Doing it 4 Allison – Justice Needs To Be Served!


UPDATE 30/12/2015

scroll down for our well known member and world class photographer GerryRocks coverage of the outpouring of support for Allison and a demand for justice. The DPP are going to appeal this joke of a downgrade -Robbo

QUEENSLAND’S Director of Public Prosecutions will appeal Gerard Baden-Clay’s manslaughter verdict.

Baden-Clay, who was last year sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife Allison, had his murder conviction downgraded to manslaughter in a shock appeal ruling earlier this month, sparking community anger.

DPP Michael Byrne QC will make an application to the High Court seeking special leave to appeal the Court of Appeal decision.

The Courier-Mail exclusively revealed yesterday that Mr Byrne had privately told the Queensland Government he will appeal to the High Court to reinstate Baden-Clay’s murder conviction.

“I have been advised that the DPP intends to file the application when the High Court registry opens on Monday 4 January,” Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said in a statement on Wednesday. (scroll down for her full statement)

This will give the DPP 28 days to lodge an outline of argument with the High Court.

The defence will then be given 21 days to outline its argument before the High Court schedules a date to hear the applications.

Mr Byrne had advised Allison’s family of the decision to appeal on Wednesday morning after finalising his decision on Tuesday, Ms D’Ath said.

In its shock ruling, the Court of Appeal argued the jury that convicted Baden-Clay of murder last year couldn’t have known beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to kill Allison.

The decision outraged the community, with more than 100,000 people signing an online petition requesting the Queensland Attorney-General to file an appeal.

Thousands of people have also gathered in Brisbane’s CBD over the past fortnight to protest against the manslaughter verdict


Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said today: “I have been advised that the Director of Public Prosecutions has advised the Dickie family this morning that he will be making an application to the High Court seeking special leave to appeal the recent Court of Appeal decision that saw Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction downgraded to manslaughter. This has been the result of the DPP finalising his decision yesterday.

Thousands have attended a rally to protest the downgrading of Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction.

“I have been advised that the DPP intends to file the application when the High Court registry opens on Monday 4 January 2016. The process then provides the DPP with 28 days to lodge an outline of argument with the High Court. The defence will then have a further 21 days to do the same.

“Subject to these processes being finalised, the High Court will then schedule a date to hear the applications.

“Given this legal process is underway, I will not be making any further comment in relation to this matter.



G’day folks, it’s been awhile!  A picture paints a thousand words!

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think we’d have a scene played out like the one on Friday. The Court Of Appeal’s decision has left most with a bad taste in their mouths, many questioning the justice system. I couldn’t let Friday pass by without attending and the capturing images. It was so wonderful to see the community of Brisbane come together and rally behind Allison’s family and friends, also giving support the victims of domestic violence.


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Xana Kamitsis leaves the high end clothes for t shirts in Jail

Update 15/12/15

Former NT CrimeStoppers boss Xana Kamitsis jailed

Updated about 2 hours ago

Former NT Crime Stoppers chairwoman Alexandra “Xana” Kamitsis has been sentenced to three years and 11 months in prison for fraud and corruption, suspended after 18 months.

Earlier this month, a Supreme Court jury found Kamitsis guilty of 20 counts of fraud, for rorting a NT Health Department scheme set up to give pensioners travel concessions.

Kamitsis has also pleaded guilty to corruptly giving benefits to NT ministerial staffer Paul Mossman and two additional counts of fraud.

The fraud committed by Kamitsis totals almost $124,000.

More to come.


Supporters’ shock as Darwin travel agent and socialite Xana Kamitsis heads to jail | NT News

Xana Kamitsis pictured on November 14, 2014, the day NT Police arrested her at her Altitude Travel offices in relation to alleged fraud charges, 20 of which she was found guilty of yesterday. Picture: Supplied

The prison van that likely transported her to Holtze jail – which also houses Peter Falconio’s killer Bradley Murdoch – was no doubt a downgrade from the limousines the jury heard she paid for with fraudulently obtained taxpayer money, during trips to Sydney and Melbourne between 2009 and 2013.

It’s also unlikely the bed will compare to the plush one she laid in at the Park Hyatt in Sydney while Mr McRoberts and his daughter also stayed there in 2010.

Kamitsis’ foray into the prison system came as a shock to many, particularly her supporters. Throughout the two-and a half week trial the courtroom was transformed into a who’s who of the Darwin glitterati. The partners of defence lawyers Jon Tippett QC and Peter Maley sat in on several days of proceedings, greeting Kamitsis with hugs before court began for the day.

Members of the Paspaley family also made appearances.

But only husband George Kamitsis and Charles Darwin University staffer Nigel Turvey were present yesterday as she was found guilty.

It was the first time her husband had attended the court proceedings. Mr Turvey, on the other hand, sat in the front row of the gallery every day of the trial.

He furiously took notes and complained to the officers of the court when journalists tweeted updates on their phones. Kamitsis remained composed throughout the trial, not crying once or showing any kind of extreme emotion.

She laughed and yawned at times, but for the most part remained alert and attune to everything that was being said about her. She matched black pants with a range of different coloured business shirts that varied from pale blue to pink and white. She left the court every day with Mr Tippett and Mr Maley, until yesterday

Former NT police commissioner John McRoberts and travel agent Xana Kamitsis were booked into same Melbourne hotel room, court documents show

Former Northern Territory police commissioner John McRoberts and Darwin travel agent Alexandra ‘Xana’ Kamitsis, who is currently facing fraud charges, were booked into the same hotel room in Melbourne in 2010, court documents show.

Kamitsis, who ran Latitude Travel, was also the chair of the Northern Territory branch of Crime Stoppers, and has been accused of rorting a NT Government scheme designed to subsidise the travel of pensioners.

In his opening statement to the Supreme Court, crown prosecutor David Morters alleged Kamitsis fraudulently obtained money from the scheme and used it for the benefit of family and friends, including $1,000 transferred to a “trip file” for Mr McRoberts.

It was not alleged that Mr McRoberts was aware of the transfer.

Mr McRoberts resigned as police commissioner in January this year, after the Government cited a perceived conflict of interest.

‘Very close friends’

Mr Morters said the crown would allege emails showed Kamitsis was “very close friends” with Mr McRoberts and this was “motive” for fraud.

Documents tendered to the NT Supreme Court today showed that in September 2010 Kamitsis booked a stay in the Park Hyatt’s Spa King room for herself and Mr McRoberts the following month.

The two nights’ accommodation cost a total of $1,100, and Kamitsis also paid for limousine transport at a cost of $210.

Court documents indicated that Kamitsis tried to organise a twin room at the hotel, but when one was not available asked for a rollaway bed to be included.

The ABC is not suggesting the pair were having a sexual relationship.

In November 2010, Kamitsis also organised limousine rides for Mr McRoberts and his daughter, who were in Sydney, the documents indicated.

“On 19 November 2010 a booking request was received by our business via email … from Kamitsis for a number of services,” said joint owner of CD Limousines, Cathy Porfida, in a statutory declaration submitted to the court.

Kamitsis requested five limousine transfers for Mr McRoberts and his daughter, including trips from Sydney airport to his hotel and rides to the theatre, the documents show, and paid for them in full.

It was not alleged that the limousine rides were paid for using funds fraudulently obtained by Kamitsis.

“I would appreciate if you could do the pick-up yourself please – as this is a VIP client,” Kamitsis said in an email to CD co-owner Vince Porfida on November 19, 2010 that was part of the court documents.

Concern elderly witnesses will remember ‘limited’ details

In some instances Kamitsis said the airfares cost more than they did when sending the invoice to the Department of Health for the pensioner concession entitlement, Mr Morters said.

He said a witness, who is a former employee of Latitude Travel, would testify Kamitsis insisted she process all invoices for travel herself.

Other witnesses would include elderly pensioners, but Mr Morters noted because of their age their ability to remember details would be “limited”.

The court heard that one of the elderly witnesses had died.

A statement from the current NT Assistant Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker, was also in the court documents.

Mr Chalker said he was told that Kamitsis organised a flight upgrade for himself and Mr McRoberts in 2010 when they were travelling back to Darwin from Canberra.

“I was not aware that there was any financial cost for the upgrade,” Mr Chalker said in his statutory declaration.

The case continues.

Clarification: Latitude Travel in Darwin is not associated in any way with the company, directors, owners or staff of Latitude Group Travel based in Melbourne.

Xana’s tough prison days | NT News

Xana Kamitsis leaves the Northern Territory Supreme Court … her prison garb will be a long way from her habitual fashionable threads.

Guards have shared with the NT News what a newbie’s first few days of incarceration entail.

The travel agent and former chair of NT Crime Stoppers was jailed after being found guilty of defrauding the Health Department in the NT ­Supreme Court on Tuesday. Kamitsis was told she would be remanded in custody and was transported by prison van to the women’s section of the Darwin jail in Holtze, where she’ll be housed, at least for now.

Upon entry to the prison all inmates are subjected to a full strip search, showered and treated for nits and scabies. They are then issued with their prison ID tag.

Guards inside say newcomers are vulnerable because they don’t know how things work and can be subject to stand over and intimidation tactics by more experienced prisoners.

Demands are often made and although guards are there to keep prisoners safe, whining about having your breakfast taken is probably not worth the hassle or risk of becoming a bigger target.

It’s likely Kamitsis will share a cell in a compound that houses up to 24 low security prisoners.

Her new threads are worlds away from the tailored clothes she sported during her trial.

Like most of her fellow inmates she’ll be wearing a pair of basic shorts with an elastic band waist, made on-site at the prison, and a blue cotton T-shirt. Breakfast and dinner is served in the compounds but lunch is generally served in the general population area.

At 5.30pm accommodation areas are locked until morning but common areas inside the compounds can still be used, at least for low security prisoners.

Each prisoner is given a pass code for the telephone system and can pay to make calls. Approved phone numbers are given a prefix for example; Mum might be “1”. Prisoners can contact their lawyers and the NT Ombudsman free of charge.

Kamitsis will appear in court today.

Travel agent Xana Kamitsis checks in to Holtze jail after being found guilty of all 20 charges | NT News

Xana Kamitsis was found guilty of all 20 charges of obtaining benefit by deception. Picture: NT News

The 12 jurors took less than three hours yesterday to find the Darwin travel agent and former head of Crimestoppers NT guilty of all 20 charges of obtaining benefit by deception.

NT Supreme Court Acting Justice Dean Mildren remanded Kamitsis in custody after it was revealed she had booked a one-way ticket to the US.

Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw released a statement late yesterday that said the community should have “complete confidence in the integrity” of all serving police officers.

Mr Kershaw said Acting Deputy Commissioner Jamie Chalker “did nothing wrong” after it was revealed during the trial he was the recipient of a flight upgrade paid for by ­Kamitsis. Mr Kershaw said Mr Chalker was simply an “unwitting and unknowing beneficiary” of the upgrade.

After the guilty verdict, Crown Prosecutor David Morters opposed bail because he was concerned Kamitsis might flee the Territory.

Mr Morters said police confirmed she had booked a “one-way ticket from Darwin to Sydney to Los Angeles for herself and members of her family on 19 December”.

“Imprisonment is an inevitable outcome of the activities the accused engaged in,” he said.

The maximum penalty for each charge is seven years’ jail.

Defence lawyer Jon Tippett QC said a prison sentence was “not inevitable” and the Christmas holiday to Aspen was planned for a long time.

Acting Justice Mildren refused bail but said she could reapply at a later date. Acting Justice Mildren said he would remain in Darwin until December 9.

“I can change that date if I need to because I’ve got a fully flexible fare,” he said, as the court erupted with laughter.

Mr Morters asked for the matter to be adjourned to allow both parties time to “gather our thoughts”.

Mr Morters said he wanted to know how Kamitsis intended to deal with another 85 outstanding charges, and if she would appeal the verdict.

Acting Justice Mildren adjourned the matter until Friday, with a sentencing date still to be confirmed.

The jury found the Darwin socialite intentionally deceived the pensioner travel scheme by submitting fraudulent invoices for flights that were more expensive than the ones she booked for her clients.

They found she had fraudulently obtained about $18,000 of taxpayer money.

It was then used to book flights, hotels and limousines for her son, mum, brother and sister-in-law and herself.

She also transferred $1000 obtained for flights for a pensioner, into the trip file of Mr McRoberts.

It was revealed during the trial that Kamitsis had an “intimate relationship” with both Mr McRoberts and former commander Richard Bryson.

The $1000 was used on flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, as well as airport transfers and accommodation at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne so her “VIP client” could attend the 2010 AFL Grand Final rematch.

Mr McRoberts resigned earlier this year after it was alleged he interfered in her ­investigation.

Mr Bryson was demoted to superintendent in May after it was found he failed to declare a conflict of interest, that he and Kamitsis were friends.

Mr Kershaw said his priority was “to uphold and enforce the highest standards of conduct and behaviour. We have rigorous processes in place to ensure public trust in the probity of our officers’’, he said.

Mr Kershaw said Mr Chalker – who was chief of staff to Mr McRoberts in 2010 – “had no knowledge that funds were used or required for the flight upgrade”.

“A/Deputy Commissioner Chalker has assisted fully in providing a statement for the trial,” Mr Kershaw said.

He said Mr Bryson was investigated earlier this year. “As appropriate action was taken then, no further action will be taken now,’’ he said.

Mr McRoberts did not return the NT News’ calls.

Xana Kamitsis admits in court she had ‘intimate’ relationships with ex-NT Police Commissioner John McRoberts and former commander Richard Bryson | NT News


NT News

November 24, 2015 12:23PM

Xana Kamitsis admitted in court to having had ‘intimate’ relationships with former top NT police officers John McRoberts and Richard Bryson

The two agreed facts were tabled in the NT Supreme Court on Monday, at the start of day four of her criminal trial into allegations she rorted an NT Government pensioner travel scheme.

They stated “the accused had an intimate relationship with John McRoberts” and “the accused had an intimate relationship with Richard Bryson”.

It followed the tabling of 138 agreed facts last week, where Kamitsis admitted she created invoices and itineraries for clients that were then sent to the pensioner travel scheme unit for approval.

Kamitsis confirmed she obtained the costs of airfares used in the invoices “by booking but never confirming the flights”.

The Darwin travel agent then transferred the approved money from the department’s credit card into her business bank account, before dispersing it into “relevant” tripfiles.

Flow charts given to the jury showed $1000 was transferred from a client’s tripfile into that of Mr McRoberts.

It was used to book flights, Park Hyatt Melbourne accommodation, limousine and car hire.

More than $700 was transferred into the tripfile of Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker for a flight ­upgrade.

A statutory declaration by Mr Chalker confirmed he was bumped up to business class on a Canberra to Darwin flight in September 2010.

“I was told by Commissioner McRoberts that Mrs Kamitsis had organised the upgrade. I was not aware that there was any financial cost for the upgrade,’’ he said.

Mr Chalker’s declaration was included in the agreed facts tabled last week.

They also confirmed Mr McRoberts was “a friend of the accused”.

On Monday the jury was read the statements of three pensioners whose completed travel application forms were sent to the pensioner travel scheme unit; two were witnessed by Kamitsis.

All three confirmed they had never seen the forms and their signatures were not the ones written on them.

Antonio Maia – who was born in East Timor and speaks limited English – said he could not read the writing on the form. “I have had a look at the signature and it is not my signature,’’ he said.

Mr Maia said he had never visited Kamitsis’ Latitude Travel business and “don’t know what this is all about”.

Flavia Perez gave evidence she provided the names, card numbers, dates of birth and travel dates to Kamitsis for both Mr Maia and his wife.

She said she did not fill in or sign either application form.

In cross-examination, Ms Perez confirmed she asked Latitude Travel to arrange flights on behalf of the couple, but she later asked for the dates to be changed from those listed on the forms.

Crown prosecutor David Morters closed the case after another two facts, relating to jury documents, were tabled in court.

The jury was excused about 3pm to enable defence lawyer Jon Tippett QC to “make an application” to Acting Justice Dean Mildren in their absence.

The trial continues.

Mr McRoberts resigned in January following allegations he interfered in the investigation of Kamitsis.

It is understood the Australian Federal Police’s investigation into Mr McRoberts has since been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions and a special prosecutor from Victoria. An AFP spokeswoman said the review of the matter by the special prosecutor would “ultimately determine whether any further action is deemed necessary”.

Mr Bryson was demoted to superintendent in May after an investigation found he had failed to declare a conflict of interest.

Commissioner Reece Kershaw said at the time he believed the relationship between Kamitsis and Mr Bryson was “platonic”.

Supt Bryson told the NT News on Monday he was “unable to make any comment at this point in time”.

“I do not wish to say or do anything that may impact the current judicial proceedings,’’ he said. “I understand the Commissioner of Police will be making a statement at the ­appropriate time.”

Senior NT police officer suspended amid inquiry into former police commissioner John McRoberts

Updated 16 Jan 2015, 8:50am

A senior Northern Territory police officer has been suspended from duty amid an investigation that prompted the resignation of the commissioner, John McRoberts, on Wednesday.

The ABC understands senior crime Commander Richard Bryson was suspended after details emerged surrounding the circumstances that led to Mr McRoberts’ resignation, police said in a statement.

The Northern Territory’s Acting Police Commissioner says the public should have full confidence in the force, despite the resignation of the former Commissioner … and the suspension of a senior officer.

John McRoberts resigned on Wednesday despite denying accusations he involved himself in a criminal investigation, which gave rise to a conflict of interest.

“I have taken this action to enable a thorough investigation into the matters that have been brought to my attention and to ensure that the integrity of the Northern Territory Police Force is maintained,” Acting Commissioner Reece Kershaw said in a statement.

“The community of the Northern Territory should continue to have full confidence in the NT Police Force and its serving police officers, who keep people safe and carry out their duties diligently, effectively and with integrity.”

Police issued a statement early on Friday announcing that Acting Commissioner Kershaw would make a statement on “the forward direction of the NT Police, Fire and Emergency Service”.

Mr McRoberts resigned amid a formal investigation into his conduct.

Acting Chief Minister Peter Chandler said yesterday he asked for the resignation after he was made aware of allegations the commissioner involved himself in a criminal investigation where his relationship with the subject of that investigation gave rise to a conflict of interest.

The ABC understands Mr McRoberts was accused of attempting to quash a search warrant in the criminal investigation related to Darwin travel agent Xana Kamitsis.

Ms Kamitsis, the former head of Crime Stoppers NT, was arrested last November as part of an investigation into the alleged rorting of a government travel subsidy scheme.

The case is currently before the courts.

The ABC also understands Mr McRoberts advocated for the charges against Ms Kamitsis to be changed from criminal to civil ones.

This afternoon police released a statement announcing a senior police officer had been suspended.

Cmdr Bryson has been contacted for comment.

Strong local candidates: police union

The Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) released a statement seeking to assure the community its members were “professional, hardworking and honest” in the wake of what it described as the “sudden resignation” of Mr McRoberts.

“Our association is clearly concerned about the circumstances surrounding the Commissioner’s resignation, however until the investigation is finalised Mr McRoberts, Commander Bryson, and any other member accused of misconduct are entitled to fair treatment and due process,” NTPA acting president Col Goodsell said.

“While we believe there are strong local candidates there is a need for a wide ranging process. We want the best person appointed to these two critical jobs as soon as possible.”

“We obviously want a transparent investigation to ensure our members and the public have confidence in senior police management into the future.”

Mr Goodsell said the NT Police force was professional, hard working and honest, “none more so then the investigators in this case who have clearly acted with absolute integrity and propriety”.

The last local officer to work his way through the ranks of the NT Police was Mick Palmer in 1988.

“While we believe there are strong local candidates there is a need for a wide ranging process. We want the best person appointed to these two critical jobs as soon as possible,” Mr Goodsell said.

“The NT Government should immediately initiate a professional recruitment process. Now, more than ever, there is a need for stability at the top to rebuild confidence and maintain the good reputation of the NT Police.”

Mr Goodsell said NT Police members deserved strong stable leadership from police management and the Government.

I reject the allegations: McRoberts

Mr McRoberts has rejected claims he interfered with a criminal investigation, and that he had any conflict of interest.

“I don’t accept I have a conflict of interest at all,” he told the ABC on Wednesday.

“I don’t accept that I have had in any way conflicted myself or interfered with any investigation.”

He said he agreed to resign so police would not be distracted from their duties.

Mr McRoberts joined the Northern Territory Police in 2009 after a 31-year career with West Australian police.

Deaths in custody, uniform changes and alcohol policy marked his tenure

His contract was renewed for five more years in May last year.

Topics: police, darwin-0800

First posted 15 Jan 2015, 7:25pm

More stories from Northern Territory

“Journalist lunatics” – 1; Travel agent – 1 in NT Supreme Court suppression standoff | The Northern Myth

Not long ago Alexandra “Xana” Kamitsis might have been described in the media as a “glamorous socialite” or “highly respected businesswoman.”

Her profile at Ruby Connection describes her as a woman “recognised for her natural charm, elegant style and business savvy approach … Xana is extremely well connected within Darwin both politically and locally.”

Her current businesses ventures include Latitude Travel, a highly successful niche travel and event management company for high-end business and corporate executives with clients from all over the world.

Late yesterday afternoon Justice Mildren published his decision in The Queen v Alexandra Kamitsis. Following her committal in the Darwin Magistrate’s Court earlier this year on 132 counts Xana has been indicted in the Supreme Court on 30 “representative” counts of obtaining a benefit for herself or another by deception and a number of counts of stealing pleaded as alternatives to most of the deception charges.

As Justice Mildren noted, the particulars of the obtain benefit by deception counts that Xana faces:

… mostly relate to an allegation that the defendant, who was the principal of the travel agency business called Latitude 69 Pty Ltd presented invoices in relation to a pensioner concession entitlement for amounts which were not the proper amount payable for the pensioners’ travel concession.

In relation to three of the counts it is alleged that the persons concerned had not sought payment of a pensioner travel concession.

Justice Mildren’s decision did not concern Xana’s substantive trial–that will start in mid-November–but related to an application by Xana to suppress media reporting of her name and the publication of identifying material, including photos and footage taken at the time of her arrest in November 2014.

In support of the suppression application Xana’s barrister John Tippett pointed to a number of articles published in the local journal of record the NT News between November 2014 and as late of the day of the hearing on Friday last week.

Justice Mildren resisted the temptation to adopt Tippett’s more florid language used to describe the offending pieces–for that we’ll have to rely on the subject of Tippett’s objections.

The NT News reported that Tippett told the Court there had been an “overkill” of stories since Xana’s arrest.

He said the repeated use of video footage and images of the socialite in handcuffs was damaging her right to a fair trial. Mr Tippett said media reporting of Kamitsis had been “completely over the top” and could “deeply prejudice” a jury.

He made particular reference to the NT News and political reporter Christopher Walsh, who he accused of having a “fetish” for Kamitsis … “We’re dealing with journalist lunatics.”

Tippett told the Court that the NT News articles spoke for themselves and demonstrated baseless allegations unconnected with the present charges. Tippett wanted “a small window” to ensure that Xana gets a fair trial in November.

Justice Mildren noted that an examination of the articles revealed allegations:

… that the defendant has been connected with the resignation of the former Commissioner of Police; it has been alleged that the former Commissioner was forced to resign after he had had improperly sought to interfere in the police investigation into the original charges which were brought in the committal proceedings; that the Commissioner of Police had an improper relationship with the accused; that the accused had provided “benefits” to the Police Commissioner; that another senior police officer had been suspended; that the defendant had been involved in a corrupt arrangement with a former ministerial chief of staff against whom corruption charges have now been brought; and that the defendant has also recently been charged with three counts of corruptly giving a benefit and one count of criminal deception.

He referred to submissions from counsel for the ABC, the NT News and Channel 9 that argued the quality of the journalism was not irresponsible and was fair and proper. The judge was having none of that, noting:

In my opinion, Mr Roper’s submission understates the overall effect of the articles published in the NT News.

After consideration of the applicable law and observing that most, if not all, of the material the subject of the articles would be inadmissible as evidence at her trial, Justice Mildren noted that in order for Xana’s application to succeed she needed to show that there was a proven substantial or real risk that the material would seriously interfere with the administration of her trial and thus constitute a contempt of Court.

He found that the evidence before him did not meet that test and Xana’s application should be dismissed.

But before the “lunatics” in the Darwin press pack could toast a victory for press freedom, Justice Mildren, noting that the trial is close handy, issued a stern warning to the media to be “very careful and circumspect” about publishing any material about which Xana had complained.

There should be no further publication of photographs of the defendant showing her in handcuffs or being placed in the back of a paddy wagon. There should be no reference to the other outstanding charges which are being held in abeyance pending the outcome of these proceedings. There should be no suggestions that the defendant is the centrepiece of a web of deception or anything like that. There should be no reference to other suggestions of a scandalous kind and in particular as to the defendant’s relationship with the former Police Commissioner, ministers or former ministers of the Crown or their staffers, there should be no attempt to link the defendant with suggestions of travel rorts by other travel agencies.

Xana didn’t get her suppression order but, as Tippett told the media outside Court, “This is a very significant warning to the press that my client is entitled to a fair trial.”

I mark that as a close run draw.

For those interested in the rise and rise of the suppression order, particularly in Victorian Courts, this recent piece by the ABC’s Liz Hobday on a recent Melbourne Press Club debate provides some fascinating background.


Photo: Google.

Former top Vic Lib Damien Mantach charged over $1.5m taken from party

 Updated 18/11/15 2.30pm

Not the first time either…. he had a go at making some extra bucks in the apple isle of Tassie too a while back and was moved on…mmm just like those priests who have rumours made about them tongue in cheek)

Former Victorian Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach.

Former Victorian Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach.

Former Victorian Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach has been charged with 44 counts of obtaining financial advantage totalling about $1.5 million.

In August, Mantach was accused of embezzling election campaign funds, with the money alleged to have vanished over four years to fund his lifestyle.

An audit of the party’s finances after last year’s state election loss uncovered unauthorised financial transactions, with money missing from both state and federal campaign funds.

Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad were called in to investigate.

Police said a 42-year-old man from Ocean Grove is to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court this afternoon.

Victoria Police investigate Liberal Party state director over embezzlement claims worth $1.5m

Updated 20 Aug 2015, 7:27pm

The police fraud squad is investigating allegations former Victorian Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach embezzled around $1.5 million of election campaign funds.

The money is alleged to have vanished over four years to fund Mr Mantach’s lifestyle.

An audit of the party’s finances after last year’s state election loss uncovered unauthorised financial transactions linked to Mr Mantach, with money missing from both state and federal campaign funds.

The Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad has been called in to investigate.

Liberal Party president Michael Kroger said Mr Mantach had admitted to wrongdoing.

“We feel profoundly betrayed and terribly disappointed with what’s happened,” Mr Kroger said.

Key points:

  • Liberal Party accuses former state director of embezzling $1.5m
  • Alleged theft happened over four years
  • Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad called in to investigate
  • Party believes Mantach took the money to fund his lifestyle

He said the party believed Mr Mantach had acted alone.

“We’re not aware that anyone at the party head office or any officials had any involvement at all,” he said.

It also emerged that Mr Mantach repaid tens of thousands of dollars during his time as state director of the Tasmanian branch.

In a letter to members posted on Facebook, Tasmanian Liberal president Geoff Page said in March 2008 that when he left the role, Mr Mantach fully repaid a liability of nearly $48,000 for personal expenses.

Mr Page said the division considered the matter closed and had robust internal financial processes.

Mr Kroger said he did not believe the missing money influenced the 2014 election result, or that it would affect the next federal election.

Liberal leader Matthew Guy said the party was furious at what he called a “pretty basic effort at embezzlement”.

“We want our money back,” he said.

“We want this matter sent to the police and we will be doing everything we can to ensure that justice is done.

“I saw someone making a comment that we’re white hot with anger, that’s just the start of it.”

Mr Kroger said the missing money was confined to the party’s Victorian division and he was confident some of it could be recovered through assets bought with the funds.

Mr Kroger conceded the Liberal Party had failed to properly monitor spending.

“Obviously it should have been picked up years ago — it wasn’t,” he said.

Former premier Denis Napthine, who led the party during last year’s campaign, said he was surprised and bitterly disappointed by the allegations.

The party’s administrative committee met this morning to discuss how to deal with the missing money.

Mr Mantach has been contacted for comment.


Paris attacks: Scenes of devastation in the French capital last draft

It is wake up time people. Have the media laws kept you just that little bit away from the slaughter, the suicide bombings and massacre of innocent folks going about their day?
WELL… BE WARNED I AM POSTING AN EXTREMELY DISTURBING IMAGE OF THE CONCERT HALL BECAUSE I CAN! I hope the BEST bands in the WORLD have the guts to play in this hall and not for rich celeb types either. Maybe the orphans and widows etc???
HOW ABOUT A QUICK COFFEE AND CAKE? see that a bit further down…THE AMAZING thing is folks are queuing up to have a coffee there since it happened.
Dying to see a band

Dying to see a band

La Belle Equipe

La Belle Equipe

Paris attacks: Scenes of devastation in the French capital

It is wake up time people. Have the media laws kept you just that little bit away from the slaughter, the suicide bombings and massacre of innocent folks going about their day?
WELL… BE WARNED I AM POSTING AN EXTREMELY DISTURBING IMAGE OF THE CONCERT HALL BECAUSE I CAN! I hope the BEST bands in the WORLD have the guts to play in this hall and not for rich celeb types either. Maybe the orphans and widows etc???
HOW ABOUT A QUICK COFFEE AND CAKE? see that a bit further down…THE AMAZING thing is folks are queuing up to have a coffee there since it happened.
Dying to see a band

Dying to see a band

+ Add New Category

La Belle Equipe

La Belle Equipe

Related Story: As it happened: At least 120 people killed in multiple Paris attacks

Related Story: Coordinated terror attacks leave France in shock
Related Story: Information for paris bombing map

About 120 people have been killed in multiple terrorist attacks in the French capital, including about 100 who were taken hostage at a rock concert, according to Paris city officials.

Here is a collection of images and footage from Paris as the situation unfolds.

Paris attacks: Weapons seized during pre-dawn raids, French PM warns more attacks being planned

French police seized “an arsenal” of weapons during dozens of pre-dawn raids against Islamist suspects in the early hours of Monday (local time), as prime minister Manuel Valls warned terrorists were planning more attacks in the wake of Friday night’s atrocities in Paris.

The raids focused particularly on the Lyon area, where police made five arrests and seized a rocket launcher, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, bulletproof vests and handguns.

Mr Valls said authorities have conducted at least 150 house searches in cities around France since the attacks.

Earlier reports had said pre-dawn police operations were carried out in the Paris suburb of Bobigny as well as in Jeumont, close to the French border with Belgium, and in the southern city of Toulouse.

Thirteen raids were carried out around the south-eastern French city of Lyon, a local police source said.

They led to five arrests and the seizure of “an arsenal of weapons”, including a rocket launcher, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, bulletproof vests, handguns and combat gear, the source said.

French media have reported at least six people were arrested in another raid in the Alpine city of Grenoble.

Mr Valls said terrorism could hit again in “in days or weeks to come” and said the attacks in Paris, which killed 129 people, were “planned in Syria”.

He said French intelligence services had prevented several attacks since the summer and police knew other attacks were being prepared in France as well as in the rest of Europe.

“We are making use of the legal framework of the state of emergency to question people who are part of the radical jihadist movement … and all those who advocate hate of the republic,” he said.

“We know that operations were being prepared and are still being prepared, not only against France but other European countries too.”

On Sunday night (local time) French jets launched extensive air strikes on what the government in Paris said were Islamic State targets in the terrorist movement’s stronghold Raqqa.

Prosecutors earlier revealed a growing Belgian connection to the Paris attacks, with officials conceding a poor district in Brussels with past links to international terrorism is a “gigantic problem” and a hotbed for extremism.

A manhunt is also underway for Salah Abdeslam, a Belgium-born man identified as the only surviving terrorist from the attacks.

Seven UK terror attacks ‘stopped’ in last six months: Cameron

British prime minister David Cameron said UK security services had foiled about seven terror attacks since June.

“Our security and intelligence services have stopped something like seven attacks in the last six months, albeit attacks planned on a smaller scale [than Paris attacks],” he told BBC Radio 4.

“We have been aware of these cells operating in Syria that are radicalising people in our own countries, potentially sending people back to carry out attacks.

“It was the sort of thing we were warned about.”

In response to the Paris attacks, Mr Cameron said he wanted Britain to join the fight in Syria to carry out air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants.

He will still need to convince more lawmakers to launch any action and will take a proposal to MPs soon.

Mr Cameron said Britain was engaged in a “generational struggle” against extremism and that he has boosted funding for security services in direct response to the threat posed by IS.

He also said there were “hopeful signs” from Saturday’s talks in Vienna on Syria that progress was being made on how to deal with the IS.

“You can’t deal with so-called Islamic State unless you get a political settlement in Syria that enables you then to permanently degrade and destroy that organisation,” he said.


Paris attacks: What we know so far

A series of coordinated terrorist attacks ripped through Paris shortly after 9pm on Friday November 13. Here is what we know so far.

What we know about the attacks

What we know about the attackers

  • At least eight attackers were involved, operating in three separate groups.
  • Seven of them died, including six who detonated vests laden with explosives.
  • An international manhunt is underway for Belgian-born Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to be the eighth attacker.
    • Abdeslam, 26, was questioned and released near the Belgian border soon after the attacks.
    • One of his brothers, Ibrahim Abdeslam, was involved in the attacks; he died after detonating his suicide vest on Boulevard Voltaire.
    • Another brother, Mohamed Abdeslam, was arrested in Brussels.
  • Another attacker was named as Omar Ismail Mostefai, 29, who was identified from a severed finger at the Bataclan concert hall.
  • Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were in response to insults of Islam’s prophet and air strikes in IS territory.

What we know about the investigation

What we know about France’s response

  • French president Francois Hollande told the French people “we are going to fight and our fight will be merciless”.
  • France launched air strikes against IS militants in Syria.

    Paris attacks: Bataclan and other assaults leave many dead – BBC News

     People could be seen escaping from the Bataclan concert hall shortly after a series of explosions

    France has declared a national state of emergency and tightened borders after at least 128 people were killed in a night of gun and bomb attacks in Paris.

    Eighty people were reported killed after gunmen burst into the Bataclan concert hall and took hostages before security forces stormed the hall.

    People were shot dead at restaurants and bars at five other sites in Paris. At least 180 people were injured.

    These are the deadliest attacks in Europe since the 2004 Madrid bombings.

    French President Francois Hollande, visibly shaken, called Friday night’s almost simultaneous attacks “a horror” and vowed to wage a “merciless” fight against terrorism.

    Paris saw three days of attacks in early January, when Islamist gunmen murdered 18 people after attacking satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a Jewish supermarket and a policewoman on patrol.

    Live: Follow the latest developments here

    In pictures: Paris shootings

    Eyewitness accounts from the scene

    The attack on the 1,500-seat Bataclan hall was by far the deadliest of Friday night’s attacks. Gunmen opened fire on concert-goers watching US rock group Eagles of Death Metal. The event had been sold out.

    “At first we thought it was part of the show but we quickly understood,” Pierre Janaszak, a radio presenter, told Agence France Presse.

    Speaking outside the Bataclan concert hall President Hollande said the attacks were “an abomination and a barbaric act”

    “They didn’t stop firing. There was blood everywhere, corpses everywhere. We heard screaming. Everyone was trying to flee.”

    He said the gunmen took 20 hostages, and he heard one of them tell their captives: “It’s the fault of Hollande, it’s the fault of your president, he should not have intervened in Syria”.

    Within an hour, security forces had stormed the concert hall and all four attackers there were dead. Three had blown themselves up and a fourth was shot dead by police.

    Attack sites:

    La Belle Equipe, 92 rue de Charonne, 11th district – at least 19 dead in gun attacks

    Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant at rue Alibert, 10th district – at least 12 dead in gun attacks

    La Casa Nostra restaurant, 92 rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 11th district – at least 5 dead in gun attacks

    Stade de France, St Denis, just north of Paris – explosions heard outside venue, three attackers dead

    Bataclan concert venue, 50 boulevard Voltaire, 11th district – stormed by several gunmen, at least 80 dead

    map of attack sites

    The attacks took place at six sites across Paris, mainly in the centre of the city

    What we know

    #Paris: Power, horror, and lies

    Meanwhile, not far from the Place de la Republique and the Place de la Bastille, three busy restaurants and a bar were targeted by gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs.

    Around 40 people were killed as customers were singled out at venues including a pizza restaurant and a Cambodian restaurant, Le Petit Cambodge.

    “We heard the sound of guns, 30-second bursts. It was endless. We thought it was fireworks,” Pierre Montfort, a resident living close to Le Petit Cambodge said.

    Media captionAmateur footage captured the panic at the Stade de France in Paris, following a reported suicide blast

    The other target was the Stade de France, on the northern fringe of Paris, where President Hollande and 80,000 other spectators were watching a friendly international between France and Germany, with a TV audience of millions more.

    The president was whisked to safety after the first of at least two explosions just outside the venue to convene an emergency cabinet meeting. Three attackers were reportedly killed there.

    As the extent of the bloodshed became clear, Mr Hollande went on national TV to announce a state of emergency for the first time in France since 2005. The decree enables the authorities to close public places and impose curfews and restrictions on the movement of traffic and people.

     Ben Grant: “There were a lot of dead people… it was horrific”

    Paris residents have been asked to stay indoors and about 1,500 military personnel are being deployed across the city.

    All schools, museums, libraries, gyms, swimming pools and markets will be shut on Saturday as well as Disneyland Paris. All sporting fixtures in the affected area of Paris have also been cancelled, AFP reports.

    Police believe all of the gunmen are dead – seven killed themselves with explosives vests and one was shot dead by the security forces – but it is unclear if any accomplices are still on the run.

    US President Barack Obama spoke of “an outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians”.

    UK PM David Cameron said he was shocked and pledged to do “whatever we can to help”.

    The Vatican called it “an attack on peace for all humanity” and said “a decisive, supportive response” was needed “on the part of all of us as we counter the spread of homicidal hatred in all its forms”.

    Spectators invade the pitch of the Stade de France stadium after the international friendly soccer France against Germany  

    Spectators flooded the pitch of the Stade de France after the France v Germany football match as news of the attacks spread
    Rescuers evacuate people following an attack in the 10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris  

    Rescuers evacuate people following one of the attacks
    General view of the scene with rescue service personnel  

    Witnesses have been speaking of “carnage”

    Analysis: BBC’s Europe correspondent Damian Grammaticas

    It’s just 10 months since Paris was the scene of multiple terrorist attacks, first the massacre of staff at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and then a hostage-taking at a Jewish supermarket.

    What happened in Paris on Friday night is exactly what Europe’s security services have long feared, and tried to foil. Simultaneous, rolling attacks, with automatic weapons and suicide bombers in the heart of a major European city, targeting multiple, crowded public locations.

    The tactics have been used before, in Mumbai and elsewhere. But how they’ve come to Europe is one of many questions that will have to be answered.

    Were the attackers French citizens? If so, how they were radicalised, armed and organised – was it in France, in Syria, and by whom? Why weren’t they detected? Is France, after two major attacks this year, uniquely vulnerable or does the carnage in Paris mean all of Europe faces new threats to our public places and events? And if a Syrian link is proven, will France recoil from that conflict or will it redouble its commitment to the fight against radical groups there?

    Are you in the area? Have you been affected by what has been happening? Do you have any information you can share? If it is safe to do so, you can get in touch by emailing [email protected].

    Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

    • WhatsApp: +44 7525 900971
    • Send pictures/video to [email protected]
    • Upload your pictures / video here
    • Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
    • Send an SMS or MMS to +44 7624 800 100

      Paris attackers most likely backed and trained by Islamic State in Iraq or Syria, says security expert

      Posted about an hour ago

      A security expert says it is “extremely unlikely” that the eight men who carried out the Paris attacks could have done so without military training in Iraq or Syria.

      The latest reports out of France suggest there were three teams involved in the weekend’s attacks that left 129 people dead.

      Neil Fergus, the chief executive of the security consultancy Intelligent Risk Group, said it appeared the terrorists had a significant support team.

      “There’s no doubt that they… certainly had accomplices that had done reconnoitring of those sites, and that means they had logisticians, transport people, they undoubtedly had a safe house, or indeed, multiple safe houses, people who procured the motor vehicles,” he said.

      “They had to have transported weapons, not just side-arms of course.

      “We know that they had Kalashnikovs, AK-47 long-arms, explosives, TATP explosives themselves have to be transported carefully and of course they were constructed into suicide vests or belts either before being sent to France, or Belgium and then to France, or in France.”

      Mr Fergus is certain the terrorists were trained by Islamic State in the Middle East, either in Iraq or Syria.

      “There have been improvised training camps in France that the French authorities have detected before, but this type of operation, these types of activities in which these eight perpetrators were involved evidence a great deal more sophistication in terms of training and experience,” he said.

      “For example we have eyewitness accounts of the way that they went about their evil business in the theatre, with one person providing very professional cover of the main assailant as he systematically executed people in that theatre.”

      He said the type of operation suggested a great deal of sophistication in terms of training and experience.

      What modus operandi was used to be able to plan and execute this operation in this way? It has implications for (Australia), and we need to study it carefully.

      Neil Fergus, chief executive of the Intelligent Risk Group

      “It’s not ad hoc training in a forest firing at some targets.

      “That’s people who have gone through proper military training, and indeed, as I said before, almost certainly, to do that sort of callous cold-blooded operation, they have been blooded in the fields of Syria or northern Iraq.”

      Mr Fergus said it was impossible to be certain, but knowing the very hierarchical, compartmentalised structure of IS, the operation was almost certainly authorised by Islamic State’s senior leadership group in the Middle East.

      “It would be almost inconceivable to think that a local cell would be able to gather all of the resources and capabilities, some of which are clearly from offshore, outside of France, to put this together,” he said.

      Security lessons for Australia

      Mr Fergus said the attack’s success pointed to a failure of intelligence in France.

      “What is incredible is that an attack, or a set of attacks of this nature and this complexity, were planned and executed without intelligence services in the region, or indeed in Europe, getting apparently any inkling, any indication that such a scale of operation would be in prospect,” he said.

      “The more people that are involved in an operation, the more likely that intelligence services will detect something is afoot.”

      Mr Fergus said there were security lessons Australia can learn from the attack.

      “I have no doubt that the senior security authorities in Australia, including Duncan Lewis, director-general of ASIO, will be keenly looking to French liaisons to understand their post-event analyses, particularly on whether there had been intelligence that had been missed, or indeed whether the perpetrators have exercised a heightened level of security to such an extent that they did slip under the radar.

      “And that has some implications not just for Australia but for the rest of the civilised world.

      “What modus operandi was used to be able to plan and execute this operation in this way?

      “It has implications for us, and we need to study it carefully.”

      Topics: terrorism, unrest-conflict-and-war, security-intelligence, defence-and-national-security, france, syrian-arab-republic, iraq

What happened to $34 million from Aboriginal fund on Groote Eylandt?

A matter of trust…


It was millions of dollars in mining royalties that was meant to be spent for the benefit of the Groote Eylandt community.

Instead, tens of millions were spent on 156 cars and boats, fridges, a barge, gambling at the casino and charter flights.

The latest chapter in the extraordinary saga played out in the Darwin Supreme Court on Monday.

The former public officer of Groote Eylandt Aboriginal Trust (GEAT), Rosalie Lalara, had earlier pleaded guilty to misappropriating almost $500,000.

Her bail was revoked and she is now behind bars awaiting sentencing.

A total of $34 million disappeared from the GEAT coffers between 2010 and 2012, leaving just $400,000 remaining in the account.

While Lalara has pleaded guilty to a fraction of the missing millions, exactly what happened to the rest remains a mystery.

But those involved in the case said little of it appeared to have been spent on housing, education or the needs of the community.

Jacqueline Lahne was brought in as the interim operations manager at GEAT when the trust was put into administration in 2012.

“My initial impression was that there was a group of people [on Groote Eylandt] who were literally living like rock stars,” she said in an interview with the ABC.

Chartered planes, vehicles waiting for them at airports, they owned multiple vehicles and boats themselves. They had access endlessly to cash for their lifestyles and then for their families.

Groote Eylandt, a remote island off Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, regularly appears at the top of the Northern Territory’s richest postcodes.

It earns millions each year in royalties from the nearby South32 manganese mine.

Since its inception in the early 1960s, the trust has earned more than $200 million in royalties.

Lalara told the ABC she is not responsible for all the money that went missing.

“They accuse me of being a thief and I don’t steal,” Lalara said in an interview with the ABC.

Lalara was the community’s go-to person on the trust and said not everyone was happy with the trust’s rules on how royalty money should be spent.

“They say, ‘Oh, it’s our money, you should spend this money on us. Why you keeping the money, what for? It shouldn’t be up there in the bank, it should be down here spent’,” she said.

Court documents in a separate case allege Lalara was involved in the purchase of 156 cars and boats at a total cost of $5 million.

A barge and real estate in Cairns were also bought with trust money.

The documents alleged cash cheques to a total value of $3.5 million were written from the trust account and fraudulently recorded against funeral costs.

Millions remain unaccounted for due to poor record keeping

In court documents in civil proceedings against Darwin’s Skycity casino, it is alleged Lalara gambled more than $1 million of trust money.

“If I had a million dollars would I be gambling it? No, thank you. That is all bad,” she said.

“We went and bought a whole heap of stuff … maybe fridges, washing machines, even air conditioners, yeah, beddings, beds, mattresses, yep.”

But what exactly has happened to the remaining $33 million is unclear.

Ms Lahne said that many millions remain unaccounted for because GEAT kept poor records.

She believes non-Indigenous businesses who preyed on the trust received a large percentage of the missing millions.

“I guess we’d call them carpetbaggers wouldn’t we?” she said.

“They’re people, or sharks, that prey on vulnerable populations.

“They find that organisations are limited in their governance structures and capacity, they work their way in there.”

Court documents alleged one operator who did business with the trust regularly charged 30 per cent commission to the trust.

“Vehicles that had been purchased by the trust weeks before for perhaps $35,000, were sold on for $5,000 or $10,000 in cash,” Ms Lahne said.

“So the trust automatically lost a portion of cash and the vehicle disappeared, plates were destroyed, it’s gone.”

Purchase of cars for teens triggered ‘distrust’

Not all of the community were benefiting from the largesse.

It was the purchase of cars for kids barely in their teens that caused the community outrage and made them act.

“Thirteen-year-old girls getting bought a car and 15-year-old boys getting a boat,” said Keith Hansen, who has lived on the island for 25 years and is married to a local beneficiary.

“That’s when the distrust really came into place, when they were buying for a birthday for a 13-year-old girl a flash Ford Falcon sedan.”

Groote Eylandters told the ABC that 300 locals confronted Lalara about the trust’s finances on the oval in the town of Anuragu in early 2012.

Punches were thrown, the police were called and there were multiple arrests.

On March 12, 2012 more than 500 locals signed a petition which was sent to the Northern Territory Attorney-General, saying “many millions of dollars have been wasted and corruption is rife … no-one is game to do anything for fear of retribution”.

The Government stepped in and a statutory manager was appointed.

Ms Lahne worked alongside the statutory manager and said she was “shocked” when she arrived on Groote Eylandt.

“I would have expected with all the years of royalties going into that island to see more supporting infrastructure, better local health services, better support agencies that the trust might be investing in but there was no evidence of that,” she said.

But Lalara said she was put under great cultural pressure by beneficiaries to keep buying things for them with money from the trust.

“I reckon I was stuck with the two worlds. White-man world, white-man way and blackfella way. And what I was trying to do was to do it our way, and it’s not written in the book,” she said.

“We try to balance the both sides so it doesn’t how you say … ruin things. But it obviously ruined [things].”

Lalara is angry that the community has not defended her since charges were laid against her in 2013.

“The community is the fault and I say they are gutless and they are coward and it’s their fault all this happened,” she said.

“Now everybody’s … happy sitting behind their cars and steering wheels and that they don’t even want to help [me].”

Auditors under the microscope

In a separate case, three international companies employed to give financial and legal advice to GEAT’s trustees are now being sued.

In a civil case in the Darwin Supreme Court, GEAT is alleging KPMG, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and Minter Ellison failed to detect numerous “irregularities” in the trust’s operation in the 18 months that $34 million was spent.

Trust lawyers claim if the firms had performed their duties diligently they could have prevented tens of millions of dollars being misspent.

“The flag could have been raised years ago,” Ms Lahne said.

The ABC approached KPMG, Deloitte and Minter Ellison, which have combined to fight the civil claims against them. They all declined to comment.

Despite $200 million being paid in royalties to the trust over the past 50 years, Ms Lahne said there was little evidence on the island of the wealth received by the 1,800 Aboriginal beneficiaries of GEAT.

“I think they are a very strong community, they’re on their land, they’re on country and they’re really quite traditional in my experience,” Ms Lahne said.

“I think the lost opportunity is incalculable. I think generations to come will look back … and say ‘look what we could have had’ you know from that money, had it been invested properly.”

It was high drama in the Darwin Supreme Court earlier this week when Lalara sacked her lawyer and handed in an unsigned document that claimed judges appointed in Australia after 1901 did not have valid legal powers, and therefore no judge had the standing to decide her case.

Lalara’s bail was revoked and she is now in custody. Her next court appearance is set down for December 21.


Penny Bailey death: Stephen Bailey charged with murder of his mother

This weavel “Allegedly”killed his mum for reasons unknown to anyone so far…The one and only suspect has been caught,What a little snivelling dog this bloke was…Tragic for the family although I am certain they have found the answers they needed quickly.

Stephen Bailey has been charged with the murder of his mother, Penny Bailey, whose body was found in bushland on Thursday night.

Ms Bailey was last seen at her Mont Albert home on Sunday and reported missing by her family two days later.

Investigators found her body near the Mullum Mullum Creek in Donvale two days later.

Bailey was arrested on Thursday before his mother’s body was located.

Victoria Police said a 34-year-old Mont Albert man had been charged with one count of murder.

He will appear in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court later today.

Ms Bailey is the daughter of Laurie Kerr, who played 149 games for Carlton Football Club in the 1950s and was named in the club’s team of the century.

He later founded public relations company International Public Relations.

Her mother Vivienne Kerr is currently the number one female ticket holder at the Blues, while her sister Judy Mullen is the president of the Women of Carlton coterie group.

Stephen Bailey played football for Box Hill in the VFL, and West Adelaide and Norwood in the SANFL.

In a statement, Ms Bailey’s family said she would be remembered for her “warm heart”.

“The Kerr family would like to publicly express its gratitude for the outpouring of support it has received since Penny’s disappearance,” it said.

“Penny was a beautiful woman and mother of three children. She will be remembered for her caring nature, warm heart and love of family.

“The Kerr family is large. Vivienne and Laurie Kerr had nine children – there are 34 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren.

“The entire family is focused on providing Penny’s daughters, Belinda and Shannon with comfort at this time.

“We would also like to thank the Victoria Police for their professionalism and the caring and sensitive manner in which they conducted their investigations.”


Penny Bailey body found as son Stephen arrested for her suspicious disappearance

Missing mother
 THE son of a woman found dead in Donvale last night has been charged with her murder.

Stephen Bailey, 34, was arrested after his mother Penny Bailey went missing from their Mont Albert home on Wednesday.

He was charged with murder this afternoon.

It comes as Carlton great Stephen Kernahan says the club is in shock over the death of Ms Bailey, who is the daughter of former Blues footballer Laurie Kerr.

Kernahan’s tribute came as it emerged Stephen Bailey was a best-and-fairest winner at VFL club Box Hill Hawks and a prominent player in the SANFL.

A body believed to be that of Ms Bailey was found in bushland near Mullum Mullum Creek in Donvale about 7.10pm yesterday, 24 hours after police investigating the Mont Albert mother’s suspicious disappearance arrested her son.

“The body has not been formally identified but is believed to be that of missing woman Penny Bailey,” Acting Sergeant Julie-Anne Newman said last night.

Ms Bailey was one of nine children born to the renowned footballer and PR guru and his wife, Vivienne.

Laurie Kerr played for Carlton in the 1950s and was named as an emergency in Carlton’s Team of the Century.

Former Carlton player Laurie Kerr.

Laurie and Vivienne Kerr, right, with his family in 1967: Libby, 5, Judy, 6, Penny, 11, Paul, 14, Greg, 3, Louise, 17, Peter, 19, and Mark, 9.

Stephen Bailey was an onballer who played reserve grade football for Carlton in 2002.

He was playing at Donvale when he was called up to play reserve grade football for the Blues.

Bailey then headed back to play with Donvale and two years later played in the VFL with the Box Hill Hawks.

He won Box Hill Hawks’ senior best-and-fairest in 2004 under the coaching of Andy Collins.

He later crossed to the SANFL and became a prominent player for Norwood.

Kernahan said he was shocked and saddened at the news of Ms Bailey’s death.

“Our heart goes out to them,” he said.

Stephen Bailey, left, playing for Norwood in June 2006.

Stephen Bailey for Norwood in April 2006.

Kernahan said he was feeling for the entire Kerr and Bailey families, especially Ms Bailey’s mother.

“Vivienne’s a matriach of the football club, she’s the No.1 ticket holder. We know all the family well,” he said.

Mr Bailey, who was arrested in Smithfield Rd, Flemington, on Wednesday night in relation to his mother’s disappearance, played 54 games with Norwood from 2005 to 2007.

Penny Bailey’s mum, Vivienne, right, with daughter Judy Mullen at a Women of Carlton event.

Norwood Football Club president Paul Di Iulio said he was surprised when he heard the former Redlegs players had been arrested.

“I was shocked, I’m shocked at anything like that,” he said. “It’s not good news to hear.”

When asked if Mr Bailey was quiet, Mr Di Iulio said: “That’s my understanding. People I have spoken to say he kept to himself.”

Mr Di Iulio said Mr Bailey had ben a handy player at Norwood.

“He seemed like a reasonable bloke,” he said. “He played in the midfield and on the half back.”

Mr Di Iulio said Mr Bailey left Norwood to play at West Adelaide Football Club, also in the SANFL.

But he said he had departed on good terms and had left for other “football opportunities”. He said Bailey had not returned to the club since.

Forensic investigators at the scene of the discovery at Mullum Mullum creek in Donvale. Picture Yuri Kouzmin

Stephen Bailey spotted walking through the underpass at Flinders St to Southbank.

Ms Bailey’s body was found in bushland near the bed of the Mullum Mullum creek — just metres from a car park in Reynolds Rd.

A crime scene was established near Reynolds Rd just east of Springvale Rd after forensic specialists from the Crime Scene Unit reached the scene last night.

State Emergency Service crews set up flood lights as forensic crews scoured bushland near the creek.

The dumping ground could be clearly seen from a walking track across the small creek.

A local woman who walked past the crime scene on her way home said she was shocked by the discovery.

Local Amy Stephens said the discovery was “terrifying”.

“I am so shocked because this is such a good area,” she said.

“It is so close (to home) and such a nice area that you just don’t expect it to happen.”

She said children and families often used the area and nearby a reserve and sporting oval.

“There are often Scouts teams near here and sausage sizzles — it’s very close to everything,” Ms said.

“This is one-in-a-million — nothing like this happens.”

Penny Bailey and her son Stephen.

Mr Bailey remains in hospital.

Mrs Bailey was last seen at the Mont Albert home she shares with her son about 9pm on Sunday.

Detectives seized a black four-wheel-drive Volkswagen Tiguan from the property, which they loaded on to a flat bed trailer and have taken it away for forensic examination.

Police launched an investigation after the woman was reported missing by family on Tuesday night amid a disturbance at her house.

Her son was seen leaving the townhouse on a bicycle about 11.45am on Tuesday.

Stephen Bailey near the intersection of Elizabeth and Bourke streets in the CBD.

Det Insp Mick Hughes said the alarm was raised after a disturbance had been discovered at the Strabane Ave home.

“There is concern from what we witnessed at that scene,” he said.

A crime scene was established at the house.

Police also have seized two wheelie bins from the nature strip, while a mobile phone was taken into evidence.

Detectives inspected clothing and gloves from inside the bin.

Earlier, Ms Bailey’s siblings and children had forced entry into the townhouse after unsuccessful attempts were made to contact her.

Neighbours woke to find their street filled with police.

They said they hadn’t heard any disturbance from the townhouse over the weekend.

After his football career ended, Laurie Kerr pursued a career in journalism and built the public relations empire IPR.

Kerr studied at St Kevin’s College in Toorak, where four generations of his family would later go on to study.

Kerr died on December 28, 2001. He was 72.

Forensic police take the rubbish bins to check for evidence. Pictures: Ian Currie

Andrew Johns is a disgrace and an embarrassment. He has proven so time and time again!

ANDREW Johns ‘passed out’ at Toowoomba airport.

ANDREW Johns ‘passed out’ at Toowoomba airport.

Some things (ungrateful millionaire ex player and media star)  DO NOT CHANGE

How long does the old boys club protect and support tools like him? There are too many better deserving to be in the spotlight than the likes of Andrew Johns.

Channel Nine dumps Andrew Johns from grand final day broadcast following drunken airport incident

Michael Carayannis and Michael Chammas

Channel Nine stands down Andrew Johns from Sunday’s NRL grand final broadcast following an intoxicated incident at Toowoomba airport on Friday night.

Channel Nine has stood down Andrew Johns from Sunday’s grand final broadcast following the intoxicated incident at Toowoomba airport on Friday night.

Johns, a regular member of Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show, wasn’t included on the panel leading into the grand final coverage on Sunday.

Bad form: The Facebook post of Andrew Johns asleep in Toowoomba Airport with a comment by the poster.

Bad form: The Facebook post of Andrew Johns asleep in Toowoomba Airport with a comment by the poster. Photo: Facebook / Helen Wright

He has also been told he will not be part of the broadcast of the all-Queensland grand final between the Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium.

It couldn’t have come at a worse time for the former Newcastle halfback, who is deep in negotiations with Fox Sports about joining his brother Matthew at the pay TV network.

It also comes a fortnight after fellow Channel Nine rugby league commentator Brett Finch checked himself into rehabilitation following a stint back in April.

It comes after Johns was accused of “disgusting and disgraceful” behaviour, photographed lying on the floor at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp airport on Friday night after allegedly propositioning a married woman, who labelled Johns’ behaviour “a very bad example”.

Helen Wright, who later received an apology from the rugby league immortal, detailed Johns’ behaviour on Facebook, saying: “I wish that football commentators [had] more pride and a much higher standard of behaviour in public”.

“This is not an example that should be presented to children that were present! Many of the children had taken photos of him passed out. My own sons have played football all their lives and we love the game. But not this aspect of the game. Regards Helen Wright.”

Andrew Johns apologises for ‘disgraceful’ behaviour at airport – after getting ‘drunk and making sexually explicit comments to a mum of three before passing out’

  • NRL immortal Andrew Johns has been accused of drunk behaviour
  • The formal NRL player allegedly passed out at Toowoomba airport
  • Helen Wright shared a photo of Johns on the floor on social media 
  • The mother-of-three claims he tried to kiss her and made a lewd comment
  • Ms Wright told Daily Mail Australia he has already called to apologise 

By Lucy Thackray for Daily Mail Australia

22:30 EST, 3 October 2015

A woman has accused former NRL player Andrew Johns of ‘disgusting behaviour’, alleging he was drunk and disorderly at an airport and tried to kiss her before passing out on the floor.

A photo of the NRL immortal allegedly lying ‘passed out’ on the floor of Toowomba’s Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport went viral on Saturday morning when Queensland woman Helen Wright posted it on social media.

‘Andrew Johns was absolutely disgusting. He was severely intoxicated,’ wrote Ms Wright, describing the alleged incident, said to have taken place on Queensland’ east coast on Friday night.

The mother-of-three tells Daily Mail Australia Mr Johns made contact with her on Saturday, ringing to apologise if his behaviour had offended her.

The 42-year-old says while waiting for a delayed flight, Johns tried to kiss her and made a lewd comment when she refused.

A photo of the NRL immortal allegedly lying ‘passed out’ on the floor of Toowomba’s Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport went viral on Saturday morning when Queensland woman Helen Wright posted it on social media

‘Andrew Johns was absolutely disgusting. He was severely intoxicated,’ wrote Ms Wright, describing the alleged incident, said to have taken place on Queensland’ east coast on Friday night

‘When I refused to kiss him and replied I was happily married and had three sons his question to me was “did you have a cesarean birth?’

‘Disgusting, disgraceful and a very bad example for all to see.

‘Then he proceeded to pass out on the floor of the airport,’ she alleges.

Ms Wright claims many young children were present and some even took photos of the recently separated commentator while he was ‘passed out’ on the floor.

Ms Wright claims many young children were present and some even took photos of the recently separated commentator while he was ‘passed out’ on the floor

She is calling for NRL identities to be better role models, particularly for the children who look up to them.

‘I wish that football commentators have more pride and a much higher standard of behaviour in public,’ Ms Wright posted.

‘This is not an example that should have been presented to children that were present!’

‘My own sons have played football all their lives and we love the game.

‘But not this aspect of the game.’

Daily Mail Australia made numerous attempts to contact Andrews Johns’ management.

Channel Nine declined to comment.

The all Queensland NRL grand final will be held in Sydney on Sunday night.

She is calling for NRL identities to be better role models, particularly for the children who look up to them

Problem after problem after problem

Ecstasy use controversy

On 26 August 2007 Johns was arrested for fare evasion on the London Underground, and subsequently found to be in possession of one ecstasy tablet. He was cautioned and released with no further charges. Johns initially claimed that an unknown person had pushed the tablet into his pocket which he later forgot to remove before leaving the crowded venue. This initial statement was met with a great deal of cynicism from both the press and the public. On 30 August, Johns revealed, live on the Footy Show, that he had regularly taken ecstasy throughout his playing career, mainly during the off-season. He claimed he had suffered from depression and bipolar disorder and the drugs helped him in dealing with the high level of psychological ‘pressure’ associated with his career as an elite sportsman Not long after the incident he released his ‘tell-all’ autobiography that went into further details regarding his depression and drug use while playing in the NRL.

The ARU released a press statement shortly after the controversy arose, stating that Johns’ drug use was known to the ARU and was a key factor in its decision to not proceed with contractual negotiations in 2004. Brett Robinson, then high-performance unit manager, said that, as well as Johns’ age and injury history, the knowledge of his drug taking had been influential in the ARU making its final decision.

When Johns was named the Best Player of the Last 30 Years in early 2008, the accolade allayed concern that Johns’ shock drug admission the year before had tarnished his remarkable efforts on the field for Newcastle, NSW and Australia. On receiving the award he was quoted as saying his health was now in great shape. “I’m at the best place I have been in a long time,” he said. “It’s not until you step away that I realise all the pressure I was under, I’m not going to miss playing at all.”
Racism controversy

In June 2010 during the lead-up to Origin II, New South Wales centre Timana Tahu withdrew mid-week from the NSW squad following reports Johns referred to Queensland player Greg Inglis as a “black cunt” during a training session.Johns was subsequently fired from his role as NSW assistant coach. Though he apologised for the incident on Tuesday 15 June,it is alleged it was not the first time Johns had used racist language in a football environment. Inglis has since demanded Johns be barred from any involvement in rugby league.

More Joyous Scandal

Johns was the catalyst to the More Joyous Scandal, engulfing leading Sydney horse trainer Gai Waterhouse, larrikin advertising figure John Singleton (racehorse More Joyous’s owner) and bookmaker and son of the horse trainer Tom Waterhouse. Johns passed information from Tom Waterhouse that horse More Joyous was “off” on to brothel owner Eddie Hayson and former jockey Allan Robinson. Singleton received word of this and, while visibly inebriated, verbally attacked Gai Waterhouse on live television. Johns feared his Channel 9 commentating career would be over due to the trouble he caused Tom Waterhouse, a Channel 9 advertiser. Johns’s commentating career survived, although his reputation was further damaged. Both Waterhouses were cleared of any major wrongdoing by a Racing NSW inquiry, however, Singleton and Gai’s longstanding partnership ended.


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