The Royal Commission has described Australia's aged care system as a "cruel lottery", & more in News in 5.

-With AAP.

1. The Royal Commission has described Australia’s aged care system as a “cruel lottery”.

Australia’s aged care system faces a complete overhaul, starting with ending “a cruel lottery” where some older people die before ever finding out if they have won access.

The aged care royal commission wants fundamental reform and a redesign of a failing system it labelled “a shocking tale of neglect”, not mere patching up.

Those comprehensive reforms will be outlined in the inquiry’s final report in November next year.

But the commission wants immediate action to cut home care waiting lists, stop the over-use of drugs to sedate residents and end “a national embarrassment” by stopping the flow of younger people with disabilities into aged care.


In a scathing interim report, the commission described the aged care system as cruel, harmful, unkind and uncaring.

“It is a sad and shocking system that diminishes Australia as a nation,” commissioners Richard Tracey QC – who died last month – and Lynelle Briggs wrote.

The waiting list for aged care services was a cruel lottery, they said.

The commission called for significant additional funding for home care packages, both immediately and into the future, to help older Australians remain in their homes.

“It is shocking that the express wishes of older people to remain in their own homes for as long as possible, with the supports they need, is downplayed by an expectation that they will manage,” the commissioners said.

Federal Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said the government was putting a lot more home care packages into the system, but said the way they were delivered into the market needed reform.

“I think given that there’s about $600 million of funds that are tied up with packages that’s not not actually being utilised to provide care, there’s also some reform of the system that’s required and we’ll start looking at that now,” he told reporters.

The commission said it was clear the government’s additional packages would not satisfy the current and growing demand for home care, given the extent of the pre-existing waiting list.


It also said there was no reason to delay action on chemical restraints and younger people being stuck in aged care.

2. Dozens of people have been wrongly recorded on the NSW sex register.

NSW’s error-riddled child protection register has left some sex offenders unmonitored, others wrongly jailed and prompted police to unlawfully enter people’s homes, an independent report says.


The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission on Thursday revealed 44 per cent of cases reviewed in recent years contained “significant” errors.

Some 96 people were left off the register after their offending, including a man convicted in 2008 who didn’t go on the register until 2016.

Nearly 500 people were taken off or scheduled to be taken off the register too early, including a convicted-but-unmonitored man who indecently assaulted a 10-year-old girl on a bus in 2015.

Police then erred again, adding him for 15 years when he was eligible for life monitoring.

The register, established in 2002, held detailed information on more than 4000 people as of August.

Some 43 people were wrongly added to the register, including a man who spent more than a year in custody during three stints in jail for failing to report as required by the register.

In fact, he was exempt from the register as his offence – indecent assault of a child under 10 – occurred while he was a juvenile.

One of 144 people were monitored for too long had his home unlawfully searched it and unlawfully spent 183 days in jail as a result of his wrongful listing.

The report recommended the Berejiklian government urgently refer the law supporting the register to the Law Reform Commission, saying the complexity and ambiguity of key provisions meant errors were inevitable.

Even the team reviewing incorrect cases made subsequent errors.


“There have been multiple systemic issues that have contributed to these errors which have been outside the control of the registry,” the report said.

The report noted parliament never intended police to maintain the register and had assumed it would be so simple to manage, court staff could do it automatically.

The LECC advised police to inform 277 current or former registered people that they may have been subjected to unlawful or unjust actions.

Police were urged to properly staff the department responsible for the register and introduce independent compliance audits.

3. Queensland one-punch attacker has walked away from court.


A Queensland man convicted of drunkenly assaulting his mate during an argument at a pub has walked from court despite his friend dying minutes after being punched.

Matthew Clancy Ryan, 47, was originally charged with manslaughter and unlawful striking after knocking Nigel Doyle, 69, to the ground at the Kerwick Hotel, near Ipswich, on February 11, 2017.

But on Thursday in the Brisbane Supreme Court, Ryan was sentenced to six months in prison with immediate parole for the lesser charge of assault occasioning bodily harm.

The downgrading of his charges followed a post-mortem examination that found Mr Doyle died from a brain haemorrhage caused by an aneurysm that was unrelated to the blow.

The court heard the two men had been drinking separately at the pub, where they both lived in the accommodation wing above the public bar.

Ryan’s blood-alcohol level was .189 and Mr Doyle’s was .15 when they began arguing after Mr Doyle uncharacteristically accused Ryan of drug use and pedophilia.

“The defendant advised police there had been altercation saying this was the first time Mr Doyle had confronted him such a way and had quote ‘arced up’ and quote ‘come at him’,” prosecutor Clayton Wallace said.

Ryan’s single blow to Mr Doyle’s jaw in response to the allegations caused him to fall back with such force that people in the bar below heard the thud when he crashed into the wall.


The publican and a barman found Mr Doyle alive but slumped against a wall and unconscious.

Minutes later he stopped breathing and was later pronounced dead after paramedics transported him to hospital.

Justice David North empathised with Mr Doyle’s family in the court, saying he understood how they may take the view there was an “unfortunate unreality” about the sentence delivered.

“But legal evidence has come to light relatively recently from experienced pathologists … that it could not be proven that there was physiologically and medically a causal link to the punch you delivered to Mr Doyle’s jaw and his death,” he said.

“Medically and legally you are not responsible for his death,” Justice North said addressing Doyle.

He did, however, tell Ryan he had a choice not to respond to Mr Doyle.

“There was no reason for you to assault that older and smaller man,” he said.

In a letter read to the court, Ryan communicated his distress and remorse at his friend’s death.

“Nigel was my friend. We had an argument and I acted in an inappropriate manner. I should not have hit him. I should have walked away,” he wrote.

“Please find it in your hearts to forgive me as this haunts me in my dreams every night.”


4. A mysterious flesh-eating bug has spread along Victorica’s coastline.

A mysterious flesh-eating bug has spread to Victoria’s Surf Coast, prompting health authorities to offer free tests.

The Buruli ulcer – commonly found in stagnant water – was first detected in the Mornington Peninsula, but has spread to Aireys Inlet and suburban Geelong waterways, the health department confirmed on Thursday.

“There have been a small number of cases detected in these areas, but the risk of transmission remains low,” state chief health officer Brett Sutton said.


Laboratory testing for the ulcer is now free for patients but a process handling fee may apply at some private pathology clinics.

Symptoms might include redness and appear four to 10 weeks after exposure, but generally show about four to five months later, the department said.

There have been 240 cases of the ulcer confirmed so far this year in Victoria, down from 299 during the same period last year.

The ulcer can have devastating impacts on sufferers, including long-term disability and deformity.

Researchers were given $3 million last year to investigate the disease, the spread of which has been linked to mosquitoes.

5. Australian designer Katie Perry is suing singer Katy Perry.


An Australian fashion designer named Katie Perry is suing her US pop superstar namesake Katy Perry over alleged trademark infringement.

The designer, who owns a Sydney loungewear clothing label and now goes by Katie Taylor, says she’s held the trademark registration for Katie Perry-branded clothes in Australia since September 2008.

Ms Taylor was asked by the singer’s lawyers in May 2009 to withdraw her trademark application to use her maiden name for her label.

But the famous singer dropped the case hours before it was set for court.

However, Ms Taylor alleges Perry has since ignored her Australian trademark and sold clothing under the Katy Perry label, including at Myer and Target.

She last week brought proceedings against the music star – whose real name is Kathryn Elizabeth Hudson – and her company Killer Queen LLC in the Federal Court, with the first hearing set for November 21.

“This is a real David and Goliath fight,” Ms Taylor said in a statement on Thursday.

“The singer has ignored my trademark and continued to sell infringing goods unlawfully in Australia.”