Sunday, January 22, 2012

Amazingly idiotic Leftist bureaucracy

Nurses forced to pay $10,000 to work in hospitals -- because of new rules brought in under the Labor government

NSW is screaming out for hundreds of nurses but those who've been on extended leave must pay $10,000 for a refresher course before they can apply for a job. Almost 1000 nurses trying to get back into the profession after five or more years have been told they cannot work until they take the costly course under nationalised retraining laws.

Concerns the course is expensive, is only offered fulltime and requires those outside Sydney to relocate to Burwood has forced the board implementing the requirements to seek legal advice on whether they are in breach of anti-discrimination laws.

The potential legal snag comes as the O'Farrell Government tries to fill 1400 new nursing positions by next year. The NSW Nurses' Association estimated about 800 nursing positions are currently vacant across the state.

It says skilled nurses would leave rather than find the money and time to do the course but Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the measures would improve the skills base by keeping nurses' knowledge up to date. "I can't see how there is a problem," she said. [What a drongo!]

Applications to the College of Nursing in Burwood for the program which assesses the competence of nurses whose registrations have lapsed or whose qualifications are not recognised in Australia, reveals an extremely low uptake of the program from local nurses.

Of the 197 applicants on the waiting list, 189 were internationally educated nurses seeking qualification in Australia. Only eight were Australians seeking to retrain after letting their registration lapse. The people most affected by the new laws were nurses returning from maternity leave, said Nurses' Association assistant secretary Judith Kiejda.

While they were raising children, NSW law came into line with other states and from July 2010 anyone who had not worked for five years was required to undertake the retraining course.

"It just seems to me to be tragic that we are losing people through the cracks because they just can't afford this huge cost to go back into the profession and they probably just need to brush up on their skills," Ms Kiejda said.

The state government was offering 25 scholarships worth $6000 to help nurses do the course but Ms Kiejda said that would not address the issue.

College of Nursing chief executive Tracey Osmond said indemnity insurance was the reason for the high course cost.


New Zealand convicted criminals slip into Australia to wage crime spree

KIWI criminals convicted of serious crimes including manslaughter and rape in their home country have slipped into Australia and waged a shocking crime spree here.

Border checks are so lax that New Zealand offenders who have served lengthy jail sentences are simply ticking a box claiming they have no criminal history. A computer alert system at the border failed to detect violent and repeat offenders who went on to commit further serious crimes in Australia.

One Kiwi roofer was jailed for 11 years in New Zealand but was waved into Australia and spent his first four months working at the Prime Minister's Sydney residence, Kirribilli House, when John Howard was in office.

Jonathan Rountree admitted he lied on his passenger arrival card and went on to amass a lengthy Australian record for drug dealing, trafficking and assault.

Another Kiwi entered Australia despite being jailed for nine years in New Zealand for manslaughter and rape after a violent sexual assault. The offender, who cannot be named, admitted he lied about his criminal history on his arrival card and was later the subject of five domestic violence orders.

The cases are detailed in Administrative Appeals Tribunal decisions and court cases from the past five years. But they are the tip of the iceberg because the tribunal only looks at cases where people appeal against their visa cancellations.

Kiwis can cross the Tasman on a Special Category Visa under an arrangement to allow freer travel between Australia and New Zealand. Anyone sentenced to a year or more in jail is not eligible for the visa. Immigration can also refuse entry to anyone who fails a character test due to their criminal history.

A global Movement Alert List computer database containing about 630,000 names is supposed to flag people who may be a risk because of serious criminal records. But of the 1.36 million New Zealanders who came to Australia last year, only 175 were turned back at the border for failing the character test. In the three years to December 2011, more than 220 Kiwis who had been allowed into Australia had their visas cancelled for failing the character test.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the government was working with New Zealand to improve sharing of criminal histories to prevent criminals moving between the countries at will. Mr Bowen used his special powers to remove four Kiwis last year after they had won appeals against deportation decisions.

Dylan Murphy Kasupene, a drug addict who served 18 months' jail in New Zealand for car theft, shoplifting, burglary and threatening behaviour with a weapon, was jailed in NSW for break and enter, larceny, stealing, shoplifting and public nuisance before being deported.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said screening safeguards were inadequate. "Australians are rightly appalled when people who come here on visas from any country and are granted that privilege abuse it," he said.

NSW jails last year housed 304 New Zealanders.

The issue of information sharing between the two countries was reignited after convicted New Zealand fraudster Joel Morehu-Barlow came to Australia and allegedly embezzled more than $16 million from Queensland Health.


Julia breaks another promise

JULIA Gillard's axing of the pokies reform promise that secured her power has triggered independent Andrew Wilkie's abandonment of the Labor minority Government. The move means the PM is back to a one-seat buffer in the event of a no-confidence vote that could force an election.

Mr Wilkie said yesterday: "Frankly, a deal's a deal and it must be honoured." "Our democracy is simply too precious to trash with broken promises and backroom compromises. So I will walk, take my chances and so be it," Mr Wilkie said.

The Tasmanian MP scrapped his agreement to automatically support the Government on Budget Bills and defend it against Coalition motions of no-confidence after Ms Gillard tore up her agreement with him to overhaul poker machine laws - meaning there will be no $1 bet limits, and only a limited trial of technology that forces punters to pre-program how much they are prepared to lose.

The decision by the Government to break its commitment to Mr Wilkie followed a major campaign by Clubs Australia and fierce lobbying from Crown casino boss James Packer.

Ms Gillard defended the compromise plan, arguing the support among other key independents was not there for further reforms. "You do have to make compromises, that's the nature of politics," she said.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the outcome only reinforced that the Prime Minister had secured the keys to the Lodge under false pretences.

But Mr Wilkie said he would not back Tony Abbott or an early election in the interests of stability, with the Prime Minister retaining a one-vote buffer even if Mr Wilkie were to switch camps.

Government spin doctors seized on Mr Wilkie's pledge not to back a no-confidence motion that could spark an election unless serious misconduct or corruption was proved, arguing this was similar to his original deal with the PM.

If the Liberals' Peter Slipper had not defected for the job of Speaker late last year the Prime Minister would now be be on a knife edge, but the political coup rendered Mr Wilkie's repeated threats to bring down the Government hollow and cleared the way for Ms Gillard to walk away from the agreement.

Hopes of a $1 bets compromise to reduce losses rather than forcing punters to register to bet were rejected by the Government, which said it would cost $1.5 billion.

The compromise was a first step, Mr Wilkie said, but remained "in breach" of the Prime Minister's original agreement with Mr Wilkie to deliver by 2014. "I can no longer guarantee supply and confidence for the Government because the Prime Minister has told me she can't honour the promise to introduce mandatory pre-commitment on poker machines by the end of 2014," Mr Wilkie said.

"Consequently, I regard her to be in breach of the written agreement she signed, leaving me no option but to honour my word and end my current relationship with her Government."

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon agreed: "How can you respect someone who backstabs the very person that backed her into office?"

Clubs Australia, whose anti-reforms campaign cost millions, welcomed the Government's trial. "Clubs are not seeking the status quo on gambling policy," executive director Anthony Ball said. "However, this reform must be evidence-based and should not destroy the club and hotel industry as we know it."


Pro-life push in Labor Party ranks

LABOR'S anti-abortion forces are rallying behind a new ginger group that will promote and campaign for candidates who are against abortion and euthanasia.

Labor for Life was formed last month to link members with conservative views and, partly, in response to the party's official recognition of gay marriage.

The move is being seen by progressive MPs as a sign Labor's socially conservative rump is muscling up for a fight on issues such as abortion.

Federal MPs who have given their support to the organisation include the Tasmanian senator Helen Polley, who opposed the push for gay marriage at the national conference.

The group's Facebook page also lists the 29 politicians and organisations it views as sympathetic including Senator Polley, the NSW senator Ursula Stephens and the Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke.

"It's really important that members of the ALP who have these views have a group and have people they can connect with," the group's convener, Simone McDonnell, who has previously been a federal Labor candidate in South Australia, said.

"It's really important that we support a diverse range of views, particularly on moral issues."

The group also has links to the largest union, the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, and its staunchly anti-abortion boss Joe de Bruyn.

In 2008, Mr de Bruyn described abortion as the "deliberate destruction of human life" when he clashed with former prime minister Kevin Rudd over a decision to drop a ban on foreign aid funds spent on family planning services.

Labor for Life received a boost at last month's Labor Party national conference where members who spoke against the proposal to recognise gay marriage, including Mr de Bruyn, begged for tolerance for their views.

Ms McDonnell said it was important Labor remained a "broad church".

This was an argument made repeatedly by delegates to the national conference who fear support for progressive issues such as gay marriage and abortion will alienate Labor's more conservative supporters.

Senator Claire Moore, a long-time campaigner for reproductive choice within the party, said she had been expecting a formal anti-abortion group to establish itself for some time.

"It's a message to those of us who feel differently, that we can never be complacent," Senator Moore said.

"We have an increasingly conservative number of parliamentarians. There's a lot of people with less progressive views [than before]."

She noted that Labor for Life also campaigned against the death penalty, making it hard for pro-choice MPs to condemn it out of hand.


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