Monday, June 06, 2022

Annastacia Palaszczuk announces forensic lab probe

Incompetent forensic science in Queensland goes back to the notorious John Tonge scandal of 2005. How come it is still happening?

Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a commission of inquiry into Queensland’s troubled forensic laboratory.

Former court of appeal president Walter Sofronoff will head the inquiry, with terms of reference to be finalised this week.

Problems in the lab were first exposed in the Australian’s investigative podcast Shandee’s Story.

Last week The Australian revealed police had begun reviewing hundreds of rape cases back to 2018 after discovering DNA profiles could be generated in up to 66 per cent of samples that the lab initially claimed had “insufficient DNA for further processing”.

Ms Palaszczuk said Queenslanders must have confidence in the reliability of results coming out of the lab.

The commission will examine the number of cases and date range that will be examined.

As the inquiry was launched, the state’s unusually high threshold for testing DNA was abandoned.

To progress to DNA profiling, the lab requires crime scene samples to have the equivalent of at least 22 cells to be fully tested, which is double the number of cells required in NSW.

The lab has not tested below this threshold since 2018, believing the chance of finding new DNA from these samples was 1.86 per cent.

Queensland Police last week revealed success of building usable profiles from DNA samples below the threshold was as high as 66 per cent in sexual assault cases.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the thresholds would be abandoned while the six-month commission of inquiry was underway.


Depp wins battle, but men are losing the war

Along with many around the world, I predicted Johnny Depp would win his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Predictably, much of the ABC has reported the verdict today as ‘complicated’ or some kind of dead-heat, when it’s not. Heard has been found guilty of defamation and has to pay compensatory and punitive (punishment) damages.

Make no mistake, while this is a great personal victory for Depp (and, if there’s any justice in this world, he will get his career and life back), but men as a group will continue to lose the war against ‘Victim Feminism’ and their leading brand: #MeToo.

This week, new laws came into force in New South Wales that – incredibly – require men and women to seek and receive positive verbal consent for all sexual activity.

The effect of the law, as no doubt was its intention, is to expose more men to claims of sexual assault and rape.

The state is now the third party in all sexual encounters in NSW, and can, if called upon, hold hearings as to whether positive consent was sought and received, at some later date.

This is law reform in the era of #MeToo and will of course make future prosecutions of men based on false claims, much easier to push through to conviction.

Former influential criminal lawyer, Margaret Cunneen SC, has called the laws out as over-reach, but she stands alone, as a courageous woman, to do so.

Immediately following today’s verdict, Heard released a statement on her Twitter account, asserting that the jury’s decision was a setback for the #MeToo movement and an infringement of her freedom of speech.

Like an invisibility cloak, Heard is using #MeToo in a blatant attempt to shift the blame away from her allegation against Depp, toward the narrative that she is somehow struggling against ‘powerful men’.

To be clear, the jury found she lied, maliciously, in branding her ex-husband an abuser. During the trail, while tangential to the question of defamation, recorded evidence was presented suggesting that Heard engaged in abusive behaviour during the marriage.

The verdict will be a test of mainstream media, as well as the many powerful women in our society and the entertainment industry: will they present this case for what it is, the exposure of a malicious lie (as the jury explicitly states – she defamed Depp with ‘actual malice’)?

Or will they carry on the bigger lie, that we must ‘believe all women’ and that Heard’s claims should still be entertained, even after this emphatic finding against Heard?

My prediction: the ‘believe all women’ narrative will roll on. This verdict will simply be a speed hump towards Victim Feminism’s strategic goal: ever-increasing criminalisation and targeting of men as a group.

Until influential women stand up and call out the corrosive and very real phenomenon of false allegations against men (as the jury has found in this case) then we will see many more men’s lives destroyed, ground in the gears of #MeToo.


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese renamed an island on Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin to Queen Elizabeth II Island to mark the Jubilee milestone

Mr Albanese lauded the Queen in a speech on Saturday, unveiling a monument in her honour.

'She has stood with Australia as a true and steadfast friend,' Mr Albanese said. 'We give her name to this place in the heart of our capital – a place where history and progress meet.

'It is a fitting salute to Her Majesty, and celebrates her long life and 70 years of service to Australia and the Commonwealth, including her 16 visits to our shores.'

Known for his staunch support of the nation becoming a republic, Mr Albanese told reporters on Saturday that Aussies 'will determine the future themselves'.

'Today is not the day for those discussions, today's a day to pay tribute to Her Majesty and her service to Australia,' Mr Albanese said.


Can Peter Dutton stop the Leftist wave of destruction?

It is now abundantly clear that conservatives and a conservative opposition will be essential to prevent Australia becoming a quasi-socialist state whose bewildered populace looks back upon its former prosperity and vanishing freedoms with a mixture of envy and confusion, wondering ‘where did it all go wrong?’

Over the next three years, this once fiercely independent larrikin nation will likely transform itself into a mixture of modern New Zealand and Argentina, nations shackled by debt and welfarism, strangled by red and green tape and stifled from expressing democratic dissent. That is clearly the goal of the new Labor government, as Anthony Albanese boasts that he intends not to waste a single one of the next thousand or so days as he ‘changes Australia’ and ‘ends the climate wars’. In other words, as he turns this country into something quite unrecognisable and uses ‘climate denialism’ to cancel legitimate democratic debate.

We only have to look to New Zealand to see the extraordinary damage being done by an avowed left-wing government obsessed with identity and race politics and, of course, climate change. Once former International Socialist Youth leader Jacinda Ardern and her government achieved power in their own right, she dramatically accelerated her turbo-drive towards socialism. Mr Albanese, a former hard-left leader of Young Labor, already has a majority in the lower house, and the Senate is flooded with Greens. Unlike Ms Ardern in her first term, there is nothing to hold his inner-communist in check.

A quick glance at the sorry history of Argentina shows how easily a wealthy, self-sufficient nation with an abundance of natural wealth and agricultural and mineral resources can squander the lot through bad political choices. With seven out of ten Australians having voted for parties other than Labor, it is difficult to see how the government can truly be regarded as representing the wishes of us all. Yet thanks to our ludicrous compulsory preferential voting system, which this magazine has long criticised, Labor is free to impose its hard-left ideological values across the land.

Climate change policies will ruin many a small business, hurt families and the vulnerable and threaten manufacturing and enterprise in this country, as has happened in Europe and the United Kingdom. The failure of the Coalition to use the recent election campaign to highlight and to fight against the insidious and destructive nature of green energy policies overseas is beyond shameful.

Labor will assault our freedoms and our rights on a variety of fronts. Under the guise of seeking a republic (they have even appointed an assistant minister for the republic – they are not mucking around), Labor will use every bureaucratic weapon in the government’s arsenal to propagandise a republic, demonise traditional values and to lay the groundwork for entrenching left-wing power into the Constitution. Part of which will be the elevation of the so-called ‘first nations’ – a purely ideological concept lifted holus-bolus from the Canadian and American Left – in order to create further cultural divisions within our country, our legal systems and our individual rights based on the principle that we ‘non-indigenous’ are all living on ‘stolen land’.

The shocking speed with which the New Zealand Labour government has created two classes of citizen based on genetics and elevated iwi rights above others will be the blueprint for Labor here and the impetus for a push towards any number of new institutions, bureaucracies and laws which will do plenty to enrich the activist classes but absolutely nothing to help real Australian Aborigines in remote townships achieve economic independence.

As for our education system, expect our children and our grandchildren to be blindsided by a massive onslaught of left-wing propaganda on socialism, climate change and white guilt as well as being thoroughly immersed – groomed might be a more appropriate word – in identity (i.e. gender and gay sex) politics.

History will come to recognise what this magazine sadly realised during the final years of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Liberal government: that if you don’t actively fight the culture wars and support conservative values to the hilt, you have already surrendered every issue to the Left. Former prime minister Scott Morrison repeatedly took the coward’s approach and refused to defend even the most basic conservative principles. We will now all be the poorer for that pusillanimity.

It is clear that the fight for the soul of the Coalition still rages, with the asinine choice of the bed-wetting David Littleproud to lead the Nationals.

So the hope of the side remains new Liberal leader Peter Dutton. Never has the role of leader of the opposition been more critical to the future of this country.


New minister says coal may remain King for decades under Labor’s watch

Resources Minister Madeleine King has vowed never to put a limit on how much coal Australia will export, saying it is possible Australia could be sending the resource to Asian trading partners past 2050.

The West Australian cabinet minister said the Albanese government would not negotiate with the Greens over the minor party’s push to end coal and gas development, saying every Labor MP understood the importance of the industry.

Ms King said she was not concerned her role of championing the coal and gas sectors had become more difficult internally, despite the growing threat to inner city seats from the Greens and an election result which showed climate change action had become a more pressing concern for voters.

“Not at all because the party acknowledges the role of these industries,” Ms King told The Weekend Australian.

“There is not a (Labor) member that doesn’t understand that it is the resources industry that is the backbone of the economy.

“It is always a contested place, and I get that, but the main thing is we are committed to net-zero emissions by 2050, most of the country is, the community is, the mining and resources industry certainly is.”

With the Coalition accusing Labor of pretending to back the coal sector before the election to prevent losing seats in the NSW Hunter Valley, Ms King used her first week in as a minister to declare her support for the industry would never waver.

“Absolutely, 100 per cent, I support the coal industry,” she said.

“NSW was built on coalmining. It is a deep tradition and it is really good, high quality coal compared to coal from other countries. So that is important to recognise.

“It supports lots of jobs and lots of communities. That is really important for people to acknowledge. But the industry itself knows there are challenges around net-zero emissions needs and they are seeking to address that themselves.”

Ms King took over the resources portfolio last year from former Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon, who used the portfolio to wage a high-profile campaign to improve the party’s standing among blue-collar workers.

Former Labor Minister Stephen Conroy says the Labor Party is giving workers in the coal industry a “very positive… sign” by reaffirming the importance of coal. Labor has recently voiced support for the coal industry, with resources spokeswoman Madeleine King announcing the party will not stand in the More
She maintained Mr Fitzgibbon’s supportive rhetoric of the sector but was less antagonistic towards the party’s environmentalists who were pushing for ambitious climate change goals.

In April last year, Ms King controversially predicted Australia would export thermal coal past 2050. “I think we go beyond the ­middle of the century, I really do,” Ms King said told The Australian last year.

Since then, the election of US President Joe Biden has turbocharged global climate change action, with most of the developed world dramatically increasing emissions reduction targets.

While not as bullish, Ms King said she believed it was still possible Australia would be exporting the resource beyond 2050. “It is a difficult question because it is international markets that change. It will be international markets that decide these things, in boardrooms elsewhere, as to what they will purchase,” she said.

“I do think it is possible and I actually wouldn’t want to put any kind of timeline on how long we export coal for.”


Grace Tame's cheeky response to the news Anthony Albanese will call The Lodge home after refusing to smile for photos with Scott Morrison

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