Aust, US in search for ferry survivors

MISSING DINGY FOUNDUS and n aircraft have joined the search for passengers of a missing ferry off Kiribati, as rescuers scoured the central Pacific Ocean for a life raft believed to be carrying survivors.
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Eight people rescued from a drifting dinghy on the weekend said the ferry broke up soon after setting out on January 18 and that they had seen other passengers scramble aboard a life raft.

“There is definitely a possibility that the people in the life raft are alive given that only a short while ago we found people in an open dinghy alive,” said New Zealand-based rescue coordinator Paul Craven.

“We’re hoping in a life raft they’re actually in a better survival situation so that’s why we’ve got such an intensive search going today,” he said on Tuesday.

Authorities are uncertain how many people had been on board the ferry, Craven told Radio New Zealand. Reports from survivors and government officials varied between 35 and 100 people.

The 17-metre catamaran was reported missing on January 20, two days after it departed Nonouti Island on a 250km trip to Betio in Kiribati.

has sent a P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft to assist in the search and the US Coastguard has sent a Hercules aircraft from Hawaii to scour the northern part of the search area.

A New Zealand aircraft spotted a dinghy on Sunday with eight people, including a 14-year-old girl, who had been adrift for days without water. The eight were rescued by a fishing vessel.

They told rescuers they had scrambled into their tiny dinghy as the ferry disintegrated soon after setting off and that other passengers had made it into another dinghy and a liferaft.

The second dinghy had broken up and likely sunk, Craven said, with the search now focusing on finding the life raft.

He said the rescuers’ main concern was that any survivors would be facing the heat for days without drinking water.

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Tributes flow for ex-Aust F1 boss Walker

OBIT WALKERTRIBUTES FOR BUSINESSMAN AND FORMER GRAND PRIX BOSS RON WALKER:
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* Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – “Ron was a wise and true friend to me as he was to so many Liberal leaders. We will not see his like again. Out hearts go out to Barbara and their family at this sad time.”

* Former prime minister Tony Abbott – “He was a staunch friend and constant encouragement to successive Liberal leaders and will be much missed.”

* Labor leader Bill Shorten – “Vale Ron Walker, a man of big ideas and great generosity. Modern Melbourne owes much to his vision and drive.”

* The Confederation of n Motor Sport – “His contribution to the n motor sport landscape will forever be remembered.”

* Entrepreneur, media buyer and friend Harold Mitchell – “I see him two, three times a year and he was looking more frail but what a fighter … He was a very generous man.”

* Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg – “A brave and thoughtful man who did so much to promote Melbourne, the Liberal Party and broader community. RIP.”

Victorian Liberal Party president Michael Kroger – “A truly great n has been lost to us. He was one of the Liberal Party’s greatest and most trusted servants.”

* Victorian coalition leader Matthew Guy – “Ron Walker loved Melbourne and Victoria. His generosity touched many. His achievements helped put Victoria on the map.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews – “Ron Walker was a giant of Victorian cultural and political life. Whether feared or revered, Ron was someone who you never forgot.”

* Acting Melbourne Lord Mayor Arron Wood – “His love of Melbourne and his contribution to our great city will never be forgotten.”

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Commercial Property: Multiple income streams and highly visible location in Maitland Road property

STRONG PROSPECTS: This two-storey building on busy Maitland Road in Mayfield features two residential flats and a retail space and is fully leased.Attractive location and multiple income prospects are expected to make aproperty on Maitland Road sought after.
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Raine & Horne’s Alan Tonks is marketing 171 Maitland Road, Mayfield, which is set for auction on March 8.

The two-storey masonry building is fully leased. It includes two residential flats and a retail shop. Mr Tonks said it offeredgood vehicle andpedestrian exposure.

Total net income comprises $64,600 per annum and the property is approximately 405 square metresin total with rear access.

“This is a great opportunity to purchase a well-located property with fourincome streams in the thriving suburb,” Mr Tonks said.

DEMAND FOR INVESTMENTSBrent Sinclair, of Knight Frank, said the sale of an investment property at 467-469 Pacific Highway, Belmont for $2.7 million showed a 6.1 per centyield on the passing net income.

The property consisted of two detached buildingsand was sold fully let with leases to Battery World and Pet Quarters until 2022 plus options.

“There is a shortage of investment stock and an increasing demand from investors, especially from Sydney,” he said. “We could do with more listings like this to meet the pent-up demand.”

WAREHOUSES IN WARATAHTwo warehouses in Crescent Road, Waratah being marketed by Colliers International’s Mark Yazbeckoffer differentopportunities.

He said a 198 square metre warehouse with 6.3m clearance at 3/27 Crescent Road was “perfect for any tradesman or business owner”.

“It is in a centrallocation with good access to service the majority of Newcastle’s residential population base and its affordable,” Mr Yazbecksaid.

The property has on-site car parking, roller door access and a self-contained kitchen. It is being sold for $425,000 plus GST plus outgoings.

Neighbouring warehouse 2/27 Crescent Road is being sold through expressions of interest and offers an investment opportunity.

It is fully leased by Hunter Valley Martial Arts Centre Pty Ltd until July 2020 with an annual net income of$40,100 plus GST.

It is an open plan warehouse with self-contained kitchen, toilet amenities and functionrooms.

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Victoria’s multicultural advocate to serve second term

GRATEFUL: Dr Sundram Sivamalai is looking forward to reprising his role as community representative commissioner for VMC. Picture: Luka KauzlaricSundram Sivamalai feels both excited and fortunate to continuehis rolein promoting peace and harmony.
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Thecommunity representative commissioner for the Victorian Multicultural Commission, which acts as a voice and the mainlink between the diversemigrant communitiesand the state government, has beenreappointed for a second term.

“I am passionate and I put my hand up because I love doing it, I sincerely believe in doing it,” Dr Sivamalai said.

“You don’t come here because you want an accolade, you come because you seriously believe in it and you want to deliver the message.

Dr Sivamalai, who lives in Ballarat, said commissioners wereselected for their background,experience andknowledge of the issuesthey representedin order to lobby and advise government.

The formerfoundation chair of the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council believed regionalareas were more disadvantagedcompared to metropolitan areas.

“I’m very passionate about regional areas, the reason being if you are in metro you find there are alternatives… whereas in the region you are limited,” Dr Sivamalaisaid.

One of the biggest issues affecting migrants in the region was employment.

Dr Sivamalai saidmigrants took on positions far below their education and experiencebecause of difficulties matching qualifications to overseas equivalents and lack of local work experience.

He used the example of a qualified doctor with a Muslim background who took on a position working in a bacon factory out of desperation.

Transport in regional areas can also poseproblems for migrants entering the workforce without a car or licence, with the jobs availableoften requiring travelling long distances.

Finding suitable housing was another issue, especially for migrants with large families not suited to the standard rental size, along withaffordability and difficulties in getting reference checks.

Intergenerational gaps could be hard on children, who oftenhad to balance the expectations at home with the cultural differences presented to them at school.

DrSivamalai is also eager to focus on education, including more flexibile adult English classes and more support for children in school, retirement, ensuring migrants know their rights and options, and the health sector, such as finding interpreters or having bilingual culturally-sensitivestaff.

But he believed some regionswere already doing a good job supporting multiculturalism, including Ballarat with its range of groups, initiatives and policy of welcome, and was optimistic about an inclusivefuture.

The Courier, Ballarat

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