Failed policy 2. Failed policy. Refugee policy. NT Politics. Elections. Murray-Darling Basin damage done, we must now restore trust in its management. Opinion By Jason Alexandra Posted about 4 hours agoSat 2 Feb 2019, 8:11pm Among the more sensational findings of the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission was that the authority responsible for administering the plan acted unlawfully and failed to use the best available science, including climate science.
The inquiry's report, handed down this week, marked an extraordinary chapter in the Murray-Darling Basin's controversial and contested reforms, and revealed much about the messy way in which water and climate law, science and politics interact. Restoring public trust in the governance of the basin is increasingly urgent. The inquiry's finding that the Water Act's worthy ambitions were unlawfully compromised by the negligence and maladministration of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) — documented in over 700 pages of forensic legal detail — deserve to be treated seriously. MDBA staff blocked from inquiry A cascade of scandals. Public backlash to closure of Fremantle rail line in 1979 still among biggest in WA history. Posted about an hour agoSat 2 Feb 2019, 11:00pm It took just one newspaper headline for all hell to break loose.
On January 17, 1979, West Australian premier Charles Court announced the closure of the Perth-to-Fremantle passenger train line. He blamed low ticket sales and suggested ripping up the tracks to make way for a "super freeway" and a new bus service. It triggered the biggest public backlash Perth had experienced up until that time. "There was no prior notice, no warning, no report, no letter saying it was going to happen," Curtin University transport expert Peter Newman said.
"There was just a front page saying, 'we're going to close your railway'. " Professor Newman was a 33-year-old Fremantle councillor when he picked up the paper that Tuesday morning and quickly became the face of the "save the train" campaign. Chief Minister Michael Gunner denies the Northern Territory is in financial crisis. Updated yesterday at 6:00amFri 1 Feb 2019, 6:00am Chief Minister Michael Gunner has denied the Northern Territory is in financial crisis, drawing a scathing response from the Opposition Leader who suggested that he "look at the dictionary and find out what crisis means".
Key points: Michael Gunner's comments come after a recent report warned the Territory's debt levels could rise tenfoldOpposition Leader Gary Higgins said: "It's obvious that there is a crisis"Mr Higgins said he thinks government should be made smaller by cutting people at the top Six weeks after an interim report into the Territory's finances warned debt levels could rise tenfold to $35 billion over the next decade, Mr Gunner objected to the description during a wide-ranging interview with the ABC. During the interview he was directly asked: "Is the Northern Territory in financial crisis? " In answer to this question, he responded: "No. " "That does require some tough decisions.
Political donations data raises the question: 'What is it that Government doesn't want us to know?' Analysis Updated about 2 hours agoFri 1 Feb 2019, 9:37pm The data dump of information about political donations on Friday gave a glimpse of the flow of finances into party coffers.
But it also served as a reminder of how opaque and inadequate the system is. It's February 2019, but it has only just been revealed what donations political parties received as far back as July 2017. Since then, there have been state elections, by-elections, royal commissions and a myriad of national debates affecting the very industries that are funding the federal government and opposition.
Move to revive anti-protest laws in Tasmania a 'face-saving exercise', Bob Brown says. Posted earlier today at 8:37amMon 28 Jan 2019, 8:37am The Tasmanian Government's attempt to resurrect its failed anti-protest laws are a "face-saving exercise", former Greens leader Bob Brown says.
The High Court found the laws unconstitutionalThe Government says the issues will be fixed in the new billLawyers said the draft changes appeared to be in better shape than the original act The former senator challenged the laws in the High Court after being arrested in 2016 at a Forestry Tasmania logging site in Lapoinya, in north-west Tasmania. Ultimately, the High Court found the laws — a key 2014 Liberal election promise — were unconstitutional because they breached the right to freedom of political communication.
But the Tasmanian Government has released a draft bill to fix that legislation, which would strip all mention of protesters and protesting from the laws to ensure they were consistent with the constitution. When we celebrated Captain Cook in 1970, Australia was a very different place. Analysis Updated 44 minutes agoThu 24 Jan 2019, 12:20am Whenever our Prime Minister makes an announcement of any event to mark the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook's voyage to Australia in 1770, Australians react.
There's two reactions and both are angry about the upcoming 2020 sesquicentenary. One is dismayed that this harbinger of colonialism should be celebrated at all. The other is that we are failing to properly appreciate this master navigator and scientist. Australia Day 'alternative' in Darwin aims to spark broader discussion. Updated 6 minutes agoThu 24 Jan 2019, 1:14am On the social media posts and the flyers dropped around town, the event is just titled "January 26".
It is not a march, it is not called Invasion Day, but it is no celebratory barbecue or fun run. This Saturday, a panel of Indigenous speakers — including a sitting State Government member — will take part in a talk on the country's national day at Darwin's Civic Park. It will be the city's first organised Australia Day alternative in recent years.
The event has been planned independently by young Darwin woman Jessie Bonson, who titled it without mention of invasion or mourning out of concern about who that might alienate. "What I really want to do is make sure that people have the opportunity to come to the table," she said. "I know that there are some people in the Aboriginal community who don't agree that we should change the day and I want them to have a voice. Australia Day date change urged by young girl in heartfelt letter written in texta. Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten kick off campaigning, but don't expect an early election. Analysis Posted about 5 hours agoFri 18 Jan 2019, 8:00pm The first big political messages for what will be a torrid year were out there for all to see this week.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was in the Pacific, making perhaps the most significant rapprochement with Fiji in decades, and telling Vanuatu that we were reliable friends, no matter how friendly the Chinese might have been there lately. Doomed national gallery plan for Alice Springs cost taxpayers $1 million before being vetoed. Posted about 3 hours agoThu 17 Jan 2019, 8:32pm The ill-fated National Indigenous Art Gallery proposed for Alice Springs has cost NT taxpayers more than $1 million, despite the risk it may never be built.
Key points: A National Indigenous Art Gallery pegged for Alice Springs has so far cost more than $1 million before a brick has been laidMost of the money had been spent on consulting with the Red Centre community and expert groupsSupport for the project was last week vetoed by key Indigenous traditional owners, putting its future in serious doubt Figures requested by the ABC show the majority of the $1,010,904 was spent on consultation. A large majority went on what Labor staffers have described as "project implementation" and "national consultation" fees, which slugged taxpayers $682,078. The rest was spent on "local community consultation" ($211,749) and "expert reference groups" ($177,077). Controversial Great Barrier Reef grant did not comply with transparency rules, National Audit Office says.
Updated about 10 hours agoWed 16 Jan 2019, 3:18pm The Federal Government's controversial decision to grant nearly half a billion dollars to a small charity for projects on the Great Barrier Reef was based on advice that failed to comply fully with rules designed to ensure transparency and value for money, the auditor-general has found.
Key points: Auditor-General said most departmental advice about funding allocation followed the rulesBut he criticised the department's assessment of the grant's value for moneyThe department said the findings were "based on an incomplete assessment of the evidence" In April last year, the Turnbull government announced it was giving $444 million to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF), which at the time had annual revenue of about $10 million and only six full-time staff. The Coalition defended the move, saying due diligence was done ahead of awarding the grant. NT Chief Minister threatens disciplinary action against agency heads for budget blowouts. Posted yesterday at 10:31amWed 16 Jan 2019, 10:31am Reining in routine overspending across Northern Territory Government departments forms the centre point of a plan to curb the region's spiralling debt crisis.
Key points: Treasurer says expenditure growth rate should be lowered from 6 per cent to 3 per centHealth, corrections and police departments have been singled out as serial offenders for overspendingChief Minister will head up a review of government department efficiencies Chief Minister Michael Gunner has pledged to take disciplinary action against department heads who come in over budget, making special reference to the "serial offenders" in police, corrections and health. In the weeks before Christmas last year, an interim fiscal report revealed the Territory was on track to be $35.7 billion in debt by 2029-30. Although the final version of that report is still about six weeks away, Mr Gunner and report author John Langoulant have outlined part of the budget repair strategy. A brief history of Nazism in Australia - RN. Updated 48 minutes agoThu 17 Jan 2019, 12:43am Radicalisation camps, fight clubs, hate campaigns and covert plans to infiltrate major political parties — this is the landscape for the far right in Australia today.
Some groups, like the Antipodean Resistance, don't shy away from the Nazi label, with swastikas, Sieg Heil salutes and posters calling for the extermination of Australia's Jews. Others — including the Australia First Party, the United Patriots Front, the New Guard — don't outwardly identify with Nazism but have doctrines littered with fascist ideas. A recent wave of far right rallies, one attended by independent Senator Fraser Anning, have sparked controversy. Taxpayers foot $355k bill for Tasmanian Liberals legal fight over anti-protest laws. Updated about an hour agoWed 16 Jan 2019, 11:09pm The Tasmanian Government has been criticised for spending more than $350,000 of taxpayers' money defending anti-protest laws it was warned might fail in court.
Key points: Liberals' anti-protest laws were aimed at stopping disruptive protests at forestry operationsHigh Court found laws were at odds with the implied right to freedom of political communicationThe challenge stemmed from the 2016 arrest of Bob Brown in Tasmania's north-west while he was trying to take video footage of loggers Part of a Tasmanian Liberal crackdown on forest protests, the laws were struck out by the High Court after a successful challenge by former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown in 2017. The State Government was ordered by the High Court to pay costs, which a spokeswoman has now told the ABC amounted to $355,709.46.
Activism costs to business far greater, Government says. Antony Green on why independents won't matter so much at the next election. Analysis Posted about 5 hours agoTue 15 Jan 2019, 7:39pm Despite predictions that independents will be an important factor in the result of the coming federal election, two important factors suggest otherwise.
The first is that opinion polls consistently report that Labor is strongly placed to win majority government. Experience at both state and federal elections is that independents are much more likely to win traditional conservative electorates. Rob Oakeshott enters the federal election race looking to take the 'safe' Coalition seat of Cowper. Federal Government to force local councils to hold Australia Day citizenship ceremonies. Fiji casts fresh doubt on decision to strip terrorist Neil Prakash of Australian citizenship - Politics. NT's FOI requests knocked back due to 'fear of producing documents', Labor MLA says. Radio host David Penberthy lashes out at colleague over comments on far-right rally.
The seven countries in our Asia-Pacific backyard where kings and queens still rule. Fraser Anning defends decision to attend far-right protests in Melbourne. Australian political bingo: The 2019 edition. LNP candidate for Herbert Phillip Thompson apologises for 2012 social media tirade against Muslims. Clive Palmer dismisses condemnation from band Twisted Sister over political ad's song use. Portugal. The Man say Australian politician violated copyright in Christmas video. 'Call it Coonawarra': Former deputy PM Tim Fischer weighs into NT and SA merger vision. Brazil's new President Jair Bolsonaro rolls back Indigenous tribe protections. Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang on trial in closed court years after arrest. Chinese-Australian relations have had a rollercoaster year in 2018 - China power. Chief Minister Michael Gunner could lose job over NT Labor's 'full-blown crisis', analyst says.
Why Muslim nations remain silent as China sends ethnic minorities to re-education camps. We've soundly established that this was a crappy, crappy year, even by Canberra's standards. Ken Vowles, Jeff Collins and Scott McConnell dumped from NT Government's Labor Caucus. Why is the Northern Territory in so much debt? - Curious Darwin. Bill Shorten maintains Labor's stance on boat turnbacks but offers more refugee places, cash to UNHCR. Government's future surpluses rely on unlikely wages rebound. NT public service faces uncertain future as Government attempts to reduce $4.5 billion debt. Tasmanian fish farm opponent Mark 'Mr Flathead' Duncan eyes Senate spot.
Unions will be the real challenge for a confident Labor, not the boats - Politics. Gary Spence resigns as LNP president over law targeting property developer donations. Scott Morrison has been busy, as Theresa May puts Liberal problems in perspective. Detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor face 'nightmare' interrogation in China. Hilton hotel chain among businesses cashing in on taxpayer-funded grants. Proposed Don Dale replacement site rejected by Palmerston Council amid community opposition. Is parliament essential to democracy, or just a pesky intrusion that must be endured? Religious discrimination act to form part of Coalition election platform - Politics.
Documents reveal Australia's secret arms deals with nations fighting Yemen's bloody war. Bringing race into the religious freedom debate could make for an ugly election. Liberals lose another female candidate in a winnable seat as it struggles for gender parity - Politics. Government accused of trying to 'silence' charity sector with new commissioner. Crossbench MPs flex political muscle to pressure Government to remove refugee children from Nauru and Manus Island. NSW Unions launch High Court challenge against 'third-party' election campaign funding laws. Adani's Carmichael mini-mine opens the floodgates for more Queensland coal mines.
Julia Banks puts Parliament's treatment of women in spotlight as MPs take aim at political 'boys club' Julia Banks says treatment of women 'years behind' business world as she quits Liberals - Politics. Labor's energy policy is savvy – now is it scare proof? - Politics. Counting the cost of the education revolution. Victorian election: The truth behind the 'astronomical' $170b in transport promises. Lombrum naval base: Manus Governor slams Australia over plans to develop joint naval base.
Joint US-Australian naval base on Manus Island a 'significant pushback' against China's Pacific ambitions. Pamela Anderson blasts Scott Morrison for 'smutty' comments after Assange plea. Northern Territory fishing permit system could be delayed, verdict expected this week. Nigel Scullion awards Indigenous grant money to CLP president's employer. Letter from Scott Morrison raises questions about why the NT received GST top up. NT Chief Minister calls on Speaker to respond to claims her office interfered with new party. A year after the same-sex marriage postal vote, we're still wounded from a brutal campaign. NT Tourism extends free flight offer to Americans after allocated seats not filled. NT Speaker's office accused of interfering in establishment of new Territory political party.
Bourke Street attack: Will terror attack play on voters' minds as Victoria heads to the polls? Chart of the day: The OECD country that imprisons more journalists than China. Morrison Government wakes to an awful realisation as election looms. Jamal Khashoggi murder the latest in string of suspected Saudi abductions and assassinations - RN. School funding: SA signs up for new national agreement despite complaints from other states. Fact check: Have the asylum seekers on Nauru not proven themselves to be genuine refugees? - Fact Check. Australia-PNG naval base 'bulldozed through' without local input, former Manus MP says. AWU requests subpoenas for senator Michaelia Cash's former staffer to stop donations investigation. Free speech has never been ‘free’ Four 'invisible countries' that could redraw the world map - RN. Midterm election result far from certain as gerrymandering could lead to a Republican win. Wars over fish increasingly likely as countries use military force to protect 'critical commodity' - RN.
National Party pledges to expel 'hate and racism' as four more Young Nats resign over alt-right connection. NSW Young Nationals investigate alt-right 'infiltration', suspend new memberships. Tasmanian Greens leader doubles down on Chinese election 'meddling' as slurs hit candidate. Liberal MPs call on Scott Morrison to evacuate all children and families from Nauru. 'Big four' accounting firms should face banking royal commission to prove independence, former ASIC investigator says. Scott Morrison promises to get Indigenous council input on Tony Abbott's education overhaul proposal. Defence and BOM both used Supermicro, the tech company allegedly compromised by Chinese spies - Science News - ABC News.
Sarah Hanson-Young: NSW police officer charged with offensive call to federal Greens senator. Government sat on Witness K prosecution for years despite advice. Chinese gas deal: National security concerns could be eased if it invests in local market, argues Liberal MP - Politics. How a preselection clash became a NSW Liberal civil war. Chart of the day: The 14 African countries beating Australia on women in parliament.
The influence game: How to access power in Australia.