Monday, January 25, 2016

Big Brother star Tahan Lew-Fatt reveals she was a victim of domestic violence…but SUPPORTS Mark Latham's comments that men were being demonised

Former Big Brother star Tahan Lew-Fatt has revealed to Daily Mail Australia she was previously involved in an abusive relationship.

The 25-year-old, who is now dating racing driver David Reynolds, opened up about her experience on Saturday after Mark Latham's appearance on Weekend Sunrise, in which he reiterated his opinion that domestic violence can be a coping mechanism for men.

'[A] previous relationship [of mine] was abusive so I have first hand knowledge of what it's like to be in that kind of relationship,' Lew-Fatt told DMA before revealing she agreed with some of the points Latham made on air.

'Even though I did not condone what happened during that part of my life... after counselling sessions there are bigger issues and I understood it more,' she explained.

'Lucky I got out when I did, but even though it wasn't healthy, there was still love and respect, just underlying issues that needed to be dealt with.'

'So what Mark Latham said [regarding] coping mechanism, I kind of understand where he is coming from. Like whether we [like] it or not [it] has some fact behind it,' she added.

Lew-Fatt's statement comes after she took to Twitter earlier on Saturday morning to support Latham after he said on air: 'You can only go by the official statistics rather than left wing feminist hysteria.'

She tweeted: 'I am with Mark on this one ... Over feminism'.

Addressing this particular social media post, Lew-Fatt told DMA: 'All my post was about was I am over this feminism double standards stuff'.

Latham appeared on Weekend Sunrise after a podcast of his that was aired on Triple M on Friday was labelled a 'disgraceful attack' on domestic violence campaigner and Australian of the Year Rosie Batty.

He stood by his comments the following day, telling Seven hosts Edwina Bartholomew and Mike Amor that women are safer than ever before, despite there being close to 80 deaths from domestic violence in Australia last year.

'Read the ABS personal safety'll notice that since 1996 the rate of domestic assault and incidences has come down according to that report. So you can only go by the official statistics rather than left wing feminist hysteria,' Latham said.

In his Triple M podcast, Latham clearly had domestic violence campaigner and Australian of the Year Rosie Batty in his sights.

'A lot of Australians are asking how did [Batty's] tragedy where a lunatic drugged-out father sadly maliciously killed his own son, how's that morphed into a generalised campaign against all Australian men?' he said.

'I'm worried that the domestic violence debate is being used as a Trojan horse to push left-wing feminist position, saying that we're a patriarchy, there's a demonisation of men here, if you listen to Rosie Batty. 'Every man is a potential wife basher. Every woman is potentially at risk.'

In February 2014, Ms Batty's son, Luke, was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of his father, Greg, when he murdered the 11-year-old at cricket practice in the outer Melbourne suburb of Tyabb.

Since then Ms Batty has tried to put domestic violence on the national agenda and was given the award of 2015 Australian of the Year for her efforts.

But that was not how Latham saw it. Calling domestic violence 'a coping mechanism' in his podcast, he believed it was 'a concentrated problem that needs a concentrated solution'.

Addressing his particular claims about Ms Batty, Sunrise host Bartholomew asked Mark: 'So you do believe that in fact Rosie Batty you quote "causes more harm than good"?'.

'Well I don't think it's helpful to demonise men in these circumstances,' he responded. 'I don't think it's helpful to go around talking about an epidemic when actually in Australia the domestic assault rate against women in a 12-month period is one per cent.'

'Now I wish it was zero per cent. Of course, we all want it to be zero per cent. But I know enough about politics to realise that if you want to analyse and get solutions to a problem, you have to be accurate.'


Baird Government sees economic boost from public housing revamp

There will need to be swift evictions for misbehaving charity tenants if mixed public and private tenancy is to work.  Otherwise anti-social behaviour by social tenants will drive out private owners and renters

The Baird government is promising a $22 billion construction boom will flow from an historic decision to privatise public housing in NSW.

The construction of tens of thousands of private dwellings is expected to help ease Sydney's housing affordability crisis by putting downward pressure on rents.

Ageing housing estates will be bulldozed and rebuilt by private property developers into communities where private tenants and home owners outnumber social housing tenants by a 70:30 ratio.

A third of government housing stock will be transferred to community housing organisations, who will be expected to offer support services to assist social housing tenants rebuild their lives.

The Baird government will rely more heavily on private rental subsidies to house families in crisis, including women fleeing domestic violence, so they can avoid a public housing waiting list which has stretched to 60,000 families.

A 10-year framework to be released by Social Housing Minister Brad Hazzard on Sunday will outline the NSW government's plan to break the cycle of poverty that has seen successive generations of families relying on government-provided housing.

The number of private rental subsidies will be increased by 60 per cent, to 37,000, by 2025.

Mr Hazzard said the plan would see 23,500 new and replacement social and affordable housing dwellings constructed by the private sector, ranging from high rises to townhouses.

Property developers will be expected to form joint ventures with community housing groups to bid for the redevelopment projects.

"We have billions of dollars worth of land with ageing public housing that no longer does the job we expect for those community members," said Mr Hazzard.

"This is a really innovative way of saying we can use that old, run down, tired stock on taxpayers land to go to the private sector and say build us more, far more social housing and mix the private housing and give us better social outcomes."

Mr Hazzard cited the Lend Lease redevelopment of the London council housing estate Elephant and Castle, which now includes luxury penthouses and is dominated by private dwellings, as an international example of the model.

Construction and property companies had established business units to pursue social housing redevelopments, he said. Projects would be staged to provide a construction pipeline to sustain the NSW economy as the WestConnex and North Connex projects tapered off.

"The health of NSW will be enhanced by doing something that no Liberal government has ever considered – building thousands of new social homes," he said.

Under the framework, families who have experienced loss of income through a sudden event such as retrenchment or illness, and young people, will be a priority for a new three-year private rental subsidy. Recipients will be required to undergo training or support programs.

The strategy identifies two groups of social housing tenants: a safety net group of the frail, disabled, elderly and mentally ill who need long-term support; and another group that can be moved out of the system, with appropriate support such as TAFE training.

To improve the educational outcomes of children living in social housing, $2 million will be spent building childcare centres, and a program of health worker visits for mothers and babies introduced.

NSW Council of Social Service chief executive Tracy Howe said the framework was "a flexible and progressive and modern take on what needs to be done".

"It acknowledges there is a safety net cohort, and we need to ensure that is not watered down because it is a key milestone for social housing. I don't want to think there will be a group of vulnerable people who feel more vulnerable because the framework says they can be moved out of the system," she said.

Ms Howe cautioned that moving people into jobs may not be easy.

"The jobs aren't always going to be there. It seems there is a hope someone will be able to get out of social housing and into the private rental market. There are areas where jobs don't exist. For Aboriginal young people, it's hard to get work."

Community housing providers would do "a great job" in providing services for vulnerable tenants, but need to be given long-term, 20-year contracts to provide business certainty, she said.

The NSW government has asked the Commonwealth to allow rent to be automatically deducted from Centrelink payments for social housing tenants. Mr Hazzard said this would reduce the number of evictions for unpaid rent.

Ms Howe said the jury was out on rent quarantining, with some women's groups welcoming it after a Centrelink trial in Bankstown.

Rental bonds will be imposed for new social housing leases in the second half of 2016 for the first time, capped at $1400. The bond, previously announced by the NSW government, can be paid over two years.


Australia's radical plan to save native wildlife from extinction: Authorities begin killing off more than TWO MILLION cats as they try and save bandicoots and bats

Australia has increased its efforts to protect unique native species and has already started by wiping out 2 million feral cats.

Figures have shown that the country has lost 29 native species to a population of more than 20 million cats since 1788.

Sixteen threatened species were also added to the list of animals that need to be taken into priority due to their risk of extinction.

The Commonwealth’s threatened species strategy added the mahogany glider, eastern quoll, western ringtail possum, woylie, black-footed rock-wallaby, Gilbert’s potoroo, northern hopping-mouse and Christmas Island flying-fox to a list of 20 mammals under threat, reported The Herald.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt told The Herald: ‘It is our duty to care for them, so our bilbies, numbats, quolls and other unique fauna and flora remain a living part of our culture.’

‘As any international visitor will tell you, we are truly lucky to share this continent with so many wonderful and distinctly Australian plants and animals,’ he added.

Improving habitats and helping with 500 programs that already help with emergency intervention to create safe environments for the animals can be seen across the country.

Scientists are also working close with government officials to help the leadbeater possums found in the Toolangi Forest in the North of Melbourne.


’Australia Post - you are the weakest link':  Couple was shocked to find the expensive parcel just sitting on their lawn

Ahmed Fahour is a great networker but he doesn't seem to be the boss Australia Post needs.  I recently had a letter take two weeks to get delivered.  For many years, most deliveries were overnight

IT SEEMS there is no end to the frustrating stories Australians have to share when it comes to poor postal delivery service.

Late last year, Australia Post copped a storm of criticism after CCTV footage was published showing a Sydney courier making no attempt to actually deliver a resident’s parcel.

Now, a married couple from Far North Queensland have a fresh horror story to share.

On Friday afternoon, Mark and Jharna Hogan were shocked after discovering a parcel worth thousands of dollars just sitting in the middle of their front lawn. They claim the driver had made no attempt to physically deliver the parcel directly to them.

Mark had taken the whole morning off to wait for this important parcel to arrive, as it contained hearing aids for his wife that had just come back from repair.

When he finally checked outside, it had apparently just been tossed next to his letterbox.

Mark took to Australia Post’s Facebook page to complain about the incident, saying:

"This is a whole new level of incompetent blatant indifference to any level of service. There was zero effort made here! I did not accept delivery yet it says I did! The parcel easily fits in

the letterbox yet your delivery man simply threw it on the grass. Disgraceful!

"Raising your prices yet lowering your service, the question is is it possible to go any lower than you have today? Australia Post - You are the weakest link.”

Jharna Hogan, his wife, was equally as unimpressed.

"It would have taken the delivery driver about ten steps to actually exit his vehicle and place the parcel in the letterbox,” she told

"I can’t fathom why the delivery driver thought leaving a parcel on the ground next to a mailbox (which had plenty of room for the parcel) was appropriate.”

The frustrated couple said lax delivery processes were something they’d become accustomed to - a problem many Aussies can no doubt relate to, even when they had been home all day."We’ve had parcels left on our doorstep in the rain, on our deck in view of the street and inexplicably, in our garage behind the freezer, with no note left indicating that a parcel had

been stashed there,” said Jharna.

"When talking to friends yesterday, it became apparent that we’re certainly not alone in our

Australia Post experiences - one delivery driver thought the best spot to leave my friend’s new NBN modem was on top of the garden waste bag, which thankfully wasn’t due for collection by the garden waste company that day.”

On January 4, Australia Post received approval to increase the price of regular postage stamps from 70 cents to $1.

Last year, the company reported a loss of $222 million, with its mail division losing $381 million as demand fell by 10.3 per cent.

Addressing the company’s financial issues, the couple criticised it for "raising prices yet lowering service”.

"I was amused to see that they’re rolling out a campaign promoting that ‘they love delivering’ - given the ongoing poor service we receive from them, I’m thoroughly unconvinced that any of our local Australia Post staff do in fact love delivering, or working at all.”

Mark’s post fired up fellow customers on social media, who deemed the incident "shocking” and in "poor form”.

One user said she "thought the photo was a joke until reading the post”, and urged the couple to make a formal complaint.


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