Monthly Archives: September 2018

Victorian government pledges support for police mental health

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton commissioned the report. Photo: Justin McManus Police Minister Lisa Neville says the government is committed to helping police deal better with mental health in its ranks. Photo: Eddie Jim
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‘Suck it up’ culture has created a mental health crisis in Victoria Police.

The state government is “100 per cent behind” Victoria Police’s commitment to change a culture that has destroyed the mental health of its officers, the police minister says.

A damning review released on Tuesday found the macho attitude in the force is doing more mental health damage to some officers than the traumatic events they attend.

One of the 450 police who contributed to the report spoke about over-hearing two officers talking to each other and providing informal support after the suicide of a colleague two days earlier.

“A sergeant walked by, paused and said to them, ‘Do you want to be f—ing social workers or police officers?’ ” the officer wrote.

Newly-minted Police Minister Lisa Neville called the report “fearless”.

“We are 100 per cent behind Victoria Police in implementing the recommendations in the report,” Ms Neville said.

Ms Neville, who took over from Wade Noonan after he stood aside for mental health reasons, said the report was also an important step forward for the broader community.

The report, commissioned by Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton after the suicide of a policewoman at work last October, calls for the roll-out of education programs, particularly for leaders in the force.

It also called for the establishment of a Department of Veteran Affairs-style organisation for former police and the urgent expansion of the internal psychology unit.

Mr Ashton said resourcing all 39 recommendations was the highest priority, though the dollar figure on it was not yet clear.

“It’s not going to be cheap,” he said.

“The priority is to fund it. It’s an extremely high priority.

“The amount of money this is going to cost is nothing compared to the damage that exists within the organisation.” Proud to be releasing landmark report into Mental Health to better support our people @VictoriaPolicepic.twitter南京夜网/2FTviDSGxq— Graham Ashton (@GrahamAshtonCCP) May 31, 2016

But the greatest challenges, the police union says, will be removing the stigma, and force command winning back the trust of its members.

“​This has put a blowtorch on leadership and management and culture within,” Police Association secretary Ron Iddles​ said.

The review found the fear among some police that asking for help would hurt their career was “well justified”, with officers missing out on promotions and being taken off operational duties.

“They’re suffering because currently a lot of members don’t trust the managers,” Mr Iddles said.

The damage the WorkCover scheme – which asks officers to prove their mental illness – was causing to police was also highlighted in the review,.

Commander Shane Cole, the head of the force’s health and safety division, said the scheme is not set up for mental health claims.

“We need the scheme to make it easier for people with mental health issues to get a claim up. We need the claims process to be simpler, we need a panel of experts who are really good at diagnosing the right mental health issues, the right treatment and assisting them to return to work,” Mr Cole said.

Mr Iddles said the scheme needed to be changed to align with NSW police, where the insurer accepts the psychological claim straight off so an officer is treated sooner.

“Or we move to reverse onus where if you submit a claim, the onus is on Victoria Police or the insurer to say work didn’t cause it,” he said.

Full version of the Victoria Police Mental Health Review.

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Football plays a vital part in reconciliation

THE moment in 1993 whenSt Kilda footballer Nicky Winmar stoodbefore opposition fans, lifted his jumper,pointed to his skin and declared”I’m black – and I’m proud to be black!” marked a seismicshift in race relations in Australia.
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Preceding Winmar’sdefiant stance–not for the first time in his decorated career –was a 120-minute barrage of vile and vicious racial abuse.

The mercurial midfielder had every right to walk off the field after his best-on-ground performance that day and never return to the game.Instead, his dignified protest became inextricably linked with the reconciliation movement that was to follow.

Academics in the2015 paper “Aboriginal Rules: The Black History of Australian Football”, describe Winmar’s stance as“the Australian equivalent to the Tommie Smith/John Carlos/Black Power moment” at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

Such was its impact, they say it“transcended the realm of sport and football. It was socially, culturally, and politically important as it tapped into a discussion around race, culture, Indigenous people, and national identity that needed to be had”.

WhileWinmar’s brave act of defiance will forever be linked to reconciliation,Australian Rules Football has also played a leading role since that day.

For many Australians, the majority of their exposure to Indigenous culture comes from following the AFL.Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders make up about 3 per cent of Australia’s population, yet about 10 per cent of AFL-listed players are indigenous.

That level of representation is found in few other areas of Australian life. Not infederal parliament, not in business, not on our TV screens.

The benefits of seeing and hearingthese players week in, week out on TV, radio and in newspapers cannot be underestimated.

The AFL community is a broad church and, as we witnessed so regrettably last year through the booing of Adam Goodes, there are some in society yet to be, or who refuse to be, educated.

But that grossly unedifying chapter alonedoes not eradicate the considerable gains that have been made in football –and as a result more widely in society.

The reconciliation process is slow –far too slow –but our indigenous game has a vitallyimportant part to play in improving our understanding of Indigenous culture.

Ross Tyson, deputy editor

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Opinion: This Week with David Barnett

Who would deny that the process by which the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, his Treasurer Scott Morrison canvassed budget options has been, agonising, trying out ideas which when run up the flagpole, nobody saluted.
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But, in the end, they got it right. The 2016-17 budget is a springboard for success. The coalition should get back in July when the double dissolution election takes place.

There are problems: there always are, but they are inherited from the Gillard-Rudd years. The figures are getting better, albeit slowly. Economic growth as measured by Gross Domestic Product is steady at 2.5 per cent, likely to rise to three per cent and likely to stay there. Good enough because although internationally, growth is 3.5 per cent, our major trading partners are growing at a forecast four per cent, which augurs well.

The deficit is down a bit to $37.1 billion, but is forecast to decline steadily.

Financing it will cost $14.4 billion, and it will still be close to $14 billion in three years’ time, compared with nothing when the Howard-Costello government was defeated.

Scott Morrison will continue to have his work cut out. The budget has to accommodate $124.5 billion for social security, $33.9 billion for defence, $43.9 billion for education, and $64.3 billion for health, all of them increases in expenditure.

Morrison called it an economic plan, not just another budget. He might just as well have said an election manifesto. Business tax has been eased in the cause of controlling unemployment, which is forecast to fall slightly to 5.5 per cent, and the roads and rail infrastructure programmes have been retained.

Abolishing negative gearing – the right of people buying a second house as an investment and to deduct their losses against their taxation liability – has been rejected. That’s a fight Bill Shorten must lose.

Morrison is tightening the laws on multinational corporations to make it hard to shift tax liability from one country to another where it might be lower, and reducing the concessions for superannuation.

Morrison ended his budget address on a rollicking note. The Australian economy grew by $40 billion, adding 300,000 jobs. Jobs growth since the last election was 440,000. Youth unemployment has fallen.”

The Australian economy grew faster than those of the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Germany, New Zealand and Singapore, and twice as fast as the Canadian economy.

“We must stick to our national economic plan for jobs and growth, fix the problems in our tax system and ensure that government lives within its means, the Treasurer declared.

The budget, which was supposed to be boring, is a turning point. The political dialogue will now be different, and the spirits of the coalition have lifted.

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‘Superb’ 75th church celebrations

Part of the event: Lesley Tierney, Shirley Jones, Warren Denham, Joy Amos and, front, Honor Morcom were around at the time the church was being built.They came from far and wide to celebrate St Agnes’ 75thanniversary last weekend.
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Pastoral Assistant Peter O’Driscoll described the weekend as ‘superb’ and said he was surprised by the number of people who attended and stayed to reminisce about their memories of the church.

“The feedback was very positive,” he said.“It was great to see some of those with long associations to the church attending and sharing their stories.

“Warren Denham was around when the Canary Island Palms were very small while Joy Amos and Shirley Jones attended the primary school and can remember being involved in helping carry the stones used tobuild the stone wall.

“And Honor Morcom has never lived in another parish.There were many similar stories like that shared over the weekend.”

Parish priest Father Donnelly was an alter boy at the opening of the church and he shared his great affection for it during his homily.

He said that bricks and mortar were only one part of the church, but it was the people who actually made the church.

He jokingly also mentioned that with cushions now on the pews he would be able to talk for a bit longer.

“There was a bit of laughter about that,” Mr O’Driscoll said.

A feature of the weekend was the playing of the new organ which was purchased specifically for the 75thcelebrations.

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Gray accepts fate after missing target

PAST GLORY: Matt Gray and Taylor Worth after winning teams gold for Australia at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Worth beat Gray for the discretionary place on Australia’s team for the Rio Olympics. Picture: Getty Images
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THREE-time Olympic archerMatt Gray will delaya decision on his future in the sport after missing Rio Games selection.

The 42-year-old father-of-three from Boat Harbour was in a battle with 2012 Olympian Taylor Worth,Alec PottsandRyan Tyack for three places in the male archery team.Potts and Tyack, who will make their Olympic debut in Rio, won the two automatic spots with their results andWorth gained the discretionary place.

Gray, who competed at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics, said he was disappointed “butit is what it is’’. It was the first time a discretionary place was part of the process.

“I had avenues to appeal, but it’s only going to waste a lot of time and energy, so I’ve accepted their decision,” Gray said.“You accept the criteria at the beginning so I don’t think it’s fair on the other guys. You’ve just got to cop it on the chin.”As for retirement, he said: “I don’t know. I will continue to train. I’m still the reserve so I’ve got to be ready just in case something happens. Then I’ll assess it later on.”

Gray said two defeats in matchplay, one of which wason a countback,at the final selection event the weekend before lastproved the difference.

“At the end of the dayin the selection, the difference was 0.35 in the criteria,” he said.

“It was anybody’s spot really. I shot a lot better than him in China and in the first day of the last selection. Then I lost on a countback in one of the shoots, and that result was probably a turning point.

“That was worth 0.2, then in another matchplay serieswe had a one-hour shoot-off after a tie. I lost my match and he won his. That was worth 0.15, and that was the difference.”

The Port Stephens water policeman was philosophical about the omission andwished the three selected archers all the best in Rio.

“I did my best and gave it everything I had,” he said.

“I work full-time, I’ve gotthree kids and minimal financial support.

“At the end of the day, it’s sport. You’ve got to put everything in perspective. I’ve got a family to support and this means I get to spend more time with them.

“I wasn’t expected to make the team, I don’t think, given my age and I received no financial support. The other three were well supportedthrough the Winning Edge program. It doesn’t really accommodate for the older blokes.”

Potts shot an Australian record overseas score when third in qualifying at the Shanghai World Cup this year, Tyack is the 2014 world indoor champion and Worth, who was ninth at the London Olympics, was also ninth at the 2015 world championships.

They combined to finish eighth in the team event at the 2015 world Championships andsecure Australia three men’s spots for Rio.The three Australians will contest the team and individual events.

The one women’s representative was not named on Tuesday becauseof an appeal against a non-nomination.

Grazing without compromise

INVESTIGATION: BCG has been investigating how livestock can be integrated without compromising the cropping program.With an increasing number of Wimmera and Mallee farmers running sheep as a means of mitigating business risk, BCG has been investigating how livestock can be integrated without compromising the cropping program.
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Research carried out by BCGthrough the GRDC-funded Grain and Graze initiative has shown that, if managed appropriately, cereal crops can be grazed without penalising yield.

BCG research achieved this using long season wheat varieties, sown early on adequate soil moisture, and grazed before the crop has reached stem elongation (BCG 2015 Season Research results, pp. 151).

Apart from the economic benefits that comes from using crops for sheep feed, as well as grain production, the practice provides logistical benefits for farmers with a nutritious feed source available at a time of year when, typically, feeding-out may be required.

BCGidentify if plant growth will compensate for a low plant establishment on a wide spacing.The trial was sown last week with barley planted on 9”, 12” and 15” row spacings.

At the end of the year the yield, biomass production and grain quality of grazed plots will be compared with that of their ungrazed counterparts and it will be determined if row spacing had an influence.

For more information about this researchphone (03) 5492 2787 or visit: 梧桐夜网bcg.org419论坛.

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Bypass promising

FINGERS CROSSED: Pitt Town Progress Association members at the intersection of Pitt Twon Road and Glebe Street, where the bypass will start. Picture: Conor HickeyTHE long awaited Pitt Town bypass has never been as close to fruition as it is now according to Pitt Town Progress Association president Peter Ryan.
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Roads and Maritime Services has released a proposal for the bypass and is seeking public comment before June 17.

The RMS has proposed extending Pitt Town Road to Cattai Road.

A roundabout or set of traffic lights will be installed at the intersection of Pitt Town Road and Glebe Road, just before entering Pitt Town if coming in from Windsor.

Traffic lights or a roundabout will also be installed at the intersection of Old Pitt Town Road and Eldon Street.

Mr Ryan has long campiagned for the bypass, and the RMS’ proposal was exactly what he had hoped for.

“They’ve listened. Mr [Dominic] Perrottet said he was going to get it done and I am verysurprised to learn it is happening,” he said.

“This time we’ve had concept plans. They’re calling for public interest and it has moved along further than it ever hasbefore.”

Residents of Pitt Town have been crying out for a bypass for years. Mr Ryan and other association members say the town has waited 60 years for it.

The association wants the bypass to ease traffic congestion in Pitt Town, in particular, to remove the number of trucks carting sand, which come through the town.

“About 5700 vehicles go through the centre of Pitt Town every day and a lot of them aretrucks carrying sand,” Mr Ryan said.

“The bypassshould get us back to the town we are without the transport boring through it every day.”

On December 7, Member for Hawkesbury Dominic Perrottet pledged the bypass would be built within the state government’s first term in office.

“A bypass of Pitt Town has been under consideration for over 60 years and I am pleasedto say the NSW Government is delivering on its commitment to get the job done,” MrPerrottet said via a prepared statement.

“Residents have waited long time for this project to get underway, so I encourage thecommunity to view the proposal and have their say.”

Information about the proposal is available at 梧桐夜网rms.nsw.gov419论坛/pitttownbypass.

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Virgili hoping to kick on for depleted Magic

STRIKE WEAPON: James Virgili poised to score for Broadmeadow against Adamstown on April 10. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers Broadmeadow attacking midfielder Michael Finlayson will miss at least six weeks afteran MRI scan showed damage to his medial collateral ligament and meniscus but not his anterior cruciate ligament.
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Finlayson received the scan results, which showed a grade two MCL tear and a meniscus tear,late on Tuesday night.


BROADMEADOW will lose Dino Fajkovic and potentially Michael Finlayson from their strike forcebutleading goalscorer James Virgili says he has no plans to leave before the end of the season.

Fajkovic is moving overseas and is set to play his final game for the club on Sunday against Maitland at Magic Park or the following round against Adamstown.

Finlayson, meanwhile, is waiting on results of an MRI scan on his left knee after he was stretchered from the field on Sunday. The former Jets Youth playerwent down in the 80thminute of the 4-2 win over Charlestown at Lisle Carr Oval after a challenge from Ben Hughes when taking a shot close to goal. It was believed Finlayson had torn his medial collateral ligament but it was unclear if there was damage to the anterior cruciate ligament, which would all but end his season.Magic co-coach Robert Virgili believed Finlayson faced at least six weeks on the sidelines.

The potential double blow comes amid rumours that James Virgili, who has scored eight goals eight games, including two on Sunday, may leave for trials in Australiaor abroadbefore the end of the season.

While the former Jets flyer is hopeful of opportunities in professional football again, he said he had nothing in the pipeline.

The 23-year-old will start the final five-week practicum of his diagnostic radiography degree on July 25 at Royal North Shore Hospital and said his focus was on study and playing for Magic until the placement was finished.

Dino Fajkovic

“I’m not really looking to go overseas at the moment, so A-League is the only option and that doesn’t start until October,” Virgili said.

“If something comes up, I’d obviously be interested but there’s been nothing contact-wise in the A-League for the last couple of months.”

Virgili said there was interest from UK clubs after he was cut by the Jets in April last year but there was no guarantees of trials now.

“It just depends if those same clubs would be interested again but sometimes a year is a long time,” he said. “And thelast three, four months I’veconcentrated on uni and playing for Magic.I haven’t gone and searched for it myself.”

Virgili was “relatively happy”with his form for Magic but was keen to offer more.

“In terms of the team, there’s a long way to go but we’re getting there,” he said.“Hopefully we can get on a roll, which we definitely need.I’ve been getting some goals, which is always good, but I want to keep that up.”

As for Fajkovic,Robert Virgili said the club knew the forward was likely to move overseas this year but a date was not confirmed until two months ago.

He said Fajkovic would be a loss but the side had a few options in attack and would welcome back Scott Pettit (hamstring), Matt Hoole (overseas), Ben Higgins (hamstring) and Alex Kantarovski (knee) to first grade over the next three weeks.

Micheal Finlayson

Dairy representatives meet with Barnaby Joyce

DISCUSSION: New England MP Barnaby Joyce met with Dairy Connect’s farmer group chair Graham Forbes, chief executive officer Shaughn Morgan, and producers Mark Fraser (Aberdeen), Rob Cooper (Manilla) and Walcha’s Peter Notman.A SUSTAINABLE price for liquid milk was high on the agenda when the Deputy Prime Minister and New England MP Barnaby Joyce met in Tamworth with dairy farmers from inside and outside the electorate to discuss pathways to sustainability for the industry.
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Mr Joyce convened with Dairy Connect’s farmer group chair Graham Forbes, chief executive officer Shaughn Morgan, and producers Mark Fraser (Aberdeen), Rob Cooper (Manilla) and Walcha’s Peter Notman.

The meeting allowed Mr Joyce to “have a conversation in the strongest terms” in regard to the situation impacting on the industry today.

He said calling for a sustainable price was one of the topics discussed at length at the meeting and “giving strong consideration to short and medium term actions” that could be pursued.

“All of the parties impacted by the challenges facing the industry are calling for a united approach,” he said.

Mr Joyce said all involved were committed to working together.

“We’ll be concentrating on having a strong conversation with the industry to make sure we get this right,” he said.

“Our mission is to create a wonderful, vibrant future for the dairy industry given significant emerging market opportunities.”

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Watson aims for repeat with Bertie

BACK ON BERTIE: John O’Shea has the drive on Mick Watson’s Bertie Francis at Bathurst Paceway tonight. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 042413ctrots3
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FRESH from an impressive last-start success, Bathurst trainer Mick Watson will send Bertie Francis around his home track looking to make it two in a row tonight.

Watson’s four-year-old Real Desire gelding notched career win number three at Cowra on Sunday and in the GC31 Yearling Payments Due June 10 Pace (1,730 metres) the trainer will hope a quick start gives him the chance to continue his winning ways.

The Cowra victory came from an inside start on the second row. Bertie Francis had to work around the outside of the field from the rear to record a win as favourite.

It marked a second win in four starts.

However, a journey back to Bathurst also comes with a jump up in grade.

This time around Bertie Francis will get the opportunity to get towards the front of the field with John O’Shea driving the gelding from gate four.

Watson said the gelding has been unfortunate not to take more wins so far in his 43-start career and he is proud of the work rate Bertie Francis continues to put in for him with every run.

“He’s been somewhat unlucky in his races because he’s been a part of a few quality races, so I don’t think his record really reflects his career,” he said.

“This one is in a higher grade so he’ll probably find it a little harder. We’ve drawn well so hopefully we can get out to a handy start for this.

“I think Native Caesar is in some very good form at the moment but a lot of horses in this race look nice. I’d say there would be about a good six horses that you’d consider a chance here.”

O’Shea is back behind Bertie Francis for the drive as he and Anthony Frisby have alternated that honour over the five starts.

Frisby will be driving his own runner, Mister Bigshot, from the outside of the front row.

“Both of them have done such a good job for me,” Watson said of the two drivers.

“Anthony has been on him for me unless he’s had a runner in one of the races. I don’t think there’s been a horse I’ve had over the years that John Thomas [O’Shea] hasn’t managed to get a win on for me.”

Watson said his gelding, whom he also bred and owns, has been a pleasure to train.

“He’s a lovely natured horse. He’s out of a mare called Ester who was a very good racing mare herself. She beat the two-minute mark back when that was a big feat at the old Bathurst Showground track. She’s now had two foals for two winners,” he said.

Watson’s love of harness racing continues even though he now has only a handful of contenders.

“I only have two in work at the moment … with the other being an unraced two-year-old,” he said.

“It’s been a hobby of mine for a long time now. It’s been a really fun thing for me to do and the harness racing community have been fantastic to be around.”

Tonight’s smaller six-race Bathurst program will get underway from the earlier time of 4.33pm.

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