DIGEST

The Informer: Australia's COVID numbers rise but so, too, have vaccination rates and the path towards reopening

The ACT has opened another testing clinic. It is set to become the first jurisdiction to reach 60 per cent of its residents over 16 being fully vaccinated against COVID. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
The ACT has opened another testing clinic. It is set to become the first jurisdiction to reach 60 per cent of its residents over 16 being fully vaccinated against COVID. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The country's COVID situation has recorded another day of high numbers, but there remains some good news with some of those numbers.

In the ACT, it is set to become the first jurisdiction to reach 60 per cent of its residents over 16 being fully vaccinated against COVID.

The most populous state, NSW, now has more than 84 per cent of its over-16s having a first dose and almost 58 per cent being fully vaccinated.

However, the territory recorded 32 new cases, equalling its highest-ever daily total during the latest lockdown.

Two were at the Canberra Hospital ward, triggering a lockdown.

Victoria recorded 847 new locally acquired COVID cases and another death from the virus as parts of the state were set to emerge from lockdown.

For Victoria's Surf Coast, though, they can breathe a sigh of relief as restrictions will ease from midnight on Sunday after the region recorded a single virus case.

In NSW, the "challenging question" of when unvaccinated people can take part in society remains undecided by the government, but the treasurer says "open up" once everyone has been offered two jabs.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has said he does not want a "two-tiered society" in NSW as the state recorded 1007 new locally-acquired cases and 11 further deaths.

In Queensland, a child linked to Brisbane's Sunnybank cluster has tested positive for COVID on the final day of home quarantine.

The good news is that it poses no risk to the community.

Staying with COVID, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has doubled down on calls for an independent review into the origins of COVID-19 despite months of economic pain inflicted by China.

In a pre-recorded address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Mr Morrison said more than 70 per cent of Australia's adult population had received one dose of a coronavirus vaccine while more than half have had two doses.

But he said preventing future pandemics remained a priority and pushed for "accelerated efforts" to identify how COVID first emerged.

Mr Morrison also announced the country will host a clean energy summit next year under the Quad umbrella and take a bigger role in the supply of critical minerals in the Indo-Pacific region.

Meanwhile, Barnaby Joyce has warned the Nationals will not back a 2050 net zero greenhouse gas emissions target without power reliability guarantees.

At the top end of the country, a man has denied using a shotgun to murder four people during an afternoon rampage across Darwin.

In better news, an 11-year-old Tasmanian girl has taken out an Asia-Pacific tech award during her quest to help a relative with anxiety.

Montello Primary School student Indi Wells' design for a total relax massage box was the winning paper prototype for the Asia Pacific region in the eight- to 14-year-olds category in micro:bit's competition.

The competition called on students to find innovative solutions to help to solve problems facing the world.

A GoFundMe page set up for survivor, Joe Hoffman, has reached nearly $70,000 with some assistance from McCarthy.

For revheads, a rare example of Australia's most sought-after and iconic Ford Falcon, the GTHO Phase III, is up for auction with bids expected to top $1 million.

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*This edition of The Informer was written by Canberra Times reporter Toby Vue. If you'd like to show your support for the team behind The Informer, why not forward us to a friend?

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This story There remains good news among the high COVID numbers first appeared on The Canberra Times.