One million Australian homes are flood-prone. This number will rise.
Data shows one million Australian properties are flood-prone, and NSW and Queensland are not the only places at risk. The devastation caused by floods in northern NSW and southeast Queensland could easily be replicated in vulnerable towns and suburbs across the country.
Climate Valuation, a group of climate risk analysts, has identified more than one million properties across 30 local government areas that are exposed to low, moderate or high-risk riverine flooding.
Queensland has the most local government areas in the top 30 with 10, followed closely by Victoria (eight), NSW (five), South Australia (four), Western Australia (two) and Tasmania (one). Brisbane has the greatest number of properties exposed to a high risk of riverine flooding as well as the Gold Coast and Lismore.
“It's unfair and unacceptable to leave people in harm's way when we know the high-risk addresses, and we know which can be protected and which will need to be moved. Just as governments have to deal with reducing emissions, they must provide leadership and financial support for communities to prepare for the climate impacts that are here and worsening,” Climate Valuation chief executive Dr Karl Mallon said.
Natural disasters are already estimated to cost Australia an average $38 billion a year and that figure could rise as high as $94 billion by 2060 under a high-emissions scenario, according to research from Deloitte Access Economics.
"Planning codes must be changed, building codes need to be upgraded and a massive grants program will be needed to overhaul Australia's high-risk housing so that it is ready to cope with the reality of climate change," Dr Mallon said.
- With AAP.
Image: NSW SES/Getty.
Chris Watts lied about murdering his family to everyone, including his girlfriend.
This part of the post deals with domestic violence and may be triggering for some readers.
Chris Watts is currently serving three consecutive life sentences for the murder of his 34-year-old pregnant wife Shanann, and their daughters Bella, four, and Celeste, three, in Colorado in August 2018.
And this week, new details have emerged about just how deceptive Watts was to all the people in his life after murdering his family.
A crucial part of the investigation process was Watts’ extra-marital relationship with then-girlfriend Nichol Kessinger. This week, footage of Kessinger's interview with police was released by Shanann’s family. Kessinger was not and is not suspected of any wrongdoing or involvement in the murder.
Kessinger said: "I kept asking him, 'What did you do, Chris? What did you do?'" she said to police at the time. "I asked, 'Where's your family?'"
"So I texted Chris one last time, and I told him, 'If you did anything bad, you're going to ruin your life and you're going to ruin my life. I promise you that'. And he responded, 'I didn't hurt my family, Nicky.' And that was the last text. I never said another word to him after that."
For more on the case, you can read this article: 'I didn't hurt my family.' Chris Watts lied about murdering his family to everyone, including his girlfriend.
After Murdering His Wife and Daughters, Chris Watts Texted Mistress Saying 'I Didn't Hurt My Family' https://t.co/aHa39rR87C— People (@people) March 15, 2022
If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.
Bella Hadid and a Vogue-sized lie.
Bella Hadid is Vogue's newest cover star. In a long-form interview, the model talks about her body image issues, insecurities, and why she regrets getting a nose job at 14. But there's one important family story she doesn’t bring up in the interview, and it makes her comments all the more controversial.
After months of speculation, Channel 7 has announced what we can expect from this year’s season of Big Brother: Back To The Future. The new season will see former fan favourite housemates compete against each other, and brand new housemates, and the list of confirmed stars is already pretty impressive.
Plus, the first trailer for the Kardashian’s new reality show is here, and it has given us a whole new insight into the famous family. Now we need to talk about how they morphed into a mafia-style family who are apparently out for blood.
Listen to The Spill right here!
New Zealand reopens to Australians next month.
New Zealand is prioritising Australians as it welcomes foreigners and tourists back next month, 12 weeks ahead of schedule.
Fully vaccinated Australians will be able to fly in and out of the country without quarantining or isolating from 11.59pm on April 12.
The original date was July 2022.
Those from visa waiver countries and holding valid visitor visas will then follow from 11.59pm on May 1.
"We are a safe place to visit and New Zealand will be ready with open arms," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today, promising there would be no backtracking on the timetable.
"We are reopening and I'm asking our Australian family and friends to book their tickets."
After two years with tight border restrictions, NZ began to dismantle its hard borders earlier this month, with Kiwis abroad and critical workers first able to return without hotel quarantine.
"The most poignant moments in reopening to the world so far have surely been those when family and friends are reunited," said Ardern.
NSW records 30,000 new cases due to "data processing issue."
If you live in NSW, or have family in the state, you may have seen this morning's daily COVID case numbers and...panicked. I know I did.
'30,000 positive test results in past 24 hours' the update read. Anyone who is still following along with these updates on the reg would know it was only around the 10,000 mark yesterday. That's triple...eek!
COVID-19 update – Wednesday 16 March 2022— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) March 15, 2022
In the 24-hour reporting period to 4pm yesterday:
- 95.9% of people aged 16+ have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
- 94.5% of people aged 16+ have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine pic.twitter.com/J4OPAGd8XN
However, before you see the news headlines popping up and slurp your coffee down your shirt in shock/worry, there's some important context to be aware of.
As NSW Health confirms on Twitter, "There are about 10,000 positive RATs from Sunday and Monday included in today’s figure, artificially inflating the numbers reported in the 24 hours to 4pm yesterday (Tuesday). This data processing issue, which has now been resolved, only affected reporting."
So the cases are still rising rather fast right now, but not as fast as the update alludes.
There's a new variant to be on the look out for which could be to blame, you can read about it here.
400 people taken hostage at Ukraine hospital.
Hundreds of people have been taken hostage in a hospital in Mariupol, Ukranian officials have confirmed.
The city's deputy mayor, Sergei Orlov told the BBC 400 people have been taken as "hostages" at the Regional Intensive Care Hospital.
"We received information that the Russian army captured our biggest hospital," he told the publication.
Residents of Mariupol reported that since the morning of March 14, the Mariupol Regional Intensive Care Hospital (46 Troitska Str) has been occupied by the Russian troops: https://t.co/VHx0EQ018W#PutinWarCrimes— Media Initiative for Human Rights (@MediaInitiativ1) March 15, 2022
In a Facebook post, the governor of the eastern region of Donetsk, Pavlo Kirilenko, said both doctors and patients were being held at the same hospital that was damaged by a Russian strike last week.
He said a hospital worker managed to pass on some information, quoting one person as saying, "It is impossible to get out of the hospital."
"There is a heavy shooting, we sit in the basement. Vehicles have not been able to drive to the hospital for two days. High-rise buildings are burning around… Russians forced 400 people from neighbouring houses to come to our hospital. We can't leave."
Last week, 17 people were wounded and at least three died in an attack on the city's maternity hospital, which Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy called "an atrocity".
The pop culture stories you missed.
I hear MAFS is about to have a 'nude photo scandal'.
My colleague Shannen put together this explainer on the scandal, ahead of it all playing out on tonight's show: "Olivia stops at nothing." Everything we know about the MAFS 'nude photo scandal'.
At first, I was concerned I had missed some crucial context which would make this less problematic than it sounded but... it seems not. It's 2022, and we're still secretly sharing people's nudes without permission??? And shaming them for it??? No doubt tonight's episode will lead to plenty of discussion, but it feels very icky that we're at this point.
Now, staying on the topic of nudes but in a much more... prestigious way.
Tomorrow, a brilliantly funny new comedy called Minx premieres on Stan. Mark it in your calendars!
The show is about Joyce, a headstrong feminist who joins forces with a publisher who specialises in adult magazines (played by New Girl's Jake Johnson) to establish the first women's erotic magazine.
I spoke star Ophelia Lovibond last week, and her love for the show made me appreciate its hilarity and joyfulness even more. You can read my full write-up here: "An absolute dream." Ophelia Lovibond from Stan's Minx on how the erotic new series came to life.
Sydney house fire treated as murder, and everything women are talking about this morning.
In case you missed it, yesterday marked three years since the Christchurch mosque terror attacks, where 51 people were murdered in New Zealand.
One survivor, Temel Ataçocuğu, who was shot with nine bullets, said the scars of the shooting aren't just physical, but also mental.
"Three years after the terrorist attack, my anxiety is still challenging. I'm still not confident about a lot of things. I can't focus, I have memory problems. The trauma will haunt me all my life. But I'm not giving up. If you give up hope, everything's over," he told The Guardian.
After surviving the attack, the father of two ended up finding love with a radio reporter named Mel Logan who told his story. You can read all about it here.
But first, here are the top five news stories you need to know this morning, Wednesday March 16.
1. Three dead in Sydney house fire murder.
A man has been charged with murder after a fire in a Sydney boarding house claimed the lives of three people.
Police were called to the blaze in Newtown about 1am on Tuesday and found the two-storey building well alight.
"There was an explosion here at Newtown. It is unclear exactly at this stage what the cause of it is," Assistant Police Commissioner Peter Cotter told reporters on Tuesday.
"We are treating this as a murder. We are treating this as a maliciously lit fire."
On Tuesday night, a 45-year-old man was charged with three counts of murder and will appear in court today.
Police initially found one body inside, while eight residents fled the intense blaze. Three of them were taken to hospital, including a man in his 80s who is in a critical condition.
Police said later on Tuesday they had found another two bodies and there were "serious concerns held for a fourth person believed to be inside".
2. Court reverses climate duty of care ruling.
The Australian government does not owe the country's children protection from harm caused by climate change, a court has ruled.
The full bench of the Federal Court on Tuesday unanimously ruled in favour of an appeal by Environment Minister Sussan Ley, reversing a decision by a previous judge that legally recognised a duty of care.
Eight high school students took Ley to court in 2020, seeking to block the expansion of a NSW coal mine that is expected to produce an additional 100 million tonnes of carbon emissions.
How appalling that protecting Australian children from climate change harm is not considered to be part of the role of the Environment Minister. Sussan Ley appealed the original court decision that there was a duty of care. Sad day for young people. #auspol #climateactnow— 🌏 Zali Steggall MP (@zalisteggall) March 15, 2022
It was lauded as a landmark win that would open an avenue for legal challenges to future government decisions on coal projects.
Speaking outside the Federal Court in Sydney, the students behind the case vowed to keep fighting for climate justice despite the setback.
"The Federal Court today may have accepted the minister's legal arguments over ours, but that does not change the minister's moral obligation to take action on climate change and to protect young people.
"It does not change the science. It does not put out the fires or drain the floodwaters," said 17-year-old Anjali Sharma.
3. Woman fined for Russian on-air TV protest.
A Russian woman who denounced the war in Ukraine during a live news bulletin on state television has been fined 30,000 roubles ($A388), a court says, after the Kremlin denounced her act of protest as "hooliganism".
Marina Ovsyannikova, a Channel One employee, was found guilty of flouting protest laws, the court said. It was not immediately clear if she could also face other, more serious charges.
Ovsyannikova staged an extraordinary show of dissent on Monday night when she held up an anti-war sign behind a studio presenter reading the news on Channel One and shouted slogans condemning Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
The sign, in English and Russian, read: "NO WAR. Stop the war. Don't believe propaganda. They are lying to you here."
⚡️ Russian state TV interrupted by "No War" protest.— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 14, 2022
During the “Vremya” news program on Russia’s main TV channel, Maria Ovsyannikova, a Channel One employee, rushed in front of the camera with a poster saying “stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda.” pic.twitter.com/BsyqPYenJg
"As far as this woman is concerned, this is hooliganism," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
After the hearing, Ovsyannikova told reporters she was exhausted, had been questioned for more than 14 hours, had not been allowed to speak to her relatives and was not provided with legal assistance.
Almost 15,000 people have been detained across Russia during anti-war protests since February 24, according to a tally kept by OVD-Info, an independent protest-monitoring group.
4. Man dies in floodwaters in NSW.
A man has died in outback NSW after driving his ute into floodwaters in Broken Hill.
The 56-year-old man drove his Toyota Landcruiser into floodwaters on Tuesday night, before being sucked into a concrete pipe, NSW Police said.
Police and State Emergency Service volunteers later found his body in floodwaters.
Man dies in flood waters at Broken Hillhttps://t.co/rjH3DflZDU— Mirage News (@MirageNewsCom) March 15, 2022
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, 26mm of rain fell in 30 minutes at Broken Hill yesterday.
The man is the 23rd person to lose their life in the devastating floods across NSW and Queensland in recent weeks.
5. Cruise lines welcome overturn of ban.
Cruise line companies have welcomed the government's decision for ships to be able to return to Australia from April, calling the move a major step forward.
Cruise ships have been banned since March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but will able to return from April 17 with additional safety measures put in place.
New mitigation measures will include passengers needing to be double vaccinated, along with enhanced pre-arrival reporting and risk identification, as well as stress testing emergency responses.
Australia's cruise ban is slated to lift on April 17th, just over a month away. With this, cruising will be back to every single major market in the world. The first cruise lines to sail from the country will include Princess Cruises & P&O Australia. pic.twitter.com/Ppi49NPJCZ— UltimateCruiseNews (@UCruiseNews) March 15, 2022
"The uncertainty of the past two years has been replaced with hope and a belief that the lifting of the cruise ban at last heralds the return of cruise operations in Australia," said President of cruise company Carnival Australia Marguerite Fitzgerald.
"Overseas experience, where hundreds of cruise ships have returned to service ... has confirmed that cruising can operate safely in the new environment with comprehensive health protocols."
Now you're all up to speed. We'll be back to bring you more news stories women are talking about throughout the day.
- With AAP.
What is an ‘oligarch’ and are they helping Putin?
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, you might have started hear more and more about a group of super-rich men referred to as 'oligarchs' who are increasingly being targeted with sanctions.
But who are these billionaires, what is their relationship with Putin, and could we be unknowingly helping to fund the war in Ukraine through them?
The Quicky speaks to an expert in Russian politics and economy to find out how these people became so rich, where all their money is hidden, how much influence they have over the outcome of the conflict, and whether they might be headed to Australia.
Feature Image: NSW SES/Getty.