Live: Minister on the defensive over coronavirus nursing home deaths

27 August 2020

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck has defended the Government’s response to COVID-19 in the sector, after the Senate issued him with a “please explain” yesterday.

Follow today’s events as they unfold in our live blog.

Key events

Live updates

By Alicia Nally

Forty-eight active cases in disability facility settings

In aged care settings, there’s a total of 1,412 active cases.

“And in terms of aged care shifts that have been worked by hospital staff, to whom we are so, so grateful, we’re now up to 3062 shifts that have been worked,” Mr Andrews said.

“That’s a massive, massive effort in terms of people who would normally be working in a very different environment.

“They’ve gone into aged care homes, they have provided the very best of care, helped to stabilise those environments when many of them could not have been described in those terms, they’ve done a mighty job and we’re very, very proud of them and grateful to them and I will continue to update you as those numbers grow.”


By Alicia Nally

Regional Victorian numbers are in ‘a much better position than a few weeks ago’

There are 3,308 active cases across the state, Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“Those numbers continue to fall, which is good news.

“There are now 198 active cases in regional local government areas under stage three.

“To give you an example, across a number of key regional communities that we’ve been speaking about, the greater Geelong area has 71 active cases, greater Bendigo, 16, and Ballarat has six active cases.

“That’s a much better position than a few weeks ago. Those numbers are falling. But there should be no sense of complacency in those communities or any community.” 

By Alicia Nally

Twenty-two of 23 new deaths from aged care in Victoria

There are now 18,714 aggregate cases in the community; 485 Victorians have now lost their life to the virus in the state. 

They include:

  • one male in his 60s
  • one female and four males in their 70s
  • six females and three males in their 80s
  • five females and three males in their 90s

There are 532 Victorians in hospital, 29 of those are receiving intensive care and 11 of the 29 are on a ventilator. 

There are 4,151 cases with an unknown source.

By Jessica Riga

Key Event

NSW confirms nine new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours

All were locally acquired. 


Five of the new cases were linked to a cluster in the Sydney CBD, and the other four were close contacts of previously reported cases.

By Jessica Riga

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is up now


(ABC News)
You can follow along by watching the video embedded at the top of this blog, or on the ABC News or ABC Melbourne Facebook pages. 

By Alicia Nally

I missed the PMs press conference – is there a link I can use to catch up? Thanks!!


You can watch the PM here, Watcher. 

By Jessica Riga

So why does Tasmania have the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment?

Am I right in hearing that the Federal Government has allowed the people of Tasmania access to the Pandemic Leave Payment? I thought the Prime Minster said this was only open to Victoria as they declared a disaster? Why has this been opened up to Tasmania, but no other state?



Hi David, yep you heard right. At the start of the month Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Federal Government scheme for Victorians, but said it was open to other states and territories

By Alicia Nally

Bit of perspective on Victoria’s numbers


The current 14-day average for infections is a little more than 200.

Before that the 14-day average was more than 400.

But, on the seven-day average, deaths in Victoria have never been higher.

We’re still seeing more than 15 people dying a day on average.

There are still more than 1,100 active infections among aged care residents.

By Alicia Nally

Key Event

The Federal Aged Care Minister has defended the Government’s response to COVID-19


ABC News

The Senate passed a motion yesterday demanding Richard Colbeck provide an explanation about his handling of the portfolio during the pandemic as the Opposition demands his resignation.

Senator Colbeck said while there had been “missteps”, the Government was learning from its mistakes.

“I have been working every day with the aged care sector, providers, staff and families to ensure that these people in care, those who first cared for us, receive the highest level of protection… for this, I am accountable,” he said.

“I’ve spoken directly with scores of families. Through tears they’ve told me of their mums and dads, the contributions they’ve made to their family and community and how they should never have spent their final hours isolated and alone.”

Labor’s leader in the Senate, Penny Wong, criticised Senator Colbeck for leaving the chamber as she responded to his statement.

“I hope all Australians can see how he just turned his back on his accountability and responsibility in this parliament and did not have the honour and principle to stay and listen,” she said.

“Senator Richard Colbeck has lost the confidence of the Parliament, he has lost the confidence of the public and he has to go.”

By Jessica Riga

What’s Dan’s streak now for consecutive press conferences?

-Unbeaten Streak


By Jessica Riga

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews set to speak at 11:00am

By Jessica Riga

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has just stepped up


(ABC News)


He thanked Australians for their efforts in regards to COVID-19 and said Victoria has “turned the corner”. 


“This has been a very difficult time, a very frustrating time, a very anxious time. And Australians have just kept their determination up, their positivity, wherever they can.”

“And I want to thank tell, just simply thank them and ask them to continue to demonstrate the goodwill and the good faith they have, despite the frustrations and the limitations and the anxieties that they have to cope with every day.”

“But that said, Victoria has turned the corner and we will continue to invest our efforts in assisting them to ensure that we can continue to get this outbreak under control and return life in Melbourne and across Victoria, to as normal as you can in a COVID-safe world.”

You can follow along with his press conference by watching the ABC News channel live stream embedded at the top of the blog. 

By Alicia Nally

Good morning to my lovely blog superstars. I hope your day goes well for you. Please can you brighten my day and post the link to yesterday’s blog. Thank you.

-Missed it again

Here you go, Missed it again!

By Jessica Riga

Can I leave my house to take a driving lesson in Melbourne?

Are Victorian Learner Drivers still allowed to go for lessons with a member of their family during Stage 4 Lockdown? There has been no updated advice to say you can’t from Vic Roads



Hi Belinda, not at the moment. 


According to the Vic Roads website, “under stage 4 restrictions, driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home at this time.” 

By Jessica Riga

‘We can’t say definitively that those two cases are linked’

(ABC News)

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young says gene sequencing has provided no definitive answer on whether the strain identified with one of the women who returned from Melbourne is linked to one of the first identified cases at the Brisbane youth detention centre. 

 “Although they match almost perfectly, there is only one very small change, one nucleotide change between the two which suggests they are linked. The only problem is that particular virus strain has shown very little mutation so although that is almost an exact match, we have also found other cases elsewhere that had that exact same match, there hasn’t been any change in the virus so we can’t say definitively that those two cases are linked but we can’t say they are not. That’s where we will have to leave that one.”

By Alicia Nally

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said eight people were refused entry to Queensland by air


ABC News



He said 73 flights entered the state carrying 3170 passengers in the last 24 hours.

Another 188 people were turned around at road borders.

Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said 269 people were directed to quarantine.

One on-the-spot fine has been issued to a person on the Lady Pamela yacht. There is still an investigation underway around that vessel.

By Alicia Nally

Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin is speaking now

ABC News

He said the Wacol trainer had a sore throat, isolated himself and took himself off for testing.

“We’ve taken the very cautious step to move to stage 4 which is extreme isolation for the prisons from Capricornia … to the south-east corner,” he said. 

“All of the prisons will be locked down and the staff will wear PPE.

“Our protocols are well-developed and well-practiced…and I’m confident we’re doing everything to test the recruits and other workers.

“Any reports this trainer had worked at correctional centres over the course of his infection, is untrue.”

By Alicia Nally

Brisbane Youth Detention Centre young people test negative

ABC News

All the young people have been tested and all are negative, but Queensland Health is still awaiting a few results from staff at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre.

The Wacol Corrections Academy trainer who tested positive overnight is from Forest Lake — he trained 14 recruits and 11 colleagues.

“All of those people have been tested, are in quarantine and self isolation, and we are hoping to prioritise those tests as well,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

The person who tested positive while in quarantine was a Cairns resident who had returned from Papua New Guinea.

By Alicia Nally

Key Event

Two new Queensland cases overnight

One was in hotel quarantine.

Another was a trainer for corrective services.

Over the last 24 hours there have been 19,780 tests.

By Alicia Nally

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is speaking now

ABC News
You can follow her press conference via our live stream at the top of the page, or on the ABC Brisbane Facebook page here.

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ABC News NDIS, Disability (Direct Feed)



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