Longtime security shenanigans observer, Jack Waterford, says giving executive power to ASIO was a big mistake, and exposes the hypocrisy of its recent claim to be offended by critical comments in relation to its China briefings, which compromise our diplomatic efforts.
A recent explosive parliamentary committee report has revealed the failings of the UK’s security agencies in relation to tunnel vision. But no such close review, monitoring, questioning and analysis emanates from Australia’s equivalent parliamentary committee, the PJCIS, security specialist Dr Tony Murney says. Has the unrepresentative Australian committee fallen captive to local and foreign security interests?
Australia’s one-side extradition regime gives citizens of other countries much greater legal protection than Australian citizens get. Other countries simply have to allege wrongdoing, and Australia locks up – and extradites – people living in Australia. But going in the other direction, we have to prove, with evidence, our case before other nations will hand over people in their jursidiction. It’s stupid law, and even crazier civil liberties.
Bodies like museums, arts entities, orchestras and the ABC are preparing for another financial savaging in the upcoming budget. Every year, increasingly greater amounts are spent on bigger weapons and more over-the-top security. Each year, spending on the lifeblood of any civilised nation, culture and education, is constricted further to a barely survivable drip, Dr Des Griffin AM says.
Within Australian serving ranks, there are growing calls for a Senate Inquiry into why so many serving, reserves and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel are committing suicide. Is institutional abuse to blame? asks ADF Veteran’s advocate Kay Danes OAM.
Increasingly, Australia’s Parliament House looks like a fortress or maximum security jail. Bollards and fences are obvious, as are some of the heavily-armed guards. But is the level and type of protection sensible, or dangerous overkill, asks security expert Dr Tony Murney?
Camouflage green fences exude precisely the wrong symbolism for a parliament building purpose-designed to be an accessible People’s House. From one angle, the most prestigious building in the National Capital looks like a jail, with slum attached. Are we keeping the prime inmates protected, or locked away behind our own ‘Berlin Wall’? Gates and upward-rising bollards – which have hoisted Commonwealth cars skywards – are further barriers to openness, security expert Dr Tony Murney says.
Assault-style weapons proliferate throughout the external parliamentary precinct: armed guards patrol the ricochet-rich foyer. Into this potential bullet-riddled firezone Australia’s politicians invite subsidised schoolchildren in their hundreds every day the Parliament sits. With schools and embassies (including that of China) in nearby over-shoot range, even an accidental discharge could create personal tragedy or international incident.
Privacy probably means something entirely different to you than it does to the Australian government, its police and security services. That’s why close examination of the upcoming legislation around the Covid-19 tracing app is so vital. Kelsie Nabben and Chris Berg comment.