Monday, January 30, 2012

Independent inquiry into assisted school travel bungle

Today, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has announced an independent inquiry into the Assisted School Travel Program following its bungled handling of transition to new contractual arrangements.

The move for an inquiry has been criticised by Labor leader John Robertson, who's party while in government instigated the tender process.

Transport providers under the scheme (formerly the Special Needs Transport Service) have had to tender for runs under the new scheme, with the tender process commencing in late 2010. After the department realised it didn't have enough contractors in all regions it issued another tender in November 2011.

According to a source in the Assisted Travel Unit, the tendering of placement on an eligibility list every five years was supposed to weed out those defrauding the department and not providing an adequate level of service.

Instead, a number of operators around the state have been left short by the department, either not being awarded contracts or making their contracts financially unviable. These honest operators have been shafted while corrupt organisations such as Carenne Support Limited and Capebase have been rewarded.

Carenne Support, an organisation which has ripped off the former SNTS program, has refused to transport certain students, is under investigation by the ICAC, had a director assault a former employee, failed to comply with company law, has ripped off its employees and allowed staff to assault students has been awarded three runs this year, while Capebase, another organisation who defrauded the department has been awarded at least 25 through-out NSW.

One parent with a student on Capebase's Blayney run was contacted on Sunday and told her daughter couldn't attend school today because an escort could not be found and would not be able to travel on transport ordinarily provided by the department until one was found. There has been a long-standing problem getting escorts, which are paid just over $12 per hour.

The problems with the assisted school travel program are long-standing and all aspects of it should be reviewed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Parents demand answers from Interchange after accident

On Tuesday, an accident involving one of Interchange Bathurst's buses occurred on the Great Western Highway East of Bathurst. At the time six disabled teenagers were on board the vehicle, which was being driven by 19 year-old P-plater Matthew Daley.

According to a statement in the Western Advocate, Police believe that the driver lost control of the vehicle when he veered into loose gravel on the shoulder of the road. The vehicle left the road hitting a tree and rolled two or three times.

The driver and all passengers in the vehicle were taken to Bathurst Hospital as a precautionary measure.

A number of parents have contacted Carenne Gate dismayed with Interchange management's handling of the accident. One parent said "I can't believe Melinda Phillips believes this is a non-issue, she said it could of happened to anyone. Well it wouldn't happen if they had experienced drivers driving their vehicles. They don't care about the safety of our children."

Another parent claimed to have been badgered by Phillips. "She called me up to tell me there had been an accident and my son was being taken to the hospital. I was quite panicked and she then said 'I need to ask will you be suing us, if you sue we may not be able to provide a service to your son'", said the parent.

Carenne Gate spoke to Bathurst Police who said investigations were continuing into the accident and they believe the statement provided by the driver was inaccurate. Police said that Daley would be charged with negligent driving over the accident.

A whistleblower at Interchange told Carenne Gate that there had previously been complaints about Daley's driving. The whistleblower said that he was aware that Daley had been observed driving in erratically and in excess of the speed limit on a number of occasions. The whistleblower said that he himself had made a complaint to Phillips about Daley's maturity. "He is only 19, 20 next month and of course he is still pretty immature, he has a good rapport with the kids but he should be better supervised."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

ASIC should charge Mary Housler

Back in December I reported that Carenne Support and Mary Housler (the company secretary) had breached federal law by failing to lodge financial statements on time, an offence carrying a six month jail sentence or $3,125 fine. Carenne Support had until 30 October to file its statements.

At the time, Mary Housler, a cadet accountant at WKH Bathurst claimed that Carenne Support wasn't required to lodge financial statements and that she wouldn't be doing so "for the likes of Brian and Nathan Carter to use against us in court and for them to be plastered all over this blog."

It would appear that the woman who aspires to be an accountant but cannot comply with company law has received some advice that this was in fact true, as on 13 January 2012 financial statements were lodged by Carenne Support with ASIC.

It's time that organisations such as Carenne Support which beg for public money are accountable for their actions and this site calls on ASIC to charge Mary Housler as a deterrence to others.

It's yet another example of the incompetence of the Carenne Support organisation and how it reacts to stories on this blog.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Janelle Kemp's latest fraud

The Western Advocate reported on Saturday that the King Cain Bathurst Wallabies Tri Club which been raising funds on behalf of the John Maclean Foundation for Janelle Kemp's son William had presented the family with a cheque for $5,000. In November 2010, the Carenne Saviours reported to this blog that they believed the Kemp family had defrauded with John Maclean Foundation by failing to tell them their income and benefits they had already received from the community.

In the latest article Kemp says that they intend to purchase a hi-low bed with special mattress to protect William from pressure sores and to support his spine. Investigations by Carenne Gate revealed that the bed Mrs Kemp claims to be purchasing would be supplied under EnableNSW's Aids and Equipment Program.

"These hi-low beds, which are electrically adjustable are provided to eligible patients free under the A&E Program. The bed itself is around $2,500. The mattresses aren't complicated because they need to be able to be flexible, we would provide the standard mattress but some patients opt to buy their own. There wouldn't be $5,000 in the mattress," said a spokesperson from EnableNSW.

A dismayed Carenne parent contacted Carenne Gate when she heard of the news and reported that she was refused any assistance by the Carenne P&C Association when Kemp was president. "I was pretty much told to rack off, that the P&C doesn't provide assistance to individual students," said the parent. This was despite the P&C running a fundraising appeal for Zoe Gavin when she was diagnosed with leukemia.

"It appears that unless you are one of them you get no help from them," said the parent.

In the past, the Kemps have received assistance from Country Energy, the Genie Society, Scoliosis Australia, TADNSW and Carenne Support.

It's time that the Kemps come clean on what they intend to do with the money and what they have done with the money that was donated to them in the past.

Photo Credit: Western Advocate.