Qld introduces restrictions against NSW hotspot regions after Sydney coronavirus case


Queensland has rapidly brought restrictions against Greater Sydney, in a swift move to keep coronavirus out of its state.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said from 1am Friday, May 7, anyone arriving in the state who has been to any of the venues identified by NSW Health will need to go into hotel quarantine.

“We believe thess are sensible restrictions at this time and, of course, we will be watching

and monitoring very closely what is happening in New South Wales,” Ms D’Ath said.

The restrictions comes after a Sydney man visited multiple venues in NSW while infected with COVID-19.

Health officials said the man, in his 50s, had not travelled overseas recently and did not work in a quarantine hotel, border or health role.

An optometrist and two popular cafes are among a growing list of exposure sites after the man from Sydney’s eastern suburbs went to.

The public health alert prompted fears Queensland would close its border, given its tough stance throughout the pandemic.

Many Queenslanders in Sydney reportedly immediately made plans to return home, even before the announcement was made.

There were also fears Western Australia would do the same.

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Queensland’s move follows its new approach to border closures.

At the weekend the state unveiled its new plan to manage interstate outbreaks, after previous total border shutdowns devastated businesses and led to travel chaos.

The Interstate Exposure Venues Direction requires anyone who has been to a declared COVID-19 exposure site to immediately go into 14 days of quarantine “in government-arranged accommodation”.

It targets specific venues, such as shopping centres and stores, rather than declaring entire cities or states as hotspots.

On Sunday the order was put into action after a Perth hotel quarantine worker and two of his housemates tested positive to COVID-19.

Rather than closing to all of Perth or Western Australia, Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Sonya Bennett said only those who had visited a list of exposure sites would need to quarantine.

RELATED: Man ‘nearly died’ after COVID jab

On Wednesday evening, Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young warned anyone who had been to the new Sydney venues would have to quarantine.

“NSW Health has already made it clear that anyone who has been to any of those venues, should be quarantining, and not getting on flights,“ Dr Young said.

“We’re working closely with NSW to get a better understanding of the risk associated with this case, so as an interim measure, we’re mirroring NSW Health’s advice.

“We’ll continue to assess the situation as more information comes to hand over the next 24 hours.”

The Victorian government also issued advice, declaring all of NSW would remain a ‘green zone’ until more about the new infection was known “including genomic sequencing results”.

That means anyone from anywhere in NSW can travel freely to Victoria but should still apply for a travel permit.

But anyone who is in Victoria and attended an infected venue will be classified as a ‘tier 1’ and must get tested and isolate for the full 14 days.



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Perth dad lashes Mulberry Tree Childcare’s ‘pathetic’ fine after son left in hot bus


A Perth dad is fuming over the “pathetic” punishment handed down to a childcare centre that left his toddler sweltering in a hot bus.

Mulberry Tree Childcare Centre, located in the northern suburb of Mount Hawthorn, came under investigation in October last year following the incident.

Western Australia’s Department of Communities finalised its investigation earlier this month, fining the centre’s parent company $15,000.

Anthony Shipp discovered his four-year-old son Tom locked in the hot bus just after 3.30pm last year.

Mr Shipp said he usually picked Tom up at 5pm and it was “purely by chance” that his son was still alive.

Speaking to The West, Mr Shipp said he feared the worst when Tom’s best friend said he hadn’t seen the four-year-old.

“It’s purely by chance that I collected him early — imagine what could’ve happened to him if I didn’t?”

The childcare centre transports children from local primary schools but when the minibus pulled into the centre at 3pm, Tom failed to get off.

According to CCTV obtained in the Department of Communities investigation, Tom was left in the locked van for at least 11 minutes.

The bus was parked in the direct sun, with temperatures hitting 31.6C that day.

A study conducted by the NRMA last year found temperatures inside hot vehicles can increase by up to 70 per cent in an hour.

“He was left on the bus all alone in 32-degree heat,” Mr Shipp said.

“He was very quiet, pale and drenched in sweat.

“Later on I asked him, I said ‘Tom how come you stayed on the bus?’ and he said ‘I couldn’t get my seat belt off’.

“I was fuming — how could you leave a child on the bus who is stuck in a seatbelt?”

The State Administrative Tribunal this week fined parent company Cachet Holdings Pty Ltd $15,000 for “inadequate supervision” and awarded the Department of Communities $1000 in costs.

“On 29 October 2020 Cachet Holdings contravened section 165(1) of the National Law by failing to ensure that all children being educated and cared for by the service were adequately supervised at all times the children were in the care of the service,” the tribunal’s decision said.

Mr Shipp told The West the punishment “does not fit the crime”.

“I think it’s just a minor slap on the wrist for an organisation as big as Mulberry Tree … it’s nothing to a company that size,” he said.

“It’s pathetic.”

In a statement, the Department of Communities said the fine should act as a warning to other childcare centres.

“Being approved to operate an education and care service in WA carries significant

responsibilities and obligations to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children,” the department said in a statement.

“It is important that service providers review their transportation policies, procedures, risk assessments and practices to ensure they are adequate, and that staff — including casual and relief staff — are frequently trained in following these policies and procedures.

“The transportation practices put in place must be robust to protect against human error and to ensure thorough vehicle checks are undertaken every time.”



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Federal Court challenge to Australia’s India flight ban


Cricket great Michael Slater has delivered another brutal sledge to the Prime Minister over the flight ban for Aussies trying to flee India, challenging him to “take your private jet and come and witness the dead bodies on the street!”

In the latest war of words between the pair, the broadcaster has returned fire after the PM dismissed his claim that the Morrison Government could be left his “blood on his hands” over the Indian flight ban.

“Amazing to smoke out the PM on a matter that is a human crisis,” Slater said. “The panic, the fear of every Australian in India is real!! How about you take your private jet and come and witness dead bodies on the street!”

While the broadcaster got out of India on one of the final flights to the Maldives before the ban came into force, he’s attacked the threat to jail Australian citizens trying to flee on social media.

“Blood on your hands PM. How dare you treat us like this. How about you sort out the quarantine system.

But he had nothing but praise for India on Wednesday despite the humanitarian crisis unfolding and hospitals running out of oxygen.

“Above all my love and prayers to every Indian. You have been nothing but amazing to me every time I’ve been there. Please stay safe. Xx,’’ he said on Twitter.

It comes as Australia’s threat of jail terms and massive fines for citizens returning home from COVID-ravaged India was challenged in the Federal Court.

Melbourne man Gary Newman, 73, who has been stuck in India since March 2020 has now lodged a legal challenge against the rule.

Lawyers acting for Mr Newman argue the travel ban is invalid on constitutional grounds in a move that could overturn the laws.

Health Minister Greg Hunt used an emergency declaration under the Biosecurity Act to invoke the ban, laws that were also used to restrict access to Aboriginal communities last year in the early stages of the COVID pandemic.

Federal Court Justice Stephen Burley heard the matter at 3pm on Wednesday afternoon.

During a brief hearing, Justice Burley made orders that the matter be expedited and considered urgently and will be the subject of further hearings to be notified in the next 24 to 48 hours.

The man challenging the laws is being represented by Marque lawyers who have previously accused the PM of “talking rubbish” by suggesting it was unlikely anyone will be jailed.

“Australia is the only country in the world that has attempted to prevent, by law, its own citizens from coming home — and the legal basis for this is in the act,’’ lawyer Michael Bradley said.

“I do think that there’s a solid case to argue that this ban on citizens returning from India is illegal. There are three parts to the argument.

“First, (Greg) Hunt has misapplied his own power, because the blanket ban exceeds what is ‘appropriate and adapted’.

“Second, that there is a right to return for Australian citizens, constrained by the power to impose restrictions only to the extent that they are necessary to protect the wider public interest. The Biosecurity Act gives the government many powers, including to enforce quarantine and even forcibly detain individuals to prevent or contain spread.

“Third, that if the Biosecurity Act does allow this ban, then it is invalid because it falls outside the powers which the constitution gives to the Commonwealth Parliament. It’s not covered by the quarantine or immigration powers, so I can’t really see a constitutional basis for it at all.

“It’s not hard to imagine measures the government could have spent the past year putting in place for such a contingency as this: that there are 9000 Australian citizens trapped in India, and they need to be rescued. It could be done.

“Therefore, what the government has done is unlawful. Apart from being disgraceful. And racist.”

Earlier, Mr Hunt defended the temporary ban as necessary to manage an influx of cases from overseas.

“It is about caseload. That’s the important point to understand,” he said.

“What we have seen is, of course, one in eight – more than one in eight – passengers on the most recent flights were testing positive. That’s a level beyond anything that we had seen before.

“Our job is to protect Australia against a third wave, our job is to protect our health system. So we have to manage the balance and the case load which is precisely why we took the difficult temporary measures.”

Sky News host Andrew Bolt has previously declared he is “ashamed of Australia” over the threat of jail terms for Indian-Australians trying to return home slamming the Prime Minister’s decision as a bad call that “stinks of racism”.

The temporary measure is designed to allow for hotel quarantine upgrades in Australia before an influx of citizens fleeing COVID-ravaged India.

“I hate people playing the race card. But even I must now say I am ashamed of Australia, which is making it a crime for Indian Australians to come back home,’’ he said.

“To me, it stinks of racism to tell the 8000 Indian Australians trying to come home that they must stay in India, in what Western Australia’s Premier admitted was the ‘epicentre of death and destruction’.”

Chillingly, Bolt goes on to argue that the death of any Australian left trapped in India should “shame” the Prime Minister.

“The death of any Australian in India because of this ban will shame the Prime Minister and everyone cheering this despicable and irrational policy,’’ he said.

Nationals Senator Matt Canavan has also broken ranks to criticise the decision.

“We should be helping Aussies in India return, not jailing them. Let’s fix our quarantine system rather than leave our fellow Australians stranded,’’ he said.



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Ex-MasterChef star Ben Ungermann alleged to have touched teen victim ‘under the waistband’


New details have been revealed in court about allegations a former MasterChef star sexually touched an underage girl without her consent.

Ben Ungermann appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday for a ground rules hearing, where appropriate procedures for lawyers examining two underage witnesses were ordered by magistrate Mia Stylianou.

The 37-year-old is alleged to have touched the girl on the breast and “under the waistband of her pants”, the court was told.

It was revealed in the hearing there was an “eyewitness” to the alleged incident, also a teenager, who was sitting nearby.

The prosecution will also seek to use “tendency evidence” of three alleged further incidents to the charges that it says shows Ungermann has a history of relevant “sexual interest”.

Mr Ungermann denies the charges and will fight them in a contest hearing later this month.

Wearing a white shirt and black tie with his hair in a styled quiff, he let lawyer Abbie Roodenburg do the talking on Wednesday.

In the contest hearing, lawyers asking questions of the two key underage witnesses must follow rules including not to ask complex questions and legal language, to use a neutral tone, and for there to be regular breaks.

There will also be two other underage witnesses called to give evidence, of less centrality to the allegations.

Ben Bullock, a lawyer and fellow former MasterChef contestant who is part of Ungermann’s legal team, was present on the videolink hearing on Wednesday but did not contribute.

Ms Roodenburg said he would be flying to Melbourne from Western Australia for the contest hearing and “may have to quarantine” depending on the latest COVID-19 restrictions.

Mr Ungermann’s alleged victim has also participated in four recorded interviews of video evidence, some of which Mr Ungermann’s lawyers say is not relevant to the case and shouldn’t be used.

A court-appointed intermediary told the magistrate it was important the girl was supported throughout the hearing.

Ms Stylianou will order a body map be used in the contest hearing for the girl to demonstrate where Ungermann allegedly touched her, to “dispel any ambiguity”.

He is charged with three counts of sexual touching without consent, on February 23, 2020, in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Docklands.

The “Ice-Cream King”, as he was known on the show, was the runner-up in the 2017 series of MasterChef, losing out to Diana Chan.

He announced he would reappear in last year’s “Back to Win” series of the popular cooking reality series – but was dropped after police filed sexual assault charges.

He has also been wiped from the website of his family business Ungermann Brothers gourmet ice cream, run out of Ipswich in Queensland, which previously listed him as a founder.



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Perth workers allegedly took cash after $40k found on recycling centre conveyor belts


Three employees at a Perth recycling centre have been charged with stealing after police recovered around $40,000 on the facility’s conveyor belts.

Police received a tip-off on April 12 that approximately $1 million in cash had been found among recycling materials at the south Perth recycling centre.

“Information received was that $50 and $100 notes appeared on one of the centre’s conveyor belts,” WA Police told news.com.au in a statement.

An investigation was launched and police established the amount of cash was substantially less than $1 million — just $40,000.

During the investigation, police were told staff had been encouraged to “remain quiet about the discovery”.

WA’s Police Commissioner Chris Dawson has called the incident an “amazing story” but stressed those involved are accused of a “serious” crime. He said police will allege the trio had schemed to keep the discovery quiet, and share the cash.

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Police believe they have now recovered the majority of the cash. How the money came to be littered among the recycling in the centre remains a mystery for now.

“The origin of the cash has not been established and the investigation is ongoing,” WA Police said.

An ‘amazing story’

Commissioner Dawson told 6PR the incident was an “amazing story”, but said the charges were serious.

“There were large bills, notes that appeared on the conveyor belt,” he said. “We’ll be alleging that one of the people there arranged for staff to stay quiet and just share the cash among themselves.

“What we’re also alleging is that those people should not have kept it quiet.

“But look it’s still an amazing story. I’m sure it’ll be making the rounds at not only that recycling facility but others.”

Police executed several search warrants and have charged three people with possession of stolen or unlawfully obtained property (cash).

Those charged include a 53-year-old female supervisor from the centre, from the Perth suburbs of Balga.

Also charged was a Greenmount man, 24, and a Nollamara man, 22.



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Forecast for drenching rains to linger


The drenching rains that have begun pouring over Australia’s east coast this week are showing no sign of abating, at least for the next few days.

Sydney is looking at more than 50mm of rain heading into the weekend while Brisbane could see possible thunderstorms today. Perth too will be wet and stormy.

In the south, it won’t be particularly warm either with the mercury struggling to get any higher than the teens.

Yesterday was the coldest day of the year so far in three cities – Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. The capital could only peak at 12.9C at the hottest part of the day.

Rain has now settled in over the east coast. The seas off Port Macquarie, on the mid north coast of NSW, saw a series of dramatic waterspouts late yesterday. Bega, in the state’s south, reported 115mm in the gauge in the 24 hours to 9am this morning. That’s its heaviest one day rainfall for five years.

“It’s all being generated on the east coast by an upper level cold pool,” Sky News Weather meteorologist Alison Osborne said.

It’s basically a blob of cold air, much chillier than the air surrounding, it that is straddling NSW and Queensland.

“This pool of cold air is well into the upper atmosphere, around the cruising altitude of a jet.

“That cold air aloft contributing to enhanced rainfall and storm activity from inland parts of northern NSW to southeastern Queensland,” Ms Osborne said.

Lingering rain on east coast

Brisbane is looking at a very wet day for the rest of Wednesday with a possible storm but clearing later. That should lead to a run of mostly dry days. Temperatures topping out a 22C today and then heading towards 27C for the rest of the week and into the weekend.

The rain could linger into Thursday on the Gold Coast. Dry and warm further north in the state with Townsville seeing maximums of 28C on Thursday.

“Further south and the system as it moves out to sea will generate quite vigorous onshore winds bringing heavy rainfall for the NSW coast today and then again tomorrow,” Ms Osborne said.

In Sydney, there could be very little let-up in the wet weather until the weekend with 25mm possible on Wednesday, similar conditions on Thursday and then a top up of around 10mm on Friday. Temperatures should get to only 17C on Wednesday but then into the mid-twenties. Overnight lows of 14-16C.

Wet and possibly stormy for northern NSW for in areas such as Grafton and Coffs Harbour. But the falls could be heaviest on the south coast of the state with Bega looking at 50mm on Thursday and 20mm on Friday.

Canberra would also see a soggy few days but it should dry up on Friday continuing into the weekend. The mercury will rise from high of 14C on Wednesday to 21C on Friday with minimums of 8C sinking to 5C on Saturday.

Drier in south, wet in WA

It will be dry in much of Victoria although some of that moisture will creep into the Gippsland region.

Melbourne is looking at no rain with highs of 17C and lows around 10C for the coming days. Hobart will see similar weather but could be a touch warmer with highs of 20C on Friday.

Adelaide will remain dry and cloudy until Saturday when some light showers could pass through. Maximums around 20C with lows getting to below 10C early on Thursday.

Heavy rain continues to march across Western Australia in a wide band from the Pilbara down towards the Wheatbelt and Goldfields.

Perth has seen some very rainy conditions with 46mm recorded in the 24 hours to 9am Wednesday.

Around another 20mm could fall on a wet Wednesday with a possible storm. More showers for Thursday before the moisture recedes. Mild highs of 22C and lows down to around 14C.

Dry in Darwin, as befits the season. Blue skies, maximums of 33C and dawn minimums of 22C.



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Federal Court challenge to Australia’s India flight ban


Australia’s threat of jail terms and massive fines for citizens returning home from COVID-ravaged India will be challenged in the Federal Court.

Melbourne man Gary Newman, 73, who has been stuck in India since March 2020 has now lodged a legal challenge that will be heard this afternoon.

Lawyers acting for Mr Newman will argue the travel ban is invalid on constitutional grounds in a move that could overturn the laws.

Health Minister Greg Hunt’s used an emergency declaration under the Biosecurity Act to invoke the ban, laws that were also used to restrict access to Aboriginal communities last year in the early stages of the COVID pandemic.

Federal Court Justice Stephen Burley will hear the matter at 3pm on Wednesday afternoon.

Sky News host Andrew Bolt has previously declared he is “ashamed of Australia” over the threat of jail terms for Indian-Australians trying to return home slamming the Prime Minister’s decision as a bad call that “stinks of racism”.

The temporary measure is designed to allow for hotel quarantine upgrades in Australia before an influx of citizens fleeing COVID-ravaged India.

“I hate people playing the race card. But even I must now say I am ashamed of Australia, which is making it a crime for Indian Australians to come back home,’’ he said.

“To me, it stinks of racism to tell the 8000 Indian Australians trying to come home that they must stay in India, in what Western Australia’s Premier admitted was the ‘epicentre of death and destruction’.”

Chillingly, Bolt goes on to argue that the death of any Australian left trapped in India should “shame” the Prime Minister.

“The death of any Australian in India because of this ban will shame the Prime Minister and everyone cheering this despicable and irrational policy,’’ he said.

Nationals Senator Matt Canavan has also broken ranks to criticise the decision.

“We should be helping Aussies in India return, not jailing them. Let’s fix our quarantine system rather than leave our fellow Australians stranded,’’ he said.



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More people left Sydney than any other capital last year


Sydneysiders fled the city in greater numbers than any other Australian capital last year, latest figures reveal.

A net 31,600 Sydneysiders farewelled the Harbour City for other parts of the country in 2020, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics internal migration statistics.

Melbourne wasn’t far behind, losing a net 26,100 people – the capital’s biggest annual net loss on record during a year which included months of COVID lockdown.

Overall, Victoria lost 12,700 people last year in what was the southern state’s first net interstate loss for a calendar year since 2008.

The only capitals to record net gains over 2020 were Brisbane, which gained 13,000 people, Perth, which added 3500, and Canberra, with 300.

South Australia recorded a boost in interstate migrants for the first time in almost 30 years, with a net gain of 100 people.

Meanwhile, 1400 opted for a move out west to Western Australia, the mining state’s first annual net gain since 2013.

Queensland had its highest net gain since 2004, with 30,000 people deciding to call the Sunshine State home.

Australia’s regional areas experienced the largest net inflows of capital city residents since records began 20 years ago.

In recent decades, more people moved from Australia’s capital cities to the regions than from the regions to the capitals, resulting in a net internal migration gain for regional areas, ABS demography director Phil Browning said.

During the pandemic, many people were still opting to make a move to other parts of the country, he said.

Last year, a net 43,000 Australians upped stumps in capital cities to try regional life, up from 18,900 in 2019.

It was the largest net inflow to the regions since records began 20 years ago.

Regional Queensland had the biggest net inflow of all the states last year, with 17,000 people moving in.

The regional areas of Victoria and NSW had the next largest net gains, with 13,400 and 12,700 newcomers, respectively.

The ABS figures do not reflect overall population change because internal migration is only one measure alongside overseas migration, births and deaths.

melissa.iaria1@news.com.au



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China Long March 5B rocket parts expect to crash on Earth in weeks


A large piece of space debris, possibly weighing several tonnes, is currently on an uncontrolled re-entry phase (that’s space speak for “out of control”), and parts of it are expected to crash down to Earth over the next few weeks.

If that isn’t worrying enough, it is impossible to predict exactly where the pieces that don’t burn up in the atmosphere might land. Given the object’s orbit, the possible landing points are anywhere in a band of latitudes “a little farther north than New York, Madrid and Beijing, and as far south as southern Chile and Wellington, New Zealand”.

The debris is part of the Long March 5B rocket that recently successfully launched China’s first module for its proposed space station. The incident comes roughly a year after another similar Chinese rocket fell to Earth, landing in the Atlantic Ocean but not before it reportedly left a trail of debris in the African nation of Cote D’Ivoire.

At the time, experts noted this was one of the largest pieces of human-made debris ever to fall to Earth. We cannot say with certainty what fate awaits this latest piece of space junk.

Litter from space

Australia already holds the record in the category of “who can be hit by the biggest piece of space junk”. In 1979, the 77-tonne US space station SkyLab disintegrated over Western Australia, peppering the area around the southern coastal town of Esperance with fragments.

At the time, the event was met with excitement and a sense of lightheartedness, and many pieces were collected by space enthusiasts. Esperance Shire Council flippantly issued NASA with a fine for littering, and a US radio station later raised enough money to pay the debt.

Although there have been no recorded deaths or serious injuries from people being hit by space debris, that’s no reason to think it’s not dangerous. Just one year before SkyLab’s demise, a Soviet remote sensing (spy) satellite, Cosmos 954, plummeted into a barren region of Canada’s Northwest Territories, spreading radioactive debris over several hundred square kilometres.

With the Cold War at its height, the sensitivity of the nuclear technology on board Cosmos 954 led to an unfortunate delay in locating and cleaning up the wreckage, because of the distrust between the Soviet Union and the Canadian/US recovery effort.

The clean-up operation took months but located only a portion of the debris. Canada billed the Soviet Union more than $C6 million, having spent millions more, but was ultimately paid just half the amount.

Since the late 1970s, pieces of space debris have fallen to Earth regularly and are viewed with increasing concern. Of course, more than 70 per cent of the planet is covered by oceans, and only a minuscule fraction of the remaining 30 per cent is covered by your house. But for anyone falling foul of the extremely long odds, the consequences would be truly disastrous.

It was just a quirk of fate that Cosmos 954 did not land on Toronto or Quebec City, where the radioactive fallout would have necessitated a large-scale evacuation. In 2007, pieces of debris from a Russian satellite narrowly missed a Chilean passenger plane flying between Santiago and Auckland. As we send more objects into space, the chances of a calamitous crash-landing will only increase.

Who pays to clean up the mess, anyway?

International law sets out a compensation regime that would apply in many circumstances of damage on Earth, as well as when satellites collide in space. The 1972 Liability Convention, a UN treaty, imposes liability on “launching states” for damage caused by their space objects, which includes an absolute liability regime when they crash to Earth as debris.

In the case of the Long March 5B, this would impose potential liability on China. The treaty has only been invoked once before (for the Cosmos 954 incident) and therefore may not be regarded as a powerful disincentive. However, it is likely to come into play in the future in a more crowded space environment, and with more uncontrolled re-entries. Of course, this legal framework applies only after the damage occurs.

Other international guidelines regarding debris mitigation and long-term sustainability of space activities set out voluntary standards intended to limit the probability of collisions in space, and minimise the break-up of satellites either during or after their missions.

Some satellites can be moved into a graveyard orbit at the end of their operational life. While this works well for certain specific orbits at a relatively high altitude, it is impractical and hazardous to start moving the vast majority of satellites around between orbital planes. Most of the millions of pieces of space junk are destined either to orbit in an uncontrollable manner for many years or, if they are in low Earth orbit, to gradually descend towards the Earth, hopefully burning up in the atmosphere before contact with terra firma.

A globally co-ordinated space traffic management system will be vital to avoid collisions that would result in loss of control of satellites, leaving them to tumble helplessly in orbit or fall back to Earth.

Comprehensively tracking every satellite’s movement and functionality is even harder than it sounds, because it would inevitably require countries to be willing to share information they often currently regard as confidential matters of national security.

But, ultimately, global co-operation is essential if we are to avoid an unsustainable future for our space activities. In the meantime, don’t forget to gaze upwards every now and then – you might spot some of the most spectacular litter on the planet.



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Perth teen busted after allegedly trying to collect 22kg of heroin sent from China


A 17-year-old Perth girl was busted after allegedly collecting a package with what she thought was 22 kilograms of heroin and hiding it in a closet in her bedroom.

Australian Federal Police officers raided her family home on Tuesday and allegedly found an opened package that had previously contained Chinese heroin in her closet.

The officers said they had tracked the package from China, where it was intercepted last month by local drug cops before shipment to Australia.

The Chinese officers allegedly discovered the package contained 254 blocks of heroin with labels saying “Double UOGlobe Brand” weighing more than 74.5 kilograms.

The drugs would have had a street value of at least $55 million, according to AFP calculations.

The Chinese officers tipped off their Australian colleagues, who have an office in the city of Guangzhou, and a sting operation was planned where the heroin inside the packages was replaced with an innocuous substance.

The AFP then tracked the packages to see who would pick them up.

On April 22, a NSW man allegedly collected a package sent to a home in Lambton in the Hunter Region.

The 23-year-old man from The Hill was arrested and charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs. If found guilty he could risk life in prison.

He appeared before Newcastle Local Court last month and will do so again in June.

Another package was sent to Perth, where police allege the teenage girl received it.

The heavy package was later found in a closet in her bedroom wardrobe, police allege.

She was refused bail and charged with one count of attempting to import a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs.

She could also risk life in prison if convicted.

Police also searched several homes in the NSW Hunter Region as part of the operation and have not ruled out making more arrests.



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