1. Midnight Oil to burn again
Midnight Oil, led by the former Hon. Peter Garrett, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Education, are returning to a high-ticket priced venue near you.
- Once again, we’ll witness the gangly mantis, this time just plain old Pete Garrett, belt out songs condemning American military imperialism, condemning the loss of Indigenous land rights and noting that beds, as well as pink batts, keep burning.
That may sound cruel, for the Oils are one of Australia’s greatest ever rock bands; a truly captivating live act who matched their power and passion on stage with uncompromising political activism.
To my ear, Peter Garrett can’t sing and to my eye he can’t dance. Still the result is captivating and I wish him well.
2. Court finds Peter Dutton failed his duty of care
It’s actually worse than that.
- The minister for immigration, Peter Dutton, exposed an asylum seeker who became pregnant after being raped on Nauru to serious medical and legal risks by flying her to Papua New Guinea for an abortion, the federal court found on Friday.
The minister also has a duty of care to provide a safe and legal abortion to the woman, identified only as S99, who relies on the minister for her care and who has serious neurological, physiological and psychological conditions, Justice Mordecai Bromberg found.
The woman, identified only as S99, was raped while in detention on Nauru after she fell unconscious as the result of a seizure. She woke to find blood and male discharge on her clothes. The rape resulted in a pregnancy and left her with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, evidence presented to the court from medical experts last week said.
Lawyers for Dutton said he did not believe S99’s circumstances to be exceptional and also denied that he had a duty of care to her. Papua New Guinea would be fine. The court found against him on all counts.
Doctors advising the Immigration Department advised that she must be brought to Australia. Dutton disagreed, said PNG would be fine and refused the alternatives of Singapore or New Zealand. Instead she was bundled up and sent to PNG where a doctor said he could do it although abortion there is illegal.
Luckily she had lawyers willing to intervebe and the matter was brought to court.
Currently S99, entering the second trimester of her pregnancy, continues to wait in Port Moresby.
3. Save the Children get a payout and apology of sorts
Back in October 2014 the Immigration Department directed that 10 save the Children staff be removed from Nauru where they were doing work with refugees for the Department. Nine were subsequently deported by Nauru.
They had claimed that:
- in making the removal direction, the Department relied on allegations that the staff had orchestrated protest activity, coached and encouraged self-harm of detainees, engaged in a campaign to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Government’s regional processing arrangements and misused and improperly disclosed sensitive and confidential information.
The Department gave no reasons at the time, but started an inquiry. Now the Department has agreed they were wrong, made an undisclosed compensation payment and have issued an agreed statement from which I quoted above.
And get this:
- “The Department also recognises that SCA has suffered detriment for which – to adopt the words of Professor Doogan – the payment of money cannot be adequate compensation.”
It expressed regret for the harm done by its actions, but now that sick clown, Peter Dutton, “has blamed refugee advocates for the suicide attempts on Nauru and Manus, alleging they are encouraging detainees to self-harm in the hope of getting to Australia.”
Apparently he prefers that refugees have no hope.
I agree on this occasion with Sarah Hanson-Young:
4. Spare a thought for the big banks
No truly, they are doing it tough. ANZ’s profit was down by 22% and its dividend down by 7% in the first half. NAB posted a $1.74b loss on its British Clydesdale sale, but managed a cash profit increase otherwise of 6.5%, with the dividend steady. Westpac shares were “hammered” after a flat profit.
Actually if you look at Westpac’s chart it’s not so bad, and ANZ went up 5.5% the day they announced a loss. But on Four Corners the other night, we heard that Singapore-based hedge fund APT Capital Management was shorting Australian banks, expecting a 40% “correction” in the housing price market to which our banks are over-exposed.
It could happen whether we get Labor’s negative gearing policy or not. And wouldn’t that be a good thing for our kids trying to get into the market?
5. The Future is Workless
That’s the title of a new book Tim Dunlop has in the works. He reckons the era of full-time jobs is coming to an end. So silly schemes like the Government’s PaTH program to introduce young people to work are a waste of time because the jobs are simply not there.
So the new economy won’t be based on work. Presumably our duty will be to consume, with the income provided to us by the government!
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.