Australia news LIVE: Concerns over Victoria’s road map; outdoor restrictions ease for south-west Sydney
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- ‘Going to be very difficult’: Victorian business disappointed at slow road ahead
- This morning’s headlines at a glance
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‘Going to be very difficult’: Victorian business disappointed at slow road ahead
Victoria’s business lobby groups say they are bitterly disappointed at the prospect of several more weeks of shuttered outlets and billions of dollars more trade lost under the state government’s road map for re-opening.
Shop workers are bracing for an upsurge in customer aggression, according to the retail lobby, if they have to exclude unvaccinated customers and the Australian Retailers Association wants certainty on what expectations will be placed on businesses.
Steffan Tissa, owner of Bruger Cafe in Footscray says enforcing state government rules on vaccinated customers is going to be difficult.Credit:Wayne Taylor
The $12 billion events industry says it has been completely overlooked in the road map and the pubs lobby, the Australian Hotels Association, says it is “gutted” by Sunday’s announcement.
The association said the restrictions on patron numbers and the continued ban on indoor service left Victorian publicans behind their NSW counterparts who can open — outdoors and indoors — when 70 per cent of that state’s adults are double-dosed.
More on this story here.
Sydney schools to start staggered return on October 25
All schools in Greater Sydney will see a staggered return from October 25 as the NSW government moves to erase the COVID fault lines that have divided the city and angered local leaders and MPs in hotspots.
After weeks of criticism over a divided Sydney, 12 hotspot areas have today been given the same freedoms as the rest of the city in an attempt to ease simmering tensions in the south-west and western suburbs.
Gladys Berejiklian has offered residents of south-west Sydney greater freedoms.Credit:Edwina Pickles
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says from today, there will no longer be a time limit on outdoor exercise and people will be able to gather outside with five fully vaccinated adults in areas of concern.
Shopping can be done within local government areas, not just five kilometres from home, and people can attend a small wedding. A person’s singles bubble buddy can live in greater Sydney.
Read more about Sydney’s road map here.
Victorian hospitals will likely be overwhelmed, road map modelling shows
Modelling conducted for the Victorian government predicts its road map out of lockdown has a better than one-in-two chance of exceeding the state’s hospital and ICU capacity, and will lead to the deaths of between 1455 and 3152 people.
Avoiding such a scenario, if possible, will require an enormous last effort from Victorians over the coming two months – redoubling efforts to stop the virus spreading even as the vaccination rate rises.
ICU nurse Tayla Christofakakis, at Austin Hospital in Heidelberg on September 15. Victorian government modelling suggests a substantial risk ICU capacity could be exceeded soon.Credit:Wayne Taylor
Had Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews chosen to maintain lockdown after 80 per cent vaccination coverage had been reached, it would cut the chances of overwhelming hospitals to one in four and projected deaths by between 786 and 1726, modelling by the Burnet Institute predicts.
The reopening road map, announced on Sunday, creates “significant additional risk,” the modellers note.
More on the situation in Victoria here.
Porter saves Coalition from byelection after resigning from cabinet
Former attorney-general Christian Porter has resigned from federal cabinet rather than reveal more details about people who financially supported his legal battle against the ABC, promising to stay in Federal Parliament and saving Prime Minister Scott Morrison from a potentially devastating byelection.
Less than a week since Mr Porter declared a blind trust was being used to help pay the undisclosed cost of his defamation case against the broadcaster and its reporter Louise Milligan, the West Australian MP stepped down as industry, science and technology minister.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Christian Porter’s resignation from the cabinet on Sunday.Credit:Edwina Pickles, Alex Ellinghausen
On Sunday afternoon Mr Morrison said after talks with Mr Porter, who had served as WA’s treasurer and had been considered a possible premier of that state, the MP had decided to move to the backbench.
He made the move before an inquiry by the head of Mr Morrison’s own department into whether Mr Porter had breached ministerial standards had reported to the Prime Minister.
Read the full story here.
This morning’s headlines at a glance
Good morning and thanks for your company.
It’s Monday, September 20. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.
Here’s everything you need to know before we get started.
- Businesses have raised concerns about Victoria’s lockdown road map. Stay-at-home orders will lift once the state reaches its 70 per cent double dose vaccination target (not expected until October 26). Melbourne and regional Victoria will come under the same rules once 80 per cent of residents are vaccinated (expected on or around November 5). The Andrews government is aiming for 30 household visitors just in time for Christmas. However, modelling conducted for the Victorian government predicts the road map has a better than one-in-two chance of exceeding the state’s hospital and ICU capacity, and will lead to the deaths of between 1455 and 3152 people.
- Victoria recorded 507 new, locally acquired coronavirus cases yesterday and one death. Residents of three local council areas outside Melbourne, including the regional city of Geelong, are waking up to a snap lockdown.
- In NSW, 12 local government areas of concern now have the same outdoor rules as the rest of Greater Sydney. This means, for example, that residents of the city’s south-west now have no limits on outdoor exercise. There were 1083 new cases of COVID-19 recorded in NSW yesterday and 13 deaths. Outdoor swimming pools will be allowed to reopen from next week.
- Meanwhile, there were no new cases in Queensland yesterday. The Sunshine State also set a COVID-19 vaccination record on Saturday, with around 31,000 Queenslanders rolling up their sleeves (13,000 more than the previous Saturday). Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says her state is on track to reach its 60 per cent first dose vaccine target.
- Former attorney-general Christian Porter has resigned from federal cabinet rather than reveal more details about who financially supported his legal battle against the ABC. However, he is promising to contest the next election (the Coalition has a thin majority in the House of Representatives after the defection of NSW MP Craig Kelly, so a byelection could be potentially devastating for the Morrison government).
- And Prime Minister Scott Morrison says France should have expected Australia to tear up the $90 billion submarine deal that has been making headlines in recent days. The French government has accused Australia of treachery and recalled its ambassadors to Australia and the United States. The Morrison government broke its contract with France in favour of a deal with the US and Britain for nuclear-powered submarines.
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