Police lobby for deportations

Police are secretly lobbying the federal government to deport non-citizens by highlighting suspected crimes not proven in court, freedom of information disclosures reveal.

What we know:

  • Police are lobbying the government to deport non-citizens who are subjected to a character test after being sentenced to more than 12 months in jail (SMH); 
  • Non-citizens must pass a character test to stay in Australia if they are sentenced to more than 12 months’ prison;
  • Police in NSW and Victoria have sought to influence this process by writing to the immigration minister or their department, pointing to suspected or alleged crimes outside the judicial process;
  • In one case, NSW police urged then-home affairs minister Peter Dutton to deport Sierra Leone refugee Moses Kellie despite prosecutors finding there was no reasonable likelihood of a conviction and no forensic evidence linking him to the crime and a history of mental illness (The Age);
  • Weeks after the charges were dropped, police told Dutton: “There is no doubt from our perspective that Kellie murdered [the victim] by stabbing him in the chest with a knife”;
  • The letter listed other offences that police suspected Kellie of committing and a raft of allegations about his conduct in prison and outside;
  • Kellie died in 2019 when he was found hanging in a cell bathroom in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre awaiting a formal decision on his visa;
  • Canberra Law School professor of criminology Leanne Weber said the police approaches created a “shadow criminal justice system” with little transparency and fewer checks and balances;
  • It comes as Labor grapples with a High Court ruling that indefinite immigration detention is illegal, racing through legislation to monitor the 93 people released, who were refused visas on character or national security grounds (The Saturday Paper); 
  • Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil says the government is waiting to see if a further 250 people in immigration detention might be affected by the ruling (ABC); 
  • The Coalition has called on Labor to re-detain 93 people, potentially using terrorist-style preventative or continuing detention orders, dismissed by legal experts as “absolutely absurd” (The Guardian). 

Lifeline: 131 114


Australians march again for Gaza

Tens of thousands of Australians have again taken to the streets to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, as Israeli air strikes on schools repurposed as refugee shelters kill dozens.

What we know:

  • Tens of thousands turned up to the rally at Hyde Park in Sydney, while police said 15,000 protested outside the State Library Victoria in Melbourne (The Guardian); 
  • Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi told the Melbourne crowd the Albanese government must denounce what she described as the “genocide” in Gaza;
  • Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong has evolved her language during the conflict, noting the way events in the Middle East are “refracted” in Australia and calling for “restraint and protection of civilian lives” (The Saturday Paper); 
  • In separate protests, hundreds of people gathered in Sydney and Melbourne to fly kites in support of Israeli children kidnapped by Hamas in the initial attacks that sparked the conflict in Gaza (ABC); 
  • It comes as at least 50 people were killed in an Israeli air strike on a UN-run school in the Jabalia refugee camp, while a strike on another building there killed 32 members of a single family (The Guardian); 
  • There were dozens of casualties reported from an attack on a second school in Tall al-Zaatar (Al Jazeera); 
  • UN Secretary-General António Guterres said hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians have sought shelters at UN facilities, and expressed shock that “dozens of people – many women and children – were killed and injured as they were seeking safety in United Nations premises” (NYT); 
  • After not updating the tally for days due to the deteriorating capacity to reach bodies, Hamas-run health authorities say the death toll has grown beyond 12,000, including 5000 children.

Private schools suck up funding

A new report has found non-governmental schools will be overfunded by governments by $815m in 2023, and nearly $3bn over the next six years.

The Rorris report, commissioned by the public teachers union, found that public schools meanwhile will suffer a $6.2bn funding shortfall each year for the next six years (The New Daily). 

Despite this shortfall, public schools have to educate twice as many students and are unable to charge fees.

Some fee-taking private schools are receiving up to 171% of their needs-based funding from the federal government alone, while the average public school receives about 90% of their School Resourcing Standard funding.

A new funding agreement is due to be struck next year and will take effect once the current agreement expires in 2028.


Forrests buy Akubra

Billionaires Andrew and Nicola Forrest have bought the iconic Australian hatmaker Akubra from the Keir family after 147 years of ownership.

Speaking on the purchase, Forrest said he planned to make the Akubra “the premier hat of its type in the world” and expand operations significantly in the coming years (ABC). 

“We have got to bring manufacturing back to Australia. It will always be Australian made by Australian hands, and to do that we need to grow the Akubra workforce,” he said.

It follows Forrest’s 2020 purchase of Australian boot label RM Williams.

The Forrests announced they had separated this year but continue to invest together through their private investment firm Tattarang.

Outgoing Akubra chairman Stephen Keir cited the Covid-19 pandemic as one of the main drivers behind the decision to sell the business.


Australia take home 6th ODI cup

The Australian men’s team have upset India at home with a six-wicket victory to win the ODI World Cup.

In front of a huge partisan crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Australia chased down India’s 240 with 42 balls to spare (ESPN). 

Travis Head starred with 137 from 120 balls and a spectacular catch to remove India's captain Rohit Sharma.

He was well supported in an extended partnership with Marnus Labuschagne, who scored 58 from 110 balls.

Mitchell Starc was the pick of the bowlers, with figures of 3-55 in his 10 overs.

The win marks Australia’s record-extending sixth men’s ODI World Cup victory.


He is purple: the gay pride colour, and his antenna is shaped like a triangle: the gay-pride symbol.

Evangelical Christian preacher Jerry Falwell rails against the purple teletubby Tinky Winky. If triangles do always mean gay pride, Falwell will be horrified when he learns which major world religion worships a Holy Trinity (Pink News).


Postscript: Why Rich Guys Love Dressing Like Cartoon Cowboys

Jeff Bezos wears a cowboy hat for the same reason that Kid Rock (the son of a car-dealership owner from the Detroit exurbs) and George W Bush (the son of a politician from Connecticut) have always loved to be photographed in one — because it suggests a certain kind of down-home authenticity, evoking in the mind of the viewer others who wear cowboy hats, which is to say, good guys in movies and men who work with their hands. Can Jeff Bezos, Kid Rock, or George W Bush lasso a steer or fix your truck if it breaks down on the side of the highway? Almost certainly not, but they’d like to look like someone who could (Texas Monthly).