Friday, September 04, 2009


Three current articles below

Tasers unsafe in the hands of Australian police goons

They are a valuable alternative to gunfire but police use them indiscriminately -- meaning that a valuable tool may have to be taken away from them in order to protect the public from a rogue police force. Can you imagine a cop firing one 28 times into a man lying on the ground? No wonder the guy died of a heart attack! Such an abuse is of course well outside all guidelines for use of the weapon. The cop concerned should be in jail for manslaughter

The controversial Taser stun guns may be scrapped in Queensland after a review warned that the weapons could kill and could not be modified to prevent a repeat of the death of a man this year when he was shot 28 times with the 50,000-volt device.

The joint Crime and Misconduct Commission-police review, launched after the June heart-attack death of north Queensland man Antonio Galeano, has ordered an overhaul of police training and operational policy, requiring the stun guns to be used only when there is a "risk of serious injury".

The review, to be released today and obtained exclusively by The Australian, marks the first time an Australian authority has recognised the possibility the stun guns can injure or kill, especially when fired repeatedly at a person. "The possibility of Taser use causing or contributing to death is possible and cannot be ruled out," the review warns.

The Arizona-based manufacturers have repeatedly denied the weapons can kill.

The report is expected to influence the nationwide rollout of Tasers, amid mounting evidence the weapons are being used by police as an everyday compliance tool and not as a non-lethal substitute for a standard gun in high-risk situations.

Sources have told The Australian a coronial investigation has concluded that amphetamine addict Galeano, 39, was deliberately shot 28 times, each time for a duration of up to five seconds, after he confronted police with a steel bar at his unit in Brandon, south of Townsville. It was initially claimed the stun gun might have malfunctioned or that there was a glitch with the built-in computer system recording the number and duration of shots from the weapon.

But investigators will allege the policeman repeatedly Tasered Galeano, who dropped the metal bar after the first few shots, while he lay unarmed and writhing on the floor. He died minutes later while still in handcuffs.

Civil liberties lawyers called for a criminal investigation into the death of Galeano in June, when The Australian revealed he had been shot 28 times. Until then, police had claimed he had been shot only two or three times.

It will be announced today that the freeze on the rollout of Tasers to 3000 general duties officers -- ordered after the death of Galeano -- will be maintained while police move to implement the recommendations of the review.

Meanwhile, the 1200 Tasers with the Queensland police force will remain in operation. But the use of Tasers is under threat, with the CMC recommending they be modified so a single shot lasts no longer than five seconds, and that a limit be put on the numbers of times the weapon can be fired. Police have been told by the manufacturer that "at this stage, this is not feasible with the Taser X26" -- the $15,000-a-piece weapon being used in Queensland and around Australia.

The review recommends that Queensland Police fit an automatic video device on the weapons, which records every time the Taser is pulled from its holster. Queensland police last year refused to buy the weapons with the optional "Tasercam" because of the cost.

Civil liberties lawyer Scott McDougall, director of the Caxton Legal Centre, said police should be forced to table in parliament every deployment of the stun guns in Queensland. He said an independent medical study should be conducted on the weapons, and a freeze on their use should be implemented until the findings were released. "We have clients who were Tasered who were not offering any resistance to police," he said. "Fears that Tasers would be used as a compliance tool may have come to fruition around Australia."


'Urinating' Queensland cop shocks onlookers

There really are some charmers in the Qld. police

A QUEENSLAND police officer is being investigated after allegedly being caught urinating on a poker machine inside a Sunshine Coast nightclub last night. The officer has been stood down pending the outcome of an investigation. This follows another police officer being stood down after allegedly clocking 223km/h during an authorised pursuit.

In the latest incident, a group of off-duty police officers were celebrating the departure of several colleagues from the force at the Blue Bar at Alexandra Headland, when it is understood an officer was caught urinating on a poker machine inside the premises. CCTV footage from the club has been seized and it is understood the alleged incident was captured on a mobile phone.

Senior officers from the region are investigating the allegations, with oversight from the Ethical Standards Command. The Crime and Misconduct Commission has also been informed about the investigation. Staff at the Blue Bar refused to comment about the incident.


Vindictive NSW police

What a charming lot they are!

Bikie solicitor Lesly Randle may sue police after being thrown in a cell for more than an hour, manhandled and denied access to a telephone - all for not having her driver's licence.

In an uncomfortable role reversal for Ms Randle, who represents Comanchero motorcycle gang members charged over the airport brawl earlier this year, she yesterday faced court as a defendant. Police charged Ms Randle with using a mobile phone when not permitted, driving while not carrying a licence and resisting or hindering police in execution of their duty. But with a two-day hearing due to begin yesterday, police dropped the resisting arrest and licence charge in return for a guilty plea to the mobile phone offence.

Ms Randle yesterday told The Daily Telegraph the events that day had left her "upset, disturbed and absolutely humiliated". She admitted speaking on her mobile phone as she parked outside Waverley Local Court but claimed Senior Constable Adam Staples - who had been having a cigarette nearby - then threatened to "smash" her window if she did not open it and produce her licence. She was ultimately "grabbed" by the arms and dragged in front of the courthouse, in a manner which witnesses described as her being propelled along the footpath.

She was locked in a jail cell with police refusing access to a phone. "I informed the police I was due in court next door for a bail application and due to appear in the Supreme Court at 2pm so it was important that the relevant people be contacted," she said yesterday. However, Ms Randle said a female officer at Waverley simply laughed and told another officer: "Go tell (Ms Randle's client) his lawyer's locked up and he won't be getting bail today."

When Ms Randle was finally let out, on the express orders of the local court magistrate who was informed of the situation by Ms Randle's barrister partner John Korn, she claimed she was pushed twice by officers as she was released.

Ms Randle, who represents most of the Comanchero accused over the fatal brawl at Sydney Airport earlier this year, subpoenaed CCTV footage which she claimed supported her assertions against the police. Magistrate John Favretto fined her $238 plus $76 court costs.

Outside the court, Ms Randle said she was considering a civil suit against police. "It's quite disgraceful that a police officer in the absence of any lawful basis can take somebody's liberty and refuse them access to a telephone at a time when there were only one or two other people in custody," she said.


Stupid Leftist workplace laws exposed for what they are

Workers and bosses 'worse off'

The Rudd government's award overhaul will be delayed by six months, after the Australian Industrial Relations Commission admitted the revamp would increase costs for employers and potentially cut the take-home pay of workers. The commission ruling undermines Julia Gillard's long-stated claim that the creation of the modern award system was not intended to increase costs for employers or disadvantage employees.

A commission full bench, headed by its president, Geoff Giudice, yesterday found the government's objectives were "potentially competing". "It is clear that some award conditions will increase, leading to cost increases, and others will decrease, leading to potential disadvantage for employees, depending upon the current award coverage," the full bench said.

Employers and unions criticised the process yesterday, saying companies and workers would be left worse off. Industry groups said the commission had "brought out into the open" the fact that, despite Ms Gillard's original undertaking, there would be additional costs on business.

The IRC ruling is the latest in a series of setbacks for the government's award modernisation plans. The Workplace Relations Minister was forced to make special provisions for the restaurant and horticulture industries, which had warned that the government's plans would bankrupt many businesses that employed people on weekends and in the evenings.

The ACTU said that, under the IRC's ruling, low-paid workers would effectively suffer a reduction in their take-home pay from January but be forced to wait five years before receiving the full benefits of increased award wages and penalty rates.

Ms Gillard's office last night pointed to part of the commission's decision, which it said made clear the government's "competing objectives" would be dealt with through the "formulation of appropriate transitional provisions".

Limiting the proposed five-year transitional arrangements for the new awards to matters affecting pay, the commission said it had decided to shift the start-up date of the new system from January 1 next year to July 1, to allow employers and employees to come to terms with changes that might have a "significant impact".

Increased costs for employers would be phased in through five annual instalments, each equivalent to 20 per cent of the proposed overall increase. Some but not all employers would be able to absorb additional costs into existing over-award payments while workers would be able to apply for "take-home pay orders" where they believed they were worse off.

Employers expressed further concern after the commission stated it wanted to provide protection for new employees from a reduction in take-home pay as a result of the transition provisions. Industry groups said they would seek clarification from the full bench. The commission said the impact of the award revamp on particular sectors of the economy was a matter of great significance in the process. "On the material presented to us concerning the national and international economy, it is clear that we should take a cautious approach where cost increases are in prospect," the full bench said. "We have decided that any costs increases resulting from the introduction of modern awards should be spread over a lengthy period."

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that, even with the transitional arrangements, the new national industrial awards would "have a considerable sting for many employers in industries traditionally covered by state industrial relations systems".

The chamber's chief executive, Peter Anderson, said: "Recognition by the tribunal that current economic conditions warrant a cautious approach in making new awards is welcome. However, the tribunal's conclusion that 'cost increases are in prospect' will disappoint employers who have relied on government assurances that the process was not intended to increase their costs."

ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence accused some employer groups of running a "scurrilous" campaign to overstate the impact of the award changes. He said unions were disappointed that thousands of low-paid workers would have to endure a five-year transition period before they saw the full benefit of a lift in their award wages and penalty rates. "Unions are concerned that the transition provisions are limited to wages and some penalty rates will not apply to workers' allowances and other job conditions," Mr Lawrence said. "This means that many workers will see cuts to their take-home pay through these award modernisation changes. These reductions in allowances and changes to job conditions will come into effect from January 1, 2010, and result in immediate losses for workers." Mr Lawrence said the loss for workers from January next year unfairly contrasted with the five-year phase-in for rises in wages and penalty rates.

The Australian National Retail Association said the acknowledgment from the commission that employment costs would be forced up was long overdue. "Award modernisation has failed to deliver a cost-neutral outcome," said the association's chief executive, Margy Osmond. "On Sundays alone, the cost of retail employment will rise by $100 million. "The transitional arrangements are not unreasonable. The phase-in of higher costs in five equal annual increments is better than the original proposal. "We also welcome the six-month reprieve before higher penalty and casual rates are phased in from July next year."

As Ms Gillard is overseas, Acting Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Mark Arbib last night released a statement saying the commission had done "an exceptional job". "The government welcomes the decision of the AIRC to provide for an orderly and measured transition to the new modern and simple awards," Senator Arbib said. "The government is pleased that the commission has decided to utilise the full five-year transition period provided in the legislation and to phase in key award changes in simple equal instalments. "The government is on track to deliver a profound reform for Australian employers and employees that has defeated governments for several decades."


What a cock-up!

More badly-needed medical schools graduates are coming out and finding that there are no training places in hospitals for them. A medical degree MUST be supplemented by "hands on" training but places for such training have not been provided for all graduates. Instead we import poorly trained doctors from India and other third-world countries! Yet again, Australia is catching the British disease

PUBLIC hospitals across the country will be forced to close their internships to hundreds of overseas-born, locally trained medical graduates in three years, despite the nation's desperate need for doctors. As Australia prepares to spend $18million trying to recruit health workers from overseas, it has already begun turning away willing interns from the ranks of international students from Australian medical schools because of a lack of training funding and resources.

The Australian Medical Students' Association expects no state will be able to offer internships to international students with Australian medical degrees by 2012, when domestic medical graduate numbers peak. AMSA president Tiffany Fulde said the number of internships available after graduation had not kept pace with the explosive growth in the number of domestic medical students, let alone those from overseas.

About 2920 domestic and 517 international students are expected to graduate from Australian medical schools in 2012, up 60 per cent and 22 per cent respectively on last year's levels. "We're just in front of this wave of students coming through and all the predictions show it's going to be really tough to find enough (intern) spots in 2012," Ms Fulde said.

Overseas students who had trained for up to six years in Australian universities and paid $200,000 in tuition fees would not be the only casualties, she said. The health system would also forgo a cohort of committed graduates trained to Australian standards at a time of chronic health workforce shortages. "Having invested in them and trained them, we send them away and then we spend more money recruiting people from overseas," Ms Fulde said.

Federal and state governments have promised a new national body, Health Workforce Australia, to better co-ordinate the workforce, starting with a $18m international recruitment campaign. But The Australian revealed this week that the agency is one of several new health workforce initiatives, ranging from under-subscribed nursing undergraduate places to return-to-work schemes, that are struggling to get off the ground.

Fourth-year University of Western Australia medical student Nishant Hemanth from Singapore said emotions were running high among overseas students over the poor planning that had led to the internship crisis. "Many were extremely disappointed and shocked. They thought this was a severe case of discrimination," she said.

Most sixth-year international medical students in Western Australia this year will go without an internship offer from their state health department for the first time, and NSW and Queensland have also struggled to meet demand.


More public hospital negligence

Man 'stuck' to bed pan after being left on it for a long period

A SYDNEY hospital is searching for answers after an elderly patient was allegedly left on a bed pan for five days and required surgery to remove rotting skin from his buttocks. However, Dr Matthew Peters, who heads the respiratory ward at Concord Hospital in Sydney's west, is doubtful about some aspects of the story.

The man remains there as a patient. It is understood the 80-year-old man has limited English skills and is a large person.

"It is true that he was on a bed pan for a period ... and he does have a bedsore and that bedsore has complicated his stay," Dr Peters told Fairfax Radio Network. "But it's not even in the ball park of five days. "He was sick before all this started. He remains sick now but he is improving."

Dr Peters challenged a Fairfax newspaper report that said the patient's skin was decayed so much that the bedpan was stuck to him. "I believe that's erroneous," he said. "He certainly has a nasty bed sore on his buttock. "I've never seen an incident of this nature in a very long time in hospital medicine." The man did require surgery "to cut away some of the tissue that had begun to die off", he said.

Dr Peters also said hospital staff were working to determine how the injury occurred. "It is a little bit unclear - the most plausible explanation is a simple error of communication or handover," he said.

NSW Premier Nathan Rees told reporters in Sydney that the incident had been referred to the Health Care Complaints Commission for investigation.


School wins right to hire male handler for aggressive student

Except for the complete destruction of school discipline by Leftist "educators", this would never have arisen. It is a disgrace that anyone was ever exposed to danger by an unrestrained monster like this. Plenty of thrashings in response to his acts of violence would have slown him down and taught him the badly-needed lesson that violence begets violence

A SCHOOL has won permission for a male handler for a primary pupil so violent the principal fears for the safety of teachers and other pupils. The special school in Melbourne's eastern suburbs was given an exemption by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to employ a man to supervise the youngster, because he is too dangerous for women. The school will now spend between $35,000 and $42,000 a year on the "education support" officer, the Herald Sun reports.

The youngster's "extreme" violent behaviour is escalating, despite intensive counselling and constant talks with the boy's family and protective services officers, the tribunal heard. The boy, not yet even a teenager, is so unruly he is allowed to use the playground only for a limited time in school breaks and under one-on-one supervision. He was also regularly hauled from class because of the disruption he caused, the school's application to the tribunal stated. The age of the youngster has not been released, but the school only accepts children aged five to 12.

The school contended it was "very difficult to provide a safe work environment for our staff, most of whom are female, and for our student population, without a male education support officer".

VCAT gave the school an exemption from anti-discrimination laws so that it could specifically employ a man for the role on August 26. "This student has exhibited extreme violence both within and outside school grounds," VCAT deputy president Anne Coghlan said in the tribunal's decision. "He demonstrates threatening and aggressive behaviour towards students and staff."

While the school accepts students with "severe behaviour disorders", its assistant principal confirmed the latest measure was a first. "This is the first time we have ever done it, that's purely something we decided as a staff to do," she said. "Within our school we have mainly women (staff)."

Australian Education Union state president Mary Bluett said in rare cases some special schools had to take the measure for extremely difficult students. "They get to a size and physical strength that it is a challenge to restrain them for both their protection and the protection of others," she said. "What it is, on the face of it, is an enormous effort by the school to maintain the student in their care and education. "At least we are not back in the dark days where these children were actually shut away. "In these cases we have to make every effort to ensure it is a safe working environment for teachers and other children."

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development spokeswoman Karen Harbutt said the department backed the school's decision.



Paul said...

We are also being inundated with dodgy nurses from India and Africa, who arrive here via England.

Paul said...

Its not a school discipline issue, its an intellectual disability (lack of) services issue. "Kids" like this were institutionalized and medicated for many years, and with damn good reason. Now in these enlightened times he gets to be himself, go to school, disrupt everybody elses education, and realize his full potential, unencumbered by little things like sanity, normal moral and social development, appropriate medication etc. Our nations future serial killers should expect no less in these competitive times if they are to achieve their full potential.