New officers welcomed to the Hume Police District | Goulburn Post

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Three new police officers have joined The Hume Police District after attesting at the NSW Police Academy in Goulburn on February 26. The three new recruits, two at Goulburn and one at Southern Highlands, were welcomed to the Goulburn Police Station on March 1. Probationary Constable Stefan Krull and Probationary Constable Sean Boller will join the team at Goulburn Police Station while Probationary Constable Cameron Bost will join the Southern Highlands team. READ MORE: New officers to join the Hume Police District after attestation ceremony The Hume Police District Commander, Superintendent Paul Condon, welcomed the new recruits. “It’s always good to have new recruits join us and we are looking forward to showing them the ropes,” he said. Officer in charge of Goulburn Police Station Inspector Matthew Hinton also welcomed the new recruits and said, “They will be working on the frontline of the policing duties across our towns to ensure the safety of residents of those townships.” Probationary Constable Sean Boller joined the police force as he wanted to give back to the community. He has spent 18 years in the military as a medic and travelled overseas on Australian commitments. READ ALSO: It’s time to step up on Clean Up Australia Day Probationary Constable Stefan Krull, who is from Victoria, is looking forward to helping the community and meeting new people. After donning the chef’s hat for 20 years, Probationary Constable Cameron Bost also came into the new role to give back to the community. The NSW Police Force welcomed 194 new probationary constables at the NSW Police Academy on February 26 at the first full ceremony since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Class 345 includes 139 men and 55 women who will undertake a year of on-the-job training and complete the Associate Degree in Policing Practice by distance education with Charles Sturt University before being confirmed to the rank of constable. Did you know the Goulburn Post is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.



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What will the aged care royal commission recommend? We think we know, and how the government will respond

Over the past three years, I’ve examined hundreds of hours of hidden camera footage from Australia’s nursing homes.

Some showed outright physical abuse, others revealed the so-called rough handling that comes from untrained, insensitive and overworked carers.

There was one video showing the physical assault of a frail woman with dementia that was so vicious that, by the end of production I had to avert my eyes and block my ears in the edit suite.

But there is one collection of footage that remains firmly in my mind, because instead of revealing an explosion of violence it shows a type of human rights abuse that is so common in aged care that it goes almost unremarked.

It creeps up over weeks, months and years, and yet is almost impossible to prove and is never investigated by the police.

It’s called neglect.

It’s also the title of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s interim report, because it is the overriding theme in the 10,000 submissions the inquiry received.

Luigi Cantali was 80, blind, and had dementia. Despite his disabilities, the video revealed Luigi also had a great attitude to life and a cheeky sense of humour, but none of those saved him from neglect.

Luigi Cantali and his daughter Eva.

At his Sydney nursing home, Luigi was only taken from his room to go to the bathroom or shower, and that wasn’t often.

Despite soiled incontinence pads leaking on to his clothes, his chair and the floor, he was rarely changed, nor was disinfectant consistently used to clean his room.

Footage showed one carer spraying his body and his clothes with deodorant.

When it came to meals, carers promised to feed him but left without returning.

On one day, the blind man managed to find a mango on his tray, which he peeled and devoured.

Another day, the tray is left out of his reach and 40 minutes later taken away by a carer, untouched.

On other occasions, Luigi was lifted naked in a hoist, taken out to the corridor for everyone to see, with no regard for his dignity.

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Luigi Cantali’s daughter hid a camera in his Sydney nursing home.

But perhaps the most common image in the footage was Luigi alone, sitting in his chair or lying in his bed.

Occasionally he called out “hello?” in case someone should pass by his room.

His questions to carers about going out for a walk ignored, the cries for his wife plaintive, and his basic desire to connect with another human being quashed.

When the hidden camera was discovered by Carino Care, the private nursing home in Sydney where Luigi lived, management reported Luigi’s daughter to police, suggesting she was violating his privacy.

The police quickly dismissed that suggestion but didn’t investigate Carino Care about conditions for Luigi.

At the time of publishing Luigi’s story, Carino Care said it hadn’t viewed the footage because it was “a police matter” and that it had provided Luigi “with the best possible care.”

But when the regulator, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, went and inspected the nursing home days after our story aired, it sanctioned Carino Care for putting residents at “serious risk”, finding it failed 24 out of 44 quality and safety standards.

Luigi’s family moved him to a new nursing home, but he died within six days.

Overwhelming evidence of aged care issues

Luigi’s hidden camera was put in place in December 2018, a few short months after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a royal commission into aged care.

That announcement came just the day before a special two-part investigation into aged care aired on Four Corners.

Who Cares? was the result of the ABC’s largest crowdsourced investigation at that time, which resulted in more than 4,000 families and staff from around Australia telling us their stories from inside nursing homes.

We heard of an overwhelming amount of work done by too few people with too little training; sexual and physical abuse swept under the carpet; $6 a day food bills; humiliations like continence pads restricted to three-per-day; a lack of transparency about how providers spend taxpayer dollars; and a broken regulatory and complaints system.

That evidence was repeated hundreds of times throughout two years of the royal commission’s hearings and now forms the final report, which was handed to the Governor-General on Friday.

It is expected the government will release that final report today, and we already have a good idea of what will be in it because counsel assisting laid out all 124 recommendations in the final hearings last October.

More surprising for this kind of inquiry is that we also know which changes the government is likely to reject — it’s all there in black and white on the royal commission’s website in a submission by the Commonwealth, namely the Department of Health and the federal aged care regulator.

For those who are cynical about the value of a royal commission, it makes grim reading.

Of the 124 recommendations, the joint submission supports just eight entirely.

They are completely opposed to six of them, while the vast majority — at least half — are referred to as being “supported in principle”.

They reject one of the royal commission’s key proposals to have an independent body separate from the government dictating the funding levels.

At the same time, the government submission questions introducing extra reporting requirements for aged care companies to publish how they spend the more than $20 billion in taxpayer money that goes to the sector.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison may try to argue that this submission from the department and the regulator doesn’t reflect the government view — an argument few would believe possible since ministers and the leadership direct their departments in policy.

Of the more than 100 recommendations, here are some of the responses.

Staffing mix agreed, but reporting shouldn’t be ‘overly burdensome’

Unlike in child care and hospitals, there are no staffing ratios in aged care.

There is not even a requirement to have a registered nurse on duty.

The staff in part one of Who Cares? talked about registered nurses being in charge of over 100 residents and skeleton staff on night duty.

Instead of suggesting minimum staffing numbers, the royal commission is recommending a “minimum staff time” for residents given by a “skills mix” of qualified nurses and personal care workers to do the hands-on work.

The aim is to ensure the average resident receives three hours of care per day plus another half an hour from a registered nurse.

That would be a vast improvement on what we have currently, with a royal commission study showing more than half of Australia’s facilities would rate just one or two stars in the US five-star rating system when it comes to staffing.

But while the government “supports the intent” of that change, it adds that the amount of time needed “varies significantly with the acuity of residents, and as a result the level and type of staff time appropriate for each facility will also vary”.

The suggestion — which echoes the industry line — is that some residents need less than three and a half hours of direct care per day.

That seems hard to believe considering most people entering aged care now do so as a last resort and are therefore older, more frail, sicker and require more assistance with bathing, dressing, eating, walking and attending to medical needs.

The Department of Health and the federal regulator also warn that reporting staff numbers on a quarterly basis as suggested shouldn’t be “overly burdensome” for aged care providers.

The government is more supportive of the need for having at least one registered nurse rostered on every shift.

Before the Aged Care Act of 1997 was introduced by then-prime minister John Howard, a registered nurse on duty 24/7 was a requirement in aged care.

Now the royal commission wants them back and, although the department and regulator say they “support the intent” of at least one registered nurse on-site at all times, they say exceptions would need to be made for rural and remote areas.

Advocates want the nurses back but are concerned with the long deadline the royal commission has given of 2024 to have the measure in place.

Mandatory qualifications ‘shouldn’t be a barrier’ for carers

In child care, staff need a Certificate III qualification to work.

However, in aged care there’s no minimum training requirement for personal care assistants who make up 70 per cent of all staff and who do the crucial work of showering, feeding and mobilising the elderly.

Training is so loosely defined in the sector: It can be one carer training another on the job over a period of days.

Throughout our many stories on aged care, the lack of training and knowledge of staff has been one of the consistent themes.

And it’s in hidden camera footage that it can be most clearly seen, such as the case of Ernie Poloni at Bupa Templestowe.

Ernie’s family installed the camera to find out why his pyjamas were consistently ripped and found the 85-year-old was handled roughly by a variety of staff.

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Ernie’s family put a secret camera in his room to find out why his pyjamas were regularly torn.(Supplied)

But while the royal commission will recommend a Certificate III be the minimum training requirement in aged care, the federal regulator and the Department of Health say it “shouldn’t be a barrier to staff” who want to work in the sector and “who have the right attitude and aptitude to provide care”.

They say it should “take into account challenges posed by areas of low workforce supply such as rural and remote areas”, and that people should be able to gain the certificate while working on the job.

The peak industry groups share that view.

That’s probably because they are already struggling to attract workers and know that many people will not pay for a certificate for a job that often pays $21 an hour, just over a dollar per hour more than the minimum wage.

The government also takes exception to the royal commission’s recommendation staff should have mandatory dementia and palliative care training saying that may not be “practical or feasible” and instead should be considered part of “best practice guidance” rather than mandatory.

Considering half the residents in aged care have dementia and — realistically — almost all of them will die in there, this seems a shocking objection.

A lack of training in dementia is known to lead to the overuse of drugs and sedatives.

No support for plan to stop GPs prescribing antipsychotics

Chemical restraint, or the use of antipsychotics to control dementia behaviours, has been front and centre in our aged care stories.

The overuse of physical and chemical restraints has been described as a human rights abuse with the Australian Law Reform Commission making recommendations to stop it six years ago — reforms that were ignored by the government.

In January 2019, we broadcast pictures of Terry Reeves, who suffered after being physically and chemically restrained while on a respite stay in a Sydney nursing home.

An old man in two photographs side by side. In one he is sitting up smiling, the other he is slumped over, his head on his knees
Terry Reeves on his first day in the home and seven weeks later.(Supplied)

That case was examined at the royal commission and showed that the GP who attended the nursing home increased the dosage of risperidone at the request of staff.

The royal commission wants changes made by November this year so that only a psychiatrist or geriatrician can authorise the initial prescription of antipsychotics.

But the federal regulator and the department oppose that change, saying it is not “feasible” as there are not enough specialists to do the job and that “improved clinician education” will stop the overuse of the drugs.

That will anger many, especially when it’s known that antipsychotics are not always effective, can cause death and that GPs can be coerced by overworked staff who don’t have the numbers or knowledge to deal with challenging behaviours.

On the other hand, others say the measure is short-sighted, as GPs will find other drugs to use if antipsychotics are restricted.

The answer, they say, is more trained qualified nursing and care staff who view psychotropic drugs as a last resort.

Home care waiting list

The royal commission wants the home care waiting list — at the moment topping 100,000 people — cleared by the end of the year.

Portrait of an elderly lady clutching her teddy.
Evelyn Micallef waited more than a year for funds to be released on an approved upgrade to her homecare package.(ABC News)

We’ve interviewed families like those of Evelyn Micallef, who waited 18 months for the highest level package despite crippling dementia and her inability to walk.

The average wait for Level 4 packages is over two years, with estimates that 28,000 people died waiting between 2018 and 2020.

Clearing the waiting list is supported “in principle” by the Department of Health, which says it’s already doing that with the “progressive release of packages at a rate that the sector can implement”.

Although the federal government says it has now “funded” 50,000 home care packages, in reality, it has only “released” just over a third of those (or 17,000) which is why the waitlist remains so long.

What the government doesn’t say is that they’re holding back the packages because there is a massive shortage of home care workers.

The workforce shortage is a major problem in both residential and home care, which is why it’s puzzling that the regulator and department have rejected the recommendation that the government take charge of the Aged Care Workforce Council.

Once again, the government has a “hands off ” approach, leaving it to the industry to tackle a massive social issue as our population ages.

The federal regulator and department also warned that clearing the waiting list could put the elderly at risk because it will require more home care providers “who are inexpert” and the regulator will be busy monitoring them as they “will pose a significant regulatory uplift”.

It certainly will require an uplift.

Last year, the federal regulator did just 76 reviews of home care providers out of more than 900.

Split report expected

As for the future of funding and regulating the sector, this is the great sticking point that looks likely to split the commissioners.

A man and a woman sit in front of the royal commission signage.
Royal Commissioners the Honourable Tony Pagone QC and Lynelle Briggs AO.(Supplied: Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety)

During the final hearings in October last year, commissioner Lynelle Briggs voiced her opposition to a new statutory corporate body — away from Canberra — while fellow commissioner Tony Pagone QC was in favour of it.

It is clear the government supports Ms Briggs’ view, saying it would need to be convinced changing the regulatory body would improve the sector for the better.

The large cost of creating a new regulatory arm also seems to be on the government’s mind.

It seems likely the commissioners will disagree on other key recommendations too, judging by comments heard from Mr Pagone when speaking to the Governor-General, saying final proposals “have been difficult to reach” as the two have “different views on key measures”.

Overall, the Commonwealth submission gives a clear impression that the government is worried about the vast cost the reforms would entail.

If it is a split report, it’s easy to imagine the government implementing the least costly recommendation from either commissioner.

For example, the government opposes new Medicare benefit schedules for doctors to do three-monthly or six-monthly checks on aged care residents.

While it agrees on the need for an online rating system to allow families to compare nursing homes, it claims it already has a system in place on My Aged Care and the regulator’s website.

However, that’s not the case, with no publicly available information on staffing, complaints, assault or performance reports to assist someone in choosing the best aged care home.

It’s also opposed to extra measures to ensure increased governance by members of boards however the department has, once again, argued there should not be an extra burden on aged care providers.

The royal commission has heard from many traumatised families and staff throughout its hearings but there’s been little acknowledgement of that pain.

Dealing with literally hundreds of people myself, I can say that there are many damaged people who witnessed shocking neglect and abuse, who were further injured by providers who denied their stories and the final blow, saw no penalty meted out by the federal regulator — even when neglect and abuse were proven.

The Prime Minister’s oft-repeated claim that he called the royal commission because he wants the sector changed, rings hollow if the government is again going to ignore how to fix a broken system.

That has already happened with over 20 reports into problems in the sector gathering dust over the past decade.

The question is, will the government go so far as to ignore reforms recommended by the highest form of inquiry this country has to offer?

If the submission from its department and regulator is anything to go by, the answer is, unfortunately, yes.

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Shane van Gisbergen dominates at Bathurst, winning both Supercars races

Shane van Gisbergen has the lead of the 2021 Supercars championship after dominating the opening weekend of the season.

After winning the first race of the year on Saturday, the New Zealand-born driver comfortably took the second race on Sunday afternoon.

Van Gisbergen could not be faulted on Sunday, despite losing the lead to Cameron Waters off the start.

Waters, who finished a disappointing 20th on Saturday, looked to make amends as he led into the first corner.

The opening laps were clean — with only James Courtney needing to retire from the race after sending his car into the barrier at turn three.

Will Davison, who was fourth, was the first of the frontrunners to pit but ultimately lost out.

Once all cars had completed their first stop, Davison had fallen to fifth.

Van Gisbergen, in second, pitted a lap before the leader Waters and was able to complete the undercut.

By the time Waters left the pits, he became a sitting duck for Van Gisbergen who flew past him.

Van Gisbergen then built a four-second lead over the next few laps.

The top five drivers then came in for their mandatory second stops on laps 21 and 22, with van Gisbergen extending his lead again over the chasing pack.

The New Zealander than continued to gradually build his lead until the end.

Shane van Gisbergen starts the 2021 season perfectly, winning both races on the opening weekend.(Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographics via AAP)

After the chequered flag, van Gisbergen told his team over the radio he believed his driving between the first and second pit stops was some of the best of his career.

Van Gisbergen told Fox Sports his team’s tactics helped him overcome a poor start to take the win.

“That’s a team win, a strategy win,” he said.

“We had to try and win it in the pit lane and we did.”

Waters finished second while Chaz Mostert, who was second on Saturday, took home third.

Both races this weekend were 40 laps, or 250 kilometres.

It is the first time Mount Panorama has been used for an Australian Touring Car round, other than the Bathurst 1000, since the mid-1990s.

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Tasmanian waters have become the newest training ground for the Royal Australian Navy

Off Tasmania’s coastline, Royal Australian Navy personnel have started to get acquainted with their newest allies.

The Navy and the Australian Maritime College (AMC), based in northern Tasmania, struck a $4.7 million three-year autonomous marine systems training deal last August.

Under the deal, up to 80 Navy personnel will study in Tasmania each year and be taught by AMC staff how to use autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), also known as aquatic robots, to enhance the country’s war fighting efforts.

The deal is now one year in and training has ramped up.

The latest Navy team to complete its training at Beauty Point, right near the top of the island state, was a hydrographic one.

Damien Guihen is teaching Navy personnel how to use AUVs.(ABC News: Manika Champ)

The AMC’s autonomous marine system specialist Damien Guihen said the team would use the device to help map the world’s oceans.

“So they use it for mapping out areas maybe around beaches or places where they might need to bring ships,” Mr Guihen said.

“Using a robotic platform such as an AUV, it allows us to make measurements where maybe you don’t want to send somebody or it allows us to get closer to the seabed, so it makes operations generally safer and it allows us to free up people to do other tasks.”

Two people stand on a boat pulling an autonomous underwater vehicle on board.
Learning how to use AUVs is one way the Navy is helping bolster Australia’s war fighting efforts.(ABC News: Manika Champ)

‘It’s finally made them cool’

The training is also helping the navy find more underwater sea mines.

Chris White, who is the AMC’s Defence and Autonomous Systems manager, used to be a Royal Australian Navy diver.

A man stands on a dock in front of a ship.
Chris White says using AUVs helps reduce the risk to Navy personnel when searching for mines.(ABC News: Manika Champ)

He said the Navy had recently started using AUVs as part of its mine countermeasures — in other words, finding underwater mines.

“They’re using that technology to either remove the risk from the operator or the person or make it faster,” Mr White said.

“Certainly as a diver, the ability of that technology to search or go and look at large areas underwater is 10 to 20 times faster than what an actual human diver could do.

“Autonomy isn’t going to remove the people. You still need the people to understand the technology and that’s really what AMC is trying to help the Navy with.

“It’s getting those skills, knowledge and experience to use those new systems safely, effectively and reliably.”

Two Navy personnel bring an AUV on board a boat.
Learning how to use AUVs will help the Navy search underwater faster.(ABC News: Manika Champ)

It is unclear exactly how many sea mines planted during world wars and other conflicts are still out there.

“They’re probably inherently safe because they’ve been sitting on the bottom and batteries will have run down, but autonomous technology allows you to go and look for those safely without needing to expose people to extra risk,” Mr White said.

“Obviously there’s still the need for the human to deal with it once it’s been found.”

The $4.7 million training deal has helped the AMC secure four jobs.

Reuben Kent, who is one of AMC’s trainers, said it was good to see other agencies using the devices.

What makes Tasmania the ‘ideal’ AUV training base?

Apart from Tasmania having the country’s only maritime college, Mr White said the state’s topography and diversity of waters helped with AUV training.

The main AUV training grounds used by the AMC and Navy this year have been at Beauty Point, Lake St Clair and Macquarie Harbour, on the west coast.

“The ability for us to access things like high tidal flows, like in the Tamar River, or deep waters up in Lake St Clair or the central highland or stratified waters, which is like layered water over on the west coast — you just can’t get that anywhere else in Australia, so Tasmania is an ideal training environment,” Mr White said.

View of Lake St Clair
The deep waters of Lake St Clair are an ideal training ground for the Navy.(Supplied: Charles Chadwick)

Royal Australian Navy Commodore John Stavridis said the Navy had been working with the AMC for some time and first worked together with autonomous systems in 2017.

“They are at the forefront of advances in this technology, so we’ve been able to work with them and they actually teach us the basics and more higher capabilities for what robotics can do,” Commodore Stavridis said.

Five people stand around a computer looking at data.
Up to 80 Navy personnel will learn how to use AUVs in Tasmania each year.(ABC News: Manika Champ)

He said the Navy was moving more toward autonomous devices to enhance its capabilities.

“This is just the advancement of technology rather than something new or a step change in what we’re doing,” Commodore Stavridis said.

“These robots and autonomous systems help us do our job as war fighters.

“The actual intent is to use robotic and autonomous systems largely to keep our sailors and our war fighters out of the minefield.

Mr White said as well as working with the Navy, the maritime college was also working with the University of Tasmania to provide short, undergraduate and postgraduate level autonomous marine systems course so the public could learn more about AUVs.

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Man arrested after NSW police officer bitten on face by dog during domestic dispute

A man has been charged with inciting his dog to attack after it bit a police officer on the face during an alleged domestic violence incident in Sydney’s south-west.

The NSW police officer will undergo surgery today after suffering serious facial injuries when he was bitten by the rottweiler outside the home in Georges Hall in the early hours of this morning.

Police were called to the Marden Street home around 1:30am following reports of a domestic-related dispute.

Officers found a 59-year old woman outside, with a 52-year old man barricaded inside a rear garage with a rottweiler.

Police allege the man verbally abused police before inciting the dog to attack.

After the man was arrested and placed inside the police van, the dog ran onto the street.

Police said the woman managed to secure the dog, but as a sergeant was speaking to her, the dog attacked him, biting his face.

The officer was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics at the scene before being taken to Liverpool Hospital, where he remains in a stable condition awaiting surgery.

The man was taken to Bankstown Police Station where he was charged with several offences including common assault (DV), resisting arrest and two counts of set on or urge dog to attack, bite.

He has been refused bail to appear at Parramatta Bail Court today.

Council officers from the City of Canterbury and Bankstown have seized the dog and transferred it to a holding facility.

A council spokesperson said officers had been unable to scan the dog’s details as it remained aggressive and unsafe to approach.

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Farr: Latest rape allegation much too serious for Scott Morrison to spin

Political journalist Malcolm Farr says the latest allegation of rape to hit the Liberal Party – this time accusing a current member of Cabinet – is too serious for Government to try and spin its way out of.

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Federal government MP Nicolle Flint says she will quit politics at next election

Federal government MP Nicolle Flint has announced she will quit politics.

With pre-selections soon to close in her South Australian seat of Boothby, Ms Flint has informed Liberal Party members in her electorate that she will not recontest the seat.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has released a statement thanking the deputy whip for her “invaluable” service to the parliament.

The second-term MP has made no secret of problems she has faced since entering federal politics, including being targeted by a male stalker and having her campaign office defaced with graffitied words “skank” and “prostitute”.

Last year, Ms Flint posted a social media video detailing those incidents, while wearing a garbage bag to call out what she described as the sexist “rubbish” women in politics are forced to put up with.

It was a reference to ABC radio host, Peter Goers, who wrote a column criticising the glossy brochures issued by MPs, at taxpayers’ expense, to their constituents.

Mr Goers referenced Ms Flint’s “pearl earrings and a pearly smile” and “vast wardrobe of blazers, coats and tight, black, ankle-freezing trousers and stiletto heels”.

“How about a garbage bag to match your rubbish views,” she said in the video, while removing her black coat to reveal a grey bin bag cinched with a black belt.

She also criticised the election campaign against her re-election in 2019 by lobby group Getup.

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Federal MP Nicolle Flint hits out at “sexist rubbish’ in a Twitter video

The Prime Minister referenced her complaints in his statement.

Ms Flint’s said she intends to stay on until the next poll.

“It has been an honour to represent the people of Boothby over two terms and I am grateful to them, and to my Liberal Party members, for giving me this opportunity,” Ms Flint said in a written statement.

“I will continue to work hard to serve my local community until the election.”

Ms Flint said she would continue to campaign on issues she “championed” in Parliament like endometriosis, stillbirth, improved road and rail infrastructure, the arts and protecting Australia from foreign interference and predatory foreign investment.

In the week leading up to the announcement, the conservative MP had a public disagreement with a state colleague from the party’s moderate faction over plans to shift abortion out of the South Australian criminal code.

The next election could be called as early as August 7, or as late as May 21 next year.

Her electorate is held by the Liberals on a margin of just 1.4 per cent.

Since Craig Kelly’s defection to the crossbenches during the week, Scott Morrison commands the slimmest majority of one seat — including the Speaker — in the lower house.

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Woman, 78, dies after Isabella Plains car crash | The Canberra Times

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An elderly woman has died after a car crash in Canberra’s south on Thursday night, bringing the territory’s road toll to three this year. Emergency services were called to a two-car motor vehicle incident about 8.50pm on Thursday, where a Nissan Pulsar and a Ford Ranger had collided at the intersection of Drakeford Drive and Noorooma Street. The 78-year-old woman, who later died, was extracted from the Nissan Pulsar she was driving and treated at the scene by ambulance officers, who administered emergency first aid. The woman was transported to hospital in a critical condition. She was assessed as having suffered a non-survivable head injury and died on Friday night. The driver of the Ford Ranger was also transported to hospital. The woman is the third person to die on ACT’s roads this year, following the death of two motor cyclists in separate incidents. Seven people died on ACT Roads in 2020. Road Policing’s major collision team attended the scene and will complete an investigation of the circumstances. A report will be prepared for the coroner.


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New officers to join the Hume Police District after attestation ceremony | Goulburn Post

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Three new officers will join the Hume Police District after attesting on February 26. The NSW Police Force welcomed 194 new probationary constables at the NSW Police Academy on February 26 at the first full ceremony since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. READ ALSO: While crowd numbers were still limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, family members watched on as Class 345 attested in Goulburn in a ceremony that once again featured the Police Band, Pipe Band, Mounted Unit and VIP cycles. Class 345 included 139 men and 55 women who will undertake a year of on-the-job training and complete the Associate Degree in Policing Practice by distance education with Charles Sturt University before being confirmed to the rank of constable. The return to a full ceremony was welcomed by NSW Police Minister David Elliott, who congratulated the recruits in Goulburn. “Over the course of last year, we have seen first-hand the crucial role our police officers play in protecting the community and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their efforts,” Mr Elliott said. “I am pleased to welcome the latest recruits and offer my assurance that they have the full support of the NSW Government as they commence their law enforcement careers today. They should be proud to be choosing a career in law enforcement where they can serve the community and keep NSW safe. “These recruits will join a NSW Police Force that has been strengthened by investment from the NSW Government, including the delivery of 1500 additional officers over four years and the commitment to a $60 million upgrade to Goulburn Police Academy.” Commissioner Mick Fuller said the latest intake of probationary constables would hit the ground running. “I welcome Class 345, and their families and friends who have been able to join us here today,” Commissioner Fuller said. “I know from experience that this is a very significant moment in every officer’s career. “As our newest police officers start at their new commands on Monday, they can be assured that this is the start of a memorable and rewarding career in law enforcement.” The commander of education and training command, assistant commissioner Peter Barrie congratulated the new recruits. “It is tremendous to host an attestation with invited guests whilst still observing COVID safe protocols,” he said. “All new recruits deserve to be welcomed to the Force with a full attestation ceremony, and I am so pleased that we have been able to allow Class 345 to invite family and friends today. “I know this group is keen to commence duties, so I wish them all the best and hope they have a successful and fulfilling career with the NSW Police Force.” Sergeant Geoff Kendall from Coffs Clarence Police District received the Commissioner’s Valour Award for conspicuous merit and exceptional bravery in the line of duty for actions in Penrith. The then Detective Senior Constable Kendall was recognised for rescuing an elderly man from a burning house when he was off duty on March 29 in 2014. Commissioner Fuller said the Valour Award was the highest commendation he can bestow on officers for acts of bravery. “Today’s Valour Award recognises the incredible courage and selflessness displayed by Sergeant Kendell when faced with extraordinary circumstances,” Commissioner Fuller said. “We are glad we can finally present this award to Sergeant Kendell today and commend him for putting his life on the line.” Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:


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Weston Creek Children’s Centre director accused of defrauding business has bail refused

The director of a Canberra childcare centre accused of defrauding the business of as much as $500,000 has been refused bail.

Police have charged Weston Creek Children’s Centre director Emma Morton with 23 counts of obtaining property by deception, amounting to $160,000 in stolen funds.

But, following a raid of Ms Morton’s home in Campbell this morning, officers said they believed Ms Morton may have taken more than $480,000 in total from the charity.

“Police expect to lay additional charges in the coming weeks and do not believe any other people were involved in this activity,” a statement read.

Director used centre’s bank account for personal purchases, police allege

In a statement of facts tendered to the court, police alleged Ms Morton made dozens of payments from the childcare centre’s bank account directly into her own.

Ms Morton, who has been director of the centre for more than 20 years, allegedly “disguised” $162,753 worth of payments as operating costs, for which she has been charged.

But police are continuing to investigate another $310,846 worth of possibly defrauded money.

Multiple transactions in the statement of facts describe personal purchases allegedly made by Ms Morton, including a purchase of almost $4,000 at JB Hi Fi, a $3,000 chaise lounge, and a stay at Hotel Realm in Barton.

Police also alleged Ms Morton made multiple transfers worth a total of $130,000 in March and April of last year into a “COVID account” opened in her name.

“The destination of these funds are unknown at this point,” the statement reads.

Ms Morton has been the director of Weston Creek Children’s Centre for more than 20 years.(ABC News: Ben Harris)

Police are liaising with federal regulators to ensure the childcare centre, which is a registered charity, can continue operating.

Facing the ACT Magistrates court today, Ms Morton did not enter a plea.

In seeking bail, lawyers for Ms Morton argued the likelihood of her tampering with evidence was low, as the alleged fraud was made up of “unsophisticated transactions”.

Magistrate Glenn Theakston refused bail, saying the amounts alleged were “staggering”, and he remained concerned Ms Morton may interfere with the ongoing investigation.

She will return to court in late March.

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