Sunday, April 24, 2011

Riots among illegals ongoing in Australia

This is excellent. It gives publicity to the fact that illegals are often not granted residency and are locked up for long periods. It is the publicity from just such riots that put a stop to illegals coming during the term of the previous conservative government

Three protesters remain on the roof of Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre, as detainees stage a sit-in and go on a hunger strike at Western Australia's Curtin facility. Two of the trio at Villawood have been on the roof since Wednesday morning, the same day a riot involving up to 100 detainees broke out leaving nine buildings gutted by fire.

Twenty-two of those protesters were transferred to Silverwater Correctional Centre, where they were questioned by Australian Federal Police.

On Sunday morning, three detainees were still on the detention centre's roof, protesting against the rejection of their asylum applications.

"They are being negotiated with. Currently, the Australian Federal Police are in charge of the negotiations," a Department of Immigration and Citizenship spokeswoman told AAP on Sunday morning. "They have asked to speak to department staff. We are prepared to meet them, if they come down from the roof."

Meanwhile, Social Justice Network spokesman Jamal Daoud has complained of mistreatment by police. Well known for speaking out on behalf of refugees and detainees, Mr Daoud said he was handcuffed and forced to kneel after an argument with police on Saturday afternoon at the centre.

He said he was taken to Bankstown police station and later released with a $350 fine. "The police officers were acting with deep hate, disregard to basic civil rights," he alleged.

In Western Australia, refugee advocate Ian Rintoul said a hunger strike and sit-in involving around 300 detainees at Curtin Airbase detention centre, in the state's remote West Kimberley region, was expected to escalate. Their protest over visitors being prevented from going to the centre over the Easter weekend began on Saturday morning, Mr Rintoul said.

"The asylum seekers are asking that they be allowed to see refugee supporters, who have travelled from Perth and cities to see them over the Easter weekend," Mr Rintoul said in a statement on Sunday. "Serco (the centre's management company) have insisted that only one-on-one visits will be allowed, an arrangement that will only allow about 50 asylum seekers to see a visitor."


Serious and rational Labor party minister fed up

Tanner was one of the few who understood economics and tried to apply it

ONE of the Labor Government's "gang of four" key ministers has taken a swipe at his former colleagues and reveals that one of Kevin Rudd's grand election promises - a powerful business advisory panel - was pure fantasy that never existed.

In the first memoir written by a Rudd government insider, former finance minister Lindsay Tanner also describes Ms Gillard's "moving forward" election slogan as setting "new records for banality".

Mr Tanner, who quit politics on the same day that Julia Gillard became Prime Minister, said the 2010 election campaign was the "worst in living memory", with "banal slogans, robotic delivery, and trivial policy announcement deployed by both the major parties".

He also says Ms Gillard has dyed her hair red for years to help build her personal brand. "It makes her more noticeable. She has registered as an individual personality in the sideshow."

Delivering a damning assessment of politics, Mr Tanner largely blames the media in a new book, Sideshow, for descending into "info-tainment" rather than serious policy analysis.

Mr Tanner, who was one of the "gang of four" ministers who ran Labor's policy agenda, also writes that the media failed to twig that the government did nothing for two-and-a-half years to deliver on a key economic pledge by Mr Rudd in 2008 to boost national savings.

In 2007, when Mr Rudd announced the business advisory panel headed by the respected Sir Rod Eddington, The Australian "splashed the story on its front page, complete with a big photo of a smiling Rudd and shadow treasurer Wayne Swan".

"Did anything actually happen?" Mr Tanner writes. The truth, he explains, was that "Kevin Rudd may have announced the creation of the advisory panel but ultimately it was never established".

"In spite of occasional cursory inquiries from journalists about when the names of its members would be announced, no one ever worked out that it was a chimera. A potentially highly embarrassing story was never written," Mr Tanner said.

The Sunday Telegraph did not obtain an embargoed copy of the book, released this week, but was briefed on key extracts, and understands Mr Tanner:

* DENIES he was the source of damaging cabinet leaks that derailed the ALP's election campaign after it was claimed that Ms Gillard opposed an aged pension increase, accusing the media of ``collective psychosis" after he refused to rule himself in or out as the culprit.

* ATTACKS Ms Gillard's 2010 election slogan of "Moving Forward" as a cliche that would have irritated anyone who had spent time with second tier business executives.

* REVEALS the ABC edited out of a Lateline interview a stumble when he was asked by Leigh Sales to describe Mr Rudd in one word and replied, "Nasty." Mr Tanner quips his gaffe was edited out because he thought he was talking about John Howard.
His book is believed to pull its punches on the ETS debate, following Mr Rudd's claims that Ms Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan were in favour of dumping it while Mr Tanner and Senator Penny Wong were against.


On the 2010 campaign:
"The worst in living memory. Banal slogans, robotic delivery, and trivial policy announcement deployed by both the major parties."

On federal politics:
"Modern politics now resembles a Hollywood blockbuster: all special effects and no plot."

On the press gallery:
"Journalists like to pick up on Gillard's earlobes, Rudd's earwax, Anna Bligh's botox, Mark Latham's man-boobs."

On Julia Gillard:
"Some might think it's strange that Gillard dyed her hair red. In fact, it's perfectly sensible: it makes her more noticeable."


Rationed maternity care in NSW government hospitals

PREGNANT women are being bumped from NSW hospitals despite having booked in, as the baby boom and an increase in birth complications put more pressure on maternity units. Many large public maternity units have introduced a cap on numbers and geographical limits on patients.

But one mother, who was not accepted at her hospital, was forced to do a four-hour round trip on public transport to bring expressed milk to her premature twins. When Prue Corlette, from Rose Bay, went into early labour with IVF-conceived twin boys last month, she was told there was no room at the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick.

The 15 high-care cots in its neonatal intensive care unit were occupied, and the closest ones available were at Canberra Hospital, John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle and Liverpool Hospital. Ms Corlette chose Liverpool, which at 45 kilometres away was a lot closer than Canberra (288 kilometres) or Newcastle (163 kilometres).

"But from the moment I got into the back of the ambulance, the continuity of care I had built up with the staff at the Royal was gone," she said. "Up until then I had been seeing one dedicated midwife and obstetrician throughout my pregnancy. They knew the type of birth that I wanted and I knew what their preferences were."

She gave birth to one baby vaginally, and the other was delivered in an emergency caesarean section for which she was under general anaesthetic.

"When you are expecting premature twins, you want to be able to trust and have some kind of relationship with the people looking after you," she said. "I have to wonder what would have happened if my own doctor was there, whether the outcome would have been different."

Ms Corlette's midwife and obstetrician were unable to attend the birth at Liverpool Hospital as they are both employed by the Royal Hospital for Women.

Born nine weeks premature, baby Theodore weighed 1840 grams and Hugo 1770 grams. They stayed at Liverpool Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit for 10 days. Ms Corlette was discharged after three days. But she could not drive after the caesarean and was forced to undertake a four-hour round trip on public transport to take expressed breast milk to her babies.

"It was a bus, two trains and a walk to the hospital," she said. "The whole trip took two hours door to door from Rose Bay to Liverpool to take milk in a freezer bag in for the twins."

While geographical limits apply to the Royal Hospital for Women, it accepts women with high-risk pregnancies from outside the area. "If RHW's neonatal intensive care unit reaches capacity, babies can be referred through the state-wide network to other NICUs within NSW, and then return to RHW's NICU when a cot becomes available," a hospital spokeswoman said.

The Royal Hospital for Women is one of the state's busiest hospitals, delivering about 4000 babies a year.

The busiest is Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Women and Babies in Camperdown, where 5321 babies were born last year despite being designed for a capacity of 4000 births when it opened in 2002.

Two years ago the hospital was forced to transfer about two women a month to nearby Canterbury Hospital when it reached critical mass but that number has halved following new limits on numbers.

Westmead Hospital, which delivers 5200 babies a year despite being funded for only 3800, has also introduced caps on women living outside the area.

Australian Medical Association president Andrew Pesce, also an obstetrician at Westmead, said: "The birth rate has increased and yet beds have been closed and the funding has not expanded in the way that it needs to to look after the number of women booking in. "The staff-to-patient ratio - especially the number of midwives - is not what it should be. All of these are contributing to the situation."

The birth rate in NSW has been steadily increasing since the introduction of the baby bonus in 2004, rising from about 85,000 a year to 96,000 last year. Caesareans and multiple births have also increased, according to the latest NSW Mothers and Babies Report. Dr Pesce said the proportion of older mothers has also increased, along with obesity and diabetes.

Ms Corlette's sons were transferred back to the Royal Hospital for Women when cots became available. She took her twins home last week and is relieved that they are healthy, but questions how such a large hospital can end up overbooked.

"The problem with the Royal Women's is that it was opened in 1997 when the birth rate was decreasing," she said. "They could not have foreseen the birth rate as it is now."

The NSW government will spend $42 million over four years to meet the demand for maternity services. Reducing the caesarean rate to 20 per cent by 2015 is part of the plan to alleviate pressure on public maternity hospitals.


Australia's Thermopylae

Full details of the battle here. The action was much more complex than the one fought by Leonidas and his Spartans but the spirit was as dauntless and the odds also great.

And, unlike Thermopylae, the enemy was stopped. The Chinese were numerous, well led, well-trained and even had the advantage of surprise -- but were not prepared for the doggedness of Anglo-Saxon troops

JULIA Gillard has credited Korean war veterans with laying the foundations of the modern Australian army at a ceremony to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong.

Surrounded by towering mountains in a rugged landscape where Australians foiled the Chinese army's final assault on the South Korean capital of Seoul in April, 1951, the Prime Minister said too few Australians knew the history of the battle.

Watched by surviving veterans and their families on the first day of a three-day visit to South Korea, Ms Gillard said the men had been worthy inheritors of the Gallipoli legacy.

"You, the men of Kapyong, know your story," Ms Gillard said. "I believe it is time more Australians did."

The battle began on April 23 as Australian troops form the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Australian regiment were preparing to celebrate Anzac Day with a nearby brigade of Turkish soldiers also fighting to protect South Korea from the communist north.

But their preparations, including collecting wild azaleas to make Anzac wreaths, had to be put on hold as the Chinese launched their spring offensive, with more than 300,000 troops pouring through the Kapyong Valley in a bid to take the Korean capital. "It was the final attempt to take Seoul," the Prime Minister said.

"That night the defining night for the Australians in the Korean Way began. Kapyong - the great fighting withdrawal - the battle that stopped a breakthrough. "That night you fought them. In the dark, radios failing, telephone lines cut, outnumbered."

She said the men had come to Korea carrying the Gallipoli legacy of "mateship, courage, teamwork and initiative". "You were more than worthy of the tradition you inherited," she said. "You have added to it for the heirs you have today.

"You came here as the sons of ANZAC, you left here as the fathers of our professional army. "And on operations in Afghanistan or East Timor, in training overseas, the modern Australian Army is still Kapyong's child."

The ceremony had a commonwealth feel with Australian, New Zealand and Canadian servicemen on hand to welcome the veterans and a British Army band providing the music.

They remembered the 32 Australians who died in the battle as their South Koreans hosts bowed their heads amid the flapping of brightly coloured banners declaring "Korea will always remember your sacrifice."

More than 17,000 Australians served in the Korean War, which cost 340 Australian lives.


Note: I have two other blogs covering Australian news. They are more specialized so are not updated daily but there are updates on both most weeks. See QANTAS/Jetstar for news on Qantas failings and Australian police news for news on police misbehaviour

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