Australia signs Trans-Pacific Partnership [Nine MSN - 6/10/15]
TPP Atlanta Ministerial Press Conference [VIDEO - 5/10/15]
#Nauru Big Day Out 15 approx went from family camp More from Single camp after sign police paper All back by 9pm
#Nauru Camp is 30-45 mins. By bus from town 6x 18 seater bus for 600 people Town is 60-90 minute walk away
#Nauru Story of the Not So Open camp emerges- many people stopped at gate check- only those who signed weeks back can go out
Those who have not signed must make appt w case manager to apply then do training on Nauru law then sign paper then wait 2 weeks then go out
UN, Amnesty, lawyers and journalists denied access, but the Australian branch of the UNHCR shows its true colours by praising Nauru's PR stunt
Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked.
And the rapes, attacks and death threats to refugees? The waterboarding, zipping, lack of judicial process and the fact Nauru is an Australian backed dictatorship?
The ongoing incarceration and torture of refugees on Manus Island?
via @danielflitton ... UNHCR statement on Nauru changes [5/10/15]:
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees welcomes Nauru's decision to end the detention of asylum-seekers and to clear pending asylum claims promptly.
How can refugee claims be processed if the UNHCR is barred from Nauru?
Brisbane Uber driver tells of 'terrifying' attack [Brisbane Times – 5/10/15]
Five reasons why I'm leaving you, Swan Taxis, for Uber [WA Today – 5/10/15]
Baby hit by four-wheel drive on Sunshine Coast beach campsite [ABC – 5/10/15
A man has died following a head-on crash between a car and a truck on the Brand Highway in WA's Mid West. ... [WA Today - 5/10/15]
Fatal traffic crash, Fairney View [QPS Media - 5/10/15]
Serious traffic crash, Maryborough [QPS Media - 4/10/15]
A teenager has died in a forklift accident in southwest Queensland.
It's believed the teen became trapped under a forklift that veered off a dirt road at Kyoomba, near Stanthorpe, on Monday afternoon. ... [Yahoo - 5/10/15]
A 60-year-old man has died after being crushed by a large, fallen gum tree in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. ... [ABC - 5/10/15]
A man is in hospital with burns after a gas cylinder exploded on the Gold Coast.
The 55-year-old suffered burns to his arms, chest and back in the explosion in the industrial suburb of Molendinar on Monday morning.
He is in a stable condition. [Yahoo - 5/10/15]
Boy, 10, serious after near drowning, Gold Coast hinterland [Yahoo – 5/10/15]
Where's the fire? Fire has destroyed a police car after a traffic stop gone wrong west of Brisbane. An officer pulled over a driver on the Wivenhoe-Somerset Road near the south of Lake Wivenhoe about 3pm and parked in grass beside the road. It wasn't until the male driver pointed out the problem that the officer realised a fire had started under the car, possibly sparked by the vehicle's hot engine. ... Brisbane Times [5/10/15]
Queensland firefighters battling three blazes [West Australian – 5/10/15]
Teachers' unions support this? ----> Australia's "opposition leader" denigrates public education [Sydney Morning Herald - 5/10/15]
Just like a Venus flytrap, the latest weapon in WA Police’s armoury is good at luring and catching its prey.
It has been operating in Perth for several months but until now has remained a secret.
From the outside, it looks like any other car, but inside it is wired with tiny cameras and special technology to allow police to catch car thieves.
It is called a “bait car” and while it has been used in other police jurisdictions around the world, it is a first for Perth and has already had success in catching and prosecuting offenders. ... [West Australian - 5/10/15]
What Bait Car can teach us about American inequality [Huffington Post - 29/3/14]
A former school principal in Tasmania has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing 14 children.
The man pleaded guilty earlier this year to 17 counts of indecently assaulting 11 primary school boys during the 1970s and 1980s. ... [ABC - 5/10/15]
Anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders inspired by Australia's bipartisan fascism [5/10/15]
Parramatta shooting, media lies and
criminalisation of Islam and Muslims
Hizb ut-Tahrir Media Release [5/10/15]:
Mainstream media reports have attempted to link Hizb ut-Tahrir to the Parramatta shooting on the most specious of grounds.
The cheap allegations emanated from a reporter at Channel Seven known for his duplicitous and sensationalist reporting and were subsequently spread by many other media outlets with the flagrant irresponsibility all too common from mainstream media.
In this regard, we emphasise the following:
1) Hizb ut-Tahrir’s position and condemnation of unjust violence is as clear as day. This is why it yesterday stood firmly in a rally against the brutal and callous murder being carried out by the US and Russia in Syria. In contrast, the mainstream media and the Australian Government either support this state-terrorism or adopt a shameless position of silence with regards to it.
2) Hizb ut-Tahrir’s position on the use of violence as a means for political change or expressing political grievance is also extremely well-known. Actions like the Parramatta shooting are plainly wrong. In contrast, the Australian Government’s foreign policy routinely employs the most callous of violence to further its economic and political interests in other parts of the world and the mainstream media chirps its supports like a well-trained parrot.
3) Hizb ut-Tahrir’s position on the attribution of any wrong action undertaken by a Muslim to the Muslim community generally and the demand that Muslims condemn it is also well-established. We are not interested in, nor fooled by, the superficial politics of condemnation. We reject the flawed government ‘war on terror’ narrative whereby blame is shifted to Islam and Muslims. The real cause of violence is western foreign and domestic policy and it is about time the Australian establishment assumed responsibility for all the violence and hate it has created.
4) No doubt government authorities will milk this shooting to justify further insidious intervention in the Muslim community and further policing of Muslim youth, the very oppressive intervention and policing that pushes some to react in the wrong way. Hence, political and security officials have rushed to label the shooting ‘terrorism’, to ‘reach out’ to the Muslim community leaders and families, enlisting them from the ‘frontline’ of the ‘fight against radicalisation’. This is the same old ‘war on terror’ approach that blames and criminalises an entire community for the actions of individuals.
5) The alleged links of Farhad Jabar to Hizb ut-Tahrir are so groundless and absurd, they deserve naught but derision. Suffice to say that Hizb ut-Tahrir did not conduct any lecture on Friday Oct 2 and Farhad has no affiliation with it whatsoever. Further, we reject the deceptive but fallacious logic whereby listening to one or two lectures in the Muslim community leads the otherwise simpleton Muslim teenager to commit murder. Indeed, why, it must be asked, is the religion of the perpetrator the first, and in reality the only, real point of inquiry?
6) Incidentally, Hizb ut-Tahrir tonight launches a month-long campaign, culminating in a conference, on this very issue of government intervention in the Muslim community. Recent events again highlight the importance of this discussion for the Muslim community and community at large. All details of the campaign and conference will be available from this evening at gimc.org.au.
Muslim community reject Abbott government’s demonisation and condemns moves to silence legitimate critique [Islam in Australia - 19/2/15]:
More than 2,000 people gathered on the Gold Coast on Sunday morning to remember Tara Brown.
The 24-year-old was allegedly murdered last month by her estranged partner after being run off the road at Molendinar.
Friends organised the gathering in a Coomera park - with markets, food stalls and a concert - as a fundraiser for Ms Brown's family. ... [ABC - 4/10/15]
Israel launches Gaza airstrike after rocket fire [Maan - 5/10/15]
Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian teenager during clashes in the northern West Bank village of Bala, east of Tulkarem, overnight Sunday, medics said.
Red Crescent officials told Ma'an that 18-year-old Huthayfa Othman Suleiman was shot in the chest during clashes and died in the operating room.
Three other young men were shot with live fire during the clashes and taken to Thabit Thabit hospital to be treated for their injuries.
Doctors managed to save the life of Omar Jadba after he was shot in the thigh and abdomen and seriously wounded, medics added, noting that the two other men were shot in their legs.
Six other Palestinians were shot by rubber-coated steel bullets.
Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli snipers deployed on rooftops and fired live ammunition directly at Palestinian men during the clashes. They also fired tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at protesters. ... [Maan - 5/10/15]
Israeli authorities have issued a 48-hour ban on Palestinians from entering the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem, following two stabbing attacks in which two Israelis were killed and three injured at the site, an Israeli police spokesperson said.
The two Palestinians who allegedly committed the stabbing attacks were shot dead on scene in the separate incidents, hours apart. ... [Maan - 4/10/15]
Saudi airstrikes hit seven targets in Yemen’s Sa’ada [Press TV - 5/10/15]
Saudi Arabia’s deadly airstrikes in Yemen have continued with warplanes pounding the outskirts of the capital as well as a district in the northwest of the country.
Saudi jets on Sunday targeted the Fag Atan area, located in the mountainous outskirts of the capital Sana’a.
Saudi warplanes also struck trucks carrying much needed food supplies in the northwestern province of Sa'ada. At least three people were killed in the attack. ... [Press TV - 4/10/15]
Afghanistan: Sar-i-Pul clash leaves 1 civilian dead, 2 policemen hurt [Pajhwok - 5/10/15]
Two children were killed and their father and a third child wounded in a mortar explosion in Khashrud district of southwestern Nimroz province on Sunday, an official said. ... [Pajhwok - 4/10/15]
"MSF is disgusted by the recent statements coming from some Afghanistan government authorities justifying the attack on its hospital in Kunduz.
These statements imply that Afghan and US forces working together decided to raze to the ground a fully functioning hospital – with more than 180 staff and patients inside – because they claim that members of the Taliban were present.
This amounts to an admission of a war crime. This utterly contradicts the initial attempts of the US government to minimise the attack as 'collateral damage'. There can be no justification for this abhorrent attack on our hospital that resulted in the deaths of MSF staff as they worked and patients as they lay in their beds.
MSF reiterates its demand for a full transparent and independent international investigation." – Christopher Stokes, General Director, Médecins Sans Frontières [4/10/15]
Ukrainian troops in the Kiev-controlled area of the Luhansk region have completed preparations for withdrawing weapons with the caliber under 100mm and are now waiting for the respective order, the speaker of the military operation in Donbas said. ... [TASS - 5/10/15]
Russia's Black Sea Fleet may be used in Syria to blockade the Syrian coastline and deliver armaments, as well as possibly deliver artillery strikes, the head of Russian State Duma's defense committee and former Black Sea Fleet commander Vladimir Komoyedov said.
Russia began precision strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on September 30.
According to Russia's Defense Ministry, Russia's air force has in the past two days destroyed terrorist headquarters, an explosives factory, a training camp and other targets. The targets are chosen based on Russian and Syrian reconnaissance data. ... [Sputnik News - 5/10/15]
ISIL blows up Arch of Triumph in Syria's Palmyra [Al Jazeera - 5/10/15]
President al-Assad: New anti-terrorism coalition must succeed, otherwise whole region will be destroyed [Interview with Iranian Khabar TV/ICH - 4/10/15]
... “Regime change” in Syria has been on the Israeli/neocon to-do list since at least the mid-1990s and the neocon idea last decade was that Assad’s overthrow would immediately follow the Iraq “regime change” in 2003, except the Iraq scheme didn’t work out exactly as planned. ... Ray McGovern [Consortium News - 4/10/15]
Russia has informed Turkey that the violation of Turkish airspace near the Syrian border on Oct. 3 was due to a “navigation error,” according to Turkish military sources. ... [Hurriyet Daily News - 5/10/15]
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday announced that Baghdad's "Green Zone" was open to the public for the first time in 12 years, albeit with many remaining restrictions.
The roughly 10-square-kilometre (four square miles) heavily fortified area in the heart of Baghdad is home to the country's top political institutions and embassies. ... [Ahram- 4/10/15]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [4/10/15]:
Baghdad: "3 persons were wounded as a roadside bomb exploded targeting their car while passing through the main street in Yusfiya south of Baghdad today noon",a security source said..................
Baghdad: "Two persons were killed and 6 wounded as a roadside bomb exploded near shops in Amin area east of Baghdad",a security source reported............................
A Jordanian parliament member said he learned from Islamic State-linked media that his son carried out a suicide attack in Iraq, three months after dropping out of medical school and joining the extremist group. ... [Haaretz - 4/10/15]
Boko Haram suicide attacks in Niger kill at least four [Ahram - 4/10/15]
The Libyan Red Crescent says the bodies of nearly 100 refugees have washed up on the North African country’s shores over the past few days. ... [Albawaba - 5/10/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [4/10/15]:
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 yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Fighter, bomber, ground-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted six airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Hasakah, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL structures, two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL motorcycle.
-- Near Raqqah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Mara, a strike destroyed an ISIL excavator.
-- Near Washiyah, a strike damaged an ISIL excavator.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, attack and fighter-attack aircraft conducted 10 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Baghdadi, a strike struck an ISIL pontoon bridge.
-- Near Huwayjah, two strikes suppressed ISIL mortar fire and an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Fallujah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL rocket-propelled grenade.
-- Near Kirkuk, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Ramadi, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb, an ISIL tactical vehicle and six ISIL fighting positions, breached two ISIL obstacles, and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a heavy machine gun and two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and two ISIL fighting positions.
Germany expects up to 1.5 million migrants in 2015 [Reuters - 4/10/15] <----- Australian media enthusiastically promote European border patrols and calls for "limits to influx".
A rally in support of migrants fleeing the Syrian conflict and other hardships drew tens of thousands to Vienna on Saturday, organisers and police said. ... [The Local - 3/10/15]
@guardiacostiera [4/10/15]: #Lampedusa, salvati 60 migranti a bordo di un barcone dalla motovedetta CP302 della @guardiacostiera
@ItalianNavy [4/10/15]: #UltimOra #SAR Nave Aviere #MarinaMilitare ha ultimato il recupero di circa 240 #Migranti da peschereccio precedentemente soccorso
@ItalianNavy [4/10/15]: #UltimOra #SAR Nave Aviere #MarinaMilitare interviene su peschereccio con oltre 100 #Migranti a bordo.
The body of a baby was found on Sunday morning at the beach of Lambi area on the island of Kos. The baby was reportedly wearing green pants and a gray blouse over a white bodysuit.
Authorities estimate the baby was approximately 6 months old. According to latest information the baby was 10 months old. But does it make a difference? ... [Keep Talking Greece - 4/10/15]
If Syrian refugees are to be taken in, so should Rohingyas [The Ant Daily - 3/10/15]
Photographer Adi Sarfi's photos of refugees posing with their most valuable belongings that they escaped with during their journey to Malaysia to seek refuge are at once striking and revealing.
Titled 'Home and Away', the results offer a rare glimpse into what do people, in their most desperate time for survival, hold most dear. ... [SAYS.com - 4/10/15]
Myanmar nationalist monks stage large rally as religious tensions grow [Channel News Asia – 5/10/15]
Mosque destroyed in Aliyong [Burma Times - 3/10/15]:
Local government officials destroyed a mosque in Aliyong of Buthidaung.
In the last weeks of September, Rohingyas in the area repaired a mosque which was earlier destroyed by the floods. However when government officials came to know about the repair work, they ordered the locals to knock down the mosque or face severe consequences.
On Wednesday, under threat of torture and imprisonment, the local Rohingyas reluctantly knocked down the mosque.
Speaking to our correspondent in Buthidaung, a local man said that the Rohingyas only made repairs to the mosque after president Thein Sein assured Rohingyas in the Buthidaung area during his last visit that the Muslims were free to make repairs to their mosques destroyed by the floods. However it seems the promises by Thein Sein were not made in any sincerity.
Another source said the Rohingyas had spent a considerable amount of resources to rebuild the mosque, all for nothing.
The Marshall Islands foreign minister says climate change induced migration would be akin to cultural genocide.
Tony de Brum's comments as small atoll nations are to meet in Kiribati this week to look how to prepare for climate migrants to move in a dignified way.
The meeting which is organised with the help of the Prince Albert of Monaco Foundation, also looks at labour mobility as a potential mechanism to facilitate climate migration.
But the Marshall Islands' Tony de Brum says migrating because of the effects of climate change should only be considered if all other avenues fail.
"Displacement of populations and destruction of cultural language and tradition is equivalent in our minds to genocide. People must know that climate change can be reversed if we do it now. But if we do not of irreversible damage or and even catastrophic ending of civilisation as we know it." [RNZI - 5/10/15]
Four people were killed on Sunday as Typhoon Mujigae ploughed into southern China with forecasters warning it was packing winds of up to 180kmph, state news agency Xinhua reported.
One fisherman died and 16 were missing after the typhoon slammed into the coastal city of Zhanjiang, Guangdong, on Sunday afternoon.
Some 117 fishermen were rescued according to local maritime authorities, the agency said. ... [Channel News Asia - 5/10/15]
After destruction in Bahamas, relief efforts commence as Hurricane Joaquin threatens Bermuda [Miami Herald – 4/10/15]
Curfews have been ordered, dozens of people are in need of rescue, several interstates are closed and four people are dead in some of the worst flooding South Carolina has ever seen, officials said Sunday. … [The Weather Channel - 4/10/15]
Deadly flash floods strike French Riviera [France 24 - 4/10/15]
Up to 54,135 people in Riau have experienced haze-related health issues, according to the Riau Health Agency, as ash from the province’s land and forest fires kept the Air Pollution Standard Index (ISPU) at an “unhealthy level” on Saturday. ... [Jakarta Post - 3/10/15]
Cuban 5 condemn Chevron over Ecuador oil tragedy [teleSUR – 3/10/15]
The twitching corpses of truth [Wings Over Scotland - 4/10/15]
Nauru says? Well PROVE IT. Let the journalists and UNHCR have access - or nobody believes it. [RNZI - 5/10/15]: The Nauru government says it will process all asylum seekers on the island within a week, and says all detainees are now able to leave the facility and move freely. The Government has pledged to process 600 claims for refugee status. ...
High Court set to hear challenge to offshore detention on Nauru as transition to "open centre" announced
Human Rights Law Centre Media Release [4/10/15]:
The full bench of the High Court will this week hear a challenge to the lawfulness of the Australian Government’s role in offshore detention on Nauru.
The hearing will proceed despite an eleventh hour announcement that the facility on Nauru is set to become an ‘open centre’.
The Human Rights Law Centre’s Director of Legal Advocacy, Daniel Webb, said the lead case – to be heard on Wednesday and Thursday in Canberra – is being run on behalf of a woman from Bangladesh who was brought to Australia due to a serious deterioration in her health during the late stages of pregnancy, but is now facing imminent return to Nauru with her ten month old baby.
“Australia should not be indefinitely warehousing people on remote islands, especially babies. The family is absolutely terrified of being forced back to an environment that we know is harmful and that we know is unsafe, particularly for women and children,” said Mr Webb.
This is the lead case linked to a series of challenges being run on behalf of more than 200 people in similar situations who have been brought to Australia from Nauru and Manus for various reasons including urgent medical attention.
In the past few days it has been announced that the Nauru detention facility is set to become an ‘open centre’. The proposed changes are set to commence more than three years after the re-opening of the detention centre but just two days before the High Court examines Australia’s role in it.
Mr Webb said allowing people increased freedom of movement would be a welcome development but the fundamental problems with the offshore arrangements remain.
“A transition to an open centre would be an important and hard-won improvement, but letting people go for a walk does not resolve the fundamental problems caused by indefinitely warehousing them on a tiny remote island. The men, women and children on Nauru need a real solution – settlement in a safe place where they can rebuild their lives. Instead they’re being left languishing in an environment that is clearly unsafe for women and children,” said Mr Webb.
When the HRLC commenced the case on 14 May this year, it contended that there was no Australian law which gave the government the necessary power to fund and facilitate the current offshore detention arrangements.
The government responded by hastily introducing one. With the support of the Opposition, the government enacted legislation which sought to retrospectively authorise three years of offshore detention and the expenditure of several billion dollars for that purpose. The law passed through the Parliament in June within two days of it being announced.
“The Government repeatedly assures the Australian people that it is acting legally, but a Government confident its actions are lawful doesn’t suddenly and retrospectively change the law when its actions are challenged in court,” said Mr Webb.
Despite the changes to the law, Mr Webb said that serious Constitutional questions remain about the Commonwealth’s involvement in offshore detention and the validity of the laws attempting to authorise it.
“We know the government has some power to detain people in Australia and some power to remove people from Australia. But it’s another thing altogether to then spend billions of dollars funding and facilitating the detention of innocent people in other countries. It’s that spending and that detention that this case challenges,” said Mr Webb.
“We sometimes lose sight of just how extraordinary it is for Australia to be underwriting and actively participating in the detention of people in other countries. We know it’s harmful and we know it’s expensive. This case will test whether it is legal,” said Mr Webb.
Related cases to the one being heard have now been commenced on behalf of over 200 men, women and children returned to Australia for medical treatment but now facing forcible return to offshore detention.
“There are now over 200 people involved in these cases. They include men subjected to serious violence on Manus, women who’ve been sexually assaulted on Nauru and over 50 children, including 23 babies less than a year old. These are incredibly vulnerable people. They should not be returned to an environment that has already caused them a great deal of harm,” said Mr Webb.
A case raising similar legal issues in respect of the Manus detention arrangements is also underway and has been adjourned pending the outcome of the Nauru challenge. Ruth Hudson, Practice Group Leader at Stacks Goudkamp lawyers, is representing several of the men involved in the Manus case including the lead plaintiff.
“Many of the men experienced torture and trauma in their countries of origin. They report that they have witnessed and been subjected to extreme violence inside the Manus detention centre, as well as being required to live in conditions that have only served to further compromise their already fragile mental and physical wellbeing. They are suffering serious physical and psychological injuries and illnesses, each of which which demand our attention and assistance and they should not be sent back to Manus Island,” said Ms Hudson.
The men, women and children involved in the case are covered by legal undertakings from the Australian Government that they will not be returned to Nauru or Manus Island without notice.
In the months since the case was filed, the HRLC has worked closely with the Refugee Advice and Casework Service in Sydney, the Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network in Darwin and support agencies and private commercial lawyers around the country to ensure people at risk of deportation offshore have received legal advice about the case.
Katie Wrigley, Principal Solicitor at RACS, said many of the people involved in the case had been terrified that they would be sent back to Nauru without notice.
“It shouldn’t have taken a case in the highest court in this country for the government to promise not to deport vulnerable people – including babies – without any notice and without any opportunity for those families to speak with their lawyers, but at least for now, they can go to sleep at night without the fear of being suddenly woken up and secretly whisked away to offshore detention,” said Ms Wrigley.
The legal team running the case includes barristers Ron Merkel QC, Craig Lenehan, David Hume, Rachel Mansted, Emma Bathurst and Stacks Goudkamp Lawyers. Assistance has also been provided by the Refugee Advice and Casework Service and Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network.
Senator Sue Lines is on this panel?
Has she quit the ALP?
Refugee Rights Action Network WA [5/10/15]:
Our friends at Students for Refugees have organised this panel discussion for tomorrow at UWA.
Looks like they've secured a great range of speakers - these forums are completely free and open to the public - so come along for what should be an insightful discussion.
Australia’s socio-political landscape is dominated by adversarial attitudes towards asylum seekers, with ‘stop the boats’ rhetoric the norm. The causes are multi-faceted, and include underlying social prejudice, corporate media pressures and policy.
For those determined to challenge the current discourse, the question arises, where to from here?
Students For Refugees have brought together a panel of individuals, each involved in making a change through their own respective endeavours. The panelists will draw from their knowledge and experience to discuss the broad issue of asylum in Australia, and to explore what courses of action can be taken from here.
The floor will be open to questions from the audience.
The panel includes:
Scott Ludlam, Senator for Western Australia & Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens
Sue Lines, Labor Senator for Western Australia
Jarrod McKenna, Love Makes a Way + First Home Project
Rob Cover, Associate Professor & Discipline Chair of Media and Communication at the University of Western Australia
Dawood, Community Activist and Former Refugee
Mandatory reporting of abuse
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)
ALP and LNP vote against Greens Senate motion to save Rohingya [Senate Hansard - 24/6/15]:
Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (15:39): I move:
That the Senate—
(a) expresses concern at the disturbing reports aired on the Four Corners television program on 22 June 2015;
(i) that only 412 Rohingyans have been resettled in Australia through Australia's humanitarian program since 2008, and
(ii) the Government's recent refusal to provide assistance or resettlement for Rohingyans currently in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and stranded at sea off these three countries; and
(c) urges the Government to:
(i) contribute to the search and rescue mission for thousands of migrants, including Rohingyans, currently stranded at sea,
(ii) resettle some of the Rohingyan migrants rescued by Indonesia and Malaysia, and
(iii) resettle an increased number of Rohingyans in the 2015 humanitarian program, increasing the number of the program if necessary.
The PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion be agreed to.
The Senate divided [15:39]
(The President—Senator Parry)
Ayes ...................... 13
Noes ...................... 33
Majority ................. 20
Di Natale, R
Siewert, R (teller)
McEwen, A (teller)
We don't need anymore co-optation and "what you can do" panels and "plan for change" forums.
We need to start DEMANDING the following:
1. CLOSE THE CAMPS.
2. BRING THE REFUGEES TO AUSTRALIA.
3. START ADHERING TO THE UN REFUGEE CONVENTION.
WE ALSO NEED TO BOYCOTT COMPANIES AND POLITICAL PARTIES THAT SUPPORT AUSTRALIA'S CRUEL AND INHUMANE REFUGEE POLICY.
IT'S PRETTY FUCKING SIMPLE.
Federal government asks Australian Federal Police to find Nauru whistleblowers [The Age - 5/10/15]
Refugee boy allegedly attacked by Nauruan gang asks 'what kind of people are these?' [The Age - 5/10/15]:
... Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said refugees living in the Nauru community were routinely attacked.
He said the situation was "badly out of control" and single women and young refugees were "preyed upon with impunity".
A spokesman for the Nauru government's Australian-based public relations agency, Mercer PR, refused to comment. The Department of Immigration said it was aware of "an incident this week involving refugees" which was reported to the Nauru police, adding inquiries should be directed to them.
Meantime a group of academics, known as Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites, claims the mother of an Iranian woman, who was sexually assaulted, tried to hang herself after being "no longer able to bear the acute suffering" of her family.
After the attack her daughter was flown to Brisbane for medical treatment, where she is believed to remain, after refusing to eat and attempting suicide twice, including by drinking insecticide.
The sex assault victim's brother has alleged he was mistreated by Nauru police – a claim police deny.
The department said no report of the mother's suicide attempt had been made and it takes "very seriously" the health and welfare of transferees at the Nauru detention centre.
Thales wins $1.5b Hawkei contract [Australian Financial Review - 5/10/15]:
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Defence Minister Marise Payne will award a $1.5 billion contract for armoured vehicles to Thales, at their site in regional Victoria.
The deal, to build about 1000 new blast-proof Hawkei vehicles, will mean 200 jobs for the town of Monegeetta in the Macedon Ranges, according to Bendigo Labor MP Lisa Chesters.
"Bendigo Thales manufactures the Bushmaster, and that work is about to end so we had been waiting on contract to be signed so that we could start preparing everyone for the manufacture of the Hawkei.
"What it means for us going forward is there's about 300 jobs at the site and this contract secures those jobs including about 200 jobs on the shop floor," she said.
Anti-Islamic group stage fake beheading in Bendigo to protest against mosque development [ABC – 5/10/15]
Then why say it? ----> "It’s critical that the entire Muslim community is not blamed for the actions of an individual." [Greens Media Release - 4/10/15]
An RAAF cadet supervisor has admitted to having sex with teenage girls under his care, including in the hours after being handed a commendation by the chief of the Air Force where it was suggested he and a girl, 17, have ‘‘celebration sex’’.
Christopher Robert Adams, 25, pleaded guilty in Newcastle District Court on Thursday to five counts of having sexual intercourse with three victims under the age of 18 while they were under his care.
Adams was a firefighter at the Williamtown RAAF Base and doubled as a leading aircraftsman in the Australian Air Force Cadets where he met the three girls during courses in school holidays.
A statement of agreed facts tendered to the court on Thursday said Adams groomed the girls with explicit messages on Facebook and via phone text before the contact became physical. ... [The Herald - 24/9/15]
TPP Atlanta Ministerial Live Stream
@wikileaks [4/10/15]: #TPP negotiator: Get ready to "swallow rats" #TTPA
WikiLeaks - The US strategy to create a new global legal and economic system: TPP, TTIP, TISA. [VIDEO - 18/8/15]
Four arrested Atlantans protest TPP [Atlanta Progressive News - 2/10/15]:
Protests against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continue in Atlanta, as negotiators from twelve countries work to finalize this latest, controversial proposal for an international free trade agreement.
Advocates from civil society organizations concerned with labor, the environment, health care, food, and other issues are worried about a new, free trade agreement that would further entrench corporate interests.
As of Friday evening, October 02, 2015, four activists have been arrested for civil disobedience.
On Wednesday, September 30, Zahara Heckscher, a breast cancer patient, was arrested for confronting TPP negotiators, while hooked up to an IV.
On Thursday, October 01, Daniel Hanley went down to the floor where negotiations were taking place and handcuffed himself to a railing.
Pictures that have surfaced of his arrest appear particularly brutal.
One of the officers was aggressive and hurt Hanley’s wrist while trying to remove the handcuffs, Hanley said.
Today, Friday, October 02, Nina Roark and an activist who goes by the name, “Scout,” were arrested for putting their bodies in the doorway of the meeting and refusing to leave.
The contents of the TPP are not being made public; however, an earlier version was leaked on WikiLeaks. ...
The anti-austerity protest held outside the Conservative conference in Manchester was largely peaceful and dignified, the city’s police service has said.
Chief superintendent John O’Hare of Greater Manchester Police said low arrest numbers were “pleasing” and that the overwhelming majority of people on the march showed “good grace”.
The march, organised by the Trades Union Congress and the People’s Assembly campaign group, drew around 60,000 people, police said. ... [The Independent - 4/10/15]
@Jonathon_Shafi [4/10/15]: Huge assembly in Central Manchester - a small fraction of the whole demo Vs the Tories.
Human rights are no longer a 'top priority' for the Government, says Foreign Office chief [Independent - 2/10/15]
5 October 2015