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Victorian and Tasmanian governments under fire for laws that target environmental protesters

Anti-logging protesters reject state governments’ claims new laws are necessary to protect workers’ safetyGet our free news app; get our morning email briefingGovernments in two Australian states have been accused of undermining democracy by introducing legislation designed to criminalise environmental protests.In Victoria, protesters attempting to prevent native forest logging would face 12 months’ jail or more than $21,000 in fines, and bans from protest areas under laws proposed last week by the Andrews Labor government. Continue reading...

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‘You don’t have a choice’: Victoria’s mental health regulator criticised over complaints handling

Olivia* complained to hospital and regulator about her treatment and feels disempowered by the processGet our free news app; get our morning email briefingOlivia* still has questions about the compulsory mental health treatment she received at a Melbourne hospital.Last year, she was admitted into the Northern hospital after an eating disorder relapse. Olivia, aged in her 40s, alleges she received forced mental health treatment after being told the hospital did not treat eating disorders.Sign up to receive an email with the top stories from Guardian Australia every morning Continue reading...

What will the new Labor government do for rural and regional Australia?

With the Nationals now out of power, we examine the Albanese government’s promises and priorities for the bushSign up for the Rural Network email newsletterJoin the Rural Network group on Facebook to be part of the communityAnthony Albanese says his desire as prime minister is to unite Australia, with “no one left behind, no one held back”, but for many living outside the capital cities in Coalition-held seats, being left behind is exactly what they fear.Chief executive of the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal, Natalie Egleton, says despite the federal election results indicating the Nationals’ base is declining, the party held all their seats, meaning “there’s still a sentiment in the bush about the need to have parties focused on rural communities”. Continue reading...

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One child a month left on a bus across Australia over the past five years

Lawyer acting for families says it is ‘happening more than people would believe or understand’Get our free news app; get our morning email briefingFollow our Australia news live blog for the latest updatesAt least 68 children have been left on buses in Australia in the past five years – a rate of more than one a month.Earlier this month, three-year-old Nevaeh Austin was treated in intensive care after being found unconscious on a bus outside her Queensland childcare centre. She had been left on the bus alone for six hours in temperatures over 30C . Continue reading...

‘Enough is enough’: Harris addresses funeral of Ruth Whitfield after Buffalo shooting

Al Sharpton calls on ‘all good people’ to stand up for justice at last funeral for victims of racist attackThe last funeral for victims of a gunman’s racist attack on a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, two weeks ago took place on Saturday afternoon, as the oldest person to die in the mass shooting was laid to rest.Ruth Whitfield, 86, was shot and killed along with nine other people, all of them Black, when a white supremacist and self-declared “eco-fascist” extremist allegedly traveled far from his home to wreak violence and tragedy. Continue reading...