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
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
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.
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.
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.
Mr Baird says the election will be tight, telling ABC radio “we’re going to fight for every vote”.
By ABC reporters
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Posted: March 5, 2015 in Uncategorized
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.
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 .
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?
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.
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.
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.
The current Baird Liberal Ministry as it sits for the NSW Election
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…