Child dies after going missing from NT remote community
A boy has died in the Northern Territory after going missing from a remote desert community south-west of Alice Springs.
NT police confirmed the death but gave no details on the incident, nor which community the child was from.
Police did say the boy was under 10.
The boy was reported missing after his family had searched for him for several hours, police said in a statement.
Acting Commander Kirsten Engels said police had launched a search and rescue effort last night to find the boy.
Tragically, the child was found in the community early this morning and has subsequently passed away.
We request that the family’s privacy is respected at this time and offer our sincere condolences for their loss.
at 11.12pm EST
NT records 54 new cases
The Northern Territory has recorded 54 new cases, inlcuding six cases of community transmission.
Of the six locally acquired cases, five were from Darwin and one from Katherine.
There are currently 21 people hospitalised with Covid in the NT, and none in ICU.
at 10.54pm EST
Moving onto the Cricket now, and Australia is hopeful they’ll only be missing out on Travis Head at the SCG Test, after the rest of the squad tested negative for Covid.
Head is currently in isolation in Melbourne, after testing positive yesterday, although there is still hope he will be able to make the fifth and final Test.
There were concerns other staff and players may have contracted the virus, with every single member of the touring party tested on Friday.
Cricket Australia has confirmed that all the tests returned negative, with the exception being one family member who is still waiting on their result.
at 10.40pm EST
Vic Health has announced it is shutting down another series of Covid testing sites due to excessive heat.
The sites are:
IYU Recreation Reserve, Pakenham
EACH – Ferntree Gully
Casey Fields, Cranbourne East
Wyuna Walk, Mooroolbark
St Kilda East
DPV Health, Mernda
Northern Health, Epping
Monash University, Clayton
Temperatures in Melbourne are currently soaring, with the Bureau of Meteorology saying it has already hit 36C.
at 10.42pm EST
Vic Emergency has issued a warning to resdents in Langkoop, Poolaijelo, Powers Creek to leave now if possible, with a grass fire currently out of control in the region.
In their advice, Vic Emergency say the fire is travelling north-east, and that weather conditions could see it intensify:
This grassfire is travelling in a north-easterly direction and has crossed Fergusons Road, near Ryans Road. It is currently burning in the Meereek State Forest.
Weather conditions forecast for today may cause the fire to become dangerous and unpredictable and it may impact properties.
Firefighters have been working throughout the night and will continue to work with aircraft and heavy equipment today.
There are also “stay informed” warnings for regions around Poolaijelo, where the fire is burning.
AAP is reporting that Australia’s trade minister, Dan Tehan, has welcomed the coming into force of a key regional partnership, saying it gives farmers and businesses access to the world’s largest free trade agreement.
The regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement (RCEP) comes into force on Saturday for Australia, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Republic of Korea will follow on 1 February.
Tehan said in a statement:
With Australian-made products and services held in such high regard in these markets, RCEP is a fantastic opportunity for Australian businesses.
By streamlining requirements around rules of origin, RCEP will advantage local sourcing of goods and promote collaboration through regional value chains, which our businesses are primed to partake in.
Tehan said RCEP improved on existing trade agreements in areas of the greatest growth potential, such as services, digital trade and two-way investment.
He said Saturday also marked another set of annual tariff cuts coming into force for Australia’s free trade agreements, including the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership (CPTPP) and the Korea-Australia free trade agreement (KAFTA).
Australian bluefin tuna and Atlantic salmon exporters benefit from Japanese tariffs falling to 1.9% under the CPTPP on Saturday, while tariffs on sheep and goat meat exports fell by half to 2.25% under KAFTA.
International trade is integral to business recovery from Covid-19. The entry into force of RCEP and further tariff cuts through our other free-trade agreements will help create Australian jobs and foster economic growth for our nation.
at 10.49pm EST
South Australia reports 2,100 new Covid cases
South Australia has recored 2,100 new cases overnight, a slight increase on yesterday.
The number of people in hospital has remained stable at 71, with the number of people in ICU at four.
at 9.13pm EST
Queensland introduces mask mandate for all indoor settings
The Queensland government has tightened mask rules in light of growing Covid cases, with masks now mandatory indoors from 1am on Sunday.
The chief health officer, DrJohn Gerrard, announced the new mandate, with the exception being only when at home or in workplaces where it is safe.
It means attendees at hospitality venues, including pubs, clubs and cafes, will need to wear masks, except when seated.
“People have been wanting this and expecting this,” Gerrard said.
at 10.50pm EST
Pathology clinic sends wrong Covid test result to 11 South Australians
A South Australian pathology clinic has admitted to an error which led to 11 people receiving the wrong Covid test result on New Year’s Eve.
SA Pathology released a statement saying an IT issue resulted in the wrong results being sent out, and that a clarification message was sent within three hours.
The error was found during our usual quality control processes and, while this is the first occurrence in South Australia, we’ve implemented further measures to avoid a similar incident happening again.