Majority of federal MPs refuse to sign up to Tony Fitzgerald’s ethical standards

Corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald is part of a push to clean up Canberra. Photo: Greg WhiteFewer than a quarter of federal politicians have agreed to commit to new ethical standards devised by legendary corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald – and there is not a single Turnbull government MP among them.

The former judge teamed up with the left-leaning Institute think tank to survey every federal politician on their values as part of a plan to clean up Canberra and build momentum for a federal anti-corruption body.

The Queensland QC –whopresided over the Fitzgerald Inquiry that ultimatelyled tothe resignation of former state premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen– developed the questionnaire to test MPs about their attitudes towards accountability, integrity, nepotism,deception and the spending of public money.

But the response from MPs was underwhelming, with just 53 of the 226signing up to the so-called “Fitzgerald Principles”. Thirty-six refused to commitand 137did not reply to repeated requests to participate.

“The refusal of a majority of politicians to commit publicly to normal standards of behaviour puts the need for an effective anti-corruption commission beyond doubt,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“The major parties surely realise that the public wants politicians to behave honourably and thatthe scandals which are causing ns to lose faith in democracy involvetheir members.”

Thirty-eight members of the ALP agreed to the principles, including Opposition Leader Bill Shorten andshadow attorney-general MarkDreyfus.Sevenmembers of the n Greens signed up, as did allfour members of the NickXenophonTeam, two independentsand One Nation’s Pauline Hanson.

No Coalition MPs – who are often instructed not to take part in surveys – signed up.

Institute deputy director EbonyBennettsaid polling shows a majority of ns support establishing a federal anti-corruption commission with the power to hold public hearings. “A federal ICAC would help restore the public’s eroding faith in federal politicians and institutions,” she said.

Under current rules federal ministers are required to uphold a Statement of Ministerial Standards that insists on “the highest standards of integrity and propriety”.

However there is no code of conduct covering other federal MPs or senators.

Thirty-sevenprominent ns have joined Mr Fitzgerald’s push, including high-profile barristersRobertRichter,Geoffrey Watson,Brian Walters,KristineHanscombeand StephenKeim.

The principlesare also supported by former NSW DPP NicholasCowdery, ACTU president Ged Kearney,former NSW Parliament speakerand Liberal MP KevinRozzoliand a long list of academics.

The results will be a focus of theAccountability and the Law 2017 Conference to be held in Canberra in August.

The Fitzgerald PrinciplesTo act honourably and fairly and solely in the public interestTo treat all citizens equallyTo tell the truthNot to mislead or deceiveNot to withholdor obfuscate information to which voters are entitledNot to spend public money except for public benefitNot to use your position or information gained from your position for your benefit or the benefit of a family member, friend, political party or other related entity

‘The devil incarnate’: Barnaby Joyce on decentralisation debate

Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Photo: Andrew MearesBarnaby Joyce says he’s pushing ahead with the Coalition plans to force relocations of government departments from Canberra, despite the policy seeing him cast as “the devil incarnate”.

A day after going to market for a permanent home for the relocated n Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority in his own electorate of New England, the acting Prime Minister said he’s faced opposition for trying to move public service departments and agencies from Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne to regional cities.

“So often we have to accept services being taken away from regional centres,” he toldThe Armidale Express.

“It’s amazing the fight I’ve had to deal with in moving services back to a regional centre.

“The Canberra Timeshas basically made me a key feature of their front page.I am the devil incarnate because I dare to have a belief for other places in apart from Canberra.”

Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Photo: Andrew Meares

The government is seekingbetween 2000 and 3200 square metres of office space in Armidalefor the authority, which is currently working from a temporary office and with an interim chief executive.

The new building must be within 10 kilometres’ radius of the University of New England campus and close to a commercial or retail precinct, with public transport links and car parking.

Despite more than 50 regulatory scientists and former chief executive Kareena Arthy leaving ahead of the controversial forced move, Mr Joyce said it was good news for the city.

“That’s great for the economy, that’s great for the shops in the mall, that’s great for the local district, it’s great for confidence in Armidale,” he said.

The authority is expecting staff to decide if they will join the move to Armidale towards the end of next year, with the final transition completed by July 2019.

Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie talked up the Coalition’s decentralisation agenda in northern Victoria this week, meeting with local councillors and calling for the private sector to invest in country towns and cities.

She said the Turnbull government wanted to help communities in the Indigo Shire – which includes Rutherglen, Chiltern, Beechworth and Yackandandah – to benefit from public service jobs.

“In Melbourne the average price of a house is approaching $1 million. In Wodonga, it’s much more attractive at $375,000 and in Chiltern that drops to an average of $230,000.

“So while re-located staff from Commonwealth agencies and offices would be located in the regional cities, they can live in a very attractive town like Chiltern which is just 20 minutes from Wodonga,” Senator McKenzie said.

Government ministers are beingrequired to justify keeping agencies and departments in their portfolios in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne by next month.

Cabinet will sign off on more forced moves before the end of the year.

Fenner MP Andrew Leigh said regional ‘s development shouldn’t hurt Canberra.

“Barnaby Joyce’s plan to force hard working public servants to move to his electorate will cost taxpayers more and deliver worse services,” he said.

“Pork barrelling jobs to the regions is bad for Canberra and bad for the nation.”

– withMadeline Link

No, Jayden K Smith is not coming to hack your Facebook account

Hackers friending you or your friends will not give them access to your computer. A hoax message warning Facebook Messenger users not to accept friend requests from a “hacker” named JaydenK Smith has begun to circulateacross the world, prompting confusion and an avalanche of memes.

Like most viral Facebook messages, it’s a totally made up story that scares users with a vague threat before imploring them to forward the lie on to all their friends or suffer the consequences.

Also like most Facebook posts, itis very easily debunked if you think about it for more than three seconds before forwarding it on.

I am proud to announce Jayden K Smith as the new head of cyber security. He will be working with the Russians and maybe North Korea. #MAGA

— Donald J. Trump (@realdonalbtrump) July 10, 2017I don’t know who “Jayden K Smith” is on Facebook but he’s sent every middle-aged friend I have into social overdrive

— Seán Maher (@irishkangaroo) July 10, 2017

If the threat was that Jayden K Smith was a hacker who would try to befriend you and convince you to click on a link or open a file, it would be a much more believable threat. But of course that lacks the all-important impetus for users to forward the message to all their friends.

The idea that a person “has the system” connected to your Facebook account, and will hack you if any of your friendaccepts his request, is blatantly ridiculous. What system? How does the originator of the message know anything about a “system” connected to your personal account? How does the hacker’s connection to a friend of yours put you at risk of anything?

It’s obvious though thatthe silliness of the threat is not immediately obvious to everyone, as the message has circulated broadly enough to become a running joke online.

The “don’t add x and also tell all your friends” hoax is an incredibly old prank, the earliest known version listed onSnopes成都夜网dating back to the Geocities days in 2000. Usually it’s a simple case of a prankster wanting to see how far their clever joke will be circulated, althoughthe moremalevolent forms hope to bully someone by unfairly connecting their name with a worldwide nuisance.

While it’s unclear which kind this latest prank is, individuals who happen to be called Jayden K Smith are probably having a pretty weird time.


Knights winger Chanel Mata’utia reflects on his return to the NRL.

CHANEL Mata’utia might have been out of sight, and out of mind, for the best part of two years.

FLASHBACK: Teammates show concern in March when Chanel Mata’utia tears his hamstring during a training session. Picture: Getty Images

But nobody needed to remind his eldest sibling of what he had to offer, given the chance.

“I believe he could be the best out of the four of us,” Peter Mata’utia said after Sunday’s 20-18 loss to Canterbury, which was Chanel’s first NRL game in 16 months.

Since debuting alongside youngest brother Sione in late 2014, Chanel has endured a torrid time.

In his first seven top-grade games, he scored five tries, including a hat-trick when marking up against Parramatta superstar Semi Radradra.

Then in seasons 2015 and 2016, he made justone appearance apiece, as knee, shoulder and hamstring injuries continually set him back.

Last season he could only watch from the stands as Peter, Sione and their other brother, Pat, featured regularly in Newcastle’s top team.

But on Sunday, the 24-year-old was not about to waste his opportunity after earning a long-awaited recall.

Playing outside Peter and Sione on Newcastle’s left edge, he scored a try, made 132 metres in attack and hit Bulldogs winger Marcelo Montoya with a tackle that rattled his teeth.

“He’s a big boy, got good footwork, hard to handle out of yardage,’’ Peter said. “He helps us get forward, gets our sets started … it’s just been his injuries.’’

Knights coach Nathan Brown said Chanel was “a talent” who had plenty of scope for improvement.

“If he gets his life away from footy –his diet –if he gets all that right, there’s a good footballer inside Chanel Mata’utia,’’ Brown said.

“I’ve got no doubt about that at all.

“He needs a little bit of luck to go his way and he needs to make some right decisions himself. But he had a great impact out there [against Canterbury] and I’d be hopeful he can have a little run where he can play a number of games in a row.’’

Peter said that, in his junior years, Chanel was happy to “go with the flow”, and for that reason he was overlooked for representative teams.

“But I think now it’s starting to kick in, that if he really wants it, he’s got to work hard for it,’’ Peter said.

Reflecting on Sunday’s game, Chanel felt he was “a bit rusty” and was disappointed that Montoya scored a try down his edge.

But he also exuded a sense of relief and satisfaction.

“After all the injuries, it’s good to be back,’’ he said. “I’ve been fighting to get back up there since the start of last season. I’ve just to keep working hard and knuckle down. I need to be more consistent in“D”, but it was a good first hit-out.’’

Bones are a serious matter

This article is sponsored byOsteoporosis .

WHEN it comes to your health it’s common to wait until the very last moment to act.

We can often delay going to the doctor especially for early signsof a more serious disease.

As the world’s population lives longer the significance of osteoporosis and fractures increases.

Obviously bones don’t deteriorate overnight but did you know your bone density begins to gradually decrease from age 30?

So taking preventative measures throughout your lifetime is vital in building and maintaining strong bones that will be the key to your independence in your later years.

To paint a picture of how prolific this disease really is, take a look at the statistics released on the 27 June in the ‘Osteoporosis report: Failure to prevent fractures costing all states and territories’.

The brittle bones of ns aged 50 years+ is expected to cost a whopping $3.1 billion this year alone.

Osteoporosis CEO, Greg Lyubomirsky said action is needed to improve the health outcomes for patients and their families.

“The report clearly indicates the rising cost of osteoporosis and related fractures and the majority of this cost is actually due to fractures, which is a consequence of osteoporosis,” Mr Lyubomirsky said.

By 2022 the 10-year cost of broken bones will climb to an estimated $21.9 billion.

“We need to remember that this cost is not just impacting our healthcare system it’s also significantly impacting patients and their families.

“It disrupts normal life and patients often cannot perform activities like working, driving, or shopping and consequently they become reliant. This reality means we have double impact within the community.

“One is cost and one is suffering for patients and families who actually suffer from fractures,” Mr Lyubomirsky said.

The release of the report coincides with the launch of the independent SOS Fracture Alliance – ’s first national alliance of 30 medical, allied health, patient and consumer organisations focusing on the prevention of osteoporotic fractures with a goal to ‘make the first break the last’.

The alliance seeks to prevent fractures from happening by increasing nation-wide recognition of the disease and help to close the gap in osteoporosis care.

Mr Lyubomirsky said there is a significant gap in patient care and the problem is with patients who have fractured a bone and are patched up but not investigated for osteoporosis.

Four-out-of-five ns treated for an osteoporotic fracture are not tested for osteoporosis, and therefore, are not offered treatment for osteoporosis

“There are 160,000 osteoporotic fractures expected in this year.

“However we know probably at least half will be discharged from hospital without any investigations or testing for osteoporosis, just an acute repair of the fracture, whether it’s surgery or a plaster,” Mr Lyubomirsky said.

“There is no investigation such as a bone density test, and in some cases no blood test to check vitamin D and calcium deficiencies so basically the patient is put back into the community without any knowledge of what’s happening with their bones.”

So why is this happening?

“It’s like a building structure with cracks on the wall but we’re not looking at the foundation and that’s very important because if the foundation isn’t correct you’re at risk of having more fractures.

Normal bone matrix (left) vs osteoporosis

“This means the bones will fracture more often and patients will continue coming back to the hospital system and it’s costing everyone more,” Mr Lyubomirsky said.

The good news is there are proactive steps you can take for risk assessment that will only take a few minutes.

The ‘Know Your Bones’ online assessment tool is one proactive measure created by Osteoporosis and The Garvan Institute of Medical Research that puts the power in the hands of the patient to help understand and self-assess their risk.

“The majority of patients do not understand the importance of bone health or that a broken bone or fracture can be due to a disease like osteoporosis.

“The majority of the population who have high blood pressure and cholesterol understand the consequences of it and that it may lead to heart attack or a stroke, however that’s not necessarily the link with broken bones and osteoporosis.

“This is a very important message as it’s a real and immediate medical emergency but it’s also an ongoing medical issue because once a fracture occurs, it can occur again if the underlying cause is not attended to appropriately,” Mr Lyubomirsky said.

Bone health needs to be made a priority and it’s a collective responsibility of ours.

It’s time to be proactive by taking the necessary measures to help you maintain a healthy, independent lifestyle, free of pain and suffering caused by broken bones.

For recommendations on exercise, diet, preventative measures and treatment options visit the Osteoporosis website.

This article is sponsored byOsteoporosis .