The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Wednesday July 14.

Federal government unlocks $500 million a week for COVID support, prompting an enraged response from Victoria. 

Scott Morrison has revamped federal support for states enduring long lockdowns, saying it is in the national interest to be more generous. 

The Sydney lockdown is expected to be extended into its fourth week on Friday as cases head towards 800 since mid-June, including two deaths.

The support package "will go for as long as the lockdown requires", the prime minister said on Tuesday.

"It is in the national interest that we ensure that a lockdown will be effective."

A cashflow boost to businesses about to enter their fourth week of lockdown will cost $500 million a week from next week.

The federal government will share the cash flow support burden 50/50 with the NSW government.

"It gives us that freedom and gives everybody that breather to be able to follow the health advice and to try to get out of the lockdown as quickly as we can," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said. 

The support package will cut out when the Sydney lockdown ends, but sets up a national framework that will be applied to other states and territories who suffer a subsequent long outbreak.

From week four of a lockdown in a declared hotspot, the disaster payment will be $600 if a person has lost 20 or more hours of work a week or $375 for between eight and less than 20 hours of work a week foregone.

Victoria has accused the Federal Government of being biased, only coming to the table with big money for locked down residents now it's Sydney and NSW in the firing line.


"Everyone in Australia believes that people in Sydney and NSW deserve every possible support as they battle a second wave and a long lockdown," a statement from the Victorian government read.

"But Victorians are rightly sick and tired of having to beg for every scrap of support from the Federal Government.

"It shouldn't take a crisis in Sydney for the Prime Minister to take action but we are seeing the same double standard time and time again."

NSW lockdown likely to be extended today.

NSW recorded 89 new local coronavirus cases on Tuesday, following 112 new local infections on Monday and 77 on Sunday.

The increase in workers' payments kicks in once a lockdown exceeds 21 days. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the support would give people a "breather" to follow the health advice. 

Most of Tuesday's new cases were in the city's southwest, while 20 were in the southeast or inner city. A man aged in his 70s from Sydney's eastern suburbs became the second death in the latest outbreak and took the national death toll to 912 since the pandemic began.


A construction worker who had the virus while working in Goulburn - about 200km from his home in Sydney - has prompted new restrictions for essential workers.

Anyone performing essential work who lives or works in the Fairfield local government area must be tested every three days, while anyone from Greater Sydney travelling to the regions for work must be tested weekly.

Workers must carry proof of their last negative test, such as an SMS.

The NSW government is expected to extend the lockdown on Wednesday, with health authorities desperate to see the number of cases out in the community plummet.

New virus case in Vic, as an entire apartment block sent into lockdown.

Victoria has recorded one new coronavirus case - a member of a family of four, who live in the local government area of Hume and recently returned from NSW on red zone permits. 

Two of the family members were announced as positive coronavirus cases on Monday but were included in Tuesday's daily COVID-19 figures.

Meanwhile, more than 150 people at an apartment complex in Melbourne's northwest are in lockdown after a group of infectious removalists from NSW visited the site.


Ariele Apartments on Thomas Holmes Street in Maribyrnong was listed as a tier-one exposure site overnight.

Anyone who entered the complex between Friday to Monday must also get tested and isolate until they test negative for COVID-19.

Three new Qld virus cases, but NSW border remains open.

Queensland has recorded three new COVID-19 cases and listed new exposure sites on the Sunshine Coast as the state government opts to keep the NSW border open for now.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says there's no concern about the three new cases, one in hotel quarantine and two in home quarantine.

The two in home quarantine are locally acquired and related to the Greek community centre cluster in Brisbane.

The premier says it's too early to make a call on the NSW border with no new locally acquired cases or COVID-19 positive sewage testing detected close to Queensland.

She says the Sydney outbreak will be reviewed on a day-to-day basis and the border situation could change at any time.

Melbourne-based millionaire, Jeremy Young, has been exposed as one of four people who illegally sailed from Sydney to Brisbane on a superyacht and lied on their border pass so they could attend a rugby match.

Mr Young is CEO of the ASX-listed Atomos audio visual company.

Priest guilty of 25 sexual abuse charges.

This post deals with sexual abuse and might be triggering for some readers.

A Catholic priest has been found guilty of numerous historical abuse charges including three counts of sex with young boys. 


Anthony William Peter Caruana, 79, was convicted of 25 charges relating to 12 victims after jurors in his Sydney trial were deliberating for nearly 10 days. 

They will return to the NSW District Court on Wednesday to continue deciding on a majority verdict for the remaining two counts.

The former boarding housemaster is accused of abusing male students while he was a school teacher, rugby coach, and conductor at Chevalier College, south of Sydney in the 1980s. 

Over a six-week trial, the jury heard evidence that one of his 14-year-old victims was attacked while in the band storage room cleaning instruments. 

The teacher grabbed his hand and forced it down his pants, another time saying words to the effect of "God will love you if you do what I say" and "you're pleasing a man of God".

The trial continues. 

If this post brings up any issues for you, you can contact Bravehearts (an organisation providing support to victims of child abuse) here.

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child you can get advice from the Child Abuse Protection Hotline by calling 1800 688 009, or visiting their website. You can also call the 24-hour Child Abuse Report Line (131 478).

Nickelodeon star Drake Bell avoids jail time after pleading guilty to sending inappropriate messages to an underage girl.

Child star of Drake & Josh and The Amanda Show, Drake Bell, has been sentenced to two years' probation and 200 hours of community service after he pleaded guilty to attempted child endangerment and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.


The sentence stems from an incident where he sent inappropriate messages to a 15-year-old girl in 2017, when he was 31.

His victim, now 19, addressed the court on Monday claiming he began grooming her online when she was 12 with their conversations turning sexual when she was 15.

Appearing by Zoom, Bell said that he accepted the plea because his conduct was wrong.

"I have taken this matter very, very seriously, and again I just want to apologise to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions," he told the court.

If this post brings up any issues for you, you can contact Bravehearts (an organisation providing support to victims of child abuse) here.

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child you can get advice from the Child Abuse Protection Hotline by calling 1800 688 009, or visiting their website. You can also call the 24-hour Child Abuse Report Line (131 478).

Around the world.

- A fire at a hospital housing coronavirus patients in Iraq has killed 92 people. 

- Indonesia has reported a record increase of coronavirus infections with 47,899 new cases and 864 deaths on Tuesday.

- Customers at indoor restaurants, bars and cafes in Greece will have to prove they've had the vaccine against COVID or tested negative within the last three days.

- With AAP

Feature image: Jenny Evans/Darrian Traynor/David Livingston/Getty.