September 4, 2020


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has failed to convince Western Australia to join the rest of the country in aiming to take down borders and ease restrictions by Christmas.

National Cabinet’s other state and territory leaders have agreed with a plan to ease restrictions and return to a new normal by December.

He said that could see people able to travel across the country by Christmas.

“Seven out of eight states and territories have agreed with that ambition for Christmas,” Mr Morrison said.

The Federal Government has been applying pressure to states and territories to sign up to a national standard for defining coronavirus hotspots.

Mr Morrison said states and territories had failed to reach full agreement on a three-step reopening plan, with WA the holdout.

The Prime Minister flagged a move away from a consensus-based decision-making model in National Cabinet.

“Western Australia has a very different border and a very different economy than most of the other states and territories where these decisions have been made,” he said.

“Not everyone has to get on the bus for the bus to leave the station. But it is important the bus leaves the station.”

Mr Morrison has also flagged allowing New Zealanders to come into Australia if they are not coming from or going to a hotspot, something he said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was interested in discussing further.

Earlier, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she wouldn’t be bullied into reopening borders.

“It is relentless. It is intimidating. But I will not be intimidated,’’ she said.

“If we all focused our efforts on Victoria and NSW and getting the community transmission under control, right, to the extent that there was no community transmission – and that is the advice of the Deputy Health Officer of the country.

“That is the aim. They moved from elimination to suppression, to no community transmission. If we focus on that, there will come a time when everybody could open up.”

Mr Morrison conceded that national cabinet had disagreed on issues, but insisted it would find a way to work through disagreements.

“At the times when sometimes our frustrations have been greatest, and the tensions have been at their peak, that has been exactly the same time when we have been reminded of just how important it is that we continue this great work of our Federation and how it has delivered for Australians, for over a century.

Victoria has recorded another 81 cases of COVID-19 and 59 further deaths, 

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said the delay was due to a recent change in reporting obligations for aged care providers.

It takes the state’s death toll to 650 and is the highest number of deaths added to 

“Let me make it very clear, I will not be changing that course anytime soon.

“If we, as a nation, can focus on Victoria and New South Wales and get everything under control there, then the whole country can open up.”

Health authorities in NSW have confirmed eight new coronavirus infections in the 24 hours to 8.00pm yesterday.

One of them is a returned traveller in hotel quarantine and the other seven are all linked to known clusters.

In Queensland, where there were no new cases, the government has extended the border bubble to include Moree in New South Wales. 

This will aid boarding school families and those affected by the loss of Mungindi’s supermarket.

The Chief Health Officer, Jeanette Young, says she’s satisfied the town is now safe to travel to.

It means residents of Mungindi, which lost its only supermarket to fire this week, can now travel to Moree to shop, without quarantining before they enter Queensland.


The wife of a Queensland veterinarian, missing after a livestock ship he was travelling on capsized near Japan, has pleaded on social media for her husband to “come home”.

Emma Orda, who recently had their first child Theo, posted a photo of the pair to Facebook overnight with a touching message for the 25-year-old.

“Please come home really soon, we love you,” the post read.

Lukas Orda, 25, is one of two Australians who disappeared after The Gulf Livestock 1 overturned in rough seas on Wednesday.

It had 43 crew members on board and was carrying more than 5,800 cattle in the East China Sea when it sent out a distress call on Wednesday.

Just one crew member has been rescued so far, telling authorities the ship sank during rough weather brought on by Typhoon Maysak.

The ship left New Zealand on August 14 and was due to arrive in China next Friday.

In June, Mr Orda posted on Facebook a map of his planned journey alongside a picture of the live export ship that was to be his “ride and home” for the 20-day trip.

Originally from Mt Isa, Mr Orda studied in Townsville and then moved to the Gold Coast where he worked at an equine clinic before his employment on the ship.


There are fresh concerns about the airing of a controversial Princess Diana musical on Netflix in the wake of Meghan and Harry’s multi-year deal, reports news.com .au

The streaming giant announced last month it would be streaming a special performance of Diana: A New Musical before it debuts on Broadway in May next year, news which was largely welcomed by theatre and royal fans after the live show was postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The move follows in the footsteps of Hamilton the musical dropping on Disney+ in July, proving popular among viewers who haven’t been able to attend the theatre during quarantine.

Diana: A New Musical will be filmed for Netflix this month at a New York theatre without an audience.

But news of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex signing on with Netflix in a lucrative $150 million deal has shrouded doubt over whether or not Prince Harry will have something to say about the intimate musical to Netflix bosses.

It is understood the musical shows Diana during candid moments in bed, as well as scenes where she is self-harming and her relationship breakdown with Prince Charles.

There are also moments where the Queen is depicted using inappropriate language and referring to Diana as a “tart”.

Diana’s former bodyguard Ken Wharfe, 72, said Harry should intervene and have the “abhorrent” musical stopped from hitting the service.

“The Diana musical, soon to be premiered on Netflix, presents a huge dilemma to them both,” Wharfe said, according to The Sun newspaper in London.