Friday, November 27, 2009

Proof that Australians are more honest

The brain-dead "researchers" below appear to take self-reports at face value. That Americans might be much more prone to saying "the right thing" is not mentioned. Australia does have a tradition of bluntness -- of being "fair dinkum" and not "bunging on an act"

AUSTRALIAN boys are more violent than American boys, new research suggests. A study by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in collaboration with the University of Washington asked almost 4000 students aged 12 to 16 in Victoria and Washington state about violent behaviour. They were asked if in the previous year they had either attacked someone with the idea of seriously hurting them or beaten someone so badly that they required medical treatment.

In the first interview, 12.6 per cent of Victorian boys admitted to such behaviour, compared with 10 per cent of Washington boys. A year later the numbers were even higher: 17.5 per cent in Victorian and 12.6 per cent in Washington. The researchers also compared risk factors for violence between the two groups, and found that in Victoria almost 20 per cent of the students admitted to binge drinking at least once, compared with 8 per cent in Washington.

Other factors linked to violence included low-income households, sole-parent status, family conflict and low school grades. The longitudinal study, published this week by the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, found students who were suspended from school or arrested were 1.5 times more likely to engage in violence 12 months later. [Is that a surprise?]

A researcher, Dr Sheryl Hemphill, said that the higher rate of violence in Australia was unexpected. ''This study is important in determining whether we need to specifically address violent behaviour in Australian boys.'' [It sounds like Hemphill has been having a hill of the hemp herself]


Hate crime?

Then how come not all the victims were black? It sounds like no more than a misguided attempt to chase away some noisy kids to me. Playing the race card has clearly come to Australia

AN Australian Army soldier allegedly shot two boys with an air rifle in a Townsville playground in what one victim's family describe as a "hate crime". Digger Craig James Gordon, 31, is accused of wounding two boys, aged eight and 10, after allegedly firing on a group of seven mostly Aboriginal children playing footy in a park in the north Queensland city. Queensland Police and the Defence Department yesterday provided scant details about the soldier and declined to respond to claims of a racially motivated attack.

Ursula Cedric, mother of victim Lloyd, 8, who was treated in hospital for an open pellet wound in his calf, said she was "horrified" by the alleged shooting about 6.30pm on Wednesday. She said the shooting came amid rising racial tensions in the north Queensland city. "These are innocent kids playing footy in a park," said the Wulguru mother-of-seven. "My little boy is scared to go outside. I'm nervous. It's too much. "We've been threatened in our own home."

She said it had all the hallmarks of being a hate crime. "It must be very embarrassing for the Defence Force to get dragged into all of this," she said.

Defence, in a statement, said they were working closely with Queensland Police on the matter. "Defence has strong policies and guidelines for the handling of all weapons, and does not condone the actions of soldiers who mishandle firearms," it said.

Lloyd told The Courier-Mail he thought he was "going to die". "I thought I had been hit with a rock," he said. "But then I felt the pain and heard the crack of the rifle shot. "I looked down and it was like my leg had been sliced open by a knife. "Someone was shooting at us."

His friend, who is not Aboriginal, suffered a minor pellet graze on the ankle. Another boy claimed he felt a bullet whistle past his head. They said the shooter opened fire from a veranda about 50m away.


Another man dies because of an incompetent government ambulance service

No funds for a GPS in each ambulance but plenty of money for a metastasizing bureaucracy

A NEW South Wales man suffering from a heart attack died before ambulance officers reached him because they got lost and did not have GPS, his wife says. The man's wife of 54 years, Velma McFadden, phoned emergency services from a property on the outskirts of the village of Cullen Bullen, near Lithgow west of Sydney, on September 28, she told Macquarie Radio. She waited for the ambulance to arrive, only to be told it was lost. "He was alive when I started CPR," Mrs McFadden said.

Mrs McFadden said a man waited at the local pub for the ambulance so he could direct it to Mrs McFadden's property, two kilometres from the pub. She received a call advising the ambulance was lost. "I was told they haven't got GPS in their ambulances," she said. "That they would have them up here in a couple of years time in the western area."

By the time the ambulance arrived Mrs McFadden's husband was dead.

In a separate incident in far northern NSW this week, an emergency services operator hung up on a man who needed help at a remote property near Boomi. Stuart Jamieson dialed triple zero to get help for a local man who had become seriously unwell after working in the heat. The call was terminated because Mr Jamieson was unable to provide a street number and the operator could not find his location on a map.

The incident followed an inquest earlier this year that found triple zero operators bungled their response to calls for help from Sydney schoolboy David Iredale because they did not have a street address. The 17-year-old died after he became separated from his two classmates on Mount Solitary during a three-day trek in 2006.


Man waits six years to see a public hospital doctor

TOWNSVILLE man Bill Edwards has waited six years to see a specialist at the Townsville Hospital. Mr Edwards was diagnosed with tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, by his family doctor on November 25, 2003 and was referred to see an ear, nose and throat specialist at Townsville Hospital. But on Wednesday, six years later to the day, Mr Edwards said he was more likely to win the lotto than see an ear specialist. "To me it's more ludicrous than upsetting," he said. "Waiting six years for an appointment is just ridiculous."

Townsville Health Service District executive director of medical services Dr Andrew Johnson yesterday said the six-year wait wasn't good enough. "Waiting six years for a specialist appointment is clearly not good enough and we apologise unreservedly for this regrettable delay," he said.

Mr Edwards, now 54, was diagnosed with tinnitus after taking the drug Zyban to help him stop smoking in 2003. The condition is a possible side-effect for a small portion of the population who take the drug. "I've still got ringing in the ears and it seems like I'm stuck with it," Mr Edwards said. "I just want to have it physically checked out and I need the advice of a specialist on how to proceed. "I'm fairly sure that once you've got it, you can't get rid of it but I would still like to know one way or the other."

Dr Johnson said the Townsville Hospital only had one full-time ear, nose and throat specialist on its staff, who saw around 15 patients a week. Another specialist was due to start in January. "We've had difficulty recruiting ear, nose and throat specialists as we're in competition on a global basis for skilled staff," Dr Johnson said. "Unfortunately, this has affected patients who need to see such specialists." He said the hospital had 1692 referrals for appointments with ear, nose and throat specialists so far this year.

Mr Edwards was admitted to Townsville Hospital twice since 2003, for a back operation in 2006 and for an eye problem in 2008. He said the staff were faultless. "It seems once you are in there it's fine but getting in there is the hard part," he said. "I'm on the lowest scale of urgency but ... even if they saw 10 patients a day - that's 50 a week - I'd have more chance of winning the lotto. "I'm on a disability pension and ... I am entitled to medical help."

Dr Johnson said the hospital had scheduled an appointment for Mr Edwards within the next three months. [Big of him!]

Opposition Health spokesman Mark McArdle said Queensland's hospital waiting lists were the worst in the country. "Queenslanders are putting themselves at risk when they place themselves at the mercy of a health system which is pathologically incapable of meeting their needs," Mr McArdle said.


Child protection workers 'fudging figures'

This lot were once the worst in Australia but they have been overtaken in that by the even-worse DOCS in NSW

A SCATHING Ombudsman's report has identified gross deficiencies in Victoria's child protection service, with workers manipulating figures to cover up children neglected by the system. The report, tabled in state parliament today, found 2197 at-risk children, or one in five, were not allocated a case worker as at June 2009. And many allegations of child abuse and neglect did not receive a timely response.

Staff even reported fudging response records to achieve targets. "I received sworn statements from witnesses that the immediate response indicator is at times manipulated to achieve targets," Ombudsman George Brouwer said in the report. "Senior departmental staff said this performance measure was often recorded as met despite the child not being sighted."

The report said families were often lied to about the case being responded to, despite the child not being seen. "Even where the department meets its performance measures it would appear that compliance does not necessarily equate to an effective response to a report." Nonetheless, the report, Own Motion Investigation into the Department of Human Services, Child Protection Program, blamed lack of resources for poor service quality and said the failures were not a reflection on the staff.

Community Services Minister Lisa Neville admitted there were significant failures in the system and said each of the ombudsman's 42 recommendations would be implemented. Ms Neville said she was "disturbed" that figures had been manipulated. "If this is happening it's unacceptable and will stop," she said.

The department had asked for an investigation of these allegations and would report back within three months, Ms Neville said. She said case workers spent 50 per cent of their time in the Children's Court and this was a significant factor in staff attrition. Some 37 child protection workers had been employed since the government's recruitment drive for an extra 200 staff began.

Attorney-General Rob Hulls said the Children's Court would be overhauled to address flaws in the system. The Law Reform Commission was examining court processes and would report back to the Government within six months. "The courts, the child protection sector and the government are as one on this issue - we want to see a less adversarial system that delivers better results for children and reduces the administrative burden on child protection workers," Mr Hulls said.

Meanwhile, the Child Safety Commissioner has released a report into the death of a two-year-old toddler who died after being abused by her father despite being known to child protection workers. The report has not been made public but the Government said it would adopt each of the recommendations.

Ms Neville described the ombudsman's report as sad and disturbing. "Anyone who has read this report will be disturbed that parents are capable of inflicting this sort of abuse on their children," she said.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Call it racist, I don't care, but Aboriginals in Commission houses are a nightmare up here in Cairns. They gather in groups, play loud music till all hours, drink, yell, fight, and then scream discrimination when the police finally get called. Its not a weekend thing, it's any night of the week because the idea of a working week or even a day is alien to them. The Commission does nothing, the police are cowed into going easy by the professional militants who get way too much media for what little of value they have to say. And the decent working people who fund these useless scumbags end up selling up (if they can sell) and getting out. Don't blame the Townsville guy getting fed up and breaking out the shooter. We all are.