07 July 2018

'Bureaucratic bastardry': DVA shafts veterans

If this is not an action that confirms that the people in the Australian Government despise the general population then who knows what is?


Today, the well informed general population should comprehend that wars are started by the people in government for the benefit of the people in government, either at home or abroad at the expense of the general population using a disposable resource called cannon fodder.

People should also comprehend that the humans in the Australian Government are corrupt to the core with regards to administering the general population of the colony called Australia.

Today if you enrol into the military to go overseas to kill people you are supporting the corrupt activities of the people in the Australian Government.

It is your choice as to enrol or not, in order to kill people overseas.

In any event Australia's Department of Veteran Affairs changed the rules so that veterans cannot claim compensation, as a result of their injures obtained for the benefit of those in government.

See article from 18 Jun 2018 by abcnews.com.au of the headline:

'Bureaucratic bastardry': DVA secretly changed the rules to deny veteran's claim in 10-year battle

Photo: Martin Rollins during his time in the Army (Supplied: Martin Rollins)

The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) secretly deleted an incapacity policy to prevent an injured veteran claiming compensation. And it never told the veteran or his lawyer.

It was part of a decade-long campaign of delay and denial by the department against Martin Rollins, whose back was severely damaged while serving in the Army.

"After more than 25 years representing veterans in this jurisdiction I've never seen a case like Martin Rollins and the extent the department has gone to," Mr Rollins's lawyer, Greg Isolani, told 7.30.
"Their behaviour's been appalling."
Brian Briggs, a military compensation specialist at Slater & Gordon, said it goes beyond just obstruction.

"This is an act where you've gone to a new level of bureaucratic bastardry on a level I haven't seen before," he told 7.30.

A shattered dream

Photo: Martin Rollins and a colleague in a parachute emergency. (Supplied: Martin Rollins)

Martin Rollins's troubles began during his six years of service as a paratrooper at bases around Australia in the 1980s.

His spine was damaged and he left the army in 1990, receiving a small disability pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs which rose to $116 a fortnight by 2007.

To supplement that pension and to ensure his independence, Rollins created several small businesses, including a small mortgage operation.

"I could manage my own time, I could self-manage my resources and I was only answerable to myself," Mr Rollins said.

By mid-2007 his back gave out and he had to have spinal surgery.

"It was just excruciating, incredible pain and it just got worse," he said.

He recalls reading the surgeon's notes — that his shattered L5 disc had been removed.
"There were bits of the disc that had fragmented and broken all over the place," he said.
Asking for help — a 10-year fight begins

Photo: Martin Rollins' L5 disc had been shattered. (ABC News)

Before the operation Mr Rollins contacted the Department of Veterans' Affairs for more help to protect his business, making the first of hundreds of frustrated and sometimes angry calls, emails and faxes which continue to this day.

Initially the DVA offered Mr Rollins an extra $25.50 a week.

Months later he was granted 16 weeks of "temporary incapacity" payments of $370 a week to get him through.

When that ended in early 2008, Mr Rollins asked the DVA for "economic loss compensation" to keep his business afloat.

His requests were rejected.

He began living on credit cards and getting help from the RSL just to keep himself going.

"I had no idea what the legislation was, I was just incapacitated. I was just reaching out for help," Mr Rollins said.

Through Freedom of Information, Mr Rollins discovered what DVA officers were really thinking.
During 2008 a DVA official openly called Mr Rollins's incapacity "debatable".

In June, Mr Rollins warned the department about the "very serious potential loss of (his) business".
He put his house on the market and in July his business was gone. By the end of 2008 he had pretty much lost everything.

Only then did he hire a lawyer.

'Bureaucratic bastardry'

 Photo: Martin Rollins fought the DVA for a decade over compensation. (ABC News)

7.30 can now reveal that in 2010 the DVA deleted an incapacity policy in order to deny Mr Rollins further assistance.

It was a policy that was specifically meant to help self-employed veterans.

If they became incapacitated they could declare their earnings were zero and claim financial help from the department, even if their business continued to earn an income.

With the stroke of a pen, the DVA had changed the rules and never told Mr Rollins or his lawyer, who were relying on it for his claim.

Mr Rollins and his lawyer didn't learn about the change until 2015 when they discovered the department's deceit buried in a several-hundred-page draft report into his case.

"This constitutes bureaucratic bastardry," Brian Briggs said.

"When you deliberately get rid of a policy, you amend or vary or revoke a policy, and then hide that from the person trying to rely on the benefits of that policy and their lawyer to defeat their claim and also to defeat a claim under defective administration for how they'd treated him — someone should answer for that."

Photo: Greg Isolani, Martin Rollins' lawyer, says changes to policy should only be done at the highest levels. (ABC News)

The Department's intent was clearly revealed in the report.

It said the policy was deleted "to remove any reliance that Rollins or his representative could place on it for the purpose of his outstanding claim as well as the CDDA … claim".

"The deletion of a policy should take place at the highest of levels within the military rehabilitation and compensation commission," Greg Isolani said.

"[The Department] shouldn't, at lower levels, just change policy and to deny this person and entitlement."

'You might as well shoot them in the head'


Photo: Martin Rollins suffered chronic pain, stress and depression. (ABC News)

Over a decade the DVA engaged three external law firms, the Government solicitor and a forensic accountant firm to fight Rollins' claim.

"It's astounding and it's mind blowing that the department would engage and spend that much money across a number of external law firms, including an international firm, to commission a 300 page report over two years rather than spend the money and time to liaise with myself as his representative," Greg Isolani said.

The cost to Martin's mental and physical health increased. He attempted suicide — several times.

"If you take away their employment, there's incapacity, there is housing loss, [there] is relationship loss, there's isolationist depression, stress, chronic pain," Mr Rollins said.

"You might as well just turn up at their house and just shoot them in the head.
"The difference here is the gun is a pen and a paper.
"That's the only difference … the outcome is exactly the same."

An apology and an offer of money — for silence

Ultimately Mr Rollins won an empty victory in late 2016 when the DVA Secretary sent him a letter.
"On behalf of the department I apologise for your experience and the difficulties you have faced," the letter said.

Two offers were then made: $58,000 for back payment of Mr Rollins's incapacity entitlements, and an "administrative payment" of $69,110.07, which was "conditional upon signing … a Release and Indemnity".

Photo: Compensation lawyer Brian Briggs says someone should answer for the DVA's behaviour. (ABC News)

Mr Rollins believes the administrative payment was an attempt to buy his silence but he says he is not going to shut up.

"I fired an email back to the Secretary of DVA — I basically told him where he can shove your $69,000," he said.

Mr Briggs said the department has "certainly breached guidelines".
"There've been delays. There's been maladministration. They haven't acted in good conscience. They haven't acted equitably," he said.
"They've bastardised this claim beyond belief.

"Of more concern is the money they've spent defending this claim over a period of 10 years.

"Hundreds of thousands of dollars — multiple law firms, cover-ups.

"It defies belief that they could get away with this. I'm talking higher up in the executive and senior officer levels."

As for Mr Rollins, the former soldier wants DVA's behaviour investigated to ensure no other veteran suffers the same fate.

In a statement to 7.30, DVA denied any impropriety by its staff but acknowledged "some aspects its client service could have been better" in Mr Rollins' case.

03 July 2018

Australian Government forcing you with biometric ID

If this new action by the Australian Government was to be described as a law (you know an 'Act') it could be called something like; 

An Act for more cost effective administration of the serf population monitoring control of movements and other purposes within the colony of Australia.

If you are not given a choice you no longer live in a democracy but rather a dictatorship, totalitarian state, corpratocracy, fascist regime or another system of governance you care to name.

This is case for people who are 'owned' by the government, the ones who are on 'benefits' i.e. the elderly, the unemployed, or the sick, the people who went over the seas to kill people for the benefit of the people within the Australian Government.

Make no mistake about it the serfs who are owned by the government will be catalogued like cattle and treated as such, by those who assumed office.

The surveillance (police) state is very mature in the colony, where this latest move will be subject to data breaches in the future, where 'your' data will be breached and not 'theirs'.

Never forget who the people in government regard as their primary enemy:

See article from 2 July 2018 by news.com.au of the headline:

Welfare recipients to undergo face scan in order to get payments

UNDER divisive new regulation, welfare recipients may soon have to have their faces scanned and analysed in order to access their payments.

A NEW controversial system may soon see welfare recipients required to have their face scanned and analysed before they can access their payments.

The system, which will also affect people trying access Medicare and childcare subsidies, age pension and pay tax online, is part of a new biometric security program that is set to begin in October.

Under the new strategy those trying to access these government services will be required to take photo to create a myGov ID, which will then be checked against driver’s licences and passports to confirm their identity.

Human Services Minister Michael Keenan has hopes the plan will see Australia become a world leader in “digital government” by 2025.

When fully rolled out the digital identity solution will allow users access to almost any government agency through one single portal, with the trial allowing 100,000 people to apply for a Tax File number online.

Currently applicants have to fill in a form online, print it out and take it to the post office so their identification can be verified.

But the introduction of the new system is causing some concern over the privacy of those taking part.
IT security expert Troy Hunt, who runs the website haveibeenpwned.com, told news.com.au that a biometric system — like the one proposed — wasn’t without its faults.

“One of the problems is we want to be able to access things in a secure fashion but passwords aren’t really great for doing that because a lot of us tend to use the same one for everything,” he said.

“Biometrics can be better in this aspect but on the flip side it is information that can’t really be changed if there is a security breach.”

Mr Hunt said that once a database is built up of this biometric data then there was the possibility it could be used for reasons other than it’s intended purpose. For example having a scan of people’s faces on file could make it easier to identify or track people through security camera.

There are some security concerns with the new biometric system. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/AAPSource:AAP

He said it was up to the government to prove to Australians that the system wasn’t going to be abused.

“What we want to see from the Australian government is transparency about how this system is being used and where the information is going,” Mr Hunt said.

“They need to convince us that we can be confident in this system and trust them [with] this kind of data.”

The new system will be implemented on a voluntary basis but those who refuse to take part won’t be able to access government services online.

This means they will have to queue up at Centrelink to access these services in person.

For those who do use the new system they have been assured that their digital face image will be deleted as soon as it is checked against the other identifying documents they provided.

A media release published on Mr Keenan’s website states that “privacy and security will be at the heart of any of the changes we plan to make”.

“Consultation will also be vital with both industry and relevant interest groups to ensure we deliver services that people will want to use and also trust,” the statement reads.

02 July 2018

Malicious Android apps steal money by stealthily subscribing users to unknown services

From phonearena.com:

Despite the fact that both Google and Apple take great care to make sure the Play Store and App Store are safe, secure, and the absolutely the only place you should be getting your apps, sometimes, some malicious software makes its way through the cracks.

McAfee security company now reports that a known cybercriminal gang — AsiaHitGroup — is at it again, using a repackaged piece of malicious software that it has used in the past on the Google Play Store.

It's called Sonvpay.C and it gets smuggled aboard the Play Store via a plethora of different innocent-looking apps, such as ringtone creators, flashlights, QR code scanners and the like. And it's a sneaky one to intercept, even if you are a savvy user.

Basically, once on one's phone, the malicious app will — at some point — trigger an "update" notification. However, that's not an update, but a reskinned subscription button, which will instantly sign the user up for an unknown paid service. Unlike previous versions of Sonvpay, this one does not use SMS messages. Instead, it employs WAP billing — an over-the-air data message to a website —, which means it can't be seen in the user's message history.

According to McAfee, the scam apps have been used in Kazakhstan and Malaysia, but if Sonvpay detects that the device is not in one of these regions, it'll still try to send off an SMS message to a premium service. Reportedly, the apps have been online since January of 2018 and McAfee calculates that AsiaHitGroup could have potentially made between $60,500 and $145,000 from unsuspecting victims.

Be careful what you download, folks!

The Commonwealth of Thieves

Just a reminder of who assumed positions in office:

Paedophilia in Australia's entertainment industry 'coming out'?

See excerpt from the article by abc.net.au of the headline:

Logies: Bert Newton criticised for gay slur as Grant Denyer wins Gold Logie

Newton's comments could be the end of his career, some social media users said.
AAP: Dan Peled

Australian television icon Bert Newton is facing a social media backlash over comments he made when presenting the Graham Kennedy Award for most popular new talent at the 60th annual Logie Awards.

His comments came on the night Grant Denyer was awarded the Gold Logie for most popular personality on Australian television, and Hugo Weaving (Seven Types Of Ambiguity) and Pamela Rabe (Wentworth) won most outstanding actor and actress respectively. Weaving and Rabe were not at the ceremony to accept the awards.

Having referred to himself using a gay slur, Newton joked that his former co-star Kennedy enjoyed "mentoring" young talent behind closed doors.

"Speaking of young talent, Graham Kennedy was always the sort of man who nurtured young talent," Newton said.

"He enjoyed giving young people a chance on television, he was a great mentor, he mentored a lot of young people.
"You knew if you went to his dressing room and it was locked, he would be inside doing some mentoring."
Film critic and entertainment journalist Giles Hardie said Newton's comments "didn't resonate well" in the era of the #MeToo movement against sexual abuse.

"Ultimately, this is an 80-year-old variety performer who got up and gave exactly the sort of routine he does," Hardie said.

"You've got to look at … the producers where [the Logies] is a show that doesn't have a Welcome to Country.

"This is a show that only dealt with #MeToo in a musical number.
"I think they brought it on themselves saying, here's Bert and here's what he does."
Newton's comments also drew criticism from many social media users, with Australian TV and film critic Andrew Mercado saying someone should tell Newton about #MeToo.
"I suspect that is going to be Bert's last ever appearance at the Logies," Mercado wrote on Twitter.

"He will always be a legend, but that was just sad tonight."
Twitter user Paul Nicholson also suggested it could be the end of Newton's career.
"Unacceptable in politically correct Australia in 2018. Time for Bert Newton to retire?" he wrote.
Newton was presenting the award to CRAM! and Utopia star Dilruk Jayasinha when he made the comments.

Denyer wins Gold Logie despite show's cancellation

Photo Family Feud host Grant Denyer triumphantly holds up his gold and silver Logies.
AAP: Dan Peled

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