Big booster in Omicron fight

The worrying surge in the COVID-19 Omicron variant has forced a number of states to once again alter the interval required before people can get their booster shots.

Residents in South Australia, NSW, Victoria and Queensland who are not yet fully vaccinated can now have their booster shot three weeks before their second jab.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has lashed out angrily at those accusing him of lying, saying it was an absolute nonsense to suggest he had ever questioned whether those being held in long-term detention in a Melbourne hotel were true refugees.

Fronting an impromptu media call, Mr Morrison said he was bitterly disappointed that some in the media had misconstrued comments he made to Ben Fordham on 2GB earlier this week.

“I’ve heard people claim that I said: “Well, the specific cases, Ben, I mean, it’s not clear that to my information that someone in that case is actually a refugee. They may have sought asylum and been found not to be a refugee and have chosen not to return. And that’s that’s a very, that happens in this country, people aren’t found to be refugees and they won’t return. And they don’t have a visa to enter Australia, then obviously they can’t enter Australia.”

When reporters interrupted the PM, saying the transcript of the radio interview showed him saying exactly that to Ben Fordham, Mr Morrison replied: “That’s a Labor lie.

“They’ve used bad technology to doctor that transcript. And it is bad technology. I’ve always said that.

“This is all Anthony Albanese and Labor’s fault.

“They lie. That’s all they ever do. They lie and they lie and they lie,” he added.

“There’s no way I would have used such roundabout words with Ben to describe these criminals who arrived here illegally by boat and should have gone home when we told them to.”

Mr Morrison then brought the media call to an abrupt end, saying he was late for a scheduled meeting with a delegation in his office in Parliament House just behind him, before scurrying back inside to the safety of Kirribilli House, his official Sydney residence.