Police search for missing boy Dean Megne

Source: State of Victoria Police

Monday, 17 February 2020 02:46

Police are appealing for public assistance to help locate missing 10-year-old boy Dean Megne.

Dean was last seen at his home address in Boronia Avenue, Dandenong North about 8am this morning.

He was last seen wearing a red polo shirt, black pants and dark coloured shoes.

Dean was also riding a yellow mountain bike.

Police are concerned for Dean’s welfare due to his age.

Investigators have released an image of Dean in the hope someone recognises him and can provide information regarding his current whereabouts.

Police believe he may have travelled to Ascot Vale.

Anyone with information about Dean is urged to contact Dandenong Police Station on 9767 7444.

Senior Constable Adam West

Media Officer


Missing teen Shakira Fowlds

Source: State of Victoria Police

Monday, 17 February 2020 02:23

Police are appealing for public assistance to help locate missing 17-year-old Shakira Fowlds.

Shakira was last seen on 25 Janurary in the Bonbeach area.

Police have concerns for her welfare due to the length of time she has been missing.

Shakira is approximately 155cm, has light blue eyes and dark hair.

She is known to frequent the Dandneong area.

Police have also released an image of Shakira in the hope someone recognises her and can provide information regarding her current whereabouts.

Anyone with information about Shakira is asked to contact Chelsea Police Station on 8773 3200.

Leading Senior Constable Melissa Seach

Media Officer


Call for witnesses – Aggravated assault – Alice Springs

Source: Northern Territory Police

Northern Territory Police are calling for public assistance in relation to an aggravated assault in which a woman sustained serious head injuries in Alice Springs at the weekend.

Initial investigations indicate a 38-year-old woman was seriously physically assaulted by a 30-year-old man who is known to her, with an object, on a dirt track off Undoolya Road on Friday evening.

It is believe the pair were driving in the Alice Springs CBD area in a blue Mitsubishi 380 sedan with South Australian registration XRY394 on Friday night until Saturday at around midday.

Police attempted to stop the vehicle in two separate incidents on Saturday at which time the vehicle avoided apprehension and drove off at speed.

Police found the woman in a critical condition still inside the vehicle 90kms south of Alice Springs at a roadhouse. The male driver had fled the area and was located at a nearby property shortly after.

Police are calling for anyone who may have seen the couple driving in a blue Mitsubishi 380 sedan with South Australian registration XRY394 in the Alice Springs CBD area on Friday night and Saturday midday, or observed the pair travelling on the Stuart Highway between Alice Springs and Stuarts Well on Saturday afternoon between 12:30 and 3:30pm, to contact them on 131 444 or report it anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The 30-year-old man is currently in custody assisting police with their inquiries.

Victoria Launches Australia’s First Autism Campaign

Source: Government of Victoria 2

The Andrews Labor Government has established Australia’s first social behaviour change campaign to promote better understanding and inclusion of autistic people.

Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan today launched the new $2.8 million public education campaign Change Your Reactions with Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie.

Change Your Reactions encourages Victorians to recognise some of the challenges that autistic people face and to understand the impacts of community actions and reactions.

It focuses on helping Victorians to be more open to learning about autism and how to be supportive.

Amaze worked with autistic Victorians and their families on the campaign which includes a mix of advertising across TV and radio, digital and social media and most importantly features actors with autism.

A recent Amaze survey shows that despite widespread awareness of autism, only 29 per cent of people said they know how to support an autistic person.

The campaign is part of the Labor Government’s Victorian Autism Plan, released last year. The plan sets out actions to provide autistic Victorians greater opportunities for choice and community participation, backed by $7.1 million in funding.

Amaze is a peak body for autistic Victorians and their families and provides advocacy, services and supports.

To find out more visit changeyourreactions.org

Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan

“A lack of community understanding is one of the main barriers that can lead to autistic Victorians missing out on opportunities in life.”

“We want Victorians to know some of the ways autism can impact people, and the helpful ways in which they can respond, to build greater understanding and inclusion.”

Quotes attributable to Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie

“Many autistic people have reported being treated harshly and judged unfairly by the public in the way they are described and how people react to them.”

“Our aim is for a better understanding of how autistic people experience autism so others are less judgemental. It’s about being curious, not critical.”

Lake Macquarie school wins national disability inclusion competition

Source: Minister for Families and Social Services

Cardiff High School in Lake Macquarie has won the Morrison Government’s Grow Inclusion schools competition that was held to mark International Day of People with Disability.

50 schools entered the competition nationally across every state and territory by registering events that celebrated the achievements of people with disability.

Cardiff High School’s winning event involved local police, parents and community members as well as school staff and students. All worked collaboratively to create a morning tea designed to grow inclusion through coffee, food, dance performance, sporting activities and an awards presentation.

The morning tea displayed the catering and barista skills that students with disability have gained through the BusyBeans program, designed to give people with disability specialised skills to become baristas.

Principal at Cardiff High School Gareth Erskine said the award recognises dedication to inclusivity in the school and community.

“The $3,000 prize towards accessible resources for our school’s existing programs will be tremendous in supporting the students to continue to develop life skills and be an integral part of the life of the school,” Mr Erskine said.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston congratulated Cardiff High School and said that teaching young Australians about the importance of inclusion is invaluable.

“It was great to see so many schools across the country getting involved and celebrate this fantastic initiative,” Minister Ruston said.

“We need to provide people with disability every opportunity to contribute and thrive in the classroom, workplace and community.”

The schools were required to register their events prior to International Day of People with Disability on December 3 last year. Nationally, more than 670 overall events were held to celebrate the day.

Launceston man charged with multiple offences

Source: Tasmania Police

Launceston man charged with multiple offences – Tasmania Police


Launceston man charged with multiple offences

Monday, 17 February 2020 – 12:58 pm.

A 27-year-old Launceston man has been charged with multiple offences after allegedly evading police, stealing a vehicle and resisting arrest.
The charges include 8 x counts of stealing, 6 x counts of computer related fraud, 1 x count assault a police officer and various drug, traffic and other offences.
The offences allegedly occurred across the north and north west of Tasmania over a two-week period.
Police would like to thank members of the public who provided information that led to the man’s arrest.
He will appear in the Launceston Magistrates Court this afternoon.

Rosebud mobility scooter fatal

Source: State of Victoria Police

Monday, 17 February 2020 01:08

Police and emergency services were called to Rosebud this morning following reports of a collision between a car and a mobility scooter.

It is believed the collision occurred on Boneo Road near Grenfell Way just before 10.20am.

The male rider of the mobility scooter was treated at the scene but could not be revived.

The driver and sole occupant of the car was uninjured and stopped to assist at the scene.

Major Collision Investigation Unit detectives are attending the scene and will investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash.

Anyone who witnessed the crash or with further information or dash cam footage is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

Provisional Lives Lost:

2020: 38

2019: 41

Senior Constable Alistair Parsons

Media Officer


Wilkins runway delayed opening

Source: Australian Government – Antarctic Division

17th February 2020

Aerial view of Wilkins Aerodrome with Airbus A319 parked on the runway (Photo: Chris Crerar)
Flights to Australia’s Antarctic ice runway have been postponed or cancelled due to warmer than usual temperatures.
Wilkins Aerodrome is located on a glacier, 70km inland from Australia’s Casey research station.
Flights to the runway were due to resume on the 5th of February, but ice temperatures need to be below minus 5 degrees Celsius for planes to land.
There is also high winds and blowing snow preventing the team at Wilkins from preparing the runway.
One Airbus A319 flight has been cancelled and two other flights, an A319 and Globemaster C-17A flight, have been postponed.
Wilkins usually closes for 4-6 weeks at the height of summer, but this season it was closed a week earlier than normal and has now been shut for 9 weeks.
Based on current weather forecasts the first possible flight will be on Sunday.

First APEC Business advisory council (ABAC) meeting 2020 Women’s Economic Empowerment Lunch

Source: Australian Ministers for Employment Skills and Small Business

Friday 14 February 2020

  • Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business

Ladies and gentlemen I am delighted to provide these opening remarks to the Women’s Economic Empowerment luncheon.

I acknowledge:

– ABAC Chair Dato Rohana
– Chair of ABAC’s Enterprises and Entrepreneurship Working Group – Hafimi Abdul
– Australia’s ABAC members – Sir Rod Eddington, Tom Harley, and Robert Milliner;

And all of you who have made the journey to be here in Sydney.

Women’s economic empowerment is one of Australia’s key APEC priorities – and this forum – ABAC – serves an important role in providing industry with the opportunity to engage in major policy issues in the region including women’s economic empowerment.  

​As Australia’s Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business – I see on a daily basis – the benefits of women’s economic empowerment and the crucial role that female entrepreneurs play in our economy.

I know that those gathered here – especially the speakers for today’s lunch – see this benefit too.  

In this regard I acknowledge my good friend and the Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency here in Australia Libby Lyons.

Why women’s economic empowerment matters

It is a well-known fact that when you empower women you empower a community – the ripple effect shows on the family and the community at large.

The Australian Government recognises that women’s economic empowerment is a critical pathway to creating just and inclusive societies giving women more control over their lives, so they can participate with influence in political, social, family and community life.

Inclusive economies show stronger growth and are more resilient, innovative and sustainable.

When I was Minister for Women, in 2017, I launched “Towards 2025: An Australian Government strategy to boost women’s workforce participation”.

The Strategy outlined the Government’s roadmap to meet our G20 target to reduce the gender workforce participation gap by 25 per cent by 2025.

I am pleased to report that Australia has already met this goal.

As at December 2019, women’s employment in Australia is at a record high of more than 6.1 million, representing 47.3 per cent of employed Australians.

I acknowledge that the business community is a key enabler of the economic empowerment of women and this forum assists business to add weight to the women’s economic empowerment agenda in APEC and other fora.


APEC is an important avenue for pursuing this collaborative approach to women’s economic empowerment.

I welcome the APEC La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth and congratulate Chile on driving this program of work as last year’s APEC host.

The high level of engagement by economies in its development is welcome evidence that APEC members are putting a high priority on this issue.

Australia will work with Chile, Malaysia – the 2020 APEC host – and other APEC economies to implement this important Roadmap.

APEC’s 2019 Women in the Economy Dashboard reflects some good progress in the region over the past ten years – but women still face some structural and policy barriers to full economic participation.

For Asia Pacific economies, advancing women’s economic empowerment could add 4.5 trillion dollars to the region’s collective GDP in 2025[1].

And closing the Asia Pacific gender gap by improving women’s workplace participation represents 58 percent of the 4.5 trillion dollar GDP growth opportunity.[2]

Digital divide

I was pleased to see that last year’s APEC Women in the Economy Forum had a focus on skilling women for future and emerging markets. This is essential.

The working world is fast changing: certain industries and professions are declining, and new ones emerging.

Those emerging require technological and digital literacy.

Our economies must invest in women today to equip them for the higher-wage, higher-growth industries of the digital era, including STEM fields.

The economic and social returns on that investment will benefit all of us.

The transition to an inclusive digital economy is challenging, especially for economically and socially marginalised groups in society.

We know that there is already a gender digital divide, and it’s growing.

There is a gender gap in access, use, ownership and design of digital technologies.

This means that women-led businesses are not benefitting from the digital transformation as much as they could be.

As a region and as individual economies, we are capable of turning this around.

Digital technologies can provide new avenues for the economic empowerment of women, contributing to greater gender equality.

I welcome APEC’s leadership in this area, including through the APEC Women in STEM Principles and Actions.

Partnerships between government, industry and academia to promote opportunities for women and girls in STEM careers offer the best pathways to success.

Australia is implementing programs to support research and higher education organisations to improve their gender equity policies and practices.

Access to global markets

Women are important contributors to world trade – as entrepreneurs, workers, supply chain actors and consumers.

However, women traders often face greater barriers than their male counterparts.

Australia’s engagement in APEC focuses on delivering capacity-building initiatives to improve services and support for women-owned businesses and women entrepreneurs.

This includes efforts to assist trade promotion organisations – TPOs – to help women traders become export-ready.

Australia has developed an online training initiative for TPOs in APEC economies.

The training course addresses the barriers faced by women traders, and offers approaches to overcome these.

Ultimately, we hope the training will result in more women entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific accessing global markets.

The course will be available to APEC economies in the coming weeks.

Looking beyond APEC, Australia’s Investing in Women initiative promotes economic growth, business development and workplace gender equality in Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Investing in Women is:

    • forming business coalitions and helping those businesses to make their workplace practices more inclusive
    • working with financial investors to increase private investment flowing to women‑led small and medium enterprises in South East Asia, and
    • working with partners to positively shift attitudes and practices to support women in the world of work.

Indigenous economic empowerment

Some of the speakers here today will talk about the particular challenges and experiences for indigenous businesswomen.

With all the good work you are doing in APEC and ABAC on women’s economic empowerment, it seems there may also be scope to start an APEC work program on indigenous economic empowerment.

Australia would certainly support such a focus.

Through our Indigenous Business Strategy, Australia is supporting indigenous business owners and entrepreneurs to access business support, capital, networks and information.

We would welcome any opportunity to share our experiences in this area with other APEC economies, and to learn from their experiences.


Thank you all for your commitment to women’s economic empowerment – enjoy today’s luncheon – and your time in Sydney.  






Progress on Parliament Square Project

Source: State of Tasmania Government

17 February 2020

Peter Gutwein, Premier

The Tasmanian majority Liberal Government is continuing to work strategically to drive greater investment into job creating infrastructure and boost our tourism economy.

Part of our plan to keep up with growing visitor demand is the Parliament Square project, providing $150 million worth of activity for the construction industry.

The project includes a 152 room Marriott hotel, which is on track to be completed later this year. Once operational, the Marriott hotel is expected to create around 100 direct and indirect jobs, helping us achieve our target of creating 10,000 more jobs over the next 4 years.

The state has a strong pipeline of hotel projects worth over $1.5 billion, with nearly $272 million of these currently under construction.

In the Hobart CBD alone, there are over 1,000 rooms under construction, with around 800 rooms on track to be completed in 2020.

The regions are also seeing the benefit of this investment with 162 new rooms opening in Launceston over the past year. This will encourage the dispersal of our strong visitor economy in Tasmania’s regions, with visitors seeing more of our state, staying longer and spending more while they’re here.

The Tasmanian majority Liberal Government is delivering its long term plan which has taken the Tasmanian economy from strength to strength, creating 20,000 new jobs and nation-leading business confidence.