Daily News Roundup

May 2, 2019

Logan City Council will be sacked by Queensland’s Local Government Minister after eight councillors were charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Stirling Hinchliffe said he was left with “no other choice”.

He announced the decision in Parliament this morning, saying he would be writing to the Governor to inform him of the intention to sack the Council.

“Immediate action must be taken to ensure the ratepayers of Logan and the residents of Logan have a council that can function,” he said.

“The people of Logan deserve foremost a functioning council that can continue to provide services.

“Unfortunately they find themselves in an extraordinary situation that must be addressed as quickly as possible in order to move forward in confidence.”

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A 57-year-old grandfather who is a convicted sex offender as well as being found guilty of  committing a list of other offences including various drug, drink-driving and assault charges, has won a fight not to be deported back to the UK.

British ¬†citizen David Dennins is set to remain in Australia after winning an appeal in the Federal Court yesterday against Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s order to deport him.

Two of the three Federal Court judges involved in the appeal found Mr Dutton had unfairly cancelled the visa.

Mr Degning, 57, who has lived in Australia for more than 50 years, was yesterday released from Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre and reunited with his family on the NSW south coast after spending 16 months in detention.

He has been fighting the deportation order since 2016 when the Department of Home Affairs moved to revoke his visa and return him to the United Kingdom for failing a character test.

Mr Degning has a long criminal history and was convicted in 2013 of having sexual intercourse with a person with a cognitive impairment. He was given a 17-month suspended sentence.

The list of offences also includes various drug, drink-driving and assault charges.

In August last year, the Federal Court dismissed Mr Degning’s appeal to remain in Australia, but that decision was overturned by the full Federal Court on Tuesday on the grounds of procedural fairness.

Since 2014, the Federal Government has cancelled 4,500 visas under the character provisions set out in section 501 of the Migration Act.

The Department of Home Affairs used Mr Degning’s failure to declare a criminal history on a series of passenger cards in the 2000s as evidence of his disregard for the law and re-offending risk.

Federal Court documents show Mr Dutton chose to exercise his “discretion to cancel” Mr Degning’s permanent visa on the grounds Mr Degning represented an “unacceptable risk of harm to the Australian community”.

He also stated that the protection of the Australian community “outweighed any countervailing considerations”.

The Federal Court has ordered the Department of Home Affairs to pay Mr Degning’s legal costs.

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The families of Australians working at the High Commission in Colombo, including a number of children, have been offered flights out of the country, amid the threat of more terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka.

A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said “voluntary departures to return to Australia” were available for dependents of embassy staff and for volunteers in the country working under the Australian Volunteers International (AVI) program.

“We continue to encourage all Australians in or travelling to Sri Lanka to consider the travel advice, including volunteers and volunteer organisations,” a DFAT spokesperson reportedly told the ABC.

Schools in parts of Sri Lanka, including the capital, have been shut in the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings that killed 250 people.

There are a large number of Australian children of DFAT staff based in Colombo, and most of the families live in apartments.

Many families have been forced to restrict their daily travel in light of the Australian Government’s travel advice for Sri Lanka, which urges Australians to “minimise movement until the situation stabilises”.

The official advice warns that further terrorist attacks are likely in Sri Lanka.

“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. Security has been stepped up across the island,” the advice states.

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Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has announced he has married his consort, General Suthida Vajiralongkorn, a former flight attendant, naming her Queen Suthida.

The announcement was made in the Royal Gazette, which said the king has legally married Suthida, 40, but did not specify the date of their marriage.

It came three days before his coronation following the death of his father in 2016

King Maha, 66, has previously been married three times

His official coronation will be on Saturday.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn, also known by the title King Rama X, became constitutional monarch after the death of his revered father King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016, after 70 years on the throne.

King Bhumibol anointed his son Maha Vajiralongkorn as heir to the throne in 1972 and never wavered from that decision.

In 2014, King Maha Vajiralongkorn appointed Suthida Tidjai, as a deputy commander of his bodyguard unit.

There has been little official information about her, but she is reported to have previously worked as a flight attendant for Thai Airways International.

The king made Queen Suthida a full general in December 2016, and the deputy commander of the king’s personal guard in 2017.

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