The report of an inquiry, commissioned by the High Court of Australia, has revealed that women are not safe from predatory sexual harassment, even in the highest court in the land, writes Margaret Gleeson.
There was a celebratory mood on social media when the High Court ruled on October 27 that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was ineligible to sit in parliament.
The government has lost its one seat majority and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's over-confident prediction that government politicians would be safe has been shown to be partisan bluster.
Right wing buffoon Malcolm Roberts has been kicked out of the Senate along with Deputy Leader of the National Party Fiona Nash.
The High Court ruled on October 18 by a 6:1 majority in favour of Bob Brown and Jessica Hoyt’s challenge to the validity of a Tasmanian anti-protest law. The decision is a significant win for forestry and public-interest activists, although it does not go as far as some may have hoped.
The court found the Tasmanian law was unbalanced and unreasonable. However, it affirmed the right of parliaments to target protesters who interfere with business operations.
The challenge to the Tasmanian government's anti-protest laws is set to be heard by the full bench of seven High Court judges early in 2017.
On January 25, Bob Brown and Jessica Hoyt were arrested in north-west Tasmania while peacefully protesting against logging when they walked into the Lapoinya Forest exclusion zone. They were the first protesters to be arrested under the controversial Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014.
Family First Senator Bob Day finally resigned from the Senate on November 1 “effective immediately”, in a major setback for the federal government's plan to revive the controversial, anti-union Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
Day first announced his intention to resign on October 17, after his housing businesses were placed into liquidation. He then suggested he might stay on until November so he could vote on the ABCC bill and other legislation.