Annerley Branch News – August 2020

Members strong in their support for LEAN

Annerley branch members have recently expressed their support for the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN) and its role in ‘promoting and advocating policies that put environmental protection and sustainability at the centre of Labor’s culture, values and platform’.

Responding to comments from Federal Labor Opposition spokesperson, Joel Fitzgibbon MP, branch members were adamant in their defence of the organisation by adopting a resolution.

The resolution, passed unanimously at the August general meeting, argues that LEAN has been ‘instrumental as a grassroots voice within the Australian Labor Party that has assisted with the specific development and adoption of policies necessary to address the current climate change crisis’.

Whilst recognising the right of Mr Fitzgibbon to voice his views, members were concerned that his comments were misleading and had seriously mischaracterised the activities and motivation of LEAN as an organisation within the Labor Party.

The resolution has been conveyed to Federal Labor Leader, Hon Anthony Albanese MP.

Queensland Govt called on to support Kangaroo Point detainees

The Annerley Branch has written to the Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk as well as other relevant State government ministers to urge them to lobby the Commonwealth government to ‘explore options, including community detention, which better support the mental health of the men at the Kangaroo Point Alternative Place of Detention’.

The letter states that the lobbying role of the Queensland Government would be consistent with its ‘exemplary record on human rights and multiculturalism’.

Branch members have voiced their solidarity with the over 100 refugees and people seeking asylum held in the Kangaroo Point hotel detention facility, most of whom have been indefinitely detained following their transfer under the now repealed Medevac legislation.

Concerns are held that these people are being detained in conditions that are causing a serious mental health crisis, which is being exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions.

Federal Labor urged be vigilant on ASIO laws

The Federal Parliamentary Labor Party has been called on to support amendments to the current ASIO Bill that ‘directly addresses and alleviates the serious concerns held by many in the public, including the Australian Law Council, in relation to the significant deficiencies’ of the proposed legislation.

The Federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has been reviewing the effectiveness of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020, as introduced by Mr Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Home Affairs.

The Annerley Branch is alarmed about many of the substantial concerns expressed by the Australian Law Council regarding the legislation, which includes:
• the absence of judicial involvement in the process for issuing questioning warrants;
• inadequate safeguards for the compulsory questioning of children, to ensure that the best interests of the child are treated as a primary consideration in the issuing and execution of warrants;
• the proposal to permit post-charge compulsory questioning, which raises an unacceptable risk of irreparable harm to the rights of an accused person to a fair trial;
• extreme limitations on the role of lawyers for questioning warrants subjects during questioning; and
• overbreadth in the scope of the proposed power of internal authorisation to use tracking devices for intelligence collection purposes, and potential unintended consequences.

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