Archive for: ‘June 2018’

Coalition MPs revolt on ‘dehumanising’ debts

29/06/2018 Posted by admin

AN UPRISING over refugee debts began in the House of Representatives yesterday, urging an end to a “dark chapter” in Australia’s history.Coalition backbenchers rose one by one to speak against its tough line on detention debts and in favour of the Government’s plan to abolish them.The debts, introduced by Labor in 1992, require refugees to reimburse the Government for the cost of their mandatory detention. Outstanding debts total $8.9 million – the cost of chasing them will exceed the amount collected this financial year.Close to tears, a moderate Liberal, Petro Georgiou, argued for the “dehumanising” charges to be dropped. “No advanced society should allow on its statutes a law which so degrades and humiliates fellow human beings who are legitimately calling on our protection,” he said.Under the changes, criminal detainees such as illegal fishermen and people smugglers would remain liable to pay food, accommodation and transport costs of $125.40 a day.Mr Georgiou said both sides of Parliament had been complicit in the demonisation of refugees and called for a bipartisan approach to end the negative portrayal. “Imposing these charges is part of the process of dehumanising people seeking seeking refuge – part of the way they are presented as being worse than the worst,” he said. Not even rapists were asked to pay for their incarceration, he said.Most detention debt is eventually written off or waived but having an amount owing limits former detainees from travelling and freely using bank accounts. Debts of more than $300,000 had been charged to families, Labor’s Yvette D’Ath told the House.Sharman Stone, the Opposition’s immigration spokeswoman, did not back the plan to abolish the debts.”Abolishing the detention debt principle is going to remove one more deterrent [to] people smugglers arguing now that Australia has a wide open back door,” she said.A vote on the bill is likely today. The changes are expected to become law with the support of both independent senators.
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Criminals with unexplained wealth will lose assets

29/06/2018 Posted by admin

KNOWN criminals flaunting unexplained wealth will have it confiscated under tough new laws targeting organised crime.These figures would lose their assets even if there was not enough evidence to charge them with a criminal office, the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, said yesterday.He said organised crime cost Australia at least $15 billion a year and inflicted substantial harm on the community, business and government. But in many cases, people who arranged crimes and profited from them were able to avoid prosecution.Mr McClelland said that unlike existing confiscation orders, new “unexplained wealth orders” would not require proof of a link to a specific crime.To ensure those whose assets were confiscated were able to seek legal representation, they would be eligible for legal aid, Mr McClelland said.Legal aid commissions would be able to recover legal costs incurred by a person with restrained assets directly from the Confiscated Assets Account. The Commonwealth would recover the fund from the person who received the legal aid, up to the value of the restrained assets.Once it becomes law, the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Serious and Organised Crime) Bill will allow law enforcement agencies in undercover “controlled” operations to do some things that would otherwise be illegal in order to obtain evidence of a serious offence.”For example, a shipment of drugs might be allowed to pass through border control in order to follow the trail to the buyers or distributors of those narcotics,” Mr McClelland said. “There are appropriate limits on this. Controlled operations do not authorise conduct likely to cause death or serious injury, or involve the commission of a sexual offence.”There would be strong mechanisms to ensure those involved were publicly accountable.The law will also increase the range of investigations in which phone taps can be used.Mr McClelland said law enforcement agencies needed the powers to defeat the sophisticated methods criminals used to avoid detection.
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It wasn’t me driving, honest

29/06/2018 Posted by admin

ANGELA Liati, the woman convicted of lying to protect the disgraced former judge Marcus Einfeld, is fighting her own speeding offence in court. And proving that she learnt something from the experience, she is using what has become known as “the Einfeld defence”. Liati was last month sentenced to 200 hours’ community service for lying to police about who was behind the wheel when Einfeld’s Lexus was caught by a speed camera in Mosman in 2006. The former Federal Court judge was jailed in March for telling a court that the driver was not him, but a dead American academic, Teresa Brennan, in an attempt to avoid paying the $77 fine.Liati is challenging a parking fine and at least one of two speeding fines on the basis that “I was not the driver” according to court documents. She faces a $231 fine after her car was caught by a speed camera on the Eastern Distributor and a $77 parking fine in Lavender Bay. Both offences occurred in 2006, the same year of Einfeld’s offence. Liati, a former partner of the late multi-millionaire car dealer Peter Warren, provided Einfeld with an alibi, saying she was in the passenger seat while Brennan was driving. But the story fell apart after another Einfeld friend, Vivian Schenker, said she was in the car and Einfeld was driving at the time of the offence. Asked who she had nominated as driving this time, Liati laughed, “no one who was dead at the time”.A BIG DAY FOR KING JUAN CARLOS AND QUEEN SOFIADuring the first day of a three-day state visit, the Spanish royals visited the Australian War Memorial and met Kevin Rudd, Malcolm Turnbull and Quentin Bryce. King Juan Carlos, who took the throne after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, and Queen Sofia are due to open a Spanish cultural centre, the Instituto Cervantes, in Chippendale today. It is their first visit to Australia in two decades.CALLING CAPTAIN REES Nathan Rees has accepted an invitation to attend the 50th anniversary celebrations of his former school, Northmead High. The Premier (pictured here in his year 12 class photo) was Northmead’s school captain in 1985 and appeared in the school production of Oliver. More significantly, he met his future wife Stacey Haines there. The celebrations will feature a multimedia element including interviews with past students and a “virtual tour” of the school. Rees, who has visited the school several times since becoming Premier, has been invited to the dinner on September 5. A spokesman from his office said that “he’ll definitely mark the anniversary”.WESTACOTT IS GRILLEDCrows Nest steakhouse La Grillade has long been the favoured locale for send-off parties for the Channel Nine old guard. Newsreaders Ian Ross and Mike Munro were given send-offs at “the Grill” when departing for the sunny shores of rival network Seven and it’s the venue for tonight’s shindig for director of news and current affairs, John Westacott. “Westy” retires from his 25-year full-time career with the network next week but will be sticking around in a “consulting role” most likely for 60 Minutes. Tonight’s dinner – “to make sure he actually leaves” according to one Nine insider – will be attended by producers he worked with such as Sydney news director, Darren Wick, Tom Malone from the Today show, Grant Williams from A Current Affair and Hamish Thompson from 60 Minutes, along with national news director Mark Calvert, who has assumed the responsibilities of Westacott’s job.THAT’S ANZAC SPIRITThe Sydney marching band whose tartan-clad members had their cars ticketed on Anzac Day despite being part of the official proceedings have had their fines waived – but no thanks to Lord MayorClover Moore or the council rangers who issued them. The drum major of the Hills District Pipe Band, Neil Reid, appealed to both the NSW Government’s State Debt Recovery Office and the City of Sydney Council for a review. Reid told the Diary he received “a stupid letter from Clover Moore” on Monday stating that the fines would stand, only to be told within 24 hours by the recovery office that it would wipe six of the seven fines. A council spokesman said the whole incident was a case of “miscommunication” which “seems to be a one-off” and usually the free parking arrangements had worked well.GOT A TIP?Contact [email protected]南京夜網.au or 9282 2179.STAY IN TOUCHWITH GLASTONBURY MUSIC FESTIVALIN APRIL Paul McCartney headlined Coachella, one of the hippest music festivals in the US.Tomorrow the return of the golden oldies continues with Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, and Neil Young along with Crosby, Stills & Nash, Tom Jones and satirical rock group Spinal Tap on the bill for the four-day Glastonbury festival in Britain. The event is famous as much for its mud and gumboot wearing celebrities such as Kate Moss as it is for its trendy artist choices.While last year’s festival was turned over to performers favoured by the under-30’s set, with rapper Jay Z and US rock group Kings of Leon crowd favourites, this year the organisers – 73-year-old Michael Eavis and his 29-year-old daughter Emily – opted to step back in time.”We had a chance of two amazing legends and there’s no way we could turn one down just because we shouldn’t have them the same year,” Emily told the BBC this week of the choice to have both Springsteen and Young. “And we’re not going to turn them down because we’re ageist.”Meanwhile, Australian music veterans don’t miss out with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds performing on Sunday and for those who prefer a little less wrinkle with their rock, Melbourne teen songstress Gabriella Cilmi, pictured, returns to the festival, this time performing on the same stage as Young, albeit in a much earlier slot.WITH IRANIAN GATHERINGSSONG and dance is the last thing on the minds of Sydney’s Iranians. Organisers have postponed Dance Dance Dance, a concert to be held next month at North Sydney Leagues Club featuring three popular Iranian-Australian artists.The event was announced on April 8, long before the post-election unrest in Iran. One of the organisers , Mani Veiszadeh, editor of the magazine Oziran, told the Diary yesterday that the revamped event would probably be held in August.Instead of Dance Dance Dance, it will be called Iran Iran Iran, with all attendees invited to wear green in solidarity with the protesters in Iran, and it will feature patriotic songs.”It will still be a music event, but we won’t be playing upbeat dance tunes,” Veiszadeh said. “Right now, when we all know people who are dying or getting hurt, no one feels like having a party.”Artists involved in the event, Davood, Nassim and Anoush, were among the protesters in Hyde Park last weekend.WITH FAMILY DRAMAS: PART 2AS REPORTED yesterday, Jon and Kate Gosselin, the Pennsylvania couple who turned their lives as parents of twins and sextuplets into a top-rating US reality television series, Jon And Kate Plus Eight, are headed for splitsville. The US network TLC has confirmed they have postponed new episodes until August, putting the future of the lucrative series in question. The couple have become tabloid favourites in the US, with gossip magazines detailing alleged infidelity on the part of Jon, Kate’s shopping trips and scrutiny of their relationship and parenting methods. The couple confirmed they were separating in an episode that went to air on Monday, and which drew record ratings for the show.
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Bush bashing: rally laws override locals

29/06/2018 Posted by admin

SPECIAL legislation overriding planning, national parks and Aboriginal cultural heritage laws is being rushed through Parliament to ensure a decade of world rally championship races will not be interrupted.The new laws passed through upper house with the support of the Coalition, which criticised it for stopping local communities on the North Coast from having any input into the staging of this year’s event, which starts in just nine weeks.The Motor Sports (World Rally Championship) Bill is similar to the special legislation to allow the running of V8 Supercar races at Homebush Bay for five years. It gives the government power to ignore requirements under planning laws and impose fines of up to $5000 on those who breach the law.The new law will allow the Minister for State Development, Ian Macdonald, to declare any area on the North Coast or anywhere in the state a “declared rally area” until 2017 to allow France’s International Automobile Federation (FIA) to stage five rounds of its championships.In a “declared rally period”, provisions of seven separate laws, including the Local Government Act, Forestry Act and Fisheries Act, will not apply – ensuring the rallies can proceed regardless of opposition in local communities.The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act still will apply. Drivers must stop if they hit and injure an animal, a potential problem in the wildlife-rich area where the rallies will be staged.Before voting to support the bill, the National Party MP Trevor Khan said North Coast communities were justifiably angry at the “lack of proper process” and the Government’s “heavy-handed approach” in legislating to allow the rally to proceed without councils’ approval. “Once again the state Labor Government has demonstrated it is more interested in a headline than what is right for the local community,” he said.The Government agreed to pass special legislation in response to a request from the FIA to the Premier, Nathan Rees, expressing concern about the level of local opposition to the event.Taxpayers have contributed an undisclosed amount of funding to the event, which for many years was staged in Western Australia – until the WA Government decided the rally was not worth its $6 million annual contribution.The NSW Government claims the event will bring $100 million into the Northern Rivers economy over the next decade.
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It was the flu Australia had to have

29/06/2018 Posted by admin

IT has been more than five weeks since swine flu landed in Australia. Now more than 2400 people have tested positive and three people have died. Thousands have been quarantined, schools have been closed, and understaffed emergency departments have struggled with an influx of patients, suddenly highly conscious of every sniffle and cough.Since it was first detected in Mexico in March, the World Health Organisation says at least 52,160 people have been diagnosed and 230 have died. But the real figures will be much higher. The WHO says its statistics are unreliable because some countries are no longer counting and poor countries do not have the means to reliably detect cases.What we do know is that swine flu or the A(H1N1) virus seems to hit younger people hardest and, that while many people who died after contracting the virus had underlying medical conditions, some did not.When swine flu arrived in Australia on May 9, experts predicted it could kill up to 25,000 people, lay low up to half the workforce and cause “massive” economic damage.If it resembled the 1918 influenza pandemic, health bureaucrats warned, the nation could be crippled for up to 10 months, with the tourism industry being particularly hard hit.More than 2 million people would be infected and millions more affected by university, school and child-care centre closures, transport restrictions and health system chaos.But last week, the Federal Government downgraded Australia’s swine flu alert phase, ending mandatory quarantine, thermal imaging at airports and compulsory testing.The “protect” phase was created after it became clear the Government’s pandemic plan had been devised for a more virulent and deadly strain and the tough measures were not needed for such a mild virus.The new alert level means those with flu-like symptoms will no longer be routinely tested. Anyone who is sick is “strongly advised” to stay at home until their symptoms resolve. But they will not be forced into quarantine, nor will those who have had contact with a swine flu victim.Those moderately sick should see a GP and those who are severely ill should go to a hospital emergency department. Antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu and Relenza, will not be prescribed to people diagnosed with, or suspected of having, swine flu, unless they are at risk of developing serious complications. Pregnant women, the morbidly obese, people with respiratory illness and suppressed immune systems are considered to be at risk.Pregnant women can take antiviral medications, but Tamiflu and Relenza are relatively new drugs and yet to be declared safe in the long term. Those breastfeeding can take Relenza, but it will be prescribed only if there is a high risk of complications.Mass gatherings, such as football finals, will go ahead and schools will not be closed, even if many children are diagnosed.A Department of Education spokeswoman says the Board of Studies may award substitute marks to HSC students who contract swine flu and allow some students to complete assessment tasks at home.But the Government’s sudden change of heart has left at least one influenza expert dubious.Calling the decision political, Nikolai Petrovsky, of Flinders University in Adelaide, said “doctors who look after the patients who die from influenza each year would never label it a ‘mild’ infection”.”Influenza, through its ability to mutate and exchange genetic material with related viruses, has a potential to change its nature overnight from benign to highly lethal,” Petrovsky said.”The biggest concern of all will be when [it] becomes established in South-East Asia and particularly Indonesia and Vietnam where avian influenza remains a major concern. Should swine flu mix with H5N1 avian flu then all bets are off.”Research published last year showed most new flu strains had their beginnings in northern Asia during October to March each year, moving to North America and Europe, then Australia a few months later, mutating constantly.Australia’s most common strain of flu, H3N2, has been circulating annually in Australia for the past 40 years, peaking every three to four years.Thus swine flu is expected to return for decades, the head of clinical research at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance at the University of Sydney, Robert Booy, says. “But most people will develop some immunity to it. The problem is that eventually it will gain an important mutation that we have no immunity to.”Genetic similarities between pigs and humans made it easier for flu strains to jump between the two species, with the Asian and Hong Kong flus in 1957 and 1968 both originating in pigs in China, but Australians should not fear contracting other animal strains, Booy says.”Even the avian flu didn’t make the cross to humans easily. You basically had to sleep with a chicken in your bed to get it.”But Peter Collignon, a professor of microbiology and infectious diseases at the Australian National University and a vocal opponent of the Government’s hardline measures to stop the virus, says swine flu is proving to be less aggressive than the seasonal flu and “99 per cent of people just get better on their own”.He says there is still no data to back up fears of a second or third more virulent wave in the next few months and years, and most of the deaths from the more virulent second wave of the Spanish flu in 1918 were caused by bacterial pneumonia, a secondary infection which can now be treated with antibiotics.Swine flu may not be the mass killer it was first feared, but there is no doubt it has left the NSW Health Department reeling and people confused and fearful. At times, communication between the federal and state health departments seemed limited, answers were thin on the ground and major mistakes were made, leaving NSW open to ridicule.Last month, about 1800 people aboard a cruise ship were allowed to disembark in Sydney without being tested, despite swine flu being on board.The ship was subsequently cleared to travel to the Whitsundays the same night, a move which infuriated Queensland authorities, forced to divert the ship while swabs were taken.Another cruise ship was denied access to dock in New Caledonia because crew members developed swine flu, but the ship did dock in Vanuatu and Fiji.In Sydney, some hospitals turned suspected swine flu sufferers away because they believed they had been designated as “clean”, but NSW Health said no emergency department had been given that status.Federal Government guidelines to avoid mass gatherings and stockpile food and water were quickly discarded, anti-discrimination experts warned against shunning swine flu victims and GPs complained they had not been given enough information on dealing with suspected cases in busy waiting rooms.One doctor, who did not want to be named, said NSW Health’s rigid bureaucratic protocols had denied his colleagues the right to make any decisions on testing and medication, forcing them to call the Public Health Unit on each occasion. “GPs have had six years of university training and an additional four to five years of postgraduate training,” the doctor said. “They have far more knowledge and expertise than most of the federal and state bureaucrats who rule over them with an iron fist.”Others said that antivirals were being wasted and testing was too slow.Lindsay Grayson and Paul Johnson, both from the infectious diseases department of Austin Health in Melbourne, told the Medical Journal of Australia that testing was restricted to patients who fitted the specific case definition, and tests on all other patients who had a clinical illness suspected of being swine flu were initially refused or given low priority.”This is the opposite of what should have occurred,” they wrote.Practical issues such as the adequacy of the protective mask stockpile or the means of distributing drugs and equipment to GPs did not appear to have been planned in detail, they said.Roche, the manufacturer of antiviral drug Tamiflu, was forced to suspend deliveries for two weeks for fear that the drug was being prescribed indiscriminately by GPs, while sales of masks and anti-bacterial handwash soared.Flight manifests were scoured every time an international traveller was diagnosed, but quarantine rules seemed arbitrary.Some people were told to stay at home for seven days; others were never told they had been in contact with the virus.One couple left an infected cruise ship to visit a newborn grandchild because they weren’t told they had been exposed.Anecdotal evidence of people self-quarantining abounded.Suddenly, swine flu became the desired diagnosis for anyone wanting a week off work.But Booy warns: “I wouldn’t recommend throwing influenza parties – you might be one of the unlucky ones that gets a severe case”.About 30-50 per cent of deaths in North America were among those who had no underlying risk factors, he says.YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWEREDWhat are the symptoms?Swine flu resembles any other flu. Main symptoms: sore throat, cough, runny nose, fatigue, aching muscles.How can you tell if you have it?You can’t, except by having a doctor take a throat swab for testing. Health authorities said last week they would no longer support testing of anyone likely to be infected, but only those with severe disease or risk factors such as pregnancy or asthma.How infectious is it?Every infected person infects an average of 1.5 others within 2 to 3 days. That is highly infectious, but on a par with other flu. Measles and whooping cough spread much more readily.How deadly is it?Swine flu causes more hospitalisations than human flu. Its death rate is about one in 1000 in developed nations – about double that of regular flu.Who is most likely tobe affected?It affects healthy, young adults and children disproportionately. Children are more at risk because they have not had previous flu infections which may confer partial immunity. Older adults seem better protected because they are more likely to have been exposed to flu types similar to swine flu that circulated in the 1950s.If it’s like other flu andnot exceptionally deadly,why should we care?Regular human flu kills 1500 to 3000 Australians annually. Depending on how widely it spreads, swine flu could easily exceed that. Australia is moving into the peak flu season. Hospitals may struggle to cope.Are there other dangers?Swine flu in humans is a novel virus that could mutate further, combining with other forms of flu to become more infectious, more virulent or resistant to treatments. Because there is no vaccine, there is still no way of holding back that worst-case scenario.Is there any treatment?Anti-viral medicines such as Tamiflu can prevent flu or reduce severity and the likelihood of complications. But doctors have now determined they should be used only for those at increased risk of complications. Others should stay at home and use over-the-counter medicines.How can people avoidcatching or spreading it?Stand a metre or more away from people with respiratory symptoms. Wash your hands regularly; it makes a big difference. Use tissues and dispose of them promptly. Stay away from work and keep children away from school if you have symptoms. Support those around you, including employees, to do this.When will there be a vaccine?Scientists are making rapid progress towards a vaccine, but large-scale production will not start until late this year, at the earliest.
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ACL needs a long-term solution

29/06/2018 Posted by admin

ACL Bearing Company’s future needs to be secured not with a Band-Aid but for the long term. The political to-and-fro between the Launceston company and the State and Federal governments has gone on for long enough. The Northern Tasmanian economy doesn’t deserve a confidence hit in the midst of a global financial crisis. And for the 280 ACL workers – who have already struggled through months and even years of uncertainty – the prospect of losing their jobs is cruel. So who is going to step in? ACL’s directors have said it made a net profit of $1.3 million in the nine months to the end of March. But if they think the business is viable with a good future, they should be prepared to provide personal guarantees for the $4 million State Government bail-out loan. They’re not prepared to risk losing their investments. But surely the Tasmanian taxpayers shouldn’t risk losing their money either. And it wouldn’t just be the $4million. The figure could soar if the State Government becomes liable for the employees entitlements. It would also become a 44.02 per cent shareholder in ACL. Surely we can’t end up with the Government helping run a bearing company. Opposition treasury spokesman Peter Gutwein says the jobs must be saved. We agree. But there must be another way – a long-term solution. The Federal Government has committed $4 million to ACL. But that’s a pittance compared with the Federal Government’s $6.2 billion New Car Plan for a Greener Future. It’s a package to bail out the automotive manufacturing industry, which has been in decline. Industry Minister Kim Carr must look at using money from his plan to help ACL restructure if necessary to secure its future as a supplier of parts. Why should a key player in the industry miss out on a slice of that massive package and be fighting for its survival on what feels like a regular basis? That’s why the Federal Government needed to become involved instead of leaving the State Government wearing the prospective job losses. – FIONA REYNOLDS, editor
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Hidding attacks Govt over new police boat

29/06/2018 Posted by admin

Rene HiddingOPPOSITION police spokesman Rene Hidding has described the Government’s handling of the State’s new $1.18 million police boat Fortescue as farcical.Police Minister Jim Cox told Budget Estimates Hearings in Hobart today that there were still problems with the new vessel which is yet to be put into service.”The farcical PV Fortescue saga continued today with news that the Australian Maritime College will be contracted to investigate a range of problems that the Minister has finally admitted exist,” he said.”What we have here is a vessel that could well be six months away from seeing active duty because the Government has again been proved to be incapable of managing public projects.” Mr Hidding accused the Government of bungled every single step of the project, from avoiding a normal tender process to the design and construction of the vessel.”The only positive point from Estimates today is the Police Ministers confirmation that he is implementing a number of Tasmanian Liberals policies, including high visibility police patrol cars, confiscating the cars of dangerous drivers and implementing police driver in-service training,” he said.
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Second Victorian swine flu death

29/06/2018 Posted by admin

A 50-year-old woman has become the second Victorian with swine flu to die. The woman, who was a long-term cancer patient, died at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre at 3am today, the state’s Health Minister Daniel Andrews has announced.Her death follows the death of Anthony Splatt, a 35-year-old Colac man who died on Saturday from respiratory failure. He also suffered from obesity and Type 2 diabetes.A 26-year-old WA man died with swine flu last week.The woman is the second patient at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to be diagnosed with the H1N1 virus.The centre had set up a separate high-dependency unit for critical patients to limit the spread of swine flu.Victoria’s acting chief health officer Rosemary Lester said the vast majority of people with swine flu were still suffering only mild symptoms, but she warned the death toll would rise.”I expect that we will see more deaths,” she said.The woman was admitted to the hospital last Saturday with respiratory illness and became progressively unwell, requiring her to be moved to the intensive care ward on Sunday.She was confirmed influenza A positive on Monday and her positive test result for H1N1 Influenza 09 came back yesterday.“Her family have been informed of the H1N1 diagnosis,” Mr Andrews said.He said the second Peter Mac patient with H1N1 was receiving appropriate care.Dr Lester said both patients needed to be treated at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre because of underlying medical conditions.”We know that for immunosuppressed people, especially those who are being treated for life-threatening cancers, any respiratory illness can seriously compromise their health,” Dr Lester said.She said follow-up public health precautions, including the provision of Tamiflu, had also been instituted for contacts of both patients in the hospital.Mr Andrews said the Victorian Government was working with health services to ensure they could meet the increased demand for services throughout the flu season.”We will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure all flu patients receive the appropriate care,” Mr Andrews said.Dr Lester also revealed students at two special schools had been diagnosed with H1N1.The woman is the third Australian to die with swine flu. The first death was that of a 26-year-old man from the West Australian remote Aboriginal community of Kiwirrkuru, who died in an Adelaide hospital last week.
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New Launceston employment coordinator could be busy

29/06/2018 Posted by admin

THE Federal Government this morning announced its new Local Employment Coordinator for Launceston and he could be inundated with requests for help by this afternoon.More than 270 workers at car parts manufacturer ACL Bearings will know by 5pm if they will lose their jobs.ACL directors have refused the conditions associated with a $4 million State Government loan and it is understood that the State Government is unwilling to budge.It would mean that the company would appoint administrators and it would become insolvent because it is unable to repay a $3 million debt it has with GE Finance.Bass Labor MHR Jodie Campbell this morning said that Geoff Spears had been appointed as the Northern Tasmanian Local Employment Coordinator _ a position created by the government for areas affected by the global recession.Mr Spears, who works with the Cradle Coast Authority, would play a vital role in identifying employment opportunities and providing support to workers who have lost their job, Ms Campbell said.“Local Employment Coordinators are tasked to help drive localised, practical responses to unemployment,” Ms Campbell said.“Mr Spears has been selected for his experience and strong links to our local community, which makes him very well-placed to be out there in the community, on the ground, actively working to support local jobs.“Local Employment Coordinators will also work towards developing apprenticeship opportunities and building the skills the local community needs for the future to take up opportunities once the economy recovers.”
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Guardian Council says election result stands

29/06/2018 Posted by admin

IRAN’S top election body yesterday ruled out cancelling the disputed presidential vote as the world voiced increasing alarm at the violent crackdown on opposition demonstrators posing the most serious challenge to the Islamic regime in 30 years.”In the recent presidential election we witnessed no major fraud or breach,” a Guardian Council spokesman, Abbasali Kadkhodai, was quoted as saying on state television. “Therefore, there is no possibility of an annulment taking place.”The opposition has been staging almost daily protest rallies, alleging fraud and widespread irregularities in the June 12 election which returned the hardline President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to power for another four years.World leaders are calling for an immediate halt to state violence against the protesters, with state media reporting that at least 17 people have been killed and many more wounded in the unrest that has convulsed the nation.The streets of Tehran remained tense yesterday, the day after hundreds of riot police armed with steel clubs and firing tear gas, many riding on motorbikes, broke up an opposition rally of about 1000 people.Demonstrators had gathered in a Tehran square in defiance of the Revolutionary Guards, the elite force set up after the 1979 revolution, which warned of a “decisive and revolutionary” response to protests.Iran has singled out Britain, as well as the United States, as one of the leading instigators of what it says is foreign “meddling” in the post-election chaos.Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash, a member of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said that during a meeting with the Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, it was agreed to “recall the Iranian ambassador for consultations and to examine the attitude of the British Government”.The Fars news agency quoted a student leader, Esmail Tahmouressi, as warning of another “November 4”, the date when radical students seized the US embassy after the 1979 revolution, leading to a rupture of ties between Washington and Tehran.Mir Hossein Mousavi, the post-revolution premier who is now leading the wave of opposition protests, has urged his supporters to continue demonstrating but to adopt “self-restraint” to avoid more bloodshed.And in a sign the opposition remained defiant, a defeated reformist candidate, Mehdi Karroubi, called for a ceremony tomorrow to mourn slain protesters.Mr Mousavi, Mr Karroubi and the third defeated challenger, Mohsen Rezai, have listed a total of 646 irregularities and are insisting on a new election, not a recount.The European Union rejected Iran’s claims of interference as “baseless and unacceptable”, and voiced concern about the continuing brutality.
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