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News blog, December 16: booster injections advised by GV’s doctor; VCE results published

Photographer Megan Fisher captures Australiana up close. Photo by Megan Fisher

Happy thursday,

It’s Georgia Rossiter with you again this sunny (and a little windy) Thursday. We will peak at 27 ℃ at Shepparton, before the mercury climbs to 33 ℃ tomorrow. On Saturday we expect a scorching 38 ℃ high.

UPDATE, 4:45 p.m .: Muto disputes helmet fine

Another story to end the day.

Shepparton Magistrates’ Court heard that controversial former Shepparton adviser Milvan Muto received a penalty notice for cycling without an approved helmet.

A contested three-hour hearing has been blocked for March.

Read about his defense in the full story.

Good evening and see you tomorrow online!

UPDATE, 4:15 p.m .: Happy 90th birthday to ABC Goulburn Murray

Lots of good feedback from our colleagues at ABC Goulburn Murray, who are celebrating the station’s 90th anniversary today!

UPDATE, 3:55 p.m .: O’Keeffe quashes rumor she’s linked to Canberra

Have you heard any rumors that Greater Shepparton City Mayor Kim O’Keeffe is considering looking into federal politics?

Well, nip those rumors in the bud.

Today Ms O’Keeffe ended months of speculation by announcing that she would not be making an offer to represent the region in Canberra.

Read what she had to say in this article by Darren Linton.

UPDATE 2:20 p.m .: Afternoon headlines

Things are happening across the country today. Here are some local and national titles.

Magistrate lashes out at man with appalling driving history: Magistrate called a man’s driving record “appalling” before fining him $ 2,000, warning he was lucky he didn’t not have been sent to prison.

“Bored and Barking Dogs Out of Yard”: New Off-Leash Dog Park Officially Open: City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Kim O’Keeffe and other community members and representatives stand by gathered at the park on Thursday to open the gates.

Two children died in a jumping castle accident: two children died and several were seriously injured after falling about 10 meters from a jumping castle that was blown into the air at an elementary school in the northwest of the Tasmania.

Unemployment rate drops as lockdowns end: Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg held a press conference earlier today to present the 2021-2022 mid-year economic and fiscal outlook.

UPDATE 12:45 p.m.: COVID-19 local data

The Greater Shepparton LGA recorded nine new cases of the coronavirus overnight, the total number now standing at 89.

Nearby, Moira Shire recorded four new cases and Campaspe recorded three.

Strathbogie Shire has registered a new case.

UPDATE 11:45 a.m .: Princess Park off-leash dog park is officially open

Time to play: Ace and Zuko also attended the opening of the dog park this morning at Princess Park.

I just got back to the Princess Park off-leash dog park grand opening office, and let me tell you there were some cute dogs there.

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Kim O’Keefe, Acting Director of Infrastructure Tim Zak, and other community members and representatives gathered at the park this morning to open the gates.

“We have already received positive feedback from dog owners who have visited the park,” Zak said.

One of the already regular participants, Norm Kortum, said that the park is already a big improvement over the other in the Ducat reserve.

“There has been a tenfold increase in the number of people and dogs,” he said.

I’ll have the full story later today.

UPDATE 10:10 am: Labor shortage hits GV food producers, businesses

Need more employees: Katunga Fresh boss Peter Van Den Goor overlooking the vines inside one of the greenhouses. Photo by Geoff Adams

On today’s headline, Darren Linton reports that large employers in Goulburn Valley are struggling to recruit staff, leading to losses in productivity and confidence as a large fresh produce producer sets up expansion of $ 200 million due to lack of volunteer workers.

Katunga Fresh in Katunga normally produces 12 million kilograms of tomatoes per year for major supermarkets across the country, but owner Peter Van den Goor has said the plantation could be cut in half by 2022.

“Normally we employ 150 people, and we’re probably short 20-30 people right now,” he said.

Click here for the full story.

UPDATE 9:05 am: Over 1,600 new COVID-19 cases recorded in Victoria, nine deaths

The number of new cases has climbed in Victoria to 1,622 today, out of more than 80,000 tests carried out in the past 24 hours.

This is the highest daily total recorded since October.

Nine Victorians also died from the virus.

There are now 384 people hospitalized, slightly more than the seven-day average of 346.

In New South Wales, 1,742 new cases have been recorded, and zero deaths.

We’ll bring you local numbers and other coronavirus information as we go.

UPDATE 8:45 am: VCE and ATAR scores published; booster injections needed to prevent drops in immunity

Goulburn Valley Chief Medical Officer-Vaccinator is urging people to think about booster doses as the number of COVID-19 cases rises and the Omicron variant begins to spread in Australia.

Helen Roberts, medical manager of GV Health’s COVID-19 vaccination program, said boosters would be crucial as immunity began to wane over the next few months, with Australia’s Vaccination Technical Advisory Group closing the gap between the second and third dose.

“What we have seen in the UK, the rest of Europe and Israel is that at six months the immunity that we have developed will drop,” Dr Roberts said.

Read Max Stainkamph’s full report here.

And Victoria’s Grade 12 students are waking up to their VCE and ATAR results.

We have good thoughts and hope you get all the grades you want, but remember: it’s not the end of the world!

We’ll have more on that later today.