Sunday, June 28, 2009

Indian community outraged over lenient jail terms for thugs

The thugs should have been convicted of attempted murder and spent years in jail for it. Sadly the token sentences they actually received are all too typical. No wonder violent crime continues to flourish. This will be a big blow to Australia's standing in India and may just about kill off our overseas student industry. Indian students coming to Australia to complete their education has so far been a considerable source of revenue for Australia

Notice that, contrary to usual practice, no names of the offenders are given. I can't imagine why. I'm guessing that there was at least one "Mohammed" among them and the the surnames would have been mainly Sudanese

The Indian community has reacted with outrage after a magistrate ruled that the young thugs who beat an Indian man almost to death will walk free after serving only six months. On Wednesday, Magistrate Kay Macpherson said five teenagers acted "like a pack of animals" when they bashed Indian student Sukhraj Singh in December and left him in a coma for three weeks. But she sentenced four of them to only 12 months' youth detention - meaning they will be eligible for parole within weeks after serving more than six months on remand. Another youth involved in the attack escaped custody, instead being sentenced to a 12-month youth attendance.

One of the youths - who at 14 already had an earlier conviction for armed robbery - had been involved in 12 violent incidents since he had been on remand, Ms Macpherson noted in sentencing him.

Mr Singh was initially speechless when told of the sentences. "I don't understand this at all," he said.

But a source revealed that all four of the youths had been involved in violence while on remand at the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre. The source said the youths had been kept apart at the centre. "We would have had no hope of controlling them if they had been together," he said.

Mr Singh was bashed by the gang in December in a grocery store in Sunshine. The five youths, then aged between 14 and 17, were originally charged with attempted murder over the attack, which fractured Mr Singh's skull on three sides. But the attempted murder charges were dropped when the five agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of intentionally causing serious injury. The five also pleaded guilty to armed robbery over the attack. Another man and a youth have pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and will be tried later.

Indian community leaders reacted with outrage to the leniency shown by the court. "What sort of a sentence is this?" said Vasan Srinivasan, president of the Federation of Indian Associations, Victoria.


Amazing: Government of Victoria imports the trash of the world's social workers

There is a unending stream of stories coming out of Britain detailing the sheer evil of British social workers -- and we want that garbage in Australia? Their attitudes stem from the Marxist hate they learn in their social work schools: The middle classes are the enemy and the "worker" can do no wrong. Too bad if the occasional child get brutalized and killed. Victoria shouldn't be touching such animals with a bargepole. I regularly post horror stories about British social workers on POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH. Thank goodness the recruitment drive was largely unsuccessful

THE Brumby Government has spent more than $500,000 of taxpayer money in five months to recruit health workers from the United Kingdom and Ireland and fly them to Victoria. The Department of Human Services alone spent $457,051 to lure 50 child protection workers from England, Ireland and Scotland in a recruitment campaign launched last October. But by last March only 19 European child protection staff had started work in Victoria, with a recruitment cost of more than $24,000 per person on top of an average annual salary of $49,800. And at least three have since returned home, citing "personal" or "medical" reasons.

The DHS spent $224,000 on advertising, $134,000 to relocate workers to Australia and more than $1300 on a welcome party, documents obtained by the Sunday Herald Sun through Freedom of Information reveal. Community Services Minister Lisa Neville flew business class to the UK for a "welcome event" celebrating the success of the scheme - racking up a $52,000 bill in the process. Ms Neville defended the spending, saying the Government had taken action to recruit desperately needed staff and expand services. "We make no excuses for trying to find the best people to help stand up for vulnerable Victorians," she said.

Opposition community services spokeswoman Mary Wooldridge said the move was a "stop-gap solution" to a major problem. "Here we are at a time when the Government is trying to promote our workforce and they're bringing in these workers from overseas," she said. "They're spending all this money to bring in offshore workers when they have known about the problems for years and failed to act."

A Government spokeswoman, Peta James, said that as of last week there were 31 child protection workers recruited from overseas in Victoria - seven in regional areas and 24 in Melbourne. She said four more were likely to arrive by the end of July. The workers, recruited from London, Dublin, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Belfast, have been offered two-year contracts in the hope they will stay in Victoria and then train Australian graduates.

The Government paid their immigration and citizenship fees, airfares and short-term accommodation costs to convince them to move to Victoria. Information and interview sessions held in the UK to recruit them cost $91,189. Two DHS staff sent to oversee the process lodged expense claims for almost $15,000.


Rudd reform 'won't reduce child abuse'

VULNERABLE children in the care of dysfunctional or abusive families will be no better off under the Rudd government's revamped child protection program because the reforms make it harder to remove minors from their parents. The planned expansion of child abuse prevention programs could inadvertently lead to more children dying while in the custody of unfit family carers, according to a report by Centre for Independent Studies research fellow Jeremy Sammut.

"Fatally Flawed: the Child Protection Crisis in Australia", argues that seven-year-old Ebony, who was starved to death in 2007 by her parents, could have been saved if not for the failed child protection ideologies that kept her with her dysfunctional parents. "They (the government's proposed reforms) are actually a plan to leave more children with dysfunctional parents for longer, at great risk of long-term harm, on the highly questionable basis that family support services will keep them safe," [What a laugh!] Dr Sammut writes.

Under the umbrella of the recently released National Child Protection Framework the Rudd government has endorsed a multi-million-dollar expansion of programs to help struggling families. But Dr Sammut says there is no evidence this approach works. "A radical family preservation-focused approach to child protection has become orthodox practice inside child protection agencies," he writes. "According to this approach, the best way to protect vulnerable children is to defend parental rights, keep families intact, and try to prevent abuse and neglect by providing support services which attempt to address the parents' complex problems. [What if the problem is simply that a particular parent is a nasty bastard? But Leftists seem to think that all criminals are simply "misunderstood". Too bad about the people they hurt] "This has led child protection agencies, which in most states are sub-departments of much larger departments of community services, to become increasingly confused about their core responsibility to intervene in the best interests of children."

Dr Sammut said child protection academics routinely argue that mandatory reporting, introduced in the 1990s and making it compulsory for professionals and the public to report any suspicions of child abuse, has been responsible for overwhelming agencies and should be wound back. In NSW, only 13 per cent of complaints are followed up with a home visit. But far from being a failure, Dr Sammut argues it has been a spectacular success.

"Mandatory reporting has mass-screened disadvantaged families, capturing an increased level of dysfunction in Australia's expanding underclass of welfare-dependent families which have serious problems including domestic violence, parental drug abuse and mental illness," he says. "The most at-risk children have been identified and re-identified, mostly by mandatory reporters."

In NSW, a quarter of all the hundreds of thousands of child abuse reports are triggered by only 2100 families. Half of the reports are accounted for by only 7500 families. "A relatively small hard core of dysfunctional parents retain custody of their children, and are re-reported 10 and 20 times, because child protection agencies fail to take the appropriate statutory action in thousands of high-risk and potentially catastrophic cases. This was the case for Ebony," Dr Sammut says.

Despite a widespread belief that a lack of funding is crippling agencies such as DOCS, Dr Sammut says money "is not the problem". According to his report, government spending on child welfare is at record levels, having quadrupled in a decade. At the same time, child abuse continues to soar, with substantiations of abuse having doubled since 2000.

Dr Sammut argues the only way forward is for state governments to establish child protection agencies separate from departments of community services. "To do this job properly you need a whole range of skills, good assessment abilities, deep knowledge of child development, as well as the skills of a policeman. Instead, we unleash first-year graduates on the community."


Later retirement age in Australia creates anger

FORCING older workers to wait until they are 67 to qualify for the age pension has little public support, a new poll has revealed. Under the plan announced by Treasurer Wayne Swan in last month's Federal Budget, the pension qualifying age will be gradually stepped up from 65 in 2017, to reach 67 by 2023. The move, which has the political backing of the Opposition, follows concern about Australia's capacity to pay age pensions into the future, given its ageing population.

But a Galaxy poll, conducted exclusively for The Courier-Mail, has found less than a third of Queensland voters – only 28 per cent – agree with the decision. Of the 800 voters surveyed, 69 per cent opposed the increased pension age, while 3 per cent were uncommitted.

Seizing on the poll result, the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association yesterday demanded the Government abandon the move. Policy co-ordinator Charmaine Crowe said it would force more elderly Australians into poverty. "It's going to disproportionately disadvantage those on low incomes," she said. "Cleaners, people in the hospitality industry, construction workers, landscapers, truck drivers . . . These people may not have the physical capacity to continue working full time."

Ms Crowe said unless they qualified for a disability pension, those older Australians would be forced to rely on the "grossly inadequate" Newstart allowance - a maximum of just $226.30 for a single person. She said those who lost a job or couldn't find an employer willing to take on a 65 or 66-year-old would also be forced on to Newstart.

Echoing that concern, 61-year-old Brisbane factory hand Alphonsa James said the politicians who decided to lift the pension age were pen-pushers, who did not understand the toll it would take on ageing workers in physically demanding jobs. "I don't think I would be able to make it until 67," he said. "It's putting more strain on your body and you're going to kick the bucket very, very quick." Mr James, whose parents both died in their 60s, said he was hoping to reach his retirement age in reasonable health so he would have a few years to enjoy his grandchildren.

But defending the higher pension age, Mr Swan has highlighted the longer life expectancy of today's retirees – with an average Australian man likely to live for more than 19 years after retirement by 2017, up from 11 years of retirement a century ago.

An Australian Bureau of Statistics report last year also found older workers were slightly healthier compared with their non-working counterparts. The report found mature age workers – aged 45 to 74 – had lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and arthritis.

The Committee for Economic Development of Australia is also supporting the move, predicting a saving of about $800 million a year in pension payments alone. CEDA chief executive David Byers said two more years in the workforce could deliver a huge boost to retirees' personal retirement savings, increasing their quality of life in the later years.


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