Across the Ditch: 5 things to read now

Coke lines the shelves in a supermarket. There's a new study on the advantages of a sugary drinks tax.
Coke lines the shelves in a supermarket. There's a new study on the advantages of a sugary drinks tax.

1 New push for sugary drinks tax
Australia has again been urged to consider a sugary drinks tax after a new study revealed it would lead to major public health benefits. A 20 per cent tax would raise an estimated A$400 million a year and reduce annual health expenditure by up to A$29 million, the study published in PloS ONE estimates. The new University of Queensland modelling related to the effects over the lifetime of adult Australians alive in 2010. "We found there would be 800 fewer new type 2 diabetes cases each year once the tax was introduced," researcher Dr Lennert Veerman said. "After 25 years, about 1600 fewer deaths would have occurred, with heart disease accounting for the largest share of this postponed mortality. There would be 4400 fewer people with heart disease at that time and 1100 fewer people living with the consequences of stroke."

2 Fire where student jumped
A suspicious fire has destroyed a Sydney restaurant in the same complex where a student leapt to her death from her burning apartment in 2012.

The blaze at Rashay's pizza/pasta restaurant on the ground floor of a Bankstown building broke out at just after 3am local time. More than 100 residents from surrounding units had to be evacuated in the middle of the night. The building is the same block where Connie Zhang became trapped in the fifth-floor bedroom of her apartment after a fire broke out on the balcony in September 2012. A coronial inquiry last year found Zhang might not have died if fire safety measures been enforced. Today, the building's strata manager Peter Poulos said the smoke alarms were activated when the fire broke out.

3 Community help sought
Police are turning to the community, knocking on doors to try to solve the murder of Melbourne teenager Cayleb Hough. The 17-year-old's remains were found in a shallow mineshaft near Seerey Track at the Lerderderg State Park in Bacchus Marsh on March 10, months after he was last seen in a car with another man in December. It's unclear if the Chelsea Heights teenager was killed in the park, or placed there, police say.

4 Dad saves son
A NSW father who tragically drowned while rescuing his 13-year-old son in a dangerous rip off the state's mid-north coast is being hailed a hero. The 53-year-old managed to save his son after he raced to his rescue during a family holiday at unpatrolled Boomerang Beach near Forster on Tuesday. The father struggled in the choppy surf and was pulled from the water by members of the public and a former surf lifesaver, who attempted CPR without success. Acting Inspector Anthony Atkinson said: "Saving the life of his son, (it's) a heroic act."

5 Hawke backs bid to legalise euthanasia
Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke has thrown his support behind a push to legalise euthanasia, telling today's politicians to have some guts. Hawke, who revealed his position on Andrew Denton's 'Better Off Dead' podcast, has told his wife Blanche that if he "loses his marbles" he hopes she can find a solution with their family GP, but acknowledges there are legal problems. "That's why I would hope that partly perhaps as a result of Andrew's campaign our politicians may gather some guts to do something about it," he told ABC radio.

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