Death tragedy after polling booth fall



A GRIEVING family is desperately searching for answers about how a wheelchair-bound woman could have fallen from a ramp outside an election polling booth in Hobart’s northern suburbs, resulting in her tragic death.

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What is Australia's plan for the resumption of travel with India?




Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the government’s plan to resume travel between India and Australia from May 15.

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Tiwi Islands football grand final and art sale to go ahead in 2021 after COVID shutdowns


The annual day when the outside world spills into Australia’s remote Tiwi Islands for a local football grand final and art sale will return in 2021 — a year on from when the coronavirus outbreak triggered a snap shutdown of the Tiwis.

A ring fence was put up around the islands last year when, due to coronavirus precautions, Tiwi leadership restricted outside access to the famous cultural event that typically attracts thousands of tourists from around Australia.

But with the current suppression of coronavirus across Australia, Tiwi Land Council chief executive Andrew Tipungwuti said tourists would be welcome on the islands for the Sunday, March 21 showcase.

“There is no decision to axe the Tiwi grand final and art sale, that will go ahead as planned,” Mr Tipungwuti said.

“The communities are quite adamant that we need visitors back to the Tiwis to get our economy going. We are very proud we are going to continue with our grand final later this year, so let’s hope that nothing gets in the way of progress.”

However, Mr Tipungwuti said a coronavirus outbreak prior to the day could force the island’s leadership to consider restricting access to the Tiwis.

The island’s predominantly Aboriginal population of about 2,500 people is considered by health experts to be at high risk if coronavirus were to reach local communities.

“Certainly, we remain aware of the possibility of a second wave of COVID because our community safety is paramount,” Mr Tipungwuti said.

“Unfortunately, last year we missed out on having tourists, and at last-minute notice. The concern was if this virus got into our community we would be digging mass graves.

“Whatever decision we make, we are working with government closely and we do take the advice of the Chief Health Officer of the Northern Territory.”

Mr Tipungwuti said the Tiwi Land Council had been given no indication visitors posed a risk to the islands, but urged visitors who were planning on travelling for the day to remain vigilant to symptoms, sanitation practices and physical distancing.

“Common sense prevails: if you’re feeling crook, don’t go,” he said.

Mr Tipungwuti added that he was confident in the COVID-19 protocols of air and sea travel operators who would be ferrying tourists to the Tiwi community of Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island for the day.

Art centres prepped for mainland influx

The Tiwi grand final and art sale is — in a normal year — one of the most significant days of trade for the major art centres on the Tiwis.

These centres, including Tiwi Designs, Jilamara and Munupi, produce art from some of Australia’s most culturally significant artists.

Tiwi art work sits in an art centre.
Tiwi artists increase their production in the lead up to the art sale to satisfy large demand from travellers.(

ABC News: Robert Baird

)

Art centres are already preparing for big sales on the day, with 2020 restrictions having hit their coffers hard — a hit made more painful by the postponement of the event in 2018 due to Cyclone Marcus.

“We’re all getting ready here and everyone is producing work for March 21 to have a face-to-face art sale and footy final,” said Steve Anderson, manager at Tiwi Designs.

“It’s all guns blazing.”

Hannah Raisin, the manager of the Milikapiti-based Jilamara Arts, said the day would offer both excitement and relief for the art community after missing out in 2020.

“Everyone here and all the artists that would be travelling for the event are really hoping to catch up with friends and visitors who have been coming for many years,” she said.

“It’s also a chance to meet new people who have recently discovered Tiwi art and for artists to share their work and culture with visitors.”

Footy final a rare glimpse of Tiwi brilliance

Most travellers who shuffle off boats and ferries at Wurrumiyanga and spill into art centres will typically, by the end of the day, end up among the thousands lining the fences of Tiwi oval watching an exhilarating brand of Australian Rules football.

Passionate Tapalinga Superstars supporters still hopeful that the team would win the Grand Final.
The exciting brand of football on Tiwi always has spectators on the edge of their seats.(

Supplied: Tiffany Parker

)

When the local Tiwi Island Football League grand final kicks off, spectators are treated to a snapshot of the skills and talent of Australia’s most gifted footballers — a group that includes stars such as Maurice Rioli, Cyril Rioli, Daniel Rioli, Austin Wonaeamirri and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti.

The 2021 grand final could see a cross-island clash between the undefeated Imalu Tigers from Melville Island and the currently second-placed Walama Bulldogs out of Bathurst Island.

But the coach of the fourth-placed Taracumbi Magpies, Connell Tipiloura, is hoping his team can defy its ladder position and make a late run to the grand final.

“Come over and watch the grand final,” said Tipiloura, a three-time Tiwi grand final winner.

“I would love to have a big crowd come and spectate.”

Last year’s Tiwi grand final, which marked half a century of the Tiwi Islands Football League, was won by the Ranku Eagles over the Tapalinga Superstars in front of local crowds.

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Good morning, Alice Springs – Alice Springs News


Alice to get more internet speed

Alice Springs and close-by suburbs Araluen, Braitling, Ciccone, Desert Springs, East Side, Gillen, Ilparpa, Larapinta, Ross, Sadadeen and The Gap are getting “ultrafast internet…

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Rio police face fury, calls for probe after bloody raid


Police in Brazil faced outraged protests and a UN call for an investigation Friday after a raid on a Rio de Janeiro favela left 25 people dead — some reportedly killed in cold blood.

“Stop killing us!” said hundreds of protesters from the impoverished neighborhood of Jacarezinho, who marched outside police headquarters accusing officers of perpetrating a “massacre.”

“We’re here to ask for justice for this unjustifiable massacre.”

Police said the operation targeted a drug gang that was recruiting children and teenagers. It turned the northern neighborhood into a war zone Thursday morning, leaving streets strewn with corpses and pools of blood.

The other 24 dead were “criminals,” according to police — who now face mounting calls to prove that, as well as questions on why they were killed rather than arrested.

“We remind the Brazilian authorities that the use of force should be applied only when strictly necessary,” he said.

Residents described a heavy firefight, and aerial TV footage from the raid showed armed men on rooftops passing what looked like high-powered rifles from hand to hand.

– ‘They executed him’ –

One resident told AFP a wounded young man fled into her home, only for police to follow his blood tracks up the stairs to her second-floor apartment.

“They didn’t even give him time to say anything.”

Dos Santos, who worked in construction and at a pizzeria, was not involved in crime, she said.

Then police “came right up to him and executed him,” she said.

He left behind a newborn son, she said.

Bolsonaro’s camp was quick to rally around the police.

“They were all bad guys,” said Vice President Hamilton Mourao, an army general, referring to the 24 killed.

“There’s a police officer murdered, and they defend the murderers,” he wrote on Twitter.

Last year, 1,245 people were killed by police in Rio de Janeiro state — more, for example, than the 1,127 such cases across the entire United States.

“When the police leave, the gangs aren’t weaker. The traffickers just get more guns and come back more powerful than before,” said Silvia Ramos, head of the Security Observatory at Candido Mendes University.

bur-jhb/ft

Originally published as Rio police face fury, calls for probe after bloody raid

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Howard Springs prepares for travel from India to resume



This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

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Public Accounts Committee sheds members in surprise Northern Territory government motion



The Northern Territory opposition has accused Labor of further “eroding” parliamentary scrutiny after it downsized the committee tasked with examining government spending.

The NT government yesterday voted to shrink the Public Accounts Committee from seven members to five.

Leader of Government Business Natasha Fyles introduced the motion without notice on a day in which the government came under sustained questioning over its standards of transparency and staff behaviour.

She also removed Blain MLA Mark Turner from several parliamentary committees following his expulsion from the Labor caucus last week.

Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro said the government was making another attempt to avoid accountability after it last year scrapped the Legislation Scrutiny Committee — a mechanism it introduced after winning government on a platform of openness and transparency in 2016.

“This is an absolute disgrace,” Ms Finocchiaro said.

“Not only have we not been notified by the government of their intention to further cut scrutiny and erode the ability of opposition and independent members to engage in the scrutiny of government, but we see us ambushed by stealth.”

It means the Public Accounts Committee — which was comprised of four government MLAs, two opposition MLAs and one independent — will now have three government MLAs and two non-government MLAs.

Ms Fyles defended the move as a “straightforward and procedural” motion.

“It is tradition for the government to have majority on the Public Accounts Committee, that is all this motion is about,” Ms Fyles said.

“All we have is a government desperate at every single turn to do anything it can to stop anyone from shining a light on what it is they’re doing,” Ms Finocchiaro said.

“This government will turn a blind eye to anything and everything it can that gets in the way of it ruling with impunity.”

The Public Accounts Committee was recently asked to investigate a government deal that saw a Darwin business walk away with money and land in an attempt to solve a “particularly tricky” zoning issue.

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Netball: Even contest after splitting team


By STEVE MENZIES

Splitting the eight KFC Alice Springs Netball Association team into two divisions has the potential for four even contests in this age group every afternoon for the rest of the season.

It begins on Saturday.

Some teams in the age group are made up of players at the top end of the age range while others are coming up from the 15s.

Giants Bark’n’Bath, Federal Red, Wests LinkUp and Seasons ASYASS are in Division 1 with Rovers Ravens, Rovers Raptors, Sundowners Elders Insurance and Neata Glass Giants in Division 2.

Three of the games will be at 1.30pm and the other at 4.30pm. Throw in the KFC A-Grade game at 3pm and it is an afternoon full of free entertainment.

Giants Bark’n’Bath are undefeated through the first six rounds and will play Seasons ASYASS, with four wins from its six games, from 1.30pm.

The other games at 1.30pm are Federal Red against Wests LinkUp and the two Rovers Division 2 sides. Sundowners Elders Insurance will play the winless Neata Glass Giants in the 4.30pm game.

Giants Bark’n’Bath has conceded the least goals of the four teams in Division 1 and this will give it favouritism in the game against Seasons.

But it has only scored 17 more goals so it is likely to be a close contest.

Federal has been the highest scoring team in the first six rounds and while it has conceded more goals than Wests it will go into this game as favourite.

Games between sister teams always have the added attraction of inter-club rivalry and Saturday’s clash between Rovers Ravens and Raptors will have plenty of this.

Sundowners players will be keen to record their second win for the season to keep ahead of Neata Glass Giants.

But Giants players will be just as keen to score their first win.

Molly Southam, and her Rovers Complete Construction KFC A-Grade team, will hope her good form from the weekend’s NT Link Championship continues.

Throw in another young in-form player from the weekend in Lucy Nicolai, Lauren Parai and Wendy Stafford and Rovers has too much attacking power for Wests Gillen Club in their game from 3pm.

Wests’ captain Katie Hannah will have the big job of not only stopping the Rovers’ centre court but starting her team’s attacks.

While her team is improving the longer it spends as a group, it has a long way to go to catch Rovers.

Wests has shown tenacity in fighting games to the end but it has not won yet this season and will not open the ledger against Rovers on Saturday.

Federal Club Eastside KFC A-Grade team will play Wests Epilogue A-reserves team from 4.30pm.

Games begin at the Pat Gallagher Netball Centre at 9am with the 8-and-under and the 10-and-under grades and are non-stop until 5.45pm.

There plenty of parking space available across Undoolya Road if the carpark at the courts is full. There is no need to park on the yellow lines on roads in the area and risk fines.

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Mask, dancing, visitor restrictions after new Sydney COVID case



New South Wales has recorded another community transmission case of COVID after the wife of an infected man aged in his 50s also tested positive.

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Darwin Port lease to Chinese company should be reviewed: Former PM


Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the federal government should conduct a national security review of the Darwin Port lease to a Chinese company. Jano Gibson reports.

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