Australia news LIVE: NSW COVID-19 cases and exposure sites continue to grow; police descend on south-west Sydney

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Key posts

  • ‘This isn’t a crime emergency, this is a medical emergency’: Western Sydney mayor
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Flight Centre boss backs Queensland Premier’s Tokyo trip

Flight Centre boss and outspoken travel ban critic, Graham Turner, has backed the Queensland Premier’s upcoming Tokyo trip despite her recent moves to further cap international arrivals and a growing online petition.

The decision to halve the number of plane seats available into the country, made by national cabinet, was a separate matter and a non-appearance from Annastacia Palaszczuk could be detrimental to Queensland should it not secure the 2032 Olympics, Mr Turner said.

Flight Centre co-founder and chief executive Graham Turner.Credit:Attila Csaszar

More than 80,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Ms Palaszczuk to be denied an exemption to leave the country.

The full story is available here.

Senior NSW ministers consider letting Delta circulate in community

In case you missed it, the NSW government is facing its most difficult decision of the pandemic with senior ministers cautiously canvassing abandoning a zero local transmission strategy and accepting the Delta strain of COVID-19 will circulate in the community.

Three senior ministers, who would not speak publicly due to cabinet confidentiality, have acknowledged the state has reached a “fork in the road” where it must choose between a lockdown to eliminate COVID or living with the virus.

A man is tested in Fairfield in Sydney’s west on Thursday after he was informed he was a close contact of a COVID-19 case. Credit: Kate Geraghty

The discussions will intensify in the coming days as NSW battles to contain the growing outbreak in south-west Sydney, which has much lower rates of vaccination in its elderly population than the rest of the state.

Read the full story here.

‘This isn’t a crime emergency, this is a medical emergency’: Western Sydney mayor

As we mentioned earlier, additional police are set to descend on south-west Sydney this morning to enforce the city’s coronavirus restrictions.

The mayor of Fairfield, in Sydney’s west, was interviewed on Nine’s Today show just moments ago for his reaction to the crackdown.

Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone. Credit:Nine

Here’s what he had to say:

“I think people feel they have been mistreated. I think people don’t like it when people push their hand to push people down. People want a hand that lifts them up and I think there’s been a real poor narrative when it comes to this.

“I welcome more police but also welcome more doctors and pop-up clinics. This isn’t a crime emergency, this is a medical emergency. There should be more pop-up clinics, more testing places. I think that people should be treated with respect and I think it doesn’t happen out here in western Sydney.”

One in 10 NSW COVID patients in hospital as system plans for surge

Sydney’s hospitals are standing by to mobilise COVID-19 surge plans in preparation for the possible influx of people needing urgent care, as the number of cases in ICU climbs.

More than 10 per cent of the state’s 395 cases are now in hospital, prompting the Australian Medical Association to warn that the system will be overwhelmed if NSW eases Greater Sydney’s lockdown before spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant is contained.

St Vincent’s Hospital is preparing its surge capacity in light of a possible jump in cases.Credit:Kate Geraghty

Read the full story here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for reading our live coverage. It’s Friday, July 9. I’m Broede Carmody.

Here’s everything you need to know.

  • NSW police are descending on south-west Sydney this morning to enforce coronavirus restrictions as senior state government ministers cautiously canvass abandoning a zero local transmission strategy. Yesterday, NSW recorded 38 locally acquired infections.
  • Today is the first day Melburnians won’t have to wear a mask in the office (unless they have customer-facing roles). Density limits have also officially eased for Melbourne’s cafes, bars and restaurants.
  • Ash Barty will be the first Australian woman to contest a Wimbledon final in 41 years. The World No. 1 beat German Angelique Kerber in straight sets overnight as part of their semi-final clash.
  • Former prime minister John Howard, who committed Australian troops to Afghanistan, has added his voice to the push to give special visas to interpreters who helped our armed forces. He says Australia has “a moral obligation to help” those whose lives are at risk after the withdrawal of American troops.
  • And in overseas news, the Japanese government has declared a state of emergency. It means spectators will be banned from attending Olympic events in Tokyo.
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