Our friends at The Mandarin do an admirable job reporting the ins and outs of the Australian public service — except when public servants turn up to speak at a public event but ask that the journos be kicked out of the room. Ms Tips’ colleague David Donaldson filed this dispatch on Friday afternoon:

“Today marks the 50th anniversary of the last execution performed in Australia, when Ronald Ryan was put to death in Melbourne’s notorious Pentridge Prison (which is now filled with apartments). To commemorate the day, the Law Council of Australia has called on the federal government to implement recommendations from a parliamentary report to prevent the AFP cooperating in international situations involving the death penalty, and to implement a new strategy for the global abolition of the death penalty.

Yet some evidently remain sensitive about the issue: despite having been invited to cover the event, The Mandarin was booted — albeit rather politely — from a panel session discussing government perspectives on abolition, featuring representatives from DFAT, the EU Delegation to Australia, the AFP and the British Consulate.”

Peter Fray

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