Live: NSW Now: Drop in vaccine bookings, Tommy Raudonikis to be farewelled

Here’s what you need to know this morning.

Drop in vaccine bookings

Dr Rifi is urging older Australians to come forward for the COVID vaccine.(

ABC News


A prominent GP in Sydney’s south-west has called for more to be done to address vaccine hesitancy across Australia, after his clinic saw a 50 per cent drop in bookings over the last week for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Dr Jamal Rifi from the Belmore Medical Respiratory Clinic said the Pfizer vaccine should be offered to general practice clinics to help with the rollout.

He stressed that elderly and vulnerable Australians should still receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, as they are most at risk from coronavirus.

“That’s why we are calling for every patient who is in the 1a and 1b rollout to come forward and be vaccinated,” he said.

“Anyone above 70 is entitled to have their vaccination now and they should have it now.”

Australia-NZ flights resume

Air New Zealand plane
Quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand started this morning.(



Airlines will carry thousands of passengers to and from New Zealand on the first official day of the Trans-Tasman travel bubble.

For the first time in more than a year New Zealand will open its doors to Australians and returning Kiwis quarantine-free, with the commencement of the travel bubble between the two countries.

Air New Zealand is expecting to carry about 5,200 passengers today, most of them to New Zealand, with Qantas and Jetstar to carry similar numbers.

Until now, quarantine-free travel has only been one way, with some Australian states allowing travellers from New Zealand since last last year.

People heading to New Zealand are required to fill out a declaration but are not required to be vaccinated.

Empowering Indigenous students

A boy smiling
Brayden Carroll says the program has helped him realise how strong his goals can be.(

ABC News: Nakari Thorpe


Year 12 student Brayden Carroll never thought he would make it to where he is now — on the path to completing his HSC as vice-captain of Hoxton Park High School in Sydney’s south-west. 

“[It’s] definitely had its ups and downs. I didn’t even know I was going to go for a role like vice-captain until year 10,” he said.

“[When I was younger] I was just all over the place … I didn’t really know what I wanted to do.” 

Brayden is one of 193 Indigenous students participating in the Souths Cares Liverpool Opportunity Hub, aimed at bridging the gap between school, the workforce and university.

Read his full story here.

Service NSW app restored

Service NSW has apologised for an unexpected outage of its app.  
The outage late yesterday meant customers could not do COVID-safe check-ins or redeem Dine and Discover vouchers stored in their Service NSW app. 

It was restored late last night.

“We apologise for any inconvenience the outage might have caused,” a statement said.

Raudonikis farewell

A man wearing a dinner suit poses for a photo alongside his wife at an NRL function in 2018.
Tommy Raudonikis and his wife Trish Brown at the SCG in 2018.(

AAP: Brendon Thorne


A public memorial service for rugby league great Tommy Raudonikis will be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground today.

The 70-year-old former Australian halfback died earlier this month in a Gold Coast hospital after a long battle with cancer.

Australian Rugby league chairman Peter V’landys says the service is a fitting way to honour a great of the game.

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