Daily News Roundup

October 26, 2021

A comparison of production process for the "blue" and "green" types of hydrogen.(Supplied: Woodside)


TUESDAY, October 26

Australia has joined the world in promising to make the nation carbon neutral by 2050, ahead of a global climate change summit.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the government’s plan would see more than $20 billion invested in “low emissions technologies”, including carbon capture and storage, by 2030.

The latest projections show Australia is on track to cut emissions by 30 to 35 per cent by 2030.

However Mr Morrison said the formal target of a 26 to 28 per cent reduction would remain unchanged.

The plan comes after the Nationals confirmed they would give “in-principle” support to the target earlier this week, after lengthy negotiations.

As part of the deal to secure the Nationals support, the Productivity Commission will review the new plan every five years to measure the impact reducing emissions has on regional communities.

“That will monitor the impact, the socio-economic impact, of our plans into the future,” Mr Morrison said.

“So I can say to rural and regional Australians this is a good plan for you. It’s a good plan for all Australians.”

Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the plan reflected the fact that customer and investor demands were changing and the government needed to adapt to meet those needs.

He described the plan as an “actively achievable pathway”.


Queensland has recorded two new cases of COVID-19 detected in the community.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said one was an unvaccinated 17-year-old boy from the Gold Coast, who had contact with a COVID-positive case that had travelled from New South Wales.

Another was a woman in her 30s from Melbourne, who was detected in home quarantine.

A third case — a truck driver from Gympie who travelled to Bundaberg — was also detected in New South Wales and will be counted as part of that state’s figures.

New contact tracing locations have been listed in Bundaberg Central and Glass House Mountains.

The Premier, who made the announcement in parliament, said today’s cases show the state is “not immune to the pandemic”.

“We have contained dozens of outbreaks but, as New South Wales, Victoria, the ACT and New Zealand have discovered … it only takes one case to cause a massive outbreak,” she said.

“Our only protection is to get vaccinated.”

She said 12,769 vaccines were administered in the state yesterday, with 75.22 per cent of the population over 16 now having had their first dose of a vaccine, while 60.7 per cent have had both.

Ms Palaszczuk warned Queenslanders they have just five days to get the jab to be fully vaccinated before Christmas and when borders are due to open to vaccinated people from interstate hotspots on December 17.

“When the New South Wales outbreak started only 4 per cent of its population was vaccinated,” she said.

“Queensland has the opportunity to get a head start, to get ahead of the virus and get vaccinated before the outbreak arrives.”

Ms Palaszczuk reiterated she wanted 70 per cent of the population fully vaccinated by November 19.

“On November 19, anyone from an interstate hotspot will be able to travel into Queensland provided they arrive by air, are fully vaccinated and produce a negative test,” she said.

“Those people will be required to complete 14 days home quarantine.

“Make no mistake: COVID is coming.”

*Victoria has recorded 1,510 new local COVID-19 cases and four deaths as the state moves closer to a further easing of restrictions later this week.

There are now 24,715 active cases of the virus in Victoria, and 234 people have died during the current Delta outbreak.

The new cases were detected from 55,679 test results received yesterday.

There were 28,232 doses of vaccine administered at state-run sites, and more vaccinations at GP clinics and other venues.

From Friday, when the state is expected to reach its 80 per cent double-dose vaccination milestone, regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will follow the same rules, while gyms, retailers and entertainment venues will reopen to the fully vaccinated.

Melbourne’s CBD showing signs of recovery

The easing of restrictions last Friday had an immediate impact on foot traffic in Melbourne’s CBD and inner suburbs, which rose by 2,000 per cent after lockdown ended.

The City of Melbourne data showed the Chinatown and Lygon Street dining precincts also saw significantly more visitors over the weekend. 

“Knock off beers on Friday night saw 1,200 percent increase on Lygon Street and Saturday night saw a 600 percent increase in people enjoying Chinatown,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp said.

“We are really optimistic about the city’s recovery. All of the economy data tells us that the city will not just return but really exceed expectations,” she said.

Ms Capp said she was confident more people would return to the city when restrictions eased again this Friday evening. 

“It really does show that once restrictions ease, people do make the most of them,” she said

*NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has hinted that the date for a further easing of restrictions may be brought forward as the state reached a new milestone with 85 per cent of people over 16 now fully vaccinated.

Under the roadmap, more restrictions are due to be lifted on December 1, with those who are not vaccinated having greater freedoms.

But Mr Perrottet today signalled that may now happen earlier.

“We will be looking at aspects of the roadmap at the COVID economic recovery committee this week,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The vaccination rates have provided an opportunity to revisit some areas and we will look at that.”

Across the state, 93.1 per cent of over 16s have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In the 12-15 age group, 78 per cent have had their first dose and 51.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.


Chinese President Xi Jinping says China will always uphold world peace and international rules in the wake of growing concerns by the United States, and its allies including Australia, of its increasing assertiveness globally.

The comments from Mr Xi come after Taiwan said this month that military tension with China was at its worst in more than 40 years, amid mounting worries that the giant neighbour might try to take back by military force the self-ruled island it claims as its own.

In a speech marking the 50th anniversary of China’s return to the United Nations, Mr Xi said it would always be the “builder of world peace” and a “protector of international order”, state news agency Xinhua reported.

“China resolutely opposes all forms of hegemony and power politics, unilateralism and protectionism,” he said.

He also called for greater global cooperation on issues such as regional conflicts, terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.

Mr Xi urged all countries to promote the values of peace, development, justice, democracy, freedom, making use of a phrase the “common values of all mankind” that he coined in a July speech for the 100th anniversary of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

In 1971, the United Nations voted to recognise the People’s Republic of China as the sole representative of China, expelling Taiwan, which had held the UN seat in the name of the Republic of China, its official title.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry reiterated a call for the United Nations to allow its “meaningful participation”, adding that the island had never been part of the People’s Republic and its government had no right to represent the island’s people.

The ministry called on the United Nations “not to repeatedly succumb to the political pressure of the Chinese government”.

Apart from tension with Taiwan, China has been more assertive in staking its claims to disputed territory on its Himalayan border with India, and to tracts of the South China Sea disputed with some South-East Asian nations, and over some islands in the East China Sea disputed with Japan.

Mr Xi said reforms on global governance are needed and that international rules should be decided by all 193 members of the United Nations, instead of by “certain countries or country groupings”.

He also said all countries should always abide by international rules and not only when the rules suit them.


The mother of missing four-year-old WA girl Cleo Smith has made another heartbreaking plea to “bring her home”, saying the little girl “is everything to us”.

The search for Cleo has entered its 11th day after she disappeared from her family’s tent in the state’s Gascoyne region on October 16.

The WA government has offered a $1-million reward for information that leads to her being found, or to an arrest of anyone involved in her disappearance.

Cleo’s mother Ellie Smith and stepfather Jake Gliddon say they awoke on the morning of her disappearance to an open tent, with no sign of the girl or her sleeping bag.

Cleo’s  mother Ellie Smith says the 10 days without her daughter have felt “like an eternity”.(Supplied: Channel Seven)

They appeared on Channel 7’s Flashpoint program last night, urging the public to call in any information that could help police find their little girl.

“If you know anything, anything at all, call the police because we want our daughter back and she wants us,” Ms Smith said.

“Our daughter Isla, she needs her big sister.

“We need her home.”

Ms Smith said the 10 days without her daughter had felt “like an eternity”.

Forensic detectives have been at the family’s house in Carnarvon looking for any evidence that could help find the missing girl.

“I guess we just hold hope that there’s something there that they can find,” Ms Smith said.

Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde said searching the house was just part of the process with a major investigation like this one.

“There’s no indication that the family or Cleo were being stalked in the days beforehand,” he told Channel 7.

“I want to reassure the community in Carnarvon that that’s not what we think happened.”

Superintendent Wilde, the head of Taskforce Rodia set up to investigate Cleo’s disappearance, said police still had not identified a vehicle seen leaving the Blowholes the morning the girl disappeared.


A man described as an animal lover will lose custody of his companion parrot of 23 years as part of his sentence for torturing and killing a cat.

Philip Gregory Tripp was charged with causing the death of an animal in July after he trapped and later drowned a domestic cat in a garbage bin filled with water.

He filmed the crime and shared photographs on social media.

Outside the courthouse in Coffs Harbour on the NSW Mid North Coast, protesters from the Animal Justice Party called for the maximum penalty to be imposed on Tripp.

The 70-year-old’s lawyer, Hugo Schleiger told the court yesterday that his client was deeply remorseful for his actions and had “an illustrious career” in the pet and music industries.

Mr Schleiger said his client’s behaviour had been affected by heart surgery he had around that time.

“The paradox is that he’s been an animal lover all of his life and he has a parrot, which is his companion,” Mr Schleiger said.

Magistrate Ian Rodgers said it was “perplexing” Tripp committed such a “horrific” act given his background.

“That seems to fly in the face completely of a crime of this nature,” Mr Rodgers said.

Parrot could suffer separation anxiety, lawyer says

Mr Schleiger argued Tripp had intended to trap and kill feral cats, which he said were threatening native wildlife on his client’s Coffs Harbour property.

But prosecutor Heidi Warren said Tripp’s background should have enabled him to identify that the cat was not feral.

“One would expect an animal lover, or someone who is across animal conservation, would know the difference between a feral and a domestic cat,” Sergeant Warren said.

“The contrition and remorse, in my submission, is being caught and being embarrassed in the community.”

Sergeant Warren told the court the cat’s owners had put posters around town trying to find their pet.

She also called on Mr Rodgers to place a disqualification order on Tripp that would prevent him from purchasing, caring for or owning a domestic pet for five years.

Mr Schleiger told the court Tripp’s “companion parrot” of more than two decades was “not like an ordinary family pet”.

He urged the magistrate not to make the order because Tripp and his parrot would suffer separation anxiety.

The magistrate gave Tripp the maximum discount on his sentence because he entered a guilty plea to the charge at the earliest opportunity.

Mr Rodgers considered his prior good character and remorse, but described the offence as “horrific” and “abhorrent” with a high level of animal cruelty that had a degree of planning involved.

Tripp was sentenced to a nine-month intensive corrections order, 100 hours of community service and the disqualification order was enforced.

The maximum penalty for the offence is five years’ jail.

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