Daily News Roundup

March 16, 2021

 

TUESDAY MARCH 16

Organisers of the Toowoomba Women’s March4 Justice say people in the traditionally conservative area are coming together demanding change.

A tradie has been booted off a southern Queensland construction site after yelling abuse and catcalling women involved in the March4 Justice rally, reports the ABC.

Construction company Newlands Group said it was contacted by the rally’s organisers after the incident in Toowoomba’ CBD on Monday.

The company’s managing director Barry O’Sullivan said he acted immediately after receiving complaints from the public.

“Myself and the senior leader of the management team went physically to site, we shut the site down while we undertook an investigation on what had happened,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“We identified the individual that had been involved and we stood the individual down immediately.”

March organiser Louise Noble praised the company for taking swift action.

“It was really quite disgusting and there were some swear words thrown around and just general bad behaviour, which was pretty disappointing,” Ms Noble said.

She said more subtle behaviours such as snickering and eye-rolling also highlighted the importance of the event.

“I think the issue is that men are used to women just putting up with it… when in fact, it’s actually really offensive behaviour,” she said.

“I think a lot of men are probably feeling uncomfortable about being challenged. So that’s sort of the result.”

Mr O’Sullivan said he had been upset after receiving calls about the incident.

“Newlands is my company and has been for 20 years and it is my family’s company. It’s not the value or culture that we’ve set for ourselves,” he said.

“It’s not the values or culture I’ve set for my children.”

Mr O’Sullivan said the tradie, who had been employed by a subcontractor, would not be welcome on any Newlands building sites until he had completed training to understand his responsibilities to the company’s values and policies.

“The clear message is that you need to treat all people with respect,” he said.

“That was the message sent to the individuals on that site.

“They must respect all people in in any workplace or any public scene, and even any private scene, and they should respect other people’s opinion and other people’s choices.”

Ms Noble said the action taken by Newlands was an example of the ‘really strong leadership’ needed.

“I really commend them in taking action in that way,” she said.

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The man convicted of slaughtering his parents and four siblings in a home that later inspired The Amityville Horror book and movies has died, prison officials have confirmed, according to newsagency AP.

Ronald DeFeo, 69, died on Friday at Albany Medical Centre, where he was taken on February 2 from a prison in New York’s Catskill Mountains, the state Department of Corrections and Community Services said.

The cause of his death was not immediately known.

DeFeo was serving a sentence of 25 years to life for the 1974 killings in Amityville, on suburban Long Island.

The home became the basis of a classic horror movie after another family briefly lived there about a year after the killings and claimed the house was haunted.

A book and two movies β€” the 1979 original, starring James Brolin, Margot Kidder and Rod Steiger, and a 2005 remake β€” portrayed a home with strange voices, walls that oozed slime, furniture that moved on its own, and other supernatural features.

DeFeo had pursued an insanity defence at his trial, saying he heard voices that drove him to kill his family.

He unsuccessfully sought a retrial in 1992, claiming his 18-year-old sister killed the other five family members, and that he then shot her.

“I loved my family very much,” he said at a 1999 parole hearing.

The corrections department said it could not disclose why DeFeo was hospitalised, citing health privacy laws.

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