Australasia

Elder abuse: Many people committing financial abuse unintentionally, MP says

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Could you be abusing your elderly relatives without realising it? A WA politician says many people are unintentionally breaking the law by taking financial advantage of their older relatives. ABC Greens MP Alison Xamon, the deputy chair of the parliamentary committee investigating elder abuse, said some people did not realise what they were doing was unacceptable and illegal. “People that have managed to get control of their parents’ finances, for example, who just say ‘oh no, Mum and Dad would ... Read More »

National anthem protest: 9yo refuses to stand because anthem is for ‘white people of Australia’

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Teachers at a Brisbane primary school have disciplined a nine-year-old girl for refusing to stand for the national anthem during assembly. By Talissa Siganto and staff ABC Primary school student Harper Nielsen was given a lunch time detention on Friday for peacefully protesting against the song she said is “wrong”. “When it says ‘we are young’ it completely disregards the Indigenous Australians who were here before us for over 50,000 years,” she said. “When it was originally written, Advance Australia ... Read More »

‘This is not what privilege is for’: Ex-Border Force boss complains to speaker

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The astonishing war of words between Peter Dutton and former Border Force boss Roman Quaedvlieg has escalated further. Latika Bourke The Sydney Morning Herald Mr Quaedvlieg has now complained to the speaker Tony Smith over Mr Dutton’s use of parliamentary privilege to accuse him of “grooming” a younger woman. The Minister also said that Mr Quaedvlieg, who was sacked for helping his girlfriend get a job within the agency, was “discredited and disgraced”. “He was a man who had groomed ... Read More »

303,000 crimes in three years: Insurer scrambles at royal commission

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A life insurance company has admitted to 303,000 criminal breaches of the law through its use of a pushy cold call sales force that intentionally upset potential customers in the hope they would make “grudge purchases” of its products. Sarah Danckert Brisbane Times The admissions by ASX-listed life insurance group Clearview came as the banking royal commission turned its gaze to the life insurance sector. The royal commission heard on Monday that Clearview – a company born out of NRMA’s life ... Read More »

Father and son’s incredible close encounter with ocean giants

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A Victorian father and son have shared an incredible close encounter with some gentle giants of the sea. 9news Drew Woods and his seven-year-old son Ollie were about to head out to paddleboard off the coast of Shoreham, on the Mornington Peninsula, about midday yesterday when something caught their eye in the distance. Mr Woods and Ollie raced out about 500m on the boards to where two southern right whales were swimming. A professional cameraman friend of the family was ... Read More »

Mining Council warns mining’s impact ‘invisible and just assumed’

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The mining industry needs to do more to address perceptions it doesn’t do enough to manage its environmental impact, share the prosperity it creates with the wider community or look after its staff, according to the chairperson of the… Darren Gray The Canberra Times In a speech to be delivered on Monday in Perth, Dr Guthrie will say that while Australian mining “has a strong track record in mine rehabilitation and investing in regional communities,” it needs to do more ... Read More »

Does the will exist to end bullying and intimidation of women in politics?

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As the list of federal female politicians who have either experienced or witnessed bullying and intimidation in the workplace continued to grow this week, a key question remained — is there any… Jessica Strutt ABC The claims have no doubt only further dissuaded more women from entering politics — a blow to a group already grossly underrepresented in parliaments at both a state and federal level. The debate about the treatment of female MPs was sparked when federal Liberal MP ... Read More »

Weak hand at helm as Australia drifts upon stormy regional seas

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Political turmoil compels leadership to prioritize domestic survival, rather than the greatest series of foreign policy challenges Canberra has faced in decades. By LACHLAN COLQUHOUN Asia Times Australia faces arguably its greatest series of regional foreign policy challenges in decades – including, most notably, how to balance its relations with a rising China – but political turmoil is hampering a coherent and committed response. New Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently visited Indonesia to ink a new trade deal, while Foreign ... Read More »

‘A moral obligation’ – MCG goes carbon neutral for finals season

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Few images are as emblematic of Melbourne as the MCG, floodlit and heaving with tens of thousands of punters.  Packed to the rafters. But this spectacle comes at a cost. Joe Hinchliffe The Age Have you ever wondered how much electricity is consumed to power those light towers? Or how much carbon is emitted in transporting those fans to the ground, heating their pies, cooling their beers or frying their chips? The Melbourne Cricket Club, which runs the venue, has. ... Read More »

In Australia, One Man Can Decide a Migrant’s Fate. Did He Abuse That Power?

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SYDNEY, Australia — When a suicidal 10-year-old boy in an offshore detention camp asked to come to Australia for psychiatric care, Peter Dutton’s answer was no. By Damien Cave and Isabella Kwai The New York Times When an Australian combat veteran requested a refugee visa for his Afghan interpreter, Mr. Dutton — Australia’s top immigration official — also refused. But when an Italian au pair, who worked for a former colleague, needed a reprieve from deportation, Mr. Dutton obliged. It was at least the second ... Read More »

A new and more efficient payments system will be a magnet for fraud. Here’s how to prepare

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Most credit card fraud takes place online or over the phone. It’s not the cards that are stolen, but the details. The Conversation, By Steve Worthington ABC The Australian Payments Network finds they are used to amass 85 per cent of the money stolen using Australian credit cards, without the need to steal the cards themselves. Usually, we are not liable for the money lost. It is reimbursed through our card provider if we have quickly reported the breach and ... Read More »

Young and resilient

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The first study of young refugees settling in Australia suggests they are adapting well to their new country By Dr Winnie Lau and Professor Meaghan O’Donnell, University of Melbourne Pursuit For people fleeing war and persecution, forced migration is an arduous and risky journey. But even for those who find new hope in a different country, adapting to a new culture is a… And of the 68.5 million people around the globe displaced by war and political conflict, over half ... Read More »

First Nations dancers are stepping into the void left by Australia’s politicians

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In the space of a few short weeks, I have seen two world premieres of dance theatre by First Nations artists: Le Dernier Appel (The Last Cry) and plenty serious TALK TALK. Both put front and centre the lived experience of Indigenous peoples at a… Justine Shih Pearson The Conversation Australians are still waiting for a serious political conversation in response to last year’s momentous Uluru Statement from the Heart. This has been topped off, most recently, by the appointment ... Read More »

Time to limit ministerial discretion in the immigration system

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Peter Dutton’s use of ministerial discretion to grant visas to two foreign au pairs raises large questions about the propriety of his actions as minister for immigration. Shawn Rajanayagam The Age But, more importantly, the ongoing debate presents Parliament with an opportunity to introduce real limits on ministerial discretion in the immigration system so as to prevent those discretions from being used inequitably and… In granting visas to the au pairs, it seems that Mr Dutton exercised a power under ... Read More »

How will Indigenous people be compensated for lost native title rights? The High Court will soon decide

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Today, the High Court of Australia will begin hearing the most significant case concerning Indigenous land rights since the Mabo and Wik native title cases in the 1990s. Authors: The Conversation For the first time, the High Court will consider how to approach the question of compensation for the loss of traditional land rights. The decision will have huge implications for Indigenous peoples who have lost their land rights and for the state and territory governments responsible for that loss. ... Read More »

What’s wrong with Australia’s democracy?

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Kevin Bain reviews three publications offering diverse perspectives of what is ailing Australia and what should be done. Kevin Bain IA THESE THREE BOOKS give a platform for a diverse bunch of Australian commentators, activists, politicians, system operatives and academics. Some drill down on functional aspects, others reflect on populism, fear of what might be coming, visions of something better and change strategies. Naturally, diagnosis and remedy go together but the… Hopefully, readers will look at these books and find a… What’s ... Read More »