Queensland and NSW outbreaks to grow as Labor suggests a $300 jab bonus

Queensland and NSW are expecting their COVID-19 outbreaks to grow again today.

Queensland authorities have warned the situation would continue to escalate with concern centred on two schools that have recorded positive cases.

While in NSW a COVID-19 outbreak at an inner west Sydney nursing home has reached 20 people as the residents of an entire floor are shifted to hospital.

The union for independent school staff in NSW, meanwhile, has called on the government to rethink its Year 12 reopening plan for August 16.

With no sign of the outbreaks ending soon, the federal government is focusing on measures to limit the damage to the economy, while the Reserve Bank of Australia will hold its monthly board meeting with economists now predicting a sharp economic contraction in the September quarter.

Meanwhile, Labor says offering a $300 payment to fully vaccinated Australians will give the program a much-needed shot in the arm.

Overseas, and there's some bad news around the Lambda coronavirus variant. First identified in Peru and now spreading in South America, it is highly infectious and more resistant to vaccines than the original version of the virus first detected in Wuhan, China, Japanese researchers say.

In laboratory experiments, they found that three mutations in Lambda's spike protein help it resist neutralisation by vaccine-induced antibodies.

Catch up on which Aussies won what at the Olympics yesterday here, and who's competing today here. Including the Matildas' loss to Sweden, which has set them up for a bronze medal game with the US.

In some good news, Western barred bandicoots have returned to a part of far north western NSW for the first time in a 100 years after the area was purged of feral animals.

Ten of the small marsupials - known by local Aboriginal people as "talpero" - have been reintroduced to the Sturt National Park as part of the Wild Deserts conservation project.

Oh and if you're a Eurovision fan, Mr Lordi, who sings in Finnish hard rock band Lordi, has worn his stage outfit while receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, making for a fantastic photo.

This story Queensland, NSW outbreaks to grow as Labor suggests a $300 jab bonus first appeared on The Canberra Times.