The Northern Territory news Fri 22 May 2015
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
FRIDAY MAY 22 2015 NATION 13 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA Caught between rocky atolls and a hard place THE Abbott Government, while unabashedly pro-US, is resisting moves to be enlisted in Washingtons military pivot to the Asia-Pacific because it is not in Australias interests to join the escalating dispute over the South China Seas. Here is an area where our interests dont coincide deeply with that of the United States, former foreign minister Bob Carr told News Corp Australia. Mr Carr said the Prime Minister was leading a pragmatic trend towards our key trading partner, China, that could disappoint our key ally, the US. After four years of little action, the US has begun its AsiaPacific pivot in earnest, and is urging Australia to join a trilateral maritime security arrangement to help Japan protect the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, also claimed by China. The US is also shifting more Marines to Darwin, proposing more visits by ships and planes, and is urging Australia to buy into ballistic missile defence technology designed to prevent attack from China. But Mr Carr, who as director of the Australia-China Relations Institute at University of Technology, Sydney, has provided advice to the Abbott Government on China-US strategies said Mr Abbott was standing back from being recruited by the US because of the crucial relationship with China. A bitter territorial conflict is being played out in the islands and atolls of the East and South China Seas, where the US has begun actively attempting to contain China by increasing its visible military presence in the region, according to US assistant defence secretary David Shear. Mr Shear also said last week that B1 strategic bombers would be located in Australias north, a claim Mr Abbott quickly dismissed. It is not a crucial Australian interest whether a rocky atoll or reef somewhere in that sea is under Chinese or Vietnamese or Philippine sovereignty, Mr Carr said of the South China Sea dispute. Major iron-ore exporters BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, FMG and Citic, whose ships use the seas, would not comment on whether there were geopolitical implications for them in the US build-up. But Mr Carr said: There would be a lot of people in Australian boardrooms speculating about the risks to a continuing economic relationship going ahead on every front if weve been enlisted for a big anti-Chinese containment exercise. Mr Carr did not consider the US alliance under threat, but believed Mr Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop were carefully explaining that we dont see it being in our interests to be part of a highrisk exercise to win a battle over primacy or dominance in the region. Australia last year exported $90 billion in goods to China, $50.5 billion of it in iron ore, and received imports worth $50 billion. By comparison, Australia imported $28.7 billion from the US and exported $11.8 billion. Mr Carr said there may be a tendency in Washington to hustle Australia into American exercises. PAUL TOOHEY Here is an area where our interests dont coincide deeply with that of the United States Taronga Zoos Cate Webster introduces Sydney Children's Hospital patient George Cartwright to a snake-necked turtle Daniels killer loses appeal but may go to High Court BRISBANE: Bruce and Denise Morcombe saw justice served for a second time in Brisbanes Supreme Court, declaring good riddance to Brett Peter Cowan. Cowan, who abducted and murdered their 13-year-old son Daniel more than 11 years ago, will remain behind bars after his appeal was dismissed yesterday. For the Morcombes, the de cision is further retribution for the man whose callous and cowardly act tore their lives apart. Outside court Mr Morcombe remained characteristically calm on the outside, but spoke of mixed emotions and relief. Eleven and a half years ago was the last time Denise and I and the family saw Daniel, he said. We dont forget, and today we hope Mr Cowan doesnt forget. His actions have resulted in him spending a minimum of 20 years in jail and we hope theyre tough. Mrs Morcombe, who was on a flight and did not attend the judgment delivery, tweeted: May Daniel now rest in Peace, Australian children can breathe easily now Cowan remains behind bars, ending the message with a good riddance. However, the familys long ordeal might not yet be over after Cowans lawyer flagged a possible High Court appeal against his conviction. Our reaction at this stage is to simply seek further instructions from our client, defence lawyer Tim Meehan said. Available to him is a special leave application to the High Court and thats what well be pursuing his instructions in relation to what we do from here. Queenslands Court of Appeal upheld the guilty verdict handed down by a jury at Cowans trial in March last year. Court of Appeal president Margaret McMurdo and Justice Hugh Fraser found there had been no miscarriage of justice in a decision to allow into evidence Cowans video-recorded confession, and in the judges directions to the jury. The judges also rejected a bid by the former attorneygeneral to extend Cowans minimum non-parole period above 20 years. Recall puts brakes on Cruze Mobile zoo delivers big smiles HOLDEN is recalling more than 21,000 versions of its Cruze small car because the handbrake could slip, causing a potential hazard to pedestrians and parked cars. The latest recall means Holden has now recalled almost half of all Cruze cars sold in Australia: 73,000 of the 152,000 it has sold since 2009. The latest recall affects Cruze models made in Adelaide, as well as those imported from South Korea. Holden said certain Cruze models made between 2010 and 2012 fitted with a manual transmission had experienced unintended vehicle movement after being parked on particular inclined surfaces. In other words, the car has rolled backwards or forwards when parked on a hill. Holden said it issued the recall after customers reported a small number of incidents. The Cruze safety campaign is Holdens eighth recall in just five months. SYDNEY: Taronga Zoo made a special visit to the Sydney Childrens Hospital yesterday, to bring animals to children at the hospitals school. Cate Webster from the zoomobile loaded up the van with Australian native animals including a snake, possum, echidna, frog, turtle and two lizards, and was met by the schools three classes of excited students. The children got a run through of what each animal was and the chance to ask questions and touch them. No one was left out, with Ms Webster touring three of the wards to bring the animals to the bedsides of those too sick to get up. Acting school principal Lynda Campbell said seeing the animals up close was a great way to connect the children with what they learned in class. But more importantly, she said, it was a welcome distraction both for those who were sick and their siblings, who had enrolled at the school after temporarily relocating from rural areas. MIRANDA FORSTER Qantas arrives back in top spot QANTAS has snatched back the title of Australias most punctual airline after running second to Virgin Australia for the past five months. Performance results for April show Qantas was the most reliable carrier for departures and arrivals, taking off as scheduled 86 per cent of the time, and landing 87.9 per cent of flights on time. But as a group Qantas, Jetstar and QantasLink finished second to the Virgin Australia network.