Home » Australia News Live Update: WA Police Release Audio Of Moment They Found Cleo Smith; Dutton Urges France To ‘put Aside Hurt Feelings’

Australia News Live Update: WA Police Release Audio Of Moment They Found Cleo Smith; Dutton Urges France To ‘put Aside Hurt Feelings’


Victorian opposition leader Matthew Guy has indicated the Liberal party may reject Tim Smith’s nomination for preselection, as the stoush over Smith’s future continues.

Speaking to reporters earlier today, Guy stood by his comments earlier this week, where he urged Smith to retire at the next election.

One of the things I did say to him was to reflect on his future, and it’s fair to say, as he said yesterday, he is doing that.

Guy said he has yet to speak with anyone in the state parliamentary party who disagreed with his position.

The party can refuse to accept anyone’s nomination, whether it’s an MP or a candidate or a layperson party member.

As I’ve said, I don’t think he should stand. That’s what I said the other day and I stand by it.



Owner of Melbourne Cup winner fined for Covid breaches

A co-owner of the Melbourne Cup winning horse Verry Elleegant, Brae Sokolski, has been fined $10,000 for breaches of Covid rules at Flemington racecourse.

Sokolski, who partly owns the winning mare, pleaded guilty after an investigation by Racing Victoria (RV).

He had jumped a fence and went into the mounting yard, which was deemed a “yellow zone” under the rules at Flemington Racecourse. Sokolski was not allowed into any yellow zone.

He also admitted to not wearing a mask in the yellow zone, which was outlined by RV in a statement:

Stewards heard submissions on penalty from Mr Sokolski and after doing so took into consideration his guilty plea, his candid evidence, his unblemished record over a long period of time and that he expressed remorse.

The Stewards also took into consideration the nature of the offending, the potential ramifications that could flow from a breach of Racing Victoria’s COVID-19 Protocols, and that the penalty must be sufficient enough to deter others from breaching the COVID-19 Protocols.

Verry Elleegant owner Brae Sokolski holds the Melbourne Cup. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images



Labor senator Tony Sheldon has slammed Amazon Australia over pay for delivery drivers, following the company’s appearance at the Senate committee on job security he chairs.

The committee heard on Thursday that Amazon Flex delivery drivers are paid a minimum $108 per four-hour block, or $27 per hour, before costs and superannuation, while the average pay for drivers in October was $125 per four-hour block.

Labor senator Karen Grogan took Amazon Australia’s head of government affairs Michael Cooley to task over how this was significantly lower than the total hourly rate for courier owner drivers in Victoria at $40.71.

“We meet or exceed all relevant legal rights for our Amazon Flex delivery partners,” Cooley replied.

“The evidence we have does not support that,” Grogan said.

“That evidence would be incorrect,” Cooley replied.

Cooley said he had not had a chance to review the documents handed to him before the hearing on the Victorian rates of pay, but said the company complied with the law.

Sheldon said Amazon was “distorting the market” for delivery drivers and said Amazon’s rate of pay was being used to undermine job security at other delivery companies such as Star Track and FedEx “in order to compete” with Amazon.

“We don’t accept that,” Cooley replied.



WA police release audio of the moment they found Cleo Smith

WA police have released audio of the moment officers found four-year-old Cleo Smith, and her now iconic first words to officers: “My name is Cleo.”

Officers in the clip can be heard saying “I’ve got you bubby” and “what’s your name, sweetheart?” before Cleo responds.

WA Police Force (@WA_Police)

“My name is Cleo.” pic.twitter.com/xiy59x4kjP

November 4, 2021



GP clinics in ‘desperate need’ of more support, AMA tells Senate inquiry

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has told a federal Senate inquiry of the need to provide support for GPs and related primary health services, specifically in outer metropolitan, rural and regional Australia.

AMA vice president Dr Chris Moy and AMA Council of Rural Doctors representative Dr Peter Maguire fronted the inquiry, saying GPs “desperately need help now”.

Dr Moy said the pandemic had made clear the central role of GP clinics in the health system but had also “shone a light on the significant challenges faced by GPs” as successive governments had failed to address resourcing.

Investment has not matched the increase in costs and demands. There’s a desperate need to make changes now.

Dr Moy emphasised that renumeration and support for doctors and their families in regional and rural settings was imperative to retaining and attracting GPs.

Dr Maguire told the Senate inquiry there was a “crisis” in rural Australia, and he said older GPs in regional and rural areas were finding it difficult to retire because of GP shortages.

He said three out of the four GPs in his small town in Western Australia were older but there was “a struggle to recruit young doctors”. The situation was dire, he said, “with no quick fixes, no single solution”.

GP clinics across Australia, particularly in rural and outer metropolitan areas, need more support, AMA says. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAPIMAGE



So just going back on that presser – WA premier Mark McGowan mentioned that there will be announcement on the roadmap out of Covid restrictions for the state.

McGowan said he would make the announcements tomorrow, before giving a small hint:

We will make further announcements and changes tomorrow. We will have some significant detail in there.

As you all know, as you go down the Covid-19 road, nothing is certain. We do our best to provide detail, but everything is unfortunately always subject to change.



Blaine has wrapped up his presser by asking local residents to provide any CCTV footage they may have:

We obviously have offices here for a little bit of time. The previous appeals that we’ve made to the public around CCTV has been around that particular time the Friday 15 (October), Saturday 16.

We have knowledge of a suspect. I’m asking businesses and people within Carnarvon … to provide the investigative team any CCTV that they might have between Friday the 15 October and Tuesday the 2 November, that would be great assistance.



Blaine has continued to give some details, saying Cleo was found with the lights on, and playing with toys:

The lights were on, and that she was playing with toys, but all about I will say. This is a go before the courts and the aspects of what we saw that our wannabe evidence and I don’t want anything is going prejudice anything.

He goes on to discuss the plans leading up to the raid to rescue Cleo:

When we left left for the day, on a Tuesday I think, as we started to settle in for the night, it was going to happen.

We had some plans around what could happen, one of them was that the suspect that we were observing would be mobile and would leave the premises so in terms of decisions, it was not harder because we said, we talk about all the different scenarios so what happened was one of the scenarios and it was clear mind what had to occur and that’s just how it went down.

He also confirmed there were four officers involved in the arrest of the suspect, who was in a car at the time.


Det Sgt Cameron Blaine has stepped up and has spoken about Cleo’s condition, and was happy to see her interacting with her family:

I saw … the family yesterday morning, early in the morning, and it was a first time to sit down in a more relaxed format and have a conversation with them and really see Cleo Smith in a home environment. And it was really heartwarming to see her interact and playing in the backyard and just being herself and around her parents.

I’m sure that it has had an impact but … just behaving naturally like a four-year-old girl should do and just enjoying being in the presence of her little sister and a family. So it was good and nice. I don’t know, I’m not that sure.

She is a very sweet girl.



Wilde says Cleo was “awake and alert” when she was found, and confirmed that she has checked out of hospital and is physically OK.

It was amazing … Very grateful for that and the outcome.

Wilde also confirmed the man that is being held in custody was taken to hospital for an injury:

I can confirm the man was taken to hospital for treatment and returned back to the police station.



Wilde has continued to discuss the investigation, and although he has not provided much details, he said the man will likely face a magistrate in Carnavon.

He also confirmed that police believe the man acted alone.

Like I’ve said, there is a lot of information we received and a lot of instigation. All the statements we talk from all the people, over 100 people at the campsite, thousand calls to Crime Stoppers, all the data that we were able to seize with CCTV, other things, looking through phones and other means.

It is just getting all that information together, us understanding what has taken place … it’s a painstaking process. There are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of pieces of information, it’s really joining the dots.



WA police have still not charged Carnarvon man but likely will ‘later today’

WA Police’s Det Supt Rod Wilde is now giving an update on the investigation, and began by saying the man in custody has still not been charged.

I can give you an update on the investigation, at present, we have a man in custody and those investigations are continuing. No charges laid. I will take questions.

It will probably be later today. There is some work being undertaken. I expect later today it will occur.

Det Supt Rod Wilde Photograph: ABC



McGowan has gone on to discuss Cleo’s reaction to receiving the two teddy bears he flashed when he was arriving at Carnavon:

We did a few high fives. I tried on one of her shoes and broke one of them … I gave her the police teddy bears, named Cameron and Rod.

Cameron and Rod didn’t seem to like it, didn’t think that was appropriate. I’m not sure those names will stick. Cleo didn’t seem too enamoured of those names. It was a lovely experience to me that girl.

She is bubbly, playing, friendly and sweet, she was eating an icy pole, she told me it was very sticky to eat, she was just delightful.

WA premier Mark McGowan arrives to meet Cloe Smith and her family carrying two police toy bears in Carnarvon on Thursday. Photograph: Richard Wainwright/AAP



WA premier says Cleo Smith a ‘delightful little girl’

WA premier Mark McGowan is giving an update from Carnavon after having met Cleo Smith and her family, and hearing from WA police on the investigation.

He said it was overwhelming to see how many “threads” were involved in the investigation, saying efforts by police in narrowing it down to one person were “extraordinary”.

He also talked about meeting Cleo, saying she was very well adjusted:

I met little Cleo, and I met Isla [and it] was a very nice experience. They are a very humble family, well adjusted.

Cleo was a delightful little girl. Playing in the backyard. She had two teddy bears … It was a lovely experience to meet her. She was, I felt very well adjusted, considerate and the family were very appreciative of everything that had been done for them.

Fundamentally decent, honest human beings, they were lovely people and it was great to meet them and acknowledge what they have been through.

We have a way to go from here, but they are on the right pathway. Thank you very much everyone and can I thank everybody involved who brought this to a successful conclusion.

Cleo Smith was rescued by WA police on Wednesday 18 days after she went missing. Photograph: WESTERN AUSTRALIAN POLICE FORCE/AFP/Getty Images



Only 0.1% of NSW Health workforce have resigned over vaccine mandate

One of the questions around compulsory vaccination for health workers is the impact the mandate will have on staff numbers, as those who choose not to get vaccinated or refuse to provide proof of vaccination resign or are fired.

While data is still coming through, it is clear the overwhelming majority of health workers are choosing vaccination, so there has been little disruption to the workforce.

In NSW, the data on the departure of health workers due to the mandate is being compiled by NSW Health. Last week a NSW Health spokesperson told me the data was still being gathered, but they now have enough data to provide some detail.

To date, at least 97% of NSW Health’s workforce have received at least one
dose of the vaccine and 94% have received two doses of the vaccine.

The spokesperson said of its entire workforce of more than 140,000 people, just 0.1% (215 people) had resigned due to their vaccination position as of 25 October.

“While any resignation is obviously disappointing, Local Health Districts have management plans in place to limit potential disruptions to service delivery due to staff not being vaccinated,” the spokesperson said.

“All vacancies in the NSW Health workforce are prioritised for recruitment, including any positions arising from staff members refusing a Covid- 19 vaccination.”

A spokesman for Victoria’s department of health told me data on health workforce resignations due to the mandate was not being monitored or collected by the department. I was told I would need to contact every hospital in the state individually for the figures.

Of the hospitals I contacted, only one provided data – the Royal Melbourne hospital. The hospital is down 51 staff who are refusing to be vaccinated against Covid, a requirement to work in Victorian healthcare facilities. This represents just 0.45% of the hospital’s 11,000-strong workforce.

A nurse prepares a Covid vaccine dose at Qudos Bank Arena vaccination clinic in Sydney. Photograph: Brendon Thorne/AAP



NSW health minister Brad Hazzard has faced some questions on the government’s recent decision to delay the easing of restrictions for unvaccinated people.

Earlier this week, premier Dominic Perrottet announced that unvaccinated people would need to wait until 15 December to see restrictions ease, pushed out from the initial 1 December date.

Hazzard said the decision was made “primarily” due to concerns for public health. He said health authorities approved the move, saying it was about maintaining a “balancing act”.

The extra couple of weeks were something they were quite supportive of.

Public health would always like longer – because that’s their focus, getting everyone vaccinated.

Asked if the date would change again, Hazzard said it was unlikely.

At the moment I would say that it’s very solid.



We’re expecting WA premier Mark McGowan to step up for a press conference at the Carnarvon police station in a moment after Cleo Smith was rescued yesterday.