Australia Covid live news update: Victoria reports 510 new cases and one death; national cabinet to discuss home quarantine | Australia news

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Google must explain what steps it has taken to ensure the company’s platforms and advertising capabilities are not “exploited for misinformation” in the run-up to the next federal election, Labor’s national secretary, Paul Erickson, has demanded.

In a letter to Google Australia’s managing director, Mel Silva, seen by Guardian Australia, Erickson raises a number of objections to recent interventions by Clive Palmer and Craig Kelly – activity he says undermines confidence in Australia’s public health response to Covid-19.

Erickson cites multiple videos on Kelly’s personal YouTube page “in which Mr Kelly promotes ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as effective treatments for Covid-19 or claims that Covid-19 vaccines are unsafe”.

Guardian Australia understands Google has now flagged some of the videos identified by Erickson, and the contents are under review.

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Victoria reports 510 new local Covid-19 cases and one death




Scott Morrison says Porter trust fund ‘not ordinary’

Prime minister Scott Morrison was grilled once again this morning about the blind trust that part paid of Christian Porter’s legal fees.

On Thursday Morrison declined to say if Porter had given him advance notice before publicly declaring the payment of unknown size from unknown donors on his register of interests.

Morrison told ABC AM he had sought advice from his department because:


I always act in these areas precisely. I always act on best possible advice, I always want to ensure ministerial standards are fully understood in these contexts and the right decisions are made.

Asked if we could infer Porter will go – as Bridget McKenzie did in early 2020 – Morrison replied:


I don’t think you can confer [infer] anything. I think you can take it that I’m following a process which you would expect a prime minister to do, who believes strongly in ministerial standards.

Morrison again evaded directly answering whether he knew ahead of the public declaration. He said:


He [Porter] only most recently became aware of becoming a beneficiary and that beneficiary payment becomes available to him. So, these are complicated, these are not ordinary arrangements, that’s why we’re seeking to have a full understanding of them.

Morrison declined to discuss what he and Porter had talked about on Wednesday, beyond saying he wanted to ensure they had a shared view that ministerial standards are always maintained.

Morrison said he was “not going to speculate” on whether Porter paying the money back would be sufficient to keep his job.

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The defence minister, Peter Dutton, has dismissed “outbursts” from China over Australia’s decision to develop nuclear-powered submarines, as he flagged plans for more US military aircraft to deploy to Australia.

Speaking after talks with the Biden administration in Washington, Dutton said Australia was a “proud democracy in our region” and “no amount of propaganda can dismiss the facts”.

The Australian government also renewed its request to China to resume high-level talks – an offer the foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, said “mature actors” would be prepared to take up.

Dutton and Payne joined their US counterparts for the annual dialogue known as Ausmin – the first since the Biden administration took office – but it was overshadowed by the fallout from the announcement of a new security pact among Australia, the US and the UK.’

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The City of Melbourne is pushing to be allowed to introduce vaccine passports in a bid to reopen the arts, entertainment and hospitality venues that have been hit hardest by successive lockdowns.

Councillors will vote next week on the introduction of a “heath pass system” that would allow fully vaccinated people to enter participating restaurants, pubs and other venues. All staff in participating venues would also have to be fully vaccinated.

Melbourne lord mayor Sally Capp said:


Nowhere in Australia has been hit harder by devastating lockdowns than Melbourne, and our businesses should be the first in line to reopen safely. They’re prepared to do whatever it takes.

Capp said operating an opt-in pilot scheme in the City of Melbourne could help refine the system before it’s rolled out statewide.

Councillor Roshena Campbell said the proposed scheme was “a temporary measure that will get our businesses back on their feet sooner while we continue to work towards vaccination targets”.

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In Islam, it is essential that the dead are buried as soon as possible. The body is washed, prayed over, taken to the cemetery and buried, with some small prayer or invocation said by the grave.

It is usually a quick process, sometimes drawn out by lingering family, but one that can be shortened in times of difficulty, such as in a pandemic.

The family physically bury the body, read the invocations and line up to share condolences.

But with a large percentage of the Sydney Muslim community living in the 12 local government areas of concern, and under the toughest restrictions, the community has had to adapt.

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