"We need to have a principled and methodical approach to punishments of serious crime. I perhaps have a particular view on remorse and redemption because of experiences in my own life. "In 1988, my husband left prison after being charged and convicted of a similar crime to these young men. I imagine what would have happened if he had been caught in Thailand instead of in Australia where that crime was committed, where he was coming back to Australia. I think about -- I didn’t know him at the time, this is 30 years ago -- what would the world have missed out on? They would have missed out on the three beautiful children we have had together. They would have missed out on a man who spent the rest of his life making amends for the crime that he committed. "I have another perspective on this, too. In 1997, I lost my brother to a violent crime in Port Moresby. I know that if I had been the one making the decision about the punishment of the person who did that crime, I couldn’t have thought of a punishment bad enough. "That’s why we don’t make decisions about punishment on the basis of how we feel but on the basis of universal, consistently applied rules. I think it is important to say that when it comes to the death penalty, there has been for many years in Australia a bipartisan rejection of the death penalty."Baby, you can park my car. This from a regular at Parliament House, who tells us that the move to paid parking in the public car park is causing issues for staffers and MPs:
"You might want to head down to the public carpark at Parliament this afternoon as staff, staffers, lobbyists, taxis and all the rest attempted a mass exodus through the new paid parking system. It appears a feature of the system is to only operate one of the two gates at a time! Last night there was a queue of about 25 cars, with disgruntled motorists honking incessantly while waiting for about 15 minutes to get their cars out. DPS security tried to calm the situation, but basically could do nothing. When the AFP arrived the honking stopped. Given that tonight everyone will be leaving on the dot at 5 to get their planes etc, it will be interesting to see how well DPS's latest project is going!"We've been hearing grumbles about the parking situation from a few corners -- perhaps everyone should try and hitch a ride with Clive Palmer, who turned up to Parliament today in a red Tesla. New Perrett fiction on the way. Ms Tips hears that Federal Labor MP Graham Perrett has a new book on the way, a follow-up to his previous works of fiction The Big Fig and The Twelfth Fish. The book, to be called The Solid Rock, is due later this year. Perrett's previous work made waves for its inclusion of some saucy sex scenes -- we're not sure if such salacious details will be included in the next work from the Queensland MP. Pulling the wool over Vogue's eyes. Vogue has always been the bastion for haute couture (except for that time they put Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on the cover), but now it seems that even fashionistas have a sense of humour. In the past 24 hours the site has uploaded no fewer than 10 articles all about llamas -- including "Llamas, pajamas, male models -- what more do you need for Valentine's Day?". At first we thought it was a hack, but the llamas are too well-styled for that.
New mandarins at Immigration. The grumbles and leaks at the Immigration Department don't stop:
"More eyebrows raised at immigration as [Immigration secretary] Mike Pezzullo announces his choices to fill vacant deputy secretary positions. Two of the promotees are trusted lieutenants from Customs and one from the AFP. The problem is that none of these appointees are likely to challenge Mike and his ideas, with the only advice going to Ministers now being the Mike view -- nothing else, no dissent. Part of the announcement was that the last remaining long term immigration DepSec has been shunted aside on a special project, leaving no one with any immigration policy expertise in a senior position. For an already depressed immigration staff this is just further bad news. Not to mention risky for the Ministers and government."We asked the department about the staff changes and were told by a spokesperson for the Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio:
"The Secretary and the CEO have announced a number of senior leadership appointments. Rachel Noble will commence in the role of Deputy Secretary Policy Group, Cindy Briscoe will be Deputy Secretary Immigration Status Resolution Group and Michael Outram will perform the role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer Border Operations Group. Peter Vardos, previously Deputy Secretary Client Services Group, will lead a major review of the Client Services Decision Support Framework."Our tipster was on the money, with Outram previously an assistant commissioner at the AFP and Noble and Briscoe coming from Customs. House of leaks. Netflix gave fans of TV show House of Cards minor heart attacks this morning as season three of the political drama appeared on streaming service Netflix for 30 minutes -- two weeks earlier than expected. While some fans are dismayed that the show is no longer available, the reaction from the show's Twitter account was spot on: