Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Pig-headed Qld. Premier Newman facilitates pedophilia

Pickering Post reported last year that Graeme Paul Hancock, 31, had been released from prison where he had served five years for the sexual assault, including rape, of three children aged five, seven and nine.

Hancock had a lengthy criminal history for similar offences dating back to November, 2004, when he was convicted on 26 child sex charges including rape. Police had also discovered a USB device which contained 100 child pornography images and four child exploitation videos during a search of his Wacol home.

A laptop was also found which contained seven child exploitation videos which were deemed to be in the second worst category of child sexual offences. Hancock’s release was subject to a continuous restrictive supervision order under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act.

Shortly after his release he was again arrested at South Bank, Brisbane, while filming a naked four-year-old girl. This time he was sentenced to 18 months.

Hancock then appealed the “severity” of that 18 month sentence, and after hearing Hancock’s appeal the judge inexplicably said the South Bank offence was... "at the lower end of the scale because the child was unaware the video had been taken”. Hmmm, what an amazing ruling!

He then ordered Hancock be immediately released despite two psychiatrists having classified his risk of reoffending as “high” and that he had already been in breach of strict supervision orders on three previous occasions.

Well, I guess an innocent four year old may not have a sophisticated grasp of what a sexual offence is but maybe the Premier of Queensland should have had the sense to step in and order a review of the judge's ruling.

    But no, Hancock walked, free to continue his sexual addiction to small children.

It was no surprise the judge showed an unfathomable leniency toward the despicable Hancock because the judge himself had also shown an addiction to small children (mostly young boys) along with his partner in crime, ex-Premier Rob “Bubbles” Borbidge. Bubbles and the judge go back a long way.

So, who exactly is this bastard judge? Well, he was Chief Justice of Queensland, Paul “Daphnis” De Jersey (pictured) and, if you’re a Queenslander, he is now your new Governor, courtesy of an appointment by Campbell Newman.

To the legal fraternity’s dismay Newman had over-promoted the embarrassingly hapless Tim Carmody to fill De Jersey’s former position as Chief Justice. You see, Carmody had undertaken to uphold Newman’s VLAD laws despite the judiciary’s hostile objection to them.

Prior to his appointment as Governor, Newman was shown extensive information regarding De Jersey and was warned about his history, particularly within the Anglican Church, but Newman responded with the comment, “I don’t take any notice of internet blogs.”

If Newman is unaware of the suppressed findings of the CMC and the alarming Anglican record regarding this grub, then he’s had his head in the sand for the past three decades.


CFMEU took weekly kickbacks from George Alex companies, Royal commission hears

Explosive revelations of union kickbacks from businesses linked to crime figures, terrorists and standover men emerged from the royal commission into union corruption on Monday.

Witnesses gave evidence that the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union allegedly received a weekly kickback of $2500 from labour-hire companies linked to Sydney crime figure George Alex.

They also expressed fears for their safety.

During extraordinary evidence supporting findings unearthed by Fairfax Media investigations, the royal commission was told:

* Prison inmate Jim Kendrovski, who was assaulted in Parklea jail on Friday after being summonsed to give evidence at the commission, refused to answer questions because he feared for the safety of his wife and children.

* Union official Jose [Mario] Barrios received a threatening phone call from Mr Alex late last month after Mr Barrios raised questions with CFMEU NSW secretary Brian Parker about why the union was negotiating a workplace agreement what he suspected was one of Mr Alex's businesses.

* Convicted terrorist Khaled Sharrouf helped his mother-in-law Karen Nettleton get a job as a bookeeper for Mr Alex, an associate of Mr Sharrouf.

* Criminal identities including Sharrouf and ex-Comanchero bikie, Bill Fatrouni, were seen as guests at Mr Alex's house in Burwood where business was conducted informally.

* CFMEU NSW officials Mr Parker and Darren Greenfield were seen at meetings in Mr Alex's home.

* A director of one of Mr Alex's businesses said he started feeling uncomfortable when people from the company were being murdered - a reference to the murder of Mr Alex's standover man Joe Antoun in December last year.

The commission heard the CFMEU allegedly received a weekly kickback of $2500 from labour-hire companies linked to Mr Alex.

Under cross-examination, Michael Cohen, director of Elite Access Scaffolding, said he gave the weekly "union payment" to Mr Alex's standover man, Joe Antoun before he was murdered in December.

When counsel assisting, Jeremy Stoljar, asked whether the weekly payment was to be given to the CFMEU, he said: "To my understanding."

Pressed, he said: "That's correct", adding that was based on what Antoun had told him.

Douglas Westerway, a former director of Elite Access Scaffolding NSW, said he withdrew weekly payments of $2500, which were designated as union payments in accounting records he kept.

However, he could not confirm whether the payments were made to the CFMEU after he gave the money to Mr Cohen to be passed on toAntoun.

Mr Westerway said he saw criminal identities including convicted terrorist Khaled Sharrouf and ex-Comanchero bikie, Bill Fatrouni, at Mr Alex's house in Burwood where business was conducted in an informal way. He said he also saw union officials including CFMEU NSW secretary Brian Parker and another CFMEU official, Darren Greenfield, at meetings with Mr Alex.

Mr Westerway started feeling uncomfortable working in the business after the murder of Antoun, who had seriously assaulted him.

"People around you being murdered, it's not a comfortable place to work," he said.

While Mr Alex does not appear in company searches as a shareholder or director of the Elite holdings or Active Labour companies, Mr Westerway said he and Antoun effectively controlled the companies and how money was spent. Evidence was given that Mr Alex and Antoun received regular dividend payments of $2500.

In October last year, Mr Westerway said Antoun had discussed the need for some money for a property development in Marrickville.

But Mr Westerway indicated the company needed the funds to pay its own bills.

Antoun had seemed to have accepted this but, 10 minutes later, located Mr Westerway and assaulted him.

"Joe Antoun and somebody else came across the street and he yelled at me about being disrespectful to his wife who I hadn't even spoken to that day and told me this was my last warning and started throwing punches at me and hitting me," Mr Westerway said.

"He kept on screaming at me and telling me it was my last warning."

As a result of the assault, Mr Westerway said he went to hospital with two perforated ear drums.

Around Christmas time last year, Mr Westerway said he was buying a sandwich in Burwood when a male walked up behind him and said: "You're a smart arse aren't you?".

"He said, 'Don't f--- around with that business - it's not your business to f--- around with. This is your last warning'."

"I've had phone calls. I've had text messages."

In further evidence, Karen Nettleton said her daughter's husband, Khaled Sharrouf, was an associate of Mr Alex and had helped her get a job as an accounts clerk for Access Scaffolding, linked to Mr Alex.

Asked if she had received an explanation of $2500 described as "union payment" was – she said "no".

Fairfax Media understands Mr Alex will be called as a witness on Tuesday when hearings continue.


'A litany of failures': Tony Abbott tables royal commission's report into the Rudd government's home insulation scheme

A royal commission report into the former Rudd government's $2.8 billion home insulation program found a "litany of failures arising from a dysfunctional culture in the former administration", Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said.

The findings by Commissioner Ian Hanger, QC, were "grave and its [the report's] recommendations are detailed", Mr Abbott told the House of Representatives.

The report identified seven significant failings in the design and implementation of the program, including: "inevitable and predictable conflict or tension between the two aims of the HIP. One aim was to insulate 2.2 million homes and the other was to stimulate the economy. Both were doubtless admirable aims but there was an inherent conflict between them".

In addition it highlighted:

The Department of Environment was ill-equipped to deal with a program of its size and complexity. This problem was made worse by a switch in the delivery model from a regional brokerage model to a direct delivery model

A failure by the federal government to identify and manage the risk to the installers of injury and death.

The reflective foil insulation was "manifestly unsuitable and dangerous"

The decision to relax training and competency requirement
Allowing the program to move to "phase 2" without a robust audit program

The federal government's reliance on states, territories and employers to enforce health and safety requirements

Decisions made under the insulation program were found to have "unnecessarily exposed workers, particularly inexperienced ones, to an unacceptably high risk of injury or death".

"There was no compelling reason to commence the main phase of the Home Insulation Program on 1 July 2009, other than the generally perceived need to commence it as soon as reasonably possible, and because the prime minister had publicly announced that as the starting date."

"The reality is that the Australian government conceived of, devised, designed and implemented a program that enabled very large numbers of inexperienced workers – often engaged by unscrupulous and avaricious employers or head contractors ... to undertake potentially dangerous work. It should have done more to protect them."

The deaths of four young Australians – Queenslanders Matthew Fuller, Rueben Barnes and Mitchell Sweeney and Marcus Wilson from NSW – who lost their lives while working on the economic stimulus program "would, and should, not have occurred had the Home Insulation Program been properly designed and implemented".

The use of reflective foil sheeting had directly contributed to the deaths of Mr Fuller and Mr Sweeney and "should never have been permitted".

Rushed introduction

The report notes that no one, including former prime minister Kevin Rudd and former ministers Mark Arbib and Peter Garrett, had given evidence of the economic imperative for a July 1, 2009 start date.

Mr Arbib, the former minister for government service delivery, had not technically had the authority to make decisions, yet "at all times pushed the commencement date of 1 July, 2009 despite any concerns expressed by others as to whether it was properly attainable". The commissioner also found that Mr Arbib had received a risk assessment "shortly after his request for it" and rejected his denial of having received it.

And at the level of the political executive, "Mr Rudd, Mr Garrett and Mr Arbib all had direct and close involvement in various aspects of the program. Mr Garrett, as the Minister for the Environment had formal control over the HIP. Mr Rudd, as, in effect, the 'Secretary of Cabinet' had control in an overall governmental sense".

Additionally, the scheme "wreaked havoc" with pre-existing installation businesses, which initially scaled up their operations to meet program demand and then were hard hit by the snap suspension of the program in February 2010.

Many of the businesses that existed before the scheme was put in place had been devastated and compensation should be made available to them.

Much of the report is critical of the public service's handling of the scheme, with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet slated for its insistence on undue speed in its implementation.

Deficiencies in the technical expertise of public service employees are identified, while the Department of the Environment had "no experience with a delivery model such as this".

The Commonwealth had deliberately chosen not to use states and territories to help with the program, despite their experience, and "that the Home Insulation Program was a particularly bad example of shortcomings caused by a very inexperienced Department having been asked to deliver it".

Overall, the report found, the scheme was "poorly planned and poorly implemented" and in the case of the HIP "the failings of senior management [in the public service] assured the failure of the project. There can be no substitute for the leadership, advice and decision making that senior managers are required to provide".

Mr Abbott told the Parliament that "four young men lost their lives as a consequence of this bungled programme. As well, homes were damaged or destroyed and businesses badly affected. I hope this report brings some comfort to everyone affected."

The federal government will deliver an initial response into the report by the end of the month and a final response will be handed down by the end of the year.

Series of inquiries

There have already been numerous inquiries into the failed program, including by state coroners and the Australian National Audit Office.

During the 12 months it operated, there were 1.1 million insulation installations. A total of 224 fire incidents were linked to the program, with 144 involving flames, though that rate was no higher than it had been before the program started.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he had not yet seen the report but "in terms of the tragedy of four people losing their lives that's what matters to me".

He said his colleagues would be standing up later on Monday to discuss the findings of the report and he wanted to see better workplace safety.

"My interest is first and foremost the safety of people going to work," Mr Shorten said, adding he was not up for a "political blame game".

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said the deaths of the three Queensland insulation workers was a "terrible tragedy" and his first thoughts were with their families.

He said the lack of government planning was clear.

"It just shows that governments need to plan properly when they implement programs or infrastructure," Mr Newman said.  "That comes out loud and clear."

Compensation under consideration

Mr Newman said compensation for the families could now be considered. He stressed that he was yet to look at the insulation report findings in any detail.

"I think these sorts of things now need to be looked at," he said.

Gold Coast lawyer Bill Potts said Murray Barnes, whose son Rueben was electrocuted laying batts in the ceiling cavity of a house at Stanwell, did not want compensation.

"For him, it has never been about money. No amount of money can bring a much-loved son back. No amount of money will compensate for a life," Mr Potts said.

"Murray Barnes has only ever wanted answers and for him at least he has the start of the answers. But he has to live with the questions. And the question at the end of the day is, 'Why did his son have to die in this way?'

"A 16-year-old son is worth effectively not a very large amount of money. I know that sounds brutally cruel, but that's the simple truth. At the end of the day, the government will no doubt make up its own mind about what it wants to do.

"For Murray, it has been about answers, not about money."

Speaking on behalf of the Sweeney family, Peter Koutsoukis of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers called upon the federal government to compensate grieving relatives.

"I call on the government to compensate the families affected by this program," he said.

"The Sweeney family has been profoundly affected by this. Members of the family have had an inability to work, substantial grief and ... if as the report finds, the Australian government is clearly to blame to this, well why shouldn't they get compensation."

Mr Koutsoukis said the firm would also consider suing the Australian government as part of a civil claim lodged against Mr Sweeney's employer, Titan Insulations.


My Muslim religion has problems that need fixing

Glenn Mohammed

 Under attack: The Muslim community is quick to stand up and use its democratic right to protest against being singled out.
Under attack: The Muslim community is quick to stand up and use its democratic right to protest against being singled out.
I am an Australian, I am a Muslim. I am an Australian Muslim. The recent actions  of the group known as Islamic State have put my faith in the spotlight as a threat to my nation and fellow Australians with whom I share the privilege of living in this great nation. It is here that I practice my faith freely.

A number of Muslim community organisations and Councils have come out in recent weeks against the Anti-Terrorism legislation proposed by the Australian Government in response to individuals who go to Iraq and Syria to fight.

As a lawyer I am very sceptical of any legislation which reverses the onus of proof. However, I do not understand the resentment against this legislation from the Muslim segment of the population which feels it is being unfairly targeted.

The Muslim community is quick to stand up and use its democratic right to protest against being singled out. It  feels under attack by the government. Maybe it is, maybe it is not, but the government is able to explain and justify the proposed legislation.

When will the Muslim community see the other side of this argument and realise that yes, we are under attack. Our faith is under attack. Our faith is being eaten up from within by fundamentalist elements around the world who twist it to suit their political agendas and interpret it to make their case. To them it's nothing but a tool to control people. They justify their actions through our faith. 

When will Muslims stand up and accept that yes we have problems within our faith. Maybe a few more problems than other faiths, but sure, we have problems. They don't just affect us as Muslims, they affect our friends, their families and our neighbours. They affect a society that welcomes us here, treats us as equals and gives us the opportunity to live a decent and dignified life. Democratic Australia gives us a voice and tries its best not to judge us.

The issues that we face within our religion range widely from individuals brutally beheading people in the name of establishing an Islamic Caliphate to, at a local level, female genital mutilation.

Muslims need to be able to discuss these issues openly and denounce barbaric behaviour. Instead, we choose to remain silent and then criticise a government that tries to make Australia safer. We use democratic values such as the right to equality, to claim the existence of discrimination, racism and Islamophobia.

The Islamic Council is against the government taking steps to secure its citizens from Australian fundamentalists who fight wars in other countries. It's their prerogative to fight wherever they want. But these fundamentalist want to bring this war back to Australia. They do not value what Australians have. They do not agree with our way of life. They do not want to respect the law and the democracy in which we thrive.

What is the Islamic Council doing to eliminate the threat of radicalised individuals? What is it doing to protect Muslims and those of other faiths in Australia?  Who is responsible for protecting us from fundamentalists, who, on their return to cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, might try to inflict pain on us? Why is the Islamic Council critical of the government's efforts to secure its citizens from this threat? Where do our priorities lie as Muslims?

As Muslims we need to change our mindset and our attitude towards the society in which we live. We need to understand the value of what we have in this country and we should be the first to protect Australian society from elements within our faith that want to harm it. We shouldn't fight a government that is trying to protect Muslims and others alike. When we are able to separate our faith from our politics, we will see how damaged our faith has become.

When IS beheaded a civilian journalist we didn't go out on the streets and protest. We don't self-reflect and accept that there are problems within our faith and it is up to us to fix them so they do not affect people around us. We are too busy being calculative, examining the details of the government's actions  and the impact they might have on us. So what if I need to answer questions upon my return from a war zone? If it saves one person from being killed or injured in Australia we should be lining up to support it.

When IS beheads an innocent person, it is doing so in my name. I am here to make a declaration that it is not in my name. These people are a threat to me, my faith and my country and I will do all I can to protect Australia from any harm that these people within my faith may inflict on it.


Labor party coverup in the ACT?

The ACT government is asking $2000 for the release of information on profits made by the ACT Labor Party from changing the status on the lease of the Weston Creek Labor Club.

The Canberra Liberals, who submitted the freedom of information request, say they compromised to only request documents relating to the Weston Creek club after they were told access to documents relating to all three Labor clubs would cost over $6000.

A letter from the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate said the request will take 65 hours – with nearly 29 hours allocated to deciding what it would release, at a cost of $614.56.

The letter also said looking for the documents would take 36 hours and cost $376.62 and photocopying would cost $1096. The directorate said the total would come to $2087.

ACT Planning Minister Simon Corbell recently came under fire from the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which accused him of not properly consulting the public interest and of responding in a formulaic fashion to 13 lease variation approvals since late 2010.

The 13 leases that have been approved as no longer concessional are mostly clubs, and include the Weston Creek venue.

Concessional leases, long a controversial issue, are low-cost leases granted to groups for activities that benefit the community.

If they apply to have the lease no longer concessional, allowing for the site to be sold or developed, the minister has to weigh up whether the change would disadvantage the community.

The change does not grant development rights, however, and clubs or groups are required to pay out the lease.

The Combined Community Councils has criticised the process, saying clubs were profiting from conversions, particularly when they sold the land for development, and community facilities were suffering.

The lease for the Weston Creek Labor Club at Stirling was made no longer concessional in 2012.

The ACT government has refused to reveal the amount paid in lease variation charges, saying it could not disclose taxpayer information.

Opposition Deputy Leader Alistair Coe said he wanted to ensure due diligence was carried out in the club's case.

Mr Coe has sought a waiver of the $2000 freedom of information charge citing the public interest, and expected to hear back from the directorate within a week.

"It would look quite dodgy for this one not to go through in the interests of probity," he said.

Canberra Labor Clubs, whose board is made up of Labor members, runs clubs in Civic, Charnwood and Weston Creek.

Mr Corbell told the assembly this month he "acted on a number of occasions to seek to reject proposals to redevelop concessional leases for private development" and acted transparently in the public interest.


1 comment:

Paul said...

If Newman "doesn't take notice of Internet Blogs" then he's really not fit to govern in the modern world.