Australia news LIVE: NSW on high alert as two new local COVID-19 cases recorded in Sydney; Victoria restrictions to ease

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Victorian voters shun Labor over COVID but Andrews still preferred premier

The Andrews government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has cost it the support of thousands of Victorian voters but Daniel Andrews remains comfortably ahead of his rival as the state’s preferred premier.

The findings are contained in a new survey by Resolve Political Monitor, conducted exclusively for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, which reveals the state government’s primary vote has dropped six percentage points since the November 2018 poll.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.Credit:Jason South

Read the full story here.

Bakeries, cinema and shops among NSW’s exposure sites

NSW health authorities are racing to contain a local COVID-19 outbreak after a man in his 60s, who works as a driver transporting international air crew, tested positive to the virus. A household contact has also tested positive.

A number of locations in Sydney’s east have since been identified as potential exposure sites, including a Coles, a cinema at Bondi Junction and shops within the Westfield complex.

View the full list below.

Today’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company. It’s Thursday, June 17. I’m Broede Carmody.

It’s set to be a busy day today, with Sydney on high-alert due to a coronavirus outbreak and Melburnians waking up to the final day of their fourth lockdown. Let’s jump straight into what’s making news today.

  • NSW has recorded two cases of COVID-19 in the community for the first time in 40 days. Authorities are racing to contain the outbreak and are separately investigating the possibility of a hotel quarantine leak.
  • Department stores in Bondi Junction are among NSW’s growing list of exposure sites. Queensland and WA have told anyone in the state who has visited an area of concern to quarantine immediately.
  • In Victoria, Melburnians are waking up to the final day of their fourth lockdown. The 25km limit and metropolitan border will come down from 11.59pm tonight.
  • Decorated former soldier Ben Roberts-Smith is due to be cross-examined in court today as part of his high-stakes defamation case.
  • In Brisbane, a man in his 50s has died after he was stabbed in the back after getting out of a car in a residential street. Detectives are interviewing a woman who is known to the victim.
  • And in overseas news, US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have finished four hours of diplomatic talks. Biden described the exchange as constructive, but that the US wasn’t prepared to compromise when it comes to human rights and cyber security.
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