It’s the weekend, and so you don’t have to go searching we have rounded up the day’s top stories from Australia and around the world.
1. Backpackers working in Queensland are being sexually harassed, raped – but forced to stay silent.
It is a common choice for young backpackers from all over the world- to live and work in the beautiful Australian countryside. The Courier Mail reports the reality is somewhat different, with workers, suffering harassment and terrible living conditions being forced to stay silent. Many are afraid to speak up about their conditions because they require the signature of their contractors in order to secure visa extensions.
The Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland are concerned about worker safety and potential injuries due to sub-par working conditions, and according to Inspector Tucker from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service Compliancy, up to 20 workers are living in housing that also fails to meet safety requirements.
Caron Menashe, relations officer at the Anti-Discrimination Commission told Courier Mail, “We’ve had police tell us of reports of sexual assault and rape but they haven’t been able to do anything because (the victims) have been too afraid to press charges, and they’re even too afraid to come to us with a complaint.”
Sources have informed the Courier Mail of an instance where a female worker and her children were forced out of their accommodation after the woman was asked for sexual favours. Others have been asked to leave after refusing similar requests. Five years ago a young female working in the Lockyer Valley reportedly had her home broken into and was raped by a contractor. She allegedly refused to press charges for fears the her visa would not be renewed.
ABC Online reports 23 businesses and homes across six states, have been raided by Immigration and Border protection officers in an attempt to crack down on worker exploitation, resulting in 32 arrests of unlawful non-citizens with six found to be working in breach of their visas.
2. Tony Abbott was rolled in Cabinet for attempting to strip terrorists of Australian citizenship.
In Monday night’s cabinet meeting Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, proposed that if an Australian citizen is suspected of engaging in terrorism-related activities, he should have the ability to strip them of their citizenship, at the Minister’s own discretion. The proposal was forcefully supported by Tony Abbott.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports Malcolm Turnbull objected. “A person’s citizenship is of enormous importance, intrinsic to themselves,” he stated. “Take me. The only people who’ve lived in Australia longer than my family are Aboriginal. I have no other identity. Are we seriously saying some Minister could take my citizenship?”
Only if you’re a terrorist, was the response.