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Archive for August, 2019

Human Rights Act ‘not all lollipops and rainbows’

08.21.2019, Comments Off on Human Rights Act ‘not all lollipops and rainbows’, 苏州美甲美睫培训学校, by .

A Human Rights Act could make a significant difference to the delivery of services in Queensland. Photo: Dean Mitchell At the launch of the campaign for a Human Rights Act for Queensland, Rob Hulls (former Attorney General of Victoria) told us that although their Charter of Rights had “made the world of difference to some people”, Victoria still isn’t “the land of lollipops and rainbows.” However, after the announcement that the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has signed an agreement with our new Prime Minister to roll out the NDIS, the sun is sure shining brighter for people living with disability in Victoria.
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Victorians with disability can look forward to the full implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with the assurance that their Charter of Rights will continue to provide a safeguard that the services that are delivered to them by public authorities will be done in accordance with a human rights framework.

The Queensland Government committed to an early 2016 launch of the NDIS in this year’s budget. This commitment is subject to Commonwealth Government agreement, which will be included in the Bilateral Agreement that will have the details of when and where the NDIS will be launched in Queensland.

On Monday night the Queensland Government committed to a parliamentary inquiry about a Human Rights Act for Queensland.

The introduction of a Human Rights Act for Queensland has the potential to ensure that services delivered in connection with the NDIS are consistent with the human rights of people with disability.

Over the last 30 years inquiries have demonstrated the levels of abuse and neglect that people with disability have been subjected to in connection with service providers. The National Disability Insurance Agency is grappling with the issue of how to develop a national quality assurance framework to ensure that, in an open market that includes many new businesses, this doesn’t continue to occur.

Human rights legislation exists in jurisdictions including the ACT, Victoria, the UK, New Zealand and Canada. This legislation protects rights such as the right to be free from inhumane and degrading treatment and torture, the right to liberty and security of person, the right to freedom of movement, the right to privacy, the right to freedom of expression and the right to participate in public life.

In Victoria the Charter of Human Rights provides that public authorities must act compatibly with human rights and take human rights into account when making decisions. It provides that public authorities must consider whether their decisions and actions limit human rights and whether any limits are necessary and the least restrictive possible.

If we had a Human Rights Act in Queensland that imposed a similar duty on public authorities and defined public authorities broadly enough to include all private and not-for-profit organisations providing disability support services, all disability service providers would be required to deliver their services compatibly with human rights. This would contribute to ensuring that the services that are delivered to people with disability are of a high quality.

It is serendipitous that a Human Rights Act for Queensland is on the agenda at the same time that the Queensland Government is negotiating our state’s launch of the NDIS – it could mean that Queenslanders with disability will finally have access to services delivered according to a human rights framework and that individuals will have access to remedies when their rights are not considered. It may not fill our state with lollipops and rainbows but it should mean that people with disability actually feel that they live in the sunshine state.

Aimee McVeigh, Director of McVeigh Law, is coordinating a campaign for a Human Rights Act for Queensland.

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LGBT people with dementia struggle to find welcoming aged care, research finds

08.21.2019, Comments Off on LGBT people with dementia struggle to find welcoming aged care, research finds, 苏州美甲美睫培训学校, by .

Tony Walsh (left) with a picture of his partner Paul Wenn, who died last year. Photo: Joe ArmaoWhen Paul Wenn told his life partner Tony Walsh his doctor had suggested Paul should go to a memory clinic, they both had a good laugh.
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But then Paul forgot to go. And when Tony realised he had slowly assumed all responsibility for running their household, they knew the changes in Paul were serious.

On the evening of the day Paul was diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia they went out for dinner and resolved to live fully, while it was still possible: they did15 cruises, international travel, no slowing down.

But eventually it was time to search out a LGBTI-friendly residential aged care facility for Paul, and live apart for the first time in 25 years.

Have you heard this one? When people get dementia, they “revert” to being straight.

It’s a homophobic myth, but it still gets trotted out by some aged care providers, say the first researchers to study the experiences of Australian lesbian, gay and transgender people with dementia.

The first facilities Tony and Paul looked at kept making excuses; Paul’s medications were too complicated, they were just about to undergo renovations, they only took “passive” dementia patients.

“Our ‘gaydar’ was going crazy, we just knew these places weren’t going to be very welcoming,” says Tony.

Older LGBTI people worry they will have to “re-enter the closet” if they go into aged care. Many still carry emotional scars from an era when revealing their sexual orientation or gender identity could mean arrest, imprisonment, psychiatric incarceration and attempted “cure” treatments.

But some people entering aged care also find their circumstances offer a newfound freedom, including one man who only felt safe to come out when he entered aged care, he told researchers.

Others encountered homophobia and ignorance from their carers, says Dr Catherine Barrett, the sexual health and ageing program co-ordinator at La Trobe, and co-author of a journal article on the topic in the Australian Journal of Dementia Care.

An older lesbian with dementia told researchers: “Sexuality is not a rinse colour you put through your hair. It’s fundamental … to who you are and how to you relate to other people.”

One patient transitioned from male to female 40 years earlier, but was forced by her children to enter a residential aged care facility as a man or run the risk of never seeing her grandchildren again. It was actually her carers who realised what had happened and were unsure what to do.

“Your sexual orientation or gender identity is more likely to be influenced by homophobic or transphobic ideas from family or the care setting, than dementia”, Dr Barrett says.

“But you do become reliant, and this could change your opportunity to have your relationship or gender identity recognised.”

Older LGBTI people should prepare their powers of attorney well in advance, and clearly document their gender preferences, she says.

Paul found a welcoming home at Uniting AgeWell Carnsworth Community in Kew, where the staff unquestioningly accepted Tony as his partner.

Some of the older residents were uncertain of their relationship, congratulating Tony on his dedication to visit his “brother”, a comment he brushed off with a laugh.

“All we wanted was to be treated as a normal couple – people like anyone else,” says Tony.

Paul died in 2014, 11 years after he was first diagnosed with dementia.

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Let us be your gateway to Australia, Victorian premier tells Chinese leaders

08.21.2019, Comments Off on Let us be your gateway to Australia, Victorian premier tells Chinese leaders, 苏州美甲美睫培训学校, by .

Premier Daniel Andrews has made an ambitious pitch for Victoria to become China’s new gateway to Australia as he ramps up plans to capitalise on the country’s growing middle class.
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With new figures revealing food and fibre exports to China reached $2.8 billion last year, the state government has begun drafting a bold strategy to drive investment even further – particularly among affluent Chinese households where demand for Victorian products is most likely to rise.

In a speech to business leaders in Beijing on Tuesday night, Mr Andrews also talked up the China free trade agreement – despite an earlier push by Trades Hall to “call out” the deal as problematic for workers’ rights.

“(Chinese president) Xi Jinping’s very successful visit to Australia last year, and of course, the historic China-Australia free trade agreement should give all of us great optimism, great confidence, and a great sense of possibility about the Victoria and Australia-China relationship,” he said.

The Premier’s comments come as a new report to be released on Wednesday reaffirmed China’s position as Victoria’s top destination for food exports, followed by the USA, Japan and Indonesia.

Figures from the Victorian Food and Fibre Export Report 2014-15 showed exports to China increasing, particular in terms of wool (valued at $1.06 billion last year); meat ($449 million); horticulture ($38 million) and wine ($64 million).

The government’s planned China strategy will provide further opportunities for growth, and will be drafted while Mr Andrews tours the country this week on his first official visit as Premier. It is expected to involve a sharper focus on areas such as food and wine, medical technology, and professional services; the likelihood of a new sister-state relationship in the country’s booming southwest; and annual visits to China by the Premier and his cabinet MPs.

Travelling and supplying goods will also be easier, with Air China revealing on Tuesday that it would provide daily direct flights between Beijing and Melbourne from October 25.

The move is an increase on the four services currently offered by the airline each week, and will place pressure on other carriers that don’t run direct flights from Melbourne to mainland China, such and Qantas and Virgin.

“This will mean more visitors, more tourists and more produce coming from Victoria to China – and that’s great for jobs,” Mr Andrews said.

TOP 10 MARKETS FOR VICTORIAN FOOD EXPORTS. A$ MILLIONS (VOLUME: ‘000 TONNES)

1. China: 1111 (669)

2. USA: 1011 (168)

3. Japan: 834 (263)

4. Indonesia: 499 (225)

5. New Zealand 479 (272)

6. Hong Kong: 405 (113)

7. Malaysia: 365 (227)

8. Singapore: 353 (123)

9. United Arab Emirates: 325 (98)

10. Vietnam: 294 (273)

Source: Victorian Food and Fibre Export Performance Report 2014-15, Victorian Government

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Organised crime groups target Indigenous communities, Crime Commission report reveals

08.21.2019, Comments Off on Organised crime groups target Indigenous communities, Crime Commission report reveals, 苏州美甲美睫培训学校, by .

Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion says the issues raised by the taskforce are a concern. Photo: Alex EllinghausenOrganised crime groups that exploit remote Indigenous communities, and are suspected of drug trafficking and recruiting locals, are being largely ignored by authorities, an internal Australian Crime Commission report reveals.
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The ACC tried to keep secret the recommendations of a final report into Indigenous communities, which found that registered child sex offender monitoring systems should be reviewed, and backed the permanent presence of police, child protection and health services in isolated regions.

The 34 recommendations of the ACC National Indigenous Intelligence Taskforce, which investigated remote communities from 2006 to last year, were only released after Fairfax Media appealed to the Australian Information Commissioner.

The taskforce’s final report was released to Fairfax under freedom of information   laws in March, but the recommendations, or “response options for consideration”, were redacted.

The ACC argued the public interest of revealing the recommendations was outweighed by the impact that disclosure could have on “the ACC’s ability to provide frank and candid advice to government”, but reversed that decision this month after an appeal to the AIC.

None of the ACC recommendations refer to the forced closure of remote communities, an issue which has sparked national protests that are set to flare again in November.

The report found that “law enforcement agencies may need to increase their focus on the presence of organised crime groups in regional indigenous communities”.

There were also recommendations that raise concerns about: The effectiveness of community-run safe houses for family violence victims;A need to expand the mandatory reporting requirements of organisations that employ people to work with children;The link between the under-reporting of child abuse and poor access to alternative reporting methods, including not being able to report to authorities other than police;Inadequate legislation targeting the supply of alcohol in remote communities which also hampers the prosecution of those who operate sly-grog shops;No targeted education programs to reduce self-harm, or address rising amphetamine and prescription drug use; andA need for better information sharing and collection regarding child protection.

The ACC also backed increased transparency regarding the payment of multimillion dollar mining royalties and Indigenous Land Use Agreements.

It said the payments were open to fraud and the possibility of being stolen or misappropriated by community members, particularly those with gambling problems.

Policing the payments was made more difficult because community groups had limited access to criminal history checks for probity purposes to ensure those they employed could be trusted.

Details of internal reports generated by the taskforce since 2006, including some reports classified as highly protected and Intelligence in-confidence, are also contained in material that had previously been redacted but was recently released to Fairfax.

These reports include details of investigations into Indigenous gangs, the alleged sexual abuse and neglect of children by two unnamed suspects, the suspected criminal behaviour of a powerful family in one community, and probes into the unexplained wealth and suspected criminal activity of several unnamed community members.

The taskforce visited regional towns or Indigenous communities in every state and territory, but focused on Arnhem Land and the Barkly region (Northern Territory), the APY Lands (South Australia), the Kimberley region (Western Australia), and western New South Wales.

Investigators could force members of these communities to give evidence, as the commission has coercive powers.

It was hoped this power would also prevent reprisals against community members who spoke to investigators.

It is unclear how many of the report’s recommendations have been acted on, but Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion told Fairfax in April that the issues raised by the taskforce remained a concern.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott had proclaimed he hoped to be the prime minister for Indigenous Affairs, but his comment that living in remote communities was a “lifestyle choice” was met with scorn by those campaigning to save the communities.

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Mad rush for mutton

08.21.2019, Comments Off on Mad rush for mutton, 苏州美甲美睫培训学校, by .

PRODUCERS are weighing “keep or kill” options with older sheep to best capitalise on the burgeoning mutton and lamb markets.
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This has resulted in a reduction of restocker sheep numbers at sales across the country and increased competition from processors looking to secure mutton.

According to Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) the mutton indicator hit its highest point since July last year – 357 cents a kilogram carcase weight (cwt) last week.

Statistics from MLA show the sheep slaughter for 2015 is back 25 per cent year-on-year for the January period, at 123,485 head per week, following what was the second consecutive year of more than 9 million head of sheep slaughtered.

Punters have tipped the mutton indicator would continue to rise as supply was anticipated to slow.

Landmark Bombala livestock manager Justin Lewis said numbers at the Bombala district circuit sale were back about 6000 head last Wednesday, compared to the usual 17,000 to 18,000 surplus ewes and wethers offered at the sale.

“We had 11,430 sheep, which was well back on usual because the season has been so good,” Mr Lewis said.

Mr Lewis said processors were at the sale but hardly got a look in due to strong restocker demand.

“The processors could only buy about 500, 71/2-year-old ewes as the restockers didn’t want those,” he said.

The top price of $143 was paid for 41/2-year-old Merinos, 51/2-year-old ewes sold to $130, and 61/2-year-old Merino ewes sold for $106.

Mr Lewis said older ewes and wethers sold by clients direct to the processor in the past month had returned a solid $80 average.

Barellan livestock agent, Mark Flagg, Flagg Livestock and Property, anticipated there could be a premium paid for scanned-in-lamb (SIL) first-cross ewes at the annual Barellan First-Cross Ewe Sale on February 6.

Mr Flagg said buying the SIL units was a good opportunity for restockers to replenish their ewe flocks and also make a speedy return on investment from the buoyant lamb market.

He expected local restockers would be competitive at the sale as there was a lot of lucerne feed about the district from above average summer rainfall.

Mr Flagg, who operates as a selling agent at the Griffith prime sale, expected Merino ewe numbers, suitable for the mutton trade, would dwindle.

“Traditionally, ewe numbers ease as we move into winter and I expect this year we should see the mutton price kick on as we struggle to get the older Merino ewe numbers through,” he said.

GJ Hulm livestock agent, Isaac Hill, Wagga Wagga, said sheep numbers were holding week-on-week at the Wagga Wagga prime market, but mutton numbers were a lot lower compared to other years at this time.

He said 95 per cent of the sheep at Wagga Wagga yards were at the moment bought by processors.

“There is a real even spread between the processors taking mutton, which is unusual, where normally there is one processor in particular that is firing,” Mr Hill said.

“I think processors have adequate supply at the moment, but by the end of March they will have to compete a lot harder as supply tapers off.

“The mutton market has been very good for 18 months to two years, while we have seen it dearer, it’s pretty solid.”

Quality wise, Mr Hill said the sheep couldn’t be in better condition as they had come off stubbles or summer grasses boosted by recent rain.

He said some producers had also opted to hold their older ewes for another year to get an extra lamb out of them while lamb prices were solid.

Quade Moncrieff Livestock and Property director, Paul Quade, West Wyalong, said processors would be forced to compete with strong restocker demand for older sheep at the West Wyalong store sale on Wednesday, as there was plentiful supply of feed across the region.

“A lot of local producers received 100 millimetres of rain in January.”

“We usually get 20mm of rain in January, so many were looking to utilise the feed they have with some extra stock,” he said.

For that reason, a few vendors have opted to hold on to their stock.

Mr Quade said some producers had already sold suitable older sheep at prime sales at Wagga, Forbes and Griffith, as well as direct to the processor in the past fortnight.

A client received $90 to $100 for 61/2-year-old Merino ewes at Griffith and another $122 for three-year-old Merino wethers they sold to processor Fletcher’s International at Dubbo.

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