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August 19, 2016

Australia\’s offshore processing facility on Manus Island to be shut down

Australia’s offshore processing facility on Manus Island to be shut down

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Friday, August 19, 2016

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After meeting with Papau New Guinea‘s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill in Port Moseby, Australia’s Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton confirmed on Wednesday, that the Manus Island Processing Centre will be shut down. There was no mention of where the 854 men currently detained will be resettled to, except that Australia refuses to accept them.

Map of Nauru Island
Image: IU.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

In an interview with the ABC, Dutton gave no time frame for the closure of the facility and said, the process can’t be rushed. Dutton also said he was currently talking to third countries to discuss options for resettlement.

O’Neill also released a statement confirming the closure of the Manus Island Processing Centre, which he has called for since April, when Papau New Guinea’s Supreme Council ruled that Australia’s detention of asylum seekers on the Pacific Island was illegal.

News of the closure came shortly after {{w:The Guardian}} published over 2,000 leaked incident reports (the Nauru Files) from the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, last Wednesday, which revealed the poor treatment and living conditions endured by asylum seekers, some of which have been detained for three years.

Last Thursday, Dutton dismissed and downplayed the asylum seeker’s reports of sexual assault, child abuse and self harm; which were exposed in the Nauru Files. Dutton accused asylum seekers of fabricating sexual abuse reports; and setting themselves on fire in an attempt to seek asylum in Australia. He even insinuated that the claims were false since the asylum seekers payed people smugglers to gain access to Australia.

Chris Lougheed, The Deputy Education Manager with Save the Children, who reviewed and submitted some of the incident reports within the Nauru Files, rebuked Dutton’s comments and said the reports were accurate and “written by experienced professionals.”

Nauru’s detention camp had previously been shrouded in secrecy, as local journalists are rarely granted permission to film or interview asylum seekers, and foreign journalists are required to pay an $8,000 application fee to visit and report from the remote island.

In response to the Nauru files; 103 current and previous employees from Australia‘s offshore processing facilities on Nauru and Manus Island signed and released a letter, urging for the detained refugees to be granted asylum in Australia instantly. Human rights, legal, religious, and medical groups have also demanded for the Australian government to end what they consider inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in the offshore processing centres.


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Employees from the Nauru and Manus Island Processing Centres speak out

Employees from the Nauru and Manus Island Processing Centres speak out

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Friday, August 19, 2016

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After meeting with Papau New Guinea‘s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill in Port Moseby, Australia’s Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton confirmed on Wednesday, that the Manus Island Processing Centre will be shut down. There was no mention of where the 854 men currently detained will be resettled to, except that Australia refuses to accept them.

Map of Nauru Island
Image: IU.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

In an interview with the ABC, Dutton gave no time frame for the closure of the facility and said, the process can’t be rushed. Dutton also said he was currently talking to third countries to discuss options for resettlement.

O’Neill also released a statement confirming the closure of the Manus Island Processing Centre, which he has called for since April, when Papau New Guinea’s Supreme Council ruled that Australia’s detention of asylum seekers on the Pacific Island was illegal.

News of the closure came shortly after {{w:The Guardian}} published over 2,000 leaked incident reports (the Nauru Files from the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, last Wednesday, which revealed the poor treatment and living conditions endured by asylum seekers, some of which have been detained for three years.

Last Thursday, Dutton, dismissed and downplayed the asylum seeker’s reports of sexual assault, child abuse and self harm; which were exposed in the Nauru Files. Dutton accused asylum seekers of fabricating sexual abuse reports; and setting themselves on fire in an attempt to seek asylum in Australia. He even insinuated that the claims were false since the asylum seekers payed people smugglers to gain access to Australia.

Chris Lougheed, The Deputy Education Manager with Save the Children, who reviewed and submitted some of the incident reports within the Nauru Files, rebuked Dutton’s comments and said the reports were accurate and “written by experienced professionals.”

Nauru’s detention camp had previously been shrouded in secrecy, as local journalists are rarely granted permission to film or interview asylum seekers, and foreign journalists are required to pay an $8,000 application fee to visit and report from the remote island.

In response to the Nauru files; 103 current and previous employees from Australia‘s offshore processing facilities on Nauru and Manus Island signed and released a letter, urging for the detained refugees to be granted asylum in Australia instantly. Human rights, legal, religious, and medical groups have also demanded for the Australian government to end what they consider inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in the offshore processing centres.


Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 17, 2016

Australia\’s Immigration Minister responds to leaked incident reports from the Nauru Regional Processing Centre

Australia’s Immigration Minister responds to leaked incident reports from the Nauru Regional Processing Centre

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

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Today, 103 current and previous employees from Australia‘s offshore processing facilities on Nauru and Manus Island signed and released a letter, urging for the detained refugees to be granted asylum in Australia instantly, in order to assure their safety. Those supporting the letter include: case workers, teachers, doctors, social workers from Broadspectrum (previously Transfield), Save the Children and other contracted workers for the Nauru and Manus Regional Processing Centres.

Map of Nauru Island
Image: IU.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

The letter comes in response to {{w:The Guardian}} publishing over 2,000 leaked incident reports (the Nauru Files), which totalled over 8,000 pages from the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, last Wednesday. The Nauru files revealed the poor treatment and living conditions endured by asylum seekers, some of which have been detained for three years.

The Guardian’s analysis shows children are involved in 51.3% of the incident reports, despite only consisting of 18% of people in the detention facility during the time of reports, between May 2013 to October 2015. The leaked files were published by the Guardian, who claimed the Australian public has a right to know.

A Senate Inquiry has since been proposed by the Australian Labor Party, but the current and former employees involved in the letter believe it to be an inadequate move. In the letter, former child protection officer from Save the Children, Toby O’Brien said the evidence brought forth from the Nauru Files is “overwhelmingly clear” and action was required immediately. The Nauru and Manus staff also said many had given evidence at the last Senate Inquiry, which was ignored as conditions didn’t improve and the mental health of the detained asylum seekers continued to deteriorate on both Nauru and for the males held on the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre.

Last Thursday, Australia’s immigration minister, Peter Dutton, dismissed the asylum seeker’s reports of sexual assault, child abuse and self harm; which were exposed in the Nauru Files. Dutton disregarded the seriousness of the abuse, claiming it had been already reported. He said he was aware of some of the incidents reported, but accused asylum seekers of fabricating sexual abuse reports; and setting themselves on fire in an attempt to seek asylum in Australia. He has also insinuated that the claims are fabricated due to asylum seekers paying people smugglers to gain access to Australia.

Chris Lougheed, The Deputy Education Manager with Save the Children, who reviewed and submitted some of the incident reports within the Nauru Files, rebuked Dutton’s comments and said “these reports are accurate observations written by experienced professionals.” Lougheed also demanded for the Australian government to take immediate responsibility and release the asylum seekers to Australia.

Nauru’s detention camp had previously been shrouded in secrecy, as local journalists are rarely granted permission to film or interview asylum seekers, and foreign journalists are required to pay an $8,000 application fee to visit and report from the remote island. Yesterday, the Nauruan government’s official Twitter account tweeted that the reports were false and being used for a political agenda.

In response to the Nauru files; human rights, legal, religious, and medical groups have also demanded for the Australian government to end what they consider inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in the offshore processing centres. Over 1800 academics have pressured Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnball, to call a summit to consider ways Australia can help these asylum seekers and put an end to the ordeal endured in the facilities.


Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 6, 2016

Australian swim team pulled from Rio training pool when water turns \’soupy\’

Australian swim team pulled from Rio training pool when water turns ‘soupy’

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

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Concerns about water quality at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games have expanded to include the inside training pool: top Australian swimming coach Michael Bohl moved his Olympic athletes from the main training pool on Thursday citing fear of infection.

The team had a pre-booked session in the training pool where they would have practiced uninterrupted. However, during the session the water in the pool turned, as Bohl described, “cloudy” and “soupy looking”. Concerned about his athletes’ health, he moved them from the training pool to the busier, but cleaner, main competition pool.

Bohl took his concerns to officials and was told the matter would be looked into.

This comes off the back of other water concerns in Rio, particularly in the Guanabara Bay venue for outdoor water events. An Associated Press-commissioned study found Rio’s Olympic waterways contained as much as 1.7 million times worse viral levels than the emergency threshold in Europe or the US. As a result, athletes were advised to keep their mouths closed and avoid putting their heads underwater or risk falling ill.

Swimming events at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games are to begin today.



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August 3, 2016

Men\’s, women\’s football team face off in Rio, before Olympics official open

Men’s, women’s football team face off in Rio, before Olympics official open

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Canada versus Australia. Agência Brasil Fotografias

American swimmers Allison Schmitt and Michael Phelps are seen here in the restaurant of the Athletes Village. At the event’s peak, the venue will prepare 60,000 meals each day. Phelps’ diet has received headlines in the past, clocking in at 12,000 calories a day in 2008.

Leading up to the Olympic Games opening ceremonies on Friday, football competitions for the 2016 Summer Olympics began two days before in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Wednesday’s schedule included six women’s football match-ups, between Sweden and South Africa, Canada and Australia, Brazil and China, Zimbabwe and Germany, United States and New Zealand, France and Colombia. Canada’s forward Janine Beckie scored a goal just 20 seconds into the game, the quickest in Olympic history. The team beat Australia 2-0.

The men faced off Thursday with Iraq vs Denmark, Honduras vs Algeria, Brazil vs South Africa, Mexico vs Germany, Portugal vs Argentina, Sweden vs Colombia, Fiji vs South Korea, and Nigeria vs Japan.

Canada vs. Australia

Zimbabwe vs. Germany

When teams arrived at the Athletes Village, they were welcomed with 45-minute ceremonies. While members of the US swim team have been photographed in the Athletes Village restaurant, recent reports suggest that Team USA men’s basketball will be staying in a luxury cruise ship, docked off the Port of Rio. Canadian tennis player Daniel Nestor has suggested the village lacks hot water. Members of the Australian team had their three laptops stolen last week, during a building evacuation due to a nearby fire.



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Olympics \”Day -2\” includes six women\’s football matches

Olympics “Day -2” includes six women’s football matches

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Canada versus Australia. Agência Brasil Fotografias

American swimmers Allison Schmitt and Michael Phelps are seen here in the restaurant of the Athletes Village. At the event’s peak, the venue will prepare 60,000 meals each day. Phelps’ diet has received headlines in the past, clocking in at 12,000 calories a day in 2008.

It’s two days to go until the opening ceremonies, but the football competitions for the 2016 Summer Olympics have begun in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Meanwhile, athletes are arriving to the Olympic Village, which has been one of the many lightning rods of controversy for the event.

Wednesday includes six women’s football match-ups, between Sweden and South Africa, Canada and Australia, Brazil and China, Zimbabwe and Germany, United States and New Zealand, France and Colombia. Canada’s forward Janine Beckie scored a goal just 20 seconds into the game, the quickest in Olympic history. The team beat Australia 2-0.

The men face off Thursday with Iraq vs Denmark, Honduras vs Algeria, Brazil vs South Africa, Mexico vs Germany, Portugal vs Argentina, Sweden vs Colombia, Fiji vs South Korea, and Nigeria vs Japan.

Canada vs. Australia

Zimbabwe vs. Germany

Many athletes are arriving in Rio, for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Teams are welcomed with ceremonies, the India, Bahama, Burkina Faso, Gambia and Norway delegations receiving their a 45-minute welcome Wednesday. While members of the US swim team have been photographed in the Athletes Village restaurant, recent reports suggest that Team USA men’s basketball will be staying in a luxury cruise ship, docked off the Port of Rio. Canadian tennis player Daniel Nestor has suggested the village lacks hot water. Members of the Australian team had their three laptops stolen last week, during a building evacuation due to a nearby fire.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

June 21, 2016

Australian Labor Party promises A$80 million in suicide prevention

Australian Labor Party promises A$80 million in suicide prevention

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

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The Australian Labor Party on Sunday announced plans to invest A$80 million towards suicide prevention if they win the upcoming federal election.

During his launch speech on Sunday, opposition leader Bill Shorten said his party hopes to cut the suicide rate in half and break down stigmas around mental health.

Under Labor’s plan, Mr. Shorten said, A$72 million would be used to introduce twelve suicide prevention programs to areas with high suicide rates. Of these twelve, three or more would be based in indigenous communities.

Mr. Shorten also said his plan will provide more support to rural areas, including drought-affected parts of New South Wales. This comes after A$35 million of funding was cut from the area last month.

Despite these cuts, the Turnbull government insists mental health is still a high priority. On July 1 the Primary Health Network received A$360 million to fund counselling services across the country. This money is to be be distributed to communities based on their individual needs, and is intended to put vulnerable areas first.

Australia’s suicide rate is currently at its highest in thirteen years.



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June 20, 2016

ALP promises $80 million in suicide prevention

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ALP promises $80 million in suicide prevention

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Monday, June 20, 2016

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The Australian Labor Party yesterday announced plans to invest $80 million towards suicide prevention if they win the upcoming federal election.

During his launch speech on Sunday, opposition leader Bill Shorten said his party hopes to cut the suicide rate in half and breaking down stigmas around mental health.

Under Labor’s plan, Mr. Shorten said $72 million would be used to introduce twelve suicide prevention programs to areas with high suicide rates. Of these twelve, an estimated three would be based in indigenous communities.

Mr. Shorten also said his plan will provide more support to rural areas, including drought-affected parts of New South Wales. This comes after $35 million of funding was cut from the area last month.

Despite these cuts, the Turnbull government insists that mental health is still a high priority. On July 1 the Primary Health Network received $360 million to fund counselling services across the country. This money will be distributed to communities based on their individual needs, and is intended to put vulnerable areas first.

Australia’s suicide rate is currently at its highest point in thirteen years.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

June 14, 2016

Griffin Coal Mine pay agreement set to be terminated by July 10th

Griffin Coal Mine pay agreement set to be terminated by July 10th

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

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The Australian Fair Work Commission (FWC) has approved Griffin Coal Mine’s application to terminate an existing maintenance agreement, provided no settlement has been reached with workers before the nominal expiry date of July 10th. The decision will effect up to 70 workers in the Collie based mine, a regional area located outside of Perth in Western Australia.

The approval aims to boost the economic productivity of the mine, if workers fail to reach a new enterprise agreement within the deadline. The ruling cited the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) submissions that the abandonment of the maintenance agreement will result in ‘substantial pay losses for union members’. However the ruling still approved the application, concluding it would be in the public’s best interest in allowing Griffin Coal to increase coal extraction and re-enter the export market.

After lengthy and unproductive negotiations the Commission has ruled to terminate Griffin Coal’s existing maintenance agreement if a new enterprise agreement is not determined by July 10. The mine will continue to operate under the existing ‘Black Coal’ industry award, resulting in significant pay rate cuts for workers.

AMWU Western Australian ‘South West’ organiser Michael Salt has said the decision will “cause substantial reduction in the pay conditions and protections of the Union’s members”.

Despite opposition the Commission found that the termination of the agreement is in the public’s best interest. The decision ruling cited the high costs of labour, which are 43% of Griffin’s operating costs, and gross margin losses of $48.9 million per year. Raj Kumar Roy, Griffin Coal’s President, stated that the maintenance agreement impaired the mines “ability to operate productively and efficiently”.

The mine currently operates with financial support from parent company Lanco Infratech Limited. The decision claims it is in the public’s best interest for the maintenance agreement to be terminated, in order to bolster productivity leading to increased employment and economic benefit to the Collie community.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Griffin Coal Mine pay agreement set to be terminated by July 10

Griffin Coal Mine pay agreement set to be terminated by July 10

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Economy and business
Euro coins and banknotes.jpg
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The Australian Fair Work Commission (FWC) has approved Griffin Coal Mine’s application to terminate an existing maintenance agreement, provided no settlement has been reached with workers before the nominal expiry date of July 10. The decision will effect up to 70 workers in the Collie based mine, a regional area located outside of Perth in Western Australia.

The approval aims to boost the economic productivity of the mine, if workers fail to reach a new enterprise agreement within the deadline. The ruling cited the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) submissions that the abandonment of the maintenance agreement will result in ‘substantial pay losses for union members’. However the ruling still approved the application, concluding it would be in the public’s best interest in allowing Griffin Coal to increase coal extraction and re-enter the export market.

After lengthy and unproductive negotiations the Commission has ruled to terminate Griffin Coal’s existing maintenance agreement if a new enterprise agreement is not determined by July 10. The mine will continue to operate under the existing ‘Black Coal’ industry award, resulting in significant pay rate cuts for workers.

AMWU Western Australian ‘South West’ organiser Michael Salt has said the decision will “cause substantial reduction in the pay conditions and protections of the Union’s members”.

Despite opposition the Commission found that the termination of the agreement is in the public’s best interest. The decision ruling cited the high costs of labour, which are 43% of Griffin’s operating costs, and gross margin losses of $48.9 million per year. Raj Kumar Roy, Griffin Coal’s President, stated that the maintenance agreement impaired the mines “ability to operate productively and efficiently”.

The mine currently operates with financial support from parent company Lanco Infratech Limited. The decision claims it is in the public’s best interest for the maintenance agreement to be terminated, in order to bolster productivity leading to increased employment and economic benefit to the Collie community.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
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