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Australia news LIVE: William Tyrrell search enters second week; total COVID-19 cases grow in NSW, Victoria


247 News Around The World
247 News Around The World

Two quiet influenza seasons and moderate flu vaccinations mean Australia is at risk of a serious outbreak as international borders reopen, health experts say.

Influenza cases this year have been more than 236 times lower than the five-year average for the same period, with just 600 lab-confirmed influenza cases and no deaths to date, the federal Department of Health says.

Fewer than 9 million flu shots have been recorded so far this year, but the actual number of administered doses is believed to be much higher.

Fewer than 9 million flu shots have been recorded so far this year, but the actual number of administered doses is believed to be much higher.Credit:AP

It’s in stark contrast with the last pre-pandemic flu season, in which more than 306,000 lab-confirmed cases and 948 deaths were recorded, according to the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System. There were nearly 247,000 cases and 1163 deaths in 2017.

Professor Ian Barr, deputy director of the WHO collaborating centre for reference and research on influenza, says he believes 2023 is going to be a big year for influenza.

More on this issue here.

Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham says the government won’t be held to ransom as senators threaten to withhold support for key legislation unless the federal government overrides state vaccine mandates.

“The government won’t be dictated to,” Mr Birmingham told the ABC’s RN Breakfast earlier this morning.

Federal Minister for Finance Simon Birmingham.

Federal Minister for Finance Simon Birmingham.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“We’ll do what we’ve always done which is work with the health advisors.

“I fully respect the right of Liberal and National Party members to cross the floor … what I would urge any parliamentarian, though, not to do is to hold one issue ransom to other unrelated issues.”

The comments come as Mr Birmingham defended the Prime Minister amid accusations he failed to “unequivocally condemn” threats of violence and extremism by protesters across the country.

Melbourne has faced large protests over vaccine mandates and proposed pandemic laws, with some marchers seen carrying nooses and a gallows.

Mr Morrison has condemned acts of violence, but says it is time for governments to get out of people’s lives.

“We absolutely condemn any threats of violence, acts of violence in Australian political debate, they have no place at all,” Mr Birmingham said.

“That’s not to say there aren’t Australians who have issues that they raise with politicians on a day-to-day basis, and some of them choose to protest.

“But any protest should be peaceful and should be undertaken in ways that are about advancing the cause, not undermining security or peaceful activity.”

The Victorian government will focus its effort on two key crossbench MPs this week as it tries to scrape together enough support in Parliament’s upper house to pass its proposed pandemic management laws.

Clifford Hayes of the Sustainable Australia Party and Rod Barton of Transport Matters represent the government’s best hopes of a deal to secure the bill’s passage into law, according to several parliamentary insiders, speaking on condition of anonymity.

But Mr Hayes has said he is “not persuadable” and the state government needs to agree to a “complete reworking” of the provisions of its bill, and Mr Barton said yesterday that he is several days or a week away from finalising his list of amendments.

Premier Daniel Andrews, whose government needs to secure one more vote in the 40-member Legislative Council to pass the bill, was giving little away on Sunday, saying he and his colleagues were talking “in good faith” to many members of the upper house.

Read the full story here.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was also on Sunrise earlier.

The Deputy PM was asked if Prime Minister Scott Morrison is “pandering to extremists” as suggested by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday.

“No,” Mr Joyce replied.

Melbourne has faced large protests over the past week due to the state government’s proposed pandemic laws and people furious at vaccine mandates and previous lockdowns. The PM has condemned displays of extremism at those protests (such as people seen with gallows), but also says it’s time for governments to get out of people’s lives.

Mr Joyce went on to say “there is not a person in this building, not one, I hope, [that supports] threatening a person’s life, building gallows, doing that total garbage”.

“Just because there is a crazy person in the Carlton crowd at a football game that throws a rock doesn’t mean that every person in the Carlton crowd is crazy,” he added.

“We have got to understand the frustrations that are behind this. There are also people in this process … who are mums, dads, who are law-abiding citizens who also want to be heard.

“You can’t say every person in the crowd is somehow a madman or madwoman or bad person. They are not. A lot of people have just had it. They are frustrated and, I have to say, a lot of these laws they are protesting against are state laws, not federal laws. And it’s state politicians who have gotta go to the forecourt and talk to people.”

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is doing the media rounds this morning as both chambers of federal Parliament prepare for the final sitting fortnight of the year.

On Seven’s breakfast show Sunrise, the Treasurer was asked about David Crowe’s story on a possible senate revolt over vaccine mandates.

As you might recall, two renegade Liberal senators say they will side with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation on key legislation unless a number of demands are met in relation to freedoms for the unvaccinated (that’s despite vaccine mandates being issued by the states, not the federal government).

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg speaking in Parliament earlier this year.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg speaking in Parliament earlier this year. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Mr Frydenberg was asked if the Commonwealth would ever try to step in and overturn state vaccine mandates or other laws.

Here’s the Treasurer’s response (edited for length and clarity):

These are matters for state governments.

I’ll tell you what I’m not backing off: the need for people to get the jab.

I absolutely agree that … employers have [the right to mandate vaccines in their workplaces]. So, too, the state governments under their own public health orders.

I think it has been really effective a to be honest, to see the vaccine uptake increase. I was out in the [Melbourne] CBD over the weekend and it was pumping. People moving about from venue to venue. Obviously, that is good news for our economy.

We will continue to talk to our colleagues and continue to present to the Parliament important pieces of legislation. Among many pieces of legislation this week are protections for our critical industry infrastructure from cyber attacks and high-risk terrorist offenders.

There are a range of measures that we have before the Parliament which are going to be important not just for Australia’s national security, but Australia’s economy as well, and with respect to some of those colleagues you refer to, discussions are ongoing.

The NSW government imposed harsh lockdown restrictions on the poorest areas of Sydney’s west and south-west despite Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant advising that the rules should be implemented consistently across Greater Sydney.

Emails sent between health officials and Health Minister Brad Hazzard in mid-August have revealed Dr Chant recommended that “consistent measures” be implemented across all of Sydney.

Then NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant and Health Minister Brad Hazzard during the lockdown in July.

Then NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant and Health Minister Brad Hazzard during the lockdown in July.Credit:Nick Moir

Despite the health advice, the extended lockdown left 12 local government areas under restrictions that were far tougher than other parts of Sydney, outraging community leaders who declared the handling of the Delta outbreak had left the city divided.

“Implement consistent measures across greater metropolitan Sydney with outdoor masks, consistent 5km rule and authorised workers only,” Dr Chant wrote in the email of recommendations on August 14.

That day, the government restricted Greater Sydney residents to travel within five kilometres of their local government area (LGA) border, while residents in south-western and western Sydney hotspots were restricted to five kilometres from their house.

The August email is among documents released under a parliamentary order highlighting health advice that informed policy decisions during the extended lockdown, which began on June 26.

Read the full story here.

Hundreds of Victorians are seeking treatment for strange and debilitating symptoms lingering many months after their COVID-19 diagnosis, including some whose ailments are so severe they are struggling to return to work.

Head of respiratory medicine research at The Alfred hospital in Melbourne, Professor Anne Holland, said the hospital’s post-COVID follow-up clinic was supporting a rising number of people infected in the latest Delta outbreak, some of whom were having to cut back their working hours, or were finding it difficult to return to their studies.

Petra Theilhaber still has no sense of smell and taste more than a year after contracting COVID-19.

Petra Theilhaber still has no sense of smell and taste more than a year after contracting COVID-19.Credit:Jason South

Many were young, otherwise healthy people, who had only minor bouts of the disease, but were reporting symptoms including brain fog, extreme fatigue, chronic pain, shortness of breath, and palpitations more than two months after infection.

Others are experiencing tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing noise in the ears) or recurring pins and needles (a sensation of uncomfortable tingling or prickling), despite having no history of the conditions.

Read the full story here.

A vaccine revolt is set to block Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s agenda when Parliament resumes today for its last sittings of the year, escalating a fight over rules that limit freedoms for Australians who will not sign up for coronavirus vaccines.

The government will struggle to pass contentious bills in the Senate after two renegade Liberals called for an end to restrictions they consider unfair for unvaccinated people who are barred from events.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison receives his COVID-19 booster vaccine on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison receives his COVID-19 booster vaccine on Friday. Credit:Kate Geraghty

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is also joining the blockade in a bid to pressure Mr Morrison into easing the restrictions even though the rules are being imposed by the states to encourage people to be inoculated.

Senator Hanson will introduce a bill to Parliament this week to try to force the rules to be relaxed, presenting Mr Morrison with an ultimatum after she asked the Prime Minister to act on the issue in a private meeting last Thursday.

The Senate stand-off is widening a policy row over when to phase out public health orders that require people to show proof of vaccination to go to movies, retail stores, gyms, large gatherings, sport and other events.

Read more about this issue here.

Despite heavy rain, police continue to search the area surrounding the NSW Mid North Coast home William Tyrrell disappeared from seven years ago.

Police found a piece of fabric Sunday morning near a creek, one of three key areas in the small town of Kendall they have been searching this week. The item has been taken for forensic testing.

About 30 police operational support officers were replaced by a new team yesterday and continue searching for clues following credible new information.

A severe weather warning has been issued for the area, with thunderstorms expected which may lead to flash flooding in some parts of the Mid North Coast.

More on the search here.

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Monday, November 22. 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.

  • NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant called for “consistent” lockdown restrictions across all of Sydney during the city’s recent lockdown, documents released under parliamentary orders reveal. As you might remember, suburbs in Sydney’s west and south west faced weeks of tougher restrictions. Meanwhile, the search for the remains of missing boy William Tyrrell has entered its second week. Police efforts are being hampered by the rain that is blanketing much of Australia’s east coast. NSW yesterday reported 176 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant. Credit:Kate Geraghty

  • There has been an increase in the number of Victorians seeking treatment for what’s become known as long COVID. Some people’s symptoms are so debilitating they are struggling to return to work. Meanwhile, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of “pandering to extremists” in the wake of anti-pandemic legislation and vaccine protests in Melbourne. While the PM has condemned extremism, he has also suggested people are sick of governments interfering in their lives. Victoria reported 1275 new cases of COVID-19 and four deaths on Sunday.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. Credit:Paul Jeffers

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison will face a Senate backlash this week over vaccination mandates. Both houses of federal parliament are sitting today for the last stint of the year. But two Liberals have called for an end to the unvaccinated being barred from certain spaces and events and will side with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation in a move that could scuttle the Morrison government’s agenda. This is despite vaccine mandates being issued by the states and not the federal government.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison waiting to receive his COVID booster shot late last week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison waiting to receive his COVID booster shot late last week. Credit:Kate Geraghty

  • Two Indigenous communities outside Katherine in the Northern Territory are in a hard lockdown after nine new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Saturday night. Residents in the Binjari and Rockhole communities are only able to leave their properties for medical treatment, legal matters or an emergency. No additional cases were recorded in the NT yesterday. The total number of cases linked to the NT’s current outbreak is 35.
Small pockets of the NT are currently in lockdown.

Small pockets of the NT are currently in lockdown. Credit:Krystle Wright

  • South Australia’s borders will reopen tomorrow. Thousands of people have already applied to enter the state from COVID hotspots (i.e. Melbourne, Sydney and the ACT). Meanwhile, SA hospitals are gearing-up for a possible outbreak as a result of interstate travel.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

  • And the ACT recorded 16 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, up slightly from Saturday’s 14 cases. There are five people in hospital with the virus. Of those, two are in intensive care. One is on a ventilator.

Source: | This article originally belongs to smh.com.au

The post Australia news LIVE: William Tyrrell search enters second week; total COVID-19 cases grow in NSW, Victoria appeared first on 247 News Around The World.



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