Wednesday, 5 March 2003
Angry loggers have backed down from their threat to disrupt this weekend's Grand Prix, contenting themselves with leaving 100 timber trucks parked around Victoria's Parliament House. That's a bitter blow for those of us who hoped to see a Mack prime mover take the chequered flag this year.
Victoria's screws are also taking industrial action, over the possibility that one of their number might face criminal charges for discharging his firearm at an escaping prisoner. The prisoner, Garry Whyte, 39, a remand prisoner, was attempting to escape from St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne. According to a screw's union spokesman on ABC local radio this morning, the fact that criminal charges have been laid against a screw who exercised the authority given to him by Parliament to discharge his firearm to prevent an escape creates uncertainty for other screws. Until they receive a clear indication that they still have authority to discharge their firearms at escaping prisoners the screws won't be carrying firearms or undertaking escort duties where they might be tempted to discharge their firearms in the wrong belief that they have been authorised to do so by government regulation when in fact they might still be liable for the results of a discharging of firearms under criminal law. Got that? If not, keep an eye on this page for the next couple of days: they might put the audio of Jon Faine's interview with Julian Kenelly up. It's worth a listen if you have a robust sense of humour.