Monday, 3rd March 2014


Fairfax this morning carried an alarming report about the death of Reza Barati on Manus Island. 

"Everyone knows who attacked him and is surprised no one has been taken into custody," said the unnamed detention centre staffer. The accused is a PNG local employed by the Salvation Army. 

This account is consistent with that provided by Barati's cousin, who witnessed the attack.

The Immigration Minister Scott Morrison quietly announced on the weekend that Australia and PNG “will work to synthesise, as appropriate,” the inquiries into the rioting – the investigation being done by Robert Cornall, the PNG police investigation and the PNG coronial inquiry. The aim is to ensure a "shared understanding of the findings", according to Morrison. 

So much for an independent inquiry. 

Morrison also announced a monthly ministerial forum between Australia and PNG to ensure the timely processing of asylum seeker claims and the implementation of the regional resettlement arrangement.

The forum is indeed timely, in fact long overdue, given there has been no effective processing on Manus Island since the inception of the arrangement. We know now that the riots occurred when asylum seekers were given the impression they had no future beyond the detention centre – not in Australia, PNG or any other country.

Without some clear progress on their claims, another disaster seems inevitable.

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

Sign up to get Politicoz delivered
to your email address every weekday at lunch time.

PNG local working for Salvation Army accused of Manus death

"A PNG local employed by the Salvation Army has been accused of being a key assailant in the attack that resulted in the death of Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati, according to staff employed at the Manus Island detention centre. “Everyone knows who attacked him and is surprised no one has been taken into custody.”"

AlsoWill “synthesising” the inquiries into Manus violence compromise Australia’s “independent” probe? (Michelle Grattan, The Conversation)

AndRetired naval commander baffled by navy's explanation for entering Indonesian waters (The Age)


Bishop summons Russia ambassador over Ukraine

"Foreign minister Julie Bishop will officially summon the Russian ambassador, Vladimir Morozov, in Canberra on Monday morning for an explanation of his country’s actions in the Ukraine... Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Sunday called on Russia to “back off” from its military escalation in the semi-autonomous region of Crimea."

Victorian Minister Mary Wooldridge fails to win Liberal Party preselection for safe seat of Kew

"Victorian Cabinet Minister Mary Wooldridge has lost a preselection battle for the safe Liberal seat of Kew, throwing her political future into doubt... The result comes despite Premier Denis Napthine taking the unusual step of intervening in the contest, writing a letter to branch members urging them to back Ms Wooldridge."

Green Army to be paid less than minimum wage, Environment Minister Greg Hunt confirms

"The Federal Government has confirmed it will pay thousands of young people as little as $300 a week to work on conservation projects as part of its so-called Green Army. When it is fully rolled out, the Government expects 15,000 people aged between 17 and 24 will work up to 30 hours a week under the program."

The Abbott and Hockey show: lots of fighting, not much cohesion

"There was Hawke and Keating. There was Howard and Costello. Before the names came to suggest leadership rivalries, they meant great political partnerships between prime minister and treasurer, not always in complete agreement but heading in the same direction. Now we have Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey. While those around them insist it is a great partnership and that the two men speak often, the differences in their public utterances of late have heightened a problem for the government."

Also'Demented plutocrat' remark was not about Rupert Murdoch, Turnbull says (Guardian)