About that time Malcolm Fraser created a fake department…

With the controversy erupting earlier this year over Scott Morrison’s decision to keep embattled ministers Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds in his cabinet, it may be worth remembering how much worse it could have been had the Prime Minister not been able to find “real” jobs for Porter and Reynolds. He could have, as Malcolm Fraser did in 1982, created a fake department for one of them to lead.

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What will it take for the ANU’s tenants to pay their workers?

A few years ago, student newspaper Woroni caught the (now-closed) Sumo Salad restaurants in LK and the Canberra Centre underpaying its workers using a similar sham “training” arrangement of the kind that Grill’d would be caught doing a year later. This week, ANU Observer caught grocer Daily Market and popular bubble tea joint Chatime paying workers as little as $15 an hour while not receiving payslips.

In recent years, the ANU itself has been accused underpaying staff at University House, and tutors in the College of Science and College of Computer Science and Engineering. A report by UnionsACT in 2020 found that over 77% of on-campus workers experienced some form of underpayment.

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Barilaro critic arrest cherry on top of Fuller’s deeply corrupt commissionership

In Mick Fuller’s fantasy world, political bloggers are “fixated” terrorists, cops are just “having a bad day” when they randomly assault indigenous people, rapists can be stopped by an app, smashing student protestors into the road is “reasonable force”, gay police officers have “loose morals” and should be harassed, and the solution to his officers’ herding of protestors into an enclosed train station while gassing them is (to paraphrase) to “get on a train”. He apparently saw no problem, bar those pesky ethics lawyers, with moonlighting as a private cop for the NRL while still on the job. This man and, for that matter, the force over which he presides are increasingly disconnected from reality. For this country’s safety, he and his most servile minions must go.

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ASIO pours cold water on Dutton’s false equivalency

As expected, in their submission to the parliamentary inquiry into political extremism, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation had almost nothing to say about left-wing violence and plenty to say about right-wing violence.

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Banning Trump putschists from Twitter is not “censorship”

This is the first part in what I plan to be a two part series on free association on the Internet. No guarantees on that second part though.

Last week, Donald Trump incited a riot at the US Capitol building with the intent of overturning the result of the election he undoubtedly lost. In response, the major social media networks and platform holders banned Mr Trump and perhaps millions of his supporters on the grounds that it had become clear that Trump et al. would defend the indefensible and possibly incite more violence.

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Tudge and Porter must resign; Porter must be struck off if he sues Four Corners

Mr Tudge breached the ministerial standards and Mr Porter has had, at the very least, long-term misogynistic behaviour incompatible with the role of Attorney-General revealed for the world to see. In light of the allegations which are undisputed with regards to Tudge, and apparently well corroborated with regard to those against Porter, presented in last night’s episode of Four Corners, both should resign immediately.

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Reflections on the campaign so far: Liberals and homophobia

The Liberal Party National Headquarters (RG Menzies House) with a pride flag superimposed over it. The faces of Alistair Coe and Zed Seselja floating in the background.

The Liberal-National coalition is the only major Australian party that seems to openly invite homophobes into their ranks. They do not nearly enough to openly condemn homophobia among their members and supporters and even have homophobes in public office.

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You can break the law. Just don’t break my rules.

On Sunday, Bridget McKenzie finally resigned from the ministry – setting off a leadership battle in the National Party in the process – but not for stealing $100 million dollars of Sports Australia’s money to run a re-election slush fund. It was a technicality, her membership of a clay target shooting club to whom she gave a grant constituted an conflict of interest in breach of the ministerial code.

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