A photo of Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day, who died in police custody in 2017 (Image: AAP/David Crosling)

NO POLICE PROSECUTIONS FOR TANYA DAY’S DEATH

According to the Human Rights Law Centre, Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions last night announced a decision not to prosecute two police officers involved in the death of Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day, despite the coroner referring officers involved in her death for criminal investigation under the belief that “an indictable offence may have been committed”.

Day was arrested for “public drunkenness” after falling asleep on a V/Line train in 2017 and, after being locked in a concrete cell, fell, hit her head on the wall, and was left lying there for over three hours; police checked on her through the cell door twice for a matter of seconds.

Victoria has since announced plans to decriminlise public drunkenness — which, for anyone who’s ever watched the Melbourne Cup, is plainly not policed equally — leaving Queensland as the final state to police the act.

The Day family has since expressed outrage over the DPP’s decision and, along with HRLC senior lawyer Monique Hurely, called for an end to police investigating the actions of their own colleagues.

PS: Amidst ongoing demonstrations over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, Reuters reports that two protesters have been killed and a third seriously wounded after being shot by a teenager.

FRAGILE CHINA

In a move that could kill Victoria’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) agreement with China and, potentially, multiple other university agreements, The Conversation reports that the Morrison government is seeking legislative powers to cancel foreign agreements with state, territory and local governments and public universities.

The news follows a bizarre National Press Club address by the deputy head of mission for China’s embassy in Australia, Wang Xining, who, as The New Daily reports:

  • Repeated the Chinese government’s attempt to cast doubt over Wuhan being the source of COVID-19
  • Compared the federal government’s push for a global inquiry into the source of COVID-19 as Brutus stabbing Julius Caesar
  • Slammed a question over the BRI being a soft-power ploy as “whining about [Australia’s] constitutional fragility and intellectual vulnerability”.

PS: In another proud moment for Australian media, no one apparently questioned Wang — the second-ranking Chinese diplomat in Australia — on human rights abuses in Xinjiang (where the ABC reports residents are being handcuffed to their homes) or China’s clampdown on Hong Kong.

But the NPC did serve him beef, barley and wine — the three exports subject to anti-dumping investigations by China — so zing, I guess.

ROYAL COMMISSION? AMA

According to The Age, the Victorian government has agreed to a major backdown over its push for a 12-month extension to the state of emergency powers — bringing the period down to six months, amongst other concessions — while the Australian Medical Association has called for a royal commission into the government’s response.

The AMA’s call comes amidst the ongoing hotel quarantine inquiry, where, as the Herald Sun ($) reports, it was revealed that the Medi7 group, the Labor-connected company awarded a $417,000 contract to provide doctors to the program, warned the state government over a lack of protective clothing back in April.

The news also follows Dan Andrews’ announcement yesterday that Victoria is set for another few months of stage one/two restrictions, even, as The New Daily reports, as stage four is set to wind up in September.

PS: In other state suppression news, the ABC reports that all Queensland correctional facilities are in full lockdown until Thursday morning, after a Queensland Corrective Services officer tested positive.

DETENTION OVER

Finally, in a piece of genuinely good news, SBS reports that Huyen Thu Thi Tran and her two-year-old daughter Isabella — who has spent her entire life in Australian detention — have been released after finally securing a bridging visa.

The pair were reunited with Tran’s husband and Isabella’s father, Paul Lee, yesterday on his 34th birthday. Now, about those other two girls we locked up on Christmas Island

PS: In a reminder that America is doing a stellar job playing catch-up on detention, The Intercept reports that immigrants in US detention centres are scared to report COVID-19 symptoms for fear of being forced into days, sometimes weeks, of solitary confinement.

STATE WRAP: WHO EXACTLY OFFERS PAID PANDEMIC LEAVE?

  • Yesterday, the Tasmanian government announced that it would be the second state to offer the federal government’s $1500 paid pandemic leave scheme. This comes after South Australia announced plans on Tuesday to introduce its own plan, which follows similar state schemes currently in place in Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory
  • The ACT government announced a new recovery target to grow the territory’s total level of employment to more than 250,000 jobs by 2025
  • On Tuesday, the Western Australian government unveiled a $211.8 million Pilbara Recovery Plan, formed under the state’s recovery package, including investment in sectors such as construction, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, renewable energy, education and training, and agriculture
  • Finally, following a webinar with child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg on Tuesday aimed at providing parents and carers with practical skills, knowledge and strategies for managing the lockdown period and remote learning, the Victorian government announced that a second event will be held, Tuesday September 15.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

I just find this appointment absolutely staggering. On a personal level, I am disgusted that Boris Johnson thinks this offensive, leering, cantankerous, climate change-denying, Trump-worshipping misogynist is the right person to represent our country overseas.

Shadow UK Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry

Sure, Tony Abbott’s appointment to the UK Trade Board hasn’t exactly gone down great with some locals, but in fairness he was always technically their problem.

CRIKEY RECAP

Andrew Forrest wants to end slavery. Does that apply to China and the Uyghurs?

“Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has talked a big game about stopping global slavery, but he has been silent on arguably the world’s most egregious example: China’s internment and labour exploitation of 1.5 million Uyghurs.

“That silence — while continuing to spruik the Australia-China relationship which has driven his extreme wealth through Fortescue Metals — has become increasingly difficult to defend for the anti-slavery campaigner. Calls for action are intensifying.”


Teachers aren’t failing COVID kids. The pollies are by not listening

“During lockdown mark one, year 5 students at one school were all given a shiny computer to take home to keep up with their teachers who would pop online each morning to convey the day’s lessons.

“There were weird hat days, dress up days, maths cluster days, and group online play dates — all delivered into their lounge rooms and home play rooms.”


COVID-19 rules have always been for the many — not the few

“Nearly six months on from the first lockdowns nobody is stupid enough to believe we’re ‘all in this together’ any more.

“It’ll be another three weeks before Melburnians can leave their homes at night. In and outbound travel restrictions continue to leave Australians stranded and tear families apart. A kid in Queensland with a double lung transplant can’t get crucial medical care because of border closures.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Parliamentary committee recommends press freedom changes in wake of ABC, News Corp raids

Campaign by abuse survivors prompts urgent review by Victoria’s Attorney-General

University of Adelaide vice-chancellor Peter Rathjen sexually harassed colleagues, ICAC finds

Labor pressures Morrison on COVID aged care response as PM dismisses internal privatisation complaint

Church received $14.6m in ‘exorbitant’ rent from St Basil’s over five years

Vote counting pauses in NT as five seats including Lambley’s Araluen remain incredibly doubtful ($)

Emergency situation declared amid bushfire threat around Darwin, conditions to worsen on Thursday

500 Club: WA Liberal Party accused of using Perth lord mayor candidates to boost Liza Harvey’s ‘war chest’ ($)

Jobless crisis damages mental health of young

Tony Abbott granted travel exemption to take on UK Brexit job

Smaller is best for aged care – but it comes with a $3b price tag

THE COMMENTARIAT

China’s laughable double standards fool no one ($) — John Lee (The Australian): “China overtook the US as the country with the largest diplomatic network in the world last November. One month later, the country’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, gave his senior diplomats a pep talk demanding that they show a stronger ‘fighting spirit’. And they responded.”

Gas is not a transition fuel to a safe climate. That ship has sailed Penny Sackett (The Sydney Morning Herald): “If gas-fired electricity emissions can be lower than that from coal-fired plants, should Australia expand its fossil gas industry as a means of combating climate change? The answer is a clear no if we want to avoid the worst climate change outcomes.”

Last night’s GOP insanity proves how much the two parties need each otherBranko Marcetic (Jacobin): “This is going to be an awful, awful election. That is not exactly a surprise. It was clear as early as April, when a tag-team effort from the corporate sector and Democratic Party elites finally snuffed out the closest thing to a movement for social democracy that’s existed in the United States for a long time. But the back-to-back hits of the Democratic and now Republican conventions should make anyone with even a passing interest in some kind of normal future queasy.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • Anthony Albanese will present ”Government by Neglect” at the National Press Club.

  • The inquiry into scrutiny of COVID-related bills will hear from the Law Council, IPA, and civil liberties groups. The sports rorts inquiry will also conduct a hearing.

Melbourne

  • Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry will today focus on the initial role of the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. The state COVID-19 inquiry will separately hear from Claire Febey, Katrina Currie and Gonul Serbest.

Sydney

  • UTS will host a seminar as part of their “Black Stories Matter: Does the Media Fail Aboriginal political aspirations?” series with Madeline Hayman-Reber (Freelance/Read the Room podcast), Rachel Hocking (NITV) and Tanja Dreher (UNSW).

Peter Fray

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