Race to track down source of two new Sydney COVID-19 cases

Contact tracers in NSW are urgently working to track down the source of two new COVID-19 cases in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

A man aged in his 60s was diagnosed with the virus late Wednesday afternoon before NSW Health confirmed his household contact also returned a positive result overnight.

They are the state’s first cases of unlinked community transmission since May 6.

The man, from Bondi, works as a driver transporting international flight crew to hotel quarantine.

There’s reports he had not been vaccinated against the virus, but was receiving daily saliva swabs.

As a result of the mystery cases, new pop-up testing clinics have been opened in the eastern suburbs, while a number of other clinics have had their opening hours extended.

The pair visited a number of locations while potentially infectious, with authorities most concerned about those who attended the 1:45pm screening of The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard at Events Cinema in Bondi Junction on Sunday.

Those who were at the film are being considered close contacts and must get tested immediately and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.

The list of exposure sites continues to grow, with people being urged to keep up to date here, to ensure they haven’t been to any of the locations listed.

“Extremely violent attack” Woman charged with murder after man stabbed to death on Qld street

There’s been horror on a suburban Brisbane street overnight after a man was allegedly stabbed to death by his estranged partner.

The 51-year-old man returned to his home on Ward Street at Newmarket around 7.00pm where the woman was allegedly waiting.

Police say it was there that the woman, aged 53, stabbed the man multiple times.

Despite desperate attempts by neighbours and emergency crews, the man could not be saved and was declared deceased at the scene.

“It appeared to be an extremely violent and unpredictable attack,” Police told reporters at the scene.

It’s believed the man’s 10-year-old son was in the car at the time and witnessed the alleged attack unfold.

The woman, from Kangaroo Point, has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and one count of going armed so as to cause fear.

She is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates 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

Qld orders anyone who visited Sydney exposure sites to quarantine

Queensland has issued a quarantine order for anyone in the state who has recently been to a COVID-19 exposure site in Sydney.

It comes after a man in his 60s was diagnosed with the virus in Bondi late yesterday, with a household contact of the man also testing positive overnight.

The pair visited a number of venues while potentially infectious, with urgent contacting tracing now underway.

As a result, anyone in the sunshine state who has been to a declared site during the risk period is now automatically required to quarantine.

However, the state’s top doctor has stopped short of declaring the area a hotspot.

“We will be closely monitoring the situation in NSW over coming days,” Chief Health Officer Dr Young said.

“It’s important that anyone who has been to these venues in Sydney follow the advice of NSW Health, and not travel.

“If you have been to any of these sites and are already in Queensland, you must immediately travel by private transport directly to your home or accommodation and quarantine.

“You also need to complete the Queensland Health online contact tracing self-assessment form, get tested as soon as possible tomorrow morning, and await advice from Queensland Health.”

Dr Young said she acts quickly in these situations to “protect the health and safety of Queenslanders and visitors.”

A list of the NSW exposure sites can be found here.

Sydney on COVID alert after new local case confirmed

New South Wales Health has confirmed a fresh local case of COVID-19 in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

The man in his 60s was tested on Tuesday with his positive result confirmed on Wednesday.

The man had not travelled overseas recently but works as a driver transporting international flight crew to hotel quarantine.

Urgent contact tracing is underway with the man’s primary contacts ordered to isolate.

The man visited several venues across the eastern suburbs while infectious on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with several health alerts issued. (see below)

It comes as an investigation is launched after three positive cases emerged in hotel quarantine involving people staying in different rooms.

All three arrived on the same flight from Doha on June 3 before later testing positive at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sydney.

Sydney Public Health Alerts 

The following venue is a close contact venue. Anyone who attended the following venue at the time listed must immediately call NSW Health on 1800 943 553, get tested and self-isolate for 14 days from the date they were at the venue, regardless of the result:

Suburb Venue Address Date and time
Bondi Junction Screening of the Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Cinema 1, at Events Cinema 500 Oxford Street Sunday 13 June
1.30pm to 4pm
1.45pm screening

If you were at any of the following venues of concern at the times listed, you must immediately call NSW Health on 1800 943 553, get tested and self-isolate until you receive further information from NSW Health:

Suburb Venue Address Date and time
Vaucluse Belle Cafe 103 New South Head Road Friday 11 June
9.15am to 9.50am
Bondi Junction Sourdough Bakery 500 Oxford Street Friday 11 June
12:40pm to 1:10pm
Vaucluse Belle Cafe 103 New South Head Road Saturday 12 June
10:20am to 10:45am
Bondi Junction David Jones 500 Oxford Street Saturday 12 June
11am to 11:40am
Bondi Junction Myer Bondi 500 Oxford Street Saturday 12 June
11:40am to 12:15pm
Vaucluse Washoku Vaucluse 52 New South Head Road Saturday 12 June
12pm to 1:30pm
Vaucluse Belle Cafe 103 New South Head Road Saturday 12 June
1:20pm to 1:50pm
Vaucluse Belle Cafe 103 New South Head Road Sunday 13 June
11:30am to 12pm
Bondi Junction Events Cinema (all screenings other than the Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard) 500 Oxford Street Sunday 13 June
1:30pm to 4pm
Vaucluse Rocco’s 103B New South Head Road Monday 14 June
10:55am to 11:30am
Vaucluse Belle Cafe 103 New South Head Road Tuesday 15 June
9:50am to 10:25am
North Ryde Celeste Catering Macquarie Park Cemetery Cafe Macquarie Park Cemetery, Corner of Delhi and Plassey roads Tuesday 15 June
1pm to 1:20pm

Source: NSW Health



Fair Work orders 2.5 per cent increase in minimum wage

Australia’s lowest-paid workers will receive a pay increase of 2.5 per cent with the Fair Work Commission ruling the country can afford it.

That will see the minimum wage rise by 49 cents an hour to $20.33.

The weekly minimum wage will rise by $18.80 to $772.60.

Unions had argued for an increase this year of 3.5 per cent while business groups were pushing for an increase of just 1.1 per cent.

The increase comes after a rise of just 1.75 per cent last year due to the pandemic.

In its ruling, the Fair Work Commission says conditions were much better than they were last year, justifying a bigger increase.

“The Australian economy has recovered to a greater extent and more quickly than anticipated,” the FWC said.

The FWC found that the increase proposed by unions posed a risk of ‘disemployment’ and could affect the employment opportunities of low-skilled and young workers.

But it also found the increase proposed by business groups would amount to a real wage cut.

“Such an outcome would mean that many award-reliant employees, particularly low-paid employees, would be less able to meet their needs.

“For some households, such an outcome would lead to further disadvantage and may place them at greater risk of moving into poverty.”

Labor’s Industrial Relations spokesperson Tony Burke welcomed the ruling but believes the increase should have been higher.

“Today’s pay rise has been hard fought for. It may well have been higher if it wasn’t for the fact that Australia’s government, the Morrison refuse to lift a finger in arguing for higher rates of pay,” Mr Burke said.

The increase will come into effect from July 1, 2021, however, retail workers will have to wait until September, while those in industries including fitness, aviation, tourism and events will have to wait until November.

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus says that’s very disappointing, especially when it comes to retail workers.

“Retail workers are essential workers who worked all the way through the pandemic, some of those workers work for very profitable companies and had record profits during the pandemic,” Ms McManus said. 

“There is no reason, in fact, it is unfair, to delay those increases.”