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What we know today, Friday November 26

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Two new COVID cases have been recorded in SA as the state expects to pass its 80 per cent vaccination rate for people aged 16 and over today.

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Two new cases as state expects to hit 80 per cent vax target today

Two new COVID cases have been recorded in SA after the state this week opened its borders to all states and territories.

SA Health said today that a man in his 20s and a woman in her 20s, both of whom acquired the disease interstate, have been added to the state’s total infection tally of 928.

One of the cases, however, has since “returned to their state of residence to quarantine” and while they are counted as a confirmed case, “they are not included in the state’s active case count”.

No other information has been released.

SA Health also anticipated that the state would today pass the significant 80 per cent vaccination rate milestone for people aged 16 and over – although Commonwealth reporting figures published today, and current to midnight last night, state only 79.5 per cent of South Australians have received their second dose of the vaccine.

Tim Paine takes “leave of absence from all forms of cricket” in wake of sexting scandal

Former Australia skipper Tim Paine is set to miss the first Ashes Test, having taken an indefinite mental health break.

Friday’s bombshell, coming a week after Paine tearfully stood down as captain after revelations of the sexting in 2017, could mark the end of the wicketkeeper’s cricket career.

“We are extremely concerned for his and (wife) Bonnie’s well-being and will be making no further comment at this time,” Paine’s manager James Henderson posted on Twitter.

Henderson termed it an “indefinite” break.

Shocked national selectors, who were expected to back the Tasmanian to weather the storm and play at the Gabba as per the players’ wishes, are yet to give any indication of their plans.

But it is hard to envisage how Paine, who turns 37 when the five-Test series between Australia and England begins on December 8, could force his way back into the XI after Alex Carey or Josh Inglis take the gloves.

The Tasmanian was ready to retire from domestic cricket in 2017, only for a call from mentor Ricky Ponting to start a process that led to a shock Ashes recall and even more remarkable promotion after Steve Smith was stripped of the captaincy.

The veteran underwent neck surgery in September but made steady progress and, as of Thursday, was slated to link up with the Test squad for an intra-squad clash beginning in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Paine was set to bat at first drop in Tasmania’s one-dayer against Western Australia in Hobart on Friday, giving him a chance to play five consecutive days of cricket after a low-key return via the state’s second XI.

But Cricket Tasmania (CT) confirmed early on Friday morning Paine was a late scratching.

“Following discussions over the last 24 hours, Tim Paine has advised Cricket Tasmania that he will be taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future,” CT noted in a statement.

“Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim and his family both professionally and personally over the summer.”

CT’s board has fumed publicly and privately about Cricket Australia’s “appalling” treatment of their favourite son, who sent an explicit image and lewd messages to a CT staffer in 2017.

“Tim Paine has been a beacon for Australian cricket over the past four years and instrumental in salvaging the reputation of the national team after the calamity of Cape Town,” CT chairman Andrew Gaggin said on Tuesday.

“Paine should not have been put in a position where he felt the need to resign.”

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia is poised to announce the next Test captain on Friday afternoon after reaching a decision on Paine’s successor.

CA officials met on Thursday night, with Pat Cummins expected to be named.

Steve Smith is likely to be his deputy, in what shapes as a significant return to a position of leadership for the first time since the infamous Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Cummins’ appointment will make him the country’s 47th men’s Test captain, and the first fast bowler to be handed the position on a full-time basis.

New SA exposure sites after positive cases fly in

A Riverland Chinese restaurant, a Torrensville bakery and shopping centres at Elizabeth and Mawson Lakes have been added to a growing list of exposure sites after three people who flew to Adelaide this week tested positive to COVID-19.

SA Health confirmed yesterday afternoon that a man in his 50s and a woman in her 20s who both acquired their infections interstate, and a man in his 60s who acquired his infection overseas had all tested positive in SA.

All three are now in quarantine along with close household contacts.

SA Health said all passengers aboard Qantas flight QF739 from Sydney which landed in Adelaide at 2:10pm Wednesday are considered close contacts.

Unvaccinated arrivals must quarantine for 14 days, get tested immediately and again on days six and 13.

Vaccinated contacts must quarantine for seven days, get tested immediately and again on days six and 13 and not attend high-risk sites.

The following exposure sites are considered casual contact locations:

Qantas flight QF679 from Melbourne which arrived at 10:20am Tuesday November 23.

Riverland Hokkien Chinese Restaurant at Berri between 7:15pm – 7:55pm on Wednesday November 24.

People at the above sites must get tested immediately and quarantine until a negative result is received, and get tested again on days six and 13.

SA Health named the following sites as “low-risk” casual contacts:

Adelaide Airport from 2-4pm on Wednesday 24 November.

Elizabeth Shopping Centre including Target from 10:20-11am Tuesday 23 November.

Mobil X Convenience at Green Fields from 12:30-1pm Wednesday 24 November – 12.30pm to 1.00pm.

Woolworths at Mawson Lakes from 2.15-2.30pm Wednesday 24 November

Kalymnos Pastries at Torrensville from 11:15-11:55am Tuesday 23 November.

Anyone at the above sites should monitor for symptoms and get tested if any develop.

Premier Steven Marshall said yesterday that the situation was “inevitable” once borders reopened.

“I think we’re now seeing what was always going to be inevitable, and that’s new cases coming into SA,” he said late yesterday.

“The good news, of course, is because we’re requiring people to have a test 72 hours prior to their departure – and in some cases people are having a test when they arrive… we’re able to pick up these new cases early and keep our state safe.

“So it’s working exactly as we thought – and of course we are going to have new cases, but the most important thing is keeping people safe during this.”

Marshall declined to comment on an entire flight of people being sent into quarantine saying: “Those decisions are made by SA Health.”

But he insisted cases were not slipping through the net.

“The reality is we’ve got very, very high-level testing arrangements in place,” he said.

“Only people that are fully vaccinated are able to come into SA, [they have] a test within 72 hours of departure… they’ve got a further test when they come in – so we are picking these cases up very, very early.”

Dan the man as Libs choose deputy

Newly-elected Liberal deputy leader Dan van Holst Pellekaan says he’s a “team player” – and expects to remain in his role – after defeating rival David Speirs in a party-room ballot yesterday.

The pair faced off in a ballot of lower house Liberal MPs to decide the successor to long-serving deputy Vickie Chapman, who quit the role this week – along with two of her ministries – pending an Ombudsman’s inquiry into conflict of interest and misconduct claims.

Energy Minister Van Holst Pellekaan and Environment Minister Speirs arrived at the meeting together, with the former insisting: “We’re good friends, we’re colleagues [and] we work very, very constructively together.”

Speirs said he would offer a “generational shift” with a “very strong focus on marginal seats”.

“I have a great connection to outer suburbia – I’ve worked exceptionally hard to help try to connect to those voters, and that’s what I’d try to bring to the role, as well as pastoral care and strong policy development,” he said before the ballot.

He insisted that, unusually for an SA Liberal Party contest, there was no bad blood: “We walk in there as friends and we’ll come out as friends.”

David Speirs and Dan van Holst Pellekaan outside the party-room meeting yesterday. Photo: Tom Richardson/InDaily

Van Holst Pellekaan had already been installed as Deputy Premier – on an interim basis – on Tuesday, in a move that rankled with some Liberal members.

“Somebody needed to have the role for two days – it fell to me,” he said yesterday.

“It doesn’t change anything that’s about to happen… I might be the shortest-serving deputy premier in the history of the universe.”

That, however, was not the case, with the Leader of Government Business winning the ballot.

Read the full story here.

– Tom Richardson

Ex-Labor minister leads Family First charge to election

Former Labor minister Tom Kenyon will lead the revived Family First’s election charge, confirming his candidacy at the top of the party’s upper house ticket – and railing against a claimed move by both the Liberals and ALP to the political left.

“I’m concerned that the major parties have vacated the centre ground and are all moving to the left – we want to represent the people in the middle,” the former ALP right-winger told InDaily last night.

“No one’s listening to them – I’m not sure who the major parties are listening to, but it doesn’t seem to be families.”

Kenyon, who held portfolios including Employment and Trade across the Rann and Weatherill governments, partnered with former Labor Treasurer and Health Minister Jack Snelling to revive the defunct Family First brand this year, with the blessing of founder and retired Assemblies of God pastor Andrew Evans.

Former Labor MP Tom Kenyon. Photo: AAP/Ben Macmahon

“If you looked at the policies of the major parties at the moment – but without names attached to them – you’d be hard-pressed to name which policies came from which party,” the former Newland MP said.

“If you looked at the unprecedented debt binge that’s going on at the moment and didn’t know which party was in government, you’d assume it was a Labor-Greens coalition – instead it’s a Liberal government that has taken on more debt at a faster rate than any other government in our history.

“Debt has tripled in the last four years from $11 billion, which the Liberals described as catastrophic, to $33 billion – over 10 times the level of State Bank debt.

“There are now three left-wing parties in South Australia, and that leaves us in the middle ground looking out for working people and South Australian families.”

His comments suggest the new Family First will seek to make a mark on economic policy, as well as social.

Former Liberal preselection hopeful Deepa Mathew will run at number two on the Family First ticket, with lower house candidates yet to be announced.

– Tom Richardson

Hahndorf massage therapist hit with ban

A massage therapist who works in the Hahndorf area has been handed an interim prohibition order by the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner.

Professor Grant Davies said this morning he had acted against Yongan He after “becoming aware that he was convicted of indecent assault and that the assault occurred during a massage Mr He was conducting”.

Yongan He is now banned from providing massage therapy services for 12 weeks while the HCSCC completes its investigation.

“This interim prohibition order will allow us to investigate this matter before deciding if we need to issue a prohibition order permanently,”  Davies said.

“If there is any member of the public who has concerns, they can speak with us.”

Affordable housing plan for former Prospect Kaufland site

A large vacant block at Churchill Rd once earmarked for German supermarket giant Kaufland will now be developed as a 180-home development with more than half set aside for affordable housing.

Renewal SA bought the 2.36 hectare site seven kilometres from the CBD last year, after the German retailer scrapped plans to build at Prospect and the former LeCornu site at Forestville.

The former Kaufland site at Churchill Rd Prospect will be developed for housing. Image: Renewal SA

Renewal SA said it would now work with developers to build 108 townhouses and 72 apartments on the Churchill Rd site, with a minimum 55 per cent to qualify for the State Government affordable housing initiative through HomeSeeker SA.

It said the ratio was nearly four times the 15 per cent affordable housing obligation required by the Planning and Development Code, with the project to feature public open space and extensive tree planting.

Renewal SA’s general manager of property and project delivery Todd Perry said initiatives such as shared-equity home loans would be used to enable townhouses to qualify as affordable housing, with prices fixed at $422,050 or less.

“This is supporting more South Australians into homeownership and providing access for key workers and their families a variety of housing options in a great inner-suburban location,” he said.

“These will be quality homes built in a master-planned development that is immediately adjacent to public transport links and less than 15 minutes into the centre of the city.”

Private developers and builders will be able to bid through a tender early next year, with construction set to begin later in 2022.

Renewal SA CEO Chris Menz said the housing industry had forecast that build commencements would drop off significantly from late next year, so the Prospect development would provide a valuable boost.

“This project will generate up to 144 full-time equivalent construction jobs per year and will contribute approximately $44 million to Gross State Product,” he said.

Chief entrepreneur elevated to Art Gallery board

South Australia’s chief entrepreneur is one of two new appointments to the board of the Art Gallery of South Australia.

As well as his entrepreneur role, Andrew Nunn is also a benefactor to the gallery and a well-known supporter of the arts in South Australia.

Kenneth Watkins, the Philanthropy Director at The Australian Ballet, has also joined the board, the gallery announced today.

Board chair Jason Karas said both appointees brought a national perspective and a commitment to philanthropy.

“They are each highly respected experts in their fields who will enhance the capability and strategic direction of our talented Board,” he said. “Kenneth and Andrew both bring a national perspective and commercial expertise, are passionate about making our State a better place for all South Australians and are deeply committed to philanthropy.”

The board also includes Susan Armitage, Joshua Fanning, Alison Page, Jacqui McGill and Jane Yuile.

Jetstar pilot charged with murder over missing campers

A 55-year-old airline pilot will face court today after being charged with the murders of Russell Hill and Carol Clay who went missing in the Victorian Alps 20 months ago.

Greg Lynn was arrested on Monday by specialist police at a remote campsite in Arbuckle Junction, 280km northeast of Melbourne. He will face Sale Magistrates Court on Friday.

Police and forensic specialists are now scouring Victoria’s Great Alpine region for Hill and Clay’s remains, after a crime scene was established in the area on Thursday.

“We’ve located a specific area and we will be establishing a search parameter in the coming days,” Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill told reporters on Thursday night.

“We are hopeful that we will locate the remains of Mr Hill and Ms Clay… and provide closure to their families.

“This investigation is far from over.”

He confirmed no one else was being sought for the murders and called for anyone with information on a trailer to come forward.

He said the silver and blue-coloured trailer with off-road wheels, which was attached to a blue four-wheel-drive, was sold on Gumtree between March and July 2020.

Lynn’s Nissan Patrol four-wheel-drive has also been seized.

-With AAP and Reuters

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