Live music COVID restrictions causing confusion

Queenslanders are asking why they can go to the football to watch their favourite team, but can’t go to the pub to see their favourite band.

Venue operators claim the state government’s COVID-19 restrictions on pubs and clubs are causing confusion among customers and hurting businesses.

The operators say the confusion stems from why pubs are still operating under the one-person-per-two-square-metre rule but football stadiums are not.

Mick Hasler, operations manager for Sun Tourism, which owns and operates several pubs and venues in the state’s far north, said the restrictions did not make sense and were confusing for customers and business owners.

“Our business is down about 60 per cent because we are still operating under the one person per two square metre rule,” he said.

Mr Hasler said the restrictions did not just hurt his business, but had a knock-on effect. 

“If we can’t operate at 100 per cent, then we have to cut back on other expenses like staff, live music, and security,” he said.

“We have to budget differently; we can now only pay bands half their price because they can only play to half the people.

Roz Pappalardo, acting branch manager for cultural services at the Cairns Regional Council, said the restrictions meant that the Tanks Art Centre was also operating at a reduced capacity.

“The tanks can hold 650 people standing, but at the moment we are only allowed 300 people standing,” she said.

Ms Pappalardo said the idea that venues were operating at 100 per cent capacity while seated was slightly misleading.

“We can only fit 450 fully [with] people seated, as we need to allow for walkways and access to bars and the exits, so that’s only about 70 per cent capacity,” she said.

“Music venues are not built to be seated, just through the process of bringing in chairs brings down the capacity, so you’re not operating at your pre-COVID 100 per cent.

John Collins spent nearly 20 years playing bass in iconic Australian band Powderfinger.

Since hanging up his guitar he has bought two music venues in Brisbane and recently he started Playfair, a lobby group and online petition aimed at easing restrictions at live music venues across the state.

“People can’t believe that we only have 50 per cent capacity at live music venues but 100 per cent capacity at Suncorp stadium,” he said.

“Playfair is about recognising that we are still not back to capacity.

“Music venues don’t have seats. When we put seats in we are only at about 30 per cent of our original capacity.”

Mr Collins said he was not advocating for full capacity, just a larger capacity that was workable.

“I met with the Premier’s office before we launched the campaign, but since then we have not had any further conversations with the state government,” he said. 

“It’s been a bit disappointing.

“The government has consistently said the reason why football grounds are at full capacity and the bands are not, is because the sport grounds are outdoors.

“You don’t get dropped into your seat via a helicopter [at games], then we [at sport grounds] pack around bars, the entry and the toilets, that’s where the inconsistency lies with me.

“You have 10,000 people walking through one gate and I’m only asking for 2,000.”

An anomaly within the state government’s restrictions is that all seated sporting venues and theatres are operating at 100 per cent capacity, whereas restaurants, where patrons are seated, are still operating under the one-person-per-two-square-metre rule.

Mr Collins said it was adding to the confusion.

“The rules don’t make sense; it all seems a bit ridiculous,” he said.

“Even though we have tickets and we know where everybody is seated, we still need to do QR codes.”

Mr Collins said that the restrictions were not just hurting musicians but also truck drivers, merchandisers, bar staff and sound and lighting companies.

“It doesn’t seem fair, if there was a COVID case at Suncorp stadium, it would shut Brisbane down but they are willing to take that risk, while at the same time they are allowing venues to suffer,” he said.

Queensland Health issued the ABC with a statement about the current venue restrictions:

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Melting Antarctic ice sheet could trigger ‘chain reaction’ collapse as more land underneath is exposed causing temperatures to rise further and weather patterns to change

The Antarctic ice sheet could suffer a chain reaction collapse as melting ice exposes land underneath, leaving less heat to be reflected away and causing temperatures to rise further and weather patterns to be changed, a study has warned.

Researchers used climate modeling and data for the Middle Miocene period – which was 13 to 17 million years ago – when carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures were similar to those expected at the end of the 21st century.

They found that the Antarctic ice sheet was more unstable in its past than initially thought. 

If the ice sheet becomes unstable, it becomes harder for it to reform and could eventually collapse, especially if the climate continues to warm. 

The research, published in Nature Geoscience on Thursday, suggests that if global temperatures continue to rise, the ice sheet could give way to the land underneath it.

This would lead to higher temperatures and greater amounts of rain in the region, further accelerating the ice loss.

‘When an ice sheet melts, the newly exposed ground beneath is less reflective, and local temperatures become warmer,’ the study’s lead author, University of Exeter professor Dr. Catherine Bradshaw, said in a statement.

‘This can dramatically change weather patterns,’ Bradshaw continued.

‘With a big ice sheet on the continent like we have today, Antarctic winds usually blow from the continent out to the sea,’ Bradshaw explained.

‘However, if the continent warms this could be reversed, with the winds blowing from the cooler sea to the warmer land – just as we see with monsoons around the world.’

‘That would bring extra rainfall to the Antarctic continent, causing more freshwater to run into the sea.’ 

Because freshwater is less dense than saltwater, it does not sink and circulate in the same way – causing the surface ocean to become warmer and making the warming problem worse. 

The scientists stress that the conditions experienced during the Middle Miocene are not identical to those now. 

But a collapse of the ice sheet may have only been prevented then because of the orbital position of the Earth relative to the Sun, the researchers say. 

In early January, NASA said that 2020 was the warmest on record, tied with 2016.

The global average temperature was 1.84 degrees Fahrenheit (1.02 degrees Celsius) warmer than the mean between 1951 and 1980. 

The ice sheet covers about 98 percent of the Antarctic continent and is the largest single ice mass on the planet.

The researchers found that there were significant fluctuations recorded in the deep-sea temperatures during the Miocene period.

When combined with the position of the Earth relative to the Sun, weather patterns were altered and significant ice loss was seen until the warm period ended.  

‘When the Middle Miocene climate cooled, the link we have found between the area of the ice sheet and the deep-sea temperatures via the hydrological cycle came to an end,’ study co-author and University of Stockholm associated professor Agatha De Boer added.

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Embalming is vital in the funeral industry, but a lack of skilled practitioners is causing concern

Deanne Edwards spends a lot of time with dead people.

“It’s such a fascinating world,” Ms Edwards said.

“That’s my utmost thought the whole time.” 

After nearly a decade of working as a funeral director, she became an embalmer to help bring comfort to loved ones as they grieve.

Embalming is a procedure to sanitise, restore and preserve a body after death.

Ms Edwards has noticed a lack of embalmers in South Australia.(

ABC News: Lincoln Rothall


Ms Edwards was privately trained by a South Australian master embalmer and is hoping to one day become a qualified trainer.

After taking up the practice, she noticed there was a lack of embalmers in South Australia.

“There are just too many people who have retired, and not enough people to train new people or continue the practice as they get older,” she said.

A woman in red hair handles surgical equipment in a dimly lit room
Deanne Edwards said she had experienced the impact of a lack of embalmers in South Australia firsthand.(

ABC News: Lincoln Rothall


“There has been a situation where I have needed someone that has more qualifications than myself, but they’re not available.”

She said advances in refrigeration technologies and an increase in cremation had impacted the age-old trade.

But despite that, Ms Edwards said more people in the industry needed to take up embalming.

Training blocks need addressing

Australian Institute of Embalming board member Ian Warren said South Australia lacked embalmers.

“There is not a shortage of people interested in wanting to do the course … we would have two or three enquiries a week,” Mr Warren said.

“The issue is that you really need to be working in the funeral industry, and then working for a company that does embalm and has a qualified embalmer who’s happy to take on students and be their mentor.”

Bottles of surgical chemicals sit on a table next to a white and blue towel
Embalming is often required if a body needs to be sent overseas for burial or if there is a long delay between the death and interment.(

ABC News: Lincoln Rothall


He said some students may be required to complete up to 50 embalmed bodies with their mentor before they are allowed to work by themselves.

Mr Warren is also a chief tutor at Mortuary and Funeral Educators, which is one of two registered training organisations in the industry.

“We have not had any students [in Adelaide] for at least seven years, so there is a bit of an issue that’s probably unique to Adelaide.”

A man wearing a blue suit, tie, white shirt and glasses sits with hands folded looking at camera in a dimly lit room
SA/NT Australian Funeral Director’s Association president David Lawlor.(

ABC News: Lincoln Rothall


The president of the SA/NT Australian Funeral Director’s Association, David Lawlor, said embalming was still a key part of the industry.

“If someone is being repatriated overseas they would need to be embalmed,” he said.

“Or if there is a delay between the death and the funeral taking place then there would be a need to embalm the body.”

He agreed there wasn’t a huge uptake of new trainees in South Australia, but didn’t believe there was a shortage of embalmers.

“I think at the moment we’re OK but in the future, we need more students to come through as embalmers retire.”

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These 5 Mistakes May Be Causing Your Muscle Gains to Grind to a Halt

3. You Don’t Eat Enough

You can’t build muscle out of nothing: Muscle requires a surplus of nutrients and calories to grow. No matter how hard you work in the gym, you will not see the physique changes you want if you don’t supply your body with the fuel it needs to repair and rebuild muscle tissue.

“Many tend to think that building more muscle means only increasing more protein or getting the majority of your dietary intake from protein-rich foods,” says Maria Sylvester Terry, a registered dietitian at Eat Fit NOLA. “This is not the case. In order to gain muscle mass, one needs to ensure they are first eating adequate calories for their activity level. While some body composition changes can occur without a major shift on the scale by adjusting nutrition choices and training, for significant muscle gains, one needs to increase overall intake to create a calorie surplus.”

Protein is a major building block of muscle, of course, but one’s diet does not need to be mainly or solely protein for muscle gain, Terry says. You will see websites, social media pages, and YouTubers with specific macro amounts for muscle gain, like a special formula or secret to be unlocked. Truly, this depends on the individual person.

Carbohydrates play an important role in this process as well. Your muscles store glucose as glycogen, which is accessed for energy during exercise. Keeping glycogen stores replenished should be a post-workout routine: With enough carbohydrates in the diet, your body can utilize your protein intake for muscle recovery and growth, among other diverse roles protein plays in the body.

“Athletes who take in adequate carbohydrates can complete their workouts with energy and intensity,” Terry points out. “After all, what good is a sweaty lift session if you don’t have the energy to complete it with good form or the energy to replenish those hardworking muscles?”

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Northerly winds causing dust storms in SA, grass fire contained on Kangaroo Island

Authorities are warning residents across parts of South Australia to be wary of gale-force winds heightening the risk of bushfires today, as firefighters say they have contained a blaze on Kangaroo Island.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued a fire weather warning for nine districts, with a severe weather warning for damaging winds current in parts of the state, and a gale warning for some coastal areas.

“It’s going to be a bit of a strange day,” said duty forecaster Ben Owen.

“We’ll see some drier air pushing in for most of the day ahead of a very vigorous cold front that’ll be moving in.

“With all these strong winds and some slightly elevated temperatures with these northerly winds, we do have fire weather warnings out for today.”

The Country Fire Service (CFS) yesterday warned that north to north-westerly winds of 35 to 55 kilometres per hour and dry fuel loads would increase the bushfire risk today.

The BOM said thick dust had been present over towns on the state’s West Coast Eyre Peninsula this morning.

Wind gusts were also recorded at 91 kilometres per hour at Cleve, on the Eyre Peninsula.


The CFS announced just after midday that a previously uncontrolled grass fire on Kangaroo Island had been contained.

The fire was burning at Moores Road, near Hog Bay and Milkys roads at Haines, south-west of American River.

Although the threat from the fire had reduced, the CFS reminded people to take care in the area.

“Smoke will reduce visibility on the roads and there is a risk of trees and branches falling,” a CFS statement read.

Thick dust is pushing across parts of the West Coast and Eyre Peninsula.(

Supplied: James Fitzroy


Extreme fire danger forecast

A fire weather warning is in place for nine districts, with extreme fire danger forecast for the Lower Eyre Peninsula and Yorke Peninsula.

The danger has been rated as severe in the West Coast, Eastern Eyre Peninsula, Flinders, Mid North, Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island and Lower South East districts.

The CFS advised people in the at-risk districts to implement their bushfire survival plans.

SA Police urged people to take care on the roads as extreme winds are “whipping up dust across the state, reducing visibility … and increasing fire danger”.

“Stay off the roads if possible,” a police statement advised.

“Drive to the conditions and turn your lights on. Put your hazard lights on and pull over where safe to do so if visibility is reduced.

“Avoid parking under trees.”


Meanwhile, the BOM has also issued marine wind warnings for several coastal areas on Tuesday, issuing a gale warning for the South Central and Lower South East coasts.

A strong wind warning is in place for Adelaide metropolitan waters, Spencer Gulf, Gulf St Vincent, Investigator Strait and the Lower West, Central and Upper South East coasts.

The BOM is expecting a “gusty west to south-westerly change” to move across the Eyre Peninsula this afternoon, before reaching the Mid North and then the Lower South East in the evening.

ABC Radio Adelaide listener Andrew called in from outside the small settlement of Dublin on the Adelaide plans, where he said there was a large amount of raised dust.

“In some spots [visibility’s] down to 20 [metres],” he said.

Dust moves across a road at Wudinna
Dust moves across roads at Wudinna, on Eyre Peninsula, this morning.(

Supplied: James Fitzroy


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Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys denies new rules causing injuries as 18th man change to be examined

The Sharks lost three players during the match to concussion and the Raiders lost two, with both John Morris and Ricky Stuart lavishing praise on their sides as both tired badly in the final quarter.

The AFL introduced a medical substitute on the eve of their season commencement, and NRL executives insisted they could tinker with their interchange policy and have it amended almost overnight.

Sione Katoa was one of four Sharks players whose night was ended early by injury.Credit:Getty

V’landys reiterated he thought this season’s new rules – including six again calls for offside infringement and a reduction in scrums which are designed to increase ball in play time – were not responsible for the staggering injury toll, which has seen almost 20 players alone unable to finish matches this weekend.

“It’s actually pleasing the clubs are adhering to the protocols, which are a lot more vigilant,” he said. “Previously, where players may have went back on, they are being subject to a much more cautious approach, which I absolutely welcome.”

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Extinction Rebellion protest closes Kings Way exit off West Gate Freeway in Melbourne causing traffic queues

There were major traffic delays at the exit of a major Melbourne freeway after an Extinction Rebellion protester glued themselves to a tripod in the middle of the road.

On Friday morning during peak hour the protesters launched their action on the Kings Way exit of the West Gate Freeway in Southbank.

The exit was closed and traffic was seen building from 8am.

Some lanes were forced to a complete stop as police vehicles set up at intersections.

Motorists have been urged to exit early at Power Street, Montague Street, the Bolte or Todd Road to avoid the closure.

Police were on the scene and directing traffic and firefighters arrived at about 8.30am.

Protesters on bicycles, called the ‘Rebel Ride,’ also came through the area and police formed a line on the side of the road.

The protester glued themselves to the tripod as a firefighter in a cherry picker tried to remove them.

They were taken down just before 10am.

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Track work causing delays on key Sydney transport lines

There are major delays impacting key public transport lines in Sydney this morning, with several services impacted.

Track equipment repairs are currently underway between Town Hall and Central stations.

Passengers on the North Shore and Western lines have been told the wait could be up to 30 minutes.

Anyone travelling into the city this morning via train has been warned to allow extra time and check the NSW Transport app for updates.

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Coroner’s Court backlog causing grief for families | The Canberra Times

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An inquest into the deaths of four people who died by suicide at the Canberra Hospital has renewed calls for an overhaul of the ACT Coroner’s Court plagued by a case backlog. The problem was so extensive the families of some patients were made to wait more than five years for an outcome. Two lawyers were seconded from other ACT government departments last month to help with the workload but the real solution would be the appointment of a dedicated coroner, the ACT Law Society said. Currently, nine magistrates were rotated from other courts and when deaths were examined together, as was the case with the Canberra Hospital proceedings, several judges could be part of the same inquest, resulting in delays. In addition to a push for a dedicated coroner, reform advocates have voiced concern over coronial processes, including an absence of legal representation made available to families. Legal Aid NSW has a dedicated unit which provides free legal assistance in coronial matters, a service not available in the ACT. There was also no dedicated forensic pathologist for the coroner’s court in Canberra, meaning work was outsourced to private clinicians and toxicology reports were conducted in a government department also responsible for environmental chemistry and microbiology. The average reporting time once results were received was 30 days last year. Canberra’s Alliance for Coronial Reform member Ros Williams said while the court provided counsel to assist the coroner, their role was not to help families. Ms Williams said going through a coronial inquest in the ACT after the loss of her son Ben Williams was a traumatic experience. Mr Williams died in a road accident on the Monaro Highway in 2010, which an ACT coronial inquest ruled was a suicide. “Families often feel they are not equally heard in the court,” Ms Williams said. “I’ve heard someone say they felt like an extra in the play; the process wasn’t so much about them.” Ms Williams said many families also expressed disappointment in the court’s findings and dissatisfaction with the lack of ensuing reform. In the last reporting year, six death-in-custody cases were brought to the attorney-general under mandatory reporting laws. In the case of Theadora Zaal, the coroner found two matters of public safety concern, including insufficient medical coverage of the wards and a lack of appropriately trained staff in life-saving techniques. Ms Zaal died of a cardiac arrest after being admitted into the Calvary Hospital for the removal of an ulcer on her leg. The coroner made recommendations for procedural change and training at the hospital. In the case of Joanne Lovelock, who died of a prescription drug overdose after suspected “doctor shopping”, the coroner recommended a national prescription monitoring system be instituted. In the case of Jandy Shea, a 27-year-old victim of domestic abuse, the coroner recommended the ACT government create a register of family violence perpetrators. The three other cases had not yet been presented to the Legislative Assembly, despite one report being presented to ACT government in September 2019. An ACT government spokesperson said a review of health care facility licensing and regulation in the ACT was being undertaken and would take into consideration the findings from Ms Zaal’s inquest. READ ALSO: It said the government was in the process of implementing its component of a national prescription monitoring system expected to be in operation late this year. And while no domestic violence registrar had been created, the ACT government ensured information about prior offending of violence came before magistrates, including by the marking of police files. “No Australian jurisdiction currently has a register of family violence perpetrators,” the spokesperson said. “The ACT government has referred this issue to the Family Violence Intervention Program Coordinating Committee for consideration.” Several other cases were presented to government throughout the 2019-2020 reporting year, with no response tabled. Taking over from Gordon Ramsay as attorney-general this term, Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said reform was on its way, but chief magistrate Lorraine Walker had expressed doubt over the possibility of a dedicated coroner within the existing budget. The next ACT budget is due in August. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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Man dies in ‘serious’ crash, causing Melbourne’s Monash Freeway to close

A man has died in a serious crash on Melbourne’s Monash Freeway, forcing parts of the road to close.

Police have been told a car was involved in a small crash with a second car on the freeway at Endeavour Hills on Wednesday afternoon.

The crash was following immediately by a larger crash with a truck.

The man, who is yet to be identified, died at the scene.

The driver of the second car and the truck driver were uninjured.

The crash caused the freeway to close outbound between Heatherton Road and Belgrave-Hallam Road, causing traffic to build up for kilometres.

Two lanes of the freeway have since reopened, but three lanes remain closed with a speed limit of 40km/h at the affected site.

“Many surrounding roads and alternatives are heavily congested, including Princes Highway and Heatherton Road through Dandenong, Stud Road between Rowville and Dandenong, and Wellington Road through Lysterfield,” Vic Traffic said.

Emergency services remain on scene.

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