Daily News Roundup

May 8, 2019

Bill Shorten and Mother
Image: The Sydney Morning Herald

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has hit back at newspaper claims that he omitted parts of his mother’s career while talking about the sacrifices she made to raise her children.

While appearing on Q&A on Monday, Mr Shorten spoke of his mother, Dr Ann Shorten, as his inspiration with some commentators saying at the time the “heart felt” statement about what she gave up for him was a vote winner.

He said she had wanted to study law but had to take a teacher’s scholarship so she could support her younger siblings.

The Opposition Leader said he wanted to ensure all young people could pursue the career they wanted, irrespective of their socioeconomic status.

“She loved being a teacher and she was very good at it. She later became a teacher of teachers,” Mr Shorten said.

“She worked at Monash University over three decades, but she always wanted to be in the law.”

News Ltd morning papers led by the Daily Telegraph in Sydney under the headline “Mother of Invention” accused Mr Shorten of having neglected to say on Q&A that his mother actually did study law and gained first-class honours before going on to practise for six years.

Mr Shorten said the newspapers  “used his mum’s life as a political attack” on him.

“In a new low, The Daily Telegraph has decided to use my mum’s life as a political attack on me, and on her memory,” Mr Shorten said on Twitter.

“They think they know more about my mum than I do.”

The newspapers also described Mr Shorten as having benefited from studying at “Melbourne’s elite Xavier College”.

Today, Mr Shorten said his mother studied law in her 50s and he was proud of what she achieved.

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Prince William says he was “absolutely thrilled” about the birth of his brother Harry’s son, welcoming him to the “sleep deprivation society that is parenting”.

“Obviously thrilled, absolutely thrilled, and obviously looking forward to seeing them in the next few days when things have quietened down,” he said.

“I’m very pleased and glad to welcome my own brother into the sleep deprivation society that is parenting.”

The boy, who has yet to be named, arrived early on Monday and is thought to have been born at Harry and Meghan’s Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor Castle.

But there are some reports claiming the baby was delivered in a London hospital.

Asked if he had any advice for his younger brother, father-of-three William laughed.

“Plenty of advice, plenty of advice, but no, I wish him all the best and I hope the next few days they can settle down and enjoy having a newborn in their family and the joys that come with that,” he said.

The Duchess of Cambridge said it was a special time.

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Nine in ten Australians consider themselves “responsible drinkers”, yet a quarter of people drink to get drunk at least once a month, a new alcohol poll by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) has shown.

The 2019 Annual Alcohol Poll, released today by the foundation , found only 31 per cent of people could correctly identify the number of standard drinks a person could consume to minimise long-term harm.

The poll revealed the number of people who drink to get drunk has increased in the last decade.

Alcohol-related harm has risen despite relatively consistent consumption rates.

Experts warn confusion about alcohol risk is widespread.

The same research has found more than two-thirds of Australians are unaware what constitutes risky drinking, and many are drinking well beyond recommended levels.

Australia’s National Guidelines for Alcohol Consumption recommend adults drink no more than two standard drinks per day to cut the lifetime risk of harm, and no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion to reduce the risk of alcohol-related injury.

The latest poll of more than 1,800 people found 79 per cent of Australians who consumed six to 10 standard drinks on a typical occasion considered themselves responsible drinkers, as did 64 per cent of Australians who drink to get drunk at least twice a week.

FARE chief executive Michael Thorn said the nationally representative online survey, now in its 10th year, confirmed once again that “Australia has a problem with alcohol”.

“Since 2011, there’s been an overall increase in the proportion of Australian drinkers who drink to get drunk from 35 to 47 per cent,” he said.

“These are very concerning figures, and show a significant increase from the time we first asked this question in 2011.”

He said terms such as “drink responsibly” and “drink in moderation” were commonplace in alcohol marketing but had little meaning and were diverting attention away from the true extent of alcohol harm.