Why is Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk distancing herself from her former deputy Jackie Trad?


For those who follow Queensland politics, there are two words that are guaranteed to spark a passionate response — Jackie Trad.

Many in the LNP see her as a symbol of everything they despise — outspoken feminist, old-style leftist, Labor apparatchik.

But the former deputy premier is also one of Labor’s most experienced ministers and one of the party’s strongest parliamentary performers, with a sharp wit and willingness for a political fight.

The announcement yesterday by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to rule out Ms Trad’s return to the frontbench is Labor’s brutal admission their former star is a luxury they can no longer afford.

The fact the news was delivered in such a clumsy way — less than 24 hours after Ms Palaszczuk refused to speculate about the future of her former deputy — is a sure sign of nervousness in Labor ranks.

Ms Trad’s frontbench career had effectively been in limbo since she resigned as Queensland treasurer and deputy premier in May after the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) announced it would investigate her alleged interference with a school principal appointment.

Although eventually cleared, the Member for South Brisbane never completely threw off the sniff of controversy.

The CCC found on two occasions Ms Trad’s decision-making was “inappropriate”, and she admitted to making a mistake last year over her failure to declare an investment property within the proper time limit.

Other politicians have made worse mistakes and still survived, but the LNP never let the Member for South Brisbane out of their sights, labelling her “dodgy Jackie”.

Despite no longer being part of Labor’s leadership team, the LNP continued to target Ms Trad in their campaign material.

At times, the Opposition’s criticism of Ms Trad appeared personal, but the LNP argued their polling showed the former deputy was electoral poison outside of Brisbane.

‘Not dealing with any hypotheticals’

The Premier had the chance to put any speculation about Ms Trad’s future to bed three months ago after the CCC released its report.

But Ms Palaszczuk dismissed a question about her return to the frontbench.

Ms Palaszczuk speaks at a press conference in front of a blue screen with the Queensland government logo.
Ms Palaszczuk dismissed a question about Ms Trad’s return to the frontbench.(AAP: Glenn Hunt)

“I am not dealing with any hypotheticals,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

The LNP were never going to let the matter rest there.

Another complicating factor was Ms Trad’s left faction, which has a majority in the Labor Caucus and therefore the power to allow their former champion to regain past glory.

This made it all the more difficult to sit on the fence, yet that is precisely what the Premier chose to do when asked the inevitable question on Sunday — will Jackie Trad return to cabinet if Labor wins?

“There’s an election on at the moment and people have to work hard to win their seats,” was Ms Palaszczuk’s reply, with a reference Ms Trad’s tough campaign to retain her seat of South Brisbane against a challenge from the Greens.

The next morning, after Brisbane’s only daily newspaper, The Courier Mail, ran a front-page story about the Premier’s comments, Ms Trad herself ended the speculation in a statement on Facebook.

“You know it’s going to be a bizarre week when you make the front page for (insert made up reason here),” Ms Trad wrote.

That was quite a bitter pill for Ms Trad to swallow, as over the past five months she has made no secret of her frustration at being on the backbench.

Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad speaking, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in background in June 2018.
Ms Palaszczuk was asked twice yesterday whether she had a role in Ms Trad’s Facebook announcement.(ABC News: Tim Swanston – file photo)

Ms Palaszczuk was asked twice yesterday whether she had a role in Ms Trad’s Facebook announcement — both times the Premier declined to answer.

That’s quite an understatement about someone who, for half a decade, was the second most powerful politician in the state.



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Violence on Melbourne beaches as police clash with dozens gathering and flouting social distancing rules


Violence erupted on a Melbourne beach as police clashed with members of the public seen ignoring social distancing rules to escape the city’s unseasonable heat.

A group of people from Tarneit in the city’s west had bragged online about ignoring restrictions and going to the beach in Altona, nearly 20 kilometres away, today.

When police quizzed them, they became aggressive towards officers.

Victorian police officers clashed with people seen flouting public health orders on Melbourne’s beaches. (9News)

One woman was issued three infringement notices and several others were fined.

In another incident on St Kilda Beach, a 32-year-old man was arrested after police asked him to wear a mask. A clash ensued in which they resorted to capsicum spray to subdue him.

“They just came and asked him in a nice way, wear your mask, and he said no,” a witness told 9News.

Officers were seen grappling with people seen gathering at beaches in Altona and St Kilda. (Supplied)
Dozens of infringement notices were handed out as a result of the gatherings. (Supplied)

“They asked him for his ID and he said, ‘I’m not giving my ID, either.'”

The man was charged with assaulting police, drunk and disorderly conduct and breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions.

The incidents come as a Melbourne council has threatened to close local beaches to the public after crowds were seen ignoring social distancing rules.

Premier Daniel Andrews urged Victorians to remain vigilant with social distancing and getting tested, otherwise the state could see numbers in the hundreds again.
St Kilda Beach Saturday October 3, 2020.
A Melbourne council is threatening to close local beaches to the public after crowds were seen ignoring social distancing rules to escape the unseasonable heat. (Darrian Traynor / Getty)

“We’ve just got to stay the course on this. We are so, so close — let’s not any of us do anything that might undermine the very positive numbers, the very strong performance we have seen in recent days,” Mr Andrews said today.

“The numbers are coming down, once we get them low, we can keep them low and we can open up again.”

He said if people didn’t do anything “silly or stupid” now, then Victorians would be able to continue to go to the beach this summer.

“I want to thank all those Victorians who were going to the beach and did so in full accordance with the rules, all of those Victorians who went to the park, who followed the rules and were able to connect with others, were able to get some sunshine and some fresh air, heavens knows Victorians have earned it, but it has got to be done in the right way,” Mr Andrews said.

St Kilda Beach Saturday October 3, 2020.
Dozens of fines were issued yesterday as people continued to flout social distancing rules. (Darrian Traynor / Getty)

“If we try to shortcut this thing — we will be back where we were weeks and months ago when we were reporting 725 cases.”

Yesterday, crowds were also seen gathering in parks and outdoor recreational areas, with many drinking alcohol and failing to wear masks as per current health regulations.

St Kilda Beach Saturday October 3, 2020.
Premier Daniel Andrews is reminding people that the behaviour seen yesterday could unravel the efforts Victoria has put into coronavirus recovery over recent weeks. (Darrian Traynor / Getty)
Victoria Police issued 104 fines for breaches, including 17 for failing to wear a protective mask.

A man and woman, paddle boarding in Hobsons Bay, were also fined for leaving the five kilometre home radius after they got in trouble in the water and needed assistance from police.

Mr Andrews condemned the crowds yesterday, threatening to have beaches closed if social distancing rules continued to be ignored.

St Kilda Beach Saturday October 3, 2020.
Police will be out in force at Melbourne beaches today to ensure people adhere to public health regulations. (Darrian Traynor / Getty)
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Coronavirus: Social distancing rules relaxed for couples in ‘established relationships’ | Politics News


Couples in England who are in “established relationships” will no longer have to socially distance if they do not live together, the government has confirmed.

Ministers have relaxed the restrictions that prevented partners from different households from kissing, holding hands or any other form of touching during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a sign the government recognises the fresh rules may take a tough toll on people’s mental health, new instructions have been issued exempting some lovers – effective from Tuesday 22 September.

“People in an established relationship do not need to socially distance,” information published by the Department of Health and Social Care said.

Image:
Those in ‘the early stages of a relationship’ must still distance

But couples in “the early stages of a relationship” were still told to “take particular care to follow the guidance on social distancing”.

The guidance added: “If you intend to have close contact with someone, you should discuss how you can help to prevent risks of transmission as a couple, for example, by ensuring you are both avoiding close contact with people you do not live with.”

But some social media users still had questions about whether the exemption applied to them.

“What exactly qualifies as an established relationship? Are you sunk if you weren’t dating by March?” one asked.



Dominic Raab



COVID-19: Government ‘ruling nothing out’

The Department of Health did not reply to a request to clarify what constitutes an “established relationship”.

Other exemptions for social distancing include if you live together or are in a legally-permitted support bubble.

The latest advice also concedes “it may not always be possible or practicable to maintain social distancing when providing care to a young child, or person with a disability or health condition”.

It suggests: “You should still limit close contact as much as possible when providing these types of care, and take other precautions such as washing hands and opening windows for ventilation.”



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Tesco: COVID panic buying ‘unnecessary’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman was asked if it was within the law to have a one-night stand, and said “people need to behave sensibly” but “in the eyes of the law it’s not an area in which any announcement has been made in relation to the law”.

He also corrected the foreign secretary, who said earlier people could only order food in a fast-food chain from the table – confirming that rule only applies to “licenced premises” with exemptions for businesses such as cinemas.

And the spokesman said chauffeur-driven cars are exempt from the rule passengers must wear masks in taxis – as long as the driver can work in a safe way.

He also confirmed that at christenings, the baby counts among the six able to attend.



Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer



Heated exchanges between leaders during PMQs

The question of what contact couples who live apart could have was raised at the start of the pandemic, when England’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries suggested people move in together to avoid having to socially distance.

She said people could “test the strength of their relationship and decide whether they should permanently be resident in another household”.



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What are the new social distancing rules for gatherings in England?



What about social distancing?

The “two household” rule, which allowed up to 30 people from two different homes to meet up, has been scrapped so that all family and social gatherings of more than six people, both indoors and outdoors, will be illegal under the “rule of six” in England.

The Government explained that “when meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) you must not meet in a group of more than six, indoors or outdoors.

“This is against the law and the police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines (fixed penalty notices) of £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.”

Weddings, funerals, Covid-secure team sports, schools, workplaces and households or “support bubbles” that have more than six people in them will all be exempt. 

The Government said people should “stay two metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or one metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)”.

What about pubs? 

Venues where people meet socially, such as pubs and restaurants, will now be legally required to request contact details of every member of a party and retain the information for 21 days. Fines of £1,000 could be levied against hospitality venues if they fail to comply. 

Additionally opening hours of some venues could be restricted in some local areas. It comes after hospitality venues in Bolton were required to close between 10pm and 5am.

Pubs and restaurants etc can have more than six people in them, but they must not be in individual groups of more than six.

“Covid-secure marshals” will be introduced to help ensure social distancing in town and city centres in a bid to improve the enforcement capacity of local authorities 

Read more: Could pubs close again?

When could social distancing end?

On September 9 the Prime Minister promised that the Government will work “round the clock” and that the UK will “beat this virus before too long”.

However Boris Johnson admitted “it is just too early to say” where the UK will be by Christmas. 

The Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, clarified that the new restrictions are “not a very short-term thing” and it is hard to put an exact time limit on them.

Furthermore, scientists have cautioned that predicting an end to social distancing is difficult and depends on how much the one-metre rule influences the R number. Scientists also argue that the UK would need an effective test and trace system before social distancing could be lifted.



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Patients Bollywood dance with nurses at a Melbourne nursing home with no masks or social distancing


Shocking footage shows nurses Bollywood dancing with elderly patients at a Melbourne nursing home – with no masks or socially distancing in sight

  • Footage shows aged care facility showing elderly residents dancing with nurses
  • The Melbourne nursing home held a party for a staff member with dancers
  • AdventCare CEO David Reese defended it and said everyone was a staff member
  • Dancers are seen holding hands with residents with no protective equipment on  

An aged care facility in Melbourne has been blasted after footage emerged of nurses without masks or gloves Bollywood dancing with elderly patients. 

The video was taken on Wednesday at AdventCare Whitehorse in Nunawading in Melbourne’s east for a staff member’s birthday.

Footage of the party at the nursing home shows women dressed in long colourful skirts and Bollywood dancing as patients watch on.  

Footage of the party was posted on TikTok

Footage of the party at the aged care home shows women women dressed in long colourful skirts Bollywood dancing as patients watch on

The video was taken on Wednesday at AdventCare Whitehorse in Nunawading in Melbourne's east for a staff member's birthday

The video was taken on Wednesday at AdventCare Whitehorse in Nunawading in Melbourne’s east for a staff member’s birthday

Dancers are seen mingling with the residents, holding their hands and getting close to them with no face masks, gloves or protective equipment.

The video was posted to TikTok with the caption: ‘Would have been great if we weren’t in Stage Four lockdown. There was no social distancing at all and hardly anyone wore face masks’.

The party was held for a staff member’s birthday and workers were allegedly told not to post anything on social media.

‘One resident was sad because they can’t see their families at all and this happened,’ the caption read.

‘Residents there are already at high risk. This isn’t fair for the families of the residents.’

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth said the footage was ‘troubling’ but said staff were likely trying to give residents ‘a bit of respite’.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth said the footage was 'troubling' but said staff were likely trying to give residents 'a bit of respite'

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth said the footage was ‘troubling’ but said staff were likely trying to give residents ‘a bit of respite’

‘We can’t have any exceptions to the rules, particularly in aged-care and PPE – it absolutely has to be used,’ he told The Today Show.

‘The masks have to be used during all interactions. That’s the Health Department guidelines and that is protect the residents from staff bringing the virus in.’

Dr Coatsworth said the virus usually gets into aged-care facilities from staff.

‘I’m sure there will be appropriate reflection on whether that was the right thing to do and management will be looking closely at that,’ he said.  

AdventCare CEO David Reece said everyone in the video was a staff member or a resident and no external performers were let in.

Dancers are seen mingling with the residents, holding their hands and getting close to them with no face masks, gloves or any protective equipment

Mr Reece acknowledged that no one was wearing personal protective equipment but insisted it was put on immediately after the video was taken. 

He said he was comfortable with how the party was ‘managed’. 

Victoria reported five new coronavirus deaths linked to aged care facilities on Sunday, bringing the state death toll to 761. 

The state recorded just 11 new infections on Monday and two deaths, the lowest number in three months. 

Victoria Police said no complaints have been lodged so no investigation is underway. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted AdventCare CEO David Reece for comment.  

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Massive Lack of Social Distancing During March on Washington



Friday’s March on Washington drew thousands of people who were not social distancing during the occasion, despite the organizers promising that the event would comply with coronavirus-related health guidance and restrictions in D.C.

Video shows a massive group of people in attendance at Friday’s event at the Lincoln Memorial, on the 57th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington. According to the NAACP, Friday’s march aims to “recommit to the dream Dr. Martin Luther King defined in the 1963 march, to call for police accountability and reform, and to mobilize voters ahead of the November elections.”

While left-wing groups have been overtly critical of President Donald Trump for holding in-person events — from the Mount Rushmore Independence Day celebration to Thursday night’s Republican National Convention speech — footage from Friday’s event shows virtually no demonstrative attempts to socially distance, despite organizers promising to heed to health guidance and local coronavirus-related restrictions.

In a piece previewing the protest, CNN reported that event organizers “have stressed that the march will comply with health guidance and local ordinances related to the coronavirus pandemic.”

“We can have a protest, share our voice in this moment, and still be safe,” Tylik McMillan, the national director of youth and college for NAN, told CNN, explaining that volunteers will be “highly enforcing” social distancing.

“On the monument grounds, attendees will be in ‘grids,’ sections to enforce social distancing, that will be limited,” CNN reported.

“We want to ensure that we’re taking all necessary precautions to protect people,” McMillan said.

CNN added that hand sanitizer and masks would be provided to participants of the march and reported that NAN encouraged those from coronavirus “hotspots,” such as Florida and Texas, to participate in the march virtually.

The event follows the final night of the Republican National Convention, where Trump delivered his acceptance speech from the White House. The set up drew ire from critics, as seats were not spread apart. Prominent members of the media expressed shock over the lack of masks in the audience, despite some of their own forgoing face coverings as well:

Protesters also gathered outside the White House Thursday evening and did not appear to heed to social distancing protocols, particularly as they closely harassed prominent figures, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones (D).





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When could social distancing end


Boris Johnson has given hope that the rules on social distancing could be lifted by the end of the year.

In the most recent update on his roadmap to ending lockdown, the Prime Minister said that he “hopes we will be able to review the outstanding restrictions from November at the earliest, possibly in time for Christmas”.

He told a press conference on July 17 that the Government is “hoping for the best and planning for the worst”.

In recent weeks the measures have already started to ease in a shift away from the 2m rule.

These measures now include a new “one-metre-plus” rule for all venues, including shops, restaurants, schools, offices, and parks, in an overhaul designed to unlock large swathes of the economy.

These rules will allow people to remain a metre away from others if they take additional measures to protect themselves, such as wearing a mask or meeting outdoors.

Below, we explain the existing rules in detail, but these do not currently apply to all parts of England. On July 30, changes were made to parts of northern England after a spike in cases. 

Read more: What parts of the UK are still in lockdown?

What are the new rules on self-isolating? 

The Government has announced that individuals who test positive for coronavirus or show symptoms must now self isolate for 10 days instead of seven.

The UK Chief Medical Officers have said that evidence – although limited – has strengthened, suggesting that individuals who are mildly ill with Covid-19 and are recovering have a real possibility of infectiousness between 7 and 9 days after illness onset. 

It is hoped that by extending the isolation period, individuals who have been shielding will be offered additional protection, which will prove vital as autumn and winter approaches. 

What about social distancing?

Two households of any size are now able to meet in any setting – indoors or outdoors. That does not mean they must always be the same household, although meetings of multiple households indoors are not recommended.

The two-metre rule has been reduced to one-metre social distancing, plus mitigation. The Prime Minister has said that the risk at ‘one-metre-plus’ is “broadly equivalent to the risk at two metres”.

When could social distancing end?

The Prime Minister has said that he hopes to end social distancing by November: “We hope by November at the earliest we can continue to make progress in our struggle against the virus,” he said in July. “It may conceivably be possible to move away from social distancing measures.”

However, scientists have cautioned that predicting an end to social distancing is difficult and depends on how much the one-metre rule influences the R number. Scientists also argue that the UK would need an effective test and trace system before social distancing could be lifted.

Social distancing may have to continue until there is enough immunity in the general population, according to Professor John Edmunds, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, which he says may only be provided by a vaccine.

“We will remain with some social distance measures in place until a safe and effective vaccine is found, mass-produced and delivered to the population,” Prof Edmunds said.



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COVID & Social Distancing: Is 6 Feet Enough?


Aug. 27, 2020 — Just when we have gotten used to social distancing 6 feet from each other to slow the spread of COVID-19, scientists from Oxford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggest that it may not always be enough.

In a new study, researchers found that the virus can travel on respiratory droplets up 26 feet in just a few seconds after someone cough, sneezes, or sings.

The 6-foot guidance is based on an oversimplified scenario that looks at how the virus is transferred by either large or small airborne droplets without accounting for other factors. Transmission of the virus is more complex. It involves a range of droplet sizes and the activity that propelled the virus through the air. The research team evaluated published studies looking at how far respiratory droplets from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, as well as from other viruses, can spread in different circumstances.

Based on those findings, they suggest a better model for social distancing guidance is needed. The guidelines should consider the setting, how crowded it is, how long someone is there, and whether people are wearing face coverings. Using that guide, a poorly ventilated, crowded environment where people are shouting and singing and not wearing face coverings would be high-risk. And an outdoor, well-ventilated, less crowded environment, where people are quiet and wearing face coverings, would be lower-risk.

Taking these factors into account to adjust social distancing guidelines would mean greater protection in high-risk settings, but also greater freedom in lower-risk settings — and perhaps a return toward “normal,” at least in some situations.

Their bottom line: the best social distancing depends on the many things that combine to determine risk of virus transmission.

“It’s understandable to want to have a quick-and-easy rule of thumb for ‘how close is too close,’ but the biology is much more complicated than that,” says Kristin Bratton Nelson, PhD, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta. She has researched superspreading of COVID-19 in Georgia.

She agrees with the researchers that the recommendations must reflect that nuance and provide clear guidance about activities that are highest-risk.

“I’ve seen in recent weeks that there are still policies in place closing outdoor spaces, like parks, beaches, and playgrounds, in the name of reducing transmission. I think this is really misguided, and perhaps even counterproductive, if they push interactions indoors.”

Len Horovitz, MD, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, says you have to think about the risk of COVID transmission more like smoking. “When you exhale cigarette smoke, you can see it goes farther than 6 feet.”

Transmission risk of COVID-19 depends very much on circumstances, says Horovitz, who was not involved in the study. “Indoor is much more risky than outdoor.” Particle size matters, he says. “If it’s smaller, it can travel faster.” Risk, he says, “depends on your activity, the motion of the air in the room, humidity and how long you are actually in the room.” The viral load – or level of virus within a person’s airways — also varies from person to person, he says.

He encourages people to consider all these things when deciding on the amount of social distancing. “If you are wearing a mask, not shouting, not sick, keep your mask on, and there is some indoor ventilation, 6 feet is probably enough.”

Bratton Nelson agrees that there is a range of risk of transmission.

It’s important to keep this in mind not only when thinking about physically how far you need to be from others, but also when thinking about which activities are safe.

“There is not a ‘safe’ and ‘not safe,’ ” she says, but by establishing which activities and environments are safest, people can try to focus on those.

Sources

The BMJ: “Two metres or one: what is the evidence for physical distancing in covid-19?”

BMJ news release: “Rigid social distancing rules for covid-19 based on outdated science.”

Len Horovitz, MD, pulmonologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City.

Kristin Bratton Nelson, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta.


© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.





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University of Notre Dame Students Ignore Social Distancing Days Before COVID-19 Outbreak Detected


University of Notre Dame Students Ignore Social Distancing Days Before COVID-19 Outbreak Detected

The University of Notre Dame suspended all in-person classes for at least two weeks after a COVID-19 outbreak on campus, including 147 cases, was detected on August 18. The announcement happened just eight days after the beginning of the fall semester, according to news reports. The university said in a post on its website that it had recorded a steady increase in confirmed coronavirus cases among students, mainly seniors living off-campus. University of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins also asked students to help in identifying others who had been violating safety protocols. The video seen here taken on August 16 shows students ignoring social distancing while gathered outside at night on campus grounds. Credit: Anonymous via Storyful



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