Morrison marks 26 January by saying Australia has 'risen above brutal beginnings' – as it happened

Last modified: 07: 34 AM GMT+0

End of day summary

And with that comes the end of today’s blog. This is what went down today:


An update on the bushfire burning in Booderee national park on the NSW south coast: the NSW Rural Fire Service have said crews are backburning in order to build containment lines and slow the blaze.

Watch and Act: Booderee Fire (Shoalhaven LGA). Crews are implementing backburning operations to build containment lines and slow the spread of the fire, burning to the SW of Jervis Bay Airport. Those in area of Wreck Bay Village and Jervis Bay Village should monitor conditions.

— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 26, 2021

Beaches near Jervis Bay have been evacuated as more than 30 RFS firefighters battle the blaze.


I just want to return for a moment to the story of the Duncan Craw, whose family has released a statement saying it looked like he suffered a “medical episode” before any shark attack:

A message from Duncan’s family following the discovery of remains in South Australia today... 💔

— Andrea Hamblin (@AndieHamblin) January 26, 2021


Teenager dies after being pulled from water at Hawkesbury River

A teenager has died after being pulled from the water in Sackville, NSW yesterday.

NSW Police have confirmed emergency services were called after reports a 16-year-old boy was unresponsive after being pulled from the the Hawkesbury River near Tizzana Road.

The boy was airlifted to hospital, where he died earlier today.


The base of the statue of Queen Victoria in Brisbane was defaced during the Invasion Day rally today:

The base of the statue of Queen Victoria after being vandalized during an Invasion Day rally in Brisbane, Australia, 26 January 2021.EPA/DARREN ENGLAND
The base of the statue of Queen Victoria after being vandalised during an Invasion Day rally in Brisbane. Photograph: Darren England/EPA

It came after the statue was given an Aboriginal flag and draped with a sign saying “Not the Queen’s Land”:

A protestor is seen attaching an aboriginal flag to a statue of Queen Victoria in Queens Gardens during an Invasion Day rally in Brisbane, Tuesday, January 26, 2021. (AAP Image/Darren England)
A protestor is seen attaching an Aboriginal flag to a statue of Queen Victoria in Queens Gardens. Photograph: Darren England/AAP

Many attendees commented on the size of the crowd today in Brisbane’s CBD, with pictures confirming huge crowds turning up.

By far the biggest crowd I’ve seen here at Queen’s Park in the Brisbane CBD for the Meanjin Invasion Day event today.

Both George and Elizabeth Streets closed off and also filled with people — most in face masks — trying to keep out of the hot sun @brisbanetimes

— Matt Dennien (@mattdennien) January 26, 2021

A good amount of support for the #InvasionDay march in #Brisbane!

— 🌏💚Myles💚🌏 (@bfriendfounder) January 26, 2021

This is massive #Brisbane #InvasionDay #InvasionDayBrisbane #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe #meanjin #survivalday

— Jan Bowie (@JanB_QLD) January 26, 2021


Police shut down a number of Australia Day gatherings in Sydney

Police have shut down multiple Australia Day gatherings in Sydney, including a party of over 100 people on a sandbar at Lilli Pilli.

Police say they have dispersed the crowd, which is interesting because the sandbar can only be accessed by boat.

If you’re unfamiliar with the area this is a sand bank that only pops up when the tide is out and it can only be accessed by boat so imagine, if you will, cops on boats furiously circling an small island of folks on the fruit beers telling them to go home.

— Eliza Barr (@ElizaJBarr) January 26, 2021

There were also reports of parties in Manly and Mosman. Under current restrictions, no more than 30 people can gather in a public space.


Australians overly optimistic about overseas travel in 2021

According to TripAdvisor’s annual Traveler’s Choice survey, a whopping 46% of Australians are planning to travel overseas in 2021, while 15% of those surveyed have already booked an overseas trip.

The consumer sentiment survey conducted in conjunction with Qualtrics took place among TripAdvisor users, so we’re talking about a demographic that’s already feverishly browsing a travel website; but still, we wish those optimists luck.

Closer to home, Shoalhaven and Mudgee in NSW have been ranked number eight and number 10 in the travel website’s list of “Emerging destinations” globally – which is based on places that saw the biggest increase in “saves” on TripAdvisor, with Martinique in the Caribbean taking the No 1 spot.

Freycinet national park in Tasmania also ranked at number 18 in the survey’s list of user-favoured national parks. So everyone outside of NSW can enjoy the wilds of Wineglass Bay, while those trapped within its borders can do as Guardian Australia’s Alexandra Spring did recently, and discover the pleasures of Mudgee.

The scenic grounds of Zin House restaurant in Mudgee.
The scenic grounds of Zin House restaurant in Mudgee, NSW. Photograph: Guy Williment/Destination NSW

Christine Maguire, the vice president and general manager of global media business at TripAdvisor, says: “Alongside the latest vaccine developments, pent-up demand is prompting the world to think more about travel in 2021.” But she notes: “One result of the pandemic may be the destinations they’re interested in.

“In fact, a recent survey revealed that 74% of travellers will spend more time selecting a destination when planning their next trip.”

Maybe that time’s being spent choosing a destination, and a backup destination, and a backup, backup destination (a nice walk around the nearest park).


An Aboriginal woman has alleged she was stripped naked in front of male inmates at an ACT prison.

The woman, who has a serious heart condition, said she was forcibly stripped naked in an alleged incident the territory’s Aboriginal health service has described as a “disgusting” abuse of human rights that “could have killed her”.

You can read more on the story from Lorena Allam here:


The federal opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, has weighed in to the debate around Australia/Invasion Day, with a suggestion that a referendum on constitutional recognition be held on 26 January:

A referendum on constitutional recognition for First Australians being held on 26 January would be a unifying moment for our nation

— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) January 26, 2021

The idea has not necessarily gone down well with some on Twitter:

— Bec Shaw (@Brocklesnitch) January 26, 2021

This is a truly terrible idea.

— Maeve Marsden (@maevemarsden) January 26, 2021

Ah yes, a referendum, famously not painful for the previous minority to have been dragged through a grotesque public debate about their rights to be legally recognized as equal.

— nick (@nickzoic) January 26, 2021

Albo this is terrible. Consult some Indigenous communities before sharing these thought bubbles.

— Paul Kidd (@paulkidd) January 26, 2021


Human remains found where suspected shark attack occurred in South Australia

Human remains have been found near Port MacDonnell, where a snorkeller disappeared in a suspected shark attack.

BREAKING: Human remains have been found in waters near Port MacDonnell, where snorkeller Duncan Craw disappeared in a suspected shark attack. Story to follow @theTiser

— Steve Rice (@SteveRice) January 26, 2021

Duncan Craw , a 32-year-old Victorian, was last seen on Thursday afternoon, disappearing near Port MacDonnell in South Australia’s lower south-east.

Police say the remains are currently unidentified, but they are carrying out forensic testing. They previously described Craw’s disappearance as a suspected shark attack, after two sharks were seen in the area on Thursday.


So, earlier today a NSW police spokesperson said they estimated that 2,000-3,000 people attended the Invasion Day rally, but organisers have said there were more than 8,000 QR code logins.

Organisers of Sydney’s Invasion Day rally say they had more then 8,000 COVID QR check ins at today’s protest. Big turnout after warnings from the NSW Police Minister that people who attend could face fines or jail time.

— Avani Dias (@AvaniDias) January 26, 2021

Cops saying only 2-3k at the Sydney rally when we had 8k+ covid rego’s is very telling of how much they want to undermine the cause

— jazz (@opinionatedleft) January 26, 2021


Some pictures now, from the Invasion Day rally in Hobart:

Invasion Day rally, Hobart, Australia. 26th January, 2021
Invasion Day rally, Hobart, Australia. 26th January, 2021
Invasion Day rally, Hobart, Australia. 26th January, 2021
Invasion Day rally, Hobart, Australia. 26th January, 2021


So, for those sweltering through Sydney’s hottest day of the year (so far), some good news: conditions are expected to ease soon, as a trough moves across NSW.

Hot temperatures for most parts of #NSW today. Conditions are expected to ease from the SW as a trough moves across the state. A strong coastal change will also bring relief from this evening. For latest update: #NSWPolice #NSWRFS @NSWSES #NSWHealth

— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) January 26, 2021

Temperatures across the city spiked at 40C, with the CBD reaching a high of 36C earlier today.

Fire warnings were issued for the south, eastern and northern Riverina, but temperatures should begin dropping as we head into the evening.


Despite some heavy rain yesterday, authorities say there are still smoking spots and multiple hotspots in the Cherry Garden bushfire in Adelaide.

The CFS incident controller Scott Turner says there are currently 140 people working to contain the fire, and there are still multiple fronts to control.

CFS expects to continue to see similar levels of resourcing on this fire until this weekend, as conditions warm again and the relative humidity lift, we’ll see more hotspots emerge with smoke now evident in multiple spots.

It’s a regular occurrence in fire grounds that we particularly see in summer where a fire of this size, nearly 3,000 hectares, we’re unable to get to every area in the immediate firefight, hence smokers and hotspots continue to rise.


Western Australia reports one new Covid case in hotel quarantine

Western Australia has recorded one new Covid-19 case today, a man in his 60s who’s in hotel quarantine after returning from overseas.

The new case brings the state’s total to 895, with authorities currently monitoring 13 active cases.


Some footage is emerging of the arrests at today’s Invasion Day rally in Sydney:

Police made a bunch of arrests in the wake of the Sydney #InvasionDay rally. This was not the main protest but rather a few breakaway contingents which were existing The Domain via Hyde Park. Cops tried to stop legal observers from assisting in this clip

— Zac Crellin (@zacrellin) January 26, 2021

More arrests followed in the wake of the Sydney #InvasionDay rally. Organisers had already told everyone to safely leave The Domain (as per police orders) but people in these particular contingents said they were "kettled" by cops inside Hyde Park

— Zac Crellin (@zacrellin) January 26, 2021


Victoria’s chief health officer has backed the federal government’s decision to suspend the travel bubble with New Zealand.

Prof Brett Sutton outlined that those who’ve arrived in the state from New Zealand between 14 January and 25 January should get tested within 72 hours of arrival (or as soon as possible if they arrived more than three days ago) and isolate until they get a negative result.

This precautionary approach is in response to the discovery of community exposure in New Zealand.

Travellers coming from New Zealand to Victoria in the 72 hours following this suspension will enter mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days. If you plan to travel to Victoria from New Zealand over the coming days, you are strongly encouraged to reconsider.

The Department of Health and Human Services will contact individuals who have entered Victoria from New Zealand since 14 January to inform them about isolating, getting tested, and staying isolated until they receive a negative test result


Covid detected at seven Queensland sewage sites

Covid fragments have been detected at seven sewage treatment sites in Queensland.

Queensland’s chief health officer, Dr Jeanette Young, says that although this doesn’t mean there will be new positive cases of the virus, the government is treating the findings seriously.

A positive sewage result means that someone who has been infected was shedding the virus. Infected people can shed viral fragments and that shedding can happen for several weeks after the person is no longer infectious.

I continue to urge anyone who feels unwell in these communities to get tested and isolate.

The virus was detected at wastewater treatment plants at Condon (Townsville), Cairns South, Cairns Marlin Coast, Nambour, Maroochydore, Pulgul (Hervey Bay) and Yeppoon.


Some shots now from my colleague Hannah Izzard of the fire burning through Booderee national park, with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service saying those in Wreck Bay Village need to follow their bushfire survival plan.

An out-of-control bushfire in Booderee national park, looking from Erowal Bay
An out-of-control bushfire in Booderee national park, looking from Erowal Bay. Photograph: Hannah Izzard/The Guardian
An out of control bushfire in Booderee national park, looking from Erowal Bay
A Watch and Act alert has been issued for the Shoalhaven LGA due to the fire south-west of Jervis Bay airport. Photograph: Hannah Izzard/The Guardian

Residents are watching the fire, but there is currently no threat to property in the area.

Watch & Act: Booderee Fire (Shoalhaven LGA) 🔥

Sussex Inlet residents are nervously watching the Jervis Bay fire in the Booderee National Park.

There is no current threat to property & residents in the area, particularly near Wreck Bay Village should monitor conditions.

— WIN News Illawarra (@WINNews_Woll) January 26, 2021


Earlier this morning, at the Invasion Day rally in Canberra, there was a brief confrontation between protesters and a man wearing a Maga hat outside Old Parliament House, near the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.

Vision from bystanders shows a small scuffle between the man and members of Black Death Australia, which describes itself as a group of motorcycle riders dedicated to the empowerment of Indigenous nations and human and civil rights.

The man was forced back into his ute and sped away, prompting cheers from some protesters. Just a warning, the vision in this tweet contains offensive language.

Canberra #maga out at #tentembassy

— Hilary 🐕‍🦺🐈 (@hil_clix_pix) January 25, 2021


More from the New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, who has just held her first post-cabinet press conference of 2021 and asked her people to remain “unified”.

New Zealand will only truly feel like it returns to normal when there is a certain level of normality in the rest of the world too.

But given the risks in the world around us and the uncertainty of the global rollout of the vaccine, we can expect our borders to be impacted for much of this year.

For travel to restart, we need one of two things. We either need the confidence that being vaccinated means you don’t pass Covid-19 on to others – and we don’t know that yet – or we need enough of our population to be vaccinated and protected that people can safely re-enter New Zealand. Both possibilities will take some time.

In the meantime, we will continue to pursue travel bubbles with Australia and the Pacific, but the rest of the world simply poses too great a risk to our health and our economy to take the risk at this stage.

Our team of 5 million worked too hard last year for us to risk any of the gains we have made. Health gains that see us going about our daily lives pretty much as normal, and saw the economy bounce back strongly from the initial shock. We need to remain unified, we showed last year how good we are at that and that’s exactly what we intend and need to do for 2021.

Jacinda Ardern says the New Zealand government could approve a Covid vaccine as soon as Wednesday
Jacinda Ardern says the New Zealand government could approve a Covid vaccine as soon as Wednesday. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images


Young people made up the majority of the crowd at the Invasion Day protest in Narrm/Melboune today.

Many young Indigenous people said they felt hopeful for the future, but were hurt by how many people they knew still celebrated on 26 January.

Layla Quartermaine said she was sick of seeing people her age at barbecues on Instagram.

You see a lot of people and it’s annoying because it’s always the same people who come up to me when we’re out and saying hello. They come up to my brother boys and shake their hands, and at the same time, they’re celebrating the genocide of our people. It’s like you’re not really friends any more. There’s no excuses, it’s 2021 ...

People are saying like ‘oh we’re having a barbecue but we’re not celebrating Australia Day. It’s just a public holiday’. No that’s celebrating Australia Day. If you are having a barbecue with your friends and you say that you support First Nations people, that’s not supporting us. You have to actually be here.

“People are saying like 'oh we're having a barbecue but we're not celebrating Australia Day. It's just a public holiday'. No that's celebrating Australia day.... That's not supporting us. You have to actually be here.” - Layla Quartermaine @GuardianAus

— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) January 26, 2021


Watch and Act alert issued for fire burning south-west of Jervis Bay airport

A Watch and Act alert has been issued for the Shoalhaven local government area in New South Wales due to a fire burning south-west of Jervis Bay airport:

Watch and Act: Booderee Fire (Shoalhaven LGA).
Bush fire burning to the SW of Jervis Bay Airport. The fire is burning in a SE direction under NW winds. There is no current threat to property. Those in the area near Wreck Bay Village should follow their bush fire survival plan.

— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 26, 2021


A man appearing to be wearing a “Proud Boys” shirt has been detained by police at the Melboune Invasion Day rally.

Police ran into the centre of the Flinders st crowd and have arrested one man with the crowd chanting “facist” as he was taken away @TheMelbCityNews @theheraldsun

— Grace McKinnon (@GraceMcKinnonL) January 26, 2021

In footage taken by a News Corp reporter, the man can be seen being taken away by at least five police officers outside St Paul’s Cathedral along Flinders Street.

Reportedly, as he was detained, a large crowd surrounded him shouting “fascist”.

The back of the man’s shirt read “Fuck Antifa”. The “Proud Boys” is a far-right group, associated with rightwing terrorism and the US Capitol insurrection.

Victoria police are expected to release a wrap up of all the arrests and fines handed out at the rally but that will only come once crowds have completely dispersed, possibly several hours away.


Jacinda Ardern 'disappointed' with Morrison's decision to close border to NZ

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern has said she is “disappointed” that Australian Scott Morrison decided to close its border to New Zealand after a single case was identified in the community this week.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Ardern said her government was still working to have a travel bubble up and running with Australia in the first quarter of this year, but a country to country bubble was now looking unlikely, as each state in Australia had different Covid-19 restrictions.

The prime minister said she needs to have confidence the two-way bubble won’t be susceptible to “short-notice border closures” such as happened on Monday.

Although it was Australia’s decision to close its border to New Zealand, Ardern offered assurance that the sole Northland community case was “well under control”.


Kerry O’Brien has appeared on NITV’s Sunrise Ceremony to explain why he couldn’t accept an Australia Day honour:

Kerry O'Brien explains why he couldn't accept Australia Day honour on NITV’s Sunrise Ceremony #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe #TheSunriseCeremony

— NITV (@NITV) January 26, 2021

In Covid news, the ACT has recorded another day of zero cases.

ACT COVID-19 update (26 January 2021)
•Cases today: 0
•Active cases: 0
•Total cases: 118
•Recovered: 115
•Lives lost: 3
•Test results (past 24 hours): 228
•Negative tests: 154,166
Information source

— ACT Health (@ACTHealth) January 25, 2021

The crowd at the Invasion Day rally in Adelaide has grown to around 4,000, according to police estimates.

Antoun Issa is among the crowd now:

#invasionday crowd in Adelaide swelled to 4,000, according to police estimates. Speakers thank the "many cultures" that have come out to "support the cause".

Can verify it's a very diverse crowd.

— Antoun Issa (@antissa) January 26, 2021


The Pay the Rent collective has welcomed the Victorian NAIDOC Committee delivering the 26 January Day of Mourning Dawn Service.

In a statement, the collective say the 26th of January should be a day of mourning and not celebration.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have the oldest continuing culture in the world, and one that should be celebrated. We should not be celebrating the invasion and attempted genocide that Australia was built on.

January 26 has been a declared day of mourning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples since 1938, long before Australia Day was declared on this day in 1994.

Pay the Rent Grassroots Collective is proud to stand today as allies in solidarity with First Nations peoples in recognition that this land was never ceded.

We recognise that the effects of colonisation and genocide continue to this day, and with no treaty, there is no commitment to justice.

We call on all non-Indigenous people living on country to educate themselves, stand in solidarity, and pay the rent by making a monthly payment to an Indigenous-controlled organisation.

The Pay the Rent collective is an organisation that works to provide an avenue for individuals to directly fund grassroots causes and campaigns with a focus on protecting First Nations rights, survival and practical support.


The Invasion Day rally in Sydney has hosted a couple of speakers this afternoon:

A few moments from the speeches at Sydney's #InvasionDay2021 rally @GuardianAus @callapilla

— Becca Leaver (@becca_leaver) January 26, 2021


Good afternoon everyone, and a quick thanks to Calla for once again guiding us through another busy morning.

I will be taking the blog into the evening, and much is still happening around the country, so let’s dive in.

With that, I’ll hand over to Mostafa Rachwani who will take you through the evening.

Stay strong, stay hydrated, and I’ll see you in the morning.

Always was, always will be.


Lunchtime summary

Let’s just catch up on the major developments of the morning.


Four people arrested at Sydney Invasion Day rally, say police

NSW police say four people people at Sydney’s Invasion Day rally were arrested. Two people were issued with infringement notices for allegedly breaching Covid-19 rules, one person was charged with hindering police, and one with assaulting a police officer.

Police said they reached an agreement with organisers of the Sydney Invasion Day rally to both cut down the time of the event and end the march, due, they say, in part to the heat in Sydney today. There’s a forecast high of 35C today.

A police spokesman, speaking to reporters in Sydney just now, said:

Police confront protesters in Hyde Park after the main section of the Invasion Day rally had ended on 26 January 2021 in Sydney.
Police confront protesters in Hyde Park after the main section of the Invasion Day rally had ended on 26 January 2021 in Sydney. Photograph: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

That largely occurred and I want to thank the protest organisers for doing what they did to ensure that happened. As you are aware, there was a small group of protesters who weren’t part of the organised group that attended the North Hyde Park area and as a result of some confrontations, there have been four persons arrested.

Two of those persons will be issued with infringement notices and charged in relation to Covid breaches. One of those for hindering police and one of those for assaulting a police officer.

He said that with the exception of that one group at the end, protesters were “well behaved”.

A reporter said: “They were in groups of more than 500 people, though?”

The police spokesman said he estimated the crowd to be 2,000 to 3,000. He added:

They were separated as best they possibly could and that was the agreement that we reached the protest organisers and, let me tell you, these are difficult things to police. At the end of the day, I think that the protest organisers abided by the agreement, police facilitated as best they possibly could to ensure that people were in groups of less than 500 and distanced.

A number of questions at this press conference were along the lines of whether or not protesters should be fined for breaching Covid-19 rules, because those rules say protests should be capped at 500 people.

The police spokesman says police will be more flexible than that. He said:

You have to make operational decisions on the run and that is what happened today. The need to enforce that agreement was based on public safety. That is our main concern and what we focused on. We were able to move people in and out of that area, to talk about the issues and dissipate in a way that was safe as possible.


Here are some of the images from the Invasion Day rally in Melbourne.

Protesters are seen during an Invasion Day rally in Melbourne on Tuesday.
Protesters are seen during an Invasion Day rally in Melbourne on Tuesday. Photograph: James Ross/AAP
A good sign.
A good sign. Photograph: James Ross/AAP

'Insufficient evidence' to recommend Covid-19 vaccination for pregnant women: RANZCOG

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) has updated its advice for pregnant women considering the vaccine.

The advice states:

Although the available data do not indicate any safety concern or harm to pregnancy, there is insufficient evidence to recommend routine use of Covid-19 vaccines during pregnancy.

However, if a pregnant woman meets the definition of being particularly vulnerable, then she should discuss the option of Covid-19 vaccination with her obstetrician and/or midwife.

Covid vaccine being prepared.
Covid vaccine being prepared. Photograph: Adriano Machado/Reuters

It is important to remember this advice is specific to Australia and New Zealand. In the US and UK, the risk of anyone being infected with Covid is so much higher, so decisions about whether to get vaccinated during pregnancy need to consider those risks.

RANZCOG said that most pregnant women infected with Covid-19 will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms. However, pregnant women are potentially at increased risk of complications from any respiratory disease due to the physiological changes that occur in pregnancy. These include reduced lung function, increased oxygen consumption and changed immunity. In particular, pregnant women with co-morbidities are at higher risk of hospital admission, ventilation and severe illness.

That’s why pregnant women in countries with large amounts of circulating Covid might decide to get the vaccine, while women in Australia, where the risk is low, may not unless they work in a high risk setting such as hotel quarantine. You can read the full RANZCOG statement here.

However, this piece from The Conversation is also worth a look. It’s about the risks of excluding pregnant women from Covid-19 clinical trials.


NSW police is expected to hold a press conference about the Invasion Day rally shortly.

We have not heard of any arrests or fines in Melbourne at this stage, but there is a pretty significant police presence at Flinders Street and Federation Square, where the march is scheduled to end.

Invasion Day rally Melbourne: Huge police presence on standby outside Federation Square. Protesters brought CBD traffic to a standstill as they marched from state parliament to Flinders St station. @theheraldsun

— Brianna Travers (@briannatravers) January 26, 2021

2,000 people joined Adelaide's Invasion Day march

About 2,000 people marched in Adelaide from Victoria Square to the state parliament house.

The crowd have now assembled back at Victoria Square for speeches and passionate chants.

Speaker noted to the crowd that other states have not been able to march today, and Adelaide is marching for the nation.

Sydney Invasion Day organisers say a small group decided to 'cause conflict' with police

One of the organisers of the Sydney protest has confirmed that police and protesters agreed in advance that no arrests would be made as long people did not march.

NSW police have confirmed that a number of people were arrested at today’s protest in the Domain, out of thousands of attendees.

Paul Silva, the nephew of David Dungay Jr, a Dunghutti man who died in police custody, told Guardian Australia that protest organisers and police had struck an agreement ahead of today’s protest. He said:

We negotiated with police to have a sit-down ceremony and gathering at the Domain.

And I would say upon dispersing, a small group of people decided to cause conflict between police, and due to that, they were not arrested, but detained and fined.

Guardian Australia intern Natasha May was at the Sydney Invasion Day rally. She said protesters who were arrested in Sydney marched against the advice of the Invasion Day rally organisers.

May wrote:

Organiser Lizzy Jarrett announced at the end of the rally that no march would take place in accordance with the agreement organisers had struck with the police earlier in the morning.

A small offshoot of rally attendants marched in protest in Hyde Park, but were ushered out by police, including officers mounted on horseback.

Most protesters appeared to obey orders from police to leave the park. But an altercation occurred between police and certain protesters, with at least one man held down to the ground by police.

Protesters gather at the Domain for an Invasion Day demonstration.
Protesters gather at the Domain for an Invasion Day demonstration. Photograph: Wendell Teodoro/AFP/Getty Images


Matilda Boseley has been attempting to get an estimate of the size of the crowd at the Invasion Day rally in Melbourne/Naarm.

You can see a timelapse of her walking through part of the the crowd here – I counted 23 clumps of protesters, which if we take them to be groups of 100 is at least 2,300 people. Obviously not the full number of participants.

Matilda is estimating about 5,000 people, which sounds about right to me – slightly fewer than previous years.

Just in case you need to get a scale of the protest today in Narrm/Melbourne. Here is the crowd on the march. (In groups of 100 due to COVID restrictions) @GuardianAus

— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) January 26, 2021

I’ve seen some very high figures cited on social media. We really need an aerial shot to figure it out – if you see one, tweet it to me at @callapilla.

A number of people have been arrested at Sydney's Invasion Day march

Multiple people have been arrested at the Sydney Invasion Day march, Guardian Australia can confirm.

It’s still unknown how many people have been arrested, and for what reason, but a New South Wales police spokesperson confirmed some people had been arrested in Sydney’s Domain.

Greens senator Lidia Thorpe was speaking at the Invasion Day rally in Naarm/Melbourne a short time ago. She told the crowd:

There is a far right rot in our Parliament. They are stoking the fire of the far right. That is the other pandemic in this country.

Senator @lidia__thorpe is speaking now at the Narrm/ Melb Invasion rally. “That war has not ended... we still have guns pointed to our heads.” @GuardianAus

— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) January 26, 2021

She once again called for treaty.

Not the one you’re seeing in Victoria, not the one you’re seeing in Queensland, not the one you see in the Northern Territory, because they talk treaty and still lock our people up. They still kill our people

The Invasion Day rally is now marching in small groups down Bourke Street.

More crowds moving down Bourke St towards flinders in smaller groups do to COVID restrictions. @GuardianAus

— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) January 26, 2021

We are still trying to get some clarification on what has happened at Hyde Park in Sydney. The ABC is reporting there were “a number of arrests”.

The ABC said the arrests occurred when some protesters attempted to march and were met by a line of riot police.

As we reported earlier, organisers of the peaceful Invasion Day rally in the Domain told participants not to march, saying police would “smash” them.

Protesters during an Invasion Day rally in The Domain on Tuesday.
Protesters during an Invasion Day rally in The Domain on Tuesday. Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA


Antoun Issa is at the Invasion Day march in Adelaide.

Adelaide. #changethedate @callapilla

— Antoun Issa (@antissa) January 26, 2021

— Antoun Issa (@antissa) January 26, 2021


Queensland reports no new Covid cases

Queensland recorded no new cases of Covid-19 today.

Tuesday 26 January – coronavirus cases in Queensland:

• 0 new cases
• 16 active cases
• 1,305 total cases
• 1,736,013 tests conducted

Sadly, six Queenslanders with COVID-19 have died. 1,278 patients have recovered.#covid19

— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) January 25, 2021


Police have reportedly arrested a man at the Invasion Day rally in Hyde Park in Sydney.

. #breaking A man has been arrested in the middle of Hyde Park as police are now clashing with protestors. #InvasionDay2021 #auspol2021

— Fred Pawle (@Fredkpawle) January 26, 2021

Let’s go across the ditch for a moment. Reporter Elle Hunt has been talking to New Zealanders about Covid complacency, a phenomenon that could also be said to apply to certain Australian jurisdictions which have not had a locally transmitted Covid-19 case in months.

New Zealand, like Australia, is reliant on a strong hotel quarantine and border system to keep its citizens safe. But that can breed complacency, says microbiologist and one of the leading scientists in New Zealand’s response to Covid-19, Dr Siouxsie Wiles.

No system is 100% perfect.

The most frustrating thing is the idea that if we get incursions through the border that it’s a failure of our systems. … Every defence you put in place has some inherent foibles, so you layer them all up to make things better.

You can read more of this interview with Wiles here:


Sydney Invasion Day march called off under police pressure: reports

The Sydney Invasion Day march will not go ahead, says NITV reporter Rachel Hocking.

Hocking reports that organisers have been told that police will “smash us if we take to the streets”, so they instead told the crowd to disperse.

The march on Gadigal in Sydney won't go ahead:

"We've been threatened by police intimidation saying they will smash us if we take to the streets. Instead of allowing them to incite a riot, we've advised everyone to disperse and stay safe" - Gomeroi woman Gwenda Stanley

— Rachael Hocking (@Hocking_Rachael) January 26, 2021

Police supervised the dispersal of the crowd. The rally itself was, by all reports, peaceful and well-attended, with thousands of people in the Domain wearing masks and remaining in socially distanced groups.

A few protesters lingering in the domain as crowds disperse after wrapping up what was a largely peaceful and cooperative #InvasionDay2021 with police standing by. @CentralNewsUTS

— Emilia Roux (@emiliaroux2) January 26, 2021


Police in Melbourne have been asked to take their hats off during the minute’s silence.

Police are generally very anti hat removal. As Matilda Boseley points out, they have quite strict uniform rules.

Speakers have urged police to take off their hats briefly as a sign of respect to the Indigenous people. They haven’t (although police have strict rules about that sort of stuff generally so it wasn’t really expected that they would) @GuardianAus @callapilla

— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) January 26, 2021

In Melbourne, the thousands of people at the Invasion Day rally are having a minute’s silence.

The minute of silence has begun at the Narrm/Melbourne Invasion day rally. @GuardianAus @callapilla

— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) January 26, 2021

The Western Australian Greens have criticised the Labor, Liberal, and National parties in WA for showing a lack of political leadership in support of First Nations people on Invasion Day.

Senate candidate Dorinda Cox, a Noongar and Yamatji woman who has won preselection to replace retiring senator Rachel Siewert, said:

Rather than facilitating celebrations on Invasion Day, we need leaders who are willing to have hard conversations and that starts with showing up in solidarity, not continuing to do what they know very well is harmful and hurtful to First Nations communities.

I’m deeply saddened that after the watershed moment of Black Lives Matter, where we saw movements for justice for Black and First Nations peoples growing across communities both locally and internationally that we can’t even get the major parties to show up and acknowledge that January 26 is a day of mourning and survival for First Nations peoples.

She continued:

Invasion Day is a day of mourning for the violence that took place during colonisation and a day of mourning for the colonisation and structural, state sanctioned violence against First Nations peoples perpetuated through our legal, political and social systems that continues to this day.

First Nations peoples have been very clear that without truth telling, we will never get justice.

Invasion Day is not a day to celebrate and our political leaders should know that by now.

We invite everyone in our community to join us in solidarity with First Nations people and join us in this movement for justice that is so long overdue.


Matilda Boseley has spoken to Greens senator and Djabwurrung Gunnai and Gunditjmara woman Lidia Thorpe at Melbourne’s Invasion Day rally.

Thorpe said changing the date, constitutional recognition, and the one-word change in the national anthem are “symbolic gestures”.

We need real action. And that is a treaty.

“We can have all of those symbolic gestures, like changing the day, like constitutional recognition, and the word change in the anthem. But we need real action. And that is a treaty”- @lidia__thorpe, Greens Senator for Victoria, @GuardianAus

— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) January 26, 2021

Several thousand people are at the march in Melbourne.

Naarm showin up!❤️💛🖤

This photo doesn’t show it well (bc it’s a panorama) but everyone is wearing masks and getting into COVID-safe distanced spots before we kick off... #InvasionDay

— Lucy Thomas OAM (@lucylockit_) January 26, 2021

Massive show-up in Naarm. Endless groups of 100 marching COVID-Safe #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe

— Thomas Feng 冯子晋 (@ThomasFengAU) January 26, 2021

Thousands in Naarm/Melbourne turning out for #InvasionDay2021 #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe

— Samuel Dariol (@sdariol) January 26, 2021

There are also legal observers on scene. They are there to ensure that activists know their rights, and police do not breach those rights.

Great to have @ActivistLegal on deck at #survivalday #InvasionDay #Melbourne #naarm

— Croakey News (@CroakeyNews) January 25, 2021

Invasion Day march begins in Melbourne

Back to the Invasion Day rally in Melbourne, where the crowd is already very, very big. I’m notoriously bad at crowd estimates but there’s easily a few thousand there.

It has always been difficult to get an accurate count of the Invasion Day rally. I’m wondering if the order that people march in clumps of 100 will mean we get more accurate figures.

15 minutes until the rally starts and Spring St is already packed. I can even see the end of the crowd (although in fairness I’m real short) @callapilla @GuardianAus

— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) January 25, 2021

Matilda Boseley reports that the start of the march has been delayed while marshals order people into groups of 100.

The start of the rally has been delayed as marshals wait for people to disperse into groups of 100, the legal limit for public gathering in Victoria currently.

— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) January 26, 2021


NSW records no new locally acquired cases of Covid-19, virus detected in Liverpool sewage treatment plant

New South Wales has recorded no new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 and two new cases in hotel quarantine.

NSW Health said the total number of cases in the state since the pandemic began has only increased by one, because a previously reported locally acquired case has been “excluded following further investigation”.

There were just 7,819 Covid-19 tests conducted in the 24-hours to 8pm yesterday. Again, this is far too few.

NSW Health also urged anyone living in areas covered by the Liverpool sewage treatment plant to get tested if they have any cold or flu like symptoms, after virus fragments were detected.

The Liverpool sewage treatment plant has a catchment of 180,000 people in the suburbs of Bardia, Hinchinbrook, Hoxton Park, Abbotsbury, Ingleburn, Prestons, Holsworthy, Edmondson Park, Austral, Cecil Park, Cecil Hills, Elizabeth Hills, Bonnyrigg Heights, Edensor Park, Green Valley, Pleasure Point, Casula, Hammondville, Liverpool, Moorebank, Wattle Grove, Miller, Cartwright, Lurnea, Warwick Farm, Chipping Norton, Voyager Point, Macquarie Links, Glenfield, Catherine Field, Gledswood Hills, Varroville, Leppington, West Hoxton, Horningsea Park, Middleton Grange, Len Waters Estate, Carnes Hill, and Denham Court.


Albanese 'can't see the justification' for giving Margaret Court Australia's highest honour

Anthony Albanese weighed in on Kerry O’Brien’s decision to refuse an Australia Day honour to protest Margaret Court receiving an AC.

He told reporters:

The awarding of Margaret Court for the highest honour in Australia, a Companion of the Order of Australia – I can’t see what the justification is for that ... It can’t be for her tennis prowess because she had already been awarded an AO for that, and she hasn’t struck a ball in anger on a major tennis tournament for many, many decades. I know that the way that Australia Day Honours occur is that in order to get an upgrade, so to speak, a second award, it has to be for things that you’ve done since the first award was given ... So I still haven’t heard any explanation for why Margaret Court was given that award.

On O’Brien’s decision, Albanese said:

Well, I respect his decision. That’s a decision for him, I don’t want to say anything other than it is a personal decision. It’s one that I respect, and it’s one also that is consistent with someone who is a man of integrity and high values.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese is giving a press conference in Canberra, wearing a hat and sharing an idea.

That idea is to have the referendum for constitutional recognition on 26 January to, er, replace the meaning of the day.

I am not sure how holding a referendum on 26 January will stop it from being a day of mourning – it would just put the referendum on a day that cannot be celebrated.

Albanese said:

Today is also a day when we need to acknowledge that it is a very difficult day for First Nations people, that First Nations peoples didn’t have a Welcome to Country for the First Fleet. For them it was a time of dispossession, a time in which literally through the frontier wars, through violence occurred, and one in which we need to recognise that our history didn’t begin in 1788, but be proud of the fact that we have the oldest continuous civilisation on Earth that can be traced back at least 65,000 years.

We need to work out ways in which we avoid the divisive debate that has occurred every year around this time, about the choice of date to have our national day. One of the things that I proposed now three years ago on Australia Day in 2018, was the idea that what we could do perhaps is to consider having the date for the Constitutional recognition of First Australians – have that referendum on 26 January so that truly that was the date in which we could remember our history and our past, but also acknowledge, of course, that it is a very significant day, and that in Australia in 2021, most of us either descendants or directly, people who have come through migration to make modern Australia the great multicultural nation that we are.

He was asked to comment on Scott Morrison’s comment that there was “no cancelling or escaping” the fact that the colonisation of Australia began on 1788.

Albanese said:

I think today is a day when we should, in our words and our actions, unite the country and bring it together, rather than seek to have any divisive debate. That’s why I put forward that proposition. I reminded people of it yesterday as well.

It seems to me that we do need to have a day in which everyone can celebrate, and particularly young Australians, increasingly, I guess, engaged in this debate – you’ve had issues like the Hottest 100 moved from this date to an earlier day. I think that it’s time to have a debate about how we move forward in a way that truly unites the nation, one that recognises dispossession, but one that also recognises that modern Australia has continued to evolve and will continue to evolve into the future.

From AAP:

A 41-year-old man has been charged over the alleged attempted abduction of a young girl from a remote campground in Tasmania.

The incident occurred at Montagu Campgrounds in the state’s far northwest on Sunday afternoon, police say.

The man, who is from Rosebery in the west, has been charged with abduction of a person under 17 and assault, and is expected to appear in Burnie magistrates court on Tuesday.

Investigators are appealing for anyone who saw a white Mazda ute with Queensland registration 317XNR in the Montagu area from 4.30pm on Sunday to come forward.


Acting chief medical officer, Prof Michael Kidd, has been talking on the ABC about the community transmission case in New Zealand, which prompted the Australian government to suspend the trans-Tasman travel bubble for 72 hours.

Genomic sequencing has revealed the New Zealand case is the South African variant of Covid-19, one of those found to be more highly transmissible. You can read more about those new variants in this article by Melissa Davey.

Acting chief medical officer Michael Kidd.
Acting chief medical officer Michael Kidd. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Kidd said:

It was the strain which was originally identified in South Africa, the B1351 strain. It has been picked up in 13 countries around the world, including in Australia and including people who have come from overseas and have been in hotel quarantine. We have had 13 cases to date.

The worry about this case in New Zealand is that the person who was infected had finished their period of quarantine, it looks like they were infected by another passenger towards the end of their period of quarantine. They have then been out in the community for the past 10 days, visiting a number of venues, interacting with other people in the community.


Let’s go to Melbourne now. Reporter Matilda Boseley is at Spring Street, where crowds are starting to gather for the Invasion Day rally.

The march will begin at 11am.

Crowds are already forming along Spring St ahead of the Melbourne Invasion Day protests. Thousands are expected to turn out. @GuardianAus @callapilla

— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) January 25, 2021

Paul Silva, David Dungay Jr.’s nephew, calls for a minute’s silence at Sydney’s Invasion Day rally @GuardianAus @callapilla

— Natasha May (@tasha_tilly) January 25, 2021

I’ve just been told the man speaking at the Sydney Invasion Day rally earlier was Muruwari and Budjiti man Bruce Shillingsworth. Thanks to Lorena Allam for the assist.

Nephew of David Dungay Jr tells Invasion Day rally: 'We want the date abolished'

Paul Silver, the nephew of David Dungay Jr, who died in custody in Long Bay jail in 2015, has just addressed the crowd at the Invasion Day rally in Sydney.

He said:

For the past five years our family has been demanding justice. And at the end of it we literally got fuck all. Five years on we stand here, on invasion day, when our ancestors were murdered, slaughtered, and our kids stolen. The injustice and the racial discrimination still happens today and it has been happening since the first fleet arrived to first nations people. We don’t get treated equally on our own land. The governments don’t give a fuck about us and neither do the police.

He then said they were not rallying to change the date.

Our family will continue to demand not just the change of the date because that won’t do fucking shit, we want the date abolished. We don’t want no date to be celebrated... the Australian government is out here celebrating this date like it is a birthday or Christmas when our ancestors were killed. How does that make sense?

He added:

We are not just fighting for the justice for David Dungay Jr, we are fighting for all Aboriginal deaths in custody, to demand action.

A NSW parliamentary inquiry into the high level of first nations people in custody and oversight and review of deaths in custody is due to hand down its final report in March. Silver said he would campaign for the government to implement its recommendations in full, and for Worksafe NSW to investigate all future Aboriginal deaths in custody as they do workplace deaths.


NSW police have congratulated the Australian local hero of the year, Rosemary Kariuki, who has worked for 15 years as a police multicultural community liaison officer.

In a statement, it said:

Her work has been pivotal in helping to combat domestic violence and providing specialised guidance and support to victims in the local area.

2021 Australian local hero winner Rosemary Kariuki.
2021 Australian local hero winner Rosemary Kariuki. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPA

The dedication to her role is seen through various social gatherings she organises to make people – particularly migrants and refugees – feel included in a new community, for example morning teas, social groups and trips...

NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller congratulated Rosemary on the award, which recognises extraordinary contributions by Australians within their local community.

“We could not be prouder of Rosemary receiving this award today. Her personal experiences make her a strong advocate and role model,” said Commissioner Fuller.

“Her energy and passion inspire those around her, and the work she does is invaluable for women struggling through experiences of domestic violence and financial hardship.

“Along with her fellow Multicultural Community Liaison Officers, this role is instrumental in building positive relationships between police and the community.”


Here are some of the images from the WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo in Sydney earlier today.

Indigenous performers hold a smoking ceremony as part of the WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve.
Indigenous performers hold a smoking ceremony as part of the WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP
Indigenous performers hold a smoking ceremony as part of the WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve .
Indigenous performers hold a smoking ceremony as part of the WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve . Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA

The speeches from the Invasion Day rally in Sydney are being live-streamed here,

if you want to watch along but are not able to attend.

From a speech being given right now by Muruwari and Budjiti man Bruce Shillingsworth.

There’s only two roads. One road leads to life and survival, the other leads to death and destruction. Which road are you going to take? My children and my grandchildren need to grow up in a more safer environment, a more natural environment and a better world.

Natasha May is still on the ground for Guardian Australia. She has been told by a security representative that it is “so far so good” for people complying with Covid-19 public health rules.

Security representative says “so far so good” in terms of attendants at Sydney’s Invasion Day rally complying with Covid safe protocols of gathering in separate groups of 500 @GuardianAus @callapilla

— Natasha May (@tasha_tilly) January 25, 2021


Scott Morrison tells national citizenship ceremony Australia has 'risen above our brutal beginnings'

Prime minister Scott Morrison is speaking at the national flag raising and citizenship ceremony in Canberra and has chosen to double down – or is it quadruple down at this stage? – on saying that there is “no escaping or cancelling” the beginning of Australia’s European history.

This is a mischaracterisation of both cancel culture (which does not apply here) and people who say that the colonisation of Australia is not a thing to celebrate.

He said:

For whatever our beginnings and our circumstances, Australians have always demonstrated our ability to overcome. To rise above, to better our history, to create our future. Today on Australia Day, we reflect on that journey. The price that has been made for our freedom. The lessons of our history. And the privilege of being able to call ourselves Australians. We do it on this day when the course of this land changed forever. There is no escaping or cancelling that fact, for better or worse – and worse – it was the moment where the journey to our modern Australia began. And it is this continuing Australian journey that we recognise today.

Prime minister Scott Morrison.
Prime minister Scott Morrison. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Our story since that day have been of sorrow and of joy, of loss and redemption, of failure and of success. We are now a nation of more than 25 million stories. All important, all unique, and all to be respected. Whether it is the story of our First Nations people strong, ancient, and proud culture, and their survival, in the face of dispossession, and colonisation, or the forsaken souls who came as convicts, not to start a new world, but because they had been banished from the old one, condemned and outcast by empire, they too overcame. The settlers and waves of immigrants who have followed, seeking a better life for themselves and their families, creating a nation in the process. Including the 12,000 people from over 130 nations, who become citizens today.

Theses tories don’t compete with each other. They simply coexist. They weave together to create Australia.Today we reflect on how far we have come but importantly, we humbly acknowledge the work still ahead of us. We have risen above our brutal beginnings, we have overcome, survived, and thrived. We have learned yet we’re still learning. As the many peoples of the world joined our journey, we have become stronger. The most successful and cohesive immigration and multicultural nation on earth. The home of the world’s oldest living human culture, a modern, prosperous, and generation nation, fair minded, hard working. A standard bearer for liberal democracy in a world where authoritarianism is once again seeking to push itself forward.

An honest nation that continues to confront the truth of our past, and to reconcile this with our future. Much to appreciate and to be thankful for. And this year, we will face more challenges. But it is Australian to be optimistic and to look forward. It is a choice we make to believe in hope. Our optimism has always enabled us to push past the adversity we have faced and overcome. We have made extraordinary gains. These extraordinary gains, by the extraordinary contributions of ordinary Australians. In 2021, we will be relying once again on allAustralians to be at their best. To once again exercise their responsibility and make their own unique contributions to our success. In our families, in our communities, in our places of work and education. And of worship. And in our environment, caring for our country.

The exercise of these responsibilities and contributions are the ones that will continue to make for a successful and resilient Australia. We do this because inAustralia we believe in the unique value of each Australian as individuals. Rather than seeing or indeed allowing ourselves to be defined solely through the identity prism of our race, gender, age, our ethnicity or religion. AsAustralians, we’re more than any and all of these things, and together we share and steward our Australian inheritance. As Australians, we write our own story. We create our own future. And we’ll do so again this year together. Happy Australia Day.


Let’s go back to Sydney now, where the Invasion Day rally is underway in the Domain.

People are gathering in groups of 500 to comply with Covid-19 health rules, Natasha May reports. Marshals and police are ensuring participants remain socially distanced.

Invasion Day Sydney rally kept socially distanced by marshals and police @GuardianAus @callapilla

— Natasha May (@tasha_tilly) January 25, 2021

David Dungay Jr’s mother, Leetona Dungay, has addressed the crowd.

David Dungay Jr.’s mother, Leetona Dungay, speaks at Sydney’s Invasion Day rally @callapilla @GuardianAus

— Natasha May (@tasha_tilly) January 25, 2021

According to Sydney academic Paddy Gibson, thousands of people are already in attendence.

Ian Brown from Gamilaraay Next Generation addresses Invasion Day rally on Gadigal land that is swelling to close to 10,000 people. Ian honours his ancestors killed in the Waterloo Creek massacre and promises to continue to resist gas mining destroying country.

— Padraic Gibson (@paddygibson) January 25, 2021

Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa, the first of 10 players and support staff from the Australian Open to test positive to Covid-19, has described her extended quarantine in Melbourne as the worst moment of her career and said she felt “abandoned” by organisers.

More from Reuters:

Badosa, ranked 67 in the world, was the first player to test positive for the virus upon arrival in Australia ahead of the tournament and cannot leave her hotel room until 31 January.

Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa.
Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa. Photograph: Christophe Ena/AP

If she is found to have been infected with the new strain of coronavirus, Badosa will only return to training on 5 February which the Spaniard believes will be too late to regain her fitness.

The grand slam, which has been delayed by three weeks due to disruption caused by the pandemic, takes place from 8 to 21 February.

“I feel abandoned because I don’t have training equipment which I requested five days ago, I haven’t been told which type of the virus I have, I’ve had no information from the tournament,” she told Spanish newspaper Marca.

Australian Open organisers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Badosa, who said she had been suffering from anxiety and claustrophobia, has been limited to doing sit ups in her hotel room and using water bottles as weights to try to stay in shape.

The 23-year-old added that the room, which she is sharing with coach Javier Marti, was not suitable for an elite athlete.

“It’s far and away the worst experience of my career,” Badosa said.

“The conditions here are lamentable, I wasn’t expecting that. The number one thing people recommend when you have the virus is to open the windows to let in air, but I don’t have windows in my hotel room and it’s barely 15 metres square.”

“I have lost a lot of my fitness levels, especially my strength. If I can come out on January 31 I’ll have a week to get in shape. If it’s February 5 it’ll be impossible to recover in time [for the tournament],” Badosa said.


Victorian health authorities have told anyone who arrived in Victoria from New Zealand between 24 January and 25 January to get a Covid-19 test.

Travellers are supposed to get a test within 72 hours of their arrival, or as soon as possible if they arrived more than three days ago, and isolate until you get a negative result.

In a statement, the department of health and human services said:

This is a precautionary approach in response to the discovery of community exposure in New Zealand.

The advice from DHHS was issued late last night, after the Australian government suspended the travel bubble with New Zealand for 72 hours from 4.30pm yesterday.

The suspension of the travel bubble means people coming into Victoria from New Zealand over the next 72 hours will enter 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine. If they wait until the travel bubble is reinstated, there will be no quarantine.

Strongly advise waiting.

Air New Zealand flight.
Air New Zealand flight. Photograph: James D Morgan/Getty Images


The chair of the National Australia Day Council, Danielle Roche has been speaking at the national flag raising and citizenship ceremony in Canberra. She says:

Australia Day is a day to reflect, respect, and celebrate. The past 12 months have thrown every imaginable challenge to our nation.

We live on beautiful country, and as Australians, we accept that living among such beauty comes with harsh conditions. Twelve months ago, Australia was only beginning to emerge from a summer of bushfires unprecedented in our lifetimes. Not before the last fires had been extinguished, coronavirus reached our shores. In a few short months, it would go on to become a global pandemic, putting our society, our economy, and our people under unthinkable strain.

Australians did what Australians do in times of crisis, we came together, we responded as one, with compassion, empathy, and with courage. Today we reflect on the sacrifice of thousands of front-line workers who kept our people safe and kept our nation going. We reflect on the resilience of our communities, and the spirit of helping, giving and supporting, that defines us as Australians. And we respect the efforts and sacrifices each Australian has made, because we’re all part of the story. To all of those on the frontlines, the first responders, the doctors, the nurses, the researchers, the scientists, public health officials, workers and cares, who responded when we needed you most, thank you. We’re grateful for your sacrifice and we’re very proud of your contribution.

She continued:

The past 12 months is only one chapter of the story of Australia. Our story begins tens of thousands of years ago, and today, we reflect on First Australians’ contribution to our ancient nation. We pause to respect their extensive knowledge of country and legacy of 65,000 years of continuous culture. We respect and celebrate being welcomed to country, and on how even to this day theAustralian identity is so easily defined by our relationship to land, sea, and sky. From salt water to fresh water, from rainforest to the desert, and we respect that for many First Nations people, today is a difficult day.

Our nation is made of many people from hundreds of countries, we speak many languages and follow many faiths. To be Australian is to accept and commit to the values we share. Fairness, equality of opportunity, mutual respect, tolerance, compassion, and the rule of law. We also call this the fair go. It is because of the values we share that today we celebrate our nation’s place in the world, a proud, ancient, multicultural nation, that enjoys freedoms and opportunities other nations only aspire to.

Roche said 12,000 people will become Australian citizens today.

And then a helicopter flew past carrying an Australian flag.

Ngunnawal elder Warren Daley has given the Welcome to Country at the national flag raising and citizenship ceremony.

He said:

I’d also like to take the time to welcome all other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and all other nationalities here today, and those receiving their citizenship. For some of you this may be your first Welcome to Country. And in Ngunnawal people, who have been custodians of this land, called Canberra, for over 60,000 years, we have traditions that our elders have passed down to us, and will continue to pass down. Before entering another person’s country, you announce your arrival and not enter until asked or greeted by an elder or traditional owner.

The reason for this practice is it protects your spirit while you’re on another person’s country, but also shows respect to the people in the country you’re entering. So, for those of you who have travelled to be with us today, have a safe and enjoyable journey back to your loved ones, in ending, I like to say... You may leave your foot prints here, and welcome to Ngunnawal country.

Meanwhile, in Canberra, prime minister Scott Morrison has arrived at the the National Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremony.

Governor general David Hurley has inspected the troops, and is not inspecting the the band of the Royal Military College – Duntroon.


Crowd begins to gather for Sydney's Invasion Day rally

Guardian Australia’s Natasha May is in Sydney speaking to people who are gathering at the Domain for the Invasion Day march, which will run from 9am to 1pm.

She has spoken to the family of David Dungay Jr, who died in custody in Sydney’s Long Bay jail 2015.

Family of David Dungay Jr. Paul Silva and Hector Dungay attending Sydney’s Invasion Day Rally @GuardianAus @callapilla @MatildaBoseley

— Natasha May (@tasha_tilly) January 25, 2021

Participants have to sign in using a QR code as part of the protest’s Covid-safe practices.

Rally attendants at Sydney’s #InvasionDay2021 rally signing in with mandatory QR Codes @callapilla @GuardianAus @MatildaBoseley

— Natasha May (@tasha_tilly) January 25, 2021

Police and rally attendants crossing the road on College Street to attend Sydney’s Invasion Day Rally in The Domain @GuardianAus @callapilla @MatildaBoseley

— Natasha May (@tasha_tilly) January 25, 2021

Covid safe protesters heading to Sydney’s #InvasionDay2021 rally @GuardianAus @callapilla @MatildaBoseley

— Natasha May (@tasha_tilly) January 25, 2021

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has joined the Institute of Public Affairs as a distinguished fellow, which is a real title.

In a release, IPA executive director John Roskam said Abbott would be working on the fight for mainstream Australian values:

Mr Abbott has consistently defended mainstream Australian values, often in the face of tremendous hostility, and his 2013 election victory was a watershed that foreshadowed the cultural and political realignment seen around the Western world in recent years.

Abbott said:

I am delighted to join the IPA as their Distinguished Fellow at this critical moment in Australian history.

For 78 years the IPA has been at the forefront of striving to defend and extend the freedoms we enjoy as Australians. The IPA is the voice of mainstream Australians.

As my colleague, Josh Taylor, noted, the definition of mainstream values could do with a bit of teasing out.

Maybe it's just me but if he lost his own blue-ribbon seat with a 20% swing against him perhaps his values are not all that mainstream.

— Josh Taylor (@joshgnosis) January 25, 2021

Roksam went on to say:

Australia is now in a cultural cold war where the elites are pushing divisive and alien ideologies onto mainstream Australians who are without a voice and without institutional power.

That’s certainly a sentence.

Although Abbott’s party is still in government, and has widespread support in conservative media, and he even had a stint as trade advisor to the UK government last year, so I am not sure you can argue that he or people who share his “mainstream” opinions are without a voice.

I am not sure if US store Trader Joes deliberately timed its release of these knock-off “Aussie-style chocolate creme sandwiches” for 26 January, but either way, I’m not having it.

There is no need for Americans to make bad knock-off Tim Tam’s: Arnott’s Biscuit Company has been American-owned since 1997. US private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts bought it from Campbell’s Soup in 2019.

I just found out that Trader Joe's is launching generic Tim Tams, between this and the proliferation of flat whites and coffee places that do good food it's a huge moment for Australian culture

— Tom Gara (@tomgara) January 25, 2021

Victoria records no new locally-acquired cases of Covid-19, one in hotel quarantine

Victoria recorded no new locally-acquired cases of Covid-19 yesterday and one new case in hotel quarantine.

It is now 20 days since the last locally acquired case in Victoria. There are 31 active cases. 11,656 tests were conducted yesterday.

Yesterday 0 locally acquired cases were reported, 1 in hotel quarantine. It’s been 20 days since the last locally acquired case. 11,656 test results were received, #EveryTestHelps.

More later: #COVID19VicData #COVID19Vic

— VicGovDHHS (@VicGovDHHS) January 25, 2021


Country Fire Authority volunteers have been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal for distinguished service to the volunteer brigade.

They include Ross Coyle from the Wodonga West fire brigade, who joined the CFA as a volunteer in 1985; Ian Hay from the Gisborne fire brigade, who has volunteered with the CFA for more than 45 years; Mark Roberts from the Cobden fire brigade, who has volunteered since 1990 and played a significant role in the St Patrick’s Day fires in 2018; and Leighton Wraith of the Dunkeld fire brigade, who has been a volunteer firefighter since 1980.

CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan said:

Ross, Ian, Mark and Leighton exemplify the CFA values of safety, teamwork, adaptability, integrity, and respect.

They have been integral to saving lives and properties in their own communities and beyond.

CFA is honoured to have such distinguished members of the community amongst our ranks.

Fire Rescue Victoria firefighter Craig Bownie, who was a CFA volunteer from 1991 before being appointed a career firefighter in 1995 and moving to the FRV in 2020 was also awarded an Australian Fire Service Medal. Gregory Leece, a firefighter with the department of environment, land, water and planning, and CFA volunteer of 40 years, was also granted the medal.

Six other current or former CFA members were awarded the medal of the order of Australia last night.

Morrison: 26 January is 'not a day to focus on' differences or disagreements

Prime minister Scott Morrison was on 2GB earlier this morning and repeated his like that 26 January is “not a day to focus” on differences and disagreements in Australian society.

Given that celebrating Australia on 26 January is one of the foundational disagreements in this country, this dictate may not be heeded.

Morrison said:

Of course there are many controversial issues ... and things around this day but today it’s a day just to come together ... be thankful for being Australian.

Regardless of what our stories are, our experiences, our differences or disagreements that may happen, today is not a day to focus on that.

Today’s the day to focus on ... who we are, where we’ve got to and where we’re going.

The great thing about Australia is we’re always optimistic regardless of what the challenges are.

He then said that the coronavirus pandemic had made 2020 a difficult year, and said 20201 was “going to be a tough one” as well.

I can’t pretend it won’t be but we’ll come through it the same way we always do – together.


Meanwhile, Sydney artist Scott Marsh has unveiled a new mural.

A mural was painted by street artist Scott Marsh in Newtown early on January 26, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
A mural was painted by street artist Scott Marsh in Newtown early on January 26, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images


Scott Morrison pens op-ed saying Australia has 'risen above' its history

Scott Morrison also wrote an opinion piece on Australia Day which was published in The Australian this morning, in which he said Australia had “risen above” its history and that there was “no escaping or cancelling” the significance of 26 January, 1788, in Australia’s history.

An interesting approach for someone who is calling for an end to division.

He wrote:

Today, on Australia Day we reflect on that journey, the price that has been paid for our freedom, the lessons of our history and the privilege of being able to call ourselves Australians.

We do it on the day when the course of this land changed forever.

There is no escaping or cancelling this fact. For better and worse, it was the moment where the journey to our modern nation began.

And it is this continuing Australian journey that we recognise today.

Our stories since that day have been of sorrow and joy. Loss and redemption. Failure and success.

We are now a nation of more than 25 million stories, all important, all unique and all to be respected.

Whether it is the story of our first nation peoples’ strong, ancient and proud culture and their survival in the face of dispossession and colonisation.

Or the forsaken souls who came as convicts, not to start a new world, but because they had been banished from the old one. Condemned and outcast by empire, they too overcame.

The settlers and waves of immigrants who have followed seeking a better life for themselves and their families, creating a nation in the process, including the 12,000 people from over 130 nations who become citizens today.

These stories do not compete with each other, they simply coexist. They weave together.

Today we reflect on how far we have come, and humbly acknowledge the work still ahead of us.

We have risen above our brutal beginnings.

We have overcome, survived and thrived.

We have learned and are still learning.

And as the many peoples of the world joined our journey, we have become even stronger,

The most successful and cohesive immigration and multicultural nation on earth.

The home of the world’s oldest living human culture.

A modern, prosperous and generous nation. Fair minded, hard working.

A standard bearer for liberal democracy, in a world where authoritarianism is once again pushing itself forward.

An honest nation that continues to confront the truth of our past and to reconcile this with our future.

Much to appreciate and be thankful for.

He then wrote that Australia would continue to rise to meet challenges in 2021, and continued:

We do this, because in Australia we believe in the unique value of each Australian as individuals, rather than seeing or indeed allowing ourselves to be defined solely through the identity prism of our age, race, gender, ethnicity or religion.

As Australians we are more than any and all of these things, and together we share and steward our Australian inheritance.

As Australians we write our own story. We create our own future. And we will do so again this year, together.

Happy Australia Day.


Prime minister Scott Morrison will attend the Australia Day national flag raising ceremony and a citizenship ceremony in Canberra at 9am.

The dawn service memorialises those killed in massacres in Victoria.

Guardian Australia worked with the University of Newcastle to share the stories of massacres that occurred on the Australian frontier, and well behind the frontier, from 1788 to 1928.

You can see the map of those massacres below, and read all of the Killing Times series, led by Indigenous affairs editor and Gamilaraay and Yawalaraay woman Lorena Allam, here.

The Invasion Day dawn service has wrapped up in Melbourne. The event began in 2019 and looks a bit different this year.

Most of these changes are to ensure the event complies with Covid-safe rules.

Senior Wurundjeri elder Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin speaks at the Invasion Day dawn service at the Kings Domain resting place in Melbourne.
Senior Wurundjeri elder Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin speaks at the Invasion Day dawn service at the Kings Domain resting place in Melbourne. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
Māori Community members stood in solidarity with Australia’s First Nations people in the rain at the Invasion Day dawn service in Melbourne this morning.
Māori Community members stood in solidarity with Australia’s First Nations people in the rain at the Invasion Day dawn service in Melbourne this morning. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
Members of the Djirri Djirri dance group perform at an Invasion Day dawn service in Melbourne.
Members of the Djirri Djirri dance group perform at an Invasion Day dawn service in Melbourne. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Aboriginal legal services offer support to Invasion Day protesters

Legal services have provided information for people attending Invasion Day rallies in Sydney and Melbourne, where police have said they will enforce Covid-19 public health rules.

The Covid-19 rules cap the number of people at a protest at 500 people in Sydney, and public outdoor gatherings at 100 people in Melbourne. Protest organisers are trying to hold the events to comply with those rules – in Melbourne, for example, protesters have been told to organise in groups of 100, and keep ten metres apart from the next group of 100.

The organisers of all protests have urged anyone who has any cold or flu symptoms, however mild, to stay at home.

In Sydney, the Aboriginal Legal Service has provided the following advice:

The NSW Police Minister has flagged that fines and possible prison sentences will apply if tomorrow's #InvasionDay protest exceeds 500 people. Here is some general information on what to do if you are approached by police. Please stay safe. (1/2)

— Aboriginal Legal Service (@ALS_NSWACT) January 25, 2021

We will be available on 0427 435 364 on #InvasionDay to help any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mob who have issues with police during the rally at Djarrbarrgalli. @NJP_Au is on hand to help non-Indigenous attendees on (02) 9304 0373. (2/2)

— Aboriginal Legal Service (@ALS_NSWACT) January 25, 2021

In Melbourne, the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service said it would provide help to any Aboriginal protesters who are stopped by police. The number is 1800 064 865.

In a statement yesterday, VALS said:

Victoria Police must not misuse Covid-19 health measures to impede the right to protest. Health experts have stated that the risk of community transmission of Covid-19 is currently low, but that people attending a protest should take precautions.

Australia’s deputy chief medical Prof Michael Kidd has been on Radio National talking about the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines. The Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in Australia yesterday.

Pfizer Covid vaccine.
Pfizer Covid vaccine. Photograph: Dado Ruvić/Reuters

Kidd said:

When the vaccine arrives in the country the Therapeutic Goods Administration does its usual work looking at the batches which arrive to make sure that everything is as it should be, and then within two weeks of vaccine arriving in the country we should start to see the vaccine rolling out. Initially within those 30-50 hubs that are being set up around Australia to deliver the initial doses of the vaccine.

So, what does that mean for timing?

We hope the first doses of the vaccine will be delivered late in February.

Australia has ordered 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and the first delivery is 800,000 doses. When will we get the full delivery?

At the moment we don’t know exactly how long it is going to take to get the first 10m doses just that it will happen throughout the course of 2021.

Kidd said he thinks there will be “very high levels of uptake of this vaccine around the country”, despite some louder voices raising concerns.

He says that high level of uptake will particularly be seen in the first two phases, which is people working in hotel quarantine and border force, frontline healthcare workers, and people who are most at risk including those in aged and disability care.


Good morning,

It’s 26 January, a day in which Australians either celebrate Australia Day, recognise as Invasion Day, a day of mourning, and march to abolish Australia Day, or don’t celebrate at all.

The campaign to change the date is gathering steam, but it’s an idea mostly popular among non-Indigenous people – changing the date but still celebrating the same thing will not address the injustices perpetuated upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people since colonisation.

Rallies are still happening in most Australian cities today, you can find a list here.

Sexual assault survivor Grace Tame was last night named Australian of the Year, for her role in the #LetHerSpeak campaign which led to the Tasmanian government overturning a law that prevented sexual assault survivors from speaking about their experiences. She devoted her win to other sexual assault survivors, saying: “Survivors, be proud, our voices are changing history”.

Tame also called for Australia to change the date.

The decision to make tennis player Margaret Court a companion of the order of Australia – the highest honour – despite her homophobic views, has continued to cause controversy. Former ABC broadcaster Kerry O’Brien rejected his Australia Day honour in protest against the decision to honour Court. Interestingly former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who sites the vote to legalise same-sex marriage, which happened under his leadership, as the greatest achievement of his time in office, did not reject his award. He said there was “no shortage of irony” that he was made a companion of the order of Australia for his contributions to marriage equality, on the same day that Court was also honoured.

In other news, an Aboriginal woman in an ACT prison has alleged she was stripped naked by guards in front of male inmates, in what the territory’s Aboriginal health service describe as a “disgusting” abuse of human rights which “could have killed her”. The incident occurred after she became upset after being denied permission to attend her grandmother’s funeral. She alleged that officers stripped her naked by cutting off her clothes to check she had “nothing on me for my safety”. She said:

Here I ask you to remember that I am a rape victim, so you can only imagine the horror, the screams, the degrading feeling, the absolute fear and shame I was experiencing … as well as the grief and despair, disappointment of not being able to attend my grandmother’s funeral.

And in US news, Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is facing a $1.3bn lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems over his claims of election fraud. The complaint accuses the former New York City mayor of having “manufactured and disseminated” a conspiracy theory related to the company’s voting machines. Giuliani said he would file a suit in response, claiming the lawsuit is in violation of his constitutional rights.

Let’s crack on. You can contact me on twitter at @callapilla or email me at



Mostafa Rachwani and Calla Wahlquist

The GuardianTramp

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