After years of careful manoeuvring, the Coalition government is readying to make radical changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The revised system will force new assessments and tighten eligibility.It is hard to understate the seismic nature of this shift for the NDIS – and the decision-making power it has concentrated in the hands of the federal government.
Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate personally intervened to demand that provocative Pauline Hanson merchandise be delivered to Melbourne’s locked down public housing towers in July, while lobbying One Nation over a key Senate vote. In an email sent by Australia Post’s general counsel, a threat was made to call police unless the City of Melbourne agreed to deliver One Nation-branded stubby holders to every apartment in a locked-down building, reports The Age. The threat came days after Hanson described the tower’s residents as “drug addicts” and “alcoholics”, and as Australia Post was lobbying One Nation to vote against overturning a relaxation in daily postal services. Hanson had sent 114 stubby holders to householders with a note that read “no hard feelings”. The council had intercepted the mail as it saw the move as provocative. An Australia Post spokesman said it took its obligation to deliver mail as addressed “seriously”.
China's foreign ministry has criticised a foreign interference investigation involving a group of Chinese academics and journalists in Australia. Chinese media outlets yesterday alleged that Australian national security agencies raided the homes of Chinese reporters in June, seizing equipment and ordering them to stay silent. The ABC reports that some of those journalists were part of a WeChat group that Australian authorities claim was being used by political staffer John Zhang to encourage NSW Labor backbencher Shaoquett Moselmane to push the interests of China. Two academics in the group, Professor Chen Hong and Li Jianjun, also face having their visas cancelled.
Backpackers on working holiday visas are routinely exploited, a parliamentary inquiry has been warned. The Migrant Workers Centre has told an inquiry into the Working Holiday Maker program that reforms to the program are needed to protect migrants on the scheme. The Fair Work Ombudsman also gave evidence to the committee on Wednesday, saying that despite working holidaymakers making up around one per cent of the total workforce, they account for almost 7 per cent of the body’s active case load.
The Adani group has launched its own rail business to haul coal to its Queensland port, while avoiding mention of the parent company or the Carmichael mine. Bowen Rail Company last month announced the launch of a haulage business to service Abbot Point export terminal, reports the ABC. It follows years of anti-coal pressure that has prompted potential contractors to walk away from the mining giant. Adani’s apparent move to go it alone on coal haulage will add $200 million to the upfront cost of its Queensland project, according to one energy analyst.