Tag: Mr Marshall


Panic buying sees SA shop hours pushed to 24 hours a day


Adelaide 5000

South Australian shops will soon be allowed to trade 24 hours a day as part of new emergency measures introduced by the State Government.

Key points

  • Adelaide retail shops will be allowed to trade 24 hours a day as part of a 30-day trial
  • SA Independent Retailers claim they were not consulted before this decision was made
  • Premier Steven Marshall hopes the new measures will help ease shopping pressures and panic buying

The 30-day trial comes into effect from Saturday and applies to weekdays.

There will also be extended trading on weekends, with shops allowed to open 12:00am to 9:00pm on Saturdays and 9:00am till 9:00pm on Sundays.

Premier Steven Marshall said he wanted to ease shopping pressures caused by coronavirus and to support local jobs.

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“We do emphasise this is not a compulsory measure so individual supermarkets and retail outlets can make up their own mind as to when they are best served to open to support their customer base,” he said.

Supermarkets across the country have been hit by outbreaks of panic buying which have seen many shelves cleared of items like toilet paper, hand sanitiser, and tinned goods.

Mr Marshall said the changes would give shops more flexibility which would help both shoppers and retailers.

“We’ve seen quite a lot of unacceptable behaviour from the public and this has absolutely got to stop,” Mr Marshall said.

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“So we’ve taken action to try to spread the envelope of hours that shops can choose to open.”

Treasurer Rob Lucas is using his special ministerial powers to introduce the changes — the same ones he previously used to grant special exemptions to allow Boxing Day trading.



Photo:

The extended hours is on trial for 30 days. (ABC Rural: Kim Honan)

However, the changes have surprised some retailers who have actually decided to close earlier than normal to allow them time to restock their depleted shelves.

Retailers ‘under duress’ by extended hours

SA Independent Retailers chief executive Colin Shearing said his members were not consulted and feel “ambushed”.

“It’s definitely not going to work and this is putting already stressed and fragile retailers under more duress,” he said.

“With this COVID-19 out there, we’re going to need more time to clean and sanitise and really put additional procedures [in place] to sanitise and clean and we have to have the stores shut when we do this,” Mr Shearing said.

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Mr Lucas has been pushing for deregulated hours for many years, but has been unable to get the legislation passed through Parliament.

The union representing shop workers, the SDA, has accused the Government of using the pandemic to score a political point over trading hours.

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“I’m not aware of a retailer that has requested these trading hours,” secretary Josh Peak said.

“In actual fact retailers are going in the opposite direction.

“I can’t think of a reason the Government has done this, unless it is to score a political point, as this is just not what is needed.”

Government rejects ‘politics at play’

Mr Marshall said the Government consulted people across the board and has rejected suggestions it is a political move.

“This is not ideological, it is not political, it is just practical,” he said.



Photo:

SA Road Transport Association says trucks delivering products were struggling to keep up with demand. (Supplied)

The South Australian Road Transport Association’s Steve Shearer said store shelves were empty because trucks delivering products were struggling to keep up with the huge surge in demand.

“We are delivering massive amounts of products to the distribution centres, but they are proving incapable of handling that extra volume that they are ordering,” Mr Shearer said.

“They can’t receive it fast enough and they are not getting it out fast enough.”

He said one of the biggest constraints to getting stores restocked was local councils restricting truck access at certain times of the day.

“Those are the things that if Government actually spoke to the people involved, they would learn and understand what is causing the shortages on the shelves,” he said.

“They need to talk with us and they are not.”

Charities call out for more ‘younger’ volunteers

Meanwhile, Meals on Wheels SA chief executive officer Sharon Broer has put out a call for younger people to join its volunteer ranks so it can keep delivering meals to vulnerable people.

“We’re not short of food, our challenge at the moment is people to help in the kitchens and particularly with deliveries,” Ms Broer said.



Photo:

Meals on Wheels are not short on food or supplies, they need more drivers. (ABC News: Nance Haxton)

The organisation said it was facing a double whammy — an older age group needing meals delivered and a majority of volunteers who are aged over 70.

“Younger people seem not to have the severity of illness from COVID-19 that older people do,” she said.

“Older people are already core volunteers and we’ve almost exhausted the community of older South Australians to help and we’d really love the younger people to step up.”

Foodbank has flagged suspending some of its services as it said it was in a similar position with older volunteers.

“Some of the older volunteers who feel that they are at risk with the coronavirus have elected to stay at home and some of our outlets may have to close,” chief executive Greg Patterson said.

“If we can’t get volunteers we will need to employ people to do these roles and that’s the only other way we can do it.”

Mr Patterson is meeting with the Government later today to try to secure extra funding and is asking anyone with free time to consider volunteering.

“We’re the last line of defence for food relief in South Australia, if we don’t operate there is no food relief,” he said.

“We already supply 70 per cent of all the food to all the charities across the state.

“We’ve got plenty of food, we’ve got donations of toilet paper and everything.”

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Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


SA Premier quashes ‘ludicrous’ talk of statewide lockdown as five more coronavirus cases are confirmed


Adelaide 5000

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has quashed the idea of a statewide or CBD lockdown in response to the coronavirus outbreak, as a further five new cases are confirmed in the state.

Key points:

  • The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 37 in SA
  • People are being urged to only present at testing clinics if they meet the criteria
  • It follows news of a ban on non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people

SA Health this afternoon announced the new coronavirus cases, which takes the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 37.

The new cases include a female in her 30s who travelled to the Philippines, as well as a woman in her 60s and a 50-something man who had both been in the United States.

Despite the rising number of cases, Premier Steven Marshall today said any suggestion of a statewide or Adelaide CBD lockdown was “ludicrous”.

“I’m hearing stories right across South Australia at the moment that we’re in for an imminent lockdown of the CBD, this is wrong, it’s unhelpful and, in fact, it’s quite ludicrous,” he said.

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“The reality is that there are further restrictions which will be put in place … but these continuing snippets of incorrect information are really starting to … undermine the public health messaging.

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“There is no state lockdown, there is no CBD lockdown.

“Our focus is on slowing the spread of this disease so that we can put the resources in place to cope with the anticipated peak demand when it comes later in the year.”

It comes as the Federal Government announced a ban on non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, while Australians are also being told not to travel overseas, regardless of the country.

Mr Marshall urged the public to obey public gathering restrictions and self-isolation orders that were announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison this morning.

People presenting to clinics that ‘don’t meet criteria’

SA Health today said there had been a significant increase in the number of people who do not meet the criteria who are presenting to get tested for COVID-19.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said those who are sick but do not meet the criteria should go to their GP for advice instead.

“I’d like to make it clear to people, we are going to look after your health needs no matter where we deliver that service,” he said.

“For people who meet the criteria — who have travelled, who have the symptoms or have had close contact with a known case — we want to deliver that test in a more controlled environment, a dedicated COVID-19 clinic.”



Photo:

A poster outside the COVID-19 testing clinic in Adelaide. (ABC News: Stacey Lee)

Earlier today, Mr Marshall said the “worried well” should stay home and not overcrowd coronavirus testing clinics.

“We have the most advanced community transmission screening tests in the world, there’s no evidence to suggest there’s community transmission in Australia but this will come so we’re trying to push off the time when community transmission occurs in SA,” he said.

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Premier says closing schools ‘increases the risk’

Mr Marshall also backed the Federal Government’s call on schools remaining open around the country.

Adelaide’s Scotch College will remain closed until Monday after a student test positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

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However, Mr Marshall said closing all schools would “increase the risk” posed by the coronavirus.

“Children should go to school, and to pre-school and to kindy here in South Australia and around the country,” he said.

“And not to do so doesn’t diminish the risk, in fact, it increases the risk … it will harm our ability to tackle the coronavirus.”

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Video: Question of whether to close schools divides medical experts

(ABC News)

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


SA Premier apologises for overseas trip ‘confusion’ amid Kangaroo Island fire recovery


Adelaide 5000

An overseas trip during a bushfire crisis has created a headache for another Australian political leader, with SA Premier Steven Marshall apologising for “any confusion” created by his unannounced week-long trade mission to Singapore and Japan.

Key points:

  • Mr Marshall said it was important to promote South Australia to overseas tourists
  • He conceded the announcement of his upcoming trip could have been handled better
  • The Premier left for a week-long trade mission days after replacing David Ridgway as Tourism Minister

Mr Marshall left the state on Monday — two days after he announced he would take over as Tourism Minister from David Ridgway.

The Premier defended that decision on the grounds the portfolio would keep Mr Ridgway overseas too often to help Kangaroo Island’s bushfire-ravaged tourism industry, but Labor has accused the Government of hypocrisy.

“It perhaps wasn’t a good look for him to be leaving only hours after he told South Australians that he should be Tourism Minister, and that he needed to be here on the ground,” Shadow Treasurer Stephen Mullighan said.

Deputy Premier Vickie Chapman said it was important that Mr Marshall took “every opportunity” to ensure that “we sell to the world that we are open for business”.



Photo:

A burnt timber plantation on the Playford Highway near Parndana. (ABC News: Haidarr Jones)

But Mr Marshall, who is currently in Singapore, today conceded the announcement of the trip could have been handled better.

“I think we should have made it definitely a lot clearer to the people of South Australia exactly what the trip was about, what it was intending to achieve,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“I think we probably should have called a press conference, but it was a busy morning that morning with one of three extraordinary Cabinet meetings … and if I’ve got it wrong, I apologise.

“I apologise if people have had any confusion, but this is a really important trip for South Australia.”

Correcting ‘misconceptions’ key for tourism, Premier says

Mr Marshall said the trip focussed on critical areas like tourism, attracting international students and investment, as well as correcting “some of the misconceptions” about Australia’s bushfires.

“While I’ve even been here in Singapore, people were saying to me ‘I hear the whole of Australia is burning down at the moment’,” he said.

“We’ve got to be on the front foot in terms of tourism and making sure that we can keep our tourism numbers up and our travellers up and continue to promote Kangaroo Island, the Adelaide Hills and of course, the whole of South Australia.

“It’s been planned for a long period of time … and while I’m here, it’s already proven to be extraordinarily beneficial.”



Photo:

Fires have ripped through about half of Kangaroo Island. (Instagram: Trent Lawson/tmanadventure)

The Government previously said Mr Marshall made four trips to Kangaroo Island in two weeks, and would be heading there again upon his return.

It said the overseas trip had been announced before the fire crisis, in the Government Gazette in December — a claim rejected by Labor.

“What was published in the Gazette was that Vickie Chapman would be acting premier during the Premier’s absence — it didn’t say where he would be absent to,” Mr Mullighan said.

The Opposition also said Mr Marshall had not learnt anything from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was widely condemned for holidaying while Australia’s bushfires intensified before Christmas.



Photo:

A house at Middle River destroyed in the fire. (ABC News: Claire Campbell)

The Kangaroo Island fires have now burned through more than 200,000 hectares of land, killed 43,000 livestock animals, an estimated 30,000 koalas and affected over 200 producers, according to Livestock SA.

This week authorities said 65 homes were destroyed by the island’s fires which also claimed the lives of respected pilot Dick Lang and his son Clayton, an experienced surgeon.

Animal welfare agencies now hold grave concerns for the ongoing survival of koalas, kangaroos and pademelons still being found alive as starvation becomes a threat.

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Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Plastic surgeon and pilot killed in Kangaroo Island bushfire catastrophe


Kingscote 5223

An experienced pilot and his son have been killed in catastrophic bushfires that have ravaged more than a third of Kangaroo Island and destroyed homes and businesses.

Key points:

  • Dick Lang and his son Clayton died in the blaze, the men’s family has confirmed
  • Significant property losses are expected on the island
  • A cool change came through South Australia last night

The family of tour operator and aviator Dick Lang has confirmed he perished in the blaze, along with his youngest son Clayton — a leading plastic surgeon who specialised in hand surgery.

Dick Lang, 78, ran his own flight adventure business out of Adelaide Airport and was described as one of the nation’s “best bush pilots”.

“We are devastated to have lost two beloved members of our family — Dick Lang and his youngest son Clayton Lang — in such terrible circumstances,” his family said in a statement.



Photo:

Plastic surgeon Mr Clayton Lang also perished in the fire that killed his father. (Dextra Surgical)

“Dick and Clayton were in the process of returning to the family property on Kangaroo Island after fighting a nearby fire for two days.”

Dick Lang lived and worked in the outback for most of his life, securing him the nickname ‘Desert’.

His 43-year-old son was supervisor of surgical training at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, his family said.

Dick Lang — whose ancestors were among the first European settlers in South Australia and arrived on the Buffalo — had flown rescue operations in desert regions and over Papua New Guinea.

“He loved the bush, he loved adventure and he loved Kangaroo Island,” his family said.

“Dick and Clayton were prominent members of the South Australian community who rose to the top in their chosen professions.”

Police said the men died on the Playford Highway in the centre of the island, and that one of the victims was found inside a car.

More than 170,000 hectares — which is more than a third of the island — have been burned by two major bushfires.

The Country Fire Service (CFS) said most of the damage had been done by a fire which started near Ravine in the island’s north-west, which had burned about 155,000 hectares and was described as “virtually unstoppable”.



Photo:

Pilot and tour operator Dick Lang died in the Kangaroo Island fire. (ABC News)

Dick Lang’s family said he had been married to his “beloved wife” Helen for more than 55 years and said he had four sons and seven grandchildren.

“Helen and the family are heartbroken and reeling from this double tragedy and are touched by people’s thoughts at this difficult time,” it said.

“We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the CFS volunteers, police and members of the Kangaroo Island community who are doing so much to help all those on the Island affected by these catastrophic fires.”

There were gasps of shock at a community meeting on the island in Kingscote when police confirmed the two deaths.

Hundreds of people later stood for a minute’s silence, and SA Premier Steven Marshall has also expressed his condolences for the victims.

“Very tragic news for South Australia as we learn this morning that two people have died in the fires,” he said.


Video: Kangaroos flee a massive blaze on Kangaroo Island.

(ABC News)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced 3,000 Australian Defence Force reservists will be deployed to fire recovery across the nation, including some on Kangaroo Island.

“[A taskforce] will be stood up for South Australia particularly focusing on Kangaroo Island at present,” he said.

Mr Marshall said he had spoken to Mr Morrison this morning, and said the 9th Brigade based in Adelaide was poised to help.

The Premier said all buildings in the Flinders Chase National Park had been “very extensively” damaged.

“The fires that occurred yesterday were significantly worse than in 2007 in Flinders Chase because they took out all of the building infrastructure,” he said.



Photo:

The ruins of a house after a bushfire ripped through on Kangaroo Island. (Supplied)

SA Tourism said there were unconfirmed reports of damage to local tourism assets including the island’s Visitor and Information Centre, the KI Wilderness Retreat and Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

The threat on the western half of the island was downgraded to an advice message, but the Ravine fire is still out of control.

Fire expected to continue to burn for days

There were concerns the Ravine fire would merge with another in the middle of the island as weather conditions deteriorated on Friday, but that fire at Duncan has since been contained after burning 18,000 hectares.

Mr Marshall said Vivonne Bay on the island’s south coast had been evacuated during the fire crisis but the blaze was prevented from spreading to the township.



Photo:

Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island after fire ripped through. (ABC News)

About 350 personnel were fighting the fires overnight, including those from the State Emergency Service, the Metropolitan Fire Service and the Department for Environment and Water.

That has since increased to 500 firefighters, and the state’s emergency centre has been activated.

“The weather today should give our crews the opportunity to start to get on top, although we expect that the fires will burn for some days,” CFS chief officer Mark Jones said.

“During yesterday’s dramatic fire conditions, the Turkey Lane airfield from which our bombers operated had to be evacuated and aircraft relocated to Kingscote.

“I would emphasise to everyone this is not over. The fire season is in its infancy.”

A weather station at Western River on the island’s north coast has recorded evidence of the intensity of the Ravine blaze.



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Western River weather station recorded an apparent temperature of 428C. (Bureau of Meteorology)

The station yesterday recorded a reading of 99.9 degrees Celsius and an apparent temperature of exactly 428C as the fire ripped through.

The Bureau of Meteorology said it had not been able to confirm the condition of the temperature sensor, which is continuing to emit readings, but believes it has been severely damaged.

Fires on Kangaroo Island have been burning for more than two weeks, after initially breaking out on December 20 — the same day as the Cudlee Creek blaze in the Adelaide Hills.

Locals urged to limit water use

Residents on the island have been asked to limit any non-essential water usage, because of fire impacts of the Middle River Water Treatment Plant.

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SA Water said delaying activities such as washing laundry and watering lawns would help preserve water storage levels to ensure enough was available for drinking and responding to spot fires.

Many properties on the island are currently without power.

There is a relief centre at the Kingscote Football Club, where hundreds of people have gathered.

SeaLink, which operates the ferry between Penneshaw and Cape Jervis, said up to 300 people at the Kingscote relief centre were waiting to be taken back to the mainland.

The company said it was working to transport those people as a priority.

SeaLink said all non-essential travel to the island should be deferred, and offered full refunds to anyone with a ticket.



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Tourists and locals are leaving Kangaroo Island on the SeaLink ferry from Penneshaw. (ABC News: Claire Campbell)

Cruise & Maritime Voyages Australia’s Vasco da Gama cruise ship was due to dock in Penneshaw on Saturday but instead is staying off the coast with 1,267 passengers on board.

“The escalating, uncontrolled bushfires burning on Kangaroo Island means our scheduled anchorage call to Penneshaw has understandably been cancelled,” managing director Dean Brazier said.

“We have, however, offered to provide evacuation assistance if required for the locals and tourists who remain on the island.

“As a result, the ship has proceeded to Penneshaw and is anchored a safe distance from the coast to be on standby this morning to assist with a possible evacuation plan to the mainland.”



Photo:

An unknown number of properties have been destroyed by the fire. (Supplied)

Operators of the Southern Ocean Lodge near the Flinders Chase National Park said the resort suffered “significant damage”.

There had been concerns the central town of Parndana might be lost, but the CFS said it appeared to have been saved.

“Anecdotally, we believe a finger of fire may have come close to Parndana, but again until we can get some eyes on the ground in the daylight we believe Parndana has not been impacted by the main front of the fire,” state duty commander Nick Stanley said.



Photo:

Hundreds of firefighters have responded to the island’s bushfire crisis. (Facebook: Leon Bignell)

Cool change reduces threat

Mr Stanley said a welcome change came through last night.

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“Once we saw those conditions ease around midnight–1am we saw the southerly impact start to slow down and with that the relative humidity came up to around 85 per cent across the island so that did significantly help with the decreasing the fire behaviour,” he said.

He said the rain had “greatly assisted” in dampening the fire’s ferocity.

“Crews are able to get a bit closer and deal with the active fire edges rather than having to go into asset protection mode so hopefully that moderation in fire behaviour allows them to get some good work done today,” he said.

The Environment Protection Authority has rated western Adelaide’s air quality as poor and fair in eastern, southern and northern Adelaide, as smoke drifts from Kangaroo Island across the city and areas to the north.

The air quality in Port Augusta, Port Pirie and Whyalla is currently rated as poor.

Department for Health and Wellbeing chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said people with chest or heart conditions should stay indoors when smoke or dust is present and follow their personal health management plans.

“We appreciate that many people will want to open their doors and windows to help cool down their homes but we recommend keeping doors and windows shut while there are still high levels of smoke and dust in the air,” Associate Professor Spurrier said.



Photo:

A CFS crew looks towards the fire ground on Kangaroo Island on Friday evening. (ABC News)

Meanwhile, crews have worked through the night to contain a fire that sparked at Kersbrook in the Adelaide Hills early yesterday evening.

About 150 firefighters, 25 fire trucks, four bulk water carriers and two heavy plant machines worked to bring the 20ha blaze under control.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


South Australian MP accuses Liberal MP of inappropriate behaviour at Christmas party


Adelaide 5000

A South Australian MP has made a complaint of sexual harassment against a Liberal MP after an alleged “slapping” incident at a Christmas party at Parliament House.

In a statement, SA Best MP Connie Bonaros said details about her being the “victim of inappropriate incidents at a Christmas function” had emerged, and the “perpetrator was another Member of Parliament”.

The ABC understands the alleged harassment involved a slap.

“In the past few days, my office has been contacted by two separate media outlets about this matter,” Ms Bonaros said.

“I have no idea who released these details to the media.

“I had not intended to discuss this matter openly at this stage but because it has now been made public feel I must respond.

“I have been taking legal advice in relation to the matter and continue to consider my options.

“All women should feel safe in their worksite.

“All men should understand that their harassing conduct can have a terrible impact on how safe women feel at work.

“I was not the only woman who was the recipient of improper conduct that night.

“I am hopeful this matter will be dealt with appropriately.

“Because of our desire for privacy and the fact that I reported the matter I feel it’s inappropriate for me to comment further.”

Deputy Labor leader Susan Close said Ms Bonaros had made a “credible complaint” against a Liberal MP.

“Ms Connie Bonaros [is] is a woman of very high integrity who has stated that a Liberal MP has sexually harassed, and indeed assaulted, her at a party at Parliament before Christmas,” she said.

“We have no idea if [Liberal Premier Steven Marshall has] spoken to Ms Bonaros or to the other women Ms Bonaros says were also involved in witnessing, or being subject to, inappropriate behaviour.

“Even more importantly, we don’t know the name of this MP — the Premier has chosen to be silent.

“Why has the Premier chosen not to speak to the public — he is the boss of this person who has a very serious complaint made of him.

“He ought to be in front of every camera, in every living room, saying sexual harassment in the workplace is unacceptable.”

Premier accused of ‘pathetic leadership’

A State Government spokesman said Mr Marshall was made aware of the alleged incident and was informed that necessary processes were being followed.

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“Upon hearing of the matter the Premier counselled the Member to apologise to those involved,” he said.

But Ms Close accused Mr Marshall of “pathetic leadership” and called on him to remove the alleged perpetrator from official political duties.

“Silence and a pathetic call for the person to apologise via a Government spokesperson is not leadership,” she said.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news




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