InnovationAus: What’s your vector, Victor? Canberra’s tangled web awaits
Dr Lesley Seebeck writes - We all know that the Australian government needs considerable work to bring it up to date with the systems and services – and user experience – we’ve come to expect from the major digital platforms.
Political support for innovation in Canberra is a timid and fickle beast. IT development and delivery rarely goes to plan, is an attractive cash cow for the legion of vendors, consultants and contractor, and a ready target for political attacks, worthy or otherwise.
Yet ministers seem convinced that resolving the ongoing issues and from their perspective performance of the public service is simply a matter getting the right bloke in – or, depending on who has a parliamentary pass – the right consultancy or vendor.
Read more here.
Guardian: NSW police criticised for ‘outrageous’ midnight arrest of student who protested at RBA
Michael McGowan reports that the New South Wales police have been criticised for a “heavy-handed” midnight arrest and detention of a university student over a protest.
Cherish Kuehlmann, 23, a student at the University of New South Wales, said she was woken up at about 12.30am on Saturday to the sound of “four or five” police officers “banging loudly” on the door of her unit in Eastlakes in Sydney’s inner south-east.Read more
City Hub: Inner West Labor votes down call for repeal of anti-protest laws
Journalist Wendy Bacon reports that Inner West Labor has used their narrow majority to defeat a motion calling for repeal of NSW’s draconian anti-protest laws at the Inner West Council (IWC) meeting last week.
Inner West Councillor and Greens candidate for Balmain Kobi Shetty moved a motion calling for the Mayor Darcy Byrne to write to the Attorney General and Shadow Attorney General calling for the repeal of the laws and an end to heavy handed policing of protestors.Read more
Peter Hughes: No basis for temporary protection visa scare mongering
Opening up access to permanent residence for long stay refugees on temporary visas is right and inevitable. The decision will not set off a major new surge of maritime asylum seekers. The Coalition and their supporters have selective memories. Temporary protection visas were never a deterrent anyway.
The government’s decision to allow access to permanent residence to some 19,000 people who arrived by sea in Australia over a decade ago, who have been found to be refugees, and who are locked in a theoretically endless cycle of three or five year temporary visas, is the right thing to do.Read more
SMH: ‘Deeply shocking’: Iranian protester hospitalised after arrest in Canberra
An Iranian-Australian human rights protester who has been hospitalised with serious injuries claims an Australian Federal Police officer assaulted him while peacefully protesting outside the Iranian embassy in Canberra.
Hamid Sotounzadeh was handcuffed and detained by police while protesting outside the embassy on Thursday morning and was found lying concussed by fellow protesters.Read more
ABC News: Cardinal George Pell protest to take place at same time as Sydney funeral after compromise
A dispute between NSW Police and LGBT activists over a rally coinciding with Cardinal George Pell's Sydney funeral has been resolved after the route of a peaceful march was altered, ABC's Jamie McKinnell reports.
The group Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR), planned to hold a march from Hyde Park alongside St Mary's Cathedral on Thursday morning which prompted NSW Police to apply to the state's supreme court for an order to prohibit the event due to 'public safety concerns'.
After discussion, Mr De Brennan, who was representing NSW Police, told the judge an "in principle agreement" for an alternative route had been reached, which went "up to College Street but not on it".Read more
Media Statement - Planned peaceful protest disrupted by NSW Police
“The application in the Supreme Court today to have the Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR) planned protest on Thursday declared unlawful by NSW Police is not a genuine attempt to preserve public safety. It’s motivated by a desire to prevent the memorial service following the death of Cardinal Pell being affected by protest activity. In reality, this is a case of the NSW police trying to do tone-policing,” Josh Pallas, NSWCCL President, stated.Read more
The Conversation - Reaping what we sow: cultural ignorance undermines Australia’s recruitment of Pacific Island workers
The cracks in Australia’s labour market have deepened since borders closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. In response, the Federal Government has offered more work visas under the Pacific Australian Labour Mobility Scheme (PALM), allowing farmers to recruit more workers from Pacific Island nations, including Timor Leste. By the end of 2023, it is expected that 40,000 temporary migrants will be working on Australian farms.
The PALM scheme is seen by many Islanders as an opportunity to earn good money, build new skills, send money home to family and shape a better future. However, Australia’s workforce woes are causing a mass exodus of Pacific Islanders from their home nations which is putting pressure on Pacific Island development prospects.Read more
SBS: MTC facing accusations of gross negligence overseas.
The Management & Training Corporation (MTC) is the US based private prison operator currently running Nauru Regional Processing Centre. The $69 million contract held by MTC equates to approximately $750,000 per day to oversee the detention of just 111 refugees and asylum seekers.
The auditor-general is considering an investigation into a $69 million four-month contract granted to MTC Australia, to run "garrison and welfare services" for asylum seekers in Nauru. Its parent company has been accused of gross negligence, fraud, and has settled multiple cases where it was accused of being responsible for deaths.Read more
The Saturday Paper: Australia misses anti-torture deadline
Australia risks being placed on a human rights blacklist by failing to meet another deadline to implement an international anti-torture agreement.
The UN’s Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (Opcat) was ratified under the Turnbull government in December 2017, but Australia has since requested two deadline extensions to meet its obligations.Read more