Submissions sought: House committee to examine homelessness in Australia
Information overload delays Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security report
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) is busy finalising its consideration of the Inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press.
The Chair, Mr Andrew Hastie MP, said ‘The Committee has received considerable evidence from submitters and witnesses regarding the media and their ability to operate effectively within Australia’s democratic society. All members are endeavouring to achieve a bipartisan report, which delivers tangible areas for reform and consideration. This will not be possible by the end of November.’
The Deputy Chair, Hon Anthony Byrne MP, said ‘As this inquiry has progressed, the complexity and nuances of the issues raised have become acutely emphasised to the Committee. The ability for the Committee to make targeted recommendations is reliant on time, and the Committee would rather report later to ensure that occurs.’
The Committee has written to the Attorney-General informing him of the later reporting requirement, with the undertaking to present a report in the week before Christmas at the latest.
Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.
See also Can do better's earlier article announcing this inquiry here.
Submissions sought: Committee to scrutinise the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has commenced an inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press. The inquiry was referred by the Attorney-General, The Hon Christian Porter MP, on 4 July 2019, for the PJCIS to inquire into the Terms of Reference. (Details inside.) This is a reaction to public and press reaction over the raid by the Australian federal police of the home of News Corp Australia journalist Annika Smethurst, to find out how she had come by a leaked plan to allow government spying on Australians. A warrant from an ACT magistrate gave police authority to search the home, computer and mobile phone of the journalist. News Corp Australia called this a "dangerous act of intimidation targeted at public interest reporting." Smethurst had authored an article about heads of defence and home affairs ministries in Australia having talked about "draconian new powers to allow the Australian Signals Directorate to spy on Australian citizens for the first time. Under the mooted plan, spies would be allowed to secretly access emails, bank accounts and text messages with approval from the defence and home affairs ministers." See inside for how you can contribute - by 26 July 2019. Consider how Australian governments have failed to protect Julian Assange in the name of a perceived right to conceal war crimes.
The Committee has been requested to report back to both Houses of Parliament by 17 October 2019.
The Chair, Mr Andrew Hastie MP, said ‘the government has referred this inquiry based on concerns raised in relation to recent search warrants executed on members of the press, and the issue of balancing national security with the freedom of the press’.
‘This inquiry will allow the Committee to hear from the media, government agencies and other interested stakeholders as to the direct impact of these powers on civil society and their importance to both national security and the public interest. We will consider these issues closely and carefully.’
The Committee invites written submissions to this inquiry, to be received by Friday, 26 July 2019.
Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.
Chair, Mr Andrew Hastie MP (Canning, WA)
08 9534 8044 (Electorate office)
(02) 6277 4223 (Parliament House)
For background information:
Committee Secretariat, Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security
(02) 6277 2360
For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website. On the site, you can make a submission to an inquiry, read other submissions, and get details for upcoming public hearings. You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.
Terms of Reference
The Committee is to inquire and report back to both Houses of Parliament on the following matters:
a) The experiences of journalists and media organisations that have, or could become, subject to the powers of law enforcement or intelligence agencies performing their functions, and the impact of the exercise of those powers on journalists' work, including informing the public.
b) The reasons for which journalists and media organisations have, or could become, subject to those powers in the performance of the functions of law enforcement or intelligence agencies.
c) Whether any and if so, what changes could be made to procedures and thresholds for the exercise of those powers in relation to journalists and media organisations to better balance the need for press freedom with the need for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to investigate serious offending and obtain intelligence on security threats.
d) Without limiting the other matters that the Committee may consider, two issues for specific inquiry are:
whether and in what circumstances there could be contested hearings in relation to warrants authorising investigative action in relation to journalists and media organisations.
the appropriateness of current thresholds for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access electronic data on devices used by journalists and media organisations.
The Committee is to report back to both Houses of Parliament by 17 October 2019.
RSPCA Vic Inquiry about to close but you could make a late submission
Candobetter.net has only just heard of this inquiry which closes today. However the Secretary of the inquiry has been contacted and she indicated that if individuals write in to this address: [email protected] and request to make a late inquiry, stating who they are and how much time they might require, such as a week or two, permission will probably be granted. The inquiry seems to have been poorly publicised because a lot of people have only just found out due to an animal rescue group writing to various other groups and individuals to complain that there are only about 16 submissions. But it seems that very few people were aware of this inquiry. So, please consider making a submission. Here is the website address: and inside this article I have noted some of the terms plus a link to an e-form, although emailed subs are apparently also acceptable.
Inquiry into the RSPCA Victoria
Terms of Reference
On 17 August 2015 the Legislative Council agreed to the following motion:
That, pursuant to Sessional Order 6, this House requires the Economy and Infrastructure Committee to inquire into, consider and report on, no later than 22 August 2017, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Victoria (Inc) in relation to —
- the appropriateness and use of its powers pursuant to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986, including in the context of its other objectives and activities;
- the appropriateness and use of funding provided by the Victorian Government, including in the context of its other objectives and activities; and
- any other consequential matters the Committee may deem appropriate.
Terms of Reference - Inquiry into the RSPCA Victoria(PDF 159.88 KB)
All Australians to be treated as terrorist suspects?
This article contains James Sinnamon's submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) which wants to pass new laws to make all your emails and other internet transactions up to two years back accessible to the Australian Government. "If Australian governments were serious about protecting Australians from terrorism, they would not have given transnational corporations with interests in every kind of industry including military total access to information about resources and infrastructure relating to location and operation of power, water supply and telecommunications, land-use planning, national statistics, scientific research institutions and banks. What is left, I ask, for terrorists?" (James Sinnamon)
Also published on Global Research.
Australian Government wants to read your private business and personal correspondence
The Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) paper claims that Australia faces terrorist threats and that, in order to defeat these threats:
1. It is to be made an offence for any citizen to fail to "assist in the decryption of communications". In other words, each Internet user may not refuse to give to government agencies a copy of his/her private encryption key so that all his/her electronic business and private correspondence can be read by police and security agencies.
2. It be required that data transmitted by all Internet users be retained for up to two years by their respective Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
So, if these proposals become law, Internet users will be required to allow police and security agencies to read all business and personal correspondence and data uploads, as well as any more going back up to two years.
Nowhere, in the discussion paper, has it been shown how these sweeping powers could have prevented past acts of terrorism or other criminal acts from being carried out on Australian soil.
In Chapter two, Interception and the TIA Act, the paper notes the greater power and sophistication of communication technologies made available to terrorist and criminal organisations since 1979 when the current Act was enacted.
However, no-where in the paper is the commensurate increase in sophistication and power of surveillance technologies available to police and security agencies acknowledged or factored in.
If the paper acknowledged that the government possesses equal and possibly superior surveillance technologies to non-government agencies, I believe that the basis of these proposed changes to the law would be nullified.
One-sided appraisal of technology fails to admit Government already technologically well-empowered
From their present one-sided appraisal of technology, the Committee has made a breathtaking leap of logic by claiming that only by, in effect, treating all Australian Internet Users as potential terrorists or potential criminals and by subjecting them to the surveillance that only criminal and terrorist suspects were previously subjected to, could the law enforcement authorities and security agencies provide us with the protection that they were previously able to.
The report shows how current targeted surveillance powers have been effective in thwarting numerous crimes:
"In 2010/2011 there were 2441 arrests, 3168 prosecutions (2848 for serious offences) and 2034 convictions (1854 for serious offences) based on lawfully intercepted material. 2 Law enforcement agencies made 91 arrests, 33 prosecutions and obtained 33 convictions based on evidence obtained under stored communications warrants.
"These figures may underestimate the effectiveness of interception because a conviction can be recorded without entering the intercepted material into evidence. Interception also allows agencies to identify criminal connections, ...
"Telecommunications data is commonly the first source of important lead information for further investigations and often provides a unique and comprehensive insight into the behaviour of persons of interest." (p14)
The discussion paper fails to explain why, if this was possible under existing laws, the proposed additional powers are necessary.
Four cases in which suspects have been convicted of conspiring to commit terrorist acts are also cited, but, again, the paper fails to explain why, if this was possible under existing laws, the proposed additional powers are necessary.
Australian participation in illegal wars
How can Australia expect other nations to respect our own sovereignty and territorial integrity, when it has failed to accord that respect to other nations?
Since 1991, Australia has participated in three illegal wars under false pretexts: Two against Iraq and, our longest ever war, in which we are still engaged, against Afghanistan. As a result of the wars against Iraq and sanctions in which Australia participated, some estimates put the death toll as high as one million.
The 1991 war against Iraq was launched after Iraq had been cynically tricked into invading Kwait by the then ambassasor to Kuawit April Glaspie, who has since disappeared from public view. In order to overcome opposition to that war, the "Incubator babies" story, in which cruel Iraqi invaders were said to have thrown babies out of incubators onto hospital floors was fabricated. In 2003 it was claimed that Iraq posed a threat to the world with its renewed Weapons of Mass Destruction program. This claim was demolished in 2003 before the US Congress of CIA by CIA agent Valerie Plame, who testified that she had found no evidence of Iraq WMDs.
False flag terrorism
No-where in this discussion paper is another source of terrorism acknowledged, that is false flag terrorism. False flag terrorism is carried out by governments seeking to justify repression and gain political advantage by blaming the terrorism on opponents. Earlier this year, although it denies this, the Syrian Government was accused of having committed the Houla Massacre, in which 108 men, women and children were murdered in order to blame their deaths on the opposition Syrian National Council.
It was because the Syrian government was blamed for the Houla Massacre that the Australian Government expelled the Syrian Ambassador from Australia and imposed sanctions against Syria.
In October 2005 the late former President of Indonesia, Abdurrahman Wahid said, in an interview with SBS, that he believed that either the Indonesian military or the Indonesian police planted the second larger bomb which destroyed the Sari Club on 12 October 2002. 202 people including 88 Australians perished in those attacks known as the Bali Bombing attacks.
Many credible figures including Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bowman, the former Director of Advanced Space Programs Development for the U.S. Air Force in the Ford and Carter administrations, believe that senior figures in the Bush administration were complicit in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in which almost 3,000 residents of the United States died. I stated my agreement with Lieutenant Colonel Bowman in my submission of 7 September 2009 to the Australian parliamentary Inquiry Into Human Rights on 7 September 2009. I include a copy with this submission. [See copy as Endnote 7.] Until earlier this year that submission was posted on the Federal Parliamentary web-site along with all the other submissions.
In 1963, the US joint Chiefs of Staff put to President John F Kennedy that the US military stage apparent hijackings of civilian aircraft, terrorist murders and apparent military attacks against United States military bases in order to put the blame on Cuba. this proposal was known as Operation Northwoods. Fortunately, President Kennedy rejected that proposal before he was sadly murdered.
Privatisation of Institutions and information
Successive Australian governments, both state and federal, have deregulated and privatised institutions and their information and outsourced services from the time of Keating. They have done this without the permission of the electorate, which has never been asked, as Financial Review Editor, Laura Tingle, recently put forward in her Quarterly Review essay, "Great Expectations,". Corroborating Tingle's observations, sociologist, Sheila Newman wrote that,
"With deregulation and privatisation (under Hawke and Keating), governments dissolved the very institutions that gave them power. Because of Hawke and Keating’s actions, Australian governments now have so little power that they are unable to satisfy the promises they make at election time to the electorate."
How can Australian citizens trust governments which are now almost powerless against corporate interests to represent their citizens? How can the Committee ask Australians to cede yet more power and information to feeble government powers that have shown undeniable trends to privilege corporations like News Ltd with lax media ownership laws even when British parliamentary inquiries have exposed their management as condoning and encouraging spying at every level? How can the Committee ask Australians to cede yet more power and information to governments which have allowed a myriad of private fly-by-night organisations to take over our entire telecommunications system, power, water and other utilities, resulting in so many complaints that states have now replaced one omsbudsman with many omsbudsmen?
If Australian governments were serious about protecting Australians from terrorism, they would not have given transnational corporations with interests in every kind of industry including military total access to information about resources and infrastructure relating to location and operation of power, water supply and telecommunications, land-use planning, national statistics, scientific research institutions and banks.
What is left, I ask, for terrorists?
Surely Australia's best defense against terrorism lies in Australian citizens being able to protect their own interests and privacy from government and commercial organisations? Who else can they really trust?
To the extent that Australia faces a terrorist threat at all, the paper offers no practical proposal of how to meet that threat. In all likelihood, greater surveillance at the hands of Governments and security agencies, which have done so little to earn the trust of Australians, will only serve to make larger numbers more apathetic and less able to act if they see evidence of real terrorist threats.
Australians need more civil rights, not fewer, to ensure that dark or incompetent processes cannot proceed behind a wall of secrecy and ill-informed authority in the name of security. It has been suggested that Australia could consider adopting the European Civil Code, also known as the Napoleonic Code, instead of its 'ad hoc British system'. In the EU, only Britain has failed to adopt this Roman Law based model. Australia needs a Civil Code of citizens’ rights, legally defendable, modelled on the French one to combat the disorganising forces of the markets and perceived threats to security.
There is a great deal more in the 61 pages of this discussion paper than I have been able to properly address in the limited time available to me. Nevertheless, I believe this submission demonstrates that the measures proposed in discussion paper pose an unwarranted threat to the democratic freedoms of Internet users.
The proposals have never been put to the voting public and had this been done I believe that they would have been rejected just as the Australian public previously rejected a proposal to filter Internet traffic.
Accordingly, I ask that either the proposals contained in the discussion paper be rejected by Parliament or that they be put to the public in a referendum.
 "Miscarriage of Justice: Who was behind the October 2002 Bali bombings?" by Michel Chossudovsky at http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10931
 The submission I made to the Australian parliamentary Inquiry Into Human Rights on 7 September 2009 contained the following factual errors:
(i) Lieutenant Colene Robert Bowman did not serve on "President Ronald Reagan's Star Wars program." He had retired when Jimmy Carter was President.
(ii) Morgan Reynolds, who is listed in my submission, claims that the WTC Twin Towers were destroyed by particle beams from outer space and that the aircraft seen to fly into each of the respective WTC Twin Towers were, in fact, holograms, so cannot be considered a credible supporter of 9/11 Truth.
 Laura Tingle in "Great Expectations," Quarterly Essay, June 2012, p.34, writes: "Yet, here is the crucial point: voters weren't consulted about the changes - except belatedly at the ballot box, when both major parties were in fundamental accord."
 Loose paraphrase from last paragraph in Sheila Newman, "Tingle-ing Australians," in Independent Australia
#appendix" id="appendix">Appendix:James Sinnamon's 2009 submission to the Australian National Human Rights Consultation
National Human Rights Consultation Submission
Name: James SINNAMON
The following is a verbatim adaptation of the three page submission I presented to the Australian Federal Parliamentary Inquiry Into Human Rights on 7 September 2011. On this adaptation I have corrected one relatively minor factual error and noted one misjudgement which appeared on the first. These are detailed in the Appendix at the end of this document. (This adaptation is four pages in length rather than three pages. This is because of difficulty I faced in copying and editing with the Open Source Libre Office Writer program the original PDF document.)
This submission disputes the entire justification for the draconian anti-terrorist laws that have taken away from ordinary citizens, basic human rights and civil liberties that were once taken for granted in Australia.
As few cannot be unaware the justification for these draconian laws and the associated imposts upon our daily lives such as airport security checks and the banning of the ownership of megaphones, deemed by former Prime minister John Howard to be a terrorist weapon was the spectacular and deadly terrorist attack of 11 September 2001, the anthrax scare that shortly ensued and a number of other deadly terrorist attacks that have occurred since then - Bali, the Madrid bombing and the London Tube bombing. Much of Australian public opinion had come to accept that the curtailments of our rights are a price well worth paying in order to prevent similar tragedies from ever occurring on our own shores.
OFFICIAL ACCOUNT OF 9/11, THE BASIS FOR ANTI-TERRORIST LEGISLATION, DISPUTED BY MANY CREDIBLE AUTHORITATIVE PUBLIC FIGURES
However, a large number of credible, authoritative and well known figures as well as a substantial sections of public opinion in the United States, and even more so, outside the United States question the official explanations of these attacks. They argue that the evidence that the attacks were perpetrated by a ubiquitous world wide terrorist network known as 'al Qaeda' has never been produced. They also argue that the investigations by the 9/11 Commission and the US National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST) failed to ask many critical questions and ignored a great deal of evidence submitted to them.
The supposed evidence of Al Qaeda's guilt that was given to NATO by Colin Powell in order to win NATO's participation in the so- called 'war on terror' has never been made public and the evidence promised by Colin Powell to the United Nations, that would have legally made the United Nations a participant in the 'war on terror', was never produced.
Many have therefore called for the holding of a new and thorough investigation that would properly examine all the physical evidence, take account of all witnesses' statements and have the power to subpoena key players in the events of 9/11 including former President George W Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice. Indeed, it seems as if the City of New York may very well soon be conducting its own investigation into 9/11 as the group New York City Coalition for Accountability Now (NYCCAN - http://nyccan.com) has succeeded in collecting, as of 14 June 2009, 47,767 signatures of residents of New York City which asks that New York City hold a ballot within 3 months to decide whether or not an investigation into 9/11 be set up by New York City. This number exceeds the number of 45,000 that would make the holding of the ballot mandatory.
Many who question the official version of 9/11 go as far as to argue that, because of mountains of physical evidence which contradicts the official story and the fact that senior members of the Bush administration have been caught out lying and contradicting themselves, there is a prima facie case that members of the Bush administration themselves were complicit in the September 11 attacks.
People who are calling for a new investigation include:
* Lt. Col. Robert Bowman, PhD, U.S. Air Force (ret). Colonel Bowman was a fighter pilot who who flew 100 missions in the Vietnam war. He served on the Star Wars program under Presidents Ford and Carter.
* General Wesley Clark, U.S. Army (ret) former head of NATO.
* Col. George Nelson, MBA, U.S. Air Force (ret). Colonel Nelson is an experienced air crash investigator who states that the physical evidence at the crash sites of United Airways Flight 95 flatly contradicts the official account. (see(http://www.physics911.net/georgenelson).
* Lt. Col. Guy S. Razer, MS Aeronautical Science, U.S. Air Force (ret).
* Raymond L. McGovern Former Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis, a 250-person unit responsible for political analysis of every country and region in the world.
* William Christison – Former Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis, a 250-person unit responsible for political analysis of every country and region in the world. 29-year CIA veteran. 29-year CIA veteran.
* US Senator Max Cleland Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Labor under George W. Bush 2001 – 2002.
* Morgan Reynolds – Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Labor under George W. Bush 2001 – 2002.
* Paul Craig Roberts – Assistant Treasurer of the U.S. Treasury under Ronald Reagan.
* Daniel Ellsberg – Author of “The Pentagon Papers” which told the world the truth about the Vietnam War.
* Paul Hellyer – Former Minister of National Defense of Canada.
* Michael Meacher – Former Under Secretary for Industry, Under Secretary for Health and Social Security, Minister for the Environment, and Member of the House of Commons (UK).
* Tony Benn – Former Member of British Parliament 1942 - 2001.
* Andreas von Buelow, PhD Former Minister of Justice (West Germany). Former Minister for Research and Technology.
* Horst Ehmke, PhD – Former Minister of Justice (West
* Germany). Former Minister for Research and Technology. • Francesco Cossiga Member, – President of Italy (1985 - 1992) and Former Prime Minister.
* Yukihisa Fujita – Member, House of Councillors (the upper house), National Diet of Japan.
* Jeanette Fitzsimons – Greens Member of Parliament, New Zealand, 1996 - present.
* General Leonid Ivashov – Former Chief of Staff of the Russian armed forces.
Many more who are calling for a new investigation are listed on the web site a href="http://patriotsquestion911.com/.
Abundant solid evidence in contradiction with the official account of the 9/11 attacks can be found on many sites including http://ae911truth.org (Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth) and http://911truth.org/.
If these people are right -- and I believe they are -- then Australia's efforts to combat terrorism are not directed towards where the real terrorist threat lies.
In regard to the terrorist threat much closer to home, on 12 October 2004 former president, Abdurrahman Wahid said in an interview with SBS that he believed that either the Indonesian military or the Indonesian police planted the second larger bomb which destroyed the Sari Club. This allegation has never been properly investigated.
Before discussing the appropriateness or otherwise of the measures now in place to combat terrorism, the Human Rights consultation needs to evaluate firstly how real is that threat and secondly from what quarters the terrorist threat, if it exists, is likely to come from.
The Human Rights Consultation should therefore at least seriously look at the abundant evidence which stands in contradiction to the official accounts of terrorists atrocities in recent years and try to bring about renewed and proper investigations. Furthermore, it should give its full support to those people overseas who are seeking to bring about proper investigations into 9/11, the London Tube Bombings, the Madrid Train bombings, the Bali bombings etc.
Appendix to Submission to HRC: A correction to my original Submission and a comment
Robert Bowman: Of retired Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bowman who was the first person list as calling for a new investigation, I originally wrote, “He served on President Ronald Reagan's Star Wars program.”. In fact, he served under former Presdents Ford and Carter and had retired before President Reagan was inaugurated.
Morgan Reyolds: Morgan Reynolds holds views not shared by the mainstream of the 9/11 Truth Movement and which are easy for the 'debunkers' to debunk. These include that the WTC Twin Towers were destroyed by particle beams from outer space and that the aircraft seen to fly into each of the respective WTC Twin Towers were, in fact, holograms. Many people purporting to be 9/11 Truthers promote such views in obvious attempts to discredit the 9/11 as a whole. What motivates such a high profile 9/11 Truther as Morgan Reynolds to promote views which are damaging to the 9/11 Truth Movement is unclear. Had I been aware that he held these views I would not have included his name in this list.