What happened on Monday 28 March, 2022
Police have urged people not to enter flood waters in south-east Queensland, where one man and five dogs died, and another person was swept away.
During a day of heavy rain, a man and five dogs died before 5am on Monday after a vehicle and trailer belonging to a pet-moving business was caught in flood waters near Kingsthorpe, north-west of Toowoomba.
The woman driving was rescued from the vehicle but a male passenger died.
Police on Monday said an “extensive search and rescue” was also under way for a man swept away near North Branch in the southern downs.
Emergency services were called before 7am when two vehicles became stuck in flood waters at a crossing with Spring Creek.
Members of the public helped rescue one of the drivers, but a man in his 40s tried to get out of his vehicle and was swept away. Both the rescued woman and missing man were the sole occupants of their vehicles.
The ABC should have a guaranteed five-year funding cycle and its budget and board should be at arm’s length from government influence, Rod Sims, the former competition tsar, has said in a speech.
Ahead of Tuesday’s budget, when the ABC will have its $84m indexation restored, Sims called for “strong and clear” ABC governance and stable funding for the public broadcaster.
“The ABC is a vital institution that should continue essentially as is, and that certainly should not be narrowed in its focus or, worse, privatised,” the former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chief said at the Melbourne book launch of Who needs the ABC? by Matthew Ricketson and Patrick Mullins.
“That would represent extremely poor economic and public policy,” Sims said.
“Damage the ABC and Australia is damaged.”
Nominations have closed for two Labor Senate vacancies and two lower house seats – and the national executive has filled them without a ballot as there was only one nominee for each slot.
Former public servant Jana Stewart will replace Kimberley Kitching in the Senate while unionist Linda White will replace Kim Carr.
In the lower house:
As Elias mentioned below, Lismore and the NSW SES have started issuing evacuation orders ahead of a lot of rain that is expected overnight.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting Lismore will receive 70mm-150mm on Tuesday. Other big totals predicted include 80m-200m for Coffs Harbour and 50mm-120mm for Ballina.
The range indicates the differences in the models, including how close the developing low sticks near the coast and for how long before it heads off into the Tasman.
The SES is also planning for “potential significant consequences in Bellingen and downstream”, with the Bellinger River forecast by the bureau to reach major flood levels.
Other rivers that may rise to major flood levels are the Richmond, Orara and Wilsons Rivers, the bureau said.
Meanwhile, Sydney is now expected to receive 30-45mm of rain on Tuesday, nudging the Hawkesbury-Nepean River back to minor to moderate flooding.
Evacuation warnings issued for parts of Lismore amid risk of flash flooding
Lance Franklin has been reunited with the ball he kicked for his historic 1,000 AFL goal on Friday night after the fan who caught it in the stands of the Sydney Cricket Ground was identified and invited to present the prized Sherrin to the Sydney Swans player.
At a press conference held with Franklin at the SCG on Monday morning, Swans fan Alex Wheeler said he had always planned to return the valuable piece of memorabilia – reported to have a six-figure value.
“I had a few stubbies that night and went to the pub after but got paranoid that someone would get it from my house so went home pretty early,” Wheeler said on Monday. “It was always my intention to get it back to the Swans and Buddy.
“It’s going to be no good to me, I don’t have a pool room to put it up in unfortunately. It was good to get in contact with the Swans and get it back to them
New Zealand to send defence force staff to help on Ukraine intelligence
New Zealand will send nine defence force staff to the UK and Belgium to help with the heightened demand for intelligence on the Ukraine war.
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern said seven intelligence analysts will head to the UK, where some will support intelligence work on the war in Ukraine, and others will join existing teams focused on other parts of the world.
Two other officers will deploy to the UK and Belgium to enhance our engagement with, and understanding of, partner activities related to Ukraine. One will work with the existing defence attache and New Zealand military representative to NATO, and one will work within the UK’s permanent joint headquarters.”
Ardern said this is in keeping with previous deployments.
We’ve sent in the past defence intelligence personnel to active deployments overseas, such as in Afghanistan, where they were an integral part of our commitment.”
The additional support follows the government’s commitment of $5 million NZD, announced last week, for non-lethal military systems, including defence equipment such as body armour and helmets. Those will be dispatched to Australia tomorrow and on to Ukraine this week, Ardern said.
The government has also approved the use of the defence force’s open-source intelligence capabilities for three months, to allow the UK and other European partners to take advantage of the time difference in New Zealand.