Australia

'World's longest recorded sea creature' among new finds

Several new species have already been discovered during the project, Institute spokesperson Carlie Wiener said, as well as the "world's longest recorded sea creature" - a 45-metre long siphonophore found at Ningaloo canyon, off Western Australia.

A siphonophore is a type of colonial organism; it's a string-like arrangement of many individual animals - zooids - that live connected together in a colony, and carry out different functions that allow the collective to digest food, float, reproduce and move about.

Victoria records no new coronavirus cases and no deaths

Melbourne's 14-day rolling average for new cases has now fallen to 3.6, and there are seven "mystery" cases.

In regional Victoria the average remains at 0.2.

It is the first day since June 9 that no new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Victoria.

Victoria’s commander of testing and community engagement, Jeroen Weimar, said 2,100 tests had been processed from the northern suburbs from yesterday and hundreds more would go through laboratories today.

Australia urged to take in 3000 Pacific Islanders to offset climate change

The recommendation was outlined in a new policy paper released today by the University of New South Wales' Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law.

The paper urges the government to do more to help neighbouring countries, with several Pacific island nations facing an existential threat from rising sea levels.

Co-author Jane McAdam said it was a roadmap for Australia to deal specifically with the displacement of Pacific Islanders as a result of climate change and natural disasters.

Victoria to ease lockdown as cases fall

From Monday, people will be able to travel further and meet up with more friends without a time limit on how long they spend outside the home.

But strict measures remain in place for restaurants and retailers, limiting them to takeaway and delivery options.

The city of Melbourne, which has been under stricter lockdown, will also have rules eased.

As of 19 October, in Melbourne:

People can travel up to 25km (15 miles) from their home for exercise or shopping

Gatherings of up to 10 people from two different households are allowed

All Blacks v Australia: George Bridge ruled out of rugby for six months

The All Blacks camp tweeted on Thursday night that the injury had happened during “field training” on Wednesday, though details were scant.

“George Bridge will be out of rugby for up to six months after suffering a chest injury in field training yesterday. He’ll be assessed over the next 48 hours to determine the next course of action,” the tweet said.

It is understood Bridge injured a pectoral muscle.

Bridge played for all of the first test in Wellington on Sunday, the left wing playing a pivotal role in halfback Aaron Smith’s try.

New Advanced Online Workshop for Pacific Tourism Operators

While the advanced workshops follow the success of the Introductory Digital Tourism initiative, they remain free of charge and are available to the anyone in the tourism sector across the Pacific region.

PTI Australia is working to increase the digital capacity of the Pacific tourism operators with the aim of driving local economic development across the sector, especially in the wake of COVID-19 and to ensure operators are in the best position when international borders reopen.

Australia in talks over quarantine-free travel

The first agreement would be with New Zealand, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Other nations that could follow suit are Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Pacific Island nations.

Australia closed its borders in March, early into the pandemic.

To date, it has recorded 27,263 cases and 898 deaths.

It has fared better than other nations but recently saw a second wave in the state of Victoria, forcing Melbourne and its surrounding areas into another lockdown. Infections have fallen dramatically since.

Fiji still keen for 'bula bubble' with NZ and Australia

The newly-appointed Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown said he expects quarantine-free travel with New Zealand to be in place by December.

New Zealand's Prime Minister said she expects her country will soon be in a position to open up to the Cook Islands.

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said his country is committed to making the 'Bula Bubble' work with its major partners in the region.

Pasifika Super Rugby franchise could go to Australia instead of 'arrogant' New Zealand

Speaking to Stuff in the wake of last week’s announcement by New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey that a Pasifika franchise won’t feature in Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021, Clarke labelled the Kiwi organisation as “arrogant” as he revealed inclusion in an Australian competition may be a more viable option.

Impey said that, of the Pasifika franchises that had expressed interest in joining Super Rugby Aotearoa next season, none had the on-field competitiveness and financial sustainability to thrive in the competition.

Coronavirus: Australia opens 'travel zone' to New Zealanders

People will be able to fly from New Zealand to New South Wales and the Northern Territory - and avoid mandatory quarantine - from 16 October.

The nations closed their borders in March in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Officials say the risks are now low enough to justify a "travel bubble".

"The establishment of a travel zone between Australia and New Zealand has been finalised," said Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.