Thursday, November 08, 2012
Stupidity gets its reward
In the absence of strong moral guidelines it always will. But morality is old-fashioned and car theft is treated as a minor crime these days. In my experience police are not even interested in apprehending offenders. Are thieves better off dead? The community might be
Three teenagers are dead and three others are in hospital after a horror high-speed smash involving a stolen car in Melbourne’s north early this morning.
Six teenagers, including a boy and a girl aged 14, were crowded into a Toyota Camry when the unlicensed female driver lost control on Pascoe Vale Road in Coolaroo and slammed into a brick wall next to the Coolaroo railway station just after midnight.
The 16-year-old female driver from Sunbury, as well as a 12-year-old Preston boy and a 14-year-old Pascoe Vale girl died at the scene of the crash, which left the car a crumpled wreck.
Six young people were believed to have been crowded into the Toyota Camry when the driver lost control on Pascoe Vale Road in Coolaroo.
A 16-year-old Broadmeadows boy was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital with life-threatening injuries. A 15-year-old Dallas boy and a 14-year-old Lalor boy were taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital in a stable condition.
All are from Melbourne’s northern suburbs, and none are related.
Paramedic team manager Jonathon McKeown said two male passengers, aged 16 and 15, were critically injured.
The 16-year-old suffered head and leg injuries and was stabilised at the scene by paramedics before being taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition.
The 15-year-old boy suffered abdominal injuries and was taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital in a critical condition. Police said the condition of one of the critically injured boys had since improved to stable in hospital.
Mr McKeown said the 14-year-old boy who was also a passenger in the vehicle was taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital in a stable condition.
Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp said the maroon vehicle had been reported stolen from Meadow Heights, and did not have enough seatbelts for the six teenagers on board.
He said the car was travelling south on Pascoe Vale Road when the driver lost control on a slight right-hand bend in dry conditions.
The vehicle crashed into a "substantial brick wall" about 100 metres further south of the bend, Mr Crisp said.
There are skid marks on the road and police believe speed was a factor in the crash.
Mr Crisp said some young people were risk-takers and believed they were invincible.
"It’s about what we can all do as a community, as family, as friends, to try to protect, discourage and support young people that might actually engage in this sort of activity. It’s a tough one, it’s a community issue," he said.
Mr Crisp said emergency service workers who arrived at the scene were shocked at the carnage.
"As police officers, whether the most junior attending these scene or the most senior looking after a whole region, we take these personally and we shake our heads when we see these sorts of situations," he said.
He urged family and friends of the victims who wanted to visit the crash scene today to take care on busy Pascoe Vale Road, which is an 80km/h zone.
"We know that people will probably turn up here but we just want to send a message, please, that if you’re going to turn up please be careful, don’t park on the road itself and just be very, very careful if you’re coming to the scene," he said.
Police from the Major Collision Investigation Unit cordoned off the crash scene, near the intersection with Barry Road, and the road remained closed until about 7.15am today.
"It’s a very sad day for, not just the families and the emergency workers, but for the Victorian community," Mr Crisp told radio station 3AW.
At least one of the boys who survived the crash is known to police, Mr Crisp said.
The parents will no doubt be grieving. They might like to say what their kids were doing in a stolen car, though. With one of the kids being only 12, one suspects feral parents
THE mother of a teenager killed in a triple fatality claims the Victorian Department of Human Services abandoned her family weeks ago, and is to blame for the tragedy.
Christine Kite, mother of 14-year-old Yasmein Irfan, who died in the crash, said the department walked away from her family three weeks ago.
Obama win punches through to Australian stockmarket
The stockmarket knows an anti-business politician when it sees one
The share market has started trade in negative territory, although losses are far smaller than steep falls in the US.
After the US election result, which maintained the status quo of a Democratic president and Senate but Republican House, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.4 per cent on fears the nation will not avoid an impending fiscal cliff of tax rises and spending cuts.
After the US slide, the local market has been dragged down by losses in mining, energy and bank stocks.
The All Ordinaries Index was down 1 per cent, to 4,491 shortly before 11:00am (AEDT), and the ASX 200 index has also lost 1 per cent to 4,473.
The major miners were all at least 1 per cent lower: Rio Tinto was down 1.6 per cent; BHP Billiton was down 1.2 per cent; and Fortescue was off nearly 2 per cent to $3.98.
The dollar was slipping against the greenback, buying 104.04 US cents.
Three current articles below
Extreme heat in 1896: Panic stricken people fled the outback on special trains as hundreds die
It is as if history is being erased. For all that we hear about recent record-breaking climate extremes, records that are equally extreme, and sometimes even more so, are ignored.
In January 1896 a savage blast “like a furnace” stretched across Australia from east to west and lasted for weeks. The death toll reached 437 people in the eastern states. Newspaper reports showed that in Bourke the heat approached 120°F (48.9°C) on three days (1)(2)(3). It stayed above 100 degrees F (38.8°C) for 24 days straight.
By Tuesday Jan 14, people were reported falling dead in the streets. Unable to sleep, people in Brewarrina walked the streets at night for hours, the thermometer recording 109F at midnight. Overnight, the temperature did not fall below 103°F. On Jan 18 in Wilcannia, five deaths were recorded in one day, the hospitals were overcrowded and reports said that “more deaths are hourly expected”. By January 24, in Bourke, many businesses had shut down (almost everything bar the hotels). Panic stricken Australians were fleeing to the hills in climate refugee trains. As reported at the time, the government felt the situation was so serious that to save lives and ease the suffering of its citizens they added cheaper train services:
“The Commissioner of Railways promised a deputation of members of Parliament to run a special train every Friday at holiday excursion rates for the next month to enable settlers resident in the Western part of the colony to reach the mountains to escape the great heat prevailing.” (Source)
It got hotter and hotter and the crowded trains ran on more days of the week. The area of exodus was extended to allow not only refugees from western NSW to flee to the Blue Mountains but also people to escape via train from the Riverina to the Snowy Mountains. The stories are heartbreaking. “A child sent to the mountains to escape the city heat died at the moment the train arrived.” “Six infants have died at Goulburn since January 1 through the excessive heat.” Towns were losing their esteemed, lamenting the loss of the good reverend, or of their well known miners. Children were orphaned.
“A woman has been brought to the Bulli Hospital in a demented condition, suffering from sunstroke. She was tramping the roads, with her husband, two days before, when she was prostrated by a sunstroke. Her husband carried her through all the sweltering heat to Bulli, taking two days over the journey.” (Source).
In 1896 the heat was causing people to faint, become demented and was even blamed for driving people mad. “Several women fainted in the streets. A little girl, while walking along Surrey Hills, suddenly became demented through the heat.” In Bendigo “a young man named Edward Swift, hairdresser, was so overcome by the heat that he was unable to work, and in despair shot himself, in the breast. It is a hopeless case.” Longreach “police authorities at Longreach received information that a man who was insane was about fourteen miles out of the town.” “The bodies of people who die of sunstroke decompose very quickly”. An axe wielding man in Bourke cut down three telegraph poles before he was “secured” by police. Presumably the real cause of the madness was something else, but the heat was the last straw. “Birregurra was stirred from its wanted sleepiness on Saturday evening last by the appearance in the streets of a mad man who caused no small consternation.” It could be that nuttiness was equally common on other months, or other years. But at the time, people blamed the heat.
With this and people dropping dead in the streets from Perth through Adelaide to Sydney, the heat wave was described as being universal from west to east . It went north into Queensland and south through Victoria.…twice, by which time Australians considered themselves to be “Under Fire”.
Later in 1896, heat waves also occurred in India, Burma, Borneo, America. (It was bad in New York. Listen here.) There was heat in England, Germany and Spain. 1896 was an example of extreme weather. [It was obviously the fault of the evil power stations, eh? Just 14 years earlier, Edison had built the first coal-fired electric generating station. If only people had understood just how dangerous it was. - Jo]
More HERE (See the original for links)
Energy dreams tempered by realism
AUSTRALIA could source 85 per cent of its power from clean energy sources by 2050 according to modelling contained in the government's energy white paper.
But the transformation from coal dependency to a clean energy future would require more than $200 billion investment in new power plants, including $100 billion in renewable sources of powers and $50 billion to $60 billion in gas, it says. The paper also makes it clear that fossil fuels will continue to underpin Australia's energy security "for many years to come".
It says the striking advance of clean energy envisaged is "far from guaranteed" and that some of the technologies are not yet commercially available.
Releasing the paper on Thursday, Resources Minister Martin Ferguson will also demand NSW and Queensland t follow Victoria's lead and deregulate electricity prices to stop soaring power bills.
He will concede that electricity price rises over recent years have hurt households and businesses and are "simply not sustainable".
And he will challenge the states to sign up to energy market reforms that tackle the biggest cause of price rises — on top of the carbon price which, he says, adds only "marginally to costs".
Green/Left coalition continues in ACT despite near wipeout of Greens in recent election
Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury has been handed five portfolios in the new-look ACT government cabinet, announced this morning, while the Chief Minister has retained the Health portfolio.
Mr Rattenbury will take the reins at Territory and Municipal Services, Corrections, Housing, Ageing, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.
Chief Minister Katy Gallagher unveiled her new-look cabinet, this morning, confirming that she will stay on as Minister for Health, and will also take the newly formed Regional Development and Higher Education portfolios.
Ms Gallagher pointed towards reform in ACT Health as her reason for retaining the portfolio.
"A massive reform agenda is underway across the health system and it will be a privilege to serve alongside all the doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and administrators as we continue to build and improve a regional public health system,” Ms Gallagher said.
Simon Corbell has kept his position as Attorney-General, while Andrew Barr will stay on as Treasurer.
Ms Gallagher said the portfolios announced today deliver the right balance of skills, experience, interests and shared workload within a five member Cabinet.
“Finalising the Ministerial arrangements is an important first step in getting on with the agenda we took to the 2012 election along with the shared commitments in the Parliamentary Agreement with the ACT Greens,” Ms Gallagher said.
"I think I can speak on behalf of the ACT cabinet to say that we are all looking forward to serving the community in our new roles and the hard work of the next four years begins today.
“I look forward to working with all of my colleagues as we meet the challenges and opportunities head on and work to create a better and stronger Canberra."