Unpacking Albanese’s Voice Letter
Our Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, has used the ancient art of letter writing to make a big play. This is because he’s written to the Opposition Leader, Peter Dutton, asking for the two of them to collaborate on refining the First Nations Voice to Parliament proposal.
This letter comes on the back of Dutton claiming that he doesn’t have enough details to either support or battle the Voice. However, this claim is peculiar, as there are currently a lot of details about the Voice that are available to the public.
For instance, we should all know by now that the Voice isn’t a third chamber of Parliament. It will instead be a group of First Nations peoples that will advise the government on First Nations issues.
In Albanese’s letter, he details to Dutton some specifics about the Voice.
Albanese wrote, “A constitutionally enshrined Voice is a vehicle to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It will give the people with knowledge and on-the-ground experience an avenue to advise the government and the parliament on the federal laws, policies, and programs that impact their lives.”
“We know the most effective outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities occur when their voices are heard and they have ownership over the policies that affect them.”
Moreover, Albanese expressed that he’s open to discussing any issues that Dutton or the Liberals might have with the current Voice proposal.
“As I have said to you in our meetings, if you have any practical suggestions or amendments on the wording, I would welcome your contribution.”
The Lost Radioactive Capsule Has Been Found
On January 16, a super tiny radioactive capsule fell from the back of a truck in Western Australia. This capsule is smaller than a five-cent coin, being six millimetres in diameter and eight millimetres long. It also emits ten X-rays worth of radiation every hour. Some folks were worried that this capsule would never be found, as the search zone was between Rio Tinto’s remote Gudai-Darri mine and Perth: a distance of 1,400 km.
However, against all odds, this capsule was found. On February 1, authorities confirmed that it’s been picked up and stored in a secure location.
“When you consider the scope of the research area, locating this object was a monumental challenge. The search groups have quite literally found the needle in the haystack,” said Western Australia’s Minister for Emergency Services, Stephen Dawson.
However, the work isn’t over yet. The authorities are now determining if any places along this route were contaminated. They also want to know how this whoopsie happened in the first place.
As Western Australia’s Chief Health Officer, Andrew Robertson, said, “I have a responsibility as the chair of the radiological council to actually investigate, and if required, prosecute offences under the act.”
“We have a number of authorised officers who are doing that. Our radiation health branch, within the Department of Health, is conducting that investigation, and they will be looking at all aspects of this event.”
Related: Should Abandoned Aussie Mines Become Power Banks?
Related: The Obscure Aussie Road Rules You Need to Know About
Penny Wong Met With Ukrainian Recruits
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, Penny Wong has met up with some Ukrainian recruits and the Australian soldiers training them. Our Foreign Minister did this to promote the work that Australia’s doing in supporting Ukraine against the invading forces of Russia.
“To be here and to speak with those brave Ukrainians who have come here in order to learn better how to defend their country: That is profoundly humbling,” said Wong.
Furthermore, Wong wasn’t the only high-level Australian to attend this event. Our Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles, was also there.
“The people who are being trained have come from normal jobs throughout their country, have volunteered in order to defend their country,” said Marles. “What they face is intense danger when they go home, and the training that Australians are providing is going to help make them safer.”
“I think Penny and I have an intense sense of pride about what our Australian service men and women are doing here. They are making a real difference to what’s happening in Ukraine.”
As of February 2, Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has been taking place for 343 days.
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