Monthly Archives: June 2019

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An open letter to NSW Ambulance by Cidney Jenkins

Questions: Daughter Cidney Jenkins was shattered by her father Tony Jenkins’ death. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.Cidney Jenkins was shattered by her father Tony Jenkins’ death.Jenkins took his own lifeabout two hours after he was dropped off, alone, by a senior NSW Ambulance officer after a meeting about his alleged use of the opioid Fentanyl taken from Hunter ambulance stations. Read the full story here.

LET’Stalk about our paramedics–the ordinary men and women called to do extraordinary things, often walking blindly into chaos, desperation, violence and mayhem, ready to offer their skills and compassion.

Let’s talk about my father, Tony Jenkins, who entered the service as a passionate, healthy and resilient man.

As I sat at my laptop, fumbling with words for hiseulogy, I wasleft questioning how amanwho talkedabout his good fortune,loving family andremarkably happy life couldbe driven to take his own life, without warning.

The final hours of my father’s lifewere spent with NSW Ambulance.

Many of us assumethe most traumatic part of a paramedic’s job is the trauma they are exposed to on the road. Violence against paramedics has been a recent media focusbutanother pressing issue is the treatment of paramedics behindthe scenes – whether they’re supported, or whether the attitude when they’re stressed is that they should“toughen up”.

Let’s talk about multipleinquiries over 11 years that clearly identify issues of lack of support, post-traumatic stress disorder,self-medication, increased violence, and suicide within the ambulance service.

I believedNSW Ambulance would set the benchmark for looking afteremployees because they take people to hospital. But in our family’s experience that is not the case.

After all, ambulances takepeople to hospital, don’t they? And yet when it comes to their own employees, we believe the support is lacking.

My father helped so many people during his 28 years of service, but where was the help when he needed and deserved it?

Magpies ponder how to stop Dogs’ AFL star

An in-form Jack Macrae will lead the Western Bulldogs side against Collingwood on Friday night.Nathan Buckley’s coaching philosophy is set for an intriguing test when Collingwood take on a Western Bulldogs side led by in-form midfielder Jack Macrae on Friday night.

The 10th-placed Magpies head into the Etihad Stadium clash well-placed after notching a convincing 28-point win over St Kilda, while the Bulldogs (13th) registered a dire scoreline of 2.14 (26) during their wet-weather loss to Adelaide.

But the Dogs have a trump card in the form of ball magnet Macrae, who is having a breakout season averaging 34 disposals per game.

The likes of North Melbourne’s Ben Jacobs and Carlton’s Ed Curnow have shown that an old-fashioned hard tag still has a place in the modern AFL.

But Buckley has been reluctant to engage such tactics against even the most prolific ball-winners, preferring to back in his midfield as a collective.

“Jackson Macrae’s been a prolific player over the last three or four weeks and we don’t want him getting off the chain,” Buckley said on Wednesday.

“Some of that will be about what we want to do as a team and some of it will be about the individual attention we’re giving.

“The main thing for us if we don’t get our team plans right, it makes it a lot harder to dim the effectiveness of the better players in the opposition.”

The Magpies will be without classy midfielder Daniel Wells (rested) but have one of the competition’s most in-form players in Jordan De Goey, who slotted six goals against St Kilda and five against Brisbane a fortnight earlier.


* Tom Mitchell: The gun onballer had a record 54 touches as the Hawks opened their season with a 34-point victory over the Pies. Mitchell was largely allowed to roam free despite having had a 50-disposal game against Collingwood last season. North Melbourne’s Ben Jacobs proved a few weeks later that Mitchell can be stopped, keeping him to 19 touches as the Kangaroos beat Hawthorn by 28 points.

* Dayne Zorko: Brisbane’s pint-sized star had been tagged out of losses to Greater Western Sydney and Gold Coast. But he was let off the chain against Collingwood and racked up 34 disposals and four goals. The Magpies still managed to scrape through for a seven-point win but many questioned the decision to give Zorko such freedom.

* Jack Macrae: The Western Bulldogs prime mover has surged into Brownlow Medal contention, gathering more than 30 disposals in all but one game this season. His ability to win the ball in tight makes him difficult to restrict, as does the constant threat posed by superstar teammate Marcus Bontempelli. A tough strategic call awaits the Magpies on Friday night.

Turnbull living in alternate reality

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has had plenty to think about this week.Listening to Malcolm Turnbull, you’d think everything is fine.

Relationship with China? It’s good.

Live sheep exports? Still going.

Company tax cuts? Working hard to get them through.

But listen to the prime minister’s coalition colleagues and his rosy, calm demeanour looks a bit out of touch with reality.

“We have a good, frank relationship with China. It’s a very strong one,” Turnbull told reporters this week.

Everything is clearly not fine with China.

That’s according to the Chinese foreign ministry, who said “must adopt a correct perspective” on things Beijing doesn’t like.

Proposed foreign interference laws, designed to stop foreign donations from buying influence with political parties, have angered China.

n media reports about Chinese influence have also upset Beijing, which is used to a censored press.

Turnbull insisted relations are strong – even as Liberal MP Andrew Hastie decided to announce under parliamentary privilege Chinese-n billionaire Chau Chak Wing was allegedly involved in bribing a former UN president.

Hastie said Dr Chau had Chinese Community Party links and had donated millions to political parties. Dr Chau’s lawyer says he’s never been charged with anything.

Turnbull was blindsided by the speech.

It wasn’t the only blindside he copped.

Mathias Cormann, the Senate whisperer, had a deal locked up on the corporate tax cuts with Pauline Hanson.

The One Nation senator reportedly shook hands with Senator Cormann – only to publicly break her promise and increase her demands.

“I just feel that they are not addressing the black hole in the budget, and I have got concerns that we are not going to be paying down debt,” Senator Hanson said.

The corporate tax cuts have dogged the government for months now, a policy measure they seemingly can’t sell to the public or the Senate.

Getting Senator Hanson over the line would have been a huge step. Instead she’s hopping between saying no and demanding more.

Her bombshell had some coalition MPs wondering if they should drop the company tax cuts altogether.

It’s not like anyone has managed to come up with a killer line to sell it, while Labor hammers on about an $80 billion “handout” which means less money for schools and hospitals.

But Turnbull and his cabinet are sticking with the corporate tax cuts for now, after spending truckloads of political capital trying to win support.

One idea that does have public support is banning live sheep exports to the Middle East, after shocking footage showed overheated animals dying on ships.

MPs are getting hundreds of emails a day from impassioned farmers and animal lovers, who want the sheep treated humanely.

Turnbull’s response is to lift penalties for exporters who break the rules – but his former health minister Sussan Ley decided to go further.

She brought in her own bill pushing to ban live sheep exports during the northern hemisphere summer, with several other coalition MPs joining her.

Turnbull told a coalition party room meeting backbenchers can bring forward a bill, but there are other ways.

“We have a good system in our parties – issues can be brought up with ministers,” Turnbull told the meeting.

But Ley’s bill makes it tougher for the prime minister to argue his case, when even his own party isn’t fully behind him.

Ley, Hastie and Hanson have given Turnbull headaches he didn’t need – especially before five by-elections – as he insisted everything was under control.

It’s unclear if the sheep export bill will get through, with Labor down a few members thanks to the citizenship by-elections.

The corporate tax cuts are in limbo, and they may have to go to the next election to muster the support to pass them.

And China’s Community Party mouthpiece The Global Times said “arrogant” needs to be taught a lesson, possibly with a trade freeze worth up to $10 billion a year.

Turnbull might insist everything is fine, but the bomb-throwers in parliament beg to differ.

The prime minister may need to find a way to get them to “adopt a correct perspective” before they cause too much more trouble.

Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League disciplinary panel hand down three season-long bans on same night

PASS: Jason Moodie during his playing days for the Parramatta Eels. Picture: Steve ChristoRetired NRL and Origin wingerJason Moodie was one of three people to cop season-long bans from rugby league following a troublesome fortnight for the code acrossthe Hunter.

The 43-year-old, who represented the Blues three times and played 172 club games between theKnights, Eels and Tigers, has been prohibited from attending all junior matches until the end of 2018.

Thispunishment was handed down on what was a busy night forthe Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League (NHRL) disciplinary panel on Wednesday.

Moodie, aWestern Suburbs junior coach,pleaded guilty to multiple NRL code-of-conduct breaches following his part in a physical altercationat New Lambton’s Kentish Oval on May 12.

The second man, a junior parentat the Dudley-Redhead Magpies, also pleaded guilty to allcharges and received the same sanction.

The incident occurred during an age-group fixture, just two days before the start of Country Rugby League (CRL) endorsed “Shoosh For Kids Week” encouraging positive environments for junior participants at grassroots levels.

In the senior ranks, an 18-month banwas given to a spectator with family links to the Raymond Terrace Magpies following a separate incident at Lenaghan Oval on Saturday.

He is barred from all facets of the sport, outside attending the club’s senior home games at Lakeside Oval, after initiating a physical alteration with an opposition playerpost full-time.

Raymond Terrace won the NHRL A-grade encounter 26-24 over hosts Belmont South.

A third matter,also involving a physical altercation between player and spectator, was originally scheduledfor judiciary this week butwas postponed after being investigated by police.

Both people have already been stood down from all facets of rugby league until the hearing is conducted.

Video of Saturday’s ugly incident, which took place at Coronation Oval duringa D-grade match betweenWoodberryand Maitland United, went viral online.

All parties have the right to appeal, but by Thursday afternoon no correspondence had been received by CRL.

The hearings took place at Newcastle Leagues Club.

EARLIER:Player and spectator stood down after wild rugby league brawl

PREVIOUS:Former Origin star Jason Moodie involved in alleged altercation at junior game

CBA delayed refund until after HoR hearing

‘s largest bank delayed refunds for customers charged double interest on business overdrafts to avoid the issue becoming public during a parliamentary hearing.

One Commonwealth Bank customer who tearfully queried the interest draining her business account was abruptly told “a bank is a business and that is the price you pay for borrowing money”.

Senior CBA executive Clive van Horen admitted requesting a 10-day delay in sending refund letters to customers so the issue wouldn’t surface at a House of Representatives hearing last year.

“Can we make this all happen (letters and actual refunds) after the House of Reps hearing on 7 March?,” he said in an email revealed at the banking royal commission on Thursday.

“Eliminates the chance of this being brought up in the hearings and a delay of 10 days is immaterial.”

Mr van Horen accepted he made the wrong decision.

“I think it was a poor judgment on my part,” he said on Thursday.

CBA’s executive general manager of retail products said he appreciated it was a “very material” issue for people waiting for refunds, but said it involved 1500 customers out of 10 million.

Mr van Horen said a recent mailout about paper statement fees had caused distress at the time, and was weighing on his mind.

“Personally I was quite bruised by that,” Mr van Horen said.

“These letters would potentially get picked up and reported in a way which, if the previous experience was anything to go by, was factually 100 per cent wrong.”

Counsel assisting the commission Albert Dinelli suggested CBA was more motivated by media and PR than ensuring it did the right thing by its customers.

Mr van Horen ultimately conceded that was the case.

About 2700 customers were affected, with refunds totalling $2.7 million going to more than 1800 people after an average wait of two-and-a-half years.

The error, which meant people with two types of business overdrafts were being charged 33.9 per cent interest instead of 16 per cent, was first identified in 2013.

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC suggested the solution was to check whether every overdraft customer was being charged the right interest.

Mr van Horen said CBA’s initial manual correction missed a substantial part of the problem before a system-based fix in 2015 worked in the majority of cases.

There was then an enhanced fix in 2017.

The inquiry heard a customer complained to the Financial Ombudsman Service in late 2015 after getting the “bank is a business” rebuff from CBA.