On Australian Vice: Casinos, Tobacco, Underbelly,
Murdoch And More, by Greg Tingle - 9th July 2011
vice and the dark side is enjoying a red hot period
with the pending return of Underbelly, sin tax, tobacco
wars, casino attacks, and who can forget Murdoch's
News Of The World - phone hacking scandal. Media Man
with the Australian vice special...
Razor: Dark Side Vice Cat Fight Fan's Dream Come True...
over Roberta Williams...these are the real femme fatales.
The hit TV franchise takes a historical twist for
the next series, following the story of Sydney's famed
"vice queens" Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh.
The sins and colourful histories of the two women
will return them to the spotlight they fought over
for more than four decades from the 1920s. Typically
draped in furs and dripping in diamonds, Devine and
Leigh wrestled for control of the mean streets of
Sin City Sydney, with armies of tough men risking
their necks for the vice queens. The show is set to
make stars of the key female leads in the way it has
for actors Gyton Grantley (as Carl Williams) and Firass
Dirani (as John Ibrahim). Lased largely on the book
Razor by Larry Writer, it will cover the razor gang
feuds that boiled over in Darlinghurst, Kings Cross
and Surry Hills. The razor gangs got their name after
pistol licensing laws brought jail terms for concealing
a gun, so crims switched to carrying blades. Devine
built her legend on a string of brothels in Palmer
St, Darlinghurst, with standover man husband "Big
Jim" working out of the Tradesman's Arms, a notorious
"bloodhouse" now trading as the trendy East
Village pub. Leigh, who lived out her years in a terrace
in Devonshire St, Surry Hills, made her mark as the
queen of sly grog. After local laws prohibited public
drinking after 6pm, the Dubbo-born woman did a roaring
trade in illegal liquor and drinking dens. Entry to
her establishments could be gained by asking the question:
"Oh, is Mum in?", earning Leigh the maternal
nickname. But motherly types they weren't, with Devine
arrested 204 times and Leigh ordering the murder of
countless rivals. The small-screen drama will build
towards their most violent clash - a frenzied riot
that took over Kellett St, Kings Cross on August 9,
1929. The TV series is expected to spark a new interest
in their underworld haunts, from the old to the new,
like chic Darlinghurst wine bar Love, Tilly Devine.
Nine And Murdoch's Daily Tele Team Up To Offer Reader
to be in Underbelly Razor? Here's your chance. Sin
City Sydney's Channel 9 has put the recruitment call
out for one lucky Daily Tele reader to be seen in
the top rating vice themed show. In an effort to help
ensure the production's historical authenticity, the
winning extra must be willing to cut or colour their
hair to suit a 1920s style and not have any obvious
tattoos on their arms, face, hands, legs or chests.
Readers over the age of 18 can enter via thetelegraph.com.au
with the winner to be advised next Monday. Be ready
for filming on set any day before August 1, with a
wardrobe fitting prior to shooting. No, not that kind
of shooting silly.
News Corp Kills News Of The World After Phone Hacking
Corporation has taken the most unusual step of killing
its UK Sunday tabloid News of the World after the
paper was boycotted by advertisers even including
ones from the gambling and adult sector, following
revelations that its phone-hacking victims included
the families of UK soldiers and a murdered schoolgirl.
decision to close the 168-year-old paper is seen as
a push to put the scandal behind it and to end protestations
about the legality of its conduct.
closure comes as News Corp seeks to buy the 61% of
British broadcaster BskyB that it does not already
own and is seen as a way for News Corp to try gain
British Government support for that deal.
the shock decision was James Murdoch who chairs
the British newspaper arm of News Corp said
that wrongdoers turned a good newsroom bad.
said News of the World has been sullied by behaviour
that was wrong.
if recent allegations are true it was inhuman and
has no place in our company, he said. The
News of the World is in the business of holding others
to account. But it failed when it came to itself.
said this Sunday will see publication of the last
edition of the News of the World, with revenue going
to good causes.
News of the World is the highest-selling newspaper
in Britain, with 2.6 million copies sold each Sunday.
analyst Mark McDonnell of BBY advised the scandal
will have wider repercussions for the News Corp brand
and could be a game-changer for its £12 billion
($17.8 billion) BSkyB bid.
News Corp can successfully pursue UK ambitions is
in doubt, McDonnell said, citing questions about
whether News Corps promises to get the BskyB
deal across the line needed a fresh look. The Government
has deferred its decision on the takeover.
The idea that a company can treat this exercise
like a parochial brand damage issue I think is going
to be sorely tested, McDonnell said.
quite clear intent for this matter to be prosecuted
both through the official legal challenges as well
as politically and through competitor media outlets.
said roughly 4000 people may have been targeted by
News of the World illegal telephone taps.
expected that The Sun daily newspaper would soon publish
seven days a week.
say numerous Australians have also been tapped, and
that its possible Australia's Daily Telegraph and
even The Sydney Morning Herald may have some bad eggs
who have tapped a number of well known Australians
including Elle "The Body".
Nick "Mr X" Xenophon Happy With His Anti
South Australian Senator, Nick Xenophon is very happy
with his anti gambling efforts to date. Last Thursday
was his last day as the balance-of-power man. On July
4, he officially made that journey. In the past three
years, Senator Xenophons wide ranging political
and persuasive powers have succeeded in giving greater
prominence to a range of issues that may have otherwise
been sidelined in a world of party dominated politics.
Gambling reforms re poker machines have been his big
thing. He was also instrumental in passing shield
laws to better protect journalists and their sources
and implemented a $5 million fund that was negotiated
for taxi industry safety and security. After all that
work, the Senator says he is now looking forward to
spending less time trawling through hundreds of hours
of legislation and estimates he will probably get
an extra hours sleep each night. He says he will also
be able to adopt a more concerted focus on community
issues in his home State. As a friendly gesture, his
Senate colleagues gave him a feather duster to mark
the occasion of losing the balance of power; a tongue
in cheek reference to his new role dusting shelves
in the Green dominated Senate. Losing the balance
of power will be a new challenge but Senator Xenophon
says, Im still going to be a pesky persistent
Casino Patron Dies After Incident With Crown Casino
police do not believe a man who died after a fight
with security staff at Crown Casino provoked bouncers
before they swooped on him. Anthony Dunning, 40, died
at The Alfred hospital Thursday after four days on
life support. At least four Crown security guards
have been stood down and are helping a homicide squad
investigation. Security footage has also been handed
over to police. An autopsy of Dunning will be carried
out to determine exactly how he died. Homicide Squad
Detective Senior-Sergeant Ron Iddles said Crown Casino
had a "moral obligation" to inform police
of the incident. He said police had only become aware
of the incident after friends of Anthony Dunning contacted
police. He appealed for witnesses to the shocking
incident, which occurred in the Velvet Room at Crown
Casino at 10.30pm on Sunday. Det-Sen-Sgt Iddles said
CCTV footage showed an intoxicated Dunning standing
outside the Velvet Room when he is asked to leave
by staff. As he and his two friends were being escorted
out, his female friend slapped one of the security
guards. She was pinned to the floor by security guards
and when her partner came back to assist her, he was
also dragged to the floor. "Anthony, unaware
of this, has continued to walk out with security staff
and he's turned around to see what's happening and
before he's been able to do anything he's been put
down and held on the floor by five to six security
officers,'' Sgt Iddles said. Dunning's arms, legs
and head were pinned and he was held face-down for
five to six minutes and it was only when security
guards prepared to handcuff him that they realised
he was unconscious. "From what I can see on the
video footage, I don't think he's done anything to
provoke them,'' he said. Det-Sen-Sgt Iddles said police
were keen to speak to witnesses as the video footage
did not reveal what was said during the incident.
"I'm particularly interested in what was said
by security staff and what might have been said by
Anthony and his friends,'' he said. Det-Sen-Sgt Iddles
is concerned that police were not called by the casino
on the night of the incident, even though Dunning
was taken away by ambulance in a critical condition.
But he said Crown Casino were co-operating fully with
the investigation. Under the Crimes Act, security
staff are allowed to use appropriate force to restrain
somebody but it has to be proportional to the threat.
A paramedic crew arrived at 10.03pm and for 40 minutes
treated Mr Dunning for cardiac arrest. He was taken
by ambulance to The Alfred where he remained on life
support until yesterday. Police were notified of the
incident on Monday after Dunning was admitted to hospital
in a critical condition. Crown spokesman Gary O'Neill
said an internal investigation had begun and the casino
was co-operating fully with police. Crown said "The
staff and management of Crown offer our most sincere
sympathy to the family and friends of Mr Anthony Dunning.
Given the police investigation, Crown is not in a
position to make any further comment." Friends
of Dunning said he was a a "gentle" and
"nice-natured man". A family friend, Tony
Fenelon, said Dunning had been "wonderful to
our grandkids". "He was just one of those
people that didn't ever get into any trouble, he's
just a very nice-natured person," he said. A
work colleague who rang 3AW said Mr Dunning was a
"very gentle person". "Everybody who
works with him can vouch that he's just a funny, fantastic
fellow. He would not have provoked this to any point
... I've been around him many times when he has had
a drink and he's the most controlled person I've come
across." "While the police investigation
is underway, and it is underway now, we won't be making
any further comment," said Crown's media spokesman
Gary O'Neill. Previously Mr O'Neill had said the bouncers
were no longer on their normal rostered duties, and
after an internal investigation was finished they
would not return to working on the gaming floor. Police
have appealed for anyone who witnessed the events
on Sunday to contact them. Melbourne talkback radio
on Friday morning received many calls from listeners
recounting their own stories of heavy-handed treatment
from Crown security staff. Earlier this year, a father
and two sons accused Crown bouncers of unprovoked
violence that left them with facial and arm injuries.
Casino patrons are advised not to do anything to provoke
security and to of course have fun.
The Notorious Prison For Australian Schapelle Corby
And Bali Nine...
the recent news that Schapelle Corby may have been
set up, we go inside the infamous "Hotel Kerobokan",
Bali's most notorious prison. It earns its name from
the fact inmates can pay off the guards to get services
such as sex and drugs, but more so because international
lawbreakers are constantly checking in and out. It
is currently holding more than three times the maximum
capacity it was designed for, and houses such Aussie
"guests" as Schapelle Corby and the Bali
Bonella, author of Hotel Kerobokan and Schapelle Corby's
autobiography My Story, unearthed the shocking inside
story of Bali's notorious jail.
in 'Hotel K'
research found that the harsh reality of life inside
"Hotel K" is of widespread drug use, prostitution
and violence. Many inmates were convicted of acts
of extreme violence which they continued inside. And
there was no segregation of inmates for their crimes,
so a tourist caught with one ecstasy pill at a nightclub
would be packed into a cement cell alongside murderers
and drug lords.
writes that corruption is rife, with prisoners able
to pay guards to smuggle drugs, organise women for
their entertainment, organise a cell upgrade to a
private or less crowded cell and deliver to their
cell door anything from McDonald's to a gourmet meal
from their favourite restaurant. Many international
inmates can bribe the right guard to slip outside
and go to the beach.
Kerobokan's filthy and disease-ridden cells include
a "United Nations" of prisoners, including
Australians, Americans, Germans, Brazilians, French,
English and Italians crushed together in misery. Many
were tourists who'd been enjoying life in tropical
paradise until they got caught, usually for drugs.
A Brazilian surfer told Bonella "I fell from
heaven to earth in the blink of an eye."
crammed stinky cell has a single squat toilet for
inmates to share, Bonella says. They tend to block
up and spew out sewerage and rats and mozzies are
also a familiar yet unwelcome sight.
cells named tikus ("rat cells") are feared
by inmates. As a form of punishment, Bonella writes
they're stripped down to their undies and locked inside
for months at a time. Several have died from AIDS
and tuberculosis while imprisoned in the isolated,
filthy area. Scott Rush spent a month inside one.
Kerobokan by Kathryn Bonella is published by Pan Macmillan
and is on sale now at leading bookstores.
Western Australian Gang Members Charged Over Evidence...
members and associates of the Coffin Cheaters outlaw
motorcycle gang face charges of lying to Western Australia's
police say the nine will be summonsed to face 29 charges
of giving false and misleading evidence to the Corruption
and Crime Commission. Two of them face additional
charges of disclosing a restricted matter.
commission's private hearings resulted from an application
by WA Police to use exceptional powers during continuing
investigations into outlaw motorcycles gangs.
convicted, the gang members face penalties of five
years' jail and a $100,000 fine on the false and misleading
Evidence charges and three years and $60,000 for the
Disclosing Restricted Matter charges.
of those charged are due to appear in the Perth Magistrates
Court on July 29 and the other six on August 5.
charges follow the recent sentencing of five members
of the Finks outlaw motorcycle gang to two years'
jail each for contempt of the CCC as a result of their
appearances at private hearings.
said dozens of outlaw motorcycle gang members had
been charged recently with about 60 offences involving
seizures of illicit drugs, firearms and cash, and
more than $1.3 million in assets had been frozen.
Australia Launches World-First Plain Cigarette Pack
introduced world-first plain packaging laws for cigarettes
into parliament Wednesday, vowing not to bow to big
tobacco's "intimidation tactics" and legal
threats. Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the laws,
which will have to be debated by MPs before being
passed, would see Australia become the first country
to go down this path. "Introducing this legislation
today I think shows that the big tobacco's intimidation
tactics have not worked. Our government won't be deterred
from taking this action," Roxon told reporters.
"And we believe that we are on very strong ground
-- although this is a world first, taking this action
-- and are determined to proceed with it." Canberra
faces a bruising intellectual property row with global
tobacco giants over the plan to remove all logos from
cigarette packets and mandate they be drab colours
with graphic health warnings in a bid to limit smoking.
The Asian arm of Philip Morris launched legal action
against the plan last month seeking "significant"
compensation, and British American Tobacco has warned
it stands ready to follow suit. But Roxon said Australia
would press ahead with a plan being closely watched
by countries mulling similar moves, saying she was
determined to almost halve the proportion of Australians
who smoke to 10 percent by 2018. About 19 percent
of citizens are thought to be smokers, killing around
15,000 people and costing the economy more than Aus$30
billion (US$32 billion) every year in health and other
expenses. "We're taking this action because tobacco
is not like any other legal product. When used as
intended it is lethal," said Roxon. "We
will reduce the number of people that take up smoking
to start with (and) we will take away any of the remaining
glamour that might be attached to smoking." Although
Australia would be the first country to mandate plain
packaging, New Zealand, Canada and Britain have considered
a similar approach and are watching developments.