Inside AUKUS – Crikey

Australia’s $368 billion AUKUS submarine deal raises more questions than it answers. Led by Scott Morrison, a prime minister who had a habit of covert dealings and fudging reality, it is one of the most egregious expenditures in the nation’s history. In this new series, investigations editor David Hardaker delves into the reality of the political relationships with defence and its lucrative contracts.

Home affairs tried to water down report critical of ‘extraordinary’ counter-terror powers, documents reveal – Guardian

Department of Home Affairs officials told researchers to water down a key report that threatened to undermine the government’s use of “extraordinary” counter-terror powers allowing individuals to be imprisoned for a crime they have not yet committed, documents show.

Australia’s preventive detention regime for terror offenders, which allows individuals to be imprisoned for up to three years to prevent a future crime, has been described as “extraordinary” and disproportionate by the nation’s independent national security laws watchdog, who called for its abolishment in March and said it was causing Australia to become a “coarser and harsher society”.

Our minerals are ripe for the plucking by the US

The two big risks to Australia here are, firstly, jeopardising whatever is left of our mining sector’s historic relationships of trust with our major mining market in China. Any Australian mining company currently selling to China could have its relationships and operations there crippled if it went into business with US mining companies on this basis. It is pure mercantilism, to put it bluntly – aimed at cutting out Chinese competition in a fair marketplace.

Secondly, the proposals set out in the ASPI paper for US-majority-owned mining companies to dictate and determine development of industry processing of critical minerals in Australia contradict Australian aspirations for economic sovereignty. They would put Australia firmly back in our place as a raw materials supplier to the Metropolis, and nothing more – as we were in British Empire days. This cries out for Paul Keating’s acerbic pen.

I have no confidence in the ability of the present Australian Government, dazzled by the US alliance, to manage these negotiations in our national interest – either commercially or strategically. I fear we will once again be exploited and entrapped by our great and powerful – and clever – friend.

Inquiry into the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice Referendum

The Australian Parliament ran an Inquiry into the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice Referendum earlier this year. They opened the Inquiry to public submissions, and over 3000 people shared their ideas and thoughts. The Committee decided to publish less than 10% of the submission, almost exclusively from VIPs, and the rest were labelled as “correspondence” and were not published. In most Inquiries, submissions are usually all published.

Below is my submission to the Inquiry, which was not published.

Super Funds could build and maintain affordable housing

What do Super funds spend their funds on? Their total assets are over $3.5 trillion.

Do they like to invest in shares?

What if they put some of their their money into building and holding affordable rental housing for thousands of families?

They would have solid real estate that grows in value over time, they would have constant rental income for cash flow, and the value they hold will directly benefit the community and economy.

$10 billion is barely 0.3% of the total funds held by superannuation funds in Australia.

What if the Commonwealth offered super funds a tax benefit if they agreed to make long term investments in developing affordable housing? An amount of $10 billion could go a long way further.

It would also be worth doing comparative research to see what is done with super funds in other countries – in particular in Europe.

Super Statistics
Total superannuation assets were $3.5 trillion at the end of the March 2023 quarter, a quarterly increase of 3.2 per cent. Total superannuation assets have returned to levels last recorded at the end of December 2021 ($3.5 trillion) and have recovered from their decline over the June and September quarters of 2022. Total MySuper assets increased by 5.1 per cent over the March quarter 2023 to $964.5 billion.

Dark side of the Voice

“Australians, faced with a decision that will change the country forever, are being peppered with information from the Yes and No campaigns…

As the vote nears, questions are being asked about who is behind the campaigns…

Who is behind the Yes Campaign

The Yes campaign consists of a number of different groups including Yes23, The Uluru Dialogue, Empowering Communities, Together Yes, Uphold & Recognise and Liberals for Yes…

CT Group (formerly Crosby Textor, run by campaign guru Mark Textor, who worked closely with John Howard), has been hired for messaging…”

CT Group Investigation at

Crosby Textor was the early master of smart polling and cut-through political messaging for conservative politics. But 20 years on, the organisation, rebranded as C|T Group, has moved to the very centre of political power while also acting as lobbyists. In a new Crikey series, investigations editor David Hardaker examines C|T’s unique business model and the international levers it pulls.