Daily News Roundup

October 2, 2020

AAP: David Rowland


Australia has agreed to a travel bubble deal with New Zealand, with the first trans-Tasman flights to depart in two weeks, the Federal Government has confirmed.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said quarantine-free travel will begin from midnight on Friday, October 16, with New Zealanders allowed to fly into NSW and the Northern Territory.

It is expected Australians will head to New Zealand at a later date.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison finalised details of the arrangement with his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern earlier today.

“This will allow New Zealanders and other residents in New Zealand who have not been in an area designated as a COVID-19 hot spot in New Zealand in the preceding 14 days to travel quarantine free to Australia,” Mr McCormack said at a press conference this afternoon.

However, there is no date yet for when Australians will be able to travel to New Zealand.

Queensland is set to reopen the border to all of New South Wales from November 1 if there are 28 days of no community transmission.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced further stages of reopening the state in a “COVID Safe Future” roadmap that also included the easing of restrictions around public gatherings.

Standing, eating and drinking will be allowed at bars and restaurants around the state from 4:00pm today.

Stage 5, which begins on the November 1, will allow 40 people at private gatherings and 40 people will be allowed to dance at weddings.

Queensland’s border measures will also be relaxed under stage 5, if New South Wales records 28 days without community transmission.

“Their health experts are also concerned about some undetected community transmission at the moment. So we will be watching that space very carefully,” Ms Palaszczuk said. 

“The reason we can ease more restrictions is because families have done a good job.”

Under Stage 6, which begins on December 1, gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed in homes and public spaces and 1,500 people will be allowed to attend outdoor events that have a COVID Safe plan.

The cap on dancing at weddings will also be removed on December 1, with an unlimited number of people allowed to hit the dancefloor.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was “extremely pleased” with the Queensland Government’s plans to re-open the border.

She said she had not spoken with the Queensland Premier yet.

“I would welcome that with open arms. If that is the case, I’m ecstatic about it. I would’ve hoped it happened sooner but I can live with the 1st of November because it gives hope to our local residents.”


NSW Police and the NRL’s Integrity Unit have launched separate investigations into a swathe of misconduct allegations made against South Sydney Rabbitohs and a club great, now retired from playing.

It comes after a story in The Australian newspaper claiming the club covered up alleged domestic violence and drug use by the player and that a senior club staffer facilitated the cover up.

The player has denied the allegations and South Sydney has been contacted for comment.

In a statement, a NSW Police spokesperson said: “On Wednesday 30th September officers from the Hume Police District received a report outlining various allegations relating to the conduct of a 31-year-old man.”

“Police have commenced inquiries, however as these inquiries are in their infancy there will be no further comment made at this time.”

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said the Integrity Unit would interview Rabbitohs officials today.

“We will also seek the advice of police and other relevant authorities throughout this process,” he said.

“This is new information for the NRL and it is important we now gather the facts.

“The allegations have not yet been tested and due process will be followed as we undertake a thorough investigation.”

After a four-month investigation into various off-field matters, The Australian newspaper published an exclusive report on Thursday night. The paper named the player.


It includes claims that South Sydney officials went to great lengths to prevent the public exposure of the raucous post-season celebrations of the star late in his career.




One of US President Donald Trump’s closest aides has tested positive for coronavirus.

Hope Hicks, who serves as counsellor to the President and travelled with him to a rally on Wednesday (local time), tested positive the next day, according to an administration official.

She is the closest aide to Mr Trump to test positive so far.

Ms Hicks travelled with the President multiple times this week, including on Marine One, the presidential helicopter, for a Minnesota rally, and aboard Air Force One to Tuesday night’s first presidential debate.

Ms Hicks previously served as White House communications director and re-joined the administration this year ahead of the election.


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