Federal government calls for proposals for mRNA vaccine manufacturing in Australia
Defence minister Peter Dutton has just confirmed that the federal government has finally approached the market for expressions of interest in manufacturing mRNA vaccines in Australia.
Dutton told Channel Nine it was a “prudent approach” and would prepare Australia for the future.
But the deputy opposition leader, Richard Marles, said the government should have made the decision last year.
“In the midst of its self-congratulation last year they were complacent in the failure to put Australia properly in the queues of the various vaccine projects around the world,” he told AAP.
The mRNA technology has the potential to treat many other diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The government has asked interested parties to submit fully costed proposals to establish mRNA capability, with submissions open for eight weeks.
Applicants need to demonstrate access to necessary intellectual property for manufacturing processes and make products available to the Australian government as required and in priority over other markets.
Any operation would need to be sustained over 10 years with an undertaking to maintain the capability onshore on an ongoing basis.
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In sport news, the Warriors have announced they will stay in Australia for the remainder of the NRL season, despite the existence of the trans-Tasman bubble.
AAP report that the New Zealand team originally hoped they would return to Auckland on 21 June and play their final five regular season home games at Mount Smart stadium.
But Warriors CEO Cameron George said it had become clear that heading home was no longer a realistic option.
We’ve been in constant discussions with the NRL keeping abreast of developments and we’ve mutually agreed it’s in our best interests to remain in Australia.
However, we will continue to explore options to play in front of our fans at home if international border volatility settles later in the season.
The Warriors host Wests Tigers in round 11 at Central Coast stadium on Friday.
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Man dies after being tasered by police
A man died last night after being tasered by police, AAP report.
The 27-year-old man in the northern NSW town of Gunnedah died after being tasered by police and losing consciousness.
Police were called to a Herbert Street home about 8pm on Thursday and saw the man, who allegedly became aggressive when addressed.
Pepper spray and a taser were used in a struggle with the man and he lost consciousness. He later died at Gunnedah hospital.
The incident will be independently reviewed, according to NSW police.
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Some breaking international news: Israel has agreed to a ceasefire that will halt the now 11-day conflict in Gaza.
More than 230 Palestinians and 12 Israelis have been killed in the 11 days.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has just announced that his cabinet had unanimously approved the “mutual and unconditional” ceasefire, which was proposed by Egypt.
Hamas confirmed the ceasefire.
The truce will start at 2am on Friday local time.
Good morning everyone, and welcome back to our Australian news blog.
It’s Friday, and I’m Naaman Zhou here with you.
Today, thousands of school students will take to the strikes to protest government inaction on the climate crisis. It’s the first school climate strike since the start of the pandemic last year.
Protests will take place all over Australia, and here, strikers are particularly protesting the federal government’s new funding for gas-fired coal power.
And in health news, the secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Sally McManus, says that the government’s mixed-messaging on vaccination is creating hesitancy that will delay Australia’s economic recovery.
“At the moment it’s extremely slow and it’s one of the main things that will hold us back in terms of jobs and in terms of recovery,” she just told the ABC this morning.
Yesterday, federal health minister Greg Hunt had to backtrack comments he made about the AstraZeneca vaccine that were criticised to promoting hesitancy.
And also yesterday, Guardian Australia revealed there were more than 1.5m vaccines sitting unused in clinics across Australia.
Stay with us for all the latest news as it happens.
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