Summary of Monday, 20 September

Righto then, once more with feeling. We are actually closing this news odyssey now. My usual thanks and best wishes. Be well, all of you.

  • Victoria’s construction industry is expected to be forced into a fortnight-long lockdown following violent protests in Melbourne over industry vaccination requirements.
  • The violence was orchestrated by “right-wing extremists and anti-vaccination activists” – not construction union members, the ACTU said.
  • Victoria will take receipt of “hundreds of thousands” of Moderna vaccines later this week.
  • Australia has fully vaccinated 47% of its population aged 16 and above, while 72% have received a first dose. Nearly 400,000 vaccinations were administered over the weekend.
  • The ACT leads the nation on double-dose coverage with 56.3 %, ahead of NSW at 53 % and Tasmania at 52.2 %.
  • Victoria and South Australia have vaccinated 44.1 % of over-16s whileQueensland and WA are on 41.8 %.
  • The NT has a 47.8 % two-dose vaccination rate.
  • Victoria recorded 567 new cases and another death on Monday.
  • NSW reported four deaths and 935 new local cases, the state’s lowest daily infection increase since late August.
  • There were seven new cases in the ACT, the first single-figure rise for almost a month.
  • Darwin recorded one new local coronavirus case in a man who returned from NSW via Brisbane.
  • The central west town of Cowra has gone into lockdown after an infected student attended a school campus.

Updated

OK – the shutdown to Victorian construction has not yet been confirmed. But this is what we can tell you now:

The Victorian government is holding crisis talks with the construction industry and unions after a protest against mandatory vaccines for workers in the sector became violent.

Guardian Australia has confirmed high-level meetings were being held on Monday night and the state government was reportedly poised to announce a two-week shutdown of the construction industry.

There was likely to be some exceptions granted for major projects.

There is currently a 25% cap on the industry’s workforce in Victoria, with tradies required to have had their first dose of a vaccine by this Thursday in order to be allowed back to work.

Updates will go to this story here:

Updated

And from the secretary of the ACTU:

The ACTU condemns the violent attack on @CFMEUVicTas office orchestrated by violent right-wing extremists and anti-vaccination activists.
This violent attack on union property which endangered union officials, staff and the public was reprehensible.

— Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus) September 20, 2021

CFMEU says Melbourne protest was infiltrated by far-right extremists

The CFMEU says the crowd that attacked their offices, and police, in Melbourne today was “heavily infiltrated by neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremist groups and it is clear that a minority of those who participated were actual union members”.

The CFMEU statement pic.twitter.com/fIV0qwuWGX

— Compute This 💻 (@MixtUpMixy) September 20, 2021

Updated

Victorian construction industry expected to be shut down for two weeks

Actually, we’re back. We’re expecting an announcement at 7pm on the Victorian construction industry – that it will be shut down for a fortnight.

Our reporter has confirmed government talks and an imminent announcement.

Updated

With that, we’ll close this juggernaut of news for the day. Thanks all for your company, comments, and correspondence. Be well, all of you.

To leave you, a summary of today’s Covid news:

  • Protests over construction industry vaccination requirements turned violent in Melbourne’s CBD, orchestrated by “right-wing extremists and anti-vaccination activists” – not construction union members, the ACTU said.
  • Victoria will take receipt of “hundreds of thousands” of Moderna vaccines later this week.
  • Australia has fully vaccinated 47% of its population aged 16 and above, while 72% have received a first dose. Nearly 400,000 vaccinations were administered over the weekend.
  • The ACT leads the nation on double-dose coverage with 56.3 %, ahead of NSW at 53 % and Tasmania at 52.2 %.
  • Victoria and South Australia have vaccinated 44.1 % of over-16s whileQueensland and WA are on 41.8 %.
  • The NT has a 47.8 % two-dose vaccination rate.
  • Victoria recorded 567 new cases and another death on Monday.
  • NSW reported four deaths and 935 new local cases, the state’s lowest daily infection increase since late August.
  • There were seven new cases in the ACT, the first single-figure rise for almost a month.
  • Darwin recorded one new local coronavirus case in a man who returned from NSW via Brisbane.
  • The central west town of Cowra has gone into lockdown after an infected student attended a school campus.

Updated

20/09/2021 6pm

🇦🇺 Total Cases 87,129🔺1,515 (4 HQ)

🔴Deaths 1,167🔺5
🔵Vent 162
🟣ICU 297🔺6
🟡Hosp 1,445🔻23
🟠Active 20,927🔺1,334
🟢Recovered 30,842 ↑ 165

NSW🔺936 (1 HQ)
VIC🔺567
QLD🔺2 (1 HQ)
WA🔺1 HQ
SA🍩
ACT🔺7
TAS🍩
NT🔺2 (1 HQ)

— COVID Australia (@COVID_Australia) September 20, 2021

ACTU statement on today's protest describes it as a "violent attack on the CFMEU office orchestrated by violent right-wing extremists and anti-vaccination activists". pic.twitter.com/5LpRlNzAgA

— Calla Wahlquist (@callapilla) September 20, 2021

Acting prime minister Barnaby Joyce has had a spirited conversation on ABC radio. He reiterated to host Patricia Karvelas he would support the return of the exiled Christian Porter to the ministry after a suitable (unspecified) time in “Coventry”, also known as the “corridor of the nearly dead”.

(I wonder how his backbench colleagues feel about their orbit being described in such terms). Porter should not have to reveal his mystery donors after his penance, Joyce reckons.

He quoted Hobbes (his time as acting PM will be brief, he conceded, but he hoped not “nasty and brutish”), he spoke of the power of redemption and forgiveness. It was – at once – everything and nothing, the yin and the yang, the sublime and the ridiculous. You know how these things can be ...

Updated

More Aukus fallout: Australia seeking to soothe jangled nerves in the region. Southeast Asian neighbours, in particular Indonesia and Malaysia, are disquieted by Australia’s embrace of nuclear submarines...

As ASEAN’s oldest Dialogue Partner, 🇦🇺 is – and will continue to be – a committed supporter of #ASEAN centrality. Read @AusAmbASEAN’s statement following the announcement of #AUKUS ⬇️ https://t.co/OS5V9PoU2B pic.twitter.com/d148EQMDDL

— DFAT🇦🇺 (@dfat) September 20, 2021

Updated

Elizabeth Street 6.05pm. pic.twitter.com/iQ6gO184I3

— Paul Dowsley (@paul_dowsley) September 20, 2021

More on the fallout from the construction worker protests today...

Major crisis talks going on within the State Goverment tonight over construction. Shutting down the entire industry is not off the table after tradies walked off sites, across the state, angry over the closure of tea rooms and mandatory vaccination. @7NewsMelbourne

— Sharnelle Vella (@SharnelleVella) September 20, 2021

Acting prime minister Barnaby Joyce has endorsed Christian Porter to return to the ministry in future, just one day after the former industry minister resigned over his legal fees being paid by a trust with money from unknown donors.

On Monday, Joyce told reporters in Canberra Porter was “incredibly intelligent” and had been an “incredibly capable” minister, suggesting he could return after seeking re-election in his Western Australian seat of Pearce.

But while the second most senior figure in the government laid a red carpet for his return, Labor vowed the controversy over Porter was not over, insisting he must pay the money back or disclose the funds’ source.

Guardian Australia understands when parliament returns in October, Labor will seek to refer the matter to the privileges committee for a ruling and possible sanction for failing to disclose more details of the gift.

Updated

Riot police have moved in to disperse crowds at the Melbourne headquarters of the CFMEU, after a protest against mandatory vaccines turned ugly, with the union blaming “outside extremists” for the violence.

Police used pepper spray and rubber bullets to move the crowd, which took over the intersection outside the Queen Victoria Market.

Bottles were thrown at the already smashed glass entrance doors to the building in Melbourne’s city centre as those protecting the entry sought refuge indoors just before 4pm.

Protesters also seemed to be turning against each other, with a number of small fights breaking out within the crowd of bright orange and yellow.

Construction workers clash with unionists at a protest at Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) headquarters in Melbourne
Construction workers clash with unionists at a protest at Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) headquarters in Melbourne. Photograph: James Ross/EPA
The protest outside the CFMEU attracted hundreds outside the union’s Melbourne city offices
The protest outside the CFMEU attracted hundreds outside the union’s Melbourne city offices. Photograph: James Ross/EPA
Construction workers at a protest in Melbourne
Construction workers at a protest in Melbourne. Photograph: James Ross/AAP

The union released a statement just after 4pm, saying it has always supported freedom of choice regarding vaccination.

“We are not going to be intimidated by outside extremists attempting to intimidate the union, by spreading misinformation and lies about the union’s position,” the statement said.

“The CFMEU will always advocate for safety, jobs, and freedom of choice.”

Earlier on Monday, hundreds of construction workers wearing high-vis, and their supporters, stormed the building, protesting against new mandatory vaccination rules for the building industry.

Victorian CFMEU chief John Setka addresses construction workers protesting work-related Covid-19 restrictions outside CFMEU headquarters
Victorian CFMEU chief John Setka addresses construction workers protesting work-related Covid-19 restrictions outside union headquarters. Photograph: Reuters
CFMEU members confronted police
CFMEU members confront police. Photograph: James Ross/AAP

Chanting “fuck the jab”, those rallying are against having to show proof of their vaccination to be allowed back on building sites, with some saying they would rather the entire construction industry be shut down.

There is currently a 25% cap on the industry’s workforce in Victoria, with tradies required to have had their first dose of a vaccine by 23 September in order to be allowed back to work.

Monday’s protest escalated when two union officials, including Victorian construction branch secretary John Setka, came outside the Elizabeth Street office to speak to protesters just before midday.

Setka was met with boos and insults from the crowd, while some protesters hurled bottles.

“Please calm down. Can you at least give me the respect to talk? We’re not the enemy, I don’t know what you have heard,” he says to protesters, in a video posted to social media.

“I have never, ever said I support mandatory vaccination.”

Once Setka went back inside, the protesters smashed a glass door to the building.

Police in riot gear at a protest at CFMEU headquarters
Police in riot gear at a protest at CFMEU headquarters. Photograph: James Ross/AAP
The smashed facade at CFMEU headquarters
The smashed facade at CFMEU headquarters. Photograph: James Ross/AAP
Police in riot gear are seen outside the CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne
Police in riot gear outside the CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne. Photograph: James Ross/AAP

Updated

The Morrison government has ruled out concerns Australia’s Pfizer supplies could face a shortfall next month.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said last week’s national cabinet meeting of federal, state and territory leaders was told about a potential issue.

“I don’t know how big the problem is, but there is an issue with Pfizer vaccine supply in October,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.

“That is not the federal government’s fault. I’m not blaming anyone, I’m just making a point.”

People lining up for vaccinations for COVID-19 inside the Boondall mass vaccination hub in Brisbane
People lining up for vaccinations for Covid-19 inside the Boondall mass vaccination hub in Brisbane. Photograph: Darren England/AAP

But federal health minister Greg Hunt said the problem, which involved the timing of one shipment, had been solved over the weekend.

“We’re expecting all of our contracted anticipated deliveries will arrive in full,” he told reporters.

Hunt said Australia would go from 10 million doses of mRNA vaccines Pfizer and Moderna received this month to more than 11 million in October.

“Every state and territory is receiving their full allocations,” he said.

ACT chief minister Andrew Barr wants more doses for state and territory-run vaccination hubs rather than general practices and primary health networks.

Hunt said GPs had been the backbone of Australia’s rollout.

“Whether somebody is vaccinated in a state clinic or a commonwealth clinic, whether they’re vaccinated in a GP or a pharmacy, what matters is that they’re vaccinated,” he said.

Moderna started arriving in states and territories on Monday after the first shipment touched down last week, with pharmacies the main administration point.

Airport workers unload pallets of the first shipment of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine as it arrives in Australia
Airport workers unload pallets of the first shipment of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine as it arrives in Australia Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AFP/Getty Images

Australia has fully vaccinated 47% of its population aged 16 and above, while 72% have received a first dose.

The ACT leads the nation on double-dose coverage with 56.3 %, ahead of NSW at 53 % and Tasmania at 52.2 %.

Victoria and South Australia have vaccinated 44.1 % of over-16s while Queensland and WA are on 41.8 %.

The NT has a 47.8 % two-dose vaccination rate.

Victoria recorded 567 new cases and another death on Monday.

NSW reported four deaths and 935 new local cases, the state’s lowest daily infection increase since late August.

There were seven new cases in the ACT, the first single-figure rise for almost a month.

Darwin recorded one new local coronavirus case in a man who returned from NSW via Brisbane.

While 24 close contacts have been forced into two weeks isolation, the NT government has decided not to impose a lockdown because he went straight from the airport to quarantine.

Updated

Subtle...

Scott Morrison appears to have been given John Howard’s eyebrows. And this Biden would run a creditable third in an FDR look-a-like contest.

Thank "that fella down under" #cartoon #CGTNOpinion https://t.co/5ySRnriQ8L pic.twitter.com/3vaL62ZfRa

— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) September 20, 2021

Queensland Health is issuing new contact tracing locations for the below flights:

✈️Qantas flight QF516 📍 Sydney to Brisbane
✈️Jetstar flight JQ484 📍 Newcastle to Brisbane

Full details can be found at: https://t.co/rujm8F3qL4 pic.twitter.com/ER2wZ92bTW

— Queensland Health (@qldhealthnews) September 20, 2021

Nearly 400,000 vaccine doses administered around the country over the weekend. That’s more than 138 needles every single minute (you have no idea how long that took me to work out – I failed maths so many times I can’t count ...).

A record-breaking weekend of 399,616 COVID-19 vaccines administered.

Importantly, from this week, Moderna vaccines will also be available from community pharmacies.

Keep breaking records Australia! To book your vaccine, visit https://t.co/BYd2HhVVzy pic.twitter.com/8lvWLV1dab

— Greg Hunt (@GregHuntMP) September 20, 2021

Updated

***North Korea*** has warned that Australia's plan to build nuclear powered submarines might "trigger off a chain of nuclear arms race" which is the most bleakly hilarious statement in eternity pic.twitter.com/EzVu5EtKpi

— Stephen Dziedzic (@stephendziedzic) September 20, 2021

For context: the North Korean regime launched missiles from a new train-based system last week.

And it appears to be expanding a weapons-grade uranium-enrichment plant, adding a new area to its Yongbyon nuclear complex, large enough to house 1000 additional centrifuges.

Mask mandates should be introduced in schools to protect students returning to in-person learning, according to an expert advisory group.

OzSage, an Australian advisory group that recently formed to provide Covid public health expertise, says it “strongly recommends” masks in primary and high schools for all students aged five and older, as well as for two- to five-year-olds “where developmentally appropriate”.

OzSage member Jeremy Howard said using masks in classrooms was “an extraordinarily effective way of keeping children safe”, pointing to a study finding that Covid transmission could be reduced by more than 300 times if all children wore well-fitted face masks in the classroom.

Howard said the use of higher quality masks, such as the N95 or KF94, would better reduce viral transmission in the general community, as would simple techniques involving less-protective surgical masks. Doubling masking with a cloth mask on top of a surgical mask, or tying a knot in the strings of a surgical mask – a technique known as the “knot and tuck” – can reduce exposure to infectious aerosols by about 95%.

Schoolchildren in France started their academic year this month, wearing protective face masks mandated by the governmen
Schoolchildren in France started their academic year this month, wearing protective face masks mandated by the government Photograph: Stéphane Mahé/Reuters

OzSage has also urged the NSW Department of Education to develop a safe indoor air plan for NSW schools, similar to the Victorian government’s policies.

Occupational hygienist and OzSage member Kate Cole said: “While opening windows is good, that doesn’t always prevent the buildup of contaminated air effectively.”

The group recommends the use of carbon dioxide monitors for air quality, combined with Hepa air purifiers if the concentration of carbon dioxide exceeds 800 parts per million.

Updated

An injured koala joey has been reunited with his mum after falling from a tree when an amorous male koala was aggressively pursuing his mother.

The seven-month-old joey was found on the ground at a property in northern NSW.

The youngster, dubbed Dobby, had fallen while his mother was being harassed by the male, which is typical during breeding season.

A team of Friends of the Koala volunteers rescued Dobby and took him to be assessed by a vet.

Then began a race against time to reunite him with his mother.

About 24 hours later, the volunteers managed to capture her and after several days in care, Dobby made a full recovery and was released back into the wild alongside his mum.

Seven-month-old joey, Dobby, with his mum, Shontana
Seven-month-old joey, Dobby, with his mum, Shontana Photograph: SUPPLIED/PR IMAGE

“It’s always a special day when we can reunite a mum and joey and release them back into the wild where they can thrive together,” International Fund for Animal Welfare rescuer Nicole Rojas-Marin said on Monday.

“Koalas, especially males, face increased threats during breeding season, such as car collisions and dog attacks, because they tend to move around more in search of females to mate and to find new areas to call home, so it’s vital we do what we can to help protect them.”

Dobby was reunited with his mum after he fell from a tree while his mum was getting some unwanted attention from a male koala
Dobby was reunited with his mum after he fell from a tree while his mum was getting some unwanted attention from a male koala Photograph: SUPPLIED/PR IMAGE

It comes as grim figures released by the the Australian Koala Foundation on Monday reveal an estimated 30 per cent of the iconic species have been lost in just three years.

The research showed every region across Australia saw a decline in the koala population and the species is now extinct in 47 of the 128 federal electorates that have, or did have, koalas since white settlement.

Australia’s koala populations are now estimated to be between 32,065 to 57,920 - down from 45,745 to 82,170 in 2018.

*Baby koalas are called joeys. I’m sure all of m’learned readers knew this, but this is news to me. I must have missed that day at school (or been asleep).

first pass on the d3 build pic.twitter.com/Aj17VjJsN2

— Nick Evershed (@NickEvershed) September 20, 2021

18 months today since Australian borders shut.
Tens of thousands of Australians are still waiting to get home to see their families again.

A silent vigil outside Australia House in London. #9news pic.twitter.com/EVNOHE3oz2

— Brett Mcleod (@Brett_McLeod) September 20, 2021

The nation’s major international airports stand ready for the return of international travel, aided by federal government support to assist in additional security screening requirements.

But the country’s almost 10,000 specialist ground staff believe they are being short-changed when it comes to government assistance, and fear hundreds of planes could still be grounded come Christmas.

Grounded aeroplanes at the Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage facility in Alice Springs
Grounded aeroplanes at the Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage facility in Alice Springs Photograph: Steve Strike/Getty Images

Acting prime minister Barnaby Joyce has announced a further $183.65m aviation support package, which includes a new $64m rebate scheme to help airports offset the cost of security screening.

“As a driver of so many sectors of our economy, it is essential that the industry is ready to ramp up operations when international restrictions are eased,” Joyce, who is also transport minister, said.

The bulk of the money will go towards extending the International Aviation Support program, due to expire at the end of October and aimed at helping airlines maintain core jobs essential for international travel.

“Our airlines and airports will be essential as we welcome back international visitors to support the 600,000 jobs and businesses reliant on tourism,” tourism minister Dan Tehan said.

The government has provided more than $5.1bn in assistance to the aviation sector since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Australian Airports Association chief executive James Goodwin said the international airport security charges rebate program would support the government’s reopening strategy.

“We know restarting international aviation is not as simple as just opening the border,” he said.

A Passenger at Melbourne Airport
A Passenger at Melbourne Airport Photograph: James D Morgan/Getty Images

“There will be major complexities involved but airports stand ready to ensure the operational environment, policy settings and logistics are right so overseas travel can continue to be safe and secure for all passengers and staff.”

The scheme will begin in October and run until the end of March, with payments available to the major international airports in each state and territory, as well as Cairns, Gold Coast and Townsville.

But the Australian Aviation Ground Handlers Industry Alliance warns planes could remain grounded this Christmas because thousands of critical aviation ground operation workers continue to be excluded from government support.

Alliance chair Glen Rutherford said ground staff do not get the $750 a week support package announced in August that went to airline and airport workers.

“All we ask is for our 9,800 specialist ground handlers to receive the same treatment as the rest of the aviation industry.” Rutherford said.

“We are already seeing a large proportion of our workforce pursuing other more financially secure work to get food on the table for their families.”

He warned it would take at least six months to recruit workers when borders reopen, train them up and have them accredited by the government.

Updated

The pandemic’s impact on the economy and workforce is being felt most acutely by women, Amy Remeikis writes:

Australian women are still being failed, Australian Council of Trade Unions president Michele O’Neil says, with falls in employment, and standards yet to be addressed.

The ACTU is ramping up its gender campaign after last week’s unemployment figures which showed women continued to be disproportionately affected by the pandemic’s impact on the economy, compared to men.

See the latest breakdown of locally acquired cases in NSW by age for the past 7 days.

To get your COVID-19 vaccination, find a walk-in clinic or make a booking: https://t.co/Ej3FSanOoF pic.twitter.com/QwAAqxdLVj

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) September 20, 2021

I've got some good news.

Starting today hundreds of thousands of doses of Moderna will be delivered to 721 pharmacies across Victoria - and then into Victorians' arms.

Just like the other vaccines: it's safe, it's effective, and every dose gets us closer to opening up.

— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) September 20, 2021

No new coronavirus cases in South Australia

Back on Covid, the never-ending news story:

South Australian COVID-19 update 20/9/21. For more information, go to https://t.co/mYnZsGpayo or contact the South Australia COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787. pic.twitter.com/YEEMeYsdcS

— SA Health (@SAHealth) September 20, 2021

Updated

Sydney! It’s warm now but there’s a cold front a-coming.

OK this is just getting silly now. Just 270 km, two Maccas, one KFC and 18 DEGREES (!!!) separate Australia's capital and its largest city right now https://t.co/3bzdETxM5h https://t.co/hwwcjW6lZB

— Anthony Sharwood ❄️ (@antsharwood) September 20, 2021

Mr Miskelly tells Sydney twitter: “expect precipitous cooling from around 5pm”.

Updated

AAP has filed on the CFMEU protests in Melbourne:

Hundreds of construction workers and their supporters have stormed their union’s headquarters in Melbourne, protesting against new mandatory vaccination rules for the building industry.

Protesters wearing hi-visibility workwear gathered outside the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union head office on Elizabeth Street in the city on Monday morning.

Chanting “f*** the jab”, those rallying are against having to show proof of their vaccination to be allowed back on building sites, with some saying they would rather the entire construction industry be shut down.

A sign with “my body my choice” can be seen among the protesters.

Construction workers clash with unionists at a protest at Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) headquarters in Melbourne. The construction workers are protesting mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations
Construction workers clash with unionists at a protest at the CFMEU’s headquarters in Melbourne. Photograph: James Ross/EPA

There is currently a 25% cap on the industry’s workforce in Victoria, with tradies required to have had their first dose of a vaccine by this Thursday to be allowed back to work.

Monday’s protest escalated when two union officials, including Victorian construction branch secretary John Sekta, came outside to speak to protesters just before midday.

Setka was met with boos and insults from the crowd, while some protesters hurled bottles.

“Please calm down, can you at least give me the respect to talk. We’re not the enemy, I don’t know what you have heard,” he says to protesters, in a video posted to social media.

“I have never, ever said I support mandatory vaccination.”

John Setka addresses construction workers protesting work-related Covid-19 restrictions at Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) headquarters in Melbourne
John Setka addresses construction workers protesting work-related Covid-19 restrictions. Photograph: Reuters

The protesters then called for the CFMEU leader to “stand up or stand down” and yelled “we are one”.

Once Setka went back inside, the protesters smashed a glass door to the building.

By 1pm the protest had swelled to fill both sides of Elizabeth Street, with union delegates standing at the front of the building to stop protesters from entering.

Rain and hail has not deterred the protesters, with calls for Setka to come back outside and march with them.

Some of those rallying say they will come to the CFMEU office every day until the union bows to their demands.

Just before 2pm a protester went inside to meet with union officials.

Police are gathered around the rally and have blocked off parts of the road, but do not appear to be moving protesters on.

It is unclear whether all of those protesting are construction workers, as a message on the Melbourne Freedom Rally Telegram group encouraged anti-lockdown protesters to join them.

“If you are in the area and wish to support these guys head down,” a Telegram message said.

Another said: “If you got a high vis just get down there NUMBERS!”.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne during his daily coronavirus update the protests were “not smart, they are not safe”.

“This industry is open at 25%, we want to get to 50, being vaccinated is an incredibly important part of that,” Mr Andrews said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews
The Victorian premier Daniel Andrews. Photograph: Daniel Pockett/AAP

“Protests don’t work. Getting vaccinated works, following the rules works. That’s how you stay open, that’s how you get open.”

Monday’s protests come after construction workers set up plastic chairs and tables in the middle of streets across Melbourne on Friday, protesting against the lockdown restrictions that included shutting down tea rooms for morning breaks.

–––

A statement provided to the Guardian by the CFMEU’s QLD/NT branch, the Electrical Trades Union, the Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union, and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, stressed they were not opposed to vaccinations but that “construction unions oppose any blanket ‘no jab-no job’ laws which would penalise workers and remove a person’s right to make informed personal choices”.

“The Building Trades Group of unions in no way underestimates the public health challenges in managing a deadly virus such as Covid-19, but punitive measures that create two classes of citizens is not a path out of this pandemic.

“We strongly support and have followed the health advice that has helped keep Queenslanders safe and our members working, even during periods of restrictions and lockdown.

“Ultimately though, medical decisions must be a matter for an individual acting on the advice of their doctor, and workers should not be punished for acting according to their own personal circumstances.”

Updated

As we reported earlier, New Zealand has recorded 22 new cases of coronavirus in the community, including three cases outside Auckland. The new cases could put the brakes on prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s much anticipated easing of lockdown restrictions. Here’s our full report:

Updated

There will be no all out “freedom day” in South Australia when vaccine targets are reached, premier Steven Marshall says.

The premier says while SA has signed up to the national roadmap, to allow border measures and lockdown rules to ease, some level of local restrictions will remain in force to keep people safe.

“We will have to keep some public health social measures in place,” he said.

“We’re not going to have a freedom day where the borders are open and restrictions are removed at the same time.

“This is still a very dangerous pandemic. We want to ensure we maintain our good management of the disease.”

South Australia Premier Steven Marshall
South Australia premier Steven Marshall. Photograph: Morgan Sette/AAP

Marshall said anybody who became infected in SA, along with their close contacts, would still face periods in quarantine.

The premier said South Australia did not want the disease “running through our state” but believed the virus “will eventually come in”.

“We want to do that on our own terms and that means, test, trace, isolate and quarantine, and have some public health measures remaining in place,” he said.

Updated

Fiji, which was hit hard by a surge in Covid cases in July and August and at one stage had the highest per capita Covid infection rate in the world, has begun a school vaccination program, using the US Moderna vaccine.

Prime Minister, @FijiPM this morning launched the school vaccination program and rollout of the Moderna vaccine for children aged 15 years to 17 years.

Read More👉🏾 https://t.co/yyM5oFMKcu pic.twitter.com/AUoXnp9S1G

— Office of the Prime Minister (@fiji_opm) September 20, 2021

Updated

Australian Olympic swimming gold medallist Madi Wilson says she feels “extremely unlucky” after being admitted to hospital in Europe with Covid-19.

Less than two months after standing atop the podium with the 4x100m women’s freestyle team, the 27-year-old has revealed she tested positive while in Italy for an International Swim League event.

Madi Wilson at training in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Madi Wilson at training in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Photograph: Getty Images

Updated

Two hydrogen energy hubs will receive $150m in federal funding as the government throws more weight behind the industry, AAP reports.

The announcement comes on top of the $1.2bn set aside for hydrogen, which has emerged as a future renewable energy source.

Hydrogen is expected to play a key role as part of federal government initiatives to cut carbon emissions.

There are now seven prospective sites for hydrogen hubs in Australia including the Hunter Valley in NSW, the Pilbara in WA and Bell Bay in Tasmania.

Other potential sites are in Darwin, South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, Gladstone in Queensland and Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

Government funding is expected to assist the potential locations to build on existing infrastructure and allow hydrogen to be exported to other countries.

Prime minister Scott Morrison said hydrogen hubs would contribute to emission-reduction efforts.

“We are accelerating the development of our Australian hydrogen industry and it is our ambition to produce the cheapest clean hydrogen in the world, transforming our transport, energy, resources and manufacturing sectors,” he said.

“This is good for jobs, good for our environment and contributes to our global effort to reduce emissions through technology not taxes.”

The government estimates the industry could be worth as much as $11bn a year in gross domestic product by 2050.

It is hoped the new energy hubs would allow for hydrogen to be produced in Australia for less than $2 per kilogram.

Earlier this year, prime minister Scott Morrison visited Star Scientific, a hydrogen research facility in Berkeley Vale with energy minister Angus Taylor
Earlier this year, the prime minister Scott Morrison visited Star Scientific, a hydrogen research facility in Berkeley Vale in NSW, with energy minister Angus Taylor. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPA

Australia’s renewable energy initiatives are set to come under international scrutiny at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in Glasgow later this year.

The federal government has pledged to cut emissions by up to 26%, based on 2005 emissions levels.

However, while the government has expressed a preference to achieve net-zero emissions as soon as possible, it has not committed to reaching the goal by 2050.

Energy minister Angus Taylor said hydrogen hubs would allow the country to expand its energy output.

“A thriving hydrogen sector will help Australia to achieve its emission-reduction goals while continuing to grow our economy and support existing industries,” he said.

(Some context: the idea of “clean hydrogen” is not one universally accepted as a solution to Australia’s emissions intractability.)

Updated

Hospital stress inevitable but expert hopes worst-case scenario avoidable

Georgie Moore reports for AAP:

Pressure on hospital systems is inevitable as states relax coronavirus restrictions, but an infectious diseases expert is hopeful a worse-case scenario can be avoided.

Victoria has joined NSW in revealing the southern state’s plan to lift lockdown from October 26 in line with rising vaccination rates on the basis of Burnet Institute modelling.

The institute’s deputy director Prof Margaret Hellard expects the reopening in both states to put intense pressure on hospitals in coming months.

“We see this around the world. Covid puts pressure on systems. And it’s just the reality of it,” she told ABC TV on Monday.

“We just have to understand that we’ve got about six-to-eight weeks where we can do little things that will add up to big things.”

A critical factor will be how the reproduction rate of the virus, a measure of how many others a person will infect, changes.

But Hellard stresses people’s choices - avoiding others’ homes, meeting outside and getting vaccinated - can help avoid a worst-case scenario for hospital numbers and deaths.

Dr Jamal Rifi administers a Covid-19 vaccine at a new drive-through vaccination clinic at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney
Dr Jamal Rifi administers a Covid-19 vaccine at a new drive-through vaccination clinic at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney. Photograph: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

“My hope is that we will have some things that change the projections so that the model is a bit more optimistic, the outcome is actually a bit more optimistic,” she said of Victoria.

“It’s really important that people just don’t think that is set-and-forget. We can do things that will help take pressure off our health system, individually and collectively, to make things easier.”

Victoria recorded 567 new cases and another death on Monday. Daily cases are forecast to peak between 1,400 and 2,900 by late October based on current numbers.

Between 1,200 and 2,500 patients are expected to require hospitalisation under the scenario. Should there be a second peak in December, hospital numbers could surpass 2,500.

NSW reported four deaths and 935 new local cases, the state’s lowest daily infection increase since late August.

The central west town of Cowra will enter lockdown from 5pm Monday after a primary school student tested positive.





Updated

Thanks kindly Matilda for your unsurpassable stewardship (she may have actually meant ‘inimical’ to describe me in that earlier post – let’s see how I go).

So, the CFMEU protests, they became a thing.

Language warning on this. A proper language warning. Most unparliamentary.

CW: Violent footage.

Construction workers protesting mandatory vaccinations clash with union officials and Victorian State Secretary John Setka outside the CFMEU office. pic.twitter.com/uVKTuIzQ8r

— Eden Gillespie (@edengillespie) September 20, 2021

Updated

With that, I shall pass you over to the inimitable Ben Doherty to take you through the afternoon’s news.

See you all tomorrow!

Cowra in NSW to enter seven-day lockdown today

⚠️STAY-AT-HOME ORDER FOR COWRA LGA⚠️

Stay-at-home orders will be introduced for the Cowra Local Government Area (LGA) from 5pm today for seven days due to an increased COVID-19 public health risk.

For full details, visit: https://t.co/asEJmFlon0 pic.twitter.com/GRBvSKRZVH

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) September 20, 2021

Updated

Just on one of those regional Victoria cases:

Health authorities have confirmed the Mount Alexander case visited Bendigo - that's why we're seeing those exposure sites @BgoAddy

— Tara Cosoleto (@tcosoleto) September 20, 2021

Hundreds of construction workers outside their CFMEU union headquarters on Elizabeth Street, furious about mandatory vaccinations which start Friday for their industry. pic.twitter.com/60nB1awgJY

— Paul Dowsley (@paul_dowsley) September 20, 2021

French anger at the Morrison government’s decision to scrap its $90bn submarine program with France continues to boil over, with the country’s recalled ambassador saying it felt “fooled” by the announcement.

Jean-Pierre Thebault was ordered back to Paris in the wake of the Aukus announcement, which will see Australia enter into a strategic “forever partnership” with the US and the UK.

Part of the still-to-be-determined arrangement will include the sharing of nuclear-powered submarine technology with Australia, prompting the Morrison government to tear up its existing contract with France.

You can read the full report below:

France’s ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault at Sydney Airport on Saturday.
France’s ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault at Sydney Airport on Saturday. Photograph: David Gray/AP

Updated

Today’s CFMEU protest. Footage by @therealrukshan, who has live-streamed it all. pic.twitter.com/DZLSsfClis https://t.co/DZLSsfClis

— Suzan Delibasic (@suzandelibasic) September 20, 2021

Here are some more photos from the protests outside the CFMEU offices in Melbourne:

Construction workers clash with unionists at a protest at Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) headquarters in Melbourne, Monday, September 20, 2021.
Construction workers clash with unionists at a protest at Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) headquarters in Melbourne, Monday, September 20, 2021.
Construction workers clash with unionists at a protest at Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) headquarters in Melbourne, Monday, September 20, 2021.

Updated

Clashes at CMFEU protests over mandatory vaccines in Melbourne

Remember I mentioned the fairly small CFMEU protests in Melbourne this morning, with workers upset over mandatory vaccines rules.

Well, things have escalated dramatically while the press conferences were on.

This protest has descended into absolute chaos.

Union officials were unable to calm the crowd and retreated inside. Construction workers began fighting officials and throwing projectiles. pic.twitter.com/ZWvLMgwGXX

— Eden Gillespie (@edengillespie) September 20, 2021

A union official has asked the crowd: "please calm down".

Things are very tense. Some construction workers are now screaming and swearing at union workers. pic.twitter.com/2MML1HOFVp

— Eden Gillespie (@edengillespie) September 20, 2021

Updated

NT Covid case has 24 close contacts

The Northern Territory has recorded a new Covid-19 case after a man travelled from NSW to Darwin and tested positive, reports Aaron Bunch from AAP.

Dozens of close contacts have been identified as health minister Natasha Fyles prepares to front the media amid fears the city will go into lockdown.

The fully-vaccinated 53-year-old travelled to Darwin International Airport from Newcastle via Brisbane on Friday on Jetstar flight JQ674.

He since tested positive for Covid-19, is asymptomatic and is now at the Centre for National Resilience in Howard Springs, near Darwin, NT Health said on Monday.

Contact tracing is underway, with 24 close contacts identified.

All have been contacted and ordered to undertake 14 days mandatory quarantine. This includes two border entry staff and two Australian Defence Force members, who have also been deemed to be close contacts and ordered into quarantine.

The remaining 111 people on the flight from Queensland have been identified as casual contacts and ordered to self-isolate and get tested for the virus.

New South Wales police acknowledged they “never had the opportunity to commence the investigation” into an allegation of rape against Christian Porter, conceding the “investigation or lack thereof was not successful”, an internal review document seen by Guardian Australia has revealed.

Porter’s accuser withdrew her complaint and took her own life in June 2020, without police having taken a witness statement from her. The police assessment of the investigation into her claims, which was first produced in a more redacted form to the NSW parliament, concludes that, as a result, an alleged victim of “childhood sexual abuse” had died “without having her wish of the person of interest being held to account”.

The same document also reveals that police asked to close the investigation on the same day they received a dossier which included a statement by the woman detailing her allegations sent to police by her friends.

You can read the full report below:

Updated

ACT COVID-19 update (20 September 2021):
◼️ New cases today: 7
◼️ Active cases: 223
◼️ Total recovered cases: 402
◼️ Total cases: 625
◼️ Negative test results (past 24 hours): 2,819
◼️ In hospital: 5 pic.twitter.com/herfFapc0r

— ACT Health (@ACTHealth) September 20, 2021

ACT won't significantly ease restrictions until 80% vaccination

Andrew Barr says the ACT is likely to wait until 80% of the above-16 population is fully vaccinated until major chances are made to lockdown conditions:

So following the updated Doherty Institute advice provided to national cabinet last Friday the Burnett Institute advice provided to the Victorian government and publicly released over the weekend, and New South Wales Health advice to state government earlier this month, we now have a much clearer picture of the significant risks associated with moving too fast at 70%.

The clear advice is that it is prudent to wait until reaching 80% before making major changes.

It’s clear that interstate borders are one of the issues Barr is referring to here:

Very importantly, we have touched on this a number of times and I want to reiterate it today, we are also very focused on the capacity of our health system, the implications for the cross-border demand on our health system coming from regional New South Wales, and I do note that both the New South Wales premier and the Victorian premier have been very clear that they expect the demands on their health systems to be unlike anything Australia has experienced before. Extreme pressure is coming to New South Wales and Victoria’s health systems and it would be naive to think that the ACT system won’t also come under pressure.

So we plan to ease restrictions as we transition through the vaccination phases in mid- to late October and early to mid-November.

Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra during the ACT lockdown.
Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra during the ACT lockdown. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Updated

Barr:

We are optimistic that the issue can be positively resolved.

During their outbreaks, New South Wales and Victoria both received increased supplies of vaccines.

It is our view that the ACT should not be treated any differently.

ACT chief minister Andrew Barr says the territory will not be receiving the increase of Pfizer doses it was originally promised from the federal government due to limitations in supply:

The current advice from the commonwealth is that we will not see supply of Pfizer to the ACT government program reduced between September and October as had been indicated in the papers to national cabinet last Friday. However, we will also not see the increase in supply that had been projected for the ACT between September and October/November.

So increased supply of mRNA vaccines to the ACT is now currently all projected to be in primary care, that is Pfizer to GPs and Moderna to pharmacies.

Therefore, if you are looking to get an early appointment for your 12- to 15-year-old to get vaccinated, we would strongly encourage you to consider doing that through a GP or a pharmacist.

Updated

NZ records 22 new local Covid-19 cases

New Zealand has recorded 22 new cases of coronavirus in the community, including three cases outside of Auckland, which could put the brakes on prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s much anticipated easing of lockdown restrictions.

Health officials have confirmed that three household contacts of a remand prisoner with Covid-19 have tested positive for the virus. All three live in the Waikato region, south of Auckland’s border, and two are schoolchildren at Mangatangi school. One of those students was symptomatic at school on Thursday.

Auckland, where most of the cases have been reported, has been in the highest lockdown setting for more than a month as the country races attempts to stamp out an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant. The rest of the country is at alert level two – out of lockdown but with restrictions on gatherings and requirements for mask use.

There are now 1,071 cases in the outbreak, with 337 of those still active. Twelve cases in the last fortnight are yet to be epidemiologically linked to the outbreak, with five of those reported on Monday. There are 16 people in hospital and four are in intensive care.

Just over 71% of eligible New Zealanders (12 years+) have had their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and more than 37% are fully vaccinated.*

Ardern will update the country on lockdown settings on Monday afternoon.

Updated

Andrew Barr:

In further good news the number of Canberrans in hospital has fallen to five overnight and we have two in intensive care.

So today’s case numbers are positive but as was the case on Friday when we reported 30 cases, it is too early to know whether this is just a one-off. What has been clear over the past five weeks is that daily case numbers have fluctuated.

Updated

ACT records seven new Covid-19 cases, with just two in full isolation

ACT chief minister Andrew Barr is speaking now:

We had seven new cases overnight and pleasingly all of them can be linked, however, only two were in quarantine during their entire infectious period.

At least four spent part of their infectious period in the community and one remains under investigation.

Updated

Back to Victoria for a second and Daniel Andrews has challenged detractors of the state’s Covid-19 roadmap to show him the modelling that backs up their plans.

Reporter:

Were you expecting the reaction from retailers and the [Melbourne] lord mayor Sally Capp today criticising the roadmap as being hopeless for the indoor industries?

Andrews:

I wouldn’t use those terms. Let’s be very clear about this, let’s be very, very clear about this ...

If the virus doesn’t come from Sydney, we don’t have these cases and we don’t really need a roadmap. We can open up really, really quickly because we only have a small number of cases.

If we were vaccinated at 80% six months ago or a year ago, then we wouldn’t need a roadmap, would we? All those kinds of hypotheticals. I don’t get the benefit in the work that I do – I can’t pretend those things are real.

These are the circumstances we face, everyone’s got views. They’re perfectly entitled to their views but if you pretend you got an alternative plan, then please provide me with the modelling, the detailed modelling that backs that up. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable thing nor me to say.

Look, this is the plan, we have released the modelling. If we can go faster safely without completely crashing our health system, and seeing many more people than I fear will die, so many more people than I – than what we predict will succumb to this, finishing up passing away, how would that be a responsible thing for me to do?

Updated

Former minister Christian Porter’s old department now bulk deleting freedom of information requests on grounds he’s no longer a minister pic.twitter.com/5Sv2TPUA4H

— Samantha Maiden (@samanthamaiden) September 20, 2021

The phrase “acting prime minister Barnaby Joyce” isn’t sitting well with some:

I saw this tweet and for second thought it was a joke…. And then remembered no, this is actually real 🤢 pic.twitter.com/LP3HDD1hZ6

— 💚🌏 Sarah Hanson-Young (@sarahinthesen8) September 20, 2021

Chills https://t.co/b2cULGPX4Y

— Greg Jericho (@GrogsGamut) September 20, 2021

Updated

We will be hearing from the acting prime minister Barnaby Joyce at 1pm.

Acting Prime Minister @Barnaby_Joyce will hold a press conference at 1PM, APH #auspol

— Political Alert (@political_alert) September 20, 2021

Updated

Reporter:

In your kind of dream world, premier, if everyone jumped on AstraZeneca, there was a big surge in AZ, how much more quickly could we get to 70 and 80 if there was a surge?

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews:

I would say to you that in my dream world, yeah, there’s a lot of things. What I would say – AstraZeneca is safe, AstraZeneca works, but don’t take the applications’ word for it, talk to your doctor or a senior clinician, talk to your community pharmacist ...

That is a vaccine that works and for the vast, vast majority of people, it’s perfectly safe and arguably if it’s the one you can get today, it’s the very best vaccine, that’s the consistent message.

We got more than a million Victorians that are double dosed [with] by AstraZeneca. That number continues to grow every single day. We’re going to keep pushing it because it is available now.

In broader terms, regardless of which vaccine, the more people that get vaccinated faster, the quicker we’ll get to 80% single dose and those outdoor recreation freedoms will be available for us, therefore, logically the sooner we’ll get to 70% double dose and all the things the roadmap talks about, the lockdown ending basically, that could occur faster.

Updated

Jeroen Weimar:

In terms of our regional cases, we have five more cases in Ballarat, taking Ballarat up to a total of 17 cases. Of those five cases, four are all within one single household, connected to a construction site in Lilydale. A known set of primary close contacts and the one other case is a known primary close contact of a positive case in Melbourne. So no undue concern around the cases in Ballarat ...

There are two cases ... just outside of greater Geelong that we’re investigating at this point in time ...

In Mitchell shire, we have three new cases today, taking it up to 22 active cases in total, all three are primary close contacts of existing cases.

Finally, we have a case in Mount Alexander, which is related to a work site in the western suburbs.

We have a single case in Moira in the north of our state. We believe connected to Ballarat but that work is ongoing.

And we have two cases under investigation, one in South Gippsland and one in the Macedon Ranges.

Updated

Here is the Victorian Covid commander Jeroen Weimar with the breakdown of today’s huge case numbers:

Eighty-seven per cent of all of our cases are in the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne ... locations like Craigieburn, Roxborough Park and Broadmeadows.

Around a quarter of our cases are in the western suburbs, 137 cases in the west across Tarneit, Trugganinna and Altona North. We have 45 cases in the south-eastern suburbs in Dandenong, Rowville and Pakenham. And we have 12 cases in our eastern suburbs in Doncaster and Ringwood North. There are also 14 cases in regional Victoria.

Updated

Anthony Tassone is now talking about football so, I’ll admit, my eyes have glazed over a little bit, but it sounds as though it’s profound:

I feel like we’re in the third quarter which is often referred to as the premiership quarter in football. You come out from halftime and it’s the make or break of when you can get back to doing what you want to do and ultimate success.

We know what we need to do, we need to get vaccinated, don’t wait, take your first option. That’s what happens in sport as well – take your first option and you’re more likely to succeed. So I implore all Victorians, kick a goal for Victoria this week, get vaccinated, get what you can get, they’re all safe and effective.

Updated

Although Queensland has moved to open up the other mRNA vaccine, Pfizer, to over-60s, Anthony Tassone says that in Victoria this cohort still will not be eligible for Moderna:

With regards to the Moderna vaccine, the eligibility for that is for patients aged 12 years to 59 years old. It is the same eligibility as the other mRNA vaccine that we have for Australians, being the Pfizer vaccine. Twelve to 59 years old eligibility for Moderna through pharmacies.

I have already had patients in my pharmacy aged 60 years and over wanting to receive the Moderna and, I’m sorry, and unfortunately, they’re not eligible for you at this stage. Please get AstraZeneca. Please do what you can to get vaccinated with what’s available. It’s safe and effective.

Updated

Anthony Tassone says there will be plenty of Moderna doses but he urged people not to shy away from receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine:

This is what I say to my patients in my pharmacy every day. It sometimes can feel like in this pandemic that we’re on a plane spiralling and plummeting towards earth and when I look under my seat for the lifejacket, I’m not preferencing the red or the yellow one. I’m getting what’s there.

When the oxygen masks drops down, I don’t want the blue one with the blue tubing or the green one, I grab what’s there.

The best vaccine that you can get is the one you can get today. AstraZeneca – it’s safe, it’s effective, it’s available and suitable for patients aged 18 years and over.

Updated

We are now hearing from Anthony Tassone, the president of the Victorian Pharmacy Guild:

So from this week, there will be 440 pharmacies in Victoria receiving the Moderna vaccine and 281 pharmacies in Victoria next week. There’ll be 1,800 pharmacies nationally this week receiving Moderna and another 1,800 pharmacies next week.

In Victoria alone, for the rest of September, there’ll be over 300,000 Moderna doses delivered to community pharmacies across Victoria this month and that will ramp up further in October and November.

So this is great news for patients and another option for our community and families to be able to protect themselves and the community.

Dan Andrews:

On Friday, at national cabinet, General Frewen indicated that there is a problem – I don’t know whether it’s resolved yet, I don’t know how big a problem there is, but there is an issue with Pfizer supply in October.

That’s not the federal government’s fault, I’m not blaming anyone, just making the point. As I have said so many times, don’t wait for something that hasn’t arrived yet.

Please don’t wait and defer for something that may not – there may be an international global supply chain problem, there may be all sorts of variables. AstraZeneca is available now.

Updated

Hundreds of thousands of Moderna doses headed for Victoria

Daniel Andrews says Victoria will have “hundreds of thousands” of Moderna doses later this week:

There are going to be, from later this week and for the weeks to come, hundreds of thousands of Moderna doses. This is a safe vaccine and effective vaccine. It’s an mRNA vaccine.

It is incredibly effective, just as the other two are in protecting you against becoming gravely unwell. Those appointments are going to be available. So whereas to this point there’s been some supply issues, particularly with Pfizer, some of those challenges are not such a big issue for us over the coming weeks and months.

So everyone knows their community pharmacist, everyone has been to their pharmacist, they are trusted, they are people of care and compassion, highly skilled ... that’s what makes them such a trusted part of our health team.

Updated

Here is Victorian premier Daniel Andrews with the details of the Covid-19 positive woman who died in the last 24 hours:

Sadly, a woman in her 70s from Moreland has passed away and we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to her family and friends. This will be obviously a very difficult time for them.

There are 209 people in hospital, 59 of those are in intensive care and 40 are on a ventilator. Of those cases who are in hospital yesterday, 86% were not vaccinated, 12% were partially vaccinated, just three people were fully vaccinated.

Updated

NSW is now mostly talking about a local road project so I’m going to dive into the Victorian press conference.

Updated

Daniel Andrews confirms Victoria will have access to the Moderna vaccine later this week, with "hundreds of thousands" of doses available.

— 3AW Melbourne (@3AW693) September 20, 2021

Kerry Chant:

We’ve also got some concerns around Dareton because of sewage detection and keeping vigilant in Kempsey, so if we could see those high rates of testing there.

In terms of the suburbs, whilst we are seeing some pleasing declines in some of the suburbs and, clearly the numbers today reflect that, it is too soon for complacency so I call upon the communities of Greenacre, Guildford, Bankstown, Merrylands, Casula, Wayland, Fairfield and the Wollongong and Central Coast communities and the areas around Waterloo, Redfern and inner city to please be vigilant for signs and symptoms.

Updated

Central west NSW town of Cowra to go into lockdown from 5pm

NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant has announced that the regional town of Cowra in the state’s central west will go into lockdown from 5pm tonight, after an infected child attended a school campus.

I want to announce that Cowra is going into a lockdown effective from 5pm and anyone who was in Cowra from 13 September, regardless of where they are, must adhere to the stay-at-home requirements.

There was a nine-year-old boy who attended school in Cowra and there were a number of associated community exposures. The source at the moment is under investigation and I would call on the Cowra community, which I know they will respond to increased testing, and it is pleasing to see that the Cowra population has a high vaccination coverage but, again, call out the Cowra community to go forth and get vaccinated.

Updated

Gladys Berejiklian warns that despite today’s (relatively) positive numbers it’s too soon to become complacent and that the state hasn’t seen the worst of the Covid-19 fatalities yet:

Today I also want to say that although we can’t read too much into this, pleasingly New South Wales has 935 cases of community transmission but unfortunately four people lost their lives and we extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those four deceased. And I should note that even if case numbers go down, we should expect unfortunately that the number of people in intensive care and the number of people who lose their lives to go up because as we’ve said consistently because we have had a number of cases in the last few weeks, people ordinarily get very six in the second week of the illness and sometimes stay very sick for a long time.

That is why we need to continue to brace ourselves for October being the worst month for the number of people who pass away and the number of people who need intensive care. We should never lose sight of that, no matter what else is happening in the vaccination rate or anything else, that is the likely scenario in October so we can’t be complacent because we know that unfortunately, given what Delta does, if we are too complacent too early things can get out of control and that is the last thing we want.

N.S.W Police patrol Sydney Park
N.S.W Police patrol Sydney Park Photograph: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Updated

Here are today’s NSW numbers on the outbreak graph:

NSW case number graph

Updated

One in five 12- to 15-year-olds in NSW have received their first jab

Here is the NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian:

Firstly New South Wales, we’ve hit 82.2% of first doses which is outstanding, and 52.7% of second doses and, of course, once we get to that 70% double-dose number we will be able to enjoy all those things we have missed for far too long. Pleasingly for 12- to 15-year-olds, we know that now 20% of 12- to 15-year-olds have had their first dose of the vaccine.

Given that was only made available about a week ago that is an outstanding result and we are urging all parents to consider vaccinating their 12- to 15-year-olds. We want to make sure that when school goes back we have not only great coverage in the adult place of vaccination but in the 12- to 15-year-old group, which is so critical.

Updated

NSW recorded 935 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. 1 case was acquired overseas, & 28 previously reported cases have been excluded following investigation. The total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic is 52,705. pic.twitter.com/fZxYY9x4hf

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) September 20, 2021

This brings the NSW death toll from this outbreak to 245.

Here are the details of those four Covid-19 deaths from NSW Health:

Two men in their 60s from south-western Sydney died at Liverpool hospital.

A man in his 80s from western Sydney died at Nepean hospital. His death is the second linked to an outbreak at Uniting Edinglassie Lodge residential aged care facility in Penrith.

A woman in her 80s from the Wollongong area died at Wollongong hospital.

Updated

NSW Covid-19 numbers in the triple digits: 935 local cases recorded today

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian is speaking now, confirming that the state has recorded just 935 local cases.

Sadly, four people infected with Covid-19 have died.

Updated

We will be hearing from the Victorian premier and chief health officer at 11am as well today. They will be joined by the Victorian Pharmacy Guild’s Anthony Tassone – I assume to encourage people to go get the Moderna vaccine at their local pharmacy.

We will bring you all the updates from that, as well as the NSW event.

Updated

Here are the Covid-19 testing lines in Wollongong this morning:

Bit of a lineup for the drive-thru Fairy Meadow Covid testing. pic.twitter.com/8Ew5tj4Dxf

— Lindsay McDowens (@doctormcdougall) September 20, 2021

Updated

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on the Vic and NSW roadmaps for reopening:

"Their roadmaps are actually less (freedom) than what we are enjoying in Qld at the moment. So if you get vaccinated, and we get high rates of vaccination in Qld, we won't have to go backwards."

— @MartySilk (@MartySilkHack) September 20, 2021

Anthony Albanese says Christian Porter’s resignation from the frontbench does not absolve him of breaching parliamentary standards, disputing the use of the word “blind trust”:

It’s not a blind trust. A blind trust is something that is set up as a vehicle so that if a minister has investments for example they can be made on their behalf, without that minister’s knowledge, so that they can make decisions to benefit them personally.

What we have here is something that is of direct benefit to Christian Porter personally. These are funds that are contributed by anonymous donors for what is a private legal action that Christian Porter chose to take against the ABC, and that’s why there needs to be full disclosure here.

And that’s why Christian Porter remains in breach of these obligations as a member of parliament ...

This isn’t a blind trust. This is, this is the opposite of a blind trust. This is money being given into a so-called trust for someone’s personal interest. There is nothing blind about this.

Updated

Labor to refer Christian Porter to privileges committee

Labor will try to refer former industry minister Christian Porter to the privileges committee when parliament returns in October.

Porter resigned on Sunday – meaning that ministerial standards no longer apply to him.

But Labor isn’t satisfied – it thinks that the MPs’ register of interests also requires a fuller declaration of the source of funding, meaning that Porter should either pay the money back or disclose who the donors were to the Legal Services Trust.

The privileges committee is the body that determines whether MPs’ disclosures are within the rules. It will be interesting to see if the government protects Porter’s position by rejecting the push.

Updated

Anthony Albanese says Labor isn’t ready to simply forgive and forget the Christian Porter blind trust situation just yet, demanding that the identity of the former frontbencher’s benefactors be made public.

The Labor leader has just been asked on ABC Perth radio if Porter’s resignation from the frontbench “ends the matter”:

It certainly doesn’t. There were so many questions which remain unanswered. Who provided this money, or why was it provided? How was it provided? Is there any conflict of interest? Does anyone who provided money have a contract with the government?

There are real reasons why members of parliament have obligations to declare publicly, any private interests that they receive and that’s precisely what they see. M. Porter has made a declaration … but it’s one that doesn’t provide the appropriate detail, which is why he remains in breach of his obligations.

Updated

Just a reminder, we will be hearing from the NSW premier in about half an hour with the state’s daily case numbers.

Here he is!

Pix: Scott Morrison Sydney Departure https://t.co/bD3iPR87Hi pic.twitter.com/m1yyuJvFHi

— AAP Photos (@aap_photos) September 20, 2021

Not everyone (Labor) is jazzed about the timing of Scott Morrison’s exit:

So Scott Morrison has officially advised the states that October's Pfizer allocations are going to be reduced.

He hasn't advised by how much or what he's doing to fix it.

Now he's jetting off overseas. #auspol

— Josh Burns (@joshburnsmp) September 19, 2021

Updated

Scott Morrison has just taken off, flying to Washington for the Quad leaders meeting, but before he left he chatted to cameras at the airport:

We have worked together over many years to countenance the threat of terrorism here on our own shores, working with partners all around the world. And in an increasingly uncertain world, it is our responsibility to keep Australians safe, and our national interests and the peace and stability of our region.

Since coming to government, we have lifted Australia’s defence effort, we have lifted it from a point which was lower than where it was before the second world war, to over 2% of our national GDP – the size of our economy. In doing that, we have sent a very clear message that Australia will always look to others but will never have to leave it to others that, we’ll be able to sit at the table with our partners and our friends to create a more secure and more stable world, particularly here in the Indo-Pacific.

As I embark now to go and see our friends in the United States, and meet with many others both from Europe, from the UK, and the United States, this is all about keeping Australians safe. This is always about ensuring that Australia’s sovereign interests will be put first to ensure that Australians here can live peacefully with the many others in our region, because that’s what we desire as a peaceful and free nation. The peace and freedom of all of those who live across the Indo-Pacific.

So, I look forward to having these engagements.

Updated

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she's trying to protect freedoms, unlike other states which are trying to get them back:

"You would have heard Victoria talking about having 30 people for Christmas dinner: we have 100 people allowed to come to your homes at the moment in Qld."

— @MartySilk (@MartySilkHack) September 20, 2021

NT has recorded at least one Covid-19 case, Queensland health minister says

Hmmm, this is interesting: Yvette D’Ath has confirmed that Queensland is aware of another positive case who travelled from NSW, through Brisbane and on to the Northern Territory.

This may mean we will hear from the territory today, although it’s likely the traveller went into quarantine upon arrival.

D’Ath:

We do have one other case, that isn’t classed in our numbers or identified in our numbers today. This is a person who has tested positive in the Northern Territory, who has transmitted through Brisbane domestic airport.

So they’ve flown from Newcastle to Brisbane, on the 17th of September, spent about four hours at the domestic airport that day and then travelled on to the Northern Territory and tested positive there ...

So we will potentially be putting up information about the length of time that that person was there, and the gate that they left from, and again the flight that they came in on was, was deemed a red flight anyway.

But we’re just wanting to make sure that that person in the four hours that they were at the domestic airport did not move around very fast, and whether they went to any food courts or any other areas so please if you were at the Brisbane domestic airport on the 17th of September, just keep an eye on our website today to see if there are any exposure sites.

Updated

Queensland health minister Yvette D’ath says authorities are not overly concerned about a Covid-19 positive traveller who arrived on a flight from NSW:

He flew in from New South Wales on the 17th of September, on flight QF 516 through the Brisbane domestic airport. He was fully vaccinated.

And so we don’t have a lot of concern in relation to this one because any flights coming in from New South Wales are deemed red flights anyway so people getting off those flights are deemed to potentially be infectious, and generally going into hotel quarantine so we’re pretty confident that there’s low risk in relation to that case.

Updated

Queensland records one local Covid-19 case

Queensland has recorded one local and one overseas Covid-19 case, both detected in hotel quarantine.

Monday 20 September – coronavirus cases in Queensland:

1 new local case - detected in hotel quarantine.

1 new overseas acquired case - detected in hotel quarantine.#covid19 pic.twitter.com/k8Li5xyIYA

— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) September 20, 2021

More protests in Victoria today, although with a considerably different turnout size:

Construction workers gathering in front of CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne. Protesting against the union, mandatory vaccination and Dan Andrews. pic.twitter.com/F9pVstmZVM

— real Rukshan (@therealrukshan) September 19, 2021

Updated

The prime minister is boarding a plane headed for the US now, before the Quad leaders summit.

I tried to find a photo to spice things up a bit, but anyway I think you can imagine what Scott Morrison getting on a plane looks like.

Updated

Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown has been described as a “roadblock” by business groups, who say it is too conservative when compared with NSW’s, reports Benita Kolovos from AAP.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday unveiled the state’s roadmap, detailing small changes to Melbourne’s restrictions when 80% of Victorians over 16 have received a single vaccine dose.

But lockdown will remain in place until 70% of Victorians are double-vaccinated, which is forecast for October 26.

At that stage, the city’s curfew will be lifted, the travel limit will increase to 25km and hospitality can open outdoors with a limit of 50 fully vaccinated people. The fully vaccinated will also be able to get a haircut and gather outdoors in groups of 10.

Once Victoria reaches its 80% double-dose target, forecast for 5 November, the travel limit is scrapped altogether, retail, gyms and beauty services can reopen for the fully vaccinated and hospitality can resume indoors.

Events minister Martin Pakula said trials on how double-vaccinated entry into businesses and events will work should begin from October.

Home gatherings of up to 10 people will also be allowed once the 80% double-dose target is met, while at Christmas the figure is expected to increase to 30. The reopening of schools will not be tied to vaccination coverage, with year 12 students going back to class on 6 October and a staggered return of other years starting with prep to grade 2 on 18 October.

Andrews said the plan was “cautious” and would prevent the state’s hospital system from being overrun. But the opposition and business groups have described it as conservative.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra said:

Victorian businesses wanted a pathway to prosperity, but instead we got a roadmap with roadblocks ...

It is extremely tough to look over the border and see our NSW neighbours get back to relatively normal life while we continue to be locked down in a holding pattern.

Updated

Three new cases of coronavirus in a region outside Auckland could put the brakes on a much-anticipated easing of lockdown restrictions which New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern is due to announce today.

Health officials have confirmed that three household contacts of a remand prisoner with Covid-19 have tested positive for the virus. All three live in the Waikato region, south of Auckland’s border, and two are schoolchildren at Mangatangi school. One of those students was symptomatic at school on Thursday.

There are nine people in the household. Five others have tested negative and the ninth household member will be tested today.

You can read the full report below:

Updated

Here is a bit more from deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce this morning on Christian Porter’s resignation from the frontbench:

Christian Porter has now paid the price. He has gone to the corridor of the nearly dead, where I was for three and a bit years, just above the car park.

He will spend his time in Coventry, I know he is standing for his seat again. People who have greater clarity of this are people who see it from a distance rather than those in the middle of the fog.

I think they will answer what is a very obvious question. That you either can defend yourself, which can cost up to $1m or more, or you just accept the wolf is at your throat and it’s going to tear it out.

Updated

By the way, we will be hearing from NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian at today’s NSW press conference at 11am AEST.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres will provide an update on the WestConnex transaction, investment in Western Sydney and NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant will provide an update on COVID-19, 11AM #COVID19nsw

— Political Alert (@political_alert) September 19, 2021

Updated

As always, the wonderful Josh Nicholas has popped today’s Victoria numbers in the outbreak graph for us, and the gradient is looking uncomfortably steep:

Victorian case graph

Updated

Speaking of the French ambassador and his stern words against the Australian government, Guardian Australia’s foreign affairs and defence correspondent Daniel Hurst interviewed Jean-Pierre Thebault en route to the airport as he left country at the weekend. Safe to say, he wasn’t happy:

I’ve seen and learned how deep for an Australian it is when you commit to watch each other’s back. What makes me sad is that we thought we were mates and we were stabbed in the back ...

I can only say that the sense of treason is very strong ... And I use those words because of what has now transpired from apparently reliable sources, which have not received any official denial, that it was in process for 18 months.

It was intentionally decided to keep France completely in the dark at the same time that several officials of Australia were not only discussing with France the current [submarine] program but were also saying they were willing to make this program a success and a symbol of the bilateral relationship.

You can read more from Thebault below:

Updated

Victoria records 567 local Covid-19 cases and one death

Victoria has recorded a large jump in cases with 567 new local infections, the highest daily total of this outbreak so far.

Sadly one person infected with Covid-19 has also died.

Reported yesterday: 567 new local cases and 0 cases acquired overseas.
- 39,939 vaccines administered
- 50,915 test results received
- Sadly, 1 person with COVID-19 has died

More later: https://t.co/OCCFTAtS1P#COVID19Vic #COVID19VicData pic.twitter.com/Mp0JUSkTll

— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) September 19, 2021

Updated

Women receive worse medical treatment than men for common heart attacks, new research has shown.

A study by Sydney researchers has found that women diagnosed with a common type of heart attack or the condition unstable angina received “less evidence-based treatment” than men, both immediately and in the long term.

The study analysed a registry of 7,783 patients from 43 Australian hospitals who had been diagnosed between 2009 and 2018 either with unstable angina or heart attacks known as non-ST elevation myocardial infarctions (non-STEMIs). Some 31% of these patients were female.

The lead researcher David Brieger, a physician and professor of cardiology at the University of Sydney, said the treatment for such conditions differed between men and women “every step of the way”.

You can read the full report below:

Updated

Christian Porter could return to frontbench, Barnaby Joyce says

Deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce says he expects former federal minister Christian Porter, who resigned yesterday after he was unable to explain who was behind an anonymous donation to pay for his court case, could return to the frontbench.

Joyce told Seven Network that he believes his colleague made the right decisions but doesn’t think he will be gone for long.

He has, like so many of us, gone to the corridor of the nearly dead ...

I bet you his electorate won’t resign from him though. He’s an incredibly astute politician, he’s incredibly capable.

I’ll put money that we’ll see him back again.

Updated

Welfare recipients under stay-at-home orders and barred from additional Covid support – in total more than 80% of those on working-age Centrelink payments – say they are struggling with the extra costs of living under lockdown.

As part of a push to offer extra income support to the more than 800,000 people now left out, the Australian Council of Social Service (Acoss) surveyed welfare recipients living under stay-at-home orders in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.

Of the 216 people surveyed, almost all respondents (96%) said they were struggling with the cost of living and 41.5% said they were at risk of homelessness because of the high cost of housing.

Last year all people on jobseeker, students and parenting payments received a coronavirus supplement – beginning at $550 a fortnight.

You can read the full report below:

Updated

Penny Wong said if she were foreign affairs minister she would have considered bringing France into some of the discussions about the new deal to soften the blow when Australia called off the old submarine partnership.

"I think that's not an unreasonable proposition to have some earlier discussions [with France], even if you didn't go to some of the confidential issues."

- @SenatorWong, Shadow Foreign Minister

— RN Breakfast (@RNBreakfast) September 19, 2021

She said she hope the submarine saga would not impact the EU free trade agreement:

I understand that agreement is still in the process of being negotiated. I’d hope we wouldn’t see that sort of response but clearly Mr Morrison does need to do something to repair this relationship.

Penny Wong
Labor senator Penny Wong. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Updated

Just jumping back to federal trade minister Dan Tehan, who was asked on ABC radio about his colleague Christian Porter who resigned yesterday after he was unable to explain who was behind an anonymous donation to pay for his court case.

ABC radio’s Fran Kelly has asked Tehan if he felt it was appropriate for Porter to sit in parliament at all – frontbench or backbench – if he won’t name those involved in the trust.

Tehan didn’t really answer:

This is obviously an incredibly difficult time for Christian, for him and his family.

He’s made a big decision yesterday to resign from the cabinet, I think what we need to do now is, is to give Christian, the time and space, that he needs ...

Kelly:

But what I’m asked is does the Australian electorate have the right to know who an MP is receiving funds from?

Tehan:

Christian has said media statement yesterday that he will provide the information required under the member in this register of interest.

Updated

Now the shadow foreign affairs minister, Labor’s Penny Wong, is up to have a chat about the Australian/French relationship:

I think we see from the international reaction, the reaction of the French government, which is used very strong language – and even from what we see in the United States in the American press where American officials are deeply concerned about Australia’s failure to brief France properly – I think what you can see here is, again, Mr Morrison has been so focused on making the announcement that he doesn’t take responsibility for doing the whole job, and it is deeply alarming to see such language being used by our French friends.

On France's response to the AUKUS deal:

"I think what you can see here is again Mr Morrison has been so focused on making the announcement that he doesn't take responsibility for doing the whole job."

- @SenatorWong, Shadow Foreign Minister

— RN Breakfast (@RNBreakfast) September 19, 2021

Updated

There have been protests and vigils outside Australia House in London overnight, with Australians stranded overseas demanding the government allow home quarantine for international arrivals.

#strandedaussies stand in silence outside @AusHouseLondon today to mourn 18 months of border closures 💔 #ReconnectAustralia pic.twitter.com/jwaAjoZa4C

— Reconnect Australia (@ReconnectAust) September 19, 2021

Vigil outside Australia House in London today- stranded Aussies demanding the government allow home quarantine for international arrivals. Would free up hotel quarantine space and allow passenger caps to be raised. pic.twitter.com/XK9XWXIlCE

— Ben Lewis (@benlewismedia) September 19, 2021

Trade minister Dan Tehan was on air straight after the French ambassador and has been asked if he plans to apologise when he meets French delegates at the upcoming OECD gathering in Paris.

He said he is sure the two countries will be able to move past the submarine saga:

We understand that the disappointment France is feeling with this decision but, I think also, what everyone has to understand is that we’ve taken a decision that we firmly believe is in our own sovereign national interest and, ultimately, that’s what governments have to do when it comes to the national interest. They have to act in their own interests and that ultimately is what we’ve done.

And I look forward to being able to sit down and be able to explain that, and clearly worked through that because France also understands the importance of them taking decisions in their national interests ...

We’ve worked for over 100 years to build a significant partnership and I’m sure that over time we’ll be able to continue that strong partnership, and we’ll be able to put this behind us.

Dan Tehan.
Dan Tehan: ‘We’ve taken a decision that we firmly believe is in our own sovereign national interest.’ Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Updated

France’s ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault has accused the Australian government and media of creating a “smear campaign” against the French submarine project in the 18 months leading up to the nuclear-powered submarine announcement:

I know there is a smear campaign, and by the way, it’s very strange but maybe now we understand why.

The smear campaign has been very, very active in the last 18 months against this program.

I’ve not seen such a smear campaign being run against the other programs that are currently run in Australia.

Updated

French ambassador criticises Australia for pulling out of submarine deal

So you might remember all of the hubbub about the nuclear submarines last week, and the ditching of the old $90bn diesel submarine deal with France.

Well, the fallout from our European allies has continued, with France recalling its ambassador, Jean-Pierre Thebault.

But he is not going quietly. In fact, he is speaking to ABC radio right now.

We worked with Australia to create a partnership and an alliance, for 50 years. At the same time in the making, there was a complete other project that we discovered, thanks to the press, one hour before and imagine our anger, we felt ...

We were not speaking about potatoes and tomatoes, we’re speaking about a product that was carefully designed for all of the requests of Australia ... and permitting us to transmit secrets, knowhow and secret industrial and military secrets, to build a sovereign capacity here in Australia ...

We made all the efforts to be on time and on budget, especially during this Covid period and we got praised for that, including public praise for a big achieve such a thing.

And at the end of the day, the question seems to be only, did we get the call one hour or four hours before the announcement?

Jean-Pierre Thebault
France’s ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault. Photograph: David Gray/AP

Updated

Good morning everyone and welcome to the new week! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend (and if you are in Melbourne or Sydney I hope you enjoyed your picnics).

Funnily enough, I actually have some good news to start you all off for the day. Sydney is once again united, with the stricter lockdown rules relaxed for the hardest-hit suburbs as vaccination rates continue to climb.

Curfews were already lifted in the 12 LGAs of concern and, from today, fully vaccinated adults will be able to exercise outdoors with no time limits and gather in groups of five for outdoor recreation within 5km from home.

Gladys Berejiklian said vaccination rates were key:

The opportunity for us to ease the restrictions in the areas of concern, or equalise them in line with the rest of Sydney, is due in large part to the high rates of vaccination.

We have seen some of those communities go from rates of around 19 or 20% up to nearly 90% and that is extremely encouraging.

Monday is also the deadline for authorised workers to have been inoculated with at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose to be permitted to leave their LGA for work, unless they have a medical exemption.

And in more good news, the second shipment of Moderna has touched down!

Yes, more of the “Dolly Parton vaccine” arrived in Sydney overnight from Europe, bringing Australia’s total to 1m doses.

The Moderna doses will be distributed throughout the country’s pharmacy network and anyone aged over 12 is eligible for a jab.

There is plenty to get through (and not all of it this positive), so why don’t we jump straight in and dive into the day.

Updated

Contributors

Ben Doherty and Matilda Boseley

The GuardianTramp

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