Australia and Oceania

Australian police say operation underway at Sydney Opera House

A police operation was underway at the Sydney Opera House on Thursday (January 14) , police said, with at least one ferry leaving the area cancelled and media reporting that people were being cleared away from the site. A police spokeswoman said an operation was going on but could not provide any details. “Basically, we were doing a bit of steel work in the basement of the Opera House about 20 minutes ago and about […]

Australia knocks back Washington over more help against Islamic State

Australia on Thursday (January 14) said that it had denied a request from the United States for a greater military commitment against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq made in the wake of the November attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. Australia, a staunch ally of the United States and its battle against Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria, has been one of the largest contributors to the U.S.-led bombing campaign against the […]

Australian fire crews tackle fire burning through 150,000 tyres at tyre yard

Fire crews were called in to tackle a fire on Monday (January 11) at a tyre yard that saw 150,000 up in flames, creating a smoke plume visible from Melbourne’s central business district kilometers away. Staff from the yard and the nearby industrial area were evacuated as the Metropolitan Fire Brigade deployed dozens of trucks with more than 100 firefighters tackling the blaze from the ground, local media reported. Firefighters on the ground struggled struggled […]

Freight train carrying sulphuric acid derails in Australia’s outback

A freight train loaded with sulphuric acid derailed on Sunday (December 27) near Julia Creek in Australia‘s outback. Local media reported the 26-carriage train carrying about 200,000 liters as having come off the tracks and spilling small amounts of acid and some diesel fuel. Police have set up an exclusion zone and three people sustained minor injuries, Australia media reported.

Briton John Beeden becomes first person to row the Pacific Ocean solo and non-stop to Australia

British adventurer John Beeden on Sunday (December 27) became the first person to row solo non-stop from North America to the Australian mainland, local media reported. Beeden rowed more than 7,400 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean, after leaving San Francisco in his six-metre boat “Socks II” on June 1 this year. The 53-year-old Briton has been rowing for up to 15 hours a day, local media said. Beeden, an ex-Sheffield rower who now lives […]

Australian PM: Whaling spat shouldn’t be allowed to hurt Japan ties

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expressed disappointment during a speech in Tokyo on Friday (December 18) at Japan’s resumption of whaling in the Southern Ocean, but said the dispute over the hunt should not be allowed to hurt the two countries’ special strategic ties. Japan’s whaling fleet set out for the Antarctic this month to resume a hunt for the mammals, ending a year-long hiatus following an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that Japan […]

South Australia bushfire threat eases after at least 87 properties damaged

(Reuters) — South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill confirmed on Friday (November 27) that at least 87 properties have been damaged or destroyed in South Australia’s Mid North as the fire threat eased. Roads were reopened by South Australian Police on Thursday (November 26), allowing residents to return to their homes and assess damage. “She was flying, absolutely flying, we had five minutes from when we got back here to get what we could get out […]

Malcolm Turnbull is sworn in as Australia’s 29th Prime Minister

  (Reuters) — Malcolm Turnbull, an urban former investment banker who supports marriage equality and action on climate change, was sworn in as Australia’s 29th prime minister on Tuesday (September 15), a day after ousting longtime rival Tony Abbott in a party room coup. Turnbull, a Rhodes Scholar who previously led the Australian Republican Movement, was sworn in by Cosgrove, the representative of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, Australia’s head of state. “Mr. Turnbull, I invite you […]

Mixed opinions in Australia after Malcom Turnbull topples Prime Minister Tony Abbott

(Reuters) — Australia woke on Tuesday (September 15) to the news that the ruling Liberal Party voted to oust Tony Abbott as prime minister in favour of Malcolm Turnbull, a multi-millionaire former tech entrepreneur who is hugely popular with the electorate. Abbott was deposed late on Monday (September 14) following months of opinion polls that showed his popularity with the public near rock bottom as Australia’s $1.5 trillion economy struggles to cope with the end […]

Turnbull topples Abbott, to become Australia’s fifth PM in eight years

(Reuters) — Australia will have its fifth prime minister in eight years after the ruling Liberal Party on Monday (September 14) voted out Tony Abbott in favour of longtime rival Malcolm Turnbull, following months of infighting and crumbling voter support. Turnbull, a multi-millionaire former tech entrepreneur, won a secret party vote by 54 to 44, Liberal Party chief whip Scott Buchholz told reporters after the meeting in Canberra. Australia is set to hold elections before […]

Australia’s Abbott ousted as Prime Minister by cabinet member Turnbull

      (Eagle News) — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was ousted as leader of the Liberal Party late Monday night Sept. 14,  in a hastily-arranged party leadership ballot where his cabinet minister, Malcolm Turnbull, edged him out by just 10 ballots. Turnbull got 54 votes over Abbott’s 44, making him Australia’s 29th prime minister. The Liberal Party however retained Julie Bishop as deputy leader after she won in ballots with 70 votes over […]

Australia, wary of regional instability, eyes closer U.S. security ties

AUGUST 27 (Reuters) — Australia will seek to broaden and deepen its security alliance with the United States in the decades ahead as the rise of China and other Asia-Pacific powers risks fueling instability in the region, Australia’s defense minister said on Thursday (August 27). Foreshadowing a strategic defense white paper due later this year, Kevin Andrews said world economic and military power was shifting to the Asia-Pacific. “But growth in the region will be […]