by Alan Thornhill
The Federal government is giving $1 million, to help reduce violence against women.
The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. announced this early today, at a White Ribbon ceremony in Parliament House, Canberra.
He said the Government would provide that amount to the White Ribbon campaign to help reduce violence against women, particularly in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
“For the past decade White Ribbon Day has been working to stop violence against women through education, preventative programs, partnerships and creative campaigns,” Mr Abbott said.
“The Government is committed to doing all it can to stop any form of violence against women,” he added.
Mr Abbott said one in three Australian women over the age of 15 has reported experiencing physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives.
He said the funding announced today would expand the activities of the White Ribbon campaign with a particular focus on new and emerging culturally and linguistically diverse communities across Australia.
“This commitment builds on our plans to ensure the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Children 2010-2022 is implemented,” Mr Abbott said.
“I am proud to be one of nearly 2,200 White Ribbon Ambassadors across Australia working to create a cultural shift that leads to the end of violence against women,” he added.
by Alan Thornhill
The Greens want a parliamentary inquiry into links between Reserve Bank and the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.
Their Deputy Leader, Adam Bandt, says he also wants to know why the Australian Securities and Investments Commission didn’t investigate these links, after they became public some years ago.
However ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer insists that ASIC did investigate the matter thoroughly.
“We reviewed more than 10,000 pages of documemts,” Commissioner Tanzer said.
“Any action we take must be based on facts and evidence – and must stand up in court,” he added.
He noted, also, that Australian Federal Police have already laid charges on two related matters.
Mr Bandt’s call follows new claims of illegal approaches to Saddam Hussein’s regime.
They arise from activities of two RBA note printing subsidiaries, Note Printing Australia and Securency, as they sought note printing contracts with the Iraqi regime.
These include allegations that these firms breached UN sanctions, which were in force at the time.
Mr Bandt said the investment watchdog is still “turning a blind eye to the RBA’s corporate activities.”
“Most Australians would be shocked to know their central bank was using their money to line up dirty deals with Saddam Hussein,” Mr Bandt said.
“The stench surrounding the Reserve Bank gets worse and a full inquiry is needed to clear the air,” he added.
Fairfax media and the ABC’s Four Corners program have been following these developments.
Both are publishing new claims today.
Mr Bandt said: “The claim that RBA officials misled Parliament is disturbing.
This arose over evidence that the Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens gave to a Parliamentary Inquiry three years ago.
“When Parliament resumes, the Greens will move to have RBA officials appear before a parliamentary committee to answer these serious allegations.”
“Also appalling is the utter failure of ASIC, our corporate regulator, even to investigate sustained claims of wrongdoing within the corporate activities of the Reserve Bank,” Mr Bandt said.
“ASIC throws the book at a lone global warming activist who sends out a press release, yet turns a blind eye to repeated claims of sustained corporate corruption in the Reserve Bank,” he said.
“The Greens will ask ASIC to explain to Parliament why it has failed to investigate serious and repeated claims of illegality within the RBA’s corporate activities,” Mr Bandt added.
The Australian Wheat Board, which has also been accused of bribing Saddam Hussein’s regime, will be watching these developments closely.
by Alan Thornhill
Kevin Rudd today announced a Federal takeover of the Labor Party’s New South Wales Branch, that will permit automatic suspension or expulsion of corrupt party members.
This follows a report on the matter from the State’s Independent Commission Against Corruption, on deeply seated corruption in the branch.
The intervention also means that property developers will be automatically banned from seeking Labor party pre-selection in the State.
It will be the first Federal intervention in the NSW branch for 40 years.
Addressing reporters in Canberra, the Prime Minister said he had an obligation to act, after the ICAC report.
He said the intervention is also part of his plan to transform Labor into a modern party.
“The Labor party I lead will be a more modern party,” Mr Rudd said.
He was speaking shortly before he was due to leave Australia for a leaders’ meeting in Indonesia.
by Alan Thornhill
The Federal and Queensland governments are at odds over a Federal plan to seize the “unexplained assets” of criminal gangs.
The plan, to be discussed at a meeting of the Prime Minister and State Premiers tomorrow, is aimed at bikie gangs – and other criminals – who grow rich by selling drugs and other criminal activities.
It proposes a committee of police commissioners, which would decide how the seized money would be distributed.
However, the Queensland government is proposing to go its own way on the issue.
The State’s Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said it would bring its own “unexplained wealth” bill before the Queensland parliament next week, because the Federal government could not be trusted.
“How can Queenslanders have confidence in the Federal government’s ability to deal with this issue,” Mr Bleijie said in a statement.
“They can’t stop illegal boats, how can we expect them to stop outlaw bikies already here?” he asked.
Mr Bleijie described the Federal proposal as a Commonwealth cash grab.
His Federal counterpart, Mark Dreyfus, was furious.
“The ridiculous claim that national unexplained wealth laws are a Commonwealth “cash grab” is a deliberate misrepresentation of the national plan to be discussed at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) tomorrow,” Mr Dreyfus said.
“National unexplained wealth laws are part of the crime package that Prime Minister Gillard will take to COAG, along with national anti-gang laws and reforms to the illegal firearms market,” he added.
“We know that criminals don’t respect state borders and a national approach means there are no safe havens.
” Rather than lining the pockets of criminals, the assets and money seized under these laws would be put towards crime prevention.
“The Commonwealth Government has made it abundantly clear the national laws would preserve state laws and each state would be able to retain proceeds of crime seized under their own laws.”
The Queensland Government has been full briefed on this proposal, which ensures that no state would be worse off as a result of national unexplained wealth laws. The national framework is designed to financially benefit states and territories.
“For example, criminal assets seized by Queensland law enforcement agencies acting alone would go entirely to Queensland,” Mr Dreyfus said.
by Alan Thornhill
Julia Gillard has taken a cue from the American president, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In his inaugural speech, Roosevelt said: “”The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
The Prime Minister is well aware that deep insecurities still linger, in Australian hearts, five years after the Global Economic Crisis struck, with the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
Australians are worrying, not only about their jobs, but also about crime and border protection as well.
And with good reason.
Just a few days ago, police in Sydney smashed a major organised crime syndicate after seizing chemicals capable of producing $15 million worth of methamphetamines.
So the Prime Minister’s twin announcements of a National Anti-Gang Task Force and a National Centre, to target crime at Australia’s borders, could hardly have been better timed.
The Coalition sought to convince the public that these were just pale copies of policies it had put, itself, before the 2010 elections, and should be dismissed as spin.
But Ms Gillard dismissed those claims, saying both initiatives were firmly based on US models, which had worked well.
President Roosevelt was speaking both of the Great Depression and the prospect of turning the U.S. economy around, when he spoke about public fears, in that way.
Sadly, there were no resounding declarations, like that, in Ms Gillard’s announcements.
But she did say that the gang crime and tougher border controls, aimed at organized crime, are national issues, not localized fears, in Sydney’s western suburbs.
Yet both Ms Gillard, and her challenger, Tony Abbott, will be out meeting people in those suburbs, over the coming week.
When Ms Gillard announced, at the National Press Club recently, that Australians would go to the polls on September 14, to choose either herself, or Mr Abbott, as the nation’s next Prime Minister, she declared that she would be “governing,” not campaigning, in the weeks then ahead.
Inevitably, though, many will see her exercise in the Western suburbs this week, as powerful, old-style campaigning.
That’s understandable, particularly as Labor will need to poll well, in this area, if it is to be returned to power, however unlikely that might seem, at present.
A loyal lieutenant, Bill Shorten, declared that Ms Gillard will, indeed, be governing, not campaigning, as she tours the Western suburbs this week.
“What we’ll see in Western Sydney is what we see all over Australia – the Labor government focused on jobs,” Mr Shorten said, in a television interview.
“It’s focused on better education for our kids, it’s focused on a National Disability Insurance Scheme….” he added.
Mr Abbott took a simpler approach, as he declared what he will be doing in Sydney this week.
“The Coalition’s plan for western Sydney is quite simple,” he said.
It would sort out problems with bus and train services, in the Western Suburbs.
It would also sort out cost of living issues, by abolishing the carbon tax.
He said the Coalition would also take pressure off the police operating in the areas with initiatives set out in its Safer Streets, Safer Communities program.
“That will get CCTV into crime hotspots, Mr Abbott said.
Australians could see the Coalition’s positive plans, Mr Abbott said.
“They want to see hope for the future and that’s what the Coalition is offering them,” he added.
by Alan Thornhill
Yours truly has been hit by cyber attacks, over the past week, apparently from two trusted sources.
A sister, no less, and an old friend.
They weren’t the real villains, of course.
One of those was on the other side of the world, in Poland.
Another was much closer, in South East Asia.
However these attacks have left Private Briefing looking very closely at a warning the Federal government issued today.
The new Attorney General Mark Dreyfus, warns that cyber attacks on Australian business are now more targeted and coordinated.
He said a new survey has shown that one Australian business in five suffered an electronic attack in the past year.
The survey also shows businesses and industries that provide essential services such as energy, defence, communications, banking and finance, and water, are now investing more heavily in tighter security.
“The 2012 Cyber Crime and Security Survey Report,…will establish baseline information on cyber attacks,” Mr Dreyfus said in Melbourne, as he launched the report.
“The digital economy has opened up myriad opportunities for Australian businesses to deliver goods, provide services and communicate with people more effectively,” he said.
“But with every online opportunity comes the risk of criminal exploitation,” he added.
“Cyber attacks have shifted from being indiscriminate and random to being more coordinated and targeted for financial gain,” he warned.
“ Most attacks occur from outside the business, although it appears internal risks are also significant.”
Mr Dreyfus said: “The most serious attacks involved the use of malicious software including “ransomware” and “scareware”, trojan or rootkit malware, theft or breach of confidential information and denial-of-service attacks.
“ In one case, an organization reported the theft of 15 years’ worth of critical business data.”
Mr Dreyfus also said: “A third of attacks involved the theft of notebooks, tablets or mobile devices.
He said the survey, commissioned by Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Australia and conducted by the Centre for Internet Safety at the University of Canberra, would become an annual event.
“CERT Australia, established by the Gillard Government, is working with closely with Australian businesses to create higher security standards, warning systems and a secure information sharing system to defend key organisations from cybercrime attack Mr Dreyfus said.
It is available at – www.cert.gov.au
by Alan Thornhill
Dishonest company directors will no longer be able to escape penalties for their misdeeds by diving into thickets of State law.
The Federal government says that is part of a movement towards what it calls “a seamless national economy.”
Its comments follow the passage of the Personal Liability for Corporate Fault Reform Bill through Federal Parliament.
This commits all jurisdictions to establishing a nationally consistent and principles-based approach to the imposition of personal criminal liability on directors for corporate fault
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Bernie Ripoll, described this as an important deregulation initiative.
He said it is aimed at encouraging wealth and job creation in Australia by, where appropriate, removing unnecessary compliance.
“The reform commits all jurisdictions to establishing a nationally consistent and principles-based approach to the imposition of personal criminal liability on directors for corporate fault,” Mr Ripoll said.
by Alan Thornhill
Federal police have seized more than 15,000 fake credit cards with a face value of $37.5 million.
The Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, Jason Clare, described the joint action, which led to the seizures, as “…one of the most successful identity crime operations in Australian law enforcement history.”
Several authorities were involved in the investigations, which led to the seizures.
“Eight people have been arrested,”Mr Clare said.
“Two facilities manufacturing false documents have been shut down.
“And more than more than 15,000 false credit cards with a potential fraud value of $37.5 million have been seized,” he added.
News of the operation has emerged slowly.
Mr Clare said: “12,000 of the 15,000 false credit cards captured were taken in November 2011.”
He said that had been “the largest single seizure of this kind in Australian history.”
News of that seizure was apparently withheld for operational reasons.
Those arrested include a 40-year-old Ryde man and a 48-year-old Ryde woman.
They have not yet been named.
Mr Clare said: “today is the culmination of the operation by the Identity Security Strike Team (ISST) operation which began in April 2011.”
He said the ISST is hosted by the AFP.
It includes the NSW Police, NSW Roads and Maritime Service and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
Friday December 6
The Dow Jones index fell 68.26 points to 15,821.50
Qantas warns of another 1,000 job cuts, over the coming year
|Aud To Usd||0.9064||N/A||N/A|
|Bhp Blt Fpo||36.780||-0.020||-0.05%|
|Origin Ene Fpo||13.630||-0.360||-2.57%|
|Nat. Bank Fpo||33.660||-0.720||-2.09%|
|Qbe Insur. Fpo||15.450||-0.280||-1.78%|
The News This Week
- Qantas “under pressure” PM
- PM announces free trade agreement with the Republic of Korea
- Trade deficit jumps
- Deeming accounts:a warning
- The $A stumbles, then…
- Debt cap:the row continues
- Competition law review ordered
- Limitless debt:Hockey explains
- Federal debt cap to be scrapped
- Treasurers trade blows
- “This is what we inherited,” Hockey says as growth comes in at 0.6 per cent
- Services sector stirs
- Consumer confidence rises
- Our students are “slipping” Report
- Rates:the explanation
- Airlines (81)
- Banking (2567)
- Business (2679)
- Communications (58)
- crime (15)
- Disaster (119)
- Economics (2651)
- education (1)
- Environment (128)
- Financial advice (2403)
- Health (102)
- Housing (710)
- Inflation (528)
- Insurance (107)
- Investment (2186)
- Markets (1982)
- Media (133)
- medical (41)
- mining (265)
- pay (110)
- Politics (2715)
- population (165)
- Regulation (1026)
- retirement (86)
- rural (14)
- Rural australia (113)
- Security (23)
- Social security (254)
- Superannuation (233)
- Tax (400)
- The latest (124)
- Trade (737)
- Uncategorized (391)