Month: April 2019

Indigenous group to take over healthcare delivery in ‘Australian first’ trial

Delivering primary health care in Queensland’s largest indigenous community will be handed over to a community-controlled group in an Australian first.


The new model of indigenous health care will be presented by the Queensland government to Australia’s health ministers at a conference in Cairns tomorrow.

Gurriny Yealamucka has been given 12 months to prove it can provide primary health care to the almost 3,000 residents of Yarrabah, near Cairns, in far-north Queensland.

“This will be the first time in Queensland, indeed in Australia, where there’s been a significant transition of a state-controlled primary health service to an indigenous-controlled primary health care organisation,” said Queensland health minister Lawrence Springborg.

“There’s a lot of research around that says if you can empower them, if you can give them the control, you get far better outcomes with the health services that are provided.”

Yarrabah’s council fought for three decades for community control of primary health, spurred in part by a shocking youth suicide rate in the 1990s.

“It’s a milestone, a big step for our community. It brings a lot of pride to our community that Yarrabah is leading the way in health,” said Yarrabah mayor Errol Neal.

Yarrabah, like many indigenous communities, suffers from high rates of chronic disease, social disadvantage and legacy of the Stolen Generation.

It has been a long and at times difficult journey and the transition is an emotional moment for Sue Andrews, chief executive of the Gurriny Yealamucka primary health service.

“I think of the elders, sitting under the tree, talking about community control. They’re the people who aren’t here today that would have seen their vision come to fruition,” said Ms Andrews.

“When you look at community control, it encompasses clinical health as well as social health, meaning we don’t just fix the individual, but the family and the whole community.”

The Queensland government says the transition will cut service duplication but not Yarrabah’s health budget.

“There’s plenty of money in health care, no-one should think otherwise,” said Mr Springborg.

“What we’ve had is a lot of waste in health care in the past few years, lots of duplication and triplication of with regards to the delivery of services, there’s a lack of co-ordination, disjointed systems, and real losers have been indigenous patients.”

The Queensland government is planning to hand over control of primary health in more than a dozen indigenous communities across the state.

Dutch police receive 150 MH17 crash images

Witnesses have uploaded 150 photos and videos to a Dutch police server set up to help piece together the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over east Ukraine, a spokeswoman says.


The police issued an online appeal last week for images of the crash site – before, during and after – to aid a reconstruction of events.

From the server opening last Friday evening to noon on Monday, 150 images were uploaded via portals in four different languages: Dutch, English, Russian and Ukrainian, spokeswoman Franki Klarenbeek said.

And more are coming in.

“We don’t know yet where the images are from, but we do know they were uploaded via all four language portals,” said Klarenbeek.

The online appeal had been “aimed specifically at people in the disaster zone”, according to the website.

The plane with 298 people on board came down on July 17 in an area of east Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists are battling government forces.

The Netherlands, which is leading the crash probe and body identification, lost 193 citizens on the flight.

Washington alleges the flight was downed by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile fired by pro-Moscow militants.

On Monday, Kiev said data from the doomed plane’s black boxes showed the crash was caused by shrapnel from a rocket explosion.

Russia has denied the Western accusations, and rebel commander Igor Strelkov has said his side did not have anything to do with the MH17 disaster.

Several investigations are under way to determine what caused the crash, who is to blame, and whether any prosecution will follow for what the UN has said may amount to a war crime.

Dugan to remain centred

Josh Dugan is facing the increasingly likely prospect his move to centre could be a long-term one with St George Illawarra after Dylan Farrell was ruled out for the season with a pectoral injury.


The luckless Farrell only played six games since his move from South Sydney for the 2014 season, after also sustaining the injury in round six against Melbourne.

Dugan’s mid-season move from fullback to centre has proven to be a masterstroke by caretaker coach Paul McGregor, with the former Canberra custodian a key figure in NSW’s State of Origin series win, in the position.

The change has added balance and strike to a Dragons side previously lacking in attack, with Adam Quinlan making a fist of the fullback spot.

Dugan is certain to play out the rest of the year in the line and the 24-year-old concedes his days as a No.1 might be over.

“Ever since ‘Mary’ (McGregor) spoke to me about the move to centre it is something I have enjoyed and I feel I am improving every week,” Dugan told AAP.

“It is a challenge and one I want to make the most of, and if it does become a permanent move then so be it.

“I will probably be there for the rest of the season and then after that I will sit down with `Mary’ and see what he wants to do moving forward and what is best for the team.

“It will be up to ‘Mary’ where he wants me.”

“I’m really trying to make it work. I feel I’m doing a decent job there and hopefully I will continue to get better.”

Dugan said McGregor’s tuition and that of fellow former Kangaroos centre Matt Cooper had greatly helped his transition to centre from fullback.

He also praised fullback Adam Quinlan for making it possible.

“He is a tough player, he reminds me of Preston Campbell,” Dugan said.

“He is a great support player, and he is great under the high ball too and that is what you have seen from him.”

After Sunday’s impressive win over the Wests Tigers kept them in the finals hunt, the Dragons face struggling premiers the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Saturday in round 21 NRL action.

“It is a good test of where we are at,” Dugan said.

“These are the type of games you want to play and want to win this time of year if you want to play in the semi-finals.”

Catalan Dragons coy on Carney move

Catalan Dragons have distanced themselves from a move for controversial Australian five-eighth Todd Carney.


Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous hinted his club could throw a career lifeline to the 28-year-old former international player of the year after he was suspended by his NRL club Cronulla following the circulation of a lewd photograph on social media.

But Frayssinous insists the move never got off the ground.

“I didn’t say we were going to contact Todd Carney,” Frayssinous said.

“I said every coach in Super League would be interested to have such a quality player in their squad.”

Carney, who has also previously been sacked by Canberra and Sydney Roosters for disciplinary issues, has sought leave to appeal the decision of the Sharks to terminate his five-year contract with immediate effect and is expected to hold mediation talks with the club.

Effectively banned from the NRL, Carney’s options appear to lie either with a switch of codes or a move to Super League.

He actually signed for Huddersfield in 2008 only for the deal to fall through when he was denied a visa but the Catalans are not affected by the same restrictions.

In 2009 they signed another controversial Australian, Greg Bird, after his proposed transfer to Bradford collapsed and Frayssinous has not completely ruled out a move for Carney.

“We’ll have a break after Warrington (on Friday) and have a think about it,” he added.

“At the moment we’re just thinking about finishing in the top eight.

“When the time is right, we’ll see where Todd Carney is – whether he’s still in Australia or if he’s playing union or whatever – and if we have a spot in the squad for him, but at the moment there is nothing more to say.”

Teen fails Games doping test

Sixteen-year-old weightlifter Chika Amalaha’s record-breaking Commonwealth Games gold medal performance is under a doping cloud after she returned a positive test.


The diminutive Nigerian made headlines when she became the youngest woman to win a Commonwealth weightlifting gold medal after taking out the 53kg class in Glasgow on Friday.

She set a new Games record with a 85kg lift in the snatch on her way to an overall winning weight of 196kg and told AAP her story of overcoming family opposition to compete in her sport.

“Weightlifting is a great sport but my family didn’t like me doing it as they said it would make me muscly and unattractive and stop me from having children,” she said.

“I had to get my coach to speak to them. She has four children and she proved that it was OK to lift and have a family.

“I told them it’s not about muscle, it is about technique. But they are happy now and they will be very pleased that I have won gold.”

Now all that is in jeopardy, with the CGF identifying her as the first athlete to test positive during the Glasgow Games.

Amalaha has been provisionally suspended after her A sample allegedly revealed traces of a diuretic and a masking agent. Her B sample will be tested in London on Wednesday.

If found guilty of a doping she faces being disqualified, suspended and stripped of her gold medal.

Papua New Guinea veteran Dika Toua took the silver in Friday’s contest while India’s Santoshi Masta claimed bronze with her countrywoman Swati Singh fourth and Australia’s Erika Ropati-Frost fifth.

Hooper said the banned substances had been identified as amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide, both prohibited under class s5 of WADA’s Prohibited List.

“Ms Amalaha has pursued her right to have her B sample tested, which will take place at the accredited laboratory in London on July 30,” he said.

Earlier this week, Hooper said the Games were using an “anywhere, anytime” testing regime, which focused on a targeted approach at the Games and out-of-competition testing in the lead up.

He said medal winners were not necessarily being tested at these Games, but estimated about 1000 athletes would be randomly tested during competition.

Tests conducted prior to the beginning of the Games have already resulted in the suspension of two Welsh athletes – European 400m hurdles champion Rhys Williams and 800m runner Gareth Warburton.