March 2020 CLArion newsletter: Year of change is likely as politicians battle over personal power ‘without wisdom, lacking moral compass’

The prognosis for positive progress in 2020 is not good. The government has lined up its divisive Religious Freedoms to wedge society, even as one ambitious Minister has a plan ready to unleash vigilantes throughout Australia. Elsewhere, governments fail to tackle the scandal of Aboriginal detention while police publicly protect themselves wearing heavy ’terrorist’ body armour even as increasing numbers of defenceless women die because our “law and order” forces will not prioritise domestic violence. We need proper balance returned to society, through equitable funding and resource allocation.

Other items in this issue:

  • SIC – parliament’s worst committee – strikes again
  • Whistleblowers need help: one opts for crowd funding
  • Military defends Australia by videos, photos and media releases
  • ‘Nearer My Trump To Thee’ as our nation is led into supine position
  • Facial recognition gadgetry ramifications are getting worse
  • Is ‘pushing, poking stirring up’ a legitimate police tactic?
  • Court says Australia’s action is unlawful
  • Trump approves landmines…again
  • LA eliminates marijuana convictions

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February 2020 CLArion newsletter: Integrity Commission must have teeth; praise for ANAO; decisive leadership needed

Bushfire hesitancy, climate change uncertainty and sports rorts chicanery are indicators that national leadership and management is sub-optimal as Australia faces major issues from the start of the 2020s. The problem is exacerbated in the areas of civil liberties and human rights, because they rank lowly on the list of what politicians concern themselves about. Australia needs to swap the majority of its pollies for statesmen and stateswomen, people who can identify – and will take the lead on – addressing the fundamental problems and opportunities to build Australia into a fairer society and a better nation.

January 2020 CLArion newsletter: CLA helps chalk up rare win as initiatives begin on prisons, press freedom, whistleblowers 

A former Chief Justice dropped a ‘bombshell’ when his year-long inquiry in WA found criminal assets-seizing laws were “largely unconcerned whether confiscation is fair or just’. CLA has campaigned against the laws for about 15 years. Similar laws elsewhere should also end, as should a cosy new scheme where governments divide up their jointly ill-gotten proceeds stemming from bad law. In 2020, new campaigns will try to to end senseless, arbitrary censorship inside prisons and make ‘law and order’ elections less popular, while the main law reform body will focus on financial services, defamation, press freedom and whistleblowers.

  • AGs’ work program includes tackling betting in sport
  •  Reforms planned for enduring power of attorney
  •  Committee wants to give Minister Dutton more power
  •  ‘Christian conservatives have never had it so good’: Patten
  •  ‘Tax is a symptom of mental health prejudice’: member letter
  •  Who ‘owns’ the law? DNA can be two-faced

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Dec 2019 CLArion newsletter: ASIO spins and leaks as Australia is confirmed as turning into a police-security state

Supposed ’secret’ agents pick up a megaphone to leak news which suits their world view, then dumb politicians jump on to the bandwagon created from gossamer ‘facts’. Welcome to the new police-security state that Australia is becoming. We’re losing liberties and freedoms because Ministers and Parliament no longer safeguard people’s human rights. Instead, doyens of the nation’s academia and law say, they legislate ‘poorly and over-broadly’ – besotted by terrorism – when a much greater danger is domestic violence, for example. A Bill of Rights is just one fundamental needed to restore balance in our society.

Nov 2019 CLArion newsletter: At last, the tide of repressive laws appears to have turned – now for rebalancing liberties

The first glimmers of light have emerged for and end to draconian anti-terror laws, and a concerted community push to ensure freedom of the press. A parliamentary committee has sent a bill back for re-drafting. Rallies throughout Australia, backed by civil liberties, human rights and lawyer groups, are highlighting how perverse is the government’s continuing persecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery. And at last a long-quiescent media has woken up to its responsibilities to safeguard all of our freedoms, including freedom of the press. We suddenly live in greater hope.

Oct 2019 CLArion newsletter: Census and new laws move us further down track of mandatory questions & duration

Little by little, those who govern the nation are conditioning the people to the concept of increasing mandatory behaviour imposed from on high. The 2021 census is being planned with new, intrusive and must-answer questions on gender, sex and personal health. At the same time, ignorant and arrogant politicians want to legislate for mandatory sentences, instead of letting the legal experts called judges do their jobs…after they have heard all claims and counter-claims.

Sept 2019 CLArion newsletter: Security forces gild lily in seeking to retain unaccountable powers to raid journos and ABC 

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.

August 2019 CLArion newsletter: Book strips bare the perfidy inside parliament as chancers go for broke

A new Niki Savva book exposing the soap opera around Malcolm Turnbull’s demise as PM paints MPs in a very poor light. Meanwhile, police officers themselves are joining the campaign to end the highly problematic practice of police investigating police. Officers say they don’t get a fair hearing over medical, OH&S and PTSD issues; citizens say they don’t get a fair hearing when they complain about police.

July 2019 CLArion: Parliament resumes, but agenda at cross purposes with nation’s need for greater humanity

To build a better nation, Australia needs to re-focus on our freedoms and our humanity rather than on tax-cutting baubles and harsher refugee and security laws. After nearly 20 years of excessive terrorism fear driving public policy, it’s time for politicians, parliament and the people to create a better society for the future rather than building walls around the past.