Australia news live update: Dutton ‘a dangerous personality’, Keating says as China responds to speech; flood warnings for NSW

Updated: November 26th, 2021 01:40 PM IST

Time for Dutton to go. Keating not entitled to a voice. Stick to insider trading & piggeries Keating. Dutton ‘a dangerous personality’, Keating says as China responds to speech; flood warnings for NSW

Australia news live update: Dutton ‘a dangerous personality’, Keating says as China responds to speech; flood warnings for NSW

Peter Dutton ‘a dangerous personality’, Paul Keating says; China responds after defence minister warns against ‘mistakes of the 1930s’; record Queensland native title claim granted; WHO calls meeting over new Covid variant; Victoria records 1,362 new cases, NSW 261; police update on William Tyrrell search; Australia on track for wettest spring in a decade. Follow latest updates

Victoria’s chief health officer, Prof Brett Sutton, has been giving evidence to an inquest into a Covid outbreak at a nursing home that led to 45 deaths. Here’s a story on his appearance from AAP:

Counsel assisting the inquest into a COVID-19 outbreak at a Melbourne aged care home will submit that Victoria’s chief health officer had a big knowledge gap when he directed its workforce to furlough.

During Victoria’s second wave of the virus in July 2020, 45 residents at St Basil’s Home for the Aged died of COVID-19, after regular workers were sent home and replaced by inexperienced agency staff.

There were at least 50 positive cases connected to the home when St Basil’s staff were declared close contacts, and state and federal health authorities began working on a plan to replace the entire workforce.

State health chief Brett Sutton has testified that in the days before he made the order to furlough staff, he was unaware several doctors had expressed opposition to the plan.

Counsel Assisting Peter Rozen QC told Professor Sutton he would make submissions to the coroner that this was a “very big gap in your knowledge base” in making the public health orders.

The inquest has heard that the day before the handover to the emergency workforce on July 22, almost half of the necessary emergency workers could not be found, and within hours of the transfer residents had missed meals and medications.

But Prof Sutton said the potential consequences of furloughing staff had to be weighed against additional COVID-19 infections, which were fatal for one-in-three aged care residents.

He said he believed that had he not made the orders, almost all the residents and staff at St Basil’s would have been infected, and more people would have died.

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