Today’s top headlines

Good morning, here’s what you need to know at 7:30am today.

  • Cairns and Yarrabah enter their first full day of a three-day snap lockdown as south-east Queensland students return to school with masks

  • Missed last night’s Olympics closing ceremony? We’ve got the best highlights for you

  • Australia’s 18th census night is on Tuesday, here’s what you need to do to

Let’s get into it.

Snap lockdown spreads to Far North Queensland

Queues form at a COVID-19 testing site in Cairns after a local taxi driver tests positive.(

ABC News: Kristy Sexton-McGrath


IN BRIEFCairns and Yarrabah have entered their first full day of a three-day snap lockdown following a surprise case of COVID-19 detected in a local taxi driver.

Contact tracers are now trying to track down passengers who may have travelled in the Kanimbla man’s vehicle between July 28 and August 5.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the man’s positive test was unexpected, and he had been infectious in the community for a number of days.


“The region needs to get on top of the matter very, very quickly,” she said. “I need you to stay at home and minimise your movements. Let’s test, test, test as much as we can.”

Read the story.

‘This is a race’: NSW Premier issues warning over easing of lockdown restrictions

a woman pulling a shopping trolley in Bankstown
NSW can expect more freedoms come September, but with some restrictions, the Premier warns.(

ABC News: Tim Swanston


IN BRIEF: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the state is in “a race” to reach 6 million COVID vaccinations by the end of August, which would allow an easing of some restrictions.

Ms Berejiklian said the state needed a 60 per cent vaccination rate before any restrictions could be eased, with the Greater Sydney lockdown planned to end on August 28.


“We are really keen, to really sprint. This is a race.”

Read the story.

Back to Queensland, mask restrictions roll out today for school students

IN BRIEF: Hundreds of thousands of high school students will be required to wear face masks at school for the first time today as south-east Queensland enters its first day of wound-back COVID-19 restrictions.

A raft of new rules have been implemented across Queensland’s education system, including mandatory mask wearing for staff and students over 12 years of age, a ban on inter-school sports, and a fast-tracking of vaccines for all school employees.

Read the story.

Australia’s first drive-through vaccine hub opens up to the public in Melbourne’s west today

IN BRIEF: A former Bunnings in Melton is now a drive-through vaccination site, where health officials are giving out roughly 10,000 jabs per week from today.

It’s currently only open to those eligible for Pfizer, but will give out a greater variety of vaccines in coming weeks.

Among the new exposure sites in Victoria is a maternity centre at Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital in St Albans. It has been listed as a tier 1 exposure site after a positive COVID-19 case attended for more than six hours last Friday.

Read the story.

Closing ceremony highlights: Some of the best moments from the conclusion of Tokyo 2020 2021

Fireworks go off at the end of the Olympics closing ceremony as the word "Arigato" (thank you) appears on the screens.
Organisers say arigato (thank you) to the world at the end of the Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony.(

AP: Charlie Riedel


IN BRIEF: And just like that, the Tokyo Olympics are over.

If you missed the closing ceremony, here are just some of the key moments.

Aussies being Aussies

two members of team australia sit on the shoulders of two others with their arms in the air and masks on
The celebration of a lifetime.(

David Ramos/Getty Images


Another ‘how did they do that?!’ moment


Six lucky athletes get their medals in front of a real crowd

The three medallists in the women's marathon after being given bouquets and medals during the Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony.
Not everyone gets to receive their medals from IOC president Thomas Bach — the marathon runners did.(

AP: David Goldman


Men's marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and the silver and bronze medallists stand on a podium
You can’t see it — but there are heaps of people cheering on these medallists here.(

Getty Images: Naomi Baker


Read the full story.

Got plans tomorrow night? You do now — it’s census night

An illustration of someone opening a letter with the census form in it.
Census night is Tuesday, August 10.(

Supplied: ABS


IN BRIEF: The census is all about counting every single person in order to take stock of modern Australia. Censuses are conducted once every five years.

According to the ABS website, you can complete the census once you’ve received your instructions in the mail.

Most of the country will receive an online code and temporary password in the mail that you can enter into the ABS website to complete your census. 

Read the story.

Gladys Berejiklian intervened in $5.5m grant pursued by Daryl Maguire

A composite image of a woman speaking and a man looking on
New documents released to NSW Parliament have raised more questions about Gladys Berejiklian’s role in facilitating a grant that Daryl Maguire stood to gain a political benefit from.(

AAP: Dan Himbrechts, Dean Lewins


IN BRIEF: New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian intervened in the assessment of a $5.5 million grant to a shooting association in Daryl Maguire’s electorate, months after he had written to her asking for assistance to fund the project.

Read the story.

You won’t be able to find out all the companies which received JobKeeper

Harvey Norman signage outside a retail store in Martin Place, Sydney
Harvey Norman has kept the money it received from JobKeeper, despite turning a profit during the COVID-19 pandemic.(

AAP: Joel Carrett


IN BRIEF: Big businesses that received JobKeeper will be able to keep the financial support secret, with the federal Coalition rejecting a bid to make it public and the Labor Party backing down from insisting on it.

The JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme saw at least $4.6 billion go to businesses whose profits went up during the crucial months of COVID-19 lockdowns last year.

Companies such as retailer Harvey Norman have come under pressure to repay the money after posting profits in 2020, given the wage subsidy was designed for companies experiencing at least a 30 per cent drop in turnover.

Read the story.

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Thousands flee Greek island of Evia as fires continue to burn out of control

A local resident holds a hose as a firefighter aims water at a massive forest blaze
A local resident of Evia battles a forest blaze.(

AFP: Angelo Tzortzinis


IN BRIEF: Pillars of smoke and ash that turned the sky orange have blocked out the sun above Greece’s second-largest island as a days-old wildfire devours pristine forests and encroaches on villages, triggering more evacuation alerts.

The fire on Evia began on August 3 and has cut across the popular summer destination from coast to coast as it burned out of control. 

Scores of homes and businesses have been destroyed and thousands of residents and tourists have fled, many escaping the flames via flotillas that even operated in the dark of night.

The blaze is the most severe of dozens that broke out in the wake of Greece’s most protracted heatwave in three decades, which sent temperatures soaring to 45 degrees Celsius for days, creating bone-dry conditions.

Read the story.

Lionel Messi in tears as he bids farewell to FC Barcelona

Messi fights back tears as he addresses a press conference about leaving FC Barcelona
Lionel Messi says he did everything he could to stay at Barcelona.(

Reuters: Albert Gea


IN BRIEF: A tearful Lionel Messi has confirmed he will be leaving FC Barcelona after the club said it could no longer afford to pay his high wages, adding he was in negotiations with French club Paris St Germain over a possible move.


“I tried to behave with humility and respect and I hope that is what remains of me when I leave the club,” said an emotional Messi as hundreds of fans, many wearing his number 10 jersey, massed outside Barça’s Camp Nou stadium to bid farewell to the player they called Messiah.

“This is all like a bucket of cold water has been poured over me and we are still coming to terms with it,” he said through tears.

Read the story.

Coming up:

We’ll hear from Queensland, NSW and Victorian authorities about their delta outbreaks and lockdowns later this morning.

We know NSW is due to step up at 11:00am AEST.

Question Time gets underway at 2:00pm AEST.

At 6:00pm AEST, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report will drop.

That’s it!

You’ve made it to the end 🙂 

We’ll be back tonight to catch you up on the important and interesting news from today.


Don’t forget to send us a message and tell us what you think of our morning and afternoon news wraps!


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