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Dutton takes public aim at defence force chief

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MICHELLE GRATTAN.
PETER Dutton has begun his tenure as defence minister by delivering a very public slap to his most senior military adviser, chief of the Australian Defence Force Angus Campbell.
Dutton’s overriding of Campbell’s initial command decision to revoke a meritorious unit citation that had been awarded to some 3000 special forces soldiers who served in Afghanistan is a humiliation to the general who is supposedly in command of the military.
The minister’s claim that he has full faith in Campbell does not alter this point.
On an issue that goes to the core of military professionalism, ethics and discipline, the government has not trusted Campbell’s judgment.

'Very few protections': Brittany Higgins wants to meet PM to push for culture change

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‘Very few protections’: Brittany Higgins wants to meet PM to push for culture change
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Former government adviser Brittany Higgins will ask Prime Minister Scott Morrison to make sweeping changes to the culture of Parliament House in a meeting that could be held next week and may give a voice to other women on sexual assault.
Ms Higgins, who alleges she was raped by a colleague in a federal minister’s office two years ago, has written to Mr Morrison’s chief of staff to agree to a meeting after expressing her disappointment that it has taken weeks to schedule.

View from The Hill: Dutton humiliates defence force chief Angus Campbell over citation


Peter Dutton has begun his tenure as defence minister by delivering a very public slap to his most senior military adviser, chief of the Australian Defence Force Angus Campbell.
Dutton’s overriding of Campbell’s initial command decision to revoke a meritorious unit citation that had been awarded to some 3,000 special forces soldiers who served in Afghanistan is a humiliation to the general who is supposedly in command of the military.
The minister’s claim that he has full faith in Campbell does not alter this point.
On an issue that goes to the core of military professionalism, ethics and discipline, the government has not trusted Campbell’s judgment.

Fears NDIS assessment model could re-traumatise domestic violence survivors and put them at risk of harm

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A domestic violence prevention group fears the proposed model of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) independent assessments could result in survivors being re-traumatised and placed at “imminent risk of harm”.
The assessments, which have been put on hold amid a sector-wide backlash, would see participants outsourced to a single contracted assessor they do not know to determine their eligibility for the NDIS, and the level of support they receive. 
New NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds has said the assessments are designed to provide people with disability with "true choice and control over a flexible support package to achieve their goals".

Rape and sexism allegations undo plans for early Australian poll

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Rape and sexism allegations undo plans for early Australian poll
Sydney Letter: Prime minister Scott Morrison’s approval with women has plummeted
about 6 hours ago
 
Just two months ago the Australian Liberal-led government was riding high in the polls and word was there would be an early election in October.
After being widely criticised for going on holiday to Hawaii at the height of the 2019-2020 bush fires disaster, prime minister Scott Morrison was subsequently praised for his handling of the coronavirus crisis. The tightening of borders kept Covid deaths to just over 900 out of a population of more than 25 million, and though the country entered recession for the first time in 29 years, the economy was back in the black by the second half of 2020.

'A bit despairing': Dismay at government response to sex harassment report

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‘A bit despairing’: Dismay at government response to sex harassment report
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Women’s groups are pushing for the federal government to put the onus on employers to take action to prevent workplace sexual harassment amid dismay at the Commonwealth’s response to the Sex Discrimination Commissioner’s [email protected] report.
They along with human rights activists and the union movement have digested the Morrison government’s April 8 response to the report and have delivered their verdict: disappointing.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins.

Three thousand hero Aussie soldiers WON'T have their SAS medals stripped over 'war crimes' report


Australian soldiers who served in Afghanistan won't be stripped of their medals because of war crime allegations facing some special forces soldiers, defence minister Peter Dutton has announced. 
Defence Force chief Angus Campbell recommended Meritorious Unit Citations be taken from three thousand soldiers from Special Operations Task Groups that served in Afghanistan from April 2007 to December 2013.
Described as 'collective responsibility' by Mr Campbell, the move was originally recommended by Justice Paul Brereton whose report alleged 39 murders were perpetrated by Australian soldiers serving in Afghanistan over eleven years. 
However, Mr Dutton has announced only people convicted of war crimes or stood down for misconduct will have the service medal taken off them.    

Disability advocates are urging the Morrison government to fix Australia's vaccine rollout

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Disability advocates are urging the government to fix Australia's vaccination rollout, with the majority of the sector still waiting for their first coronavirus jab.
Disability accommodation providers and residents were supposed to be included in the first phase of the national rollout, which targets the country's most vulnerable residents.
National Disability Services chief David Moody says the sector is keenly awaiting the result of Monday's national cabinet meeting in the hopes a tangible plan is developed to get the rollout back on track.
READ MORE
He understands that it is a huge logistical exercise.
"That said, we are frustrated, very frustrated, and concerned about the lack of vaccine going into people's arms which should have been under phase 1a," Mr Moody told AAP.

DTA to move back to Prime Minister's department

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By
Justin Hendry
on Apr 16, 2021 7:20PM
But Stuart Robert to continue as minister in charge.
The Digital Transformation Agency will transfer back to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in a move that promises to give the lead IT policy and procurement agency greater clout.
Administrative orders issued on Thursday reveal the central department has assumed responsibility for government-wide IT policy and procurement from the Department of Social Services, effective immediately.
Social Services has held the crucial IT function since Prime Minister Scott Morrison established Services Australia as the government’s new centralised service delivery agency in 2019.
The machinery of government change means the DTA will move back to PM&C, which had previously housed the agency – and its predecessor, the Digital Transformation Office – since September 2015.

'Very frustrated': Disability advocates urge Morrison government to fix vaccine rollout

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Residents and carers in Australia's disability support homes are still waiting for their first dose of the virus vaccine despite being a priority group.

Brittany Higgins joins Aussie women reclaiming their stories of trauma

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9Honey
By
2 hours ago
Brittany Higgins has signed a book deal with Penguin Random House Australia. Not just any book — a memoir.
Higgins says her book will be a chance to tell "a firsthand account of what it was like surviving a media storm that turned into a movement".
RELATED:
Memoir can help readers explore and understand trauma from a very personal perspective.
Research suggests writing can be used to work through, or even heal from, trauma.
It is a chance for a writer like Higgins, who alleges she was raped in a senior minister's office, to reclaim her story.

Australian Government assistance for Tropical Cyclone Seroja extended


Australian Government support payments extended for Western Australia Tropical Cyclone Seroja
Quickest and easiest way to claim is to call 180 22 66
Phone line is open now, eligible recipients can claim today
The Australian Government has extended the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) to support those heavily affected by Tropical Cyclone Seroja in Western Australia with over $300,000 paid to cyclone affected residents to date.
People in the Carnamah, Chapman Valley, Greater Geraldton, Mingenew, Morawa, Perenjori and Three Springs local government areas can now access the support package.
Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the package provided assistance to those who had suffered significant losses due to Tropical Cyclone Seroja.

Crikey Worm: This just won't fly

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Peter Dutton of cancelling her trip to Christmas Island, where
Guardian Australia reports she was due to meet the Bileola family of four in a centre they have been detained in since August 2019.
22 minutes after receiving permission from Australian Border Force yesterday to meet with
Priya, Nades and their daughters as part of a trip with a joint standing committee next week, Keneally was told the “defence minister has determined that the special purpose aircraft can no longer be made available for the committee’s travel”. The secretariat of the parliamentary committee reportedly advised committee members that the defence minister’s decision had been triggered by “competing government travel requirements”.

Linda Reynolds puts compulsory NDIS assessments on pause

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Under the existing timetable, the mandatory assessments with a government-contracted allied health professional would begin by the middle of the year. Participants currently provide reports from their own treating specialists to be assessed for the scheme.
The agency that runs the scheme has already signed contracts with eight companies worth $339m to carry out the assessments, but Reynolds’ comments mean the current timetable is all but impossible given the trial is ongoing and the agency says only that its results will be available “later this year”.
However, while Reynolds said she was committed to understanding the concerns of “states and territories, stakeholders, and most of all the participants”, she defended the intent of the independent assessments policy.

Kristina Keneally to make own way to Christmas Island after accusing Peter Dutton of 'cancelling' trip

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Kristina Keneally will make her own way to Christmas Island, where she plans to visit the Tamil family from Biloela held in immigration detention, a day after accusing Peter Dutton of personally intervening to cancel her trip. 
Labor's home affairs spokesperson had been due to fly to Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands next week with parliament's bipartisan Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Capitals.
She said the trip had been planned for months and former defence minister Linda Reynolds had approved the use of a government special purpose aircraft due to the limited commercial flights available. 

Australia To Withdraw Remaining 80 Troops From Afghanistan By September - Prime Minister

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Australia to Withdraw Remaining 80 Troops From Afghanistan by September - Prime Minister
Thu 15th April 2021 | 04:14 PM
Australian troops remaining in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission will be fully withdrawn from the country by September, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th April, 2021) Australian troops remaining in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission will be fully withdrawn from the country by September, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.
The statement comes in the wake of Washington's announcement on Tuesday that the US troops would be removed fromAfghanistan before September 11, with the gradual pullout starting in May. NATO pledged to begin withdrawing its troops in coordination with the United States starting May 1.

BU's policy on marijuana remains the same despite New York state legalization

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BU’s policy on marijuana remains the same despite New York state legalization
University will not permit recreational, medicinal marijuana use due to federal law
April 15, 2021
Binghamton University is continuing to enforce its policies regarding marijuana use on campus, despite New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent signing of a bill that legalized the drug for recreational use for those over the age of 21.
The University said its lack of policy change is due to its federal funding. According to a BU Dateline Announcement, federal law “requires any institution of higher education that receives federal funding to have policies in place that prohibit possession and use of marijuana on campus.” This is because marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug under federal law, meaning it is not accepted for medical use and has a high potential for abuse.

Australian Government assistance for Tropical Cyclone Seroja

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Australian Government support payments activated for Western Australia Tropical Cyclone Seroja
Quickest and easiest way to claim is to call 180 22 66
Phone line are open from 8:00am to 5:00pm AWST, Wednesday 14 April 2021
The Australian Government has activated the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) to support those heavily affected by Tropical Cyclone Seroja in Western Australia.
Minister for Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said support through the AGDRP and DRA was now available in the local government area of Northampton.
“It’s vital that those affected by this terrible event can quickly regain their dignity and put food on the table,” Minister Littleproud said.

Union bosses demand urgent meeting with PM Scott Morrison over Covid vaccine roll out


Unions have requested an urgent meeting with the prime minister to address the vaccine rollout in aged and disability care.
Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus has lodged a written request for a meeting with Scott Morrison, Health Minister Greg Hunt and Disability Minister Linda Reynolds.
Ms McManus wants the national rollout recalibrated to ensure workers and the vulnerable Australians they support are better protected.
Unions want frontline workers vaccinated as soon as possible.
'We are concerned that nearly two months after the commencement of the program very few aged care and nearly no disability care workers have been offered their first vaccination,' Ms McManus said.

Linda Reynolds set to fall over 'glass cliff' for man-made NDIS shitstorm

Once again history repeats itself as a woman is set to be blamed for the crisis in disability services created by a bloke (Stuart Robert).

Brittany Higgins signs major book deal with story under police investigation

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Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins has signed a major book deal to share her experiences surrounding an alleged sexual assault in a ministerial office in 2019.

Ms Higgins was working as a media advisor to then-Defence Minister Linda Reynolds when she claims she was sexually assaulted by a male Liberal Party staffer in the minister’s office following a night of drinking.

Ms Higgins said, “this book will shine a light on the culture inside the corridors of power and provide a firsthand account of what it was like surviving a media storm that turned into a movement".

The book will be published by ‘Penguin Random House’ with the company CEO saying she was “moved” by Ms Higgins’ story.

However, the book deal has sparked some criticism given the alleged sexual assault incident is currently under police investigation.

NDIS cost-cutting taskforce told to reduce growth in participants and spending


NDIS cost-cutting taskforce told to reduce growth in participants and spending
Luke Henriques-Gomes
© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP
The agency that runs the national disability insurance scheme has quietly established a new taskforce aimed at cutting growth in funding packages and participant numbers.
Guardian Australia has obtained an internal document, published below, that shows the National Disability Insurance Agency has created a new unit to make “short term, immediate changes” to the scheme, citing a forecast “cost overrun in 2021-22”.
“The actions of the [Sustainability Action Taskforce] will make immediate changes to slow growth in participant numbers, slow growth in spend per participant and strengthen operational discipline, in accordance with the requirements of the NDIS Act and Rules,” the three-page document, marked “sensitive”, says.

Brittany Higgins signs book deal with

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The book is expected to hit shelves next year.

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