What we know today, Thursday August 13



Welcome to your serving of the day’s breaking news from South Australia, the nation and abroad. Follow this post for breaking news through the day.

Marshals called in as restrictions tighten around border but loosen at home

Communities living close to South Australia’s border with Victoria will face tighter rules while restrictions on gatherings in SA homes will be eased under changes to COVID-19 conditions announced by the Police Commissioner Grant Stevens yesterday.

Stevens also confirmed that a range of venues – including gyms, shopping centres, cafes, food courts, places of worship and licensed premises – will be required to have a clearly identified “COVID marshal” on premises from August 21. This will be a “visual reminder” to patrons to comply with social distancing and other hygiene measures.

A previous cap of 10 people in private homes will be lifted to up to 10 visitors, in addition to those who live in the home, to a maximum of 20. Other non-licensed gatherings will be capped at 100.

“Close border communities” will also face much tougher restrictions on travel to South Australia from Victoria, also from August 21.

Stevens said people previously able to move between Victoria and SA for shopping, education, employment or medical care will no longer be able to do so without having successfully applied for approval.

“People who currently have an approval to enter for employment or education, providing or receiving support or obtaining food, petrol, medical or other supplies will not be able to enter South Australia from Victoria,” he said.

They will have to apply for approval under essential travel requirements.

There will be some exemptions for students who are studying years 11 or 12 or farmers whose properties span the border.

Earlier in the day, Premier Steven Marshall said Stevens, who is also the state’s emergency coordinator would make an announcement within the next 24 hours regarding a “logical tightening” of restrictions in aged care facilities.

These include limiting the movement of workers across multiple sites and forcing people to wear face masks while visiting nursing homes.

“We’ve got to constantly look at the restrictions that we have because we know that we have vulnerable communities in those high-density arrangements,” Marshall said.

SA Health reported no new cases for South Australia yesterday for the fifth consecutive day. Six cases remain active.

NDIS Company responsible for Ann Marie Smith’s care banned

Ann Marie Smith in 2012. Image supplied by SA Police.

The company responsible for the care of Adelaide woman Ann Marie Smith when she died has had its registration revoked by the NDIS Commission.

The commission has been investigating NDIS provider Integrity Care since the 54-year-old died in hospital in April from septic shock, multiple organ failure, severe pressure sores and malnourishment.

Integrity Care took two weeks to report her death to the NDIS Commission.

The provider was slapped with a $12,600 fine over its failure to notify the commission within 24 and hours been banned from operating.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner Graeme Head said Integrity Care was advised early in June of the commission’s intention to revoke its registration and to ban it from operating over several contraventions of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act).

“There are very clear requirements under the NDIS Act as to how the NDIS Commission takes compliance actions … This includes giving ample opportunity for the party subject to these actions to respond,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

The revocation of Integrity Care’s registration will take effect from tomorrow (August 14), while the ban will come into place from August 21.

Integrity Care will no longer be able to provide NDIS-funded supports and services to NDIS participants as a registered provider and will be banned from providing all supports and services to any person in the NDIS.

The commission’s investigation into Integrity Care is ongoing and further regulatory action may be taken if necessary.

A carer for the disabled woman, Rosemary Maione, 69, was last week charged with manslaughter over Ms Smith’s death. Maione was sacked from Integrity Care in May.

Police allege Ms Smith died of serious criminal neglect and her death was preventable.

City office vacancies remain steady despite virus

The full COVID-19 impact is yet to play out on Adelaide’s office market with latest figures showing only a slight rise in vacancies.

The Adelaide CBD office market vacancy increased marginally from 14.0 to 14.2 per cent, which the Property Council said was mainly due to supply additions.

The city had 11,530sqm of new commercial office space come online in the six months to July 2020.

A-Grade office stock was again the most popular asset class, with vacancy dropping from 11.3 to 10.8 per cent.

Office vacancies are calculated on whether a lease is in place for office space, not whether the tenant’s employees are occupying the space or working from home.

Property Council SA Executive Director Daniel Gannon said upward pressure on vacancy rates caused by COVID-19 would not be seen until at least next year.

“Adelaide has demonstrated over the past six months that it is a comparatively safe, healthy and resilient capital city, with a growing number of competitive national advantages,” he said.

Australian CBD office vacancies increased from 8.3 to 9.5 per cent over the six months.

Today’s jobless figures predicted to be worst in 22 years

Economists expect Australia’s unemployment rate to hit to jump to 7.8 per cent – a 22-year high – when the latest jobs figures are released at 11am this morning.

Number crunchers anticipate today’s labour force report to show a 30,000 increase in the figure of those employed in July.

But it is unlikely to be enough to prevent the July unemployment rate rising from 7.4 per cent in June

Westpac economists expect the jobless rise to be fuelled by a greater number of people seeking work.

The Reserve Bank predicts the unemployment rate to hit 10 per cent by the end of this year and still be around seven per cent in two years.

Central bank governor Philip Lowe will be grilled on this outlook when he faces federal politicians on Friday.

Rising unemployment and the first recession in nearly 30 years is expected to further depress wage increases in the months ahead.

The June quarter wage price index released on Wednesday grew by just 0.2 per cent, the slowest rate since the Australian Bureau of Statistics began collecting the data in 1997.

Russia rejects vaccine criticism

Russia says the first batch of what it claims is the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine will be rolled out within two weeks and has rejected as “groundless” safety concerns aired by some experts.

The vaccine, called “Sputnik V” in homage to the world’s first satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1957, has yet to complete its final trials and some scientists said they feared Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.

Scientists from Germany the United States and Britain have queried the wisdom of approving the vaccine before testing is complete.

“It seems our foreign colleagues are sensing the specific competitive advantages of the Russian drug and are trying to express opinions that in our opinion are completely groundless,” Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said the day after President Vladimir Putin announced it had won regulatory approval.

Officials have said that the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, would be administered to people, including doctors, voluntarily in the final trial. Mass roll-out in Russia is expected to start in October.

The Moscow-based Association of Clinical Trials Organisations (ACTO), a trade body representing the world’s top drugmakers in Russia, had urged the health ministry to postpone the vaccine’s approval until the final trial had been completed.

“It’s the ambition, the desire to be first in a field in which, unfortunately, Russia cannot vie for a top spot,” executive director Svetlana Zavidova told Reuters.

“Our task is now to warn the population because we so far don’t understand how they (the authorities) are going to carry out mass vaccination.”

Final trials, normally carried out on thousands of participants, are considered essential in determining safety and efficacy. Only about 10 per cent of clinical trials are successful.

Kamala Harris may prove difficult target for Trump

Photo: David J. Phillip/AP

Joe Biden’s selection of Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in November’s presidential election provides a brand-new target for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign that has struggled to find an effective line of attack against his Democratic rival.

Within minutes of Biden’s announcement on Tuesday, Trump had called Harris “nasty,” “horrible” and “disrespectful,” while his campaign painted her as an extremist who would yank the moderate Biden to the left.

But there is little evidence at the moment that suggests that the public views Harris, a former California prosecutor and attorney general with strong ties to the Democratic establishment, as a radical.

In fact, she’s more liked by Republicans than Biden, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted on August 10-11, just before she was announced as Biden’s pick.

More concerning for Trump: Attacks that could appear sexist or racist against the first black woman on a major party ticket in US history could complicate his campaign’s effort to shore up his standing among suburban women, a critical voting bloc he must win back to get re-elected, strategists on both sides say.

Already, leading Democratic women warned against a replay of Trump’s match-up in 2016 with then Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who was subject to gender-based critiques as the first female presidential candidate.

“If he wants to use misogynistic tropes against Kamala Harris, I think that is deeply challenging for him,” said Neera Tanden, a top aide to Clinton during her presidential bid. “He has no room for error with suburban women.”

Biden and Harris were expected to make their first public appearance together as a team overnight.

NZ flags election delay

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is considering deferring the country’s September 19 election due to the return of COVID-19.

Ardern postponed the dissolution of Parliament – poised for Wednesday – back to Monday, buying time to consider the decision.

In the meantime, her government is focussed on responding to the country’s first outbreak in three months, and all parliamentary parties have paused their campaigning.

“We’re in the first 24 hours of a response to resurgence. Our immediate focus has been that,” Ardern said yesterday.

“We’re giving ourselves the room to fully consider the implications of a move of (the election) date and what we find out about what resurgence we’re seeing.”

Eight confirmed or probable cases have been identified in south Auckland in the last 36 hours, resulting in a 60-hour lockdown of New Zealand’s biggest city.

Opposition Leader Judith Collins has called for an 11th hour deferral of New Zealand’s election, which is due before November 21.

Ardern has earmarked a cabinet meeting on Friday for a discussion about a potential election move.

Scottish train derailment kills three

Three people have been confirmed dead after a train derailment in eastern Scotland.

The train’s driver and conductor are among the fatalities, while six people have been taken to hospital with a range of injuries.

Dark smoke billowed from the stricken ScotRail train at the bottom of a narrow valley near Stonehaven, just south of Aberdeen, after it came off the tracks.

Two air ambulances and about 30 emergency service vehicles could be seen in a field just above the site of the derailment, which appeared to be difficult to access.

Stonehaven and the surrounding area had been hit by floods in recent days and some reports suggested a landslide may have played a part in the derailment, although that was not confirmed by the authorities.

Finals dream over for Adelaide United

Adelaide United’s hopes of contesting the A-League finals series this season have been dashed after Western United defeated Perth Glory 2-0 last night.

The win puts Western into sixth place – level with Adelaide United on 36 points but with a vastly superior goal difference (+10 to -5).

Adelaide has played all their 26 games while Western has two games to come.

The Reds drew their final game of the A-league season against second-placed Melbourne United 2-2 on Tuesday night to put them three points clear in sixth.

The Reds have been one of the form teams of the competition since the A-League restart, winning two and drawing three under interim coach Carl Veart.

A few showers today, 17C

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting an 80 per cent chance of showers for Adelaide today with falls of up to 4mm and winds northwesterly 25 to 35km/h.

Yesterday’s forecast rain did not arrive in earnest with only 0.2mm falling at the airport in the past 24 hours.

 – with AAP and Reuters





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NDIS safety commission bans Ann Marie Smith care provider Integrity Care


The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Commission has banned disability care agency Integrity Care from operating after its client Ann Marie Smith died in “appalling circumstances” earlier this year.

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has confirmed it has revoked Integrity Care’s registration and issued a banning order over what it described as a number of breaches of the NDIS Act.

Ms Smith, 54, died on April 6 from severe septic shock, organ failure, severe pressure sores, malnutrition and issues connected with her cerebral palsy.

The case sparked public shock and multiple investigations, including by the commission and by police, and it is believed Ms Smith may have spent up to a year in a cane chair before she died in hospital.

Last week, police charged Hectorville woman and Integrity Care worker Rosemary Maione, 68, with manslaughter in connection with Ms Smith’s death.

Integrity Care will have its registration revoked.(ABC News: Mahalia Carter)

In a statement released late on Wednesday, the NDIS Commission said the loss of registration will take effect from Friday, while the ban will come into effect a week later.

“Integrity Care was advised in early June 2020 of the intention to revoke the organisation’s registration and to ban it from operating, and was given an opportunity to respond,” NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner Graeme Head said in a statement.

“There are very clear requirements under the NDIS Act as to how the NDIS Commission takes compliance actions, so that decisions are made with due process.”

Mr Head said Integrity Care had been given “ample opportunity” to respond, as the NDIS Act requires.

Safety of other participants a priority

The commission said its first priority was ensuring the safety of other NDIS participants “supported by Integrity Care”, and that it had issued a compliance notice requiring the agency to carry out independent welfare checks.

“The NDIS Commission has broad powers to take compliance and enforcement action when NDIS providers are found not to have met their obligations under the NDIS Act,” it said.

The decision to revoke the provider’s registration will prevent it from providing NDIS-funded supports and services, the commission said.

Integrity Care has declined to comment on the development.

A house converted into an office
Integrity Care SA’s office at Edwardstown in suburban Adelaide.(ABC News)

SA Disability Advocate David Caudrey said it was an expected outcome, but that the NDIS Commission had to go through a process to ensure other Integrity Care clients were safe and that it was meeting its legal obligations before it could issue the ban.

Mr Caudrey, who recently co-chaired a taskforce into disability safeguards created in response to Ms Smith’s death, said the commission would be in the process of transferring the agency’s clients to other service providers.

“The end point isn’t at all surprising [but] there are usually a number of steps that need to be gone through … it isn’t a trivial set of questions,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“They have made sure that the other participants were safe.”

SA Opposition Human Services spokesperson Nat Cook was critical of the fact that the agency had not been shut down sooner.

“I just can’t believe they didn’t shut them down straight away,” she said.

“The length of time it’s taken … it’s not good enough — it doesn’t pass any test of decency.”

The NDIS investigation into Ms Smith death remains ongoing and the commission foreshadowed “further regulatory actions”.



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Marshall rejects ‘double standards’ accusation over Queensland holiday



Premier Steven Marshall has defended his decision to holiday in Brisbane for his son’s university graduation, despite police confirming there had been “no change” to travel advice urging South Australians to “rethink travel to Queensland”.

According to the Government Gazette, the Premier took scheduled leave for four days from Saturday, returning late yesterday.

But the Opposition has questioned the decision to holiday in the Sunshine State, which Marshall confirmed today was “for my son’s graduation and it’s perfectly acceptable to travel into Queensland”.

Travel advice issued by Police Commissioner Grant Stevens on July 31, under the heading “People urged to rethink travel to Queensland”, advised “South Australians considering travel to and from Queensland to assess their need to travel against the implications of possible increasing restrictions in the future”.

“To prevent a second wave of COVID-19, it is possible travel restrictions may be imposed in the future which will result in people entering from Queensland being required to undergo mandatory testing and self-quarantining for 14 days upon arrival,” the advice warned.

“At this time, no decision has been made regarding the re-introduction of travel restrictions nor is there any date being considered. The situation in Queensland will continue to be monitored.”

An image that accompanied the latest travel advice from SAPOL.

That came in response to a case in which three Brisbane women – who subsequently tested positive for coronavirus – were charged after allegedly deliberately misleading authorities when crossing back into Queensland from Victoria.

Opposition spokesman Tom Koutsantonis said today: “No-one begrudges the Premier taking leave or a holiday, but a lot of South Australians would be wondering why he didn’t follow the advice of state coordinator Grant Stevens.”

“A lot of South Australians have missed out on important events – funerals, weddings, seeing loved ones, grandchildren being born, even children being born,” he said.

“We should all be sacrificing equally – not one rule for the Premier and another for everyone else.”

But Marshall rejected the criticism, defending his decision to visit his son Charlie, 22, which came to light after Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington tweeted a photo of her and the Premier together.

“I think the Police Commissioner put out some advice last month which suggested that there could be changed situations in the future based on the fact that [some] Queensland women travelled to Victoria, got infected and came back [so] we were really on heightened alert last month,” Marshall told reporters today.

However, he insisted, “Queensland has done exceptionally well with very, very low numbers over the last two weeks”.

It has been 11 days since Queensland recorded a local infection, with no new cases overnight.

However, SAPOL told InDaily today there had been no change to the July 31 advice, with the state’s Transition Committee “closely monitoring what is going on in other states”.

Asked whether he’d encourage anyone who wanted to travel to Queensland to do so, Marshall said: “We’d encourage people to always been aware that there may be changed conditions, but certainly my travel was perfectly legitimate – it meets all the requirements.”

“And we do need to have travel – we’ve got a lot of people involved in the travel sector, so we’ve got to have travel both ways,” he insisted.

“What I would do is encourage people to look very, very carefully at the travel arrangements we have in place, and if your travel fits within those then, sure – that’s fine.

“But we’ve got to be aware we’re in a pandemic – there are restrictions and they can change at the last moment… but Queensland has done very well managing [those] cases they had coming back from Victoria.”

Marshall was asked last Thursday at a media conference what the reason for his scheduled leave was, responding: “I think we’re all entitled to take leave, and I’ve put an application in to his Excellency the Governor and he’s given me four days leave beginning this weekend.”

The new controversy comes just days after an annual general meeting of around 250 members of the SA Liberal Women’s Council at Adelaide Oval prompted similar accusations of double-standards, given funerals and weddings are currently capped at 100 – accusations the Premier strongly rejected last week.

It also comes as Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack today urged Australians desperate to see family and friends interstate to let health authorities contain coronavirus outbreaks first.

“The virus has to be contained and minimised,” McCormack told the Nine Network this morning.

“State premiers and chief ministers have made the border closures to protect their own jurisdictions.”

-additional reporting by AAP

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Coronavirus impact on Adelaide CBD businesses prompts plan to lure more cars


While other cities in Australia and around the world are encouraging cycling during the coronavirus pandemic, Adelaide will host a so-called “driver’s month” to encourage cars to return to the CBD to boost trade.

The move, supported at last night’s Adelaide City Council meeting, will include incentives to park and drive through the CBD such as prizes for using the council’s parking meter app, a pre-Christmas marketing campaign and banners declaring “happy driver’s month”.

The motion put up by Councillor Jessy Khera and supported by a majority vote will allow cars to drive in dedicated bus lanes, under “pop-up congestion-easing measures”.

The initiative is planned for either October or November.

Cr Khera said the measures were “desperately needed now”, with fewer shoppers and diners coming into the city, hurting small businesses.

“This is not something that is anti-bike, it is not anti-bus — it sits alongside all those other modes of transport — but it is recognising that the absolute lifeblood of people patronising our city is via automobiles.”

The Frome Street bikeway runs north-south through the CBD.(Supplied: Adelaide City Council)

In recent years, efforts have been undertaken to reduce congestion by encouraging people to cycle to work or catch public transport.

But cyclist numbers on the Frome Street bikeway have been well down during the COVID-19 pandemic, as office staff choose to work from home, while recreational cycling has increased.

Several motions put up to encourage cycling, such as pop-up bikeways, have failed to gain support at the council during the pandemic.

‘Red carpet for gas-guzzlers’

Not all councillors were in favour of the plan.

Councillor and former Greens senator Robert Simms spoke against it, saying “every month in the City of Adelaide unfortunately is driver’s month”.

He said cities such as London, Paris, New York, Bogota, Berlin and Brisbane had installed or were going to install pop-up bikeways to encourage cycling while people were avoiding public transport.

Cr Khera said councillors who laughed at the idea of a driver’s month were “in a COVID cupboard”, saying the dining strip along Rundle Street now sometimes looks as empty as it would on Christmas Day.

“When you hear the belittling about something like this, let’s be very clear: the people who are being mocked, the people who are being belittled and laughed at are the ordinary decent folk out there who right now are facing a calamity of their livelihoods of unprecedented proportions,” he said.

Traffic on a city street
Adelaide traffic has picked back up as coronavirus restrictions have eased.(ABC News: David Frearson)

Bicycle Institute chairwoman Katie Gilfillan said the council’s problem was with not enough people, rather than not enough cars.

She said cyclists may boycott the city during driver’s month.

“They don’t want to go to a polluted, noisy, car-infested city because that’s not what a city is about — a city is about fun, festive people-orientated activities,” she said.

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She urged the council to hold several car-free days to see how trade compared to the driver’s month.

But Hutt Street Traders Association secretary Wayne Copley welcomed the initiative, saying it would be particularly good for families.

The council has already offered parking discounts at multi-storey carparks it owns in the city and has relaxed parking restriction enforcement.

In response to Cr Khera’s motion, council staff commented that allowing parking or driving in bus lanes may need approval from the State Government.

Plans for an east-west bikeway across the CBD have been stalled for years.



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SA political parties claim JobKeeper payments and grants during coronavirus pandemic


All of the major political parties in South Australia have reached out for federal and state government support throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

At a time when most businesses have taken huge financial blows, the political parties say they are not immune either.

The SA division of the Liberal Party has claimed a total of $110,000 in payments in the first six months of the year, according to new figures from the Electoral Commission of South Australia.

That figure is made up of $60,000 worth of JobKeeper payments and a $50,000 cashflow boost, both funded by the Federal Government.

The party’s state director defended the payments, saying they were used to retain staff, mainly in office and administration roles.

SA Liberal Party state director Sascha Meldrum.(Twitter)

The SA branch of the Labor Party also claimed JobKeeper payments in the first half of the year.

“Like many organisations, the Labor Party has been heavily impacted by the COVID pandemic,” state secretary Reggie Martin said.

“We were eligible for the JobKeeper initiative, and this has allowed us to keep our staff employed, even during the months when we had to close the doors to the office and work with a skeleton staff.”

Mr Martin said the party could not say how much it claimed in JobKeeper payments because it incorrectly disclosed them and had acknowledged the error.

“We included the amount that we have received from the tax office in our return to the electoral commission, but due to a misunderstanding, we did not include the prescribed particulars for the tax office,” he said.

“We have spoken to the electoral commission, and will be submitting an amendment to our original return to clarify.”

The ALP did not apply for any other grants or cashflow boosts, Mr Martin said.

Greens also claimed small business grant

The SA Greens also claimed JobKeeper payments, but only from July onwards.

On top of that, the party received $30,241 in state and federal funding from January to June this year, including a $10,000 small business grant from the State Government.

State Treasurer Rob Lucas said the Greens would have had to meet “strict eligibility conditions” in order to receive the grant.

A man in black holding a tiny coffee speaks to another man holding a microphone
Treasurer Rob Lucas says the grants had strict conditions.(ABC News)

“The grants were open to any small business or not-for-profit organisation that met the strict eligibility conditions,” he said.

“Without knowing the specific details, I can only assume Revenue SA assessed the Greens as meeting the strict eligibility criteria and, therefore, were entitled to receive the grant.”

SA Greens state convener John Wishart defended the party’s decision to receive a further $20,241 from the Federal Government to boost cashflow.

“Unlike the major parties, the Greens refuse to take donations from corporations trying to buy influence — and so while they can rely on the support of big business through this crisis, we are supported by the very people who are currently experiencing the greatest hardship,” Mr Wishart said.

“We meet the criteria for some government support to ensure our staff can continue to advocate for people who have been impacted by the pandemic.”

SA Best has not applied for JobKeeper payments or any other grant or cashflow boost from the state or federal governments.



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36ers owner puts Crows job back on agenda



Businessman and Adelaide 36ers owner Grant Kelley has put himself back in the frame for the soon-to-be-vacant Crows chairmanship, telling reporters he’s been approached – and remains interested in the role.

That’s despite ruling it out just last month – after an approach was first revealed by InDaily – and influential figures at the club understood to have long ruled him out of their plans.

Fronting the media to promote the establishment of a new ‘Return to Competition Taskforce’ ahead of the 36ers’ 2020-21 NBL season, Kelley was asked today if he was interested in the Crows chairmanship and “have you been approached”, answering: “Yes and yes.”

“For me and my family, the Crows are an institution in our lives – we love the footy club,” he said.

“We’ve been regulars at the games for many, many years [but] my key thing with the Crows is just how to contribute…

“I have had a chat with a couple of the guys there just to see how that could occur, but nothing concrete yet.”

Asked how he could balance his oversight of ASX-listed Vicinity Centres, the 36ers and the Crows, he said: “I haven’t really turned my mind to it”, but noted “they do play alternate seasons”.

“From my perspective the Adelaide Football Club’s a labour of love, in whatever capacity I can contribute… it’s something I’m passionate about and care deeply about,” he said.

“Sport plays a huge role in helping people sometimes forget their daily lives, and that’s why the job is so interesting at the Adelaide Footy Club.”

However, he said the club was undergoing a “systematised process… well managed and led by [board member] Jim Hazel”, with whom he met last month, as reported by InDaily.

“I’m very relaxed about their decision making process and the timing,” he said.

Long-time chairman Rob Chapman has frequently asserted that he would stand aside at the end of this year.

A club spokesman said today in response to his comments that “as part of the thorough process, we are currently reaching out to those who have expressed interest in the role, as well as those who we feel have the necessary skills, qualities and experience”.

“We intend to announce a new Chairman by the end of the year,” the club said.

But it remains highly unlikely Kelley will be part of that announcement.

InDaily first revealed approaches to Kelley, who has garnered support from club stalwarts including inaugural CEO Bill Sanders and premiership ruckman Shaun Rehn, in June.

Last month, however, he ruled himself out of contention after getting the cold shoulder from key decision-makers.

At the time he told InDaily: “My analysis, and my concern in taking on the role, is not based on what’s happening off the field but based on what’s happening on the field – which tells me the turnaround of the club will be significant and very time-consuming for whichever individual takes on the role.”

It’s understood he has since had further approaches from people connected with the club, and from today’s comments appears to have softened his stance against joining the board.

However, InDaily has previously reported strong opposition to such a move from some key members of the hierarchy.

Crows deputy chair Jim Hazel said in June that while Kelley was “welcome to come and talk to us… I think we know our way around the sporting landscape pretty well in SA, but Grant’s not someone I know well”.

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Asbestos removalist gets suspended sentence for assault but company fined for illegal stockpiles


A South Australian waste removalist convicted of assaulting two environment protection officers has been given a suspended sentence, but his company has been fined $49,000 for illegally storing more than 17 tonnes of asbestos.

The Environmental, Resources and Development Court heard Gavin Piller snatched a camera and audio recorder from the hands of the officers from SA’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

The court heard he “lost the plot” when he grabbed one of the officers by the shirt, pushing him to the ground and punching him in the head.

After Piller was pulled off the officer, he grabbed a piece of wood before he was disarmed by a worker from behind.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Paul Muscat said Piller’s behaviour was “unprovoked”.

The court heard Piller’s company, GP and Sons, had a history of complaints dating back to August 2015, when the EPA attended one of the company’s sites to discuss concerns over a large amount of dust causing an environmental nuisance.

It was told a warning was issued to the company due to Piller’s behaviour, which was “abusive, insulting and threatening”.

“It’s not as if Gavin Piller comes before this court with an unblemished character,” Judge Muscat said.

The company was fined for illegally storing asbestos at its premises.(Supplied: EPA)

The court heard one of the EPA officers had suffered physically and psychologically since the incident and sought a transfer to a role that involves less involvement with the public.

Piller was convicted of two counts of assaulting an EPA officer, using abusive language and two counts of hindering an EPA officer.

A 12-month jail sentence was suspended, but the court imposed a $500 good behaviour bond and a $2,100 fine.

“Despite the seriousness of the assault I am satisfied good reason exists to suspend the sentence on the basis of Gavin Piller’s guilty plea and his reformed character as demonstrated by his hard working and charitable qualities over the past 36 years.”

Company fined over asbestos storage

GP and Sons pleaded guilty to illegally stockpiling seven tonnes of asbestos at its Wingfield depot between January 29 and February 2, 2018, and a further 10 tonnes at its Largs Bay depot between March 27 and May 2, 2018.

Judge Muscat said the offending demonstrated the company’s blatant disregard for its responsibilities under the Environmental Protection Act and had “exposed the community and its own employees”.

The company was fined $49,000.

EPA Chief Executive Tony Circelli said Piller’s punishment sent a strong message to “anyone attempting to intimidate or assault EPA officers during the course of their duties”.

He said the EPA officers were documenting the contents of two skip bins containing wrapped and unwrapped asbestos on April 3, 2018 at Largs Bay when they were abused and attacked.

“This type of illegal activity will not be tolerated — it risks both harm to the environment and the community, and damages confidence for investment and fair play for legitimate waste operators,” he said.

Piller wrote a letter of apology addressed to the court, the EPA and its officers, expressing regret and accepting “full responsibility for his poor and unacceptable behaviour that afternoon”.



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Illuminate Adelaide to transcend 2021 travel restrictions with technology


Adelaide’s international summer festivals may be readjusting to what is expected to be a mostly national program due to coronavirus travel restrictions, but the newest event on the city’s calendar will have no such disadvantage.

Illuminate Adelaide was announced on the weekend, a new 2021 “winter event” that will have a strong focus on technology, innovation and art.

“I think we’re fortunate in that working in this area there are a lot of different possibilities in how we might present artists’ and innovators’ work from elsewhere, essentially by using technology,” co-founder Lee Cumberlidge said.

Exactly what the festival will look like remains unknown, but punters have been told to “expect the unexpected”.

“It’s too early to say what the exact footprint of the event will be,” Mr Cumberlidge said.

“But I don’t think it will be taking its lead from what the Adelaide Festival and Fringe do here in the summertime.

‘Redefining the cityscape’

Mr Cumberlidge said “the very new concept” would involve immersive experiences, interactive installations, presentations of music and technology, “explorations into AI-driven art projects”, light installations and projection mapping.

“We’re really focussed on this area of art and technology broadly, and that will involve really digging into some of the great innovators in terms of artists and future tech companies that are working here in SA,” he said.

Creative directors Rachael Azzopardi (L) and Lee Cumberlidge (R) have secured Premier Steven Marshall’s support.(Supplied: ATG Publicity)

Adelaide has been the site of extensive projection mapping before, with heritage buildings along North Adelaide transformed during past Adelaide Festivals..

But Mr Cumberlidge said that would be taken “much further, in terms of exploring technology interactivity in the CBD”.

“We’ll be redefining the cityscape and are seeing it as a major event for SA rather than an arts festival, per se, because of the things that we’re going to be programming across the disciplines of art and technology,” he said.

As big as possible

Having secured the support of the SA Government for what Premier Steven Marshall called a “major winter event”, the event’s budget was not yet settled.

Mr Cumberlidge and co-founder and co-creative director Rachael Azzopardi are working hard to secure additional funds “to do this on the largest scale possible”.

Scheduling is also yet to be locked in, although the festival, at this stage, will run for two weeks at some point from July.

This would see it start shortly after the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, which in 2021 runs from June 11 to June 26.

“We’re open to collaborating with all of the cultural and technology institutions, all of the existing events in that timeframe, to make sure that the offering SA and Adelaide puts out at that time of year is a really substantial one,” Mr Cumberlidge said.

Mr Marshall said the Government had been seeking a major winter event, and hoped Illuminate Adelaide would be a drawcard to bring visitors into the city for Adelaide’s “usually quieter winter period”.



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Lebanon Govt resigns over blast, corruption outrage



Lebanon’s prime minister has announced his government’s resignation, saying a huge explosion that devastated the capital and stirred public outrage was the result of endemic corruption.

The August 4 detonation at a port warehouse of more than 2000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate killed at least 163 people, injured more than 6000 and destroyed swathes of the Mediterranean capital, compounding months of political and economic meltdown.

In a televised address, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Monday he backed calls by ordinary Lebanese for those responsible for “this crime” to be put on trial.

Diab made the announcement after a meeting of his cabinet, formed in January with the backing of the powerful Iranian-backed Hezbollah group and its allies.

Many ministers were said earlier to want to resign, according to ministerial and political sources.

Diab said on Saturday he would request early parliamentary elections.

Demonstrations broke out again in central Beirut, with some protesters hurling rocks at security forces guarding an entrance leading to the parliament building, who responded with tear gas.

For many ordinary Lebanese, the explosion was the last straw in a protracted crisis over the collapse of the economy, corruption, waste and dysfunctional governance.

They have taken to the streets demanding root-and-branch change.

The information and environment ministers quit on Sunday as well as several MPs and the justice minister followed them out the door on Monday.

Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni, a key negotiator with the IMF over a rescue plan to help Lebanon exit a financial crisis, was set to resign, a source close to him said.

Lebanon’s president had previously said explosive material was stored unsafely for years at the port.

He later said the investigation would consider whether the cause was external interference as well as negligence or an accident.

The Lebanese army said on Monday another five bodies were pulled from the rubble, raising the death toll to 163. Search and rescue operations continued.

The cabinet decided to refer the investigation of the blast to the judicial council, the highest legal authority whose rulings cannot be appealed, a ministerial source and state news agency NNA said.

Anti-government protests in the past two days have been the biggest since October, when angry demonstrations spread over an economic crisis rooted in pervasive graft, mismanagement and high-level unaccountability.

An international donor conference on Sunday raised pledges worth nearly 253 million euros ($A416 million) for immediate humanitarian relief but foreign countries are demanding transparency over how the aid is used.

-AAP

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No new coronavirus cases in SA, as Health Minister blames test result delays on IT glitch


Some South Australians getting tested for coronavirus have had to wait up to a week for results because of an IT glitch.

The Health Minister said the problem occurred for people who were being tested for coronavirus for a second or subsequent time.

It had now been solved, he said.

But ABC Radio Adelaide received several calls and messages this morning from people complaining about wait times, prompting more feedback to SA Health on social media.

Caller Claire, of Largs North, said she had her test last Tuesday but no-one had contacted her with a result. Although she found a note on her My Health Record saying her test was negative.

“My daughter and I, we’re home,” she said. “I no longer have symptoms, she has a bit of a cold.

“The fact is that we’re OK but we’re still waiting.”

Testing has ramped up over the past week, with more than 7,000 people being swabbed each day.(ABC News: Isabel Dayman)

Another person said they were tested last Thursday and were still yet to receive a result.

People getting tested are meant to get a result within two days, according to the SA Health website.

Testing has ramped up over the past week, with more than 7,000 people being swabbed each day.

Drive-through testing without a GP referral is now available at Daw Park’s Repatriation General Hospital, blowing out test wait times there to up to two hours today.

Minister says issue solved

Opening two new dementia wards at the same hospital today, Health Minister Stephen Wade said an “IT system” had resulted in “a few reports” of people not getting results.

He said the problem mainly affected people getting a second or subsequent test.

A man with two women behind him
Health Minister Stephen Wade opens two new wards at the Repatriation General Hospital.(ABC News)

Two tests are compulsory for South Australians returning from Victoria.

Mr Wade urged people who did not get results back within two days to contact their doctor.

“We will certainly get the test results back as quickly as possible, but it would be helpful if people don’t get a result back within a two-day period if they could follow that up,” he said.

Most tests are done by the state government-owned SA Pathology.

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Clinical services director Tim Dodd said the “vast majority of people get their results sent out via text very quickly”.

“We’re putting additional resources in the laboratory and also ensuring that we are able to get results out as quickly as possible,” he said.

Labor’s Stephen Mullighan said the Government should provide SA Pathology with more staff to help bring down processing times.

“Now is the time the Government should be providing whatever funding is needed to our health agencies, including SA Pathology, in order to get people’s responses back to them as quickly as possible,” he said.

“Clearly there are improvements that need to be made and those improvements can be made if the Government provides SA Pathology with more staff.”

People lining up outside a hospital
More than 7,000 coronavirus tests are being conducted in South Australia every day.(ABC News: Brittany Evins)

No new cases in SA today

No new cases of coronavirus were recorded today or over the weekend in South Australia.

SA Health did not include an essential worker in his 30s in its tally yesterday.

The man was tested interstate and received the positive result after entering South Australia from Victoria.

Eight cases are still active out of 459 recorded.

Mr Wade said none of the 94 close contacts in the Thebarton cluster had tested positive since going into isolation last week.

A queue of cars on a side road with trees photographed from the air
Cars queue at a South Australian-Victorian border checkpoint at Bordertown.(Supplied: Peter Brookman)

Tasmanian arrested at border

A man from Tasmania has been arrested for allegedly driving off from a checkpoint on the South Australia-Victoria border.

Police say the man stopped at the checkpoint at Bordertown, in the state’s south-east last night.

A check revealed he had flown from Victoria to Adelaide earlier that day and did not complete a cross border form.

He was flown back to Victoria but drove back to the border.

He was again refused entry at the checkpoint and was directed to return, but he allegedly drove off towards Adelaide before being stopped.

The 45-year-old will appear at Mount Gambier Magistrates Court today.



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