Tragedy as woman, unborn baby die from suspected snake bite

A West Australian family is grieving after a suspected snake bite claimed the life of a young mother and her unborn child.

Suspected snake bite blamed for death of pregnant woman

Sinita Martin, from Hamilton Hill, was just three weeks away from giving birth to her second child.

She was at her mother Evelyn’s house in the mid-west town of Meekatharra on Monday night when she told relatives she felt unwell.

Sinita Martin was just weeks away from having her second child. Source: 7 News

She called out for help before she began having seizures.

St John’s Ambulance paramedics arrived at the family’s Main Street home at about 8.45pm and performed CPR after the 27-year-old went into cardiac arrest.

Sinita was raced to Meekatharra Hospital, but despite the efforts of paramedics and doctors she died, as did her unborn baby.

Sinita leaves behind a three-year-old son. Source: 7 News

The young mother leaves behind a three-year-old son.

A family spokeswoman described Sinita as a “loving mother” who had helped raise her three brothers.

A relative wrote a tribute to the young mother on social media, saying: “My heart breaks for my nephew and his partner … a young mum and her baby taken too soon.”

A family spokeswoman described Sinita as a “loving mother.” Source: 7 News

The most common snakes in WA are king brown and western brown snakes, which are amongst the world’s most deadly.

Doctors and snake experts say snake bites are common in the summer months but deaths were uncommon.

It’s suspected Sinita was bitten by a brown snake. Source: 7 News

“Early on in a brown snake bite we have had cases of cardiac arrest,” Royal Perth Hospital clinical toxicologist David McCoubrie said.

“They affect your blood stream and the ability for your blood to clot, so we tend to see bleeding complications from brown snake bites.”

Sinita was 31 weeks pregnant and had recently moved from Hamilton Hill to be closer to her family.

Her body will be brought back to Perth for a post-mortem.

That will confirm if it was a snake bite that killed her, but toxicology results could take months.

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Pedestrians hit by SUV in Melbourne CBD

Nineteen people have been injured, several of them critically, after pedestrians were mowed down by a car in peak hour in Melbourne’s CBD in what police say was a “deliberate act”.

A white Suzuki SUV showed no sign of slowing as it hit people at the busy intersection of Flinders and Elizabeth streets about 4.40pm, including some waiting at a tram stop.

The 32-year-old driver was arrested by an off-duty police officer shortly after the car crashed into a metal bollard on Flinders Street.

Police said he is an Australian citizen of Afghan descent.

Witness Chris Gath said he saw 60 to 100 people crossing the intersection when a car travelling at up to 70km/h headed for the crowd.

Bourke St car attack: Accused driver James Gargasoulas pleads not guilty to murder By Emma Younger

he man accused of running down pedestrians along Bourke Street in Melbourne’s CBD and killing six people has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges.

James Gargasoulas, 27, appeared via video link for a brief hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court to enter the plea to six counts of murder and 28 counts of attempted murder as well as other charges.

It means the case will go directly to the Supreme Court without a pre-trial hearing before a magistrate.

Mr Gargasoulas is accused of driving a car through the busy Bourke Street mall and along the footpath for several blocks on January 20, hitting and killing six people and injuring many others.

He barely spoke throughout the short hearing other than to confirm he understood the charges and to enter his not guilty plea.

Defence lawyer James Yianoulatos told the hearing that Mr Gargasoulas’ fitness to plead was a live issue.

Under Victorian law, a person may be found unfit to plead if it is determined they have a mental disorder or impairment and therefore do not understand the charges they face and the nature of a criminal trial, and cannot give instructions to their lawyers.

Mr Gargasoulas will face a hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday where a timetable will be set down for the case.


Three-month-old Zachary Bryant, Thalia Hakin, 10, Matthew Si, 33, Japanese student Yosuke Kanno, 25 and Sydney woman Jess Mudie, 22, were all killed after being hit along Bourke St.

Bhavita Patel, 33, died in hospital 10 days later.

Mr Gargasoulas has been in custody since his arrest on the day of the attack.

The family of some of the victims were in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for Friday’s hearing.

Vic party balcony collapse leaves two dead

A Christmas party at a Melbourne house turned to tragedy after a balcony collapsed, killing two women and leaving more than a dozen injured.

Up to 30 people were believed to be on the balcony at the Doncaster East house when it collapsed on Saturday night, trapping party-goers underneath.

A 59-year-old Croydon woman died at the scene while a Reservoir woman, 37, died in hospital on Sunday morning.

Neighbours were shocked at the horror accident and did what they could to help the injured.

“The crash was biblical, the sound of it was nothing I’ve heard before,” Andrew Stone told reporters.

“People were bringing out chairs, and pillows and blankets and things like that just to help out the people who were injured,” he said.

Alex Tan said it was a nice neighborhood and the event was tragic.

The balcony collapse prompted a major emergency services response with police, firefighters and paramedics swarming to the “chaotic” scene.

“This is a very tragic incident for those involved and our thoughts are with them and their loved ones at this time,” Ambulance Victoria’s state health commander Paul Holman said.

The balcony collapsed during what is believed to be a Christmas party for Tupperware sales consultants.

Ten women and seven men, aged between 20 and 69, were taken to hospitals with soft tissue injuries, fractures and lacerations.

About a dozen people were treated by paramedics at the scene at Balinga Court but did not require hospitalisation.

Police are investigating the collapse and will prepare a report for the coroner.

These 6 new requirements will be applicable to all new applicants, effective 20th April 2017.

Australian government on Thursday announced that they were bringing in reforms to strengthen Australian citizenship by putting Australian values at the heart of citizenship processes and requirements.

In a press release, the Minister of Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton said, “Our reforms will ensure applicants are competent in English, have been a permanent resident for at least four years and commit to embracing Australian values.”

He stated that membership of the Australian family was a privilege and should be granted to only those who supported the Australian values, respected laws and wanted to work hard by integrating and contributing to an even better Australia.

“Citizenship is at the heart of our national identity. It is the foundation of our democracy. We must ensure that our citizenship program is conducted in our national interest,” he said.

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Information on reforms to #Aus citizenship, as announced by @TurnbullMalcolm & @PeterDutton_MP, can be found here: 



Here are the 6 new requirements to acquire Australian citizenship:

  1. All applicants are required to pass a stand-alone English test, involving reading, writing, listening and speaking;
  2. Applicants are required to have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years (instead of one year at present);
  3. Citizenship test will be strengthened with new and more meaningful questions that assess an applicant’s understanding of – and commitment to – shared values and responsibilities;
  4. Applicants will be required to show the steps they have taken to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community. Examples would include evidence of employment, membership of community organisations and school enrolment for all eligible children.
  5. An applicant can fail the citizenship test only three (at present there is no limit to the number of times an applicant can fail the test);
  6. An automatic fail for applicants will be introduced who cheat during the citizenship test.

The statement says, “English language proficiency is essential for economic participation.

“It promotes integration into the Australian community and social cohesion. Relevant exemptions will apply, such as for permanent or enduring incapacity and for those under 16 years of age.”

The new reforms will also consider criminal record including violence against women and children, of an applicant.

“Any conduct that is inconsistent with Australian values will be considered as part of this process. For example, criminal activity, including violence against women and children, involvement in gangs or organised crime, is thoroughly inconsistent with Australian values.

“These changes have been informed by the feedback received from the National Consultation on Citizenship, conducted by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and the Hon Philip Ruddock MP in 2015 and the 2016 Productivity Commission Report Migrant Intake into Australia.”

The Government will introduce new citizenship related legislation into the Parliament by the end of 2017. However, the new requirements will apply to all new applications for Australian citizenship effective 20th April 2017.

Senator Pauline Hanson accused of failing to declare Queensland farmstay cottage

Senator Pauline Hanson has been told to “please explain” after it was revealed she failed to declare to Parliament a Queensland farmstay cottage she appeared to be leasing online.

VIDEO Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party labelled ‘brutal dictatorship’. Source: Seven News

The outspoken One Nation leader, who has publicly demanded more accountability from Australian parliamentarians, had listed a one-bedroom self-contained cabin on her 60 hectare Scenic Rim property for $110 a night.

The advertisement appeared on website, which has since been taken offline, is registered to Pauline Lee Hanson who is listed as a sole trader.

Pauline Hanson is accused of failing to declare to Parliament a Queensland farmstay cottage she appeared to be commercially leasing online.

While it was live, the website appeared to be updated as recently as March 17.

The advertised West Moreton region accommodation, in South East Queensland, was described as “A break away from the hustle and bustle of the city.”

Guests were invited to “Relax and enjoy a unique country experience” with the the self-contained cabin overlooking “rolling pastures” on 60ha of land.


The listing included contact details for Senator Hanson’s partner Tony Nyquist, a Nelson Bay real estate agent, News Corp reported.

When quizzed about the rental, Ms Hanson’s chief of staff James Ashby said the senator had ceased leasing the property since her election to parliament in July.

caption-The advertised property was described as ‘A break away from the hustle and bustle of the city.’

“It’s no longer used for commercial purposes,” Mr Ashby said.

He said Senator Hanson requested to have the listing removed from a local tourism website, which was unsuccessful.

Child porn charged ACA reporter ‘swapped lewd pictures for two years’

The 25-year Nine veteran was suspended by the network immediately after he was arrested on Thursday, following investigations by the NSW Sex Crimes Child Exploitation Unit, including a raid of ACA offices.

McCormack, who famously­ tracked down former Hey Dad! star and now convicted pedophile Robert Hughes in Singapore, was himself charged by NSW Police over sexually explicit conversations with another man online about child pornography.

Officers will allege Ben McCormack was involved in “chat and exchange of pictures” relating to child pornography during the past two years. Photo: Channel Nine.

Police said they were yet to examine the computers seized during last week’s raids, but officers will allege the 42-year-old was involved in “chat and exchange of pictures” relating to child pornography during the past two years, News Corp reported.

It was revealed police will allege McCormack sent pictures of soiled Speedos to a pedophile.

Investigations will determine if the child porn accused had made any physical contact with children, the police source told the newspaper.


Strict bail conditions ordered McCormack to stay away from schools, playgrounds, and any location frequented by children, including video arcades, and sporting venues.

He has since been suspended­ from North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club, where has been a member for more than eight years and helped train Nippers, News Corp revealed.

McCormack has been charged by NSW Police. Picture: Facebook

“If convicted, it goes without saying his membership will be terminated,” spokeswoman Donna Wishart said.

“The club has asked members who have any concerns or information to contact police and will provide support to anyone who wants it.”

McCormack pictured leaving Redfern Police Station on Thursday night. Photo: AAP

Former colleague Caroline Marcus revealed McCormack was put on a “one-strike-and-you’re out” notice following a string of workplace incidents including a series of anti-Israel outbursts attacking her Jewish heritage.

The disgraced journalist also reportedly plastered pictures of dead Palestinian children at his desk to provoke Ms Marcus, who worked beside him.

Victoria braces for rain, winds, floods

The worse is yet to come for Melbourne and most of southern Victoria as authorities brace for damaging winds and flash flooding after a night of rain.

Gusts of up to 110 km/h are expected in Victoria’s east on Sunday, while winds and heavy rain are expected to hit most of southern Victoria.

A run of warm days over the past week ended abruptly overnight as a deep, low-pressure system reached the state’s southwest on Sunday morning.

The SES say they received 140 calls for help between Saturday night and Sunday morning, but that number is expected to grow.

“We’re gearing up for another day of potentially strong winds,” a spokesman told AAP on Sunday.

The low pressure system is forecast to move across Melbourne and the high country on Sunday afternoon

Rainfall of up to 60mm is likely in Melbourne while totals approaching 80mm may be recorded in the state’s alpine region through Sunday night.

The Bureau of Meteorology say there is a possibility of flash flooding on Sunday night going into Monday in the state’s east.

A severe weather warning is in place for Victoria’s central and southwest, and the flood risk is expected to contract to the state’s east, particularly in East Gippsland.

Geelong, Ballarat, Kyneton, Kilmore and Falls Creek and Bacchus Marsh may also be affected by heavy rainfall and damaging winds.

As always, the SES is warning people to secure loose items and to stay out of floodwaters.


* East Gippsland – Mitchell, Tambo, Snowy, Cann and Genoa rivers and Gippsland Lakes

* Greater Melbourne – Werribee, Maribyrnong, Yarra, Dandenong and Bunyip

* West and South Gippsland – Latrobe, Thomson, Macalister, Avon and South Gippsland rivers and Gippsland Lakes

Salim Mehajer: Former Auburn deputy mayor charged over alleged assault of taxi driver

Police have charged former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer over an alleged assault of a taxi driver, and stealing an EFTPOS machine in central Sydney.

It is alleged Mehajer, 30, stole an EFTPOS machine and mobile phone, before assaulting the driver in Pyrmont.

Emergency services were called to the area following reports of an assault about 4:30am on Sunday.

The driver of the taxi, a 38-year-old man, received a nose injury.

About 5:10am, officers arrested Mehajer on the corner of William Street and Bourke Street in Darlinghurst.

He was taken to Day Street Police Station and charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and larceny.

Mehajer was given conditional bail to appear before Downing Centre Local Court on April 26.

An ambulance involved in serious accident in Watson Street, Wallan

An ambulance involved in serious accident in Watson Street, Wallan

TWO Ambulance Victoria officers and a teenage boy have been injured in a crash involving an ambulance, north of Melbourne.

JUST IN: An ambulance has rolled at Wallan. More details to come.

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DEVELOPING: An ambulance has rolled after a two-vehicle crash at Wallan. More details to come.

Initial reports were that the ambulance had rolled in Wallan, but Ambulance Victoria now says it was involved in a “collision” about 1.15pm.

Photos from the scene, in Watson St, show the ambulance on its side.

Paramedics assessed five people at the scene, including three who were taken to hospital.

“We sent paramedics and managers to the scene,” Ambulance Victoria said in a statement.

“We took an Ambulance Victoria uniformed staff member and a teenage boy to the Northern Hospital.

“A second Ambulance Victoria uniformed staff member was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for further treatment.”

All three victims were in a stable condition.

Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman Lisa Hind said it was unclear with what the ambulance had collided with and officers were seeking more information.

An Ambulance Victoria helicopter was believed to be heading to the scene, near the Wallan police station.