Prince Charles’s wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, has met with Australian of the Year Rosie Batty to discuss the national crisis of domestic violence.
The discussion at Government House in Adelaide has given the issue international exposure. South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens told the ABC: “For me the significance of this was Her Royal Highness lending her position to this opportunity for us to continue putting the spotlight on the issue of domestic violence in our community is one that can’t be underestimated.”
Vandals steal Melbourne train
Vandals have destroyed a Melbourne Metro Train and caused more than $2 million in damage after breaking into Hurstbridge Railway Station and driving the train early this morning. The X-Trapolis train was operated with a universal key, believed to be obtained on the black market, and derailed after running into fellow carriages and security barriers at about 1:50am. Victorian Police Sergeant Mark Chetcuti told the ABC: “There was a cleaner and a night watchman who obviously saw the activities unfold, and just had to move away and put themselves in a safe position, there was not too much they could do.” Police are investigating and urging witnesses to come forward.
Police seek dash cam footage
Police are urging Marsden motorists with dashboard cameras to come forward following the death of Queensland schoolgirl Tialeigh Palmer. The 12-year-old was last seen at her South Brisbane high school on October 30. Fisherman found Tialeigh’s decomposing body on a Gold Coast river bank six days later. Divers and SES volunteers have searched the river and surrounding scrub. Forty-three students from Marsden State High School have been interviewed during the investigation so far. Police have no suspects or leads into the girl’s death. “The cause of death is still not determined. We may never identify the cause of death,” Detective Inspector Dave Hutchinson told the media.
Citizenship applicants increasingly failing test
Statistics show a growing number of foreigners are failing the Australian citizenship test after the Department of Immigration and Border Control’s (DIBC) decision to increase the pass mark in 2009. The countries with the highest fail rates include Afghanistan, China, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Sudan and Vietnam. The percentage of failure has steadily risen since 2010 after the DIBC increased the pass mark from 60 to 73 per cent. The Department’s annual report has shown less lee-way is given for refugees with mental incapacity. “While these people would generally be exempt from the test, RCOA has been informed that since late last year a number of these psychologists reports have been rejected,” A Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) spokesperson told the ABC.
Boxing Day trading approved across NSW
Legislation allowing stores across New South Wales to trade on Boxing Day has been approved overnight by the Upper House. The recent laws have been enforced to create employer and shopper consistency across NSW. Amendments were made to the original proposal, with legislation now including strong workers’ rights and the implementation of harsh punishments for businesses who force employees to work. Treasurer and Industrial Relations Minister Gladys Berejiklian told the ABC: “It makes our laws consistent, it makes them fair, it gives consumers choice.” The Retail Trading Act NSW had previously disqualified the major shopping districts of Penrith, Parramatta and Liverpool from operating on Boxing Day. The legislation is expected to be approved by the Lower House. – Compiled from news sources by Olivia Grace-Curran
Top photo of Rosie Batty from Michael Coghlan’s Flickr photostream.