Monthly Archives: November 2018

2018
11/21

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Entsch warns colleagues: ‘Butt out’ on gay marriage

Liberal MP Warren Entsch says Coalition colleagues have forfeited a right to campaign on marriage equality. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Liberal MP Warren Entsch says Coalition colleagues have forfeited a right to campaign on marriage equality. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Nanjing Night Net

Prime Minister Tony Abbott held a press conference late on Tuesday night to indicate the Coalition would support a plebiscite in the next term of parliament. Photo: Andrew Meares

Liberal MP Warren Entsch says Coalition colleagues have forfeited a right to campaign on marriage equality. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Liberal MP Warren Entsch says Coalition colleagues have forfeited a right to campaign on marriage equality. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Liberal MP Warren Entsch has warned his Coalition colleagues to “butt out” of the debate about marriage equality after the party rejected the opportunity for a conscience vote on the issue and the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, supported a plebiscite.

The member for the north Queensland seat of Leichhardt, a long-term advocate for gay rights within the conservative Coalition, said fellow party members should now refrain from campaigning either for or against same-sex marriage.

“We have deferred the decision to the people. Now I am going to say to all of my colleagues: butt out,” he said.

“They have basically forfeited that right by making the decision that has been made. They had the opportunity [to vote] and they said no.”

Mr Entsch said most politicians’ positions on marriage equality were already known, so there was no need for them to speak out publicly on either side. He said he would carefully monitor any Coalition colleagues who sought to influence the public’s decision.

“I will certainly be very critical of anybody that wants to now go out there and champion the cause. I think it’s totally inappropriate,” he said.

“If they wanted to champion the cause they could have done it and we could have had that debate in the parliament. You can’t have it two ways – simple as that.”

Mr Entsch’s co-sponsored marriage equality bill is due to come before the parliament next week but is destined to fail without a conscience vote on the Coalition side.

Although he was disappointed and frustrated with the outcome of Tuesday afternoon’s marathon party room meeting, he said it had facilitated a change in thinking among Coalition MPs, who now accepted that the party’s current policy was “no longer relevant” and would not carry over into the 45th parliament.

“That in itself is a significant shift,” he said.

There had been no final vote adopting a plebiscite, but Mr Entsch said the “very strong view” in the party room was that a public poll should proceed and that the outcome should be enacted in legislation. “It was made very, very clear,” he said.

Mr Entsch would prefer a plebiscite during this term of parliament or at the next election, but conceded that would be “probably difficult” logistically.

He would refrain from public advocacy himself and instead focus his energy internally to ensure the plebiscite’s question was fairly-worded and unambiguous.

“I’m more interested in the voice of the people now. That’s what we’ve asked to happen,” he said.

“[I’m] not interested in the opinions of elected members or senators. They’ve had their opportunity to express a point of a view. The majority decided that we’d defer it to the people. Let’s not try and influence the vote – give them credit and allow them to make their own decisions on this.”

Government MPs Teresa Gambaro, Wyatt Roy, and Dean Smith have vowed to cross the floor to support the marriage equality bill if it comes before parliament. But the joint party room’s decision on Tuesday to deny a conscience vote on the issue means it will fail to win enough votes to pass.

The outcome has also initiated a war of words among frontbenchers, with Attorney-General George Brandis rubbishing the idea of a “referendum” on the matter as unnecessary.

“The way you test public opinion on vexed social issues or important social issues is by plebiscite,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

2018
11/21

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Nigel Scullion’s mission to stop festering tension among the Block’s Aboriginal rivals

Minister for Indigenous Affairs Senator Nigel Scullion talks to Aboriginal Tent Embassy leader Jenny Munro at the Supreme Court on Friday. Photo: Daniel MunozFederal Aboriginal Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion has flown in to broker a peace deal between Aboriginal rivals fighting for control of the Block, the historic parcel of Redfern that has been besieged for 15 months by protests and sporadic violence.
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“The great tragedy is this involves tension between Aboriginal people,” Senator Scullion told Fairfax Media as he emerged from the Supreme Court on Friday, where he had observed the feuding parties. “We can’t afford to let those tensions keep festering.”

In court were the leaders of the rival camps: Mick Mundine, chief executive the Aboriginal Housing Company, which has owned the Block since a Whitlam government grant in 1973 and now wants to start work on a $70 million development; and Jenny Munro, the leader of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, which has occupied the bulldozed site since Sorry Day in May last year, fearing the AHC will never build the 62 affordable homes it has promised for Indigenous people.

Ms Munro admits that, under European law, she is a trespasser. But she is asking the court use its discretion, give special consideration to the historic significance of the Block and delay any eviction.

Justice Robert Hulme reserved his judgment until at least next week, but Senator Scullion then kept mediating on the sidelines – determined that it will never come to an eviction.

He is talking to the parties and bankers, attempting to ensure that building can start on the housing before, or at the same time, as the Pemulwuy Project’s commercial aspects.

Without government funding, Mr Mundine has argued, the housing will have to wait until after the commercial development, including shops, a new gym and rental accommodation for 154 university students.

It is understood the negotiations involve $5 million from the federal government, if not as a grant as an interest-free loan, but Mr Scullion said it may not involve direct funding.

“Jenny Munro has expressed concern about the high risk that the Aboriginal housing will not be built and I accept those concerns,” Senator Scullion said.

“I think all parties acknowledge that the worst possible outcome would be the forcible removal of those people currently occupying the tent embassy.”

But the AHC is still seeking that remedy from Justice Hulme. And on Friday the company was resisting a key demand of the tent embassy negotiators – to appoint a director nominated by Ms Munro to its board. In return, the protesters would immediately leave the Block.

Ms Munro’s barrister, David Ash, asked Justice Hulme to consider the history. The Block was part of a Crown land grant of 52 acres [21 hectares] to an ex-convict called William Hutchinson in 1819. No Aborigines had ever given the Crown consent to “grant the land to Mr Hutchinson in the first place”, Mr Ash said.

But Mr Hutchinson was soon granted another 1400 acres, the nearby Waterloo Estate, which in 1889 became the subject of a much-discussed legal case, a “high point in the articulation of the doctrine we now know as terra nullius”. That was the legal fiction – exposed in the 1992 Mabo case – that Australia was nobody’s land before white settlement.

“[Ms Munro] simply asks … [that] the court takes account of the fact that Aboriginal people were here with laws and customs before the law the court now applies, and that the Block has a particular role to play in that actual, and since 1992, forensic fact.”

Mr Ash wanted any trespass judgment delayed for as long as 28 days. This might allow the NSW Attorney-General time to complete an investigation – launched at Ms Munro’s request – into potential breaches of the AHC’s duties as a charitable trust with a mission to provide housing for Aboriginal people.

Geoffrey Watson, SC, for the AHC, argued the court could not be asked to enable the illegal act of trespass.

Mr Ash said he would agree “999 times out of a thousand”.

Mr Watson responded: “He’s one short of a correct answer.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

2018
11/21

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Shark sighting at Bondi is the third in two days

The shark alarm at Bondi Beach has gone off for the third time in roughly 24 hours Photo: Jenny Gardiner A few intrepid surfers return to the water after the shark sighting at Bondi. Photo: Jenny Gardiner
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The shark alarm at Bondi Beach has again sent swimmers scrambling out of the water after the third shark sighting at the beach in two days.

The shark was spotted from the shore just before 4.40pm on Friday and lifeguards raised the alarm. Everyone out! Shark alarm at Bondi now pic.twitter南京夜网/UDBlZar0FP— Joe O’Brien (@joeobrien24) August 14, 2015

A three metre shark was filmed by an underwater diver swimming off shore, according to Channel 7 News. Coming up in @7NewsSydney at 6pm: A 3 metre shark filmed just metres off shore at Bondi beach. #7Newshttps://t.co/pTStdU12CG— Melissa Doyle (@melissadoyle) August 14, 2015

Lifeguards were trying to find a helicopter to patrol the waters for the shark just after 4.30pm.

“For safety’s sake, I need to start calling around and find a helicopter,” said lifeguard Matt when Fairfax Media called Bondi Surf Lifesavers.

A helicopter was hovering over Bondi by 5pm.

Some surfers returned to the water around the same time. Bondi lifeguards usually pack up at 5pm during winter.

The sighting comes roughly 24 hours after a shark was spotted at South Bondi on Thursday. #Breaking repeated shark alarms at Bondi pic.twitter南京夜网/azqoOKAlql— Phil Rich (@FelipeRico) August 14, 2015

A shark was first spotted near Icebergs at 3.30pm on Thursday by lifeguards, who triggered the alarm.

The shark alarm went off again at 5pm as the lifeguards were packing up.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

2018
11/21

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Michael Moore does the attacking for America in his latest provocative film Where To Invade Next

Michael Moore with Sgt. Abdul Henderson on Capital Hill in a scene from Fahrenheit 9/11.Movie session timesFull movies coverage
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Michael Moore is back with another provocative documentary.

In Where To Invade Next, the Oscar-winning filmmaker and political activist apparently tells the Pentagon to stand down so he can take over the job of invading other countries.

It’s another inflammatory topic – the relationship between the United States and its enemies – for the controversial director of such films as Bowling for Columbine (on gun control), Fahrenheit 9/11 (on George Bush’s war on terror), Sicko (on American health care) and Capitalism: A Love Story (on the US financial crisis).

Moore calls it “a film of epic nature.”

The documentary will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in October then screen at the New York Film Festival, which has described it as looking at America from the outside this time around.

“Where To Invade Next is provocative, very funny, and impassioned,” the festival’s screening notes say. “But it’s also pretty surprising.”

While Moore has kept the content secret, including the places apparently invaded, he has started to reveal the odd detail.

One clue came in in a Q&A session on the live video streaming app Periscope about whether there was a particular trigger for the film or whether it came from a sense of the US being “at infinite war”.

Moore said that “the issue of the United States at infinite war is something that has concerned me for quite some time and provides the necessary satire for this film.”

But rather than a particular trigger, Where To Invade Next reflected what has been happening in the US since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“It’s the constant need, it seems, to always have an enemy – where’s the next enemy? – so we can keep our whole military industrial complex alive and keep the companies that make a lot of money from this in business.

“I’ve always been a little bothered by that so that’s where the comedy comes from.”

On whether his documentaries should be be more about entertainment or social content, Moore said he aimed for both.

“The first thing I tell the crew on day one is we’re not making a documentary, we’re making a movie,” he said.

“Documentary or non-fiction is just the vehicle we’re using. You can tell a good story with fiction, you can tell a good story with non-fiction.

“We choose non-fiction but it’s a movie because I’m asking you to give up your Friday or Saturday night and come to the theatre and buy a ticket and $9 popcorn … I want you to have the best cinematic experience that you could possibly have going to the movies.”

In a second Periscope Q&A, Moore revealed he filmed on three continents.

“I think you’ll enjoy where I took my army to invade,” he said. “And hopefully appreciate it too at the same time”

Moore took a swipe at US presidential candidates Jeb Bush, brother of former president George W. Bush, and, more surprisingly, Hillary Clinton.

“I think this is going to be a very fun election year,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s good for the country, it being fun.

“But at least funny. Maybe that’s a better way to put it.”

On Bush, he was dismissive: “Enough said, please. Enough of that.”

He had mixed feelings about Clinton.

“I wrote a chapter in my first book back in the nineties called My Forbidden Love for Hilary.” he said. “The love has waned and grown and then waned again.”

But there was one issue Moore believes the presidential candidates need to address – black lives mattering.

“All white liberals should maybe think about that a little bit,” he said. “There are so many things that we have to deal with in this country especially when it comes to race.

“People shouldn’t be afraid fo it. It’s absolutely encumbent on everyone, especially white people, to help put an end to this once and for all.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

2018
11/21

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MIFF review: Putuparri and the Rainmakers provides rare glimpse into vanishing world

Tom Longford inherited the mantle of custodian. Photo: light corporation 2012 (c)MIFF PUTUPARRI AND THE RAINMAKERS (97 minutes) ACMI 2, August 15, 11am
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Though director Nicole Ma started work on this documentary in 2001,  its key footage dates from 1992.

Shot on VHS, it is both degraded and priceless, an astonishing record of the vital connection between the indigenous folk of Fitzroy Crossing and a remote desert waterhole where a spirit known as Kurtal is believed to live.

Spider is the ageing custodian of this place (land rights are still in dispute), but the focus is on the 20-odd-year journey of Tom Longford towards inheriting and then passing on that mantle.

Along the way Tom – whose tribal name is Putuparri – has the battles with grog, domestic violence and dislocation that all too often seem to define the male experience in Indigenous townships, but in his journey back towards the land and ancient traditions the film maps a possible way forward.

Neither preachy nor overly reverent, this is a remarkable piece of filmmaking that makes us feel we’ve been granted the rare privilege of witnessing something utterly unique, even as it teeters on the cusp of disappearing forever.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.