Greens call for ABC and SBS to be included in News Media Code – 16 News


The Greens have today said the Morrison Government’s Media Code plan is incomplete, calling on the government to include the public broadcasters in the Mandatory Code, ensure the survival of the AAP newswire and protect smaller players.

Australian Greens Spokesperson for Communications and Media Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has said any Code must protect public broadcasting and public interest journalism.

“The ABC is Australia’s most trusted news source and should be included in any reform to tackle the greed of the big tech giants.  It was a deliberate decision to lock the public broadcasters out of the draft code, allowing Facebook and Google to profit from their content for free – the Government should reverse this and drop their relentless attack on the ABC.

“The power and greed of the tech giants is threatening journalism and public access to news. The government’s mandatory ACCC code could be part of the solution but the draft needs fixing and additional measures brought to the table.

“Australia’s media landscape is facing unprecedented challenges. Public interest journalism, reliable local news and trustworthy and informed analysis is essential for a robust and accountable democracy.  The power imbalance between the big tech giants and Australian news organisations is unsustainable.

“It is therefore important that key parts of Australia’s media landscape are protected as part of this process.  There is no reason for the ABC and SBS to be excluded from the Code. Public broadcasters deserve a fair return for what they produce and what the tech platforms benefit from.

“At the same time it is important that Australia’s fact based independent newswire service is supported. It would be unconscionable for the Government not to find a way of supporting AAP while introducing a code that supports other media players. AAP is key media infrastructure that helps new players into the market and diversity across Australia’s media landscape.

“The ACCC’s draft Mandatory Code must guarantee simple and cost effective benefits for small and independent media players, through effective collective bargaining arrangements.

“If the aim of this code is to ensure the viability of Australia’s media, then the Government should ensure ABC is included, that AAP doesn’t fail and that small and independent publishers don’t miss out.

“Public interest journalism is under threat in Australia, whether it be from funding cuts to the ABC, loss of advertising revenue for commercial outlets or the threat of heavy-handed police action that we have seen lately. The Greens’ changes would see the mandatory code go some way to protecting public interest journalism in Australia.

“The Greens reserve our final position on the Mandatory Code until we have seen the legislation.”



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Australian Greens build anti-racism strategy to combat rising alt-right hate – 16 News


Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt, has today announced a portfolio redistribution that will see Lidia Thorpe and Mehreen Faruqi take on a new anti-racism strategy intended to counter Australia’s growing tide of far right nationalism and tackle systemic racism.

The move comes as Lidia Thorpe attends her first Greens Party Room meeting as a Senator this Wednesday and ahead of a fuller redistribution of portfolios by Adam Bandt on Thursday.

Victoria’s first Aboriginal Senator, Lidia Thorpe, will have the First Nations and Justice portfolios, focusing on breaking down the entrenched disadvantage that Aboriginal people face.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi will lead a newly created Anti-Racism portfolio, aimed at sharpening the fight against a toxic surge of the anti-immigrant fringe.

Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt said that the last two years have seen the far right emboldened in Australian politics, growing from a handful of anti-immigrant politicians to a well-organised, far-right coalition.

“These new portfolios recognise the scale of the challenge that compassionate politics has today,” Mr Bandt said.

“These new portfolios will sharpen the Greens’ fight for justice and put anti-racist work at the core of everything we do.”

“It’s no longer enough to just preach acceptance of diversity. We need to actively prevent hate speech through education, take action against media that uncritically promotes hate, improve standards in our parliament, and dismantle the racist structures that fail to deliver First Nations peoples justice.

“Lidia Thorpe and Mehreen Faruqi will help lead the way as the Greens fight for justice, take on racism and tackle the far-right.”

Senator Lidia Thorpe said despite the rising tide of racism, public support for systemic change is stronger than ever.

“Right now, we stand at a crossroads, as a nation and as a global community. People from all backgrounds are coming together, united by the conviction that no one’s identity or background should limit their potential, safety or their life expectancy,” Senator Thorpe said.

“Across the world, the Black Lives Matter movement has empowered the community to demand justice for First Nations people and people of colour.

“Australia’s continued failures towards First Nations people aren’t just the result of a few bad policy decisions. They’re systemic issues that have become entrenched through decades of inaction.

“If we’re to right these wrongs we need to fix the system. That means ending deaths in custody and the mass incarceration of First Nations peoples, righting the wrongs of the past and moving forward through Treaty, and reversing the entrenched economic inequality that this pandemic has highlighted.

“It’s time to address the systemic racism that cuts lives short and leaves Aboriginal people falling behind. A just Nation means justice for all, including First Nations people.”

Senator Mehreen Faruqi said that anti-racist advocacy and activism was more important than ever.

“Australia hasn’t yet grappled with being the country that raised the Christchurch killer,” Senator Faruqi said.

“We’re going to take the fight to the far-right and their cheerleaders in Parliament and the media to build a proactively anti-racist movement.

“For our country to become anti-racist at its core, we need strong hate speech laws, resources for quashing the far-right, a national anti-racism campaign and diversity in public life.

“The institutions that are meant to protect us haven’t just failed – they’ve become captive to the hate they’re meant to fight. Any nation where police officers feel comfortable with flashing white supremacist hand gestures is not one where people of colour can feel safe.

“Politicians who ignore or encourage the rise of the far-right do so at their own peril. I’m proud of the Greens record of anti-racist work alongside communities of colour.

“Australia’s colonial history and ongoing occupation has to be recognised and addressed head on. I’m looking forward to working with Lidia to do just that.”

The portfolio redistribution has also seen Senator Janet Rice take up the Multiculturalism Portfolio, highlighting how building a diverse and compassionate society is the responsibility of all of us, not just people of colour.



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Parton apologises for saying gay Greens candidate ‘too camp for Tuggeranong’ | The Canberra Times


news, act-politics, 2020 act election, mark parton, canberra liberal party, canberra liberals, greens party

Liberal Mark Parton has apologised to a gay Greens candidate after he told him he wouldn’t win a seat at next month’s ACT election because he was “too camp for Tuggeranong”. The Greens’ lead candidate in the southern suburbs seat of Brindabella, Johnathan Davis, said Mr Parton made the comment while the election opponents were campaigning at Kambah shops on Saturday. Mr Davis has stressed he did not think Mr Parton was homophobic, but said it was concerning his opponent believed his sexuality would be a factor in how people voted. “Mark and I have got to know each other quite well over the years and we were having an honest back-and-forth conversation,” Mr Davis said, recounting Saturday’s incident. “He made the comment that while I’m a nice bloke I probably wouldn’t win because I’m too camp for Tuggeranong.” Mr Davis said he initially laughed off the comments, as he said he often did when similar remarks had been made in the past. But Mr Davis said Mr Parton’s comment lingered with him over the course of the weekend, before a homophobic attack on his Facebook page prompted him to speak out. In a highly offensive comment posted on Mr Davis’s page, an account under the name “Max Sterphen” wrote Mr Parton was a much better candidate and Tuggeranong didn’t need “lgbt f****** painting it in rainbow and thinking you’re on top of the world”. The same Facebook account has made homophobic comments to Labor candidate Maddy Northam. The account carried as its profile picture an advertisement for the Canberra Liberals’ pledge to plant 1 million trees if elected on October 17. The Liberals have distanced themselves from the account, which they believed was fake. The Opposition has observed similarities in the language used by “Max Sterphen” and other fake social media accounts which have been attacking or impersonating Liberal MLAs while using party branding. The “Max Sterphen” account appeared to have been deleted when The Canberra Times searched Facebook on Monday morning. Mr Davis wrote a Facebook post on Sunday drawing attention to both Mr Parton’s comments and the “Max Sterphen” post. Mr Davis told The Canberra Times Mr Parton was a “good person” and not homophobic, and his comment outside Kambah shops were not the same as those made by “Max Sterphen”. But Mr Davis said there was a degree of similarity between the two comments. “Both people felt comfortable citing my sexuality as justification for electoral support,” he said. “If we want to break down that stigma, then both have to be called out – even if there are very different.” As well as being offensive, Mr Davis believed Mr Parton’s comments showed a lack of insight as to how tolerant and socially progressive voters in Canberra’s south were. The Canberra Times contacted Mr Parton for comment. In a statement, his spokeswoman said Mr Parton had apologised to Mr Davis. Mr Davis contested Brindabella for the Greens at the 2016 ACT election, winning 1.5 per cent of the vote. He also stood as the party’s candidate in the seat of Bean at the 2019 federal election, where he collected 13 per cent of votes to finish third behind Labor’s Dave Smith and Liberal Ed Cocks.

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Bishops Rorting Poor Students Must Be Held Accountable: Greens – 16 News


Australian Greens Spokesperson for Education, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has reacted to the Catholic Schools NSW documents leaked to the ABC that confirm their practice of taking funding meant for disadvantaged schools to subsidise fees in wealthy areas.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Private school rorting of their disadvantaged students like this should be illegal. It’s an indictment on our education system that it’s not.

“This is galling confirmation of the dirty open secret of Australian school funding.

“Liberal and Labor governments have been running a protection racket for private schools for years.

“That this went on was well known, but the major parties have spent years avoiding putting in place transparency requirements that would have confirmed it.

“For too long, private schools have benefited from opaque reporting requirements that mask where public funding is going. Every last public dollar spent in the private system should be reported and justified at a school level.

“It’s clear the NSW Catholic Schools are more concerned with losing enrolments to public schools than they are about giving disadvantaged, First Nations and regional students the funding they are allocated.

“The ethics of this aren’t just between the Bishops and God. The Bishops were fully aware they were ripping off low-SES families to help the wealthy. It’s public money. They must apologise and be held accountable.

“This is the system that successive Labor and Liberal governments have lavished with billions in special deals while they starved hardworking public school teachers and students of basic funding.”



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Greens call on PM to stand down Sukkar – 16 News


The Greens are calling on the Prime Minister to stand down Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar while the Department of Finance investigates the misuse of taxpayer-funded positions, and to consider whether Sukkar’s actions are in breach of the Ministerial Standards.

“The Prime Minister has asked Australians for their trust over the past few months. But Morrison continues to throw integrity overboard with his failure to act on the ongoing, multiple scandals involving his ministers,” Greens co-Deputy leader, Senator Larissa Waters, said.

“It’s a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’, with Morrison. He jumped on the chance to smear Labor during its branch stacking scandal a few months ago, but deflects all responsibility when its his own frontbenchers making headlines.

Senator Waters, Greens spokesperson for Democracy, said the latest branch stacking scandal was further proof of why the Greens’ National Integrity Commission Bill is needed, which passed the Senate almost a year ago.

“The public generally thinks politicians are all corrupt, in it for themselves, and behave like pork chops in parliament, and I don’t blame them,” Senator Waters said.

“We are still waiting for the Prime Minister to call my federal watchdog with teeth on for a vote in the House of Representatives, almost a year after the Senate passed it. The government hasn’t introduced its own legislation.  And it has rejected the Greens’ calls for a code of conduct for all politicians and senior staff to prevent exactly the sort of behaviour we’ve seen reported this week.

“To Morrison, I say: tick tock. I’m not the only one getting fed up with your delaying tactics.”



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Blake Green’s career in the balance after suspected serious knee injury in Newcastle Knights’ 12-0 win over North Queensland Cowboys


The Knights survived Green’s halves partner Mitchell Pearce spending 10 minutes in the sin bin for a professional foul to edge within one point of the Roosters and Raiders in the jostle for fourth spot.

The Cowboys, who were held scoreless for the first time since 2012, remain winless since axing coach Paul Green, whose last victory was against the Knights in Townsville back in round seven.

Enari Tuala scores one of the Knights' two tries in their forgettable NRL win over North Queensland.

Enari Tuala scores one of the Knights’ two tries in their forgettable NRL win over North Queensland.Credit:Getty

Even if Green was still in the coaching box, he would have scarcely seen a stranger match – either as player or coach – than this one played in a howling southerly.

At one point, Newcastle prop David Klemmer, who turned in a powerhouse 67-minute stint, took the liberty to kick with his side peppering the Cowboys line.

And that wasn’t even close to the strangest occurrence in a match which featured two sin-binnings, a comedy of errors and Cowboys wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo leaving the field with a lower leg complaint.

Newcastle started the first half with a halves pairing they thought could have taken them deep into the finals – and finished it without either.

Green, with blood pouring from his nose owing to a nasty collision in the early minutes, was like an old veteran boxer looking for one last fight. He had barely stemmed the flow when his knee jarred on an innocuous carry, causing him to collapse to the turf in agony.

Pearce joined him in the sheds seconds before half-time, dispatched for 10 minutes for a professional foul when he dragged down Coen Hess from an offside position after a quick tap.

The only try of a bizarre first half came when Kalyn Ponga fed Hymel Hunt with a questionable pass, the hosts’ lead extended to six points when the superstar No.1 later added a penalty goal.

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Pearce hadn’t even returned to the field in the second half by the time the Cowboys were also down to 12 men. Mitchell Dunn was ordered to the sin bin for holding down Gehamat Shibasaki after Ponga’s long break off the back of a botched Cowboys attack.

Ponga added another penalty goal to pad the lead beyond a converted try and delivered the only highlight of the second half when he rifled a pass to Enari Tuala, who scored against his former club with just two minutes left.

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 12 (Hymel Hunt, Enari Tuala tries; Kalyn Ponga 2 goals) defeated NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS 0 at McDonald Jones Stadium. Referee: Adam Gee. Crowd: 5304.

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Police & prison do not prevent crimes: Greens candidate on ‘defunding police’


By ERWIN CHLANDA

Policing crime and punishing it is one of Alice Springs’ few thriving industries. Take a look at the centre of town: we’ve got a very old courthouse, an old courthouse, a brand new courthouse, a very old gaol, an old police station and a new police station.

And we’ve got a police force that is three times bigger per head of population than the national average yet there are always demands for more.

For Bernard Hickey, a psychiatrist with 20 years professional service in the Territory and the Greens candidate for Araluen, all this is heading in the wrong direction, as signalled by that brand new courthouse, the monumental Supreme Court, our tallest building ruling over the town.

The right direction, he argues, would be to pursue “defunding the police”, a policy idea originating in the United States that has gained traction in the wake of the George Floyd killing  and the massive protest that followed.

Defunding does not mean that police forces would be scrapped or would lose their entire budget; rather that significant resources be directed away from conventional policing and towards social services.

More than a dozen US cities, including Minneapolis where Mr Floyd was killed, have considered substantial cuts to their police budgets, according to the New York Times.

New York City has shifted some $1b away from the NYPD; the Los Angeles City Council has moved $150m from its police budget into social programs.  However, there has been strong pushback in other cities, such as Seattle, and the Texas Governor has reacted strongly to Austin City Council’s cutting of millions from its police budget.

“The  general thrust of the idea,” says Dr Hickey (at left), “is that police and punishment do not prevent crimes. Community healing, connectivity, increased health of a community prevents crime.”

Its implementation would involve looking at different roles for the police and community, putting resources into “restorative principles of engagement, restorative justice, transformative justice”.

This would mean getting the community involved in directing changes to reduce and prevent crime and “around here that would mean involving the Aboriginal Elders directly”.

No studies find that punishment and imprisonment prevent crime, says Dr Hickey, yet the imprisonment rate for Aboriginal males is “ridiculous, something like eight times the national average” and comparable with the “sky high” rates for African American males in the US.

(These figures are borne out by criminologists in a FactCheck for The Conversation, who concluded that Noel Pearson’s statement on Q&A in 2017 that Indigenous Australians are “the most incarcerated people on the planet Earth” is correct, based on the best available international data.)

Alice’s policing and prison industry takes Dr Hickey back “to the way Australia started as a penal colony.

“We’re continuing that trend, colonising, ignoring country people’s lands, their needs.”

Wherever you get this kind of “non-caring disenfranchisement of persons, poverty” you get high rates of crime, he says.

Addiction, that goes hand in hand with trauma, with over-crowding, and witnessing violence, is another part of the picture. Add in the disinhibiting effect of alcohol and you are going to get “people having violent responses”, he says.

So, if a restorative justice model was in place, what would that look like?

He gives the example of a young person wandering around town late at night, caught in act of damaging something (as happened earlier this week when young people smashed windows of a number of businesses in Todd Mall).

Under “restorative principles of engagement” relevant Elders would lead the response to that incident.

“There are grandmas and Elders already trying to do this,” he says.

Everyone sits down and talks about what’s going on in the young person’s life, as a way of discovering solutions, and the young person coming to understand the damage they may have done.

“It’s not  a punishment, it’s a therapeutic response.”

It leads a young person to understand how they and their actions fit in with law, culture, what their family and wider community want.

A health assessment is also done and the whole process can lead to offers to enter other programs, for instance Bush Mob, if substances are involved.

The approach can work with adults too: “There are great examples around the world. People can be reintegrated to community living.”

And what happens if the young person goes out and does the same thing again?

“Then the response can be intensified and more supports wrapped around the young person.

“Police can be facilitators of this process.”

Existing diversion programs already accomplish some of this but face difficulties in having supports available for the kids in the program.

Dr Hickey and the Greens are not alone in advocating for a 24-hour drop-in centre for young people. It would offer a therapeutic environment, where young people can feel safe, get fed, get access to learning, support, listening.

What does he think about a youth curfew?

He sees the idea as “a political stunt”: “It doesn’t address any real need.

“If you have a 24-hour place that’s made attractive to them, young people would want to go.”

Would they have to stay, in other words be detained?

He doesn’t answer directly: “Being out on street at night is not a crime.” So the 24-hour centre is about having an attractive alternative to that.

“If they are committing crime, they’re going to be safely apprehended and then a response under restorative principles of engagement can occur.”

– additional reporting by Kieran Finnane

Photo at top: A ‘Kids on country’ protest marching past the Supreme Court in November 2017. From our archive.

 

Related reading:

Candidates’ views during the recent election ‘debate’ hosted by the Chamber of Commerce:  Caring for kids, stopping offending: The town’s big issue.

Kids on Country, ban fracking: Greens



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The Greens are eager to introduce press freedom laws and reforms


Following the Federal Court’s recent rejection of the ABC’s appeal into the legalities of last year’s AFP raids on its Sydney offices, the Greens remain the party on the front foot pushing for greater press freedoms and protections for whistleblowers.

And it is Sarah Hanson-Young who is seeking to address and meet those goals, as the media union has joined her in criticising the Federal Court’s ruling.

In raiding the Sydney-based offices of the ABC, the AFP sought and obtained up over 100 computer-based files linked to the network’s investigative work for its “Afghan Files” report critical of the Australian Defence Force’s actions in the Middle East. By dismissing the case, the Court dictated that the AFP had performed their actions within its permitted legal boundaries, above allegations that the raids possessed political motives.

“It’s clear current laws have encroached on journalists’ freedom, not just their ability to write sensitive stories but also to receive information from sensitive sources,” said Hanson-Young in announcing proposed legislation in that area which she and the Greens, under their new leadership of Victorian senator Adam Bandt, plan on introducing at the next Parliamentary sitting.

The Greens’ Media Freedom Act, being a reforms-based piece of proposed legislation, would be built around four key points:

  • to ensure a contested warrants process, where law enforcement would need to apply to a judge to search a media outlet or access a journalist’s metadata;
  • to protect whistleblowers by introducing a public interest defence;
  • to put the onus on prosecutors to disprove public interest, rather than entrusting journalists to prove it; and
  • overall, to enact shield laws to protect journalists from being forced to reveal their sources.

The mainstream media is perceived to be participating complicitly with the whims of the Morrison Government, instead of having the “no fear, nor favour” mantra to call them out on any sort of wrongdoing or corruption — for example, that which is normally associated with the type of investigative journalism undertaken in the public interest. Anyone witnessing the current state of journalism in Australia would be calling out for any level of reforms in how its standards and practices are applied and performed.

That current state of media and the approach to how its journalistic practices are applied pique the curiosities as to why mainstream parties aren’t as proactive about pursuing stronger press freedoms and whistleblower protections as the Greens are demonstrating via their legislative intentions.

Perhaps one needs to look no further than the corruptive actions undertaken by the governing Liberal Party in recent months – or years – which have not gone unnoticed by Hanson-Young on behalf of her Parliamentary peers and colleagues in the LNP and Labor, as sufficient motivation on its own to introduce these reforms.

Speaking out against the Federal Court’s ruling against the ABC’s appeal while referring to the present laws as “broken”, Hanson-Young said

We need proper protection for whistleblowers and journalists so the public know what’s really happening in our names and with our taxes. We have a right to know what the Government is up to.

 

Journalism is not a crime. And speaking up when the Government is engaged in covering up wrongdoing should not make whistleblowers criminals.

 

If the law won’t protect journalists, then we must have legislated safeguards to guarantee the freedom of the press and whistleblower protections. These protections must be independent of the Government.

Meanwhile, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) – the union under which the employment and working interests of journalists falls – echoed the calls for Parliament to draft new laws to strengthen freedom of the press, especially when it comes to protection for whistleblowers.

MEAA President Marcus Strom said:

It is clear that the motivation behind these raids is to intimidate journalists and media organisations. The raids have a chilling effect on public interest journalism by demonstrating to whistleblowers that if they reveal wrongdoing, corruption or illegal activities in the public interest, they will be hunted down and prosecuted.

If an uneasy and nervous feeling persists between the journalism industry and the Morrison Government in light of these raids, then it’s likely with good reason.

While Labor, given their Parliamentary minority numbers, is effectively powerless to pass any legislative matters that it could even propose, the Liberals are seen as having a working cooperation with bodies such as the AFP — even more so after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has seen his portfolio expanded widely during Malcolm Turnbull’s reign as Prime Minister and maintained under Scott Morrison, an expansion which includes his overseeing of the AFP within it.

Therefore, the LNP, from a legislative viewpoint, possesses no motivation to seriously pursue laws strengthening press freedom and the protection of whistleblowers, while Hanson-Young’s bill would effectively remove the onus off of the AFP as well as Dutton and anyone under his command as judge, jury and executioner and place it back upon processes that would dictate the reporting of matters in the public interest and relate to community standards.

So does the LNP-AFP alliance aid in spreading fear within journalists’ minds and laptops alike, against saying or writing anything critical of the Morrison Government’s actions and/or policies?

Hanson-Young thinks so, under the guise that the connections between a free press and a properly-functioning democracy are clearly linked.

In just two years, there’s been about 22 pieces of legislation the Federal Government has rammed through the Parliament that increase secrecy in our democracy, under a guise of ‘national security’. 

 

The truth is, those in power don’t want the public to know what they’re up to and are shutting down transparency and accountability to serve their own interests.

The move to introduce the Media Freedom Act falls in line with the Greens’ recent history of proactive and progressive visions in affirming rights of all Australians, which includes a U.S.-style bill of rights among a list of proposed societal reforms. 

Hanson-Young and her Greens colleagues, in hoping for a successful campaign to get the Media Freedom Act passed, will be fighting against a series of forces, not the least of which is the LNP-AFP relationship and hoping those on all sides of Parliament don’t have a short memory over the recent “Your Right To Know” campaign:

The campaign by the Right To Know coalition and evidence given at the Senate Inquiry has provided many examples of wrongdoing and misconduct that would never have had a spotlight on them without whistleblowers and the protection of journalists’ sources and media freedoms.

William Olson is a freelance journalist and hospitality professional. You can follow William on Twitter @DeadSexyWaiter.

Support independent journalism Subscribe to IA.

 





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Greens call on Scott Morrison to pursue elimination strategy for COVID-19 – 16 News


Dr Richard Di Natale, Australian Greens health spokesperson, is today calling on the Prime Minister to adopt an elimination strategy for COVID-19 to keep restrictions in place until the rate of community transmission reaches zero.

“It’s now time to commit to eliminating COVID-19 from the community, and give Australians some level of certainty in the face of this pandemic.”

“We have already eliminated the virus in some states, which has allowed people to resume doing many of the things they love and provided some certainty for the business community,” said Dr Di Natale.

“The current suppression approach means allowing restrictions to loosen while there’s still virus circulating in the community. This is likely to involve a continuing cycle of see-sawing lockdowns as outbreaks pop up across the country, which means ongoing economic disruption and uncertainty.

“Here in Victoria, we have seen how quickly a handful of cases can turn into a second wave with devastating consequences for our community. Making our goal in Victoria elimination of the virus while we are already in a second lockdown will likely mean extending restrictions beyond six weeks. However, it’s a small price to pay if it means avoiding more lockdowns in the future and giving the business community some certainty.”

Key experts, including former secretary of the federal Department of Health and Director of the Health Program at the Grattan Institute Stephen Duckett, Professor Bill Bowtell and many others, are calling for governments to commit to an elimination approach. This would require restrictions to remain in place until the level of community transmission reaches zero and stays there.

“The current uncertainty in the community about the possibility of future lockdowns is bad for the community and bad for the economy. A clear roadmap towards the elimination of the virus in Australia would provide certainty for both people and the economy.”



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Greens call on Environment Minister to immediately release interim report into environment laws – 16 News


The Greens are calling on Environment Minister Sussan Ley to immediately release the interim report into Australia’s environment laws handed to her a week ago by the independent reviewer.

Greens Spokesperson for the Environment Senator Sarah Hanson-Young who successfully moved an order in the Senate for the interim report to be released by today at the latest, said:

“The Environment Minister has sat on the interim report into Australia’s environment laws for a week already and then today tried to claim releasing it would reveal Cabinet deliberations. This is a pathetic excuse for keeping it hidden from the public.

“The 10-year statutory review into the EPBC Act is supposed to be independent of government and therefore any interim report cannot possibly reveal Cabinet deliberations.

“The Minister was handed the interim report a week ago, there is no excuse for holding onto it any longer, it should be released immediately in full.

“Graeme Samuel who is leading the review has said he intends to consult on the interim report yet he cannot do that if the community and stakeholders are unable to even see it.

“The Auditor-General’s assessment of the government’s management of the environment and our wildlife, released last month, was scathing.

“The Environment Minister and the Federal Department have failed to protect the environment and are, simply put, incompetent. Refusing to release the interim report suggests it highlights further ineptitude and failures by the government which they are trying to cover up.”



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