1.Wheelchair user blocked from VIP area at Pink’s concert.
A music journalist who uses a wheelchair claims she was discriminated against at Pink‘s Sydney concert on Saturday night.
Marlena Katene, who has cerebral palsy, was one of 115 people who purchased $254 VIP front-of-stage tickets for the show at Qudos Bank Arena, but says she was forced to sit in the bleachers in a designated wheelchair section.
Katene claims she and her friend, Bert Hibbert, were told by security that it was against the venue’s policy to allow wheelchairs in the general admission standing area. After a verbal disagreement, police were called and Hibbert was removed from the stadium.
“We weren’t after any favours, we didn’t want any preferential treatment, we just wanted the experience we’d paid for,” he told 9 News.
Tonight I was excited for my 4th @Pink show but faced blatant discrimination from @qudosbankarena . Paid for wild heart tickets and was told to go into the wheelchair spot. @hartluck they even said it was pink security team made this decision. Kicked out m8 watched show aloneAdvertisement
— marlena Katene (@aacjournalist) August 25, 2018
Katene, who travelled from the Gold Coast for the concert, said she had been in the same section at the singer’s Melbourne show and several other concerts without issue.
“In my mosh-pit experience having a wheelchair creates an even greater level of respect on the floor,” she told The Gold Coast Bulletin.
“The social aspect is worth the VIP ticket price alone and something I would not experience in the wheelie section.”
Qudos Bank Arena General Manager Steve Hevern said he was “disappointed” that the venues efforts to accommodate Katene safely did not meet her expectations.
“We respect Ms Katene’s enthusiasm and excitement to enjoy the concert in the way she had anticipated, however we have a duty of care to Ms Katene as well as all other patrons to ensure a safe event for all,” he said, according to The Gold Coast Bulletin.
“Our goal was to provide a safe alternative in an equivalently-priced location to ensure the best possible experience for Ms Katene.”
The pair has been offered a full refund of their tickets, but Katene is considering legal action.
2. Liberal MP Julia Banks quits parliament due to “bullying”.
The Victorian Liberal Party president says the phones have been “ringing hot” from candidate potentials who wish to fill the gap that will be left by Liberal MP Julia Banks.
The first-time MP has announced she will not recontest her marginal Melbourne seat at the next election, calling out bad behaviour from both within her party and Labor.
Ms Banks said last week’s events, which led to Malcolm Turnbull being knocked from the top job and deputy leader Julie Bishop resigning from cabinet, were the “last straw”.
Ms Banks agreed with hundreds of constituents who told her they wanted Malcolm Turnbull to remain Prime Minister.
“I have always listened to the people who elected me and put Australia’s national interest before internal political games, factional party grudges, self-proclaimed powerbrokers and certain media personalities who bear vindictive, mean-spirited grudges,” she said.
Victorian Liberal Party president Michael Kroger says he is not aware of any complaints of bullying within the party, but admits he hasn’t spoken to Ms Banks for three months.
“We’ve already got a number of people that have put their hand up … the phones have been ringing hot,” he told Sky News.
“People want to get on Scott Morrison’s team.”
Labor held Ms Banks’ Melbourne seat of Chisholm for 18 years before she won the contest at the 2016 federal election
It was the only seat the coalition won from Labor.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is supporting his colleague as she takes leave before returning to parliament on September 10, and promises bullying won’t occur under his watch.
“I have laid down the law to my ministry,” he said.
3. Man charged over brutal attack on Melbourne mother who was out for the first time since birth.
The man charged with the brutal bashing and rape of a Melbourne mother as she walked home is due to reappear in court.
Zynal Javid Khan, 34 of Reservoir, made a brief appearance in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday night, charged with sexual penetration without consent, serious injury and assault and stealing the victim's handbag.
Khan is accused of stalking the 22-year-old woman for more than a kilometre through North Melbourne before bashing her, dragging her into a laneway and raping her on June 30, 2013.
The woman had a seven-week-old son at home at the time and it was her first night out with friends since giving birth.
Khan was arrested and charged on Wednesday, less than two weeks after Victoria Police and the victim made a renewed appeal for information along with a $500,000 reward.
He has not applied for bail and is expected to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday for a formal file hearing.
A 37-year-old woman was also arrested on Wednesday and was expected to be interviewed over perjury and false alibi offences.
4. "I'm f***king done." Nick Kyrgios lashes out at US Open officials.
Nick Kyrgios has blasted US Open officials for not having a heat rule in place for men's players after huffing and puffing his way into the second round in sweltering New York.
The mercurial Australian spent much of his opening match complaining of fatigue before pulling through 7-5 2-6 6-4 6-2 against Moldovan baseliner Radu Albot.
After a scorching day in which temperatures nudged towards 40C at Flushing Meadows, humidity levels were still extreme even when Kyrgios hit the court for the night session on Louis Armstrong Stadium.
"I'm f***ed, my legs are f***ed. I'm cooked, I'm f***ing done. I can't play," Kyrgios moaned to his courtside box during the second set.
But after recovering to safely advance to a second-round clash with Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Kyrgios took aim at the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
On a day featuring six mid-match retirements in the men's event, tournament referee Brian Earley took the unprecedented step of offering players a 10-minute break after the third set.
The women have long played under an extreme heat rule offering 10 minutes' relief before the deciding third set.
"The heat can become dangerous at times," Kyrgios said.
"I don't think we had a heat rule. We made one up today, right?
"That's just ridiculous. Honestly, I think we should have a heat rule.
"It's not healthy for players to be out there and getting dizzy and stuff. We're the ones playing.
"It's not only players. The ball kids out there ... and the spectators aren't going to watch if it's that hot."
After winning the opening set against Albot, recovering from a service break down, Kyrgios collapsed in the second, constantly muttering to his players' box during changeovers.
He later said such antics "keep me relaxed".
Should he cool off and beat Herbert next, Kyrgios will likely run into five-times champion Roger Federer in the third round.
5. Electrocuted girl wins act of grace payment from Western Australian government.
The family of an 11-year-old girl who suffered a catastrophic brain injury after a severe electric shock at a public housing property will receive an act of grace payment from the West Australian government, which will be used for a modified car.
Denishar Woods was shocked with up to 230 volts when she touched a garden tap at a Beldon property in March and her family is pursuing legal action against the state.
The act of grace payment will be used to buy a specially-modified vehicle costing up to $100,000 that will allow Denishar to be easily transported in a wheelchair.
The incident remains under investigation by the Building and Energy Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
The family was provided with alternative accommodation and the Department of Communities has overseen modifications to the property to ensure it suits Denishar's needs.
Her mother Lacey Harrison told AAP on Wednesday that the family was waiting for the findings from the investigation, but had not ruled out taking the government to court if required.
The mother-of-seven said the house provided to her family had only four bedrooms and one bathroom, which left them down one bedroom and one bathroom.
"I'm not ungrateful for what they've done ... but we are overcrowded," she said.
"The act of grace payment is great and all but there's still a big cost of living."
Housing Minister Peter Tinley conceded it was unfortunate but unavoidable that sometimes due processes did not progress quickly enough.
"I can only reiterate that the state government will get to the bottom of this incident, identify its causes and, wherever possible, prevent it happening again," he said.