Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Henry Belot and Lisa Cox (earlier)

Marles says aircrew ‘yet to be found’ after military helicopter crash – as it happened

The deputy prime minister, Richard Marles, and Penny Wong, at the Ausmin talks in Brisbane, where they discussed the four feared dead after an Australian army helicopter crashed into waters off Hamilton Island
Deputy prime minister Richard Marles and foreign minister Penny Wong at the Ausmin talks in Brisbane. Photograph: Dan Peled/AAP

What we learned today, Saturday 29 July

We’re going to wrap up the blog for the day. These were the key events:

Thanks very much for spending time with us today. We’ll see you tomorrow morning.


Helicopter debris found by search and rescue teams

The Queensland police acting assistant commissioner, Douglas McDonald, has confirmed helicopter debris has been found by search and rescue teams. The four pilots who were onboard are still missing.

At this time, we have located a number of items of debris that would appear to be from the missing helicopter. They will form part of the investigation as we move forward into what has occurred up there at this time. It remains a search and rescue operation and we have a number of specialist resources in place at the moment working with the ADF.


Four pilots still missing as helicopter use suspended

The Talisman Sabre Exercise director, Brigadier Damian Hill, has confirmed four pilots are still missing after a helicopter went down in waters close to Hamilton Island last night.

There were four crew aboard the MRH-90 helicopter taking part in a two-helicopter mission as part of the Talisman Sabre military training drills.

Hill has announced that as a precaution, the military has paused all use of the MRH-90 helicopter fleet.

Here’s Hill:

Our thoughts, and mine in particular, are with the missing service members, their teammates and their families, and especially with the search and rescue teams that will continue to work with local emergency services to continue to search.


Honesty session helps Matildas move past Nigeria loss

The Matildas circled up to honestly break down their disastrous Women’s World Cup loss to Nigeria before quickly moving on to their must-win clash with Canada, AAP reports.

Australia’s campaign is on a knife’s edge after Thursday’s 3-2 loss dropped them to third in Group B, and needing to beat Canada on Monday to progress to the round of 16 without relying on Ireland beating Nigeria.

Skipper Sam Kerr, who has declared herself available to return from a calf injury, said the meeting, understood to be players-only, helped Australia quickly put the loss behind them:

After every game we meet as a team, and we chat openly and honestly with each other.

Maybe it’s good things, maybe it’s bad things, but the good thing about this team is that the captain doesn’t have to have that role and everyone speaks up and it was the same after the Nigeria game.

We spoke openly and honestly to each other and then we move on and we prepare for the next game.

Australia players talk in the huddle during the match against Nigeria
Australia players talk in the huddle during Thursday’s match which they lost to Nigeria. Photograph: Elsa/Fifa/Getty Images


Strong wind alert for Tasmania

Hello Tasmanian readers. The Bureau of Meteorology has given you a heads-up about “damaging winds” heading your way over the next two days. It’s due to “a series of fronts moving south of Australia”.

Here’s the offical forecast:

Strong and gusty west to north-westerly winds will develop across much of Tasmania on Sunday, then persist on Monday. A severe weather warning for damaging winds has been issued for wind gusts exceeding 100 km/h.


‘We can feel the love’: Saint Sam Kerr returns to answer Australia’s World Cup prayers

The first hint that Sam Kerr’s calf might be healing on schedule came late on Friday, when the media were informed that Kerr would be speaking at a Saturday lunchtime press conference following a closed training session. ‘Calf-watch’ was on! But the fact of Kerr’s availability was open to divergent interpretation. Would this be good news, or bad news?

The timing was brought forward – reporters frantically raced for the team’s training base in suburban Brisbane. And then there she was. The myth, the legend, Australia’s great hope: Sam Kerr.

Matildas captain Sam Kerr speaks during a press conference in Brisbane, Australia
‘I’m definitely going to be available’ … Sam Kerr speaks during a press conference in Brisbane. Photograph: Tertius Pickard/AP

But the mystery that has shrouded Kerr’s calf would not dissipate immediately. The striker was first asked how the calf was going. Kerr responded optimistically: “I’m feeling good.” She was not otherwise forthcoming.

A second, more direct question followed – would Kerr play against Canada, and if so, how many minutes? She again parried – stating that she did not want to give too much away: “That’s a massive thing the opposition wants to know.”

Then at last, a sense of good news for the Matildas’ faithful. “I’m definitely going to be available,” Kerr said. Six words of relief, six words that could change the course of Australia’s World Cup campaign and lift the entire tournament to new heights.


Update on missing pilots to come

The Talisman Sabre Exercise director, Brigadier Damian Hill, will provide another update on the search for the four missing pilots in about 30 minutes time.

A military helicopter engaged in a two-helicopter mission went down in waters close to Hamilton Island last night. There were four crew aboard the MRH-90 helicopter.


I’m finishing up for the day and will leave you with my excellent colleague Henry Belot who will take you through to the end of the day. Thanks for following along.


Sole survivor of light plane crash was attempting second landing, investigators say

The sole survivor of a light plane crash north of Brisbane had been making a second attempt at landing, air crash investigators say, according to the AAP.

Former commercial pilot David Maddern and his wife Jan, both in their 60s, were killed on Friday as their Jabiru J430 took off from Caboolture aerodrome and collided midair with a Piper Pawnee glider tug aircraft.

The Pawnee had been coming in to land on an intersecting runway.

After preliminary analysis of video footage and other evidence, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau on Saturday said the Pawnee had been on approach to land before it commenced a go-around, also known as an aborted landing.

ATSB Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell said:

Go-arounds are a common and well-established practice in aviation and can be conducted for any number of reasons.

But we will seek to understand why a go-around was conducted in this instance.

Investigators on Saturday were expected to begin interviewing witnesses, including the Pawnee pilot, who survived with minor injuries.


The final question is about deepening space cooperation between the two countries and what that will entail.

Richard Marles says:

In respect of space, space domain awareness will form part of the cooperation that we engage in between our two countries in terms of force posture arrangements in this area. That will be the extent of what any of us will ever say about what else we do in respect of cooperation involving space.


Australian foreign minister Penny Wong is seen during a press conference after the Ausmin talks in Brisbane
Foreign minister Penny Wong during a press conference after the Ausmin talks in Brisbane. Photograph: Darren England/AAP

There is also a question about the Julian Assange case.

Penny Wong says the government has made clear on a number of occasions its view that the “case has dragged for too long, and our desire that it be brought to a conclusion, and we’ve said that publicly and you would anticipate that that reflects also the position we articulate in private”.

Antony Blinken confirms the matter was raised and says he understands Australia’s concerns:

I think it is very important that our friends here understand our concerns about this matter, and what our Department of Justice has already said, repeatedly, publicly, is this. Mr Assange was charged with very serious criminal conduct in the United States in connection with his alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of our country.

The actions that he has alleged to have committed risked very serious harm to our national security, to the benefit of our adversaries, and put named human sources at grave risk – grave risk of physical harm, and grave risk of detention, so I say that only because just as we understand sensitivities here, it’s important that our friends understand sensitivities in the United States.


Lloyd Austin is asked about a letter from Republican senators saying there isn’t enough domestic capacity for shipbuilding of submarines in America. He’s asked if the administration is willing to provide potentially billions of dollars in more funding.


In terms of our investment in our industrial base, as we embark on this endeavour, we are confident we are placing the right amount of investment into the industrial base, but again, we will continue to make sure that all the pieces are in place as we proceed.


Australian defence minister Richard Marles speaks during a press conference after the Ausmin talks in Brisbane
Defence minister Richard Marles speaks during a press conference after the Ausmin talks. Photograph: Darren England/AAP

Australia’s defence minister, Richard Marles, says there is a “bipartisan commitment to Australia acquiring the capability to operate nuclear-powered submarines because of what that will mean in terms of advancing the American strategic interest, but obviously the joint strategic interest between our two countries”.

We couldn’t be happier with the progress in which the optimal pathway is being walked.

We are going to see, in the very near future, increased visits – and we already have seen, but we will see more visits – of nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, which is really the first steps in walking the path of Australia developing the capability to operate nuclear-powered submarines ourselves.


The US defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, says the US is deepening its force posture cooperation with Australia, upgrading critical air bases in the Northern Territory, and pursuing important infrastructure projects at new locations.

We continue to increase the rotational presence of US forces in Australia. This includes maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, which will enhance our maritime domain awareness in the region. We’re also introducing new rotations of US Army watercraft and expeditionary submarine visits to Australia.

He says the countries endorsed plans for enhanced trilateral cooperation with Japan, which will include F-35 training and cooperation, and to expand cooperation in space.

We’re also thrilled to announce that we’re taking steps to enable Australia to maintain, repair and overhaul critical US source munitions. That’s an exceptional set of achievements, and it reflects the strength and the ambition of our alliance.


Antony Blinken says Australia and the US continue to work together on “defending the international rules-based order”.

We’re doing that in part by engaging China, but also as necessary opposing its efforts to disrupt freedom of navigation overflight in the South China and eastern seas.

We’re also united in supporting Ukraine against Russia’s brutal war of aggression. Australia’s assistance continues to be critical to Ukraine’s fight for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and for its future.

He says the countries “discussed and condemned Russia’s weaponisation of food, including its recent decision to end participation in the Black Sea grain initiative and its continued bombardment of Ukrainians’ export infrastructure”.


US secretary of state Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference after the Ausmin talks in Brisbane
US secretary of state Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference after the Ausmin talks. Photograph: Darren England/AAP

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, says “we have no greater or more valuable ally”.

I think that’s only been reconfirmed by the talks we’ve had over the last couple of days.

He offers more words of support for the missing crew whose helicopter crashed off Hamilton Island, saying “they have been on our minds throughout today”.

Of the alliance, he says:

For over seven decades now, we have worked so closely together as allies … our relationship has never been stronger or more important for us and, I would argue, for the world.

He says the US is committed to “broader and deeper cooperation with Pacific Island countries”, including on climate change.


Australian foreign minister Penny Wong is seen during a press conference after the Ausmin talks in Brisbane
Foreign minister Penny Wong answers questions during a press conference after the Ausmin talks. Photograph: Darren England/AAP

The foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, says “we’ve had not only productive discussions, but deep, warm, engaged, open, honest and transparent discussions”.

The US is our vital ally. It is our closest global partner. Our closest strategic partner.

She says a memorandum of understanding will be signed that sees USaid and Dfat work together to “preposition humanitarian supplies both here in Brisbane and also in Papua New Guinea to enable more effective humanitarian responses in the region”.

She says the two countries also discussed the need to focus on climate and energy and the transition to renewable energy.


Richard Marles confirms reports from earlier today about plans for Australia to manufacture and export missiles to the US.

We are really pleased with the steps that we are taking in respect of establishing a guided weapons and explosive ordnance enterprise in this country – in doing so in a way where we hope to see manufacturing of missiles commence in Australia in two years’ time as part of a collective industrial base between our two countries.

Marles also said:

Importantly, in terms of force posture initiatives, we agreed that space cooperation would now form a key part of what we do in our military and defence cooperation. This is a critical step forward.


Ausmin talks agree to increase US military presence in Australia

US defense secretary Lloyd Austin and US secretary of state Antony Blinken with Australian foreign minister Penny Wong and defence minister Richard Marles at the Ausmin talks in Brisbane
From left: US defense secretary Lloyd Austin and secretary of state Antony Blinken with Australian foreign minister Penny Wong and defence minister Richard Marles at the Ausmin talks in Brisbane. Photograph: Darren England/AAP

The defence minister, Richard Marles, is speaking in Brisbane. He opens by saying Australia and the US are working closely together in the search and rescue operation for the missing crew from the military helicopter that crashed overnight.

He also says there has been a “fruitful and rich” conversation today about the state of the Australian-US alliance.

All of us have felt that the alliance has never been in better shape than it is right now.

We’ve made important steps forward in respect of American force posture initiatives in Australia, building on what currently exists.

There is a commitment to increase American force posture in respect of our northern bases, in respect of our maritime patrols and our reconnaissance aircraft.

He says today’s meeting discussed “the optimal pathway by which Australia will acquire a nuclear-powered submarine capability” and there will be “an increased tempo of visits from American nuclear-powered submarines to our waters”.


Two charged over video that shows man kicking and punching greyhound

Two people have been charged over a video that shows a man kicking and punching a dog, AAP reports.

Greyhound Racing SA stewards charged the pair with 12 offences including ill treatment of a greyhound and failing to exercise care and supervision to prevent pain or suffering.

Their identifies have not been made public but both are registered participants and currently suspended indefinitely.

If found guilty, they could lose their registration for 10 years and be disqualified from the sport for at least two years.

An independent body convened by Greyhound Racing SA will investigate the matter but a hearing date has not been set.

The Greyhound Racing SA chief executive, Bodelle Francis, said the organisation was disgusted by the vision and took animal welfare seriously.

Francis offered to support prosecutors on any future criminal investigation.

An independent inquiry into the sport will begin in coming weeks.


We are waiting for a media conference from the Ausmin meeting of Australian and US ministers in Brisbane. We’ll bring you that as soon as it begins.


Search for answers as Antarctic sea ice stays at historic lows

Scientists confirmed this week that Antarctic sea ice has not recovered to its expected levels through winter. An area bigger than Mexico has failed to freeze.

My colleague Graham Readfearn spoke to scientists around the world about what they’re seeing, with some worried they could be witnessing the start of a slow collapse of Antarctica’s sea ice.

Penguins resting on ice in Antarctica
Gentoo penguins resting on ice in Antarctica. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

“Unprecedented is a word that gets bandied around a lot, but it doesn’t really get to just how shocking this is,” says Will Hobbs, a sea ice scientist at the University of Tasmania.

“It is very much outside our understanding of this system.”

You can read the full feature here:


NSW Rural Fire Service receives new helicopter before summer

The NSW Rural Fire Service has been given a boost to its aerial firefighting capability. It’s formally received a $9m high-capacity waterbombing helicopter, a CH-47 Chinook, at the RAAF base at Richmond.

The helicopter can carry up to 11,000 litres of water or retardant, a similar volume to that carried by a large air tanker.

Here’s a statement from the RFS commissioner, Rob Rogers:

The Chinook carries a similar load to a 737 Large Air Tanker but can fill up and turn around faster, protecting people and homes from fires.

We’re very grateful to the Royal Australian Air Force, with which the RFS has had a strong working relationship for over a decade, for its assistance in delivering this helicopter in time for the coming fire season.


Sam Kerr set to play against Canada

Sam Kerr has declared herself fit to play against Olympic champions Canada in Melbourne on Monday, in the Matildas’ must-win final group stage clash at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

Speaking at a press conference in Brisbane on Saturday, the first time she has answered questions about a calf injury suffered 10 days ago, Kerr said she was in a position to be picked against Canada.

“I’m definitely going to be available,” said Kerr.

Sam Kerr of Australia speaks to the media during a Matildas media opportunity in Brisbane, Australia
Sam Kerr speaks to the media during a Matildas press conference in Brisbane. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

The striker said she had trained with the squad on Saturday, but would not be drawn on whether she would start against Canada or come off the bench.

Australia must beat the Canadians to guarantee progression to the round of 16, following the Matildas’ shock loss to Nigeria on Thursday. A draw will leave the team’s hopes subject to the result in the simultaneous clash between Nigeria and Ireland – the Irish needing to beat the Super Falcons and goal difference to break Australia’s way.


Sam Kerr to provide update on injury shortly

The Matildas superstar Sam Kerr is due to face the media later this hour, with football fans sweating over her return from a calf injury suffered on the eve of the Women’s World Cup.

The Matildas play Canada on Monday in Melbourne in what is effectively a must-win match – anything else is not enough to guarantee Australia progress through to the round of 16.

Football Australia had previously indicated Kerr’s ability to play would be reassessed ahead of the match – the Chelsea striker’s media commitment today is the first time she has faced the press since the injury was announced. Stay tuned.

Sam Kerr arrives at the stadium prior to the Women’s World Cup match between Australia and Nigeria in Brisbane
Football fans have been sweating over Sam Kerr’s return from a calf injury suffered on the eve of the Women’s World Cup. Photograph: Elsa/Fifa/Getty Images


Defence industry minister ‘holding on to hope’ as search for pilots continues

The defence industry minister, Pat Conroy, has also issued a statement about the four people feared dead after an Australian army helicopter crashed into waters off Hamilton Island in Queensland during joint military exercises:

Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the four aircrew missing. We hold onto hope as the search and rescue teams go about their work. This is a very tough day for all #ourADF & their families.


Teenage e-scooter rider dies after alleged hit and run north of Sydney

A teenager knocked off his e-scooter and down an embankment has died, sparking the arrest of a driver north of Sydney, AAP reports.

Police found the boy dead down a bushy embankment in Warners Bay about midnight on Saturday.

The officers were responding to reports of a crash that occurred about 5.30pm on Friday, police said.

The teenager, who is yet to be identified, was located near the crash scene on Macquarie Road along with his e-scooter.

About an hour later, police arrested a 21-year-old man at a Maryland home and charged him with dangerous driving occasioning death.

He also faces a back-up charge of negligent driving and a charge alleging the incident was a fatal hit and run.

The man was bailed to appear at Belmont local court on 13 September.

His licence has been suspended.


WA’s new Labor premier Roger Cook faces byelection test

The leadership of Western Australia’s new Labor premier, Roger Cook, is set to be tested as voters head to the polls for a byelection in the former premier Mark McGowan’s seat, AAP reports.

Cook’s popularity has crashed, according to a recent poll that showed the Liberal party holds a 54% to 46% two-party preferred lead over Labor.

Despite this, Labor is expected to easily hold the seat of Rockingham, south of Perth, on Saturday but its healthy margin of 37.7% could take a battering.

The political commentator Peter Kennedy says Labor has faced a “bumpy” road since McGowan resigned in May citing exhaustion.

Controversial Aboriginal heritage laws, the rising cost of living and housing shortages have all taken a toll, he says.

Mark McGowan and Magenta Marshall on the campaign trail around Rockingham centre in Western Australia
Mark McGowan and Magenta Marshall on the campaign trail around Rockingham centre. Photograph: Richard Wainwright/AAP

Fractures have also emerged in the Labor party in the Rockingham area after its candidate, Magenta Marshall, was selected.

The deputy mayor of Rockingham, Hayley Edwards, felt locked out of the selection process and is running as an independent.

“Those things aren’t good in election climates,” Kennedy says.

The women will face off against the Liberal party candidate, Peter Hudson.


Wong tells visiting US officials ‘we do meet with heavy hearts today’

Still at Ausmin, the foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, said “we do meet with heavy hearts today”:

It is this stark reminder of the risk that the men and women who serve us take and the courage that they show every day in the service of their country.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken with Australian foreign minister Penny Wong during the Ausmin talks in Brisbane, Australia
US secretary of state Antony Blinken with Australian foreign minister Penny Wong during the Ausmin talks in Brisbane. Photograph: Darren England/AAP

The US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, offered his words of support as well:

The reason that we train to such high standards is so that we can be successful and we can protect lives when we are called to answer any kind of crisis.

Our guys tend to make this look easy, and they make it look easy because they’re so well exercised and rehearsed and trained ... This is unfortunately a part of that, what it takes to get them to where we need to be.


Marles thanks US personnel searching for Australian military helicopter

The defence minister, Richard Marles, is at the Ausmin meeting in Brisbane and has spoken again about the military helicopter crash off Hamilton Island:

Firstly I really want to thank the assistance of the United States in the efforts in respect of the search and rescue right now. There are American personnel who are playing a critical role in the search and rescue effort and it says something about the relationship of our country that at this moment in time we are working so closely together.

Australia’s foreign minister Penny Wong and defence minister Richard Marles at the Australia-US ministerial talks in Brisbane, Australia
Foreign minister Penny Wong and defence minister Richard Marles at the Australia-US ministerial talks in Brisbane. Photograph: Pat Hoelscher/AP

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said he was thinking of the four crew members and “their family, their friends, their comrades”:

We are so grateful to them for their dedication, for their service, for everything they’ve been doing to stand up for the freedom that we share, and that is what unites us more than, than anything else.


One in four properties in eastern states paid for in full and interest-rate free

More than one in four transactions for dwellings or land is settled with cash in Australia’s three most-populous states, with buyers largely unaffected by higher interest rates, data group Pexa has said.

Many of the cash purchases (those paid for in full without a loan) were made in regional parts of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, often by retirees or others downsizing to less expensive properties. Cash purchases for foreign students or recent migrants also make up a sizeable share of sales in inner-city areas.


Tasmania police use cadaver dog in search for missing Belgian tourist

AAP reports Tasmania police hope an interstate cadaver dog can reveal where a missing Belgian tourist ended up after weeks of fruitless searches.

Celine Cremer, 31, was last seen in the Philosopher Falls area near Cradle Mountain in the state’s north-west on 17 June.

A two-week search for her was formally suspended on July 10 after experts advised she could not have survived in poor weather.

Analysis of Cremer’s mobile phone activity last week raised hopes of finding signs of her in a new area of interest within the falls area. But police and SES were unable to find any sign of her this week.

Missing Belgian woman Celine Cremer.
Missing Belgian woman Celine Cremer. Photograph: Tasmania police

Tasmania police has resorted to bringing in a NSW police cadaver dog.

“The cadaver dog is being used to further search that area today, and this will continue tomorrow,” Inspector Anthea Maingay said. “Our thoughts remain with Celine’s family.”

A car belonging to Cremer was found in the falls car park on 27 June. Police believe it had been there since at least June 20, the last time her mobile had signal.

It is believed she had set off for a short walk.

She was reported missing by her family on 26 June, sparking a major search involving police and SES ground crews, specialist swift water rescue personnel, drones and a helicopter.


Home affairs may have misled Senate over Nauru contracts

The Department of Home Affairs appears to have misled the Senate over controversial contracts it signed with a company linked to a man under investigation for foreign bribery.

In a written response this month, the department told the Senate it had no power to cancel Nauru accommodation contracts with Radiance International Inc – linked to Mozammil (Mozu) Gulamabbas Bhojani, ultimately convicted of bribing politicians on the Pacific island state – but the department’s contracts explicitly allowed it to tear up the contracts for any reason.

Read Ben Doherty’s exclusive here:


Our defence and foreign policy correspondent Daniel Hurst has written about concerns within Labor, and in the United States, about Aukus.

The political challenges likely won’t sink Aukus but leaders and senior officials in both countries will have to navigate them carefully, he writes.

Read the full piece here:

NSW police Tasered ‘extremely unwell’ Indigenous man week before Clare Nowland incident

My colleague Christopher Knaus has an exclusive story that reveals New South Wales police tasered a young Indigenous man hospitalised with mental health issues twice on the mistaken belief that he was armed with a pair of scissors.

Just one week before a Cooma police officer Tasered Clare Nowland in May, a young Indigenous man sought medical assistance from officers further north in Batemans Bay, on New South Wales’ south coast.

Police say they arranged for an ambulance to take the 29-year-old to Batemans Bay district hospital about 5.30pm. While there, waiting for hours by himself in the emergency department, the young man took an item from a tray at the hospital.


Exercise Talisman Sabre director pauses operation after helicopter crash

The helicopter that crashed was taking part in Exercise Talisman Sabre, a training operation that involves defence forces from Australia, the US and other allies.

Brigadier Damian Hill, who is the exercise director of Exercise Talisman Sabre, spoke at the media conference:

I’ve initiated a pause X across Australia for all participants of Talisman Sabre to enable them all, regardless of their nation, to reach out and let their families know what is going on.

I’ll be available throughout the day (and) in the coming days as excise director to provide updates as they become known to us to ensure that everybody is aware of what we’re doing to look after our people.


Military helicopter crash: defence minister confirms four aircrew still missing

The defence minister Richard Marles has addressed media.

He said a military helicopter engaged in a two-helicopter mission went down in waters close to Hamilton Island last night. There were four crew aboard the MRH-90 helicopter.

He said because a second helicopter was present a search and rescue mission was able to commence immediately:

As we speak to you now, the four aircrew are yet to be found.

He said the search and rescue was continuing and “we desperately hope for better news during the course of the day”.

Our hopes and thoughts are very much with the aircrew and their families.

The families of the four crew have been notified.

The chief of the defence force, Angus Campbell, said:

Our focus at the moment is with finding our people.

The defence minister Richard Marles has addressed media.
Defence minister Richard Marles has addressed media about the military helicopter crash. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


Good morning, Lisa Cox with you this morning. We are standing by for a press conference with the defence minister Richard Marles and the chief of the defence force Angus Campbell about a reported military helicopter crash off Hamilton Island. We’ll bring you that as soon as it begins.


Talks with US focus on strategy and Aukus pact

This weekend’s talks in Brisbane are the first since the announcement of the nuclear submarine agreement under the Aukus security deal, writes Australian Associated Press.

The submarines are expected to be high on the agenda, after opposition within US Congress signalled progress on the deal could stall.

A small group of Republicans is threatening to block the agreement, citing concerns the US Navy will be left short.

Defence minister Richard Marles said the Australia-US relationship was only getting stronger:

One thing is really clear: now is the time to be working closely with friends.

The alliance between our two countries is at the heart of Australia’s national security and our world view and we look forward to progressing that relationship over the course of the next two days.

US secretary of state Anthony Blinken said in a challenging global climate, it was important for like-minded nations to work in partnership.

He said:

It makes such a huge difference to have close friends as we tackle the challenges that we both face around the world and also try to find opportunities (for) progress.

On Sunday, Marles and US defence secretary Lloyd Austin will travel to north Queensland to meet Australian and US troops taking part in military drills as part of the Talisman Sabre exercise.


Four feared dead after military helicopter in Exercise Talisman Sabre crashes

A military helicopter has reportedly crashed into the ocean off Hamilton Island.

It is believed the aircraft may have been involved in exercises between the Australian and US military when it crashed at about 11pm with four people on board.

It is understood that the helicopter had been taking part in Exercise Talisman Sabre.

Recovery efforts have reportedly begun and it is unclear whether the helicopter was Australian or American.

The defence minister, Richard Marles, and the chief of defence force, Angus Campbell, are expected to address the media at 8.30am.

Read more here:



Good morning and welcome to our rolling news coverage. I’m Martin Farrer with some of the best overnight stories to set up the day before my colleague Lisa Cox takes over.

The Ausmin meeting continues in Brisbane today with talks this morning between the Australian defence minister, Richard Marles, and the foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, and their US counterparts, secretary of state Antony Blinken and defence secretary Lloyd Austin. There will be opening statements and photos before the talking begins this morning, followed by a media conference after the meeting ends. We’ll be covering that as it happens and our defence and foreign policy expert, Daniel Hurst, will give his analysis.

In a similar vein, Pat Conroy, the minister for defence industry, says on our Australian Politics podcast this morning that he is still “incredibly angry” with Paul Keating over “insulting” criticism of Penny Wong’s performance as foreign affairs minister, labelling it as a “disgrace”. He said the former prime minister was “wrong on the strategic environment we face” and “wrong on the military solutions” and should not have mocked Wong’s diplomacy in the Pacific.

The fate of the housing bill and a possible double dissolution will be the big story when parliament resumes next week. But the Greens, who have succeeded in stalling the legislation so far, remain defiant in the face of Anthony Albanese’s election threat, insisting the minor party will continue to push for rent relief to be part of the package. Queensland Greens MP Max Chandler-Mather and acting Greens leader Mehreen Faruqi have written to the prime minister ahead of a “national day of action” today, when the Greens plan on door-knocking Labor electorates regarding the housing crisis.


Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.