Tony Abbott praises John Key for joining fight against 'death cult'

Australia's under-fire Prime Minister Tony Abbott has praised John Key for helping fight the ISIS "death cult".

Mr Abbott, who could be heading home to another battle for his leadership, spent a little over 24 hours in New Zealand and confirmed that his government is considering a joint training operation in Iraq to help Iraqi security forces fight ISIS.

Australia is already sending 600 soldiers to Iraq, while NZ has promised 143.

Mr Key came under plenty of fire for his decision to put NZ troops back into the Middle East country, but Mr Abbott was resolute in his support.

"Good on John Key for standing up to this particular battle because the death cult is real and reaching out to the world," he said.

They also talked about a new agreement on sharing the history of criminals to prevent them falling through the cracks when deported home.

The media agenda, however, was more focused on Mr Abbott's position.

"I'm undistracted and undeterred by the hyperventilating by the media," he insisted.

Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott thanked John Key for standing up to the ISIS ‘death cult’. Source: 1 NEWS


Three ducklings get a new home

Three rare blue ducks have been rehomed in the valleys of the Routeburn River to try save them from extinction. Source: 1 NEWS


Joint Australia-NZ travel visa on the cards

There's a renewed push for a common visa between New Zealand and Australia to be established, making travel between the two countries easier.

During the Cricket World Cup, Asian fans are able to visit both countries on one visa, saving time and money, but the deal ends with the cup.

"Having a common visa between Australia and New Zealand for the period of the cricket is a great start but that's as far as we've got really in the period since 2008," Australian Tourism and Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmand says.

"What the common visa would also mean is the capacity to attract another 120,000 Asians into our region and that's more than the German, Japan and South Korean markets put together," Ms Osmand says.

Today a flight from Sydney to New Zealand takes less than three hours, but by the time travellers clear customs and pick up bags, actual travel time is around six hours.

The aim would be to reduce that to under five hours by treating trans-Tasman travel like a domestic flight, as well as introducing seperate departure areas and self service kiosks.

"From a New Zealand perspective, 400,000 of the best paid Australians with a propensity to travel is a win for them too," Australian Capital Territory chief minister Andrew Barr says.

Tourism leaders are pushing for a common Visa to allow Asian visitors to travel to Australia and NZ on one document. Source: 1 NEWS