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May 2019

DFAT statement on Julian Assange

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Statement on Julian Assange

Media Release

31 May 2019


We reject any suggestion by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture that the Australian Government is complicit in psychological torture or has shown a lack of consular support for Mr Assange. The Special Rapporteur has not been in contact with the Australian Government to raise these concerns directly.

The Australian Government is a staunch defender of human rights and a strong advocate for humane treatment in the course of judicial processes. We are confident that Mr Assange is being treated appropriately in Belmarsh Prison. Mr Assange has advised us that he is being treated the same as other prisoners in Belmarsh.

The Australian Government continues to provide active and high level consular assistance to Mr Julian Assange. Consular officers from the Australian High Commission in London have already visited Mr Assange twice at Belmarsh Prison, on 12 April and 17 May 2019. The Australian High Commission in London has previously raised any health concerns Mr Assange has identified with Belmarsh Prison authorities and these have been addressed. Following media reports of ill health, yesterday, 30 May 2019, the Australian Government has made further inquiries with Belmarsh Prison authorities as to Mr Assange’s current health situation. Due to the privacy considerations that we extend to all consular clients, we will not disclose further details relating to Mr Assange’s physical or mental health.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade continues to liaise very closely with Mr Assange’s family in Australia.

As with any consular client, we will continue to visit Mr Assange in prison, monitor and advocate for his health, welfare and equitable treatment, and closely follow his legal proceedings.

Better ask Chloe

Bull-Shitten says it's bullshit, but it's hard to tell with him.

He's half way to challenging Albo with his sincere-faced "Albo has my complete support".

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Bill Shorten has told allies he wants to return as Labor leader, but is preparing to be denied his preferred frontbench positions as health or foreign affairs spokesman when Anthony Albanese unveils the opposition's new-look frontbench this weekend.

The former opposition leader used an address to MPs in Canberra on Thursday to pledge loyalty to Labor's newly installed leadership team and launch a stinging attack on corporate Australia and sections of the media over the party's shock defeat at the May 18 election.

"Rather than commentators' snap judgements, or hindsight masquerading as insight, it is important that we take our time to reflect," Mr Shorten said.

"But obviously we were up against corporate leviathans, a financial behemoth, spending an unprecedented hundreds of millions of dollars advertising, telling lies, spreading fear. They got what they wanted."

Mr Shorten has decided against moving to the backbench and will serve on Labor's frontbench in a move being widely interpreted by colleagues as a sign he still harbours leadership ambitions.

Several allies of Mr Shorten told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Thursday that the former union leader told them he has not abandoned the idea of regaining the Labor leadership despite being rejected by voters at the ballot box at two consecutive national elections.


Unlike Bill's vaulting-ambition.

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Gallant PVO rides in to defend Kristina Keneally's honour - with friends like that........

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It’s funny how the problems with New South Wales Labor during its many years in government under Premiers Bob Carr, Morris Iemma and Nathan Rees has all of a sudden become the sole fault of Kristina Keneally. That is, the final Premier over the 16 years Labor was in power, who took over when all was already lost.

Yes she took Labor to a historic defeat in 2011, but did anyone seriously think any other outcome was on the cards? Of course not. Yet now her enemies claim that she is the embodiment of everything that was wrong with that government. Never mind that she was known to be a strong ministerial performer in the years before she got the leadership.

Do we also blame Carmen Lawrence for the woes of the Brian Burke era in WA, just because she took over at the end and lost the election? Or Joan Kirner for the faults of John Cain’s Labor government in Victoria, because she did the same? Come on, a little perspective please people.

Of course federal Labor would have been mad not to promote its first and only female premier from NSW onto the frontbench. Madder still not to give her a leadership role as senate deputy — especially when the alternative (Don Farrell) was a bloke whose highest profile move in politics was acting as one of the three factional amigos who removed Kevin Rudd from the prime ministership in his first term. How did that work out for everybody?


Great electoral reads of our time 101 - as presented by Professor PVO


Gott in Himmel!  Two Possie-Pete's done it again!

Current NSW Senate position two weeks after the election

This election NSW will send 6 Senators to Canberra.

About 4.3M votes were cast in the state.

The quota for a Senate seat is about 587,000 votes (includes provision for informal votes).

Here is the current position for the Liberal/National ticket.

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The bottom number is the first one to look at.

1.58M 1st preference votes went to the LNP.   The top line shows that of that 786K have been allocated to "the ticket" (ie a 1 above the line) The second bottom line shows that 764K are yet to be apportioned - ie they're still being counted/scrutineered.

Jim Molan currently has 30.7K 1st preference votes in his pile - that's .052 of the quota required to be elected.  Only those in the counting room will have any idea how many possible Molan votes remain in the 764K yet to be apportioned.

We then turn to the preference flows from groups/individuals who won't have a quota in their own right.

It's highly likely the six senators will come from Labor and the LNP teams.

You can do your own guesstimates on likely preference flows once The Greens, PHON, Palmer's United etc are taken into account.


Groups' provisional quota
Group Provisional quota
Liberal/Nationals 2.7052
Labor/Country Labor 2.1095
The Greens 0.6043
Pauline Hanson's One Nation 0.3471
Australian Conservatives 0.0341
Liberal Democrats (LDP) 0.1284
United Australia Party 0.1022
Affordable Housing Party 0.0262
Animal Justice Party 0.0714
Australian Better Families 0.0107
Australian Democrats 0.0125
Australian People's Party 0.0196
Australian Workers Party 0.0111
Christian Democratic Party 0.1128
Citizens Electoral Council 0.0024
DLP - Democratic Labour Party 0.0380
HEMP 0.1443
Health Australia Party 0.0337
Independents For Climate Action 0.0396
Involuntary Medication Objectors (Vaccination/Fluoride) Party 0.0076
Climate Action! Immigration Action! Accountable Politicians! 0.0095
Pirate Party 0.0249
Rise Up Australia Party 0.0470
Science Party 0.0273
Seniors United Party of Australia 0.0102
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers 0.1799
Socialist Alliance 0.0088
Socialist Equality Party 0.0030
Sustainable Australia 0.0292
The Great Australian Party 0.0116
The Small Business Party 0.0204
The Together Party 0.0087
The Women's Party 0.0239
Unendorsed/Ungrouped Amalgamated 0.0032


Bill Shorten's corporate leviathans & financial behemoths