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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Canada suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty in protest over China security laws


Canada on Friday suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong to protest the tough new national safety legislation China has enacted in the fiscal hub.

Canada is also halting exports of delicate military services equipment to Hong Kong and updating its travel advisory for the town so Canadians will know how the regulation might impact them, the foreign ministry reported.

“Canada is a firm believer in the ‘one nation, two systems’ framework,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explained, referring to the semi-autonomous design adopted right after Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997.

“We’re particularly concerned about the predicament in Hong Kong,” he instructed a press briefing.

Canadian Key Minister Justin Trudeau claims he is very worried about the Hong Kong problem.

AFP

Mr Trudeau mentioned the “one region, two systems” theory was crucial not just for the city’s 7.5 million folks, but for the 300,000 Canadians who stay there. 

“That is why we are heading to keep on to look at ways we can consider to make certain the security of its citizens,” he claimed, mentioning feasible new “immigration” measures, with no any particulars.

The Chinese legislation enacted this 7 days outlaws functions of subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces.

Beijing has confronted a groundswell of criticism, mainly from Western nations, more than the legislation, which radically will increase China’s regulate around Hong Kong.

China’s leaders say the suite of powers will restore steadiness after a year of sometimes violent protests and will not stifle freedoms. 

But law enforcement have previously begun arresting men and women for possessing protest flags and banners, and the governing administration in Hong Kong has made crystal clear sure political views, in particular calls for independence, are now outlawed.

The law was enacted in a secretive procedure, without the need of the participation of Hong Kong’s legislature, judiciary or people today, and in violation of global obligations, reported Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

“This procedure shown disregard for Hong Kong’s Essential Legislation and the higher degree of autonomy promised for Hong Kong underneath the ‘one place, two systems’ framework,” the minister stated.

“Hong Kong’s role as a world-wide hub was constructed on that basis. Without it, Canada is compelled to reassess present preparations.”

Relations involving Canada and China have been tense for the reason that of extradition proceedings underneath way against an government of the Chinese telecoms huge Huawei, who is required in the US on suspicion of violating sanctions in opposition to Iran.



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Former ANZ executive uses new whistleblower laws to sue ANZ bank


A former high paid ANZ executive has launched an unfair dismissal case against the bank, accusing his former employer of punishing him for making complaints about the alleged manipulation of interest rates.

The case is thought to be the first test of new whistleblower protection legislation brought in following the Financial Services Royal Commission last year.

Etienne Alexiou, ANZ’s former Global Head of Balance Sheet Trading, claims he was targeted and eventually dismissed by the bank after raising a number of complaints about manipulation of a key interbank interest rate market known as the BBSW (Bank Bill Swap Rate).

ANZ fired Mr Alexiou for breaching bank policies by engaging in lewd and explicit conversations on the company’s chat system.

But Mr Alexiou has claimed the bank had other reasons to get rid of him.

In his statement of claim filed to the Federal Court he alleges the bank was aware he had been cooperating with the regulator ASIC in their investigations into BBSW manipulation and could potentially become a key witness.

‘We will tell the regulator what to think’

This is the second case brought by Mr Alexiou against his former employers, after he dropped a similar suit in 2016, citing the expense and stress on his family.

The case implicates senior figures in banking including NAB chairman Phil Chronican and current ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott.

According to the Statement of Claim filed in the Federal Court, Mr Chronican, who was then CEO of ANZ Australia and head of retail, attended a meeting with Mr Alexiou in 2011.

Mr Alexiou alleges he raised concerns during the meeting about a proposal to change the way variable interest rates were managed inside the bank to increase profits.

The proposal involved allowing ANZ to set variable rates on mortgages independent to the RBA cash rate.

Mr Alexiou alleges he warned the proposal may fall foul of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, and would constitute a breach of faith with mortgage holders.

He claims his concerns were dismissed by Mr Chronican, who said at the time: “We will tell the regulator what to think.”

Mr Chronicon did not respond to the allegation, but in a statement a NAB spokesman said: “We do not comment on matters before the courts.”

“This is an issue between ANZ and a former employee.”

In the statement of claim, Mr Alexiou also alleges current ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott was aware of the bank’s strategy to profit from trading to manipulate the BBSW.

The BBSW is a benchmark used to set the interest on trillions of dollars in short-term loans between the banks, as well as many other corporate transactions.

It was supposed to be an independent rate, and was set by the market at the start of each trading day, during a five-minute window.

But the bank was accused of manipulating it and profiting from it. ANZ has always strenuously denied this.

The Statement of Claim filed by Mr Alexiou alleges ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott was involved in a proposal to increase funding limits for the Global markets division, allowing them to buy and sell bank bills in greater volumes and influence the market.

ANZ said in a statement that it will be defending the case.

It said Mr Alexiou was dismissed for significant breaches of company policies and that his current case is largely the same claim he withdrew after mediation in July 2016.

“Given this is now before the courts, we don’t have any further comment,” the company said.

ANZ was fined $50 million in 2017 after it admitted that it had attempted to manipulate the BBSW on 10 occasions between 2010 to 2012.

The bank maintained that only “a small number of traders” were involved.

Whistleblower describes toxic culture

Mr Alexiou was stood down from the bank in 2014 for swearing and making inappropriate comments using the online platform Bloomberg chat, which was internally monitored by the bank.

Shortly before being stood down he was awarded performance bonuses totalling $5 million on top of his $485,000-a-year salary.

He later apologised for the comments and said they were commonplace and taken out of context.

In his statement, Mr Alexiou describes a toxic male-dominated culture inside the Global Markets division at ANZ, including trips to strip clubs, lewd language referencing sex, drugs and alcohol, and claims strong swear words were commonly used in ANZ’s dealing room.

Last year, a Background Briefing investigation exposed the behaviour of one manager, Steve Bellotti, who was known for his drunken and sometimes bizarre antics.

Trips to strip clubs were not uncommon under his leadership, former traders from ANZ told the ABC.

He was also at the centre of a complaint involving the “manhandling” of a female analyst at a corporate event, which allegedly involved several ANZ executives putting their hands on her shoulders, preventing her from leaving, and repeatedly badgering her for her room number.

Mr Bellotti has previously not commented on questions regarding this incident.

He headed the global markets division and resigned from ANZ in 2015.

While ANZ has always denied deliberately manipulating the BBSW, it did admit to “attempted unconscionable conduct” by a small group of traders.

This conduct occurred in Mr Bellotti’s backyard as he headed up the team.



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Oxfam says Greece’s exploitative asylum laws are a blatant attack on refugees


Global NGO Oxfam attacked Greece’s new asylum regulation on Thursday, declaring it brought about “exploitation of individuals” and constitutes “a blatant assault” on Europe’s humanitarian motivation to shield refugees.

Conservative Key Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis came to energy a 12 months ago with the goal of cutting down the range of migrants and refugees arriving in Greece, the principal gateway for asylum seekers into Europe in 2019. 

The federal government tightened its policy by dashing up asylum procedures and lowering migrants’ entry to health companies or lawful support.

Refugees wait at the shut-off Turkish-Greek border in an endeavor to enter Europe.

AAP

“The new Greek asylum method is made to deport individuals relatively than give them safety and safety,” warned Oxfam and the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) in a joint report revealed on Thursday.

“This signifies that folks who have fled violence and persecution have very little prospect of a reasonable asylum treatment, and even family members with children are routinely detained in inhumane problems.”

In the report, the two NGOs clarify how the reformed asylum regulation in Greece, in outcome since January 1 and amended in May possibly, “exposes people today to abuse and exploitation”. 

“This problem is additional aggravated by the inhumane residing circumstances in Greece’s refugee camps the place people are now at threat of a devastating health and fitness disaster ought to COVID-19 access the camps.”

Evelien van Roemburg, director of Oxfam’s migration marketing campaign in Europe, also accused the European Union for currently being “complicit” in the new plan.

“Greece’s new regulation is a blatant assault on Europe’s humanitarian dedication to defend people today fleeing conflict and persecution,” she mentioned. 

“The European Union is complicit in this abuse, simply because for a long time it has been applying Greece as a test ground for new migration guidelines. 

“We are incredibly anxious that the EU will now use Greece’s asylum technique as a blueprint for Europe’s forthcoming asylum reform.”

More than 33,000 asylum seekers reside in squalid camps on 5 islands in the Aegean Sea, which were being created to home a overall of only 5,400 folks.

A further 70,000 migrants are crowded into other facilities on the Greek mainland.



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Australia condemns Hong Kong security laws imposed by China


Australia has expressed deep concern about the “troubling” security laws China has imposed on Hong Kong.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne says the laws threaten Hong Kong’s judicial independence, and the rights and freedoms of its people.

“The eyes of the world will remain on Hong Kong,” Senator Payne said on Wednesday.

New national security laws for Hong Kong punish crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.

China’s parliament passed the detailed legislation on Tuesday, giving Beijing sweeping powers over its implementation and setting the stage for the most radical changes in decades to the global financial hub’s way of life.

Camera IconA man is stopped and searched by police during a rally against the national security law. Credit: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Beijing had kept full details shrouded in secrecy, giving Hong Kong’s 7.5 million people no time to digest the complex legislation before it came into force at 11pm local time.

The timing was seen as a symbolic humiliation for Britain, coming just an hour before the 23rd anniversary of when Hong Kong’s last colonial governor Chris Patten, a staunch critic of the law, tearfully handed back Hong Kong to Chinese rule.

Amid fears the law will crush the city’s freedoms, prominent activist Joshua Wong’s Demosisto and other pro-democracy groups said they would dissolve.

University of Hong Kong law professor and barrister Simon Young was highly critical of the legislation.

“The punitive elements of the law are stupefying,” he said.

“Let us hope no one tries to test this law, for the consequences to the individual and the legal system will be irreparable.”

The legislation pushes Beijing further along a collision course with the US, Britain and other Western governments, which have said it erodes the high degree of autonomy the city was granted at its July 1, 1997, handover.

Britain and some two dozen Western countries urged China to reconsider the law, saying Beijing must preserve the right to assembly and free press.

The US condemned the legislation as a violation of Beijing’s international commitments and vowed to go on acting “against those who smothered Hong Kong’s freedom and autonomy”.

China has approved a contentious national security law that will allow authorities to crack down on subversive and secessionist activity in Hong Kong.
Camera IconChina has approved a contentious national security law that will allow authorities to crack down on subversive and secessionist activity in Hong Kong. Credit: Liu Weibing/AP

Washington, already in dispute with China over trade, the South China Sea and the coronavirus, began eliminating Hong Kong’s special status under US law on Monday, halting defence exports and restricting technology access.

China said it would retaliate.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, in a video message to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, urged the international community to “respect our country’s right to safeguard national security”.

She said the law would not undermine the city’s autonomy or its independent judiciary.

In their most severe form, crimes will be punishable with life in prison.

Punishments otherwise largely go up to 10 years. Properties related to crimes could be frozen or confiscated.

The security legislation will supersede existing Hong Kong laws where there is a conflict and mainland Chinese authorities could exercise jurisdiction over some major cases.

Interpretation powers belong to the Chinese parliament’s top decision-making body.

Judges for security cases will be appointed by the city’s chief executive.

According to the law, a new national security agency will be set up for the first time in Hong Kong and will not be under the jurisdiction of the local government.

Authorities can carry out surveillance and wire-tap people suspected of endangering national security, it said.



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Pro-democracy activists say China’s new security laws are ‘the end of Hong Kong’ as we know it


China passed a sweeping national protection law for Hong Kong on Tuesday, a historic transfer that critics and numerous western governments panic will smother the finance hub’s freedoms and hollow out its autonomy.

The laws was unanimously accepted by China’s rubber-stamp parliament on Tuesday morning, minimal more than 6 months following it was 1st unveiled, sending shockwaves by means of semi-autonomous Hong Kong and further than.

“It marks the conclude of Hong Kong that the environment understood ahead of,” well known democracy campaigner Joshua Wong tweeted as his political party Demosisto declared it was disbanding. 

“With sweeping powers and ill-outlined law, the town will flip into a #secretpolicestate.”

The United States, Britain, the European Union and the United Nations rights watchdog have all voiced fears the law could be utilised to stifle criticism of Beijing, which wields related rules on the authoritarian mainland to crush dissent. 

In an unprecedented choice, the law bypassed Hong Kong’s fractious legislature and the wording was saved magic formula from the city’s 7.5 million inhabitants.

“The countrywide protection regulation for Hong Kong was formally passed by the Nationwide People’s Congress Standing Committee right now,” the DAB, Hong Kong’s most significant pro-Beijing celebration, explained in a assertion on Tuesday welcoming the law.

A protester gestures for the duration of a rally in Hong Kong.

Getty

There was no formal announcement from Beijing on the passage of the regulation. As an alternative the information filtered out by way of pro-Beijing politicians and nearby media retailers in Hong Kong.

“We haven’t viewed the particulars… but all Hong Kong delegates firmly assistance the legislation,” Henry Tang, leader of a group of pro-institution Hong Kong figures invited to a conference at Beijing’s Liaison Workplace Tuesday afternoon, explained to reporters.

But Beijing’s opacity has infuriated some others. 

“The actuality that Hong Kong persons will only appear to know what is actually really in this new legislation right after the point is a lot more than preposterous,” Claudia Mo, an opposition lawmaker, advised AFP.

Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao – two Hong Kong newspapers that serve as conduits for Beijing’s official policy – also verified the passing of the legislation, as did several local Hong Kong media outlets citing nameless sources in Beijing. 

Even as phrase filtered out that the regulation had been accredited, Hong Kongers remained in the darkish about its contents and what might now represent a criminal offense. 

At her weekly press convention on Tuesday morning, Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam – a professional-Beijing appointee – declined to comment on no matter whether the law experienced been passed or what it contained. 

“I imagine at this instant, it is not proper for me to comment on any concerns linked to the countrywide protection regulation,” she told reporters.

‘End of Hong Kong’

As section of the 1997 handover from Britain, Hong Kong was guaranteed selected freedoms – as perfectly as judicial and legislative autonomy – for 50 yrs in a deal regarded as “A single Country, Two Systems”.

The system formed the bedrock of the city’s transformation into a planet class enterprise hub, bolstered by a dependable judiciary and political freedoms unseen on the mainland. 

Critics have long accused Beijing of chipping absent at that position, but they explain the stability regulation as the most brazen move but.

A summary of the regulation released by the formal state agency Xinhua this thirty day period reported the laws would include subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with international forces. 

China’s stability companies will be able to set up shop publicly in the town for the to start with time.  

And Beijing will have jurisdiction over some conditions, toppling the authorized firewall that has existed in between Hong Kong and the mainland’s celebration-controlled courts. 

Analysts reported that even without information the protection legislation radically restructures the romance between Beijing and Hong Kong. 

“It’s a essential modify that dramatically undermines both of those the area and worldwide community’s self-confidence in the direction of Hong Kong’s “A person State, Two Programs” product and its position as a robust fiscal centre,” Hong Kong political analyst Dixon Sing instructed AFP.

On the mainland, nationwide security guidelines are routinely made use of to jail critics, especially for the vague offence of “subversion”.

Beijing and Hong Kong’s governing administration reject these allegations. 

They have reported the regulations will only concentrate on a minority of men and women, will not hurt political freedoms in the city and will restore enterprise confidence after a calendar year of historic pro-democracy protests. 

Tens of millions took to the streets final calendar year when a smaller sized tough main of protesters regularly battled law enforcement in frequently violent confrontations that noticed additional than 9,000 arrested.

Hong Kong banned protests in current months, citing past unrest and the coronavirus pandemic, whilst neighborhood transmissions have finished.

Some western nations warned of potential repercussions in advance of the security law’s passing. 

Nevertheless several are also cautious of incurring Beijing’s wrath and dropping lucrative entry to the mainland’s huge overall economy.

“We deplore this decision,” European Council head Charles Michel informed a press meeting Tuesday.

“This legislation threats very seriously undermining the substantial diploma of autonomy of Hong Kong,” Michel reported in comments recurring by European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen.

Chris Patten, the previous British governor of the territory, claimed in a statement that the choice marked “the end of just one-place, two-devices.” 

Washington – which has embarked on a trade war with China – has said the safety law suggests Hong Kong no more time enjoys ample autonomy from the mainland to justify unique status. 

In a largely symbolic go, the United States on Monday ended delicate defence exports to Hong Kong around the law.

China claimed it would acquire unspecified “countermeasures” in response.

Britain experienced reported it was willing to deliver a “pathway to citizenship” for millions of Hong Kongers if the safety regulation went in advance.



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Heads should roll after scathing report into environment laws – 16 News


Heads should roll over the ineptitude and failure of duty identified by the Auditor-General in a scathing report into Australia’s environment laws released this afternoon, the Greens say.
Greens Spokesperson for the Environment Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“The Auditor-General’s assessment of the government’s management of the environment and our wildlife is scathing.
“The report shows the Environment Minister and the Federal Department have failed to protect the environment and are, simply put, incompetent.
“Heads should roll over this ineptitude and failure of duty. If this was the Health Minister who had overseen the botched implementation and enforcement of health and safety regulations, they and the head of their department would get the sack. The environment should be no different.
“The PM needs to abandon his so-called fast-track environmental approvals and Labor needs to get off the unity ticket with the government. There can be no argument for weakening environmental laws when the government is this inept.
“The laws have failed to protect Australia’s environment and wildlife for far too long. Things must change. We need stronger protection, not weaker laws.
“This report shows, it’s not just incompetency, it’s a lack of care and duty that has allowed the trashing of the environment. Putting the interests of miners and developers ahead of clean water, critical habitat and the survival of our native animals.
“The government cannot guarantee that not one more hectare of critical koala habitat will be lost under their plan. They cannot guarantee that not one more sacred Aboriginal site will be blown up.
“Enough is enough. There must be accountability, and it must be at the top. Not only do our environmental laws need an overhaul but clearly so does those who are in charge of administering them.
“The 10-year review into the EPBC Act, which the PM and Minister Ley haven’t even waited for before plotting a path to further environmental destruction, will be handed to the government next week and must be immediately released.
“Australians won’t accept anything less than a response that puts our environment first, and well ahead of vested interests that pollute and destroy our precious natural places.”



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NT government scraps sexual assault gag laws


Sexual assault survivors in the Northern Territory have finally won the right to speak out under their real names, without risk of prosecution, following the passing of landmark new laws today.

Until now, it has been a crime for all sexual assault victims in the Northern Territory to self-identify in media, and journalists who named survivors – even with their full consent – could face up to six months jail, heavy fines, or both.

In 2018, news.com.au launched the #LetHerSpeak campaign in partnership with End Rape On Campus Australia and Marque Lawyers.

The campaign was created to call for an immediate overhaul of archaic victim gag-laws which silenced sexual assault survivors in both the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

In April this year, the Tasmanian Government reformed their laws, and the NT Government has now followed suit.

“It feels amazing, as up until now I was treated like I was criminal” says Adriana*, a sexual assault survivor from the NT whose story will be published in full, in coming weeks.

“I’ve wanted to share my story and I wasn’t able to. It’s been so hard for me, and also for other women who have also had to wait.”

Sandra*, another sexual assault survivor from the NT, says she feels “relieved” and “overwhelmed” by today’s news.

“This gives me back a bit more freedom. It’s been such a long journey and when you’re sitting in a courtroom it doesn’t feel like anything positive will ever come out of what you’ve been through.”

In 2017, Sandra was raped at work, during a bucks night just outside of Darwin.

The offender was found guilty and sentenced to three years and six months jail, to be suspended after nine months. Sandra has been waiting to tell her story ever since.

“The amount of times I’ve wanted to write something on Facebook to explain to people what happened to me, my true feelings, and why I fell off the face of the earth … but I couldn’t even do that,” she told news.com.au.

“It made me feel even more isolated, like I was the bad one who did something wrong. So I’m glad that other (sexual assault survivors) aren’t going to have to worry about that anymore, when they should be worried about focusing on getting better.”

Michael Bradley, who represents both Adriana and Sandra, and is the managing partner of Marque Lawyers, says that the reform “restores the balance to where it should be”.

“It’s been really rewarding working directly with the survivors along with End Rape On Campus to make this happen. This is a great day for survivors.”

Grace Tame, who became the first female sexual assault survivor ever to win the right to self-identify in Tasmania, said that she was thrilled that the #LetHerSpeak campaign had achieved “another victory”.

“This is a testament to the power of teamwork. This is what is achievable when we band together in support of one another,” she said.

The NT Attorney-General, Natasha Fyles, praised those sexual assault survivors who wish to tell their stories.

“The retelling of (survivor) stories no longer attracts the stigma of shame or embarrassment and can be an important part of the healing process – our legislative amendments are an important mechanism to allow survivors to do that.”

If you or someone you know has been impacted by sexual violence, support is available by calling 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

Nina Funnell is the creator of the #LetHerSpeak campaign in partnership with news.com.au, NT News, The Mercury, Marque Lawyers and End Rape On Campus Australia.

Nina was awarded the 2020 Our Watch award by the Walkley Foundation for the #LetHerSpeak campaign.



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Donation laws prove tricky in phoney war on super — while the real war hots up


While the Liberal Party continues to attack the sector super sector, the profound flaws on the retail tremendous design are about to be played out in courtroom.

Liberal MP Tim Wilson (Graphic: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Although the Liberal Social gathering, and related media organs keep on to assault superannuation, a incredibly authentic sequel to past attacks is about to engage in out in courtroom.

Crikey has been waiting around with bated breath for when the hottest set of responses to concerns about super money requested by Household of Reps economics committee chair Tim Wilson would mysteriously transform up in the offices of the Financial Review and Information Corp papers.

Oddly, immediately after we named this peculiar phenomenon out and commenced asking Wilson on Twitter about when we could anticipate anti-industry money posts primarily based on the responses to commence demonstrating up in the media, no this sort of content articles appeared in its place, the answers popped up exactly where they are meant to be — on the committee’s internet site.

On nearer inspection, nonetheless, we just can’t just take any credit rating for that, due to the fact it seems that super cash gave Wilson and his tame journalists minor to work with.

Get for example Wilson’s dilemma about super resources lending fairness to two favourite targets of the anti-industry fund marketing campaign, Hostplus and Relaxation. “Since 12 March 2020, has your fund presented any liquidity to: a) Relaxation? b) Hostplus? c) any other superannuation fund?” Wilson demanded of super funds, nervous to sniff out a suggestion that business resources ended up propping up their mates. “No,” they unanimously chorused — which includes Hostplus and Rest.

But Wilson went further. He asked Hostplus, Rest and a different field fund, CBUS, “is your fund now going through a liquidity disaster?” and if not, “is there one more crisis your fund is presently experiencing?”

Let us phase back for some perspective below: this is the chair of Parliament’s economics committee suggesting — as section of an ideological campaign versus field super resources — that a few industry cash may confront a liquidity or some other form of disaster.

If the current market didn’t know that backbench hacks like Wilson are simply engaged in their program assaults on the market sector, such solutions could have actual and detrimental effects for the funds — which definitely could not have been Wilson’s intention?

Hostplus observed that given there was a world pandemic, it experienced activated its disaster administration strategy “to guarantee the protection of its staff members and the continuity of provider to its members” but in any other case there was no disaster. “Cbus is not now experiencing a liquidity or any other sort of crisis,” Cbus replied.

It was field fund peak physique Business Super Australia, having said that, that ashamed Wilson, who assumed he experienced caught ISA out in the fabled Labor fundraising that Liberals have been accusing the business sector of.

“In the 2018-19 year, according to AEC documents, ISA made a contribution of $1,600 to the Labor Social gathering. Can you offer clarification on that?” he demanded at a listening to in May well. ISA was content to.

“ISA attends the government’s price range night purpose and opposition spending plan reply perform, tickets cost $800 for each human being and two ISA personnel attended equally functions in 2018/19. The Labor Get together has a lower reporting threshold for receipts to the AEC than the Liberal Party which describes why the AEC described this expenditure on its web-site for the opposition (Labor) function but not the govt (Liberal) event.”

Wilson experienced been caught out by his have party’s refusal to offer transparency about its political donations.

Whilst Wilson and co are squandering the time of tremendous resources with vexatious issues, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission — these times at minimum making an attempt to do the occupation it conspicuously avoided accomplishing for so many a long time — was planning a big scenario against Colonial Very first Condition and its previous operator (now part-operator), the Commonwealth Financial institution.

In an motion submitted on Monday, ASIC promises that CFS compensated CBA to market its “Essential Super” item by way of its department community from 2013-18 — paid $22 million, to be specific, masking nearly 400,000 individuals who finished up signing up. Following the Hayne royal fee uncovered the arrangement, ASIC filed a civil circumstance towards both equally of them underneath the conflicted remuneration provisions of the Long term of Economic Guidance rules set in area by Bill Shorten when Labor was in authorities. That’s the FOFA guidelines the Liberals attempted desperately to repeal when they bought into authorities.

The Important Super situation is the best demonstration of what was mistaken with retail super and why the FOFA guidelines ended up important. The Commonwealth Lender was paid out by its subsidiary to flog a super solution to consumers allegedly regardless of their personal money needs and regardless of the performance of the fund. And Important Tremendous and CSF associates paid for the privilege by means of a movement of revenue to CSF’s proprietor.

There was certainly a disaster in superannuation — a single the Liberals overlooked until eventually they had been pressured to call a royal commission that uncovered these kinds of rorts.

Peter Fray

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But to do that effectively, we need subscribers. Tons of them.

Join Crikey now, and for the initial time ever, pick out what you pay.

Peter Fray
Editor-In-Chief of Crikey

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Meddick may have breached conflict laws: Opposition


“This is extraordinary stuff.”

Victorian Opposition Leader, Michael O’Brien.Credit:Darrian Traynor

Mr Meddick did not answer specific questions but said his son had taken a job at the UFU in 2019.

“Last year, my son accepted a casual two-week assignment with the United Firefighters Union – a job that he was tertiary-qualified and had the relevant experience for,” Mr Meddick said.

“He was paid the sum total of $2035. As a long-term unionist, I am so proud of him and the work that he did. My son got the job on his own merits and received a job he deserved.”

But Mr O’Brien said: “Why Meddick did not feel the need to disclose this to the chamber before he voted is beyond me.

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“Andy Meddick and [UFU boss] Peter Marshall have got a lot of explaining to do given these revelations.”

“I think … if a close family member has suddenly got a very short-term paying role with the union at the same time as a piece of legislation directly benefiting that union is before the Parliament, there’s an obligation to disclose it.”

United Firefighters Union Secretary Peter Marshall.

United Firefighters Union Secretary Peter Marshall.Credit:AAP

The anti-corruption commission IBAC is separately investigating the UFU over whether it sought to corruptly influence state government figures, all the way up to the Premier, in its enterprise bargaining dispute and other dealings linked to Victoria’s fire services.

The fire services reform bill was one of Mr Andrews’ key drives, taking 4½ years to pass the Parliament and claiming the scalps of one minister, Jane Garrett, and two fire chiefs, Lucinda Nolan and Joe Buffone. The Andrews government also sacked the entire Country Fire Authority board in 2016 at the height of tensions.

The legislation enabled the CFA’s 1220 brigades to become volunteer-only and stations with career firefighters to merge with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, to become known as Fire Rescue Victoria. The move was seen by volunteer firefighters and the Victorian opposition as a union power grab.

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