The world is not good at anticipating crises. There’s one coming, 99.9% of experts says, in less than 30 years. About 1 billion people are expected to be in crisis, forced to migrate from low-lying land. Australia has responsibility for the Pacific, where the crisis will be felt in a major way. It’s time we started to tackle the issue urgently, Jennifer Ashton suggests.
People are trusting their politicians less than ever, a long-running ANU election study shows. As trust ebbs away, politicians’ promises are becoming worthless. Before the next federal election, any party that wants to restore the people’s faith should provide evidence they will introduce two things: an integrity body with teeth to counter political cheating and rorts, and a guarantee of freedoms/liberties for citizens in an Act of Parliament to safeguard the rights of Australians, particularly the powerless, to a fair go from the federal government, its departments, agencies and bureaucrats.
Governments tend to write laws for the ‘big end of town’. Queensland is proposing new electoral laws which are likely to silence charities and community groups. The government should re-draft the proposed laws to ensure struggletowners have as much right to be heard as mining magnates and corporations. Constitutional law expert, Prof Anne Twomey, explains.
Philip Gaetjens, head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, is the wrong person to hold the fate of alleged ’sports rorts’ minister Bridget McKenzie in his hands. PM Scott Morrison should be deciding whether his minister met his ministerial standards. And he should do so quickly, and then act decisively. The fiasco has run too long already
The state government’s secretive sending of our driver licence photos to a mysterious national ID database has come as a rude shock to Tasmanians. What other unrevealed changes has the government imposed on our traditional liberties, rights and freedoms? ‘Full transparency was promised’, but where is it? Richard Griggs asks.
The Tasmanian government is again reneging on a promise, this time over a proposed new protest law, introducing massive penalties to restrict genuine protest by concerned citizens along with draconian provisions for police to enforce. Indpendents in Parliament must reject this ‘outrageous law’, CLA’s Tasmanian Director Richard Griggs says.
It’s time to end the unfair practice of the same police force investigating shooting deaths, alleged stun gun abuse, police car chase fatal accidents and major complaints about police behaviour. CLA believes citizens will never get justice from police ”internal” affairs probes until the “internal” bit is replaced by independent investigators and other representing a civil liberties and human rights viewpoint. The time to change is now.
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.
The announcement by the Australian government of an inquiry into excessive security laws and police power is an admission that raids on the ABC and an Australian journalist’s home were way beyond reasonable, Bill Rowlings says. Here’s the full terms of reference.