Friday Afternoon's news in under 5 minutes.

1.  PM’s doctor urges Abbott to change his risky exercise routine

Tony Abbott’s doctor has urged him to swap his early morning bike rides for a less risky exercise routine, The Australian reports.

Doctor Graeme Killer — who has been the official doctor to five prime ministers — said he was worried that “one day he’ll come off”, in reference to the rides the Prime Minister regularly takes before starting his working day.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is a regular rider, runner and swimmer.

“This bike riding, you know as a doctor I see all the accidents coming off bikes and one day I think he is going to have one too,’’ Dr Killer told the Australian.

Aside from bike riding, the Prime Minister also keeps fit by running and swimming and often participates in fun runs, marathons and iron man events.

According to Dr Killer a daily walk, such as John Howard often took, would be a safer option for the Prime Minister.

“My son’s a great cyclist, but of course he was riding down St Kilda Road and someone opened the door on a taxi and he went bang,” he said.

“I see people come off bikes, you look at them on the Tour de France. I really think the Prime Minister, he’d be advised to get a different sport.’’

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she doubted the Prime Minister would be following his doctors advice.

“Good luck with that,”  she told Sky News.

“The Prime Minister loves his early morning exercise.”

2. Bondi evacuated over shark fears


About 200 swimmers were ordered out of the water at Sydney’s Bondi Beach after a shark was detected near the shore this morning.

Lifeguards used a shark alarm and jet skis to alert swimmers to the danger and evacuate the water after a police helicopter spotted the shark about 10:45am (AEDT).




Lifeguard Anthony ‘Harries’ Carroll said the beach reopened about an hour later after helicopter and jet ski searches failed to find the shark, which had been seen about 150 metres from the shoreline at the northern end of the beach.

Police suspected the animal was a bull shark but Mr Carroll said the water was murky, which would have made it difficult to identify the species.

“We’ve had a lot of fish in the bay and that’s part of their general routine – they eat fish, sharks – and so they’re following the bait ball,” Mr Carroll said.

“The bait ball went up into the northern end of Bondi and then went back out to sea, so after an hour we’ve put the flags back up here and we’ve all got all the swimmers back out in the water.

Hundreds of swimmers were ordered out of the water at Bondi Beach after a shark was spotted near the shore.

“There’s so much fish for the sharks to eat I wasn’t so concerned about the swimmers, but part of our policy is to pull the flags out and shoo the shark out to sea.”

The scare follows the death of a 2.5-metre great white shark in nets off the beach in November.

“I just want to let the public know there’s not too much to worry about – we do have two sets of flags up on the beach and it’ll be totally fine,” Mr Carroll added.

 A version of this story was originally published on ABC and has been republished with full permission.

3. Missing flight Air Asia QZ8501: Black box search specialists join multinational search effort


A multinational team of black box search specialists is joining the international effort to find the AirAsia flight that crashed en route from Indonesia to Singapore.

At least seven bodies have so far been recovered from the water off Borneo, near the suspected crash site of flight QZ8501, which went down with 162 people on board on Sunday.

Bad weather stopped divers reaching the possible wreck of the Airbus A320-200 yesterday in the northern Java Sea, near the Karimata Strait.

Divers prepare to attempt to recover the plane’s black box.

An aviation official said it could be a week before the black box flight recorders were found.

France’s BEA crash investigation agency assists in the investigation of any air crash involving an Airbus aircraft because the company is France-based.


It said a ship with two hydrophones (underwater acoustic detection devices) was due to arrive on Friday with French, Singaporean and Indonesian experts aboard.

“A ship will be taking the investigators to the search area, with detection equipment including hydrophones, in order to try to locate the acoustic beacons from the two flight recorders,” BEA said in a statement.

Previous reports of a sonar image showing the plane body in the water had not been confirmed, officials said. However, pieces of the plane had been recovered.

Because flight QZ8501 crashed in shallow seas, experts say finding the boxes should not be difficult if the beacons, with a range of 2,000 to 3,000 metres, are working.

The head of Indonesia’s national committee for transportation safety, Tatang Kurniadim, said rescuers would use five ping locators — two from Indonesia, two from Singapore and one from Britain — once bad weather had eased as expected within five days.

 A version of this story was originally published on ABC and has been republished with full permission.

4. Out of control bushfires burning in Victoria and South Australia, with catastrophic fire conditions declared in three states.

Authorities are battling bushfires across Victoria and South Australia, with emergency warnings being issued for Moyston in Victoria, and Tantanoola and Glencoe in South Australia as temperatures soar above 40 degrees in both states.

Moyston, west of Ararat in western Victoria is under threat from a fast-moving grass fire, ABC News reports.

The fire is travelling in a south-easterly direction past the township and heading towards the Burrumbeep Road and Andrews Lane.

Residents have been told that it is too late to leave, with the safest option to take shelter indoors.




A relief centre has been set up at the Ararat Town Hall and Residents are also advised to close all exterior doors, windows and vents, and turn off cooling systems.

Watch-and-act warnings have also been released for the communities of Rocky Point, Cathcart, Denicull Creek, Maroona and Langi Logan and a number of roads are closed including the Ararat and Halls Gap Road near the Rhymney intersection, Moyston Willaura Road, Moyston Great Western Road and Moyston Dunkeld Road.

This morning, Victorian Emergency Management Commissioner Graig Apsley offered this advice on what to expect over the next couple of days:

South Australian authorities are also grappling with several grassfires across two districts, according to ABC News.

Water-bombing aircraft were called in to help Country Fire Service near Humbug Scrub in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges near Shillabeer Road.

The CFS told the ABC that around 100 firefighters were battling the blaze and have successfully reduced the threat.

Firefighters are also battling several blazes around Murray Bridge.



In Western Australia the Total Fire Ban declared for parts of the Goldfields Midlands was removed this morning following a change in conditions, but authorities remain on high alert.

For more news watch the ABC afternoon news update below.


Please enable Javascript to watch this video