News in 5: Newton defends comments; Toddler killed in driveway; redress for abuse survivors.

With AAP.

1. Bert Newton defends controversial Logies speech.

Australian television veteran Bert Newton has backed controversial comments made during Sunday night’s TV Week Logie Awards on the Gold Coast.

While presenting the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Popular New Talent, the 79-year-old entertainer joked that the award’s late namesake often mentored young talent behind closed doors, prompting many viewers to question whether he was suggesting Kennedy was was a sexual predator.

“He enjoyed giving young people a chance on television; he was a great mentor, he mentored a lot of young people. You knew if you went to his dressing room it was locked, he will be inside doing some mentoring,” Newton said.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Newton responded to criticism shortly after presenting the gong to Dilruk Jayasinha.

“It was totally innocent as far as I’m concerned… everything these days is jumped upon,” he reportedly said.

The remarks about Kennedy weren’t the only part of Newton’s speech that raised eyebrows. Many viewers criticised the former Good Morning Australia host via social media for using a homophobic slur, after he described himself as “an old poof”.

2. Toddler killed in Eyre Peninsula driveway.

toddler killed in driveway eyre peninsula
Image via 7 News.

A two-year-old girl has died after being hit by a car in a driveway on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.

The toddler was struck on Finger Hill Road, roughly 10km outside of Cowell, on Sunday afternoon, police said.

According to The Adelaide Advertiser, the State Emergency Service and Country Fire Service were called to the rural property to support paramedics as they attempted to save the girl, but she died at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle, a 27-year-old Cowell man, was not injured and is assisting police with their inquiries

Major Crash Investigators were en route to the property from Adelaide yesterday evening to analyse the incident.

The toddler's death is comes just four days after that of 15-month-old Khup Sien Khai, who was struck down in a driveway in the Adelaide suburb of Parafield Gardens on Wednesday.

A 49-year-old relative was driving the vehicle.

3. Child sex abuse survivors awarded financial redress decades after their trauma.

As a retiree in his 80s, child sexual abuse survivor Geoffrey Meyers doesn't think any financial redress will help him much.

But for Mr Meyers, who lives south of Wollongong, it's something he can leave for his children, who also felt the impact of their father's trauma as they grew up.


"You've got to understand, I'm 82 years of age, so redress is not gonna help me," Mr Meyers told AAP on Sunday.

"But some things my children missed out on - and they didn't miss out on a lot of things - but I had neighbours telling me: 'Get a life mate, get off their back'.

"I was over-protective of my children because of what I went through, so the reason I want redress is to bring that to them when I kick the bucket."

Mr Meyers said he suffered horrific physical and sexual abuse at a NSW orphanage and in foster care, from the ages of seven to 18.

For many years he hated adults and "did not have a clue to what the word love meant".

He was one of about 20 members of the Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) who held a minute's silence in Sydney to remember those who didn't live to see The National Redress Scheme roll out.

The scheme will provide survivors of institutional child sexual abuse with access to counselling, financial compensation and a direct personal response from the institution.

"Redress is a must because somebody's got to pay eventually," Mr Meyers said.

"Unfortunately it's going to be the taxpayer again, but it was the taxpayer that paid these wages years ago."

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan in a statement encouraged for all eligible survivors to apply for the scheme as part of their healing process, and to get acknowledgement that the institution failed them.

Citizens and residents are eligible if they were sexually abused under the age of 18, and it occurred before July 2018 at an institute responsible for bringing them into contact with their abuser.

They can apply at any point during the decade-long life of the scheme, up until June 30, 2027.

Initially a Gillard Labor government initiative, the scheme is the result of years of consultation and co-operation between states, territories and organisations.

4. Neil Perry rejects claims his restaurant chain rips off migrant workers.


Celebrity chef Neil Perry has hit back at claims his restaurant empire is ripping off migrant workers, insisting the business is operating fully within employment laws.

Some chefs working for Rockpool Dining Group are earning $15 per hour some weeks, well below the minimum wage, while working up to 30 hours' unpaid overtime, according to Fairfax Media.

Separately, company emails seen by Fairfax tell workers how not to record the hours they worked.

Mr Perry said the Rockpool Dining Group offered Australians and employees on working visas opportunities to learn and grow their skills in restaurants.

"It's a sad day when a few people try to undermine the amazing work of so many who contribute to making our restaurants great; especially when we operate fully within the employment laws of this country," he said in a statement on Sunday.

Mr Perry sold Rockpool Group in late 2016, becoming the group's chief brand and culinary director and a significant shareholder.

Rockpool Group's chief executive Thomas Pash said the report was based on questionable documents the company wasn't allowed to see.

"These allegations are spurious, inaccurate and give an incomplete picture of our practices," Mr Pash said in a statement.

He said the company's time attendance system registered hours worked to manage rosters, assign days off in lieu and pay overtime in line with award rates.


"Our permanent employees are remunerated in line with, and in many cases well above, the industry award," Mr Pash said.

The claims centre on underpayments at two of the group's restaurants, Sake and Munich Brauhaus.

Workplace Minister Craig Laundy said he would contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on Monday to ensure they would pursue the journalists who reported the allegations to give up documents proving the claims.

"All allegations of this type irrespective of the name of the business owner and business involved should be followed up and are followed up by the Fair Work Ombudsman," he told Sky News on Sunday.

5. Australian memorial for those onboard flight MH370 put on hold indefinitely.

A national memorial in Perth to honour the 239 passengers and crew on board the lost flight MH370 has been put on hold.

The West Australian and federal governments have decided to wait until the Malaysian Airlines flight, which disappeared in March 2014, is found.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said the decision to delay the memorial had been made because some relatives of those on board had concerns.

"It was decided in the best interests of all concerned not to proceed with the memorial at this point in time," he said in a statement on Sunday.

"We are very confident, after consulting with the Australian relatives, that we have made the right call."

The Boeing 777 vanished in March 2014 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

A four-year search costing more than $200 million failed to find the wreckage. It was thought the plane could have ended up on the seabed in the remote Indian Ocean.

The official search for the aircraft ended in late May after Ocean Infinity failed to locate the plane during its canvassing of an area totalling 125,000sq/km in the Indian Ocean.

Malaysia signed a "no find, no fee" deal with a US company in January to resume the hunt for the plane, a year after the official search by Australia, Malaysia and China was called off.

No other search is scheduled.

Australia, Malaysia and China agreed in 2016 an official search would only resume if the three countries had credible evidence that identified a specific location for the wreckage.

00:00 / ???