Latest Government Stories

East Timor bugging scandal: Attorney General’s push for secret trial diminishes us as a nation

East Timor bugging scandal: Attorney General’s push for secret trial diminishes us as a nation

Christian Porter is waging war against Bernard Collaery and his client in pushing the line that the sky will fall in if the Commonwealth has to admit in open court that ASIS bugged Timor-Leste officials. Yet the allegation has been noted in hundreds of reports and nobody seems in any doubt it is true. Lawyer Ian Cunliffe reports on the latest judgment in the saga that has cost nearly $2.5 million before the trial has even started.

Barnaby’s Boondoggle: documents reveal $80m price for ‘Watergate’ licences was nearly twice valuation

Barnaby’s Boondoggle: documents reveal $80m price for ‘Watergate’ licences was nearly twice valuation

The Coalition paid the tax haven-linked Eastern Australia Agriculture nearly double what independent valuers recommended for water licences. Most of the record $80 million from the sale ended up with a Cayman Islands company established by Energy Minister Angus Taylor. Investigative journalist Kerry Brewster has this exclusive report.

Gutless Wonders: when will politicians demonstrate the accountability they foist on the rest of us?

Gutless Wonders: when will politicians demonstrate the accountability they foist on the rest of us?

From Robodebt to Ruby Princess, politicians are past masters at ducking responsibility, though busy prosecuting their perceived foes. Will they stop at nothing to avoid being accountable, asks Elizabeth Minter. Taxpayers are on the hook for $3 million in court costs fighting whistleblowers, and threatened High Court action to stop a federal employee giving evidence to the Ruby Princess Inquiry. All the while, in the absence of a federal anti-corruption commission, the political scandals unfold, and pass without consequence.

US sanctions policy ‘on steroids’: a legitimate tool or is Donald Trump using it for retribution?

US sanctions policy ‘on steroids’: a legitimate tool or is Donald Trump using it for retribution?

Trump is adding to the US sanctions list at a rate never seen before, without Congressional oversight or the requirement to produce evidence. Sanctioning the International Criminal Court over its unanimous ruling to investigate US military personnel for alleged war crimes could see the names of victims of war crimes added to a list previously reserved for terrorists, war criminals, dictators and international drug lords.

Silver Bullet: an elegant cure for Government spending excess

Silver Bullet: an elegant cure for Government spending excess

If it’s good enough for tennis stars and entertainers, it’s good enough for multinational tax avoiders and consultants. Michael West addresses the Senate Inquiry into Finance and Public Administration today. This is an edited version of the opening statement to the Committee which oversees public accountability in which he calls for measures to protect Australian taxpayers from reckless spending and opaque disclosure.

Closing the Gap: how a captive media failed to question Scott Morrison on defunding

Closing the Gap: how a captive media failed to question Scott Morrison on defunding

Only one member of the Australian media questioned Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s narrative about the “innocent” failure of Kevin Rudd’s Closing the Gap scheme. This failure of accountability from all major Australian media outlets skirts over the $1 billion in funding cut from Indigenous services. Callum Foote lays down the real numbers in this investigation of yet another instance of media succumbing to Government public relations narratives.

Wilful ignorance of facts on Chinese investment is cheap politics

Wilful ignorance of facts on Chinese investment is cheap politics

Fears of China buying up the country run deep, with opportunistic politicians and commentators long showing a willingness to not let “facts” get in the way of the truth. And the facts are that: China’s land interests are predominantly leasehold, it owns just 2% of foreign investment stock and is subject to a much lower threshold test. With the Australia-China relationship at a low ebb, it is time to call out this destructive tactic, writes James Laurenceson.

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