Friday, May 2, 2008

Qantas gives go-ahead for in-flight SMS and e-mail

Qantas will allow in-flight SMS and e-mail on select domestic flights by the end of the year after a successful trial of technology developed by aviation tech start-up AeroMobile.

In-flight e-mail and SMS will be available on a select number of domestic routes serviced by Qantas' fleet of Boeing 767s and Airbus 330s, available for travelers armed with a GSM mobile with roaming enabled or a GPRS-enabled data device, such as a Blackberry or laptop.

Qantas says it will initially only allow SMS and e-mail while at cruising altitude and not during take-off or landing.

The service will be available by the close of the year on flights that connect major capitals on Australia's Eastern seaboard, and flights from these capitals across the Tasman to New Zealand or across the continent to Perth.

"The highest demand for the service is on these routes," said Vanessa Hudson, general manager of products and services for Qantas. "But what we are saying is that we are committed to providing these products and services to the business market. Our goal is to roll this out to other routes, to make it a consistent product."

The service, trialled successfully between April 2007 and January this year by some 11,000 passengers on one of Qantas' Boeing 767s, works using pico cell technology developed by AeroMobile. The system interfaces with the air-to-ground communications system -- usually satellite -- used by most commercial airliners.

"We like to think of it as a global roaming country in the sky," Hudson said. "You use the system much as you would use your phone on the ground."

According to AeroMobile, the communications interface overcomes the long-feared potential for mobile phone signals to have an adverse affect on aircraft systems. The technology is designed to operate at a "minimum power level" to avoid any chance of disruption.

"We handed Q&A cards to all the customers in the trial, and not one customer had any concern about aircraft systems," Hudson said. "The [AeroMobile] system is well-tested. There is absolutely no question of safety."

The AeroMobile system also allows cabin crew to maintain some control of passenger connectivity -- deciding when connectivity is allowed or indeed what type of connectivity, voice or data for example, is permitted.

The cost of the service will depend entirely on the roaming agreements individuals have with their carrier.

cnet.com.au 25 Mar 2008

This technology is new in 2008. Were mobile phone calls available in 2001 to the general public?

It's official: Corey joins Big Brother

Nationally loathed teen troublemaker Corey Worthington will enter the Big Brother house this Sunday, May 4.
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"What is this guy really like? What reactions does he have when he's not being challenged? When he's going through different emotions? Or when he's interacting with our housemates?"
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Will Corey's entry in the house prove to be as controversial as the other notorious moments in TVFIX's gallery

yourtv.com.au 2 May 2008

Please!! No more news on this Trash Can Man.
Please!! No more mind numbing 'news' regarding this incompetent upright missing link.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Westpac denies job outsourcing by stealth

MAJOR bank Westpac is outsourcing more jobs to India in a move which unions claim is being done "department by department" to avoid scrutiny.

The latest cuts affect 10 positions in human resources in Sydney, with the postitions sent to Genpact in India, the Finance Sector Union said.

Westpac said the FSU figures on recent outsourcing of jobs were "roughly accurate" but rejected any suggestion of trying to achieve change via stealth.

It said the FSU was kept informed of changes.

A Westpac spokesman said the latest move was partly due to cost savings and also because such overseas organisations were specialists with the latest technology and could handle the work better.

Westpac said the data would have strict security protocols.

The FSU had raised concerns saying: "Genpact in India will be responsible for storing, accessing and updating the personal training profile of every Westpac employee, including names, work addresses and training information".

It comes on top of 93 positions in South Australia and NSW that were outsourced in September, the FSU said.

Other jobs which did not involve direct contact with customers could also go, it said.

"By offshoring department by department Westpac avoids the scrutiny that the announcement of large jobs cuts attract," the FSU said.

Westpac said it was not practical to announce all changes in one go.

Westpac had increased staff by a net level of 1000.

It said all affected people were offered nearby work on a similar pay level.

news.com.au 24 Jan 2008

Newsflash : There is no strict security protocols, where the data is going! Wake Up Australia !!

Aussie newsman may be kicked out of Fiji

The managing director of the Fiji Times is facing deportation to Australia after being labelled a threat to national security by the Fiji government.

Australian Evan Hannah was confronted by police and immigration officers at his home in military-ruled Fiji and told he was in breach of his work permit, a statement from the paper's parent company News Ltd said.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith described the action as "reprehensible", and called on Fiji's government to hold promised elections within a year.

An application challenging the deportation has been lodged with the Fiji High Court and a result is expected later on Thursday night.

Pending that result, Hannah was expected to fly out of Fiji for Australia early on Friday, Fiji television reported.

"I can confirm I signed the deportation order," Fiji's Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Epeli Nailatikau told Fiji television.

"He was a threat to national security."

Fiji's military government has been accused of waging a campaign of intimidation against media outlets since it came to power in a coup in December 2006.

In February this year, another Australian Russell Hunter, publisher of the rival Fiji Sun newspaper, was deported after the military regime branded him a threat to the nation's stability.

Hunter's newspaper had carried reports about possible corruption involving Fiji's finance ministry.

In a statement, Smith said the Australian High Commission in Suva has sought urgent consular access to Hannah and would assist his wife and two children, also in Fiji.

"This is yet another reprehensible act in a disturbing pattern of behaviour since the coup of December 2006, which has resulted in the severe erosion of fundamental human rights and the rule of law in Fiji," Smith said.

Other governments in the region would not consider the Fiji interim government's action acceptable, he said.

"I call on the Fiji interim government to respect the civil liberties of all citizens and residents and hold elections by the first quarter of 2009 consistent with the constitution and laws of Fiji, and as per its commitment to Pacific Islands Forum Leaders on October 2, 2007," he said.

Earlier on Thursday, coup leader and self-appointed Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama warned the media that free speech had limits in his country.

He also hinted that the media may face regulation, saying Fiji's mainstream media outlets fell well short of their responsibilities.

Bainimarama hinted that reporters could face regulation unless they were more supportive of some of his government's initiatives.

"We are also puzzled as to why these low standards of reporting are allowed to continue unchecked. Perhaps we are close to the point where the current system of self-regulation needs to be seen as a failure," he said.

Hannah is a long-standing employee of News Limited who has worked in Fiji for some years, including as deputy managing director prior to his appointment to his current role in January 2007, the News Ltd statement said.

Fiji Times editor-in-chief Netani Rika said Hannah's detention was disturbing.

"We are deeply disturbed that an incident such as this would take place two days before Media Freedom day and less than 12 hours after the interim prime minister made a public statement calling for better relations with the media industry and promising to uphold media freedom," he said in a statement on the Fiji Times website.

ninemsn 1 May 2008

Looks like we have a bit of a Nazi Party going on. The purveyors of goodness and law and order must invade and force democracy. Forgot No Oil !!

Angelina Jolie 'drug tape' surfaces


A videotape that allegedly shows Angelina Jolie snorting and smoking heroin before she was famous has surfaced.

A source told US tabloid National Enquirer that the owner of the tape which shows a younger Jolie taking drugs with friends, is selling the footage for $74,000. "It appears to be from the 1990s, right before Angelina — then in her 20s — was breaking out in films like Gia and Girl, Interrupted, which won her an Oscar," the source said.

"She (Jolie) says, wow, this is really good smack — not that cheap crap that's been stepped on."

Jolie is reportedly shown "sniffing white lines from a plate", and sucking smoke through a tube.

The mother of four has been open about her drug abuse past saying she was not "immune" to drugs but would never use it now.

"I've done coke, heroin, ecstasy, LSD everything. I hate heroin because I've been fascinated with it," she said.

Jolie has daughter Shiloh, two, with partner Brad Pitt and three adoptive kids: Maddox, six, from Cambodia; Pax, four, from Vietnam, and Zahara, three, from Ethiopia.

Since her turbulent youth, Jolie has become a human rights activist and an UN ambassador.

Meanwhile, the couple nicknamed "Brangelina" by the media have arrived in France where Jolie is expected to give birth to their second child.

new.com.au 1 May 2008

Just plain and simple Entertainment Trash. Adopting babies from Third World countries is like a fashion statement. Why? because ET can. Stupid names. Why? Because ET can.
Shiloh Pitt lets not make the mistake of : Piloh Shitt.

Westpac denies offshore job reports


Westpac Banking Corporation Ltd says it intends to increase "offshoring", but denied media reports that it planned to shift up to 3,000 back-office jobs to India.

"I haven't seen any piece of paper with that kind of number," Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly told analysts on Thursday.

But Mrs Kelly said the bank would be keen to outsource functions if there was another business that could perform a function more efficiently.

"Will there be an increase in offshoring? Absolutely," she said.

Meanwhile, the Finance Sector Union (FSU) wants the federal government to review all bank licensing arrangements to ensure back office jobs stay in Australia.

The union's call follows a report that Westpac - which on Thursday announced a 34.2 per cent jump profit for the six months to March 31 to $2.202 billion - is expected to shift the work of up to 3,000 of its back-room staff to overseas locations such as India during the next three years.

The move was part of an accelerated plan to cut costs being put together for new Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly, Fairfax reported.

FSU secretary Leon Carter said the bank's move would hollow out the Australian finance industry, leaving a nation of bank shopfronts.

"Back office workers are the backbone the Australian's major banks performing hundreds of important task such as handling customers' sensitive banking information," Mr Carter said in a statement.

"Swiping out more than 3,000 of these jobs will mean that only the facade of an Australian bank would be left behind."

Westpac was carving up its business and its local employees were being treated as "offcuts".

"We know that working families are coming under fire by the banks with successive interest rate hikes, huge fees, and now they are going to take away thousands of Australian jobs," Mr Carter said.

"Banks like Westpac owe their customers and their community much more than this."

"What's needed now is for the federal government to take this opportunity to rein in the banks and protect bank jobs from being sent offshore.

Mrs Kelly needed to reassure customers and workers that jobs would not be sent offshore, Mr Carter said.

© 2008 AAP 1 May

Westpac have been sending jobs offshore for quite some time. It's not about efficiency, it's about profit, which is obtained from CHEAP LABOUR.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Telstra executive slams Australia

One of Telstra's Us chiefs has taken aim at Australia, saying its democracy is sick, its politicians too powerful, its taxes too high and its "she'll be right" attitude is mere complacency.

Telstra's outspoken group managing director of public policy and communications, Phil Burgess, also put Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on notice, saying the telco will not hesitate to start more public stoushes with the government if it feels the need.

During an expansive public lecture in Canberra, Dr Burgess, one of the so-called "three amigos" of Telstra's American management team, bemoaned how government dominates debate in Australia.

Dr Burgess said Australia's civic order - businesses, the media, religious organisations, think tanks, service clubs, peak industry organisations - are tepid, timid and beholden to government.

Instead of trying to spark and influence public debate, Australia's civic institutions try only to influence Canberra, usually behind closed doors.

"If we do a health check on Australian democracy, the economic organs are doing really well. The political organs are dominated by government and the civic organs are in atrophy," Dr Burgess told AAP after the lecture.

"To have a healthy democracy, especially when you're going through rapid change like we are ... we need to have everybody involved."

He also complained about the "enormous power" of government ministers in Australia, saying it limits the "give and take" that make for good policy-making.

Dr Burgess, who has lived in Australia now for almost three years, said civic institutions were also suffering because they struggled to find independent, non-government funding.

"I would say the biggest problem is taxes are so high here the government gets all the money," he said.

Dr Burgess said the lack of public debate helped nurture a 'She'll be right' attitude which, he said, was one element of the Australia's ethos he rejected.

"You can do the 'She'll be right' all you want, but there's a problem," he said.

"There's a problem when complacency is so high that people say 'Hey, what's wrong? Everything's fine, why worry about it?'"

Dr Burgess said his company's slanging matches with the Howard government had not been personal, and that he believed in "a good stoush".

"When government is doing things that are against the interests of our shareholders and against the interests of consumers and, in our view, against the public interest ... then we have a responsibility to stand up and educate the public that there's another point of view," he said.

"If we have a fundamental disagreement - we've already had a lot of disagreements with the Rudd government, all kinds of things - we're never going to violate our principles, we're never going to give away shareholder money without a fight."

In written notes to accompany his lecture, Dr Burgess also took aim at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, saying its performance in telecommunications has been a "dismal failure".

ninemsn 30 Apr 2008

A monopoly has always stifled growth, a fact that Telstra is all too aware of. The U.K model for the telecommunications industry would benefit Australia significantly.

Transvestite scandal sends Ronaldo to ground


Soccer superstar Ronaldo has gone into hiding as a transvestite prostitute scandal threatens to overshadow his luminous career.

The Brazilian striker has reportedly cancelled two television appearances and will continue rehabilitation from a recent knee operation at home.

While police say he has not committed any crime, he was accused of drug use by one of the prostitutes.

One transvestite may face charges of extorting money and stealing the footballer's driver's licence, after an altercation with two other prostitutes at a Rio de Janeiro motel.

p> "One of the transvestites said in his interview that the transvestite known as Andreia asked him (Ronaldo) for US$29,599," detective Carlos Augusto Nogueira told reporters.

"It's very likely that he (Andreia) will be charged with extortion."

The transvestites and Ronaldo were interviewed by police on Monday. Nobody has yet been charged.

Nogueira said that Andreia, whose real name was given as Andre Luiz Ribeiro Albertino, had taken Ronaldo's driving licence.

Ronaldo has not appeared in public since the incident but his spokesman issued a statement yesterday.

"In light of recent developments, it must be stressed that no criminal complaint whatsoever has been made against Ronaldo, which rules out any possibility of the player being required to appear at the police station," it said.

"As a keen supporter of social causes, Ronaldo has never been a drug user and has always taken seriously his status as a role model and idol for children and young people in Brazil and around the world."

Ronaldo, 31, suffered a serious knee injury during a Serie A game against Livorno in February but has said he is determined to resume his career.

His spokesman said he would continue to have three sessions of physiotherapy a day. His recovery is expected to take at least another seven months.

ninemsn 30 Apr 2008

That's where the problem lies, in the $29,599. That was the undoing. an even 600 would have gone unnoticed.


mymobile - Fergie

Who : Fergie - Pop person supertart & Black Eyed Peas lead singer

What : Motorola U9

Stacey Ferguson uses a Moto U9 - WOW!!!! Gripping news. I base my life upon this fact !!!

Stored in the Who Gives a F

Source : - crazyjohns issue 2 Autumn '08

England still sends it criminals to Australia - James Bulger case

Do you remember February 1993 in England , when a
Young boy of 3 was taken from a Liverpool shopping
Centre by two 10-year-old boys?

Jamie Bulger walked away from his mother for only
A second, Jon Venables took his hand and led him out
Of the mall with his friend Robert Thompson. They took
Jamie on a walk for over 2 and a half miles, along the
way stopping every now and again to
Torture the poor little boy who was crying
Constantly for his mummy.

Finally they stopped at a railway track where they
Brutally kicked him, threw stones at him, rubbed paint
In his eyes, pushed batteries up his anus and cut his
Fingers off with scissors. Other mutilations were
Inflicted but not reported in the press.

N.B. :- Remember, a 3 year old cannot possibly
Defend themselves against a 10 year old, let alone of
2 them.

What these two boys did was so horrendous that
Jamie's mother was forbidden to identify his body.
They then left his beaten small body on railway
Tracks so a train could run him over to hide the mess
They had created. These two boys, even being boys,
Understood what they did was wrong, hence trying to
Make it look like an accident.

This week Lady Justice Butler-Sloss has awarded
The two boys ( now men ), anonymity for the rest of
Their lives when they leave custody with new
Identities. They will also leave custody early only
Serving just over half of their sentence.
They are being relocated to Australia to live out
The rest of their lives. They disgustingly and
Violently took Jamie's life away and in return they

Each get a new life!


Australia still the dumping ground for Anglo convicts.

Wonder if the sentence would be the same if it happened to Justice Butler-Sloss' child / grandchild ???

Telstra admits confusion over directory inquiries

Telstra has conceded marketing of its pricey new directory assistance number - 1234 - may be confusing to non-Telstra customers who believe the service is available to all phone users.

Rivals have accused Telstra of "hijacking" 1234 - a special number shared by all networks for operator connect services - by heavily marketing the number for its premium directory service.

Consumer groups have criticised Telstra for promoting 1234 at the expense of free directory assistance numbers.

Telstra's 1234 replaces its call connect and Yellow Pages connect services, and introduces timed charges of four cents a second, plus a 40 cent connection fee.

Australian Consumers' Association policy officer Charles Britton said it would be more useful to consumers if Telstra promoted the free directory assistance numbers 12455 and 1223 instead.

Telstra is compelled to provide a free directory service to residential phone users, but Mr Britton said most people were unlikely to be able to recall the number off the top of their head. "Telstra can be forced to provide it, but it is harder to get them to promote it," he said.

The Australian Communications Authority has asked Telstra to respond to complaints that its plastering of "1234" across TV, buses, 1600 chalked messages on footpaths and skywriting has led to thousands of consumers mistakenly calling the number even though they use Optus and Vodafone.

In some cases, the number diverts to international operator services on the networks, attracting fees of more than $2.20, which have to be refunded.

A spokeswoman for Telstra's directories unit, Sensis, said some advertising for the 1234 service carried disclaimers that it is only available to Telstra users. "The traditional marketing has clear disclaimers ... As far as the chalking, disclaimers were not on it," she said.

But customer confusion may cause Sensis to drop the ads even without prompting from regulators. "If consumer feedback is such that they feel change is necessary, we will take that on," said the Sensis spokeswoman.

Sensis said the new number was "a premium service for people who want more information".

Use of the free directory service numbers "are in decline", averaging 150 million calls a year, according to Sensis.

The White Pages website gets 1.8 million clicks a month, while calls to the paid Telstra Call Connect and Yellow Pages Connect reached 55 million last year.

Sydney Morning Herald, 22 July, 2004


Telstra offers a free Directory Assistance ( 1223 ) which it does not promote.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pipeline closure causes petrol panic

BRITAIN has shut down a North Sea pipeline which supplies 40 per cent of its oil and gas and there was panic-buying of petrol after a strike at a major refinery.

The start of a two-day walkout by about 1,200 workers at the Grangemouth refinery, west of Edinburgh, forced the neighbouring Forties pipeline to close down at the same time, operator BP said.

The pipeline brings more than 700,000 barrels of crude oil ashore every day and supplies Britain and international markets. It cannot function without power and steam from Grangemouth.

The two walkout, organised by trade union Unite, is over a pensions row.

Staff and families held a demonstration today outside the refinery, which could take weeks to get fully up and running again after the strike.

Britain's main opposition Conservative Party warned the strike will hit world oil prices, while the ruling Labour Party is urging calm and says there are enough stocks to last through the strike.

Many motorists, particularly in Scotland and northern England, are rushing to pumps to stock up, despite government reassurances there is enough in reserve to go round.

Some petrol stations have introduced rationing or price hikes while others have run dry.

The Scottish government is shipping in about 65,000 tonnes of fuel - mostly diesel - from Europe to bolster supplies during the action.

This should be enough to last about 10 days.

Offshore oil industry body Oil and Gas UK has urged politicians to intervene in the dispute, saying the pipeline closure will cost the economy STG50 million ($104 million) per day in lost production.

But Business Secretary John Hutton said the government had made "every effort'' to prevent the action taking place, particularly the closure of the pipeline.

"What the government's responsibility is, is not to take sides in this dispute,'' he told BBC television.

"I think it's (the strike) not justifiable, I think we're bringing into this parties who are innocent bystanders.''

Alan Duncan, the Conservative industry spokesman, warned that the closure would hit world oil prices.

"The interdependence of our North Sea oil production and the refinery has implications for global oil prices,'' he told Sky News television.

"So world oil prices have gone up and we're going to see local oil prices and petrol prices going up.''

Professor Alex Kemp, an oil economist at Aberdeen University in Scotland, told the BBC the pipeline closure would lead to the complete shutdown of production in oil fields.

"Although some platforms may have limited storage space, it will be nothing like on the scale required for production to continue while the pipe is out of action,'' he said.

It is the first time in more than 70 years a strike has shut a British refinery.

The dispute comes at an awkward time for Prime Minister Gordon Brown, ahead of local elections on Thursday in which opinion polls suggest his Labour Party could struggle.

Herald Sun 28 Apr 2008.

Before we were told that Hurricane Katrina was responsible for the last petrol price hike.
I was hoping that the flatulence of an Albino Polar Bear would have some effect also., but this was obviously not newsworthy.

Doull a 'father figure'

LEGENDARY footy streaker Helen d'Amico said she approached Carlton defender Bruce Doull because he looked like her father.

Ms D'Amico, now 43, was "petrified" when she ran naked across the MCG during the 1982 AFL Grand Final.

"When I got out to the middle I had no idea what to do. I ran to Bruce Doull," she said.

"It was more like a safety factor. He looked like my father."

Ms D'Amico's streak during the Carlton-Richmond Grand Final has been labelled footy's most famous interruption.

More than 100,000 fans at the MCG - and millions more on television - watched the 17-year-old Ms d'Amico cross the field covered only in a Blues scarf.

US-born Ms d'Amico, who is now studying at Charles Darwin University, was arrested and fined $1000. Interest in the former exotic dancer has been fanned with Toyota's new television commercials, debuting last week.

But Perth-based Ms d'Amico said she had never been hiding.

"I haven't been hiding," she said. "I had a life."

A partner, four children and two grandchildren have surrounded Ms d'Amico for many years.

She is a qualified social worker and paramedic, and is now studying nursing until June.

But Ms d'Amico said her experience would never go away and copycats would find it difficult.

"It's just crazy, because they'll never top me," she said.

Herald Sun 28 Apr 2008

What's the first thing you think of when you're naked at a footy field?? Your father !!! Naturally !

Water cutbacks hit 40 households a week

THE screws are being tightened on Victorians struggling or refusing to pay water bills, with more than 40 households a week facing supply restrictions.

Companies slapped 2125 homes and 40 businesses with water supply cutbacks last financial year - up 16 per cent on the previous year.

Hundreds of pensioners and other concession card holders were among those hit with the harsh treatment, an Essential Services Commission report released today reveals.

The action comes as Victorians brace for big water price rises from July to pay for major projects to fight the drought.

Families are also juggling a tide of higher energy, home loan, petrol and grocery costs.

The ESC report shows most customers put on a water supply squeeze are based in the country.

A flow-restriction device is placed in a mains pipe to reduce water to "a bit more than a trickle". Health guidelines prevent a full cut-off.

ESC chairman Greg Wilson conceded there were concerns over the handling of some customers failing to pay bills.

''The levels of restrictions on customers for non-payment of bills remain uncomfortably high, particularly in regional Victoria,'' Mr Wilson said.

The report also confirms water use has dropped dramatically amid restrictions on watering gardens and washing cars.

Average household water consumption in 2006-07 fell more than 11 per cent, from 204 kilolitres to 180 kilolitres (kL) per household.

Regional Victorians used an average 207kl compared with 171kL for Melburnians.

City West Water customers paid an average $449 a year, South East Water $453 and Yarra Valley Water $488.

In rural Victoria, South Gippsland Water bills averaged $727, Western Water $713, and Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water $693.

The ESC will investigate whether companies are breaking an industry code designed to show compassion to people suffering financial hardship.

"There is a difference between those who can't pay and those who won't pay," spokesman Gavin Clancy said.

Under the code, companies should give a warning and final notice about lack of payment, and refer struggling customers to government agencies for assistance.

The report found 438 customers put on reduced water supply for not paying bills were on a concession. And all but 124 lived in the country.

Goulburn Valley had the highest restriction rate, with 1.37 in 100 households affected.

GVW managing director Laurie Gleeson said the figures were inflated because they included about 250 customers sent a warning letter when they transferred to another company.

But he defended the right to restrict supply.

"We have the statutory power to do this. And it is the cheapest option for everyone to get a debt paid because there are no legal costs and it brings it to a head very quickly,'' Mr Gleeson said.

"If people are having trouble paying the onus is on them to tell us.''

Water bills will soar for at least the next five years to pay for billions of dollars in planned water initiatives, including a $3 billion desalination plant at Wongthaggi and the $1.8 billion north-south pipeline.

From July 1, water and sewerage bills across Melbourne will rise 14.8 per cent, $70 a year extra for the average household.

Country residents face bill increases of up to 100 per cent over the next five years if a new price plan is approved.

Herald Sun 28 Apr 2008.

Every single elected government has failed to supply an adequate infrastructure for water supply to the ever growing population. Whilst we can blame the drought, that is not an excuse, as Australia always had a drought, in just about every decade. Every single Government hopes it does not have to spend on the infrastructure.

At the end of the day people are being punished for the inadequacies of the governments.

Failed firm's boss speaks out

FAILED finance company boss Graeme Hoy broke his silence last night after being in hiding since the $70 million collapse of Chartwell Enterprises.

The man, who had not been seen since last Monday night when he allegedly fled through the back door of the Geelong company's offices, denied channeling millions of dollars overseas before the firm collapsed.

"I am absolutely devastated at the impact of these events on so many wonderful people," Mr Hoy said.

But he was unable to answer the key question of where the money in his collapsed firm had gone.

"Well, the investigation will disclose everything about the money," he told Channel 9.

He could not say how much the hundreds of investors could hope for.

Asked if people would get any back, Mr Hoy said: "I think that's Mr (administrator Bruno) Secatore's position to be disclosing.

"Can I say absolutely - because I know I won't be contradicted by the discoveries - that no money went offshore.

"This is absolutely the hardest thing that I've ever had to face in my life."

Mr Hoy said he would not go back to Geelong.

"Not at the moment. I've had threats of physical violence and worse, and I've had to take protective measures," he said.

Mr Hoy said he believed he had not acted illegally.

"It's quite possible (there could be criminal or civil charges) but I'm ready for whatever life throws at me," he said.

Mr Hoy said the most difficult part of the collapse was that many investors were friends.

"(I'm) completely hollowed out," he said.

Mr Hoy said he came forward out of a willingness to be accountable, despite living in fear after receiving death threats.

Herald Sun 28 Apr 2008.

War on market thugs says Rudd Government

THE Rudd Government will today announce new measures aimed at promoting competition and cracking down on anti-competitive behaviour by big businesses.

In what appears to be a major coup for the small business sector, the government will announce reforms to the Trade Practices Act that will make big companies more accountable for anti-competitive activities.

Under proposed changes to the TPA, the government will move to especially protect small businesses from predatory pricing.

The reform package to be announced by Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen and the Minister for Small Business Craig Emerson, will make it easier for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to prosecute companies that engage in anti-competitive behavior.

One of the key reforms will reduce the burden of proof on victims initiating litigation over predatory pricing.

Most important, victims will not need to prove that the predator has the ability to recoup losses after participating in so-called "below cost" pricing activity.

The reform package will also clarify key parts of the legislation in response to concerns raised by business and the ACCC.

The government is also seeking to reduce the costs for small businesses accessing the judicial process.

Where appropriate, legal cases involving a misuse of market power will be heard in the Federal Magistrates Court rather than in the Federal Court.

The reforms will also strengthen the role of the ACCC by enabling it to fully investigate suspected breaches of the law by enhancing its information gathering powers.

The government will extend the reach of the ACCC by removing the $10 million arbitrary monetary threshold which currently applies to allegations of unconscionable conduct.

Mr Bowen is also expected to announce changes to the ACCC's structure which will give small business bodies formal representation on the ACCC.

At least one deputy chairperson of the commission will be expected to have small business expertise under the the government's reforms.

Mr Bowen will write to the states and territories seeking their approval for the proposed amendments this.

Herald Sun 28 Apr 2008

Considering it's Big Business (Kerry Packer) who helped make Howard Prime Minister, there is little chance of this naive idea fruiting real results.

West worst for .05

Almost one driver a day from postcode 3030, which includes the suburbs of Derrimut, Point Cook and Werribee, was caught driving over the limit during summer.

Ballarat North was the worst area in country Victoria for drink-drivers, with more than 30 caught.

Croydon had the second-largest number of drink-drive offenders in the city, followed by Dandenong, Craigieburn and Roxburgh Park, Noble Park and Cranbourne.

Most drivers from the suburbs were busted in inner-city party hotspots such as St Kilda, Northcote, Melbourne, Port Melbourne and Kew.

That has prompted calls for better public transport on the city's fringe to reduce the risk of road deaths.

Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said that the current situation, where NightRider buses were the only public transport that operated on the hour after midnight, was insufficient.

"There is demand there," he said.

"People want to be out late and be able to get home by public transport."

Greens MP Greg Barber said trains and trams should run every hour on the hour after midnight.

"Nobody's got any public transport after midnight," he said.

"Even if they ran a train or a tram every hour on the hour as a minimum, then people could work around it."

Police have this year employed new tactics to catch drink-drivers.

This month, police set up a fake bus in East Melbourne and caught 15 drink-drivers as they turned off into side streets.

The worst driver was a P-plater with a reading of .167.

Assistant Commissioner (traffic) Ken Lay said police were always looking at ways to detect drivers who flouted the law and put others' lives at risk.

"You will see more and more special efforts using multiple booze buses, particularly on the freeways late at night or early in the morning," he said.

"We will be targeting areas in and around licensed premises where we know repeat drink-drivers attend."

Booze buses have netted 1516 drink-drivers this year, including 1109 men and 407 women.

And, in a frustrating sign drivers are ignoring the anti-drinking message, figures show one in every 212 drivers tested was over the limit compared with one in 225 last year.

Up to 30 per cent of all fatal and serious injuries could be attributed to drink-driving.

Over the first nine months of last year, 31 per cent of those killed on Victoria's roads had a blood-alcohol content greater than or equal to .05.

That compares with 19 per cent for the same period in 2006.

Acting Coalition leader Peter Ryan said the State Government needed to examine the drink-driving figures and come up with a solution.

"If the existing (transport) need is not being met then the Government needs to deal with that," he said.

Herald Sun 28 Apr 2008


Lets just say how it is, that's where most of the trash is

FuelWatch petrol plan under pump as oil prices soar

LOCAL fuel prices and world oil prices have hit new highs as the Opposition threatened to block the Rudd Government's answer to petrol woes.

Global oil prices streaked into new record territory for the second straight day overnight, with light sweet crude crossing US$115 a barrel in New York for the first time ever.

Iran, a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which produces 40 per cent of global oil output, rejected calls from oil-consuming countries for the cartel to act to lower prices.

"Why should OPEC try to lower the prices, despite the demands from the United States and Britain?" Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari told an oil conference in Tehran.

"They can go on demanding what they want," he said.

The price of unleaded patrol jumped to a record $1.52 a litre at some service stations yesterday - up from a peak of $1.49.9 last week.

The spike, driven by global oil prices, came as the Opposition, fuel retailers and motoring groups attacked the Government's FuelWatch plan.

The FuelWatch scheme will force petrol stations to publish at 2pm each day their pump prices for the next day, fixing the price for 24 hours.

Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson said he was concerned the scheme would eliminate weekly discounting, which delivered cheaper petrol on Tuesdays.

"We will have a look at the fine print in this legislation, because I am suspicious workers and battlers that are getting discounting every week, early in the week, might actually lose it," Dr Nelson said.

"We have got to make darn sure that that discounting absolutely continues."

Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen said the Coalition wanted to block cheaper petrol for motorists.

An analysis by the competition watchdog found the system had brought down petrol prices by 1.9, on average, in Western Australia.

"On the low points of the current weekly cycle, like Tuesdays, motorists were still paying less in Western Australia under FuelWatch, an average of about one cent per litre less," Mr Bowen said.

Fuel retailers said they should be able to reduce their prices, but not raise them, after notifying the Government..

The RACV is strongly opposed to the plan, saying it would eliminate the usual weekly discount cycle.

Herald Sun, 17 Apr 2008

No Government will do anything especially since they tax at 60%, and it is an economy that a measly little Victorian / WA / Australian Government cannot influence. The ACCC is knowingly conning the Australian public that it will do something.

Toddler Joedan Andrews beheaded after car crash, inquest told

TODDLER Joedan Andrews died when a wild car ride went wrong. He was then beheaded with a chicken knife and buried in the bush, an inquest heard yesterday.

Six years after the boy vanished from an isolated community near Mildura, a witness gave evidence that after the car smashed into a tree Joedan's stepfather and another man cut off his head with a rusty knife.

A second witness alleged she was told Joedan's mother, Sarah Andrews, was involved in his death.

The inquest at Wentworth Local Court heard the two-year-old disappeared from an Aboriginal mission on the outskirts of the small NSW town of Dareton, north of Mildura, on December 14 or 15 in 2002.

His partial remains were found a month later, but no charges have been laid.

Witness Kathleen Brown told the inquest Joedan was in a car with his stepfather Colin "Collyboy" Moore and Ms Brown's former boyfriend Tim Mitchell when the brakes failed and they smashed into a tree.

Ms Brown alleged that Mr Mitchell told her Joedan flew into the windscreen, and they thought he was dead.

She told the inquest that Mr Mitchell said they cut the little boy's head off with a long-bladed knife used by Mr Moore for slaughtering chickens and buried it separate from his torso.

Ms Brown gave evidence via video after the state coroner decided she was too fragile to front the court.

She said she had watched at night from another house at the Namatjira Ave mission as Mr Mitchell climbed into the car with Mr Moore and Joedan.

"They were driving fast because they spun the wheels as they left," Ms Brown said.

She said Mr Mitchell returned a few hours later with blood above his left eyebrow and on his T-shirt and seemed "wild about something".

"He said, 'You won't be seeing him (Joedan) no more'. He said, 'He died'," Ms Brown said.

"I told him to stop talking s--t and he said, 'Fine, don't believe me'."

Ms Brown said Mr Mitchell threatened the same would happen to her if she told anyone.

The court heard Mr Mitchell allegedly bashed Ms Brown, who called police and was taken to a refuge.

Ms Andrews and relatives sobbed and gasped as they heard the allegations.

But minutes later a woman from the mission gave evidence she was told Ms Andrews was allegedly involved in Joedan's death.

Cynthia Vine told the inquest a man asked to babysit Joedan the day before he went missing claimed, "Sarah and Collyboy done it".

She said Darren Williams told her he saw the couple hitting Joedan at their house the night before he vanished.

Mr Williams denied the allegations put to him by counsel assisting the coroner, Stephen Rushton, SC.

"She (Ms Vine) said she told you to tell the police and you said, 'Collyboy told me not to change my story'," Mr Rushton said.

Mr Williams replied: "All sounds like a made-up story."

The inquest heard on Tuesday that Mr Williams was on an alcohol and marijuana bender at Mr Moore's home when he was asked him to look after Joedan.

He told the inquest the "little fella" looked happy when he saw him in the kitchen that night.

After hearing evidence, NSW deputy state coroner Malcolm MacPherson toured the mission.

Mr MacPherson and lawyers were shown where police found a child's shoulder bone and areas where body fluid was discovered.

Accompanied by police, Mr MacPherson also looked at Mr Moore's house and a site where a tree believed to be damaged in a car crash had once stood.

Mr Moore is on remand for allegedly soliciting an undercover police officer to kill Ms Andrews last year.

The inquest continues.

Herald Sun 17 Apr 2008

It is pathetic that these people share a space on this planet

Triple price rise for families

FAMILIES are facing a triple blow as yet another interest rate rise looms, petrol prices appear certain to jump, and inflation goes through the roof.

Economists say there is a 50-50 chance of a rate rise next month after inflation jumped above 4 per cent -- its highest level in almost seven years.

Another increase of 25 basis points by the Reserve Bank will take the average mortgage interest rate to 9.75 per cent.

Even if rates remain on hold, the 4.2 per cent inflation figure yesterday dashed hopes of a rates cut until well into next year.

And petrol prices are expected to climb to $1.60 a litre within weeks after a surge in crude oil prices.

The Consumer Price Index has jumped 1.3 per cent since December, driven by higher food, fuel and housing costs.

Just last week, most economists believed interest rates had probably peaked.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said inflation was "unacceptably high".

"I think they (prices) demonstrate the pain that people are feeling around the kitchen table, because they're simply unacceptably high," Mr Swan said.

"They underscore the need for a responsible Budget that gets spending under control and that tackles inflation and interest rate challenges."

The Treasurer is due to hand down his first Budget on May 13.

The Singapore Tapas price -- used by oil companies to set wholesale prices -- hit a record $124 a barrel yesterday.

Motorists were paying up to 155.9c a litre at the bowser, and the RACV warned the price could climb another 5c by early next month.

"If the crude price is sustainable, that is if it lasts for more than a week, that will flow through to motorists some time in May," RACV spokesman David Cumming said.

He said most Victorians had already filled up for the long weekend starting tomorrow.

"All the service stations I drove past on Tuesday night were completely packed. Motorists know that Tuesday is the best day to fill up," Mr Cumming said.

"That's why I don't understand why some stations put their prices up so high.

"They're not going to sell much fuel at those prices.

"Only a small number of people don't care about petrol prices."

CommSec equities economist Savanth Sebastian said the chance of a May interest rate hike had increased.

"The Reserve Bank aims to keep inflation between 2-3 per cent, but that goal is likely to remain out of reach without any lift in interest rates," Mr Sebastian said.

ANZ head of research Warren Hogan said homeowners would get no relief this year.

"There are no rate cuts coming before Christmas with inflation at these levels," Mr Hogan said.

Welfare groups said many families were struggling to cope with rising bills.

"For the first time ever, people who are on relatively good incomes are coming in to see welfare sector financial counsellors," Cath Smith of the Victorian Council of Social Services said.

Mr Swan said the latest inflation figures showed the Opposition failed to understand the pressures facing families.

"(Treasury spokesman) Malcolm Turnbull doesn't even recognise there's an inflation problem," he said.

Mr Turnbull, who in February said inflation was at manageable levels, yesterday said he had always emphasised the gravity of inflation.

But he said many of the underlying causes of inflation, such as oil prices, were beyond the control of government.

"The global credit crisis is going to put more upward pressure on rates and slow economic growth," Mr Turnbull said.

"That is why I encouraged the Reserve Bank not to raise official rates earlier this year and wait to see how the international situation developed."

Asked if the May Budget would now be even tougher, Mr Swan said: "We will be taking difficult decisions in this Budget when it comes to spending."

Herald Sun 24 Apr 2008

Police: McKenney Had 10 Doses of GHB

With each new day, more information is emerging about what happened in the crucial hours before Todd McKenney was discovered allegedly unconscious in Rushcutters Bay Park last Friday afternoon.

The Daily Telegraph today states that police have revealed McKenney had a glass vial containining 20ml of GHB in his pocket when he was arrested by police. Paul Dillon from NDARC says this is the equivalent of 10 doses, with a street value of $400.

More details have also emerged of what happened in the 12 hours before he was picked up. Witnesses have come forward to confirm McKenney was seen at DTPM’s Anzac Day Eve party at Tank the night before (click here to view Same Same’s photos from DTPM).

After Tank, he went to a friends place to “crash”, and also attended a party in Potts Point on Friday. The report says he left the party at 2:30pm, before being discovered banging his head against a fence fifty minutes later in Rushcutters Bay Park.

McKenney maintains his claim that he was the victim of a drink spiking. However, for the first time since he was arrested, McKenney has stopped talking to the media on instructions from his new lawyer and yesterday cancelled an afternoon press conference.

In a rather ironic twist, McKenney is scheduled to appear in the Adelaide Police Tattoo show this weeekend.

samesame.com.au - Christian Taylor, 29th April, 2008

Mc Kenney also referred to it a "G". So familiar with it, he called it by it's first name.

Todd McKenney loses licence for drink driving

V and radio host Todd McKenney is off the road for three months after pleading guilty to drink driving.

The Dancing with the Stars judge is used to handing out of his own verdicts, but today it was his turn.

Todd McKenney has been ordered to pay a 375 dollar fine and has lost his licence until July for a drink driving offence in March.

His lawyers tried to argue he needed the licence to from Bondi to Ryde to host a breakfast radio show.

But now the entertainer says he'll be looking for alternate transport.

“Maybe I’ll put an ad in the paper, maybe you can drive me…”

Livenews.com.au : http://www.livenews.com.au/Articles/2008/04/07/Todd_McKenney_loses_licence_for_drink_driving

Contempt of court

Meet lawyer Mark Morgan. He acted for a Victorian woman who was beaten up by police. Just last week Mark Morgan was given a four month suspended sentence for contempt of court: he could lose his practising certificate and he owes the state government hundreds of thousands of dollars. And the police who bashed his clients? They've never paid a cent. And neither has the State of Victoria.


The Law Report, 11 Sept 2007

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lawreport/stories/2007/2028246.htm

Another typical example of an oppressive biased law system.

New Big Brother shapes up as cruellest yet

Big Brother has started with a new focus on suffering — with housemates already given the task of deciding who will be evicted on the first morning.

The housemates — including a squeaky-voiced call centre operator, a "cranky" grandmother and a self-confessed bitch — have unknowingly been locked out of the house for the first night

ninemsn 28 Apr 2008

Frontline News on ninemsn National Nine News. The most important ground breaking news in the World. I cannot continue with the rest of this Entertainment Diarrhea.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Legal Aid Victoria supports criminals

Amidst speculation and pressure that Legal Aid Victoria is in support of Criminals, there is mounting evidence, that public monies are spent on protecting criminals.

Conversely, a recent matter indicates that a client requested legal aid for being unlawfully dismissed from the workplace. The client alleged that sexual harassment, discrimination and victimisation occurred within a Telecommunications giant. The client requested legal assistance, and after many telephone calls, none of which were returned by Legal Aid Victoria, the response given, after the client made a complaint to the Attorney Generals Department, Rob Hulls, was that Legal Aid decided that the matter was not in the interest of the public.

Legal Aid seeks to protect criminals who murder people, where there is overwhelming proof of the alleged crime, whereas it’s not a matter of protecting the individual that raises a concern against a corporate giant, but as a result this would have implications within the Industrial Relations Law reforms, which would benefit the general public as a whole. This is clearly an action / matter / trend that the government does not want to see the light of day, as it will give more rights to the worker, a move that is detrimental to the corporate community.

This clearly indicates that the Legal Aid is designed to protect criminals.

Insider dishes dirt on Big Brother's secrets

A giant bed, a conveyer belt for food and a "dwarf contestant" are some of the secrets Big Brother has been trying to hide in the lead-up to its 2008 debut, an insider says.

Big Brother returns for its eighth series tomorrow night, hoping to reignite the excitement it generated in its early days.

The show's producers have already unveiled several contestants, including a Pauline Hanson supporter, an Aboriginal health worker and notorious teen Corey Worthington.

ninemsn 27 Apr 2008

WOW !! A giant bed, and a conveyor belt for food, and most importantly of all LOSER EXTRAORDINAIRE, Corey. I cannot bring myself to even finish the cut and paste of this mental rape!

Carbon price to cost households: report

The introduction of an emissions trading scheme (ETS) in two years could cost poor households up to $1,300 a year, mainly through higher fuel costs, a report says.

The research released Sunday by the Brotherhood of St Laurence found a price on carbon would add an average $938 a year to low-income households in Victoria, or $18 a week.

Assuming a carbon price of $35 a tonne and no government benefits or changed behaviour, poor rural residents would be hardest hit, with household costs ballooning by an annual $1,173 to $1,306.

In outer Melbourne suburbs where people are more reliant on cars for transport, expenses are forecast to rise by $1,164 to $1,220 a year.

The report found carbon use was 10 per cent below the state average closer to the centre of Melbourne, where public transport is superior.

The charity said the information suggests people on low incomes prefer public transport where it is available.

The study uses National Institute of Economic and Industry Research estimates of expenditure by household types, using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

"Brotherhood research last year showed that imposing a carbon price will take a much bigger proportion of the income of poorer households than wealthy households, despite smaller 'carbon footprints'," Brotherhood executive director Tony Nicholson said.

"The latest findings show that those households in areas with little or no public transport or services will be even worse off."

He said the research was further evidence that emissions trading must be accompanied by measures to counter the impact on the poor and help them reduce emissions.

"We can no longer allow new communities to be built without ensuring public transport and other services are also in place."

Federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson said the government was aware of the need to look after low-income earners once emissions trading began in 2010.

"In developing the ETS we've basically said that the scheme has got to be based on economically responsible principles but also equity," he told ABC TV.

"We are conscious of the need especially to protect our energy-intensive export-exposed industries but also individual households."

Asked if emissions trading would push up petrol prices, Mr Ferguson said: "Energy generally will potentially increase in price."

Fuel companies have said in submissions to the Garnaut Review that a carbon price would push up petrol prices by 10 to 17 cents a litre, based on carbon pricing of $40-50 a tonne.

Economist Ross Garnaut, who will report to the government later in the year on climate change policy, has recommended in a discussion paper that transport, including private cars, be part of emissions trading.

Consumer Affairs Minister Chris Bowen was noncommittal on whether petrol would be included or excluded from the scheme.

"We're working through all these issues ... we're putting out a white paper later in the year," Mr Bowen told Sky News.

"There's more to do and more detail to be revealed."

ninemsn 27 Apr 2008

Just another tactic by the financiers to hit the people who cannot fight back. The people are being punished for a system that does not provide adequate transport to the outer suburbs, hence people must rely on their own transport.

KAZ exploits 3 month ‘probation’ loophole.

The government made a law that required employers to employ a prospective employee for a 3 month ‘probation’ period. This meant that during this time, the employee could get sacked without any repercussions to the employer.

The IT industry is generally an outsourced industry with both full time and contract employment. Professional employment within the IT industry is usually handled via agencies.

Agencies can charge a fee of a few hundred dollars, for a successful placement of a contract candidate, up to anything between $5,000 to $10,000 for a full time professional.

One way to exploit the system is that a firm may have a contract position that they outsource to the clients. As a contract position it may be worth $90-$100k to the contractor, and if it were full-time staff employment, it would be $50-60k. Instead of contracting it out, the company hires the employee as a permanent full-time, through an IT agency. If the employee gains successful employment, the IT agency then requires a service for providing the employee, for the sum of $5-10k. Successful employment is based upon the 3 month probation period.

A quick financial calculation will show that if a company hires a contract position at the full time rate, changing employee 4 times per annum (by not paying the agency, using the three month exploit) they can save : 40K salary + (4 x $10k) = $80,000 maximum, on the one position.

KAZ hired a person for a full time position, then terminated their employment, on the day the three month probation period ended. The excuse given was that it was performance based (which can be easily fabricated internally), but since this person was mainly on-site, the references received from the customer were quite the opposite.

KAZ pays out for unfair dismissal


One person that decided to take the matter further was someone by the name of abcdefghi”j”. Let’s call that person “J”. KAZ sacked “J” in a manner that was in breach of the law. The matter was then handed over to “J’s” lawyers, who found there was enough cause to take it further. Prior to the matter going to court, and therefore made public, “J” was given ‘hush money’ of approximately 9 months of his salary to not to take the matter further.

KAZ has struggled to obtain new customers, and their share prices have fallen from $1.40 to $0.12.
Telstra bought KAZ for a figure over $333 million, but it was once commented that $400 million was paid.