Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Another "multicultural" crime -- in WA

A WOMAN on her way home from a funeral has been bashed as she sat in her car at traffic lights in Kardinya this morning.

The unprovoked attack occurred about 11.30am as the 33-year-old woman, known only as Yvonne, sat at traffic lights at the intersection of North Lake Road and South Street.

The male attacker was crossing the intersection when without warning he ran towards the driver’s side of Yvonne’s car and grabbed her hair as she attempted to put her window up.

The man then punched Yvonne in the face, which caused her bruising and a chipped tooth.

Yvonne then drove away and the man let go of her hair and ran in a northerly direction towards the Shell service station.

Yvonne drove to a nearby business where she called police and her husband.

She bravely spoke to PerthNow over the phone today just minutes after undergoing an x-ray at Armadale Hospital where she also works as a patient care assistant.

She said while the attack lasted probably only about 10 seconds, nobody came to her aid.

She had just been to a funeral and was driving home when she was attacked.

“This guy just ran up to me and told me to ‘get out of the f****g car,’ “ Yvonne said.

“As I’ve gone to put my window up he still had my hair in his hands and then he punched me, chipping my tooth.

“The thing that makes me angry is nobody helped me. In broad daylight nobody helped me.

“I had a car to my right and a car behind me and no-one helped me. It happened that fast but there was no way I was letting him in my car.”

Yvonne said she was the victim of an attempted carjacking at the hands of a group of men several years ago.

She said what probably helped her in this morning’s incident was having her doors locked at the time.

“From the moment I leave my driveway I lock my car doors, I always have done,” she said.

She urged anyone who saw the incident or who might know the attacker to call police.

Yvonne’s attacker is described as being in his early 20s, has dark skin, a slim build and black unshaved facial hair.

He was wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt and a black hooded zip up jacket.


No refuge for almost 100 asylum seekers charged with criminal offences

ALMOST 100 asylum seekers granted bridging visas to live in the community have been charged with criminal offences in the past eight months ­including murder, rape, burglary, and domestic violence, according to data from the ­Department of Immigration.

A further 15 detainees have had their residence determinations revoked by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison for criminal charges. The range of offences included drink driving, domestic violence, assault, rape, trespass and larceny.

Asylum seekers currently in detention or on bridging visas in Australia had also become victims of crime — including murder.

“All aspects of our operations involving dealing with the legacy of illegal maritime arrivals created by Labor’s chronic border failures carry risk,” Mr Morrison said. “This includes risks to those who have arrived as well as to those caring for them who have been the subject of abuse and assault by asylum seekers in their care.

“Asylum seekers are also at risk, regardless of where they may be accommodated.

“Asylum seekers have self-harmed in the community, as well as in detention and offshore processing centres.”

Mr Morrison has accused the Opposition and the Greens of hypocrisy for calling for a royal commission into the death of an asylum seeker, Reza Berati, on Manus Island, while saying nothing of the murder of an asylum seeker in Sydney last September.

Last September, Afghan Mohammed Ali Nabizada was stabbed to death at Berala in Sydney’s west.

His alleged attacker was also an asylum seeker on a bridging visa.

“Tragically, asylum seekers like Reza Berati have also died in detention, and his death is the subject of serious and comprehensive investigation. Others have also died on release into the community.

“There have been no calls for parliamentary inquiries into the death of Muhammad Ali Nabizada.

“No advocates have asked for his photo so they can display it in public remembrance.

“There have been no public protests or vigils over his death. There have also been no calls for the community release program to be shut down.

“A community release policy, like offshore processing, carries risk.

“We are working constructively to manage this risk, whether with local police in our community or our PNG and Nauruan partners at our offshore processing centres.

“When more than 50,000 people turn up illegally on more than 800 boats, this ­places incredible pressure on the system and creates significant risks in dealing with the resulting problem.”


Final results of WA Senate election announced by Australian Electoral Commission

THE final results of the re-run West Australian Senate election have been announced, confirming Labor's assumption it has missed out on a second seat.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has revealed the Liberals have picked up three seats, with one seat each to Labor, The Greens and Palmer United Party (PUP).

WA's six senators will be David Johnston, Michaelia Cash and Linda Reynolds (Liberal), Joe Bullock (Labor), Scott Ludlam (Greens) and Dio Wang (PUP).

But the official declaration of votes will not be made until Thursday.

Senator Johnston, Mr Bullock and Senator Ludlam were all elected on quota, while Senator Cash was elected on count two, Mr Wang on count 252 and Ms Reynolds on count 257.

Labor Senator Louise Pratt conceded defeat on April 16, lashing her right wing running mate Mr Bullock, a trade union leader who secured his seat after shunting her from the top spot on the party's senate ticket.

Senator Pratt was diplomatic during the campaign when asked how she felt about comments he'd made about her, including questioning whether she was a lesbian given her partner was born a woman but is now a man.

But after it became clear she would not continue as a WA Senator from July 1, she labelled him homophobic and called on Labor to break the grasp of union powerbrokers, whose wrangling had delivered Mr Bullock victory.

There appears to have been a strong swing towards the Greens and PUP, which both campaigned hard to appeal to voters who were disillusioned with the major parties.

The billionaire-backed PUP spent especially big on advertising, while the Greens also relied on social media.

A fresh Senate election was ordered in the state and an official inquiry launched after the AEC lost 1370 votes during a recount requested by Senator Ludlam because the original count showed he had lost his seat by a wafer-thin margin.


Play the race card, get out of jail

WHITEOAK v State of NSW has reached its inexorable conclusion. The lawyers have brushed off the crumbs and rolled up the picnic rug.

The next step, if the Court of Common Sense still sits in NSW, is to bring the Anti-Discrimination Board, the Legal Aid Commission and the Civil and Administrative Tribunal to account.

They must explain why they did not put their heads together and drop this risible case before it turned the state’s anti-discrimination legislation into a complete and utter joke.

The implication of the tribunal’s 26,400-word judgment is that anyone can play the race card, even Barry Whiteoak, a white, Anglo-Saxon murderer and serial rapist who will deported back to Britain if he ever completes his life sentence.

Whiteoak, the tribunal has now ruled, has been denied a service by the Correctional Services Department because he is British.

Whiteoak was jailed in 1983 for raping, strangling and stabbing Noreen Hannon, a 25-year-old nurse, in her Parramatta flat and dumping her naked body in the lift.

In 2002, Whiteoak’s classification was changed to the minimum security category C3, allowing him to apply for day or weekend release.

It was clearly a mistake. Two years later Whiteoak was thrown off a sex offence rehabilitation program for misbehaviour and was deemed to present a moderate to high risk of reoffending.

A review of Whiteoak’s criminal history suggests it would be foolhardy to grant him parole. Whiteoak murdered Hannon while on parole for the rape of another woman, whom he had assaulted while on parole for indecently assaulting a third.

Whiteoak was also of interest to the Department of Immigration, since he was not an Australian citizen and therefore could be deported back to Britain on release from jail.

The then corrective services commissioner, Ron Woodham, one of the few public servants to have acted decently in this whole sorry affair, decided it was potentially dangerous to allow White­oak out on leave.

In Woodham’s opinion, White­oak’s uncertain immigration status made him an unquantified flight risk. Indeed another non-citizen had escaped under just such a circumstance in 2005. Woodham decided to reinstate Whiteoak’s C1 status.

Whiteoak complained to the Anti-Discrimination Board, which judged he could have a case under the 1977 NSW Anti-Discrimination Act, section 19 of which states: “It is unlawful for a person who provides (whether or not for payment) goods or ser­vices to discriminate against another person on the ground of race.”

He was assisted by the exceptional definition of race in the NSW legislation that includes nationality as well as colour, descent and ethnic, ethno-religious or national origin.

Thus Whiteoak complained that the decision to cancel his permanent residency visa was “strongly racist”. He sought the board’s help “in regaining C3 classification and Day Leaves as Day Leaves are a major part of the Pre-Release Program that the Parole Board requires”.

The board’s president, Stepan Kerkyasharian, had the power under section 92(1) of the act to throw out the complaint on the grounds that it was “frivolous, vexatious, misconceived or lacking in substance”.

He did not, suggesting he saw some merit in Whiteoak’s claim that the denial of day release “was based solely on the fact that I am a British subject who is in gaol and not on my offensive behaviour”.

“It is discrimination because the policy decisions are treating me differently to what an Australian citizen is treated,” Whiteoak wrote to the commissioner.

“I do not want monitary (sic) compensation as the change in classification has not cost me any money.

“I want you now to use all the powers available to you and your organisation to persuade or force the Corrective Services to change inmate’s classifications back.”

The tribunal too could have rejected Whiteoak’s vexatious and insubstantial case. Its refusal to do so, despite an application by the state’s lawyers, has probably cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.

It has funded Whiteoak’s legal aid, multiple procedural applications, a three-day hearing, two half-days of submissions, and the discovery and circulation of more than 1000 tendered documents. Both parties have been represented by experienced counsel and instructing solicitors.

Two weeks ago the tribunal ruled that this devious, dysfunctional, despicable human being was a victim of racism. They awarded him $500 compensa­tion, which mercifully will be redirected to victims of crime. Is the tribunal really suggesting that Woodham was motiv­ated by rac­ism? Could he not have been trying to protect the rights of NSW residents by keeping a dangerous offender off the streets until he could be deported?

More serious, however, are the two extraordinary assumptions underpinning the tribunal’s ruling. First, the tribunal accepted that the categorisation of prisoners is “a service” under the terms of the act. Second, the tribunal assumed that nationality, citizenship and race are synonymous.

If this is the case, we must rewrite the Macquarie Dictionary entry that defines race as “a group of persons connected by common descent” or “a group of tribes or peoples forming an ethnic stock”.

There are other definitions, but every one of them links race to biology, as the word must unless it is to be stripped of any useful meaning.

Surely the tribunal is not claiming that everyone holding an Australian passport shares a common race, for that would be a killer blow to the race discrimination industry, putting hundreds of human rights lawyers out of work.

By devaluing the notion of rac­ism to nothing more than an arbitrary form of victimhood, the tribunal has not helped those who wish to defend the federal Racial Discrimination Act against the government’s attempts to amend it.

The judgment exemplifies the case opponents of the RDA have argued all along: that anti-discrimination legislation is just a game for lawyers who search for any crack in the door through which their client can enter the victims club.

It is human rights devoid of any sense of proportion, prudence or natural justice; human rights as a sledgehammer to settle petty grievances; human rights that creates more red tape and employment for bureaucrats; human rights that turns courts and tribunals into theatres of the grotesque.

The purpose of human rights legislation, Gough Whitlam said in 1975, was to “build a climate of maturity, of goodwill, of co-operation and understanding at all levels of society”.

Never, in his wildest dreams, would he imagined a case such as Whiteoak v State of NSW.


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