The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Tuesday May 11.

Victorian man tests positive for COVID-19.

A man in Victoria has tested positive to COVID-19 at his home in Wollert, north of Melbourne. 

Victorian health authorities are investigating the source of the man's infection. 

The man in his 30s had recently completed hotel quarantine in South Australia after returning to Australia from overseas.

"He arrived in Victoria and returned to his home in Wollert on 4 May and developed symptoms on 8 May," the Department of Health said in a statement.

"He got tested yesterday, 10 May, and returned a positive result this morning.

"Further testing has been urgently arranged to confirm the diagnosis.

"Until that time, the Department is treating this as a positive case and acting accordingly."

Exposure sites are being investigated.

The man's primary household contacts are also isolating, being tested and interviewed.

Budget set to boost mental health funding.

Australia's mental health and aged care systems will receive record funding in the federal budget, with billions of dollars set to be spent on the ailing sectors.

But experts have warned the packages may only begin to claw back ground after years of funding shortfalls.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will hand down his third budget on Tuesday, with major spending expected across government services.


Mental health advocates have long implored the federal government to dramatically increase funding.

National Mental Health Commission chief executive Christine Morgan, who advises Prime Minister Scott Morrison on suicide prevention, said early intervention, service integration and access were key.

"We need to be able to intervene a lot earlier in illness, in episode and in life," she told ABC radio.

Leading psychiatrist Patrick McGorry said the federal government was spending $3.6 billion annually on an issue that affected five million Australians every year.

"No governments anywhere in the world have understood the scale of the issue," he told the ABC.

Health Minister Greg Hunt is also remaining tight-lipped on reports the aged care package could be almost $18 billion over four years.

Mr Hunt said it would be a fundamental line in the sand after a damning royal commission report called for radical changes across the troubled system.

Building a better-paid workforce and boosting training are set to be key targets of the package.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians says the royal commission showed successive government cuts created a $10 billion annual funding shortfall.

Job creation and driving economic confidence are also in sharp focus for the coalition.

Mr Frydenberg is expected to announce a $1 billion extension of the JobTrainer program, which offers free or low-fee courses to young and unemployed people.

It comes as the government prepares to dump a hiring credit for people under 35, which supported just 1100 of the 450,000 jobs it was supposed to.


Labor leader Anthony Albanese criticised the government for lacking a plan to address record low wages growth, unemployment and underemployment.

He said the coalition was pushing the nation's debt towards $1 trillion but lacked an economic plan.

"Every dollar they spend is borrowed money and yet they have spent it on sports rorts, community safety rorts, companies using JobKeeper then paying huge executive bonuses," Mr Albanese told a caucus meeting.

The government will also unveil a major women's safety and economic security package, including domestic violence funding doubling to $680 million and $354 million over four years for health.

Govt says travel is an incentive for vaccines.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has promoted access to international travel when borders reopen as an incentive for Australians to roll up their sleeves for coronavirus jabs.

The Morrison government is creating a three-principle path for reopening, including travel bubbles, immunisation and potential changes to quarantine rules.

Mr Hunt said global medical evidence about the impact of vaccination on transmission would guide any changes.

"There's near universal prevention of serious illness, hospitalisation and loss of life," he told reporters in Canberra. "There is a high prevention of infection and re-transmission, but clearly not universal."

He said a progressive opening would be important for hope and understanding across Australia.

Singapore and Pacific nations are likely to be the next countries with New Zealand-style green lanes allowing quarantine-free travel to and from Australia.

"It is foreseeable that there will be lesser requirements on those who are coming into Australia if they have been vaccinated," Mr Hunt said.

"That's a very important incentive, and a point of hope, and a pathway to normalisation."

More than 2.6 million vaccinations have been administered across Australia, while a further 351,000 Pfizer doses have also arrived from overseas for medical regulators to test.

Gladys Berejiklian urges NZ to avoid bubble overreactions.

New Zealand has been urged to fine-tune its approach to the trans-Tasman bubble after a border closure "overreaction" last week.

New Zealand suspended quarantine-free travel with NSW for three days in response to the discovery of two community cases in Sydney last week.


Image: Getty.

No other Australian states took the same approach.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian called it an "overreaction" and that the "response should also be proportionate to the risk", given it was just two cases from a city of over five million.

The government made the pause in line with its traffic-light-style framework, which says cases without a known source should bring short-term suspensions.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern defended the decision to lock down an entire state, saying it was "proportionate" to a January call by Australia to lock down, a decision she attacked at the time.

"From time to time we might take that precautionary approach in the same way as Australia did with our Northland case," she said.

Ms Ardern said locking down regionally was likely to be too difficult "because of the systems we have at an airport".

"That does really rely on almost declarations by people at the gate ... that's not a great way to be making those public health judgments," she said.

Ex-Melbourne lord mayor Doyle apologises.

Disgraced former Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle has apologised for his behaviour towards women, saying there is a "darkness" in his soul.

The former Victorian opposition leader blamed arrogance, self-importance and alcohol for his actions, calling it "ugly, ugly stuff".


"I apologise, unreservedly, without qualification. I am sorry," he said on Monday in a 3AW interview.

Two months ago, the final report from an investigation found sexual misconduct allegations against Robert Doyle when he was chair of Melbourne Health were true.

Mr Doyle did not participate in the investigation, providing evidence that he had not been medically fit to be questioned.

He quit the post and his role as chairman of Melbourne Health after the allegations came to light.

He also stepped down from his position as lord mayor of the City of Melbourne in February 2018, after separate allegations of sexual harassment.

Victoria Police confirmed in June 2020 that a sexual crimes investigation into Mr Doyle had been completed and no charges would be laid.

Monday was the first time Mr Doyle had spoken publicly about the allegations.

"I couldn't have done it before now," he said.

"I look back, I see arrogance, I see self-importance, I see the inability to see how your behaviours are affecting somebody else - ugly, ugly stuff."

Mr Doyle said his poor behaviour went back to when he was a teacher, before he was in public office.

"That arrogance and self-importance goes back a long way ... I have no doubt I've hurt people I don't even know about and that's an awful thought," he said.

He added alcohol had been part of the problem with his latest misbehaviour and he had sought help.


"Alcohol is not an excuse for a lack of respect and a lack of appropriate behaviour - I fully accept that," he said.

Mr Doyle tearfully apologised to his family, saying he had hurt them as well.

He also said he did not seek forgiveness.

"I don't think our interview will change anybody's mind and that wasn't my object in doing it - I think people made up their minds a long time ago about Robert Doyle," he said.

"It makes you reflect on your own soul, it makes you reflect on the darkness that is there and that is the ugly side of you," he said.

"No-one likes to think ill of themselves or the worst of themselves, but when you're confronted with it, what can you do? "

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. 

Virus pandemic plateauing globally: WHO.

The World Health Organisation says the global number of coronavirus cases and deaths is plateauing, with declines in most regions including the two worst-affected regions: the Americas and Europe.

"But it's an unacceptably high plateau, with more than 5.4 million reported COVID-19 cases and almost 90,000 deaths last week," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing.


The WHO on Monday also said the B.1.617 variant first identified in India last year was being classified as a variant of global concern.

"We classify it as a variant of concern at a global level," Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on COVID-19, told the briefing.

"There is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility."

Indian coronavirus infections and deaths held close to record daily highs on Monday, increasing calls for the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lock down the world's second-most populous country.


Tedros said the WHO Foundation was launching a "Together for India" appeal to raise funds to purchase oxygen, medicines and protective equipment for health workers. 

'Cautious' hugging OK in England next week.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given the green light to cautious hugging and the serving of pints inside pubs, after months of strict restrictions as he set out the next phase of coronavirus lockdown easing in England.

The government announced a four-step plan in February for the gradual easing of social restrictions, with the next phase due to come into force next week.

Johnson said the government would allow families and close friends to make their own choices on social contact but urged people not to throw caution to the winds and said physical distancing must continue in workplaces, shops and restaurants.

"This unlocking amounts to a very considerable step on the road back to normality and I am confident that we will be able to go further," Johnson told a media conference.

"We are announcing the single biggest step on our road map and it will allow us to do many of the things that we've yearned to do for a long time."

Under Step 3, from May 17 people will be permitted to meet up indoors for the first time in months in groups of up to six people or two full households together.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to host customers indoors, also for the first time in months and subject to certain rules.


Other indoor entertainment like cinemas and sports venues will also be able to resume activity.

The reopening will apply to England only, with the semi-autonomous governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales setting out their own rules.

According to Johns Hopkins data, the United Kingdom has the fifth highest death toll in the world from the coronavirus with 127,609 fatalities.

Two-thirds of adults in the UK have had a first vaccine and one-third have had both doses.

Around the world.

- Twenty Palestinians, including nine children, have reportedly been killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza. Clashes and incidents of violence have occurred almost nightly in Jerusalem - a city holy to Muslims, Christians and Jews - since the start of Ramadan on April 13.

- China will draw a "separation line" atop Mount Everest to prevent the coronavirus from being spread by climbers ascending Nepal's side of the mountain, Chinese state media reports.

- Vietnam has recorded more than 100 new cases of COVID-19 via community transmission for the first time since the start of the pandemic, the Ministry of Health says, and Malaysia has imposed a new nationwide lockdown after a surge in coronavirus cases and highly infectious variant.

- The health of a minke whale that was freed after getting stuck in London's River Thames is failing, with rescuers reporting the mammal is "not really going anywhere" and could be euthanised.

-With AAP.

Feature image: Getty/Channel Nine.