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As New Zealand introduced a stalled stepped plan to reopen its border, the Canberra Convoy clashes with ACT Police. Polls show both Ardern and ScoMo are losing popular opinion. Religious freedom is once again in the spotlight. Join Tim Wilms and Dieuwe de Boer on Trad Tasman Talk.

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From Monday private hospitals in Victoria will be able to resume elective surgery as Omicron hospitalizations plummet. The Andrews Government also announced $1.4 billion in extra health funding after it was revealed that Victoria spends less per patient than any other state in Australia. Dan Andrews hasn’t ruled out mandating further vaccine doses if they are recommended.

There has been international outrage at Jacinda Ardern over pregnant NZ journalist Charlotte Bellis being denied a MIQ spot instead of remaining in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban even though she is an unmarried woman which is forbidden under Sharia law. In response and after emerging from isolation Ardern announced a complex 5 stage plan to reopen NZ to the whole world without any quarantine by October of this year.

The other closed state Western Australia is now facing a food shortage after the road and rail transit routes on the Nullabour are currently flooded. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has compared WA to North Korea. The local WA Police last night interrupted a Catholic mass to check mask exemptions.

Inspired by the Candian Truckers’ Convoy many Australians have driven cars and caravans to Canberra to demand an end for vaccine mandates and passports. The ACT Police used brute force to drive the convoy participants from the Patrick White Lawns outside the National Library whom they deemed were packed and camping there illegally. Two ACT police officers were counseled for clinking their pepper spray bottles afterward. During this same week coincidently Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews announced $60 million in funding to combat violent extremism.

The Brisbane based faith school Citipointe Christian College has endured a media firestorm this week started by the Sunday Project which aired a segment about the school’s declaration of faith section in its enrolment contract which stated “We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including but not limiting to adultery, fornication, homosexual acts, bisexual acts, bestiality, incest, paedophilia and pornography) is sinful and offensive to God and is destructive to human relationships and society”. After initially defending the enrolment contract later this week Principal Brian Mulheran withdrew the contract and regretted that any students felt they would be discriminated against.

Although the NZ general election isn’t due until the end of 2023 Jacinda Ardern’s stardust has taken a tumble in the polls. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has proposed a 3% tax increase in the government’s redundancy insurance scheme.

The Australian federal election is due in May 2022 with the latest Newspoll seeing Labor leading 56-44 and Morrison now only 2 points ahead of Albanese as Preferred PM 43-41. Scott Morrison’s National Press Club speech didn’t go to plan with Peter Van Onselen confronting him with a text message where former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian called him a ‘horrible horrible person’ with a serving Cabinet Minister replying calling him ‘a complete physco’.

Watchdog finds Victoria has nation’s unhealthiest hospital system – The Age
Dan Andrews Hints at Mandating Fourth and Fifth Vaccine, Additional Mandates “Only A Matter of Time” – Caldron Pool
Pregnant journalist gets help from Taliban after New Zealand denies request to return due to COVID rules – Fox News
Australian Government pledges over $60 million to combat “violent extremism” in response to Canberra protests – XYZ
ACT police ‘counselled’ after footage appears to show officers celebrating anti-vax protest capsicum spraying – Canberra Times
Govt proposes 3% tax increase – Kiwiblog
‘Some of our students have been vilified’: Citipointe Christian College retracts contract – Brisbane Times

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