SYN News at 4: 18 September 2013

 Coming up over the next fifteen minutes:

  • Abbott officially sworn in as 28th Prime Minister of Australia
  • Essendon club doctor successful in his bid to clear his name
  • Victorian government says cya to the Wangaratta city council
  • And Ronaldo scores a hat trick as the Champions league gets underway in Europe

Good afternoon, I’m CHARLIE BARHAM and welcome to SYN News at 4. Well, It’s official: TONY ABBOTT is Australia’s newest Prime Minister. ABBOTT was sworn in by Governor-General QUENTIN BRYCE in Canberra this morning and as CHAD VAN ESTROP explains, his first plan is to scrap the carbon tax… Tony Abbott became the nation’s 28th Prime Minister this morning after he was sworn in at Government House.Governor-General Quentin Bryce commissioned Mr Abbott in front of his family during a short ceremony in Canberra.I Anthony John Abbott do swear that I will well and truly serve the people of Australia in the office of Prime Minister. I will be faithful and bear true allegiance  to her majesty Queen Elizabeth the second, Queen of Australia so help me God. Nationals leader Warren Truss became the Deputy Prime Minister, and will take on the portfolio of infrastructure and regional development.Forty-two ministers, assistant ministers and parliamentary secretaries were also sworn in this morning, 10 days after they were elected to government.20 of the incoming ministry hold law degrees, with most having worked as lawyers. The oldest is Warren Truss at 64 and Jamie Briggs the youngest at 36. Mr Abbott plans to immediately instruct the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to prepare legislation to repeal the carbon tax.Chad Van Estrop, SYN News.Already, Mr Abbott has announced the sacking of three department secretaries and an overhaul of the federal bureaucracy.To Victorian politics now, and Premier DENIS NAPTHINE has faced a barrage of questions in parliament today about the government’s relationship with Frankston MP GEOFF SHAW, who is facing 24 criminal charges.Andrews: “Exactly when was the Premier first informed that the Member for Frankston was to face charges from Victoria Police?”Napthine: My office received some advice via the Police Minister’s office that a 45 year old Frankston man had certain charges, and that was at about 1.45 or 1.50 yesterday afternoon.”Andrews: “And I refer the Premier to his late night phone call with the member of Frankston on March 7 this year… isn’t it a fact that this Premier – just like his predecessor – only serves at the pleasure of the member for Frankston?”Napthine: “The Member for Frankston on the 6th of March resigned from the parliamentary Liberal Party. Prior to that, he was a member of the parliamentary Liberal Party and a member of the team.”The government looks to be under increasing pressure after MR SHAW was charged by Victoria Police yesterday.The controversial MP resigned from the Liberal Party earlier in the year, triggering the downfall of former Premier TED BAILLIEU.MR SHAW, whose vote is crucial to the government, will face court next month.Still on state politics, and Premier Napthine has taken action to reform the state’s parole board. Again, here’s CHAD VAN ESTROP The Napthine Government has today moved to make community safety the top priority of the Adult Parole Board.“The Coalitions government will introduce into parliament today, legislation that for the first time enshrines into Victorian law that community safety must be the highest priority for the adult parole board in their deliberations and considerations. Under the new legislation: – registered victims will be given at least 14 days notice prior to a prisoner’s release- a retired judge will be appointed as the full time Chair of the board –  and restrictions on the serving time of parole board members will be introduced.  Napthine: “These are important changes, recommended by Justice Callinan, and they are changes we are implementing through this legislation.” The new legislation comes after a review of the Adult Parole Board by retired High Court Judge Ian Callinan found several violent criminals had been released into the community in Victoria without proper consideration of public safety.  New Department of Corrections figures show 425 people were denied parole last financial up 43 per cent on 2011-12. In July and August this year more than 100 people were denied parole.Chad Van Estrop, SYN News.The AFL has dropped all charges against Essendon club doctor Bruce Reid.Reid was one of 4 Essendon officials charged along with the club for Essendon’s controversial 2012 supplements program, resulting in Essendon being ejected from this year’s finals series, and coach James Hird being suspended for a year. The AFL and Dr. Reid released a joint statement earlier today:“Dr Reid has always had the health of the players as his first priority over his 30 years as a club doctor. However, the failures of governance of the club’s “High Performance Unit” resulted in him being marginalised with information being kept from him by those controlling the program. It’s clear Reid has always shared the long-standing stance of the AFL that football must have a drug-free culture.”Reid is now set to take a sabbatical and return to his role at Essendon at the start of next year.Outgoing Liberal MP SOPHIE MIRABELLA has conceded defeat in her north-east Victorian electorate of Indi. EDDIE WILLIAMS has the details.MRS MIRABELLA phoned independent candidate CATHY MCGOWAN this morning to congratulate her on a narrow victory.MS MCGOWAN is currently leading by less than four hundred votes, but MRS MIRABELLA will not be seeking a recount.In an interview with the ABC’s JON FAINE, MS MCGOWAN said she’s looking forward to representing the people of Indi in federal parliament.“I need to grow into the job. It’s a whole new kettle of fish for me and I will grow into it, and my intention would be to be a really good local member.”MS MCGOWAN, who is a local farmer and feminist, also paid tribute to her opponent.“I would like to acknowledge her 12 years of service. I think when you’re a victor it’s really easy to forget that other people have gone before you, and I’d really like to acknowledge her work and her contribution and her public service.”MRS MIRABELLA, who served on Tony Abbott’s frontbench, was a controversial figure during her twelve-year stint in federal parliament.She was among a small group of MPs who did not attend KEVIN RUDD’s apology to the Stolen Generation, and once compared JULIA GILLARD to Libyan dictator MUAMMAR GADDAFI.EDDIE WILLIAMS, SYN News.And just a short time ago, MS MCGOWAN held a press conference in Wangaratta.“We have given the community of Indi ownership. We have given them a choice of who and how they are represented, and as a result, we now have 98,000 stories to hear about.”Meanwhile, CLIVE PALMER is leading by just three votes in the Queensland seat of Fairfax.The Victorian government has sacked the entire Wangaratta City Council, following allegations of bullying and wasteful spending.Local Government Minister JEANETTE POWELL is expected to receive bipartisan support for a bill which will formally remove the CouncilMS POWELL has described the Council as “dysfunctional” and “toxic”, stating it has not provided a safe workplace.Local government in Wangaratta will instead be run by administrators until elections are held in 2016.Now to the ongoing dispute between McDonald’s and residents in Tecoma; and the fast food chain says it will no longer pursue a civil claim against a group of protesters.A McDonald’s spokesperson says they have dropped damages claims against eight protesters, but will still try to obtain compensation for legal fees.Following persistent protests, construction of a McDonald’s restaurant in the quiet Dandenong Ranges town stopped in July, but work recommenced this month.Meanwhile, Tecoma residents have recently taken their fight to Chicago, using inflatable kangaroos in a protest outside major US outlets.   The naval contractor at the centre of mass shootings at a Washington Navy base had been suffering serious mental issues according to US law enforcement officials.   34-year-old Aaron Alexis had been treated since August by the Veterans Administration for his mental problems, including paranoia and a sleeping disorder, the officials speaking on the condition of anonymity to Reuters said. Alexis was arrested in Georgia during 2009 on a disorderly conduct charge, and has also been accused of discharging a firearm by authorities in Texas.He is suspected of killing 12 people in a shooting rampage at the Naval yard in Washington on Monday.Adelaide University students are seeking to rename a plaza honoring one of Malaysia’s most controversial politicians.The plaza is named after Taib Mahmud who graduated from the university in 1960.Mr Mahmud’s critics allege he has used his position as Chief Minister for Sarawak to further family business interests and displace indigenous communities for illegal logging.      Protest organiser Lizzie Taylor told the Australian newspaper she hoped university management would respond once they saw how passionate students were about the issue.     The university has previously faced criticism for accepting donations from the Malaysian politician.An English man who picked up one of the first copies of Grand Theft Auto five was stabbed and robbed of the game on his way home.The man, 23, was attacked after he left a store in north London just an hour and twenty minutes after the notoriously violent video game went on sale early on Tuesday.He was hit with a brick, stabbed and stripped of the game near a supermarket.The man is now recovering in hospital where he is said to be in a stable condition.Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar have come in equal 1st on BRW’s young rich list of 2013.The 32 year olds each posting a wealth of 550 million dollars.Brookes and Farqhuar are the founders of billion dollar software business Atlassian, and they top a list of 100 self-made millionaires under 40 collectively worth $5.13 billion.A notable exception from the list is former mining magnate Nathan Tinkler, who was valued at $1.13 billion in the 2011 list but was exempt from this year’s due to debt woes.The first boot Camp for at-risk youths in the Northern Territory has been declared a success.NT Correctional Services minister John Elfernik congratulated 10 youths who took part in a 10 day hike in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, noting how far the participants had come in improving their attitudes, behavior and concerns for their future. The establishment of such boot camps was a promise by the Country Liberal Party leading up to last year’s state election.And in science news, Australian researchers have used laser technology to create a 3D map of Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa.Doctor JONATHAN ROBERTS from the CSIRO says the technology used will be ideal for other types of cultural heritage mapping.DR ROBERTS says the mapping “may one day be critical in being able to reconstruct the site, if it was to suffer catastrophic damage due to natural disasters such as a fire or an earthquake.”And now here’s ALEX DARLING with the days sport. Thanks CHARLIE.To footy first, All australian defender Corey Enright has been ruled out of Friday night’s do-or-die preliminary final against Hawthorn, unable to recover from the medial ligament strain in his right knee.Enright failed to train with the rest of the Geelong squad this morning, and football manager Neil Balme said while the clubwas satisfied with his recovery they wouldn’t be making any decisions on his availability to play even if Geelong won through to the Grand Final.Enright sustained the ligament strain in the qualifying final against Fremantle a fortnight ago.Also in AFL news, Essendon Champion full forward John Coleman has become the latest legend of the game to be honored with a statue on the Avenue of legends around the MCG.Coleman, whom the award for most goals kicked in a season is named after, kicked 537 goals in 98 matches for essendon between 1949 and 1954, an average of over 6 goals per game.Coleman would have been proud of the goals raining down on the opening matches of the Champions league group stage in Europe overnight, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting three of the best for Real Madrid.The Portugese superstar helped Real to a 6-1 thumping of Galatasaray in Istanbul, this hat trick barely a year after his last one against Ajax Amsterdam.Bayern Munich and Man U alo posted big first round wins, an early free kick by David Alaba sending Bayern on their way to a 3-0 victory over CSKA Russia while, a double from Rooney proved the difference in Man U’s 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen. And finally in surfing news, World champion Aussie Joel Parkinson and American superstar Kelly slater have bowed out of the world surfing tour event in Trestles, California.Both suffered third round defeats at the hands of countrymen, with America’s Patrick Gudauskas and Australia’s Adam Melling advancing at their expense.Slater’s demise provided a boost to two time Aussie world champion Mick Fanning, who trails Slater by a narrow margin with 4 stops left on the 10 date tour.That’s sport CHARLIEThanks for that ALEX. Melbourne reached a top of 18 just after 2pm today. We’re heading for an overnight low of 6, before a few morning showers tomorrow and a top of 18. Friday, possible showers and 19, and a mild but wet weekend, with possible showers and 22 for both Saturday and Sunday.Currently, it’s 16 degrees in FRANKSTON, 14 in GEELONG, and in the city it’s also 14 degrees.For those taking public transport this afternoon, all lines are reporting good service. But of course, this is Melbourne so don’t let your guard down and keep checking for announcements on Now, recapping our top stories on SYN NEWS this afternoon:

  • Abolishing Carbon Tax the top priority for new PM Abbott
  • Mirabella concedes electoral defeat to Cathy McGowan
  • More is learned about the man who allegedly shot and killed 12 people in Washington yesterday
  • And Australian software entrepreneurs top BRW’s Young Rich List for 2013

That’s all for our bulletin this afternoon. 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. 

September 18th 2013
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