Answers wanted over Junior Togatuki’s prison death

02/16/2019 Posted by admin

There are growing calls for the New Zealand government to take action over the treatment of Kiwis held in Australian detention centres.

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It comes after the death two weeks ago of New Zealand-born Junior Togatuki, who was being held in solitary confinement in Goulburn’s Supermax Prison in NSW.

He was waiting to be deported to New Zealand, after finishing a prison sentence for armed robbery.

The 23-year-old, who left New Zealand when he was four, was suffering from schizophrenia and anxiety, and his death has been ruled a suicide.

Togatuki’s sister Jean wants answers.

“It makes me wonder how much they’re failing other people, not just my brother,” she told 3News.

Nearly 200 New Zealanders are being held in Australian detention centres facing deportation and hundreds more have had their visas cancelled.

There’s been an increase in numbers after a law change which means anyone who isn’t an Australian citizen and who has served a jail sentence of 12 months or more can be deported.

Many Kiwis have already been deported, and the government has been asking for information about those who could be on their way here soon.

Prime Minister John Key, who is in New York, says he intends raising the broader issues of deportations and detentions with Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

But a face-to-face meeting is unlikely to happen in the near future, with Mr Turnbull not in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week.

Mr Key told reporters Foreign Minister Murray McCully is raising the matter with his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop.

Labour leader Andrew Little says Kiwis being held in detention centres are being denied basic rights.

“It’s time our government stopped sitting back and watching this appalling treatment of New Zealand citizens, and sought an urgent clarification of Australia’s policy,” he said.

“It has the potential to damage the special relationship between Australia and New Zealand.”

An Australian government spokesman said there is “ongoing contact” between the Australian and New Zealand governments at various levels.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline’s 24-hour telephone counselling service on 0800 543 354, or the Samaritans on 0800 726 666.

Car companies have more to worry about than emissions tests

02/16/2019 Posted by admin

Remember the Palm Pilot? Probably not if you’re under 30, but they were the iPhone of the 90s; the must-have shiny-precious that replaced the filofax (and you have to be over forty to remember them).

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Palm was already struggling when Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, but Ed Colligan, the company’s CEO, wasn’t much fussed. “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” But of course they did, and not just Apple. Most of the smart phones in the world now run Google’s operating system, Android. 

The same ‘PC guys’ are currently hiring thousands of engineers from the automotive industry and in August Elon Musk’s latest electric car, the Tesla Model S, scored 103 out of a possible 100 (that’s not a typo) from Consumer Reports in the US.

Last week, the old school car makers took a hit when Volkswagen fessed up to cheating on emissions tests and dumping millions of tons of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere on the sly. A poor week for former GM and BMW exec Bob Lutz to take Ed Colligan’s hutzpah out of the cupboard for a little spit and polish. “When it comes to actually making cars,” Lutz said, “there is no reason to assume that Apple, with no experience, will suddenly do a better job than General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota or Hyundai.”

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Apple, said Lutz, was about to pour it’s capital into a gigantic money pit, although he did concede that with so much money stashed under the bed, the tech giant could afford to burn through 30 or 40 billion dollars without anybody noticing.

The VW scandal, however, can only make things worse for the old industry giants. Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s economics minister, worries aloud that VW’s sins will tarnish the national brand, a perception of strength, reliability and trust that rests in large part on decades of over-performance by the country’s car manufacturers, of which VW is the market leader.

Apple doesn’t comment on vapourware, but the rumours surrounding ‘Project Titan’, the reported name of its ever growing automative division, are generating the same sort of heat as surrounded the iPhone before its launch. The Wall Street Journal reports a tentative release date of 2019 for the iCar. It will almost certainly be electric, like the Tesla, but probably not self-driving at first. Meanwhile Google shares none of its rival reticence. It has been openly testing and talking about it’s autonomous vehicle for years, releasing data on how many miles the spooky driverless vehicles have clocked up (over a million) and the number of accidents in which they’ve been involved (14 minor bingles, none of them the autobot’s fault, according to el Goog).

Google, which once sat on the board of Apple, also took a seat on the board of Uber, the great disruptor of the taxi industry. It invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the ride-sharing app back in 2013, but having developed its own similar app, relations have cooled a little since. Uber, for its part, is spending a chunk of its  $US51 billion market cap on autonomous vehicles, presaging a future in which you don’t own a car, you just hail one of the Johnny-Cab from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sci-fi classic, Total Recall. 

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Uber, basically a pirate taxi company at this point in time, is now bigger by market capitalisation than General Motors, and the stock market isn’t backing them because they’re eating the lunch of resentful cabbies all over the world. That 51 billion is a bet on the future of the planet’s transport infrastructure. The areas in which the major players intend to compete seems to be the future vehicle’s power source, with electric being the preferred option, and control scheme, with a sort of AI taking the wheel in place of its human passengers.

There’s no guarantee Uber, or Apple or Google or Tesla will become the new GM of the 21st century. But somebody will. And it probably won’t be Volkswagen. Or GM.

John Birmingham is a Brisbane-based writer.

Bill Clinton says Republicans exaggerating email scandal

02/16/2019 Posted by admin

Mr Clinton said scandal was being used to tear Mrs Clinton down during her race to become the Democratic presidential candidate.

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“I think that there are lots of people who wanted there to be a race for different reasons,” he told CNN.

“And they thought the only way they could make it a race was a full-scale frontal assault on her. And so this email thing became the biggest story in the world.”

Mrs Clinton said on Sunday the politically damaging “drip, drip, drip” of revelations about her use of a private email server was out of her control and she was unsure when the controversy might end.

Clinton, who has seen her lead shrivel in the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, said she has tried to be as open as possible and take responsibility for the email flap.

“It is like a drip, drip, drip. That’s why I said there is only so much I can control,” Clinton told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

But asked if she could reassure nervous Democrats that no new email revelations would arise, she said: “I can’t predict to you what the Republicans will come up with, what sort of charges and claims they might make.”

Clinton compared criticism about her use of private email instead of a government account while she was secretary of state to the flood of controversies and Republican-led investigations that marked the presidency of her husband Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

“I have been involved from the receiving side in a lot of these accusations,” Clinton said. “In fact as you might remember during the 90s there were a bunch of them. All of them turned out to be not true.”

Clinton has apologized for the email set-up and said it was a mistake. She gave 55,000 pages of work-related emails to the State Department last year but eliminated about 30,000 emails she said were personal. On Sunday, she said she did not help her lawyers determine which ones to turn over.

“I did not want to be looking over their shoulder,” she said, calling accusations she was trying to avoid transparency laws “ridiculous”.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll on Sunday found Clinton’s lead over top rival Bernie Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, has dwindled to 7 percentage points, 42 percent to 35 percent, amid the controversy.

Asked about the hit in polls, Clinton said “what I have tried to do in explaining this is provide more transparency and more information than anybody I’m aware of who has ever served in government.”

The most recent revelation was a report on Friday about an email exchange with David Petraeus, then commander of U.S. Central Command, that she did not turn over and which occurred before she said she had set up her personal account.

Clinton could not explain why the email chain had just surfaced. She said the private server was already in her house because her husband had set it up after leaving office, and she added her account to it.

“What we had available at the time was turned over,” she said. “I wasn’t that focused on my email server.”

Clinton also was asked to defend her shifting positions in recent years on issues like the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which she announced last week she would oppose. She had refrained from taking a stance for months, saying she wanted President Barack Obama to make his decision before she weighed in.

“It was frankly, uncomfortable to have so many people asking me and my saying, I’m waiting and waiting and waiting,” she said.

PM taunts Labor over GST scare campaign

05/19/2019 Posted by admin

If Labor is trying to mount a scare campaign about the GST, it hasn’t spooked Malcolm Turnbull.

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Labor used all bar one of its questions during parliamentary question time to quiz government benches on the impact of an increase in the GST, in what the prime minister described as the “beginning of not an especially scary campaign”.

Mr Turnbull reminded the house more than once at the start of a four-day sitting week that the government had not proposed increasing the GST.

What the government is doing is consulting with social welfare groups, unions and the business sector on a new tax system.

He will also take up the issue with state and territory leaders at COAG in December.

“We have not taken things off the table in some sort of panic response to feeble scare campaigns,” Mr Turnbull told parliament on Monday.

In the Senate, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann also questioned NATSEM modelling released last week that showed low and middle income earners would be worse off if the GST increased to 15 per cent from 10 per cent or its base broadened to fresh food, health and education.

Senator Cormann said it ignored welfare payments being automatically increased for price increases.

Mr Turnbull also said it would be “inconceivable” that if there were any changes to the GST they would be made without compensation.

But Labor frontbencher Jim Chalmers doubts it will be enough.

“If anyone thinks that low and middle income earners … will be adequately compensated by this government after they jack up the GST has got rocks in their head,” he told Sky News.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said so far only the states, some retired premiers and the odd backbencher had talked about changing the GST.

He reiterated the government was not trying to raise more revenue to balance the budget.

“It’s about trying to grow the economy and to lift the burden off people that have an income tax system which is punishing them,” he told Sydney’s 2GB radio.

Liberal backbencher Angus Taylor said the discussion had got to be wider than “a lazy GST tax hike”, while his colleague Dan Tehan wants the government to consider applying GST to financial services, an idea previously raised by South Australian Labor Premier Jay Weatherill.

Removing the existing exemption would generate at least $18 billion over the next four years, helping offset a reduction in the company tax rate.

But Labor senator Doug Cameron said a decrease in company tax would just give “fat cat executives” salary increases.

Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm sees merit in broadening the GST to cover fresh food, saying there is no justification for it to apply to frozen vegetables but not fresh vegetables.

“Nutritionally there’s no difference,” he said.

NZ in spin over Mark Craig 1st Test effort

05/19/2019 Posted by admin

New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum is confident pace spearhead Tim Southee will be fit for this week’s second Test against Australia in Perth.

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Both Southee and allrounder James Neesham broke down with back injuries in the Black Caps’ 208 run first Test loss in Brisbane.

Neesham has been ruled out of the three-Test series but McCullum is keeping his fingers crossed Southee will receive the green light for the Perth clash starting on Friday.

Southee broke down on the second day after being the pick of the Kiwi bowling in Australia’s 4(dec)-556 first innings, taking 1-70.

“I am pretty confident, he is starting to come right pretty quickly which is a good sign,” McCullum said of Southee’s second Test chances.

“Back injuries can recover pretty quickly, we will give him every chance.

“He showed in that first innings he will pose a lot of questions so hopefully he will play.”

Both Southee and Neesham on Monday batted in New Zealand’s second innngs of 295 which fell well short of the 504 victory target set on the final day’s morning.

Neil Wagner has already been called in for cover for Southee while left-arm paceman Mitchell McClenaghan on Monday replaced Neesham in the touring party.

Neesham, himself selected in the touring party due to allrounder Corey Anderson’s back injury, has struggled in the first Test.

The allrounder returned from a back stress fracture earlier this year but still isn’t 100 per cent.

“Jimmy has worked hard to get back to fitness following his injury earlier this year, but at this stage still experiences discomfort when bowling extended loads,” New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said.

“Jimmy will return to New Zealand for further medical assessment.

“At this stage our No.1 priority is getting Jimmy fully healthy and ready for the home summer.”

The 25-year-old bowled a combined 20 overs in both innings and had figures of 1-111, failing to generate much pace and struggling for control.

Adam Milne (shin) and Ben Wheeler (back) are also sidelined at the moment, leaving McClenaghan as the obvious choice for the second Test.

The 29-year-old has played 43 ODIs and 20 Twenty20s for the Black Caps but is yet to make his Test debut.

“Mitch has the ability to run in all day, bowl quick spells and has experience on the International stage,” said Hesson.

“He’ll bring a lot to the group and is obviously very excited to come and join the squad.”

School hires lawyer to help families deal with legal issues

05/19/2019 Posted by admin

The Grange P-12 College is a state school in Hoppers Crossing, one of Victoria’s most ethnically diverse areas.

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Many of the students are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“If you’re a young person who is traumatised or doesn’t know whether they’re going to be in the same house this time next week, that has huge impacts on learning.”

School Principal, David Smillie said he increasingly found he was being approached about issues that were completely unrelated to the school curriculum.

“A lot of those issues actually centre around family break-up, issues with relationships,” Mr Smillie said.

“Sometimes it’s around violence in the home.”

The student population can be transient, with children sometimes forced to leave the school suddenly if their families are evicted from a rental property or their parent’s relationship breaks down.

Rapid population growth in the area had also left many students geographically isolated, with public transport struggling to keep up with demand.

David said the lawyer helped students, and parents, with issues like transport fines, employment issues, tenancy disputes and homelessness.

“Part of my concern initially was people would assume that because we’ve got a lawyer, we’ve got a high criminal history rate here which is not necessarily the case.”

“If you’re a young person who is traumatised or doesn’t know whether they’re going to be in the same house this time next week, that has huge impacts on learning,” David said.

The lawyer hired by the school, Vinnie Shin, is from the Western Community Legal Centre.

His two-year placement at the school has been funded by donations from philanthropic organisations, and a $10,000 grant from law firm Slater and Gordon.

“Young people and children are more involved with the legal system, more so than 20 years ago,” Mr Vinnie told SBS.

“It’s really important that there is this lawyer who is accessible.”

Social worker Renee Dowling was one of the brains behind the school lawyer project.

She previously worked for the Department of Public Prosecutions, and saw where young people could end up without early intervention.

She said there had been the occasional student involved in criminal cases, where Vinnie’s assistance had prevented more serious outcomes.

But she said its help with other areas of law that is most commonly needed.

“Part of my concern initially was people would assume that because we’ve got a lawyer, we’ve got a high criminal history rate here which is not necessarily the case,” Renee said.

“The sorts of issues we see families accessing our lawyers for are the same as anyone else.”

“Such as mortgage distress, financial hardship, not being able to pay the bills,” she explained.

“We’ve got certain families here on certain visas, their families aren’t eligible for payments from Centrelink.”

The Grange P-12 College’s population is extremely ethnically diverse, with more than 58 nationalities represented.

David Smillie said changes to the school demographic had brought different challenges.

“In the last two to three years we’ve had lots of Horn of Africa families move in,” he said.

“I think with any new group coming into the school, it’s very difficult to adjust to how our community operates and often the law is a very significant part of that.”

Renee Dowling said some of the issues for students from migrant backgrounds had been unexpected, such as employment law.

“We’ve got certain families here on certain visas, their families aren’t eligible for payments or Centrelink,” she said.

“So their children are often strongly encouraged to go and work and because there is that pressure there, they’ll accept conditions that perhaps less vulnerable children would stand up and say, ‘hey that’s not ok’,” Renee said.

“That’s been a real eye-opener.”

And there had been other unexpected issues as well.

“…such as arranged marriages and those sorts of things,” she said.

“It’s a first for us and it’s a first for the school lawyer as well,” she said.

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Part of the success of the school lawyer program had been Vinnie Shin’s accessibility.

Vinnie is into boxing, rides a motorbike to school and doesn’t wear a suit.

“They have this presumption that lawyers, you have to pay, they’re expensive, they’re not approachable,”

“It’s an us and them mentality sometimes and we’re hoping to break that stereotype,” Vinnie said.

The school is now looking at putting a GP and dentist on staff.

“I think the most powerful schools that are successful are those schools that really work with their communities and acknowledge the issues and provide support,” David Smillie said.

Christmas Is detainee ‘may have fallen’

05/19/2019 Posted by admin

An Iranian Kurdish asylum seeker who died outside Christmas Island’s detention centre may have suffered fatal injuries from falling into a trench surrounding the facility, the shire president says.

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A coroner will investigate the death of the man on Sunday, named by refugee groups as Fazel Chegeni.

Shire president Gordon Thomson believed the detainee had “been driven to his death by his detention”.

“He sadly jumped the fence and ran through the dark and fell into a pit and died from his injuries,” Mr Thomson told AAP.

“That’s speculation, but we shouldn’t be allowed to speculate. We should be told.

“Of course the department won’t say anything because it’s subject to a coroner’s inquiry.”

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told parliament he had been advised there was no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Mr Thomson said he and other residents were frustrated the Department of Immigration and Border Protection hadn’t informed them about a stand-off that was sparked by the death, forcing them to rely on media reports.

“We’ve got people in the community who are getting a bit funny about it all. They need to know.”

He said the department should also keep media more informed.

“They used to do it. Why isn’t the department doing it now? It’s turned into a military organisation, that’s why, and secrecy of operations.

“It’s a civilian bloody outfit and they should be providing information to the rest of us.”

The department denies there is a large-scale riot at the centre, as claimed by some refugee advocates, instead describing the detainee protest as “a major disturbance”.

A local, who did not want to be named, said he had heard tactical response officers were being flown in.

He said he was concerned about a break-out, given some of the detainees were non-citizens with criminal convictions awaiting deportation.

“A couple of years ago, asylum seekers pushed a few fences down and came through town, but they were a bit more peaceful, I would imagine, than the people who are there now.

“It’s a worry, that’s for sure.

“Hopefully they’ll get it under control.”

The department confirmed several fires had been lit and property had been damaged, but there had been no reports of injuries.

We won’t cower, Dutton says of deportation

05/19/2019 Posted by admin

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says the government won’t be cowered into making changes to a controversial deportation policy as it tries to restore order to its detention centre on Christmas Island.

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His department is attempting to make contact with detainees inside the centre amid reports of rioting.

Staff have been withdrawn from the centre and security guards are patrolling outside the centre’s perimeter.

A group of detainees, believed to be non-citizens whose visas have been cancelled, continues to agitate and cause damage to the facility, the department said.

But there was no large-scale riot as claimed by some refugee advocates and on social media.

Border Force commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg said opportunists had used the situation to foment unrest.

Mr Dutton said the government’s resolve remained absolute.

“We don’t cower to this sort of activity,” he told Sky News.

“We have a job to do of repatriating people back to their country of origin if their visas have been cancelled and the government won’t step back from the position at all.”

Mr Dutton said some of the convicted criminals on the island awaiting deportation had “decided they are going to cause trouble.”

New Zealand detainee Lester Hohua said convicted criminals with cancelled visas like him have joined forces with asylum seekers.

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“It all went haywire,” Hohua told ABC Radio.

NZ Prime Minister John Key says if any New Zealanders were involved, they could have damaged their chances of successfully appealing against deportation.

Slovakian Matej Cuperka, 25, who is awaiting deportation for overstaying a tourist visa, said he feared for his life.

“We’re pretty scared that the Kiwi guys are going to get in here when they get bored and they will start bashing people up,” he told The West Australian.

Mr Cuperka told the ABC about 30 people started a fight with the emergency response team in front of the medical clinic.

What the immigration department has labelled a “disturbance” began with protest action by a small group of Iranian detainees following the death of an escapee on Sunday.

“While peaceful protest is permissible, other detainees took advantage of the situation to engage in property damage and general unrest,” it said in a statement on Monday.

NZ Labour MP Kelvin Davis, who recently visited the island, said he’d been in touch with a New Zealander in detention and was told detainees had taken over the centre and guards had retreated.

He claimed the riots began when a detainee who had asked questions about the death of the man was assaulted.

The department says medical, educational and sporting facilities have been damaged, while a number of small fires has been lit inside the centre.

There are no reports of any injuries to the 203 detainees – all adult males – at the centre or staff.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the centre was in “meltdown”.

A coroner will investigate the death of the Iranian Kurdish asylum seeker, named by refugee groups as Fazel Chegeni.

Mr Dutton told parliament he had been advised there was no suspicious circumstances surrounding the man’s death.

SCG faces urgent resurfacing

04/19/2019 Posted by admin

SCG officials are scrambling to resurface the troubled ground in a bid to be ready for the New Year’s Test following the embarrassing abandonment of NSW’s Sheffield Shield match with Victoria.

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Cricket Australia on Monday awarded Victoria a full six points for the match after the game was called off because of concerns about the dangerous playing surface.

NSW’s Shield clash with Tasmania, due to begin on Saturday, has also been shifted from the SCG to Bankstown Oval.

The episode has angered NSW officials after CA was left with no choice but to award the points to Victoria because the Blues, as the home side, had failed to provide an adequate pitch.

Cricket NSW chief executive Andrew Jones said on Monday he’d been advised the SCG Trust, which administers the ground, intends to resurface the problem playing area.

“The informal advice is that it looks like they are planning to do that as soon as possible,” Jones said.

Asked if he was angry at the SCG Trust, Jones said: “I’m working through it.”

The four-day match was called off midway through day three on Sunday after match referee Steve Bernard deemed the playing surface dangerous.

CA insisted it was confident the SCG would be fit and ready to host the Australian team’s New Year’s Test against the West Indies starting on January 3.

“The Sydney Test is two months away. We have every confidence they will get the playing surface right for that match,” said CA head of cricket operations Sean Cary.

“We will have to make some checks on it between now and then and we are very hopeful they will get it right.”

The SCG Trust would not address suggestions that the ground’s curators had re-laid the turf following the conclusion of the AFL season but hadn’t left ample time for the surface to settle.

It also did not confirm or deny reports that curator Tom Parker had been absent for long stretches of the lead up to the game, leaving him unable to oversee the preparation of the playing surface.

The SCG Trust said it was hopeful of having the ground ready for NSW’s following Shield match with Queensland starting on November 27.

However the ground faces a questionable immediate future.

CA said it could not guarantee that the NSW v Queensland match would be played at the venue, as well as the Sydney Sixers’ Big Bash League home matches, the first of which will go ahead on December 20.

While the SCG Trust stood by the surface, Cricket Victoria said their players risked injury had they stayed out there, pointing out that Aaron Finch had jarred his knee while fielding.

“Player safety is paramount … that is their livelihoods,” Cricket Victoria chief executive Tony Dodemaide said.

“There were a lot of Australian players out there.

“Aaron Finch is the Australian T20 captain and for him to have a significant knee injury it would have been incredibly serious, so I think the right call was made in the end.”

NSW coach Trent Johnston has questioned why play was not given the chance to continue into a fourth day and said it had been prematurely called off after the wet weather cleared on Sunday and Monday.

Former NSW and Test wicketkeeper Brad Haddin took a swipe at the Victorians, accusing them of whingeing.

“I think if it had have been anyone else, there would have been a chance to get on,” Haddin told the Big Sports Breakfast radio program.

“The SCG traditionally drains outstanding, so even after those downfalls, you’re on in an hour after they’ve cleaned it up.”

Head stars in SA Shield win against WA

04/19/2019 Posted by admin

Novice captain Travis Head won it, but didn’t see his South Australian side’s one-wicket victory against Western Australia.

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“I was too nervous,” the 21-year-old captain said.

Head had compiled his maiden first-class century – 114 – as SA chased 316 to win deep into Monday’s final session of the Sheffield Shield match in Adelaide.

He’d helped take the Redbacks to 4-269, on track for victory.

“We were in control, cruising really,” Head said.

But then the young skipper was part of a South Australian stumble – they lost 5-39.

And they left last pair, fast bowlers Joe Mennie and Chadd Sayers, with 10 runs to get.

Head, the youngest captain in SA’s 123-year history, disappeared into the change rooms.

“I didn’t see it,” he said.

“Me and Cossie (Mark Cosgrove) were going through old photos for about the last 10 runs.

“When we heard the cheer, we actually thought ‘we’ve won’.”

Head did not see Mennie, with two runs needed, smack a full ball from WA quick Michael Hogan through wide mid-off to the fence.

Hogan had been instrumental in WA’s fightback – he finished with 3-54 and fellow paceman Simon Mackin took 3-63 as the Warriors almost stole victory.

Jason Behrendorff, Ashton Agar and Will Bosisto each claimed a wicket in a disciplined bowling performance.

But after SA opener Cosgrove made 63, the Warriors were thwarted by Head’s heroics.

The left-hander had made 16 first-class half-centuries before, but never converted one into a ton.

With a mix of dare and determination, Head struck 14 fours and a six in a game-defining 150-ball knock.

“I feel really good at the moment and, as a leader, I want to lead from the front,” he said.

“I take a little step today in doing that.

“But I learnt again in this game how to play four-day cricket and (want to) continue to learn as a captain.

“To chase 300 on a day-four wicket anywhere really is a great achievement.”

Qld school, church dismissed me: victim

04/19/2019 Posted by admin

A victim of a convicted pedophile at an elite Brisbane school says it’s outrageous a lawyer for Peter Hollingworth asked him to delete references to the former governor-general from his statement to the sex abuse royal commission.

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The former student of St Paul’s School told the royal commission he’d been abused by music tutor Gregory Robert Knight after starting at the school in 1981.

He said Knight groomed him for abuse, eventually drugging and raping him, but then-headmaster Gilbert Case told him to “never lie like that” when he revealed his treatment.

But he also said Mr Hollingworth, who was then Archbishop of Brisbane, showed no empathy and had made comments “instrumental” to his mental decline which tipped him into a severe depression.

“Unfortunately through his words and actions, he really shows that there is a disdain and lack of compassion toward people like me,” he told the commission on Monday.

He then accused Hollingworth’s lawyer Caroline Kirton QC, of asking him to remove all references to her client before giving evidence to the royal commission.

“That’s just outrageous,” he said.

The victim said church leaders more concerned with self-preservation than accountability.

Mr Hollingworth was appointed governor-general in 2001 but resigned two years later over his handling of abuse allegations.

The victim also took aim at Mr Hollingworth’s successor as archbishop, Dr Phillip Aspinall, for allegedly trying to “bamboozle” him into submission during a meeting.

A mother who sent her sons to St Paul’s also gave evidence of being called a liar by Mr Case.

She requested a meeting with him after her son’s friend told her he’d been fondled by Knight on school grounds under the guise of him searching the student’s pockets for cigarettes.

Despite their denials, she asked three school figures what was going to happen to Knight in light of the accusations.

“There is nothing to be done, because there was nothing going on,” a Bishop Wicks, who was also at the meeting, allegedly replied.

Knight had previously taught in South Australia and been found guilty of “several counts of improper and disgraceful conduct” with students while employed by Willunga High School.

A former staff member told the inquiry he’d been on a camping trip with Knight and five students in 1977, where the teacher swam nude with the boys.

Teacher Gregory Day said the convicted pedophile also rubbed the shoulders and temples of a young boy who came into his tent complaining of a headache.

But Knight later told his colleague rumours he’d ejaculated on the boy’s sleeping bag were false.

“Greg Knight was a very, very capable teacher, and that’s the sad part,” Mr Day said.

The inquiry heard former South Australian education minister Donald Hopgood wrote a positive reference for Knight who played in a band with him, despite being made aware of sexual misconduct allegations.

The royal commission continues.

Law makes foster kids a target: advocate

04/19/2019 Posted by admin

A child protection advocate says children in foster care are being left exposed by the legislation designed to protect them.

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Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston says the suspected murder of Brisbane schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer highlights the need for reform to the Child Protection Act.

Ms Johnston says the six-day delay between Tiahleigh’s disappearance on October 30 and the police alert would have been due to laws restricting publicity about children in state care.

The 12-year-old’s body was discovered on the banks of a Gold Coast river hours after police had issued their alert.

Ms Johnston says the restrictions on carers and parents when a foster child goes missing are actually making them targets for predators.

“They can target these particular kids because they are far more vulnerable than any other and response to their disappearance is less than adequate,” she told AAP.

“If someone stole your child you’d be all over the place in 30 seconds and you’d be allowed to by law – but these parents, these families and these foster carers can’t and these offenders know that. Make no mistake.

“We’ve got to change it.”

Under the Child Protection Act, specific permissions have to be granted before anything which may identify a child in care is published.

However, Minister for Child Safety Shannon Fentiman said that shouldn’t prevent a foster child from being named to media as missing.

“The Child Protection Act prevents people from naming children and disclosing they are in care, it does not prevent naming children who are missing, or taking every possible action to find them, including speaking in the media, or through social media,” Ms Fentiman said.

Foster Carers Queensland chief executive Bryan Smith echoed Ms Johnston’s frustrations.

“While we have to report (missing kids) to police straightaway … our hands are tied then in terms of what the confidentiality provisions under the act tell us we’re allowed to do,” Mr Smith told AAP.

He said a carer could not contact the child’s biological family even if they believed that was where the child may be.

“Essentially nothing. We can’t do anything,” he said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government would look into such concerns and also requested a briefing from the child safety department.

“There’s not a person throughout this state who is not touched by what has happened to this poor young girl,” she said.

Detectives questioned pupils at Marsden State High School in south Brisbane as they returned for the first day back since Tiahleigh’s body was identified.

“She was an enthusiastic and friendly student who will be greatly missed by all her friends and teachers,” principal Andrew Peach said.

Jaques nurturing Qld lefthanders

04/19/2019 Posted by admin

A stellar debut first-class batting performance by young lefthander Sam Heazlett has underpinned Queensland’s three-wicket victory over Tasmania.

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Picked at No.3 for the Bulls’ Sheffield Shield side in the absence of Test players Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns, the 20-year old produced 129 in the first innings, backed up with 78 on Monday.

An eventful day four began with Tasmania’s well-placed resumption at 4-100, a lead of 204.

But the hosts quickly crumbled.

During a horror six-over period Tassie lost five wickets for 25 runs and were all out for 168.

Skipper George Bailey and Andrew Fekete were dismissed without score and four others made only single-digit contributions.

It set the visitors a target of 273 for victory, with more than two sessions to bat.

Heazlett forged a valuable 132-run partnership with opener Scott Henry (59 not out) which formed a sturdy base for Queensland’s run chase.

The pair are both newcomers to Shield this season and batted with maturity, in an effort which included 14 boundaries for Heazlett.

The rest of Queensland’s order was cheaply dismissed until skipper Chris Hartley (44 not out) and Jack Wildermuth (30) had a 78-run stand.

Hartley was unbeaten and partnered by Ben Cutting (13 not out) when Queensland reached the target with a boundary to finish at 7-274.

Tasmania’s experienced bowlers, including James Faulkner (2-58) and Jackson Bird (2-54) couldn’t finish off the visitors.

Earlier, Tassie 7(dec)-433 took a 104-run lead into the second innings after Queensland declared at 8-329 on day three.

Bailey’s unbeaten 148 headlined the hosts’ first innings along with valuable contributions from opener Ben Dunk (142) and Alex Doolan (90).

In reply, Heazlett (129) starred for Queensland, but the best support he got was 57 from Jason Floros.

The result makes it one win, one loss for Queensland, and two losses for Tasmania so far this season.