February 12, 2024

Australia news LIVE: Federal laws on ‘doxxing’ to be brought forward; Anniversary of Stolen Generations apology

Key posts

Latest posts

Latest posts


PM speaks at event to mark Stolen Generations apology anniversary

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has spoken at the National Apology Day event in Canberra, which today marks 16 years since the apology to the Stolen Generations.

He told the attendees the Voice referendum was a “necessary step going forward”.

“We were disappointed by the result. We respect the outcome,” Albanese said this morning.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

“But it does not diminish one bit our determination to listen to First Nations people about how to close the gap. It was never the end, it was the means to the end. The end is reconciliation. The end is closing the gap.”

He is due to deliver the latest Closing the Gap report, which comes a week after the Productivity Commission released a scathing report into the updated agreement. It said governments have not delivered on their landmark 2020 agreement to transform the way public servants and politicians work with Indigenous Australians.


Dreyfus confirms anti-doxxing laws will be brought forward

Back to politics news, anti-doxxing laws will be brought forward, as Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says provisions are being made through the eSafety Commissioner.

Last week, anti-Zionist activists published the names, images, professions and social media accounts of hundreds of Jewish people working in academic and creative industries, which Prime Minister Anthony Albanese condemned yesterday as a “malicious publication of private information online”.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus confirms the government will bring forward anti-doxxing legislation.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

Speaking in Canberra this morning, Dreyfus confirmed he will bring forward anti-doxxing laws as part of the civil reforms to the Privacy Act.

“The recent targeting of members of the Australian Jewish community through those practices like doxxing was shocking, but certainly this is far from being an isolated incident,” he said.

“We live in a vibrant, multicultural community which we should strive to protect. No Australian should be targeted because of their race, or because of their religion.”


Catastrophic fire danger in parts of Victoria

By Lachlan Abbott

Turning to state news for a moment, Melbourne and western Victoria are under a total fire ban as the state braces for the worst day for fire conditions since the Black Summer bushfires.

A catastrophic fire danger rating has been issued for the Wimmera, in the state’s west, today.

CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan warned those in high-risk areas that evacuating before hot and windy conditions hit was the safest option.

The fire danger rating is extreme in the Mallee, Northern Country and Central regions. At 7.10am, temperatures had already reached 26.8 degrees in Melbourne and 28.2 degrees in Mildura.

“I have been in this game for a number of years,” the Bureau of Meteorology’s Kevin Parkyn said yesterday.

“And it looks like these places are probably the worst I have seen since the 2019-20 summer fires.”

Get the full details here. 


McCarthy says First Nations people ‘must be at the table’ on policy

Staying with Malarndirri McCarthy, who has also spoken about the Productivity Commission’s report on the Closing the Gap reforms.

The blistering report found governments did not deliver on their landmark 2020 agreement to transform the way public servants and politicians work with Indigenous Australians.

It found governments were making only “slow, uncoordinated and piecemeal” progress, and had not grasped the scale of the changes required to deliver on their commitment.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Linda Burney (left) and assistant minister Malarndirri McCarthy.

The Labor senator told ABC radio she wasn’t surprised by the findings.

“It’s further affirmation that thinking of power-sharing, enabling First Nations people to have a Voice in the decisions on policies that impact them, was the right thing to do. But sadly we didn’t get across the line on that,” McCarthy said.

She was asked whether power-sharing was possible without a yes vote on the Voice, and said that they needed to look at other opportunities.

“I just want to remind your listeners that that came at the request of First Nations people. They had the solution, and they gave that to us but the country didn’t agree with it. What we have to do now is look at other ways.”

She said First Nations people always had to be at the table on discussion about policy that involved them, whether it was education, health, science or ranger programs.

“First Nations people must be at the table, and that’s what we’re trying to ensure.”


McCarthy speaks about new remote jobs program for First Nations people

Assistant Indigenous Australians Minister Malarndirri McCarthy is speaking about the government’s plans to create a new remote jobs program to replace a community development program which they abolished.

She told ABC radio the community development program (CDP) had “real serious problems”, including that it didn’t have superannuation or holiday leave and other entitlements.

Labor Senator Malarndirri McCarthy.Credit: AAP

“This is our first step of the significant announcement that the prime minister is going to make today … we have to give some confidence to First Nations people across the state to work on the CDP currently that we have a plan.”

McCarthy said the government wanted to emulate earlier versions of the program, where local organisations were empowered to determine what jobs they wanted to see in the region.


Detainees should have been wearing ankle bracelets from ‘day one’: Lambie

Turning now to Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie, who has spoken about concerns around the 149 detainees released after the landmark High Court ruling outlawing indefinite immigration detention.

On Nine’s Today program, Lambie said she didn’t believe the government was committed to the safety of Australians.

“I actually do not believe a word that is being said this morning because this is not concerning the safety of Australia … absolutely not,” Lambie said.

“I’ll tell you what, maybe it’s about time [Labor] went back and wrote a decent bill where we have a choice who comes here, who stays here and who goes. It is time to get tough on this bill before someone gets really, really, seriously hurt.”

The crossbench senator said if the government was concerned about the safety of Australians, the released detainees should have been wearing ankle monitors.

“Every single one of them should have had a bracelet on them from day one,” she said the program.

“That’s the first thing that should have been done.”


Right to disconnect laws ‘heavy-handed’, chamber of commerce boss says

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry boss Andrew McKellar has spoken about the newly passed right to disconnect legislation, and labelled it “heavy-handed”.

The second stage of Labor’s Closing Loopholes bill passed parliament last week and under the new law, if an employer persists in contacting the worker, the employee can apply for a “stop” order from the Fair Work Commission. If that’s breached, it can lead to a criminal sanction and $18,000 fines for individuals.

“It is a very heavy-handed approach, I think that is the thing that concerns many businesses, and compliance now is going to be one of the big issues we’re left picking up the pieces [after] the legislation passed the parliament,” he said on RN Breakfast this morning.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) chief executive Andrew McKellar.Credit: Oscar Colman

He said the organisation’s focus now is on making sure they are putting the systems in place to comply with the new law.

McKellar said it remains to be seen how the Fair Work Commission would interpret the definition of reasonable, and what isn’t.

“Obviously, that is going to come down to individual cases, so until we see how the cas law develops in this area, how the commission begins to interpret it … there is a level of uncertainty about just how that is going to work in practice,” he said.

“But you can’t have your cake and eat it too, we can’t have a situation where people are wanting to have that flexibility to come into the office later or go in earlier but then the expectation being that you will connect again at another time … you can’t have a situation where that is thrown back in the employers face.”

The chief executive said the “greatest risk” was when employers said expectations were not being met with an employee, and they wanted to return to a structured arrangement.

“What we don’t want to see is this … so-called right being misused and being used vexatiously,” he said.


Anniversary of stolen generations apology brings mixed feelings

By Jack Latimore

Today marks 16 years since the apology to the Stolen Generations, and our Indigenous affairs journalist Jack Latimore writes about the impact:

Aunty Glendra Stubbs was seated in the first row of the lower house in federal parliament trying to conceal her sobbing as the prime minister spoke to generations of Indigenous children riven from their families by past governments across Australia.

On the floor of the house were many survivors of those stolen generations, including Stubbs’ sister and brother, listening to Kevin Rudd deliver a national apology. In her thoughts, too, was her father and grandparents, also forcibly removed from their families and cultures.

Stubbs said she never imagined the apology would happen in her lifetime, but ahead of the 16th anniversary today and perennially damning statistics on Indigenous health and welfare, there is widespread scepticism and critique about the government’s annual commemoration of the event.”

Learn more about the mixed feelings around the anniversary here. 


‘Doxxing’ laws to be brought forward after Jewish WhatsApp leak

By David Crowe

Personal privacy will be protected under new federal laws that criminalise “doxxing” after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese vowed to bring forward the changes to counter activists who published the names and details of hundreds of Jewish people.

Albanese condemned the release of identifying information – including a photo gallery and social media details – and promised tougher laws to stop the malicious publication of private information.

Anthony Albanese at question time on Monday.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

In a dramatic shift in the scope and speed of the federal action, the government plans to put urgent privacy laws to parliament while also developing stronger laws against hate speech after months of dispute over the war in the Middle East.

The plans respond to anti-Zionist activists who published the names and details of almost 600 Jewish writers, artists and academics last week, prompting some pro-Palestinian writers to spread the leaked details before others denounced the move.

Here’s the full story.


Israeli forces rescue hostages in Rafah raid, 67 Palestinians killed

In other overseas news, Israeli forces rescued two hostages when they stormed a guarded apartment in a densely packed town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip.

The rescue came as airstrikes used to cover the raid killed more than 60 Palestinians, including women and children.

The rescue in Rafah briefly lifted the spirits of Israelis shaken by the plight of the dozens of hostages held by Hamas.

People inspect the damage to their homes following Israeli airstrikes on Rafah, Gaza.Credit: Getty Images

The overnight bombardment brought devastation in Rafah, which is packed with some 1.4 million people, most of whom fled their homes elsewhere in Gaza to escape fighting.

Associated Press footage showed a large area of flattened houses, tattered tents and lines of bloodied bodies brought into nearby hospitals.

Israel’s offensive has killed more than 28,000 Palestinians in the territory, displaced over 80% of the population and set off a massive humanitarian crisis.

More than 12,300 Palestinian children and young teens have been killed in the conflict, Gaza’s Health Ministry said.

In Hamas’ cross-border raid on Oct. 7, an estimated 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed, and militants took 250 people captive, according to Israeli authorities.

Israel described Rafah as the last remaining Hamas stronghold in the territory and signalled that its ground offensive may soon target the town on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip.


Most Viewed in National



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.