Police feared there would be ‘civil disorder’ if Cold Chisel arrived late to a concert in Margaret River in November.There was no time for cheap wine and three day growth when it came to a police escort getting Cold Chisel to a Margaret River concert on time.
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Yesterday, a police officer was found guilty of reckless driving in Bunbury Magistrates Court for escorting the legendary Aussie band along the Bussell Highway 48km/h over the speed limit last November.

According to Senior Constable Shane Clarke, police feared there would be “civil disorder” if Barnesy and co arrived late.

Mr Clarke’s not guilty plea was rejected by Magistrate Paul Heaney, who fined the officer $1250 and suspended his licence. The magistrate said he regretted having to find the veteran policeman guilty.

Mr Clark has been a traffic officer for 22 years and was one of three policemen caught speeding on Bussell Highway while providing an escort for Cold Chisel about 4pm on November 26.

The court heard police were under strain when concert organisers asked for a police escort to get the band to the venue on time.

However, Prosecutor David Leigh said the situation did not constitute a genuine emergency, and therefore police officers were not exempt from the law.

He said the Cold Chisel concert, which attracted 12,000 punters, coincided with the Margaret River bushfires and 7000 schoolies arriving in Dunsborough.

Sergeant Craig Anderson, who headed the police escort “there were concerns if Barnes was late, there could be problems with the crowd, because of liquor consumption”.

He said the police district office had approved the escort but there was confusion as to whether officers were authorised to drive “with speed”, and he had allowed two officers – one Mr Clarke – to drive 20km/h over the 100km/h speed limit.

Mr Clark said he had followed orders and was a trained and safe driver. He said his actions helped avoid a potential riot at the concert.

The officer has been put on non-operational duties for the duration of the licence suspension.

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The Voice U.S.The Olympics can’t come soon enough for the Nine Network after their experiment with The Voice (US) failed badly last night.
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The one-hour debut of the overseas version of the talent show ranked 19th overall last night, capturing none of the audience magic of the Australian edition. It drew in a meagre 669,000 viewers, more than 100,000 fewer than the two repeats of The Big Bang Theory did in the same time slot last week.

Executives at Nine are said to have been divided on whether to run the show, with fears that it would tarnish the brand that so recently gave them hope in the ratings war. Having gone to air with the first episode, the network are committed to the show for three weeks, regardless of results.

Not only did the show, which went to air in the US in February, finish fourth in its time slot, it was also beaten by network stable-mate The Hot Seat – the game show hosted by Eddie McGuire which goes to air at 5.30pm. It was not beaten by Nine’s airing of the movie Spider-Man 3, which did not make the top 20 with 454,000 viewers for the critically-panned film.

The combination saw Nine, with 15.2 per cent of the audience slip behind the ABC (15.4 per cent) to finish in third place for the night, only just ahead of Ten on 14.9 per cent.

The night was topped by Seven with each of its shows from 6pm until 9.30pm rating above a million, including Home & Away, which climbed back above the magic number thanks to The Voice’s poor performance.

MasterChef continued to look healthier in the absence of the Australian version of The Voice, taking second spot in Melbourne and fourth across the country, though it dropped slightly against last week’s 1.396 million viewers.

5-City Metropolitan Ratings – 9th July 20121 Seven News (Seven) 1,379,000 2 Revenge (Seven)  1,328,000 3 Nine News (Nine) 1,305,000 4 Masterchef Australia (Ten)  1,259,000 5 Today Tonight (Seven) 1,167,000 6 A Current Affair (Nine) 1,122,000 7 Australian Story (ABC) 1,079,000 8 ABC News (ABC) 1,065,000 9 The Amazing Race Australia (Seven) 1,023,000 10 Home And Away (Seven) 1,014,000 11 Ten News At Five (Ten) 840,000 12 Four Corners (ABC) 830,000 13 7.30 (ABC) 790,000 14 Last Man Standing (Ten) 787,000 15 Hot Seat (Nine) 768,000 16 Media Watch (ABC) 747,000 17 Body Of Proof (Seven) 697,000 18 The Project 6.30pm (Ten) 672,000 19 The Voice U.S. (Nine) 669,000 20 Q&A (ABC) 662,000SOURCE: OzTam

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An extended warranty firm that has failed to return customer calls or pay staff has reportedly gone into liquidation.
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U-NITED Warranties, which until recently provided extended warranties on electrical goods sold through Myer and Big W, appeared to be on the brink of collapse in recent weeks.

Dozens of customers have complained to consumer affairs watchdogs in Victoria and New South Wales after electrical goods sent in for repair had not been returned, or they had been unable to contact the business. The owner of the company, Vern Rickman, has failed to respond to calls or emails from Fairfax.

Former staff have also spoken out, telling MySmallBusiness that almost employees had quit in the past three months. Many claim they are owed wages and superannuation entitlements.

The warranty group, plus two connected businesses, are reported to have gone into liquidation yesterday, with company Grant Thornton stepping in. Grant Thornton did not immediately return calls.

More to come…

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A federal Western Australian Labor MP has called on her colleagues to stop attacking the Greens, saying the outrage was “a confected non-issue” that was playing into the hands of the Coalition.
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Melissa Parke stepped up her calls this morning after saying yesterday the NSW Right, which has led the attack on the Greens, had more to do with Labor’s current woes than anyone else.

Ms Parke, who belongs to the Left faction, told the National Times today that the “Greens bashing must stop”.

“It’s a confected non-issue. The Greens have, along with the independents, helped Labor pass an enormous amount of legislation through the Parliament,” she said.

“This sniping within the progressive side of politics is a gift to Tony Abbott. It is mutually assured destruction.”

Ms Parke said if she were from NSW, she would not be supporting a motion to be put to this weekend’s NSW state Labor conference, which enables party officials to “no longer provide the Greens party automatic preferential treatment in any future preference negotiations”.

If the threat were carried out and adopted nationally, the Greens could lose their balance of power in the Senate.

But the move has sparked a much wider debate. The floodgates have opened and Labor MPs and ministers are lining up to attack the Greens, making Ms Parke a lone voice among colleagues.

In speech last night, Finance Minister Penny Wong took issue with the Greens for blocking the original emissions trading scheme in the Senate.

Senator Wong, who was the climate change minister at the time, said that if the Greens had passed the scheme, it would now be embedded, rather that at the risk of being repealed by Tony Abbott.

“We would be debating new progressive challenges and causes, rather than continuing to fight on this one,” she said.

“Where the Greens claim to share our values, their inability to compromise, their unwillingness to take on board evidence and their refusal to accept that politics inevitably involves trade-offs, means they cannot deliver policy outcomes to reflect these values.

“The experience with the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is an example, but it is only one.”

Members of the NSW left are certain to back the motion by the NSW Labor general-secretary, Sam Dastyari, so long as the assault does not mean a policy shift to the right.

“My only concern is someone using this to go further to the right,” said the NSW Senator Doug Cameron. “I don’t support that but I do have real criticism of the Greens. It’s all care and no responsibility for those guys.”

Left convener Stephen Jones concurs.

There is significant anger within Labor that the government has suffered politically because of its alliance with the Greens while the minor party has not helped in return. For example, it refused to help Labor with asylum seeker policy.

The party’s refusal two weeks ago to allow offshore processing, even on an interim basis, while a more lasting solution could be pursued was especially irksome to the ALP Left, which has had to bend its own principles to accommodate a policy change.

Senator Cameron said the Green’s adherence to the “purist approach” prevented an interim solution to the surge in asylum boats.

The ministers Martin Ferguson, Wayne Swan, Stephen Smith, Greg Combet and Bob Carr are among those who have attacked the Greens in recent days.

Ms Parke maintains that the NSW Right – the faction which led the ousting of Kevin Rudd and brought spin-driven politics to Canberra – is the real villain.

“The Mark Arbib/Karl Bitar model of doing business is what caused our problems,” she said.

“Where Labor has suffered in the polls is when it has equivocated on its principles. I’ve got no interest in taking advice from the NSW Right.”

Labor tends to automatically preference the Greens first but the Greens do not always respond in kind, at both a state and federal level.

Labor now reasons that the Greens need Labor’s preferences more than it needs theirs and Mr Dastyari’s motion, if adopted, will give him and other party officials greater power when negotiating preferences.

The Greens have nine senators, three of whom will be up for re-election at the next ballot. At least two will struggle to be returned without Labor support, raising the possibility of the Coalition or independents having the balance of power.

The Greens have warned that Mr Abbott could then easily revoke the carbon and mining taxes and bring back WorkChoices.

Many in Labor see the government’s climate change woes linked to the alliance partner and are angry at intransigence by the Greens on such policies as asylum seekers. They refuse to allow offshore processing, leaving Labor powerless to act.

Some in Labor suspect the assault is to prepare the ground for a return of Kevin Rudd, who would demand support from the Greens to soften the carbon tax by moving quickly to a floating price.

Mr Dastyari said his motion would not lead to a policy shift to the right but was more about Labor taking back ownership of progressive issues.

“Its not about abandoning that space,” Mr Dastyari said of the Left. “You can only do this in conjunction with winning over those voters.”

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The wife of the man accused of killing five members of the Lin family in northern Sydney gave inconsistent statements to police and later refused to formally put her name to them, a Sydney court has heard.
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Kathy Lin is considered by police to be a key witness in relation to the crime, in which her husband, Robert Xie, 48, allegedly strangled and beat five members of her family to death in their North Epping home in July 2009.

The victims included Ms Lin’s brother Min “Norman” Lin, sister-in-law Yun Li “Lily” Lin, their two young sons and the boy’s aunt, Yun Bin “Irene” Lin.

Police allege that Mr Xie was motivated by a deep-seated resentment toward his wife’s family. They want to call Ms Lin as a witness in his upcoming committal hearing.

But she continues to support her husband and is opposing the subpoena ordering her to testify.

In a hearing to decide this question in Central Local Court today, Crown prosecutor Kara Shead said that there were inconsistencies between the two interviews Ms Lin had done with police, and a statement she made to the NSW Crime Commission.

“The Crown will make submissions that there are differences in the interviews together with the crime commission transcript,” Ms Shead said.

The court also heard that, having done the interviews with police, Ms Lin later refused to attend the police station to formally sign the transcripts.

This refusal, along with the inconsistencies in the interviews, would be a key element of the prosecution argument as to why she should be ordered to give evidence at the August 20 committal.

The hearing before magistrate John Andrews continues.

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