New WA Premier Colin Barnett has announced that his first business when Parliament sits will be to toughen up the legislation on marijuana. This might cause some embarrassment tonewly nominated Speaker Grant Woodhams, whose photograph appeared in the West Australian newspaper back in 1988 in a T-shirt bearing a picture of a bong (below). Was he put in the Speaker’s chair to avoid the dilemma of which way he might choose to vote? God forbid that the first act of the new Lib-Nat government should be one of hypocrisy.

Why does South Australian Senator Mary Jo Fisher only have two full-time staff, despite advertising two vacancies on July 17?

Have a look at page 54 of the Financial Review and in particular at the newsitem on BIAS in the NT — do a survey of legal practitioners who have left the NT in the past five years and most I suspect will have similar stories to tell. The mates act in the NT is disgraceful — it is part of the reason why there is such disadvantage in indigenous communities. Mates (lawyers) appear before their mates (judges) in cases and the mates act kicks in — [Aborigines are dispensable] discrimination abounds … Don’t ever dare to stand up for what is right and ethical. Take a look — it’s frightening. No such thing as an independent judiciary in NT.

Cash for Comment, Fairfax style. I guess they are learning a bit about radio… Who says Fairfax is losing its integrity? It is now established that Fairfax Digital have a commercial link with Ebay.com.au. They sell advertising on to ebay Australian business. Now as a result it seems that the Fairfax folks have agreed to some good old fashioned cash for comment. No hint that its paid for content or perhaps just a gesture of goodwill to secure the new deal? Either way its just shocking. See for your self. The only reference to it being an ad is the word advertisement for the ad that sits below it. Nothing for the big cash for comment for eBay. What next? A story for every advertiser?

Peter Fray

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