We’ve rounded up all the latest stories from Australia and around the world – so you don’t have to go searching.
1. Hundreds more baby deaths in Victorian hospitals.
A Victorian state government report has found that the Bacchus Marsh Hospital baby deaths were just the tip of the iceberg with hundreds more deaths in other hospitals due to inadequate medical care, hospital delays and poor resuscitation procedures.
Between 2008 and 2013 there were 281 deaths in Victorian hospitals that involved “contributing factors” including inadequate clinical monitoring, misinterpretation of tests and delayed caesarean procedures.
The report, “Victoria’s Mothers, Babies and Children 2012 and 2013”, found that insufficient care during pregnancy, inadequate management of specific conditions, and “resuscitation factors” also led to the deaths.
Professor Jeremy Oats, who was chair of the state government committee that produced the report, noted that the contributing factors did not necessarily cause the deaths. About one in 10 deaths involved “significant preventable” factors on a par with those found responsible for the 11 avoidable deaths at Bacchus Marsh hospital between 2000 and 2014.
The Age reports that, unlike Baccus Marsh, “significant clusters” of deaths at other hospitals had not been found.
Between 2009 and 2013 babies were more likely to die at Bacchus Marsh, Casey Hospital in Berwick, Frankston Hospital, the Northern Hospital in Epping and Sunshine Hospital.
It also looked at how many babies without congenital anomalies fell ill within five minutes of birth, finding the “least favourable” hospitals were Yarrawonga, Mildura, Warrnambool, Ararat, Geelong, Bendigo, Box Hill, Colac, Wonthaggi, Kerang, Echuca and Traralgon.
Kathryn Booth, head of medical negligence at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers told The Age the data was “very alarming”
“Many of these deaths could have and should have been avoided. Similar issues were identified among the catastrophic failures at Bacchus Marsh Hospital that resulted in multiple babies dying or sustaining lifelong injuries,” she said.
2. Eddie Obeid found guilty of misconduct.
Former NSW minister, and Labor powerbroker, Eddie Obeid faces jail time after being found guilty of wilful misconduct in public office.
The 72-year-old was found guilty and could face 14 years jail after he lobbied then-Maritime Authority deputy chief executive Steve Dunn about a long-running dispute over lease renewals at the prized foreshore strip in 2007.
He was found to be involved through a trust in a company called Circular Quay Restaurants, which owned two businesses on wharves four and five.
But he failed to disclose this when he rang Mr Dunn and asked him to meet a negotiator acting on behalf of leaseholders.
Obeid did not give evidence in his defence during his trial at Sydney’s Darlinghurst courthouse.
3. Same-sex marriage Shorten’s first bill.
Bill Shorten has promised legalising same-sex marriage would be his government’s first priority in Parliament.
In a speech at the National Press Club he said that introducing the same-sex marriage bill will be his first act in parliament should he win this weekend’s election.
“The first piece of legislation I introduce into the 45th Parliament will be a bill to amend the marriage act, a simple change. “ Mr Shorten said.