NSW sees 30 new Covid cases as Sydney locks down

An expanded lockdown now covers 5m people in Greater Sydney, as well as the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong.

Cases of the highly infectious Delta variant now stand at 110.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Sunday that she expected that figure to rise.

"Given how contagious this strain of the virus is, we do anticipate that in the next few days, case numbers are likely to increase even beyond what we have seen today because we are seeing that people in isolation, unfortunately, would have already transmitted to all their house contacts," she said.

300 expected on Tonga repatriation flights

The flights are expected to arrive on 30 June.

According to Chief Executive Officer of MEIDECC Paula Ma’u, another flight scheduled to arrive this week from Vanuatu bringing Tongan students studying in Vanuatu.

The chartered flight is also expected to take Tongan seasonal workers to Australia.


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Covid vaccine: Why are Australians cancelling AstraZeneca jabs?

It comes after the government updated guidance last week to recommend only those aged over 60 get the shot, due to the risk of a rare blood-clotting syndrome.

Under-60s have been advised to get the alternative Pfizer shot, of which there are limited supplies.

Turning down any vaccine - and AstraZeneca is the world's most widely used one - may seem remarkable to other nations still battling rampant Covid.

Joint Australian and NZ medical assistance team to help Fiji respond to COVID-19 outbreak

The team will work with their Fijian counterparts from the Ministry of Health & Medical Services to bolster Fiji’s fight against COVID-19.

Australia and New Zealand deployed the highly trained joint multi-disciplinary team following a request from the Fijian Government.

The team’s priority over the next 28 days will be creating additional spaces to offer care to non-COVID patients and to strengthen infection control protocols.

The team are fully vaccinated and, following quarantine, will deploy to Suva to support the Fiji Ministry of Health.

Major Australian banks hit by website outage


Customers reported problems with banks including ANZ, Westpac, St George, ME bank, Macquarie Bank, Allianz, and the Commonwealth Bank.

Banking apps were likewise unavailable.

The airlines affected suffered short outages. American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines were among them.

The disruption began at about 14:10 Sydney time (05:10 GMT). Australia Post, the postal service, was hit too - as well as Virgin Australia, the country's second-biggest carrier.

Covid-19 community case confirmed in Sydney

NSW Health said the Bondi man, in his 60s, worked as a driver and that international flight crew had been among his passengers.

The man visited the Bondi Junction shopping centre in the city's east several times in recent days.

Visitors to Bondi Junction's Event Cinemas on Sunday, 13 June between 1.30pm and 4pm for a screening of Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard which started at 1.45pm were asked to contact NSW Health, self-isolate for 14 days, and get tested.

The man took a saliva test yesterday, which came back positive today.

Australia moves Biloela refugee family after criticism

The family will now be allowed to live together in Perth while they pursue legal action related to their immigration status.

Four-year-old Tharnicaa Murugappan was evacuated to a Perth hospital last week after contracting a blood infection.

Her medical condition reignited public concern for the family's welfare.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said the father, Nades, and eldest child, Kopika, 6, would be flown to Perth on Monday where they can join Tharnicaa and mother, Priya.

The family has been separated for more than a week.

Australia supports Tonga’s Family Protection Legal Aid Centre

This brings Australia’s total support in the last three years to the Centre to well over half a million Tongan pa’anga including COVID-19 grant support in 2020.

High Commissioner Adrian Morrison attended the signing ceremony of this grant and acknowledged the success of the Centre as a pilot project to what will now be a department of the Ministry of Justice starting 1 July 2021.

Fiji 7s enter training bubble

The Fijian sides are set to feature in the inaugural PacificAus Oceania Sevens tournament later this month, to help boost team preparations ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in July.

Fijiana coach, Saiasi Fuli, said both squads have hit the ground running.

"So far so good. It's very windy and cold here in the Sunshine Coast, but we're okay with the last three days," he said.

Australia provides AUD6.75 million support to Tonga

AUD1.75 million of this funding is Australia’s annual budget support to the achievements of the JPRM, and AUD 5 million is additional budget support from Australia's Fiscal Crisis Window.

The funding will go towards avoiding long-term and unsustainable debt, securing a strong economy for Tonga’s future.

Australia is supporting the Government of Tonga and Tonga Power Ltd continue to upgrade power networks in Nuku’alofa to be safer, more reliable and climate resilient.