Australasia

When will Australian politics have its Weinstein moment?

Yea 9i

One year before the Weinstein allegations and the #MeToo phenomenon, political journalist Karen Middleton wrote an article about sexual harassment in Australian politics. Jane Gilmore The Canberra Times It was not so much a personal account of her own experiences as a description of an entrenched culture in Canberra’s hothouse of politicians and journalists. If her description of this culture is still accurate, politicians, and the profession supposed to hold them to account, are living in a culture that normalises criminal behaviour. ... Read More »

Our Border Protection Spin Isn’t Fooling The World, UN Docs Reveal

Bexa 1a

The international community is not fooled by Australia’s human rights offending immigration policies, writes Kellie Tranter. New Matilda In January this year, Treasurer and former immigration minister Scott Morrison told Australians: “We are the envy of the world when it comes to strong border protection policies that protect the integrity of our immigration system.” Yet heavily redacted documents released under Freedom of Information laws relating to our bid for the United Nations Human Rights Council suggest that in diplomatic circles, ... Read More »

Barnaby Joyce says New Zealand should ‘back off’ on offer to resettle refugees

Baue 1a

Deputy PM says Jacinda Ardern’s pledge to resettle up to 150 refugees from Manus Island could jeopardise the countries’ relationship Ben Doherty The Guardian Recently renounced New Zealand citizen Barnaby Joyce has said his former homeland should back off on its offer to resettle refugees from Australia’s offshore detention regime. In an interview with Newstalk ZB in New Zealand, the recently-reinstalled deputy prime minister of Australia issued a veiled threat to the NZ prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, that her commitment ... Read More »

Most Australians support a federal anti-corruption commission: research

Maura 4d

Most Australians want the government to create a federal anti-corruption commission, make its national agencies more independent and set four-year parliamentary terms, according to a new report led by one of the nation’s most respected former public… Doug Dingwall The Canberra Times The findings come as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the first time suggested he was prepared to consider creating a federal anti-corruption watchdog, but said he was not yet persuaded the case had been made for such a… While the discussion paper released ... Read More »

Democracy in meltdown as East Timorese PM denounces ‘coup’

Calp 1a

The prime minister of East Timor is refusing to allow parliament to reconvene because he will face a vote of no confidence. What next? Professor Damien Kingsbury. Crikey international affairs commentator As East Timor went to elections this year, the country was the most peaceful and united it had been in its short history. The CNRT-Fretilin government of national inclusion had functioned well, it appeared that the ‘Generation of ‘75’ exemplified by Xanana Gusmao, was stepping back from politics and, with the ... Read More »

Three reasons Australians should be concerned that NGOs’ voices are not being heard

Bei 1a

A healthy democracy is built on the premise that public debate should allow for many and diverse voices to be heard as part of the contest for ideas that informs policymaking. Andrea Carson Sarah Maddison If Australians want this to be the case, the current state of play offers three reasons for concern. The Conversation NGOs are self-silencing The first is the finding in our research, released today, that Australian NGOs are self-silencing. Our data show that many not-for-profit organisations, ... Read More »

Australia Seeks New Gag Laws That Could See Journalists And Whistleblowers Jailed for 20 Years

Edd 1a

Organisations such as WikiLeaks and disclosures from whistleblowers like Edward Snowden appear to be the target Paul Farrell BuzzFeed  Australian government and intelligence whistleblowers – and potentially even journalists – may face up to 20 years in jail for disclosing classified information, under the most sweeping changes to the country’s secrecy laws since they were introduced. The Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a broad package of reforms aimed at curbing foreign interference from countries including China and Russia. ... Read More »

Government moves to curb modern slavery

Depression 1a LLLL

Slavery is the world’s second-biggest illicit market In the past, slaves were shackled in metal chains. Editorial Today, they are exploited in supply chains. The Sydney Morning Herald It might have been thought that slavery was a shameful but pretty much closed chapter of history. It’s not. It is the world’s second-biggest illicit market, behind drugs, with an estimated 45 million children, women and men treated as commodities (average price about $90). Forced labour generates an estimated $US150 billion  ($199b) ... Read More »

Sexual abuse survivors fear being ‘deserted’ after royal commission ends

Mele 6f

Advocates say commission’s closure will create ‘sense of loss’ and express concerns there will be insufficient support Melissa Davey The Guardian Survivors of sexual abuse and their advocates have spoken of their fears of being left in the lurch once the child abuse royal commission’s work officially draws to a close. On Friday the royal commissioners will deliver their final report to the governor general in Canberra, marking the end of their five-year inquiry into how abuse was able to ... Read More »

Greens single out 13 companies that paid no tax yet donated to major parties

Karp 1a

Richard Di Natale says Australian democracy ‘broken’ and system being propped up by Labor and Liberal parties Paul Karp The Guardian Thirteen companies that paid no tax in 2015-16 made $1.7m in political donations to the Liberal and Labor parties in that year, the Greens have complained. On Thursday the Australian tax office released fresh tax data that showed 36% of the 2,043 largest public companies and multinational entities in Australia paid no tax in 2015-16. An analysis by the Greens cross-referencing the ... Read More »

Locals threaten violence against Manus Island asylum seekers at new accommodation

Lauk 1a

Asylum seekers on Manus Island say local people are threatening to kill them after they moved into new accommodation in the island’s town Eric Tlozek ABC The men have provided video evidence of local men — who appear to be drunk — coming to their accommodation and threatening them. In one incident, in the early hours of the morning on December 10, a group of four men approached the main gate of the West Haus accommodation compound. A video filmed ... Read More »

We don’t need NZ’s meddling

Kerp 2b

NEW Zealand’s new Labour PM Jacinda Ardern has a hide. Miranda Devine Her repeated offers to take some of the asylum seekers now causing trouble on Manus Island is just naive virtue-signalling. Adelaide Now Ardern should know that her meddling runs the risk of putting what Indonesia calls the “sugar” back on the table for people smugglers. The last time a Labor leader did that in Australia, 1200 people drowned at sea, and we are still dealing with the backlog ... Read More »

Geoffrey Rush to sue Murdoch’s The Daily Telegraph

Geoffrey Rush 1a Paul Jeffers photo LLLL

Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush is suing News Corp’s Sydney masthead The Daily Telegraph over a series of allegations the publication has run in the past week. Broede Carmody The Sydney Morning Herald Speaking at a press conference in Melbourne, the Pirates of the Caribbean star described claims made by the publication as “slurs” and “hyperbole”. “The Daily Telegraph has made false, pejorative and demeaning claims, splattering them with unrelenting bombasity on its front pages,” he said. “This has created irreparable damage to my reputation [and… ... Read More »

Meet NSW’s Young Volunteer 2017: The 11-year-old mechanic fixing bikes for kids in need

Ferox 6f

Tia Brennen was holidaying at a caravan park with her family when she found a few broken bicycles ditched by the rubbish bin, sparking an idea in the young girl’s mind. Justine Landis-Hanley The Sydney Morning Herald Over the next year, the 11-year-old – who had never fixed a bike before – and her dad restored over 320 abandoned bikes to donate to children in need. On Friday, she was named Young Volunteer of the Year at the 2017 NSW Volunteer of the ... Read More »

Fast-track assessment fundamentally unfair to refugees, high court told

High Court of Australia 4d Lukas Coch AAP LLLL

Legal Aid Victoria argues those who arrive by boat are treated as second-class in first high court challenge to new regime Calla Wahlquist  The Guardian Legal Aid Victoria has challenged the “fundamental unfairness” of the fast-tracked refugee assessment process in the high court, arguing that it treats those who arrived by boat as second class. The one-day hearing on Thursday focused on the case of an Iranian asylum seeker in his mid-20s whose application for a temporary protection visa was ... Read More »

The future of multiculturalism in Australia

Ferox 1a

Australia likes to pride itself on being one of the most successful multicultural countries in the world — it’s a statement you hear often by politicians of all persuasions. ABC RN But what does it truly mean and is it something that we can indeed lay claim too?  (view full episode) Fethi Mansouri is the director of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, which has released a report on its Doing Diversity Project exploring attitudes towards multiculturalism. And ... Read More »