Australia news LIVE: Albanese meets with Zelensky in Ukraine; Thousands of Sydney homes at risk of flooding as heavy rain continues in NSW

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Flooding threat extends to parts of Sydney previously spared

Thousands of homes in parts of Sydney that have never previously flooded were told to prepare to evacuate on Sunday night with forecasts that the city’s worsening weather would continue for another 24 hours.

The NSW SES issued dozens of evacuation orders late on Sunday, including parts of the Emu Plains and Emu Heights, as heavy rainfall continued to lash a 500-kilometre stretch of coast from Newcastle to Batemans Bay.

Heavy flooding in Lansvale as waters rise along the Georges River on Sunday.Credit:Brook Mitchell

Parts of Lower Portland, Pitt Town, Agnes Banks and South Maroota were also ordered to evacuate by the early morning.

The escalating weather saw the North Richmond area in Sydney’s north-west particularly under threat, with Cooke warning that Warragamba Dam was spilling at a rate that exceeded the floods in March and April.

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said there were hundreds if not thousands of homes that could be subjected to evacuation warnings and potential flooding in the coming days.

“We ask that those communities really be aware of the messaging that we’re putting out,” she said.

Albanese promises Zelensky new $100 million aid package during Kyiv meeting

London: Anthony Albanese has met face-to-face with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a historic first trip by an Australian prime minister to the war-torn country, pledging to boost military aid to Kyiv and impose further sanctions on Russian gold and several oligarchs.

Albanese, completing a week-long trip to Europe to attend a NATO summit in Madrid, made a surprise visit to the Ukrainian leader in his presidential office in Kyiv, announcing Australia would gift the nation 14 more armoured personnel carriers, 20 more Bushmaster vehicles and drones in a new $100 million assistance package.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.Credit:AP

Thousands of civilians have been killed and cities levelled since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade on February 24, with Kyiv accusing Moscow of deliberately targeting civilians. The actions have isolated Putin on the international stage, with the Western world imposing crippling economic sanctions, while Europe has vowed to phase out its use of Russian coal and gas.

“Australia stands ready to continue to support the government and the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes for Ukraine to emerge victorious in defence of your national sovereignty and your homeland,” Albanese told Zelensky as the pair stood behind podiums surrounded by three Australian and three Ukrainian flags.

Read the full article here.

Today’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Monday, July 4. I’m Ashleigh McMillan and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started.

  • Anthony Albanese has met face-to-face with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a historic first trip by an Australian prime minister to the war-torn country, pledging to boost military aid to Kyiv and impose further sanctions on Russian gold and several oligarchs.
  • Thousands of homes in parts of Sydney that have never previously flooded were told to prepare to evacuate overnight with forecasts that the city’s worsening weather would continue for another 24 hours. The NSW SES issued dozens of evacuation orders late on Sunday, including parts of the Emu Plains and Emu Heights.
  • Europe’s biggest hydrogen project is stepping up its search for Australian imports to help quadruple supplies of clean energy and cut the continent’s reliance on natural gas in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • Foreign citizens seeking to visit Australia will no longer have to declare their COVID-19 vaccination status, bringing to an end one of the tough border control measures enacted because of the pandemic.
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