The Andrews government cannot identify any legislation it needed to override, but experts say that is the point.When Daniel Andrews signed a declaration for a state of disaster in Victoria at 1.43pm on Sunday, it was a part of a final salvo in a battle to control a resurgent and invisible enemy.
A national agreement will today commit Australia to reducing rates of Indigenous imprisonment, suicide and removal of children by welfare agencies. Prime Minister Scott Morrison will reveal all state and territory governments have signed up to 16 targets as part of a new Closing the Gap agreement to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The ABC reports the agreement will include the target to have 30 per cent fewer young Indigenous prisoners and 15 per cent fewer Indigenous adults in detention by 2031, cutting the number of Indigenous children in out-of-home care by 45 per cent by 2031, and educating 70 per cent of young Indigenous people to achieve tertiary qualifications by 2031. Other target areas to be introduced for the first time include language preservation, housing and land rights. It comes as Western Australia records its third Aboriginal death in custody in less than two months on Wednesday, with authorities claiming a 47-year-old prisoner at Roebourne Regional Prison took his own life. The man's death will be subject to an inquest and an internal review. Lifeline: 13 11 14
Locals have queued at testing sites in Brisbane after at least three new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Wednesday, the first recorded in the state outside quarantine since May. One of the women suffering from Covid-19 visited businesses from Browns Plains to Southbank over several days including popular eateries, prompting health officials to begin extensive contact tracing. Two of the cases were identified after the return of travellers who visited Melbourne via Sydney in defiance on a travel ban to Victoria. A third case is believed to have been detected in sister of one of the first two travellers. In Victoria, Covid-19 sceptic Eve Black has been arrested and had her vehicle’s window smashed by police, days after a video of her attempt to evade a Melbourne checkpoint went viral. ABC News Breakfast co-hosts Michael Rowland, Lisa Millar and Nate Byrne have decided to self isolate after the wife of a crew member tested positive.
Legal advice obtained by the Australian Conservation Foundation indicates records of the national cabinet may not be exempt from freedom of information disclosures as claimed, reports Guardian Australia. The advice also finds it unclear whether or not the national cabinet can be set up as a cabinet office policy committee of the federal cabinet, as it includes state and territory leaders. It comes as the prime minister’s department refused freedom of information requests to release 1100 documents linked to the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission’s deliberations of gas projects and 690 documents about potential conflicts of interest, and redacted its meeting minutes on economic and national security grounds.
The Emergency Leaders for Climate Action are today calling on the federal government to impose a levy on the fossil fuel industry to pay for the impact of natural disasters. It is one of 165 recommendations by a group of more than 150 experts and affected community members after the ELCA National Bushfire Summit in June and July. ELCA said its recommendations would cost billions of dollars to implement, including greater funding for firefighting and land management to ensure faster identification and dousing of new fires. ELCA co-founder and former Fire and Rescue NSW commissioner, Greg Mullins, told the ABC Australia could no longer rely on assistance with aerial firefighting from overseas due to “overlapping bushfire seasons”.