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Australia stay information replace: Daniel Andrews asks ‘what’s the level’ of Information Corp story revisiting his fall; flood menace stays in NSW | Australia information

Andrews not surprised by Herald Sun ‘investigation’

Benita Kolovos

Benita Kolovos

Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, says he’s not surprised by the front page of the Herald Sun this morning, which revisits the circumstances of the fall that kept him off work for months last year.

Andrews fractured his spine and broke several ribs when he slipped and fell while getting ready for work at a Mornington Peninsula holiday rental on 9 March last year.

The Herald Sun located the rental and spoke to several unnamed sources who suggest he fell the night before.

Asked if he was frustrated by the front page, the premier responded:

No, not really. There’s not much that surprises me really. But look, can anybody tell me what the point of this story is? I genuinely don’t know what the point of the story is. Can any of you explain it to me? Are you going to interview the stairs next?

People can go as low as they want. I’m not coming there with them. It’s as simple as that. This was a terrible accident, it was an accident. It was no one’s fault.

Here is the story in question:

The entire front page *and* a two-page spread are dedicated to…the steps Dan Andrews fell on over a year ago.

Yes, that is three pages of prime news real estate for steps

— Belinda Barnet (@manjusrii) November 5, 2022

Key events

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Sri Lankan cricketer faces sexual assault charges

Sri Lankan international cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka has been charged over the alleged sexual assault of a woman in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Police said detectives launched an investigation on Saturday after receiving reports a 29-year-old woman had been sexually assaulted at a Rose Bay home earlier in the week.

Police allege the woman met Gunathilaka after communicating with him for several days on a dating app before the assault on Wednesday evening.

The 31-year-old cricketer was arrested at a hotel in central Sydney early on Sunday morning and charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent.

He was refused bail to appear at Parramatta Bail Court via video link.

Gunathilaka travelled to Australia with Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup team.


Lithgow cafe owners cook up a feast for those out of gas

The Secret Creek cafe is a beautiful little spot in Lithgow where animals roam free and patrons dine.

On Saturday night the cafe’s owners put on a free dinner for those who couldn’t cook because of the gas supply issue on the east coast.

In a post on Instagram, the owners explained they hoped it would “take a little bit of stress out of your day today”.

Hello friends! Tonight we’re cooking family meal for everyone in the community that can’t cook at home due to the gas outage. Hopefully this takes a little bit of stress out of your day today. No catch, it’s free, just come along between 5pm and 6pm tonight. Bring a container for us to fill if you can, otherwise we’ll have a few takeaway ones.

Chilli con carne and cornbread and Moroccan brown rice and “chick’n pilaf” were on the menu. All options were gluten free and vegan (except the cornbread) to ensure the widest number of people could participate.

We’ll cook heaps and serve until it runs out. We’re on bottle gas here.

“Unfortunate” structural failure at 57-year-old coal power plant in Queensland

Queensland’s energy minister has described this week’s unplanned shutdown at a major coal power station as “unfortunate”, as the opposition calls for an independent probe into the failure.

All four units at the Callide power station, near Biloela, were knocked out on Friday following a series of accidents and equipment failures at the plant.

The plant, which can generate up to 1540MW of electricity – roughly 30 per cent of the state’s overnight demand – is expected to be partially fixed by Wednesday, restoring half its output.

On Sunday, Queensland’s energy minister, Mick de Brenni, said engineers were at Callide working to get it fully back up and running as soon as possible after Friday’s “unfortunate” shutdown.

Despite the issues at Callide, de Brenni said Queensland’s power supply remained adequate, with demand across the system sitting at 4000MW from an available supply of 9500MW.

“We have a strong, publicly owned, resilient system,” he said.

“Our message is that we have adequate supply and that’s because we’ve kept the energy system in public ownership.”

Callide is made up of two plants, Callide B and C, each with two generating units. Public firm CS Energy owns and operates Callide B and runs Callide C in a joint venture with Intergen.

Prior to this week’s debilitating issues, the plant was hit by a catastrophic explosion in May 2021 that knocked out about 10 per cent of the state’s power capacity and affected about 477,000 customers.

In a statement on Sunday, the opposition energy spokesman, Pat Weir, called for an independent probe into whether maintenance issues have contributed to problems at Callide:

These concerns have been reinforced by the union, which has raised issues with maintenance and safety.

If generators fail, there is no doubt that it will impact supply and prices if there’s a heatwave over summer.

A full independent investigation must be held to give Queenslanders the answers and confidence they need that their lights will stay on and their bills won’t skyrocket.

de Brenni dismissed the idea of an independent probe, saying a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland investigation was already under way.

“I’m advised that all of the regulatory obligations and the good engineering practice obligations are always met on all of our energy system,” he said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has previously said Queenslanders do not need to worry about power supply in the state.

de Brenni is due to brief cabinet on the situation on Monday.


And in another canine search-and-rescue operation Queensland police are asking for help in finding a guide dog named Valiant, who was reported missing on Saturday.

His owner is vision-impaired and requires Valiant’s help to fulfil daily activities.

Victorian police in search for “Angel” following Saturday-night dog-napping

Victorian police are investigating the theft of a beloved pet shih tzu from outside a restaurant in Docklands on Saturday night.

The five-year-old dog named “Angel” was tied to a pole on Bourke Street when a man removed her leash and fled with it at around 8.30pm

Police have shared video and photos of the man to assist with their inquiries.

The man was last seen walking south along Bourke Street waterfront carrying Angel.

To help identifying the pooch, officers have also released an image of the dog, who had just received a haircut.

Police are investigating after a man stole a beloved pet in Docklands last night.

Five-year-old ‘Angel’ was secured to a pole on Bourke Street when the man can be seen removing her leash and fleeing with her about 8.30pm.

Read more:

— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) November 6, 2022

Benita Kolovos

Benita Kolovos

Victorian government contractor targeted in latest hack

A technology company which has contracts with the Victorian government has been hacked.

PNORS Technology Group, which works with several state departments, including the department of Education and Training, was targeted by hackers on Saturday.

Earlier today, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, said it was too early to determine if Victorians’ information had been compromised.

It’s not definitive, but there’s the potential for a breach. They’re working through that, around the clock, and they’re doing that job well … if and as soon as we have confirmation of anyone’s records being compromised, we will make a statement and we’ll work with any of those people. Like all these things, you’ve got to confirm the facts first, like exactly what happened – and that work is going on now.

Probably worth noting this, given we’ve had a few energy posts today:

We’re recruiting 2,300 new energy workers across our six publicly-owned energy companies.

— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) November 5, 2022

Australian paramedic receives US Presidential Lifetime Service Award

Most people try to flee emergencies and combat zones, but Australian Alison Thompson runs toward the danger.

Ahead of her ninth trip to Ukraine in 2022, the humanitarian charity worker and paramedic has received a US Presidential Lifetime Service Award, an award usually reserved for American citizens.

The award, which honours “outstanding volunteers and recognises the impact they make”, was one of five presented on Friday.

“It’s not about me, it’s more about my team – and I don’t do this work to get awards for my ego,” Thompson said.

“Awards can help my organisation and assist the people I am trying to help and inspire people to volunteer.”

Her organisation, Third Wave Volunteers, features a network of more than 30,000 volunteer first responders across the globe.

As a first responder, she pulled survivors from rubble at ground zero in New York, has run refugee camps, field hospitals and resilience hubs at natural and manmade disaster sites around the world.

Thompson has travelled to Ukraine eight times in 2022 and helped rescue 24 special-needs children and orphans on behalf of a US-based non-profit anti-trafficking exploitation organisation.

She has also taught combat medical aid to civilians and soldiers inside bomb shelters on the front lines.

Last September, while between visits to Ukraine, Thompson helped in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico and Hurricane Ian in Florida.

Third Wave Volunteers helped to evacuate citizens from the two recent hurricanes, as well as deliver medical and food supplies.

– from AAP

States hurting from gas shortages slower to embrace renewable energy

National energy policy has been dominated by concerns about the supply and distribution of natural gas across the country, but states which have been slow to embrace renewable energy will be left paying the most.

The federal budget included Treasury forecasts of Australian energy prices rising by 56% and gas lifting by 44% over two years.

The NSW treasurer Matt Kean has responded to rising prices by suggesting Western Australia should “stop looking after themselves at everyone else’s expense” by sharing the gas it has stocked under its reservation policy.

But one thing has been lost in the conversation is that states most dependent on coal and gas for energy and least reliant on renewables – like Queensland – will see the biggest increases in electricity prices.

In the same way that high petrol prices lead to permanent demand destruction as people look for alternatives, the same can be expected in gas markets – particularly as the country looks to combat climate change.

In a recent speech climate and energy minister Chris Bowen said that to reach the 43% target Australia needs the equivalent of 40 7MW wind turbines every month until 2030.

For solar, we still need to install more than 22,000 500W panels every day – and 60m by 2030.

– with AAP

Australia needs to match climate promises with action: Greenpeace

Greenpeace Australia has cautiously welcomed the announcement of Australia’s bid to host COP31, saying the bid needs to be “matched with” meaningful action on climate change.

Shiva Gounden, Pacific advisor at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said Australia must “go beyond a symbolic olive branch and deliver root and branch climate measures for the Pacific” including “Pacific-led climate justice initiatives” and demands for “loss and damage funding” for harms caused by climate change.

The Albanese government has made some big pledges about strengthening ties with its Pacific family on climate change, the single greatest existential threat facing the region. But it must convert this rhetoric to action and support Pacific calls for measures that meet the urgency of the climate crisis devastating its peoples, environments, and ways of life.

Topping the list of demands are measures which offer real, lasting impact to Pacific island nations, which contribute the least to the climate crisis but shoulder the worst impacts.

Australia must support and advocate for the establishment of a dedicated loss and damage finance facility at Cop27, the only effective means of providing climate compensation to nations on the frontline of the climate crisis.

It must also step up and champion the landmark Vanuatu-led campaign for climate justice through an advisory opinion from the international court of justice on the human rights impacts of climate change.

Gounden said Australia could use Cop27 to show it was serious about action.

Minister for climate change and energy Chris Bowen confirmed the bid to hold Cop31 on Sunday in a joint press release with foreign minister Penny Wong.

The Albanese government has already taken urgent climate action and as one of our first acts, enshrined our commitment to reach net zero emissions into law.

Our delegation at Cop27 and our Cop31 bid will go a long way to help drive Australia’s economic transformation to a net zero economy and strengthen green trade partnerships and secure jobs for Australian workers.

Clear skies expected across much of the country even as flood-hit communities in New South Wales are still being asked to remain cautious.

A huge thanks to the students and staff of 📸 Collarenebri Central School for their exceptional work with sandbagging.

These school kids could sandbag 17 tonnes of sand within a few hours. We are so impressed with the community spirit they showed.


— NSW SES (@NSWSES) November 5, 2022

Victoria SES has also issued new warnings as flood waters head downstream.

‘Don’t drive through flood waters’

Sullivan also warned residents of New South Wales to remain cautious “as the waters head downstream”.

Our advice is prepare now, review your flood plan, understand your risk. If you need to leave early, understand when that time is and leave when it’s safe to do so.

Leave early, be safe.

Sullivan said evacuation centres are open for those who do not have an alternative place to stay. He reiterated the warning for people not to drive into flood waters.

Don’t drive through flood waters. If you come across a flooded road, contact the SES on 132500 or 000 if your life is at threat. And we, our partner emergency services, will do our best to get out and assist you. There’s no need to risk your life, your friend’s life or your family’s life.

Please stay out of flood waters. They are an unhealthy place to be. There’s chemicals, contaminants, debris and a lot of animals that have perished in this flood so wherever possible, just stay out of floodwaters and keep our rescuers out of flood waters. We’d really appreciate that.

One of the many businesses still inundated by flood waters in Forbes, NSW.
One of the many businesses still inundated by flood waters in Forbes, NSW. Photograph: Lucy Cambourn/EPA

NSW SES urges residents to be careful when returning to homes as floods recede

NSW SES chief superintendent Ashley Sullivan has spoken to the ABC this morning about the situation around the Lachlan River, where waters have started to recede.

Sullivan said floodwaters hit a peak in Forbes of 10.7m before they began to retreat in the township and surrounding area.

We have seen major flooding in this town. There is a major impact to the community here, with several properties with over-floor flooding.

So it’s going to be a big couple of days of emergency response in this community, until these flood waters recede and then we can get in and do those damage assessments and then that whole clean-up phase will start.

An SES vehicle amid flood waters in the NSW town of Forbes on Sunday morning.
An SES vehicle amid flood waters in the NSW town of Forbes on Sunday morning. Photograph: Lucy Cambourn/AAP

Sullivan also said residents around the Murrumbidgee River at Wagga Wagga have been issued a “return with caution” notice, meaning they can head back and begin the process of assessing damage:

But the threat remains across western and southern New South Wales, with major flood warnings on many rivers across the state.

So on the Murrumbidgee, as that water heads down Narrandera and Hay and further down at Moama and then obviously here at Forbes and downstream towards Condoblin probably next weekend, where the flood waters will reach its peak down there and then obviously our towns around Walgett, and Lightning Ridge, which are likely to be isolated for a few weeks.

New South Wales SES is coordinating with suppliers to get urgent deliveries into communities and resupply community members in those towns.

NSW Labor pledges to end no-grounds evictions, streamline bond process

New South Wales Labor have promised to tackle renters rights if elected, by introducing reforms that provide more certainty and flexibility in lease arrangements.

Under the proposal, an elected NSW Labor government will allow renters to transfer bonds from one property in a new “streamlined” process.

Other proposed reforms include clear guidelines on when a lease can be terminated to end “no-grounds evictions”.

Around a third of residents in New South Wales rent, with median rents in the state growing 10% between 2016 and 2021.

The NSW Tenants Union estimates the basic costs of moving home is around $4,000, without taking into account renters being out of pocket for weeks while they wait for their bond to be refunded.

NSW Labor leader, Chris Minns, said in a statement on Sunday that the changes will create a “fairer rental regime” by “providing greater certainty”.

Anyone who rents in Sydney knows just how anxious and challenging a process it can be to find suitable accommodation – never mind the significant costs associated with moving.

This is a sensible cost of living measure to help ease the pressure on the over 30 per cent of people in New South Wales currently renting.

NSW shadow minister for housing and homelessness, Rose Jackson, said ending unfair, no-grounds evictions was the “right thing” for renters to ensure “they have a place to call home”.

There is a direct relationship between our unfair rental laws and increases in housing stress and homelessness.

More and more people are renting – and renting for life. As our housing market changes, we need to update and modernise our laws to ensure we are getting the balance right.

NSW government promises $100m to extend foster care to those aged 21

The New South Wales state government will extend foster care from the age of 18 to 21 in what has been described by campaigners as “the most significant child welfare reform in a generation”.

Under the proposal, the change would bring New South Wales into line with other states across the country and will mean children in state care won’t be cut off from support when they turn 18.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, New South Wales minister for families and communities, Natasha Maclaren-Jones, said $100m in funding had been found to support the change.

Ensuring young people have that extended after-care support after the age of 21 is critical to provide that wraparound support to ensure they can go on and fulfil whether it’s university, employment, or have that security and support and the accommodation they need.

Paul McDonald, national chair of the Home Stretch campaign which has been pushing for the change, described the announcement as “fantastic”.

Extending state care to 21 will be life-changing for young people who have been nervously wondering what will happen when their state care arrangements are terminated on their 18th birthdays.

As the responsible parent for the largest number of children and young people in care nationally, extending care is the simplest and most effective reform the NSW government can make to transform the lives of around 1200 young people in foster, kinship and residential care.

It’s an exciting moment to be able to look ahead and think about how much difference this simple reform will make to so many young lives in the years to come.

Lin Hatfield-Dodds, CEO of the Benevolent Society said the change will provide stability for our young people at a critical point in their transition to adulthood.

The evidence from overseas and interstate is that extending care to 21 has long lasting positive effects for care leaver’s education, career and well-being.

This reform is also important recognition of the sacrifices that our foster carers make in welcoming a young person into their home.

The decision was also welcomed by the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies and Stepping Stone House.

Australian federal police do not believe any other party was involved in three deaths at Yerrabi Pond that included two young boys.

Police confirmed in a statement that they had found the body of an 8-year-old boy in Yerrabi Pond, in Canberra’s north, on Sunday morning.

The bodies of his mother and brother were discovered on Saturday after a member of the public found them and notified police.

An investigation into the deaths is ongoing and a report is being prepared for the coroner.

Crisis support services can be reached 24 hours a day: Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

Benita Kolovos

Benita Kolovos

Asked about a staffer to a Victorian Liberal MP accusing the premier of lying about the circumstances of his fall last year (she has since deleted the Tweet), Guy replies:

Number one, I certainly haven’t seen social media this morning. Number two, no one in my campaign team has said that. And number three, I focus on the future, not the past and those matters.

Following today’s Herald Sun front page, I’ve gone through the archives and found the premier’s statement following his discharge from hospital on 15 March, 2021. Here’s how he explains the circumstances of his fall:

Also, none of this is new? The premier’s statement when he was discharged from hospital on March 15 described them as wooden steps:

— Benita Kolovos (@benitakolovos) November 6, 2022

Nothing to see here folks.

Body found in search for missing boy

Police have found the body of eight-year-old boy following a search in Yerrabi Pond in Gungahlin, in Canberra’s north.

The discovery was made after an extensive search of the pond and nearby bushland that began Saturday night and continued into Sunday morning.

A woman and child were found dead in the pond on Saturday.

The woman is believed to be the mother of the two boys.

The Australian federal police are about to release a statement – we’ll have more as it comes.

Police divers search Yerrabi Pond in Canberra, yesterday
Police divers search Yerrabi Pond in Canberra, yesterday. Photograph: Lukas Coch/EPA

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