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Turnbull: “This Is An ABS Failure – I’m Not Happy”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he’s not happy with what he says is an ABC failure on the census.

Turnbull

As the Australian Bureau of Statistics census remains offline, Turnbull spoke for the second day on the failure of the online census submission technology two nights ago. “This is an ABS failure,” Turnbull told a press confernece. “I’m not happy.”

Turnbull said DDos attacks – distributed denial of service – were “predictable” and “always going to happen”.

Asked whether the system simply failed to cope with the volume of people attempting to submit their census form, Turnbull said the system was engineered to handle 260 form submissions per second, but the highest rate reached was 150 per second. He repeated claims that most of the DDoS attacks came from the United States, pointing out that Virtual Private Networks allow the origin of attacks to be disguised. [Read more…]


Full Text Of COAG Communique

This is the full text of the Council of Australian Governments Communique issued after today’s meeting of first ministers in Canberra.

COAG press conference

Full text of the COAG Communique released following today’s meeting of federal, state and territory first ministers.

Council of Australian Governments Meeting – Communiqué

Canberra, 7 December 2012

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) held its 34th meeting in Canberra today, 20 years to the day since its first meeting in Perth in 1992. The Prime Minister, Premiers, Chief Ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) participated in today’s meeting. The Leaders welcomed Northern Territory Chief Minister, the Hon Terry Mills MLA and President of ALGA, Felicity-ann Lewis to their first COAG meeting.

COAG also reiterated its commitment to focus its attention on policy reforms of national significance, and to keep its agenda as streamlined as possible.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

COAG reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by signing an intergovernmental agreement for its first stage. The agreement provides the foundation for all governments to work together to develop and implement the initial phase of the NDIS. The lessons learned in implementing the first stage will inform governments about proceeding to a full scheme by:

  • setting out shared roles and responsibilities for working collaboratively on the policy for a full scheme;
  • establishing the new Standing Council on Disability Reform, with representation from all jurisdictions, which – from 1 January 2013 – will be responsible for making decisions and formulating advice on matters arising from the launch and related to the transition to a full scheme; and
  • setting in place arrangements for the review and evaluation of the first stage which will inform the transition to a full scheme.

COAG noted the historic agreement between the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments to establish the full NDIS in New South Wales by 1 July 2018. The Commonwealth noted that it looks forward to concluding agreements on the same terms with all other governments.

In addition, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory signed bilateral agreements with the Commonwealth which confirm the operational and funding details for the roll-out of the NDIS in each launch site. From this time, under the launch arrangements, people with a disability, their families and carers will start to benefit from a fairer, more sustainable and equitable approach to supporting people with disability. Discussions on further launch sites are continuing. [Read more…]


Howard Claims No ‘Underlying Racism’ In Australia; Cautions Against ‘Rush To Judgement’

John Howard, says he does “not accept that there is underlying racism in this country”.

John HowardSpeaking at a press conference today, the Prime Minister said: “I think it’s important that we do not rush to judgement about these events.”

As he did when Pauline Hanson arrived on the political scene in 1996, Howard steered a course through the political and racial minefield arising from the riots in Cronulla and Maroubra yesterday. Whilst “unconditionally” condemning the violence, and repudiating attacks on people based on race, appearance, or ethnicity, Howard argued that “this is first and foremost a question of the application of the law of this country”.

Howard went on to say that “it would be an enormous mistake if we began to wallow in generalised self-criticism, because the overwhelming majority of Australians have the proper instincts and decent attitudes and decent values.” He said that “newcomers to this country must embrace our values” and “those who were born here must respect and accept as fellow Australians, those who have chosen to make this country their home.” [Read more…]