Taylor tries dodgy ARENA move again, Greens table disallowance again

The Government’s latest attempt to turn the Australian Renewable Energy Agency into a fossil fuel bank will be met once again by the Greens who say their disallowance motion still has the constitution and the Senate on its side.

The Greens will move to disallow those parts of the regulations that seek to turn ARENA into a fossil-fuel funder.

Previously, Angus Taylor’s ARENA regulations were described by a Liberal Party-headed committee as possibly illegal. The regulations were defeated in the Senate. 3rd parties have also made it clear that even if the laws were to make it through the parliament, they would be contested in the courts. The same applies to these new regulations.

Greens Leader Adam Bandt said:

“Angus Taylor’s crusade to spend more public dollars on coal and gas is as shambolic as it is reckless.”

“ARENA was created as part of the Greens-Labor Agreement and has been a shining light of job-creating, clean and cheap energy production.”

“ARENA creates such animosity amongst the coal-hugging Coalition because it’s been such a success. Fossil fuels are now begging for public handouts to stay afloat, but public money should go to renewables instead.”

“The only way to stop this government from trying to pour more tax dollars into propping up a dying industry is to kick the Liberals out and have the Greens in balance of power after next election.”

Childcare debts must be waived

Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has expressed alarm at reports that the Commonwealth is chasing Child Care Subsidy recipients for debts going back several years.

Senator Faruqi said:

“We are in the middle of a pandemic outbreak with millions of people in lockdown and out of work. The least the government can do is show a little humanity and waive these debts.

“Families are already paying through the nose for what should be – and briefly was – considered an essential service. Chasing families for debts just adds insult to injury.

“People are doing it really tough at the moment, and not just in lockdown areas.

“The child care subsidy system is inflexible, complicated, and still leaves families paying expensive gap fees. It’s time the government bit the bullet and made early learning and care universal and free.”

Personal Protective Equipment for Primary Health Networks in Queensland

The Australian Government has today announced significant quantities of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be made available for GPs, community pharmacies and other healthcare providers across south east Queensland who need to see their patients within their practices.

This decision follows the lockdown of the City of Brisbane, Moreton Bay Region, Redland City, Logan City, City of Ipswich, Shire of Noosa, City of Gold Coast, Lockyer Valley Region, Scenic Rim Region, Somerset Region and Sunshine Coast Region Local Government Areas.

Health professionals in these areas are able to request a package of PPE from the National Medical Stockpile (NMS) through their local Primary Health Network (PHN) from an initial allocation of up to:

  • 725,000 surgical masks;
  • 725,000 N95 masks;
  • 175,000 pairs of gloves;
  • 175,000 gowns; and
  • 175,000 goggles.

These items will be made available through the five PHNs relevant to the Commonwealth hotspot, namely:

  • Brisbane North;
  • Brisbane South;
  • Darling Downs and West Moreton;
  • Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast; and
  • Gold Coast.

These packages will assist to further supress the COVID-19 infection rate occurring across Queensland and builds on the recent commitment to support New South Wales and Victoria as announced on 12 July 2021 and 19 July 2021 respectively.

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that healthcare professionals have access to the critical PPE supplies they require to continue to safely see their patients during this COVID-19 outbreak.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Australian Government has deployed more than 92 million masks, 6 million gowns, 14 million gloves and 5 million goggles and face shields from the National Medical Stockpile.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine approved for at risk children aged 12-15 years

From Monday 9 August, children aged between 12 to 15 years old with either specific medical conditions, who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or live in a remote community will be able to receive a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

This follows a review of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12-15 by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), which has recommended its use for children at a higher risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19.

The Australian Government has accepted ATAGI’s updated recommendations, which include the following groups of children aged 12 to 15 be prioritised for the Pfizer vaccine:

  • children with specified medical conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19, including severe asthma, diabetes, obesity, cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies, neuro developmental disorders, epilepsy, immuno-compromised and trisomy 21
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • all children aged 12–15 years in remote communities, as part of broader community outreach vaccination programs that provide vaccines for all ages (≥12 years).

This means that around 220,000 children aged between 12 to 15 years old will become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Minister Hunt, said the Government expected further recommendations regarding the use Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the remainder of children aged 12 to 15 in the coming months.

“I would encourage all parents who have a child with a medical condition or are immuno-compromised to bring them forward for vaccination. We want to ensure all Australians are protected from COVID-19, including the most vulnerable in our community,” Minister Hunt said.

“To date, we’ve administered more than 12.3 million vaccines across Australia and I want to thank everyone who has come forward so far to receive their first and second doses, you’re doing an incredible job.”

ATAGI has reviewed available data on the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children aged 12 to 15, the risk of COVID-19 in this age group, and evidence of wider benefits and risks of vaccinating children.

This review follows the decision of the Therapeutics Goods Administration, who have extended its provisional registration of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from people aged 16 years and over to include children aged 12 to 15.

The National Cabinet has agreed in-principle to an updated four-step National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response (National Plan) taking into account the Doherty Institute COVID-19 modelling and the Commonwealth Department of Treasury economic analysis. This national plan is based on vaccination rates for people 16 years and above in line with the expert medical advice of the Doherty Institute.

Parents should check the COVID-19 eligibility checker from 9 August to book in their child’s vaccination. Children in remote indigenous communities will be able to receive the vaccine prior to the 9 of August in areas where in reach vaccination is occurring this week.

The Australian Government has secured more than 280 million COVID-19 vaccines, including 125 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

A plan to vaccinate Australians and support our economy

Federal Labor is calling on the Morrison Government to roll up its sleeves in the race to vaccinate the nation and provide a one-off $300 payment to every fully-vaccinated Australian.

This support would be a further incentive for Australians to be fully vaccinated and would deliver a much-needed shot in the arm for businesses and workers struggling from lockdowns made necessary by the Morrison Government’s failures with the vaccine rollout.

Vaccinations are a race Australians can no longer afford to lose.

The Morrison Government must make vaccines easily accessible to meet their target to vaccinate 80 per cent of adults.

The faster this is achieved, the faster the recovery as we emerge from lockdowns that are bleeding hundreds of millions of dollars a day from the nation’s finances.

That’s why Labor is proposing a $300 payment to every Australian citizen and resident who is fully vaccinated by 1 December.

The National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response released last Friday included measures “encouraging uptake through incentives” under Phase B. We think this should be a priority.

These payments will deliver significant cash stimulus for businesses who have paid the price for Scott Morrison’s failures on vaccines and quarantine for the past eighteen months.

The Government has guaranteed that Australia will have more than enough vaccines to meet the 80 per cent target by 1 December.

When Australia’s COVID response relied on Australians doing the right thing, our country was leading the world.

Now that Australians are relying on Scott Morrison to do his job and rollout the vaccines, we are coming last in the developed world.

Scott Morrison had two jobs this year, rolling out vaccines and fixing Australia’s quarantine system.

While the Prime Minister continues to shirk responsibility, Labor will continue to propose constructive solutions to protect the health of Australians and the economy.

Senate Inquiry to call Sky, YouTube, ACMA

Chair of the Senate Inquiry into Media Diversity Senator Sarah Hanson-Young will move for YouTube’s seven-day ban on Sky News to be investigated by the Committee.

Senator Hanson-Young said she will be requesting that representatives from Sky News, YouTube/Google and ACMA be called to give evidence on the ban and why the broadcasting regulator has failed to take any action.

“The obvious question is if the spread of misinformation isn’t allowed on the internet why is it on television broadcasts?

“There are questions for both the government regulator and the companies involved, and the Media Inquiry should investigate.

“Many people are asking why it takes a tech company to hold Murdoch’s News Corp’s dissemination of Covid misinformation and conspiracy-theories to account. Where is the public media regulator in all this?

“Google-owned YouTube has taken action to uphold its policies around medical misinformation on its platform and that is welcome. Governments around the world have been putting pressure on the social media giants to act responsibly in relation to COVID misinformation.

“But we aren’t talking about just any YouTube account, Sky News is a commercial broadcaster and so the very obvious question is how can they get away with it on television? Sky News broadcasts on both a subscription service and also free-to-air in many regional areas – this puts the news channel clearly in ACMA’s remit.

“ACMA appears to be sitting on its hands while a tech giant upholds standards the government regulator doesn’t seem to have.”

The Greens label ADF deployment to Western Sydney as absurd

“Mobilising the police and Australian Defence Force to treat a public health crisis is absurd,” said The Greens spokesperson for Justice and First Nations Senator Lidia Thorpe, as the ADF begins their deployment to Western Sydney.

“Officers of the law are not experts in public health messaging, culturally accessible information and welfare support services that enable people to stay at home safely,” said Thorpe. Western Sydney has a significant First Nations and multicultural community.

“Scott Morrison’s botched vaccine rollout is what’s making people sick, not their lack of compliance. You don’t see our military patrolling Bondi or the Northern Beaches,” said Thorpe.

“People are dying in their homes because they’re reluctant to go to the hospital. The militarized response does not foster health and wellbeing in our communities. Ten Indigenous people have died in police custody since March,” said Thorpe.

The Greens Senator for NSW and spokesperson for Anti-racism Mehreen Faruqi said, “Putting the military into any community, let alone some of the most over-policed communities in the country, is a terrible idea.

“The Liberals are pushing fear and threats where they need to offer real support for people to stay home and get through this very difficult time.

“The militarisation of public health makes zero sense. Communities in Western Sydney are already going through these difficult lockdowns. Inflicting further anxiety and stress on them is just plain wrong.”

Personal Protective Equipment for Primary Health Networks in Queensland

The Australian Government has today announced significant quantities of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be made available for GPs, community pharmacies and other healthcare providers across south east Queensland who need to see their patients within their practices.

This decision follows the lockdown of the City of Brisbane, Moreton Bay Region, Redland City, Logan City, City of Ipswich, Shire of Noosa, City of Gold Coast, Lockyer Valley Region, Scenic Rim Region, Somerset Region and Sunshine Coast Region Local Government Areas.

Health professionals in these areas are able to request a package of PPE from the National Medical Stockpile (NMS) through their local Primary Health Network (PHN) from an initial allocation of up to:

  • 725,000 surgical masks;
  • 725,000 N95 masks;
  • 175,000 pairs of gloves;
  • 175,000 gowns; and
  • 175,000 goggles.

These items will be made available through the five PHNs relevant to the Commonwealth hotspot, namely:

  • Brisbane North;
  • Brisbane South;
  • Darling Downs and West Moreton;
  • Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast; and
  • Gold Coast.

These packages will assist to further supress the COVID-19 infection rate occurring across Queensland and builds on the recent commitment to support New South Wales and Victoria as announced on 12 July 2021 and 19 July 2021 respectively.

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that healthcare professionals have access to the critical PPE supplies they require to continue to safely see their patients during this COVID-19 outbreak.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Australian Government has deployed more than 92 million masks, 6 million gowns, 14 million gloves and 5 million goggles and face shields from the National Medical Stockpile.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine approved for at risk children aged 12-15 years

From Monday 9 August, children aged between 12 to 15 years old with either specific medical conditions, who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or live in a remote community will be able to receive a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

This follows a review of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12-15 by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), which has recommended its use for children at a higher risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19.

The Australian Government has accepted ATAGI’s updated recommendations, which include the following groups of children aged 12 to 15 be prioritised for the Pfizer vaccine:

  • children with specified medical conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19, including severe asthma, diabetes, obesity, cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies, neuro developmental disorders, epilepsy, immuno-compromised and trisomy 21
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • all children aged 12–15 years in remote communities, as part of broader community outreach vaccination programs that provide vaccines for all ages (≥12 years).

This means that around 220,000 children aged between 12 to 15 years old will become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Minister Hunt, said the Government expected further recommendations regarding the use Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the remainder of children aged 12 to 15 in the coming months.

“I would encourage all parents who have a child with a medical condition or are immuno-compromised to bring them forward for vaccination. We want to ensure all Australians are protected from COVID-19, including the most vulnerable in our community,” Minister Hunt said.

“To date, we’ve administered more than 12.3 million vaccines across Australia and I want to thank everyone who has come forward so far to receive their first and second doses, you’re doing an incredible job.”

ATAGI has reviewed available data on the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children aged 12 to 15, the risk of COVID-19 in this age group, and evidence of wider benefits and risks of vaccinating children.

This review follows the decision of the Therapeutics Goods Administration, who have extended its provisional registration of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from people aged 16 years and over to include children aged 12 to 15.

The National Cabinet has agreed in-principle to an updated four-step National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response (National Plan) taking into account the Doherty Institute COVID-19 modelling and the Commonwealth Department of Treasury economic analysis. This national plan is based on vaccination rates for people 16 years and above in line with the expert medical advice of the Doherty Institute.

Parents should check the COVID-19 eligibility checker from 9 August to book in their child’s vaccination. Children in remote indigenous communities will be able to receive the vaccine prior to the 9 of August in areas where in reach vaccination is occurring this week.

The Australian Government has secured more than 280 million COVID-19 vaccines, including 125 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

COVID-19 information and resources for your state. All the information you need, no matter where you are in Australia. Find out where to get tested if you need to. Find out if you’re eligible for a vaccination, and where to register or book in.

New South Wales:

General information about COVID-19 and the rules and restrictions currently in place for people in NSW.

COVID-19 information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Find out if you’re eligible and book your COVID test.

Walk-in clinics for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

NSW pharmacies participating in the vaccine rollout.

Locations for testing clinics in NSW.

Download the NSW services app to check-in across the state.

Information and resources about COVID-19 in your language.

Queensland:

General information about COVID-19 and the rules and restrictions currently in place for people in Queensland.

COVID-19 information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Places you can get a COVID-19 test.

Go here to find out if you’re eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, and register.

If you’re eligible here’s where you can book your vaccination.

Vaccination clinic locations.

Download the QLD COVID-19 check-in app.

Information and resources about COVID-19 in your language.

Australian Capital Territory:

General information about COVID-19 and the rules and restrictions currently in place for people in the ACT.

COVID-19 information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Places you can go to get a COVID-19 test.

Information about vaccine eligibility, registration and booking.

Download the ACT COVID-19 check-in app.

Information and resources about COVID-19 in your language.

Victoria:

General information about COVID-19 and the rules and restrictions currently in place for people in Victoria.

COVID-19 information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Places you can get a COVID-19 test.

Go here to find out if you’re eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, and register.

If you’re eligible here’s where you can book your vaccination.

Vaccination clinic locations.

Download the VIC COVID-19 check-in app.

Information and resources about COVID-19 in your language.

Western Australia:

General information about COVID-19 and the rules and restrictions currently in place for people in WA.

COVID-19 information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Places you can get a COVID-19 test.

Go here to find out if you’re eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, and register.

If you’re eligible here’s where you can book your vaccination.

Vaccination clinic locations.

Download the WA COVID-19 check-in app.

Information and resources about COVID-19 in your language.

Tasmania:

General information about COVID-19 and the rules and restrictions currently in place for people in Tasmania.

COVID-19 information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Places you can get a COVID-19 test.

Go here to find out if you’re eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, and register.

If you’re eligible here’s where you can book your vaccination.

Vaccination clinic locations.

Download the TAS COVID-19 check-in app.

Information and resources about COVID-19 in your language.

South Australia:

General information about COVID-19 and the rules and restrictions currently in place for people in South Australia.

COVID-19 information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Places you can get a COVID-19 test.

Go here to find out if you’re eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, and register.

If you’re eligible here’s where you can book your vaccination.

Vaccination clinic locations.

Download the SAGov app to safely check-in.

Information and resources about COVID-19 in your language.

Northern Territory:

General information about COVID-19 and the rules and restrictions currently in place for people in the Nothern Territory.

COVID-19 information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Book to get a COVID-19 test.

Go here to find out if you’re eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, and register.

If you’re eligible here’s where you can book your vaccination.

Download the NT COVID-19 check-in app.