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  • Tamil asylum-seeker family shouldn’t receive ‘special treatment’: LNP Senator
  • Today’s headlines at a glance
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Tamil asylum-seeker family shouldn’t receive ‘special treatment’: LNP Senator

LNP Senator Matthew Canavan, who represents the state of Queensland where a Tamil asylum-seeker family hopes to return if they succeed in their deportation battle with the federal government, says it’s a “tough” situation but Australia needs to be consistent when it comes to border policies.

“We got where we are by [being] very strict on these issues,” Mr Canavan said on the Today show a short while ago.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan Credit:AFR

“Ten years ago we had thousands of people arriving by boat. Possibly thousands of people died on the journey. We have done a great job at removing completely that trade and protecting our borders. So we have to [be] strict. If we start making special treatment for individual cases, then we risk that whole trade opening up again.”

Pressure is mounting on the Morrison government after the family’s youngest daughter, Australian-born Tharnicaa Murugappan, was evacuated from detention on Christmas Island for urgent medical treatment on the Australian mainland. She has since been diagnosed with pneumonia.

Her mother, Priya, has released an emotional plea from the 3-year-old’s bedside and asked for the family to be allowed to return to Biloela in regional Queensland. The family has been fighting their deportation in the courts but the federal government says it won’t budge for anyone who is an “illegal” maritime arrival.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne has flagged resettlement in the United States or New Zealand as possible alternatives.

Defence warned keeping Afghanistan honours posed ‘unacceptable risk’ to ADF’s moral authority

Senior officials warned Defence Minister Peter Dutton that allowing special forces troops to keep their meritorious unit citation from Afghanistan despite credible allegations of war crimes against a small clique of soldiers posed a risk to Australia’s moral authority.

In April, Mr Dutton stepped in to stop the 3408 members of the Special Operations Task Group from being stripped of the military honours awarded for their service in Afghanistan. The move to revoke the unit citation was a key recommendation of the Brereton war crimes inquiry, which found credible allegations that special forces soldiers committed 39 murders in Afghanistan.

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton says some members of the ADF felt let down by the government.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Read the full story here.

NSW to create anti-slavery commissioner

The NSW government will create an anti-slavery commissioner more than three years after landmark legislation was first introduced to parliament requiring that the role be established.

However, the NSW opposition and advocacy groups fear the laws are about to be watered down, with the government signalling it will make several changes to the act this week.

Special Minister for State Don Harwin, left, has flagged changes to existing laws. Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

Read the full story here.

No travel beyond 25km expected when Victoria comes out of lockdown

Melburnians will be restricted to travelling no more than 25 kilometres from their homes as part of new eased restrictions to come into effect from Friday.

The state government is set to ease lockdown restrictions as planned at 11.59pm on Thursday, barring any unexpected mystery cases.

Melbourne is set to emerge from harsh lockdown on Friday, but a travel limit will remain in place.Credit:Eddie Jim

A source close to the state government, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to speak publicly, confirmed the new bubble rule to The Age on Tuesday evening. The distance will prevent Melburnians from regional travel for the upcoming Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

Read the full story here.

Today’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for joining us. I’m Broede Carmody and it’s Wednesday, June 9.

Before we jump into our rolling coverage, here’s what you need to know:

  • Melbourne is on track to ease some COVID-19 restrictions from Friday. However, a final decision will rest on today and tomorrow’s numbers. It comes after genomic testing revealed a link between Melbourne’s outbreak of the highly-contagious Delta variant and a returned traveller from Sri Lanka who spent time in Victoria’s hotel quarantine system.
  • An asylum seeker family’s hopes of returning to regional Queensland appear to have been dashed with the Morrison government flagging they might be resettled in the United States or New Zealand instead. Earlier this week, the youngest daughter of the Tamil family was evacuated from Christmas Island to Perth for urgent medical treatment.
  • The Australian Federal Police has foreshadowed more arrests after the “sting of the century”. Dozens of alleged bikie and mafia figures were arrested this week as part of an operation that involved monitoring an encrypted messaging app.
  • Ben Roberts-Smith is due to give evidence in Sydney today to support his high-risk defamation trial. The decorated former soldier is suing The Age and Sydney Morning Herald over a series of articles that allege he committed war crimes in Afghanistan (he strongly denies the claims).
  • And the NSW Blues and Queensland Maroons are gearing-up for the tonight’s first game of the State of Origin. The match will be held in Townsville for the first time, rather than the neutral territory of Melbourne, due to Victoria’s COVID-19 outbreaks.
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