NSW records 406 new local cases and six deaths
The NSW number have also just come through. The state recorded 406 new local cases and sadly six people infected with Covid-19 have died.
NSW COVID-19 update – Thursday 14 October 2021In the 24-hour reporting period to 8pm last night:- 91.1% of people aged 16+ have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine- 76.5% of people aged 16+ have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine- 85,133 tests pic.twitter.com/gP60g0Lh70
October 13, 2021
Victoria records most infecious day ever with 2,297 Covid-19 cases
The Victorian numbers are in and they are not good. The numbers have jumped by more than 700 cases from yesterday, with 2,297 new infections recorded overnight.
The state also recorded 11 deaths.
Reported yesterday: 2,297 new local cases and 0 cases acquired overseas.- 37,611 vaccines administered – 82,762 test results received- Sadly, 11 people with COVID-19 have diedMore later: https://t.co/OCCFTAtS1P#COVID19Vic #COVID19VicData pic.twitter.com/akg1jkxcxP
October 13, 2021
Heads up, we should be hearing from the federal health minister Greg Hunt in about half an hour.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sonya Bennett will hold a press conference at 9:30am APH #auspol
October 13, 2021
The federal government is seeking to overturn a landmark high court decision that deemed Aboriginal Australians cannot be aliens and cannot be deported.
The Love and Thoms ruling in February 2020 ranks as the high court’s most significant constitutional decision in years, with the narrow four-to-three judgment prompting Coalition conservatives to lobby for black-letter judges to be appointed.
Just a year and a half later, the commonwealth has revealed it wants the precedent to be overturned after a New Zealand man tried to fight deportation using the Love and Thoms precedent.
Part of Shayne Paul Montgomery’s federal court case seeks to prove that the category of “non-citizen, non-alien” should be extended to people customarily adopted as Aboriginal even if they have no Aboriginal biological descent.
You can read the full report below:
at 5.59pm EDT
Andrew Forrest urges end to climate ‘fear-mongering’
Emissions reduction targets of between 40% and 50% are absolutely necessary for Australia, according to mining magnate Andrew Forrest, reports AAP.
The former Fortescue chief executive also said it would be a “high-profile” declaration of where Australia sits on climate change if Scott Morrison did not attend an upcoming Glasgow summit to address the issue.
Yesterday Forrest outlined billion-dollar plans for green hydrogen production facilities across Australia, including in NSW, Queensland and Tasmania.
Before a final decision on Australia’s net zero emissions policy by the government, Forrest has hit out at MPs who have criticised such proposals as being detrimental to the economy.
He told ABC Radio National this morning:
We need to stop the fear-mongering … It might crack a few more votes at the next election, but after that it is seen as fear-mongering, when coal starts to subside.
Much of the criticism of net zero plans have come from senior Nationals MPs, who have said attempts to reduce emissions would impact on regional areas and jobs.
The Nationals will hold a party room meeting on Sunday to discuss the net zero plans.
Nationals Senate leader and cabinet minister Bridget McKenzie said yesterday there would be “no deal unless it is right for the regions”.
Forrest said he had spoken yesterday to deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and McKenzie about the plans for green hydrogen facilities:
I’m sure they are quite capable of hearing the facts … Economies are going green and they are going to grow the fastest and have the most jobs. If Australia doesn’t do it, that capital will go to countries that will.
Forrest will address the National Press Club at lunchtime.
at 5.59pm EDT
Wilcannia locals are celebrating the news there have been no new Covid cases for two weeks but say they are now on the long path to recovery after the virus hit “like a cyclone” in August.
Yesterday was the 15th consecutive day of no new cases, an “incredible” outcome according to Brendon Adams, who runs Wilcannia River radio and who worked on the frontline during the crisis.
“It was like a cyclone, we were just overwhelmed by the impact,” Adams said. “There was a lot of depression, there was isolation but our community came together, and to see an outcome such as this is unbelievable.”
As NSW lifts restrictions, one Aboriginal health expert warned that “we are still in the thick of it”, with new cases appearing in other Aboriginal communities every day.
You can read the full report below:
at 5.33pm EDT
New Zealand’s defeat by the Delta strain of Covid-19 could see a relaxation of international border rules by Christmas, reports Ben McKay from AAP.
And Jacinda Ardern’s government is preparing to allow New Zealanders with Covid-19 to stay at home or isolate at community facilities if they do not need hospital-level care.
A predicted surge of coronavirus cases has prompted the changes.
The hard border has been maintained as New Zealand pursued an elimination strategy against the virus, but the reluctant acceptance of ongoing community cases has turned the government’s mind to a border rethink.
Ardern appears set to loosen the compulsory 14-day stay in a quarantine hotel – known locally as MIQ – on arrival.
Covid-19 minister Chris Hipkins said:
We are actively considering our MIQ settings in light of the fact that we are unlikely to get back to zero cases … You can expect to see us talking more about that fairly soon.
International travel has been on hold since July, when New Zealand suspended the trans-Tasman bubble due to growing cases in NSW and Victoria.
at 5.18pm EDT
State government commitments for 2030 have put Australia within reach of meeting global expectations on tackling the climate crisis, but it will fall short unless the Morrison government steps up, a new analysis has found.
Guardian Australia understands Scott Morrison has told colleagues he wants to increase Australia’s existing 2030 emissions reduction target as part of his negotiations with the Nationals about climate policies to be unveiled before the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.
Emissions projections to be released shortly are expected to forecast Australia will beat the current target of a 26% to 28% cut by 2030 compared with 2005 levels, and the prime minister wants to reflect that in a new target to be outlined ahead of Glasgow.
You can read the full report by Katharine Murphy and Adam Morton below:
at 5.11pm EDT
Fortescue Metals chairman Andrew Forrest has been speaking to ABC radio this morning about his investments in green hydrogen initiatives:
It’s a market we’ll compete with, instead of importing everything from overseas. My dream, my passion is to get those jobs all making manufacturing green …
A company that produces no pollution goes green? Great, slow clap. We need the heavy emitters, people like me, we have to go green as soon as possible to stop global warming.
Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest with one of his workers at a hydrogen announcement in Brisbane on Monday. Photograph: Darren England/AAP
When asked about National frontbencher Bridget McKenzie’s comments yesterday, when she suggested that committing to net zero emissions by 2050 could hurt regional communities, he said:
We need to stop scaring Australians. We need to stop fear-mongering …
You might crack a few more votes but after this coming election you’ll be seen for what you are – just fear-mongering to try and save your political job, not the jobs of regional Australians.
at 5.13pm EDT
NSW premier Dominic Perrottet has just been speaking in Sydney, announcing the second part of his government’s business supports in the lead-up to Christmas.
And this time the customers have something to look forward to as well:
We know that Dine and Discover vouchers have been incredibly successful, incredibly positive, used by close to 5 million people right across our state.
So today, we are doubling down on Dine and Discover. We’re offering two additional $25 vouchers. We know that these vouchers have injected close to $500m into the New South Wales economy. They have been incredibly successful and popular, from Ballina to Balmain, from Byron to Broken Hill.
People right across the state have gone out and used the voucher, and importantly, spent more. It’s driven economic activity in New South Wales. It’s got people back into work. We know that they’re popular.
We said as we were going through the economic recovery period that we’d look at those programs that worked and we would expand them if we could. That’s exactly what we’ve done in relation to this.
at 4.46pm EDT
Australians hoping to fly overseas in the coming months are facing exorbitant costs due to high demand and a scarce supply of seats on services flying into the country, as experts warn high prices will last another year.
The complicated logistical planning required for airlines to ramp up from skeleton operations has meant those seeking to take advantage of the reopened border will face financial hurdles, while aircraft are recalled from desert parking lots and furloughed staff and ground handling contracts are brought back online.
A backlog of more than 45,000 Australians are still stranded overseas, adding another layer of complexity, demand and frustration to the picture.
An analysis of flight costs provided to Guardian Australia by the booking site Kayak shows the average cost of a one-way economy ticket from Sydney to New Delhi – the most sought-after route on the site over the past month – is $1,051, while the return leg on average adds $2,668 to the ticket cost for travel between November and December.
You can read the full report below:
at 4.45pm EDT
Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Thursday. We are nearly done with the week – don’t worry, we can do it!
Well, vaccinations rates are rising fast in Australia’s two most populous states and, as positive is as that is, it’s causing a little bit of a headache for the new NSW premier.
Dominic Perrottet is looking down the barrel of reaching 80% of the 16 and over population being fully vaccinated less than a week after opening the state up after reaching 70%.
The government has promised that the next stage of the post-lockdown reopening will start the Monday after the state reaches 80% full vaccination among its eligible population. But whoops! Many are predicting 80% to be reached on Sunday, potentially leaving only a week between the two phases.
The government’s Covid-19 and economic recovery committee – formerly known as crisis cabinet – will on Thursday discuss postponing regional travel, given the lower vaccination coverage in rural communities.
Perrottet alluded to this yesterday:
There has been concerns raised about regional NSW when you look at those double dose vaccination rates …
[But] we don’t make decisions on a knee-jerk reaction. We make decisions in consultation with our health and economic teams.
Down south in Victoria it looks as though reopening could be coming early as well, with the chief health officer suggesting he is open to lifting Melbourne’s lockdown before next weekend.
The state is on track to reach its 70% double vaccination target before the indicative date of 26 October, and Brett Sutton confirmed that a decision on reopening could be announced as early as this weekend.
While speaking to ABC radio yesterday, he also hinted that the home visitation ban could be lifted, which under the state’s original Covid-19 roadmap, was slated to change at 80%:
We’ve always said, if we can do more, we will do more … We’re acutely aware of home gatherings leading to spikes and that was definitely a feature of [the AFL] grand final. They were people that didn’t normally come together …
It’s different for families. If we can limit numbers, if we think the epidemiology looks OK, absolutely open to that as well.
OK, with all that out of the way, why don’t we jump right into the day!
at 4.33pm EDT