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Australia Covid live news update: Victoria records 2,297 cases, 11 deaths; Frydenberg responds to rise in unemployment Australia Covid live news update: Victoria records 2,297 cases, 11 deaths; Frydenberg responds to rise in unemployment
(32 minutes later)
Follow all the day’s news liveFollow all the day’s news live
The Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) has approved three Covid-19 rapid antigen self tests for home use in Australia from 1 November.
It includes two oral fluid tests and one nasal swab test. Results of the rapid tests are expected within 15 minutes.
Mining company Kepco has sought special leave in the High Court to appeal a decision by the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) to reject its proposed coal mine in the Bylong Valley.
The special leave application was lodged this week and comes after the company lost earlier appeals in the NSW land and environment court and the court of appeal.The NSW IPC rejected the mine in 2019 citing the unacceptable impact the mine would have on farming land and the environment – including through greenhouse gas emissions – as well as the costs to future generations.
The Bylong Valley Protection Alliancee, which joined the previous to defend the IPC’s ruling, says it “will once again join the legal fight to stop the mine, more than two years after it was first rejected”.
Environmental Defenders Office managing lawyer Rana Koroglu is representing the alliance:
Koroglu said it was astounding South Korean mining company Kepco was still pursuing the proposal on the eve of the Glasgow climate summit and when South Korea had recently made strong commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emission.
Phillip Kennedy, the president of the Bylong Valley Protection Alliance said:
Comment was sought from Kepco.
The NSW IPC declined to comment while legal proceedings continue.
If you missed this story this morning, it makes for alarming reading.
Australia has 200 fewer intensive care beds than at the start of the pandemic.
We’ve been reporting in recent weeks on a push by the federal government to exempt the Future Fund from freedom of information laws. The government is proposing to shield the Future Fund from any FOI that asks for material relating to its investment activities.
Given the Future Fund’s core purpose is investing as Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, that’s quite a broad exemption. The stated purpose of the changes is to give external investment managers, who the Future Fund works with regularly, confidence that sensitive commercial information won’t be made public.
Critics say the changes were triggered by an FOI that revealed the Future Fund was investing in an Adani company linked to the Myanmar military.
A parliamentary inquiry has just finished considering the bill and has recommended that it be passed, saying it was “persuaded that the Future Fund would remain subject to a sufficient level of scrutiny and oversight through a number of other robust transparency and accountability arrangements”.
In a separate report, Labor said the FOI exemptions were too broad, hypocritical, and at odds with disclosure requirements on other institutional investors, like superannuation funds. Greens senator Nick McKim said the rationale for the FOI exemption was “bunkum” and accused the government of engaging in a cover up of the Future Fund’s controversial investments.
Centre for Independent Studies executive director Tom Switzer has become a member of the Liberal Democrats.
The party has espoused controversial views on Covid-19 restrictions, calling for the removal of QR codes and mask wearing by Christmas, as well as the end of lockdowns.
They are currently seeking to launch a high court challenge against new laws which could force the party to change its name less than 12 months out from the next federal election.
In NSW, opposition leader Chris Minns has questioned premier Dominic Perrottet on the resignation of MP Melanie Gibbons yesterday.
Minns:
Perrottet:
Australia and more than 100 other countries have pledged to work toward a post 2020 global deal for nature that aims to reverse losses of biodiversity.Australia and more than 100 other countries have pledged to work toward a post 2020 global deal for nature that aims to reverse losses of biodiversity.
The environment minister, Sussan Ley, signed the Kunming Declaration overnight, which is something of a statement of intent by countries as they work towards a major new agreement for nature.The environment minister, Sussan Ley, signed the Kunming Declaration overnight, which is something of a statement of intent by countries as they work towards a major new agreement for nature.
The talks are happening as part of a United Nations conference - known as Cop15 or “the other Cop” - as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).The talks are happening as part of a United Nations conference - known as Cop15 or “the other Cop” - as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
It doesn’t get nearly the same level of attention as global climate talks but these are the most significant nature talks in a decade.It doesn’t get nearly the same level of attention as global climate talks but these are the most significant nature talks in a decade.
Countries are negotiating a new framework to try to halt the decline of ecosystems worldwide and put nature on the path to recovery by 2030.Countries are negotiating a new framework to try to halt the decline of ecosystems worldwide and put nature on the path to recovery by 2030.
After this week’s virtual meeting, there will be further meetings in the new year before countries meet in Kunming in China in April 2022 to hopefully reach a new agreement.After this week’s virtual meeting, there will be further meetings in the new year before countries meet in Kunming in China in April 2022 to hopefully reach a new agreement.
The Kunming Declaration signed overnight is basically a signal that countries hope to reach a significant deal. It calls for “urgent and significant action” across all sectors of the economy and society to preserve nature and use it sustainably.The Kunming Declaration signed overnight is basically a signal that countries hope to reach a significant deal. It calls for “urgent and significant action” across all sectors of the economy and society to preserve nature and use it sustainably.
It pledges countries to increase the area of protected land and sea and ensure that nature is factored into policy and economic decision making.It pledges countries to increase the area of protected land and sea and ensure that nature is factored into policy and economic decision making.
Countries have not yet signed on to any targets but it is hoped the final deal will see countries agree to protecting 30% of land and of sea areas globally.Countries have not yet signed on to any targets but it is hoped the final deal will see countries agree to protecting 30% of land and of sea areas globally.
Australia supports the global target but has not said if it will make such a commitment domestically.Australia supports the global target but has not said if it will make such a commitment domestically.
Ley:Ley:
The greens environment spokeswoman Sarah-Hanson Young has called on the government to commit to a domestic target.The greens environment spokeswoman Sarah-Hanson Young has called on the government to commit to a domestic target.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a warning severe thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near the area west of Picton, the Lithgow district and the southern reaches of Lake Burragorang this afternoon:The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a warning severe thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near the area west of Picton, the Lithgow district and the southern reaches of Lake Burragorang this afternoon:
The Northern Territory government has provided some more detail on the co-investment of $5 million in Equatorial Launch Australia, which is constructing an Arnhem Space Centre near Nhulunbuy.The Northern Territory government has provided some more detail on the co-investment of $5 million in Equatorial Launch Australia, which is constructing an Arnhem Space Centre near Nhulunbuy.
Equatorial Launch Australia are working with 27 personnel from NASA to prepare the site for the historic launch of three sounding rockets mid next year. It’ll be the first time NASA lifts-off outside of a USA commercial launch facility.Equatorial Launch Australia are working with 27 personnel from NASA to prepare the site for the historic launch of three sounding rockets mid next year. It’ll be the first time NASA lifts-off outside of a USA commercial launch facility.
The sounding rockets will carry scientific instruments into space to conduct research and provide scientists with the opportunity to observe objects that can’t be seen from rocket ranges in the Northern Hemisphere. Though a part of me wishes they would launch me into space at this point in the pandemic.The sounding rockets will carry scientific instruments into space to conduct research and provide scientists with the opportunity to observe objects that can’t be seen from rocket ranges in the Northern Hemisphere. Though a part of me wishes they would launch me into space at this point in the pandemic.
NASA sounding rockets program office operations manager Scott Bissett:NASA sounding rockets program office operations manager Scott Bissett:
The BOM is expecting severe thunderstorms across eastern NSW as the day progresses, with a dynamic cold front tracking east across the state:The BOM is expecting severe thunderstorms across eastern NSW as the day progresses, with a dynamic cold front tracking east across the state:
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds and large hailstones over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney, Wollongong, Nowra, Armidale, Orange, Goulburn and Tamworth.Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds and large hailstones over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney, Wollongong, Nowra, Armidale, Orange, Goulburn and Tamworth.
Frydenberg says he’d like to see Victoria, which just reported more than 2,000 cases in a single day, following the New South Wales roadmap - which goes significantly further than Victoria - when it emerges from restrictions.Frydenberg says he’d like to see Victoria, which just reported more than 2,000 cases in a single day, following the New South Wales roadmap - which goes significantly further than Victoria - when it emerges from restrictions.
Frydenberg is asked about the emergency disaster payments, which are due to end when state’s reach 80% double dose targets. He says emergency payments, like lockdowns, can’t last forever:Frydenberg is asked about the emergency disaster payments, which are due to end when state’s reach 80% double dose targets. He says emergency payments, like lockdowns, can’t last forever:
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is up in Melbourne now commenting on the latest unemployment figures:Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is up in Melbourne now commenting on the latest unemployment figures:
A specialist robotic camera will be used to search for the body of an eight year old boy who is believed to have drowned while kayaking in Western Australia’s south, AAP’s Michael Ramsey reports.A specialist robotic camera will be used to search for the body of an eight year old boy who is believed to have drowned while kayaking in Western Australia’s south, AAP’s Michael Ramsey reports.
The boy had been camping with family at Fernhook Falls near Walpole, about 400km southeast of Perth. He was reported missing from the campsite on Sunday morning, with police later saying he had been involved in a boating incident on the river.The boy had been camping with family at Fernhook Falls near Walpole, about 400km southeast of Perth. He was reported missing from the campsite on Sunday morning, with police later saying he had been involved in a boating incident on the river.
A land search that spanned several days and involved more than 60 State Emergency Service volunteers has been suspended, and police are now focusing on recovering his body from the river.A land search that spanned several days and involved more than 60 State Emergency Service volunteers has been suspended, and police are now focusing on recovering his body from the river.
Superintendent Kim Travers said the boy had ventured off alone near the top of the falls on Sunday morning. He had earlier told his older brother he wanted to paddle through foam on the surface of the water but was told it was too dangerous:Superintendent Kim Travers said the boy had ventured off alone near the top of the falls on Sunday morning. He had earlier told his older brother he wanted to paddle through foam on the surface of the water but was told it was too dangerous:
A short time later, his father located the boy’s jumper jammed underneath a rock.A short time later, his father located the boy’s jumper jammed underneath a rock.
The family had been staying in a cabin at the Mount Frankland national park and had been kayaking over the weekend without any issues.The family had been staying in a cabin at the Mount Frankland national park and had been kayaking over the weekend without any issues.
A Swiss National daily news journalist asks Forrest about Australia’s image overseas. She says it is poor, in Europe particularly.A Swiss National daily news journalist asks Forrest about Australia’s image overseas. She says it is poor, in Europe particularly.
The Tasmanian premier Peter Gutwein is providing a Covid-19 update following the escape of a quarantined traveller who later tested positive to the virus.The Tasmanian premier Peter Gutwein is providing a Covid-19 update following the escape of a quarantined traveller who later tested positive to the virus.
Gutwein says the man has not been particularly forthcoming with authorities.Gutwein says the man has not been particularly forthcoming with authorities.
Forrest is asked about Australia’s trade and diplomatic relationship with China, particularly in the wake of the new Aukus pact:Forrest is asked about Australia’s trade and diplomatic relationship with China, particularly in the wake of the new Aukus pact:
A reminder CovidBaseAU is run by teens who got vaccinated at their first opportunity.A reminder CovidBaseAU is run by teens who got vaccinated at their first opportunity.