Australia

Australia honey bees put in lockdown due to deadly varroa parasite

The varroa destructor was first found at a port near Sydney last week but has since been spotted in hives 100km away.

The outbreak threatens to cost the honey and food production industries millions of dollars.

Keepers inside a new biosecurity zone will not be able to move hives, bees or honeycombs until further notice.

Australia was the only continent free of the varroa mites, which are the biggest threat to bees worldwide.

The pests - which are about the size of a sesame seed - weaken and kill colonies by feasting on them and transmitting viruses.

Eight million Australians urged to turn off lights

Chris Bowen says people should not use electricity for two hours every evening if they "have a choice".

However, he added he was "confident" that blackouts could be avoided.

It comes after Australia's main wholesale electricity market was suspended because of a surge in prices.

Mr Bowen asked people living in New South Wales to conserve as much power as possible.

"If you have a choice about when to run certain items, don't run them from 6 to 8 [in the evening]," he said during a televised media conference in Canberra.

     

Samoa to temporarily halt sending more seasonal workers overseas

TV1Samoa reports the last seasonal worker flight to New Zealand will be this Sunday, and the final flight to Australia will be at the end of the month.

Assistant Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Labour, Lemalu Nele Masina, said this is a temporary measure while the Ministry delves into the problems happening amongst some of the workers.

She said the Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Labour, Leatinu'u Wayne So'oialo had told Parliament about the government's plan to look at dealing with the problem.

Australia donates medical supplies to Samoa

During the handover Wong said Australia wishes to continue working with Samoa in the future to strengthen their partnership.

“I’m very pleased that we’re handing over tons of medical supplies to support the treatment of someone with severe Covid in the main hospital or in district hospitals.”

“Australia has a new government and we want to work in partnership with you as we know that we all face the challenges of Covid-19 like the economic challenges,” Wong said.

The supplies consisted of Personal Protective Equipment, drugs and other health equipment.

Aust looking to make immigration from the Pacific easier

Australian Foreign Minister Senator Penny Wong revealed the proposed plan during discussions with Samoa's Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa while in Samoa this week.

Wong said one of the issues confronting Pacific islanders keen on working in Australia is the challenge of moving with their families.

She told a joint press conference the Pacific Labour Scheme visa is a longer one compared to the 8-9 months visa issued for the seasonal workers programme.

Samoa PM and Head of State discuss opportunities with Australia’s new Minister for Foreign Affairs

Wong met with Head of State, His Highness Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II and Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, when she arrived in the country yesterday.

Samoa was pleased to welcome her from 2 to 3 June 2022 in her second bilateral visit to the Pacific region as foreign minister.

As a close friend and partner, Wong offered Australia’s warm congratulations to the people of Samoa in celebrating 60 years of independence on 1 June.

World's biggest plant discovered off Australian coast

Using genetic testing, scientists have determined a large underwater meadow in Western Australia is in fact one plant.

It is believed to have spread from a single seed over at least 4,500 years.

The seagrass covers about 200 sq km (77 sq miles), researchers from the University of Western Australia said.

The team stumbled upon the discovery by accident at Shark Bay, about 800km (497 miles) north of Perth.

They had set out to understand the genetic diversity of the species - also known as ribbon weed - which is commonly found along parts of Australia's coast.

Pathway to permanency to see 3000 Pacific workers settle in Australia each year

During the campaign trail, Australia's Labor party has proposed a "Pacific Engagement Visa" which would allow about three-thousand people from the Pacific to migrate to Australia annually.

A lottery will draw the winners, with a pathway to permanent residency in Australia the main prize.

"People will enter the lottery, with their family, if they have a family, and if they are lucky enough to be selected, then they'll need to find a job…to come to Australia,” the director of the Development Policy Center at the ANU Professor Stephen Howes said.

Australian police find 4-month-old baby safe and well after mother's car stolen

A baby boy in Australia has been reunited with his distraught mother after he was taken when her car was stolen from outside an Adelaide deli.

The 4-month-old was missing for almost two and a half hours as South Australia Police desperately searched for him and the stolen car.

His mother's 2009 white Honda Jazz was stolen from outside a deli on Fourth Avenue, Klemzig in Adelaide about 7.45am (local time) while she was shopping inside.

Australia wins London 7s

Paterson open the scoring just before halftime.

New Zealand were first to score the second half, with Akuila Rokolisoa scoring the equalizer at the kickoff.

The All Blacks looked to have walked away with the game after a Leroy Carter try that put them into a 14-7 lead.

Australia answered with, Paterson’s brace and the winner in the final minute play.