Monday, December 31, 2018

Another top cop goes to  jail -- betrayed by his dick

Queensland put their top cop -- Terry Lewis -- in jail in 1989.  He was betrayed by money

Realistic Australians would always have the lowest possible expections of their police.  My contact with them has been small  but was completely disappointing.  They failed even the basics.  Can you believe them destroying crucial evidence?  They did.  I protested but to no avail

Former Northern Territory police commissioner John McRoberts has been sentenced to three years in jail, to be suspended after 12 months, for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Last month a jury took nine hours to find McRoberts guilty of the offence, which carries a maximum prison term of 15 years.

The jury found McRoberts tried to "frustrate" or "deflect" a travel agent fraud investigation known as Operation Subutai between May and November 2014.

McRoberts had been in a sexual relationship with the investigation's priority target, former travel agent and NT Crime Stoppers chairwoman Xana Kamitsis, who was sentenced to almost four years' imprisonment on fraud and corruption charges in 2015.

Acting Justice Dean Mildren took less than an hour to summarise the evidence and deliver his sentence at Darwin's Supreme Court on Tuesday morning.

"As commissioner, the public has the right to expect that you can be trusted absolutely," he said. "There is a huge fall from grace."

Between May and November 2014, McRoberts failed to disclose he was in a sexual relationship with Kamitsis.

At the time, McRoberts knew Kamitsis had become a test case for the investigation, which was looking into 27 travel agents suspected of defrauding the NT Health Department's pensioner travel concession scheme.

Acting Justice Mildren said McRoberts had effectively lied by omission. "You failed to disclose to your staff that Kamitsis was an intimate friend and indeed a sexual partner," he said. "The relationship between you was a secret one.

"From the moment that you became aware that Kamitsis was a suspect in Operation Subutai, you knew that full disclosure was required in some form and you also knew you should have no further involvement."

McRoberts' lawyer has filed an appeal of his conviction and an application for bail in relation to the matter is expected to be heard by a Supreme Court judge on Wednesday morning.

During the trial, the prosecution argued McRoberts involved himself in the investigation, knowing he was "hopelessly conflicted", because he wanted stop his relationship with Kamitsis being exposed through a search warrant.

It was alleged McRoberts' criminal course of conduct began in May 2014, when he raised the idea of an alternative civil approach to Operation Subutai, which was then further developed.

McRoberts was also accused of frustrating the execution of a search warrant against Kamitsis in June 2014, by saying to his senior officers: "This is not ready to go to an overt investigation".

During the sentencing hearing, prosecutor Mary Chalmers told the court McRoberts abused his position of power and his sentence should reflect this. "[The crime] is one that strikes at the very core of the integrity of the administration of justice," she said.  "He abused his position to achieve his ends."

Defence lawyer Anthony Elliot argued his client's conduct was less serious than other cases of attempting to pervert the course of justice. "We accept that he made a bad decision … that he will continue to pay for, for the rest of his life," he said.

"We accept that he should not have had anything to do with the Kamitsis inquiry. "But we submit that he was placed in the difficult position of it being intertwined with all the others."

Ms Chalmers told the judge McRoberts engaged in "sustained criminal conduct", which amounted to much more than a single "bad decision".

During the trial, more than 5,000 text messages between McRoberts and Kamitsis were submitted as evidence of their relationship.

In his sentencing, Acting Justice Mildren said McRoberts deliberately set out to lead police investigators away from his lover. "Your purpose from at least sometime in about May 2014 was to frustrate and deflect an imminent prosecution of Kamitsis, your motive was to protect Kamitsis as well as yourself from the scandal that access to her mobile phone would inevitably give rise to," he said.

He said the offence struck at the heart of the administration of justice. "It involved a gross misuse of power for primarily personal reasons," he said. "You were, as commissioner of police, expected to uphold the law, not actively to seek to breach it."

Acting Justice Mildren accepted that McRoberts was unlikely to reoffend, and said there was no need to consider special deterrence.

Regarding character references that spoke highly of McRoberts as a police officer and as a person, he said: "You did your best to make a worthwhile contribution to the community that you served", however, he found that McRoberts lacked remorse.

"You have not shown at any stage any recognition of your wrongdoing or any remorse from your actions," Acting Justice Mildren said.

He said the offending was too serious to allow McRoberts to serve his sentence in home detention, and acknowledged his time in prison would be difficult as he has no family in the NT.

"I accept that it will be harder for you … as you will need to be isolated from other prisoners to some degree," he said.


New land unlocked to provide homes for 55,000 people

Victoria does something right.  If we are to reduce the high cost of housing, this should be happening in every state

Victorians hoping to build their dream home can look to the Melbourne’s northwest fringe with the opening up of land near Sunbury.

Two new communities of Sunbury South and Lancefield Road will provide 19,000 homes and 6000 jobs for as many as 55,000 people.

Treasurer Tim Pallas said the new suburbs’ announcement fulfilled the state government’s commitment for a 15-year land supply by providing 100,000 lots.

“This increase in supply is also a boost to the construction industry, creating jobs in the growth corridors, as well as in established suburbs,” Mr Pallas said.

The government last year said 17 new suburbs in growth areas would be created to tackle the housing affordability problem.

Other suburbs will emerge near Pakenham East, Wollert, Kororoit and Donnybrook, the establishment of which will be managed by the Victorian Planning Authority.

The two new latest communities will be created on 2800 hectares of land around Sunbury over the next 20 years.

The developments will create a regional park, a conservation network on the Jacksons Creek corridor and a reserve at Redstone Hill.

Four town centres, health and emergency services, six primary schools, two secondary schools, and a prep-to-12 school are part of the plans, as well as land for two future train stations.

Developers will contribute to the creation of roads, parks and community facilities.

Mr Pallas said the land release would ensure new housing was coming on to the market to stay ahead of population growth and to make new homes “as affordable as possible”.

Earlier this month, Planning Minister Richard Wynne announced that Jacksons Hill in Sunbury would be returned for community use after the purchase of the 33-hectare site from Victoria University.


There's no such thing as a happy Greenie. The plastic bag ban is only the beginning

Six months ago it didn’t seem possible that Australians would ever give up the convenience of single-use plastic shopping bags.

But watching shoppers pack up their groceries at a nearby Woolworths Metro, it’s clear that the bag ban has worked.

During the busy lunchtime rush this month, there are definitely some people still buying the thicker 15c bags available at the checkout but most people either had their own bags or were choosing to carry their groceries without a bag.

One woman who was juggling a tub of yoghurt, carton of mini-cucumbers and a salad, told that she would definitely have taken one of the old grey bags before but didn’t want to pay for one to transport her lunch back to work.

Even though she said she often forgot to bring her own bags, at least a third of her fellow shoppers had remembered to bring one. Only a handful of the approximately 50 shoppers bought the 15c bags. Other shoppers also improvised and were seen tucking lemons into handbags and microwave meals into backpacks.

While the major retailers won’t reveal how many of the thicker 15c bags they were now selling, this month Coles and Woolworths revealed their bag ban had stopped 1.5 billion thinner plastic bags being dumped into the environment.

A Facebook poll also indicated most people were remembering to bring their own reusable bags.

Tim Silverwood, co-founder of Take 3, told that anecdotal evidence suggested there were less of the thinner bags making their way to Australia’s waterways.

“During our clean-up activities in NSW and Queensland there’s definitely less thin grey shopping bags, according to our volunteers,” Mr Silverwood said. “I think we are all starting to realise now that it doesn’t take that much change to make a big difference.”

He said the success of the bag ban was a great opportunity to take the war against plastic to the next level. This includes passing legislation in NSW to ban bags as well, reduce the use of the thicker bags and to follow the example of the European Union, which has plans to phase out or reduce 10 types of single-use plastic items.

The National Waste Report 2018 released in November showed that just 12 per cent of plastic in Australia was recycled. About 87 per cent was sent to landfill.

Each state and territory approaches waste and recycling differently. There are container deposit schemes in all states except Tasmania and Victoria but only ACT, South Australia and Victoria have a landfill ban.

NSW is the only state or territory not planning to introduce a plastic bag ban. In NSW, Woolworths and Coles have voluntarily phased out the bags but Jeff Angel of the Boomerang Alliance said a ban was still needed because a lot of smaller stores like chemists and food outlets continued to give out the lightweight bags.

Mr Angel wants the supermarket giants to reveal how many of the thicker 15c bags were being used as there was anecdotal evidence they were also ending up in the litter stream and landfill.

The thicker bags are 55 microns thick instead of 35 microns so there is more plastic in them.

Western Australia’s environment minister Stephen Dawson recently revealed his intent to target the use of thicker bags — the type that Myer uses for example — as the next step. “I think it would be a gradual phase-out, just as we’ve done with say microbeads,” Mr Dawson said.

There are also many other forms of plastic that could be tackled and Australia is already behind in this area.

The European Commission has moved to ban or reduce 10 types of single-use plastics by 2030.

If approved, littering by these items will be reduced by more than half, avoiding environmental damage which would otherwise cost €22 billion ($A34 billion). It will also avoid the emission of 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030.

These products are the top 10 most found single-use items on European beaches and make up 43 per cent of total marine litter.

The items that will be targeted include food containers, cups for beverages, cotton buds, cutlery/plates/stirrers/straws, sticks for balloons/balloons, packets and wrappers, beverage bottles, tobacco product filters and sanitary towels/wet wipes among European Union countries.

Items like cotton buds made with plastic would be replaced by sustainable alternatives while there will be an attempt to reduce the consumption of things like food containers.

The commission will also tackle fishing gear, which makes up an extra 27 per cent of marine litter.

European Union countries have recognised the damaging impact plastics can have and the costs of cleaning litter up as well as the losses for tourism, fisheries and shipping.

Due to its slow decomposition, plastic accumulates in seas, oceans and on beaches. Plastic residues have been found in sea turtles, seals, whales and birds, but also in fish and shellfish, meaning humans could also be consuming them. There are estimates that mussel-loving Europeans could be consuming up to 11,000 microplastics in a year.

Mr Silverwood said the 10 items being banned in Europe were also regularly found during clean-up activities in Australia, although the container deposit scheme was helping to reduce the number of beverage containers.

He said Australia should introduce measures similar to the European Union, to tackle other types of single-use plastics.


Agenda activism takes over university Australian history classes

Agenda-driven activism has subverte­d the teaching of Aust­ralian history at the nation’s universit­ies, with gender, race and class politics dominating two-thirds of subjects on offer.

Australian history is no longer taught as a study of past events, according to a report by the Institute of Public Affairs to be released today. It argues that students are more likely to be ­exposed to disconnected themes, or “microhistories”, presented through the lens of identity ­politics, than key concepts explain­ing Australia’s development as a modern nation.

An audit of the 147 Australian history subjects offered across 35 universities this year showed 102 were preoccupied with identity politics. Of those, 13 subjects were solely focused on gender and sexuality, race or class.

ANU’s Sexuality in Australian History examined “how an understanding of sexual diversity in the past can illuminate current debates in Australian ­society”.

Monash University’s History of Sexuality 1800-the Present had topics that included “the construction of masculinity and femininity, courtship and marriag­e … heterosexuality and homosexuality”.

In comparison, four subjects featured democracy as a major theme, three covered industrialisation, and capitalism was the focus of just one subject.

Prime ministers appear to be largely overlooked, but Queensland senator Pauline Hanson is mentioned in the descriptions for three subjects.

The report’s author, Bella d’Abrera, said the audit highlighted that students were not being taught basic concepts explaining the origins of Australian society, including its successes as a ­modern nation.

She said historians had instead “recast themselves as political ­activists” and students were being “politicised in the classroom” as a result of the courses that were available to them.

“Historians occupy a special position because they have a unique ability to shape our society and to shape the future … but they should not attempt to rewrite the past,” Dr d’Abrera said.

“By reframing Australia’s past using the lens of identity politics, they are warping history to fit their own agenda.”

The report highlights how ­indigenous history has been framed around common themes of resistance, colonisation and the frontier wars. Twenty-nine of the 57 indigenous history subjects ­offered ­focused on indigenous-settler relations “in terms of violence and conflict rather than co-existence and co-operation”.

Dr d’Abrera said many Australian history subjects were better suited to the disciplines of politics, sociology or anthropology.

She said there was a dearth of subjects that discussed Australia’s economic and political development since 1788 and only one subject looked into the cultural conditions in Britain that led to the development of our liberal democracy.

No subject mentioned “the fact the Australian nation had ­benefited enormously from the Western legacy”, Dr d’Abrera said.

She said this shed new light on the opposition that the ­Ramsay Centre has come up against in its bid to establish ­degrees in Western civilisation at several Australian universities.

After rejection by ANU and a push-back from academics at the University of Sydney, the ­Ramsay Centre recently signed up the University of Wollongong as a partner for a course and scholarship program planned to launch in 2020.

Bachelor of Arts student Oscar Green took the University of Queensland’s The Australian Experience during his first year of study expecting to be introduced to issues around Australian history and culture.

Instead, the 19-year-old, who is involved in the IPA’s Generation Liberty program for students, was disappointed by a “disproportionate focus” on race and gender and “revisionist approach” to studying the past.


 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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