Friday, March 8, 2013
Research conducted in 2008 into anatase titanium dioxide found that the chemical's nanoparticles in sunscreen could react with sunlight to break down the coating of Colorbond roofs, Friends of the Earth said.
The study found that the nanoparticles increased the rate of sun damage to the roofs by 100 times, prompting worries about what it could do to human skin.
New research commissioned by the conservationist group has revealed six out of eight tested sunscreens still contain anatase titanium dioxide.
Friends of the Earth spokeswoman Louise Sales called for an immediate ban of the chemical in sunscreen.
"There are a lot of unknowns and there are no current studies looking at the impact of anatase titanium dioxide on the skin," Ms Sales told AAP.
Ms Sales it was "shocking" that there had been no government action on the use of the chemical in sunscreen, particularly those used by children, in five years.
She also said she felt Australia's sunscreen regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), had not kept up with the science.
"We believe a precautionary approach is best."
From July all sunscreens in Europe will be required to show labels listing all the nano-ingredients used in them, but there are no plans for such a move in Australia.
"There is currently no evidence to suggest that sunscreen products which incorporate nanotechnologies pose greater safety risks than other products," a spokeswoman for TGA said in a statement.
"The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has not identified any evidence that supports the proposed changes to labelling requirements in relation to nanoparticles."
Analysis of the diets and medical history of almost half a million men and women linked processed meat to deaths from cancer and heart disease.
The Europe-wide research, including work by Oxbridge scientists, found that processed meat is to blame for about one in 30 deaths. The researchers suggested a limit of no more than 20g a day of processed meat – equal to one rasher of bacon.
The warning comes in the wake of the horsemeat scandal which has caused many consumers to question the origins of their food.
Processed meat, made by combining the leftover parts of animals which cannot be sold as good
cuts such as steaks and joints, contains high concentrations of fat, including artery-clogging cholesterol.
The researchers from ten European countries quizzed almost 450,000 people, many of them Britons, and tracked their health for an average of 13 years.
They said: '‘Men and women with a high consumption of processed meat are at increased risk of early death, particularly due to cardiovascular diseases but also cancer.’'
Some 26,344 of the participants died over the course of the study, with those who ate the biggest amounts of processed meat being 44 per cent more likely to have died than those who ate the lowest amounts.
The figures for heart disease were striking – those who ate the most processed meat, more than 160g or three sausages a day, were 72 per cent more likely to die of heart disease.
A study last year found that eating 50g of processed meat a day – the equivalent of one sausage or three rashers of bacon – raises the likelihood of cancer by a fifth.
But in the latest, much bigger study, those who ate the most processed meat were almost 50 per cent more likely to suffer an early death, with heart disease the overwhelming cause.
The study, published in the journal BMC Medicine, concluded that a limit of 20g a day of processed meat – equal to a rasher of bacon or one full English breakfast a week – would prevent about 20,000 early deaths in the UK each year.
Tracy Parker, a dietician at the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘With spring in the air, many of us may be looking forward to sunny barbecues. But this research suggests processed meat, such as sausages and burgers, may be linked to an increased risk of early death.
‘'However, the people who ate the most processed meat in this study also made other unhealthy lifestyle choices.
‘'They were found to eat less fruit and vegetables and were more likely to smoke, which may have had an impact on results.’'
Professor Karol Sikora, one of Britain’s leading cancer specialists and an unpaid member of the industry-backed Meat Advisory Panel, said the key to good health is a balanced diet.
He said: ‘'Don’t worry about having a bacon sandwich. It is not going to kill you. But don’t have four bacon sandwiches every day for your whole life.’'
The amount of white meat eaten, such as chicken, was not linked to death rates by the researchers, while small amounts of red meat appeared beneficial.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Christopher ‘Badness' Binse proposes to girlfriend in court drama amid siege, robbery, theft and gun charges
“It means I love her. I just proposed … marriage,” he shouted at media inside the court.
Outside court the woman, who did not give her name, said she had accepted Binse’s proposal.
Binse is representing himself at a committal hearing after allegedly keeping police at bay in a 44-hour siege that gripped Melbourne last May.
It allegedly ended after police surrounding the house fired tear gas into the East Keilor home that forced him out.
As he stumbled outside, police fired beanbag rounds at Binse that brought him to the ground and enabled his arrest.
He is facing charges including making threats to kill, armed robbery, vehicle theft and being a prohibited person in charge of a firearm.
Among the charges was the armed robbery of an Armaguard van at Laverton in March when more than $200,000 was allegedly stolen.
Minutes after the hearing first started this morning Ms Ehrlich stood the matter down after Binse continued to shout out to the court.
He was ejected a further two times before Ms Ehrlich decided to adjourn the matter until tomorrow where Binse will be forced to appear via videolink.
During the hearing Binse accused police of “sabotage” over what he claimed to be missing evidence.
He also urged Ms Ehrlich not to “railroad” his attempt at justice.
“This is hard for me…this is your forte…I’m just trying to do the best I can,” he told her.
Binse said wanted the committal hearing to proceed for the “common good”.
“I’ve never worked with the state but I’m happy to do so now, for the community,” he said.
“I don’t want to hijack proceedings (but) this is in the public interest, believe me.
Binse attempted to give some documents to the media after saying he had been “gagged” by prison authorities, also said he wanted the court to understand his mental capacity at the time.
heraldsun.com.au 6 Mar 2013
What a joke the Australian legal system really is, where it cannot handle a criminal to be brought to trial.
Could a real reason be that corrupt judges are being paid off, not to proceed, or even better, to give lenient sentences.
Judges work closely with criminals in handing out 'favourable' sentences in exchange for 'drug money'.
The penalty imposed by the EU's executive arm, the Commission, is a first for Brussels: no company has ever failed to keep its end of a bargain with EU authorities before.
In 2009, Microsoft struck a broad settlement with the Commission to resolve disputes over Microsoft's abuse of the dominance of Windows, which had spanned more than a decade.
The company agreed to pay 860 million euros and promised to give Windows users the option of choosing another browser rather than having Microsoft's Internet Explorer automatically installed on their machines.
But Microsoft failed to stick to the deal for some 15 million installations of Windows 7 in Europe from May 2011 until July 2012. The company admitted the failure last year, adding that it was an oversight.
The Commission's top regulator, Joaquin Almunia, said at a press conference in Brussels, Belgium, that the fine reflected the size of the violation and the length of time it went on. It was also intended to make an example of Microsoft and deter other companies from doing same thing.
"A failure to comply is a very serious infringement that must be sanctioned accordingly," he said.
Mr Almunia has advocated negotiated settlements since he took office in 2010, saying competition issues are best resolved quickly. He says slapping big fines on companies years after the fact does little to help consumers.
But he said the whole point of a settlement is undermined when companies then don't abide by its terms.
"They must do what they committed to do, or face the consequences," he said.
Mr Almunia conceded that the Commission had been "naive" in appointing Microsoft itself to oversee compliance with the agreement, and said the Commission won't allow that in the future.
For its part, Microsoft was apologetic.
"We take full responsibility for the technical error that caused this problem and have apologised for it," the company said in a statement. "We provided the Commission with a complete and candid assessment of the situation, and we have taken steps ... to help avoid this mistake - or anything similar - in the future."
The company is required to offer consumers a choice of browsers through 2014.
In all, Microsoft has now paid a grand total of 2.2 billion euros in fines to the Commission since 1998, when regulators opened their first investigation against the company. Some of those fines were for failing to obey the commission's orders, but this is the first time a company has admitted to breaking a promise made to the EU regulator.
The competitive landscape has changed greatly in recent years, however. Tech companies are now often more concerned about Google dominance in Internet search technology, Facebook's dominance in social networking, and Apple's dominance in mobile phones and software than Microsoft's Windows operating system, though it is still dominant on personal desktop computers.
Rival browsers such as Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome have become popular, and software applications on mobile devices usually bypass browsers entirely.
In a sign of the times, Microsoft itself turned to the watchdog in 2012, asking it to investigate Google for anti-competitive practices.
A tearful Mr Baillieu announced that Major Projects Minister Denis Napthine would replace him after a day of turmoil caused by the shock decision of backbencher Geoff Shaw to quit the parliamentary party and move to the cross benches.
That decision means that the Coalition government could be ousted from office unless it can win Mr Shaw's support on key legislation, including the budget and any possible vote of no confidence.
Mr Baillieu said he had to go for the good of the party and that he would remain in parliament, killing Labor hopes of another by-election.
Dr Napthine is a former state Liberal leader who was ousted in a coup in 2002 before being given the chance to contest an election.
Mr Baillieu offered Dr Napthine, a factional ally, his full support.
"I will be staying on in parliament to support him," Mr Baillieu said. "He has my full support. He's an outstanding individual."
Ashen-faced senior ministers Louise Asher and David Davis left the party-room meeting with Mr Baillieu, who read from a statement and did not take questions.
Mr Baillieu resigned following a crisis meeting of Liberal MPs at parliament this evening called after MP Geoff Shaw quit the party, threatening the coalition's grip on power.
Mr Baillieu said a leadership change was in the best interests of the government.
"I love this state, I love the Liberal Party and I love this role that I have had the honour to enjoy over the last two and a bit years," Baillieu said.
"It is apparent to me that a change of leadership is in the best interests of the government."
Dr Napthine refused to explain why Mr Baillieu stood down.
"The explanation is that Mr Baillieu made a decision to step down as leader of the Liberal Party," he said.
"Mr Baillieu made his own decision to stand down.
"I will lead the party to the next election.
"Ted has put his heart and soul into the Victorian Liberal Party... for the best part of three decades," Dr Napthine added.
"He is not just a colleague, he is a great friend."
Dr Napthine, who turnd 61 today, said he had been proud to serve under the Baillieu government, which came to power at the state election in 2010.
"I look forward to providing strong, stable and positive government for the people of Victoria," he said.
Earlier today Mr Baillieu had declared he was "confident" the Coalition will continue to govern in Victoria, despite the shock resignation Mr Shaw threatening his hold on power.
Mr Shaw's decision to quit the Liberal Party and sit as an independent has plunged Mr Baillieu's government further into crisis, following growing pressure on his leadership.
Mr Shaw's resignation leaves the Liberal-National coalition with 44 seats in the 88-seat lower house and Labor 43, assuming it retains the safe seat of Lyndhurst at a by-election next month.
Mr Baillieu said the controversial former Liberal, who would sit on the crossbenches, gave the government a short resignation letter this morning but did not provide detailed reasons for his decision.
His resignation means the coalition will likely have to rely on his vote to get laws through the parliament.
Asked if Mr Shaw would support the government, Mr Baillieu said: “I understand he will be considering his position.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding his government, Mr Baillieu emerged from a meeting of Liberal and National MPs today to declare his party would govern “decisively” and push its “strong agenda”.
“I am confident we will continue to govern,” he told reporters as he entered question time.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said he would not actively pursue Mr Shaw's vote.
“How Mr Shaw votes is up to him,” Mr Andrews said.
“I don't think Mr Shaw will be offering his vote to anyone. I won't seek his vote and I will not seek to change the dynamic on the floor to seek his vote.
“That circus is run up in Canberra and I won't be doing it here.”
Mr Andrews said every Victorian was keen to see why Mr Shaw had effectively sacked Mr Baillieu and the Liberal Party.
“He is not so much running a government, he is running a complete and utter circus,” he said of Mr Baillieu.
“This government is doing nothing to deliver for the people of this state other than to lurch from one crisis to the next.”
Mr Shaw's resignation sparked a series of crisis talks in the parliament and heaped more pressure on the leadership of Mr Baillieu, following poor polling and the secret Liberal Party tapes issue.
Mr Shaw was expected later today to explain his resignation.
“Mr Shaw, the Member for Frankston, has resigned from the parliamentary Liberal Party,” the leader of the Liberal Party in the upper house, David Davis, told parliament.
Mr Davis, asked by the opposition whether the Baillieu government still existed, said matters of confidence would be dealt with in the lower house.
“I can state that the government is very much determined to press forward.”
Mr Davis said he was unaware of any undertaking by Mr Shaw to support the government, which until today controlled the lower house with a one-seat majority.
Mr Shaw failed to vote in the first division called following his resignation.
The government won the vote 43 to Labor's 42. Labor's numbers are currently down from 43 because of the decision of Labor's Tim Holding to quit politics, forcing a by-election in his seat of Lyndhurst on April 27.
Mr Baillieu said today's events would not change the party's decision not to run a candidate in the by-election.
Mr Andrews said a move to the cross benches would mean Mr Shaw has to OK everything the government wants to do.
“It would seem that very piece of legislation, everything this government wants to do, will now have to be the product of a negotiation with Geoff Shaw, and in that endeavour I wish Ted Baillieu luck. I think he'll need it,” Mr Andrews told Fairfax Radio.
Police late last year launched a criminal investigation into Mr Shaw after he was allegedly found to have rorted his taxpayer entitlements over the use of his parliamentary car.
In other controversies, Mr Shaw made lewd gestures at the opposition during a question time; likened legalising homosexuality to legalising child molestation, speed driving and murder; was involved in a roadside punch-up with a young motorist in 2011; was fined and put on a good behaviour bond after being charged over a 1992 assault at a Frankston nightclub; and allegedly called Labor MP James Merlino a “midget” in question time.
Earlier today, Mr Baillieu insisted his government was united, amid criticism from his own backbench and ongoing leadership speculation.
Liberal backbencher Bill Tilley said while he believed Mr Baillieu was listening, the government's leadership team needed to revamp the way it dealt with the backbench.
“It's a management thing,” Mr Tilley said.
“There should be some further and significant conversations: how to interact with the executive and the backbenchers to deliver the right, the proper and accurate messages to Victoria.”
Mr Tilley is annoyed with Mr Baillieu over comments he made about him in parliament yesterday.
Mr Baillieu told parliament Mr Tilley quit his role as parliamentary secretary to Police Minister Peter Ryan because his conduct was inconsistent with the role.
Mr Tilley said he was unhappy with the Premier's comments and wanted to speak with him today.
“There was some inaccuracies and I just want to correct those.
“They're taking some things from a report that was tabled by the Office of Police Integrity (OPI) and adding some things that certainly weren't part of that report.”
Mr Tilley resigned as parliamentary secretary after he was criticised by the OPI over a plot to oust former chief police commissioner Simon Overland.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy, who has publicly supported Mr Baillieu this week, is widely regarded as a potential future Liberal leader.
The Premier said he had no need to ask Mr Guy to pledge his support.
“Matthew and I get on very well. I know he's very supportive,” Mr Baillieu said.
The government has been thrown into turmoil this week with the airing of secretly-recorded telephone conversations reportedly involving Mr Baillieu's chief of staff Tony Nutt and a former adviser to Mr Ryan, Tristan Weston.
Mr Weston quit after the OPI found he was involved in a plot to undermine Mr Overland.
The secret recordings and receipts leaked to the Herald Sun reportedly show Mr Weston was paid $22,500 by the Liberal Party after leaving Mr Ryan's office.
Liberal state director Damien Mantach reportedly authorised the payment to Mr Weston.
Mr Baillieu said he did not believe any serious corruption had occurred despite referring the matter to the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC).
theaustralian.com.au 6 Mar 2013
Ted Baillieu is involved in elaborate corruption involving Victoria's ex 'top dog' police chief Simon Overland together with others in drugs, prostitution and links to the criminal 'bikie' underworld.
The corporate media is (deliberately) slow in exposing the truth behind the multimillion dollar fraud and corruption in government.
Another win to the 'corporatocracy'.
Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor said new figures revealed that a surge in skilled 457 visas had seen wages tumble in the information, communications and technology sector, as foreign workers accepted pay cuts of between $7200 and $8300.
Mr O'Connor said there had been a 68 per cent leap in the number of 457 visas in the ICT sector over the past four years, the biggest rise of any industry.
But wages for those workers had dropped between 5 and 12 per cent, despite overall wage growth across the economy.
"In these professions the average 457 visa worker is now paid less than Australian workers," Mr O'Connor said.
"The trend is clear and if it is allowed to continue it could lead to wage cuts for Australian workers and permanent skilled migrants."
Mr O'Connor said the new figures covered web developers, software engineers, database administrators and IT security specialists.
There have been claims that pay levels have been manipulated by some rogue employers in the IT industry in Melbourne and Sydney.
Mr O'Connor said he strongly supported the 457 visa scheme when it was used to fill genuine shortages, but in some industries there was a "saturation of 457 visas" and it was driving down wages.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Labor's crackdown was putting Australian workers first. But the government was embarrassed by former MP Pauline Hanson welcoming that position as "vindication" of her controversial policies in the late 1990s.
The PM rejected claims she had embraced Mrs Hanson's policies.
"I want to see Australian workers put first. Full stop. That's it," she said.
Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey seized on Mrs Hanson's comments.
"It says everything about the modern Labor Party and where it is going and what it believes in, which is nothing," he said.
Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox rejected the claim 457 visas were putting downward pressure on Australian workers' wages.
He said the debate was "running completely off the rails". He said only three companies had been prosecuted for misusing the system since 2009.
heraldsun.com.au 6 Mar 2013
While diverting the attention of the herd population to the 'boat people' saga, the government has been allowing entry of so called 'students' to saturate Australia's job market.
The majority of Indian 'students' have been working illegally in many industries with the support of the authorities.
The 'learning' institutions have been part of the fraud, in where students who have been enrolled in courses did not show up to classes only to bribe the lecturers.
Authorities deliberately turn a blind eye with no 'blitz' in sight.
Another government supported fraud.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
After months of delays, the state government has introduced new laws giving Victoria’s first corruption watchdog sweeping powers to investigate politicians and their staff, as well as judges, public prosecutors, police, local councillors, the auditor-general and the governor.
But an examination of the 102-page bill reveals that while the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission must report to Parliament, it will not have the power to publicise information against judges.
‘‘The IBAC must not include any finding of corrupt conduct of a judicial officer, or any other adverse finding relating to a judicial officer arising from an investigation in a special report ... or an annual report,’’ the legislation says.
The Baillieu government's leading expert on its anti-corruption watchdog has broken his silence to reveal he believes the body is ''seriously flawed'' and the Coalition has constrained its powers.
Former Court of Appeal judge Stephen Charles, QC, who chaired the government's four-person expert panel on the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission, said it was unlikely the watchdog would be able to investigate the kind of corruption allegations engulfing the New South Wales Labor Party.
Mr Charles said that before it begins an investigation, IBAC is required to have enough of the facts to reach a reasonable conclusion that serious corruption may have occurred. A mere suspicion is not enough, he said.
The world-first population study has uncovered the strongest evidence for adding fluoride to water sources.
The director of the university's Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, Professor Kaye Roberts-Thomson, said the results add to evidence that fluoride in drinking water benefits the dental health of children.
"By looking right across the Australian population, we now have good evidence that fluoride in drinking water is effective in preventing tooth decay in adults," Professor Roberts-Thomson said.
The study used data from a random sample of 3800 Australians aged 15 and over.
"We've known for some time that fluoridated drinking water can prevent tooth decay in children, but this is the first time that research has conclusively shown this in an adult population," she said.
The researchers found adults with more than a 75 per cent lifetime exposure to water fluoridation have up to a 30 per cent reduction in tooth decay compared to those with less than 25 per cent lifetime exposure.
The study found those born before water fluoridation existed had benefited from its addition to drinking water.
The study, published in the Journal of Dental Research today, follows controversy surrounding MLC Ann Bressington after she shared a "Wanted" poster on her Facebook page, which said Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek had committed crimes against humanity by allowing fluoride in the water.
Prof Roberts-Thomson said that, given that controversy, it was important to know that evidence was stacked in favour of long-term exposure to fluoride in drinking water.
Australian Dental Association president Dr Karin Alexander said, "The ADA continues to be dismayed with the scaremongering from fringe groups that lack consideration of the . . . scientific evidence . . . of the significant benefits for dental health that occurs from the fluoridation of water supplies."
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The secret work was done and evidence was taken in response to the decisions made by the Packer/Murdoch-led Ten board to scrap the Ten digital channel, One, which had been entirely devoted to sport.
At the time the Packer-controlled Consolidated Media Holdings had a 50 per cent interest in subscription producer of sport Premier Media Group. The other 50 per cent was owned by News Corporation - which is controlled by Murdoch's father, Rupert.
The transformation of One from a sport channel into a broader entertainment channel was explained by the new management of Ten as purely financial. The digital upstart was losing money and rating poorly.
theage.com.au 5 Mar 2013
The policy with regards to globalisation and a new world order is to favour the chosen multinationals who are part of the ruling elite, to the detriment of the general populous.
The ACCC currently supports the actions of the supermarket duopoly, to the detriment of the consumer with the petrol discounting.
To the lay man or the Joe Average an authority may seem useless or even spineless, but is following the orders that ultimately bring (official) slavery of the masses to the system.
Her comments come as the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption today resumes its inquiry into the conduct of some NSW Labor politicians, amid allegations of rampant corruption in the awarding of mining deals.
There are concerns within federal Labor that evidence so far to the inquiry is having an adverse impact on the Gillard government's standing with voters, especially in western Sydney.
news.com.au 5 Mar 2013
Another pathetic lie, of similar calibre to the 'No Carbon Tax' promise prior to her being elected by politicians, and not the masses.
Politicians are involved in fraud and corruption worth many hundreds of millions of dollars at the community's expense.
Cover ups and legal 'bungles' ensure that the pollies can still carry on, whilst their wages are supported by the tax payer.
Corrupt politicians look out for their 'kind' and if not the Anglo-Masonic brotherhood will make sure they get away without wither convictions or any jail time.
Corpau can give a list of corrupt politicians to the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, but it will be of little or no consequence to their corrupt dealings.
Per capita, Australia's politicians are more corrupt than the society they serve.
Under examination by Crown prosecutor Christopher Beale, SC, Witness B said Williams had told him a policeman named Paul was providing him with information about surveillance.
Witness B said the alleged information seemed “pretty good”.
It was alleged that Mr Dale was the officer being referred to, and that he warned Williams that police were carrying out surveillance on a particular drug lab that Williams was connected with.
Witness B told the court that Williams was told to distance himself, and if he did he would not be arrested.
During cross-examination, defence counsel Geoffrey Steward established that Witness B had never met or spoken with Mr Dale and had never heard Mr Dale speak a word to Williams.
Witness B admitted to having supplied guns that were used to kill people and to “prodigious” drug trafficking.
When asked if he knew how many murders Carl Williams was responsible for, Witness B replied: “A fair few.”
He said he believed his former associate was linked to the murders of Jason Moran, Mark Moran, Mark Mallia, Nik Radev, Lewis Moran and an attempted murder and a conspiracy to murder, and that Williams had admitted to having had Graham “The Munster” Kinniburgh killed because he believed Kinniburgh had the means to have him murdered.
Mr Dale is accused of lying to the Australian Crime Commission about his relationship with Carl Williams.
He has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges relating to answers he gave while being questioned in March 2007 and November 2008.
In his opening address, Mr Beale said Mr Dale had told ACC examiners his relationship with Williams had consisted of two planned meetings and an accidental encounter, each of which had been documented.
But Mr Beale alleged Mr Dale had an "ongoing, secret relationship'' with Williams, and had lied to the ACC because he believed he was suspected of involvement in the murder of police informer Terry Hodson and his wife, Christine.
Carl’s father, George Williams, last week told the court that he had driven his son to two secret meetings with a man he believed was Mr Dale.
He said one rendezvous was in the suburb of Hillside; the other was a 10-minute meeting at a suburban leisure centre, to which Carl took $6000.
Mr Williams said Carl later told him he'd been provided with ``swimming trunks'' and that he and Mr Dale walked in the pool -- an act Carl found amusing.
Today, Witness B agreed that Carl Williams had been a liar to certain people, a cheat, a man interested almost exclusively in himself and a big-noting multiple killer.
The witness denied suggestions that he himself was a dishonourable man.
The trial, before Justice Elizabeth Curtain, continues.
heraldsun.com.au 4 Mar 2013
Another corrupt copper dealing in drugs with links to local biker gangs in Broadmeadows, in Melbourne's north.
Watch now how the farcical legal system works.
Police often have links to the criminal underworld, an action known to government and supported by lawyers and corrupt judges.
Monday, March 4, 2013
More than four hours of digital audio recordings and documents have emerged revealing former adviser Tristan Weston - who quit in the wake of an OPI report into the split between top cops Simon Overland and Sir Ken Jones - was paid $22,500 by the Liberal Party.
The payments were made after Mr Weston was forced to resign as an adviser to Deputy Premier and Police Minister Peter Ryan.
The tapes also reveal that Mr Weston was repeatedly offered help in finding a new job by the Premier's most senior adviser, Tony Nutt - actions at odds with Ted Baillieu's public assurances that his office was not assisting the former adviser.
"I mean, I know Gina Rinehart," Mr Nutt told Mr Weston in a phone conversation on July 10, 2012.
A source has provided the Herald Sun with digital recordings of three phone conversations and two meetings involving Mr Weston, Mr Nutt, and the Victorian director of the Liberal Party, Damien Mantach.
The Herald Sun played no role in recording the conversations.
In them, Mr Nutt told Mr Weston "there's lots of people we collectively know ... Damien knows, I know and Ted knows. You shouldn't feel that the Liberal family is suddenly going to ... wave you and your family goodbye."
In one tape, when Mr Nutt tells Mr Weston he must resign, Mr Nutt says: "I appreciate that there may be more there ... but he's the Deputy Premier in a one-seat majority government."
Mr Weston yesterday stood by his version of events: "I was always taught that if you can't say something nice about someone, you should say nothing at all."
Mr Ryan's spokesman Paul Price said: "The OPI exhaustively investigated these issues and published findings adverse to Mr Weston. Mr Ryan stands by all comments made in all forums regarding these issues."
I'll help you get a job ... I know Gina
TED Baillieu's top adviser repeatedly promised a former adviser to Police Minister Peter Ryan he would help him get a new job - revelations at odds with the Premier's assurances.
In a phone conversation recorded on July 10, Mr Baillieu's chief of staff, Tony Nutt, even told Tristan Weston he knew Gina Rinehart, indicating he'd approach her to give him work.
Mr Weston said he was interested in doing security assessment work in the mining industry, and Mr Nutt said he was happy to oblige.
"There's a lot of ... people ... I know in the mining industry ... I'm a Perth boy originally, you know. I mean, I know Gina Rinehart," Mr Nutt said in the call.
"I've met a lot them, and the ones I don't know, I know the bloke who knows the bloke who set up the company 30 years ago, or something. So you know, I know a lot of those people."
The call to Mr Weston came a day after Mr Weston told Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach he was annoyed at Mr Ryan's comments about him: "I think, you know, Peter Ryan tends to run off at the mouth, and it would be in his best interests not to, mate."
The offer of job assistance was in addition to $22,500 paid to Mr Weston on the say-so of Mr Mantach, who in one recording can be heard reminding him: "I am the person who stepped in and put you on a payroll for three months ... And you know, I didn't have to do that, and I did."
Mr Nutt's offer, and other promises of assistance, were made both before and after October, 2011, when Mr Weston resigned following the OPI's accusation he had run a campaign against police chief Simon Overland.
Last July, broadcaster Neil Mitchell put it to Mr Baillieu that Mr Weston had "taken a fall" and that Deputy Premier Peter Ryan was "up to his neck in it and to help square things off your people are trying to get him a job".
Mr Baillieu replied: "I don't believe that's the case", and "I just don't think there's any credibility to that scenario".
The recordings reveal Mr Nutt's first promise to Mr Weston was made even before the OPI had tabled its report on crisis in police command.
A week before the OPI report became public, in October, 2011, Mr Nutt met Mr Weston and Mr Mantach at the Liberal Party's headquarters in Exhibition St.
None of them knew whether the OPI's report would clear Mr Weston of misconduct, criticise him, or recommend he be charged.
But Mr Nutt was keen to reassure Mr Weston that whatever the report found, the Premier and the Liberal Party would not forget him.
"(There's) lots of people that we collectively all know - Damien knows and I know and Ted knows and lots of people know, um - in the wider world.
''So if that's where we wind up in a month or two, with you looking to the wider world, then I think that you shouldn't feel that the Liberal family is suddenly sort of going to say, 'Thank you very much' and wave you and your family goodbye.
"You know, that's not the way we work," he said.
At the same meeting, the two men discussed with Mr Weston how he could avoid the media in the days after the report was released.
Mr Mantach said the party could find Mr Weston and his family accommodation at short notice.
"We can quickly find a cottage or a house or, you know, another sort of accommodation you need. You know, down the west somewhere I think would be good, where you're right out of the Melbourne CBD," he said.
"You know, in a quiet town somewhere, whether it's Queenscliff or Point Lonsdale, or further down at Anglesea or Apollo Bay or somewhere, that's - you've got to go away, mate. I mean, the last thing we want is media turning up at school, and on this sort of issue."
The day before the report was tabled, the three men met again.
At this meeting, Mr Nutt told Mr Weston he had read the report - "they've really gone after you" - and it would be impossible for Mr Weston to keep working for the Government, especially as the OPI was signalling it might still charge him.
But after helping Mr Weston to draft his resignation letter, Mr Nutt made it clear he was prepared to help Mr Weston find work in the mining industry, once the controversy had died down.
"I would be in a position to say to people directly, well, look, you know, there's been unpleasantness, pretty political, but, you know, if you're looking for a good quality person, here's a good quality person," he said.
In July, 2012, a week after the OPI said it would not charge Mr Weston, Mr Nutt rang him to discuss what help he could be.
"So given that that's now clear, and given there's no question of any legal proceedings against you, then I think it would be good to sort of ramp up the assistance," he said.
"You know, happy to assist. But obviously I don't want to go blundering around the place if you've got something lined up, subject to clearance.
''But if ... it's something we can do to help, we'd be keen to do that now that we're not in this awful environment of ... can the Premier's office say something to someone, and then he's charged a week later?"
heraldsun.com.au 4 Mar 2013
This is literally the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to the corruption involved.
Many members of the police force including Victoria's previous 'top dog ' are involved in criminal activities with current links to drug syndicates.
The public will never be made aware of the true extent of the corruption.
Bandidos heavy Toby Mitchell knew it was coming. It was only the time and the place that took him by surprise.
Still recovering from the first attempt on his life, Mitchell, 38, was convinced there would soon be another.
In the past 10 days, he has told associates he suspected a heavy inside prison was planning to kill him but was confident he would be ready to defend himself when the time came.
But on Friday night, a gunfight was the last thing on his mind. It was the end of the week and time to let his close-cropped hair down. He and a handful of mates started the evening drinking beers in Brunswick, and about 9.30pm headed to Melton in three or four cars to continue socialising at the Bandidos-affiliated Diablos' clubhouse.
When they pulled up outside the fortified club in Norton Drive, they failed to notice a hit crew had been following them.
Immediately, gunmen in two vehicles began shooting, firing at least 30 shots towards Mitchell, peppering the enforcer's car. Mitchell jumped in a second car to escape. His men returned fire in the gun battle, which lasted only a few seconds.
Despite the number of shots fired towards him, Mitchell escaped with just one bullet wound to the right bicep.
The reason for the attack and the identity of the gunmen remain unclear, although senior Bandidos suspect a Middle Eastern gang known to prefer rapid drive-by shooting tactics.
''And they can't f-----g shoot straight,'' one said.
Police recovered cash and drugs at the scene.
Detectives have yet to establish if the attack on Mitchell is part of a larger bikie feud or a personal vendetta. And as is usually the case in matters such as this, the victim isn't talking to them.
The attack was near the clubhouse of another bikie gang, the Satan's Soldiers, but police sources said this group was unlikely to have been involved.
Two injured men were driven to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for treatment, with Mitchell undergoing surgery to his upper arm.
In November 2011, the physically imposing Mitchell, the Bandidos' sergeant-at-arms and a former kickboxer, was near death after he was shot five times outside Doherty's Gym in Brunswick.
He was on life support for weeks, lost a kidney and part of his liver and, when he was finally released, much of his gym-honed muscle tone.
For months he walked with the aid of a cane, but he seems to have returned to rude health, recently flying to Thailand on business.
No one has been charged over the Brunswick shooting, although police believe a member of the notorious jail gang the Prisoners of War was deeply involved.
The shooting comes as police are becoming increasingly concerned at what they see as a policy of aggressive infiltration by bikie clubs into legitimate industries, including debt collecting, nightclub security, heavy haulage and the entertainment sector.
The police Echo taskforce, which investigates outlaw motorcycle gangs, is gathering information on a potential turf war based on the Rebels launching a major recruiting plan to be the dominant gang in Australia. They have been told the Hells Angels, Comancheros and Bandidos are considering joining forces to block the Rebels.
Corrections Victoria says bikie gangs are recruiting inmates to swell their numbers when the prisoners are finally released.
Police are preparing for an influx of interstate bikies, with national runs of the Finks and the Comancheros due to travel through Victoria in the next month.
REBELS bikie gang members have infiltrated "positions of trust" in up to 20 federal and state government departments, including the Department of Defence and ASIC.The revelations follow a top-to-bottom analysis of the Rebels gang by the ACC.
The names of more than 2000 members and associates across the country including wives, girlfriends, friends, prospective members and nominees for the group were put through databases to identify their work and business history, migration status and tax records.
Attero senior investigator John De Candia and ACC New South Wales manager Warren Gray, said a small but significant number of people were red-flagged as part of the exercise. "We are exposing Rebels and their associates in many positions of trust right across society which are there for the advantage for the group," he said.
"We're working with a whole lot of internal investigation sections of those departments."
Supt De Candia, who has been leading the taskforce, said several government agencies had moved to fix their vulnerabilities.
It is understood up to 20 departments are talking with the ACC about specific employees who are active or linked to the club.
"I'm not saying in every case their employment is tainted but, make no mistake they're not stupid and they will strategically look at different areas and people so they can get positioned," he said.
"They might not talk to that person about anything to do with the Rebels, but when the time is right ... they might only need a tiny skerrick of information which will be sufficient, but that gives them a foothold into that department."
The cases mirror that of Hells Angels chapter president Derek Wainohu, who, in 2009, was outed as having worked for two decades with the former RTA.
Another associate, a former NSW police officer, was removed from the force after being found guilty of selling cocaine and ecstasy to an undercover officer in 2010.
A senior Rebel said the police attention was based on unfounded claims of criminality.
He said most Rebels members adhered to strict club rules, did not break the law and were good people with ordinary jobs. The bad eggs were rarely patched members of the club, he said..
"They're associates they're someone who knows someone, they're not part of our club," the member said.
"There's a lot of guys out there who name drop and that's our biggest problem."
news.com.au 3 Mar 2013
The criminal underworld has been involved with many 'top jobs' for decades, a fact that is not new, but rather ignored by the authorities.
The corruption also involves judges, lawyers, some of Australia's top legal firms, law makers and police.
The proceeds of criminal activities allows criminals to amass fortunes of in excess of 40 properties, with the help of corruption in the tax office (ATO) and other authorities.
It is doubtful if the true king pins will be exposed by any actions of any so called 'war against crime' policy.