What happened on Saturday 9 July, 2022
National Covid summary
Queensland reports first case of Hendra virus since 2017
ACT records one Covid death and 1,120 new cases
What’s happened so far on Saturday
South Australia records four Covid deaths and 3,246 new cases
Western Australia records 11 Covid deaths and 5,538 new cases
Anthony Albanese pays tribute to Shinzo Abe as ‘a true patriot and a true leader’
Albanese and other Quad leaders say they will redouble peace efforts after Abe assassination
Queensland records eight Covid deaths and 5,315 new cases
Girl shot: man, 34, charged with shooting with intent to murder
NSW appoints flood recovery co-ordinators as 239 homes deemed uninhabitable
NSW records 33 Covid deaths and 11,434 new cases
Victoria records 20 Covid deaths and 8,776 new cases
Girl, 9, in hospital after Sydney shooting
With that, we’ll wrap up our live news coverage for today. Here’s a summary of the main developments:
- World leaders are reacting to the assassination of the former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, as his body was transported from the western city of Nara where he was shot to Tokyo. Anthony Albanese paid tribute to Abe in Canberra on Saturday, calling him a “true patriot and a true leader”who was instrumental in furthering Australian-Japanese relations.
- At 77 deaths from Covid-19 were announced by health authorities across Australia on Saturday, including 33 in New South Wales.
- A man has been charged after a nine-year-old girl was shot outside a home in Sydney’s south. The child was rushed to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries as the state’s anti-bikie and organised crime squad hunted for the alleged gunman.
- Queensland has recorded its first case of Hendra virus since 2017 after a horse tested positive in Mackay.
- A pilot has died following a helicopter crash north of Windsor in Sydney’s north-west this morning.
- Australia’s economy needs a shake-up to ensure “cosy monopolists” don’t dominate the market, with the new minister for competition, Andrew Leigh, pledging to legislate tough new penalties of up to $50m for anti-competitive behaviour.
- The former UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has described himself as a “serious candidate for serious times” as he kickstarted his campaign to become the UK’s next prime minister, with as many as 15 Conservative MPs expected to run for the party’s leadership.
- Elon Musk has withdrawn his $44bn bid to buy Twitter after a dramatic few weeks of speculation that his deal to take over the company was falling apart.
- Australian Nick Kyrgios will take on Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon men’s singles final on Sunday after the Serb defeated local Cameron Norrie overnight.
- The Sopranos actor Tony Sirico, who played Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri on the hit TV show, has died aged 79, his family has announced.
Have a great evening.
A pilot has died following a helicopter crash north of Windsor in Sydney’s north-west this morning.
Emergency serviced responded to a call in remote bushland off Tuff Hill lane in South Maroota shortly before 11.50am today.
The response included police officers attached to Hawkesbury Police Area Command, PolAir, Police Rescue, NSW Ambulance helicopter, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW SES and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
Responders had to make their way through difficult terrain and flood-affected bushland.
In a statement, NSW police said the helicopter was alight upon the arrival of emergency crews, the fire was extinguished by NSW Rural Fire Service.
Once the scene was deemed safe, Police Rescue located the body of a man – believed to be aged in his 60s – in the wreckage. He is yet to be formally identified.
He was the sole occupant of the aircraft.
A crime scene has been established and will be held under police guard overnight, with a recovery operation and investigations to continue tomorrow.”
Here are the latest coronavirus numbers from around Australia today, as the country records at least 77 deaths from Covid-19:
- Deaths: 1
- Cases: 1,120
- In hospital: 138 (with 5 people in ICU)
- Deaths: 33
- Cases: 11,434
- In hospital: 1,894 (with 61 people in ICU)
- Deaths: 0
- Cases: 354
- In hospital: 20 (with 1 person in ICU)
- Deaths: 8
- Cases: 5,315
- In hospital: 719 (with 15 people in ICU)
- Deaths: 4
- Cases: 3,246
- In hospital: 245 (with 8 people in ICU)
- Deaths: 0
- Cases: 1,511
- In hospital: 89 (with 2 people in ICU)
- Deaths: 20
- Cases: 8,776
- In hospital: 667 (with 34 people in ICU)
- Deaths: 11 (this includes historical cases going back to May)
- Cases: 5,538
- In hospital: 252 (with 8 people in ICU)
Ukrainian soldiers have arrived in the UK for combat training, as citizens in occupied Kherson and Zaporizhzhia have been urged to leave ahead of a counter-offensive.
Read all the latest on the war in our Ukraine live blog:
Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd on the assassination of former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe.
Expeditioners needed on Australia’s research stations in Antarctica
Is Australia’s current wintry spell not cold enough for you?
Mechanics, communications techs, cooks, cleaners and housekeepers are in short supply on Australia’s research stations in Antarctica and on Macquarie Island.
Applications for a total of 12 expeditioners willing to take on “the opportunity of a lifetime” close on Sunday, reports AAP.
While conditions on the frozen continent and remote Southern Ocean might be a tad less than comfy, the pay is handy.
At least six months’ work is available from October at one of five locations in the far south, where the thermometer can plummet to almost -60C during winter.
However, successful applicants can pocket between $132,000 and $155,000 a year. Employer contributions to super can top 15%, and 20 days of recreation leave is paid out on return to Australia.
Australian Antarctic Division organisational psychologist Maree Riley says the mechanics are needed to support projects such as the inland traverse for the Million Year Ice Core, a project to extract some of the world’s oldest ice from the polar cap.
This is a great opportunity for specialised mechanics to support Australia’s science and research efforts.
Our workshops deal with everything from Hägglunds all-terrain vehicles to traverse tractors responsible for pulling mobile stations deep into the Antarctic continent.
Each job carries a huge responsibility, but where else can you visit a penguin colony on your day off?
Additional communications technical officers with a range of experience across radio and satellite technologies are also needed for the year ahead to maintain the link between expeditioners and home.
This season will also see a limited trial of several station support officer roles.
Projects manager Robb Clifton says the positions will focus on cleaning, housekeeping, kitchen and other duties.
Diphtheria cases put spotlight on northern NSW once again
Following news this week that two children from northern New South Wales have been diagnosed with diphtheria, a disease-fatigued nation is asking: what next? There is also little surprise among many that once again, a region considered the “anti-vax capital of Australia” should be the one incubating a bacteria not seen in Australian children this century.
One of the unvaccinated children, a two-year-old, is being treated in the intensive care unit of a Brisbane hospital, but in the child’s northern rivers community, there is little urgency to vaccinate.
Medical centres in the region contacted by the Guardian say they have not noticed any increase in vaccination bookings or requests for information, while some parents say they are attentive but not worried.
Diphtheria is now extremely rare but was once a leading cause of death among Australian children until the introduction of school vaccinations in 1932. It is just one of 17 vaccine-preventable diseases targeted by the national immunisation program for children and adults.
However, as of March 2022, just 87.3% of children aged five in the Northern NSW health district were up-to-date with their vaccinations, the lowest rate since September 2016 and well below the national average of 94.3%. Within that district, the Byron shire reports 68.2% of one-year-olds are fully immunised, compared with 94.9% across the country.
Mobile and internet outage causes widespread disruption in Canada
A major outage of mobile and internet networks caused widespread disruptions across Canada on Friday, affecting banks, police emergency lines and customers in the second outage to hit one of the country’s biggest telecom providers in 15 months.
Customers gathered at coffee shops and public libraries to access alternate networks, while financial institutions reported problems with everything from automated machines to cashless payment systems.
Rogers Communications said its technical teams were working to restore services as quickly as possible.
‘Mr Abe understood instinctively the values that Australia and Japan share’
Anthony Albanese earlier paid tribute to Shinzo Abe, saying he was still in shock at news of the former Japanese prime minister’s assassination.
The friendship Abe offered Australia was “warm in sentiment and profound in consequence”, Albanese said on Saturday.
“Japan has lost a true patriot and a true leader. And Australia has lost a true friend.
“No one was more committed to furthering relations between our two nations.”
Abe, 67, was shot and killed while campaigning near a train station in the Japanese city of Nara on Friday. A man was arrested at the scene.
Albanese said Abe, who visited Australia five times as prime minister, had been instrumental in delivering several historic agreements and elevated relations between the two nations to a special strategic partnership.
“Mr Abe understood instinctively the values that Australia and Japan share of democracy and human rights and the shared interest we have in bolstering the global rules-based order,” Albanese said.
Malcolm Turnbull pays tribute to ‘great friend’ Shinzo Abe
Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is speaking to ABC News 24 about his memories of Shinzo Abe as the world mourns the assassination of the former Japanese leader.
Turnbull praises Abe’s commitment to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He says:
Shinzo Abe was a really great friend to Australia. He and his wife are great friends to me and Lucy. He was sincere. He was authentic. He had a vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific and he saw Australia as a key partner in maintaining that stability in our region. We worked very closely together on a number of initiatives.
The Quad, the quadrilateral dialogue, with Japan, India, Australia and the United States, getting out of and running. We couldn’t have done that without him. And of course the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the biggest new trade deal in the world, which Donald Trump walked away from in 2017. Everyone thought it was dead, without America, how could we possibly do it without America? In Sydney, in January 2017, Shinzo Abe and I concluded that we could do it without the United States, and we would do it, and we did.
That trade deal, now called the CPTPP is there with the 11 members, the UK is going to join, other countries are going to join. It is a remarkable example of how Japan and Australia can work together and make history and protect our region and our values of free trade, democracy, openness, freedom.
Of Abe’s character, Turnbull says:
He had great determination. He was a great communicator. He was very eloquent, very persuasive, he was sincere and authentic. You knew you were dealing with a real person, he was not somebody putting on an act, as so many politicians are. He was very calm.
It is a shocking event. Of course Shinzo Abe has not been prime minister for two years, but he has been an enormously influential voice in Japanese politics, and of course more globally. He was a well-respected voice in our region and our world. He will be missed. There will be times in the months and years ahead when we will wish that Shinzo Abe’s wise counsel and determined voice is still with us.
The first case of Hendra virus in Queensland since 2017 has been detected in an unvaccinated horse in Mackay, Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed.
The positive test result was confirmed yesterday and the horse has been euthanised after it “rapidly deteriorated”, the agency said.
Biosecurity officers are trying contain any potential outbreak, as well as working with public health officials to see if any humans had contact with the infected animal.
Biosecurity Queensland’s chief veterinary officer, Dr Allison Crook, said other animals on the property were being traced and assessed.
We are working with the property and horse owners to ensure the risk is contained on the property.
Unfortunately, in this case, the deceased horse had not been vaccinated for Hendra virus.
Hendra virus infection can occur throughout the year, so it’s important that horse owners take steps to protect themselves and their animals at all times.
Crook said public health officials were “ready to provide any assistance, counselling, information, testing or treatment that may be required”.
If a horse becomes sick, owners should contact their veterinarian immediately. People in contact with horses need to remember to continue to practise good biosecurity and personal hygiene measures even if a horse is vaccinated against Hendra virus.
The virus was first detected at stables in the Brisbane suburb of Hendra in 1994 but the last case in the state was in 2017.
In horses, symptoms include fever, raised heart rate, breathing difficulties and some neurological signs such as a lack of coordination and twitching that in most cases leads to death.
In humans, symptoms are similar to influenza and can include inflammation of the brain that can lead to convulsions. Some seven people have been known to have contracted the human-form of the disease that has killed four people.
‘Cosy monopolists’ face bigger fines for anti-competitive behaviour
Australia’s economy needs a shake-up to ensure “cosy monopolists” don’t dominate the market, with the new minister for competition, Andrew Leigh, pledging to legislate tough new penalties of up to $50m for anti-competitive behaviour.
With stagnant wages growth and high inflation identified as key priorities for the new Albanese government, Leigh says preventing “excessive market concentration” will be a key focus of his role to encourage more competition to the benefit of both workers and consumers.
In his new role as assistant minister for competition, charities and treasury, Leigh told Guardian Australia:
One of my favourite barbecue games is let’s go through the Australian economy and name more than a handful of industries where there is more than just a couple of dominant players. Whether it’s banking or baby food or beer, the Australian economy is characterised by a few firms dominating the market.
According to a study undertaken by Leigh and fellow economist Adam Triggs last year, in more than a fifth of Australia’s industries, the two biggest firms control at least half the market.
Queensland records first Hendra virus case in five years
Queensland has recorded its first case of Hendra virus in five years after a horse tested positive in Mackay, AAP reports.
Biosecurity Queensland says the result was confirmed on Friday and the horse was euthanised after its condition deteriorated rapidly.
The Hendra case is Queensland’s first since 2017.
Health officials in the Australian Capital Territory have recorded one death from Covid and 1,120 new cases.
The death was of a woman in her 70s.
ACT is the sixth jurisdiction to release its Covid numbers on Saturday, taking the total deaths across the country to 77. That includes 11 deaths reported in WA that dated back to 30 May.
There have been a few news developments so far on Saturday, particularly on the international front. Here’s a recap of what we’ve covered so far today:
Hopefully that’s brought you up to speed with the day’s events. You have me, Elias Visontay, bringing you news now through the afternoon.
Passing on the live news duties now to my colleague Elias Visontay.
Go well everyone.
South Australian health officials have reported four deaths from Covid and 3,246 new cases.
The deaths were two women in their 90s, a man in his 80s and a man in his 90s. All had tested positive for the disease.
SA is the fifth state to report Covid numbers today, bringing the total deaths recorded so far to 76. That includes 11 deaths reported in WA that dated back to 30 May.
Here’s former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe speaking to the Australian parliament in 2014. Abe was assassinated yesterday.
“Today is a day that we bring new life to our special relationship.”