Showing posts with label lies and lying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lies and lying. Show all posts

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

An insider has finally admitted what any digital native would be well aware of - your personal health information entered into a national database will be no safer that having it up on Facebook


Remembering that a federal government national screening program, working with with a private entity, has already accessed personal information from Medicare without consent of registered individuals and entered these persons into a research program - again without consent - and these individuals apparently could not easily opt out of being listed as a research subject but were often only verbally offered  the option of declining to take part in testing, which presumably meant that health data from other sources was still capable of being collected about them by the program. One has to wonder what the Turnbull Government and medical establishment actually consider patient rights to be in practice when it comes to "My Health Record".

Healthcare IT News, 4 May 2018:

Weeks before the anticipated announcement of the My Health Record opt out period, an insider’s leak has claimed the Australian Digital Health Agency has decided associated risks for consumers “will not be explicitly discussed on the website”.

As the ADHA heads towards the imminent announcement of the three-month window in which Australians will be able to opt out of My Health Record before being signed up to the online health information repository, the agency was caught by surprise today when details emerged in a blog post by GP and member of the steering group for the national expansion of MHR, Dr Edwin Kruys.

Kruys wrote that MHR offers “clear benefits” to healthcare through providing clinicians with greater access to discharge summaries, pathology and diagnostic reports, prescription records and more, but said “every digital solution has its pros and cons” and behind-the-scenes risk mitigation has been one of the priorities of the ADHA. However, he claimed Australians may not be made aware of the risks involved in allowing their private medical information to be shared via the Federal Government’s system.

“It has been decided that the risks associated with the MyHR will not be explicitly discussed on the website,” Kruys wrote.

“This obviously includes the risk of cyber attacks and public confidence in the security of the data.”

The most contentious contribution in the post related to the secondary use of Australians’ health information, the framework of which has yet to be announced by Health Minister Greg Hunt.

Contacted by HITNA, the agency moved swiftly to have Kruys delete the paragraph relating to secondary use.

In the comment that has since been removed, Kruys wrote, “Many consumers and clinicians regard secondary use of the MyHR data as a risk. The MyHR will contain a ‘toggle’, giving consumers the option to switch secondary use of their own data on or off.”

Under the My Health Records Act 2012, health information in MHR may be collected, used and disclosed “for any purpose” with the consent of the healthcare recipient. One of the functions of the system operator is “to prepare and provide de-identified data for research and public health purposes”. 

Before these provisions of the act will be implemented, a framework for secondary use of MHR systems data must be established. 

HealthConsult was engaged to assist the Federal Government in developing a draft framework and implementation plan for the process and within its public consultation process in 2017 received supportive submissions from the Australasian College of Health Informatics, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and numerous research institutes, universities, and clinicians’ groups.

Computerworld, 14 May 2018:

Use of both de-identified data and, in some circumstances, identifiable data will be permitted under a new government framework for so-called “secondary use” of data derived from the national eHealth record system. Linking data from the My Health Record system to other datasets is also allowed under some circumstances.

The Department of Health last year commissioned the development of the framework for using My Health Record data for purposes other than its primary purpose of providing healthcare to an individual.

Secondary use can include research, policy analysis and work on improving health services.

Under the new framework, individuals who don’t want their data used for secondary purposes will be required to opt-out. The opt-out process is separate from the procedure necessary for individuals who don’t want an eHealth record automatically created for them (the government last year decided to shift to an opt-out approach for My Health Record)……

Access to the data will be overseen by an MHR Secondary Use of Data Governance Board, which will approve applications to access the system.

Any Australian-based entity with the exception of insurance agencies will be permitted to apply for access the MHR data. Overseas-based applicants “must be working in collaboration with an Australian applicant” for a project and will not have direct access to MHR data.

The data drawn from the records may not leave Australia, but under the framework there is scope for data analyses and reports produced using the data to be shared internationally……

The Department of Health came under fire in 2016 after it released for download supposedly anonymised health data. Melbourne University researchers were able to successfully re-identify a range of data.

Last month the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner revealed that health service providers accounted for almost a quarter of the breaches reported in the first six weeks of operation of the Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme.


Australians who don't want a personal electronic health record will have from July 16 to October 15 to opt-out of the national scheme the federal government announced on Monday.

Every Australian will have a My Health Record unless they choose to opt-out during the three-month period, according to the Australian Digital Health Agency.

The announcement follows the release of the government’s secondary use of data rules earlier this month that inflamed concerns of patient privacy and data use.


Under the framework, medical information would be made available to third parties from 2020 - including some identifying data for public health and research purposes - unless individuals opted out.

In other news....... 


A cyber attack on Family Planning NSW's website has exposed the personal information of up to 8000 clients, including women who have booked appointments or sought advice about abortion, contraception and other services.

Clients received an email from FPNSW on Monday alerting them that their website had been hacked on Anzac Day.

The compromised data contained information from roughly 8000 clients who had contacted FPNSW via its website in the past 2½ years to make appointments or give feedback.

It included the personal details clients entered via an online form, including names, contact details, dates of birth and the reason for their enquiries….

The website was secured by 10am on April 26, 2018 and all web database information has been secure since that time

SBS News, 14 May 2018:

Clients were told Family Planning NSW was one of several agencies targeted by cybercriminals who requested a bitcoin ransom on April 25…..
The not-for-profit has five clinics in NSW, with more than 28,000 people visiting every year.

The most recent Digital Rights Watch State of Digital Rights (May 2018) report can be found here.

The report’s 8 recommendations include:

Repeal of the mandatory metadata retention scheme

Introduction of a Commonwealth statutory civil cause of action for serious invasions of privacy

A complete cessation of commercial espionage conducted by the Australian Signals Directorate

Changes to copyright laws so they are flexible, transparent and provide due process to users

Support for nation states to uphold the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in the digital age

Expand the definition of sensitive information under the Privacy Act to specifically include behavioural biometrics

Increase measures to educate private businesses and other entities of their responsibilities under the Privacy Act regarding behavioural biometrics, and the right to pseudonymity

Introduce a compulsory register of entities that collect static and behavioural biometric data, to provide the public with information about the entities that are collecting biometric data and for what purpose

The loopholes opened with the 2011 reform of the FOI laws should be closed by returning ASD, ASIO, ASIS and other intelligence agencies to the ambit of the FOI Act, with the interpretation of national security as a ground for refusal of FOI requests being reviewed and narrowed

Telecommunications providers and internet platforms must develop processes to increase transparency in content moderation and, make known what content was removed or triggered an account suspension.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

It doesn't pay to tell outright political lies on national television....


.... because there are bound to be old election campaign warriors watching.

Australian Treasurer and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison, ABC Insiders interview, 13 May 2018, telling an untruth:

“You tell me when a government in their budget has ever provided detailed costings, post the forward estimates up to the medium term. It’s never happened….
..we don't provide within-year estimates …on the cost of expenditure items” 

Hawker Britton Managing Director Simon Banks, Twitter, 13 May 2018, showing Coalition Government costings in 2014-15 Budget:
It is amusing to note that Scott Morrison was a member of the Coalition Government when that 2014-15 Budget was handed down. 

In fact he was a Cabinet Minister being then the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, so he would have more than a passing understanding of what went into those particular budget papers.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Liberals continue to behave badly in 2018 - Part Three


This time it was not Liberal politicians in federal government but Victorian Liberals on the state opposition benches who were behaving badly.......

The Age, 30 March 2018:

The Victorian opposition has broken a promise and reneged on long-standing parliamentary custom by breaking its ‘‘pairing’’ to vote down the Andrews government's controversial fire service reorganisation bill.

Government and crossbenchers in Parliament’s Upper House were in uproar after two Liberal members who had told Labor they could not vote or be present because of their religious beliefs suddenly arrived to vote on Good Friday morning.

‘This is ball tampering of the highest order,’’ said crossbencher Fiona Patten from the Reason Party.

She said the Coalition’s conduct would make it very difficult for her and others in minority parties to have a working relationship with the Opposition.

The controversy erupted after a marathon sitting over the government’s bid to restructure the fire services.

This is the first time the upper house has ever sat on Good Friday.

Around midnight, Ms Patten said that Liberal MP Bernie Finn had told the house he could not work on Good Friday. At the same time, Craig Ondarchie also indicated he was not going to be in Parliament House for similar reasons. One Labor MP said Mr Ondarchie had been acting like he was ‘‘holding a prayer vigil’’.

Mr Finn on Thursday night had told Parliament, in a debate about Labor pressing on with its legislation despite it being Easter: ‘‘I have long believed in: you do not work on Good Friday — any other day of the year. That is the rule. Even when my birthday falls on Good Friday, I do not celebrate it on Good Friday.’’

In a similar vein, and at about the same time, Mr Ondarchie said: "Today is the day that Jesus died. It is a very important day. Today I want to be with my church family. I want to take up your offer, as do some of my colleagues, about accepting the pair that you have offered."

A ‘‘pairing’’ is an unofficial agreement from both sides of politics that, when an MP is unable to attend a vote, allows an MP from the opposing side to also miss the vote, so numbers remain matched.

The government granted the pairs requested by the opposition and Labor ministers Philip Dalidakis and Jaala Pulford, the deputy leader in the upper house, excused themselves from the vote and went home.

Mr Dalidakis, assuming he had a pair, travelled to Sydney on Friday morning.
But when the vote occurred just after 11am, Mr Ondarchie and Mr Finn returned to the chamber.

After Mr Finn and Mr Ondarchie’s return to Parliament, Labor’s bill was defeated 19-18.

Labor Upper House MP Cesar Melham said the pair were dishonourable and ‘‘should hang their head in shame’’.

Ms Patten said that when the Mr Ondarchie and Mr Finn came back into the chamber they could not look anyone in the eye.

Labor's upper house leader, Gavin Jennings, said the government ‘‘had generously offered those pairs because we had members praying in the parliament last night to be with their families and be with their church communities on the most holy day on the Christian calendar’’.

‘‘And those people who prayed in front of us and begged us to let them go, returned after we had given them a pair – right at the death knell, was when they returned, to betray parliamentary convention.’’……

The hypocritical antics of Messrs. Craig Philip Ondarchie and Bernard Thomas C. Finn as set out in the Parliament of Victoria Legislative Council Daily Hansard:

09:55am Thursday 29 April 2018

Mr ONDARCHIE (Northern Metropolitan) (09:55) — As John 3:16 teaches us:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Today is Maundy Thursday, tomorrow is Good Friday and it is the most solemn day of the Christian year. It is the day our saviour died for us. It is the day we were redeemed from our sins by the voluntary death of God himself at the hands of man. On Good Friday, according to the gospels, Jesus was taken before Pilate in the morning, sent to Herod, returned to Pilate, was mocked and beaten, saw Barabbas released in his stead, was crowned with thorns, was condemned to death, carried the crushing burden of the cross, told the weeping women what would happen in his future, was crucified between two thieves and forgave those who crucified him. As Luke 23:34 tells us, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’, and he cried out and died. It is the most solemn day of the Christian calendar.

I close my contribution in prayer:
Jesus, Today we pause to remember your sacrificial love
That shone light into the darkness
That bore life from such emptiness
That revealed hope out of devastation
That spoke truth through incrimination
That released freedom in spite of imprisonment
And brought us forgiveness instead of punishment.
Thank you that we can now walk in the light of your life, Hope, truth, freedom and forgiveness, This day and everyday. Amen.

Approx. 23:12pm Thursday 29 April 2018

Mr ONDARCHIE — Members, the blackness that hangs over my head tonight is associated with the passing of my Lord and Saviour on this evening. At this very time on the first Good Friday Jesus had been arrested and taken before the high priests Annas and Caiaphas and it was during this time that Peter denied him. I think this place is not about being tactical for me, Mr Jennings; it is about respect. It is about respect for —

00:15am Friday 30 March 2018

Mr ONDARCHIE — I move: That the committee now report progress. In doing so I alert the house to the fact that we are now officially in Good Friday. I have made my point very clear. I do look to get some confirmation from the minister at the table, Minister Jennings, and the other minister who made an offer to members of the house that anybody who wants a pair can have a pair. This is a very religious day for me. You heard me talk about that –

00:20am Friday 30 March 2018

Mr FINN — I very strongly support the motion moved by Mr Ondarchie, and I have to say to you I have been sitting here since midnight and I feel quite ill, physically ill, to be sitting here on Good Friday when I know that I should not work on Good Friday, that this is a day of extreme solemnity; it is a very sacred day. I know there are some members on the government side who do not understand those of us of faith, but the fact of the matter is that it is beyond the realms of decency to force people to work, to breach their religious rights, as we have seen. I know there are members of the government who do not actually believe in freedom of religion — and they are showing that just at the minute. I heard Mr Jennings say that every one of us who asked for a pair would get one. Now, I want a pair because merely being here, as I say, is making me feel ill when I know I should be elsewhere. I want a pair; Mr Ondarchie has said he wants a pair. I would be very, very keen for Mr Jennings to get to his feet and clarify if the offer still stands for each and every member, as he said, who wants a pair to be given a pair. That is something that I think he has got to do, because he said it. I mean, we didn’t ask for it; he offered it, and it is only reasonable that he now clarify the situation, given that there is some significant confusion as to whether that offer was genuine. He is either fair dinkum or he is not fair dinkum. If he is fair dinkum, then we can get on with it. If he is not fair dinkum, we know that he can’t be trusted and we move on from that in my members statement today. You heard me talk about it when we broached this subject an hour or a bit more ago. This is the day that my Lord was crucified. I do not want to be here. I want to be with my family and I want to be with my church family. I find it highly disrespectful that on this very important day in my faith’s calendar we are still here. I think it appropriate, Minister, that with respect, selfishly, to me and to others who understand the importance of this day today we stop this now. We can come back to this. It is not time critical. I note that in your motion this morning on the rising of the house that we are going to reconvene early in May. We can come back and do this then. Today is the day that Jesus died. It is a very important day. Today I want to be with my church family. I want to take up your offer, as do some of my colleagues, about accepting the pair that you have offered. This is not acceptable.

Those with long memories will recall that Coalition MPs and senators have a history of attempting to distort parliamentary processes. The Night of the Long Prawns during a federal parliamentary sitting in 1974, the refusal of NSW Premier Tom Lewis in 1975 and Qld Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen also in 1975 to follow parliamentary convention and accept a nominee put forward by a political party to fill a casual vacancy in a seat which to that point in time had been held by that same party, are just three examples. 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Was the Australian Minister for Screech bullied in Senate Estimates? You be the judge


This is a fairly typical mainstream media snap of Liberal Senator for Western Australia & Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Clare Cash.


On 1 March 2018 Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull rose to his feet in the House of Representatives to claim that Cash had been bullied during a Senate Estimates hearing on 28 February 2018.

"Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Prime Minister) (14:01): All of us should show respect to the staff in this building, and indeed we should show respect to each other—although, obviously, as we will see no doubt in the next 70 minutes, that principle can sometimes be challenged in practice. The honourable member refers to some remarks made by Senator Cash during a very heated exchange in Senate estimates, where she was being bullied and provoked by Senator Cameron......But Senator Cash was being bullied and provoked by Senator Cameron, who was making insinuations about staff." [Hansard, 1 March 2018]

This is the incident to which he is referring.
After the hearing suspension at 10:20am Minister Cash went on to repeat her threat to name individual parliamentary staff.

The full transcript of the Cash-Cameron exchange during the Senate Estimates Education and Employment Legislation Committee hearing on 28 February can be found here.

Readers may judge for themselves whether Minister Cash was bullied and insinuations made about her staff.

From where I am sitting it appears as though the only insinuations were made by the Minister herself as were the verbal threats.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Surprise, Surprise. Nationals appear to be telling pork pies to voters on the NSW North Coast yet again



Echo NetDaily, 15 Februaty 2018:

An animal activist has accused two National Party MPs of 'misleading the public' over claims the RMS has revegetated more than a hundred hectares of land along the Pacific Highway Ballina upgrade route with tens of thousands of koala feed trees.
In recent weeks both roads minister Melinda Pavey and north coast MLC Ben Franklin have made public statements regarding the re-vegetation of koala habitat at Meerschaum Vale to compensate for the damage caused by the highway upgrade construction.
On February 3, Minister Pavey said in a press release that 'the government had re-vegetated 130 hectares of land with 95,000 koala feed trees.'
Then on February 9, Mr Franklin said that 'about 110 hectares, equating to 80,000 koala food trees had so far been planted and there were plans to plant another 20 hectares as part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Upgrade.'

Empty paddock

But co-ordinator of Australians For Animals, Sue Arnold, told Echonetdaily she took a field trip to the re-vegetation site earlier this week, which 'revealed an empty paddock with no koala feed trees planted in spite of a sign indicating that the planting was part of a "130 hectares of Koala Food Trees planted".'
Ms Arnold said she was unable to find any other planting sites in the vicinity.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Is this 'fake news' site on YouTube just American home-grown nutters or is this a Russian-backed bad actor?


Freedom Daily says of itself that it exists topresent a forum for discussing meaningful conservative American and world news,from a perspective that is not your normal agenda-based Beltway bull. Articles on Freedom Daily are posted by members who are warriors for America’s freedom.We post and decipher content to a level that is consistent with a common senseapproach and falls in line with the ideals of American liberty and freedom.

This is the text of one of the videos it displays on YouTube.


Published on Feb 5, 2018
Over the last several weeks, the walls have been closing in around Barack Obama and the rest of his liberal minions in Washington D.C., as more evidence is revealed to the public concerning the criminal acts committed under his watch. It is apparent that the pressure is getting to the Obama family as Michelle has distanced herself from her corrupt husband by taking long vacations overseas alone. A damning video has emerged that could be all the evidence President Trump needed to put both Barack and Michelle Obama behind bars for a long time, and there is nothing they can do about it. 
Over the last two Presidential terms, the American people have had to sit and watch as Barack Obama made a mockery of the constitution and our nation's laws. For too long Obama was able to get away with numerous crimes, and we as conservatives began to feel hopeless. However, that all changed the moment that Donald Trump stepped on the scene, breathing new life into our country and promising that those who were corrupt would face dire consequences. 
The left scoffed at the very prospect of a Trump presidency, but to be safe, they began to craft a devious plan to protect the criminal elite hiding in D.C., knowing that Trump would come after them all. After Trump won the presidential election, the left sprung into action ready with their plan to protect their own including Barack Obama and of course, Hillary Clinton. 
Trump is not anyone's fool and was well aware that when he stepped foot into the White House. Trump knew the White House would be teeming with swamp creatures poised and ready to attack. Trump bided his time and made sure he chose wisely on who to allow into his inner circle, and one man who made the cut was Inspector General Michael Horowitz. 
Horowitz is what you would call a police departments "internal affairs" field, where he investigates the FBI and DOJ to ensure that all are playing by the same rules and held to the same standard of integrity as everyone else. Also, it is important to note that Horowitz was not a fan of the Obama administration after witnessing the despicable crimes that these leftist rats thought they got away with, such as the Hillary Clinton email scandal. 
The Inspector General conducted a sting operation last year into the corrupt FBI and DOJ and what he found was astounding. In fact, the Hillary email scandal and the Russian-collusion false narrative is just the beginning of the horrific crimes that occurred under the Obama administration. 
The FISA memo is mere child's play compared to the rest of crimes Obama and his minions committed, which brings us to the damning video. 
Rep. Steve King recently found an interview with Barack Obama in April 2016, where he "guarantees" to the American people that there was no corruption occurring in the FBI and DOJ. Well, that is funny since the FISA memo states that members of Obama's administration signed off on warrants to wiretap Trump based on false information. It was not just false information, but it was information that was manufactured all lies in a fake Russian scandal in an attempt to impeach Trump if he did get elected. 
Of course, you know this is driving Obama and Michelle crazy since they see the writing on the wall. The Obama's still have some friends left in D.C., and the word on the street is that there will be an inditement for Barack coming at the end of March. Now, here is where some could say is just a coincidence, but I don't believe in coincidences and neither should you. 
According to recent reports, Barack Obama is planning on taking his corrupt tail to New Zealand in March to celebrate the opening of Air New Zealand's new route to the U.S. Here is more from New Zealand Herald: 
"Former US President Barack Obama will finally go ahead with his promise to visit New Zealand on a trip in March. 
The Herald on Sunday understands Obama will visit on about March 21 arranged by Air New Zealand. 
It is understood the contract is due to be finalised and the visit announced next week. 
The reason for the visit is unknown but there has been speculation Air NZ is about to launch a new route to the United States, likely Chicago which is Obama's hometown.
Snopes calls Freedom Daily a disreputable website. One can understand why.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Is lying now the default position in the public sphere?


Bald-faced lying and doing it very badly now appears so commonplace in the public sphere that one has to wonder if it is the new base line for politicians, diplomats and corporations.

Here is yet another American example….
Via @sunny_hundal

Note: Once this clip went viral US ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra issued the standard short, facile apology of a public figure caught uttering falsehoods.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Can anyone believe anything Australian Human Services Minister Alan Tudge and his motley crew say?


The New Daily,  21 November 2017:

The Department of Human Services flagged the illegal sale of Medicare details on the dark web almost a fortnight before the illicit trade was exposed in a bombshell media report, The New Daily can exclusively reveal.

Internal emails, obtained under freedom of information laws, reveal that department officials discussed the security issue as early as June 22 – nearly two weeks before revelations that Medicare numbers were being sold online.

On July 4, The Guardian revealed that a dark web vendor was advertising the sale of any Australian’s Medicare number for the bitcoin equivalent of just $22 after exploiting a government system vulnerability.

In the wake of the revelations, Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said that he and his department had only learned of the illicit trade when contacted by a Guardian journalist on July 3.

However, high-priority correspondence within DHS shows that senior officials discussed the trade on the dark net, which is only accessible through a customised browser, nearly two weeks before it made the news.

On June 22, Rhonda Morris, national manager for serious non-compliance, raised the issue with Kate Buggy, national manager for internal fraud control and investigations, and Mark Withnell, general manager of business integrity, as well as several unnamed officials.

In a later email on July 3, Mr Withnell apparently connected The Guardian’s inquiries to the department’s earlier discussions on the issue, writing to colleagues: “This is the one I was mentioning last week.”

It is unclear exactly what DHS knew about the sale of Medicare details on the dark web prior to July’s media report.

Citing exemptions related to law enforcement and criminal investigations, the department redacted most of the content of the emails released to The New Daily.

It refused to release numerous other related emails entirely.

A DHS spokesman denied the department had knowledge of a specific breach in June and said its internal discussions had only related to general matters……

In September, DHS told the Senate that as many as 165 people may have had their Medicare numbers sold to unknown parties, although there had been no unauthorised access of any Australian’s health records.

Last month, a seperate review commissioned by the department recommended beefing up the authentication procedures required to access the online database used by healthcare professionals.

Although the AFP is continuing to investigate the source of the breach, the government has said it was likely the result of “traditional criminal activity” rather than a cyber attack.

In February, DHS was embroiled in controversy after it released the personal information of a Centrelink recipient to a journalist in order to diffuse claims she made in the media.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Here is the man Trump and his supporters have been calling a low-ranking volunteer, a coffee boy - since Papadopoulos' plea deal was revealed




Salon, 1 November 2017:

The credibility of Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been called into serious question after the Justice Department unsealed a plea deal taken by a former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign.

The documents revealed that former adviser George Papadopoulos attended a "national security meeting in Washington D.C.," on March 31, 2016, along with Trump, Sessions and others. In that meeting, Papadopoulos "introduced himself," and explicitly stated "in sum and substance, that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and [Russian] President Putin."

Trump tweeted a picture of the meeting the day it occurred, and he, as well as Sessions, sat at opposite heads of the table. Papadopoulos is pictured to the left of Sessions in the middle of the table.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Australian Employment Minister Michaelia Cash misleads parliament and the media


“She could not make eye contact with Doug Cameron when responding to his questions. She was as twitchy as a cockatoo on coke.” - @MSMWatchdog2013

BuzzFeed News, 25 October 2017:

Cash denied five times her office leaked the information, telling Senate Estimates her office was not informed about the raids until they had begun.

"I found out as it unfolded on the television after I returned from a meeting yesterday about 4.45pm on the ABC," Cash said on Wednesday morning.

"My understanding was that a phone call was made to my office once the search warrant was issued just before I saw it on the television ... 4.30, 4.45pm," she said.

When asked if she or her office advised any other person about the raid, Cash said: "No, as I said I literally watched it on the television unfold myself".

When asked again if anyone in her office had tipped-off the media, Cash said: "I said my office received a phone call from the Registered Organisation Commission notifying them that search warrants were being executed as the phone call was being made."

When asked a third time, Cash said her office fielded media calls for her to respond after the raids, but denied it had tipped-off the media.

"I have full faith in my staff," she said.

When asked a fourth time, Cash said she could "assure" senators that her office "did not find out about the raids until after they were being conducted".

Cash then refuted the claims for a fifth time saying:

DOUG CAMERON: Can you assure the Senate that no-one in your office called any media outlets about 3.30 yesterday?

MICHAELIA CASH: Yes I can and quite frankly I am offended on behalf of my staff as to those allegations. They are very serious allegations.

CAMERON: They are questions.

CASH: They are very serious allegations and I refute them.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull later told Question Time: "The minister for employment has assured me that she did not advise any journalists about the raid ... she is in estimates, I believe, this afternoon, and will no doubt have the opportunity to go into this in great detail."

BuzzFeed News has spoken to journalists who claim they received a phone call from Cash's office an hour before the raids, to make sure there would be cameras outside the AWU offices in Melbourne and Sydney.

The journalists say Cash's office phoned them around 3.30pm on Tuesday with the location and time of the raid, emphasising that it would take place at a union office.

The staffer pointed out the union in question, the AWU, used to be run by Labor leader Bill Shorten.

Labor has backed independent senator Nick Xenophon’s call for an independent inquiry to establish who tipped-off the media prior to the AFP raids. [my yellow highlighting]

The Minister's denials came unstuck once BuzzFeed published this article online, however she continued denying personal knowledge and instead blamed her media adviser.
Senator Cash is also allegedly denying knowing that BuzzFeed contacted her office for comment "well before" the article was published.

Is it imagination or is Michaelia’s nose getting longer?

The question remains as to exactly when, rather than if, Michaelia Cash knew there was to be an Australian Federal Police raid on Australian Workers Union premises on 24 October 2017.

Because neither the Registered Organisation Commission nor the police are likely to have bypassed this particular government minster and opted to directly contacted a staffer instead, when the minister herself is reportedly the original source of the complaint made against the union.

Whether or not the Australian Parliament choses to believe her deception was not deliberate, the average voter is unlikely to give this senator the benefit of the doubt - she has form and will turn a blind eye to unlawful actions if it suits her purpose.

BACKGROUND

Registered Organisation Commission Statement:


On 25 October 2017 the AWU successfully applied to the court to have union documents obtained by police frozen until the court ruled on the legality of the seizure.


Friday, 20 October 2017

Tony Abbott will never stop until he has destroyed Australia


“the shame and humiliation of losing high office drives him on, with the thinnest of rationalisations for his actions” [Judith Brett]

La Trobe University Emeritus Professor Judith Brett writing in The Monthly, August 2017:
Once again Tony Abbott has wrecked the chances of Australia achieving a bipartisan policy on emissions reduction. When, at the end of 2009, he successfully challenged Malcolm Turnbull for leadership of the Liberal Party, the catalyst was Turnbull’s co-operation with the Rudd government over the introduction of an emissions trading scheme. Winning by one vote, Abbott immediately announced a secret ballot on whether the party should support the Labor government’s legislation. The result, 54 against to 29 for, spelled the end of the Opposition’s co-operation with the government on its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. When the scheme reappeared in 2011 as a price on carbon under Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her climate change minister, Greg Combet, Abbott made this “great big new tax on everything” the centrepiece of his campaign against the government. And when he won the election in 2013 he repealed the legislation.
To be sure, others have also contributed to the long-running disaster of Australia’s climate policies: the Greens under Bob Brown, who, in a fit of self-indulgent high-mindedness, refused to support Labor’s legislation in the Senate; Kevin Rudd, who walked away from the “great moral challenge of our generation” when the going got tough; and Julia Gillard, with her culpable naivety in promising that there would be no carbon tax in a government she led, and then agreeing that the scheme her government introduced could be called a tax. But it has been Abbott’s continuing belligerent prosecution of what shadow environment minister Mark Butler calls in his new book the Climate Wars that has turned going slow on emissions reduction into a Liberal cause. It is Abbott who has given focus and a voice to the motley collection of climate sceptics in the Coalition party room and kept alive the delusion that coal has a viable long-term future. For even if it were not the case that burning coal is contributing to global warming, the rapid development of renewables and their plummeting price would be numbering its days. If one can make energy from the sun, wind and tides, why would anyone bother digging up and transporting coal?
And he is at it again. For a brief moment early in June, the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market, chaired by Australian Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, held out the hope that Australian politics might reach a bipartisan consensus on a scheme to both reduce emissions and increase energy supply, by providing the certainty the private sector needs to invest in new energy generation. Fearing Abbott and his troops, Prime Minister Turnbull had already ruled out an emissions intensity scheme, despite its widespread industry support. Finkel knew he couldn’t consider it, even if it were a better option than the clean energy target he eventually recommended. The clean energy target seemed like clever politics. As it was “technology neutral” it did not explicitly rule out coal. Labor promised to work with the government to hammer out a deal it could live with when it returned to government. Business welcomed the possibility, finally, of a bipartisan agreement that would provide the certainty needed for new investment in energy generation. The Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Energy Users Association of Australia and energy retailers Origin, AGL and Energy Australia were all on board, and argued that the clean energy target would lower prices for consumers.
Not so, said Abbott, whose special contribution to the debate has been to reduce complicated, technical arguments to simple cut-through slogans with little connection to reality. The clean energy target is a tax on coal, he declared. Since the Finkel review was delivered, Abbott has upped his profile and his attacks on the government. Setting out his conservative manifesto to the Institute of Public Affairs at the end of June, he called for a moratorium on new wind farms, a freeze on the renewable energy target at its current level of 15% and the construction of another “big coal-fired power station”. Contrary to the evidence in the Finkel review and the assertions of the energy providers, Abbott claimed that the renewable energy target was causing people’s power bills to increase by making coal uneconomic, and that if private investors would not build a new coal-fired power station, then the government should step in and make good this market failure “as soon as possible”. Just why this last suggestion is either a liberal or a conservative one is hard to fathom. It sounds much more like an old-fashioned socialist argument for re-nationalisation of the power supply.
But consistency has never been Abbott’s strong point. His major preoccupation has always been product differentiation, drawing up the battlelines between the Liberal Party and its major enemy the Labor Party and winning the fight. From this perspective the main problem with the proposed clean energy target is that it is too similar to Labor’s policy. Abbott believed, he told Paul Kelly in early July, that energy policy was “the best hope for the government to win the next election”. Attacking the big fat carbon tax worked in 2013, so why wouldn’t it work again? Peta Credlin, whom Abbott described as the fiercest political warrior he had ever worked with, has since admitted on Sky News that Labor’s climate change policy was never a carbon tax, but that by pursuing “brutal retail politics” the Coalition made it one in the minds of the electorate, replacing fear for the future of the planet with a fight about the hip pocket.
Read the full article here.
www.tonyabbott.com.au, 11 October 2017