Monthly Archives: March 2019

Labor’s tougher message on boat arrivals is getting through in Indonesia with people seeking their money back from smugglers, Immigration Minister Tony Burke says.


He says he’s received reports from Indonesia that there are widespread demands from potential asylum seekers wanting their money back from people smugglers.

Mr Burke says they are realising they would be buying a ticket to Papua New Guinea or Nauru not to Australia.

“When I say the demands for money back are widespread, they are absolutely widespread,” Mr Burke told reporters in Sydney.

“They realise that what they have paid for is no longer available to them.”

“There is no doubt that the message is getting through.”

Mr Burke said the only way to stop people smugglers was to take their product and customers away, and that was starting to happen.

He also said a “very significant number” of people who had been transferred to PNG’s Manus Island were now in talks with internationals organisation of migration organising their transfers back home.

He said that could be done fairly quickly if they still had their identity documents with them.

Mr Burke said whatever capacity is needed to house asylum seekers would be built under the federal government’s asylum seeker resettlement deal with PNG.

He said refugees would be looked after and given resettlement opportunities to get on with their lives.

If they have been found not to be refugees it was probably a fair indication that it was safe for them to go home, he said.

Labor’s policy says people who arrive in Australia by boat without a visa will not be settled in Australia.

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Cancer experts say the rates of melanoma in men and women are decreasing but  the good news end there.


They say there has been a surge in the rate of deaths from the disease among men despite the improving number of cases.

Chair of the National Skin Cancer Committee Dr Terry Slevin says the problem could be rooted in Australian “blokey culture”.

“A bloke starts putting on some sunscreen with some moisturiser and he gets called a “metrosexual”. It makes no sense”.

He says that culture needs to change.

“In the Australian sun, when we’re the skin cancer champions of the world, unfortunately it’s time that blokes got over this macho stuff and started actually looking after their skin properly because it is genuinely a matter of life and death.”

But it’s not just a problem for men in Australia. In Britain, where there’s been an unusually warm and sunny summer, similar results have been seen.

Professor of Dermatology at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds, says early detection is also a problem British men.

“Melanoma in men is most common on the back and it’s just difficult to see.”

But that doesn’t explain it all. Professor Newton-Bishop says there appears to be some bio-chemical reason why the mortality rate is higher in men.

“Men seem to deal with it less well. There seems to be something different about the way their bodies interact with melanoma”.

The Australian Cancer Council doesn’t have any results that support that theory but agrees it’s time men started taking it more seriously.

The push for a greater awareness of the benefits of early diagnosis of melanoma comes as ahead of the Council’s Daffodil Day fundraiser on Friday August 23rd.

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The win, in the Rugby Championship and loosehead prop Tony Woodcock’s 100th test, ensured the world champions retained the Bledisloe Cup for an 11th successive season.


It also extended the Wallabies’ winless streak against the All Blacks in New Zealand to 16 games – a run that stretches back to August 11, 2001, when Australia won 23-15 in Dunedin.

“Australia … turned up and threw everything at us,” Hansen told reporters after the clash at Wellington Regional Stadium. “For long periods of the game they won the moments.

“I was very proud of our team with the way they fought back and in the end got on top.

“Probably not our prettiest test match but we will take that, particularly when we win the big prize of the Cup at the end of it.”

The All Blacks had easily won the opening match of the Rugby Championship 47-29 last week in Sydney but entered Saturday’s game with flyhalf Tom Taylor making his test debut after injuries to Daniel Carter, Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett.

Apart from a nervous-looking first penalty attempt when Taylor appeared to pull his left shoulder around too soon and dragged the kick past the upright, the 24-year-old hardly put a foot wrong.

His first-up defence when the Wallabies were sending runners down the channels close to the ruck during the first half was sound, while he distributed and kicked well, made several telling runs, and eventually found his goal-kicking range.

One of his missed kicks bounced off two of the posts, while a penalty attempt from inside his own half had the distance but drifted just wide.

Taylor ended with 14 points, and was replaced late in the match after injuring his ribs.

He earned plaudits from his coach as to how well he had settled into the side during the week.

“I thought he coped tremendously well all week. (Assistant coach) Ian (Foster) did a magnificent job with him, nursing him along quietly,” Hansen said.

“He is a confident, mature young player. He kicked well again … he was assured in everything he did and you can’t ask for any more than that for a player making his debut.”

Hansen’s biggest issue now, pending checks on Taylor’s ribs, concerns which of his flyhalves he will play when the All Blacks face Argentina in their next Rugby Championship clash on September 7.

Carter and Barrett, who both had minor calf strains, trained during the week, while Cruden could come into consideration if he recovers from a knee injury.

Hansen, however, said he would not rush anyone back too early and if he has four to choose from it will be a difficult choice as he will “have to drop a couple”.

“Don’t know which ones yet,” he said.

Given what happened on Saturday, it was a headache he could live with.

(Editing by Josh Reich)

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Tensions between supporters of Venezuelan President-elect Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Henrique Capriles have surfaced in the Venezuelan community in Australia.



Nicolás Maduro is set to be sworn-in as Venezuela’s President following elections last Sunday.


But the event is being overshadowed by the Opposition’s call for a full vote-by-vote recount, and the deaths of several people in post-election violence.


Biwa Kwan reports.


Protesters chanting: ‘recount, recount’…protesters singing Venezuelan national anthem.


From Venezuela to Australia.


The results of Venezuela’s election continue to be disputed, with calls for a full vote-by-vote recount being echoed at demonstrations in Sydney and Melbourne.


At a protest in Sydney, Carolina Velasquez says there are a number of Venezuelans-Australians who do not recognise Nicolas Maduro as the legitimate President of Venezuela.


“We want people to know that there’s a big community that is against what is going on Venezuela. We do not agree with the violent days that we’ve had in the last few days. And we don’t recognise Maduro as a president. We want 100 percent of the recount of the votes back home.”


Also at the Sydney protest, Samantha Cerna says there is a need for a full manual recount because of concerns over electoral breaches.


“This is important to us because there were several irregularities in the process – human rights violations. There were votes that were not secret. And on top of that, the margin of difference was really close. So we believe we’re entitled to a full recount to a 100 per cent of the votes.”


Venezuela’s National Electoral Council says it will electronically audit machines that were not checked immediately after Sunday’s vote.


But it rejects the opposition’s claim of irregularities.


Alfonz De Gill from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network says he believes Mr Maduro is the rightful winner of the election and no recount is necessary.


“This (Maduro) government is a democratic government and has been elected by the people. And as such the institutions decide the election has been a good one and a democratic one – it has to be respected. And we would like the Australian government to support that and congratulate Mr Maduro.”


Opposition leader Henrique Capriles has called for a full manual recount.


But the Supreme Court says that’s impossible.


Opposition spokesman Carlos Oscari says a recount is needed to ease rising political tensions.


“What we’re asking for is really simple. We are asking for is for everyone, and we’re confident that more than 80 percent of Venezuelans on either side agree. We will see what happens in the process, we will have a vote-by-vote recount, let’s review it. Whatever the outcome, Venezuelans will be confident over what happened on April 14 and, of course, this eases the political crisis that exists at the moment.”


Meanwhile, President-elect Nicolas Maduro has accused accused Mr Caprilles of planning a coup.


The authorities say they have detained dozens of people and have placed under investigation a group of military officers suspected of plotting with the Opposition supporters.


Mr Maduro says he will be discussing the alleged coup attempt during a visit to Peru for a special session of the Union of South American Nations in Peru.


“We’re going to the presidential summit convened by Union of South American Nations to demonstrate again for the capital for action, their political capacity, when faced with the threat of violence and a coup in Venezuela. We will directly inform them of the events that our country has experienced in recent hours, in recent days, as we defeat this coup.”


Mr Capriles said in a Twitter message that he too was considering attending the Peru meeting, adding that he had been in conversation with several leaders.


Countries including Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Argentina have recognised Mr Maduro’s victory, but so far, the United States has not.


Bolivian President Evo Morales condemned the US position, saying it had no right to question Mr Maduro’s victory because George W. Bush won the presidency by a similarly narrow margin in 2004.


“President Bush won with 50.7 percent of the vote and did anyone ask for a recount of votes? He won by a minimal margin. And now the U.S. government asks for a recount in Venezuela. It’s flagrant meddling and we are not going to allow it. For this reason, all the Latin American presidents are meeting to reject this.”


Most of the leaders at the regional summit in Peru will head to Venezuela for the swearing-in ceremony after the meeting.


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An “exceptional” run of jackpots last financial year significantly boosted the earnings of Tatts Group’s lotteries business.


Tatts, which also operates a wagering business and gaming machine monitoring services, says its lotteries business grew revenue by 14 per cent in the 2012/13 financial year, the highlight of a strong trading performance.

“The jackpot run in FY13 (financial year 2012/13) played in our favour, with 39 jackpots at or above $15 million in the year compared with 22 in FY12,” Tatts said on Thursday.

Powerball and Oz Lotto were the standout games for the year.

Powerball was changed during the year to produce more jackpots and increase the number of winners.

Tatts made a net profit of $247.3 million in 2012/13, down 22.5 per cent on the previous year due to the loss of Tatts’ licence to operate poker machines in Victoria in August 2012.

The group has had a positive start to the new financial year, with the first month of trading comfortably ahead of July in 2012.

Lotteries has had an excellent start, but wagering was a little more subdued due to the weather and a run of wins by favourites in the major football codes.

Managing director Robbie Cooke said Tatts was looking to boost online demand for its products in both lotteries and wagering.

“This is seen as one of the more significant marketing opportunities for the group,” he said.

In the 2012/13 financial year, profit from Tatts’ continuing businesses rose 41 per cent to $227.4 million.

Revenue from the wagering division rose five per cent, due to the first full year contribution from the recently acquired Tote Tasmania, and the increasing popularity of fixed odds betting.

Mr Cooke said 2012/13 had been an outstanding year for Tatts, with its continuing operations performing ahead of expectations.

Tatts shares were up four cents at $3.21 at 1522 AEST.

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