Articles by Sonia Hickey

Domestic Violence Initiative Fails to Identify Those At-Risk


A recent report has concluded that a key initiative designed to combat domestic violence is failing complainants. The report by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) suggests that the Domestic Violence Safety Assessment Tool (DVSAT), is a “very poor instrument measuring the risk of repeat domestic violence victimisation, often performing little better ...

New Programme Helps Skilled Migrants Obtain Appropriate Work


Since the end of the second world war in 1945, about 7 million people from overseas have settled in Australia, around 18,000 of which are refugees. Many highly skilled workers struggle with language barriers and cultural differences, which can impede their ability to gain employment in their area of expertise. But one organisation has run ...

Digital Driver Licences are On the Way


The NSW government plans to phase out plastic driver licences and replace them with digital ones, making the new version available on smartphones through the Service NSW app. It says digital licences will work the same way as current ones, valid for roadside police checks, entry into pubs and clubs and proof of identity. It ...

Cannabis Gummy Bears Available in Australia


Cannabis edibles are making their way onto the Australian drug scene, and they make it easier for users to avoid detection as they can be chewed at any time, anywhere. Edible cannabis-derived gummies which may contain both THC or CBD oil in them, look like gummy bear lollies or soft chewy multivitamins. And because of ...

Budget Boost Will Not Reduce Court Backlogs


The Federal Government delivered a mixed-bag of good and bad news for the Australian court system last week. It announced an $80m boost to court resources, but many believe the amount is not enough to sufficiently ease the burden the court system is currently under, which has created enormous backlogs – particularly in our family ...

Give Distance to Cyclists or Face the Consequences


The Minimum Passing Distance rule has been retained as a permanent road rule in New South Wales, after a trial of the rule was hailed a success. The rule requires motorists to leave a minimum one-metre gap when passing cyclists who are travelling in the same direction. That distance bumps up to 1.5 metres when ...

NSW Government Says its Hidden Cameras Reveal Shocking Driver Conduct


Last month, the New South Wales government announced it would be trialling high-tech cameras capable of detecting illegal mobile phone use from as far away as a kilometre, and issuing fines without drivers being aware. The crackdown came after two police officers were injured when a van crashed into an RBT site earlier this year. ...

Ford Fined a Fiesta


The Federal Court has ordered car manufacturer Ford to pay a $10 million fine after finding the way it responded to consumer complaints about PowerShift transmission systems (PST) was “unconscionable”. It has been reported that around 10,000 complaints were made to Ford about issues arising from the transmission systems. Under the Federal Court’s ruling, at ...

Pell to Stand Trial over Child Sexual Assault Allegations


The Melbourne Magistrates Court has committed Cardinal George Pell to stand trial over multiple historical child sexual assault allegations. Magistrate Belinda Wallington found there is enough evidence for Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric to stand trial. However, the court discharged the Cardinal of a number of serious charges due to the unreliability of the complainant ...

It’s Time to Address Our Youth Homelessness Crisis


Australia – the lucky country. A nation where, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 116,000 people are homeless. And while that’s what the statistics say, those working at the front line believe the number is closer to 300,000 – and that about 100,000 of those are youths. Every night, young people who ...