News digest: Vic average drops, Alan Jones suing and Ardern to quit if she loses election

Oct 16, 2020
The veteran broadcaster is suing SBS for defamation. Source: Getty.

Metropolitan Melbourne’s 14-day rolling average has fallen once again today as the state recorded two new cases of Covid-19 and no further deaths. The average now sits at 8.7, however it’s still a long way off the benchmark of 5, as outlined in Premier Daniel Andrews’ roadmap to recovery. The premier is expected to make an announcement on Sunday, October 18, regarding the potential easing of further restrictions.

Meanwhile in Queensland, a Victorian woman, 51, and her 61-year-old husband have both been fined $4,000 after the woman attempted to cross the border into the Sunshine State by hiding in her husband’s truck. The freight vehicle was stopped in Texas on Thursday as part of border declaration pass checks and officers found the woman hiding behind the driver’s seat, reports the ABC.

“Enforcement action was required… I don’t think any right-thinking person would disagree with that,” Queensland Police detective superintendent Ray Rohweder said.

Sticking with Queensland, the state also announced a further easing of Covid-19 restrictions this morning, with groups of 40 people now permitted to gather in homes and public spaces, while aged care outings can also now resume. The changes were revealed alongside the latest virus figures, with two new cases being identified over the past 24 hours, both of which are in hotel quarantine.

And there was some good news for those preparing to tie the knot, as up to 40 people can now take to the dance floor in venues with a Covid safe plan, while dancing will also be allowed at Year 12 school formals. The new rules will come into effect at 4pm on Friday, October 16.

Alan Jones has launched a defamation lawsuit against public broadcaster SBS in relation to a television segment which he claims “greatly injured” his reputation, reports News.com.au. The segment aired as part of program The Feed on May 12, as presenter Alex Lee paid tribute to Jones after he announced his retirement from radio. However the tribute was mocking in nature and claimed that Jones had “made a career out of bullying people”, “gleefully used racial slurs” and “spread lies and fake news”.

Other claims included that Jones had taken payments from companies in exchange for airtime, played down the seriousness of the ongoing global health crisis and heavily criticised female politicians. According to News.com.au, Jones’ lawyers filed documents in the Federal Court last week and argue that SBS gave Jones no chance to reply to the allegations made in the segment.

And across the ditch, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed she will quit politics if she does not win the upcoming election. The 40-year-old leader made the admission during a televised debate against Opposition Leader Judith Collins last night, after she was asked whether she would stay on as Labour leader if the polls don’t go her way.

Ardern answered with a firm “No”, however she did say that while she might quit life as an elected politician, she’d still like to be involved with politics in some capacity, adding: “I want our nation not to be completely polarised, and actually, relative to other countries, we do a pretty good job on that.”

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