Man with bikie links shot dead outside house in Colyton

Investigators are scouring Coral Pea Court at Colyton to find out why Adrian Buxton was shot dead outside his house. Photo: Facebook Police at the scene of the shooting at Colyton. Photo: Nick Moir

A man shot dead outside a house in Sydney’s west on Thursday night is believed to have had previous links to an outlaw motorcycle gang.

Police have been scouring Coral Pea Court in Colyton to investigate the shooting of Adrian Buxton, 31, in what they believe was not a random attack.

Mr Buxton appeared to be taking the bins out when he was gunned down, while his wife and child were reportedly inside the house.

Residents on Coral Pea Court phoned triple zero to report hearing up to five gunshots ring out just after 9pm.

Mr Buxton was found lying outside the house suffering gunshot wounds, at least one to his head. Paramedics arrived but he died at the scene.

It is understood witnesses told police that two people, their faces concealed beneath hoodies and balaclavas, were seen running from the cul-de-sac immediately after the gunshots were heard.

No one had been arrested over the shooting by Saturday morning. Police have been examining CCTV footage from the victim’s house.

A number of distressed family members comforted each other at the scene on Thursday night, as police established a crime scene and spoke to neighbours.

One woman who lives about 50 metres from the house where the man was shot said she arrived home on Thursday night to find police everywhere.

She said she was told to “get my kiddies inside and stay safe”.

“I hope the person responsible is found soon. I live not even 50 metres away and it’s scary to know someone is out there,” she wrote online.

Detectives and forensic officers remained at the house on Friday morning.

A NSW Police spokeswoman said Homicide Squad detectives and police officers from the St Marys Local Area Command are still investigating the man’s death.

Police have appealed for anyone with information about the shooting to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. */]]>

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Land search continues for missing man Jamie Hardgraves

Jamie Hardgraves, 43, was last seen on Tuesday at Beaudesert. Photo: Queensland Police Service Mr Hardgraves ute was located abandoned on Stanthorpe Texas Road, Texas early on May 18. Photo: Queensland Police Service

Missing Mackay girl seen again in Bundaberg. Photo: Queensland Police Service

A 13-year-old-girl from Mackay and a 14-year-old boy from Acacia Ridge have been located, police said on Sunday.

The teenagers were among five people missing in Queensland on Saturday, as an extensive land search continued for a Gold Coast man missing from Beaudesert whose vehicle was found abandoned on Wednesday.

Coomera man Jamie Hardgraves, 43, was last seen at Thiedke Road at Beaudesert on Tuesday.

His vehicle was later found abandoned three hours drive west of Beaudesert on Stanthorpe Texas Road early Wednesday morning.

Police released images on Saturday of Mr Hardgraves’ abandoned ute that showed damage to the front of the vehicle.

SES volunteers were called out to Texas on Friday but were unable to locate the man.

45 SES volunteers and police resumed their search on Saturday, with police asking anyone who may have seen a man walking or hitchhiking along Stanthorpe Texas Road on Tuesday or Wednesday to call Crime Stoppers.

Police have also asked landholders and residents in Texas to check their properties for the man.

Mr Hardgraves is described as Caucasian, about 175 centimetres tall with short straight sandy hair and blue eyes.

A week later, 14-year-old boy went missing after leaving his home at Shelduck Street at Inala.

Concerns are held for the young boy as he suffers a medical condition and has not made contact with his family or attended school since he went missing.

He is described as Aboriginal in appearance about 160cm tall with dark brown hair and brown eyes.

Police say he may be in the Ipswich area.

Just four days later, a 21-year-old woman went missing from a medical facility at Herston.

Tiva Cahill suffers from a medical condition and police hold concerns for her welfare as she does not have any medication with her.

Ms Cahill is described as Aboriginal in appearance with a slim build and long brown hair.

Police have urged anyone who has seen any of the missing persons to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Woman dragged for more than 600 metres in crash on Pittwater Road, Brookvale

Jo-Ann Thwaites, pictured with her late husband Tony, was killed while crossing the road in Brookvale. Photo: Facebook A second truck stopped at the scene after dragging Jo-Ann Thwaites for about 600 metres. Photo: Nine News

A woman killed by a truck on a busy northern beaches road on Friday was dragged for about 600 metres before anyone realised.

Jo-Ann Thwaites, 60, was hit as she crossed Pittwater Road after grocery shopping with her son in Brookvale on Friday morning.

She was allegedly hit by a 36-year-old truck driver who didn’t stop and left her lying on the road at the intersection of Pittwater Road and Condamine Street.

A second truck travelling close behind then ran over Ms Thwaites and dragged her under his Izuzu truck for about 600 metres, Fairfax Media has been told.

The second truck driver, a 57-year-old man, stopped as soon as he had realised what happened.

The first truck driver was tracked down to a Girraween business on Friday afternoon and arrested. His truck was also seized for forensic examination.

He has been charged with failing to stop and render aid after impact causing death and negligent driving occasioning death.

Fairfax Media has been told Ms Thwaites stepped out to cross the road on a green pedestrian light just after 9am.

The first truck was turning left at the same intersection and may not have seen her.

However, it’s understood there was blood and markings on his truck that would have indicated to him later that someone had been hit.

The second truck driver also didn’t see Ms Thwaites on the roadway as he turned the corner. He was taken to hospital for blood and alcohol testing and has not been charged.

A crime scene spanned hundreds of metres and caused Pittwater Road to be closed for much of Friday.

A witness, Martin Reay, said it was a horrific scene.

“I came out, it was quite a commotion and… [I] just saw a heap of groceries on the intersection there,” he told Channel Seven.

Tragically, it is the second loss for Ms Thwaites’ adult children who lost their father to suicide in 2013. He suffered PTSD after serving in the army for 40 years.

The truck driver was granted conditional bail to appear at Manly Local Court on June 15.

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Jennifer Byrne defends 60 Minutes journalists

“My great desire was to take away any sense of superiority or snobbery about people’s tastes and make it really accessible”: The Book Club host Jennifer Byrne. Photo: Christopher Pearce Reporter Tara Brown Brown, centre, David Ballment, left, and Sally Faulkner, right, have been released from a Beirut jail. Photo: Nine Network

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Jennifer Byrne, host of ABC TV’s The Book Club, has defended the 60 Minutes crew and reporter Tara Brown embroiled in the botched Beirut child snatch operation.

“I think that team has been shockingly maligned,” she said. “I don’t think all of them may have even known all the circumstances of what was happening.”

Byrne was a reporter on 60 Minutes from 1986 to 1993.

Fellow 60 Minutes reporter Ray Martin admitted he drove the getaway car in a child recovery operation in Spain in 1980.

Asked if she had been involved in a similar story, Byrne said: “I won’t say more, but the answer is no.”

She added: “I think there’s been a lot of self-satisfaction and smugness in people pointing at this.”

Byrne described the circumstances surrounding the controversial child recovery operation – which landed the four Nine employees, Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner and a child recovery team in jail – as “fiendishly complicated”.

“I just wish people felt less impelled to contribute their views constantly until they have looked at the whole thing, which has not come out yet,” she said.

The child recovery team led by Australian man Adam Whittington, his child-retrieval associate Craig Michael and two Lebanese men was denied bail by a Beirut judge on Thursday.

Byrne said she “loathed” chequebook journalism “and that’s one of the reasons I don’t support a program using it or magazine paying for it”.

But she also pointed to the hypocrisy of people who criticise this form of journalism and then consume it. Byrne suggests audiences should be told when money has been paid for a story.

The viewer should be privy to the deal, she said, “so they can make an informed choice”.

Byrne has found success in a very different genre as host of The Book Club – the show’s 10th series starts on Tuesday in a weekly format, rather than once a month.

“My great desire was to take away any sense of superiority or snobbery about people’s tastes and make it really accessible,” Byrne says of the show. “It has to feel cosy, it has to feel non-judgmental. You have to have a bit of an intellectual hop-and-a-jump but I just think we really, really try to talk about something we love and viewers love.”

The new weekly format demands an intense reading schedule for Byrne, who reads two to three books a week, often simultaneously.

“We’ve gone from a slow walk to a massive rocket ride,” she says.

She will be joined by regulars Marieke Hardy and The Age’s literary editor Jason Steger, plus guests including writer Ben Law, actor Virginia Gay and blogger Rosie Waterland.

They will be joined in the first episode by award-winning UK author Jeanette Winterson, and will discuss Australian author Dominic Smith’s historical fiction The Last Painting of Sara de Vos and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

The latter promises to be a bone of contention between Byrne (a Heathcliff fan) and Hardy, who is not a fan of the classic novel.

“Marieke’s always punchy,” Byrne says. “She’s fabulous but she’s the most arbitrary and unpredictable creature. I squabble with her all the time because she’s so wrong.”

The Book Club airs on ABC on Tuesday at 10pm.

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Malcolm and the boats card

Ullustration: Jim PavlidisMalcolm Turnbull had a decision to make this week when Peter Dutton went rogue in his bid to impose border protection and boats on the election campaign and, in the process, become the most polarising figure in Australian politics.

The Prime Minister could reinforce Dutton’s appeal to fear and xenophobia by endorsing his Immigration Minister’s insensitive, contradictory and inflammatory comments about refugees taking “Australian jobs” and generally being a burden on the taxpayer.

Or he could repudiate Dutton, return the focus of the election to economic management, and vindicate the faith of those in the middle who invested so much hope in his ascension to nation’s top job.

In choosing the former, but injecting a dose of context and qualification to soften Dutton’s brutal assertions, Turnbull gave the clearest possible signal that the Coalition campaign is not proceeding nearly as smoothly as many anticipated.

That other Malcolm is no longer with us, but it is a safe bet that Malcolm Fraser, the last Victorian Liberal prime minister, would have been outraged by Dutton’s comments and bitterly disappointed by Turnbull’s subsequent endorsement of his “outstanding” Immigration Minister – and would have said so.

A common assumption was that Turnbull knew in advance of what Dutton planned to say and had given his consent. As Dutton’s chief media cheerleader, radio host Ray Hadley, put it: “The Prime Minister has unleashed you because he realises this is how you win the election.”

This was not quite the case. The Prime Minister had no warning of what Dutton intended to say, but he gave his minister his imprimatur the previous day in Darwin, when he accused Bill Shorten of “crab-walking” towards the Greens, who lacked “the commitment to keep our borders secure”.

The big disappointment, especially for the Turnbull true believers, is that, both before and after Dutton’s comments, he chose to exploit the issue of border protection for political gain, effectively warning that Australia’s standing as a high-migration, multicultural success story would be at risk if Labor won power.

“Border protection and immigration are, and always have been, key political issues,” Turnbull declared on Wednesday, when the truth is that the national interest is advanced when both issues are the subject of bipartisan consensus, as they were before 2001.

The question left hanging is how this will play out over the next six weeks, with conventional wisdom suggesting the greater the focus on border protection, the better will bethe Coalition’s prospects of holding a swag of seats, especially in the outer suburbs and regions.

As Patrick Baume, group communications manager for Isentia, reports, it has been the leading issue on talkback the past couple of days, with “overwhelming” support for Dutton.

“Turnbull is probably losing some skin in inner city Liberal seats by backing Dutton so strongly, but it looks like a plus everywhere else,” Baume says.

But there are four reasons why border protection may not be the plus for the Coalition that it was in the Tampa election of 2001 or in 2013, when Tony Abbott ran so hard on “stopping the boats”.

One is that the issue has receded as a talking point because the boats have stopped and Nauru and Manus Island, where around 2000 refugees and asylum seekers remain in limbo, most of them damaged and mentally unwell, are so far away.

A second is that many progressive voters, those who saw Turnbull as the antidote to the divisiveness and negativity of recent years, will express their disappointment at the ballot box, and perhaps be joined by those of refugee heritage who recoiled at Dutton’s remarks.

A third is that the fallout from Dutton’s remarks becomes a distraction from the economic message Turnbull insists, and the voters assert, is far and away the key issue at this election, as it did on Friday when the Prime Minister was in Tasmania.

“Can I just say to you, we’ve got a great storyabout Tasmanian jobs and growth here,” a frustratedPM replied when the first questionasked if he was embarrassed by Dutton’s remarks. “Let’s focus on that and then wecan move onto other national issues.”

Finally, the policy contest on border protection is not nearly as stark as Turnbull and Dutton assert, with Labor committed to the two most contentious and planks of Coalition policy, and the two that have been most significant in stopping boat arrivals:turnbacks and offshore processing.

The strength of that commitment was apparent when Tony Burke, who held the immigration portfolio for less than three months before Labor’s 2013 defeat, was interviewed on the ABC’s 7.30 with the Coalition’s Mathias Cormann on Thursday.

When Cormann chipped in that Burke did not believe in the policy endorsed at Labor’s national conference last year, the response was raw, unconfected emotion: “Sorry, Mathias! I had 33 people die on my watch! Don’t you tell me I don’t believe this,” said Burke, who had the names of the deceased on his ministerial desk as a constant reminder of policy failure.

Where Labor differs, and what motivates many of the Labor MPs and candidates who have spoken out, is on the fate of those who have been on Nauru and Manus for the last three years and whose only options under Dutton are to return to the countries they fled or accept resettlement in Cambodia (if they are on Nauru) orPapua New Guinea.

Labor’s immigration spokesman Richard Marles says there will be no retreat on turnbacks or offshore processing, but vows the resettlement of the Nauru and Manus caseloads will be his top priority if Labor wins.

Marles says his first act as minister would be to organise a visit to the United Nations refugee agency in Geneva and re-connect with the global community on refugee issues, with the aim of identifying resettlement countries to take refugees from Manus and Nauru. That would be welcome.

Whether Marles and Shorten can win the political argument with Dutton and Turnbull, or whether the Greens opposition to turnbacks and offshore processing strikes a chord in inner city electorates, will become clear on July 2.

After the election a bigger challenge will confront whoever is prime minister: to rule a line under the period when immigration, attitudes to those who seek asylum and even national security are exploited for narrow political purposes.

The pity, and the failing of Turnbull’s prime ministership, is that it did not happen before this election was called.

Michael Gordon is political editor of The Age.

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Brown urges end to preference deals

Former Greens leader Bob Brown with current leader Richard Di Natale. Photo: Pat Scala Bob Brown is arrested in Tasmania. Under controversial new laws which prevent protests at workplaces, the former Greens leader was charged with ‘failing to comply with a direction to leave a business access area’.

Former Australian Greens leader Senator Bob Brown. Photo: Peter Mathew

Federal election: Full coverage

Former Greens leader Bob Brown is urging his party to ditch preference deals and run open tickets across the country at the July 2 election, in a move that would make it harder for Labor to win government.

The progressive party’s elder statesman says open tickets are more democratic and ALP candidates should “get out and work for votes” rather than relying on Greens preferences to get them elected in marginal seats.

“I think open tickets are the best because they do leave it up to the voters,” Mr Brown told Fairfax Media in an interview this week. “They minimise the party influence and maximise the voter’s choice.”

Preferencing is where a party uses how-to-vote cards to tell supporters in what order to number the candidates on the ballot paper. Under an open ticket, the party makes no such recommendations, leaving it entirely up to the voter.

Mr Brown’s comments come amid Labor fears the Greens are working on a controversial deal with the Liberal Party.

Under the rumoured plan, the Greens would run open tickets in key seats the Liberals hope to seize from Labor.

In exchange, the Liberals would preference the Greens ahead of Labor in the Victorian seats of Batman and Wills, giving them a good chance of winning. It could also help them retain Adam Bandt’s seat of Melbourne.

The potential deal is being driven by Victorian Liberal President Michael Kroger, who says the Greens are “not the nutters they used to be”. However, the proposal has angered a number of conservative Liberals.

Labor fears the Greens could do something similar in NSW in exchange for Liberal preferences in the seats of Sydney and Grayndler, putting senior Labor figures Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese at serious risk. Mr Albanese says any such deal would dramatically boost the Coalition’s chances of re-election.

However, Greens strategists insist the party has no plans to do any formal deals with the Liberals. Sources also say there is no scenario in which the party would preference the Liberals ahead of Labor in any seat.

While Greens Leader Richard Di Natale and his parliamentary team have a say on preference deals through the party’s National Council, final decisions are typically left up to individual branches. That means Mr Brown’s comments could have some sway.

At the 2010 federal election, the Greens recommended preferences to Labor in 98 seats and ran open tickets in 44 seats. But party sources say there is a move towards more open tickets this time around.

Mr Brown calls preferences a “distortion of democracy” that only distract from his party’s policy ideas during the election campaign.

“The voter should put their preferences where they want them to go,” he said.

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Heavy rainfall expected as severe weather warning stands

Heavy rainfall expected as severe weather warning stands.The first significant cold front of the year is currently affecting the southwest of Western Australia.

The strong cold front is likely to cause widespread damaging winds to 100 kilometres per hour that could result in damage to homes and property. In isolated areas dangerous gusts in excess of 125 kilometres per hour could cause significant damage or destruction to homes and property.

Damaging windsare possible southwest of a line Geraldton to Merredin to Hopetoun, extending to the remainder of the warning area Saturday afternoon.

Higher than normal tides may cause flooding of low-lying coastal areas particularly along the west coast during Saturday morning around the time of high tide.

Dangerous surf conditions which could cause some beach erosion are also likely.

Heavy rainfall will occur with the passage of the front. Heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding is possible southwest of a line Perth to Albany.

Isolated thunderstorms and small hail are also possible southwest of a line Perth to Albany, extending along the south coast to Esperance during Saturday afternoon and evening.

Severe wind gusts have been recorded at the following sites:

Cape Leeuwin, 94 kilometres per hour at 1:50am.Cape Naturaliste, 109 kilometres per hour at 2:45am.Rottnest Island, 109 kilometres per hour at 5:30am.Dwellingup, 94 kilometres per hour at 6:00am.Swanbourne, 93 kilometres per hour at 6:35am.Ocean Reef, 109 kilometres per hour at 7:00am.Heavy Rainfall has also been recorded at Witchcliffe (55.8mm since 1:00am) and Bridgetown (51.6mm since 3:00am).

People in the southwest of WA experience a front as windy as this about fivetimes per year.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:

If outside find safe shelter away from trees, power lines, storm water drains and streams.Close your curtains and blinds, and stay inside away from windows.Unplug electrical appliances and do not use land line telephones if there is lightning.If there is flooding, create your own sandbags by using pillow cases filled with sand and place them around doorways to protect your home.If boating, swimming or surfing leave the water.Do not drive into water of unknown depth and current.Slow down and turn your headlights on.Be alert and watch for hazards on the road such as fallen power lines and loose debris.If it is raining heavily and you can not see, pull over and park with your hazard lights on until the rain clears.If your home or property has significant damage, like a badly damaged roof or flooding, call the SES on 132 500.

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Death doubt dissolved

End-of-life professionals joined together in Launceston on Saturday for Tasmania’s first ‘Dying to Talk’ Expo.

FUNERAL PLANNING: And art installation at the ‘Dying to Talk’ Expo which was held at Launceston’s Albert Hall on Saturday. Picture: Neil Richardson

Palliative Care Tasmania general manager Colleen Johnstone said the eventaimed to provide information about death, dying and end of life care, and was an opportunity for the public to ask any trickyquestions.

“People have so much informationwhen you’re diagnosed with a life limiting illness, you immediately go through a period of grief and you’ve got all of this information and it’s a really scary process not just for you but for your family, your friends and the people around you,” she said.

“What we’re trying to do today is encouragepeople to have those scary conversations before it comes to being diagnosed.”

Ms Johnstone said she was pleased to see the diversity of stall holders, from palliative care services to disease associations to government services.

“What we wanted to do was get the message out to peoplethat palliative care is not just about the last few weeks of life and that there are a number of fantastic services in the community to support you when you are dying,” she said.

Finney Funeral Services managing director Mark Graham was an exhibitor at the expo, and said it was important to be able to provide outreach to the public.

“Death and dying is probably not a topic that we address as often as we should and it’s something that people can struggle to talk about,” he said.

Mr Graham said pre-planning is a nowbig part of thebusiness, with more than 20 per cent of clients taking an active role in their own funerals.

“What we’re seeing in our industry is that there’s a move from what was a more religious ceremony, to more of a civil service, we’re seeing that families really want to have a reflective and relaxed funeral,” he said.

Another stall at the eventpromoted Bittersweet, an organisation runningsupport groups for bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings.

“We started because my 18 year old son died in a car accident in 2008 and I couldn’t find anywhere locally where Icould find other peopleto talk to, and the only option in the end was to start something locally here,” said founder Lisa Bird.

“We still need to get the word out there, because after the funeral people can get lost in the abyss but this is somewhere they could be.”

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Heat on Labor in Batman as Greens candidate Alex Bhathal continues to rise

Alex Bhathal, the Greens candidate for the seat of Batman. Photo: Paul JeffersElection 2016: David Feeney didn’t declare $2.3m house and ‘doesn’t know’ if it’s negatively geared

It was in the wake of the Tampa affair that Alex Bhathal​ first put her hand up for a run at Federal Parliament in the seat of Batman.

This election marks the fifth time the 51-year-old social worker has run for the Greens in the seat since her first tilt in 2001. (She did not run in 2007.)

Over the past 15 years, the Greens primary vote has risen from 11.6 per cent in 2001 to 26.4 per cent in 2013, within striking reach of Labor in what was once the safest ALP seat in the country.

This is the most serious campaign the Greens haveever mounted (one art fundraiser alone raised $35,000).

Ms Bhathal seems much more focused. In the lead-up to the last election she said one of her greatest achievements was getting rid of Labor’s Martin Ferguson, who had retired.She admits that those comments were the product of being overlyenthusiastic.

Batman, which stretches from Clifton Hill in the south to Thomastown in the north, is held by Labor frontbencher David Feeney by 10.6 per cent, but the party’s primary vote has dropped from 57 per cent in 2007 to 41 per cent three years ago.

The seat, once the home of Labor stalwarts Ferguson and Brian Howe, looms as the next lower house seat most likely to fall to the Greens.

Despite Mr Feeney’s healthy margin, a combination of demographic change, a disastrous week in the news where hisundisclosed property was revealed (with a pro-Greens sign on the front lawn), and potential Liberalspreference swaps have sent Labor into panic.

“I’m really proud to be a Tampa Green,” Ms Bhathal told Fairfax Media this week, after revealing that in her university days she was involved with the ALP including working with Julia Gillard as a volunteer at the Commonwealth students’ conference.

Over time she became disillusioned with “careerist politics”, but when she saw the footage of children on the Tampa and a subsequent interview with then Greens leaderBob Brown she joined the Greens.

With Mr Feeney under the blowtorch for failing to live in Batman or disclosing his $2.3 million Northcote property, Ms Bhathal said she did not want the election to be about individuals, but rather wanted a focus on policies. She nominated housing affordability, multiculturalism and immigration and climate action as major strengths.

Ms Bhathal has lived in the electorate for three decades with her GP husband and the couple own a home in South Preston.

The Greens have mounted their biggest ever grassroots push for Batman with hundreds of volunteers doorknocking homes throughout the electorate, with a major focus on communities north of Bell Street.

Ms Bhathal said the Greens were now getting to have conversations in the northern communities, which in the past were strongly Labor, with housing affordability and negative gearing a major concern for residents.

“I’ve never had phone calls from Italian grandmothers before, now they are ringing me,” Ms Bhathal said.

A Greens placard has been erected by tenants of Labor MP David Feeney’s investment property in Northcote, urging locals in the Melbourne seat of Batman to vote for Greens candidate Alex Bhathal Photo: Paul Jeffers

The rise to the Greens leadership of Richard DiNatale, the son of Italian migrants who also grew up in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, has helped sway voters in traditional Labor parts of the electorate, the party believes.

The election ofGough Whitlam was the first time Ms Bhathal, then 8, opened her eyes to politics. The ending of the White Australia policy meant that her father, a Sikh from Northern India, felt for the first time that the country would accept him.

Batman has a strong multicultural history and community and Ms Bhathal said the reaction among locals to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s comments about illiterate refugees taking Australian jobs was outrage.

“It is disgraceful disregard for the reality of the contribution migrants, including refugees, have made,” she said.

“Whether I’m speaking to senior citizens in north-west Reservoir, Italians, or whether I’m speaking to Greek gentlemen in cafes or hipsters, it [immigration and multiculturalism] is absolutely core value for people in this electorate,

“We are not living here because of the beautiful surrounds, the beachfront, we are here because of the people, they really value diversity.”

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FA Cup 2016: Why we are tipping that Palace will be Glad All Over

It’s a tough gig being a fan of English football in this country as many a match has been missed in the early hours of Sunday as a hangover stealthily invades snoring heads.

This weekend will be no different either as diehard football fans across Australia will be trying their best to stay awake for the 2.30am kick-off as Crystal Palace take on Manchester United in this year’s FA Cup Final.


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You can pretty much guarantee that the two nations’ football fans will be cheering on the underdogs, Palace, against their rich opponents from North East England.

Even diehard West Ham fans who could be on a European Tour if the Red Devils win are backing their South London rivals rather than cheer on United, thus missing out on European football.

No one likes United, except their fans.

So this is why we should all get behind the Palace because it has been a cracking season for fans and neutrals worldwide, as Leicester gave it to the big boys and won the Premier League and now the Eagles can do too if they win the FA Cup.

The Palace fans love a good sing-along so get ready to join in!

Will it happen again? Well, no one thought it would after Blackburn Rovers won the title in 1995 but along came the Foxes 21-years later to hold that cup aloft.

Can Leicester City defend their title? Probably not, but what a season it was.

They proved that you don’t have to have a $158million midfield, or an 80,000 seater stadium or a billion dollar franchise worldwide, you just need to play good quality football and knock the big boys off.

And that’s just what Palace did on their remarkable journey to Wembley.

The Tottenham fans were singing their famous “Spurs are on their way to Wembley” tune until they met Palace in the fifth round, who duly dumped them out of the Cup with a one-nil win in their North London rival’s manor.

They followed this up with a solid two-nil victory at Reading then dispatched Watford two-one to make it to Wembley.

Meanwhile, the mighty red juggernaut from Manchester rolled over League One strugglers Shrewsbury Town three-nil in the fifth round.

They then had a tough home game against West Ham United but beat them in the replay at Upton Park.

Like Spurs fans, the Happy Hammers thought this was the season their name was on that famous cup.

Manchester United then dispatched Everton 2-1 in their FA Cup semi-final with a final second winner from Anthony Martial to set up their day with Crystal Palace.

There are unconfirmed rumours that this will be the one and only chance for Louis van Gaal to leave any kind of fingerprint on a side that many have said have underperformed.

If he looks up, he will see the Mourinho vulture slowly circling over him.

He doesn’t care though and is focused on holding the FA Cup aloft.

“It was a very long time ago that [Manchester United] won this cup, so it’s very important for the fans, for the club, for my staff and also for myself.

“I came here to win a title, and the FA Cup is a big title in England,” he said.

Palace manager Alan Pardew was playing for the Eagles in their only other FA Cup final appearence which ust happened to be against Manchester United, back in 1990.

That day Pardew was part of the losing team and he is out for revenge, reminding United of how dangerous his team can be.

“They’ll dominate possession and we’ll be very, very dangerous when they over commit,” he said.

So come Saturday night leave those beers for later in the evening and grab your mum and dad’s old vinyl collection and dig out Dave Clark Five’s ‘Glad All Over’ and get ready to sing it with the fans below.

That should keep the hangover at bay.


We are tipping Palace to snatch a late goal for a 2-1 victory @15

Annoy your neighbours and celebrate with Palace at 4.15am

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