What's changing with Medicare? It's really hard to find out ...

"On the 1st of July, just a few weeks' time, we're going to see the biggest changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule that we're aware of in the history of Medicare. Over 900 items are changing and this has a significant potential impact on patients. The problem that we're seeing, and the problem that we're calling out today is that Government have only just released these new changes to the schedule in the last week or so, leaving only a few weeks for doctors, health funds and others to determine what their fees are and what the arrangements will be for the future.

Now, the changes to the schedule are quite significant, including very significant cuts to some rebates that patients may expect for their surgery as a result of rule changes within the MBS. But the bigger problem is the chaos that's going to ensue because doctors can't tell patients how much they can expect to receive back from their health fund because they simply don't know. It's not the fund's fault. They haven't had a chance yet to develop their own fee schedules. It's not the doctors' fault because they've just got no information around which to have a conversation with their patients for surgeries that have already been booked post first of July. So our message to patients having orthopaedic surgery, also cardiac and general surgery, is that if you do receive a bill that is not what you're expecting, if your doctor is unable to tell you what your fees are, it's not the doctor's fault. It's not the health funds fault on this occasion, it's the Government's fault." (Omar Khorshid, President Australian Medical Association.) Read more on the AMA's site at "Dr Omar Khorshid - MBS changes and comments on quarantine," 6 Jun 2021.

Law Council queries secret trials in Australia and case of 'Alan Johns'

According to the recently publicly released summary of offending, it is still unknown what offences Mr Johns pleaded guilty to, why he was given a term of imprisonment, exactly why the proceedings were conducted entirely in camera, and why even the ACT Attorney-General was never made aware that he was imprisoned in a correctional facility which the Attorney ultimately oversees,” Dr Brasch QC said.

Australia's Parliament must act to end the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange

On 3 June, Peter Khalil, Labor member for the Melbourne metropoliton seat of Wills, presented to Federal Parliament a petition from one of his constituents on behalf of Australian journalist Julian Assange. The video of Peter Khalil's speech is embedded below.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate will be sitting this coming fortnight, firstly, on Tuesday 15 June and then the following two days and, secondly, on Monday 21 June and the following three days. Members of the "Bring Julian Assange Home" Parliamentary Group could use these sittings to properly hold to account the Government of Scott Morrison over Julian Assange through a proper debate. They could consider putting to both houses a motion which calls on the Government to act to end the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange. A motion I have already suggested to members of the group is included below.

How the "Bring Julian Assange Home" group can make the Morrison government act to free Julian or hold it to account for failure to do so

Update 12:40pm, Thu 3 June 2021: After I had posted this finished article at 4:50AM this morning, I realised that the most recent example I had cited in the Appendix below was dated 26 February 2020 - more than 12 months old! (more inside) More recent Hansard pages are Assange, Mr Julian Paul (25/2/2021) by Tony Zappia MP, Committee on 25/03/2021 by Senator Rex Patrick, Mr Julian Assange (25/2/2021) by Senator Whish-Wilson, Assange, Mr Julian Paul (2/2/2021) by Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Iraq War, Mr Julian Assange (16/2/2021) by Senator Peter Whish-Wilson. I will append copies of the above pages below in another Appendix shortly. (more of this update inside)

A search (with the search terms "Julian Assange" - quote marks omitted) through the Hansard of Australia's 46th Parliament, elected on 18 May 2019, reveals a number of powerful speeches in support of Julian Assange by members and supporters of the "Bring Julian Assange Home" group from the floors of both the the House of Representatives and the Senate. Some of these are included below in the Appendix. However, that search also showed that there was surprising little response from members of the Government of Scott Morrison of whom these speeches are so harshly critical. Most of the speeches were not responded to at all whilst, on the few occasions that they did respond, such as in Question Time, neither Prime Minister Scott Morrison nor Foreign Minister Marise Payne bothered to make more than a token pretence at rebutting the substance of these speeches.

Australia's "Bring Julian Assange Home" group should act now on the floor of our national Parliament

The denial of Julian Assange's liberty in London for almost nine years since June 2012 and, more so, his imprisonment in Belmarsh prison since April 2019 in solitary confinement for 23 hours per day, is against British law and International law. Had the Australian government chosen to use its authority, it could have long ago ended Julian Assange's ordeal, got him out of prison and back to Australia, to be with his two children and their mother Stella Moris.

Instead the Australian government chose variously to do nothing or else to smear Julian Assange.

On 12 April last year a number of Australian parliamentarians began to speak up for Jullian Assange. Some even personally visited Julian Assange in prison. Johnn Shipton, Julian Assange's father puts the number in in the "Bring Julian Assange Home" at 28. [1]

In spite of this sizeable number of members of the support group and in spite of the massive support for Julian Assange in Australia and across the world, the Federal Government has yet to be properly held to account before the Australian people for its abandonment of Julian Assange.

Stella Moris speaks in support of Julian Assange and Palestine

Stella Moris @StellaMoris1), the mother of two of Julian Assange's children, spoke today to a London protest in support of the Palestinian resistance to Israel's recent aggression against the Gaza strip. She told the large crowd how Julian had previously revealed secret communications amongst Senior Israeli officers in their planning of wars against Palestinian men, women and children.

Video: Markham Estate Ashburton Overdevelopment Public Rally - Sat 15 May 2021

The video inside the article is a record of the third ARAG (Ashburton Residents Action Group) public rally over six years in the residential battle to protect Markham Estate and the surrounding streets and environment.

Do Melbourne pro-Palestine protesters think the Palestinian resistance can triumph whilst US forces and their terrorist proxies rampage through neighbouring Syria and Iraq?

Can Palestine be liberated while the US illegally occupies Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq? Apparently Melbourne's pro-Palestine movement thinks Palestine can be liberated whilst Syria has much of its territory illegally occupied and US troops also illegally occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.

I attended both the Freedom Protest and the huge pro-Palestine Protest in Melbourne yesterday on 15 May 2021. At both protests I intended to show my support for each of those two respective causes and to distribute our leaflet on Julian Assange. [1]

IPAN condemns theft of Palestinian homes & land by Israel

The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network calls on the Australian Government to stop its support of the Israeli occupation and condemn the theft of Palestinian homes and land by Israel.

2GB Interview & transcript: Pandemic population pause could spark higher living standards (William Bourke & Michael McLaren)

You may have been wondering when and who would point out the silver lining in the current situation, where the interruption of decades of mass immigration has seen employment prospects and living standards for many ordinary people looking good in Australia for the first time in decades. If so, you will be very pleased to catch the following interview between 2GB's Michael McLaren and the Sustainable Australia Party's William Bourke, on this very issue. We are living through fascinating times.

On 10 May 2021, Michael Mclaren (2GB radio) was joined by William Bourke, President of the Sustainable Australia Party, to comment on the RBA’s report that suggests that the pause in immigration due to the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to higher living standards in Australia and could spark wage rises in some regions and industries - even though the economy will be smaller than previously expected. In its quarterly statement on monetary policy the preceding week, the RBA noted, “The Australian economy is transitioning from recovery to ­expansion phase earlier and with more momentum than anticipated.”

The Burden of the Public Consultation Melbourne Planning Scam - by Sally Pepper

Planning scam, or should I say, planning scam juggernaut. The speed of so-called consultations for new development proposals is overwhelming democracy. No-one, except wealthy professional developers, with dedicated teams of staff, can keep up with the proposals. Maybe that’s the point. Still recovering from two recent surgeries, and on the heels of an unavoidable community organisation event, involving time consuming preparation and sequelae, I was looking forward to taking a break. I could see about 3 weeks of "clear sky" ahead of me, in which I could deal with an issue of mutual concern with my neighbour, do my tax return, prune the lemon tree, wash the curtains, and organise the hard rubbish for Friday. This feeling of relative freedom lasted about two days, before yet another "opportunity" for consultation from Melbourne Planning reared its head.

Importing India's doctors when India needs them ...

India is in a terrible state due to the pandemic, a situation largely the result of gross mismanagement by the government. The spread of the virus was difficult to control because of high-density cities that made lock-downs extremely difficult for residents, and safe separation impossible. A highly infectious new variant may also be a driver, but there are other factors, including an underfunded health service, and a severe shortage of doctors. India needs about 600,000 more doctors, just to meet the WHO recommendations for doctor to patient ratio. Unfortunately, the situation is getting worse. A study by the Indian Journal of public health found that, because of population growth, India will need another 2 million doctors by 2030.

Melbourne May Day: march to demand that the Australian government act to end the illegal imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange from Trades Hall, South Carlton

Apologies for this very short notice.

At 1:30pm today, 1 May 2021, the International Workers' Day, the day on which Trade Unionists commemorate the struggle and sacrifices by trade unionists to achieve dignity and decent living standards for themselves and their families, supporters of Australian journalist and founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange will be marching as a contingent, behind Melbourne for Wikileaks' (@Melbourne4Wiki)'s large banner, pictured further below.

Julian Assange has committed no crime and has already served his outrageous 50 week sentence for the supposed misdemeanour of skipping bail back in 2012 when he sought political asylum at the London Ecuadorian embassy. Yet, two years after his imprisonment, he still outrageously remains behind bars after two years imprisonment, in solitary confinement for 23 hours per day, as United States prosecutors pursue their appeal of Magistrate Vanessa Barraitser's ruling against the extradition of Julian Assange.

Where: Melbourne, Trades Hall, corner of Lygon Street and Victoria Street, South Carlton.

When: Today (Saturday, 1 May), 1:30pm

Speaker of the European Parliament stops members from properly scrutinising claim that the Syrian President used poison gas on his own people

See also MEPs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly reject claims they spread 'fake news' about Syria attack (26/4/2021) | Irish Examiner, During EU Parliament session, MEP accused of 'fake news' for daring to question OPCW on whistleblower scandal (21/4/2021) | New Cold War.

In a recent sitting of the European Parliament two Irish members, Mick Wallace (pictured left) and Clare Daly (pictured right), attempted to effectively scrutinise a representative of the OPCW, who claimed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people at Douma on 17 April 2018.

Video: Julian Assange's father, John Shipton, interviewed prior to embarking on his "Home Run for Julian" World Tour

On Saturday 24 April, at the iconic A1 Restaurant on Sydney Road in Melbourne's northern suburb of Brunswick, supporters of Julian Assange had lunch to see off Julian Assange's father John Shipton, just before he embarked on his second "Home Run for Julian" tour. Whilst other supporters of Julian Assange were still at lunch inside the A1 Restaurant to the left, John Shipton was interviewed by Sheila Newman. He explained to her, during the interview, embedded below, that, this time, he was going to visit Northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland. Then on 17 May they would depart Australia for the United States. They would firstly tour the Eastern states, including New York and Washington, D. C. Thence he would tour California. Then he planned to visit Ireland, Scotland and Britain. He will be speaking to political figures and media figures in those countries.

Syrian strike near Israeli nuclear reactor

Syrian/British PressTV journalist, Richard Medhurst (pictured) reports on Syria's missile strike towards Dimona. Finally, after years of enduring missile strikes from Israel on top of the 10 year old takfiri terrorist invasion than has cost Syria, by one outdated estimate, 400,000 lives, Syria has hit back at the rogue state on its border.

On the passing of HRH Prince Philip - an environmentalist

I think it is timely to highlight the fact that HRH Duke of Edinburgh appears to have had a pretty good understanding of environmental issues and the role of human population numbers in environmental degradation.[1] His reputation for having a curmudgeonly persona went before him, and possibly gave him licence to blurt out his thoughts, uncensored by notions of political correctness. His gratuitous remarks to more or less strangers, regarding their appearances, or rude questions, characterised his multitudinous "gaffes". He was refreshingly "un careful" and honest in interviews, so he spoke of what many refer to as "the elephant in the room" - human population numbers - as though this reality was indeed not only visible but very obvious.[2] He remarked in one interview that where humans are, there is nothing else (!) He was unmeasured in his comments, so his message was clear. He also remarked, in one interview, that no-one wants to talk about it [population]. I have not, so far, found an interview where any interviewer delves deeply into this with him.

International Symposium of Parliamentarians – Saturday 17 April 12pm noon BST (UK time)

There will be an international public symposium of parliamentarians and legislators who will discuss and examine the issues at stake in the Julian Assange case. The event will also be live-streamed by the Don’t Extradite Assange campaign on their YouTubeTwitter and Facebook channels.

All major Human Rights and Free Press Organizations have opposed Assange’s extradition including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch and many more. Newspaper Editorial boards including The Guardian, New York Times, El, Pais, Der Speigel, Le Monde, as well as major Journalist Unions including the UK’s NUJ and Australia’s MEAA have voiced their strong opposition to the proceeding against Assange and the threat it posses to Journalism and the Free Press.

Threat to Lorne Parade Reserve, Surrey Hills (Vic) - rally there 2pm, 18 April

The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) current design for the new railway station will permanently occupy a significant part of the Lorne Parade Reserve at the expense of open public parkland.

Despite lack of details from the LXRA, the public documentation provided indicates the permanent footprint of the Reserve could reduce by about 30%. LXRA is yet to confirm the physical and overshadowing intrusion from the new railway station and other railway infrastructure, whether there will be any level changes to the topography of the Reserve and the extent of vegetation removal proposed, but it is clear the infrastructure will have an intrusive presence on the Reserve.

Australian politicians ignoring letters from public re Assange torture

Letter from Billy Field to Australian politicians

13 April, 2021

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to inform you that over the past month, I have sent 3 letters to every MP and senator in the Australian Parliament regarding the importance of the Government urgently acting to protect Julian Assange who is currently in solitary confinement in Belmarsh Prison, UK.

He has been in solitary for 2 years, since 11 April, 2019 for exposing war crimes. Also, due to “misinformation” spread during smear campaigns, Assange has had his freedom curtailed and his rights infringed for nearly 11 years now.

Despite the fact that credible experts have reported that Julian has been subject to torture, I find it alarming that to date I have received only 2 letters in response to my 3 letters to all 226 highly paid parliamentarians/public officials. Otherwise, there has been silence & inaction.

Billy Field re Letter about Julian Assange, to MP's and Senators, April 8, 2021

Billy Field
Gosford
NSW 2250

8 April 2021

Dear Member of Parliament,

Please find attached a list of the cross-party MPs and senators calling for the Govt to take
immediate action to “free Julian Assange” who is currently in solitary confinement in Belmarsh
prison in the UK.

I, and I am sure countless folk all over the world, are highly appreciative of these members and
senators. They are routinely thanked by groups of citizens meeting and demonstrating for Julian
Assange’s release every Friday afternoon outside Sydney Town Hall (photo attached).

Despite the fact that credible experts have deemed Assange to have been subject to torture, he
still remains in solitary confinement (& for 2yrs as of April 11th) under heavily restricted
conditions and as an Australian I, and I believe his supporters, find this untenable.

Debunking Myths & Smears about Australian Publisher Julian Assange

"April11, 2021, marks 2 years Julian Assange has been held without charge in Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, London - a prison housing society's most violent individuals. Julian Assange published factual information about government and military wrongdoings, provoking a massive campaign to destroy his credibility and discourage other whistleblowers, journalists and publishers."The pdf file contains a document which is an edited version of original works of author Caitlin Johnstone, who has generously permitted the use and editing of her work for this brochure. https://caitlinjohnstone.com/ Published by Assange Town Hall Gatherings Inc, c/- tonywakeham1@hotmail.com For comments contact Tony Wakeham 0427252726. (This document was sent to Australian politicians by Billy Field.)

Hands off Syria (Australia) seeks material for video by Tim Anderson

Syria continues under attack, Western criminal sanctions are further devastating the war ravaged country. The US maintaining forces there, holding onto the northern resources rich area, stealing the much needed petrol. Syrians in Syria are suffering with high unemployment, low wages, hyper inflation, no fuel, medicines and shortages of food, electricity, water and COVID 19 increasing. Hands Off Syria, Sydney, requests short videos (30 seconds or less) or photos opposing the sanctions against Syria. Those preferring photos please add a short statement against the sanctions, something as simple "I/we oppose the sanctions against Syria." Send your material to mlobeid@outlook.com Tim Anderson has offered to put them together to make a video. Please send us your short videos and pics by Wednesday 21 April 2021. [Depending on the number of responses, it will take us around 2-3 days to put it together].

Melbourne protest at British Consulate to mark 2nd anniversary of illegal arrest of Julian Assange - 4:00pm Sunday 11 April

A 336K double-sided A5 leaflet (adapted from previous leaflet) can be found, attached to this page here. (Update, Thu 6 May 2021: Two videos of speeches outside the British Melbourne Consulate on 4 April embedded as an Appendix; Update, 6:28am Sat 10 Apr 2021: The file previously linked to at the end of the previous sentence, erroneously gave the time of the protest as 10:00pm and not 4:00pm, my apologies - this has been fixed.) See also @LorineBrice. Events elsewhere in Australia: Perth Town Hall 12 noon-4pm, @ForAdelaide Watch this space for further details, @Melbourne4wiki Melb CBD 6.30pm, In New Zealand: Auckland US Consulate 12 Noon (23 Customs St. East)

This coming Sunday 11 April will be the second anniversary of the date on which British Police entered the London Ecuadorian embassy and arrested Australian journalist Julian Assange who had been granted asylum there by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. Rafael Correa had been President of Ecuador from 2010 until 2017. President Lenin Moreno, Rafael Correa's successor, in violation of Article 14 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, allowed British Police to enter the Ecuadorian embassy to arrest Julian Assange. Lenin Moreno's collusion with the United States and with Britain to enable this illegal arrest was only one of a number of ways that Lenin Moreno has betrayed the trust placed in him by former President Rafael Correa. [1]

All over the world supporters of Julian Assange will be commemorating this grim milestone in Julian Assange's life. In Melbourne, we will be assembling outside the British Consulate at 90 Collins Street Melbourne at 4:00pm to unfurl our banners, give speeches and hand out leaflets. At 6:00pm we will also protest in front of Flinders Street Station, roughly 1.6km from the Consulate. For information about other events, please visit the @candles4assange.

After that we will walk to Flinders Street Station for another protest at 6:00pm (see also @LorineBrice). (Whilst, for now, this seems to clash with @Melbourne4Wiki's plans to protest somewhere in St Kilda, 4km away, at 6:30pm, [Correction, 8 Apr: clearly the 6:30pm @Melbourne4Wiki event in St Kilda clashes with the 6:30pm Melbourne4Wiki event in the CBD. I now understand that the St Kilda event is scheduled for 3pm and not 6:30pm. Still, …] I hope that our two groups can find a compromise that will enable us to work together effectively on the day.)

Stephen Taberner & trio: Like a Movie, a song for Julian Assange (Lyrics inside)

This is a beautiful original song, beautifully performed, with well conceived lyrics describing the importance of Assange, his suffering, and encouraging people to work to have him released.

Video: Good Friday vigil for Julian Assange at Flinders Street Railway Station, Melbourne

From 6:30PM on Good Friday, last Friday 2 April 2021, Anita Brice, myself and other Melbourne supporters of Julian Assange held their weekly vigil in front of Flinders Street Station. This vigil is the central part of Anita Brice's (see Lorine Anita Brice's Twitter page @LorineBrice) campaign for Julian Assange which she has organised since April 2020.

Each Friday since then they have turned up with placards and printed literature in order to inform members of the public about Julian Assange.

Video: Greens Senator Janet Rice confronts Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne for her failure to act to free Julian Assange

Last Thursday 25 March, during the Senate Estimates Hearing, Greens Senator for Victoria, Janet Rice (pictured left), asked Foreign Minister Marise Payne (pictured right) to explain her failure to act to free Australian journalist Julian Assange from his imprisonment in Belmarsh Prison in London.

Given the very short time allowed for Janet Rice to pursue this issue, she did remarkably well in cutting through Marise Payne's evasions and attempts to obfuscate the issue.

Stella Moris on the overreach of the Espionage Act in the Assange case

Stella Moris, Julian Assange's wife and mother of his two children, explains how the United States' 1917 Espionage Act threatens all journalism that is in any way critical of the U.S. government.

Aramaic language, spoken by Jesus, now threatened by the United States' continuing war and sanctions against Syria and theft of Syrian oil

As Australian academic Tim Anderson has pointed out (see below), the Aramaic language, which was spoken by Jesus Christ and now spoken only in Syria, has been under threat by the war against the Syrian people that started over a decade ago on 15 March 2011. This war has been waged mainly by tens of thousands of paid terrorist proxies of the United States and its allies - Israel, Saudi Arabia, Britain, Germany, France and Turkey. This terrible war has, so far, cost over 400,000 Syrian lives, including 80,000 Syrian soldiers by one estimate and caused the internal displacement of more than half of Syria's population and has caused many others to seek refuge overseas. (Wikipedia's somewhat less terrible figures can be found here.)

Pages

Subscribe to (We) can do better RSS