Australia news LIVE: Melbourne lockdown becomes world’s longest; Dominic Perrottet set to become NSW’s next premier

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Deal struck for Dominic Perrottet to become premier, Stuart Ayres his deputy

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet will nominate to be premier with Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres his surprise running mate, but a ballot of Liberal MPs will be needed with Planning Minister Rob Stokes digging in and remaining in the race.

Liberal factional bosses struck a deal late on Sunday that will likely see Mr Perrottet replace Gladys Berejiklian and become NSW premier with Mr Ayres to be deputy Liberal leader. The Nationals’ leader John Barilaro will remain deputy premier.

Dominic Perrottet on Sunday.Credit:Dean Sewell.

Under the deal, Environment Minister Matt Kean will be given a significant promotion to the position of treasurer to reward him for delivering moderate votes to the right-wing Mr Perrottet.

Read the full story here.

Fears grow about rising COVID-19 infections in Melbourne’s south-east

Victorian authorities are turning their attention to a fast-growing coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne’s south east, opening pop-up vaccination clinics as the rate of infection causes concern among health officials.

While the state’s coronavirus outbreak has been predominantly concentrated in Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs to date, COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar said on Sunday he was worried about the increasing number of people infected with the virus in south-eastern suburbs such as Pakenham, Keysborough and Frankston.

Victorian COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar. Credit:Paul Jeffers

Melbourne’s outbreak has extended beyond the previous hot spots following widespread coronavirus transmission across the state, including via illegal AFL grand final gatherings. The highest caseload remains in the north and west.

Of the 1220 cases reported yesterday, 497 were in the city’s north, 361 in the west, 236 in the south-east, 73 in the east, and 52 across regional Victoria.

More on this story here.

Lockdown ‘could happen’ still, as Qld hospitals prepare for case surge

Despite only two local cases over the weekend and the NRL grand final taking place as planned in Brisbane, a south-east Queensland lockdown could still happen, according to the Premier.

Her comments came as plans were being hatched to free-up hospital beds by moving the elderly and disabled into alternative accommodation if there is a surge in case numbers similar to those in NSW and Victoria.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.Credit:Getty

Last week the Queensland government admitted that without an injection of federal funding, state hospitals would struggle to cope with a wave of COVID-19 patients.

Queensland recorded four local COVID-19 cases from almost 60,000 test over the past three days with a further four overseas-acquired cases, meaning lockdown remained on hold all weekend.

Read more about the situation in Queensland here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Monday, October 4. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s everything you need to know before we get started.

  • Melbourne is officially the most locked-down city in the world. Stay-at-home orders have been in place for a total of 245 days since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The city has overtaken Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, for the title. Yesterday, Victoria recorded 1220 new cases of COVID-19 and three deaths. A record number of tests were conducted across the state yesterday (71,275). Authorities are turning their attention to a growing outbreak in Melbourne’s south east.
  • In NSW, Dominic Perrottet is set to become Gladys Berejiklian’s replacement. The Treasurer will be the state’s 46th and youngest-ever premier under a deal that will lead to Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres running as his deputy. Meanwhile, Transport Minister Andrew Constance has announced he will quit state politics and run for a federal seat currently held by Labor. You might recall Mr Constance saying, in the wake of the 2020 bushfires that ravaged his electorate, that the PM “got the welcome that was to be expected” after he was heckled by angry locals. Meanwhile, NSW recorded 667 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, the lowest daily tally in around two months. Due to high vaccination rates, NSW businesses are preparing to reopen next Monday, October 11.
  • And there is still no lockdown in Queensland despite two new, locally acquired cases of COVID-19 recorded over the weekend. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says stay-at-home orders could still be implemented if there is significant community spread. In NRL news, the Penrith Panthers won last night’s grand final.
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