Good morning, to everyone, but especially to the Brisbane readers waking up in lockdown today.
Matilda Boseley here to make your morning a little less boring and bring you all the news from around the country (since some of you aren’t allowed out your front door).
Obviously, Queensland is top of mind today. We are likely to have an update on the overnight Covid-19 numbers sometime this morning, which should give us a sense of how likely the lockdown is to continue – although we won’t get any official word until tomorrow.
It’s likely the role the federal government’s slow vaccination rollout played in the outbreak will come to the fore – one of the more worrying community infections in the outbreak is from an unvaccinated nurse working at a Covid-19 ward in a Brisbane hospital.
Yesterday premier Annastacia Palaszczuk took a subtle swipe at the federal government, saying local outbreaks and lockdowns were going to be part of the Australian way of life until everyone was vaccinated:
It is very important that the vaccination rollout continues and that people continue to book in with their GPs, especially those GPs that are administering the vaccine.
But until we have the population vaccinated there is of course the risk of community transmission.
More than 541,000 Australians have received their first vaccines, including 259,000 in the past week, but given that the federal government aimed to have 4 million people immunised by April, people are less than impressed.
This lockdown also came just as jobkeeper support payments ended, so I dare say that will come up a bit today as well.
And it wouldn’t be a 2021 morning without some new news about behaviour towards women in the political world.
(Yesterday I chose to listen to a violent true crime murder podcast rather than an update on the state of the gender relations in the government because it was less stressful.)
Last night Queensland police confirmed they received information about Liberal backbencher Andrew Laming allegedly taking a photo of a woman whose underwear was showing as she bent over in the workplace.
The woman and a witness to the incident on Monday told Nine News they had initiated a complaint with Queensland police.
But police later said in a statement the woman had spoken to them on Monday afternoon and was “not proceeding with a formal complaint at this time”:
Police are in the initial stages of assessing allegations against a man.
Laming claims the photo attempted to show someone trying to fit an impossible amount of stock into a fridge.
Although he says he will not contest the next election the government has refused to remove him from parliament, despite Liberal senator Sarah Henderson calling for it, a move that would plunge the government into a minority.
The backbencher is now on leave and undergoing empathy training.
That might be enough to get us started for today, let’s dive in.