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.
States around Australia – Tasmania, Victoria, WA – are handing over the images of their citizens collected for a driver’s licence to be used as a national crime database. Some people and groups, including CLA, are very worried how politicians can be so cavalier about people’s personal privacy.
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.
The High Court of Australia has decided, to its legal satisfaction, that there was a sexual harasser in its midst, former judge Dyson Heydon. But the court was apparently reluctant to act (it took 15 months). And has it learned the real lesson of this sorry affair, that it is judicial hubris at the High Court in general that’s the problem, not just one randy old judge. The High Court should take a long, hard look at itself…and so should the rest of Australia examine the performance, competence and protocols of one of the three arms of national governance.
Several states are handing over their drivers’ photos to national police and security agencies without any federal legal safeguards or privacy protection in place. In the Apply Isle, the Tasmanian Times has reported on a petition begun by CLA’s Tasmanian Director, Richard Griggs.
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.