Articles by "Australia"

This US Navy photo shows an F/A-18E Super Hornet launching from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower on October 20, 2016. (Via AFP)
Australia has resumed aerial missions over Syria two days after it suspended them amid rising tensions between a US-led coalition and the Russian military in the Arab country.
Australia’s Defense Ministry made the announcement on Thursday, saying the suspension had been “a precautionary measure to allow the coalition to assess the operational risk,” adding that, “The suspension has since been lifted.”
Australian Defense Force Chief Mark Binskin said a day earlier that the flights had been temporarily halted while officials examined what he described as a “complex piece of airspace” over Syria.
On June 18, a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Sukhoi SU-22 aircraft, which was conducting an operation against Daesh on the outskirts of Syria’s northern city of Raqqah.
The downing of the Syrian warplane triggered Russia to threaten that it would treat all coalition flights west of the Euphrates River in Syria as potential “targets” and track them with missile systems. Russia also suspended a military hotline that had been set up to avoid accidental military confrontations between Russia and the coalition forces.
Australia suspended its airstrikes as part of the US-led coalition as those tensions mounted.
There are six Australian aircraft serving with the coalition, which has been leading dozens of US allies in Syria since 2014 in a declared mission to hit Daesh.
The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be the positions of Daesh terrorists inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. The coalition been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of destroying Daesh.
Russia has been carrying out an aerial bombardment campaign in Syria on a request from Damascus.

This US Air Force handout photo, taken on August 9, 2015, shows F-16 Fighting Falcons sitting on the tarmac at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, where they are deployed to support coalition operations in Syria and Iraq. (Via AFP)
Australia has suspended its cooperation with a United States-led coalition in Syria out of apparent concern that the US’s recent downing of a Syrian fighter jet may escalate the situation in the Arab country to its disadvantage.
“As a precautionary measure, Australian Defence Force (ADF) strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased,” an ADF spokeswoman said in a statement on Tuesday.
No reason was given for the suspension, but The Australian newspaper said it was implemented as a precaution after the Syrian jet’s downing.
“ADF personnel are closely monitoring the air situation in Syria and a decision on the resumption of ADF air operations in Syria will be made in due course,” the spokeswoman added.
There are six Australian aircraft serving with the coalition, which has been leading dozens of US allies in Syria since 2014 in a declared mission to hit Daesh.
On Sunday, a US warplane hit a Syrian Su-22 with a missile.
The US claimed that it had targeted the plane “in collective self-defense of coalition-partnered forces” in Syria’s Tabqa.
A Syrian Sukhoi SU-17 drops bombs over the militant-held parts of the Jobar district, on the eastern outskirts of the capital, Damascus, March 20, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The pilot of the targeted plane, however, survived the incident by parachuting out of his aircraft in time.
A day later, the Defense Ministry in Russia, an ally of Damascus, threatened to treat coalition aircraft potentially flying in areas west of the Euphrates River, which are controlled by Russia “as air targets.” Russia has been conducting an aerial bombardment campaign against terrorist positions in Syria on a request by Damascus.
The Pentagon responded by saying, “We will not hesitate to defend ourselves or our partners if threatened.”
Moscow also suspended a hotline intended to avoid aerial collisions.
That escalation of tensions between the US and Russia seems to be the reason why Australia has temporarily backed off of aerial missions over Syria.
The US struck a Syrian airfield hosting Russian forces back in April. While Washington had given Moscow an advance notice of the strike, Moscow was angered, saying that the offensive had moved the two sides within inches of direct conflict.
Trail of civilian deaths
Coalition aircraft have, time and again, stricken civilian targets in Syria, as well.
On Tuesday, the official Syrian Arab News Agency reported that on Monday night, coalition warplanes had hit Tal al-Shair District in the northeastern province of al-Hasakah, killing 12 members of one family.
Hasakah borders Iraq. The US strike came as the Syrian troops are closing in on Takfiri targets near the common border.
Situation in Dara’a
In a separate development, it was reported that the Syrian air force had resumed its strikes against terrorist positions close to the southwestern city of Dara’a.
The Syrian military had announced a two-day ceasefire in the city in support of national reconciliation efforts meant to secure civilian lives and give an opportunity to foreign-sponsored militants to lay down their arms.

The file photo shows a section of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge, Britain.
The University of Cambridge has refused a request by an Australian man to return important Aboriginal artifacts taken by British explorer Captain James Cook nearly 250 years ago.
Rodney Kelly is seeking the return of four spears from the university’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology on behalf of the Gweagal people, who traditionally inhabited southern parts of Sydney, Australia's largest city.
According to the university, Cook took the spears following a violent first encounter between Aborigines and Europeans on the shores of Botany Bay in Sydney in 1770. He also took a shield, which is currently held by the British Museum and for which Kelly has also sought repatriation.
The artifacts are recognized as a significant symbol of first contact between the British and indigenous Australians and of Aboriginal resistance to colonization. However, the University of Cambridge has rejected a request for their return lodged by Kelly.
"Removing parts of the Cook-Sandwich collection, which is of great historical, scientific and educational importance nationally and internationally, would cause considerable harm by depriving the collection of its integrity," a spokeswoman said in a statement to Reuters on Saturday.
The university said the request contained no clear proposal for housing and conserving the spears if they were to be returned, and added it was important that any request for change be made with "accredited representatives of the Gweagal people".
Kelly, who submitted a formal request for the repatriation of the spears in November last year, claims to be a direct descendant of the Gweagal warrior Cooman, from whom he claims the spears and shield were taken.
However, a report prepared by the University of Cambridge has questioned Kelly’s ability to prove his descent - something disputed by the Sydney man.
"It makes me angry they are trying these tactics to discredit me and my history," Kelly told Reuters in an interview.
Cook's landing in Botany Bay on April 29, 1770 marked the first point of contact between the British and Aborigines and preceded the arrival of the first waves of colonists to Australia eight years later.
Two Aboriginal men holding spears tried to resist Cook’s party landing and one was injured by British musket fire, the university says. The Gweagal then retreated and Cook and his crew entered their camp and took the spears and a shield.
According to Kelly, Cooman was the injured man in the historical account, a claim the university says is not well-supported.
Both the Australian Senate and state parliament of New South Wales voted last year to support the repatriation of the artifacts from the British Museum and the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
Kelly said he would continue to fight for the artifacts' return.
"I want to do everything I can to bring those artifacts home for my people and every indigenous and non-indigenous person in Australia," he said.

A view of a refugee camp on Manus Island (file photo)

The Australian government has reached a settlement of around 90 million Australian dollars ($68 million) with more than 1,900 asylum seekers, who had sued Canberra over their treatment at an immigration camp in Papua New Guinea, a minister and lawyers say.
Australia refuses to resettle asylum seekers who arrive by boat and pays the impoverished Pacific island nations of Papua New Guinea and Nauru to keep hundreds of them from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
A trial by 1,905 asylum seekers currently or formerly kept at camp at Manus Island in Papua New Guinea was to begin Wednesday in the Victoria state Supreme Court and was scheduled to take six months. The asylum seekers were seeking damages for alleged physical and psychological injuries they say they suffered as a result of the conditions on Manus Island, as well as for false imprisonment following a Papua New Guinea court ruling that their detention was unconstitutional.
The camps on Manus and Nauru were once detention centers, but asylum seekers are now allowed outside the fences.
Their lawyer David Curtain told the court they reached a settlement with the Australian government and the operators of the male-only Manus Island camp, G4S Australia and Broadspectrum.
The government and operators deny liability as part of the settlement and agreed to pay AU$70 million plus the cost of three years of legal work behind the case, asylum seeker lawyer Rory Walsh said.
Walsh said he did not know how much the government would pay.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said he expected the asylum seekers' costs would add another AU$20 million to the government's bill.
"An anticipated six-month legal battle for this case would have cost tens of millions of dollars in legal fees alone with an unknown outcome," Dutton said in a statement. "In such circumstances, a settlement was considered a prudent outcome for Australian taxpayers."
Asylum seeker lawyer Andrew Baker said the money would be distributed according to how long asylum seekers had spent on Manus and what they had endured.

In this file photo, men shave, brush their teeth and prepare for the day at a refugee camp on the Island of Nauru. (Photo by AP)

"This settlement is an important step toward recognizing the extremely hostile conditions the detainees endured at Manus Island," Baker said.
He said "no amount of money will be able to fully recognize the terrible conditions these detainees have had to endure."
Baker said Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati was killed and another 69 asylum seekers injured during a riot in the Manus camp in 2014 involving staff, police and Manus locals. Another two asylum seekers had died from medical complications and at least one of those would have survived with appropriate and timely treatment, Baker said.
The United States is considering resettling up to 1,250 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru under a deal struck between Australia and President Barack Obama's administration.
The Manus camp was scheduled to close by October, Baker said.

Austrian Finance Minister Hans Jörg Schelling. (Photo by IRNA)
Austria says it has allocated a credit line of €1 billion for a major steel production project in southern Iran.
The announcement was made by the visiting Austrian Finance Minister Hans Jörg Schelling during a visit to Tehran.
Schelling was quoted by Iran’s IRNA news agency as telling his Iranian counterpart Ali Tayyebniya that the credit line was meant to help the expansion of relations between the two countries.
IRNA further quoted him as saying that Austria’s banks were eager to promote relations with Iran’s banks.
For his part, Tayyebniya called on the Austria government to do more to help expand economic relations with Iran.
He emphasized that fighting money-laundering – as well as funds with suspicious origins – were central themes in the plans of Iran’s banking system.   
Austria’s steel production investment plan in Iran involves the establishment of a plant with a capacity of 2.4 million tons per year in Gol Gohar in Iran’s southern province of Kerman.
To the same effect, Austria’s Voest Alpine has reportedly signed an agreement to team up with Iranian partners to establish a steel production plant in Gol Gohar. 
On a separate front, Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad-Reza Ne’matzadeh told Schelling in a separate meeting that Iran expected Austria to adopt more hostile plans to expand trade relations between the two countries. 
Ne’matzadeh emphasized that banking restrictions were the most important barriers that were obstructing the expansion of Iran-Austria relations. 
The Iranian official further said companies from Iran and Austria were working over the production of low-consumption motors for automobiles. 
He expressed hope that an agreement that the relevant parties had signed over this last year would lead to industrial production by 2020.

A man has been shot dead by Australian police while three officers have been injured during a hostage drama and gun battle in Melbourne, a confrontation for which the Daesh terrorist group has claimed responsibility.
The deadly stand-off began after emergency services responded to reports of an explosion at an apartment block in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Brighton on Monday. Victoria State police officers called to the scene discovered the body of a man in the foyer of the building.
The dramatic siege ended when the suspect exited the apartment complex and opened fire. Police returned fire and killed the hostage taker, whom police said identified as Yacqub Khayre, a 29-year-old Australian citizen who called a broadcaster during the siege to say he was acting in the name of Daesh. At least three officers were also injured in an exchange of fire with the gunman. The woman taken hostage was safely rescued.
"The attack in Melbourne, Australia was carried out by a soldier of Daesh in response to the call for targeting the subjects of the coalition states," the Takfiri terror group said on its Amaq news agency.
Australian law enforcement agencies later confirmed that the incident was terrorism-related, saying that they are treating the attack as a "terrorist incident."
"We do have our counter-terrorism command working on it with our crime department investigators," deputy police commissioner Andrew Crisp said, adding, "It's early days and it's one line of inquiry."
A bomb squad member exits a residential building in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Brighton on June 5, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The incident came as Canberra is growing increasingly concerned about the threat of militant attacks across the Asian-Pacific country after those who have joined terror groups in the Middle East return home.  
In late March 2017, Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop warned that Daesh could establish a stronghold in the southern Philippines, the nearest territory to mainland Australia to likely become a hotbed of terrorist activities.
She said that hundreds of militants from Southeast Asia had been in the Middle East fighting for Daesh and could soon return to the region as the Takfiri group loses more territory to security forces fighting to take back land overrun by the outfit.
Bishop said that Australian security forces had already been working closely with the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia to identify and eradicate terrorist elements in the region.
Daesh, which first emerged in the Middle East and later spread its activities to North Africa and Afghanistan, has been suffering heavy losses in Iraq and Syria, the two countries where it has been significantly active. There is now concern that efforts to eradicate Daesh in those countries are pushing the terrorists to seek a foothold elsewhere.

The man was pulled from the smouldering wreckage. Photo/News Corp Australia
An unconscious man has been pulled to safety moments before his vehicle went up in flames in west Sydney.
The driver, believed to be in his 30s, lost control of his vehicle on a winding Blue Mountains road and smashed it into a tree.
Passers by are understood to have been first on scene and made a desperate attempt to drag the man from his car, before laying him down in the middle of the road as his wrecked vehicle burned.
The man was airlifted to Westmead hospital, while his car has been completely incinerated.
The car was destroyed in the blaze. Photo/News Corp Australia

Since her arrival back on home soil last weekend, the Australian media has been waiting for Schapelle Corby to show her face and 'break her silence.'
So far, we've had to make do with a muffled, distant "hello" in the background of sister Mercedes' phone interview on The Kyle and Jackie O Show.
At least, we think it was her. It was hard to tell.
But over on her much-discussed Instagram account - 184,000 followers and counting, thank you very much - Corby's been surprisingly forthcoming. 'Break her silence?' Pfft. On Insta, Schapelle's chatting freely.
She's posted 16 times so far, and hidden among the thousands of comments each photo and video attracts are additional snippets of info direct from Corby, replying to questions from her supporters.
Catch her in the right mood and you might get a response too. Here's what we've gleaned from a deep-dive into Schapelle Corby's first week on Instagram:

She really wants you to read her book
Schapelle's latest post shows the cover of her 2006 memoir, My Story. She wrote it "with my heart and soul," and she wants you to grab a physical copy.
"It is on kindle yes. Book has a lot of good pictures inside 30+. kindle doesn't show pictures so kinda miss a lot," she told one follower.
The book is "usually stocked in Big W and all major book stores ... but I haven't been there in a while, you'll have to check."
You heard it here first: Schapelle Corby, imprisoned in Bali for most of the past 13 years, has not been to Big W in a while.
She's not sick of Indonesian food

She gave Lalah Bali, an Indonesian food market on the Gold Coast, a plug in one comment - "Best Indonesian food on GC!!!" she wrote. After 13 years in Bali, we'd have to assume she's an expert in the national cuisine. Is she testing the waters for future #sponsored posts with this business recommendation? Can we expect to see her to extolling the benefits of detox teas and smart water in the near future? #fitspo
She's got a self-deprecating sense of humour

Newscorp cartoonist Warren Brown's illustration above doesn't exactly cast Schapelle in the most flattering light - yet she posted it on her account with the hashtags #Hilarious and #LMFAOlovethis. "Oh well, at least you've got big boobs," one follower told her. "And lashes," she responded.
Captioning her book cover - a striking photo of Schapelle, face mournful behind bars - she employed the hashtag '#thinnest90seyebrowsever'.
She wants to use her attention for good

Twice now she's posted about missing children, asking her followers for help in finding them and issuing a simple instruction: "Don't be distracted by trivia."
She's getting used to life - and technology - outside jail

Queensland in winter is a shock to the system compared to Bali's steamy heat.
She's not on Facebook, so please stop asking her, everybody.
Her first attempt at an Instagram hashtag saw her literally write out the word 'hashtag.'
Yes, she read blogger Constance Hall's 'Dear Schapelle' open letter, and her response is a 'face with mouth open' emoji.
In fact, she's very fond of emojis, utilising them for most of her responses to her followers. Her favourites: Smiley face, A-OK hand symbol, raised hand. Now THAT'S investigative journalism.
She enjoys making the media look like fools

... Although she hasn't had to work too hard to achieve that goal, given the absolute circus that's surrounded her this week.
The footage of a smirking Schapelle watching what Channel 7 thought was live footage of her car from the comfort of her hotel room is an iconic bit of subterfuge worthy of Joanne the Scammer.
And if you're a clumsy paparazzo taking a tumble in your attempts to get the perfect Schapelle shot, best believe she got you on camera, she got you on candid camera now.
She may be quite the artist

The question on everyone's lips when she posted this psychedelic portrait, titled Freedom: Did Schapelle herself paint this? She was evasive when responding to one follower asking exactly that question: "I will tell you soon."
In summary: Schapelle Corby is the best thing to hit Instagram since the Valencia filter. Deal with it.

Asylum-seekers are pictured behind a fence at the Manus Island detention center, in Papua New Guinea, on March 21, 2014 (Photo by Reuters)
The Australian government has been sued over the detention of immigrants in a case due to be heard in the largest ever trial of its kind this week.
The trial, which had originally been due on Monday, has been rescheduled for Wednesday. It will be held at the Supreme Court in the southeast Australian state of Victoria on that day.
The entire trial will reportedly be live-streamed online and would be available to those asylum seekers and refugees held in notorious Australian-run detention centers on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.
The class action is led by an Iranian immigrant, Majid Karami Kamasaee, who spent 10 months at the Manus Island facility and who now lives in community detention in Melbourne.
The legal case, which has been building for almost three years, will include 1,905 male plaintiffs, who were held at the center between November 2012 and December 2014, along with over 200,000 documents, 104 witness outlines, and 28 expert reports.
Law firm Slater and Gordon expects the case to run for up to seven months.
“This case will be the largest and most forensic public examination of the events and conditions at the Manus Island center and reflects the unquestionable importance of access to justice in the Australian legal system,” the firm said in a statement.
It said that the lead plaintiff had alleged that Australia “was in effective control of the Manus Island Detention Center at all relevant times, and thereby owed a duty of care to the detainees being held there.”
A view of a refugee detention camp on Manus Island
“The extraordinary secrecy surrounding the Manus Island detention center has meant that, for too long, the detainees’ experiences have been a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind,’” the firm further said in its statement.
Australia stops asylum-seeker boats from reaching its shores.
The government passed a law under which anyone who is intercepted while attempting to reach the mainland by boat is sent to detention camps on Manus Island off Papua New Guinea or the Pacific island of Nauru to have their requests processed.
Even if those individuals are found to be genuine refugees, the Australian government denies them resettlement on mainland Australia.
There have been numerous reports of abuse and misconduct against the detainees held in the camps, which rights groups have described as just limbos.

Australian Julian Assange stands addresses the media on the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London, May 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The founder of the WikiLeaks website, Julian Assange, has defied a demand by Ecuador — which has granted him asylum and shelter at its London Embassy — to steer clear of politics in the Latin American country.
Assange has leaked secret Washington-related wires on WikiLeaks. And he could be arrested and extradited to the United States for prosecution if he leaves the Ecuadorean diplomatic premises, where took shelter back in 2012, when Sweden issued a European arrest warrant for him over sexual assault charges.
Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno (seen below) on Thursday called on Assange “not to interfere in Ecuadorian politics, nor in the politics of its allies.”
“His (Assange’s) status does not allow him to talk about the politics of any country, let alone ours,” President Moreno had said.
On Friday, however, Assange tweeted, “Ecuadorians can be confident that if WikiLeaks receives evidence of corruption in Ecuador it will be published.”
Sweden recently dropped its investigation against Assange, potentially creating an opportunity for him to leave the Ecuadorian embassy. But British police, who have 24/7 presence around the perimeters, said they would still arrest Assange if he came out because he had broken his conditions for bail by not surrendering himself to the police before.
President Moreno had previously said his country “will ensure” that Britain “allows the transfer of Mr. Assange to Ecuador or to the country in which he wishes to reside.”
But Assange’s new defiance toward Ecuador’s newly-elected president could now dim his chances for a smooth travel to and stay in Ecuador.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (photo by AFP)
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has warned that the Daesh terrorist group could establish a stronghold in the southern Philippines, the nearest territory to mainland Australia to likely become a hotbed of terrorist activities.
Bishop told local media on Sunday that the leader of the Philippines-based Daesh-linked Abu Sayyaf terrorist group had recently been declared an “emir” — a title given to the leader of a so-called Daesh caliphate.
Citing that development, Bishop said, “There is concern ISIS may well seek to declare a caliphate in the southern Philippines,” using an English acronym for Daesh. “This brings the threat right to our doorstep.”
Daesh, which first emerged in the Middle East and later spread to North Africa and Afghanistan, has been suffering heavy losses in Iraq and Syria, the two countries where it has been significantly active. There is now concern that efforts to eradicate Daesh in those countries are pushing the terrorists to seek a foothold elsewhere.
Government troops are seen at the site of a roadside blast in the village of Matampay in Marawi City, Southern Mindanao, the Philippines, November 29, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Bishop said about 600 militants from Southeast Asia had been in the Middle East fighting for Daesh and could soon return to the region as the Takfiri group loses more territory to security forces fighting to take back land overrun by the outfit.
She said that Australian security forces had already been working closely with the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia to identify and eradicate terrorist elements in the region.
The Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, which has been conducting bombings, abductions, assassinations, and extortions since its emergence in 1991 with seed money from al-Qaeda, pledged allegiance to Daesh in the summer of 2014.
This photo, taken on October 13, 2015 from a video uploaded on YouTube, shows militants in the southern Philippines. (Via AFP)
The Philippine government has been involved in military operations against the group in the south of the country.
Abu Sayyaf’s power has reportedly diminished particularly since 2002, when it was internationally declared a terrorist organization. In 2012, it was estimated that the number of the group’s members had fallen from an estimated 1,250 in 2000 to between 200 and 400 members.
But it could see battle-hardened terrorists coming in from elsewhere, including Iraq and Syria.

Thousands of Australians abandoned their homes as a powerful cyclone bore down on coastal towns in Queensland on Monday, while others ignored authorities' advice to evacuate with winds forecast to reach up to 300 km per hour (185 mph).
Cyclone Debbie is forecast to strengthen to a Category 4 storm before it makes landfall in the northeast state early on Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said.
State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned it would be the most powerful storm to hit the country since Cyclone Yasi in 2011, which destroyed homes, shredded crops and devastated island resorts.
About 3,500 people left low-lying townships near Townsville, while authorities advised 2,000 more people in the town of Bowen to also leave, Palaszczuk said, adding that the "window of opportunity to leave is drastically closing" as weather worsens.
A Category 5 storm is the strongest on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity.
Townsville Airport was closed and airlines Qantas, Jetstar, Rex and Virgin Australia said they had cancelled several flights to and from the region scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.
Pictures showed residents who had stayed behind protecting homes and shops with sandbags and plywood boards.
Queensland produces some 95 percent of Australian bananas and while Cyclone Debbie is on course to miss the largest growing regions in the state's far north, analysts said heavy rains and strong winds could cause significant crop damage.
The storm late Monday morning was about 375 kilometers (230 miles) east of Townsville, a coastal city 90 kilometers (55 miles) north of Ayr.

James 'Jimmy' Gargasoulas aka Dimitrious Gargasoulas. Photo / Facebook
The case of accused Bourke Street killer driver Dimitrious Gargasoulas is returning to court.
The 27-year-old has been excused from appearing at Melbourne Magistrates' Court today when his case is listed for a mention.
Mourners leave flowers and tributes to the victims of the Bourke St mall incident. Photo / Getty

Gargasoulas faces five counts of murder over the January 20 rampage and is expected to be charged over the death of a sixth victim.
He is accused of deliberately driving a car into pedestrians at Bourke St mall before crashing after police shot him.

Officials from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse participate on the opening day of their public hearing into cases involving the Anglican Church of Australia in Sydney, Australia, March, 17 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
Australia’s Anglican Church has expressed “deep shame” over a government revelation that close to 1,100 people have filed child sexual assault claims against the Church.
“We are deeply ashamed… both in the way we have acted and the way we have failed to act,” the Church’s General Secretary Anne Hywood said during a session of the Royal Commission into Child Abuse in Sydney.
“It tells us that any processes we had in place did not prevent abusers working in our Church, as clergy and lay leaders and, in the roles most trusted to care for our children, as teachers and youth workers,” Hywood told the inquiry.
The Anglican Church’s General Secretary Anne Hywood
The figure of the complaints filed was released in an interim report published by the inquiry on Friday. The report said the complaints identified 569 Anglican clergymen, teachers, and volunteers as alleged abusers. There were also another 133 alleged abusers whose roles at the Church were not known.
The report said most of the victims, who had filed child sexual assault claims against the Church over a 35-year period, had been aged around 11 when they were abused.
The government-appointed inquiry had previously heard that seven percent of Catholic priests working in Australia between 1950 and 2010 were pedophiles accused of child sex crimes.
Few of cases involving those predator priests were pursued through legal channels.
The commission report said 1,082 people had filed complaints between 1980 and 2015 about 1,115 alleged incidents while they were under the care of the Anglican Church. Some of the incidents dated back to 1950.
Church authorities felt a “sense of shame and sorrow… [by] the scope of our failure to tackle child sexual abuse within the Church,” Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier, the Church’s primate, said in a statement on social media.
The Anglican Church had paid more than $22 million in compensation to 459 of those complainants, the report said. Another report published by the inquiry last month said the Catholic Church had paid compensation to about three-quarters of complainants.
The inquiry is due to report back to the government in December.

This handout photograph taken and released by the Official Photographer to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on March 16, 2017 shows Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visiting the Tumut 3 power station at the Snowy Hydro Scheme in Talbingo, in the Snowy Mountains. (Via AFP)
Billions of dollars will be pumped into a massive hydroelectric project in Australia, the prime minister said Thursday, as the country faces a growing power crisis after a huge blackout and heatwave strained supplies.
The expansion of the Snowy Mountains Scheme in New South Wales State could provide electricity to 500,000 homes, which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described as an “electricity game-changer.”
The project, involving new tunnels and power stations, would boost the capacity of the 4,100-megawatt hydro-electric plant by 50 percent and is estimated by local media to cost up to Aus$2 billion (US$1.5 billion).
“Every Australian should be confident that they can turn the lights on when they need them,” Turnbull said in a statement.
This undated handout photo released on March 16, 2017 by Snowy Hydro Limited shows a view of the Tumut 3 power station at the Snowy Hydro Scheme in Talbingo, in the Snowy Mountains. (Via AFP)
Although Australia is one of the world’s largest producers of coal and gas, there are question marks about its energy security after South Australia suffered a statewide blackout in September and record-high temperatures in recent months put pressure on supplies in the country’s east.
The closure of several ageing coal-fired power plants, strong demand for gas exports and a rise in onshore gas drilling bans have fueled concerns of a looming domestic energy shortage.
“The unprecedented expansion will help make renewables reliable, filling in holes caused by intermittent supply and generator outages,” Turnbull said.
But Danny Price, a former energy adviser to Turnbull, said while the hydro technology was robust and viable, it would not fix current power woes.
The South Australian government on Tuesday unveiled a Aus$550 million plan that included building a new gas-fired power plant and the country’s largest battery to store energy from the wind and sun.


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