Australia

Best of mates off field: Minister

Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Anne Ruston, said a mutual love for sport strengthens our two nations’ bilateral ties.

“The athletes showcased the best of what sport has to offer,” Minister Ruston said. 

“Australia and PNG may be fierce opponents on the field, but we are the best of mates off it.”

Minister Ruston said the Port Moresby matches marked the first time a women’s team competed alongside their male counterparts as the Australian PM XIII Women’s side.

New UN human rights chief blasts Australia over offshore processing

Michelle Bachelet included criticism of the centres on Nauru and Manus Island in her maiden speech at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The former president of Chile said the council had a responsibility to speak out against human rights violations without fear or favour.

She focused on migration in her address, saying an international agreement due to be signed this year provides for regional and international cooperation to set up prompt and humane reception for all arrivals.

Forum head hits out at Australian fossil fuel support

In a speech in Canberra, Dame Meg Taylor warned that climate change had brought truly desperate times to the Pacific Islands.

Dame Meg urged unity from Australia, saying the region could not afford to have one or two acting in ways that place the wellbeing of the region at risk.

At the Forum Leaders' Summit last week, Australia was the country that tried to water down a commitment to climate change action.

The government of Australian prime minister Scott Morrison was also planning to officially dump emissions reduction targets.

Tonga vs Australia league test finally confirmed

Mate Ma'a Tonga will take on the Kangaroos at Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium on October 20th, almost 11 months after a sold out crowd watched the Kingdom pipped by England at the same venue in the World Cup semifinals.

Tonga coach Kristian Woolf and Australia's Mal Meninga have both been supportive of the fixture but confirmation was delayed after New Zealand Rugby League officials expressed concerns the test could overshadow or affect ticket sales for the Kiwis vs Kangaroos clash at the same venue a week earlier.

Crocodile swamp search a 'people smuggling' case

Authorities have detained 15 people and think more are hiding in mangroves north of Cairns, say police.

The boat, believed to be from Vietnam, is the first people-smuggling vessel to make it to Australia "in more than 1,400 days", according to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

Authorities are continuing a search.

They did not say how many people were aboard when the boat ran aground near Daintree on Sunday, nor if any have plans to appeal for asylum.

Local mayor Julia Leu told ABC that they were "putting themselves at risk in known crocodile habitat".

Time ticking on Tonga vs Australia test

It's been nine months since Mate Ma'a Tonga's memorable run to the World Cup semi finals, which included a famous victory over New Zealand in Hamilton.

The Kingdom's request for a rematch against the Kiwis in October was rejected by New Zealand Rugby League, who also vetoed Tonga's desire to host the Kangaroos in Auckland.

Woolf said despite both sides wanting the match to go ahead roadblocks keep getting in the way.

"Our first option was that we wanted to play against New Zealand but it was very clear early on that that was not going to happen," he said.

Fijian man charged with 'smuggling $17.5million of cocaine into Australia

John Kaurasi, 29, prepared the $17.5million shipment for export from Fiji before travelling to Australia to collect it, police allege.

The package arrived on August 10 and was referred to the Australian Federal Police.

Officers from the Australian Border Force allegedly discovered the cocaine at an inspection facility in Sydney.

The Daily Mail reports Kaurasi was arrested on Friday, following a search on a Hurstville property.

He was later charged with importing a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs.

Australia 0 Peru 2

Experienced striker Guerrero, who was only allowed to play in the tournament after the captains of Peru's World Cup opponents petitioned FIFA to temporarily lift his 14-month suspension for a failed drug test, made the most of what may have been his final appearance for Los Incas, who finished with three points to add to the many plaudits they have earned in Russia.

Their opener would have been worthy of winning any World Cup match, Andre Carrillo volleying Guerrero's weighted cross into the net to the unbridled joy of the raucous Peru fans packing the stands in Sochi.

Demark 1 Australia 1

Denmark winger Yussuf Poulsen conceded his second penalty in as many games when video replays led to a decision of handball against him and Jedinak buried the ensuing spot-kick to earn Australia their first point of the tournament.

Bert van Marwijk's side had to grind out a draw against a Denmark side who showed flashes of brilliance, none better than Christian Eriksen's seventh-minute opener.

China says Australia's Pacific debt claim 'ridiculous'

The Sydney Morning Herald reported his comments following remarks by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that the Australian government was concerned some Chinese financing arrangements in the Pacific would undermine the islands' sovereignty.

She said Australia would aim to offer alternatives to Chinese infrastructure development.

Ambassador Cheng Jingye said the idea China wanted to create debt-traps for the Pacific nations was "ridiculous".

China's relationships with Pacific nations were on an equal footing which was mutually beneficial, he said.