Saturday, May 08, 2010

Federal budget spending to target Muslim radicals in bid to boost national security

One of course hopes that it will do some good but I suspect that it is just pissing into the wind. Deporting Muslim criminals at the end of their sentences would undoubtedly be a lot more beneficial

MILLIONS of dollars will be spent trying to halt the spread of radical Islam as part of a big-spending Federal Budget package to bolster national security.

Tuesday's election-year Budget will include hundreds of millions of dollars for national security as Labor tackles concerns it has gone soft on border protection following the flood of asylum seekers in recent months.

The Government will announce "preventative" measures to counter the growth of radical terrorist cells across Australia. While the Government will be careful not to demonise Muslims with its policies, it is understood new programs will target the potential spread of radical extremism in the nation's jails.

Some states already have their own programs, aimed at stopping the rise of radical Islam in prisons. But the Budget is expected to outline a national scheme, with religious classes and better contact between inmates and their families.


Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

The body charged with keeping Victoria police honest was itself corrupt

A "CATASTROPHIC" series of leaks of top-secret operational information about a covert Victoria Police murder inquiry was suspected by senior detectives on the investigation taskforce to have come from the state's Office of Police Integrity.

The head of the murder taskforce, Superintendent Rod Wilson, told OPI investigators in a recorded interview that the leaks -- the most detailed in Victoria Police history and published in The Age newspaper in September 2007 -- were traced to the OPI by several of his detectives, who were going "ballistic" because of the threat to the murder investigation.

When the OPI held public hearings in November 2007 into leaks about Operation Briars, it did not scrutinise itself to determine whether it was the source .

There was no suggestion in the OPI's public report, Exposing Corruption within Senior Levels of Victoria Police, that the OPI might have leaked. The report's only finding in relation to The Age stated: "There is no evidence as to who supplied the information set out in the articles."

The OPI focus involved blaming Victoria Police's then media director, Steve Linnell, and then assistant commissioner, Noel Ashby, for leaks and for undermining then deputy commissioner Simon Overland.

Neither Mr Ashby nor Mr Linnell was in a position to know the operational details published in The Age.

Mr Ashby and the former secretary of the Police Association, Paul Mullett, who were unsuccessfully prosecuted after OPI hearings, accuse the OPI of an unlawful double standard and of abusing its powers to oust them for political reasons.

The OPI's practices have been described as "corrupt" by Mr Ashby's lawyer, Phillip Priest QC.

The OPI's exemption from operational scrutiny and extraordinary powers mean it is not answerable for its decisions.

A transcript obtained by The Weekend Australian shows Superintendent Wilson told the OPI the information being leaked was remarkably accurate and The Age had indicated one of its sources was the OPI.

He believed leaks were also coming from the police Ethical Standards Department and another taskforce.

When the OPI investigator named a senior OPI officer as a possible source of leaks, Superintendent Wilson replied: "Oh, not fingering anyone in particular, but you know, people within OPI were leaking to the, you know, leaking out parts of the story.

"So that was their view. I tried to say, well that could be right, but there are many other sources and avenues, and (Victoria Police) has got a pretty notorious reputation for leaking itself, so let's not go overboard on it.

"But it was like there would be a call come over the TI (telephone intercept), especially the one in relation to the meeting we had in this office. There was (four named people) and me, and next minute they are discussing it over the phone."

An OPI spokesman said there was no evidence to suggest the OPI was the source of the leaks.

"Superintendent Wilson made the comment in 2007 in the context of who had knowledge of the information at the time. He raised a number of possible scenarios and OPI was just one of them. There is no investigation currently into the leak because there was no evidence of who the leaker was. We weren't responsible for the leak, and that is categorical."

The OPI did not release the transcript of the 2007 interview during its investigation into leaks.

Superintendent Wilson said after The Age's report was published: "There's nothing we can put to (the suspects) they haven't read in the article. They know the guts of the case. The consequences or the outcomes or the fallout from the story was that the job was basically over as far as we're concerned."

Simon Overland, then deputy commissioner, was "amazed at the level of detail", while Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said Superintendent Wilson "was very concerned that this proved the existence of a high-level leak, possibly within OPI", as it was clear there were limited parties to the discussions.

Mr Cornelius and Mr Overland were concerned early in 2007 that if Operation Briars were to leak, it would be "catastrophic", and would lead to strong calls for a royal commission.

The operation was established after a tip-off that a serving Victorian police officer was implicated in a murder by providing the victim's address to a hitman.


Conservative leader uses Roman and Medieval warm periods to discredit Warmism

And on the most recent polls, he will be the Prime Minister in less than a year

TONY Abbott has urged primary school students to be sceptical about man-made climate change, saying it was warmer during the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus than it is now.

The Opposition Leader, wrapping up a two-day visit to South Australia yesterday, told Year 5 and 6 students that climate change had always happened and, historically, humans had not been responsible.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said it was "irresponsible and disappointing" for the Liberal leader to encourage climate-change scepticism in the classroom.

Mr Abbott's impromptu history lesson came in a question-and-answer session with students during a visit to the Trinity Gardens Primary School in the marginal federal seat of Sturt, held by Liberal Chris Pyne.

Mr Abbott asked the students if they knew about the Ice Age and if it "was caused by human beings".

"OK, so the climate has changed over the eons and we know from history, at the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus of Nazareth the climate was considerably warmer than it is now," Mr Abbott said.

"And then during what they called the Dark Ages it was colder. Then there was the medieval warm period. Climate change happens all the time and it is not man that drives those climate changes back in history. "It is an open question how much the climate changes today and what role man plays."


Government knew of probable deaths under Greenie scheme but still went ahead

They've got blood on their hands

OFFICIALS in Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett's departments assessed the risk of death or injury under the government's insulation program to be "extreme" three times in the three months before the first of four young workers was killed.

The officials, who were in charge of the rollout of the botched $2.45 billion insulation scheme, believed that, even if steps were taken to address their safety concerns, the risks would still remain "high".

The risk assessments were made on July 31, September 17 and October 1, and concluded that unsafe or incorrectly installed ceiling batts could lead to "fire/damage, injury or death".

The assessments were prepared by the Project Control Group set up to oversee the program, which included officials from the Department of Environment, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and other agencies, including Medicare and the Australian Taxation Office.

The documents were released only after a request from Liberal senator Simon Birmingham during a Senate inquiry into the scheme.

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt last night accused the government of deliberately covering up the documents. "This is a smoking gun that shows the Prime Minister and those around him at the highest levels of government were aware of the risks," Mr Hunt said. "It's clear there was no action to deal with the risk of fatalities. "The government has deliberately kept these documents hidden. It is an unforgivable cover-up."

The first installer to die was 25-year-old Matthew Fuller, who was electrocuted on October 14, on his sixth day on the job.

By the time the insulation program was suspended on February 19, four installers had died and up to 1000 roofs had been electrified.

The program has also been linked to 120 house fires and widespread allegations of rorting.

The officials also concluded that the risk of fraud, including the prospect of installers charging for jobs not carried out, was extreme. They warned that even commonwealth public servants could try to rort the scheme by registering and processing fictitious payments.

A later Project Control Group document, prepared in December, assessed the ongoing risk of fraud to be "extreme" and of poor-quality materials and installations to be "high"....

A review by former public servant Allan Hawke, which led to the program being axed last month, said environment officials regularly briefed the minister on the safety risks. The review found the minister responded in a timely way but said this was "largely reactive" and there had been no proper senior oversight.

The release of the documents came after Assistant Energy Efficiency Minister Greg Combet announced details of the government's foil safety program. The program will cost taxpayers $90 million and brings to more than $155m the cost of putting in and cleaning up the foil insulation program.

The collapse has destroyed many legitimate businesses in the foil insulation industry. Mr Combet was yesterday forced to defend a $15m industry rescue package that insulation installers and manufacturers have said is woefully inadequate.


Federal government forced teachers to call off boycott

Julia Gillard has stared down the teachers' unions and forced them to drop their plans to boycott next week's national literacy and numeracy testing in schools.

The Australian Education Union yesterday called off the proposed boycott of the NAPLAN tests after the Education Minister agreed to set up a working party to examine student performance data.

But Ms Gillard did not agree to remove any information from the controversial My School website, concerns about which prompted the union's boycott threat.

A meeting of the union's federal executive yesterday decided to lift the moratorium on administration of the NAPLAN tests. Before the AEU had time to make its backdown known, Ms Gillard angered some in the union by publicly praising its decision.

It is understood Ms Gillard had struck a deal with the union in the past few days and was told the executive would support a backdown by 11am yesterday. Ms Gillard's statement was sent out before the meeting ended.

AEU federal president Angelo Gavrielatos said Ms Gillard had offered to set up a working party to provide advice on the use of student performance data and indicators of school effectiveness.

"The working party will provide a way to advance and address the profession's educational concerns relating to the misuse of student test data including school league tables," he said.

"It will also provide an opportunity for teachers and principals to engage in a genuine dialogue with the government on a sound approach to school accountability and improving results."

Mr Gavrielatos said the working group provided a resolution to the impasse, which had led state governments to seek casual or relief teachers to oversee the tests.

Ms Gillard said the government would ask the Australian Curriculum, Reporting and Assessment Authority to set up a working group with literacy and numeracy specialists, principal organisations and representatives of the Independent Education Union and the AEU.

The AEU had threatened to boycott the tests because it believed the results published on the My School website were misleading for parents.

Ms Gillard said the tests would proceed next week without disruption, saying the union had made a sensible decision.

She denied she had made concessions to the unions. "The government has always said we were committed to the My School website, that all of the information on the My School website would stay and be updated."

Ms Gillard said the working group would help provide advice on the use of student performance data that would be used to improve the My School website.

School principals welcomed yesterday's resolution, but remained cautious about the proposed working party.

The president of the Australian Primary Principals Association, Leonie Trimper, said she hoped it would prevent misuse of the My School website.

The NSW Teachers Federation executive late yesterday endorsed the decision to abandon the boycott.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Our problem here isn't "Radical Islam" so much as its crime gangs who happen to be from countries with mostly Muslim populations, like the Lebanese. I'm all for deporting anyone from any foreign place that comes here and sets up shop as a career criminal, even to the second generation. That at least creates a deterrent from within the families.