Handling of sex crimes in Queensland defended

Reposted froma story by: Renee Viellaris, Sarah Vogler  From: The Courier-Mail  December 07, 2012 12:30AM


Child Safety Minister Tracy Davis

APPROPRIATE HANDLING: Minister for Communities and Child Safety Tracy Davis. Picture: Darren England Source: The Courier-Mail

CHILD Safety Minister Tracy Davis needs to urgently step in and exercise her ministerial powers over cases where the State Government is using legal tactics to try to silence foster families.

CHILD Safety Minister Tracy Davis is refusing to explain why  taxpayer funds are being used to threaten a mother who was wronged by her department.
A MOTHER fighting Child Safety to get justice for her son says she has been overwhelmed by public support and no longer feels she is a “bad parent”.

CHILD Safety Minister Tracy Davis has defended the legal tactics of her department, which is blaming victims for being sexually assaulted by foster children.

Ms Davis said the Child Safety Department was doing a good job of placing foster kids, although some wards of the state have been charged or convicted of committing heinous crimes against foster families.

“I am satisfied that the Government is handling these legal proceedings appropriately,” she said when asked why her department was blaming foster parents for the crimes committed against their biological children.

Asked why the department was placing foster children with sexualised behaviours with young families she said: “The department identifies potential and suitable foster carers for children in these situations and also provides counselling and specialised support services if necessary.”


Ms Davis made the comments after the office of Premier Campbell Newman asked her to respond to questions from The Courier-Mail.

It was sparked after Mr Newman yesterday trumpeted his new child-sex laws on ABC Radio.

Internal Child Safety documents show the department did not tell a mother about the full sexualised history of a foster boy who has now been charged with raping her eight-year-old boy.

In another case, three daughters were sexually assaulted by a foster boy who had earlier been convicted of raping a three-year-old girl.

Both families are now suing and the department has lodged contribution claims against them. In the first case the department said the mother should have better supervised the foster boy and in the other case it said that the teenage girls should have locked their bedroom doors.

It means the department wants the parents to pay for any court-ordered compensation, and forces them to get separate lawyers for their children.

A spokeswoman for Mr Newman said the Premier could not respond to The Courier-Mail’s questions because he was in Canberra in meetings at the Council of Australian Governments forum.

The Courier-Mail asked Mr Newman to respond to the questions yesterday, including: Has the Premier been disturbed or upset by stories revealed in The Courier-Mail that show the parents of child-sex victims are being hit with contribution claims by the department? He was also asked whether he believed the Child Safety Department was a good department working well

Australian Disabled forced to sue to get funding

Reposted from a story from Australia from the Network Syndicated news.com News




The federal government is set to part fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme by requiring those whose disability is acquired through an injury to sue for compensation. Source: HWT Image Library

Legislation underpinning the NDIS introduced into parliament last week says the government will then require any compensation a person is awarded for care and support be handed back to cover the cost of any NDIS services.

If a person refuses the direction to take the legal action their care and support under the NDIS will be “suspended”, the legislation says.

The measure has been described as “disconcerting” and against the fundamental no-fault principle of the NDIS by former AMA president Dr Andrew Pesce, who advised the Productivity Commission which drafted the NDIS, and now advises the government on aspects of the scheme.

“Everyone was working on the idea that with an NDIS we were moving from having to sue to a statutory no-fault scheme,” he said.


“This is a very unexpected development and if it goes through it will be a fundamental change to what people were talking about,” he said.

Greens Senator and disability spokeswoman Rachel Siewert said the clauses are “potentially quite contentious” and she will be having the concept closely examined as part of a Senate inquiry into the legislation.

“The way it is worded at the moment I think could leave open a loophole in the future to forcing people into expensive, destructive drawn out legal cases,” she said.

“This is stressful for the individual and the family,” she said.

Opposition disability spokesman Senator Mitch Fifield said he had “serious reservations” about a government agency having the capacity to compel an individual to take legal action.

“It may be appropriate for the individual to be able assign to the NDIS agency their right to take legal action on their behalf, but it is a big step for there to be a requirement that a vulnerable individual take legal action,” he said.

He too wants the issue examined closely by a Senate inquiry.

A spokeswoman for Disability Reform Minister Jenny Macklin said the legislation ensures that people with disability don’t miss out on opportunities to claim compensation where reasonable.

“We don’t want to create an incentive for employers, for example, to soften their approach to workplace safety because they will no longer have to pick up the bill for any injuries or disabilities caused at work,” she said.

“This is not an either or. It’s about giving people access to the scheme and any compensation they are entitled to and people can still be covered by the scheme while pursuing compensation.”

It is expected a person will only be asked to pursue compensation where there is a reasonable prospect that a claim would be successful and where taking that action would not cause an unreasonable financial burden.

National Disability Services chief Dr Ken Baker said the clauses are intended to make sure someone who is entitled to funding for their disability outside the NDIS gets that money.

“It’s so that other systems don’t transfer their costs and obligations onto the NDIS,” he said.

However he says the legislation would have to ensure that people who could not afford legal action were not forced into it and the stress and hardship a legal case would have on a persons disability should also be considered.

In its blueprint for the NDIS the Productivity Commission was critical of using the common law to pursue compensation, showing that up to 70 per cent of the payout often ended up covering legal costs.

Many accident victims had to wait between 4 and 23 years to get their compensation, it found.

Over 20,000 Australians currently suffer from a catastrophic injury and another 1000 are injured each year.

Almost half these injuries are due to motor vehicle accidents, eight per cent are work related, 11 per cent arise from medical incidents and the remaining 32 per cent are due to sporting injuries, criminal assault or accidents in the home.

While four states – NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory – have no fault motor vehicle accident schemes that could provide compensation without an ugly legal battle, other states do not.

The government is still examining the Productivity Commission’s call for a national no fault National Injury Insurance Scheme that would cover these types of injury funded from insurance premiums

English man recieves letter cancelling benefits saying he is fit for work while in intensive care only hours after surgery

Double heart bypass patient in post-operative intensive care is sent Government letter ordering him back to work

  • Danny Shurmer, 60, was recovering in Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital
  • Had benefits withdrawn and didn’t win an appeal until nine months later
  • Controversial Work Capability Assessment carried out by ATOS

By William Cook

PUBLISHED: 12:48 EST, 8 November 2012 | UPDATED: 16:18 EST, 8 November 2012

// A heart patient was told he was fit for work – just a day after a double heart bypass operation.

Danny Shurmer, 60, received the letter from a healthcare firm working on behalf of the Government as he recovered in the intensive care unit of Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.

His is one of a number of cases in which sick and disabled people have been ordered back to work under the Government’s controversial Work Capability Assessment.

Danny Shurmer was recovering from a double heart bypass when he got a letter declaring him 'fit to work'Danny Shurmer was recovering from a double heart bypass when he got a letter declaring him ‘fit to work’

The former welder, from Gaerwen on Anglesey, is among more than 2,000 people on sickness and disability benefits in North Wales who have been ordered back to work after their cases were re-assessed.

Mr Shurmer said: ‘I was in intensive care when my daughter came in with the letter. I was shocked. Even the consultant could not believe it.’



 Mr Shurmer’s employment and support allowance (ESA) – a benefit which has replaced incapacity benefit – was later stopped. It was only restarted after he went to a tribunal.

He was given the ‘fit for work’ bombshell weeks after a medical examination by doctors from French healthcare firm ATOS, which carries out the Work Capability Assessment on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions.

Optimistic? Mr Shurmer won an appeal against the withdrawal of his benefitsOptimistic? Mr Shurmer won an appeal against the withdrawal of his benefits

Mr Shurmer, who didn’t win his tribunal until nine months after the withdrawal of benefit, had three more bypasses in July this year at the same hospital.

He was examined again last week by an ATOS doctor and is awaiting a decision.

Asked whether he is optimistic or not, he replied ‘God knows’.

The Government ordered fresh assessments on thousands of people claiming incapacity benefits back in 2010.

Charities have voiced concern that the the Work Capability Assessment is unfair.

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of disability charity Scope said: ‘The latest figures released showing the number of people found ‘fit for work’ need to be taken with a large pinch of salt. There remains an alarming dossier of evidence that the Work Capability Assessment is a deeply flawed test.

But DWP statistics show 41% of claimants have appealed against decisions on their benefits after the tests, with 38% having previous decisions overturned. Factoring in these successful appeals would significantly lower the number of people found ‘fit for work’.

A DWP spokesperson said:‬‪ ‘A decision on whether someone is well enough to work is taken following a thorough face to face assessment and after consideration of all the supporting medical evidence provided by the claimant at the time.

‘We encourage people to provide as much medical evidence as possible when they apply for ESA. There will inevitably be a period of time between someone’s assessment and them receiving their letter.‬‬ ‪‬‪‪

‘Since 2010 we have considerably improved the Work Capability Assessment process, giving people a more tailored and personal service. If someone disagrees with the outcome of their work capability assessment, they have the right to submit new evidence and appeal.’

Mr Shurmer¿s daughter brought the letter into the intensive care unit at Liverpool Heart and Chest HospitalMr Shurmer¿s daughter brought the letter into the intensive care unit at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital

ING NYC Marathon will run through all five boroughs of destruction Mr. Bloomberg shouldn’t the millions be spent on rebuilding the city not running through it!

This Sunday thousands of people wearing little but shorts and t-shirts will run through New York, where only a week ago thousands were running for their lives from sandy wearing almost the same.

How can you justify this Mr. Bloomberg I ask myself? But then again you’re the same mayor who told the press “it is not now nor will it ever be the responsibility of this administration to care for the disabled of New York”. Mr. Bloomberg the amount the marathon cost is in the millions, this money could be given out as advanced payments for clothing and furniture to the families who have lost it all, it could be given out to purchase food. We have enough good will as a city  Mr Bloomberg,we get enough PR from the tourist trade do we really need a hundred thousand runners  running over bridges that for regular new Yorkers are out of bounds unless they have three in a car?

Staten Island has lost lives to sandy they don’t need runners ruuning through the destruction so you look good to the international  marathon committee.

Mr Bloomberg  if 20,000 people watching basketball in Brooklyn is unsafe, how is 100,000 running through Brooklyn ok?

MR Bloomberg do the right thing cancel the 2012 ING  marathon for the good of the people and stop worrying if it’s for the good of Bloomberg.

A PROMINENT Queensland psychiatrist believes laws should be changed to allow the state to lock up troubled teens removed from their families.

Mia’s Thoughts- I am living proof  that incarceration of troubled youth  doesn’t work, in the 60’s and 70’s in Adelaide South Australia for troubled youth under 16 there was Brookway Park detention center and for youth over 16 but not 18 there was the magill reformatory. Magill was commonly referred to as the “block” because at the back of the pretty front buildings, there was an antiquated square castle looking structure with 20 foot high brick walls topped with razor wire for the “trouble kids”.
I was threatened with brookway park for things such as answering back when my catholic shop teacher called my mother a slut because she was divorced. When the same teacher told me to put my hand out to get the ruler on the palm of the hand( whic was the state approved corporal punishment of the day) and when I did he grabbed my hand pulled me to the floor and whipped my body all over and when i reported him I was called troublesome.
 In adelaide they had steps to brookway park, that were not much better, there was a court mandated school where you were picked up by a secure bus every day called the “norwood project center”NPC was run by a man called john and a woman called Peta mcquinney  and a finnish women called marie who ended up having sexual relations with a student, so you can see the system was broken. There was another court appointed school called south east corner school, they went the complete other way, they were run by hippies and we were called “children of god” and we never were punished, we were asked to “realise our effect on the universe”?
I was about to be sent to reformatory, either brookway or magill when a saint called Mike belnap stepped in with an educational model called ” the alternative learning mode”  commonly known as “the hutz”  The hutz was a group where students from every grade from 8 to 12 not only shared one classroom they built and decorated the building as a group learning exercise. There were teachers, Mike Belnap and Trevor Brown but there was also an student council who held court when you screwed up, and voted on new applicants.
We had a daily score card 20 dollars fro a good class 10 for just showing up and minus for screwing up, the teacher of each class had to give you the rating and at the start of each year you had to meet with the teacherand  ask to be in their class. You worked out a behaviour contract with them, in short you were held responsible for you, and the rules you were held to. You had a say in your life and if you failed there were consequences, just like in the real world and several of the students came from magill or brookway and this was their last chance.  so queensland before you start locking them away actually care for a change do what you went to school for and do it right.



Child Protection Inquiry hears psychiatrist call for trouble teens to be locked up

Reposted from a story in the brisbane courier mail  by: Michael Madigan  From: The Courier-Mail October 26, 2012 12:00AM

Dr Michelle Fryer, chair of the Queensland branch of the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, is one of several professionals supporting a return to some form of institutional-style care for disturbed teens.

As the Child Protection Inquiry prepares to release a landmark issues paper on Friday examining international options for child safety, Dr Fryer has told the inquiry to consider a “secure children’s home”, a model already used in England.

In a submission on behalf of the prestigious Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Dr Fryer said a small but troubled group of Queensland teens at risk of a life behind bars needed to be kept in a secure location.

“Such models provide secure therapeutic facilities for such young people where they can receive the therapeutic help that they need before they are on a trajectory towards long-term incarceration in the adult prison system,” the submission said.

Secure children’s homes in England have the power to restrict movement of occupants.

Dr Fryer’s submission suggests “a new legislative framework which allows for restrictive care of children at extreme risk”.

A group of hundreds of Queensland children removed from families is coming to the attention of mental health, child protection and other social services through intermittent contact, usually in a crisis involving emergency departments or police.

The $9 million inquiry, established partially to investigate 25-year-old allegations of child abuse in state-run institutions, looks on track to present the State Government with its recommendations next April.

Housing teens in suburban homes, often rented or owned by private organisations, is now costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Police constantly called in to deal with destructive behaviours and track down runaways, say they cannot continue acting as de facto child care workers.

The child protection inquiry is expected to today release an issues paper examining international models of child protection, some of which will help shape recommendations expected to be handed to the State Government next April

Who’s running the country while the candidates are accusing each other and denying the lies?

Our right to see our candidates is important so we can decide the vote but in the weeks and days between debates who’s running the country? Does Romney think the voters are stupid? Does he not think we can remember when he says something in January only to deny he said it in February only to reverse again in March and so on and so on and…..?

We have A 90 minute debate only to have hundreds of hours of denials and accusations and TV shows that take sides and fox TV doesn’t talk with out a hand up their back that voted republican and rush Limbaugh doesn’t speak while Romney is drinking a glass of water?

It’s exhausting , as an advocate I regularly have to have sit downs with politicians to get works started and problems fixed but all I get at the moment is “sorry its election year the member is busy denying something to the press or backing someone who said something maybe next month”

 So the world stops, soldiers come home, babies are born and accidents happen and the disabled pile up like collateral damage.  But hey Romney lied and bayner was busy saying he didn’t, and Rom Emmanuel was shouting hell yes he did, but that’s ok a war hero just committed suicide along with 17  others while you were blowing your chests out  because they couldn’t get treatment for months and benefits for years. What a shame when they needed you the only contact  they could get was a robo call from a movie star, asking you to vote for them because they kiss babies and love puppies… unless of course the puppy is in a mill and the baby was born with a disability.

Cut the bullshit folks, the solution is 2,000 years old and it works back in biblical times there was a group called the Pharisees, they were the reporters of the day except they had morals they had honor and they were anonymous. You see honorable men beyond reproach were contacted the job they had was to be at every public event in the bazaar the synagogue the senate and report there was always three not four because three meant a tie breaker they would leave and push their report through a slot in a wall they had no idea who was on the other side the people on the other side were equally beyond reproach and when they left no one knew what they did so they could not be corrupted. What they did was take what the Pharisees wrote take three reports of the same event and record them for history if someone accused someone there were three independent witnesses whose record was final. Imagine when Romney lied if suddenly a screen lit up saying you lied the Pharisees recorded that on the following days you said thus and the record scrolled showing the proof and the same for Obama and for any other elected official.

Am I the only one who thinks that every time there has to be a press conference   who did they leave hanging? What life changing vote had to be put off for another time?

We the people have you tube we have Google we have CNN the republicans have Fox their puppet they own it (bane capital owns clear water entertainment who has hannity and most of the conservative pundits including Limbaugh under contract and they own major shares in Fox) we need a modern day Pharisees to simply stop the bullshit.

And who knows 18 more wounded warriors just might make tomorrow,  because someone actually was available to do what we damn well elected them to do it when they are meant to do it and not between photo ops.