Some of Australia’s most respected investigative journalists have signed an open letter to the federal government urging it not to privatise the corporate registry held by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). They have urged the government to make access to the database free, as it is in New Zealand and Britain.

More than two-thirds of voters oppose the federal government’s decision to give public funding to the “Yes” and “No” campaigns in a plebiscite on equal marriage, according to an Essential poll published on September 20.

Only 22% approved the government’s decision, while 68% disapproved.

More than 60% said they would vote yes to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” and 30% said they would vote no.

The NSW Land and Environment Court found government-appointed delegates who recommended mergers for Mosman and North Sydney with Willoughby City Council and Burwood and Canada Bay with Strathfield Council had not followed the Local Government Act. The court found there was "no proper statutory foundation" for either of the proposed amalgamations, given the flaws in the delegates’ recommendations, and set the mergers aside.

About 20 National Gallery of Australia staff were told on Friday September 16 their jobs would not exist on Monday.

The gallery's deputy director, Kirsten Paisley, told staff they would be transferred to other areas of the gallery or offered voluntary redundancies.

The job cuts represent about 8% of the gallery workforce, including some senior positions. 

A candidate for the vomit inducing moment of the week must be Minister for Social Services Christian Porter and his crocodile tears for young people "trapped on welfare", especially those slogging away as carers and single parents.

His government is so concerned about their wellbeing it has been trying every way it can to cut their payments and drive them deeper into poverty.

The Murdoch press got the tip and paved the way with beat ups about a new generation of young welfare bludgers.

Hobart City Council has joined eight other Australian councils in pledging to end its involvement with any company profiting from abusive practices towards people seeking asylum.

The pledge states that the council will no longer do business with companies, such as Wilson Security and Ferrovial’s Broadspectrum, that take up contracts in Australia’s immigration detention camps.

Connect Settlement Services, the company that provides welfare services for refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, has told the federal government it will not re-apply when its contract lapses in December.

The company, which has about 100 staff on the island, provides health and education services and helps refugees look for work in the Nauru community.

Fossil fuel divestment is gathering pace around Australia and the world. More and more individuals and organisations are pulling their investment assets out of companies involved with the exploration, extraction, production or financing of fossil fuels.

 There is money to be made in farming, but not by the farmers.

The terms of trade for farmers continually declines and farmers are forced off the land. Governments and international bodies advocate further deregulation and trade liberalisation and greater use of technology. But these policies have undoubtedly failed in their stated aims of increasing food security and rural prosperity. The beneficiaries have been only agribusiness corporations.

Dominic Wykanak read out this moving tribute by Debbie Small to her daughter Rebecca Maher who died in police custody in July, at a rally against Black deaths in custody at Blacktown on September 17.

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It has been two months since a young Wiradjuri woman Rebecca Maher died within hours of being placed in a Maitland police cell.


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