Porter can lift us out of these ‘sad times’

The secret trials and sentencing currently running in the Witness K and Bernard Collaery matter could – and should – be stopped instantly by the Attorney-General withdrawing his permission to prosecute. If he doesn’t the injustice of it all will forever be on his head. He has the perfect excuse: he’s too busy crafting a national integrity commission, and also getting the nation back on its commercial feet after Covid-19.

Bike helmet fines are enough to do your head in

Australia was first to mandate wearing bike helmets to enhance safety for bicyclists. But the fines have gone crazy, police abuse propensity is huge and, as usual, the poor suffer more than others. A bike fine can even follow you into later life, and cost you a job. The fines are examples of Executive regulatory regimes gone feral, two academics say.

Trust is the issue when politicians want people to act

As the federal government seeks to influence people to download the C19 virus tracing app, it starts a long way behind square in being trusted. The problems are that Minister Stuart Robert announced the app using untrue statements, and the government has an awful record of being incompetent in safeguarding people’s data and privacy. 

Canada illustrates the danger of ‘emergency’ laws

Fifty years after Canada’s most recent police state imposition, two academics warn about the repressive history of laws brought in to cope with ‘emergencies’. Citizens must not give governments powers that are certain to be abused by later suspension of civil liberties, police crackdowns and, with today’s and tomorrow’s technology, electronic Big Brother surveillance.

Fencing off the House of Ghosts

Currently ghostly and almost unused due to Covid-19, trod by very few feet other than the police and security guards, Australia’s Parliament House is still fenced off from the people. This enclosed community, preventing overall access by the citizens of the nation, is against every principle on which the parliament chose the design after a mammoth, worldwide architectural competition. Tony Murney investigates…or tries to!