Australia

New Australian High Commissioner arrives in Tonga

As High Commissioner Mr Ford will build on Tonga and Australia’s longstanding and cooperative relationship.

“I look forward to building on Tonga and Australia’s close and broad partnership” said Mr Ford. “Australia will continue to work together with Tonga for economic prosperity, improved development outcomes and stability in the region.”

Supporting the Pacific through sport

Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Steve Ciobo announced support for the programme.

The Australian Government is providing $780,000 to Cricket Australia over the next two years, in partnership with the International Cricket Council, to support community programs that address health, gender equality and disability challenges in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa and Fiji.

Australia supports Pacific basketball’s female leaders

The program aims to identify, support and train women leaders involved in basketball in the Pacific region. This support builds the capacity of women through a multifaceted training regime that develops leadership, governance, public speaking and negotiating skills.

Homeless man had A$70 in his wallet but A$30,000 in the bank when his body was found

Twice a week, he would stroll into the Reliance Credit Union bank and withdraw a few hundred dollars from the almost A$30,000 he had in his bank account.

This money would be spent on pies at a bakery, cans at the bottle shop and a loaf of bread to feed the ducks on the banks of the Macquarie River.

New book says Australia and NZ need new approach to Forum

'The New Pacific Diplomacy', published by the Australian National University, has contributions from a range of academics, journalists, political leaders and other stakeholders.

An editor, Associate Professor Sandra Tarte says the Pacific Islands Forum will have to adapt, and Australia and New Zealand may have to tone down their influence.

Bushfire bears down on another town in Western Australia

The blaze started near Waroona earlier this week before tearing through the small town of Yarloop, destroying almost 100 homes, and has now burnt more than 67,000 hectares.

With a perimeter stretching across more than 220 kilometres, the fire continues to sweep south, and is now encroaching on more towns, with Harvey actively under threat.

‘Spies’ get PNG marching orders

In a substantial blow to diplomatic relations between Australia and its former colony, PNG has gone ahead with a threat to end contracts for foreigners brought in to the nation’s public service.

There had been 33 Australian public servants seconded to various PNG departments including officials from the Tax Office, Customs, the Auditor-General, the Ombudsman, Treasury and Finance.

Australia starts 2016 under threat from bushfires

Overnight, an emergency warning was issued for the southwestern part of Secret Harbour in the city of Rockingham, which is just south of Perth.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services said there was a threat to lives and homes in the area,

Australian paper calls for new refugee policy

The policies of turning back boats and processing asylum seekers abroad has for years enjoyed the support of both the ruling coalition and the opposition Labor Party.

The Age says asylum seekers have not broken any laws, but the government continues to use the most despicable tactics to deter them, which it says has brought Australia into disrepute around the world.

More homes lost to Australian bushfire

At Wye River, 98 homes were destroyed, while 18 were lost at Separation Creek. Fire officials said the majority of the properties lost were holiday homes.

The Insurance Council of Australia estimates the losses to be worth $AU38 million and it is expected that number will increase as claims are made.