As the ABC announces massive job cuts, the Morrison government has commissioned a report that mirrors Murdoch concerns about the broadcaster.Two days before the ABC confirmed that up to 250 jobs will be cut across the organisation, the government finalised a $200,000 offer for consultants to prepare a report on news and media business models looking specifically at the impact of public broadcasters ‘on commercial operators’.
A report by an Australian philanthropic organisation has estimated 10,000 people per day must be liberated to meet the UN goal to end slavery by 2030. Unveiled at the UN headquarters in New York yesterday, the assessment of 183 countries by the Walk Free Foundation rated Australia as the 10th most responsive performer on the back of the Modern Slavery Law passed in 2018, which requires large companies to report on what they are doing to tackle the issue. However, the Walk Free Foundation noted that the legislation offered limited ability to enforce regulations, and urged the establishment of an independent commissioner. The assessment also highlighted Australia’s “restrictive and discriminatory migration policies” as a potential driver of slavery, by putting immigrants in tenuous and vulnerable situations. The report comes as the Fair Work Ombudsman alleges a Sydney mortgage broker paid a Filipina nanny just over $2.30 an hour to work 17-hour days in a $2.3 million CBD apartment.
Iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest, who co-founded the Walk Free Foundation, warned the 150 referrals of slavery cases ($) made to the Australian Federal Police in 2016-17 was “incredibly low compared to the estimated number of victims of modern slavery in Australia”, which the 2018 World Slavery Index estimated at 15,000. However, Forrest said he didn’t have enough facts ($) to criticise China, where he has extensive business interests, despite the ABC’s Four Corners episode on Monday detailing how Uighurs are forced into labour for international companies at Chinese internment camps. The program had uncovered how a range of major brands sold cotton products in Australia sourced from Xinjiang province, with Cotton On and Target Australia now investigating their supply chains. Revelations in the episode also prompted the Australian embassy in Beijing to yesterday formally request that China allow Uighur woman Nadila Wumaier to leave the province with her Australian toddler Lutfy, so they can be reunited with the two-year-old’s Uighur-Australian father Sadam Abudusalamu.
The Australian Energy Market Commission will today release a draft proposal to pay large commercial and industrial users to reduce their power demand at peak times. The rule aims to tackle rising wholesale prices and curb emissions. AEMC chairman John Pierce said in a statement: “It makes sense to manage demand for electricity if we are going to deliver reliable energy at the least possible cost.” The changes would come into force in mid-2022, when the Liddell coal-fired power station is expected to retire.
Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a US Federal Court. Guzman received the life sentence plus 30 years for 10 counts, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, and was ordered to pay $US12.6 billion ($18 billion) in forfeiture. “The long road that led 'El Chapo' Guzman from the mountains of Sinaloa to the courthouse was paved with death, drugs and destruction, but it ended today with justice,” assistant attorney eneral Brian A. Benczkowski said. Guzman, who escaped from a maximum-security Mexican prison in 2001 in a laundry cart, and again in 2015 via a 1.6-kilometre tunnel, is expected to be incarcerated at Colorado's Supermax prison. Defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said of the prison: "No one has ever escaped. It's absolutely impossible. It's not even an issue."