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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 12 September 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2015 27 OPINION LETTERS The cracks in the workers’ compensation system One of our clients is falling through the cracks of the workers' compensation system. She is an assistant in nursing (AIN) with a family to support, who suffered a serious back injury while lifting a heavy patient. Her medical expenses have now been cut off, because her impairment was under the WorkCover threshold put in place in 2012. Her condition has worsened and she is now reliant and waiting on the public health system to provide her muchneeded back surgery. Once her condition has stabilised, she is likely to be rated with a whole person impairment. She would then be above the threshold for lifetime medical treatment, but a decision by the NSW Court of Appeal last week means she will not be able to access any additional lump sum compensation. Changes in 2012 limited ‘top-up’ payments for injured workers whose conditions worsened, and the court has now decided these changes are retrospective and apply to hundreds of workers injured before the law changed. Since 2012, the state government has taken a number of positive legislative steps to help injured workers, including lowering thresholds for lifelong medical expenses and providing lifetime prosthetics and hearing aids. We welcome these changes but more needs to be done. Our client is just one of many whose injuries have worsened over time, through no fault of her own. She shouldn't be left to foot the bill for the additional medical costs of such a severe and clearly work-related injury. Nor should she be prevented from making a further lump sum claim. How is it fair that a nursing assistant who injured herself while helping others is not entitled to further help when she needs it? Rachael James, NSW General Manager Personal Injury, Slater and Gordon Lawyers The Greek Orthodox Church The Panepirotic Federation of Australia vehemently condemns the brutal destruction by Albanian authorities on 26 August of a Greek Orthodox Church in the Cheimarra region of Albania, a nation that once prohibited all forms of religious worship. The Church of St Athanasius, in the town of Drymades, known in Albanian as Dhermi, was completely destroyed by government agents acting on the authority of Albania's Interior Ministry. The action has raised fears in Albania's large community of ethnic Greeks of renewed persecution of the country's Orthodox Christians, who constitute a third of the country's 3.5 million people. "The razing of St Athanasius Church echoes the brutal actions of the Stalinist regime that ruled Albania for half of the last century when government forces executed priests, turned churches into stables and imprisoned anyone wearing a cross or reading the Bible," said Dimitris Varnas, president of the federation. "It is a shameful act for a country trying to shed its violent past and become a member of the European Union." Dimitris Varnas said the only way Tirana can make amends for its brutal actions is to offer an alternative site for the construction of a new church and to provide the funds to build it. St Athanasius was first destroyed in 1972 by agents of Stalinist dictator Enver Hohxa and its stones were used to build a water depot. When communism fell in the country in 1992, residents built a new church on the site of the old one. It served the Orthodox Christians in the town as a place of worship for 23 years. Last week, as worshippers were observing religious services, local government agents acting on an order from the Interior Ministry removed icons and other religious objects and began to destroy parts of the building. The next day the agents returned in cars without licence plates and continued the demolition, despite the protests of the local priest, who was almost crushed by falling debris. By 26 August the whole building was razed to the ground. The Orthodox Church of Albania, leaders of the ethnic Greek minority, human rights activists and foreign diplomats have all condemned the destruction of the church by Albanian authorities as arbitrary, brutal and in violation of the country's own laws. A spokesman for the Orthodox Church of Albania noted that Law 10057, passed in 2009, that ratified a previous agreement between the Albanian nation and the Orthodox Church, guarantees the inviolability of places of wor- ship and their protection by the state. It is to be noted that the Albanian government has consistently tried to present the Orthodox population of Albania is being less numerous than it actually is and has also consistently attempted to deny the ethnic Greek character of the Cheimarra region. Reports from Tirana say that US Ambassador Donald Lu met with Prime Minister Edi Rama to protest the destruction of the church as insensitive to the rights of the Orthodox faith in Albania and the ethnic Greek minority and to urge him to seek a solution to the problem acceptable to both. Omonia, the largest advocacy group representing the Greek minority, and the Human Rights Party of Albania, the minority's political organisation, both issued statements condemning the brutal destruction of the church and warning that it will seriously harm relations between the government of Prime Minister Rama and all minorities in the country. Those warnings were echoed by the Panepirotic Federation of Australia and in Albania, where the organisation's president, Dimitris Varnas, is travelling to assess the treatment of minorities in the country. Dimitris Varnas called on the Albanian government to move quickly and decisively to repair relations with its Orthodox Christians citizens if it wants to claim a rightful place in the community of civilised nations. The Panepirotic Federation of Australia The graphic photo of Aylan Kurdi As the father of a young child, I share the world's horror at the deaths of many innocent refugees at sea. We mourn them all. But to be confront- Email your letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org ed on your front page with an oversized image of the body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi lying face down in the water is a step too far. This graphic content, when alternative images were available of the poor child being cradled by a local officer, was a poor editorial choice and likely to distress readers, so many of whom will have traumatic memories of their own or their family members' experiences as migrants. Pablo Salina Victoria SBS concerns The concerns regarding programming on SBS should have been raised years ago. While the story published recently in Neos Kosmos is correct, the moves towards Anglo movies and other programs began quite some time back, with ethnic communities being the losers. One must wonder who exactly sits on both the SBS board and the SBS Advisory Council. But to that I add another dimension, the SBS' constant referrals to ‘Macedonia’ when federal government policy clearly states that they should be referring to FYROM. Sadly, those who run SBS have their own agendas. Ange Kenos Victoria Ban smoking At long last smokers should be put where they belong. Weak-willed garbage should be taxed out of existence, and exiled away from civilised people until they have changed. It’s a pity the Oakleigh area has allowed too many of these smokers to occupy public places. The ultimate vengence will be to see so many of them end up without legs or with lung cancer. You have to be cruel to be kind. The harder the laws become for smokers, the more chance of saving some of the Have Your Say LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: Should the image of drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi be shown online? 61 % YES 39 % NO THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Do you agree with Abbott’s decision to accept 12,000 refugees from Syria? Yes/No Vote online now. Go to neoskosmos.com Published by Ethnic Publications Pty Ltd (ABN: 13005 255 087) of 169 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122. Printed by Rural Press Printing, Ballarat. NEOS KOSMOS Published since 1957 Contacts Reception Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Fax: (03) 9482 2962 Email: email@example.com Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.neoskosmos.com Advertising letters Email: email@example.com NEOS KOSMOS - English Publisher: No. 5628 Address: Level 1, 169 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122 Mail: PO Box 6068 Hawthorn West, Victoria 3122 Subscriptions Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (03) 9482 2962 Letters should not be more than 200 words and they must indicate your full name, address and a day time telephone number for verification. By submitting your letter to us for publication you agree that we may edit the letter for legal, space or other reasons and may, after the publication in the paper, republish it on the internet or in other media. Editor-in-Chief: Sotiris Hatzimanolis News Editor: Journalists: Christopher Gogos Michael Sweet Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Nikos Fotakis, Zoe Thomaúdou, John Pyrros Nelly Skoufatoglou, Contributors: Anthony Stavrinos, Dean Kalimniou, Theodora Maios, Alexandra Manatakis Proofreader: Graphic Design: Peter Kelidis Angela Costanzo younger ones. The shops that sell cigarettes should be located in heavy industrial areas like other dirty industries, away from decent people. Romaitis Victoria On Dimitri Petrakis standing up to homophobic abuse: I admire your strength, maturity and your leadership in dealing with other people's prejudice. Know that other young athletes are looking up to you in the way you are handling these small-minded, bigoted people. You certainly have my support. Effie Karamaloudis, Victoria Good on you Dimitri for standing up to those closed minded and small hearted bullies. Even more shame on them for hiding their meanness behind Christian faith or tradition. The world has moved on and it’s time homophobic people look in the mirror. Don’t let them stop u from doing what you love. Daniela Miszkinis, Victoria The Neos Kosmos Facebook page and Twitter page give our readers a great way to interact with Greeks of the diaspora and those in Greece. Check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/neoskosmos to let us know what you think by posting some of your own comments and feedback. FIND US ON - FACEBOOK.COM/NEOSKOSMOS FOLLOW US AT - TWITTER.COM/NEOSKOSMOS Please note that the submission of a letter does not guarantee that it will be published. We reserve the right to edit your letter for clarity, grammar, spelling and style. Letters that use inappropriate language will not be published. All letters published will include the author’s name and location. Comments posted on Neos Kosmos’website, facebook and twitter pages can also be included for submission at the editors’ discretion and will be edited accordingly.
5 September 2015
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