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Tuesday 14 September 1999  13:45

QLD Government changes law to protect Agencies from Accountability

From Queensland around July I had a telephone call on Sunday Afternoon. The Grandfather of an 11 day old child was holding back tears as he spoke to me about the happensings to his Son, son's wife and their 11 day old baby boy.

The mother and father of the child are both being accused of Shaking their little baby boy.

Any parent knows that new babies are difficult work, but not to date in all our research has a Shaken Baby incident been recorded prior to six months.

Most incidents occur around the six month mark. Yes it is true that some parents just find it all too hard. Lack of community support, preasure from everyone who isn't a parent telling you how to bring up your child and so on.

But most of the cases of Shaken Baby have been found to be not so. Many are linked to Vaccination caused deaths, which resemble the medical conditions of a shaken baby. Quite a few medical neglect or copverup by hospitals that fail in their duty of care during the birth process. (We have two such cases running presently)

You can read about the story at http://www.shakenbaby.inoz.com/brayden

We haven't been able to put as much up on this site as we did for my own sons kidnapping by the NSWP Police and Dept of Community services (http://docs.ajtodd.com) because the family aren't as Internet connected as we are. They also have a lot of trouble with their local government agencies.

Three weeks ago the family reported to me that the Grandmother was approached by the Family Services Officer and told that is the Mother (of the child) were to admit in a written statement that they caused harm to the child, the grandmother would be given custody to look after the child by the Director General. One has to raise concern when a Government Officer coerces, threatenes and technically (legally even) blackmails a person into such actions.

But this isn't what concerns me most. It's Censorship.

The bill is titled:

An Act about the protection of children, and for other purposes"

One has to question "what the other purposes might be." Does that include the ability for QLD Government Agencies to COVER UP?

The Grandfather called me today very urgently. The QLD Government passed a bill whcih can be found at the following URL:


He was told that the web site that currently exists has to be brought down because it breaks the new laws.

I've always understood that when a new law is passed, unless otherwise explicitly stated, anything prior is not covered by that law. Vertainly there is nothing in this bill that calls for all previously published material, but Newspaper, TV or otherwise to suddenly become liable.

I can understand that the new law stops us, even outside of Queensland as it defines this also, from publishing any new material that will identify the child. I guess that means we can create a new web site that details the events that continue to ongoing, providing we dont' link it to the existing site or infer that the existing site has anything to do with the new site. As such there is nothing prohibiting the dissemination of detail, as long as names and places aren't mentioned. We can do that. We're good at that. But I have to ask what the QLD Government and agencies are afraid of? Bad publicity?

I'm just quickly skimming this legislation now and it's not unlike the new legislation in NSW that in effect makes the Parents criminals until the Government Agency investigating decides a parent is not.

It adds a new clause that didn't exist in the previous legislation.

Under the previous QLD legislation there was no prohibition on publication of details about a case. In fact the entire process was open to public scruitiny. Now this is not so.

This legislation has been passed rapidly, seemingly in light of this very case we are looking at now.

It gives power to:

1. Take custody of a child before an investigation commences, purely on
an anonymous allegation

2. Allows court proceedings to be held without the presence of the parents
or representatives of the parents being present and the court to make
decisions based on the evidence or material being presented at that time

3. To make orders that a child be placed in care

4. To inform the parents at a later time the outcome of court proceedings
and that the child is being placed in anonymous protective care

5. To put the childs property into public trust.

All of this before the Investigation?

The part of the legislation that concerns me is the emphasis by the QLD Government on the parent in relation to the following:

Prohibition of publication of information leading to identity of
183.(1) A person must not, without the chief executive’s written approval, publish information that identifies, or is likely to lead to the identification of, a child as-
(a) a child who is or has been the subject of an investigation under this Act of an allegation of harm or risk of harm; or
(b) a child in the chief executive’s custody or guardianship under this Act; or
(c) a child for whom an order is in force.
Maximum penalty—
(a) for an individual—100 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment; or
(b) for a corporation—1,000 penalty units.

(2) A person must not, without the chief executive’s written approval, publish information that identifies, or is likely to lead to the identification of,
a child living in Queensland as a child who—
(a) has been harmed or allegedly harmed by a parent or step-parent of the child or another member of the child’s family; or
(b) is, or allegedly is, at risk of harm being caused by a parent or step-parent of the child or another member of the child’s family.

Maximum penalty for subsection (2)—
(a) for an individual—100 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment; or
(b) for a corporation—1,000 penalty units.

(e) powers conferred under this Act should be exercised in a way that is open, fair and respects the rights of people affected by their exercise, and, in particular, in a way that ensures—
(i) actions taken, while in the best interests of the child, maintain family relationships and are supportive of individual rights and ethnic, religious and cultural identity or values; and
(ii) the views of the child and the child’s family are considered; and
(iii) the child and the child’s parents have the opportunity to take part in making decisions affecting their lives;

This is a part I rather thing is useful. The Parents want their story to be known and want to keep the web site running to help other parents. As such pretty much all of it applies.

It does seem by reading the Bill that the QLD Government doesn't want a repeat of the AJTODD case either. There are considerably strict guidelines for taking certain actions and what must be done immediately following.

I advise everyone install video security :) The Policed state is here!

The Bill also places a stance on "suspected, or possible, or might, or risk" in relation to causing harm to a child. The Agencies under the Bill are able to take a child on the baiss that the officer individually beleives that harm might come about in the future, not necessarily at the time or immediate future.

This has serious ramifications and clearly reflects that of the writings in the book 1984. If you might think that you might hit a child, you are guilty of a criminal offence until such time as it is proven you won't and woudl not hit the child.

How can this be so? If you don't have a child because it's been taken from you, how are you to prove that you won't hit the child?

The legislation also allows the Police or Agencies to go to a place where the child is and the parents are not and interrogate the child before telling the parents there is any investigation or allegation in place.

This very much seems to be a way to fish for problems that might not really exist, rather than solve problems that do.

I guess this Bill in QLD opens the flood gates for vendicitive and well constructed annonymous complaints to be made. Gone are the days of Commercial espionage. Instead now all you need to do is make a complaint about your competitor in a Tender or Business dealing in such a way that the person is, has or might cause harm to their children.

The 12 months of more disruption this causes generally devistates a family, causes the parents to divorce because the Agencies work very hard on playing one partner off against the other using phsycological methods or finding a tiny weakness.

The power of seperation in interview is a very powerful tool. It's not hard to get someone to reveal a tiny detail - even somethign as insignificant as a wife wanting a new pair of shoes but the Husband refusing to allow it can be played in using Government Agency double speak to the point where the husband and wife will start revealing all the little things they don't like about each other, building anger and hatred because the Officers keep bringing this wonderful news back and forth.

Under normal circumstances we respect and understand our partners short comings. But that won't be valid anymore. Perfection is the only thing tolerated.

Mind you, in all our experiences to date, the Officers in the Police and FAmily Services agencies that seem to always be involved rarely have children and normally come from seperations or divorced backgrounds, in our own case there were a few grudges of their own lives being brought to bare against us.

How can such people who have never had children take such actions?

How can people who have never used the Internet (properly) take actions to censor it, especially when they dn't understand the technical workings.