Australian warships sent to monitor Russian flotilla
HMAS Sydney is leaving an exercise in New Zealand to join HMAS Sirius, Parramatta and Stuart in the Coral Sea. The ships believed to be carrying Seahawk anti-submarine warfare helicopters are being sent to monitor the Russian flotilla heading towards Brisbane where the G20 Summit is being held this weekend. Defence sources have said it’s unlikely that a Russian submarine is in the area. Moscow has been advised by the Australian Defence Attache to Russia that the ships would be refused port entry in Brisbane. Maritime surveillance aircraft including, three RAAF AP-3C Orion have been sent to Amberley near Brisbane and are maintaining a 24/7 patrol above the flotilla.
Total fire ban in place for NSW
Severe temperatures have sparked almost 50 bushfires across NSW. Firefighters are fighting the blazes while authorities warn the threat is very high for all areas including the greater Sydney region. The western centres of Bourke, Wilcannia and Ivanhoe are forecast to reach 45 degrees. While, Griffith and Wagga Wagga are expected to exceed 40 degrees, and Penrith could hit a maximum temperature of 39 degrees. A fire broke out around 10:30am at Cooks Gap while fires at Tenterfield and Guyra were being brought under control.
Jetstar under fire following flight from Melbourne to Perth
A Jetstar passenger has been forced to carry her disabled sister off a flight after a Jetstar staff member could not locate a specially-designed wheelchair. Danae Florias, 24, said staff gave her a blank stare when she told them a standard wheelchair was of no use for her 26-year-old sister Marissa who has cerebral palsy. A spokeswoman for the company said in a statement, “We apologise to the family for the distress involved and we’re investigating how this occurred.”
Opera House restaurant to be taken over by Quay chef Peter Gilmore
Quay chef Peter Gilmore will take over the Bennelong restaurant site. He described his new menu as “spanning fine dining and a more casual eatery”. The restaurant will open by June 2015 after a multi-million dollar refurbishment. “I will be celebrating Australian produce from the very tip of Queensland right down to Tasmania and where better than in Australia’s most iconic building,” Mr Gilmore said. He said Robert Cockerill from Quay will be head chef at Bennelong. – Bianca Mureddu
Top photo from Royal Australian Navy’s Flickr photostream.