Australia news LIVE: NSW COVID cases grow; Barnaby Joyce to be appointed deputy PM after Nationals leadership spill

Australia news LIVE: NSW COVID cases grow; Barnaby Joyce to be appointed deputy PM after Nationals leadership spill

June 21, 2021

For our free coronavirus pandemic coverage, learn more here.

Key posts

  • Barnaby will be a ‘voice’ for those who feel ignored: Canavan
  • Today’s headlines at a glance
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Barnaby will be a ‘voice’ for those who feel ignored: Canavan

Queensland senator Matt Canavan is out spruiking the new Nationals leader on breakfast television this morning.

Canavan called the spill motion against former Nationals leader Michael McCormack yesterday and, it should be noted, is Barnaby Joyce’s former chief of staff.

Senator Matt Canavan.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

“I do think there are a whole lot of Australians out there who feel ignored, who feel their views are derided sometimes and Barnaby is their voice,” the Queensland senator told the Today show just moments ago.

“He is their voice down here in Canberra because he doesn’t care what people think of him down here. He fights for the issues that matter to those people, the defence of their job, the industries, the communities. And I’m sure he will get back to that.

“This is a restoration, not a revolution, he was deputy prime minister, he was elected as such in 2016. And he will get on with the job.”

Coronavirus may shrink parts of the brain

COVID-19 might shrink parts of the brain, according to a new study.

The results underscore why medical experts are encouraging people to get vaccinated against the virus and come amid reports of people with “long COVID” including, but not limited to, loss of smell and taste.

Coloured MRI scan of a human brain.Credit:Aurora Daniels

Read the full story here.

Victoria’s Pfizer allocation to rise

Victoria’s allocation of the Pfizer vaccine is set to jump by almost 40 per cent next month, in a push to meet some of the increased demand for the jab following last week’s decision to preference it for all Australians under 60.

A spokesperson for federal Health Minister Greg Hunt revealed late on Monday that Victoria’s allocation of Pfizer would increase from 407,000 doses in June to more than 560,000 in July.

Health Minister Greg Hunt.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Read the full story here.

Today’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for reading our live coverage. It’s Tuesday, June 22. I’m Broede Carmody.

Here’s everything you need to know before we jump into today’s top stories:

  • Barnaby Joyce will be sworn in as Australia’s deputy prime minister this morning. The Nationals leader held the role three years ago, but resigned amid sexual assault allegations and media coverage of his relationship with one of his staffers. Mr Joyce says he has had time to acknowledge his faults and hopes to “come back a better person”.
  • NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet will hand down his fifth budget later today. It comes as Premier Gladys Berejiklian warns the state’s coronavirus restrictions are likely to be extended beyond tomorrow night. Two additional COVID-19 cases were announced yesterday.
  • Victoria’s travel bubble with New Zealand will resume this evening. The state recorded just one new case of coronavirus in the community yesterday. The case is linked to an existing outbreak.
  • And in overseas news, Japan will allow domestic spectators at this year’s Olympic Games. Up to 10,000 people will be allowed at each venue. However, they will not be allowed to cheer and must wear masks in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19.
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