EU approves first shipment of Pfizer vaccine
Australia’s first shipment of coronavirus vaccines has been formally approved. The European Union has formally approved the export of vaccines to 23 countries including Australia.
The trade minister, Dan Tehan, said: “It is great news and they’ll arrive towards the end of February and we are absolutely on track to roll our vaccine program out.”
McDonald’s management has proposed that non-monetary benefits – such as Happy Meals, chicken nuggets and Big Macs – should be considered when the Fair Work Commission evaluates whether a pay deal leaves workers better off.
As Paul Karp reports, that means they could soon be asking their own staff “Would you like fries with that?”
Peter Dutton grant ‘worse than sports rorts, Kristina Keneally says
Labor’s immigration spokesperson, Kristina Keneally, has attacked the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton over a fast-tracked grant to the National Retailers Association, which he denies was influenced by a donation.
Keneally told ABC News Breakfast this morning that this was a “rort”.
“The Liberals treat taxpayer money as if it is Liberal party money,” she said. “These grants come from the Safer Communities Fund. But it seems Peter Dutton wasn’t using the money to keep communities safe, he was using it to make Liberal-held and marginal independent and Labor seats safer for the Liberal party.”
“This looks, on the face of it, worse than the sports rorts scandal that saw the resignation of then minister Bridget McKenzie,” Keneally said.
“Prime minister Scott Morrison needs to speak up today and make clear whether or not Peter Dutton has breached ministerial standards. Only the face of it, it looks like he has, but that needs to come clear.”
In a written statement, Dutton said “the baseless suggestion that I have or would be influenced by a lawful donation to the LNP is false and highly defamatory”.
“The suggestion that the government has done anything other than support projects worthy of support is nonsense.”
Tsunami warning cancelled for Lord Howe Island
“Small unusual waves” may continue, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, but a tsunami warning for Lord Howe Island has officially been cancelled.
The all-clear however, has not yet been given, and residents are still being told to be alert.
The warning was issued three hours ago, after a 7.7 magnitude undersea earthquake near New Caledonia, just before midnight.
The New Zealand National Emergency Management Agency said people should get out of the water, off beaches and away from harbours, rivers and estuaries in areas from Ahipara to Bay of Islands, Great Barrier Island and from Matata to Tolaga Bay.
“We expect New Zealand coastal areas to experience strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the shore,” the agency said in a statement.
Read the full report here:
Good morning everyone, and welcome back to our live coverage of Australian news and the coronavirus. It’s Naaman Zhou here with you.
A tsunami warning has been issued – and then cancelled – for Lord Howe Island after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake near New Caledonia. No evacuations have taken place.
Yesterday, Victoria’s Holiday Inn Covid cluster grew to eight after another worker and former guest tested positive. We’ll be watching for an update on that today.
South Australia also reimposed its hard border for greater Melbourne residents from midnight yesterday. In New South Wales, some restrictions are still set to ease tomorrow.
We’ll bring you more as it happens. Stay with us.