Heathrow passenger numbers fall to 1970s' levels

Covid “devastated” air travel in 2020, the UK’s largest airport says, as it sinks to a £2bn loss.

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Mayor calls on CHO to boost numbers for Mocktail event

There are fears some students may not be able to attend Mackay’s iconic Mocktail event next month because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson has written to Queensland’s chief health officer Jeannette Young asking her to step in to allow all students to attend.

Cr Williamson said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s decision to allow Anzac Day to go ahead as normal should extend to other significant community events.

Established in 1991 as an alcohol and drug free party, The Mocktail is a tradition senior high school students across the Mackay and Whitsundays look forward to each year at Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre.

“We usually have 1100 or more students in the MECC and it’s one of those rite of passage events that senior students look forward to,” Cr Williamson said.

“With the COVID-19 planning issues this year, we can only fit 750 plus another 50 (chaperones) in the MECC.

“I wrote to Dr Jeannette Young last week and said ‘this is what usually happens, it’s a great event for the students, can we raise the level of the 800 total to get an extra 200-odd students in’?”

“She’s come back and said she’ll have a look at it.

“If Anzac Day can go ahead with no restrictions at all, The Mocktail event should be able to go ahead on March 12 providing we have contact tracing for everyone coming in.”

Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson. Picture: Heidi Petith


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The Daily Mercury understands the event organiser has submitted a COVID-safe management plan and the initial proposed floor plan only met the requirements for 700 people.

Mackay Regional Council has since worked with the event organiser to redesign the floor plans and providing the new layout is acceptable to the event organiser, they will receive approval for attendance of 1179.

It is understood the public health unit will likely approve the event once the organisers resubmit the application as requested.

Cr Williamson said he hoped a solution could be found so all students could attend.

“(If not) the schools are going to have to make that difficult decision and say ‘well you can go and you can’t’ – That’s really terrible,” he said.

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Kaiser tables lovely set of numbers in Victoria

Kaiser Reef has returned some pulse quickening high-grade gold intercepts from its wholly-owned A1 gold mine in Victoria’s high-country, with the underground drill turning out a stunning 12.1 metres at 24.26 grams per tonne gold, including 5m at 44.30 g/t gold from only 20m off the access drive. The impressive result comes from the high-grade Queens Lode which the company is looking to bring into the mining schedule over the course of 2021.

The company is currently undertaking a 4,000m program of development drilling through the A1 mine, aimed at rapidly proving up the Queens Lode which is a prime target for mechanised mining. Kaiser is currently extracting moderate tonnages of ore via air-leg mining on the A1 Dyke, which is providing high-grade feed to Kaiser’s mill at Maldon.

Drilling shows the Queens Lode is geologically similar to the A1 Dyke, which is a highly-fractured and mineralised bulge in an intrusive dioritic dyke. Historically, the A1 Dyke has produced more than 600,000 ounces of gold, making the Queens Lode an enticing target for ongoing production.

The company says it will focus its efforts now on drilling the altered and sulphidic mineralisation within the Queens Lode and has set about delineating the strike length of the target, in addition to determining its overall width and vertical extents in preparation for resource estimation. Additional results from the current drilling program include 1m at 13.49 g/t gold from only 11m and 1.8m at 11.62 g/t from 81.7m from the drill cuddy.

Ongoing drilling of the Queens Lode will also target the plunge extensions to the ore system where previous drilling returned substantial widths of high-grade mineralisation at more than 700m below surface, including intercepts of 11.9m at 16.3 g/t gold and 25m at 7.3 g/t gold.

Kaiser anticipates the Queens Lode can quickly be advanced into the mining schedule, utilising mechanical, bulk-tonnage mining to provide additional feed to the high-grade long-hole stoping operations currently being undertaken within the mine. The additional ore tonnages will be used to upgrade the company’s processing schedule at the Maldon plant, increasing the efficiency and production from the operation as Kaiser also looks at various other development options on the Maldon field, which is adjacent to the plant site.

Kaiser Reef’s A1 gold mine is located in the Victorian high-country around 120km north-east of Melbourne and 23km south of the town of Jamieson. The active mine sits within the coveted Woods Point-Walhalla goldfield and has a mining history that dates back more than 150 years to its discovery in 1861. Records reveal production from the A1 mine has averaged an incredible 25.9 g/t gold over its long mining history,

Mining is continuing to produce a valuable feed for the company’s wholly-owned 150,000 tonne per annum Porcupine Flat gold plant at Maldon, which is situated approximately 190km to the west of the mine.

Kaiser Reef is also working on the development of the Maldon goldfield, which extends over more than 4km of strike from the 187 g/t gold Nuggety Reef in the north to the German Reef workings in the south. The field has produced more than 1.7 million ounces over more than a century of mining.

Interestingly, the company’s Maldon project is located just 30km south of the 22 million-ounce Bendigo goldfield, delivering Kaiser a box-seat in one of the hottest exploration addresses in Australia.

Kaiser Reef looks to be riding a winner at the A1 mine with an ongoing stream of high-grade results from the underground operation and an ongoing flow of gold being delivered to the Maldon plant.

The company is in now a prime position to fund its ongoing development program and build its position in the lucrative goldfields of Victoria.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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Victoria lockdown forces clubs to limit training numbers

VICTORIA’S AFL clubs will be limited to training in groups of 10 following the state’s latest COVID-19 enforced lockdown.

The clubs were told on Friday afternoon they could continue to operate as per state government guidelines for “professional athletes”, with the training restrictions in place until at least midnight Wednesday.

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Under the Victorian government rules, spectators have been given permission to attend Friday night’s Geelong-Western Bulldogs AFLW match at GMHBA Stadium.

But AFLW matches scheduled in Victoria on Saturday (St Kilda v Carlton and Melbourne v North Melbourne) and Sunday (Richmond v Collingwood) will be off limits to the general public.

AFL general manager football Steve Hocking advised clubs on Friday of the training restrictions, with the 10-player cap designed to mitigate risk.

“The health and safety of everyone in our game and in the wider community remains paramount – AFL and AFLW teams in Victoria will train in groups of 10 for the duration of the Victorian Government restrictions,” Hocking said.

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“I want to thank all clubs and players across our men’s and women’s competitions for their understanding and patience.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Friday announced the state would enter a five-day lockdown from 11.59pm after another hotel quarantine COVID-19 outbreak.

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Vanishing act – Large numbers of pupils are no longer enrolled in America’s schools | United States

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Dramatic rise in advice fees as planner numbers dive

Hoven expects planner numbers, including accountants and stockbrokers who are licensed to give financial advice, to fall below 15,000 by the middle of next year.

New advisers are now required to have at least a bachelor’s degree to meet the professional standards required. They must also complete a professional year, within which they must pass a 3½-hour exam before they can become fully fledged financial planners.

Existing advisers have until the end of 2021 to pass the exam and until the end of 2025 to fully meet required educational standards.

Hoven says those planners that remain can afford to charge more for comprehensive personal advice as it becomes an “increasingly rare service”.

The 2020 fees survey conducted by Adviser Ratings was completed by about1400 planners. Almost a fifth of the clients of the survey respondents received “one-off”, with the remainder receiving ongoing advice.

“I am not seeing a lot of appetite from advisers to re-engineer their businesses to provide simple or one-off advice, despite the demand,” Hoven says.

The Retirement Income Review, released last November, found Australians often do not access financial advice largely due to its cost and a lack of trust of providers.

The federal government is preparing to simplify the regulatory framework, with a central disciplinary body for planners as part of a stated aim of reducing complexity and cost for advisers.

Daniel Brammall, president of the Profession of Independent Financial Advisers, says he is not surprised by the increase in fees among survey respondents.

However, he says there are probably other planners who did not answer the survey who may not have raised their fees and, if they have, by not as much. That would be the case for planners who rely on commission income, he says.


While most new financial product commissions for advice have been banned for some time, commissions from existing clients have been grandfathered, meaning they could continue to be paid.

However, the grandfathering ended on December 31, with planners required to contact their commission-paying clients to negotiate the payment of fees instead.

More changes are coming for financial planners on top of reforms already introduced.

Changes are before federal Parliament that would require planners who label themselves as “independent” but fail to meet the criteria for independence to write to their clients explaining why they are not independent.

Also before Parliament is a requirement for planners to ask their clients to “opt in” to ongoing advice for the next 12 months. Without the client agreeing, advice and payment of fees would cease.

These changes and the ending of the grandfathered commissions as well as the establishment of central disciplinary body are among the recommendations of the Hayne Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry.

“Planners who fail to come to terms with the new rules will leave the industry,” Brammall says.

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Drowning numbers soar, prompting plea for water safety

Authorities are urging people to be careful on the water after a spate of drownings in Victoria and New South Wales.

The warning comes as a heatwave in south-east Australia sees residents looking for respite in the water.

Seven people have died in Victorian waterways in the past 10 days alone, while several others have drowned in NSW.

Among them was the death of a 20-year-old man off Coffs Harbour on Thursday. It was followed by the drownings of three men off Port Kembla, in Illawarra region.

In Victoria on Saturday two people died in separate incidents.

In the first incident, a small vessel carrying two men overturned at Anglesea, roughly 100km south-west of Melbourne, along Victoria’s Surf Coast.

A 58-year-old man was pulled from the water by lifesavers who attempted to revive him, but he died at the scene.

The other man on the boat was able to swim to shore to raise the alarm.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
Three fishermen died after being swept off rocks at Port Kembla in the Illawarra region.

Further up the coast, a second man died after he was pulled from the water at Barwon Heads.

Shane Daw, general manager of coastal safety at Surf Life Saving Australia, said large surf and water-goers’ failure to take enough care were behind the rise in drownings.

“There’s a bit of complacency about understanding where we’re going and people not taking safety precautions about swimming between the flags, or not wearing life jacket and putting themselves in risky situations,” Mr Daw told Weekend Breakfast.

“Through the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) or the State Emergency Service (SES) … [they] have actually put out warnings about large surf.

“We’re asking you to heed the advice of those authorities.”

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
The body of man swept off the Coffs Harbour breakwall has been found by his family.

Of the people who have died in the past week, several have been fishermen either in boats or rock fishing.

“If you’re going to be at these locations, think about your own safety,” Mr Daw said.

“Wear a life jacket, wear the appropriate gear, let someone know where you’re going.

“But also, don’t take those risks. Your life’s not worth it.”

Latest drownings part of grim trend

The multiple deaths in the past week have contributed to a spike in drownings in recent months.

Victoria reported a record number of drownings from July to December last year.

By mid-December there had been 27 deaths — 11 more than the state’s 10-year average.

That figure led to a plea from Victoria’s Emergency Services Minister, Lisa Neville.

“Our water safe message is for everyone: Be prepared, be vigilant, swim between the flags, do not swim alone and do not use alcohol … before you go swimming,” Ms Neville said.

However, despite her warning, the drownings continued, including three deaths in separate incidents that rocked Victoria on January 13.

Helicopters were used to winch several swimmers to safety at Bushrangers Bay, where one woman died.

A second woman died at Venus Bay in Gippsland after trying to help a teenage girl who was struggling in the water.

A man in his 80s was pulled unconscious from the water in Rye and could not be revived.

In Queensland, two men in their 30s drowned at an unpatrolled beach in the northern part of the Sunshine Coast.

Heatwave and COVID-19 contributing to deaths

About 20 people are seen either on the sand or in the water in bathing suits.
As temperatures rise in parts of the country, many are heading to the beach to cool off.(AAP: Joel Carrett)

Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp has warned of the dangers of people not being fit enough to go swimming.

For some time, COVID-19 restrictions had prevented many people from leaving their home, except for essential reasons.

Now able to swim again, and with a heatwave pushing the mercury up, many people are heading to the water.

Mr Crisp warned people to know their limitations before they went swimming.

“We know that because of COVID and the lockdown, a lot of children haven’t had swimming lessons, a lot of Victorians haven’t been able to get out and about, [they’re] generally not as fit as they might have been 12 months ago,” he said.

“Just be so well aware of what your own limitations are and please, in coastal areas, just swim between the flags.”

Pools, creeks and waterholes also claiming lives

Emergency services at a ridge above a river.
A father and his 11-year-old daughter died earlier this year at this popular swimming spot at Tharwa, south of Canberra.(ABC News: Tom Lowrey)

The drownings this summer have not been isolated to the coastline.

In the Hunter region of NSW, a local community is reeling following a 13-year-old girl’s drowning at a popular local pool.

Zainab Zainab was pulled unconscious from a swimming pool at Maitland Aquatic Centre on January 15.

She later died in hospital.

“This is a country where swimming is a part of life and for someone to die in a swimming pool is not good,” Muslim community elder Forough Dorani said.

Zainab Zainab died after being pulled unconscious from Maitland pool.
Zainab Zainab, 13, died after being pulled unconscious from Maitland pool.(Supplied by family)

Earlier in the year, a NSW Police senior constable drowned while attempting to save a Chinese international student.

The student was tipped off a lilo while canyoning in the Blue Mountains, in Greater Sydney.

NSW Police officer Senior Constable Kelly Foster tried to rescue her but drowned in the attempt.

Meanwhile, south of Canberra, a father and his 11-year-old daughter drowned at a popular swimming spot in the Murrumbidgee River, near Tharwa.

Police said it appeared the father had entered the water in an attempt to save his daughter.

Swimmers urged to stop and look before entering water

The sheer size of the Australian continent means most swimming spots cannot be patrolled.

This leaves safety up to individuals.

Mr Daw told Weekend Breakfast that Surf Life Saving Australia was encouraging a “stop, look, plan” approach.

“By that, we mean stop and check for any dangers or hazards,” he said.

“Can you recognise if the water doesn’t look right?”

Police on the beach at Anglesea after one person died being swept into the water from a boat. January 2021.
Authorities are urging fishermen and swimmers to take care.(ABC News: Leanne Wong)

Along with water currents, Mr Daw also said water-goers should be on the lookout for submerged objects, including trees.

He also recommended having a lifejacket nearby because people were often at risk when they entered the water to help others.

“We’ve had a few people drown as a result of going to rescue others,” Mr Daw said.

“[Think to yourself]: ‘Have I got my lifejacket, have I got something that can help me float if I do have to go and rescue somebody?'”

Finally, Mr Daw said people should ask others for information if they were unsure about getting in the water.

“Look for fishermen or if there are other people who can advise you of any risks there might be in that location,” he said.

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Here are the winning numbers

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Winning numbers in Wednesday’s $730M jackpot drawing

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Men and women kill their children in roughly equal numbers, and we need to understand why

On average, one child is killed by a parent almost every fortnight in Australia.

Last week, three children — Claire, 7, Anna, 5, and Matthew, 3 — were included in this terrible number. Homicide investigators have formed the “preliminary view” that their mother, Katie Perinovic, was responsible for their deaths before killing herself.

Their grieving father, Tomislav Perinovic, and Katie Perinovic’s parents have reportedly accepted the police’s version of events.

It was less than a year ago that Hannah Clarke and her children Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey were killed by their father, Rowan Baxter, who doused their car in petrol and set it alight.

In 2019, Anthony Harvey was sentenced to life in prison in Perth for killing his small children Charlotte, Alice and Beatrix, his wife Mara and her mother Beverley.

Also that year, Charmaine McLeod is suspected to have deliberately caused the head-on collision in Queensland that killed her and her four young children, Aaleyn, Matilda, Wyatt and Zaidok.

How do we make sense of such unfathomable crimes, and what do we know about why they happen?

Hannah Clarke and her children Trey, Aaliyah, and Laianah were killed by their father last year.(Facebook)

How many children are killed by parents in Australia?

Filicide is the murder of a child by a parent. Despite making up about 18 per cent of all domestic homicides each year, precise data on the characteristics of filicide are difficult to establish due to the smaller numbers and varied cases.

However, one of the most recent comprehensive national filicide studies in Australia documented 238 cases between 2000 and 2012. This study mirrored trends elsewhere, with male and female perpetrators represented in roughly equal numbers.

Common precursors to filicide included a history of domestic and family violence, parental separation and mental illness.

How the media and public view filicide

On social media, some commentators on this latest case involving Katie Perinovic have been quick to criticise what is perceived as more sympathetic media coverage of women who kill their children. And for some, the fact women and men commit filicide in roughly equal numbers suggests that family violence has no gender.

But filicide is a relative outlier as a form of violence committed by women in relatively equal numbers to men.

Men commit almost all forms of violence at higher rates. And the most common form of domestic homicide — intimate partner homicide — is committed far more by men against women in the context of domestic violence.

Flowers near a hand-drawn note from a child addressed to Claire, Anna, Matt and Katie.
Tributes left for Katie, Claire, Anna and Matthew Perinovic after they were found dead in their Tullamarine home.(ABC News: Beth Gibson)

Women who kill their children

Research indicates that gender does, in fact, play a role in the type of crime committed and the motivations behind it.

Accidental killings of children, for instance, are more likely to be the result of neglect among mothers and abuse among fathers and stepfathers. This reflects what we know about gender patterns in childcare responsibility and domestic and family violence.

In cases where children are killed intentionally, women are more likely to kill babies and newborns, particularly in circumstances of unwanted pregnancies. Such offenders are more likely to be young and have low levels of social support, although it is increasingly reported among older women.

Mothers are also more likely to kill their children during a psychotic episode.

For example, in 2017, a court found Raina Thaiday of Queensland, who killed her seven children and niece, had been experiencing a severe psychotic episode linked to schizophrenia triggered by long-term cannabis use. The court ruled she could not be found criminally responsible for her actions.


Women are also more likely to kill children out of a warped belief they are sparing them pain — for instance, of losing a parent to suicide.

Why men commit filicide

Fathers who kill their children, meanwhile, are more likely to have a history of domestic and family violence. They are more likely to kill out of revenge towards a partner or former partner in the context of family separation.

When John Edwards shot his teenage children, Jennifer and Jack, in Sydney in 2018, his actions followed a history of domestic abuse and separation, and ended in his ex-partner Olga’s death by suicide five months later. A senior police source called her death a “slow murder“.

And familicide, in which both a partner and children are killed, is committed almost exclusively by men. Researchers suggest this indicates that men are more likely to have proprietary attitudes to both women and children, and women primarily towards children.

While gender patterns around filicide are important to research in order to understand why these crimes happen, not all cases fit neatly into these boxes. Mental illness is often a common interacting factor in both maternal and paternal filicide, and the causes are often complex and multiple.

Remembering the children

When a parent kills, the focus is often on the mindset of the perpetrator rather than the children.

In my ongoing research into media coverage of family murder-suicide cases, I have observed a notable silence around the lives of children and how they experienced violence. It is an uncomfortable topic, but we need to keep children at the centre of these discussions.

While some parents who kill may indeed have been loving parents, the act of filicide should never be framed as an act of love. It is never excusable. As such, many researchers are uncomfortable with the term “altruistic” filicide, which places the emphasis on the parent’s experiences, rather than the child’s.

We also need to address the cultural beliefs that children belong to their parents. This attitude that children are “property” contributes to filicide.

What can be done?

More comprehensive research and consistent data are key starting points. The Monash Deakin Filicide Research Hub is an excellent example of collaboration towards this goal. The Australian Domestic Violence Death Review Network is also working to produce a dataset on filicide in the context of domestic and family violence.

Greater collaboration between support service providers is also important. We need to recognise how issues affecting parents, such as mental illness or domestic violence, can have important consequences for children.

We also need to keep the best interests of children front and centre, rather than viewing them as mere witnesses to family conflict.

Denise Buiten is a senior lecturer in social justice and sociology at the University of Notre Dame Australia. This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

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