Scott Morrison was asked whether Ben Roberts-Smith should be stripped of his Victoria Cross, and whether it is appropriate for Kerry Stokes, the chairman of the Australian War Memorial, to pay for the legal defence of some soldiers facing allegations of war crimes.
He doesn't answer the first, saying: "In relation to any individuals, the government is in no position to offer commentary on what is in the report as it may or may not relate to individuals. And that is intentional because the justice system is what has to deal with this issue."
On the second, he says: "In relation to others who may choose, for whatever reason, to provide support to anyone in their legal defences, well, it is a free country and it is a matter for them but how they choose to provide support."
"But is not uncommon in this country, and these matters are extremely serious but let's not forget these are Australian citizens who will be going through an Australian justice process, and they deserve all of the rights that sit with that process... and that is certainly (1/2)
"...not precluding anyone who may wish to assist them with their defence. And I'm puzzled as to why there might be a suggestion that they should be such a restriction, especially applied to one individual as opposed to anyone else in the justice system." (2/2)
Morrison asked whether the report prompted him to reflect on the treatment of whistleblowers. He says: "I think there has been a lot of courage shown by those who have come forward through this process that would not have been easy."
He continues: "And I think what that reflects is a deep respect for the values of the ADF and the aspirational nature of that. And our defence force people, more than any, would want to hold themselves to a high standard."
I think that question was more on the lines of whether it had made Morrison re-consider protections for whistleblowers, but he didn't touch that issue.

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More from @callapilla

20 Nov
I'm listening to the federal Juukan gorge inquiry hearings. The WA registrar of Aboriginal sites, Tanya Butler, is giving evidence. Sen Dodson is asking her about the de-registration of a huge number of sites in 2016. She doesn't seem to know what he's talking about?
Which is interesting, because there was *quite* a big court case about it in 2015. Basically, the Aborignal Cultural Materials Committee changed its definition of a sacred site, leading to a de-registration of sites from 2008-2015.…
The live issue is that most of the sites that were de-registered have not been re-registered.

The definitional issue was that the ACMC no longer considered ethnographic sites to be heritage sites — archeology only. Court told them to change it.
Read 17 tweets
21 Sep
The inquiry into Juukan Gorge is holding remote hearings of Western Australian witnesses today. First up is Cedric Davies, a geologist with long experience in the Pilbara.

He said he was "shocked" by the destruction of Juukan Gorge, with Rio usually expected to be a leader.
But he said he was not surprised that the WA government approved its destruction.

"I think I would have been more surprised had the state not approved the s.18 to destroy the Juukan rock shelters."
Davies: "The events at Juukan Gorge exposed Rio behaving like the East India Company mark II".
Read 45 tweets
6 Aug
Pad Dodson: "Mr Jacques, when did you first become aware of the significance of the Juukan sites"

Rio Tinto chairman JS Jacques: "Senator, I was made aware of the significance of the site son the Sunday evening, on the Sunday the 24th of May."

The day it was blown up.
Rio Tinto iron ore CEO Chris Salisbury says that it was not possible to unload the blast holes once they had been loaded. He says they attempted to unload 8 holes, which took 10 hours and only seven were successfully unloaded.

(Mining experts, my DMs are open)
Jacques is asked why Rio chose option 4 to for the mine pit.

"The difference between option 4 and the other three options was 8 million tonnes of high grade iron ore. The economic value at the time of the decision was around $135m of net value at the time of the decision."
Read 57 tweets
17 Jun
There are TWENTY witnesses listed for the #BushfireRC today.

Ok, I was doing something else but I'm back now.

Dominique Hogan-Doran began the session by pointing to a response from the Bushfire Natural Hazards CRC, identifying a "long historical transfer of responsibility" for hazard prevention from individuals to the government.
They said that "individuals are no longer taking sufficient responsibility for their own risk management and that governments over many years have allowed this risk transfer to continue"
Read 109 tweets
15 Jun
The #BushfireRC is back on for the next few days, focusing on hazard reduction burns.

There are ELEVEN witnesses listed for today. They'll appear in panels.
On the list are: Emma Campbell and Dr Steve Read from the federal agriculture department; Associate professor Kevin Tolhurst from Uni Melb, Prof Ross Bradstock from Wollongong uni, Prof David Bowman from Uni Tas...
... then @FFMVic_Chief, CFA deputy chief bushfire officer Alen Slijepcevic, NPWS exec director Mike Williams, Brett Loughlin from the CFS, QFES deputy commissioner Michael Wassing, and Queensland parks and wildlife service exec director Leigh Harris.
Read 120 tweets
11 Jun
Let's just recap what has happened in the protection/destruction of Aboriginal heritage in the Pilbara in the past few weeks, and the building campaign to speed up the very, very protracted efforts to amend the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA).

A thread.
On 15 May, a group from the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) visited a rock shelter in Juukan Gorge, near Tom Price, where they planned to hold Naidoc celebrations. They saw blast holes drilled in the ground. The site was a mining lease owned by Rio TInto.
Rio Tinto received permission under s.18 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) to damage or destroy the site in the expansion of its Brockman 4 mine. Permission was granted in 2013, by then WA Aboriginal affairs minister Peter Collier.
Read 20 tweets

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