The president of a parole board facing more prisoners and rapidly increasing parole applications wants a standalone website to be able to demonstrate the independence demanded by statute law. But the board itself is a prisoner… of the state’s corrective services department. Free the board, CLA says. Boards have rights, too!
With new Australian anti-terror laws running at about five a year over 18 years, there are two fundamental questions: has our safety changed for the better, and do we need all of them now, or should there be a consolidated ‘Anti-terror Act’ that reins in the draconian excesses, restores balanced rights and liberties, and better represents the real dangers in 2020 to the nation?
In a proposed new law before parliament, the government wants the right to conduct broad-spectrum surveillance, and hold photos on every Australian, without necessary safeguards. It claims the technology doesn’t exist for mass surveillance in real time, but The Guardian report’s CLA President Dr Kristine Klugman when she points out that a minor development could introduce the option of ‘1984’ and ‘Big Brother’ high-tech to Australia in just a few months, which police and security authorities would find ‘cheap and enticing’…and irresistible.
With marijuana – cannabis – soon to be legal in the ACT, we look forward to photos of Prime Minister Scott Morrison lighting up a rollie at The Lodge, and of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton tending his four pot plants at his Canberra address.
At last! A federal MP is taking Australia’s horrific rate of jailing people, particularly Indigenous citizens, seriously. Dr Andrew Leigh, the Member for Fenner (ACT) has produced a detailed rundown that shows we are becoming among the greatest jailers. For example, we now jail Indigenous Australians at a rate greater than the USA jails African-Americans. Read a summary of Leigh’s paper, with a link to the original.
The spookmeisters have emerged from deep hiding to defend their over-the-top raids on the homes of journalists and the national HQ of the ABC. They’ve trotted out ghosts and hobgoblins in yet another fear-raising exercise to suit their secret aims. An MP has described Australia as a ‘pre-police state’…but we are very quickly moving past the ‘pre’ stage as recent events demonstrate.
If national security is genuinely at risk, leakers should be prosecuted. But where Australia itself, its political leaders, top bureaucrats and spook agencies are the transgressors, ‘leakers’ should be rewarded and those who have trashed the nation’s reputation are the ones to go before a Royal Commission or court of law. Both the government and the opposition are behaving reprehensibly in relation to the Witness K/Bernard Collaery case, Dr Richie Gun says.