Monday, July 03, 2017

'They're giving the wrong sentences': Chief prosecutor slams judges for giving criminals 'a slap on the wrist'

A chief prosecutor has hit out at courts for imposing 'manifestly inadequate' jail sentences. Victoria's Chief Crown Prosecutor Gavin Silbert, QC, made the comments last month in a case before the High Court.

Mr Silbert appeared in the court after an appeal over a man's five-and-a-half year jail sentence for offending against two girls, one just 13, was dismissed by Victoria's Court of Appeal, The Herald Sun reported.

In a transcript of proceedings, Mr Silbert told the court the case was a perfect example of system-wide problems in Victoria and 'raises for consideration the misapplication of current sentencing practice'.

The High Court heard the man had pleaded guilty to charges of incest and indecent assault against one of his daughters, which were committed while he was on parole for previous incest offences against all three of his daughters.

'As a result of the later offending, the daughter fell pregnant. She gave birth to a severely disabled daughter who, 20 years later, became the offender's victim,' Mr Silbert told the court.  

'The circumstances of the two offences are quite remarkable, both cases, in my opinion, falling into the worst category of such offences, and thoroughly justifying intervention by this Court so as to increase the sentences that were imposed.'

Mr Silbert also noted in his comments to the High Court 'there appears to be an ongoing tension between the legislature and the courts'.

He also said during the hearing that 'what the Court of Appeal has done and does is indulges in a form of algorithmic sentencing to the extent that it commences with other cases and we submit that that is the wrong place to commence the sentencing process'.


Nasty old Trot calls to ditch ‘insulting’ Lord’s Prayer

In typical Trot style she is full of hate for the society in which she lives. A favorite verb of Trots is "smash".  They want to smash the entire political order

EMBATTLED Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has revealed she will fight to stop the federal parliament from opening every day with the prayer.

Her push to ditch the 114-year-old tradition comes after the census showed nearly a third of Australians identify with no religion.

Rhiannon, who raised the issue in the NSW parliament in 2003, instead wants a moment’s silence for MPs to reflect on their responsibilities, and will pursue the change when parliament resumes from the winter break.

“It is actually insulting the way parliament is opened,” she told ABC Insiders on Sunday. “Considering there’s many people who aren’t religious, there’s many people of different faiths, it is time we started having an institution that is relevant to the 21st century.”

Her remarks follow a decision by the party room to exclude her from discussion on contentious legislation after a rift emerged over her campaigning on schools funding.

Rhiannon said she was disappointed in Greens leader Richard Di Natale and the decision to lock her out of the party room. “You need to lead for everybody and it is not just me locked out of the party room, the Greens New South Wales members no longer have a voice in the party room,” she said. “Isn’t it time to make the party more democratic for members so they can have a vote for the leader?”

Senator Rhiannon, who was accused of undermining a potential deal with the government on the so-called Gonski 2.0 policy, continues to insist she did nothing wrong.

She says it was understandable members wanted to prosecute the case for the original Gonski package and it was a “bread and butter” issue she supported. The NSW Greens are being asked to work with the national council on how to stop its MPs being bound to vote against a decision of the federal parliamentary party room.

But Senator Rhiannon says the party needs to be more member driven and focus on global issues, such as inequality and homelessness.

“I don’t think there is anything wrong with young members who join the party who want to talk about socialism,” she said.

Her colleague Nick McKim is confident that with good will the party can work through the structural issues it faces with the NSW Greens and there won’t be a split. “Ultimately there is far, far more that unites us in the Greens than divides us,” he told Sky News.

Senator McKim said there was no time frame on changes, but he would like to see the issues addressed as soon as possible.


Greenies cannibalizing one-another

South Australian plastics recycling business closes due to $100k hike in power bills

South Australia's sky-high electricity prices have forced an Adelaide plastics recycling business to shut its doors, costing 35 workers their jobs, its managing director says.

Plastics Granulating Services (PGS), based in Kilburn in Adelaide's inner-north, said it had seen its monthly power bills increase from $80,000 to $180,000 over the past 18 months.

Managing director Stephen Scherer said the high cost of power had crippled his business of 38 years and plans for expansion, and had led to his company being placed in liquidation.

"It's where the cash went out of the business, and without the cash, we couldn't service what we needed to service," he said.

"We were basically marking time, draining ourselves of cash.

"I hate to think of how many hours I've wasted on the AEMO website with tools to monitor spot pricing, to assess the implications of power, the trends of power and the future costs of power.

PGS processed domestic, low-grade waste and turned it into plastic granules, to be converted back into other industrial products like irrigation piping and flower pots.

Mr Scherer said his facility was the only recycling service of its kind left in South Australia.

"We process about 10,000 tonnes of plastic waste [and] that's now currently turned off, so South Australia won't be recycling 10,000 tonnes [of plastic]," he said.

"To scope 10,000 tonnes for you, 10,000 tonnes is 15 per cent of the Australian market [of low-grade recycled plastic] ... so Australia has lost 15 per cent of its supply.

"I assume that opens up a whole lot of opportunities for our neighbours in Asia."

Den Tucker is the managing director of DM Plastics and Steel, which had been using Mr Scherer's plastics recycling services.

Mr Tucker said he had also been trying to cope with the pressure of soaring power bills.

"The price of our power has gone through similar numbers and we employ 45 people," he said. "There is no solution being put forward at the present time. "Our government is asleep at the wheel."

Government energy efficiency programs available: Minister
SA Environment Minister Ian Hunter said it was disappointing the facility was shutting down, but he said the pain of high electricity prices was being felt across the country.

Mr Hunter said help was available through the State Government's energy efficiency programs.

"Green Industries and Zero Waste have quite a bit of expertise in this area [and] they've worked with other companies and other industry sectors," he said.

"If that help is not required then that's up to him, but that's the offer I can make."

Mr Hunter said any recycled plastic due to be sent to the facility would be sent elsewhere, most likely to interstate processing plants.

"Having high power prices ... is a reality," he said.

"That's why the Government has introduced its state plan for energy in South Australia.

"But this is a company that employs South Australians, and it's incredibly disappointing that it's going through this problem."


Good news for bulk billing patients

PATIENTS can expect more bulk billing from Saturday as the freeze on Medicare rebates paid to doctors is partially unfrozen.

The changes, announced in last month’s Federal Budget, will give bulk billing doctors a slight payrise as the rebate is once more indexed to inflation. The rebate for standard doctor visits won’t be unfrozen until next July, however, and specialists will have to wait until 2019.

Lifting the Medicare rebate freeze, which was introduced by the former Labor government and continued under the Coalition, will cost the government $1 billion over three years.

“(Health) Minister (Greg) Hunt said from day one in the job that he would listen and learn from the people who work in the health system every day about what is best for patients, and he has delivered tonight,” Australian Medical Association president Dr Michael Gannon said last month.

“The AMA would have preferred to see the Medicare freeze lifted across the board from 1 July 2017, but we acknowledge that the three-stage process will provide GPs and other specialists with certainty and security about their practices, and will help address rising out-of-pocket costs for patients. Lifting the Medicare rebate freeze is overdue, but we welcome it.”

The government also decided to reverse proposed cuts to bulk billing incentives for diagnostic imaging and pathology services.

Writing in The Conversation, Stephen Duckett, health program director at progressive Grattan Institute think tank, said regardless of the reaction from the medical lobby, it was “too early to tell” whether the “glacially slow” reintroduction of indexation would be enough to keep bulk-billing rates at their current levels.

“Practice costs and income expectations of staff have not increased dramatically over the freeze period as the Consumer Price Index has been moving slowly,” he wrote. “But each additional day of a freeze means costs and revenues fall further out of alignment.

“The jury will be out for a while on whether reintroduction of indexation is enough to restore the Coalition’s tarnished Medicare credentials with voters. Certainly, the slow phase-in may attract cynicism, with a legitimate perception the government is doing the minimum necessary and at the slowest pace to ensure the issue is off the agenda before a 2019 election.”


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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