Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Crime scene clean-up payments were billed to the mother of murdered man Matthew Thomas
If the police order work, they should pay for it -- and then, where possible, recover the cost from the perpetrator or his estate
IT is a scene no mother should have to confront, but what followed added outrage to grief.
Louise Thomas found her son Matthew shot dead in his bedroom by a close friend and neighbour who had then turned the gun on himself.
Amid the confusion of the night of April 25, 2013, police called in a forensic cleaner.
But no one told Mrs Thomas she would have to foot the bill.
The case sheds light on a little-known police and state government policy that requires victims to pay for cleaning crime scenes.
While victims’ compensation is available to assist with costs, some victim advocates have spoken against the existing policy, saying the fee, which averages $3500, should be borne entirely by the government.
In the case of Mrs Thomas, the oversight led to events that compounded her grief, including a lawsuit from the company, BVM Clean Scene, when she refused to pay.
“Very few people would have the situation we had and I hope nobody has to go through it,” Mrs Thomas said.
She eventually won the civil case on the basis that she was never told by police, who called the cleaning company, that she would have to pay. A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment.
Usually, the government provides up to $5000 under an “immediate needs” payment to cover relocation costs, funeral expenses and the clean up.
The police only pay to clean a crime scene when chemical enhancement techniques such as Luminol are used.
Mrs Thomas said she was given $5000, but most of it was spent on a solicitor to manage her deceased son’s affairs. The remainder was used on rent because she could not go back to the property.
Victims of Crime Assistance League co-founder Howard Brown said this type of spending was typical because some crime scenes can be tied up more than four weeks.
He believes crime-scene cleaning should not be tied to compensation. “It should be a cost borne by government,” Mr Brown said. “The fact that victims bear it, is in my view, bloody ridiculous.”
Deputy State Coroner Carmel Forbes last month handed down her findings into the death of Matthew Thomas.
The inquest heard that Matthew, 30, was killed by Peter Junghans, a friend who lived next door in Westleigh, in northwest Sydney.
Mr Junghans was under police surveillance for dealing cannabis and confronted Matthew after incorrectly accusing him of assisting police.
The only recommendation made by Ms Forbes was in relation to crime scene cleaning.
Magistrate Forbes recommended police ensure written advice is given to victims, such as Mrs Thomas, about the regulations surrounding payment for crime scene cleaning.
Is there no end to the thieving of this woman?
Evidence has been unearthed showing that in late 2011 Julia Gillard used borrowed taxpayer funds of between $10 and $25 million to give to the infamous Clinton Foundation. The money was funnelled through the tax-free charity AusAID which was suspiciously brought under the auspices of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Now why would that be?
US documents show AusAID and Saudi Arabia were among the most generous contributors to the Clintons with many smaller donations from various entities. The donors list includes the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, (all players in the UN's NWO) and Australia.
Amounts between $10 and $25 million are classed as "preferred contributions" by the Clintons and Gillard shared top billing with Saudi Arabia who had apparently peaked at the $25 million mark.
All donations are denoted in ranges.
Both DFAT and AusAID have not returned phone calls and have demanded any questions be set out in letter form but even then they have still refused to respond with Julie Bishop claiming protocol prevents her from answering on behalf of DFAT when under a different administration.
AusAID was brought under the umbrella of DFAT shortly before Bob Carr was parachuted into the Foreign Affairs portfolio. There is no way to prove that the AusAID move was made to hide the donations but I'd like to be as sure of winning Lotto.
It appears that not only the Islamic community are adept at using tax free charities to hide donations to terrorist organisations, but the Clintons have become expert in using charities to obfuscate funds that really go to the election of Hillary.
DFAT also refused to answer questions regarding its deep involvement in the illegal kidnapping of four Italian girls.
Despite Australia being a signatory to the Hague Convention DFAT officials had secretly arranged the mother's and girls' airfares to Australia and had gone to extreme lengths to deceive the father, Tomasso Vincenti, into believing the girls were merely going on a "holiday".
After long court battle involving the High Court the girls were returned to Italy. When Pickering Post recently contacted the father the girls were all doing well in Tuscany.
It seems a shroud of secrecy prevails if anything dodgy needs to be carried out in govenment. If you must do it then for God's sake do it under the banner of DFAT because it, as a matter of protocol, can't answer any questions on behalf of former Foreign Affairs Ministers like Carr and Rudd. ... and Prime Ministers like Gillard.
Conservative politician slams push for legalised gay marriage because it could lead to 'group relationships'... and argues no Asian country allows it so it shouldn't happen
A senior government minister has said Australia should not legalise same sex marriage because Asian countries do not have it.
Eric Abetz, the Liberal leader in the Senate, also told Sky News it could open a 'Pandora's box' and lead to 'polyamory', or group relationships.
The remarks come hot on the heels of an announcement that Liberal backbenchers will co-sponsor an unprecedented cross-party bill to legalise same sex marriage next month.
'Here we are in Asia... I must simply ask the question in this Asian century,' Mr Abetz said, 'Which other Asian country has legalised same sex marriage? None!'
Mr Abetz has been the government's most vocal opponent of same sex marriage this week. In a column for Fairfax Media, he wrote the media was campaigning for same sex marriage.
'With the recent one-sided reporting of the Supreme Court ruling in the US, same-sex propaganda is hitting new heights,' he wrote.
'But I would advise caution. The debate here isn't over.'
'The Prime Minister's position remains the same as it has always been and he supports the current policy that marriage is between a man and a woman,' a spokesman said.
He said government was focused on national security and the economy.
It was revealed yesterday a cross-party bill, co-sponsored by Liberal MP Warren Entsch, Labor MP Terri Butler, crossbenchers and the Greens, is scheduled to arrive in Parliament on August 11.
After Opposition Leader Bill Shorten introduced a bill last month, Mr Abbott had said a marriage equality decision would have to be owned by the whole Parliament.
'If our Parliament were to make a big decision on a matter such as this, it ought to be owned by the Parliament and not by any particular party,' he said.
A bill would be unlikely to pass if Liberal MPs did not receive a conscience vote, campaigners have said.
But parliamentary support has swelled in recent months - particularly following a string of huge victories for same sex marriage campaigners in the United States and Ireland.
The development was welcomed by Mr Shorten, who said in a statement he hoped Mr Abbott would allow Liberal MPs a free vote.
'As I've consistently said, it's the outcome that is important here, not whose name is on the Bill.
'Like millions of Australians, my first and only hope here is that we can make marriage equality a reality'.
Leading same sex marriage campaigner Alex Greenwich, the state NSW MP for Sydney, said: 'Here's hoping for spring weddings'.
But opponents were already organising on Wednesday afternoon.
Lyle Shelton, from the Australian Christian Lobby, tweeted: 'A bill to abolish husband & wife in the Marriage Act will be introduced to [Parliament] on Aug 11. 'Time to let MPs know kids need their mum & dad'.
Three current articles below
Climate change is causing DRAGONS to change gender: Researchers find Australian reptiles are switching sex
Since there has been no climate change for 18 years, these results CANNOT be due to climate change
The cold-blooded Australian Central Bearded Dragon is widespread on red sandy areas in the semi-arid regions of eastern Australia.
It occupies open woodland and is conspicuous when it perches high to warm in the early morning sunlight.
Now a study of this creature has shown embryos with two Z chromosomes - making them genetically male - can develop as female at warm egg-incubation temperatures.
It means its sex is determined both by its complement of chromosomes and by the temperature at which its eggs are incubated.
In place of X and Y sex chromosomes reptiles have Z and W - with ZZ producing males and ZW females.
Combining field data from 131 adult lizards with controlled breeding experiments chemical analyses showed eleven individuals found towards the warmer end of the species' range had a male set of chromosomes - but were actually female.
It was also found they can facilitate a quick change from a genetically-controlled system to a temperature-controlled one, reports Nature.
When these sex-reversed females were mated with normal males none of the offspring had sex chromosomes and their sex was entirely determined by egg incubation temperature.
The offspring arising from sex-reversed mothers also had a higher propensity to reverse - reinforcing the transition - and sex-reversed mothers laid almost twice as many eggs per year than their normal peers leading to more feminized populations.
The study highlights the potential role of global warming in altering the biology and the genome of climate-sensitive reptiles.
Dr Clare Holleley, of Canberra University, said the finding 'adds to concern about adaptation to rapid global climate change.'
She said: 'Here we make the first report of reptile sex reversal in the wild - in the Australian bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) - and use sex-reversed animals to experimentally induce a rapid transition from genotypic to temperature-dependent sex determination.
'Although sex reversal in reptiles has been demonstrated under laboratory conditions this is the first time sex reversal has been shown to occur naturally in a wild population of reptiles - or indeed any amniote.'
She said sex reversal was widespread with instances distributed over a total area of almost 15,000 square miles in remote semi-arid Australia.
The proportion of sex-reversed females increased each year over the study from 6.7% in 2003 to 13.6% in 2004 to 22.2% in 2011 - suggestive of a trend.
Biologist James Bull, of Texas University at Austin, reviewed the study for the journal and says it will inspire 'parallel work on other species.'
He said: 'Broader geographic and longitudinal comparisons for these lizards will give insight into the ramifications of climate change on this temperature-dependent reproductive mode.'
The church and fossil fuels
Divestment from fossil fuels has become the moral weapon of choice in the armoury of ecclesiastical environmental activists who want to end coal production in Australia.
Pope Francis' recent papal encyclical Laudato Si identified the intensive use of fossil fuels as a major aggravating factor in anthropogenic global warming.
Now Sydney Anglican diocese's investment arm, the $262 million Glebe Administration Board (GAB), wants to divest from fossil fuels altogether or set targets for "carbon reduction" across its entire portfolio.
But this means choosing to ignore coal investment's potential economic benefits - and its benefits to the world's poorer emerging populations.
Christian investment funds should certainly think carefully about where they put their money. There is no godly reason why they should invest in the gambling industry.
But there is no moral equivalence between investing in pokies and investing in coal. Gambling never did anyone any good, but the same can't be said about coal.
Oil giant BP reports that use of coal has grown four times faster than renewables and 2.8 times faster than oil over the past decade. Investment interest in fossil fuels and the supply of cheap energy is booming.
Coal has helped lift the living standards of hundreds of millions of the world's poor by providing a cheap source of energy that has a huge, economy-wide impact.
Coal also happens to be Australia's second most valuable export after iron ore and supplies the fuel for our own electricity networks.
Divesting from fossil fuels may be fashionable but it is also immoral. Quite apart from putting domestic jobs at risk, 'ethical' attacks on the coal industry threaten the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people in developing economies.
The Sydney GAB fund managers will be the latest to jump with their misplaced ideals on to the bandwagon of climate correctness when they take their revised policy to the diocese's Standing Committee later in the year for endorsement.
A truly ethical investment policy aims to help the world's poor. Instead, the flawed reasoning of environmental activism threatens only real economic and moral harm.
More From Deniliquin
Steve Goddard on the "fiddled" climate records of Australia's BOM
Deniliquin has not only cooled since the 19th century, but the frequency of very hot days has also dropped dramatically.
BOM ignores all pre-1910 temperatures, because they don’t fit the global warming narrative.