Daily News Roundup

September 11, 2020

Image credit: SBS

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has broken down during an emotional press conference this morning.

The leader cut the address short after tearing up following repeated questions over the state’s harsh border closure, which has separated families.

The Premier defended her tough border stance after coming under increased pressure following the Chief Health Officer’s decision to prevented people from attending funerals of loved ones.

On a day that the state recorded two new coronavirus cases, Ms Palaszczuk said she had lost loved ones during the pandemic and understood what people were going through.

“These are difficult decisions and they’re heartbreaking,” she said.

“I’m human just like everyone else. These issues hurt me deeply.

“They hurt me deeply because during this pandemic I have lost loved ones as well. I know exactly what people are going through, OK?”

Thanks,” she said as her voice broke, before abruptly cutting off the press conference and walking away from gathered media.

It came after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called Ms Palaszczuk yesterday morning, appealing for her to allow an exemption for Sarah Caisip to attend her father’s funeral.

The 26-year-old was granted an exemption to travel from Canberra to Brisbane but wasn’t able to leave hotel quarantine to attend the funeral yesterday afternoon.

Queensland Health then granted her permission for a private viewing at the funeral home.

Ms Palaszczuk doubled down on her position and said it was not her decision to grant an exemption and that fell to the Chief Health Officer.

“Look, I feel these issues very personally … just like everyone else does,” she said.

“That’s why we’ve put in place this specialist care unit.

“We have 80 people in this exemptions unit looking at these issues and these people are human beings as well.

“They’re having to go through all the details, and make really difficult and tough decisions but this is happening in other states as well.

“It’s happening around the world. It’s not nice.”

Ms Palaszczuk said both the new cases were in home quarantine.

There are 28 active cases in the state, with 9,216 tests carried out in the last 24 hours.

Health Minister Steven Miles said the two cases were known contacts to previously diagnosed COVID-19 cases.

“Both of them were in quarantine and were known to be direct contacts of already confirmed cases,” he said.

Victoria has recorded 43 new cases of coronavirus and nine deaths, taking the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 710.

The State Government is expected to release more details about the latest case numbers, as well as the official 14-day case averages, later today.

Metropolitan Melbourne had a reported 14-day average of 70.1 yesterday, and regional Victoria was sitting at 4.5.

In recent days, Premier Daniel Andrews has said regional Victoria is “on the cusp” of reaching the next stage of the roadmap out of restrictions.

Health authorities in NSW have confirmed 10 new cases of coronavirus in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday.

Six of those are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

The other four infections were locally acquired and linked to known cases or clusters.

NSW Health’s Jeremy McAnulty said one new case was a household contact of a previous case associated with Liverpool Emergency Department.

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The NSW Government has been saved from collapse after National Party leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro back flipped on his threat to stop supporting Government legislation over the state’s koala protection policy.

After a short meeting with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Mr Barilaro agreed his MPs would not move to the crossbench over the controversial planning legislation.

Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro threatened his party would not support government legislation, boycott joint party room meetings and move to the crossbench over amendments to the State Environmental 

 

Under the amendments, land owners would be responsible for the koalas on their land, which could impact how they develop it, and the Nationals have reportedly been bombarded with calls from residents who are against it.

 

Mr Barilaro withdrew his threats on Friday morning and committed to the Coalition until the election, The Daily Telegraph reported.

 

Government sources reportedly claimed the Deputy Premier tried to make several demands, including to discuss the legislation at the next cabinet meeting on September 21, but none were accepted.

 

A source within the Nationals told NCA NewsWire nothing had been “finalised” between the two parties and it was “still inconclusive what will happen”.

 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian did not take kindly to the threats made on Thursday, and had issued a press release that evening calling for the party members to resign from her ministry by 9am on Friday or fall into line.

 

Nationals members held an emergency meeting on Friday morning, just one hour before the deadline for them to resign.

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An Afghan soldier who murdered three Australian soldiers has been flown to Qatar ahead of US-brokered peace talks with the Taliban.

The prisoner, known as Hekmatullah, has spent seven years in jail after killing Lance Corporal Stjepan Milosevic, Sapper James Martin and Private Robert Poate in August 2012.

He ambushed the soldiers in a “green on blue” attack, while they were playing cards at their base at Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan province.

The ABC has confirmed the former Afghan Army sergeant was on board a flight that took six prisoners to Doha.

A Taliban spokesman said all six prisoners were in “good health”.

The peace talks have been brokered by the US, which wants the Taliban to strike a deal with the Government of Afghanistan in order to put a stop to further violence.