Connect with us

Australia

Family who lost son, 9, to rare disorder visit sunflower Duchess of Cambridge planted in his memory

Published

on

family who lost son 9 to rare disorder visit sunflower duchess of cambridge planted in his memory

The family of a little boy who died from a rare organ condition has paid a visit to the sunflower that the Duchess of Cambridge promised to plant in his honour. 

In June Kate Middleton, 38, spoke to Stuie Delf, 13, from Huntingdon, whose adored brother Fraser lost his battle against Coats plus syndrome – a rare condition that affects multiple organs and causes brain abnormalities – in January aged just nine. 

On a video call to Stuie and his parents Carla and Stuart, for which the Duchess of Cornwall also dialled in, the Duchess pledged to plant a sunflower in memory of brave Fraser, who was cared for at East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Milton shortly before he died.

Not long after the call, Kate visited EACH’s The Nook, a hospice in Norfolk which she officially opened in November, where she helped plant a sensory garden.

The family of a little boy who died from a rare organ condition has paid a visit to the sunflower that the Duchess of Cambridge promised to plant in his honour

The family of a little boy who died from a rare organ condition has paid a visit to the sunflower that the Duchess of Cambridge promised to plant in his honour

The family of a little boy who died from a rare organ condition has paid a visit to the sunflower that the Duchess of Cambridge promised to plant in his honour

On a video call to Stuie and his parents Carla and Stuart, for which the Duchess of Cornwall also dialled in, the Duchess pledged to plant a sunflower in memory of brave Fraser, who was cared for at East Anglia Children's Hospices (EACH) in Milton shortly before he died

On a video call to Stuie and his parents Carla and Stuart, for which the Duchess of Cornwall also dialled in, the Duchess pledged to plant a sunflower in memory of brave Fraser, who was cared for at East Anglia Children's Hospices (EACH) in Milton shortly before he died

On a video call to Stuie and his parents Carla and Stuart, for which the Duchess of Cornwall also dialled in, the Duchess pledged to plant a sunflower in memory of brave Fraser, who was cared for at East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Milton shortly before he died

There she planted a sunflower which was moved to the hospice in Cambridgeshire where Fraser spent the last few weeks of his life.  

Yesterday the EACH Instagram account shared a photo of the family visiting the flower, now in full bloom.

The caption read: ‘The Duchess promised to arrange the tribute in memory of Fraser, who died in January of Coats plus syndrome, during a video call with his mum Carla, dad Stuart and 13-year-old brother Stuie for Children’s Hospice Week. 

‘She delivered on that promise days later, when she joined staff and volunteers at The Nook to create a sensory garden.

In June Kate Middleton, 38, spoke to Stuie Delf, 13, from Huntingdon, whose adored brother Fraser (pictured together) lost his battle against Coats plus syndrome - a rare condition that affects multiple organs and causes brain abnormalities - in January aged just nine

In June Kate Middleton, 38, spoke to Stuie Delf, 13, from Huntingdon, whose adored brother Fraser (pictured together) lost his battle against Coats plus syndrome - a rare condition that affects multiple organs and causes brain abnormalities - in January aged just nine

In June Kate Middleton, 38, spoke to Stuie Delf, 13, from Huntingdon, whose adored brother Fraser (pictured together) lost his battle against Coats plus syndrome – a rare condition that affects multiple organs and causes brain abnormalities – in January aged just nine

‘The sunflower has since been moved to our hospice in Milton, where Fraser spent the last few weeks of his life. 

‘The family saw the sunflower in its new home for the first time last Friday (31st), choosing to wearing pink – a colour Fraser loved.

‘Mum Carla said: “The sunflower looks so bright and beautiful, just like Fraser. The centre looks like a heart shape, just perfect. I recently saw a poem that said sunflowers choose to live their brightest lives as they know they won’t be around for long and that really fits with Fraser.”‘

Inspired by legendary 100-year-old fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, Stuie vowed to undertake a sponsored five kilometres run every day during lockdown in May to raise funds for the EACH site in Milton, which has seen a dramatic drop in funding due to the pandemic.

Kate and Camilla talked to Stuie and his parents about the seven weeks they spent living in the hospice with Fraser before he died

Kate and Camilla talked to Stuie and his parents about the seven weeks they spent living in the hospice with Fraser before he died

Kate and Camilla talked to Stuie and his parents about the seven weeks they spent living in the hospice with Fraser before he died

Kate and Camilla talked to Stuie and his parents about the seven weeks they spent living in the hospice with Fraser before he died

Kate and Camilla talked to Stuie and his parents about the seven weeks they spent living in the hospice with Fraser before he died

Carla, 37, pictured with Stuie and dad Stuart, told the two Duchesses about the kindness and dedication of staff at the hospice, who even got a vicar in and arranged for her and Stuart to renew their wedding vows to please Fraser, who had never understood why he was not in their wedding pictures

Carla, 37, pictured with Stuie and dad Stuart, told the two Duchesses about the kindness and dedication of staff at the hospice, who even got a vicar in and arranged for her and Stuart to renew their wedding vows to please Fraser, who had never understood why he was not in their wedding pictures

Carla, 37, pictured with Stuie and dad Stuart, told the two Duchesses about the kindness and dedication of staff at the hospice, who even got a vicar in and arranged for her and Stuart to renew their wedding vows to please Fraser, who had never understood why he was not in their wedding pictures

Stuie, who was cheered on by neighbours, had initially aimed to raise £500 to fill the gap and thank staff for the cherished memories of the time he spent there with his family but ended up exceeding all expectations.

His JustGiving page shows he’s managed to raise an impressive £16,615 – and the Duchess branded his fundraising ‘amazing’.

Stuie told Kate during the call: ‘Fraser wasn’t just my brother, he was my best friend.’ 

Camilla added: ‘Captain Tom has done a lot for this country, hasn’t he? He’s inspired so many people. You must be very fit, Stuie.’

Fraser, a cheeky and loving boy, pictured with his father, had been ill since he was born but deteriorated badly in his final year

Fraser, a cheeky and loving boy, pictured with his father, had been ill since he was born but deteriorated badly in his final year

Fraser, a cheeky and loving boy, pictured with his father, had been ill since he was born but deteriorated badly in his final year

The two women talked to him and his parents about the seven weeks they spent living in the hospice with Fraser before he died.

Fraser, a cheeky and loving boy, had been ill since he was born but deteriorated badly in his final year.

Carla, 37, told the two Duchesses about the kindness and dedication of staff at the hospice, who even got a vicar in and arranged for her and Stuart to renew their wedding vows to please Fraser, who had never understood why he was not in their wedding pictures.

‘They are just such amazing people, they really are. The care was amazing, not just towards Fraser making sure he was comfortable, but our wellbeing was met,’ she said. 

Inspired by legendary 100-year-old fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, Stuie vowed to undertake a sponsored five kilometres run every day during lockdown in May to raise funds for the EACH site in Milton, which has seen a dramatic drop in funding due to the pandemic

Inspired by legendary 100-year-old fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, Stuie vowed to undertake a sponsored five kilometres run every day during lockdown in May to raise funds for the EACH site in Milton, which has seen a dramatic drop in funding due to the pandemic

Inspired by legendary 100-year-old fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, Stuie vowed to undertake a sponsored five kilometres run every day during lockdown in May to raise funds for the EACH site in Milton, which has seen a dramatic drop in funding due to the pandemic

Inspired by legendary 100-year-old fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, Stuie vowed to undertake a sponsored five kilometres run every day during lockdown in May to raise funds for the EACH site in Milton, which has seen a dramatic drop in funding due to the pandemic

Inspired by legendary 100-year-old fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, Stuie vowed to undertake a sponsored five kilometres run every day during lockdown in May to raise funds for the EACH site in Milton, which has seen a dramatic drop in funding due to the pandemic

The sunflower has been adopted as the emblem of hospice care, a symbol of joy with the seeds representing patients and the surrounding petals love, care, and compassion.

Kate, who became patron of EACH in 2012, described the work of children’s hospices as ‘extraordinary’.

She added: ‘It’s a credit to the staff that they can provide the environment, the nurturing space for those families to help them go through long or short term care. It’s really awe-inspiring.’

Camilla said: ‘We’d like to thank everybody that works for hospices across the UK for the incredible job you do and allowing families to treasure their moments together.’ 

Powered by: Daily Mail

Australia

Innocent Victorians could be arrested in the street under new ‘draconian’ law

Published

on

By

innocent victorians could be arrested in the street under new draconian law

Innocent Victorians could be arrested in the street or at work and detained indefinitely by power-crazed officials under a new law Daniel Andrews wants to pass, top lawyers have warned.

The proposed new law, which will be debated in the Victorian parliament next month, would allow the government to give anyone it chooses – such as public servants – the power to enforce coronavirus restrictions and make arrests.

The unprecedented plan would also allow officials to detain people they suspect may spread coronavirus even if they have done nothing wrong.  

Innocent Victorians could be arrested in the street or at work by power-crazed officials under a new law Daniel Andrews wants to pass, top lawyers have warned. Pictured: A lockdown protester being arrested on Sunday in Melbourne

Innocent Victorians could be arrested in the street or at work by power-crazed officials under a new law Daniel Andrews wants to pass, top lawyers have warned. Pictured: A lockdown protester being arrested on Sunday in Melbourne

Innocent Victorians could be arrested in the street or at work by power-crazed officials under a new law Daniel Andrews wants to pass, top lawyers have warned. Pictured: A lockdown protester being arrested on Sunday in Melbourne

The unprecedented plan would also allow officials to detain people they suspect may spread coronavirus even if they have done nothing wrong. Pictured: A lockdown protester being arrested on Saturday in Melbourne

The unprecedented plan would also allow officials to detain people they suspect may spread coronavirus even if they have done nothing wrong. Pictured: A lockdown protester being arrested on Saturday in Melbourne

The unprecedented plan would also allow officials to detain people they suspect may spread coronavirus even if they have done nothing wrong. Pictured: A lockdown protester being arrested on Saturday in Melbourne

Officials would also be able to follow up on tip-offs that Covid rules have been breached at a home or a workplace without needing the police to accompany them. 

Eighteen esteemed former judges and lawyers have written an open letter warning that the law is ‘unprecedented, excessive and open to abuse’.

One of those lawyers, Ross Gillies QC, told Daily Mail Australia he fears power-hungry officials who enjoy exerting authority may abuse the powers given to them.

‘I don’t trust someone who is nominated by a public servant with the power to make arrests. I have real abiding concern that power is a very dangerous thing,’ he said.

‘Some people are excited by power and the ability to exert authority over someone else. There is the potential for enormous injustice.’ 

‘Someone might grab someone and say “I have reason to believe you are a Covid carrier or know someone who has Covid and I apprehend you”.

‘There would be no remedy in that situation. That may be the worst-case scenario but we know that can happen.’

Mr Gillies described the law, which has passed the lower house, as ‘draconian’ and urged the upper house to vote it down or amend it next month. 

The proposed new law would allow the government to give anyone they chose the power to enforce coronavirus restrictions and make arrests. Pictured: Protesters on Sunday

The proposed new law would allow the government to give anyone they chose the power to enforce coronavirus restrictions and make arrests. Pictured: Protesters on Sunday

The proposed new law would allow the government to give anyone they chose the power to enforce coronavirus restrictions and make arrests. Pictured: Protesters on Sunday

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Mr Andrews (pictured) suggested the power to make arrests would be given to WorkSafe officials and health department workers

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Mr Andrews (pictured) suggested the power to make arrests would be given to WorkSafe officials and health department workers

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Mr Andrews (pictured) suggested the power to make arrests would be given to WorkSafe officials and health department workers

James Peters QC, who also signed the letter, expressed similar concerns.

‘Power is very intoxicating and only some people can exercise it carefully such as very well trained groups,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

Asked if the new law could see innocent Victorians being arrested in the street, he said: ‘That’s right, that’s a very big risk.’ 

Mr Peters said normally when somebody is arrested they are brought before a bail justice but the proposed law does not say that would happen.

Asked if it allows officials to indefinitely detain people under state of emergency powers, he said: ‘It could be read that way, yes.’ 

Some people are excited by power and the ability to exert authority over someone else 
Ross Gillies, QC 

He also said it was unclear what redress people who are wrongfully arrested would have.

‘We have a traditional understanding of police power and redress to the courts if you have concern about how powers are exercised,’ he said. 

‘But how are you able to effectively test the belief upon which you were restrained?

‘You might not find out about it [why you were arrested] until you get to court.’ 

He flagged that there could be a legal challenge if the law passes, saying: ‘When excessive powers are legislated, there is often a legal challenge.’

Asked if all 18 signatories to the letter would launch legal action together, he said: ‘I can’t speak for everyone I can only speak for myself.’  

The proposed law does not specify who will be authorised to make arrests. 

‘We just don’t know, that’s one of the vices. They could be anybody,’ said Mr Peters.

‘It’s not enough to say the problem can be managed without specifying who could be given the powers.’

Ross Gillies QC, told Daily Mail Australia he fears power-hungry officials who enjoy exerting authority may abuse the powers given to them. Pictured: Police on Sunday

Ross Gillies QC, told Daily Mail Australia he fears power-hungry officials who enjoy exerting authority may abuse the powers given to them. Pictured: Police on Sunday

Ross Gillies QC, told Daily Mail Australia he fears power-hungry officials who enjoy exerting authority may abuse the powers given to them. Pictured: Police on Sunday

A group of 18 retired judges and barristers have written a letter slamming the plan as 'unprecedented, excessive and open to abuse' and begged the Victorian parliament to vote it down. Pictured: Protesters in Melbourne on Sunday

A group of 18 retired judges and barristers have written a letter slamming the plan as 'unprecedented, excessive and open to abuse' and begged the Victorian parliament to vote it down. Pictured: Protesters in Melbourne on Sunday

A group of 18 retired judges and barristers have written a letter slamming the plan as ‘unprecedented, excessive and open to abuse’ and begged the Victorian parliament to vote it down. Pictured: Protesters in Melbourne on Sunday

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Mr Andrews suggested the power to make arrests would be given to WorkSafe officials and health department workers. 

At the moment police need to be present to make an arrest but Mr Andrews wants public servants to have that power on their own.  

He said currently when a workplace is inspected to see if it is abiding by Covid-19 rules ‘there’s got to be someone from police, someone from WorkSafe, somebody from the Health Department, that doesn’t make any sense. 

‘If we can essentially double or triple the resource available to you, it stands to reason that we’ll have more people doing the right thing. ‘ 

Mr Andrews said he wants to make sure supermarkets, abattoirs and other workplaces are adhering to strict rules including social distancing and limits on the number of workers on the premises at once. 

Asked why he needs to give powers to detain people before they do anything wrong, he said: ‘They’re based on a reasonable belief principle and proportionality principle about the risk of spreading Covid. 

What would the new law do? 

Allow any person the government considered appropriate to be authorised to exercise emergency powers including make arrests.

There would be no requirement for them to be police officers, or even public servants. 

Allow an authorised officer to detain any person they believe is likely to fail to comply with an emergency direction and is a close contact or a Covid-19 patient not given clearance from self-isolation.

The suspect can be detained for so long as the authorised officer reasonably believes the person in detention is likely to fail to comply with an emergency direction. 

Read the bill here 

<!—->Advertisement

‘There are some people who are not compliant, refuse to act in a responsible and safe way. Those powers would not be frequently used. They would be, I think, rare. But they are important.’

Those who could be arrested include positive patients or close contacts who officials suspect may refuse to self-isolate, such as protesters or people with mental health difficulties.  

They could be taken to a hotel for mandatory quarantine for as long as the authorised officer believes is necessary. 

Critics say Mr Andrews wants to create his own version of the Stasi, the East German secret police force which spied on citizens through a network of informants and arrested more than 250,000 people between 1950 and 1990. 

The measures are outlined in the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2020, which will meet resistance when read in the upper house next month. 

Liberty Victoria president Julian Burnside has raised concerns that government workers authorised to make arrests may not be able to accurately determine whether someone poses a risk of spreading Covid-19.

‘The bill introduces a preventative detention regime which appears to have little protections or oversight, and provides far too much discretion to people who may lack the necessary expertise to determine risk, including police officers,’ he said.  

Victoria’s state of emergency and disaster powers, extended until October 11, give police the power to detain someone ‘for the period reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health’. 

Police officers can also search people’s homes without a warrant and restrict movement between locations such as between regional Victoria and Melbourne.  

In their letter the group of retired judges and prominent QCs said they were ‘deeply concerned’ about how the bill would expand the power of the state.

They said the bill would allow anyone to be authorised to exercise emergency powers. 

‘There would be no requirement that persons authorised be police officers, or even public servants,’ the letter read.

Allowing citizens to make arrests ‘on the basis of a belief that the detained person is unlikely to comply with emergency directions’ is ‘unprecedented, excessive and open to abuse,’ the lawyers said. 

Gideon Rozner, Director of Policy at free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs told Daily Mail Australia the legislation was ‘extremely dangerous’ and would create the ‘Daniel Andrews Stasi’. 

Victoria's state of emergency and disaster powers already give police the power to detain someone 'for the period reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health'. Pictured: Police at a protest in Melbourne on Sunday

Victoria's state of emergency and disaster powers already give police the power to detain someone 'for the period reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health'. Pictured: Police at a protest in Melbourne on Sunday

Victoria’s state of emergency and disaster powers already give police the power to detain someone ‘for the period reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health’. Pictured: Police at a protest in Melbourne on Sunday

Critics say Mr Andrews wants to create his own version of the Stasi, the secret police force tasked with stopping East Germans from jumping the Berlin Wall (pictured) and escaping communism

Critics say Mr Andrews wants to create his own version of the Stasi, the secret police force tasked with stopping East Germans from jumping the Berlin Wall (pictured) and escaping communism

Critics say Mr Andrews wants to create his own version of the Stasi, the secret police force tasked with stopping East Germans from jumping the Berlin Wall (pictured) and escaping communism

‘It will allow Dan Andrews to effectively appoint anyone he wants as an authorised officer, with extraordinarily broad discretion to enforce Victoria’s emergency powers,’ he said.

‘Union leaders could be appointed to unleash retribution on small business owners who speak out against lockdowns. 

‘Labor Party officials could be appointed to intimidate political opponents. ‘I Stand With Dan’ types could be appointed to spy on their friends and neighbours.

‘Not since East Germany have we seen such a monstrous web of government surveillance. The Victorian Parliament must vote down this bill and say no to the Dan Andrews Stasi.’

Mr Andrews said he did not agree the proposed legislation was excessive or open to abuse.

‘In terms of recruitment, process, oversight – all that can be managed,’ Mr Andrews said on Tuesday in response to the lawyers’ letter.

‘In terms of the first point, though, the notion it is unprecedented, yes, it is. Because we’re in a one-in-100-year event. This is not in any way business as usual.’

Mr Andrews justified the new law by saying it would help keep case numbers low, even though no other state in Australia has required such a drastic measure.

‘We jealously guard the low (case) numbers that we are in the process of delivering, then you need to have a bigger enforcement team,’ he said.

‘They will play many different roles, but I think we have struck the right balance there.’

Victoria’s Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said the laws would ‘allow us to continue responding to the challenges the pandemic presents, so we can keep protecting Victorians and delivering the services they rely on.’

The labor government has a majority in the lower house but needs the support of the cross bench to get the bill through the upper house.

Reason Party leader Fiona Patten and the Greens have expressed concerns and said they will try to amend the bill.

Ms Patten told The Australian: ‘Extending the powers of authorised officers to detain people with no court oversight is extreme, and it’s unclear why the government thinks they need these powers now.

‘The coronavirus case numbers are going down, things are working, and I think most importantly this is a health pandemic and it should be treated as a health issue, not a law-and-order one.

‘The authorised officers that we have now undertake significant training, they’re health experts­, and there appears to be no evidence that they need greater powers.’

‘Excessive and open to abuse’: The lawyers’ letter in full

Georgina Schoff QC (pictured) signed the letter with 17 other lawyers

Georgina Schoff QC (pictured) signed the letter with 17 other lawyers

Georgina Schoff QC (pictured) signed the letter with 17 other lawyers

‘We are deeply concerned by the passage of the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2020 (Bill) through the Legislative Assembly.

Emergency powers already allow authorised officers under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic) to detain people and to restrict movement.

The Bill would expand the emergency powers to allow an authorised officer to detain:

• any person that the authorised officer reasonably believes is likely to fail to comply with an emergency direction and is a close contact of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 (or a person diagnosed with COVID-19) not given clearance from self-isolation;

• for so long as the authorised officer reasonably believes the person in detention is likely to fail to comply with an emergency direction.

The Bill would also allow any person the Secretary considered appropriate to be authorised to exercise emergency powers. There would be no requirement that persons authorised be police officers, or even public servants.

Authorising citizens to detain their fellow citizens on the basis of a belief that the detained person is unlikely to comply with emergency directions by the ‘authorised’ citizens is unprecedented, excessive and open to abuse.

We call on the Legislative Council to amend the Bill, or to vote against it.

MICHAEL MCHUGH AC QC

PETER HEEREY AM QC

NEIL YOUNG QC

ROSS GILLIES, QC

JENNIFER BATROUNEY, QC

JAMES PETERS AM QC

PETER COLLINSON QC

MARYANNE LOUGHNAN QC

RACHEL DOYLE, QC

MARY ANNE HARTLEY QC

PHILIP CRUTCHFIELD QC

GEORGINA SCHOFF QC

PHILIP SOLOMON QC

DAVID BATT QC

STUART WOOD AM QC

FELICITY GERRY QC

PAUL HAYES, QC

MICHAEL BORSKY QC 

<!—->Advertisement

The Victorian Bar on Wednesday released a statement urging major changes to the bill, including requiring the Chief Health Officer to review all detentions.

‘The Victorian Bar’s concerns about provisions of the Omnibus Bill, tabled in Parliament on 17 September 2020, refer principally to the broad and generic criteria on which ‘authorised officer’ appointments may be made under s. 30 of the Act,’ the group said in a statement.

‘The proposed criteria potentially open the door for those who are not trained as health professionals to be appointed as ‘authorised officers’.

‘This is of significant concern as it is imperative that the qualifications of these officers are relevant to the public health functions that they are intended to perform.

‘The Victorian Bar is also concerned with the proposal that people may be detained by authorised officers for failure to abide by a public health direction on the basis of an authorised officer’s ‘reasonable belief’.

‘This standard of validation is broad and subjective. The power to detain should be reviewed against an objective standard, for example, one of ‘reasonable likelihood’.

‘Furthermore, the public interest would best be served if decisions made by authorised officers were reviewed by the Chief Health Officer (or senior delegate) within a short, stipulated period (preferably not longer than 24 hours).

‘In the Bar’s view, the power of detention should be expressly based on a test of the least restrictive means reasonably available in the circumstances to achieve public health and safety.’ 

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading

Australia

Police and jobs ministers claim they don’t know why private security was used instead of the ADF

Published

on

By

police and jobs ministers claim they dont know why private security was used instead of the adf

Senior government ministers Martin Pakula and Lisa Neville have distanced themselves from Victoria’s botched hotel quarantine program, which led to the state’s devastating second coronavirus wave.

The duo placed the blame squarely on the Department of Health and Human Services when they appeared before the state’s hotel quarantine inquiry on Wednesday.

‘It was a health emergency, therefore the control agency was DHHS,’ Police and Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville told the inquiry.

The ministers said they don’t know who made the decision to hire private security companies to guard the state’s quarantine hotels, rather than Victoria Police or the Australian Defence Force. 

Victoria Police Minister Lisa Neville speaks to the media during a press conference in Melbourne

Victoria Police Minister Lisa Neville speaks to the media during a press conference in Melbourne

Victoria Police Minister Lisa Neville speaks to the media during a press conference in Melbourne

Pictured: A woman in a hi vis vest leaving Rydges on Swanston hotel in Melbourne, July 14.

Pictured: A woman in a hi vis vest leaving Rydges on Swanston hotel in Melbourne, July 14.

Pictured: A woman in a hi vis vest leaving Rydges on Swanston hotel in Melbourne, July 14. 

The inquiry has previously heard it was Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton’s preference that private security be used, while Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp maintained there was no need for ADF ‘boots on the ground’.

Ms Neville had a scheduled meeting with Mr Ashton and Mr Crisp at 2pm on March 27, immediately after national cabinet announced the hotel quarantine program.

‘I believe that private security was raised by Commissioner Crisp. I’m pretty confident the ADF issues were raised by Mr Ashton,’ she said.

Mr Crisp previously told the inquiry he couldn’t remember what was discussed at the meeting but didn’t think he would have brought up security.

‘It was clear to me and I think to both commissioners that a decision had already been taken about the front line of enforcement at the hotels,’ Ms Neville said.

Jobs Minister Martin Pakula said his department was tasked with contracting hotels and security companies for the program but it was clear the DHHS had ‘overall responsibility’.

‘It would have been preferable for the agency which has overall responsibility to have the contractual management responsibility. I think that would have been better,’ he said.

More than 30 security guards and staff working at two quarantine hotels (pictured in June) caught coronavirus from returned travellers and spread it into the community

More than 30 security guards and staff working at two quarantine hotels (pictured in June) caught coronavirus from returned travellers and spread it into the community

More than 30 security guards and staff working at two quarantine hotels (pictured in June) caught coronavirus from returned travellers and spread it into the community 

The contracts written up by the jobs department placed the responsibility of training guards, including in the use of personal protective equipment, on the security companies.

Cleaning obligations were put on the hotels, unless a returned traveller tested positive to COVID-19.

Mr Pakula said it was appropriate to place some onus on the contracted parties.

‘I don’t take from it a suggestion that there were no obligations on anybody else in addition to that,’ he said.

He said the DHHS were responsible for providing infection control advice to contractors. 

More than 30 security guards and staff working at two quarantine hotels caught coronavirus from returned travellers and spread it into the community.

Some 99 per cent of second wave cases in Victoria can be linked to the two outbreaks.

The inquiry has previously heard guards received little to no training in appropriate PPE use and failed to adhere to social distancing rules.

Some were accused of sexually harassing nurses, hotel staff and guests.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton speaks to the media in June. The inquiry has previously heard it was Mr Ashton's preference that private security be used

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton speaks to the media in June. The inquiry has previously heard it was Mr Ashton's preference that private security be used

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton speaks to the media in June. The inquiry has previously heard it was Mr Ashton’s preference that private security be used

The inquiry heard public servants in Mr Pakula’s department had concerns about the program as early as April.

But he admitted he did not know about them until the inquiry ‘had commenced or had been called’.

The Department of Justice and Community Safety took over the program in late June, using Corrections Victoria staff.

A submission to the Crisis Council of Cabinet around that time warned the police union and the Community and Public Sector Union may be concerned about ‘workplace health and safety risks for staff working in hotel quarantine’.

DHHS secretary Kym Peake will also continue to give evidence.

On Tuesday, she denied her department had ‘sole accountability’ for the program despite being the control agency.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos and Premier Daniel Andrews will appear on Thursday and Friday respectively.

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading

Australia

How two million Australians have exceeded their credit card limit

Published

on

By

how two million australians have exceeded their credit card limit

Australia is a debt ticking time bomb with two million people exceeding their credit card limit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reduced working hours from the coronavirus recession mean even more Australians are relying on plastic debt to pay their bills and buy essentials.

While Reserve Bank of Australia interest rates are at a record-low of 0.25 per cent, the big banks are still charging double-digit rates on credit cards.

Financial comparison website Finder calculated that 15 per cent of Australia’s 14million credit card users had exceeded their credit card limit during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Australia is a debt ticking time bomb with two million people exceeding their credit card limit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reduced working hours from the coronavirus recession mean even more Australians are relying on plastic debt to pay their bills and buy essentials. Pictured is a woman shopping at Woolworths in Sydney

Australia is a debt ticking time bomb with two million people exceeding their credit card limit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reduced working hours from the coronavirus recession mean even more Australians are relying on plastic debt to pay their bills and buy essentials. Pictured is a woman shopping at Woolworths in Sydney

Australia is a debt ticking time bomb with two million people exceeding their credit card limit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reduced working hours from the coronavirus recession mean even more Australians are relying on plastic debt to pay their bills and buy essentials. Pictured is a woman shopping at Woolworths in Sydney

Younger people even more likely to have overdrawn on their credit card, with 26 per cent of millennials aged between 18 and 38 exceeding their limit.

Tips for dealing with credit card debt

Have a hard limit imposed that stops you from exceeding the limit

Make more regular repayments

Consider a credit card that has fixed monthly payments instead of interest charges that blocks borrowers if they miss a payment – NAB and Commonwealth launched new products this month

<!—->Advertisement

Women were more likely to struggle with debt, with 18 per cent of them spending on plastic beyond the limit compared with 13 per cent of men.

Among Australians of all age groups and both genders, two million people have been in financial dire straits since March, most likely owing more than $10,000 on their credit card.

Half of those people are still borrowing at a level beyond their credit card limit, a Finder survey of 1,066 people across several age groups found. 

Finder’s personal finance expert Kate Browne said seven per cent of all credit card customers were still over the limit.

‘Almost one million borrowers are currently over their credit card limit and risking taking a hit to their credit score,’ she said.

‘Some people who were already in debt are now struggling to make their repayments and on top of that are relying on credit cards to pay for essentials like rent and food pushing them over their limit.’ 

A Finder analysis of Reserve Bank of Australia data showed average credit limits of $9,892 for every borrower. 

Financial comparison website Finder calculated that 15 per cent of Australia's 14million credit card users had exceeded their credit card limit during the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured is a consumer in Sydney

Financial comparison website Finder calculated that 15 per cent of Australia's 14million credit card users had exceeded their credit card limit during the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured is a consumer in Sydney

Financial comparison website Finder calculated that 15 per cent of Australia’s 14million credit card users had exceeded their credit card limit during the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured is a consumer in Sydney

Still, with a majority of borrowers able to service their debts, average outstanding credit card balances in July stood at $2,768.

Separate Commonwealth Bank data from its own customers showed credit card spending in the week to September 18 was 4.3 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Even credit cards from the big banks marketed as low-interest rate products incur double-digit charges.

Westpac’s Low Rate Card charges 13.74 per cent interest after a 55-day interest-free period.  

NAB has launched a credit card with no interest charges or late fees - but the bank will block your account if you do not meet minimum repayment amounts

NAB has launched a credit card with no interest charges or late fees - but the bank will block your account if you do not meet minimum repayment amounts

NAB has launched a credit card with no interest charges or late fees – but the bank will block your account if you do not meet minimum repayment amounts

Customers now have the option of interest-free credit cards that simply block a consumer from using the card if they miss a payment instead of charging them late fees.

National Australia Bank’s new StraightUp Card allows consumers to pay the same fee every month.

A consumer with a $3,000 limit incurs a $20 monthly fee on the understanding they pay off a minimum $110 each month from their Visa credit card.

This month, the Commonwealth Bank also launched a similar Neo credit card with a $3,000 limit with a fixed monthly fee instead of interest charges and late fees.

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DiazHub.