Premier Daniel Andrews is due to face the inquiry into the state’s hotel quarantine program, after announcing 14 new coronavirus cases across the state and eight further COVID-19 deaths.

Follow today’s events as they unfold.

Live updates

By Joseph Dunstan

Are you ready for 2:15?

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will be logging in for a virtual examination at the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry at 2:15pm.


You can also watch it on the blog by clicking the live stream at the top of the page.

By Michael Doyle

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ testimony at the hotel inquiry will be live on the blog


Will you be following the Hotel Quarantine inquiry and posting updates and what Daniel Andrews says?



A very good afternoon to you Mitch


You can watch Daniel Andrews at the hotel quarantine inquiry on the live stream of ABC News 24 at the top of the blog.


We will also post another link to the stream closer to 2.15pm AEST, which is when Mr Andrews is due to speak.

By Joseph Dunstan

A bit of good news you might have missed


Loved reading about melbournians helping Raiyan Chowdhury and the bike story just made my day! We got this Vic!

-Bike love


It’s been pretty tough for lots of Melburnians during the lockdown, and some international students have been doing it particularly tough.


Raiyan is just 19, but already went through losing his job, running out of savings, losing his housing and then discovering his entire family had contracted COVID-19 back in Bangladesh.


ABC News: Gemma Hall

When we shared his story, there was a pretty overwhelming response from listeners.


By Michael Doyle

More on the new NSW infections recorded today


NSW health authorities are investigating a mystery COVID-19 infection after today confirming four new cases.
Three are returned travellers in hotel quarantine and the other infection, a man in his 50s from Sydney’s south-west, has not yet been linked to any known cases or clusters.
His positive swab was flagged by NSW Health yesterday, but was officially included in today’s COVID-19 statistics.
He lives in supported accommodation with two other people but neither of them have tested positive.
Contacting tracing teams are still working to determine how the man contracted the virus.
Anyone who visited Woolworths at Campbelltown Mall on September 17 between 1.00pm and 2.00pm is a casual contact of the case and must monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if they develop.
The new infection breaks NSW’s three-day streak of zero locally acquired cases.


A total of 13,686 tests were completed in the reporting period.

By Alicia Nally

Goodbye everyone

I shall leave you in the capable hands of Joseph Dunstan and Mick Doyle.

I look forward to reading their updates on the hotel inquiry and all the other ABC News coverage.


By Michael Doyle

ACT records zero new cases of COVID-19


By Michael Doyle

Summary of the Queensland and Federal Government stoush 


The Queensland Premier says her state is being “singled out”.


Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg had labelled the suggestion the Government was withdrawing the ADF for political reasons, “rubbish”, and Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles in turn labelled Mr Frydenberg a liar.


To understand this political battle, state reporter Stephanie Zillman has put together this piece. 


By Alicia Nally



Hi Guys, Obviously Mick you are a West Coast Eagles fan but who does Joseph, the resident Melbournian go for? And does Alicia have a favourite team?

-Footy Distraction


I guess because I’m from Brisbane it’d have to be the Lions…


But I’m more an NRL girl if I had to pick.


Even went to the Broncos v Cowboys game last night. 

By Alicia Nally

ADF to leave state borders and help with quarantine, Mathias Cormann says


ABC News



Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel are going to be withdrawn from all state borders except for Victoria, with states being told by the Federal Government to manage their own crossings.


In a statement, a spokesperson for Defence confirmed it would not be extending agreements it has with Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and the Northern Territory.



By Joseph Dunstan

The AFL grand final is on October 24


When is the AFL grand final and do Victorians get the day off? I’ve lost track this year



You and me both, AFL, it’s been hard to keep up.



Victorians will get the public holiday on Friday, October 23, which the Government has suggested might be more of a ‘Thank You Day’ to recognise the sacrifices made by Victorians during the pandemic.

By Joseph Dunstan

Why your 14-day average calculations may not match Victoria’s official records


Morning Blogmistress Alicia, I’m still trying to understand why the 14-day rolling average calculation doesn’t calculate. DHHS’s own data from lists the following ‘daily new cases’ to yesterday 23 September. When you do an average of them (add them all and divide by 14) you get 28.1. Yet DHHS reported the 14-day average for 23 September as 25.1. The reported 14-day averages are never the same as the result given by a simple average calculation. Why the discrepancy??September 23, 2020 12September 22, 2020 14September 21, 2020 28September 20, 2020 11September 19, 2020 13September 18, 2020 20September 17, 2020 45September 16, 2020 25September 15, 2020 41September 14, 2020 39September 13, 2020 30September 12, 2020 41September 11, 2020 35September 10, 2020 40

-Edna Fourteenday-Average


Hey Edna, the biggest reason is the reclassified cases.


Cases are reclassified for a host of reasons, the most common being duplication.


For example, someone tests positive and their GP and the lab processing the test both report it to DHHS, so it ends up being counted twice.


It sometimes takes DHHS a few days to clean the data and discover the duplication, and then the overall tally is amended as a result. 


These adjustments are made each day, meaning cases identified as duplicates may be removed from tallies within the past 14 days.


This might explain why people calculating the 14-day average at home based on the daily cases reported each day aren’t getting the same result as DHHS, which doesn’t usually tell us from which dates cases have been reclassified.


By Michael Doyle

Hello everyone


Good afternoon Australia. 


Busy afternoon ahead. 


Stay with us, ask questions and let us know your thoughts.


By Alicia Nally

Government extends pause on debt collection


Services Australia will hold off on collecting debts from Australians for at least another four weeks, after the Government determined it’s still too early to begin forcing people to repay debts.


Debt raising and recovery has been halted since April 3, and the debt pause was due to expire next week.


But the Government has thrown a limited lifeline to struggling Australians, deferring any loan collections until at least October 30.


People with outstanding debts with Services Australia are still able to make voluntary repayments if they choose to.


The pause will be reassessed on a monthly basis.


It comes as the fortnightly supplement to JobSeeker and other welfare payments is today cut by $300, meaning JobSeeker recipients will now receive about $815 a fortnight.


By Jordan Hayne

By Joseph Dunstan

The Victorian press conference can be viewed in full

I’ve noticed a few people really keen to see the full Victorian coronavirus briefing.

You can even go back through the page’s videos to view past briefings.

By Alicia Nally

Key Event

Two new cases in NZ


Flickr: Pluckytree



Today there are two new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand.


One is an imported case detected in a managed isolation facility and the other is a community case — a female in her late teens who was already self-isolating.


This person is a household contact, epidemiologically linked to the Auckland August cluster bereavement sub-group.


The imported case is a man in his 40s who returned from Russia on a flight via Turkey and Malaysia on September 19.


He returned a positive result on day three testing and is now at the quarantine facility in Auckland.


There are 35 people isolating in the Auckland quarantine facility from the community, which includes 15 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their household contacts.


Three people are in hospital with COVID-19 — one each at Auckland City, Middlemore and North Shore hospitals. All three patients are in isolation on a general ward.

By Joseph Dunstan

Hello from Melbourne

Good afternoon everyone, Joseph Dunstan here logging in from Melbourne.

I’ll be doing my best to bring you live updates from Premier Daniel Andrews’ evidence at the hotel quarantine inquiry once that kicks off at 2:15pm.

In the meantime, there’s plenty of other ground to cover.

By Alicia Nally

International flights won’t return to Victoria until after the findings of the hotel inquiry are handed down


“I don’t believe we will be receiving international flights until we have got the report,” Mr Andrews said.


He expects the ban will be extended after October 24.


“It makes no sense to ask for a report and then have planes landing.”

By Alicia Nally

Andrews says JobKeeper is ‘entirely a matter for the Federal Government’


Even though the reduction in these payments will be affecting Victorians more than anyone else, the Premier said: “I don’t determine the rate of JobKeeper or JobSeeker.”


Mr Andrews said he had made it very clear  to the Prime Minister there was “a significant in need Victoria and we would very much welcome the continued assistance of the Commonwealth in meeting those needs”.


“Beyond that, we will always lobby for additional support for our state. I think it would be fair to say that that has been a feature of the work that we have done over these last six years and many years before that.


“The [Federal Government] has got a federal budget coming up, and I think it is a fair conclusion to draw from some of the things that have been pre-announced out there that there will be significant support for all of those impacted by COVID-19, not just in Victoria but indeed right across the nation.”

By Alicia Nally

Key Event

Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos knew about private security in COVID-19 hotel quarantine back in March



Victoria’s Minister Jenny Mikakos appears to have misled the inquiry into the botched hotel quarantine program after claiming the first she learnt of the involvement of private security guards was in May.


But more than a month earlier, on March 29, Ms Mikakos stood alongside Jobs Minister Martin Pakula at a press conference when he confirmed that private security would be patrolling hotels housing returned travellers.


Story by state political reporter Richard Willingham.

By Alicia Nally

Andrews could announce some workplace changes before Sunday


His answer to the question on that was “potentially”.


“I think we had a discussion yesterday about a number of high-risk industries. Those matters are still being closely looked at  and I think they will be a feature [of an early announcement],” Mr Andrews said.


Networks and distribution centres can expect to learn of eased restrictions on Sunday.


“We are very confident that we can take some safe steps, not big steps — I want to be very clear, the roadmap never envisaged really significant steps at the 28th — but we are on track, the strategy is working,” Mr Andrews said.


“I do hope to be able to talk a little bit more about how I think October will unfold [on Sunday] and maybe give people some clarity around, because we are ahead of schedule, what might be possible.


“Again, it’s always subject to the case numbers.”


Mr Andrews said he thought extending the 5km limit on travelling would be “beyond the scope of the 28th, but again that is my view at this stage”.