Australia live news: Brittany Higgins and PM to meet; Brisbane and Melbourne on Covid alert | Australia news

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Good morning all. It’s Matilda Boseley here and to quote one of the lyrical geniuses of our time, it’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday. (This is a very 2011-based joke.)

So let’s talk about the news, why don’t we.

One of the biggest things to look out for is Scott Morrison’s much-anticipated meeting with former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, whose decision to go public about her alleged rape in a ministerial office at Parliament House sparked national rallies about the mistreatment of women.

She will meet with the prime minister and Labor’s Anthony Albanese in Sydney where they will discuss ways to change the toxic workplace culture faced by political advisers.

Higgins has publicly said that she feels the current system failed her and she wants “a new framework for political staff that ensures genuine cultural change and restores the trust of staff”.

There have also been a number of travel scares in Australia today, including an apparent breach of the trans-Tasman bubble.

Queensland Health says two transiting passengers coming off a flight from Papua New Guinea at Brisbane international airport this morning were inadvertently directed into the airport’s green departure zone, instead of the red zone which is designated for travellers from higher-risk countries.

The green zone at Australian airports are only meant for people travelling to or arriving from New Zealand who are exempt from hotel quarantine.

The health department released the following statement:


They were in the green zone for around 2 hours with other passengers due to depart for New Zealand.

Prior to entry into Queensland, both passengers reportedly tested negative for Covid-19.

Both passengers have also been tested in Brisbane this afternoon, with one passenger returning a negative result. The other test was equivocal, meaning it did not indicate either a positive or negative test.

Further tests are being conducted but there are fears this kind of fumble could harm New Zealand’s willingness to accept Australian tourists. We will keep an eye out today for the NZ response, and if there are any isolation orders for the passengers on the three affected flights.

Down in Victoria, 246 newly returned travellers from Perth and the Peel region in WA have been told to get tested for Covid-19 after “strong and unexpected” fragments of the virus were detected in wastewater.

The health department said:


This additional action is being taken due to the strength of the wastewater detection and because a known positive Covid-19 case, from flight QF778, has been in Victoria in the past 14 days.

Those asked to get retested includes four close contacts of the infected patient. All have returned negative results but the department wants them to get tested again “out of an abundance of caution”.

And very quickly there is also:

  • The Tasmanian state election tomorrow.
  • National cabinet meeting today.
  • Restrictions easing further in Perth and the Peel region
  • And most importantly, possibly, a new surprise album, from Taylor Swift! (Or so her super fans believe.)

OK with that why don’t we jump into the day! If there is something you reckon I’ve missed or think should be in the blog but isn’t, shoot me a message on Twitter @MatildaBoseley or email me at matilda.boseley@hafta-ichi.com.

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Australia live news: Brittany Higgins and PM to meet; Brisbane and Melbourne on Covid alert | Australia news

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