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Live.On 7.30 Queensland - toughing it out but Queensland's new criminal stand? These laws, I are so provocative and arguably so offensive that this is the sort of case that might tempt existing doctrine.Drought and
growing desperation in the State's west.I would like us to fall to our knees and pray for rain.Queensland opera enlists the army.You have to watch your elbows. wouldn't be out like that. They are in like this because it is close quarter battle.

Hello, welcome to 7.30 Queensland. I'm Matt Wordsworth. It has been an extraordinary time, Government has declared war outlaw bikie gangs and introduced new powers never before seen in this country. The police service has responded by expanding its bikie unit, creating Taskforce Maxima. They have carried out a series of arrests and raids across the State. One of those leading the superintendent Mick Niland. He joined me in the studio earlier today.Superintendent Niland, the Commissioner is being to grant high powered weapons to ordinary street police officers. Do you think that is necessary? We have a use of force model and where appropriate for the situation, that our
that model is applied. I know that our Commissioner is speaking with the police unions in relation to a review of that use of force. That is where that is at the moment.What kind of resources do you have at your disposal in Maxima to target the bikies? We have in excess of 100 staff with Taskforce Maxima.Is that plain clothes or detectives? We have four units within Taskforce Maxima and part of that is plain clothes police, uniform police, traffic police, investigative accountants, a vast array of resources attached to Taskforce Maxima.How important are those accountants proceeds of crime could net a lot of money out of this couldn't you? We have set up a criminal economy unit relation to unexplained wealth and proceeds in relation criminal motorcycle gangs.How long will this last - that you will have this heightened level of activity? We have seen police officers tattoo parlours etc.? We scale up and down as Where the threat to the community is, is where we will put our resources.We are already seeing bikies handing in their colours for instance, are you worried that this will force the bikie problem underground? We will monitor it as we go along. These are very early days. We are aware colours have been handed in. The CMG club houses are closing down. It is a case of monitoring and intelligence in what is happening out there.Some criminologists believe that it won't be an overt crime now it will be more covert operations by people who are still going to be criminals whether they're colours or not.We will employ investigative strategies appropriate to the criminal organisations we are investigating.Are the gangs setting up interstate? That is a watching brief. Our intelligence says that they are unhappy in Queensland and it is a watching brief to see what occurs. We are working very closely with NSW jurisdiction. We are also working closely with Federal authorities.We
heard recently that the Bandidos were heading over to Perth to patch over rock machine gang, is that correct that they are Queensland Bandidos going over? There is intelligence in relation to that activity and that is where it is at the moment. It is intelligence.We obviously know that there has been 26 motorcycle gangs that have been declared criminal organisations
but in the lead-up for the past year, there has been this brought in the Supreme Court to outlaw the Finks started last week. What has happened with that? That is before the Supreme Court again next week for case is going to continue? At this stage continue.So there is no appetite for the Crown to drop that because you have this moment, all I can really tell you is it is for mention next week in the Supreme Court.How was the list of outlaw motorcycle gangs drawn up? I can't expose our methodologies
in relation to how that was drawn up but suffice to say it was intelligence-driven.There does appear to be some mistakes that have been admitted to by various authorities. How do we know that it is all accurate? We will continue to rectify any mistakes that have made in relation to the prescribed premises. I am aware of two.Apparently there has been a directive to enforce the law or you face the sack in the police service. Is that accurate? I have heard of that through the media in relation to enforcing the law or the sack. This is a great challenge for us. If anything, I think it will bring the police service together and to face that challenge. It is a mighty challenge and I Queensland Police service is right up to it.Was that accurate that report? I can't comment on that Niland
on the media.Superintendent Niland thanks for coming in. We much.The strength of the laws is simply breath taking and everyone, it seems, from the Premier down is expecting a High Court challenge.To discuss the prospect of success or failure, I was joined in the studio earlier by constitutional law expert Black.Do you think the High Court will find any of this new legislation un I think if the High Court stands by its existing precedent and its existing doctrine most of the reforms are likely to be upheld as constitutional. What we are possibly going to see is an argument about whether the High Court should extend some of their existing precedents and doctrines but they can strike down some of the particularly offensive provisions.Let's go through the new Acts. You have the vicious lawless association disestablishment act. It is an extraordinary name.15-25 years extra sentences for bikies. It takes - it declares the bikie gang an outlaw gang and it takes that job away from the court and gives it to Is
Attorney-General in that case. Is that offensive to the constitution? It is not - what is put in place in that Act probably won't be considered offensive to the constitution.Declaring 26 gangs as criminal is not Probably
offensive to the constitution? Probably not as it is currently applied. It is offensive full stop, I should give that editorial opinion. But what we find with that particular legislation is that it still does give a bit of judicial discretion to the court in terms of through the criteria as to what constitutes a vicious lawless associate and then the second thing is the fact that mandatory minimum penalties such are being imposed in that particular case. 15-25 years in some office some instances if you're an office bearer, they will constitutional.
probably also be held to be constitutional. The High Court in a people smuggling case that mandatory minimum sentences, while unusual, are indeed indeed constitutional.The
other Act being the criminal law amendment bill for criminal organisations disruption means that any three or more members of a criminal gang as declared by the Attorney-General, commit an offence just together so thus is takes once
out of the hands of the court once again if they're simply a member of an organisation, the criminal behaviour doesn't have to be there, it is just them meeting together. Is that offensive? The interesting thing about both the two acts so much is while they are, in many ways, taking power out of the hands of the courts in sense it is the executive, Attorney-General, that is probably
exercising the power here. That probably doesn't infringe the separation of powers as it has been held to apply to the States. The reason for that is although you can't give the courts executive power, require them to certain things, restrict their hand in some way, you can effectively give the or the executive judicial power.That is interesting. The laws relating to dangerous sexual offenders, the paedophiles, the ones that allow the Attorney-General to decide who stays in jail indefinitely rather than the courts, a lot of people are saying that is a separation of powers but you are saying there is no legislative or constitutional basis to strike that out? Again, based the existing precedent probably isn't. It is again for that same reason, the idea that once the judicial process has been exhausted, if the Attorney-General doesn't like the ultimate outcome of that, he is able to exercise that particular power. Once again, it is the taking the action rather the courts being directed to take a particular some way that would affect their constitutional integrity.The constitution in s.58 says the Supreme Court has an unlimited jurisdiction at law equity and otherwise. The Attorney-General is limiting it because his appealed. Why is that not against the constitution? The Queensland constitution is just an ordinary piece of legislation which means that doesn't have any special status like the Commonwealth constitution.It can't overrule any other statute? That is right. Even if this later Act was held to be in consistent with that prior Act that is in the Queensland constitution, it would be held to overrule it either explicitly implicitly.What about the rule of law, the law su apply equally to everybody. If you're saying that 26 organisations are thus now illegal, does offend the rule of law? Most of these proposals would offend the rule of law but the difficulty is that con tepts like the rule of law or separation of powers, freedom of speech, freedom of association, you won't find them stated anywhere in our constitution or pieces of legislation. They are theories and principles our legal system but they are not enshrined in any bill of rights in this country.The High Court would be required to be extremely activist to shut down any of Court
It would require the High doctrine.
Court to extend its existing doctrine. At the moment the separation of powers applies more strictly at level because it is enshrined in the Federal constitution and it only extends to the States in some limited instances on the basis that in some situations the States do exercise Federal jurisdiction. These laws, I think, are so provocative and arguably so offensive that this is the sort of case that might tempt the High Court to extend their existing doctrine so that they do have a mechanism by which they could restrict and strike down the constitutionality of these laws.Could any of these laws happen at a Federal level? sentences
The mandatory minimum sentences could probably happen at a Federal level apart from that no, the Commonwealth constitution would prohibit those laws taking place at a Federal level.Thanks for your time Peter Black.

The northern beef industry will meet in Townsville next week to consider the next steps towards restoring trade with Indonesia. Australia's most important live cattle market. Of more immediate concern to Queensland graziers is the drought affecting two-thirds of the State. The ABC's rural and regional reporter Pete Lewis joined the new Federal Agriculture Joyce for a tour of some of the worst affected areas.Call them cock-eyed optimists but out in Western Queensland, drought or no drought, they are celebrating resilience and resourcefulness. The Stockman's Hall of Fame's 25th anniversary year will be remembered by cattlemen and women as character building.Unfortunately, we are experiencing a really tough season in Queensland, cattle prices are ordinary and recent years the economy hasn't been too good. This is a pretty remarkable roll-out tonight under the circumstances.Barnaby and his wedding suit were guests of honour at the silver Just hours earlier, former Queensland Senator and Deputy Nationals leader had been in Mount Isa talking drought relief with the Curr family who have steadily lightened the load on Yelvertoft Station in the face of a deteriorating season.We had about 100 mill in and November and basically from then 2013, I think we had about 20 mill for the whole of 2013. As you can see around you, the cows are getting lighter.The Currs have moved 4,500 head of cattle to Booraloola on agistment. Another 1,500 weaners are on the long paddock on
near Camooweal while they focus on hand-feeding their breeding stock and calves.Feeding a on the feed lot and just hanging in basically. Yet the weaners off and after that basically now you have to hope for rain.Graziers here in Queensland's north-west feel overlooked by politicians and bureaucrats whose attention is focused more on issues and agendas closer to our big cities. They are impressed that the minister has found time so early in the life of the new Government to come up here for himself and see what is always
happening on the ground here.I always take my cue by listening to people and say how would you skills in
run the show and then I test my skills in how I can negotiate with colleagues to turn those ideas into policy once we that they are practical.Just the fact that Barnaby is here showing an interest and realises the pain that are going through is a big plus.Queensland rural lobby group AgForce extended an early invitation minister a long of the first and most critical things is for this new Government and not only the new
Agriculture Minister but the new Government to get back to building our relationship with Indonesia to make sure that the live cattle export market gets back into full swing and is more assured of a future. We also need the Federal Government to fast track trade negotiations for free trade agreements with three of what would be our potentially biggest markets, so that is Korea, Japan and China. That certainly had stalled under the previous Government and we to start looking at some support measures to help people persist through what has become a worsening drought, condition period.From Mount
Isa it was north to Georgetown in the Gulf country where once again graziers were looking for firm commitments from the new Federal Agriculture Minister.There is a diabolical cashflow shortage right across Australian industry.Minister this is key to 99.9% of our industry's problems.We can't waver the magic wand and do that people want and there are certain policy settings that people have asked for today and I was honest with them and I said I don't know if I can do that but create the targets on their behalf on the things I think we can hit.What is the real priority? It is water, fodder and finance. There is the troika. It is trying make sure that we get make sure that we get some sort
of deal that works in that space.We have already started this process. I have had strong discussions with the PM's office and also raised the issue with the Treasurer's office. They are aware that this issue is afoot.What we have also seen is the current settings the farm finance package, they need to be retwiged so they're more accessible and deal in a more pertinent way, more reality to the problems that are before us.I would like us to fall to our knees and pray for rain and we can mover on but I don't think that will happen. To a story that highlights the importance of ordinary childhood
experiences.Too

experiences.Too often parents of children with special needs either miss out on the simple pleasures. Recently a sleepover club with a difference has been spreading the joy. Unfortunately, as Maria Hatzakis reports, the pilot program ends this weekend.

The Butcher family has been weeks. Like
looking forward to this day for weeks. Like other special needs children, 12-year-old Butcher often misses out simple pleasures others take for granted. Like going to a sleepover. A lot of the time he is playing on his own. He doesn't really have a peer group and that is - it is an parent
awful thing to look at as a parent and sort of wonder what is going to happen year upon year.But now, at a school on Brisbane's south, a weekend sleepover for kids with disabilities has begun. The program's is designed to give caring families a break and kids a chance to experience one of the joys of an ordinary childhood.

Kath Coory helped develop the program. After struggling to find respite care for her own daughter.Lara is a lot
happy 12-year-old girl and like a lot of her friends, she loves to go out and to interact and to have fun and not to be home just with mum and dad.She and another mum won a $30,000 grant from the Wesley Mission to run a trial.We to run a trial.We have many
families that are currently using the Best Life sleepover service who have children who mode
will be virtually in toddler mode is one way to explain it. They are beautiful children and their parents lover them enormously but will always need the same level of support that a toddler would need.16 children have taken part in the 12-week trial. Groups of four kids have taken turns spending weekends together.Under we go and flick.With specialist carers, they enjoy games, being with friends and having time away from home.It feels wonderful. I can't explain what the service has done. As the weeks have gone on, you become more passionate about it, just having the kids wanting to come back and seeing them smile when they walk in the door.We do at some stage Joe will have to live without his parents, so this is the tiny first step towards that independence. I support
imagine Joe will always need support to live independently learn
but just like typical children learn the skills and learn to trust their instincts when they are away from parents, this is hopefully the first tiny little building block of those skills.And for those back at home, it is unlike any other break.I feel organising things that don't involve Joe because if it means he might
he is left with a babysitter, he might love it but I still think - it tugs at you that can't do something altogether. This way, I know that Joe is doing something that he really loves and that is structured for him and it is beneficial in the way that all of kids benefit from gaining that little bit of independence. It sounds trivial but it really isn't. To have, for the three of us to have an uninterrupted conversation is quite something and that - you know, people without that experience wouldn't realise that.But the program is wrapping up and keeping the service going will be a challenge.At the moment we are catering for 16 families through the pilot. We have a huge waiting list and so $100,000 to $120,000 would existing
us deliver the service to the existing families. We need to families.
expand that to include more families. We estimate the demand on the south side of Brisbane to be somewhere in vicinity of 80 families.It has what
been a short break but just what the Butcher needed.They can only hope the sleepover won't be the last.

If the program can continue, then not only do myself and our family get to experience that but hopefully if the program continues then we can open it up to more people so more families out there who are really struggling. It does really lift the family. You hear a parent say that their family exists rather than lives, then you know that the service is needed but they are long overdue also.

It is 126 years old but Verdi's opera 'Othello' has remained timeless. Now an Australian director has set out to turn what is considered to be one of the greatest tragedies into a modern war story. He has enlisted the army to help accomplish that mission. Kathy McLeish reports.

Literary and musical collided with Italian composer Guiseppe Verdi turned his talent's on Shakespeare's play 'Othello' more than a century ago. This opera has some of my favourite music of all opera in it. Director Simon says Verdi was a natural fit for Shakespeare's lyrical

In combination with his librettist methods he had a knack for making music sound like speech, like he - it is a relatively easy job for a drama director to approach these two works because they are so exquisitely put to music.Now Verdi's 'Othello' is being performed in Queensland but with a modern twist.

Simon Phillips has set the war-torn psycho drama on an aircraft carrier and based the costumes on current I wanted the audience to feel the presence of a military world. I thought that if they had imagery that felt contemporary to them, would go like these are soldiers, these are men of war and consequently the recourse to violence in the play which is extreme, might feel understandable on some level. There is always the human dynamic in any conflict that dynamic and the human condition doesn't change whether you're overseas somewhere or back home, and I think that is what setting it in the contemporary military environment does. It actually brings to the fore that items or issues of the human condition that 'Othello' is addressing or trying to portray.Watch your elbows. They wouldn't be out like They are in like this. close quarter battle.Opera Queensland drafted the army to Colonel Byron Cocksedge
drill the cast.Lieutenant Colonel Byron Cocksedge is the in
chief of staff at the barracks in Brisbane. He has drawn on 25 years of army experience both around the
here in conflict zones and around the world.There is conflict everywhere, resonates - will resonate with the audience.And the military direction has resonated with the performers too.There is some precision in the turning and saluting. I don't have to worry about that fortunately. I can skip along and do my own thing.She is the civvy on board.Australian soprano
Cheryl Barker and American Frank Porretta play the doomed lovers Othello and Desdemona.And Verdi's score drives their journey from the giddy heights of happiness to deep tragedy.The three leading roles are renowned as some of the most some of the most vocally
demanding in Verdi's works.There is a duet that the two men do that they do at the end of act two which is one of the most spine-chilling pieces of dramatic writing for the theatre that I know of. I find that completely thrilling work on

Simon Phillips will have many 'Othello'.
opportunities to work on 'Othello'. This production is

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