Australia news LIVE: Victoria set to hit 70 per cent vaccination target early as state’s COVID-19 cases grow; NSW may open further on Monday

Australia news LIVE: Victoria set to hit 70 per cent vaccination target early as state’s COVID-19 cases grow; NSW may open further on Monday

October 13, 2021

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  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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The $66 million plan to revive Sydney’s outdoor dining

Restaurants, bars and cafes will be offered $5000 in grants and be able to expand alfresco dining into their car parks and gardens this summer as part of a government package to revive the NSW hospitality industry post-lockdown.

As foreshadowed by this masthead last month, outdoor dining exemptions on footpaths for small bars and pubs will also be made permanent under the government’s $66 million Alfresco Restart Initiative, set to be announced by Treasurer Matt Kean on Thursday.

From left: NSW Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello, Premier Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes.Credit:Renee Nowytarger

The government will also provide two new “dine and discover” vouchers to the public in an effort to spur economic growth after the 2021 Delta-lockdown, which cost the NSW economy billions.

Under the new dining plan, the first 5000 hospitality businesses to successfully apply for the new government grant will be given $5000 to expand or make improvements to their alfresco areas.

Read more about the industry package here.

Victorian renovation rescue with sector set to get back on the tools next week

Victorians will be able to resume home renovations as early as next week, as health authorities consider allowing home visits earlier than planned if hospitalisations and case numbers allow.

While much of the industry has already returned from a two-week shutdown announced last month, industry leaders say they were told indoor home renovations would be banned until the state reached its 80 per cent double-dose COVID-19 vaccination target.

Home renovations are set to be permitted earlier than scheduled.Credit:James Brickwood

However, the government has confirmed the industry will reopen once 70 per cent of people over 16 are fully vaccinated, according to two industry sources who spoke anonymously because the government was yet to make the decision public. There had previously been confusion as to whether renovations fell into the 70 or 80 per cent reopening phase.

Government forecasts suggest the state will reach the 70 per cent milestone as early as Friday next week rather than Tuesday, October 26 which was the date earmarked in the reopening road map.

More on Victoria’s road map here.

Qld woman allegedly posed as doctor, handed out COVID ‘exemption certificates’

A woman who allegedly pretended to be a doctor and handed out more than 600 fake exemptions for COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and mask wearing has been charged with various offences.

On Wednesday, police searched a Gold Coast property and charged the 45-year-old Darling Heights woman with five counts of taking a title indicating a person is a health practitioner.

The woman allegedly told police she had issued false certificates exempting people from receiving a COVID jab, among other things. Credit:iStock

She is the first person in Queensland to be charged with this offence. She is scheduled to appear at Southport Magistrates Court later today.

More on this story here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Thursday, October 14. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s everything you need to know before we get started.

  • The NSW government is preparing to unveil a $66 million plan to revive outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and cafes will be offered $5000 in grants and be able to expand alfresco dining into their car parks and gardens. The government will also provide two new “dine and discover” vouchers to the public in an effort to spur economic growth. Yesterday, NSW recorded 444 new local cases of COVID-19 and four deaths.
  • Victorians will be able to resume home renovations as early as next week, as health authorities consider allowing home visits earlier than planned if hospitalisations and case numbers allow. The change will likely occur when Victoria reaches its 70 per cent double-dose vaccination target, according to industry sources. Yesterday, Victoria recorded 1571 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 deaths (the state’s highest death toll all year). This morning, residents of the Mitchell Shire – a local government area north of Melbourne that encompasses towns like Seymour – are waking up out of lockdown.
  • In Queensland, police have charged a 45-year-old woman who allegedly posed as a doctor and handed out more than 600 fake exemptions for coronavirus tests, vaccines and mask-wearing. The Sunshine State recorded no new cases of coronavirus yesterday.
  • Australia will need a surge in renewable power and a marked shift to electric cars to meet a call from the United Nations to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, a new analysis has revealed. It comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison attempts to quell fresh fears from his coalition partner the Nationals over a deal on tackling climate change.
  • The ACT is just a few days from exiting lockdown. The territory recorded 51 new, locally acquired cases of COVID-19 yesterday. There were no new cases in WA but, in Tasmania, authorities reported one case yesterday. The infection was detected in a traveller who allegedly escaped hotel quarantine and later tests positive. The 31-year-old man will be fined just over $3000.
  • And in international news, 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner has blasted into real-life space for the first time. Mr Shatner was among four passengers onboard the New Shepard, a rocket built by billionaire Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin.
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