WA reports no new local Covid-19 cases
Qld records no new locally-acquired Covid-19 cases
ACT records seven new local Covid-19 cases
Politicians and comedians pay tribute to Bert Newtown
Victoria announces state funeral for Bert Newton
Vaccination rate in Indigenous communities a concern, Hazzard says
NSW premier and health minister give update
Jeannette Young, in her final act as Queensland chief health officer, has urged the state to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Young will be sworn in as Queensland governor on Monday.
The government is still searching for Young’s replacement after her anointed successor, infectious diseases doctor Krispin Hajkowicz, said he would not be taking up the post after all.
AAP has the story:
On her final day in the job, Jeannette Young has issued a short, sharp video repeating the phrase she’s uttered time and time again since Queensland’s vaccination drive began in February.
“Queenslanders you’ve been fantastic, and as I sign off I’ve got one last request. Please get vaccinated,” Dr Young said in the clip published on social media.
No new cases of the virus were reported in the state on Sunday, which the premier has said is the “last day” for people to get a first shot if they want full protection before travellers inevitably import the virus.
“Queensland, today is the last day to get your first dose so you are fully protected when the borders open on December 17,” Annastacia Palaszczuk said in her social media posts on Sunday.
“If you haven’t been vaccinated, get it done today.”
It’s six weeks and five days until the borders open up fully on December 17.
The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses at least three weeks apart. Full protection isn’t achieved for one to two weeks after the second shot. That’s five weeks in total.
Those who have the Moderna vaccine need two shots at least four weeks apart. Full protection may not develop for two weeks after the second shot. That’s six weeks in total.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey gave Sunday’s Covid-19 update, saying: “It’s isn’t just a race now, it’s a sprint.”
Queensland Health delivered 14,312 doses in the past 24 hours, taking the first dose vaccination rate among the over-16s to 77.4%, with 63.5 fully vaccinated.
Deputy Chief Health Officer, Lynne McKinlay, said people would continue to be vaccinated well beyond today, and clinics would still be open into the new year.
“You haven’t missed your opportunity. We want people to come forward even if it’s after today,” she told reporters on Sunday.
Queensland is once more searching for a replacement for Dr Young after her anointed successor, infectious diseases doctor Krispin Hajkowicz, said he would not be taking up the chief health officer’s job after all.
He cited unspecified personal reasons.
Dr McKinlay said she had not put her hand up for the job. Fellow Deputy Chief Health Officer, Dr Peter Aitken, will lead the pandemic response until a permanent replacement for Dr Young is found.
Dr McKinlay said everyone at Queensland Health would miss Dr Young, but the team charged with managing the pandemic was large, and strong.
“She’s been an incredible leader, and provided such incredible safety for Queensland during the time she’s been chief health officer,” Dr McKinlay said.
The premier added her own words of thanks, saying Dr Young had completed “one of the most exceptional chapters of public service our state has ever seen”.
at 11.53pm EDT
WA reports no new local Covid-19 cases
Only 160 people were tested as state-run testing sites yesterday.
at 11.31pm EDT
The federal government is listing a pill to treat men with prostate cancer to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from Monday.
Our friends at AAP have the story:
A pill to treat men with prostate cancer that’s no longer stopped by low testosterone levels will be made available at an affordable price, the federal government says.
The drug Nubeqa, or darolutamide, will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from Monday.
The pill can be used by men who’ve got prostate cancer that hasn’t spread but is castration-resistant – that is, symptoms continue to worsen, the cancer continues to grow or the antigen level increases, despite lowered testosterone levels from hormone therapy.
It normally costs more than $40,000 per year. With the subsidy, patients will pay up to $41.30 a script.
The medication works to starve cancer cells of the hormones they need to grow and divide, says manufacturer Bayer Australia.
“This medicine offers an earlier line of treatment, allowing doctors to treat prostate cancer that no longer responds to traditional testosterone-lowering treatment is likely to spread,” said Associate Professor David Pook, an oncologist at Melbourne’s Cabrini hospital.
“We no longer need to wait until we can see cancer spots on CT scans and bone scans before we initiate treatment.
“We now have the option to act earlier with the goal of delaying the spread of prostate cancer.”
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in Australian men and the third most common cause of cancer death.
It’s more common in older men.
Early detection and treatment can significantly improve prostate cancer survival, Health Minister Greg Hunt said.
He encouraged men over 50 to learn the symptoms and talk to a GP if they have concerns.
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn, said listing Nobeqa would give more men with the deadliest forms of prostate cancer a greater chance of survival.
“This is an important moment for Australian men and families facing prostate cancer and the first time in seven years we’ve seen a new medicine listed on the PBS for the treatment of prostate cancer,” he said.
The pill could help delay the spread of the disease for close to three and a half years – more than twice as long as hormone therapy on its own.
Data from clinical trials showed it lowered the risk of death by 31% compared to hormone therapy alone, Prof Dunne said.
at 10.55pm EDT
As COP26 begins later today in Glasgow, New Zealand has announced it will set a more ambitious climate target, aiming to reduce its net greenhouse emissions by 50% by 2030.
While the country is a “small contributor to global emissions”, prime minister Jacinda Ardern said it was critical New Zealand pulls its weight, according to AAP.
Arden said in a statement on Sunday:
“New Zealand’s enhanced contribution to the global effort to fight climate change now represents our fair share, and is in line with what’s needed if we are to avoid the worst impacts of global warming on New Zealand.
“Climate change is a priority for the government because it’s a threat to our economy, our environment and our everyday lives.”
Under the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015, each country determines what targets they will aim for, known as nationally determined contributions.
New Zealand’s nationally determined contribution will be a target to reduce net emissions by 50% below gross 2005 levels by 2030.
This equates to a 41% reduction on 2005 levels using what is known as an ’emissions budget’ approach.
The announcement comes as the prime minister of Australia arrives in Glasgow pledging a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050, but refusing to lift its existing aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by just 26 to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Scott Morrison‘s plan has been labelled as light on detail, with opposition leader Anthony Albanese criticising its reliance on future technology and calling for the net zero target to be legislated.
The international community has about eight years to almost halve global greenhouse gas emissions to “stand a chance” of limiting global warming to 1.5C, New Zealand’s minister of climate change James Shaw said.
at 10.48pm EDT
Thanks Justine. Let’s get to it. In Victorian political news, shadow attorney-general Tim Smith has resigned from shadow cabinet after being fined for drink driving.
In a statement, he said:
Last night I made a serious error of judgement. After dinner with friends I believed I was under the legal limit to drive home.
This was not the case. I was breath-tested and returned a positive reading. I have been fined under the Road Safety Act and my licence has been suspended for 12 months.
I apologise to my constituents, my colleagues, my family and the people of Victoria who expect their elected representatives to uphold the highest standards of behaviour.
Today I tendered my resignation from the Shadow Cabinet to the Leader of the Opposition, which he has accepted.
at 11.09pm EDT
NSW premier Dominic Perrottet was asked this morning about the state government’s previous decision to give Wagga Wagga base hospital a $170m funding boost. On Friday, Icac heard phone taps of conversations between Gladys Berejiklian and former Wagga Wagga MP, Daryl Maguire about the funding.
Our friends at AAP have the full story:
NSW premier Dominic Perrottet says a $170m funding boost for a regional hospital was already in the budget by the time Gladys Berejiklian told her secret lover she’d got him the funding.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption on Friday heard phone taps of conversations between Berejiklian, then premier, and former MP Daryl Maguire about the Wagga Wagga base hospital.
Berejiklian was heard telling Maguire she got him “$170m in five minutes” for the hospital in his electorate.
“I just spoke to Dom and … he goes, ‘No worries’. He just does what I ask him to,” Ms Berejiklian said of then-treasurer Perrottet.
Berejiklian was in a secret relationship with Maguire at the time.
On Sunday, Perrottet shot back, saying the expense was already in the 2017-18 budget.
“When the Health Minister (Brad Hazzard) came to see me in that first budget, 2017-18, we went through capital expenditure and decided to expand it,” Perrottet said.
“We have always provided significant funding in every budget for health support. That is the case for Wagga Wagga hospital (and) hospitals right across the state.”
Hazzard told reporters that the hospital had been identified as a major hospital that needed upgrading.
“It was already in the budget,” he said.
He said it was normal for local MPs to lobby ministers for their electorates.
Perrottet told a conference on Friday that twelve months before his conversation with Berejiklian the $170m had already been allocated in the budget, off the back of a government promise.
“As a government we came and delivered it,” he said.
“I don’t think you’ll find anybody in Wagga Wagga who believes that we shouldn’t have invested in that hospital.”
Counsel assisting the Icac inquiry into Berejiklian said on Friday there was no suggestion of any wrongdoing on the part of Perrottet or Hazzard.
The premier said on Sunday that he “completely disagree(d)” with pork barrelling.
“My belief is that whatever community you are in, you should have the access to the best healthcare, education, and transport to get to your family faster,” he said.
The Icac probe is exploring whether the former premier breached public trust by failing to declare her clandestine relationship with Maguire while she was making decisions about projects he lobbied for.
She denies any wrongdoing.
Perrottet and Hazzard were speaking at the construction site of a new ambulance superstation to be built at Glebe in Sydney’s inner city.
It’s the 11th and final superstation to be built across the state in a $184m program.
From 2023, the station will be home to around 65 paramedics and 30 ambulance bays.
at 10.15pm EDT
Scott Morrison has doubled down on Australia’s decision to ditch a multi-billion dollar French submarine contract, contradicting Joe Biden’s claims about whether Emmanuel Macron was informed about the move.
Speaking to reporters at the G20 summit in Rome on Saturday, the prime minister insisted Australia had made “the right decision” by ditching the French submarine contract, even though his management of the fracas has infuriated the French president and prompted an implicit public rebuke from Joe Biden.
Read the full story by the Guardian Australia’s political editor, Katharine Murphy, here:
A photo supplied by the prime minister’s office captures the moment Scott Morrison met French president Emmanuel Macron at the G20 meeting in Rome.
For context: it’s the first time the two have met since Australia announced the Aukus partnership, effectively ending the country’s submarine contract with France.
Morrison recalled that the initial exchanged went well.
But others have taken to Twitter to point out that the picture may tell a different story.
at 9.53pm EDT