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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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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I know it’s a bit late but scrap the link tax.

So, you’re telling me that a bill that provides disincentives for Facebook to cooperate disincentivised them from cooperating? And we’re supposed to be mad at Facebook for this‽ Anything to protect Rupert and Peter, I guess.

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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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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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IPA researcher Wild doesn’t understand the ANAO. Or democracy. Or much of anything, really.

Last night, Daniel Wild, the Director of Research at conservative think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, published an article on Sky News in which he argues that Senator McKenzie is the victim of a “political hit-job” carried out by the ANAO at the request of shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus.

Mr Wild is wrong and his article shows an incredible lack of research and a lack understanding of how the ANAO, the public service and Australian democracy work. This post will explain why he is wrong by annotating the entire article.

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Lock Her Up!

When a public servant appropriates $100 million in government money for dishonest purposes contrary to law, we call it theft; a criminal offence which carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. When the public servant’s boss – the Minister – does it, however, it seems we’re not supposed to care.

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Without realising, Turnbull made the best move of the election

No one realised at the time but Malcolm Turnbull forcing his detractors to sign the infamous letter against his leadership last August has proven to be one of the best tools of the election for those fighting from all directions but the right.


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What won’t Justin Milne do for love (from Liberals)? [updated]

It’s unfortunate that the ABC Board sacked Michelle Guthrie, at least it was for Chairman Justine Milne’s facade. Any previous accusation that the ABC was becoming more like commercial news previously could’ve been placed at Guthrie’s feet. After all, she was a “Murdoch hatchet-woman” who was supposed to run the ABC into the ground so that selling it would be reasonable. Instead, it seems, it was quietly appointed Chairman Justin Milne pulling the strings all along.

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