Tag: Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison sets up Taskforce in ‘response against foreign interference’

Photo: PM website

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 2 December: The Federal Government has decided to set up an $87.8 million new taskforce aimed to counter foreign interference and deter anyone attempting to undermine the country’s national interests. The announcement comes after Australian media reports of rising Chinese interference in Australia, though the media release today from the PM’s Press Office in Canberra, does not mention China or any other country.

A report in Guardian Australia says,” The Chinese government has dismissed allegations of espionage in Australia – including plans to install a pro-Beijing plant in parliament – as “nothing but lies”, insisting “China doesn’t interfere in other countries’ internal affairs”.

Dr. Pradeep Taneja, a specialist in Asian Politics in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne says, “Judging by media reports, Australian intelligence agencies believe that foreign interference activity in Australia is at an unprecedented level. In political terms, this has already translated into more funding and new powers for intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

While I have no reason not to believe the claims of intelligence agencies, the evidence presented so far is less than overwhelming. As taxpayers, we have the right to see evidence in the form of prosecutions and convictions under these laws. Perhaps the new Counter Foreign Interference Taskforce will gather that evidence and present it before the Australian public.”

“The Taskforce will work into the National Counter Foreign Interference Coordinator that we established last year in the Department of Home Affairs and expand the resources the Coordinator has at their fingertips. It will be led by a senior ASIO officer and bring together a new team of Australian Federal Police investigators and representatives from AUSTRAC, the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation. The Office of National Intelligence will also support the Taskforce.

The new dedicated capability of the Taskforce will also increase the collaboration and streamline the decision-making between agencies, and strengthen Australia’s analysis of the sophisticated disinformation activities happening across the world, particularly against democratic processes and elections,” says the media release.

Scott Morrison to visit India in January 2020

Photo: theinterpretor, Lowy Institute

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 4 October: Australia’s Prime Minister Mr. Scott Morrison will visit India in January 2010. The PM disclosed this in his speech at the Lowy lecture, “In our interest ‘at the Sydney Town Hall on 3 October 2019. He will deliver the inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue during his India visit.

“The visit will be accompanied by a business delegation that I have invited Ashok Jacob, Chair of the Australia-India Council Board, to lead. This will bring Government and business together to pursue our India Economic Strategy that has captured the attention of our Indian partners and must now be realized.
My visit will be another step in cementing India in the top tier of Australia’s partnerships,” he said.

The Australian Prime Minister touched many subjects in his address including national security, social cohesion, economy, international engagement, trade, ASEAN, alliance with the US and China among others.

Full text of the address: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/speech-lowy-lecture-our-interest

Pauline Hanson claims credit for Morrison ordering Parliamentary probe into family and child support


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 18 September: One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has claimed credit for a government probe into the “a wide-ranging inquiry into the family law system. The Joint Parliamentary Committee of both the House and the Senate will be led by Hon Kevin Andrews MP and has to deliver its report by 7 October 2019.

A report in the online Guardian Australia says Pauline denies this as a “bargaining chip” in Senate negotiations but says “she had pushed the Coalition on the matter since 2016, and had recently made the appeal directly to Morrison.”

PM Morrison says, “We want to ensure families can resolve issues as quickly and fairly as possible, so everyone can move on with their lives,” the Prime Minister said. 

“This inquiry will allow the Parliament to hear directly from families and listen to them as they give their accounts of how the family law system has been impacting them and how it interacts with the child support system.  

“This is a serious issue that has been raised by Members and Senators across the Parliament and I look forward to the Parliament working together through this Committee to bring forward recommendations that look at how the system can be improved.” 

The Guardian Australia report says, “While saying she did not believe the system was “rigged” against men, Hanson has advocated for changes that would give fathers more rights in custody battles, and has pointed to the high rates of male suicide as one of her motivations for the push.

“I think that a lot of fathers feel they are not getting a fair go and that is a shame, everyone has a right to a fair go,” she said.

Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations the Hon Christian Porter MP said the Select Committee’s focus would be on specific areas where there may be scope for improvement in the family law system, the courts or other policy areas such as child support.

It will also look at how the family law system, state, and territory child protection systems and family and domestic violence jurisdictions can communicate better.

Australia to combat online terror content, criminal cyber-bullying and online harassment, ISPs agree to work with govt. on effective content blocking arrangements on terrorist content

PM Scott Morrison with Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron at the G-20 summit, Osaka.Photo: Scott Morrison Facebook post.

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 30 June: In the light of the global concern over the spread of terror-related content online, Australia wants social media companies “…to take further steps to stop the publication of violent terror content in response to the Morrison Government’s social media task force to keep Australians safe online.”

A joint media release by the Australian PM Hon Scott Morrison MP and the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts says, “The commitments from the Australian Taskforce to Combat Terrorist and Extreme Violent Material Online the Government set up following the Christchurch terrorist attacks will see tighter monitoring and controls on live streaming and a simulation exercise to further test social media companies’ capabilities.”

The action comes following the G20 Summit and world leaders’ strong message to technology companies to take action to prevent the exploitation of the internet for terrorism and violent extremism.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his priority was to keep Australians safe.
“Social media companies need to step up and recognize their responsibilities to ensure their platforms are not being weaponized by violent terrorists and extremists,” the Prime Minister said. 
“We’re doing everything we can with new laws and tighter controls at home and with our international partners to stop social media platforms being abused.
“Social media companies are on notice. If they don’t deliver on their commitments, we will move to legislate and do so quickly. 
“To keep all Australians safe we must prevent the use of online platforms by extremists, like what was filmed and shared in Christchurch.”
The Taskforce was formed following a Summit on March 26 convened by the Prime Minister, with members from Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Microsoft, and Twitter, along with Telstra, Vodafone, TPG and Optus.
The report identifies nine areas of agreement, including prevention; detection and removal; transparency; deterrence; and capacity building.

These areas build on and extend the commitments already made by industry and Government following the attacks, including to;
• Develop and report to Government on technical measures to proactively stop terrorist and extreme violent material from being disseminated on their platforms;
• Identify, fast-track and report to Government on appropriate checks on live-streaming to reduce the risk of users spreading terrorist and extreme violent material online;
• Implement visible and intuitive user reporting mechanisms and introduce accelerated review for live-streamed content flagged as terrorist or extreme violent material;
• Improve transparency of the platforms’ ongoing efforts to combat terrorist and extreme violent material on their platforms through regular public reporting at least twice yearly;
• Ensure that account management practices and policies can be enforced against those who exploit platforms to disseminate terrorist and extreme violent content;
• In consultation with other members, work to strengthen the work of the industry-led Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), including the creation of an online toolbox for smaller online services to access support to effectively prevent, detect and respond to online terrorist and extreme violent and actively make these solutions accessible to smaller online services
• Run a ‘testing event’ in 2019-20 managed by the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee that simulates a scenario to gauge the capability of the industry and government.
This action also advances the principles and actions stipulated in the Christchurch Call to Action, which was developed by the New Zealand Government and has the support of some 18 countries, including Australia, as well as the major digital platforms.
Australian internet service providers (ISPs) have also committed to continuing to work with Government on effective content blocking arrangements on terrorist content
Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher said the members of the Taskforce worked collaboratively over the last three months to deliver this report to Government.
“We are grateful for the spirit of cooperation and goodwill displayed by industry and commend them for reaching a consensus on actions,” Minister Fletcher said.
“This work is only part of the Government’s broader online safety agenda.
“This Government has placed Australia at the forefront of international efforts to keep our citizens safe online.

“In 2015, we established the world’s first Children’s eSafety Commissioner and legislated a take-down regime for cyber-bullying material targeted at Australian children. In 2017, the Government expanded the eSafety Commissioner’s remit to include all Australians and introduced a civil penalty regime for image-based abuse.
“Since then, the Government has provided additional funding for programs to support online safety for vulnerable Australians, teachers, and carers of children under five, and for non-government operators providing online safety and training projects, bringing our investment in eSafety to over $100 million over the next four years.
“We have committed to introducing a new fit-for-purpose Online Safety Act, and will strengthen the penalties for online harassment and abuse,” Minister Fletcher said.
“We will also work with states and territories to develop a nationally consistent approach to combatting criminal cyber-bullying and online harassment.”

Sack Scott Morrison : Greens


By News Desk

MELBOURNE: The Australian Greens have called for Scott Morrison to be sacked from the Ministry following revelations that the violent attacks on Manus Island took place inside the refugee prison camp, resulting in the death of asylum seeker Reza Berati.

Tony Abbott must take personal responsibility for the failure of the morally bankrupt and cruel offshore processing regime that was started by Labor and embraced by his government.

It is clear that the government are trying to cover up how brutal the attacks on refugees inside the Manus Island camp really were. This is an appalling abuse of government power, and Scott Morrison should be forced to resign.

We will continue to see tragedy, cruelty and unrest in these refugee prison camps until Tony Abbott shuts them down.

Read the full press statement from Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne & Greens Immigration Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young here: http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/pm-abbott-must-sack-scott-morrison-and-close-manus-island-greens

Source: Greens site