Australia news live: China warns Australia against ‘finger-pointing’; man charged over girl’s death after allegedly driving into crowd

China warns Australia against ‘finger-pointing’

The Chinese embassy in Australia has this morning condemned a joint statement from Australia’s foreign minister Penny Wong together with her Japanese counterpart and US secretary of state in response to Beijing’s unprecedented military aggression.

The joint statement released on Friday expressed concern over China’s large-scale military exercises in the water of the Taiwan Strait and condemned the China’s ballistic missiles landing in Japan’s exclusive economic zones.

In response, a spokesperson from the Chinese embassy has said Beijing is “seriously concerned and strongly discontent”. The spokesperson went on to say:

It is absolutely unacceptable for the finger-pointing on China’s justified actions to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity. We firmly oppose and sternly condemn this.

The statement goes on to defend the actions taken by the Chinese government as “legitimate and justified” in order to “safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity and curb the separatist activities”.

The spokesperson says the one-China principle “should be strictly abided by and fully honoured. It should not be misinterpreted or compromised in practice.”

If you want to keep up to date with the latest on the crisis in Taiwan, the Guardian has a separate live blog that will bring you all the updates as they happen:

Key events

Paul Karp

Paul Karp

NSW Liberals pass preselection reforms to prevent repeat of election fiasco

Senator Andrew Bragg has heralded the passage of reforms by the New South Wales Liberal party as important to avoid a repeat of its preselection fiasco before the 2022 election.

The state party’s annual general meeting on Saturday adopted the NSW senator’s proposed reforms requiring the party to publish and follow a timetable for preselections within 12 months of an election.

Agriculture minister attends Royal Queensland Show

The show, known colloquially as “ekka” short for “exhibition”, is back for the first time in three years after 2020 and 2021 shows were cancelled due to the pandemic.

The event’s website says it has been held every year since 1921 with only the Spanish flu and the use of the grounds as a WW2 staging depot in 1942 the only other exceptions besides Covid-19.

The minister for agriculture and emergency management, Murray Watt, was in attendance today. It’s been a busy time for the minister since taking on the portfolios with major flooding in NSW as well as the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Bali, so Watt seems to be enjoying some more therapeutic activity petting the state’s champion cows.

Great to see the Ekka back after a couple of years off due to COVID. It’s where the city meets the country, where Ag Ministers like Mark Furner & me get to meet champion cows & we all get to celebrate Qld agriculture’s finest.

— Senator Murray Watt (@MurrayWatt) August 7, 2022

Large steel container of unknown origin found floating off Arnhem Land coast

A mysterious steel container has been found floating in Gulf of Carpentaria, the ABC is reporting.

Daniel Fitzgerald from ABC rural spoke to Tiger Davey, a crew member of the Wildcard fishing vessel which spotted the object of unknown origin.

The Wildcard made the discovery while looking for mackerel to the north-east of Groote Eylandt.

Davey said:

“It’s about five metres by three metres by four meters — it’s a sizeable chunk of steel.

It must be a bit empty because it is floating just below the surface, bobbing in and out of the water.

We think it’s a fuel pod or some sort of storage pod because it has some lifting lugs and a big hatch on the top.

It has a hose coming off it, so I would say it’s off a boat and it’s been lost overboard or dropped.

Fitzgerald reports the container was too big to tow to a safe location, so the crew has tied a marker buoy to it and reported it to maritime authorities.

WA records 10 Covid deaths and 342 people in hospital.

There were 2,361 new cases in the last reporting period, and 14 people are in intensive care.

The 10 deaths reported yesterday date back to 27 July.

Durham’s achievements, playing with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, remembered

As tributes continue to roll in for Judith Durham following the news of her death, Cameron Adams reflects on the singer’s place as a pioneering woman in the Australian music industry.

He reflects on the achievements of the Melbourne folk/pop band the Seekers she is most famous for singing with:

Their achievements were remarkable – playing with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in London and being welcomed home with a show at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl in 1967 watched by a record-breaking 200,000 fans. They were the first Australian band to sell over a million records.

Man charged over teenage girl’s death

A teenage girl has died after being hit by a vehicle in north-west Queensland on Saturday and a 52-year-old man has been charged with murder.

Queensland police say it is “alleged a man drove a vehicle directly into the crowd of people and struck a 13-year-old girl” in the Mount Isa suburb of Pioneer.

The statement from police says:

Police have charged a man with murder after a 13-year-old girl was fatally struck by a vehicle in Pioneer.

It will be alleged at around 2am there was a large disturbance involving multiple people on Delacour Drive.

It is further alleged a man drove a vehicle directly into the crowd of people and struck a 13-year-old girl.

She suffered significant head injuries and died at the scene.

The alleged driver of the vehicle, a 52-year-old Pioneer man, has since been charged with murder.

He is due to appear in Mount Isa magistrates court on Monday 8 August.

Minor flood warnings in NSW and Victoria

Mirrool Creek near Griffith in NSW could see minor flooding tomorrow morning, as parts of Victoria around the Murray, King and Ovens rivers have also been issued warnings.

The minor flooding comes days after major flooding hit Gundagai, but has since eased.

Nick Kyrgios thunders into Citi Open final

Nick Kyrgios is “super excited” after continuing his career-best season by powering into the final of the Citi Open in Washington, AAP reports.

Backing up from his gruelling tournament workload so far – the Australian maverick finished off Reilly Opelka in their round-of-16 clash on Friday then saved five match points in an epic quarter-final win over Frances Tiafoe yesterday – Kyrgios calmly dealt with Sweden’s Mikael Ymer in straight sets to swagger into another decider.

South Australia records no Covid deaths and 316 people in hospital.

There were 1,595 new cases in the last reporting period, and 12 people are in intensive care.

Anne Davies

Anne Davies

The New South Wales premier, Dominic Perrottet, has been both praised and criticised over his decision to scrap $250m in upgrades to suburban stadiums and direct it toward flood relief in the state.

But mystery remains about why the premier is still proceeding with the controversial $300m-plus upgrade of Penrith stadium – the most expensive of the promised projects – while scrapping the upgrades of other suburban grounds.

The obvious answer might be: it’s politics.

Read the full story here:

No decision yet on state funeral for Judith Durham

The family of Judith Durham will be given time to grieve her death in private before the Victorian government approaches them about a possible state funeral, AAP reports.

The Seekers’ singer died in palliative care on Friday night aged 79 after complications from a long-standing lung disease.

Victorian minister Lily D’Ambrosio on Sunday offered her condolences to the family but said the government would not be drawn on a state funeral at this time:

Judith Durham was a very, very private citizen and her family are very, very private too. Today is about remembering her and honouring her memory. She was an absolute treasure. Those other considerations are a matter for the coming days.

Judith Durham and Athol Guy
Seekers lead singer Judith Durham with fellow band member Athol Guy in 2013. Photograph: Julian Smith/AP


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