Tough WA vaccination rules come into effect.
West Australians who have refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are being denied entry to most public venues as tough new rules come into effect.
From Monday, proof of double-dose vaccination is required at all hospitality venues, including restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and fast-food outlets for dine-in customers.
It is also needed for visitors to public and private hospitals and aged care facilities, indoor entertainment venues including play centres, casinos and cinemas, gyms and fitness centres, the zoo, Crown casino, amusement parks and even bottle shops.
The requirement applies to any non-exempt person aged 16 and above and has been implemented across the state.
Teachers and other education staff are also required to be double-dose vaccinated to work in schools as kids return to classrooms on Monday.
The gap between second and third vaccine doses has been reduced to three months in a change that came into effect overnight.
The premier has cited the need to improve WA's booster rate, currently at 34 per cent, as a key reason for delaying the reopening of borders.
West Australians remain in the dark about when the borders will open.
- With AAP
NSW's billion dollar business support package.
The NSW government's $1 billion support package has been hailed a lifeline for businesses hit by the Omicron outbreak but the opposition says it's too little, too late.
Announcing the package on Sunday, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the government had the back of every business and worker in the state.
"No other jurisdiction, no other state to date has provided financial support except NSW because that is the NSW way," Mr Perrottet told reporters.
The package includes a payment of up to $5000 per week, or 20 per cent of payroll, for businesses with a turnover between $75,000 and $50 million who suffered a 40 per cent downturn in January, and project to do the same in February.
The government has extended the Small Business Fees and Charges rebate program to $3000, which can include 50 per cent of the costs incurred to get rapid antigen tests for the workplace.
NSW Treasurer Matt Kean has given PM and Frydenberg a spray this morning at presser announcing $1b omicron state-funded support package. Disappointed they're not there, wants them to "step in". (Feds have knocked back requests to chip in.)— Finbar O'Mallon (@finbaromallon) January 30, 2022
Relief for commercial landlords has also been extended until March 13.
But opposition treasury spokesman Daniel Mookhey said, "there is no recognition for the incredibly tough six weeks businesses have already been through".
"Businesses need to prove they lost 40 per cent of their trade in January, and yet they won't be compensated for that January loss."
NSW recorded the deadliest day of the pandemic so far with 52 deaths reported on Sunday, along with 13,524 new positive COVID-19 tests.
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Hillsong leader steps down to fight charge.
Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston will step aside from "all ministry responsibilities" to fight allegations he concealed his father's alleged child abuse.
The 67-year-old was charged in October with concealing a serious indictable offence allegedly committed by another person.
At the time his lawyer told a court Mr Houston would plead not guilty, a position the pastor reinforced in a statement on Sunday saying he welcomes the opportunity to "set the record straight".
"The board and I have had detailed discussion around the requirements for leadership. We have talked about the effects of the situation with my father, which go back many years up to the current legal case, and the impact this has had on me emotionally," Mr Houston said.
Hillsong founder Brian Houston has announced he is stepping down from all ministry responsibilities as he prepares to defend a criminal charge alleging he covered up his father's child sexual abuse. https://t.co/hfiv8mEoZi— SBS News (@SBSNews) January 30, 2022
"The result is that the Hillsong Global Board feel it is in my and the church's best interest for this to happen, so I have agreed to step aside from all ministry responsibilities until the end of the year."
NSW Police investigated the matter for two years after the allegation was raised in media and at the institutional child abuse royal commission.
They will say Mr Houston's father Frank indecently assaulted a male in 1970.
Court documents allege that between 1999 and his father's death in 2004, Brian Houston believed his father had committed the crime.
If you are concerned about the welfare of a child you can get advice from the Child Abuse Protection Hotline by calling 1800 688 009, or visiting this website. You can also call the 24-hour Child Abuse Report Line (131 478).
- with AAP
Nadal wins epic Australian Open final.
Rafael Nadal has staged an epic Australian Open final fightback to claim a record-setting 21st grand slam singles crown.
Nadal recovered from two sets to love down for the first time in 15 years to defeat second seed Daniil Medvedev 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 7-5 in a drama-charged climax to the Open at Melbourne Park.
The landmark victory in a five-hour, 24-minute war of attrition that finished past midnight on Monday morning vaulted the Spaniard one slam clear of great rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on the all-time major titles leaderboard.
The sapping encounter was the second-longest final in Open history, behind only Nadal's five-hour, 53-minute loss to Djokovic in 2012.
"One month and a half ago I might have said this would be my last Australian Open, but now that's plenty of energy to keep going,"@RafaelNadal has reached No. 21, but he's far from done..#AusOpen • #AO2022— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 30, 2022
In claiming the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for a second time, 13 years after his first triumph, Nadal also joins Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Djokovic as only the fourth man in tennis history to win each of the four grand slam titles at least twice.
"I don't know what to say. For me, it's just amazing," Nadal said.
"Without a doubt, it's one of the most emotional moments in my tennis career. The support I received through the three weeks is going to stay in my heart for the rest of my life.
"I really can't explain the feelings that I have right now but I'm going to keep trying my best to come next year."
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Brené Brown joins Spotify protest.
Research professor, author and podcaster Brené Brown has announced she will not be producing podcast episodes on Spotify amid the platform's Joe Rogan COVID-19 misinformation controversy.
She joins Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, who ignited a protest against the streaming service.
"Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives," Mitchell said on Friday in a message posted on her website.
"I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue."
I will not be releasing any podcasts until further notice. To our #UnlockingUs and #DaretoLead communities, I’m sorry and I'll let you know if and when that changes.— Brené Brown (@BreneBrown) January 29, 2022
Stay awkward, brave, and kind. ❤️👊🏼❤️
Following Young's action this week, Spotify said it had policies in place to remove misleading content from its platform and has removed more than 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
But the service has said nothing about comedian Joe Rogan, whose podcast The Joe Rogan Experience is the centrepiece of the controversy. Last month Rogan interviewed on his podcast Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease specialist who has been banned from Twitter for spreading COVID misinformation.
Rogan is one of the streaming service's biggest stars, with a contract that could earn him more than $US100 million ($A143 million).
In a message on his website on Friday, Young said that "when I left Spotify, I felt better."
"Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information," he wrote.
- With AAP
Feature image: Fiona Hamilton/Tennis Australia/Gary Miller/Getty