Sumary of Australia news live update: Daniel Andrews ‘won’t be deterred’ by Victoria protests; NT records eight new Covid cases; flood warnings for NSW:
- Senior staff from the federal health department, tasked with responding to last year’s Covid-19 crisis at the St Basil’s aged care home in Melbourne, expressed serious concerns about a state health plan to furlough all staff, an inquest has been told.
- Emails tendered as evidence in the inquest into 50 Covid deaths that occurred at the home in July 2020 reveal concerns were raised about replacing the staff and the continuity of care.
- The director of the federal government’s aged care Covid implementation branch that managed the surge workforce, Neil Callagher, told the inquest that from mid-to-late July 2020, 10 to 12 aged care facilities were notifying the government of new cases in their home each day.
- His team was involved in supplying staff to over 120 aged care facilities who were losing staff due to Covid.
- An email from Callagher on 19 July said his team had struggled to meet the need for care staff as more and more staff refused to work at Covid positive sites.
- He said the Victorian department of health may need to identify residents who could be sent to hospital to reduce the number of residents in St Basil’s and improve the staff to patient ratios.
- Callagher told the inquest that it was often the case additional staff would be needed on top of the baseline workforce being replaced due to the additional challenges and requirements staff had responding to an outbreak at a home.
- Protests are planned outside Western Australian parliament today over the introduction of a new bill that Aboriginal people say will continue to allow the destruction of their cultural heritage.