For all its rhetoric, the Tasmanian government in practice does not enable citizen and media freedom, secretly surveils its citizens, and refuses to properly fund, staff and facilitate Right To Information processes. MPs should shed their party blinkers and stand up for the people, against myopic Ministers and secretive bureaucrats.
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.
If your local police are in a chatty mood, do you have to converse with them? Peter Karasavas was unnerved by an unusual approach he witnessed, then experienced as a pedestrian. Federal MP Andrew Wilkie has warned we’re headed towards being a police state – is this what the future looks like?
Dr Kerryn Phelps is calling for direct and urgent action to convince Senators, particularly Jacquie Lambie, to not pass a bill which would remove the medevac protective system of treatment for refugees with emergency physical or medical health problems on Nauru or Manus islands. Diana Simmons reports.
The annual reports of three Queensland mental health bodies raise some alarming issues. Chief amongst them, as in other jurisdictions, is that mental health appears to be surrounded by a bureaucratic industry, rather than being an illness like any other.
Is it time for national standards on mental health, particularly in the controversial are of electro convulsive therapy (ECT).
The ongoing, unjustifiable and petty legal action against Witness K, formerly of ASIS, and lawyer Bernard Collaery demand that the government holds a public inquiry into Australia’as negotiations over the Timor Gap oil treaty 15 years ago, just as the question of freedom of the press to report becomes top of mind. Both issues call into question the continuing, and increasing, dominance of the Executive over the Parliament in what is meant to be a balanced democracy.
In an extension of the perfidy that passes for “security measures”, Minister Dutton is again bent on spying and prying into your and my private affairs with the aid of a thoroughly devalued US Administration accused of corrupt international requests. It is well past time that the Australian Parliament had the courage to rein in the excesses of out-of-control ideologue Ministers. MPs need to stand up for our rights to privacy and the liberty of being free from Big Brother abuse.
Is it OK for Australia to bug our neighbouring countries’ negotiating teams? Who makes such decisions? Should corporate interests benefit from state surveillance and bugging? What’s is permissible under the Rule of Law (ROL) and the Rule of Morals and Ethics (RoME)? We need a Royal Commission to get to the bottom of the East Timor bugging scandal, to decide what is right and what is wrong for the future.
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.
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!