Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Biker who hit truck wins $700k when appeal reverses fault

This may seem a bit crazy at first but read what the truckie did and you might agree with the judgment. I got caught in exactly the same way myself once but I was in a car so came to no harm. The car was significantly damaged, however. Moving first left and then making a right turn is needed to get a long vehicle around a corner but the left turn can mislead other road users into thinking the way ahead is clear. Truckies should stop and look a bit before swinging back right

A MOTORCYCLIST severely injured in a collision with a semi-trailer has been awarded more than $700,000 in damages after a successful appeal. John Shaw sued David Andrew Menzies and Suncorp Metway Insurance after a collision at the intersection of Balham and Granard Roads at Rocklea, in Brisbane's south, on May 12, 2006.

Mr Shaw was taken to hospital where he was treated for a burst fracture at C5 on his spine, a fractured right leg, lacerations and abrasions.

After a trial in the Supreme Court in Brisbane a judge found Mr Shaw was 70 percent liable for the accident and Menzies 30 percent. However, Mr Shaw appealed both the findings on liability and quantum of his damages award.

In a written judgment released Tuesday, the Court of Appeal, made up of Justice Margaret White, Justice Margaret Wilson and Justice Peter Lyons, allowed the appeal. They found Mr Shaw should have been held only 25 percent liable for the accident, reduced from 70 percent.

"It is clear the defendant carried out a manoeuvre which involved first moving to his left and then back to his right before the turn. It is likely that manoeuvre to the right would be misleading to a person in Mr Shaw's position, as to the defendant's intention," the Court wrote.

The Court of Appeal found total damages at $944,557 but reduced it by 25 percent to reflect contributory negligence. The Court ordered Suncorp Metway pay Mr Shaw a total of $708,418.

SOURCE






Canberra braces for season of protests over Julia Gillard's carbon tax

THOUSANDS of demonstrators will gather in front of Parliament House tomorrow and next week scores of trucks will blockade the building as the Government faces a season of protests over its carbon pricing scheme.

Tomorrow's Election Now No Carbon Tax Rally is expected to be bigger than the March protest which Opposition Leader Tony Abbott addressed in front of signs attacking "Bob Brown's Bitch", Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Organisers want to command a fleet of buses carrying protesters from 13 Sydney suburbs, the New South Wales central coast, the Southern Highlands and Melbourne.

It will be followed next Monday by the arrival of convoys of trucks which could shut down roads leading to Parliament House. It will be the first big-wheel protest since January, 1995, when logger fighting a forest agreement used 350 trucks to circle the Parliament and Prime Minister Paul Keating.

Plans are for 11 convoys setting off from as far away as Port Hedland in WA's Pilbara region, Cairns in Far North Queensland and Bendigo in central Victoria. They will gather at overnight holding areas around Canberra and set off at dawn for Parliament House.

Mr Abbott said today the week marked an "infamous" political anniversary. "This is the week in which we will mark the first anniversary of the Prime Minister's infamous promise to the Australian people before the last election: 'There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead'," he told reporters. "This is a promise that will haunt the Prime Minister and the Government every day until their ultimate political death.

"This Government fundamentally lacks legitimacy and not because it lacks a majority but because it lacks integrity and nothing more highlights the Government's lack of integrity than this monumental broken promise."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard told a cabinet meeting today the Government would stress Australia's economic stability as it fought in Parliament to get two critical pieces of legislation through.

She said there was "big legislation" to be passed this session of Parliament, including the carbon pricing legislation and the mining profits tax.

"There's no better place in the world to be than Australia as we deal with this global instability," Ms Gillard told ministers.

"Our economy is strong, we came out of the global financial crisis strong as a result of the work we as a Government did with the Australian community, including employers and unions to keep people in work. "So, I think the whole nation can be proud of this economy we've built together and it's a very resilient economy."

Tomorrow's rally is expected to be better organised and less inflammatory than the March protest, where the viciousness of the placards detracted from the protest message to the Government.

Sydney radio station 2GB was to have broadcast all day from Federation Square in front of Parliament House but pulled out a few weeks ago. However, other supporters have been found.

In one example, Menzies House, an influential conservative blog site named after the founder of the Liberal Party Robert Menzies has been promoting the rally and the convoy. "This is a great opportunity, and we hope you will be able to take part in any way you can," wrote the managing editor of Menzies House, Tim Andrews.

SOURCE





A billion dollars down the drain

These huge computer projects rarely work. The only certainty is that the costs will at least double. The Brits spent over 12 billion pounds on a similar system and then gave up on it

AN Accenture-led consortium has won the pivotal contract to deliver a national IT infrastructure for the Gillard government's $500 million personally controlled e-health records system.

The team includes Oracle and Orion Health, in a reprisal of the Accenture-led consortium that last year won a $146m contract to deliver Singapore's e-health records program.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon has promised that by July 1 next year, every Australian who wants one will have access to a personal e-health record, leaving a very tight timeframe to complete the project build.

The contract -- originally due to commence last month -- involves the detailed design and construction of the whole system, integration with existing health IT infrastructure across the nation, and testing.

Accenture began hiring for the project last week, seeking staff with experience in Oracle’s service bus integration engine, identity management architecture, business intelligence enterprise suite and Siebel OnDemand customer relationship management.

Orion Health will supply its Concerto medical applications portal, which sits on top of existing information systems and gives doctors a single point of access for patient records, lab results, digital images and service orders.

Accenture has been boosting its health IT credentials for some time, with a particular focus on the public sector.

It is understood there were four serious bidders for the national infrastructure project, with CSC, IBM and Fujitsu unsuccessful.

The Accenture contract is the largest of four tenders called for private-sector partners to work with the National E-Health Transition Authority on delivery of the $500m PCEHR program.

NEHTA has a managing agent role.

Last month, Ms Roxon awarded a $30m contract to a McKinsey and Co-led consortium for the national change and adoption program, while Ernst & Young received $1m to provide independent oversight of the whole project and advise on progress.

And a PricewaterhouseCoopers-led consortium has been allocated $5.8m to act as the benefits and evaluation partner.

SOURCE






Agricultural land use rules put mining projects worth $100bn in doubt

THE shifting ground rules over miners' use of agricultural land will affect developers of mining projects worth $100 billion in Queensland and NSW.

The ABARES database on major mining projects shows that coal and coal-seam gas dominate the resource industries in both states, with 21 projects that have received a firm go-ahead and another 75 projects that are at an advanced stage of planning but are yet to receive the final green light.

The three giant coal-seam gas projects in Queensland, worth a total of $52bn, top the list. Their developers have already signed 2600 contracts with farmers for the extraction of coal-seam gas from their properties

However, the coal projects also promise a massive increase in export revenue. The 19 coal projects with firm commitments will increase export tonnage by 20 per cent, which would be worth about $12bn a year at current prices.

Associated infrastructure works add another $8bn to the total value of the coal industry projects under construction, or with firm approvals.

If all the coal projects were to go ahead it would more than double coal output. ABARES expects $60bn would be earned this year from the export of 320 million tonnes of coal, making it the most important commodity.

The Queensland and NSW coal and coal-seam gas industries present the greatest conflict with agricultural land use.

Western Australia's iron ore industry is located in remote areas with little agricultural impact, but both bauxite and gold miners in the state would have to negotiate with landholders.

The ABARES database shows 94 firm projects nationwide worth $173.5bn.

The NSW government last month imposed new restrictions on the issue of mining leases, requiring companies to issue "agricultural impact statements" and foreshadowing the identification of "strategic agricultural land" on which resource development would be limited.

Queensland is reviewing "strategic cropping land" on which resource development would be limited. The Queensland Resources Council has questioned the scientific basis of claims that mining permanently alienates agricultural land.

Malcolm Brennan, a partner with law firm Mallesons, yesterday said mining had a long-established priority over other land uses. "When you acquire land, it is subject to rights reserved to the crown and that includes mineral rights," he said.

"If you find some gold in the backyard it's not yours unless you get a mining licence."

SOURCE




Bowen Orchid Society told it needs bouncers on door of annual conference



In a case of bureaucracy gone mad, the genteel and ageing members of a flower club were told they needed bouncers on the door for their annual conference. The Bowen Orchid Society had more than 200 people from across the country show up for the event in June. Most of the attendees were of an age where pushing up the daisies was more likely to occur than an assault with a deadly petal.

Bowen Orchid Society member and former president Vince Smith said the group was shocked when they were told liquor licensing laws required them to hire some muscle. "Most of them were like me, old and crippled," Mr Smith said.

Club treasurer Pat Tracey said she spoke with the local police and then contacted liquor licensing. "We had to pick three people from our group to be designated security for the night. We were hardly hellraisers," she said.

The orchid conference organisers were also told they could only sell spirits and beer in cans, no glasses - a condition typical of a major race meet.

Queensland Hotels Association membership consultant Steve Aylward said the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation had adopted "a one-glove-fits-all approach". "(OLGR) doesn't seem to recognise the difference between a Hells Angels' reunion and an orchid show," he said.

OLGR said each application was risk-assessed and considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants were encouraged to contact the office if they believed further consideration was needed.

SOURCE


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