Daily News Roundup

July 14, 2020

TUESDAY JULY 14

The newly released ‘Palace letters’ have revealed Sir John Kerr sacked the Whitlam government in 1975 without giving advance notice to the Queen, reports the ABC.

The 211 letters exchanged between Sir John Kerr and the palace at the time of the dismissal are this morning being released by the National Archives of Australia, in Canberra.

Sir John says in a later letter he had to act without giving Gough Whitlam a chance to call an election, because he feared he would be sacked himself, and that would have put the Queen in a difficult position.

On November 20, 1975 — more than a week after the dismissal — he wrote:

“History will doubtless provide an answer to this question, but I was in a position where, in my opinion, I simply could not risk the outcome for the sake of the monarchy.

“If, in the period of 24 hours in which he [Whitlam] was considering his position he advised the Queen that I should be immediately dismissed, the position would then have been that either I would be, in fact, trying to dismiss him while he was trying to dismiss me – an impossible position for the Queen.”

The letters comprise 1,200 pages and include press clippings about events in Australia at the time.

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In addition to Victorians, Queensland has closed its borders to people from two Sydney suburbs after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declared them coronavirus hot spots.

Residents from the local government areas of Liverpool and Campbelltown will be barred from freely crossing into Queensland.

Queenslanders who have been to the hotspots, or travel there in the future, will be forced into hotel quarantine when re-entering the state, at their own cost.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said the decision to extend the border closure to some people from NSW had been made as NSW were seeing rapid transmission of the virus following an outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel at Casula where there has been a cluster of more than 20 cases.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said 18 Queenslanders had been tested after visiting the hotel in the last 14 days, but their test results were still unknown.

“This outbreak is incredibly concerning and we are taking it very seriously,” Mr Miles said.

“Any Queenslanders who have been to the Crossroads Hotel from July 3 to July 10 inclusive should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible and then immediately self-isolate.”

Meanwhile in the US, California’s Governor has ordered a retreat from the state’s economic reopening as coronavirus cases soar, shutting bars and banning indoor restaurant dining statewide, while closing churches, gyms and hair salons in the hardest-hit counties.

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Australian tennis star Samantha Stosur, who won the 2011 US Open,  has announced she became a mother last month after her partner, Liz Astling, gave birth to a baby girl.

The 36-year-old revealed via Instagram on Monday that on June 16, she and Ms Astling welcomed Genevieve into the world.

“Life in lockdown during coronavirus has been challenging in many ways but personally it’s been one of the most exciting and happy times of my life, Stosur wrote.

“Mum and Evie are doing well and it’s so amazing to be home with them both.

“We are absolutely in love with this little bundle and rolling with the happy chaos.

“We can’t wait for what’s to come and to watch little Evie grow up … Although not too quickly we hope.”

In addition to winning  the US Open in 2011 Stosur has six grand slam doubles titles to her name, three mixed doubles and three women’s doubles, including last year’s Australian Open that she won in partnership with China’s Zhang Shuai.

She is currently 97th in the world singles rankings and has spent 16 years inside the world’s top 100.

She has a career high singles ranking of four in the world, which she achieved in 2011.