Aged care: inquiry should focus on ‘people’ not ‘consumers’

Civil Liberties Australia has taken issue with the language used in a parliamentary inquiry into the Quality of Care in Residential Aged Care Facilities in Australia. “We note that the Terms of Reference refer to ‘residents’ and ‘consumer protection’, rather than referring to ‘people’, ‘older Australians’ or ‘citizens’. In this language lies the danger of treating older Australians merely as “profit units” for an industry portrayed in the public perception as ‘caring’, because of its links to churches and the like, but which is in truth as hard-nosed and bottom line-driven as any other, “ CLA has told the inquiry. Click for CLA’s submission

Aged care homes: strident report from SA

“The evidence establishes that, in theory, there were sufficient mechanisms in place to ensure appropriate oversight in relation to complaints and reports and the investigation of incidents. In practice however these systems failed because they depended too much upon individual reporting and individual judgement. As a result nearly all of the information about the poor standard of care at the Oakden Facility was confined to those who worked there.”  – quote from the report.

DFAT misses a chance to listen

What were once excellent consultations by DFAT with NGOs recently became one-way lectures, from DFAT, to the detriment of everybody. Let’s hope it reverts in style next meeting. 11  Feb 2018

Sending journos and ‘whistlers’ to jail

The federal government plans more draconian security legislation, even as the cabinet documents farce mocks its own rhetoric. These are more over-the-top laws we don’t need.

Police rule…by divine ‘right’?

Protest laws around Australia are being beefed up against the citizen as police seek ascendancy over the people in a dangerous shifting of the democratic power balance in society. 19 April 2016

East Timor is mad as hell…

Australians with intimate knowledge of our sleazy dealings over oil reserves with East Timor are delighted the Labor Party has announced a change in policy. John Martinkus explains why.  19 April 2016

Is speech free in the PS?

How constrained are public servants in expressing their private opinions in the lead-up to coming elections? Perhaps not as free from restraint as you might think, says John Wilson. 15 April 2016

TPP: Corporations trump democracy

One of the world’s top business schools has dissected the TPP, finding that it would undermine public accountability, thwart democratic mechanisms and harm millions of people…just for starters. 13 March 2016

State to control scientific exchanges

A bad law, due to start in April, will see the work of Australian scientists severely curtailed…or they risk $400,000 fines and 10 years in jail, Kevin Korb writes. 1 Mar 2016

Marriage ‘Act of Good Faith’ needed

A same-sex marriage plebiscite could confirm an already-passed law. That way would give the national vote real bite when we cast our ballots, says Tim Vines 24 Feb 16