Archive for January 31st, 2008

Storm and the stolen generation

Good evening Stuart,

It sounds like the storm really hit you up there in Sydney. We were supposed to have a lot of storm activity down here in Canberra but (in my part of town at least) it was just a light show and a bit of rain. Probably a good thing because I'm doing a good impersonation of a bear with a headache at the moment…the excess noise of more thunder and hail would not have been welcome.

Also, I can see the floodgates just starting to leak with the apology to the stolen generation. This call to teach the history of the stolen generation in schools is a tricky one, because which version of the story are we talking about…the "nasty white people stole children" version that I was taught in primary school, or the factual "aboriginal children were removed because the government thought it was a good idea, and the debate has been raging ever since" version. Undoubtedly the "history" will ignore the non-aboriginal children who were "stolen".

I clearly remember the day in primary school where we had to write down our thoughts on apologising to the stolen generation, I wrote my opinion that we shouldn't apologise, and was forced to cross it out and write something about how important it is to apologise. I have no problem with the story of the stolen generation being taught in schools, it is after all an important part of our history, but it should be taught accurately, not in the biased way it was taught when I was in primary school.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

4 comments January 31st, 2008 at 09:30pm

Storms and Satellites don’t mix

There’s a large storm making its way through Sydney at the moment, and another storm near Canberra and expected to hit within the next hour or so.

Both 2CC’s feed from 2UE, and the 2KY feed to their Canberra repeater are having issues this evening as a result of the storms…2KY’s Canberra repeater doesn’t have an emergency tape either.

Incidentally the Bureau Of Meterology is warning of large hailstones, very heavy rainfall, flash flooding and damaging winds in Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney, Wollongong, Nowra, Batemans Bay, Orange, Canberra, Goulburn, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Cobar and Bourke.

Update 7:25pm: Both stations are back on the air and have been broadcasting without issues for the last little while…the storms are still a concern though. End Update

Samuel

January 31st, 2008 at 07:16pm

ACT Health are incompetent

Originally posted 30/Jan/2008
Hi Mike,

I've been on the fence over this issue with the male sex worker and ACT health not identifying his medical condition…I've been leaning towards your argument that ACT Health should have informed the public, but today's revelation that he may have infected 250 people with HIV makes me agree with you completely.

This is a disgrace, those 250 people, if they're infected, could have infected hundreds more people by now, and those people could have infected others and so on…this all should have been announced a month ago when ACT health were first informed.

I can't see find any reference to the court case about this being over, so I'd be interested to hear how this public announcement fits in with Katy Gallagher's statements to you that her legal advice was that she couldn't say anything. If you try to talk to her tomorrow, I'm willing to bet that she'll be unavailable until three minutes to the hour.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart

For your reference, here's the story James Goodwin files for 2GB's livenews.com.au this afternoon:

From http://livenews.com.au/Articles/2008/01/30/Sex_worker_may_have_infected_250_with_HIV

Sex worker may have infected 250 with HIV

James Goodwin & AAP

1 hour 54 minutes ago.

Authorities in Canberra are desperately trying to contact hundreds of people who may have been infected with the AIDS virus by a male sex worker.

Hector Scott, 41, has been charged with knowingly infecting someone with a sexually transmitted disease and failing to register as a sex worker.

ACT Chief Health Officer Charles Guest confirmed on Wednesday the man had Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV.

"It is a very unusual step to take to mention the diagnosis of this kind in the interest of privacy," Dr Guest told reporters in Canberra.

"But we will be calling people this afternoon and discussing this diagnosis with them so we know that it will be in the public domain today so therefore I'll share that with you."

The health department have begun call around 250 people who Scott has telephoned in recent weeks to warn them they could be at risk.

It is believed a number of the man's clients could have been from interstate.

During 2007 he advertised himself as a prostitute in Canberra media using the names Adam and Josh.

The health department first became aware of Scott's actions on December 20 last year when notified by another jurisdiction. The department alerted police within 24 hours.

But Scott was not issued with a public health order – to stop working as a prostitute – until January 4, when he was arrested.

Anyone who has been in sexual contact with Scott is urged to see a doctor.

Update 31/Jan/2008: Mike Jeffreys interviewed Dr. Guest this morning, they went around in circles for a little while with Dr. Guest insisting that the government’s approach to this issue has not changed. Dr. Guest terminated the interview when he declared that Mike Jeffreys’s summary of the situation was incorrect (despite being almost identical to the story that Dr. Guest had told Mike a few moments prior) and that he didn’t have time to explain the investigation to Mike. Dr. Charles Guest hung up on Mike Jeffreys.

I think the PR people will be having a word with Dr. Guest today, as he was doing fairly well until he decided to hang up…he was holding his ground, and then he threw his credibility out the window by making it sound like an enquiry from the media about an important public issue was too hard and too time consuming. Dr. Guest did himself and the government no favours by hanging up…this is why Katy Gallagher should have been the person to spout non-answers, she could have read the same script, and just re-used her (possibly true) “I have to go and look after the children” line when it all became too much to deal with.

I will say this in Dr. Guest’s defence though, it should not be left to him to deal with the media, it should be the minister facing the media, not a public servant. Making Dr. Guest hold a press conference yesterday was a disgraceful act, and Ms. Gallagher should either be ashamed or discipline the person responsible.

End Update

1 comment January 31st, 2008 at 08:00am


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