That's it for today – thanks for reading
Here are the main stories on 5 October, 2021:
- Dominic Perrottet is sworn in as the premier of NSW, after easily winning a party room vote against the planning minister Rob Stokes;
- Victoria is set to end lockdown as scheduled later this month, despite setting a new national record of daily Covid-19 cases on Tuesday;
- The federal treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, confirms he is in isolation after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19. He has recorded a negative test for the virus;
- The federal health minister, Greg Hunt, calls on the Queensland government to explain how linking the reopening of its borders to hospital funding is “within the law and spirit” of public health orders;
- As many as 100,000 workers in the West Australian resources sector must be fully vaccinated by the end of the year under a mandate introduced by the state government; and
- NSW records its lowest case numbers since August, the ACT records 33 new cases; New Zealand has 24 new cases, and Tasmania and South Australia remain on alert, despite not recording any new cases.
Vaccination mandate for West Australian FIFO workers
The premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, has announced that as many as 100,000 workers in the resources sector must be fully vaccinated by the end of the year, AAP report:
Up to 100,000 fly-in, fly-out workers and others engaged in Western Australia’s resources sector will be required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by the beginning of January.
McGowan says the rules will apply to anyone involved in exploration, mining, the oil and gas industries, the wider resources sector, and others who work in remote locations or operate critical infrastructure including rail services.
They will need to have had their first vaccine jabs by December 1.
“The aim is clear. We want to protect workers and the wider community and their families,” the premier said.
“Our goal is also to protect our Aboriginal community and address the obvious risk posed by the movement of resources sector workers to and from regional and remote locations.”
The mandate follows similar measures put in place for WA’s aged care, health, port and quarantine workers.
More industries could be targeted, based on health advice, McGowan said.
A new exposure site has been listed in South Australia, but no new cases have been reported, AAP report:
A new exposure site has been identified but no new Covid-19 cases have been reported following the infection in a South Australian woman who spent time in Victoria.
The case, involving a woman in her 40s, has already prompted tough new restrictions for Mt Gambier and two other council areas in SA’s southeast.
SA Health said on Tuesday its investigations in the Mt Gambier region were continuing but a new exposure site linked to the woman’s case had been identified at the SipnSave at the South Eastern Hotel on Friday between 5.30pm and 6.05pm.
It was considered a tier four site, so anyone there at that time need only monitor for coronavirus symptoms.
SA officials also remain concerned about another virus case in an interstate truck driver who visited service stations and truck stops at Ceduna and Port Augusta on Sunday.
SA currently has four active Covid-19 infections, with two of those acquired interstate and two in returned overseas travellers.
No new infections were reported on Tuesday among more than 4600 tests conducted in the previous 24 hours.
Morrison praises Perrottet
Despite suggestions of hostility between the prime minister and the new NSW premier Dom Perrottet, Scott Morrison has released a statement congratulating him on his rise to the top job and praising his work as treasurer. Morrison said:
Dom and I have worked closely together for a long time, including both when I was treasurer, and as prime minister. I know the commitment and dedication he will bring to his new role, and the energy he will invest in continuing to deliver for NSW.
In particular these last 18 months, Dom and I have worked together with Gladys Berejiklian and Josh Frydenberg to ensure that the families and businesses across NSW received the support they needed to fight through the pandemic.
The Sydney Morning Herald columnist, Niki Savva, has written about tensions between the pair, including a meeting in which Morrison allegedly dropped the “f-bomb”.
Morrison said Perrottet had been “a powerful advocate” for NSW and Australia throughout the pandemic, and said he was committed to the National Plan, which has agreed to a gradual reopening of the country once vaccination rates reach 70 and 80%. Morrison said:
With NSW vaccination levels now at 67.7 per cent double dose, those first steps to eased restrictions and more freedom are just days away.
Dom is also someone who has strong beliefs, a keen commitment to family and the Liberal values that respect reward for effort, personal responsibility and doing what’s right by your community.
This is lovely content to mark the bird of the year poll:
A man accused of murdering four people during a shooting spree across Darwin was terrified someone was out to get him before the killings, a court has heard.
Here is the lay of the land Covid-wise in NSW, via AAP:
NSW has recorded 608 new locally acquired cases and another seven people have died, as schooling and elective surgery resumes in some areas.
The daily case numbers are the lowest since August and it is the fourth day in a row with fewer than 700 cases.
Six men and one woman with Covid-19 have died, bringing the toll for the current outbreak to 385 deaths.
Five of the people who died were not vaccinated, while two had received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
There are 978 people in hospital with COVID-19 in NSW, with 190 in intensive care, and 94 on ventilators.
Across the state, 88.6 per cent of people aged 16 and over had received their first vaccine, and 67.7 per cent were fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, more than 140,000 students in NSW regional communities have returned to face-to-face learning at school for the start of term four.
In regional NSW, stay-at-home orders are underway for the Lismore local government area and the town of Casino.
Gunnedah has also gone into lockdown, after five new cases were detected. Anyone who has been in the local government area since 27 September must also isolate.
While Port Macquarie will be freed from lockdown from Wednesday morning, nearby Forster, Tuncurry and Taree have returned to stay-at-home orders.
In his first press conference as NSW premier, Dominic Perrottet said he would meet with health minister Brad Hazzard to discuss “issues” with the roadmap. When asked whether he would give people in NSW an early mark and ease restrictions ahead of schedule, the premier said lockdown would still end on 11 October.
The new leader will be pleased with this.
Victoria is on track to stabilise its Covid case numbers and reopen later this month, despite reporting a national record of 1,763 infections on Tuesday.
The premier, Daniel Andrews, said the government was still committed to “doing everything that we can to deliver the roadmap”, even though Covid case numbers had been above 1,000 for six days running.
He said he was confident the state would still meet its reopening date of 26 October – the day Victoria was expected to achieve a 70% double-dose vaccination rate.
Read the rest of this article here:
The Victorian Government has warned the construction sector must adhere to strict Covid-19 protocols if it is to remain open as the industry resumes after a two-week hiatus.
Some 10,000 labourers returned to work on Tuesday after an industry roadmap to reopening agreement was reached between the state government, builders, unions and industry partners on 1 October.
The private construction sector reopened at 25% capacity for large projects while the construction of state critical infrastructure could resume at full capacity under the roadmap.
You can read more on this story here:
The reserve bank did not shift the cash rate today, surprising nobody, AAP reports:
As widely anticipated by economists, the RBA left the official cash rate at a record low 0.1% following its monthly board meeting on Tuesday.
Dr Lowe reiterated the cash rate will not be increased until inflation is sustainably within the two to three per cent target range, saying such conditions will not be met before 2024.
“This contrasts with several other central banks that seem to be bringing rate hikes forward and arguably reflects more confidence on the RBA’s part that the current spike in global inflationary pressure is transient,” AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said.
However, Dr Lowe remained fairly upbeat about the economic outlook beyond the current spate of lockdowns in the nation’s two largest states - NSW and Victoria.
“This setback to the economic expansion in Australia is expected to be only temporary. As vaccination rates increase further and restrictions are eased, the economy is expected to bounce back.”
Dr Lowe also gave little away about what the banking regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, may introduce to take the heat out of the housing market.
He said housing prices are continuing to rise, although turnover in some markets has declined following the virus outbreak.
“In this environment, it is important that lending standards are maintained and that loan serviceability buffers are appropriate.”
These are heady times for staunch #federalicacnow advocates, so it is worth checking in on the reality of how the NSW model actually stacks up against the federal model:
I love a sunburnt country, a land of jabbed-up arms.
The federal health minister, Greg Hunt, has called on the Queensland government to explain how linking the reopening of its borders to hospital funding is “within the law and spirit” of public health orders.
Hunt’s questioning of Queensland’s border ban on Tuesday marks a significant escalation in hostilities between Canberra and the states over hospital funding.
The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, has rejected commonwealth claims she is engaged in “shakedown politics”, noting all states and territories have sought extra cash.
The full story is here:
Dan Andrews wants Victorians to be just like Mike Tyson and jab their way out of trouble (do not under any circumstances resort to ear chewing).
AAP have filed a report on the Covid survivor who fronted up to the Victorian press conference today:
Will Smith was a top-level college athlete in the United States when the young Victorian man was struck down with Covid-19.
The 24-year-old fell ill in March 2020 after returning to Melbourne from Boston, where he had spent four years on Northeastern University’s rowing team.
“It doesn’t matter how young you are, it doesn’t matter how fit you are, it doesn’t matter how indestructible you feel - Covid can still hit you,” Smith said.
“The feeling of straining against your own body, trying to expand your lungs against this invisible force, struggling to breathe.”
Smith is still grappling with the long-term effects more than 18 months after contracting the virus.
“Months after my diagnosis I still couldn’t walk around the block without getting light-headed, needing to lie down, struggling to breathe. I had such debilitating fatigue that I sometimes couldn’t even get out of bed.”
As Victoria aims to hit 80% double-vaccination for those aged over 16 by early November, Smith is urging more Victorians to roll up their sleeves.
“You don’t have to be on a ventilator to have your life turned upside down for months, or maybe even years,” he said.
Another Covid survivor, 49-year-old Kim Hanrahan, spent six days in intensive care in July last year.
“My lungs had collapsed and I had required a constant flow of oxygen,” she said.
“Covid also stripped me of my dignity, unable to go to the bathroom or wash myself. I had to rely on the amazing kindness of the ICU nurses, who cared for me at their own risk.”
“Fourteen months later and I feel like I’ve aged 10 years.”
“I feel a lesser version of myself due to this horrible, debilitating disease.”
Her message to Victorians, like Smith’s, is simple: get vaccinated.
“Don’t play Russian roulette with your health or of those you love,” she said.
The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service has sharply criticised the handling of Covid-19 in the state’s prison system.
There are now 36 prisoners across at least five sites with the virus.
In a statement, the legal service said it had repeatedly advised the Andrews government that its policies for managing outbreaks in prisons were not going to be effective.
Andreea Lachsz, the head of policy, communications and strategy, said:
The Andrews government talks a lot about following expert advice, but they have ignored VALS and experts from across the world about managing outbreaks in Victoria’s prisons.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more vulnerable to Covid and are less likely to get appropriate health care in prison.
We are concerned about the lack of transparency by Corrections Victoria. When there were outbreaks in other high-risk settings, such as aged care facilities, the public were given much more detail about those outbreaks on a daily basis.
People in prison have a right to equitable healthcare. Denying people in prison appropriate health care risks a surge of infections resulting in either long-term complications or deaths in custody. It also risks a larger Covid outbreak in the Victorian community, given the daily movement of large numbers of staff in and out of prisons.
As of 1 October, 73% of adults in public and private prisons had received their first dose of vaccine, and 52% were fully vaccinated, AAP reported.
Guardian Australia reported earlier this year that despite prison workers and inmates being in phase 1B of the federal government’s rollout, meaning they had been eligible since March, Victorian facilities did not introduce a vaccination program until June.
Paul Toole will contest NSW Nationals leadership
Paul Toole has thrown his hat in the ring to replace outgoing NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro, saying his three years as deputy make him the best choice for the job, AAP reports.
The NSW government will have an entirely fresh leadership team by Wednesday, after Deputy Premier Barilaro announced on Monday he was following Gladys Berejiklian out the door.
Dominic Perrottet has emerged as the state’s new premier, after a Liberal party-room vote on Tuesday, while the Nationals will appoint their new leader on Wednesday.
Water Minister Melinda Pavey was the first to put her hand up for the job on Monday, but Mr Toole is also eyeing a promotion.
After taking 24 hours to consider his position and talk to colleagues, the Bathurst MP on Tuesday announced he wants the top job.
“This is a time where we need a strong and stable leadership (as) we are coming out of a pandemic,” he said.
He talked up his credentials as deputy party leader, and pointed to his track record of working with the incoming premier in crisis cabinet and other committees.
When announcing his surprise decision to step down, Mr Barilaro said NSW would be best served by someone who had the passion and fight to forge on.
“I just don’t have the energy anymore,” Mr Barilaro told reporters on Monday.
Seven Covid cases are now linked to the violent protest at the CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne last month.
SA Health have identified a new exposure site in Mount Gambier, in the state’s south-east.
This is about 20 hours old but as it will remain bizarre in perpetuity I am posting it. A Gladys Berejiklian fan compares her resignation to the death of Princess Diana:
Dozens of Covid cases in Victoria's prison system
Victoria’s prison system is battling an increasing number of Covid cases, AAP reports:
Dozens of Victorian prisoners and staff are battling Covid-19 as the state’s worsening outbreak leaks into jails.
Corrections Victoria says 36 prisoners and 15 staff are among the more than 14,000 active cases in the state.
Of the infected prisoners, 16 are at the Melbourne Assessment Prison, 11 at the Metropolitan Remand Centre, five at the Ravenhall Correctional Centre, three at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and one at Port Phillip Prison.
The five Covid-positive prisoners at Ravenhall were in the general prison population.
“One has been managed under quarantine arrangements since developing COVID-19 symptoms while in the general prison population on 25 September 2021, and has now been moved to the prison’s isolation unit,” Corrections Victoria said on Tuesday.
“The other four prisoners returned positive results as part of extensive surveillance testing of prisoners and staff, and are now in isolation.”
All new Victorian prisoners are tested and required to spend 14 days in protective quarantine, regardless of their Covid-19 risk.
Prisoner movement at the Dame Phyllis and Port Phillip prisons has been restricted while contact tracing takes place, and all in-person visits to Victorian jails are suspended.
My colleague Josh Taylor can explain to you what happened with Facebook earlier today:
Here’s a video of the Victorian Covid update today, if you missed it earlier:
Dominic Perrottet sworn in as NSW premier
Dominic Perrottet has just been sworn in as premier of New South Wales by the state’s governor, Margaret Beazley.
Stuart Ayres will be sworn as the deputy leader of the NSW Liberals shortly, as will the man replacing Perrottet as NSW treasurer, Matt Kean.
I missed this earlier, but it seems very much like another jurisdiction is hoisting the Covid normal banner and quietly packing away its Covid zero one (following on from NSW, Victoria, New Zealand).
The Victorian Greens want nurses in the state paid bonuses over the next six months for the hard graft they’re putting in dealing with a record number of Covid cases.
Tasmanian health authorities have identified 17 primary close contacts of a Covid-positive Launceston teenager and say the likelihood of further cases is “quite high”, the ABC reports.
New Zealanders are grieving for the end of the country’s Covid elimination strategy and anxious about what the future holds, a day after the prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced the country would switch to a suppression approach.
“It’s kind of a grieving for what we are losing,” said microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles, one of the pandemic response’s most prominent science communicators. “We are very clearly losing alert level one, and the freedoms and privileges that come with [it].”
Read the full story here:
I am saddened that I have now lost three birds, but I will regroup behind the ground parrot.
Frydenberg in isolation after staff member tests positive for Covid
The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has just released a statement saying he is in isolation after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19. He has received a negative result, but says he is remaining in isolation until further notice.
The Hillsong founder Brian Houston will plead not guilty to charges alleging he concealed child sexual abuse by his late father in the 1970s.
The megachurch founder did not appear during a first mention of the case at Sydney’s Downing Centre local court on Tuesday morning.
Houston’s lawyer told the court Houston would plead not guilty.
Read our full report here:
Masks still compulsory for statues.
The Greens are going to try to force the House to debate its federal integrity bill when parliament next sits (mid-October), given it passed the Senate more than two years ago.
Labor, the Greens and a crossbench coalition have been trying to get the government to bring on a debate about establishing a federal Icac since the election. So far, the government has not budged. And given Scott Morrison’s and Barnaby Joyce’s most recent comments on a federal Icac model, it is unlikely to.
Still, Senator Larissa Waters says it is beyond time for the parliament to debate the matter:
The PM’s comments this morning that the NSW Icac assumes guilt before an investigation are patently wrong and are designed to justify his pathetically weak proposal for a toothless body that wouldn’t have applied to or stopped many of the scandals we’ve seen plaguing his government.
By contrast, the Greens’ bill to establish a strong, independent, effective national integrity commission allows for public hearings, retrospectivity and the ability to investigate anonymous tip-offs, balanced with appropriate safeguards and privacy provisions.
It passed the Senate more than two years ago – the PM just needs to bring it on for debate in the House and the Australian people could have a federal anti-corruption body in place by Christmas.
When parliament resumes, the Greens will attempt to force the PM’s hand by moving a concurrence motion, compelling the government to bring on my national integrity commission bill in the House of Representatives.
The PM needs to listen to the Australian people and get this done.
Thank you Matilda. Another shift that gets you even closer to the blogging hall of fame.
With that absolutely JUMBO day, I will hand you over to the fantastic Nino Bucci.
Stay safe everyone!
The Morrison government has been accused of demonstrating it is not taking the climate crisis seriously after approving a third new coalmine development in a month shortly before a major international conference on the issue.
With global climate talks in Glasgow less than four weeks away, the environment minister, Sussan Ley, has given a subsidiary of the mining giant Glencore the green light to expand the Mangoola mine near Muswellbrook.
It means the company can create a new coal pit north of an existing mine to extract of an additional 52m tonnes of the fossil fuel over eight years.
The mine had been approved by the NSW Independent Planning Commission in April, less than a month before a state byelection in the Upper Hunter in which the future of the coal industry was a prominent issue.
You can read the full report below:
The Victorian press conference has ended on a sombre note (yes, it’s only just ended), as 24-year-old Will breaks down the struggle, and uncertainty, of living with long Covid.
Did they give you any indication as to how long this might be your reality for?
Well, I think in March last year when I first got it, you know, the nurses said you should be fine in two weeks. And then I called them in two weeks and they said – right, we should expect it to be next month. Next month ... you know.
The reality is that I don’t think that we know. On the one hand, that’s really scary because it could be indefinite. I’m trying to be positive and hope that there has been a slightly positive trend over time and there’s no reason that that can’t continue.
But I think that we don’t know, and there’s more and more data and evidence and anecdotes coming out every day about how it affects different people for longer periods of time. But I haven’t been given any indication of when it will stop. I don’t know when that will be. I hope that it is soon.
And as if Melbourne wasn’t going through enough, now the skyscrapers are falling apart.
Ummm ... so this is happening across the pond. Crowds gathering outside the office of the consulate general of Australia in New York to protest.
They were shouting “save Australia”, despite the state of New York recording more than 55,000 Covid-19 deaths compared to the entirety of Australia only recording 1,346.
Victoria’s Covid response deputy secretary, Kate Matson, is asked about the elephant in the room – on a day of more than 1,700 cases, with more than 38,000 primary close contacts, tier 2 exposure sites will no longer be listed on the health department’s website.
The premier said before that our contact tracing is at this stage keeping up. But if we’re relying on people to contact their own close contacts, how is that us keeping up?
As the public health risk changes, the process needs to change ... We’ re no longer going for Covid zero. When we were ... a few months ago in the outbreak ... we would take a really risk averse approach to exposure site management, contact management, etc.
So we have changed in the values to deal with the highest risk and that is obviously on primary close contacts and tier one exposure sites ... we are focusing on the highest risk of transmission and the most sensitive settings, so we will never lose focus on our most sensitive setting, be it schools, as they go back, or aged care facilities or healthcare facilities.
The new NSW premier says he doesn’t expect any more MPs to leave the state parliament.
Can you guarantee your colleagues that no more will resign from parliament?
I’ve had a great opportunity – like others – to speak to many colleagues over what has been a very difficult weekend for many.
There is strong commitment from colleagues that I wouldn’t expect there to be any more, no.
OK back to Perrottet, who has been asked if he has spoken to the prime minister since he has been appointed NSW premier. It’s worth noting that he has had a fairly rocky relationship with Scott Morrison, publicly criticising the commonwealth government and demanding they bring back jobkeeper during the early days of the Sydney lockdown.
Look, I have a very constructive relationship with the prime minister. I haven’t spoken to him today, but I will.
I’ve known Scott for many years in the Liberal party. But I don’t see why there could be seen to be an issue if you have a disagreement. Disagreement is good. You want a passionate prime minister. You want a passionate premier.
You want passionate treasurers, those who will stand up and fight for their state. And that means, from time to time, you’re not always going to agree. But once you’ve had those discussions, you move on.
Scott’s a passionate guy. And that will, from time to time, lead to disagreements. But disagreements aren’t necessarily a bad thing in their own way.
Have you spoken to Gladys Berejiklian since you’ve been voted in?
I haven’t had the chance yet. She messaged me yesterday in relation to wishing me well, and also to pass on to the party room a message, which I don’t want to go into, but which I did today.
OK, remember how I said that Stuart Ayres’s partner is in quarantine?
I have just been informed that, in fact, his partner is the federal minister for foreign affairs Marise Payne, and she is in quarantine because she has just come back from the US!
Talk about a western Sydney power couple!
The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, is asked whether the recent CFMEU protests have been superspreader events.
There has been a significant uptick in cases in the past week in Victoria.
Andrews says it would be hard to know, in part due to the fact anti-vaxxers probably aren’t pro-testing either:
If that was the case, it would be somewhat challenging to work out. All I can apply is either facts that I’m briefed and I don’t have a briefing today about any patterns ... what I would also say, though, just commonsense tells me that if you’re protesting and you don’t believe that this virus is real, then you’re probably not going to go and get tested. And if you do go and get tested, you may not necessarily participate in the contact tracing process.
I’m not saying that that is an absolute, but that’s what logic tells me. I just encourage everybody to go and get the jab. Get vaccinated.
More baby questions for Perrottet. (It is a feminist catharsis for me to see male politicians asked these questions.)
Can you speak to the sacrifices? You might not be able to coach basketball on the weekends anymore. They might be moments you miss.
I have not had those conversations.
Will it be worth it?
The opportunity and be privileged to serve the people of the state is enormous. If I did not believe that I could make the difference to improve the lives of every person in this state then I would not be standing up here today.
They are decisions that you contemplate, you speak to your family about. Yes, they will be challenges, I know, with that, and perhaps, disappointments of things, other family events and the time that I may not have, but that will drive me, even more, to make sure that every single hour of my day, when I am at work, is dedicated to the improvement of the lives of every person across the state.
Surge in cases won't delay Victoria's reopening, premier says
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews says Victoria is still on track for eased restrictions from late October, despite surging case numbers.
He says Victoria is still on track, if not ahead of schedule, to meet its October and November vaccination targets.
Victoria has recorded a national record for daily case numbers on Tuesday, with 1,763 new cases.
At this stage, I’ve got no advice [that] I would have to alter anything on the roadmap; I want to try and give people as much freedom as fast as I can, as [safely] as possible.
But I don’t have any advice that sees us having to alter that.
He says today’s increase in case numbers is “very serious” and claims illegal household visits are contributing to high numbers.
Then we can open up, it’s only a few weeks away, so we’ve just got to see this through.
We’ve got to get those vaccination numbers and the protection that comes with that to the highest level we can, and it’s 70 and 80 [%].
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is asked about reports today Yarra council in inner city Melbourne wants to charge businesses up to $5,000 a year for every car park used for outdoor dining.
Andrews says he “looks forward to them defending that to their ratepayers”:
I’ll leave them to defend that. I don’t know that they’ve necessarily done that.
So that is a matter for them. I would answer your question this way. We’re not doing that. We’re doing the opposite. We’re providing substantial grants to restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs, to move outside and to have the best experience for their patrons that they possibly can.
And the reason for that is that you are at dramatically less risk of spreading this if you are outside in the open air. We’ll have more to say quite soon about some further support for that outdoor economy to operate as safely as it possibly can once we get past 70%.
Let’s talk about the babies. Perrottet’s many babies, that is.
You said you were going to be the first premier of families. If you were a female leader, you would be asked how you can manage being premier and also a parent of six children, so I think it is fair to ask you that today. What do you think?
Well, it is demanding. I mean, being a father, like being a mother, when you have got family commitments, balancing work and family life is a challenge for every single person right across the state.
Ultimately, I think what I might lose in time I gain in perspective*, and everyone has the attributes, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and I am no different to that, but one thing I do know is that I have a very strong team around me.
I have a strong family and I have a strong ministerial team who will ensure that our focus is on the people of NSW, and that we come out stronger on the other side. And we’re going to take our state from good to great.
And, yes, I have family commitments, but that should not disqualify one from the job. I think it enriches you. It gives you different perspective, and with all the different ministers in the team, I think we set ourselves up to make a real difference to the people of our state.
* A line only a male politician could pull off.
No new cases in Tasmania but Launceston told to be on 'high alert'
Residents in the north of Launceston are being asked to remain on high alert for Covid symptoms and 19 close contacts are in quarantine after a positive case in the city.
Acting premier Jeremy Rockliff said no new cases of the Delta strain had been picked up yet but residents needed to be cautious.
It comes after a 15-year-old Tasmanian boy who tested positive for Covid-19 visited an LGA in Launceston with his cousin on Sunday afternoon, breaching home quarantine requirements.
Whilst the pair were only at the shop for a few minutes, we have declared the IGA as an exposure site.
The boy was not wearing a mask during his visit and people who visited the venue on 113 George Town Road between 2.20 pm and 2.45 pm on Saturday have been asked to get tested and isolated.
There are 17 primary close contacts and 35 casual contacts related to the case. All 17 close contacts are in quarantine and nine have returned negative test results and the others are pending.
Health authorities warned it could be the middle of October until they know if the close and casual contacts have been infected.
It is important we monitor the community now for any signs of Covid.
Testing hours have been extended at the Launceston clinic.
Perrottet has been asked about his conservative views and how his Catholic faith will affect the way he runs the state. (He is fairly well known for voting against the decriminalisation of abortion when the bill passed two years ago.)
My religious views and my Christian faith is something I am incredibly proud of, as many people across our state are. That is something that is personal to me and personal to many people, and I think that is incredibly important.
We live in a very diverse society. I think some of the criticism in relation to that diversity has been unfounded and I am proud to live – and I love our state and I’d love the diversity* and the multicultural backgrounds and the religious backgrounds – diversity should be celebrated. It should not be criticised.
People should judge people on who they are and what they say, not based on some, not based on some religious element, and I am very proud of the fact that I have a strong Christian faith.
Does that in any way take away my capacity to serve as premier? Well, I do not think so, and I think it is a sad thing that some people do, but I think people right across our state, in the main, believe in freedom of religion and freedom of the opportunity to serve in public life regardless of what your ethnic background is, what your religious values are.
* He has labelled his Catholic faith in terms of diversity. It’s worth noting that, as of the 2016 census, 22% of the Australian population is Catholic, the largest religious group, second only to “no religion”.
ACT records 33 new local Covid-19 cases
The ACT numbers are in, and they aren’t great. The territory have recorded 33 local Covid-19 cases. Twenty-eight are linked but only six were in quarantine for their entire infectious period.
Perrottet has confirmed that environment minister Matt Kean will become the new treasurer (which is understood to be a key element of the deal the right of the party made with the moderates to get their man Dom in the top job).
Hazzard will remain as health minister.
Perrottet did not yet have an answer on who will take over the transport portfolio now that Andrew Constance is too cool for state politics and is heading for Canberra instead.
And here is the new deputy Liberal leader (not to be mistaken with the deputy premier, who will be the Nationals leader), Stuart Ayres.
And oh my Lord, his partner has been in quarantine while all of this has been going on!
First and foremost, I would really like to acknowledge and thank my family, my parents, Gary and Leslie, my brother John, for their unwavering support over my time as a member of Parliament and the work that I have done right across western Sydney. To Marise [Payne], who is currently in isolation, what a time to be doing quarantine. Thank you for being a rock during this period of time and this transition.
I also want to say a very big thank you to all of the people of Penrith. Yes, our football team won and we have a lot to celebrate and I would not be here today without your commitment and my passion for this community knows no bounds.
Dominic Perrottet will be an outstanding premiere of NSW. He knows how to do the heavy lifting. He knows that you run a budget. This is a team that is focused on everyone across the state. We have been through immense challenges whether it is the city, the coast, the suburbs or the bush, will be focused on the people of NSW, we will come out of this pandemic stronger than ever before and we will get people back in work.
Perrottet says there will be no cabinet reshuffle until the government is through the current reopening.
He also says that as well as being an “infrastructure premier” he will be a “family premier”. His focus, he says, will be”on how we can make life better for working families, living the Liberal values of opportunity, aspiration and hard work”.
Perrottet will 'continue the plan' for reopening that Berejiklian started
One of the big questions now that pro-business Perrottet is leading the state is, of course, will the new premier stick to Berejiklian’s Covid-19 reopening plan, or throw open the floodgates early?
He says that he will continue the reopening process that Berejiklian started.
Now, while there are still more challenging days to come, there is light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to the way that everyone across our state has responded.
We want NSW to bounce back stronger, safer and more successful than ever before, to get back to the life that we love and the freedoms that we hold dear.
As a former treasurer, I know that a strong society needs a strong economy, and that is why our first priority will be to continue the plan that we have started: keeping people safe, opening up the economy and securing our recovery.
The new NSW premier, Dominic Perrottet, is speaking now in his first press conference as leader of the state.
He has started by publicly stating his support for embattled Gladys Berejiklian as she officially resigns as premier and prepares to go before Icac.
I want to acknowledge that the events of the last few days have been difficult and I think we all understand why.
Unexpected change can bring uncertainty and, sometimes, many, they can feel unsettling. But as hard as it may be, we all have a duty as a state to keep going.
Today begins a new chapter for New South Wales, and one that we will all write together. I am honoured that my colleagues have asked me to write that chapter as premier, and I thank them for the confidence that they have put in me.
The first thing I want to do today is to acknowledge my predecessor and pay tribute to her, Gladys Berejiklian, whose strong and steady leadership has seen us through so many difficult challenges. Everyone would agree that her hard work, tireless dedication and total commitment to her job was second to none. She has been an inspiring role model for many, especially women and migrant communities, and that is just one of the reasons why I believe there has been such an outpouring of support over the last few days.
NSW has recorded 608 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 and another seven people have died, as schooling and elective surgery resumes in some areas.
The daily case numbers are the lowest since August and it is the fourth day in a row with fewer than 700 cases, reports AAP.
But NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty said in today’s update, there had also been “slight decline” in testing numbers.
We really encourage people to come forward for testing as we get closer to more people getting vaccinated in the community.
It is really important we all maintain our vigilance for symptoms and come forward for testing so we don’t miss cases.
There were 85,642 Covid-19 tests reported to 8pm on Monday.
Six men and one woman with Covid-19 have died, bringing the toll for the current outbreak to 385 deaths.
Five of the people who died were not vaccinated while two had received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
There are 978 people in hospital with Covid-19 in NSW, with 190 in intensive care, and 94 on ventilators.
Queensland’s current CHO has credited Hajkowicz, who will take over her role from 1 November, for the state only recording seven deaths from Covid-19 throughout the pandemic.
Every single one of those deaths, I regretted, and we all regret it, but at least it wasn’t more. That was due to the work that he’s done.
New Zealand reports 24 new local Covid-19 cases
New Zealand has announced 24 new community cases of Covid 19 today – 18 in Auckland and six in Waikato.
That brings its total outbreak to 1,381. Seven of today’s 24 cases are still unlinked, with health authorities investigating to try and trace them back to existing cases. The country has 32 people hospitalised and seven in ICU.
The cases come a day after the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced a loosening of restrictions in Auckland, the centre of the outbreak: first by allowing outdoor gathering and returning young children to school, and with plans to reopen hospitality and retail businesses in the coming weeks.
Ardern announced today that the country would also be introducing vaccine certificates for large-scale events – and warned those hoping to go to summer festivals that they would need to get vaccinated now. She said the government was also looking at whether to make those certificates compulsory for restaurants, cafes and bars too.
Victoria’s transport minister, Jacinta Allan, fronted the media this morning alongside major infrastructure authority boss Corey Hannett as construction resumes for around 10,000 workers across the state.
Most sites will return at 25% capacity today, while some critical projects will be at full capacity after a two-week hiatus over Covid-19 non-compliance.
Allan and Hannett were unable to confirm exactly how many workers had been vaccinated since the mandate was introduced, but said of 2,000 workers returning to Metro Tunnel sites, 99% had been vaccinated and 95% of workers at level crossing sites were vaccinated.
Construction companies require an updated Covid-safe plan to operate, and all workers must have had at least one vaccine dose.
A massive effort has gone into getting the 18,000 strong Big Build workforce vaccinated and project sites ready to return to work in compliance with new construction public health orders ... to stay open and continue to hit those roadmap targets, we do need each and every worksite to be Covid-safe, to comply with the rules.
Queensland introduces new chief health officer
Queensland is welcoming in a new chief health officer who will take over from Dr Jeannette Young when she takes over her new role of the governor of Queensland (what a promotion!)
Dr Krispin Hajkowicz will take over the role, who has played a large role in Queensland’s Covid-19 management over the past 18 months.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the woman who tested positive went straight into hotel quarantine on arrival
Luckily, as Victoria is a red zone, everyone else on her flight, Q562, was also headed straight into isolation.
Queensland records two local Covid-19 cases
OK jumping across the Queensland now (lots of presser on right now).
Queensland has recorded two new locally acquired cases.
One is a three-year-old girl, a household contact in the aviation cluster.
The second is a 19-year-old woman who arrived on a flight from Victoria.
I’m also pleased today to be able to announce that round one of the vaccination enhancement grants program for those priority local government areas in Melbourne have been finalised.
These are the GP and community pharmacy grants to allow them to employ more staff, expand their hours, rent additional space, fill out additional space. Ultimately, they’re grants that allow them to get more jabs in more arms than would otherwise be the case. Round one has now been finalised.
There are 300 GPs and community pharmacists who will be sharing in that $1.5m in additional support. It’s common sense.
It’s absolutely about doing those very practical, very local things that can make a big difference to the number of people who are moving through those settings.
Victoria's Latrobe Valley will emerge from lockdown from midnight
Andrews says the Latrobe City LGA, a region in Gippsland encompassing the regional city of Traralgon, will come out of its seven-day lockdown from midnight tonight, despite some new cases being recorded in the region today.
I’m very pleased to be able to inform you, and particularly the people of Latrobe city, that their seven-day lockdown will end at midnight tonight. There are some new cases in Latrobe today.
Deputy secretary Kate Mattson can speak to those in a moment, but we feel we have a good understanding of that outbreak, and we can move Latrobe to the regional Victorian settings from midnight tonight. I’m very grateful to everybody across Latrobe city for the contribution they’ve made.
Here is the full, official statement from Rob Stokes, who has just lost his bid to become NSW premier.
Our party room has made their choice, and made it emphatically.
I’d like to congratulate my great friend Dom Perrottet on being chosen as our new leader and becoming the NSW premier.
Dom has proven himself as an outstanding treasurer and will be a great premier. He has my full support.
The community now rightfully expect us to get on with the job we were elected to do and ensure that we recover from the pandemic and regain our freedom.
As you would recall, we received more than 100,000 somewhat unexpected Moderna doses from the commonwealth. We’re grateful to have them. And those appointments are now open.
Please – there’s no shortage of appointments available right now.
We’re beyond that kind of supply constraint phase. We’re now into a phase where there are appointments. You can go to more than 55 state hubs. You can go to hundreds and hundreds of community pharmacies. You can go and see your trusted GP and access those vaccines.
83.2% of those over 16 have now received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, 53% have now received a second dose.
Those numbers continue to steadily climb, and we’re very grateful to everybody who’s playing their part as we look to get as many Victorians vaccinated as possible.
The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, is giving details of the four Covid-19 infected people who died in the last day.
I regret to report that four Victorians have lost their lives with Covid-19 – a man in his 80s from Whittlesea, a woman in her 70s from Hume, a man in his 60s from Whitehorse, and a woman in her 60s from Banyule.
We extend our deepest sympathies and our condolences to the friends and family of those four Victorians. This will be a very challenging and difficult time for them.
517 people are currently in hospital with Covid-19. 101 of those are in intensive care. 66 are on a ventilator. Of the people in hospital yesterday, 66% were unvaccinated. 28% had one dose. Just 6% were fully vaccinated.
NSW records 608 Covid-19 cases and seven deaths
The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, is speaking now.
Reproductive rights organisation Marie Stopes Australia have released a statement urging the new NSW premier to publically commit to not changing or rolling back any abortion care laws.
The conservative Catholic politician voted against decriminalising access to abortion in NSW, when the law was passed two years ago.
Managing director Jamal Hakim said:
I want to extend my congratulations to the incoming NSW premier, Dominic Perrottet on his elevation to the role.
It is critical abortion care services are not restricted under his leadership.
We do not want to see NSW move backwards in relation to sexual and reproductive healthcare provision in the state, particularly in relation to abortion care. We have fought for too long to have this human right put in jeopardy once again.
Abortion access in NSW is a postcode lottery and funding still needs to be embedded to provide abortion care services, particularly for women and pregnant people in the regions.
Premier Perrottet must commit to making no changes that would see abortion care wound back or restricted during his term.
We are expecting to hear from the Victorian leaders in about 15 minutes, after recording the highest ever single day of cases for any state in Australia.
And here is the health minister, Brad Hazzard:
I welcome the new premier and he’ll do a great job looking after the people in New South Wales.
What happens is we have a premier who will make sure the citizens of the state are looked after. I look forward to that.
And here is the defeated Rob Stokes, who is taking his loss pretty gracefully.
The party room had a democratic vote. I always said I would give people a choice. They have chosen emphatically, democracy is the winner.
Dominic Perrottet will be a magnificent premier and he has my undivided loyalty and support. And I will use every ounce of strength in my body to make sure that he is re-elected as premier in NSW when we go to the polls in 2023.
OK, the people are coming out of the room! Time to hear from the new premier of NSW, Dominic Perrottet.
It’s an honour and absolute privilege to be elected as the parliamentary leader of the Liberal party, the premier of NSW. Alongside my deputy leader, Stuart Ayres.
I really appreciate the trust my colleagues have put in me today, and we’ll have more to say a bit later in about an hour’s time. Thanks.
Dominic Perrottet will be the new premier of NSW
The Liberal party whip, Adam Crouch, has just announced the results of the NSW Liberal party room vote.
As expected, Stuart Ayres will be deputy.
Good morning everyone, as the government whip I can confirm that the New South Wales parliamentary Liberal party have met this morning to fill a vacancy for leader.
A ballot has been held and I can declare that the honourable Dominic Perrottet has been elected to the leadership position of the NSW Liberal parliamentary party and I can also confirm that the deputy position has been awarded to the honourable Stuart Ayres. Thank you all.
Nine news is reporting that Perrottet has won the vote 39 to 5:
Scott Morrison has fuelled suggestions Gladys Berejiklian could move to federal politics or be given a governmental appointment, saying she has “a lot more to contribute” and can choose “what she wants to do next”.
Despite that encouragement, the prime minister also tempered expectations by noting that the former New South Wales premier would have to “deal with the issues before her”, in reference to mid-October hearings before the state’s Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Berejiklian stood down as premier on Friday and quit parliament after Icac revealed it was investigating whether she had been involved in “a breach of public trust” between 2012 and 2018 because of her relationship with the former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.
On Monday Guardian Australia revealed that Berejiklian has been approached by senior Liberals in NSW to run for the federal seat of Warringah against the independent Zali Steggall, who won the normally blue-ribbon seat from Tony Abbott.
You can read the full report below:
Nine news is reporting that NSW Liberal MP Ray Willians has had two inconclusive rapid Covid-19 tests and must now go for a PRC swab.
He will however still be able to vote remotely for the new party leader.
By the way, we will be hearing from the Queensland premier at 10am AEST, 11am ADST.
The state had an unlinked case yesterday, although as the person was double vaccinated and hadn’t appeared to transmit the virus to any of their close contacts the state was not plunged into lockdown.
It will be interesting to see how things have panned out with increased testing overnight.
A reminder that when it comes to the bird of the year competition this blog is not a non-partisan, unbiased source. We are FIRMLY team pelican and you should go vote for the majestic creature right now!
Voting is beginning any moment in the NSW Liberal party room for their new leader, and therefore the new state premier. I’ll bring you all the updates as soon as I can.
The body of a man who went missing while swimming at a beach in Sydney’s north has been found, reports AAP.
Emergency services were called to Obelisk Beach off Chowder Bay Road, Middle Head, just after 5pm on Monday following reports a swimmer had not resurfaced.
A group of people were swimming out to a yacht anchored off the beach when the man, 38, disappeared underwater, NSW police said.
Officers from the Marine Area Command attended and conducted a search with the help of PolAir, Marine Rescue and NSW Maritime.
Police divers found his body about 8.20pm and he is yet to be formally identified.
South Australia records no new Covid-19 cases overnight
South Australia’s chief health officer, Nicola Spurrier, told ABC radio in Adelaide this morning that there have been no new Covid-19 cases overnight.
Tough new restrictions were introduced for Mount Gambier and two other council areas in South Australia yesterday after a woman in her 40s tested positive to Covid-19. It is believed she spent time in Victoria.
The restrictions came into place from 4pm and are expected to be in force for at least seven days.
Areas affected include Mount Gambier city, the district council of Grant and Wattle Range council in the state’s south-east.
Prime minister accuses Queensland of trying to extort hospital funding
The prime minister has accused Queensland of using Covid-19 to “extort” more money for public hospitals, reports AAP.
Hospitals are jointly funded by state and federal government, but deputy premier Steven Miles says the commonwealth has artificially capped spending growth at 6.5%, which could prevent hospitals from being able to meet demand when the state reopens.
Prime minister Scott Morrison says there is already enough federal funding for Queensland hospitals, and premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is trying to use state border closures to “extort” more cash.
He told Nine’s Today program today:
She has to take that up with the Queensland people then. I mean, to go down this point and say: ‘Well, you know, I’m going to hold the federal government to ransom and seek to extort from them money on the basis of Covid’, I just don’t think is the right way to go.
The commonwealth had contributed to half the cost of propping up state and territory health systems against Covid-19, Mr Morrison said, a commitment which totalled about $30 billion nationwide.
Of course there are challenges but as a state government, they’ve got to be responsible for their state health system.
NSW is getting on with it, so are Victoria and the ACT, so Queensland needs to get on with it.
Miles said on Monday every state and territory had asked for extra support for hospitals to deal with Covid-19 and Queensland’s request was not unusual.
He said the 6.5% cap on federal spending growth was arbitrary as it did not take into account increased demand due to the pandemic.
The pandemic will clearly drive demand that is greater than that,” the deputy premier told reporters.
And given that our hospitals are funded as a partnership, we would like the federal government to increase their contribution to that partnership.
A reminder that we will be finding out the result of the NSW Liberal leadership vote at 10am, where it is likely treasurer Dominic Perrotett will be made the new premier of NSW.
Former senior judge Stephen Charles has criticised Barnaby Joyce for likening the New South Wales anti-corruption watchdog to the “Spanish Inquisition”, saying the deputy prime minister’s comments were “very silly” and showed the federal government had no desire to be held accountable for its own integrity failings.
Joyce led the attacks on the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (Icac) on Monday, arguing it was working “very, very badly”.
This is not the great righteous process, it’s a little bit Spanish Inquisition. We elect politicians, not bureaucrats. People should be the final arbiter ... The bureaucracy reigns supreme here and politicians are basically terrified to do their job.
Joyce was supported by fellow National Matt Canavan, who said he agreed “with that sentiment”. The attacks on the commission follow earlier criticisms by former federal attorney general Philip Ruddock and the current NSW health minister, Brad Hazzard.
You can read the full report below:
And just like that, we have to extend how far up the graph goes.
Here is today’s Covid-19 number on the Victoria infection graph.
Australia has secured 300,000 courses of molnupiravir, an antiviral capsule to treat Covid-19 that could be in use by early 2022.
The Morrison government has struck a supply agreement with MSD to provide the oral treatment if it is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Molnupiravir has been shown to prevent hospitalisation, serious illness and death in Covid patients, although it is still in late-stage clinical trials.
It is one of a number of treatments that can make the virus less severe, along with sotrovimab and remdesivir, which are already in use. Health authorities stress vaccination is still the most effective tool for preventing severe illness.
You can read the full story below:
Speaking of! It seems that Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are back in business. Well for me at least.
As Australians are waking up this morning, Facebook is still down across the entire world.
The outage is not just affecting Facebook, but other Facebook-owned properties including Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
The simplest way to describe what is happening is that Facebook pushed out an update that is supposed to tell the rest of the internet where to find Facebook’s servers, but effectively deleted all that information, meaning to the internet it looks like Facebook doesn’t exist at the moment.
Normally that is an easy fix, but as my colleague Alex Hern has been tweeting overnight, Facebook runs everything through its Facebook, from the sites itself to all the applications and internal infrastructure, so it prevents Facebook from sending a correction message, and even goes as far as locking Facebook employees out of the physical building, because their passes no longer work.
According to reports, Facebook has now sent a team over to its servers to manually reset them. So it might be a little while longer before you can return to Facebook or Instagram.
Oh and if that wasn’t enough, Victoria have had another earthquake.
Victoria records 1,763 new Covid-19 cases
The Victorian numbers are in and they are not good news.
The state has recorded Australia’s highest ever day of Covid cases, with 1,763 new infections.
This means Victoria’s peak is now higher than NSW.
'Up to the new premier to determine' whether NSW sticks to roadmap out of lockdown, Greg Hunt says
Now on to the whole NSW situation.
Host Lisa Millar:
What do you think the new New South Wales premier will do with the state’s roadmap out of lockdown?
So, all our advice and it will be up to the new premier to determine this, but all our advice is there’s a clear broad commitment to the roadmap right across the NSW government.
They’re at over 88% first vaccinations. They’re continuing to vaccinate at a higher rate. The cases are coming down. Obviously, no one is out of the woods anywhere yet. But we’re seeing the case numbers having more than halved in NSW and I hope the trend can continue as vaccinations are up, cases are down.
The public have done a herculean job as we know. I think there’s a strong clear commitment to that roadmap, to the process of protecting the state, protecting the people, but giving people their lives back and the capacity for families to meet for weddings and funerals and people to attend births and to meet with beautiful new grandchildren and to do all the things that underline our humanity.
So while all of this politics nonsense has been going on, the federal government has invested in a new antiviral pill that has the potential to help stop Covid-19 disease from progressing to its acute and life-threatening stages.
Health minister Greg Hunt has been out and about this morning spruiking the government’s purchase and is speaking with ABC News Breakfast now.
It is an important step forward. It’s molnupiravir, it’s made by Merck, and it’s an oral pill. The treatments we had until now have had to be done through hospital infusion.
We have purchased 300,000 courses. It’s provided to people early after diagnosis if they have risk factors of potentially progressing to hospitalisation.
It’s a five-day course, two pills a day. Critically the clinical trials show it reduces the risk of hospitalisation and death by half.
It doesn’t prevent Covid, it’s about treating it, and significantly reducing the risk so it’s a complement to vaccination. And these two things together are all part of the process of protecting Australians and saving lives, but also giving them the pathway back.
The New South Wales treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, has emerged as the man most likely to take over as the state’s premier following Gladys Berejiklian’s bombshell resignation last week.
The treasurer has been working hard on building a profile in recent months (perhaps in the hope of the premier’s job becoming vacant), but despite serving in the NSW government ministry since 2014, for many voters, Perrottet is a largely unknown quantity.
So who is the would-be premier of Australia’s largest state?
Find out below:
So now that Icac has felled the NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, attention has turned to the lack of a federal counterpart for the agency.
Some say this is proof that a federal Icac is absolutely essential, others say it’s proof that such an agency should never touch the hallowed halls of Canberra’s parliament house.
Prime minister Scott Morrison was asked about this while speaking to Sunrise this morning and he was clear that his government wouldn’t be considering the NSW Icac model.
Host David Koch:
New South Wales. It has put a lot of focus from the general public on Icac. Who are they, and who are they responsible to? Who reviews them? Does Icac need to be reformed?
It is certainly not a model we ever consider at a federal level, anything that has been on display for some time. You have got to have processes that assume people are innocent before they are thought to be guilty. That is a real problem. It is not a model we have ever contemplated going at a federal level.
We have a set of arrangements at a federal level that can be built upon, but certainly not going down that path, and I’m sure there are millions of people who are see what has happened to Gladys Berejiklian and understand that [it’s] a pretty good call not to follow that model.
Berejiklian could make a great prime minister if cleared by Icac, NSW transport minister says
Andrew Constance has given his former premier, Gladys Berejiklian, a massive plug on ABC radio this morning, stating that as long as she can get this whole Icac thing cleared up, she would make a fantastic prime minister.
Guardian Australia revealed yesterday that Berejiklian has been approached by senior Liberals to run for the federal seat of Warringah, with some federal MPs stating she was seriously considering the proposal.
Constance was asked this morning if he thought she should take up this opportunity.
Yeah, absolutely. I think if Glad can get cleared up – whatever these issues are, through the public hearing process – I think she’d be unreal.
You couldn’t have more hard-working, deeply principled Australian female politician* and Gladys Berejiklian so, yeah, if that if that’s an option, why not? ...
But do I think she’s got the capacity to be prime minister of Australia? You bet.
*Umm, mate, did you really need to say “female politician” here.
Outgoing NSW transport minister Andrew Constance is speaking to ABC radio now about his decision to resign from state politics in order to make a federal run.
Constance has defended his choice to leave as the party faces a tremulous leadership change, but said it “would’ve been ideal” for the deputy premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro to stick around until the waters calmed.
After 18-and-a-half years in state politics and 10-and-a-half years as a cabinet minister, with an incoming premier there’s going to always be a degree of change ...
Chris Minns is saying that it’s selfish [for Gladys Berejiklian to resign]. Chris Minns would do well to look around his own team to see who’s shopping their CVs.
Security agencies need stronger oversight: ANU paper
Australia’s national security apparatus has become “one of the most complex and sophisticated in the world” but oversight functions have not kept up, according to a paper published today.
Dr William A Stoltz, the senior adviser for public policy at the Australian National University’s national security college, believes the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) needs more support given the wide remit of its oversight work:
The PJCIS is now dealing with arguably the most complex and arcane aspects of government business, especially for members who have had limited previous exposure to law enforcement, security or intelligence issues.
For example, recently the committee has been simultaneously considering inquiries into extremism and radicalisation, foreign intelligence collection, access to telecommunications data, the listing of terrorist organisations, the security of critical infrastructure, criminal use of the dark web, oversight reforms, and agencies’ expenditure.
In the paper, Stoltz renews calls for the PJCIS to be given the power to commission the inspector-general of intelligence and security to undertake special reviews and investigations “so that parliament can gain access to operational insights on its own terms”. That would ensure that parliamentary representatives “receive more information about intelligence activities than what agencies tell them”. He also says PJCIS members’ staffers should be given high-level security clearances so they can better support MPs and senators to perform their oversight function.
Stoltz also proposes the appointment of a “minster for intelligence” to “improve the ability of cabinet to exercise informed, strategic leadership over Australia’s modern intelligence and security enterprise”.
This role would be performed by an assistant minister or a junior minister. They would not be responsible for approving specific intelligence collection activities, but would advise the cabinet’s national security committee and senior ministers on agency budgets, capabilities, and legislative reforms.
Good morning everyone, it’s Matilda Boseley here and we have a jam-packed Tuesday ahead.
First up, of course, we have the impending NSW Liberal leadership vote for the new premier taking place today, and it seems almost certain that treasurer Dominic Perrottet will be taking the top job.
Long touted as the premier-in-waiting, the treasurer struck a deal with his moderate colleagues over the weekend to make jobs minister Stuart Ayres his deputy and promote environment minister Matt Kean to treasurer if they backed him.
Former prime minister and Liberal party elder John Howard has also backed Perrottet, saying he is driven and reform-focused.
But planning minister Rob Stokes is refusing to back down, and the big question now is “what will he do if the vote doesn’t go his way”. Could this be the fourth byelection the Coalition must contend with out of this shakeup?
Down south in Victoria, tradies are starting up their tools as a two-week pause on construction is lifted across Melbourne and other locked-down areas.
Construction workers can return to worksites on Tuesday as long as they meet strict safeguards and have at least had their first coronavirus vaccination.
The industry-wide mandate, and other restrictions, sparked a protest outside the CFMEU’s Melbourne headquarters two weeks ago, causing the government to announce the sector would down tools for a fortnight-long reset.
The state’s chief health officer, Prof Brett Sutton, could not say what proportion of the industry is now vaccinated but said tens of thousands of workers have rolled up their sleeves and he was confident the industry had learned the “hard lesson” and reflected on compliance issues with masks and tearooms.
OK, with that, why don’t we jump into the day?