Indigenous Mungo Man’s remains to be reburied in landmark decision.
The return of ancestral Aboriginal remains of more than 100 people to their original resting grounds, including the oldest human skeleton found in Australia - Mungo Man and Mungo Lady - has been approved by the federal government.
The remains were removed from Lake Mungo in the Willandra Lakes area of NSW without the approval of traditional owners between 1960 and 1980. Among them were remains known as Mungo Man and Mungo Lady. Mungo Man is the oldest human skeleton to be discovered on the continent.
"While the discovery of Mungo Man and Mungo Lady helped scientists establish that Aboriginal people have been in Australia for more than 42,000 years, it's time to let their spirits rest in peace," NSW Heritage and Environment Minister James Griffin said.
The remains have been held in a safe since being returned from a museum in 2017. The reburial will be supported through Heritage NSW and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
"Finally, after all that time has passed, the voices of the elders have been heard and I am thankful that these ancestral remains will finally be laid to rest the traditional way, in Country," Aboriginal Advisory Group chair Patsy Winch said.
#MungoMan update: The remains of Indigenous people who lived more than 42,000 years ago are set to be returned to country after spending decades in a museum https://t.co/U6Swrf9XLE pic.twitter.com/JFMeLahemR— AustralianStory (@AustralianStory) April 6, 2022
VIC law reform commission calls for 'grab and drag' assault law.
Warning: The post deals with sexual assault, and may be triggering to some readers.
Landmark laws improving support for victims of crime will be introduced to Victorian parliament, as a new report calls for heavier penalties for "grab and drag" assaults.
The paper released by the Victorian Law Reform Commission wants "aggravating circumstance" to be added into the Crimes Act in assault cases where victims fear sexual assault may follow.
The need for the laws to fill the void between assault offences and assault with intent to commit a sexual offence was examined in response to a 2018 Melbourne attack, where a woman was grabbed and dragged into an alleyway. The perpetrator, Jackson Williams, spent just 42 days in custody after he grabbed the woman from behind, covered her mouth and pushed her to the ground before getting on top of her.
The commission recommended aggravating circumstance should come with an indictable charge and carry a maximum term of 10 years in prison.
"Conduct known in the media as 'grab and drag' is violent. The impacts can be serious and traumatic, especially if the person harmed believes they are about to be subjected to sexual violence," the report says. "The law should clearly recognise this conduct and treat it more seriously than it does now."
The report was released on the same day the Victorian government announced it would transform victims of crime processes, giving upskirting, grooming and image-based abuse victims access to financial support.
Victim Support Minister Natalie Hutchins said the laws were the most significant change in the sector in 50 years. "For many victims, going to a court-based tribunal exacerbates their trauma and far too many victims give up or just do not apply for the help they need. We're fixing that," she said.
Victims will no longer have to apply to the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal to have their applications determined, as it will be replaced by an administrative Financial Assistance Scheme. The new scheme will simplify the process, removing the need for victims to attend a hearing or face perpetrators, while limits on sexual assault or family violence survivor claims will rise from two to 10 years.
- With AAP.
If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.
All the leaked info from Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker's wedding.
Actor Charithra Chandran, who plays Edwina Sharma in season two of Bridgerton, is the cover star for this month’s Teen Vogue and her interview will make you see the new Netflix show in a whole new way.
And Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are caught up in their father Prince Andrew's latest scandal. This time around it’s to do with a High Court case, some scandalous money transfers, and Sarah Ferguson’s birthday party.
Plus, it’s been reported that Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker had a wild Las Vegas wedding after the Grammy Awards. The couple has yet to share any photos or details from their walk down the aisle but the owner of the chapel has given extensive interviews about exactly what went down that night.
Get The Spill into your ears now!
3 stories that illustrate the true horror of what's happening in Ukraine right now.
The Russian occupation of Ukraine has been raging for 41 days now.
According to the UN, more than 1,480 civilians, including at least 60 children, have been killed.
This violence is made up of thousands upon thousands of smaller tragedies - that is the reality of war. But Russia is being accused of genocide, with the individual stories coming out of the streets of Ukraine so barbaric and torturous US President Joe Biden has called for a war crimes trial against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
I've explored just three of those stories, to help illustrate the depravity.
The swastika is still used as a weapon. Just ask any Jewish politician.
The swastika is more than a criss-cross of jagged lines, or a symbol of history from time long ago.
As a Jewish person, part of me wishes it was just that.
But it is forever a part of our present - etched into our identity. "Never forget."
And yet sadly, it is brandished by those who choose to weaponise it against us.
On Monday, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg shared a photo of one of his campaign billboards in his electorate of Kooyong.
There, graffitied on his forehead, was a black swastika.
Vandalism is a crime. This kind of vandalism is obscene.— Josh Frydenberg (@JoshFrydenberg) April 4, 2022
It doesn’t matter which political group is on the receiving end, it’s just not on. Our community deserves better.
Swastikas are a reminder of a dark past & it’s our collective duty to say “Never Again.” pic.twitter.com/W2cZTkYSBG
He is not the first Jewish politician to experience this, and he won't be the last.
Read my full article, here.
PM defends intervening in NSW-preselection, and all the news you need to know this morning.
Have you wondered why some people keep catching COVID while others seem to be immune?
Our daily news podcast, The Quicky, spoke to an expert epidemiologist this week to find out what is going on and what factors determine whether you are more or less vulnerable to catching the virus.
My colleague Isabella Ross takes you through the biggest takeaways from the chat right here.
But first, let's get you up to speed with the biggest news stories you need to know today, Thursday April 6.
1. PM says he intervened in NSW pre-selection to protect women in parliament.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he intervened in NSW pre-selections to protect female candidates in parliament whose positions were being threatened by faction groups in the state branch.
"I'm asked all the time, 'Why won't the Prime Minister do more about getting good women in parliament and stand up for the women in parliament?' So I stood up for the women in my team," he told ABC's 7.30 Report, saying he's "very serious about having great women" in his ranks.
PM @ScottMorrisonMP claims he made the decision to intervene in some pre-selections in New South Wales because he is "very serious about having great women" in his ranks. #abc730 pic.twitter.com/aKxA8VOGGS— abc730 (@abc730) April 5, 2022
On Tuesday, the NSW Court of Appeal ruled the move was valid and upheld the federal intervention which enabled the re-endorsement of ministers Alex Hawke and Sussan Ley, along with backbencher Trent Zimmerman.
The judgment has cleared one of the final hurdles for the prime minister, who is set to call the federal election in a matter of days.
But an application for the High Court to hear an appeal on the decision could throw a spanner in the works.
The Sydney Morning Heraldhas reported an application for special leave to appeal the decision was being prepared and would be lodged on Wednesday.
The prime minister says he will always stand up for people in his party and particularly people in his government when factions try to "take them out".
2. Ukraine tells UN to make Russia accountable for war crimes.
Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy has told the UN Security Council that "accountability must be inevitable" for Russia as he accused invading Russian troops of committing "the most terrible war crimes" since World War Two.
Zelenskiy questioned the value of the 15-member Security Council, which has been unable to take any action over Russia's February 24 invasion because permanent member Moscow has a veto power, along with the United States, France, Britain and China.
"We are dealing with a state that turns its veto at the UN Security Council into the right to (cause) death," Zelenskiy said in a live video address from the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, calling for action to reform the world body. "Russia wants to turn Ukraine into silent slaves," he said.
Responding to Zelenskiy, Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the Council that Russian troops were not targeting civilians, dismissing accusations of abuse as lies.
US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said responsible world powers and global leaders need to "show backbone - and stand up to Russia's dangerous and unprovoked threat against Ukraine and the world".
The United States and its allies are expected to announce a sweeping new round of sanctions today including a ban on all new investment in Russia, according to a source familiar with the move.
The European Union's executive has proposed extending sanctions to include a ban on coal imports from Russia as part of the West's response to the discovery of bodies of civilian in the northern Ukrainian town of Bucha.
3. Movie World ride closed after 12-year-old boy injured.
A 12-year-old boy has been hospitalised after falling from a ride and suffering head injuries at Warner Brothers Movie World in Queensland.
Emergency services were called to the theme park just after 1pm yesterday and took the boy to the Gold Coast University Hospital in a stable condition after he fell from the Looney Tunes Carousel.
In a statement, Village Roadshow Theme Parks confirmed the boy "received a laceration to his head" and the ride had since been closed while "we understand how the incident occurred".
Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor William Houghton told reporters the boy was "tended to by one of the (registered nurses) on scene, so he had good first aid given before we arrived".
"The scene was very calm... everyone seemed really helpful."
"People can die from head injuries but he’s extremely lucky," he said, adding "he’s in the best care at the moment".
4. Vaccine mandates to be scrapped in Queensland.
Vaccine mandates preventing unvaccinated people from visiting most venues in Queensland will be relaxed from next week.
Queenslanders will no longer need to show their vaccination status before entering venues such as cafes and clubs from 1:00am on Thursday April 14.
"The venues include: Pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants, theme parks, casinos and cinemas, weddings, showgrounds, galleries, libraries, museums and stadiums," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wrote on Twitter.
However, vaccine requirements will still apply for vulnerable settings including schools, aged care facilities, hospitals, and correctional facilities.
BREAKING: Queensland COVID-19 restrictions are easing further from 1am Thursday 14 April.— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) April 5, 2022
From then, most venues that have been open only to vaccinated staff and patrons will be open to everyone, regardless of vaccination status. pic.twitter.com/NrQblxOep6
The announcement comes after the state recorded 9946 new cases and eight deaths on Tuesday.
5. Case of "serious misconduct" flagged between NSW Police and an Indigenous teenager.
If you missed it yesterday, a NSW Police officer has been found to have engaged in "serious misconduct" when he repeatedly touched a restrained, sedated Aboriginal teenager on the nipple.
An inquiry into the misconduct recommended administrative punishments, including coaching or restricted duties, but the Aboriginal Legal Service wants the officer to face criminal charges.
The findings were part of the NSW Law Enforcement Conduct Commission's investigation that was released yesterday, following an investigation during which the officers involved were shown footage of the incident.
In the footage, the officer is seen repeatedly touching the 15-year-old boy on the nipple and making "turkey gobbler" noises as fellow officers laughed along.
"The officer alleged to have inappropriately touched the young person's nipple conceded that the footage clearly depicted him doing so whilst laughing along with other officers," the LECC said.
"A NSW Police officer engaged in serious misconduct when he touched the nipple of a restrained Aboriginal boy, made a turkey gobble noise and laughed with other officers, the law enforcement watchdog has found." @gmitch_news https://t.co/67QfOZ3SVi— Cameron Gooley (@CameronGooley) April 5, 2022
He was restrained, sedated, and his face covered with a towel on an ambulance stretcher when the officer repeatedly touched his exposed nipple, the LECC reported. Police later accused the teen of assaulting police, a charge that was dismissed by a magistrate.
The LECC noted the incident amounted to serious misconduct, and recommended the police commissioner consider taking "non-reviewable action", which can range from coaching and mentoring, through to warnings, reprimands and restricted duties for the officer.
And that's it, you're all up to speed. We'll keep you updated with more of the top news stories throughout the day.
- With AAP.
Has Will and Kate’s tour ended the royals?
Last month, Prince William and Kate Middleton completed their first official overseas tour since before the pandemic, but a number of hiccups along the way led some media outlets to describe it as a "disaster".
But was it really all that bad?
To find out what really went down, The Quicky speaks to an expert in Europe's royal families to consider whether it has done lasting damage.
Feature Image: AAP.