Articles by Kieran Adair

Police Using Journalists’ Metadata to Hunt Down Whistleblowers


The Nauru Files changed everything. The Guardian’s publication of leaked incident reports from the detention centre  finally confirmed what many suspected: that the Australian government has been complicit in a campaign of abuse and brutality against those seeking asylum within its borders. The expose, featured on front pages around the world, has turned Australia into ...

Cheap Cigarettes Available Over the Internet


For Australians, there’s never been a better time to give up smoking. With the Labor Party promising to increase the tobacco excise by 12.5% each year, smokers could be paying around $40 a pack by 2020 if Labor is elected in July. There’s also speculation that the Turnbull Government could hike cigarette prices as early as ...

Sending People to Prison for Minor Offences


In a plan unveiled last week, the Australian Bar Association called on state and territory governments to scrap or amend mandatory sentencing laws for crimes including fine default, minor assaults, driving offences and petty theft. They believe the laws have contributed to the over-representation of Aboriginal people in prison, calling the situation a “national disgrace.” ...

Federal Government’s New Watchdog: A Further Threat to Civil Liberties


Trade unions and civil liberties groups have raised concern over a recent proposal to restore power to the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). The Commission previously faced criticism for the “coercive power” it was able to exercise over union members and officials. Writing on the ABCC, Professor George Williams and Nicola McGarrity warned the ...

Fining the Homeless for Begging


This is something that should shock you: In most States and Territories across Australia it’s illegal to beg for money. If a homeless person is caught begging in South Australia, they’ll face an on-the-spot fine of $250, regardless of circumstances. In Melbourne, some advocacy services have reported homeless clients racking up fines as large as ...

NSW Anti-Protest Laws: Taking Care of Big Business


In 2014, Premier Mike Baird told a mining industry dinner that his government would “crack down” on civil disobedience and “throw the book” at people who “unlawfully enter mining sites”. This week, he appears to have made good on that promise, with the announcement of a new set of penalties for mining protesters, alongside a ...

Alcohol Free Zones: Targeting Vulnerable People?


Earlier this year, the City of Sydney announced a review of its alcohol free zones. These are used by Councils across the state as a way of discouraging anti-social drinking, however the number and location of the proposed new zones has left some people questioning their necessity and true purpose. Last year, Deputy Mayor Irene ...