Daily News Roundup

November 23, 2020



More than four tropical cyclones are likely to form in the Coral Sea this summer, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has predicted, reports the ABC

The BOM has briefed the Queensland Cabinet on the cyclone season outlook, with the La Niña weather pattern expected to bring higher rainfall, above-average flooding and more tropical cyclones than last summer.

Senior meteorologist Laura Boekel said while she could not give specific numbers, more than four cyclones were predicted to form in the Coral Sea this season, as well as one to two in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

“One to two of those [could be expected to] cross the coast … and with the La Nina, more likely than not, we’ll see an increase in those numbers,” she said.

She said BOM predictions did not extend to the severity of the cyclones, but that Queensland was facing a “different” La Niña event to the one that caused devastating flooding in 2011.

“While I can’t comment on exactly what that will bring, I can say that last time we saw this big La Niña, in 2011, the flooding catchments were already very saturated and we were in a La Niña for a much longer period,” she said.

“This severe weather system is different — the catchments aren’t as flooded as what we’ve seen and we have just entered La Niña as well.”


Police are continuing to investigate a fatal crash that killed two children at a south-east Queensland dam about 2:00pm on Sunday.

Queensland police said two adults and four children were in a four-wheel-drive vehicle when it broke through a road barrier, rolled down an embankment and ended up on its roof in water at Wyaralong dam, near Beaudesert.

Passers-by, including two doctors and an off-duty paramedic, helped pull them from the vehicle, but a four-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy died at the scene.

A one-year-old boy was flown to hospital after the crash.

Having initially been listed as critical, he is now in a stable condition in hospital.

A five-week-old baby was treated at the scene.

Two adults — a man, 23, and a woman, 33 — were also taken to hospital with leg injuries.

Three rescue helicopters and more than a dozen emergency services vehicles attended the scene of the crash.(ABC News)

Inspector Doug McDonald said the family was travelling from the northern Gold Coast suburb of Pimpama to Pratten on a “relatively straight section” in a 100km speed zone but it was still not clear how the car left the road.

“We are looking at a number of considerations there,” he said.

“Fatigue is a real big killer on our roads and that’s certainly part of our investigation on this matter.”

Inspector McDonald said the high-speed crash highlighted the “danger and serious consequences” of driver safety.

“We encourage everyone to please travel safe … particularly in the lead up to Christmas.”

Inspector McDonald ruled out alcohol being a contributing factor and said everyone in the car was wearing seatbelts.


The pizza bar worker whose deception led to South Australia’s coronavirus lockdown last week is not the only person to have lied to contact-tracing authorities, SA’s Police Commissioner has said.

South Australia was last week ordered into the strictest lockdown imposed on any Australian state or territory since the start of the pandemic.

But on Friday, Commissioner Grant Stevens announced the stay-at-home order would be cancelled three days early because it was partly based on false information supplied by a worker at the Woodville Pizza Bar.

Health authorities today said the worker was “very regretful” and being offered mental health support while in hotel quarantine.

Police said the man initially told contact tracers he ordered a pizza from the shop, but later conceded he had been working there, dramatically altering the risk assessment by SA’s COVID-19 Transition Committee.

LIVE UPDATES: Read our blog for the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Commissioner Stevens told ABC Radio Adelaide the worker — whose actions prompted police to launch a taskforce — was not the only person being investigated for being untruthful with authorities.

“I think it’s fair to suggest that the individual who contracted [COVID-19], who also worked in the pizza bar, is not the only person that has not been truthful with us,” he said.

“We’re investigating that at the moment … it makes it very difficult to get to the truth.”

South Australia today recorded one new case of COVID-19 — a family member connected to the Parafield cluster.

Police have been stationed at the the Woodville Pizza Bar, which some social media users have threatened with vigilante action over its role in the lockdown.

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