Sunday, June 15, 2014

Multiculturalist "Sam" Ibrahim jailed for making threatening phone calls to former business associate

"Sam" (Hassan) Ibrahim is a Lebanese Muslim, a very troublesome group in Sydney

Underworld figure Hassan "Sam" Ibrahim has been sentenced to at least 16 months' jail for threatening a former business partner and intimidating police.

Early last year the former Parramatta chapter president of the Nomads outlaw motorcycle gang threatened a man associated with Port Macquarie company Silver City Drilling in a number of phone calls.

It is understood Ibrahim had been involved in a business venture with the man.

NSW police arrested 48-year-old Ibrahim in March last year when he attended Castle Hill police station as part of his parole conditions.

On Friday Parramatta Local Court magistrate Georgia Knight sentenced him on two charges of using a carriage service to threaten to kill, and on one charge of intimidating police in the execution of their duty.

The total minimum sentence was 16 months and it will expire on October 12, 2015.

Two unrelated charges against Ibrahim - possessing a prohibited weapon without permit and possessing prescribed restricted substances - were adjourned for a hearing on a date to be fixed.


What royal commission? What union corruption? What claims against Gillard?

I thought the ABC’s astonishing reluctance to cover the allegations against Julia Gillard at yesterday’s royal commission into union corruption could not be matched.

ABC TV’s Queensland and South Australian main news bulletins at 7pm did not cover any of yesterday’s news from the commission. The flagship World Today program also ignored the commission. So did 7.30.

But today an even more startling example of don’t-mention-the-war: today’s edition of The Age, fanatically of the Left, does not have a single word about the royal commission in all its 48 pages.

No, wait: there is one exception: a page three advertisement placed by the commission itself to appeal for witnesses to give yet more evidence that The Age will deliberately bury.

In case you assume that this refusal to report just reflects an absence of any news, here is just some of what the royal commission was yesterday told - but which The Age refused to print:

JULIA Gillard was handed “a large amount of cash” to pay for renovations on her Melbourne home by her then boyfriend, union official Bruce Wilson, a builder who did the work told the royal commission yesterday. 

Athol James said during evidence to the royal commission into union corruption that the future prime minister told him during renovations on her house in 1993 that payments were coming from Mr Wilson.

He also saw the Australian Workers Union official give Ms Gillard “wads of notes” on two ­occasions to cover cheque payments she made to him, he said.

The evidence from Mr James — during the commission’s investigation into a union slush fund set up by Mr Wilson with legal assistance from Ms Gillard that amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars — is potentially very damaging to the former Labor prime minister.

It directly contradicts her claims over the years that she paid for the renovations herself.

Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten was also dragged into the slush fund scandal yesterday when former AWU official and whistleblower Bob Kernohan claimed Mr Shorten was part of an attempted cover-up when he was an up-and-coming official with the AWU in Melbourne in 1996…

“Bill Shorten looked at me, and he said, ‘Look Bob, a lot of people are going to get hurt if this is pursued. No one wants to go any further with this. You know, Bruce Wilson and the others have gone’.

“I said, ‘Gone? Gone with a payout. With their record, they should be bloody well being investigated and locked up for this sort of conduct’.

“And Bill — this is what shocked me more than anything — Bill said, ‘Well, Bob, think of your ­future, you’re going into parliament shortly’. And by all reasonable chances I would have entered parliament.”..

The Labor leader, who rose to be the AWU’s national and Victorian secretary before entering parliament in 2007, denied through a spokesman in February the claim by Mr Kernohan that he told Mr Kernohan to “move on” from the slush fund issue in 1996…

Wayne Hem, a former AWU official, told the commission yesterday that he paid $5000 into Ms Gillard’s bank account on the orders of Mr Wilson in late 1995… Ms Gillard has said she had no recollection of this deposit.


Hedley Thomas:

These two witnesses yesterday were unhelpful for Gillard’s position that she had never benefited from Wilson’s slush fund. Thousands of dollars in cash from union figures paying off tradesmen at her house could cause the royal commission to see her role in a different light. For natural justice, and to be true to the inquiry’s terms of reference, the former PM will have to be called to respond to these alle­g­ations and others.

That would pose a dilemma for The Age. How could it refuse to report even the former Prime Minister in the dock?

This selective blindness seems to be widespread. Even though the print copy of the Couriermail has a big splash, the online version has buried the whole story.

The concerted cover up is quite extraordinary!


Tony Abbott lauds coal during Texas speech, says climate change shouldn’t limit use of fossil fuels

TONY Abbott has visited the energy capital of the USA to insist he does not want the battle against climate change to limit the use of any type of fuel.

Promoting his plan to scrap the carbon tax in front of an audience of energy executives in Houston, Texas, Mr Abbott said he wanted Australia to become a centre of cheap energy.

While he said Australia should look towards new energy sources, he said we should also focus on cheap and reliable energy.

“Affordable, reliable energy fuels enterprise and drives employment,” Mr Abbott said.

“It is the engine of economic development and wealth creation.”

“Australia should be an affordable energy superpower, using nature’s gifts to the benefit of our own people and the wider world.”

The PM defended Australia’s existing energy exports and said we have a long term future exporting black coal, LNG and uranium.

“It is prudent to do what we reasonably can to reduce carbon emissions,” he said.

“But we don’t believe in ostracising any particular fuel and we don’t believe in harming “economic growth.”

“For many decades at least coal will continue to fuel human progress as an affordable, dependable energy source for wealthy and developing countries alike.”

The speech came after Mr Abbott met US President Barack Obama and agreed to disagree on the best way to tackle climate change.

Mr Obama wants a global carbon price while Mr Abbott wants to replace Australia’s carbon tax with a $2.5 billion “direct action” plan that includes paying companies to cut emissions.

Declaring he wanted closer ties with the largest city in Texas, Mr Abbott announced he would appoint an Australian consulate-general to the boom town.

After receiving a gift of Stetson cowboy hat, Mr Abbott let the audience know he felt like an honorary Texan, saying “yee ha”.

Houston is home to more than 100 Australian companies, including BHP Billiton, Woodside, Santos, WorleyParsons, Macquarie Group, Pryme Oil and Gas, Lend Lease and Brambles.

Houston is the largest city in Texas, which has an economy the size of the 13th largest country in the world.

Mr Abbott said the consulate-general Houston would allow Australia to “maximise the two-way trade and investment opportunities of the US energy revolution”.

Mr Abbott will today meet with a business delegations before visiting the Texas Medical Centre — the largest of its kind in the world — to promote his plan for a $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund.


Public school exodus starts as early as year 2

Australian parents are keen to escape the disrupted classes that are a frequent feature of State schools

The stampede from public primary schools to private high schools when a child finishes year 6 is a tradition in parts of Sydney, but principals say the exodus now starts as early as year 2 as parents panic they will miss out on their school of choice.

Census data shows that in some of Sydney's most affluent suburbs, especially the eastern suburbs, as few as 20 per cent of students stay in the public system for high school despite booming enrolments in public primary schools.

The president of the NSW Primary Principals' Association, Geoff Scott, said the exodus from public to private schools had traditionally started in year 5 but principals were reporting it now began as early as year 2.

"It's getting younger and younger and we have parents telling our principals, 'Sorry, we love your school but if we want to get our child into a certain independent school we have been told we have to enrol them in year 3,' " Mr Scott said.

"Parents feel, wrongly we believe, that their children will have a better chance if they go to a non-government school, but this is not based on better teachers or a different curriculum because we know parents are very happy with their local government primary school."

The principal of Waverley Public, Glenn Levett, raised the issue of the exodus in a note to parents on the school's website, where he urged them not to judge the school on NAPLAN results alone, especially because so many students leave the public system before the end of primary school.

"Our year 5 group often becomes a small cohort of students as a number of students move on to opportunity classes or private schools at the end of year 4," the school’s website says. "This is common practice in the eastern suburbs as a majority of students in the area attend private high schools."

Nikki Shepherd, who has twin boys Sam and Alfie, and Carol Wade, who has a son Joseph, both enrolled their children in year 5 at Waverley College this year.

The boys, who were young for their year when they started kindergarten at Coogee Public School, are repeating year 5 at the Catholic college after doing year 5 at Coogee last year.

Ms Wade said she had been very happy with their local public school but felt her son would benefit from more routine and discipline by doing year 5 and 6 at Waverley College.

Both families would have also been unlikely to secure a spot for the boys for year 7 because they are not Catholic.

The acting director of Waverley College's junior school, Greg Harris, said the school had just been through one of the "most difficult" enrolment processes because of the demand for its year 5 intake.

Mr Harris said the school had "well over" 200 applications for 145 year 5 spots next year and one-third of those applicants were non-Catholic.

The trend is not unique to the eastern suburbs.

Inner west mother Elizabeth Luff sent her children to Annandale Public until year 4 but then sent them to St Andrews Cathedral School in Sydney's central business district.

Mrs Luff said she had always intended to send them to St Andrews for high school but thought starting them in year 5 would help them move to year 7 more easily.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Why would anyone enter into business or politics with Lebanese? You'd think people would have learned by now.