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Senate calls for royal commission into treatment of elderly and mentally ill - and more 11am Zedlines:
Disaster relief funds for state’s north:
The Queensland and Commonwealth governments have released disaster relief funding for communities affected by heavy flooding in the state’s north.
Joint funding under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements will be made available to local councils in areas such as Boulia, Carpentaria, Doomadgee, and Mt Isa.
The funding will help councils with the extensive cleanup and repair costs following the recent tropical low which caused significant damage to community infrastructure.
Record rain in the state’s South West:
Parts of drought-affected western and south-western Queensland have received more rain in the past two days than in the whole of last year.
Coastal cane growers have also felt the wet weather particularly in Townsville and Mackay with reports of falls of up to 200mm.
The weather has however caused flash flooding in the Quilpie Shire, while a moderate flood warning has been issued in Bulloo and Barcoo Rivers and Cooper Creek.
Senate calls for royal commission into treatment of elderly and mentally ill:
Disability advocates are backing calls made for a royal commission into the treatment of people with disabilities after a Senate report revealed thousands of people may be impacted by financial abuse each year.
The report also found that most instances of financial abuse were carried out by family members of the elderly and mentally ill.
The Queensland Aged and Disability Advocacy says the most common forms of financial abuse involves family members innappropriately accessing victims' funds.*
A man to face charges of grievous bodily harm over HIV infection:
A man accused of infecting his male partner with HIV has been barred from boarding his flight from Sydney to Melbourne.
The man will face court today over the incident charged with recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Police will allege the man did not inform the other man of his HIV status and he has been refused bail.
First cyclone of 2016 hits Tonga and Fiji:
The first Pacific cyclone of 2016 has lashed parts of Tonga and Fiji with heavy rain and winds of up to 150 kilometres an hour.
Initially predicted to remain a category one storm after forming early Thursday, Cyclone Ula intensified to a category three storm before hitting the islands, prompting both nations to declare states of emergency.
No casualties have been reported by either government, despite damage to homes and fallen trees.
Earthquake hits India:
A magnitude-6.8 earthquake has hit north-east India near the borders of Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The tremor struck at 4:35am local time, 33kms west-northwest of the city of Imphal
Tremors were however felt throughout the region with people reportedly fleeing their homes.
Information surrounding casualties and damage is yet to surface.
* This story has been corrected after the original was found to be incorrectly reported, we apologise for any issues the original story caused.