Weekly News Roundup

June 29, 2018

First part of Dreamworld ride tragedy inquest concludes

AFTER almost 20 witnesses and 10 days of evidence, the opening two-week period of the Dreamworld tragedy inquest will conclude today.

The inquest at the Southport Coroners Court is investigating the deaths of Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi following a malfunction on the Thunder River Rapids Ride in October 2016.

Yesterday the court was closed while footage of the lead-up to the tragedy was played.

The inquest also heard park electricians had raised concerns about wiring inside the ride’s main control panel, which was described by an expert following the tragedy as a “rat’s nest”.

Further employees are to give evidence today before the inquest is adjourned until October.

A third two-week period has also been scheduled for November with more than half of the approximately 50 witnesses yet to give evidence.

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Woolworths backflips on plastic bag ban after customer complaints

WOOLWORTHS has done a major backflip on its plastic bag ban and will now hand out free reusable bags to shoppers for the next 10 days.

The supermarket giant has responded to outrage by customers just one week after they dumped single-use plastic bags in all their stores in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and WA.

Irate customers have complained about having to pay for bags at the checkout while some shoppers have not had enough of their own bags to take away all their own groceries in.

Others annoyed customers who had simply forgotten to bring their own bags have also voiced their frustration at having to pay for their own shopping bags.

Woolworths managing director of supermarkets Claire Peters said they have responded to customer feedback and shoppers will now be able to get free 15 cent reusable bags until Sunday, July 8.

“Since we have phased out single-use plastic bags nationwide on the 20th of June some

customers have told us that getting into the habit of bringing their own reusable bags has been a challenge,’’ she said.

“While some customers have forgotten their reusable bags altogether many have done the right thing and brought their own only to end up one or two reusable bags short.”

The bags are made from 80 per cent of recycled plastics.

Customers will be able to get as many bags as they need at no charge so they can take away their groceries.

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Body-in-barrel suspect wanted on warrant

Police have had a warrant to arrest a man sought over this week’s body-in-a-barrel case since March, after he breached his parole conditions.

Zlatko Sikorsky has a long history of violent crime and was jailed in 2016 for a maximum five years for deprivation of liberty, armed robbery and four counts of extortion.

Queensland Corrective Services on Friday said it had concerns for public safety after Sikorsky breached his parole and a warrant to return him to custody was issued on March 15.

He remains on the run after he abandoned a ute carrying the body at a housing estate on the northern Gold Coast on Wednesday.

Officers had gone to a property linked to Sikorsky as part of their search for missing Brisbane 16-year-old Larissa Beilby.

While the body in the barrel is yet to be identified, police say Sikorsky knew Larissa, whose family last saw her in Sandgate on June 15.

Her father, Peter Beilby, told police on Tuesday his daughter was missing.

With time served in custody, Sikorsky’s parole date was fixed at October 7, 2016 and he was released on January 6, 2017.

On Friday, Queensland Corrective Services said “a return to custody warrant was issued by the Parole Board Queensland on 15 March 2018”.

“When offenders breach the conditions of their parole, if we have a concern for public safety, we recommend to the board that parole be suspended,” a spokesman told AAP.

“If the board accepts this recommendation, a return to custody warrant is issued.”

Meanwhile, Queensland’s deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander said the case raises serious questions about the state’s parole system.

“The person has a long, violent criminal record and is currently out on parole. In fact, he had breached parole,” he told reporters on Friday.

“And I think it’s a reasonable question for people to ask: Why is this man out on the streets?”

Larissa’s sister Deanna has written a Facebook post saying the family has not spoken to the media and would not “until we are provided with the facts from police”.

Sikorsky has distinctive tattoos around his neck, with the hunt for him centred on the Logan and Gold Coast areas.

This Weekly News Roundup is sources with stories from The Courier Mail.

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