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Nine-month-old girl's brother taken into care as NSW detectives investigate her death

<br><div> <!--endnoindex--> <p class="published"> Updated <span class="timestamp"> November 20, 2018 23:08:40 </span> </p> <div class="attached-content"> <div class="inline-content story left"> <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-19/body-of-baby-found-on-surfers-paradise-beach/10509364"><strong>Related Story:</strong> Nine-month-old girl found dead on popular Gold Coast beach</a></div> </div> <p>Detectives from New South Wales will investigate the death of a baby girl whose body was found on a Gold Coast beach.</p><div class="inline-content wysiwyg right"> <div class="inner"> <h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>The body of the baby girl was found on the surf's edge by a passer-by</li><li>The parents were found a short time later in Broadbeach</li><li>Police said the girl was in the water for some time before she was found</li></ul></div> </div><p>Queensland Police said the girl died in New South Wales, while officers from that state have confirmed they will seek to extradite a 48-year-old man.</p><p>The nine-month-old girl <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-19/body-of-baby-found-on-surfers-paradise-beach/10509364" target="_self" title="">was discovered unresponsive on the edge of the surf in Surfers Paradise in the early hours of Monday morning,</a> while her four-year-old brother has been taken into care.</p><p>The parents of the child were known to police, and were found in Broadbeach a short time later, however no charges have been laid. </p><p>Commissioner Ian Stewart confirmed the baby's older brother had been taken in by child safety workers.</p><p>"We're working with interstate colleagues in relation to the investigation," he said.</p><p>"We still have two people in custody — a male and female and this will play out over the next 24 hours.</p><p>"I can confirm that there is a sibling child and that child is safe."</p><p>Police said the baby girl had not been reported missing and had no visible signs of injury.</p><p>The Queensland Department of Child Safety will not confirm whether the family was known to the department.</p><p>Commissioner Stewart said it was a tragedy on so many levels. </p><blockquote class="quote--pullquote"><p>"The loss of a baby in this way is horrendous for everyone and our heart goes out to the broader community and the broader family of this child," he said. </p></blockquote><p>"The impact on the first responders is always a critical factor in these [investigations] but our people have a job to do and they've done it well."</p><p>Reverend Jon Brook from the Gold Coast-based St John's Crisis Centre said he understood his organisation had helped the family previously.</p><p>"Judging from what I've been told, we have helped them. I believe we've even helped the young lady get accommodation about a year ago. That obviously didn't work out," he told ABC Radio Gold Coast.</p><p>Reverend Brook said the child's death was "tragic" and highlighted "an inability to cope and care for kids properly in our society".</p><p>"We're failing children, we're failing people a lot across the board … we're seeing families break down and we're seeing the result of it now more and more," he said.</p><blockquote class="quote--pullquote"><p>"I'd hope there wouldn't be another case like this. It's terrible, but it wouldn't surprise me."</p></blockquote><div class="inline-content photo full"> <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-20/memorial-set-up-at-beach-where-nine-month-old-baby-was-found,-n/10514834"> <img src="https://www.abc.net.au/news/image/10514810-3x2-700x467.jpg" alt="Memorial with blankets, toys and flowers and a letter written to the baby." title="Memorial for baby girl on the Gold Coast" width="700" height="467"/></a><a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-20/memorial-set-up-at-beach-where-nine-month-old-baby-was-found,-n/10514834" class="inline-caption"><strong> Photo:</strong> Residents are laying flowers, toys and messages for the baby girl. <span class="source">(ABC News: Jennifer Huxley)</span> </a></div><p>Police said the baby had been in the water for some time, but autopsy results would determine the cause of death. </p><p>Detective Inspector Marc Hogan said the couple had been staying on the Gold Coast, but had moved between there and Tweed Heads.</p><p>Officers searched the beach in cars and by helicopter, but no evidence was found.</p><h2>'What the hell were they doing?'</h2><p>Child Safety Minister Di Farmer said the department was working closely with police throughout the investigation. </p><p>"We are concentrating on supporting the family and friends of this young child, supporting the people who actually found the baby," Ms Farmer said.</p><p>"It was very traumatic for everyone concerned and support is being provided."</p><p>Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said there were serious questions the Government and child safety department needed to answer.</p><blockquote class="quote--pullquote"><p>"If this baby was living in a tent on a beach and child services knew about it, what the hell were they doing leaving that child there?" she said.</p></blockquote><p>"I cannot stand to think authorities knew about this and left that poor defenceless little girl in that situation. It just seriously breaks my heart."</p><div class="inline-content photo full"> <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-19/beach-at-intersection-of-staghorn-avenue-and-the-esplanade-wher/10509554"> <img src="https://www.abc.net.au/news/image/10509536-3x2-700x467.jpg" alt="Street and street signs with beach in the distance, where toddler's body was found. " title="Surfers Paradise Beach" width="700" height="467"/></a><a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-19/beach-at-intersection-of-staghorn-avenue-and-the-esplanade-wher/10509554" class="inline-caption"><strong> Photo:</strong> The intersection of Staghorn Avenue and the Esplanade near where the body was found. <span class="source">(ABC News: Jennifer Huxley)</span> </a></div><p>Ms Frecklington said she generally supported keeping families together, but she believed the baby in this case should have been housed with a foster family or other carers.</p><p>Child safety advocate and Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston called for an inquiry into the incidents, saying she was deeply concerned by reports the baby had been living on the streets with her parents.</p><p>"This is just atrocious. How this can happen in our country in this day?" she said.</p><p>"We need an investigation into this … it needs to be a public investigation. We don't know if this is a Queensland child protection issue or if it is New South Wales.</p><p>"The public needs to know how the system is working or not working. We can't have governments continue to hide this under the veil of privacy and secrecy."</p> <p class="topics"> <strong>Topics:</strong> <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/death">death</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/community-and-society">community-and-society</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/police">police</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/law-crime-and-justice">law-crime-and-justice</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/crime">crime</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/qld">qld</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/australia">australia</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/brisbane-4000">brisbane-4000</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/tweed-heads-2485">tweed-heads-2485</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/nsw">nsw</a> </p> <p class="published"> First posted <span class="timestamp"> November 20, 2018 09:35:55 </span> </p> <!--noindex--> </div> <br> <br><a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-20/baby-death-surfers-paradise-homicide-police/10513370">Source link </a>

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Fishing charter industry to grind to a halt if deal not reached

<br><p>DARWIN charter fishing companies may be forced out of business within a fortnight if a resolution to an ongoing dispute over fishing licences is not reached.</p><div><p>Negotiations between the Territory Government and the Northern Land Council have been deadlocked for the past decade over how rights granted to traditional owners to issue fishing permits for most of the NT coastline will be enforced.</p><p>If an agreement is not reached by December 4 all access will be cut off and business owners say charter tours will grind to a halt, leaving them high and dry.</p><p>At least one operator has already packed up and left the Territory partly as a result of the uncertainty and others fear they will be left without an income in the lead up to Christmas.</p><p>Darwin Barra and Crab’s Carl Skyring said he had tours booked up until March next year which would all have to be cancelled if an agreement wasn’t reached.</p><p>“We haven’t got a leg to stand on, the government’s going to have to compensate us somehow, otherwise we’ll have to shut down shop and leave everything,” he said.</p><p>“I’m a bit dumbfounded, they’ve had that long to come to an agreement, why leave it till the last minute?”</p><p>The Blue Mud Bay High Court ruling gave traditional owners the right to administer fishing permits for 6000km of the NT’s intertidal zone in 2008 but up to now the NLC has waived that right while negotiating with the government.</p><p>Fisheries Minister Ken Vowles said the vast majority of recreational fishing activity occurred outside waters affected by the Blue Mud Bay ruling.</p> <p>“If charter operators wish to fish areas that fall under the BMB ruling and outside an existing access agreement, they should be in contact with the NLC regarding an access agreement,” he said.</p><p>“I will continue to stress the importance of certainty for the industry to the NLC, as a matter of urgency.”</p></div> <br> <br><a href="https://www.news.com.au/national/northern-territory/fishing-charter-industry-to-grind-to-a-halt-if-deal-not-reached/news-story/7aae49d341934fcece4e3ec81e3bd8fd">Source link </a>

Man confessed to killing Annette Mason while in Toowoomba lock-up, inquest hears

<br><div> <!--endnoindex--> <p class="published"> Updated <span class="timestamp"> November 20, 2018 16:01:21 </span> </p> <p>Two police officers say they heard a man confess to killing Toowoomba teenager Annette Mason just days after she died in 1989, a court has heard.</p><div class="inline-content wysiwyg right"> <div class="inner"> <h2>Key points:</h2><ul><li>Killing confession yelled out in watch house cell by "violent" man in 1989, inquest told</li><li>Two sisters also testify to hearing similar confessions a year later</li><li>Prisoner Robert Speedy appeared at inquest by video link but refused to speak</li></ul><br/></div> </div><p>A coronial inquest into the death of the 15-year-old heard that person-of-interest, Allan MacQueen, and his brother Craig Gill were among a group of people arrested and locked up in the city's watch house after a brawl outside the Norville Hotel three days after her body was found on November 19, 1989.</p><p>Ms Mason was discovered bludgeoned to death in her house and a reopened inquest is trying to determine who killed her.</p><p>Former police officer Vernon Holcombe said he was involved in the arrest of Mr MacQueen and Mr Gill, and the pair were behaving violently when they were taken to the watch house. </p><p>He said Mr Gill had to be put into a padded cell, while Mr MacQueen was placed in another cell nearby. </p><p>"I could hear one of them say ... 'He was f***ing her ... while I bashed her over the head'," Mr Holcombe told the court.</p><p>Mr Holcombe said he could no longer remember which of the brothers said that, but in his original statement he attributed the comment to Mr MacQueen.</p><p>"These people are very violent people and that's how they live their lives, and that's how they communicate — through violence," he told the inquest.</p><div class="inline-content photo right"> <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-20/photo-of-murdered-teenager-annette-jane-mason,-15,-whose-body-w/10515390"> <img src="https://www.abc.net.au/news/image/1183510-3x2-340x227.jpg" alt="Photo of murdered teenager Annette Jane Mason" title="Photo of murdered teenager Annette Jane Mason" width="340" height="227"/></a><a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-20/photo-of-murdered-teenager-annette-jane-mason,-15,-whose-body-w/10515390" class="inline-caption"><strong> Photo:</strong> Two police heard one or more graphic admissions over the killing of Ms Mason, the inquest heard. <span class="source">(Qld Police Service)</span> </a></div><p>Another police officer, Sergeant Tony Smit, was also at the watch house that night.</p><p>"One of them yelled out, 'I killed that f***ing sl**'," he told the inquest.</p><p>But Sergeant Smit said he did not know whether it was Mr MacQueen or Mr Gill yelling the words.</p><p>The inquest also heard from two sisters who were at a gathering at their mother's house in 1990, when Mr MacQueen was also heard saying that he killed Ms Mason. </p><p>Kellie-Lee Leggatt told the court Mr MacQueen was among a group of friends playing cards when she heard him say: "I killed Annette Mason."</p><p>Ms Leggatt said Mr Gill told his brother to "shut the f*** up", but at the time she thought he was joking. </p><p>Her sister Kylie Leggatt said she also heard the comment from Mr MacQueen that night, but thought he was merely trying to get attention.</p><p>"He just piped up and said, 'I killed her, but it was an accident'," she told the court.</p><p>On the first day of the inquest, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-19/annette-mason-inquest-into-murder-of-toowoomba-teen/10509760" target="_self" title="">witness Kylie Nothdurft said she also heard those comments</a>, but neither of the Leggatt sisters remembered a subsequent fight between the brothers described by Ms Nothdurft.</p><h2>Prisoner refuses to give evidence</h2><p>Another witness who appeared by video link from prison refused to give evidence to the inquest.</p><p><a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-04/man-who-shot-gold-coast-dog-squad-officer-hamrey-jailed-21-years/7003298" target="_self" title="">Robert Speedy is in jail for trying to kill a Gold Coast police officer by shooting him in the face</a>, during a hold up at the Arundel Tavern in September 2013.</p><p>Coroner Terry Ryan warned Speedy he would face further charges if he did not participate. </p><p>"In the event that you decline to give evidence before this court, I'll be charging you with contempt of court and you'll be punished in relation to that," Mr Ryan said. </p><p>"Yeah no worries. Thank you very much," Speedy replied.</p> <p class="topics"> <strong>Topics:</strong> <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/murder-and-manslaughter">murder-and-manslaughter</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/crime">crime</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/law-crime-and-justice">law-crime-and-justice</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/courts-and-trials">courts-and-trials</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/brisbane-4000">brisbane-4000</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/australia">australia</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/qld">qld</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/toowoomba-4350">toowoomba-4350</a> </p> <p class="published"> First posted <span class="timestamp"> November 20, 2018 15:28:51 </span> </p> <!--noindex--> </div> <br> <br><a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-20/watch-house-confession-annette-mason-inquest/10514644">Source link </a>

Bali Nine member Matthew Norman holds out hope of one day being freed like Renae Lawrence

<br><div> <!--endnoindex--> <p class="published"> Posted <span class="timestamp"> November 21, 2018 01:23:28 </span> </p> <div class="inline-content photo full"> <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-21/matthew-norman-bali/10516752"> <img src="https://www.abc.net.au/news/image/8737010-3x2-700x467.jpg" alt="Matthew Norman wears a baseball hat and stares directly at the camera" title="Matthew Norman" width="700" height="467"/></a><a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-21/matthew-norman-bali/10516752" class="inline-caption"><strong> Photo:</strong> Matthew Norman has living with the walls of the infamous Kerobokan prison in Bali since he was 18-years-old. <span class="source">(ABC News: Phil Hemingway)</span> </a></div> <p>The youngest member of the Bali Nine, Matthew Norman, says he wishes fellow convicted drug smuggler Renae Lawrence "the best of luck" ahead of her imminent release.</p><div class="inline-content wysiwyg right"> <div class="inner"> <h2>Key points:</h2><ul><li>Norman was jailed at 18 and is serving a life sentence</li><li>He said he is trying to better himself and petitioning for release</li><li>He believes that one day he will be able to go home to his family</li></ul></div> </div><p>Lawrence will become the first member of the Bali Nine to be released <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-13/renae-lawrence-a-nervous-wreck-ahead-of-prison-release/10491566" target="_self" title="">when she is freed today after 13 years in jail</a> for trying to smuggle 2.7 kilograms of heroin to Australia from the tourist hotspot.</p><p>Norman, 32, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-13/foreign-correspondent-bali-kerobokan-behind-prison-walls/8600812" target="_self" title="">has lived within the walls of Kerobokan prison</a> since he was 18-years-old. And, serving a life sentence, he <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-24/matthew-normans-life-from-within-kerobokan-prison/8736940" target="_self" title="">may spend the rest of his life behind bars.</a></p><p>Though the pair used to cross paths when they were both being held there, 41-year-old Lawrence was later moved from the jail and to Bangli prison.</p><p>Asked if it was bittersweet that Lawrence was being let out ahead of him, Norman told the ABC: "Our sentences are what they are, and we've been sentenced by the Indonesian courts to our sentence."</p><p>Norman said it was simply the nature of the judicial system.</p><blockquote class="quote--pullquote"><p>"She got out her sentence for whatever reason, and we got ours, so we just have to deal with what we have and not worry about other people," he said. </p></blockquote><p>"I don't want to be negative or anything like that, it's not healthy; I'm trying to become the best person I can and … just reflect on myself, and just do what I can for myself and all of the people around me."</p><div class="inline-content photo right"> <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-21/renae-lawrence-inside-balis-bangli-prison/10516812"> <img src="https://www.abc.net.au/news/image/10200802-3x2-340x227.jpg" alt="A picture of Renae Lawrence smiling inside prison" title="Renae Lawrence inside Bali's Bangli prison" width="340" height="227"/></a><a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-21/renae-lawrence-inside-balis-bangli-prison/10516812" class="inline-caption"><strong> Photo:</strong> Renae Lawrence is scheduled to be released from Bali's Bangli prison soon. <span class="source">(ABC News: Ambros Boli)</span> </a></div><p>But Norman said he still held out hope of one day walking free from prison.</p><p>"I believe that through the Indonesian judicial system, with a life sentence, you have many opportunities to get your sentence reduced, and we've been applying for the past few years to get that reduction," he said.</p><blockquote class="quote--pullquote"><p>"We still haven't got it, but we still have hope that we can get our sentence reduced, and that one day we will walk out of here."</p></blockquote><p>The <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-12/bali-nine-timeline-andrew-chan-myuran-sukumaran/6085190" target="_self" title="">Bali Nine ringleaders</a>, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, were executed in 2015 and another member, Tan Duc Than Nguyen, died of cancer earlier this year.</p><p>Norman said he was trying to better himself through participating in the range of programs on offer at the jail.</p><p>"There's a lot of programmes going on with tennis and other sporting activities, so there's a lot of opportunities for us in prison to better ourselves and to have hope that when we do get out one day, not just myself, but the 1,500 prisoners in here, that we've all learnt skills not to come back to prison, not to re-offend, but to live a successful, happy life on the outside," he said.</p><p>He also receives three visits a week from his father, who lives in Bali.</p><blockquote class="quote--pullquote"><p>"I just believe that one day I'll be able to go home and visit with [my family] once again," Norman said.</p></blockquote><p>Lawrence was initially sentenced to life in prison, but that was reduced to 20 years on appeal. It has been <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-17/australian-prisoners-in-indonesia-receive-sentence-reductions/8816794" target="_self" title="">reduced a number of times since</a>.</p><p>She <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-15/bali-nine-drug-smuggler-renae-lawrence-faces-arrest-in-australia/10498900" target="_self" title="">faces arrest for her alleged involvement in a high-speed car chase</a> when she returns to Australia.</p> <p class="topics"> <strong>Topics:</strong> <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/law-crime-and-justice">law-crime-and-justice</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/prisons-and-punishment">prisons-and-punishment</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/indonesia">indonesia</a>, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/topic/asia">asia</a> </p> <!--noindex--> </div> <br> <br><a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-21/bali-nine-member-matthew-norman-hopes-to-one-day-walk-free/10516736">Source link </a>

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