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(AUSTRALIA) National Press Club 2022 Report: Key moments from Scott Morrison’s first address #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Feb.03: Mr Morrison took a softer tone in his actual speech, admitting that he “hasn’t always got everything right” and that he was prepared to take some of the blame levelled at him during his last three years in the job.

#AceDailyNews NPC Report: As hundreds of anti-vaccine mandate protesters surrounded the building during his address, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was grilled on a range of topics — from the rising cost of petrol and bills, to whether women working in Parliament are any safer now than they were a year ago.

Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie standing at a podium with the national press club logo behind him
Scott Morrison said he wished he had called in Defence to run the vaccine rollout sooner.(ABC News: Adam Kennedy)

But when asked if he would apologise for some of his decisions — including leaving to go to Hawaii during the 2019/2020 summer bushfires and not securing enough rapid antigen tests ahead of last Christmas — Mr Morrison sidestepped the question.

Instead, he said: “We’re all terribly sorry for what this pandemic has done to the world and to this country.”

Here are some of the other key topics he was asked about.

Defence involved in vaccine rollout

While the Prime Minister didn’t say the “s” word (sorry), he did concede that if he had his time again he’d have done the vaccine rollout differently.

“If I had my time over, I would have put [the rollout] under military operation from the outset, and not later in the year,” he said.

“As we went through those early months and we had the challenges that we had with the Health Department … I took the decision to send in General (John) Frewen and change the way we did it.

“[We] set up a change in the command structure, how logistics were managed, how it was planned.

“And it worked but I wish I’d done that earlier, and that’s a lesson.”

Mr Morrison also said the confusion around whether and when aged care patients could be taken to public hospitals was another issue that proved difficult during the outbreaks in 2020.

Frewen, a bald man, is wearing army military uniform standing behind microphones and in front of an Australian flag.
Lieutenant General John Frewen was brought in to oversee the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.(ABC News: Adam Kennedy)

Treatment of women

Another question directed to the Prime Minister was what changes had been made to make parliament and political offices safer this year than they were last year.

It’s timely given Parliament is set to resume for the first time this year next week, and how the revelations by Brittany Higgins at the beginning of 2021 put the treatment of women in the highest offices front and centre.

Mr Morrison said that to him, the most important difference this time around was the independent complaints body that was in place for anyone who was previously too worried about coming forward.

“That, I think, assists everybody who works in that building,” he said.

“That process that we examined closely, that let down so many a year ago and before, has been significantly changed and for the better.

“We have learnt from those times and I believe it’s safer today than it was a year ago.”

He said he would continue to make sure the processes the government had adopted, including additional counselling support, were working, and that he would tweak them if need be.

Last year, Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins was tasked with doing a wide-ranging review into the workplace culture within Parliament and the public service, finding it had a “boys’ club” culture of “bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault”.

Unemployment rate prediction

Mr Morrison took the opportunity to spruik the difference in the unemployment rates between now and when he was last at the National Press Club a year ago.

“Unemployment is at 4.2 per cent. When I stood here a year ago, it was 6.6 per cent,” he said.

.DO NOT PUB Rachel Pupazzoni image template
Hospitality staff are in high demand across the country.(ABC News: John Gunn)

He went further, saying the government was predicting unemployment could get below 4 per cent in 2022.

“I believe we can now achieve an unemployment rate with a 3 in front of it this year,” he said.

“Our goal is to achieve this in the second half of 2022.”

The government has acknowledged that getting unemployment below 4 per cent to get enough pressure to have wages begin to rise.

Cost of living

The Prime Minister was also quizzed on what his government would, or could, do to ease the rising cost of living for millions of Australians.

The government did forecast that the cost of things like petrol, house prices and living expenses would outpace wage growth in last year’s forecasts.

Mr Morrison said that was why good economic management “was more important than ever”.

“How you manage inflation, principally, is particularly how you manage the national finances — they are things we have control over,” he said.

“On home ownership, it’s always hard to buy your first home, it’s terribly hard.

“That’s why, at the last election, we came up with, I think, some very effective programs.

“We can’t manage what happens to house prices, but we can help people get into homes.”

When asked whether he could say how much a loaf of bread, a litre of petrol and a rapid antigen test cost, Mr Morrison replied that:

“I’m not going to pretend to you that I go out each day and I buy a loaf of bread and I buy a litre of milk.”

“The point is that I do my job every day to ensure that those things are as affordable as they possibly can be for Australians every single day.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Feb.03: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) JUST IN: Amber Heard names new dog after minister embroiled in feud #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.28: Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard expressed remorse in a video message made public by the Australian Department of Agriculture

#AceDailyNews says according to BBC Australia News Report: Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce says he has a “real sense of accomplishment” after learning that US actress Amber Heard named her new dog after him.

She did so in reference to a 2015 feud over a quarantine breach involving two other dogs.

That year, she brought them to Queensland to visit her then husband Johnny Depp, who was filming one of the Pirates of the Caribbean films there.

The couple were given days to remove the dogs or they would be put down. 

At the time, the incident provoked a war of words with Mr Joyce – then agriculture minister – who said the dogs should “bugger off back to the United States” or risk being put down. 

Mr Depp fired back, referring to Mr Joyce as some kind of “sweaty, big-gutted man from Australia”.

On Sunday, the actress – who has since divorced Mr Depp – introduced the new dog in a tweet.

Meet the newest member of the Heard family, Barnaby Joyce! 🐶 pic.twitter.com/fFZkx0ckkt— Amber Heard (@realamberheard) December 26, 2021

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Mr Joyce told The Australian he was “fine” with the name choice and added he had “no problems with animals”.

“I get a real sense of accomplishment that I’m still in her head long after I’ve forgotten about them,” he said.

Mr Joyce said he now “rated above Johnny Depp”

“Obviously, I now rate above Johnny Depp.”

In 2016, Ms Heard pleaded guilty to making a false statement on her immigration card about the couple’s Yorkshire terriers, Boo and Pistol, by not declaring them when the couple flew into Queensland by private jet. She was also given a one-month good behaviour bond.

The couple also had to release an apology video, in which they expressed remorse and advised travellers to respect Australian quarantine laws.

Australia has strict animal quarantine laws to prevent importing infections.

#AceNewsDesk report ………….Published: Dec.28: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) Magnitsky Sanctions Bill Report: Cyber hackers, human rights abusers and corrupt officials will be banned from visiting the country or investing their ill-gotten gains here, under historic legislation set to sail through the lower house of federal parliament today #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.02: Targets could include cronies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, corrupt generals who undermine the rule of law in countries in our region, hackers who target Australia’s interests or Chinese officials involved in placing minority groups into detention.

#AceDailyNews says according to ABC Media News Report: Historic ‘Magnitsky’ sanctions bill that could ‘ruin’ hackers, rights abusers likely to pass in Australia:

Close up of a hand typing on a keyboard in a dark room
Cyber hackers, human rights abusers and corrupt officials could be individually sanctioned under the laws. (Pexels)

The proposed laws, which passed the Senate with unanimous support late on Wednesday will allow the Australian government to sanction individuals and entities responsible for “egregious conduct”, like threatening international peace and serious human rights violations.New human rights laws to impose sanctions, travel bans as the government will write new laws to allow Australia to impose financial sanctions and travel bans against countries that commit human rights abuses………Read more

The legislation is partly based on the United States’ Magnitsky Act, and similar laws are already in place in 33 other countries, including the UK and Canada.

However, by allowing “malicious” hackers to be sanctioned as well, Australia’s laws go further than any other.

They’ve been scrutinised by federal parliament since 2019, after being referred to a parliamentary committee for investigation by the Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

“It’s a historic moment for Australia,” said Bill Browder, the British-American hedge fund manager who has campaigned relentlessly for wealthy countries to introduce the laws.

“I feel overwhelmed with happiness – I’ve been working on this for five or six years. There’s a lot of people who didn’t want this to happen, a lot of bad guys intervening.”

“I actually never thought this day would come.”

‘If you get magnitsk-ied it ruins your life’

The Magnitsky-style legislation works on a simple principle.

Hackers, human rights abusers and corrupt officials often get very rich by exploiting weaknesses in the legal systems of their own countries or stealing from government owned corporations.

More often than not, they like to spend their money on luxury holidays abroad and invest in stable countries, such as the UK or Australia.

It is seen as a back-up in case they fall out with their ruling elite. For example, a number of wealthy Russians with links to the Kremlin have substantial assets in London.

But if a government decides to place a person on a Magnitsky-style sanction list, all that changes.

“Bad guys”, as Mr Browder calls them, are hit where it hurts. Assets can be frozen and seized, while travel becomes much more difficult.

“They really hate this so much,” he added.

Head shot of Businessman and Magnitsky Act campaigner, Bill Browder, looking straight into the lens
Bill Browder said Australia was previously unable to effectively sanction human rights abusers.(ABC News: Tim Stevens)

Mr Browder, who was once Russia’s biggest foreign investor, was inspired to start campaigning for the laws following the death of his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky.

Mr Magnitsky died in custody 12 years ago, after he’d been hired by Mr Browder to investigate a massive fraud case.

“He was killed by eight riot guards with rubber batons in prison,” Mr Browder told Sunday Extra.

“If you were to sanction all of Russia [due to the killing] all sorts of other people who are victims of the same regime would suffer too and that’s not right.”

“But it’s much easier and fairer to go after the individuals. Let’s freeze their assets, ban their travel.”

Mr Browder has received death threats on multiple occasions and been on the receiving end of several lawsuits from individuals and companies linked to the Kremlin.Government under pressure over human rightsSome in Canberra are asking why the federal government has been slow to act on human rights.

But he claims the “anger from the autocrats and dictators of the world” is a sign of how effective the legislation can be.

“If you get magnitsk-ied, it ruins your life,” he said.

“No bank will open an account, no country will give you a visa. Your family has trouble. You basically become a non-person in the financial world.”

“But better than that, for every person who is sanctioned there are 10,000 other people wondering if they are next.”

He argues it can cause an army officer to think twice about carrying out an atrocity or make a corrupt official question their choices.

Mr Browder has long seen Australia as a “hole” in the global network of “Magnitsky countries” but he is particularly pleased by the additional focus on cyber hackers.

“Cyber is such a crucial part of the malign arsenal of countries like China, like Russia, like Iran,” he added.

“This puts Australia at the cutting edge of these laws.”

Bipartisanship on display during parliament’s final days for the year

The Federal Opposition has been critical of how long it has taken for the Magnitsky-style legislation to be passed.

“The Morrison government’s delays in introducing Magnitsky-style sanctions have sent a regrettable message,” Labor Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong told the Senate.

“That Australia is not committed and that we don’t take human rights abuses seriously.”

Penny Wong holds up her hand while speaking to the media
Penny Wong criticised the government for delaying the legislation’s passage. (ABC News: Luke Stephenson)

But during a fairly fractious sitting period of parliament, the unanimous passage of the legislation was a notable example of bipartisanship and compromise, which led to a substantial development in foreign affairs policy.

“Denying the perpetrators and beneficiaries of egregious acts from accessing our economy, is essential and ensures they cannot benefit from the freedoms our democracy and rules-based order society allows,” Foreign Minister Marise Payne told senators.

“This reform will also importantly ensure that Australia does not become an isolated, attractive safe haven for such people and entities, and their ill-gotten gains.”

A portrait of a women in black wearing glasses, glancing to her right
Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne says the government will introduce reforms to its sanctions laws by the end of the year.

Human rights groups have welcomed the passage of the legislation.

Advocacy group Save the Children said it was particularly pleased to see an amendment that covers violations against children during war.

Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, have moved swiftly to sanction dozens of individuals after passing similar laws.

When asked, the Morrison government declined to comment on whether it had specific foreign entities and people in its sights.

#AceNewsDesk report ………….Published: Dec.02: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) Greens Bill Report: There are renewed calls for Federal Parliament to be given the final say on whether troops are deployed to overseas military conflicts, in the aftermath of a 20-year involvement in Afghanistan #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.31: Greens Peace spokesperson senator Jordon Steele-John said the proposed bill would “ensure that we can never again be drawn into a colonial war at the behest of the United States”.

#AceDailyNews says that the Senate is debating a bill put forward by the Greens that would require the government to seek approval from both houses of Parliament before Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel were sent to wars outside Australian territories with powers to commit troops to armed conflicts abroad sit with the prime minister and cabinet.

“Australians are looking on with deep sadness and frustration, as our time in Afghanistan comes to an end and a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions unfold in that country,” he said.

“Now is the time for us to reflect and to examine how it came to this and what we need to do to make sure that it never happens again.”

Greens senator Jordon Steele-John
Greens senator Jordon Steele-John says the bill wouldn’t apply to armed conflicts on Australian soil.

Under the proposed changes, the defence minister would also be required to report in writing every two months on the “status, legality, scope and anticipated duration of the deployment” and explain what efforts were being made to end the conflict.

“This bill is solely about the deployment of Australian troops outside of our territorial borders, and doesn’t call into question the ability of the ADF to respond to any incursion into those territorial boundaries,” Mr Steele-John said:

A 2020 survey, commissioned by the Australians for War Powers Reform group, found an overwhelming number of respondents were supportive of change.

Some 30.9 per cent said they wanted Parliament to approve troop deployments to armed conflicts overseas, while 50.2 per cent said they were supportive “unless there was immediate danger to Australia”.

The Greens’ bill is modelled on a similar one introduced by the Australian Democrats in 1985, but the concept failed to gain the backing of the major parties.

Shadow Defence Minister Brendan O’Connor argued the bill may have “unforeseen and unintended consequences” but said an Albanese Labor Government would hold an inquiry into “how Australia makes decisions to send service personnel into international armed conflict”.

“Recent events in Afghanistan have shown how important it is that the executive has the power to act swiftly and decisively when deploying our troops, not only for the security of our nation and our allies but also to ensure that our troops are operating with legal authority and legal protection,” Mr O’Connor said in a statement.

An Australian solider wearing a face mask stands on a tarmac as the sun sets behind him
Australian forces supported US efforts in Afghanistan for two decades with little end result.(Defence Department: Tristan Kennedy)

“While we believe it is critical that the executive has the flexibility to deploy troops when urgency is required, we also believe it is critical that the decision to deploy is subject to public and parliamentary scrutiny.

Afghan-Australian human rights lawyer Diana Sayed said that while she supported greater scrutiny and public debate around decisions to go to war, she insisted there were more pressing matters that remained unresolved.

“Before we debate what we do in the future there needs to be a reckoning about the past,” she said

“We need to take stock of the Brereton report and the damning war crimes allegations that were contained in there.

“There is no peace without justice.”

Liberal backbencher Eric Abetz told the Senate the proposal should be dumped.

“If one were to be an enemy of Australia, one would be salivating at the prospect of the Greens bill being passed,” he said.

“Imagine a two-day, or even two-minute parliamentary debate on whether to attack somewhere.

“Forewarned is forearmed — how could anything think that that is a smart, strategic idea.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.31: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) JUST IN: ACT Policing Report: A 26-year-old man will be charged over an alleged sexual assault at Parliament House in March 2019 #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.07: Detectives from the territory’s Criminal Investigations — Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Team first received a report in April 2019…..

#AceDailyNews report that a man accused of sexual assault at Parliament House to face court and in a statement, ACT Policing said they will allege that on Saturday, March 23, 2019, the man had sexual intercourse with a woman without consent at Parliament House.

ACT REPORT:

The investigation remained open and a formal complaint was made in February this year.

ACT Policing said detectives have since spoken to witnesses and collected evidence as part of the investigation.

The man’s legal representative was served with a summons to appear before the ACT Magistrates Court on September 16.

He will face one charge of sexual intercourse without consent and faces a maximum penalty of 12 years in jail.

More to come……..

#AceNewsDesk report …….Published: Aug.07: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) Parliament Report: Training to deal with sexual assault, bullying and harassment will not happen until September at the earliest, will go for as little as an hour and will be optional for MPs #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.15: The training was introduced after Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins alleged she was raped in the Parliament House office of then-defence minister Linda Reynolds. The matter is now the subject of a police investigation.

#AceDailyNews says this is how Parliament is going to deal with sexual harrassement claims …One hour, optional: MP’s anti-sexual-assault-bullying-harrassment training revealed

A woman on a stage
Training to deal with sexual assault was promised after Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins alleged she was raped in a minister’s office at Parliament House (Supplied)

Tender documents seeking an organisation to “deliver training to promote a safe and respectful workplace” reveal details of the program.

‘Option to attend’

Parliamentarians will be “given the option to attend” a one-hour face-to-face training session with office managers and chiefs of staff at Parliament House or in electorate offices.

Junior staff will be given a two-hour session that may become mandatory.

By the end of the session, managers and MPs should be able to understand “behaviours [that] do or do not constitute assault, sexual assault, sexual harassment and serious and systemic bullying and harassment”.

They should also be able to understand workplace health and safety obligations as an employer and what is needed to “provide a safe and respectful workplace”.

The training will use practical examples about how to prevent sexual assault, sexual harassment, and serious and systemic bullying, as well as how to support impacted people.

The hour-long session will also detail how to “respond appropriately to a disclosure” and give advice on “reporting options” for incidents.

Trainers told to prepare for learners with little awareness

An investigation into the environment of Parliament House in the wake of Ms Higgins’s alleged sexual assault, called the Review of the Parliamentary Workplace: Responding to Serious Incidents, proposed new ways of dealing with serious incidents.

Those proposed measures were a “trauma-informed support system”, an independent complaints mechanism and a face-to-face tailored workplace education program.

This tender is for the last element.

A woman with blonde hair  looking upward wearing a black and white striped blazer
Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said legislation to make politicians liable for sexual harassment in their workplace would be introduced this year.(ABC News: Adam Kennedy)

The people doing the training are told to prepare for a broad audience that may know little about occupational health and safety, sexual harassment or reporting incidents. Pilot sessions have already been held in parliamentary offices.

Trainers will be required to “demonstrate adaptability and flexibility, given differences across parliamentary offices and differing levels of awareness”: deliver information in a way that is “engaging, non-judgmental and sensitive to dynamics in the room” and present with “a demonstrated awareness of the parliamentary context”.

A statement from the Department of Finance confirmed the details of the training.

“Finance offers induction and ongoing training and support to parliamentarians and … employees in relation to their work, health and safety obligations,” a spokesperson said. “These training modules include workplace bullying and harassment and guidance on sexual harassment.”

The statement went on to note the training was a recommendation from the Foster Report that was designed to “equip parliamentarians, managers and staff to understand their workplace health and safety responsibilities” and give them the tools to deal with unacceptable behaviour.

A number of offices, including the Prime Minister’s, have already participated in pilot training programs focusing on workplace safety.

The approach to market, seeking a company, closes on August 6. The contract will end almost a year later, on June 30, 2022.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: July.15: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) Court Report: ACT Prosecutors have received a brief of evidence in the Brittany Higgins alleged rape case #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.22: Today the ACT’s Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold confirmed he received a partial brief of evidence and a request to provide advice on any prosecution: It is not known when a final decision will be made.

ACT prosecutors receive evidence in Brittany Higgins alleged rape case earlier this year, former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins went public with allegations that she was raped in a parliamentary office in 2019 …….Since speaking publicly about the allegations, she has referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police.

A woman on a stage
Brittany Higgins alleges she was raped by a colleague at Parliament House in 2019.(Supplied)

Ms Higgins told Channel Ten’s The Project that she had originally decided not to pursue a complaint with police as she felt pressure it would affect her job.

Brittany Higgins walks through a crowd of journalists carrying a folder, wearing a black coat.
Since speaking publicly about the allegations, Brittany Higgins has referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police(AAP: Dean Lewins)

Multiple internal inquiries still underway

Ms Higgins’s allegations set off furious debate about the workplace culture inside Parliament House.

Several inquiries were set up to look into whether there were appropriate mechanisms for staffers to report misconduct.

As well as an internal review of the supports and complaints process available to political staffers, which has been handed back to the Prime Minister, an independent inquiry headed by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins has been launched.

That review is looking specifically at the culture inside Parliament House and is due to report back to the government by November.

Other inquiries included an investigation by the head of the Prime Minister’s department Philip Gaetjens.

Part of his brief was to find out who within the Prime Minister’s office knew what and when.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he only learned of the allegations when they became public.

But Ms Higgins said someone from the Prime Minister’s office had reached out to “check on her”, in November 2020.

Mr Gaetjens has not yet delivered the report.

Another investigation by the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff John Kunkel, looked into whether anyone in Mr Morrison’s office had been “backgrounding” against Ms Higgins partner.

Backgrounding is the practice of briefing journalists with information that the source does not want attributed to them.

The investigation found no evidence that had happened.

Opposition members have criticised the inquiries for not being independent.

In a recent senate estimates hearing AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw revealed there had been 40 reports involving parliamentarians and their staff since Ms Higgins made her complaint.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Jun.22: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) ACCC REPORT: Bill passed in parliamentry recently over legislative changes will increase competition and choice for consumers about where they have their cars serviced and repaired #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.21: The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Information Sharing Scheme) Bill 2021, which passed Parliament yesterday, amends the Competition and Consumer Act to establish a mandatory scheme to promote competition in the Australian automotive servicing sector. It requires motor vehicle service and repair information to be made available for purchase by Australian repairers at a fair market price:

ACCC: Welcomes new law on motor vehicle service and repair information and these changes adopt recommendations from the ACCC’s new car retailing industry market study.

ACCC REPORT:

“Under the scheme, independent Australian motor vehicle repairers will have fair access to the information needed to service and repair cars, such as software updates to connect a new spare part with a car, or information and codes for computerised systems from the car manufacturer,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“This enables motorists to shop around for the repairer that offers the best price, service and convenience, knowing they will all have access to the information needed to complete the servicing or repair.”

“Previously, only car manufacturers and their affiliated repairers could be confident of getting access to important service and repair information, preventing many independent repairers from competing fairly for car servicing and repair work. This created additional costs for consumers, as well as inconvenience and delays,” Mr Sims said.

“We believe the scheme provides a much fairer opportunity for independent Australian motor vehicle repairers to compete and will improve outcomes for consumers, and we welcome this important reform being passed by the Parliament.”

The ACCC’s 2017 new car retailing industry market study found that independent repairers experienced continued problems accessing information needed to repair and service new cars. This was despite a voluntary commitment made by car manufacturers in 2014 to provide independent repairers with the same information provided to authorised dealers.

The ACCC recommended introducing a mandatory scheme requiring car manufacturers to share the information needed to repair and service cars with independent repairers.

The study found problems with the breadth, depth and timeliness of the service and repair information offered by car manufacturers to independent repairers, including a lack of transparency and consistency across manufacturers about safety and security information.

“These reforms will ensure consumers benefit from competitive aftermarkets and by having a choice of providers to repair and service cars,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC will have a broad oversight and enforcement role, while day-to-day operations will be the responsibility of a new industry-led body called the Scheme Adviser. The Scheme Adviser will be responsible for dispute resolution, sharing information about the scheme online, and providing reports about the operation of the scheme.

The ACCC has established a dedicated team to ensure the industry has a clear understanding of the ACCC’s role and functions and will closely monitor the implementation of and compliance with the scheme.

Penalties apply for failure to comply with the main obligations of the scheme, and the ACCC will have a number of enforcement tools available ranging from infringement notices to commencing legal proceedings in the Federal Court alleging that individuals or companies have breached the Act. Guidance to assist industry understand the ACCC’s compliance and enforcement approach will be released soon.

The Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Information Sharing Scheme is scheduled to come into effect on 1 July 2022.

Background

In 2017 the ACCC looked into competition and consumer issues in the new car retailing industry. In its new car retailing industry market study, the ACCC found a number of issues which affected independent repairers in repairing and servicing cars. As a result, the ACCC recommended that a mandatory scheme be introduced to give independent repairers access to the technical information they needed to repair and service cars.

Similar regulatory interventions in the European Union and the United States have made the technical information necessary for repairers to service and repair cars more widely available in those jurisdictions.

The ACCC’s study also considered other issues relating to consumer guarantees and new cars, and fuel consumption and emissions performance.

Case study – unexpected costs for independent repairers and consumers

Technicians at an independent garage in Melbourne had received a popular small car for repair. They understood it had a problem with the alternator.

The aftermarket diagnostic tool could report the actual output voltage of the alternator.

However, the technician needed to compare the actual voltage to the manufacturer’s specifications to determine if the alternator was not performing as it should be. This information could not be obtained from the car manufacturer.

The garage had three options: replace the alternator and compare before and after values, keep searching for the information from other sources, or take the car to a dealer.

Each of these options involved additional costs for the garage and would create unexpected costs, inconvenience or delays for the consumer including the cost for the repairer to take the car to a dealer.

Once the legislation comes into effect, car manufacturers will have to provide manuals, technical service bulletins, wiring diagrams, technical specifications for components and lubricants and testing procedures to independent repairers at a fair market price.

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#AceNewsDesk ……………..Published: Jun.21: 2021:

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(MELBOURNE) JUST IN: PM Scott Morrison has had a meeting with Brittany Hughes and he admits that the system let her down after her rape allegation which is presently under investigation #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Apr.30: Ms Higgins, who alleges she was raped by a colleague in a minister’s office two years ago, said the conversation was “very difficult on a personal level” and that Mr Morrison had ” acknowledged the system had let me down”.

ABC News: Brittany Higgins meets Scott Morrison, says he agreed system let her down over rape allegation: Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins says she had a “robust” discussion with Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a meeting this afternoon: Ms Higgins said she was hopeful the meeting would lead to changes to the law and that Mr Morrison would “do the right thing by the women”

Ace News Services: Parliament House.Black ironies since Brittany Higgins spoke outThat the national Parliament has been made to look like a “lawless bubble” since Brittany Higgins made public allegations she was raped is perhaps the blackest irony of them all.

Posted 1h ago, updated 18m ago

Play Video. Duration: 3 minutes 7 seconds
Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins says her meeting with Scott Morrison was “difficult” but it was important it happened.

“It was an honest and frank discussion. It’s important that we had it,” she said.

Ms Higgins said the pair also talked about reforming the legislation that staffers are hired under, known as the Members of Parliament (Staff) or MoPS Act.

Brittany Higgins walks through a crowd of journalists carrying a folder, wearing a black coat.
Brittany Higgins says she is hopeful meaningful change will come from the meeting.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

The act gives MPs the right to sack staffers on the spot if they lose trust or confidence in them, a rule Ms Higgins said created a power imbalance and did not protect employees who come forward with complaints.

“We had a discussion about what needs to happen in terms of the MoPS Act, where there needs to be better safeguards,” the former staffer said.

“We had a robust discussion about the need for an independent authority [for] human resources.

“It was robust, but ultimately, in the end, I think there was a consensus that reform needs to happen.

“I think that’s where we need to be, that’s a starting point and that is encouraging.”

PM: ‘I acknowledged her courage’

In a statement, Mr Morrison said he was pleased to be able to meet with Ms Higgins “and listen to her views on how we can make parliamentary workplaces safe and more respectful”.

“I look forward to her participating in the ongoing discussions on this matter through the Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces,” Mr Morrison said.

“Ms Higgins’ views and experience will be invaluable to the work of (Sex Discrimination) Commissioner Kate Jenkins.

“I acknowledged her courage in coming forward and assisting in this work.” 

A number of reviews were called in the wake of Ms Higgins’ allegations,including one by Commissioner Jenkins into the culture towards women in Parliament House, and how it could be improved.

Ms Higgins has made it clear that she thinks an independent body should be set up to handle staffers’ complaints.

At the moment the Department of Finance is responsible for investigating any claims brought by parliamentary staffers, but even if a complaint is found to be true, it has no authority to sanction a parliamentarian or their staff.

“I am committed to achieving an independent process to deal with these difficult issues,” Mr Morrison said.

‘Progress moves slowly’

“Progress moves slowly. I am hopeful that it’s going to happen. I guess time will tell.”

When asked what she thought Mr Morrison had taken away from their meeting, she replied that she thought he better understood how she was made to feel in the days after she told her then-boss Linda Reynolds that she had allegedly been assaulted.

“I think he fundamentally seemed to understand what had happened to me.”

Ms Higgins has made a formal complaint to police about the alleged incident. An investigation is underway.

#AceNewsDesk report …….Published: May.01: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

Shame on Australia 🇦🇺