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May 25, 2016

Victorian premier apologises for history of criminalisation of homosexuality

Victorian premier apologises for history of criminalisation of homosexuality

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Victoria, Australia premier Daniel Andrews, speaking in parliament yesterday, apologised for the state’s history of ‘abominable’ laws under which homosexuality could be punished with jail time.

“For decades, we were obsessed with the private mysteries of men. And so we jailed them, we harmed them, and in turn, they harmed themselves”, said Andrews.

He noted that while those laws haven’t been in force since the 1980s, many still have criminal records because of them. Many are trying to clear their records; so far, six have completed the process.

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, eleven in 100 Australians identify as being a part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex community. They have triple the general population’s rate of depression, and six in ten admit they have been verbally abused.

Victorian Opposition leader Matthew Guy said earlier, “Australia post-war was a very, very intolerant place towards gay people, particularly gay men, and today we’re going to apologise for that.”

His apology follows one earlier this year by the New South Wales parliament to the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras marchers in 1978, that apology led by the member for Coogee, Bruce Notley-Smith.



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May 19, 2016

Australian Federal Police raid offices of Labor Party members over National Broadband Network leaks

Australian Federal Police raid offices of Labor Party members over National Broadband Network leaks

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

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Australian Federal Police (AFP) raided the Melbourne Labor Party offices of former communications minister, now senator, Stephen Conroy and reportedly the home of a party staff member on Thursday evening over alleged leaks of sensitive information from the National Broadband Network (NBN). Labor Party member Tony Burke confirmed on ABC TV‘s 7.30 program on Thursday evening that the raids were underway.

A government sources said the NBN Co. first referred the leak of information to the AFP, whom also confirm that they are assisting the AFP in their investigation.

Mr Burke said the leaks are immensely damaging to Malcolm Turnbull, as they detail the NBN’s cost blowout, its lack of speed, and its delay. Mr Burke stated a total of 23 leaks of information have occurred under this government. He said he is unaware whether these leaks have been reported to the AFP in the past or whether they have been acted on by this body.

Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus also commented on these leaks in a statement and said some are quite serious, and involve national security, defense, and the federal budget.

Mr Turnbull on Thursday had no comment on the raids and left the AFP to their ongoing investigation.



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Australian Federal Police raids offices of Labor Party members over National Broadband Network leaks

Australian Federal Police raids offices of Labor Party members over National Broadband Network leaks

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

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Australian Federal Police (AFP) raided the Melbourne Labor Party offices of former communications minister, now senator, Stephen Conroy and two other staff members on Thursday evening over alleged leaks of sensitive information from the National Broadband Network (NBN). Labor Party member Tony Burke confirmed on ABC TV‘s 7.30 program on Thursday evening that the raids were underway.

A government sources said the NBN Co. first referred the leak of information to the AFP, whom also confirm that they are assisting the AFP in their investigation.

Mr Burke said the leaks are immensely damaging to Malcolm Turnbull, as they detail the NBN’s cost blowout, its lack of speed, and its delay. Mr Burke stated a total of 23 leaks of information have occurred under this government. He said he is unaware whether these leaks have been reported to the AFP in the past or whether they have been acted on by this body.

Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus also commented on these leaks in a statement and said some are quite serious, and involve national security, defense, and the federal budget.

Mr Turnbull on Thursday had no comment on the raids and left the AFP to their ongoing investigation.



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April 14, 2015

Australian charged with murder of two after 24 years

Australian charged with murder of two after 24 years

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Crime and law
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Robert Penny, 83, yesterday was charged with the murder of his wife Margaret Penny and hairdresser Claire Acocks, twenty four years after their deaths at the Old London Coiffure hair salon in Portland, Victoria in Australia.

Mr Penny was charged by homicide detectives after a revived investigation found Penny had disclosed details of the women’s deaths to various people, that he could only have known firsthand. He allegedly told Mrs Acocks’s husband the morning after her death that she was killed with a comb, and “died very quickly”; police found no weapon at the scene in 1991.

The prosecution also alleges Mr Penny revealed details of the murders in phone calls to both his son and daughter in the hours following the attack, again referring to the use of a tail-comb as the weapon. Investigators at the time initially believed there may have been two weapons, and Homicide Detective Senior Constable Tom Hogan told the court “it would have been impossible for him or any of the police to understand the ­nature of the injuries” before an autopsy was carried out.

The court also heard evidence of a covertly recorded phone conversation between Mr Penny and his granddaughter in February 2014, in which he said “Would a hitman pick up a comb and kill two women?”.

Mr Penny was released on bail due to poor health, under conditions including surrender of his passport. He is due to face court again in July.



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March 27, 2013

Andrew Sayers resigns National Museum of Australia directorship

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

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The Director of the National Museum of Australia, Andrew Sayers, has resigned his position effective July 1 in a move that came as a surprise to his colleagues. Sayers cited distance issues as his wife is currently working full time in Melbourne.

Sayers is quoted in a statement as saying, “I leave the museum confident that the reputation of the Museum as the home of our national treasures is one of which we can all be proud. […] Professionally, I have enjoyed making a contribution to the Museum, yet, as many couples have discovered a ‘commuter relationship’ is not ideal.”

Sayers was contracted for five years, and was only into his third year in the post. Prior to his position at the National Museum, he spent ten years in the same role at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia. He also spent thirteen years working as as a curator and assistant director at the National Gallery of Australia. He began his museum career at Art Gallery of New South Wales and Newcastle Region Art Gallery. Following his resignation, Sayers will retire to live in Melbourne with his wife.



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January 13, 2013

Fires burn across eastern Australia amid summer heatwave

Fires burn across eastern Australia amid summer heatwave

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

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Aerial view of fire at Copping/Forcett, Tasmania on January 4.
Image: Chuq.

One of many cloud to ground lightning strikes which resulted in a number of fires being started in the Riverina region of New South Wales on January 5.
Image: Bidgee.

Oura fire viewed from Wagga Wagga, New South Wales on January 7.
Image: Bidgee.

S-64 Air-Crane departing Wagga Wagga Airport for firefighting operations in Yass, New South Wales on January 9.
Image: Bidgee.

Despite earlier cooler weather, heatwave conditions are expected to resume in New South Wales, Australia. Local weather service forecasts expect temperatures to rise above 40°C (104°F), as-experienced earlier in the week. The percentage of uncontained fires jumped as high as 20%. On Friday, local fire authorities have declared total fire bans across Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Fire crews at the east coast of Australia are readying to battle an increased rate of bushfires during the weekend.

Uncontrolled fires have also been burning across the states of Tasmania, Victoria, and Queensland.

Extremely hot weather and strong winds played havoc with the fires early in the week. A minor change in the weather assisted crews on Thursday but the high temperatures are set to return on Friday and through the weekend.

Thirty devastating fires in Tasmania are now being controlled after burning 130 properties and 110,000 hectares of land throughout the past week.

In Victoria there are two significant fires being fought with several others now under control but concerns remain for the weekend with the temperature forecast to rise to 42°C in the north of the state.

Queensland firefighters continued to battle fires north of of the capital Brisbane on Bribie Island, with at least 22 fires still burning throughout the state.

New South Wales has 120 fires burning as of Friday with 370,000 hectares of land, 10,000 livestock and one property already destroyed.

Cquote1.svg …an awful lot of fireline for firefighters to monitor… Cquote2.svg

—Deputy Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service, Rob Rogers

Deputy Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Rob Rogers briefed reporters on the bushfires at the Rural Fire Service Headquarters on Friday.

“They are very large, all either in excess or very close to 10,000 hectares (and) in some cases 100 kilometres of fireline. That’s an awful lot of fireline for firefighters to monitor and obviously that’s going to be troubling over today and particularly tomorrow when it will be even hotter.”

One fire at Dean’s Gap in New South Wales had authorities concerned due to its proximity to an old military range that contains unexploded ordinances at Tianjara plateau. Firefighters have used earth moving equipment to create containment lines and specialised gel to protect the range.



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December 17, 2012

Wikinews interviews Australian disability standing skier Jonty O\’Callaghan

Wikinews interviews Australian disability standing skier Jonty O’Callaghan

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Wikinews reporter LauraHale interviews Australian Paralympic skier Jonty O’Callaghan

Recently, Wikinews spent time with with Australian Paralympic skier Jonty O’Clallaghan who was in Copper Mountain, Colorado for the IPC Nor-Am Cup.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png I’m interviewing Jonty O’Callaghan, one of the Australian skiers with the IPC [International Paralympic Committee] Nor-Am Cup, and you’re a fifteen-year-old?

Jonty O’Callaghan: Yup. Yeah, I’ve been skiing since I was about ten and I really enjoy racing.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I talked to your father, he said you’re kind of thinking Sochi?

Jonty O’Callaghan: It’s the matter of if I qualify by getting enough good races and points.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How do you balance skiing with doing school?

Jonty O’Callaghan: Over the past few years in Australia I’ve been doing full time in tenth grade in the Australian winter, which means the school at the mountain brings up my work from my home school in Melbourne to do up at the mountain when I’m not skiing.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Since you’re not on the development team, do you get enough support or your parents are supporting this?

Jonty O’Callaghan: Yeah, my parents support me all the way. I’ve never doubted their support always though the journeys and I [thank them] for their support throughout and continuing through my journeys.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What classification are you?

Jonty O’Callaghan: I am LW9-1.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What does that mean for people who know nothing about classification?

Jonty O’Callaghan: I basically have a disability on the right side of my body.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Yep.

Jonty O’Callaghan: which weakens two of my limbs and which means I favor my left side a lot more.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Did you have that from birth?

Jonty O’Callaghan: Yeah, it was caused by premature birth.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you do any other sports anything other than skiing or are you one of those Australian ski bunnies?

Jonty O’Callaghan: I’ve done a lot of sports doing my journey, I’ve always played cricket, Australian football, played a little tennis, and I like golf too as a hobby.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Are you going to and be one of those dual Paralympians for Winter and Summer?

Jonty O’Callaghan: No, because I don’t think any other sports I like are in the Summer Olympics. I think I’ll pursue them after I finished my skiing career, because cricket you can do when you’re much older.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is there anything else people should know about you?

Jonty O’Callaghan: Yeah, I’m just looking forward to the future and hoping for the best and maybe some medals.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Okay cool, thank you very much.

Jonty O’Callaghan at Solitude Station on Copper Mountain
Image: Bidgee.

Jonty O’Callaghan at an awards ceremony IPC Nor-Am Cup
Image: LauraHale.

Jonty O’Callaghan competing in the slalom during the last day of the IPC Nor-Am Cup
Image: Bidgee.

Australian Paralympic skier Jonty O’Callaghan in his first run earlier today
Image: LauraHale.



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December 15, 2012

Wikinews interviews Australian sit skier Lincoln Budge

Wikinews interviews Australian sit skier Lincoln Budge

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wikinews reporter LauraHale interviews Australian Paralympic skier Lincoln Budge

Recently, Wikinews spent time with with Australian Paralympic skier Lincoln Budge who was in Copper Mountain, Colorado for this week’s IPC Nor-Am Cup.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png I’m interviewing Lincoln Budge, one of Australia’s development team skiers, who is here at the IPC [International Paralympic Committee] Nor-Am Cup and you’re not skiing today?

Lincoln Budge: Well I skied first run.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Ooh, a DNF [Did not finish].

Lincoln Budge: DNF, so nothing else for the rest of the afternoon now.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So how have you preformed in the past days?

Lincoln Budge: I’ve done pretty well in the previous days. I’ve finished every race till now which has been good, I’ve improved my points on what I’ve had previously, so I’m progressing slowly and, yeah, it’s good.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What classification are you?

Lincoln Budge: LW11.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Are you shooting for Sochi or are you just kind of developing now with the idea of the next one [Winter Paralympics] in 2018?

Lincoln Budge: I’d like to go to Sochi, but realistically it’s probably not going to happen, I’ve only been skiing for three years, so. Yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you’re from some town that’s really hard to pronounce in Australia.

Lincoln Budge: Yes, Yackandandah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What state is this in?

Lincoln Budge: Victoria, north east Victoria

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So Victoria is the state that produces all the great Australian skiers?

Lincoln Budge: Correct, Victoria is the state to be in.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How long have you been in the development team?

Lincoln Budge: Been skiing for almost three years now.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png On the development team or just period?

Lincoln Budge: Period but I pretty much got onto the development team […] days in[?], so all my skiing has been with the team.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You never considered doing the nordic skiing?

Lincoln Budge: No way. [laughs] That’s way too much dedication.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Where do you like to ski and which, like Super G, Slalom, is your favourite?

Lincoln Budge: Down hill would be the one I’ve enjoyed most so far. It’s fast, obviously, a speed event, and the whole build-up to it, ‘s really fun and I enjoy the speed events.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Where do you like to ski? Are you one of these people likes to come to the US, or do you think Victoria’s got the best ski fields in the world?

Lincoln Budge: US is pretty good, I’ve sort of skied quite a few hills. I’ve based somewhere different each year so far. […] I don’t really have a preferred one.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Considering how expensive skiing is, do you think you’re getting adequate support from everyone to enable you to continue your ski career?

Lincoln Budge: Yeah, at the moment I’m getting good support from the team and everyone, which is really good and hopefully financially I can keep doing it into the future.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png As someone watching skiing: can you throw your monoski over your shoulder and transport it that way?

Lincoln Budge: I can if I want to but I’ve got a set of wheels that I clip the rig into so I can push it around more easily than putting it on me shoulder. I cart skis[?] around on my shoulder, but I’ve got a set of wheels, just to make it easier.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Ok, thank you very very much.

Lincoln Budge at Solitude Station on Copper Mountain
Image: Bidgee.

Lincoln Budge competing in the Super G during the first day of the IPC Nor-Am Cup
Image: Bidgee.

Lincoln Budge competing in the Super G during the second day of the IPC Nor-Am Cup
Image: Bidgee.

Lincoln Budge competing in the slalom during the first day of the IPC Nor-Am Cup
Image: LauraHale.



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November 19, 2012

Canberra United lose first game since January 2011

Canberra United lose first game since January 2011

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Ellie Brush, pictured in a 2009 game, was one of several players absent from Saturday’s game
Image: Camw.

Before a crowd of 575 on Saturday at Wembley Park in Box Hill, metropolitan Melbourne, Australia, W-League team Canberra United lost to the Melbourne Victory 0–3 in the team’s first loss since January of last year.

Two of the Victory’s goals came in the first half, with Canadian import Jessica McDonald and English import Jessica Fishlock each scoring for the Victory. Enza Barilla scored the third unanswered goal for the Victory in the second half.

Canberra went into the game with a depleted roster, with six players called away to participate in national team training, suspended or out because of injury, including team captain Ellie Brush, midfielder Sally Shipard, Michelle Heyman, goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, striker Ashleigh Sykes, and winger Hayley Raso. Caitlin Munoz filled in as the team’s captain in Brush’s absence, while Sally Rojahn and Catherine Brown each had their first United start and Grace Gill earned her first start of the season.

Victory coach Mike Mulvey is quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald following the game as saying, “It’s a good win, there’s no doubt about that, but it could have been a more emphatic victory. We put three in the back of the net, and it could easily have been double that.” The win moved Melbourne up to second place on the ladder, and continued the team’s dominance over Canberra who now have 1 win and 6 losses playing away in Victoria.

United’s loss was one of three upsets in the round, with the Sydney FC losing to the Perth Glory 1–3 and the Brisbane Roar FC W-League losing to the Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1–2.

Later tonight, the team departs for Tokyo to compete in the International Women’s Club Championship against some of the best women’s club teams in the world including Japan’s INAC Kobe Leonessa and NTV Beleza, and France’s Olympique Lyonnais. Canberra’s first game is against INAC Kobe Leonessa on Thursday. If they win the competition, the player bonuses would be greater than the one they received for winning last year’s W-League grand final.



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August 3, 2012

Cyclist Sean Finning last competitor named to Australia\’s 2012 Paralympic team

Cyclist Sean Finning last competitor named to Australia’s 2012 Paralympic team

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Sean Finning at a race in 2006
Image: Patrick Keogh.

Yesterday, the Australian Paralympic Committee finalized the country’s Paralympic team by naming 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medalist and sighted guide cyclist Sean Finning to the team. Finning will be compete in the men’s tandem track and road events where he will serve as Bryce Lindores‘s pilot.

Finning was not originally to be on the team, and is a last-minute replacement for Mark Jamieson who found himself unable to acquire a visa to compete at the Games because of a criminal conviction on his record.

The pairing is not a new one, as the duo had competed together at the 2010 Road World Cup and 2011 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships. Finning had stepped away from tandem cycling for a while in order to pursue his own individual cycling ambitions, which saw him compete in February at the Ararat Classic Track Carnival and in March at the Bendigo International Madison and the Oceania championships in New Zealand.

Finning and Bryce’s 2012 Paralympic campaign gets underway on August 30 at the Velodrome for track events and September 4 at Brand’s Hatch for road events.



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