Weekly Wrap Up
- The latest Newspoll data shows Labor is still in the lead on a two-party preferred basis, 53-47.
- Minister for Finance Simon Birmingham announced the establishment of a new Parliamentary Workplace Support Service (PWSS), which includes an independent workplace complaints mechanism.
- The South Australian Parliament appointed Karen Grogan as the new Labor Senator for South Australia, filling the casual vacancy caused by the death of the late Senator Alex Gallacher.
Prime Minister’s Visit to US
Prime Minister Scott Morrison embarked on his four-day visit to the United States on Monday, where he attended a range of diplomatic engagements ahead of the Quad leaders meeting. The AUKUS announcement from last week continues to dominate discussions as Mr Morrison confirmed he and French President Emmanuel Macron have yet to speak, despite the US White House releasing a statement following President Biden’s conversation with Mr Macron. According to the statement, the two Presidents discussed the announcement and agreed that the situation would have “benefited from open consultations among allies”.
Mr Morrison brushed off the comments as a “function of their relationship” as the United States and France are both NATO countries. Mr Morrison also said that he understands why the French are disappointed, but he was acting in the interests of Australia’s national security.
The Quad leaders meeting, the first face-to-face meeting of its kind, is set to be held on Saturday (AEST) in Washington between Mr Morrison, Mr Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Morrison Ministry Changes
Industry Minister Christian Porter announced his resignation from the Morrison Ministry and has returned to the backbench. The Prime Minister accepted Mr Porter’s resignation thanking him for his service as both Minister for Industry, Science and Technology and Attorney-General, noting that Mr Porter will continue to represent his electorate of Pearce. Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor will act as the interim Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, while the Prime Minister has yet to rule out a broader Cabinet reshuffle upon his return from overseas.
Victoria recorded 766 new locally acquired cases yesterday, representing the state’s highest single-day tally, overtaking the previous record of 700 infections recorded on 4 August last year. Premier Daniel Andrews announced parts of the domestic travel permit system will be modified to allow for Victorians stranded in Greater Sydney and the ACT to return from 30 September. The modifications to the permit system will allow fully vaccinated Victorians in Extreme Risk Zones to return home after receiving a negative COVID test 72 hours prior to departure, quarantining at home for 14 days, and getting tested again at the end of the quarantine period. Authorised Officers will conduct at-home spot checks on those quarantining.
NSW recorded 1,063 new locally acquired cases as at 8pm last night, while a further six deaths were reported. Stay-at-home orders have been lifted for a number of Local Government Areas including Albury, Lismore, Gilgandra, Brewarrina, Glen Innes and Orange. Meanwhile, the NSW Government announced[PDF] restrictions placed on the construction industry will be eased from Monday 27 September, with full capacity of works at unoccupied construction sites set to resume.
The Federal Health Department’s latest[PDF] vaccination figures show that more than 74 per cent of Australians aged over 16 years have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while more than 49 per cent are fully vaccinated.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) announced it will continue monitoring international data on the effectiveness of additional vaccinations – either in the form of a booster or third dose – before providing advice to government on future strategies for additional doses.
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