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What we know today, Friday September 18

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Welcome to your serving of the day’s breaking news from South Australia, the nation and abroad. Follow this post for live updates through the day.

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SA likely to open border to NSW travellers next week

Premier Steven Marshall said after this morning’s transition committee meeting that an announcement could be made to relax the state’s border restrictions with New South Wales as early as Tuesday.

It comes after New South Wales today reached its tenth consecutive day without reporting a locally-transmitted positive coronavirus case.

“We have now gone well over a week in terms of no worrying community transmission cases or acquired cases in New South Wales and this paves the way for a decision next week to open the New South Wales border,” he said.

“I know that will be very warmly welcomed by people in the business community but also families who have not be able to see each other.”

Chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said she still wanted to wait until the eastern state reported no locally-transmitted cases for 14 days – or one full incubation cycle – before South Australia relaxed its border restrictions.

“My expectation and my hope for South Australians and people in New South Wales is that we continue to not have anything happen between now and that 14 days,” she said.

“I think this is looking very good from the New South Wales perspective.”

On Wednesday, SA dropped the quarantine requirement for people travelling directly to Adelaide from the ACT, but they can only arrive by plane and they must have remained in the territory for the previous 14 days.

On Saturday, up to 25,000 football fans will also be allowed into Adelaide Oval to see the Adelaide Crows play Richmond, an increase from the 10,000 allowed for recent AFL games.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has thanked Marshall for his “evidence-based” approach to borders in a thinly-veiled swipe at Queensland.

Berejiklian and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk have been at loggerheads for months over the border issue, with Berejiklian saying there is no logical reason for the COVID-19 restrictions to remain.

She told reporters on Wednesday all conversations with Palaszczuk over borders had ceased again.

“The door is completely shut as far as Queensland is concerned,” Berejiklian said.

“(It’s) locked, bolted and no conversations are continuing, unfortunately.”

“At least the South Australian government is taking more of an evidence-based approach,” she said.

Meanwhile, South Australia will increase its hotel quarantine capacity from 500 to 800 to assist more Australians who are stranded overseas to return home.

Marshall said the state would prioritise quarantining returning Australians over international students.

The state and federal governments last month signed a deal to make South Australia the trial state for returning international students, with an initial cohort of 300 to arrive next month.

“The larger repatriation of international students would really have to come after we’ve got the bulk of the Australian citizens overseas.”

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the new hotel quarantine cap of 800 was based on the state’s resources.

“We can accommodate that number of people to the same level of security that we have for everyone else that we’ve brought back into Australia through the South Australian process.

“Obviously it takes additional police, additional nursing and health staff, as well as additional security staff as well.

“We’ve put forward a number that we think we can manage effectively and safely without once again increasing risk.”

– Stephanie Richards

 ‘Ring of steel’ sparks traffic delay as Victoria announces 5 deaths, 45 new cases

Melbourne’s “ring of steel” is sparking traffic delays, with a long line of vehicles on the road to Geelong.

It comes as Victoria this morning reported another five coronavirus deaths as new cases also rose to 45.

Victoria Police and ADF personnel are enforcing traffic restrictions for a second day to ensure Melburnians don’t try to take advantage an easing of coronavirus restrictions in regional Victoria.

Channel Nine aired helicopter footage of traffic at the Little River checkpoint heading to Geelong, stretching back for about 20km.

Yesterday, assistant police commissioner Rick Nugent said police would try to keep delays at checkpoints to 30 minutes.

Melburnians risk a fine of nearly $5000 if they try to travel to regional Victoria without a valid reason.

Today’s Victorian coronavirus deaths take the state toll to 750 and the national figure to 837.

The new case figure is a significant jump after Thursday’s 28 was the first time since June 24 that the state’s number had been in the 20s.

But the 14-day rolling average continues to improve, with 42.7 for Melbourne and 2.3 for regional Victoria.

SANFL appoints new CEO

Darren Chandler has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the SANFL .

The former West Adelaide league footballer will succeed Jake Parkinson in the SANFL’s top job, taking over the role on November 16.

Chandler, 47, is currently General Manager Operations and Commercial at Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority, a position he has held for the past eight years.

Prior to this he was SANFL’s General Manager of Football and Corporate Operations (2009-2012), and CEO of Glenelg Football Club (2002-2008).

SANFL Commission Chairman Rob Kerin welcomed Chandler’s return to the SANFL.

“Darren’s experience and proven leadership with the Stadium Management Authority demonstrated to the Commission that he is the best person to lead South Australian football into the future,” he said.

“Darren has a comprehensive background and first-hand knowledge of SANFL over many years, as a player, at SANFL Club level, within the League and in senior administrative roles.

An underage and reserves player at Glenelg and League player at West Adelaide, Chandler said his passion for the game and the opportunities it provided young people was a key factor in his decision to take on the CEO role.

“I’m looking forward to working with the SANFL Clubs, AFL and AFL Clubs, SANFL staff and the wider football community to navigate through the current COVID landscape and rebound as quickly as possible,” he said.

SANFL CEO Jake Parkinson announced in July that he would be stepping down from the role on October 31 after six years with the organisation to explore other career options.

Adelaide United elevates interim coach

Adelaide United has named former interim boss Carl Veart as its new A-League head coach on a two-year contract.

Veart was widely expected to secure the role on a full-time basis after impressing during the Reds’ final weeks of the 2019-20 season in the NSW hub.

He took the reins after predecessor Gertjan Verbeek returned to the Netherlands during the season shut down and led Adelaide to two wins and three draws from five games, with the Reds just falling short of finals.

“Carl is undoubtedly the best person to lead our squad moving forward and what he and the team showed while in the hub only validated that,” Adelaide director of football Bruce Djite said.

Former Socceroos striker Veart, 50, was one of Adelaide’s inaugural A-League players and scored the club’s first ever goal in the competition in 2005.

He returned to the Reds as an assistant coach in 2019 and is the third former Red, after Aurelio Vidmar and Michael Valkanis, to coach the club.

“As I’ve said on many occasions, Adelaide United holds a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to get started,” Veart said.

“Being involved with the club during the early days, it’s a unique feeling to be stepping into this position, but one that I believe I’m ready for.”

Two more charged over Adelaide bashing murder

Four men have now been charged over the bashing murder of a 24-year-old in Adelaide who was wrongly rumoured to be a police informant.

Victor Codea, 24, was lured to an area near Adelaide High School late last month where he was attacked and left with critical injuries.

He was taken to hospital by a friend and underwent emergency surgery but died about a week later.

Two men, aged 23 and 24 have already come before Adelaide Magistrates Court charged over the killing and have had their identities concealed.

Yesterday, two more men, aged 23 and 29, were arrested at a Salisbury North address.

They were also charged with murder and are expected to front court today.

On Wednesday, Detective Inspector Brett Featherby confirmed Codea had been charged with drug offences before his death but said police had no knowledge of him providing them with information.

“Victor was facing drug charges. He has made some bad choices,” he said.

“But we believe that he’s been wrongly accused of providing information to police.

“Unfortunately, that’s cost him his life.”

Queensland follows SA’s lead on ACT travellers

Queensland will lift border restrictions on the ACT next week, allowing Canberra residents to fly to the Sunshine State.

It comes after “a lot of work and detailed conversations” between Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr overnight.

Canberrans will be allowed to travel by air into the state from 1am on September 25, so long as they haven’t visited a virus hotspot.

“We’ve been saying for some time now that for Queenslanders, Queensland is good to go well now for Canberrans, Queensland is good to come,” Health Minister Steven Miles told reporters.

The re-opening was timed to coincide with the start of the ACT’s school holidays, he said.

It follows a similar decision by the South Australian government to lift restrictions on air travellers from the ACT earlier in the week.

 

Adelaide lawyer to lead Art Gallery

Jason Karas has been appointed the new chair of the Art Gallery of South Australia, with the lawyer promising the institution will be ambitious and innovative.

Karas, a corporate lawyer whose firm Lipman Karas has offices in Adelaide, Hong Kong and London, was appointed to the board of AGSA earlier this year.

He replaces chair Tracey Whiting, who has been in the role since August 2014.

The change of leadership comes at a critical time for AGSA which, like most arts institutions, faces a challenging future as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to constrain domestic and international tourism and damage the broader economy.

Karas is a familiar face at the gallery.

Through his law firm, Karas has been a prominent supporter of the institution, including sponsoring the national tour of Quilty and the Ramsay Art Prize People’s Choice Award. He has a particular interest in contemporary art and is a member of AGSA’s Contemporary Collectors group.

Whiting was involved in the formation of that philanthropic support group, which the gallery says has assisted in the acquisition of more than 500 works.

Read the full story here.

Morrison to put quarantine squeeze on states

Scott Morrison has been accused of seeking to “bludgeon” the states into allowing more Australians to return from overseas.

The prime minister will meet with state and territory leaders for national cabinet on Friday, at which an agreement is expected to be reached on boosting quarantine venues for returning Australians.

Morrison yesterday called it a “decision, not a proposal”.

He even put a figure on it, saying NSW, Western Australia and Queensland would all accept an extra 500 people each week.

Other jurisdictions are expected to take the rest.

South Australia has advised the Commonwealth that it will increase its hotel quarantine capacity from 500 to 800 in coming weeks.

That will be split across three areas with 600 places for returning travellers, up from 300, 100 for high-risk domestic arrivals and 100 to isolate locals impacted by any community outbreaks of the coronavirus.

Other states have yet to confirm how they will boost their hotel quarantine capacity, which will be key to reducing the risk of returned Australians spreading coronavirus.

More than 27,000 Australians stranded overseas are waiting to return.

But with an existing weekly cap of 4000 incoming passengers, airlines have warned it could take well into next year to bring them home.

WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt said it was unfortunate the prime minister had been conducting negotiations in the media instead of around the national cabinet table.

“State governments aren’t historically in the quarantining space,” he told the ABC.

“That is a Commonwealth responsibility.

“I don’t think any state has said no to this but having a Commonwealth simply try to use the bludgeon attempt to get an outcome is not a particularly sophisticated one.”

Labor has suggested using government aircraft to get some Australians back, but Mr Morrison says there are plenty of commercial aircraft available.

‘Alarming’ virus spread in Europe, India

The World Health Organisation’s European director has warned of “alarming rates of transmission” on the continent as India reports another record daily increase in coronavirus infections.

Hans Kluge said Europe’s weekly case rates, which have exceeded 300,000, are higher than during the first peak in March.

“Although these numbers reflect more comprehensive testing, it also shows alarming rates of transmission across the region,” he said.

In the past two weeks, more than half of European countries recorded an increase of cases of more than 10 per cent and in seven of them even doubled.

Europe has recorded 4,893,614 cases and 226,524 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

France has registered a record 10,593 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the country’s highest single-day count since the pandemic began.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that authorities will have to impose tougher measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 and “protect” the Christmas holidays.

Kluge said quarantine is a “cornerstone” in tackling the pandemic and that the most conservative estimates are that it should be a period of 14 days, which includes the three to five days before and the five days after the appearance of symptoms.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has faced scathing opposition criticism in parliament over its handling of the pandemic and a contracting economy that has left millions jobless.

Confirmed cases jumped by 97,894 in the past 24 hours, raising India’s total past 5.1 million, 0.36 per cent of its nearly 1.4 billion people, the health ministry reported on Thursday.

It also said 1132 more people died in the past 24 hours for a total of 83,198.

India’s fatalities are the third most in the world but experts say India has undercounted the COVID-19 toll.

Its infection numbers are expected within weeks to pass the United States, where more than 6.6 million people have been infected.

India is testing more than 1 million samples per day, a dramatic increase made possible by using a faster and cheaper but less accurate testing method.

Globally, more than 29.97 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus and 939,151​ have died.

Mediterranean hurricane heads for Greece

Greece is bracing for a rare type of tropical storm, a Medicane, which is tracking towards its western Ionian islands before reaching the southern Peloponnese peninsula and even Athens.

Greek authorities warned on Thursday that storm Ianos would bring gale-force winds and heavy rainfall that could lead to floods and power cuts in certain areas over the next two days.

Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias advised residents of areas hit by floods in the past or close to rivers and torrents to find alternative accommodation.

The rest should limit any unnecessary travel.

“Ianos’ impact, we must be clear, will be similar to that of a heavy storm but greater in intensity, extent, and duration,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

A similar storm hit Greece in 2018.

The storms are known as Medicanes, shorthand for Mediterranean hurricane.

Supercars to make splash at Bend as McLaughlin eyes IndyCar debut

Drivers are likely to face wet conditions when Supercar racing returns to South Australia tomorrow when The Bend Motorsport hosts consecutive rounds of the 2020 championship.

It will be the first time the V8 series has raced in SA since the Adelaide 500 in February.

Up to 20mm of rain is forecast tomorrow and a further 3mm on Sunday, potentially making difficult conditions for drivers and fans across the two-day round.

Teams will remain in SA for the week with the season’s penultimate round to be held at the Tailem Bend track on September 26 and 27.

Meanwhile, Australian Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin will compete in his first IndyCar series race in the United States next month.

The two-time championship winner has been confirmed as a starter by Team Penske for the series finale in St Petersburg, Florida on October 25.

McLaughlin was expected to race in the American open-wheel championship earlier this year in Indianapolis but the COVID-19 pandemic scuppered those plans.

The 27-year-old’s American ambitions built momentum after encouraging performances in pre-season testing at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas and Sebring International Raceway in Florida.

Since then McLaughlin has put himself in prime position for a third straight Supercars’ title, leading the championship by 143 points with three rounds remaining.

Aussie golfers struggle at US Open

Adam Scott and Jason Day have ground to make up following tough US Open starts for Australia’s two former world No.1 golfers.

Scott and Cameron Smith both opened with one-over-par 71s to be the best-placed Australians, six shots behind first-round leader Justin Thomas.

Day (72), Lucas Herbert (72) and Marc Leishman (73) also have ground to make up, while Scott Hend (74), Curtis Luck (75), Matt Jones (76) and amateur debutant Lukas Michel (80) all sit outside the projected halfway cut line.

There have so far been two rare hole-in-ones on the opening day of the tournament with aces on the cards of Americans Patrick Reed and Will Zalatoris at the brutal and famous Winged Foot layout.

Tiger Woods dropped three shots on the last two holes to finish with a three-over 73 while fellow former world No.1 Rory McIlroy carded a three-under-par 67.

Former USPGA champion and world No.3 Thomas took the early lead early in the day, shooting a superb five-under-par 65 to sit one stroke ahead of Reed.

 – with AAP and Reuters

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