Another tragic accident took place as a car crashed into the waters of Wyaralong Dam, near Beaudesert in South-east Queensland. Sadly, two children, aged 5 and 13 have died.
As of now, two adults, along with a six-month-old baby and a one-year-old toddler, are in hospital; with the toddler fighting for his life. All of them are from the same family.
Douglas McDonald, Queensland Police Inspector revealed that the family were in a Land Rover Discovery when it crossed onto the wrong side of the road and broke through a road barrier. As they rolled down an embankment, their car ended up on its roof in the dam.
Two off-duty doctors and a critical care paramedic, who were on a day off, were passers-by who helped pull people out of the submerged car. “It’s a tragic and confronting scene,” Inspector Douglas said.
“It was fantastic work by the passers-by to help rescue the occupants. Their actions were pivotal in making sure this wasn’t worse.” The Inspector added.
Soon after, three rescue helicopters and more than a dozen emergency vehicles attended the incident. One police vehicle flipped as it rushed to the scene, yet no officers were hurt.
The two adults both suffered leg injuries and were transported to the Princess Alexandra Hospital by road. The one-year-old, on the other hand, had to be sedated before being flown to hospital, having become agitated after receiving CPR.
“The six-month-old was removed from the water. There was no CPR done on that little one and they were conscious the whole time,” Mark Nugent, a senior operations supervisor from the Queensland Ambulance Service stated.
At this stage, the vehicle is still submerged as police divers are attending. Hence, the police revealed to close the road until at least 8:00 PM.
As Dominic Perrottet prepares to hand down his fourth budget tomorrow, the Treasurer is forecasting the Government’s stimulus measures will put 270,000 people back in work by 2024.
The current unemployment rate in NSW is 7.2 per cent, which is expected to increase and peak at 7.5 per cent in the December quarter.
The Treasury predicts the rate will drop to 5.25 per cent in June 2024, but that does not return it to the pre-COVID rate of 4.4 per cent.
Mr Perrottet said creating jobs would be a focus of tomorrow’s budget.
“We will continue to lead the way in job creation and supporting business through the 2020-21 Budget,” Mr Perrottet said.
The debt position that will come as a result — understood to be in the tens of billions of dollars — will not be revealed by the Treasurer until tomorrow.
Elderly man injured in paragliding accident
A 91-year-old man has walked away with only minor cuts and bruises after his paraglider crashed into the ocean on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Emergency services were called to a cliff face near Warriewood Surf Club shortly before 6:00pm after reports the aircraft has crashed.
The man was able to get himself out of the water and was assisted by emergency services up onto the rock shelf.
He spent the night in Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital in a stable condition.
Fatal stabbing in Toongabbie
A man has died after being stabbed in Sydney’s west overnight.
The 49-year-old was found by emergency services outside a house in Toongabbie with multiple stab wounds to his chest.
He died at the scene and a report will be prepared for the coroner.
Police from the Homicide Squad are assisting the investigation.
Qantas celebrates 100 years in the skies
Despite many of its aircraft being grounded, Australian airline Qantas is today celebrating 100 years of operations.
What began as a Queensland based two-plane mail service has now grown to a global venture, usually flying more than 50 million passengers around the world every year.
But with just a select few domestic routes still open in the pandemic, thousands of staff remain stood down.
The airline is expected to hold a subdued reception today, to thank staff and mark the company’s major milestone.
Free mental health support after bushfires
All Australian first responders, and their family members, who faced horror bushfires last season are being offered specialist mental health support for free.
The program is being funded by the Federal Government and will be delivered by the Black Dog Institute and University of New South Wales’ PTSD, anxiety and stress clinics.
“We have got to make sure they [first responders] are fit and functional to be able to do that job this summer, and next summer and the summer after,” the Black Dog Institute’s chief psychiatrist Sam Harvey said.
“So the message we are trying to get out there is, it’s okay to ask for help, there’s lots of different kinds of help you can get.”
Under the program, people will get up to 12 one-on-one sessions with experts, and options to tailor how they receive help, including confidential online mental health assessments.
It’s an image that’s haunted Dr Norman Swan for years.
Bicycle helmets hanging on a wall in a shop in Italy where he hired a couple of bikes during a family holiday in 2016.
His then wife was seriously ill with heart disease and couldn’t walk far, so they’d decided to hire bikes, including an electric one, for the short trip across a carpark to the beach.
“I remember looking at the helmets on the wall thinking ‘should I get a helmet?'” recalls Swan.
“But I thought ‘we’re not going on the open road, we’re just going through a carpark’, but I should have got a helmet.
“In the months and years following, the recurrent vision for me was those helmets on the wall.”
Swan’s adult daughter, Anna, had been keen to try out the electric bike with her husband Mark and headed up a hill safely away from traffic, but on the way down she lost control and slammed into a wall at 60 kilometres an hour.
Swan didn’t witness the accident but was on the scene soon after as the ambulance arrived.
“It was appalling,” he says.
“She looked terrible, she did look as if she was going to die there and then and we had no idea what was going to happen.
“She suffered major head injuries and other injuries to her body, was in a coma for three weeks and was in hospital for seven and a half months.”
Four years on, Anna has made a remarkable recovery and while she reassures him he’s not to blame, Swan says the accident traumatised him and he’s experienced mild PTSD that he’s only now starting to get over.
The Scottish-born physician and journalist’s entire career has been focussed on educating the public about health and he’s keen to share his personal experience of dealing with trauma in the hope it might help others confronting a crisis.
“There’s nothing shameful about it if you do feel overwhelmed but some people think that if you hold it in to cope with it, it’s a bad thing for you psychologically, that you should let it out, but in fact there’s no evidence for that and there’s a lot of evidence that if you manage to keep your so-called shit wired tight it’s a good thing for you and everybody around you.
“Later that day, I phoned a very close friend of mine in Glasgow who is a Professor of Psychology to tell her about the accident and she reminded me of that same phrase.
“The time for talking is later and intuitively that’s what I did and it’s actually what most people do in a crisis.
“They cope, and they cope well.
“Some people are left with trauma and if that trauma interferes with their life they need to ask for help, with no fear of stigma, but in the moment of the crisis most people keep their shit wired tight and it’s good advice in a crisis.”
The coronavirus question that stopped Swan’s world
It could be an appropriate slogan for 2020, which has felt, for many of us, like an unrelenting, year-long crisis.
Throughout, Dr Norman Swan has been the face of the ABC’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic across multiple programs and platforms — The Health Report on RN, that he’s produced and presented for 25 years, ABC News, 7.30, local radio and the daily Coronacast podcast (the brainchild of ABC News Audio Current Affairs head Tanya Nolan, co-hosted by health journalist Tegan Taylor, who, like Swan, is based in the ABC Science unit, and produced by Will Ockenden).
It’s been hugely popular — becoming the biggest ABC digital-first podcast — and fielded thousands of questions from the public.
On air, Swan has tried to be a calm, reassuring voice during frightening and unpredictable times but questions from children, and in particular an eight-year-old boy on Melbourne radio, have rocked him.
“My world stopped at that point, realising what impact this was having on kids and what was happening in their imaginary worlds that they probably weren’t sharing with their parents,” he says.
“When you’re on air answering questions, you’re hyped up and things are moving fast but suddenly the only thing that mattered was this little boy.
“I found out a bit more about him, and I said, ‘Well, here’s the story, Huck, you and your sister are going to be fine because if kids get it they don’t get it badly, and your mum and dad are going to be fine too, because they’re pretty young.
“Your grandma and grandpa might be the ones who could be at risk and you have just got to be really careful with them and you may not be able to visit them quite as much, but as long as they stay at home and look after themselves, they’ll be fine too.
“So, it’s the questions from kids that stay with me.”
In an attempt to help kids through it, Swan encouraged them to express their fears through art and got the idea which ended up being the Together In Art Kids project with the Art Gallery of NSW.
‘Sometimes it keeps me up at night’
You could say this is the story he’s waited his whole career for, having long had an interest in new diseases and pandemics.
In the early 90s, as the world grappled with the HIV epidemic, Swan produced a four-part internationally broadcast TV series, variously called ‘Plagued’ and ‘Invisible Enemies’, investigating the very scenario we are dealing with now.
“I was inadvertently prepared for COVID-19,” he says.
“I’ve always been interested in pandemics, where they come from, how they arise, and the key feature which really fascinates me is that the biology of the bug is the least of it.
“Everyone gets really obsessed with the biology of the bug because they want to know if they are infected, they want to know the reproduction number and the mortality rate.
“All those things are really important, but what’s far more important is how it’s been caused and how we can solve it.
“There’s never been a pandemic which hasn’t exploited a change in the way we live — politics, social structure, technological change, warfare, it’s always something that we humans have done or are doing that’s tilled the soil for the pandemic and the solution to it is usually social, behavioural and political.
“COVID-19 is not the first pandemic and it won’t be the last.
“We’ve got no vaccine for HIV and we’re lucky this time that we’ve got some vaccines that are being produced but that won’t always be the case.”
It was in early January, while on holidays, that reports of a new coronavirus emerging in China first grabbed his attention and he emailed colleagues at the ABC advising them to monitor it.
In the months that followed, as cases soared, and governments and public health experts scrambled to slow the spread, the reality of what the world was facing hit home.
“I remember going out for dinner with friends knowing that a lockdown was going to happen in the next few days and I was looking around the dinner table, they’re all bright, intelligent people, and I thought ‘you poor bastards, you’ve got no idea what’s about to happen’,” Swan says.
“I have often wondered what it was like to be in the trenches during war, knowing that tomorrow morning you have got to go over the top and that you might die and what a surreal feeling, in addition to fear, that might be.
“I felt like you can’t believe this is what you’re living through.
“And I knew exactly what we were going to be living through and so did public health experts who knew what they were talking about.
A ‘treasure’ and the ‘Nation’s Daddy’
As the coronavirus crisis has unfolded, Swan’s public profile has grown significantly.
His Twitter following has soared, there’ve been social media calls for him to be the Chief Medical Officer and a flurry of concern when he revealed he was unwell and going for a COVID-19 test (which was negative).
“It was another of those surreal experiences, that your wee boy is interviewing the President of the United States and it wasn’t the first time he’d done it,” he says.
“We had discussed the interview before he did it, but it was more vicarious on my part.
“And the reaction afterwards was even more surreal, really weird, but it was a similar feeling to coronavirus where you’re attached a world event and just watching it unfold before your eyes.”
Swans says he’s been surprised by all the public attention he’s attracted and it’s not something he covets.
“I try to ignore it completely,” he says.
“But I don’t take it seriously, it’s ephemeral and you’re only as good as your last broadcast.”
At times Swan has been at odds with official advice and has attracted criticism over his questioning of whether governments and public health advisers were moving fast enough in the early stages of the pandemic.
Recognising Swan’s influence, at one point a Government representative rang ABC News director Gaven Morris to ask if Swan had access to all of the latest information its own medical experts were getting.
As a result of that, Swan had phone conversation with then federal Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy.
He stands by his reporting and feels a heavy weight of responsibility in his role.
“I’ve had a long career at the ABC translating complicated information into stories that people who don’t necessarily have detailed specialist knowledge can understand,” says Swan.
“And [when the pandemic started] I and my Coronacast colleagues walked into a vacuum of knowledge, information and science and told it as it was, using evidence and using a wide range of experts and holding people to account which is what journalists do, that’s our responsibility to Australians.
“You don’t abuse that trust.
“We’ve made a few mistakes but always corrected our errors very quickly.
“I learnt early on that what I said was having an impact when a friend getting physiotherapy said hydrotherapy sessions had been stopped and they were blaming me because I’d told people not to go to swimming pools, which I never said, it had been taken out of context.
“I’ve had this feeling before when I’ve done investigative stories, you always worry about what have you got wrong?
“And most investigative journalists would say that’s what keeps them up at night.
“When I’m out there and I’m one of the few people saying what I’m saying, even though I’m confident of the data, I’m confident in the information or the expert, you can’t help but be a bit rattled but you’ve just got to calm yourself down and get on with it.”
How Norman Swirsky became a Swan
Dr Norman Swan was born Norman Swirsky in Glasgow, Scotland in 1953.
His Jewish grandparents had fled pogroms in Russia and settled in the slum area of Glasgow.
Swan recalls experiencing some anti-Semitism during his childhood and a scarring experience was his family being plunged into poverty when the business his father and grandfather ran went bankrupt.
“My grandfather and my father had a second-hand car yard and garage and a lot of their customers were Jewish.
“This was the post-war years in Glasgow and my grandfather’s name was Sam Swirsky and he called it SS Motors!
“That’s how ‘good’ my grandfather and father were as marketers.
“Needless to say they went bankrupt and we lived in poverty for quite some time.
“My father couldn’t get work and decided to change his name to Swan and got a job the next week — maybe, it was a coincidence, I don’t know.
“But it had a huge impact on me and I’ve always had a fear of losing everything.”
He wanted to be an actor, but that career choice wouldn’t fly with a Jewish mother keen to see her son be a doctor.
Swan studied medicine while acting and directing at university.
The stage continued to beckon until an audition with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art went so badly — “embarrassing and amateurish because I forgot my lines” is how he remembers it — that he surrendered the dream.
He trained in paediatrics, but a kind of mid-life crisis in his 20s propelled Swan to Australia, where he worked at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in Sydney.
Still unsettled, he took some time off to write articles about health and just as he was about to return to full-time medicine in 1982 he saw a newspaper ad for a job at the ABC.
“I spent a lot of time, a week actually, writing the application and I ended up getting it, to my amazement.”
Exposing a scientific scandal
As well as presenting and producing health programs, Swan also ran Radio National for three years in the 1990s — transforming the network, creating RN Breakfast and Life Matters, strengthening Arts coverage and hiring broadcasters Phillip Adams and Geraldine Doogue to boost the audience.
Over four decades, Swan has won numerous awards — three Walkleys, including journalism’s highest honour, the Gold Walkley, two Michael Daly awards for Science Journalism and in 2004 he was awarded the prestigious Medal of the Australian Academy of Science.
The story that won him the Gold Walkley was an investigation into research conducted by Australian obstetrician William McBride, who was credited with blowing the whistle on the dangers of the drug thalidomide in the 1960s.
It led to McBride being found guilty of scientific fraud, struck off and reforms in the governance of Australian scientific research.
McBride was regarded as a national hero and Swan endured some ugly blowback.
“It took years of research to get the story up, slowly getting all the evidence together,” he says.
“It was difficult emotionally because McBride’s family would be hurt by the story, but it was an important story to tell.
Around his coronavirus coverage, Swan is currently writing a health book for millennials as a kind of “occupational therapy”.
As his “crazy, non-stop, all consuming” year comes to an end, he warns the COVID-19 story is far from finished and he’ll be reporting on it for quite a while yet.
“Where we are [in Australia] is amazing, it’s a world-beating achievement, but the risk is we become complacent.
“I think we can be optimistic, I think there will be a vaccine, if not more than one, and we should be able to keep outbreaks under control.
So, next year should be better but it may be this time next year before non-COVID normality returns because this virus is going to be with us for eternity, it’s never going to go away.”
Former Collingwood recruiter Matt Rendell has run his eye over how Richmond built their premiership forward line, saying a lot of the pieces fell into place for them.
Looking at their small forwards, the veteran recruiter believes the Tigers got a bit lucky, but also took a punt on some players who they have then developed well.
“Richmond’s (forward line) was (built) by accident, wasn’t it?” Rendell told AFL Trade Radio.
“In 2017 they had Jack Riewoldt and a bunch of small fellas in the forward line and they’re just rushing it in there and hoping Jack can compete, the ball hits the ground and the little fellas go to work, but they didn’t know how good they were.
“Jason Castagna was pick 29 in the rookie draft and had the worst kick in the whole draft, they pick up obviously Daniel Rioli at pick 15, he played one game for the year on the MCG before the Grand Final and killed it, Kane Lambert through the VFL and Shai Bolton at pick 29 and we were pick 30 at Collingwood and we were desperate to get him and god they picked him before us.
“So they sort of fluked that small forward line and they won a flag with it.
“I used to see (Richmond assistant coach) Justin Leppitsch on the train sometimes going to work, he used to say to me ‘don’t get any more key forwards, I just want the little fellas in the forward line’.
“Liam Baker was more an on-baller/forward and he’s ended up being a defender. Jayden Short was a winger/forward and has ended up in defence. They’ve got Jack Higgins who can’t get a game and is probably going to go out.
“So, they’ve picked a few in the last few years to suit the way they play. There is a bit in that, but you’ve got to love what they’ve been able to do.”
Richmond’s speed and chaos ball movement has become a key part of their premiership success and would not have been possible without their depth of speedy forward options.
The Pies would take Sam McLarty at pick 30 after missing out on Bolton.
Critical Care Paramedic Denis O’Sullivan details the injuries sustained to a 19 year old woman when she fell from an amusement ride at the Cairns Showgrounds – 24/10/2020 VIDEO: BRENDAN RADKE – CAIRNS POST
Her mother said she had an “amazing, determined, resilient little spirit”.
“Abby lost her left foot and leg up to the middle of her calf, endured plastic reconstructive surgery, has significant soft tissue injuries to recover from, and is fighting bacterial and fungal infections from her wounds,” she wrote on a GoFundMe page.
Her mum also said she faces ongoing issues, including requiring medications, and “will need many prosthetic leg fittings over the course of the next 15+ years, or until she’s done growing”.
“As the bones in her amputated leg grow, it’s likely the skin won’t stretch fast enough to keep up, so she’s expected to go through many procedures to ‘shorten the bone’ as she grows,” she said.
The mum said the horrific accident was also witnessed by Abigail’s older sister Alexa. She said she hopes Alexa will soon begin counselling to help her understand the accident.
Defending AFL premiers Richmond will head into Friday’s qualifying final mourning former general manager Richard Doggett.
The 72-year-old died in an accident on his macadamia farm at Numulgi, north of Lismore, northern New South Wales.
The Tigers will wear black armbands as they start their finals campaign on Friday night against the Brisbane Lions, as a tribute to their 1980 premiership boss and his family.
Mr Doggett’s death came two days before the club celebrated the 40th anniversary of the grand final victory over Collingwood.
Police have declined to release details of Mr Doggett’s death on Friday, saying only that a report would be prepared for the coroner.
Tigers chief executive Brendon Gale said Mr Doggett’s death was a shock and a tragedy.
He had left the Tasmanian Football League to join Richmond as the marketing manager in 1978 before taking on the top job in 1979.
“It was the culmination of a golden era at Richmond,” Mr Gale said.
“They’d won five premierships in 13 years and the club was extremely successful and powerful both on the field and off the field, so Richard was running the club during the tail end of that period.”
Mr Doggett left the club in 1980 to pursue other interests, including working with billionaire Richard Pratt and Queensland Rugby League, before returning to the position in 1986 until 1988.
“The second period was a period when a great club, a very powerful club, was in decline and that created rifts in the club and at one stage a lot of players left, there were I think 37 pieces of litigation, the club had financial difficulties,” Mr Gale said.
“The club was in a period of decline, Alan Bond had just become president, it was a tumultuous time and it required all Mr Doggett’s experience and his capability to work his way through that difficult time, so two really important stints and at different ends of the spectrum.”
Macadamia industry remembers great ambassador
The Australian macadamia industry has also paid tribute to the chair of its peak body following Mr Doggett’s sudden death.
Mr Doggett served on the board of the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) for a decade, six of those leading it.
Its chief executive officer, Jolyon Burnett, said Mr Doggett made a considerable contribution to the industry.
“Over the time that Richard’s been chair the membership of the AMS has grown, the financial security of the AMS has grown, but perhaps more importantly than both of the those things, I think, the prosperity and the regard in which the industry is held has grown.
“A lot of that is due to Richard’s commitment, his personality, his always looking for the good in people and the opportunity in events.”
Before moving to his farm at Numulgi nearly 20 years ago, Mr Doggett — who hailed from the UK — worked in numerous and varied jobs.
“I mean it’s really an opportunity for a celebration of a life lived to the fullest,” Mr Burnett said.
“He did enjoy growing things. He didn’t have a lot of trees by industry standards, but I think he took the same pride in seeing them grow and produce as all farmers do in their produce.”
Mr Burnett said Mr Doggett was a steadying influence in his own role.
“Richard’s counsel was always considered and careful and I think made me a better CEO over the time I worked with him as chair,” he said.
“It has been comforting to see how many people and from such a wide range of roles in the industry and outside the industry have sent their condolences and their sympathies. He left lifelong friends in every industry and endeavour he took up.
“Richmond Tigers have been particularly profuse in their praise of Richard and their memories of him, but from the Casino and all of his past endeavours we’ve had messages of condolences and grief, and from many of his friends overseas.
Condolence messages have flown in from the macadamia industries in China, Brazil, Malawi, South Africa and Hawaii.