Dr Chris Aulich's article ("Developing a culture of integrity in government goes beyond an integrity commission", canberratimes.com.au, April 27) prompts the question "what sort of commission we need?".
As I understand it, the Crimes Act 1914 (Commonwealth) covers attempted and actual corruption of politicians, and other public servants, and it is the duty of the apolitical Australian Federal Police (AFP) to investigate accusations of corruption.
Further, it is the duty of the apolitical Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) to consider the outcome of such AFP investigations and to decide whether to prosecute the accused, after assessing the likelihood of being able to prove any alleged offence to the criminal standard of proof: "beyond reasonable doubt".
Assuming those two institutions are diligently doing their duty, we do not need a "crime and corruption commission".
At the same time there can be a wide gap between conduct which meets the criminal standard of proof and conduct that fails to meet the reasonable expectations of citizens at large. Therefore, to maintain trust in the Australian government, citizens need to be reassured that those who receive a consideration (cash or kind) from the Commonwealth make all decisions ethically, and act with integrity.
To that end, what we need is an "ethics and integrity commission" to investigate accusations of unethical assessment of merits and/or failure to act with integrity to the civil standard of proof: "on the balance of probabilities". The penalty for failing the non-criminal standard of proof would be the publication of the adverse report and where appropriate, orders for payment of liquidated damages.
Scott Morrison should not have to apologise for saying that he and his wife have been blessed by having two children that are not disabled.
As the parent of a 33-year-old daughter who has multiple, severe disabilities, I don't find Mr Morrison's words even vaguely offensive. Scott Morrison's words were addressed to a parent, not a person with a disability.
Most people embarking on parenthood fear having a child who is significantly disabled.
The grief and the sheer hard work experienced by many parents of children with disabilities is profound and lifelong. Mr Morrison was clearly trying to acknowledge the emotional and physical strain parents experience.
In buying into the commentary, Dylan Alcott seems to have forgotten that by his own account it took him years or decades to come to terms with his own disability which is relatively minor compared to what is faced by many others.
If that sounds harsh, I am respecting Dylan's wish that people not feel sorry for him.
What I personally find offensive is when people claim some sort of equivalence between the experience of parents having a normally healthy child and parents having a child with significant disabilities.
That message utterly invalidates the lived experience of many parents of children with serious disabilities.
Peter Martin ("Economic wildcards still to play", canberratimes.com.au, April 27) states that the Coalition will deserve the credit for an unemployment level below four per cent.
This conclusion is only one side of the coin.
The budget mid year update points to the gross debt reaching $1.2 thousand billion dollars by 2024. Government net debt is around four times higher than when they took office from Labor.
The deficit is about twice the size of Labor's biggest deficit.
Surely all this spending has bought something? I suspect it is more jobs. It would be nice if Peter could provide some analysis around this. Otherwise some will start believing in fairy tales. Magic Pudding anyone?
Former resources minister Matt Canavan is on record as saying, when asked about the net zero emissions by 2050 policy, to which Prime Minister Morrison made a half-hearted commitment, "There is no set trajectory. We are not following a linear path like the Labor Party. The other thing to say is the net-zero thing is all sort of dead anyway".
This attitude does not sit well with the warning from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction that the world will face an increasing number and severity of disasters caused by the extreme weather events that are one expression of climate change.
Continuing - and even increasing as urged by Senator Canavan - the mining and use of coal will only hasten climate change and worsen its effects.
How can political parties complain about mail (advertising) not being delivered.
Everyone knows that Australia Post doesn't do it's job properly and they charge you extra to do so.
What would happen if another business gave one quote for a job, then a second quote, with extra charges to do the job to standard?
Imagine having an option at a restaurant to pay extra if you want the chef to wash his hands?
We the people would like the next day letter delivery service to homes restored Mondays to Fridays; has any political party or genuine self-financing independent promised that?
Will anyone do something about the mail? We need someone running postal services who doesn't just regard it as an opportunity to get super rich, or to self indulge, perhaps singing "What do simple folk do?"; someone who puts the people first through service.
As our politicians line up each Anzac Day to lay wreaths at war memorials I often wonder what the men whose names are inscribed on those columns would say if they could speak?
Would the diggers who died at Gallipoli and on the Western Front express regret that they were talked into travelling to the other side of the world to die in someone else's war? Would they regret never having had a chance to marry, have children and enjoy a full life? Would they be cheering or jeering Peter Dutton - the latest Australian Defence Minister to beat the drums of war?
Or would they perhaps be singing the final verse of Pete Seeger's anti-war song Where have all the flowers gone - "when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?"
I suspect it will be easier for Putin to defeat Ukraine than for the Coalition to cling on to power come May 21. Has Scomo kept any powder dry?
I wonder what the motto of Advance Australia is? Is it something like "it matters not how you played the game, it's whether you won or lost".
Their latest assault on fair play and truth, (corflutes depicting independent senate candidate David Pocock as a secret Greens candidate,) shows that they have no compunction about misleading the electorate with dishonest and untruthful material.
This, added to their previous nonsense depicting Xi Jinping voting Labor indicates just how vulnerable Zed must be feeling.
Of course he will say he has no connection with Advance Australia but Vicki Dunne is one of their directors; do the maths.
Let's hope the next government has the guts to enact "truth in electoral advertising" legislation.
In typical Coalition fashion Senator Seselja has outsourced the messy and dirty work he thinks is needed to help him crawl over the line on May 21.
The Liberals' Trumpian strategy and tactics ally, cashed-up Advance Australia, has now belched out more erroneous and deliberately misleading imagery designed to denigrate a decent and intelligent contender for the senate ("David Pocock gets the truck treatment. Must be a threat then", canberratimes.com.au, April 27).
The Senator's long-term loyalist and acolyte, former Liberal MLA Vicki Dunne, is directing this outfit's "low-bar" attacks and seems more than happy to now view and treat ACT voters as gullible hicks.
May the principled and pro-active independents in the next federal parliament add Advance's nefarious practices to their long "to do" list of parliamentary and electoral integrity-related reforms.
Caught the tail end of a Coalition ad today with catch line "It won't be easy with Albanese". Did someone in the party commission an ad agency linked to Play School?
What I really want to hear from this government before the election is that they have granted the Murugappan family permanent residence. Failing that, a commitment from the ALP that it will do so if elected. Unfortunately I fear our sneaky, untrustworthy government is planning to deport the family straight after the election if it wins.
The Raiders have invented a new "five step pause" defensive style. Is it any wonder its opponents can gain tens of metres every set?
The Canberra Raiders have more than bubblegum and swearing to worry about. The club is in dire straits. It is too late now for this year. But, at the end of the season, there needs to be a major clean out of under-performing staff and players, followed by some intelligent recruiting. A new broom is sorely needed.
Many of the candidates seem to be doing their very best to disenchant us with democracy.
There are claims a government voice first made inappropriate remarks at the Darwin Anzac Dawn Service. I thought differently, identifying Richard Marles as the source of the original inappropriate remarks. That said, I may have been wrong. Surely Marles would have cleared his wording offshore first? (as he has done in the past).
Peter Dutton says Australia should be prepared for war. To consolidate this we need to introduce mandatory conscription which will also take our kids off streets and keep them away from drugs.
Anne Prendergast describes Seselja and Morrison as "good Christian men". There is an uncomfortable element of moral supremacy in her tone. Given the Catholic Church's reprehensible track record and the disturbing activities of the prosperity faiths, I would suggest Anne dispense with the sanctimony.
So our PM has drawn a red line in relation to China and the Solomon Islands. What on earth is he talking about? Invading Honiara? Invading China? Meanwhile his government continues the transformation of Australia into a virtual military base for the US. Hypocrisy writ large.
Prepare for war. I'd rather aim for peace. Get real Morrison and Dutton, we are ants waving our feelers at a tiger.
Correspondents rightly assert that Zed's opposition to voluntary assisted dying places him at odds with most of his constituents. However, his support for religious bullies, who - contrary to the law - harass women seeking abortions in Civic, more vividly illustrates his utter unsuitability for office.
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