Australia news live: Gladys Berejiklian announces no more Covid hotspots in NSW as Novavax vaccine shown to be 90% effective

By Mostafa Rachwani (now) and Calla Wahlquist (earlier)


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There’s a public hearing underway in Canberra for the parliamentary inquiry into independent MP Zali Steggall’s climate change bills, and energy and science officials have been pressed on their work to project when the country could reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Steggall and Labor MP Josh Burns both pushed officials from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources to say if work had been done to project when Australia might reach net zero.

Independent MP for Warringah Zali Steggall.

Independent MP for Warringah Zali Steggall. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Kushla Munro, an acting deputy secretary in the department, said that work was “ongoing” and would form part of a long-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy to be submitted to the United Nation’s climate convention ahead of the next major talks in Glasgow scheduled for November.

Unlike more than 100 countries and many of Australia’s major trading partners, the Morrison government has refused to adopt a net zero target by 2050 – saying only it wants to get there as quickly as possible.

Rob Sturgiss, a general manager in the department, was also asked by Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman if it was practically possible to prepare a greenhouse gas emissions budget out to 2050.

“I think it’s maybe sensible [to do],” Sturgiss responded.

For the rest of the hearing today, the committee is hearing from conservation and climate groups, doctors, vets and nuclear energy advocates.

Representatives of science and technology sectors, as well as property, planning and major industry will also get a chance to make representations to the committee today.

Steggall’s bill would bring a net zero target by 2050 into law and set out a pathway to reach that goal, as well as establish an independent climate change commission to oversee annual national risk assessments.









NSW Premier says no more hotspots in the state


Novavax vaccine shown to be 90% effective in UK trial



At his doorstop this morning, Labor leader Anthony Albanese declined to buy into the discussion about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, after German authorities said there was insufficient data to judge how effective the vaccine was for people over 65.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

The health minister, Greg Hunt, is due to address media at 1pm about this issue.

Albanese said Australia should heed any advice from its own regulators.

What we need to do is take the advice of the Therapeutic Goods Administration … Labor has a very clear view that once the TGA approves the distribution of a vaccine it should be distributed as soon as possible in accordance with TGA recommendations.

On the extension of the suspension of the travel bubble with New Zealand, Albanese said Australia was “right to be cautious when it comes to these matters”. His main concern was “the fact that there’s a failure of this government to act on the recommendations Jane Halton made to them of establishing national quarantine arrangements” and to step up efforts to return 40,000 Australians stranded abroad.