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Australian News

Teenager ‘choked unconscious’ by security guards at Melbourne pub


Sickening footage has revealed the moment a teenage pubgoer was choked unconscious by bouncers in front of horrified patrons.

The incident occurred on November 14 at the Dorset Gardens Hotel in Croydon in Melbourne’s east, and the video was shared on social media this week before being picked up by news outlets.

In the clip, a young male can be seen being grabbed and dragged by security guards and placed into a chokehold before he loses consciousness and his body drops to the ground face-first.

A bouncer then grabs the young man by his red shirt and drags him out the door.

According to Seven News, the 18-year-old had been told to leave the venue earlier in the day due to unruly behaviour, before jumping a fence to sneak back inside and rejoin his friends.

Witness Alex Hayhow claimed security guards tried to escort the “rowdy” patron out again before he ran off, jumped behind the bar and poured himself a schooner of beer before being intercepted by security.

Witness Lousie Bambery told the network she was “just in shock” after watching the treatment of the man, while the unnamed victim claimed the bouncer showed “no duty of care” and that the fall “had the potential to kill me”.

Victoria Police told news.com.au in a statement that police were investigating “following a reported assault at a licenced premises in Croydon on 14 November”.

“Investigators have been told a male was ejected from the Dorset Road premises before returning a short time later,” the statement reads.

“An altercation occurred between the man and security before he was ejected a second time.

“The investigation remains ongoing.”

Dorset Gardens venue manager Anthony Poloso told the Herald Sun the guard had received a written warning.

“We don’t condone that sort of behaviour from the guards,” Mr Poloso told the publication.

“In the context of the situation we were extremely patient with that patron. He chose to jump the beer garden fence and he ran behind the bar.”



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Australian News

Melbourne Stars down Perth Scorchers by seven wickets to earn spot in WBBL final



The Melbourne Stars’ remarkable turnaround has continued after cruising past the Perth Scorchers by seven wickets to earn a place in their maiden WBBL final.

Last year’s wooden spooners crushed the Scorchers at North Sydney Oval on Wednesday night, securing the victory with 22 balls to spare, to advance to Saturday’s decider.

Captain Meg Lanning’s decision to bowl first paid dividends, with the Stars restricting dangerous openers Beth Mooney (27) and Sophie Devine (12) before running through the Perth line-up.

Spinner Alana King had the middle-order in knots, taking all the key wickets to finish with economical figures of 3-16.

Former Australia batter Nicole Bolton saved some face for Perth, compiling a vital 32 to help the Scorchers post 8-125 from their 20 overs.

The Stars experienced some nervous moments, particularly when medium-pacer Heather Graham clean-bowled Lanning (22) with a stunning seaming delivery.

But English allrounder Nat Sciver (47 not out) and teen sensation Annabel Sutherland (30 not out) guided the Stars home with a commanding 67-run partnership.

The Stars, who had previously never finished a season higher than fifth, will take on the winner of Thursday night’s semi-final between two-time defending champions Brisbane Heat and the Sydney Thunder in the final.



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Australian News

WBBL semi-final live: Table-topping Melbourne Stars take on Perth Scorchers



Meg Lanning’s Stars are trying to reach their first Women’s Big Bash final, facing off against her former team in the first semi-final. Follow all the live scores, stats and results in our ScoreCentre.



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Local News - Victoria

Thousands of Melbourne CBD shops closed or vacant


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Of the 28 per cent of city businesses that have shut their doors, half of those are vacant. Across the CBD, an estimated 2000 businesses are either closed or empty, leaving thousands out of work.

“This is an economic crisis which has very real consequences for the people of our city,” deputy lord mayor Nicholas Reece said.

“It is bad out there at the moment. We need in extraordinary times to be taking extraordinary measures.”

Before the pandemic struck, an average 911,000 people travelled into the CBD every work day.

But the council estimates the number of workers, visitors and tourists entering the CBD will fall by 38 per cent, even after Premier Daniel Andrews’ announcement on the weekend that 25 per cent of workers could return to offices from Monday.

While 10 major employers including NAB and Telstra have signed up to a City of Melbourne “CEO pledge”, vowing to bring at least 70 per cent of their workforce back to the CBD, fulfilling that pledge could take months.

The number of pedestrians in the CBD on weekdays is about half the amount of pedestrians last year. Weekend pedestrian numbers remain about 30 per cent of last year’s figures.

Council officers report that between 7.30am and 4.30pm on Monday, just over half of the council-managed on-street parking spaces within the CBD grid were occupied.

Under the plan, to take effect from Tuesday, motorists will be able to access free parking vouchers from the City of Melbourne and display them in their windscreens. Parking time limits will still apply.

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Ms Leighton said the scheme could bring in between 36,000 and 48,000 additional visitors every day. If they each spent $75 during their trip, the scheme could return between $2.7 million and $3.6 million to city businesses every day.

The council forecasts it will lose at least $1.6 million in parking revenue between December 1 and January 3, when the scheme is due to finish.

Lord mayor Sally Capp said local businesses were looking to the city council for action and assistance.

“At this time, they are looking to us for solutions that recognise that they are experiencing devastating financial situations and every single dollar and every single initiative that can help drive revenue makes an enormous difference for them,” she said.

“The fact that every day makes a difference can’t be understated.”

The plan was opposed by the Greens councillors and independent Jamal Hakim, who argued the free parking scheme is a departure from the council’s Transport Strategy 2030, adopted last year as council policy.

That policy commits the council to disincentivising car use, and encouraging public transport, walking and cycling.

Consultants from the Institute for Sensible Transport, which helped shape that strategy, said they were disappointed at the shift to incentivising car use.

“Trying to compete with the likes of Chadstone or Fountain Gate on parking is a race they will never win, and nor should they want to,” senior transport analyst Vaughn Allan said.

Cr Capp said the council’s own data showed there were “significant” amounts of available car spaces each day.

“We need to be a competitive destination for people to come and do their Christmas shopping,” she said. “We know that free parking is an incentive that does attract people.”

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Business

E-Commerce boom lifts DHL freight flights from Melbourne to NZ


“We’ve always wanted to have a direct service out of Melbourne, but we never had the volume,” he said.

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Mr Edstein said DHL wanted a direct Melbourne-NZ service because it wanted to improve transit times, and side-step issues such as the curfew on flights in and out of the Sydney airport.

“When COVID-19 hit our volumes have soared, and we’ve always wanted to do this Melbourne-Auckland direct (service). And it’s been seven years in the planning to get up to a volume that will justify it, and we’ve now got that volume,” he said.

DHL Express’ Melbourne to New Zealand shipment volumes have jumped 49 per cent over the past year, making the route one of the fastest growing ones for DHL in the Oceania region. DHL said New Zealand is Victoria’s third largest export destination after China and the United States, buying about 7.6 per cent of Victoria’s exports.

Mr Edstein said the products DHL carried from Melbourne to New Zealand included clothing, electronic goods and spare parts.

“A lot of major companies have their distribution centre in Melbourne, and they don’t have a distribution centre in New Zealand. So because of our service, our overnight capability they can centralise all their stock in to one major location,” he said.

DHL Express has hired about an extra 120 staff in Australia since mid-year, because of the huge growth in demand for its services.

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Local News - Victoria

Melbourne Catholic schools Christian Brothers College St Kilda and Presentation College Windsor to merge


While many Presentation students have departed for schools including Sacre Coeur, Star of the Sea, Firbank and Prahran High, some stayed on and will become St Mary’s College students.

CBC principal Terry Blizzard will also lead St Mary’s College. He said the merged school was “in it for the long haul”, with hopes of one day having a more even gender mix.

“Our dream is to have a fully functioning two-campus school with equal numbers of girls and boys working together,” he said.

But with girls so heavily outnumbered, Mr Blizzard conceded this would not be easy.

“This might take a little while for us to build up numbers. I’m told that’s not unfamiliar when schools go from being single sex to co-ed.”

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The school’s new governors, Edmund Rice Education Australia, have taken out a five-year lease on the site of Presentation College Windsor and students will use both campuses. Next year, students will wear their respective boys’ and girls’ uniforms, before a new uniform is phased in over three years.

The two schools already combine for many VCE subjects but will merge in years 7 to 10 for the first time next year.

Former federal speaker Anna Burke, who attended Presentation College Windsor, said she felt “part sadness and part joy” at the merger.

“I’m joyous that it is not going away; I’m joyous that it’s not going to be residential housing,” she said.

“I think we need more co-ed, I think that’s what the world is and where we need to be.

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“But at the same time, a twinge of sadness that it’s not going on.”

She said the roughly five-to-one ratio of boys to girls was “indicative of the fact that Windsor announced more or less overnight that it was closing“, but said many newly merged schools had started out with an uneven gender mix before finding a good balance.

“Hopefully the numbers will grow … you’ve got to start somewhere,” Ms Burke said.

Media personality Eddie McGuire attended CBC St Kilda in the 1970s and ’80s on a scholarship, and said it “opened the world” to him.

That world included dancing lessons and drama classes with the girls of Presentation College Windsor.

He said the merger of the schools “makes sense” and would hopefully give students in inner-Melbourne an opportunity for a good education without the higher fees of neighbouring Catholic schools such as Loreto, St Kevin’s and Xavier.

Single-sex schools have fallen out of favour. In the decade to 2018, Victorian student numbers rose 15 per cent while enrolments at private girls’ schools rose 2.4 per cent and boys’ schools 4.2 per cent. Researcher Katherine Dix said girls’ schools were under pressure as new schools tended to be co-ed, and boys’ schools were converting to co-ed “out of economic necessity”.

Julie Sonnemann, acting program director of school education at the Grattan Institute, said single-sex schools “might be a harder sell these days as research showed their academic benefits aren’t as big as previously thought”.

“Although I suspect that academics is only one small part of the reason why parents send kids to single-sex school, so I’m not sure how much the academic research influences parental decisions,” she added.

Education consultant Paul O’Shannassy said the school would probably be successful in the long term because it would be different to the high-fee, single-sex schools nearby.

“This is going to take time but I’m reasonably bullish about it,” he said. “They would be unique in their area in terms of co-ed and price and might even attract some non-Catholics.”

Mr O’Shannassy, of Regent Consulting, said the COVID-19 pandemic had hit families hard and there was “going to be more of a market for that mid-priced offering”.

Presentation opened in 1874 and was the state’s second-oldest Catholic girls’ school. Once a prep-to-year-12 school with boarders, it had just 466 students last year. CBC opened in 1878.

Associate Professor Susanne Gannon, who is an expert on gender in education, said the school would need to be gentle and subtle to create a gender inclusiveness for all children.

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Local News - Victoria

What are the new rules for Melbourne? A guide to Daniel Andrews’ latest road map out of restrictions


The Victorian government on Sunday announced the new lockdown rules that will apply to the state. The government had already foreshadowed a number of significant changes including changes to mask-wearing rules, household visits and patron limits at hospitality and entertainment venues.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday morning confirmed this and more. So what are those new rules?

Below you’ll find a building list of what we know about each of the levels, when they will apply (unless otherwise stated the new rules kick in on Sunday at 11.59pm) and what they mean. Previous announcements have shown there is often room for clarification and exceptions so please check back as this story will be updated to reflect new information.




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Local News - Victoria

Melbourne Airport rail link leaves western suburbs, Geelong on slow track


“I think they’re absolutely turning their back on the regional and rural commuters,” said Cr Harwood, the council’s transport spokesman.

Secretary of Rail Futures Institute transport lobby group John Hearsch warned the upgrades would bring minimal benefits to commuters in Melbourne’s fast-growing west, and said any claims the Geelong rail upgrade delivered on fast-rail promises were false.

Yesterday, both governments pledged $5 billion for the Tullamarine airport rail link, which has been on Victoria’s infrastructure agenda since the mid-60s but never delivered, whereas Sydney and Brisbane built airport train links two decades ago.

Construction on the airport rail link will start in 2022 and finish by 2029, delivering train services to the city within half-an-hour every 10 minutes. Airport trains will run through the new Metro Tunnel and into the south-eastern suburbs via Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.

The airport rail route was broadly welcomed by public transport advocates and regional councils, which said the service would be paid for on a Myki card and have comparable prices to SkyBus tickets ($19.50).

But Mr Hearsch said airport trains would chew up a third of the Metro Tunnel’s initial capacity, which was needed for extra Melton services.

Tuesday’s state budget will include $2 billion for the Geelong upgrade, matching $2 billion pledged by the federal government on the project to be built from 2023.

The planned route will be no faster than the Skybus at peak hour.

The planned route will be no faster than the Skybus at peak hour. Credit:Roy Chu

The first stage of the upgrade will restore a direct link between Geelong and Werribee and run most of Geelong’s trains via new express 12-kilometre tracks between Werribee and Laverton.

This new route will be eight-kilometres shorter and bypass a slew of stations on the Werribee line, freeing up capacity on the congested Geelong corridor through Wyndham Vale for services to Wyndham, Melton, Ballarat and Bendigo. Some Geelong services will continue to run on the current route.

Both the state and federal government said these changes would result in a 15-minute saving on trip times.

Mr Hearsch said several peak-hour trains on the Geelong line already take 55 minutes or less. One existing Southern Cross service is 50 minutes with stops at Footscray, Sunshine and North Geelong.

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The former V/Line executive estimated that 160km/h express tracks through Werribee would save about eight minutes on the journey.

“The notion that simply providing two additional express tracks between Laverton and Werribee will result in ‘fast trains’ to Geelong is a bit of a con job,” Mr Hearsch said.

“What about the poor commuters from the burgeoning growth area around Melton that were meant to have between nine and 11 high-capacity metro trains per hour in the peaks connecting directly into the Metro Tunnel?”

Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said running Geelong trains on the separate track would free up capacity at Wydnham Vale and Tarneit, where commuters face a crowded, unreliable service.

But these trains still face constraints between Newport and the city, where Geelong trains will mix it with other suburban services on tracks that are already at capacity.

Running airport trains through the Metro Tunnel revives an old plan that was rejected by bureaucrats four years ago, as it would result in less capacity for desperately needed new services in the Melton growth area.

The notion that simply providing two additional express tracks between Laverton and Werribee will result in ‘fast trains’ to Geelong is a bit of a con job.

John Hearsch, Rail Futures Institute

The Metro Tunnel will initially only have capacity for 18 trains per hour when it opens, which will be used up by six airport trains and 12 to Watergardens or Sunbury.

The tunnel will ultimately have capacity for up to 24 trains per hour – and could run an additional six Melton services.

Mr Andrews on Saturday defended a decision to ditch a private-sector proposal for an airport rail tunnel, saying the chosen option would be cheaper and delivered faster.

He said that under the chosen route, commuters from the city would be able to get to the airport from five Metro Tunnel city stations rather than just Southern Cross.

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“You’re getting to the centre of Melbourne quicker, you’re using a service that simply isn’t available now and getting where you want to go rather than everybody having to hub through Southern Cross Station,” Mr Andrews said.

Cr Harwood questioned why the federal and state governments had committed a total of $14 billion to the upgrades without a business case. He backed a business case prepared by a group of regional councils for a high-speed tunnel for airport trains that would also overhaul the country rail network, bringing Ballarat within 45 minutes, Geelong 35 minutes and Bendigo 65 minutes.

“This is really bad news for regional and rural train commuters – there’s no business case to substantiate what is being said and no financial modelling to give us some description of the cost and savings,” Cr Harwood said.

The business case for the airport rail link route was due for completion this year, but is now expected next year.

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Local News - Victoria

Andrews defends decision to ditch Melbourne airport rail tunnel


The Andrews government will also put $2 billion towards upgrading the Geelong line in preparation for fast, express train services to the city, matching $2 billion already promised by the federal government.

But the state government has abandoned plans for a dedicated six-kilometre rail tunnel between the city and West Footscray, proposed by a private consortium pledging $5 billion to build it.

The planned route will be no faster than the Skybus at peak hour.

The planned route will be no faster than the Skybus at peak hour. Credit:Roy Chu

Under the final route, airport trains will run along fresh tracks from the airport to Sunshine and continue beneath the city via the new $11 billion Metro Tunnel and onto the south-eastern suburbs via the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.

The Premier had previously said dedicated tracks, including a tunnel, could be needed between the city and Sunshine.

But on Saturday Mr Andrews said the chosen option would be cheaper to build, delivered faster and was backed by transport and financial experts.

“You’ve got to work through these things in a really painstaking way … the fact of the matter is … what the PM and I have agreed to build will be less cost to the taxpayer, I think greater value, it will be done much faster and it allows us to take people where they want to go.

“Those five Metro stations, the busiest train line – you can be in Pakenham and get to the airport without having to change trains, that just makes sense.

“The difference in the cost to Australian and Victorian taxpayers is well more than $7 billion, so you can have more money on the table but if the overall project cost is indeed more than that then … they’re the fine judgements we’ve had to make.”

Mr Andrews said that under the chosen route commuters from the city would be able to get to the airport from five Metro Tunnel city stations rather than just Southern Cross Station which was proposed by the consortium.

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The consortium, led by super fund giant IFM, wanted to privatise the rail line and charge the government a concession fee for using the tunnel but claimed this option would deliver faster rail to the airport and Geelong.

“You’re getting to the centre of Melbourne quicker, you’re using a service that simply isn’t available now and getting where you want to go rather than everybody having to hub through Southern Cross Station,” Mr Andrews said.

Under the current plan, airport train services will cost about the same as SkyBus tickets ($19.50) and be paid for on a myki card. The government will run new high capacity metro trains to the airport. Construction will start in 2022 and is due to finish in 2029.

The package also includes 12-kilometres of new track between Werribee and Laverton on the Geelong line, shaving 15 minutes off city trips from Geelong.

The airport rail project comes without a business case, or supporting evidence about its benefits, costs or the impacts it could have on train services from Melbourne’s western suburbs that may be sacrificed in favour of running airport trains through the Metro Tunnel.

The project’s business case, originally due for completion this year, will now be delivered in 2021.

The government argues the main benefit of the chosen airport rail route is that it will be integrated into the existing network.

Commuters can use the existing ticketing system, pay fares comparable with SkyBus, and can take a direct trip to the airport from more than 30 stations without having to change trains. However, the overwhelming majority of travellers will have one interchange from their closest station.

But rail think-tank Rail Futures Institute has warned the route falls short of delivering a world-class airport rail service that is competitive with the SkyBus, or taxi and Uber services, because it does not enable commuters to get to the airport from the city in 20 minutes or less on dedicated tracks with limited stops, on trains designed to fit luggage.

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Melbourne suburbs on alert after wastewater find


Seven Melbourne suburbs are on alert after coronavirus fragments were found in wastewater.

The fragments were found in a sample collected from the Altona sewage catchment, in the city’s southwest, on Wednesday, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services said.

Samples of untreated wastewater are analysed for fragments of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – are taken from more than 40 sites across the state.

RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus coverage

RELATED: SA lockdown set to lift after backflip

Residents and visitors to Altona and surrounding suburbs from Monday, November 16 to Wednesday, November 18 are urged to get tested if they have any symptoms, no matter how mild.

Suburbs in the wastewater catchment include Altona, Altona Meadows, Seaholme and Sanctuary Lakes, and parts of Laverton, Point Cook and Williams Landing.

The DHHS said the result was “unexpected given that it has been about eight weeks since the last known resident in the area had a coronavirus illness or diagnosis”.

“A positive wastewater test result may be due to someone with coronavirus (COVID-19) being in the early active infectious phase or someone who is no longer infectious continuing to ‘shed’ the virus,” the department states.

“It can take several weeks for someone to stop shedding the virus.

“The person or people shedding the virus may be local or visiting a community.”

Saturday marked the 22nd consecutive day of zero coronavirus cases across Victoria.

LOCAL TESTING LOCATIONS FOR ALTONA CATCHMENT

Drive through testing facility: Wyndham City Council Civic Centre

Outdoor Carpark, 45 Princes Highway, Werribee 3030

Monday to Sunday, 9am-5pm

Walk through testing centre: Werribee South Foreshore Reserve

Werribee South Foreshore Reserve, Beach Rd (opposite Werribee Coast Guard, near corner O’Connors Rd),

Saturday, November 21 to Sunday, November 22, 9am-4pm

Walk through testing centre: Tarneit Community and Learning Centre

150 Sunset Views Boulevard, Tarneit 3029

Saturday, November 21 to Sunday, November 22, 9am-4pm

Drive through testing facility: IPC Health – Wootten Road Reserve

Wootten Rd Reserve, 25-51 Wootten Road, Tarneit 3029

Saturday to Sunday, 10am-4pm



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