Turnbull takes action on domestic violence
The Turnbull Government is spending $100 million on a “women’s safety package” to combat the domestic violence epidemic plaguing Australia.
At a press conference on Thursday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it
was important for there to be a cultural shift , so the nation considered domestic violence “unAustralian”.
“Let me say this to you: disrespecting women does not always result in violence against women. But all violence against women begins with disrespecting women,” Mr Turnbull said.
Sydney Morning Herald journalist Judith Ireland reported it would be spent on a “trial GPS trackers for perpetrators, special safe phones for victims and other measures – like CCTV cameras – to boost the security of women at home”.
Minister for Women Michaelia Cash, former Victoria Police chief commissioner Ken Lay, and Australian of the Year Rosie Batty showed their support for the package at the press conference.
But some support groups questioned if it was money well spent, adding that $100 million wasn’t enough to reduce the number of domestic violence incidents.
South Australia’s Victim Support Service called for the funding to be directed at “trauma counselling for children who aren’t eligible for South Australian services”.
SBS News reported that Flinders University’s head of women studies Yvonne Corconan-Nates said the funding “falls short of what is needed”.
“While $100 million is better than nothing, it’s pitiful in the context of the scale of the challenge,” she said.
National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services CEO Antoinette Braybook also complained that the package didn’t fund Legal Aid Services.
“Without a dedicated national program that can ensure all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims and survivors can access the holistic frontline services we provide, we fear Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family violence will again be marginalised,” she told The Guardian.
An Australian Bureau of Statistics report – released Wednesday – found there were 28,790 victims of family and domestic violence in NSW last year.
Dear Australia Post, it’s been a lovely 206 years, but …
Australia Post recorded its first annual loss in over 30 years for 2014-15, a staggering $222 million.
CEO Ahmed Fahour said emerging competitive freight companies and increased use of digital mail among consumers was behind the company’s challenging year.
“This year the losses in mail were so large that even the very powerful and strong commercial businesses of Australia Post could not offset those losses,” he told AAP.
“We continue to make headway with reforming our letters business and we are investing in the infrastructure and digital capabilities – vital to servicing the changing needs of our customers.”
Despite reporting a $116.2 million profit last year, Australia Post signalled the “voluntary redundancy” of around 1900 workers over the next three years.
Mr Fahour will also face a Senate inquiry to answer questions on if “delivery contractors are underpaying workers and illegally using foreign student labour”.
Japan’s offer to build subs Down Under keeps Pyne afloat
Japan, which was a frontrunner in the bid for Australia’s submarine contract, upped the stakes on Friday when they offered to build the submarines in Australia.
But others competing for the tender – including France and Germany – also offered to build the submarines in Australia, The Guardian reported.
It has eased concerns the submarines would be built overseas, leading to massive job losses in Australia.
Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Christopher Pyne, whose seat is under threat over the fears, said the offer was “music to my ears”.
“[It] sounds to me like all three bidders are picking up that we would like to spend $50 billion of defence industry money in Australia where it creates jobs,” he told Channel Nine.
It will build eight to 12 submarines at an expected cost of at least $20 billion. But maintenance will cost $30 billion over their lifespan, New Daily journalist Kaitlin Thals wrote.
Turnaround Turnbull: Libs hose down China’s new climate change policy
On Friday, China’s President Xi Jinping imposed a cap-and-trade system – widely known as an emissions trading scheme (ETS) – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
But Environment Minister Greg Hunt told Sky News Australia wouldn’t follow China’s lead.
“A quarter of the world’s emissions are coming from China and that is set to increase by 150 per cent from 2005 to 2030,” Mr Hunt said.
“If China takes action to reduce emissions that’s good, but it’s up to each country to work out how they do it … Direct Action [is] the best, most effective scheme in the world,”
But Sean Kelly, The Monthly political editor and speechwriter for former prime ministers Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, wrote that it’s a worrying sign for the Turnbull Government.
“The very first instinct of our environment minister, Greg Hunt – who has kept his job from the Abbott period – was to downplay China’s actions,” he wrote. “He immediately set about being sceptical, asking how many permits were going to be given away for free.”
“A politician’s job should be to acknowledge the world as it is, not what they hope it is for reasons of political convenience.
“If the world is changing, our leaders should acknowledge it and change their policies accordingly, not find spurious reasons to continue on their own pre-chosen path.”
Former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser, who was also the chair of the Climate Change Authority, expressed his disappointment at Mr Turnbull’s willingness to stick with the current climate change policy.
“He is just sticking with the status quo … It’s a pity his courage deserted him,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald, adding that the party’s far Right are behind Mr Turnbull’s decision “to back away from what was a pretty strong position earlier on”.
“Direct Action has a very heavy budgetary impost and … the budgetary consequences of that are not reliable or sustainable,” he said.