Across the Ditch: 7 things to read now

Malaysia Airlines Berhad chief executive Christoph Mueller at Malaysia Airlines' office in Sepang. two Australian families are suing over MH370. Photo / AP
Malaysia Airlines Berhad chief executive Christoph Mueller at Malaysia Airlines' office in Sepang. two Australian families are suing over MH370. Photo / AP

1 'Ventilation, I'll give you f***ing ventilation'
Geelong's abusive council is in limbo, with a deal yet to be done on sacking councillors after a damning report. It found paparazzo-turned-Mayor Darryn Lyons, some councillors and a collection of staff were bullying and abusive. "F*** me, I'm the Mayor, I don't need to be meeting with someone one week and then meeting with them the next," Lyons told one staff member. He threatened to close down a local business after yelling at its staff. Lyons also asked if outside staff were "f***ing dumb" and threatened the council's chief executive with defamation if bullying allegations were made public. One council manager took to a chemicals shed with an axe after a pregnant worker asked for some ventilation. "Ventilation, I'll give you f***ing ventilation," the manager said. The report found a councillor threatened to take a staff member to a "dark place that she would not like" if they did not comply with the councillor's wishes. Another councillor retweeted a tweet describing a local citizen as a "Greek property parasite". The deal to sack the council has to pass the Victorian Parliament but is being held up as the government and opposition parties negotiate over a future election date and new mayoral voting model.

2 Families sue over MH370
Families of four Queenslanders who were aboard MH370 are suing the operator. Rodney and Mary Burrows were holidaying with friends Bob and Cathy Lawton when they boarded the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight in Kuala Lumpur in 2014. Relatives and executors of their estates are seeking the equivalent of A$420,000 from Malaysian Airline System Berhad as well as "further damages", interest and costs. The cases are expected to return to the Federal Court in Sydney in August.

3 'Postcard Bandit' faces shift
The clock is ticking for "Postcard Bandit" Brenden Abbott's lawyers who have until this afternoon to file a Supreme Court application to stop his extradition to Western Australia. The 53-year-old was remanded in custody after he was due to be released on parole after serving 18 years in a Queensland prison. Brisbane Magistrate Terry Gardiner ordered Abbott be extradited to WA where he could face another 16 years behind bars for a 1989 jailbreak. However he then suspended the order to allow Abbott's legal team 24 hours to lodge a review. Abbott was dubbed the "Postcard Bandit" amid claims he taunted police by sending them postcards while he was on the run.

4 Horror day on roads
Five people died in a horror 24 hours on NSW roads, triggering a stark warning from police for motorists to take extra care during the school holidays. The deaths have taken the state's road toll to 109, 25 more than the same time last year.

5 Reward for info on 25-year-old murder
A reward over the "Mr Cruel" murder of 13-year-old Karmein Chan will to rise to up to A$1 million, 25 years after the Melbourne schoolgirl's abduction. Police will announce the existing $100,000 reward will be increased on today's anniversary of her abduction from her Templestowe home on April 13, 1991. The man dubbed Mr Cruel is believed to have been responsible for at least four child kidnappings and sexual assaults in Melbourne in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Two other girls were released but Karmein's remains were found a year after her abduction. She had been shot in the head. Police have said the Mr Cruel cases will never be closed until they are solved.

6 Jail for racist comments
A woman who racially abused a teenage girl, calling her a "chink" in a drunken tirade across western Sydney, has been jailed for at least three months. Nicole Boyle's menacing rants began not long after she and her then-boyfriend stumbled onto a nearly full train at Parramatta last July. Boyle launched into a feral spray against a 15-year-old girl, telling her she needed to go back to eating rice. Boyle later boarded a bus where she made hateful remarks to people of African and Pacific Islander appearance.

7 Student's dream alive
A Sri Lankan-born Queensland student hasn't let quadriplegia end his dreams of becoming a doctor. Dinesh Palipana was left paralysed from the chest down following a car accident on Brisbane's Gateway Bridge in 2010. Palipana's spine was dislocated at the neck, effectively squashing the cord that supplies feeling and movement to the rest of his body from the chest down. He was forced to spend seven months in the Princess Alexandra Hospital's spinal unit, undergoing physio and occupational therapy. Five years on, Palipana has returned to Griffith University on the Gold Coast to finish his degree. Palipana said he hoped to specialise in radiology or neurology.

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 22 Feb 2017 10:56:23 Processing Time: 447ms