Category: Commonwealth Offences

Centrelink’s Release of Critic’s Personal Information May Be a Crime


A prominent barrister believes the federal human services minister or one of his staff may have committed a crime by releasing a Centrelink client’s personal information. Robert Richter QC was commissioned by the federal Labor party to provide advice on whether releasing the tax and relationship details of a recipient who was critical of Centrelink’s ...

Less Cash for Centrelink Recipients: Government Hails Debit Card Trial a Success


By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim The federal government has declared its twelve-month trial of ‘cashless’ welfare cards a huge success, after an evaluation found it has contributed to a reduction in alcohol consumption and gambling in rural communities. The government is so pleased with the results that it has announced an extension of the ...

Bogus Books Delivered to Sydney Mosques Defame Uyghur Leader


Two weeks ago, boxes containing hundreds of copies of a book defaming the character of exiled Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer were mysteriously dropped off out the front of several Sydney mosques. The incident seems to be an attempt to discredit the renowned activist’s reputation amongst her local supporters – most Uyghurs being Muslims. A total ...

Criminal laws “lead almost to a ‘brain explosion’”, says Supreme Court Judge


Victorian Supreme Court Judge Mark Weinberg has seen a great deal in his 50 years as a lawyer, including the criminal law’s “shift from common law to statute, and in some cases, to codification”. In his speech to the Victorian Law Foundation’s annual Law Oration on 21 July 2016, Weinberg argues that parliaments have enacted ...

KickAss Torrents Kicked Out of the Market


The man behind a popular file-sharing site is the subject of criminal charges in the US for copyright infringement and money laundering. 30-year-old Ukrainian, Artem Vaulin, is alleged to be the mastermind behind Kickass Torrents or ‘KAT’. Vaulin has been arrested in Poland, accused of distributing over $US1 billion worth of illegally copied content. “In ...

If You Owe Money to Centrelink, Don’t Try to Leave Australia


The Department of Immigration and Border Patrol will soon team up with Centrelink to stop people from leaving the country if they have family assistance or social security debts. The Crackdown Under new legislation, government agencies will work together to enforce Departure Prohibition Orders (DPOs) on anyone owing a debt to Centrelink, according to reports ...

The Wealthy and Powerful Getting Away with Tax Fraud


In case you missed it, a leak of data from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca has allegedly exposed wealthy individuals, including public officials, hiding their money in offshore companies to avoid tax. The ‘Panama papers’ contain information about more than 214,000 offshore ‘shell’ corporations set up in tax havens such as Panama, the British Virgin ...

Social Media: Helping Police to Crack Down on Centrelink Fraud


Australia has a relatively broad welfare system – with the federal government funding around $150 billion per year in benefits – a figure that is set to rise in coming years with our aging population. But not everyone plays by the rules – it is estimate that welfare fraud costs the taxpayer around $9 million ...

Sovereign Citizens: The Real Terrorist Threat?


73-year-old John Wilson does not look like your stereotypical terrorist. Hunched and with the remains of his white hair flying from the sides of his head, the former dentist is a regular fixture outside NSW courts. Spouting his hyperbole about being a Sovereign Citizen, he appears to be a harmless eccentric. But to NSW Counter Terrorism ...

Why Some Lawyers Win Cases While Others Waste Your Money


Criminal lawyers are often criticised for adjourning cases from court date to court date, while doing very little in between. They are accused of ‘dragging cases out’ and having little interest in getting charges dropped at an early stage in the proceedings – after all, lawyers make more if cases go all the way to ...