CDC redefines close contact; NJ Gov. Murphy

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Coronavirus Australia live news: Australians trapped overseas prepare to board first repatriation flights into Darwin

The first of eight specially chartered Qantas repatriation flights will leave London tonight to bring 175 stranded Australians back home to a facility near Darwin to quarantine for 14 days.

Follow today’s events as they unfold.

Live updates

By Lucy Sweeney

What’s happening in Victoria today?

Anxiously waiting for Vic numbers. Could it be Trending Thursday of 0 cases?

-Morning Dose


good morning!! hoping for doughnut day…


Morning MD, hopeful. Me too! Got all my fingers and toes crossed for you. Also these kinda donuts wouldn’t go astray. 

We haven’t got the Vic case numbers yet, but rest assured I will bring you those numbers as soon as we get them. 

By Lucy Sweeney

20 European countries record highest daily number of COVID-19 cases


The UK topped the list with more than 26,000 new cases and 191 deaths, followed by Italy with more than 15,000 new cases and the Czech Republic with almost 12,000. 


Here’s the full list of new cases: 


  • UK: 26,668
  • Italy: 15,199
  • Czech Republic: 11,984
  • Poland: 10,040
  • Netherlands: 8,500
  • Ukraine: 6,719
  • Switzerland: 5,596
  • Romania: 4,848
  • Slovakia: 2,202
  • Armenia: 1,836
  • Slovenia: 1,503
  • Croatia: 1,424
  • Bulgaria: 1,336
  • Greece: 865
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina: 728
  • Belarus: 733
  • North Macedonia: 640
  • Luxembourg: 430
  • Lithuania: 311
  • Latvia: 188

By Lucy Sweeney

First repatriation flights due to depart tonight



There will be 175 Australians on board, coming home from Europe with a stop in Darwin to quarantine for 14 days.


Madeline Curtis is and her family are expecting to be on board, she says its been tough in the UK with a newborn child, but she’s excited to get home.


“I think it’s just been a crazy week, because this all happened so quickly,” she said.


“It’s not going to be the most ideal scenario [but] I think at the moment we’re just pretty grateful to have the opportunity get on the plane.


“And when we get to Darwin, I mean some and sunshine vitamin D, that’ll be alright, but we’ll see how we go.”


Under the Federal Government’s arrangement, passengers are fronting the cost of the flight. Ms Curtis says it’s a lot of money for her young family.


“Whilst we are so grateful that we have this flight, it’s taken a long time for the Australian Government to act,” she said.


“And this is supposedly a humanitarian mission and it’s going to cost my family $10,000 to get home on this flight, and with the expenses of quarantine, for us as a young family that’s a lot of money.”

By Lucy Sweeney

Coronavirus news October 22

Good morning blog fans, I’m Lucy. Today is Thursday October 22 and I’m with you this morning to bring you all the latest coronavirus news and information.

Later today the first of several specially chartered repatriation flights will leave London to bring stranded Australians back home. It comes as 20 countries in Europe record a record daily rise in coronavirus cases. Let’s get into the morning’s headlines. 

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Sorority member is put on probation after sharing Candace Owens post criticizing Black Lives Matter

Sophomore at University of Kansas is put on probation by her sorority for ‘unbecoming’ behavior after she shared a Candace Owens post criticizing Black Lives Matter

  • Sophomore Katherine Lauer was rebuked by the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority
  • She had reposted a September tweet from the black conservative commentator
  • Owens said BLM was ‘the most flagrantly racist organization in America’
  • Lauer said she supports the ideals of BLM but feels ‘suppressed and silenced’ 
  • The university and the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority has not commented 

A University of Kansas sorority member has been put on probation for ‘unbecoming’ behavior after she shared a Candace Owens post criticizing Black Lives Matter

Sophomore Katherine Lauer was rebuked by the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority after reposting a tweet from the black conservative commentator in which she said BLM was ‘the most flagrantly racist organization in America’.  

Owens wrote on September 23: ‘Black Lives Matter is an organization of white men, using the faces of dead black people, to raise millions of dollars toward electing white Democrats into positions of power.’ 

Lauer, who said she supports the ideals of BLM, told Fox News: ‘I feel like they’re really trying to suppress me and silence me. A lot of the conservative friends that I have do not feel comfortable speaking their opinion. 

‘It’s almost like … the environment that everyone feels suppressed.’   

The University of Kansas and the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority has not commented.  

Lauer was rebuked by the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority after reposting a tweet from the black conservative commentator in which she said BLM was 'the most flagrantly racist organization in America'

Katherine Lauer has been put on probation by her sorority for ‘unbecoming’ behavior after she shared a Candace Owens post criticizing Black Lives Matter. Lauer was rebuked by the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority after reposting a tweet from the black conservative commentator in which she said BLM was ‘the most flagrantly racist organization in America’

Sharing her correspondence with the network the student was told to take ‘social media posting holiday’ and speak with Kappa Alpha Theta chief operating officer Allie Dew to get a ‘broader education of America today’.

The sorority member was told was put on probation over ‘argumentative communication (verbal or otherwise) with members as a result of your social media posts that disregards different opinions’.

When probed on her probation Lauer is said to have been they were ‘not claiming you have broken a bylaw or rule, but that you have had conduct unbecoming of a member of Theta as the values you have been making public through social media and text communications went against Theta’s values and disrespected women of our chapter’. 

Sophomore Katherine Lauer was rebuked by the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority

Sophomore Katherine Lauer was rebuked by the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority

Lauer shared a Candace Owens post criticizing Black Lives Matter

Lauer shared a Candace Owens post criticizing Black Lives Matter

Sharing her correspondence with the network the student was told to take 'social media posting holiday' after reposting this

Sharing her correspondence with the network the student was told to take ‘social media posting holiday’ after reposting this 

Posts on her pro-life beliefs and comments on mistakes made by Joe Biden were also looked, according to the report.  

Attempting to overturn the decision Lauer told a October 18 meeting: ‘My reasoning for this post was to shed a little bit of light on the transparency of the organization. 

‘Because I’ve been reading a lot of stories about people who teach in Black communities, who live in Black communities, and they are very outraged that the Black Lives Matter money isn’t going to those communities and all their funds are being controlled by Act Blue and its really hard to track where those funds are going.’

She said others in the sorority also targeted her via text, where she is said to have been told it was ‘not her place to state who is racist and who is not’.

Her position will be reviewed on October 26 when ‘if at this meeting it is determined that you have successfully met all terms of probation and the advisory board feels that you are ready to become a member or new member in good standing’ the extended discretionary probation status ‘will be lifted’. 


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Cricket Australia, Sheffield Shield, scores: Cameron Green scores century, WA vs NSW, video

Cameron Green’s burgeoning career has taken yet another step forward with the 21-year-old scoring his fourth first-class century on a day Tim Paine also hit triple figures.

The promising WA all-rounder played an innings of patience and composure against a Nathan Lyon-led NSW to reach day three stumps unbeaten on 185. WA is 7-436, trailing NSW by seven runs heading into the final day.

Meanwhile, Australia Test captain Paine silenced his critics by hitting an unbeaten 111 off 201 balls for Tasmania against South Australia.

Watch the 2020/21 Marsh Sheffield Shield LIVE on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

WA prodigy does it again


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Can we take business lessons from cybercriminals? 

  • Hackers tend to work as part of large entities, gaining access to troves of information and tools
  • Businesses can take a lesson from their adversary’s approach to collaboration 

The typical ‘hacker’ is often depicted as a hoodie-wearing loner sat in a dark room, Fawkes mask lit green or red by an array of monitors like they’re on the bridge of an aircraft carrier. 

And while this may occasionally be the case (the eye-strain would become old quickly), the kinds of attacks that extort millions or billions from organizations through ransomware aren’t carried out by lone-wolves. ‘Aqua’, the 32-year-old ransomware ‘franchisor’ and founder of Evil Corp — the hacker group behind the ransomware attack on Garmin — is said to flex his customized Lamborghini around the streets of Moscow with state immunity… hardly hiding in his mother’s basement. 

Cybercrime today is so pervasive that it’s often referred to as CaaS or ‘Cybercrime as a Service’. Not only do actors operate within extensive networks or entities, but successful malware is sold to other groups who wish to conduct cyberattacks themselves. Trickbot, for example, has infected over a million computing devices around the world since late 2016, including IoT devices. While the identity of the operators is unknown, research suggests they serve both nation-states and criminal networks.

“Many larger cybercriminal entities work very similarly to corporations we are familiar with. They run a business, they have assets they both create and resell, they leverage trusted networks in forums, blogs, chats to share collateral in hopes of moving a project forward,” Anuj Goel, CEO, and co-founder of Cyware, told TechHQ.

While one threat actor might be able to build a botnet, this can open doors for another individual who builds ransomware. The maker of that ransomware, in turn, might sell access or versions to criminals looking to leverage spam providers to distribute their content. 

“They share knowledge of vulnerabilities, especially ones they might not necessarily have the tools to exploit. They bring on partners or leverage services from another cybercriminal, all with agreed-upon profit sharing percentages.”

The power of cooperation

It is this cooperative approach and knowledge sharing that gives the combined cybercriminal adversary such strength. Information sharing provides cybercriminals a vast and diverse pool of capabilities and exploits in order to better reach their intended goals. Even ‘entry-level’ hackers can access tools and resources to start them off, with the ability to purchase better resources later on. 

In response to the gathering threat, the cybersecurity market is advancing and expanding rapidly. And while security teams may have no shortage of advanced toolsets, they are finding themselves both isolated in the business and isolated among peers and equivalents within their industry. They lack the power of collaboration. While organizations defend themselves like fortresses or islands, an orchestrated ecosystem is attacking from all sides, around the clock. 

While information sharing is beginning to improve between organizations, thanks to initiatives such as the Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAOs) which enables member organizations to share and respond to cyberthreats in close to real-time, there is still a lot more work to do across industries to  “institutionalize” information sharing,” said Goel. 

“Leadership needs to perceive information sharing as a requirement, not something altruistic they do simply to feel good. It should be a business requirement.”

Of course, countless surveys over the last several years have gone to highlight just how much security teams already have on their plate. Burnout, stress, and high churn are evidence of the weight of the task and adding another in information sharing — while a longer-term benefit — may not seem feasible for many. 

The answer lies in automation. Organizations can leverage tools and solutions to build “automated bridges” for information sharing, enabling for the sharing of data and reports in relation to attempted or successful cyberattacks which could help other businesses to thwart them or adapt their defenses. 

“Automating, normalizing, and growing information sharing would raise the security capabilities of all parties in that community and lower the overall perceived ROI a threat actor has for that vertical,” said Goel. 

For example, public sector organizations in the US could be warned about the expected entry-point of a particular strain of ransomware and make subsequent efforts to reduce the risk of an attack. The ransomware campaign is less fruitful as a result. In fact, the dip in ransomware at the beginning of last year was said to be attributed to a rise in awareness campaigns. 

“If they are used to spending time and money to create malware they hope they can leverage against hundreds or thousands of targets, what happens when on day one, target one awareness of that malware has already spread to all potential targets?” Goel said.  

“What happens if tactics, techniques, procedures are automatically shared with industry peers at machine speeds? You limit the overall impact across the sector, drive costs up for threat actors, and help change perceptions of your industry being a valuable target.”

While an arsenal of matte-black cybersecurity weaponry might keep the wolves from the door temporarily, it is information that could have the longest-lasting impact in the war on cybercrime, and the business world can take a few lessons from the adversary there.

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Ajax v Liverpool: Champions League – live! | Football

HALF TIME: Ajax 0-1 Liverpool


GOAL! Ajax 0-1 Liverpool (Tagliafico og 35)





The teams




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Companies from border nations to face tighter scrutiny for govt deals

NEW DELHI: Companies based in countries sharing a land border with India who bid for government procurement contracts are set to face tighter scrutiny.

They will have to provide details of the top 20 high-value outsourced components and goods, as well as sub-contracted works and services. The details include country of origin, major technical parameters, and specification of manufacturers and sub-contractors.

The rules are expected to tighten scrutiny of vendors from China and Pakistan, besides keeping a check on the quantum of imports.

The details would need to be certified by chartered accountants. “The idea is to improve local supply chain and manufacturing,” an official said.

The bidders will also have to furnish details of the contracts that they had received in the last five years from public procuring entities in India.

They will also have to give details of the status of those orders and attach a brief note explaining the reasons for seeking registration with the Registration Committee of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

The Centre has fixed a 10% threshold to decide whether such a company has a “controlling stake” in case of government contracts.

Bidders can seek registration for multiple items in an application. They will have to do so by providing details for each item for which the registration is being sought.

“When the government takes a stance on blocking imports from a certain country, they have to check the origin of the components. Moreover, now auditors have to certify. So, one can expect an additional layer of checks there,” an expert on investment issues said.

The rules come after the government put in place a new foreign direct investment policy on April 18.

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Virus spikes have officials looking to shore up hospitals

BOISE, Idaho — Hospitals across the United States are starting to buckle from a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, with several states setting records for the number of people hospitalized and leaders scrambling to find extra beds and staff. New highs in cases have been reported in states big and small — from Idaho to Ohio — in recent days.

The rise in cases and hospitalizations was alarming to medical experts.

“It’s really worrisome,” said Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist at George Mason University. Around the world, disease trackers have seen a pattern: First, the number of cases rises, then hospitalizations and finally there are increases in deaths. Seeing hospitals struggling is alarming, she said, because it may already be too late to stop a crippling surge.

“By the time we see hospitalizations rise, it means we’re really struggling,” Popescu said.

In Kentucky, the governor called the number of daily confirmed cases “grim,” forcing another round of preparations to expand hospital capacity.

“We are now going back to our plans about capacity in hospitals, looking — if we have to — at hotel options and the use of state parks,” Gov. Andy Beshear said during a recent briefing. “Ensuring that we have the operational plans to stand up the field hospital, if necessary.”

The governor reported 776 people hospitalized, including 202 in intensive care and 96 on ventilators. There were 1,312 new COVID-19 cases statewide Tuesday — the fourth-highest one-day total since the pandemic began.

At the other end of the country, Idaho reported its largest coronavirus spike, with new cases increasing by some 47% over the past two weeks. Idaho is currently sixth in the nation for new cases per capita, with a positivity rate of just over 15% — one of the country’s highest.

Still, Gov. Brad Little has resisted calls for a statewide mask mandate, saying it’s up to individuals to take the necessary steps — wearing masks, social distancing and practicing good hygiene — to stem the surge.

“As a health system, we’re all very concerned,” said Dr. Bart Hill, the vice president and chief quality officer of St. Luke’s Health System, the state’s largest. “It’s indicative of anticipating we’re going to see more hospitalizations affecting an older population in the next two, three, four weeks.”

“The direction we’re heading is one that looks real problematic,” he said.

Since the virus was first detected earlier this year, more than 40 million people around the globe have been infected and more than 1.1 million people have died. In the United States, there have been more than 8 million confirmed cases and more than 220,000 deaths. The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases has reached nearly 60,000 — the highest since July.

In some cases, spikes are happening as schools reopen and as Americans grow weary of wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

“At this point in the pandemic, everybody’s tired. Everybody’s craving human interaction,” Popescu, the epidemiologist, said. “I worry this is a ripe situation for us to really bubble over what we’ve seen.”

Winter is a busy season for hospitals as influenza and other respiratory illnesses ramp up with more people congregating indoors. “I worry a COVID wave that causes a heavy surge on hospitals that are already very busy will further add stress to a system that is exhausted,” Popescu said.

Selin Bert, 48, who lives in Portland, Oregon, told The Associated Press that her mother-in-law, who is in her early 70s and lives in Mesquite, Nevada, recently got a severe case of COVID-19 and had to be taken to the ICU in a Las Vegas hospital. She suspects her mother-in-law was infected during a visit from her grandchildren, who traveled from Montana.

Her in-laws, Bert said, were religious about social distancing and wearing masks. But she’s not sure the grandkids were such sticklers.

“They wear masks when they’re outside, the in-laws. I don’t know about the kids, but I do know that that part of the family isn’t big on the whole mask thing, especially because of where they live,” she said, adding she’s not sure the grandkids have since been tested.

“I — we don’t want to even ask because now it’s become a very touchy subject. Because if someone says to you, ‘Hey, you potentially killed your mom, or could have killed your mom,’ it doesn’t really bode well for the family reunion.”

Her mother-in-law had symptoms for a few days at home and her health deteriorated so much that she had to be rushed to the hospital after a family member found her on the bathroom floor. She’s now doing better, but remains severely fatigued, Bert said.

Coronavirus cases are rising so fast in North Dakota that it’s taking officials up to three days to notify people after they test positive, and as a result the state has fallen way behind on tracing their close contacts who might have been exposed.

Republican Gov. Doug Burgum and the North Dakota Department of Health announced late Tuesday that they’re shifting 50 National Guard members who had been working in contact tracing to simply notifying people who test positive. And public health officials will no longer notify close contacts of people who tested positive; instead those individuals will be instructed to self-notify their close contacts and direct them to the department’s website.

North Dakota, with its loose regulations, has the country’s worst per-capita spread rate, with 1,224 new cases per day per 100,000 residents, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Nebraska began imposing new coronavirus restrictions Wednesday, after the number of people hospitalized remained at a record level of 380 for two straight days and the state reported 11 new deaths from the virus.

Cliff Robertson, CEO of CHI Health, said his hospital group is working to bring in nurses from other parts of the country to handle the additional cases.

Over the past seven days, Nebraska has reported an average of 854 new cases per day, up significantly from two weeks ago when the state was reporting an average 525 cases per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

The trend led Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts to announce new restrictions that took effect Wednesday. Hospitals now must keep 10% of their beds free for COVID-19 patients, and customers at restaurants and bars must remain seated at tables with no more than eight people.

In Oklahoma, Gov. Kevin Stitt and state health officials launched a new plan to handle a surge in virus hospitalizations that reached a record one-day high of 821. It includes transferring virus patients from facilities in regions where hospitalizations are high to those with more bed capacity.

Meanwhile, Wyoming health officials reported the number of people hospitalized with the virus has increased to 73, the highest since March. Health officials say the increase mirrors an increase of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases reported across the state since late September. October has been a record-setting month for cases.

Hospitalizations in Ohio have also hit a new high, with 1,154 people hospitalized and 158 on ventilators — the highest number since July.

Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Monday he was caught off-guard by the spike in cases and pleaded again for Ohioans to wear masks and keep themselves socially distanced.

And in Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh said public schools will switch to all-remote learning because of a rising number of cases. The city’s seven-day average positive test rate is currently 5.7%, an increase from 4.5% last week. Walsh said students will remain in remote learning until there are two full weeks of falling infection rates.


Peters reported from Milwaukee and Johnson reported from Washington state. AP journalists from around the United States contributed to this report.

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Goulburn Mulwaree Council tightens residential subdivision controls | Goulburn Post

news, local-news, Goulburn, Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Marys Mount, semi-detached, The Tillage, Teneriffe subdivision, Development Control Plan amendment, housing density

Goulburn and region’s strong housing and rental market is thought to be fuelling “over-development” of residential subdivisions. Semi-detached and dual occupancy dwellings are increasingly springing up at Marys Mount and the Joseph’s Gate subdivision on Taralga Road, the council says. Planners contend the trend is putting pressure on infrastructure such as water and sewer, creating poor designs and negatively impacting on amenity. READ MORE: Seven units on single block angers neighbouring residents Residents object to Mary Martin Drive development Goulburn Mulwaree Council residential plan sparks questions They’re looking to tighten controls through an amendment to a development control plan. It will raise the bar on road widths, require subdivision master plans and strengthen controls regarding privacy, open space and solar access. The proposed change, to be placed on public exhibition, also introduces height limits for sheds and ancillary structures, prevents the same house design being used twice within three lots of another and includes additional design guidelines to ensure garages don’t dominate the street frontage. Master plans will have to consider the subdivision’s impact if developed to its fullest extent. This contrasts with the current mechanism, which assumes one house per lot. Several denser subdivisions have recently tested councillors. However planning laws did not prevent them. Mayor Bob Kirk said councillors agreed something had to be done. “We do understand that there is demand for these types of homes, whether for owner occupiers or renters, but the reality is that many of our new subdivisions are being exposed to over-development as this trend continues,” he said in a statement. “…We appreciate that developers want to maximise the residential side of development, but it is essential that road widths are maintained to ensure traffic safety, including provision of weekly waste collections. ” The amendment is designed to prevent over-development until a comprehensive review of housing and subdivision controls in the council’s Local Environmental Plan and development control plan is undertaken. This is expected to take a year. ALSO READ: Contractor parking around hospital tests council’s patience Planning director Scott Martin said with 100 hectares of undeveloped land at Marys Mount alone and residential zonings at Marulan, now was the time to act. In addition, more planning proposals from landowners were anticipated once the council’s Urban and Fringe Housing Strategy was endorsed. He told The Post that existing controls allowed semi-detached and dual occupancy in residential subdivisions but developers had not utilised them to the fullest extent until recently. “That has played out in terms of things like road width, vehicle access, the ability for car parking to be absorbed on to the street but also the capacity of infrastructure to cope,” he said. “In (estates) like Teneriffe and Joseph’s Gate we are really stretching infrastructure to the max very early in the subdivision’s life.” He stressed that the council was not trying to stop such housing but ensure it happened in a “controlled and consistent way.” He pointed out that the LEP and the Housing Strategy aimed to achieve diversity of homes. ALSO READ: Green signal for development of Crookwell 3 Wind Farm Mr Martin suspected the region’s attractiveness and affordability were driving the trend. “The rental market in particular is quite strong and developers are catering for it,” he said. “We’ve seen the symptoms present themselves and now the question is how to address them. We’ve had some quite good discussions with developers…We’ve approached them and they’ve been willing to work together to make sure everyone gets a good outcome.” But as he told Deputy Mayor Peter Walker at Tuesday’s council meeting, little else could be done about the already approved subdivisions. ALSO READ: Woman waits in ‘excruciating pain’ for more than an hour until ambulance arrives The Housing Strategy estimates more than 6,000 new residents will move to Goulburn up until 2036, with the total LGA population expected to grow to 37,202. The amendment to the Goulburn Mulwaree Development Control Plan 2009 will be placed on public exhibition for 28 days. It is available on the council website, at the Goulburn Library and the Civic Centre in Bourke Street. We care about what you think. Have your say in the form below and if you love local news don’t forget to subscribe.


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Advocates call for changes to protect women on temporary visas fleeing family violence

When Elly* leaves the suburban Melbourne home where she’s sought refuge, she dons a wide hat and big sunglasses as protection against retribution from her ex-husband.

Elly fears an acid attack.

“I completely know the nature of my ex-husband who is completely revengeful and violent,” Elly said.

“He wants always to be the winner.”

Newly married last year, Elly moved from Iran on a temporary visa to be with her husband, who was studying in Melbourne.

Three days after she arrived, he began relentlessly hitting and raping her.

Three-and-a-half months later, convinced he was going to kill her, Elly called the police.

“It was the first time I understood having a temporary visa could have very, very difficult problems,” she said.

Because of her visa, Elly had difficulty accessing emergency accommodation.(ABC News: Sean Warren)

“Because of my type of visa, women’s shelters didn’t accept me.

“They said, we couldn’t help you because you are on a temporary visa and you don’t have Centrelink.”

She was eventually placed in temporary accommodation.

‘He threatened to cancel my visa’

With no job, very little money and trauma resulting from the abuse, Elly is currently living with a family in their home.

“No woman [should] have to tolerate domestic violence, tolerate rape, because of [their] type of visa,” Elly said.

“I couldn’t do anything to help myself because he threatened me to cancel my visa, and kill me in my country.”

The separation from her husband meant her original partner visa has been replaced by a bridging visa as she fights to stay in the country.

Elly believes being a separated woman, combined with false allegations of adultery levelled against her by her ex-husband, means returning to Iran could result in her being imprisoned or killed.

“Because it is a taboo, and all the people think it’s my problem, there will be a danger of sacrifice killing,” she said.

“In addition, my ex threatened me [with] acid attack.

“I am a victim of both family violence and immigration laws that completely stopped me and exacerbated my emotional psychological conditions.”

‘It’s our backyard’

InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence chief executive Michal Morris said situations like Elly’s were not uncommon, and were often further complicated if Australian-born children are involved.

“Where the problem lies is in your visa status, so your visa status determines if you have access to Centrelink or Medicare,” she said, explaining that many refuges rely on a co-payment from Centrelink.

Ms Morris said women whose visa status relied upon their partner needed a way to flee a violent relationship without having to leave the country.

“If you’re in a legitimate relationship, if you’re experiencing family violence, you should have the opportunity to recover,” she said.

A smiling woman with long curly hair sits in front of a laptop computer.
Michal Morris says Australia has a responsibility to better protect visa holders who face domestic violence here.(ABC News: Nicole Asher)

“Particularly if the violence happens in Australia; it’s our backyard — we have to be able to respond and support them.”

InTouch is advocating for immigration pathways for temporary to permanent visas for survivors of abuse perpetrated in Australia.

“What we’re calling for the Government to do is to introduce a two-year visa with Centrelink rights, with working rights and with health rights.

“This will enable the women to overcome the experiencing of family violence and then make decisions about what she wants to do with her life,” Ms Morris said.

“At the end of that two years we would like that woman to be able to apply for a range of temporary and permanent visas in Australia.”

There is broad support among experts working in the field for new arrangements for visa holders fleeing family violence.

Current regulations provide protection, Minister says

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said no-one should have to endure a violent relationship, and that there was support available for some visa holders.

“There are family violence provisions in the Migration Regulations which allow temporary Partner visa holders in Australia to be granted permanent residence if their relationship has broken down and they have suffered domestic or family violence perpetrated by the sponsor,” he said.

“In the last five years, we’ve granted permanent visas to 2,450 victims of domestic violence under these provisions.

“My department has officers trained in family violence who work closely with victims to give them visa flexibility and to connect them with appropriate support agencies.

Alan Tudge holds his head in his hand while sitting in the House of Representatives
Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge says no-one should have to stay in a violent relationship.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

Marie Segrave, an associate professor of criminology at Monash University, has been studying the plight of women on temporary visas during the pandemic.

“Only those on the right partner visa have that safety net. It’s a safety net for only some women, she said.

“There are two groups: those who hold a temporary partner visa, and everyone else.

“Everyone who doesn’t hold that visa has total uncertainty, because [if] they don’t hold the [temporary Partner] visa they can’t access services.

“There are about half who don’t have any avenue for support. You’re specifically denied it.”

Broader protections needed, advocates say

Ms Segrave said people who have suffered domestic abuse, like Elly, were made more vulnerable by their insecure immigration status.

“They’re limited in terms of the kinds of safety and support they can access because of the visa they hold,” she said.

“If our commitment is to ending domestic and family violence, to creating safety, we should do that. We shouldn’t make a hurdle requirement that you have the right visa.

“That’s actually quite simple and achievable.”

A woman dark hair, white top and blue jacket stands outside a house.
Ms Segrave says their visas make it difficult for many women to leave violent situations.(ABC News: Marie Segrave)

A recent Federal Government announcement specifying character checks would have to be disclosed to a potential incoming partner visa holder fell short of what was required to keep women safe, Ms Segrave said.

While she accepted it would be helpful to many applicants, the measure failed to recognise that some women seeking a partner visa could not feasibly pull out, even with the knowledge their partner had an abusive record.

“It refuses and ignores the fact that people might already be married, might already have children,” Ms Segrave said.

“It’s interesting that we continually push the decision back to victims and women in that situation to make the decision to leave and we know actually the situation’s far more complex.”

A federal parliamentary inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence is looking at the issue and its findings may guide future changes to the scheme.

*Not her real name

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