Manus Island Settlement is Not the End of the Story

By James O’Neill*

On Wednesday 14th June 2017 the Australian government settled a class action brought by Slater and Gordon solicitors on behalf of 1905 refugees and asylum seekers detained on Manus Island Papua New Guinea.  Of that initial number, 829 men remain held on the island.

The settlement came on the morning of what was anticipated to be a six-month long trial.  There were expected to be 200 witnesses, whose pre-trial statements detailed allegations of systemic violence, sexual abuse, and inadequate medical treatment leading to injury and death.  A later amendment to the pleadings alleged unlawful detention, of which more below.  Security guards at the detention centre had murdered one inmate, an Iranian refugee Reza Barati. [Read more…]

George Brandis — “Laws… Don’t Go Far Enough”

Australia’s Attorney General George Brandis

by Dee McLachlan

After the London Bridge attack, UK Prime Minister Theresa May declared there needs to be greater regulation of the Internet, and that something should be done about the “online safe spaces” that allowed terrorism to “breed.”

So now Australia is looking at UK-style legislation that would give security agencies more powers to compel telecommunications and social media companies to assist them in accessing data. [Read more…]

Perfecting Trickery: The Referendum Council

This image taken after these delegates and others walked out of the National Referendum Council meeting at Uluru in disgust at the procedures and gagging. (L to R) Serena Williams, (Ngunnawal), Lidia Thorpe (Gunnai and Gunditjmara), Jenny Munro (Wiradjuri), Linda June Coe (Wiradjuri), George Coe (Wiradjuri) and Observer Ruth Gilbert (Wiradjuri).

By Ghillar Michael Anderson

(Editor’s note. Below is a shortened version of the media release by the Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia. The full version is available on the website, here.  On his return from Uluru, Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union, last surviving member of the founding four of the Aboriginal Embassy and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic, details the rigged processes of the Referendum Council’s National Convention and the subsequent media) [Read more…]

Lindt Siege — Coroner Michael Barnes Delivers His Findings

Coroner Michael Barnes

by Dee McLachlan

This morning at 10 am, Coroner Michael Barnes delivered his findings on the siege at the Lindt Cafe on 15 and 16 December, 2005.

The usual stories emerged on the mainstream media (MSM). Dr Clarke Jones, a criminologist, was interviewed and is confused why Man Haron Monis was out on bail in the first place. Terrorism analyst Greg Barton thought the the siege could have been handled in a different way. [Read more…]

Australian Critters Dragged From the Swamp

by Phil Hingston

You can’t make this s–t up.

Aussie taxpayers and citizens have, in the last days, been exposed to a bona fide Australian Swamp Critter. None other than the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation, Michael Cranston. He has been charged with being involved in a tax fraud perpetrated by his son, daughter and various unnamed individuals, amounting in total to around $165million. [Read more…]

Just What Must the Americans Do to Lose Australia’s Fealty?

By James O’Neill*

The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has once again declared that the United States alliance is the “bedrock” of Australia’s defence policy.  That and similar words have been used by Australian prime ministers for at least the past two decades.

One alleged pillar of this reliance upon the US is the ANZUS Treaty, perhaps more accurately described nowadays as the AYS treaty as New Zealand effectively withdrew in 1984.  Curiously, the sky did not fall in and no Chinese, Japanese, North Korean, Indonesian or other imaginary peril swooped on New Zealand and declared it part of “their” empire, as opposed to either the British or American empires to which allegiance had previously been owed. [Read more…]

Striking Journos Worried about Democracy. Really???

Journalists on strike outside The Age building

by Dee McLachlan

Fairfax journalists are on strike.

Staff at the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Melbourne voted to walk off the job for a week after Fairfax Media announced cutting about a quarter of its newsroom — 125 jobs — as a result of a $30 million restructure.

The ABC reported:

“newspapers’ advertising revenues had slumped from around $4 billion to little more than $1 billion over the past decade… [Read more…]

Martin Bryant Birthday Series, Part 3: Where’s Mum?

Carleen Bryant describes son’s innocence to 60 Minutes

by Mary W Maxwell, LLB

This coming Sunday, 7th May 2017, is Martin Bryant’s fiftieth birthday. We’re making a “card” with pictures of cakes, to be sent as a laminated poster, rolled up. Surely they will let him see it. Surely he will be pleased. No doubt his Mum will bring him a real cake.

This article is about Carleen. Recently, I googled for “Port Arthur anniversary” and was shocked to see a headline “Martin Bryant’s mother now believes he is guilty.” I am not shocked that she said it. I am shocked because surely she did not say it – it is a lie.

[Read more…]

An ANZAC Day Puzzle: Should the Monarch of Oz Be Australian-Born?

    (L) no introduction needed   (R) book cover of “Australians All”

by Mary W Maxwell

This article is mainly about the role of the monarch in Australia. Although I have long been a monarchist, I now say it is absurd for the monarch of Australia to be simultaneously the monarch of a foreign country. If Oz is to have a monarchical government, the person in the role should be Australian. The whole royal family ought to look like a bunch of Aussies.

Many societies have a king; some do not. There were no kings in early human society and in the last few centuries some republics got formed by specifically eschewing monarchy. [Read more…]

Gotcha Back, Martin!

 

by Mary W Maxwell

On March 15, 2017, I was aware that a West Australian had made the trip to Adelaide for my Fringe show “Moot Court for Martin Bryant.”  And three days later a New South Welshman emailed Gumshoe to report that he and his whole family had hopped over to Adelaide.  Wow.

Today I got quite a surprise when a friend of mine who was in the audience told me that, while eavesdropping during the Interval, he learned that at least one woman from Tassie attended.

Nobody came up to greet me after the show, so I was unable to gauge the response!  On the other hand, no one made any trouble during the show, which is supposedly a miracle!

[Read more…]

Act I, Scene 1 of the Moot Court Trial. Martin Bryant Introduces Himself to the Fringe Audience.

biscuits

by Mary W Maxwell, LLB

It’s me. It’s me Martin. You never met me. The only time the public heard my voice was when I was 12 years old. I lit some firecrackers and ended up on television, in my pajamas.  But since April 28, 1996 I’m an Australian icon. Not like Arnott’s biscuit sort of icon, you know, more like the bad kind. Like a monster. The worst possible human being.

Today is December 10, 1996. Last month, November, I was sentenced to a thousand years in prison for killing 35 people. I most certainly did not kill anyone. Actually there is an exception. I may have killed one man by mistake, but it wasn’t at Port Arthur. I’ll tell you about that later. [Read more…]

What Courts Vouchsafe To Do in Tasmania

Melanie BartlettRetired magistrate Melanie Bartlett of Burnie

by Mary W Maxwell, LLB

Last year at the Melbourne Fringe, Dee McLachlan read aloud some of Martin Bryant’s July 4, 1996 chat with the police. It was the first time I noticed a certain remark that Bryant made:

You’re in a little bit of trouble Martin aren’t you? Would you say?

I dunno, I spose I am. I’d like to get, get hold of some bail money. He said, are you Mr Martin Bryant? I said, yes. He said, you’re remanded in custody till this … inaudible … I didn’t even come to the hearing, okay ‘cos I wasn’t well … inaudible… I should see me solicitor about bail.

[Read more…]

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