Australia – Michmutters

Travelers face major delays at Sydney Airport

Travelers are facing major delays at Sydney Airport this morning due to security staff calling in sick.

Lines looped through the domestic terminal and spilled out the door leaving travelers frustrated and concerned about missing flights.

The cause of today’s delays is staff calling in sick meaning security screening lanes couldn’t be opened.

Long lines at Sydney Airport Monday 15 August
Delays were sparked by security staff calling in sick. (9News)
Long lines at Sydney Airport Monday 15 August
Line wrapped through the airport and out the door. (9News)

A Sydney Airport spokesperson apologized for the lengthy delays.

“Our security contractor has had significant staff sick leave today, meaning some security screening lanes were not able to be opened,” a spokesperson for Sydney Airport said.

“We have customer service staff on the ground bringing passengers forward according to flight priority.

“We are sorry about the disruption and we are working hard to get everyone on their way.”

Long lines at Sydney Airport Monday 15 August
The airport has pulled people out for flight priority. (9News)
Travelers are warned to leave extra time when heading to the airport. (Nine)

Travelers waited up to an hour to get through security.

“It’s a bit excessive but we have to put up with what we put up with,” one traveler said.

“It’s ridiculous I can’t believe it,” another traveler added.

Italy’s Lake Garda shrinks to near-historic low amid drought

It’s not the first time Sydney Airport has faced long queues and delays as the site battles staff shortages.


Father of innocent Sydney shooting victim says she was an ‘angel’

The father of an innocent hairdresser caught up in a brutal execution in Sydney’s south-west says she was “beautiful” and an “angel” ready to help anyone in need.

Amy Al-Hazzouri, 39, was in the backseat of a four-wheel drive with 48-year-old Lametta Fadlallah in Panania when a shooter sprayed the car with bullets and killed them both on Saturday night.

Al-Hazzouri’s father, Khaled, told 9News his daughter was an angel, friendly and beautiful.

Hairdresser Amneh Al-Hazzouri, known as Amy to her friends, also in the back, was caught up in a barrage of deadly fire. (Nine)

“Beautiful, beautiful,” the grieving father said.

“Anyone who used to be upset, depressed, anything would go to Amy and she would give them the support, the power and energy.

“They would go to Amy, Amy was everything to them, that’s the kind of person she was.”

Father of shooting victim Amy Al Hazzouri speaks about his daughter.
Father of shooting victim Amy Al-Hazzouri says his daughter was an angel (9News)

Khaled said he wished he had died instead of his daughter and just wants her back.

Al-Hazzouri’s brother-in-law, Mounir Sajad, said she was “very loved” and the family is obviously devastated.

“No one can believe what has happened, it is very hard,” he said.

“Her father, he doesn’t believe he has lost his love.”

Panania shooting victim Amy Al-Hazzouri's brother in law
Al-Hazzouri’s brother in law said she was very loved. (9News)

Fadlallah is the former partner of drug dealer and standover man Helal Safi and former wife of notorious drug dealer Shadi Derbas.

Police believe she was the intended target.

Al-Hazzouri’s family said she was at Fadlallah’s home to blow dry her hair before they went out, working overtime and nights as she often did, to support her father and her family in Lebanon.

“She was a hard worker, a good lady, always looking after her sister and brother and sometimes looked after her father,” Sajad said.

They said they had begged her not to make house calls.

“She worked with this woman, someone gave her advice not to, but she didn’t (listen),” Sajad said.

  Lametta Fadlallah was shot dead in Sydney.
Lametta Fadlallah was also shot dead in the Panania attack. (Nine)
Homicide detective Danny Doherty called the double murder “unprecedented” and said police are now targeting known underworld families to try and stop what may be an inevitable bloody escalation of gun violence.

Doherty said “some type of retribution” is now the fear.


Mosman swim coach faces 21 child sexual abuse charges

McCarthy said that in mid-2018 a mother of one of the girls told a staff member “Kyle has touched my daughter between this region” and motioned between her chest and upper legs.

He said the woman said words to the effect, “I just want to put a red flag up to bring it to your attention, I don’t want him to lose his job over this”, and, “I don’t know if it was accidental”.

The girl allegedly told her mother that she “squeezed her legs and bottom together tightly for the rest of the lesson, so he couldn’t do it again”.

McCarthy said at Daniels’ next shift, before the accused was told of the allegation, he was observed by the staff member to be “too hands-on” and his coaching style too close contact.

He said Daniels was told about the parent’s allegation of touching and “appeared shocked and remained quiet”. He allegedly said, “I don’t think I have, if I have, it could have been an accident”.

McCarthy expects the jury will hear evidence a memo was sent to staff about not holding children close to the groin or chest and Daniels returned a signed copy. McCarthy said the complaint was not reported to the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) as the parents left it to the discretion of the swim school and “it’s fair to say, they were not insisting” on a report being made.

In early 2019, two sisters attended their first swimming lessons at the centre.

“Both of their lessons were with the accused,” McCarthy said.

He expects their father to give evidence his eldest appeared to be “reluctant” to thank Daniels, and “that was somewhat unusual because [she was] normally very enthusiastic about her teachers”.

The jury is expected to hear evidence the girl later handed her mother a note that read, “the reason I don’t like my swimming teacher… is that he touched my”, followed by a space. McCarthy said the woman will testify her daughter of her said the teacher touched her private parts of her and pointed to her front of her.

The same month, her younger sister allegedly disclosed that Daniels had “touched her on the vagina” while she was doing backstroke and it “felt like a worm when he did it”.

The girl allegedly told her mother that she “squeezed her legs and bottom together tightly for the rest of the lesson, so he couldn’t do it again”, and later told police “she put her legs together, she did not want it to happen again”.

McCarthy said the matter was reported to the swim center, which notified FACS and police became involved, interviewing the sisters.

Daniels’ arrest in March 2019 was the subject of media publicity and information was received about allegations relating to other children, the prosecutor said.

The jury was told the evidence and cross-examination of the nine girls had been pre-recorded.

The Crown’s address summarizes on Tuesday ahead of Daniels’ barrister Leslie Nicholls opening the defense case. The trial before Judge Kara Shead, expected to run for six to eight weeks, continues.

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Owner of seven properties says landlords getting a raw deal

Andrew Duggan owns seven homes, but he wants people to know he’s not a bad bloke.

He’s been flipping properties in Queensland from a home office in Sydney for 25 years and seems acutely familiar with the public perception of landlords.

“Landlords are very unpopular people,” Mr Duggan said.

“There’s the perception of the evil landlord, the cinematic slum lord idea.

“And there’s a perception that landlords are sitting on piles of cash and sitting around on our yachts.

“The reality is whilst we have the titles to these properties, they’re very much mortgaged.”

Man wearing hi-vis shirt mowing the lawn outside.
Landlord Andrew Duggan is considering getting out of the property game.(ABCNews/7.30)

He insisted he was not doing an interview to “cry poor”, but despondently declared “the good times for landlords are over”.

A long-time advocate of buying up real estate, he’s considering selling up and getting out of the property game.

Mr Duggan said the decline of his lucrative portfolio began five years ago when he was locked into an excessive interest rate with a major bank.

But he is also critical of tenancy laws and state-based land taxes.

After years of advocacy from housing organisations, the Victorian, Tasmanian and ACT governments have recently banned landlords from evicting tenants without grounds.

Man trimming a hedge.
Andrew Duggan says he doesn’t want to “profiteer from our tenants.”(ABCNews/7.30)

Queensland, where most of Mr Duggan’s properties are located, also banned the practice, except at the end of a fixed-term rental agreement.

“As far as I can see, landlords have next to no rights and tenants have all the rights. It’s kind of swung a long way in that direction and it’s probably swung too far,” he said.

Mr Duggan said the “default” position of civil courts adjudicating disputes between property owners and their renters was that “the property owner will always lose”.

He said he had increased the rent in at least one of his properties over the last year due to the increase in Queensland’s land tax.

“I’m not a charity, that’s for certain. I think we’re very fair with our tenants. We don’t want to profit from our tenants, but we do want to create an equilibrium between our incomings and outgoings so we’ re not going backwards,” he said.

This couple rent their apartment out for 10 per cent less than it’s worth

A man wearing glasses smiles next to a woman wearing a black top.
“We didn’t want to do what other people had done to us,” landlords Thomas Shafee and Katrina Alcorn say.(ABCNews/7.30)

When Thomas Shafee and Katrina Alcorn bought their own apartment and left the rental market five years ago, the Melbourne-based couple were overwhelmed with relief.

“As tenants [before owning a home] we have been in some situations with great landlords and we’ve been in some situations with terrible landlords,” Mr Shafee said.

“We’ve had uncertain housing in our lives too,” Ms Alcorn added.

With the pair now considering starting a family, they considered their one-bedroom Heidelberg Heights flat too small and have decided to upsize, but said they felt “icky” trying to cash in on the tightening real estate market.

Instead, they’ve offered the property up as an affordable rental and listed it for 10 per cent below what they had been quoted by other agents.

A man wearing a striped scarf standing next to a woman wearing a black top.
Thomas Shafee and Katrina Alcorn felt strongly about keeping their property affordable.(ABCNews/7.30)

“When there is so much pressure with the prices going up and the supply going down it’s really easy for people to be forced into situations where they are taken advantage of, so it’s nice to be able to do something that avoids some of those ethical pitfalls ,” MrShafee said.

“We didn’t want to do what other people had done to us,” Ms Alcorn said.

“That’s one of the reasons we feel really strongly about this.”

Mr Shafee said he and his partner intended to be “ethical” landlords and employ a hands-off approach to their incoming tenant.

“This is not some investment item that we’re talking about, it’s something that someone is going to live in, so it makes a big difference how [the property] is going to be run,” he said.

Mr Shafee and Ms Alcorn are renting the property through HomeGround Real Estate, an agency that offers affordable rentals and donates the profits it makes from management fees to Launch, a community housing organization.

Problem ‘just going to get worse’

woman sitting at a table
Michele Adair says “renters just haven’t been valued.”(ABC News: Tim Fernandez)

Renters’ advocate and chief executive of the NSW Housing Trust Michele Adair said state laws were still skewed in favor of landlords because property in Australia was seen as a means of wealth creation rather than shelter.

“There are lots of really good private landlords [that] provide affordable rental housing, but the problem that we have is that renters just haven’t been valued,” Ms Adair said.

“One in three people rent a home today and probably nine out of ten rents at some stage, yet we have had decades of government policy which just really disregards the rights of tenants and their safety and security.

“We continue to have this myth and fallacy pushed by private interest groups who, as we have seen, just continue to push the wealth creation and profit motive.”

Ms Adair said the so-called “motive” had led to the current rental crisis.

“There is no end in sight and without urgent action by all levels of government. The problem is just going to get worse for the foreseeable future and I’m afraid that means years and not months.”

Watch this story on 7.30 on ABC TV and ABC iview.



Photographer captures ‘oh wow’ moment as whale breaches close to boat off Coffs Harbor

An amateur photographer says she is “stoked” after capturing a photo of a humpback whale breaching close to a boat in Coffs Harbour.

Carly Adams, 26, said she had never taken a photo like it in the eight years she had been taking photos of nature.

Ms Adams said she walked along the southern wall at Coffs Harbor each day, especially during the whale season.

“I was going down to see if I could get some shots of the whales and I was stoked when I got that,” she said.

“I was like ‘Oh wow, it’s a shot and a half’. I didn’t think I’d get that shot.”

Ms Adams said she was tracking the whale with her camera just after 11am on Sunday before it suddenly breached four times.

“I just happened to get the shot and I was just so shocked about it,” she said.

a whale breaches near a boat
Carly Adams captured the whale breaching off the coast of Coffs Harbour.(Supplied: Carly Adams)

“I managed to get a few other shots but that was definitely my great shot.

“It just came out of the blue and I thought the people [on the boat] would have had a massive shock.”

Ms Adams couldn’t say how far the whale was from the boat because she was using a long lens zoom.

“It made it look like it was really close to the boat but it mightn’t have been as close. It definitely looked like it was close.”



Calls for exclusion zones after protesters block entrances to Melbourne hospitals

The mother of a cancer patient being treated at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital said she was blocked by anti-vax protesters from entering the hospital over the weekend.

Karly Kirk, who had to be guided into the hospital, is now backing calls for protest exclusion zones to be implemented around major hospitals.

She was attempting to visit her 11-year-old daughter, Darcy, who is undergoing chemotherapy for a rare blood cancer.

Hundreds of protesters blocked staff, families and patients from entering the hospital over the weekend. (Nine)

“I was nervous and I was scared as I was coming through. It was like a pure rage that then escalated into tears,” Kirk said.

While the protesters claim they didn’t block the entrance to the hospital, videos show police officers having to flag cars through the crowd of around 200 anti-vaxxers.

The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Royal Women’s Hospital were also targeted.

Emergency physician Dr Stephen Parnis said exclusion zones needed to be created to ban hospital protests.

“State and territory governments around the country need to keep looking at (exclusion zones),” he said.

Karly Kirk was attempting to visit her 11-year-old daughter, Darcy, who is undergoing chemotherapy for a rare blood cancer. (Nine)

“Healthcare workers and indeed our patients, need to have our safety and wellbeing looked after.

“This is one example of where that safety and those interests can be protected.”

Parnis said the protesters “crossed the line.”

“They are a very small minority. They shouldn’t be allowed to compromise the wellbeing of people on often the worst day of their life,” he said.

“There is always the potential that delays or intimidation can make a bad situation worse.

Emergency physician Dr Stephen Parnis said exclusion zones needed to be created to ban hospital protests. (Nine)

“When you have got chaos outside, and noise and difficulty getting through it, there is no good that can come out.”

A Victoria Police spokesperson said they were “extremely disappointed” with the behavior of the protesters choosing to target hospitals.

9News understands no protesters were arrested.

The Royal Children’s Hospital declined to comment on the protests.


Second woman identified in fatal Revesby shooting as policing is ramped up to prevent revenge attack

A hairdresser who had joined her friend on a night out has been identified as the second victim of an “unprecedented” gangland execution in south-west Sydney.

Police believe Amy Hazouri, 39, may have been collateral damage when she was fatally shot inside a car alongside Sydney mother Lameta Fadlallah, 48, in Revesby on Saturday night.

The pair were sitting in a silver Toyota 4WD with a 16-year-old girl and a 20-year-old man when a gunman pulled up beside the vehicle and opened fire.

Ms Fadlallah died at the scene while Ms Hazouri was rushed to Liverpool Hospital in a critical condition where she later succumbed to her injuries.

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Devastated colleagues at Ms Hazouri’s salon in Bankstown paid tribute to the respected hair stylist on Sunday.

“We are shattered, our heart is broken, you left us too soon,” the tribute read.

“May your memory be eternal god bless your soul until we meet again.”

The brazen assassination of two women has concerned police amid fears gangland bosses have torn up the “rulebook” which stipulated women and children were off limits in violent attacks.

“There used to be an unwritten law that you don’t touch family and you don’t touch women,” Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said on Sunday.

“That’s been thrown out of the window, they don’t care anymore.

“They don’t discriminate if you’re male or female. Every rule book has been thrown out, and that is concerning.”

Police believe the shooting was an organized attack and that the women and their friends were “heading for a night out” when they were set upon.

“One theory is that it was a targeted attack on the 48-year-old woman because of her past relationships with other known identities,” Mr Doherty said.

“It appears that the 39-year-old woman who was sitting next to her is just a completely innocent party to all this and she has lost her life as a result of this.”

Police said the two other occupants – a 16-year-old girl and 20-year-old man – were “incredibly lucky” to have escaped uninjured.

Detectives say “proactive policing” was now underway to prevent revenge attacks.

Strike Force Laurantus has been established, with assistance from gang squad officers as well as Strike Force Raptor – a taskforce focused on outlaw motorcycle gang activity.

“And it’s always concerning: What’s the repercussions of all this? But we’re going to be doing our best to try [to] suppress that,” Mr Doherty said.



Lithium giant Albemarle one step closer in bid for 500-bed workers’ camp in Binningup

US chemicals giant Albemarle has progressed plans for a temporary 500-bed workers’ village on farmland south of Perth, despite opposition from the local shire and farmers.

The company wants to build a 128-villa workers accommodation site in the small seaside town of Binningup, as it awaits a final investment decision on an expansion at its nearby Kemerton lithium refinery, 150 kilometers south of Perth.

The Shire of Harvey last month refused the miner’s application for the camp, saying it was not consistent with the local area’s farming purposes.

But on Monday, Western Australia’s development assessment panel planning body voted against the shire’s refusal.

Instead, the panel voted not to make a decision for or against the proposal and instead put the plan out for public comment.

Smaller than Pilbara mining camps

Albemarle’s refinery was originally set to produce 100,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide each year, but the output projection was halved in 2020 following a drop in lithium prices.

A large green paddock, an aerial view
The plot of land where Albemarle plans to build a workers’ camp.(ABC South West: Anthony Pancia)

An expansion is now back on the cards, as the price index for lithium hydroxide had increased more than 400 per cent over the past year.

The company produced its first lithium hydroxide last month.

Lawyers for Albemarle told the development panel the proposal was much smaller than mining camps in the north-west of the state.

Claire Willey said any impact from the village on the community and surrounds could be managed.

“It’s smaller than those camps in the north of the state, which can have up to 3,000 workers,” she said.

“We say it can be compatible with surrounding agriculture.”

A sign that reads "Albemarle" on the side of a gray panel building
Albemarle’s Kemerton lithium plant is just north of Bunbury.(ABC South West: Georgia Loney)

The panel was told the temporary workers village on Binningup’s main road would be in place for 10 to 15 years, and be hidden from the street.

A large fence would be in place to protect from any spray drift from local farms.

Concern of conflict with agriculture

Harvey Shire president Paul Gillett told the panel the area should be primarily used for farming, urging its members to reject the application.

“We are talking about the quality of life … and the pre-eminence of agriculture,” Mr Gillett said.

Planning consultant Paul Kotsoglo represented farmers on properties next to the site had a similar argument.

He told the panel the site was too close to a nearby market garden, which needed to apply spray to crops, only a few hundred meters from the nearest villa.

“It’s not consistent with the planning scheme.”

A mock up of a building imposed on an open field
An artists impression of the Albermarle workers camp.(Supplied: Department of Lands)

The panel voted against a motion from Mr Gillett that it refuse the application outright.

Panel member Karella Hope said while the panel could have made a decision, she felt it needed to be put out for comment.

She said she appreciated the strong community interest.

‘The panel does have the discretion to consider it as a residential building,’ Ms Hope said.

“Este [deferral] shouldn’t be built as support. ”



Location chosen for new Aboriginal cultural center to be built in central Perth

An Aboriginal cultural center will be built on a site between the Derbarl Yerrigan, also known as the Swan River, and the Perth Concert Hall to showcase Western Australia’s indigenous culture.

The location was chosen by the Whadjuk Aboriginal Cultural Center Cultural Authority, a body set up to provide advice on the cultural center and a best possible site.

The committee’s Barry Winmar said the center would give Aboriginal people a strong voice and show Aboriginal culture in its best light.

“It gives us an opportunity to tell our stories, to tell our songlines and showcase what our culture looks like through art, dance and through print and media,” Mr Winmar said.

The site was culturally significant as the location of watering holes and tributaries of the river.

A man in a suit speaks at a lecture while others watch on.
Barry Winmar says the site has a special significance for WA’s Indigenous people. (ABC News: James Carmody)

“There were walking trails along there. We had a really strong connection with the water and the land,” Mr Winmar said.

It was also close to where Whadjuk Noongar leader Yellagonga, who died in 1843, was buried.

The Commonwealth government has previously provided $50 million seed funding for the project, and the WA government $54 million, as part of an election commitment.

A carpark pictured in front of the Duxton Hotel
The Terrace Road carpark, located between the Swan River and the Perth Concert Hall, has been chosen as the site to build the Aboriginal Cultural Centre. (ABC News: James Carmody)

Premier Mark McGowan said the cultural center was due to be finished by 2028 and will likely include major private sector and philanthropic contributions to create a “world-standard facility”.

“We want tourists from Australia and around the world to come and visit and understand and enjoy that experience,” Mr McGowan said.

“It’s a great opportunity for understanding and for creating jobs and also for that great sense of identity that will come with it.

“So we’re very excited about this location.”

A man dressed in a suit bends down to be covered in smoke produced by an Aboriginal man.
Patrick Gorman, seen here at a smoking ceremony during the announcement, believes the site could become an iconic attraction. (ABC News: James Carmody)

Federal minister and WA MP Patrick Gorman thought it could be WA’s answer to the Opera House in Sydney.

“This is about giving Western Australia something that expresses the full breadth of Aboriginal culture,” Mr Gorman said.

City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas said he was excited the cultural center would be located in the city.

“It’s hard to believe that in 2022 our nation does not have an Aboriginal cultural center and museum of this size and shape and standing, that we are anticipating will now be built,” Mr Zempilas said.

“So I’m absolutely thrilled that the City of Perth is likely to be home to this facility. It’s very important for our country, for our state and in particular for our city.”



Oakey hit and run victim 47yo Trudy Wright Dodd remembered in tributes

Oakey woman Trudy Wright Dodd has been remembered as a “beautiful soul” with a “smile that would light any room” after she died in an alleged hit and run.

Ms Dodd’s body was found on the side of 4AK Road in the town, north-west of Toowoomba, on Saturday morning.

Investigators believed she was struck by a car sometime between midnight and 8am.

A tip off from a member of the public led police to the vehicle suspected to be involved in the incident.

The driver was assisting police with their inquiries and police were yet to lay any changes.

Ms Dodd’s work colleagues remembered the 47-year-old for her generosity.

She worked at Distributors TCW, a confection wholesaler in Toowoomba, and was recently recognized for more than five years’ service with the company.

“Trudy Wright Dodd, my good work colleague, supervisor and friend, you were and always will be in my thoughts,” Rodney Bugeja wrote on social media.

“Thank you for all your generosity and understanding towards me whilst I worked at TCW, you were an absolute pleasure to work under.”

A police officer on a road in Oakey
A police officer at the site of the suspected hit and run which resulted in the death of Ms Dodd near Oakey.(ABC News: Lucas Hill)

Another colleague said Ms Dodd was “nothing but a beautiful soul” and she had a “smile that would light any room.”

Ms Dodd was also a longtime supporter of the local Oakey Bears rugby league club.

“Our football community has been rocked by this tragedy,” the club said in a statement.

“The Oakey Bears Senior RLFC are shocked and deeply saddened by news we have lost one of our great longtime supporters Trudy Dodd.”

The Forensic Crash Unit is continuing to investigate Ms Dodd’s death.