NT COVID-19 outbreak continues spread into remote Indigenous communities

The Northern Territory's COVID-19 outbreak has grown to 35 cases as health authorities scramble to manage the spread in remote Indigenous communities.

No further local COVID-19 cases were detected on Sunday, but contract tracers have identified 385 close contacts from the latest cluster, according to the NT government.

Of these, 374 have been contacted and are isolating while 314 have tested negative.

Some Pacific jab rates lowest in world

A slow vaccine rollout among Australia's Pacific neighbours could threaten its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research by the Lowy Institute found that some countries are unlikely to reach basic levels of vaccination among their citizens within five years.

While some Pacific countries have already achieved near-universal vaccination coverage, some others are recording among the lowest vaccination rates in the world.

Australia urged to increase ties with Japan

Australia needs to ramp up its already strong ties with Japan in the face of a dramatically changing geopolitical environment, a leading expert on the relationship between the two countries says.

Associate Professor Shiro Armstrong, director of the Australian National University Australia-Japan Research Centre also says there are rapidly accelerating economic, environmental and social changes in both countries.

Australia is overfishing

Australia is overfishing by more than a third and has made "limited progress" in restoring its fish stocks to sustainable levels, an international study has found.

The Global Fishing Index study, involving more than 500 fisheries from around the world, has ranked Australia's sustainable fishing capability as 24.9 out of 100.

DIY increase raises asbestos concerns

Australians have admitted to disposing of asbestos illegally - even dumping it in their neighbour's bin - during a COVID-19 home improvement surge, raising cancer fears.

Asbestos Safety Eradication Agency (ASEA) - who commissioned a poll of 1506 home improvers - said their data revealed worrying trends.

Results showed 38 per cent worked on a "risky property" built between 1940 and 1990 - the decades of greatest asbestos concern.

- with Australian Associated Press

This story NT COVID outbreak continues spread into remote Indigenous communities first appeared on The Canberra Times.