Geelong and Surf Coast open up, Mitchell Shire stays in lockdown

Greater Geelong and the Surf Coast LGA have been freed from lockdown while restrictions in Mitchell Shire have been extended indefinitely.

Geelong and Surf Coast open up, Mitchell Shire stays in lockdown

Greater Geelong and the Surf Coast LGA have been freed from lockdown while restrictions in Mitchell Shire have been extended indefinitely.

The decisions came as the LGAs have continued to record new COVID-19 cases.

Six of Sunday's new 779 COVID-19 cases were in Geelong, while one was on the Surf Coast.

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There were five new cases in Mitchell Shire.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Deb Friedman said a number of factors had gone into deciding to end the lockdown in Geelong and the Surf Coast, including that most of the cases in the LGAs were linked to other known cases and that there were no major exposure sites.

"We also look at high testing rates, vaccination rates and also any changes to policy that can limit further growth in the short term, and this includes things like no travel between Melbourne and regional Victoria for construction," she said.

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The Barwon Health vaccination hub at the old Ford Factory in Geelong, Victoria.

Dr Friedman said Mitchell Shire was next to some LGAs that had the highest rates of COVID-19 anywhere in Australia, making it particularly vulnerable to infection.

"And that's what we are seeing regularly, pretty much on a daily basis," she said.

An end date has not been announced for lockdown in Mitchell Shire.

All three council areas were sent into what was intended to be a snap seven-day lockdown a week ago and the restrictions lifted for Greater Geelong and the Surf Coast at 11.59pm on Sunday.

Source : 9 News More   

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Swiss approve same-sex marriage by wide margin in referendum

Official results showed the measure passed with 64.1 per of voters in favour and won a majority in all of Switzerland's 26 cantons, or states.

Swiss approve same-sex marriage by wide margin in referendum

Switzerland has voted by a wide margin to allow same-sex couples to marry, bringing the Alpine nation into line with many others in western Europe through a referendum.

Official results on Sunday afternoon (early Monday AEST) showed the measure passed with 64.1 per of voters in favour and won a majority in all of Switzerland's 26 cantons, or states.

Switzerland's parliament and the governing Federal Council supported the "Marriage for All" measure. Switzerland has authorised same-sex civil partnerships since 2007.

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Supporters said passage would put same-sex partners on equal legal footing with heterosexual couples by allowing them to adopt children together and facilitating citizenship for same-sex spouses. It would also permit lesbian couples to use regulated sperm donation.

Opponents believe that replacing civil partnerships with full marriage rights would undermine families based on a union between one man and one woman.

At a polling station in Geneva on Sunday, voter Anna Leimgruber said she cast her ballot for the "no" camp because she believed "children would need to have a dad and a mum".

But Nicolas Dzierlatka, who voted "yes," said what children need is love.

"I think what's important for children is that they are loved and respected — and I think there are children who are not respected or loved in so-called 'hetero' couples," he said.

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The campaign has been rife with allegations of unfair tactics, with the opposing sides decrying the ripping down of posters, LGBTIQ+ hotlines getting flooded with complaints, hostile emails, shouted insults against campaigners and efforts to silence opposing views.

Switzerland, which has a population of 8.5 million, is traditionally conservative and only extended the right to vote to all its women in 1990.

Most countries in Western Europe already recognise same-sex marriage, while most of those in Central and Eastern Europe don't allow wedlock involving two men or two women.

Supporters say it could still be months before same-sex couples can get married, mainly because of administrative and legislative procedures.

Also on Sunday, voters dismissed a proposal spearheaded by left-wing groups to raise taxes on returns from investments and capital such as dividends or income from rental properties in Switzerland as a way to ensure better redistribution and fairer taxation.

Results showed 64.9 per cent voting against it in a country known for its vibrant financial sector and relatively low taxes, and as a haven for many of the world's richest people. No canton voted in favour.

Source : 9 News More   

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