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MORE THAN 700 EXCLUDED FROM THE STAR CASINO IN SYDNEY DURING 2013

Editors note:  The following statistics highlight the problems faced, not only in NSW, but wherever Casinos are allowed.  Gambling is a major problem in Australia and a source of many marriage and family breakdowns as well as a cause of an unknown number of suicides that are the result of excessive losses suffered by problem gamblers. They appear also to be a magnate for organised crime.

More than 700 people were banned from entering the Star casino last financial year, including 154 at the direction of NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione. New figures in the annual report of the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority also reveal 231 people were excluded for disorderly conduct – more than twice the figure for the previous year and double the five-year average. Almost an equal number – 230 – were self exclusions. Theft or fraud accounted for 50 of the total exclusion orders, up from 43 the previous year, while 31 were barred for ”gaming related incidents” or offences under the casino control act.

The number of people banned for having unattended children doubled from 15 to 29 during 2012-13. The report shows the Star was fined $190,000 during the period for breaches of the Casino Control Act. Four of the offences involved allowing minors onto the premises. The authority says over the past two years it has been ”more active” in seeking explanations from the casino about how minors were allowed inside. The casino was fined $110,000 for not providing timely notification to the authority of the suspension and sacking of its former managing director Sid Vaikunta over sexual harassment allegations.

Last November it emerged Mr Scipione had launched a crackdown on outlaw motorcycle gang members attending the casino. Reports indicated the majority of those excluded were from the Rebels motorcycle gang, while members of the Finks, Hells Angels and Comanchero were expected to be banned. Police said at the time that groups of 30 to 40 bikies were congregating at the Star, which was ”intimidating for patrons and staff”. The report says on 705 occasions, 612 people were caught breaching exclusion orders. Of these, 353 were people who had requested self-exclusion detected in the casino 417 times.

Ninety-eight briefs were ”initiated” in relation to the non-voluntary exclusion breaches and 190 verbal or written warnings were issued. The report shows $168 million in gambling taxes were collected by the state government during 2012-13, up from $147.3 million the previous financial year. This included $118.5 million in ”casino duty” compared with $109 million in 2011-12. The spokesman said that ”almost all of the police exclusions were issued in relation to members of the public whom the Star had no record of ever having visited the casino.” He said the Star took the issue of minors ”extremely seriously” and each incident was ”self-reported” to authorities.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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ANGLICAN ARCHBISHOPS EXPRESS PROFOUND DISQUIET ABOUT CHILDREN HELD IN DETENTION

The Anglican Archbishops in Australia have called for more humane treatment of refugees, particularly children in detention. The Archbishops have released the following statement deploring the fact that recent figures suggest that around a thousand children are in Australian sponsored detention. “As leaders of the Anglican Church of Australia we wish to put on record our profound disquiet that at the end of February this year there were more than 950 children in detention facilities and alternative places of detention in Australia, and a further 177 children in offshore detention in Nauru.  The average time people spend in detention is more than eight months.

“While our Federal Government has been drawing attention to the number of days without boat arrivals, this is another set of numbers that needs close scrutiny.  These children are innocent victims of tragic circumstances.  To use the words of the UN Charter on the rights of the child, detention of children should be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate time. “As church leaders, we are not seeking to express a party political opinion on this matter.  Within our Church there is grave disquiet about the asylum seeker policies of both major parties.

“It is our view that those who flee from desperate circumstances by boat should not be punished by prolonged detention whether in Australia, Nauru or Manus Island. They are not the people smugglers. They are people made in the image of God, who deserve respect from all Australians, but especially our Government and its agencies. They come to Australia out of desperation, fleeing religious, ethnic or economic persecution. They seek asylum under the Refugee Convention that as a nation we have signed. Many will be found to be refugees, as the Government’s own statistics demonstrate.

“We call on the Australian Government to ensure that asylum seekers are treated humanely and respectfully by those charged with their care and protection, and that they are attended to in a timely manner.”

 

The Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall

 

Primate and Metropolitan of Queensland

 

The Most Reverend Dr Glenn Davies

Metropolitan of New South Wales

 

The Most Reverend Dr Jeffrey Driver

 

Metropolitan of South Australia

 

The Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier

Metropolitan of Victoria

 

The Right Reverend John Harrower OAM

Bishop of Tasmania

The Most Reverend Roger Herft AM

Metropolitan of Western Australia

Source: Press Release from Anglican Media

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SPIRITUAL HOME OF THE HOMOSEXUAL MOVEMENT IN SYDNEY SLOWLY DYING

Editor’s Note:  This article taken from secular news sources, offers worldly reasons for why businesses located in the homosexual precinct of Sydney are failing and the area dying.  Oxford Street is the location of the annual Sydney Mardi Gras parade and the spiritual home of the homosexual movement in Sydney, if not Australia. Retailers cannot be expected to understand the spiritual nature of the difficulties they are experiencing however those who pray and intercede will understand that when an area becomes spiritually defiled there are consequences that can impact worldly circumstances.      

Oxford Street landlords are receiving 30 per cent of the rental prices today that they commanded in 2008, while 89 shops on the street are vacant, for lease or closing. Locals say the strip is in desperate need of help but, with no united voice or leadership strategy along its 4.3-kilometre length from Whitlam Square to Bondi Junction, it is in danger of declining further. The slump in Oxford Street’s fortunes is blamed largely on high rents, although estate agents say rents have dropped 50 per cent or more. Robby Ingham, a fashion retailer and 30-year tenant of the street, said one landlord he knew was ”now looking for 70 per cent less than she was four years ago”.

Robert Jones, of tailors GA Zink and Sons, has watched as other Darlinghurst retailers have left, crippled by rent. ”Shops can’t survive. It’s too expensive,” said the custodian of the street’s longest-running business, which has been in the same store since it was built in 1911. Michelle Cooke, of fashion label Billion Dollar Babes, agrees. ”I do believe the landlords have killed it, definitely,” she said of the once-buzzing Paddington strip. Ms Cooke closed the fashion store she shared with a designer friend in 2007. ”The rent was about to go up again,” she said. ”We looked at each other and went ‘Forget it’. It really wasn’t worth the money.”

She had moved to a space near Queen Street in 1996, paying $30,000 a year in rent. That increased to $50,000 in 1999, then to $70,000 in 2005. ”I wouldn’t go on to that street for anything more than $50,000,” she said. ”There’s no point in even bargaining over rent. The street’s dead; there’s no life in it.” The arrival of Westfield at Bondi Junction in 2004, the growth of online retail and a strong Australian dollar have all contributed to the decline.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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NEW INITIATIVE TO PRAY FOR REFUGEES

A concerned member of the Australian Prayer Network has commenced a prayer and intercession initiative that has the aim to encourage and facilitate prayer specifically for the issues surrounding world-wide refugees, as well as our present response to them as a nation.  Pia Horan has taken the initiative under the spiritual covering of her local Pastor and would be delighted to hear from others in our Network who have a similar heart and concern for those who have been uprooted from their own nation due to circumstances beyond their control and are endeavoring to start a new life in a new nation.  

If you share similar concerns and wish to be a part of this new initiative Pia can be contacted at pia.horan@bigpond.com This network is an independent initiative and not related to the Australian Prayer Network.   

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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