Australasia

Appalling cases of abuse in aged care facilities prompt royal commission

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AGED care facilities are meant to provide care for vulnerable, elderly residents. But a spate of appalling cases of abuse in Australian nursing homes has prompted a royal commission. Megan Palin and AAP – news.com.au PRIME Minister Scott Morrison will announce a royal commission into the aged care sector following appalling cases of abuse of elderly people, it’s been reported. Mr Morrison will announce the inquiry on Sunday, with the decision triggered in part by the Oakden nursing home scandal ... Read More »

Flogging of worthless life insurance policies laid bare

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It shouldn’t be a surprise that the flogging of life insurance is the domain of the hard seller. It is the ultimate “grudge” purchase. Who, after all, wants to think about their own demise, let alone prepare for it? John Collett The Age “It has ever been thus,” says Peter Thornhill, who had a long career in funds management and life insurance in Australia and overseas. “People don’t perceive life insurance as a necessity and, as a consequence, it has ... Read More »

Podcast: The necessity of Indigenous constitutional recognition

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On this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Jerome Doraisamy is joined by Sydney-based barristers Simeon Beckett and Susan Phillips. In this episode, Mr Beckett and Ms Phillips explain why it is so important for the Australian constitution to acknowledge the First Nations peoples and what change will emerge as a result, why the Bar Associations are so supportive of such a change, and the role of member associations across our national legal profession on sociocultural or… Podcast: The necessity… Read More »

Julian Burnside Oration: Fear is the great threat to multiculturalism in Australia

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Last night, the human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC gave the annual Walter Lipmann Oration at the Melbourne Town Hall presented by the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria. Julian Burnside Daily Review His speech is reproduced in its entirety below. In it, Burnside charts Australia’s inconsistent, if not volatile, approach to multiculturalism and how the John Howard Tampa affair has shaped the last 17 sorry years of our treatment of refugees. He argues that the Tampa episode, coupled with the terror attack of ... Read More »

‘Boat person’ Frank Lowy calls for more migrants

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Billionaire Sir Frank Lowy has warned Australia would be “moving in the wrong direction” if calls for a lower migrant intake are heeded. Richard Wood 9news The Central European-born businessman last night gave the 15th annual address of the think tank he founded, the Lowy Institute. Mr Lowy, 87, told a gathering of business and political figures he backed a “big Australia”, but noted his views on expanding the country puts him at odds with many. The Wesfield co-founder was ... Read More »

Australia is reported to UN human rights council over illegal detention of asylum seekers

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Government condemned for arbitrary detention of three asylum seekers, including a stateless man held for nearly nine years… Ben Doherty The Guardian United Nations body has condemned Australia’s arbitrary detention of three asylum seekers, one of whom has been held without charge or trial for nearly nine years. The UN working group on arbitrary detention – which reports to the human rights council, on which Australia sits – said in its annual report it was concerned by “the rising prevalence ... Read More »

War on Waste: Is it legal to take the junk people leave on the kerb for council clean-up?

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Your neighbour has just put an old leather lounge out on the kerb for council clean-up. Alle McMahon ABC It would go perfectly in your living room, and you’ve seen people pick up furniture from the street before, but are you legally allowed to take it? Turns out it depends on where you live. What are the rules around taking items left on the kerb? The laws around salvaging — or “saving” items that would otherwise be destined for landfill ... Read More »

‘It makes us all sick’: I don’t care what you think, and neither should you

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There’s too much news this week. If we lived in a time of any sort of leadership, of any standard of decency in the national discourse, we would have stopped for a while, after Sunday. Glynn Greensmith WAtoday Another family, another community, ripped apart by violence. Tiny children brutally murdered. In our world, in our towns. Again. It stings the eyes, it punctures the soul. But with unconscionable haste we chase straight after the next controversy, the next chance to ... Read More »

Australia deports Iraqi asylum seeker whose appeal was due next week

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Lawyers scrambled to get a legal injunction preventing the deportation but were kept from contacting the man in time. Helen Davidson The Guardian Australian immigration authorities have deported an Iraqi asylum seeker against his will and despite there being a pending court case scheduled to sit next week. Advocates and lawyers scrambled on Wednesday night to get a legal injunction but were prevented from contacting the man on the phone, and by the time a barrister was found to lodge ... Read More »

CBA admits to misleading advertising for heart attack cover

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The Commonwealth Bank’s insurance arm has for the first time admitted to publishing misleading advertising that would have left customers thinking they were covered for heart attacks, when… Clancy Yeates The Age The royal commission into financial misconduct also heard the bank convinced the corporate watchdog to soften its language in a media release about the ads to remove an admission of wrongdoing. Its penalty for the misleading ads was a fraction of the maximum fine it could have… Senior ... Read More »

Breast cancer surgery wasn’t ‘radical’ enough for CommInsure

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CommInsure refused to pay out a woman with breast cancer because it didn’t consider she’d had “radical” breast surgery, despite the evidence of her doctor and surgeon. Ruth Williams WAtoday The financial services royal commission on Thursday heard that CommInsure repeatedly denied her claim on the basis of an outdated and arbitrary definition of “radical” breast surgery, which it argued only included a mastectomy, despite that definition not appearing anywhere in the… The woman bought trauma insurance in 1996 and ... Read More »

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 »

What the Herald Sun’s Serena Williams cartoon reveals about Australia’s racial history

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In the aftermath of Serena Williams’s controversial defeat at the U.S. Open, a cartoon from Australia, drawn by Mark Knight and published in the Herald Sun, made global headlines. Bo Seo The Washington Post The cartoon showed the contours of Williams’s body enlarged and fixed in a brutish pose. Critics compared it to Jim Crow caricatures such as “Little Black Sambo” and placed the cartoon in a genealogy of American blackface. Author J.K. Rowling criticized Knight for “reducing one of the greatest ... 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 »