The Northern Territory news Tue 6 May 2014
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
News Corp Australia
TUESDAY MAY 6 2014 NATION 09 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA Navy sex victim in plea not to relive nightmare SYDNEY: A man who was raped and tortured after he joined the Navy as a 13-yearold boy has begged the government to avoid exposing thousands of abuse victims to a gruelling Royal Commission. John Atkins was systematically abused from when he joined the Navy as a cadet at Cribb Point in Victoria in 1951. His case has been accepted by the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART), but he has not received compensation after his files were lost by the taskforce. Mr Atkins strongly opposes a Royal Commission because of the vast cost and the fact that it would be too confronting for many victims. Whether we like it or not my life was ruined, two marriages were ruined and no amount of compensation can cover that, Mr Atkins said. Many people are too ashamed to talk about their abuse so we need an ongoing judicial process so they can discuss it in their own time and without the pressure of a Royal Commission. The lawyer who ran the review of abuse allegations for DLA Piper in 2012, Dr Gary Rumble, has called for a Royal Commission. He has the support of many victims groups. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has all but ruled out a judicial inquiry into decades of abuse in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). It has also revealed that the total compensation payout for victims dealt with by the DART could pass $30 million. So far the taskforce, headed by retired West Australian judge Len Roberts-Smith, has assessed more than 1200 of the 2400 registered complaints and has made recommended reparation payments to 390 abuse victims dating back to the 1960s and paid out more than $15 million. Defence Minister David Johnston will update Parliament next month on the progress of the DART. He said it was premature to be talking about a possible Royal Commission. It is important that the work of the DART be allowed to continue and that we do not pre-empt its findings because there is still some way to go yet, the Minister told the NT News. I will be making a statement about the future of the DART and broader improvements to military justice in general. This will also foreshadow reforms to improve accountability and transparency in military justice. The independent reparation payments assessor has paid out $15.6 million including the following; 230 victims have received $50,000, six $45,000, 90 $35,000, two $30,000, 25 $20,000, one $15,000 and 11 people have received $10,000. In addition, 39 cases have been referred to State and Territory police for further investigation, including 12 to NSW Police, eight to Victorian Police, seven to Queensland Police and five to ACT Police. Matters under investigation include serious crimes such as threat to kill, rape, unlawful and indecent assault, threat to inflict grievous bodily harm, stalking and intimidation with intent to cause fear. So far the taskforce has cost taxpayers more than $32 million including $17 million to fund the DART office and its 115 staff. By IAN McPHEDRAN ICAC hears fresh Tinkler donation claims SYDNEY: Former billionaire Nathan Tinkler ordered his managers to protect him if any s*** went down after learning NSW corruption investigators were probing payments to an alleged slush fund, an inquiry has heard. The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has heard Mr Tinklers development firm Buildev funnelled tens of thousands in banned political donations via the Tinkler-owned stud farm Patinack and then through sham company EightByFive. The unfolding cash-forfavours scandal has engulfed the NSW Liberal Party and yesterday there were fresh claims that Buildev executive Darren Williams had also arranged donations to the NSW Nationals before the 2011 election. As discussed, we are delighted to accept support for our state election campaign as long as it is not from prohibited donors, then Nationals NSW director Ben Franklin told Mr Williams in an email tendered at the ICAC hearing. Mr Williams in turn wrote to Patinack director Troy Palmer: Mate need $20 in here to help these guys, Nats will be running ports. Do you know any one that can help????? At the time, Buildev was lobbying for a $1 billion coal loader to be built on the Newcastle foreshore. You were desperate to get this through because you could see big piles of money waiting for you, counsel assisting Geoffrey Watson SC put to Mr Williams. Youre trying to give a donation to get something in return: a favourable decision. No, it was just to get access to put our case forward, Mr Williams replied. Taronga Parks zookeepers are celebrating the birth of Sydney, only the second southern hairy-nosed wombat birth at the zoo in 30 years Picture: AFP/TARONGA CONSERVATION SOCIETY AUSTRALIA/PAUL FAHY Sydneys a pain but zoo rapt to have her SYDNEY: Sydney is a hairy and obnoxious little Australian icon. The eight-month-old southern hairy-nosed wombat joey was noticed by Sydneys Taronga Zoo keepers wriggling around in her mothers pouch at three months old. Sydney is now out of the pouch and is testing her mothers patience as she grows in confidence. One thing about ... young ones (wombats) is they can be quite obnoxious, Taronga Zoo keeper Paul Hare said. (The wombats) get to a certain age, and you just want to get rid of them. The joey, who has been named Sydney by the zookeepers, might be annoying. But shes been welcomed as the zoos second southern hairy-nosed wombat birth in 30 years. Southern hairy-nosed females are fertile for 12 hours a year and compatible couples are hard to find, Mr Hare said. The southern hairy-nosed wombat is an endangered species but is doing much better than their northern hairynosed cousins. Only 200 northern hairynosed wombats are thought to remain in the wild. Taronga Zoo hopes their latest breeding success will teach them skills applicable to breeding the northern species. Westpac backs tough love MELBOURNE: Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly says Australia needs tough spending cuts to deal with a rising deficit. Unlike ANZ boss Mike Smith, who last week criticised a proposed new tax or deficit reduction levy he said would damage confidence and entrepreneurialism, Mrs Kelly would not comment on proposed government policies. However she rejected the suggestion any Budget upheaval, whether it be taxes on workers earning about $80,000 or cuts to nearly all government agencies, would hurt an already fragile economic recovery. We all know its going to be a tough Budget, it has been well flagged and it needs to be a tough Budget. The fiscal deficit issue we have is proving to be quite intractable, she said. Mum on terrorism charge SYDNEY: An Australian mum was yesterday charged with supporting terrorism after she was arrested trying to board a flight from Sydney with her four young children. Reports said she was allegedly carrying cash and equipment believed to include camouflage gear for her husband fighting in war-torn Syria, although police would not confirm this. This arrest relates to Operation Duntulm that has a focus on foreign incursion offences, police said in a statement. She was charged with supporting incursions into a foreign state with the intention of engaging in hostile activities. The 29-year-old, who was arrested on Saturday, was granted strict conditional bail and will face Sydneys Downing Centre Local Court on June 2. Fight in store for Coles SYDNEY: THE competition cops have accused Coles of using standover tactics in a bid to extract $16 million worth of grocery rebates from 200 small and medium-size suppliers. In Federal Court action launched today, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission claims Coles wanted discounts in recognition of purported benefits from changes to the supermar ket giants supply chain. According to the ACCC, Coles required suppliers to agree to the rebate within a matter of days. If suppliers didnt agree, Coles staff were allegedly instructed to threaten commercial consequences. The ACCC alleges this is unconscionable conduct in breach of Australian Consumer Law. Coles said it would vigorously defend the allegations. One thing about ... young (wombats) is they can be obnoxious