By hook or by crook – The #CashForTurnbacks scandal: @Qldaah #auspol

Live blog of the media reports on the “cash for turnbacks” crisis. Check back regularly for updates.   (Jump to comments section) Introduction. (February 5, 2016) – Senate inquiry, Canberra. (December 2, 2015) – Court proceedings, Indonesia. (November 8, 2015) – Government operates within the law. (November 5, 2015) – People smugglers go on trial. (October 30, 2015) – Amnesty’s ‘ideological attack’. (October 29, 2015) – Amnesty concludes transnational crime. (August 6, 2015) – Saving lives. (July 20, 2015)  – AFP essential priority. (June 24, 2015)  – Senate inquiry to launch. (June 20, 2015)  – Counter allegations. (June 19, 2015)  – Justifying paying people smugglers. (June 18, 2015)  – International waters intercept. (June […]

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

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 specific intelligence of particular plots.” Fast forward one week as Australians woke to the news of police raids on houses in Sydney and Brisbane. Almost 900 police were involved with 15 people detained and at this stage, one charged with conspiracy to prepare an attack, another charged with weapons offenses. Based on media reports, the […]

Try stopping the bleeding hearts: @burgewords #CreatingWaves

There’s no use beating around the bush: The Abbott Government has stopped the boats. I am arts columnist for No Fibs, and I probably should be writing about the Arts. However, like many artists in Australia at the moment, I am experiencing plenty of distractions of the political kind. I find it difficult to focus on creative expression while we have thousands of innocent people locked up in Australian detention centres, their images and stories used very creatively as propaganda to prevent others following in boats from Indonesia. When I come up for air from my writing schedule, I see a nation in a state of fear. Fear about money, […]

@Jansant interviews respected refugee advocate Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM @Kon__K from the @ASRC1

[clear] By Wayne Jansson  @jansant February 8, 2014 Ever since John Howard’s Tampa affair back in 2001, refugees arriving by boat have been at the centre of political debate in Australia. A campaign to demonise and dehumanise refugees has been in full swing ever since. Its been so successful the Abbott government has even seen the value in using refugees to launch a fresh round of attacks on the ABC for perceived bias. Criticism is growing both in Australia and around the world to our treatment of refugees. This criticisms is aimed at both the policies and the increasingly vitriolic rhetoric of the Australian government. #UNHCR is concerned about reports of […]

Then they came for the farmers… #SPC #leardblockade

[clear] By Alison Parkes  6th February 2014 Two recent issues have been in the news lately concerning rural and regional communities – the impending closure of SPC and the Leardblockade. People in capital cities, on social media and old media talk about thinks like SPC or live export or another mine as if they are unaffected by the impact of these things. As a farmer in a rural and regional area the impact of mining, climate change and job loses affect me now, but in the long run, these things affect all of us. More of us than ever are living on the coastal fringes, but the way some people […]

Best Polly Ticks Quotes and Moments of 2013

by Sarah Capper 23 December 2013 A week is a long time in politics. A year is an excruciating amount of time, and as we near the end of 2013, our third prime minister for the year has just reached his first 100 days in office. Awww. In many senses, it’s been Tony Abbott’s year. So what does this year in politics look like – in the “suppository of wisdom” of quotable quotes? Beyond the delivery of our PM’s trademark “Umm, Ah, Yeah, Um,” response? Some people said Abbott’s election would provide Australia with its ‘George Bush’ moment [shiver], but in terms of adding to the rich history of Australian political […]

Bennelong candidates forum: @preciouspress reports

By Jack Sumner 31 August 2013 Seven of the eight candidates were on stage for a public forum organised by the Northern District Times this week. Missing was DLP candidate Lachlan McCaffrey, who plays rugby for Eastwood and was training in preparation for Shute Shield finals this weekend. His father Simon, the DLP Senate candidate, came of the bench to replace him. Each spoke for four minutes followed by 80 minutes of questions from the floor. The impressions and opinions given below are based on listening twice to each candidate’s introductory presentation and their responses to questions. Lindsay Peters (Greens) strongly advocated his party’s policies on refugees, action on climate change, […]

Tangney seniors say no to boats, wary of NBN, not convinced about Abbott’s appeal

By Guinevere Hall August 16, 2013 On Wednesday morning I joined more than 40 constituents for a morning tea hosted by Dennis Jensen, the sitting Liberal member for Tangney. Over cups of tea and coffee and scones and muffins, the  group  of mostly senior citizens and supporters listened to Dr Jensen speak and questioned him for more an hour.  Afterwards there was mingling and one-on-one chats with the MP. The coalition’s Stop the Boats campaign was their chief concern, with many expressing misgivings about the slowness of the processing of asylum seekers and the fact that very few who arrive actually get returned. The group very much supported the policy, […]