More than two years after it was first established, the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has called for systemic overhaul of an underfunded and under-regulated sector.
Former federal ministerial staffer Brittany Higgins plans to reactivate a police complaint about an alleged sexual assault in Parliament House in early 2019. In interviews with news.com.au and Network Ten’s The Project, Higgins alleged she was raped by a male colleague in the office of the then-defence industry minister Linda Reynolds. She says he lured her there under the pretence of needing to pick something up on the way home from a work function. Higgins claims that key people within the government failed to offer enough support, with Reynolds and the acting chief of staff setting up a meeting with Higgins over the matter in the same office where the alleged rape occurred. Higgins said she decided not to pursue a complaint with the police as she felt pressure that it would affect her job, similar to other female staffers who have reported sexual harassment allegations while working for Coalition ministers. Higgins also said that she was denied access to CCTV from Parliament House from the night of the alleged assault, despite the fact another member of the staff had seen it.
The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine has touched down in Australia, with 142,000 doses arriving in Sydney from Europe. Australians will begin receiving the vaccine from next Monday, according to federal Health Minister Greg Hunt. Authorities will release 80,000 doses of the vaccine next week, with 50,000 going to states and territories to vaccinate frontline quarantine and health workers, and 30,000 to aged care and disability care residents and workers. Hunt added that if the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration the rollout will expand substantially.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has declared the state is “well-placed” to lift restrictions at 11.59pm on Wednesday due to low case numbers over the last three days. “I’m able to say that these numbers, you never want positive cases, but these numbers are pleasing and I think we are well-placed,” he said. Victoria recorded just one new local case of Covid-19 on Monday. Another case was also detected in hotel quarantine, with more than 25,000 tests conducted in the past 24 hours. The newest case is a woman who worked in psychiatric units at The Alfred hospital, Northern Hospital and Broadmeadows Hospital, forcing the wards into lockdown.
Myanmar police and military forces have fired at peaceful protesters during demonstrations in the northern city of Mandalay, although it is unclear whether security forces had used live ammunition. News portal Frontier Myanmar reports that soldiers shot randomly into people’s homes, with images on social media showing people injured by what appeared to be rubber bullets. There were other clashes on Monday, including in Yangon, where demonstrators rallied despite a heavy military presence and an overnight internet blackout. Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi is set to appear in court via video conference this week over charges brought against her by the new military junta.