SYN News at 4, December 10, 2013

News at 4pm, December 10, 2013

Coming up in the next fifteen minutes:

  • An Australian living in the UK avoids deportation despite breaking the law
  • Metro urged to denounce community violence
  • A 44-year-old man charged over a double homicide in Moonee Ponds
  • and Holden workers still facing job uncertainty

Good afternoon, I’m Will Higginbotham.

And I’m Chris Eales. Welcome to SYN News at 4.

News Presenters: Chris Eales and Will Higginbotham, Producer/Reporter: Brianna Piazza, Executive Producer: Eddie Williams

CHRIS: Holden’s managing director Mike Devereux has rejected claims that the company has already decided to take its business overseas.

He has told a Productivity Commission inquiry that no decision has been made about Holden’s future in Australia.

Brianna Piazza with this report….

Australian Holden workers are concerned about the future of their jobs, after media reports that Holden intends to shift thousands of the company’s jobs offshore.

According to News Limited reports, Holden’s american owner, General Motors, has already decided to pull out of Australia and will announce its decision after the New Year.

However, Holden’s managing director Mike Devereux told reporters these claims were untrue, after speaking at today’s Productivity Commission inquiry.

“I had a good for an a half or so disc with the p c the details of the submission. we had some clarifying questions regarding the cost to make things here, free trade agreements. It was a wide-ranging discussion and you  know, no decision has been made.”

It’s expected that if Holden pulls out then Toyota Australia, which employs 4,200 people directly, is likely to follow suit.

That’s because it would become unviable for many component suppliers for both companies to continue offering their products and services.

South Australian premier Jay Weatherill says he will meet with Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday to discuss the future of Holden in Australia.

He will try to convince Mr Abbott to reverse the Federal Government’s decision to cut $500 million of assistance for the automotive industry.

It’s an attempt to save the 13,000 West Australian jobs – plus the thousands of other jobs he says will go if Holden heads offshore.

Until then, Holden workers are unlikely know the fate of their jobs for weeks.


WILL: Today’s funeral service in South Africa for former president Nelson Mandela’s has seen thousands of police descend upon the city for an increased security presence.

Roads within several square kilometres of the stadium have been closed and attendees will have to walk or catch public transport to the venue for today’s funeral.

The memorial is one of the largest gatherings of state leaders across the world.

Up to 70 heads of state will attend the service, including President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Meanwhile, more than 90,000 mourners are expected to pack into the Soweto stadium just outside Johannesburg.


CHRIS: An online petition calling for Metro Trains and the State Government to denounce confrontational violence has collected more than 18,000 signatures since it was launched yesterday.

The petition is gathering hundreds of signatures every hour.

CCTV footage has been released by Metro of an incident in July, which shows an Authorised Officer body-slamming a young girl into the ground at Flinders Street Station, after she attempted to fare evade.

Thirty-two-year-old Daniel A’Vard, an Environmental Consultant from Thornbury, began the petition yesterday, and spoke to SYN News earlier today.

“I decided that I wanted to write this petition because I’m seeing more and more accepted violence in our community and as long as we keep accepting it as individuals and as a community the problem’s going to keep getting worse”

Mr A’Vard said that Metro has an opportunity to show corporate leadership on the issue of community violence, and send a clear message to the community that it’s not okay.

“This petition isn’t just about bringing this guy to account, it’s also about the systemic issue that we need to address across our community and I really hope that Metro will stand up and take that leadership and help us to stamp out violence across our community especially towards youth.”

According to Victoria Police annual Crime Statistics report, released in August, more than 46 thousand assaults were recorded in 2012-2013, up 10 percent from 2011 to 2012.

WILL: A 44-year-old Meadow Heights man and plasterer – has been officially charged with the murder of Moonee Ponds couple Greg Tucker and Korinne Aylward .

Mustafa Kunduraci has been accused of stabbing the 54 and 35 year old couple multiple times in their Moonee Ponds bedroom, whilst their two children slept elsewhere in the house.

Police believe they were murdered after Mr Kunduraci confronted the couple about an outstanding debt for plaster completed at the property.

Kunduraci appeared in an out of sessions court hearing today.

His lawyer, told the court that his client suffered “severe psychological issues” including post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, paranoia and claustrophobia.’

Mr Kunduraci has been refused bail and will appear in Melbourne Magistrates court on tuesday.

CHRIS: A young Australian volunteer has died in a car crash in Tanzania shortly after arriving in the country.

James Kelly, a 23 year old New South Wales man had only been in Tanzania a few weeks as part of a year long volunteering mission.

Mr Kelly was a medical student at the University of New South Wales and was intending to help with midwifery services in the country.

The department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are yet to confirm the exact cause of Mr Kelly’s death.

WILL: Today marks the end of an era in television broadcasting after Melbourne’s analogue TV signals have been switched off this morning.

The switch-off began in regional communities around Australia in 2010 and reached Melbourne today.

The major television networks turned off their transmitters on Mount Dandenong after 57 years of analogue TV.

The switch-over from Analogue to digital allows for high-definition broadcasting and also frees up radio waves for uses in other communication formats.

Channel Nine news presenter Peter Hitchener switched off Nine’s last remaining analogue transmitter.

“It really was a historic moment. We had analogue in Australia since the start of TV, which was in 1956, through until today. Who knows where it’s going to go in the future – platforms change.”

Head to or check out SYN’s Twitter account to hear that full interview with Peter Hitchener about today’s historic moment.

CHRIS: Young Indigenous Australians continue to be over-represented in Australian juvenile detention centres, despite a national decline in the number of detained youth.

Figures compiled by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that indigenous youth are 31 times more likely to be in detention than their non-indigenous counterparts.

The Institute’s Tom Beard spoke on ABC radio this morning.

“As per previous years…be in this part of the system.”

According to MR Beard, the report shows that Indigenous detention rates have not increased, but rather remained stagnant.

“Rates have not… it just hasn’t become any better.”

WILL: A Queensland man will spend the next 30 years in a United States jail after being convicted of trafficking his son into an international paedophile ring.

Peter Truong bought the young boy for 8 thousand dollars from Russia.

With falsified birth records the young child was permitted to come to Australia where Mr Truong lived with his partner Mark Newton.

It is believed Mr Truong and his partner allowed several men from multiple countries to molest the young boy when he was aged between 2 and 6.

The couple was discovered after authorities found images and videos of the young child had been uploaded to an international child pornography syndicate.

CHRIS: You are listening to SYN News. News time, ?? past four.

WILL: Heading overseas now and


An Australian protester living in the United Kingdom has avoided deportation after arguing he didn’t want to expose his family to racism in Australia.

Trenton Oldfield, who has lived in the UK for more than 10 years, was jailed for seven-weeks for disrupting last year’s annual Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge universities on the River Thames in London in protest against “entrenched elitism”.

The British Immigration Tribunal allowed him to stay in the country after finding he had made a substantial contribution to the community and hearing his fears that his British wife and daughter would be exposed to racism in Australia.

Mr Oldfield also criticised the country’s deportation rules.

“Deportation is an old idea it’s from another time – it’s from 1000 years ago and the media attention needs to be not on me anymore but the people who are going in and out of this building. That’s where the real issues are.”

That audio courtesy of ABC News.


The small community of Newtown in the United States is preparing to remember the victims of last year’s Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, where 20 students and six teachers died.

The families of fifteen victims have launched a web site today titled – as a memorial to their loved ones.

In a moving press conference, each family told the media they would be lighting a candle for their loved ones during the time when they last shared moments together.

Mayor Pat Llodra spoke to the press:

“We are trying to respect the world’s interest in us, and we’ve certainly benefitted from that interested in many ways  but we also have a real need in our community to gain a foothold a little bit particularly in this very difficult time”


Tensions are escalating in the Ukrainian city of Kiev and politicians are concerned violence will follow after security forces were deployed in the capital city overnight.

The move comes after demonstrators seized control of central Kiev and toppled a statue of Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin yesterday – symbolic of their anger towards the country strengthening ties with Russia.

Protesters oppose the government’s decision to reject a pact with the European Union in favour of a stronger political and economic relationship with Russia.

With fears that Ukraine president  Viktor Yanukovych could introduce martial law, United Nations EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is set to travel to Kiev today for talks.

WILL: NASA’s Curiosity Rover might have uncovered signs of a freshwater lake that could have supported life on the surface of the red planet.

Scientists say that the lake might have been home to numerous tiny organisms for tens of millions of years – far longer than scientists originally had imagined.

The lake, near the martian equator is said to be about 3.5 billion years old and has been found to contain nutrients – a perfect environment to support microbial life forms.

Unfortunately, Rover lacks the equipment to be able to search for fossilized microbes.

But researches say this latest discovery signifies that past life on mars was possible.


In a world first, a Victorian primary school will have a standing classroom for grade 6 students.

Tamara Rocco reports…

Mont Albert Primary school is involved in a study looking into how standing can help to combat childhood obesity.

The study compares student’s health in a classroom with standing desks as opposed to the normal seating structure.

Professor David Dunstan, Head of physical activity at baker IDI heart and diabetes institute, says that it is all about creating a shift in thinking that sitting is a natural movement.

The initiative will run for 8 months of the 2014 school year.

Tamara Rocco, SYN news.

Panorama has more on that story at 4.30pm.


WILL: And now here’s Nick Duxon with sport

Thanks Will.

In cricket, former English spinner Phil Tufnell has urged his side to toughen up ahead of Friday’s do-or-die Third Ashes Test against Australia in Perth.

A Mitchell Johnson-inspired Australian team holds a two-nil lead after winning by 218 runs in Adelaide yesterday, and the tourists have not won a game at Perth’s WACA ground since 1978.

Tufnell told S-E-N England’s batsmen need to be prepared to fight through tough periods of short pitched bowling if they are to stand a chance of retaining the Ashes.

Australia has named an unchanged squad of 12 for Friday’s match, with all-rounder James Faulkner a chance to come into the XI.

Boxer Anthony Mundine says he hoped to earn a shot at a superstar fight by the end of next year. Mundine will headline a boxing card in Brisbane on January 29.

In his second fight, Wallabies star Quade Cooper will feature as the undercard. Both Cooper and Mundine’s opponent are yet to be announced.

—– ———

In AFL news and Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge is set to remain at the club until 2015. is reporting the Hawk has satisfied a trigger clause which will guarantee him another season, after finishing fifth in the club’s best and fairest award.

Hodge was set to become a free agent at the end of next year.


In other AFL news, the League has announced a new deal involving international live streaming.

AFL TV, operated by Rightster, will offer live and on-demand coverage of all AFL matches until 2016.

Last year AFLTV was viewed in over 216 territories, with up to 2.5million people streaming the service.


The Australian Rugby Union has unveiled a new domestic competition to start next year.

There will be between eight and ten teams, from Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, plus other ‘major population centre’ locations yet to be announced.

The competition will run from August to October and will be self-funded after a deal was done with Fox Sports and Foxtel to telecast one live match per round plus finals.

That’s all for sport. Now here’s Chris with the forecast.

CHRIS: Thanks Nick. Tonight we’re heading for an overnight low of 12 degrees with isolated showers this evening. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy, with a shower or two and a top of 21. Thursday will be cloudy again with light winds and a top of 24. And Friday will still be cloudy with possible showers throughout the day, a low of 14 and a top of 25. Right now in the city, it’s 19 degrees.

WILLAnd for those on public transport, there are delays of up to 15 minutes in both directions on the Craigieburn line, due to a police request.

CHRIS: To recap our headlines for this afternoon:

  • Man charged over Moonee Ponds double homicide
  • Analogue signal officially switched off in Melbourne
  • and security tight as South Africa prepares for Nelson Mandela’s services later today.

That’s all for our bulletin this afternoon. When we’re off air, you can keep up with the news by following us on Twitter at News S-Y-N.

WILL: Panorama’s coming up at 4.30 and we’ll be back with an update at 5pm. 

Categories: news, politicsTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Brianna Piazza

Journalist and travel writer.

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