Archive for: May, 2019

Royal commission told of ‘assault’ by former Knox headmaster

May 07 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

Boys from Knox Grammar roared with approval when their headmaster touched a young girl who was taking part in a school musical, an inquiry has heard.

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Lucy Perry, who now heads an international women’s health charity, told the child abuse royal commission she was indecently assaulted by the elite Sydney boys school’s former head Ian Paterson in 1989, when she was 15.

Ms Perry, chief executive of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (Australia), said the assault happened in full view of students at the Knox school hall and the boys who saw it “roared with approval”.

She reported the assault to NSW police in 2009, when allegations about sexual abuse at Knox were emerging.

Ms Perry’s school, Roseville College, and Knox Grammar had been jointly staging the musical `Guys and Dolls’.

During one rehearsal, Dr Paterson, who the show’s producer, singled her out, the commission heard on Monday.

As she walked to the edge of the stage “he placed his hand on my backside”.

“I would describe it as between a pat and a grope,” Ms Perry told the commission.

“He then slid his hand right down to cup my buttocks and (I) felt him touch my genitals outside of my clothing.”

Ms Perry continued: “I was humiliated in front of the boys and I heard the boys cheering.

“I was disgusted with Paterson’s behaviour and thought he was demonstrating to the Knox boys that it was perfectly acceptable, even admirable, to be disrespectful to girls.”

Ms Perry, now 41, wasn’t interested in pressing charges against Dr Paterson but changed her mind in 2009.

“I wanted to let police know that I was happy to provide a statement if it was going to be useful to demonstrate the culture of disrespect engendered by the school and to highlight the environment and attitudes fostered by the headmaster,” she said.

Dr Paterson’s solicitor Jim Harrowell asked her if the headmaster was just positioning her on the stage.

“I would suggest to you Mr Harrowell that positioning girls by their bottoms is not the best way to do that,” she said.

Ms Perry was applauded by Knox victims and their supporters as she left the hearing in Sydney.

Earlier on Monday, David Lloyd, counsel assisting the commission, said there was no evidence to support an allegation made during evidence on Friday that James Mein – the former moderator of the Uniting Church – and solicitor Rob Wannan – former chair of the Knox council – were involved in the destruction of sensitive documents.

Mr Lloyd does not intend to recommend a finding they were involved.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse inquiry into Knox continues on Tuesday.

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Qld probe to scrutinise dam management

May 07 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

The operators of a dam that let out automatic releases, flooding properties during Cyclone Marcia, will be scrutinised by a Queensland government-ordered probe.

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A two-metre-high wall of water broke the banks of Callide Creek and swept through Biloela, Jambin and Goovigen in central Queensland after the cyclone made landfall as a category five system.

The floodwaters destroyed homes and businesses, killed livestock and flattened crops – leaving locals questioning why water was not released prior to the disaster.

Many are also concerned about the lack of warning before evacuations became necessary late at night on February 20.

The terms of reference of a review by the Inspector General of Emergency Management Iain MacKenzie on Monday confirmed the dam’s operators will be placed under the spotlight.

Mr MacKenzie will examine the lead-up to the event, including the impact on the community of Callide Creek.

He will consider whether recommendations from the report on the Review of Callide Dam Gate Operations in the January 2013 Flood Event were implemented, and altered the impact to the community.

Mr MacKenzie, who will take public submissions, has also been asked to look at whether the operating specifications of the Callide Dam at the time of the event were reasonable.

The Inspector-General will travel to the Callide Valley this week.

The scope of the probe extends to “the performance of critical telecommunications infrastructure in the event,” after Biloela suffered major glitches and was left cut-off in the cyclone’s aftermath.

Banana Shire Mayor Ron Carige was furious the local disaster co-ordination centre could not communicate with authorities in Brisbane due to phone and internet issues.

Telstra eventually had to fly in a generator to get a critical part of its network up and running.

Callide Dam’s operator Sunwater has previously defended its actions during the cyclone, saying it was a “one-in-a-10,000-year flood event.”

Sunwater says extensive community consultation would have been required before any precautionary releases were made and the site was difficult to access in the cyclonic conditions.

The review’s report is due by May 22.

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Aust, NZ to train Iraqis to expel IS

May 07 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

Australian and New Zealand troops are needed to help train Iraqi soldiers trying to oust Islamic State forces out of their country, a defence analyst says.

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Retired Major General Jim Molan said Iraqi forces aided by coalition air power had halted the IS advance.

But at some stage, a counter-offensive had to start and Iraq needed to generate a force big enough to push IS out of Iraq.

Major General Molan, chief of coalition operations in Iraq in 2004-05, said an Iraqi force of up to 10 brigades – a total of 25,000 troops – would be needed and they would need to be trained.

“What Australia can do is conduct this training with the Kiwis in the same location and feed those troops into the brigades,” he told Sky News.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will announce the fresh deployment on Tuesday morning, a week after New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced they would dispatch 143 soldiers to a joint 400-member training mission with Australia.

They would be based at Taji, about 30km north of Baghdad, to instruct Iraqi troops in basic weapons skills and individual and unit skills to prepare Iraqi security forces for combat.

The training would also include planning of operations and medical and logistics support.

Australia’s part in this mission was to be given the go-ahead at the cabinet meeting on Monday night and announced after the joint parties meeting on Tuesday morning.

Major General Molan said it was likely Australia’s contribution to the coalition air campaign against IS would continue.

But the deployment of 200 Australian special forces, who have been advising Iraqi special forces, might no longer be needed.

“I would suggest the time for the special forces has passed,” he said.

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Palaszczuk predicts Abbott’s downfall

May 07 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

Annastacia Palaszczuk says Tony Abbott must heed the lessons of the Queensland election or risk guaranteeing his own party’s downfall at the next federal poll.

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The new Queensland premier received a rock star welcome when she appeared at an Australian Workers’ Union conference on Monday.

Ms Palaszczuk, who has become a Labor hero following the party’s shock win over the Liberal National Party on January 31, was given a standing ovation by delegates before she even began her speech.

When she did, her seven-minute address fell significantly short of the half-hour allocated in the conference schedule.

Nevertheless, Ms Palaszczuk used the platform to warn there were lessons for the federal government in Queensland, as well as encouraging signs for her Labor counterparts in Canberra.

“What we have seen at a federal level is a national prime minister who is not listening to the will of the people,” she said.

“Here in Queensland we have listened to what people have to say.”

“Tony Abbott is simply not listening.”

Abbott’s policy directive – such as proposed changes to tertiary education and Medicare services – wasn’t heeding the will of the people, she said.

“That will be his downfall,” she predicted.

Her comments echoed those of one-time treasurer Wayne Swan, whom had earlier drawn parallels between the political fates of the prime minister and banished former premier Campbell Newman.

“There are no two political leaders who are more alike than Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman,” he said.

This likeness, Mr Swan said, led him to rate Labor’s chances of electoral success at the next federal ballot as strong.

“I believe we can win the next election and we will win the next election,” he said.

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