What we learned, Tuesday 7 September
That’s where I will leave you for today. Here’s a wrap of what we learned:
New South Wales recorded 1,220 new locally acquired cases overnight, as well as recording eight deaths.
NSW CHO Dr Kerry Chant said she believed a 90% vaccination rate was possible, and said recipients of the Pfizer doses from Poland have been asked to wait eight weeks between doses.
Victoria recorded 246 new locally acquired cases, 90 of which are linked to previous cases.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews slammed the federal government’s vaccine allocations to NSW.
The ACT has recorded 19 new cases, with 13 of them linked, and six under investigation.
PM Scott Morrison was criticised today for taking a trip to Sydney for father’s day, but defended his actions on Sky News, saying he did not receive any “special treatment.”
Mathew Guy has returned to the leadership of the Victorian Liberal party, after a leadership spill removed Michael O’Brien earlier today.
NSW Police has introduced a vaccine mandate for all its staff.
Federal health minister Greg Hunt announced that the government has secured an additional 1.7m vaccine doses from Singapore.
at 5.40am EDT
Need an explainer on the criss-crossing discourse on vaccine allocations to states? Look no further, Sarah Martin has you covered:
A robotic dog is roaming the streets of Adelaide, monitoring power lines for damage. Yes, this is real, and unfortunately the dog does not have a dog-like face though.
Utility company SA Power Networks has been teaching “Spot” to look out for damaged infrastructure and other issues in its poles and wires network.
You can read more on the cute yellow robot dog here:
at 4.59am EDT
The ACTU has launched a national vaccination campaign to “encourage Australians to get vaccinated to support essential workers”.
The campaign includes a 30-second ad that will run on TV, YouTube and other social media platforms.
ACTU Secretary Sally McManus said it was important people get vaccinated as a means of supporting essential workers who “keep this country running”:
The union movement is encouraging all eligible Australians to get vaccinated to support the working people of our country: essential workers who expose themselves every day to keep the country running, hospital workers who face being overwhelmed with unvaccinated people and workers who have lost their jobs because of lockdowns.
We need our workplaces and communities to be as safe as possible and high rates of vaccination is the only way to achieve this. High vaccination rates are also the only way to avoid the crippling lockdowns which have cost working people big time.
at 4.32am EDT
If you want a rundown of everything said and not said around the PM’s trip to Sydney, Paul Karp has you covered:
“Living with covid” has become an often repeated sentiment these days, but what does it actually, practically mean?
The brilliant team over at Full Story have spoken to Melissa Davey on the realities of living with covid, and the future of variants, vaccines and treatments:
In some good news, once again Western Australia and the Northern Territory have both recorded no new cases today.
Police surround Melbourne synagogue where more than 100 worshippers gathered
Police have surrounded a synagogue in Melbourne, where more than 100 worshippers have reportedly been celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
The Age is reporting that members of the Orthodox Jewish congregation entered the synagogue around 5am this morning and have been refusing to leave until sunset.
An officer told the paper police would not force their way in, but would wait until worshippers leave before any action is taken.
Police have reportedly blocked two lanes behind the Ripponlea synagogue, but it is still unclear whether the worshippers will face any action.
at 3.28am EDT
Federal shadow assistant treasurer, Stephen Jones, has backed the Victorian premier’s claims that NSW was receiving more than its fair share of vaccine doses.
Jones said Victoria was supposed to get 82% of what NSW is receiving, but is actually receiving 62%:
Victoria is supposed to be getting 82% of what NSW is receiving – [it’s] actually getting 62%, shortchanged by 20%.
Yes, I want NSW to get every drop of vaccine that it needs. It should not be at the expense of other states.
Let’s be clear: if a state does not hit those targets [of 70 to 80% of people aged over 16 being fully vaccinated] and they have not received the vaccine that they deserve, the blame rests fairly and squarely on Scott Morrison, who has botched his job of the vaccine rollout.
at 3.16am EDT
Liberal MP Dave Sharma has defended prime minister Scott Morrison’s travel exemption to come to Sydney for fathers day, saying he has “a lot of sympathy” for the PM:
I have a lot of sympathy for the prime minister’s position. It would not matter if it was the Labor prime minister or another prime minister. I think we ask a lot of our prime ministers … We expect them to govern the country effectively. That is fine. They volunteer for this job, I know, but I think we can make some allowances.
If we are in any other country, I do not think we would have this debate. The fact that our prime minister quarantines for two weeks when he returns from overseas is actually quite unusual by world standards. You do not find foreign heads of government returning to their countries, even if the rest of the population has to quarantine, and then having to do the same thing.
The prime minister clearly spent time with family, came back, there was no health risk and the Chief Health Officer ticked off on it and he has been away from his family for an immense amount of time. He has been away from his family for a lengthy amount of time. As a person I feel for him.
at 2.58am EDT
Anne Ruston, federal Minister for Women’s Safety, has denied the government has rejected the 55 recommendations of the [email protected] national inquiry into workplace sexual harassment.
Only six of those recommendations have been enacted so far, with Ruston saying the government has not acted on the centrepiece recommendation to impose a new legal obligation on employers to prevent sexual harassment, because it apparently already exists:
My understanding is that currently within the Work Heath and Safety Act that there is an affirmative requirement of employers to do that already.
I know the Attorney-General [Michaelia Cash] is currently consulting on this particular aspect and a number of other issues that are still yet to be resolved in relation to the delivery of those recommendations to make sure we have the regulations or the legislation to make sure that we have the safest workplaces we possibly can.
In no way has the government ever said that we do not want to have the strongest possible provisions in place to make women, or anybody for that matter, feel safe at work and be safe at work.
Ruston was on the ABC’s Afternoon Briefing, and said that “my target is towards zero” when asked about the target of reducing violence against women by 80 per cent by 2031.
at 2.38am EDT
South Australia has recorded six new positive cases in hotel quarantine.
They include two children, three teenagers and a woman in her 30s, who have all been in a medi-hotel since arriving from overseas.
South Australian COVID-19 update 7/9/21. For more information, go to https://t.co/mYnZsGpayo or contact the South Australian COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787. pic.twitter.com/P5nSGDFZmy
September 7, 2021
at 2.27am EDT
The Reserve Bank will maintain interest rates at a record low level of 0.1%, but said it would look to roll back pandemic stimulus measures in the medium to long term.
The RBA is hoping for a strong economic recovery once the lockdowns in NSW and Victoria end, with RBA governor Philip Lowe saying they expected the economy to resume growing through the December quarter.
This setback to the economic expansion is expected to be only temporary. The Delta outbreak is expected to delay, but not derail, the recovery.
As vaccination rates increase further and restrictions are eased, the economy should bounce back.
There is, however, uncertainty about the timing and pace of this bounce back, and it is likely to be slower than that earlier in the year.
at 2.02am EDT
WA Police have announced they have charged a woman for allegedly breaching quarantine.
The woman had arrived in WA on a flight from Queensland on Thursday, and was told to self-quarantine at a suitable premises for 14 days.
When police arrived for a random routine check yesterday, the woman was allegedly not at home.
She was found, arrested, charged with four counts of failing to comply with a direction and refused bail.
Police allege the woman breached quarantine four times between Friday and Monday, including visiting a pawnbroker in Perth and visiting family members in Fremantle.
A school in Sydney’s inner west has shut down “immediately” after a member of the school community tested positive.
Alexandria Park Community School has been closed “effective immediately” because of the positive case.
NSW Education informed the school community at around 2:30pm today that it would be shut for cleaning and contact tracing.
The closure includes the on-site services of Camp Australia, Wunanbiri Preschool and the Alexandria Park Community Centre.
The school joins Crawford Public School, in western Sydney, and Cringila Public School, in Wollongong, in being closed today after positive cases were recorded.
at 1.12am EDT
I’d like to interrupt the seemingly endless stream of news to share an amazing story.
An Australian musk duck has been recorded apparently saying “you bloody fool”, and you can hear the recording yourself at the link below.
The recording is the first comprehensively documented instance of a duck mimicking human sounds. Worth a look:
Hunt has dismissed criticism from Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, that the most recent vaccine allocation was unfairly distributed.
He said Victoria and Queensland have both received additional vaccines, above their per capita share, and stood by the government’s distrubtion:
The critical thing here is to save lives and protect lives.
It would be almost unimaginable not to be providing the support … to those most in need at their time of greatest need.
As we have had outbreaks, we have prioritised those areas to save lives. In particular, we started with prioritising Victoria when there was a Victorian outbreak.
Every state and every territory receives a per capita allocation, and where there is … an outbreak, as we did with Victoria, which we prioritised when they had an outbreak, we made sure that saving lives has been at the heart of what we are doing.