Tuesday, December 04, 2012
African gang violence in Qld too
African kills Islander in brawl
LOGAN ethnic community leaders are calling for calm after the tragic death of a 17-year-old during a brawl at a party on Saturday night.
Jordan Matehaere Tukaki, of Marsden, died after being hit by a car outside the party in Woodridge, south of Brisbane.
Police, African and Pacific Islander community leaders yesterday denied allegations the teen's death was the result of tensions between Logan City imitations of South Central Los Angeles gangs the Bloods and the Crips.
Outside court yesterday Kaya Taylor, 17, said her friend Mr Tukaki was not an official member of the Logan version of the Bloods, but supported them.
She said he was an aspiring rapper and was planning his 18th birthday party later this month.
"He just looked after everyone, he was as humble as can be," she said.
Ms Taylor said she was aware of revenge attacks being discussed on social media, but said it would not be what Mr Tukaki would have wanted.
"From what I've heard the Islanders want revenge on the Africans ... it's not worth it, it could be another brother's life on the line," Ms Taylor said.
She said racial tensions between all nationalities in Logan had been simmering prior to Saturday's incident.
"After this weekend's incident I think it's going to be a problem. People are angry, people are upset," Ms Taylor said.
At Logan police station yesterday, police met Logan's ethnic group leaders and Mr Tukaki's grandmother. "Keep calm for my grandson Jordan, that's what he would want. He was a good boy and he would want everyone to stay calm," she said.
President of the Voice of the Samoan People in Logan John Pale said groups of Pacific Islanders or Africans could be misconceived as gangs. "There is no gangs. A group of Pacific Islanders coming together it is not a gang and Africans are like that as well," Mr Pale said.
Queensland African Communities Council chairman in Logan Robert Mukombozi said community leaders were working to get the message of peace to young people on the streets.
A man, 21, is due to appear in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on January 21. He was remanded in custody yesterday on one count each of murder, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and callous disregard.
Africans in NSW soccer match brawl
FIVE people remained in hospital yesterday, one under police guard, after a mass brawl at a soccer match, during which knives, posts and a chisel were used as weapons.
Police said a young Sudanese woman was at the centre of the street fight in Willmot near Mt Druitt, western Sydney on Sunday afternoon.
Up to 30 people were involved in the incident, which left behind a crime scene spanning almost 2km along Palmyra Ave.
Police said it appeared the fight was sparked after a young woman attended a party the night before, which her male friends were excluded from.
"There was a ticketed party on the Saturday night which the girl was able to get into, but a group of men could not," Chief Inspector Bill Pearce said.
It is understood the woman met someone at that party, which upset her male friends or relatives, who tracked down people from the event.
"We are still interviewing people to piece it all together," he said.
Weapons including a football corner post, a chisel, a spanner and knife were seized by police.
Abraham Ajok, chairman of the South Sudan Football Association of NSW, said the brawl had nothing to do with the club, but they were assisting police where possible.
"None of them were the players, the game was on while they were fighting," he said.
Green/Left desalination plant to cost Victorians heavily
Desalination plants are the Greenie alternative to building dams, for which Australia still has plenty of sites. But Greenies loathe dams with a passion.
MELBOURNE water chiefs have admitted they expect Victorians to struggle to meet the added cost to skyrocketing water bills caused by the Wonthaggi desalination plant.
Releasing details of water price reviews that will see the average household bill rise steeply, water retailers said they expected hardship claims to soar.
The heads of Melbourne Water, City West Water, Yarra Valley Water and South East Water all blamed the desal plant for major price rises forecast for customers from July 1 next year.
They said their hands were tied because of the contract requiring them to pay $650 million to the project's consortium, AquaSure.
But not one would say whether they thought the $3.5 billion plant was too big for Melbourne's water needs, as the French boss of the project revealed in yesterday's Herald Sun.
City West Water yesterday estimated an average annual water and sewerage bill for its residential customers would increase from $793 this financial year to $1060 in 2013-14.
The same bill would rise from $829 to $1118 for South East Water customers, from $910 to $1220 for Yarra Valley Water clients and from $956 to $1014 for Western Water users.
Melbourne Water managing director Shaun Cox said its prices were likely to rise by 60.4 per cent next year, with customers bearing the brunt of desalination plant costs.
Yarra Valley Water managing director Tony Kelly said hardship claims from Victorians unable to pay their bill had already increased from about 1700 five or six years ago to 3000.
"It is very difficult to predict how that number will increase, but we are expecting it to rise because of the significant price rise and we have spoken to a number of community groups about the best way to handle that," he said.
Infamous Heiner coverup now at forefront of new inquiry into child protection in Queensland
A Labor party coverup
There were serious staffing problems inside the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre in the late 1980s before the establishment of the Heiner Inquiry - a now infamous probe which sparked one of Queensland's most enduring conspiracy theories.
The $9 million Carmody Inquiry into child protection this morning began hearing evidence related to allegations of accusations of mismanagement at John Oxley.
Commissioner Tim Carmody had devoted the next two weeks to examining the Heiner Affair, which is covered in his terms of reference.
They include a review of the adequacy of responses (and action taken) by government "to allegations including any allegation of criminal misconduct associated with government responses into historic child sexual abuse in youth detention centres."
The Heiner Affair began in the dying days of the National Party government headed by Russell Cooper, who appointed Magistrate Noel Heiner to examine allegations of mismanagement at John Oxley.
With the Cooper Government defeated in the December 1989 election and Labor elected under premier Wayne Goss, Crown Law advised that documents containing evidence taken by Mr Heiner should be destroyed, because the inquiry was not properly constituted.
Since then, revelations relating to John Oxley include the rape of a young girl and children being handcuffed to fences.
In 2010 the then 14-year-old rape victim, now aged around 40, received $120,000 in compensation.
Counsel Assisting Michael Copely told the inquiry this morning there were a range of complaints by staff at the centre in the late 1980s, including allegations of poor management and bullying by manager Peter Coyne.
Patients speak out over deaths at government dialysis centre
Thirteen people being treated at a Sydney dialysis centre have died in the past year, leaving other patients fearing for their lives because of a lack of doctors on site.
A leading nephrologist from Prince of Wales Hospital, Bruce Pussell, said the number of deaths at the Penrith centre would be considered "unusually high" at the satellite centres linked to his hospital.
"Seriously ill dialysis patients are treated in hospitals where there is a ratio of one nurse to every three patients and not at satellite centres," Professor Pussell said.
"While I am not aware of the situation at the Penrith centre, I would say that in any hospital if you have a cluster of unusually high deaths among patients it would require investigation."
Patients at the Penrith Satellite Dialysis Centre have signed a letter obtained by Fairfax Media claiming at least three patients have died in the past three months in circumstances they claim could have been avoided.
The 15 patients who signed the letter said there are no doctors at the centre and an inadequate number of nurses. They also said many of the patients who died were so chronically ill that they should have been treated in hospital rather than at the centre.
Patients whose conditions deteriorated had to wait up to 20 minutes for an ambulance to transfer them to Nepean Hospital, the letter said.
There had also been six "close calls", the patients said.
The local health district has confirmed 13 of the centre's patients died in the past year, but said the deaths were related to complications from their illnesses rather than inadequate care.
A patient who signed the letter, Melody Sherriff, said while nurses were able to call a doctor for advice, it was not the same as having a doctor on the ward.
About four months ago Ms Sherriff was receiving dialysis at the centre when she suffered pain in her abdomen and lost about 300 millilitres of blood when she went to the toilet.
Nursing staff called the doctor, who did not come into the centre but said Ms Sherriff could either go home or to hospital.
"Thankfully, I chose the hospital," she said. "The doctors at Nepean ordered a scan and found I was bleeding to death from an artery in my large intestine, requiring an emergency operation.
"Situations like this are why we need a doctor present in the ward. We shouldn't have all these people on the ward who can go at any minute because they're at risk of co-morbidities like stroke if qualified staff aren't there to treat them."
Satellite dialysis centres were set up to treat stable and ambulatory patients, she said, but many of the patients attending the Penrith centre were seriously ill and should be receiving dialysis in hospital. Most major hospitals have at least one satellite dialysis centre to which they are linked.
The Western Renal Service nurse manager for the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, Christopher Gibb, agreed that patients receiving dialysis at satellite units should be medically stable.
He said the concerns raised in the letter were been taken seriously and the district was investigating.
"There have been no deaths related to the dialysis procedure, however 13 patients suffering from pre-existing illnesses have passed away as a result of their chronic illness over the past 12 months," he said.
The ration of one nurse to every five or six patients at the centre was consistent with the national average, he said.