Australasia

Victoria poised to become first Australian state to legalise assisted dying after historic vote

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Assisted dying bill passes upper house, paving the way for it to be confirmed by lower house and passed into law Gay Alcorn The Guardian Victoria is on the verge of becoming the first Australian state to legalise voluntary assisted dying, after the upper house finally approved the right of terminally ill people to request assistance to end their lives. The historic bill was passed by 22 votes to 18 after a gruelling and often bitter all-night debate. The chamber began ... Read More »

Do we need a new offence to protect victims of family violence from psychological harm?

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The Liberal National Party has promised that if it wins the upcoming Queensland election it will introduce a “standalone” domestic violence offence for non-violent offenders who had shown a pattern of psychologically controlling behaviour. Marilyn McMahon Paul McGorrery  The new offence would also prohibit emotional and financial abuse. The Conversation The Queensland offence would be modelled on the English offence of “controlling or coercive behaviour”. A similar law is also being considered by the Scottish parliament. However, not all key ... Read More »

‘I cannot leave my neighbour hungry’: support for refugees from priest and major on Manus

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Catholic priest Father Clement Taulam and retired army major Michael Kuweh are defying both the PNG and Australian governments Ben Doherty The Guardian Τhe major and the father seek salvation for the refugees of Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Two Manusian men – Catholic priest Father Clement Taulam and retired army major Michael Kuweh – are defying the PNG and Australian governments in calling for assistance for the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus, and for a peaceable solution to the ... Read More »

When the US locked up white Australian immigrants like Australia does to asylum seekers

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Lurking behind the debates about offshore processing lies a little-known historical irony: white Australians were once locked up in immigration centres that bore a striking resemblance to the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, which were recently harshly criticised by the UN Human Rights Committee. Anne Rees  The Conversation And unsurprisingly, they were far from happy about it. Back in 1921, the United States introduced immigration restrictions based on national quotas. The quotas were tightened in 1924, and again in ... Read More »

Erasing modern slavery is a slow process, but it catches on in Australia

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An important part of any legislation would require businesses to report what goes on in their supply chains And already, the battle lines are drawn Richard Ackland The Guardian Quite smartly human rights are back on the front page, thanks to Wednesday’s outcome of the voluntary postal survey on marriage equality. It should pave the way to a bigger infusion of rights, with the next milestone a Human Rights Act for the entire nation. Possibly, there would have been no ... Read More »

‘Yes’ campaign must keep its promises after 5 million people voted ‘No’ in same-sex marria

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Five million Australians is the number of people who voted “no” in the postal survey for the same reasons I did – because we are concerned about the impact on basic freedoms of speech, conscience and religion – freedoms that we expect to be upheld in our democratic country in accordance with human rights… Karina Okotel * The Canberra Times What has surprised me following the postal survey results is the “yes” campaign’s sudden turnaround to effectively ignore the need ... Read More »

New Zealand’s War on Rats Could Change the World

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The nation wants to eradicate all invasive mammal predators by 2050 Ed Yong Gene-editing technology could help—or it could trigger an ecological disaster of global proportions. The Atlantic The first thing that hit me about Zealandia was the noise. I was a 15-minute drive from the center of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, but instead of the honks of horns or the bustle of passersby, all I could hear was birdsong.It came in every flavor—resonant coos, high-pitched cheeps, and alien ... Read More »

Pat Dodson’s emotional tribute to Jacqui Lambie addressed the deeply-seated problems with the Australian Constitution

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Senator Pat Dodson has paid tribute to Jacqui Lambie in the Senate following her resignation By Claudianna Blanco Source: NITV News SBS Like many others, Western Australian Labor Senator Pat Dodson stood up in Parliament today to farewell Jacqui Lambie, who resigned from the Senate after British authorities confirmed she is a UK dual citizen, as her father was born in… But unlike others, Mr Dodson’s remarks came from a different place. The ‘Father of Reconciliation’ took the opportunity to point out ... Read More »

Manus Island: Those For Whom We Cannot Grieve

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As a nation, overcoming our fear of ‘the other’ and exposing our own vulnerabilities is the key to ending the crisis on Manus Island, writes Elise Addlem. New Matilda The 600 men trapped between the Manus Island detention centre and the unknown that comes next are people defined negatively as individuals. They are not defined, as they once were, as a member of a country, as a father, a son, a partner, a friend. Now, they have been hollowed out ... Read More »

Queensland election 2017: two nations, divided by immigration

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Please excuse this column. Its subject is rather like a noisy fart at a wedding. It’s unwanted, unwelcome and leaves a nasty stench in the air, and that’s why it’s not normally talked about in polite company. Nicholas Stuart Which is exactly the point. Brisbane Times It’s time to discuss seriously the one issue that’s threatening, more than any other, to tear the country apart: immigration. Queensland election 2017: two nations, divided by immigration In Queensland, however, the conspiracy of ... Read More »

All we want is freedom – not another prison camp

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Over the past four years we have become a mere subject for politicians and the media. Our human dignity has been debased and all our dreams shattered Behrouz Boochani The Guardian Μanus prison has reached a historic landmark. It’s a culmination of years of premeditated violence and affliction. For more than 10 days hundreds of refugees have been refusing to leave the prison camp and, as a result, the situation has morphed into a large-scale humanitarian crisis. If things deteriorate ... Read More »

Revenge of the TPP?

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership is back on the menu for a number of Asia-Pacific countries Scott B. MacDonald  And with America on the sidelines, U.S. exports could suffer. The National Interest One of the first actions that Donald Trump did when he came into office was to pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal he called a “disaster.” According to him, past U.S. leaders were inept on trade and his administration’s approach would strike tougher, ... Read More »

Lessons From The Past, A Culture For The Future

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The answer to many of the world’s challenges lies in the past, writes Teila Watson. New Matilda I was asked to talk about our culture and the planet in the last two years. I wanted to take the opportunity to not only look at what the last two years have been like, but also how things got this way and where we go from here. I’ve realised in the last two years, how quickly two years can pass. How much ... Read More »

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lashes Australia over treatment of Manus Island refugees

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has blasted Australia’s handling of the refugee crisis on Manus Island as unacceptable as she seeks another meeting with Malcolm Turnbull on the issue. NZ Herald Ardern has continued to push New Zealand’s offer to accept 150 refugees and asylum seekers from Australia’s offshore detention centres since her first face- to-face meeting with her Australian counterpart in Sydney a week ago. She wants a more substantive conversation when both leaders reach the Philippines for the East ... Read More »

The human touch: Australian eyes that ‘can’t look away’ from Manus

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As the crisis on Manus Island deepens, it sheds light on an unwritten history, still in the making, of deep friendships between asylum seekers and their supporters in… Arnold Zable The Age Contrary to the accusations made by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton that advocates are telling asylum seekers on Manus Island or elsewhere what to do, their long-time supporters are extremely worried about the men’s wellbeing and… They are torn between deep anxiety at the danger and stress the men are ... Read More »

UN slams Australia’s human rights record

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Last night, the United Nations Human Rights Committee released its recommendationsfrom its review of Australia’s compliance with a key human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Anna Cody  Maria Nawaz The committee harshly criticised Australia for failures in key areas. The Conversation These included the treatment of refugees, Indigenous rights and inadequate protection of human rights, including the lack of a national human rights act. What is the UN Human Rights Committee? This is the treaty body for the… UN slams Australia’s… Read More »