SYN News at 4: 10 July 2013

Coming up in the next fifteen minutes:

  • KEVIN RUDD confronted over indigenous land rights
  • Royal prank DJ sues her employer
  • The federal government reaches an agreement with independent schools
  • And HARRY O’BRIEN receiving help from the AFL Players’ Association

 Good afternoon, I’m COURTNEY BIGGS.And I’m EDDIE WILLIAMS. Welcome to SYN News at 4. The top story on SYN today, Prime Minister KEVIN RUDD has faced criticism from an indigenous elder over the way Aboriginal land rights are carried out. Speaking at the fiftieth anniversary of the Yirrkala bark petitions, GALARRWUY YUNUPINGU told MR RUDD of his disappointment that land rights have been symbolic, rather than practical. “We have looked forward to the land rights giving us something. At least it gave us something in it’s name. The land rights is for the indigenous people. But the land ownership and the use of land ownership … is for mining companies, is for white fellas.” MR RUDD voiced his agreement with MR YUNUPINGU, saying that Australia needs to take affirmative action on equality and indigenous land ownership. “Galarrwuy, as I said in the words of apology: words without deeds are a dead letter.” Meanwhile, the Prime Minister pledged to hold a referendum within two years of the election, to recognise indigenous people in the Constitution. He called on the Opposition Leader to make the same commitment. “I want Mr Abbott to join in that journey with me. I want us to agree on the question to be put to the Australian people. No more delays, no more excuses, no more buck-passing. It is time that the nation got on with this business.” But TONY ABBOTT says the Coalition has already committed to holding a referendum within twelve months of taking office.COURTNEY: A DJ at the centre of last year’s royal phone prank scandal is taking legal action against her employer. MEL GREIG has filed a claim with the Fair Work Commission against Southern Cross Austereo, for failing to provide a safe workplace. MS GREIG and her co-host MICHAEL CHRISTIAN made a prank call to a London Hospital, claiming to be The Queen and asking to speak to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cornwall. The nurse who put through the call later committed suicide. MR CHRISTIAN has since returned to radio, but MS GREIG has remained off-air since the incident. MS GREIG and Austereo representatives will attend a conciliation conference in the coming weeks.EDDIE: The federal government has reached an agreement with the independent schools sector over its education funding reforms. Under the agreement, independent schools will receive an additional billion dollars in funding over the next six years. In a statement, Prime Minister KEVIN RUDD and Education Minister BILL SHORTEN said they valued the role the independent sector “plays in educating young Australians.” More than 560 thousand students attend independent schools across the nation. Meanwhile, West Australian Premier COLIN BARNETT has called on the federal government to give states an extra year to sign up to the national school improvement plan.COURTNEY: There are calls for an overhaul of Victoria’s foster care system, with fears that the current system could collapse in the next few years. ANITA PELL, from non-government organisation Berry Street, told SYN’s Panorama that the number of foster parents is declining, and action needs to be taken. “Within the next six to 10 years, if we don’t address the crisis that really is in Australia at the moment, regarding the low numbers of foster carers that we have, there will be no foster care,. It will be all residential care, and that costs three or four times more than any foster care placement.” For more of that interview with ANITA PELL, stay tuned for Panorama after 4.30.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        EDDIE: Palmer United Party Leader CLIVE PALMER has unveiled his latest candidate for this year’s election: a twenty-seven year old boxing champion. WILL TOMLINSON is among eight new Palmer United Party candidates who will contest lower house seats in Victoria. MR TOMLINSON is a world super-featherweight champion. MR PALMER told the ABC that “young people represent the future,” and that’s why he wanted MR TOMLINSON on his team.COURTNEY: Victorian Premier DENIS NAPTHINE has conceded that there will continue to be long delays in Victorian hospitals while funding flows through to other projects.  The announcement comes after a photo of patients waiting hours in the corridors of Frankston Hospital was released.    DR NAPTHINE responded to questions about delays saying the government was battling against years of neglect from the former Labor governmentEDDIE: Customs has confirmed that seven asylum seekers jumped overboard upon seeing an Australian patrol boat approaching, last week.     The HMAS Larrakia was approaching to offer them food but decided to escort their boat to Christmas Island rather than taking them on board.The men who jumped overboard feared their boat would be turned back to Indonesia.All seven were rescued and taken to the island by the patrol boat.Immigration Minister TONY BURKE says he is concerned about the incident and thinks people smugglers are willing to turn any situation at sea into a safety at sea situation.COURTNEY: Heading overseas now:Canadian police have begun a criminal investigation into a fuel train which derailed and exploded, killing at least fifteen people in a small town in Quebec.Police have indicated that there may have been criminal activity at play during the incident, but they do not believe it was an act of terrorism. Around thirty-five people are still missing, feared dead.EDDIE: Rupert Murdoch will face questioning by British MP’s after he was secretly recorded encouraging journalists from The Sun paper to pay police for stories.Mr Murdoch publically denied allegations of such practices in 2011.In the recording Mr Murdoch says “We’re talking about payments for news tips from cops: that’s been going on a hundred years.”      COURTNEY: The father of an Australian man serving a 20-year sentence for the murder of a Bulgarian student has called on the Prime Minister to arrange a transfer to an Australian jail . Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor denied an official request to transfer Jock Palfreeman to an Australian jail to serve the remainder of his murder sentence. The prosecutor said Palfreeman, who was sentenced in 2009, had served “limited” time in jail and had been “repeatedly sanctioned by prison authorities” for bad behaviour. Palfreeman was sentenced for stabbing to death 20-year-old Andrey Monov, and for wounding another man in a drunken street brawl in Sofia.EDDIE: Closer to home, and an animation designed to help young queer people from multicultural backgrounds is set to launch later this afternoon. The five-minute film, called In My Shoes, highlights the challenges which many multicultural youth face when ‘coming out’ to their family. The video follows a father, who gradually comes to accept his son for who he is, and was produced by the Centre for Multicultural Youth.COURTNEY: Turning to sport, andThe AFL PLayers’ Association says it’s been helping Magpie HARRY O’BRIEN as he deals with difficult personal issues. O’BRIEN yesterday revealed that he was suffering depression, and had experienced issues relating to murder, suicide and sexual abuse. Players’ Association chief MATT FINNIS says he was aware of O’BRIEN’s issues prior to him going public. O’BRIEN will miss the Pies’ clash with Adelaide on Friday, and no date has been set for his return. And a reminder that anyone with personal problems can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or head to beyondblue.org.au.EDDIE: Cricket fans are drooling with anticipation, with the Ashes set to begin in the UK tonight. England is warm favourite to win its third series in a row against Australia, but former Aussie Captain RICKY PONTING is predicting Australia will win the series 2-1. PETER SIDDLE is expected the lead the Australian bowling attack, but uncertainty still surrounds Australia’s batting line-up, with ED COWAN, STEVE SMITH and DAVID WARNER all competing for spots.COURTNEY: To soccer, and Aussie goalkeeper MARK SCHWARZER has signed with English giant, Chelsea. The forty year old says he’s excited by the move, even though there’s no guarantee he’ll be the side’s number one keeper. SCHWARZER has previously played with Fulham, Middlesbrough and Bradford City.EDDIE: There will be tighter pit lane regulations in F1 Grand Prixs, as a result of a dangerous incident in Germany on the weekend. During Sunday’s race, a cameraman was hit struck by a runaway wheel from the car of Aussie MARK WEBBER.  In a statement, the International Automobile Federation says only authorised team personnel and event marshals will be able to work in the pitlane, with media now restricted to the pit wall. The cameraman at the centre of the incident had to be airlifted to hospital, but should make a full recovery.COURTNEY: And the Nigerian Football Federation has suspended four clubs who were involved in “scandalous” matches with “mind-boggling” scorelines. Plateau United Feeders had a 79-0 victory over Akurba FC, while Police Machine FC beat Babayaro FC 67-0.EDDIE: To the weather, Right now in the city, it’s fourteen degrees. We’re headed for an overnight low of three, before a partly cloudy day tomorrow, with a top of sixteen degrees. Friday: Patchy rain and sixteenSaturday: More rain and sixteenAns Sunday: Becoming windy, with a top of sixteen degreesCOURTNEY: For those on public transport, Metro is running extra services for tonight’s EJ Whitten Legends game at Etihad Stadium.EDDIE: To recap our top stories this afternoon:

  • KEVIN RUDD has repeated his calls for a referendum on constitutional recogntion of indigenous people
  • COURTNEY: Radio DJ files a claim against her employer
  • EDDIE: Calls for changes to Australia’s foster care system
  • COURTNEY: And the Ashes set to begin in England tonight

EDDIE: That’s all for our bulletin this afternoon. But when we’re off air, you can keep up with the news by following us on twitter at News SYN. Panorama’s coming up at 4.30 and we’ll be back with an update at 5pm. 

July 11th 2013
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