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'Last' Holden made in Australia sells at auction for $750,000

The 'last' Holden made in Australia has sold at auction for $750,000.

The red Commodore V8 sedan wasn't the very last car to roll off the general assembly line at the South Adelaide plant in October 2017 but it was the "last body to leave the bodyshop and enter/exit the paintshop". It's also understood to have the very last serial number given to an Australian-made Holden.

Bidding for the 2017 Holden VF Series II SSV Redline started at $305,000 yesterday and after half an hour escalated to more than ten times the 2017 showroom cost of $65,000.

Last Holden sold for $750,000 at auctionLast Holden sold for $750,000 at auction

The winning bid was placed by an avid Holden collector on the East Coast.

While the 2017 Holden HSV GTSR W1 Maloo Ute, also auctioned today, broke the record for Australia's most expensive road registerable muscle car.

It sold under the hammer at Lloyds Auctions for $1,050,000.

"There were three bidders that bid over $1 million on the Maloo Ute with two of them being Holden enthusiasts, however the winning bidder is a group specialising in raffling off unique cars, so I don't think it will be the last time we see this car," Chief Operations Officer, Lee Hames, said.

"The two new owners of these vehicles are extremely excited to have been the successful bidders of these cars in the 4-hour auction today," he said.

The real last Australian-made red Commodore V8 is actually owned by General Motors and is currently on display in the National Motor Museum, located in Birdwood, approximately 50km north-east of Adelaide.

Casino brawl leads to party bus crack down in WA

Three people were taken to hospital and several others were injured after a fight broke out in the carpark at Perth's Crown Casino last night.

Police say 70 people were involved in the affray, with photographs showing two people standing on cars as security guards appeared to watch on.

Injuries ranged from black eyes, to broken bones and bleeding on the brain – all in front of young children.

WA casino brawl

"The kids saw their dads getting pulled into this group and beaten so they were absolutely distraught," a witness told 9News.

A newly married couple, who don't want their faces shown, told 9News they were on tour buses with their wedding guests when they were ambushed.

"It was horrendous – there were people on the ground getting kicked, their heads stomped, it was disgusting," they said.

Multiple cars were trashed, with mirrors snapped off and used as weapons.

"It appears that both groups arrived intoxicated, both were alleged to be on these so called party busses," WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said.

WA casino brawl

Today WA's top cop called for a crack down on the party bus industry.

"Those operators… I am putting you straight on notice right now," Com. Dawson said.

"If you're going to continue operating these businesses in this way, you'll find there is a police car following you — and your patrons will get very strong police action."

He's pushing for party bus operators and their drivers to be liable for criminal charges.

"[I'm] not trying to be anti party but this is violence, this is not partying," Com. Dawson said.

WA police commissioner

Road rage incident turns violent at Queensland intersection

Gold Coast motorists have watched on in disbelief as a driver punched a man three times his age at an intersection.

The violence spilled out across the road following a minor nose-to-tail incident.

Someone a few cars back recorded the situation as it unfolded, when a 67-year-old man confronted the driver of a Toyota Camry.

RELATED: Dashcam captures Gold Coast highway road rage brawl

Road rage incident turns violent at Queensland intersection

A 23-year-old is seen stepping out of the car and onto the road before violence erupts.

A closer look at the footage shows the older man is first flicked under the chin. He then grabs his younger counterpart and pushes him away.

The man in the red cap immediately retaliates throwing a punch at the older man's face, followed by another one.

The man ducks his head and goes for a leg but the blows continue — right up until a bystander runs across two lanes of traffic to pull them apart.

Road rage incident turns violent at Queensland intersection

Witnesses have told 9News it all started a few minutes before when the Camry allegedly hit the red sports car.

There have been no complaints to Police, but they say they're aware of the incident and are investigating.

Woman attacked by shark in WA's southwest

A woman has been injured in a suspected shark attack while surfing at a beach in Western Australia's southwest.

Emergency crews were called to Cowaramup Bay Beach, Gracetown, in the Shire of Augusta – Margaret River, after reports a woman was attacked just after 10.30am.

The 46-year-old made her way back to shore and was treated for puncture wounds to her foot.

Surf Lifesaving WA confirmed a shark was sighted about 50 metres offshore and the beach has been closed as a precaution.

It is believed to be a Wobbegong shark.

"Rangers have closed Cowaramup Bay Beach due to a shark incident. The beach will be closed for 24 hours from Huzza's Car Park to Cowaramup Boat Ramp. Please adhere to all warnings and signage," Surf Lifesaving WA tweeted.

The Surf Life Saving WA Helicopter continued to monitor the area from the air and authorities say the beach will remain closed tomorrow.

'I would have done anything'

A man has missed the chance to say goodbye and hug his dying mother one last time after being forced to stay in hotel quarantine in Queensland. 

For two weeks, Marko Martilla was holed up inside hotel quarantine on the Gold Coast, hoping he would get to say goodbye to his ill mother Anneli in person before it was too late.

"I didn't get to see her — we were four hours too late out of quarantine," a devastated Mr Martilla told 9News.

Martilla Queensland hotel quarantine exemption

READ MORE: Third exemption plea for man refused chance to visit dying mum denied in Queensland

His mother passed away on Thursday night and he was finally released from quarantine at the stroke of midnight Friday.

Despite six attempts at trying to get an exemption to the rules and several doctors outlining his mother's deteriorating condition, Queensland Health wouldn't budge.

"When my mother did pass away, I tried again — I called reception who contacted Queensland Police," Mr Martilla said.

Despite returning four negative COVID tests, officials deemed the risk too high to release him early.

While he knows his battle with Queensland Health is now over, Mr Martilla wants to know why they couldn't extend any leniency or sympathy considering he missed out seeing his mother by a matter of hours and had returned four negative tests.

Martilla Queensland hotel quarantine exemption

READ MORE: Queensland Health won't let man leave quarantine to see terminally ill mother

"I would have done anything — I would have worn a suit with a mask and everything just to come and see her," he said.

While the Chief Health Officer receives thousands of exemption requests, they are rarely granted, all for the greater good of the Queensland community.

"If you give it to one, you don't have to give it to all," Mr Martilla's aunt and his mother's sister Auli Brown said.

"But if somebody asks, please look a little deeper than you did in our case because he missed out by four hours."

Vaccine uncertainty as EU tightens export rules

The European Union has introduced tighter rules on exports of COVID-19 vaccines amid a deepening dispute with drugmaker AstraZeneca over supplies of potentially lifesaving shots.

Australia is relying on millions of doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs with both companies grappling with manufacturing issues.

Australia's Foreign Minister Maurice Payne will now put pressure on the EU and the World Health Organisation in a bid to guarantee our vaccine supplies.

READ MORE: Details of new single shot coronavirus vaccine announced

The Northern Ireland government immediately lashed out at the move, saying the bloc invoked an emergency clause in its divorce deal with the UK that could allow it to halt vaccine exports to the small territory.

Goods are supposed to flow freely between the EU and Northern Ireland under special arrangements for the UK region designed to protect the peace process on the island of Ireland.

Politicians in Northern Ireland condemned the move and the British government said it was concerned.

An EU official who could not speak on the record because the information has yet to be made public, said the scope of the emergency rules limiting exports were still being discussed.

“The European Union has once again shown it is prepared to use Northern Ireland when it suits their interests but in the most despicable manner — over the provision of a vaccine which is designed to save lives,” said Arlene Foster, leader of Northern Ireland’s government.

READ MORE: EU regulator authorises AstraZeneca vaccine for all adults

Earlier, the 27-nation bloc and AstraZeneca made public a heavily redacted version of their vaccine deal that’s at the heart of a dispute over the delivery schedule.

The contract, agreed to last year by the European Commission and the drugmaker, allows the EU’s member countries to buy 300 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with an option for a further 100 million doses. It’s one of several contracts the EU’s executive branch has with vaccine makers to secure a total of more than two billion shots.

As part of an “advanced purchase agreement” with companies, the EU said it has invested 2.7 billion euros ($4.29 billion), including 336 million ($534 million) to finance the production of AstraZeneca’s serum at four factories.

The EU lashed out at the British-Swedish drugmaker this week after the company said it would only supply 31 million doses of vaccine in initial shipments, instead of the 80 million doses it had hoped to deliver.

READ MORE: Queensland reveals six vaccine hubs

Brussels claimed AstraZeneca would supply even less than that, just one-quarter of the doses due between January and March — and member countries began to complain.

The European Commission is concerned that doses meant for Europe might have been diverted from an AstraZeneca plant on the continent to the UK, where two other company sites are located. The EU also wants doses at two sites in Britain to be made available to European citizens.

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told Germany's Die Welt newspaper this week that the UK government helped create the vaccine developed with Oxford University and signed its contract three months before the EU did. Soriot said that under the British contract, vaccines produced at UK sites must go to the UK first.

To head off similar disputes and allay fears that vaccines might be diverted, the Commission introduced measures Friday to tighten rules on the exports of shots produced in the 27 EU countries.

The “vaccine export transparency mechanism″ will be used until the end of March to control shipments to non-EU countries and ensure that any exporting company based in the EU first submits its plans to national authorities.

The EU insisted that's not an export ban, although it could be used to block shipments to the UK or other non-EU countries.

Officials said it is intended to ensure member nations get the shots they bought from producers. They said the mechanism would not affect humanitarian deliveries and shipments to countries covered by the COVAX initiative co-led by the World Health Organisation — meant to ensure less wealthy parts of the world have equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, French president Emmanuel Macron accused AstraZeneca of lack of transparency and said exports should be controlled “because there is questionable behaviour and we will be receiving fewer deliveries that do not honour the contractual engagements agreed.”

The World Health Organisation criticised the new EU export rules as “not helpful.”

Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and other WHO officials warned of supply-chain disruptions that could ripple through the world and potentially stall the fight against COVID-19.

The “advanced purchasing agreement” with the EU was signed in August, before the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had been properly tested. The European Medicines Agency approved the vaccine on Friday, making it the third authorised for use by EU nations.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the French biotechnology laboratory Valneva in Livingston, Scotland, Thursday Jan. 28, 2021, where they will be producing a COVID-19 vaccine on a large scale, during a visit to Scotland.

Much of the 41-page document made public was blacked out, making it very difficult to establish which side is in the right.

Details about the price of the vaccine were notably redacted. The UK is thought to be paying far more for the vaccine than EU countries.

An EU official said 95 per cent of the blackened text is a result of requests from AstraZeneca.

To the uninitiated, the contract is not easily understood. However, it is laden with references to a “Best Reasonable Effort” being made on items like deliveries and volumes, given the uncertainty surrounding the development of the vaccine when it was drafted.

AstraZeneca might say only it can decide whether it’s doing its best, but the EU argues that this is a legal term and that only a judge can decide whether the company has made a “Best Reasonable Effort,” meaning the truth of the matter might lie in the hands of the two sides' lawyers.

In addition to the dispute with AstraZeneca, delays or production problems with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have caused a political uproar across the EU.

A coronavirus vaccine on track for the new year is rolling off the production line.

Nearly two weeks after France extended its vaccine campaign to people over 75 years old, elderly residents in Paris are flocking to vaccination centres amid fears that daily injection rates will soon drop because of a shortfall.

In Italy, virus czar Domenico Arcuri blasted the delivery delays, which he said had so far deprived the country of 300,000 doses and drastically slowed down its campaign to inoculate older adults.

Mr Arcuri said drugmaker Moderna had joined Pfizer and AstraZeneca in announcing delays, saying the pharmaceutical company had advised the Italian government of a 20 per cent cut in planned deliveries of the Moderna vaccine the week of February 8.

“A vaccine is not a soft drink or a snack,” Mr Arcuri said. “With all due respect to soft drinks and snacks, the vaccine is the only antidote to get out of this (dark) night that has lasted a year.”

Hotel quarantine staff paid millions 'to do absolutely nothing'

It has been revealed stand-by hotel quarantine staff were paid as much as $2000 a week while the program was on hiatus last year.

Taxpayers forked out close to $80 million over the five months from July to December, despite there being no international arrivals in Victoria at the time.

Airport terminals were empty and so were the hotels being used in Victoria's quarantine program, but staff hired to work in them were reportedly still being paid.

Melbourne hotel quarantine pay bungleMelbourne hotel quarantine pay bungle

READ MORE: Victoria's hotel quarantine communications lagging

"The government literally put these people in a set and forget — left them at home being paid $2000 a week at the taxpayer's expense doing absolutely nothing," Shadow Minister for Police & Community Safety David Southwick said.

In total, taxpayers forked out $78 million for stand-by quarantine staff and those payments allegedly continued for 1040 workers for the five months the quarantine program was on hiatus, with just 225 of those workers redeployed during that time.

It's not known how these payments from the State Government compare to what the stood down employees would have received from the Federal Government's JobKeeper scheme over that same period.

More than a dozen hotels sat empty, while on retainer deals worth millions of dollars.

Melbourne hotel quarantine pay bungle

The paid stand-by staff included airline employees who'd been stood down, but when international flights and the state's quarantine program resumed in December, it was Victoria Police with the bulk of the responsibilities.

READ MORE: Victoria's new hotel quarantine system underway ahead of international arrivals

"How many of those some 1000 people — that were sitting at home for five months are actually working in hotel quarantine now?" Mr Southwick asked.

Now, the state government has confirmed it's asked Canberra for more cash to prop-up struggling industries, once Jobkeeper payments end in March.