Australia live news update: Nadesalingam family celebrate a special birthday at home; Bill Shorten vows to ‘restore trust’ in NDIS | Biloela family

Nadesalingam family celebrates daughter’s fifth birthday in Biloela

We go now to Guardian Australia’s intrepid Eden Gillespie, who is on the ground in Biloela, where she has spotted a very large birthday cake that remains untouched at a five-year-old’s birthday party.

Updated at 19.56 EDT

Deputy PM hopes to meet with Chinese counterpart

Daniel Hurst

Australia’s deputy prime minister, Richard Marles, sat near China’s defense minister as they participated in broader ministerial talks in Singapore yesterday.

It is believed to mark the highest level of an in-person contact between the countries in more than two years.

The event is notable because China has not allowed phone calls or meetings between Australian ministers and their direct counterparts since early 2020. Chinese officials have repeatedly argued Canberra must provide a “better mood” as a precondition for high-level dialogue resuming.

Marles, the defense minister, has confirmed to Sky News that he also shook hands with his Chinese counterpart during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. But observers believe it is likely too soon to signal a post-election easing of tensions, given that the contact occurred in a group setting.

Marles was among 27 visiting ministers to attend a “roundtable discussion” at lunchtime on Saturday, immediately after he delivered a speech calling on China to be transparent about its military buildup and criticizing its actions in the South China Sea.

Photos from the event show Marles was seated next to Singapore’s defense minister, Ng Eng Hen, who was directly across from China’s minister of national defense, Wei Fenghe.


A statement issued later by Singapore’s defense ministry said the meeting had discussed the implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At the same time “several ministers exchanged their views on how the situation would affect the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, and the world”.

Marles was also seated opposite Wei on Friday night during the conference’s opening, sharing a table with nine international dignitaries, including Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida; Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong; the US defense secretary, Lloyd Austin; and China’s Wei.

Marles’ office was contacted on Saturday asking for comment on the content of any discussions with Wei.

But in an interview on Sky News on Sunday, Marles confirmed the handshake and said he believed talks with China were possible.

“The more complex the times, the more important that there is dialogue and proper diplomacy,” Marles said.

Victoria records 16 Covid deaths.

Sixteen people with Covid-19 have died in Victoria overnight, with the state recording 4,766 new cases on Sunday morning, 454 people in hospital, 27 in ICU, and five on ventilation.

3 doses (16+): 67.9% 2 doses (12+): 94.6% Doses yesterday: 975Doses total: 6,264,921

Hospital: 454ICU: 27Ventilated: 5Lives lost: 16

New cases: 4,766 (Rapid antigen test cases: 3,631, PCR test cases: 1,135) PCR tests: 12,246Active cases (all): 44,305

— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) June 12, 2022

Updated at 21.55 EDT

Queensland records one Covid death

Queensland recorded one new Covid-19 death on Sunday, with 2,383 new tests overnight, 329hospitalizedd, and seven in ICU.

Updated at 21.46 EDT

ACT records zero Covid deaths, two people in ICU

No lives have been lost in the ACT overnight as the territory records 643 new cases, with 80 people in hospital and two in ICU.

ACT COVID-19 Update – June 12, 2022💉, COVID-19 vaccinations ◾ Aged 5-11 years one dose): 80.6%◾ Aged 5-11 years (2 doses): 68.4%◾ Aged 5+ years (2 doses): 97.3%◾ Aged 16+ years (3 doses): 76.9%

COVID-19 vaccination data is not reported on weekends and public holidays.

— ACT Health (@ACTHealth) June 12, 2022

🦠 COVID-19 case numbers ◾ New cases today: 643 (365 PCR and 278 RAT)◾ Active cases: 4,515 (2,413 PCR and 2,102 RAT)◾ Total cases: 140,519 (85,196 PCR and 55,323 RAT)

— ACT Health (@ACTHealth) June 12, 2022

🏥 COVID-19 hospital numbers ◾ In hospital: 80◾ In ICU: 2◾ Ventilated: 0◾ Lives lost: 0◾ Total lives lost since March 2020: 68

For more detail, including the age breakdown of case numbers, please visit

— ACT Health (@ACTHealth) June 12, 2022

Updated at 21.47 EDT

China ‘does not want to see war on the Korean peninsula, Wei says

On tensions with India, Wei says there have been provocations on the Chinese side of the border.

Regarding North Korea, Wei says China is paying attention to what occurs in North Korea and that it “does not want to see war on the Korean peninsula”.

But we should accommodate the concerns of all parties. Security on the peninsula cannot be solved with maximum pressure. With the DPRK, we need to help them solve their problems. I don’t know whether you understand the conditions of the DPRK. I traveled through the border of the DPRK, and the people of the DPRK do not live a very good life, and living standards are not good due to the international sanctions. The international community has not addressed its concerns.

On supersonic weapons, Wei says, “many countries are testing weapons,” It should be no surprise that China is developing its military.

It is only natural.

On a question from Vietnam about whether China is promising not to invade other countries in the future, Wei advises the questioner to “read history”.

I suggest you read about the relationship between China and Vietnam. The connection is very good. I am a good brother and good friend of the minister of Vietnam. Therefore as for what happened in the past, you need to read history.

Updated at 21.42 EDT

Wei questions the ‘root cause’ of the Ukraine war

Wei on Ukraine:

People are very interested in Russia and the Ukraine crisis. Let me say that on Ukraine, like the points I’ve made in the opening remarks, I want to emphasize that neither Russia, Ukraine, nor Europe wants such a war. Who wants this war? The crisis will tremendously damage Ukraine, Russia, and Europe, and it will also affect China and Singapore—food and energy crises. Yesterday a Singaporean military officer told me the gas price is rising. Nobody wants to see a war like this. But why is there a war? What is the root cause?

Providing weapons and imposing maximum pressure does not help solve the problem. The crisis is still escalating. The war is continuing, so these measures won’t work. China’s position is consistent. We believe it is necessary to facilitate peace talks to restore peace.

Worth reminding people that it was, in point of fact, Russia that launched an attack on Ukraine.

Updated at 21.37 EDT

New questions now on whether China is promising never to occupy another country, its position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, tensions with India, how it will address the North Korean nuclear program, and the purpose of China’s development of hypersonic weaponry.

(Things are moving too quickly for me to get the names and nation of origin of those asking the questions.)

Updated at 21.34 EDT

‘China has never provided military support to Russia,’ Wei says

On China’s defense development:

We will not be the bully. We are all clear on who the bully is. We have not attacked or invaded other countries.

On military cooperation with Russia:

China and Russia are close neighbors and important partners. The China-Russia relationship develops on the correct path. The connection is a partnership, not an alliance. It does not target any third party. Our relationship with Russia will continue to grow. That is what China will continue to do.

You asked whether China has provided material support to the Russian military. Let me make this clear. The Ukrainian crisis: China has never provided military support to Russia.

Updated at 21.29 EDT

Countries in the region should solve South China Sea issues, Wei says

On the South China Sea:

Countries in the region should solve South China Sea issue. The problem is that countries not in the South China Sea region are stirring up trouble.

Wei says differences should be handled together.

On China’s construction of nuclear weapons:

You asked about China’s nuclear capabilities. Since building China’s nuclear force, China has developed its capabilities over five decades. It’s fair to say there have been impressive projects. That is a fact.

Let me be frank: China’s nuclear power policy is consistent. We use it for self-defense. We will not be the first to use atomic power.

Updated at 21.52 EDT

‘Taiwan is China’s Taiwan,’ Wei says

Some serious questions are being asked now on the Ukraine conflict, Taiwanese independence, nuclear armament, and regional tensions. Wei offers brief answers – first on Taiwan and whether China will respect the status quo if there is no change.

Taiwan is China’s Taiwan. It is a province of China. China is working for peaceful reunification. In the case of secession, China reserves other options.

Updated at 21.49 EDT

China ‘saddened’ by Ukraine war, Wei says

On Ukraine, Wei says the “crisis” is the “top focus of the international community” and that China “deeply regrets and is saddened” by the situation.

Wei says the historical context is important – but does not specify what he means by that.

Who is the mastermind behind it? Who loses the most, and who stands to gain the most? Who is promoting peace, and who is adding fuel to the fire? I think we all know the answers to these questions, and all countries need to reflect on the role they have played.

China is for peaceful negotiations and supports talks between Russia and Ukraine.

Updated at 21.15 EDT

Stable China-US relations ‘vital for global peace’, Wei says

Wei says China-US relations are at a “critical and crucial juncture” and that a long-lasting relationship is “vital for global peace and development.”

Confrontation will benefit neither country. We call on the US side to stop smearing and containing China. Stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and stop harming China’s interests. The vital relationship unless the US side can do that.

Updated at 21.09 EDT

‘We will fight at all costs: China on Taiwanese independence


Countries in the region should accommodate the core interests and major concerns of each other. China fully appreciates and respects the legitimate concerns of other countries. Likewise, we expect our core and legitimate interests to be respected.

Speaking about Taiwan, Wei says:

Taiwan is, first and foremost, China’s Taiwan.

Wei says that reunification is a force “no one can stop” and China prefers “peaceful reunification”.

However, Wei says China will “resolutely crush any effort to pursue Taiwan independence” and will not tolerate efforts to support Taiwanese independence.

We will fight at all costs, and we will fight until the very end. This is the only choice for China.

Updated at 21.04 EDT

US targeting China in the Pacific, Chinese defense minister says

Chinese defense minister Wei Fenghe has rejected “smearing accusations” from the US during his Sunday address at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore and says China is being targeted.

Wei stressed China’s commitment to peaceful development, saying the country did not seek to establish “hegemony, military expansion or an arms race”.

“China is rock solid in its commitment to achieving peaceful development,” he said.

Defense Minister Wei says, ‘China will never seek hegemony,’ occupy the territory of others’ or invade another country.

Yet China has built structures on features in the West Philippine Sea within the Philippines’ EEZ. A 2016 arbitral ruling said China’s island-building is illegal.

— Pia Ranada (@piaranada) June 12, 2022

However, Wei struck a note of caution, saying that while China would not engage in hostilities, it would act to defend itself.

We do not provoke trouble, but we will not flinch in the face of provocation. But we will not allow others to bully us.

The comments follow the address by US defense secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday.

Defense Minister Wei responds to US defense chief Lloyd Austin’s speech yesterday, saying he ‘firmly rejects US smearing accusations,’ thinks the US Indo-Pacific strategy is a ‘strategy to hijack countries in our region and target one country.’

— Pia Ranada (@piaranada) June 12, 2022

Updated at 21.17 EDT

When Adelaide-based artist Elyas Alavi, a refugee from Afghanistan, started researching the lives of camel drivers working in outback Australia more than a century ago, he discovered an important connection.

Thousands of men known as Afghan cameleers traveled to Australia to carry goods in an often harsh climate before the development of railways and roads.

Alavi, 38, says he connected to cameleers through their music, language, and scripts and the notebooks they left behind.

The cameleers were a very diverse [group of people]. Among them, they were artists and musicians.

It’s important [for] me to project these historical connections with Australia. I want to show we are not the ‘others’ or strangers. We have been here for a long time.

He says the cameleers could not bring family members to Australia, an issue that current asylum seekers face.

Originally from Afghanistan, Alavi spent many years in Iran as a refugee before resettling in Australia in 2007 through a United Nations program.

As a Hazara refugee having fled my homeland as a child, if I were to describe my sense of self in one word, it would be ‘uprooted’.

Alavi, a published poet in Farsi, turned to visual arts because he could not find an audience in Australia for his poems.

He addresses issues of displacement, trauma, and war through his work.

The camel drivers – widely referred to as Afghan cameleers even though many also came from the provinces of modern-day Pakistan and India – helped outback communities and industry to survive by transporting goods from cities to inland areas.

From AAP.

Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.