Police called to 'minor disturbance' at COVID-19 ward of positive case

Unvaccinated Gold Coast man Duran Raman tested positive to COVID-19 last week and is accused of breaching border restrictions.

Police called to 'minor disturbance' at COVID-19 ward of positive case

Police in Queensland were called to a "minor disturbance" at a Gold Coast hospital involving a COVID-19 positive patient.

Duran Raman, 36, remains in critical care at Gold Coast University Hospital, suffering from the virus.

The unvaccinated, one-time Uber driver was diagnosed last week, and is under investigation for allegedly breaching border restrictions, travelling to the Gold Coast from Sydney and Melbourne.

Police confirmed there was a minor incident yesterday morning involving Mr Raman.

"We were called at 9am to the hospital yesterday to a minor issue. The matter was resolved quickly and it was resolved without dramas," the spokesperson said.

"There was no breach of public health orders."

He said police were not investigating the incident further and said Mr Raman did not try to escape his hospital ward.

Investigations into Mr Raman's movements during the 10 days he was infectious in the Queensland community are pending.

Health authorities said he was initially too sick to properly communicate.

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It was reported on the weekend that he was in a serious but stable condition.

Queensland has recorded no new cases of COVID-19 overnight.

Police said they are looking into the movements of seven New South Wales men who allegedly crossed the Queensland border illegally for a fishing trip.

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Six of the men have been returned to NSW, with two of them since testing positive to COVID-19.

One of them was infectious while in Queensland.

As of yesterday, police were still uncertain of the whereabouts or COVID-19 status of the seventh member of the group.

Travel fears for Queenslanders

Queensland's interstate borders are set to open on December 17, meaning unvaccinated residents now have just six days to receive their first dose.

The state will need the administer 30,000 vaccines a day in order to reach its vaccine targets.

Flight Centre founder Graham Turner told Today he was worried Queensland might never reach 90 per cent vaccination, meaning international travellers could be stuck having to quarantine.

https://omny.fm/shows/the-9news-lunch-podcast/oct-25-a-coronavirus-patients-attempted-hospital-e/embed?style=cover

He has called for the state government to explain why Queensland is holding to a 90 per cent limits for ending quarantine, compared to 80 per cent for New South Wales and Victoria.

It is in regional Queensland that vaccine rates are lowest, including Mackay.

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson attributed the low take-up to "complacency".

"We've not had any COVID here in our region," Mr Williamson told Today.

"We had about 15 cases in April-May last year, all returning travellers, and since then a lot of people have been working hard to keep it safe in the region."

He said Mackay's relatively youthful median age of 38 meant many locals had been ineligible for the vaccine for a long period.

Mr Williamson said with state borders opening up, fears of new lockdowns remained.

"This is a region of Australia that produces for the national economy and Queensland economy, and we just can't bear the thought, particularly for the resources sector, the agricultural sector and the tourism industry up here, we cannot bear the thought about lockdown as a threat," he said.

"So the clear message is, our region is ready for a 20 per cent unvaccinated rate, that's what our emergency plans are done on."

He said there were 150 COVID-19 beds in the Mackay Hospital, along with 24 ventilators.

"If we are not at the 20 per cent unvaccinated, that's where the problems start and so I've got to say our region over the last weeks, we've seen great vaccination numbers," he said.

And he urged the vaccine hesitant to get on board.

"There's 3.5 million Queenslanders that have got the jab. There should be no fear in this," he said.

"You've just got to get out and get it done."

Source : 9 News More   

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Craig Kelly backs bill to stop unsolicited political texts

Despite the legislation targeting the United Australia Party, Federal Member for Hughes and Party Leader Craig Kelly has welcomed the proposed changes.

Craig Kelly backs bill to stop unsolicited political texts

The United Australia Party is backing new powers for Australians to opt-out of unsolicited political messages.

Federal Independent MP Rebekha Sharkie has today re-introduced the Unsolicited Political Communications Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 to Parliament.

Under the bill, citizens would be given the ability to unsubscribe from unwanted texts and robocalls from political parties.

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It mirrors a similar bill put forward by her Centre Alliance colleague, Senator Stirling Griff in 2019 that was rejected last year.

The difference is, it doesn't include the same "charity call" provisions, which would allow people to opt-out of phone calls from charities.

More than 4,000 complaints have been made to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in 2021, over unsolicited political messages.

Ms Sharkie says the legislation would stop MPs, such as Craig Kelly, from bombarding Australians.

"ACMA is completely powerless to act on the thousands of complaints because political messages are exempt from the laws that prohibit unsolicited communications. Instead political parties... are free to harass Australians with a bombardment of unwanted messages.

"This bill gives the power back to Australians...with the express purpose to give consumers more control over what they receive from political parties and individual politicians," she added.

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Federal Independent MP Rebekha Sharkie

Despite the legislation being targeted at United Australia Party, Federal Member for Hughes and Party Leader Craig Kelly has welcomed the proposed changes.

"I think it's a good idea, all the United Australia Party has called for is a level playing field, that's all we want.

"We want to make sure whatever the rules are that both the major political parties we get to compete with them under the same rules," he added.

Mr Kelly believes the uproar surrounding his use of text messages is being blown out of proportion.

"To be honest it is a microsecond swipe of the finger that deletes the text message so there is a lot of beat-up about this and you know everyone gets countless spam emails across their computer I know how they do become annoying but again you wipe them out it takes you a microsecond to wipe the things out if you don't want to read them."

As we approach the next federal election, Mr Kelly also says Australians can expect a large volume of advertising from the United Australia Party.

"We'll be using every advertising manner that we have that is lawful from large billboards, television advertising, newspaper advertising to radio advertising because we will be competing against the major parties on that level playing field to give the Australian public a real alternate third choice."

A spokesperson for the Minister for Communications, Paul Fletcher says "the Government will consider the Bill carefully".

Labor MP Patrick Gorman says the Federal Opposition is also yet to decide its stance on the matter.

"That legislation hasn't gone to caucus so I can't share with you what Labor would do on that piece of legislation...but let's be honest the reason everyone is going nuts about spam messages is because Clive Palmer has been spamming people for months."

Source : 9 News More   

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