$5 MILLION PIECE OF PAPER
A $4.9 million strategic review of the Department of Home Affairs did not produce a “single consolidated report”, the government has revealed.
The Age reports that the government defied a Senate motion to table the full findings of the review, with Attorney-General Christian Porter instead tabling advice from the department saying there was no report, but that the review had led to undefined “long term benefits”. Labor home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally accused the government of producing “$5 million worth of buzzwords”.
“This is either the single most expensive single piece of paper in the history of this chamber, or a blatant rejection of the will of the Senate by a minister who is allergic to scrutiny,” Keneally said, citing various failures since the creation of the department.
CROWN INVESTIGATION INTENSIFIES
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission — Australia’s peak criminal intelligence agency — has announced a major investigation into organised crime at casinos, with commission chief Michael Phelan telling Nine papers that investigators have uncovered damning “insights into vulnerabilities”.
The Targeting Criminal Wealth special investigation is examining the operation of agents responsible for bringing high rollers into casinos, and follows Nine’s reports of Crown operators with links to Chinese criminals and foreign influence agents. The papers have also revealed that they declined to run a Crown defence ad submitted to them for publication, instead laying out detailed rebuttals to each of the ad’s claims.
The government will today urge parliament to pass a bill keeping convicted terrorists locked-up once they complete their sentence if they still harbour terrorist ideology, even when serving time for a non-terror related crime.
The Courier-Mail reports that, under the current law, the Home Affairs minister can apply for a continuing detention order at the end of a terrorism sentence, but not if the prisoner is serving time for another offence. The government is looking to close this “loophole”, with Attorney-General Christian Porter arguing it shouldn’t matter if a terrorist’s final day is for a terrorist offence or another offence. The bill is believed to be aimed at 11 prisoners who are due for release in the next 18 months, with the government refusing to confirm how many of the 11 benefit under current law.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Ms O’Byrne, it’s very unladylike to be yelling in the parliament.
The Tasmanian parliament Liberal speaker has been blasted over her sexist admonishment of deputy opposition leader Michelle O’Byrne, who was interjecting from across the chamber.
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“It sounded like a hundred other sad but routine crime reports, but for Jason Staveley, who was watching at his home in Sydney, it was anything but routine. The images that flashed before him — a red brick house surrounded by police cars and ambulance — belonged to his 69-year-old mother Beth. Her son first found out about her murder from a random news report, at the same time as hundreds of thousands of strangers.
‘My legs went out from underneath me,’ Jason Staveley told INQ of that moment. He rushed to the phone to call his brother at work: ‘It was the worst call I’ve ever had to make.’ Queensland Police were already at his brother’s workplace when Staveley reached him. Although officers had asked the media not to report the story until next-of-kin had been informed, Nine was in such a rush to be the first to broadcast the footage they went to air before police had spoken to the family.”
“Crown is always good for a decent chunk of change for the Victorian and WA branches on both sides. So instead of a parliamentary inquiry, Labor and the government were content with Attorney-General Christian Porter referring the whole thing to the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI). This means the matter will go precisely nowhere. The ACLEI is the reason why so many people outside the major political parties — until 2018, when Bill Shorten committed Labor to a federal anti-corruption body — think we need a federal ICAC: it’s hopelessly inadequate.”
“There’s no point in damning the present through the past, not least because the Whitlam pushers were damned, at the time, as fey successors to the hard men of an earlier era. The times create the men and women; to be offered the chance to be great is impossible without a degree of luck. Still and all, as that generation departs, it would be worth looking back at the words this man wrote, and for Labor to discover the lost art of telling us what it is all for.”
Law allowing late-term abortions will pass – unless voters call their MPs – Damien Tudehope (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “Reader straw-poll: if the NSW parliament was poised to enact the most extreme abortion laws in the country (perhaps in the world), including unrestricted abortion until the moment of birth, should the people of the state be given the barest courtesy of an explanation – perhaps even a modicum of consultation? That’s the question I have been forced to ask my colleagues this week, after legislators from across the political divide tried to ride roughshod over parliamentary procedure and pass abortion laws that barely anyone in the state has even heard of. If democracy dies in darkness, this week it is on life support in NSW.”
This voice has echoes of its miserably failed forebear ($) – Maurice Newman (The Australian): “Constitutional recognition that Aboriginal people were here when Captain Cook landed 250 years ago is a statement of fact and a mark of respect. But romantic symbols will do nothing practical to improve the lives of indigenous people. That requires disempowering the sanctimonious elitists whose actions keep so many Aborigines out of the mainstream of modern society. It requires education and individual property ownership so effort and innovation can be rewarded through capital and income. It means a world where, to look forward, offers more than the next welfare cheque. Most of all, it means concentration on opportunity and personal fulfilment, not feel-good entitlements.”
Timor-Leste and Australia have little to celebrate if Witness K and Bernard Collaery are not free – José Ramos-Horta (The Guardian): “Knowing Australia as I do, I can sense the uneasiness and embarrassment felt across the political and legal minds in Canberra who hold the key to a decision on whether to sentence these two men to prison or to set them free. These important people in Canberra can make only one honourable decision – dismiss the case, set Witness K and Bernard Collaery free. These men haven’t done any harm to their country. They honoured Australia. I urge our president Francisco Guterres to honour both men with Timor-Leste’s highest national award, the Order of Timor-Leste. The 20 September celebrations will be somber and will have a bitter taste if Witness K and Bernard Collaery are not free.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Water minister David Littleproud will discuss compliance and integrity in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Anti-Adani campaigners will stage a protest outside a company contracted to carry out work for Adani, calling on the company to take a stance on climate change instead of doing the work.
The repatriation and burial of the remains of 11 Kaurna people, previously held in the UK, will take place.
The operator of Spirit of Tasmania, the government-owned TT-Line Company, will appear in court charged over the deaths of 16 ponies during a voyage in January 2018.
Relationships Australia Tasmania and Clennett’s Mitre 10 will announce a formal mental health partnership to support the activities of SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY.
An anti-abortion “Rally for Life” will be held outside NSW Parliament, hosted by Right for Life NSW, Family Voice Australia, Family Life International and We Support Women.
A case management hearing will take place in Guy Sebastian v Titus Day, as the singer sues his former agent.
NSW public hospital workers including paramedics, allied health and security staff plan will strike for four hours as they fight for increased hospital security.
The Melbourne International Film Festival will hold its opening night, with former AFL footballer Adam Goodes’ film The Australian Dream making its world premiere.
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd will address an Asia Society Australia gathering, speaking about US-China relations and the implications for Australia and the Pacific.
The refurbished $430 million The Glen shopping centre officially opens, with Nadia Bartel and Aaron Faraguna to cut the David Jones store ribbon.