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Feb 26, 2008

By Peter Mickelburough

February 26, 2008 02:50am


CHILDREN have been abused, battered and abandoned in childcare centres across Victoria.

A Herald Sun investigation found more than 53 children and babies have been mistreated or lost in three years.

Some were subjected to shocking and illegal punishments.

One carer picked babies up by one arm and dropped them on the ground to discipline them.

Toddlers at two centres had their mouths taped shut.

A five-year-old at one centre was put in a nappy and placed in a cot as a disciplinary measure.

The lives of five youngsters were put at risk by medication mix-ups.

And 25 children, as young as 17 months, roamed free from centres.

The revelations come as the State Government delays a critical review of staff levels.

Victoria has the worst ratio of qualified staff to children in the nation. Even so, the Brumby Government granted 134 exemptions to staff requirements last year.

Documents obtained by the Herald Sun reveal investigations into 45 incidents led to cautions against 24 centres from 2004-06 – but their names cannot be revealed.

The Government refuses to identify the centres, claiming it would be a breach of confidence and inhibit its capacity to collect such information in future.

The Herald Sun was given access to executive briefings on cautions after a four-month Freedom of Information battle and a demand for $1000 in charges.

Only four centres were prosecuted in the same period – all for allowing children to wander off.

'Some parents never told'

One carer said many incidents went unreported, despite mandatory reporting laws.

"Some parents are never even told of incidents involving their children," the carer said.

The documents show unreported incidents, including force feeding babies, were uncovered during other investigations.

A worker accused of smacking three children, pushing one off a swing, pinching another and pulling a child's hair, was allowed to continue to work under supervision because the claims could not be proved.

The worker who dropped babies on the ground and force fed them was sacked. Claims the same worker hit a baby with a laminated sheet could not be substantiated.

The documents also show:

A CRYING boy was found locked in a small cupboard when his father came to collect him.

A CHILD spent a night in hospital after being given 15 times the required amount of medication.

CHILDREN at one centre were left unattended in fenced-off areas.

STAFF at another centre were instructed not to comfort crying children.

'Need to be superhuman'

Childcare worker Bronwen Jefferson – whose daughter Miranda, 3, is in care – said parents had a right to expect their children to be properly cared for.

"You want to think when you drop your child off that they will be safe.

"But the ratio of childcare workers to children in Victoria is not adequate . . . you'd have to be superhuman to carry out that all day diligently."

Centres should have one qualified carer for every five infants up to two years old, and one carer for every 15 youngsters aged three to five.

"I hear from our members repeatedly that it's just too hard to look after that many children and they're completely burnt out," union boss Jess Walsh said.

"It's not just a matter of ratios, it's the other tasks, such as cleaning, that staff are required to do."

Staff are also in short supply, with the award wage for a qualified carer of three or more years' experience being $39,401.

The Government promised to review staff levels before current childcare regulations expired in May.

But just four days before Christmas, centres were told the rules would remain in place another year to allow for "further consultation".

Opposition children and early development spokeswoman Wendy Lovell said the Government has had eight years to review the rules.

Children and Early Development Minister Maxine Morand said Victoria had Australia's most robust on-the-spot inspections regime.

"There were more than 4000 on-the-spot inspections last year," Ms Morand said.

She said the Government planned to strengthen laws to let parents check safety records on line and to boost the power of inspectors and stiffen penalties.

Ms Morand said staffing exemptions were vital to keep some centres open.

"We will work hard to make sure Victoria gets its fair share of the fully funded 8000 new early childhood TAFE places promised by the new Rudd Government," she said.

'Afraid of bad publicity'

A Department source said there was a reluctance to prosecute centres because the bad publicity would place further strain on already over-stretched services.

"If the public heard what happened at some centres there would be a stampede to get kids out," the source said.

One of the four centres prosecuted was the ABC centre at Hoppers Crossing, where an autistic toddler with a fascination for cars was almost run over in busy Werribee Park Plaza car park after wandering unnoticed from care.

The boy was rescued by a motorist 25 minutes after he disappeared.

Police found a two-year-old playing in the middle of a busy street when he crossed rail tracks after walking from a centre at Trackside Sporting Centre in Hampton.

The centre, which was operating without a licence despite being told three years earlier that it needed to get one, has since closed.

A four-year-old who dodged cars to cross busy Bourke Rd after leaving Samantha's Child Care in Camberwell was found by police metres from his home.

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Posted: Feb 26, 2008 9:48am
Feb 22, 2008
Focus: Animal Welfare
Action Request: Write Letter
Location: Alaska, United States



If you got an email offering you a 57,692% return on your investment, you would hit delete, right? Report it as spam? Me too.

Well, when ConocoPhillips got that email from the Bush administration, they read it. You see, our government just auctioned off some land in Alaska for about $2.6 billion - land that sits on about 15 billion barrels of oil. Given that oil just cracked a hundred bucks a barrel, these companies could gross $1.5 trillion on their little Alaskan investment.

There's just one problem. You know the land that sits on the oil? About half the world's polar bear populations sits on top of it.

That's why thousands of us have sent the message to ConocoPhillips: "Don't drill for oil in polar bear habitat." And I'd like you to join us -- just click the link below to send your message.

While all the conservative pundits cry that ripping into pristine Alaskan wilderness is the only way to get out of our oil crisis, we are prepared with the facts.

Fact #1: Drilling this land in Alaska will not end our dependence on foreign oil. At 15 billion barrels, it represents a 24 month supply of our oil use - after two years, we're back to square one.

Fact #2: Even though it's our land, this deal doesn't even mean more domestic oil. Of the five major companies to win oil and gas development leases, only one - PhillipsConoco - is an American company.

Fact #3: Drilling this land will not lower prices at the pump. First, an entire infrastructure would need to be built to get at the oil - so it could be years before it's online. Second, with oil companies commanding some of the highest profits ever this past year, one questions the assumption that they'll lower prices out of the goodness of their hearts.

So we're tapping ConoocoPhillips to do the right thing. Wreaking havoc in half the world's polar bear habitat for short-term economic gain is shortsighted, and it's wrong. Please take a minute right now, and ask them to not drill in polar bear habitat.

And then, please, pass this along to your friends and family, and invite them to get involved.


Dan Stafford
Environmental Action Organizer

P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your family and friends.
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Posted: Feb 22, 2008 10:49am
Feb 22, 2008

I know this is quite an old journal, but i am not sure if many of you have read this. So i thought it is appropriate for me to post this and let you people know what so called Humane people think about Animal Rights Activists. you can also read several related articles about their views on Animal Rights!


Source :

Animal "Rights" Versus Human Rights
By Edwin A. Locke (Providence Journal, June 8, 2005)

Human life versus animal life. This fundamental conflict of values, which was dramatized a few years ago when AIDS victims marched in support of research on animals, is still raging. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has just launched a campaign against Covance, Inc., a biomedical research lab in Vienna, Va., that uses animals for drug testing.

It is an indisputable fact that many thousands of lives are saved by medical research on animals. But animal rightists don't care. PETA makes this frighteningly clear: "Even if animal tests produced a cure for AIDS, we'd be against it." Such is the "humanitarianism" of animal rights activists.

How do these advocates try to justify their position? As someone who has debated them for years on college campuses and in the media, I know firsthand that the whole movement is based on a single--invalid--syllogism, namely: men feel pain and have rights; animals feel pain; therefore, animals have rights. This argument is entirely specious, because man's rights do not depend on his ability to feel pain; they depend on his ability to think.

Rights are ethical principles applicable only to beings capable of reason and choice. There is only one fundamental right: a man's right to his own life. To live successfully, man must use his rational faculty--which is exercised by choice. The choice to think can be negated only by the use of physical force. To survive and prosper, men must be free from the initiation of force by other men--free to use their own minds to guide their choices and actions. Rights protect men against the use of force by other men.

None of this is relevant to animals. Animals do not survive by rational thought (nor by sign languages allegedly taught to them by psychologists). They survive through sensory-perceptual association and the pleasure-pain mechanism. They cannot reason. They cannot learn a code of ethics. A lion is not immoral for eating a zebra (or even for attacking a man). Predation is their natural and only means of survival; they do not have the capacity to learn any other.

Only man has the power, guided by a code of morality, to deal with other members of his own species by voluntary means: rational persuasion. To claim that man's use of animals is immoral is to claim that we have no right to our own lives and that we must sacrifice our welfare for the sake of creatures who cannot think or grasp the concept of morality. It is to elevate amoral animals to a moral level higher than ourselves--a flagrant contradiction. Of course, it is proper not to cause animals gratuitous suffering. But this is not the same as inventing a bill of rights for them--at our expense.

The granting of fictional rights to animals is not an innocent error. We do not have to speculate about the motive, because the animal "rights" advocates have revealed it quite openly. Again from PETA: "Mankind is the biggest blight on the face of the earth"; "I do not believe that a human being has a right to life"; "I would rather have medical experiments done on our children than on animals." These self-styled lovers of life do not love animals; rather, they hate men.

The animal "rights" terrorists are like the Unabomber and Oklahoma City bombers. They are not idealists seeking justice, but nihilists seeking destruction for the sake of destruction. They do not want to uplift mankind, to help him progress from the swamp to the stars. They want mankind's destruction; they want him not just to stay in the swamp but to disappear into its muck.

There is only one proper answer to such people: to declare proudly and defiantly, in the name of morality, a man's right to his life, his liberty, and the pursuit of his own happiness.

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Posted: Feb 22, 2008 9:39am
Feb 22, 2008
Serious Update!!

This is pretty simple... Please tell ten friends to tell ten more today!

The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of getting free food donated every day to abused and neglected animals.

It takes less than a minute (How about 20 seconds) to go to their site and click on the purple box 'fund food for animals' for free. This doesn't cost you a thing.
Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

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Posted: Feb 22, 2008 6:54am


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Lashitha S.
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