Imaginary questions for the Australian Prime Minister during Questiontime: Do you think Nauru is a functioning democracy? If so, how would you define functioning democracy?
Nauru government covering up rape cases and intimidating women [Refugee Coalition Sydney - 12/10/15]
UniSuper Divest. End mandatory detention.
Guaranteed she wouldn't have said this if she'd been preselected ---> ... "I really think that the ongoing mandatory indefinite detention of people on Manus Island and Nauru has to stop," Senator Lisa Singh told Q&A. ... [ABC - 12/10/15] ALP = Fascism.
Politicians who continue to make excuses for refugee torture are sadists.
To précis Turnbull [again]: We stopped the boats
... "We recognise that our border protection policy is tough ... many would see it as harsh, but it has been proven to be the only way to stop those deaths at sea and to ensure that our sovereignty and our borders are safe," Mr Turnbull told parliament on Monday. ...
This barbarity would end tomorrow if Australia had a functioning, non-fascist opposition.
In Australia, police dogs receive better health care than refugees [QPS Media - 15/9/15]
Sydney Morning Herald [12/10/15]:
... Western Sydney paediatrician and University of Sydney professor David Isaacs told Fairfax how the father of one of his tiny patients, a toddler aged nearly three, tried to kill himself after learning his son's tuberculosis had been cured.
Paediatrician Dr David Isaacs was moved to tears when describing to the ABC's 7:30 the fate he witnessed for patients on Nauru.
The reason? When Professor Isaacs delivered the good news, he also had to deliver the bad: the family were asylum seekers and the man, his wife and son would likely now be woken in the middle of the night, the parents handcuffed and the family sent to Nauru. ...
... “After a few months I understood that I was played by them. I'm sorry to say they were lying (to) me. They were lying, they lie. ... Manus refugees trapped in "transit centre" denied work, travel rights [SBS - 12/10/15]
Asylum seekers' convictions for July 2013 riots overturned by Nauru court, their current whereabouts is unknown
[ABC - 24/8/15]
... I was a Staff Sergeant in the South African Police during and after the Apartheid era and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I have never witnessed the injustice and ill-treatment of human beings that I witnessed at Bravo Camp, RPC Nauru. ...
Image: Displaced Peoples Organisation Limited via @CSerow [23/8/13]
... I soon noticed that the most vague witness statements were written by security personnel within a few days of the riot.
The more incriminating statements were dated up to four months after the event.
I asked myself “How can anyone remember in such detail and with such clarity months after the event when the statements written only days after the evidence were so vague?”.
As a seasoned investigator I suspected fabrication and collaboration of evidence.
After making a few unofficial enquiries I learned that officers present at the riot were told to implicate more suspects as someone was to be made responsible for the riot.
It was then that the Bravo Camp detainees were randomly pointed out by officers.
Most claim they had had previous run-ins with the witnesses and believed thats why they were singled out. ...
... Within the RPC there were service provider offices, a staff mess hall, and a parking lot and a separately cordoned camp for the men, also enclosed by temporary fencing and the perimeter of which was patrolled by Australian Wilson Customer Service Offers (CSOs). It was clear they were not to leave these confines. And if people weren't being processed, as indeed they weren’t – for months on end – then this was effectively their prison.
I found that the fire started as a peaceful demonstration by a large group of asylum seekers against a processing system that lacked logic or fairness. They had been in Nauru nine months and had still not received any processing decisions. Their lawyers who were due to arrive on island in July 2013 did not arrive and this sparked anger. The men wanted clarification regarding their future; they wanted to see a logical refugee processing system that offered them steps towards freedom. ... Submission 67, Nauru Senate Inquiry
Salvos staff condemn Nauru’s Cruel and degrading conditions [Pro Bono Australia – 24/7/13]:
... “We have worked alongside these asylum seekers since the opening of the NRPC when the men were first housed in tents. Brought them pedestal fans when the temperature within their tents soared to over 50 degrees. Used buckets to empty rivers of rainwater when the same temporary accommodation flooded during the wet season.
“We comforted men who were brought to Nauru in handcuffs by the Australian government under false pretences. We watched their numerous peaceful protests against the uncertainty of their future. We saw the scars of self-harm, and suicide attempts. We tried to motivate the hundreds of men on hunger strike to eat again.”
In an explosive SBS Dateline interview with whistleblower, Rod St George, a former senior detention manager on Manus Island said: “I have never seen human beings so destitute, so helpless, and so hopeless before. I took the position with every intent of making the place a safer environment but it proved quite rapidly to be an impossibility. In Australia, the facility couldn't serve as a dog kennel. The owners would be jailed.”
“We have good reason to believe that those asylum seekers arrested and detained in Nauruan jail will not be provided with legal representation. It is likely that a large number of those men arrested in the riot did not in fact act criminally. As such we advocate for everyone to be treated as innocent until proven guilty in a court.
This is especially pertinent given the comments of Minister Tony Burke already stating that visas may not be granted to those men arrested.
Anything reported from Nauru cannot be believed until journalists are allowed on to the island to verify ---> ... On Monday a Wilson Security spokeswoman said the guard's employment had been terminated. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 12/10/15]
Asylum seeker falsely accused of assault by Nauru guard still being punished by the Australian government [Brisbane Times - 21/8/15]
SUBMISSION 71 (and 71.1): Senate Inquiry Recent Allegations relating to Conditions and Circumstances at the Regional Processing Centre in Nauru:
... a Wilson's guard (name withheld) with a vendetta against a male asylum seeker at camp 2, is on record admitting that he staged being beaten by the asylum seeker to get him back. I'm not sure if the asylum seeker was charged but concrete evidence of the 'set up' has been passed on to the NPF and no action has been taken. The Wilson's guard involved in this incident is now in a promoted position on island.
There is an audio recording in Wilson's possession (and that of others) of the staff member in question, confessing to "stitching up" the asylum seeker in question.
The audio also includes a detailed recount of the Wilson staff member's actions during the incident which included "pulling him down on me" and punching himself in the face so as to appear assaulted.
This audio and the subsequent investigation report which highlighted the staff member's illegal actions, including perjury, have been in Wilson's possession for over 3 months with the staff member in question still employed.
Furthermore, the NPF were not made aware of the audio recording while the asylum seeker remained on charges and in police custody.
Both sides of the issue were only presented to the NPF in the form of witness statements pertaining to the alleged assault perpetrated by the asylum seeker.
The audio was never presented to the NPF for consideration, nor were the actions of the Wilson staff member raised with the NPF for investigation.
Even without the audio evidence, the Magistrate eventually found in favor of the defendant but this was only after a prolonged period in custody in the Nauruan gaol which could have been avoided if Wilson's acted honestly and in the Asylum Seeker's best interests.
If they had anything they'd have charged this teenager by now.
It is fair to assume they don't.
Remember Dr Haneef?
The Australian Federal Police has won the right to hold an 18-year-old Sydney terror suspect for another 68 hours without charge following a court hearing.
The teenager, who was arrested in connection with investigations into 15-year-old Parramatta shooter Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar, was last week detained for an additional 100 hours without charge.
Authorities are almost certain the 15-year-old who killed a Sydney police accountant did not act alone and could be linked to several men who were arrested on Wednesday after also being targeted in terror raids last year.
The fresh order allows the AFP to keep the 18-year-old in custody until Thursday.
The 18-year-old was arrested in Wentworthville on Wednesday following pre-dawn raids across Sydney's west after the fatal shooting of NSW police employee Curtis Cheng on October 2.
He had gone to the same school as Jabar, Arthur Phillip High School in Parramatta.
Three others were also arrested during the raids but all except the 18-year-old have been released without charge.
Feel safe Australia? ---> Terrorism suspects as young as 14 would be subject to control orders restricting their movements and activities under an overhaul of anti-terrorism laws flagged by the Commonwealth government.
On Monday night federal Attorney-General George Brandis announced the Turnbull government would introduce legislation to Parliament containing "a fifth instalment of counter-terrorism laws which have been developed in conjunction with NSW and other states and territories."
Senator Brandis said the legislation would, among other things, seek to lower the age threshold for control orders from 16 to 14. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 12/10/15]
Terri Butler and Tim Watts concerned about "revenge porn"? What a crock:
... Bill C-13 touches upon cyberbullying in an almost cursory manner. It makes it a crime to share an intimate image without the consent of the person depicted in that image – a reasonable provision – but much else in the bill seems tacked on simply to increase police powers to investigate our online activities. Yes, it’s a nasty crime, but so is murder and we don’t allow the police to pop into our homes on a whim to check our knives for traces of blood. ... Bill C-13 is about a lot more than cyberbullying [The Globe And Mail 6/12/13]
Anti-cyberbullying law, Bill C-13, now in effect [CTV – 9/3/15]
... We tried to take a look into one of the burning buildings. I cannot describe what was inside. There are no words for how terrible it was.
In the Intensive Care Unit six patients were burning in their beds.
We looked for some staff that were supposed to be in the operating theatre. It was awful. A patient there on the operating table, dead, in the middle of the destruction. ...
Politically-charged Halloween statements have seldom been successful in the past - and this one is proving no different.
A family in New Jersey have upset some in the community of Butler for decorating their home with what they say is an 'anti-ISIS' theme, using a hanging mannequin representing a United States soldier and a terrorist standing nearby wearing a mask of President Obama and brandishing a machete.
Behind the scene is a depiction of Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kasaesbeh in a cage. He was horrifically burned alive by ISIS after being captured following the shooting down of his jet fighter earlier this year.
While some neighbors have called the set-up 'tasteless and un-American', the homeowner said that real horror is more frightening than fake. ... [Daily Mail - 10/10/15]
Off-duty Memphis police officer killed; suspect in custody [CNN - 12/10/15]
Palestinian shot, killed in East Jerusalem [Maan - 12/10/15]
... A young man, who drove a badly injured 18-year-old Palestinian protestor to the hospital on his motorbike on Friday, said he was shocked at what he witnessed.
As he spoke another motorbike came in carrying a dead youth.
“Usually when we protest, the Israeli troops issue warning shots first,” the teenager, who did not want to give his name, told MEE.
“This time, the soldiers are shooting directly, and each time we heard a bullet, a protestor fell,” he said as he watched his friend’s body being transferred from the motorcycle into an ambulance nearby.
Several Palestinian journalists confirmed the phenomena, saying that they believed live bullets were fired at specific targets. ... [Middle East Eye - 11/10/15]
Israel detains 50 Palestinians in West Bank, Jerusalem raids [Maan - 12/10/15]
Afghanistan: 2 Britons among 5 NATO personnel killed in Kabul helicopter crash [Pajhwok - 12/10/15]
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has confirmed that a female member of its staff was assassinated in the southern city of Kandahar on Monday.
According to UNAMA, the circumstances of the incident are under investigation.
"The mission expresses its sorrow at the loss of a colleague and its first thoughts are with her family," said UNAMA in a statement.
Local officials confirmed that the woman was an Afghan national who was a medical doctor employed by UNAMA. Officials said a number of unknown gunmen opened fire on her while she was walking on the street in Shar Bazar area of Kandahar city.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. [TOLO News - 12/10/15]
A secret MI6 document obtained by Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit raises serious questions about the British government's actions before and after the kidnapping of Judith Tebbutt and the killing of her husband, David.
The couple was seized on September 11, 2011, during a brazen assault on a Kenyan luxury resort in Lamu, near the Somali border.
The intelligence briefing suggests British spies had specific information about a threat to British travellers, something the Foreign Office failed to communicate to the public.
The MI6 document shows British spies pointed to al-Shabab fighters as the likely hostage-takers, stating: "Shabab commander Kahale Famau Kahale is believed to have been involved in the murder of David Tebbutt and kidnap of Judith Tebbutt." ... [Al Jazeera - 12/10/15]
British tanks storm Basra jail to free "undercover" soldiers [Guardian - 20/9/05]
Saudi-led coalition airstrike kills 20 prisoners in Yemen [UPI.com - 11/10/15]
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet the United Nations' special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on Tuesday, RIA news agency quoted the ministry's press department as saying. ... [Ahram - 12/10/15]
Syrian troops make gains as Putin defends air strikes [Al Jazeera - 12/10/15]
Russia had to launch an aerial campaign in Syria to protect itself from an upcoming influx of well-trained terrorists heading for the North Caucasus and Central Asia, political analyst Andrey Sushentsov wrote for the National Interest. ... [Sputnik News - 12/10/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [11/10/15]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Hasakah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL buildings.
-- Near Hawl, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building.
-- Near Raqqah, one strike destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle.
-- Near Manbij, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building.
-- Near Palmyra, one strike destroyed an ISIL front end loader and an ISIL excavator.
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, one strike destroyed an ISIL crude oil collection point.
-- Near Washiya, one strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the government of Iraq:
-- Near Huwayjah, one strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Bayji, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.
-- Near Fallujah, one strike destroyed an ISIL building and an ISIL anti-air artillery piece.
-- Near Habbaniyah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL building, an ISIL rocket rail, and wounded an ISIL fighter.
-- Near Kirkuk, one strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL heavy machine gun.
-- Near Kisik, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL mortar system, an ISIL up-armored vehicle bomb, three vehicle bombs, three home-made explosive facilities, four ISIL buildings, and denied ISIL access to tactical terrain.
-- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL light machine gun.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near, Tal Afar, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL bunkers, three ISIL fighting positions, and wounded two ISIL fighters.
Secretary of Defense Carter to travel to Boston for Australia-US Ministerial Consultations [US Department of Defense]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [11/10/15]:
Nineveh: 4 elements of Peshmerga were killed yesterday as a roadside bomb exploded targeting them east of Sinjar Mountain........
Baghdad: "A person was killed and 8 wounded as a roadside bomb exploded in Jihad neighbourhood today afternoon", a security source said....
Baghdad: Two persons were killed and 8 wounded as a roadside bomb exploded before noon today near a traditional market in Mahmoudiya district south of Baghdad........................
Baghdad: A plane has carried 18 dead bodies for Iraqis -which drowned before arriving Greece - to Baghdad Airport ...................
@montaldo_chiara [11/10/15]: Ahman, 2 years old, fleeing from #Syria. Today he's in #Eidomoni, Greece, for a few hours. Then the escape goes on
@MSF_Sea [11/10/15]: One of the men @montaldo_chiara met today in #Idomeni has a beautiful voice. He uses it to relieve everyone's stress.
@MSF_Sea [11/10/15]: ... The #Argos has rescued another ~460 people including 110 women and 21 kids from a second wooden boat
As Australia makes it impossible for refugees to reach the South East, it is only logical that we are pushing them back to the North West
In a weekend mission to the main EU entry point for nearly 450,000 refugees and migrants so far this year, UNHCR chief António Guterres witnessed the improved humanitarian response mounted by Greek local authorities and civil society while lamenting the continued lack of a large-scale and effective European response.
Assessing conditions on the Greek island of Lesbos, the main landing spot for tens of thousands of people taking smuggler boats from the nearby Turkish coast, Guterres said European governments had yet to match the "gigantic effort" that the island and its people had made in trying to cope with the huge influx.
UNHCR has deployed an emergency team to Greece and now has some 120 staff in the country to support the government in its effort to address the continuing crisis. The island of Lesbos, with a population of 95,000 people, has received over 220,000 people in nine months – 160,000 in September alone.
The majority of the refugees and migrants arriving on Lesbos are from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The rest, about 5 per cent, are migrants and refugees from about 20 countries as varied as India, Bangladesh, Togo, Niger, Columbia, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. ... [Media Release - 11/10/15]
Myanmar border police detain six Bangladeshi fishermen [Dhaka Tribune - 12/10/15]:
Myanmar’s Border Guard Police (BGP) detained six fishermen from the Naf River in Cox’s Bazar’s Teknaf upazila yesterday.
The detainees are Mohammad, 30, son of Abul Hossain of Jaliapara area, Alamgir, son of late Emdad, Abdullah, 25, son of late Quader Hossain, Md Akbar, 30, son of late Kala Mia, Abdul Amin, 32, son of Md Yunus and Syed Ullah.
Locals said BGP members detained the fishermen and seized three of their trawlers when they were fishing in the river.
Trawler owner Zafar Alam claimed that the fishermen had been held for not giving bribes to a Myanmar national.
“Fishermen have to pay bribes to Md Nur before they can fish in the river.”
Zafar also claimed that ransoms had been sought for the detainees.
The fishermen were detained from Sluice Gate area around 12:30pm.
Teknaf BOP outpost Commander Naik Subedar Md Samsul Alam said he had heard about the detention of the fishermen.
“Necessary measures will be taken after talking to high officials.”
Teknaf Border Guard Bangladesh 42 Captain Lieutenant Colonel Abujar Al Jahid said the fishermen were detained as they entered the territory of Myanmar while fishing.
“We have already talked to BGP members at the Maungdaw camp in Myanmar and are trying to bring the six detainees back.”
Raids continue in Maungdaw town [Burma Times - 12/10/15]:
Security forces carried out another raid on a Rohingya neighbourhood in Maungdaw town.
In the early hours of the Sunday, dozens of police and BGP personal entered Ukil para and conducted a house by house search in the locality.
For the last few days, Rohingya neighbourhoods are searched on an almost daily basis for sharp instruments.
Most Rohingyas are dependent on agricultural and lumberjack related activities and have some kind of tools.
The security forces are seizing these tools and warning the owners to refrain from ‘rioting’ against the Rakhines.
Security forces also seemed to be very concerned about Bangladesh mobile phones claiming they were being used by Bangladesh based terrorists to plan trouble in the coming days in Maungdaw town.
During the raid, some of the Rohingyas were verbally abused and slapped.
Barred from remote island, Myanmar's opposition sees dirty tricks in campaign [Reuters - 11/10/15]
Son of Chinese human rights lawyer detained in Myanmar [Deutsche Welle - 11/10/15]
Mexican authorities rescued 41 Central American migrants who were being held captive in a house in the municipality of Cerritos in the northern state of San Luis Potosi, the state government said Saturday. ... [Latin American Herald Tribune - 11/10/15]
Migrants rescued from sweltering truck in Texas [RT – 9/10/15]
Anne Frank Exhibition to be held at the GCHC Katranski Hall, Surfers Paradise
Gold Coast Hebrew Congregation:
The Gold Coast Hebrew Congregation together with The Anne Frank Australia Foundation, are proud and privileged to announce the opening of the new exhibition Let Me Be Myself – The Story of Anne Frank at The Katranski Hall 35 Markwell Avenue Surfers Paradise. The exhibition will run for five weeks commencing 26 October through 1 December 2015.
The exhibition was compiled by the Anne Frank Stitching in Amsterdam and is being shown for the first time on the Gold Coast. It includes Anne’s story and the historical context of her time as well as modules that specifically highlight the contemporary relevance of the story of Anne Frank.
The Gold Coast Hebrew Congregation are delighted and honoured to present and host this exhibition. We look forward to welcoming visitors from a broad spectrum of the Gold Coast community who want to connect with, and learn from Anne’s story.
Seventy years after her death at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Anne Frank’s story still speaks to those who are concerned with injustice. This outstanding exhibition depicts the spirited and hopeful nature that has made Anne a role model for young people around the world and shares important lessons about standing strong against prejudice and discrimination. This exhibit is sure to move anyone who takes the time to visit.
Let Me Be Myself contains seven historical modules designed to enable visitors to identify with the personal story of Anne Frank. The story of the Frank family is interlaced with information about the important historical events happening at the time and demonstrates the consequences the anti-Jewish measures had on one particular family. The film The Short Life of Anne Frank will be shown in a separate area.
The exhibit is open to the public for self-guided visits. Guided tours for school, community and private groups are encouraged and may be arranged during operating hours. Bookings for group tours are essential. Entry is by gold coin donation.
Operating hours are Monday through Thursday from 9.30am to 5pm, Friday 9.30am – 12pm and Sunday from 10am-4pm. For information regarding bookings, please contact the Gold Coast Hebrew Congregation at (07) 55701851 or email email@example.com. For details about the content of the exhibit, please contact iet Fuijkschot 0419 465516 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Human faces highlight cruelty of Australia's mysterious and secretive refugee selection process [West Australian - 12/10/15]:
… The rejection letter came six weeks later – 12 polite but devastating paragraphs.
“I accept that you are subject to some degree of persecution or discrimination in your home country and have some connection with Australia (but) Australia does not have the capacity to provide permanent settlement of all applicants at this time,” it read.
In short, while Albert and his family met all the criteria for resettlement, there were only 5000 spots available for 45,000 applications.
At the time, it seemed brutal and final.
But late last week, as Albert sat with The West Australian and read the letter out in broken English, three officials who will decide his fate flew in to Jordan.
Within days of Australia announcing its special humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis – 12,000 more places – Albert re-applied to the Australian embassy.
“Help me, we are Christians,” he pleaded in the cover letter.
At the Australian embassy in Amman, Peter Valdos, who heads the taskforce set up to oversee the program, said final selections had not yet been made but the first wave of Syrian and Iraqis would arrive before the end of the year. ...
Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees in October 2014.
Australia's war on refugees has become morally and financially unsustainable - but the political and media establishment will fight tooth and nail to keep it going.
We are demanding the urgent and immediate removal of all asylum seekers and refugees from Nauru and Manus Island on the grounds that neither the Government of Nauru nor Manus Island can guarantee the effective protection of women, children and men.
Over 21,400 Australians sign open letter to Prime Minister and Opposition Leader
Senate Hansard [17/9/15]:
Senator GALLACHER (South Australia) (15:46): I present additional information received by the Select Committee on the Recent Allegations relating to Conditions and Circumstances at the Regional Processing Centre in Nauru and move:
That the Senate take note of the document.
I want to take a few moments to address the additional information. It basically relates to an answer to a written question on notice. The Commission of Audit report 2014 outlined the illegal maritime arrival costs, comparing the cost of onshore, offshore, community detention and bridging visas. The source given is the Department of Finance, although the data does not appear to have been made publicly available.
My question on notice to the department was to provide an update of the various costs that had been modelled by the Commission of Audit, and the source is the immigration detention network model population forecast and modelling assumption as at January 2014.
From this answer, senators who read this information will see that onshore detention was $238,690, offshore detention was $433,956, community detention was $89,040 and a bridging visa was $30,907.
That is in the answer in 1(a), and 1(b) is the updated graph for 2014. We see that for 12 months onshore detention is $311,027 per illegal maritime arrival; offshore detention is $402,923 per illegal maritime arrival; community detention is $91,443; and a bridging visa is $32,017.
So work has been done through the Commission of Audit, through the department, to model these figures. But I suppose more germane to the inquiry into Nauru is that the figures that we got from the department for a period of 10 months per asylum seeker was $613,000 plus—a vast difference to what has been modelled.
In all respects, the unrestrained, unscrutinised expenditure on Nauru is, in my view, a very, very significant misuse of public money.
When you have modelling done by the Commission of Audit, which this government places great store in, and further modelling on those figures sourced after a question on notice, and that modelling and the actual cost given in evidence by the department is $200,000 out then I think a fair bit more scrutiny needs to be given to this area.
Question agreed to.
Where is this woman's right of reply? Anything reported from Nauru cannot be believed until journalists are allowed on the island to verify. [Sydney Morning Herald - 12/10/15]: Nauru police have dismissed the story of a Somali refugee who claimed she was raped and bashed by two men on the island, saying there was no evidence of injuries or the presence of a cave where the alleged attack took place. ...
Federal government asks Australian Federal Police to find Nauru whistleblowers [The Age - 5/10/15]
Young refugees attacked on Nauru [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 4/10/15]
Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [29/9/15]: There have been increased threats against refugees on Nauru this morning, following the broadcast of the ABC’s 7.30 program on Monday night highlighting recent alleged incidents of rape on the island. ...
... "You've got to wonder why a young woman's very distressing situation had to become so public and the minister had to be pleaded with by the Australian people," Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young told reporters in Canberra on Monday. [Nine MSN - 12/10/15]
@pamelacurr [11/10/15]: Thankyou to the over 50000 signatures countless calls &emails who helped to bring Abyan to Australia from Nauru yesterday
Russell Broadbent calls for the release of children from immigration detention.
Close the camps and release ALL the refugees .
Richard Marles uses suffering children in cynical, hypocritical attempted wedge [Guardian - 12/10/15]:
Migration amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements Bill) 2015 - Senator Hanson-Young - Senate Hansard - 25/6/15]:
… These amendments provide that child abuse and assault inside detention facilities, when it occurs, would have to be reported to the police—both the Federal Police and the local police at the location of the facility—and, of course, to the department. They are basic mandatory reporting requirements. They mean that, for any staff member engaged in these facilities or any person who is contracted by the Commonwealth or subcontracted by another contractor, if you work inside the facility and you see child abuse, you must report it.
You would think that this type of mandatory reporting would go without saying, but it does not. We know it does not because months and months of evidence has come forward to show that the exact opposite is occurring inside Nauru. Children are suffering at the hands of child abusers; women are being raped and sexually assaulted and harassed; yet there is both underreporting of these incidents internally and no independent reporting as a matter of course.
The culture of secrecy inside these detention camps provides for a lack of reporting to an independent authority. That is wrong. It should not be the case that staff and asylum seekers are intimidated into staying quiet. They are not prepared to put their hand up and say what is going on. It must be a requirement of people engaged by the Commonwealth to report when they see things happening that are wrong. There is nothing worse than seeing a child sexually abused and saying nothing about it. It is wrong.
This amendment puts the onus on the staff member, on those engaged at the centre, to report these incidents. If they do not, it is a fine of $10,000 and a criminal offence. Basic mandatory reporting requirements are expected and widely accepted across other institutions and agencies. It should not be a hard thing to introduce here. It should make sense. I would argue that everybody across all sides, regardless of your political stripes, would understand that mandatory reporting should happen. It does not now. This amendment will make sure it must occur and it will give staff, in particular, not just the signal that they must report it, but the encouragement that it is the right thing to do. They will be abiding by the law and ensuring that they report these awful and insidious incidents of abuse and sexual assault. They are the amendments, and they are pretty basic.
Ayes ...................... 16
Noes ...................... 31
Majority ................. 15
Di Natale, R
Siewert, R (teller)
Bilyk, CL (teller)
One Queensland politician says something sensible:
@SenatorLazarus [8/10/15]: Legacy Way has done ABSOLUTELY nothing to reduce traffic congestion on the Western Freeway!
Others are obsessed with smearing Billy Gordon.
Suspicious death, North Mackay [QPS Media - 12/10/15]
An elderly man is in hospital with serious head injuries after being assaulted while collecting cans in Adelaide.
The 81-year-old, who is a well-known and regular can collector, suffered extensive head and facial injuries in the attack on The Esplanade, Semaphore, on Sunday night. He remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital. ... [West Australian - 12/10/15]
A 45-year-old man was "callously" murdered with a broken beer bottle as he stood in his south-western Sydney front yard talking to his partially deaf and elderly father, police believe. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 11/10/15]
A woman has been charged with the stabbing murder of her elderly mother.
The 73-year-old's body was found by police at a home at Redhead, south of Newcastle, on Saturday evening where her daughter, 36, was arrested.
She was later charged with murder and is due to appear in Newcastle Local Court on Sunday, police said. [Nine MSN - 11/10/15]
Man stabbed in Sydney unit fight [Yahoo -10/10/15]
Assault charges, Alexandra Hills [QPS Media - 11/10/15]
Serious assault, Kelso [QPS Media - 10/10/15]
Unlawful Wounding – Ayr [QPS Media – 9/10/15]:
Police have charged a 30-year-old Ayr man with wounding following an incident at a residence in Wickham Street, Ayr around 7.45am yesterday morning.
Police will allege the man stabbed a woman known to him in the hand with a pair of scissors during an incident. The man then began to self-harm using the scissors.
Both the man and woman sustained non-life threatening injuries and were treated by Queensland Ambulance.
A 30-year–old man from Ayr will appear in Townsville Magistrate Court on October 9 charged with unlawful wounding.
Fatal boat fire, Magnetic Island [QPS Media - 11/10/15]
A young woman has died after trying to help a boy who was swept off rocks on the NSW north coast.
The 26-year-old got into difficulty several minutes after reaching the nine-year-old off Fingal Head on Saturday. ... [Nine MSN - 11/10/15]
Man suffers serious burns after BBQ explodes at Gold Coast home [MYGC - 11/10/15]
Pedestrian struck by car at Main Beach [MYGC - 11/10/15]
The Australasian College of Road Safety, Austroads and the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q), are pleased to invite you to be part of the premier road safety conference for Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region – the inaugural Australasian Road Safety Conference (ARSC2015) to be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland, Australia, from Wednesday 14 to Friday 16 October 2015. ...
Two people have died within 15 minutes in separate road crashes in regional South Australia on Sunday. ... [Nine MSN - 11/10/15]
Toddler, cyclist and motorcyclist killed in separate SA accidents [10/10/15]
Fatal motorcycle crash, Lucinda [QPS Media - 11/10/15]
Serious traffic crash, Numinbah Valley [QPS Media - 11/10/15]
Serious traffic crash, Jandowae [QPS Media - 11/10/15]
Woman crushed between two cars, learner driver questioned by police, Sydney [ABC – 10/10/15]
A driver who had a seizure when he was behind the wheel in a fatal hit-and-run had his guilty pleas thrown out yesterday by a judge who said the admissions were “disingenuous” and would lead to a miscarriage of justice. ... [Yahoo - 10/10/15]
A disqualified, fatigued driver who killed a mother and injured her daughters as she travelled to Brisbane from Melbourne has won an appeal to effectively end her jail term.
Bronya Schoner struck the other driver as she drove along a stretch of road south of Stanthorpe, near the Queensland-NSW border, in February 2014. ... [Yahoo - 9/10/15]
Canberra police to consider changes to high-speed pursuits after review
Canberra Times [11/10/15]:
ACT police chief Rudi Lammers will consider changes to high-speed police chases under a sweeping review of the territory's pursuit guidelines.
A review began early last year and was not a knee-jerk reaction to the death of Tim Smith-Brown, 24, in a horrific three-car crash after a police pursuit in Kambah last month, Assistant Commissioner Lammers said.
He said police would look to protocols in other states and territories to make sure the agency adopted best practice for the ACT.
"There are no plans for any immediate changes, but the caveat there is once I've had a good look at the police pursuits review that's been conducted, the recommendations of the review, coupled with the changes to guidelines in other states and territories, I'll be in a better position to determine the best approach for ACT Policing."
Assistant Commissioner Lammers said as part of the review he would consider a limited pursuits approach that had been adopted in other jurisdictions.
Victoria Police changed its policy to not pursue fleeing drivers, or do so only in the most extreme cases, in July.
"What we will do is examine the rationale behind all of that and the evidence behind whether or not limited pursuits afford a much better protection for the community than just general pursuits.
"I will take all of that into consideration as I assess whether our current guidelines are appropriate or not."
The review was timed to take into account a series of coronial findings from fatal crashes allegedly linked to police pursuits in other states and territories in the past year.
It was also informed by several case studies of pursuits that took place in Canberra last year but was not triggered by a single event.
"What I've seen so far is that the guidelines we operate under are satisfactory, and they provide the best protection for the community," Assistant Commissioner Lammers said.
"But that's not to say we don't learn from what happens in other states and territories and we modify the guidelines even further, but I don't know if that's going to be the case."
ACT criminologist David Biles, who believes police pursuits should be stopped or significantly limited, said chases should should be abandoned for incidents such as minor traffic offences in the territory.
"In general, only in the most serious cases should pursuits be considered," Dr Biles said.
That view has been echoed by Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury, who this year renewed calls for an inquiry into more restrictive policies for police chases in the ACT that he made after a triple fatality in Canberra Avenue in 2010.
Assistant Commissioner Lammers said the simplest way to stop police pursuits and fatalities was was for the driver to stop, which happened in most circumstances when a vehicle was pulled over.
"Every now and again you get someone who won't stop, irrespective of the circumstances, and it leads to what we've just seen, and that's the death of one young man and the serious injury of several other people."
Mr Smith-Brown was driving an unregistered car unlicensed, on bail, and fleeing police when he died in the smash in Drakeford Drive on September 4.
Two police investigations and a coronial inquest will look into the circumstances surrounding that crash and whether the two officers involved acted appropriately.
The ACT had the fewest police pursuit-related deaths in the country but recorded the highest average speeds in fatal car chases, an Australian Institute of Criminology report found in 2013.
The territory recorded four fatal pursuits between 2000 and 2011, equal lowest in the country with Tasmania.
Sydney talks to focus on continuing the harassment of Muslims [Nine MSN - 11/10/15]
Australian political strategist isn’t the Conservative’s sinister mastermind [The Globe And Mail – 9/10/15]:
... If people uncomfortable with the Conservatives’ tactics in this campaign want to ascribe them to some sinister mastermind from outside our borders, that’s understandable. For all the talk about the Wizard of Oz, there is no man behind the curtain.
… And here’s the kicker: though they might appear to be natural enemies, though they have no common staff and have separate listings with the corporate regulator, the two lobbying concerns share a couple of important things other than an operating model.
First, clients: they regularly refer clients to one another. But second, and more importantly, they share an owner.
The most politically connected company in Australia is one most people would never have heard of.
Its name is STW Group, and it is Australia’s largest marketing company. It owns about 75 businesses: PR firms, research companies, marketing PR, web design, all manner of communications and content outfits, and political lobbyists.
... [The Saturday Paper - 4/7/15]
Man arrested, accused of planting bombs on California golf course [Reuters - 11/10/15]
12 October 2015