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Australia news live updates: fourth Covid vaccine rolled out to vulnerable groups, weather warnings for Victoria

It’s Mostafa Rachwani with you this morning, coming to you from a bright and chilly Sydney.

We begin today in Victoria, where Gippsland residents have been urged to monitor flooding levels, after facing heavy rainfall and damaging winds yesterday. Watch and act warnings were issued for communities near the Cann River, Buchan River, Bemm River, Genoa River and the Snowy River downstream of McKillops Bridge.

Evacuation orders remain in place in northern NSW, covering much of Lismore, and communities along the Richmond River including Bungawalbin, Woodburn, Broadwater, and parts of Coraki and New Italy. Thousands of people are still unable to return home, with recovery efforts ongoing amid recurring rain.

The NSW coastline was battered by high waves and a strong swell across the weekend, with Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama facing up to 10m waves. Authorities say it could take weeks for the damage to clear up.

Elsewhere, the fourth Covid jab will begin rolling out today to people aged 65 and older, Indigenous Australians aged at least 50, disability care residents and the immunocompromised.

The fourth shot is available for people four months after their first booster, with an estimated 4.7 million people eligible but with fewer than 200,000 meeting requirements at the start of the rollout.

In federal politics, the prime minister Scott Morrison has said he is open to signing a statutory declaration denying he racially vilified Michel Towke, with whom he competed for preselection in 2007.

There is still much about, so let’s dive in.

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