Wednesday, October 20, 2010


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is critical of Sydney's Lord Mayor for focusing on arty-farty projects rather than working to alleviate traffic congestion

Four years in jail without trial!

Soviet NSW. Justice delayed is justice denied

A MAN accused over a multi-million dollar cocaine syndicate will finally stand trial almost four years after he was charged, a Supreme Court judge today resoundingly criticising the delays in his case as "significant" and "oppressive".

Justice Stephen Rothman today refused bail for Luke John Sparos, but said there were a number of "troubling" aspects to his decision. One was the delay, he said, and leant his judicial weight to comments by a local court magistrate Geoff Bradd that the case led by the NSW Crime Commission had long been in disarray.

He endorsed the comments made by Magistrate Bradd, who accused the DPP and the Crime Commission of trying to "have it both ways." "(Magistrate Bradd said) you either prosecute this matter or you don’t - to say this is a fishing expedition … well it is just beyond the pale."

Had it not been for the seriousness of the charges and the risk of flight if given his freedom, Justice Rothman said bail would likely have been granted.

"Fatboy" Sparos was allegedly one of two principals to an international cocaine cartel responsible for the importation of around 200kg of cocaine. He was charged in early 2007 with offences relating to alleged proceeds of crime funds, but later charged along with a number of others with a long-running conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of cocaine in July of that year.

Justice Rothman described the Crown case as being strong, but said unacceptable that Sparos had been unable to adequately prepare for his trial due to his lengthy and restrictive situation in custody.

The court even heard how some of the brief provided to Sparos in custody had been "lost" as Department of Corrective Services officials moved him around the prison system.

"It’s inappropriate for a person to be unduly delayed on remand while the Crown get’s its act together," Justice Rothman said. "Of course not all time spent is a delay … but in this case there (have been) significant delays."

Justice Rothman directed the Crown and Corrective Services "to take all steps" necessary to provide Sparos or his legal team with the documents that were originally in his possession.

The District Court registry had notified the Crown prosecutor that Sparos’ trial could begin by the end of February.


ALP suspends NSW upper house president Amanda Fazio over censorship row

Good for her!

NSW upper house president Amanda Fazio has been suspended from the Labor Party for crossing the floor last night over censorship legislation.

The Australian today exclusively revealed Ms Fazio's objections to a new bill that will give police the quasi power to classify material in adult shops as x-rated, and prosecute retailers on that basis.

Ms Fazio, a leading member of the NSW Right but a long-time supporter of libertarian causes, said the legislation was a “joke” and police should spend their time solving crimes with victims.

A senior NSW Labor source said this morning the rules on breaking ranks with caucus were “crystal clear” and Ms Fazio's party membership would be “in limbo” while a party disputes committee deals with the matter.

Caucus convenor Robert Coombs is expected to issue a statement shortly.


The moronic NSW Labor government again

They just won't listen to advice. In typical Leftist fashion, they think they know it all

CAR insurance premiums are set to rise by up to $100 a year because of a bungling attempt by the State Government to crack down on car rebirthing. Cars previously classified as "repairable write-offs" will be prevented from being re-registered in NSW.

Insurance sources said the losses would result in premiums rising between $50 and $100 a year, while car thieves could simply take the cars to other states.

Previously, insurance companies had paid out owners when the cost of repairing a damaged vehicle was more than it was insured for. The insurer would sell the damaged car and, after repairs, a new owner could apply to the RTA for registration. But the Government said thieves were buying "repairable write-offs" at auction and using stolen parts to rebirth and register the vehicles.

Roads Minister David Borger admitted last night he was told by insurers that premiums could rise by 3 per cent. For a Parramatta driver with a Toyota Corolla the increase would be almost $35 a year.

"A measure like this, which is in isolation to other measures and what is happening in other states, is going to be totally ineffective," a spokesman for Allianz said yesterday. "It will only put upward pressure on insurance premiums. Customers are going to be paying more for no benefit."

The NRMA yesterday told the Government its legislation, before Parliament this week, would "have serious adverse impacts for consumers".

Opposition Roads spokesman Andrew Stoner said insurance customers should not be fleeced to pay for a bungled attempt at cracking down on thieves.


Results from school-building "stimulus" vary wildly in two nearby Qld. schools

THEY are both in the same electorate, both have about the same number of students and both have been given $3 million to spend under the Building the Education Revolution.

But the startling difference between what Mount Crosby and Moggill state schools can afford to build under BER has sparked further outrage over the controversial program, which continues to be dogged by claims of wastage.

At Mount Crosby State School, the centre of one of 21 complaints lodged in Queensland against BER, $3 million is not enough to put four walls around an 831sq m hall and to add a 273sq m library and resource centre to the school's existing 111sq m library.

But Moggill State School, which fought to have its own project manager and won, is building a hall of almost 1500sq m and a library and 458sq m resource centre for the same price.

Alarmed by the differences, Moggill State School P&C Association president Scott Meehan says schools that are still to build under BER should be allowed to choose their own project manager, with the rush to roll out the stimulus program no longer needed because the economy had improved.

"DETA (the Department of Education and Training) is administering our project and Mount Crosby – they know what sort of value for money we got for ours," he said. "How could they be comfortable with the value for money that Mount Crosby is getting?" He said Moggill had ended up expanding its hall by another 200sq m when the P&C realised they had change left from the $3 million.

Opposition education spokesman Bruce Flegg said the comparison between Moggill and Mount Crosby showed taxpayers were footing an enormous bill for inadequate facilities at some schools.

He said all schools should be able to choose their own project and construction managers. "This is one of the most outrageous examples of children's education being robbed by incompetent money-wasting administration that has failed to build what some of these very big schools so desperately needed and provided them with facilities which are clearly not able to meet their needs," Dr Flegg said.

But Education Queensland acting deputy director-general Graham Atkins says it is "unfair" to compare BER projects. "No two BER building projects are the same, each requiring a suite of works that must be viewed in the context of the site requirements, input from the community and other factors," Mr Atkins said.

"The site at Mount Crosby State School has required landfill, retaining walls, piered footings and extensive site services due to the site being less accessible and sloping, whereas the Moggill State School site is very flat."

He said it was the school's decision to build a partially enclosed hall rather than a smaller one. "Value for money has been confirmed by an independent audit quantity surveyor at both Moggill State School and Mount Crosby State School," Mr Atkins said.

The discrepancy comes as Queensland's rollout of BER is set to come under renewed scrutiny with the release of finalised investigations over the next month into complaints about value for money.

A recent federal investigation found $1 billion had been wasted in the rush to roll out the recession-busting school program across the country.


Qld. police undermine attempted political coverup

POLICE have apologised for failing to respond to a family's panicked triple zero call despite the Police Minister's claim their story was "total rubbish".

Dennis Trovas and his partner Kylie rang 000 on Saturday night after a confrontation in their front yard at Morningside with a gang of up to 30 aggressive and drunken youths. It was the third time the couple, who have three young sons, had been troubled by the gang but the first time they had called 000.

When no one arrived to deal with their complaint, they called police again and were told to follow up the matter at their local station on Monday morning.

Although police told The Courier-Mail a crew was sent, they said it had been diverted to another job believed to involve the same youths and the officers never responded to that particular call.

When questioned about the incident on radio yesterday, Police Minister Neil Roberts said it was "total rubbish" that a police crew did not respond and claimed officers had gone to Mr Trovas's address after his second phone call at midnight but there was no answer. Meanwhile Mr Trovas said he and Kylie waited up until 1.30am and nobody came.

Yesterday, Kylie said they were disappointed to hear Mr Roberts' account of their experience on radio. "I contacted his office after that, and gave him the correct information," she said.

A senior officer from Morningside then rang the family yesterday afternoon and apologised, said Kylie. "He was very nice and we had a big chat. It seems like it was a mix up in communications from the 000 centre," she said.

However a Policelink employee who contacted The Courier-Mail said police simply did not have the resources to respond to the callout. "It's an out and out case of not having the numbers. It happens every Friday and Saturday night," he said.


1 comment:

Paul said...

You know, with the increasing failure of policing (except with regard to collection of fine revenue), there exists a case for American-style gun ownership laws in this country for our own self-defence.

But, I repeat myself.