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Coronavirus Australia live news: NSW issues hotel alert amid fears UK virus strain may have crossed border Coronavirus Australia live news: Queensland to consider quarantining returned travellers in mining camps after UK strain hotel outbreak
(32 minutes later)
NSW Health urges anyone who has been at Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor as a returned traveller or worker to immediately get tested and isolate. Follow all the updates, live NSW issues alert for Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor amid fears UK virus strain may have crossed border; Victoria and Queensland record no new Covid cases. Follow all the updates, live
So the big thing that had to happen in Queensland last night was the massive task of moving 129 (potentially very infectious) returned travellers from the Grand Chancellor hotel to other facilities.
Health minister Yvette D’Ath spoke about this effort:
Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young is speaking now:
Young commended the cleaner who was originally affected at the quarantine hotel with the UK variant.
Palaszczuk has been pretty worried about hotel quarantine systems in Australia, especially now that the highly contagious UK variant is out and about.
Yesterday she was speaking vaguely about talking to national cabinet about big changes to the program, but this morning she had gone into greater detail:
And would you look at that Queensland’s Annastacia Palaszczuk is speaking now:And would you look at that Queensland’s Annastacia Palaszczuk is speaking now:
In case you were wondering when our great leaders will be speaking today NSW’s Glady’s Berejiklian is expected to stand up in the next little while. She will be chatting about the new direction for anyone in NSW who visited a quarantined hotel in Brisbane to re-quarantine and get tested. (This comes after a small cluster of the highly contagious UK variant of Covid-19 was discovered there).In case you were wondering when our great leaders will be speaking today NSW’s Glady’s Berejiklian is expected to stand up in the next little while. She will be chatting about the new direction for anyone in NSW who visited a quarantined hotel in Brisbane to re-quarantine and get tested. (This comes after a small cluster of the highly contagious UK variant of Covid-19 was discovered there).
Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Dr Allen Cheng will be speaking at 11.Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Dr Allen Cheng will be speaking at 11.
Josh Frydenberg has spoken this morning, saying he believes households have sufficient savings for the economy to continue its recovery even when jobkeeper ends in March.Josh Frydenberg has spoken this morning, saying he believes households have sufficient savings for the economy to continue its recovery even when jobkeeper ends in March.
The federal treasurer jumped on new figures showing households and businesses have amassed more than $200bn in savings during the pandemic.The federal treasurer jumped on new figures showing households and businesses have amassed more than $200bn in savings during the pandemic.
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority data shows household deposits increased by around $113bn between January and November last year.Australian Prudential Regulation Authority data shows household deposits increased by around $113bn between January and November last year.
Non-financial businesses saved $104bn over the same period.Non-financial businesses saved $104bn over the same period.
Unsurprisingly, the shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers disagrees.Unsurprisingly, the shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers disagrees.
Competition regulator Rod Sims has foreshadowed possible further legal cases against tech groups as a result of inquiries into mobile phone app stores and how ads are sold online.Competition regulator Rod Sims has foreshadowed possible further legal cases against tech groups as a result of inquiries into mobile phone app stores and how ads are sold online.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which Sims chairs, has been investigating so-called “ad tech”, where search engine Google is a major player, and the stores both Google and competitor Apple use to sell mobile phone apps, as part of its broader agenda to examine the power of tech companies.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which Sims chairs, has been investigating so-called “ad tech”, where search engine Google is a major player, and the stores both Google and competitor Apple use to sell mobile phone apps, as part of its broader agenda to examine the power of tech companies.
Sims handed a report detailing the findings of his inquiry into ad tech to the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, on 31 December, and the government is expected to release it before the end of the month.Sims handed a report detailing the findings of his inquiry into ad tech to the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, on 31 December, and the government is expected to release it before the end of the month.
You can read the full story below:You can read the full story below:
I’ve just heard back from Cathay Pacific about how that airline is managing the reduction in the hotel quarantine caps, which affect its commercial flights coming into Sydney and Brisbane.I’ve just heard back from Cathay Pacific about how that airline is managing the reduction in the hotel quarantine caps, which affect its commercial flights coming into Sydney and Brisbane.
They have not said how they are selecting which passengers will fly as scheduled and which will be bumped, but said they are “committed to supporting our customers as best we can during this challenging time”.They have not said how they are selecting which passengers will fly as scheduled and which will be bumped, but said they are “committed to supporting our customers as best we can during this challenging time”.
And Etihad said this:And Etihad said this:
The buzz call of the cicada is a familiar sound of the Australian summer and this season is what David Emery calls a “super year for our summer chorusing friends”.The buzz call of the cicada is a familiar sound of the Australian summer and this season is what David Emery calls a “super year for our summer chorusing friends”.
A veterinary immunologist at the University of Sydney and cicada expert, Emery has been monitoring the insects for decades and, along with many residents of coastal New South Wales and beyond, has registered that the volume is more ear-splitting than usual.A veterinary immunologist at the University of Sydney and cicada expert, Emery has been monitoring the insects for decades and, along with many residents of coastal New South Wales and beyond, has registered that the volume is more ear-splitting than usual.
In NSW, Victoria and South Australia, more cicadas have emerged this summer than in recent years.In NSW, Victoria and South Australia, more cicadas have emerged this summer than in recent years.
Emery says one reason is the abundance of winter and summer rainfall Australia has received.Emery says one reason is the abundance of winter and summer rainfall Australia has received.
“You often see a good emergence after drought and that may be due to plant regeneration and growth inspired by the rain,” Emery said. “After the fires, we see that regrowth as well.”“You often see a good emergence after drought and that may be due to plant regeneration and growth inspired by the rain,” Emery said. “After the fires, we see that regrowth as well.”
You can read the full story below:You can read the full story below:
Just on those drownings here is a bit more information.
Three people are dead after separate drownings on Victoria’s coastline, while a child is fighting for life after being recused from waters in southeast Melbourne.
A woman in her 20s died after swimming out to rescue a teenage girl struggling in the water at Venus Bay (a popular Victorian Holiday town), about 7.30pm on Wednesday.
The woman was one of several people who dived into the waters to save the girl, but she began to struggle before she was pulled from the water by an off-duty lifeguard. The others made it safely back including the teenage girl.
Earlier in the afternoon, four people were swept off rocks at Bushrangers Bay near Cape Schanck on the Mornington Peninsula. Police say two onlookers then entered the water to assist.
One woman died and five other people were rescued but four required hospitalisations. It’s not yet known if she was one of the two people who attempted the rescue.
The third death was a man in his 80s, who was brought to shore already unconscious at the popular Rye front beach in Tootgarook, on Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, a three-year-old girl was found unresponsive at Lysterfield Lake in Narre Warren about 5.50pm on Wednesday. She was rescued from the water and taken to hospital in a critical condition.
Police say they have launched an investigation into the incident.
An Adelaide man says he felt “powerless” and disrespected when two employees from his disability employment agency turned up at his house without permission or prior warning, a likely breach of government guidelines.
Jobseeker Franklin Araya, 59, said two employees from Multiple Solutions arrived at his home unannounced on Friday, 8 January.
He said they asked him to sign a form that indicated he had been working for a certain number of weeks and hours – documentation that can allow providers to claim bonuses, known as outcome payments, though there is no allegation the information on the form was false.
The incident bears similarities to a case last year, where a newly unemployed man said he felt harassed by an employment agency job coach who showed up at his home unannounced and which Guardian Australia can reveal resulted in a “breach notice” being issued to the provider.
You can read the full story below:
This isn’t Australian news, but I think we can make an exception.
You can check out all the updates from the impeachment vote today on our US live blog.
Bing bing bing! It’s my favourite time of the morning! (No prizes for guessing what state I live in).
Victoria has recorded no locally acquired cases yesterday and no cases in hotel quarantine.
Triple doughnuts baby!
I mentioned before that Life Saving Victoria had taken to social media to talk about how heartbreaking yesterday was along the state’s beaches after three died and five were put in hospital in three separate incidents.
Here is one of those posts:
In possibly the worst news I have ever heard in my life a wild Australian sea lion has been diagnosed with tuberculosis, for the first time.
The discovery by Australian researchers has sparked concerns the disease, which was found in the mammal’s abdomen, could transfer to humans, the AAP reports.
University of Sydney researcher Rachel Gray said there was a risk of transmission.
In humans, tuberculosis typically affects the lungs.
The infected seal was a dead three-year-old male found on a beach at Kangaroo Island in South Australia in 2017.
Tuberculosis was discovered in its intestines during an autopsy.
The research was published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases.
The federal communications minister Paul Fletcher is speaking on Radio National now. He is chiefly being asked about the Liberal and National party’s reluctance to condemn MPs George Christensen and Craig Kelly for spreading misinformation on social media.
Kelly on Monday posted misleading statistics to his Facebook page, labelling mandatory mask-wearing laws “child abuse”.
The Australia Medical Association, former prime minister Malcolm Turnball and the federal opposition have all called on the LNP to censure Kelly.
Unsurprisingly Fletcher isn’t too forthcoming with any condemnations:
Just a reminder that the “individual” he is talking about is an elected member of government and part of Fletcher’s own political party.
More from Berejiklian on this new UK strain of the coronavirus:
The premier was asked if states should consider moving hotel quarantine to regional areas.
Oh, speaking of, the NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian is on ABC News Breakfast now addressing the worrying Brisbane hotel cluster.
She says the new Covid-19 variant is a real worry.
Good morning all, Matilda Boseley here ready to take you through all the important news this Thursday.
If you see anything that you think belongs in the blog, make sure you send it through to me on Twitter @MatildaBoseley or by email on matilda.boseley@theguardian.com.
So, one of the big things to watch today is NSW issuing an alert for anyone who has been at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane, fearing a highly contagious strain of coronavirus may have spread across the border.
The hotel, which has been used to quarantine returned travellers, is linked to six cases of the UK variant of Covid-19, with multiple guests and a staff member all contracting the disease on the same floor. Queensland Health has now shut the facility for deep cleaning and has moved all guests, restarting their two-week stay.
NSW Health on Wednesday urged anyone who had been at the hotel since December 30, as a returned traveller or worker, to immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days regardless of the result.
This strain is said to be up to 70% more infectious than the “regular” coronavirus, although it doesn’t seem that the disease the virus causes is more virulent or deadly. But still, state leaders are terrified that if this variant seeds in the community, it could be exponentially harder to bring under control.
In other news:
Australia’s chief medical officer has rejected calls to pause the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine after some doctors expressed concerns about the vaccine’s efficacy rate, which ranges from 62% to 90%, depending on how doses are administered. But the chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, is standing by plans to distribute AstraZeneca to most Australians.
Human Rights Watch’s annual report says Australia’s global reputation on human rights has been marred by the government’s failure to address longstanding abuses against First Nations people. The New York-based rights group also highlighted misuses of police powers during Covid-19 lockdowns and the continued mistreatment of asylum seekers.
The first of 1,200 international tennis players, support crew and officials are expected to arrive in Melbourne for the Australian Open, as health authorities issue a new alert for a Covid-hit Brisbane quarantine hotel. AAP is reporting a charter flight carrying athletes and staff is scheduled to land at Tullamarine early Thursday evening.
Three people drowned and five ended up in hospital in three separate incidents along Victoria’s beaches yesterday. Life Saving Victoria members have spoken on social media how “heartbreaking” the summer day had been.
Okay guys, let’s get started.