Forget the fireworks inside Parliament House! Loud bangs are likely to be heard all over Canberra soon…but no-one’s saying where or when. The Australian Defence Force plans to carry out counter-terrorism training in late August. Or, it could be, training for when the federal government calls out the troops: see CLA’s submission to the current Defence Call Out Bill, a particularly power-seizing piece of legislation that flies in the face of one clause in the Australian Constitution.
CLA’s submission on a Model Litigant Obligations Bill, proposed by Senator David Leyonhjelm, has at last been published on the website of the Senate committee inquiring into the proposed new law. CLA says the Attorney-General’s Department does not abide by existing law because it fails to actively police, enforce and even simply report annually as it is required by legislation to do on how well, or otherwise, the government is acting as a model litigant. CLA tells the committee the Australian government’s reputation in this area is “rancid”. CLA submission is here: CLA’s and other submissions are here
The expert panel inquiring into religious freedom should be very clear exactly what ‘freedom of religion’ means in Australia, CLA says in its inquiry submission. The notion includes the rights of atheists, no mandating of ‘religiosity’ in schools, and no promoting of religion by the state. We should also have protections as constant benchmark comparators, such as those contained in the Bill of Rights Australians should have to protect ongoing individual freedom of choice.
Civil Liberties Australia’s submission to federal parliament’s Electoral Matters inquiry has called on the committee to ensure that NGOs are safeguarded against the intrusive and punitive provisions in the first draft of the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017. The bill is negatively focused, and continues a trend to restrict and impose burdens on democratic communication in Australia, CLA says. Why is the parliament not producing, instead, positive reforms that further enable, expand and facilitate access to democracy by Australian citizens? CLA asks.
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
Australia should enact a new modern slavery law, as the UK has done, but their Act can be improved says Fiona Gerry QC, author of the CLA submission to parliament. 21 June 2017
Blue-sky boosters talk up trade agreements, but the reality is fewer jobs, less training and safety, plus loss of legal sovereignty as most battling Aussies miss out on benefits. 2 Sept 2015
Police wanted new firearm search powers desperately to fight gun proliferation in Sydney, so why did 642 special searches not find one firearm? The Ombudsman is investigating. 21 Aug 2015
Paying cash to people-smuggling crews appears to break several Australian laws, CLA says in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry, working from un-contradicted media reports. 22 July 2015
Organisations working for the benefit of the community, including environmental groups, should be permitted to hold Deductible Gift Recipient status, Civi Liberties Australia has told a parliamentary committee.
Click to read submission. . 15 June 2015
In a welcome initiative, Tasmania is reviewing how people who may be wrongly convicted can get their case back before a court. CLA is proposing improvements to the bill. 29 April 2015