeper, business owners must demonstrate their actual GST turnover had plunged by 30 per cent in the September quarter compared with the same three months in 2019.

That will see plenty of struggling businesses miss out, as JobKeeper goes from subsidising the wages of 3.5million workers to just 1.4million Australians from next week.

From January, that will be reduced to one million as part of a plan to phase it out completely by March - as JobKeeper covers just 7.9 per cent of Australia's 12.6million workers during its final three months.

Small business accountant Ben Johnston, a director of Johnston Advisory, warned 'hardly anyone will be eligible' for JobKeeper under the new rules.

'The numbers speak for themselves – I reckon only about a third of current JobKeeper recipients will be eligible come October,' Mr Johnston told news.com.au.

'So many more businesses will be left to fend for themselves. There has been an artificial influx (of money) into the economy, and once that is taken away, it will be really telling to see if businesses can survive on their own two feet.'

Mr Johnston said the changes were a 'ticking time bomb' and claimed the government is tightening JobKeeper eligibility too soon.

'It should have remained at least through the Christmas trading period, when having more money flowing through the economy would have boosted retail sales as well,' he said.

Almost 3.6 million people have received the fortnightly payments throughout the pandemic.

The Morrison government is also preparing to slash JobSeeker booster payments from the end of this week.

People on the unemployment benefit have since March received an extra $550 per fortnight through a coronavirus supplement.

That is being reduced to $250 a fortnight from this Friday and is scheduled to be scrapped altogether at the end of December.

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the increased dole payment would be extended into next year if required.

'I want to assure all Australians, if elevated supports are continued to be needed, they will be made available,' she told reporters.

Anyone anxious about having their JobKeeper payment slashed is being told to apply for the dole.

Senator Ruston is encouraging people to top up their payments with unemployment benefits.

'We have temporarily put arrangements in place so that our social security safety net is not just for people who have lost their jobs,' she said on Monday.

'It is able to provide a cushion for people who have had or fear their hours or income will be reduced.'

JobKeeper recipients on $1,200 per fortnight may be eligible for a partial dole payment, lifting their total income to $1476.

People receiving JobKeeper at the part-time rate of $750 per fortnight could receive another $546 in unemployment benefits, boosting their incomes to $1295.

JobKeeper 2.0 eligibility criteria
From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, JobKeeper payments will be $1,200 a fortnight for eligible full-time workers and eligible business participants.

Eligible employees and eligible business participants that worked fewer than 20 hours a week will receive $750 per fortnight.

JobKeeper payments will be further reduced starting on 4 January 2021. From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 eligible fulltime workers and eligible business participants will receive $1,000 a fortnight.

Eligible employees and business participants that worked less than 20 hours a week will receive $650 a fortnight.

In order to determine how many hours that an eligible employee has worked, the four weeks for pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020 will now be assessed (it is proposed that the period with the higher number of hours worked is to be used for employees with 1 March 2020 eligibility).

Eligible business participants will be entitled to the higher rate where they were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average.

JobKeeper extension 1: 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.

You will need to show that your actual GST turnover has declined in the September 2020 quarter relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarter in 2019).

The rates of the JobKeeper payment in this extension period are:

- Tier 1: $1,200 per fortnight (before tax)

- Tier 2: $750 per fortnight (before tax).

JobKeeper extension 2: 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.

You will need to show that your actual GST turnover has declined in the December 2020 quarter relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarter in 2019).

You can be eligible for JobKeeper extension 2 even if you were not eligible for JobKeeper extension 1.

The rates of the JobKeeper payment in this extension period are:

- Tier 1: $1,000 per fortnight (before tax)

- Tier 2: $650 per fortnight (before tax).

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

EXPATS AND TRAVELLERS ISSUES
Australians stranded overseas 'betrayed', says a man telling of months of injury, illness and homelessness
Colin Hargreaves burst into tears at the Cathay Pacific desk at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam when staff gave him his boarding pass on September 3.

"They were all holding their thumbs up with huge, great big smiles on their faces. It was so fantastic. Even the director of the desk broke into tears. I was very lucky," he said.

For months Mr Hargreaves had been seriously ill, basically homeless, and stranded in a nightmare — unable to return to his home in Berry on the New South Wales South Coast.

Mr Hargreaves and his wife travelled to France to house-sit in January.

As concern around the pandemic spread in February his wife returned home, but he felt obliged to stay a few more weeks to honour his commitment.

Injury, illness prevents departure
At the end of the month he suffered a serious fall, cracking his skull twice and losing a chunk off the end of his nose.

He was told he could not fly.

As he recovered, more lockdowns were being enforced in France, his access to specialists was limited, and the owners of the home he was staying in asked him to leave.

"So my house-sit had officially ended but we were still in lockdown. It was very, very difficult. There were no hotels or camp sites," he said.

Now living in the back of his car, two flights he had booked to come back to Australia in April were cancelled.

Around this time he developed a serious prostate issue.

He had an operation on May 11 and was again unable to fly for couple of weeks after the procedure.

The operation also left him incontinent and in considerable pain.

Mr Hargreaves booked another ticket home in September which was cancelled a fortnight before its departure.

"Honestly, you just can't realise how difficult it is being there and you get this email suddenly saying 'sorry mate, you are not going home'. It is just so stressful," he said.

Flights cancelled, no refunds provided
With none of the cancelled flights providing refunds, Mr Hargreaves fell under considerable financial strain and was unable to sell his car because he needed it to sleep in.

"I felt totally betrayed by the [Australian] Government who did not seem to have set up any programs to get Aussies home," he said.

In another attempt to return to Australia, Mr Hargreaves booked a flight from Toulouse to Schiphol in Amsterdam, on to Hong Kong, and then to Sydney.

But the final two legs of the journey were cancelled just three hours before he was due to leave Toulouse.

Abandoning his car in a field, he decided to travel on to Schiphol.

It was there that Cathay Pacific staff confirmed they could take him no further.

"I asked them to put me on standby and asked them who made a decision as to whether I went, and they showed me a letter from the Australian Government [saying he could not travel]."

"Then I went to phone the embassy in Amsterdam and my MP's office in Nowra."

On returning to the airport he was told the good news that he had finally secured a seat on the plane.

Finally back in Australia but still not home
Mr Hargreaves has spent the last two weeks in hotel quarantine in Sydney.

He said the experience has left him in a great deal of physical, emotional, and financial distress.

He is urging the Federal Government to act more quickly to help bring stranded Australians home and to shorten the quarantine time for those returning with a faster COVID-19 testing procedure.

He is also fiercely critical of the decision to charge returning Australians $3,000 for their quarantine hotel stay in Sydney.

"They are imposing a $3,000 tax on people who left the country before COVID was even known to exist. It just doesn't make sense," he said.

"I am looking at a potential loss already of over 10,000 euros [around $17,000] so you can imagine what I feel about the idea of having to pay a further $3,000.

"It is just totally unfair, you are basically being forced to pay a fine when you have done nothing wrong and you have got to get home."

Mr Hargreaves is considering legal action against the Federal Government for breaches of international human rights for denying citizens entry to their home country.

"They just let people down so badly, we have been betrayed," he said.

The Federal Government has been contacted for comment.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

CRACKING DOWN ON THE TAXI INDUSTRY
Tough new rules on the table for taxis after COVID scare
he New South Wales government is considering introducing tough new rules for taxi passengers after a driver worked for nine days while potentially infectious.

Contact tracers are trying to get in touch with all passengers who used the Silver taxi cab service through Sydney’s west and south west.

New regulations such as a mandatory sign in for all taxi passengers could be enforced after nine people were unable to be contacted because they didn’t leave their contact details.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/to ... d=msedgdhp

22 SEPT NZ

NZ residents enjoy greater freedom as restrictions are rolled back
New Zealand residents are enjoying more freedom as the Ardern government rolls back restrictions for a second time.

Auckland remains a step behind the rest of the country due to the mystery cluster which emerged in August.

However, it has been a week since a new infection was linked to the hotspot.

Auckland will transition to alert level two next week while the rest of the country moved to alert level one overnight.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/nz ... d=msedgdhp


22 SEPT SCI - A LITTLE BIT OF COVID SCIENCE

Keeping middle seats empty on planes 'insufficient' in preventing coronavirus outbreaks
A 'super spreader' was likely responsible for 16 positive coronavirus cases on one flight, according to a new study into how the infection spreads on planes.

The paper warns the current practice of keeping middle seats empty "seems to be insufficient" at preventing such outbreaks.

Researchers analysed 10-hour Flight VN54 from London to Hanoi, Vietnam, on March 2 - with the results now published by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Two-hundred and seventeen passengers were on board with a 27-year-old Vietnamese woman in business class believed to have been the source of the outbreak, reports the Daily Star.

According to reports, a dozen fellow business class passengers later tested positive.

The study found that "seating proximity was strongly associated with increased infection risk", despite passengers being more spaced out than those in economy class.

"We conclude that the risk for on-board transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during long flights is real and has the potential to cause Covid-19 clusters of substantial size, even in business class-like settings with spacious seating arrangements well beyond the established distance used to define close contact on airplanes," the study said.

"As long as Covid-19 presents a global pandemic threat in the absence of a good point-of-care test, better on-board infection prevention measures and arrival screening procedures are needed to make flying safe."

The report recommended that "tightened screening and infection prevention measures," especially for those travelling from countries with known high coronavirus transmission, should be implemented in airports and on planes, and that mask-wearing should be made mandatory.

The travel industry has taken a massive blow during the pandemic due to the extensive restrictions around the world, with British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair all announcing mass redundancies.

In an effort to keep business going, airlines have undertaken various hygiene measures to minimise the risk of coronavirus entering and spreading on an aircraft.

New protocols include temperature screening, more intensive cleaning and mandatory mask wearing for all passengers on board.

However the new study doesn't bode well for the efficacy of seat spacing, another common strategy being employed to ensure passengers don't get too close together.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/ke ... d=msedgdhp

Hydroxychloroquine Scandal == > Editorial Standards Crackdown.
The Lancet changes editorial policy after hydroxychloroquine Covid study retraction
One of the world’s leading medical journals, the Lancet, has reformed its editorial policies following a shocking case of apparent research misconduct involving the study of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Covid-19.

In May, the Lancet published a peer-reviewed study about the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine, which concluded Covid-19 patients who received the drug were dying at higher rates and experiencing more heart-related complications than other virus patients.

The large observational study analysed data purported to be from nearly 15,000 patients with Covid-19 who received the drug alone or in combination with antibiotics, comparing this data with 81,000 controls who did not receive the drug.

Related: Questions raised over hydroxychloroquine study which caused WHO to halt trials for Covid-19

This data was recorded by hospitals around the world in a database by a US data analytics company known as “Surgisphere”, the Lancet paper said. The findings prompted the World Health Organization to halt its clinical trials of the drug, given the paper’s findings that it was linked with deaths and complications.

But days after the paper was published, Guardian Australia revealed issues with the Australian data in the study. Figures on the number of Covid-19 deaths and patients in hospital cited by the authors did not match up with official government and health department data. Senior clinicians involved in Covid-19 research told Guardian Australia they had never heard of the Surgisphere database.

Researchers from other countries identified similar issues with the data from their hospitals, and a further Guardian Australia investigation revealed doubts that the database used by the study authors likely did not even existed. Sapan Desai was a co-author of the paper and founder of the Surgisphere database. Following the revelations, information about Surgisphere was deleted from the internet.

It was also revealed that none of the co-authors of the paper had seen the Surgisphere data for themselves, and they said that Desai did not give them access to it even after questions about the paper were raised by Guardian Australia and the research community. The paper’s co-authors, which included a highly respected vascular surgeon, supported the retraction of the paper and distanced themselves from the data.

While the latest available data shows hydroxychloroquine does not reduce deaths among severely unwell patients in hospital with Covid-19, or reduce illness in those with moderate disease, the higher death rates among those given the drug outlined in the Surgisphere study have never been replicated.

he publication of the Surgisphere study by the Lancet meant well-controlled studies to definitely determine the drug’s efficacy in preventing or treating the virus were stopped prematurely. Given the drug has been highly politicised by figures such as US president Donald Trump, who has made numerous false claims about its usefulness against Covid-19, rigorous studies into the drug remain important.

World Health Organization studies into hydroxychloroquine resumed following Guardian Australia’s Surgisphere investigation, and the Lancet retracted the Surgipshere paper and vowed to review its publication policy. Such rapid retractions are rare, and followed pressure from the international research community who questioned how the study passed quality control processes.

The new policy, published three months after the study was retracted, requires that more than one author on a paper must directly access and verify the data reported in the manuscript.

“For research articles that are the result of an academic and commercial partnership, one of the authors named as having accessed and verified data must be from the academic team,” the policy states. “In addition, all authors will be asked to sign the author statements form to confirm they had full access to the data reported in their article, and accept responsibility for submitting the article for publication.”

One of the questions raised by the publication of the Surgisphere paper was how the paper passed the peer-review process.

Related: The Lancet has made one of the biggest retractions in modern history. How could this happen?

The Lancet has updated its peer-review policy, stating: “Editors will ensure that at least one peer reviewer is knowledgable about the details of the dataset being reported and can understand and comment on its strengths and limitations in relation to the research question being addressed.”

For studies that use very large datasets, such as the Surgisphere dataset, editors will ensure that in addition to statistical peer review, a review from an expert in data science is obtained.

“Finally, we will explicitly ask reviewers if they have concerns about research integrity or publication ethics regarding the manuscript they are reviewing,” the new policy states.

The new policy is effective immediately.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/th ... 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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12573
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:16 am

22 SEPTEMBER DATA

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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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12573
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:49 am

23 SEPT VIC

Melbourne coronavirus restrictions could be further eased on Monday as Victoria records 15 new cases
The Victorian Government is "looking at" easing more restrictions on September 28 than initially planned, but Premier Daniel Andrews says any changes to the roadmap will depend on modelling data.

Victoria has recorded 15 new coronavirus cases and five more people with COVID-19 have died, taking the state's death toll to 771.

Metropolitan Melbourne's daily new case average has dropped to 29.4, down from 32.8 yesterday, keeping the city on track for a slight easing of restrictions next Monday.

Under the city's reopening roadmap, the second step would allow outdoor meetings of five people from two households, with the 5-kilometre rule still in place.

Outdoor swimming pools would also be able to reopen and outdoor personal training could resume with up to two people per trainer.

However, when asked today if he was looking at going further than initially planned on September 28, Mr Andrews said: "Yes, I am.

"I'm not in a position give you a full list of the things we're looking at," he said.

"We're looking at those, and they become a detailed and fine judgement about the public health risk, and what the virus transmission risk is.

"We only want to do things that are are safe — we don't want to do something that might seem quite small but could present a significant challenge to us in a couple of weeks' time."

He said a lot of the changes being considered were "nowhere near settled" and the Government was still assessing risks.

"It's all about modelling," he said.

"It's all about a deep analysis of the actual data from the last couple of weeks and then trying to extrapolate about what that tells us the next couple of weeks might look like and the couple of weeks after that."

In regional Victoria, the 14-day daily case average has dropped from 1.6 yesterday to 1.1 today.

Some cases accidentally deleted from state's records
All five of the deaths recorded overnight were linked to aged care settings.

The people who died were one man in his 70s, two women in their 80s, one man in his 90s and one woman in her 100s.

There are now 284 active cases connected to aged care outbreaks.

Ten of the 15 new cases have been linked to outbreaks or "complex cases".

They include four linked to aged care outbreaks, and four cases linked to outbreaks at the The Alfred hospital and Dandenong Police Station.

The remaining five case recorded overnight are under investigation.

[embed: 14-day average]
Mr Andrews said 15,741 coronavirus test results were processed overnight and urged people to keep getting tested if they had symptoms.

While 15 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed overnight, the overall total in Victoria has increased by 24 due to historical data corrections.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said the corrections dated back to July and August and included cases that were inadvertently deleted from the system in the process of changing their status from active to recovered.

"They were all followed up at the time," Professor Cheng said.

"It was only in the process of taking them off from being an active case that they were removed."

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has been publishing a list of high-risk public locations, where people diagnosed with COVID-19 may have been while infectious, on its website.

Premier defends plans to detain people suspected of planning to breach restrictions
Mr Andrews has also defended proposed new laws that some lawyers have described as "excessive" and "open to abuse".

They would allow authorised officers to pre-emptively detain an infected person, or a close contact, if they believe that person is going to breach emergency directions.

The Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill also proposes expanding who could be appointed as an "authorised officer" to essentially include normal citizens.

Lawyer Michael Borsky QC said allowing someone to be detained based on what they might do in the future was a "very unusual legal construct".

"There's the risk it's open to abuse, there's potential for it to play into a concerning trend of citizens in Victoria being turned on each other," he said.

But Mr Andrews said the powers would be rarely used, and only when authorities determined there was a risk of COVID-19 spreading.

"There are some people who are not compliant and refuse to act in a responsible and safe way," he said.

The Lower House has already passed the Bill, and the Premier said there would be a "good-faith negotiation process" with Upper House crossbenchers.

#victoriacaseslookupEMBED

Funding for mental health services
The Victorian Government has announced a $21.3 million funding package to support mental health and addiction services.

It includes funding to increase workers' hourly rates to keep them working at a single service and extend some services' opening hours.

More than $6.5 million has been allocated for minor infrastructure upgrades, and over $8.6 million promised to help improve cleaning and infection control in the sector.

Mental Health Minister Martin Foley said the measures were in response to increased demand during the pandemic.

"We've seen increased levels of anxiety, of depression," he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Coronavirus Australia live news: Chief nurse Alison McMillan says UK a reminder to stay vigilant as COVID-19 restrictions ease, SA opens border to NSW
Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan says the significant rise in coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom serves as a reminder to remain vigilant as restrictions ease around Australia.

Meanwhile, SA has confirmed its border with NSW is once again open, signalling a gradual return to normal in the country.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Melbourne's 14-day virus rolling average drops below 30
Victoria has recorded 15 new cases of coronavirus and five deaths, with the 14-day rolling case average for Melbourne now below 30.

The death toll in Australia has now climbed to 859.

The rolling averages, which underpin the state's lockdown milestones, now sit at 29.4 for metro Melbourne and just 1.1 for regional Victoria.

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There are 41 mystery cases in metro Melbourne over the past two weeks, under investigation by health teams.
Premier Daniel Andrews is scheduled to brief media later this morning.

Anticipation over a possible earlier than expected end to lockdown is rising, as the key 14-day rolling averages continue to drop.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


QUARANTINE INQUIRY

Victorian Police Minister tells inquiry she learned ADF plan for Melbourne quarantine hotels from newspaper
Police Minister Lisa Neville has told an inquiry she was "cranky" after discovering in the media that the ADF were to be deployed at Victoria’s quarantine hotels.

Ms Neville told the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry today she was surprised when she learnt of the deployment in late June after reading about it on the front page of Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper.

She sent a text to Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp the next morning.

"The use of army in hotels? That was not agreed to at CCs yesterday but is that [what] we [are] doing? And what will they be doing?" she said in the text.

"Not sure what they do at hotels given no one leaves!! And they have no powers."

Asked about the messages today, Ms Neville said she was seeking clarification on the details of the ADF involvement.

"I was still relatively annoyed about it," she said.

"I think that probably more reflects I was pretty cranky at that point.

"I would have liked to have known about the request."

Minister unaware of ADF discussions
Ms Neville also questioned the details of a text message sent by Mr Crisp to senior public servants on March 27 about the ADF's involvement.

Mr Crisp's message said: "My minister has some idea of ADF role that's what we're discussing with [then-police chief] graham Ashton at the moment."

But Ms Neville told the inquiry she wasn't involved in key decision-making meetings on the establishment of the hotel quarantine program.

"It would be my view that it was not me providing an idea of the ADF's role," she said.

She said it was Mr Crisp who first discussed the use of private security at an "information sharing meeting" on March 27.

"Maybe it was Mr Ashton but my best recollection is that it was it Commissioner Crisp," she said.

"That component of the meeting was relatively short and we went on to discuss a number of other matters."

But the Minister stopped short of saying Commissioner Crisp had made the call to use security, saying she assumed the decision had been made at an earlier meeting.

"It was clear to me and, I think, to both commissioners, that a decision had already been made about the front line," she told the inquiry.

Ms Neville also said Mr Ashton was not consulted on the decision to use private security, but should have been.

She said it was unlikely Victoria Police was seriously considered as a security option.

"If there had been any serious consideration of Victoria Police playing a considerable role in hotel quarantine, it is my view that I would have been consulted," she said.

Public servant did not pass hotel quarantine concerns up to Health Minister
The inquiry also heard more evidence from Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) secretary Kym Peake.

Amid intense questioning, Ms Peake admitted to not informing Health Minister Jenny Mikakos about concerns with the hotel quarantine program.

The concerns were raised by Public Health Commander Finn Romanes and were backed by Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.

Ms Peake told the inquiry she was satisfied the concerns had been resolved.

"I was reassured by Public Health Command who was part of that, so the Deputy Chief Health Officer as well as other members of my staff, that the issues had been resolved and didn't need to be escalated," she said.

Pakula not told his staff had commissioned security guards
Victorian Jobs Minister Martin Pakula earlier told the inquiry he was unaware his own department had commissioned private security to be the first line of defence in the state's hotel quarantine program.

Mr Pakula told the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry he signed off on the hotels to be used, but the contracts for security firms never crossed his desk.

He said it "wasn't uncommon" for ministers not to know the details of every government contract.

"No, the fact is departments … routinely enter into thousands of contracts every year, it is not typical for ministers to be apprised of the details," he said.

Mr Pakula's departmental secretary, Simon Phemister, told the inquiry on Tuesday he first began procuring the private security contractors after being briefed on a late afternoon meeting on March 27.

Mr Phemister was not at the meeting and said on Tuesday he did not ask who made the direction to find the contractors.

Evidence at the inquiry has suggested the Department of Jobs and Precincts (DJPR) played a key role in the hotel quarantine program's establishment.

But the Minister said he was unaware of the critical decision to engage private security in the early stages of the program.

"I don't recall specifically how I became aware, it may have been from media reportage," he said.

Ministers say Health Department was in charge
Mr Pakula also said in his statement presented to the inquiry he was unaware of the concerns his department had about private security until the Premier called an inquiry into the botched program.

"I did not become aware of any concerns within DJPR regarding the way in which the program was being managed, including about the way it was being led by DHHS, until after this inquiry was established," he wrote in his statement.

Both Mr Pakula and Ms Neville said DHHS was the lead agency.

Retired judge Jennifer Coate, who is chairing the inquiry, probed Mr Pakula on who he believed held ultimate accountability for the program, saying the evidence so far had been "varied".

The Minister said it was "quite clear" responsibility for the state's coronavirus response lay with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

"There was to my understanding one department in charge, if you like, and [that department] had overall responsibility, and my department ... was to assist the control agency, which was in this case DHHS," he said.

In Ms Neville's statement, she said while she normally was responsible for overseeing state emergencies, the Health Department took the lead on the coronavirus response.

"I am not responsible for decisions or operational matters in a Class 2 public health emergency. DHHS is and has been the control agency for the pandemic," she wrote.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/melbourn ... d=msedgdhp

Victoria's health department denies sole accountability in COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry
Victoria's top health bureaucrat will continue giving evidence at the state's COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry today, after insisting on Tuesday that her department was not solely accountable for the botched scheme.

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) secretary Kym Peake told the inquiry the ill-fated program was run across multiple government departments despite evidence at the inquiry stating the public health administration body was in charge after the program was established.

"I certainly agree that we provided a coordination function, but my view is that there was a joint operation on the ground and I think that was well documented in the operational plan and has been clear through the evidence of many witnesses," Ms Peake said.

"I certainly agree it was shared accountability for [hotel quarantine]."

An increasingly frustrated counsel assisting the inquiry, Ben Ihle, grilled Ms Peake on the supposed contradiction of her department leading the COVID-19 response but not being ultimately responsible for the decisions made in the program, known as Operation Soteria.

"I know it would be, what's the right word … straightforward, if there was an ability to say today there was a single point of accountability for everything to do with COVID-19 and Operation Soteria in particular, but I do think the whole weight of evolution of public administration and public service delivery has been that people are not carved up into portfolios," she said.

Mr Ihle showed Ms Peake an email from senior department official Jason Helps sent on March 29, just a few hours before the program began, which stated the department was the control agency.

"[DHHS] has overall responsibility for all activities undertaken in response to this emergency," Mr Helps wrote.

"Ms Peake, is your evidence that Mr Helps must have been confused or misunderstood what the department's responsibility was?" Mr Ihle asked.

Ms Peake said the program "scoped" different agency secretaries and officials, and had "appropriate operational governance".

"We had sole responsibility but there was shared accountability," she said.

Top department secretary not consulted about use of ADF
Ms Peake said it was not correct that Mr Helps, who was the State Controller for Health, "stood in the shoes of the cabinet or individual secretaries for all of the responsibilities".

She also said she was not involved in discussions around the use of the ADF, private security or Victoria Police at the hotels.

Ms Peake said despite being the state's most senior health public servant, she did not know returned travellers would be quarantined in hotels until Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced it at a press conference after National Cabinet.

She told the inquiry she initially thought quarantining would be handled by the Federal Government and its departments and "hadn't contemplated there would be mass quarantining at all".

She also said the department did not pre-plan for the program, given the lack of notice.

After Ms Peake finishes her evidence, Jobs Minister Martin Pakula will give evidence, followed by Police Minister, Lisa Neville.

Ms Peake's boss, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos, will take the virtual stand on Thursday, while Premier Daniel Andrews will appear on Friday.

On Tuesday the inquiry heard of messages between bureaucrats tasked with finding private security firms to run the program were concerned they were dealing with a "cowboy industry".

Victoria hotel quarantine inquiry: police minister 'doesn't know' who decided on private security
The Victorian police minister, Lisa Neville, has said she does not know who made the decision to use private security guards in the state’s trouble hotel quarantine system, and she only knew of a request for Australian defence force support when she read it in a newspaper.

Neville told the hotel quarantine inquiry on Wednesday she first heard about the use of security guards in the hotels for returning travellers at a 2pm meeting held on 27 March when hotel quarantine was announced.

In the meeting with departmental officials, emergency management commissioner Andrew Crisp and then-police commissioner Graham Ashton, it was Crisp who first mentioned private security would be used.


“I took that as a decision had been made, at some point that private security was the front line,” she said.

“It was really just provided as a factual piece of information … And it was clear to me and I think to both commissioners that a decision had already been taken about the front line of enforcement for hotels.”

When asked whether she was surprised Ashton has claimed to have not been consulted on the decision to use private security, Neville said it was her expectation he would have been consulted.

The inquiry has yet to determine who made the decision to use private security, with various government agencies so far denying responsibility for making the decision. It has been the focus of the inquiry due to infection control breaches at two hotels, including among over a dozen security guards, leading to 99% of Covid-19 cases in Victoria since late May and the state’s second wave.

The only apparent consensus is on the day a decision was made – 27 March – but as yet no one has been able to pinpoint any one person who made the decision.

On Tuesday, Simon Phemister, the secretary of the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions, indicated he believed it was a decision made in a 4.30pm meeting. It was his agency that ultimately signed contracts with the security firms.

On 25 June, Crisp made a request for 850 ADF personnel for use in hotel quarantine, but it was cancelled the following day. Neville told the inquiry she was unaware a request had been made until she read the Herald Sun’s front page at midnight.

“So I became aware of that request, when I checked the newspaper front pages of the Herald Sun, I was checking all the papers, but that’s where I became aware of it, which was just after midnight on the 25th of June,” she said.

Related: 'Cowboy industry': public servants warned about using security guards in Victoria's hotels

Neville texted Crisp questioning what the ADF would do at hotels “given no one leaves!! And they [ADF] have no powers”. When asked about whether this meant she was concerned about the ADF’s role, Neville said the use of exclamation points was just reflected that she was “still slightly cranky about the fact that I had discovered this via the Herald Sun article just after midnight”.

Neville said her concern was that the Victorian government needed to demonstrate to the federal government that the ADF’s role was filling in gaps.

“In my view, in enforcement areas, there is an issue because the ADF cannot enforce.”

The health minister, Jenny Mikakos, will front the inquiry on Thursday morning, while the premier, Daniel Andrews, will give evidence on Friday afternoon.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Melbourne son who lost father to COVID-19 sues security companies over hotel quarantine outbreaks
A grieving man who watched his father succumb to COVID-19 through a hospital window is suing two security companies involved in Victoria's botched hotel quarantine program.

Dragan Markovic has launched legal action in the Supreme Court claiming that the two companies — Unified Security and MSS Security — breached their duty of care, effectively allowing the highly contagious virus to wreak havoc in Melbourne.

More than 766 people have since succumbed to the virus including Mr Markovic's father, Nenad, who died at the end of August in Brunswick Private Hospital.

Mr Markovic said he was forced to watch his father gasping for air before he died.

"I started banging on the window. I nearly broke the actual window. I wanted to help him, to get inside," he said.

"In a matter of 30 seconds, he just stopped breathing. He stopped breathing and me and mother, we were actually watching through the window.

"And then I again start smashing, breaking in, hitting the glass and really banging so they can hear me.

"I could not go into the room. I couldn't even touch him."

Class action claims companies failed to supervise guards
Mr Markovic claimed his father's death was triggered by Victoria's bungled hotel quarantine program and blamed "unprofessional" security guards who worked in the program.

He said guards allowed security breaches and slept on the job, ultimately sparking the outbreak which consumed Melbourne.

"They should have been provided with Australian Army [personnel] and I'm sure this wouldn't [have] happened," he said.

"My father didn't deserve to die this way."

Mr Markovic is fronting a class action and is seeking unspecified damages, claiming that the security companies:

* Failed to make sure guards were appropriately trained and supervised
* Failed to stop guards from interacting with one another, staff and returned travellers
* Failed to address complaints about the conduct of security guards, including "inappropriate contact"
* Failed to supply personal protective equipment to guards
* Failed to put in place infection control measures
"I am just hoping to get … justice for my dad," Mr Markovic said.

Last month, Victoria's COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry heard that more than 99 per cent of cases in the state could be traced back to returned travellers who were forced to isolate once they arrived back on Australian soil.

But troubling stories have since emerged about the management of the program, including one guard who said he was told to reuse disposable masks and gloves due to shortages.

Other accounts have emerged of guards being asleep or on their phones while on duty.

A spokesman for MSS Security said that the company had not been served with the suit and was not in a position to comment.

Unified Security has been contacted for comment, but in July the company welcomed the announcement of the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry and said it was was committed to fully cooperating with the investigation.

"For this reason, Unified declines to provide any further public comment on these matters," the company said at the time.

Separate challenge continues to 'unlawful' curfew
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will hear a legal challenge to Melbourne's contentious curfew has been set down for a hearing next Monday.

The challenge was launched by cafe owner Michelle Loielo, who claims her business in Capel Sound, on the Mornington Peninsula, has been put under "significant pressure" due to Melbourne's stage 4 restrictions.

Ms Loielo, who has flagged her intention to run for Liberal Party preselection at the next state election, launched the legal action for the city's curfew to be declared "unlawful and invalid".

Justice Tim Ginnane has set down a two-day trial.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

CRUISE SHIP FEARS VIC ES WANTED RAN TO TURN BACK CRUISE SHIPS AS RESULT OF RUBY PRINCESS

Victoria's emergency response boss wanted navy to stop cruise ships
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Victoria's emergency response boss wanted the Australian Defence Force to intervene to stop cruise ships from docking in Melbourne.

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp pushed to get a navy blockade to ensure cruise ships would not enter Port Phillip Bay.

The exchange was revealed during the state's inquiry into the botched hotel quarantine on Tuesday, where audio recordings of State Control Centre meetings were shown from March 27 and 28.

On March 27 Mr Crisp was told that two cruise ships were preparing to dock in Melbourne and reacted strongly, the Herald Sun reported.

'It's where we night need a bit more help from the ADF, we need a navy blockade so the ships can't get close to Victoria,' he said.

An unnamed person said the ships were going to arrive at Station Pier in the coming days to resupply before then heading to the United States.

Mr Crisp dropped the issue after saying it was 'very useful' and the meetings continued to set up the mandatory 14-day quarantine period with less than 36 hours notice.

There was confusion in the State Control Meetings about whether state or commonwealth laws were going to be used to enforce the quarantine.

In a recording from March 28, Mr Crisp said: 'The control agency is the Department of Health and Human Services for this operation'.

However on Tuesday DHHS secretary Kym Peake claimed her department did not hold full responsibility.

Ms Peake also told the inquiry she did not know who decided to hire private security for the hotel quarantine.

DISCUSSION ABOUT NAVY SHIPS DURING THE STATE CONTROL MEETING ON MARCH 27
Andrew Crisp: Are we expecting cruise ships? I didn't think we were.

Claire Febey: While we have been on the call, I'm getting advice from team members who are looking into this (who) tell me that there are two cruise ships that want to refuel, restock and change crew … I need to get some more detail but I just think that's something we need to consider and plan for.

Mr Crisp: No, no, definitely, if that's possibly going to happen. It's where we might need a bit more help from the ADF, we need a Navy blockade so the ships can't get close to Victoria.

Unnamed: So there's two ships coming into Melbourne to Station Pier, one tomorrow morning and one Sunday morning. They're coming in purely to resupply with fuel, water and food. One of the ships is taking two US passengers on and they're heading out again. There is no change of crew, no one is getting off, it's simply just to refuel and go. And these are two of the ships that were off the coast of Western Australia. They have got American tourists on board, they can't fly and they have to travel by sea to get home to North America.

Mr Crisp: That's very useful.

Government officials were hesitant about hiring private security personnel to man the hotels because they thought it was an industry run by 'cowboys'.

They were also concerned about 'rogue' guards potentially 'prowling the corridors' of hotels, WhatsApp messages shown at the inquiry reveal.

In spite of their concerns, private security firms did land the contracts, and up to 99 per cent of coronavirus cases in Victoria's second wave can now be traced back to returned travellers.

The virus escaped several hotels after security guards unknowingly contracted the virus and spread it throughout their communities.

On Tuesday, the inquiry was shown several text messages between Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions staff on the evening of March 27.

'Gotta be careful with a lot of security companies. Heaps of cash work,' one bureaucrat warned.

'Cowboy industry,' another said.

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Victorian government officials were hesitant about hiring private security personnel to man the hotel quarantine program because they thought it was an industry run by 'cowboys'
Image
hey were also concerned about 'rogue' guards potentially 'prowling the corridors' of hotels, WhatsApp messages shown at an inquiry into the bungled program reveal

'Needs to be reputable. Don't want (redacted) rogue (redacted) prowling the corridors,' another replied.

The inquiry is partially trying to decipher who made the final decision to hire private firms instead of utilising the services of the Australian Defence Force.

The inquiry is working through evidence to establish if and how the quarantine program failed Victorians.

Jobs department secretary Simon Phemister told the inquiry his department was tasked with hiring security companies following a meeting at the state control centre on March 27.

Mr Phemister wasn't present at the meeting but knew it was attended by high-ranking Victoria Police officers and Mr Crisp.

'I don't know who made the decision,' Mr Phemister told the inquiry on Tuesday.

'All I know is that we were commissioned to procure private security in that 4.30pm meeting.'

According to recordings of the meeting, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Grainger told Mr Crisp it was the force's preference that private security be the 'first line of security'.

Victoria Police have since argued they were expressing a preference, not a direction.

Mr Phemister said his department was looking for companies with a track record of working with the government plus the ability to 'scale up' as more travellers returned home.
It was also considered 'valuable' if a security company had its own personal protective equipment supplies due to a shortage in Victoria at the time.

'The final point... we needed them to be good, model employers,' he said.

'Now more than ever, given the economic climate, we needed people who had a track record of being good to their teams and employing people on a correct and fair basis.'

There are several more officials required to give evidence to the inquiry, which is now in its final week of public hearings.

Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kym Peake sppeared on Tuesday, while Jobs Minister Martin Pakula and Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville are both due to give evidence on Wednesday.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos and Premier Daniel Andrews have been pushed back to Thursday and Friday respectively due to scheduling issues.

'When I'll appear before the inquiry I'll answer the questions as honestly, frankly, clearly, directly as possible,' the premier told reporters at his daily news conference on Tuesday.

The inquiry continues.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

HEALTH CARE COCKUP IN AGED CARE INDICATING MANAGERS WERE NOT COMPETENT AND SHOWED EXTREMELY POOR JUDGEMENT
Melbourne student nurse caught coronavirus after being told surgical mask 'would be enough' protection
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A student nurse sent into an aged care home with a coronavirus outbreak was told a surgical mask would keep her safe.
<< LITTLE WONDER PRIVATE FOR PROFIT RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE HAS BEEN A COVID CATASTROPHY IN VICTORIA
A student nurse who contracted COVID-19 while working in a Melbourne nursing home with known positive cases says she was told a surgical mask "would be enough" to keep her safe.

The nurse, who did not want to be named, was sent to work at BlueCross Ruckers Hill aged care in early August after a coronavirus outbreak in the home.

She began to get flu-like symptoms two days after working in the home, in Northcote in Melbourne's north.

She was diagnosed with COVID-19 one day later.

While working in the home, she was provided full personal protective equipment (PPE) but not an N95 mask.

N95 masks fit snugly on the face and provide a higher level of protection than surgical masks.

"We had a surgical mask, gown, gloves and goggles but no N95 [mask] or further protection," she said.

"They said surgical masks would be enough."

While the nurse cannot be certain she caught the virus at BlueCross Ruckers Hill, she is confident the lack of an N95 mask was the chink in her armour that led to the infection.

[embed: 14-day average]
As of Monday, the home had recorded 130 cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths from the virus.

Of the 766 deaths from COVID-19 in Victoria, at least 596 have been linked to aged care facilities.

Aged care workers make up a significant proportion of Victorians infected during the state's second wave.

Union believes faster adoption of N95 masks could have reduced aged care infections
Andrew Hewat, the assistant secretary for the Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association, said the nurse would have been wearing an N95 mask if the Victorian Government had updated its PPE guidance for aged care homes earlier.

The Government updated the guidelines on July 31 and recommended all hospital staff in contact with COVID-positive and suspected-COVID cases should wear an N95 mask.

But it took almost two more weeks for the same update to be made for aged care homes.

Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) did not answer questions about why there was a delay updating the advice.

Instead, a spokesperson pointed to national advice for aged care workers take precautions and use eye protection after an outbreak.

"Victoria updated that advice to go further, mandating the use of N95 masks during an outbreak in addition to the standard requirements," the spokesperson said.

Mr Hewat said there could have been "significantly fewer infections" in aged care homes if there had not been a delay updating the guidance note.

"This is the time of peak infections. Why weren't aged care workers accessing N95 respirators when hospital staff could?"

'The staffroom was overflowing with clinical waste'
The nurse said it was "chaotic" when she went into the aged care home and there was "no real training about how to care for people with COVID".

She said some of the carers hired from agencies "were sent to work in the COVID-positive wards despite it being their first ever shift as a personal carer in aged care".

She also saw people using PPE incorrectly.

"They would come out of the room, which was a COVID room, with full PPE on and then infect the hallways," she said.

"You're supposed to take it off inside the room and come out fresh. They would take it off inside the hallway.

"The staffroom was overflowing with clinical waste and there was no proper procedure with what you were meant to wear in the staffrooms."

The nurse said the home's management sent staff guidelines on how much PPE they were allowed to use each day.

"They said, 'You're using too much and this is how much we think you need,'" she said.

"They told the staff they only needed to change their gloves and nothing else."

BlueCross defends PPE training and practices
A spokesperson from BlueCross said the company complied with all of DHHS's infection prevention and control requirements.

"On-site training includes live demonstrations of donning/doffing PPE, one-on-one observations and coaching in PPE plus on-the-spot refreshers by managers at shift changeovers and staff meetings," the spokesperson said.

"BlueCross commenced the use of N95 masks as soon as it was mandated by the Government."

According to private meetings leaked to the ABC, Victoria's Chief Medical Officer Andrew Wilson was reluctant to provide N95 masks to more healthcare workers because it would "burn through the supplies in one week".

But earlier this week, Professor Wilson said guidance about PPE was based on evidence and expert advice.

"We work with lots of people from the sector … to develop those guidance documents," he said.

"Our guidance in Victoria was increased at the start of August; it's stronger than the national guidance, it's stronger than the World Health Organization guidance, it's stronger than the guidance in the UK."

Professor Wilson acknowledged some people had asked for the masks in situations where the expert advice was that the masks were not necessary.

He said the guidelines were reviewed every week.

"I hope people can imagine, if you're increasing from using 50-1,000 masks a week up to 900,000, you have to be very careful about what that means for your supply in the longer term and we've always been really careful about that."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

EFFECT OF LOCKDOWNS AND RESTRICTIONS IN VICTORIA - THINGS PEOPLE DO
Coronavirus lockdown sees marathon runner return home from Melbourne to train
An Indigenous aspiring marathon runner has decided to return to her hometown of Shepparton to train due to the strict COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne.

Lockdown measures in the state's capital were making it tough for Lena Jean Charles Loffel, who had been attempting to train for a marathon within her allowed five-kilometre travel zone for only an hour each day.

Part of the Indigenous Marathon Program (IMP) squad, she received a blow earlier this year with the cancellation of the group's traditional jaunt to the New York Marathon.

The squad instead hopes to travel to Alice Springs for a marathon in November.

"It's been a hell of a journey, that's for sure," Ms Loffel said.

"But I'm so lucky I've been able to get back home on Yorta Yorta country to train."

A testing six months
The IMP is a health promotion charity that uses running to celebrate Indigenous resilience and achievement as well as create inspirational leaders.

Ms Loffel is one of 16 people to sign up for the program with minimal running experience, having been inspired watching her friend's sister run in New York four years ago.

As someone new to marathons, she said it had been a testing six months attempting to train amid travel restrictions, along with the cancellation of running events the squad planned to use to get up to speed.

"I missed a lot of those long runs in the lead up because only being able to run for an hour was really tough and really tested my resilience," she said.

"It's been really tough not having a squad around or a crowd to cheer you on.

"It's just been me and my Mum as the water girl."

Determined to run a marathon
Despite the setbacks, Ms Loffel said she was determined to carry on, even if it meant not completing a marathon this year.

It is still not known if she will be able to attend the Alice Springs event, with the pandemic still placing restrictions on travel.

"I've been so committed to this program and I've just got to take it one day at a time," she said.

"I'll eventually run a marathon — I don't know when or where, but I can't give up running just yet."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Regional Victorians race to get motorbike licences during COVID-19
A western Victorian motorcycle riding school has reported a boom in the number of people signing up to get their L-plates over the past few months, during the pandemic.

At Stay Upright's Ballarat school, there has been an increase of about 35 per cent in learners enrolling since May compared with the same period last year, while its Geelong office is up about 25 per cent and in Horsham the rise is more than 25 per cent.

The riding school's exit surveys found about 75 per cent of riders who completed the course did so as a hobby, with 30 per cent saying they intended to ride as another form of transport.

Flights cancelled, get on your bike
Cassandra O'Mara, a 38-year-old hairdresser from Mount Clear, completed the learner motorcyclist course earlier this month.

She said the desire to get a motorcycle licence had been there a long time but the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst to make it happen.

"The primary reason that got me into getting my motorcycle licence was I was unable to travel to Japan in May [but] my flights were cancelled due to the pandemic," Ms O'Mara said.

"I thought about things I always wanted to do and one of them was to get my motorcycle licence.

"I booked it in for September and that gave me something to look forward to."

Ms O'Mara said her husband has also been contemplating getting his motorcycle licence.

"My husband was very supportive," she said.

"He wants to get his licence as well but also he thought it was good to do something for myself and to have a hobby for myself.

"I'm now looking around for a motorbike at the moment but I haven't found the right thing yet."

Different reasons to hit the road
Completing the course with Ms O'Mara was mother-daughter pair Pam Nix, 45, and Lauren Brown, 19, from Hamilton.

Ms Brown said they each had different reasons for completing the course but the COVID-19 lockdown gave them the opportunity to get it done.

"We have been saving money. We couldn't really travel interstate or overseas, so that helped," Ms Brown said.

"I've had experience riding on the farm but, being regional, it helps to get around on a motorbike.

"It's looking like it's going to be my main form of transport."

Ms Brown said her father already had his motorcycle licence, which contributed to her mum choosing to get a licence of her own.

"Dad has a big Harley — it's like his midlife crisis — I think Mum was sick of riding on the back," she said.

"She wants her own bike to cruise around on. I think they'll be doing that together."

Safer then ever
Riding school senior instructor Leigh Shields said the current motorcycle graduated licensing system, introduced in 2016, was far more comprehensive than the previous system where riders could get their L-plates without having done a supervised ride on the open road.

"I helped develop the new system and I had to pilot it for VicRoads to see how it held up," Mr Shields said.

"Compared with what they used to do, back then you could get your learner's before you went out on the road.

"Now it is a two-day course, not just an hour, and everyone is taught on the same size motorcycle range.

"They have to ride on the road with an instructor before they get their licence, that wasn't necessarily the case before, there is a real structure now."

Regional manager from the riding school, Chris Sleeman, said the age that people completed the course was as broad as the adult Australian population, with only slightly more men than women.

The standardised course is run over two consecutive days, and includes both written and practical requirements for riders to get their learner's permit.

The riding element sees students completing basic skills and principles on a riding range on day one, before they ride on public roads on day two.

"The road ride is a really good part of it," Mr Sleeman said.

"In the past that wasn't a requirement. It is a great way to put their 'road craft' into action.

"I find it [the motorcycle graduated licensing system] produces a higher-quality rider.

"And the numbers show that — for the first 18 months after introducing the new system there were zero L-plater fatalities."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Foursome dance on front lawn to lift spirits amid lockdown
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A group of dancers are lifting spirits in lockdown.

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The group of four are dancing to 80s tunes on their front lawn
Meet the awesome foursome from "the Wholesome Hour" providing 80's inspired entertainment on their front lawn for all to enjoy.

For the past couple of weeks, the Melbourne performers - who all live in the same house in East Brunswick - have been out dancing daily amid lockdown.

"It's been so much fun … we're actually getting to know our neighbours," Kimberley Twiner told 9News reporter Allan Raskall.

The group of four women known as the "Brunswick East Entertainment Festival" put on a show to entertain locals.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... 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.
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:56 am

23 SEPT NSW

Second day of no locally-acquired coronavirus cases in NSW, Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirms
Key points:
The last time NSW recorded consecutive days of no local transmission was July 3-5
Ms Berejiklian said high testing rates were crucial to NSW's management of the pandemic
Health authorities have made progress on cracking the nine anonymous taxi trips taken

NSW has recorded a second consecutive day without a local coronavirus case, despite more than doubling testing rates from the prior period.
Of NSW's new cases recorded to 8:00pm last night, all 6 were found within overseas travellers confined to mandatory hotel quarantine.

The last time NSW had consecutive days without local transmission of the virus was July 3, 4, and 5.

A total of 16,759 coronavirus swabs were taken on Tuesday, more than double Monday's total of 7,616 tests.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was a "good result" for the state but urged vigilance.

"Obviously we'd like to see that testing rate continue to be high, and if possible, higher," she said.
Ms Berejiklian also flagged NSW was entering into a higher risk period with school holidays approaching.

"Our population will be more mobile than we have been since about February this year," she said.

Mr Berejiklian said Tuesday's announcement of Queensland's border bubble expanding with five NSW local government areas left her optimistic about the northern state easing all border restrictions.

"I feel more confident after yesterday that it could be sooner than I anticipated," she said.

Presently NSW residents are not permitted to enter Queensland without being granted an exemption to travel.

Ms Berejiklian also flagged next week would see the international cap on travellers entering NSW increase to 3,000 people a week.

At the moment NSW takes a maximum of 2,500 overseas travellers each week, but some Australians have spoken out about their ongoing struggle to return.

She said extending this traveller cap put extra strain on agencies including NSW Police and security but maintained her state was up to the task.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said health authorities had progressed in their search for the passengers of nine taxi trips taken while the driver was infectious with COVID-19.

"In terms of the nine trips ... we have used a variety of sources to get access to that information," Dr Chant said.

"The COVIDsafe app did not demonstrate usefulness in this setting."

She said health authorities had been working with the taxi industry to improve record-keeping, including the introduction of mandatory QR codes in the backseat.

<< SECURITY EXPERTS HAVE RESERVATIONS ABOUT THE USE QR CODES AS THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO CONTROL OVER HOW THE INFORMATION GATHERED IS GOING TO BE USED AND EVEN MORE DISTURBING - IT'S TOO EASY FOR HACKERS TO IMBED INSTRUCTIONS THAT MAKE THE PHONE DO THINGS THAT MIGHT INCLUDE SHARING BANKING , ID AND OTHER PERSONAL DETAILS AUTOMATICALLY IN THE BACKGROUND

It's been more than two weeks since health authorities were stumped by the source of an infection.

The last 'mystery case' was confirmed on September 8.

Ms Berejiklian said she was prepared for the streaks to come to an end as per the "reality of living in a pandemic".

"In a pandemic we are going to have setbacks, we are going to have days where we have cases, we are going to have outbreaks," she said.

"To be fair, I think NSW has been tested more than any other state because we haven't had closed borders, we've had outbreaks, we've had seeding in Victoria and we've managed to get where we are."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-23/ ... s/12691800
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

How the coronavirus pandemic made Sydney's second CBD Parramatta a ghost town
Anthony Kerkmez thought he found the perfect location when he opened his swanky new gym in Parramatta's CBD at the start of the year.

But that all changed when the pandemic hit a month later.

Thousands of workers from surrounding office buildings, who would have been potential clients at his state-of-the-art facility, suddenly worked from home.

"We have NAB's head office across from us, we have Sydney Water to the right, we have University of Western Sydney, Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Education and the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, it's enormous," Mr Kerkmez said.

"About 32,000 people are supposed to be in the towers around us and at the moment now I can probably say there's 2 per cent."

Across the state, more than 40 per cent of office workers, including accountants, managers and administration staff are working from home, according to the latest research from the University of Sydney Business School.

Report co-author Matthew Beck said people were slowly returning to the office, but many people had no timeframe to return.

Many people who signed up to Universal Fitness after it opened have cancelled or frozen their memberships.

"My business partner and I started this up with our own good intentions using our hard-earned money," Mr Kerkmez said.

"We took the risk in 2020, and as soon as we took the leap, the cliff was a bit steep."

Mr Kerkmez admits JobKeeper was a lifesaver, allowing him to keep all his staff.

But with payments set to be reduced next week, there is increasing pressure on staff to sign up more gym members to keep the business afloat.

Joel Perera, one of Universal Fitness' personal trainers, doesn't think it will be easy.

"When we first started I managed to build up the classes to 30 people but when we returned [after temporarily closing due to government restrictions] I had one person per class so it was a huge noticeable difference," he said.

The drop in office workers in Parramatta has dented trade at Sheng Xia's cafe Bartelli.

Located next to courts and Government offices, business was always good, until six months ago.

"Now we hardly get any catering requests because no one is working in the office and there are no meetings."

Mr Xia says JobKeeper and a reduction in rent has helped but "every week we are losing money".

"The big problem is we don't know how long it will be when people will come back.

"I try very hard to keep my staff but it's very tough.

"I've had to use all the money from my savings."

After running the cafe for seven years, he's contemplating shutting down permanently.

"If it keeps going like this, I will probably have to close my business."

The latest Google mobility data shows foot traffic around workplaces in the City of Parramatta Council area is down 27 per cent compared to a baseline in the first five weeks of the year before the pandemic began.

If that figure doesn't improve, Schon Condon, President of the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce, believes there will be catastrophic consequences for Sydney's second CBD.

"Without that commuter traffic there is no life blood in the city," he said.

"We will have vacant office spaces, we will have vacant small businesses, the streets will be barer than they are now and we will have to go through a complete revitalisation and that could take years."

He is calling on the State Government to start encouraging workers to return to the office and breathe new life into the city's struggling businesses.

Nail artist Lauren La Rouge is staying optimistic.

She is thankful she was able to pivot her Parramatta business, Nailed by La Rouge, and sell some of her products, like press-on nails and merchandise, online.

However, she is still feeling the effects of the deserted CBD.

"The office workers at Parramatta CBD probably make up about 40-50 per cent of my clientele and made up a large proportion of my regulars," she said.

"I was convenient and close to their work but now a lot of them are working from home, obviously not in the area, or not coming in to see me so regularly so it's made quite a drastic drop in my trade."

She hopes Parramatta will soon be bustling with office workers again.

"I know office work as we know it will change, a lot of people might be working from home permanently," she said.

"But there are so many office buildings in Parramatta, surely they've got to do something with them."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

NSW - VIC BORDER ISSUES
'Too many unknowns' for New South Wales to consider lifting borders with Victoria
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says there are “too many unknowns” in Victoria’s coronavirus situation to put up a benchmark to ease borders.

When probed on the matter of borders, the premier said her government was “really pleased with the way the numbers have dropped in Victoria, but we need to see what Victoria does and how Melbourne responds when the restrictions are eased”.

“That’s responsible for us to look at that,’ she said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/to ... d=msedgdhp

BREACHES
Australian uni students rally against education cuts ( FUNDING & CHANGES TO HECS BASED ON SUBJECT AREAS )
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University students and staff across New South Wales have held protests over education cuts. Some protesters were fined for breaching COVID-19 public health orders.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australian- ... ation-cuts

23 SEPT QLD

Deputy Premier tells PM to 'back off' over army coronavirus border patrols as state records zero new cases
Key points:
The Premier says ADF border withdrawal is political
The police union say the ADF support is needed at the state's border checkpoints
No new cases of coronavirus recorded in Queensland overnight

Queensland COVID-19 snapshot:
Confirmed cases so far: 1,153
Deaths: 6
Tests conducted: 1,072,684
Active cases: 16

Queensland's Deputy Premier Steven Miles has said the defence force is being used as a bargaining chip, ahead of their withdrawal from the state's border next week.

The Department of Defence yesterday confirmed their ongoing agreement to assist Queensland police with border measures would not be extended beyond September 30.

"With processes along borders well established for a number of months, Queensland authorities were advised on September 11 they will need to transition ADF support on borders to alternative arrangements when the current agreement with Defence expires on September 30," a Defence spokesperson said.

"Commander of the Defence COVID-19 Taskforce Lieutenant General John Frewen also briefed National Cabinet on current ADF COVID-19 support to the states and territories and the need for Defence to begin prioritising preparations for the high-risk weather season."

Mr Miles said the withdrawal was disappointing.

"I really don't think the defence force should be used as a bargaining chip in what is an ongoing political attack from the Federal Government on the State Government," he said.

"Our policies have worked and they should back off.

"There's no secret I think that the Prime Minister doesn't like our strong border protections, but they have kept Queenslanders safe.

"His withdrawal of the support of the defence force is disappointing, it will make the job of our police even harder."

Palaszczuk asked PM for extension of ADF support
A spokesperson for the Premier confirmed Ms Palaszczuk and the state disaster coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski, had written to authorities, asking for an extension of the ADF's commitment on the borders.

It is understood the Premier wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, which was sent today.

The spokesperson said Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski wrote to the ADF on Monday this week.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk added that she was "very disappointed" by the decision.

"There wasn't always an agreement because some people are negotiating longer and there has been no discussion about removing that ADF support from the Victorian-NSW border," she said.

"I understand some other states are negotiating for mid-October, we will also be looking to negotiate some further extensions there.

"We would like to see continued support on our borders.

"I think the question needs to be asked as to why the ADF support would still continue on the Victorian border if it can't continue on other borders across Australia.

"I would urge the Commonwealth Government to reconsider their decision."

The Prime Minister's office has been contacted for comment.

Queensland Police Union President Ian Leavers told ABC Radio Brisbane he's "deeply concerned" by the ADF withdrawing from Queensland's border control efforts.

"It reeks of political interference," he said.

"The ADF, who have been working alongside police, their support and assistance has been invaluable.

"When we hear that 'we've got to prepare for other things and look at our demands', to me it reeks of people playing politics.

"The Prime Minister has come out and he has said 'you know we've got to reprioritise'. It's well known that him and the Premier have disagreed, but don't let the people of Queensland pay the price because two political leaders can't get on with one another.

"I ask Scott Morrison to reconsider this and assist Queenslanders. Queenslanders pay taxes as well, they are entitled and should get the ADF to assist us in times of a pandemic."

Mr Leavers said with an increased demand at border checkpoints, including a relaxation of the international arrival cap, police are stretched beyond their limit.

"The (ADF) are assisting us to do our job, we don't have the numbers to do each and every job," he said

"We simply don't have the numbers.

"It's a partnership ... it's proved to be a really good partnership."

5 active cases in state
The row over the withdrawal of ADF support comes as Queensland recorded no new cases of coronavirus overnight.

There are just five active cases across the state.

It has been almost a fortnight since the last recorded case of coronavirus that was considered a risk in the community.

Mr Miles said the drop in active cases was an incredible result.

"It's day 13 as we track whether we have successfully suppressed those related clusters from the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, the Corrections Training Academy and the Ipswich Hospital," he said.

"We had 55 (cases) related to those clusters and we have, it appears, managed to get in control — although we won't be able to confirm that until tomorrow."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-23/ ... s/12691776

NEW AGRICULTURAL CODE
Queensland under pressure to agree to agricultural code
ew South Wales Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall has fiercely criticised Queensland’s refusal to sign up to the national agricultural workers code designed by the National Cabinet.

Under the code, farmers will be allowed greater movement across borders in a bid to support the agricultural sector as some states retain their hard borders.

“It is still bitterly disappointing from my perspective that Queensland has refused to be a signatory to this code,” Mr Marshall said.

“I don’t know what they’re doing up there and why they don’t value agriculture but it’s going to certainly have an impact in northern NSW.

“I continue to appeal to the Queensland premier and my ministerial colleague in Queensland to think again about signing up to this code because it’s a crying shame they won’t support the agriculture sector as all the other states have as well.”

The minister said the agricultural sector contributed about $16 billion a year to the NSW economy, and faced losing about $2.3 billion in the next 12 months if farmers were unable to transport their harvests.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/qu ... d=msedgdhp

HEALTH ISSUES
Queensland Health IT bungle leaves hospital low on supplies, costs taxpayers $33m to fix, says Auditor-General
The bungled rollout of an online ordering system for Queensland hospitals that left doctors without supplies, and vendors not being paid, has cost taxpayers an extra $33 million to fix, according to an investigation by the Auditor-General.

The review found the financial software, used to order and pay for vital medical supplies across the state, had "significant issues" after it was switched in August 2019 and staff didn't know how to use it.

The program was referred for investigation by the State Opposition last year, which claimed staff were running out of critical supplies and vendors were refusing to deliver stock because they weren't getting paid.

The Auditor-General found $540 million worth of vendor invoices were paid late in the first three months after the new system went live.

It also confirmed hospitals had trouble ordering supplies in the right quantity, and discovered 14 out of 16 hospital and health services across the state felt the system wasn't working as expected.

The Auditor-General's report said fixing the issues of the IT bungle had come at a significant cost in time, resources and dollars, including to taxpayers.

"Not all costs can be quantified, but an extra $33.5 million was spent to go live and to provide heightened support to entities over the four-month hypercare and transition period," the report said.

At the time it was referred for investigation, sources had told the ABC that health staff were having to ration some of their supplies because stock was running low.

Shadow Health minister Ros Bates also said, "nurses having to put Band-Aids on the corporate bank card is absolutely appalling. Last week I heard nurses were actually buying food for patients from Woolworths".

The report said Queensland Health had indicated the system failures, "had little to no adverse impact on patient care," but the department had underestimated the compounding issues, pre-delivery.

Staff, managers not prepared for system
It found both staff and managers weren't prepared for the system to go live and as a result, system performance affected productivity.

"Entities reported low completion rates for user training. Users had poor understanding of their responsibilities and the system's processes," the report said.

"Chief executives endorsed their entities' readiness to go live, with caveats, although none had fully completed their readiness activities."

Health Minister Steven Miles said he believed the report found the system had been important, and necessary.

"It by and large indicates that the process was managed well," he said.

"Of course there are recommendations about how it could be done better."

Two recommendations were made by the Auditor-General.

One was for redesigning the governance and accountability frameworks around project delivery, and a second asking for a cost-benefit analysis to develop a system that better monitored stock levels and consumption in real time.

The latest bungle comes a decade after Queensland Health's disastrous payroll system failure, where thousands of staff were overpaid by millions of dollars.

That scandal ended up costing taxpayers more than $1 billion and ended the careers of several senior bureaucrats.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/brisbane ... d=msedgdhp

HOMEBUILDER SCHEME
Coronavirus creates property boom on Southern Moreton Bay Islands as owners take advantage of home-builder grants
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It has long been known as a haven for retirees and those seeking the cheapest land in South East Queensland, but the Southern Moreton Bay Islands have seen a renewed interest in a COVID-19 property market.

Property sales on Russell Island have effectively tripled in the last three months, while it is estimated that building activity has doubled.

Real estate agent Chris McGregor said historically around 350 blocks would sell on the islands per year, but judging from monthly figures, sales were nearly three times higher.

It is not uncommon to see bush blocks advertised as low as $16,000 on Russell Island.

Cleared land and waterfront property are more expensive, but still a fraction of the price of equivalent land on the mainland.

"We have people who sell up in capital cities, and come and buy their house outright with money left over, and we also have a lot of owner builders," he said.

Mr McGregor said property prices were rising before the pandemic, but are now at their lowest since 2007.

"We are selling between 50 and 60 blocks on Russell Island a month," he said.

Mr McGregor believes the $25,000 home-builder grants that were announced as part of coronavirus economic stimulus packages are driving land sales.

Zoning, planning hold islands back
John Bonett runs an earthmoving and tree-clearing business based on Macleay Island, while servicing all of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

He said the demand for his services had gone up, but complexities around zoning and moving machinery between islands had made the job difficult.

He said he is worried issues around infrastructure and planning could limit the region's growth.

The company is operating out of residential areas, with very limited industrial zoned land on Macleay Island.

"At this stage, we are working out of home ... and the best we can do at the moment is scatter the machines around to different employees, until we can work out what to do to better it," Mr Bonett said.

"We have nearly 20 people working for us, and I like to think we are doing our bit for the community with keeping those people employed.

"But it is getting harder and harder when I am not only battling the everyday costing of quoting and controlling the crew, but battling neighbours and council.

"There needs to be a lot less talk and a lot more action. This is not a new issue for us … this has been going on for eight years.

"If we were having our base camp on the mainland, for example, we would be bringing people over.

"That would be taking money off the islands where we want the infrastructure to grow … we want better shops, service stations and facilities for the kids."

Many of the roads on the islands remain unsealed, while there is no kerb and channel drainage and no access to sewage, with every new house built having to put in a septic tank.

"We have to move a bit quicker because the islands are moving quicker," Mr Bonett said.

"If people find it too hard to build here and too complicated and expensive, they will stop building and put properties back on the market.

"So, instead of seeing a housing boom like we are now, we will see a housing slump."

How many new residents is too many?
Redland City Councillor Mark Edwards said the area had been "chasing its tail" with infrastructure since the islands were transferred from the State Government administration to the Redland City Council.

"There is probably more building here right now than I have seen in the last 20 years," Councillor Edwards said.

"Probably in the last eight years we have done a lot of investment into the islands, which has been a double-edged sword, because when people come out to have a look, they see all the infrastructure that has been built, and that is driving our population growth up more," he said.

"The biggest fear for the community is, 'When does our population get too big?'."

He said the population had already outgrown infrastructure.

"We have a program that has been ongoing for a number of years to seal our roads," he said.

"We have about 35 kilometres of roads left, and hopefully that will be done in the next three or four years.

"We are spending over $35 million on our jetties, but how long will those jetties last for the current capacity if we have a greater population?

"The biggest fear is sewage. We are on septic here, and we know that when we get to certain levels of density those types of systems can't cope, so we need to look at sewerage and who is going to pay for that.

"When you put sewerage into a place the population goes up again because you get density."

Mr Edwards said the community needed to have a public discussion about what they would like in the future.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

BORDERS
Queensland could open its borders to ALL of NSW in just two weeks
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A re-opening of the Queensland border to all of New South Wales could be just two weeks away.

All NSW residents may be able to enter the Sunshine State sooner than expected after no untraceable cases of coronavirus were recorded in the last two weeks.

The Queensland Government have pledged to open the border if NSW goes 28 days without recording a coronavirus infection with no known source.

<< PM & NSW PREMIER AND CMO SAY THAT'S A BRIDGE TOO FAR

ueensland health authorities described the unknown cases as 'where the contact tracing and testing is unable to identify how the person was infected'.

NSW recorded just six new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours to Tuesday night and all infections were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

It marks the second day in a row of no community transmission. The last time NSW had consecutive days without community transmission was July 3, 4 and 5.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was hopeful the Queensland border restrictions would be completely removed sooner rather than later.

'I hope the Queensland government takes that final step in in getting rid of the border because the evidence is certainly indicating that it can.

'And I feel more confident after yesterday that that could be sooner than I anticipated,' she said on Wednesday.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said the last unknown local source of COVID-19 infection was recorded on September 7.

'So whilst we have had cases reported recently we have been able to identify the source of those,' she said.

'So very pleasing numbers but it is now time for complacency. We do continue to as the community to work with us to get those testing rates up high,' she said.

On Tuesday Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that as of next weekend the state would be open to more NSW residents.

Residents in 41 postcodes including Byron Shire, Ballina, Lismore, the Richmond Valley including Casino and Evans Head, and Glen Innes will be added to the Queensland-NSW border bubble from 1am on October 1.

Ms Palaszczuk said those 152,000 NSW residents will be able to travel freely in Queensland and residents of her state will also be able to travel in far northern NSW.

'These areas have a lot in common with Queensland,' she said on Tuesday morning.

'They usually do a lot of their business in Queensland so we believe that this is the right measure to take and we have also been in contact with the NSW authorities to advise them of this today as well.'

The announcement of border changes come as Queensland prepares to welcome ACT travellers back up north on Friday.

The border will open only to Canberrans who arrive by plane and anyone coming from NSW via the ACT will have to wait 14 days before being allowed to fly.

It was also announced on Tuesday that South Australia would open its borders to residents in NSW from midnight on Wednesday.

Virgin Australia, Qantas and Jetstar have begun to add extra flights to their schedules in response to the relaxed restrictions.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

BREACHES
Man crossed the Queensland border illegally to see his girlfriend
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A man who crossed the Queensland border illegally to see his girlfriend spent 15 days locked up in a watch house.

Dale Vincent Symons, 26, was refused entry to the Sunshine State after driving to a border checkpoint at Goondiwindi, in New South Wales, on September 6.

An hour later, he illegally snuck through to Queensland at another location which was unmanned. Mr Symons was caught on CCTV crossing the border, before being arrested two days later near Hervey Bay, about 550km away from Goondiwindi.

But because he couldn't afford hotel quarantine, police placed Mr Symons in a watch house to isolate for 15 days, 7News reported.

He later tested negative to COVID-19.

In Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Wednesday, the 26-year-old was sentenced to 60 hours of unpaid community service.

Mr Symons avoided a fine due to being unemployed and unable to pay.

Outside court, he said he was remorseful for his actions.

'I'm very sorry (to the community). I would go about things the right way next time,' he said.

'I don't recommend it to anyone. Don't do what I did.'

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... hp#image=2
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
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:58 am

23 SEPT SA
SA border with NSW to reopen tonight after meeting target
Residents of New South Wales will be allowed to travel freely into South Australia from tonight following the second consecutive day of no new community transmission of COVID-19.

The decision to lift SA's border restrictions to NSW was hinging on the number of new infections reported today.

SA Premier Steven Marshall had said if there were no detection of community transmission in NSW, from midnight people entering SA from NSW would no longer need to undergo mandatory quarantine.
https://twitter.com/NSWHealth/status/13 ... 8688120833
NSW announced six new cases of COVID-19 today but all are returned travellers in hotel quarantine, fulfilling the SA government's proposed requirements for borders to reopen.

"NSW has been doing extraordinarily well so we're pretty confident that as of midnight tonight the border with NSW, which has been closed for months and months, will reopen and we can't wait to welcome people from NSW with open arms," Mr Marshall told Today this morning.

"This has been a massive distraction for our economy in SA and people have done it tough with family dislocation, business dislocation, all that comes to an end as of midnight tonight so we're really looking forward.

"This has been based on health advice but of course very strong economic benefits from opening the border with NSW."
Mr Marshall said he'd received an update "in the middle of last night" which had made him "pretty confident" about the border reopening to NSW.

But, he said, "we do need to be careful".

"Our number one priority is to keep people safe here in SA," he said.

"SA's done particularly well with a very low infection rate.

"Tragically, we've had four deaths in SA but compared to many other parts of the world that is a very different situation, so our borders have been our first line of defence."
Along with NSW, from midnight tonight SA's border will reopen to the ACT, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Tasmania.

But the border with Victoria remains closed.

"Things are looking much better in Victoria but I think changing the border arrangements there is still a few weeks off," Mr Marshall said.

"We don't want to keep those borders in place for one day longer than they need to but at the moment the health advice is very strongly that we should keep the border arrangement in place."

SA's reopening with NSW has prompted airlines to move quickly, increasing flights within the coming weeks.

Virgin is boosting its Sydney to Adelaide service with daily flights for the first time since July.

Qantas will resume flying between the two states and Jetstar will also ramp up services to twice-daily.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Holidays in South Australia are ON as state opens border to NSW
New South Wales residents will be able to holiday in South Australia after the state recorded just six new cases of COVID-19 in hotel quarantine.

None of the new coronavirus cases reported on Wednesday were acquired within the community, giving the green light for South Australia to open its borders.

South Australia Premier Steven Marshall said the border reopening would go head if no new cases of community transmission were recorded.

SA will lift its COVID-19 border restrictions with NSW from midnight on Wednesday and drop the two-week quarantine requirement.
'NSW has been doing extraordinarily well. We can't wait to welcome people from NSW with open arms,' Mr Marshall told Nine Network on Wednesday.

This marked the second day in a row with no community transmission of coronavirus in NSW.

'The last time NSW had consecutive days without community transmission was July 3, 4, and 5,' a statement from NSW Health said.

The new cases brought the total number of infections recorded in NSW to 4,023.

There were also 16,759 tests recorded in the 24-hour reporting period.

'This is a good result for New South Wales,' NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

'We know that there are still a number of risks in NSW including the high likelihood that the virus is circulating, especially in Western and South-Western Sydney, undetected.

'Which is why we really need to make sure anybody who has the mildest of symptoms comes forward and gets tested,' she warned.

NSW has also gone a fortnight without recording an untraceable case of the virus.

Health authorities are currently treating 74 people for coronavirus, including three cases in intensive care, one of whom is being ventilated.

NSW residents have been urged to wear masks where social distancing is not possible.

The prospect of the border relaxations has already boosted the domestic aviation industry with more flights to resume in coming weeks.

Last week SA lifted the quarantine requirements for people coming from the ACT.

Virgin Australia plans to resume daily flights between Sydney and Adelaide and will offer three flights a week between Canberra and Adelaide from October 12.

The airline has flagged adding even more flights from November.
Qantas and its budget airline Jetstar are also expected to add flights between Sydney and Adelaide this week.

The long-awaited decision on SA's border with NSW was made at Tuesday's meeting of the state's transition committee and came after initial plans to lift the isolation measures were stalled for weeks because of a cluster of coronavirus cases in Sydney.

'This is going to be a relief that will be felt across our state, from an economic perspective and from a family perspective,' Mr Marshall said on Tuesday.

'We know that this has been a massive burden on the business community and also on families and individuals.'

SA health officials had examined the case of an infected Sydney taxi driver but were satisfied it was a risk that NSW could be manage.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the decision to ease the border measures came after 14 days of no community transmission in NSW involving cases with an unknown origin.

'I know people will be concerned about the taxi driver. But I'm very confident that person is not representative of community transmission,' she said.

Professor Spurrier has urged anyone travelling between SA and NSW to keep a close eye on the latest information in relation to coronavirus cases in Sydney and called for all travellers on planes to wear masks.

SA reported no new cases on Tuesday and has no active infections.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

23 SEPT WA
"DOLE BLUDGER" BASHING AGAIN
Pub manager struggling for staff as workers rather stay on JobSeeker
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A pub manager has revealed he is struggling to fill job applications as candidates would rather earn money through JobSeeker.

Max Fox-Andrews runs The Windsor Hotel in South Perth in Western Australia and has six job applications he cannot fill.

The hotel is looking to hire bartenders, chefs and waitresses ahead of the busy summer hospitality season.

Mr Fox-Andrews said the pub would normally need to wade through more than 400 applicants for these jobs, but with increased government payments from the coronavirus pandemic, he is struggling for suitors.

<< MAYBE HE NEEDS TO BUMP UP THE WAGES BEING OFFERED AND IMPROVE THE WORK CONDITIONS IE MAKE JOBS PERMANENT / LONG TERM AND OFFER LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS ETC AND HE MIGHT GET SOME TAKERS

'At this time of year we tend to up our staff for the Christmas period and usually we wouldn't have a problem encouraging staff to come and work for us,' he told Sunrise.

'But what we've seen is a decline in applications and a decline in decent staff with experience apply to us. It's been a tough run.'

The Windsor Hotel is among many Australian businesses striving for staff, despite unemployment rates reaching their highest mark since 1998.

The National Skills Commission survey found from 1,100 businesses contacted, 47 per cent were having difficulties finding staff.

Thousands of Australians have been left out of work through COVID-19 and are receiving JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments, which Mr Fox-Andrews believes is preventing people from applying for jobs.

'We are seeing an element of people not wanting to work because the money is slightly better with JobSeeker,' he said.

Jobseeker payments combined with Newstart has welfare recipients claiming about $1,100 per fortnight from the government.

Mr Fox-Andrews said students who would regularly fill the positions advertised are receiving a better offer by not working.

'Students see sometimes that JobSeeker is a better way of earning more money because they can obviously only do limited shifts,' he said.

The business have been trying several avenues to encourage prospective workers to apply, including a $250 cash bonus for staff who stay in the job for more than three months.

Mr Fox-Andrews hopes the drop in the JobSeeker fortnightly payment from $550 to $250 on Friday will inspire Australians back into the workforce.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

PALMER
WA Premier Mark McGowan sues Queensland businessman Clive Palmer for defamation
The legal battle between WA Premier Mark McGowan and Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer has taken another turn.

Mr McGowan has launched defamation proceedings against Mr Palmer.

The businessman had already launched a range of legal action against the Premier and the state, including a defamation suit against Mr McGowan.

In Mr McGowan's Federal Court counterclaim, the Premier alleges he was defamed on eight occasions by Mr Palmer in interviews, social media posts and newspaper advertisements between August and September of this year.

The lawsuit states the Premier suffered hurt and embarrassment and is seeking to vindicate his reputation.

According to court documents, one of the allegations relates to an AAP article in which Mr Palmer accused the Premier of lying to West Australians about the state's hard border policy.

Another involves a media conference broadcast on Sky News after the WA Government moved to enact legislation to end an arbitration claim connected to Mr Palmer's Balmoral South iron ore project.

The documents state that during the speech the billionaire accused the Government of planning to use the legislation to perform criminal acts.

Another relates to an interview Mr Palmer conducted on ABC radio in which he suggested the Premier wanted immunity from an undisclosed crime.

And several other claims are linked to media releases from Mr Palmer's company Mineralogy, and to his own social media posts, as well as newspaper advertisements where he accused the Premier of a cover up, and working on behalf of foreign powers.

It follows Mr Palmer's statement of claim in the Federal Court in which the mining billionaire specified six instances between July 30 and August 14 where he alleged Mr McGowan made "grossly defamatory" statements about him.

They included media conferences where Mr McGowan called Mr Palmer "an enemy of the state".

Mr Palmer is also suing the WA Government on several other fronts including over the state's interstate border closure due to COVID-19, which the businessman claims is unconstitutional.

The state is also facing a multi-billion-dollar claim over a refusal to approve an application to develop the Balmoral South iron ore project.

The Government passed legislation in an attempt to terminate that claim, but that move is also being legally challenged by Mr Palmer.

'He compared me to Adolf Hitler': McGowan
Mr McGowan said he had little choice but to launch a defence.

"I've been advised to put in a crossclaim against him because of some of the very defamatory comments he's made against me," Mr McGowan said.

"Any money that comes out of this defamation proceeding will go directly to the state, so the taxpayers will be a winner, if you like, out of Mr Palmer's very defamatory comments that he's made."

The Premier said legal advice was that his case against Mr Palmer was strong.

"He called me a criminal, he compared me to Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein and Richard Nixon. He said I was corrupt. It's pretty defamatory stuff," Mr McGowan said.

"Because he was so defamatory and it reduces the prospects of his success, it reduces the prospects of there being any costs. That's why we've had to do this.

"It was not of our making, I didn't issue the writs. He did. Mr Palmer is the one who has behaved badly here ... this is a defence against his action."

Public opinion 'likely battleground'
Media law and defamation expert Roger Blow told ABC Perth Mr McGowan appears to have a solid argument.

He said defamation proceedings often hinge on specific definitions of words — a practice that may not have to be applied in this case.

"We're talking about allegations of criminality, lying, being open to bribes or taking bribes," he said.

"Those are not issues where anyone's going to have to argue if that's a negative statement."

He said Mr Palmer may face difficulty if he seeks to use truth as a defence to the claim.

"If you allege someone is a criminal, you need to be able to back that up," Mr Blow said.

"The way you back it up is you show they were convicted of a crime."

Mr Blow said the crux of the competing defamation claims may come down to the weight of public opinion for both men.

"What is the impact of the public hearing Mark McGowan making the statements about Mr Palmer, and Mr Palmer making statements about Mark McGowan?" he said.

"Does that change anyone's view of those individuals, and their integrity their character, their reputation?

"That's where the battleground is going to be."

Opposition blasts 'thin-skinned' Premier
The State Opposition blasted Mr McGowan's decision to sue Mr Palmer over the Premier's "hurt feelings", saying it demonstrated Mr McGowan was out of touch and "thin-skinned".

"The Premier needs to man up, I didn't realise we elected a princess at the 2017 election," Liberal MP Zak Kirkup said.

"You can't have someone spending taxpayer dollars on defending his own ego and trying to vindicate his reputation.

"He is an egotist who wants to look after himself before the people of Western Australia."

WA Liberal leader Liza Harvey said the legal action revealed Mr McGowan was focused on the wrong priorities.

"At a time when we've got farmers ploughing their crops back into the ground because of labour shortages, at a time when we've got violent crime out of control, we've got a hotel quarantine system that isn't robust enough to bring back our West Aussies that are stranded overseas," Ms Harvey said.

"These are the things the Premier should be focused on."

In a text message response to the ABC, Mr Palmer declined to respond to questions about the defamation countersuit.

"Sorry I don't comment on matters that are before the courts I respect the rule of law too much for that," he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/markets ... d=msedgdhp

23 SEPT ACT
Canberra Liberals commit to slashing elective surgery wait times, reconfigure Canberra Hospital expansion plans
The Canberra Liberals have outlined plans to reconfigure a long-awaited expansion of the Canberra Hospital, but insist the project will not be delayed — a goal Labor argues is impossible.

The party today committed to cutting in half Canberrans' wait times for elective surgery and emergency treatment, and delivering a larger expansion of the hospital than what is currently planned.

Developer Multiplex has already been contracted to deliver a $500 million expansion of the Canberra Hospital, with construction due to commence next year and be completed by 2024.

Designs include 39 new emergency department spaces, 148 new inpatient beds and 22 new operating theatres, and Labor anticipates a final development application would be processed early next year.

The Canberra Liberals are now promising that in office they would alter those plans — adding an extra eight operating theatres, and moving the ambulance entrance to Yamba Drive instead of Palmer Street.

Plans to run ambulances past Garran Primary School had concerned some nearby residents.

The changes would be funded with money already allocated to the project.

The Liberal's assistant health spokeswoman, Giulia Jones, said despite the changes, the project would still be delivered on schedule in 2024.

"There will be no delay," she said.

"There will be a 12-month redesign process, and then we will commence.

"So it will not take longer — we will have this building open in the same timeframe as the Government has committed to."

Ms Jones said there was a 12-month redesign window already accounted for within the existing timeframe.

But Labor health spokeswoman Rachel Stephen-Smith said it would be impossible to change the project so dramatically, and still deliver it on time.

"Changing the ambulance entrance would have an impact across the entire Canberra Hospital campus, it would be a major redesign," she said.

"It would delay the delivery of the Canberra Hospital expansion by at least 12 months, and it would not be delivered in the next term of government."

More elective surgeries and shorter ED waits
The Canberra Liberals have also promised an immediate increase to the number of elective surgeries performed.

A target has been set of 70,000 elective surgeries over four years — about 10,000 more than the Labor Government had planned for.

The party has allocated $125 million, on top of existing health funding, for the additional surgeries, additions to emergency department capacity, and new specialist outpatient appointments.

[elective surgery graph]
Retiring Liberal health spokeswoman Vicki Dunne said that plan did not rest on the hospital expansion, and could be achieved by "turbocharging" existing health resources within the ACT.

She said that would include using more private facilities, and extending the hours during which surgeries are performed.

"We tend to use operating theatres essentially from 8:00am until 5:00pm," she said.

"There is nothing to stop us operating a twilight list as well, especially when you're doing day procedures, or even a weekend list."

Liberal leader Alistair Coe also pledged to hire 400 more health staff, half of them nurses, at an estimated cost of $240 million over four years.

"The Canberra Liberals are going to declare war on elective surgery waiting times," he told ABC Radio Canberra.

The average wait times for ACT public hospital services, whether emergency or surgery, are the longest in Australia.

Mr Coe said this affected "the poorest in our community".

"Because it is the poorest in our community, generally, who are on the public waiting list," he said.

Asked how he would recruit the medical staff needed to fulfill his promise, Mr Coe said the Liberals would make Canberra "a place of choice for doctors and nurses and, indeed, everyone".

"We will cut the cost of living in the ACT and that will make the ACT more attractive," he said.

He said his party would also eliminate the "bullying culture" in the Canberra Hospital "that has existed for so many years under ACT Labor".

Inefficiency the problem, not money: expert
The Grattan Institute's health program director, Stephen Duckett, said ACT patients waited significantly longer than other Australians and "attacking waiting lists is absolutely the right thing to do".

However, he questioned whether the Liberals' approach would work, as Canberra hospitals seemed to lack efficiency rather than resources.

"Certainly, the Liberals are right in addressing this problem; I don't think they've got the right solution, though."

Dr Duckett said ACT patients stayed in hospital eight per cent longer than the national average.

"The ACT hospitals are essentially inefficient," he said.

"And what the Government and the Opposition should be saying is: 'What do we need to do to make the length of stay in the ACT the same as it is in, say, Victoria?'

"This might be that they need to provide more services in the community, for example, so people can be discharged sooner."

Dr Duckett suggested that, whichever party took office, the government should commit to a "waiting list guarantee" — a maximum wait for patients — for priority operations.

It could do this by not performing "low-value surgeries" and focus on improving hospital efficiency.

Labor says 'magical' hospital plan is infeasible
Ms Stephen-Smith dismissed the Liberals' plan as entirely unfeasible.

"This is the kind of promise you make when you know you don't have to deliver," she said.

"Certainly not within the resources that the Canberra Liberals said they would use.

"They've committed to the exact same increase in health staff as we have and, somehow, magically, they're going to do an additional 10,000 elective surgeries."

Ms Stephen-Smith said the Government was already "pushing the system" to perform 16,000 elective surgeries this year to catch up after the COVID-19 shut-down.

"People will be working overtime, we'll be using the entire capacity of our public and private hospital system," she said.

"Our plan is achievable and … is more than a 10 per cent increase in elective surgeries.

"And we will continue to expand as the Canberra Hospital expansion goes online."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... 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
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:45 am

23 SEPT FEDERAL

NBN SPEEDUP & HOPEFULLY MORE BANDWIDTH TOO
Millions of extra households to be given access to faster NBN speeds by 2023 under $3.5b upgrade plan
Key points:
Fibre To The Node, Fibre To The Curb and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial networks will all be upgraded
The works are expected to create about 25,000 jobs in the next two years
Federal Labor has described the plan as a "wasteful backflip"

Millions of Australians are set to get access to ultra-fast broadband under a $3.5 billion upgrade to the NBN, expected to be finished by 2023, in a backdown that has drawn the ire of Labor figures past and present.
The change in policy has led former prime minister Kevin Rudd, whose government first promised the National Broadband Network, to accuse the Coalition of a massive about face on the politically charged issue.

The major shake-up will lead to 6 million homes being able to pay extra to access to internet speeds "of up to" 1 gigabit per second.

While customers will not have to pay a connection fee to be hooked up to the NBN directly, they will have to upgrade their plans and potentially pay a higher price, depending on how fast they want their internet to be.

Currently the mandatory minimum is 25 megabits per second.

But Mr Rudd said that after years of opposing Labor's plans to extend the fibre-optic network directly to most homes and businesses, the Government had made a 180-degree turn.

"This is a monumental policy backflip by the Morrison Government, which has spent seven long years attacking my government's original plan," Mr Rudd said.

"So Mr Morrison deserves no credit whatsoever for this.

"It is seven years of lost opportunity for Australia."

"There is a long-term trend of broadband demand growth — with a very significant spike this year as COVID-19 has changed the way we use the internet," he said.

"And it means NBN Co is now well placed to invest in Australia's broadband infrastructure to meet Australians' growing appetite for faster speeds.

"This is part of a $4.5 billion investment that NBN is making, financed by borrowing in the private sector market, so it doesn't hit the budget bottom line."

The investment also includes $700 million to make business-grade fibre more affordable and accessible, and $300 million for partnerships between NBN Co and governments and local councils in regional Australia to improve broadband.

The surge in people working from home during the coronavirus pandemic saw an increase of up to 80 per cent in internet demand and slow speeds in some cities.

The NBN has remained a contentious issue in politics and across the country for more than a decade.

In 2009, Mr Rudd's government promised a fast NBN with optical fibre cables direct to most homes and businesses.

Instead, there is now a mix of technologies including optical fibre, copper wires, Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC), fixed wireless and satellite.

But of most concern to Australians, particularly during the pandemic, are the slow internet speeds or difficulty connecting to the network in the first place.

"The 2013 decision by the Coalition to roll out the NBN quickly, then phase upgrades around emerging demand, has served Australia well," Mr Fletcher said.

Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland also described the decision as a backdown by the Government, labelling it the "most extraordinary, wasteful, expensive public policy backflip in a generation".

"For 10 years this Government has been opposed to having world class fibre-based broadband," she said.

"And all of a sudden it's having this epiphany that somehow this is visionary, it's going to be a driver of jobs.

"Well forgive me if Labor turns around and says 'geez, I wish we had have thought of that'."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-23/ ... s/12691782

VACCINE GUARANTEE
Government's $123m virus vaccine play is 'insurance' for Aussies
Australia is spreading its chips over a coronavirus vaccine roulette table, according to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.
The Federal Government has thrown in $123 million to a worldwide vaccine distribution alliance, in addition to the Oxford-AstraZeneca and University of Queensland deals.

When asked by Today host Karl Stefanovic if the government was playing a kind of COVID-19 vaccine roulette, Mr Hunt agreed.

"We are," he said, going on to describe the $123m investment into COVAX as "insurance".

"This provides us access to any of potentially dozens of other vaccines that may be successful," Mr Hunt said.

"That's good for Australia but it also means that people in developing nations will have access as well, and that helps protect the world."

Mr Hunt said involvement in a vaccine alliance was "the right humanitarian thing to do".

COVAX is an alliance led by the World Health Organisation, epidemic response group CEPI and the Vaccine Alliance of Governments and Organisations.



Trials of the Oxford vaccine have been paused twice after two participants developed what researchers admitted was "unexplained neurological symptoms".

In documentation, AstraZeneca has said its goal is a vaccine with 50 per cent effectiveness, the minimum threshold for FDA approval.

Mr Hunt has denied the removal of ADF troops from the Queensland border will increase the risk of coronavirus spreading.

Next week Queensland is expanding its border bubble with NSW, in a move sure to increase movement.

The original Federal Government deal involved ADF deployment on the border until September 30.

Mr Hunt said the details of that deal remained the same, and control of the border would then be left entirely to police.

"The ADF will provide additional support in other ways around the country," he said.

Victoria health teams have been assisted by the ADF to contact trace new infections.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

PUNISHING THE VICTIMS - TYPICAL OF A THE LIB-NATS .
Thousands could wait months for JobSeeker
Thousands of Australians who lose their jobs before Christmas could be forced to wait months for income support.

People will soon be expected to draw down on their savings before accessing JobSeeker payments.

The Morrison government is reintroducing liquid asset waiting periods, which have been suspended for the past six months throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Funds readily available to jobless people and their partners will be scrutinised again from this Friday, including money still owed by their employers.

Singles with as little as $5,500 in cash will need to wait at least a week before applying for JobSeeker, while those with $11,500 or more will be forced to wait 13 weeks.

The fund thresholds are doubled for people with partners or dependents.

The reinstated waiting periods will not apply to people already receiving the dole.

But with 400,000 more Australians expected to lose their jobs before Christmas, Labor is concerned about people pushed onto unemployment benefits for the first time.

Opposition frontbencher Linda Burney is worried about people who have dipped into their superannuation early and those who are no longer eligible for JobKeeper wage subsidies.

'The government wants to force struggling Australians to eat through their savings before they can access income support,' she told AAP on Wednesday.

'Now is not the time to resume the liquid assets waiting period.'

Labor wants the government to extend the suspension of the waiting periods and withdraw a bill from parliament that would double the lengths of time.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

ANOTHER BIG EMPLOYER SCRAPPING THOUSANDS OF WORKERS
David Jones plans to close up to TEN of its branches due to COVID-19
David Jones has revealed its plans to reduce its operations by 20 per cent with stores near other branches first on the chopping block.

The department store chain has 47 locations in Australia and New Zealand, meaning that nine to ten shops could be closed.

A David Jones spokesman confirmed they plan on cutting 20 per cent of their floor space 'including closing stores where this makes sense'.
The first store to shut down is one of two nearby David Jones branches on Bourke Street in the Melbourne CBD.

The smaller 'men's store' was sold in July for $121 million and will be absorbed into the larger 'women's store' across the road, along with the food hall.

David Jones is currently leasing back the men's premises.

A spokesperson for David Jones would not reveal which stores would be shut down and said no closures are 'imminent'.

He said jobs would not be lost even if stores were closed and that a 20 per cent cutback in floor space could also be achieved by downsizing stores.

'David Jones will continue to optimise our store network and formats over time and this will take in a variety of options including right-sizing our existing stores, re-purposing floor space… and in some instances closing stores where this makes sense,' the company spokesman said.

David Jones stores in Marion, Adelaide; The Glen, Melbourne; and Carindale, Brisbane have recently been 'right-sized' to make them smaller.

The company is also making a 'comprehensive review' of its David Jones Food business, which includes food halls and its first food store in South Yarra, Melbourne.

Meanwhile, the company is expanding its BP David Jones petrol stations from its current 12 to 30 by the end of the year thanks to roaring business.

David Jones is owned by South African company Woolworths Holdings, no relation to Australian Woolworths supermarkets.

Woolworths Holdings announced David Jones went from a profit of $37 million in 2019 to a $33 million loss in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While foot traffic has plummeted, especially in locked down Melbourne, online sales have doubled due and now make up 14 per cent of all sales.

Woolworths holdings CEO Ross Bagattini said David Jones will close 20 per cent of its stores within the next two years last Thursday.

'There's no doubt we have too many stores for what I think our business purpose is in Australia,' he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'It is overstored... and I would expect to see a level of reduction coming through.'

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

TRAVEL FOR AUSTRALIANS - INTERNATIONAL IS NOT COMING BACK ANYTIME SOON
Australian passport applications plummet amid Covid travel restrictions
The disruption to overseas travel caused by Covid-19 has resulted in a massive drop in Australian passport applications, down by 400,000 in the first half of 2020.

The plummeting demand for passports means the government will miss out on about $100m in revenue from application fees since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade data, there were about 1.7m new passport and renewal applications made in 2019-20, which generated $449.3m for the government.

This was down from the 2.1m applications made in 2018-19, when Australians paid $542.8m in administration fees.

Related: Why are more than 25,000 Australians still stranded overseas, six months into the pandemic?

The decline in passport applications come amid hopes among federal and state governments that Australians will spend some of the $65bn they splurged on overseas holidays in 2019 on domestic tourism – an industry crippled by the complete drop-off of inbound international tourists.

A Dfat spokesman told Guardian Australia the roughly 20% decline in passport applications happened after travel restrictions were tightened at the beginning of the pandemic. The trends before March showed passport demand in 2019-20 was set to be the highest ever.

Just 300,000 passports were applied for or renewed from the beginning of March until the end of June.

Since July, Australians have made just 109,402 new passport and renewal applications, a trend which, if continued, would see applications stay below 600,000 for the 2020-21 period.

“The onset of Covid-19 has seen a decline in passport applications, with our data suggesting that some Australians are delaying either applying for, or renewing, their passport due to the pandemic,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman said that some Australians are still renewing their passports in case they “have an urgent need to travel”, as well as those using the travel document as a form of identification.

He also noted Australians needing to return to Australia are still applying for passports, with more than 27,000 stranded Australians unable to access flights home due to strict arrival caps.

Currently, there are approximately 14.6m Australian passports on issue.

The drop-off in passport interest is consistent with the comprehensive restrictions placed on leaving Australia, with exemptions for outbound travel granted only for a specified list of reasons, including provisions for essential workers and compassionate travel.

According to the Australian Border Force commissioner, Michael Outram, who approves exit exemptions, about 18,000 Australians left the country in August 2020, compared with 984,960 residents who left in the same month in 2019.

James McKeown, an electrics sales distributor from Geelong, had planned to move to Germany this year, but cancelled his plans in line with health advice and border restrictions.

However, the 30-year-old is frustrated the government’s travel ban has not yet been lifted. He believes Australians willing to accept the health risks, follow social distancing, wear masks and pay for quarantine upon their return should be allowed to leave the country.

“No other country like ours has put these measures in,” McKeown said.

McKeown believes the government should consider the length of the exit ban when renewing passports, so Australians who were not able to legally leave the country are given a credit so it is cheaper when they next have to renew their passport.

Noting the cost of a 10-year passport for an Australian adult is $298, he believes this should equate to about a $30 credit for each year the travel ban is in place.

Related: Constitutional question: is it legal to limit how many Australian citizens can fly home each week?

“Will I get an extension of the banned period attached to the end of my passport renewal period? Or will I have to foot the bill for a service that I can’t use?” he said.

“Sure it’s only $30 per person per year, and most of us will renew as it’s harder to let it lapse and reapply. But for more than 14m passports, if they can’t have been used for at least six months, the government has made about a quarter of a billion dollars on passport fees during the ban so far,” McKeown said.

Guardian Australia asked the foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, if the government was considering crediting future passport renewals to cover the period of the exit ban.

Her office referred the inquiry to Dfat, where a spokesman said “we are not considering any changes to passport fees”.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

TRAVEL FOR AUSTRALIANS - INTERSTATE WITHOUT NEED TO QUARANTINE IS COMING BACK FOR MOST EXCEPT VICTORIANS SOON
Rex is negotiating for a $150 million investment to launch its flights into Australian capital cities
* Regional Express (Rex) is in negotiations with investment firm PAG Asia Capital to secure $150 million.
* The funding will be used to help launch Rex's domestic flights between major Australian capital cities.
* These flights are tipped to begin in March 2021.

Rex is edging closer to getting domestic city flights up and running.

The regional airline revealed it is in negotiations with investment firm PAG Asia Capital for an investment of up to $150 million to aid the launch of its domestic operations across major cities. These flights are set to take off from March 1 2021.

The funding, however, is subject PAG completing due diligence and Rex getting shareholder and regulatory approvals. But once it's complete, PAG will be able to nominate two directors to join the Rex Board.

Rex Executive Chairman, Mr Lim Kim Hai said PAG manages more than US$40 billion on behalf of major global institutional investors and was "encouraged by the progress of Rex's negotiations to date".

"With PAG’s support, I have every reason to believe that Rex can successfully launch its domestic major city jet operations," he said in a statement.

"As a well-established carrier with an impeccable track record, I am confident that Rex will deliver to Australians an alternative major city domestic service that is safe, reliable and affordable. Rex’s affordable fares will support Australia’s economic rebuild and recovery efforts."

Back in May, the Australian Financial Review reported Rex's plans to raise $200 million in its bid to fly between Aussie capital cities Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. These flights would compete with Qantas, its subsidiary Jetstar, and Virgin Australia.

As the airlines continue working out how soon they can return to the skies amid border closures and travel restrictions, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission vowed to keep an eye on anti-competitive behaviour in the industry.

It will be monitoring flight capacity, passenger numbers and revenue data from Virgin, Qantas and Rex each month and sending reports to the government.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/travel/news/r ... d=msedgdhp

Surge in domestic travel expected, but will it save the Australian tourism industry?
Australians forced to scrap overseas holidays have ditched the azure waters of the Amalfi Coast for the ancient canyons of the Pilbara, abandoning autobahns for outback highways.

Trapped on home soil — and many in their own states — people are flocking to explore their own backyards, creating a spike in domestic tourism.

The surge in interest has seen flash cars zipping from Brisbane into western Queensland, an area typically visited by grey nomads in campervans and international tourists.

"We've got Porches, Mustangs, Ferraris … I even saw a Rolls Royce out here about six weeks ago," chief executive of the Outback Queensland Tourism Association, Denise Brown said.

"We're seeing a lot of young families — in flash cars as well. So it just shows you they've got pent-up demand, and are ready to spend money. A lot of them say they were meant to be in Portugal, Paris or London or Bali."

Ms Brown said the "enormous spike", which had left most hotels nearly full, had also been fuelled by travellers from north Queensland and the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.

Domestic travel in WA isn't cheap, but discounted flights have helped many West Australians explore a slice of the state that's sometimes too expensive to see.

Perth resident Hannah Docherty, 25, had booked a Europe trip in July, but instead embarked on a road trip to Exmouth and Karijini — the state's second largest National park — in the Pilbara.

"I'd already booked the leave for Europe — obviously that was cancelled," Ms Docherty said.

"So I was super keen to get away, and, obviously after lockdown, I was so desperate to get out of the city and explore a bit of the state while we had the opportunity.

"It was incredible… everyone's doing the same thing, I think. I guess, I just never got round to it because we were travelling internationally."

Can domestic tourism fill the void?
International tourists injected a whopping $30 billion into the Australian economy last year, according to Regional Australia Institute chief economist Kim Houghton.

"We know that we have about 11 million Aussies going overseas each year, so if some of those are redirected towards domestic tourism, there's certainly a possibility to fill the gap," Mr Houghton said.

But he thinks the recent interest is more of a "spike" than a long-term trend.

"I'm certainly not suggesting everywhere is booming. That's not the case at all," Mr Houghton said.

"But it is if you are in one of those hotspot [tourist] areas, particularly in WA … I think Queensland will probably move second."

Recent data from WA Tourism showed locals weren't coming close to filling the gap on their own.

But it's hoped interstate visitors might in future.

SGS Economics and Planning's Terry Rawnsley described the current situation as a "sugar hit" for tourism operators, and said businesses should capitalise on the sudden interest.

"Some domestic tourists just aren't that aware of what Australia has to offer," Mr Rawnsley said.

"And it's about getting in and really marketing to those people and saying, 'If you want this experience, [overseas], then come to my part of the country in Australia and do all the things you would have done overseas'."

He said places like Queensland's Sunshine Coast, WA's Margaret River — and when restrictions eased — Victoria's Alpine region and Surf Coast would be able to attract short-term visitors from the cities on weekends.

But, Mr Rawnsley said, those regions with an offering further away, and more directly focussed on international travellers, faced a much tougher outlook.

"For instance, Kangaroo Island, which is a bit further away and doesn't have a domestic base to draw off, will find it difficult going forward," he said.

"And also from what we're seeing, domestic tourists are a bit more price-sensitive. There's not those people willing to spend premium rates for a premium holiday."

Businesses on "life support"
In Tasmania, Greg Price has been offering bus tours for backpackers for more than a decade.

In a good year, he'd have 2000 international guests heading out on trips, but he hasn't run a tour since March.

"Our tours are very much designed for people who haven't been in Australia very much," Mr Price said.

"So you know, national parks, wildlife and some of those things that Australians might take a bit for granted."

He said his business was on "life support" through Jobkeeper and that it couldn't be revived unless international borders reopened.

Mr Price said in comparison to domestic visitors, overseas travellers spread their money far and wide through consumption of goods such as food and beverages.

"International guests tend to stay for a lot longer," he said.

"So they come to Tasmania and they're thinking about staying for seven to 10 days, whereas locals or even interstate visitors, they're just thinking a weekend or a long weekend.

"And international visitors spend the most, followed by interstate visitors — and then intrastate visitors don't spend as much per day. So it's difficult to replace those high-spending, longer-staying international visitors with the domestic ones."

The award-winning entrepreneur is worried the tourism industry will suffer more down the track as well-trained employees look elsewhere for more secure employment.

"The biggest problem is that [the] industry's going to start losing its best people because, I guess, you can't blame them," he said.

"Just last week, one of my last staffers handed in his notice, and he's going to work somewhere else, and cited uncertainty in tourism.

"And even transport and tourism operators will look at that, because if you've invested all this money in your business and it's not doing anything, then eventually you have to take that out and do something else."

Economist Terry Rawnsley said the winding down of JobKeeper was a "real danger time" for tourism businesses heavily dependent on international arrivals.

The changes that passed earlier this month, will see the fortnightly payment for full-time employees decrease from $1,500 to $1,200 on September 28.

"JobKeeper has kept them solvent for the last six months, stepping it down over the next few months is going to create some real challenges," Mr Rawnsley said.

"And it’s going to be a tough conversation for those businesses with their staff and with their banks, about how much longer can they get along with limited demand, and some of them just wont make it, they won’t be viable."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/markets ... d=msedgdhp


ADF FUNDING
Australian defence force needs more funding to juggle national disasters and military role, inquiry told
The Australian defence force will need a bigger budget to meet growing community expectations that it will help out during natural disasters while maintaining preparedness for a traditional military threat, the royal commission into national natural disaster preparedness has heard.

The ADF were called in to help the bushfire response this summer, and have been embedded in health and police departments as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Peter Jennings, the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told the royal commission on Tuesday that the ADF would not be able to continue to juggle domestic support roles with its actual defence responsibility without additional funding.

Related: Australia after the bushfires

The commission is in its final week of hearings and is due to deliver its final report to the federal government on 28 October.

“I cannot see any way out of that dilemma that doesn’t involve, frankly speaking, more money in defence to produce a larger defence force [that is] able to meet both of those objectives,” Jennings said.

The former deputy secretary of the defence department said Australia’s 2020 defence strategic update made it clear that “not a dollar less can be spent on preparing the Australian defence force for dealing with conventional military operations”.

Related: Defence force chief 'discomfited' by Morrison's bushfire response video

Jennings said more frequent and more severe national disasters, exacerbated by the climate crisis, would become “a major strategic problem in its own right”. And that the Pacific region, and south-east Asia, would be “the epicentre of natural disaster risk going forward”.

“So in other words, the one set of risks, the natural disaster picture, is in all likelihood going to have cascading second-order effects in the geopolitics of the region and how we think about more conventional strategic threats,” he said. “So this is a rather tangled collision of two problem sets … and the ADF is in the spotlight of both of those things.”

Dr John Coyne, the director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s strategic policing and law enforcement program and head of its northern Australian division, said the pandemic had exposed the weakness in Australian supply chains. Darwin, for example, has just 28 days’ worth of fuel on hand.

“If a hypothetical Cyclone Tracy 2.0 were to hit [Darwin] … if it hits on day one, just as the big ship arrives and fills the [fuel reserve] facility up, we’re probably pretty lucky, we’ll have 28 days of fuel supply then,” he said. “If it hits on day 27, unfortunately we run out of fuel and I think in many cases the supply chain that’s there is like that.”

Mark Crossweller, the head of the national resilience taskforce and a former director general of emergency management Australia, said the pandemic had exposed Australia’s “extreme dependence on a just-in-time supply chain” which was very vulnerable to disruption.

Crossweller also said the emphasis placed on risk from natural disasters being equally shared between governments and institutions on the one hand, and ordinary people who may be living in a disaster-affected area on the other, was “unrealistic and unsustainable”.

“That’s fine if you have half a chance that the risk is reasonable, but if the risk is unreasonable because of the institutional decision making that’s predicated or preceded it, then it’s almost impossible to be resilient,” he said.

He said the information on which decisions were made by institutions to minimise risks in Australia was “suboptimal” and decisions were often based on economic considerations, not on minimising harm.

“We expected citizens to be responsible for the risks on their property or the risks around their property,” he said. “But once you move away from the citizen and you move into institutional framings it gets cloudy very quick. And given those big decisions are what’s really causing us the biggest grief at the moment …

“Values around prosperity and other factors often take precedence over values around hazard mitigation or risk reduction.”

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

TELEHEALTH EXTENDED TO e-AA
When coronavirus forced the cancellation of in-person AA meetings, Julie came close to drinking. She found a solution online
As the coronavirus lockdowns bit across Australia, Julie* began to fear she would begin drinking again.

"I went from seeing friends and family, having that support, to almost nothing," she said.

The Darwin mother and self-confessed alcoholic found herself temporarily stuck in Sydney where she had been sorting out family affairs after the death of a relative.

"My relationship with alcohol started when I was in my teens. I was abused as a child, and it helped drown out the pain that was lying there," she said.

With a condition which compromises her immune system, Julie has been fearful of catching coronavirus.

Stuck indoors, Julie — a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) for the past four years — was desperately missing the group's face-to-face meetings.

"There were regular face-to-face meetings and then it went totally online," she said.

"I felt it was much harder to be held accountable all of a sudden.

"Rather than sitting across from a friend, supporting them and being supported face to face, I was staring at a computer screen, trying to log in to Zoom."

The ABC sat in on a series of these meetings, with the permission of members, to hear how their lives had changed.

'I'm one of the lucky ones'
In time, Julie began to embrace the zoom meetings.

"I realised that no longer was I just restricted to seeing people close to where I live; I could use it to explore new places, see new people, and hear and share stories," she said.

Over the past few months, she has begun conducting what she calls "AA tourism", joining meetings in Alaska and Hawaii.

"All of a sudden I had these new connections I would never have otherwise had. I felt a part of something bigger. It saved me from going back to the booze," she said.

"I feel I'm one of the lucky ones. There are people on the meetings in Australia who have started drinking again — some after decades of abstinence — because of COVID."

Gerry*, an AA organiser in the Alaskan city of Anchorage, said he was shocked when he heard the twang of an Australian accent at his regular AA call.

"I have to say it took us all totally by surprise," he said.

"We hadn't met an Aussie before.

"We thought, this is a strange-sounding South African."

Like his Australian counterparts, Gerry said AA meetings in the United States had started to become "inundated" with new members and enquiries.

"We have gone from a small group of half a dozen to literally dozens," he said.

"I pray to God for those souls isolated by this terrible pandemic. It is hitting folks here in Anchorage really hard."

"But I have to say how nice it is that we have folk from Australia joining us, to get through this together," he said.

AA helpline calls spike across Australia
Data provided to the ABC by AA shows the number of calls to the organisation's national helpline usually sits between 1,000 and 1,200 a month.

That all changed when coronavirus plunged the nation into crisis.

"All of a sudden we saw an extra 30 per cent of people calling us," Tony, a coordinator at AA Australia, said.

"On top of that, anecdotally, organisers are saying that regulars are sometimes not attending meetings anymore and that concerns us immensely."

"AA have never experienced anything like this before."

In December last year there were just over 1,100 calls to the helpline in a month, but since March this year the monthly average has been between 1,500 and 1,700.

"We saw that rise in January, but it really spiked in March and it seems to keep growing," Tony said.

"While we did see that growth in new people accessing AA, we also saw some regulars not attending meetings. It really has been double edged."

A recent survey by the Australian National University (ANU) found almost 20 per cent of people drank more under lockdown than they usually did.

Shalini Arunogiri, a clinical addiction psychiatrist, says while online AA meetings are a solution for members isolated geographically, their use raised some concerns.

"As many as 30 per cent of my patients do not have regular, and private, access to a digital device," Dr Arunogiri said.

"So those people are essentially being locked out from measures to counter addiction simply through digital disadvantage."

"We're concerned about the factors that make people more predisposed to addiction, or what we could call addiction risk factors.

"And when you read off those factors, it's like a calling card for this pandemic: loss of job, uncertain housing, a feeling of helplessness.

"We are seeing the seeds of an addiction crisis.

"What we don't always consider is the full potential impact of isolation on addictive behaviours.

"I am getting clients who are just realising they have developed an addiction with alcohol because they have been cooped up amid this pandemic."

But for Julie, online meetings have allowed her to gain new friends and new connections.

"My pain, my isolation, aren't in control of me anymore," she said.

"Sharing experiences with complete strangers on the other side of the world has been the best thing in a long while."

*Not their real names.
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

UPTICK IN BINGE GAMBLING EXPECTED AS VENUES WHERE GAMBLING IS THE BUSINESS MODEL REOPEN
Binge gambling the next next fear when poker machines reboot after COVID-19 gaming shutdown
Victorian gamblers have saved $1.3 billion in poker machine losses since the machines were switched off due to COVID-19.

Club gaming rooms and TAB outlets in Victoria were closed on March 23, when coronavirus restrictions were introduced, and they are likely to remain closed until at least November.

Anti-gaming groups say the pandemic presents a unique opportunity to help problem gamblers stay off the poker machines when venues reopen.

"Although some people have appreciated being able to take the break, a lot of people are looking forward to getting back," said Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation principal clinical advisor Tony Clarkson.

"When they do, the experience of the other states and territories has told us that there is likely to be a significant increase in player losses."

He said in New South Wales there had been an 8 per cent increase in poker machine losses since venues reopened, and in Queensland, losses had increased by 32 per cent.

"People can certainly get some benefit from taking a break, stopping and thinking about their gambling behaviour, having a think about what role gambling plays in their life, and what benefits they might have achieved or accrued from the lockdown period when they weren't able to gamble," Mr Clarkson said.

Surge in online gaming
In Gippsland alone, gamblers have saved $64 million since coronavirus restrictions forced the closure of gaming venues.

At the Sale Greyhound Club, 80 poker machines sit idle.

The operators have rearranged the gaming room to put all poker machines 1.5 metres apart to meet social distancing rules, but general manager Peter Johnston fears it could be Christmas before they are allowed to reopen.

"There's a lot of Chinese whispers within the industry at the moment that it will be a 10:00pm close for venues," Mr Johnston said.

"We're also hearing that even venues that have separated machines, that every second machine is going to have to be turned off.

"So in our case, 80 machines will turn into 31 machines, so that's going to be an issue for us long term as well.

"We're classified as the entertainment industry, so the earliest date was the 26th of November and that's with everything going right. So I would be really surprised if we're open before Christmas."

He said there had been a significant surge in online gaming, including greyhound betting, as poker machine players turned to alternative forms of gambling.

"The poker machine industry is a really controlled environment with limits on what you can spend and how long you can spend in a venue," Mr Johnston said.

"We believe those people are better off in our venues than sitting at home quiet by themselves."

A spokeswoman for the Victorian Government said venues in metro Melbourne and regional areas will potentially reopen with seated venues and patron caps when Victoria moves from the third step to the last step in the reopening plan — if there are no new cases for 14 days as directed by the Chief Health Officer.

"We're working hard to minimise the risk of gambling harm with plans underway to ensure the reopening of gaming in Victoria can be achieved safely, both from a health and a gambling harm perspective," the spokeswoman said.

Good time for reforms, say anti-gaming group
The Alliance for Gambling Reform has called on the Victorian Government to reduce the operating hours of poker machine venues and introduce a $1 maximum bet when COVID-19 restrictions are eased.

"We know we're stuck with them, but at least cut down the hours so that we don't go back to where we were before the pandemic," alliance spokeswoman and reformed gambler Carolyn Crawford said.

In 2016, at the age of 64, Ms Crawford was sentenced to prison for stealing money from her employer to pay for her gambling addiction.

"I was lucky that I have a great counsellor who helped me through the feeling of wanting to go to the pokies again, even after 18 months in prison," she said.

Ms Crawford said the shutdown may have helped some people realise they need help, but others would be eagerly awaiting venues to reopen.

"Now is a great opportunity for governments to acknowledge how addictive these machines are," she said.

Latrobe Community Health Service (LCHS) is offering free and confidential help and advice, including therapeutic counselling and financial counselling for people who have gambling debts.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

SILENT 3rd WAVE OF LONG TERM COVID CAUSED NEUROLOGICAL ISSUES
The 'silent' third wave of coronavirus that could devastate Australia
A 'silent wave' of neurological illnesses could sweep Australia in years to come as brain damage caused by coronavirus may lead to other diseases, scientists say.

New research into the long-term effects of COVID-19 published on Wednesday has found survivors may have an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

The virus creates inflammation on the brain which can act as a trigger for the onset of more serious conditions.

'Parkinson's disease is a complex illness, but one of the causes is inflammation, and the virus helps to drive that inflammation,' Kevin Barnham from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health told the ABC.

'Once the inflammation gets into the brain, it starts a cascade of events which can ultimately lead to Parkinson's disease.'

The ramifications described were witnessed after the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, with Parkinson's disease cases tripling five years after the outbreak.

The study, published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, proposes a 'two-hit' hypothesis, in which an initial inflammation event occurs, such as the virus, with a second then fuelling the later development of the nervous system disorder.

Not every survivor will develop the disease, but it is still to early to know what percentage will, experts say.

However, Professor Barnham said with 30 million people worldwide being diagnosed with the virus, even a small percentage would create a surge in Parkinson Disease cases.

While further research is needed to determine the relationship between COVID-19 and Parkinson's disease, researchers are investigating intervention methods.

Warning signs, such as loss of smell, can occur up to a decade before Parkinson's disease sufferers experience physical symptoms.

If diagnosed early, therapeutics can be applied to prevent brain cells from dying off.

Researchers from the Florey Institute are working on a screening test to identify indications of the disease, like ability to smell and brain functioning.

It will be available to those 50 and over.

If effective, it could have far reaching benefits- with Parkinson's disease cases set to double to 12 million the next 20 years - even before the coronavirus pandemic.

'Add to that the silent wave from COVID, and those numbers will explode and there will be serious societal and economic consequences from that,' Professor Barham said.

Parkinson's disease is a degenrative neurological condition that affects the control of body movements.

It causes trembling in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face, stiffness in the lower body, slowness of movements, unstable posture and difficulty in walking.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
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