Crikey writes: An article written by Mark Briedis, a policy researcher at the Communications Law Centre at UTS, on Thursday, March 28 said the family of Molly Lord “is now suing the media outlets in the NSW Supreme Court for emotional suffering caused by the intrusion. It’s been reported the family has complained to the Australian Press Council and the Australian Communications and Media Authority.” The ACMA has, in fact, not received any complaints about this matter. The article has been amended online.

The elephant in Treasury’s room

Julian Burridge writes: Re. “Keane: super is upper-class welfare and a swindle” (yesterday). Why not nationalise superannuation accounts? That is what the Argentines have done. Such actions may explain why Argentina is also rapidly becoming a Third World country …

But to cost the superannuation tax concessions as Treasury does is a joke: do you honestly think savers will invest in the least efficient tax vehicles once they do not have super? This is what Treasury assumes when it does its figures.  And, of course, the real elephant in the room (of which Labor dares not speak) is the tax benefit of no capital gains tax on the family home — rort of rorts!

John Marlton writes: Bernard Keane is in my view mostly balanced and even-handed — it is by far the most comprehensible column I have found on the super issue.  

Winter is coming

James Burke writes: Re. “Yes, Rupert, racism is disgraceful — tell your newspapers” (yesterday). My first reaction to hearing Rupert’s diabolically hypocritical comment on racism was a brief, bitter chuckle. Then I wondered, what does Prime Minister Julia Gillard think about this? Does she wonder what would have happened if she’d stepped up to defend the Indian students, or Larissa Behrendt and her fellow News Limited dartboards, or our desperate Hazara allies? Maybe she recalled the words of another regretful appeaser: “Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” Hmm. Probably not.

Gillard has plenty of people to speak out for her, from Anne Summers to Marilyn Lake to Julia Baird (channelling the voice of Margaret Thatcher! Take that, comfortable political assumptions). Someone harder off for friends is the Terrigals protégé, union leader, xenophobia opposer / advocate (depending on the time of day), Murdoch employee and supposed Gillard loyalist Paul Howes. Whither Howes now?

Maybe season three of Game of Thrones will provide some illumination.

DHS underfunding has consequences

Anne Picot writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (yesterday). No, I cannot tell you what the unnamed caller to 3AW could mean or is referring to, but I do know it will not be any librarian’s problem, it will be the task of the relevant record keepers in the Department of Human Services  and possibly also the archivists of the National Archives of Australia who are responsible for overseeing the authorised retention and disposal of the department’s records through issue of a specific disposal authority.

The statement “thousands of documents relating to the abuse of children … have not been scanned into the archives at the Department of Human Services” does not imply those records no longer exist or are not accessible. Scanning them in time for the start of this huge investigation would be a mammoth job but would not have been not necessarily the only or even the best way to make those records available for the royal commission.

I do know that when government departments are subject to the sort of cost-cutting all federal agencies have had to endure over the past four years, one of the first sections to suffer is the section responsible for record keeping — that is, creation and control of adequate records of decisions made and the basis on which they are made. Regrettably, I suspect that DHS may well have significant problems with resourcing and that even the priority given to preparing for this royal commission may not have been sufficient to ensure all relevant records were identified  and copied yet.