Citizenship crackdown on Aussie extremists

The govt will introduce laws allowing dual nationals convicted of terrorism to lose citizenship.n-born terrorists could soon be stripped of their citizenship and kicked out of the country far more easily, under sweeping new powers to be debated in parliament before Christmas.
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison will introduce new laws within weeks aimed at revoking citizenship from dual nationals convicted of terror offences, regardless of the length of their sentence.

He wants to remove an “unrealistic” requirement that a person be sentenced to at least six years behind bars.

“Terrorists have violated everything about what being an n is all about,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

“For those who have engaged in this sort of activity, if they have citizenship elsewhere, and we reasonably believe they do, well they can go.”

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton would also be given far greater powers to revoke n citizenship from people he believes may be entitled to citizenship elsewhere.

Mr Dutton could strip n citizenship from a convicted terrorist if he was “reasonably satisfied” they were entitled to foreign citizenship in another country.

The Law Council of has flagged concerns about the changes.

“Measures to remove citizenship challenge key legal principles on which our democracy was founded, and therefore demand very careful consideration,” council president Morry Bailes said.

Mr Bailes said the coalition has also not made clear why a requirement convicted terrorists be sentenced to at least six years in jail before their citizenship is revoked – set through 2015 laws – should be removed.

Many of the 400 suspected terrorists being monitored by ASIO are either dual nationals or believed to be eligible for citizenship overseas, based on the birthplaces of their parents or grandparents.

So far, nine dual-national terrorists have been stripped of their n citizenship.

Mr Dutton estimates another 50 ns may be open to losing their citizenship under existing laws, and expects far more dual nationals to be captured by the changes.

The proposed changes have been announced in response to the deadly Bourke Street attack, and the Melbourne arrests of three n men of Turkish ancestry, who are accused of planning a terror event.

Mr Morrison also wants to introduce “temporary exclusion orders” of up to two years for foreign fighters returning from the Middle East.

Once back in , the person would be subject to various controls including reporting to police, adhering to curfews and complying with restrictions on technology use.

The Law Council said the temporary exclusion orders may have the effect of rendering an n stateless for the duration of the order, which could contradict ‘s international obligations.

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Labor unveils ‘Just Transition’ policy to protect redundant power station and mine workers

Liddell power stationA LABOR federal government would co-opt other energy generatorsto find work for those retrenched when big coal-fired power stations such as Liddell close down, Labor frontbencher Pat Conroy has told the Newcastle Herald.
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The “just transitions” policy was due to be mentioned as part of opposition leader Bill Shorten’s energy policy speech on Thursday but the details have been fleshedby Mr Conroy, who is Labor’s spokesperson on just transition and clean energy.

Mr Conroy saidthe “pooled redundancy” scheme would be a legislated version of what had happened at the closure of Hazelwood power station in Victoria, where other La Trobe valley power stations found work for about 100 of 550 retrenched workers.

It would be part of a broader just transitions policy that would be headed by the creation of a Just Transitions Authority, which would have a staff of about 75 towork with government departments and affected communities to help driveeconomic diversification of those regions losing coal-fired power stations, including the La Trobe andHunter valleys.

Pat Conroy

Mr Conroy said Labor’s new energy policy would require power stationsto give three years’ notice of any intention to close down, which would in turn trigger the pooled redundancy scheme.

He said that when a power station gave notice of wanting to exit the industry, the authority would find out how many employees wanted to stay in the industry. Other power stations in the region would then have to offer voluntary redundancies to their employees. He said the age of the workforce meant there would be a lot of people wanting to leave, creating vacancies that would be taken up by the people transferring from the closing power station.

Using Liddell as an example, Mr Conroy said the operators of other Hunter Valley power stations such as Vales Point, Eraring and Bayswater wouldoffer voluntary redundancies to their workforce.

“If 300 wanted to continue from Liddell it would mean the other power stations offering a corresponding number of voluntary redundancies, with the costs to be funded by the operator of the closing station along with the federal and state governments,” Mr Conroy said.

He said a similar scheme had operated in the NSW coal industry in the 1990s at a time of multiple mine closures and massive job losses.

He said the new energy scheme could also apply to employees in the coal industry if their jobs were threatened by the loss of domestic coal contracts associated with power station closures.

The Herald raised a number of issues, including the wisdom or even the legality of one company having its hiring policy dictated by the closure of a rival, but Mr Conroy dismissed these concerns and said the policy was in the national interest.

He agreed that the Coalition would likely be opposed to the plan, but said the power industry was a special case and looking after those workers losing their jobs in the transition to renewables was in the national interest.

He said major energy companies had been briefed on the policy on Wednesday.

The Labor policy follows the release of a “Just Transitions” report commissioned by the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union from University of NSW academics and released last month.

The Herald is seeking responses from industry players.

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Not guilty Eastman in line for huge compo

David Eastman may be entitled to millions of dollars for wrongfully spending 19 years in jail for the shooting murder of a federal police boss.
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An ACT Supreme Court jury on Thursday found Mr Eastman not guilty of murdering federal police assistant commissioner Colin Winchester in 1989.

Mr Eastman, a former Treasury official, pleaded not guilty to the murder in 1993 but was sentenced to life in jail in 1995.

The conviction was quashed in 2014 over concerns about the original evidence and a new trial began in June this year.

Mr Eastman’s lawyers Ken Cush and Associates in 2015 filed a wrongful imprisonment claim, which was on pause until Thursday’s verdict.

Solicitor Sam Tierney said Mr Eastman could have the n record for the most time wrongfully spent in prison, but it’s difficult to estimate potential compensation.

“How long is a piece of string?,” Mr Tierney told AAP on Thursday.

Mr Tierney cited a 2009 case where the WA government issued a $3.25 million ex-gratia payment after Andrew Mallard spent 12 years in jail for a wrongful murder conviction.

Mr Eastman’s lengthy retrial ended with gasps from the packed court, as the 73-year-old said “thank you” to the judge after the verdict was delivered.

It took the jury about one week to reach a decision, initially telling the judge it was finding it difficult to come to a verdict.

Mr Eastman’s solicitor Angus Webb said “justice has been done”, requesting privacy for the 73-year-old.

But the Winchester family are “extremely disappointed” and believe the verdict is wrong.

Mr Winchester was shot twice in the head as he parked on the driveway next to his Canberra home about 9.15pm on January 10, 1989.

The prosecution alleged in the retrial Mr Eastman had developed a murderous hatred of Mr Winchester, who he blamed for imperilling his bid to rejoin the commonwealth public service.

The defence counsel told the ACT Supreme Court there were too many unknowns and gaps for the jury to find Mr Eastman guilty.

Listening devices placed in Mr Eastman’s flat revealed him whispering to himself: “He was the first man, the first man I ever killed.”

Although he never held an ACT firearms licence, Mr Eastman made numerous attempts to buy guns as far back as early 1988.

The murder weapon was never found, but police identified it as a semi-automatic rifle sold by a Queanbeyan man on January 1, 1989.

A witness testified to seeing Mr Eastman at the home of the gun seller, but the defence attacked the credibility of that witness.

The police investigation included a theory of mafia involvement but uncovered no evidence pointing to that.

Terry O’Donnell, who was Mr Eastman’s lawyer at the original trial, said the investigation in the 1990s had been an “absolute disgrace”.

When asked if the killing was a mafia hit, Mr O’Donnell told reporters: “Put it this way: I have enough evidence to know that it is.”

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Greg Inglis pleads guilty to drink-driving

NRL star and South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis has pleaded guilty to drink-driving in regional NSW mere hours after he was announced as Kangaroos skipper.
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The 31-year-old was clocked by highway patrol police driving a black Mercedes-Benz E300 sedan at 99km/h in an 80km/h zone, on the Great Western Highway in South Bowenfels, on the afternoon of October 1.

Inglis had two male passengers in the car and was returning to Sydney after playing in the Koori Knockout tournament.

“He was asked if he had consumed any alcohol recently and he replied: ‘We lost the football in Dubbo yesterday and I had alcohol last night’ and ‘I just finished one schooner at the club in Lithgow about 10 minutes ago’,” the police facts state.

Officers noticed Inglis had enlarged pupils and glassy eyes and he was taken to Lithgow police station where he returned a mid-range drink driving result of 0.085.

At the station, Inglis “appeared to be only slightly affected by intoxicating liquor” and told police he’d had a single schooner of Great Northern Super Crisp beer.

His lawyer, James Jordan, entered the guilty plea on Inglis’ behalf at Lithgow Local Court on Thursday.

Mr Jordan apologised to magistrate Cate Follent for the player’s “non-attendance” due to shoulder surgery.

“He does consider himself to be a role model and he hopes that in accepting full responsibility, he will be able to continue as a role model,” Mr Jordan told reporters outside court.

The lawyer said Inglis, who has already publicly addressed his personal disappointment over the offence, remains “extremely remorseful”.

Inglis was charged the day he was announced as ‘s rugby league captain. He was subsequently suspended for two international games and replaced by Boyd Cordner as Kangaroos skipper.

Inglis, who was also issued an infringement notice for speeding over 10km/h that afternoon, has no other drink-driving offences on his record.

The South Sydney player was noted in court documents as a “high profile professional athlete” who was “polite and professional at all times” during the incident.

“Police were of the opinion that he was remorseful for a miscalculation that led to this matter,” the documents state.

Retired Kangaroos great Johnathan Thurston last month said Inglis should be reinstated as captain, with head coach Mal Meninga also hoping to see the 31-year-old back in a green and gold jersey in 2019.

“He has shown real leadership by the way he has been accountable for his actions,” Meninga said in a statement on October 2.

The matter was adjourned to Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court for sentence on January 14.

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Bennett back ahead of Broncos talks

Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough has urged the club to make a call on Wayne Bennett sooner rather than later after the coach made a ninja-like return to Red Hill on Thursday.
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Bennett is back at the Broncos’ helm but upcoming talks with the NRL club’s bosses could see him at South Sydney as soon as next week.

But he did his best to avoid the cameras, sidestepping awaiting media on arrival and then using decoy vehicles before hiding in the back of a car when leaving Broncos headquarters later in the afternoon.

Senior Broncos players were also welcomed back with a series of fitness tests on Thursday, with Bennett an early arrival after returning from English coaching duties in Europe.

The veteran Broncos mentor will reportedly meet with club chiefs for crunch talks aimed at facilitating his exit and triggering Anthony Seibold’s immediate arrival from South Sydney.

Both coaches signed deals at their rival clubs last month with tenures set to begin in 2020.

But the unusual situation, which has sparked fears over a conflict of interest, has led to speculation an exchange could be struck as early as this week, enabling both men to move on 12 months ahead of schedule.

McCullough said the playing group were operating under the assumption Bennett would remain but admitted he’d like some clarity.

“Yep,” he said bluntly when asked if he wanted a quick resolution.

“Everyone just needs to move forward in the right direction but in the time being Wayne’s here and we’re happy to get on with it.

“It’s out of our control, what happens; there’s plenty of big guys upstairs that can make the tough decisions.

“Yes (we’re prepared to play under Seibold); it’s the nature of the game if it comes to that.”

Bennett, who only returned home on Wednesday, has repeatedly stated he intends seeing out his Broncos contract.

Seibold also says he’ll remain at the Rabbitohs until the end of next season.

However reports suggest Broncos chairman Karl Morris is ready to call Bennett in and thrash out the terms of his early departure, while Bennett has refused to say whether he believes his axing is imminent and where that leaves him.

“I’ll be honouring my contract by going to training,” the 68-year-old, who has won six titles at Brisbane, told the Courier Mail.

“I’m not commenting any further other than to say I’ll be at training.”

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