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TGA mulls EU vaccine advice; pharmacies oppose NSW mass vaccination plan – as it happened Australia news live: Scott Morrison to update on AstraZeneca Covid vaccine after health regulator meeting
(33 minutes later)
This blog is now closed Follow live updates
Morrison is noting that “we can still go about our lives here in Australia”, in contrast to many other countries.
Morrison confirms the advice from Atagi has been received. That’s the purpose of the press conference.
He says the government has “always based our decisions on the expert medical advice. It has not been our practice to jump at shadows.
Scott Morrison and Greg Hunt have stepped up.
Morrison begins:
As a pre-press conference primer, here is my colleague Daniel Hurst’s news story from earlier today.
Good evening everyone. This is Luke Henriques-Gomes.
We’re re-opening the blog to bring you prime minister Scott Morrison’s press conference, which is scheduled to begin at 7.15pm.
We’ll soon know more, but it is expected Morrison will be providing an update on the vaccine roll out.
As you would have read, Australian authorities met today to discuss fresh concerns raised by European regulators about the AstraZeneca vaccine causing blood clots.
Morrison said earlier today the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation would look at the evidence and weigh that “against the very positive benefits of the vaccine program”.
Stay tuned.
We’ll leave it there for today. Thanks for tuning in.We’ll leave it there for today. Thanks for tuning in.
Here are today’s main developments.Here are today’s main developments.
Australian health regulatory authorities are examining findings of the British and European regulators over concerns about the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine causing blood clots. Overnight, a key UK government health committee recommended offering people under 30, considered at a higher risk of the rare blood clotting, the option to receive an alternative vaccine.Australian health regulatory authorities are examining findings of the British and European regulators over concerns about the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine causing blood clots. Overnight, a key UK government health committee recommended offering people under 30, considered at a higher risk of the rare blood clotting, the option to receive an alternative vaccine.
Members of parliament have been put on notice that there will be “consequences” for sexual harassment, as the government announces it will overhaul federal laws to try to stamp out sexual misconduct in Australian workplaces.Members of parliament have been put on notice that there will be “consequences” for sexual harassment, as the government announces it will overhaul federal laws to try to stamp out sexual misconduct in Australian workplaces.
South Australian police have arrested a man for allegedly possessing an improvised explosive device while a second has been charged with the possession of extremist material during a series of raids across Adelaide targeting members of the far-right.South Australian police have arrested a man for allegedly possessing an improvised explosive device while a second has been charged with the possession of extremist material during a series of raids across Adelaide targeting members of the far-right.
New Zealand has recorded a new Covid-19 case in a hotel quarantine worker and temporarily suspended entry for all travellers from India, including its own citizens, for about two weeks. The recently announced travel bubble with Australia has not yet been affected.New Zealand has recorded a new Covid-19 case in a hotel quarantine worker and temporarily suspended entry for all travellers from India, including its own citizens, for about two weeks. The recently announced travel bubble with Australia has not yet been affected.
New South Wales police have now taken a formal statement from a longtime friend of the woman who alleged she was raped by Christian Porter, but insist the investigation remains closed.New South Wales police have now taken a formal statement from a longtime friend of the woman who alleged she was raped by Christian Porter, but insist the investigation remains closed.
Scientists and environment groups are urging the government not to remove the humpback whale from Australia’s list of threatened species because of growing threats, including from the climate crisis.Scientists and environment groups are urging the government not to remove the humpback whale from Australia’s list of threatened species because of growing threats, including from the climate crisis.
The Liberal National MP Andrew Laming awarded a $550,000 grant to a rugby club with links to one of his staff members as part of the government’s controversial female sports facilities grants program.The Liberal National MP Andrew Laming awarded a $550,000 grant to a rugby club with links to one of his staff members as part of the government’s controversial female sports facilities grants program.
Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart will kiss goodbye to the sunshine this weekend when a “polar blast” of icy air sends temperatures plummeting on Sunday, bringing rain, snow and even hail in some regions.Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart will kiss goodbye to the sunshine this weekend when a “polar blast” of icy air sends temperatures plummeting on Sunday, bringing rain, snow and even hail in some regions.
Thanks so much, and have a great evening. We’ll be back tomorrow.Thanks so much, and have a great evening. We’ll be back tomorrow.
A rabies-like virus that can kill humans has been discovered in South Australian bats.A rabies-like virus that can kill humans has been discovered in South Australian bats.
SA Health has issued a warning to people heading outdoors to avoid any contact with bats, after it was confirmed that two recent exposures in the state last month involved bats carrying Australian Bat Lyssavirus.SA Health has issued a warning to people heading outdoors to avoid any contact with bats, after it was confirmed that two recent exposures in the state last month involved bats carrying Australian Bat Lyssavirus.
The SA’s Department for Health and wellbeing’s communicable disease control branch director, Dr Louise Flood, said the latest exposures were the third time in SA that ABL had been confirmed in bats, with the first detected in 2012.The SA’s Department for Health and wellbeing’s communicable disease control branch director, Dr Louise Flood, said the latest exposures were the third time in SA that ABL had been confirmed in bats, with the first detected in 2012.
According to SA Health, if you are bitten or scratched by a bat, or come into contact with bat saliva, you should take immediate action by:• Cleaning the area with soap and water for at least five minutes• Applying antiseptic such as povidone-iodine• Contacting a doctor or hospital emergency department and commencing a course of post-exposure prophylaxis if necessaryAccording to SA Health, if you are bitten or scratched by a bat, or come into contact with bat saliva, you should take immediate action by:• Cleaning the area with soap and water for at least five minutes• Applying antiseptic such as povidone-iodine• Contacting a doctor or hospital emergency department and commencing a course of post-exposure prophylaxis if necessary
Marise Payne was asked about the ongoing standoff with the European Union over the vaccine supply issues.Marise Payne was asked about the ongoing standoff with the European Union over the vaccine supply issues.
The foreign minister told Sky News the government was working with its European counterparts on the matter, particularly on the request for 1 million AstraZeneca doses to be made available for the purpose of assisting Papua New Guinea.The foreign minister told Sky News the government was working with its European counterparts on the matter, particularly on the request for 1 million AstraZeneca doses to be made available for the purpose of assisting Papua New Guinea.
“Papua New Guinea is clearly at a point of crisis,” Payne said.“Papua New Guinea is clearly at a point of crisis,” Payne said.
The minister said she was also aware that a number of non-government organisations were also trying to persuade the EU to clear the way for those vaccines to go to PNG.The minister said she was also aware that a number of non-government organisations were also trying to persuade the EU to clear the way for those vaccines to go to PNG.
Payne acknowledged that “it is a very difficult time internationally”, with many countries battling high numbers of Covid-19 infections and deaths – but she said PNG needed international support.Payne acknowledged that “it is a very difficult time internationally”, with many countries battling high numbers of Covid-19 infections and deaths – but she said PNG needed international support.
“We encourage the European Union to assist with the release of those vaccines.”“We encourage the European Union to assist with the release of those vaccines.”
A spokesperson for the EU told Guardian Australia yesterday: “We confirm that the president of the European Commission has received a letter from the Australian prime minister on this topic and we will reply in due time.”A spokesperson for the EU told Guardian Australia yesterday: “We confirm that the president of the European Commission has received a letter from the Australian prime minister on this topic and we will reply in due time.”
Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid has backed up the safety of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine amid blood clotting concerns.Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid has backed up the safety of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine amid blood clotting concerns.
Asked about calls for alternatives, after moves in the United Kingdom to offer anyone under 30 an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine, Khorshid noted most younger Australians are not scheduled to start receiving their vaccine for some months.Asked about calls for alternatives, after moves in the United Kingdom to offer anyone under 30 an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine, Khorshid noted most younger Australians are not scheduled to start receiving their vaccine for some months.
Khorshid noted Australia’s order for 51 million doses of the Novavax vaccine, and said that while it could gain approval “hopefully in the second half of the year”, that vaccine was also encountering supply issues.Khorshid noted Australia’s order for 51 million doses of the Novavax vaccine, and said that while it could gain approval “hopefully in the second half of the year”, that vaccine was also encountering supply issues.
Nationals senator Matt Canavan believes Australians who are in the populations deemed vulnerable to blood clotting from the AstraZeneca vaccine should be offered an alternative vaccine.Nationals senator Matt Canavan believes Australians who are in the populations deemed vulnerable to blood clotting from the AstraZeneca vaccine should be offered an alternative vaccine.
Canavan, who noted he was “derided” when he called for Australia to pause its AstraZeneca vaccines several weeks ago when European countries halted their rollouts, told ABC News his government should seek to get vaccines from other sources.Canavan, who noted he was “derided” when he called for Australia to pause its AstraZeneca vaccines several weeks ago when European countries halted their rollouts, told ABC News his government should seek to get vaccines from other sources.
Canavan said:Canavan said:
His comments follow moves in the United Kingdom to offer anyone under 30 access to an alternative vaccine.His comments follow moves in the United Kingdom to offer anyone under 30 access to an alternative vaccine.
Earlier in the TV spot, he also called for former Australia Post chief Christine Holgate to be reinstated to her role, and said he supported Liberal MP Andrew Laming remaining in the LNP party room despite an Australian Electoral Commission investigation into running a network of Facebook pages, as well as allegations of abusing constituents.Earlier in the TV spot, he also called for former Australia Post chief Christine Holgate to be reinstated to her role, and said he supported Liberal MP Andrew Laming remaining in the LNP party room despite an Australian Electoral Commission investigation into running a network of Facebook pages, as well as allegations of abusing constituents.
The Australian government says it will not resile from raising human rights concerns as the foreign minister, Marise Payne, renewed her “deeply held concerns” over the situation in Xinjiang.The Australian government says it will not resile from raising human rights concerns as the foreign minister, Marise Payne, renewed her “deeply held concerns” over the situation in Xinjiang.
The comments follow yesterday’s two-hour-long press event at the residence of the Chinese ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, who said Beijing would respond “in kind” if Canberra followed other countries in imposing sanctions against its officials.The comments follow yesterday’s two-hour-long press event at the residence of the Chinese ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, who said Beijing would respond “in kind” if Canberra followed other countries in imposing sanctions against its officials.
The Chinese embassy-arranged press event included a video conference with officials in Xinjiang who said the estimate that at least 1 million Uyghurs and members of other minority groups were in concentration camps was “fabrication” – but declined several requests to reveal a current figure.The Chinese embassy-arranged press event included a video conference with officials in Xinjiang who said the estimate that at least 1 million Uyghurs and members of other minority groups were in concentration camps was “fabrication” – but declined several requests to reveal a current figure.
In an interview with Sky News Australia this afternoon, Payne began by expressing support for democratic values of free speech and a free media, and noted that diplomats in Australia were able to avail themselves of that freedom.In an interview with Sky News Australia this afternoon, Payne began by expressing support for democratic values of free speech and a free media, and noted that diplomats in Australia were able to avail themselves of that freedom.
“But we have been vey clear about our deeply held concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, particularly as it relates to forced labour, to re-education, to restrictions on freedom of religion, potential restrictions on reproductive rights, including forced sterilisations and also very credible reports of the systematic abuse and torture of women. These are matters we have raised at the highest levels … and we work closely with our international counterparts who share our concerns.”“But we have been vey clear about our deeply held concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, particularly as it relates to forced labour, to re-education, to restrictions on freedom of religion, potential restrictions on reproductive rights, including forced sterilisations and also very credible reports of the systematic abuse and torture of women. These are matters we have raised at the highest levels … and we work closely with our international counterparts who share our concerns.”
Payne said the Australian government continued “to hold those concerns” and would continue to advocate for appropriate access to be granted to the UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, to visit Xinjiang.Payne said the Australian government continued “to hold those concerns” and would continue to advocate for appropriate access to be granted to the UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, to visit Xinjiang.
Xu Guixiang, an official in Xinjiang, said yesterday that officials would “warmly welcome” Bachelet “to come to Xinjiang for a real-time investigation”. But he did not respond directly to Guardian Australia’s question about whether any restrictions or conditions would be placed on Bachelet’s level of access, amid ongoing negotiations about the terms of the proposed trip.Xu Guixiang, an official in Xinjiang, said yesterday that officials would “warmly welcome” Bachelet “to come to Xinjiang for a real-time investigation”. But he did not respond directly to Guardian Australia’s question about whether any restrictions or conditions would be placed on Bachelet’s level of access, amid ongoing negotiations about the terms of the proposed trip.
Asked if Australia would follow the EU, UK, US and Canada in imposing sanctions on Chinese officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Payne noted that Australia did not have the same sorts of sanctions systems as those countries (such as Magnitsky-style laws), and did not currently have an autonomous sanctions regime in place for China.Asked if Australia would follow the EU, UK, US and Canada in imposing sanctions on Chinese officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Payne noted that Australia did not have the same sorts of sanctions systems as those countries (such as Magnitsky-style laws), and did not currently have an autonomous sanctions regime in place for China.
“But we have been very consistent and very clear in raising our concerns.”“But we have been very consistent and very clear in raising our concerns.”
Asked about the Cheng’s comment about China not swallowing “the bitter pill” of interference in its internal affairs, Payne said she had not had the opportunity to watch yesterday’s entire conference, but Australia would not resile from raising concerns.Asked about the Cheng’s comment about China not swallowing “the bitter pill” of interference in its internal affairs, Payne said she had not had the opportunity to watch yesterday’s entire conference, but Australia would not resile from raising concerns.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions is concerned the Morrison government’s announcement on sex discrimination law reforms don’t go far enough to protect women in the workplace.The Australian Council of Trade Unions is concerned the Morrison government’s announcement on sex discrimination law reforms don’t go far enough to protect women in the workplace.
ACTU president Michele O’Neil was asked by ABC News about the changes, announced today as a response to the Respect@Work report’s recommendations made by sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins in March 2020, and said:ACTU president Michele O’Neil was asked by ABC News about the changes, announced today as a response to the Respect@Work report’s recommendations made by sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins in March 2020, and said:
O’Neil also accused the government of failing to agree to a recommendation that would give the commissioner the right to instigate her own inquiries and investigations.O’Neil also accused the government of failing to agree to a recommendation that would give the commissioner the right to instigate her own inquiries and investigations.
Stoker was also asked about Grace Tame’s criticism of her appointment as assistant minister for women last week.Stoker was also asked about Grace Tame’s criticism of her appointment as assistant minister for women last week.
Stoker said she sent Tame “a note that very day asking to meet her for tea. Anywhere she likes. We’ll find a mutually agreeable time.”Stoker said she sent Tame “a note that very day asking to meet her for tea. Anywhere she likes. We’ll find a mutually agreeable time.”
“Sadly I haven’t heard back. I’m not really concerned about this as far as sledging me goes,” Stoker said.“Sadly I haven’t heard back. I’m not really concerned about this as far as sledging me goes,” Stoker said.
You can read more about what Tame said about Stoker last week here:You can read more about what Tame said about Stoker last week here:
Liberal National senator for Queensland Amanda Stoker has just been speaking to ABC News about the amendments to the sex discrimination law the Morrison government announced today.Liberal National senator for Queensland Amanda Stoker has just been speaking to ABC News about the amendments to the sex discrimination law the Morrison government announced today.
She dodged a question about whether she believes gender-based violence is driven by gender inequality, instead linking the issue to equality of opportunity.She dodged a question about whether she believes gender-based violence is driven by gender inequality, instead linking the issue to equality of opportunity.
Stoker, who was criticised by Australian of the Year Grace Tame last week after she was appointed as the new assistant minister for women, was defending the government’s response to the Respect@Work report and recommendations made by Kate Jenkins in March 2020. The government responded to the recommendations earlier today.Stoker, who was criticised by Australian of the Year Grace Tame last week after she was appointed as the new assistant minister for women, was defending the government’s response to the Respect@Work report and recommendations made by Kate Jenkins in March 2020. The government responded to the recommendations earlier today.
Asked by host Matt Wordsworth if she agreed with recommendation 6, that governments recognise sexual harassment is driven by gender inequality and is a form of gender-based violence, this exchange occurred:Asked by host Matt Wordsworth if she agreed with recommendation 6, that governments recognise sexual harassment is driven by gender inequality and is a form of gender-based violence, this exchange occurred:
Stoker: “I think it’s very clear on the face of the report that we agree that sexual harassment is absolutely wrong.”Stoker: “I think it’s very clear on the face of the report that we agree that sexual harassment is absolutely wrong.”
Wordsworth: “But is it driven by gender inequality?”Wordsworth: “But is it driven by gender inequality?”
Stoker: “We say equality of opportunity is absolutely important as between men and women so I don’t think there’s any divergence there.”Stoker: “We say equality of opportunity is absolutely important as between men and women so I don’t think there’s any divergence there.”
Wordsworth: “There is a difference there though, isn’t there?”Wordsworth: “There is a difference there though, isn’t there?”
Stoker: “Not wildly, no. When we say that there is inequality on one hand, to say we believe in equality of opportunity is the flipside of the same coin.”Stoker: “Not wildly, no. When we say that there is inequality on one hand, to say we believe in equality of opportunity is the flipside of the same coin.”
She then went on:She then went on:
There have been some changes in staffing in Anthony Albanese’s office that might be of interest to any political nerds out there.
The shake-up sees the promotion of two women into Albanese’s circle of closest advisers – his so-called “leader’s executive”, which has been without a female voice since the controversial departure of Sabina Husic last year.
Liz Fitch has been promoted to the position of director of media, while Matthew Franklin will take on the role of senior press secretary.
The switch in roles will see Fitch sit on Albo’s executive team, while Franklin will spend more time on strategy, speechwriting and parliamentary tactics, along with his usual journo-wrangling.
The opposition leader’s office is also bringing in fresh talent, hiring Katie Connolly as strategic communications special adviser.
Connolly, who starts in Albanese’s office next week, was lead pollster for US Democrat Pete Buttigieg’s “Pete for America” campaign, and previously worked as a pollster and researcher for Barack Obama.
Connolly will be the team’s strategic communications special adviser as Albanese sharpens his pitch to voters in the lead-up to the election.
How’s this for a cracking picture, from our British print edition yesterday.
Morning commuters in crowded boats on the Buriganga River in Dhaka, Bangladesh, despite Covid-19. Taken by Azim Khan Ronnie.
Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart will kiss goodbye to the sunshine this weekend when a “polar blast” of icy air will send temperatures plummeting on Sunday, bringing rain, snow and even hail in some regions.
Jonathan How, a meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, said a cold front expected for Friday would be followed by a second front on Saturday, created by a “polar blast” moving north from the Antarctic.
Together they will deliver what may the coldest day of the year so far.
“This is looking to be the last hurrah of the warm season and the summer ... This will be the last time we see the high 20s and low 30s until next spring.”
On Sunday the conditions will move through to Sydney, making for a chilly weekend.
“Even though we’re not going to see any record broken, the main message is that it is going to be quite uncomfortably chilly,” How said. “This sudden swing will catch people by surprise.”
On current BoM projections, the weather in Sydney will hit a low of 13C on Sunday, with the mercury falling to 10C in Melbourne and 0C in Canberra on Monday.
Read more:
The Northern Territory is offering thousands of dollars to fruit pickers who travel to the Top End and help harvest the ripening melon crop.
Coronavirus travel restrictions and closed borders have stopped foreign backpackers travelling to Australia, leaving growers desperately short of labourers to pick their fruit.
AAP reports the NT government wants Australian workers to fill the shortfall and help harvest the more than 75,000-tonne melon crop, which includes seeded and seedless watermelons and rockmelons.
The $70 million per year NT industry is critical to national melon supply and allows shoppers to buy the produce 12 months of the year.
The NT government is offering $1,000 per worker for up to 200 people to pick the fruit, along with $480,000 for bonuses to help businesses retain them.
A bonus of $200 per week will be available for people who work a minimum of 30 hours per week, for at least five weeks between 12 April and 12 July.
“We produce the best melons in Australia and we have to get them off our farms into grocery shops and supermarkets across Australia,” minister for agribusiness Nicole Manison said on Thursday.
“Our message is simple, come to the Territory to work in a great place, have a great experience, and pick our melons.”
The jobs on offer include picking, packing, sorting and logistics roles.
Workers with licences to operate forklifts, trucks and production machinery will be in hot demand. Manison said the NT’s seasonal and overseas workforce has fallen by 73% over the past year.
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has lashed the New South Wales government’s move to rollout mass vaccination sites, saying the plan “makes no sense”.
The guild said pharmacies are set to join the rollout from phase 2a, commencing in June, and that they can support rapid delivery of the vaccine in a way mass vaccination sites can’t.
The guild notes there are over 5,900 community pharmacies across Australia, and in capital cities, 97% of Australians live within 2.5km of their local pharmacy.
National president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Prof Trent Twomey, is calling for pharmacies to be considered one of NSW’s major vaccination providers, adding that pharmacists “are used to working over public holidays and being open for extended hours and on weekends”.
Twomey said:
Twomey also claims the “most successful” vaccine rollout in the United States has been in West Virginia because “they’ve gone with the local pharmacy option as the vaccination provider”.
An interesting update from the Guardian’s Brussels bureau chief, Daniel Boffey, related to the tensions between Scott Morrison and the European Union over its vaccine export controls.
On Wednesday, as Morrison shifted to blame Australia’s slow vaccine rollout on the 3.1m doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that haven’t arrived from Europe, he accused the EU of blocking vaccine shipments.
The EU hit back at the government on Wednesday, saying it had only blocked one shipment, of 250,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses from Italy in early March, and that it hadn’t blocked any further shipments.
However the Morrison government returned fire and said the EU was “arguing semantics”. This was because it said the EU had signalled it would block future export requests, so AstraZeneca – which has to lodge the requests on Australia’s behalf – didn’t submit any.
It has since been revealed that the 717,000 AstraZeneca doses Australia has been able to import arrived from the UK, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, suggesting the EU has not approved any vaccine export requests to Australia.
Boffey reports that a spokesman for the European Commission confirmed that officials in Brussels had held talks with the Australian government over the 3.1m jabs but insisted the EU would not permit exports by AstraZeneca as long the company failed to live up to its commitments to the bloc.
The EC commission spokesman said:
The spokesman refused to be drawn further on the content of the discussions with the Australian government.
You can read more about the vaccine export stoush, and Australia’s plea for 1m of its ordered doses to be sent to Papua New Guinea (low and middle income countries are meant to be exempt from the EU vaccine export control):
Western Australia’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services have warned they expect Tropical Cyclone Seroja, could reach category 3 when it hits the state’s coast over the weekend.
On late Sunday or early on Monday, Tropical Cyclone Seroja is expected to cross the coast as a Category 2 and could even be a Category 3 system.
The will be experience most likely in the area between Carnarvon and Jurien Bay. Destructive winds with gusts and 150km/h and intense rainfall that could cause flash flooding are expected near the system, as it moves over the coast.
A direct impact to Perth is unlikely, but there could be strong rain on Sunday.
However there will be three weather systems that authorities are monitoring that could approach tropical cyclone classification over the weekend.
Authorities believe the first system to hit, named tropical low 23U, will affect the coast off Exmouth on Saturday, and are warning travellers to consider leaving the area now.
Seroja – which originated in Indonesia and was named by that country’s meteorological authorities – will become the main point of concern later on Saturday and on Sunday and Monday, following that first system.
The third system is a tropical low that is not expected to impact the WA mainland but it is forecast to bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the Cocos Keeling Islands on Friday and Saturday.
New South Wales police have now taken a formal statement from a longtime friend of the woman who alleged she was raped by Christian Porter, but insist the investigation remains closed.
In answers to NSW estimates, police have said that Macquarie Bank managing director, James Hooke, a friend of both Porter and his accuser for 30 years, was known to them as far back as July but until recently did not wish to make a statement because “he understood why the investigation had been closed”.
Porter has been accused of raping a 16-year-old in January 1988 when he was 17. He strenuously denies the allegation.
On 12 March Hooke publicly stated he had “relevant discussions” with Porter’s accuser from “mid-1988 until her death” in June 2020 and with Porter from 1992 onwards.
The revelation prompted the NSW police commissioner, Mick Fuller, to promise to reexamine the case, which was closed when the alleged victim indicated to the NSW police that she no longer felt able to pursue the complaint, before taking her life in June 2020.
In answers to supplementary questions on notice in NSW estimates, the NSW police have revealed they were in possession of an email from Hooke that had been forwarded to them by a friend of the victim on 2 July, shortly after her death.
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The Morrison government has warned a legal challenge to Australia’s outgoing travel ban brought by rightwing thinktank LibertyWorks, threatens to “drive a truck” through biosecurity laws.
In submissions to the federal court, the commonwealth said LibertyWorks’ argument that the health minister has no power to impose a blanket ban on all citizens leaving Australia ignored the “emergency context” of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The case is the first major challenge to Australia’s strict external border restrictions limiting people’s right to leave the country, but does not seek to overturn the cap on the number of arrivals to Australia.
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