The NT News reports that Sydney could be removed from the territory’s hotspot list next week.
Queensland will review its hotspot list at the end of the month, although so far as indicated Sydney residents will remain barred from entry (northern NSW residents will be allowed in from 1am on 1 October).
There will be more attention on the aged care regulator today – and the minister – with people once again looking at the number of compliance checks the regulator has made, during the pandemic.
As Labor’s Julie Collins stated late last week, the regulator had visited just one in six aged care homes to check whether infection control practices were being implemented in the wake of Victoria’s outbreak.
The latest publicly available figures reveal just 448 aged care homes nationally have been visited by the Morrison government’s aged care regulator to check compliance with PPE and infection control arrangements,” Collins said last week.
In some states less than 5% of aged care homes have been visited to check infection practises and ensure safe use of personal protection equipment was being observed.
Even in Victoria just 160 visits, representing only 20% of aged care homes in the state, have taken place.
627 people diagnosed with Covid, linked to aged care, have died in Victoria.
Thrive by Five, an initiative of the Minderoo Foundation which aims to improve early learning outcomes for children, has released its budget wish list:
• Ensuring all families receive assistance of at least 30% of childcare costs, with the long-term goal of universal access to high quality early learning for all Australian children • Increase the childcare subsidy for families and carers whose incomes have been reduced due to Covid-19 • Expand the jobtrainer program to provide free or low-cost Tafe and VET courses in early childhood education and care, and • Calling on the prime minister to urgently convene a national roundtable on the early childhood education and care workforce, including a discussion of the immediate ways to support educator jobs and long-term workforce planning.
The Heart Foundation is once again pleading with people to go have their regular heart health checks, as AAP reports:
Around half a million Australians with heart disease have skipped critical check-ups during the Covid-19 pandemic, putting them at risk of a heart attack or stroke.
While heart disease remains the nation’s single biggest killer, it’s fallen off the radar for many Australians, the Heart Foundation says.
Its survey of more than 5,000 Australian adults, released on World Heart Day on Tuesday, found people with heart disease, or at high risk of heart disease, were more likely to have missed or delayed an appointment with their GP between April and August than other Australians (27% versus 17%).
With 2.1 million Australians living with heart disease or at high risk of heart disease, the Heart Foundation has calculated more than 500,000 of them have skipped potentially life-saving check-ups during the pandemic.
About one-in-five people at highest risk said they were unlikely to attend future appointments with their GP because of concerns about Covid-19.
People with heart disease are more vulnerable to severe complications if infected with Covid-19.
Heart Foundation general manager of heart health, Bill Stavreski, urged Australians not to let the Covid-19 “fear factor” stop them from getting check-ups.
“Heart disease doesn’t stop during a pandemic,” Stavreski said.
“It is vital that you continue to monitor your heart health and stay in contact with your GP, and there are options to do this safely via telehealth or in person.”
Restrictions were lifted in most states and territories in August but about 30% of people surveyed with heart disease were still avoiding GP appointments.
There had also been a drop-off in people speaking to doctors about risk factors compared with pre-Covid-19 levels.
The biggest dip was in people discussing their blood pressure or cholesterol with their GP, despite 6.2 million Australians having high blood pressure and 7.1 having high cholesterol.
Australians are being urged not to let the Covid-19 ‘fear factor’ stop them from getting heart health check-ups. Photograph: Aleksandr Davydov/Alamy Stock Photo
Victorian MP David Davis wants an inquiry into the government’s omnibus emergency measures bill.
From his statement:
These new authorised officers will have wide and largely unchecked powers of arrest and detention under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act.
Respected lawyers and former judges have expressed concern about the bill’s untrammelled powers.
The Bar Council has expressed concerns about the omnibus bill.
I have written to the chair of the scrutiny of acts and regulations committee demanding the committee hold public hearings and a full inquiry in the two weeks that remain before the bill is dealt with in the upper house.
Labor forced it through the lower house without the views of Sarc or indeed any proper examination of the bill’s serious infringements of rights and privileges.
Speaking of budget announcements, the government wants your face.
As Daniel Hurst reports:
The Morrison government will expand the use of digital identity checks when businesses and individuals access services online, as part of an $800m package in next week’s budget to increase the take-up of new technologies.
As the government puts the finishing touches on its delayed budget, which is expected to foreshadow a deficit north of $200bn and ongoing high unemployment, the Coalition is rolling out a series of announcements that it says are designed to get the economy moving again.
But the government is coming under pressure for reducing the rate of jobkeeper and jobseeker payments over the past few days, with Labor accusing Scott Morrison of “mishandling this worst recession in almost a century” by cutting economic support “without a proper jobs plan to replace it”.
The biggest chunk of new funding in the “digital business plan” to be announced on Tuesday is $420m towards ensuring businesses can “quickly view, update and maintain their business registry data in one location”.
I mean, what on earth could go wrong? It isn’t like the government has access to mass surveillance systems and has put a bunch of bills through the parliament to be able to bypass the courts to access your data already. I’m sure it’s fine.
Western Australia recorded more new cases of Covid than Victoria yesterday, as it took in crew members from a bulk carrier ship anchored off its north coast, who have been stricken with the virus.
There are now 17 members of the Patricia Oldendorff who have been diagnosed with Covid, with the crew now quarantined in Port Hedland.
It’s the first time in yonks (official scientific time measurement) WA has dealt with Covid, which is why there are a lot of interested eyes on the west at the moment.
Meanwhile, NSW has seen it’s case numbers drop, reporting no cases for two consecutive days. But testing rates have also dropped, which has authorities worried. The clock is still ticking on the incubation period for possible infections from a taxi driver who (unknowingly) worked while infectious himself with Covid. So if you are in NSW and you have a sniffle or any other symptom: get tested.
In Victoria, Daniel Andrews will hold his 89th consecutive press conference, where the topic will no doubt be this:
And in Queensland, the election campaign continues.
The federal government meanwhile, is all about the federal budget. Yesterday had the re-announcement of domestic violence funding. Who knows what today could bring.
We’ll bring you all of it though, as it happens. You have Amy Remeikis with you for most of the day. As always you can reach me here and here and can drop me a line with any questions, complaints, commiserations etc.