Archive for: ‘January 2019’

Golden staph declines in Australian public hospitals.

10/01/2019 Posted by admin

Unpleasant experience: Jade Gibson, 11, of Floraville, became ill and achy and fainted after a tooth extraction and was soon diagnosed with golden staph. Picture: Marina Neil.GETTING two baby teeth removed in November ended up being more than just a pain in the jaw for 11 year old Jade Gibson.
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The Floraville resident was recently diagnosed with a staphylococcus aureus infection –otherwise known as golden staph.

While it was impossible to identifyexactly when andhow it happened, Jade’s family believe the infection got inthroughthe wounds from her toothextractions.

“It’s common to find staph in your nose or on your skin …I’ve done a bit of reading on it since,” Mrs Gibsonsaid.

“But it’s in there for good now.”

Jade had gone to bed with “a bit of a headache” after getting two teeth removed.

“I gave her some Panadol and she went to school the next day,” Mrs Gibson said.

“But I had a call from the school saying that Jade was really distressed about a sore shoulder.

“When I picked her up, I’d never seen her so upset. She was in a lot of pain, and she was complaining about a pain in her leg as well.”

Jade ended up in John Hunter Children’s Hospital, where she was diagnosed with golden staph.

An x-ray revealed the infection had “attached” to the growth plate in her shoulder.

“I had to have canulas in my arm, with my arm straight the whole time, and I had to stay in hospital for five nights and six days,” Jade said.

“I had one canula in for a long time and one night I cried because it hurt that much.”

Jade has since been on strong antibiotics and continues to be monitored.

While Jade’s case was likely to be more of a community-based infection, theAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare has just releasedits latest report into the incidenceof healthcare-associatedgolden staph in hospitals across the country.

The report showsrates ofstaphylococcus aureus infections in Australianpublic hospitals had decreased by 17 per cent from 2011-to-2012 to 1,440 cases in 2015-to-2016.

Hunter New England Health infectious diseases physicianDr John Ferguson saidthe Calvary Mater Hospitalhad shown the biggest improvement in the region, with rates of staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections improving from 2.8 per 10,000 bed days, to 1.3. The John Hunter Hospital also had a rate of 1.3.

“Our major trouble has always been the Calvary Mater, but they’ve really gotten on top of it now this year,” Dr Fergusonsaid.

He said better hand hygiene across all Hunter siteshad contributed to the decline in staph rates, with a staff compliance of 87 per cent.

The Australian public hospital report showed handhygiene compliance in public hospitals increased from 71.8 per centto 83.6.

Coalfields residents urged to stay vigilant following spate of deliberately-lit bushfires

10/01/2019 Posted by admin

DELIBERATE: The Abermain bushfire, which tore through 800 hectares last month, was the work of an arsonist. Picture: Marina Neil.RESIDENTS in known arsonist hot zones throughout the Lower Hunter have been urged to keep an eye on suspicious activity amid concerns that Friday’s forecasted heatwave could become a day too good for firebugs to refuse.
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Authorities are convinced it was “more than just mere coincidence” that bushfires have erupted around the Coalfields towns surrounding Kurri Kurri during “perfect” bushfire weather including high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds.

There was a collective sigh of relief for investigators on Thursday when four fire experts from the RuralFire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW were able to confirm that the blaze which ripped through about 20 hectares near Luxford during the heatwave conditions on Wednesdaywas sparked by an earthing wire from a power pole in bushland.

But as firefighters got the upper hand on the Loxford fire on Wednesday night, some crews were forced to rush to the Hunter Economic Zone to put out a blaze believed to have started from fireworks.

It follows a series of blazes, including last month’s 800-hectare inferno which threatened properties around Abermain and Neath, being confirmed as deliberately-lit.

It is understood Central Hunter police have identified suspects but have remained unable to lay charges because of a lack of evidence.

And no one has ever beencharged with the spate of fires around Kurri Kurri five years ago, where an arsonist is believed to have sparked at least 60 blazes in one summer including several which threatened properties.

“We always ask residents to stay vigilant,’’ RFS Lower Hunter zone manager Superintendent Jayson McKellar said.

“And with the heatwave conditions predicted, we urge people that if they see something they think is suspicious, that just doesn’t look right, then contact authorities.’’

A total fire ban has been declared across parts of NSW, including the Greater Hunter area, on Friday with temperatures predicted to soar into the 40-degree celsius range.

Central Hunter crime manager Detective Inspector George Radmore said rural crime investigators were continuingto look into the spate of deliberately-lit blazes, including the massive Abermain fire.

“These fires do not light themselves,’’ Detective Inspector Radmore said.

Paying for the right to celebrate Anzac Day

10/01/2019 Posted by admin

Thousands of Australian servicemen and women gave their lives defending, among other things, the democratic right to assembly and free speech.
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Their sacrifice is commemorated in towns and citiesevery Anzac Day when generations of Australians gather to remember and honour the deeds of our Diggers.

It is hard to believe that a day as sacred and significant as Anzac Day could be threatened because RSL sub-branches cannot afford the cost of providing security for their marches.

But as much as we may shudder at the thought of an Anzac Day march becoming a terrorist target, the reality is that proud symbols of freedomhave become potentialtargets for those seeking to destroy our democracy.

Melbourne police foiled a plot in which a man planned to behead a police officer during a 2015 Anzac march.

The Islamic State terrorist attack on Bastille Day celebrations in France last year served as another soberreminder of the potential threat, even if it is small, on similar gatherings in Australia.

It is logical that extra security precautions may be needed in the present climate, particularly in large city gatherings, but how much is necessary and who should pay?

Four Blue MountainsRSL sub-branches have already indicated they are unable to pay the thousands of dollars required to install additional security barriers along their march routes this year.

In the Hunter, sub-branches around Maitland are calculating how much it may cost to protectAnzac Day services. They readily acknowledge that withoutassistance these costs may be prohibitive.

In Newcastle, the city council will continue to underwrite the cost of traffic management and security measures. This will allow the city’s mainservices to continue as they have in past years.

As much as the idea of providing extra security to protect Anzac Day services will be an affront to many Australians, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Hopefully any security measures that are needed will not take away from the tradition and spirit of the services. All levels of government can playa role in sharing the costs of providing the necessarysecurity.

One thing is certain though, RSL sub-branches should not be required to pay to hold Anzac Day services.

Issue: 38,439

OpinionBe brave and speak up for your rights

10/01/2019 Posted by admin

TIME TO BE BRAVE: Human rights advocate for people with disability – and the author of this article – Leigh Creighton.Human rights violations happen only in far away, mostly war-torn countries right?
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In Australia, our lucky, war-free country, virtually every person with a disability experiences rights violations at some point in their life. For many, these violations occur not just once, but daily.

I know what it’s like. Born with Down syndrome, I’m a passionate human rights advocate for people with disability. I have spent my days helping people with a disability know their rights and speak up for them as a peer pentor for House with No Steps since 2013. I also serve as a member of Community Disability Alliance Hunter and the Disability Council NSW, an official advisory board to the state government.

I know – only too well – how common human rights violations are for people with disability. Multiple forms of rights violations occur every day, in every state and territory, in aspects of life most people take for granted, such as housing, employment, and access to public transport. How would you feel if you struggled to find and keep a job, due to discrimination? Or if you weren’t free to choose where to live, and who you lived with?

Why are people with disability so much more likely to experience rights violations? For one thing, often they can’t be involved in decisions in their own life – from what they have for breakfast, to what they wear, to which doctor they see. This means they’re especially vulnerable to rights violations and abuse. Research has shown that more than a quarter of people who report sexual assault have a disability.

The fact that human rights violations still remain common in a lucky country like Australia is a tragedy. Australia ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2008. Our country even has a Disability Discrimination Act, which is meant to protect people and promote equal rights, equal opportunity, and equal access for people with disabilities.

Despite these protections, in 2015 the United Nations Human Rights Council raised serious concerns about human rights violations against Australians with disability, in a periodic review of human rights in our country. As part of this review, local not-for-profits flagged a range of issues -including forced sterilisations, violence against people with a disability, and the indefinite detention of people with disability in the criminal justice system, as urgent concerns that need addressing.

It’s especially upsetting that, often people with a disability may not even realise that their rights are being violated, as they don’t know their rights. Worse,many do know but are too afraid to speak up, fearing they will get into trouble.

It’s time this changed. The tragedy of human rights violations in Australia must not be ignored. We need to be brave and speak up about the situations of abuse and neglect affecting some people with disability.

We need to help people with disability to know their rights, and give them the support they need to speak up, and make a complaint if they feel their rights are not being respected. People who can’t speak up, for whatever reason, can get someone to do so for them but unfortunately help isn’t always nearby. This is why we really need more advocates and self-advocacy groups, to make sure help is available for everyone.

Everyone has the right to speak up, speak loud and clear, no matter what the issue is.

Leigh Creighton is a peer mentor forHouse with No Steps

Strike Force Raptor: Sawn-off firearm and ammunition found during search of Telarah home of Bandidos associate

10/01/2019 Posted by admin

CRACKDOWN: The Hunter-based Strike Force Raptor has charged an associate of the Bandidos bikie gang after allegedly locating a sawn-off rifle during a search of a Telarah property as part of the region bikie gang operation. A MANwith close ties to the Bandidos hasbeen charged over a stolen sawn-off rifle allegedly found during a search of a Telarah property by the Hunter’s anti-bikie squad.
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Police said officers had issued a 48-year-old man with a firearms prohibition orderon Thursday before a search of the property allegedly uncovered the loaded shortened rifle and more ammunition at the Brooks Street address.

The man was taken to Maitland police station where he was chargedwith possessing an unauthorized firearm, possessing an unregistered firearm, possessing a shortened firearm, possessing ammunition without licence or permit, not keeping a firearm safe storage, and possessing a stolen firearm.

Police will allege the firearm was stolen during a break-in in 2011.

Strike Force Raptor police will allege the man was a close associate with the Bandidos bikie gang.

It came as officers also searcheda Barnsleyhome belonging to the Telarah man’s son, who is also suspected of having links with the Bandidos.

Police allegedly seized a .45 Colt revolver, ammunition, a BB gun, a replica pistol, cannabis and steroids.

The son, 24, was arrested at the location and taken to Belmont police station, where he was charged with possessing an unregistered firearm-pistol, possessing a prohibited drug, and possessing ammunition without licence or permit.

The searches were the latest in almost 30 firearms prohibition orders planned to be handed to bikiesand associates as part of a Hunter-wide crackdown on outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Fairfax Media has revealed the Hunter-based squad had already seized at least 18 firearms from registered owners.

It also comes a day after the arrest of high-ranking Finks bikie Adam Luke Gould, who walked into Newcastle police station after being hunted by police investigating a wild brawl between the Finks and Nomads at Wallsend last month.

Mr Gould, 32, was charged with affray and using an offensive weapon after a baseball bat was allegedly used in the Thomas Street melee on December 9.

The brawl erupted after gang members coincidentally arrived at service stations across the road from one another.

At least one Nomads member, 26, needed treatment in John Hunter Hospital for his injuries.

Mr Gould, who was a high-ranking member of the Comanchero, had “patched over” to the Finks before becoming an office bearer with the gang’s Newcastle chapter.

In doing so, he had cut off a tattoo above his right eye whichhad read ACCA –Always Comanchero Comanchero Always.

Facial tattoos including “Fear None” remain across his cheeks.

Mr Gould was refused bail in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday on the charges.

He will also need to answer to an 18-monthgood behaviour bond he had received over his participation in a brawl in a Kurri Kurri hotel in 2015.

Police have also handed a court attendance notice to a second Finks member over the Wallsend brawl.

The Cessnock man will face a charge of being in custody of an offensive implement in a public place.

He will face court on February 23.

The Strike Force Raptor crackdown will continue across the Hunter for at least another six weeks.