Jetstar breaks silence over passenger COVID screening fiasco

Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans has refused to apologise for a major breach of NSW coronavirus protocols, which saw passengers on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney allowed to disembark without being screened for virus symptoms.

The debacle took place on Tuesday night, when passengers on Jetstar Flight JQ520 were allowed off the plane before NSW Health officials arrived at the gate to screen them.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Mr Evans said the risk of transmission from the passengers was “very very low” as they had already been screened before leaving Melbourne.

“There was not a New South Wales Health official in the aerobridge. There should have been. People should have held the aircraft. They didn’t. Passengers got off,” Mr Evans said.

“I think what’s important, though, is these passengers were screened. They were screened in Melbourne and it’s the same screening process in Sydney. So they were not unscreened passengers.”

Mr Evans said NSW Health helped the airline in finding and screening two thirds of the passengers before they left the airport, while the remaining third were tracked down by authorities with 24 hours.

“But, from a risk perspective, it was a double-check and so the good news is these passengers were screened and they were screened in Victoria,” Mr Evans said.

He also confirmed the procedures have since been tightened to prevent the same incident from occurring again.

“We have now worked with the other airlines and New South Wales Health to strengthen our procedures at Sydney Airport,” he said.

“Aircraft now will stand off the gate on arrival from Victoria until it is confirmed that a New South Wales Health officer is in the aerobridge, at which point, the aircraft will come onto the aerobridge and the door will be opened and then passengers will disembark and be screened. And we have reinforced those procedures with all of our staff.”

He did however say it would be wrong to lay blame and refused to take responsibility for the screening fail.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to be apportioning blame. The situation is changing rapidly and there are protocols that we’re working together on,” he said.

NSW recorded 13 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, 11 of those were returned travellers while two were Albury residents.

Police Tape

Young girl charged with murder of 10-year-old cousin in NSW

UPDATE @ JULY 9 | A 14-year-old has now been charged with murder, after a 10-year-old girl was found dead at a home in northwestern NSW yesterday.

Police say the girl’s body was found with ‘serious lacerations’, at a property in Gunnedah around 7.15am.

The girl’s 14-year-old cousin was found nearby and arrested.

She’s since been charged with murder and will front children’s court today.

EARLIER @ JULY 8 | A 14-year-old girl has been arrested after a 10-year-old girl was found dead at a home in northwestern NSW.

It’s understood emergency services made the grim discovery after being called to a property in Gunnedah about 7.15am on Wednesday.

Police say the young girl was found with “serious lacerations” and despite desperate attempts by paramedics to revive her, she died at the scene.

Shortly after, officers arrested a teenage girl, believed to be the cousin of the younger girl, nearby and she was taken to Gunnedah Police Station.

A crime scene has been established and investigations are continuing.

There are no further details available at this time.

Man arrested after trying to sneak family across border into NSW

A man and his family have been busted allegedly trying to cross the border from Victoria into NSW without a permit.

The man was caught after police noticed a car bearing Victorian number plates attempting to drive into NSW via Carlyle Road in Corowa around 11.00am today.

“Officers from Murray River Police District spoke with the driver, who allegedly declared his intention to cross into NSW despite not having a valid exemption,” NSW police said.

The 34-year-old Victorian man was arrested at the scene and taken to Albury Police Station, where he is currently assisting police with inquiries.

Police say the man’s wife and three children complied with the police direction and returned home to Victoria.

“The public is reminded it is an offence to enter NSW from Victoria without a valid exemption,” police warned.

Since the southern NSW border closed at midnight, more than 50,000 vehicles have crossed the border from Victoria into NSW after obtaining exemption permits.

It comes after New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian today warned that the outbreak in Victoria could very easily spread to New South Wales.

“The probability of contagion in New South Wales, given what’s happening in Victoria, is extremely high,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“I am extremely concerned about what is happening in Victoria, the extent of community contagion is unlike anything we have seen in Australia.

“The probability that we need to be tougher on those border restrictions is extremely high,” she warned.

RELATED: Vic teen tests positive for COVID-19 in NSW

Victoria today recorded another 134 new cases of COVID-19, while NSW recorded eight new cases, including seven in hotel quarantine.

Vic teen tests positive for COVID-19 in NSW

A Victorian teenager holidaying on the New South Wales South Coast has tested positive to COVID-19 as officials consider even tougher border measures to prevent an outbreak in the state.

The boy was informed of their positive test while on a family holiday in Merimbula.

New South Wales health officials say they were not from a Melbourne hotspot and had originally tested negative, but were later told it was a false result.

The teen and his family had been in Merimbula since July 4 and are now in isolation in the town.

Authorities are also investigating reports a Wodonga man who has the virus, managed to cross the border into Albury.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned everyone that the outbreak in Victoria could easily spread to New South Wales if people don’t do the right thing.

“The probability of contagion in New South Wales, given what’s happening in Victoria, is extremely high. The probability that we need to be tougher on those border restrictions is extremely high,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“I ask everybody in those border communities, including residents in New South Wales who live in Albury or Moama or other places across the border, do not travel to other parts of New South Wales unless you absolutely have to.

“If you are an Albury resident, we do not recommend you travelling to other parts of New South Wales and if we feel in the next few days, or as early as tomorrow, that we need to further protect the community, we will consider what we do north of Albury.”

Ms Berejiklian says the Government is considering even more stringent border measures including mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine for New South Wales residents returning from Victoria.

At the moment, returning travellers from Victoria are only required to self-isolate at home.

The Premier has also flagged the possibility of locking down some border communities or scrapping border permits and preventing Victorians entering the state at all.

“New South Wales virtually had zero community transmission on those borders. We can’t be assured that’s the case with Victoria. So whilst we’ve allowed these permits, whilst we’ve allowed a
degree of flexibility until this point, do not assume this will continue.”

“I appreciate the frustration that’s gone on in those border communities but please know we’ve made every effort to keep those border communities in tact.

“If we find that what we’ve allowed to occur compromises the safety of everybody in New South Wales, I can’t guarantee that that situation will continue so we will either have to consider another border north of Albury for example, or how flexible we are with those permits.”



Woman stabbed during fight with man in supermarket carpark

A man is due in court today, accused of stabbing a woman in the leg during an argument in a supermarket carpark.

Emergency crews were called to Boomerang Place in Cambridge Gardens around 7.30pm on Monday night, following reports of a stabbing.

“Police were told a man approached a white Hyundai Getz parked in a supermarket carpark and became involved in an argument with a woman seated in the passenger seat,” NSW Police said.

“The argument turned physical when the man allegedly stabbed the woman in the leg and smashed the rear passenger window of the Hyundai, before fleeing the scene.”

Thankfully the 37-year-old woman was taken to Nepean Hospital in a stable condition.

Following a major search for the man, involving the police chopper and dog squad, he was arrested at a pharmacy on the Great Western Highway in Kingswood about 12.30pm yesterday.

The 39-year-old, who police say is known to the woman, has since been charged with wound person intend to cause grievous bodily harm (DV), assault occasioning actual bodily harm (DV), common assault (DV), destroy or damage property (DV), and possess prohibited drug.

He was refused bail to appear in Penrith Local Court today.

If you are in immediate danger call 000 now.  If you require advice or assistance, the following services offer counselling and support.
Lifeline 24/7 telephone crisis support 13 11 14
DV Connect Queensland Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 phone 1800 811 811
1800RESPECT 24/7 phone 1800 737 732
Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast