SBS Radio enters its fifth decade

(Transcript from SBS World News Radio)

SBS Radio is 40 years old and federal politicians and supporters have united to wish it well for the future, and celebrate its past and its achievements.

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They have paid tribute to the contribution the broadcaster has made to multiculturalism and underscored the importance of radio’s unifying effect in a time of geo-political uncertainty.

Amanda Cavill reports.

(Click on the audio tab above to hear the full report)

It was a humble little broadcaster in 1975 when then immigration minister Al Grassby launched Radio Ethnic Australia with the aim of explaining the new Medibank scheme to migrant groups in different languages.

Now SBS Radio has expanded significantly, broadcasting in 74 languages including English, in digital and analogue radio and online.

The first language broadcast was Greek and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says it has been, and remains, a focus for the Greek community.

But Senator Xenophon says SBS radio is much more than just that.

“It’s a great station. It’s very good for Australia. It brings people together. Don’t underestimate it’s impact. I know my parents who have been here for over 50 years – 60 years rather, close to 60 years – still listen to it. And it just makes a big impact. And I think the second generation, people like me like listening to the Greek language program because it keeps that link to our culture and our heritage.”

Treasurer Joe Hockey too has praised the role of the broadcaster.

Mr Hockey says 40 years on air is quite an achievement and SBS Radio plays a special role in the Australian community.

“SBS reaches out to the community in way that few do. It is able to open the door to communities particularly those that have no strong English language skills and it helps them become a part of Australia and part of the Australian community. Now in my own community’s case I know there are a lot of Armenians that came to Australia and SBS Armenian radio has reached out to people in a way that no other media outlet does.

Former communications minister in the Rudd government Stephen Conroy says SBS has helped Australia become the great multicultural nation it is today.

Senator Conroy says communities rely on the efforts of the radio broadcasters to keep in touch and keep informed.

“I think it’s been an essential fabric. I think that the newer communities to Australia have been incredibly grateful for the service that’s been provided. I think their radio stations are passionately listened to, passionately followed and woe betide anybody that tries to take one away. Because the local communities will fight and kick and scream. It’s provided a lifeline at times for people to be able to get information, to be able to listen, to understand, to keep in touch. I think the radio stations have been a fabulous, fabulous jewel in the crown of multiculturalism in Australia.”

Small Business Minister Bruce Billson says SBS Radio is continuing the fine tradition it began in 1975.

He says it unites communities and the nation and inspires people to become their best.

“You’ve got to be optimistic. We’ve got a diverse community. SBS reaches out to those communities. You know what I love about that diversity and SBS? Enterprising people. men and women come from all cultures and all parts of the world. That shared ambition of running your own business, providing a better livelihood for your families. That’s the uniting value that runs right across our community and SBS can capture that and communicate that. Happy birthday SBS.”

Veteran broadcaster Quentin Dempster says SBS Radio’s role is perhaps more important today than it has ever been.

He says the multicultural broadcaster, in concert with migrant communities, is crucial in helping counter radicalisation and encouraging social inclusion.

Mr Dempster says SBS Radio brings a tangible benefit to a robust democracy which has engaged people of all ages.

“That’s what’s so important particularly at a time now of geopolitical tension which is sometimes visited back to Australia, particularly of terrorism, jihadi recruitment, all the things that we are concerned about in Australia, to have people who have come to Australia, here programming in the languages from the countries from where they came is so important to a sense of inclusion and it is a counter to isolation and it’s a counter to terrorism.”

And each and every one of its well wishers hopes SBS Radio continues long, long into the future.

“And happy birthday to SBS Radio for 40 fabulous years. This is great news for SBS Radio. A spritely 40. Happy Birthday to SBS Radio. It’s one of the things that makes me extraordinarily proud to be an Australian and may it continue for 40 more years and well beyond that. Happy 40th birthday SBS Radio. You only look 21!”

 

 

 

Roosters, Warriors aiming to tidy up

When the Sydney Roosters face the Warriors this Saturday they need only beat the NRL’s most error-prone side to turn around their ailing fortunes.

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But coach Trent Robinson’s men shouldn’t get ahead of themselves, given they’re currently ranked second in that department.

Wastefulness and complacency cost the fifth-placed Roosters dearly in their 10-4 upset loss to Cronulla on Sunday.

Dropped balls and turnovers aplenty bumped the tri-colours’ error count up to a whopping 20 – the team’s highest since round one when they also made 20 in their 28-4 trouncing of a lacklustre North Queensland.

It means that after 13 rounds they’ve committed the second-most errors (141) in the competition ahead of lowly Newcastle (140) and Gold Coast (139) and behind only the Warriors, who are in a league of their own on 152.

It’s a far cry from the Roosters outfit that humiliated Melbourne 24-2 a week ago on the back of only nine errors and a solid 82 per cent completion rate.

Robinson on Sunday pasted his team’s inability to complete anymore than 53 per cent of sets against an unforgiving Cronulla side bristling with the confidence that comes with the long-awaited return of injured skipper Paul Gallen.

It makes for discouraging reading for the 2013 premiers as they prepare to travel across the ditch without their State of Origin contingent.

Forward Jared Waerea-Hargreaves said set completion would be firmly front of mind this week in training, after they found out the hard way that looking for shortcuts and trying to score off every play often doesn’t work.

“That’s definitely one of our main focuses,” Waerea-Hargreaves told AAP.

“It’s something that you try and focus on every week, but Sunday was just ugly.

“It’s something we’ll address this week and prepare as well as we can to focus on playing well against the Warriors.”

Waerea-Hargreaves was keen to see the positives in facing the Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium, traditionally a successful fortress for the seventh-placed New Zealand side.

He saw a “great challenge” in playing without key stars Michael Jennings, Mitchell Pearce and Boyd Cordner who were all recalled to the Blues camp on Tuesday for Origin II.

However the Roosters will benefit from the presence of winger Daniel Tupou, who despite his strong form in the NRL was dropped by NSW coach Laurie Daley after an underwhelming game one performance.

“We’ve got to tighten the group here,” Waerea-Hargreaves said.

“It’s sticking together, and we’ll possibly have some debutants in our side.

“I’m looking forward to going home and seeing some family, and playing in front of a home crowd for me.”

Nigeria score late to draw with Sweden

A day after Germany crushed the Ivory Coast 10-0, the Super Falcons restored African pride with an all-out attacking style that won over the fans and shocked the fifth-ranked Swedes.

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With Sweden hanging on for the win, Ordega ran onto a perfect pass from Ngozi Okobi and confidently fired the ball past charging goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl in the 87th minute.

“The Nigerian team is a praying team,” said Super Falcons coach Edwin Okon, who knelt down to kiss the ground and pray after Ordega’s goal. “We knew it is not over until it is over.

“We are a good team, it was just unfortunate in the first half we gave up two cheap goals.”

Nigeria, ranked 33 in the world, had Sweden on the back foot for much of the match but trailed 2-0 at halftime after an own goal by Desire Oparanozie and a tap-in from Nilla Fischer, both scores coming off Sweden corners and the product of sloppy defending.

But the speedy Nigerians continued to press forward in the second half and were rewarded for their enterprise as they scored twice in a three-minute burst from forwards Okobi and Asisat Oshoala, who out-muscled Fischer for the ball at the top of the penalty area and then coolly slotted home.

The reeling Swedes were quick to respond, regaining the lead at 3-2 when substitute Linda Sembrant kneed a cross past Nigeria’s goalkeeper Precious Dede.

One of the pre-tournament favourites to reach the July 5 final in Vancouver, Sweden now face a bigger challenge to emerge from a so-called ‘Group of Death’ that also includes the second-ranked United States and 10th-ranked Australia.

“This is a really tough group,” acknowledged Sweden coach Pia Sundhage. “It is the first game and people out there were a little bit nervous and at the end of the day we have a second game and a third and we will do better.

“I’m very pleased we scored three goals, however, the fact we gave up a late equaliser I am not happy about that.”

Group D action resumes on Friday when Nigeria play Australia and the United States face Sweden.

(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes and Frank Pingue)

Dellavedova key to LeBron’s ‘Grit Squad’

The legend of Matthew Dellavedova continues to be written.

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The scrappy lad with a surname people struggle to pronounce was already Maryborough, Victoria’s favourite son and Cleveland’s new working-class hero.

The 24-year-old’s stardom was launched to a new level after his heroics for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Sunday’s 95-93 overtime NBA Finals game two victory over the Golden State Warriors.

The teams are locked 1-1 in the series.

Across the US on Monday in the sports pages of newspapers, on sports talk radio and in TV reports Dellavedova’s story received top-billing, or a co-starring role with his great Cavaliers teammate LeBron James.

“For better or worse, Matthew Dellavedova has a knack for making himself the story,” the New York Times began its story on the Australian.

The Washington Post told its readers how “Dellavedova has secured a place in the hearts of Clevelanders for eternity”.

CBS Sports, in a story titled, “How Matthew Dellavedova took the fire out of Stephen Curry”, began with: “The best heroes are often unexpected, and Matthew Dellavedova certainly fits that bill”.

Dellavadova was brought into the Cavaliers’ starting line-up after the kneecap fracture to starting point guard Kyrie Irving.

The man known in the Cavaliers’ locker room as Delly grabbed a key offensive rebound with 10.1 seconds to go, was fouled, put Cleveland ahead with two free throws and then forced Curry into an airball on the Warriors star’s last shot.

Many in the American media predicted Dellavedova would be embarrassed by Curry, arguably the best shooter in basketball history and reigning NBA MVP.

Dellavedova’s tenacious defence shut Curry down, with the All-Star scoring just once on the Australian – when he bamboozled Dellavedova with some slick dribbling and scored a layup.

Curry has vowed to not be outplayed again.

He won’t have long to wait with game three of the best-of-seven series played in Cleveland on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST).

“Probably people have been telling him he’s too small, he’s not fast enough, can’t shoot it enough, can’t handle it good enough, and he’s beat the odds so many times,” James, discussing Dellavedova, said in his post game interview.

The unfashionable Dellavedova, who has stepped up his look in the finals by replacing his usual hoodie jacket with crisp new suits, fits perfectly into James’ battered and bruised Cavaliers.

Dellavedova’s statistics in game two weren’t pretty – nine points from 3-10 shooting (1-6 from behind the three point line), six turnovers, five rebounds, three fouls and one assist in 42 minutes on the court.

It was the harassing defence on Curry, that one offensive rebound he snatched from taller, stronger Warriors, diving on loose balls, the three-pointer when the Cavaliers were sinking and his will to keep going when it looked like he had just ran a marathon that was astounding to watch.

It’s the blue collar guy James needed.

“It’s The Grit Squad that we have,” James told reporters.

“It’s not cute at all. If you’re looking for us to play sexy, cute basketball, then that’s not us.”

And a key contributor in James’ Grit Squad is Delly, the Aussie who refuses to be written off.

Bosnich given bond over ‘clipping’ cyclist

Former soccer star-turned-commentator Mark Bosnich has been placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond for clipping the back wheel of a cyclist.

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The former Manchester United and Socceroos goalkeeper “clipped” the cyclist following a confrontation in Sydney’s CBD on May 21 last year.

The rider, who was allegedly three times over the limit, is accused of throwing a bike lock at the Fox Sports presenter’s passenger side mirror.

Bosnich, 43, pleaded guilty in April to reckless driving after prosecutors dropped the words “furiously” and “dangerous” from the charge.

Bosnich steered into the cyclist after the two had a dispute about changing lanes on Erskine Street, police facts state.

Bosnich’s lawyer Ross Hudson told Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday that after the verbal exchange, the cyclist threw a bike lock at the commentator’s passenger-side car mirror.

He said Bosnich only pulled over to “inquire” with the cyclist as to what had happened.

It was then, Mr Hudson told the court, that Bosnich “clipped” the man’s back wheel.

The cyclist fell from his bike, injuring his rib and elbow, facts state.

It has since been revealed the cyclist was around three times over the blood alcohol limit at the time of the offence.

Mr Hudson said Bosnich had an “illustrious soccer career” and the matter had “significantly tarnished” his good reputation.

In sentencing him to a one-year good behaviour bond without conviction, Magistrate Michael Price said it was on the “lower end of culpability” and that he was a man of good character.

Outside court Bosnich said “it was a misjudgment and now we can all put it behind us”.

Music linked to blood pressure

English playwright William Congreve believed in the healing power of music, writing in 1697 that `Music has charms to soothe the savage breast’ and scientists now concur.

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Listening to a repeated 10-second rhythm found in various music compositions – particularly by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi – was found to coincide exactly with changes in blood pressure that reduce the heart rate.

Oxford University cardiologist Professor Peter Sleight, will present his findings from more than 20 years of research at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester this week.

The researchers played different music styles to people and analysed each person’s cardiovascular response, including blood pressure and pulse measurements.

The responses to either calming or more exciting music were similar between individuals.

Experts said this suggests that music therapy to calm individuals could be relatively simple as it would not need to be tailored to the individual.

Prof Sleight said music was already being used commercially as a calming therapy but there were no real studies into its effectiveness.

“Our research has provided improved understanding as to how music, particularly certain rhythms, can affect your heart and blood vessels.

“But further robust studies are needed, which could reduce scepticism of the real therapeutic role of music.”

Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation welcomed the research.

“We know that stress can play a role in cardiovascular disease so the calming effect of music may have some potential as a therapy.

“However, as Professor Sleight points out, more robust evidence is needed before we see cardiologists prescribing a dose of Taylor Swift or 30 minutes of Vivaldi a day.”

Australia will not bid for FIFA events until change

Football Federation Australia (FFA) declared its intention to bid for the women’s global showpiece a month ago, but its failed bid for the 2022 men’s tournament has come under renewed scrutiny since the arrests of more than a dozen football and media executives for corruption.

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“In the current volatile environment, FFA can give no consideration to bidding for any FIFA tournament,” the FFA said in a statement on Tuesday.

“FFA has made it clear that major reform is needed. FIFA’s problems are deep-rooted and tangled in a culture that has developed over decades.

“Until such time that the existing governance model is overhauled, it’s hard to imagine the circumstances in which FFA would put Australia forward as a bidding nation.”

The FFA declined to provide further comment when contacted by Reuters.

Australia successfully bid for and hosted the Asian Cup in January but garnered just one vote for the 2022 World Cup which was controversially awarded to Qatar, a tiny Middle Eastern country with scorching hot summers and no tradition of football.

The bidding process for 2022 is among a number of World Cups under investigation by U.S. and Swiss authorities for bribery allegations.

National police are probing Australia’s 2022 bid which was criticised by FIFA’s own ethics committee last year in a summary of a major investigation into all bidders for the tournament and the 2018 finals awarded to Russia.

Local lawmaker Nick Xenophon has also called for a parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s bid.

FFA president Frank Lowy has been under pressure from local media to step down until Australia’s bid is cleared but insists the country’s bid was clean.

Australia’s sports minister Sussan Ley said last week the government could not consider committing public money toward any future bid overseen by FIFA until major reform of the governance of global football.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

China to hit peak emissions sooner than expected: report

The world’s biggest importer of coal, China, is expected to reach its peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and possibly even sooner, a new report says.

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“This suggests that China’s international commitment to peak emissions ‘around 2030’ should be seen as a conservative upper limit from a government that prefers to under-promise and over-deliver,” the report says.

The report represented the views of its authors, not the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy or the Grantham Research Institute of Climate Change, which funded the report.

The report was released on Monday, the same day G7 countries resolved to end the use of fossil fuels in their energy-intensive economies.

The countries pledged to develop long-term low-carbon strategies and abandon fossil fuels by the end of this century, and invited other countries to join them, Reuters reported.

Australia’s policy to curb carbon emissions includes an Emissions Reduction Fund, which gives incentives to companies to reduce their carbon emissions.

However, the Australian government removed its Carbon Tax in 2014 and energy produced from burning coal has increased since then.

Recently, the US and Brazil quizzed Australia about the effectiveness of the Emissions Reduction Fund compared to the Carbon Tax it replaced.

The tough questions at a United Nations climate change summit in Germany coincided with a report that labelled Australia as a “climate change free-rider”.

“With one of the world’s highest levels of per capita emissions, Australia has gone from leadership to free-rider status in climate diplomacy,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide continues to reduce its use of coal, which contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions.

On Monday, Reuters reported Chinese coal imports slumped sharply in May due to Chinese energy policies, which include cutting imports of low-grade coal and increasing clean energy production.

“Total imports in the first five months of the year reached 83.26 million tonnes, down 38.2 percent compared with the previous year, according to preliminary data from China’s General Administration of Customs,” Reuters reported.

NSW man overboard ‘deserves bravery award’

A NSW man who died after jumping naked from a cruise ship into the sea in a bid to save his girlfriend should be awarded Australia’s highest bravery award, says the policeman who investigated his disappearance.

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Paul Rossington, 30, plunged nearly 20 metres into the Tasman Sea after his girlfriend, Kristen Schroder, 26, apparently slipped from a fifth-level balcony on the Carnival Spirit on May 8, 2013, a coronial inquest in Sydney heard on Tuesday.

That act of conspicuous courage should not go unrecognised, Detective Sergeant Michael O’Keefe told the inquest, as he called for Mr Rossington to be awarded the Cross of Valour.

“He must have known that jumping out would most likely end with him losing his life,” Mr O’Keefe said.

A massive search began for the couple more than 16 hours later when the ship docked in Sydney and it became evident they were no longer on board.

Their bodies have never been recovered and the court heard there is little chance either survived for long.

The inquest heard the cruising holiday was “make-or-break” for their relationship of 10 months, which was described as volatile but not violent.

Mr O’Keefe said the couple had been arguing over dinner on the final night of the cruise, with Mr Rossington accusing his girlfriend of flirting with another man before leaving the table and heading back to their cabin.

Around 9pm, infrared CCTV footage shows a figure in dark clothing, presumably Ms Schroder, climbing over the balcony of their cabin before apparently slipping, clinging on for four seconds, then falling, the court heard.

She tumbled 6.7 metres, struck the railing of a lower deck, and then somersaulted a further 12.6 metres into the Tasman sea.

Moments later a second figure – presumably Mr Rossington – jumps over the railing into the water.

His much brighter signature on the infrared CCTV indicates he was warm and naked when he jumped, Mr O’Keefe said, adding he had most likely been in bed then ran onto the balcony when he saw his girlfriend fall.

Property crackdown ‘won’t hurt Australia’

Treasurer Joe Hockey doesn’t believe cracking down on dodgy foreign investment in housing will damage Australia as a destination for other investment from overseas.

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Almost 200 cases of unlawful purchases of Australian houses by foreigners have been uncovered since the government started enforcing the law, and before new, tighter rules are due to come into effect on December 1.

Mr Hockey expects he will have details of more before then.

“I understand there may be a number of cases coming up,” he told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

Asked if this would damage Australia as a foreign investment destination, Mr Hockey said: “None whatsoever.”

“This is about the integrity of the current laws. We are applying penalties in the case of people who breach the laws,” he said.

Under the new rules, foreign buyers and those who facilitate illegal property sales face new penalties including fines of more than $100,000 or up to three years’ jail.

Foreign investors cannot buy existing properties, but are allowed to invest in new housing.

So far the Foreign Investment Review Board is investigating 195 cases, of which 40 were found thanks to community tip-offs and another 24 buyers voluntarily came forward.

The rest were discovered through an audit by the tax office.

A UK national could be the second to undergo a forced divestment after self-reporting his $700,000 West Australian property purchase.

It follows the forced sale of the $39 million Sydney mansion Villa de Mare illegally bought by a Chinese-controlled company.

Mr Hockey later confessed on 3AW radio in Melbourne that he had dobbed in one of his own neighbours, and while they did have approval to buy, it was made on “pretty spurious grounds”.

That case is yet to resolved.