NSW FaCS Where We Are Today


It has been over seven years since I began to find myself on an intense journey with the NSW Department of Community Services. In the beginning of that journey I had no idea that things would turn …

Source: NSW FaCS Where We Are Today

Advertisements

NSW Election – Platforms To Excuses


What Is Important To A NSW Premier?

When I think of what is important the first thing I think of is environment, then I think of children, next I think about my ideologies, so education and libraries, jobs, having a place to live and paying the bills, the ability to have contact with the outside world through radio, tv, and the internet, rather simple ideas I know but this is what is really important to the vast majority of people in perhaps different orders. Here is the last minute roundup as they race to the finish line on Saturday.

Luke Foley NSW Labor Party

Luke Foley NSW Labor Party is visiting the Nth Coast to suggest Labor will protect the Northern Rivers, there is a strong Green movement in the area’s he intends to visit.

Luke Foley

NSW Labor leader Luke Foley is heading to the north coast as the state election campaign heads into its final days.

Mr Foley is spending Tuesday campaigning in Ballina, Lismore and Tweed where coal seam gas and electricity privatisation are big election issues.


Foley meets anti CSG campaigners

Labor leader Luke Foley has promised a ban on CSG mining across the northern rivers.
Labor leader Luke Foley has promised a ban on CSG mining across the northern rivers.

Labor leader Luke Foley has hit the hustings on the NSW north coast, telling residents they can stop coal seam gas (CSG) mining by turfing out the Nationals at Saturday’s election.

The opposition leader has visited the site of the Bentley Blockade, where he met party faithful and anti-CSG campaigners.

“Sink the Nats and that’s the end of coal seam gas forever,” Mr Foley told the crowd.

“It won’t take riot police, it will take the power of the ballot box,” Mr Foley told the 100-strong crowd.

Last year the site played host to a large protest against a proposed CSG mine, and the Baird government subsequently suspended CSG licences in the area.

But local residents say they are fearful CSG will make a comeback.

“The local member for the Nationals hasn’t supported us in any way, whatsoever,” one man told Mr Foley.

“The last time a drill rig came into this area it required riot police to get it in and get it out.”

Mr Foley is spending Tuesday touring three safe National seats – Lismore, Tweed and Ballina.

Despite each seat being held by the Nationals by traditionally safe margins of more than 20 per cent, Labor says they are in play thanks to local opposition to CSG and electricity privatisation.


Premier Mike Baird

Mike Baird headlining in the Western Suburbs this week.

Mike Baird headlining in the Western Suburbs this week.

Premier Mike Baird will spend the day campaigning in Sydney’s western suburbs in the lead up to Saturday’s election.

He’ll be in Penrith where he will be joined by Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka and then the Minister for Sport and Recreation Stuart Ayres.


He Dreamt Of Being A Cricket Captain Not Premier

I found this upsetting doesn’t he realise his government and past ones have removed our kids?

The community is aghast when told tales of the abuses from the past at Royal Commissions and then add a multitude of sorry’s and yet nothing has changed about removing children, the practice continues making million’s of dollars for individuals and leaving families torn apart.

Yet at election time, Mike Baird wants to happily comment on budgie smugglers and Kim Kardashian and what the previous Premier did wrong. I want to hear about child protection and the truth about the violent crimes against women and children actually going up, and what might be done to change these situations for the positive.

NSW Premier Mike Baird has given his verdict on Kim Kardashian, budgie-smugglers and the perils of accepting bottles of Grange.

With four days until NSW voters head to the polls, Mr Baird took a break from the usual campaign fodder on Tuesday in a radio interview with Brendan “Jonesy” Jones and Amanda Keller.

He has revealed he never dreamed of a life in politics as a young man.

“I wanted to be captain of the Australian cricket team, that would have been my dream job,” Mr Baird told the duo on the Australian Radio Network.

“In fact at university I wanted to be a journalist – I mean I knew that I wasn’t going to get (to the Australian cricket team) on my ability … so I put in an application in to the ABC to be a sports cadet.

“And I still haven’t heard back from them.”

He also sought to distance himself from his Liberal party colleagues Peter Debnam, Ted Baillieu and Tony Abbott – at least insofar as their beach attire is concerned.

Even his father, former politician Bruce Baird, has also been known to sport Speedos.

“He proudly walks around in sluggos,” the premier said.

“It’s inappropriate. It’s inappropriate. I’m definitely boardies – boardies is the appropriate attire.”

When asked to indulge in a spot of word association, Mr Baird declared reality TV star Kim Kardashian as “bad”, poles and wires “good” and a fine bottle of Grange as “okay” and “in moderation”.

“If you don’t take the bottle,” he added.


The latest Ipsos poll by Fairfax Media has predicted a resounding coalition victory.

Mr Baird says the election will be tight, telling ABC radio “we’re going to fight for every vote”.


Fact check: Is crime in NSW the lowest it s been in 25 years? – Yahoo7

By ABC reporters

The verdict

“The BOCSAR data clearly shows that the rates of most crimes have been dropping since 2001 and are at lower levels than they were 25 years ago.
But while there have been substantial declines in breaking and entering and motor vehicle theft, domestic violence and sexual assault rates have risen since the early 1990s.
For this reason, experts say talking about whether the overall “level” of crime is low doesn’t give the full picture, because it ignores trends in serious crimes that are less common or might not be as widely reported.
Mr Baird’s claim is selective”.
 

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird has put law and order policy at the forefront of his re-election campaign.

On the campaign trail he announced that a re-elected Coalition Government will introduce new laws to restrict the activities of bikie gangs and serious criminals, and bring down crime rates.

But Mr Baird also claims that crime in the state is at its lowest level in decades.

“What we have seen in NSW over many years under Labor was they made many announcements, but crime got worse,” he told reporters in Granville on March 3, 2015.

“What you’ve seen under us is take action, and that action has seen, in the most recent statistics, crime is at its lowest level in 25 years.”

ABC Fact Check takes a look at NSW crime rates.

NSW crime statistics

The Premier’s office told Fact Check the source of the claim was quarterly reporting from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR).

The latest BOCSAR quarterly report in September 2014 records that all 17 major crime categories either fell or remained stable compared with the previous two years.

The same stable or downward trend for those major crimes was recorded in the three months to June 2014.

Mr Baird’s office said this was the first time that this result had been achieved in two consecutive quarters since 1989 when BOCSAR began quarterly reporting.

But there were several other times over the past 10 years when consecutive quarterly reports showed the same trend. For example, in the June, September and December quarters in 2010 (when Labor was in power) the rates of these 17 crimes fell or were stable.

Matthew Willis, research manager at the Australian Institute of Criminology, told Fact Check that looking at quarterly trends is reasonable, but cautioned that they can fluctuate with seasonal variation.

Alcohol-related crimes are a good example of this problem. They typically rise and fall with warmer and colder weather.

For this reason Mr Willis said longer-term data was a better indicator of trends in crime rates, and the most reliable measure of crime was to look at rates per 100,000 people because this takes changes in population size into account.

In notes to its quarterly reports, the bureau also warns that its method for identifying trends “is not sensitive to seasonal variations; it is sensitive only to a generally increasing or generally decreasing trend over the time period examined”.

Long term trends

The bureau produced a report last year on the long term trends in 10 categories of property and violent crime in NSW, covering 1990 to 2013.

It found that for most offences, there were “significant downtrends in recorded rates since 2000”.

The report shows that rates for all three robbery offences – without a weapon; with a firearm; with a weapon not a firearm – are now below those recorded in 1990. The rate for robbery with a firearm is 73 per cent lower than in 1990. Burglary and motor vehicle theft are also at their lowest levels since 1990.

Similarly, the murder rate, expressed as the number of murder victims per 100,000 people, has trended downwards over the last 24 years, reaching its lowest point of 0.9 murder victims per 100,000 in 2012, compared with 1.1 in 2013.

The report concluded that “some categories of crime in NSW are now at the lowest recorded levels they have been for over 20 years.”

However, the data for assault and sexual assault showed the opposite result. These crimes recorded “significant long term upward trends” since 1990, the report said.

The assault rate has been steadily increasing over the last 24 years, up 74 per cent since 1990 when the rate was about 500 incidents per 100,000 people, peaking at over 1000 incidents per 100,000 in 2002 and then falling since then. Similarly, the rate of sexual assault has increased by 125 per cent and other sexual offences by 95 per cent since 1990.

Before 1995, reported data on assaults was not broken down into domestic violence-related and non-domestic violence-related offences.

Fact Check asked BOCSAR to analyse the rates of the 17 major crime rates back to 1995 when assault was split into domestic and non-domestic violence categories. The data shows that the average annual increase in domestic violence-related assault is 3.5 per cent over the last 18 years.

What the experts say

Karen Gelb, a research fellow in The Justice Research Group at the University of Western Sydney, said the NSW pattern of crime reflects what experts call “the great crime drop” that has been observed across Australia and in other countries. In the US crime rates fell as an epidemic in crack cocaine ended.

“There’s been a similar suggestion that BOCSAR made here (NSW), when heroin availability and use went down and in particular, property theft rates went down,” Dr Gelb said.

Mr Willis said increased security has contributed to the fall in crime rates.

“Motor vehicle theft has declined quite dramatically and that’s directly in line with the decision to include vehicle immobilisers as a feature in all new vehicles,” he said.

Dr Gelb said its not useful to look at overall crime rates because it can mask trends in the less prevalent crimes, like assault.

She told Fact Check some offences, particularly assaults, can be explained in the context of different policing practices and different community expectations and reporting practices.

“We know that police are now more likely to record domestic violence assaults,” she said.

“We know that people are more likely to report them now than they were 25 years ago, and community understanding, community acceptance, community expectations have really changed.”

Chris Cunneen, who formerly worked for BOCSAR and is now a professor of criminology at the University of NSW, said crimes like domestic violence may still be underestimated because they are under-reported.

“If you look at what’s reported to the police and what victimisation surveys show, the levels of unreported sexual assaults are very high,” he said.

Victimisation surveys

In the notes to its quarterly reports, BOCSAR explains that its data comes from criminal incidents reported to police and recorded on the police’s Computerised Operational Policing System (COPS).

The data represents reported incidents rather than offences, except for murder where the data represents the number of victims.

The bureau says an alternative measure of the level of crime in Australia is available from crime victim surveys, which estimate the proportion of crimes which are not reported to police, and are therefore not recorded in the official statistics.

“In particular, personal crimes, such as assault and robbery, are less likely to be reported than crimes which involve households,” the notes say.

“Given that some offences have low reporting rates, it is possible that changes in recorded crime rates over time for these offences may be reflecting changes in reporting rates.”

The ABS has been conducting crime victimisation surveys since 2008. The victimisation rate in NSW for sexual assault has remained steady at 0.2 to 0.3 people per 100,000 since 2008-09, while the victimisation rate for robbery was 0.6 per 100,000 in 2008-09 and has been 0.3 per 100,000 since then. The reporting rate for both of these crimes shows that between 50 per cent and 60 per cent of these crimes were reported to police in 2013-14.

Dr Gelb said victimisation data complements police reported data.

“We know that for some offences, motor vehicle theft for example, pretty much everyone reports it – you have to for insurance purposes,” she said. “But we know for sexual assault in particular, reporting rates are very low.”

The verdict

The BOCSAR data clearly shows that the rates of most crimes have been dropping since 2001 and are at lower levels than they were 25 years ago.

But while there have been substantial declines in breaking and entering and motor vehicle theft, domestic violence and sexual assault rates have risen since the early 1990s.

For this reason, experts say talking about whether the overall “level” of crime is low doesn’t give the full picture, because it ignores trends in serious crimes that are less common or might not be as widely reported.

Mr Baird’s claim is selective.

Sources

  • NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research explanatory notes
  • An update of long-term trends in property and violent crime in New South Wales: 1990-2013, April 2014
  • Crime victimisation 2013-14


    I Must Say I Have To Agree With The Unions

NSW union accused of racism ahead of state election

Just days out from the state election one of New South Wales’ biggest unions is being accused of outright racism.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union is launching an ad campaign tonight singling out our biggest trading partner – China – in an unprecedented attack.

AAP file photo.

The advertisement claims China’s Government will control the NSW power industry – and much more besides.

The ad states that in 2014 the State Grid Corporation of China, wholly owned by the Chinese government, met in secret with the NSW treasurer last year to discuss the sale of electricity assets.

Treasurer Andrew Constance admits he has met with State Grid of China.

A CFMEU spokesperson denies the advertisement is racist, saying the lease could lead to China not only controlling NSW power transmission but also Canberra’s – Parliament House.

Premier Mike Baird’s worked hard to develop strong China trade links worth over 30 billion dollars a year.

He’s slammed the union campaign.

“Scare campaign being run by the unions trying to run against it – they will keep doing that – and obviously that is having some sort of influence but the truth is a very different matter,” Baird said.

Labor leader Luke Foley disagrees.

“I’m with the great mass of people in NSW  who own the electricity network and do not want it sold from under them,” he said.


Kath Says

Kath says to hold your children tight because you never know when the government is coming to take them away.

Kath says to hold your children tight because you never know when the government is coming to take them away.

In the end I don’t have tv or a phone line for broadband so I want to ask the LNP how do I get myself well and further educated (sigh) to be job ready, when the government house I got given has taken months to fix on my low income?

How come I have no digital TV ready reception?

No phone?

Now each of these luxuries is out of my financial situation to repair. I have done this in every government place I have been in but now I don’t have the kind of money needed to pay for infrastructure of a government house. I have spent all my money to eradicate pests, weeds and diseases from a trashed house they handed me the keys to.

In the end I want to know who among the politicians will stand up and face the simple needs of the common people?

I love my children, I would like to see someone stand up against DoCS/FaCS, you say it’s the hardest job, but wait try put yourself in the shoes of that child, that parent, and that family.

The NSW State Election – What About Mental Health?


The Problems With Having All These Non Government Organisations Is The Problems They Create For Common People.

We see such a long list of the not for profit sector doing the work of the government agencies because they just don’t have enough time and are so over loaded.

Well, I am sorry but if you are paid to do a job then it makes sense you are doing it, if you have a mission statement then possibly you would act under that statement or even under the laws in place.

Perhaps the law could actually be acted on in many instances and other common place problems would not exist in such proportions within our society.

Being conductive to a good society means that all citizens are treated equally and that discrimination is not out of control and indeed is punishable by the current laws.

NGO’s such as the one listed below are the organisations acting on anonymous reporting and freely mention that their work revolves around this activity.

http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/kts/guidelines/roles/ngo.htm

Meanwhile we see Federal and State Government attacking the vulnerable and placing domestic violence victims on welfare cards and blaming the violent behaviour on drug and alcohol addictions paid for with welfare. This shows how victims are placed into categories and further violated by the government.

As the PM jets off to a party for a Liberal Donor $$$$ we are told our lifestyles are too extreme. While he threatens our homes and our very existence blaming and shaming, he holds a glass of champagne up to the Mining Magnates.

Cuts to this service and cuts to that service because poor people use it. Yet the article shows where they get money from and what they spend your tax dollars on, and it is certainly not on the vulnerable or domestic violence victims housing.

Effectively what government has done is hand over responsibility to NGO’s for human services and contracted other third parties to undertake the dirty works, in every department. The agencies hence are not even doing their jobs.


Mental health patients facing cuts to crucial services amid funding uncertainty: experts

Thousands of Australians seeking help for mental health problems face growing uncertainty because federal funding for hundreds of contracts has not been guaranteed after June 30.

Seventy mental health groups, including Mental Health Australia, Headspace, and the Black Dog Institute have written an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Health Minister Sussan Ley.

The letter reads: “We have not received any definitive advice regarding the future of programs.”

“Some agencies have indicated that without this advice, they will have to give staff notice of termination of employment in a matter of days.

“This ongoing uncertainty is causing a huge disruption to organisations and increasingly, deep anxiety amongst the people they serve.”

The National Mental Health Commission has completed a major review of the mental health sector, which is currently with Ms Ley but no date has been set for its release.

One provider, the MindSpot Clinic, already told patients free online and telephone support may not be available after April 15 due to funding uncertainty.

MindSpot is a free service for Australian adults with stress, worry, anxiety, low mood or depression.

MindSpot director Professor Nick Titov said the uncertainty is concerning for both staff and patients.

The service has helped 30,000 people and is seeing 300 to 400 new people each week, half of them from rural and regional areas where there are no face-to-face mental health services.

Registered nurse Angela Govan, based in Townsville, Queensland, was suffering from anxiety and depression when she went online to look for help.

She told the ABC having access to a therapist through MindSpot was a lifeline.

“The counsellor was fantastic … I couldn’t have got through the course without that contact,” she said.

“It made a huge difference and I now have the skills to keep that anxiety under control.”

Funding to be finalised soon: Minister

Ms Ley says the Government is finalising immediate funding arrangements as part of its commitment to give mental health organisations certainty as soon as possible.

“In my consultations with mental health organisations, I have been highly conscious of the need for certainty and we’re committed to working with the sector to continue delivering frontline services to those who need it,” Ms Ley said.

She said the report would be released soon.

Mental Health Australia chief executive Frank Quinlan said the sector needed clarification on funding and hoped the Prime Minister and Health Minister acted quickly to resolve the issue.

<!–

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-24/mental-health-patients-facing-cuts-to-crucial-services/6342530


What Is Happening Within The Current Mental Health System?

Well they can Schedule you if you really go apeshit.

Then when they realise you are not nuts, just a victim of child abuse or domestic violence, you have to sign a Voluntary agreement.

Then while you are in the hospital they will drug you with something like Seroquel, if you are allergic or have some kind of severe adverse reaction to be drugged out of your mind, they will never admit they did this to you and God help you if you have no one around to tell you that the drug is fucking up your brain and you are appearing brain damaged.

Meanwhile, the system will bring in everyone from Police to DoCS/FaCS doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists (the best the country has to offer) will tell you to keep taking the drug even though they have had no prior knowledge of who you are they have their data bases to tell you everything about you, including that you have to stay drugged.

When you turn around and wake up to the fact you were drugged, you could have been raped and beaten, been through numerous court cases, lost your rental property and your children have been legally removed by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.

Your own actual legal problems that you attended the police for will effectively have been dumped because you will be called a person who does not come “In Good Faith” it seems that the services are all acting in good faith even if it is designed to destroy you and break up your family while everyone in the local and state government sector who becomes involved with you says your crazy.

My advice to women is to guard yourself, victims are not welcomed in mental health settings and are often drugged instead of the legal issues dealt with. Domestic Violence is a crime and the police are the only ones who can charge someone with DV if you want to get out of it.

Mental Health is not a system designed for people who do not fit the medical model. It is a system for Bi Polar and for Schizophrenia if you have a boring old PD you need to fix yourself. I have been repeatedly told this.

We have a system that wants to talk but not act on any information such as coming forward about paedophiles. The truth is mental health has records from abuse victims from the time they come into contact with the service. Why are these records not then used by police to start putting the people who cause so much destruction to our communities, away in gaols.

They use your mental health records at DoCS to remove your child in courts even though you have loved your child and looked after them often with greater care than a non victim because you are always aware of what is out there.

Why are records used against the victim not the perpetrator and how does a person going to a mental health service have any control of what is being written by the professional as an opinionated opinion? They don’t really know you. What about when the professional fails to write down what you have disclosed? Why would a professional not write down the name of the paedophile you exposed? Are they rules about that sort of thing?

Don’t go to mental health it is not providing the service you are made to believe it is.

Better to fight back at these systems who have disempowered you and your children.

Better to make friends with someone you think is having a rough time.

This is the whole of the issue, the breakdown of our families and our social interactions with others.

So many pschologists are dissatisfied with the system, and half of them are so crazy themselves they could do with the counselling.

The whole thing is set up to backfire on the clients, the unsuspecting client (who is obviously so sick they are asking for help) doesn’t even know the depth of what can happen to them by government civil servants.

People need to support people and stay away from pretend government services. At the end of the day all you have is yourself and your ability to step outside your door.

A real psychiatric facility system in Australia would have much greater governance and care attached to it if it was totally wholistic, and that is not hard to achieve, will provide jobs in mainstream and alternate sectors and support people who are ill. With abuse cases, mental health is the first stop to sorting the mess out, they should be working with the police to find out who the attacker was and remains, even in historical cases.

These agencies should be working together to help the people in the communities but instead they label victims troublemakers and by further abusing them medically and legally they send people insane. They then suicide or they end up homeless, or they live life in a dissociated state wondering how the hell the perpetrators have got off so much better than the victim themselves has, yet we are still told to come forward. Why?

Untill this is fixed there will be NO GOOD FAITH in the mental health system, there are serious flaws with criminal implications, I may have been sexually abused as a child and that has affected my neural connections but I am not fucking stupid.

Time to end the madness and reopen the psych centres that way you will catch the bad guys and the good people will be set free of the mental trauma they have been made to be persecuted by, simply for speaking out to some professional person they have trusted in.


 

But Wait Because There Is So Much More To The Inconsistency Of The Australian Government

Another Day in Paradise

‘plz help me..’Photo Courtesy of: ABC-TV

I HAD PLANNED to write about something completely different today. But a short, desperate, email from a young stranger changed all that.

I can’t get it out of my mind. It makes a mockery out of some of the pious bullshit that emanates from Canberra. And, just to share the blame and guilt, a mockery of some of the platitudes from pulpits and government departments.

It also makes expressions like ‘lifestyle choices’ sound downright obscene.

The letter from a young mother from a small community in this ‘lucky country’ graphically sums up, in a few words, one of the greatest scandals that has been buried for decades and is still being pussy-footed around by state and territory governments.

I’m talking about the sexual abuse of young indigenous girls and boys.  Little kids being raped by drunken brothers and fathers and uncles and cousins.  Few get reported and even less see the attacker behind bars.

fear of retribution

And when mothers try to protect their kids they themselves are often bashed senseless and live in a twilight world too scared to complain in  fear of retribution.

The  latest cry for help goes like this:

Dear Darren.

My name is xxxxx and I would like to start off with I love the work you do. I’m a young aboriginal woman in a small community that seems to hide the filthy pedos… My young 13-yr-old has been sexual abused from a 33yr old drunk man, and what make this even sick he knew my daughter had a disability and his mother want me to sweep it under the carpet like they do here but I’m fed up with the threats and my poor daughter had to move away from this town and leave all her friends behind plz help me…’

You can only imagine what solitary hell a young mother is going through when she writes to a total stranger with a ‘plz help me..’

I will try to find out more about where this happened but don’t hold out much hope that justice will prevail. Nothing out of the ordinary, right? Goes on all the time… barely worth reporting…

It’s a lifestyle choice…

DH

http://www.humanheadline.com.au/hinch-says/another-day-in-paradise


PM Tony Abbott Flies On Taxpayer-Funded Jet To Liberal Donor’s Birthday Bash At Huntingdale Golf Club

HS State News and Galleries

Mining magnate Paul Marks with Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Picture: TONY GOUGH

Mining magnate Paul Marks with Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Picture: TONY GOUGH Source: Supplied

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott used a taxpayer-funded RAAF plane to fly to Melbourne, where he attended the birthday party of mining millionaire and big Liberal donor Paul Marks.

Mr Abbott joined about 45 people for the birthday party at the exclusive Huntingdale Golf Club on Sunday night.

He started the day in Brisbane and flew to Sydney for the NSW Liberal election campaign launch with Premier Mike Baird before flying with a small group aboard the RAAF VIP plane to Melbourne.

Once he arrived at Huntingdale, the PM shed his tie and mingled with guests, enjoying crayfish and aged Wagyu beef with a glass of chardonnay. He also gave a speech in honour of Mr Marks.

His office defended the use of the VIP plane, with a spokesman advising: “The Prime Minister had other work-related engagements in Melbourne on Sunday. All travel was undertaken within the rules.’’

He did not answer questions on what the work engagements were.

Mr Marks is a major financial supporter of the Liberal Party.

Australian Electoral Commission returns shows he personally donated $250,000 to the federal Liberal Party in 2013-14, while his company, Nimrod Resources Limited, donated a further $500,000.

Mining magnate Paul Marks with Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Picture: TONY GOUGH

Mining magnate Paul Marks with Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Picture: TONY GOUGH

Mr Marks declined to answer questions about the party, saying “yeah, so?’’ when the Herald Sun contacted him.

“When you have a birthday party it is a private affair. I don’t have any comment about anything,’’ he said.

Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert, who is based in Queensland, was also at the intimate gathering. He too gave a speech.

Mr Robert’s spokesman said: “Stuart was at a private function and if he attends a ­private function and there are travel costs involved, he pays for himself. No public money was expended on this private trip.’’

Independent senator Nick Xenophon said the use of the VIP plane was inappropriate if the private function was the primary reason for Mr Abbott’s visit to Melbourne.

“The Prime Minister needs to justify the expense to the Australian taxpayer, and if the justification doesn’t pass the pub test then he or the Liberal Party need to refund the cost of the VIP (plane),’’ he said.

The RAAF maintains several jets for Mr Abbott and senior ministers and VIPs, such as the Governor-General, to use.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s taxpayer-funded RAAF VIP plane.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s taxpayer-funded RAAF VIP plane.

The most recent Schedule of Special Purpose flights, which details the costs of the use of the jets, shows it costs about $4000 an hour to run.

The aircraft was used to bring Mr Abbott back to Canberra from Melbourne yesterday morning.

Staff at the Huntingdale Golf Club told the Herald Sun that Mr Abbott was “relaxed and friendly” at the function.

Seafood, including crayfish, featured heavily on the menu, and sparkling wine was circulated with the hors-d’oeuvres.

The club’s waiting staff, including one woman who posed for happy snaps with Mr Abbott and Mr Marks, talked excitedly about meeting the PM.

The golf club remained open to members during the function.

Security provided for Mr Abbott was discreet.

Last August, Mr Abbott was criticised after he told Coalition MPs he was running late because he had to schedule a last-minute visit to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne to justify taking the VIP plane down for a Liberal Party fundraiser.

ellen.whinnett@news.com.au

Originally published as Tony Abbott’s very important party trip

The NSW Election Campaign – Keeping It Clean & Green


Keeping Up With The NSW Election Campaign

Posted: March 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

The Major Issues On The Far North Coast – The Campaign Trail NSW Election 2015

I always take a great deal of interest in both the State and Federal elections, even though there are times when I truly think why should I vote and that off course, has caused me to give up and not go and vote a few times for which I then was fined.

Let’s be frank and all realise that the most important issue now is the environment, specifically, that the country maintains or attempts to achieve, in some cases a fresh water supply because many of our catchments in Australia are indeed in terrible condition.

The most important issue we face is fracking, and as the public becomes more aware about the dangers involved in this activity and puts pressure on the political parties we are seeing a simple approach being taken by all three of the major players in the NSW election.

  1. What NSW Labor is saying, is that, they will have a blanket ban until the science is further explored, so that doesn’t mean that the ban on Coal Seam Gas through Labor, will continue, if the science improves in some way then they could change their minds to frack for CSG.
  2.  What NSW Liberals are saying is that it is full steam ahead with Coal Seam Gas mining, and every man for himself.
  3. The NSW Greens say no to Coal Seam Gas and will have a complete and holding ban on the CSG industry.

Luke Foley The NSW Labor Party

Today Luke Foley the NSW Labor Leader was up on the North Coast taking a tour and supporting his candidates, Labor Candidates Ron Goodman (Tweed), Isaac Smith (Lismore) and Paul Spooner (Ballina) and listening to local farmers, with Walt Secord .

“Today we met with Phil, a farmer in Myocum, one of many Northern Rivers residents worried about how CSG will impact the land and water. Labor has listened to the concerns of communities – we will ban all CSG activities in the Northern Rivers.

Luke Foley NSW Labor Leader 2015


Speaking With Labor Candidates Today On Facebook

Labor will BAN CSG mining on the North Coast.
Coal Seam Gas has the potential to destroy soil and poison our water supply. Despite these high stakes – CSG mining has been expanding at a growing speed across NSW. It’s time we put the brakes on CSG in NSW.Let us know if you’re on board at http://act.nswlabor.org.au/actoncsg

Kathleen O’Brien When you say ban it does that mean for good? What about all those new six year leases for the area including Lismore?

I am interested in other things too, but this is by far the most important issue, the Nationals want to have CSG in Lismore and surrounds and Thomas George after a 50 year National stronghold is going to be ousted here.

Water is our most precious resource. It is that simple.

Lismore is going to be Green for sure, as people realise the Nationals have not done a thing here.

The library for example, and lack of computer space or even seating, for example is an issue, on a recent visit the library was packed and not such a great place to study. If you have nothing at home or problems at home where can you go to find a study nook, if you can’t even get that in a library?

I heard it is bigger and better than the last space they had. Obviously then something bigger and more modern is needed. Grafton just got a new library, where’s Lismore’s?

Also some of us don’t even have tv coverage because there is no reception here, why is that? I got coverage in the middle of nowhere at Cowper and here I can’t even get a channel.

And there are things like having a phone connected to the house which doesn’t exist for some people, so they can’t even have a decent internet connection in the home because they have no phone line. Why is that here? And why won’t Telstra service the broke phone connection hole in the street?

I am just flabbergasted and don’t know how to get things done in the area.

Very backward indeed.

I mean Lismore has an amazing arts population and the art gallery couldn’t even fit the Archibald Prize Collection Tour inside, why is nothing funded here?

The population is not small and the cities of Brisbane and Sydney are crowded so people generate her for the healthy lifestyle.

Lismore is a university town, the head quarters of Southern Cross University, it’s not a remote two horse town.

Thomas George has done nothing for the people of Lismore, you can’t even park for free to go to hospital if you are sick!

I am new here and I have been in a few places in life, I would think a progressive understanding place like Lismore would have more spaces for the public interest and definitely more to offer from the TAFE system.

I have to know where is all that government tax payer money going? What is being funded in our country?

Like · Reply · 2 · 7 hrs · Edited
  • Paul Spooner Great questions Kathleen O’Brien. In regards to CSG the ban is for good. For all your questions on Lismore I suggest you talk to Isaac Smith who is standing for Labor in that seat.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 6 hrs

    Isaac Smith You have hit the nail on the head there Kathleen. The Nationals have done nothing for us. I think we were all glad when the previous Labor govt was removed as it was overdue and they were part of the problem. But now after 4 year of the National party support for CSG we are faced with a region wide disaster.Labor want to put all the money back into TAFE and Hospitals and we will stop CSG. It’s time we were not neglected by Sydney and the CSG ban is proof that they are listening to local Labor members.
    Unlike · 1 · 5 hrs

     

The Greens Have Been Protesting Against CSG From The Beginning

Adam Guise for the Greens responded today to the following suggestion by ABC polling guru, Antony Green, that the “State seat of Lismore is going to be a three-way contest”.”We all know that CSG is one of the issues that separates us from our competitors. It’s a huge one locally, as it should be. We were the party on the ground right from the start, working with the other groups at the Bentley Blockade”. he stated.

Bentley Blockade 2014

Mr Guise made reference to the current sitting National Party member Thomas George  “The sitting Member didn’t show his face, and the Labor candidate came to visit a few times. His Party only realised the political importance of the Bentley Blockade when it became a hot political potato. That’s when they changed their policy, but even then not decisively. The Greens have never wavered in their opposition to coal seam gas mining. We’ve never done the hokey pokey and put the left foot in and then the right foot”. Adam Guise responded.

The Greens Lismore Adam Guise

Furthermore he went on to suggest to punters that “On the 28th of March we’ve got a chance to change the political landscape in the seat of Lismore, and in the Northern Rivers, by electing a candidate who knows all about the evils of coal seam gas, a candidate who is committed to stopping Metgasco and any other mining company who wants to ruin our farmlands and our water supply”.In order to give the Greens the best opportunity to rid the Northern Rivers of one of the most ineffective representatives we’ve ever had in the NSW Parliament, make sure you vote 1 Adam Guise, number all the boxes, and put the LNP last.
https://www.facebook.com/adamguise.greens
#‎VoteGreen2015‬


Antony Green Explains The Polls And Where Liberal Voters Centralise

http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2015/03/why-the-baird-government-is-vulnerable.html


Mike Baird The Liberal Party Of NSW Current Ministry

The current Baird Liberal Ministry as it sits for the NSW Election

Full New South Wales Government Ministry List under Premier Mike Baird
The Hon Mike Baird MP (Lib)
Premier of NSW
Minister for Infrastructure
Minister for Western Sydney
The Hon Andrew Stoner MP (Nat)
Deputy Premier of NSW
Minister for Trade and Investment Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services
Minister for Tourism and Major Events
Minister for Small Business
Minister for the North Coast
The Hon Andrew Constance MP (Lib)
Treasurer
The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP (Lib)
Minister for Transport
Minister for the Hunter
The Hon Adrian Piccoli MP (Nat)
Minister for Education
The Hon Michael Gallacher MLC (Lib)
Minister for Police and Emergency Services
Minister for Industrial Relations
Minister for the Central Coast
The Hon Duncan Gay MLC (Nat)
Minister for Roads and Freight
The Hon Anthony Roberts MP (Lib)
Minister for Resources and Energy
The Hon Jillian Skinner MP (Lib)
Minister for Health
Minister for Medical Research
The Hon Prudence Goward MP (Lib)
Minister for Planning
Minister for Women
The Hon Bradley Hazzard MP (Lib)
Attorney General
Minister for Justice
The Hon Gabrielle Upton MP (Lib)
Minister for Family and Community Services
The Hon Katrina Hodgkinson MP (Nat)
Minister for Primary Industries
Assistant Minister for Tourism and Major Events
The Hon Kevin Humphries MP (Nat)
Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water
Minister for Western NSW
The Hon John Ajaka MLC (Lib)
Minister for Ageing
Minister for Disability Services
Minister for the Illawarra
The Hon Stuart Ayres MP (Lib)
Minister for Fair Trading
Minister for Sport and Recreation
Minister Assisting the Premier on Western Sydney
The Hon Victor Dominello MP (Lib)
Minister for Citizenship and Communities
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
Minister for Veterans Affairs
Assistant Minister for Education
The Hon Robert Stokes MP (Lib)
Minister for the Environment
Minister for Heritage
Assistant Minister for Planning
The Hon Troy Grant MP (Nat)
Minister for Hospitality, Gaming and Racing
Minister for the Arts
The Hon Dominic Perrottet MP (Lib)
Minister for Finance and Services
The Hon Paul Toole MP (Nat)
Minister for Local Government
The Hon Jai Rowell MP (Lib)
Minister for Mental Health
Assistant Minister for Health

Remember at the NSW 2015 Elections put the Liberal/National Coalition Last and number every box.

If the people can get together to save the environment over a terrible issue like Coal Seam Gas and the corporate greed behind it, it will be just as easy for the people to stop the corruption within the NSW Parliament and spread that onwards to the rest of the States and Territories. Then the people can take on the Federal Government. It has been too long that government has stood over the citizens of Australia, too long that many people have suffered, some even having their families ripped from under them, never to see their children again.

Coal Seam Gas and a Green Revolution will see the two major parties once again become accountable. Australian’s do not want an undercurrent in society. We do not want to see politicians ignoring our questions, or turning away when we call for help and using excuses that we have all heard before to exclude themselves from major problems in our country by saying they are personal issues or private matters. The children of Australia and the families of Australia deserve so much more.

Let’s give the children that much, clean air, clean water, clean country and a family and a home. It is the basis of a functional society. The flow on affects from this investment will be multiple and perhaps the adults can retire a bit earlier than at 70.

I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges…