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30 November 2015

The Wilkie Report November 2015

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11 February 2016

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Sending kids to Nauru is a crime - ICC at the Hague notified of latest outrage

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has written again to the International Criminal Court to provide further material to support an investigation into the Australian Government for crimes against humanity in relation to asylum seekers.

“I have written to the ICC Prosecutor to draw her attention to the Government’s intention to deport to Nauru 267 asylum seekers, including 30 babies, who were brought to Australia for medical treatment,” Mr Wilkie said.

“We know that the Nauru Regional Processing Centre is no place for anyone, especially children, and that if these children are returned then they will be subject to treatment that is in breach of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“Moreover the Government is in contravention of the Rome Statute because it continues to incarcerate people indefinitely without trial, forcibly transfer people to third countries and places them in conditions causing great suffering and serious injury to mental and physical health.

“If the Government won’t listen to the outrage of the Australian people, then let’s hope they listen to the ICC.”

Mr Wilkie first wrote to the ICC in October 2014 asking for an investigation into the Government in accordance with Article 15(1) of the Rome Statute. He has submitted further evidence to the ICC since and the ICC has indicated that they are considering his submission.

A copy of Mr Wilkie's latest correspondence is attached.

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08 February 2016

Government continues to mislead on defined benefit pensions

The Minister for Social Services’s answer to my question in the Federal Parliament today about the impact of changes to the income test for defined benefit pension recipients is misleading.

Of course we need to means test government payments to ensure that wealthy people don’t receive government assistance. But most of the people who will be affected by this change are not wealthy – in fact 68% of those affected have a defined benefit income of less than $35,000.

The Tasmanian Association for State Superannuants calculates that the average reduction in pensions because of these changes is $86 per fortnight or $2,242 per year. This is an enormous reduction for people who are receiving modest incomes.

It’s also unfair for the Government to have sprung this decision on superannuants, who have paid into their super fund throughout their working life and made decisions some time ago about how to manage their retirement benefit. If nothing else, these changes should have included grandfather provisions to protect existing superannuants.

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