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Australian Politics

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Ka-ching! How the gambling lobby won the fight over pokie reforms. The loosening of gambling regulations in New South Wales, announced during Responsible Gambling Awareness Week without an apparent trace of irony, tells the story of gambling regulation in Australia in the three years since Andrew Wilkie was rolled on poker machine reforms.

Ka-ching! How the gambling lobby won the fight over pokie reforms

Among other reforms, poker machine smart cards in NSW clubs and hotels can now be loaded with up to $5,000, an increase from $200. This is a great deal of money to lose by anyone’s measure. To get a sense of just how out of step this government decision is with the available evidence, it’s worthwhile returning to the Productivity Commission’s 2010 report, which recommended that the “cash input level” for poker machines be capped at just $20, a limit the commission believed would protect problem gamblers while having little adverse impact on recreational gamblers. Victoria's deradicalisation plan a 'Soviet-style' idea that will only alienate – expert. Proposals being considered by the Victorian government and police to impose curfews and internet bans on teenagers they suspect may become terrorists reveals just how poorly authorities understand radicalisation and those most vulnerable to it, experts have said.

Victoria's deradicalisation plan a 'Soviet-style' idea that will only alienate – expert

If implemented, the proposal would drive teenagers vulnerable to the influence of Islamic State further underground, said Dr David Malet, a terrorism and international security researcher who has published a book about recruits to overseas insurgencies The state government on Monday confirmed police had approached them, seeking powers to force those they identify as potential terrorists into deradicalisation programs, restrict who they associate with, and ban them from using the internet.

“I think this proposal is very likely to backfire spectacularly,” Malet, from the University of Melbourne, said. Former commissioners attack Victoria police efforts to deradicalise teenagers. Victorian police efforts to address the radicalisation of young people by terrorist groups have been criticised by five former state police chiefs, who in an open letter said a “fortress mentality” had emerged within the force at a time when community engagement was critical.

Former commissioners attack Victoria police efforts to deradicalise teenagers

The lead author of the letter, Kelvin Glare, was Victorian police commissioner between 1987 and 1992, and he and his co-signatories said they were dismayed that, in their opinion, Victoria’s police were “becoming more and more disengaged from the community, particularly youth”. “We note the recent instruction that police must work in pairs and wear protective vests on duty, not travel to and from home in uniform and not take police cars home or park them where police live,” they wrote. Not seen, not heard, often not reported – the harrowing stories of Australia's detainees. Weeks after Scott Morrison became immigration minister in September 2013, a 17-year-old Iraqi boy at the Manus Island detention centre alleged he was “on a list” of a group of Iranian men who planned to gang rape him.

Not seen, not heard, often not reported – the harrowing stories of Australia's detainees

He was moved to another compound, but lived in fear at the camp until three months later, when he decided to voluntarily return to Iraq. Gillian Triggs slams 'scores of laws' threatening fundamental freedoms. Australian parliaments have passed “scores of laws” that threaten fundamental rights and freedoms, Professor Gillian Triggs has said, pointedly warning MPs to uphold the rule of law as they prepare to debate extraordinary ministerial powers to revoke citizenship.

Gillian Triggs slams 'scores of laws' threatening fundamental freedoms

In a forceful speech, the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission argued parliaments had failed to protect democratic rights and many politicians were “breathtakingly inconsistent” in supporting the rule of law. And she warned that counter-terrorism laws introduced with “unseemly haste” were likely to have a chilling effect on free speech and privacy. Debacle over terrorism and citizenship is leak-based policy in its purest form. A handy way to distinguish a government announcement inspired more by politics than its actual policy outcome is when the prime minister’s office briefs (some) newspapers about it before it has been considered by the cabinet.

Debacle over terrorism and citizenship is leak-based policy in its purest form

On 21 May, the Australian reported that “second-generation Australians involved in terrorism face being stripped of their citizenship, along with dual nationals, as part of the Abbott government’s efforts to tighten national security laws”. The Daily Telegraph has also reported this imminent development many times, and on Tuesday it informed its readers that the government would that day announce a new citizenship bill that included “controversial measures based on the UK model to also strip nationality from Australians who hold sole Australian citizenship, but only if they have legal access to citizenship of another country”. The issue of stripping citizenship rights from second generation Australians has now been included in a “discussion paper”. Senate inquiry to investigate explosive federal police bribery claims over wheat board oil-for-food scandal.

A Senate inquiry will examine a veteran federal police officer's explosive claim that he was offered a promotion in return for shutting down the AFP investigation into the Australian Wheat Board oil-for-food scandal.

Senate inquiry to investigate explosive federal police bribery claims over wheat board oil-for-food scandal

In a move that will again put the spotlight on one of Australia's murkiest international corruption cases, the Greens and Labor have joined forces to trigger an inquiry by the Senate's Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee into allegations made by Ross Fusca in 2012. Mr Fusca, a 30-year veteran of the federal police, led the AFP taskforce into the wheat board's $300 million payments to the regime of the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in breach of United Nations sanctions. He also made the sensational claim that the police taskforce, which ran between late 2006 and August 2009, had cultivated a high-level informant who indicated that "senior government officials'' had been aware of the wheat board's payment of kickbacks. The vital questions the Sydney siege inquest will set out to answer.

In the six months since Man Haron Monis took staff and customers hostage in the Lindt cafe in Sydney, some cold, established facts have emerged.

The vital questions the Sydney siege inquest will set out to answer

Among them: Monis entered the cafe after 8.30am on 15 December and had a piece of chocolate cake and some tea. Within half an hour he had the manager, Tori Johnson, ordering the doors be locked and Monis was pointing a sawn off shotgun at the customers and staff in the cafe. Johnson was shot, without warning, in the head at almost point blank range after being made to kneel on the ground in the early hours of 16 December. Katrina Dawson, a barrister who worked nearby and had gone into the cafe for a drink as she did most working mornings, was killed by the fragments of police bullets when the building was stormed in the minutes after Johnson’s shooting.

Police fired 22 rounds. 2015 PERSPECTIVE OF ONGOING AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL GENOCIDE AND ABORIGINAL ETHNOCIDE - Aboriginal Genocide. 2015 perspective of ongoing Australian Aboriginal Genocide and Aboriginal Ethnocide .


(A). Big picture. Before the British Invasion in 1788, Indigenous Australians had been living in Australia for about 60,000 years. There were 350-750 different tribes and a similar number of languages and dialects, of which only 150 survive today and of these all but about 20 are endangered. Jacqui Lambie: It's Her Party And She'll Decry Sharia If She Wants To. Former Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie has founded a new political party, with at least one its “core beliefs” based on a complete misunderstanding of both the Islamic faith and the Australian Constitution.

Jacqui Lambie: It's Her Party And She'll Decry Sharia If She Wants To

In a statement released earlier this week, Lambie announced the formation of the Jacqui Lambie Network (JLN) and detailed the 12 core principles those joining the party must embrace. It only takes until point five for things to start to come unstuck. Scott Parkin: peace activist or security threat? By Crikey reporter Lucy Morieson Exactly why is the visiting American peace activist Scott Parkin a threat to Australia’s national security? According to today’s SMH, up to six federal police and Immigration Department officers nabbed Parkin from a Melbourne cafe on Saturday because he’s been classified as a “security threat” by the Department of Immigration. The 35-year-old history teacher from Houston is being held in the Melbourne Custody Centre – at a personal cost of $130 a day – awaiting deportation. Parkin has been conducting a series of forums on peaceful protest methods, having successfully helped coordinate the well-known anti-globalization movement, the Houston Global Awareness Collective, out of his home town.

Paul Wilson, a Crikey reader who attended one of Parkin’s workshops on non-violent protest, describes Parkin as a “gentle spirit that writes his ideas on whiteboards with felt tip pens and encourages protest through ideas and dialogue.” Manny Waks: I'm the 'troublemaker' who blew the whistle on Jewish abuse scandal. When he was 18 years old, Manny Waks turned his back on life within the Orthodox sect of Judaism known as Chabad. Australian Jewish News denies sacking abuse whistleblower Adam Kamien. The Australian Jewish News has denied sacking a senior journalist who helped the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse by supplying a damaging text message from a senior rabbi.

Australia's top rabbi resigns after giving evidence at sex abuse royal commission. The most senior rabbi in Australia has resigned, days after appearing before the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant, the president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, stepped down on Monday morning, the immediate past president, Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, confirmed. Child sexual abuse victims said Kluwgant’s position was untenable after the commission heard on Friday that he had called the father of three sons who were sexually abused a “lunatic” who was guilty of “killing” the Orthodox Jewish Chabad community within which his sons had been violated. Zephaniah Waks told the commission how he and his family were ostracised and bullied by religious leaders after speaking out about the abuse within Chabad’s Yeshivah centre headquarters in Melbourne.

The commission heard that as Waks was giving his evidence, Kluwgant sent a text message to the editor of the Australian Jewish News that read: “Zephaniah is killing us. Intergenerational report: assumptions about government spending are a confusion of idiocy. The Intergenerational report released on Thursday is a document so weighed down with imagined economic assumptions made for partisan political reasons that it is barely worth reading, let alone being the basis of a “conversation” with the Australian people about the next 40 years. Intergenerational reports are always political documents, but they are not supposed to be partisan. Joe Hockey, betraying perhaps an insecurity about his own performance as treasurer, has decided to act as though he were in opposition and has made the report as much about kickingLabor’s economic performance than attempting to paint a picture of the challenges for the next 40 years.

Every intergenerational report is only as good as the assumptions on which the predictions are based – especially those pertaining to demographics. Nine things you probably didn’t know about the Queensland election. One high-profile arrest is not enough around election time in Queensland. University suppressed study into racism on buses and 'victimised' its co-author. The University of Queensland suppressed a study on racism on Brisbane city council buses and punished the co-author for misconduct after the council complained.

Professor Paul Frijters, whose 2013 study found drivers were less likely to let Indian or black passengers ride without paying, was forbidden from further publishing the research and demoted last year. Justice? Fairness? Who needs them when we've got Abbott and co? The world is turning against austerity. Now it's Queensland's turn. Journalism is not a crime. So why are reporters being referred to police? Journalism in Australia is not a crime. Despite this, journalists who have reported on immigration and asylum seeker issues have been referred to the Australian Federal Police for investigation in a series of attempts to prosecute confidential sources and whistleblowers. Repeat after me: the Australian economy is not like a household budget.

Tony Abbott achieves the impossible: unity among economists. 10 Dark Secrets Australia Doesn’t Want You To Know. 25th September 2014 By Pemulwuy. Here’s All The Times Tony Abbott Screwed Up, Got Yelled At Or Was Generally Terrible In 2014. Australia is a land of habits and traditions. Football in winter, cricket in summer, going to the beach on Christmas Day, listening to Paul Kelly on road trips, loathing Kyle Sandilands: if something is going to join these activities in the hallowed pantheon of our National Pastimes, it’s gotta be pretty damn big.

But in 2014, Australia truly embraced a new national pastime: gleefully watching on as Prime Minister Tony Abbott careered from one hideous moment of failure to another, like some kind of big-eared runaway train that is also on fire and hates poor people. The Stasi-like data retention law affects us all. It should make you furious. One of the charming, yet perplexing, Australian qualities is that most of the time we pay little to no attention to what politicians say or do. Media Releases. Easier to keep Indigenous kids in prison than school: Mick Gooda. Jailing four not-guilty Indigenous men with disabilities 'breached human rights' Higher education 'reform' has been halted. Now's the time for inspiration. Whitlam, Timor, And The Great Men Of History Myth. If Gough Whitlam was a saint at home, he was often a sinner abroad. International Press Institute: Australian journalists ordered to reveal their sources. Much obliged: The poor face onerous rules while rich corporations avoid tax with impunity.

Perverse migration bill shreds the rule of law. University fee hikes are a disaster for social mobility. The time for protest and escalation is now. Australia is on the road to a Tea party revolution. Curriculum review expert investigated over racially derogatory emails. An apology from Australia to the rest of the world is now warranted. Looking For Some “Media Bias”? Here’s The Premier Of New South Wales Starring In An Ad For The Daily Telegraph. Aussie flag flyers more racist: survey. The acid test: Australian journalists must ask what agenda they serve. Journalists and whistleblowers will go to jail under new national security laws.

Muslims in Australia

Bob Carr was right to start a debate on the influence of the Zionist lobby. Counter-terrorism raids: five unanswered questions. The panel: Tony Abbott, one year on.