If Senate won’t defeat #DataRetention bill terrorists and criminals will: @sortius comments

illustraltion: Setreset (wikimedia)

With the federal government’s metadata retention bill having passed the lower house, and all but assured to pass the senate, the technical implications are still sketchy at best. Costing an estimated $400 million a year (a figure that will no doubt be revised up substantially), the legislation isn’t a cheap exercise in flag waving like […]

Torture report makes @IntlCrimCourt action against @TonyAbbottMHR’s #auspol likely: @jansant reports

iccfp

On Monday, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, released a report (below) that found Australia in violation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). The report found multiple violations and identified the systematic nature resulting from government policy. Juan Mendez, is a survivor of […]

International human rights body tells @TonyAbbottMHR #IStandWithGillianTriggs. @Jansant reports

abbotttriggs

The International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC) has written (full text below) to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR), expressing “grave concern” about recent Government attacks on the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), Gillian Triggs (@GillianTriggs). The letter was carbon copied to the […]

Time to be Alert … And a little bit Alarmed? – the @sarah_capper column

terror

Yes, that’s right, last week Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the Government was raising Australia’s ‘terror alert’ status to ‘high’.  While technically this means a terrorist attack on Australian soil is now regarded as “likely”, the PM was quick to clarify that “this does not mean that a terror attack is imminent. We have no […]

Labor’s Mark Dreyfus QC takes stand on #freespeech: Abbott and Brandis honour Voltaire only in the breach

825571-brandis

The Coalition will never waver in its defence of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. — Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) March 13, 2013 Oh the terrible irony for George Brandis QC in fronting the latest Abbott Government attacks on free speech through its terror legislation. Brandis was one of several moderates in the Howard […]

Senate Bingo! The @sarah_capper column

Senate-numbers_2014 from July

A whole new class of players joined the Upper House this month, and with a record number of cross-benchers – 18, including the Greens – there will be deals-a-plenty and the “spin cycle” on overdrive. Cards will be kept close to chests; cards will be put out on the table; and, as the last week has shown, […]

Creating communities with a common voice: @burgewords interviews @TheArtsParty

Digital producer PJ Collins of The Australian Arts Party.

  Motorists, shooters and fishers have all got one, so have sex enthusiasts and christians. Why not creatives? Micro political parties have leapt into the Australian voters’ consciousness like never before, and right at the launch of this column, one of our readers tipped us off about the imminent formation of a new party named […]

Digging up the drama: @1moretalk reports the demise of the Environmental Defender’s Office

Warkworth open cut mine.

By Graeme Gibson  @1moretalk For nearly 30 years Michael and Margaret (not their real names) have lived on their block outside a small north Queensland sugar town. During the sugar harvesting season they put up with a lot of truck traffic, and, being on an unsealed road, a lot of dust. “It’s so thick sometimes […]