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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)
Follow updates liveFollow updates live
New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has given an update on the new Covid-19 case detected in a 24-year-old Auckland hotel quarantine worker who had not been vaccinated.
In response, Ardern has announced a temporary suspension of travel from India into New Zealand, coming into effect from 11 April until 28 April, and it will apply to New Zealand citizens.
Ardern also said it was her expectation that front-line border workers are vaccinated, and that from Monday, those who have not been vaccinated will be moved into other roles.
The case is not expected to effect Australia’s travel bubble arrangement with New Zealand.
Thanks for taking us through the day so far Matilda.
I’m Elias Visontay, and I’ll be taking you through the next part of the day.
If you see anything you think I should be aware of, you can get in touch with me via Twitter @EliasVisontay, via email at elias.visontay@theguardian.com, and Wickr at eliasvisontay.
With that, I might hand you over to the fantastic Elias Visontay to help you stay abreast of the news and bust Covid-19 misinformation for the afternoon.
One story that I haven’t mentioned today so far is the death of an elderly woman with pre-existing conditions in an aged care home in Queensland who passed away in the hours after being vaccinated.
It is understood the 82-year-old received a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Springwood Yurana Aged Care Facility on Wednesday, before she died in the afternoon.
Now that sounds scary, but you have to remember that on any given day more than 100 aged care residents die in Australia sadly, and currently there is no indication the vaccine caused her death.
Greg Hunt has been asked about this case at his press conference:
The acting premier of Victoria James Merlino* said this morning the states have the capacity to do more to help with the vaccine rollout.The acting premier of Victoria James Merlino* said this morning the states have the capacity to do more to help with the vaccine rollout.
Hunt has been asked if he would consider changing the rules around which groups state-run facilities can vaccinate. (Currently, the states have only been tasked with vaccinating their essential front line workers).Hunt has been asked if he would consider changing the rules around which groups state-run facilities can vaccinate. (Currently, the states have only been tasked with vaccinating their essential front line workers).
Hunt said the federal government would welcome that**:Hunt said the federal government would welcome that**:
*If you remember, the actual premier Daniel Andrews is off work for a number of weeks after fracturing his spine.*If you remember, the actual premier Daniel Andrews is off work for a number of weeks after fracturing his spine.
**Seems getting the rollout happening faster is worth the bruised pride of being saved by the states.**Seems getting the rollout happening faster is worth the bruised pride of being saved by the states.
Hunt has outlined the process the Australian health authorities will go through in order to determine what, if any, action they will take in regards to the AstraZeneca vaccine, now the EU has declared blood clotting as a possible but rare side effect:Hunt has outlined the process the Australian health authorities will go through in order to determine what, if any, action they will take in regards to the AstraZeneca vaccine, now the EU has declared blood clotting as a possible but rare side effect:
Federal health minister Greg Hunt is speaking now.Federal health minister Greg Hunt is speaking now.
He says the residents of 1000 aged care facilities have now received their first vaccine dose and 435 have received the second.He says the residents of 1000 aged care facilities have now received their first vaccine dose and 435 have received the second.
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 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.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”.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”.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: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”.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”.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.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.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.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.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 governmentThis 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: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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
*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.
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.
New Zealand’s director general of health Ashley Bloomfield is being grilled over why this newly infected hotel quarantine security guard wasn’t vaccinated.