#AceNewsReport – Aug.28: A man has faced court over the murder of Melbourne woman Maryam Hamka: Ms Hamka, 36, was last seen on April 10 as she was leaving a supermarket on Albert Street, Brunswick at 5:30pm: Her family reported her missing five days later……
#AceNewsDesk reports that a man faces court over the murder of Melbourne woman Maryam Hamka: Toby Loughnane, 41, from Brighton, faced a short hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, charged with murder: Court documents show Mr Loughnane is accused of murdering Ms Hamka in Brighton on April 11.
The court heard Mr Loughnane is charged with separate family violence offences against Ms Hamka, which his lawyer, Sam Norton, described as “serious allegations of violence”.
He said those charges “have a nasty element to them”.
Mr Norton applied for those charges to be suppressed, but the request was denied.
Mr Loughnane did not apply for bail and is due back in court in December.
Missing Person Squad detectives on Wednesday have charged a man following the suspicious disappearance of Brunswick woman Maryam Hamka.
A 41-year-old Brighton man has been charged with one count of murder.
He will face Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 27 August.
Maryam was last seen leaving a Woolworths store in Albert Street, Brunswick at 5.30pm on Saturday 10 April.
She is described as being 165cm tall, with a thin build and long black hair, brown eyes and an olive complexion.
The 36-year-old was last seen wearing a black dress and had told family she was intending to visit a friend in Brighton.
Maryam was reported missing to police on the Thursday 15 April.
She is yet to be located and the investigation remains ongoing.
Police are also continuing to appeal for information in relation to a red 2015 Mazda 3 hatchback with distinctive damage to the front left guard.
The vehicle has been seized by investigators, however police are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the car between Tuesday, 13 April through to Thursday, 15 April 2021.
Investigators believe that during this period, the vehicle made a number of trips to and from the Brighton area and was being driven by a sole male occupant during this time.
An image of a similar vehicle, as well as photos of Maryam, have also been re-released.
Detectives are appealing to anyone with information about the vehicle or regarding Maryam’s whereabouts to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
#AceHealthReport – Aug.24: But the growing outbreak in Sydney has some leaders concerned, and they say even once that target is reached, they may continue to use lockdowns as a tool to suppress the growth of #COVID19 cases.
#CoronavirusNewsDesk says Federal, state and territory governments agreed to a national plan last month to begin reopening the country and end large-scale lockdowns once 80 per cent of the eligible population was vaccinated.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the states must be prepared to allow COVID-19 cases to rise.
“Once you get to 70 per cent of your country that is eligible for the vaccine and 80 per cent, the plan sets out that we have to move forward, we cannot hold back,” he said.
“We must adjust our mindset. Cases will not be the issue … dealing with serious illness, hospitalisation, ICU capabilities, our ability to respond in those circumstances, that will be our goal.”
Mr Morrison said the scientific modelling provided to government suggested lockdowns did more harm than good once vaccination goals were reached.
However, he stopped short of setting a ‘freedom day’ similar to the UK.
“A day is not going to change it — 70 per cent is going to change it, 80 per cent is going to change it. That is the day you get to.”
WA Premier calls for new vaccine target modelling after Sydney outbreak
“We still reserve the right to lock down in specific locations if absolutely necessary,” he said following the national agreement.
He is also one of several leaders who has expressed a desire to continue pursuing zero COVID cases, even with 80 per cent of the country vaccinated.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s comments this morning, Mr McGowan said his approach was in line with the national plan, which allowed for targeted lockdowns.
“We still agree with the plan,” he said.
But he said the modelling that established the 70 and 80 per cent vaccination targets was out of date, and needed to be updated following Sydney’s outbreak.
“There’s thousands if not tens of thousands of cases out there and so therefore the modelling needs to be redone,” he said.
Modelling not out of date, expert says
The director of the Doherty Institute, which did the modelling for the vaccination targets, said even with a larger outbreak, the targets remain unchanged.
But Sharon Lewin acknowledged more people would die from COVID-19 if states and territories began to ease restrictions and open up while they still had high case numbers.
The modelling found that if restrictions were eased when 70 per cent of the population was vaccinated, 16 people would die from the disease within six months if testing and tracing was also maintained.
“If you open up with more cases, you reach that peak quicker,” she said.
“If you open up at tens of cases versus hundreds of cases, we will reach many, many cases of COVID, hundreds of thousands of cases, and some deaths, similar to what we would see with flu … meaning hundreds of deaths over a six month period.
“What we’re trying to avoid are thousands of deaths, or tens of thousands of deaths.”
Professor Lewin also said the original modelling did take into consideration the Delta strain and the impact of vaccinating children aged 12 to 15.
“The modelling looked specifically at the benefits on transmission and on hospitalisations and deaths of targeting adults in the range of 16 to 39-year-olds,” she said.
“[Vaccination rates] had a very significant impact in reducing transmission, hospitalisations and deaths by getting higher rates in that group.
“The additional benefit from vaccination of 12 to 15-year-olds was much lower. That doesn’t mean there’s no vaccination of that group, but that can come later and it won’t make a big difference to the modelling based on vaccinating eligible adults.”
Financial support on the line for states that break agreement
The Prime Minister said the country must be prepared to live with COVID-19 as it lives with other infectious diseases.
“We should not fear it, we should embrace it and we should move forward together,” he said.
The government has warned it will not continue to provide the same levels of financial support to states and territories if they continue to lockdown once vaccination targets are reached.
Earlier on Monday, government frontbencher Amanda Stoker said financial support was being made in good faith but that might not continue if states refused to honour the national plan.
“I think it’s fair to say that the Prime Minister and the federal government have played a really cooperative, Team Australia kind of approach to dealing with this problem,” Ms Stoker said.
“That is something that won’t be able to be sustained if the states aren’t acting in the interests of Australians.”
Ms Stoker said anti-lockdown protests at the weekend were evidence Australians were growing tired of heavy restrictions and wanted a pathway out.
Shadow health minister Mark Butler criticised the government’s threat to remove funding from states that break from the national agreement.
“The Australian people want our nation’s leaders to come to a plan which all of us can agree,” he said.
“It’s not going to help to have Scott Morrison sending his ministers out, threatening the Australian people with a withdrawal of support.”
30 per cent of Australians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
#CoronavirusNewsDesk says #COVID19 Latest News: NSW records its worst day of the COVID-19 pandemic so far against a backdrop of curfews, police and protests with 830 new local cases, Victoria records 65 cases so if you want tokeep upto date with all the coronavirus case numbers updates check back here ….
Kindness & LoveX❤️ says be safe and protect others wear a mask God Bless Amen 🙏’s
A man in his 60s died at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, a man in his 80s also died, and a woman aged in her 80s died at Wollongong Hospital: NSW has delivered 750,000 doses of the vaccine in the past seven days.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said 2,715 vehicles were intercepted under new border restrictions requiring essential workers to have at least one vaccine dose before entering from New South Wales: He said 142 vehicles were turned away, 12 of those were essential workers who had not received a vaccination.
ACT records 19 new locally acquired cases and six of the new cases were infectious in the community and 17 cases are linked with the Territory having 121 active COVID-19 cases.
A cluster of 10 to 12 cases has been identified in the Territory’s disability community, which includes people with disabilities and disability support workers.
Delta outbreak grows in New Zealand and has recorded 21 new cases of COVID-19, as the Delta outbreak linked to a traveller from Sydney continues to grow with new cases bringing the country’s total number of active cases to 72 with one million New Zealanders having now been fully vaccinated.
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the nationwide lockdown, due to end on Tuesday night, will probably have to be extended.
The grain carrier, which was last at port in Thailand, is due to arrive at Cockburn Sound off the cost of Perth at 1:00am.
“The authorities have instructed the ship to sail for Cockburn Sound where we can do a better analysis of the people,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said.
He said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority wanted the ship to stay for “a period of time”.
Tasmania will reopen to all of the NT from midnight tonight following the lifting of the lockdown in Darwin, Palmerston and Katherine as no new cases of COVID-19 were reported in either Tasmania or the NT today.
Tasmania has now designated the NT a low-risk area: Tasmania’s border will remain closed to all of New South Wales, Victoria, the ACT and New Zealand.
South Australia records no new cases and there are just two active cases remaining in the state with a total of 4,502 tests were conducted in SA yesterday.
PROTEST NEWS: Eight arrested as 1,000 gather on NSW-Queensland border to protest #COVID19 restrictions
New South Wales Police say eight people were arrested and more than 50 infringement notices issued during a protest on the NSW-Queensland border on Sunday.
Those who crossed the border between Tweed Heads and Coolangatta were likely to be charged, police said.
Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliot said most NSW residents were “sick and tired of the abhorrent actions of the minority”.
“We have seen this sort of behaviour result in further lockdowns — the very thing these individuals are protesting against,” he said.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we risk seeing lockdowns extended, affecting the entirety of NSW, because of actions such as what we’ve seen this afternoon.
“This is such a critical time for communities to adhere to the health orders and to limit movement.
“Actions like what we have seen this afternoon pose a significant risk to the community.”
The ABC estimated that about 1,000 people attended the Tweed Heads protest, including a man riding a horse, in the latest of a series of mass, anti-lockdown gatherings in the country’s south-east.
Tweed/Byron Police District Commander Superintendent David Roptell said police were “taking the threat of unauthorised protest activity extremely seriously”.
“It is disappointing that people in our community continue to put others’ lives in danger by attending mass gatherings in the current climate,” he said.
“It is in the best interest of the health and safety of everyone across the state and around Australia, to comply with the Public Health Orders, so we may see the end of lockdown.
“Further inquiries will be made to identify those who were in attendance at today’s protest and appropriate action will be taken.”
‘Direct attack on my freedom’
Up to 50 police were monitoring the mostly peaceful protest, few in the crowd were wearing masks and many were seen hugging and kissing.
Mark Westley from the Tweed area was among the crowd and said the public health directives were a “disgrace”.
“It’s a direct attack on my freedom of liberty, freedom to move,” he said.
“It’s affecting people’s businesses and social lives.”
Mr Westley said it was a “direct challenge” to the fabric of Australia.
“This will be the break-up of the Commonwealth of Australia, it will be the fragmentation of Australia into disparate, fighting, disputing groups and the end of democracy as we know it,” he said.
John from West Tweed said crossing the border was part of daily life in his community.
“To stop people being able to do that — particularly in the situation where there’s no cases in our area — is hypocrisy,” he said.
There are no active cases listed for northern NSW but a man and his two teenage children tested positive in Byron Bay after travelling there from Sydney last month.
COVID was detected in the Byron Bay sewage system on Tuesday but no new cases have been found.
‘Really, really distressing’
Kelsey from Pottsville said the border restrictions meant she could no longer provide for her family.
“I was working [across the border] and now my source of income has been cut off, so I’m forced to be dependent on the government,” she said.
“It’s really, really distressing and we’re angry — we’re angry about our government.”
She said a border bubble was the ideal solution.
“They did it initially, we should be doing it now,” she said.
‘Riskiest place right now’
The protest follows demonstrations in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne over the past few days and comes against the backdrop of NSW’s worst day so far with 830 locally acquired cases — the highest number recorded by any Australian jurisdiction in a 24-hour period.
Queensland’s Deputy Premier Steven Miles says the protests are “shameful and reckless”.
“That’s not the kind of behaviour Queenslanders do, it’s very un-Queensland like,” he said.
#AceHealthReport – Aug.22: We will keep you up to date with coronavirus updates and this story will be updated, so if you don’t see your state or territory yet, check back later on here……
#CoronavirusNewsDesk says #COVID19 Latest News: With NSW breaks national record for daily cases; of 825 all of Victoria in lockdown and Queensland cove closed with shops & restaurants: Only 149 were linked to known cases or clusters: The isolation status of 637 cases remains under investigation, while 58 were infectious in the community….
Kindness & LoveX❤️ says be safe and protect other by being a ‘Good Samaritan’ wear a mask my friends, followers and readers Shalom 🙏’s
The Health Department said an additional 16 cases were recorded on a rapid PCR testing platform and would be reported in Sunday’s numbers.
Several new exposure sites in Shepparton were listed on the health department’s website last night, including a 24-hour gym.
Childcare centres will also be restricted to essential workers after a number of cases at centres over the past week, including 27 cases at the MyCentre Child Care venue at Broadmeadows in just two days.
The Northern Territory has declared all Victoria as a COVID hotspot
Today’s case numbers and press conference times
This section will be updated throughout the day. If you don’t see your state or territory yet, don’t worry — press conference times may not be confirmed yet (or there may not be one), and case numbers often filter in through the day.
More than 100 protesters have gathered in the Darwin city centre as part of nationwide rallies against government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some attendees wore masks while police attempted to hand out disposable masks to those without them.
Greater Darwin is no longer in lockdown but restrictions remain including mandatory masks where there is not enough room to safely distance.
NT Police have been contacted for comment
Thousands attend Brisbane protests
ABC News: Jim Malo
More than 2,000 anti-lockdown protesters gathered in Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens before a planned march through the city.
Protesters held signs opposing vaccination and the government.
Some rounded on the media, yelling “fake news”. A sign in the crowd read, “the truth variant is here”.
No one was wearing a mask except for reporters and police who stood on the perimeter of the crowd.
Restrictions on mask-wearing in Greater Brisbane eased on Friday afternoon.
Masks are not required to be worn outdoors, unless people can’t put 1.5 metres between themselves and others.
Queensland didn’t record any new cases of COVID-19 in the community on Saturday, as health authorities urged people to get vaccinated.
Reporting by Jess Rendall and Jim Malo
Pepper spray used as protesters charge police line in Melbourne
A number of people engaged with the first line of police physically, leading to a pretty significant scuffle and copious amounts of pepper spray being unleashed.
FYI: As some have pointed out in a previous image we had in this post, the News Channel super was changing at the exact moment the screenshot was taken, leading to a rather unfortunate combination of two titles.
Protesters approaching lines of police on Flinders St
Some are throwing flares at and confronting the police.
WA records zero new cases today
There are still four active cases in the state, according to WA Health.
NT will declare all of Victoria a COVID hotspot
The Northern Territory will declare all of Victoria as a COVID-19 hotspot from 2:00pm ACST today, the Chief Minister’s office says.
Currently, Greater Melbourne and Greater Shepparton are the only parts of Victoria considered hotspots.
Approved travellers arriving in the NT from declared hotspots are required to undertake 14 days of supervised quarantine.
Northern Territory records zero new cases
There has been no change to NT COVID-19 case numbers.
Zero new cases have been reported in the past 24 hours, according to the government’s website.
Melbourne protesters charge through the police line
After a standoff between a line of police and protesters there was a charge at police, footage from the ABC shows.
Police horses were startled as a line of protesters ran with their arms linked towards the police.
This broke the police line which led to several protesters storming through and down the street.
Police making arrests at anti-lockdown protests in Sydney