The Australian government has announced that it will allow backpackers and seasonal workers to stay in the country for longer durations to let them fill labour shortages in the agricultural sector. Backpackers who are visiting Australia -- usually youngsters from Europe and other places --  will be now able to...
In a move that it calls the world's first initiative to stop chemical pollution from killing corals, Pacific island Palau will ban the “reef-toxic” sunscreens from 2020. The government says there is scientific evidence that certain sunscreens, even in minute quantities, are toxic to corals and lead to their deaths. It...
The Australian government has said that it will remove some 40 children who remain in migrant detention camps on the Pacific island Nauru by the end of the year. The announcement came under pressure from the international community which criticised the country's policy of intercepting asylum seekers attempting to reach...
Ina first in the world, drones will be used to deliver vaccines in remotes parts of Vanuatu that are otherwise difficult to access. The government of the Pacific archipelago, with 83 islands, has signed contracts with two commercial drone companies to deliver vaccines in 39 villages, reaching which by foot,...
Stephen Duckett, Grattan Institute Australia has a good health system by international standards, but it has to get better. Half of all patients across Australia wait more than a month for an elective hospital procedure, such as a hip replacement. This is in addition to waiting for an outpatient visit...
Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce a Future Drought Fund, that will grow to $5 billion over a decade, at Friday’s national drought summit. The fund is to provide support against future droughts, helping primary producers, non-government organisations and communities prepare for and respond to their...
A new drug, with unprecedented results, has raised hopes on HIV prevention. The world’s first study to measure the impact of Gilead Sciences Inc.’s Truvada pill, held in Australia, showed that the antiviral pill's it reduced the infection at a globally unprecedented level. The blue, oval-shaped pill -- a fixed-dose combination...
Several regions of Australia are facing droughts that have severely affected the farming sector, prompting the government to step in with support. The state of New South Wales (NSW) was declared to be drought-affected in August. According to climate scientists, the country has seen a significant depletion in soil moisture,...
While reports of widespread, acute mental distress and attempted suicide by children and young adults are emerging from Australia's offshore processing facilities for the migrants, the UN refugee agency has called on the country to end its migrant policy. “This policy has failed on a number of measures,” said UNHCR spokesperson...
Australia is on track to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health issue in two decades, says a new study. The disease, which affected 930 Australian women in 2018, would become a "rare cancer" in Australia by 2022, as by them it is predicted to affect less than six per...

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