"Now that you are Prime Minister, we urge you to waste no time in making good on your wish to see Julian Assange’s ordeal come to an end, as the issue is now beyond critical, with his current health status meaning time is of the essence. It is now much too late for legal remedies.
Here is the case for wearing masks whether you are infected or not. In my opinion, people should proceed as if they are infected and wear a mask in order to protect others in the community. Waiting until you are infected is like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. None of us know when or if we are infected until/if symptoms arise and are tested. We could be infected without ever knowing. If we all wear masks (and gloves) in public we can substantially reduce infection risk. Official support for this would help us to overide embarassment or the stigma involved in initiating a new public behaviour. Shop owners and other businesses with a public interface can reassure the public by offering masks and gloves at the entrance, and keeping alcohol wipes close to cash registers and electronic keypads, and wiping them with every use or making sure that customers wipe them with every use (and wait 10 minutes between uses).
In Australia and in many western countries, the public have been advised that they should not wear a mask unless they are infected. The explanation is that a mask helps to prevent droplets escaping from an infected person, and that it will not protect an uninfected person from other unmasked peoples' droplets. The problem is that people cannot know whether we have been infected and will only find out if they become ill or are linked to a known infected person and thence formally diagnosed. So if we behave as if we are infected, and wear masks, we will be increasing public safety by reducing droplet transmission through use of the mask as a barrier. We need to be careful when we remove the mask; we should avoid touching the exterior and abrupt movements that might dislodge droplets from the outside. See third video at the end of this article.
Most of us realise there is a logical dissonance in the advice we are receiving about masks. Some of us think this is because of the shortage of masks. The government should be ensuring local manufacture and distribution of quality masks. Unfortunately it is unlikely that really effective masks will become available to the general public - due to problems of supply as much as policy.
In the meantime, it is possible to make relatively effective masks to prevent the spread of infection, as in the first video. These are basically absorbent barriers and last 2-4 hours. The second video evaluates different kinds of mask, notably the N95 mask (which excludes up to 95% of particles). The third video explains how to use and remove a commercially manufactured N95 mask.
Pauline Hanson, the leader of One Nation, an Australian political party, says the Sentinel Island tribe that killed US missionary John Allen Chau with bows and arrows, should be praised for their immigration policies. Good to see one politician in Australia has respect for non-agricultural peoples. Inside find most of an article reporting this from https://www.rt.com/news/444962-australia-hanson-tribe-missionary/
The pre-Neolithic Sentinelese tribe that riddled a lone American missionary with arrows and left his body on a beach were protecting “their way of life through the enforcement of their strict zero-gross-immigration policy,” read a formal motion lodged with the Australian Senate by the leader of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. She has asked the Senate to acknowledge and support the tribe’s desire to remain untouched.
The motion was shot down “citing diplomacy concerns,” to which Hanson replied that the Australian government is refusing to acknowledge the “devastating effect” that even small levels on migration can have on “a people’s culture and way of life.”
I for one will not be condemning the Sentinelese as racist for keeping their borders closed, nor will I condemn them for their lack of diversity.
Hanson was making an obvious parallel with the ongoing migration crisis that has hit many first-world nations in recent years. While European nations are struggling to accommodate hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees mostly from the Middle East and Africa, Australia has maintained a comparatively strict policy, running controversial offshore detention facilities and turning back boats carrying migrants.
Earlier in November, the Australian government refused to enter a UN pact on migration, saying it would “risk encouraging illegal entry to Australia and reverse Australia’s hard-won successes in combating the people-smuggling trade.” The country currently has a migration cap of 190,000, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hinted that it will be reduced next year, because voters are concerned that migrants are making Australian cities unsafe.
The tiny Sentinelese tribe that Hanson has praised for successfully keeping migrants at bay for the past 30,000 years is one of the few remaining uncontacted peoples on the planet. There are an estimated 50 to 150 of them living on the small North Sentinel Island in the Indian Ocean. It is illegal to get within three nautical miles of their shores – a law which missionary John Allen Chau broke in mid-November when he was taken near the island by Indian fishermen.
The tribe’s protected status makes it difficult to recover Chau’s body, and impossible to prosecute anyone for his killing. Indian police have charged the fishermen that brought him to the island.
The House Standing Committee on Petitions has today launched its inquiry into the future of petitioning in the House. Chair of the Petitions Committee, Lucy Wicks MP, said the Committee wants petitioning the House of Representatives to be accessible and relevant to all Australians.
“Petitioning is an important part of our democratic process. Creating or signing a petition gives people a direct link to seek action from the Parliament on an issue they care about”, Mrs Wicks said.
“This inquiry will give people the opportunity to have their say on what petitioning should look like, including what action should be taken on a petition after it is presented to the House”.
The inquiry will review all aspects of petitioning, including the role and operations of the Petitions Committee and the rules for petitioning the House. The Committee will also consider how parliaments around Australia and overseas facilitate petitioning.
“With over 600 petitions approved so far during this Parliament, it is clear that people want their voices heard by Parliament and government. The Committee is listening to these voices and wants to ensure they continue to be heard into the future”, the Chair said.
Submissions are open until 12 October. For more information about the inquiry or to lodge a submission, visit the Committee website or email [email protected]
For background information:
Standing Committee on Petitions
02 6277 2152
Interested members of the public may wish to track the committee via the website. Click on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner and use the forms to login to My Parliament or to register for a My Parliament account.