Daily News Roundup

August 20, 2020


Thursday, August 19


A supervisor at Brisbane Youth Detention Centre in Wacol, in the city’s west, has tested positive to coronavirus, forcing hundreds of staff and children to be tested.

Queensland Health said the woman, who is in her 70s and lives in the Ipswich suburb of Bundamba, did five shifts while she was infectious.

She has since been admitted to Ipswich Hospital with minor symptoms.

The facility is now in lockdown, as 127 youths and more than 500 staff are tested.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there had not been visitors at the centre due to recent unconnected cases in Logan, so contact tracing would not be as complicated as it could have been.

“What you’re going to hear today is the story of a woman who was sick, and still went to work,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“It is really important that if you are sick, you must stay home, as now a whole lot of contact tracing has to happen.”

Victoria has recorded 240 new coronavirus cases and 13 deaths, the state’s health department has announced.

It is the fifth consecutive day of case numbers under 300.

However, it is an increase on yesterday’s figure of 216 new cases, which was the lowest in more than five weeks.

Australian Medical Association federal vice-president Chris Moy said the problem in Victoria was people had become used to seeing large numbers of new cases.

He said today’s number was still “too high to be manageable as far as contact tracing is concerned”.

“These are not numbers that would have been acceptable just a couple of months ago,” Dr Moy said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has dismissed calls from her Deputy Premier to open the border with Victoria as NSW confirmed five new coronavirus cases.

Health authorities in NSW said there were three COVID-19 cases recorded in South-West Sydney yesterday and another two who were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

The state’s chief medical officer Kerry Chant said the source of one of those locally acquired cases remained under investigation.

The new figures came after Deputy Premier John Barilaro signalled he would go it alone in calling for the Government to loosen restrictions on the state’s southern border.

Mr Barilaro said this morning if infection figures in Victoria stabilised, he would push to reopen the border.

“If Victoria’s number continues to decline and we get them under a 100 in the next few weeks, I would argue that the border should be lifted,” he said.

In NZ There are 101 active coronavirus cases with another five infections confirmed today.

All five cases are related to the community outbreak in Auckland, taking the total number from that cluster to 80, while one case that was considered part of the Auckland cluster has been reclassified as a mystery case.

Of the 101 active cases, just two have no known link to a previous infection.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said there were six New Zealanders in hospital, one of them in intensive care.


Qantas has recorded a $2 billion loss, with the coronavirus pandemic slashing its full-year revenue by 21 per cent.

The airline recorded a net loss of $1.96 billion, down more than $2.8 billion from last year’s $840 million profit.

Qantas said the result was dragged lower by a $1.4 billion write-down in the value of assets, such as its Airbus A380 aircraft fleet, and $642 million in one-off costs associated with its pandemic restructuring program, such as redundancy payments to staff.

The airline says around 4,000 of its 6,000 planned job cuts are expected to be finalised by the end of September, while it continues to stand down 20,000 employees.

Underlying profit, excluding those big one-off costs, was $124 million, down 91 per cent from $1.33 billion the year before.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said just the first few months of the pandemic, to June 30, triggered a $3 billion-plus turnaround in the airline’s fortunes.

“We were on track for another profit above $1 billion when this crisis struck,” he said.

“COVID will continue to have a huge impact on our business and we’re expecting a significant underlying loss in FY [financial year] 21.”

However, Mr Joyce said he remained optimistic about the longer-term prospects for the airline as the pandemic subsides.

“Recovery will take time and it will be choppy. We’ve already had setbacks with borders opening and then closing again,” he said.


Two episodes of the Emmy-award-winning children’s show Bluey have been pulled from ABC streaming platform iview after a viewer complained an episode contained a term with “racial connotations”.

That term was “ooga booga”.

Two episodes — Teasing and Flat Pack — were temporarily pulled from the platform while the term was edited out.

The ABC received a complaint from a viewer on June 28 about a term used in the episode titled Teasing.

The viewer complained the episode included “a term with racial connotations and a problematic history for Indigenous Australians”.

In the Flat Pack episode of Bluey, Bluey and Bingo use empty boxes to make their own world.(ABC)

An ABC spokesperson said neither the public broadcaster nor external producers were aware of the term’s potentially derogatory meaning.

While the initial complaint centred on the use of the term in the season one episode of Teasing, it also appeared in a season two episode titled Flat Pack.

The spokesperson said the term was only intended as “irreverent rhyming slang often made up by children”.

An ABC spokesperson said both episodes were temporarily removed from iview “as soon as the ABC and external producers became aware of the potentially offensive meaning of the term”.

The ABC also said it “sincerely apologised to the complainant for any distress caused”.

 “The ABC has a strong record for giving voice to Indigenous Australians and an ongoing commitment to helping reduce discrimination and prejudice and in this case, the language used was inadvertent,” a statement read.

Read the ABC’s statement on its response to the complaint here.

Ludo Studios, the Brisbane-based production company behind Bluey, has been contacted for comment.

The two removed episodes were edited to change the dialogue.

An edited version of Flat Pack is now available on iview, and Teasing is set to be replaced on September 8.

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