The mail carrier’s chief executive has been asked to stand aside after revelations of luxury watches gifted to executives, but the company is facing much deeper crises.Much of the week’s drama has returned to some form of the same question: Is the national postal service completely out of touch with community expectations?
Security guards working in immigration detention in both Sydney and Melbourne have been linked to Covid-19 outbreaks, as calls mount to move asylum seekers into the community. Serco guards at Sydney's Villawood Immigration Detention Centre have been forced to self-quarantine after visiting the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, which has now been linked to at least 21 positive Covid-19 cases. In a Mantra accommodation complex in Melbourne, which houses detained asylum seekers, an MSS Security worker subcontracted by Serco tested positive for Covid-19. Labor MP Ged Kearney, whose electorate covers the location of the Mantra property, told SBS News the ongoing detention of asylum seekers was a health risk. “They could have moved the men into the community to minimise the risk,” she said. “They did not.”
Leaked emails between senior officials responsible for Victoria’s hotel quarantine scheme show that bureaucrats were calling for police to take control of security from the first day of the program. The Age reports that a senior public servant at Victoria’s Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions repeatedly contacted the Department of Health and Human Services Emergency Management Victoria in late March suggesting private security was “not adequate” to guard the hotels. It comes as Victoria’s chief health officer, Professor Brett Sutton, said on Monday it was “conceivable” that all active Covid-19 cases in the state stemmed from breaches in the quarantine hotel program. The state recorded 177 new cases on Monday.
The National Archives of Australia will this morning release the “palace letters”, a series of more than 200 exchanges from the mid-1970s between Queen Elizabeth, her private secretary Martin Charteris, and Sir John Kerr, Australia’s then-governor general. The correspondence came in the period leading up to Kerr’s dismissal of Gough Whitlam’s Labor government in November 1975, but has been kept secret on the basis they were “personal” records. Historian Jenny Hocking secured their release after a four-year legal battle that went to the high court.
The Australian army’s Special Air Service Regiment killed as many as 10 unarmed civilians during a single 2012 raid in Afghanistan. Afghan witnesses and Australian sources have told the ABC that a mass shooting that targeted Taliban members also left civilians dead, including a group of unarmed villagers near a tractor. The raid is believed to be the worst one-day death toll uncovered to date of alleged unlawful killings by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. The news comes ahead of the release in the coming weeks of an investigation by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force into potential war crimes committed by Australian soldiers.