Sunday, January 07, 2018

Habitual African criminal accused of kicking a police officer in the face in a shopping centre brawl arrested for breaching bail conditions by using his mobile phone - just two days after he was released

A 17-year-old accused of kicking a police officer in the face at a Melbourne shopping centre is back in custody just two days after he was controversially released on bail.

The teenager walked free from a Children's Court hearing on Tuesday after facing charges of assaulting police at Highpoint shopping centre on Boxing Day.

Victoria Police confirmed on Thursday night the teenager, from Point Cook in Melbourne's west, had again been arrested.

'Detectives from Maribyrnong Crime Investigation Unit have today remanded a 17-year-old with breaching his bail conditions,' a spokeswoman said. 'The Point Cook youth will appear at a children's court.'

Bail had been given on the condition the teenager did not associate with a co-offender, be in possession of a smartphone, use social media or attend Highpoint.

The teenager was arrested after being caught with a mobile phone, just hours after his release, The Herald Sun reported.

Prosecutors strongly opposed bail and described the boy as remorseless, arguing he would attack police again if released, a transcript of Tuesday’s bail hearing seen by the paper reveals.

Earlier on Thursday, Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt said the injured officer and his colleagues felt let down by the youth being granted bail.

'We have a person in a hospital bed and we have a person in the dock and there seems some confusion over which one of these two is the victim,' he said.

'There wouldn't be a police officer in Victoria that wouldn't be watching this today, saying what the hell's going on here. This is an absolute insult to all of us.'

Mr Gatt said the courts need to ensure officers are protected, the community can feel safe and police can do their job with confidence.

The injured officer has since returned to work.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said the decision to grant bail was 'incomprehensible' and sent a message that injuring a police officer was acceptable behaviour.

'There's an element in which the courts haven't reflected the community expectations ... that's why we've made changes to the Bail Act,' she told 3AW.

Shadow Attorney General John Pesutto said the Andrews government weakened youth bail laws two years ago and was now blaming others for the consequences of their decision

The accused - a 17-year-old with a history of serious crimes - was granted bail on Tuesday despite being on 12-months' probation.

He was arrested on Friday and charged with assaulting an emergency worker on duty, intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury and common law assault.

The injured officer, a five-year veteran of the force, was taken to hospital after the alleged assault.

The news comes as Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said African youths who commit violent crimes should be deported.

Melbourne has been shocked by a spate of violent incidents in recent weeks, which include attacks on police.

Last week, gang members trashed the Ecoville Community Park at Tarneit, in Melbourne's west, by destroying furniture, windows and walls.

Only days before Christmas, Menace to Society gang graffiti was scrawled on an AirBnB party house at Werribee, also in Melbourne's west.

Rocks were pelted at police forcing them to retreat from the house, when more than 100 youths, primarily African appearance, turned on them.


West Australia: Leftist State government cuts back education assistance for disadvantaged children

They need the money to hire more bureaucrats, presumably

THE decision to close the five Schools of the Air is short-sighted, showing an alarming mix of hubris and ignorance, and must be reversed.

At a time of year when families celebrate and relax, parents, teachers and children in regional WA have been left feeling anxious, isolated and vulnerable.

School of the Air delivers online lessons to children aged four to 11 in remote WA. The schools are housed in standalone buildings in Port Hedland, Kalgoorlie, Geraldton, Derby and Carnarvon.

The day before school broke up for 2017, staff, parents and students were told that their schools would be closed at the end of 2018. Just like that. The ramifications have been immediate.

Teachers are being offered redundancies, and those who take them will not return for 2018. Families have been thrown into a state of flux, unsure of what they will find at the start of the new school year. Teachers, afraid to speak publicly for fear of career-ending reprisals, are devastated.

The State Government argues the School of Isolated and Distance Education and SOTA duplicate services. Parents reject that assertion.

The issue is not the educational material. The significance of SOTA is the access to teachers who live in, and understand their region, and importantly, know the children.

When families go into town, the children can attend the school. Parents say that teaching isolated children can be stressful for tutors, often mothers, and that the option to drive into town when things get dire is invaluable. Even if it is a 400km round trip.

Kirsty Forshaw, of Nita Downs Station, near Broome, says that wearing the unique uniforms gives children a sense of belonging.

“Kids need to see a physical building; a school in Perth like SIDE is too foreign and far away,” she says. “Some of these little kids have never even heard of Perth.”

During a radio interview, Education Minister Sue Ellery told me the schools were iconic. So why close them? If SIDE is to become more like SOTA, what is the rationale for the closures?

How much money will the Government save by the time SIDE replicates the most valuable parts of SOTA?

Seven-year-old Harry lives near Wiluna and is so worried he asked his mother if his teacher and principal would be out of work, and if so, “could they come and work here?”

The devastation in the bush is palpable and the pain and mental stress that has been inflicted is unnecessary. This is an own goal.

And what of the push to develop the beef industry? How can cattle producers lure families and permanent staff with education under a cloud? Lest the Government think there are not enough votes in the regions, there are plenty of Labor voters in the city with ties to the bush, who also care about core Labor values like universal education.

At hastily convened rallies to protest the closures, Labor MPs illustrated a lack of knowledge about the schools and regional education, further upsetting an already wounded community.

Raelene Hall runs the Save Our Schools of the Air Facebook group, teeming with past SOTA students and supporters. “It takes a lot to get us angry,” she says of the 4000-plus followers, “but we’re not going away.”

Her commitment is reiterated by Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association president Tash Johns, who is adamant the rallies will continue in 2018.

In an open letter to Premier Mark McGowan, and ministers Sue Ellery and Alannah MacTiernan, Gina Rinehart has called for the decision to be reversed.

She asked: “What Government could do this with any regard for innocent children, families, or even any conscience?” I’d like an answer to that.


EPA approves $900m rare earths mine in Central Australia despite radioactive risk

A proposed $900 million rare earths mine in Central Australia has been recommended for approval by the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (EPA), after an assessment process lasting more than two years.

Arafura Resources' Nolans Project at Aileron, 135 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs, would mine rare earth materials such as neodymium and praseodymium, used to manufacture strong magnets for wind turbines and electric vehicles.

The EPA identified several long-term environmental risks and impacts with the project, but found they could be managed.

"There will have to be a high level of operational management control for this project over a couple of generations, and there'll have to be a high level of regulatory scrutiny, there's no two ways about that," EPA chairman Paul Vogel said.

The primary risks include the permanent storage of naturally occurring radioactive material onsite and the use of significant groundwater resources over the 35 to 55-year lifespan of the project.

Mr Vogel said he understood public concern about such issues, and the effectiveness of the EPA to effectively monitor them, but said the authority was better placed to provide sufficient oversight.

"That's something that we've drawn attention to with government already, saying that we need to be adequately resourced ... to ensure that these facilities are adequately regulated over time," he said.

It is estimated the project will use 2.7 gigalitres of groundwater a year, and the EPA has recommended aquifer levels and water usage be monitored in real-time with data made available to the public.

"This includes using very conservative triggers for both water quality and quantity and condition of vegetation that are embedded in adaptive management plans, so that we don't reach a point where you've got some irreversible change to the environment," Mr Vogel said.

Radioactive material to be stored in dams
The EPA also recommended best-practice mine closure and progressive rehabilitation practices be adhered to, but noted that uncertainty remains around the significant environmental impacts over the life of the project.

Arafura Resources Sustainability manager Brian Fowler said the low level radioactive material produced in the processing of rare earth material would be stored onsite in purpose-built dams.

"We're very confident those dams will secure those radioactive elements now and into the future," he said.

"They will not be a threat to the environment and they won't provide a threat to public health, and quite frankly, they are relatively stable in a normal environmental setting."

Mr Fowler said the approval of the EPA was a significant milestone for the project, which began 10 years ago.

"What it'll enable us to do now is to go forward and do our detailed mine planning which will then lead us to financial investment decision in the late part of this year with a view to then starting construction, assuming we can attract the required financing, in 2019," he said.

The company said the project would create an investment of about $900 million in Central Australia, as well as 250 to 300 permanent jobs.

Mr Fowler said the company intended to target local people for employment where possible, with the view to creating intergenerational change in the community.

"We understand that there'll be significant challenges in doing that, but when you've got a mine life that contemplates 35 to 55 years, it gives you the opportunity to do lots of planning and work with stakeholders to ensure those benefits are realised," he said.


Childcare deregulation needed to help plummeting birth rates

AUSTRALIAN fertility and birth rates in freefall give a grave indication the system we live under is broken, especially regarding childcare.

Wage growth has stopped in the past few years, but government charges, taxes and excises – at all levels – continue to climb.  Costs of living are so reliant on government policies and yet taxpayers are treated like inexhaustible cash cows, being milked for every penny.

Fuel, alcohol and tobacco taxes come on top of GST and income tax, yet half of Australian homes don’t pay nett tax after rebates and refunds. This means governments have to find new, sneaky ways to fund their own existence using your money.

Throw in the disgraceful “stamp duty” on insurance, car and land sales and whatever else you can think of (and for which there is no tangible benefit received) and it’s clear that personal finances are at the mercy of government greed and waste.

It was announced this week that Queensland’s fertility rate has hit 1.82 children per woman – the lowest in 13 years and the fifth-lowest in the state’s history.

At least one think tank believes the welfare state is to blame for plummeting birth rates. In the past, you needed children to look after you in old age and to take care of the family assets.  But now the state has assumed this role and the need for children has decreased.

But there’s also the reality that both members of a couple have to work in order to afford a mortgage, and to pay taxes and still have some sort of fun.

Throwing a kid into that mix is financially scary, not just because of the costs added to an already stressed budget, but because your wife/partner might be reluctant to put her career on hold and risk missing a big promotion and pay rise the couple needs to maintain or enhance their lifestyle.

Childcare then presents a new issue and another one the government has too much control over.

Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm drew a storm of criticism last year when he said “ … you don’t need a Certificate III and 18 months of study to be a childcare worker to wipe children’s noses and stop them from killing each other.”

He argued that the government forcing people to gain formal childcare qualifications had pushed up wage costs which were passed on to parents. This has merit.

Not so long ago, childcare consisted of kids finger painting, climbing on monkey bars, kicking a footy and hammering bits of wood together. More serious schooling happened at kindy and preschool.

Now there appears to be this obsession with starting kids on schoolwork from the moment they’re born. Everything from the books they read and have read to them, to even their diets are strictly monitored and controlled by regulation.

As reported even in 2014, this requires turning simple carers into educators and involves increasing reporting requirements, and mandating minimum levels of qualification. These ridiculous standards are driving the cost out of reach of many who want to add to their brood.

Many women would love to have more kids but can’t afford the average $17,500 to $20,000 a year it costs to put one in childcare.

One mum I know worked out that if she had another child and sent both to daycare, she’d be working for $4 a day. Unbelievable.

Parents should have a choice of daycare. If you want the “platinum” care with supplied calorie-controlled meals and the latest in educational resources, you can pay top dollar.

If you’re happy for your kids to stay at the old lady’s place down the road eating peanut butter sandwiches, finger painting and watching Wiggles DVDs for a few bucks a day, then that should be allowed also.

This will go a long way towards addressing childcare shortages and keeping women in their careers, not to mention improving the birth rate. It’s a win-win-win.

Populations need fertility rates of at least 2.1 to be sustainable, so we’re already on the slippery slope.

As this number drops, governments have to increase immigration to maintain the population, and that – as has been shown – has too many negative consequences to be encouraged in its current form.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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