October, 2018

Court fines will help out burn victims

FINE FOR GOOD CAUSE: Magistrate John Murphy ordered more than $10,000 in fines dished out in Wodonga court be given to Alfred Hospital in memory of Chiltern farmer Trevor Parker. A FUNDRAISER for a man killed following a petrol explosion in the Chiltern Valley has been given a significant boost thanks to a magistrate.
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Trevor Parker died on March 10, weeks after suffering burns to almost 70 per cent of his body.

Fuel had ignited as he refilled a generator and he was rushed to the Alfred Hospital burns unit.

His family has been raising money for the unit which cared for Mr Parker over 49 days.

Magistrate John Murphy ordered the fines he imposed in the Wodonga Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday be directed to the fundraiser.

He had read an article in The Border Mail about Mr Parker and his family’splans to donate to the burns unit and felt moved by the story.

By lunch time, more than $10,000 in fines had been allocated to the unit.

Mr Murphy told the court he had known Mr Parker and thought the fundraiser could save lives.

“(It’s) part of honouring Trevor’s memory,” he said.

KILLED: Trevor Parker.

“Who knows how many lives that may save.

“They do wonderful work.”

Mr Murphy has imposed fines for the burns unit in Mr Parker’s memoryduring sittings at other North East courts.

He called the unit to find out where the money would go.

One fine alone was worth $7500 with several other fines of between $1200 and $200.

Chiltern horse breaker Joel Eamon Walton received the $7500 penalty for a shocking one-punch attack on a man outside the Yackandandah Hotel in January.

Thomas William Hunter, 22and Luke Knight, 21, were fined $500 and $1200 respectively for their involvement in a car theft at Mitta.

The vehicle was taken from a paddock by the duo and two others and driven on the Omeo Highway before being dumped with steam coming out of it.

Truck driver Daniel Gleeson was penalised$300 for logbook offences.

Daniel Bell must pay$500 for an incident in Thomas Mitchell Drive in February.

He was caught driving whiledisqualified having lost his licence fordrug driving.

Mr Parker’s brother, Ken, said the idea wasa pleasant surprisethat was much appreciated by the family.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Ophir black spots hamper rescue efforts

Telecommunication black spots have long been a sore point for country residents.
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Inthis day and age when most of us have come to expect clear mobile phone reception whereever we go, there are still large pockets of Australia where telephone reception is patchy at best, and non-existent at its worse.

Days after two little girls were rescued at Ophir Reserve residents are calling on the government to focus on eradicating hot spots.

Ophir reserve is one of this region’s most popular recreational areas andattracts both locals and visitors.

Close to Orange, it’s a place families regularly camp for weekends. While long term residents of the area welcome the visitors, they too are concerned about the area’s black spots.

A former member of the Ophir Reserve Trust Learne Spicer was one of residents who assisted in the search for the girls on the weekend and she has labelled the area’s black spots “unacceptable”.

Having lived in the area for 16 years, Mrs Spicer said dealing with bad mobile reception was just a fact of lifeat Ophir.

The lack of reception meant two command posts to co-ordinate the girls’rescuers were needed, one at the campsite directing volunteers where to go and then one a hill to direct relief for rescuers and the police helicopter.

According toMrs Spicer once past the first crossing, the mobile signal started fading.Once you go past the third crossing, there’s only one hill were you can get reception.

Not only does bad phone reception hamper the work of rescuers it also leaves the area vulnerable to bush fires with communication difficult for RFS brigades trying to co-ordinate fire-fighting efforts.

Mrs Spicer suggest there should be a designated area where people are able to access telecommunication or satellite services to call emergency services.

As a community it’s important we work together to push all levels of government to focus on black spot eradication.

Member for Calare Andrew Gee said he wants to hear from people who feelsstrongly about mobile phone coverage at any location,including anyone who was involved in the weekend’s search at Ophir.

Let’s all contact Mr Gee and let him know how important black spot eradication is when it comes to bush rescues and bush fires.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Urgent need for rehabilitation facilities

Our front page story regarding the failure of two accused to enter rehabiliation will strike a chord with many readers.
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Some will condemn the actions of both.

Others, including the many parents of those caught up in the ugly world of addiction, will wish once again for rehabilitation facilities closer to home for Eurobodalla people.

Residential rehabilitation can help those who genuinely are trying to free themselves from serious addiction.

However, those in the field say that 12 months in-house rehabilitation is needed for those addicted to ice, due to the power of the drug and the change in behaviour it has wrought on addicts.

Where three months’ of rehabilitation might be enough, in the first instance at least, for those addicted to other substances or to alcohol, those on the frontline of the ice addiction say more time is needed.

The Eurobodalla needs a rehabiliation facility closer to our shire.

Addicts trying to break their habits need the support of family and “clean” friends.

Leaving the shire for 12 months, assuming they can get a place in a facility elsewhere, might be the best thing for some addicts, allowing them to break unhealthy friendship and dependence patterns.

However, it might not be OK for others.

Families wishing to support their loved ones through treatment now face the extra stress and expense of travelling to Queanbeyan or Nowra to visit them.

Ice has ravaged regional towns and centres in NSW.

Many shires, including our own, need more resources to help addicts get back on track and rebuild their lives.

Otherwise we risk a continuing cycle of addiction, criminal offending and jail.

A bi-partisan push for such services, as well as out-patient facilities, is needed.

On a lighter note, the newly formed Mogo Village Business Chamber is hoping to establish chess tournaments on an outdoor board in an effort to bring more visitors to the highway precinct.

It’s a great plan and we wish them the best.

Visitors to Wollongong may have noticed the outdoor chessboard near a popular mall.

It was always a fun stopping point, even for non-players.

The keen contests amongst many different migrant communties were entertainment in themselves.

May a chess master step up for Mogo.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Safer Pathways out of domestic violence

A DOMESTIC violenceprogram will be rolled out in Port Stephens in November.
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Trialed elsewhere the program, Safer Pathways,brings together local representatives from police, health, corrective services, family and community services, and education, along with localspecialist non-government domestic and family violence services.

The program aims to be anintegrated referral pathway for victims who are ‘at threat’ or ‘at seriousthreat’.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru GowardjoinedParliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonaldto make the announcement last week.

With success at six trial sites the stategovernment hascommitted $53 million over four years to reach 21new locations.

Hunter Women’s Domestic Violence CourtAdvocacy Service will coordinate the program.

“Courageous victims who have been left traumatised and terrified will no longer haveto shop around to get the services they need nor will they have to re-tell their story toa multitude of government agencies,” Ms Goward said.

Mr MacDonald the Newcastle City and Port Stephens Police local areacommandswould be two of the first under the program’s expansion.

“Domestic and family violence is a crime perpetrated against vulnerable women,children and men by cowards,” Mr MacDonald said.

The opposition welcomed the announcement but called on the government to protect shelter funding.

“[The government]needs to stop making cuts to services that are required in the early intervention, accommodation and counselling for victims,” Opposition Spokeswoman for Prevention of Domestic Violence Jenny Aitchison said.

OPINION –P12 SUPPORT: Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward, centre, met with police last week to make the announcement. Picture: Supplied

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Tears flow as horrors recounted

FACING HIS DEMONS: Phillip D’Ammond, glad to have told his harrowing tale of abuse to the royal commission in Newcastle on Tuesday.
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Priests pornography hoardFormer altar boy tells of years of abuse by priest CKCI wasn’t told about abuse: bishopThe priest who sounded alarm‘Shadow life’ of Dean LawrenceAS IT HAPPENED: Royal Commission day oneAS IT HAPPENED: Royal Commission day twoAS IT HAPPENED: Royal Commission day threeMORE than 30 years of child sexualabuse and cover-upsby clergy and lay members ofvarious Anglican parisheshave been laid bare on the opening day of the royal commission’s two-week hearing into the Anglican diocese of Newcastle.

In her opening address, counsel assisting the commission Naomi Sharp outlined in forensic detail the allegations against various well-known church figures –somedead, one in jail andothers thrown out of the church.

Some of the abuse took place at St Alban’s Home for Boys at Cessnock, which was run by the church.

A number of the clerics involved had all studied together at St John’s Theological College at Morpeth. Some went on to hold senior positions in a clique of power that centred on the city’s Christ Church Cathedral. And as Ms Sharp recounted, these same men were even made members of committees or other church bodies charged with overseeing the response to the child sexual abuse scandal when it finally arose to public controversy.

The first two witnesses–abuse survivors Paul Gray and Phillip D’Ammond –gave shocking first-hand accounts of the crimes detailed earlier in the day by the counsel assisting.

Mr Gray told the commission he had been abused for more than four years by Anglican priest Peter Rushton and others.

Rushtonretired as Archdeacon of Maitland in 2001 and died in 2007 without any charges against him, although the diocese has since acknowledged him as a sex offender. It was this public acknowledgement that triggered Mr Gray’s repressed memories of abuse. He had a breakdown soon after, and has been in intermittent treatment ever since.

Mr Gray told the commission he had been anally raped by Rushton at the age of 10.

“On many of these occasions, Father Rushton would cut my back with a small knife and smear my blood on my back,” Mr Gray said.“That was actually symbolic of the bloodof Christ.After sexual intercourse, he would clean my wounds with white towels.In the church, there were often occasions when Father Rushton would ask me to perform oral sex on him”.

Rushton was his godfather.

Mr Gray broke down twice giving his evidence –with the commission adjourning the second time for him to compose himself –but he told Commissioner Peter McClellan that he “had to” keep speaking.

He told how Rushton took him to St Alban’s boys home at Cessnock, where he was repeatedly raped by various men.

The second witness, Phillip D’Ammond had a similarly harrowing tale of abuse at the hands of lay church figure, James Michael Brown, who was convicted in 2011 of 27 charges of child sexual abuse involving 19 male victims and sentenced to 20 years’ jail, with 12 years non-parole.

Mr D’Ammond, who was fostered and subsequently placed atSt Alban’s, said he was 13 years old whenBrown – a “fat” and “intimidating … six foot two tall” –firsttried to have sex with him.

Mr D’Ammond, now 54, said he was confused and scared and believed that no-one would believe them if he told them what was happening.

Mr D’Ammond said Brown became a board member of St Alban’s in 1977, making him even bolder.

He said he was offered marijuana and LSD by Brown and that drug abuse later became a way of life.

Mr D’Ammond said he spent years in jail on various robbery, assault and violence charges, and had stayed in contact with Brown over the years, despite the abuse against him.

In 1996, he decided he had to stop Brown abusing boys and made a complaint to Newcastle police, butnothing eventuated.

He made further statements against Brown, and while one case went to committal stage, it was dismissed after “aggressive” defence byBrown’s barristerPaul Rosser QC, a senior lay church figurewho is listed to give evidence to the commission.

Brown was finally convicted in 2011 and Mr D’Ammond says he received $210,000 in a cash settlement from the church, most of which went on heroin because he was given no support at the time after being clean of drugs for four years.

Outside the commission, Mr D’Ammond said he wanted money put towards a scientific examination of paedophilia and why people in positions of trust were so ready to abuse the people they were caring for.

Much of the controversy in the Hunter has centred on the way the formerly popular Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Graeme Lawrence, was removed from his post.

In her opening address, Ms Sharp said one section of evidence would hear from a survivor, given the psuedonym CKH, who would tell ofhis sexual experiences with various church figuresincluding Andrew Duncan, Bruce Hoare, Graham Sturt and Lawrence.Ms Sharp said CKH would say he was 14 when Reverend Andrew Duncan first performed oral sex on him and that sexual relations with these men –including an occasion of group sex in a Narrandera motel room in February 1984 –continued for some years.

The hearings in Newcastle’s new $90 million court house arescheduled to finish on August 12.

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