Archive for August, 2018

   Aug 24

Private detective Mick Featherstone fails to stop licence suspension

Mick Featherstone leaves the Brisbane Watchhouse after his arrest last year. Photo: Michelle SmithA former Queensland detective – charged over an elaborate kidnapping plot with Clive Palmer’s media advisor – has failed to prevent his private investigator’s licence being suspended.
Nanjing Night Net

Mick Featherstone held the licence from 1996 to February 2015, but it was suspended when he was charged over the kidnapping scheme.

Police claim Mr Featherstone, media advisor Andrew Crook and former Sydney Swans player Tony Smith were involved in a plan to lure a bank employee to an Indonesian island and get him to retract evidence he provided in a 2012 civil court matter.

Mr Featherstone was charged with retaliation of a witness, attempting to pervert the course of justice and attempted fraud.

The Department of Justice and Attorney-General then suspended Mr Featherstone’s private investigator’s licence, but not that of his private investigator company Phoenix Global.

In March, Mr Featherstone applied to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a stay of the suspension.

He said he was contesting the criminal charges, had no criminal record, believed the suspension would have a significant economic impact and that it had no public interest benefit.

Mr Featherstone said the department relied on inappropriate material, including a police QP9 document following his arrest. He said the QP9 was a guide to police prosecutors and not formal evidence.

However in a QCAT decision published on June 17, tribunal member Susan Gardiner refused his application.

“Mr Featherstone has been charged with serious offences that go to the heart of his suitability to be licenced as a private investigator,” she said.

“These matters must be tested and the public is entitled to maintain its confidence in other licence holders during that process.

“I accept that the only information before the decision maker was the QP9 document and that this is a potentially “one-sided” recitation of facts yet to be proven. I must balance this against the seriousness of the charges laid against Mr Featherstone and the need to protect the public interest.”

Ms Gardiner said Phoenix Global could continue operating, and that its “educated” client base shouldn’t draw conclusions about Mr Featherstone until his trial was finalised. The company has offices in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Mackay and Rockhampton.

Mr Featherstone and Mr Crook were arrested last year after detectives from the anti-bikie squad Taskforce Maxima uncovered the alleged kidnapping plot during a separate investigation.

Detective Inspector Phil Stevens likened it to “a Hollywood script”.

“This is one of the most elaborate and desperate schemes I have seen in 35 years of policing,” he said at the time.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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   Aug 24

Thousands flock to Story Bridge 75th birthday celebrations

The Story Bridge’s 75th birthday celebrations did not leave much room to move. Photo: Michelle Smith Lord Mayor Graham Quirk praised the event’s organisation. Photo: Michelle Smith
Nanjing Night Net

People queue for the 11am-12.30pm session. Photo: Michelle Smith

No birthday is complete without a cake. Photo: Michelle Smith

Story Bridge celebrates – everything you need to knowIn pictures: Brisbane celebrates an icon

It may have been closed to traffic, but the Story Bridge had never seen so much congestion.

Tens of thousands of people crammed on to the Bradfield Highway in a rare opportunity to walk within the bridge’s famous steel frame.

The queues were long and the walking was slow, but those who ventured on to the bridge, in the main, were good-natured about the trek.

The Eat Street Markets, a mainstay a few river bends away at Hamilton, offered up a range of food and drinks for those keen on a lunch with a view.

About 73,000 people were expected on the bridge over four sessions throughout Sunday, each one requiring visitors to wear differenly coloured lanyards in an attempt to stagger the flow.

The novelty value alone was the main attraction, but there were some naysayers. Social media was littered with both complaints about the organisation of the event. #StoryBridge75 was a great idea that could not have been executed worse. Won’t be surprised if the stupidity costs someone their life.— Darren (@drsbne) July 5, 2015Massive crowds, massive heat but the #StoryBridge75 is pumping pic.twitter南京夜网/TKQ5gSgULK— Scotty McDonald (@Scotty_McDonald) July 5, 2015Not sure I’m on the same Story Bridge as all the haters on social media. Crowded? Yes. Still fun? Absolutely. #StoryBridge75— Stuart Dunstan (@SRDunstan) July 5, 2015What a disaster. #StoryBridge75 didn’t even make it half way over. Should have been 6-8 x 10,000 people sessions.— Cain (@GoobaFish) July 5, 2015

But Cr Quirk said he was happy with how the logistic challenges had been met.

“It’s got that real party atmosphere to it, it’s going fine,” he said during what would likely be his one and only media conference in the middle of the Story Bridge’s far-left northbound lane.

“There is obviously a queue at the entry, but it’s going very, very well.

“People are patient, in good spirits and they’re loving the opportunity to enjoy the vista from the centre of the bridge.” Story Bridge crowds are pumping! Be patient and celebrate 75 years of Story Bridge birthdays! #storybridge75pic.twitter南京夜网/rRQr6KJ6W8— QPS Media Unit (@QPSmedia) July 5, 2015#StoryBridge75 People r grumpy not sure what they expected with 20 000 each session – 2 have bridge 2 themselves?— Celena McGovern (@CelenaMcGovern) July 5, 2015

Parochial pride stretching back 75 years was the order of the day.

“The great thing about this bridge is that it was a bridge for Brisbane built by primarily Queensland people and it was a bridge made of Brisbane steel,” Cr Quirk said.

“And that’s where we differentiate ourselves from the Sydney Harbour Bridge [which, like the Story Bridge, was also designed by Queensland engineer John Bradfield].

“The Sydney Harbour Bridge steel came from London, while all of our steel came from Rocklea in Brisbane.”

For now, Cr Quirk said the Story Bridge’s celebratory road closure was a one-off, but there may be more chances to walk on its bitumen surface in the future.

“The opportunity is there, if the event it right,” he said.

“The state and council have got a joint agreement where if we have approaches and the event is big enough, it’s right and it’s got the capacity to do it, then we’ll certainly look at that.

“But it’s not something we want to do regularly.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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   Aug 24

Saints beat stoic Ararat

STRONG PERFORMANCE: Jacob Cooke-Harrison, pictured against Horsham, was impressive again on Saturday, kicking five goals in the Saints’ 16-point win over Ararat. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER
Nanjing Night Net

FIVE GOALS to Jacob Cooke-Harrison has helped Horsham Saints overcome a gallant Ararat on Saturday.

The Saints failed to capitalise on theirplay in the early stages and they fell behind by 10 points at the opening interval.

Strong second and third terms ensured the Saints took a 26-point lead into three-quarter-time, but they had to hang tough to survive one last Ratscharge.

The 14.10 (94) to 12.6 (78) victory keeps the Saints one game clear on top of the Wimmera league ladder.

The Rats remain comfortably in fourth spot, but have fallen two games behind Minyip-Murtoa and Horsham.

Saints coach Shayne Breuer said the Rats made gooduse of the breeze in the first term, while his side struggled to capitalise.

“It was a really good game for four quarters and it was a fairly even match,” he said.

“We couldn’t quite get away from them.”

Breuer said Cooke Harrison’s performance was one that had come to be expected.

“He was really good for us, but he’s been playing well every week,” he said.

Jacob O’Beirne was important for the Saints, while Xander McRae shut down dangerous Rat Beau Cosson, and Ben Martin played his best game for the seniors.

Pat Knottbooted three majors for the Saints in an impressive cameo, while Gav Kelm and Heath Watson chipped in with two goals each.

Rats coach David Hosking said he thought the scoreline flattered his side early in the contest.

“We got off to a good start, but I think the scoreboard flattered us a bit,” he said.

“They’d had twice as many inside 50s as us at quarter time and then it was the same at half time.

“Our view was we were sort of hanging in and making the most of our opportunites.

“We needed to change the inside 50 problem after half time and that was the challenge for our midfield.

“They deserved to win but we weren’t far behind them. To our credit, we lifted where we needed to.”

The Rats were well served by Ryan Bates and Jack Ganley.

Ganley snagged three majors, but Hosking labelled both their matches “terrific”.

“It’s good to seem them getting back to their best,” he said.

“Jake Robinson was very good as well.”

Harry Ganley, Justin Summons and Mick Fratin all chimed in with two goals

Hosking said the performance gave the group confidence it was heading in the right direction, in terms of competing against the strongest sides.

“I thought – in all fairness – we’d been a distant fourth on the ladder,” he said.

“But it does give us confidence that if we play well we’re in the mix.

“The key is to be able to play your best all the time, but that’s hard to do.

“The thing with Saints and Horsham and Minyip-Murtoa is more often than not, they play their best.”

The match was certainly tighter than the last time the two sides met, when the Saints beat the Rats by 103 points.

Shayne Breuer said he was not expecting a repeat performance, but was pleased his side continued to show consistency.

“We had a bit of a day out last time,” he said.

“We didn’t expect that to happen last time and we didn’t expect it this time either.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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   Aug 24

More than 40 years on, two teachers will face judgment

UNDER ARREST: On Thursday night a 77-year-old former teacher was charged by detectives attached to Strike Force Flair, following a raid on his Armidale home earlier that day.TWENTY-four primary school students at one Armidale school were molested, kidnapped or assaulted at the hands of two of their own teachers, detectives will allege in court.
Nanjing Night Net

The extent of the historical allegations have finally been revealed this week after two years of investigations culminated in the arrest of the second target of police, a 77-year-old Armidale man, who was employed as a teacher at Ben Venue Public School in the 1970s.

The elderly Armidale man, along with a 71-year-old former teacher arrested in May, are at the centre of allegations of physical and sexual abuse of former students, who recounted their experiences during several interviews with Strike Force Flair detectives.

The police operation was triggered after a referral from the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse in 2013.

Armidale detectives established the strike force in June 2013, with the assistance of the State Crime Command’s sex crimes unit, to home in on what had allegedly occurred on school grounds, and behind closed doors, during the early 1970s.

What they have uncovered isthat 24 students allegedly suffered assaults, abuse and horrific experiences by the very people who were employed to educate them.

According to police facts, the abuse occurred mostly on school grounds between 1970 and 1974.

Both men, who cannot be named until the cases head to court, remain on bail to live in Armidale but areprohibited from contacting or approaching their alleged victims or police witnesses.

The arrests of both men were revealed by The Leader, and Fairfax Media has obtained photos of Thursday’s arrest in a quiet Armidale street.

Through the police investigation, detectives discovered fresh evidence relating to both men and uncovered more victims as their enquiriesgathered pace and former students came forward to recount their school experiences.

The 77-year-old former teacher allegedly abused six young girls and the 71-year-old allegedly assaulted 18 young boys.

They were all students at the school at the time and had yet to reach their teenage years.

In a May interview with The Leader, then-acting Superintendent Roger Best said police had been doing everything they could to support victims through the process.

“These alleged victims are obviously traumatised and it takes external events like the royal commission to make the decision to report the events to authorities,” he said.

The 77-year-old is charged with two counts of kidnapping, three counts of common assault on a female and 10 separate counts of assaulting a female and committing an act of indecency with a victim under 16 – the charge in place at the time of the alleged offending.

Strike Force Flair detectives raided his Armidale home on Thursday morning and seized a number of photographs of interest.

The 71-year-old former teacher arrested in May will front court for the first time on Monday to answer 33 allegations of indecent assault – the offence in place during the early 1970s.

The Northern Daily Leader

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   Aug 24

Diners savour gourmet flavour

Gladioli head chef Matt Dempsey lends a helping hand to Michael Clancy.
Nanjing Night Net

ORGANISERS are toastingthe success of the Port Fairy Winter Weekends food and wine event.

Festival committee member and Gourmet Port Fairy president Shane Clanceysaid the weekendhad been a huge success.

“Theconcept is to attract people from outside the region to Port Fairy,” Mr Clanceysaid.

“We tooknote of where visitors were coming from and there was quite a strong representation of people from Melbourne and regional Victoria staying for two nights.There’sbenefits for accommodation providers, for cafes where they eat breakfast, and for the visitors who get to experience the town and beach in a quiet time of the year.”

Mr Clancey saidGladioli’sMatt Dempsey was invited to join theRoyal Oak Hotel’s Producers Lunch on Saturday, as one of the mostrenowned chefs in regional Victoria.

“The long, languorous Saturday lunch hadagreat atmosphere.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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