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Letters for Sunday, January 18, 2015

Terrorism-Carter
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LARRY Digney (letters, January 12) would appear to suggest that Islam alone is responsible for terrorist attacks which obviously is incorrect.

Using the same logic is it therefore reasonable to blame Christianity for the Irish Republican Army, Baader-Meinhof, Anders Breivik, Basque Separatists, The Red Brigade and Timothy McVeigh.

Probably not.

— A. CARTER, Mowbray.

Free speech-Lloyd

IN A way it has been excellent to watch world leaders, and hundreds of thousands of people, defend the right to free speech.

Nobody’s religious fundamentalism should override this in a civilised country, even if free speech takes the form of offensive and stereotypical cartoons.

However, most of the world leaders heading that Paris march are more than happy to act like fascists in shutting down whistleblowing and dissent from the likes of Julian Assange and Warren Snowden.

Their claims to ‘national security’ are no more valid than religious claims of blasphemy.

Really they are simply embarrassed, and our own government is as bad as any.

— PETER LLOYD, Reedy Marsh.

Freedom of speech-Hayward

THE Charlie Ebdo murders have exposed a severe weakness in our Western systems.

We have not had freedom of speech or expression for many years now, since political correctness was espoused by our various national democracies.

PC is an insidious disease thathas infiltrated all levels of government and professions.

It was originally introduced by discontented left wing academics and politicians in order to enhance their own positions, and has now taken on nightmare proportions throughout the “free” world.

Historically it is like the story of the Trojan horse, but much, much more dangerous.

Our politicians are not Charlie.

— COLIN HAYWARD, Goshen.

Bail laws-Lee

VICTORIAN Coalition legal affairs spokesman John Pesutto’s call for an urgent review on bail laws, after a Victorian man on serious charges was released, is certainly justified.

Unbelievably Victorian court documents show clearly Khodr Moustafa Taha expressed terriorist sympathies, threatened violence against police, admitted sending death threats to USPresident Barack Obama and a search of his house revealed a gun, swords and child pornography.

What is absolutely staggering in this case Victorian Depty Chief Magistrate Jelena Popovic granted bail in spite of police opposition, with the reason being,“she was not in a good position to determine how much of a risk Taha posed”.

For crying out loud,please tell us, who is?

—ROBERT LEE, Summerhill.

TasWater-Reynolds

WELL here we go again another sob story about TasWater.

I am a single pensioner living in one of three units with only one water metre between us, regardless of how many people are in the other units.

I am expected to pay a third of the usage. This means a ratio of 1-6.

I own my unit, the other two are rented.

TasWater will give me a separate metre if I pay for installation.

This means one man to do the work and three to watch. I don’t think so.

—R. P. REYNOLDS, Launceston.

Retirement-James

ROSITA Gallasch’s article on older people still working makes interesting reading (The Examiner, January 10).

With an aging population, it is to be expected that more will be continuing in work beyond 65 with a range of benefits for our community generally.

Not only do they earn income for their own benefit, but they also fill important mentoring roles passing on their skills and experience to younger workers.

This has been traditionally so and any society that fixes firm retirement ages does harm to its productivity and general community well-being.

Full retirement should be a gradual process spread over many years.

Older people still working are generally better adjusted, healthier, happier and still see valuable purposes in their lives.

I cannot imagine a less fulfilling old age where one does nothing but sit around waiting for the ‘Grim Reaper’.

Fortunately we have volunteering thatgives scope for older people to continue roles of significance.

—DICK JAMES, Launceston.

Doctors fees-Sleurink

WE have the Federal Government cutting doctor’s fees and Bill Shorten, as usual, against everything with no solution to anything.

Doctors continue to train all their lives with new procedures coming out each year.

This on top of a minimum six years’ training before they qualify.

Politicians don’t have any training before they are elected and put in charge of the country and billions of dollars of expenditure.

Rather than cut fees to those who keep us healthy and make us better, why don’t we make pollies cut their fees?

—GLENNIS SLEURINK, Launceston.

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Galea shooting may be mistaken identity

Darren Galea was shot in the head at close range. Picture: Kate Geraghty.He was a quiet family man, a hard working restaurant manager and an upstanding citizen that “mostly kept to himself”.
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But Darren Galea’s body wasfound under the Duck River Bridgein Auburn last year, shot in the head at close range and dumped in muddy parkland with his hands bound.

One year after his death on January 16, police have made the shock revelation that Mr Galea, 34, was most likely the victim of a case of mistaken identity in a crime that has links to the Ibrahim family.

Ballistics testing on the single bullet that killed Mr Galea was able to establish links to two other shootings in Sydney – the shooting of a man in Auburn in 2012 and a drive-by shooting in Merrylands in 2011 targeting notorious cousins of the Ibrahim family.

The first was related to a drug activity and the second was related to a Nomads bikie gang dispute however Mr Galea had nothing to do with either.

“There is nothing in Mr Galea’s past to suggest any links with organised crime or drug activity, which is why we believe it could have been a case of mistaken identity,” said Detective Inspector Mark Henney from the Homicide Squad.

“By all accounts, Mr Galea was close to his family, worked hard at his job as a manager of a fast food restaurant, and kept mostly to himself. There is certainly nothing in his past to indicate why he would be targeted in this fashion.”

Police will use the anniversary of Mr Galea’s death on Friday to appeal for information that may help their hunt for his killer.

Mr Galea was kidnapped, taken to the reserve beneath the Duck River Bridge and shot in the head just after midnight on January 16. His hands were bound and his body was dumped

His white Corolla hatchback was set alight hear his home in South Wentworthville two hours later. A second white Toyota Corolla with two men was seen in the area and detectives believe it is linked to the murder.

At 6am, a 62 year-old mandiscovered the bodywhile on his morning walk and initially thought it was headless.

Early information suggested that Mr Galea may have been murdered because he was involved in the reported sexual assault of a six-year-old girl in a toilet block at Guildford just a week earlier.

However, Detective Inspector Henney said they have conclusively ruled out any involvement by Mr Galea.

He had no known enemies and no links with organised crime, he said.

Police are hopeful someone may have seen the white Toyota Corolla with two men in the Wentworthville area in the early hours of January 16.

They are also hoping someone can shed light on Mr Galea’s movements the night before. They know he drove from Merrylands to his home about 4pm and that he was seen by a friend at a service station on Merrylands Road at 8.20pm.

The next four hours before his execution are a mystery.

In a frightening coincidence, the gunman in the Merrylands shooting also appears to have got the wrong target.

Shots were fired at a house in Eddy Street where the Tajjour family, cousins of the Ibrahims, used to live but they had moved out.

An innocent family-of-three were inside andmissed being hit by about a metre.

In the days after, police said Sydney’s gun crime had gone beyond stupid and it wasonly a matter of timebefore an innocent member of the public would be killed.

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Isaac Muller off to the Bombers

ESSENDON has won the race to sign North Albury ruckman Isaac Muller.
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After weighing throughoffers since being overlooked in the AFL draft, Muller trained with the VFL club for the first time this week.

Muller, 18, played a match as the 23rd man for the Bombers last season on loan from the Murray Bushrangers.

“I was weighing things up for a month or so and it was pretty tough making a final decision,” Muller said yesterday.

“In the end, we decided it wasn’t about the money as it’s more about the opportunities and keeping my name in front of the recruiters.

“I just want to give myself every chance and do everything I can.”

Originally from Henty, Muller made a huge impression for the Murray Bushrangers last season and was considered unlucky not to be given a chance of a rookie list.

Muller’s move to Melbourne is a massive blow for North Albury coach Jason Akermanis who would have had an imposing ruck combination of Muller and the returning Josh Lloyd.

“The boys have been welcoming and the facilities are unbelievable at Tullamarine,” he said.

“It was hard to leave North Albury but they were fairly accepting and encouraging as they understand I just want to give myself the bestopportunity.”

He will study in Melbourne.

Muller’s decision comes only days after Lavington youngster Brydan Hodgson aligned himself with Canberra club Eastlake and Corowa-Rutherglen’s Mick Mattingly joined the Northern Knights as a 19-year-old.

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Old war horse worth a medal

Old war horse worth a medal Wodonga trainer Brian Cox has been nominated for the Fred Hoysted Medal. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON
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Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Brian Cox and his horses photographed at the Wodonga racecourse in the lead-up to the Wodonga Cup. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

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Man ‘tried to buy girl from mother’ at Charlestown

A MAN accused of attempting to buy a girl from her mother at a Charlestown shopping centre has been granted bail.
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Police charged a 55-year-old man on Thursday after an investigation into the alleged incident, which occurred on December 20.

The man is accused of approaching the woman and her daughter at the shopping centre. It’s alleged he attempted to procure the child for a sum of money, a matter the mother reported to police.

Police identified the man on Thursday, arrested him and took him to Charlestown police station where he was charged with attempting to procure a child under 14 for sexual activity, and offensive behaviour and intimidation.

He was granted bail by police to front Belmont Local Court in February.

Many Facebook users commenting on NSW Police Force’s page voiced concern about the risks the man posed to the community.

A police spokeswoman said the decision was made in line with the Bail Act and a risk assessment was completed

“As such, strict bail conditions were imposed,’’ she said.