The federal government is chipping in to support the push to increase Tasmanian tourism in the lead-up to Christmas.
It is offering $3m in holiday incentives, with 10,000 $300 vouchers available for residents of South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland who book a holiday in November and December.
Here is what federal tourism minister Dan Tehan had to say about it:
A recent Tourism Australia Travel Sentiment Tracker found 59 per cent of Australians want to take a holiday in the next six months.
Pent-up demand combined with this innovative voucher program represents a fantastic opportunity for Tasmanian tourism to welcome back visitors and give local businesses and the economy a much-needed boost.
Australians want to travel again so they can visit family and friends and take a holiday, in places like Tasmania. All Australians can help to make that a reality by getting vaccinated so we can reach our 80 per cent vaccination targets to trigger the resumption of travel.
at 5.38pm EDT
Five million doses of hydroxychloroquine imported by Clive Palmer were sent for destruction after a standoff with the commonwealth over who should take responsibility for a shipment sitting unclaimed in Melbourne airport.
Last year Palmer promised to donate 32.9m doses of the antimalarial drug to the Australian government, in the hope that it could aid the country’s Covid-19 response, if trials proved it to be an effective treatment.
The commonwealth took about 22.4m doses into its stockpile by June but its enthusiasm for the drug waned, given mounting evidence of its ineffectiveness as a Covid-19 treatment.
The government told Palmer it wouldn’t take any more donations in May, according to documents obtained by the journalist William Summers for Guardian Australia.
You can read the full report by Christopher Knaus and Michael McGowan below:
at 5.34pm EDT
Nicks Xenophon makes fresh tilt at federal politics
Former senator Nick Xenophon is looking to make a return to federal politics after a more than four-year absence, reports Andrew Brown from AAP.
The South Australian powerbroker plans to run as an independent for the upper house at the upcoming election.
He told ABC radio this morning:
Like Al Pacino in The Godfather, once I thought I was out, they try to drag me back in …
I would run as an independent – it’s where my natural habitat is as a pesky independent.
His decision to throw his hat back into the ring follows a long-running legal battle with the US footwear company Dekkers over use of the term “ugg”.
The Sydney bootmaker Eddie Oygur was sued by Dekkers in 2016 for selling 13 pairs of ugg boots to US customers, after a US court found Dekkers had the sole rights to using the term “ugg”.
While the federal government has contributed $200,000 to fight the case, Xenophon said the commonwealth had fallen short of assisting Oygur as a “friend of the court”, which means there’s little chance an appeal would be heard by the US supreme court:
“The [Australian] government is being so out of touch on this. I don’t know why they won’t do what’s needed for every ugg boot maker in the country.
Xenophon resigned from politics in 2017 at the height of the dual citizenship scandal, after he announced he was unsure whether he was a dual citizen, which would have made him ineligible to run for parliament.
But the high court later found Xenophon was validly elected and able to run for office.
Xenophon said he had spoken about his potential move with Stirling Griff, who was his replacement in the Senate as part of the Nick Xenophon Team, before the party name was changed to Centre Alliance.
at 5.28pm EDT
The ABC is reporting that the Victorian case number will be in the 1,500s today.
We shall know for sure when the numbers are released in about an hour.
Vic Covid number is somewhere just under 1600 todaySo that’s within 10% of yday (1466)Still seems stable 🤞 Yday Vic passed 60% 2nd dose (16+) @migga projecting 70% by Friday next week pic.twitter.com/pR2sfkujU3
October 12, 2021
at 5.16pm EDT
A majority of Australians are worried about the threat posed by global heating and want serious action to address it, but Queenslanders are less concerned than people in other states, according to the latest Climate of the Nation report.
The authoritative annual survey of 2,626 voters – now in its 14th year and managed by the progressive thinktank the Australia Institute – suggests three-quarters are worried about the climate crisis, the largest proportion in its history.
As cabinet meets on Wednesday to consider a new climate roadmap the prime minister, Scott Morrison, wants to unveil before the Cop26 talks in Glasgow, the poll suggests a clear majority – 69% – want the Morrison government to put Australia on a path to net zero emissions. The same proportion wants the Coalition to do more to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles.
You can read the full report by Katharine Murphy and Adam Morton below:
at 5.16pm EDT
ABC radio host Fran Kelly is not copping Bridget McKenzie’s politicking this morning.
We represent the poorest of marginalised people in the country, out of sight out of mind, outside of big business out of sight of [Greens leader] Adam Bandt.
Big Business! Big businesses?! The mining companies are out the in regions. What are you saying?
We have been out of sight out of mind of the Greens, the Labor party, big business. The National party has done our job over the last decade. And all we’re asking is that we are respected, as the second party of government.
at 5.15pm EDT
Federal Nationals frontbencher Bridget McKenzie is on ABC radio now, trying to convince people that the net-zero emission debate … isn’t about climate change?
Here are the reasons she gives as to why the decades-long delay on meaningful climate change action from Australia is actually a good thing:
We’ve actually been able to avoid very bad outcomes for our country and our communities.
We don’t have a carbon tax*, the big emitters like India and China are now going to be included in that global infrastructure. And we now have a framework, where countries like Australia can put forward plans to reduce emissions that are in our national interest.
We’ve had that for quite a while in the sector, and agriculture has created jobs in the region, which is something the National party is very very keen on, and we’ve cut our emissions by 20%.
So, this actual debate isn’t about climate change, it’s about regions.
at 5.14pm EDT
Good morning everyone, it’s Matilda Boseley on the blog with you this morning. Get yourself a cup of coffee and settle in, because right off the bat we are talking about climate change.
Yep, today the federal cabinet will thrash out the details of a plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050*, and potentially a more ambitious medium-term target. But first, the prime minister needs to find a way to placate the Nationals about regional jobs and power prices.
At the moment, the Coalition has a 2030 target of reducing emissions by between 26% and 28% below 2005 levels and a “preference” to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Watch this space.
Now to the states and the ever-present Covid-19 situation, where we actually have some good news.
NSW is now rapidly approaching its next vaccination milestone, 80%, just three days after the state’s 70% reopening.
75.23% of residents over 15 are fully vaccinated and 90.77% have had at least one dose. That means NSW could reach the 80% fully vaccinated milestone by Sunday, and potentially start the next phase of reopening next week.
Victoria is also slightly ahead of schedule, with the state expected to reach 70% in the next week or so and the ACT could well achieve almost complete vaccination coverage, upwards of 99% of the eligible population, by the end of November.
The territory is also set to relax its lockdown at the stroke of midnight Friday, with 98.2% of over-12s in the ACT having received a first dose (72% are double dosed).
OK, with all of that going on, let’s not delay any further and jump right into the day!
*Known in environmental circles as “the bare minimum”.
at 4.34pm EDT