Melbourne is bracing for more disruption - from humankind and Mother Nature - and police have already planned a new approach to maintain control in the CBD today.
About 300 to 400 protesters swarmed the Victorian capital on Wednesday, despite stay-at-home orders and repeated warnings from authorities.
Chanting "every day" from the Shrine of Remembrance, hundreds without masks - some still wearing high-visibility clothing - marched through the city to the war memorial.
The protests initially began in opposition to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for the construction sector and the closure of building site tea rooms, but have since turned into wider unrest.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Ross Guenther said 215 arrests were made over the course of the day and condemned the occupation of the shine for political purposes.
"It was completely disrespectful that the crowd ended up at the shrine, which is such hallowed ground in this great city," he said.
"We will vary our tactics. But, of course, my message is don't come into the city," the deputy commissioner said.
On the earthquake front, at least six aftershocks have been registered between 2.4 and 4.1 on the Richter scale, and further tremors are expected in coming days and possibly months.
Workers at a major parcel delivery service are striking across the country, dealing another blow to Australia's overwhelmed postal system.
Up to 2000 StarTrack employees walked off the job at midnight, after crisis talks and a bid to have the strike action blocked both failed on Wednesday.
Two dozen people at a southwest Sydney hospital have contracted COVID-19 in a week - its second major outbreak in months.
The exposures occurred across six wards at Liverpool Hospital, a South Western Sydney Local Health District spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday evening.
Those infected include 13 patients and two staff members in the orthopaedics ward, five patients in the geriatrics ward, three patients and one staff member in the neurology ward, two patients and one staff member in the renal ward, one patient in the cardiothoracic ward, and an intensive care nurse.
Meanwhile, researchers have some bad news for the producers of the next action thriller featuring razor-toothed dinosaurs chasing their next meal. It turns out the hulking creatures actually ran with a cute little wag of the tail.
And in the US, tributes have been paid to Sex And The City actor Willie Garson following his death aged 57.
Garson was best-known for playing flamboyant talent agent Stanford Blatch, the close friend and confidante of Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie Bradshaw.
- with AAP