DIGEST

The Informer: Australian Government shifts COVID testing onus to home settings as vaccination rates rise

One of the testing clinics in Canberra in September. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
One of the testing clinics in Canberra in September. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The nation's healthcare workers may be set for a reprieve as the federal government announced a $180m investment towards home treatment for asymptomatic and mild COVID cases.

It comes as Health Minister Greg Hunt predicted Australia would pass 80 per cent full-vaccination in its 16-and-over population, triggering Phase C in the national reopening plan, within the next 10 days.

However, ACT Senator Katy Gallagher, whose 13-year-old daughter contracted the virus in September, said parents must now run a mini hospital and that the move has come a "little bit late".

Moving to another pressing global issue and the prime minister is attending the G20 summit in Rome where political figures are expected to endorse a global shift to carbon neutrality by 2050.

The summit comes as Scotland prepares to host the the COP26 climate talks from October 31.

The federal government this week unveiled its plan to achieve net-zero emission by 2050.

However, it will not lift its 2030 target of a pollution reduction of 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels, for which it faced backlash over.

Speaking of the PM, he says French-Australian diplomatic ties are heading back in the right direction after a phone call with President Emmanuel Macron.

The pair spoke on Thursday for the first time since Australia scrapped a $90 billion submarine deal with Naval Group and opted instead for an agreement with the US and UK on nuclear-powered subs.

In the saga that is the anti-corruption inquiry involving former NSW Premier Premier Gladys Berejiklian, she repeatedly denied under oath that she should have disclosed her secret relationship with then Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.

She said it did not represent a conflict of interest in grants worth $35.5m for Wagga.

Phone taps played at the ICAC hearing on Friday suggested she gave $170 million to Wagga Base Hospital just hours after a complaint from her secret boyfriend.

In celebratory news, the 60th anniversary of 'The Dish' has been marked with CSIRO's operations scientist, John Sarkissian OAM, writing a series for Australian Community Media about how the Parkes Radio Telescope became the leading instrument of its kind in the world.

In an Australian first, residents of Mallacoota, in north-eastern Victoria, will soon have a new centre to learn more about Indigenous fire management.

The Indigenous Traditional Agriculture Knowledge Hub is being built in the coastal inlet, which was ravaged by the Black Summer bushfires.

Work is underway on a farm owned by Dark Emu author Bruce Pascoe, who has Yuin, Bunurong and Tasmanian heritage.

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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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