Nanjing Night Net

Stun guns in police cars despite concerns

POLICE began issuing thousands of electric stun guns for use by front-line officers yesterday despite more than a dozen reports of ”joking around” and misuse of the weapons made to the NSW Ombudsman.A Taser stun gun will be placed in every first-response police car in the state over the next 13 months, a total of 2000, at a cost of $10 million.In October the Police Minister, Michael Daley, said the weapons had been shown to be an ”invaluable tool in hostile situations” for a group of senior officers who were given the devices for a 12-month trial.But the NSW Ombudsman, Bruce Barbour, told a parliamentary committee this week that his office had received about 14 complaints about the use of the Tasers.The Committee on the Office of the Ombudsman heard that most of the complaints were from police officers reporting incidents where their colleagues pointed them at each other or inappropriately used the weapon.”The very fact that police are joking around with them suggests a real risk they can be misused in the field,” Mr Barbour said.The Ombudsman had previously called for a two-year freeze on the issuing of the devices to general duties officers, citing evidence from other states of ”mission creep”. This is where they are increasingly used by officers to gain compliance in relatively low-threat situations, rather than being reserved for the high-risk situations for which they were designed.However, police had rejected the bulk of his recommendations on policies, procedures and training.”There has been positive progress but it doesn’t take away our residual concerns there is a real risk that there will be creep in their use and misuse,” Mr Barbour said on Monday.Tasers have been used a total of 440 times since they were introduced for general duties police. In 256 of these instances, or 54 per cent, they were not fired.Mr Barbour said in about 4 to 5 per cent of incidents there had been some obscuring of the in-built audio and video recorders that are activated as soon as a Taser is taken from its holster.
Nanjing Night Net

Read more
Nanjing Night Net

Commonwealth career opportunities open

Applications are now open for the Australian Government’s Human Services Graduate program, a national employment opportunity that provides the “first step” to a commonwealth career.
Nanjing Night Net

The program allows graduates to work in a number of roles across the human services portfolio, including Centrelink, Medicare and the Department of Human Services.

General Manager Hank Jongen said opportunities exist in a wide range of fields, including allied health, information technology, law, human resources, communication, accounting/finance and generalist roles.

Applications for September 2011 and February 2012 intakes close on April 26.

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

Read more
Nanjing Night Net

High staff turnover is hampers intervention

THE practice of flying city doctors and other health professionals into and out of remote indigenous communities under the Federal Government’s intervention in the Northern Territory has been criticised by a parliamentary committee.The committee, set up by the Senate last year to report on the intervention, has called on the federal and territory governments to work out a better way to solve the problem of a shortage of workers providing services to people in remote indigenous communities.In its latest report it has complained that assault rates remain high, ”safe places” for people fleeing violence are open only during the day, and there has been a failure to recruit workers to help the extra children reported to welfare authorities since the intervention began.The availability of more health professionals to provide primary care through the Remote Area Health Corp is welcome, but ”this is not addressing the longer term needs of communities to build a sustainable workforce to address the very high rates of staff turnover”, the report says.The Select Committee on Regional and Remote Indigenous Communities also accuses the two governments of taking an ”ad hoc” approach to workforce shortages, including in child welfare, the original reason for the intervention.Because of a national shortage of child protection workers, the territory government has reported difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff for its mobile team meant to relieve an investigations backlog and increased workloads in remote communities, its report says.However, the workers are offered short-term contracts when longer term funding is available, it says.It expresses concern at the federal indigenous affairs department’s intervention monitoring report’s failure to acknowledge problems in filling staff positions.”A failure to report on the number of positions that are currently occupied has the potential to disguise the level of access people have to drug and alcohol services,” it says.The monitoring report also got it wrong when it said that children identified during primary care health checks as needing specialist attention were only getting that follow-up at a slow rate because of indigenous living conditions, the committee says.The department’s report said that many ear, skin, physical growth and oral health problems resulted from poor living conditions, poverty, overcrowding and lack of adequate nutrition, which required broader changes.”The failure to deliver follow-up services does not relate to how hard it is to prevent or ameliorate chronic conditions,” the new Senate report says.The number of confirmed reports of child abuse in communities targeted by the intervention rose from 66 in 2006-07 to 227 last financial year, but notifications have also risen in the territory’s non-indigenous population, the Senate report says.It quotes a Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission QC, Susan Cox, who told a Darwin hearing of the committee: ”Most of our cases recently are non-indigenous and to do with sexual abuse in the community.”It should not be just targeted in the indigenous community. It is a real problem across the board.”
Nanjing Night Net

Read more
Nanjing Night Net

Nothing half-baked about tasty ambition

Rowan Campbell is learning all she can in the job she loves from pastry cook Brad Wilshire. Photo: AMY GRIFFITHSPastry cook Brad Wilshire and his dedicated team of bakers made 1000 hot cross buns yesterday, churned out between 3000 and 5000 loaves of bread and baked up to 3000 cakes.
Nanjing Night Net

It’s all in a day’s work for Brad and the team at the Earlyrise Baking Company; a third generation family-run business in Dubbo.

It’s a big operation at Earlyrise with a production team of about 50 people who are exposed daily to the overwhelmingly good smell of bread.

But the aroma of freshly baked pies, sausage rolls, chocolate tautes, lamingtons, slices, meringues and custard tarts doesn’t tempt Brad because after more than a decade in the industry he’s almost immune to the smell.

“When I first started I thought I would be eating everything I made but it’s not like that,” he said.

“Although our chocolate mudcake is to die for – we have been making that one for many years and it’s our best seller.”

One loaf of bread takes three hours to make from preparing the dough through to bagging the finished product.

As much as125 kilograms of flour will make about 250 loaves of bread.

But it’s the creative side of baking that Brad loves best.

Test baking and creating new flavours of cakes and slices is his passion.

“We have created a Turkish delight slice, cookies and cream cake and different flavours of hedgehog slice

like honey and macadamia nut,” he said.

“The Turkish delight slice took five or six tests and it’s really good.

“We have used recipes from my grandma and other people’s grandmas … however commercial cooking is very different to cooking in the kitchen at home so we do a lot of test baking and modifying recipes.”

Brad has been a pastry cook and baker for 15-and-a-half years and says his love of food started young.

“I used to do a smoko run with my grandma as a kid and I got to know all the bakers and decided that was what I wanted to do,” Brad said.

He said “motivation” is the key to a successful career in the industry.

Brad’s passing on his skills and knowledge to six young apprentice bakers and pastry cooks including

19-year-old Rowan Campbell who dreams of a career decorating wedding cakes.

“It’s my main aim to do wedding cakes, I just love decorating all different types of cakes like chocolate tarts, coffee tarts, mud cakes and sponges,” she said.

The second year apprentice pastry cook’s duties include decorating octopus meringues with royal icing.

“I’ve got to decorate a fair few trays of these yet,” Rowan said.

“Thursday and Friday are cake decorating days where I would decorate up to 20 cakes … I love what I do.”

Like Brad, Rowan’s love of food was passed down through the family.

“I used to cook and decorate cakes with my grandma, I also really enjoyed food tech and hospitality courses at school,” she said.

Picking a favourite from the plethora of cake she bakes was difficult.

“That’s a hard one .. I would say the marble cake is my favourite,” said Rowan.

The Earlyrise Bakery Company supplies a number of bakeries including the Village Bakery, Robertson’s Bakery and Franklin’s and IGA supermarkets.

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

Read more
Nanjing Night Net

Fuming voters take petrol woes from bowser to ballot box

FEDERAL politicians who think they are above the grubby business of late-running trains and buses that never turn up – free instead to concentrate on such weighty issues as global climate change and national defence – should think again.Public transport will be a key issue in next year’s federal election, say the authors of a study that tracks the effect of oil prices on voting patterns.The VAMPIRE – or Vulnerability Assessment for Mortgage, Petroleum and Inflation Risks and Expenditure – report by Griffith University researchers finds that voters in areas starved of public transport are more restive, mainly because they are the most vulnerable to sharp rises in oil prices.”The outer suburbs are feeling the pain because they do not get enough public transport,” said Dr Neil Sipe, who co-authored the study with Dr Jago Dodson and Rick Evans.”The price of oil may fluctuate, but we believe that it is on an upward trend, and voters who are forced to outlay more on petrol will feel the effect.”Our view is that once the economy recovers globally, we will see a run up in petrol prices.”In the US the Energy Information Administration shows that over the past three years the price of oil has fluctuated between $US59 a barrel and $US76 a barrel today, with troughs of $US42 a barrel in January and peaks of $US126 in May last year.Dr Sipe’s research on Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne was so detailed that it broke down the results of the 2007 election in each polling booth and compared the figures with census data on car ownership and public transport use.The biggest swings to the Labor Party were in car-dependent fringe suburbs.”Sydney contains very large zones of oil and mortgage vulnerability, especially the southern and western areas, including the north-west and south-west growth corridors,” the report found.”Many booths within the high and very high oil- and mortgage-vulnerable areas of Sydney saw strong swings to the ALP. The north-west and south-west corridors and the western suburbs around Blacktown and Bankstown saw many booths that swung between 10 and 20 per cent to the ALP.”Dr Sipe said the trend would continue at the next election, partly explaining comments by the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, that the Federal Government needed to get involved in funding public transport. ”The Commonwealth government was not particularly interested previously,” Dr Sipe told the Herald, ”but it is now being widely discussed in Canberra.”His analysis echoes a presentation at a recent conference in Sydney by Elliot Fishman, director of the Institute for Sensible Transport, in Melbourne, who warned that Australia’s demand for oil already outstripped supply and declared a ”code red” for a ring of car-dependent suburbs from the north-west to the south.”There is really nothing that governments can do about oil prices other than provide some token subsidies from time to time,” Dr Sipe said. ”But they can provide alternatives in the form of public transport, which is why you’re going to see this register, increasingly, as an election issue, whether it is state or federal.”
Nanjing Night Net

Read more
Nanjing Night Net

Light on defence, Rams fall behind

Dubbo’s Monique Wilson pursues Central Coast’s Steph Perch during their clash at the Woolshed on Sunday. Photo: JOSH HEARDLess than 24 hours after their unbeaten start to the 2011 Waratah League season ended, the Dubbo Rams womens side bounced back with a strong performance against Central Coast Crusaders.
Nanjing Night Net

Missing key personnel the Rams were no match for a very strong Queanbeyan Yowies on Saturday night, going down 63-39.

The visitors jumped the blocks early and with some impressive shooting found themselves with an early 20-9 lead.

At the main break that lead was extended to 19 points, helped mainly by excellent outside shooting which included six three-pointers.

However the Rams rallied and were able to go with the Yowies for much of the second half, eventually losing by 24 points.

Claire Hargreaves had 15 points for the Rams and Melissa Lee added 10 however it was the depth of the Queanbeyan side which really told in the end, with all 12 of their players getting on the scoreboard.

On Sunday the Rams met Central Coast Crusaders and they regrouped well to score a hard-fought 55-48 win in front of their home fans.

The Crusaders were coming off a win against Bathurst the previous night and despite going with the Rams early, had no answers in the second half.

Again defence was a feature of this game with the Crusaders holding a one point 35-34 lead at three quarter time but it was the Rams who gained control in the final period to run out strong 55-48 winners.

Caitlin Colliver (15 points), Claire Hargreaves (13) and Melissa Lee (13) again shared the scoring but it was the strong defence of the team, particularly Monique Wilson, Rebecca Rattey and Sue Davidson that ensured a win for the girls.

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

Read more
Nanjing Night Net

Gore issues warning over record melting of the Arctic ice cap

COPENHAGEN: Al Gore has warned delegates at the climate change summit that record melting of polar and Himalayan ice could deprive more than 1 billion people of access to clean water.Adding to an avalanche of bad scientific news over the past two years, the former US vice-president cited new research showing that the Arctic ice cap may have shrunk to record low levels last year.New computer modelling suggests the Arctic Ocean may be nearly ice-free in the northern hemisphere summer as early as 2014, Mr Gore said.This new projection, following several years of dramatic retreat by polar sea ice, suggests that the ice cap may be close to vanishing in the summer months much sooner than the year 2030, as was forecast by a US Government agency eight months ago. But Mr Gore’s office later qualified that claim, saying that ice would be expected to survive in island channels and other locations.A leading NASA ice scientist, Jay Zwally, said last year that the Arctic could be essentially ice-free within ”five to less than 10 years”.Mr Gore joined Scandinavian officials and scientists to present two new reports updating fast-moving developments in Antarctica and the Arctic.One report, on the Greenland ice sheet, was issued by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, an expert group formed by eight Arctic governments, including the US.The other, commissioned by Mr Gore and the Norwegian Government, was compiled by the Norwegian Polar Institute on the status of ice melt worldwide.”There are more than a billion people on the planet who get more than half of their drinking water – many of them all of their drinking water – from the seasonal melting of snow melt and glacier ice,” Mr Gore said.AP, AFP
Nanjing Night Net

Read more
Nanjing Night Net

G77 plays game of chicken as time runs out

COPENHAGEN: As the climate conference moved towards its climax, with Prince Charles and the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, preparing to speak on the urgency of acting on climate change, inside and outside the giant meeting hall proceedings ground to a halt.With just days left until the deal is supposed to be sealed, there are deeply worrying signs that this will be not be crunch time but cop-out time.Penny Wong and her team of negotiators are clearly frustrated. The walk-out by the G77 nations, led by Sudan but acting as proxy for the big players China, India and Brazil, came to symbolise the game of chicken being played out here. In retaliation, Australia’s negotiators, backed by the European Union and Japan, briefly shut down discussion of rich country targets to cut emissions.For millions around the world watching these talks, the tactics on all sides are difficult to understand. On the one hand, the ministers are proselytising on the threat posed by climate change. Yet inside the meetings the big players are not budging.Australia, the US, Europe and Japan insist the problem lies with China, India and Brazil, and their allies in Africa. These countries will not take on verifiable targets to curb their soaring emissions in a legal treaty, they say. Without this, any cuts by the rich countries will be overwhelmed.The response from China and the G77 is blunt. Rich countries have come to Copenhagen with targets to cut their emissions well below what was promised in Bali and what is needed by science, and with little real money on the table for the long-term battle on climate change.Squashed in between the big players are the poorest and most vulnerable countries, the small island states such as the Maldives and African nations such as Rwanda that are facing catastrophic consequences with even two degrees of warming. These nations have the big powers lobbying them to line up on one side or the other.After testing the limits of brinkmanship on Monday, all sides took a collective deep breath. The European Union Minister of the Environment, Andreas Carlgren, emerged to tell reporters that ”we are really prepared to really discuss all issues in the negotiations”. Wong said Australia was not trying to kill Kyoto. But still, all the developed countries insist they want a deal that brings the big polluters in the developing world into a separate binding treaty and are determined not to sign up to ambitious targets without big movement from China, India and Brazil.With this stand-off continuing, just how much the 120 leaders can do when they arrive is limited. The proposed agreement is still riddled with ”brackets” – spaces left for the contentious details to be inserted.As Marcelo Furtado, the Greenpeace observer from Brazil put it, ”They are still bracketing Mother Earth.”
Nanjing Night Net

Read more
Nanjing Night Net

Peckham’s pack impress with style, enthusiasm

Dubbo Rams captain-coach Nathan Peckham believes his side has set a standard for 2011 with strong performances in their weekend double-header against Maitland and Cessnock.
Nanjing Night Net

While they finished the weekend with a win and a loss, it was the style of play and enthusiasm that impressed Peckham.

On Saturday the Rams met Maitland and, while they lost 55-45, it was only small things that let us down.

“We were competitive for the whole match and we were

only down by two points early in the fourth quarter,” Peckham said.

“I thought we let them get to the free-throw line a bit too much and those easy points were the difference in the end.

“But it was an improvement on what we had done the previous week and it transferred into Sunday which was good.”

Damien Reid scored 12 points on Saturday for the Rams, with Marty Roberts adding eight in his first game back from junior representative duties.

Peckham was impressed with Roberts’ performances over the weekend after throwing him into the starting point guard role.

“Marty was very mature on the court. I threw a challenge out there for him and he responded by scoring eight and 10 points and his ball distribution was good as well.”

On Sunday the Rams met an under-strength Cessnock Cobras side, with the coach keen to see his side rack up a big win.

They delivered with an impressive 98-58 victory, led by 26 points from guard Jordan Morrow.

“Our defence really won the match for us because we employed a full-court press and when you do that, you really sort out the good teams from the

not-so-good teams,” Peckham said.

“They were under-strength and we were able to steal a lot of ball from them because they couldn’t handle our defensive pressure.”

Aside from Roberts, Reid and Morrow the Rams were also well-served by Mick Townsend and John Swan, who took

himself off the golf course to play his first matches for the Dubbo side.

“Swanny played a lot of basketball before he found his niche in golf,” Peckham said.

“He bought a lot of enthusiasm and voice to the team and that really spread and our communication was great.”

The Rams will now have a week off before they travel to Sydney for a double-header against Hornsby and Hawkesbury on May 14-15.

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

Read more
Nanjing Night Net

Easter helps Hart hop to victory on the green

ABOVE: Harry Hart putts on for his massive 26 points in Tuesday’s veteran’s stableford event.Harry Hart had so many chocolate Easter eggs they gave him the energy to score a massive 26 points (with a wipe) and record a victory in Tuesday’s stableford round at the Dubbo Golf Club.
Nanjing Night Net

Ross Graham nailed second spot with a very handy 25 points with John Wilson rounding out the podium placing with a tidy 23.

Barry Cooper, playing in the final group, literally brought home the NTP card with his 131cm tee shot on the 11th. Vouchers in the field of 55 went to 19 after a countback.

Terry Sloggett made the most of getting a shot back and returned a very handy 22 points in Wednesday’s round on the 10-18 layout.

Peter Phillips was next best with 21 points, while ball comp winners cut off at 18 points in the field of 31 starters.

Peter Heywood will remember last Friday as his “pot of gold” day. He managed to win the Craig Mears sponsored monthly trophy, was runner-up in the Horizons monthly pointscore and took out the Friday 4BBB with partner Clem Long with 28 points.

Heywood will now be spending the next three months in Nelson Bay holidaying and counting his cash.

Meanwhile, Friday’s 4BBB witnessed some excellent scoring with Brian Crispin and Col Yates (27) picking up second place with the duo of Barry Cooper and Paul Nolan securing third spot in a three-way countback on 25.

Cooper also knocked off the NTP on the 5th, his second for the week.

Congratulations also to Michael Logan who was awarded the Horizons Village monthly point score golf shirt after returning several impressive wins during the month.

And finally, Greg Vane returned to the clubhouse on Saturday with a very healthy 24 points to take the major trophy from fast finishing Rob Atkins, Peter Phillips and Gerry Dawson who tied on 23. With 31 players in the field vouchers cut out at 19 points.

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

Read more