‘I’ll f—ing smash you’: Truck driver’s tirade at cyclist caught on camera

The truck driver at the scene. Photo: Supplied The truck driver. Photo: Supplied
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A cyclist has filmed the terrifying moment a truck driver threaten to “smash” him shortly after allegedly trying to run him off the road.

The Yarraville man, who does not wish to be named, was riding two-abreast in light traffic on an overpass on Footscray Road, Footscray, about 9.30am on Saturday.

He claims the truck suddenly swerved within 30 centimetres of him.

“This truck came alarmingly close,” he said. “I got the biggest fright.”

The 43-year-old cyclist said he then rode up to the truck where it had stopped at a set of red lights and told the driver he had “nearly killed” him.

He admits he then “flipped the bird” at the driver.

The cyclist said the driver got out of his truck and threatened to “smash” him, while holding what appeared to be something that could be used as a weapon in his hand.

“Once I realised he was doing that, I was fearing for my safety and moved away,” he said.

The cyclist turned on a camera fitted onto his bike and circled back to get the truck’s number plate.

He can be heard on the video, since uploaded onto YouTube, yelling at the driver: “Why are you so angry? What have I done to you?”

The truck driver replies: “I’ll f—ing smash you, you f—ing c—.”

By this stage, about eight more cyclists from the riding group had caught up to them.

“You tried to run me off the road,” the cyclist says, as the driver charges towards him.

“I tried to cut you off? Nah b—s—,” the driver says.

Another cyclist, who dismounts his bike, tells the driver to “calm down mate”.

The driver, who was heading back towards his truck, then turns around and heads back saying “you better shut the f— up c—” as he rolls up his sleeves.

“Settle,” the second cyclist says. “You don’t want to go to court.”

The second cyclist then tells the driver to “get in your f—ing truck and f— off”, which further aggravates him.

“Do you want to make me shut up,” the driver says, with his fists clenched.

“Don’t say anything,” a third cyclist yells, before the driver gets in his truck and the cyclists ride away.

The cyclist reported the incident to Footscray police later that morning, bringing with him the footage, a pre-written statement, the truck’s number plate and phone numbers of witnesses on a USB stick.

However, he claims he was more upset with the response from police than at the actual incident.

He said the officer he spoke to refused to look at the USB and questioned why he didn’t call triple zero.

“I am really shocked,” he said.

“He had no interest in anything I presented. He just wanted to question the legitimacy of my report.”

After he complained, the cyclist made his report to a second officer.

Victoria Police has been contacted for comment.

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Coly’s netball results

In what was always going to be a tough game against the Leeton-Whitton Crows, the Coleambally under 13s side hasgone down fighting in Narrandera.
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Meeting the team that had gone undefeated throughout the season, it was always going to be a big ask for the junior Blues.

Coleamballystarted the game strongly, scoring early on in the piece.

Abbey Young looks to pass in the Coly Blues C Grade netball game against North Wagga

However, the Crows grew into the game and were able to show their skill and class and that proved just too much to defend against.

The girls put in 100 per cent effort all day but ultimately it was not quite enough as they fell 37-15.

The effort and determination showed by Sally Foster throughout the game and the final series as a whole saw her awarded the Junior Blues’best player.

The club thanked the girls and their coach Kate Jones for a great season of netball and also the supporters for their dedication and encouragement.

Moving on: The Coly A Reserve netball side have progress through to the preliminary final after defeating The Rock. Picture: Supplied

Meanwhile the A Reserve team have progressed to the preliminary final after a comfortable win over the Rock.

The Blues started the game,the stronger side and once they got on a roll there was no stopping them as they won the game 58-41.

The young defensive combination of Molly Young, Tessa Evans and Chloe Buchanan were outstanding in reading the play of the opposition which enabled the side to turn the ball over on many occasions and prevent The Rock from getting any sort of momentum in the game.

The girls showedthey will be hard to stop as they charge towards the grand final but before that they will be facing off against Charles Sturt University who fell to the Northern Jets 50-35 last time out.

The two sides have been evenly matched all year with the two meetings ending with a win to each team during the home and away season.

The winner of the match-up between the Blues and CSU will face the Jets in the season-deciding grand final.

The A reserve players thanked their dedicated supporters for all of the encouragement they have received so far this season.

The club extended its congratulations to coach Michelle Coldiston.The work put in by the coach and playershas been monumentaland the club wished them all the best as they push for a grand final appearance.

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Face it: there will be no free vote of marriage equality

Marriage equality could be years away if the plebiscite is blocked in the Senate. Photo: Luis AscuiHere’s how the story goes.
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Labor, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team join forces to block the same-sex marriage plebiscite in the Senate.

Swayed by passionate lobbying from advocates, Malcolm Turnbull ditches the idea and opts for a free vote in Parliament. The Prime Minister is, after-all, a longstanding supporter of marriage equality. And he’s on the record opposing the plebiscite. Rather than defeated, he is unshackled. Deep down he’s happy it’s gone this way.

Allowed to vote according to their consciences, a same-sex marriage bill passes both houses of Parliament. There are tears of joy on the Senate floor; gay and lesbian couples around the country hit the streets to celebrate. Within days newspapers are filled with touching photos of the first gay and lesbian Australians to legally marry.

The only problem: it won’t happen this way. Almost certainly not. And anyone telling supporters of same-sex marriage otherwise is promoting a dangerous fantasy. A dream as empty as it is alluring.

A plebiscite may not be desirable and may not be fair. But it is the only realistic option for marriage equality in this term in Parliament.

To reject it means same-sex marriage is probably three years away, perhaps more. By the next election Labor will have a binding vote in favour of marriage equality, making it hard to convince the Coalition to support a free vote.

Notice how quiet Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi have been lately? Supposedly in favour of a plebiscite, they are delighted to see it on death row. A proposal designed to delay and divide is doing exactly that. By losing, they win.

Meanwhile, their colleagues who back same-sex marriage are arguing strongly for the plebiscite. Look at Warren Entsch, Christopher Pyne, Tim Wilson. All would prefer a free vote, but they know how their party works. They know that on this issue the Liberal Party truly is a broad church, with perspectives ranging from outright opposition to strident support.

The Labor figures who say Turnbull is hostage to the internal politics of his party on this issue are dead right. Internal politics matter.

When Malcolm Turnbull seized the prime ministership last September he signed a written agreement with the Nationals setting out the terms of the Coalition arrangement. Part of that deal was sticking with Tony Abbott’s plan for a plebiscite.

Turnbull then took the plebiscite to an election, promising Australians a say on the issue. And he won – albeit narrowly.

If Turnbull was to backflip on his policy and allow a free vote it would inflame the conservative wing of the party. So much so that Turnbull’s leadership itself could be at stake. Scott Morrison, Barnaby Joyce, George Christensen, Abbott and many more would argue that a fundamental election commitment had been broken. They wouldn’t be wrong.

Furthermore, a precedent would be set. Of Shorten staring down Turnbull. Of Turnbull buckling. You folded on same-sex marriage, Labor would taunt him, so why not on a banking royal commission or an emissions trading scheme?

And forget about enough brave Liberals crossing the floor to pass a Labor private member’s bill for marriage equality. The government controls which bills get voted on and not in the House of Representatives so the opportunity will never arise.

Former High Court judge Michael Kirby has argued persuasively that delaying same-sex marriage is a risk worth taking. He’s explained that a plebiscite is constitutionally unnecessary and could unleash a wave of hatred against gays and lesbians.

He also acknowledges that he has been in a committed gay relationship for over 40 years and he and his partner don’t know if they’d want to marry.

Other gay couples would dearly love to marry and are sick of waiting. Some would be willing to fight a plebiscite to do it.

It’s a grim choice but one that must be made. Dreams of a different world – a world where the internal politics of the party in power don’t matter – won’t make it go away.

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Fuel quality crackdown inadvertently leads to hundreds of deaths in Sydney and Melbourne

Better fuel regulation has had a perverse effect in Sydney and Melbourne. Photo: SuppliedA crackdown on poor fuel quality has inadvertently driven up dangerous ozone levels and is causing an estimated 300 deaths a year across Sydney and Melbourne, a federal government-commissioned report has found.
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The report’s expert authors have called on authorities to act to reverse the phenomenon, and environmental advocates say more must be done to prevent vapours escaping at petrol bowsers, which increases harmful ozone production.

The independent review of fuel quality laws, commissioned by the Department of the Environment, analysed the impact of changes to fuel standards since the introduction of current laws in 2000.

It found that fuel regulation had led to less pollutants and improved health outcomes in both Melbourne and Sydney – with the exception of ozone formation and exposure.

In a perverse effect, a reduction in nitrogen dioxide through improved fuel standards “is contributing to increased ozone production” which has resulted in adverse health outcomes, the report found.

Exposure to daily changes in ozone pollution in Melbourne caused an estimated 465 deaths in the year 2000, rising to 636 in the year 2015 – or 171 additional deaths last year, according to the scenarios modelled.

In Sydney, 617 such deaths were attributed to ozone in the year 2000, rising to 744 last year – an increase of 127 estimated annual deaths.

In the same period, estimated deaths attributable to substances such as nitrogen dioxide and PM2.5, or very fine pollution particles, fell substantially – indicating that laws governing fuel standards are otherwise improving health outcomes.

The modelling showed higher ozone levels also led to more emergency department visits by children with asthma, the report said.

“These increases are thought to be due to the significant decreases in NO2 [nitrogen dioxide]. NO2 is involved in both the formation and removal of ozone from the atmosphere,” it said.

Air quality concern relating to ozone involves high levels at ground level, rather than ozone layer depletion in the stratosphere.

Ground-level ozone particularly affects the elderly, children and people with lung conditions. It can irritate the nose, airways and lungs, and cause coughs, worsened asthma and pain in the chest, ears, eyes, nose and throat.

It is formed when sunlight combines with a chemical mix in the air. Warm, sunny cities with moderate winds are most likely to experience elevated ozone production, and Sydney and Melbourne often experience the highest levels in Australia, the department says.

Environmental Justice Australia researcher James Whelan said ozone concentrations should be reduced through better vapour recovery measures at petrol stations, which would limit the emission of so-called volatile organic compounds.

Dr Whelan said these compounds, released when motorists filled up at the bowser and trucks delivered fuel to stations, were a precursor to ozone production. However Australia was lagging badly behind the United States and Europe in regulating them, he said.

A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said the government was considering its response to the independent report. She pointed to a review of legislative instruments made under the act, which was announced in May.

The report was prepared by consultants Marsden Jacobs Associates and Pacific Environment. The scenarios were hypothetical but reflected relevant baselines and air quality changes.

The report recommended that “additional time and resources be dedicated by governments to investigating options to reduce ozone concentration”.

Environment Protection Authority Victoria policy and regulation manager, Dan Keely, said that state has adopted national rules on fuel standards to minimise evaporative emissions.

However an EPA review of Victorian vehicle emissions regulations in 2013 did not support mandatory vapour recovery at service stations, he said.

A NSW EPA spokeswoman said NSW was the first Australian state to introduce recovery of vapours from petrol storage tanks and 96 per cent of petrol stations had complied.

NSW was also the only state requiring metropolitan service stations that dispense more than 3.5 million litres of petrol a year to capture vapours from fuel tanks when vehicles were refuelled at the pump. The rule comes into effect in January next year.

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George Brandis to Labor: ‘Get out of the way’ on same-sex marriage plebiscite

Attorney General George Brandis said the plebiscite was the “only way”. Photo: ABC LatelineAttorney-General George Brandis, charged with designing the plebiscite on same-sex marriage, has demanded Labor “get out of the way” and support a public vote on marriage equality.
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Senator Brandis also said the majority of the LGBTI people with whom he had spoken to recognised the “surest” and “most direct” course to marriage equality was a plebiscite, given the government’s election commitment.

“I very much hope that the Labor Party gets out of the way on this and Bill Shorten doesn’t succumb to the temptation to play politics with the issue,” he told the ABC’s Lateline program on Monday.

“Mr Shorten needs to know that if the Labor Party decides to stop the plebiscite bill, then they will have stopped gay marriage for the foreseeable future.”

The Attorney-General made the statement after a day of intense political bickering over the planned plebiscite, which now stands to be opposed by the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team and possibly Labor.

If Labor does join in blocking the bill, it will fail to pass the Senate – and in all likelihood put same-sex marriage on the backburner for the next three years.

Labor is calling on the Turnbull government to dump the $160 million plebiscite, which it says will unleash a campaign of homophobia and hatred, and instead allow a free vote in Parliament. Based on MPs’ public statements, such a vote would see same-sex marriage legalised.

But Senator Brandis told Lateline that “the only way” the government could deal with the matter was through a plebiscite, which it had promised at the July 2 election.

He acknowledged that for many LGBTI people, a plebiscite was “not the preferred option”. But, he argued, “most of the people to whom I’ve spoken are sensible and pragmatic enough to know that the surest course, the most direct course now, to the outcome that they want and which I support is through a plebiscite”.

The Attorney-General will now come under pressure to release details about the plebiscite, including the proposed question and structure, before Labor makes a final decision. While the opposition hardened its rhetoric over the past week, it has left the door open to supporting the plebiscite, particularly if it regards the question as fair.

The government has hinted the vote could be held in February, but has not commented on whether both sides will receive public funding for their campaigns.

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Senior ministers defend Malcolm Turnbull’s government over poor polling results

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop during the ecumenical service to mark the opening of the 45th Parliament on Tuesday morning. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Mr Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten before the Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial on Monday afternoon. Photo: Andrew Meares
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Senior ministers have defended Malcolm Turnbull’s government in the face of new poor polling results, as the Prime Minister’s net popularity fell below Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s for the first time.

As MPs gather in Canberra for the ceremonial opening of Parliament on Tuesday, a Newspoll in The Australian showed Mr Turnbull’s net satisfaction rate had reached a new low, while support for the government has fallen since the July 2 election.

The Coalition and Labor are tied at 50-50, while Mr Turnbull’s satisfaction rating was at 34 per cent – the lowest level since he replaced Tony Abbott in September 2015.

His net satisfaction rate stands at minus 18 points, four points worse than Mr Shorten at minus 14.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce played down the poll before MPs took part in the traditional church service before the opening of Parliament.

“You will drive yourself crazy if you start worrying about polls at the start of the political term,” he told Channel 9.

“You just have to get into it, get stuck into it, get the hard decisions done. Do the things that take our nation forward.

“Make sure that we, number one… make sure that you do the hard work so that in 20 years’ time someone can go to a public hospital and expect that it is going to be free. If we don’t get it right it won’t be because we won’t have any money.”

Mr Joyce was it was always tough when a government returns and there are “big jobs to do”.

The poll found Mr Turnbull remained the preferred prime minister, 43 to 32 per cent against Mr Shorten. It was his smallest lead recorded against the Labor leader.

Asked if he was concerned by the Newspoll, Treasurer Scott Morrison said, “no, I’m not”.

“People elect us to get on with the job, that is what we are doing. We’ve got a raft of legislation coming in this week, there’s some 24 bills or thereabouts,” he said.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo said the government had been returned at the election to lead.

“Frankly there could not be a less relevant poll for the Parliament than the one immediately after the election,” he said

“I understand the excitement of the media about the first Newspoll after the election, but we just had an election and the Australian people cast their verdict and their decision was to re-elect the Coalition government.

“We’re back with a majority government and we’re going to be making decisions that implement the policies that we took to the last election.”

Labor’s deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said voters were questioning the re-elected Turnbull government’s priorities.

“The government is at war with itself,” she told ABC radio.

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Australian clean energy heading for ‘valley of death’

Professor Andrew Blakers from the ANU in the solar lab at the university. Photo: Andrew Sheargold Associate Professor Kylie Catchpole, Professor Andrew Blakers and Fellow Dr Matt Stocks are among dozens of researchers at ANU whose jobs are in doubt if the government slashes ARENA funding. Photo: Elesa Kurtz
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Australia’s clean energy research efforts are heading for “the valley of death” if Parliament passes the Coalitions’s omnibus package of cuts, according to leaders in the sector.

Hundreds of researchers around Australia, including dozens at both the Australian National University and the University of NSW, will be faced with the dole queue if cuts to Australia’™s renewable energy research agency are passed by the Parliament, according to one of the sector’s pioneers.

Deep cuts to the funding of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, contained in the Turnbull government’s omnibus “œbudget repair” bill before the Parliament this week, is an “existential threat” to clean energy innovation in Australia, Professor Andrew Blakers says.

Professor Blakers of the ANU is a world leader in renewables research and he says many of his colleagues nationwide will lose their jobs if the government gets its bill through Parliament and advances that would deliver major economic benefits to the country would be lost.

The ANU and the University of NSW are world leaders in solar energy research with PERC solar cells, now the commercial standard globally with more than $9 billion in sales, invented by Professor Blakers and his colleague Martin Green at the NSW institution.

ARENA was established in 2012 by the Gillard government and abolished by the Abbott government in 2014.

The agency received a stay of execution in March 2016 but Coalition policy now wants to strip $1.3 billion of funding from ARENA and merge its funding role with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which expects to see a financial return on money it invests in research.

The Clean Energy Council has published a briefing paper that likens de-funding ARENA to “plunging into the clean energy valley of death”.

ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht told Fairfax that existing commitments would be met even if Parliament agreed to back the Coalition’s cuts.

“The proposed reduction in ARENA’s uncommitted funding will not affect existing commitments,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“Projects currently receiving ARENA funding will continue to receive funding and ARENA will continue to oversee ongoing contract management and knowledge sharing outcomes for these projects.”

The office of Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg did not respond before deadline on Tuesday to a request for comment and Labor says it has not arrived at a position on the ARENA cuts.

Professor Blakers said the decision, if passed, may mean the end of Australia’€™s clean energy research effort and said both sides of politics would shoulder the blame.

“€œThere is an existential threat to renewable energy research, innovation and education in Australia,” Professor Blakers said.

“€œIf ARENA is dismantled, then many people would lose their jobs including dozens at ANU.

“œIn the longer term, Australia’s leadership in solar energy would vanish.

“After the fiasco involving CSIRO climate scientists, we now have a potential fiasco in mitigation of climate change.”

The research leader called on the Labor Party not to just “waive through” the proposed cuts.

“œIt appears that the ALP might waive through a change to the ARENA Act, which would allow the end of ARENA granting,” Professor Blakers said.

“€œFor 30 years there has been a renewable energy funding agency in one form or another in Australia.

“€œThis has led to phenomenal success in generation of technology and education.

“The worldwide silicon solar cell industry owes its existence in large measure to Australians who were supported by grants from government renewable energy agencies.

“Billions of dollars of benefits have accrued to Australia.”

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Labor boss George Wright jumps ship for BHP Billiton job

George Wright is stepping down. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen The architect of Labor’s stronger than expected 2016 election campaign, George Wright, has quit his post as ALP secretary and will return to the corporate world through a senior post at BHP Billiton.
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Victorian Labor general secretary Noah Carroll is considered the early favourite to succeed Mr Wright and engineer the next federal campaign for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Mr Wright received Mr Shorten’s blessing in standing down after five and a half years in charge of the party – a comparatively long stint compared to some of his predecessors.

In a statement, Mr Shorten said Mr Wright leaves “with honour”.

Mr Wright, who worked on the landmark “Your Rights At Work” campaign at the ACTU, endured the humiliating 2013 election loss to the Tony Abbott-led Coalition, a campaign in which relations between party headquarters and Kevin Rudd’s travelling party were severely tested.

He took the reins of the federal party from Karl Bitar in 2011.

“After two federal election campaigns, two ALP national conferences and numerous by-elections it is time for me to spend more time with my family in my home town of Melbourne,” Mr Wright said on Tuesday.

Mr Wright will take up a senior corporate affairs role with BHP Billiton in Melbourne.

He thanked the Labor leaders he has worked for.

Mr Shorten said Mr Wright had been “central to the work of rebuilding Labor”, growing the party’s membership and engaging with supporters and volunteers in new and better ways.

“I have worked alongside George in various capacities for 22 years – he’s someone whose advice I’ve always valued. He’s a man who stays calm under pressure and, even in the toughest of times, never loses his sense of humour.”

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Bill Shorten borrows from Kim Beazley’s playbook to put the PM on the spot over racial tolerance

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during the smoking ceremony to mark the opening of the 45th Parliament on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten during the welcome to country ceremony on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares
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Senator Pauline Hanson during the ecumenical service to mark the opening of the 45th Parliament on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and Senator Hanson during the opening of the 45th Parliament. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Labor leader Bill Shorten has put Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the spot over Australia’s immigration policy, racial tolerance and reconciliation with indigenous Australians on the first sitting day of the new parliament.

Mr Shorten wrote to Mr Turnbull on Tuesday to seek his support for a motion that would see the Parliament restate its commitment that all Australians enjoy equal rights and deserve equal respect, “regardless of race, colour, creed or origin”.

It also reaffirms the Parliament’s commitment to a non-discriminatory immigration policy, to Australia being a culturally diverse nation and a tolerant and open society and denounces racial intolerance.

The motion is identical to that proposed by former Labor leader Kim Beazley in 1996, which was eventually put forward by former prime minister John Howard and backed by the opposition leader.

Mr Shorten put it to the Parliament on Wednesday morning, soon after the re-election of Tony Smith as Speaker.

The move comes as senator Pauline Hanson returns to the Parliament 20 years after she was first elected – this time with three One Nation colleagues – and amid a growing push from the Coalition backbench for section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act to be watered down.

A growing number of Coalition senators – according to some reports more than 10 – support the move to amend 18c and are prepared to back a private member’s bill being prepared by Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, but Mr Turnbull has stated changing 18c – which makes it illegal to “to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person” – is not a priority for his government.

Labor front bencher Tony Burke on Tuesday called on Mr Turnbull to call Senator Bernardi into line.

“It has not taken long for the right wing of the Coalition to sense weakness and take their advantage. Whether Mr Turnbull stands up to Senator Bernardi, and publicly distances himself from his private member’s bill and the bloc he is leading, will be a true test of his leadership,” he said.

In this context, Mr Shorten has asked Mr Turnbull to back the motion, much as Mr Beazley sought support from Mr Howard in 1996 after the election of Senator Hanson for the first time in the lower house.

Mr Shorten said it is “timely for such a motion to be considered at the very start of the 45th parliament” in his letter to the Prime Minister.

“It is critical that Australians know that our parliament will never condone racism or extremist politics – and that Australians should be treated with equal respect regardless of race, colour, creed or origin,” the Opposition Leader wrote.

“As John Howard did with Kim Beazley in 1996, I urge you to join me in supporting this resolution…However, if you wish to move this important motion, I would be prepared to stand aside and second the motion.” The full text of the motion:

That this House—

(1) reaffirms its commitment to the right of all Australians to enjoy equal rights and be treated with equal respect regardless of race, colour, creed or origin;

(2) reaffirms its commitment to maintaining an immigration policy wholly non-discriminatory on grounds of race, colour, creed or origin;

(3) reaffirms its commitment to the process of reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in the context of redressing their profound social and economic disadvantage;

(4) reaffirms its commitment to maintaining Australia as a culturally diverse, tolerant and open society, united by an overriding commitment to our nation, and its democratic institutions and values; and

(5) denounces racial intolerance in any form as incompatible with the kind of society we are and want to be.

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Ray Hadley berates Scott Morrison over ‘bludger and leaner’ politicians

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison defended politicians and their hard work in an interview with broadcaster Ray Hadley. Photo: Bradley KanarisTreasurer Scott Morrison and broadcaster Ray Hadley have unloaded on each other over the performance of politicians, with the outspoken radio host alleging federal politics is populated by “bludgers and leaners”.
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In a heated interview, the Treasurer said the 2GB broadcaster was hurling misleading slurs and taking cheap shots, insisting the 27 sitting days of Parliament left in 2016 was not a sufficient indicator of all the work MPs do.

“You’re assuming that nothing happens between sitting weeks and I know you don’t think that. I know you know that between sitting weeks a lot happens,” Mr Morrison said.

“In particular the sort of discussions that are necessary to secure the passage of bills through the Parliament. I mean the Parliament will vote but the work doesn’t stop.”

Hadley said the Treasurer was “defending the indefensible”.

“You might work every single day but I’m sure the bludgers and leaners inside the federal Parliament who are delighted to go home every Thursday, have a long weekend, then come back on Sunday night or Monday morning.”

The Treasurer continued to defend himself and his parliamentary colleagues, saying they work in their electorates and on legislation throughout the week, often clocking up 60 to 70 hours.

The pair have a traditionally congenial relationship although it hit a low point when the host demanded Mr Morrison swear on the bible over his conduct leading up the September Liberal leadership spill.

Tuesday’s exchange became particularly heated, at least on the host’s behalf, when the Treasurer compared politicians’ less prominent work with the preparation he does when not on air.

“The Parliament will sit as often as necessary to pass the legislation,” Mr Morrison assured.

“Well, you’ve got plenty of spare time to do that!” Hadley sent back.

“Well, again, Ray. I think that’s a bit cheap, mate. You know plenty of politicians and you know they work hard and we do work hard, just like when you’re off air…you don’t work just the three hours you’re on air all day. Outside of those three hours, you work really hard.”

Hadley replied: “Listen, don’t drag me into it. I’m not paid by the public, you are! Don’t drag me into it. I get paid by how successful I am and I’ve been successful over a long period of time.”

“You have,” the guest soothed.

“So don’t try and compare me with you. I was here at four o’clock this morning, I’ll finish at about half past six tonight, for your information,” the radio host replied.

“We all work hard, Ray,” Mr Morrison said, accusing Hadley of peddling myths and stereotypes and making politicians’ jobs harder.

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Chinese-Australian community should get more action for political donations, warns Huang Xiangmo

Rubbing shoulders: Chairman of Yuhu Group Mr Xiangmo Huang, Chinese Ambassador to Australia Mr Zhaoxu Ma and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Supplied Xiangmo Huang and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney. Photo: Fairfax Media
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Huang Xiangmo with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Supplied Photo: Supplied

Beijing: The Chinese community in Australia shouldn’t let itself be viewed as little more than a “cash cow” by both federal parties it gives donations to, according to Huang Xiangmo, one of the country’s most prolific political donors.

Mr Huang, chairman of property developer Yuhu Group and a highly-influential figure in Australian-Chinese business circles, has attracted widespread media scrutiny after donating more than $1 million to both sides of politics since 2012, including contributions apparently directed at Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and former Trade Minister Andrew Robb.

He has done so juggling roles as chair of the Australia China Relations Institute at the University of Technology, Sydney, while simultaneously  heading “patriotic groups” with close links to the Communist Party. He has used his position as head of the Australian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China to urge local Chinese-Australians to advance Communist Party core interests, including the opposition of Taiwan and Tibetan independence.

“The Chinese community is still inexperienced when it comes to participating in politics, and in making political donations,” Mr Huang wrote in a commentary for the Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper on Monday, in his capacity as ACRI chairman. “We need to learn … how to have a more efficient combination between political requests and political donations, and how to use the media to push our political requests.

Mr Huang has become a frequent commentator on Australian politics, and his columns, which have included musings on the recent federal election and Kevin Rudd’s United Nations push, have appeared in popular Chinese-language online media outlet Sydney Today as well as the Global Times.

Mr Huang said the Chinese community was under-represented in Australian politics and that the media focus on “China-related” donations had overtones of “racial discrimination”, given no other ethnicities were singled out for scrutiny. “They still keep the bias of White Australia and hope Chinese community continue to be silent instead of having power of speech in politics.”

Without naming specific politicians, Mr Huang said Chinese Australians were often regarded as “cash cows” during an election campaign but after getting elected, they neglected the interests of the Chinese community.

Mr Huang donated $1.8 million to establish ACRI at UTS, which is headed by former foreign minister and NSW Premier Bob Carr. He has also made large contributions to the Children’s Medical Research Institute at Westmead and toward an Australia-China arts institute at Western Sydney University.

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Adults used girl in state care for criminal acts, probably prostitution: inquest

A 15-year-old girl in state care who was allegedly raped and died after a drug overdose was “used and abused” by those she should have been able to rely upon, a coronial inquest has heard.
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The opening day of the inquest into the death of the girl, identified as MK, heard that predatory adults used her for their own ends, “involving her in criminal activity, drug use and probably prostitution”, and that older men regularly sneaked into the youth refuge where she was living.

MK, who was a ward of the NSW state, died at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead on Monday, April 21, 2014. She went into cardiac arrest after she is believed to have used cannabis and to have injected herself with a mixture of heroin and ice.

An autopsy found MK had the word “hate” scratched into her right thigh, a wound believed to have not healed from when she cut the phrase “I hate feelings” into her leg earlier that month.

MK died only a few weeks before she was due to give evidence at a trial of a youth worker who had allegedly raped her when she was 14 while living in a different refuge in Sydney in 2012. MK had also alleged she had sex with another carer at the centre.

Family and Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed on Monday that he had written to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, asking it to look into alleged abuse at the centre between 2012 and 2014.

The DPP has also been asked to review the case against the youth worker who allegedly raped MK, after the charges were dropped following her death.

In her opening address, counsel assisting Donna Ward told the inquest there was ample evidence that MK was “used and abused by many of the people who she should have been able to rely upon for comfort and care”.

A forensic psychologist, Chris Lennings, observed that, by the time she died, MK was operating in “survivor mode” and a diagnosis of conduct disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, depression and amphetamine abuse would have been likely.

Two workers at the refuge gave evidence that they knew MK took drugs and that adult men frequently sneaked into the refuge at night to visit her, but said staff had difficulty stopping them.

MK would often go missing overnight, including for as long as seven weeks on one occasion, and her behaviour had “deteriorated” in the month before she died.

The girl was worried about the looming court case and was having a “hard time”, one worker said.

The worker agreed that staff lacked the resources to enforce the refuge’s rules and they had come to the conclusion that MK should be moved to a facility that could provide more intense care and support.

The inquest heard that on the Saturday before she died, a man had snuck into the refuge, taken heroin offered to him by MK and when he awoke the next morning next to her “thought something was not right”.

Later in the day, he heard MK “make a funny breathing noise”. The on-duty youth worker was called and began CPR while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Ms Ward said MK had a “sad history”, and child protection concerns had been raised about her when she was only a few months old.

Attempts to restore MK and her twin brothers to the care of her father, mother and extended family had each failed and the children were placed in residential placements or group homes.

Ms Ward said some “hard truths” would emerge during the week-long inquest and MK’s death raised questions about how families, communities and “the system” could fail children and young people.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Australian Conservation Foundation loses Federal Court case on Adani coal

Adani’s giant coal mine in the Galilee Basin aims to export mainly to India if it proceeds. Photo: NYTAdani’s Carmichael coal mine has cleared another legal hurdle after the Federal Court threw out a challenge against the project by the Australian Conservation Foundation.
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The ACF had sought to establish a landmark climate change case in Australia, arguing approval of the proposed mega coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin was inconsistent with the country’s international obligations to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The case had gained more urgency since being lodged in November last year, with the reef experiencing its worst recorded bleaching event, which scientists say may have killed off a fifth or more of its corals in one hit. Federal court rejects @AusConservation environmental challenge against Adani Carmichael mine #auspol#mining#qldpolpic.twitter南京夜网/hQfztxADfz— Stefan Armbruster (@StefArmbruster) August 29, 2016

Adani Australia welcomed Monday’s decision, stating on Facebook that the verdict “again reinforces the stringency of the strict, science and evidence-based federal environmental approval process governing the company’s planned mine at Carmichael”.

“At their core, these challenges have been about stopping investment and jobs as part of a wider activist campaign against mining,” the Indian-based miner said, adding that a recent report by PwC had put the costs of delay at about $3 billion.

Josh Frydenberg, federal environment and energy minister, also welcomed the Federal Court decision.

“The finding provides greater certainty for the Commonwealth’s decision making process for approvals under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999,” Mr Frydenberg said in a statement. “The project includes 36 of the strictest environmental conditions in Australian history.”

Matthew Canavan, federal minister for resources, said on Twitter that the decision was “good news for jobs”. Fighting on

The ACF, however, vowed to keep fighting to prevent the mine – with a production capacity of as much as 60 million tonnes a year – from going ahead.

“If the Carmichael mine proceeds, its coal will create 4.7 billion tonnes of climate pollution over the proposed life of the mine, wiping out Australia’s efforts to reduce pollution and contributing to more frequent and severe bleaching events on the reef,” Kelly O’Shanassy, ACF’s chief executive, said in a statement.

“It is extraordinary that in 2016 a federal Environment Minister can argue in court that a mega-polluting coal mine will have no impact on the climate and the Great Barrier Reef,” she said. “We’ll do everything we can to stop this mine.”

Before the verdict from Justice Griffiths, ACF chairman Geoff Cousins predicted more challenges against coal mines such as Adani’s.

“Win or lose … these issues will become and more prominent as time goes on,” Mr Cousins said.

Mr Cousins said groups such as ACF were pinning their hopes on Mr Frydenberg to take a different stance on climate matters from his predecessor, Greg Hunt.

“Josh Frydenberg has a great opportunity to lead,” Mr Cousins said. “He’s certainly aware of all these issues.”

ACF has said Carmichael would be Australia’s largest coal mine, covering more than 45,000 hectares in size and producing as much carbon dioxide annually as New Zealand.

A spokesman for Adani said the company is ready to proceed with the mine “pending the resolution of a small number of outstanding legal challenges”.

“[I]f those issues are finalised, construction can commence in 2017,” he said.

The parties have seven days to agree on the legal costs of the case, ACF said.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.