Australasia

A lonely death in Adelaide’s leafy suburbs

A male refugee, bloodied by razor wire, cries out moments before a breakout from the Woomera Detention Centre in Outback Australia, Friday, March 29, 2002. More than a dozen refugees managed to breakout of the detention center after about 500 protestors broke through an outer fence to demonstrate withing meters (yards) of the detainees. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Opinion At a small and heartbreaking funeral in suburban Tusmore, Adelaide lawyer Mal Byrne says he grasped the full horror of the damage wrought by Australia’s immigration detention system. Mal Byrne / Tindall Gask Bentley In Daily His name was Aref. He died in November 2017 at the age of 47. He was my client. He died alone in his unit tucked away in the leafy eastern suburbs of Adelaide. It was several days before his body was found. He ... Read More »

Reserve Bank governor rules out interest rate hikes until wages rise

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The Reserve Bank governor has dismissed any chance of a rate hike any time soon, after a week of financial turmoil sparked by fears of rapidly rising inflation and interest rates in the United States. By business reporter Carrington Clarke ABC Philip Lowe said the recent market volatility would not have any impact on the growth outlook for Australia, which remains at “a bit above 3 per cent over the next couple of years”. But he also intensified his calls for higher ... Read More »

Julian Assange loses challenge to UK arrest warrant, court to rule on new bid next week

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost one legal bid to have a UK arrest warrant against him quashed but immediately launched another, to have the British authorities halt any action against him on public interest grounds. ABC Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she would give her decision on February 13. A ruling in Mr Assange’s favour could pave the way for him to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he has been holed up for more than five years. Mr ... Read More »

Truth about toxic banking culture may never be told

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Year after year, scandals revealing the ongoing unethical behaviour of banking senior management have shown the need for scrutiny of wrongdoing in our nation’s finance sector Julia Angrisano Brisbane Times The royal commission is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on these hidden practices, to improve the experiences of customers and finance workers. However, shadows are being cast over the process of the banking royal commission before it has even begun. Legal schemes that banks use to silence their staff ... Read More »

NXT opposes cashless card expansion

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The Nick Xenophon Team have opposed the cashless welfare card legislation in the House of Representatives, putting the Goldfields expansion of the trial site in jeopardy. Joanna Delalande | Kalgoorlie Miner The West Australian  NXT Member of Parliament Rebekah Sharkie revealed the party’s position on the controversial card on Tuesday, saying she felt there was not enough conclusive evidence to support the trial’s expansion. “We do not yet have a clear determination on whether the card actually benefits participants in ... Read More »

Child abuse redress scheme would exclude offshore detention victims, lawyers say

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Exclusive: Turnbull government says compensation should not be available to those who are not citizens or permanent residents Christopher Knaus The Guardian The government’s model for a national redress scheme would exclude children who were abused in Australia’s offshore detention network, a lawyers’ association has warned. A national redress scheme was one of the key recommendations of the landmark child abuse royal commission, offering a way to compensate survivors without forcing them to resort to costly and prolonged civil action. ... Read More »

Attacks on the judiciary by politicians weaken our democracy

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The separation of powers sounds like the stuffy, abstract domain of lawyers and academics. But it needn’t be and it shouldn’t be. Morry Bailes * Brisbane Times Because, the actual freedom of each and every one of us – in a very real and practical way – relies on the complete independence of the executive, the Parliament, and the judiciary. At its most basic level, the separation of powers simply means that if one of the powerful arms of our ... Read More »

Corruption will never die, but we can do more to stamp it out: here’s how

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Corruption is not always an easy thing to pin down Sure, brown paper bags stuffed with wads of cash are easy enough to figure out. Jessica Irvine Brisbane Times But outright bribery is only one of the myriad ways individuals or businesses may seek to pervert government decisions to their advantage. The problem stems from the fundamental nature of our economy In first-year text books, economics students are taught that market forces of supply and demand determine prices. But rarely, ... Read More »

Shuffling Seats: The Politicians Who Put ‘Person Over Party’… And Democracy

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Winning a seat in the Senate for a political party, then dumping that political party and either going it solo or joining another party, undermines our parliamentary system, writes Ross Hamilton. New Matilda It used to be said that it was harder to get out of the Australian cricket team than it was to get in there. While that may no longer be the case for our cricketers, it is clearly is with our politicians. Once an individual gets their ... Read More »

Paul Murray: The political power of a good story

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One of the clear areas of ascendency for the Labor Party over its rivals in recent decades has been the ability to create what is known as the political narrative. Paul Murray | The West Australian Modern politics has been reduced by technology and the media to not much more than a marketing exercise, and Labor was quicker to realise it, smarter in adapting and more skilful in using it. Kevin Rudd’s 2007 election campaign was a case in point. ... Read More »

Celebrated and beloved Age journalist Michael Gordon dies aged 62

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Michael Gordon, a giant of Australian journalism and one of The Age’smost loved, respected and lauded writers, has died at the age of 62. Debbie Cuthbertson The Sydney Morning Herald He is believed to have suffered a heart attack while taking part in an ocean swim at Cowes, on Phillip Island, on Saturday morning. He was pulled from the water and brought to shore shortly before 10.30am. Despite the best efforts of emergency services, who spent more than an hour trying ... Read More »

The truth about political donations: there is so much we don’t know

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The big story about the Australian Electoral Commission’s annual release of political donations disclosures is how little they really tell us Lindy Edwards The Conversation Over the last decade, the major parties have routinely only transparently disclosed 10-20% of their incomes as donations. There is another 20-35% of party incomes that falls into a grey area, where accounting enables them to conceal the source of the money. Then there is another 50-70% of party incomes the public knows absolutely nothing ... Read More »

Illustrating the Nauru files: ‘We have to fight with something’

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Artistic depictions of detention, based on Guardian Australia’s publication of leaked files, make you feel a deep kind of horrible about what happened on Nauru Naaman Zhou The Guardian The incident report that Melbourne artist Angela Brennan read had all the names redacted. It said that at 1.35pm one day on Nauru in March 2015 someone told a staff member two children had become upset in maths class. Another family had been medically evacuated to Australia and the children felt left behind. ... Read More »

Peter Dutton criticised for ‘subjecting judges to quasi-election’

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Law Council says publicly releasing potential court appointees’ names is fraught with risk Paul Karp The Guardian The Law Council has denounced Peter Dutton’s suggestion of seeking public feedback before appointing judges as a “quasi-election” model that would politicise the judiciary. It is the second time the body has criticised the home affairs minister for undermining the independence of the judiciary after it rebuked him for claims that Victorians were “scared to go out to restaurants” due to street violence and that “civil libertarian” ... Read More »

The Economics Of Slavery: Spending Power Is Linked To People Power

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We might not be as free as we think we are, writes Matthew Clark. Edward Santow – Australia’s newest Human Rights Commissioner – has noted that more people live in slavery today than at any previous time in world history. Matthew C. Clarke New Matilda How is that possible? Some of the most detailed and credible estimates of how many slaves are in the world today come from Australian research by the Walk Free Foundation. After producing The Global Slavery ... Read More »

Fixing pain management could help us solve the opioid crisis

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Australia is facing a critical public health issue of poorly managed pain The combination of poor health outcomes, inappropriate prescribing for pain and non-prescription use of opioids has resulted in opioid-related deaths surpassing the national annual road toll. Meredith Craigie The Conversation And prescription opioids were involved in more than 70% of drug-related deaths in Australia in 2017. What should opioids be used for? Opiods began being commonly prescribed in the 90s, despite limited research supporting their effectiveness for chronic pain that wasn’t ... Read More »