MasterChef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo dies aged 46

Zonfrillo died in Melbourne on Sunday, MasterChef Australia confirmed on Monday afternoon.

"Network 10 and Endemol Shine Australia are deeply shocked and saddened at the sudden loss of Jock Zonfrillo, a beloved member of the MasterChef family," a statement from the program said.

"Jock was known to Australians as a chef, best-selling author, philanthropist and MasterChef judge but he will be best remembered as a loving father, husband, brother and son."

Australia to accelerate missile build-up as defence industry anxiously awaits review recommendations

The public version of the Albanese government's long-awaited Defence Strategic Review will confirm cuts to several projects such as new Army vehicles, while funding more immediate priorities that deliver "impactful projection" well beyond Australia.

An unclassified 110-page version of the "National Defence" document, prepared by former defence chief Angus Houston and former minister Stephen Smith, will be released on Monday, two months after being handed to the prime minister.

Princess Mary to make whirlwind trip back to Australia

The Danish royal family has released a statement on its official Instagram account confirming that Mary will visit Australia, Vanuatu and Fiji from April 23 to 28.

The visit is to “highlight the consequences of climate change in the Pacific region”, the English translation of the statement reads.

Princess Mary will spend time in Sydney on April 28, where she will participate in an event with Danish business representatives involved in “the green transition in Australia”.

She will also visit a number of projects related to construction and transport.

Melbourne overtakes Sydney as Australia's biggest city

Sydney has proudly held the title for more than 100 years.

But with populations rapidly growing on Melbourne's fringe, the city limits have been expanded to include the area of Melton.

The latest government figures, from June 2021, put Melbourne's population at 4,875,400 - 18,700 more than Sydney.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) defines a city's "significant urban area", by including all connecting suburbs with more than 10,000 people.

Australian employee bailed after alleged gruesome kidnap plot involving Tongan rapper

Sira Elkheir, 21, appeared at Burwood Local Court on Thursday, one day after the NSW government agency employee was arrested for aiding the alleged kidnappers.

Australian shreds record for longest surf session

At the end, Blake Johnston was carried on the shoulders of friends up Cronulla beach in south Sydney, describing himself as "pretty cooked".

Johnston began surfing early on Thursday morning in aid of mental health awareness.

His effort has raised some A$335,000 (£185,000; $225,000) for charity.

With spotlights to illuminate a section of Cronulla's surf known as "The Alley", Johnston kept going overnight and had ridden over 700 waves by the end.

The previous record of 30 hours and 11 minutes was held by South African Josh Enslin.

AUKUS details unveiled: Australian nuclear submarine programme to cost up to $394.5 billion

The Australian government will take three, potentially second-hand Virginia-class submarines early next decade, pending the approval of the US Congress.

The nuclear submarine programme will cost up to A$368 billion (NZ$394.5b) over the next three decades.

There will also be an option to purchase another two under the landmark AUKUS defence and security pact, announced in San Diego on Tuesday morning.

Dozens of bushfires spread as heat grips Australia's east

After two years of rains and floods, a return to warmer conditions has sparked the country's worst fires since the 2019/2020 'Black Summer' season.

BBC reports a blaze 250km north-west of Sydney triggered the region's first emergency fire warning in two years.

Firefighters reported battling 10-15m high flames.

Residents in affected areas across New South Wales state - Australia's most populous - have been urged to evacuate, and there are reports of damage to some properties.

Prince of Tonga leads delegation on Canberra Fellowships Programme to Australia

The visit is part of the Canberra Fellowships Programme.

The delegation includes the Speaker of Parliament, Lord Fakafanua and other senior officials as well as Australia's High Commissioner to Tonga, Rachael Moore.

A statement said, “The programme began with meetings with DFAT’s Diplomatic Academy hosted by Executive Director Andrea Faulkner, stated the Australian High Commission in Nuku’alofa, on 21 February.”

Australia police ambush deemed religious terror attack

Authorities say it is the first time Christian extremist ideology has been linked to a terror attack in Australia.

Two police officers and a neighbour were killed when Nathaniel, Stacey and Gareth Train opened fire on a rural property in Queensland last December.

The trio were shot dead after a lengthy stand-off with police.

Police have been investigating whether the group - brothers Nathaniel and Gareth, and Stacey, who had at different times been married to each man - were linked to conspiracy theories.