Former Liberal leader Andrew Peacock dies aged 82


Former Liberal leader Andrew Peacock has died in the United States aged 82.

Dubbed the “colt from Kooyong”, Mr Peacock served as foreign minister from 1975-1980 under Malcolm Fraser.

As leader of the Liberal party, he was defeated by Bob Hawke in the 1984 and 1990 elections.

In a tribute on social media, his daughter Ann Peacock said she was devastated.

“To my beautiful, loving, most caring, thoughtful, generous and brilliant father, you will be so greatly missed, your guidance and deep love for us will live in my heart, we are absolutely devastated.

“Daddy, love you more than the world, please continue to look after us all. You will live within us forever and ever.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described Mr Peacock as “a great Australian and a treasure of the Liberal Party”.

“He was one of our greatest Liberals, who helped shape Australia and the Liberal Party over three decades.

“Andrew Peacock served in parliament for over 28 years and was a minister in the Gorton, McMahon and Fraser governments; and led the Liberal Party to two elections.

“After his service in parliament, he served as Australia’s ambassador to the United States.

“He was a distinguished minister for foreign affairs who built deep relationships across the region.

“He was vocal in his denunciation of the Pol Pot regime in Kampuchea, despising what he called that ‘loathsome regime’.

“Andrew was known as the ‘colt from Kooyong’, a term which did not do justice to his thoroughness, intellect and capacity to make friends far and wide,” Mr Morrison said.

“As leader of the opposition, Andrew Peacock led the Liberal Party in the 1984 and 1990 elections. In both elections he picked up seats against a popular prime minister, but not enough to win government”, Mr Morrison said.

In the 1990s he used his enormous personal skills to strengthen the close relationships with our most important strategic ally while he was Australia’s ambassador in Washington DC, the Prime Minster said.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the current Member for Kooyong, said Australia had lost one of its “political greats”.

“He championed liberal ideals and provided strong and good government,” Mr Frydenberg wrote on Twitter.

“He was authentic, tough and possessed a dry sense of humour.

“He will be remembered fondly on both sides of the political aisle as he played his politics as he pursued life, with vigour, dignity and decency.”

Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett said Mr Peacock was a “very successful foreign minister”.

Former Liberal leader John Hewson said Mr Peacock was a “truly great Australian”.

“A pleasure to work for and with. I counted him as a genuine friend. Hard to do in politics,” he wrote on Twitter.

Mr Peacock is survived by his third wife Penne and three children.

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Former Liberal leader Andrew Peacock remembered as ‘a treasure of the Liberal Party’ following his death at 82


Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says his predecessor as Kooyong MP, former Liberal leader Andrew Peacock, “combined great elegance, style and substance” and would be missed after his death at 82.

Mr Peacock’s chief Liberal Party rival John Howard, meanwhile, says the Victorian “played a dominant role” in the party’s history and the pair had “buried the hatchet” long ago.

Mr Peacock, dubbed the “colt from Kooyong,” served in parliament for over 28 years, was a minister in the Gorton, McMahon and Fraser governments and led the Liberal Party to two elections.

He was also foreign minister from 1975 to 1980 in the Fraser government.

Mr Peacock died on Friday at his home in the United States.

Former Liberal leader Andrew Peacock has died at the age of 82 in the United States.

AAP

Mr Frydenberg, the current member for Kooyong in Melbourne’s east, said Mr Peacock had “left an indelible mark” on Australian politics.

“He carried the baton of his (Kooyong) predecessor Sir Robert Menzies – there was no more popular, no more respected Victorian Liberal than Andrew Peacock,” Mr Frydenberg told reporters on Saturday.

“His passing will be mourned by those on both sides of the political aisle because he pursued his politics as he pursued life – with vigour, with dignity and with the utmost decency.”

Mr Frydenberg said Mr Peacock “combined great elegance, style, and substance” and he was honoured to follow in his footsteps as Kooyong MP.

Mr Peacock launched Mr Frydenberg’s first campaign to win the Kooyong seat and was one of his referees for pre-selection, along with Mr Howard.

Mr Peacock and Mr Howard – who served as prime minister from 1996 to 2007 – tussled for the Liberal leadership for much of the late 1980s.

Mr Howard said he had long ago “buried the hatchet” with Mr Peacock, who he labelled a man of flair and distinction with a deep understanding of US politics.

After leaving parliament in 1994, Mr Peacock served as Australia’s ambassador to the United States from 1997 to 1999.

“As is well known, Andrew and I had our differences but we well and truly buried the hatchet many years ago,” Mr Howard said.

“We were both very committed to the future of the Liberal Party and, above all else, to our country.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement on Friday night that “Andrew Peacock was a great Australian and a treasure of the Liberal Party”.

“He was one of our greatest Liberals who helped shape Australia and the Liberal Party over three decades,” Mr Morrison said.

“To his wife Penne and his family, Jenny and I extend the sympathies of the government and the Liberal Party.”

Mr Peacock’s daughter Ann Peacock said on social media she was devastated.

“To my beautiful, loving, most caring, thoughtful, generous and brilliant father, you will be so greatly missed, your guidance and deep love for us will live in my heart, we are absolutely devastated,” Ms Peacock said.

“Daddy, love you more than the world, please continue to look after us all. You will live within us forever and ever.”

Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett tweeted that he and Mr Peacock “shared a long friendship of political highs and lows”.

Mr Morrison also said Mr Peacock had the difficult job of being minister for the army during the Vietnam War.

He was also minister for external territories and was instrumental in gaining Australian acceptance for independence for Papua New Guinea, whose government later made him an honorary chief.



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ISB Top 50 leader among 2021 retail innovation award winners


The Retail Doctor Group has announced the six winners of the 2021 edition of its Australian Retail Innovators awards. The awards are designed to showcase retailers who are outstanding in their approach to innovation and out-of-the-box thinking across the six categories. An international panel of retail experts were invited to select the winners from a pool of finalists chosen for their contributions to the retail industry over the past year.

The winners, chosen for their exemplary service and performance, in each of the six award categories are:

Customer Experience category

Genesis Motors took out this category for their “fresh take on the car sales model, and meeting customers more than halfway in the purchase journey.”

Between The Flags for Digital Innovators category

Between the flags were lauded by the judges for “having grasped the possibilities of digital technology” with their implementation of in-store touchscreens that enable customers to pick up where they left off online, without having to restart the buying process from scratch.

Omnichannel Excellence category

Mecca were named as the omnichannel champions for bridging the gap between their online community and in-store service experience by offering video calls with their beauty experts, livestreamed tutorials and a physical selfie studio directly connected to social media platforms.

The Party People for Research & Strategic Focus category

Inside Small Business 2020 Top 50 Small Business Leader Dean Salakas added to his trophy cabinet by bagging this award category for having “successfully kept on top of rapidly changing consumer needs during a volatile year” through adapting their product range top offer a coronavirus survival category of party goods.

Good Sammy Enterprises for Social Cause category

Good Sammy Enterprises in WA won this award category for or providing opportunities for the people with a disability in the state through training and development programs, in-house jobs and advocating for opportunities in the wider community for their clients.

Inspiring retail leaders

Five people took this category out for their innovation and having “proven themselves as outstanding leaders, guiding their teams to greatness and pushing the boundaries of success”. They are:

  • Anthony Grice, CEO of Clark Rubber
  • Anthony Heraghty, CEO & MD of Super Retail Group
  • Feras Karem, CEO & MD of Pharmacy 4 Less
  • Sean Farrell, Head of Retail at Ben & Jerry’s ANZ; and
  • Stephanie Leathers, General Manager at Aje.



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Ready To Talk If Centre Invites, No Change In Demands: Farmer Leader Rakesh Tikait


“All three black farm laws should be repealed,” Rakesh Tikait said. (File)

Ghaziabad:

Farmers protesting the contentious new farm laws are ready to talk if the centre invites them, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said on Sunday, maintaining that the dialogue would resume where it had ended on January 22 and the demands remain unchanged.

He said for the talks to resume, the government should invite the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body representing the protestors who are camping at the three border points of Delhi at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur since November 2020.

“The talks with the government would resume from the same point where it had ended on January 22. The demands are also the same — all three ”black” farm laws should be repealed, a new law made to ensure MSP (minimum support price) for crops,” Mr Tikait was quoted as saying in a statement issued by BKU media in-charge Dharmendra Malik.

The BKU national spokesperson’s remarks came in response to Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij urging Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to resume talks with protesting farmers amid the coronavirus scare looming large.

Maintaining that a surge in the coronavirus cases is being seen across the country and the situation is turning bad in Haryana too, Mr Vij said he is worried about the farmers protesting on the state borders with Delhi.

The protestors and the government last had a formal dialogue over the contentious issue on January 22 but the impasse continued. On January 26, the protestors had carried out a ”tractor parade” in Delhi which had escalated into a violence involving farmers and the police in the national capital.

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Ground penetrating radar used in search for burial site of Queensland Indigenous leader King Billy Turner


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised this article contains the name of a person who has died.

The device is a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) scanner and can reveal soil disturbances several metres below the surface.

Mr Thompson and Ms Schollum hope the technology will help confirm what they have long believed — that Yuggera man King Billy Turner was buried in Shapcott Park in the late 1800s.

Their belief is based on newspaper reports of oral recollections and traditional Indigenous burial practices, where scarred trees were often used to mark burial sites.

In the mid-to-late 1800s, the land around Shapcott Park, in the Ipswich suburb of Brassall, was farmland belonging to John Jacob Vogel.

Old newspaper reports and maps suggest this area on the farm was a hunting ground and the site of corroborees for local Yuggera people.

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BLM leader ripped for ‘buying $1.4 million Los Angeles home’ in predominantly white neighborhood — RT USA News



Critics are blasting Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Black Lives Matter ‘co-founder,’ over reports she recently purchased a $1.4-million Los Angeles home in an exclusive neighborhood that comprises primarily white residents.

Khan-Cullors’ lavish Topanga Canyon home, which consists of three bedrooms and a guest house, is in a neighborhood that is nearly 90% white, according to reports. The home was sold to a corporate entity controlled by the 37-year-old activist. 

The social activist helped create the Black Lives Matter movement after spurring debate with the #blacklivesmatter hashtag in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The movement has since become central to race debates in the US and across the world, with protests popping up in major cities highlighting the controversial deaths of black Americans such as George Floyd. 



Also on rt.com
Tensions high ahead of #WhiteLivesMatter rally in California: KKK and BLM expected to show up


Khan-Cullors, a self-described Marxist, has been blasted on social media following reports of the sale going public, with critics accusing her of exploiting the social justice movement for her own profit. 

“About to quit my job to go into activism. Looks more lucrative,” one Twitter user noted

“Under Marxism, the people in charge always live well. This is an excellent example of why knowing history is important,” Townhall contributor Mike LaChance wrote

It’s unclear how much Khan-Cullors financially pulls from her work with BLM, but the group brought in a whopping $90 million in donations last year. Since creating the movement, the activist has published a memoir as well as signed a deal with Warner Bros. to help create content that centers around black people’s stories. 

BLM’s other co-founders have parted ways with the organization, leaving Khan-Cullors as its sole leader, though that position has been heavily criticized. According to a report from Politico last year, local organizers were questioning the disbursement of funds within the group, saying they had seen little to no financial support and needed to rely on crowdfunding to stay afloat.



Also on rt.com
‘Don’t be surprised if buildings burn’: BLM activist warns ‘all hell will break loose’ if Chauvin acquitted of George Floyd murder


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Singapore becomes a global cruise leader, for now



FILE PHOTO: Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas cruise ship is moored at Marina Bay Cruise Center after a passenger tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a cruise to nowhere, in Singapore, December 9, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

April 8, 2021

By Chen Lin

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore currently accounts for a third of the world’s cruises its tourism body said on Wednesday, owing to the roaring success of its “cruises to nowhere” at a time of crisis in the industry globally.

Cruises have yet to restart in many parts of the world after taking a beating from the coronavirus pandemic, with some of the earliest big outbreaks found on cruise ships.

The city-state launched what it called “round trips” on luxury liners in November, which have no port of call and last only a few days. Singapore has seen relatively few domestic COVID-19 cases since last year.

The Singapore cruises are open only to its 5.7 million residents, who have been unable to leave the tiny country for leisure and have settled instead for activities like staycations and even indoor camping.

The cruises recorded about 120,000 passengers, according to the Singapore Tourism Board, and run at lower capacity, with stringent health protocols.

The tourism board said it calculated its share of global cruises by using data from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Some cruises from the Caribbean are expected to resume from June while the U.S. Centers for Disease has retained tight curbs on resuming cruises from the United States.

Some cruises have operated in parts of Europe, Asia and the South Pacific, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

Royal Caribbean said this month that it was extending the season in Singapore for its Quantum of the Seas ship due to “overwhelming demand” through October.

Genting Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean launched their pilot cruises late last year.

STB Chief Executive Keith Tan said Singapore did not expect to be leading in cruises for long.

“Over the next few months, I certainly believe there will be more resumption of cruise business in the Caribbean, and in the Mediterranean as well,” Tan said.

Singapore’s tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, with visitors dropping nearly 86% to 2.7 million last year.

(Reporting by Chen Lin; Writing by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Martin Petty)



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Why giving staff the title of “leader” is a good idea for your business


I have experienced firsthand how having a leader who deserves their title has been essential to the success of my business. One who can keep the team motivated and succeed in whatever action they were carrying out. Where the team would excel because they were being led by a leader who had earned their title, one who always led by example.

Be aware though the person you give the title of leader can make or shake your business. Therefore, great consideration should first be given before selecting someone for this title. Be sure exactly why you have chosen them; they must deserve it; they must be grateful for the opportunity and respect the honour that comes with having the title.

Many years ago, I worked in a corporate company where the role of leader was used as a power position, relationships came into play with who got promotions, preferred duties, higher wages, and other privileges depending on their relationship with the “leader and their title”. The work environment was one of untrust and despair, it did not matter what you produced in your workload, it was more important your social status with the leader as to how far you may go. At the time I really did not understand how wrong this misuse of power was, today I do.

You will know who to pick as your leader, they should be someone who follows all the rules, works smart, positive, has great communication skills, and is respected by their peers and most of all respects you, if you do not have that person, do not settle for less, try to find them or help someone become them.

Here are my four reasons why I think having a leader is a good one:

  1. To help steer your team toward success
    Having someone who has reason to uphold the standard you expect from all your team members. Who wants to be successful, not for power but because they have pride in what they are doing?
  2. Recognition and Reward for being an outstanding employee
    Some people do not want more than recognition from you to let them know you appreciate them and their efforts. Giving them a title of leader does this. It is giving them a reward for a job well done.
  3. They will take more ownership of their work
    When staff know they are appreciated by you they will endeavour to take on more ownership of their workplace. They will see their position as more than just a job.
  4. Help others grow
    If you have many employees, you may not have time to work with each of them and help them to grow and become better employees. When you give someone the title of leader, they will be able to help you to do this.

Over the years, the most success we have had with leaders is when we have had more than one at any given time, we spread them out, so we are covering most of our opening hours by having a leader present, someone who will always have our business in their mind and goes the extra mile to make sure things are being done right.

Marie Temby, author of “Simple Soulful Successful



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‘Deeply disturbed’: NSW Opposition leader calls for new inquiry into the deadly Luna Park Ghost Train fire


NSW Opposition leader Jodi McKay has called for a special commission of inquiry into the Luna Park Ghost Train fire, following fresh claims of foul play and a cover-up.

Ms McKay joined the families of the six children and one adult who died in the 1979 Ghost Train fire who were calling on the NSW government to urgently establish a new inquiry.

“We back the families completely,” the Labor leader said on Wednesday.

The ABC documentary series EXPOSED has featured former NSW police officers publicly claiming for the first time that gangster Abe Saffron was behind the blaze but was then protected by corrupt police and politicians.

Ms McKay said she was “deeply disturbed” by the revelations.

Demands for a new inquiry are mounting, with former NSW chief magistrate Clarrie Briese now calling for a royal commission.

“There is no question about it,” Mr Briese said.

“What this new evidence establishes is that these young boys lost their lives as a result of a fire, which was deliberately lit and apparently deliberately lit at the request of Saffron.”

The cause of the fatal 1979 Ghost Train fire at Sydney’s Luna Park has never been determined.(

Supplied

)

Mr Briese is supported by the architect of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Gary Sturgess.

“We owe it to those who died and their families,” Mr Sturgess said.

Attorney-general Mark Speakman has not committed to taking any action.

Mr Speakman said in a statement he had “asked the Department of Communities and Justice for advice on any appropriate action”.

EXPOSED has revealed a botched NSW police investigation led by a corrupt detective, Inspector Doug Knight, who suppressed evidence of arson, as well as disturbing accounts of witness intimidation.

The families of fire victims Richard Carroll and Michael Johnson are specifically seeking a new police investigation into whether the blaze was criminal.

When the ABC asked NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller if he would initiate a new inquiry, he said: “If NSW Police Force believes there is a way to take a criminal investigation forward then it will happen.

Commissioner Fuller said he had been monitoring the content of the ABC’s EXPOSED and that NSW police would consider “any new and compelling evidence with the New South Wales Coroner and the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission if required.”

He felt “great sympathy for the families of those lost in the fire” but declined to apologise to them on behalf of NSW Police for the initial police inquiry.

Commissioner Fuller noted the corruption allegations against Inspector Knight but said “any major investigation conducted in 1979 would be deficient in many respects” if judged against 2021 standards.

In 1989, a decade after the fire, the National Crime Authority found the original NSW police inquiry “grossly inadequate”.

Jenny Godson
Jenny Godson, who lost her whole family in the tragic Ghost Train fire, is calling for a new inquiry.(

ABC Exposed: Andy Taylor

)

Jenny Godson, who lost her whole family, said her husband John, 29, and two sons, Damien, 6, and Craig, 4, all deserved justice.

“I would like a royal commission because it’s so deep, it involves all the people that we put the utmost trust in in our life,” Ms Godson said.

“Please set the truth free.”

Sid Billings is also calling for closure.

His 13-year-old son Jonathan died in the blaze along with his three best friends.

“Let’s hope that today’s police force and government are honest,” Mr Billings said.

Close up of an upset man
Sid Billings lost his 13-year-old son Jonathan in the fire and is calling for closure.(

ABC Exposed: Andy Taylor

)

Sean Rahilly, the brother of Seamus, 13, who died in the fire, also wants an inquiry, “so that the truth in this matter comes out”.

A series of witnesses at Luna Park on the night of the fire described suspicious groups of “youths” or “bikies” and one witness reported overhearing a group discuss using kerosene and matches.

Those groups of people have never been found.

Two witnesses have told the ABC they felt “intimidated” and “hounded” to change statements that described suspicious circumstances.

Former NSW attorney-general and anti-corruption campaigner John Dowd, QC, has called for a royal commission as well as a fresh coronial inquest.

Former NSW Attorney General John Dowd
Former NSW attorney-general John Dowd, QC, has called for a royal commission as well as a fresh coronial inquest into the Ghost Train fire.(

ABC Exposed: Andy Taylor

)

“The ABC … has presented fresh and compelling evidence about the Ghost Train fire that warrants a re-investigation,” Mr Dowd said.

“Clearly, the families and the community require justice rather than a cover-up.”

In the final episode of EXPOSED on Tuesday evening, former police officers said there were “100 per cent sure” Saffron, Sydney’s Mr Sin, had ordered the fire.

“There is no doubt Saffron was behind that [fire] at Luna Park,” former sergeant Steve Bullock told the ABC.

The company that took over the Luna Park lease after the fire was run by Saffron’s two cousins and nephew, while 100 of his arcade gaming machines were installed at the funfair.

Two men shaking hands
Former NSW Premier Neville Wran and High Court judge Lionel Murphy.(

Sydney Morning Herald

)

The ABC also interviewed a key police officer who, for the first time, publicly confirmed details of an explosive allegation: that Saffron conspired with High Court judge Lionel Murphy and NSW premier Neville Wran to win the Luna Park lease after the fire.

Former senior sergeant Paul Egge, who testified in secret about the allegations in the mid-1980s, has told the ABC he read transcripts of the taped conversations at the time and that Saffron was behind the fire “100 per cent”.

He is supported by another former police officer who worked on the telephone taps, Roger Kilburn, who said he recalled a conversation involving Justice Murphy and Luna Park.

“The scenario really indicates that the corruption in this case went right to the top,” Mr Kilburn said.

Close up of a man with grey hair and glasses
Former police officer Roger Kilburn says there should be another inquest into the Ghost Train fire to consider the “fresh and compelling” new material.(

ABC Exposed: Andy Taylor

)

Mr Kilburn said there should be another inquest into the fire to consider the “fresh and compelling” new material contained in the ABC program.

“As a police officer with 36 years’ experience I am affronted by what has apparently happened,” he said.

Speaking publicly for the first time, Rosemary Opitz, a former friend of Saffron, told EXPOSED she saw both Justice Murphy and Mr Wran at private drinks with Saffron behind closed doors. Ms Opitz described the relationship between Saffron and Mr Wran as “pally, really pally”.

Woman sitting on chair
Rosemary Opitz says she saw both Justice Lionel Murphy and Neville Wran at private drinks with Abe Saffron.(

ABC Exposed: Andy Taylor

)

Andrew Phelan led an inquiry into Justice Murphy’s conduct in 1986, which was never concluded due to Justice Murphy’s death the same year.

Now Mr Phelan, who went on to become the chief executive of the High Court, has joined the calls for a further investigation.

“I am in favour of a special commission of inquiry, which has broad coercive powers,” he said.

Several former police have told EXPOSED the head detective on the initial police inquiry, Inspector Knight, was a corrupt “fixer” known for manipulating and deleting evidence and intimidating witnesses.

Jim Black, another officer who oversaw the inquiry, was reputedly corrupt. The notoriously corrupt Bill Allen, then a chief superintendent with oversight of the arson squad, was also at Luna Park the day after the fire.

Two years after the fire, all three officers were accused of receiving bribes from Saffron friend and business associate Jack Rooklyn. All three officers have since died.

Portraits pinned on a corkboard
Four schoolboys from Waverley College, as well as a father and his two young sons, perished in the 1979 Ghost Train fire.

A 1989 report by the National Crime Authority report said the first and only inquest into the fire was “substantially ineffective”.

Despite this damning finding, a new inquest has never been called.

“It was improperly investigated, and this needs to be started from scratch, irrespective of time-lapse,” former police prosecutor Colin Wedderburn, who assisted the 1979 inquest, has said.

The first and only inquest delivered an open finding, suggesting a tossed cigarette butt was the most likely cause.

But Mr Wedderburn said a new inquest would have to return a finding that the fire was deliberately lit.

“The relatives and friends should not be subjected to this wrongful finding. It is just so unfair,” he said.

John Dunford, QC, the barrister who represented the families at the inquest, and who later became a NSW Supreme Court judge, is another who backs further investigation.

A spokesperson for State Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan said she would “carefully consider” any application for a new inquest.

Such an application would need to be made by a police officer or someone represented at the first inquest.

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Victorian Buddhist community continues legal fight to save leader Geshe Rapten from deportation


Victoria’s Buddhist community is continuing its legal battle to prevent spiritual leader Geshe Rapten from being deported.

The chairman of Bendigo’s Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, Ian Green, said the campaign to build community support for Geshe Rapten received more than 20,000 signatures.

“Everyone knows how important he is in Victoria,” Mr Green said.

Friends of the abbot are taking advice from an immigration lawyer.

“Hopefully, this new avenue we are trying with the Immigration Department is successful,” Mr Green said.

“We very much hope so, but the department still has not given a definitive answer.

“That’s why we’re doing everything we possibly can to start this new application and that will at least buy us some time.”

Mr Green said Geshe Rapten’s role at the Thubten Sheng Ling Monastery and the Great Stupa was so important because of the rarity of such a highly trained teacher.

“They are so rare in Australia let alone in Victoria and Bendigo,” he said.

“He’s really essential to everything we do here.”

A Department of Home Affairs spokesperson said it did not discuss the details of individual cases but clarified the conditions of the exemption.

“A Minister of Religion Labour Agreement requires that nominees meet an English language requirement,” a spokesperson said.

“A concession to this requirement is only available where it is demonstrated that the nominee will be working in a monastic or cloistered environment.

Venerable Gyatso of the Great Stupa said Geshe Rapten’s arrival was the actual beginning of the monastery.

“The abbot is the most important person in the structure and functioning of the monastic community,” he said.

Geshe Rapten said he did not regret sharing his knowledge with the community.

“It’s contrary to our philosophy to say, ‘I will only help a select group, and others, despite their interest, I will ignore them, they are not a concern of mine,'” he said.

“In fact, this is almost unthinkable.”

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