Doing right by East Timor should be bipartisan policy

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Opinion Negotiating a clear boundary between Australia and East Timor would help heal this damaged relationship and give us a stronger moral voice on global disputes, writes Damien Kingsbury. ABC – By Damien Kingsbury * The Timor Sea issue is back on the national agenda following the announcement on Wednesday by shadow foreign minister Tanya Plibersek that Labor will, in government, scrap the existing Timor Sea Treaty. She said that Labor would enter into new negotiations on a permanent boundary between Australia ... Read More »

The young entrepreneurs helping to rebuild East Timor

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Cesar Gaio loves cooking in the open air. He hovers over a gas stove next to the winding road that edges the sea in Dili, East Timor, preparing wraps filled with purple sweet potato and fresh fish. BBC – By Kate StantonBusiness reporter, Dili, East Timor “I love people to see me cooking,” he says. “Like Jamie Oliver.” Mr Gaio carts a gas stove around the city in the back of his pick-up truck, setting up shop wherever he likes. Both ... Read More »

Sending kids to Nauru is a crime – ICC at the Hague notified of latest outrage

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The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has written again to the International Criminal Court to provide further material to support an investigation into the Australian Government for crimes against humanity in relation to asylum seekers. “I have written to the ICC Prosecutor to draw her attention to the Government’s intention to deport to Nauru 267 asylum seekers, including 30 babies, who were brought to Australia for medical treatment,” Mr Wilkie said. “We know that the Nauru Regional Processing Centre ... Read More »

Investigative journalists are finding innovative ways to expose secrets and lies

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Most of the fourth estate lacks the time and money needed to prise open the secret doors that the powerful keep locked. The Canberra Times – Jonathan Holmes * Every journalist I know loves the film Spotlight. It portrays us the way we wish we were – but fewer and fewer of us actually are. There’s a scene near the beginning of the film when Walter “Robby” Robinson, the editor of the Boston Globe‘s investigative team – called Spotlight, hence the ... Read More »

Government medicinal cannabis bill to be tested in Parliament

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The Turnbull government will on Wednesday introduce a national scheme into Parliament to licence medicinal cannabis growers. The Canberra Times – Jane Lee, Legal affairs, health and science reporter Although medicinal cannabis is available for particular patient groups and clinical trials, it is currently illegal to grow and import most medicinal cannabis products, leading some patients to buy them from the black market and run the risk of prosecution for drug use and possession. Health minister Sussan Ley hoped for bipartisan support for ... Read More »

Child protection workers urged to consider adoption in forums across NSW

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NSW government aims to boost adoption numbers National adoption rates to an all-time low Family and Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard​ is challenging the state’s “anti-adoption sentiment”, encouraging child protection caseworkers to give greater priority to adoption. The Sydney Morning Herald – Social Affairs Reporter ””” It’s about providing children with a family for life as opposed to carers until they turn 18. Lisa Vihtonen ””” A series of forums around NSW directed at caseworkers will emphasise the benefits of adoption ... Read More »

When silence falls: NSW art exhibition exposes hidden violent chapters in Australian, world history

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Visions of war and conflict may be all too commonplace in the news media, but it is not often that we are given the space to really contemplate what the long-term legacy of violence is for our society. ABC – By Rachel Robinson Cara Pinchbeck, curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW), made it her mission to carve out just such a space with the exhibition, When silence falls. “There’s so much conflict ... Read More »

Melbourne priest Paul Grasby moves to Malaysia to pursue ‘young Asian men’ while on paid leave

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EXCLUSIVE A Catholic priest stood down amid child sexual abuse allegations has moved to Malaysia, where he is using a gay dating website to seek the company of “young Asian men” while on paid leave. The Age – Nino Bucci, Crime reporter for The Age Father Peter Grasby, who is suspected of abusing boys from at least two Melbourne parishes during almost 40 years as a priest, also propositioned a former parishioner on a gay dating website, it can be revealed. Father Grasby, ... Read More »

Are we causing longer, more intense bushfire seasons?

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Opinion If you think bushfires are becoming both more common and more fierce, you’re right. And the science says it’s not just because of natural climate variations, writes John Connor. ABC – The DRUM – By John Connor Over summer we have yet again witnessed frightening, destructive bushfires in South Australia and Western Australia. Now, in Tasmania, we face the global tragedy of bushfires continuing to burn in extremely vulnerable world heritage alpine old growth forests, incinerating 1,000-year-old trees. Ancient ecosystems ... Read More »

Mathematics should be compulsory during all of high school, ADMA says

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Mathematics should be compulsory during all of high school to help address a skills gap in analytics in the marketing industry, according to Association of Data-driven Marketing and Advertising chief executive Jodie Sangster. Brisbane Times – Max Mason, Media Reporter Ms Sangster, who also represents the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA), said there has been constant feedback from members who are having problems filling jobs with people who have the right skill sets in data and marketing. “The outcome ... Read More »

Victoria will take the 267 asylum seekers, Daniel Andrews tells Malcolm Turnbull

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Andrews wrote to the prime minister urging him to take action and keep a group of Australian-born asylum seeker children and their families in Australia The Guardian – Ben Doherty @bendohertycorro The 267 asylum seekers whose removal to Nauru was cleared by a controversial high court ruling are welcome to stay in Victoria, the state’s premier Daniel Andrews has said. Andrews wrote to the Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday offering that the group – which includes 37 babies born in Australia to asylum ... Read More »

Kids In Aus Detention: Standard ‘At Risk’ Test Results Worse Than Any In Recorded History

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A standard global test for child development has delivered an incredible result. The children Australia holds in immigration detention are the most at risk ever given the assessment. Max Chalmers reports. New Matilda – Max Chalmers Tucked into the middle of the most recent report into the damage done by Australia’s immigration detention network is an astounding detail. When examined with a standard paediatric test that helps determine the likelihood of developmental problems, the children held in the Wickham Point detention ... Read More »

High Court ruling: Silence falls as Manus Island detainees’ hopes for justice are dashed

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A detainee in the offshore “prison” tells the inside story of frustration, fear and hopelessness. * The Age Video – ””” HIGH COURT UPHOLDS OFFSHORE DETENTION – Human rights advocate slams High Court ruling that leaves vulnerable asylum seekers in limbo, saying “legality is one thing. The morality is another.” ””” It’s Wednesday afternoon here in the Delta Prison, the compound where I am imprisoned in Australia’s detention camp on Manus Island. Dozens of refugees with ill-fitting clothes and plastic thongs are ... Read More »

Canberra Uniting Church will accept appeals for sanctuary from refugees

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Canberra’s Uniting Church congregations would welcome refugees seeking sanctuary from deportation to Manus Island or Nauru as a result of Wednesday’s High Court ruling “with open doors, open hearts, and open tables”, church leaders said on Thursday. The Canberra Times – David Ellery, Reporter for The Canberra Times “It’s called civil disobedience and churches have been doing it for a long time,” the Reverend Anne Ryan of the Tuggeranong Uniting Church at Erindale said. While Canberra’s Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian communities ... Read More »

Malcolm Turnbull Has Ducked The Greatest Moral Challenge Of His Political Life

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On 3 February 2016 the High Court of Australia dismissed an application which challenged the constitutional underpinnings of Australia’s offshore detention regime. The Huffington Post, Julian Burnside, Barrister, human rights activist, supporter of the arts * Offshore detention is a practice introduced by the Howard government in 2001 in response to the Tampa episode. The Norwegian cargo ship MV Tampa had rescued 438 people (mostly Afghan Hazaras) after their boat sank. It is startling to remember that, in the year to August ... Read More »

Queensland youth justice reforms don’t go far enough: legal and family groups

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The Palaszczuk government’s plan to overhaul youth justice laws, including removing the Newman government boot camp orders, has been met with approval from the legal and community sectors – but the government has still drawn fire for not addressing Queensland’s policy of sending children to adult prisons. Brisbane Times – Amy Remeikis, Queensland political editor Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath promised a review of youth justice in Queensland during the election, following the former LNP’s changes to the act, which included boot camps, naming and ... Read More »