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Covid Safe App – A$7.8 million of pandemic amusement

Monday, 7 June 2021

The Australian government’s Covid Safe App has been one of the more amusing failures (we need some amusement) from the pandemic. Of course the government has been extremely reluctant to admit how much it cost and how well it has worked, but as of 30 April 2021 it appears to have cost A$7.8 million and is continuing to rack up costs at the rate of A$100,000 a month.

 

 

The idea of the app was that if two people had the app on their phone – and they had the appropriate phone make and model and their phones were turned on and could potentially talk to each other – then you’d get a warning if you’d crossed paths with someone and one of you was Covid19 positive.

Of course it didn’t work very well, in fact I thought it hadn’t worked at all, but there is a claim that it has identified 17 positive links. So that would mean it cost A$459,000 each time it warned somebody that they had been close to somebody else with the virus. Doesn’t sound like great value to me?

Nevertheless my app update warning has just notified me that a COVIDSafe update is available which will offer ‘Improved support for international visitors, minor content and bug fixes.’ Well that’s great, particularly since Australia is still banning all international visitors. Unless they’re sports stars or movie stars of course. Oops, or New Zealanders, but then they might not have the right phone?

Covid Safe App – A$7.8 million of pandemic amusement

7 June 2021 | Living

The Australian government’s Covid Safe App has been one of the more amusing failures (we need some amusement) from the pandemic. Of course the government has been extremely reluctant to admit how much it cost and how well it has worked, but as of 30 April 2021 it appe...

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Melbourne – Cars, Restaurants, Coathangers

5 June 2021 | Living

Locked down in Melbourne I’ve been pedaling my bicycle around and thinking about places with – for me – a Melbourne history. I’ve lived in Melbourne for far too long, a lot of those years in Richmond, a ‘suburb’ which went from Struggletown – I’m reading that book at ...

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Flight Seizures, Flight Diversions

30 May 2021 | Transport

Nobody has died – yet – but the hijack of Ryanair flight 4978 was certainly a shocker. Belarus is ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ and Alexander Lukashenko, the brutal leader, looks precisely like what he is: a Soviet era thug. The best you can say is that he didn’t shoot...

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Daphne Mayo – Brisbane’s artistic star

27 May 2021 | Culture

◄ Daphne Mayo When I visited Adelaide earlier this year and saw the works of Clarice Beckett at her exhibit in the Art Gallery of South Australia I commented – like assorted other visitors – that it was remarkable she was so unrecognized during her life. Well that’...

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Moreton Island – lots of sand & right off Brisbane

27 May 2021 | Places

My recent Australian travels featured the climb up Mt Kosciuszko, visits to three ‘big cities,’ Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, stops at smaller centres, the Hawkesbury River, Byron Bay & Tweed Heads, Longreach and Winton, the train trip from Brisbane to Longreach ...

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Winton – Way Out West

25 May 2021 | Places

From Longreach I jumped in a rent-a-car and continued west to Winton, way out west. From Winton if you continue further west you reach Boulia and then you’re out of Queensland and into the Northern Territory. ▲ As you approach Winton there are signs letting you kno...

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Lark Quarry – a dinosaur stampede

24 May 2021 | Places

▲ Signs around Winton claim that you’re in Australia’s dinosaur capital. ▲ Part of that claim can be credited to the Lark Quarry ‘dinosaur stampede’ site. A modern building protects the site and features a café and a small theatre for introductory talks before visi...

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Longreach & Qantas

23 May 2021 | Places

▲ Longreach Train Station – my arrival point in the outback town after the 26 hour train trip from Brisbane ◄ Across the road from the train station is this marker for the Tropic of Capricon, a reminder that Longreach straddles the line where the ‘Temperate Zone’ t...

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Nyiragongo Volcano in Congo DRC Erupts

23 May 2021 | Places

The active Nyiragongo Volcano overlooking the town of Goma, close to the border of Congo DRC and Rwanda has been erupting. I climbed the volcano back in 2011 and visited the gorillas in the nearby Virunga National Park. ▲ The eruption reports indicated that the ...

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Spirit of the Outback – the train from Brisbane to Longreach

22 May 2021 | Transport

▲ I took Queensland Rail’s Spirit of the Outback train from Brisbane to Longreach. It’s 600km north along the coast from Brisbane to Rockhampton then 700km due west inland and into the outback. That’s 1325km in total, which takes almost 26 hours. That means an average...

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