Protesters set Old Parliament House in Canberra on fire

No-one was injured in the fire, which engulfed the Old Parliament House's front doors before it was put out.

It follows a fortnight of protest activity at the site, police said.

Protest violence on this scale is rare in Australia, but flare-ups have become more common during the pandemic.

Some of the protesters had identified themselves as part of anti-government and "sovereign citizen" groups, observers said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned the violence, saying: "This is not how Australia works."

Australian capital Canberra goes into snap lockdown

It will come into effect at 17:00 local time on Thursday (07:00 GMT).

The lockdown was called for the whole of the Australian Capital Territory - home to around 400,000 people - because authorities do not know how the infected person caught the virus.

Residents will only be able to leave home for essential reasons.

Queues were reported at supermarkets as the lockdown approached.

Australia is struggling to get on top of the highly infectious Delta strain, which has resulted in two of its largest cities - Sydney and Melbourne - going into strict lockdowns.

Canberra called on to re-think Adani coal mine

The Australia Institute's Rod Campbell said the government was planning a $US1.02-billion-dollar subsidy for the planned Adani coal mine in Queensland.

He said this was more than Australia's Pacific aid budget for this year.

Mr Campbell said the mine would also result in more fossil fuel emissions than those coming from New Zealand and all the Pacific Island countries combined.

He said the government was backing the new coal mine despite Pacific island nations pushing for a moratorium on new mining.

Fijian Drua drop to 4th after heavy loss in Canberra

The Drua had arrived in the nation's capital top of the table after four rounds but the only categories they dominated on Friday night were turnovers conceded and missed tackles.

Vikings winger Andy Muirhead scored the opening try in the fourth minute of the match and from there the home side never relinquished their lead, running in ten tries to one.

Coach Tim Sampson admitted he was surprised at just how well it went.

"It's a dream, you certainly hope so," he said of the way the game played out.

Canberra blamed for delayed UN visit

Francois Crépeau was scheduled to visit Australia for two weeks to gather first-hand information about the situation of asylum seekers detained in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Nauru, on the invite of the Australian government.

But, in a statement, he said the new Border Force Act, which sanctions detention centre workers who disclose information about detention centres with up to two years in prison, would impact his visit as "it serves to discourage people from fully disclosing information relevant to my mandate".