‘China must do what it takes on N. Korea’

Malcolm Turnbull wants China to do whatever it takes to bring North Korea back into line, or at least stop threatening its neighbours.

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The prime minister’s warning to the country with the biggest influence over North Korea comes as Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says the United States will find “new and creative” ways to deal with the rogue nation and a tough-talking Donald Trump warned Kim Jong Un has “gotta behave”.

North Korea has accused the US of pushing the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war, but Ms Bishop says Pyongyang has only itself to blame.

“North Korea has vastly increased the threat that it poses to regional and global peace so any rise in tensions is entirely due to the provocative behaviour of North Korea,” she said on Tuesday.

The prime minister raised the issue of North Korea’s agitation during a recent meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as well as President Xi Jinping.

“It is a fact that China has the greatest influence over North Korea and the time has come for the Chinese government to exercise it,” Mr Turnbull said in Canberra.

“China should do whatever it takes. It has the ability … to pull North Korea back into at least the position where it is not threatening to rain down devastation on its neighbours.”

Australia had neither China’s leverage nor the military might of the US but would still do what it could in international forums.

The Turnbull government believes North Korea is on a path to achieving nuclear weapons capability and has ambitions to develop missiles that could reach the US, which would also put Australia within range.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said “you’d have to be a fool” not to be worried about what was happening in North Korea, saying nobody could take a backward step in dealing with the rogue nation.

“They are a nation who operate outside the norms of what other countries do and they have nuclear arms, and they keep trying to expand the reach of their nuclear weaponry,” he said in Melbourne.

Both the US president and his deputy Mike Pence have issued stern warnings to North Korea as tensions between the countries continue to simmer.

Mr Trump insists all options, including military action, are on the table to prevent North Korea from achieving nuclear weapons capability.

Meanwhile, Mr Pence advised Pyongyang not to test America’s resolve, warning “the era of strategic patience is over” as he inspected the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea.

That statement should concentrate the minds of all involved, Mr Turnbull said.

“I believe now the conversations, the engagement between China and the United States, are such that I am optimistic, but not unduly so … that a resolution can be found,” he said.

North Korea’s latest missile test fizzled over the weekend, but it conducted two nuclear test explosions and 24 ballistic missile tests last year.

Experts predict it could have a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the US mainland within a few years.

Panthers urge protection for young halves

Penrith’s James Tamou insists Nathan Cleary and Te Maire Martin shouldn’t carry the burden for the side’s poor start to the season and urged his teammates to give the young playmakers more support.

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The Panthers’ early season woes were on show in their 28-2 NRL defeat to Cronulla on Sunday as they at times looked limited in their attacking scope.

Despite being pre-season title fancies, the mountain men have limped to 2-5 with Cleary and Martin finding life difficult going in their second year of first grade.

This year opposition sides have appeared increasingly clued into their structures and pet plays and have effectively nullified their influence, in particular the Sharks, who were successful in getting up in their faces and limiting their time.

While undoubtedly players of enormous potential, they are facing having to find a way around opposition plans for them – and that’s where Tamou insists the rest of the side needs to come in.

“Teams are looking at that, they’re shutting them down, they’re getting off the line,” Tamou said.

“We saw it with the Sharks, they read it really well. I think we need to change that.

“We need to do our job and give them more options. We have to stand either side of them – so if they see someone shooting out they can throw the inside ball or something like that. That’s up to us to help them out.”

Tamou was adamant it wouldn’t be a long-term problem for Cleary, 19, and Martin, 21, who are still finding their feet in the top flight.

Likewise, the NSW and Australian prop says there isn’t much wrong with the side – they’re still making good yardage and have their share of field position, they just haven’t learned how to be patient with the football.

“We don’t have trouble getting out of our own half,” Tamou said.

“But it’s just applying pressure or when we do apply pressure, we just let them off with some simple handling error or something like that.”

By their own admission, against the Sharks, they were guilty of playing too laterally and going wide too early.

Tamou said it was the responsibility of the the Panthers’ middle men to get them going and only then would their ability to apply pressure and trouble the scoreboard come.

“I think we just needed to go through the middle first and create our chances,” Tamou said.

“We were looking to build pressure but then we just let them off the hook with something silly.

“They (Cronulla) were really well drilled, they were reading our plays, running off the line and we need to start through the middle.”

FNQ councils call for more action on crocs

Fearful far north Queensland councils say tragedy is “entirely foreseeable” unless the state government does more to curb increasing numbers of crocodiles in populated areas.

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The Cassowary Coast, Mareeba and Douglas shire councils sent letters to Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles in the past month requesting the removal of some reptiles and changes to its new Crocodile Management Plan.

Douglas Shire Council mayor Julia Leu said residents felt “under threat and concerned about the unprecedented number of crocodile sightings” at previously popular beaches and boat ramps.

“It is understood that emergency services, when asked to undertake rescues, will now consider the safety of their officers in river systems where crocodiles are known to be present,” she said in a letter dated March 28.

Ms Leu called on the Labor government to reclassify some beaches, creeks and lakes in the region to zones where the risk of crocodiles was “moderate to high”.

The Cassowary Coast Regional Council has also requested it be rezoned from Category C to B, meaning the likely interaction of humans and crocodiles was high.

Cassowary Coast chief executive officer James Gott listed a series of “increased action or new initiatives” the council considered necessary to improve residents’ safety from crocodiles.

It included the need to track and count the number of reptiles in the Johnstone River region and “implement fully” the Management Plan, released on March 14.

Mr Gott said the community had become fearful following increased sightings of “several and large animals moving in populated areas”.

“Recent incidents have reinforced what would appear to be the overwhelming view of the public that real danger is associated with the use of aquatic and marine facilities and that tragedy is entirely foreseeable,” he said.

Mareeba Shire Council mayor Tom Gilmore also wanted crocodiles removed from nearby waterways, which were not a “natural habitat” for them.

Opposition frontbencher Scott Emerson said the government’s policy was too reactive and “not good enough” for far north residents.

But Dr Miles rejected claims its Crocodile Management Plan didn’t go far enough.

“This is the strongest crocodile management plan Queensland’s ever had and the proof of that is in the sheer number of crocodiles being removed,” he said on Tuesday.

Katter’s Australian Party has threatened to block the upcoming state budget unless the government supports its proposed crocodile culling and safari legislation.

Major amusement park accidents in Aust

MAJOR AMUSEMENT PARK ACCIDENTS IN AUSTRALIA SINCE 1968:

* April 17, 2017 – Primary school aged boy critically injured after being thrown from the Cha Cha ride at the Rye carnival on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

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* October 25, 2016 – Four adults die on the Thunder River Rapids ride after becoming trapped on a conveyor belt when their raft flipped at Dreamworld, Queensland.

* September 12, 2014 – Eight-year-old Adelene Leong dies after being thrown from a high-speed ride at the Royal Adelaide Show.

* May 18, 2013 – Five-year-old boy seriously injured after being flung from the Frizbee ride at a school fete in Highfields, Queensland.

* November 20, 2011 – Thirteen-year-old Brittany Clemente was thrown from the Cha Cha ride in Lilydale in Melbourne’s northeast. She still suffers migraines, anxiety and pain.

* March 11, 2001 – Eight-year-old girl dies and 11 people injured when an inflatable carriage breaks free from a ride at a carnival in Kapunda, South Australia.

* September 2, 2000 – Thirty-seven people hurt when the Spin Dragon ride collapses and drops a 4.3 tonne gondola onto queuing riders at the Royal Adelaide Show.

* February 22, 1997 – 11-year-old girl dies and two boys injured when a carriage on the Octopus ride breaks free and falls to the ground at the Rylstone Show near Mudgee, NSW.

* June 9, 1979 – Six children and one adult die when Sydney’s Luna Park’s Ghost Train catches fire. This occurred two months after 13 people were injured on the Big Dipper when a steel runner came loose on a rollercoaster train on April 16.

* October 24 1968 – High-wire stuntman Adrian Labans, 44, falls to his death during a high wire act at the Royal Hobart Show.

Students push foreign-born share of Australia’s residents to 122 year high

More than one in four people living in Australia today are born overseas – the highest level since 1894.

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The proportion reached 28.5 per cent in 2015-16, according to the latest migration data from the ABS released this month. The ABS classifies people who have lived in Australia for 12 months in a 16-month period as residents, an approach that captures the impact of migrants traditionally considered “temporary” but who may be here for many years.

The trend is being driven by growing numbers of foreign students, many of whom end up staying in Australia permanently. 

The number of student visa holders in Australia in September 2016 was 471,000, up from 426,000 in September 2015.

Professor Glenn Withers from Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University wrote an essay titled ‘Ensuring immigration benefits all’ in last year’s report on migration from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. 

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In it, he put forward how immigration policy can be enhanced to avoid population congestion, encourage greater immigration in smaller towns and regions, support those waiting for outcomes in Australia’s immigration process and keep Australia’s economy strong.

“I think migration has served Australia pretty well over 20 or 30 years, especially (as) we reformed it in the 1980s to have a strong skill focus,” he told SBS News.

He said policy around housing, infrastructure and the environment was important in ensuring the country could handle high immigration.

But he said there was also a role for government to counter a change in “atmosphere” around immigration. In recent months One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson has followed the lead of US President Donald Trump in calling for a ban of immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.

“To avoid some of the fears people can develop you need leadership in evidence, and morality – we (need to) emphasise the better angels (of our nature) that Australia has shown over its history,” he said.

Australia’s population born overseas.ABS

International students driving growth

Growth in international students is driving the increase of overseas-born residents.

Approximately one in five people who come from overseas to reside in Australia in 2015-16 were university students. The ratio is closer to one in four if other students are also included.

Prof Withers said students working in Australia end up creating jobs by earning – and spending – their income.

“They spend it all, and they get money from parents to spend as well, so they create jobs,” he said.

According to the first ever snapshot of the jobs worked by international students, released in March, as many as 40,000 are in the hospitality industry.

International students arrive in Australia on temporary visas, but approximately 20,000 each year transition onto permanent visas, according to figures in the Productivity Commission’s report into the migrant intake released last year.

According to Professor James Raymer from the School of Demography at Australian National University, there are some advantages for Australia provided by this pathway.

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“Rather than recruiting from abroad, we can recruit from foreign students already here,” he said.

“You can select the top students, you can identify the ones that have been more successful, who have already been here for a couple of years, have an Australian education.”

While international student numbers are rising, the number of temporary work visa holders (457s) in Australia dropped to 172,000 in September 2016, an 8 per cent decline in one year.

Although the number of 457 visas issued was falling ahead of the government’s announcement Tuesday to scrap the visa program, each year more than 40,000 people had been transitioning from the temporary work visa program to the permanent skill visa, and that number had doubled since 2008.

SBS Explains: Visas by the numbers

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Victorian boy, 5, in critical condition after carnival ride fall

A five-year-old boy has critical head injuries after falling from a Melbourne carnival ride that may have been operating after hours.

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The boy was on the Cha Cha at a carnival in Rye at 5pm on Monday when he was flung from the fast-moving ride.

Young boy in critical condition after accident on carnival ride in Rye, Melbourne (SBS)SBS

“Initial inquiries indicate that the ride may have been used by carnival workers and their families after the carnival had closed,” WorkSafe Victoria said in a statement on Tuesday.

“WorkSafe was at the scene last night and issued a notice to ensure the scene was not disturbed so investigations could continue today.

“Inquiries will focus on a number of issues, in particular the height requirements for riders, to determine if all safety procedures had been followed.”

The boy was airlifted to the Royal Children’s Hospital in a critical condition with head and hand injuries.

A parent, who was on the ride with their two children, told Fairfax Media the ride lasted about five minutes before the boy was flung out.

“The attendant announced it was the last ride of the day for the Cha Cha and there appeared to be a number of carnival workers and relatives of workers on the ride,” the parent said.

Brittany Clemente was flung from a Cha Cha ride in Lilydale in 2011 and left with ongoing injuries.

“She was yelling out stop, but people didn’t know why she was screaming,” her mother Silvana Clemente told 3AW on Tuesday.

According to the Wittingslow Amusements website, 44 people can be on the ride at any one time and the minimum height requirement is 130cm.

In 2014, eight-year-old Adelene Leong died after being thrown from a high-speed ride at the Royal Adelaide Show.

Last year four adults died on the Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast.

Pendlebury comes out swinging for Moore

Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury has taken aim at critics of young forward Darcy Moore while playing down concerns over his own fitness.

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Moore received Bronx cheers from Magpies supporters after another quiet performance during their loss to St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The 21-year-old has managed just one goal from four games with the mis-firing Magpies recording scores of 12.14, 11.14, 11.14 and 7.13.

Fellow tall Jesse White has also struggled, while Mason Cox and off-season recruit Chris Mayne have both been dropped.

Moore has had his performance dissected by the likes of AFL great Matthew Lloyd, who suggested Collingwood will never be able to build their forward line around him.

But Pendlebury has fired back, saying the best thing Moore can do is block out the external criticism.

“He’s flying for balls, he’s competing. He’s having one or two shots on goal a game and we’re not expecting him to kick six goals to win us the game,” Pendlebury said on Tuesday.

“Just in general, the hysteria around his performance is unnecessary because he’s playing his role for the side.

“We’re not kicking many goals for the side, and then to say that he needs to be kicking more … you don’t just get a free shot in football. He’s working hard and it’ll come for him.”

At 1-3, the Magpies are under pressure to get their season back on track in the Anzac Day blockbuster against Essendon at the MCG.

Mayne and Cox are both likely to be considered for selection with Pendlebury saying he didn’t believe Jeremy Howe or Ben Reid should be swung out of defence to help out the struggling forward line.

Star recruit Daniel Wells could also add much-needed polish to the midfield after overcoming a calf injury.

“He was clearly the best player in the comp last year at kicking the ball inside-50 and I think we’re clearly the worst side at that,” Pendlebury said.

“If he’s fit and he recovers well from his (VFL) game on the weekend, I assume that he would play.”

Pendlebury also played down concerns about his fitness after he spent a long period of the third quarter against St Kilda on the bench.

Questions were raised about whether the star midfielder was carrying an injury but Pendlebury insisted his body was fine.

“I started on the bench, and there was a few goals early and we didn’t get a rotation,” he said.

‘”It’s blown up to something a lot more than it needed to be – if I was injured, I wouldn’t have come back on.

“I think this is probably the best I’ve felt after four rounds for a couple of years so my body’s in good nick.”

Bob Murphy’s thoughts before AFL game 300

* ON REACHING 300

“I’m not sure you can fully grasp what it means – humbled, obviously, really proud to have made it, lucky to have made it at the one club and it’s such a great club.

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* HE WEIGHED JUST 67kg WHEN HE WAS DRAFTED

“I’m dreading the archive photos, there have already been a few floating around.”

* WHEN HE STARTED, DID HE DREAM OF 300 GAMES?

“Kids from Warragul didn’t really think like that – I was pretty happy to pick up the training shorts and singlet.”

* ON NEARLY RETIRING AFTER LAST YEAR’S KNEE RECONSTRUCTION

“I was touch and go there for a little while and I wasn’t sure what the right call was.

“But I’ve really enjoyed this year and pleased I’ve had the support around me.”

* WAS 300 GAMES A MOTIVATION FOR RETURNING?

“It’s probably a fair assumption from people, that it would be a motivator but it was a long, long way down the list.”

* ON HIS THREE KIDS RUNNING OUT WITH HIM ON SATURDAY

“The footy thing is still a bit fuzzy for my lot.

“I’m trying to coax them all to run out with me and I’m having a bit of trouble negotiating with my oldest boy.

“The girls are definitely looking forward to running out on the ground.”

* ON THE “BOB 300” MERCHANDISE

“The biggest input I think I had was I wanted a collar on the jumper – they were my memories of watching footy as a kid in the ’90s.

“Abletts and Careys and Beveridges running around with collars on their jumpers.”

* ON THE AFL

“At times, I’ve described AFL footy as an industry of criticism, because you’re constantly being chipped and marked up against hungry teams and hungry opponents and hungry media.

“It’s very accountable.

“I was a pretty cocky kid when I came in to the game and in some ways that probably helped.

“It’s been chipped away a little bit but I always had the belief that I could do it.”

* ON HIS PLAYING FUTURE

“Once you hit 30 and I had a bit of a dodgy knee, I try to enjoy each week and know that I’m on bonus time … if anything, that’s become even more acute this year.”

* ON THE GOAL OF PLAYING IN A PREMIERSHIP TEAM

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a day dream but it’s not the focus in the front of my mind – it’s not the whole reason I came back to playing.

“The bigger reasons are I love playing under Luke and I love playing with this group of players.

“And I was arrogant enough to think I could still do it.

“Anything more than that – winning premierships is like lightning striking.”

* COACH LUKE BEVERIDGE ON MURPHY

“There’s an inner strength, there’s a grit.

“Probably his secret is that he’s prepared to get out of his comfort zone, all the time.”

RBA set to continue balancing act on rates

The Reserve Bank of Australia says the need to weigh an overheated housing market against a soft labour market is likely to continue for some time.

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The minutes of the RBA board’s April meeting, at which the central bank held the cash rate at 1.5 per cent, showed members discussed increased risks in the property market as well as employment figures that continue to disappoint.

“”Although forward-looking indicators of labour demand continued to suggest an increase in employment growth over the period ahead, this had been true for some time without leading to an improvement in labour market conditions,” the minutes said.

The RBA will carefully monitor labour and housing markets over the coming months, the minutes added.

That will include the impact of recent regulatory changes to home loan lending, with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority last month restricting higher-risk interest-only loans to 30 per cent of each lender’s new mortgages.

The minutes alluded to the impact of negative gearing in the buildup of risks in the housing market, where any cut to the cash rate would make mortgage borrowing even more attractive to investors.

The minutes noted that housing credit growth continues to outpace growth in household incomes.

“Interest-only loans allow investors to take greatest advantage of particular features of the tax system,” the RBA said.

The RBA board noted rising property prices in Sydney and Melbourne – where prices soared by 18.9 and 15.9 per cent respectively in the year to March – but said it will take some time to fully gauge the impact of APRA’s changes.

Commonwealth Bank economist Michael Workman said much now depended on the federal government’s May budget.

The coalition has all but ruled out major changes to negative gearing.

“We believe that the RBA are very reluctant rate cutters,” Mr Workman said.

“The risks in the housing market are attracting plenty of attention and may warrant further adjustments from APRA about lending rules.”

Heartbreak as shark kills 17-year-old girl

WA teenager Laeticia Brouwer’s injuries and blood loss were so severe after she was attacked by a shark that she couldn’t be saved despite quickly receiving first aid, says the first paramedic to treat her.

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The 17-year-old was mauled while surfing at the popular surf break Kelp Beds near Esperance just before 4pm on Easter Monday while her father Leon surfed nearby and her mother Julie and two younger sisters watched in horror from the beach.

Her father and another surfer pulled Laeticia to shore, where a nurse helped perform first aid and applied a tourniquet to stem the bleeding.

But it’s understood Laeticia lost so much blood that CPR was ineffective, and she did not regain consciousness, dying at Esperance Hospital a short time later.

Laeticia’s uncle Steve Evans broke down while reading a statement to reporters in Esperance on behalf of the devastated family, saying they were “terribly heartbroken and saddened by this tragic accident”.

“We take comfort in the fact that Laeticia died doing something that she loved,” he said.

“The ocean was her and her family’s passion.

“Surfing was something that she treasured doing with her dad and her sisters.

“Laeticia will be greatly missed by her family, friends and everyone who knew her.

“We take comfort in the fact that she’s now in heaven with the Lord in eternal peace.”

The family from Singleton, south of Perth, had been on an Easter holiday.

Local paramedic Paul Gaughan said Laeticia was in critical condition when he arrived.

As the beach was more than 25 minutes from the hospital, paramedics tried to stabilise her first with infused fluids.

“The people on the scene did everything right, people knew first aid and they really gave the young girl every possible chance under such dire circumstances for a positive outcome,” Mr Gaughan told reporters.

“Unfortunately, in this case, the injuries were just too severe.”

Mr Gaughan attended a shark attack at the same beach in 2014, where Sean Pollard survived but lost his his right hand and left arm.

The beach remained closed on Tuesday and the Department of Fisheries conducted patrols.

Fatal shark attacks appear to have increased significantly. Of the 24 known deaths in WA in the past century, 14 have been since 2004, including two in the same week last June.

They were surfer Ben Gerring at Mandurah and diver Doreen Collyer at Mindarie Marina in Perth.

The new Labor state government will not deploy drumlines to try to catch the shark responsible, which is believed to be a great white.

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said Labor did not believe drumlines made beaches safer and Labor’s policy would focus on personal electronic deterrent devices.

Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said on Tuesday that if his party was still in government, they would have put out drumlines, saying the Liberals would always “give priority to human life over sharks”.

“Clearly there is a growth in numbers of sharks, clearly humankind is being exposed to those dangerous sharks more often, and we have to respond in a manner that is befitting,” he said.