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Coronavirus Australia live update: NSW and Victoria record no new Covid cases; Qld considers quarantine in mining camps Coronavirus Australia live update: US tennis player who tested positive for Covid allowed on flight to Australian Open
(32 minutes later)
NSW issues alert for Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor amid fears UK virus strain may have crossed border. Follow all the updates, liveNSW issues alert for Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor amid fears UK virus strain may have crossed border. Follow all the updates, live
The decision to push ahead with the Australian Open has angered Australians still stuck abroad.
News about the remarkable effort going into hosting the tournament – including charter flights for staff and players and extra resources for hotel quarantine – is not going down well in Facebook groups like Aussie’s Abandoned Abroad, where users share horror stories about cancelled flights, family turmoil, stress and heartbreak.
One user described the stress of repeated flight cancellations as he attempts to return to Australia before his daughter gives birth to twins.
Another user posted a link to a news article about Victoria’s quarantine plans for the tournament, saying only:
Others wondered how it was that Tennis Australia was able to manage charter flights to bring players and staff to Melbourne from all over the world for quarantine, when the federal government could not.
Four people have been found dead at a home in Melbourne’s northwest, AAP reports.
A man is assisting homicide detectives, while a crime scene has been set up at the Tullamarine property.
Police say there is no ongoing threat to the community.
The Australian Open’s organisers are scrambling to defend their decision to allow American tennis player Tennys Sandgren to board one of its charter flights to Melbourne despite testing positive to coronavirus.
Sandgren, who also tested positive to Covid-19 in November and recovered, is understood to have returned a positive result after taking a PCR test on Monday.
Sandgren initially tweeted “at least I get to keep my points”, suggesting he had been barred from flying to Melbourne under the organisers strict travel program for players and their entourages.
Minutes after tweeting that his plane had left the departure gate at Los Angeles airport without him, the world No 49 said he was on the plane, and praised tournament director Craig Tiley as a “wizard”.
The Australian Open’s official Twitter account has since replied to questions on the social media site, suggesting Sandgren had been allowed on the flight because Monday’s test result had picked up virus still in his system, and that he is not currently infectious.
Sandgren’s has previously generated controversy over his Twitter presence, with the player forced to deny he subscribed to alt-right views after tweeting evidence of the “Pizzagate” conspiracy.
Guardian Australia has contacted Tennis Australia for comment.
The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has described the deadly storming of the US Capitol building last week as an abhorrent, despicable attack on democracy.The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has described the deadly storming of the US Capitol building last week as an abhorrent, despicable attack on democracy.
Frydenberg was asked today to comment on Donald Trump becoming the first president in US history to be impeached a second time. The sole article of impeachment – which charged the defeated president with “inciting an insurrection” – was backed by 10 House Republicans.Frydenberg was asked today to comment on Donald Trump becoming the first president in US history to be impeached a second time. The sole article of impeachment – which charged the defeated president with “inciting an insurrection” – was backed by 10 House Republicans.
Frydenberg, the deputy Liberal party leader, said it was not for him to provide a running commentary on political and democratic processes in the US – but he was notably stronger in his language than that used by Scott Morrison last week.Frydenberg, the deputy Liberal party leader, said it was not for him to provide a running commentary on political and democratic processes in the US – but he was notably stronger in his language than that used by Scott Morrison last week.
Australia’s acting prime minister, Michael McCormack, earlier this week touched on Trump’s own role in inciting the violence, describing Trump’s refusal to concede defeat in the presidential election and his inflammatory tweets as “unfortunate”.Australia’s acting prime minister, Michael McCormack, earlier this week touched on Trump’s own role in inciting the violence, describing Trump’s refusal to concede defeat in the presidential election and his inflammatory tweets as “unfortunate”.
But McCormack drew flak for comparing the deadly riots to the Black Lives Matter protest movement and saying “all lives matter”.But McCormack drew flak for comparing the deadly riots to the Black Lives Matter protest movement and saying “all lives matter”.
Overnight, Human Rights Watch urged the Morrison government to treat the deadly mob assault on the US Capitol as “a wake-up call” and for Australian security agencies to be vigilant in countering the growth of rightwing extremism at home.Overnight, Human Rights Watch urged the Morrison government to treat the deadly mob assault on the US Capitol as “a wake-up call” and for Australian security agencies to be vigilant in countering the growth of rightwing extremism at home.
The Australian director at Human Rights Watch, Elaine Pearson, said: “The Australian government should speak plainly and consistently in condemning the actions of those who undermine democracy, even when it is the president of the United States.”The Australian director at Human Rights Watch, Elaine Pearson, said: “The Australian government should speak plainly and consistently in condemning the actions of those who undermine democracy, even when it is the president of the United States.”
The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, says some businesses will not make it to the other side of the Covid crisis, as he defends the planned end of the federal government’s jobkeeper wage subsidy at the end of March.The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, says some businesses will not make it to the other side of the Covid crisis, as he defends the planned end of the federal government’s jobkeeper wage subsidy at the end of March.
During a visit to a cafe in Torquay, Victoria, today, Frydenberg said the government intended to allow the jobkeeper program to conclude in line with its currently legislated end date. The government also had “no plans to change the major parameters of the jobkeeper program” despite calls for it to continue for harder hit industries.During a visit to a cafe in Torquay, Victoria, today, Frydenberg said the government intended to allow the jobkeeper program to conclude in line with its currently legislated end date. The government also had “no plans to change the major parameters of the jobkeeper program” despite calls for it to continue for harder hit industries.
Frydenberg played down concerns of a fiscal cliff at the end of March, instead pushing a more upbeat message:Frydenberg played down concerns of a fiscal cliff at the end of March, instead pushing a more upbeat message:
Pressed on whether he expected to see a wave of insolvencies, Frydenberg said:Pressed on whether he expected to see a wave of insolvencies, Frydenberg said:
Frydenberg said it was “always the case that some businesses would not make it to the other side of the Covid crisis” but the government’s focus had “always been to give every business the best chance of getting to the other side”.Frydenberg said it was “always the case that some businesses would not make it to the other side of the Covid crisis” but the government’s focus had “always been to give every business the best chance of getting to the other side”.
The government has cited figures indicating an additional $200bn is sitting on household and business balance sheets compared to the start of last year. Frydenberg said it was not for him to tell people when or how to spend these savings, but he was “confident that people will spend that money across the economy – that will help generate economic activity”.The government has cited figures indicating an additional $200bn is sitting on household and business balance sheets compared to the start of last year. Frydenberg said it was not for him to tell people when or how to spend these savings, but he was “confident that people will spend that money across the economy – that will help generate economic activity”.
Western Australia’s premier Mark McGowan has thanked kayakers who helped to rescue a man who was bitten by a bull shark in his state earlier today.Western Australia’s premier Mark McGowan has thanked kayakers who helped to rescue a man who was bitten by a bull shark in his state earlier today.
Paramedics responded to reports of a shark bite at Point Walter Reservoir, along the Swan River, shortly after 8am (local time) on Thursday.Paramedics responded to reports of a shark bite at Point Walter Reservoir, along the Swan River, shortly after 8am (local time) on Thursday.
The man, who was swimming at the time of the bite, was taken to Royal Perth Hospital before 9am, and is understood to have suffered a serious injury to his upper right leg.The man, who was swimming at the time of the bite, was taken to Royal Perth Hospital before 9am, and is understood to have suffered a serious injury to his upper right leg.
McGowan said:McGowan said:
Thanks for bringing us the morning’s developments Matilda.Thanks for bringing us the morning’s developments Matilda.
I’m Elias Visontay and I’ll be taking you through the next part of the afternoon.I’m Elias Visontay and I’ll be taking you through the next part of the afternoon.
If you see anything you think I should be aware of, you can contact me via email at elias.visontay@theguardian.com or via Twitter @EliasVisontay.If you see anything you think I should be aware of, you can contact me via email at elias.visontay@theguardian.com or via Twitter @EliasVisontay.
With that, I might leave you and hand you over into the safe hands of Elias Visontay.With that, I might leave you and hand you over into the safe hands of Elias Visontay.
Just a bit more on that shark attack in Perth.Just a bit more on that shark attack in Perth.
It’s understood that a man has suffered a serious injury to his upper right leg when swimming at a popular spot Point Walter Reservoir, along the Swan River.It’s understood that a man has suffered a serious injury to his upper right leg when swimming at a popular spot Point Walter Reservoir, along the Swan River.
Paramedics were called to the scene at 8.05 am this morning and he was treated at the scene including receiving CPR.Paramedics were called to the scene at 8.05 am this morning and he was treated at the scene including receiving CPR.
He was transported to the Royal Perth Hosptial at 8.49 am as “Priority One”, which means he was in a serious condition.He was transported to the Royal Perth Hosptial at 8.49 am as “Priority One”, which means he was in a serious condition.
I’ll bring you an update on his condition as soon as I can.I’ll bring you an update on his condition as soon as I can.
Two officers have been injured during an alleged incident with a prisoner at the Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre, reports the AAP.
One officer suffered a laceration to the head while a second received a laceration to the face shortly before midday on Wednesday.
They were treated at the scene by Queensland Health staff then taken to hospital in stable condition for further treatment, Queensland Corrective Services confirmed.
The prisoner was restrained and transferred to the detention unit.
The centre was locked down to allow responding officers to debrief with management.
I’ve just got an alert through from Tasmanian authorities. They have confirmed that 14 recently returned international travellers who quarantined in the Brisbane Hotel Grand Chancellor will have been contacted and asked to be re-tested and re-quarantine while the situation is investigated.
The hotel has been the site of a small cluster of the highly contagious UK variant of Covid-19 and there are fears that the disease may have spread through the hotel, essentially nullifying guests two weeks of quarantine.
Deputy state controller Scott Tilyard has released a statement:
A man has been attacked by a two to three-metre bull shark in the Bicton area of Perth around 8am this morning.
We haven’t got an update on his condition just yet but a water police vessel has been deployed to clear people from the water.
WA authorities have warned people in the area to take care, adhere to beach closures and report any shark sightings to the water police on 9442 8600.
You can find a bit more information on the Shark Smart website here.
The ABC has reversed two editorial decisions about its reporting on the assault on the US Capitol and misinformation about Covid-19 spread by the MP Craig Kelly.
On Tuesday Mark Maley, the ABC’s manager of editorial policy, banned unattributed use of the word “insurrection” in news reporting to describe the 6 January attack.
But by Wednesday afternoon the ABC had reversed its position, with Maley issuing fresh guidance admitting there was “overwhelming prima facie evidence” that the Capitol attack, in which five people were killed, qualified as an insurrection.
In an email to news and current affairs staff sent on Tuesday morning, Maley said that “many US Democrats and a small number of Republicans are calling the events of 6 January an ‘insurrection’ and that is what is going to be alleged in the impeachment [of Trump]”.
You can read Ben Butler’s full story below:
The daily stats from ABC reporter Casey Briggs has come out on which posts from Australian politicians got the most traction on Facebook yesterday.
In a fairly predictable turn of events, controversial Liberal MP Craig Kelly has taken out the top spot.
We mentioned it a little while ago but here is a bit more info on what the Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has to say about those trying to get home from Sydney to Melbourne.
Some of you thought you may have seen the last of me today, but no, you aren’t that lucky. It’s me Matilda Boseley back in the seat now.
Thank you to Nino Bucci for holding the fort and doing it with style!
So just going back to the Daniel Andrews press conference for a second, and the main point of discussion today was this UK variant strain in Queensland.
Unfortunately, it looks like there will be Melburnians who after just getting out of quarantine and returning to their home states will have to be retested and possibly isolate.
A few more bits and pieces from that NSW press conference:
A positive result recorded at an Ulladulla sewerage treatment plant in recent days is now considered to be negative.
Restrictions in Illawarra/Wollongong are likely to continue, despite a string of days without cases.
Health minister Brad Hazzard said we had to get used to new variants popping up, as the UK variant becomes prevalent in hotel quarantine. NSW deputy chief health officer Dr Jeremy McAnulty said there had been 18 “variants of concern” detected since November.
Hazzard also said he was comfortable with current arrangements regarding working from home, which largely leaves the decision to workplaces.