Australia and Oceania

Severe storm causes flash flooding in Geelong

Buildings were damaged and cars submerged on Wednesday (January 27) as a severe storm caused flash flooding in the Victorian city of Geelong. Local media reported that the State Emergency Service (SES) received almost 500 calls for help with 18 people rescued and residential homes and commercial properties damaged. On Thursday (January 28) the clean up continued with home owners and restaurant workers returning to survey the damage. “It stopped raining, the streets start to […]

Authorities to review anti-corruption unit after match-fixing scandal

Tennis officials on Wednesday (January 27) launched an independent review into their anti-corruption practices after allegations the sport’s watchdog, the Tennis Integrity unit (TIU), had been ineffective in stamping out corruption in the game. The announcement at the Australian Open came in the wake of media reports on the first day of the tournament that 16 players, who have been ranked in the top 50 had been repeatedly flagged to the TIU over suspicions they […]

Australian Foreign Minister, condems “horrific attacks” in Jakarta

Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop condemned the attacks that took place in Jakarta on Thursday (January 14), and has offered assistance if Indonesia asks for it. “I confirm that the Australian Government condemns these horrific attacks and that we stand with Indonesia in countering terrorism and we’ll do what we can to support them in the investigation as to how this occurred and who is responsible. I have been able to confirm that at this […]

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 […]