Australia news LIVE: Melbourne’s northern suburbs COVID cluster grows as restrictions reintroduced across city
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Senator says borders should stay closed to prevent foreigners pushing down wages

One of Scott Morrison’s backbenchers says the international border should stay closed because foreign immigrants are bad for Australians’ wages.

Queensland LNP Senator Gerard Rennick also used a live television appearance to say he would “sit back and watch and see” how the vaccine rollout goes, directly undermining federal government pleas for the population to get their COVID-19 jabs.

From left: Coalition politicians Sarah Henderson, Angie Bell, Jane Hume, Luke Howarth, Michelle Landry, Zed Seselja, Bridget McKenzie, Dr Anne Webster and Gerard Rennick at the Women’s March 4 Justice in Canberra.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The government is battling a rise in vaccine hesitancy with just 3.69 million vaccine doses administered to date, well short of the government’s pledge of 4 million jabs by the end of March.

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More than half of American adults are vaccinated against COVID-19

In overseas news more than half of all adults in the United States have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the White House.

President Joe Biden previously said he wanted 70 per cent of the American population jabbed at least once by July 4.

President Joe Biden wants 70 per cent of the US population to have had at least one coronavirus vaccine by July.Credit:AP

The country’s new coronavirus infections appear to be on the decline, with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recording a 25 per cent drop in cases this week compared to last.

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This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for reading our live coverage. It’s Wednesday, May 26. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be bringing you some of the biggest national stories as they unfold.

It’s set to be a busy day, with Melbourne waking up to new coronavirus restrictions due to a growing outbreak. We’ll have a standalone blog on that very topic later this morning and it will be free for all readers.

In the meantime, here’s what you might have missed overnight:

  • A person who tested positive for COVID-19 in Melbourne’s northern suburbs this week attended an AFL match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground over the weekend, according to authorities. It comes as the list of exposure sites across Melbourne grows and mask-wearing becomes compulsory in indoor settings.
  • In NSW, Opposition Leader Jodi McKay insists she will not stand down amid an escalating battle over the future of the Labor party. More of her MPs are expected to quit the frontbench after the shadow treasurer tended his resignation.
  • And celebrity chef Pete Evans has been fined almost $80,000 and ordered to stop making various claims about his wellness products. Evans has previously been booted off Facebook and Instagram for sharing false claims about vaccinations and COVID-19.
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