Daily News Roundup

September 2, 2021



Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been slammed by the federal Treasurer for spouting concerns about Covid-19 in children that the Treasurer says contradict the medical advice and exhibit a “denial of reality”.

Ms Palaszczuk on Wednesday withdrew her support for the national reopening plan once the vaccination targets are reached, declaring opening Queensland’s borders would be too risky for unvaccinated children.

“You open up this state and you let the virus in here and every child under 12 is vulnerable, every single child,” she told the Queensland parliament.

Ms Palaszczuk demanded more research be presented on the dangers of Covid-19 for kids before she would agreed to reaffirm her commitment to the national plan.

“I want to see a paper. I don’t want to see a slide show, I want to see detailed information,” she said.

“I want to know what is going to happen to the children of this state.”

But Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Ms Palaszczuk was deluded, as medical advice clearly indicated the national reopening plan was safe for Australia’s children.

“She said she’s scared for Queensland kids, does that wash with you?” Sunrise host David Koch asked Mr Frydenberg.

“No. It’s a desperate denial of the reality and is not based on the medical advice,” the Treasurer replied.

*Queensland has recorded one locally acquired case of COVID-19 in a truck driver under investigation.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said he lives on the Gold Coast but had travelled from Sydney and is currently back in New South Wales.

The man was infectious in the community for five days from August 28 to September 1.

Contact tracing is underway.

This is in addition to the truck driver from NSW recorded yesterday.

Meanwhile, a Gold Coast school has also been closed after children boasted about travelling to and from Melbourne.

Ms Palaszczuk said the family has been placed into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days.

“This is very serious, we need this family to cooperate with authorities,” she said.

*NSW recorded 1,288 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday.

There were also seven COVID-19 deaths. It brings the Delta outbreak’s total fatalities to 107.

The state has now passed the 7 million mark for first doses of the COVID vaccine.

There were 121,000 people vaccinated in the state yesterday.

NSW Health administered 45,665 COVID-19 vaccines yesterday, including 10,124 at the vaccination centre at Sydney Olympic Park and 9,518 at the vaccination centre at Qudos Bank Arena.

From 5:00am tomorrow exercise will no longer be limited to one hour for those who live in Sydney’s local government areas (LGAs) of concern.

The 9:00pm to 5:00am curfew will still apply, but exercise is unlimited outside of those hours.

The LGAs of concern are; Bayside, Burwood, Strathfield, Georges River, Parramatta, Campbelltown, Blacktown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Liverpool and some suburbs of Penrith.

There are currently 957 COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals across NSW, with 160 people in intensive care, 64 of whom require ventilation.

*Victoria has recorded 176 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases on Thursday, the highest spike in the state in 366 days.

The 176 new local cases is the highest daily spike in virus cases in more than a year, since 202 infections reported on August 22, 2020 during Victoria’s deadly second wave.

The health department confirmed the new local Covid-19 cases about 8.30am, as infections spiral out of control despite the state’s sixth lockdown.

Another 97 new mystery infections were announced within the cases, with the department revealing only 83 of the new cases could be linked to existing outbreaks.

They did not say how many cases were in isolation during their infectious period.

Premier Daniel Andrews has conceded the case numbers will not go down.

“These last few days have seen a dramatic shift in the nature and the number of cases coming forward,” he said.

“We will not see these case numbers go down. They are going to go up. The question is by how many and how fast?

“What we must do is suppress case numbers sufficient to buy us time to get people vaccinated.”

Victorian business owners said Wednesday’s state government announcement marked a “day of disappointment”, warning of the long term economic consequences of the lockdown.

Victorian head of the peak employer association Ai Group, Tim Piper, accused the government of dragging its heels on business support, saying the announced reopening of playgrounds was an insufficient reward for struggling business owners.

“Kids back into playgrounds is a positive change,” he said.

“But it doesn’t create any new economic activity, offer any security for jobs or job creation, help high school and VCE students or young adults.”

Mr Andrews yesterday confirmed a medical committee of experts was exploring whether the interval period between doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine could be reduced for Victorians.


Cameron Dale, the long-term partner of around-the-world sailor Jessica Watson has died in a Gold Coast hospital, six weeks after suffering a catastrophic stroke.

Watson took to social media yesterday to share her “indescribable grief” over the loss of her partner of 10 years.

Dale had been receiving treatment at the Gold Coast University Hospital for the past six weeks following a serious stroke.

Watson — who became famous when she circumnavigated the globe at the age of 16 — confirmed on social media that her partner had died on Monday.

“On Monday, 30 August 2021 we lost our Cam,” she wrote.

“My long-term partner in every aspect of life and planned future. Cam and I have been inseparable since 2011, our shared world centred on messing about on boats.

“Describing what Cam means to be is impossible, everyone who knows us knows how much we simply loved each other.

“Cam has given me the person I’ve become with him, I take enormous strength from having been so devotedly loved, the years of treasured memories offer enormous comfort.

“Being Cam’s Jess is the role I’m most proud of”.

Watson initially rose to fame in 2009, when she became the youngest person to sail solo around the world, unassisted.

Since arriving back in Sydney Harbour on May 15, 2010 — as the youngest person to sail, solo and non-stop, around the world — Watson has completed a Bachelor of Arts from Melbourne’s Deakin University and a Master of Business Administration from the AIM’s Business School.

She was named Young Australian of the Year in 2011, has since written two books and now a movie about her sailing journey is being filmed on the Gold Coast.

Dale and Watson routinely enjoyed time out on the water sailing. In fact, that was where they met a decade ago.

Watson, now 27, works as a management consultant for a major accounting firm and Dale was a property developer.

The pair, who were living in Melbourne, visited New York together in early 2019, enjoying exploring the Big Apple and skating at Central Park.

They came back for regular visits to Queensland and see Jessica’s parents, Roger and Julie Watson, and her siblings, Hannah, Emily and Tom.

The couple were in Queensland when Dale fell ill.

In her social media tribute, Watson also thanked the “dedicated care” Dale had received at the Gold Coast University Hospital.

Dale was 29 when he died.


A United States military commander has said it is “possible” the US will seek to coordinate with the Taliban on counter-terrorism strikes in Afghanistan against Islamic State (IS) group militants.

Army General Mark Milley did not elaborate, and his comment did not appear to suggest immediate plans to work with the Taliban.

US military chiefs have coordinated daily with Taliban commanders outside the Kabul airport over the past three weeks to facilitate the evacuation of more than 124,000 people.

At the Pentagon news conference, General Milley called the Taliban “ruthless”, adding: “Whether or not they change remains to be seen.”

He suggested that the recent cooperative arrangement with the Taliban at Kabul airport was not necessarily a model for the future.

“In war, you do what you must in order to reduce risk to mission and force, not what you necessarily want to do,” General Milley said.

The US coordinated with the Taliban outside Kabul airport to facilitate evacuations by the Taliban-imposed August 31 deadline. (US Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla)

The extent and nature of a US-Taliban relationship, now that the war is over, is a key issue facing US President Joe Biden.

Mr Biden has noted several times recently that the Taliban are avowed enemies of the Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K) terrorist group in Afghanistan, suggesting a shared interest with the United States.

Mr Biden has promised further targeting of IS-K in response to the suicide bombing last week at a Kabul airport gate that killed nearly 50 Afghans and 13 American service members.

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