Victoria records 15 new cases of coronavirus, one death
Victoria has recorded 15 new cases of coronavirus and one more death in the past day.
The numbers bring Victoria's rolling 14-day average to 10.9.
That number needs to be lower than five, and with fewer than five mystery cases, for Melbourne to take the next step out of lockdown restrictions on October 19. There are 13 active mystery cases today.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has said he is unsure whether Victoria will meet the targets set out.
"My gut feeling is it will be a line ball. It's not certain one way or the other," he told reporters on Monday.
It is not known yet whether any of today's new cases are connected to a cluster linked to a butcher shop in Chadstone, which authorities fear may be a super-spreading event.
The number of cases linked to that outbreak had grown to 24 by Monday.
"The composition of that 24 is seven staff, nine family and household members and three customers of the Butcher Club," Professor Sutton said.
Customers caught the virus from infectious staff who they most likely stood very close to, he said.
The new case numbers come as the federal government prepares to deliver its budget later today, with a focus on jobs.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Tuesday morning the nation now has a two-speed economy. "We have Victoria and we have the rest," he said.
"But, fortunately, in Victoria, the number of daily cases has been coming down, and those restrictions have started to ease. And that will see more people in Victoria get back to work, just as we've seen more people around the rest of the country get back to work," Mr Frydenberg told reporters on Tuesday morning.
Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese said his party would create an Australian Centre for Disease Control to handle future pandemics if it wins the next election.
The Australian Medical Association called for one after Victoria's breach of hotel quarantine infection control led to a deadly second COVID-19 wave.
On Tuesday morning, Mr Albanese said he hoped the Morrison government would pick up the idea, but committed to a CDC under a Labor government as Australia was the only country in the OECD without one.
"This pandemic, this once-in-a-century pandemic, we were unprepared for. We hadn't had an exercise of going through a crisis… exercise, as is recommended by the World Health Organisation since 2008," Mr Albanese told ABC's Radio National.
"We were massively underprepared. We need to make sure that we are prepared in the future, which is why we're saying that in tonight's budget, and if the government doesn't do it, then a Labor government will establish this according with best practice".
In June, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt dismissed the need for a new body, saying that the Australian model of "embedding" the federal chief medical officer within the National Cabinet along with state and territory counterparts had proven effective in suppressing the coronavirus.
The National Incident Room in Canberra effectively functioned as a Centre for Disease Control while "being able to draw on the resources of the whole country and the states", Mr Hunt said at the time.
– with Mary Ward
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