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'No red flags' on vaccines; new drug bill to be introduced in ACT – as it happened

End of day summary

That is where we will leave the live blog for Monday, barring any major breaking news. Nino will be back with you tomorrow morning, and I’ll be back on the afternoon slog. Until then, here’s what we learned today:

New Zealand has agreed to a proposal for a trans-Tasman travel bubble, expected to likely be put in place in February, allowing people living in Australia to travel to New Zealand without needing to quarantine for 14 days. It would also mean Kiwis visiting Australia would not need to quarantine on their return.

A Victorian parliament report on the state’s contact tracing system has said Victoria should have rolled out its “world-class” system in place today well before the second wave and found the health department ignored warnings about issues with contact tracing before the pandemic.


Wild weather has led to potential flooding and erosion events in northern NSW and southern Queensland.

New South Wales has removed the two-visitor rule from aged care facilities just in time for Christmas.

Fraser Island will reopen to visitors after a fire that had been burning for more than eight weeks was brought under control.

Australia has recorded another day of no community transmission for Covid-19, with all new cases reported today confined to returned travelers in hotel quarantine.

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On the coming cabinet reshuffle following former finance minister Mathias Cormann leaving parliament, the health minister, Greg Hunt, has said he expects to stay in his current portfolio, AAP reports.

Hunt told reporters in Melbourne on Monday:

Asked whether the reshuffle was timed to ensure Australians were focused on things other than politics, Mr. Hunt said it was more about parliament finishing for the year and MYEFO being the main focus this week.

Once that is done the prime minister will be able to focus on the last part of the puzzle before Christmas.

Liberal frontbencher Simon Birmingham took on Senator Cormann’s finance and government Senate manager role, in addition to his trade portfolio.

It’s widely expected he will hold onto the finance role but a new trade minister will be appointed.

Nationals frontbencher David Littleproud said the trade portfolio was a “natural fit” for a Nationals member. He told the ABC:

I think the National party has had a very long history with trade and obviously, we represent regional and rural Australia.

Those are discussions the DPM and the PM are having now, with a new trade minister being announced within the next week.

Source - https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2020/dec/14/australia-news-coronavirus-covid-coalition-labor-queensland-weather-politics-contact-tracing

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