- Gas, coal price caps around 50% below Q3 average prices
- Gas producers say price caps will backfire
- Power producers say unclear when bills will fall
- Coal producers seek more details on price cap
A woman asked South Wales Police for information about her partner’s history of violence and the force informed him she’d asked, a damning report from the Information Commissioner has revealed. The breach is one of two serious data mistakes the force made for which it was criticised by the watchdog.
The woman’s identity was disclosed to her partner when she applied for information about him in April 2020 under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), also known as Clare’s Law. The partner had previous convictions for violence and sexual assault and was being managed by an officer from South Wales Police who was acting as his offender manager. In this incident the identity of the applicant was disclosed during a conversation between the partner and the offender manager.
The second incident reported happened in February 2020 when a police officer disclosed a woman’s identity after she made an application for information under the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme (CSODS), also known as Sarah’s Law, according to the ICO.
The scheme allows parents and guardians to formally request information from the police about a person who has contact with their child. The woman’s identity was disclosed by a police officer who attended a property in the course of safeguarding duties as a result of the CSDOS application.
A spokesman for South Wales Police said the matter was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and ICO. He continued that the force fully accepts the findings and has introduced training.
The ICO stated it was particularly concerned that officers failed to act in a way that would preserve the identity of the data subjects in both incidences. The consequences had the potential to cause significant damage and distress to each of the data subjects.
The ICO’s public findings stated: “In the first incident, the officer concerned…had not received any training in DVDS, and while they had received some training as a sexual offences liaison officer, they had not completed the National MOSOVO course, nor had they received any relevant data protection training since July 2018.
“For the second incident, the evidence provided showed that the police officer had not received relevant data protection training since December 2018 and had not received training in CDODS since 2015. Training had not been kept up to date for the police officers and staff involved and South Wales Police did not ensure that training was available, was taken up, and was fully understood by those involved. If this had been done, the officers and civilian staff are likely to have been more mindful when conducting the interactions with the parties involved in both incidents which could have prevented both incidents from occurring.
“Furthermore, no appropriate guidance or documented process was in place and available for police officers and civilian staff to understand their roles and responsibilities with regard to what could and what could not be communicated to the parties involved, especially in respect of instances where MAPPA and DVDS overlap. These faults led to personal information being divulged in each of the incidents that resulted in distress to the data subjects concerned.”
The ICO considered how South Wales Police underwent an ICO Audit in September 2019. This audit noted that despite having nationally recognised information governance training, there was no formal training programme in place.
The audit report suggested that this may lead to officers and staff not being aware of their responsibilities and increased the risk of a data breach taking place. Therefore, South Wales Police “was aware of improvements that were required” in regards to training, but failed to ensure the two officers involved in the incidents had been provided with appropriate training, the ICO stated.
As a result, South Wales Police was formally reprimanded for infringements of Section 40 Part 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018. Section 40 states: “Data processed for any of the law enforcement purposes must be so processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, using appropriate technical or organisational measures (and, in this principle, ‘appropriate security’ includes protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage).”
The commissioner made three recommendations to South Wales Police to improve its compliance with the Data Protection Act. The first stated that the force should implement all recommendations made in the IOPC report. The second stated that the force should ensure that lines of communication are clear so that all police officers and civilian staff are aware of their responsibilities when dealing with disclosures. The final recommendation stated that the force should consider a review of its data protection reporting procedures, and what constitutes a data protection issue, to ensure that all future incidents are reported correctly and within the usual 72-hour timeframe.
A spokesman for South Wales Police said: “South Wales Police received a complaint in 2020 raising serious concerns about two applications made under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (Clare’s Law).
“The matter was investigated and referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct and Information Commissioner’s Office to ensure it received the necessary independent oversight.
“We fully accept the findings of the ICO investigation and have already introduced training to ensure that our staff and officers have the correct level of knowledge and understanding to ensure we meet the requirements of data protection legislation when making disclosures under Clare’s Law.” According to the force, the issue refers to two applications out of the hundreds of disclosure applications the force deals with each year.
Rogue trader jailed for ripping off Newport and Caerphilly victims South Wales Argus
A “MENACING” rogue trader who intimidated vulnerable victims to pay him for shoddy building and gardening jobs has been jailed.
James Mochan, 35, ripped off elderly and disabled people in Newport and Caerphilly after carrying out poor or unfinished work in May 2021.
Thomas Stanway, prosecuting, said one of the victims was a wheelchair user who handed over £1,400 after she felt bullied by him.
The woman, from the Rogerstone area of Newport, said in a statement: “He stood over me in my wheelchair.
“I paid him because I was frightened.
“The moment he left, I called the police.”
The second victims were an elderly couple from Bedwas, Caerphilly, who were asked to pay him £900 for shabby patio and gardening work.
When they told him they weren’t prepared to hand over the full amount he telephoned them.
“He was very annoyed and threatened to put them all over Facebook,” Mr Stanway said.
In a victim impact statement, one of them said: “We were very intimidated by him and he has caused us a huge amount of stress.
“One night I had a very bad panic attack and I thought, ‘How have I allowed this horrible man to do this to me?’”
The third complainant was from Maesycwmmer, Caerphilly, who lost £520 over substandard gardening work.
Investigations into Mochan were carried out by Newport and Caerphilly trading standards.
Mr Stanway told Cardiff Crown Court: “The defendant targeted vulnerable victims and this happened in three separate cases over the period of a month and there were repeated visits.
“There was intimidatory behaviour, the victims were pensioners and they no longer feel safe in their own homes.”
Mochan, of Bridge Street, Aberdare, pleaded guilty to unfair trading.
Timothy Evans, representing the defendant, asked for his client’s guilty pleas to be taken into accounts and said he was a “family man”.
He is a father-of-three and cares for his visually impaired uncle who uses a wheelchair, the court was told.
The judge, Recorder Andrew Hammond, told Mochan: “These were repugnant offences.
“You deliberately targeted vulnerable victims and you bullied them into compliance.
“You are a disgrace.
“You stood over one victim menacingly when she was in her wheelchair.
“The work you carried out was inadequate and substandard.
“You have shown a lack of responsibility for your offending.”
Mochan was jailed for two years.
He was also ordered to fully compensate all his victims.
Ammanford company praised for helping Wales become ‘zero waste’ South Wales Guardian
An Ammanford company has been highlighted for its work in helping Wales become a zero-waste nation.
NappiCycle, based at Capel Hendre Industrial Estate, pride themselves on reusing and recycling nappies, as three billion are wasted each year, which equates to eight million per day.
Sophie Howe, the world’s first statutory Future Generations Commissioner, has been praising the organisation as her seven-year term comes to an end.
Sophie has been highlighting how Wales’ world-leading Wellbeing of Future Generations Act has been making a difference across Wales.
Wales’ Beyond Recycling strategy has a target of Wales being a zero-waste nation by 2050, and was built around the legislation. It is the strategy NappiCycle has been getting involved in.
NappiCycle has helped provide 4.3 tonnes of used babies’ nappies, and using them to resurface the A487 near Aberaeron. The project will now see nappies being collected from 15 local authorities across Wales.
The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act requires decisions in Wales to be made in a way which meets today’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own.
Wales became the first country in the world to legislate in the interests of future generations in 2015 – inspiring the UN’s vision for a Special Envoy for Future Generations.
Sophie Howe, outgoing Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, said: “There is still a lot more work to be done but if you travel around Wales and talk to people about how decisions are being made, you’ll see the impacts of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, largely due to a movement of change champions using this unique legislation to create a better Wales.
“I’m hugely proud of what’s been achieved in its short life by what I often hear described as ‘common sense’ law – ie, making joined-up decisions, looking at transport through a healthcare lens, asking communities how they want to achieve cleaner air for their children to breathe, at the same time as reducing poverty.
“If every country had a Future Generations Act decades ago, we might not be seeing the devastating effects of the cost-of-living crisis.
“We have a long way to go to fully meet the ambitions of the act but it’s crucial we do.”
Football and racing affected as sporting fixtures frozen out South Wales Guardian
Football league fixtures and race meetings have been called off as the cold weather snap takes a bite out of the sporting calendar.
On Friday morning, it was announced that Saturday’s League One fixture between Accrington and Portsmouth and the League Two match between Crewe and Leyton Orient were both off due to frozen pitches, with no prospect for an improvement before the respective kick-offs given the forecast.
The Cumbrian derby between Carlisle and Barrow in League Two was also called off following a pitch inspection.
Carlisle had hoped the game would go ahead after placing frost covers on the Brunton Park playing surface all week.
Officials at Bangor abandoned the National Hunt card with part of the track frozen and unraceable, while Sunday’s meeting at Carlisle has already been cancelled.
There were morning inspections at Cheltenham and Doncaster ahead of Friday’s racing, while the team at Hereford will have a precautionary check on Saturday morning before deciding if that meeting should go ahead.
Officials at Navan will inspect at midday on Friday ahead of Saturday’s card, while the high-profile meeting at Punchestown on Sunday – due to feature the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase – will need to pass a noon inspection on Saturday.
Four men are starting sentences totalling almost 50 years, after officers from Tarian, the regional organised crime team for southern Wales, dismantled their organised crime gang (OCG), supported by officers from South Wales Police.
Detectives gathered a substantial amount of evidence of a large scale cocaine and heroin network dealing throughout Wales run by Nicholas Gale, 31, and his close associates.
Gale used encrypted messaging platforms to speak to both his suppliers and customer base to organise the purchasing and supplying of drugs. He was supported by Spencer Perks, 42, and courier Jamie Christopher, 22. Jake Garland, 28, was customer of Nicholas Gale, who had his own wholesale cocaine distribution network.
On 14 July 2022, Gale sent messages on the encrypted platforms to arrange for the collection of wholesale amounts of high purity cocaine. Perks collected 18 kilos of cocaine from Gale’s supplier, which was then distributed between Garland and Christopher.
On the same day, police arrested Gale, Perks and Christopher and officers seized 12 kilos of cocaine, cash and counting machine, a device with the encrypted messages thereon, an instruction note outlining drug amounts for customers with postcodes and encrypted chat groups for Christopher to distribute cocaine on behalf of Gale.
A cannabis production was located at Perks’ address.
This date was only a snapshot of Gale’s drug enterprise, the device seized contained overwhelming evidence of Gale’s leading role within this OCG.
On September 27th 2022 Jake Garland was arrested, following the evidence found on Gale’s device, at his home address, police recovered cocaine, digital scales and over £55,000 in cash.
The following appeared at Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday (6 December) for sentencing for drug offences:
Detective Inspector Dorian Williams said: “This week we have put four individuals behind bars for a significant number of years, as part of Operation Cruz, which saw officers crack the encrypted platforms used by the OCG to carry out their business.
“At Tarian, we’re committed to targeting the supply of drugs and will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of those people who think they are above the law.
“This crime group are now behind bars and thankfully unable to bring drugs and misery to families and communities across south Wales and beyond.”
MELBOURNE, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Australia will cap coal and gas prices for a year in a bid to shave utility bills for households and businesses hit by soaring costs because of the Ukraine conflict, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Friday.
Gas prices will be capped at A$12 per gigajoule (GJ), while the limit for coal will be A$125 per tonne for 12 months, with the government supporting coal producers whose costs exceed that figure, he said.
“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and we know, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, what we’ve seen is a massive increase in global energy prices,” Albanese told reporters after a national cabinet meeting with state leaders.
The government also agreed to provide assistance of up to A$1.5 billion to homes and small businesses, starting from the second quarter of 2023.
The gas price cap will apply to new wholesale gas sales by east coast producers. At A$12, it is less than half the average short term gas price of A$26/GJ in the third quarter, according to data from research group EnergyQuest.
The coal price cap will apply to coal used in power generation, the government said. The cap of A$125 is about half the A$249 a tonne average selling price Banpu achieved for its Australian coal in the third quarter.
Gas producers had urged the government not to impose the price cap, saying it would deter future investment in supply, which would be key to driving down prices in the long run, and could damage Australia’s reputation for foreign investors.
Producers that could be hit by the gas price cap include ExxonMobil Corp (XOM.N), Shell Plc , Origin Energy (ORG.AX), Woodside Energy Group (WDS.AX), Santos Ltd (STO.AX) and South Korean steel giant POSCO International Corp’s Senex Energy.
“The uncertainty caused by the federal government’s plan to impose a price cap in the eastern Australian gas market has already destroyed the confidence both buyers and sellers need in order to complete the transactions that will ensure energy supplies to households and businesses,” a Woodside spokesperson said.
Coal producers that will be affected include Glencore Plc (GLEN.L), Banpu Resources Australia, a unit of Banpu PCL (BANPU.BK), Coronado Global Resources (CRN.AX) and Peabody Corp (BTU.N), which supply coal to power plants in New South Wales and Queensland states.
Coal producers declined to comment until seeing further details on how the price cap would work.
The Australian Industry Group welcomed the price caps but said they were not the best solution.
“They will be messy to implement … but they look likely to be very helpful in dampening the immediate economic pain of this global energy crisis,” Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said in a statement.
However, power producers, represented by the Australian Energy Council, said it was unclear whether electricity bills will fall anytime soon, because energy retailers and generators who hedge their risks have already settled their contracts for the next 12 months on the basis of higher prices.
“If more lower priced fuel is available, over time those savings may lead to lower wholesale electricity prices, but that will take time to flow through to end users,” Australian Energy Council Chief Executive Sarah McNamara said in a statement.
Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Sam Holmes
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
A History of Extreme Right-Wing Nationalism in The Lucky Country Sydney Criminal Lawyers
Let’s look at the basics; the general tenets of left and right wing politics, which in their more extreme forms are sometimes referred to respectively as socialism or communism on the one hand, and fascism on the other.
Although it has been corrupted by authoritarian regimes such as those of Joseph Stalin in the former USSR and perhaps even Xi Jinping in modern-day China, left wing ideology typically puts notions of social, economic and political equality at the fore in the belief that egalitarian rather than exploitative and hierarchical structures, as well as free and diverse belief systems, are for the betterment of society as a whole.
Equally corrupted by fascist regimes such as those of Adolf Hitler in Germany and Benito Mussolini in Italy, right wing ideology typically advocates free enterprise and private ownership, as well as hierarchical social and political structures, and conservative moral belief systems.
So where did these terms come from? And how have they been incorporated in Australian social, economic and political systems?
The terms right and left wing came are believed to have originated during the French Revolution of 1789.
At the time, members of the French National Assembly separated; with supporters of the king directed to sit to the president’s right and those supporting the revolution to sit to the president’s left.
The right wing at the time were signified by the desire to uphold existing systems such as hierarchical political structures and conservative morals, whereas the left at the time desired greater quality in political participation and representation, a broader spread of wealth and freedom from oppression.
The designation gradually became synonymous with nationalism and ethnocentrism (politics and ethnicity), capitalism (economics) and conservatism (morals) in the right wing camp, and internationalism, multiculturalism and inclusiveness (politics and ethnicity), socialism (economics) and liberalism (morals) in the left wing camp.
Fast-forward to Australia at the beginning of the 20th century, where on 1 January 1901 our island moved away from being six self-governing colonies to a federated nation, while remaining part of the British empire.
The colonies to become states were New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, which united to form the Commonwealth of Australia.
Two territories were also established, the Northern Territory and the ACT, each having their own constitution, parliament, government and laws.
It may be interesting to note that two other colonies had the option to join the Australian Federation but chose not to. These were New Zealand and Fiji.
One of the reasons for the creation of the federation was the establishment of a national identity – together with a culture distinct to the whole of the island and consistent legal and political systems.
While the initial years of federation were signified by tensions between the different jurisdictions, a form of national identity was gradually developed with citizens seeing themselves as Australians rather than a part of their former colonies.
1917 saw the uprising of the working class in Russia and the overthrowal of the Tsarist regime in Russia.
In what is referred to as the Russian or Bolshevik revolution, Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik party took control of the nation ostensibly with the objective of creating an egalitarian society where each person is allocated resources in accordance with their needs, and each contributes according to their abilities.
The movement was inspired by the works of political philosopher and economist Karl Marx and his masterpiece Das Kapital, published in three volumes between 1867 and 1883, which predicted the fall of capitalist and authoritarian structures and creation of a society without nation states, unfair economic exploitation or political oppression.
But that idea went out the window fast, with the regime quickly degenerating into authoritarianism, subjugation, exploitation and abominable oppression; led by Lenin’s successor Joseph Stalin from 1922.
The regime came to be as far from communist ideals as can be imagined, whereby the so-called communists hoarded both wealth and power and suppressed the population. Indeed, many refer to the structure as bureaucratic state capitalism.
Around the same time in 1918, Germany’s defeat in World War I resulted in the nation having to sign the Treaty of Versailles which imposed crippling and unsustainable terms of reparations on the nation – resulting in astronomical inflation and sending it into economic peril.
Observing the failure of the regime in Russia, many began to expressly reject the viability of a society based on left wing (‘socialist’) ideals and to embrace the idea of nationalism, with an authoritarian leadership whose objective is to, ‘make [insert nation of choice her] great again’.
Thus saw the rise of Benito Mussolini (or ‘Duce’, meaning leader), who founded Italy’s Nationalist Fascist Party and became the Prime Minister of Italy in 1922.
The term ‘fascism’ derives from the Latin ‘fasces’; a bundle of wooden rods that typically included a protruding axe blade. The object would be held by assistants to magistrates in ancient Rome as a symbol of power.
Duce gradually enhanced his power in Italy, ultimately becoming an authoritarian leader whose word was final, while perpetrating atrocities on his people in the name of making Italy great again, as it had been in Roman times.
He used the the outstretched arm as a symbol of unity and respect, and his subordinates wore brown military-style uniforms.
Needless to say, there was a man looking on in awe in Germany who, despite initial setbacks including the Beer Hall Putch in 1923 and his imprisonment as a result of the attempted coup, was biding his time to make a move on power in his nation; re-establishing his Nazi party in 1925.
The popularity of the Nazi Party was waning before the Great Depression in 1929, but that event and its aftermath – which saw millions of Germans lose their livelihoods and fall into poverty – gave the gifted orator the perfect opportunity to build his power.
Hitler ultimately became Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and effectively used misinformation and propaganda to consolidate that power over the years that followed.
His party was called the nationalist socialist party, but its ideals could not be further from socialist and were in fact extreme right wing in nature.
Rejecting the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler rebuilt the German economy while removing individual freedoms and preaching the ideal of lebensraum, or living space – the expansion of the nations Reich to other nations.
That ideal eventually led to hostile actions towards neighbouring countries, culminating in the invasion of Poland and resulting start of World War II in 1939, and the horrendous atrocities that followed.
Many nations were in awe of the Nazi regime, which showcased its achievements during the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
Indeed, the polished spectacle overshadowed what was occurring under the surface and led world leaders to revere the 1938 Times Person of the Year (Hitler).
In the same year Hitler received the coveted accolade, future Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies declared, “abandonment by the Germans of individual liberty… has something rather magnificent about it.”
Extreme right wing movements were frequently lauded in our Lucky Country, which had already long implemented a White Australia Policy designed to keep the nation pure and free from what were perceived at the time as harmful outsiders.
Ideas around racial purity and even eugenics – ensuring Australia remains racially ‘pure’ – were widely promoted and accepted at the time, and authoritarianism at the expense of individualism became an objective perceived as ultimately benefiting society as a whole.
And while these notions faded away in the 1940s and 1950s in the wake of the realisation that such views can lead to persecution and even genocide, and were unpopular during civil rights movements of the 1960s, they have seen a revival in the decades thereafter; with a number of groups hijacking and subverting original right wing ideals for their own purposes.
Perhaps the re-emergence of the extreme right wing in Australia was signified by the formation of the Neo Nazi Socialist Party of Australia 1967.
National Action (Australia) was established in 1982, a militant white supremacist group that blames the failings and inadequacies of its members on immigrants, and demonises people of other races, religions and sexual orientations, claiming to be victims of these people.
2016 saw the arrival of Antipodean Resistance, an overtly neo-Nazi group, whose flag features a swastika and whose members, as indicated on posters they distributed; incite anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim and anti-homosexual hatred and violence; again seeing these people as the source of their miseries.
The Australian Defence League, founded in 2009 by a convict, is essentially a neo-Nazi street gang, which is not only anti-Islam and has engaged in numerous assaults against Muslim people, but has on many occasions made terrorist threats without repercussion from law enforcement agencies.
The Australian Protectionist Party is a far right anti-immigration party that promotes white nationalism and warns against the threat of Sharia Law; so it is essentially scared that the 3.2% of the Australian population that are Muslims will somehow take over the nation and impose their own legal regime.
The Australia First Party wants a return to a white Australia policy – which was renounced in 1973 – and opposes immigration generally, especially from China.
Australian Liberty Alliance, rebranded as Yellow Vest Australia, vowed to stop the Islamisation of Australia, but was deregistered in 2020.
Ms Hanson’s first maiden speech to Parliament took place in 1996, after being elected to the House of Representatives, criticising multiculturalism, which included negative comments about Australia’s First Nation People, which appeared to indicate xenophobic and racist beliefs.
Despite during the next decade making more seemingly xenophobic and racist comments, such as Islamophobia and Afrophobia, including spending a short spell in prison for electoral fraud, from which she was acquitted; Ms Hanson took to the airwaves to insinuate that African and Muslim immigrants should not be allowed into Australia and indeed, “should go back to where you came from”.
In 2015, the One Nation leader stated to Australia that Islamic Halal Certification was funding terrorism and in 2017, calling for the religious head wear of Muslims to be banned and stating inaccurately that all terrorist attacks in Australia had been committed by Muslims.
Popular parties which have recently preached right wing politics include: One Nation (Right-wing populist), The Great Australian (Right-wing populist), Australian Protectionist (Far-right) and Katter’s Australian (Right-wing, perhaps Social Conservative) parties are all current, with those having fallen by the wayside, including the Australian Nationalist, Centre and Advance Australia parties, amongst others.
Australian League of Rights, Antipodean Resistance, Lads Society and True Blue Crew are current extreme right wing movements, with some fairly prominent ones, such as New Guard and United Patriots Front having left the scene.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) through its Director-General, Mike Burgess, stated that threats to the security of Australia from right-wing extremists has increased exponentially over the years, making them the greatest terrorist threat to Australia.
The Director-General’s views are supported by a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) Inquiry, which found that younger Australians are increasingly being preyed upon by white supremacists groups, who brainwash the younger population into believing that immigrants are the cause of their plight, rather than anything to do with themselves, the economic situation or their governments, and there have been many examples of right wing terrorism both here and across the ditch, as well as instances of right wing terrorists being treated with extreme leniency by the local police and judiciary; because they are white and not Muslim.
The disdain of immigrants is despite economists repeatedly and consistently making clear those who come to this country are an enormous benefit to the economy, working hard, taking many of the jobs locals thumb their noses at (including working at farms and orchards for minimal pay) and, indeed, building businesses, employing staff and paying taxes.
Indeed, the primary reason for the revocation of the White Australia Policy was not moral or ethical, it was economic – this nation needed workers, and those immigrant workers have built the economy over decades.
These extreme right wing so-called ‘leaders’ – most of whom are self entitled, narcissist, abusive white men who have failed to make anything of themselves in their lives – seem to have a ready pool of young people to exert power over, mould and use for their own purposes.
State and Federal Governments are endeavouring to mitigate the risk associated with right-wing politics, by a joint initiative, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), with oversight by the Department of Home Affairs.
Although variations of this initiative have seen $120 million invested since 2013, the past several years has seen it given more of a priority status; with Scott Morrison, then Prime Minister allocating $61.7 million in June of 2022.
It involves funding for de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration of those associated with many of the subversive views of this type of politics, including social media websites promoting community involvement and programs.
Another aspect in the fight against the risk attached to right-wing politics, was a conference in late 2004, The Extreme Right in Twentieth Century Australia; highlighting specific concerns and coinciding with the Liberal Government’s re-election for a third term, at the University of Sydney.
A lot hadn’t been researched about right-wing politics, although a book on the subject in Australia had been published in 1967 by well regarded sociologist, Bob Connell and Florence Gould.
As stated by Andrew Moore, an Australian historian and academic, who lectures at several NSW universities on Australian right-wing politics, about a decade ago, the purpose of studying the history of the Australian right is to know the enemy; proved to be apt, as the book appeared rather light on information, as we know it today.
It certainly registered on the radar after the conference, with Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech to the Australian Senate in 1996 having been dissected.
Sadly, movements signified by hatred and divisiveness that profess to be for the benefit of society have been embraced by many nations across the world, including recently in the United States, with misleading, sensationalist and false proclamations of a need to protect ‘white’ values by demonising others being an easy way for those discontent with their lives to blame others for their plight.
Salmonella illnesses linked to an event in New South Wales Food Safety News
Almost 70 people have fallen ill after eating food at a conference in an Australian state at the end of November.
At least 69 people from across New South Wales, the Northern Territory, and Queensland became sick with symptoms of food poisoning, of which 27 people have confirmed Salmonella infections.
NSW Health and the NSW Food Authority are investigating the cause of the foodborne outbreak following the Aboriginal Languages Trust conference at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Terrigal.
Jeremy McAnulty, NSW Health executive director of public health, said officials from across the state have been trying to speak to all those who fell sick after attending or working at the event.
“Close to 230 people attended or worked at the two-day conference, and so far at least 31 of them are known to have attended emergency departments,” he said.
“Our public health experts continue to contact people associated with the event, including attendees from the Aboriginal Languages Trust and we thank all of those who have assisted us so far. We ask anyone who feels unwell or has concerns about their health after they have returned home to seek medical care, and to get in touch with your local public health unit, or the conference organizers.”
Anthony Zammit, acting director of food safety and CEO of the NSW Food Authority, said the agency had taken action to ensure there is no ongoing risk to health from the venue.
“NSW authorities are investigating the cause of suspected foodborne illness cases linked to a function at the Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific hotel, and as a precaution, the hotel voluntarily closed the kitchen,” he said.
“The closure was also formalized through a prohibition order issued under the Food Act 2003 preventing the use of one kitchen. Our compliance officers have visited the venue to collect samples and the investigation is ongoing.”
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.
Anyone who has developed symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients require hospitalization.
Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions. Some people get infected without getting sick or showing any symptoms. However, they may still spread the infections to others.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)
As expected, commentators have put forward a variety of theories explaining why Daniel Andrews is still Victoria’s premier and why the Liberal Party failed so miserably in its campaign to win government.
Theories include: compared to Daniel Andrews, Matthew Guy appeared weak and lacking conviction; the ALP has a more professional and well-oiled campaign machine; the Liberal Party adopting contradictory and ill-defined policies, and Andrews being a consummate political operator better able to manipulate public opinion and the media.
Commentators have also offered solutions to ensure the Liberal Party performs better at the next election. Their proffered solutions include changing the leadership team, getting rid of underperforming members of parliament, preselecting stronger candidates earlier in the election cycle and adopting polices more suited to left-of-centre progressive voters.
Unfortunately, much of the commentary is superficial and anecdotal, with commentators failing to provide any substantial evidence to support their claims. Even worse, all the commentary thus far works on the assumption that political parties must win at all costs. Ignored is the underlying democratic principle that whoever is in government must be there to promote the common good, to help ensure human flourishing and to safeguard liberties and freedoms.
History proves power for power’s sake leads to totalitarian governments of both the left and the right where citizens’ rights are denied and society soon descends into corruption and violence. As Lord Acton put it, power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The record of the governments under Andrews’ control since 2014 speaks for itself. Examples include the Red Shirts affair, branch stacking, politicising the public service, refusing to be open and transparent in response to independent inquiries and cabinet being reduced to a one man’s rubber stamp. More recent examples involve the ALP government’s response to the COVID-19 infection where government over-reach led to essential freedoms and liberties being denied, parliament shut down and MPs denied entry plus resorting to state-sanctioned violence.
As a result of such draconian measures and incompetence approximately 800 died in aged-care facilities, students are a year or more behind in their schooling, small businesses have been bankrupted, rates of anxiety and depression have escalated and there are now year-long waiting lists in elective surgery.
Victoria’s debt, at a time of rising interest rates, exceeds that of Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania, massive infrastructure projects are way behind schedule and over budget, 33 deaths have occurred due to 000 emergency phone delays and ambulances are “ramped” night after night due to the shortage of available hospital beds.
Of greatest concern, as argued by an ex-Justice of the UK Supreme Court Jonathan Sumption in his Menzies Institute speech, is once long-held liberties and freedoms and parliamentary conventions are ignored “governments rarely relinquish powers that they have once acquired”. What’s to be done? As argued by ex-Prime Minister John Howard, “A political party that does not give pride of place to ideals and values is a political party that will very quickly lose not only its soul but also its sense of direction”.
If the Victorian Liberal Party is ever to prove itself a viable alternative to the Andrew’s government it must define the values and beliefs that differentiate it from the ALP and Greens by presenting policies underpinned and consistent with its core political philosophy.
While written in 1942, Robert Menzies’ ‘Forgotten People’ speech, with its focus on family, self-reliance and small government, is a good place to start when considering what the Liberal Party should stand for and what it is committed to achieving if it wins government four years hence.
More specifically, Liberals must champion our Westminster-inspired parliamentary system underpinned by concepts such as popular sovereignty, the separation of powers, ministerial responsibility and government being transparent and accountable to the people.
The common law legal system inherited from the United Kingdom must also be defended. As Lord Sumption argues, government mandated lockdowns, border closures and forcing people to get the jab all run counter to a legal system based on the right to autonomy and liberty free from government over-reach and coercion.
A legal system that can be traced back to the Glorious Revolution and Magna Carta and that draws on both natural justice and the New Testament and that once lost is almost impossible to reinstate.
In the election just concluded it was obvious the Liberal Party had no idea what it stood for. In addition to expelling Bernie Finn from the party for opposing abortion, Matthew Guy also told Renee Heath, a Liberal candidate for the upper house and target of a Nine Media hit job she would not be allowed to sit in the party room because of her links to a Christian church. So much for freedom of religion and freedom of expression!
The Liberal opposition also went missing during the two-plus years of draconian and unjust measures inflicted on Victorians by the Andrew’s government as a result of COVID-19. In desperation, the party also tried to outdo the Andrews government’s zero emissions policy as well as massively increasing unsustainable government debt.
Given most of the Liberal members of parliament seem consumed with self-interest and with inter-party personalities and rivalries it should not surprise the party was bereft of well researched, persuasive and convincing policies at the recent election. Ensuring a better result in four years starts now. Against bitter experience, one can only hope for the future of democracy in Victoria that the Liberal Party and its new leadership team have it within them to rise to the task.
Dr Kevin Donnelly is a senior fellow at the ACU’s PM Glynn Institute and author of The Dictionary Of Woke.
By Stuart Condie
SYDNEY–Star Entertainment Group Ltd. has been fined 100 million Australian dollars (US$67.7 million) for the second time in less than two months over a range of issues including actively courting gamblers banned in other Australian states.
The ASX-listed casino and resort operator was also told Friday by the attorney general of Australia’s Queensland state that casino licenses at two of its properties will be suspended if it didn’t take sufficient remedial action over its management and operations.
“It is clear that there have been major failings by the Star group and its entities. I was appalled at the extent of the actions of The Star in welcoming excluded persons to their casinos and the exorbitant incentives on offer for questionable gamblers,” said Shannon Fentiman, Queensland’s attorney general.
Queensland’s state government ruled in October that Star was unsuitable to hold a casino license in the state, mirroring a similar finding in neighboring New South Wales.
That same month, NSW fined Star A$100 million after a state regulator found that vast sums of cash evaded anti-money-laundering protocols. The NSW regulator also found that Star offered free alcohol to VIPs as an inducement to gamble and allowed vulnerable patrons to bet for more than 24 hours at a time.
Among the findings of the review in Queensland was that there were serious deficiencies with Star’s anti-money-laundering program that persisted over several years.
The Queensland government on Friday appointed an independent manager at Star’s cost to monitor operations. It also suspended Star’s Brisbane and Gold Coast casino licenses for 90 days but deferred the measure until Dec. 1, 2023, due to the fact that Star employs so many people, giving Star a chance to clean up its act.
Star reported A$1.53 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year, which ended June 30. It slipped to a A$198.6 million loss after writing down the value of its Sydney casino following a year of Covid-19 disruptions and regulatory problems.
Write to Stuart Condie at email@example.com