Hype machines in overdrive as NSW Premier resigns – but what's the real story?, Deputy CMO confirms COVID vaccines were in "a trial phase" , WHO / ICAO Vaccine Passports imminent for Oz, Polish MPs condemn Australian government crimes at Embassy, and more in today's bumper edition (which also includes Saturday's news)... Federal • Office of PM | PRESS CONFERENCE CANBERRA, ACT 01 Oct 2021 https://www.pm.gov.au/media/press-conference-canberra-act-25 Journalist: ...are you in talks with any airlines and others about increasing the capacity to allow travel? Prime Minister: Well, on the first point, I would just point you to the New South Wales experience. Get vaccinated. Get vaccinated. Get vaccinated. [ed; Goebbels would be proud] ... Journalist: Prime Minister, Gladys Berejiklian has resigned. What's your reaction? Do you believe she's acted corruptly? Prime Minister: Well, I’ve been standing here while that's been happening, so I have no knowledge of what the Premier has said today. I can only take that on face value, as what you’ve presented me here today. Gladys is a, is a dear friend of mine. We've known each other for a long time. She has displayed heroic qualities, heroic qualities as the Premier of New South Wales. I have worked with her extremely closely and she has always been a vibrant spirit when it comes to our debates, doing the best for the people of New South Wales. I know how much she is trusted and respected by the people of New South Wales, and I have no doubt that Gladys will always conduct herself in a way that suits the integrity of the office that she's held. [ed; how can he say that when – even though the Maguire affair is absolutely the lesser of her government's evils – she literally admitted that she had NOT conducted herself in a way that reflected the integrity of her office, and moreover, the fact that she was guilty of this particular conflict of interest has not been in dispute, by anyone, for an entire year now!] And I know how seriously she takes that trust. I've always found Gladys to be a person of the highest integrity. She has been a trusted friend and a, a very respected colleague. I wish her well, if that is the case, and I know that the great work that she has done as New South Wales Premier, throughout the course of this pandemic, will be continued by her Government, who will be a great partner of the Federal Government in ensuring that we move the country forward. Sam. Journalist: Prime Minister, just in relation to international travel. The UK obviously had a red light, green light system that recently got removed. You seem to be proposing red light, green light, but maybe only for unvaccinated. Is it the case that if you're vaccinated, you can basically go wherever you want without worrying about a traffic light system? ... Prime Minister: ... we won't be going down the red light, green light path. We'll be treating this like we do travel advice across travel more generally. It is currently the case that you go to the DFAT website and we might be saying do not travel to particular places currently because of any number of threats. They can be health threats in those countries. They can be terror threats or security threats. And we'll treat COVID the same. And if there are places that we don't believe, based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, that we should be giving that do not travel advice or some caution in relation to travel to those places for vaccinated Australians, then we'll provide the advice that way. So rather than running a league table of green light and red light countries, you can go where you want to go. But that is subject only to the normal restrictions and advice that is provided by DFAT, which is put there for people's safety. Now, what we are saying, though, Sam, is that vaccinated Australians will be able to travel. At this point, we are not saying unvaccinated Australians can travel because that would be a risk to themselves and a risk to themselves, their own health, because their likelihood of contracting the virus overseas pretty much anywhere, because it's a global pandemic is far higher than for a vaccinated person, obviously, [ed; obvious to whom, PM? Adverse Event databases around the world and a growing mass of literature suggest otherwise, even the opposite..] and then risks the importation further of the virus back into Australia. So that's a common sense health position. It's frankly a position being taken by many airlines and others even before governments make decisions. [ed; if your brain is still intact after that obscene, deliberate language-scramble, I salute you.] To the point, I think you were saying about the airlines before, David, I'm sorry I passed over that question. This announcement today has been flagged with the airlines. They will be playing a key role in the process [ed; I'll say.. they're the only way out] for vaccinated Australians to depart the country. So when you're checking in, they'll be playing a role there with the vaccination, a record of vaccination. So they're a key partner in this process. ... Now, the facilitated commercial flights I'm talking about, that's now, right now, to assist with the trials of home quarantine. ... the trigger to enable people to leave and come back and lift those caps, that will be a function of home quarantine being enforced at scale. ... Our policy, the Australian Government's policy has been only to have mandates in in exceptional circumstances. And that remains our policy. The only policy agreed through the national cabinet process for national level implementation was the vaccination of aged care workers. And the principle that sits behind that is we were seeking to ensure high rates of vaccination with those who are engaging with vulnerable communities. [ed; a magic catchphrase to justify abject tyranny] And that's an important policy principle. And I think there's a lot of merit in where people are engaging with very vulnerable elements of the community, I know in the Northern Territory, for example. And we've used similar powers there where there's engagement with quite sensitive indigenous communities. There have been some some exceptional arrangements put in place in those circumstances. [ed; he means they poured a bunch of taxpayer money into pressuring/bribing/infiltrating those communities re. getting the jab] But my policy has always been that this is not a compulsory vaccination programme. [ed; ...............] ... I can point to 30,000 Australians who can agree with our policy today because they're alive. [ed; let's get an FOI sorted to that effect..? Ha ha] ... Journalist: With Australia moving forward, a seven day quarantine when international travel is back, is that going to leave facilities, purpose built quarantine facilities like Wellcamp and Pinkenba as white elephants? How often are they going to be needed? Prime Minister: ... I think it's important for us to have those facilities. ... you know, hotel quarantine, it's got a used by date on it, 14 day quarantine, it's got a used by date on it. That will recede, it will go away and we'll move into a new phase. But the need to have some specific specialist facilities like we put in place up in the Northern Territory and have these other facilities on an ongoing basis, I think that meets a strategic need for the medium to long term. And so, you know, those projects will continue. But I would flag that the idea that they were somehow going to replace hotel quarantine, in fact, it was the reverse. It was our very clear instruction in the guidelines about this, that it wasn't replacement capacity, it was additional capacity. And it has a longer term, in my view and my government's view, purpose. And that's why it is of of importance. Thank you all very much. • Office of PM | NATIONAL CABINET STATEMENT 01 Oct 2021 https://www.pm.gov.au/media/national-cabinet-statement-56 -National Plan to Transition Australia’s COVID-19 Response- National Cabinet received an update from Professor Jodie McVernon from the Doherty Institute. ... To assist with further planning for possible future 7-day quarantine arrangements, all states and territories committed to providing more detailed data on COVID cases recorded in their hotel quarantine systems. National Cabinet noted the Commonwealth’s updated progress to adjust border settings to allow for safe and secure international travel by vaccinated Australians. -International travel for fully vaccinated- The Commonwealth will introduce an International COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate for outbound travellers to present at foreign borders and at the Australian border. This certificate has been designed to meet the new standards specified by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and endorsed by the World Health Organization. The international certificate will display a Visible Digital Seal (VDS), as specified by the ICAO standard. A VDS is a QR code that’s as secure as a passport chip, using the same highly secure e-passport technology. VDS is compatible with existing passport control systems around the world and with COVID-19 travel apps such as the IATA Travel Pass that many airlines are using. The new international certificates will become available for Australians by the end of October, both digitally and in printable form, through a simple process in myGov. • Office of PM | NEXT STEPS TO REOPEN TO THE WORLD 01 Oct 2021 https://www.pm.gov.au/media/press-conference-canberra-act-25 To enable fully vaccinated Australians to travel, our government is finalising new arrangements. Following completion of home quarantine pilots in New South Wales and South Australia, it is anticipated that states and territories that are ready to do so will roll out: -Seven day home quarantine for Australian citizens and permanent residents fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved for use in Australia or ‘recognised’ by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) -14-day managed quarantine for anyone not vaccinated or vaccinated with a vaccine not approved or recognised by the TGA. Australian citizens and permanent residents who cannot be vaccinated - for example if they are under 12 or have a medical condition - will be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel. ... we expect the system to commence in November. ... These changes mean there will be no travel restrictions if you are a vaccinated Australian entering or leaving our shores. ... Australians who want to travel overseas once restrictions are removed will be able to access an internationally recognised proof of vaccination document in the coming weeks to prove their vaccination status abroad. The proof of vaccination for international travel will include a QR code that is readable globally, and will comply with the standards set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. ... To maximise the number of Australians who can return, our government is also offering facilitated flights into any state or territory that agrees to commence seven day home quarantine trials for returning Australians. I don't quite see how threatening to leave a State's people stranded in foreign countries if that State doesn't agree to the Federal Government's "anticipated" terms is A) conscionable in the slightest, or B) likely to "maximise the number of Australians who can return". Of course, no State will upset the apple cart to any significant degree – they are part of the same vicious hydra, after all. But this statement adds weight against the Federal Government's repeated claims that they are totally independent from the States and Airlines, and have no influence in the decisions made by either, even when these decisions constitute gross breaches of Constitutional and human rights. In coming weeks the Minister for Health will consider updates to the Biosecurity Act Emergency determinations to facilitate some of these changes for fully vaccinated Australian travellers ... • Department of Health | Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Professor Alison McMillan's opinion piece on aged care workforce vaccination 1 October 2021 https://www.health.gov.au/news/chief-nursing-and-midwifery-officer-professor-alison-mcmillans-opinion-piece-on-aged-care-workforce-vaccination The vaccination rate among the residential aged care workforce is now more than 99% for first jabs, with 83% of the workforce fully vaccinated. [ed; Prove it...] These are astonishingly positive numbers, and among the highest rates of vaccination in the world for a specific workforce. • Department of Health | Top 3 COVID-19 vaccine questions – Booster shots, vaccine trial phases, and close vs casual contacts 1 October 2021 https://www.health.gov.au/news/top-3-covid-19-vaccine-questions-booster-shots-vaccine-trial-phases-and-close-vs-casual-contacts Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd: Your second question is, considering how new they are, are the COVID-19 vaccines still in a trial phase? Certainly, the development of the COVID-19 vaccines occurred very rapidly last year. We saw many hundreds of different groups in Australia and around the world involved in using existing technology and new technology to develop vaccines to provide protection against COVID-19. Those vaccines went through trials involving volunteers, [ed; there it is!!] often many thousands of volunteers involved in trialling those vaccines. By the time the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the regulator of vaccines and other medicines in Australia, is assessing a vaccine for use in Australia, those vaccines have been through their trials and the results of their trials have been published and are widely are known. So those vaccines have completed their trial phase. It doesn't mean that we don't continue to follow up what's happening with the vaccines though. We, of course, are encouraging anyone who has a side effect from the vaccine to have those side effects reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration [ed; so we can continue to cook the books internally] ... And, of course, there are still trials underway around the world with new vaccines. Indeed, there are nearly 300 vaccines under trial around the world for COVID-19 and some of those may eventually end up being available for use in Australia. And we're seeing trials underway on the use of vaccines in children under the age of 12. • Department of Health | Hotspot for the purposes of Commonwealth support extended for NSW, Jervis Bay and the ACT 1 October 2021 https://www.health.gov.au/news/hotspot-for-the-purposes-of-commonwealth-support-extended-for-nsw-jervis-bay-and-the-act Can I just point out how contradictory it is for the Federal Government to continually assert that it doesn't meddle in the COVID-related affairs of individual States, yet is happy to announce a network of 'incentives' and pay-offs every time a State locks LGAs down, to keep those who they've imprisoned from causing too much of a fuss? • Department of Health | ATAGI update following weekly COVID-19 meeting – 29 September 2021 1 October 2021 https://www.health.gov.au/news/atagi-update-following-weekly-covid-19-meeting-29-september-2021 ATAGI has noted emerging national data demonstrating that only a small proportion [ed; what proportion?] of patients with severe COVID-19 [ed; who/what determines the classification 'Severe COVID-19'?] were reported to be vaccinated ... ATAGI notes that International data continues to demonstrate the risk of TTS following a second dose of AstraZeneca is much lower than the risk following a first dose [ed; sound logic there. So the second dose is 'much lower risk' than the first – but you'll have to take that 'much higher risk' dose anyway, to get to the second! Sort of defeats the purpose] ... ATAGI noted these data suggest that the severity of TTS appears to be higher in younger women. –Immune Thrombocytopenia– ATAGI continues to review and closely monitor reports of rare but potentially serious adverse events following immunisation with AstraZeneca, including Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP). It is important for those vaccinated to be aware of some of the symptoms that may be associated with ITP, such as easy bruising and bleeding from the nose or gums. –Guillain-Barre Syndrome– ATAGI continues to review and closely monitor reports of rare but potentially serious adverse events following immunisation with AstraZeneca, including Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). It is important for those vaccinated to be aware of some of the symptoms that may be associated with GBS, such as muscle weakness, unusual sensation (numbness, pins and needles) and unsteadiness while walking. –Risks and Benefits– ... In the context of a COVID-19 outbreak where the supply of Comirnaty (Pfizer) is constrained, [ed; ah, but we know from yesterday that "supply is no longer an issue"..] ATAGI reinforces adults younger than 60 years old who do not have immediate access to Pfizer should re-assess the benefits to them and their contacts from being vaccinated with AstraZeneca, versus the rare risk of a serious side effect. [ed; so they're admitting-but-not-admitting that Pfizer has had a significant amount of adverse reactions in younger people, and pushing-but-not-pushing the AstraZeneca to this group instead] In areas with significant outbreaks including greater Sydney and Melbourne, all individuals aged 18 years and above should strongly consider getting vaccinated with any available vaccine including AstraZeneca. ... –Comirnaty (Pfizer)– Myocarditis and/or Pericarditis ATAGI notes that the TGA is investigating 850 reports of suspected myocarditis and/or pericarditis following Pfizer and in particular 178 suspected myocarditis reports. International data demonstrates that the rate of disease is higher in younger individuals, particularly young males and more frequently occurs following the second dose. • Department of Health | Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) statement on the role of ventilation in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 1 October 2021 https://www.health.gov.au/news/australian-health-protection-principal-committee-ahppc-statement-on-the-role-of-ventilation-in-reducing-the-risk-of-transmission-of-covid-19 • Department of Health | Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) statement on mandatory vaccination of all workers in health care settings 1 October 2021 https://www.health.gov.au/news/australian-health-protection-principal-committee-ahppc-statement-on-mandatory-vaccination-of-all-workers-in-health-care-settings • Department of Health | Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) statement on visitation in residential aged care facilities 1 October 2021 https://www.health.gov.au/news/australian-health-protection-principal-committee-ahppc-statement-on-visitation-in-residential-aged-care-facilities • Department of Health | Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) statement on COVID-19, schools and reopening Australia 1 October 2021 https://www.health.gov.au/news/australian-health-protection-principal-committee-ahppc-statement-on-covid-19-schools-and-reopening-australia • Department of Health | Consultation: Survey on publication of listed medicine compliance review results opened 1 Oct 2021. https://consultations.health.gov.au/medicines-regulation-division/survey-on-publishing-outcomes-of-listed-medicine-c/ • TGA | TGA advice on recognition of COVID-19 vaccines not registered in Australia but used internationally 1 October 2021 https://www.tga.gov.au/media-release/tga-advice-recognition-covid-19-vaccines-not-registered-australia-used-internationally Can you believe the turnaround on this? Green-lit practically overnight by the corrupt TGA. The TGA will continue work on vaccine recognition for the next couple of years ... The TGA has undertaken this work at the request of government and this work will help inform decisions that will subsequently be made by Government to support incoming travel to Australia in the coming months. • TGA | Prescriptions now required to import nicotine vaping products 1 October 2021 https://www.tga.gov.au/media-release/prescriptions-now-required-import-nicotine-vaping-products Back to the good old toxin-sprayed, highly-taxable Cigarettes for thousands of Australians. This decision has sentenced many to death. Thanks again, TGA!
• World Health Organization | WHO prioritizes access to diabetes and cancer treatments in new Essential Medicines Lists 1 October 2021 https://www.who.int/news/item/01-10-2021-who-prioritizes-access-to-diabetes-and-cancer-treatments-in-new-essential-medicines-lists • APH | Key industry groups to discuss procurement 1 October 2021 https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/House_of_Representatives/About_the_House_News/Media_Releases/Key_industry_groups_to_discuss_procurement • Fair Work Commission | Appeal against decision  FWC 1818 of Commissioner McKenna at Sydney on 29 April 2021 in matter number U2020/9867. https://www.fwc.gov.au/document/decision/2021fwcfb6015 States • TAS | Changes to Victorian border restrictions 01 Oct 2021 https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/important-community-updates/changes-to-victorian-border-restrictions • TAS | New general manager to lead Biosecurity Tasmania 01 Oct 2021 https://www.premier.tas.gov.au/site_resources_2015/additional_releases/new_general_manager_to_lead_biosecurity_tasmania • SA | Facial recognition drones to help save koalas 27 September 2021 https://www.premier.sa.gov.au/news/media-releases/news/facial-recognition-drones-to-help-save-koalas I love koalas as much as the next guy but they would probably do alright without drones flying around the bush and scanning them. My position is a firm NO to facial recognition AI/software, in any form, anywhere – even in this potentially useful scenario, it's an obvious gateway. We need a new set of tech-related 'Ten Commandments'.. • VIC | Vaccination Required To Protect Workers And Victoria 01 October 2021 https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/vaccination-required-protect-workers-and-victoria On the advice of our public health team, all workers – in Melbourne and regional Victoria – on the Authorised Worker list will require [ed; you cannot attach requirements to inalienable Rights] their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Friday, 15 October in order to continue working onsite. They will need to be fully vaccinated by 26 November. The advice from the Burnet Institute and all our public health officials is that vaccination remains our best protection. As authorised workers are currently moving around Victoria the most, it’s vital [ed; but not compulsory!] they get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and all of Victoria. • VIC | COVIDSafe Reopening For Victorian Construction 01 October 2021 https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/vaccination-required-protect-workers-and-victoria • VIC | CHO's Update 01 October 2021 https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/covid-19-chief-health-officer-update –Update: City of Greater Shepparton and Shire of Moorabool to enter lockdown– Victoria’s Acting Chief Health Officer has declared the City of Greater Shepparton and the Shire of Moorabool will enter a seven-day lockdown commencing at 11:59 pm tonight, Friday 1 October, with restrictions the same as those in the City of Latrobe, Mitchell Shire and metropolitan Melbourne (excluding the curfew, which is in place in metropolitan Melbourne only). Under lockdown restrictions, you can only leave home for limited reasons: necessary goods and services, caregiving or compassionate reasons (including medical care and getting a COVID-19 test), authorised work or permitted education, exercise and outdoor social interaction in limited groups, and getting a COVID-19 vaccine locally. –Update: Restrictions on the construction sector– Restrictions on the Victorian construction industry will ease at 11:59 pm on Monday 4 October, with five workers plus a supervisor allowed at small-scale construction sites, and up to 25 per cent of workers allowed at large-scale construction sites. To be allowed on site, all workers will need to carry an Authorised Worker Permit and have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. All sites will need to have an up-to-date vaccination register available for compliance checks at all times. Every construction site in Victoria must also have a designated and fully trained COVID Marshal on site to ensure compliance with the Chief Health Officer’s directions. –Update: Supermarket and distribution centre contact management– A revised contact management protocol will commence in the supermarket industry on Saturday 2 October, following consultation between the Victorian Government and industry representatives. The new framework balances the risk of transmission against the risk of interrupting food supply. The industry will pilot the protocol with a view to implementing the revised policy settings in other critical industries in coming weeks. • QLD | Border Zone Update 1 October 2021 https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/urgent-covid-19-update –Border zone update– From 1am AEST Saturday 2 October 2021: The Kyogle local government area is part of the restricted border zone. This means that restricted border zone rules apply to Kyogle and residents and Queenslanders travelling to that area. The Walgett local government area is part of the non-restricted border zone. This means that only the non-restricted border zone rules apply to residents of Walgett and Queenslanders travelling to these areas. –Queensland restrictions update– The following Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Queensland will enter stage 2 restrictions from Thursday 30 September 2021 in response to a growing number of COVID-19 cases in the community: Brisbane Gold Coast Logan City Moreton Bay Palm Island Townsville (including Magnetic Island) • NSW | Non-urgent elective day surgery to recommence at private facilities in Greater Sydney 01 October 2021 https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/news/Pages/20211001_01.aspx News/Media/Misc (Mainstream) • ABC News | Rob Stokes won't change Gladys Berejiklian's COVID-19 exit plan if he becomes next NSW Premier 2 October 2021 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-02/rob-stokes-wont-change-nsw-covid-lockdown-exit/100509584 • ABC News | Pregnant women again urged to get COVID vaccine, with new evidence showing benefits to babies 2 October 2021 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-02/covid-pregnancy-research-antibodies/100508334 So sayeth New York University. • ABC News | Northern Territory's international borders to remain closed, internal travel restrictions set to be introduced 2 October 2021 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-02/nt-international-borders-remain-closed-until-2022/100507852 • ABC News | Queensland Integrity Commissioner says staff shortages are crippling watchdog's capacity 2 October 2021 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-02/queensland-integri