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Sex crime class action includes Facebook

Written By doni donian on Senin, 09 Maret 2015 | 16.25

FACEBOOK has been included in a class action against a convicted pedophile who allegedly posted comments on social media gloating about his sex crimes against a girl.

THE Tasmanian Sexual Assault Support Service on Monday revealed plans to launch a class action against the man, as well as indirect parties Facebook, the parole board and the sex offenders register, claiming breach of the anti-discrimination act.

Service chief Liz Little said the man's comments were demeaning and vilified the girl."He has also justified his behaviour, that it wasn't in fact pedophilia or engaging in any form of sex that was harmful," she told ABC radio."The Act prohibits people doing things that we know would create hurt and shame for a victim of sexual abuse, but it also could amount to victimisation under the anti-discrimination act."The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was 58 when sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail by Tasmania's Supreme Court for having sex with a girl aged under 17, the age of consent in the state.He was released in March 2013 and remains on the child sex offender register.Since his release, the man has posted a series of online comments, including that he is the envy of many men across Australia, The Mercury reported.Facebook said the account has been deactivated and that convicted sex offenders are not allowed to join the social media service.But Ms Little said Facebook has a case to answer as an indirect respondent in the class action, for enabling distribution of the man's comments."Facebook have a consent form, when people sign up to it, where they do ask people if they're sex offenders," she said."If you write `no' then you go through."What are the duties of Facebook to check they are telling the truth?"In a brief statement, Facebook said it works closely with law enforcement agencies and removes the profiles of convicted sex offenders when they are reported.Tasmanian police Assistant Commissioner Donna Adams said detectives will "examine the circumstances surrounding the matter".Ms Little's class action is due to be lodged with the state's Anti-Discrimination Commissioner later this week."The end point of this is to start trying to get the sorts of legislative changes and ongoing protections that we need for victims of sexual abuse, particularly children victims of sexual abuse," she said.Tasmanian police minister Rene Hidding is aware of the class action and said the government is already looking at a review of the community protection act to determine if legislative changes are necessary.

16.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

Honey, it's actually corn, Vic buyers told

Written By doni donian on Selasa, 24 Juni 2014 | 16.25

WOULD honey by any other name smell as sweet?

APPARENTLY, yes, although some shoppers have recently discovered that their so-called honey doesn't actually come from bees.

A food importer has been fined $30,600 for selling syrup derived from corn and sugar cane from Turkey as Victorian honey.Basfoods Australia has also been forced to remove all the "misleading" products off supermarket shelves, after concerns were raised by the local honey bee industry to the consumer watchdog.Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the finding was a win for consumers and local honey producers, which would no longer be forced to compete with the illegally-sold products.Not only did the company mislead consumers about the content of the honey, but also about where it was from, he said on Tuesday.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has also put other fake honey suppliers on notice.It says it will use this case to inform its decision on five other complaints.

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Labor seeks to tighten Senate rules

MINISTERS and public service chiefs would face greater accountability from July 1 under a Labor plan to tighten Senate rules.

LABOR wants to lock in changes to the way committees operate, and ensure ministers answer questions, before the Senate changes over on July 1.

From July the government will no longer need to negotiate with Labor or the Australian Greens but will be able to secure the passing of laws with the support of six of eight crossbenchers.Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Penny Wong, will on Wednesday seek the Greens' support for a raft of new accountability measures.They include ministers not being able to hide behind a freedom of information request as an excuse not to provide documents, and tighter deadlines for returns of Senate Estimates answers.As well, an extra Estimates committee hearing could be scheduled if three members of the committee request it, instead of a majority of members.The hearings would be required to run from 9am to 11pm if senators still have questions, stopping ministers from shutting the hearings down prematurely.Government department and agency heads would also be reminded of their responsibility to turn up and give evidence at the hearings.Senator Wong said that since the 2013 election the government had used stonewalling, bullying and evasive tactics in the Senate."Labor's move to strengthen Senate procedures will ensure all senators have the capacity to do the job they were elected to do."

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Wild Vic winds cause damage, injuries

Wild winds have caused havoc across Victoria due to a cold front and an intense low pressure system. Source: AAP

A VIOLENT winter storm has blasted Victoria, leaving several people injured, trees toppled on cars, buildings damaged, snow in alpine regions and more than 80,000 homes without power across the state.

THE State Emergency Service (SES) received more than 2500 calls on Tuesday as a strong cold front and an intense low pressure system combined to give Victoria an icy return to winter.

Up to one metre of snow is expected at some of the state's ski resorts by Wednesday as wind and rain persist overnight.Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Kevin Parkyn said such an intense weather system, affecting the whole state, hits Victoria only once every few years."Victoria's mild start to winter certainly came to an abrupt halt today as a winter with a bomb brought wild winds, rain, hail and even snow across the alpine peaks," he said.Peak gusts included 128km/h at Cape Otway, 122km/h at South Channel Beacon and 113km/h at Fawkner Beacon in Port Phillip Bay, 102km/h at Essendon Airport and 104km/h at Melbourne Airport.During the wild weather a woman was injured after a brick wall collapsed in Yarraville and several drivers were also injured by trees falling onto their cars.A woman was showered with glass when a tree fell on to her car in Werribee and a driver in Clunes was injured when a tree fell on the road.In the city a woman was lucky to escape serious injury when she was struck by roof sheeting.SES chief officer (operations) Trevor White said most calls for help came from southern Victoria including 1600 in metropolitan Melbourne. Around 700 calls across the state were for building damage, with most others for fallen trees.He expected a surge in calls on Tuesday evening as people returned home to survey any damage.Flying debris caused problems throughout the day with unsecured trampolines and garden furniture becoming dangerous missiles in the wind.The west coast, including Warrnambool, was hard hit earlier in the day, with about 30 properties along the Merri River suffering minor flooding. Most damage was confined to outbuildings.It also forced parents to collect their children from a Warrnambool kindergarten.The Yarra River burst its banks at Southbank and other coastal flooding was recorded at Elwood and Frankston.Mr White said winds cut power to more than 80,000 customers at the height of the storm.The hardest-hit areas included Bacchus Marsh, Werribee, Point Cook, Bendigo, Bundoora, Watsonia North, Monbulk, Hawthorn and the Mornington Peninsula.A spokesman for Powercor said crews are working to restore all services.Roads across the state were cut by fallen trees and flash flooding.Speed limits were reduced to from 80 to 40km/h on the 53-metre West Gate Bridge at the height of the storm.Mr Parkyn said Victoria had not seen the last of the wild weather."We're in for a windy week, so it's not over yet, although we have seen the most intense winds for the week," he said.

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Tas subsidies questioned by commission

CANBERRA should keep closer tabs on the cost of taking passenger cars on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry, an inquiry has found.

A PRODUCTIVITY Commission report released on Tuesday made a raft of recommendations that would bring changes to federal subsidy schemes aimed at assisting freight and vehicle movements in and out of the island state.

The Bass Strait ferry should be the focus of joint state and federal government discussions ensuring greater transparency around operator TT-Line's pricing, the report reads.It also recommended investigating whether a subsidy offered by the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme is reaching its intended recipients.Despite the commission's questions, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has committed to retain the scheme.It is one of a range of Tasmanian shipping subsidy programs which have already received $2 billion in federal funding, with the same amount due to be spent over the coming 15 years.But the Productivity Commission has found some of the schemes are not the best means of supporting the state's economic development.As subsidies they have unintended consequences, including perversely increasing the costs of goods for Tasmanians, the commission reported.A small number of companies - largely in the manufacturing sector - are taking advantage of the majority of subsidy payments.It instead suggests the adoption of a volume-based, flat rate subsidy for freight.The main commodities leaving Tasmania and eligible for the subsidy have been frozen and fresh vegetables, newsprint, wood products and beer.Incoming freight has predominantly been beer bottles and cans, wheat and animal feed.Regional Development Minister Warren Truss welcomed the report which also makes reform recommendations to maritime regulation."Keeping prices more affordable for shippers and passengers ... will help put Tasmania on a more level playing field compared with mainland operators," Mr Truss said.

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Political blame game over childcare costs

Written By doni donian on Minggu, 22 Juni 2014 | 16.26

Childcare costs have rocketed 150 per cent in the past decade, a report shows. Source: AAP

WORKING mothers are losing 60 cents of each dollar they earn to rising childcare costs but Australia's politicians haven't found a way to ease the situation for now.

INSTEAD they're blaming each other for the worsening crisis in childcare affordability.

Childcare costs have skyrocketed 150 per cent in the past decade, with only electricity and tobacco prices rising at a faster rate, a new report claims.Parents returning to full-time work after having a child can now expect to lose up to 60 per cent of their gross income to childcare fees, loss of benefits and higher income tax rates.Mums from low income families who return to full-time work may take home as little as $4.55 an hour, the research from financial services firm AMP and the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling found.Assistant education minister Sussan Ley regularly meets women juggling childcare with returning to work."There is crisis and struggle and desperation when you talk to mums who just don't know what to do with the work-family balance," she told reporters in Melbourne."It's not fair for families to have to live within a system that is as unsustainable as the one that Labor has left us with."The Productivity Commission is due to deliver its initial report on childcare to the government next month and the final version in October.Ms Ley expects the government will have some solutions for parents in early 2015.But the opposition says the government can do one thing to help right now: abandon plans to freeze childcare payments."They cannot justify standing up and attacking low and middle income families time and time again and this report shows that Australia can't afford it," opposition childcare spokeswoman Kate Ellis said.Labor was worried many women wouldn't return to the workforce after having children because of the difficulty of finding and paying for childcare.The AMP-NATSEM report said 630,000 Australian families pay for "long day" childcare, which can cost up to $170 a day per child.The national average childcare fee has risen 150 per cent since 2004. Childcare generally costs more in cities compared to regional areas and more in wealthier suburbs than less affluent areas.Fees have risen faster than petrol, education and healthcare costs.While the number of children in childcare has risen steadily over the past decade, about 60 per cent of children from working families are still cared for by grandparents, relatives or friends.

16.26 | 0 komentar | Read More

Newman says ALP wrong on TAFE fee rises

QUEENSLAND'S premier has accused the opposition of playing Nostradamus over TAFE fee increases.

LITERACY and numeracy fees for disability pensioners have risen from $140 to $800 while tuition fees for a diploma in marketing have increased from $2400 to $6000, Labor says.

It predicts that fees will go up even more as previously subsidised courses incur full fees and a new Queensland Training Assets Management Authority makes TAFE campuses pay full commercial rent.But the Liberal National government insists there is no link between course costs and infrastructure arrangements.Premier Campbell Newman said hefty TAFE fee increases would be unlikely when asked about Labor's predictions."It's interesting to see they're playing Nostradamus," he told reporters on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday."I don't believe that's the case."TAFE is being re-focused so it meets the needs of employers so we create jobs."Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government had a secret agenda, after Labor uncovered leaked TAFE documents which say "costs could increase again for the start" of the first semester in 2015.They are answers to student questions and comments such as, "Are costs likely to increase next year?" and "I feel ripped off"."We've now heard of secret plans where TAFE fees are going to be skyrocketing in this state," Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek insists fees aren't actually rising, with a spokeswoman explaining in a background statement to AAP that subsidies were being reduced to some courses that didn't align with skills shortage areas.

16.26 | 0 komentar | Read More

Qld premier coy on chief justice pick

QUEENSLAND'S premier has held his first media conference in five days, but was coy when questioned about his government's controversial selection of Tim Carmody as the state's new chief justice.

SINCE Campbell Newman last stood before reporters, Judge Carmody's controversial addition to the Supreme Court has been approved by the state's governor.

Judge Carmody's meteoric rise has divided the judiciary, with critics arguing he's too inexperienced and too close to the government.But Mr Newman has declined to offer any new comment on the appointment of Judge Carmody, even though Court of Appeal justice John Muir has joined senior legal figures in slamming the appointment process."Go back to what I've said when I announced it about a week and a half ago," Mr Newman told reporters on the Sunshine Coast."You've got my comments."Late last week, Governor Penelope Wensley issued writs for the July 19 Stafford by-election, where the ruling Liberal National Party is considered the underdog despite its seven per cent margin.Asked why the media wasn't invited to that event, Mr Newman pointed to his June 5 speech to parliament."The announcement was made in parliament, look at the record," Mr Newman said, adding media weren't usually invited for by-election declarations."I've held many press conferences since I made the announcement in parliament."Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk accused the premier of hiding from voters during the past week, with Mr Newman's last media conference on Tuesday in Mount Isa."The premier has been in hiding now for over a week, afraid to front the music, afraid to talk to people in this state," she told reporters in Brisbane.The premier was on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday holding a community cabinet in Maroochydore, which is also in Clive Palmer's federal seat of Fairfax.A cabinet meeting is being held in the same beachside suburb on Monday.It would come three days after Mr Palmer lodged a defamation writ against Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney in the Supreme Court, after he alleged on the ABC that the mining tycoon had sought special favours for his Waratah Coal interests in the Galilee Basin in 2012.Mr Palmer is also suing Mr Newman for defamation after the premier claimed that he tried to "buy" the Queensland government.

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GG visits Ord irrigation scheme

GOVERNOR-GENERAL Sir Peter Cosgrove is hoping to shine a light on economic opportunities in agriculture and progress being made on indigenous issues during a tour of northern Australia.

SIR Peter said the second phase of the Ord irrigation scheme near Kununurra was beginning to come to fruition, largely due to Chinese investment.

"It's now possible to see, not just its future potential, but its present importance," he told reporters after a tour of the Ord Stage Two Development on Sunday."I hope that all the negotiations for the Ord River project phase two can continue and we can see waving fields of sugar, sorghum and other crops in this beautifully irrigated part of Australia."He said the area around Kununurra in north Western Australia could produce life saving food for international markets.Sir Peter is half way through a five day tour of the Northern Territory and north Western Australia, taking in the towns of Katherine, Kununurra and Wyndham as well as remote areas."I shine a light. I turn up to places where there is wonderful endeavour and it may not necessarily be solely economic, it might be more on social development or amenity for younger Australians," he said."Or it might be to watch indigenous Australians who, whilst acknowledging that there is a gap to be closed, are working hard with specific programs to enhance indigenous health and to extend life expectation, to reduce infant illnesses and keep kids in school."After planting a tree with Girl Guides and chatting to volunteers on Sunday morning he said regional communities such as Kununurra had a strong volunteering spirit."What I like about rural and regional Australia, the more remote in some ways the better, is you'll see the strength and interaction of communities," he said."In towns in rural and regional Australia you see the interaction up close."Sir Peter, also visited the Kimberley squadron of the Australian army's Norforce reserve unit."I've got a special place, I always will have a special place in my heart for people who put their country's uniform on. Military, navy, army and airforce, but police, SES, anybody who provides a sense of service before self who takes on burdens that are inconvenient and stressful and sometimes hazardous to help other people."However, Sir Peter, who was commander of defence forces when Australia deployed troops to Iraq 11 years ago, declined to comment on how he felt about a fresh batch of troops being sent to Baghdad."On those sort of issues which are contemporary I would say that's a matter for the government."Defence has sent a small unit of Australian Defence Force personnel to Baghdad to bolster security at the Australian embassy.In coming days Sir Peter will visit the TFS Sandalwood plantations, indigenous groups, schools and attend a football training session at the Clontarf Foundation, of which he is patron.

16.26 | 0 komentar | Read More

Man bashed at Sydney motel

Written By doni donian on Sabtu, 21 Juni 2014 | 16.25

A man has serious head injuries after being assaulted at a motel west of Sydney. Source: AAP

A MAN has serious head injuries after being assaulted at a NSW motel.

POLICE found the 28-year-old man at a motel reception at Warwick Farm, west of Sydney, on Friday night.

The man had serious head and limb injuries and was taken to hospital.Police say the man was assaulted but officers have not yet been able to speak to him.A crime scene has been established in one of the motel rooms.

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