Australasia

John Howard slams Turnbull government’s handling of same-sex marriage postal vote

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Former Prime Minister John Howard has slammed the Turnbull government’s handling of the same-sex marriage postal vote 9news Mr Howard has demanded the government release its planned legislation before the vote ends to show how it plans to handle “parental rights”, “freedom of speech” and show how “religious freedoms will be protected”. “The government’s response has been to wash its hands of any responsibility,” Mr Howard said. Malcolm Turnbull’s predecessor Tony Abbott agreed with Mr Howard. “People don’t know exactly ... Read More »

Tony Abbott on why same sex marriage would fundamentally change society

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Like most, I have tried to be there for friends and family who are gay. They are good people who deserve our love, respect and inclusion but that doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to reserve the term “marriage” for the relationship of one man with one woman, ideally for life and usually dedicated to children. Tony Abbott * The Sydney Morning Herald Like you, I want a country where everyone gets a fair go and where no one is ... Read More »

Map: Australian views on same-sex marriage

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Polling consistently shows most voters support same-sex marriage — but how do views vary across Australia? By Matt Liddy, Nathan Hoad and Ben Spraggon ABC How Australians think about same-sex marriage, mapped – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Last year, the ABC’s Vote Compass asked Australians whether they agreed or disagreed with this statement: Marriage should only be between a man and a woman. More than 1.2 million Australians responded, and a majority of people indicated support for allowing same-sex ... Read More »

Vote yes for human rights on same sex marriage survey

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The same sex marriage debate is not about religion, gender identity or the need to return to the values of “the good old days”. The Canberra Times It is, first and foremost, a question of human rights. Why should one section of our community be denied the right to exercise a choice the majority takes for granted? This is why, with the first postal survey forms due to begin arriving in home letter boxes across the nation this week, The ... Read More »

‘Grandmother plant’: Ex-UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has advice for PM

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AGL’s Liddell power station is a “grandmother” plant that shouldn’t receive funds more usefully invested elsewhere to improve Australia’s energy prospects, Christiana Figueres, the former United Nations climate chief… Peter Hannam The Sydney Morning Herald Ms Figueres, who as executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change oversaw the Paris climate agreement, said time is running out for Australia to get its energy and carbon policies in… “The time is short,” Ms Figueres told Fairfax Media during a ... Read More »

We should weep, but more importantly we should act to stop Indigenous suicides

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I have sat with hundreds of families in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that have lost loved ones to suicide. They are crying out to be heard. Gerry Georgatos The Guardian In the last few years I have written more than 300 articles on the suicide crisis and on suicide prevention. In those same years I have supported hundreds of suicide affected-families and thousands of critically at-risk individuals. In my view, understanding why one has suicidal thoughts should be ... Read More »

The abuse victims not on our radar and here’s why

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If I told you that right now, while you read this article, 200,000 Australian women were being abused, bullied or kept in social isolation you’d be outraged. Michael Riley Brisbane Times Correct? What about if a new report came out that the same number of children were being sexually abused both at home and in supposed safe institutions? Or if we read a news article that told us the same number of animals were being physically mistreated and left shaking ... Read More »

FactCheck: are children ‘better off’ with a mother and father than with same-sex parents?

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Public campaigns for and against same-sex marriage have been heightened by the Turnbull government’s plan to conduct a $122 million voluntary postal survey asking the nation whether same-sex couples should be able to marry under Australian law. Jennifer Power Simon Crouch The Conversation Discussing his opposition to same-sex marriage during an interview on Sky News, Liberal MP Kevin Andrews said children who are brought up with a mother and a father “are, as a cohort, better off than those who ... Read More »

World must act to halt genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

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World must act to halt genocide of Rohingya Muslims in MyanmarPersecution of Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar’s security forces has escalated to its worst level in years, becoming one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises. Editorial The Age So extreme is the systematic brutality against this stateless, downtrodden and demonised minority of 1.1 million people in a nation of 54 million, 90 per cent of whom are Buddhists, that the United Nations is suggesting it is tantamount to ethnic cleansing ... Read More »

The Copenhagen breakthrough in the Timor Sea

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There has been an agreed breakthrough in the long running dispute between Australia and Timor Leste in relation to maritime boundary demarcation and control of the resources in the disputed area in the Timor Sea. Frank Brennan Eureka Street The breakthrough came on 30 August, the 18th anniversary of the bloody referendum at which the Timorese voted for their independence from Indonesia. The terms of the deal remain confidential. But the Permanent Court of Arbitration which is overseeing the Conciliation ... Read More »

In the pages of Kon’s notebooks, there are stories for all Australians

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In the pages of Kon’s notebooks, there are stories for all AustraliansThere are two notebooks. The covers are blue, and worn at the edges. One book is falling apart, the spine held together by tape. Both are 168 pages long, and each contains lists of names, one to a line, numbered and dated. Arnold Zable The Age The first entry, back in 2001, records the name of the first person who sought help from the newly-founded Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. ... Read More »

Anti-vaccination advocate Kent Heckenlively denied entry to Australia by minister Peter Dutton

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One of the world’s most prominent anti-vaccination advocates has been denied entry to Australia due to his “dangerous” views. Henry Belot ABC Kent Heckenlively was planning to visit Australia later this year for an international tour calling on parents to stop vaccinating their children. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton made the decision to deny Mr Heckenlively entry, saying his views were not welcome in Australia. “These people who are telling kids, telling parents that their kids shouldn’t be vaccinated are dangerous ... Read More »

Strangers R Us: Why Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Is Bitter, Stupid And Counter-Productive

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If you think our society is ‘too soft’ on the vulnerable, you probably need to find another society, writes Sue Stevenson. New Matilda It’s apparently easy to persuade lots of people to be cool with their government treating others like criminals. All you need to do is wedge yourself in underneath the bitterness of their life, and then use it as a lever to fling them really hard into the idea that other people are getting an easy ride. That’s ... Read More »

Defeated by high legal costs: the terrible injustice most of us could face

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It’s one of the most glaring gaps between theory and practice in our community, a huge disconnect between our democracy and our economy. A terrible injustice most of us could face. Everyone knows about it, but it’s rarely discussed. Ross Gittins Brisbane Times What is it? The prohibitively high cost of justice. We’re all supposed to be equal before the law, but you ain’t anything like equal if they can afford a lawyer and you can’t. The president of the ... Read More »

Dutton should learn to live with lawyers helping in matters of life and death

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Mandatory detention and boat turn-backs have been proposed – and rejected – in the past. How have we moved from a humanitarian approach to this cruelty? Claire Higgins The Guardian <linkrel=”stylesheet”type=”text/css”href=”https://assets.guim.co.uk/stylesheets/4c4e9fc6f6275cf538d9f9f274cb7afd/content.css”/> Lawyers who defend asylum seekers, the immigration minister believes, are ”un-Australian”. Peter Dutton is not the first minister to level criticism at asylum seeker advocates. But history shows that things could – and should – have turned out very differently. Speaking in the wake of news that the Turnbull ... Read More »

Churches offer sanctuary to asylum seekers affected by welfare crackdown

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Australia’s Christian churches are offering sanctuary to 100 asylum seekers caught up in a Government welfare crackdown affecting those who were originally transported to Australia for medical treatment. Lexy Hamilton-Smith ABC Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has said those whose treatment had been finalised would no longer receive financial assistance from the Government. The asylum seekers have been meeting with Immigration officials over the last two days to discuss cuts to their assistance. However, if they can find a way to ... Read More »