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What we know today, Monday September 13


South Australian Year 11 and 12 students will be able to get COVID jabs this month without having to make a booking, while appointments have now been opened up to children aged 12 and over.

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Walk-in jab appointments for SA school students

South Australian Year 11 and 12 students will be able to get COVID jabs this month without having to make a booking, while appointments have now been opened up to children aged 12 and over.

Premier Steven Marshall said the State Government wanted to make it as easy as possible for senior secondary students to get vaccinated as soon as possible, to help SA reach its target of having 80 per cent of the eligible population double vaccinated by Christmas.

“For Year 11s and 12s, turn up with your student ID, come to one of our vaccination clinics, have your Pfizer, you don’t even need to book in,” Marshall said.

“We just want to give every person the best opportunity possible.

“We know year 11 and 12 students have exams coming up.

“Bringing them forward just gives us a much better chance of reaching that 80 per cent (goal).”

Chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said she was “very pleased” to now be able to offer the vaccine to children aged 12 and over.

Walk-in appointments for Year 11 and 12 students will be available at several clinics, but not all, including Wayville up until 3.30pm and all day at Elizabeth, Enfield, Noarlunga, Port Augusta, Whyalla and Port Lincoln.

Victor Harbor, Mount Barker and Gawler are also allowing all-day walk-ins for Year 11 and 12 students but they’re being asked to call ahead to alert the clinic.

Spurrier said authorities were still considering what life would look in South Australia, once SA reached its 80 per cent double vaccination target, which Marshall said on the weekend would allow borders to be opened with New South Wales and Victoria.

“At some point we have to allow the disease to come into our state,” Spurrier said.

“I’m hoping we can do it in our own terms and that we don’t have an outbreak in the meantime.

“I do think we need to be looking at our borders with NSW and Victoria and ACT.

“We don’t want to have those borders shut forever. But we need to be doing it when it’s safe to do so and it’s on our own terms. So we’re looking at what that means in terms of having a really good contact tracing system that can pivot and can manage larger number of cases.”

SA recorded one new COVID case today – a returned traveller in her 20s who is in a medi-hotel.

-Jemma Chapman

NSW records 1257 new cases, seven deaths

NSW has reported 1257 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths.

Large swathes of the state are currently locked down and police are cracking down on compliance measures as authorities battle to contain the spread of the virulent Delta strain.

The seven deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday include a woman in her 60s, three people in their 80s and three people in their 90s.

There are currently 1189 COVID-19 patients in NSW hospitals, with 222 in intensive care beds and 94 on ventilators.

“We are seeing a stabilisation in some local government areas of concern and that’s positive, we hope that continues,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.

“However, we have seen also an increase in cases as we mentioned yesterday and the day before in the inner city areas of Glebe and Redfern.”

Meanwhile, the NSW-Queensland border bubble is operating again, allowing people in northern NSW who aren’t locked down to travel north of the border for essential work, school or medical reasons.

Vic records 473 new cases

Victoria has recorded 473 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases – the highest daily tally of the state’s outbreak so far.

The health department on Monday confirmed 202 cases were linked to known outbreaks, with the source of the remaining 271 infections under investigation.

It brings the total number of active cases to 3507.

In the 24 hours to Monday morning, 49,037 tests were processed and 30,032 Victorians received a vaccine dose at a state-run hub.

It comes as authorities investigate a COVID-19 outbreak at the Fitzroy Community School in Fitzroy North, which has repeatedly flouted lockdown restrictions by inviting parents to send their children to class.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Dan O’Brien on Sunday said at least 30 students and staff had contracted the virus.

There are about 60 students enrolled at the school, which describes itself as an “independent, alternative primary school”.

Currently, only children of permitted workers and those who are vulnerable are allowed to attend school in Melbourne.

School founder Faye Berryman told ABC News 24 primary-aged children have “a strong resilience to COVID”.

“Children’s emotional wellbeing, their feeling of insecurity, the unpredictable long-term psychological danger of raising them under a mantle of fear are the price we pay for not having children at school,” she said.

More than 3800 children under 12 have contracted coronavirus across Australia between January 1 and September 2.

Of those, 134 have been hospitalised while three have been admitted to intensive care.

Qld records two new cases

Queensland authorities are confident they have a new school-based cluster of COVID-19 in hand, despite two more cases on Monday.

Premier Annastacia Palaszcuk has thanked 1000 families who went into isolation after a 13-year-old schoolgirl from St Thomas More College tested positive on Friday.

She said those families were keeping Queenslanders safe and she’s “a lot more comfortable” the state might avoid another lockdown.

“Fingers crossed it’s all looking good at the moment.”

The 13-year-old girl’s immediate family members have also tested positive for the virus. Two fellow students were added to the list on Monday.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young believes the newest cases are low risk because the entire school community and their households were ordered into isolation as soon as the girl’s infection emerged.

One of Monday’s cases spent a short time infections in the community before starting home quarantine so new exposure sites have been listed.

“But I’m fairly confident that cluster is in hand,” Young said.

Power assistant coach expects more Carlton talks

Port Adelaide’s senior assistant Michael Voss expects more discussions in coming days about becoming Carlton’s next head coach.

Voss, who coached Brisbane for five season from 2009, has held preliminary discussions with the Blues.

The 46-year-old was a candidate for Collingwood’s coaching job but the Magpies opted for his former Brisbane teammate Craig McRae.

Voss says after initial talks with Carlton, he put the Blues job on the backburner while concentrating on Port’s finals campaign.

The Power’s season ended on Saturday night with a humiliating 71-point preliminary final loss to the Western Bulldogs.

Asked if he would put his hand up for the Carlton job, Voss told SEN SA radio on Monday: “I would if I am involved but, I have got to be honest with you, I have given it little thought.

“Once the Collingwood coaching job was finalised I have really given not much thought to anything else because there was such a big month that was coming up and such an important set of games that we (Port) had ahead of us.

“But I guess that is what the next few days holds for me, is assess where that is all at.”

Voss said he had not formally presented to the Carlton panel who are seeking a replacement for the sacked David Teague.

“I have had a… discussion with them but it hasn’t progressed anywhere else as of yet,” he said.

“I won’t confirm who and how other than that I have had that conversation.”

Voss said if he didn’t get the Carlton job he would likely remain at Alberton where he is yet to be contracted for next season.

“I would have thought there’s a strong chance that I am at Port Adelaide next year, yes,” he said.

New financial support package for SA businesses

Up to $20,000 in grants will be on offer to eligible South Australian tourism and hospitality businesses under the latest COVID support package from the state and federal government.

The South Australian Government and the Commonwealth this morning announced two new jointly-funded grant programs: the COVID-19 Tourism and Hospitality Support Grant and the COVID-19 Business Hardship Grant.

The tourism and hospitality package will offer grants to South Australian businesses in those two sectors as well as the performing and creative arts, taxis and car rentals.

It is the first business support package announced by the State Government since early August when $3000 and $1000 grants went on offer to COVID-affected business and sole traders.

The new program, funded 50/50 by the Commonwealth and State Government, will offer:

The State Government says the $3000 and $1000 grants will be paid out automatically to those businesses which received support from the COVID-19 Additional Business Support Grant in August.

Meanwhile, the Business Hardship Grant will offer $6000 for employing businesses with a payroll below $10 million, and $2000 grants for non-employing businesses who have experienced a 50 per cent reduction and haven’t been eligible for support since July this year.

Treasury estimates the latest package will deliver around $15 million to approximately 3500 South Australian businesses.

Applications for the two new grant programs will open on Friday, September 17, and close on October 31.

The State Government also announced this morning that it is expanding the size of its Major Events Support Grant from $25,000 to $100,000.

Organisers of postponed or cancelled events which were expected to host more than 10,000 people will now be eligible for a $75,000 top up payment on top of the $25,000 they were previously eligible for.

Pfizer bookings open to SA under-16s

Children over the age of 12 are today eligible to book in a Pfizer vaccine appointment at South Australia’s state-run clinics.

In preparation for the move, SA Health is making an additional 60,000 appointment slots available today, ahead of a doubling of capacity at the Wayville vaccination clinic and the opening of a northern suburbs clinic in Pooraka next week.

Pfizer appointments at state-run clinics are also open to over 60s from today.

The rollout expansion comes as South Australia nears 60 per cent of the population over the age of 16 having at least one dose of the vaccine.

As of midnight Saturday, 59.1 per cent of the eligible population has had one dose, while 40,4 per cent is fully vaccinated, according to the latest Federal Government vaccine data.

It comes as South Australia recorded no new cases overnight after another COVID-19 scare over the weekend.

A miner from New South Wales who flew into South Australia on Friday and tested positive on Saturday triggered four exposure sites at Adelaide Airport.

But chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier this morning said 95 per cent of the 40 close contacts associated with the miner have tested negative so far.

“I was very pleased actually that as soon as he came in he was directed to get tested, he went to the Altura to wait for his test result because he needs to isolate,” she told ABC Radio this morning.

“So whilst there were some exposure sites we actually only had about 40 people that we’re considering close contact.

“It all went to plan really.”

South Australia’s rollout is also set to get another boost after The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommended the Moderna vaccine for everyone 12 years and older.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration had previously given provisional approval for Moderna jabs for 12 to 15 year olds.

Assisting this additional demand, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the federal government had secured an additional one million Moderna doses from member countries of the European Union.

These will arrive next weekend and will start to be rolled out to the 3600-strong community pharmacy network, kicking off with up to 1800 in the first stage.

National COVID taskforce co-odinator-general John Frewen said that means more than 11 million doses of mRNA will be available in September.

“This will be followed by 12 million doses in October and then 12 million doses in November,” he told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.

In Other Words puts focus on Australia in the Asia-Pacific

OzAsia Festival has released the full line-up for its new writing and ideas program In Other Words, with the pandemic prompting a change of venue and a revised hybrid format that will see speakers appear on stage and screen.

More than 40 Australian and Asian “writers and thinkers” will take part in the November 5-7 event, including award-winning author and filmmaker Larissa Behrendt, chef and TV host Adam Liaw, playwright Anchuli Felicia King, foreign correspondent James Oaten, and Miles Franklin Literary Award finalist Michael Mohammed Ahmad (The Lebs).

The program has been curated by former Adelaide Writers’ Week director Laura Kroetsch, with guest curators Benjamin Law and Roanna Gonsalves.

Themes covered in the more than 20 free sessions will range from racism, grief, sex, family and identity, to “words and music” and food culture. “We are very much trying to have a balance, so there’s personal stories, there’s memoir and there’s big ideas,” Kroetsch says.

In Other Words was to have been presented across three stages on the Adelaide Riverbank but has been moved the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Dunstan Playhouse. Due to the risk of potential ongoing interstate travel restrictions, there will be a smaller number of events than originally planned, and many speakers will take part via video link.

Read the full story on InReview.

– Suzie Keen

NSW COVID peak looms as lockdown rules ease

NSW has been warned of a “challenging” two months with an incoming peak in COVID-19 cases as much of the state is today granted new freedoms.

There are currently 1206 COVID-19 patients in NSW in hospital, with 220 in intensive care and 92 ventilated.

By midnight on Saturday 78.5 per cent of the over-16 population had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 46.2 per cent were fully vaccinated.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there had been some stabilisation of infection numbers in the local government areas of concern but the virus was “picking up pace” in certain suburbs.

“We can’t afford to let our guard down,” Berejiklian told reporters at the last press conference of its kind on Sunday.

The daily 11am updates will from Monday be replaced by a video from NSW Health to communicate the new case numbers and concerns of the day.

There were 1262 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and seven deaths, including a man in his 20s, recorded in NSW on Sunday.

From 12.01am on Monday up to five fully vaccinated adults who live outside the councils of concern can gather outdoors within five kilometres of their home.

Vaccinated households that live in the 12 local government areas of concern will be able to gather outdoors for recreation for one hour outside curfew hours and within five kilometres of home.

The seven deaths reported in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday include a man in his 20s from western Sydney and six people from south-western Sydney in their 40s, 50s, 70s and 80s.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said the man in his 20s was unvaccinated and had significant underlying health conditions.

“However, I just want to make the point, that while you are likely to have more severe COVID if you are older and have underlying health conditions, even previously healthy people of all ages can get severe disease and die,” Chant said.

When asked to respond to images of people flocking to beaches in Sydney’s east over the weekend, Chant said it caused her “some concern” but said the reality was outdoor environments were “probably the safest” if people were social distancing.

“I would like to see that people are really respectful and they are adhering to the public health orders as they move about,” she said.

Fitzgibbon to retire from politics

Long-serving federal Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon, whose electorate covers NSW coal country, will retire from parliament at the next election.

Fitzgibbon has held the Hunter seat for 25 years since being elected to the lower house in 1996, when Liberal John Howard became prime minister.

“It’s a difficult decision, but I’m comfortable with that. I will not be a candidate at the next federal election,” he told Seven’s Sunrise on Monday.

“I’m very confident now that Labor can win the next election under the leadership of Anthony Albanese.”

Fitzgibbon, a pro-coal MP, said he had been thinking about retiring from federal politics since the last election in 2019.

He’s now comfortable with leaving because federal Labor has “come back to the (political) centre” and learned from its mistakes.

Fitzgibbon has previously warned Labor was on track to lose the next federal election unless it could convince people in electorates with mining and related industries that they and their jobs would be supported.

Ricciardo wins Italian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo on the podium after winning the Italian Grand Prix overnight (Photo: XPB/Press Association).

Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo has won his first race in over three years – taking out the Italian Grand Prix in a stunning and dramatic McLaren one-two at Monza.

His triumph came after Formula One title rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton took each other out of the race in a collision, which stewards ruled was largely caused by Verstappen, who has been handed a grid penalty for the next Grand Prix.

Sunday’s victory was McLaren’s first since 2012, the last being Jenson Button’s victory in Brazil in November of that year, and it was Ricciardo’s first since he was at Red Bull in 2018.

“About time,” smiled the happy Australian before performing his trademark ‘Shoey’ – glugging the podium champagne from his sweaty boot and sharing it with second-placed teammate Lando Norris and McLaren boss Zak Brown.

“To lead literally from start to finish, I don’t think any of us expected that.

“To not only win but to get a one-two, it’s insane. For McLaren to be on the podium is huge.”

Ricciardo, whose other seven wins were all with Red Bull, had started on the front row and seized the lead from Verstappen at the start – and he completed his day with a bonus point for fastest lap and the “Driver of the Day” award from fans.

The result, on pace and merit, was a perfect reply from the Australian to his critics after he’d been struggling to get to grips with the McLaren and had been overshadowed by Norris since joining from Renault at the end of last year.

“For anyone who thought I’d left, I never left,” he said over the radio after taking the chequered flag. “I just moved aside for a while.”

Valtteri Bottas took third for Mercedes after winning the Saturday sprint race and then starting at the back of the grid due to engine penalties.

Verstappen and Hamilton had earlier collided and crashed out after their pitstops, with Verstappen’s Red Bull lifting off the kerb and ending up on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes in the gravel, with the halo head protection device keeping the champion out of harm’s way.

Both climbed out after the accident at the first chicane, with Verstappen’s five-point lead in the championship unchanged.

Power to come back ‘bigger and better’ in 2022: captain

Shattered captain Tom Jonas says a second successive AFL preliminary final failure will serve as motivation for Port Adelaide as they attempt to come back “bigger and better” in 2022.

The Power were comprehensively outplayed on their home deck in a brutal 71-point defeat to the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night, ending their premiership hopes.

The “bitter disappointment” followed a similar letdown for Ken Hinkley’s men last year, when they fell six points short of eventual premiers Richmond at the same stage of the season.

“We didn’t play our brand of footy, didn’t uphold the Port Adelaide identity,” Jonas said after the Bulldogs mauling.

“It’s a privilege to wear this guernsey and we just got well and truly outplayed.

“Two years in a row we’ve fallen short of where we want to be.

“We exist to win premierships, that’s the measuring stick.”

Jonas said he is proud of the playing group as it continues to develop under Hinkley, with a band of energetic youngsters, experienced campaigners and talented recent recruits seemingly capable of keeping the Power in premiership contention next year.

But while he believes in the players, coaches and high performance staff at Alberton, the third-year skipper concedes they will be starting from scratch again next season.

“We’ve all got a collective goal, we’re going in the same direction and we’ve got a desire to work hard and learn from our mistakes,” Jonas said.

“We’ll stick together through the good times and bad, and I know we’ll be back bigger and better in 2022.

“We’ll use (the Bulldogs defeat) as motivation to reload and go again. We’ve got the group to do it.”

Port Adelaide’s latest defeat left them with a 0-3 record in preliminary finals since Hinkley took over as coach in 2013.

-With AAP and Reuters

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