The Informer: Australian government ignored findings about COVIDSafe app shortfalls in tackling pandemic

Health Minister Greg Hunt (centre) and Employment Minister Stuart Robert (left) defend the COVIDSafe app (right) as playing
Health Minister Greg Hunt (centre) and Employment Minister Stuart Robert (left) defend the COVIDSafe app (right) as playing "a very important" role in the pandemic despite a damning report indicating the app has provided limited use for contact tracers. Pictures: Sitthixay Ditthavong, Dion Georgopoulos, Shutterstock

A secret report about the shortfalls of the $8m COVIDSafe app has been ignored by the federal government, which has defended the technological initiative, describing it as playing a "very important" role.

The report was handed to Health Minister Greg Hunt in March this year and warned that contact tracers were finding the government's early technological solution to controlling outbreaks was not helping.

Still with Covid news, NSW has recorded 1035 cases in its latest update.

Almost 60 per cent of people who contracted Covid in the Hunter Region during the latest outbreak were aged under 30.

This includes 24 children with the youngest being 11 months old.

A NSW health official has also warned about Covid explosions across the regions as more exposure venues and a slip in lockdown compliance in western NSW has created perfect conditions.

As for the Queensland-NSW border issue, hopes of ending weeks of heartache for affected communities have been dashed once more, with the states' leaders again ramping up a war of words over a proposal to move the hard border checkpoints south.

Elsewhere in the country, a South Australian man has been fined $5024 for going on a holiday near Uluru, after visiting an interstate Covid hotspot.

Meanwhile, SA authorities have identified petrol stations linked to two truck drivers who travelled through three states in WA, before testing positive to Covid.

In Victoria, which recorded 64 new cases, a woman accused of scamming people desperate to buy a French Bulldog during the pandemic has been hit with a string of charges.

For Australians in lockdown, one-third has taken up grocery shopping online since lockdowns began in 2020.

The click-and-collect or delivery trend is even more pronounced where stay-at-home orders are harshest and longest.

In non-Covid news, artist Ben Quilty launched a fundraising appeal on behalf of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who have been mandated with supplying emergency shelter, food, health, water and sanitation support and cash assistance in Afghanistan after seeing the recent terror and despair.

In new research, 60 per cent of Australian borrowers doubt their home loan constitutes a good deal while more than half agree it's the right time to refinance.

Yet less than 40 per cent of mortgagees have reviewed their loan in the past year, according to a poll commissioned by broker Aussie.

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*This edition of The Informer was written by The 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?


This story Government ignored findings about COVIDSafe's futility first appeared on The Canberra Times.