NT Chief Minister declares ‘all of Melbourne’ a hotspot as Government updates border restrictions



The Northern Territory Government says all arrivals from Greater Melbourne will have to undergo two weeks of mandatory supervised quarantine when NT borders reopen on July 17.

On Monday night, Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he had “made the decision that all of Melbourne is a hotspot” for the purposes of the Northern Territory’s new quarantine protocols.

Mr Gunner had previously announced that interstate arrivals to the NT from coronavirus hotspots would be forced to enter mandatory supervised quarantine from July 17.

The NT Government’s stance that all of Greater Melbourne is a coronavirus hotspot differs from the Victorian Government’s public health advice, which states 10 suburbs across metropolitan Melbourne are hotspots.

Mr Gunner said his decision was based on advice from NT Chief Medical Officer Hugh Heggie that undetected outbreaks were occurring in Melbourne suburbs.

“The Chief Health Officer’s advice is that there are outbreaks in Melbourne suburbs that have not yet been identified as hotspots,” Mr Gunner said.

“He also advised me that while these outbreaks are confined to the Melbourne metropolitan area, they extend across Melbourne, making them more difficult to contain to specific suburbs.

“As a result of this advice, I have directed him to designate every local government area in Greater Melbourne as a COVID-19 hotspot for the purposes of travel to the Northern Territory.

“Hot spot areas may be added prior to 17 July, depending on the health advice. However, I want to make clear that no area in the Greater Melbourne region will be removed from the list prior to 17 July. They will stay shut off from the Territory until further notice.”

Victoria recorded 124 new coronavirus cases on Monday and nine public housing towers are under lockdown in the state.

The decision comes as the NT Government faces criticism over its planned reopening of the Territory’s borders, with organisations voicing concerns that vulnerable communities could be put at risk.

Currently, all arrivals to the Northern Territory must self-isolate for two weeks.



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Voters simply must ‘banish’ Andrews government



Sky News host Peter Gleeson claims the Andrews governing administration is drained, is now in the middle of a coronavirus crisis and Victorians should not hesitant to “banish” it at the upcoming election.

Mr Gleeson reported the governing administration went challenging on coronavirus restrictions but has given that appear out as the “worst performing condition in the country”.

Overnight Victoria recorded an more 127 cases of coronavirus and a male in his 90s and a man in his 60s died in healthcare facility right after tests good to COVID-19.

Although on Monday it was confirmed the borders concerning New South Wales and Victoria shall be shut in a bid to stem the distribute of the deadly condition.

“Andrews only has himself to blame,” Mr Gleeson explained.

“His autocratic model has labored beautifully when issues have been likely well, but now the buck ought to end with him”.

“So, the 2022 election is pivotal for this country, if Labor wins yet again, the Coalition will in no way assume electric power in Victoria.

“It’s that simple, if Andrews is not punished for this arrogance and hubris, he certainly hardly ever will be”.

Graphic: News Corp Australia



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Calls for Federal Government to save second NT lower house seat axed in redistribution


Politicians from across the party divide have ramped up calls for the Federal Government to step in and guarantee a minimum of two lower house seats for the Northern Territory.

The NT’s allocation has been halved from two seats to one in a ruling by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), which also axed one seat from WA and added one in Victoria.

The cut would see the Darwin seat of Solomon merged with the mega-seat of Lingiari to cover 1.4 million square kilometres—including Christmas and Cocos Islands—and more than 247,000 people.

The AEC’s determination was based on a drop in the NT’s relative share of national population.

It was anticipated by the NT’s federal representatives from the major parties, who have been jointly pushing for changes to the Electoral Act.

A private senator’s bill moved by Labor Senator Malarndirri McCarthy and co-sponsored by Country Liberals Senator Sam McMahon is currently before the Senate.

If passed, it would guarantee a minimum of two seats for the Northern Territory in the lower house.

Solomon Labor MP Luke Gosling said the AEC’s ruling meant it would now be “up to the Prime Minister” to respond and urged the Federal Government to support the joint bill.

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“You would hope that the PM has got a conscience, cares about proper representation for Territorians and will pass that bill when we go back to Parliament in August.”

The NT’s allocation of one seat would compare with three in the Australian Capital Territory and five in Tasmania, while New South Wales has the highest entitlement at 47 seats.

Coalition ‘exploring all options’

Senator McMahon said the bill had the support “of all of my Nationals colleagues” but she was open to discussing other options with her Coalition partners.

“The Liberals haven’t told me that they’re not going to support it.

“Whether [the private senator’s bill] is the mechanism that they choose or whether there’s some other way of doing it, I’m exploring all options.”

Senator McMahon said other options could include changes to the population formula used to determine the number of seats per state or territory.

But Mr Gosling said a similar move in 2004 chosen instead of a minimum seat guarantee had failed to prevent the problem reoccurring.

Labor Member for Solomon Luke Gosling
Labor’s Luke Gosling has called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to support the bill.(ABC News: Neda Vanovac)

“We just need the bill to be passed so it guarantees two seats, which I think anyone that is fair minded would say is fair representation for the Northern Territory.”

The Leader of Government in the Senate, Liberal Senator Matthias Cormann, referred the co-sponsored bill to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Matters for inquiry in mid-June.

Senator Cormann’s office and the office of Prime Minister Scott Morrison have been contacted for comment.



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Coalition Government cannot use COVID-19 as an excuse for its failings


The Coalition and some media shops have capitalised on the COVID-19 disaster for political factors, says Grant Turner.

THE COALITION and the media largely blame any second wave of COVID-19 on the Black Lives Make any difference (BLM) protests in opposition to Indigenous fatalities in custody and Australians exhibiting help along with so many from around the world that had been appalled by the hideous murder of George Floyd.

The Authorities gave tiny body weight to the amount of disgust felt by Australians at viewing Floyd’s murder before their eyes or the stats relating to fatalities of To start with Nations folks that acquire similar cure appropriate in this article at dwelling. 

They may obscure or neglect the opening up of eating places, crowded searching centres, churches, cafes, and their want for Australians to return to do the job and the use of community transportation to do so. Several educational institutions have been shut down to control the distribute of the virus, also.

These matters were all set in location by the govt just before the BLM protests.

This “blame sport” has now begun with the media citing three beneficial assessments from people today that attended the protests. Many failed to report that the initial circumstance cited, only times later on, examined detrimental and the third circumstance in accordance to Victorian wellness officials was incredibly not likely to have been contaminated or contaminated anybody at the protests.

Around the world, individuals are presently up in arms towards racist, violent and authoritarian actions taken by governments against minority groups in our societies. One can only hope that it’s preserved and isn’t again lowered to insignificance by the media’s electricity to downplay these functions.

Australians have to choose inventory of the media landscape that exists presently in our region. Two ex-prime ministers from opposing sides of the political spectrum, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, have said that Rupert Murdoch and News Corp wield far much too a lot political electricity in the nation. It is a sentiment we should really consider seriously.

Our media creates and curates the news they set the agenda on the morning breakfast Tv demonstrates. This proceeds to the evening information all the way to Sunday morning political applications like the ABC’s Insiders.

Though COVID-19 has properly and genuinely place the spending plan into even more deficit, the Govt was under no circumstances truly likely to create their “again in black” surplus. The fact is as lots of economists have stated their claimed surplus was never a certainty and was on shaky ground, our economic system was in a really weak state properly prior to the bush fires or COVID-19 had been upon us.

Without doubt the Coalition is saddened by the tragic reduction of lifetime that COVID-19 has brought on. However, it has furnished a political protect, papering above their fiscal failings and concealing their rorts and corruption from view.

And now the media blurting endlessly about department stacking in the Victorian Labor Party As awful as department stacking is, it has been all-around as extended as politics. It’s used by the two sides of politics.

With the by-election imminent, the media and Labor’s opponents jumped on the tale. 

As Australia makes an attempt to relieve COVID-19 constraints and works in direction of normality that our Governing administration will use COVID-19 as a smokescreen to even further erode Australians civil rights, residing criteria, functioning conditions. Indeed, we will all be bombarded with its spin and lies, relying on its mostly compliant and complicit media allies.

Grant Turner has a solid interest in politics and fairness in society and thinks in truthful impartial media. You can adhere to him on Twitter @gruntat.

Support independent journalism Subscribe to IA.

 





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UK government approves return of recreational cricket from next week


London [UK], July 3 (ANI): The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday announced that recreational cricket to return from next weekend after the UK Government gave their approval.

“We are delighted that the UK Government have given their permission for recreational cricket to return from next weekend,” ECB tweeted.

The board will publish the approved guidelines to help clubs and players prepare for cricket’s return.

ECB Chief Executive Tom Harrison set out how important the recreational game is for communities across the country, and the vital role sports play in keeping people healthy.

“The ECB has today had positive discussions with @OliverDowden about the return of recreational cricket, with groups of more than six able to gather. We remain optimistic that we will have positive news to share in the not too distant future,” ECB wrote on Twitter.

Earlier on June 26, ECB cancelled the Dynamos Cricket and some national competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of these tournaments would require rescheduling, which logistically could make it difficult for clubs to arrange other cricket.

The cancelled tournaments had included National Counties Championship (Three-day cricket), National County Showcase Fixtures v First-Class Counties, Royal London Club Championship, Vitality Men’s Club T20 Cup and Plate, Vitality Women’s Club T20 Cup and Plate, U18 Boys County Championship, U17 Super Fours, Royal London Boys County Age Group Under 14, 15 and 18 Cup Competitions, Royal London Girls County Age Group Under 15 and 17 Cup Competitions, ECB David English Bunbury Festival, ECB City Cup, ECB Over 50s County Championship, ECB Girls Regional Development Centre Festival and ECB Girls U15 Festivals.

All international cricket has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, it is set to resume to from July 8 as England and West Indies will lock horns in the first game of the three-Test series. (ANI)



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SA Government considers allowing interstate kangaroo processors to buy local carcasses, businesses fear for livelihoods


South Australian kangaroo processors are worried a change in industry regulations could put them under pressure or even out of business.

The SA Government is mulling over a change that could mean out-of-state processors could buy kangaroo carcasses from SA without needing to establish an abattoir in the state.

In Orroroo, in the state’s mid-north, Dews Meats uses kangaroo meat to make products like kangaroo schnitzels and kebabs.

Owner Taryn Ackland was worried that with the drought knocking down kangaroo numbers, the extra competition from other processors could cost jobs.

“It’s going to have a large impact because of anybody out of Broken Hill, or out of anywhere in Victoria, they can just come across, take the numbers that they want … then take them out of the state to process them,” she said.

Ms Ackland says the industry is only harvesting about 20 per cent of its kangaroo quota.(ABC Adelaide: Lauren Waldhuter)

Kangaroos are not farmed so processors pay shooters for carcasses.

Rosedale Meats owner Tony Gyss said out-of-state processors could simply headhunt SA shooters rather than bringing in their own, leaving SA processors with no way to get meat.

“So, you’re still going to have the same shooters shooting the same amount of kangaroos and potentially putting us under pressure and potentially putting us out of business.”

Kangaroo populations fall

The SA Government estimates there are about 1.5 million red kangaroos in the state, followed by 1.3 million western grey kangaroos and 570,000 wallaroos, or euros.

For red kangaroos, that is a fall of 39 per cent from the previous year and 4 per cent down on the average.

Kangaroo Meat for sale at the Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne.
Kangaroo meat for sale at the Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne.(Supplied: Eric in SF/Wikimedia CC BY-SA)

Eastern grey and euro populations are estimated to be above the long-term average.

However, Mr Gyss said in practice he was having a hard time finding kangaroos to process.

A bad time for change

Macro Meats buys kangaroo carcasses from interstate to use in its abattoir in SA as well as paying shooters locally.

Managing director Ray Borda said he was not opposed to out-of-state processors being able to eventually buy carcasses shot in SA.

However, he said now was a bad time to introduce this change due to the drought and the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is such a thing as free trade between states and I do agree with that; the only problem is the timing,” he said.

“Everybody is looking to employ people within SA and this, in its own little way, does not help.”

Ray Borda, National President of Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia wears a cooking apron at Tokyo Game Fair
Mr Borda says allowing out-of-state processors to take kangaroos could put the industry under pressure.(ABC News: Jake Sturmer)

The change was meant to come into effect from Wednesday, but a State Government spokesperson told the ABC the change has been deferred.

“As a result, the Government will defer the implementation of the changes and further consult with industry stakeholders to ensure that the needs of all market participants are taken into account going forward.”



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Future Drought Fund’s first round of spending for farmers announced by Federal Government


The Federal Government has revealed how it will spend the first round of its $5 billion Future Drought Fund, designed to help farmers better prepare for dry times.

This round of money will assist farmers to become more financially savvy, while also funding better climate data information, research and development, and natural resource management.

Federal Agriculture and Drought Minister David Littleproud said the Government would allocate $20 million to help farmers develop and improve their business plans.

Mr Littleproud said refining financial literacy will work together with investment in a climate data service.(Supplied: David Littleproud)

“But our job as a Government using Australian taxpayers’ money is to give our farmers the very best tools possible to make them even more profitable.”

The Future Drought Fund was first announced in 2018 and allows the government of the day to provide $100 million each year for preparedness and so-called resilience programs.

Mr Littleproud said “refining farmers’ financial literacy” would work together with a $10 million dollar investment in a new, online climate data service, tailored to farmers’ needs.

He said the digital platform would provide “regional specific climate data” to allow farmers to make “real time decisions that gets them ahead of drought rather than behind it”.

Looking through a barbed wire fence to desolate paddocks as trees are pummelled by wind. Dust haze on horizon paints out the sky
Wind is blowing topsoil away and farmers fear it will take years for some landscapes to recover.(ABC News: Lucy Barbour)

The announcement comes after a Government-appointed committee, headed by former National Farmers’ Federation president Brent Finlay, conducted a six-week tour of rural communities to find out how farmers wanted the Future Drought Fund spent.

“This is not about whittling away money,” Mr Littleproud said.

“We as Australian taxpayers have a proud record of having a safety net, and that’s what we provide to not only Australian farmers but to the individuals out there to have a safety net when things don’t go your way.”

Farmers welcome climate data spend

Wool grower Oliver Kay, who farms at Bungarby in southern New South Wales, questioned whether money should be spent teaching farmers how to develop business plans.

“Farmers should be doing that themselves already, that’s just a no brainer,” he said.

“So there’s no excuse for any farm business not to have clear plans for the path based on what’s happened previously.”

But Mr Kay welcomed the investment in an online climate data information service, which would likely draw on information from the Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO, and the Department of Agriculture.

Another $20 million dollars will be spent on drought research and development, and $15 million on natural resource management.

That could include grants for individuals and farmer groups to improve their local landscapes by maintaining ground-cover and improving soils.

South Australian pastoralist Gillian Fennell said the Government had “done business plans to death” and would have preferred to see money spent on improving farm and town water infrastructure.

“There’s no amount of business planning that will help you get rain out of the sky and help you get water onto your crop or your cattle or sheep,” she said.



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Round six, seven fixture will be redrawn after South Australian government decides to keep Victorian border closed


The South Australian government decision has thrown a spanner in the works for the AFL fixture.

The South Australian government decision has thrown a spanner in the works for the AFL fixture.Credit:AAP

While games had been scheduled in Melbourne between St Kilda and Port Adelaide and North Melbourne and Adelaide (both in round seven), the AFL confirmed that it would reorganise the fixture for round six and seven in response to the SA decision.

Before the announcement on Tuesday, the Crows and Power, who have been based in a hub in Queensland since round three, would have been able to return home to SA after the games in Melbourne. The border had been set to reopen on Monday July 20.

In round six, Adelaide had been due to face West Coast and Port Adelaide to play the Giants, with both games played in Queensland, but it is unclear whether these games will go ahead as fixtured.

The league will press on with Geelong and Collingwood’s 21-day stints in Western Australia, where they will play each other and then Fremantle and West Coast.

The AFL also indicated that Victorian teams that went on the road to meet quarantine rules would not necessarily be in “hubs”, though they would likely stay in one location for at least two weeks.

As it stands, SA has opened borders with Queensland, WA and the Northern Territory, and decisions are expected soon on the ACT and NSW borders.

The AFL may cycle more than two clubs through other states, with the ACT, Queensland and NSW all in play and even potentially the NT.

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The SA government’s border decision comes a day after Queensland’s government adopted fresh coronavirus protocols involving Victorians, which also caused fixturing problems for the AFL.

“We know that this will have a dramatic effect on the AFL,” South Australian Premier Steven Marshall told reporters on Tuesday.

“But we are adopting a position in South Australia which is not dissimilar to what has been announced for Queensland.

“So any teams coming in from Victoria to South Australia will have to do that two weeks of isolation.

“Any South Australian team that plays a Victorian team or goes to Victoria to play a Victorian team will have to do that two weeks of isolation on return to our state.”

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Round five fixture set to be redrawn due to Queensland government concerns about coronavirus in Victoria


A senior club figure also expressed increasing concerns that Victoria’s coronavirus spike could lead to more hubs.

Some Richmond members were informed on Monday morning that ticket sales for the West Coast match had been frozen.

Richmond members received the following message from the club on Monday morning:
“Please note that there has been a hold on the 9am ticket on sale for our round five game at Metricon Stadium against the West Coast Eagles.

“We apologise for the inconvenience and will be in contact with all eligible members with further information as soon as it becomes available.”

As recently as Friday, Richmond members had been told to look forward to this Thursday’s match.

“With the easing of crowd restrictions in Queensland, we are delighted to allow our Tiger Army the opportunity to attend our round five clash v West Coast at Metricon Stadium on Thursday, July 2,” the club told members.

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“As a thank you for your ongoing support during this unprecedented season, members who [hold] a valid home and/or away game access membership will be able to register for one ticket at no cost via Ticketek. You will be able to purchase guest passes for non-members when you are registering for your ticket.”

The AFL and Richmond were both contacted for comment. The Tigers referred the matter to the AFL, while several league officials are yet to respond.

The Queensland health department has also been contacted.



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NT Government quietly axes cardiothoracic surgery program and puts medical equipment up for sale


The Northern Territory Government has quietly dumped a program that would have allowed at least 150 patients a year to receive lifesaving heart surgery in the Top End instead of having to travel interstate.

The decision, finalised by Cabinet last year, came after the Health Department had already spent millions of dollars developing plans for the cardiothoracic surgery program, including the purchase of high-tech medical equipment.

The department is now trying to on-sell two heart-lung machines which it bought for $1.2 million in June 2018, shortly before the surgery program was recommended for the axe by the Top End Health Service.

The machines remain unused, but the time taken to put them out to tender means their manufacturer’s warranty has now expired, likely reducing any returns for the NT Government.

While Territorians have access to heart-related diagnostic services and low-risk procedures in the NT, several hundred heart patients have to fly to Adelaide each year for more complex treatment, including open heart surgery.

Paediatric cardiologist Dr Bo Remenyi, who was named the NT Australian of the Year in 2018, said she was “extremely disappointed” the NT Government had abandoned the plan for a local heart surgery program.

“Given that 50 per cent of all people die from cardiovascular diseases, it is absolutely critical to look after our Territorians and to provide the best service that’s time critical, culturally appropriate and the highest quality of care,” Dr Remenyi said.

Paediatric cardiologist Dr Bo Reményi says she is extremely disappointed the NT Government scrapped plans for a cardiothoracic surgery program.(ABC News: Ian Redfearn)

Government silence around scrapping of program ‘wasn’t deliberate’

The plan for a cardiothoracic surgery program based at Royal Darwin Hospital was first promised by the former CLP Government ahead the 2016 election.

The incoming Labor Government carried on with the initiative, allocating $9.6 million towards a program, as well as neurological services, in its 2017-18 budget.

“This will cater for approximately 100-150 patients per year,” Health Minister Natasha Fyles was quoted as saying in 2018.

A Health Department spokesperson told the ABC that as the commissioning activities progressed, it became apparent to the Department the surgery program would require considerable infrastructure changes at the hospital.

The Health Department also said it would place “undue stress” on existing operating theatres and critical care wards.

Combined with the NT Government’s severe fiscal challenges, the decision was made to suspend the program.

A photo of a woman.
Health Minister Natasha Fyles says an NT-based cardiothoracic surgery program would have been more expensive and complex than originally envisaged.(ABC News: Jano Gibson)

There was no public announcement about the scrapping of the program, but Health Minister Natasha Fyles said that had been unintentional.

“We certainly share as much as we can with Territorians. It wasn’t deliberate to not share it,” she said.

Dr Remenyi acknowledged the program would cost significant sums in the short term, but said several million dollars per year would be saved in the long run because expensive aeromedical services would no longer be required.

She said without a locally-based program, heart patients would continue to be at greater risk.

“People will die because they are getting treatment later — not within the 12 hours of recommended time,” she said. “People will die because they opt not to travel interstate.”

The Health Minister said the clinical advice given to her was that it was best to continue with the existing arrangements, because medical staff interstate already have significant experience, and the infrastructure, to deal with complex heart procedures.

A photo of a machine.
The NT Government is trying to sell medical equipment, including two heart-lung machines worth $1.2 million.(Supplied.)

“A decision was made, based on the evidence that in the situation at this point, we would not continue down the path of delivering those cardiothoracic services,” she said.

“[Rather] that we would continue providing patient care interstate, but trying to get people home quicker and having that recovery here.”

The department said most of the medical equipment previously purchased for the cardiothoracic surgery program had since been repurposed at Royal Darwin Hospital.

The two heart-lung machines, and two heater-cooler units worth $100,000, were being sold because they were unable to be utilised at RDH or the Palmerston Regional Hospital.

Funds from their sale will be redirected to the purchase of other essential medical equipment.



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