The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Wednesday May 12.

Victorian COVID-19 case could trigger restrictions.

Victorian health officials haven't ruled out beefing up COVID-19 restrictions if there is evidence a Melbourne man infected others in the community.

The man, aged in his 30s, flew into Adelaide from India via the Maldives and Singapore on April 19 before Australia's flight ban began.

After completing quarantine at the Playford Hotel, he returned to his home in suburban Melbourne's Wollert early last week and developed symptoms on Saturday before testing positive on Tuesday.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton suspects the man picked up the virus in the hotel, not India or on his international flights.

All three of the man's household contacts have returned negative test results, with Prof Sutton describing it as an "early encouraging sign".

Contact tracers have identified four "tier one" exposure sites linked to the man, including an Altona North office where he worked and an Indian restaurant and bar in central Melbourne.


Anyone who visited the sites at specific times must get tested and isolate for 14 days from exposure.

Two Friday night train services to and from Craigieburn and Southern Cross are among five "tier two" exposure sites.

Victoria's COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar told ABC Melbourne radio that evidence of community spread within Melbourne would prompt officials to consider "the next set of appropriate measures".

"If we are finding positive cases in the workplace or exposure sites that would obviously be a significant cause for concern."

He said a number of patrons at the Curry Vault Indian restaurant in Melbourne's CBD on Friday night did not check in.

"Based on information provided, we think there are likely to be more people in that restaurant than are on the QR code system at the moment. But we don't know who they are," he said.

"That's why it's so important that we all maintain the basic behaviours.

"Wear a mask in public transport and in taxis and when you can't isolate, use the QR system wherever you go."

South Australia's genomic sequencing report could shed light on the source of the man's infection but is expected to take 48 hours to complete.

The winners and losers of the 2021 Australian Federal Budget.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has defended his federal budget spending bonanza which will pour billions of dollars into tax breaks, job creation and critical services. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will join Mr Frydenberg's post-budget sales pitch on Wednesday after the government revealed a major cash splash.

With the budget largely bereft of losers, the government is preparing the ground for the next federal election due between August and May.

Low and middle-income earners will have a tax break worth up to $1080 extended for a year, while businesses will also benefit from asset write offs and other incentives.


Aged care will receive an extra $17.7 billion over four years to address a damning royal commission report which detailed horror stories of neglect and abuse.

Some $2.3 billion will be spent on a mental health funding increase which experts had been demanding for years.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is receiving a $13.2 billion boost, while money will also be shelled out on training and apprentice subsidies.

Another $15 billion was added to the government's 10-year infrastructure pipeline for road and rail projects.

Despite years of relentless criticism of the previous Labor government's spending, the coalition insists the coronavirus pandemic has rewritten the rules.

"This has been the most significant economic shock since the Great Depression," Mr Frydenberg told the ABC.

He said the impact had dwarfed the global financial crisis, which sparked major stimulus from the ALP.

The budget deficit is forecast to be $106.6 billion in 2021/22, while debt is expected to reach almost $1 trillion in 2024/25.

Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said the budget was a political fix designed to get the coalition through to an election "before reverting to type".

"We've still got a higher priority on cleaner and cheaper energy, social housing, proper investment in good and secure well-paid jobs," he told the ABC.

Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said the budget would propel Australia out of the pandemic and lay foundations for a jobs-led recovery.

"The budget builds on the significant gains we've made to create jobs, get people and businesses back to work, rebuild confidence and fire up economic growth," she said.

Read more: The 2021 Australian Federal Budget: Who are the real winners and losers?

Government predicts end-of-year completion of vaccine rollout.

After a sluggish start, the Morrison government is banking on all willing Australians being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by the end of the year.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declined to set a target completion date for the vaccine rollout after AstraZeneca-linked blood clots forced a reset.


But the 2021/22 budget, handed down by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday night, assumes the program will be finished before 2022.

"The vaccine is likely to be rolled out by the end of this year to all those Australians who want that vaccine," Mr Frydenberg told reporters.

"There is the assumption they will get two doses by that time."

That will require the weekly pace of the rollout to triple, with just 2.7 million doses administered so far.

Mr Frydenberg noted the prediction was based on "those who seek to have the vaccine" rather than the entire Australian population.

Treasury also expects international travel to "remain low" through to mid-2022 after which a gradual recovery in international tourism is assumed to occur.

The cautious travel approach comes as the government revealed it would spend an extra $1.9 billion over the coming year to boost its COVID-19 vaccine supply to 170 million doses and speed up the rollout.

The budget papers also confirmed a plan to investigate domestic manufacturing of mRNA vaccines, although an exact funding figure was not divulged due to "commercial in confidence sensitivities".

Jarryd Hayne supporter fined for spitting.

A supporter of ex-NRL player and convicted sex offender Jarryd Hayne has been fined for spitting towards his victim outside court.

The man was filmed spitting on the footpath near the victim as she walked from the Newcastle District Court after Hayne was jailed for five years and nine months on Thursday.


The 38-year-old was issued with a criminal infringement notice for offensive conduct on Tuesday, incurring a fine.

Hayne was in March convicted of attacking the woman in her bedroom in NSW's Hunter region on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final and forcibly performing sex acts on her.

The former Parramatta player will spend at least three years and eight months in jail.

Hayne's legal team on Friday lodged a Notice of Intention to appeal in the NSW Supreme Court.

Tunnel found at WA detention centre.

An audacious escape bid has been thwarted after authorities discovered a 20-metre long escape tunnel beneath an immigration detention centre outside Perth.

Border Force officials have confirmed the escape plan but say none of the detainees got away from the Yongah Hill facility.

Activists from the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) broke the news on Tuesday saying the escape bid mirrored one 20 years ago, when 23 asylum seekers dug their way out of Sydney's Villawood detention centre.

They said the substantial tunnel was discovered on Monday, at a depth of about three metres, and would have taken months to dig.

In a statement to AAP late on Tuesday, the Australian Border Force said "a suspected attempted escape has been prevented following the identification of a partially dug hole".


"All detainees have been accounted for and remain in detention. The matter has been referred to the Australian Federal Police."

Gaza residential block collapses, rocket hits Tel Aviv.

A 13-storey residential block in the Gaza Strip has collapsed after being hit by an Israeli air strike, witnesses say.

Video footage showed three plumes of thick, black smoke rising from the tower, its upper storeys still intact as they fell.

The tower houses an office used by the political leadership of Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Shortly after the attack, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group said they would respond by firing rockets at Tel Aviv.

Air raid sirens and explosions were heard around the city and Channel 12 television said there had been a direct rocket hit on a building in the suburb of Holon.

Israel halted all flights from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport.

Hours earlier, Israel had sent 80 jets to bomb Gaza and massed tanks on the border as rocket barrages hit Israeli towns for a second day.

Residents of the block and people living nearby had been warned to leave the area about an hour before the air strike, according to witnesses.

Image: Getty.


It was not immediately clear if the building had been fully evacuated or if there were casualties.

The most serious outbreak of fighting since 2019 between Israel and armed factions in Gaza was triggered by clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque on Monday.

The holy city of Jerusalem has been tense during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, with the threat of a court ruling evicting Palestinians from homes claimed by Jewish settlers adding to the friction.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would step up its strikes on Gaza, an enclave of 2 million people, in response to the rocket attacks, which carried on into the early evening.

Within an hour, Israel said it had deployed 80 jets to bomb rocket launch sites in and around Gaza City.

On Tuesday, before the block collapsed, the Gaza health ministry said at least 28 Palestinians, including 10 children, had been killed and 152 wounded by Israeli strikes since Hamas on Monday fired rockets towards Jerusalem.

Israel's ambulance service said two women had been killed in rocket strikes on the southern city of Ashkelon.

The International Committee of the Red Cross urged all sides to step back, and reminded them of the requirement in international law to try to avoid civilian casualties.


China's 'shameless lies' over Taiwan: MP.

China has been accused by Taiwan's foreign minister of telling "shameless lies" in an escalating dispute about Beijing blocking the island from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The United States and the economically powerful G7 nations have called for the Chinese-claimed but democratically ruled Taiwan to attend the WHO's decision-making body, the World Health Assembly, which meets from May 24.

Taiwan is locked out of most global organisations, including the WHO, due to the objections of China, which considers the island one of its provinces rather than an independent nation.

China's foreign ministry said on Monday that "appropriate arrangements" have been made for Taiwan's participation in global health matters and that nobody cared more for Taiwan's people than the Chinese government.

"Shameless lies! Just goes to show the CCP can't tell the truth," Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on Twitter, referring to China's ruling Communist Party.

"After what Beijing has done to Xinjiang, Tibet & Hong Kong, no sane person would believe it could take care of Taiwan's health needs or otherwise," Wu added. 

"Thank God we aren't under China's control! Please help us keep it at a distance."


Wu said China's Communist Party could not claim to speak for Taiwan as it has never ruled it and only the island's democratically elected government can represent its people.

In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the blame lay with Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for refusing to accept the island was part of China.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's government on Tuesday tightened rules on public gatherings after reporting six new domestic COVID-19 cases with no clear source of infection, a rare rise on the island which has kept the pandemic well under control.

Taiwan largely closed its borders early on in the pandemic and has a robust contact tracing and quarantine system, meaning its low case numbers - 1210 infections to date including 12 deaths - have allowed life to carry on more or less as normal.

Around the world.

- Britain will move to ban conversion therapy and offer more support to members of the LGBTQI+ community who have been forced into the practice, as part of the government's post-pandemic agenda.

- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not attend the G7 summit in the UK in June due to the coronavirus situation in his country.

- Seven children and two adults have been killed in a shooting at a school in the Russian city of Kazan. Twenty-one other people, mostly children, were injured and a 19-year-old suspect was detained, officials say.

-With AAP.

Feature image: Getty.