Australia news LIVE: COVID restrictions eased in Melbourne as NSW, Queensland remain on high alert for cases; Ben Roberts-Smith trial continues

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Queensland arrivals to be slugged ‘for the privilege’ of moving to state

Southerners crossing the border for a new life in Queensland will have to pay for the privilege, with a new charge expected to raise $17 million.

Treasurer Cameron Dick will announce a new driver’s licence transfer fee of $78.75 in next week’s budget, aimed at people who move to Queensland from interstate.

More than 61,000 people are expected to move to Queensland from interstate over the coming years.Credit:Felicity Caldwell

It comes after a woman in her 40s travelled from Victoria to Queensland with her husband before the pair tested positive for COVID-19.

The sunshine state recorded its biggest influx of new residents in almost two decades in 2020, with more than 12,000 people from Victoria and 18,000 people from NSW flocking to sunny Queensland.

Research tips thousands of COVID deaths without restrictions

Thousands of people could die of COVID-19 in Victoria in the event of a highly infectious outbreak if there were no restrictions on movement and gatherings even if 70 per cent of the population were vaccinated.

These are the findings of new mathematical modelling developed by Melbourne’s Burnet Institute, which suggests Australia is unlikely to ever reach herd immunity against COVID-19 at the current level of vaccine uptake because more highly contagious variants could undermine immunity.

Melbourne is emerging from its latest lockdown.Credit:Eddie Jim

Read the full story here.

Olympics boss finds Brisbane bid ‘irresistible’

Brisbane is one step closer to hosting the 2032 Olympic Games.

The city’s bid has been unanimously supporting by the International Olympic Committee’s executive board and is expected to be ratified as soon as next month.

Brisbane is almost certain to host the Olympics next decade. Credit:AFR

My colleague Chip Le Grand has the full story.

Today’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for joining us. It’s Friday, June 11. I’m Broede Carmody.

It’s almost the weekend so let’s jump straight into today’s headlines.

  • Melburnians are now free to travel up to 25kms from their homes after the city’s lockdown ended last night. But some restrictions – such as wearing masks outdoors – remain. Small businesses are fuming, saying density limits are crippling the chance for them to get back on their feet.
  • Ben Roberts-Smith will continue giving evidence today in his high-risk defamation case against The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. He appeared to wipe away tears during yesterday’s proceedings.
  • A massive clean-up continues in Melbourne after damaging winds brought down thousands of trees and left homes without power. Wild weather has also affected those north of the Murray, with snow dumped across parts of NSW yesterday and Sydney shivering through its coldest day in almost 40 years.
  • And Prime Minister Scott Morrison has met with his counterpart in Singapore. The two leaders say they are working on a mutually recognised digital vaccine certificate as part of a future travel bubble between the two countries.
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