The Saturday Paper has reported that the federal government is using "money and law to close down criticism and gag the community’s most trusted voices". The claim is based on the drafting of revised service agreements which the federal government uses to provide funding to Community Legal Centres (CLCs) around Australia.
Peter Slipper, former speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, was found guilty yesterday in the ACT Magistrates Court of dishonestly and knowingly misusing Cabcharge vouchers in three incidents in 2010. The trips occurred while he was still a member of the Liberal National Party, representing Fisher in Queensland. The Canberra Times reported that the trips, which were purportedly on "parliamentary business" included “visits to Clonakilla in Murrumbateman, a $25 bottle of sparkling purchased at Gallagher Wines and lunchtime stops at Wily Trout Wines at Poachers Pantry”.
Greens senator Richard Di Natale is circulating a bill to legalise euthanasia throughout Australia, the Medical Services (Dying with Dignity) Exposure Draft Bill. It is currently open for submissions which close on 27 October 2014.
It is reported that this weeks International AIDS Conference, held in Melbourne, has been told that: "there is an increasing focus on the role that the criminalisation of sex work is playing in the worldwide epidemic" with many experts agreeing that laws prohibiting prostitution are in fact hampering efforts to control the global HIV epidemic.
Despite NSW tabling a Parliamentary Discussion Paper in May 2013 regarding the medical use of cannabis, ACT has become the latest jurisdiction to propose legislation decriminalising the use of cannabis for seriously ill patients or patients with chronic pain.