Friday, February 05, 2021

Corrections officer charged over shooting death of Indigenous man

Why? It was part of an officer's duty to fire on a fleeing offender to prevent him escaping. The Aboriginality of the offender explains the charge. Blacks are innocent, don't you know? All shootings of blacks are therefore suspect

It is true that shooting a fleeing felon in the back is disallowed for police -- with some justification. But prison officers have their own rules and they are allowed to shoot at a fleeing felon if the felon would otherswise escape.

And the guy fleeing in this case was a real bad egg who had previously got away with heaps. So there was no call for mercy

A NSW Corrective Services Officer has been charged with the manslaughter of an Indigenous prisoner who was fatally shot while handcuffed outside a hospital in northern NSW.

Wiradjuri man Dwayne Johnstone, 43, was shackled and running away from two corrections officers at Lismore Base Hospital when he was shot in the back on March 15, 2019. He was immediately treated in hospital but died a short time later.

Richmond Police District established Strike Force Degance to investigate.

Mr Johnstone’s death was the subject of an inquest before State Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan, who on the third day of proceedings referred the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Police say that, following extensive inquiries, a 57-year-old man attended Lismore police station on Friday and was issued with a court attendance notice for an allegation of manslaughter.

He is due to face Lismore Local Court on March 29.

The inquest heard Mr Johnstone, who had a history of escaping custody, had been taken to hospital while on remand after having an epileptic seizure in the cells of Lismore Court House, where he had been denied bail on assault charges.

As he was escorted back to the van by two corrections officers – one of whom was armed with a revolver – he “elbowed” the unarmed officer who had a grip of his pants, throwing him off balance, and started running. The officers cannot be named for legal reasons.

The inquest heard the armed officer fired three shots, and the third shot hit Mr Johnstone in the mid-back, going through his aorta, liver and diaphragm.

Counsel assisting the coroner Peggy Dwyer told the inquest in October that armed corrections officers carry guns but, unlike police, are not equipped with non-lethal weapons, such as Tasers, extendable batons or capsicum spray.

She said corrections officers might legally discharge firearms in a number of circumstances, including “to prevent the escape of an inmate” – with a number of provisos, including that a warning must be given and there cannot be reasonable grounds to believe the shot could hit another person.

Morrison government rules out subsidies in electric vehicle strategy

Australian businesses will be encouraged to invest in plug-in hybrid and electric car fleets in an attempt to increase private uptake by flooding the second-hand market with new vehicle technologies at lower prices.

The Morrison government has ruled out offering taxpayer subsidies for the private uptake of plug-in hybrids and battery electric cars, arguing in its long-awaited strategy that subsidies would not represent value for money in efforts to drive down carbon emissions.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will argue a “fleet first” strategy for new technology passenger vehicles is the smartest way to help Australia’s “planned and managed” transition to low-emission cars, while ensuring charging infrastructure and the national energy grid can support a switch.

Low-emissions vehicles are a key plank in the government’s technology road map, which it will rely on if it is to meet both its Paris emission targets and a potential commitment to net zero by 2050.

Releasing a discussion paper informing the development of Australia’s Future Fuels Strategy, the federal government has identified five priority initiatives it says will make the most impact, including commercial fleets, essential infrastructure and improving information to motorists.

The strategy argues subsidising cars for private sales would cost taxpayers $195 to $747 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent, depending on the vehicle type and usage. It said that figure did not present value-for-money when compared to the Emissions Reduction Fund price of $16 per tonne of carbon emitted.

Mr Taylor said it was clear the future of road transport in Australia would be a mix of vehicle technologies and fuels and that Australians were already making the choice to switch to new vehicle technologies where it made economic sense.

“We are optimistic about how quickly the technology cost will reduce for other electric vehicles compared to traditional cars, making it an easier choice for consumers,” Mr Taylor said.

Hybrid sales almost doubled in Australia in the past year, increasing from 31,191 vehicles in 2019 to 60,417. Hybrids made up about 70 per cent of Toyota’s Camry and Rav4 sales, and about half of all Corolla sales in 2020.

Industry experts have criticised the federal government outlook for electric vehicle uptake over the next decade. They argue projections of 26 per cent in December’s Australian greenhouse gas emissions trends to 2030 were overly optimistic because it assumed numbers would spike despite a lack of policy and new state taxes slugging clean cars.

Several car manufacturers, including General Motors, have pledged to end production of petrol engine vehicles within the next decade while Britain has set a 2030 target to ban combustion engines.

The EV sector has also claimed the decisions by Victoria and South Australia to aim road-user taxes at drivers of electric vehicles would prevent the states from reaching their goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The plan justifies a focus on fleets because business vehicles generally travel greater distances than private vehicles, delivering better value-for-money through fuel and maintenance savings from new technologies and offsetting the price premium of buying the new technology.

“Supporting commercial fleet investment in new vehicle technologies will also drive uptake from private users, as fleet vehicles are generally replaced more regularly than private vehicles,” it says.

“This benefits the second-hand market and provides private consumers with second-hand vehicles at lower prices.”

Mr Taylor said the strategy would be underpinned by “significant” government investment, including the $74.5 million Future Fuels Package to invest in charging infrastructure at workplaces and in regional “blackspots”.

A move to electrify Australia’s passenger vehicle fleet was a centrepiece of the 2019 federal election campaign as the Morrison government aggressively criticised Labor’s election pledge that half of all new cars sold in 2030 would be electric.

How is Australia travelling with the switch to electric cars?
Mr Taylor said the Coalition’s policy was focused on enabling consumer choice and supporting natural uptake, with government modelling showing Labor’s EV policy would have increased the price of cars by up to $4863 to “force people out of the cars they love and into EVs”.

The transport sector makes up 18 per cent of Australia’s carbon pollution with passenger vehicle emissions projected to drop 1.2 per cent every year to 2030 amid greater uptake of hybrid, electric and fuel-cell vehicles in the national fleet.

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari has described the federal government as out of step with other leading economies over its electric car future.

Following leaked details of the strategy in December, he said Australia was “miles behind” in the transition.

“In the US, drivers are offered a $10,000 tax rebate for buying an electric vehicle, and American consumers get access to much cheaper electric vehicle options because of their long-standing vehicle emission standards,” he said at the time.

'World-leading' bill banning gay conversion therapy passes Victorian parliament amid a VERY heated debate

No freedom of choice if you want to escape deviancy

A 'world-leading' bill banning gay conversion practices has passed Victorian parliament, despite a last-ditch attempt by the opposition to pause its progress.

The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill passed the Legislative Council 29-9 just after 10.30pm on Thursday following a lengthy debate.

Labor had the support of crossbenchers Rod Barton from the Transport Matters Party, Andy Meddick from the Animal Justice Party, Reason Party MP Fiona Patten and Samantha Ratnam of the Greens.

The bill outlaws practices that seek to change or suppress a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Those found to have engaged in conversion practices that result in serious injury will face penalties of up to 10 years' jail or up to $10,000 in fines.

In supporting the bill, Mr Meddick described himself as the proud father of two 'perfect' transgender children.

'They do not need fixing. Nor do any other children or adults who do not fit an often religiously held belief that sexuality and gender are binary only,' he said.

Labor's Harriet Shing, the first openly lesbian member of Victorian parliament, acknowledged conversion therapy victims and survivor groups who have advocated for the ban for many years.

'(Their experiences) have had the effect, directly or indirectly, of breaking them or of trying to break them,' she said.

Ms Shing called out the 'cognitive dissonance' and 'doublespeak' of MPs who were opposing the bill despite supporting a ban on conversion practices.

'It is not acceptable that in a debate like this victims and survivors and our communities - my communities - are denied the opportunity to have our equality, our pain and hurt and trauma, on a footing which is of the utmost importance,' she said.

Ms Shing's speech was interrupted by Liberal MPs when she began naming coalition members who abstained from voting on the bill in the lower house.

'She is the only person in this chamber from an LGBTIQA+ community. As such, deserved a hell of a lot more respect than she got,' Mr Meddick said.

Ms Shing told AAP the Liberal MPs were 'literally shutting down the speech of the first and only openly gay woman in the Victorian parliament'.

The coalition did not oppose the bill but moved a number of amendments that failed, including one to pause its progress for further consultation.

Liberal MPs Bernie Finn and Bev McArthur voted against the bill.

Advocates including the Brave Network, the LGBTQIA+ committee of the Uniting Church in Australia, and Rainbow Catholics, have described the bill as the 'world's most significant achievement in legislation curtailing the diabolical influence of the conversion movement'.

The bill goes further than one passed in Queensland last year in that it prohibits harmful practices not only in healthcare settings but also in religious settings.

This includes 'carrying out a religious practice including but not limited to, a prayer based practice, a deliverance practice or an exorcism'.

A number of religious leaders have raised issue with the bill, including Melbourne's Catholic Archbishop Peter Comensoli and Bishop Brad Billings of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne.

Medical professionals have also raised concerns it could compromise the practice of psychiatry and psychotherapy.

'This bill does not outlaw prayer. It does not prevent health professionals from doing their job. It does not stop parents from talking to their kids about their views about sexuality or gender,' Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes said. 'To suggest anything to the contrary is rubbish.'

The legislation will now go to the Victorian governor for royal assent. It will not come into effect for 12 months.

Read the 'sexist' real estate agent advice for 'single ladies' on how to buy a home which has gone viral for all the wrong reasons

A bit old-fashioned, I suppose. But there are a lot of old-fashioned people around. We are not all "woke"

A 'sexist' real estate article offering tips for 'single ladies' who are trying to get on the property ladder has sparked outrage online.

Bathurst Real Estate in rural New South Wales posted the 'Buying as a single lady' guide to Facebook in an attempt to help women snap up their first home - but the article was labelled 'disgusting and backwards'.

The independent agency who were forced to delete the viral post later revealed the outsourced blog post was actually written by a woman.

The article starts off by saying that being content to 'not have a ring on your finger' means you won't have the 'emotional and financial back-up of a spouse' when it comes to buying a home.

It also suggests that purchasing property can be more difficult when there is 'no man beside you to offer logic to the situation'.

'Both single and married women are well known for reasoning with their hearts, not their heads,' the article said.

The blog post also stresses that women can 'go wild' when hunting for a home so it urges potential buyers to not spend over 30 per cent of their after-tax income on a mortgage.

'Whatever you do, stand by this number (rather than a man),' the article said.

Commenters savaged the independent agency calling the post 'offensive'.

'Obviously Bathurst Real Estate think that women are complete idiots and can't function without a man!' one female Facebook user wrote.

'Whoever wrote it and whoever agreed to it, need to lose their jobs and join the 20th Century.'

Others wrote: 'this is the most offensive piece of s**t I have ever read' and 'this is so misogynistic it's almost comical.'

Bathurst Real Estate said the article was not written by anyone at the local office.

'This article was actually written by a woman, who Bathurst Real Estate outsource our blog posts to and we were unaware that this post had gone live on our website,' the real estate posted on their Facebook page. 'We had it removed from our website as soon as it was brought to our attention.'

They offered an apology and said the post is in no way reflective of the team's personal views.





Paul said...

"Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari..."

Who obviously doesn't live outside the suburbs.

Paul said...

"Mr Meddick described himself as the proud father of two 'perfect' transgender children."


(Most Conversion therapy is really religious sublimation, which is probably fine if you stay emotionally plugged-in to the religion and milieu that provides the context for said conversion, but life is long and much changes.)