Flamingo bashing accused faces court for attack
Two men have been charged with two counts of attempted murder of a police officer in Queensland after allegedly bashing a police officer with a hammer and breaking his teeth with the force.
The incident happened at Cairns in the southern Australian city of Ballarat early on Monday.
Police told the Ballarat Courier-Mail they believe the men involved may have had an argument about drugs and drugs-related matters, and the incident occurred when an off-duty police constable was on patrol.
A witness told the newspaper that one of the men “burst into the office of the police chief wearing what appeared to be a black suit and a green shirt, holding a black baseball bat”.
Another witness said the man “started to hit the constable as he tried to get up, but the constable grabbed the bat and struck the man again causing a cut on his face”.
Police said the two men, aged 21 and 22, came outside the office and one of the men shouted: “F***** you police chief”.
Two of the three men then left the scene on a black Mercedes van and were found about two kilometres away in a wooded area.
One of the men allegedly had a red baseball bat with a raised handle that he used on officers and the other allegedly had a hammer.
Queensland Chief Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was outraged by the incident and said this was the fourth major anti-police violence case the state had seen this year.
“I would urge any person of good character who is capable of violence against a police officer to stand up and be punished and not hesitate to take legal action,” she said.
“This is an attack on every police officer in Queensland and it will not be tolerated.”
“There is a long track record of violence perpetrated by people who have been falsely accused, who know they have no legal right to be here.”
Topics: law-crime-and-justice, community-and-society, ballarat-3330, cairns-4870
Wind farm firm experiences share price fall as global commodity rout continues
Australia has been hit by a market rout on concerns prices for key commodities could tumble.
The ADP report, titled ‘Can Australia’s commodity boom hold in 2020?’ shows the Australian Commodity Price Index fell as high as 8.6 in January, when commodity prices last dipped, but then steadied between 9.7 and 9.9 in February. The ADP said in January the Australian economy was expected to grow by 2.3 per cent this year, up from a revised forecast of 1.8 per cent.
The ADP said Australia was struggling to reduce debt levels and to raise wages and pensions and a rise in interest rates would have a negative impact on household finances.
The Australian Manufacturing Index fell to 56.3 in January from 57.8 in January, while the composite PMI from the Australia, Japan and Japan’s manufacturing (BDP) composite fell to 42.7 from 45.8.
“The ADP noted that while Australian business confidence remained stable in January, strong evidence from economic growth, consumer sentiment, household spending, construction and services was holding back demand growth, leading to a slowdown in the economy,” the statement said.
“The decline in commodity prices in January was largely due to ongoing weak demand for services and a weak investment climate, although the ADP found further signs of easing in retail, manufacturing and industrial production following a surge in capital expenditure.
“The ADP stated that stronger growth prospects are likely after more than a year of economic growth and a stronger global environment, but that while Australia’s recovery will improve to a significant degree over the course of the next six months, it remains to be seen whether it will be sustainable.”
While commodity markets were already feeling the impact of last summer’s Asian commodities oversupply, the ADP said the sharp drop in oil prices from over $100 in October to a low of less than $50 today was the most significant factor.
Last week a slew of companies, many in the oil industry, warned that prices are too low, despite the market’s recovery.
The ADP said a strong demand shock, which would start the world over and continue well into 2020, would push down the rate of economic growth by 0.1 per cent this year.
However, the report warned oil prices might rise to $75 by 2020 or $80 by 2018, even though it didn’t expect global supply growth to speed up.