End of the live blog
That is where we will wrap up the live blog for Tuesday. We will be back in the morning with all the latest, and I’ll be back on the live blog in the afternoon.
Here’s some of what you might have missed today:
- Shares in coalminers plummeted on reports China had formalised a ban on Australian coal.
- Actor Craig McLachlan was found not guilty of indecently assaulting and assaulting four women during a run of the Rocky Horror Show in Australia.
- Flash flooding closed roads and isolated small communities in northern NSW, with potentially 1,000 properties affected.
- Underworld figure Tony Mokbel had a cocaine trafficking conviction quashed by the court of appeal, in yet another case impacted by the Nicola Gobbo-Lawyer X scandal.
- South Australian health authorities believe transmission of Covid-19 in a medi-hotel could have occurred due to poor ventilation in the hotel corridors.
- Former Greens leader Bob Brown was arrested for trespassing while attempting to halt logging in the north-east Tasmanian forest.
- There were no reported cases of community transmission of Covid-19 in Australia.
Until tomorrow, stay safe.
I managed to watch a presentation from NSW Health earlier this month where they revealed just 21% of all people in NSW who had Covid outside of hotel quarantine for returned travellers had the Covidsafe app between May and the end of October this year.
It comes as a Senate committee has called for an independent review into the $5.24m spent on the app.
WA Police minister Michelle Roberts has announced a $1m reward for information about the killing of former Rebels bikie boss Nick Martin on the weekend.
It’s an unprecedented reward for a crime of this nature. But we don’t want somebody who has killed, as they have on this occasion, out there in the community. We want them behind bars. We want them to be apprehended.
There may be the prospect of some immunity from prosecution, providing the person who comes forward isn’t the actual main perpetrator. But they may have somehow had some involvement or some complicity in it. So, that’s certainly something that will be considered by police. This is a crime that cannot go unpunished.
The 51-year-old was killed by an apparent sniper shot while watching a drag racing event at the Perth Motorplex on Saturday evening.
Fire Rescue Victoria says it got the fire under control around 10 minutes ago.
There is a fire on the rooftop of an office building on the corner of Queen St and Bourke St in the Melbourne CBD. No one is injured but paramedics are on the scene, according to 7News.
Protesters outside the Mantra Hotel in Melbourne, on the expectation the people detained there who were brought to Australia for medical treatment under medevac could be moved to a detention centre as early as today.
Australians trusted the public service more in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic compared to before, a new survey reveals.
AAP reports the survey released on Tuesday is an initiative of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and is a bid to better understand the community’s experience with public servants.
The first survey was undertaken in March 2019 and the latest, the fifth of its kind, conducted in June this year. About 2,500 people take part each time.
It found 65% of those surveyed trusted the public service in some way, with nine per cent having strong trust and the same amount (28%) trusting or somewhat trusting the bureaucracy.
In February, 56% of Australians trusted the public service in some way, six per cent strongly.
Head of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Philip Gaetjens will give the keynote speech to the public service on Tuesday evening in an annual address.
“The survey tells us what Australians think of their service delivery experience and identifies where the Australian public service can collectively do better,” he said prior to the speech.
Police are warning people not to be duped by a scam which cost a Sydney woman $22,000, AAP reports.
The 42-year-old from Sydney’s south-west received a phone call on Monday morning from a woman purporting to work at the Australian Taxation Office, telling her she owed a tax debt and the matter would be referred to police.
A short time later she received a phone call from a man who claimed to be a police officer. His phone number appeared to be that of the local police station.
Following the man’s instructions she withdrew cash and met him in a car park at a Wetherill Park shopping centre where she handed him $22,000.
Police say to be careful of unsolicited phone calls and requests for confidential information, as legitimate businesses don’t request that kind of information on an unexpected phone call.
Mick Gooda notes that promises made to raise the age of criminal responsibility and to demolish the Don Dale youth detention centre promised in 2017 have not yet been acted on.
“We are still locking 10-year-olds up ... yet we had that commitment on the day ... when the chief minister committed to those two things and when he addressed the big crowd in parliament in the grounds of Parliament House that day.
“Again, it is like our hearts continue to be broken with promises like that.”
A former commissioner for the royal commission into the protection of children in the Northern Territory, Mick Gooda, has been asked on ABC TV about the footage of a police officer threatening detained Aboriginal teenagers in Alice Springs from 2018, which was released following an ABC FOI request.
Gooda said it was filmed just six months after the commission’s report was released, and he felt for the boys in the video:
“I just felt so bad and I felt for those boys being on the receiving end of that because ...it is not just the threat, but it is the language they use, and when you look at the video there is a lot of other police officers there and you think, jeez, one of them should have intervened and said, ‘That is a bit over the top, mate.’ They should have pulled it up. The abuse goes on and on and on in that video.”
Gooda says the incident is “just outrageous, over the top, and just shows a total lack of leadership on the commissioner’s part”, and criticised the commissioner’s comments urging sympathy for the officer involved:
They wear guns on their hips and they are allowed to shoot people, therefore we should hold police to a higher standard of accountability. To just say he is having a bad day and using that as an excuse for those threats that he perpetrated on those young people, is just over the top.
Here’s the latest on the weather situation in northern NSW and southern Queensland from AAP:
Residents of northern NSW remain on high alert with some towns around Murwillumbah ordered to evacuate while flood warnings remain in place across several regions.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the rain may have eased but the flood warnings have not.
Between 400 and 500ml has been recorded in the northern rivers and on the mid-north coast in recent days.
Meteorologist Agata Imielska said: “That’s about half a metre of rainfall in the space of about four days.”
An evacuation order from the State Emergency Service remains in place from Condong to Tumbulgum and surrounds, with an evacuation warning still current around the Tweed River at South Murwillumbah.
The SES said the region has been deemed “a high danger area” and about 1,000 properties are affected.
The evacuation order comes after the Tweed River burst its banks near Tumbulgum causing minor to moderate flooding.
There are also flood warnings in place for the Richmond River at Kyogle, the Wilsons River near Lismore, the Hastings River at Wauchope and the Nambucca River at Bowraville, while major flooding is possible at Bellingen, Thora and Urunga.
The BOM flood operations manager, Justin Robinson, said a flood warning was also in place for Kempsey where there was a possibility of moderate flooding on Wednesday.
“There is still an evolving flood situation,” he said.
Meanwhile the low-pressure system off the coast of south-east Queensland has brought massive rainfall and gale-force winds.
On the Gold Coast the weather system also caused massive coastal erosion, with the surf club at Currumbin becoming an island.
First international students back on campus in NT
The first international students to return to Australia since the pandemic hit are back on campus in the Northern Territory, AAP reports.
About 60 students from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia landed in Darwin on 30 November.
They’ve now finished two weeks’ mandatory quarantine and on Tuesday started studying at Charles Darwin University.
The pilot program is expected to boost the NT economy and help planning for the re-entry of international students to other states.
The students undertook pre-departure health screening before quarantining at the Howard Springs facility near Darwin.
Vice chancellor Prof Simon Maddocks said CDU had supported the students while they were isolating.
“CDU organised a comprehensive support program for students during their quarantine period, including care packages, daily phone calls, exercise classes, and English language workshops,” he said.
The group is a mix of new and previously enrolled students returning to Darwin to continue their education. They are enrolled in a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and Vet programs including law, nursing, IT, teaching, accounting and engineering.
Some photos from the protest where former Greens leader Bob Brown was arrested, from Tasmania’s Greens leader Cassy O’Connor.
South Australia’s chief health officer Nicola Spurrier has provided some more details on the review of the CCTV footage at the Pepper’s Waymouth hotel where the outbreak occurred.
She says ventilation in the hotel corridors was not good, and that was possibly how the security guard caught Covid from a returned traveller:
What we have seen is that one of the security guards, that was one of the cases, was situated outside the room of what we think is our index case which was the traveller.
Of course, when you are a guest at the hotel or a traveller, there are times when you have to open the door to pick up food, or to get linen, or drop the tray, and so during those times of course it is possible for droplet and aerosol to come out of that room. If the ventilation in the passageway is not optimal, then it is possible for those droplets to concentrate, and we had a security guard sitting there for a relatively long period of time, and that was when you one of the cases is one of the security guards.
A Nepalese couple upstairs from this case may have also caught the virus from handling items or touching a door touched by someone else infected, Spurrier said, but she admitted they might never know what led to the transmission. Improvements will be made to medi-hotels to address these possible transmission methods.
Bob Brown arrested for trespassing
Former Greens leader Bob Brown has been arrested for trespassing while attempting to halt logging in the north-east Tasmanian forest, AAP reports.
The 75-year-old former senator is seen being taken into custody on Tuesday morning in the Eastern Tiers forest in a video released by the Bob Brown Foundation.
“I’ve just been arrested for trespassing on my own public land as a Tasmanian and as an Australian,” Brown says in the video.
He was later granted police bail.
Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson and Tasmanian Greens leader Cassy O’Connor were moved on after being given a police direction, and three other people remained locked on to logging machinery, the foundation said.
Tasmania police confirmed they had arrested and charged three people after a protest in the Lake Leake area.
Two women, aged 57 and 49, were also charged with trespass and bailed.
The forest is home to the critically endangered swift parrot, fewer than 300 of which could remain in Australia, according to a recent study.