Monday, June 23, 2014

Will Queensland's Leftist crooks of the 1990s be finally brought to book?

The Heiner affair is the long-running controversy surrounding the Goss [Leftist] cabinet's 1990 shredding of documents relating to child abuse - including the rape of a 14-year-old Aboriginal girl - after it aborted an inquiry into the former John Oxley Youth Detention Centre.  The documents had been compiled during an inquiry headed by former magistrate Noel Heiner that was set up in the final days of the Cooper conservative government in 1989.

On 1 July 2013 Commissioner Tim Carmody SC found that the shredding of the Heiner Inquiry documents and tapes represented a prima facie breach of the section 129 of the Criminal Code against all the surviving members of the 5 March 1990 Goss Cabinet.

This was hardly a surprise to anyone with knowledge of this scandal. For years, some of this nation’s most eminent jurists have long publicly advised of this prima facie breach but the respective Goss/Beattie and Bligh regimes, CJC/CMC, police and DPP turned a blind eye to the glaringly obvious.

The serious prima facie crime Commissioner Carmody found was the same offence which whistleblower Kevin Lindeberg took to the CJC in 1990 and to the police in 1994. Back in 1990, the offence attracted a 3-year jail term; now in 2014, it attracts a 7-year jail term. By any measure, the crime of destroying evidence, if proven, is a serious one.

The two decades of alleged cover-up still remain unaddressed.

On 19 July 2013, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie referred the finding to the Queensland DPP to decide whether or not it was in the public interest for those surviving Cabinet Ministers to stand trial.

In exercising his legal right, former Goss Attorney-General, Dean Wells, lodged a Supreme Court appeal on 29 July 2013 seeking to have the finding rendered null and void on various grounds, including a charge of apprehended bias against Commissioner Carmody.

It was this appeal (6906/13) which has delayed matters with the DPP.

On 13 February 2014 the hearing took place before Justice Glenn Martin AM in the Supreme Court. Counsel for Mr Wells was Mr Dan O’Gorman SC, and, in one of his final appearances as Queensland Solicitor-General before resigning, Mr Walter Sofronoff QC, together with Mr Adam Pomerenke QC, appeared for the Attorney-General. The case was argued all day.

On 4 April 2014 the Supreme Court rejected the  appeal against Commissioner Carmody’s Findings


Lawbreaking Leftist politicians are hard to nail

Border control on alert for Muslim terrorists

AN unprecedented security intelligence-sharing arrangement between spy agencies and customs will lock down Australia’s borders to ­potential jihadists either trying to return to Australia or leave our shores to join Syrian and Iraqi terror groups.

The Daily Telegraph understands customs officials will be given higher-level intelligence briefs in the wake of the failure that enabled convicted Sydney terrorist Khaled Sharrouf to slip out of the country last year using his brother’s passport.

An urgent review initiated by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Attorney-General George Brandis ­following the border blunder, known as the Cousins’ review, is believed to have found holes in the security net from the airport barrier all the way up to ASIO.

Australian-born “Terror Nine” member Khaled Sharrouf who slipped out of the country unnot
Australian-born “Terror Nine” member Khaled Sharrouf who slipped out of the country unnoticed on his brother’s passport.
The Daily Telegraph yesterday revealed Sharrouf, a convicted terrorist from south-western Sydney, is in Iraq with the militant group ISIL, which is trying to overthrow the Iraqi government.

Yesterday Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the border protection agencies were on high alert for up to 150 Australians believed to be fighting in either Syria or Iraq seeking to return to Australia and for associates trying to leave Australia to join them.

More than 50 passports had been cancelled, the Daily Telegraph revealed yesterday.

But a draft report of the Cousins’ review is believed to have uncovered a 9/11 “silo mentality” scenario in ­Australia — a reference to US intelligence failures uncovered after 9/11 — where vital intelligence which could have stopped Sharrouf at the gate was not shared.

Senior government sources revealed new intelligence-sharing arrangements were being rolled out to ­ensure customs officers at airport gates had greater ­access to data that could help them identify ­people on watch lists.

Mr Morrison said the Sharrouf incident had been “an early wake-up call” that had exposed weaknesses in the chain, which were now being addressed.

He said the government was also “rebuilding capacity” into the system after budget cuts to customs under the ­previous government of ­almost $700 million.


Vic mosque approved amid local protest

A VICTORIAN council has approved the construction of a $3 million mosque amid fierce protest from local residents.

BENDIGO City Council received more than 350 objections to the development, which would include two prayer rooms, a shop and a community sports hall.

The development was approved at a heated council meeting on Wednesday night, during which residents shouted "Shame on you, shame", Fairfax reports.

Council documents show the majority of complaints related to concerns over the influence of Islam, citing the threat of terrorism, the introduction of Sharia and the dilution of "Christian values".

The project also received about 40 letters of support.

Bendigo Mayor Barry Lyons said in a statement there are many conditions on the permit to ensure the impact on neighbours was acceptable.

"Now a decision has been made, the applicants can move forward with the next stage in the development process," Mr Lyons said.

A Facebook group Stop the Mosque in Bendigo with more than 7400 "likes" posted photos of the eight Bendigo counsellors, branding them "traitors".

Some people have posted comments calling for the group to take the matter to VCAT.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy says people are entitled to oppose planning applications, but they must do so sensibly and respectfully, particularly for religious institutions.

"People needn't fear the growth in our Islamic community's population," Mr Guy told reporters on Thursday.

"If people want to appeal it, they should, but it should be on the grounds of planning law, not on emotion."


Language studies to be overhauled in NSW schools

This seems pointless to me.  Very few students gain a useful command of a foreign language

All primary school students will be exposed to at least one language before starting high school and there will be more bilingual public schools across NSW under plans to overhaul the way languages are taught in the state's schools.

In bid to increase the number of students studying languages until year 12, bilingual primary teachers would be retrained as language teachers and schools would be encouraged to collaborate with community language colleges to meet the needs of the 350,000 NSW students who speak a second language at home.

More than 30 languages, including Arabic, Armenian, French, Japanese, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Swedish, are offered in NSW schools but less than 10 per cent of the more than 75,000 students enrolled in the HSC studied one last year.

NSW is not alone in wanting to dramatically boost the interest in languages under the new proposals to be released on Monday. The federal government wants 40 per cent of year 12 students studying a language within a decade and is funding the Asia Education Foundation to investigate why so many Australian students drop languages before the end of school.

The NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said there needed to be a greater recognition of the value of learning a language so he last year tasked the Board of Studies with developing recommendations for a "dynamic, inclusive languages education policy".

It will be the first time NSW has a formal languages policy and will elevate languages to the same level of importance as subjects such as maths, English and science.

“One important way of doing this may include encouraging students to capitalise on their home language and continue to develop it at school,” Mr Piccoli said.

“And if those students are taking language classes on weekends then schools should be valuing that learning."

Under the proposals, high school students would have to complete their compulsory 100 hours of language study in one continuous year, preferably in year 7, and vocational language courses would be available for students studying hospitality, retail and tourism subjects.

“In commissioning the review by the Board of Studies, I deliberately sought recommendations that avoided the over-promised, underfunded language education wish lists that have often been announced by governments," Mr Piccoli said.

"Language teaching and learning has been in decline for some time and improvements won’t be achieved overnight."

Liz Ellis, a senior lecturer in linguistics at the University of New England, who is researching bilingualism in the bush, said students with a second language often did better academically than students who could only speak one language.

"There lots of research which shows that shows that kids who grow up with two languages actually have cognitive benefits over monolingual kids," Dr Ellis said.

"Two languages frame the world differently and kids learn the skills of dealing with two social sets of norms in different languages, so they are learning, for example, that to be polite in Polish is different to being polite in English ... it's increasing the knowledge they have about the world and that seems to lead to an increased cognitive flexibility."

Dr Ellis said Australia tended to ignore languages in primary school and then expected students to be interested in them in high school.

"Unfortunately we don't have a good history of teaching languages in Australia, we tend to start late unlike Europe and Asia," Dr Ellis said.

The Board of Studies' proposals  will be considered by an expert languages advisory panel who will report back to Mr Piccoli.


No comments: