Australia news live update: Tropical Cyclone Jasper on track to hit Qld coast north of Cairns today as category 2 – latest | Australia news #Australia #news #live #update #Tropical #Cyclone #Jasper #track #hit #Qld #coast #north #Cairns #today #category #latest #Australia #news

Key events

Tropical Cyclone Jasper is expected to impact on Queensland’s coast later today, bringing intense rain and wind with the potential for major damage, Australian Associated Press report

The system was forecast to cross the coast near Port Douglas north of Cairns by lunchtime today.

Residents have spent the past days preparing for the slow-moving system to arrive, and watching, as it was reclassified up to a category 2 as it neared the coast.

Locals have been told to prepare for flash-flooding and potentially days without power, with evacuation centres established in Cairns, Port Douglas and Cooktown.

Destructive winds are set to develop between Innisfail and Wujal Wujal, intensifying early in the morning with gusts of more than 140km/h.

“Winds of this strength can easily bring down tree limbs, whole trees or power lines, damaging fences, roofs and other properties,” the Bureau’s Miriam Bradbury said.

Cairns mayor Terry James urged locals to stock up and be prepared for up to five days without power.

“The roads will be cut off – potentially the power will be cut off,” he said.

“It’s been over 60 years since we’ve had a direct hit.”

Australia accuses China of ‘threatening lives’ in South China Sea incidents

Martin Farrer

Martin Farrer

The Australian government has accused the Chinese coast guard and other vessels of threatening “lives and livelihoods” and creating “risks of miscalculation” amid a series of incidents involving the Philippines.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said last night:

The Australian Government shares the grave concerns of the Philippines Government about a pattern of dangerous actions conducted by Chinese vessels against Philippines vessels and crew in the South China Sea, including incidents near Scarborough Shoal and at Second Thomas Shoal on 9-10 December.

Actions by the Chinese Coast Guard and other Chinese vessels, such as water cannoning and ramming, endanger the peace and security of the region, threaten lives and livelihoods, and create risks of miscalculation.

The Philippines had accused China of “unprovoked acts of coercion and dangerous manoeuvres” in the region, including that the Chinese coastguard had fired water cannon and rammed one of the Philippines’ re-supply vessels. That occurred near Second Thomas Shoal, where a small contingent of troops lives onboard a rusting warship that was deliberately run aground in 1999 to protect the Philippines’ claims.

The Chinese government argued that the vessels of the Philippines had “illegally entered” the waters adjacent to the shoal “without the approval of the Chinese government”.

The new statement from Dfat reiterated the Australian government’s position that the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award – a tribunal ruling that rejected the Chinese government’s claims – was “final and legally binding on the parties”.

The statement said Australia had “consistently opposed destabilising and coercive actions in the South China Sea, such as unsafe encounters at sea and in the air and the militarisation of disputed features”.

It said all states must be able to exercise their rights and freedoms “in a manner consistent with international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea”.

Welcome

Martin Farrer

Martin Farrer

Good morning and welcome to our rolling news blog. I’m Martin Farrer with the best of the overnight stories before my esteemed colleague Emily Wind takes the chair.

Queenslanders and holidaymakers in the sunshine state are preparing for the expected impact around lunchtime of Cyclone Jasper which could bring up to 500mm of rain and 140km/h winds as it makes landfall between Port Douglas and Cape Flattery. And it’s a big test for Steven Miles, who built a public reputation as a wisecracking political warrior but will now front the government’s handling of the cyclone as he bids for the top job.

It’s also a big day for Jim Chalmers as he maps out the state of the economy with the big question being: can he find the money for cost-of-living relief and will he use it? The government’s mid-year budget update is today expected to show a fiscal “sweet spot” fuelled by strong commodity prices, population growth and a resilient labour market. But economists don’t think the treasurer will want to indulge in any generous giveaways for households and risk higher inflation.

The Australian government has accused the Chinese coast guard and other vessels of threatening “lives and livelihoods” and creating “risks of miscalculation” in a series of incidents involving the Philippines. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said last night that Chinese vessels had used water cannons and ramming in “dangerous actions” against vessels from the Philippines. More coming up.

#Australia #news #live #update #Tropical #Cyclone #Jasper #track #hit #Qld #coast #north #Cairns #today #category #latest #Australia #news

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