Tag Archives: Investigation

Four Corners’ greyhound industry investigation wins Gold Walkley

Posted December 03, 2015 23:57:05

A Four Corners investigation that uncovered animal mistreatment in the greyhound racing sector has won the coveted Gold Walkley Award.

ABC journalists have taken out many categories at the Walkley Awards for excellence in journalism in Melbourne on Thursday night, with Fairfax and News Corporation journalists and reports also recognised.

Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Sam Clark and Max Murch also won the investigative journalism award for their 4 Corners report on the greyhound market.

The Walkley Awards judges said the Generating a Killing report exposed the greyhound racing industry’s “ugly secret”.

“It took bravery, tenacity and months of arranging in 3 states to make a jaw-dropping report that has shaken not just the greyhound code but the whole racing business,” the judges mentioned.

Huw Parkinson won the multimedia storytelling award for his Insiders video mash-ups in which he inserted Australian politicians into well-liked films and television applications.

Star Wars FixedVideo: Star Wars Fixed (Insiders)

The ABC National Reporting Team’s Mark Willacy and Mark Solomons won the Walkley for news and current affairs in the radio/audio journalism category for their Hopeland report for PM.

Radio National’s Hagar Cohen won the award for documentary, function, podcast or particular with her Left in Harm’s Way report for Background Briefing.

The 7-Eleven: The Value of Comfort report, which was the result of a joint investigation in between Four Corners, ABC Television and Fairfax Media, won Klaus Toft, Adele Ferguson and Sarah Danckhert the Walkley in the company category.

The report was recognised as a “complex undertaking involving leaked documents, whistle blowers and surveillance”.

Louie Eroglu won the camerawork award for his vision in The Killing Season — the product of filming more than nine months — and The Great Cricket Coup.

He was praised by judges for his “sharp-eyed lighting and camerawork”.

Judges awarded 7.30 reporters Matt Brown, Suzanne Dredge and Matthew Marsic the day-to-day existing affairs award for tv/audio-visual journalism for their Enslaved by Aussie Jihadis report.

The Walkley Awards celebrated its 60th anniversary right after becoming established in 1956 by Sir William Gaston — the founder of Ampol Petroleum.

The complete list of winners can be viewed at The Walkley Foundation website.

Topics: media, sector, data-and-communication, print-media, rural-media, australia

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Fish kill investigation concentrate moves to water quality

Posted December 03, 2015 17:58:19

Scientists investigating the deaths of more than 1,000 fish at Cockburn Sound, south of Perth, say early tests recommend environmental variables are most likely to blame.

The dead fish initial washed up in late November.

This week there have been more reports of big numbers of dead blowfish and snapper near the Garden Island Causeway and Point Peron boat ramp.

Division of Fisheries researcher Dr Michael Snow said disease had been ruled out as a feasible cause.

Tests on the fish for much more than 120 chemical substances had been nonetheless underway, but had so far not made any outcomes.

Dr Snow said the concentrate of the investigation was now on water top quality.

“Developing evidence is indicating that it could effectively be a natural event,” he said.

“Algal blooms, anything leading to dissolved oxygen, or it could be an boost in turbidity.

“Something that influences the gills of the fish as it swims via the water.”

Dr Snow stated he was certain it was safe to swim in the location and also protected to eat fish caught in the impacted waters.

Regional fishermen are keen to get a definitive answer about what caused the deaths and say they are concerned about the extended-term implications on general fish stocks.

Justin Smith from the Mangles Bay Fishing Club mentioned the deaths had occurred in the middle of the pink snapper breeding season.

“It couldn’t have occurred at a worse time,” Mr Smith stated.

“What occurs in our sound right here affects the whole coast because the snapper migrate to different components of the coast.

“We just want to get to the bottom of it, really.”

West Australia’s Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said typical monitoring was needed to ensure events of this variety did not take place once more.

The Government-funded Cockburn Sound Management Council had supplied that monitoring function until it was closed two years ago.

Mr McGowan said the Government required to take duty for the fish deaths.

“If there was typical, ongoing monitoring of the sound as was the case for the duration of the Labor years, then maybe we would have recognized what was taking place and we would have seen it coming,” Mr McGowan stated.

Premier Colin Barnett said the deaths had been distressing but was confident scientists would decide the cause soon.

Subjects: environment, marine-biology, fish, rockingham-6168

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Investigation into downed AirAsia flight finds maintenance and crew error to blame

Posted December 01, 2015 19:17:01

An investigation into the downing of an AirAsia flight last year has found each upkeep and crew error to blame for the crash.

Flight Q78501 crashed into the Java Sea during a brief flight from Surabaya to Singapore in December 2014, killing all 162 on board.

Analysis of the plane’s black boxes has now been released by Indonesia’s Transport Safety Bureau, showing unresolved repetitive faults with the aircraft.

A fault with the rudder manage technique was a significant element in the plane’s downing, Indonesian investigators said.

Repeated troubles with the system led to the pilots disengaging the autopilot in stormy climate in a bid to fix the scenario, and then losing control of the Airbus A320-200, Indonesia’s official National Transportation Security Committee said.

A member of Indonesia's search and rescue team walks past a piece of the plane wreckage. Photo: A member of Indonesia’s search and rescue group walks past a piece of the plane wreckage. (AFP: Yudha Manx, file photo)

In their final report into the crash, investigators said the soldering on the Rudder Travel Limiter system — which assists manage the rudder’s movement — was cracked, leading it to send repeated warning messages to the pilots.

When they received the fourth warning, the pilots pulled circuit-breakers on element of the aircraft’s control program in a bid to reset the method.

This turned off the autopilot, and the plane then started to roll, the report stated.

“Subsequent flight crew action resulted in inability to manage the aircraft,” the report stated.

The plane went into a “prolonged stall situation that was beyond the capability of the crew to recover”, it said.

It added the flight information recorders did not indicate the weather had impacted the aircraft.

The report also said the AirAsia plane had the very same difficulty with its rudder system 23 instances in the 12 months before the December crash.


Topics: air-and-space, law-crime-and-justice, death, indonesia, asia

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Investigation shows how outsourcing can turn to illegal behaviour: CCC

Posted November 27, 2015 21:46:48

Counsel assisting Alan Troy. Photo: Counsel assisting Alan Troy said public authorities are potentially vulnerable when functions are outsourced. (ABC News)

An investigation into the Division of Transport has shown how outsourcing can lead to illegal behaviour, the West Australian Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) has been told.

The watchdog has been told 3 folks have engaged in serious misconduct.

The CCC has completed public hearings as component of its inquiry into department contractors taking cash in return for passes on driving tests, and certifications on autos.

It is alleged men and women took money in return for passes for driving tests that had been not carried out, and certifications for cars not inspected or even seen.

Counsel assisting Alan Troy told the commission that when a government department outsources functions, unscrupulous private contractors can take advantage.

“They can kind mutually advantageous relationships with far more sinister folks,” he said.

“They can induce other public officers into neglecting their ethical responsibilities.”

In current years, the Department of Transport focused on offering greater access to practical driving assessments and car licensing examinations.

This was accomplished by contracting such public solutions to private individuals.

Mr Troy mentioned this came at a expense.

“Whilst greed and unethical behaviour played a role, this investigation illustrates how public authorities are potentially vulnerable when functions are outsourced to private providers,” he mentioned.

“Government departments should be alive to the possibility of corrupt behaviour and offer sufficient resources and capacity for the required audit and governance functions.

“The mere transfer of a function of government to a private contractor need to not result in a weakening of authority and manage.

“It is much more difficult for government departments to promote a corruption resistant culture in an outsourcing model.”

Mr Troy mentioned “significant misconduct has been established, it is submitted, as against Briotti, Berardis and Pintabona”.

Gregory Briotti 1 of the watchdog’s targets

1 of the CCC’s targets was Gregory Briotti.

In 2008, Mr Briotti was a councillor in the Shire of Koorda, 235 kilometres east of Perth when he became a sensible driving assessor.

Mr Troy told the commission that “over a number of years he obtained money payments from different persons in exchange for not subjecting those persons to a practical driving assessment”.

Mr Troy said Mr Briotti “concocted paperwork” to claim that folks had passed a test at Koorda or Dowerin, when all they had done was turn up at his property in Helena Valley and spend cash.

Mr Briotti would fill out an assessment sheet, creating it appear like they had passed a test.

Although it was not known when the practice started, Mr Troy said the CCC had information that indicated he was operating outdoors his contract as far back as 2010.

At a single time, the quantity of metro customers who were getting Practical Driving Assessments conducted in Koorda went up 467 per cent.

Consumers were referred to him, which includes people who were members of or associated with the Rebels bikie gang.

Mr Troy stated that by his own proof, Mr Briotti had received “bribes of some $ 40,000 to $ 50,000”, but it was “probably to be far a lot more”.

Mr Briotti was suspended in Could 2015 when, Mr Troy stated, he “apparently began to comprehend that he should not be undertaking it”.

Berardis had 94pc pass price

Alfonso Berardis was a car examiner operating from Favazzos Engineering and Mechanical Workshop in Spearwood.

Mr Troy told the commission that Mr Berardis “seemingly” examined more than 7,000 vehicles for the department from August 2011 till September 2014 when the contract was terminated.

Mr Troy said there was “an exceptionally higher pass price, on initial inspection, for automobiles examined by Berardis, namely 94 per cent”.

He stated Mr Berardis’s explanation that he allowed consumers with defective vehicles up to four weeks to return with the defects fixed, with out incurring further charge, “was not convincing”.

In the course of 3 months of surveillance of Favazzos in 2014, dealers and repairers including Cannington Auto Residence, Perth Motor Sports, Total Nissan, XPlorer Floats, the Pollard Transport Group, Bucciarelli Automotive, Basilio Autos, Andrew Kemp and Croc Energy motor cycles “did not present autos for inspection at all”.

Mr Troy mentioned the specifics have been emailed, telephoned or delivered to Mr Berdaris and the automobile was not even sighted.

The surveillance showed that of 567 automobiles passed by Favazzos in that period, just more than half have been not inspected.

Mr Berardis had repeatedly denied that he had any such arrangement in location, with the exception of a once only occasion.

He claimed he had “done ‘offsite inspections’ or that he had noticed the relevant car ‘previously’ or that he couldn’t recall the particular vehicle,” Mr Troy mentioned.

Mr Troy told the commission Mr Berardis was “evasive in providing evidence”.

He said Mr Berardis “demonstrated no issues about passing vehicles, without having inspection, for people he had not met”.

Pintabona ‘agreed to pass cars he had not seen’

Troy Pintabona became an authorised vehicle examiner in April 2013, to inspect cars at Crypton Autos.

Mr Troy told the CCC there were occasions when Mr Pintabona examined a vehicle and received a sum of money higher than the prescribed charge.

Mr Troy also detailed a series of instances for the duration of which Mr Pintabona agreed to pass autos he had not seen, or simply must not have been certified because necessary repairs had not been carried out.

This incorporated taxis, Mr Troy stated.

He also told the commission that Mr Pintabona sometimes examined vehicles off the premises of Crypton Autos, contrary to his agreement with the department.

Division considers ‘dob-in’ line

Counsel for the Department of Transport Darren Renton told the CCC the department welcomed the opportunity to operate co-operatively with it on the concern.

Mr Renton said that “without having recourse to the commission’s assistance”, a lot of what had come to light would not have completed so.

But Mr Renton stated the misconduct risks identified existed “irrespective of whether the solutions are supplied internally or externally”.

He mentioned that even though “good systems can be produced far better”, the department did not have access to an unlimited spending budget or sources.

The division had, nevertheless, taken steps to improve approaches to detect misconduct and irregularities.

Among the modifications have been new computer software, unannounced inspections and audits to all areas, and a commitment to higher education of contractors.

There would be a assessment of driving assessments, a evaluation of systems to ensure automobile defects have been fixed, much more rigorous checking of invoices, and far better reporting to management.

There would also be enhanced “meet and greet” procedures to make certain an “examinee” truly turned up for an examination.

An ongoing criminal history check of contractual partners was getting proposed and Mr Renton said a “dob-in” line was getting regarded as so that contractors could inform the division of stress from “external elements”.

Public safety an situation

Commissioner John McKechnie mentioned they have been the 1st CCC public hearings for some time.

He stated the examinations had been essential simply because of the element of public safety.

The Commissioner mentioned there was a material threat to public safety if unqualified drivers or uninspected automobiles were permitted on the roads.

The public hearings formed only a portion of an investigation which has occurred over nearly two years.

Subjects: courts-and-trials, fraud-and-corporate-crime, wa, helena-valley-6056, spearwood-6163, koorda-6475

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