Australasia

It’s a fallacy that all Australians have access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene

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Nations are gathering in New York this week to discuss the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to improve health, wealth and well-being for countries both rich and poor. Nina Lansbury Hall Cindy Shannon Paul Jagals The Conversation As a developed nation, it might be assumed that Australia will easily meet these new goals at home – including goal number 6, to… But the unpalatable truth is… It’s a fallacy… Read More »

The biggest threat to free speech isn’t 18C. It’s this

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A very noisy section of the commentariat believes that the biggest threat to free speech in Australia is anti-discrimination law, particularly the “offend and insult” provision, section 18C. Michael Bachelard Brisbane Times They are wrong. A far bigger threat is defamation law. Yes, it’s a threat to the media, and to investigative journalism particularly. But it’s also a… The biggest threat… Read More »

Migrant, Indigenous bodies say new budget measures are discriminatory

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The main organisations representing ethnic communities and Indigenous people have expressed concern that some measures in the federal budget could discriminate against sections of the population. Kristina Kukolja SBS The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) says proposed stricter residency requirements for the age pension, as well as the… Migrant, Indigenous bodies… Read More »

Australia’s shame on stage for the world to widness

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It’s not every day you get invited to speak on the stage of New York’s Lincoln Centre between the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, and the woman who very nearly became the first female President of the US, Hillary Clinton – and just after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Jennifer Robinson Brisbane Times But such is the growing international concern about Australia’s… President Trump’s infamous first phone call with… Australia’s shame on… Read More »

Coalition counts cost of delay to US refugee deal in budget

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$713,000 has been allocated to fund the Nauru and Manus centres – well above the $434,000 the government forecast The Guardian Spending on offshore detention centres has not been reduced in the federal budget to reflect the refugee resettlement agreement with the United States because of the deep uncertainty surrounding the arrangement. For 2017-18 the government has budgeted $713,641 for offshore detention, lower than the… Coalition counts cost… Read More »

Police Minister Troy Grant says he would like to ‘take the nuts off’ child sex offenders

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NSW’s police minister has declared he’d like to “take the nuts off” convicted child sex offenders when announcing a plan to overhaul the state’s sentencing and parole system. AAP Daily Telegraph Convicted child sex offenders would be able to volunteer for chemical castration under the reforms unveiled by the NSW government today. The suite of changes would ease overcrowding in prisons, reduce court delays and… Police Minister Troy… Read More »

Supporting people in crisis a real privilege

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This week is National Volunteer Week, an annual celebration to acknowledge the contribution of Australia’s volunteers. Adrian Momber The West Australian I have been one of Lifeline WA’s volunteer crisis supporters for nearly two years. The reason I volunteered was that I grew up understanding and supporting my mother, who had bipolar disorder and had attempted suicide more than once, and I always intended to… Supporting people in… Read More »

Data availability report presents compromised rights for consumers

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A promising inquiry into how data is used in Australia has proved disappointing, with consumers being offered few new protections. Jessica Lake The Conversation Released this week, the Productivity Commission’s final report, titled Data Availability and Use, represents a major shift in the legal landscape of data rights. The report makes a number of recommendations. Most importantly, it… Data availability report… Read More »

Rein in the executive: let the people, via Parliament, decide whether we go to war

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Rein in the executive: let the people, via Parliament, decide whether we go to war Julian Cribb The Canberra Times Australia may soon be sucked into a new war. Possibly more than one war. And Australians will again have no say in the matter. In two months, United States President Donald Trump has launched military actions in Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen, turned up the heat on North Korea and… Rein in the… Read More »

The decision to only fund disadvantaged volunteering projects threatens viability of vital support services

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IMAGINE a world without volunteers. What would that mean for the thousands of organisations, the communities, the individuals and their families that 5.8 million Australians freely give their time and talent to? Evelyn O’Loughlin The Advertiser What would it mean to the volunteers themselves? Individuals choose to volunteer for many different reasons – for some it provides an… Evelyn O’Loughlin: The… Read More »

Ex-Labor leader Mark Latham joins Liberal

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It’s the political move that stunned even the closest Canberra-watchers. Mark Hawthorne The Age With AAP On the eve of the federal budget, former ALP leader Mark Latham has announced he is joining the Liberal Democratic Party, headed by David Leyonhjelm. Mr Latham – who led Labor to defeat against former Liberal prime minister John Howard in the… Ex-Labor leader Mark… Read More »

José Ramos-Horta calls on Australia to abandon ‘unsubstantiated’ claim in Timor Sea

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Former Timor-Leste president warns government not to harm relations by pushing to extend borders to control the Greater Sunrise oil field Naaman Zhou The Guardian The former Timor-Leste president José Ramos-Horta has told the Australian government to abandon its “unsubstantiated” legal case to extend its borders into the… Speaking at a Labor party-hosted event in… José Ramos-Horta… Read More »

Holocaust denial flyers distributed around University of Queensland widely condemned

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The University of Queensland, their student union and the chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission have all condemned Holocaust denial flyers that have been distributed on… Rachel Clun Brisbane Times It is understood the flyers, which have also shown up at universities in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, have been pinned to noticeboards and put on… Dr Melanie O’Brien, an… Holocaust denial flyers… Read More »

What happens when scientists stand up for science

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The 2017 March for Science was a powerful political statement by scientists. Brian Martin  The Conversation The marchers opposed political interference, budget cuts and lack of support for science at a government level. More commonly, though, scientists stay in their labs and avoid the public political spotlight. CSIRO scientist John Church – who initially acted as an individual (not a… What happens when… Read More »

Australia’s grand mufti wins defamation case over News Corp articles

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Media group consents to judgment as part of settlement with Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, after paper said he had not condemned Paris attacks Christopher Knaus The Guardian Australia’s grand mufti has won a defamation case over News Corp articles depicting him as an “unwise” monkey and asserting he had failed to condemn the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. News Corp consented to the judgment as part of a confidential… Australia’s grand mufti… Read More »

Jose Ramos-Horta warns gas dispute with Australia risks pushing East Timor closer to China

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East Timor’s former president Jose Ramos-Horta has issued a blunt warning to Australia that the gas dispute between the two countries risks pushing Timor closer to China. ABC Australia and East Timor have been locked in a messy dispute that has included allegations of Australia spying on its poorer neighbour during negotiations for an oil field in the Timor Sea, worth an estimated $40… Jose Ramos-Horta… Read More »