Australasia

‘Measuring success differently’: New Zealand budget’s shift in economic thinking

Urd 2b

The Ardern government in New Zealand is articulating a bigger role for government in society, talking up wellbeing over traditional economic measures — while still playing on the standard “fiscal… David Donaldson TheMandarin New Zealand’s Labour-led coalition government has handed down its first budget, highlighting health, education and housing as areas of focus. “Our priorities are different from the previous government. We are determined to turn the page on the ideology of individualism and a hands-off approach to our economy ... Read More »

Climate change an ‘existential security risk’ to Australia, Senate inquiry says

Xera 3c

Threat is not a possible future one but one endangering Australia now, parliament told Ben Doherty The Guardian Climate change is a “current and existential national security risk” to Australia, a Senate inquiry has told parliament, one that could inflame regional conflicts over food, water and land, and even imperil life on Earth. The Senate committee inquiry into the implications of climate change for Australia’s national security recommended an increase in foreign aid to be dedicated to climate change mitigation and… The inquiry, ... Read More »

A Peace Of Fiction: Australia Should Celebrate A National Day Of Violence

AU flag & blood 1a LLLL

If we’re going to engage in so much violence, then why not celebrate it, ask Gideon Polya and Richard Hil. New Matilda What’s all this talk about peace? Why should Australia celebrate peace when we appear to be such a violence-prone nation? Someone recently suggested that instead of staging peace rallies, Australia should hold a National Violence Day, such is this nation’s dalliance with this most aberrant of practices. No doubt, such views will upset the Pollyannas amongst us, but ... Read More »

Quit if you think a policy is immoral, and other advice from Peter Varghese

IPAA NPG 6/2016

What can a public servant do if they have a moral or ethical crisis about working on a current policy of the government? Put up with it or quit. Stephen Easton The Mandarin That is the stark reality, according to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Peter Varghese — unrelated to his own decision to retire from the public service after 38 years to become chancellor of the University of Queensland. The open forum that followed Varghese’s extremely well received ... Read More »

New Zealand ‘people’s’ budget sees Ardern put billions more into health and education

Thav 1a

Prime minister says she wants her child to look back and judge efforts favourably rather than want to change their name Eleanor Ainge Roy The Guardian The first Labour government in close to a decade has pledged to make New Zealand a kind and equitable nation where children thrive, and success is measured not only by the nation’s GDP but by better lives lived by its people. Finance minister Grant Robertson said the Labour coalition government didn’t want to “manage” issues such ... Read More »

Asylum seekers ‘face destitution’ as income support and housing cut off

Let them stay 2b LLLL

Refugee advocates describe cuts, which will affect up to 100 people, as ‘calculated cruelty to vulnerable people’ Helen Davidson The Guardian The federal government is taking away income support and housing from up to 100 refugees and asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru who are currently in Australia for medical treatment. The group, which includes families, elderly people and pregnant women, are among the more than 400 known as the “Let Them Stay” group, and the more than 260 that were party ... Read More »

Manus Island detention horrors hidden to ‘numb public into submission’: lawyer

Enk 3c

Award-winning Australian human rights lawyer Daniel Webb says there has been a “deliberate” ploy on both sides of politics to “numb the public into submission” and hide the horrors of offshore detention from their view. inkl The Australian-funded detention centres in Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, and Nauru have made multiple headlines over the past fortnight as conditions worsen. Hollywood star Russell Crowe called Manus “a nation’s shame” and said the cruelty it inflicted on its inhabitants was “f***ing disgraceful”. ... Read More »

From risk to benefit: public servants change their minds about cloud security

Ez 1a

Only a few years ago, a lot of public service leaders saw cloud computing as a security risk; now it is mainly seen as the opposite, according to a new survey. Stephen Easton The Mandarin “Federal agencies surveyed said improving security was the biggest reason driving them to move their IT systems into the cloud,” according to a statement from Macquarie Government, which commissioned the survey from research firm Ovum. Leaders from 45 federal government departments and agencies were interviewed during ... Read More »

Law Society: ‘Antiquated laws’ compromise safety of sex workers in SA

Justice 1a Blind LLLL

Measures to fully decriminalise sex work in South Australia has been welcomed by two of the state’s legal representative bodies, who say that sex workers should be afforded the same rights and protections as employees in any other industry. Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly The Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill 2018 was introduced in the South Australian parliament last Wednesday. The effect of the legislative change will mean that sex work would be fully decriminalised in the state; it ... Read More »

Indonesian terror attacks highlight an often forgotten truth

The Canberra Times Editorial 5e logo LLLL

The recent spate of horrific terrorist attacks in Indonesia highlights a number of unfortunate, and often overlooked, truths about this global epidemic of violent slaughter. Editorial The Canberra Times The first is that by far the greatest number of terror attacks carried out by so-called Islamic extremists occur in Muslim countries. A second is the attackers, who appropriate the name of a worthy and long-established faith that espouses tolerance, justice and civil harmony, have about as much to do with ... Read More »

‘More than 19’ Cameroon athletes seeking refuge after going missing at Commonwealth Games

Mort 3c

More than 19 Commonwealth Games athletes and team staff who went missing during the Gold Coast event are now seeking asylum in Australia, refugee advocates have said. 9news Sydney’s Refugee Advice and Casework Service principal solicitor Sarah Dale said the organisation had helped a number of people lodge applications for protection, before their federally approved games visas expired on Tuesday night. Initially, it was believed 11 participants had not returned home, including five boxers and three wrestlers from Cameroon, two ... Read More »

Councillors barred from office for up to seven years if convicted

Wue 4d

Queensland councillors will be banned from seeking re-election for up to seven years if convicted of serious integrity offences. Felicity Caldwell Brisbane Times Under proposed changes being debated in the Queensland Parliament this week, councillors convicted of integrity offences would automatically lose their job and be disqualified from being a councillor for four years. For a serious integrity offence, councillors would be disqualified for seven years. Councillors charged with serious integrity offences, such as bribery or treason, will be… Councillors barred ... Read More »

Victorian Parliament detects almost 6,000 hacking attempts on its IT systems

Victoria Parliament 1a front LLLL

There were nearly 6,000 attempts to hack into the Victorian Parliament’s IT systems in April alone, with the United States topping the list of source countries. Stephanie Anderson ABC Nearly 3,000 attempts originated from the United States last month and more than 1,000 came from Japan, according to figures shared at a budget estimates hearing on Tuesday. Only 547 attempts were detected from Australian would-be hackers. While the United States may have concerns about Russian interference in… Victorian Parliament detects… Read More »

Union election funds to be slashed under NSW Government plan

Geok 1a

The New South Wales Government is again going into battle against unions, to try to slash their influence on election campaigns. Sarah Gerathy ABC Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday announced an overhaul of electoral funding laws, which would more than halve the amount of money unions and other third parties are allowed to spend on state elections. Under current laws, the amount that third parties can spend on election campaigns is capped at $1.2 million each, but the legislation proposes ... Read More »

Minister Bishop rejects call for sacking

Form 1a

A former Australian ambassador to China believes Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has made a mess of Canberra’s relationship with Beijing and should be sacked. Lisa Martin, Australian Associated Press Originally published as Minister Bishop rejects call for sacking Former envoy-turned businessman Geoff Raby has accused the Turnbull government of adopting a policy of “strategic mistrust” towards China. Ms Bishop has since counter-attacked, describing the commentary as “profoundly misinformed”. “It is a… Minister Bishop rejects… Read More »

Australia’s biggest solar farm switches on in Port Augusta

Bung 2b

Australia’s biggest solar farm – the 220MW (AC) Bungala solar project near Port Augusta in South Australia – has begun production marking the important first stage of the transformation of a former coal city into a… Giles Parkinson REnewEconomy The first output from Bungala – which could end up being a 300MW project if all three stages are built – was injected into the local grid last week, as final commissioning of the 110MW first stage continues. Bungala, located 12kms from ... Read More »