Daily News Roundup

April 24, 2020

FRIDAY, April 24

The Porsche driver who allegedly fled the scene of a freeway crash which killed four police officers was filmed heaping abuse on one of the victims and complaining about the damage to his car, a court has heard.

Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constable Josh Prestney were killed in the crash on the Eastern Freeway in Kew.

The four officers were standing in the emergency lane when the truck hit them as they prepared to impound the Porsche 911 being driven by 41-year-old Melbourne mortgage broker Richard Pusey.

Mr Pusey was allegedly travelling at 140 kilometres per hour while under the influence of methylamphetamine and cannabis before he was pulled over.

He made a brief appearance in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court this morning charged with speeding, failing to assist at a crash scene and drug offences.

The court heard Mr Pusey videoed the crash scene before fleeing.

The court was told there was no evidence he posted the material on social media.

“All I wanted to do was go home and eat my sushi, you’ve f***ed my f***ing car,” Leading Senior Constable Taylor’s body camera is alleged to have recorded Mr Pusey saying to her, before fleeing the scene.

She was pinned under the truck at the time.


The Prime Minister has warned aged care facilities that are imposing visitor rules beyond the national coronavirus advice to stop, saying the Commonwealth will step in if they do not.

Speaking after today’s National Cabinet, Scott Morrison said despite his “strong reminder” to facilities earlier this week that the advice is residents can have two visitors a day, some facilities were still barring families from seeing their loved ones, reports the ABC.

“I am flagging very clearly at a federal level, that should we not see an improvement in this area, under the voluntary arrangements that we currently have in place, that the Commonwealth would be moving to require aged care facilities that wish to have an exemption to those national principles … they would need to seek authority to do that from the Commonwealth,” he said.

“It’s not my inclination to explore that sort of regulatory approach, but if it’s necessary then we’ll do it.”

Mr Morrison acknowledged there would be situations when bans on visitors were necessary for the safety of residents and staff, but that in all other circumstances facilities must follow the national advice.

“There are quite valid reasons why you would have exemptions, particularly as we’ve seen in north-west Tasmania at the moment, or what we’ve seen in western Sydney or in other places,” he said.

“That is entirely sensible as to why you would have restrictions that are greater than the national baseline in those circumstances. Totally reasonable.

“But more broadly, having people stuck in their rooms, not being able to be visited by their loved ones and carers and other support people, that’s not okay.

In other COVID-19 related news:

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country was making good progress when he addressed the media after today’s National Cabinet meeting.

He said the continued progress was, “enabling us to be in a position where we can have that confidence to continue to ease restrictions that are in place right across the country”.

He said the Government’s tracing app is almost ready for release.

“The app will soon be released. There are still some issues we’re working through late in the piece, which is to be expected. We’re not too far away now.”

Mr Morrison also said the medical expert panel has advised that the wearing of masks is not necessary.

On schools, Mr Morrison said 1.5-metre social distancing was not required, according to medical advice.

  • During his White House press briefing today, US President Donald Trump has suggested “hitting the body with tremendous light” and wondered whether injecting disinfectant might cure coronavirus.
  • Victorian health authorities are investigating a coronavirus outbreak at a private psychiatric facility which has resulted in at least 14 confirmed cases of the virus so far.

Five patients, five staff and four household close contacts have tested positive to coronavirus after the first case was confirmed at the Albert Road Clinic in inner-city Melbourne in late March.

  • NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed just seven new cases of coronavirus, despite a record number of 7,200 tests being completed yesterday. The state’s total number of confirmed cases is now 2,983, reports the ABC.
  • Australia’s competition watchdog has warned Qantas it will take swift action against anti-competitive behaviour such as attempts to swamp airline routes, artificially push down prices or lock in exclusive deals with airports and suppliers.
  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is, within days, expected to announce changes which could include increased powers and/or resources for Rod Sims, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to be in a stronger position to take on the task of keeping the airlines honest. The coronavirus crisis has caused airlines around the world major disruption and in Australia, its biggest corporate casualty so far has been Virgin Australia.
  • Former Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s oldest brother, Donald Reed Herring, died on Tuesday night [local time] after contracting coronavirus, she confirmed on Thursday. Mr Herring, 86, known as Don Reed, was an Air Force pilot who flew hundreds of combat missions in Vietnam. Senator Warren has been a prominent critic of Republican President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed more than 47,000 Americans.


For first time since the Spanish flu in 1919, Anzac Day marches won’t be held. And it will be the first time ever that no public ceremonies will take place.

Instead, dawn gathering of veterans and their families outside the Australian War Memorial in Canberra tomorrow will be a national commemorative service off-limits to the public but broadcast by the ABC from 5.30am.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will deliver the address and the broadcast will end with The Ode, The Last Post and a one-minute silence at 6am.

“This year, we will not be gathering at the local cenotaph, or attending gunfire breakfasts at the local RSL, or gathering together to bow our heads in silence and listen to the bugles at dawn,” Mr Morrison says.

“But we will still remember the sacrifice of those who gave so much for us at Gallipoli and on many fronts, as we ourselves give what we can to protect Australian lives while we face this terrible virus.”

Broadcast coverage of services in other cities will follow.

As Anzac Day 2020 falls on a Saturday there will be no extra public holiday this year for most Australians.

Even though Anzac Day is a national public holiday, when it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it doesn’t mean all Australians get the Monday after off work.

On Monday, April 27, people in NSW, NT, Queensland, SA, Tasmania and Victoria will need to head into the office (or living room, if they’re working from home), but workers in the ACT and Western Australia get a public holiday.

Next year, when Anzac Day falls on a Sunday, people in QLD, SA and NT will get an extra public holiday on Monday, April 26 and it will only be workers in NSW and Victoria dragging themselves into the office.

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