Wednesday, December 14, 2011

PC police strike Christmas at Inner Sydney Montessori School

'Merry Christmas' replaced with 'Happy Holidays'. I think the father who objected to this has his kid in the wrong school. Montessori schools have always been "progressive" -- though whether it's "progress" to be doing the same thing for over 100 years is an interesting question. Most of the other parents probably agreed with the school and see Christmas as just a quaint folk custom of no particular importance

A SCHOOL is accused of stealing Christmas after removing all references to Santa, carols and Christianity in end-of-year celebrations.

Three to six-year-olds at the Inner Sydney Montessori School replaced the festive lyrics "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" with "We Wish You A Happy Holidays".

One angry parent said he would withdraw his daughter from the Balmain school next year, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The dad, who did not wish to be identified, said: "There were about five songs and not one of them mentioned Christmas. There was no Santa or Christmas decorations or a Christmas tree or any reference to Jesus. "Is this politically correct? I don't understand."

He said some of the children were so confused they blurted out the word Christmas while singing: "They should not force this on young kids. Christmas is meant to be all about Santa and presents."

The Inner Sydney Montessori School said it offers an "inclusive co-educational, non-denominational" education for children from diverse backgrounds from birth to age 12. Principal Cathy Swan said the complaining parent had misinterpreted what went on at the school.

"This is the first complaint I have received about this ... I am sorry this parent felt that way. We have Christmas activities going on all over the building," she said.

"Our policy is that we give children keys to the world and we show them many celebrations including Christmas. We look at all cultures and the particular ways that people celebrate such as Easter, Christmas and Chanukah." Ms Swan said the end-of-year songs without Christmas references may have been an "attempt by one teacher to address the fact that she had Hindus and Jewish children in the classroom".

"Chanukah is happening at this time of year as well. Our parents are multicultural but so are my staff ... we do celebrate Christmas," she said.

Montessori Australia Foundation office manager Sandra Allen said each school was independently owned and operated and had its own policy. "It is a secular education system so no particular religion is taught," she said. "Some schools may choose to celebrate holidays such as Chinese New Year or Chanukah or look at these events from a cultural point of view.

"I have had an email from a concerned member of the public and I pointed them to our website. "It is one school only that I've heard of - it (complaints) are not widespread."

Australia has 190 Montessori schools and 25,000 in 120 countries around the world.


Detention centre censors media reports

Soviet Russia in Australia?

IMMIGRATION Department officials will have the right to censor information gathered by journalists during a tour of the Inverbrackie detention centre today.

Strict rules have been imposed on media outlets that agreed to attend, including reporters being banned from interviewing or "engaging in any substantive communication with any detainee clients", or even moving away from their departmental tour guide.

The Advertiser will not be part of the tour because it refused to sign the department's 19-page "deed of agreement".

Every second of broadcast news segments about today's visit will be checked by Immigration Department censors, using "media content review forms" to order reporters to "pixelate, mute or delete" any material that identifies people or is not in the interests of the department.

The agreements have been controversial when used interstate and have been boycotted by some print media outlets.

But the Immigration and Citizenship Department has defended its use of the agreements as a protection of privacy for detainees and because the practical application of the deed was not heavy-handed.

It argued detainees could bolster their refugee status if media coverage of the tours in their home country identified them and put them at risk. "DIAC is willing to grant ... access to immigration detention facilities in a manner that respects the privacy of the detainee clients residing in such facilities," the deed states.

But the document also seeks to protect "the Australian Government's interests", "national interests" and the department's "responsibilities".

Newspaper Publishers' Association chief executive Mark Hollands said the deed was "appalling" because it censored final editorial content. "While access documents ... will often seek a certain behaviour or provide level of access, none that I have ever seen will demand the censoring of journalism at the end of access," Mr Mr Hollands said. "It brings shame and suspicion on the Australian Government.

"The association understands concerns that the department might have with regard to the identification of detainees and any repercussions that might have on their family and friends in their country of origin," he said. "However, the association believes media will be sympathetic to these issues."


Greedy wharfies flexing their muscle again

So management strikes back

A STEVEDORING company chaired by Chris Corrigan has locked out hundreds of wharfies and helicoptered in non-union labour over union pickets to unload ships, in an escalating dispute that presents Bill Shorten with his first challenge as Julia Gillard's new Workplace Relations Minister.

POAGS, a supplier of stevedoring logistics and port management services, has locked out 320 workers at Fremantle and Bunbury in Western Australia and Port Kembla in NSW after claiming bans imposed by the Maritime Union of Australia had rendered parts of its business unviable.

In a key development last night, the union's assistant national secretary, Warren Smith, said the company told him late yesterday the workers at Fremantle and Bunbury would remain locked out even if they lifted their bans.

Mr Smith said the company warned that the employees would not be let back through the gates until a national agreement was reached. "They're doing an Alan Joyce on us," he said, referring to the airline chief executive's grounding of the Qantas fleet and threat to lock out workers in October.
Free trial

Management staff unloaded at least two vessels at Port Kembla after being flown by helicopter over a picket line set up by MUA members.

Union officials sought to blame the escalating dispute on Mr Corrigan, the POAGS chairman and former Patrick chief who took on the MUA during the bitter 1998 waterfront dispute. "It is like Chris Corrigan is the Grinch, who cannot help himself but ruin Christmas for wharfies," said the union's assistant West Australian secretary Will Tracey.

Mr Shorten refused to comment last night, claiming it was inappropriate for him to talk about the dispute as Chris Evans remained Workplace Relations Minister until a swearing-in ceremony of new ministers today. This is despite Mr Shorten giving interviews yesterday when he spoke about a range of workplace relations issues.

A spokesman for Senator Evans said last night the government was concerned by the "apparent breakdown in negotiations and the tactics that are reportedly being employed".

"Nothing is achieved in our modern workplace relations system by engaging in adversarial behaviour," Senator Evans's spokesman said.

"The government urges both parties to negotiate in good faith and, if necessary, seek the assistance of Fair Work Australia rather than escalating the issue."

POAGS managing director Don Smithwick said earlier yesterday the union had imposed indefinite bans at Fremantle and Bunbury and union members at the two ports would remain locked out until the industrial action was lifted. The bans at Port Kembla are due to end this morning.

The company was also using management labour at Bunbury and has contracted out work at Fremantle to Patrick stevedores, Mr Corrigan's former company.

Mr Smithwick said the indefinite bans had made the businesses at Fremantle and Bunbury "unviable".

"Given the nature of the bans and limitations the MUA has imposed at our Bunbury and Fremantle sites, POAGS will not be able to effectively and safely operate in those ports until all bans and limitations are lifted," he said. "Employees have been advised . . . we will not be operating in Fremantle or Bunbury and are therefore unable to provide work until either removal of the bans and limitations or the reaching of an agreement on the terms and conditions of a new enterprise agreement."

Mr Smithwick said the union action, which included a recent round of strikes at different ports, was " totally unjustified and have stalled what had been productive negotiations" over a new enterprise agreement.

POAGS, which had offered annual pay rises of 4 per cent over three years, claims the union's bid for better pay and conditions, including higher superannuation, represented an average 29 per cent increase over the life of the proposed deal.

Mr Smith said the "scab workers" helicoptered in to Port Kembla were given a 20-minute induction before starting a 12-hour shift, endangering themselves and other workers. A POAGS spokesman said the workers were adequately inducted and trained.

The union's southern NSW branch secretary, Garry Keane, said: "Rather than bargaining in good faith, POAGS is declaring war on its workforce and, in the process, recklessly endangering safety on the waterfront."

Mr Smith said the union was pursuing average 5 per cent pay rises and additional superannuation at most ports. While parity was being sought at two ports, he said awarding the union claim around a new grading structure would not have the financial impact asserted by the company.

Union officials said the company had unsuccessfully applied to Fair Work Australia to end the bans, which were legal and supported by the workforce.

South Coast Labor Council secretary Arthur Rorris said the company's decision to fly in workers at Port Kembla was a "gutless" attempt to avoid coming face-to-face with hard-working employees who just wanted a safer work place and equal pay.

Mr Tracey said: "We're still hoping for an outcome. . . but that's looking less and less likely."


Your regulators will protect you -- NOT

He was eventually deregistered only because he failed to pay his registration fees!

IT HAS taken 10 years but the rogue obstetrician Roman Hasil has finally been forced to face a litany of allegations by patients at a northern NSW hospital.

Yesterday, the Slovakian-trained doctor fronted a NSW Medical Tribunal hearing to answer to 15 serious complaints of abuse and malpractice made by some of the women he treated at Lismore Base Hospital between 2001 and 2005.

Dr Hasil was suspended from practising in NSW in February, 2008, after the Herald revealed a damning inquiry in New Zealand found he had botched eight of 32 sterilisation procedures and was drunk on duty.

Yesterday, Dr Hasil, who has a history of alcoholism, turned up to the tribunal wearing jeans and thongs and representing himself.

He had nothing to say yesterday after the Health Care Complaints Commission alleged professional misconduct for several failings, including inadequate or no medical notes for all 15 patients, not wearing gloves during a perineal repair, not introducing the labour induction drug syntocinon at a reasonable time and for "rough", rude and inappropriate behaviour.

The full set of allegations went "way beyond" what was condensed for the tribunal, said the barrister Sarah McNaughton, SC, appearing for the commission.

Dr Hasil has a chequered history in Australia, including being investigated by Tasmanian police in relation to the unsolved 1995 murder of an Italian tourist, Victoria Cafasso.

The NSW Medical Board had ignored warnings from its Tasmanian counterpart that Dr Hasil lied about being jailed in Singapore in 1995 for domestic violence against his second wife, Rose Doyle, and registered him anyway.

Yesterday, the commission also told the tribunal he failed to notify the NSW Medical Board that he was convicted of high-range drink driving in September 2008.

He was finally deregistered in September 2009, after he failed to pay his fees. He was again convicted of high-range drink driving in October 2009 and has a conviction for assault.

He also sustained a major head injury from a fall in October 2009, which had resulted in a physical or mental impairment likely to affect his ability to practise medicine, Ms McNaughton said.

He failed the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' assessments four times.

Connie Scholl said she had not recovered from the ordeal of allegedly being abused by Dr Hasil in 2002 while stitching her vaginal and anal area after birth, calling her "horse woman" after she kicked him in the face in pain.

Her written complaint to the commission alleges that, "As Dr Hasil was getting up off the ground I heard him say to the midwives, 'stirrup the bitch' … it was also at this time that Dr Hasil said to me, 'you Australian women don't know how to have babies"'.

She alleged he forcefully put his hand on her vagina and said, "Who is the boss now?"

Ms Scholl complained to Lismore hospital in September 2003, but it failed to act. Ms Scholl said she was angry that none of the victims had received an apology from the hospital management and no one had been made accountable. She wants Dr Hasil struck off the medical register for life.

"There are about four women who will never have a normal sex life again and there are many more women … who emotionally haven't recovered. And I'm one of them. I can't walk into a hospital or a doctor's surgery and feel safe. The trauma is still there. I fall apart with a panic attack, it inhibits my life with work, my kids and the thing that really angers us is that the hospital knew what he was doing and not one of them [from management] have come forward and admitted fault."


Queensland becoming 'Greensland'

"Saturday’s announcement in the Weekend Australian by the national director of the Wilderness society, Lyndon Schneiders that Coopers Creek, Georgina and Diamantina Rivers would be protected under the Wild Rivers Act was later confirmed by the Queensland Environment Minister, Vicky Darling. Normally the Minister makes the announcement and is supported by various groups. These events leave no doubt that the Greens are dictating environmental policies and the Government is endorsing them," Senator Boswell said.

In previous weeks we have had the American environmental group, PEW telling the Federal Minister to close a million square kilometres of the Coral Sea and this week the declaration of the Lake Eyre catchment. Queensland has become the epicentre of Labor’s capitulation to the Greens in exchange for preferences at the next state and federal elections.

Senator Boswell said, "Wild Rivers laws severely limiting economic activity on Cape York and in the Lake Eyre catchment were dog whistles to Green voters from state Labor about future World Heritage listings."

The decision by federal Labor to close 50% of the Coral Sea to all commercial and amateur fishing and 100% to trawling was another dog whistle for votes as Labor seeks to turn Queensland into 'Greensland'.

“The Wild Rivers decisions provide a holding pattern for World Heritage values on the Cape and in the Georgina and Diamantina catchments that dominate flows into Lake Eyre,” Senator Boswell said.

“The Greens and elements in Labor have been promoting World Heritage listing for both for many years and Labor is now accommodating those aspirations by ensuring that the heritage values are protected - pending bids for listing.”

On the 16th June, 2011, I placed a question on notice (649) to the Minister for the Environment, I asked if the Wild Rivers legislation was declared in the Lake Eyre basin would it not be a precursor for World Heritage listing and asked the Minister to confirm this would not take place without the support of the people that live work, and gain a living from industries within the catchment areas.

Former Environment Minister, Peter Garrett had dog whistled the Greens in 2009 by declaring the 1 million square kilometres of the Coral Sea that falls within Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone a Conservation Zone.

Press release from Sen. Ron Boswell dated 12/12/11

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. No less than FOUR police stories today

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have a surgeon here in the North that I was warned about when I first arrived 1997. This year, 2011, another surgeon was finally prepared to step up and stand against him after having to repair three or four of his botched gastric bandings, pretty much in succession. The guy worked at the local Private Hospital. They knew about multiple issues over the years and yet were quite happy to continue hosting him. He's been stopped by his Board now. One of the problems of the Private sector is that they see the Doctor as the customer, not the patient. Doctors don't necessarily band together to protect each other, but they are very cautious when it comes to speaking against one of their own, simply because of the other medical dicti: "There but for the grace of God...." and "It wasn't me there, I don't know what he was faced with".

I've witnessed Nurses taking proper steps against bad colleagues only to be left feeling that they were the ones being targeted. Many people I know will never report anything to Queensland Health as a result of things they have seen happen to others who did so. Bullying did became a bit endemic at Management levels during the Nuttall years.