Showing posts with label Australian Labor Party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Australian Labor Party. Show all posts

Monday, 20 January 2020

As the black crows of the NSW logging industry begin to gather for an assault on remaining forests, this from Australian Labor Party Leader.......



THE HON ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
TERRI BUTLER MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
MEMBER FOR GRIFFITH
ECOLOGICAL AUDIT NEEDED FOLLOWING NATIONAL DISASTER

The Morrison Government should convene a meeting of state and territory environment ministers and commence an Australian Natural Asset Audit, amid estimates that up to one billion animals have perished in the nation’s bushfire disaster.
The Government must also guarantee continued funding for the nation’s Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre, which will cease to exist from July next year because it does not conform to the Government’s rewritten guidelines for CRCs, which favour commercial research.
Australians love the bush. Many of us live in the bush and our precious wildlife is deeply ingrained in Australian sense of identity.
With more than eight million hectares burned so far this bushfire season, we must turn to land management specialists and scientists to assess the scale of this ecological disaster and advise governments on a national approach to recovery efforts.
The Melbourne-based Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre is building disaster resilient communities across the country by bringing together all of Australia and New Zealand’s fire and emergency services authorities with leading experts across a range of scientific fields.
In 2013 the Labor Government provided $48 million to fund the centre for eight years through to June 2021 based on warnings by scientists that climate change would increase the severity and frequency of extreme weather events.
Despite its strong record of success and ongoing need for national collaboration over natural disasters, the centre is ineligible for further funding under the Morrison Government’s current CRC Guidelines.
This bushfire season, up to 26 lives have been lost and at least 1800 homes have been destroyed.
Our key focus must be to support affected communities, victims and families of those who have lost their lives.
But Australians have also been shocked by graphic and heart-rending images of dead and injured wildlife as well as farm stock.
It is critical that as part of the recovery we understand the impact of the tragedy on the National Estate, including our wildlife, and that we better understand how to reduce bushfires and protect our precious natural habitat.
As part of whole-of-government approach to rebuilding our communities, the Federal Government must act now to better protect Australia’s unique natural assets.
The bushfire emergency is a national crisis that requires a national response.
Labor is proposing:

1. An Australian Natural Asset Audit
  • The Morrison Government should immediately commence Australian Natural Asset Audit to understand the true impact that these devastating bushfires on our national icons and natural assets. The audit would assess the loss of our native animal and plants species that have been wiped out an unprecedented rate during the bushfire crisis engulfing Australia, and would assess habitat loss and impacts on environmental assets.
  • The Commonwealth should mobilise Australian scientists and land management professionals to immediately begin the mammoth task of assessing the ecological and biodiversity damage to Australia’s natural assets. The audit would enable the government to bring together Australia’s best ecologists and on the ground practitioners, including rangers from our national parks, local and state government environmental management staff, farmers and indigenous leaders from impacted areas.
  • The audit should be used to inform short, medium and long-term recovery efforts, including urgently supporting the Threatened Species Scientific Committee on immediate actions to increase the recovery, management and protection of Australia’s threatened species, including any new listings required, and to recommend proactive measures for the next bushfire crisis.
2. Start national recovery planning now: The Commonwealth should urgently convene a meeting of the environment ministerial council to commence recovery planning now
  • Immediately start recovery planning through the joint environment ministerial council with the states, to assess animal hospital services, demand and funding and short to medium-term recovery measures in key habitats for existing critically endangered species.
  • The Government should also take steps to activate a coordinated national group of Landcare volunteers in an Australia-wide effort to recover and regenerate our key natural assets and to protect the economic benefits and jobs that flow from our international reputation as a natural wonderland.
3. Immediately guarantee funding for the Cooperative Research Centre
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison must provide funding certainty to the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.
  • The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC has less than 18 months of funding left and is currently ineligible for renewed funding under the Morrison Government’s amended CRC Guidelines.
  • The Centre predicts a return on Commonwealth investment of 7:1 through reduced loss of life and injury, reducing government costs and reducing insurance costs.
For example, the town of Gracemere in Queensland was saved in 2018 as a result of science-based predictive capacity developed by the Centre.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison proposing he convene an emergency Council of Australian Governments meeting to examine Australia's preparedness for natural disasters given the November bushfires killed four people and destroyed hundreds of homes



The Australian, 25 November 2019, p.4:

Anthony Albanese has written to Scott Morrison proposing he convene an emergency Council of Australian Governments meeting to examine Australia’s preparedness for natural disasters given the bushfires that killed four people and destroyed hundreds of homes.

The Opposition Leader has requested that the meeting addresses issues including an action plan for climate change adaptation and greater investment in research on natural disaster response, recovery and mitigation.


Other issues flagged for debate include the development of a new national strategy for disaster preparedness, adequate funding for emergency services and national park services, an expansion of the capacity of Australia’s National Aerial Firefighting Centre as well as better measures to attract and retain volunteers.
Mr Albanese said the response needed to be led by the federal government and argued the effects of climate change meant Australia was now in “uncharted territory.” “Emergency leaders, including former fire chiefs, are telling us the scale of these bushfires is unprecedented. The fire season is starting earlier and finishing later, and emergency leaders agree that extreme weather events in Australia will only increase in severity and frequency, due to climate change,” Mr Albanese said.

“In my view, these circumstances require us, as leaders, to re-examine our nation’s preparedness for natural disasters. To facilitate that, I request that you call an urgent Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, including state and local government leaders to firm up Australia’s natural disaster preparedness.” Mr Albanese tweeted a copy of his letter saying that climate change would mean “longer and more intense bushfire seasons.”......

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Nimbin CWA receives gift of fridges and freezers to assist with feeding local & out of town firefighting crews


NSW state MP for Lismore Janelle Saffin, Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and Woolworths gave practical support to the firefighting effort in the Nimbin region last week....


The bushfire burning in Nightcap National Park area, east of Nimbin, is now more than 6,200 hectares in size.

According to NSW Rural Fire Service on 19 November 2019 this fire which has been burning for over nine days is still "expected to burn for several weeks or until there is significant rainfall. During this time, the fire may burn close to properties".

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Australian Politics 2018 to 2019: as good an explanation as any


This is an excerpt from a version of the speech delivered by RMIT University Adjunct Professor Barrie Cassidy at the Capitol on 3 October 2019:

Consider this. The Labor Party in Australia has now won a 

majority of seats in the House of Representatives, where 
governments are made and unmade, a majority just once in 
the last 26 years. Once since Paul Keating won the 1993 
election. That once was Kevin Rudd in 2007. Julia Gillard 
didn’t do it. She won minority government only. And in May 
Labor failed again. Not against well-established Liberal Party 
heavyweights like John Howard and Peter Costello – but 
they lost to a government led by Scott Morrison, a 
government that Morrison himself described as ‘The Muppet 
Show’. And a government that lost so much talent from its 
front bench when so many moderates simply couldn’t go 
on any longer. 

So why? What happened? What’s going on? 

So much of went wrong for Labor is only transparently 

obvious after the event. But it’s obvious just the same. First 
and foremost, their agenda was too ambitious – too cluttered. 
Kevin Rudd won with a single-minded attack on work choices. 
Paul Keating with an attack on John Hewson’s Fightback 
document, Bob Hawke with a non-specific promise of bringing 
Australia together. 

Labor this time had a myriad of policy and political approaches. 
A combination of poor planning and poor salesmanship led to 
hundreds and thousands of people who will never see a 
franking credit in their lives, fearing they were about to lose 
something. Fearing it to such an extent that, faced with a blunt 
choice – franking credits or increased childcare benefits – they 
chose the franking credits. 

Now franking credits are unsustainable and at some stage 
something will have to give; the numbers in just a few short 
years from now will be compelling. The cost will grow 
exponentially. There will have to be at the very least a trimming 
of the benefits.

But having said that, it wasn’t sensible to go so hard right off 

the bat at the problem, and it wasn’t sensible to put the policy 
out so far ahead of time. It went out in isolation from the upside
 – the benefit to community – the revenue … the money that 
would then flow to other priorities. 

Here’s the evidence for that. The Age and the Sydney Morning 

Herald, to their credit, put out these numbers themselves. They 
surveyed their own papers and what did they find? The dental 
plan that was to be paid for with the franking credits policy – 
that got 10 mentions; the cancer funding, virtually free cancer 
treatment for older Australians – that got 21 mentions. 
Franking credits ... 700. 

That’s how big a start that issue – the negative issue – got over 

the positive. 

Same with negative gearing. It wasn’t just the policy shift – but 

what in their minds it represented. 

To so many it was an illustration of Labor’s inability to manage 

the economy; to threaten economic welfare. 

A huge lesson: you can’t take anything away from people 

without a very good reason. If it’s hard to explain then it’s easy 
to exploit. But more than that, the policies left Labor exposed to 
a government campaign built around higher taxes. They built a 
fear that taxes would go up across the board, to such an extent 
that an internet-led scare campaign around death taxes even 
got traction. 

In retrospect, Labor would have been better off running a far 

narrower campaign built around climate change and wages. 
The rest could have waited until after the election. That is not 
to say Labor should be forever gun-shy: too timid now to 
address long-term budgetary problems that negative gearing 
and franking credits represents. They should not be gun-shy. 

As I said, those issues will have to be dealt with, by either a 

Labor or a coalition government. But more gradually, certainly 
initially impacting on fewer people. 

But what we are seeing right now is a Labor Party knocked 

about by a shock loss and in real danger of overreacting … 
ready to abandon so much; a party that now seems hesitant to 
take on the government even on some of the bigger issues. 

Herein lies the dilemma now for Labor. Research has shown 

that at the last election – if that election had just been held in 
Victoria, NSW and the ACT – Labor would have won 48 seats 
to 37. That’s probably not surprising. But throw in SA, 
Tasmania and the NT – a large part of the country – and Labor 
still wins 57 seats to 43. Now add the capital cities of Brisbane 
and Perth – still Labor by 67 seats to 54. That only leaves the 
rural and regional seats of Queensland and WA: but there are 
a lot of them. 25 in fact – and 23 of those went to the Coalition. 
That put the Coalition comfortably in front. 

Now I’m not suggesting in any way that skewers the result. It 

doesn’t. The people in those rural areas are Australians too. 
Their vote counts in the same way as those in the capital cities. 
The point though is this. That demographic carried it for the 
Coalition. The rest of the country voted marginally Labor. 

So how does Labor deal with that? What do you say to 

Queenslanders? I recall 30 years ago saying to Bob Hawke: 
I’ve noticed when you’re in WA you remind people that you 
were educated there; when you’re in SA you remind them that’s 
where you were born; when you’re in Victoria you talk about 
your ACTU days; and now as PM you spend most of your time 
in NSW. What are you going to say to Queenslanders? And 
he said with a twinkle in his eye. I could tell them that’s where 
I’ll retire! 

But the serious dilemma now for Labor is essentially this. 

Do they abandon policies because regional Queensland hates 
those policies? Do they appease Pauline Hanson and her ilk? 

Do they make compromises simply aimed at winning back a 

share of that vote? Do they appease the regions of Queensland 
but in the process risk looking and sounding wishywashy in 
other parts of Australia? 

One answer surely is to be true to yourself. Back yourself to 

grow the vote in the rest of Australia; without abandoning 
Queensland altogether. Sort out what you stand for and be 
resolute behind those values. 

Labor lost the last election, sure, but by and large they died 

on their feet. If they’re not careful they’ll over analyse and die 
on their knees at the next one.

Read the full speech here.


Wednesday, 28 August 2019

NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC): the case of the $100,000 cash political donation


Sometime after 2 November 2015 the NSW Electoral Commission appears to have noticed that on 12 March 2015, around two weeks before a NSW state election, an organisation known as Chinese Friends of Labor raised $138,000 from an event held in a 750-seat Chinese restaurant in Haymarket, Sydney. 

What piqued the Electoral Commission's interest was that $100,000 of this money appears to have been raised by Chinese Friends of Labor as cash from 12 donors - five of whom were employees or former employees of a second 350-seat Haymarket restaurant usually described as being serving staff, two who were related to that restaurant's general manager and two who were associated with property development company Wu International Investments Pty Ltd.

The NSW Electoral Commission began to wonder if some of the named donors were perhaps 'straw men' for one or more property developers.

Property developers are of course prohibited by law from making political donations in New South Wales. 

As members of the NSW Liberal Party will recall if they think back on the 2016 NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Operation Spicer investigation into political funding which found the Free Enterprise Foundation and "Raymond Carter, Andrew Cornwell, Garry Edwards, the Hon Michael Gallacher MLC, Nabil Gazal Jnr, Nicholas Gazal, Hilton Grugeon, Christopher Hartcher, Timothy Koelma, Jeffrey McCloy, Timothy Owen, Christopher Spence, Hugh Thomson and Darren Williams acted with the intention of evading laws under the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Act 1981 (the election funding laws) relating to the disclosure of political donations and the ban on donations from property developers. Messrs Grugeon, Hartcher, Koelma, McCloy, Owen, Thomson and Williams were also found to have acted with the intention of evading the election funding laws relating to caps on political donations. The Commission also found that Craig Baumann, Nicholas Di Girolamo, Troy Palmer and Darren Webber acted with the intention of evading the election funding laws relating to the disclosure of political donations and that Bart Bassett knowingly solicited a political donation from a property developer".

On 15 January 2018, after further investigation, the Electoral Commission referred the matter of Chinese Friends of Labor & Labor Party state campaign accounts to ICAC and on 26 August 2019 public hearings in Operation Aero began. 

Five witnesses are to be called this week: Kenrick Cheah (NSW Labor community relations director), Steve Tong (former employee Wu International Investments), Kaila Murnain (General Secretary of NSW Labor)Ernest Wong (former NSW Labor MLC) and Sam Dastyari (former Federal Labor senator).

It has been alleged that Chinese billionaire property developer Huang Xiangmo was the source of the $100,000 cash donation. 

Readers might remember that this particular billionaire was the subject of allegations that he paid a five-figure sum in order to have a private lunch with Minister for Home Affairs and Liberal MP for Dickson Peter Dutton during the period he was seeking Australian citizenship.

Political tragics can follow the hearings here.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Bypass the Murdoch press and read Labor's policy costings for yourself


Going on the behaviour of Murdoch's News Corp mastheads during the 2019 federal election campaign to date, by 6am the headlines will be misleading at best.

Scott Morrison & Co have already begun their scare campaign in response to the policy costings Labor released yesterday.

Therefore I invite readers to bypass political posturing by both the Coalition and a large section of the media and look at the policy document for yourselves.

It is your judgement that counts because the responsibility to elect the next Australian Government rests with you, not with an elderly U.S. billionaire who rarely visits this country.



Monday, 29 April 2019

Scott Morrison and News Corp need fact checking - again!


The Australian Labor Party released its dividend imputation policy in 2018 and began to come under sustained political attack by the Morrison Government and News Corp with claims that there was a $10 billion dollar hole in Labor’s costing of its policy.

On 18 June 2018 the Parliamentary Budget Office issued a media release:

Imputation credits policy costing

Earlier today, comments have been made about the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) estimates of the gains to revenue that may flow from the Australian Labor Party’s (ALP’s) policy to make imputation credits non-refundable.

“The PBO brings our best professional judgement to the independent policy costing advice we provide.  We have access to the same data and economic parameters as The Treasury and draw upon similar information in forming our judgements,” Parliamentary Budget Officer Jenny Wilkinson stated today.

“We stand behind the PBO estimates that have been published by the ALP in relation to this policy, noting that all policy costings, no matter who they are prepared by, are subject to uncertainty.”  In its advice, the PBO is explicit about the judgements and uncertainties associated with individual policy costings.

The PBO confirms that it always takes into account current and future policy commitments, as well as behavioural changes, in its policy costings.  In this case, as outlined at the recent Senate Estimates hearings, these included the superannuation changes announced in the 2016–17 Budget and the scheduled company tax cuts.  In addition, the PBO explicitly assumed that there would be significant behavioural changes that would flow from this policy, particularly for trustees of self-managed superannuation funds. 

The PBO was established as an independent institution in 2012 with broad support from the Parliament.  A key rationale for the formation of the PBO was to develop a more level playing field, by providing independent and unbiased advice to all parliamentarians about the estimated fiscal cost of policy proposals.  The purpose of establishing the PBO was to improve the public’s understanding of, and confidence in, policy costings and enable policy debates to focus on the merits of alternative policy proposals. 

Ten months later on 25 April 2019 News Corp’s The Daily Examiner ran an article on page 8 concerning Labor’s dividend imputation policy which stated:

The independent Parliamentary Budget Office has estimated Labor’s plan would save $7 billion less over a decade than the party expects and that it would affect 840,000 individuals, 210,000 self-managed super funds (SMSFs) plus some bigger funds.

Now the Parliamentary Budget Office publishes the requests for information it receives, including requests for policy implications and costings, however there appears to be no new request for information and costings on Labor’s dividend imputation policy on its website.

Morrison & Co have been caught out misrepresenting the source of their costings before and even flat out lying on occasion, so one has to suspect the veracity of their latest attack on this particular policy.

It's just as likely costings and other figures were done on the back of an envelope by Morrison or Frydenberg.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Response To Organised White Supremacist Racism 101: compare the pair


On Saturday 5 January 2019 a predominately male, motley band of openly racist people held a rally at St. Kilda Beach in Victoria, during which they expressed their xenophobia and hatred.

The organisers appeared to be members of Australian white supremacist/facist/neo-Nazi/anti-immigration groups.

Including The Lads SocietyAntipodean ResistanceThe True Blue CrewSoldiers of Odin and the Proud Boys, Whose combined ranks allegedly hold individuals who have convictions for violence, inciting serious contempt of Muslims, stalking, trafficking, assault, aggravated burglary, arson, affray, riotous behaviour and/or breaching intervention orders, according to media reports.

Nazi symbols featured on clothing worn by some members of these groups, Nazi salutes were frequently given during the rally and anti-Semitic as well as racist taunts were thrown about.

Although one of the rally organisers tries to deny his group's links to Nazi ideology 
and racism, the fact of the matter is that as late as December 2017 the founder of The Lads Society was castigating members for forgetting his game plan is to emulate Hitler by creating a political party with mass appeal, with the words:

"Seriously, just to wrap it up, too, just to wrap it up, the last fucking thing I’ll say is, do you really think that, if Adolf Hitler rose from the grave, if his spirit descended and stood beside you, put his hand on your shoulder, and he surveyed your jackboots with your red laces, and your fucking swastika tattoos, and your abrasive, fuck-the-world attitude, your little syndicate-separatist cult, do you really think he’d be proud of you? Do you really think he would say you’re a true national-socialist, well done? Do you think the man who said all great movements are popular movements and one must adjust himself to the times would be proud of you, would believe in you? Get a fucking clue!" 

There was a second diverse group of people who formed a sing-a-long & community picnic at St. Kilda Beach on the same day, in support of the ethnic and religious minorities that the first group were vilifying.

What has been reported as hundreds of police, including mounted police in riot gear as well as police dog handlers, attended St. Kilda Beach to make sure no violence occurred.

Victorian Police arrested three people who may have been at the beach for the racist rally - one for breaching bail conditions, one for a drug charge and another for possessing a dangerous article.

Independent senator from Queensland and well-known political ratbag, Fraser Anning, flew down to support the racist rally - flying business class and using chauffeured Comcar/s at taxpayers expense.

This was Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison's response to that Saturday at St. Kilda Beach:



This was the Leader of the Opposition and Labor MP for Maribyrnong Bill Shorten's response to that day: 



Now an observant reader may notice that there is something vaguely familiar about Morrison's tweet - a rather uncomfortable similarity to US President Donald Trump's infamous response to the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally, in which he attempted to assert a false equivalence between the white supremacists/neo-Nazis and those protesting against Unite the Right.

This did not go unnoticed in the USA where one political commentator pounced on Morrison's use of the plural "ugly racial protests":
Then, like Trump, when Morrsion realised that public opinion was running against his false equivalence he tried to retrieve the situation with a statement sent to mainstream media on 7 January - and just like Trump he couldn't quite refrain from hinting that that community picnic was also extremism at work.

"I support entirely the views expressed yesterday by Acting PM Michael McCormack condemning Senator Anning for attending the racist rally in St Kilda and associating himself with extreme and offensive racist views that have no place in our society. He is a repeat offender on these issues. Australians are not anti migrant nor racist. Genuine concerns held by fair-minded Australians about immigration levels, border protection or law and order should not be used as a cover or be hijacked to push hateful and ugly racist agendas. As I did yesterday, I’ll always be prepared to call out extremism in all its forms." [my yellow highlighting]

It seems that when comparing the responses of Morrison and Shorten, Morrison in echoing his hero Trump comes off a very poor second best.

BACKGROUND

The main speaker at the St. Kilda Beach racist rally has a long history of espousing neo-Nazi ideology.

This comment was posted by Cottrell n 2013 expressing the view that a portrait of Hitler should be in every classroom and every school and that his book issued to schoolchildren annually:

And again in 2014:



After Cottrell and the United Patriots Front failed to launch the Fortitude Australia political party in 2016, there appears to be no political party directly associated with the founder of The Lads Society and the alt-right's plan to infiltrate the National Party of Australia is reported to have been unsuccessful to date.

Nevertheless, there are a number of registered political parties that are anti-Islam and anti-immigration which may attract racist, fascist and/or neo-Nazi voters. For example Pauline Hanson's One Nation, Australia First Party (NSW) IncorporatedRise Up Australia  and Love Australia or Leave. Then there are the deregisterd parties which apparently continue to have a presence on digital platforms, such as the Australian Protectionist Party which was deregistered in 2015.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Australian Minister for Home Affairs & Liberal MP for Dickson still has questions to answer


Peter Dutton. Image credit The Chronicle
In six days time the Senate Standing Committee Legal and Constitutional Affairs will deliver its report on an investigation into then Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's alleged improper use of ministerial powers.

Meanwhile the list of potentially questionable situations appears to be growing........

The Guardian, 30 August 2018:

One of the foreign au pairs Peter Dutton saved from deportation came to Australia to work for the family of a former police force colleague, Guardian Australia understands.

Dutton used his ministerial powers under the Migration Act in June 2015 to grant a visa to an Italian au pair who was intending to work for a Brisbane family.

The couple have worked for the Queensland police service and have two young children. The Guardian has decided not to name them.

The matter is one of at least two au pair visa cases which are now the subject of a Senate inquiry.

Guardian Australia revealed on Tuesday that Dutton had saved another au pair from deportation, intervening after the AFL chief executive officer, Gillon McLachlan, raised the young woman’s case on behalf of his relatives.

An email chain was leaked on Thursday featuring the correspondence of immigration officials, Peter Dutton’s office, an AFL staffer, McLachlan and his second cousin. The emails run over 14 pages and indicate that Dutton overruled border security advice and allowed entry to Australia for the French woman, Alexandra Deuwel, on 1 November 2015.

In the Queensland case, the Italian au pair had her visa cancelled upon arrival at Brisbane’s international airport on 17 June 2015. She was able to make a phone call and soon afterwards Dutton approved a new visa.

There are pictures on her Facebook profile showing she ate Tim Tams and Caramello Koalas on her first night in Australia, after the visa dramas were resolved. “First night in Australia.. FINALLY!” she wrote.

She later visited Surfers Paradise, Brisbane’s agricultural show the Ekka, Australia Zoo, Melbourne, and posed for pictures by the Brisbane River.

The au pair’s case file names the Brisbane family as her hosts, a source told Guardian Australia.

Dutton was a police officer from 1990 until 1999 before being elected to federal parliament in 2001. In 1997 Dutton and the family’s father completed a surveillance course together and were pictured in a group photograph.

Asked if the au pair was intending to work for his family, the policeman told Guardian Australia: “Not confirming, not denying. Just talk to Peter Dutton’s office. It’s well above my call as to what to say.”

The visa status of two au pairs have been in the spotlight since March, when it was revealed Dutton granted them visas on public interest grounds.

Crime and Corruption Commission (Queensland), excerpt from media release, 14 August 2018:

The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has tabled a report in State Parliament this afternoon following the completion of its investigation into Ipswich City Council.
The CCC commenced Operation Windage in October 2016 to investigate allegations of corrupt conduct relating to the then Mayor, Chief Executive Officer and a Chief Operating Officer.

The investigation has resulted in 15 people being charged with 86 criminal offences. Of the 15 people charged, seven are either current or former council employees or councillors. This includes two mayors, two CEOs and one Chief Operating Officer.

Queensland Parliament, tabled papers, 8 August 2017:

Since this issue became public Dutton has begun to publicly threaten his critics. 

Revealing he kept files on Opposition members of parliament (and presumably other individuals) who approached him as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and, that he fully intends to use the contents of these files against his critics if he feels the need.



When parliament resumes sitting next week Greens MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt, seconded by Independent MP for Denison Andrew Wilkie and supported by Labor MPs, will move a motion of no confidence in the Minister for Home Affairs over the visa for au pairs affair.

It will likely fail by a slim margin, as MP for Page Kevin Hogan's faux change from Nationals MP to an independent member sitting on the cross benches (in order to save his seat at the next federal election) will still see him support the dysfunctional Morrison Government and an ethically challenged Peter Dutton.

The Standing Committee Legal and Constitutional Affairs public hearing re allegations concerning the inappropriate exercise of ministerial powers, with respect to the
visa status of au pairs, and related matters commences at 9am today 5 September 2016.

BACKGROUND

House of Representatives Hansard, 26 March 2018:

Shayne Neumann (Blair):  
I refer to concerns raised in the media today relating to the minister's use of his ministerial discretion to grant a tourist visa to an au pair. Was his decision based on departmental advice? If not, what prompted the minister to intervene? And will the minister undertake to provide the opposition with a departmental briefing at the earliest opportunity so the facts can be made clear?
Peter Dutton (Dickson): I thank the honourable member for his question. At last a question from the member for Blair! Well done! Fighting away on tactics each day—finally, you've risen to the top of the pile. It is six past three. You have missed out on television but, nonetheless, it's throw the dog a bone, I guess. There are media reports around today which talk about a decision that I made in relation to a visa. There are defamatory parts of that which I'm going to address with the journalist. Our family does not employ an au pair. My wife takes very good care in my absence of our three children. We have never employed an au pair. I have instructed before that that story is completely false and yet it still continues to be published.

In relation to the matter otherwise, I will release more detail which I'm putting together at the moment. As I say, it is defamatory. I won't tolerate it being printed again. I make decisions—

I won't! I won't have my family—

I won't have false details, as the Leader of the Opposition would appreciate as well, about my wife and my children printed. I won't stand for it. That's the reality.
I make hundreds of decisions each year in relation to ministerial discretion under the Migration Act, as has been the case with many ministers passed. There are cases brought to me by members on the frontbench and members of this parliament on a regular basis. I look at the individual circumstances around each matter. If I determine that there is an interest in me intervening in those cases, I do. In many cases I look at the particular facts. For example, the honourable shadow Treasurer—nodding away—writes to me regularly in relation to matters. If I deem the circumstances to be appropriate, I intervene. In this particular matter—again I'm happy to release further detail—I was advised at the time there were two matters, only one to which you are referring at the moment.
There were two young tourists who had come in on a tourist visa and declared in an interview with the Border Force officers at the airport—I was advised—they were here on a tourist visa but intended to perform babysitting duties while here. The decision that was taken, I was advised, was that the tourist visas would be cancelled, that those two young tourists would be detained and that they would be deported. I looked into the circumstances of those two cases and I thought that inappropriate. I thought if they gave an undertaking they wouldn't work while they were here, I would grant the tourist visas and they would stay, which they did. They didn't overstay; they returned back home. Now if there are facts there you dispute or you think there is another scurrilous point you want to put, put it outside of this chamber.

House of Representatives, Hansard, 27 March 2018:

Mr BANDT (Melbourne): My question is to the Minister for Home Affairs. Minister, I note your recent statements in relation to your personal intervention to prevent the deportation of two foreign intended au pairs. Can you categorically rule out any personal connection or any other relationship between you and the intended employer of either of the au pairs?

Mr DUTTON (Dickson—Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection): The answer is yes. I haven't received any personal benefit. I don't know these people. They haven't worked for me. They haven't worked for my wife. I repeated all of that yesterday, and I repeat it again today. I point the honourable member to the facts in relation to ministerial intervention. The member for McMahon—we were just talking about his successful record when he was last in government. Remember, he was the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. At one point in 2012, there were 218 cases referred for consideration. In 2013, the honourable member for McMahon was there, along with the member for Watson. There were 228 cases in the year 2013; in 2014, 193 cases.