Australasia

In PNG and Nauru, Australia’s immigration policy comes at the expense of democracy

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Australia’s offshore detention policy relies on the weakness of its post-colonial states, even as it weakens them further.. A regional solution for refugees. That was the liberal sweetener in the “expert panel” report of 2012, a document that endorsed the deterrent of offshore processing. Duly fortified against her left flank (one of the “experts” was Paris Aristotle, a well-respected “refugee advocate”), then prime minister Julia Gillard declared her government would “move urgently to restart offshore processing on Manus Island and ... Read More »

‘You end up with Adam Goodes’: Indigenous public servants speak out against racism

The disturbing findings were revealed by a landmark Australian National University study based on interviews with 34 former and currently employed Indigenous public servants. Many said racism within the workforce contributed to their decision to quit the public service. “You can either make a joke of it or you can get really upset and you then get labelled angry and get moved on,” said one respondent… Source: ‘You end up with Adam Goodes’: Indigenous public servants speak out against racism Read More »

Gutting the Scientific Establishment: Australia’s Business Model

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There is something so fundamentally wrong about equating the joy and genius of scientific discovery with profit and markets. Initial discoveries in quantum physics had nothing to do with the idea of pursuing a remorseless “bottom line” or some specious market concept.  The results of such discoveries were, however, gargantuan.  Eventually, applications arise, with various economic benefits.  Patience, however, is a golden virtue in that regard. Australia’s scientific management (these comprise scientists who attempt to straddle the world of practice ... Read More »

Resettling refugees in Australia would not resume the people-smuggling trade

In normal circumstances, deaths of asylum seekers, sexual assaults on adults and children, and widespread severe mental illness – including self-harm – attributable to the length and conditions of offshore detention would demand a reconsideration of the policies that allowed these events to occur. And yet, the Australian government and the Labor opposition maintain an unwavering, untested, bipartisan assertion: no-one will be resettled in Australia, as that will encourage people smugglers… Source: Resettling refugees in Australia would not resume the ... Read More »

A modern-day slave in Australia’s suburbs

The Global Slavery Index says there could be thousands of people in Australia living in conditions amounting to slavery, but that despite a tightening of laws, prosecutions are rare. The BBC’s Phil Mercer spoke to one woman about her experiences. Susan’s (not her real name) story began when the family who employed her as a housekeeper moved back to Sydney from east Africa. She knew the family well and trusted them. They had always been kind and generous, so it ... Read More »

Memo to the Coalition: don’t come to an arts policy debate without an arts policy

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Cultural policy is an election issue for the first time in 20 years. To understand why, look no further than arts minister Mitch Fifield’s performance at an industry debate.. You have to feel for the arts minister, Mitch Fifield. It’s never easy turning up to a political debate where most of the audience is against you. That’s what Fifield had to endure at Wednesday’s national arts election debate, held at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre. As they say in show business, it ... Read More »

Gambling and alcohol money to target anti-pokies senator Nick Xenophon, Greens

Australia’s powerful gaming and alcohol lobby is targeting independent senator Nick Xenophon and the Greens as it tips hundreds of thousands of dollars into the pokie-friendly major parties ahead of the 2 July poll. Well-placed sources have confirmed the Australian Hotels Association is supporting the major parties with a particular focus on opposing the popular Senator Xenophon and his team in South Australia and the Greens in vulnerable seats across the country… Source: Gambling and alcohol money to target anti-pokies ... Read More »

Timor-Leste pushes Australia to conciliation

Australia has yet to enter into compulsory conciliation talks with Timor-Leste over maritime boundaries, but it has already disputed the legality of the process.. Timor-Leste rolled out the red carpet last month to Vladimir Golitsyn, president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), the Hamburg-based judicial body established to deal with disputes under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)… Source: Timor-Leste pushes Australia to conciliation | The Saturday Paper Read More »

Eight ways to clean up money in Australian politics

Political funding in Australia is governed by different rules for state (some of which do not require disclosure) and federal governments. Both levels suffer significant weaknesses; foremost is the lack of transparency associated with the place of private money. When devoted to lobbying, donations can sometimes result in covert influence over the political process. And when made directly to political… Source: Eight ways to clean up money in Australian politics Read More »

Aboriginal sacred site up to 8,000 years old destroyed by ‘cultural vandals’

Scratching out of ochre stencils on Derwent valley cave wall is ‘devastating’, says Clyde Mansell, chairman of Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council.. Vandals have destroyed a sacred Aboriginal site in Tasmania by scratching out hand stencils which traditional owners say were made during large clan gatherings up to 8,000 years ago… Source: Aboriginal sacred site up to 8,000 years old destroyed by ‘cultural vandals’ | Australia news | The Guardian Read More »

Hanson claims ‘secret’ coalition support

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Pauline Hanson claims to enjoy support from a number of coalition members “behind closed doors”, despite the prime minister’s belief she is not welcome in Australian politics.. The One Nation leader, who launched her Queensland Senate campaign at a Brisbane bowls club on Friday night, pledged to work with whichever leaders were elected at the July 2 double dissolution election should she win a seat… Source: Hanson claims ‘secret’ coalition support Read More »

Could Roz Ward keep her job if she liked the Australian flag a little?

The suspension of Roz Ward is the culmination of a McCarthyist campaign against an academic who’s done nothing wrong.. On 9 June 1954, the lawyer Joseph N. Welch stood up before Joseph McCarthy, the senator from Wisconsin who’d built a political career by denouncing real and imagined communists… Source: Could Roz Ward keep her job if she liked the Australian flag a little? | Jeff Sparrow | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

Japan temporarily bans live cattle exports from Australia over bovine Johne’s fears

Japan has temporarily stopped accepting live feeder and breeder cattle exports from Australia after a number of animals tested positive for bovine Johne’s disease… Source: Japan temporarily bans live cattle exports from Australia over bovine Johne’s fears Read More »

China demand to drive 15 year-long bauxite boom, says Rio Tinto

Just when you thought the mining boom was over, there’s a commodity poised to soar over the next 15 years… Source: China demand to drive 15 year-long bauxite boom, says Rio Tinto Read More »

Peter Wellington wants Premier’s promised political donations inquiry

It is time to look into political donations in Queensland, independent MP Peter Wellington said, nearly a year-and-a-half after the Palaszczuk Government promised him it would launch an inquiry into the issue.. The Nicklin MP, who has written to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to ask for an update on where the government is with its investigation into real-time disclosure of political donations, gave Ms Palaszczuk… Source: Peter Wellington wants Premier’s promised political donations inquiry – now Read More »

China’s propaganda arms push soft power in Australian media deals

The visit of a Chinese propaganda chief has seen the signing of a string of understandings and deals with Australian media outlets, including Fairfax Media… Source: China’s propaganda arms push soft power in Australian media deals Read More »