Wednesday, August 05, 2009

PM orders security review for army bases

How did such a crazy system originate? The army can't guard its own bases? If there are any troops at all on the base, why can't some of them be rostered for guard duty?

THE defence forces are facing calls for armed soldiers to replace unarmed civilian guards outside the country's main military bases after the arrest of four terror suspects in Melbourne allegedly planning a full-scale assault on Holsworthy army base in Sydney.

Opposition defence, science and personnel spokesman Bob Baldwin said that if the alleged plot had been carried out, it was likely civilian guards at Holsworthy would have been killed in cold blood. "Unarmed civilian guards would have been slaughtered, absolutely slaughtered," Mr Baldwin said yesterday. "Now is the time to be proactive. Events overnight have shown that now is the time to introduce armed defence personnel to guard our bases."

The federal government today ordered a review of security at all military bases, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced. The review will also consider whether the practice of using private security firms to guard military installations is suitable.

Defence force chief Angus Houston had advised the national security committee of federal cabinet that, based on "current knowledge", security arrangements were adequate, Mr Rudd said. "On top that, however, I have requested that the CDF (chief of the defence force) and the defence department undertake an immediate and comprehensive review of adequacy," he told ABC Radio.

The prime minister said he wanted to be assured security at each base was in order and that it was "calibrated to our security needs". "Obviously one of the terms of reference for this investigation will be a continued suitability of those sorts of security arrangements at our bases involving private security contractors." There is concern that security at some military installations is provided by unarmed private guards, not defence personnel.


Slap on the wrist for butcher surgeon

Why not prosecute the b*stard? Aren't you relieved at how well regulators protect you? I guess that they think they have to tolerate any trash in public hospitals

A EUROPEAN-trained surgeon has been banned from practising in Queensland for three years after a string of botched procedures - including the mistaken removal of a woman's ovary. Brisbane's Health Practitioners Tribunal suspended Ivan Lubenov Popov over adverse health outcomes experienced by six female patients between June 2006 and April 2007.

The tribunal, headed by District Court judge Julie Dick, found Dr Popov had demonstrated unsatisfactory professional conduct in five out of six complaints against him. The Queensland Medical Board did not request Dr Popov, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, be disciplined over a sixth complaint due to lack of sufficient evidence.

Dr Popov, who moved to South Africa shortly after an investigation was launched into his professional conduct, committed the breaches at the Caboolture Hospital, on Brisbane's northern outskirts.

The tribunal was told in May that Dr Popov removed the healthy ovary from a woman on April 24, 2007. Dr Popov "incorrectly and/or inappropriately advised the patient that her right ovary was covered in cysts, diseased and required removal," the tribunal was told. "This was not true. "It was alleged that this amounted to Dr Popov knowingly and actively providing misleading and/or incorrect information to the patient and Dr Popov knowingly and actively falsified medical records." Dr Popov even failed to inform the patient about the mistake, despite the direction of a superior supervising specialist.

The tribunal was told that Dr Popov also lied to other patients and misled staff about his procedures to try to cover up botched and potentially illegal procedures.

Four other female patients suffered complications following "inappropriate surgery", which the Medical Board of Queensland claimed should not have been performed at a provincial hospital given the women's medical history and potential for the operations to be complicated.

In another case, Dr Popov carried out a medical procedure on a pregnant woman that he knew would result in a termination of her pregnancy.

The tribunal ruled Dr Popov's registration be cancelled for three years, that he undertake further professional training and a course on professional responsibilities and ethics, at his expense, before being allowed to reregister in Queensland. "The findings of the tribunal in respect of charges individually and cumulatively amount to unsatisfactory professional conduct," the tribunal said.

In his defence, in a written affidavit, Dr Popov accepted he had made mistakes and, in particular in the case of the removal of a healthy ovary, had panicked and falsified notes.


Damn, it's easy being green when someone else pays bill

STUPIDITY can be expensive. In fact, we've just been told it's cost us another $400 million. That's how much the price of Victoria's desalination plant went up last week - even before a single brick has been laid or strike called.

Ah, if only that were all this State Labor Government cost us by deciding purely for religious reasons we could never get another dam, no matter how close we got to running out of water. But, no. With Premier John Brumby announcing last week he'd signed a deal to build his desalination plant near Kilcunda for $3.5 billion - rather than the $3.1 billion he'd promised two years ago - we know the full catastrophe.

We know Brumby is in fact paying three times as much for a third of the water he'd have got from a new dam on Gippsland's fast-flowing Mitchell River, which in 2007 had more water flow to waste in just one flood than Melbourne uses in a year. We know, of course, that the reason this Government refused to even ask for a cost-benefit analysis of a dam that Melbourne Water admitted would cost just $1.4 billion was that just to think of damming a river was a green sin.

A dam would - horror! - take "water currently being used by the rivers" to . . . er, wash fish? Or as two government water strategy committees added, a dam would have an "unacceptable environmental and social cost" and was "no longer . . . socially acceptable".

So work out what that foolishness has cost us. A couple of billion, I'd guess, especially if you add the cost of the water shortages caused by the Government's insistence for so long that we could simply make do with less.

So perhaps we might now learn to stop such green idiocy before it's too late to do anything but pay billions. What idiocy, you casually ask? I mean idiocy best summed up this week by this paragraph in the Sunday Age:

"The Federal Government has warned that Australian icons such as the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park, the Tasmanian wilderness, Carlton Gardens and the Sydney Opera House could be damaged irreparably if the Coalition fails to support Labor's emissions trading scheme.

Can anyone, even Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, claim hand on heart this is true - that if the Coalition this month votes against Kevin Rudd's job-killing scheme that the reef could as a consequence die, the Carlton Gardens wither and the Opera House collapse?

Ignore the fact that the world has actually cooled over the past eight years. Is it remotely possible that Rudd's plan to cut the gases of insignificant Australia will of itself change the world's climate in any way that could "save" a reef or spare the paintwork of the Opera House?

How is this kind of nonsense now reported as fact? Yet clever people - including many who'll make billions from this green scare, clearly think it is believed, which is why they feed you such falsehoods by the panicky day.

And that's also why, should we not regain our senses, we will one day get a bill for this green faith that will make Brumby's wasted billions seem but a drop in the dam he would not build.


Another brilliant government strategy to get people out of their cars

Sydney bus driver who read a book while driving keeps his job

A SYDNEY bus driver who read a book while driving a packed peak-hour service has been let off with a warning. A passenger who boarded the bus on inner-city William St watched as the driver sat stationary - despite having a green traffic light - because he was so enthralled in the novel. The passenger, who did not want to be named, then photographed the driver for the next 10 minutes as he crawled along Elizabeth St barely looking up from the novel on the steering wheel.

The passenger - who is now so frightened at the thought of getting on buses that she walks to work - reported the incident and asked the New South WalesTransit Authority (STA) to report back to her. After three months she heard nothing and decided to speak out.

The STA has confirmed the incident took place about 8.30am on May 6 and warned its drivers that safety is a priority.

"I noticed that we didn't go through the green lights so I looked up to see why he hadn't moved. The arrow went green to turn into Elizabeth St and he didn't move. That's when I saw he was reading and I started taking photos," the passenger said. She said the bus was full and was worried the distracted driver might hit a pedestrian or car. "He read the whole way down Elizabeth St, even when he was accelerating the book was on his steering wheel. When he pulled up to a stop or at a set of lights he would really get into the book," she said.

STA chief executive Peter Rowley confirmed yesterday that the incident did occur. "The driver has been seen and counselled for his actions and we are sure this type of behaviour will not occur again," he said. "The safety of bus passengers and employees is State Transit's number one priority. "State Transit's policy is clear in that drivers must control vehicles in a safe manner at all times and I expect that to be adhered to. When bus drivers are on duty and driving passengers I expect them to be driving, not reading books."


1 comment:

Paul said...

Why have we allowed ourselves to become a dumpinng ground for the garbage of the planet?