Thursday, March 31, 2011


Former Labor MP and former Queensland police sergeant Peter Pyke today slammed police commissioner Bob Atkinson over his piss-ant policy on police pursuits which he says has demonstrably stripped the police of their ability to fight crime in Queensland.
Pyke says street cops are fuming and he calls on the cops’ union to get off their lazy bums and to tell the Bligh government it is time for Atkinson to go and sit on a beach somewhere and let police do their jobs which – incidentally commissioner - includes catching criminals.

The story so far: Pyke says that around midnight on Monday 28 March 2011, this week, a white Nissan 1999 utility was stolen from Torrington, West Toowoomba. Through the good work of alert uniformed police who were nearby police quickly located the stolen vehicle driving around in Wilsonton not far from where it was stolen. This first police unit to sight the stolen ute was a marked police mobile patrol which attempted to stop the Nissan utility using their lights and sirens, that’s their job. When the stolen car accelerated away and attempted to evade police, the officers were forced to pull over and stop their marked police vehicle whilst the stolen vehicle was allowed to drive off.

Yup, that’s right, in accordance with commissioner Atkinson’s instructions, despite it being late at night and other traffic virtually non-existent, police are not allowed to pursue stolen vehicles. Full stop.

Pyke says that what followed is enough to make any Queensland citizen wonder. He says that
all police in Toowoomba were then advised directly by the Toowoomba Communications Controller that they were to ‘observe’ the stolen vehicle only but were not – repeat – not allowed to chase it.

Pyke, who monitors police radio transmissions, says that for the next 45 minutes, every police mobile unit in Toowoomba, Helidon and Gatton districts were forced to sit on their hands and watch as the stolen vehicle drove past several police cars and off into the night. He says an unmarked detective’s unit was the second police vehicle to get behind the stolen car and activate it’s lights and sirens to try to stop it but was forced to pull over when the stolen ute kept driving. A marked Dog Squad unit also got behind the stolen car but was also directed not to attempt to stop but to ‘observe’ the Nissan utility only.

Pyke says there were more than enough police units in the immediate area to have quickly detained the utility at around midnight on a Monday night when only cops, baddies and taxis are to be found driving around and the risks of a member of the public being harmed by a responsible pursuit would have been minimal.

“For the sake of a short sharp chase, the stolen Nissan utility and its offending occupants could have been stopped on Monday night within minutes of it being stolen at a time when there was no traffic about and it would have been safest for police to attempt to do that. And isn’t that what we train, equip and pay police to do?” asks Pyke.

Pyke says as if this isn’t bad enough, days later the stolen Nissan ute is still being driven around Toowoomba’s streets with impunity and has been used to commit other crimes.

“The Nissan ute now has false plates CJR-61 screwed onto it and twice on Wednesday 30 March 2011 the stolen vehicle drove into the bottle-shop of the Southern Hotel in Kearneys Spring, Toowoomba where it’s occupants happily loaded up with slabs of Jim Beam bourbon and drove off without paying. Twice, once in the afternoon and the second time at about 10.00 PM,” Pyke says.

Pyke says all this proves that Queensland cops have lost control of the streets because of their inept, incompetent and politically-compromised commissioner.

“Now what happens?” asks Pyke. “It’s a stolen car, it has stolen false plates on it, it keeps driving into bottle-shops and stealing alcohol. What are police supposed to do next time they see it driving past? Wave?”

Pyke says the Bligh government is at fault for extending Atkinson’s contract way past his use-by-date. He is calling on Queenslanders to make their own judgements about whether he is right and police have been forced by Atkinson to hand over control of Queensland streets to the criminals. He says Queenslanders who support street cops doing their jobs should voice their anger at this situation.

But Pyke says there is a twist to this matter, “In our system, all sworn police officers hold the ‘office of constable’ under the rule of law,” says Pyke. “I say no-one can tell a sworn officer he or she may not arrest a person they suspect of committing a criminal offence. In fact, anyone who prevents a sworn police officer from doing so might be arrested for obstruction or as a party to the offence.” Pyke urges cops to look it up.

Pyke says cops should ignore Atkinson and do their jobs which is to catch criminals and put them behind bars.

“I call also on Premier Bligh to explain why her government extended police commissioner Bob Atkinson’s contract when he has reduced police to mere ‘observers’ of crime,” Pyke says.


The above is a Press Release from Peter Pyke, 0427 388 598, -- of today's date

Unbelievable: Social workers leave nine-year-old boy alone at Melbourne's Coburg Lake late at night

SOCIAL workers abandoned a nine-year-old boy in a Melbourne park at night because it was unsafe for them to stay with him. The boy was left wandering around Coburg Lake in the dark until a passer-by noticed him and called police, 3AW's Neil Mitchell reported this morning

The Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu, said he had ordered an investigation.

Details leaked to the radio station piece together the night of February 25, when a group of children under the care of Department of Human Services were taken to Coburg Lake on an outing.

The nine-year-old apparently didn’t want to leave the lake when it was time to leave, Mitchell said, and DHS workers were instructed by their supervisor to leave him there. Police called the DHS unit involved but a worker told officers they were knocking off and police should take him home.

Police quizzed staff at the boy’s home as to why they had left the boy at the lake and not bothered to pick him up. The staff reportedly said it was too dangerous for a worker to stay at the lake at that time of night, Mitchell said.

Responding to the shocking case on Radio 3AW today, Mr Baillieu said he had ordered an investigation into the case as soon as he was alerted to it. “(It) is absolutely unacceptable. We will be conducting an investigation into this and dealing with the consequences,” he said this morning. “Anyone in control or guardian, parent or otherwise of a nine-year-old should not leave a nine-year-old in the dark.”

Mr Baillieu said workers who left children unattended at night shouldn’t be in positions of trust and authority.


Liberal Party immigration spokesman rejects "extremist" tag

THE opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, has rallied to the defence of "the mob" who oppose the carbon tax and boat arrivals and said "sound-minded" Australians were being demonised by Labor as extremists.

In a National Press Club address, he hit back at race-baiting claims and said the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, "needs to stop insulting Australians for disagreeing with her".

Reviving a theme from his election blog last August, Mr Morrison said "the mob" raised families and paid taxes. The Liberals would stay faithful to them because they were the same people as Menzies' forgotten people and Howard's battlers.

However the extremist tag has caused ructions within the Liberal Party, particularly after the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, appeared beside offensive posters at a rally opposing the carbon tax and Mr Morrison made comments on talkback radio about asylum seeker funerals.

Questions about "the moral burden" of decisions in the immigration debate should also be applied to the government's policies, Mr Morrison said yesterday.

"What we are seeing in the absolute mess and misery of our detention network - of those who are drowning at sea, or crashing against rocks at Christmas Island, or those who are wasting in camps as group after group come … I don't accept that as a morally acceptable outcome," he said.

Another boat, carrying 37 asylum seekers, was intercepted yesterday and will be taken to Christmas Island, the first since riots broke out this month.

Refugee advocates said yesterday a man held at the Curtin detention centre was in hospital after trying to hang himself.

A 20-year-old Afghan man took his life at the same centre on Monday, and another 20-year-old Afghan committed suicide at the Scherger centre in Queensland a fortnight ago.

A mental health adviser, Professor Louise Newman, has warned of "suicide clusters" in detention centres and has asked the Immigration Department to review its policy. The government has said the deaths would be investigated.

Linda Briskman, chairwoman of human rights at Curtin University in Perth, said mandatory detention had criminalised people seeking refuge.

Refugee groups expressed concern that overcrowding at North West camp on Christmas Island, which was partly responsible for riots, was now occurring at mainland detention centres. About 300 men from Christmas Island arrived at the Curtin centre at the weekend.

Ms Gillard said she was "determined" to have a mandatory detention system and it was "the right thing" for Australia.

The Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said asylum applications should be processed on the mainland because it was cheaper, easier and faster. "We have very vulnerable people locked up with very little access to information."


Another "safe" Queensland school

Will Queensland schools end up like this? The same lily-livered policies are at work

A 14-year-old boy was stabbed at Southport State High yesterday after he and a fellow Year 10 student were sent to the principal's office for fighting. Students claimed the boys were involved in a violent lunchtime brawl in a classroom and later heard screams as one allegedly stabbed the other in the stomach in the administration building.

The victim suffered damage to an internal organ but is expected to make a full recovery after surgery at Gold Coast Hospital.

Police arrested his alleged attacker near the school and seized a knife which it is believed he took to school. He was last night charged with unlawful wounding. The Courier-Mail understands police are working on the theory the incident was not gang related but may have been linked to alleged bullying.

A male student said he saw one boy "smashed against a bubbler" and thrown into a wall in the lead-up to the stabbing.

Gold Coast police inspector Geoff Palmer said yesterday he was unaware of any gang problems at Southport High but detectives from the Child Protection Investigation Unit were investigating.

Insp Palmer said the stabbing followed an "altercation" between two 14-year-old students. "There were no other children in danger and the school was not placed in a lockdown," he said. Insp Palmer appealed for any student witnesses to come forward.

Latest Education Queensland figures show 303 Southport High students were suspended in 2009, up from 160 in 2006.

In September 2009, a Southport High student was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm after allegedly bashing a fellow student. The victim allegedly needed plastic surgery after the attack, which happened just days before a Southport State School pupil, aged six, was found with a knife in his bag.

Yesterday's stabbing was the latest in a series of knife incidents at Queensland schools in recent years.

The Queensland Teachers Union last year warned that teachers and principals had to be more vigilant about knives in schools.


Incompetent Egyptian surgeon kills NSW woman

A COMPETENT surgeon should have known the reason for Heidi Clarke-Lewis' massive blood loss and been able to do something about it, an inquest into her death was told yesterday.

Professor Andrew Korda told the inquest a sharp medical tool known as a trocar had struck the 29-year-old's spine during an operation to remove an ectopic pregnancy, causing the fit, healthy patient to bleed to death.

Giving expert evidence yesterday, Professor Korda said it would have been "like hitting a nail into a wooden table" and should have alerted surgeon Dr Samy Nassief to the possibility of damage to major vessels.

Professor Korda agreed with assisting counsel Peggy Dwyer that he would have expected a "competent general surgeon" to identify the source of the bleeding, clamp major arteries and call for assistance if needed. "Most general surgeons should have enough rudimentary knowledge to repair a vascular injury," Professor Korda said.

Ms Clarke-Lewis died during the surgery for the ectopic pregnancy at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital on April 30, 2009.

A post-mortem examination found she died from an intra-abdominal haemorrhage, after injuries to her right common iliac artery and vein. Professor Korda said the trocar caused the damage to the artery, after entering her body about 2-3cm off target, and resulted in Ms Clarke-Lewis losing more than four litres of blood.

Dr Nassief should have made a larger incision to look for the site of the bleeding about 10-15 minutes into the surgery, he said.

"The appropriate response would have been to extend the incision and try and find out where the bleeding was coming from," Professor Korda said.

A second doctor called in to assist Dr Nassief made that larger incision after arriving in theatre about 90 minutes later but was not able to find the direct source of the bleeding in the time.

Nurse Cherie Anderson has previously told the inquest that she believed the trocar's safety mechanism failed, meaning that a sharp blade had been exposed within the stomach of Ms Clarke-Lewis.

Professor Korda said: "If a trocar is inserted in a manner in which it hits the fifth lumbar vertebra, no safety mechanism will protect the patient."

But he was not critical of Dr Nassief's decision to operate on Ms Clarke-Lewis because he said ectopic pregnancies were unpredictable.



Three articles below

How big an effect on world temperature will Australia's proposed carbon tax have?

Lord Monckton has been kind enough to give me the straight answer that Flannery et al will not - and his answer explains exactly Flannery's embarrassed silence:

Q. What is the central estimate of the anthropogenic global warming, in Celsius degrees, that would be forestalled by 2020 if a) Australia alone and b) the whole world cut carbon emissions stepwise until by 2020 they were 5% below today's emissions?

Answer a). Australia accounts for (at most) 1.5% of global carbon emissions. A stepwise 5% cut by 2020 is an average 2.5% cut from now till then. CO2 concentration by 2020, taking the IPCC's A2 scenario, will be 412 parts per million by volume, compared with 390 ppmv now. So Man will have added 22 ppmv by 2020, without any cuts in emissions. The CO2 concentration increase forestalled by almost a decade of cap-and-tax in Australia would thus be 2.5% of 1.5% of 22 ppmv, or 0.00825 ppmv. So in 2020 CO2 concentration would be 411.99175 ppmv instead of 412 ppmv.

So the proportionate change in CO2 concentration if the Commission and Ms. Gillard got their way would be 411.99175/412, or 0.99997998. The IPCC says warming or cooling, in Celsius degrees, is 3.7-5.7 times the logarithm of the proportionate change: central estimate 4.7. Also, it expects only 57% of manmade warming to occur by 2100: the rest would happen slowly and harmlessly over perhaps 1000 years (that's the real meaning of Flannery's 1000-year point, and it doesn't do him any favours).

So the warming forestalled by cutting Australia's emissions would be 57% of 4.7 times the logarithm of 0.99997998: that is - wait for it, wait for it - a dizzying 0.00005 Celsius, or around one-twenty-thousandth of a Celsius degree. Your estimate of a thousandth of a degree was a 20-fold exaggeration - not that Flannery was ever going to tell you that, of course.

Answer b) . Mutatis mutandis, we do the same calculation for the whole world, thus:

2.5% of 22 ppmv = 0.55 ppmv. Warming forestalled by 2020 = 0.57 x 4.7 ln[(412-0.55)/412] < 0.004 Celsius, or less than four one-thousandths of a Celsius degree, or around one-two-hundred-and-eightieth of a Celsius degree. And that at a cost of trillions. Whom the gods would destroy .

If you'd like chapter and verse from the IPCC's documents and from the peer-reviewed for every step of this calculation, which takes full account of and distils down the various complexities and probabilities Flannery flannelled about, you'll find it in this paper.

A cautionary note: the warming forestalled will only be this big if the IPCC's central estimate of the rate at which adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes warming is correct. However, it's at least a twofold exaggeration and probably more like fourfold. So divide both the above answers by, say, 3 to get what will still probably be an overestimate of the warming forestalled.


Greenie thinking converts an otherwise decent man into a Fascist

EVERY Australian family should be limited to just two children to curb the population explosion, controversial millionaire Dick Smith says. He called for a China-like quota on the number of kids, warning the growing burden on our resources was like "a plague of locusts".

Likening high-rise apartments to chicken coops, the former Australian of the Year thanked property developers at an Urban Taskforce population debate in Sydney for "not lynching" him after he attacked their drive for profits and called for an end to the growth addiction.

"It's either going to be forced on us or we are going to plan to stabilise," Mr Smith said. "I would like to see Australia stabilise at 24 to 25 million. I don't see it by force I see it by saying to parents, it's best to have two kids. I see us having an immigration intake of 70,000 per year."

Unaffordable land prices left generations of children stuck in apartments, he said. "We descended from hunter gatherers - not from termites," Mr Smith said. "We are putting our kids into high-rise because we are running out of land, because people want and need to live close to the city. We pay $50 million a year for free range eggs for our bloody chooks to be free range - what about our kids? I was a free range kid. I had a backyard. We are starting to lose that now, and it's only driven by the huge population increases."

Population growth had to slow to allow housing to become affordable again, he said, warning bad handling could lead to a recession.

Mr Smith called for an end to "stealing resources" from future generations. "We have to decide - are we like locusts that breed to huge numbers and then die off? Or are we like the majority of other magnificent natural creatures in this country which have lived in balance for millions of years?" he said.

" We have to decide we're going to live in balance or breed up and die off. There are people who say we will get to 9.1 billion and one enormous catastrophe will wipe out most of the people and if that's going to happen enjoy the advantages now. That might not happen."

Mr Smith said the economic system was built on "perpetual exponential growth". "We are completely addicted to growth. It's like the religion of capitalism but it is a false God," he said

MacroPlan economist Brian Haratsis called Mr Smith alarmist and "using scare tactics" He said population debate in Australia had been stolen by "anti-growth people with a Green sentiment". "We can triple the population of Australia if we want to and we wouldn't use much land. You only have to jump in a plane to Sydney and fly to Perth and what do you see? Not much."

Mr Haratsis said a population of 40 million was inevitable and that "the only choice is if we want a really big Australia of 40 million to 80 million".


Dam good invention the answer to our dry land's problem

I HAVE a brilliant idea for water management in Australia. What this dry continent needs is a way of storing and reticulating water to vast numbers of people in cities. I have come up with an invention that I call a "dam".

Let's build these "dams" outside each major city so that water might be stored and drawn down upon when needed. It's so simple and so cheap I cannot believe that no one in government or the bureaucracy has thought of it before. It sure would save a lot of money.

There are by my count six desalination plants either recently completed or under construction in Australia.

These things can cost in excess of $5 billion plus financing and operating costs. A "dam" on the other hand can store and deliver vastly more water at a cost of say $2bn. There, I've just saved the taxpayer $3bn and that's on a single project.

Of course, my idea for a "dam" is not new; I have nicked it from history. The last dam built to supply Sydney was the Tallowa completed in 1976 when the metropolitan population was 3.1 million.

Some 35 years later Sydney's population has expanded by 1.5 million, or 48 per cent, and there's no plan to add another dam for at least another decade, if ever.

This is extremely odd. I do not recall a conversation let alone a furious public debate about the management of Sydney's, or any other major Australian city's, water future.

At what point over the last three decades was a decision made that no new dams should be built and that future water supplies should be based on more expensive options such as desalination plants and/or pipelines?

Other cities are in much the same position: Melbourne has added 1.2 million since the completion of the Thomson Dam in 1984 and Brisbane has added 1 million since the Wivenhoe was completed also in 1984.

I have never understood the anti-dam lobby's argument that "why build a dam when it will never fill?" So, if this was the case and we had two dams both at 20 per cent capacity then doesn't this deliver twice the water security of one dam at 20 per cent?

I do understand that the construction of a dam will have a detrimental environmental impact. But environmental impact statements articulate the negatives. They never properly account for the positives associated with a dam.

And, yes, there are positives. More water for an urban population allows householders to develop gardens which attract birdlife and contribute more generally to what environmentalists call "the urban forest". I'm all for urban forests -- let's deliver the water these forests need to flourish and in so doing deliver quality of life to millions.

Do environmental impact statements incorporate the health costs of old people struggling with "bucket back" caused by watering restrictions? What about the psychological impact on those who fret about not having enough water for their gardens? No, not relevant?

Another dam has not been built in Brisbane's Lockyer Valley since the Wivenhoe which in turn was partially a flood mitigation device following the 1974 floods. How much water would have been retained by a second dam had it been built in say the late 1990s or early 2000s? What degree of calamity might have been averted by the existence of such a dam?

Surely flood mitigation is a positive impact of a dam. And what is the response of those whose influential water reports of the 1990s and the 2000s argued that we cannot rely on regular rainfall in the future to fill dams? Do these experts now concede that they got it wrong? If you got it wrong then why should we rely on your advice that we should not build dams in the future?

I might add that my argument in support of dams is not entirely in the interests of the property industry. Which do you think the property industry would prefer if it was purely self-interested: a desalination plant costing $5bn or a dam at $2bn?

The Australian people are indebted to the anti-dam lobby for forcing behavioural change with regard to water usage over the past 30 years: we have evolved a long way from water profligacy. But there comes a point in a city's growth when practical and hard-headed decisions need to be taken.

We haven't built a dam to service Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane for a generation. We've had a dam-building hiatus and we've moderated our water usage, now it's time to build cost-efficient dams.

Or at the very least let's have a conversation about the subject rather than allowing various levels of government to solely pursue less efficient and more expensive alternatives such as pipelines and desalination plants.

There may well be a place for these "insurances" against another decade-long drought in the future, but we also need to be considering dams as a way of delivering baseload water supplies for our biggest cities in the 21st century.


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