JollyPostie The Saturday Paper Refugees released from limbo, review eyes RBA communication, Türkiye targets shonky builders

Text-Only Mode Of The Email Refugees released from limbo, review eyes RBA communication, Türkiye targets shonky builders

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The Saturday Paper



13 February, 2023

Max Opray

is Schwartz Media's emails editor.


Refugees released from limbo

About 19,000 refugees living in limbo on temporary visas will be eligible to stay in the country permanently, under sweeping reforms unveiled by Labor.

What we know:

From Monday,

thousands of refugees on temporary protection visas (TPV) and safe haven enterprise visas (SHEV) will be able to apply to transition to a permanent resolution of status (



Only those

who arrived in Australia before Operation Sovereign Borders started in 2013 will be eligible for the status, which will confer the same rights and benefits as all other permanent residents, including social security payments;

They will also

be permitted to apply for citizenship once they meet the necessary requirements and will be able to sponsor family members to come to Australia;

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles

said “it makes no sense – economically or socially –  to keep them in limbo”;

The roughly 2500 people

who have had their TPV/SHEV cancelled or refused will not be eligible to apply and are expected to leave Australia voluntarily, while a further 5000 people will continue their review process (

The Guardian


The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

commended the Albanese government for providing a pathway to permanency, but noted that thousands of refugees would not benefit from the changes (



News Corp is

reporting that the Coalition will go on the attack over the changes and that Labor “insiders” are nervous (

The Australian


Opposition Immigration spokesman Dan Tehan

attacked Labor over an earlier announcement of the resumption of family reunion visas, claiming “this government is dismantling Operation Sovereign Borders brick by brick” (

The Daily Telegraph


Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil

warned that the latest changes did not make it easier to claim asylum in Australia;

“Let me be

crystal clear – if you try to enter Australia without a valid visa you will be turned back or returned to Borders,” O’Neil said;

Refugee advocates

last week hit out at Labor over delays to temporary protection reforms, and for racing through legislation to extend offshore processing (

The Saturday Paper





Labor unveils $425 million Closing the Gap plan

Read more


Review eyes RBA communication

An independent review of the Reserve Bank of Australia will determine how the bank can improve public communication on interest rate decisions, with recommendations due by the end of March.

What we know:

An independent review

will consider how the bank can improve publicly explaining interest rate decisions — a move that could open the door for regular press conferences (



The review

is also weighing the make-up of the central bank’s board, which currently consists of two RBA staff, the Treasury secretary and six businesspeople;

Treasurer Jim Chalmers

said he would receive the recommendations of the review by March 31 and was committed to “responding and releasing it between then and the budget” (

Market Screener


A decision

whether to re-appoint RBA governor Philip Lowe would be taken towards midyear in consultation with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and senior ministers, Chalmers added;

Lowe will

face pointed questioning and no shortage of criticism at two parliamentary hearings this week (

The New Daily



last week raised interest rates for a record ninth time in a row, in a sign the bank expects Australia’s economy to struggle in the months ahead (

The Conversation


Former Liberal leader John Hewson

argues the RBA “pushed interest rates down too far and kept them there for too long in support of the Morrison government’s package to stimulate our economy” (

The Saturday Paper




Soft plastics problem buried

Hundreds of millions of plastic bags have been sent to landfill since the collapse of Australia’s largest soft-plastics recycling scheme, with a solution yet to be proposed.

In response

to the collapse last year of REDcycle, the federal government created a soft-plastics taskforce and earmarked $60m in funding to help businesses invest in recycling infrastructure (



A revival

of the scheme – which collected plastic from Coles and Woolworths stores – is delayed indefinitely because the taskforce considers the processing options available too small-scale or expensive.

REDcycle was

reportedly collecting more than 7000 tonnes of soft plastics a year, but it remains unclear how much of this material was actually being recycled given the massive stockpiles that have been uncovered, some of them more than three years old.

It comes

amid calls for manufacturers of plastic products to face levies for their products to fund quasi-government companies to collect the plastic and process it (

The Saturday Paper



Captain’s pick quits ABC board

A Coalition appointee will depart the ABC board over a potential conflict of interest.

Fiona Balfour,

a former chief information officer at Qantas and Telstra, has stepped down after less than two years following concerns over a perceived conflict with her directorship at a Telstra affiliated company (

The Age


Telstra is

a major supplier of mobile technology to the ABC, with Balfour the subject of a review conducted by the new Labor government last year.

It comes

weeks after businessman Joe Gersh — another Coalition appointee — was told by Communications Minister Michelle Rowland that his term would not be extended upon its expiry (

The Australian


Board members

are selected by the federal government directly, or after being short-listed by an independent nomination panel process.

The Albanese government

has claimed it will reinstate a strict “merit-based selection process”, rather than opting for a “captain’s picks” system.



Mass arrests of builders in Türkiye

Türkiye has

issued more than 130 arrest warrants over collapsed buildings, as the earthquake death toll continues to rise beyond 33,000.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag

said on Sunday that some 131 people were under investigation for their alleged responsibility in construction breaches (



Türkiye’s construction codes

meet earthquake-engineering standards, but are rarely enforced, resulting in thousands of buildings toppling over in the recent quakes.

Among those

facing scrutiny are two people who were arrested on suspicion of reducing the number of columns to make extra room in a building that collapsed in the quakes.

Authorities at

Istanbul Airport on Sunday detained two contractors held responsible for the destruction of several buildings in Adiyaman.

The country’s Justice Ministry

announced the establishment of earthquake crimes investigation bureaus, which will gather evidence, instruct experts including architects, geologists and engineers, and check building and occupation permits.

The detentions

could help direct public anger toward builders, deflecting attention away from government officials who allowed the breaches, ahead of elections in May.

How the Adani empire keeps critics silenced

Indian businessman Gautam Adani is best known here for the controversial Carmichael coalmine - but his empire also spans airlines, media networks and ports. But now, Adani’s fortune is tumbling and questions about whether he has been protected by powerful political allies in India are being raised – all because of a single report.



Appeared to be a cylindrical object.

Canada’s defence minister Anita Anand announces that an unidentified flying object was shot down over Canadian airspace. Somehow the Chinese balloon didn’t even last a week as the strangest thing to be shot out of the sky over North America (

CBS News


Postscript: Creatures That Don’t Conform

Iridescent rainbow orbs bursting into tangerine spun sugar. Pearly spheres of goo. Sorbet corn dogs leaning into one another with matching bouffants. Bright yellow blackberries. A bunch of Mr Blobby’s babies. Golden goblets overflowing with effervescent honeycomb. Opalescent spherules in crinkled sweet wrappers. Amaretti flecked with flakes of soap. Honestly, go and check it out if you don’t believe me (




Even money

It was telling that it was the crossbench, rather than the Opposition, that went after Communications Minister Michelle Rowland over the $19,000 she received from Sportsbet ahead of last year’s federal election.

Read more

The Saturday Paper

Exclusive: 26.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine wasted

New details of the Covid-19 response – hidden by the government under ‘commercial-in-confidence’ – reveal no one is properly in charge and that huge quantities of vaccine have been wasted.

Read more


‘We can change 500,000 lives’: Jordon Steele-John’s ADHD mission

If you think you might have ADHD, it can take months, maybe even a year to get a diagnosis. Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John is taking on ADHD and will use a parliamentary inquiry to advocate for an overhaul in how the condition is treated.

Listen now

The Saturday Paper

Sponsorship shockwaves in FIFA Women’s World Cup

FIFA’s rumoured Women’s World Cup sponsorship deal with Saudi Arabia has left the host nations – and the Matildas – feeling hijacked and frustrated.

Read more


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