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Australia news live: TGA mulls EU advice on AstraZeneca Covid vaccine and clots; sexual harassment laws to change Australia news live: TGA mulls EU advice on AstraZeneca Covid vaccine and clots; sexual harassment laws to change
(32 minutes later)
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Queensland’s state government has now administered 100,000 vaccinations, but more importantly.... The impact of China’s trade actions against a range of Australian sectors has been “quite limited” in most cases because exporters have been able to find other markets, according to new analysis published by the Lowy Institute today.
The institute’s lead economist, Roland Rajah, says Australia’s merchandise exports to China were worth A$145bn in 2020, about 2% below the 2019 peak, despite the Covid-related downturn.
He says that at the headline level, “the effect of China’s trade sanctions on Australia’s export numbers has been completely swamped by the booming iron ore trade – which China hasn’t been game enough to touch”.
Rajah says exports to China “have predictably collapsed in the areas hit by sanctions, but most of this lost trade seems to have found other markets”. He describes this as a “reshuffling of global trade”.
In a piece for the Lowy Institute’s The Interpreter site, he crunches the numbers:
Rajah argues Australian coal exporters have been “quite successful in diverting to other markets”. He also says sales of barley, copper, cotton, seafood and timber to other markets rose sharply, “but only after China’s sanctions intensified in late 2020”.
One important exception is the wine industry. Rajah says wine exporters have “struggled to make up for the loss of the premium China market”.
The analysis has been published a day after the Chinese ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, argued the “difficulties” in the diplomatic relationship were not initiated by China. Cheng also issued a warning that Beijing would respond “in kind” if Canberra followed other countries in imposing sanctions against its officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Earlier the prime minister was asked about a report from Guardian political correspondent Sarah Martin today which showed 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.
Morrison claimed that “rants aren’t decided by members of parliament,” but are instead decided by the department.
But as Sarah has pointed out that is simply not the case, according to the department, as the grants were allocated as part of election commitments, and was not open to applications.
This means the department did not assess applications as Morrison suggested, but instead they were nominated by the government
You can read Sarah’s full story below:
China’s ambassador to Australia has warned that Beijing would respond “in kind” if Canberra followed other countries in imposing sanctions against its officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
The ambassador, Cheng Jingye, said people should not be under the illusion “that China would swallow the bitter pill” of meddling in its internal affairs, nor attempts to mount a “pressure” campaign.
Cheng was speaking at a media event at his official residence in Canberra on Wednesday, which also included a two-hour-long video conference with officials in the Xinjiang region.
The event was an attempt by Beijing to push back at growing international criticism of what some western countries and analysts have said amounts to genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
You can read the full report below:
Wait a second. So Annastacia Palaszczuk or her team has time to make intricate graphics every day on Canva.com (I assume) but somehow don’t know how to crop out the Notes app header in this statement?
I give up. Sip?
Also, and much more importantly, the Queensland premier’s calls for a national women’s summit were heard yesterday, with the prime minister confirming it will be held in July.
This will be an opportunity for government and social services leaders from around the country to discuss how to improve the position of woman in Australian society, including tackling family violence, the gender pay gap and sexual harassment at work.
The Australia Medical Association has called on the Australian government to “urgently dispatch more of our domestically produced AstraZeneca vaccine to Papua New Guinea”, as it battles a devastating Covid-19 outbreak.
AMA president Dr Omar Khorshid commended the prime minister’s comments yesterday, in which Morrison suggested Australia would consider donating domestically produced vaccines to PNG if the EU would not allow the 1m AZ doses designated for the humanitarian efforts to be exported out of Europe.
The AMA’s position is that delays in Europe mean Australia must take a leadership role in the region, making up the difference with domestic supply.
Queensland’s state government has now administered 100,000 vaccinations, but more importantly …
Weird graphic design alert! SIP!Weird graphic design alert! SIP!
Aggggggggh, I missed this before but Scott Morrison has decided to try to lay the blame for the current climate of disrespect towards women on social media – as if women haven’t been being disrespected for the last 10,000 years as well. Arggggggggh, I missed this before but Scott Morrison has decided to try to lay the blame for the current climate of disrespect towards women on social media – as if women haven’t been being disrespected for the last 10,000 years as well.
Morrison:Morrison:
Sorry to editorialise but just to be crystal clear, things haven’t “suddenly got worse for women”, that’s not why we are having this sexism reckoning now.Sorry to editorialise but just to be crystal clear, things haven’t “suddenly got worse for women”, that’s not why we are having this sexism reckoning now.
Things have been terrible for women since day one. In fact, this is the best we have ever had it, in the entire history of humanity, and it’s still terrible. That’s the problem.Things have been terrible for women since day one. In fact, this is the best we have ever had it, in the entire history of humanity, and it’s still terrible. That’s the problem.
Social media is actually a huge part of the reason we even can have this conversation now.Social media is actually a huge part of the reason we even can have this conversation now.
The fact that our prime minister seems to think this is somehow a new problem, or that the “reservoir of respect” is only draining now is really worrying to me. The woman’s reservoir has always been empty.The fact that our prime minister seems to think this is somehow a new problem, or that the “reservoir of respect” is only draining now is really worrying to me. The woman’s reservoir has always been empty.
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian says she has no intention to close the NSW to New Zealand after learning about the country’s new Covid-19 case mid press conference:NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian says she has no intention to close the NSW to New Zealand after learning about the country’s new Covid-19 case mid press conference:
While individual states may choose to open and close their borders, ultimately the federal government has the ability to block quarantine free travel from New Zealand, but so far we have no indication that they are likely to do this.While individual states may choose to open and close their borders, ultimately the federal government has the ability to block quarantine free travel from New Zealand, but so far we have no indication that they are likely to do this.
Berejiklian has been asked if all aged care residents in the state have been vaccinated, and to paraphrase her response was “Brah, don’t look at me, ask Scotty about that one.”Berejiklian has been asked if all aged care residents in the state have been vaccinated, and to paraphrase her response was “Brah, don’t look at me, ask Scotty about that one.”
Now her actual quote:Now her actual quote:
*Did anyone ask her to intervene? That’s a pretty strong indication of lack of trust in the federal government’s rollout that’s on her mind.*Did anyone ask her to intervene? That’s a pretty strong indication of lack of trust in the federal government’s rollout that’s on her mind.
While my attention was turned across the pond NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has stood up for a press conference. I will bring you those updates shortly.While my attention was turned across the pond NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has stood up for a press conference. I will bring you those updates shortly.
Unlike NZ, NSW recorded no local Covid-19 cases over night.Unlike NZ, NSW recorded no local Covid-19 cases over night.
Well, it looks like something don’t change no matter what country you are in.Well, it looks like something don’t change no matter what country you are in.
New Zealand’s director general of health Ashley Bloomfield is being grilled over why this newly infected hotel quarantine security guard wasn’t vaccinated.New Zealand’s director general of health Ashley Bloomfield is being grilled over why this newly infected hotel quarantine security guard wasn’t vaccinated.
It appears this new New Zealand case – a hotel quarantine worker at the Grand Millennium hotel – has prompted a review of the quarantine facilities.
Bloomfield:
The New Zealand press conference is starting now.
New Zealand’s director general of health Ashley Bloomfield says there has been one new community Covid-19 case, a 24-year-old worker at a hotel quarantine facility who had a sore throat four days ago.
Victoria will open two new mass vaccination hubs at the Melbourne Showgrounds and the Mercure convention centre in Ballarat, as part of their plan to complete 300,000 vaccinations before 16 May.
States are only responsible for a tiny portion of the Australia vaccination rollout, vaccinating state government essential frontline workers during phases 1a and 1b, but NSW has already offered to take on extra responsibility once their offical vaccination responsibilities are completed.
While Victoria hasn’t yet made a similar offer, they are significantly ramping up their vaccination facilities despite already administering 120,000 doses of their 300,000 dose commitment.
The state government released a statement this morning:
Australian Uighurs are calling for the Chinese ambassador to meet them to help make contact with loved ones missing in Xinjiang, reports AAP’s Marion Rae.
Several Uighur associations issued the joint request after China’s ambassador to Australia called local journalists to his residency in Canberra.
There are several thousand Uighur people living in Australia and many of them have family living in China.
Australian Uighur Association secretary Bahtiyar Bora says many have lost contact with their loved ones.
Australia has condemned restrictions on the freedom of religion, mass surveillance, extrajudicial detentions, forced labour and sterilisation in Xinjiang, but stopped short of imposing sanctions.
The Morrison government has also not followed the United States in calling events in Xinjiang genocide.
China’s ambassador to Australia denied human rights abuses in Xinjiang in a presentation to local media on Wednesday.
Ambassador Cheng Jingye said it was “fake news” made up by anti-China forces.
The Victorian health minister says they do not know how many of their residents have been vaccinated by the federal government.
This is similar to comments made by NSW health minister Brad Hazzard on ABC’s 7:30 Report last night.
He went on to say the NSW government was getting a lot of their information from the 7:30 Report rather than the commonwealth.
It’s been such a busy morning that I haven’t brought you the Victorian numbers.
Spoiler alert: it’s zero.
More revelations have come out today about embattled Liberal MP Andrew Laming.
Guardian political correspondent Sarah Martin today reported 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.
This comes after accusation from multiple women of harassment both on and offline, and the Australian Electoral Commission confirming they would investigating Laming for more than 30 Facebook pages he operated without disclosing his identity.
He is currently on leave from parliament after reports about his poor behaviour towards women, and although he says he will not contest the election the Morrison has declined to ask for his resignation from the Liberal party or parliament (a move that would plunge the government into minority).
Earlier Morrison was asked if still feel Laming is “a fit and proper person to sit in the Coalition party room and in the Liberal party and National party room?”
Morrison:
You can read Sarah’s full story below:
By the sounds of it, there might be a Covid-19 case in New Zealand.
Guardian Australia hasn’t independently confirmed but the New Zealand Herald is reporting that a border worker has been diagnosed with the virus, but there has been no community spread so far.
New Zealand’s director-general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, is holding an unscheduled press conference at 1pm (11am Sydney and Melbourne time) where we should learn more.
Scott Morrison has been asked about this at the press conference.
Reporter:
Morrison:
OK did Scott Morrison just PLAGIARIZE my birth control side effects comparison in his press conference! (I mean no, it’s a fairly obvious idea, but still how funny).
The prime minister is still discussing the EU’s new advice that blood clotting is a rare side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Morrison says there are currently no plans to pause the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout: