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Boys die in drain collapse

Boys die in drain collapse

Jack Sartori died when a drain collapsed in Ayr. Year 9 student Liam Emerson.
Nanjing Night Net

Two boys, aged 14 and 12, were playing in this storm drain when it collapsed on them.

Two young boys, who died last night after a drain collapsed on them, had spent months building a cubby house at the site, according to neighbours in the north Queensland street.

The alarm was raised in Ayr when the boys, aged 14 and 12, failed to return home and the collapsed drain was discovered on a private property in Clements Street about 7pm.

Firefighters dug the boys out and paramedics performed CPR on them at the scene but they both died in Ayr Hospital.

Various neighbours in Clements Street said they had often seen the boys playing near the drain and they had been building a cubby house-type structure.

Shirley Kapeechkin said she walked past the site every day and knew something awful had happened when she saw a stream of ambulances last night.

‘‘Apparently a father came home and his son wasn’t there and it was dark so he went looking for him and they found them collapsed under a cubby house they had made,’’ she said.

‘‘I didn’t actually see what they were building because it was in a big gully.

‘‘… We know a lot of the boys around here and … you love to see kids getting out of the house and doing things like this but you don’t want this to happen.’’

Another neighbour said she had noticed the boys were building a cubby and would often see the pair riding their bikes on a track they had made on the property too.

The mayor of Ayr Bill Lowis’s wife, Patricia, said the couple had been at home last night when they found out the awful news through a phone call.

‘‘It’s a very, very, very sad day for the community,’’ she said.

‘‘Any loss of life is terrible, especially when children are involved.’’

Police are investigating.

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Freed lawyer shocked by focus on her ordeal

Freed lawyer shocked by focus on her ordeal

Happy … Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor, left, arrives at the airport in Rome. Detained in Libya… Melinda Taylor with husband, Geoffrey Roberts, and daughter, Yasmina.
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The parents of previously detained lawyer Melinda Taylor, John and Janelle Taylor, are chilling a bottle of champagne to celebrate when they see her daughter’s face via Skype later today.

Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor leaves jail.


Human rights lawyer Melinda Taylor has been “shocked” by the media attention surrounding her almost month-long detention in Libya, telling her parents she had no idea it was getting any coverage.

Ms Taylor has arrived at her home in the Hague to her husband Geoff Roberts and two-year-old daughter Yasmina after being released. Despite a Skype session with her Brisbane-based parents Janelle and John Taylor, she is yet to go into detail about her ordeal.

Ms Taylor, has been held with three International Criminal Court colleagues since she travelled to Zintan, southwest of Tripoli, on June 7 to help prepare the legal defence of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam.

On Skype today, her mother and father talked to Ms Taylor and Mr Roberts about midday.

Both couples popped a bottle of champagne, though Ms Taylor did not talk about her experience of the past three and half weeks.

‘‘She didn’t [tell me about her experience in jail] she was too excited to be back home with her husband and her daughter,’’ Mrs Taylor said.

Mrs Taylor said her daughter did not think anyone would be interested in her ordeal and had no idea of the extent of the media coverage when she was being held.

‘‘She’s well she’s just looking forward to getting back to her normal life,’’ she said.

‘‘She didn’t know the media attention was happening, she had no idea, she had no idea there had been any media attention whatsoever.

‘‘She was hit with the media in Zintan where she was a little bit shocked that anyone was interested.’’

An “ecstatic” Mrs Taylor heard her daughter say “I love you” in the early hours of this morning when she was first freed.

The lawyer was able to reassure her Brisbane-based mother that she was fine in what Mrs Taylor described as an “emotional” phone call.

Mrs Taylor said she spoke to her daughter after the Libyans handed her over to Australian ambassador David Ritchie.

“She didn’t tell me anything about her experience in the jail because she was in the convoy and the phone call was monitored so the only thing she said was she loved us and looked forward to speaking to us and she’s excited to go home,” Mrs Taylor said.

Mrs Taylor has been in constant contact with her daughter’s husband Geoff Roberts over the past few weeks and arranged to talk to her daughter on Skype so Mrs Taylor and her husband could have a proper celebration.

“We’ve got a bottle of champagne here that our other daughters brought over two weeks ago and the whole time Melinda has been in there we said ‘we have to do something to support Melinda so we went off alcohol’,” she said.

“So the bottle of champagne is now in the fridge and [Melinda’s husband] Geoff said he’d Skype us when she gets home at about midday today and that’s when we’ll drink the champagne.”

“…It will be great, I’ll be very happy to see her face.”

Foreign Minister Bob Carr rang Mrs Taylor in the early hours of this morning to tell her that her daughter had been handed over by Libyan officials ending a “harrowing” few weeks for the parents.

“We are now ecstatic that she’s actually been handed over by them because we were excited when we told she was going to be released but we were ecstatic when we got the email last night to say and a phone call from Bob Carr to say the Libyans had handed her over to the ambassadors,” Mrs Taylor said.

She said Melinda did not have plans to come to Australia until December and her parents had decided it was best to wait until then to see her.

“Melinda said ‘look Mum and Dad I would love you to come over’ and we would be on the next plane but we feel maybe Melinda’s life need to go back to being normal so she can get on with her life,” she said.

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Five things we learnt from Super Rugby

Five things we learnt from Super Rugby

The Reds have two winnable home games to finish the season.1. Beware the Reds. The Brumbies will not be the only ones keeping a close eye on Queensland over the next two weeks. They have two winnable games at home and, more importantly, that priceless ability to switch between styles. Dom Shipperley scored a beautiful, long-range try from turnover ball against the Rebels but their work in tight, with the pick-and-drive, has repeatedly been exceptional. They can hurt any side in this competition, home or away. We have been critical of the wilder aspects of Saia Faingaa’s play in the past but he was great on Friday night – as was Adam Wallace-Harrison – while the durability of Will Genia continues to astound. But is the brilliant No.9 ever going to get a break?
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2. Too many Test players can be bad for your health. A month ago the Crusaders were the form team in the competition. Three Tests and three big injuries later – Kieran Read, Dan Carter and Israel Dagg – the All Blacks-laden Cantabrians simply couldn’t match the spark generated by the admirable Hurricanes on Saturday. Kiwis might want to look away at this point – there is an entirely plausible set of results over the next two weeks that would leave the Crusaders outside the top six – and with just one New Zealand side in the finals.

3. The weaker teams provided a softer landing. While most interest focused on teams with a healthy number of Test players backing up, another story emerged. The games involving the Force, Rebels and Cheetahs – who have few internationals and essentially nothing left to play for – were effectively over by half-time. Rust or lack of appetite? Perhaps a touch of both. There was one telling moment in the Rebels game when James O’Connor made a handy break but found himself isolated at the breakdown. The usual suspects – Gareth Delve and Stirling Mortlock – were among the first to arrive to clean out, but the tight five was conspicuous by its absence. The Rebels have now conceded 457 points in 2012 – 10 per cent higher than the next leakiest side.

4. Berrick Barnes might have some voodoo dolls. For there to have been a stampede for his Wallabies No.10 jersey at the weekend, you first would have had to find someone who could walk. James O’Connor did a hamstring, Kurtley Beale looks like he is playing with shrapnel wedged into his ribs and Quade Cooper’s removal at half-time prompted that dreadful word that no supporter wants to hear: “Precautionary”. In that 40 minutes, however, the Reds No.10 looked a lot better than in his previous game and a half. O’Connor’s injury has opened the door for him, too.

5. Aaron Cruden is nipping at Dan Carter’s heels. Carter will start at five-eighth for New Zealand in The Rugby Championship, unless struck by lightning. But for the first time in a long time there is a player who can change the conversation around the All Blacks No.10 jersey. Cruden is shaping as an alternative, not just the preferred boot-cleaner. He played injured against the Highlanders and still got the job done – he’s a tough, increasingly mature navigator who brings a subtle box of tricks when attacking the gainline.

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The ghost ships that creep across the blue

The ghost ships that creep across the blue

Apparitions at dawn, but the asylum seeker arrivals at Christmas Island are real enough.DAWN on this rocky outcrop in the Indian Ocean brought the sight of two near-identical wooden fishing boats, each painted an almost cheery blue, riding a gentle swell hardly 200 metres offshore, right below the Christmas Island township.
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You needed to blink, for only the evening before, there had been only one of these boats, and its cargo of 53 Tamils from Sri Lanka had been unloaded and driven away to detention.

The sun had not yet risen over the island’s steaming jungle and it was difficult to discern if there was life aboard the second craft. I raised a hand and called a ”hullo” and suddenly a forest of arms appeared above deck.

Some time on Sunday night, as Christmas Island slept off its weekend, another 39 Tamils from Sri Lanka – 37 men and two boys – had slipped in from the Indian Ocean. Appearing as if from nowhere, theirs could have been a ghost ship. Plenty of people on this remote island, as it happens, believe in ghosts.

Next month, on August 17, the ethnic Chinese population, descendants of coolies shipped in and worked like slaves, will celebrate the annual Festival of the Hungry Ghost. Food offerings will be made to keep the spirits of ancestors content and disinclined to enter homes, prayers will be offered for those who suffered and died mining phosphate in the hot sun, and the population will stay indoors at night, fearful that at this moment, the gates of hell are open for those who venture out.

Only this week a sober member of the 72-strong contingent of Australian Federal Police on the island swore to colleagues he had seen the apparition of a ”lady in white” floating among the Islamic and Chinese graves bordering a main road out of the island’s township. The other police were amused, but many of the island’s permanent population claim to have had the same experience.

The Tamils, of course, were not ghosts, and neither was their little boat – though for all the interest shown by the locals, inured to the sudden and regular appearance of asylum seeker vessels from far away, they may as well have been. And soon, the 39 men and boys were barged ashore and removed by bus to the big detention centre far out of sight in a remote valley on the island.

At another time in history, their voyage might have been the stuff of adventure stories. They had endured 21 days at sea, travelling – assuming their helmsman had managed a straight course – about 3400 kilometres beyond sight of land, finding their way to a speck of an island 1500 kilometres west of the nearest mainland Australian coast. Food and water must have been in short supply for these hungry ghosts on such a small and crowded boat, but those of us on the island denied access to the detention centre and the asylum seekers themselves cannot know the depivations they may have suffered.

They were mere apparitions in the dawn, waving, insignificant among the 72 boats that have made it to Christmas Island this year and the 5242 passengers they have carried, including the 18 bodies retrieved from two sinkings in the past 10 days that are believed to have claimed about 100 lives.

Meanwhile, as Australia’s federal parliamentarians take their six-week winter break, having reached no agreement about how to dissuade such perilous voyages, there’s not a person on Christmas Island who does not expect each dawn to reveal more ghostly craft below their township.

The navy will tow the wooden boats out to sea and burn them, and steel craft will be sunk, leaving no sign of their coming.There are now 1475 asylum seekers out of sight in detention on the island.

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Appy days are here again for seniors who plug in to social media

Appy days are here again for seniors who plug in to social media

Sharing photos and chatting online can help reduce loneliness in elderly people who are socially isolated, a Melbourne University study has found.SHARING photos online using iPads can reduce loneliness in elderly people who are socially isolated, a new study has found.
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Researchers at Melbourne University believe the trial is among the first to assess how technology can ease social isolation in Australia’s ageing population.

The university’s Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society created an iPad app that allowed a small group of people aged in their 80s and 90s to chat online and share photos.

Computing and information systems associate professor Frank Vetere said the study produced promising results with some participants forming relationships in the real world.

”As a result of being in the study some of them have become good friends,” he said.

Professor Vetere said the study revealed that social media and technology could play a bigger role in alleviating loneliness once the national broadband network is extended into Australian homes and provides better internet access.

But developing technology that is easy to use will be key to tackling social isolation among elderly people, Professor Vetere said.

Trialling the technology with a small group allowed the researchers to focus on ensuring the Enmesh app was simple to operate and required minimal training. The institute will extend the trial next year.

The app allowed the users to upload messages and photographs that everyone in the group could see.

Researchers interviewed the participants and care managers three times during the 10-week trial. The participants had health and mobility problems but still lived at home.

One man said he had a ”very bad time of depression” but sharing photos had made a big difference. The group met in person three times during the trial.

Participants were allowed to keep the iPads after the trial ended. ”From all reports they’re enjoying their iPad experience,” Professor Vetere said.

[email protected]南京夜网.au

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No improvement in home affordability: report

No improvement in home affordability: report

Single mother, Patricia Finkel of Monash spends almost half of what she earns on housing costs.Almost half of what Patricia Finkel earns is consumed by housing costs.
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Despite having a good education and a steady job in the public service, the single mother spends 47 per cent of her wage on keeping her Monash home.

Ms Finkel had moved to Canberra for her husband, but found herself a single mother with little savings after her marriage ended.

”It’s a tough situation and I’m at the positive end of the scale,” she said.

”If I’m finding it tough when I’m educated with a good job, imagine how others are doing … It’s a scary situation.”

The issue of affordable housing has been highlighted in a report issued by the Council of Australian Governments Reform Council, which stated there was no indication that housing affordability had improved in recent years.

Ms Finkel said the precarious housing situation was of particular concern in Canberra, where some of her friends in the expensive rental market were living from pay cheque to pay cheque. ”Rents in Canberra are high and buying a home is a dream at this point,” she said.

”I mean, we’ve all watched The Castle. That’s the dream, to have your own home. But I don’t know how it’s ever going to happen in Canberra.”

The COAG report stated that nationally rental affordability worsened significantly for the lowest 10 per cent of households by income, with the rate of rental stress jumping from 49.2 per cent in 2007-08 to 60.8 per cent the following year.

Sarah Toohey, from Australians for Affordable Housing, is calling for action from both Commonwealth and ACT government.

”While the report shows that the ACT is more affordable than the national average for low to middle income home buyers, just 19 per cent of properties are affordable to 40 per cent of Canberra’s households,” Ms Toohey said.

”For three years in a row the COAG Reform Council has reported that housing affordability in Australia is getting worse, particularly in the rental market.”

The Housing Industry Association is also calling for urgent action from government bodies to address the housing shortage across the country, reported as 186,800 dwellings.

HIA chief executive officer Graham Wolfe said the report highlighted the shortfall created after the estimated underlying demand for housing outpaced the supply of new homes by 13.5 per cent from 2001 to 2010.

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Local stocks eye solid early gains

Local stocks eye solid early gains

Join the Markets Live blog from 9.30am
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Australian shares are expected to rise in early trade after Wall Street was mixed on weak manufacturing data but European markets rose strongly.

On the ASX24, the SPI futures index was 20 points higher to 4117. The Aussie has held well above the $US1.02 mark. It was recently buying $US1.0248, up from $US1.0226 late yesterday.

What you need to knowSPI futures are 20 points higher at 4117The $A is higher at $US1.0251In the US, the S&P500 rose 0.25% to 1365.51In Europe, the FTSE100 rose 1.25% to 5640.64Gold rose to $US1597.70 an ounceWTI crude oil fell $1.32 to $US83.64 a barrelReuters/CRB index is up 0.01% to 284.21

All 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the RBA to hold rates steady at 3.5 per cent today. The RBA cut rates by a total of 75 basis points at the last two monthly meetings but a run of stronger economic data since the June decision has made another downward move today less likely. Financial markets give a 25 basis points rate cut only a 15 per cent chance, according to Credit Suisse data.

Concern about the US economy grew after the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index fell to 49.7, showing contraction for the first time in almost three years and trailing the median economist estimate of 52.

Making news today

In economics news:Reserve Bank of Australia board meeting and interest rate decisionAustralian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) building approvals for May

In company news:Image Resources NL general meetingIndochine Mining Ltd extraordinary general meeting

Analyst rating changes:Bandanna Energy rated new outperform at Credit SuisseAristocrat Leisure raised to hold at Deutsche bankSt Barbara downgraded to neutral from buy at Goldman SachsInvocare rated new buy at Nomura

Offshore overnight


Bond market pressure on Spain increased on Monday despite a plan that should cut Madrid’s debt by allowing a eurozone rescue fund to directly aid troubled Spanish banks.Italy’s 10-year bond yield tumbled a third day, dropping eight basis points to 5.74% after earlier losing as much as 19 basis pointsSpanish 10-year securities rose five basis points to 6.38%German 10-year bond yields lost six basis points to 1.52%

Treasuries and the dollar gained after a report showed American manufacturing unexpectedly shrank in June. Bloomberg reports that investors are plowing cash into new Treasuries at a record pace, making economic growth rather than budget austerity a key issue as President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney face off in November’s presidential election.US 10-year Treasury yields lost six basis points to 1.5%

United States

US stocks edged higher on Monday, shaking off a surprise contraction in US manufacturing, which some investors took as a signal the Federal Reserve will take more forceful actions to boost the economy.

Key numbers:S&P500 added 0.25% at 1365.51Dow Jones Indus Avg lost 0.07% at 12871.39Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.55% at 2951.23


European stock markets have rallied while the euro has fallen against the dollar, as a trend sparked by last week’s surprise EU deal was underpinned by anticipation of an ECB rate cut, analysts say.

Key numbers:London’s FTSE 100 added 1.25% to 5640.64 In Frankfurt’s the DAX 30 added 1.24% to 6496.08 In Paris the CAC 40 added 1.36% to 3240.20


Asian stocks rose for a fourth day in the longest winning streak since March as economic data from China to Japan and steps by European leaders to address the sovereign-debt crisis eased concern global growth is slowing.

Key numbers:MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.4% to 117.67Japan’s Nikkei 225 was flat at 9003.48Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 2.2% to 19441.46China’s Shanghai composite was flat at 2226.11

How we fared yesterday

The Australian sharemarket has closed higher, but local gains remained below those on US and European markets in the wake of last week’s summit of European Union leaders.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 38.4 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 4133.0, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 37.0 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 4172.5.

BusinessDay with agencies

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Cummins vulnerable: coach

Cummins vulnerable: coach

AUSTRALIA’S coach Mickey Arthur is adamant that broken teenage quick Patrick Cummins will continue to be used in all three international formats, warning that it was anticipated he could battle with injury for the next two years.
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In a worrying sign ahead of the Ashes series here next year, Arthur indicated that he expected the electric Cummins to be vulnerable to breaking down for the forseeable future. It was announced that the 19-year-old New South Wales fast bowler was being sent home about an hour before the start of Australia’s second one-day international against England at the Oval.

Cummins was replaced by Mitchell Johnson, whose own return to international cricket after more than eight months was blighted by an early spate of over-stepping the mark in the host’s six-wicket win.

England took a 2-0 series lead ahead of tomorrow’s third game at Edgbaston and with Michael Clarke’s side lacking real firepower in attack, James Pattinson is expected to come into contention.

Losing Cummins for the rest of the campaign was a significant blow, not only for the series, which England is thoroughly on top of, but in the context of what he could have learnt in these conditions in the lead-up to the Ashes.

The express bowler was making his comeback from a heel injury, having not played at international level since his match-winning performance on Test debut in Johannesburg last November, but picked up a medium-grade side strain in the series opener at Lord’s last Friday.

While Cummins insisted via Twitter that the latest problem was only minor – it is hoped he can return for Australia’s limited-overs contest against Pakistan in Dubai next month – there remain questions about how best to manage him.

But Arthur is insistent that Cummins will be considered in all three formats – Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 – for Australia and he is a priority for the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in September.

”We forget he is only 19. He is still growing, his body is still growing,” Arthur said. ”It’s disappointing him coming back and then picking up another injury but we’re going to have to live with that for another couple of years until he gets stronger, until his body is used to the workloads. We’ve just got to keep giving him the quality opportunities because he is going to be very, very good. I definitely see him playing all three forms.

”We’ve just got to find out what works for him. We’ve got to expose him to conditions around the world. It’s really important that he gets exposed to English conditions. We’ve got a pretty important tour here next year so it’s really important that he has a look at these conditions. Hopefully he’ll be ready for the Twenty20 championship, which will expose him to bowling in the subcontinent a little bit. We know he’s proficient in our own conditions.

”It’s just about giving him experience all around the world, but we’ve got to live with the fact that he is going to break down. He is only 19.”

Aside from the Test in South Africa in which he starred, Cummins has played only three first-class games. He broke down with a back injury following a marathon bowling stint in the 2010-11 Sheffield Shield final.

Of Johnson, who finished with 0-43 from seven overs after conceding 20 runs in a disastrous first two overs marred by no-balls, Arthur said patience was required. ”We just have to realise that it is his first time back,” he said.

”Hopefully Mitch will just get better and better. He’s still a world-class performer.”

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ABS job figures wrong, but it’s too big a job to fix

ABS job figures wrong, but it’s too big a job to fix

THE Bureau of Statistics has got the official employment figures wrong, and although it is happy to acknowledge the errors, it won’t correct them in the official record because it will cost too much money.
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Officially, employment grew not at all in 2011 after surging 363,500 in 2010. Yesterday in an invitation-only seminar attended by The Age, assistant statistician Paul Mahoney said employment probably climbed 30,000 to 35,000 more than officially acknowledged in the first nine months of 2011 and climbed 60,000 to 70,000 less than acknowledged in 2010.

This means official figures overstated the weakness in the labour market that led the Reserve Bank to cut rates at the end of 2011 and overstated the strength that led it to push up rates at the end of 2010.

“We acknowledge we have problems with the way we are benchmarking the labour force at the moment,” Mr Mahoney said. “We are not hiding behind this, we are being very open about it. This is a public seminar, this is going to be repeated a few times.”

The problem arises because, in order to convert the results of its survey into figures for the whole nation, the ABS has to estimate the size of the Australian population.

Usually it gets the estimate right. But at times when the rate of population growth is changing rapidly it can get it wrong. Instead of revising the official employment figures when more correct population information comes to hand, it instead revises its estimate of future population growth. This means incorrect employment figures remain on the public record and future employment growth figures are adjusted in the opposite direction to compensate.

This meant that in 2011 the ABS biased down what it believed to be the true rate of population growth, biasing down the official employment growth figures reported by The Age and other media.

Mr Mahoney said yesterday the changes were not “statistically significant”, but acknowledged they were significant in terms of presentation, making it look as if jobs growth had stopped in 2011 when it almost certainly had not.

“Yes, it does change the story,” he told The Age.

To improve the bureau’s processes might cost $1.5 million. It would take more than a year and be defined as capital expenditure. The bureau had its capital budget cut 25 per cent.

“We are certainly considering changing our processes and looking at how we might fund it,” Mr Mahoney said.

“But we are far more capital constrained than we were. This is just one system within the organisation. There are competing demands.”

The ABS will try to save money by moving its monthly employment survey online, posting passwords and login codes to the 29,000 households that take part rather than visiting them and following up with phone calls.

It will also abolish or make less frequent a number of less-important labour force surveys.

The unemployment rate – 5.1 per cent – is unaffected by the Bureau’s problems with its measure of employment.

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Long wait for smuggling suspects

Long wait for smuggling suspects

ACCUSED people smugglers can be held in detention for three to nine months before formal charges are laid and their status as adults or children is raised, a parliamentary committee has been told.
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The Northern Territory government lodged a submission with a committee looking into the incarceration of Indonesian minors in Australian prisons, saying that once formal charges were laid, suspected people smugglers were sent to adult jails to await trial. But this could take up to nine months, it said.

The NT government said 36 Indonesians were serving sentences at Darwin Correctional Centre, the youngest of whom was 20.

The committee will hold hearings this month, and is taking submissions, to establish whether any Indonesian children remain in adult prisons, and to explore compensating minors who have been charged (contrary to government policy).

On Friday, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon announced a review into 28 cases of Indonesians suspected to have been minors when they arrived in Australia had been completed.

She said seven more Indonesian people-smuggling crew members suspected of being children would be released from adult prisons and sent back to Indonesia.

It brought the number returned to Indonesia since the start of the inquiry to 15.

But Ms Roxon said it was government policy to release from custody any crew members thought to be under 18.

It was only the efforts of The Age, in tracking down the birth certificate of a child, Sam, that secured his release last month after two years’ detention. He repeatedly claimed he was a child, but no Australian official or police bothered to check or inform his family.

A spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship said authorities did everything possible to establish the age of boat arrivals.

The government established the review into smugglers held after the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Indonesian government raised concerns that children were being locked up in adult jails.

Of the 28 cases reviewed, as well as the 15 released over reasonable doubt they were adults when they arrived in Australia, another two were released early on parole, three completed their non-parole periods and eight remain in prison, with no evidence found to support their claims they were minors when they arrived in Australia.

The West Australian-based Indonesia Institute said minors who had been incarcerated in adult jails should be financially compensated for having been detained.

It recommended that adult crew members should be released on ”bail” within the Indonesian community in Australia while their age was determined.

The Indonesia Institute claims that young children and adult fisherman in remote parts of Indonesia have been targeted by smuggling syndicates.

”The current law as applied in Australia therefore treats these fishing people – by definition – as people smugglers,” the institute said.

Follow the National Times on Twitter: @NationalTimesAU

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