The federal government’s controversial My Health Record program is capable of storing genomic data, such as cancer risks, using technology that both has huge research applications and highlights privacy and security concerns.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that genome-sequencing company Genome.One, which can track genetic variations and therefore disease risks, has built “necessary infrastructure” for uploading sensitive genomic data into the opt-out system. University of Canberra privacy expert Bruce Arnold has criticised the inherent risks of DNA-tracking technology and, just a week after the government backdown on police access to My Health Records, today’s news as again demonstrating a lack public consultation.
INSIDE THE SUPER MARKET
Round five of the financial services royal commission will today force superannuation funds to reveal internal fee and cost structures for the first time, as well as data on director appointments, conflicts of interest, internal ownership schemes, commissions and underperforming funds.
According to The Australian ($), a “witness outline” leaked ahead of hearings demonstrates that major funds have been delivered a seven-page list of questions demanding over five years’ worth of data on fees and expenses and justifications for different pricing levels. This would mean that the two-week round, starting in Melbourne today, will form the most comprehensive compilation of information in the $2.6 trillion industry’s history.
APPEAL FOR INFORMATION
South Australia police will today announce a $200,000 reward for anyone with new information on suspected murder victim Tanja Ebert, almost a year after her husband Michael Burdon took his life during a police investigation.
The Advertiser ($) reports that police believe Burdon may have at some point discussed his German wife’s death with an associate. Having rejected his claim that Ebert mysteriously disappeared next to a road following a fight, police intend to appeal to members of the Roseworthy community.
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THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Donald Trump has spoken a lot about immigration, he spoke a lot about Islam, I know that you’ve got firm views on Islam. Do you see a correlation between where Australia is going and where it should go in regards to some of the arguments Donald Trump is putting out there?
Adam Giles speaking to Blair Cottrell
In a since-deleted interview, the former Northern Territory chief minister and current Sky News host treats Cottrell — a man who has been convicted over racial vilification, stalking and arson, and supported the teaching of Mein Kampf in schools — as a news commentator.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The level of debate in Australia has been falling in recent years. Trump accelerated it, plumbed new depths for what it was permissible to say in what passed for civilised democratic discourse. But it was falling before him. That first became clear under Julia Gillard, who was subjected to a hateful barrage of misogynist abuse. But it’s got worse since then.”
“The ABC will launch its new lifestyle website on Monday, as it faces increasing criticism and a federal government inquiry into whether it is moving outside its charter and competing with commercial rivals.
The website, to be called ABC Life, will ‘showcase content on issues important to all Australians — work and careers, health and wellbeing, finance, relationships and family — free from commercial agendas’.”
“Why do we have to fight these battles over and over? Why do users, in NSW, of the hugely busy Kings Cross-Bondi Junction have to put up with blaring jumbo screens on the platforms, bouncing off the walls, because the corporation has sold their eyeballs to advertisers? Why not structure public institutions to recognise the inevitable disjuncture of management and user, and recognise the legitimacy of the latter’s separate interests and viewpoints.”
WHAT’S ON TODAY
The banking royal commission will start hearings on superannuation, and is set to open with a statement from counsel assisting the commission before speaking with witnesses from NAB’s superannuation trustee.
Australia Post will launch a technology training academy, officially opening submissions for a two-year program to enhance technology skills. Victoria’s Industry and Employment Minister Ben Carroll will attend.
Day one of the two-day National Homelessness Conference, set to feature Labor and Greens politicians, and experts from the US and Europe.
Dr Tim Soutphommasane will give his final official speech as Race Discrimination Commissioner, set to discuss the nation-building significance of the Racial Discrimination Act and contemporary debates relating to race and identity in the context of current storm concerning “African gangs”.
The final public hearing of a parliamentary inquiry into the NSW government’s stadiums strategy will hear from Planning and Environment departments, The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust, Infrastructure NSW, Cricket NSW and Rugby Australia, among others.
NSW ICAC inquiry into proposals and sales from 2014-16 under an Aboriginal land council, or “Operation Skyline”, will resume and hear from witnesses Richard Green and Despina Bakis.
NSW ICAC inquiry into former Canterbury City councillors, “Operation Dasha”, will resume public hearings.
Representatives from the Islamic Council of Queensland, the Islamic Women’s Association of Queensland, JustPeace, and All Together Now will speak at University of Queensland event, “Voices and Perspectives from Community Organisations on Radicalisation and De-radicalisation”.
The UN Women National Committee of Australia will hold a leadership panel discussion on “The Road Less Travelled”, to feature former-diplomat and business coach Dr Sue Boyd, Labor WA’s Jessica Shaw MLA, WA Police Director of Asset Management Sonja Cox, and barrister and former Labor federal MP Tim Hammond.
Anti-nuclear weapons groups Graham Smith Peace Foundation and the Romero Group will hold a rally in North Adelaide.
The State Library of South Australia will host “Tangent: That Eye, The Sky” a theatre seminar with workers from the State Theatre Company.
The first known Torres Strait Islander Researchers Network, “Meriba buay — ngalpan wakaythoemamay”, will hold a seminar with speeches from Dr Felecia Watkin Lui and Dr Sanchia Shibasaki at ANU.
Hunter Valley, NSW
NSW Mining and Resources Minister Don Harwin will address the NSW Mining Health Safety and Environment Conference.
Today is Northern Territory Picnic Day.
New South Wales
Today is NSW Bank Holiday.
Homelessness Week begins today, with events planned around Australia on the theme “Ending homelessness together”.
APRA needs to be held to account on superannuation fund performance ($) — Adele Ferguson (Australian Financial Review): “A multibillion-dollar Commonwealth superannuation fund whose 137,350 members include public servants, defence personnel, SES officers and some former politicians, has been labelled a rip-off, opaque and not acting in members’ best interests. Former Labor politician Mark Bishop, who chaired a landmark Senate inquiry into Commonwealth Bank that called for a royal commission back in 2014, said the fund makes the banks look like angels.”
Race politics is back – and the far-right are loving it — Dr Tim Soutphommasane (Sydney Morning Herald): “Five years ago, when I began my term as Race Discrimination Commissioner, I wouldn’t have said it was likely that we would see the resurgence of far-right politics. I wouldn’t have expected that the biggest threats to racial harmony would come from within our parliaments and media.”