Today’s top headlines


Hi there. Here’s what you need to know this evening.

  • COVID-19 modelling suggests young adults are considered “peak spreaders” and should be prioritised for vaccination
  • Queensland has recorded a new COVID-19 case in the Cairns region 
  • No coins? No worries. Telstra’s 15,000 payphones are now free

Let’s dive in.

COVID-19 vaccination rollout should prioritise young adults, modelling suggests

The Prime Minister, wearing an Australian flag mask, presents a powerpoint slide.

IN BRIEF: The government has released Doherty Institute modelling that suggests the country has the capacity to inoculate most eligible Australians by the end of November.

The Doherty Institute’s Jodie McVernon said the 30 to 39 age group should be granted access to shots from the beginning of September, and the 16 to 29 cohort from early October, which is broadly in line with the current strategy. 

Who said what:

“Children can get COVID and we are concerned about them becoming infected and infectious, but they’re nowhere near as good at it as their parents are,” Professor McVernon said. 

“So in this virus’s case, it’s really the 20 to 29 category who are the peak spreaders.” 

Read the story.

Person tests positive to COVID in Far North Queensland city of Cairns

A generic shot of the Cairns Esplanade lagoon
It’s unknown which strain of the virus they’re infected with.(

ABC Far North: Kristy Sexton-McGrath


IN BRIEF: Queensland Health says the infected person lived in the Cairns region. However, it is not yet known what strain of the virus the person has or how it was contracted.

An investigation is underway into whether the case is currently active or historical.

Queensland recorded 16 locally acquired cases today as the south-east entered its third day of lockdown. 

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the infected person in Cairns was fully vaccinated and had returned to the city’s northern beaches from Brisbane.

Who said what:

“Their test has come up positive but from the way the Chief Health Officer described it, it’s a very low reading on the test. That’s why they are doing retesting,” Mr Crawford said.

Read the story.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian sets new vaccination target

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Gladys Berejiklian sets target of 6 million jabs by end of August as state records 199 new local cases

IN BRIEF: NSW must administer 6 million COVID-19 vaccinations by the end of August if there’s any hope of easing Greater Sydney’s lockdown, Premier Gladys Berejiklian says.

NSW recorded 199 new COVID-19 infections today and Ms Berejiklian warned authorities did not know if the state was through the worst of the current Delta outbreak.

Who said what:

“We know that 10 million jabs gives us 80 per cent of the adult population vaccinated. By the end of August, I’d like to see NSW record 6 million jabs,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“That gives us additional options as to what life looks like on August 29.” 

Read the story.

Local, national and calls to mobiles will be free from Telstra payphones

Telstra payphones in Birdsville
Telstra has previously made its 15,000 payphones free to use at Christmas and New Year.(

ABC Western Queensland: Blythe Moore


IN BRIEF: Future generations may never know the thrill of making a reverse-charges call to their parents, with Telstra making its 15,000 payphones free.

The move means the days of scrambling for 50 cents in change or devising a code involving a predetermined number of rings are effectively over.

The company said about 11 million calls were made from its payphones last year, including 230,000 calls to critical services such as triple-0 and Lifeline.

Read the story.

Want to check what the vaccination rates are like in your state? 

People sitting on chairs inside the Bendigo vaccination centre.
Bendigo currently has the highest first-dose vaccination rate in the country.(

ABC News: Andrew Altree-Williams


Now you can! 

IN BRIEF: New data released by the federal government gives the best picture yet of how the national vaccine rollout and uptake is going. 

The information breaks down the first and second dose rates for eligible people aged 15 years old and over in different geographic areas in every state and territory as at August 2.

Read the story.

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Qantas stands down 2,500 staff due to Sydney lockdown

The tail of a Qantas plane can be seen through a fence sitting in an airport.
Lockdowns mean Qantas is flying at less than 40 per cent of its domestic capacity.(

ABC News: Brendan Esposito


IN BRIEF: The airline said both Qantas and Jetstar frontline employees would be affected, and would have to rely on government support payments once they were stood down.

The staff will be paid in full for their two-week notice period, commencing now.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the standdown announced today was forecast to last for two months.

Who said what: 

“Qantas and Jetstar have gone from operating almost 100 per cent of their usual domestic flying in May to less than 40 per cent in July because of lockdowns in three states,” Mr Joyce said in a statement.

“Hopefully, once other states open back up to South Australia and Victoria in the next week or so, and the current outbreak in Brisbane is brought under control, our domestic flying will come back to around 50 to 60 per cent of normal levels.”

Read the story.

Cycling Australia investigating Alex Porter’s bike failure in men’s team pursuit 

A shocked looking Australian cyclist kneels on the track as his pursuit bike lies in bits around him.
Australia’s Alex Porter avoided serious injury after a high-speed crash on the opening night of track cycling.(

Getty Images: Tim de Waele


IN BRIEF: Australia’s Alex Porter was flung to the track when his handlebars snapped during the men’s team pursuit.

The maker of the unit, Bastion Cycles, posted a message on social media acknowledging the incident.

Who said what:

“Our team is working with the Australian Olympic Team to understand the cause behind the failure of one of our handlebar units during the four-person Australian pursuit challenge at the Tokyo Olympics overnight.”

Read the story.

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan set to clinch Australia’s second sailing gold at Tokyo

Two Australian sailors sit side by side as they race in the Olympics.
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan are 20 points clear of their nearest challenger ahead of the medal race in the men’s 470.(

Getty Images: Clive Mason


IN BRIEF: Australia is all but guaranteed to win its second gold medal of the Olympic sailing regatta, with Mat Belcher and Will Ryan establishing an insurmountable lead in the men’s 470 class at the Tokyo Games.

Belcher and Ryan hold a 20-point lead over Swedish duo Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom ahead of Wednesday’s medal race, which is worth double points.

Read the story.

Here’s what to watch tonight at the Olympics

  • The Kookaburras will face Germany from 8:00pm AEST for a chance to advance to the men’s hockey gold medal match
  • In the men’s basketball, the Boomers will face Argentina in the quarter-finals from 10:00pm AEST
  • In the men’s pole vault final, Kurtis Marschall is competing. It starts at 8:20pm AEST
  • And for gymnastics, Tyson Bull is competing in the men’s horizontal bar final, which begins at 7:39pm AEST

Follow the action in our live blog.

Oh, and The Lord of the Rings TV series finishes filming in New Zealand 

A figure in a long white coat stands in a field, looking up towards a castle in the distance.
The first season of Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series reportedly cost $630 million.(



IN BRIEF: The first season of an Amazon Studios TV series based on The Lord of the Rings has finished filming in New Zealand, after a slight delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazon Studios said filming wrapped on Monday, and the eight-episode series would premiere on Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service on Friday, September 2, 2022, with new episodes released weekly.

Read the story.

That’s it!

You’ve made it to the end 🙂 

We’ll be back tomorrow to bring you all the news you’ll need to start your day.


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