Mother of four locked out of emergency accommodation due to paperwork issue


The head of South Australia’s Housing Authority has apologised to a mother of four who has been locked out of her emergency accommodation five times in the past fortnight because the agency failed to complete the necessary paperwork.

Kirsty told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning that her family would not have anywhere to go if the SA Housing Authority did not get the paperwork through today to extend her stay.

“My key was disabled again this morning because Housing SA hasn’t done the appropriate paperwork,” she said.

Last September, Kirsty was told she had to leave her home of five years.

Since then, she has applied for about 200 rental properties without success.

After couch surfing for three months, housing services placed her in a motel room.

“If Housing SA don’t get the paperwork promptly to them this morning, then they are probably going to ask me to pack all my stuff up and get out and I won’t have anywhere to go,” Kirsty said.

After hearing Kirsty’s story, SA Housing Authority Chief Executive Michael Buchan issued an apology.

Mr Buchan said there was an increasing number of families looking for public housing.

“Kirsty is not alone at the moment, there are lots of people in very similar circumstances,” he said.

“It goes to show the challenges we have at the moment and, in particular, when the private rental market isn’t able to provide housing for people who would otherwise be in it.”

Labor MP Nat Cook called for more to be done to help Kirsty and other families in similar circumstances.(

ABC News

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Opposition’s Nat Cook says ‘go back to your office and do the work’

Opposition human services spokesperson Nat Cook said she was furious at Mr Buchan’s response to Kirsty’s situation.

“I’m absolutely gasping at this, seriously Michael Buchan, you need to look at the policies and take charge of this and change them,” she said.

“People in the sector knew months ago that families were going to be homeless — like Kirsty — suffering this indignity and this embarrassment.

Ms Cook said she had received three more calls over the weekend from women in similar circumstances to Kirsty.

“I just cannot believe that someone can sit there in that position and wring their hands and say sorry,” she said.

“You’ve got no answers, you’ve got nothing for Kirsty and nothing to say about the 1,700 homes that are empty that we have found with kitchens that are brand new available for someone like Kirsty to live in.”

Mr Buchan said there were currently 600 properties available and awaiting allocation and another 1,400 homes that were vacant but needed upgrading or repairs.

“We would have properties that match Kirsty’s needs, but they are probably not in the area that she wants to live,” he said.

He said policy making had been “very agile” in recent times.

“We were able to find a huge amount of accommodation [for people] who were really needy during the COVID period and we continue to do that essentially every day,” Mr Buchan said.

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Buddy v Dusty showdown locked in with Swans superstar set to travel


Lance Franklin is set to play back-to-back AFL games for the first time in almost two years, with the Sydney Swans superstar locked in to face Dustin Martin’s Richmond on Saturday.

Franklin made his long-awaited comeback from injury in Sydney’s stirring 33-point win over Adelaide, kicking three goals to spearhead a new-look forward line.

Lance Franklin is set to play Richmond on Saturday.Credit:Getty Images

The 34-year-old hasn’t played consecutive games for the Swans since June 2019, but teammate Jake Lloyd confirmed the four-time Coleman Medallist would part of the travelling squad that will touch down in Melbourne later on Thursday and is expected to pull on the boots.

“He obviously came in for his first game last week and had an impact for us, kicked a crucial goal early to sort of steady the ship, and we run a little taller when Bud’s running out next to us,” Lloyd said.

“We’re looking forward to running out alongside him again. Obviously he’s had a tough couple of years with injury. The way he’s been able to lead this group – he spent a lot of time with us in the hub last year not playing but just working really hard on getting his body right.

“He’s in a young forward line, inexperienced forward line, and his knowledge he passes down to those guys has been crucial. He’s got big Logan [McDonald] down there now coming in for his third game … [he’s] watching vision with these guys, he puts a lot of work in with him.

“It’s not just what you see on the field that Bud does so well, we love what he does off the field just as much.”

Franklin is seemingly unlikely to play a third straight match for the Swans, who face a five-day turnaround before they back up against Essendon at the SCG next Thursday night.

But the veteran’s presence at the MCG at least ensures a showdown with Martin, who is perhaps the only other player in the competition who comes close to him for star power and off-field status.

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Brisbane hospital locked down after doctor tests positive for COVID-19


Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital has been placed into lockdown after a doctor tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.

The doctor had contact with COVID-19-positive patients at the hospital in Brisbane’s south in the early hours of Wednesday.

The doctor was infectious while in the community the following day and contact tracing is underway to identify and contact all patients, staff and families who may have been exposed.

It is likely public exposure sites will be identified and communicated on Saturday morning.

The case marks the end of Queensland’s 59-day run without a locally-spread infection.

In a statement, the hospital said “tests indicate low levels of the virus, which means the staff member may have only been infectious in the community for around one day on the 11th”.

A statement on the Queensland Health website said: “Due to the early stage of this, Queensland Health is in the process of contact tracing the positive case’s movements. If there is a risk to the public from the hospital or any other location this person has visited, we will issue a public health alert.”

Queensland Health said further details would be provided on Saturday morning.

All non-essential visits to patients in the hospital will no longer be allowed.

Anyone who must attend the hospital will be required to wear a mask.

The Emergency Department will remain open, but the public is encouraged to seek care at a nearby hospital or at a GP if possible.

Hospital staff will wear masks at all times and patients will be required to do the same unless it is not clinically appropriate.

Non-urgent outpatient bookings and elective surgery will be postponed.

The hospital has administered 3,477 doses of coronavirus vaccines since the rollout began, however it is unclear whether the doctor is one of the recipients.

The hospital said it was “actively working to ensure the safety of staff and patients on campus while contact tracing is undertaken”.

Anyone with any COVID-19 symptoms should get tested immediately and isolate until receiving a negative result.

Located in the inner-city suburb of Woolloongabba, the hospital is one of Brisbane’s largest, with a capacity of more than 1,000 beds.

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Victoria records zero new cases of coronavirus, as NZ locked down again


From 6am on Sunday, all schools will move to remote learning, anyone who can work from home must do so and businesses can only operate for online purchases or click and collect.

The rest of New Zealand will be put into “Level 2” restrictions that limit public gatherings, among others, Ardern told a news conference on Saturday evening.

Residents in Melbourne’s west were also put on alert on Saturday after coronavirus fragments were detected in the wastewater catchment of eleven suburbs earlier this week.

The Premier announced on Friday mask-wearing rules have been loosened under new restrictions in VictoriaCredit:Getty Images

Weak fragments were found on Monday in the wastewater catchment for Taylors Hill, Plumpton, Hillside, Sydenham, Delahey, Caroline Springs, Burnside Heights, Kings Park, Albanvale, Burnside and Deer Park.

The announcement came after two cases were recorded on Friday, both were close contacts of existing cases linked to the Holiday Inn cluster, who were already in isolation, posing no threat to the wider community.

More to come

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Super Rugby AU 2021: Epic fail sees Stan Sport locked out of pubs on opening night of new rugby season


Fans hoping to tune in for the Western Force’s first home Super Rugby match of the season against the Brumbies at pubs and clubs across Australia will have received a rude shock on Friday night.

After the Super Rugby opener between the Reds and Waratahs was broadcast on Channel 9’s secondary channel, Gem, the second match of the double header was shown exclusively on streaming platform Stan.

Except, those hoping to watch the match with a beer in-hand out on the town won’t have been able to watch it.

Tahs' recruit SENT OFF!

Tahs’ recruit SENT OFF!

0:44

As revealed by The Sydney Morning Herald, a deal between Stan Sport and Sky Channel was pulled on the eve of the season getting underway.



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2021 QAFLW fixture locked and loaded


The highly anticipated Bond University QAFLW fixture has been officially released today, ahead of the 2021 season.

The action will kick off on Saturday, February 27th, overlapping with the NAB AFL Women’s competition.

Queensland State Leagues Competition Manager, Matt Bialkowski, said it was the second year in a row* the QAFLW competition would be played during the AFLW season.

“The benefit of moving the QAFLW season forward to underpin the AFLW competition allows the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS to play their unselected AFLW players in the Queensland State League Women’s competition,” he said.

“This opportunity enables the AFLW players to keep match fit, have access to a high-quality competition and perform at the QAFLW level in an attempt to regain their AFLW spot leading into the AFLW finals.”

A grand final rematch will headline QAFLW round one with Yeronga and Coolangatta to face off at Leyshon Park.

Five months since they clinched the flag in September, Yeronga won’t be resting on their laurels after storming home in last year’s final 56-9.

“We don’t take anything for granted – the team has been working hard in the pre-season and we’re ready and raring for a new season of footy,” said Helena McNaught, Yeronga South Brisbane Devils Female Football Operations Manager.

“After our senior player Jamie Howell was announced as the 2021 NAB AFLW Premiership Cup Ambassador earlier in the year, the girls have been buzzing to get the season underway.”

“We’re looking to build on the fantastic year we had in 2020 and will be looking for a round one win at home in a few weeks.”

The QAFLW Development reigning premiers will also play at home in round one, with Giffin Park staging the re-match of last year’s 26-23 nail biter between Coorparoo and Aspley.

Round two will see the U19 Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS talent squads play at Bond University following the QAFLW match between Bond and Coorparoo.

The ANZAC Day weekend is shaping up to be an action-packed weekend of footy with Maroochydore and Wilson Grange hosting QAFL/QAFLW double headers, while round 10 will see the third annual running of Pride Round across the state. All QAFLW and Development games will be played in a festival of footy at Giffin Park.

The 14 game season, to be played over 16 weeks, will see each QAFLW team play a home and away match vs each opposition.

The 2021 season will showcase a number of exciting new rule changes.  To align with the AFLW, each QAFLW and Development side will field 16 players and now have an increased bench of 5 players (formerly 4).  

In an exciting step forward in the development of youth girls on the elite pathway, the QAFLW List Management rules have been modified for 2021 allowing girls turning 17 to play for a QAFLW club on a Local Interchange (Type 2) Permit, provided they are primary registered with a youth club.

The youth age eligible players will be able to play in the QAFLW competition, and return to Youth competitions following the completion of the QAFLW season in time to play enough games to be eligible for Youth finals.

Mr Bialkowski thanked competition sponsor Bond University for their role is assisting in the future growth of women’s footy.

“On behalf of AFL Queensland, I’d like to thank Bond University for their continual commitment and support of our state league women’s program and the development of women’s footy in South East Queensland,” he said.

*The 2020 season was disrupted due to the suspension of play for COVID.

2021 Bond University QAFLW – Official Fixture (003)

 

Download 2021 fixture here 

*Please note; times and venues are subject to change.

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Cuomo critic LOCKED by Twitter for ‘harm’ of parody-quoting infamous anti-Trump rant by Rep. Maxine Waters — RT USA News



A critic of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been locked by Twitter for inciting “abuse and harassment” over a post that simply quoted a famous anti-Trump speech by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California), with names changed.

Twitter told the user @CuomoWatch that his account was locked for violating the policy against “targeted harassment” because the January 28 post was inciting violence and hoping someone might experience physical harm, according to a screenshot posted Friday afternoon by Donald Trump Jr.

The former president’s son noted that the user was quoting verbatim the rant by Waters, only substituting “Cuomo” for “Trump.”

“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters told a crowd in California in June 2018. She later repeated it on television as well.

Her rhetoric followed the attacks on White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and President Donald Trump’s adviser Stephen Miller.



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God is on our side! Maxine Waters calls on restaurants, gas stations to boo Trump admin


Democrats had organized protests targeting Trump administration officials over the president’s immigration policy seeking to deter illegal border crossings. The Biden administration’s first actions were to revoke Trump’s border policies and say immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers will be welcome to the US in record numbers.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has drawn criticism from New Yorkers of all political persuasions over his draconian Covid-19 lockdown policies – but mainly for his orders that those infected with the coronavirus be admitted to nursing homes, resulting in the deaths of over 15,000 of elderly patients.

Earlier this week, a Cuomo aide admitted they were hiding the exact extent of the disaster so as to keep the Justice Department under Trump from investigating and prosecuting them, sparking fresh condemnations. According to the aide herself, the stonewalling worked and the DOJ never opened a probe. 



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Fresh off banning Project Veritas, Twitter accused of giving anti-Trump Lincoln Project a pass for publishing ex-member’s PMs


Twitter has also faced criticism for what appears to be highly selective and arbitrary enforcement of its rules. While a Cuomo’s critic was banned for parody, the same rule was used in October to ban a self-described socialist over a metaphor, and the conservative undercover journalism shop Project Veritas was “permanently suspended” on Thursday for allegedly doxxing a Facebook executive. 

However, Twitter decided that the anti-Trump ex-Republicans at the Lincoln Project were not in violation of their rules, even after posting improperly obtained private messages in order to shame a former employee and a reporter.

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Australia-India Test series, locked at 1-1, set for an intriguing finish at Gabba in Brisbane


Very few people looking forward to a cricket series can resist speculating and making predictions. Very few ever get it right.

It’s a futile endeavour with so many variables at play in a universe that can always surprise us.

Nobody would have predicted India being bowled out for 36, or Steve Smith being unable to make 36 in aggregate until the third Test innings.

Nobody would have predicted a seaming MCG wicket with a match over in four days, or a Sydney pitch without a single crack in it after five.

No one knew which state borders would open and close, and where matches would be played and whether anyone could attend, or that occupants of a Sydney cemetery would be specifically prohibited.

Not many would have guessed that Nathan Lyon would bowl well but struggle for wickets, taking six in three Tests, and that he would enter the fourth and final match in Brisbane with 396 to his name, a chance to reach 400 in his 100th Test.

We could have speculated the series would be close, poised 1-1 heading into the deciding Test. We couldn’t have guessed at the path to reach this point, with Australia going through five opening batsmen and India through an entire secondary squad.

Steve Smith silenced the critics in the third Test at the SCG.(AP: Rick Rycroft)

It must be a weary arrival at the Gabba. When several Indian players reported racist abuse from spectators across several days of the Sydney Test, they were clearly shaken at the time and fed up later. For the home players, it must make their hearts sink.

“We don’t condone the abuse of anyone, let alone from a racial standpoint,” said Paine on the eve of the final Test.

“We want everyone to come along to the cricket, support Australia, support India, support the umpires if you like. But leave the abuse at the gate and respect the players and respect the game.”

Australia’s team must feel emotionally battered. Paine was rightly criticised for his snappy verbals at Ravichandran Ashwin late in the draw at Sydney. Smith was bizarrely accused of cheating after marking guard while fielding.

(For clarity, the accusation of removing guard marks is nonsense given those marks were scored deep into the pitch and are clearly visible on the video before and after the event. There was no accusation from the batsmen at the crease, only backseat drivers on the internet.)

The whole team will be feeling the tension of having lost in Melbourne and having failed to finish off a win in Sydney. Then there was the anxiety of debuting Will Pucovski, the high of seeing him succeed, the low of seeing him injure his shoulder and be out of the team again.

Tourists hit with casualty list

India’s team is physically battered. Two years ago while visiting Australia it was a five-strong squad of fast bowlers that underwrote a series win. Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah played every game, with Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar as bench strength.

This time India must finish the series with all five of them injured. As are all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, and batsmen Hanuma Vihari and KL Rahul, while captain Virat Kohli is absent on family business. Opener Mayank Agarwal is in some doubt after being hit in the nets, as is Ashwin with back problems.

That would make a very good international XII on the sidelines.

Mohammed Siraj holds his hands out wide above his head, holding a red cricket ball in his right hand
A lot rests on Mohammed Siraj’s shoulders in Brisbane as India looks to avoid a series defest.(AP: Rick Rycroft)

In Brisbane, Mohammed Siraj will be the attack leader having debuted two matches ago in Melbourne. Navdeep Saini will be his lieutenant having debuted last week in Sydney. Thangarasu Natarajan will likely make his debut. An entire attack with three Tests between them.

Wrist spinner Kuldeep could replace Ashwin if need be, while Prithvi Shaw could open and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant could play as a specialist bat at six ahead of keeper Wriddhiman Saha. Any more injuries though and coach Ravi Shastri might be making a comeback.

However things work out, the lifting must largely be done by senior batsmen Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, and interim captain Ajinkya Rahane. Their team has fought hard so far and that must be kept going.

If India can cobble together a win or a draw, it will be one of the great touring triumphs. Either will mean the visitors will retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. It would also be key to India’s hopes of making the World Test Championship final in England in the middle of this year.

Australia is the side that must deal with expectation. All the talk has been of home advantage, of fortresses, of depleted opponents. But there would be an anxiety in the back of the mind about dropping this series after having destroyed the opposition in the first Test.

Australia wicketkeeper Tim Paine walks with his head hung after the third Test against India at the SCG.
Australia needs Tim Paine to show his leadership qualities in the final Test.(AP: Rick Rycroft)

Paine has to get his head back in the game. Smith needs to keep on with his Sydney runs. David Warner had no influence in his first match back from injury and needs to find something. Matthew Wade might need a score to keep a spot in the team, Marnus Labuschagne needs to find a way to express his enthusiasm without being obnoxious.

The bowlers will have to dig deep after a power of work and a chaser of disappointment in Sydney, especially Lyon with his milestone in view.

“If I’d caught a couple, it could have been very different for him,” said Paine of his series.

“Nathan Lyon’s played 100 Test matches, that means you’re absolutely at the top of the tree. At times the Indians have played him very well, but at times we know looking at the footage he’s created plenty of chances. He’ll have a huge role to play in this Test for us.”

One more match then, to decide yet another absorbing series between two teams who have hardly played a bad one in the last 20 years. Predicting the result is pointless. It’s time to enjoy finding out.

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COVID-19 quarantine period extended for people locked in Brisbane’s Grand Chancellor Hotel


People who have already spent two weeks in hotel quarantine at Brisbane’s Grand Chancellor Hotel — where a cleaner tested positive to the UK variant of the virus — have been told they will have their quarantine extended.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the move as she announced two new cases of COVID-19 recorded overnight, both in hotel quarantine.

“We have some genomic testing that came back late last night and … linked six cases of the highly infectious UK variant of COVID,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“These are the UK traveller and his partner, the hotel cleaner and her partner, and the man and his daughter from Lebanon who we told you about yesterday — so all six have a connection to the Grand Chancellor Hotel.”

The decision comes just over a day after a three-day lockdown of Greater Brisbane in response to a cleaner at the hotel testing positive to the UK strain of the virus on January 7.

Geoff Crooks is in quarantine with his wife at the hotel and said he was told overnight his stay would be extended.

“We were due for release one minute after midnight last night, we’ve done our 14 days,” Mr Crooks said.

“We got a knock on the door at 11:00pm last night, two police officers saying [there is a] possibility that you’ll be here for another two weeks.”

Officers gave Mr Crooks a new quarantine direction, which has been seen by the ABC, extending his isolation period until January 26.

“My brother’s funeral is tomorrow in Wollongong, he died while I’ve been in here,” Mr Crooks said.

“We understand the quarantine process, we agree you have to have it, but to be told in the eleventh hour that you’re stuck here.”

Mr Crook said despite the hotel cleaner testing positive, guests had been provided little information from authorities.

“I felt actually safer in the US than I do right here, right now.

“We hope sanity prevails and they come and say, ‘yep, you can go home’ … but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Mr Crooks said he had tested negative to COVID-19 three times while he was in quarantine.

More to come.

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Locked out – Britain’s refugee-resettlement scheme remains moribund | Britain


HANI ARNAOUT and his family, refugees from Syria, arrived in Ottery St Mary, a small town in Devon, in 2017. Locals offered them a home, English lessons and help for Mr Arnaout to find work as a handyman and gardener. “I called my daughter Mary because I love Ottery St Mary,” says Mr Arnaout. “The first time I came here I saw that it was all green and nice. I felt like I had died and come back to life again.”

The family owes its new life to Britain’s participation in the United Nations’ refugee resettlement scheme, which in 2019 moved some 63,300 refugees to rich countries from crowded host nations such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Under the same programme, Naseem, a Syrian carpenter, and his wife Celina, a graphic designer, were due to be resettled from Beirut to Dundee in March 2020. But with two days to go, the move was cancelled. Covid-19 had struck, Europe had locked down and the whole programme was suspended.

The couple had sold their belongings to pay for their move. Naseem lost his job because they were leaving and cannot get another. Having renounced their right to stay in Lebanon before their planned departure, as they are required to, they fear deportation. Naseem leaves their flat only to buy food and medication. When they have phone reception, which is intermittent, they try to learn English by watching subtitled films. They have no outside window; to get fresh air, they climb onto the roof.

Under the UN programme, Britain has promised to take 5,000 refugees a year. Just over 800 arrived in 2020, before the March lockdown. No more were admitted under the scheme last summer, even when holiday travel resumed. The pausing of this rare, legal way for refugees to get into Britain may be one reason for the surge in numbers attempting to cross the English channel in small boats last year.

Other countries resumed resettlement. The International Organisation for Migration, a UN agency, resettled 18,140 refugees worldwide between June and December. America took 3,740 between May and November. Data for other countries are patchy, but France took at least 420 in the second half of 2020 and Norway took 247.

Britain’s Home Office said in November that it would begin to admit another 232 people, to meet the annual target of 5,000 it was due to admit by the end of March 2020. In 2019, the government said it would take another 5,000-6,000 by April 2021, but there have been no further announcements. In 2020 Germany took only 1,178 of its annual commitment of 5,500, so it has said that in 2021 it will take the remaining 4,322, and another 5,500.

Resettlement increasingly happens with the help of local groups, such as the one that gave the Arnaouts a hand. Around Britain, such groups have been paying rent for unoccupied properties, drawing on funds raised from local businesses and through events such as sponsored cycle rides and cake sales. In Wendover, a town in Buckinghamshire, a three-bedroom house prepared for a family arriving in March lies empty, its freezer overflowing with home-cooked food. In the drawers sit neatly folded T-shirts and donated jumpers. Two dozen volunteers who had spent a year planning, training, sourcing furniture and securing school places for the expected arrivals are still waiting.

Life is harder in Beirut since a gas explosion in the port in August that killed nearly 200 and made thousands homeless. Mr Arnaout is hoping that Naseem and Celina manage to get to Britain. He wants to pick them up at the airport. “When I hear of Arabic people coming…I want to help them settle in. I like to feel they are happy. I like to touch this happiness.”

This article appeared in the Britain section of the print edition under the headline “Locked out”

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