Saturday, January 4, 2020

Helping Aussies during the bushfire crisis PLEASE DONATE!

Please show your support by donating any amount you can manage .. Thanks in advance ..

Whilst we sit and watch so many lives being torn apart by these recent catastrophic bushfires in our nation we couldn't sit and do nothing so we are raising money for these Aussie families who have lost everything or have been displaced, our aim is to hopefully make rebuilding their lives a lot much easier by supplying funds for numerous items like food clothing and shelter or any other important necessities they may require .. No words can describe the horror and then heartache these bushfires have caused so many families and at a time that should be the merry season these families that have lost everything have nothing to be merry about so we're hoping to change that for them and do some of the hard work ahead for them.. It's the least we can do as a nation who prouds themselves on coming together when times get tough.. It's the Australian spirit so let's all dig deep for these broken families and our wonderful fire-fighters who have been relentlessly and tirelessly given up their lives to make others safe. So far nearly over 1000 houses have been destroyed so that's alot of displaced families that have lost everything due to these terrible wildfires.

Thank you for your help in advance and let's get this fund-raiser rolling already.. Stay strong everyone.. All Donations will be split equally and forwarded to the Australian Red Cross bushfire appeal who are directly involved as we speak and the Local RFS units which consist of Hill End RFS ,Sofala RFS, Wattle Flat RFS, Hargraves RFS and so on there are to many to name but they all need our support as they have been working tirelessly to control these wild fires and save peoples lives and homes all donors and the public will receive constant updates as to where funds are being distributed.. Thankyou


Major Fire Updates
During times of major incident activity, such as during bush and grass fires where there is a threat to the community, updates are posted here.

Outside of these periods, check our Fires Near Me page for information on incidents in your area. For information on planned hazard reduction activities, check our Hazard Reductions page.

If you see a fire without a fire truck in attendance, please call Triple Zero (000).

Remember - every home should have a bush fire survival plan. Download yours today.




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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

City of Greater Dandenong’s hijab push backfires

City of Greater Dandenong Council suffered a massive backlash after the Herald Sun reveal
City of Greater Dandenong Council suffered a massive backlash after the Herald Sun revealed the hijab “social experiment” last week. Picture: Chris Eastman

A LOCAL councillor has suggested that residents be encouraged to wear a crucifix for three hours to acknowledge Christianity.
Greater Dandenong’s Cr Maria Sampey made the comment following a backlash against thecouncil’s “social experiment” to encourage non-Muslim women to wear the hijab for three hours last week.
Fifteen women took up the invitation on Friday under a Youth Week initiative that included girls from a local Islamic school staffing an information table.
Cr Sampey said that councillors were not warned of the event and she was abused by residents after the Herald Sun reported the story.
“The question that’s been asked of me is, what activity is now going to take place as a means of promoting Christianity,” she told a council meeting on Monday night.
“Maybe people should be wearing a cross for three hours signifying Jesus Christ,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of Indians wearing turbans and stuff like that and we’re representative of all groups that live in our city.”
Cr Sampey said she disagreed with the hijab experiment and believed councillors should be informed about such activities in advance.
But Greater Dandenong Mayor Cr Sean O’Reilly said that due to “practicalities and efficient operation”, councillors didn’t sign off on the detail of every program that staff implemented.
“Council is not oblivious to views in the community and will consider community feedback in the design and implementation of future programs,” he said.
Cr O’Reilly said the council had attracted significant commentary and media interest in the hijab experiment, which he described as “a small activity”.
“The intention of this activity in Youth Week was to set up a table and promote discussion of why women wear the hijab,” he said.
The mayor said that local youth faced many challenges and it was council’s role to help them express themselves, explore ideas and grow in confidence.
The suggestion was aimed at providing “awareness, insight and education”, but detractors labelled it divisive and political correctness gone mad.
Local Christian pastor and Rise Up Australia Party leader Danny Nalliah, who took part in last week’s Reclaim Australia rally, described the hijab event as the height of stupidity.
“I challenge the Greater Dandenong Council to call on the Muslim women to get rid of their hijabs for one week and assimilate into Australian way of life,” he said.
Dandenong council hijab, crucifix push to honour multicultural city | Herald Sun:

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Jail Craig Thomson over HSU credit card misuse, prosecution argues

PROSECUTORS have called for former Labor MP Craig Thomson to be sent to prison, saying he has shown no remorse for stealing the money of Health Services Union members to pay for prostitutes and other personal expenses.

Victorian prosecutor Lesley Taylor SC today told the Melbourne Magistrates Court that Thomson’s actions and persistent denial of his crimes were “arrogant in the extreme”.
“He has uttered not one single word of remorse,” she said. “He has said basically that others committed the physical acts.”
Thomson, 49, has been convicted of at least 65 theft and dishonesty offences from his time leading the HSU, when he used union-issued credit cards to withdraw thousands of dollars in cash and charge escort services back to the union.
Making submissions on his pending sentence today, his barrister Greg James QC that Thomson was confronted by “moments of need or desire” during his time as HSU national secretary, when his relationship with his then wife was breaking down.
“What appeared to have happened was a response by him to his own impulses on a more or less opportunistic basis,” Mr James said.
“He sought comfort elsewhere.
“The climate (at the HSU) appeared to be that if he hadn’t spent the money on prostitutes and pornographic movies then there was unlikely to have been concern.
“It doesn’t aggravate the offence that he spent the money on prostitutes. It may not be socially acceptable to many (but) it is a lawful area of expenditure according to the law in Australia now.”
Thomson is facing the prospect of up to five years in prison, though the court heard he had already agreed to pay $24,538.42 in compensation for his actions.
Mr James said Thomson had taken out a mortgage to pay the compensation and intended to pay it within three months.
He said Thomson had lost every prospect of a career in politics or public life, and suffered from anxiety as a result of his humiliating downfall.
“From the very moment of his arrest on, he was very publicly pilloried,” Mr James said.
Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg last month found Thomson guilty on charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception and theft, ruling Thomson had used HSU credit cards to pay prostitutes more than $5500, withdraw more than $6000 in cash and pay for his wife’s travel expenses.
He also found Thomson had spent $1981 of union money after he had taken his seat in parliament.
Thomson’s former HSU colleague Michael Willamson is already in custody as he awaits sentencing for fraud charges related to his corrupt dealings while president of the Health Services Union East Branch.
Williamson, who pleaded guilty to four charges, has agreed to owing the HSU $5 million based on his fraudulent behaviour but has filed for bankruptcy and is not expected to pay back any of the funds.
The HSU is one of five trade unions which will face particular scrutiny during the royal commission into union corruption, due to begin next month.
The hearing continues.

Monday, August 5, 2013


Kevin Rudd support takes a hit

VOTER support for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has slumped, according to a poll published hours after he named a date for the federal election.
Mr Rudd claimed underdog status on Sunday as he announced Australians would go to the polls on September 7 and according to the latest Newspoll, he could be right.

The poll, conducted this weekend and published in part by News Limited late on Sunday, shows that although Mr Rudd is still more popular than Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, his support as preferred prime minister is at its lowest.
Voter satisfaction with Mr Rudd dropped four percentage points in the past two weeks from 42 per cent to 38 per cent and dissatisfaction jumped six points from 41 per cent to 47 per cent.

The survey found voter support for Labor had fallen one percentage point in the last fortnight to 37 per cent, compared to the coalition's 44 per cent.
On a two-party preferred basis, the coalition has kept its lead of 52 per cent to Labor's 48 per cent.
Support for the Greens is down one point to nine per cent, compared to 11.8 per cent at the last election.

Kevin Rudd support takes a hit: Newspoll

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange 'proud' of Australia's support

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sits inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London

CANBERRA, Australia -- WikiLeaks founder and Australian Senate candidate Julian Assange says he is proud of the level of support he enjoys in his home country and has pledged to enforce transparency in Parliament if he wins a seat in elections in September.
"When you turn a bright light on, the cockroaches scuttle away, and that's what we need to do to Canberra," the Australian capital, Assange told Nine Network television in an interview filmed in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London and broadcast in Australia on Sunday.
In a separate interview at the embassy, where he has taken refuge for more than a year, the 42-year-old fugitive told Ten Network that his popularity demonstrated by a recent opinion poll reflected poorly on the ruling Labor Party.

The centre-left government staunchly supports the U.S. condemnation of WikiLeaks' disclosure of hundreds of thousands of classified documents.
A national survey by Sydney-based UMR Research, a company that Labor relies on for its own internal polling, found in April that 26 per cent of Australian voters said they were likely to vote for Assange or other candidates running for his WikiLeaks Party in national elections, which Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced Sunday would be held Sept. 7.
"I'm obviously proud of that, but it's also something extremely interesting about the Australian people and about what is happening and the perceptions of what is happening in Canberra," Assange told Ten.
Assange did not favour conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott, whom opinion polls suggest will likely be the next prime minister. Assange told Nine that Abbott as head of government "wouldn't be good for anyone."
UMR managing director John Utting told Fairfax Media in April said that the poll showed WikiLeaks had "a good chance" of winning seats if Assange runs a clever campaign. A Senate seat can be won with as little as 17 per cent of the vote within a state.
The online survey of 1,000 voters had a 3 percentage point margin of error.
A poll published by The Monthly website in June conducted by Melbourne-based Roy Morgan Research found 21 per cent of voters would consider voting for Assange's WikiLeaks Party, with support greater among women (23 per cent to 20). The poll, taken June 4-6, was based on a telephone survey of 546 voters. No margin of error was published.
Assange has been campaigning by Skype from a room in the embassy, where he was granted asylum in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations.
He is one of three WikiLeaks Party Senate candidates in Victoria state. The party, which was registered by the Australian Electoral Commission only last month, will also field candidates in New South Wales and Western Australia states.
Assange argues his extradition to Sweden is merely a first step in efforts to move him to the United States, where he has infuriated officials by publishing secret documents, including 250,000 State Department cables. U.S. Army soldier Bradley Manning has admitted passing those documents to WikiLeaks. Manning faces up to 136 years in prison after being convicted of leaking classified information to the anti-secrecy group while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010.
The Australian government has echoed U.S. condemnations of Assange's publishing, but also says he has not broken any Australian laws.
If Assange wins the election, he would be required to take up his Senate seat on July 1, 2014.
WikiLeaks Party national council member Sam Castro said that if Assange wins a seat but cannot return to Australia by then, the party can choose a replacement.
Assange spent almost two years fighting extradition over alleged 2010 assaults on two Swedish women, which he denies. In June 2012, Britain's Supreme Court ruled against him, prompting his asylum bid with Ecuador, whose leftist government had expressed support.
Assange told Australia's The Conversation website in February that he regards his bid to become a senator as a defence against potential criminal prosecution. He said that if he wins a Senate seat, the U.S. Department of Justice would drop its espionage investigation rather than risk a diplomatic row.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange 'proud' of Australia's support

Sunday, August 4, 2013


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speaking from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, invites readers to join him online to discuss the big issues.

Julian Assange: 'To build properly, sometimes it is necessary to sweep aside the old, corrupt foundations.'

Welcome to the Fairfax Media Election Hangout, where you can spar with politicians and debate the policies that will determine this year's closely-fought poll.

Streamed live across Fairfax Media's news websites and hosted by Online Political Editor Tim Lester, you can ask the questions live on Google's Hangout on Air.

First up is Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder and Victorian senate candidate, on Wednesday August 7 at 12.30pm.

If you want to participate, email us @ with a question you'd like to ask of Mr Assange. We'll select our participants and email you back by Monday lunch time if you are successful.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Meanwhile, Julia Gillard was campaigning for the Senate. Or working at Slater and Gordon. Or doing the weeding. Or helping Bruce sell Kerr Street or something. - @mpsmithnews

Do other countries have this drama with their Prime Minister?
Slater and Gordon is on the record - "In September 1995 Ms Gillard took a leave of absence from Slater & Gordon in order to campaign for the Senate".
Remember Slater and Gordon made that statement on Sunday, 19 August, 2012.  Julia Gillard needed a cover story and Slater and Gordon delivered one.  
Peter Gordon and Nick Styant Browne are in accord that Gillard elected to resign after her disciplinary hearing on 11 September, 1995 - and not "in order to campaign for the Senate".
On 15 October, 1995 Ebru Yaman's article about Gillard appeared in The Australian newspaper.  Gillard said, "I'm still a partner with Slater and Gordon and I have no intention of leaving".

Right, so the version for the archives says she started with Brumby in 1995 (while she was campaigning for the Senate).   And according to The Australian she was still with Slater and Gordon as a partner and had no intention of leaving.
This bio is similar from the APH handbook
Gillard parliamentary handbook
And this one is from the APH website
Gillard aph website
Right.   Not campaigning for the Senate.   Working for Brumby in 1995.   Except that's bulltish too, she started in May, 1996.   
So maybe she'd tell the Young Lawyer magazine the truth - as an example to say aspiring women who might be looking for a role model.
Nope - that's full of bulltish too.   This photo predates botox.
Gillard law journal before ravages of age
For sheer lying chutzpah, how's this exposition of the pain of making that decision to leave Slater and Gordon to campaign for the Senate, or to run Brumby's office or to watch Oprah.
When I first left Slater and gordon
CEOs who lie like this in their CVs generally get picked up.   Surely to God someone in the Labor Party checked and saw that she had something to hide!

Meanwhile, Julia Gillard was campaigning for the Senate. Or working at Slater and Gordon. Or doing the weeding. Or helping Bruce sell Kerr Street or something'

How did Ms Gillard get away with it for so long! How come no one called her out, it's so obvious.@mpsmithnews

Last week we spoke about the weekend of 18/19 August 2012 when Hedley Thomas published the Slater and Gordon/Gillard record of interview, Paul Kelly and Peter Van Onselen hosted Ms Gillard on Australian Agenda on Sky - and then Slater and Gordon staff concocted a manifestly dubious media statement to advance Ms Gillard's personal interests.
With her background of bulltish that weekend should have been it and it may well have been if Slater and Gordon's current management had not been so helpful with the media statement.
Here are the links to last week's posts:
So our last public correspondence with Slater and Gordon last week ended like this:

And finally, is the Slater and Gordon statement that Julia Gillard "took a leave of absence in order to campaign for the Senate" in 1995 a true statement?
             Hamish Heard
Senior Media Advisor SLATER & GORDON LAWYERS485 La Trobe St, Melbourne VIC 3000T:
I followed that email with this note to Slater and Gordon
Thank you for your speedy response.
May I try to clear up Slater and Gordon's official position on the substantive reason for Ms Gillard leaving the firm?
In late 1995, had Ms Gillard's "relationship with the equity partnership group become fractured, and trust and confidence evaporated" making it untenable that she continue in her employment?
Was the firm "concerned as to whether (Ms Gillard) had acted consistently with (her) obligations of utmost good faith with regard to her partners" and was her resignation accepted in those circumstances?
Did the partnership "consider terminating Ms Gillard" and in those circumstances did "Ms Gillard elect to resign"  and did the partnership "accept her resignation without discussion"?

Was it "clear that  the  relationships had broken down irretrievably" between Ms Gillard and the remaining partners in the partnership?

Slater and Gordon's public statement of 20 August, 2012 gives the impression that the substantive underlying reason for Ms Gillard's absence from the firm from September 1995 was "in order (for her) to campaign for the Senate".   Is that the major contributing reason for Julia Gillard's absence from the firm from September, 1995?

Finally, is Slater and Gordon aware of any reason, order or agreement of any nature that would restrict Ms Gillard from practicing as a lawyer at any time in Victoria?

Now here is some news!   As you know I was crook late last week, during that time Slater and Gordon have responded to our questions.
Here is the response from Slater and Gordon:
We stand by the previous public statements we have made regarding this issue".
So we have the law firm's current management coming in to work on a Sunday when Julia Gillard needs a positive media statement.    Together with Ms Gillard they concoct a statement that protects Ms Gillard.   Don't you wish they'd just told the truth?   
Next we'll look closely at those 6 months that Slater and Gordon says Ms Gillard was campaigning for the Senate.

How did Ms Gillard get away with it for so long! How come no one called her out, it's so obvious

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What Slater and Gordon says is a matter for Slater and Gordon (and Julia Gillard's former flatmate Julie Ligeti) - @mpsmithnews

Exhibit One - Sky News Australian Agenda, Sunday, 19 August, 2012

Julia Gillard (coached Peter van Onselen) is interviewed by Paul Kelly.  Kelly puts The AWU Scandal to Gillard, in particular the assertion reported in The Australian that her employers considered sacking her over her conduct - the exchange starts at 12.50 into the interview.
Kelly, "is it correct that in 1995 you had to resign as a partner from Slater and Gordon as a result of their investigation into misappropriation of funds around the legal entity that you had established?"
Gillard, "I am not going to dignify all of this scurrilous campaigning etc etc etc:"
The core question - did you resign as a partner in the law firm Slater and Gordon as a result of the AWU Scandal?

Exhibit Two - Slater and Gordon media statement, 20 August, 2012

Out of the blue, the publicly listed company Slater and Gordon releases this media statement the following morning.  The statement is dated in the Slater and Gordon website as 20 August, 2012, however the contents of the statement were available to media on Sunday, 19 August, 2012 in time for Monday morning editions of newspapers - as the Financial Review put it, "Slater and Gordon promptly issued a statement...." after the Paul Kelly Australian Agenda interview.
The Slater and Gordon statement said this:
Upon the Slater & Gordon partnership learning of what has been described as the AWU/Bruce Wilson allegations in August 1995, it conducted an internal legal review as it would do, and has done, whenever any such allegations might be made.
Ms Gillard co-operated fully with the internal review and denied any wrong doing.
The review found nothing which contradicted the information provided by Ms Gillard at the time in relation to the AWU/Bruce Wilson allegations and which she has stated consistently since the allegations were first raised.
In September 1995 Ms Gillard took a leave of absence from Slater & Gordon in order to campaign for the Senate.

Exhibit three - former partner Nick Styant Browne says Slater & Gordon statement "stunningly incomplete"

In August of this year it became clear to me that after all these years this story was finally going to come out and Slater & Gordon made a public statement that Ms Gillard had been cleared of any wrongdoing, had taken a very long sabbatical, had resigned from the firm and a meeting room had been named after her. And that was on any view a stunningly incomplete account of the circumstances of her departure. And it was following that that I resolved it was in the public interest to release both non-privileged parts of the transcript of the interview of September 1995 together with Pete Gordon's statement concerning the circumstances of her departure.
(there are further questions and Styant Browne describes the "spectrum" of views about Gillard's acts and omissions.  He says Peter Gordon was prepared to give her the benefit of any doubt...)
I was towards the other end of the spectrum in that I was not readily prepared to give Ms Gillard the benefit of the doubt and I made that clear. There was never any real resolution of that debate in the partnership because as events transpired, Ms Gillard agreed to resign, and so it was never necessary for the partnership to resolve itself what actions should be taken.

Exhibit Four - what Slater and Gordon says is a matter for Slater and Gordon - and possibly Julia Gillard's flatmate Julie Ligeti

Slater and Gordon has duties to many stakeholders to be honest and complete in its disclosures.  In particular, the directors of Slater and Gordon have a duty to ensure the company makes continuous disclosure to the Australian Stock Exchange of matters that are material to its operations.   The public media statement issued on Monday, 20 August was a statement of the company.   In order for the company to satisfy its obligations that statement has to be a true and correct statement.   Because it was issued by Slater and Gordon using Slater and Gordon shareholder assets the statement should be a statement that is necessary to meet an obligation of - or to advance the interests of - Slater and Gordon.
The person who is responsible for Slater and Gordon's relations with Governments is Julie Ligeti.
Here is her page on LinkedIn
Julie ligetti
Ligeti's responsibilities include the firm's relationship and interactions with the Federal Government.
Her personal relationship with Gillard goes back to university days.
When she was elected education vice-president of the Australian Union of Students (AUS) in 1982 she deferred her studies and moved to Melbourne, into a share house in Brunswick. Old friend Julie Ligeti was struck even then by how serious Gillard was about politics. "We were all trying to work out how we were going to buy our first car or which share house we were going to live in. Julia had this other level happening.
She was beginning her career in politics." Personal ambition and agitation for change appeared to dovetail. "She had a clear view at a very young age that she wanted to make a mark in Labor politics. But it wasn't just about identifying her own opportunities, she was also trying to push society along," says Ligeti.
Ligetti and another female Gillard housemate Robyn McLeod appear in this grab elsewhere in the story, talking about Tim Mathieson.
Friends say that Gillard is content. "He seems to have given her a bit of a stronger grounding," says Julie Ligeti, a mate from student politics days who is now chief of staff to Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls (2007). Robyn McLeod, who has been close to Gillard for 15 years, says, "They're a very grounded, sensible couple, dealing with an extraordinary time in her career." She compares the situation to a couple of years ago: "Julia wasn't in a relationship and my marriage was ending and we'd sit around talking about blokes.
She said, 'Men, they're just net energy takers.' And we'd talk about whether we had time for them or not." She's glad Gillard has made time for Tim Mathieson. "I love seeing her so happy."
At the time that Gillard was planning to knife Kevin Rudd in 2010, she'd go home to Julie Ligetti at night in the flat they shared in Canberra.   This article by Michelle Grattan describes Gillard's pre-Lodge domestic circumstances with a notably absent Tim Mathieson, it's dated July 2010, just weeks before she rolled Rudd.
While Gillard's work life is a hotbed of change, at least at a personal level she's keeping some continuity until the election, staying in her Canberra flat which she shares with her friend Julie Ligeti, chief of staff to a minister, Brendan O'Connor. 

Questions for the PM and Slater & Gordon

What discussions took place between the ASX listed company Slater and Gordon, its Government relations advisor Julie Ligeti and her former flatmate and now Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Sunday, 19 August 2012?
Did Slater and Gordon have a notifiable conflict of interest which it should have disclosed upon the issuance of its public statement of 20 August, 2012?
Did Julia Gillard have an obligation to declare her relationship with her "old friend" Julie Ligeti when Slater and Gordon issued its statement, particularly given Gillard's public position that "what Slater and Gordon says is a matter for Slater and Gordon."
And finally, is the Slater and Gordon statement that Julia Gillard "took a leave of absence in order to campaign for the Senate" in 1995 a true statement?

What Slater and Gordon says is a matter for Slater and Gordon (and Julia Gillard's former flatmate Julie Ligeti) - Michael Smith News