Wednesday, February 12, 2014

More multiculturalism in Australia:  Gang rape by Africans

COMMUNITY leaders have warned of possible reprisal attacks by Blacktown’s Pacific Islander community targeting young African-Australian men in the wake of the gang-rape attack on a 14-year-old Islander girl.

Blacktown Uniting Church Reverend Liva Tukutama said it was vital he and other Pacific Islander leaders reached out to African leaders to stop the young men of their communities seeking vengeance.

Meanwhile the victim’s mother says her daughter has been “broken into pieces” after what police described as a “horrendous” sexual assault by up to six men.

With tears welling in her eyes, the mother of the girl said she was heartbroken, furious and wanted to kill the attackers who had left her daughter traumatised beyond words.

The devastated mother’s comments came the same day a CCTV image of a man at a nearby bottleshop provided to The Daily Telegraph was passed on to police as part of the extensive investigation into the incident which has shocked the city.

“I’m feeling angry and disgusted at what’s happened to my daughter and I want to catch those mongrels and kill them,” the girl’s mother said.

“My daughter is broken into pieces. To herself, she feels ugly. Since this happened she is always putting her head down …. It’s disgusting what they did to her.  “She is a beautiful, nice girl — beautiful, beautiful.”

She said the 14-year-old was too traumatised to tell her or her sisters about what had occurred and was devastated that online bullies had already targeted her daughter for simply being in the park where the sexual assault took place at night.

She was reportedly “hanging out” with two friends in Bill Colbourne Reserve, Doonside around 11pm on Saturday night when the trio noticed “five or six” African-Australian men drinking alcohol.

The Daily Telegraph has obtained CCTV footage of a man buying a bottle of alcohol from the Doonside Cellars about 9pm on the night, who was yesterday identified by one of the victim’s friends as a member of the group in the park. Police are reviewing the CCTV image from the bottle shop and other businesses as they hunt down the rapists.

Bottle shop staff have confirmed that the timestamp vision is 90 minutes slow since the CCTV’s timer is not calibrated to the correct time.

A receipt corresponding to the filmed purchase show indicate the sale was made at 8.58pm.

At 11pm that night the teenage girl became the victim of a prolonged gang rape described by Superintendent Gary Merryweather as “horrendous” and “unprovoked”.

It is understood the girl — who was being consoled by friends at school yesterday — was walking home when one of the men “touched her inappropriately”.

That man and the remainder of the group then allegedly “overpowered” the teenager in the park before raping her in an ordeal that last 30 minutes, Supt Merryweather said.

After the rape, the victim raced to the nearby home of her friend whose family members described her as “almost inconsolable” and “practically hysterical”.

The victim’s friend, who cannot be identified, told The Daily Telegraph he had seen a group matching a description of the alleged offenders drinking from a liquor bottle shortly before his friend was raped.

“We were just hanging around,” he said. “I had to leave the park ...(The victim) is stressed today.”

The girl’s friend said the men were known drug dealers and that that the third friend in the group had intended to make a purchase.

The friend’s mother is understood to have called police and the young victim was taken by ambulance from the home a few hours later.

“Being of such a tender age she is traumatised to an extent that I can’t even describe at this stage,” Supt Merryweather said.


Labor backpedals on call for navy inquiry

LABOR has backflipped on its call for an inquiry into the navy over allegations of asylum seeker abuse, saying it has every confidence in the servicemen and women on the high seas.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten on Saturday issued a statement clarifying Labor was not seeking an inquiry into the navy's alleged conduct, despite earlier comments to the contrary by an opposition MP.

"Our navy servicemen and women do an outstanding job on the high seas," a spokesperson for Mr Shorten said in a statement to AAP.   "The opposition has every confidence in the skills and professionalism of our navy."

Earlier shadow parliamentary secretary Matt Thistlethwaite said claims that sailors had burned asylum seekers should be treated with "healthy scepticism", adding he had confidence in the navy.

But given the allegations were still being aired, he said an independent investigation would be appropriate.  "That's the best way to vindicate the Australian navy," he told Sky News on Saturday.

The suggestion sparked an explosive response from Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, who issued a lengthy statement blasting Labor as weak for supporting "baseless sledges" against the navy.

"Unlike the Labor Party, the government will continue to back our navy and customs personnel in the face of these wild, unsubstantiated allegations," he said.

"Labor's call for an inquiry, thereby legitimising these outrageous and unsubstantiated claims of torture, is a vote of no confidence by Labor in our navy and Customs and Border Protection Service."

The opposition said the minister was being "hysterical", and the culture of secrecy around border protection wasn't making the navy's job any easier.

Customs and Border Protection also issued a statement on Saturday, hosing down claims it would be launching fresh inquiries into the abuse allegations levelled at the sailors.

"Border Protection Command remains confident its personnel continue to act with the highest levels of professional conduct in a demanding and difficult environment," the statement said.


Paying piper for slander begs answers

“OUR” ABC and the late US senator Joseph McCarthy have a lot in common.

Both are guilty of making reckless and unsubstantiated accusations and public attacks against individuals and institutions that hold views contrary to their own.

At least Senator McCarthy correctly identified the very real Communist infiltration of senior circles in the US State department. The ABC’s success rate is not as good.

It has been reduced to publishing secret documents - stolen by an American defector - that undermine the security of Western democracies.

Now the ABC has joined Fairfax Media in an attempt to undermine the Coalition’s all-too successful Operation Sovereign Borders exercise that has halted the flow of illegal people-smuggler vessels.
Stopping the boats also means stopping the deaths at sea that Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young dismissively refused to accept any responsibility for by saying: “Tragedies happen, ­accidents happen.”

Both the ABC and Fairfax have done their best to justify the publication of uncorroborated claims of torture by RAN personnel made by disaffected illegal people-smuggler clients.

On Friday, finally gave them a deserved broadside, saying Customs and the RAN had saved “thousands of lives” between Christmas ­Island and Java over the past four years.

“My people have been spat on, abused, treated like servants, and have ­endured all of that to save more than a thousand lives, and yet they’ve also had to endure the horror of fishing out hundreds of people floating dead in the water,” he said.

“I am absolutely sick to the stomach that this Australian iconic news agency would attack the navy in the way that it has.”

Senator Johnston joined the growing chorus for an ­investigation into the ABC, saying naval personnel were heroes.

“If ever there was an event that justified a detailed inquiry, some reform, an investigation of the ABC, this event is it,” he said. “They themselves have cast a giant shadow over the veracity of their reporting and yet they’ve besmirched these hardworking people.”

ABC chief Mark Scott would not respond.

Showing far greater leadership, Senator Johnston stood up for the men and women who have to deal with illegal boat arrivals and told of the onerous service they provide.

“I have got people on nine-day turnarounds to Christmas Island, I’ve got post-traumatic stress to deal with … and I’ve got unsubstantiated allegations. Let’s get a bit real here and give somebody a bit of natural justice please,” he said.

“Let’s see the allegations first, let’s have more than just rumour, innuendo, and hearsay please.

“When you give me something to act upon that is more than just hearsay, innuendo and rumour we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
He said he had spent a week aboard an Armidale-class ­patrol boat and had the greatest confidence in the service men and women. “I’m backing them at every turn of every corner. I have not said much because, I have to confess, I was extremely angry. I ­required some time to cool off.

“They are heroes. They have done a courageous - laden with integrity - difficult task thrust upon them by probably the greatest policy failure Australia has ever seen.”

Foreign Minister Julie ­Bishop agrees: “There most certainly should be an apology.

Our navy personnel are working in very difficult circumstances. In the recent past they’ve had to deal with over a thousand deaths at sea from asylum-seeker boats sinking at sea,” Ms Bishop said.

“The ABC claimed there was evidence to support claims our navy had deliberately mistreated asylum seekers by causing them bodily injuries, that they’d deliberately abused them. Well, those claims have not been substantiated.

“The ABC management admits it got it wrong, but it refuses to apologise. If these claims were made against individual navy personnel, it would be the basis for a defamation action.”

The relevance of the ABC is under question as it never has been before. The emergence of the internet as a major international news source has ­undermined any relevance the disputed Australia Network may once have had.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull believes that live streaming of ABC News 24 would effectively and more cheaply satisfy the Australian Network audience.

Merging ABC and SBS has been mooted. The actual need for expansive taxpayer-funded communication networks operated by the government must be questioned.

Public broadcasting should be paid for by those it plays too, and receive a greatly reduced level of taxpayer support.

Those who want to pay for “our” ABC should be able to do so, those who feel that it is no longer “ours” should not be obliged to


Put charities commission on backburner

The New Zealand Charity Commission was in operation for half a decade before the NZ government decided it wasn't providing value for money and abolished it. In the UK, the Charity Commission for England and Wales has stuck around for decades despite multiple reports declaring it is not providing value for money - the latest such report was released just this week by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee and deemed the commission 'not fit for purpose.'

Compared with those countries, Australia is lucky. We can abandon our experiment with this failed model of charity regulation after just one year.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) was created by the Gillard government in December 2012 to reduce red tape, enhance public trust in charities, and police fraud and wrongdoing in the sector.

So far, the ACNC has not made significant progress on these goals, and the international record of charities commissions suggests that future success is unlikely. On public trust, for example, it is noteworthy that in early 2013 Australians already rated charities more trustworthy than Federal Parliament, the High Court, or the ABC. More importantly, trust levels in Australia were approximately the same as in England and much higher than in New Zealand, both of which had charities commissions at the time.

On red tape reduction, the ACNC has so far failed to obtain the cooperation of the state governments of NSW and Victoria. Considering the large portion of the charity sector's regulatory burden that state governments represent, no serious effort to reduce red tape can proceed without those governments' cooperation.

Donors must be able to give to charities with confidence. Fortunately, the kind of oversight that gives donors confidence can now be conducted without added layers of red tape.

Wealthy philanthropists, who represent an increasingly important segment of Australia's charitable donation market, usually conduct their own research. They review a charity's finances and operations, and after their donation has been spent, they evaluate what kind of 'social return on investment' the charity was able to achieve.

For small household donors who may not have the means to conduct extensive research on their own behalf, a new resource has emerged: online charity evaluators. These sites compile information about charities - statistical data as well as more holistic information - and then organise this information in a way that is accessible to the average non-specialist who just wants to write a cheque to a good cause.

 It is vitally important to preserve the separation between the institutions of civil society and government. Abolishing the ACNC is the first step in preserving charities' independence and returning their regulatory burden to a reasonable level.


1 comment:

Paul said...

14 year Pacific Islander old girl "hanging out" at 11PM near park full of Africans. Sounds like an old Australian tradition we can all relate too. Who needs parenting anyway?