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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Australia's development of missile technology

 In January, and again at the end of March this year, Australia's Government announced it intended to allocate $1 billion for the development of new long-range hypersonic cruise missiles. 


Australian researchers at the University of Queensland developed two essential technologies for hypersonic cruise missiles: 

  • In July 2002, the hypersonic scramjet engine that will propel these missiles, and
  • In December 2009, high-temperature materials to enable sustained hypersonic flight without the outer casings of these missiles melting. 

Then, following the failure of a missile test flight in September 2013, Australian development of the technology was abandoned. 



Other missile manufacturers and exporters have since occupied the market that the Australian defence industries ignored. 

University of Queensland researchers may have contributed to this absence of interest; The first patent application for hypersonic scramjet engine was filed in 2006 - by a U.S. defence contractor.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Community Batteries

"A community battery is a relatively new concept in Australia. It is a shared battery solution located in a local neighbourhood and allows customers and the wider community to share in the multiple benefits that batteries can provide." (See Ausgrid "Community Batteries")

Under ideal conditions, only 1 kW of generating capacity and grid capacity is needed to provide the total of 24 kWh per day used by the above single dwelling. The "community battery" provides the peak demand of 5 kW from time to time during each day as appliances switch on and off.

The battery can be an alternative infrastructure item, potentially replacing 4 kW of generating capacity and grid capacity for the single dweliing in this example.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Ruby Princess contradictions in NSW Special Commission and answers to Senate Select Committee

Exhibits before the NSW Special Commission into the Ruby Princess show that a port agent for Carnival Cruises booked two NSW ambulances to take passengers off the Ruby Princess the evening before it docked  - and said they were suspected of having coronavirus. This was the first indication from the Ruby Princess that the ship's doctor suspected coronavirus cases aboard.

Shortly after midnight the CEO of Carnival Cruises, before the Ruby Princess had docked, and after the harbour master rescinded permission for the Ruby Priness to dock, the ship's doctor told Sydney Harbour authorities that the ambulances were booked for two passengers who had non-Covid health conditions. On receiving this deceptive information, the Ruby Princess was given permission to dock and disembark its passengers.

A letter to the Senate Select Committee, consistent with the CEO's assertion, lists the conditions of the two passengers for whom ambulances were booked as being unrelated to coronavirus. 

The operators of the Ruby Princess had recently experienced a similar situation with the Diamond Princess - initially cleared to dock in Yokohama - but that clearance was rescinded when Japanese authorities received conformation that coronavirus was spreading among passengers. 

It is likely that the operators of the Ruby Princess deceived Australian authorities and withheld information to avoid a repeat of the situation with the Diamond Princess in Japan the month before...

Chronology of COVID-19 Cases on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship and Ethical Considerations: A Report From Japan

The Diamond Princess cruise ship has been anchored at the Yokohama port in Japan since February 3, 2020. A total of 691 cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection had been confirmed as of February 23. The government initially assumed that the infection was not spreading aboard and therefore indicated that any persons who either tested negative for the virus or were asymptomatic should immediately disembark. However, on February 5, the government set a 14-day health observation period because of the severity of the infection. Passengers confirmed to be free from infection began disembarking on Day 15 (February 19) of the quarantine.

On February 1, 2020, Hong Kong’s government announced that pneumonia due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was confirmed in Mr A, an 80-year-old male passenger on the Diamond Princess who had disembarked on January 25. Later, on February 3, the Diamond Princess docked off Daikoku Pier at Yokohama Port. No immediate word was issued on when the ship would be permitted to dock.

The number of COVID-19-infected patients on the Diamond Princess increased rapidly. The first 10 cases were confirmed on February 5, and, by February 23, when passengers began disembarking, the number of confirmed cases had risen to 691.


Ruby Princess

 

The calls taken by NSW Ambulance were quite clear and unambiguous. 

  • The message that originated with 'them' calling the CEO of Carnival Cruises is contradictory. 
  • It is this version that is most likely in error. 
  • The passengers taken by ambulance did in fact have coronavirus symptoms and infections when taken off the Ruby Princess. 

The extracts below are from transcripts of telephone calls in NSW Special Commission exhibits available at https://www.rubyprincessinquiry.nsw.gov.au/assets/scirp/files/Exhibits-17-20.pdf

The 3 paragraphs copied after the transcript extracts are from a letter to Senator Katy Gallagher, Chair Senate Select Committee on COVID-19. The letter is available at "11. 20200814_Responsefrom Secretary Metcalfe to the Chair's letter including attachments.pdf"


6:59:37 pm 18 March 2020          Table 1

Transcript of phone call – Ashley Nguyen, NSW Ambulance Service and Bibi Tokovic, port agent for Carnival Cruises

Call taker

Ambulance Emergency what town and suburb.

Bibi

Hi sorry um my name is Bibi. I'm calling on behalf of Carnival Australia.

Call taker

Mmmm

Bibi

I have two passengers onboard a cruise vessel arriving in the early hours morning.

Call taker

Yes.

Bibi

I've had a request by the doctor and forward to book him an ambulance.

Call taker

Sorry could you just bear with me a second.

Bibi

Sure.

Call taker

I just have to get my supervisor if you could just give me a moment.

Bibi

Sure. Yeah yeah yeah take your time.

Call taker

What was the diagnosis of the patient, sorry?

Bibi

So basically they're infectious. They've got an upper respiratory tract uh that they also require cardiology consult.

Call taker

Mmmm.

Bibi

So that's one of them and the second one is the same. They're uh infectious. They've got upper respiratory tracts and they have severe lower back pain and I can't even read the words, please excuse my medical ...

Call taker

Yep.

Bibi

.. .femoral nerve radiculopathy.

Call taker

Yep. Yep. If I could please have the patient's name.

Bibi

Sure. So the first patient is Mr Anthony ...

Call taker

Yes.

Bibi

Londero spelt L-O-N-D-E-R-O.

Call taker

And what was his date of birth?

Bibi

I'm just waiting for those details. That'll probably come through as I'm speaking to you.

Call taker

Yes and where are we picking them up from?

Bibi

So the cruise vessel will arrive at 2.30. They will be ready in the medical centre at 3.00am at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Call taker

That's the one in Circular Quay.

Bibi

Correct. Yeah.

Call taker

And what dock?

Bibi

Sorry that's what it is called the Overseas Passenger Terminal. All the same

Call taker

And which hospital will they ...

Bibi

We've been requested by New South Wales to take them to the Royal Prince Alfred.

Call taker

And the diagnosis of um…

Bibi

So it says: “febrile upper respiratory tract infection. Signs of rate related cardio ischemia".

Call taker

I'm sorry, could you repeat that for me please.

Bibi

Sure uh signs of rate related cardiac ischaemia.

Call taker

So, is he infectious?

Bibi

So the doctor has told me they've been tested for corona ...

Call taker

Yes.

Bibi

... virus so precautions need to be taken. So possibly.

Call taker

And will he require a stretcher?

Bibi

Yes he will.

Call taker

Yep and what was the name of the referring doctor.

Bibi

Umm oh God I don't have it on the tip of my - that'll probably come through sorry.

Call taker

Yes, that's ok, or the receiving doctor at RPA?

Bibi

Or receiving sister RPA Emergency so yeah.

Call taker

Ok. Did you have an MRN?

Bibi

I don't know what that is, sorry.

Call taker

A medical records number.

Bibi

Um no. All I know he's Australian.

Call taker

Okay. Yes.

Bibi

So ...

Call taker

And what was your name?

Bibi

Bibi B-I-B-I.

Call taker

Yes. And what is your role?

Bibi

Um a Port Agent.

Call taker

And the number that you're calling from?

Bibi

-

Call taker

Yes.

Bibi

----

Call taker

And who do you work for?

Bibi

Carnival Australia.

Call taker

And the ship was arriving at 2.30? Was that correct?

Bibi

Correct yes.

Call taker

And they'll be ready at 3 ...

Bibi

They'll be ready at 3 by the time we sort of tie her up and stuff.

Call taker

Yeah. Is there a specific place where the paramedics need to go or ...

Bibi

Uh they will - they'll see a gatehouse. If they just make their way through the gatehouse they'll be directed by security and I'll be there on - on the dockside waiting for them to escort them.

Call taker

inaudible down [pause] sorry I'm just putting all this in.

Bibi

Sure.

Call taker

All three ... yeah, okay. Sorry, just give me a moment.

Bibi

That's okay. Take your time.

Call taker

[Typing information] And the name of the next passenger.

Bibi

Yeah is Mrs Lesley L-E-S-L-E-Y.

Call taker

Yes.

Bibi

Last name Bacon B-A-C-O-N.

Call taker

And any date of birth or still ...

Bibi

No not yet. No sorry. [Pause] Hang on. Something just came through as I was talking to you. Oh, I've got a date of birth for them.

Call taker

I'm sorry just a moment. Yep, what was the date of birth?

Bibi

So Ms Bacon is 27 th of October.

Call taker

Yes.

Bibi

1942. And I'm just waiting for Mr Londero I can see that he's texting me.

Call taker

I'll just continue to put all these details in.

Bibi

Are you ready for the second one?

Call taker

Yes.

Bibi

So he is the 2 nd of March.

Call taker

Yes.

Bibi

1968.

Call taker

Yes thank you. Yep and what was um Ms Bacon's diagnosis, sorry

Bibi

So she's got febrile, upper respiratory tract infections.

Call taker

Mm.

Bibi

And there's severe lower back pain with signs projective of a, please bear with me again, Femoral nerve radiculopathy.

 

12:12:46 am 19 March 2020       Table 13

Transcript of phone call

Peter Dilonardo

Sydney Control, Pete.

SC XXX

Hi Peter, it's Snr Constable XXX from Sydney Water Police.

Peter Dilonardo

How are you?

SC XXX

Yeah good. So, this is a bit of a roundabout, but we — I've just to Cameron [Butchart], the Harbour Master, who's called the -

Peter Dilonardo

I guess the phone number

SC XXX

Yeah, well he's called them, but he's also — he called — they've called the CEO of Carnival Australia.

Peter Dilonardo 

OK yep.

SC XXX

He said that from Bibi they then booked two Ambulances for non-Covid related

Peter Dilonardo

Ahhh we've got it as Covid-related.

 

 

3:51:22 am 19 March 2020          Table 27

Transcript of phone call

Chris Townsend 

They did have 11 other patients that they have been in contact with the Public Health Officer um over and they've already disembarked and made their way to Prince of Wales or RPA.

 

In “11. 20200814_Response from Secretary Metcalfe to the Chair's letter including attachments.pdf” at pages 37-38 (of pdf file) paged 32-33 (in document), paragraphs 138 and 140.

138.  Ms Khan also recalls Mr [Cameron] Butchart telling her that he could stop the ship if need be. She does not recall him saying words to the effect: ‘[t]he Ruby Princess is still in safe water to be sent back to sea … you have about 20 minutes to make a pretty quick decision before I can’t turn the vessel around.’ Instead, she recalls him saying that, if there was anything that confirmed that this vessel had suspected COVID-19 cases on board, then he had a pilot on board and it could stop at Bradleys Head. Ms Khan does not recall any timing for stopping the ship being mentioned at this point. Ms Khan recalls telling Mr Butchart that she needed to find out what information ABF’s Maritime officers had on the ambulance cases and relay that information back to Mr Butchart.

139. At 12.54 am, Ms Khan called her supervisor, Mr Shane Murray (the on-call Border Force Supervisor for Shipping Operations) and spoke to him for six minutes. 102 Ms Khan asked about ambulance cases and whether the vessel had clearance to berth. Mr Murray recalls advising Ms Khan that NSW Health was not attending and the disembarkation would proceed. Ms Khan recalls Mr Murray telling her that the ambulances were for cardiac [see "rate related cardio ischemia"] and nerve issues [see "Femoral nerve radiculopathy"] and were for non-COVID-19 cases [but see "febrile, upper respiratory tract infections"].

102  Call logs, NSW RCU (Ms Sharon Khan) (19 March 2020), row 5 (DHA.0002.0007.0001);

Call logs, Mr Shane Murray (Work mobile) (19 March 2020), row 2 (DHA.0002.0007.0009).

140. Ms Khan then placed a call back to Mr Butchart, which call records indicate took place at 1.01 am and lasted four minutes. 103 Ms Khan’s recollection is that she explained that ABF’s records showed that the ambulances were called out for non-COVID-19 cases and that NSW Health had given clearance for the passengers to disembark. Ms Khan does not recall making any reference to speaking to her supervisor. Ms Khan denies saying words to the effect of ‘bring it in’, but agrees that she would have said that the vessel had been given clearance to dock.

103  Call logs, NSW RCU (Ms Sharon Khan) (19 March 2020), row 6 (DHA.0002.0007.0001).