Santos narrows FY output, sales guidance

Santos has narrowed its full-year production and sales guidance after improved output from major assets in its fiscal third quarter.

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The oil and gas producer now expects to produce between 58 and 60 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) in 2017, compared to its previous guidance of 57 to 60 million.

Sales volume is now expected to hit between 79 and 82 mmboe from 75 to 80 mmboe previously.

Santos produced 15 mmboe in the three months ended September 30, a two per cent increase on the preceding three months, but down three per cent from a year earlier.

The company said volumes increased four per cent at its five core assets, which include the Gladstone liquefied natural gas terminal in Queensland, the Cooper Basin and Western Australian gas divisions, and Papua New Guinea projects.

Drilling activity was increased in both the Cooper Basin and Gladstone with 16 Cooper and 53 GLNG wells drilled in the quarter, Chief Executive Kevin Gallagher said.

Sales volumes remained in line with the preceding quarter at 21.5 mmboe, but were marginally lower year on year.

Despite steady volumes, sales revenue jumped 22 per cent from a year earlier to $793 million, as the company benefited from a sustained improvement in oil and gas prices over the past year.

Benchmark crude oil prices in September rose to their highest level in two years.

Revenue was up three per cent over the prior quarter.

Mr Gallagher said Santos is continuing to boost gas supplies in the domestic market, with the company announcing it will supply committed to more than 125 petajoules of gas into in the south-east domestic market over the coming years.

The oil and gas producer has been accused of contributing to the tight gas supply situation in the domestic market, given its reliance on third-party supplies to fill up export shipments at Gladstone.

However, the company’s sales volumes from third-party supplies have been higher so far this year at 17.3 mmboe, compared to 14.5 mmboe in the first three quarters of last year.

By 1300 AEDT, Santos shares were up 1.1 per cent at $4.28 each in a firm Australian market.

Doctors say botched surgeries on the rise

Doctors’ groups are calling for a crackdown on underqualified surgeons working in day clinics with an increase in the number of reports of botched procedures.

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The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists raised serious concerns following the death of Jean Huang, 35, after she underwent breast surgery at her own Sydney beauty salon in August.

Ms Huang died in hospital after she was allegedly administered a local anaesthetic and breast fillers by Jie Shao, 33, at the Medi Beauty Laser and Contour Clinic in Chippendale.

A paper by the three organisations warns of a rise in serious patient harm as a result of procedures performed in an “office setting” where intravenous sedation and potentially toxic doses of local anaesthesia are used.

The paper recommends six minimum standards to protect patients treated in day clinics covering facilities and equipment, staff training, before and after care, as well as documentation.

The paper suggests all facilities should be accredited and equipment in day clinics be of the same standard as inpatient theatres and include machines required for resuscitation such as oxygen and defibrillators.

At present there’s no consistent standard governing day clinics across Australia, ANZCA president David A Scott told AAP on Thursday.

Professor Scott insists there’s an urgent need for a consistent approach across all states and territories.

“It’s crazy that there are different standards,” he said.

“I’d love there to be a federal approach to this but the reality is it’s currently a state matter and that’s why we’ve prepared this position paper.”

ASPS president Mark Ashton says the standards outlined in the joint paper will help guide the development of uniform licensing and accreditation regulations across Australia.

Huang died in hospital following a procedure in her own clinic allegedly administered by unlicensed Chinese tourist Jie Shao.

Shao was charged with causing reckless grievous bodily harm and using poison to endanger life.

A second woman was subsequently charged with manslaughter, using poison to endanger life and hindering a police investigation.

“It’s a tragedy that it’s come to this and that people have suffered and died in Australia as a result,” Prof Scott said on Thursday.

“We’re better than this. Governments have had a wakeup call that we need a consistent approach.”

Mother of slain US soldier slams Trump’s ‘disrespect’

The mother of an Army sergeant killed in Niger says President Donald Trump, in a call offering condolences, showed “disrespect” to the soldier’s loved ones as they drove to the airport to meet his body.

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David Johnson was one of four American military personnel killed nearly two weeks ago whose families had not heard from Trump until Tuesday.

Democratic politician Frederica Wilson said Trump told the widow Johnson “knew what he signed up for”.

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The Florida Democrat said she was in the car with the widow, Myeshia Johnson, on the way to Miami International Airport to meet the body when Trump called.

Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told The Associated Press Wednesday that the congresswoman’s account was correct.

Trump on Wednesday declared on Twitter: “Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!”

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Wilson did not back down from her account, suggesting that Trump “never wants to take ownership” of a mistake.

Trump has made personal contact with some families of the fallen but not all. What’s different is that Trump picked a political fight over who’s done better to honour the war dead and their families.

He placed himself at the top of the list, saying on Tuesday, “I think I’ve called every family of someone who’s died” while past presidents didn’t place such calls.This photo provided by the US Army Special Operations Command shows Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in an ambush in Niger.AAP

But The Associated Press found relatives of two soldiers who died overseas during Trump’s presidency who said they never received a call or a letter from him, as well as relatives of a third who did not get a call.

Proof is plentiful that Barack Obama and George W. Bush – saddled with far more combat casualties than the roughly two dozen so far under Trump, took painstaking steps to write, call or meet bereaved military families.Myeshia Johnson cries over the casket in Miami of her husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in an ambush in Niger.AAP

Labor proposes changes to child sex laws

The federal government has accused Labor of putting Australian children at risk by not backing compulsory jail time for child sex offenders.

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Justice Minister Michael Keenan lashed out on Wednesday night, after the opposition confirmed it won’t support mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders and offences that attract the highest penalties.

“This means predators may not even spend one day behind bars,” he said in a statement.

Mr Keenan labelled the suite of new laws – the rest of which Labor supports – the biggest crackdown on child sex offenders in a generation and based on advice from police.

“But Labor has put children across the nation at risk by opposing mandatory minimum sentences for these heinous crimes,” he said.

“A vote against these reforms is a vote to allow more paedophiles into the community.”

Labor argues it wants to strengthen the package by increasing penalties for predators of the worst kind, and by introducing new aggravated offences.

Justice spokeswoman Clare O’Neil told parliament mandatory minimum sentences let “guilty people off the hook” because juries are less likely to convict them when they know there’s no discretion about the sentence.

Criminals are also less likely to plead guilty and won’t cooperate with police to bring the kingpins who run child abuse networks to justice.

“I don’t want pedophiles on the street … and I don’t want to put them away for five years,” Ms O’Neil said.

“I want to catch the kingpins who are the drivers of this disgusting behaviour and I want judges to be able to put them away for life.”

Ms O’Neil noted concerns from some quarters, including the Law Council, about the unintended consequences of mandatory minimum sentences.

She told MPs an 18-year-old in a consensual relationship with a 15-year-old who engages in sexual activity while on an overseas school trip or over Snapchat, for example, could be jailed for at least five years.

Labor will also put forward amendments in the Senate to increase maximum sentences for a number of offences by five years, and propose new aggravated offences targeting those who incite or direct the production of child abuse material.

“We have no tolerance for child sexual abuse but we believe this bill needs to contain even stronger messages of our condemnation of these horrible crimes.”

Among several other measures, the draft laws propose new aggravated offences for abuse that involves subjecting a child to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

They also make it illegal to groom third parties such as parents or carers, and prevent children and other vulnerable witnesses from being cross-examined at committal proceedings.

Death toll in Afghanistan suicide attack climbs to 80

The deadliest of Tuesday’s assaults was on a police compound in the city of Gardez in Paktia province where Taliban militants disguised as police detonated three explosive-packed vehicles – including a truck and a Humvee – that cleared the way for 11 gunmen to enter.

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At least 60 people, including Paktia police chief Toryalai Abdyani and civilians waiting to collect documents, were killed in the blasts and ensuing battle that lasted about five hours, Gardez deputy director of health Hedayatullah Hamidi told AFP.

Some 236 people were also wounded in the assault, he added.

“The first checkpoint for the compound was blown up by a truck bomb. Two other vehicles then entered the compound – one detonated near the second checkpoint and the other rammed into the police chief’s office that killed the police chief and his bodyguards,” Paktia governor spokesman Abdullah Hasrat said.

The militants had been wearing police uniforms and carrying fake police identification, Mr Hasrat said – a common tactic used by insurgents to gain entry to government and security installations.

Police spokesman Sardar Wali Tabasum said two members of the security forces had been arrested in connection with the attack, suggesting the assailants had insider help.

“We think the Taliban took these vehicles (a Humvee and a police pickup truck) when Jani Khel district fell to them in August,” Mr Tabasum told AFP. Jani Khel is about 50 kilometres east of Gardez.

In the second attack in the neighbouring province of Ghazni, some 100 kilometres west of Gardez, the official death toll was lowered to 20, including 15 members of the security forces and five civilians, Ghazni governor spokesman Haref Noori told AFP.

The number of wounded stood at 46.

That assault followed a similar pattern involving insurgents detonating an explosives-laden Humvee near a police headquarters then storming the building, Mr Noori said. Six attackers were killed.

An earlier toll had put the number of dead at 30 with 10 injured.

It was the deadliest day in Afghanistan since May 31 when a truck packed with 1,500 kilogrammes of explosives detonated in the diplomatic quarter of the capital Kabul, killing around 150 and wounding hundreds more, mostly civilians.

Kabul police foiled an even larger truck bomb on Saturday – 2,700 kilograms of explosives stashed under boxes of tomatoes – that would have caused carnage had it exploded.

Less than two days later authorities seized a car driving towards Kabul that was carrying 300 kilograms of explosives.

Second Darwin meningococcal case confirmed

A second person has been infected with meningococcal in Darwin just days after a baby was killed by the disease.

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An adult admitted to Royal Darwin Hospital on Tuesday evening has tested positive for the life-threatening illness, Northern Territory health authorities say.

The NT Centre for Disease Control has established that this case has no connection either to the infant’s death or the unprecedented outbreak in Central Australia.

CDC Community Physician Dr Charles Douglas urged individuals and parents not to be alarmed but told them to remain vigilant.

“Meningococcal is difficult to contract; it is not like the common cold or flu,” he said.

“There must be prolonged contact with someone who is infected.”

The child, who died fewer than 12 hours after showing meningococcal symptoms over the weekend, had contracted the B strain of the disease in what CDC has named an isolated incident.

Relatives and children in close contact at the infant’s day care centre have been offered clearance antibiotics and vaccines.

“At this time of extreme sadness, the Darwin family of the child who died have asked that their privacy be respected,” the Health Department said in a statement.

So far this year there’s been 27 cases of the W strain identified in remote communities from the Barkly, Katherine and Red Centre region.

In 2016 there were only three.

The majority of sufferers were Aboriginal kids aged under 10, and the NT government has launched a large scale immunisation campaign in response.

Meningococcal is a rare but very serious disease, and although it is treatable with antibiotics, the infection can progress very quickly.

Symptoms may include fever, headache, neck stiffness, an aversion to bright lights, a rash and joint pain.

Those affected may also have vomiting, diarrhoea, and drowsiness.

Babies may refuse food and drink and have a high pitched cry.

American woman marries Ethiopian prince she met in a nightclub

It began, as many relationships do, with a dodgy pickup line in a nightclub.

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Ariana Austin was on a night-out with her friend at Pearl nightclub in Washington DC when she was approached by Joel Makonnen. 

“I said: ‘You guys look like an ad for Bombay Sapphire’,” Mr Makonnen tells The New York Times nof their first meeting.

“Not even five minutes later I said: ‘You’re going to be my girlfriend.'”

One thing the practicing lawyer did not tell Ms Austin that evening he was actually Prince Yoel, great-grandson of Haile Selassie I and Ethiopia’s last emperor.

 

Born in Rome, his parents, Prince David Makonnen and Princess Adey Imru Makonnen, had been forced into exile after a communist coup in Ethiopia, and he grew up in Switzerland and France.

Haile Selassie was the 225th emperor of Ethiopia and he ruled the east African country for four decades until he was overthrown in 1974. 

He died in 1975 under mysterious circumstances.

Mr Makonnen, 35, is related to Haile Selassie I through the emperor’s second son, Prince Mankonnen. 

The royal family traces its roots back to the Biblical King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

“It’s unbeatable heritage and history,” Ms Austin said.

“It combines sheer black power and ancient Christian tradition.”

Ms Austin also has an impressive lineage – she is of African-American and Guyanese descent, and her maternal grandfather was a lord mayor of Guyana’s capital, Georgetown.

Having studied arts, education and creative writing at Harvard, she now works in philanthropy.

Nearly 12 years after that initial nightclub exchange, the couple tied the knot in an extravagant Ethiopian Orthodox ceremony in Temple Hills, Maryland on September 9 – involving 13 priests and clergymen and more than 300 guests.

“We’ve always believed that when it came to our love – it was written – and we’re thrilled to experience the next chapter unfold,” the couple say on their wedding website. 

The bride and groom wore crowns and capes for the day of festivities, which started at 11am and went on until late in the evening. 

They married as close as they could to Enkutatash, the Ethiopian New Year, which is celebrated on September 11 and guests were given slices of Guyanese black cake and bottles of an Ethiopian honey wine called Tej.

Spain will seek to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy unless independence push is abandoned

Spain will seek to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy unless the region’s leader abandons his push for independence, the country’s deputy prime minister said Wednesday, 24 hours before Madrid’s deadline.

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If separatist leader Carles Puigdemont does not provide a satisfactory response by 0800 GMT Thursday, “Mr Puigdemont will provoke the application of article 155 of the constitution,” Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told parliament.

This provision of the constitution – which has never been used before – would open the way for Madrid to impose direct rule over the semi-autonomous region.

0:00 Rally in Barcelona as Spain’s political crisis deepens Share Rally in Barcelona as Spain’s political crisis deepens

Triggering it could represent a drastic escalation of Spain’s worst political crisis in decades which was sparked when Catalonia held a banned independence referendum on October 1.

Mr Puigdemont declared independence following the poll which he says resulted in a 90 percent “yes” vote, though turnout was only 43 per cent as many supporters of Spanish unity stayed away in a region that is deeply divided on the issue. 

But the Catalan leader said he was “suspending” independence to allow time for talks with the government – a prospect Madrid has rejected, leaving the country in limbo.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has given Mr Puigdemont until Thursday to come up with a definitive answer on the independence question, or face the consequences.

“All I ask of Mr Puigdemont is that he acts with good sense,” Mr Rajoy told parliament on Wednesday.

The premier would need Senate approval to trigger article 155, but his conservative Popular Party has a majority there.

The move could ultimately allow Madrid to suspend the regional government and eventually trigger new elections for Catalonia, but such a move risks inflaming tensions in the region even further.

South Sudanese ‘Daughters of Jerusalem’ providing support to community

Most weekends, outreach group ‘Daughters of Jerusalem’ walk the streets of Dandenong in Melbourne’s south-east providing support for young members of the South Sudanese community.

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The service evolved from predominantly South Sudanese church-groups in the area, where unemployment, substance abuse and crime are all issues community leaders are determined to overcome.

Volunteer Nyawaraga Cham says the group decided to carry out patrols to take their message to the streets.

“First thing, we [the South Sudanese community] need to respect the law,” Ms Cham told SBS World News. 

“Number two, we don’t want to be bad people in this country because this country now is a second home for us… We are citizens here.”

Volunteer Nyawaraga Cham: ‘We don’t want to be bad people in this country’. SBS World News

In the 2017 census, 7,700 Australians said they were born in South Sudan, but the true population is estimated to be over 20,000 nationally.

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Rita Modi, another Daughters Of Jerusalem volunteer, says the work can be challenging:

“It’s really sad because coming to this country our first aim was seeking a better life and better opportunities for our children, so seeing them [other children] in this situation, it does make me sad.”

The group often provides simple solutions for those in need, such as a lift home, a train ticket or just the right advice.

The group provides advice to those in need.SBS World News

Apprentice builder Gach Chuol says there were times when his life strayed “off-track” –  but advice and time spent with Ms Cham and the ‘Daughters’ were invaluable.

“They observe the role of a mother figure – someone that’s loving, understanding, that’s going to trust you no matter what you do,” Mr Chuol said

“They’ve personally helped me… just to understand the meaning of life.”

Gach Chuol, right, says the support he received was invaluable.SBS World News

But the volunteers can only do so much. South Sudanese community leader Kenyatta Wal is pushing for more African welfare workers to provide culturally specific programs.

“We have so many young people who are graduates, who are just looking for work and could not even get an opportunity to start with,” Mr Wal says.

“If the various organisations here in Dandenong can be able to employ these young people – African or South Sudanese – I think that will make a very big difference.”

Victorian Multicultural Affairs Minister Robin Scott says he sees merit in the concept.

“It’s important that the services that assist a community reflect the diversity of our society and that’s something we’re looking at in government,” he said.

Until then, selfless volunteers of the Daughters Of Jerusalem will continue to walk the streets. 

This is the second part of an SBS World News series of special reports focussing on the South Sudanese community in Australia. 

PART ONE

PART THREE

Sunshine, a new four-part drama series starring Anthony LaPaglia, is about a young South Sudanese-Australian basketballer who dreams of playing in the NBA and premieres on Wednesday, October 18 at 8.30pm on SBS.

0:00 Sunshine is coming to SBS: Preview Share Sunshine is coming to SBS: Preview

Tackling crime with rhyme: Inside Australia’s South Sudanese community

Bak Deng is the first to admit he ventured down the “wrong-path” when he arrived in Australia aged 15.

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He says it was a gruelling trade as a roof tiler which helped him establish a functional life here.

“I used to hang around, too much drinking and doing nothing, when I dropped out of school. I didn’t have nothing to do,” Deng, 27, told SBS World News. 

A trip back to South Sudan for his brother’s wedding prompted him to turn his life around. 

“I went there after 10 years, I [hadn’t] seen the family or where I should be living… I started realising I was just wasting my life here doing nothing,” he said.

Roof tiler Bak Deng says a trip back to South Sudan prompted him to turn his life around. SBS World News

Rap musician Wol Riak, who goes by the name Krown, also landed in trouble after arriving in Australia as a teen. 

For him, it was a promising career as a hip-hop artist that gave him a much-needed diversion. 

“It saved me,” the 21-year-old says. “I was going on a route where there was no limit … where either you die or your life is messed up. Music for me just came and said you’re actually worth it, you’re not worth going to jail, you’re not worth dying.” 

Breaking the cycle

Police appear to have gained the upper hand on the so-called Apex gang – a street gang founded by members of Melbourne’s South Sudanese community in 2012, declared a “non-entity” in April 2017 – but the issue of youth crime in the community remains. 

Although Bak and Krown’s stories are now ones of success,  like many young men arriving from South Sudan, the odds were stacked against them. 

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Both their fathers were killed in the country’s civil war and they came to Australia with few language or social skills, quickly falling into a pattern of petty crime. 

They escaped the cycle but effectively stumbled into a solution. Bak says he benefited from advice and the discipline of a trade.

“[It] was really hard from the start because I was doing it as an apprentice… the work gets harder and harder every day but when you tell yourself you gotta get there, everything gets easier,” he said. 

“Now I’m qualified… I couldn’t imagine one day I would do the four years but I done it!”

Rapper Krown says music saved him from a life of crime. SBS World News

Krown says his redemption came from within.

“Government can give you a million dollars, government can give you counselling, but it’s up to you,” he says.

“I ask for these young people, look inside yourself and ask, [what do] you want to do? You want to play soccer? Go chase it. Train by yourself if you have to.”

‘This needs real review’

One Australian academic has another theory. He says crucial data has been overlooked as a method of breaking the cycle and providing effective settlement policy.

Dr Berhan Ahmed from the African Think Tank collates statistics on the challenges of African settlement in Australia, and says new arrivals deserve more direction from their host country.

He’s calling for a dedicated centre to review data and provide informed settlement policy and solutions.

“This needs real review in how we deal with [and] support these young people at school, in the street, in employment,” Dr Ahmed says.

“[An] African study centre [would bring] this community’s information to the surface [and] into people’s access – settlements need to be more advanced, fitting 21st century Australia.” 

Victorian Multicultural Affairs Minister Robin Scott says he is in favour of the concept, and the government is exploring methods of collating and effectively using data.

“We are examining how we can use data more effectively in government to deliver services,” he says. 

Krown believes he already has the answer:

“For me, the message for the Sudanese is: think about the future for us and if you got a voice and you got a power, use it – use it in a positive way.”

This is the first part of an SBS World News series of special reports focussing on the South Sudanese community in Australia. 

PART TWO

PART THREE

Sunshine, a new four-part drama series starring Anthony LaPaglia, is about a young South Sudanese-Australian basketballer who dreams of playing in the NBA and premieres on Wednesday October 18 at 8.30pm on SBS.

0:00 Sunshine is coming to SBS: Preview Share Sunshine is coming to SBS: Preview

Ul-Haq smashes debut ton in Pakistan win

Imam-ul-Haq became the third youngest player to score a century on his one-day international debut and Hasan Ali grabbed 5-34 as Pakistan hammered Sri Lanka by seven wickets to secure a series victory.

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Pakistan took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series, with Sri Lanka’s losing streak in ODIs now stretching to 10 matches.

The 21-year-old Imam is the nephew of Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former captain and Pakistan’s current chief selector. He hit 100 off 125 balls with two sixes and five fours to help Pakistan cruise to 3-209 in 42.3 overs.

Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga top-scored with 61 after winning the toss and opting to bat, but his team’s batting woes in the series continued before they were finally dismissed for 208 in 48.2 overs.

Tharanga and Niroshan Dickwella (18) had provided a solid opening stand of 59 off 65 balls before Hasan clean bowled Dickwella.

Dinesh Chandimal struggled for 49 balls to score 19 before Sri Lanka collapsed midway through its innings as Pakistan’s spinners, Shadab Khan (2-37) and Mohammad Hafeez, tied the batsmen down.

Shadab struck in successive overs by having Chandimal trapped lbw and then Tharanga holed out at deep mid-wicket off a short delivery as Sri Lanka slipped to 3-112.

Ali hastened the collapse when Chamara Kapugedera – one of two changes Sri Lanka made after losing the first two matches – chipped an easy return catch.

Ali then combined with captain and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed to get Jeffrey Vandersay, Akila Dananjaya and Dushmantha Chameera all caught behind as Sri Lanka struggled after losing Tharanga in the 28th over.

Ali became the quickest Pakistani bowler to complete 50 wickets in ODIs, claiming the feat in 24 matches, three fewer than the previous record set by Waqar Younis.

Imam, replacing out-of-form Ahmed Shehzad at the top order, dominated two productive stands – adding 78 runs with Fakhar Zaman (29) and further 66 with Babar Azam (30).

Wicketkeeper Dickwella twice dropped Imam, on 29 and 89, before finally catching him down the leg side.

Vic MPs move forward on euthanasia vote

Victorian MPs will vote on a controversial assisted dying bill after the deputy premier’s attempt to scuttle the bill failed.

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James Merlino had put up a reason amendment, that if successful would have stopped any further voting on his own government’s bill.

But it was defeated 47-39 about 11.30pm on Wednesday night.

The controversial bill will now move to the next stage of the debate on Thursday.

Mr Merlino’s efforts were in stark contrast to Premier Daniel Andrews’, who has been pushing for the change alongside Jill Hennessy since the death of his father last year.

The government wants to introduce assisted dying for the terminally ill who have a diagnosis of 12 months to live or less.

Both sides have given their MPs a conscience vote on the matter.

The lower house spent has spent two days debating the bill until midnight.

Ms Hennessy commended her colleagues when she summarised the debate on Wednesday night.

“I think we’ve been respectful, compassionate and humane,” she said.

“The time to deal with this issue, Speaker, is now.”

Amendments proposed by other MPs will be circulated on Wednesday night, for consideration when debate resumes on Thursday.

Earlier in the day Premier Daniel Andrews said he believed the debate had been respectful.

However commentary within the Australian Medical Association had sparked division between the group’s state and federal bodies.

National president Michael Gannon fired off several tweets in connection with the divisive assisted dying bill.

“Intellectual case for #Euthanasia #VAD bankrupt. Don’t forever alter society ‘coz few powerful people see parent die,” Dr Gannon wrote.

“Its called #Euthanasia #PhysicianAssistedSuicide. Dressing it up, sanitising it #VAD is called Euphemasia.”

Many MPs, including Mr Andrews and Health Minister Jill Hennessy, have said they were backing the bill after watching loved ones suffer towards death.

Dr Gannon’s comments prompted AMA Victoria to apologise to the premier, Ms Hennessy and others who might have been offended.

“AMA Victoria holds that these tweets reflect Dr Michael Gannon’s personal views on euthanasia and are not consistent with the AMA’s position,” the association said in a statement.

Dr Gannon has since told News Corp Australia he was disappointed in AMA Victoria and stood by his comments.

“I don’t apologise; they are powerful emotional stories but this bill will make life more difficult for my members and make life more dangerous for my patients,” he said.

‘You have to change your name’: Stories of Australia’s South Sudanese

Members of Melbourne’s South Sudanese community say racism, the reputation of the so-called Apex gang, and barriers to employment are all challenges they continue to face.

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Around 30 people gathered at a modest community hall in Noble Park in Melbourne’s south-east for a forum aimed at airing ongoing issues of integration and settlement in the area.

Participants described everyday experiences of being South Sudanese in Australia.

Jafri Katagar. SBS World News

Local man Jafri Katagar spoke of the challenges that come with finding employment:

“When we are looking for work, you have to change your name on your resume,” he said. 

“I do have an African name but when I put it on the resume I can’t get work. They flip it over and say ‘use the name such as John Smith’.”

RELATED READING’They think we’re going to steal something’

Mavneth Te claims casual and overt racism is still experienced by many. 

“If we go to the shops they think we’re going to steal something,” he said.  [I] sort of get used to it a bit but it still hurts inside because not everybody’s doing the wrong thing, half the people are trying,” he said.

“[I] sort of get used to it … but it still hurts inside because not everybody’s doing the wrong thing, half the people are trying,” he said.

A meeting for members of the South Sudanese community in Noble Park, Melbourne.SBS World News

Some said the reputational damage has been caused by exaggerated reporting of the so-called Apex gang – a group often wrongly associated solely with the South Sudanese community.

James Luak says the legacy of the Apex is still being felt. 

“The impact that it did negatively is too much – there’s a lot of people lost their job,” he said. 

“A lot of kids can’t get [a] job anymore because obviously, all the Sudanese kids are Apex, apparently. It did have a very, very big impact … and it’s affecting us daily.”

‘You got to make an effort’

Participants in the forum also suggested solutions – including a review of education placement for new arrivals. Some highlighted a perceived a lack of engagement from Australian politicians as an issue – while others, like Marnas Deiwal, urged members of the community to seize the assistance already on offer.

“There are also a lot of training provided by the government,” he said.

“Like a job seeker, they can even do your resume there [at the job centre] and you just got to make an effort to get the job,” Ms Deiwal said.

Marnas Deiwal urged members of the community to seize the assistance already on offer.SBS World News

Overall, there was a feeling that the South Sudanese story is gradually being better told and understood.

South Sudanese community member Ojulu Wan says self-produced and community-guided productions like the forthcoming SBS drama Sunshine – about a young South Sudanese-Australian basketballer in Melbourne – are generally seen as a positive step.

Telling stories

South Sudanese community member Ojulu Wan says self-produced and community-guided productions like forthcoming SBS drama Sunshine – about a young South Sudanese-Australian basketballer in Melbourne – are generally seen as a positive step.

“There are people who are doctors, who are social workers, everything. The whole spectrum of life is there in the [South] Sudanese community,” he tells SBS World News.

“We need to get into the business of writing down our own stories, by our people, for our people, so people can see us from our own perspective.”  

 

This is the third and final part of an SBS World News series of special reports focussing on the South Sudanese community in Australia. 

PART ONE

PART TWO

Sunshine, a new four-part drama series starring Anthony LaPaglia, is about a young South Sudanese-Australian basketballer who dreams of playing in the NBA and premieres on Wednesday October 18 at 8.30pm on SBS.

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