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Sullivan said SES crew were continuing to be called out to homes under evacuation orders that had become isolated and inundated by water.

Our flood rescue response teams are heading out to them in the high-clearance vehicles and our rafts and boats at the moment to collect them and get them back to the evacuation centre and into safety.

He said there had been a 500m increase in the river height in Forbes since 4pm yesterday ahead of the expected 10.8m peak.

There’s more to come. So the threat is still real.

Hundreds, thousands of sandbags have been filled by the community and our volunteers and sent out to protect homes in Forbes and surrounding areas. So certainly that mitigation has been in place for some time. Now it’s about seeing what the floodwaters do and keeping the community safe.

Forbes flood gauge at 10.65 metres, says SES

Ashley Sullivan from the NSW SES has appeared on ABC News Breakfast to provide an update on the situation in Forbes, where major flooding is hitting the township.

The gauge is currently about 10.65m and we’re predicting 10.8m so still a bit to go in Forbes and surrounding areas. We have about 500 homes in Forbes under evacuation order and in the last 24 hours, we’ve had about 213 requests for assistance with 10 flood rescues … and multiple flood rescues here in Forbes today with some ongoing flood rescues as we speak.

Among those who needed to be rescued were a pregnant woman and her midwife. The woman’s water broke amid the flood waters.

Ryan Jones, our local volunteer in Forbes, got called out to assist a pregnant lady whose water broke yesterday. He went out there in a high-clearance vehicle and he picked up the lady and transported her across the middle of the river here behind me to the Forbes Hospital where she could be cared for by the doctors and nurses over there. So I don’t know the outcome but we know that she’s in safe hands at the hospital so a proud rescue for our volunteers.

Coral Princess cruise ship docked in Tasmania after Covid outbreak onboard

In a throwback to the days of lockdown, the Coral Princess has docked in Tasmania this morning following an outbreak of Covid-19. The cruise ship was delayed due to extreme weather in the eastern states.

The Coral Princess has docked in Burnie this morning, bringing with it around 2000 passengers. It’s the first cruise ship to arrive in the city in more than two years @abcnews

— Monte Bovill (@MonteBovill) November 4, 2022

A spokesperson said a small number of guests had the virus, but did not confirm the exact number.

The company said in a statement on Friday:

As a result of continued and proactive testing, the Covid-19 situation onboard Coral Princess has improved considerably in recent days with a significant number of guests being released from isolation after returning a negative Rapid Antigen Test.

The major regional NSW town of Forbes is flooding at levels not seen for 70 years, as rivers across the state burst their banks. The flood water’s peak has been revised from Friday evening to today.

Here’s the latest from the Bureau of Meteorology:

Rainfall over the past several days and weeks have caused renewed and prolonged flooding along the Lachlan River and its tributaries.

The flood peak is currently nearing Mulyandry Creek upstream of Forbes. Major flooding is occurring at Forbes, where river levels may peak during Saturday, similar to the June 1952 flood (10.80 metres). This major flood peak is forecast to pass through Cottons Weir late Saturday.

Indigenous families call on AFL to admit failings in past handling of racism

A group of Indigenous families have called for the AFL to admit to its own failings before they take part in an investigation into explosive allegations of racism at Hawthorn, AAP reports.

In a joint open letter directed to the AFL Commission and league boss, Gillon McLachlan, on Friday, the families wrote they want to “tell our truths” in a “culturally safe environment”.

The AFL should take a “good look” at how it has handled racism previously, the group said . The letter reads:

We have decided to participate in the AFL Independent Investigation on the basis that the AFL is also committed to independently look at its own failings, and promises to all First Nations families it will do better as a result.

We do want to tell our truths to a panel of independent investigators in a culturally safe environment. But the issue of racism in the AFL cannot be dealt with by a narrowly targeted investigation on a club-by-club, or crisis-by-crisis, basis.

We want the AFL to take a good hard look at itself and how it has dealt with racism in the past. Not because we want to trawl over 100 years of neglect, or conduct a witch-hunt or to bring legal claims, but because we want the AFL to be a safer place for our children.

On Wednesday, a woman at the centre of the racism claims at Hawthorn, which focus on a period between 2008 and 2016, released a statement via her lawyers saying she would not take part in the investigation as it was unsafe.

Her statement came on the same day the new North Melbourne coach, Alastair Clarkson, vowed to strongly defend himself against all allegations directed at him dating from his time at Hawthorn.

Clarkson officially started his new job as Kangaroos AFL coach on Wednesday after signing a five-year contract in late August.

Former Hawthorn football manager Chris Fagan has recently returned to his job as senior coach of the Brisbane Lions after standing down when the allegations surfaced via an ABC report in September. Both men deny the allegations.

Daniel Hurst

Daniel Hurst

PM to criticise Coalition’s focus on nuclear at Queensland Labor conference

Anthony Albanese will seek to discredit the Coalition’s focus on nuclear power when he addresses the state Labor conference in Queensland today.

According to speech extracts distributed in advance, the prime minister will say the federal opposition wants to shun “cheaper, cleaner energy and more jobs – and instead invest in the most expensive form of energy, nuclear power:

Only Peter Dutton could look at this beautiful part of the Sunshine Coast and say: ‘What a great spot for a nuclear reactor!’

We believe in the light on the hill. The LNP want us to glow in the dark!

Albanese will vow to work with the Queensland government to “bring the new jobs of clean energy to every corner” of the state. He will praise the Palaszczuk government’s recently announced target for 70% renewable electricity by 2032, saying it is “an act of leadership that will shape the future of this state and our nation”.

And friends, for the first time in a decade, Queenslanders have a federal government in their corner on this, a partner in the work ahead.

Inquiry into Medicare noncompliance and waste launched

The health minister, Mark Butler, has launched an independent inquiry into Medicare in an attempt to curb fraud and waste within the healthcare system.

The probe will be fronted by health economist and former Victorian Department of Health secretary Dr Pradeep Philip, who will put an estimated dollar figure on the non-compliance.

A national audit in 2020 estimated it to cost between $366m and $2.2bn a year.

Australians know that the overwhelming bulk of our doctors and health professionals are honest and comply with Medicare rules. But they also understand that after nine years of cuts and neglect, every dollar in Medicare is precious and must be spent directly on patient care.

— Mark Butler MP (@Mark_Butler_MP) November 4, 2022

I’ve asked Dr Pradeep Philip to conduct an independent review to measure and report on the true extent of non-compliance in Medicare and identify fixes to protect the integrity of the system.

— Mark Butler MP (@Mark_Butler_MP) November 4, 2022

Good morning

All eyes are on the central-west New South Wales town of Forbes today, where a major flood peak not experienced for 70 years could hit as the state grapples with continued crises.

There were 10 flood rescues overnight, the majority in Forbes, including a pregnant woman and her midwife who needed urgent transport. Around 1,000 people have been urged to leave their homes ahead of a forecast peak for the Lachlan River of 10.8 metres today.

The levee at Wagga Wagga has so far held after the Murrumbidgee River peaked at 9.72 metres yesterday, however evacuation orders remain for low-lying parts of the town.

Further north, the isolated Walli Village at Collarenebri is being urged to evacuate by this afternoon due to a failed sewerage system.

Meanwhile, aged care workers have been delivered an interim 15% pay rise by the Fair Work Commission. The Health Services Union said the pay rise was a “down payment” but a larger and broader increase was needed to address the industry’s employment crisis.

And the Reserve Bank of Australia has forecast a dire outlook for the next few years in its latest update, predicting rising unemployment, inflation peaking higher and slower growth until 2025 as economic challenges intensify.

Caitlin Cassidy here to guide you through today’s news. You can reach me at @caitecassidy on Twitter or shoot me an email at [email protected].

Let’s dive in.

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