Local News - Victoria

Malka Leifer’s lawyers launch appeal in extradition case

Liberal MP Dave Sharma, left, and Labor MP Josh Burns have backed alleged child sex abuse victims Dassi Erlich, second from left, and Nicole Meyer in their call for former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer to face justice.

Liberal MP Dave Sharma, left, and Labor MP Josh Burns have backed alleged child sex abuse victims Dassi Erlich, second from left, and Nicole Meyer in their call for former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer to face justice.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

An extradition hearing was set for July 20, making it the 68th court hearing in the legal saga.

Manny Waks, a prominent campaigner against sexual abuse in Melbourne’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, said he firmly believed Ms Leifer would fail in her appeal and ultimately face court in Australia.


“It’s unsurprising that her defence has launched this appeal. From the very start they’ve said they would do whatever they could to prolong this case,” he said.

“Of course, everyone deserves due process and the appeal is part of that. But as someone who has followed this case closely, including recent closed court hearings, I believe she has absolutely no leg to stand on and I expect this appeal will be rejected promptly and outright.”

The Jerusalem Post reported Ms Leifer’s defence team has pointed to a 2016 court decision, which found the former teacher was mentally unfit for trial, in their appeal.

Ms Leifer’s lawyers plan to present new evidence including a document by a medical doctor stating she suffering ill mental health, according to the newspaper.

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Australian News

Limestone Coast football league to launch after six SA clubs sign up

A 2020 football season for the Limestone Coast will go ahead, with six teams signing up to play in a combined “super” league.

Mundulla, Kybybolite, Kalangadoo, East Gambier, North Gambier and South Gambier have committed senior and reserve teams for the combined competition.

The Limestone Coast Football League formed after the recent cancellation of the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara, Mid South Eastern and Western Border football leagues.

Games will start on Saturday, July 18 and run for 11 weeks, with a three-week finals period.

The Limestone Coast Regional Football Council said it was a viable option for clubs now coronavirus restrictions had eased in South Australia.

A man in a suit stands in front of green shrubbery
Trevor Smart said having crowds and canteen functions made the league viable.(Supplied: Naracoorte Lucindale Council)

Chair Trevor Smart said it was a big turnaround from several months ago.

“Probably only three or four weeks ago, none of it seemed possible,” he said.

Mr Smart said easing restrictions had changed that.

“[It’s] a good opportunity for all the clubs, and a good opportunity for the region as well,” Mr Smart said.

Mr Smart said there was plenty of positive feedback to spark a 2020 season.

A sign listing entrance costs in front of a footy oval
The South Gambier Football Club is one of six clubs competing in the “super” league.(ABC South East SA: Selina Green)

“I think there’s a lot of excitement and interest in how the season will play out with teams represented across all three leagues, including last year’s three premiers,” he said.

“We’ve received some real positive feedback from clubs and the general public as well.

“Regional football and all sports are a huge part of our social fabric, so [people are looking forward to] just being able to get out there and interact with each other, catch up… just have a good chat and watch the football.”

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Australian News

Queensland ends losing streak against New South Wales to launch Australian Super Rugby competition

The Queensland Reds have ended an 11-match losing streak against the New South Wales Waratahs, defying a second-half comeback to win 32-26 in Super Rugby AU’s launch this evening.

The Reds cruised to a 19-7 lead at Lang Park in Brisbane but suddenly looked like the team that had not beaten their border rivals in seven years.

Crushed in scrums and without the sin-binned Angus Bell for 10 minutes, the Waratahs still found a way to collect regular points and finished the half behind by just six.

Eight minutes into the second half they led by four when Jack Maddocks streamed on to a Lachie Swinton pass and through a gaping hole.

Harry Wilson sniffed out a five-pointer in reply though, before Taniela Tupou was sent to the sin-bin for taking out a kicker for the second time.

Waratahs five-eighth Will Harrison drilled an equaliser for the visitors but James O’Connor stepped up with a penalty of his own with three minutes to play.


O’Connor then repeated the dose when the full-time siren sounded, with the Reds scoring four tries to two in front of 5,590 spectators.

Reds captain Liam Wright and Fraser McReight combined well in their first start together in the back row, while number eight Wilson continued his strong pre-coronavirus shutdown form.

Wright scored first and thought he had a second when he ran around the ruck to plant a loose ball in front of a sleeping Waratahs defence.

It was deemed offside though, as was a Tupou effort moments earlier as the Reds threatened to run away with the clash.

Tate McDermott darted in from a quick tap, while Filipo Daugunu crossed in the corner and Harry Johnson-Holmes burrowed over for the Waratahs’ first-half try.

The visitors gave away 18 penalties to the Reds’ nine, with tougher policing of the ruck and the novel 50-22 or 22-50 kicking rules both impacting play.

Super Rugby AU also includes the Brumbies, Melbourne Rebels and Western Force.

The Brumbies and Rebels face off at Canberra Stadium tomorrow evening.


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Australian News

Melbourne Storm launch comeback to beat Sydney Roosters in NRL golden point thriller 27-25

A Cameron Smith penalty goal in golden-point extra time has given Melbourne a thrilling 27-25 win over Sydney Roosters in Brisbane.

The Storm had led by two with two minutes to play at Lang Park, before a Kyle Flanagan penalty goal squared the ledger and Luke Keary’s field goal in the following set gave the Roosters a seemingly decisive one-point lead with 45 seconds left.

But the Storm regained possession off the short kick-off and forced the extra period with a 33-metre Ryan Papenhuyzen field goal with less than 10 seconds on the clock, before Smith slotted the winning penalty goal.

After trailing by 10 points with less than 10 minutes remaining, Jahrome Hughes and Paul Momirovski scored for the Storm.

Smith, who started the match in the halves for the first time since 2014, converted from the sideline to put the Storm up by two with six minutes to play.

But Roosters half-back Flanagan and five-eighth Keary, then Storm full-back Papenhuyzen were all similarly on target in the clutch.


The dramatic clash was ironically sealed in somewhat mundane fashion by Smith, when he potted a penalty goal from straight in front of the posts after Roosters hooker Jake Friend was penalised for a ruck infringement.

The win is the 299th first-grade victory of Smith’s storied career.

Injury was added to insult for the Roosters in the extra period with Daniel Tupou and Boyd Cordner both escorted off the field.

Tupou appeared to suffer a leg injury while Cordner was left groggy after his head hit the ground in a tackle.

The dramatic finish overshadowed an attacking masterclass by the Morris brothers that had put the Roosters on the verge of a sixth straight win.

A Sydney Roosters NRL player is congratulated by a teammate as he holds the ball after scoring a try against Melbourne.
Veteran Josh Morris (right) crossed for two tries for the Roosters.(AAP: Darren England)

Josh Morris scored a double while Brett scored another to take the duo’s combined tally of NRL tries past 300.

Their efforts and Brett setting up Flanagan for the opener of the match had countered Melbourne’s efforts by Josh Addo-Carr and Hughes.

The Storm half-back made it a double with a solo effort to spark the comeback in the 71st minute.

Victory lifts the Storm up to second on the ladder, while the Roosters are fourth after their third loss of the season.


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Local News - Victoria

Heritage Victoria, police launch investigation into Brighton house fires

“Spurling House was the architectural innovation that introduced the iconic North American shingle style home to Melbourne back in 1888.’’

Spurling House before it was damaged in a fire in October 2015.

Spurling House before it was damaged in a fire in October 2015.

The heritage listed home was built for Phillis Spurling by the Canadian architect John Horbury Hunt, one of the first important North American architects to practise in Australia. Spurling House is his only known work in Victoria.

Spurling House was then included in the Victorian Heritage Register in 1974 for its architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria.

The design is notable for being the first Victorian house to be built in the Shingle style, a North American technique that used organic materials in a way that elevated their natural qualities.


In January, the owner of the historic 131-year-old house lost their battle with the Heritage Council to demolish the property after arguing the 2015 fire had left the property uninhabitable because it is infested with mould.

At the time, Heritage Victoria said the demolition would result in the complete loss of the cultural heritage significance of the place.

Heritage Victoria subsequently issued two repair orders to the house’s owner, which required works to be carried out to prevent the further deterioration of the building.

This prompted the owner to launch an appeal against the repair orders in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Spurling House has since been demolished in compliance with an emergency order issued by the City of Bayside, following the most recent fire.

Heritage Victoria said there were about 2300 places included on the Victorian Heritage Register including Flinders Street Railway Station, Parliament House, the Murtoa Stick Shed and the Brighton Bathing Boxes.

Spurling House in Brighton in January 2020 before the second blaze.

Spurling House in Brighton in January 2020 before the second blaze.Credit:Eddie Jim

It is an offence under the Heritage Act 2017 to demolish, damage or despoil a place on the Victorian Heritage Register. Anyone convicted faces fines of up to $793,056 and, or five years’ jail.

Moorabbin Crime Investigation Unit detectives are investigating whether both attacks are linked.

A police spokeswoman said a person previously contacted Crime Stoppers regarding this matter with investigators believing there are others who may also have information.

Police are urging these people, or anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at

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Australian News

Police launch fresh search into boy’s disappearance

Police have launched a new search in bushland on the NSW mid-north coast related to the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of William Tyrrell.

Police officers, SES crews and sniffer dogs have scoured the bushland around Herons Creek today as part of a coronial order from the ongoing inquest.

The search is taking place in an area about a 10 minute drive from Kendall where the three-year-old disappeared while playing outside his foster grandmother’s home in 2014.

Investigators are focusing the search on an area where convicted paedophile Frank Abbott lived in a caravan at the time of William’s disappearance, according to the ABC.

Abbott is currently serving 16 years in jail after being convicted of 10 counts of sexual misconduct against three children.

A coronial inquest into the toddler’s disappearance previously heard how the 79-year-old would complain about a “peculiar smell” coming from the bushland near Herons Creek.

When someone known to Abbott suggested it was probably a dead kangaroo, he reportedly said, “I know the difference between a dead kangaroo and a dead human”.

He reportedly didn’t tell the police about the smell because he believed he would get blamed “if there’s something up there”.

More to come.

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Australian News

SA Police launch investigation after Aboriginal man punched

South Australia Police have launched an internal investigation after an officer was filmed appearing to punch an Aboriginal man on the ground during an arrest last night.

Video of the arrest in the Adelaide suburb of Kilburn went viral after being posted to social media.

It shows three officers attempting to detain the man as a woman can be heard screaming, “Get off his head.”

One of the officers appears to strike the man in the head.

In a statement this afternoon, SA Police said the officers were responding to an “alleged high-risk domestic violence matter where a woman was taken to hospital and the offender was not known at the time”.

As they approached the house at about 8.15pm, “they saw a man leaving the area of the house on a bicycle”.

Police at this time advised the man that they had suspicions concerning him being in possession of illicit drugs. He was asked to place his hands on his head while a search of his person was undertaken,” the statement said.

“The man originally was compliant and after a short time he began to refuse. Police attempted to arrest the man who resisted and a struggle ensued. Police and the man went to the ground as police attempted to restrain and handcuff him.”

Police say one of the officer’s body cameras was grabbed during the struggle and only parts of it have been recovered.

They say they were then “confronted by a number of other nearby residents who became agitated”.

“Police called for urgent assistance. Defensive spray was deployed and other police arrived,” the statement said.

“There is video footage of the incident that has been published on social media. The video shows a rear view of a police officer appearing to strike the man on the ground. An internal investigation has commenced and will be conducted in strict accordance with the statutory provisions outlined in the Police Complaints and Discipline Act 2016.”

SA Police say the investigation will be led by a “senior police officer” and that the matter will be “taken very seriously”.

The 28-year-old Kilburn man in the video was initially arrested and charged with hindering police, resisting police and property damage.

He has been released from custody while the incident is investigated further.

Police say both the man and one of the officers received “minor injuries”.

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Discovery takes space nerds document NASA launch of SpaceXu

On Saturday 30 May, after bad weather halted the first attempt a few days earlier, history was made when NASA launched the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule from the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The event marked the first crewed space mission to be launched into orbit from US soil since 2011 and the first commercially built spacecraft, initiating a new era in human spaceflight. With unprecedented access, Discovery documented the event, and now viewers will be able to experience this momentous occasion like never before with two 2-hour specials set to air next weekend.

Space Launch: America Returns To Space premieres Sunday 14 June at 8:30pm and takes viewers inside NASA and SpaceX’s joint mission to launch veteran astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station (ISS) on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

The coverage features appearances by global superstar Katy Perry, MythBusters star Adam Savage, former NASA engineer and YouTube sensation Mark Rober and more. It also includes expert insight by former astronauts Mike Massimino and Karen Nyberg, active astronauts Jessica Meir and K. Megan McArthur and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine as well as an interview with Astronaut Chris Cassidy from the International Space Station (ISS).

Having secured more access to the event that any other network, not only does Discovery take viewers inside this historic launch, but also showcases the incredible achievements of those who made it happen. Discovery spent over a year documenting SpaceX’s race to become the first private company to launch American astronauts into space.

In the lead up to the launch special on Sunday night, Discovery will air the 2-hour documentary, NASA & SpaceX: Journey To The Future on Saturday 13 June 8:30pm which charts the incredible journey to the launch.

With unprecedented and exclusive access to NASA and the SpaceX headquarters, the documentary gives viewers a rare glimpse inside Launch Control and first-hand accounts from SpaceX Founder and Chief Engineer Elon Musk, Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. NASA & SpaceX: Journey To The Future reveals the behind-the-scenes action with the teams of SpaceX engineers, NASA employees and scientists as they fulfill the SpaceX mission to “fly, test, and fix” their way to the ISS – with the goal of eventually flying to the moon and to Mars.

Space Launch: America Returns To Space

Australian Premiere (1×120)
Stream or watch Sunday 14 June at 8:30pm on Discovery

NASA & SpaceX: Journey To The Future

Australian Premiere (1×120)
Stream or watch Saturday 13 June at 8:30pm on Discovery

Discovery is available on Fetch and Foxtel

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SpaceX’s historic launch gives Australia’s booming space industry more room to fly

At the weekend, Elon Musk’s commercial giant SpaceX launched two NASA astronauts in a spacecraft named Crew Dragon which, from the inside, looked like a souped-up Tesla.

The Falcon 9 rocket launched the spacecraft, returned to Earth and landed on a ship to later be re-used. And the Crew Dragon eventually docked autonomously with the International Space Station (ISS).

The flight marks the first time in history:

  • a commercial company has launched astronauts
  • a crewed spacecraft has docked with the ISS while “self-driving” and
  • a reusable rocket has been used to launch people, which can help cut down on debris re-entering the atmosphere, such as the rocket pieces that recently burned up over Victoria and Tasmania.

SpaceX has well and truly revolutionized . But what does this mean for the many Australian companies making up a new space sector Down Under?

A burgeoning local industry

Globally, the space sector is worth at least US$415 billion, and is expected to grow to US$1 trillion over the next decade. By then, the Australian space sector is also expected to be worth A$12 billion.

An estimated 770 Australian entities already develop space-related infrastructure. This includes satellites, and technologies for telecommunications or television, bushfire monitoring, weather and climate tracking, search and rescue, navigation, deep space research, and defense and security.

In 2018, the Australian Space Agency (ASA) was established with a mandate to the support Australian space industry, rather than develop a national civil space program.

The global commercial space sector is now watching Australia with excitement, and possibly some envy. Many countries over-regulate their space industries, or fail to give them legislative support. But Australia is a new entrant to the space sector that benefits from full government support through an industry-dedicated space agency.

The commercialisation of spacefaring

The 20th century space race began with government programs spurred by a technological and ideological competition between the US and the Soviet Union. However, today’s space race is highly commercial.

Many national space programs and militaries outsource to commercial entities for space services. Just this month, the Australian Department of Defense signed a contract with Queensland company Gilmour Space technologies to develop rockets for small military cargo and satellites.

Rather than large, expensive technologies developed for single purposes by government agencies, we’re now in an era of “NewSpace”. This is a term associated with small and medium sized companies developing smaller, lighter, and therefore cheaper technologies that can be repurposed and turned into “off the shelf” components.

Australian companies excel at this, as demonstrated by Gilmour, Neumann Space – which has a unique thrust technology for small satellites—and Myriota, a world leader in groundbreaking Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

Giants such as SpaceX and Blue Origin are developing NewSpace technologies alongside their larger launch projects, and smaller companies benefit from their success when it comes negotiating public-private partnerships.

SpaceX's historic launch gives Australia's booming space industry more room to fly
The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft lifted off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Credit: NASA Kennedy/Flickr, CC BY

Innovative mindsets pave the way

Even the opening of our own spaceport in East Arnhem land, expected by early 2021, is thanks to industry innovation.

NewSpace company Equatorial Launch Australia is the first commercial company ever to receive a launch contract from NASA. As a result, the company is developing the spaceport, where it will specialize in new launch technologies for small and light satellites.

With our own spaceport, Australia will join the ranks of just 13 other nations that have launch capacity from their territory.

And aside from NASA, many Australian companies and research institutes will be keen customers. Inovor, which builds tiny nanosatellites may be among the first.

Or perhaps Gilmour, as it tests a revolutionary hybrid propulsion rocket in partnership with the Australian National University. This could be the first commercial rocket of its kind to launch in the world.

SpaceX's historic launch gives Australia's booming space industry more room to fly
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley piloted the Crew Dragon. It’s the first spacecraft to carry humans into space from US shores since 2011. Credit: NASA Kennedy/Flickr, CC BY

Even in a pandemic, the space economy booms

According to a report released in May by accounting organization KPMG, by 2030 every business will be a “space business.” The report suggests humans will live, work and holiday in space, and will be mining the moon for water and minerals.

And while human space flight from Australian shores may not be on the horizon, SpaceX’s launch is a beacon of hope for local commercial entities—especially because they push new technologies faster than government programs tethered to budgets and low-risk approaches.

Moreover, the ASA is considering entering into an Artemis Accord with the US. The launch technology demonstrated by SpaceX this weekend will be part of the Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the moon by 2024.

So although the national and global economy reels from the impacts of COVID-19 shutdowns, the global space economy continues to boom. And with Australia’s industry taking off, the sky is definitely not the limit.

SpaceX plans first manned flight to space station in May

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SpaceX launch still ‘cool’ but not as impressive as NRL’s ‘Apollo-like restart’ – Sky News Australia

  1. SpaceX launch still ‘cool’ but not as impressive as NRL’s ‘Apollo-like restart’  Sky News Australia
  2. Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launches rocket carrying astronauts bound for the ISS  ABC News
  3. SpaceX Launch: Dinosaur toy accompanies NASA astronauts to ISS
  4. SpaceX: Astronaut Charlie Duke talks about America’s return to space | 7NEWS  7NEWS Australia
  5. Russian space agency congratulates SpaceX on launch  SBS News
  6. View Full coverage on Google News

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