Dad charged after girl, 3, found shot dead

The mother of a three-year-old girl shot dead in their Sydney home has blamed the child’s father, screaming that he shouldn’t have had a gun in the house.

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“Not my baby girl, not my baby girl,” the mother screamed as she raced from the Lalor Park home into the street on Sunday night, neighbours recalled.

“I hate you.”

It’s unclear how the girl sustained the single fatal gunshot wound, but police are investigating whether she accidentally fired the weapon herself.

Neighbours spoke of hysterical scenes after the shooting.

“The mother came out, she was … really angry. And she was just screaming,” the neighbour Mark Tapua told reporters on Monday.

“She was just saying it was his fault, he shouldn’t have had a gun in the house.”

The girl’s father, who emerged from the house covered in blood, was charged on Monday with possessing an unregistered sawn-off shotgun and not storing the weapon safely.

The 43-year-old Arncliffe man, who did not live at the house, was also charged with contravening domestic violence orders.

“When police arrived … they found the child had suffered a fatal wound to her neck,” police Superintendent Paul Carrett said.

The mother and daughter and three other children, aged between three and eight, had been in the house at the time.

The father appeared before Blacktown Local Court on Monday and did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.

He is scheduled to appear before the same court again on Friday.

Television footage from the scene showed a woman, thought to be the mother, screaming “I hate you… may you rot in hell”, as she was taken away in an ambulance, while a man was sitting in the gutter with his head in his hands.

Dependable skipper Smith falters in Dhaka

So often Australia’s saviour, Steve Smith showed that even he is fallible when he threw his wicket away at the worst possible time during the first Test against Bangladesh.

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The visitors resumed on day two in Dhaka at 3-18 after David Warner, Usman Khawaja and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon were all dismissed within 10 balls in the previous day’s final session.

Australia badly needed a steady hand, and who better than Smith, who averaged an astonishing 71.28 during the tour of India earlier this year to cement his status as the world’s premier Test batsman.

Smith started the day looking confident, crunching a half-volley from Shafiul Islam through the covers for four in the second over.

But the following over he was gone for eight after charging down the pitch to a delivery from right-arm off-spinner Mehedi Hasan that went straight past the inside edge and hit leg stump.

It was an uncharacteristic dismissal for Smith, who has proven his ability to grind out big scores under pressure on the subcontinent.

With top-scorers Matt Renshaw (45) and Peter Handscomb (33) both unable to go on after promising starts, the Australians will look to Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade to rebuild their innings after reaching 6-123 at lunch.

Australian coach Darren Lehmann spoke ahead of the Test of the importance of his batsmen sacrificing their egos for the good of the team.

“At times, you’ve certainly got to put your ego away with the bat and go slowly, if that makes sense,” Lehmann told FiveAA radio.

“We’re still looking to score but sometimes the game goes slowly and sometimes it goes quickly.

“We’ve just got to really be able to oscillate between those speeds of the game.”

Turnbull calls in energy bosses again

Malcolm Turnbull says the government is taking short and long-term steps to put a lid on power prices.

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But the electricity sector says the retail market is not the problem and the prime minister continues to ignore the biggest hurdle – a clean energy target to give investors certainty.

The prime minister flew by helicopter to Cooma on Monday to discuss feasibility work on Snowy Hydro 2.0 with key players.

The project – which would provide 2000MW of underground generation and 29km of tunnels between existing reservoirs in the Snowy Mountains region – will take about six years to complete, depending on geological problems encountered along the way.

Following a cabinet meeting in Canberra on Tuesday, Mr Turnbull will eyeball electricity chiefs for a second time in Sydney on Wednesday to discuss progress on getting power prices down.

“We know there are at least a million households, probably a lot more, that are paying more for electricity than they need to because they are on the wrong plan,” Mr Turnbull told reporters.

“So we are taking action right now to ensure Australians right now are not paying more for their electricity than they need.”

He said in the long-term, renewable energy – supported by projects such as Snowy Hydro 2.0 and a possible third stage – would make power more reliable and affordable.

Australian Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren, who will be one of the bosses at Wednesday’s meeting, said enabling investment in new power generation was the best way to drive down energy bills.

“Retailers recognise that many customers are doing it tough, and will be stepping up their efforts to draw attention to the cheap energy market deals which are on offer,” he said.

“The current spike in electricity bills is the result of a shortage of supply in the generation or wholesale market.”

The key to fixing power bills was to adopt the independent advice of chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel and bring in a technology-neutral clean energy target, Mr Warren said.

Mr Turnbull said the government was “working through” the issue of a CET and awaiting a report from the Australian Energy Market Operator.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the government had yet to deliver on its promise to halve gas prices, let alone cut electricity bills.

“Australia is in the midst of a gas and energy price crisis,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne.

Noting the prime minister was travelling to the Snowy Mountains by chopper for an announcement, Mr Shorten said: “A joy-ride in a helicopter doesn’t help families with their energy bills.”

Mr Turnbull said Labor had failed to put in place protections for domestic gas supply when Mr Shorten was a government minister.

Amaysim eyes cross-selling future

Amaysim has racked up one million mobile subscribers for the first time, helping drive the diversifying telco provider’s full-year underlying earnings up more than 20 per cent.

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Amaysim’s underlying earnings for the year to June 30 rose 22.9 per cent to $43.5 million, with the group’s total broadband subscribers rising to about 5,000 and its mobile subscriber base rising 11 per cent.

But net profit fell 6.5 per cent to $11.5 million due to the cost of acquiring online energy retailer Click and further broadband investment through May’s launch Amaysim’s own-branded NBN service.

In August 2016, Amaysim also acquired Australian Broadband Services (AusBBS), adding to its broadband capabilities.

The group plans to incorporate the energy business into its single sign-in platform in FY18 as part of a strategic push to cross-sell.

The Australian energy market is “ripe” for Amaysim’s disruptor approach, chief executive Julian Ogrin said.

“Looking to the future, energy provides us with a terrific opportunity to cross-sell our products to 800,000 households in the group as public awareness of energy costs increases consumers seek better service price and more transparency,” Mr Ogrin said.

The group is now “a more diversified and resilient business” than when it listed on the ASX in July 2015, Mr Ogrin said, with “scope for significant growth.”

The addition of Click – with subscriber growth up 25 per cent at 165,000 – contributed two-month statutory net revenue of $45.7 million.

Mr Ogrin said lower cost customer acquisition helped drive down mobile costs for the year by eight per cent, with the junior telco ‘s average revenue per user (APRU) – a key industry measurement – in line with expectations at $22.46.

The number of exiting customers – the annual churn rate – was also steady at two per cent, with industry surveys recording high customer satisfaction and low complaints.

The company delivered a fully-franked final dividend of 5.1 cents per share, compared to an unfranked 5.3 cents the previous year.

The full-year payout for 2017 was a partially franked 9.1 cents per share.

Amaysim shares closed up 7.5 cents, or 4.5 per cent, at $1.74.

AMAYSIM RESULTS

* Net profit down 6.5pct $11.5m

* Underlying profit up 6.3pct to $121,185.

* Revenue up 29pct to $326.7m

* Final dividend of 5.1 cents, taking the total year to 9.1 cents

Iraqi artist’s visions of home strike a chord

The winner of the 19th Liverpool Art Society Exhibition Hedar Abadi says he paints with the intention of capturing the experience of being a refugee in Australia.

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Earlier this year his collection entitled ‘Save Our Fish From Drowning’ was exhibited at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in Sydney’s south west – the prize for winning the Arts Society’s competition.

The works were informed by Mr Abadi’s early life in Babylon,  fleeing from war-torn Iraq and migration to Australia in 1992.

“My passion for painting started from the river near my house. I used to get the mud when I was five-years-old and I use to make sculptures with it and speak to my works. That’s how it all started, and I call it the ‘toy for the poor’.”

Pamela Rodoreda, Liverpool Art Society’s 2016 exhibition coordinator, says his winning painting ‘Migration’ captured the complexities of the human experience.

‘Migrating’ won Hedar Abadi the Annual Liverpool Art Society scholarship prize.Facebook/Hedar Abbas Abadi

“His art is unique partly at least, because it is often very personal, coming from a place of deep emotions, lived trauma and cultural displacement,” she said.

For the 61-year-old who graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 1988, memories of his childhood in Babylon influence his sense of displacement.

“I feel like I’m a fish in an aquarium because I’m living in Australia and everything is beautiful, but I would like to swim in my water – the Al Forat River.”

Power and the natural order of the world are also prominent themes in Mr Abadi’s artworks.

“We live in a world of fish where big fish eats little fish – like America invading Iraq.”

Ms Rodoreda says Mr Abadi is a prolific and accomplished artist who is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects.

“He works hard and I believe he will keep going from strength to strength as he continues to explore the depths of human experience through his painting.”

Hedar Abadi beginning one of his creations.Facebook/Hedar Abbas Abadi

 

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