TAMIL REFUGEE’S ARREST
A Tamil refugee separated from his family and deported by Australia has been arrested and released shortly after following his arrival in Sri Lanka, according to the Tamil Refugee Council.
SBS reports that 30-year-old Thileepan Gnaneswaran was set to face a Colombo court on unknown charges last night AEST, after being denied a temporary protection visa and forcibly separated from his wife, Karthika, and their 11-month-old daughter in Australia.
The Department of Home Affairs has defended deporting Thileepan, saying his case has been “comprehensively assessed” by the department and a number of courts, while the United Nations has criticised Australia’s decision to “actively and indefinitely separate” the family of a recognised refugee.
TAX TO THE FUTURE
Slashed company taxes, less spending for luxury items and plummeting fuel tax revenue are set to increasingly force workers to shoulder a greater burden of Australia’s tax system, according to a review by the Parliamentary Budget Office.
According to The Age, the report shows that, without current governments undertaking dramatic tax reform, future governments will have to create new revenue streams for billions in lost fuel excise over the coming decade, either through increased costs or road tolls. Other concerns include soaring healthcare and education costs resulting in a lack of consumer spending on items taxed under GST, the Turnbull government’s decision to cut company taxes, and increasing multinational tax avoidance measures.
GOOGLE GETS GOT
European Union regulators have slogged Google with a record $6.85 billion antitrust fine for utilising Android’s bundled-app system as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine.
The ABC reports that the fine, while barely a drop in Google-owner Alphabet Inc’s almost $140 billion in cash reserves, could create new friction between the EU and the US, with EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager even preemptively denying an anti-US bias. Google has announced it will appeal the fine and, in a worrying but unlikely bluff, threatened the future of Android’s free business model.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
If you were launching a new product and you had 20,000 people willing to wait for an hour-and-a-half on the phone, be put on hold, and go through an obscure process and they signed up, you’d say that’s a pretty amazing demand for that product. That’s a pretty successful product.
Now reverse that.
The former head of the government’s Digital Transformation Agency weighs into My Health Record’s wildly unsuccessful launch.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The bureaucrat overseeing My Health Record presided over a disaster-plagued national health record system in the UK, and has written passionately about his belief that people have no right to opt out of health records, or to stay anonymous.”
“Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party is doubling down on its anti-Hanson campaign with a barrage of activity designed to draw former Pauline Hanson’s One Nation supporters to the new Palmer vehicle.”
“Of all the cuts to the ABC over recent years, Foreign Correspondent has been just one of the many programs to have suffered. From about 40 weeks a year of programs in 1993, it’s now down to two, much shorter seasons — one over summer. The timeslot has changed between seasons, making it hard to maintain audience loyalty.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will meet with senior Catholics for a roundtable discussion of issues including school funding and the redress scheme.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and Energy Networks Australia will hold an Open Energy Networks Stakeholder Workshop.
Refugee activists will hold a “12 Empty Chairs” vigil at Bill Shorten’s and other Melbourne MPs’ offices, as a reminder of people who have died in offshore detention on the fifth anniversary of the offshore regime.
Public hearings for the upper house privileges committee into Victorian Labor’s misuse of parliamentary allowances to partially fund its successful 2014 election campaign.
Security guards are to strike at the HMAS Cerbus over their pay agreement with employer Wilson.
The Monash Food Innovation Centre will hold a “Turning food waste into money” symposium featuring a range of international sustainability experts.
University of Melbourne’s Rose Hiscock and Victorian Planning Authority chief Stuart Moseley will hold a discussion on investment in jobs growth for emerging areas of Victoria.
Built in 1949 and half the size of a shipping container, Australia’s first stored-memory computer, CSIRAC, will go on public display.
Opening day for Melbourne Central’s Star Festival.
WA Premier Mark McGowan will speak at the digital skills training event “Google Digital Garage”.
Labor Senator Penny Wong will hold a doorstop with Perth byelection candidate Patrick Gorman.
The Lithium and Energy Materials Industry Consortium will feature an introduction from Governor Kim Beazley and speeches from Mines Minister Bill Johnston, WA’s chief scientist Professor Peter Klinken and McKinsey & Company partner Prabhav Sharma.
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne will open a new research and development facility in Parafield for Silentium Defence.
Murray-Darling Basin Authority royal commission will continue public hearings.
Former Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie will hold a community forum in Woodside ahead of the Super Saturday byelection.
Health Minister Dr Steven Miles will deliver a keynote speech at a CEDA event on health, ageing and social services.
The Australian Republic Movement’s chair Peter FitzSimons will deliver a keynote speech “Reviving the Republic” at the Queensland University of Technology.
Day one of the Victorian Farmers Federation’s two-day annual conference.
Alleged Australian Islamic State jihadist and recruiter Neil Prakash will face a hearing to determine if he will be extradited to Australia to face terrorism charges.
Five years of summoning strength and resourcefulness from neglect — Catherine Stubberfield (The Age): “The human capacity to survive and endure is, at times, truly astounding. Perhaps nowhere more strikingly than among refugees, who are forced to leave behind their homes, their countries, and their former lives. Fleeing war and persecution around the world, people survive; they adapt, they start again when they have no other choice. It is an honour and an inspiration for us every day as UNHCR staff to witness the profound strength of hope and determination which is common to us all.”
Explaining Australia’s school funding debate: what’s at stake — Peter Goss (The Conversation): “Estimating how much parents can afford to pay towards their children’s schooling is both vital and politically sensitive. Non-government schools with well-off parents get much less funding from government. One element of how government estimates this, the school’s SES or socio-economic score, was recently reviewed by the National School Resourcing Board (NSRB), established by the Australian government as part of last year’s Gonski 2.0 funding legislation.”
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