Saturday, August 31, 2019

Criticising your 'local council' online and you could end up in court

CEO's of city councils paying themselves high salaries from your rates while skimping out on services.

People should realise that in this colony we call Australia according to the law, you know the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, 'municipal offices' or what we call today 'local government' or 'city councils' MUST  be a department of the state, but they are not, they have been corporatised.

See pages 935-936 from the book called the 'Quick and Garran'* or it's long name The Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth:


While their existence is facutally legal, it may not be entirely lawful.

For example in Victoria the Local Government Act of 1874 put together rural and metropolitan councils, where after federation the law still stood.

Today, in Victoria the legal infrastucture states that city councils obtain their power from the Local Govenrment Act of 1989.

The CEO's of 'city councils' are committing fraud against their 'rate payers' but as usual this type of fraud may never be addressed properly (i.e. all the way to the High Court) in the interest of the public. 

* More about Quick and Garran.

Sir John Quick was a very prominent man in the formation of The Constitution having a substantial input into the Constitutional Conventional Debates held during the 1890s and was also very active, along with Sir Robert Garran in the creation of the book called Quick and Garran. The book, Quick and Garran is very heavily based on the Constitutional Conventional Debates and as such has become what could be considered as a 2nd reading speech in the Parliament as it sets out the purpose and reasons that The Constitution was framed in the way it was. Quick and Garran is called a book of authority and can be used in any Court in the world when relating to Australian constitutional matters. The High Court and the Privy Council has quoted from and used Quick and Garran as a book of reference on many occasions. In the case of the High Court, far too many to list, but more than 150 occasions and in the case of the Privy Council, on a few occasions.
(Source: clra.info/local_government/)


For Victorians who wish to sue their local city council see:
https://localgovernmentclassaction.com.au/

See article from 28 Aug 2019 by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation of the headline:

Kalgoorlie-Boulder council votes to give staff access to ratepayer funds for defamation cases



Photo: Mayor John Bowler says the level of damaging and threatening comments has escalated. (ABC Goldfields: Jasmine Bamford)

A council in regional Western Australia is the latest to join a growing list of local governments around the country to allow ratepayer money to fund defamation action against members of the public.

Key points:

    Mayor defends decision to allow access to ratepayer funds to launch defamation action and obtain restraining orders
    The council says the volume of abusive comments is escalating and becoming more personal
    Social media lawyer says many people wrongly believe they have an enshrined right to freedom of speech

The Kalgoorlie-Boulder council has voted to allow elected members and staff to access funds for legal action when a constituent's comment was defamatory and targeted the person.

Funds can also be used to help employees obtain restraining orders.

The council said the volume of abusive and defamatory comments was escalating and becoming more personal, particularly on social media.

    "I can put up with a lot, and I have ... I think I'm defamed almost daily in this town and it upsets me that it is so vitriolic," chief executive John Walker said.

"But there are some things that have happened that go beyond that ... some of the threats, some of the comments, need to be stopped."

Mayor John Bowler said while he welcomed criticism as a democratic right, the policy change was needed.

"When there are out-and-out lies, threats of violence and hate speech that might precipitate violence, something has got to be done to stop it," he said.

While they did not detail specific remarks, one councillor said a recent Facebook comment referred to staff as "just a bunch of greedy thieves, lining their own pockets".
'Average' person not exempt from defamation

High-profile defamation cases, like actress Rebel Wilson's defamation payout from Bauer Media last year, make the headlines.

But in an academic article this year, NSW District Court Judge Judith Gibson said "ordinary members of the public form the majority of the parties in defamation".

Judge Gibson also noted that defamation court cases arising from social media comments were on the rise, while claims against media organisations were falling.

Paul Gordon, a social media lawyer at Wallmans Lawyers, said the "average person" did not understand what defamation was and "people think they can post anything online and get away with it".

"If I communicate something to you directly and there's no-one else to hear it, I can say what I like and it's not defamatory," he said.

"But the moment one other person can hear or read or see what I've said, then it is defamatory if it meets all the other tests."
What is defamation?

To prove defamation, there are a few factors that must be present: the victim must be identified, the matter must be published (this includes social media), and the matter must be defamatory.

A defamatory comment is something that will lower a person's reputation.

If a person is sued for defamation, they may be able to defend themselves by proving what they said was true or an honest opinion.

    "If I've claimed that you have embezzled funds and I have no evidence of that whatsoever, then I'm going to have a hard time in proving what I said is true," Mr Gordon said.

"If I said, 'I don't think you're doing a good job', I don't need to prove whether or not you're doing a good job, that's simply my opinion and that's not defamatory."

Under defamation law, organisations and councils as a body cannot sue over general damaging comments.

However, individual employees can sue if they have been identified through name or description.

But a New South Wales case in 1994 found a local government entity may sue for "injurious falsehood", which is considered an alternative and less common legal path.


What about free speech?

The constitution does not explicitly protect freedom of expression.

In June, former High Court judge Michael Kirby told the ABC that "Australia has less protection for free speech than any other Western country", while Judge Gibson said "the term 'defamation capital of the world' has been used repeatedly to describe the high number of defamation cases in Australia".

Mr Gordon said the influence of American culture often led Australians to wrongly believe they had a similar level of protection of free speech.

He said he did not believe the practice of using council funds to launch defamation cases was "unusual".

    "In the current climate, it's not surprising that there are councils adopting these policies.

"I've personally been aware of cases in South Australia and I have heard reports of this in other states."
Ratepayers funding defamation cases

The newly formed WA Ratepayers and Residents Association said there had been a "discouraging trend" of local governments allowing the use of council money to launch defamation actions.

"I don't think it's fair for someone to make false allegations against anyone," chairman Clive Ross said.

    "But for them to be able to launch an action against a resident, using effectively the resident's own money against them, is simply open to abuse and not something I believe is justified."

The Kalgoorlie-Boulder council is two months away from an election and Mr Ross said this change was being used "as a weapon".

Cr Bowler, however, denied it was an attempt to stifle debate, saying that he hoped the legal funds never had to be used and "the mere threat will stop people committing the worst of these atrocities on social media".

The WA Local Government Association said it did not collect data on these types of policies but was aware of various councils issuing cease-and-desist letters to residents.

Mr Gordon said if defamation proceedings went to trial it could be costly, running into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Friday, August 30, 2019

The loss of Google is the best thing that happened to Huawei

Quite simply put, Google is against your (the user's) security (i.e. privacy and anonymity).

An example is that 'surveillance settings' in Android, the likes of Google Location Accuracy get turned on at a later time, even though you turned the setting off.

There is also a plethora of settings that you may turn off, if you've found them deep with wthe settings structure and Google turns them back on, against your will and unknown to you.

Google even enables a setting for itself called Telephone, meaning it can place calls from your device.

Google's business model is based on something called surveillance capitalism, where if Google was truly for your security there would be no data obtained about you from your device which is later passed on to other entities.

With the invention of 'apps' comes another way where government 'players' can obtain your data from the smartphone, as apps have a closed architecture and there is no way a (standard) consumer can check where their data is going to.

Many apps are 'free' because you pay for it by giving your data from your smartphone to the app developer which later gets passed on to apparent 'advertisers'.

Do you really need to download a 'free' news website's app when you can view the same content through an anonymising web browser?

Apps are pushed onto consumers by governments and corporations alike in order to obtain more data from your device, like who you call and who is in your contacts list, something they could not do from your personal conputer as this data is not there.

With the demise of other mobile operating systems, the authorities can better control and monitor the data 'hoovering' actions of just two corporations Apple and Google.

Another smartphone ecosystem away from Apple and Google, especially with an emphasis on (real) security would be of benefit to the consumer.

This is a chance for Huawei to make the best of their so called 'nightmare'.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Paedophiles in the Navy? Former commander incarcerated for abusing boys

Is the colony of Australia full of paedophile in command?

Why is only just one being prosecuted when there are many more?

Only a couple of years for ruining people's serf's lives.

See article from 29 Aug 2019 by thr Australian Broadcasting Corporation of the headline:

Former Australian Navy commander sentenced to jail for two years for historic sex abuse of boys


Photo David Graham, pictured here in 2013 with former Governor-General Quentin Bryce, has been jailed for child sex offences. Supplied: Australian Defence Force

A disgraced former Navy commander will spend the next two years in jail and 15 years listed on a child sex offender register after he was found guilty of seven child sex offences.

Key points:

  •     David Graham, 50, was found guilty of three counts of indecent dealing with a child under 10 years, three acts of gross indecency and attempted sexual intercourse
  •     One victim said Graham's predatory abuse had caused him ongoing psychological problems
  •     Graham did not express any remorse or concern for his victims, and did not accept any responsibility for his actions, the judge found

David Graham, 50, was found guilty of inappropriately touching two young boys in Darwin between 2006 and 2008, as well as attempting to rape one of them while camping near Alice Springs.

Justice Graham Hiley sentenced him on Tuesday in the Supreme Court in Darwin to five years behind bars, to be suspended after two years.
Abuse had extreme effects on victims

The sexual abuse had extreme impacts on the two victims, who are now young adults, with both suffering mental health issues and one even attempting suicide, the court heard.

"I became withdrawn, anxious, and scared about what people would think about me," one victim said in a statement.

"I felt like I couldn't do anything about it."

The man, who cannot be identified, also wrote directly to his abuser in his statement to the court.

    "You and I, and now the world, know that you are guilty. I hope you see through your lies and realise that until you admit your guilt, you can't be helped," he wrote.

The younger victim, who saw Graham as a "father figure", told the court the reality of the abuse didn't sink in until he reached puberty.

"My belief is that Graham is solely to blame for not only the turmoil I faced as a child or the delinquent I became throughout puberty but also the mental instability I face," he said.
 
Boys idolised and trusted senior naval officer

Photo The court heard that Graham did not 'express any remorse' for his crimes.
ABC News: Al Dowler

"I believe that he should pay for every drink that I've had past moderation, every suicidal thought that has ever entered my head, every sleepless night I had as a child, and for every day of my life that I have to bear the knowledge that I was a victim of sexual assault.

    "The predatory and sexually abusive actions of David Graham have undoubtedly been the cause of the immense emotional and psychological damage that continues to wreak issues within my psyche today."

The court heard Graham's abuse of the boys was "opportunistic" and despite only being charged with seven offences, he had abused them "at least" 10 times.

Graham did not display emotion as he sat in the dock as Justice Hiley read out his sentencing remarks.

"Your conduct is particularly serious. Firstly, both of your victims were vulnerable," he said.

"[The younger victim] idolised you, he permitted you to do these things to him, even though he knew what you were doing was wrong.

    "You knew the parents had complete trust in you … it was also based on trust in you in your capacity as a senior naval officer. You breached that trust and abused your power over those boys."

Offender expressed no remorse, responsibility

Graham's barrister, Tom Berkley, told the court he'd been "embarrassed" by the media attention his trial received, and that Graham was otherwise a man of good character.

Justice Hiley found the offending was in the "middle" range of seriousness for child sex offending.

"You do not express any remorse, you have not expressed any concern for your victims, and you do not accept any responsibility for your conduct," Justice Hiley said.

    "Because of your denials, your victims had to be strongly challenged on their evidence."

Graham will be released from prison in August 2021.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Guilty until proven otherwise in the rogue colony of Australia


Have you heard the saying "Innocent until proven guilty"?

Where did you hear it from, the movies, in a 'democracy'?

Well the above two at least do not pertain to Australia.

The corporation aggregate known as the 'Australian Government' have gone ferral on the serfs, the tax slave population.

The following is an article of action taken by the "Department of Human Services" or rather the Department of Inhumane Services from the 27th day of August 2019 as described by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation of the headline:

Centrelink seizes tax return of robodebt recipient in what may breach policy

Photo: Miranda Debeljakovic had her disputed robodebt deducted from her tax return. (ABC News: Jerry Rickard)




The tax returns of Australians appealing controversial "robodebts" have been seized by the Department of Human Services, in what may be a breach of its own policy.

Automated debts raised by Centrelink have been criticised by legal groups because they put the onus on welfare recipients to prove they do not owe any money.


Key points:
  • Some people are finding their tax returns have been garnished over alleged robodebts
  • Miranda Debeljakovic is disputing her robodebt but still had it taken from her tax return
  • The Department of Human Services says it garnishes tax returns in accordance with the law

The controversial scheme matches income data from the Australian Tax Office with income reported to Centrelink by welfare recipients.

Compliance officers from the Department of Human Services told 7.30 they are experiencing a large volume of calls from Australians who have unexpectedly had their tax returns garnished over alleged robodebts.

In some cases, disputed debts have been taken directly from people's tax returns.

 
Miranda Debeljakovic is one of those people.

Last year, she received an $8,920 debt notice from Centrelink. The debt was later found to be inaccurate and was reduced twice — first to just $2,797, and later to $2,117.

"Every single day I was waking up and I was thinking about the debt and what I was going to do about the debt," Ms Debeljakovic said.

When she got her tax return, the $2,117 had been deducted.

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A policy guide for compliance staff seen by 7.30 states that debt recipients who have lodged reviews are exempt from the garnishing process.

"I think the fault with this entire system is that … the onus is on the individual to prove that they don't owe a debt," Ms Debeljakovic said.

"And now that my money has been taken away from me, I also have to prove that I don't owe the money that's already been taken off me."

A spokesman for the Department of Human Services told 7.30 it would not comment on individual cases, but that it garnished tax returns in accordance with the law.

"We only take this action when other attempts to recover money owed have failed. In these cases, we notify the person before any action occurs," he said.


Centrelink 'double-dipped' into aged pensioner's benefits


Photo: Pamela Egan was told she owed a $9,305 debt. It was later reduced. (ABC News: Alex McDonald)

There are growing concerns about the use of automated debt recovery against vulnerable Australians, including disability support pensioners and aged pension recipients.

The Department of Human Services told 7.30 in July that a "small number" of pensioners were targeted in online compliance reviews.

Sydney aged pensioner Pamela Egan, 72, was told she owed a $9,305 debt in 2016.

"They're not interested in the average person," she told 7.30.

"They're only interested in getting money and they don't care who they get it from and how they get it, and what we have to do without to pay it."

The Department of Human Services regularly deducted funds from her pension each fortnight to repay her debt.

"My sister passed away in December, and having the debt on top of all this was just, I was stressed out because of it, I was worried about it," she said.

"I didn't know what I was going to do."

7.30 first contacted the Department of Human Services about Ms Egan's case in July. Several weeks later, her debt was reviewed by a compliance officer and reduced to just $4,209. She was refunded the excess amount of $152.19.

Ms Egan says a department officer told her on the phone it was due to a mistake in which part of her income was counted twice. Her Centrelink records appear to back this assessment.

One of her employer's names appears twice on an internal working document, which 7.30 has been told is a common error in the data-matching process.

"My anger is that they had a $9,000 debt that suddenly came down to $4,000," she said. "I told them the truth but they still managed to double dip.

"So I'm questioning their accounting procedures and how they came up with that figure in the first place."

She says she maintains that even the reduced debt is incorrect.

Stuart Robert apologised to disability pensioner's mother


Photo: Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert. (ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

A spokesman for the Department of Human Services told 7.30 that since it started, the scope of the online compliance program has not expanded to include new payment types.

7.30 previously revealed that the department had attempted to recover a debt from a deceased disability pensioner, placing the robodebt scheme under significant public scrutiny.

Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert apologised to the pensioner's mother in Parliament

"In the vast majority of times, compassion will step in and the debt will be wiped," Mr Robert said. "In this particular case, because of the size of the debt being both uneconomical to recover as well as the length of time, the department should have simply waived the debt.

"They didn't, my department was wrong, I apologise for it."

The debt recovery program is now facing two separate parliamentary inquiries.

A spokesman for the Minister for Government Services referred to the department's response.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Australian government used its soldiers as lab rats in nuclear tests

Nuclear tests carried out at Maralinga have had a devastating health impact on communities still in the area. (Source:northernstar)

Everyone (in government?) loves to paint a picture of the Russians being the secretive state, the bad guys where after all if there would be no 'bad guys'  there would be need to send out soldiers to be killed for the business interest of those in government (you know China, Huawei, damn, no soldiers in that one... yet!), right?

After the very popular TV Mini-Series Chernobyl (2019), there have been renewed interests in say Russia's state of nuclear affairs, and their cover ups, but all is quiet on the colonial front.

Very briefly,

When you enrol into the military service, you might be told that you will be serving your country (whatever that really means), but what you are not told is that you might get maimed or killed (where you or your faimily will not obtain adequate compensation) protecting the business interests of those in power.

Back in the day of nuclear 'testing' in the British colony called Australia the government deliberately and knowingly sent people to their painful deaths caused by cancer as a result of radiation exposure.

Well, to make the test more effective the government put a tank into the nuclear fallout zone, then told the personnel to retrieve the tank under the pretence to bring it back to 'Pucka' (Puckapunyal, base), knowing full well that the tank would hold the radiation thus exposing the 'lab rats'.

These people were not told that they were going to be used as ongoing experiments with cancer later on in life.

They were not given 'full disclosure' into the health risk the government knew about.

No 'royal commission' into this one ?

Remember:

"everything is fine trust your government"