An Exemplary Judgement

R v TARRANT [2020] NZHC 2192 [27 August 2020]
IN THE HIGH COURT OF NEW ZEALAND
CHRISTCHURCH REGISTRY
I TE KŌTI MATUA O AOTEAROA
ŌTAUTAHI ROHE

THE QUEEN v BRENTON HARRISON TARRANT
Hearing: 24-27 August 2020
Appearances: M N Zarifeh, B Hawes and P Norman (K Grau and H Lafraie on behalf of the victims) for Crown

Defendant in Person
PHB Hall QC and C J Lange as Standby Counsel
K H Cook as Amicus Curiae

Judgment: 27 August 2020

SENTENCING REMARKS OF MANDER J

[1] Brenton Harrison Tarrant, you are for sentence this morning for the murder of 51 people and for your attempt to murder 40 other individuals. You are also to be sentenced for engaging in a terrorist act on 15 March last year.

The facts:

[2] On that Friday morning you travelled from Dunedin to this city to attack two Christchurch mosques with the purpose of killing as many of the attending worshippers as you could.

[3] You had with you some six firearms, including semi-automatic shotguns and two military style semi-automatic rifles, and a large amount of ammunition. You carried four incendiary devices that you intended to use to burn down the mosques. You wore military style clothing and a bulletproof vest that contained at least seven magazines and a knife. On your helmet you mounted a strobe light to confuse your victims and a camera to provide a livestream to an online audience.

[4] After arriving in Christchurch and while in the vicinity of the Al Noor Mosque you sent a document, described as your “manifesto”, to an extremist website. You sent emails containing threats to attack the Christchurch mosques to the government and to various national and international media organisations, to which you also attached your manifesto. These messages were sent only minutes before your attack and
provided no opportunity to the authorities to intervene.

[5] The ideological motivation for your attack is readily apparent from the people you sought to target and the document you distributed. On your weapons you wrote references to the Crusades and recent terror attacks, and marked them with various symbols, including those of the Nazi SS. Your extremist views and motivation were plain.

[6] You parked your vehicle in a driveway next to the Al Noor Mosque and made your final preparations. It is estimated that some 190 worshippers had gathered at the Mosque for prayers. Predominantly men of various ages, the congregation also included women and children. You chose Friday prayers because you knew a large number of people would be assembling at the Mosque on that day at that particular time.

[7] You took with you two semi-automatic firearms and multiple magazines and made your way along the footpath to the Mosque. At that time four worshippers, Mounir Soliman, Syed Ali, Amjad Hamid and Hussein Moustafa, were at the Mosque’s front entrance. Without warning you discharged the shotgun multiple times in quick succession, killing each of them. A wounded Mr Moustafa was despatched by you at point-blank range with shots to his back and head.

[8] As you made your way down the hallway of the Mosque to the main prayer area you shot Ata Mohammad Ata Elayyan and Ali Elmadani, murdering both men. You then entered the main prayer room at the rear of the building. There were over 120 worshippers present. They had heard the gunfire. Appreciating that something was very wrong, they moved to each side of the large open prayer area to where there were single exits in each corner.

[9] When you entered the main prayer room you initially fired at worshippers who were lying on the ground. You shot Ziyaad Shah. You then turned to the two large groups gathered on each side of the prayer area. There was little chance of escape. You fired your semi-automatic firearm into the mass of people on one side of the room. The rate of fire was extremely rapid. You repeatedly moved your weapon across that side of the room before turning to the other group of trapped people on the opposite side.

[10] As you turned your semi-automatic weapon on these worshippers, Naeem Rashid ran at you. Despite being shot, he crashed into you, forcing you down on one knee and dislodging a magazine from your vest. Mr Rashid had been hit in the shoulder and, as he lay on his back, you fired further shots at him. Mr Rashid died but his bravery allowed a number of his fellow worshippers to escape.

[11] By this stage you had emptied a 60-round magazine. You replaced that with another. Standing in the middle of the room, you fired rapid bursts towards each side of the prayer room where people were trying to hide or were attempting to escape. After reloading yet again, you continued to shoot at persons lying prone or trying to escape. You discharged rapid bursts across both sides of the room before approaching
individual victims and shooting them. As Ashraf Ragheb sought to escape from a side room down the hallway to the main entrance, you shot and killed him. Already there were many dead.

[12] You moved closer to each now piled group of people lying deceased, wounded or feigning death on each side of the main prayer room. Worshippers, who were either crying out for help or who appeared to be alive, were systematically shot in the head. One of those was a three-year-old child, Mucaad Ibrahim. He was clinging to his father’s leg and you murdered him with two aimed shots.

[13] At this point you made your way out of the Mosque, checking prone victims as you went to ensure they were dead. Outside you shot at people attempting to flee. You shot Mohammad Faruk in the back, killing him. Wasseim Daragmih and his four year-old daughter received life-threatening wounds. You fired in the opposite direction, hitting Sazada Akhter in the spine. She will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

[14] Having run out of ammunition, you discarded your weapon and returned to your vehicle where you armed yourself with another military style semi-automatic firearm fitted with two 40-round magazines. You fired this weapon down a side driveway towards the back of the Mosque, murdering Muse Awale and Hamza Alhaj Mustafa, a 16-year-old boy who had escaped from the main prayer room and was sheltering behind
vehicles. Another man, Mohammad Shamim Siddiqui, was critically wounded.

[15] You then returned to the main prayer room. As you entered you saw Md Hoq, who was wounded,sitting up against a window. You aimed one shot at Mr Hoq, killing him instantly, before firing further shots at a group of people lying in one corner. There were some 30 deceased or critically wounded worshippers in this mass of people. You delivered fatal shots to those who were still alive.

[16] You then reloaded your weapon and walked over to the group of people lying in the opposite corner and fired into them. You noticed Haji Nabi attempting to shelter behind a small wall. With two carefully aimed shots you murdered Mr Nabi before walking to within a metre of the piled group and firing further shots into those who were either deceased or mortally wounded. Any persons who showed signs of life were shot.

[17] After exiting the Mosque for the second time you saw two women attempting to escape. You shot Ansi Karippakulam Alibava and Husna Ahmed. Ms Ahmed was killed. Ms Karippakulam Alibava was wounded. While she lay on the street, pleading for help, you murdered this defenceless young woman, firing two shots at her from point-blank range. You then returned to your vehicle and inflicted the indignity of driving over her body as she lay in front of the driveway from which you exited.

[18] As you drove away from the Al Noor Mosque you continued to shoot at anyone who you considered should be the target of your hate. You discharged a shotgun at two men who appeared to be of African descent. A short distance on you saw Muhammad Nasir and his son walking towards the Mosque dressed in traditional clothing. You again discharged the shotgun, seriously wounding Mr Nasir, before actioning the weapon again and pointing it directly at the boy who was trying to hide behind a wall. You pulled the trigger but it failed to fire.

[19] You then sped away, driving directly to the Linwood Islamic Centre. On the way you came abreast of another vehicle being driven by a Fijian man. You pointed your shotgun at him. Despite repeated attempts to discharge the shotgun it failed to fire.

[20] When you got to Linwood you approached the Mosque on foot down a long driveway, armed with yet another firearm. You saw three people in and around a car. You shot Ghulam Hussain in the head, killing him, before firing at and wounding Muhammad Raza who had got out of the other side of the vehicle. You shot another occupant of the car, Karam Bibi, before advancing up the driveway, where you saw Mr Raza attempting to find cover behind a fence. He attempted to retreat from you. Despite his pleas to spare him, you murdered him. A wounded Ms Bibi sought to hide
in front of the vehicle. You walked to within metres of her as she lay prone with her head buried in her hands, stood over her, and killed her.

[21] You then advanced towards the Mosque. As you passed a window you saw the silhouette of Mohammed Khan. You murdered him with a single shot to the head. With your weapon now empty, you ran down the driveway back to your vehicle. As you reached the car, Abdul Aziz Wahabazadah, who had courageously followed you down the driveway, challenged you. You retrieved another semi-automatic rifle from your vehicle and fired at him. He dived between some parked cars, before you walked back up the driveway to the main entrance to the Mosque.

[22] There were several people standing inside the entranceway and further into the building at whom you repeatedly fired. You killed Musa Patel. Walking further into the Mosque, you shot and killed Linda Armstrong. People were huddled in corners of the room or trying to escape as you fired your weapon, killing Mohamad Mohamedhosen. You continued to fire the semi-automatic rifle until it ran out of ammunition, at which point you dropped it and ran back to your vehicle.

[23] Mr Wahabazadah chased you down the driveway, yelling at you. You removed the bayonet from your vest but retreated in the face of his advance. As you began driving away, Mr Wahabazadah got close enough to throw one of your discarded weapons at your vehicle.

[24] After leaving the Linwood Mosque, your intention was to drive to Ashburton to attack another mosque, but your vehicle was rammed off the road by a police car and you were apprehended by two armed police officers. You were anxious not to be shot and offered no resistance.

[25] When interviewed by police, you told them that you had gone to both mosques with the intention of killing as many people as you could. You regretted not having the opportunity to burn the mosques down by using the incendiary devices, and that you had not been able to shoot more people.

[26] You confirmed to police the ideological motivation for your self-described “terror attacks”, which was reflected in the document you distributed immediately before committing mass murder.

Victim impact statements
[27] I have read all the victim impact statements from well over 200 victims and listened with much sadness to those who have presented their statements in court. In addition, I have received statements from the Muslim Association of Canterbury, the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand, the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, Cashmere High School and the Canterbury Interfaith Society, for which I am grateful. Mr Lafraie has presented a statement in court that reflects the impact of your dreadful offending on the Muslim community.

Murder victims
[28] Forty-four unarmed and defenceless people were murdered by you at the Al Noor Mosque.

[29] Among them were Khaled Alhaj-Mustafa and his 16-year-old son, Hamza. You grievously wounded another son, who was just 13 years old. He has been left with wounds and a bullet in his leg that will always remind him of the terrible day you killed his father and brother. His mother has been left to look after him and a younger child. She tells me that she often cries alone at night. Mr Alhaj-Mustafa’s widow is scared thinking of her children’s future and how she will be able to take care of them. This shattered family must somehow cope with life without their loved ones.

[30] Syed Jahandad Ali was a software engineer and the father of three children, all under five years of age. His wife is fearful for their children and for their future without him. She must now raise and support her family by herself.

[31] Amjad Kasem Hamid was a respected and skilled physician. An expert in cardiac care, he was a dedicated doctor and a compassionate man. He was a husband and a father. His wife of 24 years and their two sons are deeply affected by his murder. Their loss is unbearable — the circumstances of his death unbelievable.

[32] Ata Mohammad Ata Elayyan was a caring son and a devoted husband and father. He loved his family, neighbours and colleagues. He loved all people, and was loved by them. He represented New Zealand in his chosen sport of futsal and was a leader in his field of information technology. He was a gifted man. His family must now somehow go on and live without him. His wife, who came to this country to share her life with him, must now live with the indescribable pain of his loss and raise their young daughter without him. She described him as a “good New Zealander”
whose “legacy will live forever”

[33] Ali Mah’d Abdullah Elmadani owned his own taxi after retiring as an engineer. He and his wife and children moved to this country more than 20 years ago. Mr Elmadani was “the pillar” of the family. His death has left his wife and his teenage son distraught. The family is broken and they are left struggling with daily life without him.

[34] Naeem Rashid was undertaking postgraduate study at Lincoln University and teaching at various business colleges after a career in international banking. Mr Rashid died defending his fellow worshippers and his 21-year-old son, Talha, who was also murdered that day. Mr Rashid was an honourable man. As his wife has told me, the brave way he and his son died was are a reflection of his life. Talha had recently started his career as a civil engineer. He was, in his mother’s words, an amazing son and older brother to his younger siblings. Both were fine men — their loss will hurt forever.

[35] Ashraf El-Moursy Ragheb’s widow was also at the Mosque that day. She was able to get to a place of relative safety, but she experienced the terror of the attack, as so many other survivors did, and lived through the dread at the hospital of hearing that her beloved husband was dead — she has not felt safe since. Mr Ragheb was a kind and forgiving man who, I am told, always had a big smile on his face. He was deeply loved by his wife and two children.

[36] Mohammad Omar Faruk was a welder. He died before he could see his unborn daughter, and his widow is alone and shaken. Their child will never know her father, and Mr Faruk’s mother has lost her only son. She is heartbroken.

[37] Muse Nur Awale was such a big part of his family’s lives. They are at a loss without him. He taught them about the Quran, and his teaching and friendship is greatly missed. His wife has lost her lifelong companion. They will never again be able to share their love and happiness together.

[38] Md Mojammel Hoq was a trained dentist. He was a very gentle man — softly spoken — he worked hard to support his family. They have been left bereft by his murder.

[39] Haji Mohemmed Daoud Nabi was a 71-year-old who had been married to his wife for 46 years. He was a role model and leader to his family; a best friend to his children and to his wife. For them the pain and anguish never goes away. Mrs Nabi describes herself as “alive, but not living”. You effectively took her life as you took Mr Nabi’s. She and her children suffer every day. As Mr Nabi’s daughter said to me in her statement, they are living their own sentence.

[40] Ansi Karippakulam Alibava’s husband found her lying on the road. He sat down beside her until police told him it was not safe. He knew when ambulance staff were not treating her that she had died. He is devastated. He finds himself constantly reminded of the events of that day and the loss of his dear wife. He can find no solace.

[41] Abukadir Elmi was at the Mosque that day with his wife, son, daughter-in-law and grandchild. The family have lost their mentor — the person they relied on for advice and support. Mr Elmi did everything for his wife. His son must now assume that responsibility.

[42] Abdelfattah Qasem was a kind-hearted, selfless and hardworking husband and father who helped his neighbours and friends. For 32 years he and his wife used to hold hands. She no longer has him to hold hands with — instead she faces retirement alone. Mr Qasem will never meet his grandson, who was born two months after he died. The family has lost their pillar and is forever traumatised by his death.

[43] Zakaria Bhuiya’s widow has told me that he was her whole life. She has been left alone in this country and her life is difficult. Mr Bhuiya was a caring person who looked after his family. He would send money to his parents in Bangladesh to help support them, but their lives and those of their family have now changed forever.

[44] Kamal Darwish had a wife and three young children. He worked on a farm in Ashburton and was soon to be joined by his family. They miss him so much. The children continue to ask for their father. Your actions have destroyed that family, as they have so many other families. At times his widow does not know how to go on. He came to this country because he thought it was a good, safe place to live. The day after attending her son’s funeral, Mr Darwish’s mother died — the family believe it was from a broken heart.

[45] Ozair Kadir was training to be an airline pilot like his big brother. His death has left a scar on the hearts of his proud parents. His murder haunts his father.

[46] Muhammad Suhail Shahid left a wife he had known from childhood and two little daughters, aged five and four. They keep asking for their “Papa”. They cannot understand why he is not here. Mr Shahid’s widow is alone and scared. She tries to be strong but she is in despair for her lost husband.

[47] Haroon Mahmood’s wife has told me that the murder of her husband has turned her and their two children’s lives upside down. They are devastated by the loss of their extremely loving and caring dad, but their mother is determined that they will not be bowed by your crimes.

[48] Lilik Abdul Hamid’s widow wakes in the night terrified and afraid for
her future without her husband. She is alone and her loneliness makes her depressed. Mr Hamid’s daughter lives in fear of strangers and has become timid and untrusting of people.

[49] Junaid Ismail’s wife and three children must live without the love, protection and care that he should have been entitled to provide as a husband and father. His bereaved mother must summon the strength to keep going without her respected, gentle and humble son. Mr Ismail’s sister and brother are determined that his legacy will be carried on through his children and that they will become confident and proud New Zealanders, like their father.

[50] Ashraf Ali (Razak) was a forgiving man — a generous and caring person who loved to visit New Zealand to see his daughter, and his brother and sisters. His daughter has told me that he treated her like a princess. She may never come to terms with his passing.

[51] Osama Adnan Abukwaik’s brother has told me of how he shared a room with Mr Abukwaik as they grew up together and watched him become a man and a father. He does not want to speak of him in the past tense and wonders if that will ever seem right.

[52] Tariq Rashid Omar was a fine young man — a geologist and a footballer. His family spoke of him with eloquence and grace — a fitting reflection of their love for him. So much of what they said applies to all who fell. The loss of their special son, brother and grandson is intolerable. I cannot do justice to their words.

[53] Sayyad Ahmad Milne was a precious 14-year-old boy with his whole life
before him. His murder has left a huge hole in his parents’ hearts. Despite his father’s resilience and forgiveness, they grieve for him deeply.

[54] Mucaad Aden Ibrahim was younger still — a three-year-old infant. His father described him as “the happiness of the household” — a vibrant young boy who made friends with everyone he met. No family can recover from the murder of such a small child.

[55] Farhaj Ahsan was an engineer by profession. He was described to me as an honest, sincere and noble son; a caring husband and devoted father; a gentleman, humble and much loved. His murder has caused enormous emotional damage to the health and wellbeing of his family.

[56] Ahmed Gamal Abdel Ghany’s widow has told me that he was a kind and decent man who was much loved by his family. He had a sense of humour that I am told “makes you laugh from the bottom of your heart”. His wife has been left lonely and hopeless. His son’s life has changed completely.

[57] Hussein Al-Umari’s proud father has told me of his son’s love for his mother and his sister and of how Mr Al-Umari came to this country as a nine-year-old boy — their pain will never go away. I have seen a photo of Mr Al-Umari and his family enjoying a backyard picnic — it is such a Kiwi scene. His sister has described her brother and best friend as the backbone of their family — a person that would not hesitate to help someone in trouble. His mother weeps every day for her special young man, yet, in an extraordinary act of humanity, she offered you her forgiveness.

[58] Syed Areeb Ahmed was a chartered accountant. His family was very proud of him. He was a good son; kind, intelligent and handsome. He had a strong bond with his little sister. He cared and looked after them. Their small family has been broken by his loss.

[59] Maheboob Allarakha Khokhar was visiting family in New Zealand with his wife. They were an older couple — his widow cannot accept he is no more. His grandchildren still ask “where is Dada” and his son and daughter find the pain of his loss hard to live with.

[60] Matiullah Safi’s death has left his wife, his children and his mother distraught. He was a loving and caring man who was a strong role model for his sons. He was much respected by them, and by the rest of his family and friends.

[61] Ramiz Arifbhai Vora spent the morning of 15 March with his parents visiting his wife in Christchurch hospital. She had recently given birth to their daughter. He never got to hold his baby. He and his father, Arif Mohamedali Vohra went to the Mosque where both were murdered. Ramiz had a dream for his family to have a life in New Zealand. Despite all the adversity, his wife is determined to honour her husband’s wishes and make a life here for herself and their young daughter who will never have the opportunity to meet her father.

[62] Ashraf Ali would have celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary with his wife this year. They were both so happy. She cannot believe he is gone — she still waits for him to come home. Mr Ali was a well-respected man in the Muslim community who helped many people. He was calm, generous and kind. His loving family still cannot understand how he could be taken from them in such circumstances. They are heartbroken. Their family no longer feels whole.

[63] Mohsen Mohammed Al Harbi was a caring person, described by a friend as like a father to him. He loved New Zealand and believed that its people were kind and decent. He is greatly missed.

[64] Zekeriya Tuyan was an electronics engineer. Honest and hardworking, he was respected by all. He succumbed to his wounds in Christchurch Hospital and became the 51st martyr. He left two young boys who no longer have their beloved “Baba” to cuddle and jump over, as they did when they greeted him each day. He will not be there to lead and guide them. His wife has told me that he was the love of her life.

[65] Also murdered at the Al Noor Mosque and taken from their families and loved ones were Mounir Soliman, Hussein Mohamed Khalil Moustafa, Muhammad Abdus Samad, Husna Ahmed and Muhammad Haziq Mohd-Tarmizi.

[66] You murdered another seven people at the Linwood Islamic Centre.

[67] Ghulam Hussain and Karam Bibi were the parents of Muhammad Zeshan Raza — three members of the same family brutally murdered. Their daughter – Mr Raza’s sister — is the only one left. Their deaths have left a gaping emotional void that cannot be filled.

[68] Mohammed Imran Khan left a wife and a 14-year-old son. The impact of his death has been devastating on Mrs Khan. She now faces life with many fears, mostly for her son who needs his father. They will never be the same people again.

[69] Musa Vali Suleman Patel was a revered Iman, who has been described to me by his family as a wonderful man who provided an example to them of faith, strength and love; a man dedicated to supporting others. I am told he died in the embrace of his wife and the embrace of his faith, but that cannot ease the grief and shock of his wife and children who are trying to make sense of the killing of this warm and loving man who welcomed all people of all races and cultures.

[70] Mohamad Moosid Mohamedhosen was described by his sister as an
adventurous man who came to New Zealand to enjoy this “serene place”. I am told he was a man who was full of life, peaceful and generous. His family rallied from all over the world to be with their lost loved one upon hearing the terrible news.

[71] Linda Armstrong was described by her daughter as vivacious and colourful. Greatly loved by her family, she moved to Christchurch to be close to her two grandchildren and to their mother with whom she had such a strong bond. Describing her as “a vibrant force for goodness”, her daughter struggles to cope with her murder and, as with all the families of those murdered that day, with not being able to say goodbye.

Attempted murder victims
[72] You inflicted gunshot wounds to 40 other people who you attempted to murder that day. Many of them suffered grievous and lifelong injuries.

[73] Mostafa Abdelmonem is a dairy farmer who was shot in the arm. He has had two surgeries and has suffered lead poisoning from the bullet fragments. Despite the hurt and the pain, he is now back at work. He has told me that he will not allow one person’s actions to stop him from praying to his God.

[74] Rahimi Ahmad was shot through his side and stomach. A bullet travelled to his spinal cord. Through three months in hospital, four surgeries, and many more months of rehabilitation, Mr Ahmad has fought to walk again but he remains in great pain. He agonises for his 11-year-old son who witnessed the terror of that day and who must carry those memories for the rest of his life.

[75] Osman Aweys Ahmed was shot in the back and, like so many others, will always have bullet fragments in his body. He remains in pain which at times is unbearable. He is haunted by the images he saw that day.

[76] Sazada Akhter was found lying on the road. She received a gunshot wound to her chest and her spine was fractured. This young woman is now confined to a wheelchair and will need special care for the rest of her life. She is only 26 years old. Both her and her husband’s lives have changed profoundly. The couple do not know if they can ever have children and they are distressed and fearful for their futures.

[77] Hisham Khalifa Al Zarzour was hit by two bullets. Complications from those wounds resulted in him suffering a heart attack and he has nerve damage to his leg. His recovery has been slow and he will likely have some degree of pain for the rest of his life. He has not been able to work and that has put financial stress on his family. He finds himself unable to put the horror of the terrorist attack behind him or to be able to plan for the future.

[78] Mohammad Atta Alayan was shot in the shoulder and head. Despite the
seriousness of his injuries, the pain pales compared to losing his beloved son, Ata: his “angel with a beautiful smile”.

[79] Basil Arsan Mustafa Ass’ad was shot four times and received wounds to his thigh, shoulder blade, arm and mouth. He has had multiple surgeries and will have to undergo further operations to remove shotgun fragments. He has been unable to work, and this has caused considerable financial difficulties for his family. His inability to care for his young child has caused further stress, and he finds himself emotionally fragile. His wife feels vulnerable and continues to fear for her safety.

[80] Six bullets were removed from Temel Atacocugu’s body, three remain. He has required multiple long surgeries and, again like so many others, must bear the pain and mental anguish, not just from the permanent injuries with which he must now cope but from the horrific experience he lived through.

[81] Mustafa Boztas was shot in the thigh and shrapnel entered his liver. The nightmare of what he lived though and his leg injuries have prevented him from completing his welding training, and he has not been able to work.

[82] Wasseim Sati Ali Daragmih was shot three times as he sought to protect his little girl. He has undergone seven surgeries with the possibility of more to remove the bullet fragments.

[83] His daughter, a four-year-old girl at the time, received a gunshot wound that resulted in a massive haemorrhage, cardiac arrest and other critical complications. She was in a coma and had to be flown to Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland. There she remained in intensive care for a month. The little girl has had 14 surgeries for her injuries. No child should be subjected to such pain and such violence. She and her family have suffered terribly from what they have been through.

[84] Feroz Mohammed Ditta was shot three times. He has lost most of his calf muscle. Despite four surgeries there still remains shrapnel in his leg and Mr Ditta has had to sell his freight business.

[85] Ahmad Shah Feroz was shot three times in the back. He has more than 200 pieces of shrapnel remaining in his body which need to be removed by more surgery. His injuries and the process of recovery have been very painful. He has difficulty walking and sleeping, and now requires the assistance of a walking stick. His family are very worried for his health.

[86] Taj Mohammad Kamran was shot three times in the same leg — shrapnel will remain in his body and he has nerve damage that causes pain in his leg and back that cannot be eased. He too can only walk with the aid of a stick. The trauma and stress make him feel hopeless.

[87] Hazem Mohammed is a 65-year-old man who was trapped in the Al Noor Mosque when the shooting began. He was shot at point-blank range while lying on the ground, attempting to feign death. The bullet narrowly missed his head, going into his shoulder which is now damaged and painful. There is nothing more that the surgeons can do. Mr Mohammed struggled to sleep for months after the attack and his family has been under great stress. Like so many, he cannot get the images and sounds of what he experienced that day out of his head. He carries great sadness for those who died.

[88] A 13-year-old boy was shot by you in the thigh and spine, but the greatest loss for this teenage boy was the death of his father and his older brother. It is hard for his bereaved mother to watch him and his sister trying to cope without their father and brother. No one can replace them.

[89] Shah Nawaz has lost the full function of his leg and hip. He was shot three times. Mr Nawaz was initially confined to a wheelchair and has now slowly moved to crutches. He is still undertaking therapy and fears he will not be able to walk the same way he used to. He, like many of those present at the mosques, cannot sleep because of the nightmares. His injuries and psychological scars have changed his life forever. He finds this difficult to accept and his family has gone though much trauma.

[90] Mohd Nazril Bin Hisham Omar was shot in both feet and in his back. He was unable to walk for three months and must still carry a walking stick with him. He finds it difficult to sleep because of the pain and the terrible memories. He must take pain medication and finds the physical parts of his job difficult. He is always worried that someone else will commit another attack and fears for his children’s safety. The simplest tasks, such as dressing, are a struggle, and the nerve damage has left him shaking. At times he has become depressed and felt like giving up.

[91] Mark Anthony Rangi was visiting from Australia. He did not initially think he was wounded after running from the Al Noor Mosque, but he had been shot. He had bullet fragments in his leg and has suffered nerve damage. Mr Rangi struggled to walk for a long time and this resulted in him losing his job. Despite the damage to his leg he is no longer in pain, but at times he becomes very upset. He finds himself looking at people differently and not trusting people as he once did.

[92] Sheikh Rubel is married with a young daughter and newborn baby. He was shot three times. He suffered a broken pelvis, damage to his lower intestine and broken toes. He spent two months in hospital, and has been absent from his work for a long time. He may now have a permanent disability. He, too, has sleepless nights and bad dreams. He cannot lift his daughters or go out for a walk, and no longer has a normal life. When he watches his mates playing cricket and football he realises his life has
changed maybe forever. He fears that because of the pain and the mental anguish, he may not be able to return to his accounting job which he enjoyed so much and he is worried for the future of his young family and their financial situation.

[93] Adeeb Ahmad Sami Adeeb received multiple gunshot wounds and required multiple surgeries to remove bullet fragments from his kidney, spleen and shoulders. He struggles with day-to-day tasks and knows there is a long way ahead to recovery, both physically and mentally. He will likely have to curb the travel he undertakes as part of his job as an engineer. He hopes that as the years pass you will reflect on your actions, see past the hate that is in you and find peace and love.

[94] Al Seenawi is a 63-year-old grandfather who spent six weeks in hospital and can no longer walk without the aid of crutches. It will take at least three years for the nerve damage in his leg to repair to allow him to walk again properly. If it does not heal he will be on crutches for the rest of his life. Mr Seenawi can no longer play with his granddaughters. His life and that of his family has changed forever.

[95] Ziyaad Shah was shot three times. He too finds it difficult to sleep because of the pain and the horrific memories. Only a few months ago he underwent yet more surgery. Mr Shah came to New Zealand to raise his children in a safer country. He refuses to be intimidated by your hatred.

[96] Fawad Sharifzai sustained multiple gunshot wounds. He still has bullet
fragments in his lungs, liver and shoulder. The fragments in his lung cause him difficulty breathing and toxic elements from those fragments further endanger his health. Mr Sharifzai has been left depressed and psychologically scarred by the attack. He is haunted by the memories of those who were killed in front of him and seeing his best friend die. He finds himself at times very confused and disillusioned.
Mr Sharifzai is heavily reliant on his family. He is deeply worried for their future and fears not being able to take care of them.

[97] Mohammad Shamim Siddiqui has told me how he and his family’s happy life in Christchurch has been shattered. Mr Siddiqui was shot in the arm. He has not been able to go back to work and his family have suffered financially, but it is the emotional trauma that has affected him and his family most deeply.

[98] Abbas Ashenafi Tahir was shot in the back. He remembers blood coming out of his mouth that day and handing his phone to a woman holding his wound to tell his pregnant wife what had happened to him as he could not talk. He woke up three days later in hospital. Days of intensive care and weeks in hospital led Mr Tahir to finally being discharged, but he must now live with the pain of his wound. He has trouble sleeping. He thinks of the people who died in front of him and he often feels scared
and worried for his family.

[99] Motasim Uddin was shot in the leg. He underwent four surgeries, including a bone graft, and spent three and a half months recovering at Burwood Hospital. He still needs help to shower, toilet and dress himself. He must use crutches and has not been able to return to his job as a welder. He fears not being able to support his family. He, too, cannot sleep well, both because of the pain and the vivid memories of witnessing people dying, and running and not being able to get out. He remembers all the blood.

[100] Mirwais Waziri was shot in the head. A piece of shrapnel remains there. Mr Waziri has experienced war in Afghanistan but, as he has said to me, this was different. This was not fighting — this was murder. Mr Waziri has felt a dreadful sense of loss and remains anxious and fearful. At night when he tries to sleep he hears the cries of the injured and dying.

[101] Shahzad Ali Zamurrad is grateful that his injuries were relatively minor. He received a bullet injury to his ribs and bruises and cuts to his legs. He has, however, been deeply affected and struggles to deal with what happened to him. He is taking the small steps necessary to deal with his feelings and restore his health.

[102] Those also wounded at the Al Noor Mosque were: Azmat Hussain, who
suffered multiple lacerations to his arm and a gunshot wound to his lower back; Muhammad Amin Nasir, who received a gunshot wound to his chest; Mohd Tarmizi Bin Shuib, who was shot in his lower back, as was Ahmede Yesuf; Aseel Sulaiman Alansari, who was shot in the leg; and MD Omar Jahid, who received a gunshot wound to his shoulder.

[103] At the Linwood Islamic Centre five people who you attempted to murder were left seriously wounded.

[104] Salwa Hossien El Shazly is a 68-year-old married woman with three adult children and five grandchildren. Since arriving in this country in 1996, she has been heavily involved in the Christchurch community. She was present at the Mosque with her husband, Ibrahim, and their youngest son, Mostafa. Mrs El Shazly was shot in the arm. She has physically recovered but, like all those present at the two mosques, she is deeply affected by having witnessed the murder of her friends and fellow worshippers. She is not the same person she once was, and because of the memories of what happened she is unable to return to the Linwood Mosque.

[105] Ahmed Iqbal Jahangir is still receiving ongoing treatment to repair nerve damage to his arm and will require further surgery. He has had to sell his restaurant and is unsure when he can return to work and to a normal life. He will likely have to take pain medication for the rest of his life, and remains deeply disturbed by what he experienced.

[106] Sahadat Mohammad was at the Mosque when he was shot in the shoulder. He has required four operations, including a bone graft. The injury is extremely painful and his shoulder will never be the same. Some pieces of the bullets are near his heart and some pieces in his lungs, which sometimes affects his breathing. They cannot be removed because the surgeons fear more damage will be caused by attempting to do so. Mr Mohammad is unsure whether he will be able to work as a chef again.

[107] Zulfirman Syah and his two-year-old son were shot. Mr Syah suffered a fractured back and ribs, injuries to his forearm and thigh and other life-changing critical injuries. The child was also hit by bullets and sustained internal injuries. Both carry fragments of those bullets in their bodies. Mr Syah lost consciousness while speaking to his wife on the phone from the floor of the Mosque as his little son lay with him for comfort on top of his seemingly lifeless body. The child is deeply traumatised from his experience. It is difficult to grasp the terrible physical and psychological impact on this family, and the resulting financial and emotional strain that has been inflicted upon them.

Terrorism victims
[108] The people who you killed and wounded were not the only victims. All those who were present or in the immediate vicinity of the two mosques have suffered deeply from their experience, as has the wider Muslim community.

[109] People witnessed scenes that no one should have to experience. They must live with those memories and the terrible fear they suffered that day. The severe debilitating effects of this lasting trauma and post-traumatic stress have been profound – anxiety, survivor guilt, fear, grief and anger are common. Many must also endure insomnia and nightmares and a continual deep sense of sadness. Some have been devastated from what they went through, and their lives forever altered.

[110] The mosques were places of sanctuary. This country too, considered
internationally to be one of the safest and most secure in the world, was also seen as a place of refuge and safety by many who you targeted. I have little doubt that you chose to come to this country to target New Zealand’s Muslim community for that very reason. As a result of your terrorism you have caused people to question their safety in their own community.

[111] The violation of houses of worship — places of peace reserved for prayer, family and community — has caused worshippers to doubt their safety at those places and people have lost confidence. Those intended effects of your crime must not be allowed to stand. Your victims have shown extraordinary resilience, but I cannot ignore the damage you have done to the sense of security and wellbeing of members of the Muslim community, both in Christchurch and more widely throughout New Zealand as a whole.

Personal background
[112] Mr Tarrant, you are a 29-year-old Australian man who travelled to live in Dunedin in 2017. You had no family or other apparent connections with New Zealand and have never sought employment here. Before or shortly after your arrival you began to plan a terrorist attack on people of this country.

[113] Your upbringing in a small New South Wales town was unremarkable. You have no criminal history. It appears that while travelling in Europe you developed deep-seated radical views regarding the migrant population of some Western countries and beliefs about the so-called “cultural displacement” of Europeans in those countries. You began formulating ideas of taking violent action against people — people you described as “the invaders”, and in particular those of the Muslim faith. You were attracted to and adopted the views of far right white supremacists.

[114] Having resolved to take violent action in furtherance of your extreme
ideological beliefs, you used your time here to plan and prepare. Members of your family with whom you maintained some contact became increasingly concerned about your radical outlook and racist views. You adopted an isolated lifestyle, living alone in rented accommodation. Your focus appears to have been on following far right websites, acquiring high powered firearms — some of military specification, large amounts of ammunition of various calibres, and other military paraphernalia and equipment. You obtained a New Zealand firearms licence and practised the use of your guns at various rifle clubs. Apart from some further travel in December 2018, your sole objective was the planning and execution of your long-conceived plan to attack the Muslim community.

[115] You have no apparent mental disorders or psychiatric conditions, nor do you present with any clinically significant cognitive impairments. One of the psychiatrists who assessed you last year described you as proudly seeing yourself as a “white European ethno-nationalist” who has an “air of superiority and grandiosity which may reflect narcissistic traits”. However, there was insufficient information to make a formal diagnosis of any personality disorder. You are described as having held unusually racist beliefs since your late teens that have developed and intensified through your adult life.

[116] A clinical psychologist considered you displayed a range of traits akin to personality dysfunction but that they did not reach the level of severity to constitute a full-blown personality disorder or clinical syndrome. Your choice of violence as a solution to your anger at perceived so-called “population and cultural displacement” in Western countries was assessed as being an expression of distorted attitudes and impaired judgement that align with your maladapted personality traits and extreme overvalued beliefs.

[117] More recently you purport to have disavowed the political and ideological views that you sought to use to justify your crimes. You now claim to have abandoned these ideas completely and that you no longer believe in the things that led you to commit these terrible crimes. You have described those beliefs to the pre-sentence report writer as “not real”, that you were at the time in a “poisoned emotional state” and “terribly unhappy”. You said you felt ostracised by society and that you wanted to damage society as an act of revenge.

[118] In the weeks preceding your sentencing you told a psychiatrist that you were not thinking logically or rationally at the time of your offending and that you were acting on “delusional beliefs” that you referred to as “romantic or idealistic notions” that your death would be in the name of a cause. You suggested that as you descended into a more depressed state your thoughts became more extreme. You claimed, in going through with your plans, to have been seeking a violent end and this was the means to achieve it.

[119] This attempt by you to rationalise your actions is at odds with the account you willingly gave in the wake of your killings to police and health assessors, that your crimes were committed in the context of war against “invading” populations, and to whom you described yourself as a “partisan”. A psychiatrist who has recently interviewed you does not believe that depression was your dominant mood in the period leading up to the attacks. Far from the usually diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities typically seen during a major depressive episode, in your case, you engaged in extensive research and planning during this time and wrote your manifesto. That exercise required you to concentrate for long periods and is inconsistent with someone suffering from a major depressive episode. Whatever symptoms of a persistent depressive disorder you may have had, if any, they were not debilitating.

[120] While you may have contemplated the risk of your death in carrying out your crimes, it is striking that you were at pains to avoid being shot at the time of your apprehension and that you were determined to survive. Your plan was to be captured alive and to use your subsequent interactions with the police and the court process to advance your ideological cause. I accept that insofar as you may have thought to use your trial as a platform, you discarded that opportunity when you pleaded guilty and have taken no steps in the course of this hearing to advance the ideology that motivated you.

[121] You have also claimed that you are not racist or xenophobic and that you did not target your victims because of their ethnicity or religion. The facts show otherwise. You have held longstanding discriminatory views against ethnic minorities that clearly evolved from your own experience, research and interaction with likeminded individuals over a relatively long period, and developed to become violently focussed on a hatred towards Muslim people. Your misconduct while on remand, at least during the early period of your incarceration, has been described as involving offence-paralleling behaviour and is said to mirror the objectives of your offending.

[122] The reliability of your changing views is described by the health assessors as questionable and is viewed as evidence of the labile nature of your personality and related mood swings. Your recent self-generated denunciation of your extreme ideology requires circumspection. It is uncorroborated, self-serving and a relatively recent phenomenon. The Court must exercise caution in assessing the genuineness of your claims that a holder of such extremist views, who is capable of manifesting those beliefs with such homicidal violence, is prepared to abandon them so easily.

[123] You have acknowledged that “nothing good” came from your crimes. While you accept what you did was — to use your words — “abhorrent and irrational”, it is not apparent, despite your claims, that you are genuinely remorseful beyond being regretful for the situation that now faces you. As far as I am able to gauge, you are empty of any empathy for your victims. You remain detached and appear entirely selfcentred. You have not displayed any discernible distress at your offending, which you recollected to the health assessors in an abstract and unemotive fashion. Stripped of your warped ideological and political trappings, you present as a deeply impaired person motivated by a base hatred for people who you perceive to be different from yourself.

Sentencing purposes
[124] Mr Tarrant, in sentencing you my prime objectives are threefold. First and foremost, to condemn your crimes and to denounce your actions. Second, to hold you accountable for the terrible harm you have caused — in plain terms, to attempt to impose some commensurate punishment. I do that on behalf of the whole community, which in particular includes the victims of your crimes and their families, all of whom are a part of New Zealand’s multicultural society. Third, there is the need to protect the community from a person capable of committing cold-blooded murder on such a scale and who presents such a grave risk to public safety.

[125] A predominant feature of your offending is that your homicidal actions constituted an act of terrorism and that your victims were targeted predominantly because of their religion but also their ethnicity, their race and their colour. I am required to impose a sentence that appropriately takes into account and reflects those particular aggravating features of your crimes and the distorted motivations that lay behind them.

[126] On the 51 charges of murder the sentences can only be one of life
imprisonment.

[127] Attempted murder carries a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment. You have been convicted of attempting to murder 40 people. It is plain you tried to kill many more on 15 March. After your arrest you told police that you regretted not doing so. Of the 40 survivors who were shot by you and in respect of whom you were charged with attempting to murder, almost all suffered very serious life-threatening wounds. Many would have died but for the actions of fellow worshippers, passing civilians, police and paramedics, and the doctors and nurses of Christchurch Hospital.

[128] Many of the surviving victims have suffered major and permanent life-altering physical injuries and deep disabling mental trauma. Their lives have fundamentally changed. The Sentencing Act (the Act) directs that the maximum penalty prescribed for an offence must be imposed for offending that is within the most serious of cases for which that penalty is prescribed. These are such offences.

[129] Similarly, because your act of terrorism comprised the deliberate taking of so many innocent lives and the wounding and maiming of so many people, I consider the maximum sentence of life imprisonment can be the only commensurate starting point for the commission of such a crime.

Sentencing for murder and terrorism
[130] Where an offender is sentenced to life imprisonment for murder the Court must order the offender to serve a minimum period of imprisonment. That term must not be less than 10 years and must be the minimum term the Court considers necessary to hold you accountable for the harm you have done, to denounce your conduct, to meet the needs of deterrence and to protect the community. If no minimum term of imprisonment would be sufficient to satisfy any one of those sentencing purposes, the Act provides that I may order that you serve your sentence without parole.

[131] Accountability, denouncement, deterrence and protection of the community must be the Court’s focus. Those considerations are not to the exclusion of other purposes and principles of sentencing. However, the length of a minimum period of imprisonment for murder and the assessment of the adequacy of any such term is to be measured against those sentencing objectives. Aggravating and mitigating factors are applicable to the extent they are relevant to those specified purposes.

[132] Those sentencing objectives also reflect the primary sentencing considerations that have been taken into account for terrorism offending in Australia and the United Kingdom. Personal mitigating factors, including rehabilitation, are to be given less weight. Because of the ideological motivations of terrorism offenders, community protection and general deterrence are to be afforded greater importance notwithstanding that the force of such motivations may mean that such deterrence may not be effective. However, an order to serve a sentence of life imprisonment without parole can only attach, in this country, to a sentence imposed for murder.

Sentence of life imprisonment without parole
[133] An order that a murderer serve their sentence of life imprisonment without parole has not previously been made in this country. This Court has taken the view in the particular circumstances of other cases that the requisite objectives of sentencing could be achieved by the imposition of a finite minimum term. That approach has been taken in the knowledge that the sentence of life imprisonment means just that. Unless after the elapse of the minimum period of imprisonment the Parole Board can be satisfied that an offender can be safely released into the community, a person sentenced to life imprisonment will spend the rest of their life in prison.

[134] The longest minimum non-parole period imposed in this country was 30 years for the murder of three people and the attempted murder of another during the course of an aggravated robbery. A sentence of life imprisonment without parole was not available at the time. The ability to order that a murderer serve their sentence without parole was introduced in 2010 in response to a perceived societal concern regarding repeat violent offenders and the worst murder cases. An identified need was to relieve victims of the stress of having to attend parole hearings in the knowledge of the offender’s potential release.

[135] At the time of its introduction the Government acknowledged that the
imposition of life imprisonment without parole would be infrequent. However, unlike other jurisdictions, little statutory criteria or guidance was prescribed for when such an order would be appropriate. In the few New Zealand cases where the issue has been considered, this Court has observed that the grounds for making such an order need to be clear and obvious, and the objectives of sentencing not otherwise achievable by imposing a minimum period of imprisonment.

[136] In the United Kingdom a sentencing court when imposing a life sentence for murder may have regard to whether the seriousness of the offence or combination of offences is exceptionally high. Cases that would normally fall within such a category include the murder of two or more persons where each murder involves a substantial degree of premeditation or planning, and a murder that is done for the purpose of advancing a political, racial or ideological cause — criteria that apply to your crimes.

[137] If the “exceptionally high” test is met, then the appropriate starting point is, as it is termed in the United Kingdom, a whole life order, being a life sentence served without parole. After considering any mitigating or other aggravating factors not already taken into account, should the sentencing court consider a whole-of-life sentence to be appropriate it may make such an order.

[138] In this country, Parliament has provided that a life sentence without parole can be imposed in the case of the worst murders if the Court is satisfied that no minimum term would be sufficient to satisfy the prescribed purposes of sentencing an offender for such a crime. When that statutory criteria is met, the Court has a discretion to impose a whole-of-life sentence. However, the Court must not impose a punishment that is disproportionately severe — that is a sentence that is “grossly disproportionate” to the circumstances of the offending and the offender.

[139] There is European jurisprudence that indicates the imposition of a whole-of-life sentence in the absence of any effective review mechanism is incompatible with international human rights instruments. The limited grounds afforded under our legislation for release on compassionate grounds may not be considered as providing a meaningful process of review of a life sentence without parole, but it remains unclear whether such a sentence without the possibility of review would in all circumstances breach the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

[140] The Court of Appeal has examined the interpretation and application of the law, collectively referred to as the “three-strikes legislation”, that provides the Court with the power to impose a whole-of-life sentence for murder notwithstanding there having been no previous offending. The Court of Appeal’s focus was on offenders convicted of murder who have received a first or final warning and who this Court must sentence to life imprisonment without parole unless satisfied it would be manifestly unjust to do so.

[141] In examining how that exception should be approached in the face of the statutory presumption of a whole-of-life sentence, the Court of Appeal emphasised the essential need to comply with the constitutional requirement that the sentence must not be grossly disproportionate. By this Court approaching its task in that way, the tension between the imposition of a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, as mandated by Parliament, and the need to avoid a disproportionately severe punishment can be reconciled.

[142] There is no express presumption in favour of the imposition of a whole-of-life sentence once the Court is satisfied that no minimum term of imprisonment can satisfy one or more of the listed purposes to which it must have regard. However, while the discretion, once engaged, does not on its face appear to be constrained, the construction of the relevant section of the Act is such that once the Court has reached that position, the legislative intent that a whole-of-life sentence will be imposed appears plain. Arguably, the language of the Act admits of no other interpretation, in which case, if the Court is satisfied the statutory threshold is met, a whole-of-life sentence must be imposed despite the constitutional implications.

[143] I have chosen for the purpose of sentencing you to proceed on the basis that the Court retains its residual discretion. The overarching question therefore remains whether it would be grossly disproportionate to impose a life sentence without parole in the extraordinarily exceptional circumstances of this case where one or more of the requisite purposes of sentencing for murder cannot otherwise be achieved.

[144] In that regard, I note the Court of Appeal has recognised, although it did not decide the point, that a life sentence without parole (and implicitly without meaningful review) might be necessary to satisfy the societal requirements of accountability, denunciation, or deterrence. In making that observation it cited the examples of murders involving terrorism, or extraordinary sadism or cruelty, and the murder of multiple victims. The Court observed that the statutory power provided by the Act “provides an appropriate mechanism to achieve these purposes through open judicial assessment unaffected by a presumption”.

The offending
[145] In order to assess the length of the minimum period of imprisonment required to meet the applicable purposes of sentencing and to determine whether any minimum period would be sufficient to satisfy one or more of those purposes, the aggravating features of your crimes must be assessed. There are no mitigating features. In making that assessment, the Court is entitled to take into account all the circumstances of your conduct and the totality of your offending, including the fact that, in addition to killing so many people, you attempted to murder very many others and left scores wounded and maimed.

[146] There can be no question that the statutory criteria mandating the imposition of a minimum period of imprisonment of at least 17 years has been met. Each murder was the product of calculated and lengthy planning and was committed with a high level of cruelty and callousness. Some of your victims were children, others were murdered by you as they lay wounded and incapacitated. If a minimum period of imprisonment was to be imposed, that bare summary of aggravating features would indicate a starting point considerably higher than 17 years. A single murder committed in such circumstances would warrant such a minimum term. Your act of terrorism resulted in the murder of 51 people and the serious wounding of 40 more. That is perhaps the most salient feature of your offending, but there are other particular aspects of your crime that require further articulation.

Premeditation
[147] As I have previously observed, you undertook long and extensive planning. In addition to acquiring high-powered firearms, you purchased in excess of 7,000 rounds of ammunition and bought equipment solely for the purpose of carrying out your attacks. You modified the military style semi-automatic rifles in order to improve their rate of fire, and practiced their use. You obtained information about mosques located in this country, including plans and photographs of their interiors, and the details of Muslim holy days and the times when the most people would be gathering for prayer.

[148] In January 2019, you travelled to Christchurch to carry out reconnaissance of the Al Noor Mosque. You flew a drone over the building, recording an aerial view of the Mosque’s grounds, including the points of entry and egress. After settling on the targeted mosques, you analysed their layouts and the likely exit routes worshippers may take to escape. The sole purpose of this preparation was to kill as many people at each mosque as efficiently and as systematically as you could.

The use of high-powered firearms
[149] In order to kill as many people as you could, you obtained and used a number of powerful firearms that were able to deliver high rates of fire. These included two AR-15 .223 calibre military style semi-automatic rifles.

Mass killing
[150] You committed mass murder. You slaughtered unarmed and defenceless people. You maimed, wounded and crippled many others. Your victims include the young and the old, men, women and children. At one stage during your online commentary you referred to what was happening as a “firefight” — the absurdity of that lie reflected your need to mask the truth of your cowardly massacre of people who had no chance to protect themselves.

Brutal, cruel and callous violence
[151] It is self-evident that your offending constituted extreme violence. It was brutal and beyond callous — your actions were inhuman. You deliberately killed a three-year-old infant by shooting him in the head as he clung to the leg of his father. The terror you inflicted in the last few minutes of that small child’s life is but one instance of the pitiless cruelty that you exhibited throughout. There are countless more examples. You showed no mercy.

The vulnerability of victims at a place of worship
[152] Other children were present — a two-year-old boy was shot and a four-year-old girl was another of your victims — as were the elderly. Wounded people who were incapacitated and unable to escape were despatched by you in cold blood, often at point-blank range. You shot people in the back and ignored the pleas of the wounded to be spared. You advanced on them, stood over them, and viciously took their lives.

[153] Most of your victims were at prayer. You violated places of worship where people came together for peace and fellowship. Like the rest of the country, the worshippers had no inkling of the terror and carnage that was about to be perpetrated.

A terrorist act
[154] It is difficult to look beyond the wicked nature of each murder and the pain and suffering you have caused to individual victims, to their families and loved ones. However, you are not only a murderer but a terrorist.

[155] Your actions go further than demonstrating contempt for the sanctity of life. In the name of a political or ideological cause, you sought to violently intimidate the community, and coerce the country’s peaceable form of government and social order — essentially to attack New Zealand’s way of life. The beliefs upon which you rely to justify your crimes are rooted in religious and ethnic antipathy and intolerance. The hatred that lies at the heart of your hostility to particular members of the community that you came to this country to murder has no place here. It has no place anywhere.

A hate crime
[156] New Zealand rightly places great value on its diverse and culturally rich community. It recognises the contributions made by people of many racial and ethnic backgrounds and of varied faiths and cultures. Extremist beliefs and ideologies that seek to promote violence and hate are anathema to the values of acceptance, tolerance and mutual respect upon which our inclusive society is based and which this country strives to maintain. Where warped and malignant ideology manifests itself in such violence and causes such appalling harm, it is incumbent on the Court to respond in a way that decisively rejects such vicious malevolence.

[157] Your crimes were met by an unprecedented public outpouring of love and support for the people you targeted and the wider Muslim community. Your design was to divide, but the public’s response was to stand with the people of their community — with their fellow New Zealanders — to demonstrate their unqualified repudiation of your hateful agenda. You failed, but the individual and personal cost of the lives lost and the grievous wounds inflicted are immense.

Harm
[158] You have caused enormous loss and hurt. The taking of one life and the suffering of one family is an unbearable tragedy in its own right, but the widespread distress and despair you have inflicted by your offending is without precedent. You have caused terrible grief and lasting pain to so many people. Bereaved families have been left desolate and bereft. The human cost of the extraordinary harm you have done to your victims, to their families, and to the whole community is beyond measure.

Factors personal to the offender
Guilty pleas
[159] In sentencing you, I am obliged to take into account the entry of your guilty pleas. However, any credit that is to be given for pleading guilty must reflect all the circumstances in which the plea is entered, including whether it is to be regarded as an early or late plea, and the strength of the prosecution case. All relevant circumstances must be evaluated in order to truly gauge the mitigating effect of having pleaded guilty.

[160] The core justification for providing credit to an offender for pleading guilty is said to be the benefits that accrue to the criminal justice system and to its participants — what is referred to as the utilitarian value of an offender’s plea. However, your guilty pleas were not entered until over a year after the events of 15 March and in the face of overwhelming evidence, including a full confession. This considerable delay was a source of further distress to victims and victims’ families.

[161] You have recently claimed to have abandoned the ideology that motivated you and that your initial pleas of not guilty were based on a false premise of what you earlier thought you were “fighting for”. Your current stance is contrary to the reasons for your admissions to police that were essentially made in furtherance of your cause. They were a manifestation of the twisted pride you took in what you had done and were made with the same objectives that you sought to achieve from the livestreaming of your crimes.

[162] The entry of your pleas may indicate some level of insight. You have chosen not to oppose the Crown’s application that you serve your sentences of life imprisonment without parole and you gave instructions to standby counsel to that effect. You told one of the health assessors that you considered the best course for yourself and your victims was to remain silent and say nothing, and that you did not wish to come across as showing remorse in order to obtain mitigation for what you did. To my observation, however, you remain entirely self-absorbed. You have offered no apology or public acknowledgement of the harm you have caused. There is little to indicate that your pleas denote any deeply-held sense of remorse for your
victims or that you are particularly distressed at having caused such terrible grief.

[163] Your focus appears to be on yourself and the position you find yourself in. While I accept you have forsaken the opportunity to use this proceeding as a platform and appear now to accept that what you did was wrong, you appear neither contrite nor ashamed. Your regret appears centred on the waste of your own life in the realisation that your crimes were irrational and unjustifiable, rather than for the innocent lives that you have taken.

[164] The recognition that is to be afforded to guilty pleas is not limited to the motivation of the offender for their entry. The Crown has properly acknowledged that, even if not a marker of true remorse, there remains a benefit to the justice system from an offender pleading guilty, and merit in having saved victims the trauma of reliving events through a trial which I am required to take into account in sentencing you.

[165] For murder there is a statutory presumption that a life sentence will be imposed. The isolated fact that a murderer has pleaded guilty will not by itself be sufficient to disturb the imposition of that indeterminate sentence. It has been submitted that the only meaningful way of recognising your guilty pleas is for the Court to step back from the imposition of a sentence of life imprisonment without parole. However, I do not consider the entry of your guilty pleas in relation to such a binary issue has that effect.

[166] As with the aggravating features of your offending, all mitigating factors are required to be taken into account when assessing whether the prescribed purposes of sentencing in respect of the charges of murder can be satisfied. Having weighed all the relevant circumstances, I do not consider your guilty pleas, either alone or in combination with any other matters personal to you, would be capable of displacing a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, should that be the conclusion I reach. I do not consider that mitigating aspect is sufficiently strong to have such a profound influence on the final effective sentence. Should a minimum term of imprisonment be adequate, an appropriate adjustment can be made.

[167] For the same reasons, I consider a sentence of life imprisonment for a terrorist act that involves the massacre of so many people and that was undertaken in an attempt to kill so many more, cannot be moderated to any lesser finite sentence because the offender has finally faced the inevitability of his conviction and pleaded guilty. I reach that conclusion despite there being no statutory presumption that such an indeterminate sentence is to be imposed for that crime.

[168] If necessary, the benefit of the entry of your pleas can be marked by making an appropriate adjustment to the sentence that would otherwise be imposed on the 40 charges of attempted murder. That outcome may ultimately only be of symbolic effect, but I consider in the extraordinary circumstances of this case that such a result may be unavoidable.

Absence of prior offending
[169] When you committed these crimes you had no prior history of criminal offending. Whether an offender’s otherwise clean record or good character can mitigate a sentence is heavily dependent on the offender’s background and the circumstances of the offending. In your case, I consider any credit for prior good conduct would be entirely incongruous with the enormity of your crimes and the long period of their gestation, during which you took a series of careful preparatory steps in full knowledge of the harm you were seeking to achieve.

Prospects of rehabilitation
[170] It has been argued that your lack of prior offending, together with your guilty pleas and the claimed motivation for their entry, are relevant to your prospects of rehabilitation and to the core issue of whether life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is necessary in your case. It was submitted that your abandonment of your cause and change of plea is an indicator of a level of insight, and it is argued there is some hope of rehabilitation which of itself is an important purpose of sentencing.

[171] The objective of rehabilitation is to secure the eventual successful
reintroduction of an offender back into society. Such an outcome will ordinarily provide a tangible benefit to the community and is one of the essential aims of an enlightened system of criminal justice. I accept that no matter how appalling the crime, the potential for rehabilitation must always give a sentencing court cause to pause. It is a further aspect that I have taken into account in making my overall evaluation of the appropriate effective sentence, but I remain unmoved.

[172] The distribution of your manifesto, the livestreaming of your crimes, during which you addressed your online audience and provided a running commentary; and the affectation of decorating your weapons and playing music, were all undertaken to obtain maximum attention and notoriety both to yourself and your cause. You saw your interview with police as an opportunity to boast about what you had done and to rationalise your actions. If anything more is required beyond your murder of innocent lives, these features point to the depth of your motivation, as does the long period of time over which you planned this terrorism and the lengths you went to execute your ideologically-driven crimes.

[173] I am sceptical of your recent representations of having abandoned the ideology that motivated you. You have admitted having lied in the course of earlier assessments and both health assessors express reservations regarding the extent to which your most recent statements and changing motives can be relied upon. Your admission that you were aware that what you intended to do was wrong, and yet, that you went ahead despite such knowledge, points both to the hold your extremism had over you and its potential to continue to influence you in the most catastrophic of ways.

[174] While you have expressed a willingness to engage in some form of restorative justice process in the future, it is not apparent from the reports I have read that you have shown much interest in your victims, let alone any remorse or empathy for the people you have killed and wounded, or for the wider harm you have caused. You have to date been dismissive of any potential rehabilitative interventions. While perhaps reflective of your fluctuating moods, your past responses have been that you do not want help; that professionals do not have the training or expertise to deal with your issues. More recently you have indicated an unwillingness to engage with the Department of Corrections.

Strict custodial conditions
[175] In sentencing you, I have also taken into account the undoubtedly stricter conditions of custody to which you will be subject. I accept that at least for the initial period of your sentence those custodial conditions will be onerous. They are of course to a large extent the product of the enormity of your crime but, in assessing the punitive effect of your incarceration, I am cognisant of their particularly restrictive nature.

Sentencing decision
[176] In assessing the question of sentence, I am mindful that a prime function of the criminal law is to protect the community from crime. Whether in seeking to punish an offender, or in trying to deter or reform, the purpose of imposing sentence is ultimately to protect society. The more damaging and grave the crime the greater that need becomes. That objective of the criminal law is not to be confused with protecting the community from a particular offender, although I consider you to be a highly dangerous criminal who demonstrably has no regard for human life and who represents a very high risk of harm to others.

[177] By having regard to the circumstances of the offence and the offender, the sentence should accord with the general moral sense of the community. A crime is a public wrong, and the public dimension of sentencing and the maintenance of public confidence in the criminal justice system must be kept in mind. The sentence I impose must be one that reflects the community’s repudiation of your crimes. It must represent a civilised reaction based not on emotion but justice and deliberation. The Court cannot impose significantly heavier or more severe punishment than is properly justified nor beyond that required for the protection of the public interest. However, so long as the Court’s response is proportionate, society is entitled to expect the most severe penalties to be imposed to mark its condemnation of the worst crimes.

[178] The retributive nature of the public punishment of crime represents a statement of society’s indignation and condemnation of the offending. By the imposition of sentence, the Court’s denunciation and, through the Court, society’s abhorrence of particular crimes is demonstrated. While public opinion and populist urgings cannot be allowed to steer sentencing, the consequences of the crime for the victims and their families, and for the community as a whole, can be major factors that push accountability to the fore. The seriousness of the offending and the sanctity of life may leave little room for other than a denunciatory sentence that marks society’s condemnation of the crime. This clearly is such a case.

[179] Having given the matter much consideration, I am satisfied that no minimum period of imprisonment would be sufficient to satisfy the legitimate need to hold you to account for the harm you have done to the community. Nor do I consider that any minimum term of imprisonment would be sufficient to denounce your crimes. The nature and circumstances of your offending, unprecedented in this country, are such that I consider the requirement that you serve your sentences of life imprisonment for murder without parole is a necessary sanction that provides a proportionate response.

[180] If I was to impose a minimum period of imprisonment in an endeavour to meet the purposes that I am required to achieve in sentencing you for murdering 51 people, it could not be less than your natural life. If the murders at the two mosques were approached as separate attacks, each realistically would have to attract minimum terms in the region of 40 years. In the case of the Al Noor Mosque where you murdered 44 people, a significantly higher term would have to be imposed. Even after factoring in your guilty pleas, that feature is quickly superseded by the need to reflect the associated offending that includes your convictions for attempting to murder 40 other people, all of whom suffered serious gunshot wounds and, most, lasting life-altering injuries. In committing this terrible act you of course attempted to kill many more.

[181] Various invidious approaches and calculations could be undertaken to quantify the unquantifiable in an endeavour to fix a term that meets the statutory criteria. In my view the Court must stand back and assess whether a minimum term could be arrived at that meets the required purposes of sentencing and whether that assessment would not result in the same outcome as an order that you serve your sentences of life imprisonment without parole. I have concluded there is no minimum term of imprisonment available to me that would not otherwise equate to a whole-of-life sentence.

[182] The question that has arisen for me is how can a free and democratic society adequately respond to a crime of such exceptional seriousness — that takes the lives of innocent men, women and children on such a wholesale scale with such animus, and with such malice and callous indifference? Parliament has provided a sanction for such crimes in the form of a life sentence without parole that can only be imposed in the case of the very worst murders. Its use must be taken to have been intended only when the circumstances clearly warrant its imposition. The unavoidable rhetorical question in sentencing you today is, if not here, then when?

[183] The need to make an order that you serve your sentence without parole does not primarily arise from deterrence nor from the need to protect the community from you, powerful as both considerations are when dealing with an offender capable of such terrible crimes and the necessity of delivering a cogent message that the commission of such an atrocity will be met with the most condign response. However, I am mindful that as the years pass and you become a much older man, the risk you pose could be reassessed. The need for deterrence is also clear but the deluded motivation of zealots capable of such crimes, with their overvalued beliefs that feed such extreme violence, are less likely to be tempered by the fear of penal consequences no matter how severe.

[184] Your crimes, however, are so wicked that even if you are detained until you die, it will not exhaust the requirements of punishment and denunciation. Those legitimate penological grounds for continued detention will remain. At nearly 30 years of age, you are a relatively young man and the justifications for your continued detention over time may shift as the years pass. Some may change but I do not consider, however long the length of your incarceration during your lifetime, that it could, even in a modest way, atone for what you have done. Ordinarily such an approach would be a poor guarantee of just and proportionate punishment, but I consider yours is one of those exceedingly rare cases which is different.

[185] For completeness, I record that if I am wrong to sentence you on the basis that the Court retains a residual discretion to decide whether to impose a life sentence without parole, despite having concluded that no minimum term of imprisonment would be sufficient to hold you to account for the harm you have done, or to denounce your conduct, a whole-of-life sentence would have to follow in any event. In the absence of any rights-consistent meaning being able to be given to the relevant provision of the Sentencing Act, the Court would be obliged to follow Parliament’s directive to make such an order where the statutory criteria has been met, notwithstanding any inconsistency with the Bill of Rights Act.

[186] You will now stand.

Sentence
[187] On each of the 51 charges of murder (charges 1-51) you are sentenced to life imprisonment. I order that you serve the sentences without parole.

[188] On each of the 40 charges of attempted murder (charges 52-91) you are sentenced to concurrent terms of 12 years’ imprisonment.

[189] On the charge of committing a terrorist act (charge 92) you are sentenced to life imprisonment.

Destruction of exhibits
[190] There will be an order for the destruction of exhibits listed in the schedule attached to the summary of facts save for item 50241, the disposal of which is reserved.

Health assessors’ reports
[191] I also direct that the four psychiatric and psychological reports prepared for this proceeding be made available to the Department of Corrections.

Strike warning
[192] Because you have been convicted of murder and attempted murder, the three-strikes legislation applies to you. Although it is an entirely empty exercise, I am required by the Sentencing Act to give you a formal warning about the consequences of further violent offending, though the reality of your sentence today is that it will have no practical effect. Nevertheless, the warning is this: if you commit a further serious violent offence, you will also serve the resulting sentence without parole. If ever convicted of murder again, you will be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. The full terms of this warning will be supplied to you in writing.

[193] Stand down.

Solicitors:
Crown Solicitor, Christchurch
Copies to:
Mr Tarrant
Philip Hall Queen’s Counsel, Christchurch
Kerry Cook, Barrister, Christchurch

58 Sentencing Act, s 86B.

1,028 thoughts on “An Exemplary Judgement

  1. BK asked what we thought of Chris Uhlmann’s latest effort, so I tried to read it. I usually avoid any of the crap he churns out, because it’s always garbage, but being a good little granny and most appreciative of BK’s daily work I did as he asked.

    I gave up before the first picture. I did manage to read the end, just in case he had done a clever reverse and ended up praising Dan, but of course he did not, he’s not clever.

    What a load of garbage! Honestly, don’t waste your time on it. It’s only use is as a handy summary of the constant Nine abuse of Dan Andrews.

    • Leone, like you, out of respect and gratitude to BK a for providing his excellent choice of links mostly every day, I read it. Razz was asleep in her wonderful new recliner that she can operate on her own, so I had to scream and rant and fume in silence.

      I’m sorry BK, but I won’t read his tripe ever again.

  2. I keep saying we know very little about the effects of The Plague once victims have allegedly recovered.We know it really knocks people around, they experience fatigue, aching joints, chest pains and breathing problems for months, but there’s worse in store.

    The longer the pandemic lasts the more we learn about its effects and none of it is good news.

    Fears Covid may leave thousands in UK with severe kidney disease
    Experts warn the long-term effects of virus are causing an ‘epidemic in primary care’
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/15/fears-covid-may-leave-thousands-in-uk-with-severe-kidney-disease-long-term-effects-coronavirus

  3. Looks like the CrimeMinister is a long-standing member of the Wombat Club – eats, roots and leaves.

    A good thread from Ronni Salt –

    Here's a little story about a big boy called Scotty.See Scotty hold the wombat?Look how Scotty gets all those shots for the camera. Scotty even has a wombat that's named the word of the week? What's that boys & girls?The govt's word of the week is – Hope.Clever Scotty. pic.twitter.com/Dc3p02l3Uh— RonniSalt (@RonniSalt) September 16, 2020

    If you have nothing to announce then no worries, you just recycle old news as something new. The MSM fall for it every time, they have memories that make goldfish look like tiny Einsteins.

  4. ckwatt
    Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street (UK),much 🙂 🙂 from me. The background music to the best summer of my life. Ah that sax.

    • Mrs CK likes ‘Baker Street’, played it yesterday. It’s one of those tracks that takes you back and always brings out good memories when playing the game ‘remember when’.

  5. ckwatt

    Mrs CK is doing fine now just needs to take it easy and start acting her age is all.

    You’re a hard taskmaster to put ‘growing old disgracefully’ out of bounds 🙂

  6. “The estimated two-party preferred vote is Victorian Labor at 53.5% to the Coalition at 46.5%.”

  7. Norty Swedes.
    ………………………………………………………………….

    The report aimed to compare the effect of different approaches on the rate of Covid-19 infections among schoolchildren. It noted that Sweden kept schools open and Finland closed them.

    “In conclusion, closure or not of schools has had little if any impact on the number of laboratory-confirmed cases in school-aged children in Finland and Sweden,” the report noted.

    ………but fails to mention Sweden’s leading epidemiologist Anders Tegnell paused the collection of data from children because he thought it would create anxiety among the public.

    ……..As Science Mag noted in May, Sweden missed an opportunity to “definitively answer the question” about infections in schools because “officials have not tracked infections among schoolchildren – even when large outbreaks led to the closure of individual schools”.

    ……..”The problem with this report and indeed others from the (agency) is that they are now being cited by policy-makers and decision-makers across the world as a way to open schools when the reports are gravely flawed,” Begg said.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12365601

  8. Good morning dawn Patrollers

    Rob Harris reveals that the scandal-plagued disability sector has seen more than 8000 complaints lodged in two years, but only one fine has been issued. With the wonderful Stuart Robert at the helm, how could this POPSSIBLY have happened?
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/disability-care-watchdog-has-issued-just-one-fine-despite-8000-complaints-20200916-p55w7q.html
    David Crowe writes that Labor will go to the next federal election with an interim target to reduce carbon emissions amid a growing policy tussle over whether to back new gas production and gas-fired power stations.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/labor-to-aim-for-interim-carbon-target-but-can-t-agree-on-gas-20200916-p55wbk.html
    Bruce Robertson asks, “When investors won’t back gas, why should taxpayers?”
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/when-investors-won-t-back-gas-why-should-taxpayers-20200916-p55w6w.html
    Mike Cannon-Brookes has kicked off talks with battery titan Elon Musk about developing a replacement power source for the ageing Liddell coal-fired power plant, but says the Morrison government must clearly set out the rules of engagement for any new investments.
    https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/cannon-brookes-and-musk-keen-for-big-battery-number-two-20200916-p55w2t
    The Prime Minister was in full #ScottyfromMarketing mode on Tuesday to sell his government’s increased commitment to fossil fuels, including a threat to launch the Commonwealth directly into the gas burning business, writes Michael Pascoe in quite a take-down.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/politics/australian-politics/2020/09/17/hot-air-and-pants-on-fire-fact-checking-the-pms-gas-lighting/
    The Morrison government will continue to fund Australia’s renewable energy agency to the tune of $1.43bn over a decade but overhaul its mandate so there will be less investment in solar and wind, and more focus on investment in hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, microgrids and energy efficiency.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/17/coalition-to-divert-renewable-energy-funding-away-from-wind-and-solar
    Richard Denniss says that Morrison’s tax cuts are not temporary or targeted – they are ideological and inequitable.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/16/morrisons-tax-cuts-are-not-temporary-or-targeted-they-are-ideological-and-inequitable
    The COVID-19 crisis and the Reserve Bank’s clear message that state governments should not be constrained by debt has given Premier Daniel Andrews a “magic opportunity” to build consensus for an ambitious reform agenda, former union leader Bill Kelty said.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/premier-has-magic-opportunity-to-reshape-state-bill-kelty-20200916-p55w9j.html
    A new offence comes into force at midnight and aims to deter people from leaving metro Melbourne and travelling into regional parts of Victoria. It carries a fine of $4957.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/anyone-caught-trying-to-flee-melbourne-s-lockdown-will-face-4957-fine-20200916-p55w6k.html
    According to Nick Bonyhady, the NSW union movement has thrown its support behind moving public service jobs to the regions in an unusual alignment of Labor’s support base with a long-term priority of the Nationals.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/send-nsw-public-servants-to-the-regions-unions-argue-20200916-p55w5l.html
    The OECD says the Victorian lockdowns have pushed back Australia’s economic recovery, while warning “zombie” jobs must not be sustained.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/zombie-jobs-oecd-pushes-back-date-of-australian-recovery-20200916-p55w4q.html
    But it expects Australia’s first recession in 29 years will see economic output contract 4.1 per cent this year, better than forecasts of a 5 per cent contraction made in June.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/australian-economic-hit-softer-than-expected-oecd-20200916-p55w4g
    The housing market is continuing to defy the pessimists, with some analysts even tipping that prices in some of the country’s main cities will be picking up by the end of the year, writes Karen Maley.
    https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/why-the-housing-market-continues-to-defy-the-pessimists-20200916-p55w5w
    The editorial in the SMH says that the confusion in US politics cannot be ignored. Australia should consider hedging its bets by broadening our ties with like-minded nations.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/america-s-falling-prestige-is-as-big-a-problem-as-china-s-rise-20200916-p55w9t.html
    It seems John Barilaro is under notice.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/he-has-broken-his-promise-barilaro-survives-but-faces-new-internal-threats-20200916-p55wal.html
    Pru Goward reckons John Barilaro wasn’t appealing to his party room, but to a growing group of disaffected Australians. She does not believe that the Nats are road kill just yet.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/why-the-nats-aren-t-road-kill-yet-20200915-p55vyl.html
    The expert medical panel advising the national cabinet on the pandemic has drawn up a new definition of a COVID-free zone amid signs of hope in the tense border stand-off between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/new-hotspot-definition-aims-to-carve-a-path-for-border-opening-20200916-p55wai.html
    Matt O’Sullivan tells us how a drawn-out saga over replacing flammable cladding has soured relations between owners of a Sydney apartment building.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/in-limbo-land-apartment-owners-in-bind-over-flammable-cladding-fix-20200908-p55tmb.html
    QBE plans to appeal a judgment in a UK test case on whether business interruption policies should cover losses related to the coronavirus pandemic as local insurers brace for an Australian ruling next month.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/australian-insurers-brace-for-covid-ruling-after-uk-test-case-20200916-p55w80.html
    An extra $1.9 billion will be pumped into driving new technology to lower emissions in Australia’s manufacturing, transport and agriculture sectors, reports Rob Harris.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/unlocking-new-tech-1-9-billion-for-low-emission-energy-projects-20200916-p55was.html
    Jennifer Duke tells us that Australians are driving up the price of used cars at record rates, taking advantage of the cheapest petrol prices in two decades and big incentives for businesses buying equipment and vehicles amid health fears about using public transport.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/used-car-prices-surge-at-record-rates-as-public-transport-shunned-20200915-p55vu7.html
    A Victorian nursing home is fighting to contain a coronavirus outbreak just days after it was officially given the all-clear to relax infection control protocols.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/coronavirus/2020/09/17/estia-keilor-coronavirus-outbreak/
    Tim Flannery writes that the megafires and pandemic expose the lies that frustrate action on climate change.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/17/the-megafires-and-pandemic-expose-the-lies-that-frustrate-action-on-climate-change
    Birmo has let fly at Alan Joyce’s blatant attempt to get corporate welfare from the states.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/qantas-seeks-corporate-welfare-with-its-hq-auction-birmingham-says-20200916-p55w60.html
    The big brand theme park that is the Australian War Memorial, bankrolled by international arms manufacturers, is an object lesson in dishonesty, writes William De Maria.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/australian-war-memorial-from-keeper-of-the-flame-to-hider-of-shame/
    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes that markets are counting on a vaccine rescue that is further away than they think.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/markets-are-counting-on-a-vaccine-rescue-that-is-further-away-than-they-think-20200916-p55w0g.html
    Even in the midst of a recession the Australian housing market continues along its merry way writes Greg Jericho.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2020/sep/17/even-in-the-midst-of-a-recession-the-australian-housing-market-continues-along-its-merry-way
    Boris Johnson said a second lockdown would be “disastrous” for the British economy, as he appeared to pour cold water on his earlier optimism of rapid, pregnancy-style coronavirus infectiousness tests by Christmas.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/second-coronavirus-lockdown-would-be-disastrous-johnson-warns-20200917-p55wdd.html
    Johnson is tested on Covid and Brexit, his specialist subjects of ignorance, says the entertaining John Crace.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/sep/16/boris-johnson-is-tested-on-covid-and-brexit-his-specialist-subjects-of-ignorance
    Stephen Bartholomeusz explains why Trump will laugh off China’s WTO win.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/why-trump-will-laugh-off-china-s-trade-win-20200916-p55w58.html
    The Federal Reserve left interest rates near zero and signalled it would hold them there through at least 2023 to help the US economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/fed-signals-rates-will-stay-near-zero-for-at-least-three-years-20200917-p55wdk
    ‘Press release journalism’ favours Morrison and the Liberal Party, writes Rashaad Seedeen.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/press-release-journalism-favours-morrison-and-liberals,14314
    Data trusts could help to restore the balance between privacy and effective governance, writes Paul Budde.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/data-trusts-could-secure-our-right-to-privacy,14313
    A US congressional investigation has found Boeing management was unwilling to share technical details about its 737 Max aircraft – and that when it did the Federal Aviation Administration “failed to adequately address safety issues”.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2020/09/17/boeing-max-crash-congress-report/
    Talk of ‘historic’ Middle East breakthroughs is premature writes Maher Mughrabi.
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/middle-east/talk-of-historic-middle-east-breakthroughs-is-premature-20200915-p55vwy.html
    Facebook and Instagram flagged posts from the Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight as false information on Wednesday, local time, saying that they repeated information about COVID-19 “that multiple independent fact checkers say is false”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/facebook-and-instagram-flag-tucker-carlson-coronavirus-posts-20200917-p55wdy.html
    In a rare excursion outside the friendly media bubble of Fox News on Tuesday night, Donald Trump took questions directly from uncommitted American voters at a televised “town hall” type event, in an experiment his campaign might not be in a hurry to repeat.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/16/trump-tv-town-hall-coronavirus-race-abc-news
    Casino group Star Entertainment earns nomination for ‘Arseholes of the Week”.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/casino-group-star-awards-executive-bonuses-while-pocketing-jobkeeper-20200916-p55w92.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope

    Alan Moir

    David Rowe

    Cathy Wilcox

    Andrew Dyson

    Matt Golding





    Johannes Leak

    Mark Knight

    Dionne Gain

    From the US













  9. Cases with unknown source are for the period 1 – 14 Sept. The one case with unknown source in regional Victoria was from 1 September, more than 15 days ago.

  10. It’s not often I agree with Adam Bandt, but this time I do.

    I am. pic.twitter.com/HQ63qsaZxg— Adam Bandt (@AdamBandt) September 16, 2020

    Here’s the quote – made during a presser on Tuesday. Albo’s only criticism of the gas announcement was the time taken between the CrimeMinister making an annuncement and something actually happening. Notice Labor had already promised bipartisan support for any energy policy the government might produce.

    No one is opposed to new gas if the investment is made there. But the thing that has held back new investment across-the-board, whether it be gas or renewables, is uncertainty. We wrote to the Prime Minister in June offering bipartisanship when it comes to energy policy, having a framework there that would drive investment. The Prime Minister didn’t bother to respond to that proposal. We’ll wait to see what comes. A lot of announcements today. How many times can you announce the transmission proposal with Bass Link? It’s been announced time after time after time. It’s in there again today. We’ll wait and see what happens. Because one of the things that has characterised this Government is a gap between its announcements and actual delivery

    https://anthonyalbanese.com.au/anthony-albanese-transcript-doorstop-interview-sydney-tuesday-15-september-2020

    Bye-bye Pilliga, bye-bye Hunter Valley farmlands – what’s left of them. Whatever has not been mined will now be fracked and drilled. It makes me so cranky, this willing Labor compliance with a truly disastrous plan to continue destroying cultural heritage and the best farmlandso companies that pay no tax can make more profits.

    Right now the NSW Independent Planning Commission is wading through thousands of anti-gas submissions on plans by Santos to expand gas mining in the Pilliga before making their final determination. I watched most of the final round of hearings, I saw the passion of those against this plan, but as the IPCN has been nobbled already by the NSW government after refusing to allow expansion of a coal mine there is little chance they will refuse permission for this plan. We can not expect any support from Labor, never could.
    https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/project/10716

  11. I found this British video on Facebook.

    It’s in two parts – the first contains much that applies to Australia as well as the UK, and another year or so of the ATM government will see Australians starving, even dying of starvation. Many are going hungry now, even with the temporary increase in Centrelink payments. Many missed out on any financial help because this government did not think they deserved it. The second part is from Labour, about the need to build a better future with socialism. Again, it contains a lot that has applied to our Labor Party over the last ten or twelve years, especially the Australian equivalent of support for austerity.

    Albo, nice bloke though he may be, is not the leader Labor needs to win the next election. He is too timid when it comes to standing up to our rotten government, too willing to give support to bad government policy, too weak to attack when every Labor voter in the place is screaming for him to do exactly that.

  12. Another so-called celebrity plus entourage is allowed into Australia by our government while thousands of Australians remain stranded overseas.

    This time it’s the truly dreadful Lord Alan Sugar.

    He’s here to publicise this trash –
    https://www.mediaweek.com.au/celebrity-apprentice-australia/

    • Thank you, ck. (I should say that every day.)

      I watch these videos every day and I just do not understand how Trump became president or how anyone with even a barely functioning brain could think of voting for him. He’s so obviously a conman, a liar and verging on senility.

  13. A former model has come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her at the US Open tennis tournament more than two decades ago, in an alleged incident that left her feeling “sick” and “violated”.

    In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Amy Dorris alleged that Trump accosted her outside the bathroom in his VIP box at the tournament in New York on 5 September 1997.

    Dorris, who was 24 at the time, accuses Trump of forcing his tongue down her throat, assaulting her all over her body and holding her in a grip she was unable to escape from.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/17/donald-trump-accused-of-sexual-assault-by-former-model-amy-dorris

  14. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    David Crowe thinks that for Anthony Albanese, gas is the new Adani. He’s not wrong.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/for-anthony-albanese-gas-is-the-new-adani-20200917-p55wp3.html
    And, right on cue, Joel Fitzgibbon pops up with an op-ed saying that he wants Labor to help the PM fix Australia’s energy mess.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/why-i-want-labor-to-help-the-pm-fix-australia-s-energy-mess-joel-fitzgibbon-20200917-p55wp6.html
    The SMH editorial says that Albanese is struggling to find a voice as Opposition Leader. But it says that Albanese’s small target will disappoint many true believers but with a year and a half until the next election there is plenty of time to announce more policy.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/albanese-struggles-to-find-a-voice-as-opposition-leader-20200917-p55wog.html
    Australia has reached a big milestone in its transition to renewables. Who knew? But Coalition voters worried about climate change want more than a “gas-led recovery”, writes Lee Shanahan.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-coalition-should-take-its-carbon-credits-where-they-re-due-then-earn-some-more-20200917-p55wke.html
    Simon Holmes á Court says that Angus Taylor’s gas plan is an astoundingly bad idea, on so many levels.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/17/angus-taylors-gas-plan-is-an-astoundingly-bad-idea-on-so-many-levels
    The Morrison government is sabotaging its renewable energy agency, writes Christine Milne.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/17/the-morrison-government-is-sabotaging-its-renewable-energy-agency
    Michelle Grattan says that Morrison has signed up to the gas gospel, but the choir is not in tune.
    https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-morrison-signs-up-to-the-gas-gospel-but-the-choir-is-not-in-tune-146405
    Former Resources Minister Matt Canavan has been spreading misinformation on social media to steer people away from solar energy, writes Giles Parkinson.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/matt-canavans-anti-solar-posts-rely-on-his-version-of-the-truth,14315
    Phil Coorey writes about Morrison’s dash for gas as coal slowly flickers out.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/morrison-s-dash-for-gas-as-coal-slowly-flickers-out-20200916-p55w7v
    Shane Wright and Jennifer Duke tell us that Frydenberg is doubling down on introducing early tax cuts.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/tax-cuts-in-the-budget-as-job-figures-show-strength-of-gig-economy-20200917-p55wnj.html
    The Australian reports that more than 1.35 million Australians receiving JobSeeker payments will need to actively look for up to eight jobs a month and accept offers of “suitable work”, under new ­responsibilities placed on dole ­recipients to encourage them off welfare and into the workforce. With 18 unemployed per vacant job this will make ALL the difference!
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/time-to-get-back-to-work-says-scott-morrison/news-story/5774d3ce30fdb9ebe68986fe9b6dbb45
    Christopher Knaus explains how a damning audit has found Australia’s electoral watchdog is not doing enough to punish political donors that break the rules, failing to ensure they are providing accurate and complete financial information, and is still missing key records from 75 donors.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/17/australian-electoral-commission-not-punishing-political-donors-that-break-the-rules-damning-audit-finds
    The head of the peak construction body has slammed the BCA over its proposal to fast-track union deals, warning it would take the IR system back to the 1950s.
    https://www.afr.com/work-and-careers/workplace/builders-chief-slams-bca-over-1950s-ir-deal-20200917-p55wgc
    On every count, Snowy 2.0 is a disaster in the making, says Ted Wooley, a contributor to The Australian.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/on-every-count-snowy-20-is-a-disaster-in-the-making/news-story/de893c31ef7c50bba2939ead7653f629
    They built a disastrous NBN and now they think they can build a power station. “Wow!” says John Lord.
    https://theaimn.com/they-built-a-disastrous-nbn-and-now-they-think-they-can-build-a-power-station-wow/
    Dana McCauley reveals that a plan to manage the risk of COVID-19 in the Victorian disability sector wasn’t activated until the second wave of the coronavirus was near its peak. Stuart Robert – you absolute champion!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/plan-to-keep-ndis-recipients-safe-from-covid-19-wasn-t-activated-until-august-20200917-p55wpd.html
    According to Nick Bonyhady, thousands of small businesses hard hit by the coronavirus would get radically simplified pay rules in a plan that has emerged as a favoured option under consideration by the Morrison government. There will be winners and there will be losers as this unfolds.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/proposal-to-simplify-small-business-pay-divides-employers-in-industrial-talks-20200917-p55whc.html
    Christian Porter wants to get agreement on more flexibility in Australia’s rigid industrial relations system to boost jobs. But the disagreements are coming from all directions, including bursts of friendly fire says Jennifer Hewett.
    https://www.afr.com/work-and-careers/workplace/finding-common-ground-is-hard-when-even-business-groups-disagree-20200917-p55wpe
    A consultant to the federal Health Department warns aged care homes face insolvency as providers are forced to hand back millions of dollars in deposits as residents exit the system amid the coronavirus pandemic.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/aged-care-homes-face-insolvency-as-occupancy-drop-dents-deposits-20200917-p55wo5.html
    Is Barilaro, Berejiklian or Morrison to blame for the annihilation of Australia’s favourite furry marsupial, the cuddly koala? And why is there such a kerfuffle over recent legislation changes affecting koalas wonders Michelle Pini.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-coalition-koalas-and-coal,14319
    One of Australia’s leading environmental groups has called the federal government’s inclusion of gas in its renewable energy agencies’ mandate “deeply concerning”, and said a focused approach on new energy technologies would create three times as many jobs as fossil fuel investment in the future.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/gas-is-a-distraction-environment-group-deeply-concerned-by-renewables-plan-20200917-p55wm5.html
    Australians wanting to consult their doctor via phone or video call will continue to get access to subsidised telehealth until March in a $2 billion extension of coronavirus measures.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/telehealth-extended-in-2b-boost-to-coronavirus-health-measures-20200917-p55wps.html
    Premiers will be given a frank assessment of the quality of their hotel quarantine arrangements as Prime Minister Scott Morrison boosts the number of stranded Australians allowed home each week from 4000 to nearly 6000. Former health and finance department boss Jane Halton has finished her review of quarantine arrangements and will give a verbal briefing to national cabinet today.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/hotel-quarantine-verdict-is-in-as-international-arrival-caps-lift-20200917-p55wkp.html
    Victorian builders have warned that a two-year extension on compensation claims for the removal of flammable cladding could result in further insolvencies and losses to the state’s economy.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/builders-say-cladding-compo-extension-may-cause-further-losses-20200917-p55wn0.html
    Science, technology, engineering and maths courses would have $690 million in funding cut under the Coalition’s university reforms, Science and Technology Australia has warned.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6929524/stem-courses-face-690-million-funding-cut-under-reforms/?cs=14225
    NSW taxpayers could be forced to pay millions of dollars in compensation to James Packer’s Crown Resorts if the casino group is ordered to implement tighter controls to keep criminals out of its $2.2 billion Barangaroo facility reports Patrick Hatch.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/nsw-taxpayers-liable-if-inquiry-acts-on-crown-findings-20200917-p55wj3.html
    The New South Wales government has been ordered to redo world heritage assessments for its proposed raising of the Warragamba Dam wall after a federal analysis found it had failed to consider the impact on iconic species including the platypus.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/18/nsw-government-ordered-to-revisit-world-heritage-assessments-for-warragamba-dam-expansion
    The Fed’s projections of a quicker-than-expected recovery in the US economy are at odds with its expectations that US rates will remain near zero until at least 2024, warns Stephen Bartholomeusz.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/us-fed-seems-confused-by-its-own-outlook-and-that-should-worry-all-of-us-20200917-p55wi9.html
    Britain has imposed tougher restrictions on people and businesses in parts of north-eastern England as the nation attempts to stem the spread of COVID-19 before the colder winter months.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/tougher-restrictions-imposed-in-england-amid-rising-covid-19-infections-20200918-p55wst.html
    Brigid Delaney writes an open letter to America saying we too have seen red skies in Australia and we can tell you what happens next.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/18/dear-america-we-too-have-seen-red-skies-in-australia-and-we-can-tell-you-what-happens-next
    Coronavirus is surging at an “alarming” rate in Europe, creating a “very serious situation on the continent”, the World Health Organisation has warned.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2020/09/18/coronavirus-europe-cases-peak/
    Trump has escalated his unfounded attacks on mail-in voting, saying that the result of the 2020 presidential race could never be accurately determined – a sentiment that would undermine any winner, including him.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-suggests-2020-election-result-can-never-be-accurate-20200918-p55wsx.html
    Following President Trump’s erratic behaviour in the lead-up to the November election, focus is now on what might happen in a potential loss, writes Dr Norm Sanders.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-red-mirage-considering-the-outcome-of-a-loss-for-trump,14318
    Christopher Wray, the FBI director, on Thursday warned that Russia is interfering in the 2020 US presidential elections with a steady stream of misinformation aimed at undermining Democrat Joe Biden as well as sapping Americans’ confidence in the election process.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/17/misinformation-us-elections-2020-russia
    Yet another woman has come out to accuse Trump of sexual assault.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-campaign-denies-report-the-president-assaulted-a-woman-in-1997-20200918-p55wt9.html
    How many Trump accusers does it take for his supporters to care, asks Jill Filipovic.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/17/trump-amy-dorris-sexual-assault-accusations

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Simon Letch

    Andrew Dyson

    Mark David

    Matt Golding





    Mark Knight

    Johannes Leak

    Alan Moir

    Glen Le Lievre


    Peter Broelman

    Jim Pavlidis

    Cathy Wilcox

    John Shakespeare

    From the US











  15. Don’t you just love the way our part-time, two days a week CrimeMinister tells the unemployed “it’s time to get back to work”?

    It’s not as if he knows what real work is. He appears (never on Monday, or Friday) only to make announcements, more often than not repeats of earlier announcements on alleged new policies about which nothing has been done, walks out on pressers when journalists refuse to ask the “right” questions and then flies back to Kirribilli for another extended weekend with the girls and the Love Machine. He leaves his ministers to handle the media and the bad news. Any minister will do, regardless of whether or not they hold the relevant portfolio. The other day the utterly useless Dan Tehan was rostered on for meet-the-media duty.

    Why does Karvelas interview Dan Tehan about COVID restriction and Chinese Data theft ? #afternoonbriefing isn't he the Education Minister ?— 🍌AntiFa Leftie Lunatic 😜🍍 (@MinhKular) September 14, 2020

    The CrimeMinister has never worked, no matter what job he has held, he is notorious for his incompetence in every position and for his misuse of funds.He has always ended up being sacked or paid a handsome sum to just go away before his contract is up. Soon, if the voters of Australia have any sense, he will be thrown out of office – if there is no leadership spill before that can happen.

    And this useless, cunning, shifty, corrupt liar dares to tell Australians struggling to survive on what is soon to be the old, inadequate JobSeeker they must “get back to work”? What work would that be, CrimeMinister? You may not have noticed, safe as you are in your cosy Kirribilli Bubble, but there are no jobs.

  16. France saw a new record of more than 10,000 daily cases and identified Lyon and Nice as virus “red zones”. The health ministry registered 10,593 new confirmed coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, setting a new daily record and pushing the cumulative number to 415,481. In Lyon and Nice, it was identified that additional measures would be needed to control the spread of Covid-19. Later Reuters reported the French government would not be joining WHO’s international vaccine programme, a blow to the UN body’s effort to discourage “vaccine nationalism”.

    Canada could lose its ability to manage the coronavirus pandemic owing to a worrying recent surge in Covid-19 cases, the country’s top medical officer has said. The warning from the chief public health officer, Theresa Tam, is the clearest indication yet of how worried authorities in the country are about the potential for the outbreak to spiral out of control

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/sep/17/coronavirus-live-news-who-warns-latin-america-opening-up-too-early

    And yet the CrimeMinister wants all states to re-open their borders and wants us all back at work.

  17. “On every count, Snowy 2.0 is a disaster in the making, says Ted Wooley, a contributor to The Australian.”

    Not just “a contributor” but signed by a long list of eminent persons in the fields of energy, engineering, finance, ecology, conservation and more. It’s a damning letter.

    What else would we expect from the man who came up with this idea, Malcolm Turnbull, the same man who persuaded Howard, in the dying caretaker days of his government, to give $10 million to his “Rainmaker” scheme?
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2007-11-20/turnbull-pumps-10m-into-rainmaking-gamble/731004

  18. Some of these vids will disappear soon so ‘geddem while they’re hot’.

    Rachel Maddow –

    Chris Hayes –

    friendlyjordies –

    Seth Meyers –

    Stehphen Colbert –

    Brian Tyler Cohen –

  19. From Katy

    Welcome to Labor’s Senate Select(ions) – a wrap of the week’s developments from the Senate Select Committee investigating the Morrison Government’s coronavirus response.

    Cuts to JobSeeker threaten economy

    This week saw fresh warnings from ACOSS, the OECD and the McKell Institute about the risk of prematurely withdrawing key economic supports such as JobKeeper and JobSeeker.

    A new report for ACOSS found that the Government’s plan to cut $300 per fortnight from JobSeeker could cost the Australian economy as much as $31 billion and 145,000 full-time jobs.

    ANU researchers have estimated that some 740,000 people could fall below the poverty line when the government support payments are cut back next week.

    Treasury admitted it was “undisputed” that cutting JobSeeker will take income out of the economy.

    With all this in mind, why would Scott Morrison still be cutting support to Australians who need it while the COVID crisis continues?

    Treasury also conceded to the Committee that they had not modelled the number of Australians that would fall below the poverty line as result of the Government’s income support cuts.

    In the middle of the worst recession in 100 years, this is a stunning admission that Scott Morrison and the Liberals failed to consider vulnerable Australians and the impact of their cuts on jobs.

    Mental health

    The COVID Select Committee began the week with an important hearing on the impact of the pandemic on the mental health and well-being of Australians.

    Evidence from the Black Dog Institute revealed that 78 percent of adults and 75 percent of adolescents have experienced worsened mental health since the start of the pandemic.

    Witnesses were united in their concern about the mental health consequences of cutting or withdrawing JobSeeker and JobKeeper too quickly.

    Mr Bill Gye OAM of Community Mental Health Australia was unequivocal that the reduction to JobSeeker: “will have a really significant negative impact on the mental health of Australians.”

    Labor acknowledges that many Australians are doing it tough, and has called on the Morrison Government to reverse cuts to JobKeeper and JobSeeker, and expand JobKeeper to include casual workers.

    If you or someone close to you is in distress, there is help available:

    For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

    Other services include Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467, Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636, Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800, MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978.

    ATO

    The Australian Tax Office, which is responsible for the integrity of the JobKeeper program, also appeared before the Committee this week.

    The Committee learnt that despite the ATO having received 9,000 tip offs about the potential rorting and misuse of the program, not a single fine has been issued.

    Officials from the ATO told the Committee it is still looking at enforcement of breaches despite having undertaking 75,000 “compliance actions.”

    Concerns were also raised that workers are not receiving the penalty rates they are entitled to because JobKeeper is being used to pay a flat rate and less tax than normal.

    The ATO gave evidence they are aware of cases, with around 300 instances having been referred to the Fair Work Commission where workplace conditions appear not to have been met.

    – – –

    Thank you for taking the time to read this week’s Labor Senate Select(ions).

    Please stay safe and stay healthy.

    Senator Katy Gallagher
    Chair of Select Committee on COVID-19

  20. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    According to David Crowe, the states will be encouraged to spend money as fast as possible to revive the economy in a federal budget plan to build on more than $54 billion in wage subsidies paid in just four months.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/budget-push-to-speed-up-states-spending-20200918-p55x3z.html
    Paul Bongiorno goes into considerable detail in making the case against winding back JobKeeper.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2020/09/19/the-case-against-winding-back-jobkeeper/160043760010446
    William Olsen explains how a thinktank has validated that JobKeeper and JobSeeker cuts are lethal.
    https://theaimn.com/thinktank-validates-that-jobkeeper-and-jobseeker-cuts-are-lethal/
    Sean Kelly accuses both Morrison and Albanese of cowardice when it comes to the subject of climate change.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/cowardice-what-morrison-and-albanese-have-in-common-on-climate-20200918-p55wxu.html
    Scott Morrison’s plans for a new gas-fired power station will lock the country into a technology that is slow and inefficient, according to a member of the International Panel on Climate Change.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2020/09/18/solar-power-morrison-ipcc/
    The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted two decades of aged-care mismanagement, but at the heart of the sector is a pyramid scheme that exposes the taxpayer to billions in liability, explains Rick Morton in the second of his articles on this subject. It’s not a pretty picture.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2020/09/19/the-collapse-aged-care-part-two/160043760010442
    Anthony Galloway reports that Australia’s cyber spy agency has abruptly cancelled a contract with the Australian National University to write its official history despite a military historian working for more than a year on the project.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/cyber-spy-agency-dumps-military-historian-from-writing-its-official-history-20200917-p55wpo.html
    Alexandra Smith tells us that John Barilaro will take a month of mental health leave after a torrid week in which the Nationals threatened to destroy the Coalition.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/nsw-deputy-premier-joh-barliaro-takes-a-month-of-mental-health-leave-20200918-p55x3v.html
    Elizabeth Farrelly writes an open letter to John Barilaro with some good advice in it.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/dear-john-we-could-be-friends-but-you-ll-have-to-make-some-changes-20200917-p55wni.html
    Visits between homes, in breach of Melbourne’s lockdown rules, have been blamed for sparking the fast-growing cluster in Casey. This goes to show how delicately balanced things are.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/two-people-in-casey-cluster-in-hospital-as-visiting-breaches-revealed-20200918-p55x34.html
    Meanwhile The Age says that Dan Andrews’ marathon press conferences project an image of control, but that hotel inquiry is laying bare the mess among those charged with implementing quarantine.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/andrews-dreams-of-spring-while-haunted-by-the-nightmare-of-autumn-20200917-p55wj0.html
    Peter van Onselen looks at how well equipped the Coalition is to move out of the effects of the pandemic.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/pragmatism-is-good-but-goes-only-so-far/news-story/d7a4d5390e4bd929bb813bc0595f2e1a
    As Victoria battles the stubborn tail of its second wave of Covid-19, a confidential government document obtained by The Saturday Paper reveals that outbreaks of the virus have been reported in at least eight hospitals in the past week.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2020/09/19/confidential-document-reveals-healthcare-outbreaks/160043760010434
    Adele Ferguson outlines a fiery speech made under parliamentary privilege by Greens MP Davis Shoebridge in which he rattled off a list of controversial contracts and behaviours and named Vivek Bhatia when he was inaugural chief executive of icare from 2015 to January 2018. This saga gets worse and worse by the day.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/link-drawn-into-icare-drama-as-new-ceo-takes-reins-20200918-p55x2i.html
    Michelle Grattan says that it’s a small church that sings the gas gospel and she points to the Coalition’s hypocrisy.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6931688/its-a-small-church-that-sings-the-gas-gospel/?cs=14350&utm_source=website&utm_medium=home&utm_campaign=latestnews
    Paul Kelly thinks that Morrison faces a litany of obstacles in implementing his new gas policy.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/coalition-steps-on-the-gas-ahead-of-a-covidrecovery-budget/news-story/155f35d69d636a3af19f66dfc1f00be8
    Laura Tingle writes that Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor have swooped in with plans that have managed to scare the power industry and the environmentalists at the same time. She says they have the wrong answer for an energy crisis that does not exist.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/the-wrong-answer-for-an-energy-crisis-that-does-not-exist-20200918-p55wvx
    While the prime minister’s newly announced gas funding is politically useful – soothing the Coalition backbench and wedging Labor – it will imperil Australia’s climate targets, says Mike Seccombe.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2020/09/19/gas-plan-locks-decades-high-emissions-experts-warn/160043760010436
    Premier Steven Marshall’s handling of the COVID crisis has dramatically boosted his own political fortunes, as the Liberals wrestle back a dominant election-winning 53/47 poll lead om SA.
    https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/advertiseryougov-poll-premier-steven-marshall-surges-as-preferred-leader-libs-take-the-lead-as-sa-crushes-the-covid-curve/news-story/053060a0a1ce2c9c035bf375a75bfc8e
    Jennifer Duke writes that Assistant Minister for Superannuation Jane Hume says industry superannuation funds need to remember their role isn’t to create jobs or push the climate debate. Not a very nice lady, this one.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/not-your-job-superannuation-minister-says-super-funds-forget-their-role-20200918-p55wyd.html
    Meanwhile Macquarie Group’s CEO Shemara Wikramanayake says cash-strapped governments will need private capital to fund new public infrastructure essential to stimulate their COVID-hit economies.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/infrastructure-pandemic-splurge-needs-private-funds-says-macquarie-20200918-p55x18.html
    Daniel Hurst reports that the Morrison government is coming under pressure to contain a blowout in processing times for citizenship applications, with the delays overshadowing the Coalition’s proposed revamp of the test to uphold Australian values.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/18/unacceptable-blowout-in-wait-times-for-australian-citizenship-causing-distress
    New legislation affecting the roles of migration agents is a step backwards for industry professionals and will lower standards, writes Murray Hunter.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/thousands-of-registered-migration-agents-to-lose-accreditation-with-new-legislation,14322
    Chip Le Grand explains how police have joined forces with Nicola Gobbo to savage the approach taken by the royal commission investigating the state’s worst legal scandal. They have accused the counsel assisting of a “flagrant breach of constitutional fairness”.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/police-gobbo-accuse-royal-commission-of-flagrant-breach-20200918-p55x4w.html
    Dana McCauley explains how a nationally consistent approach to contact tracing based on the success of NSW will be rolled out across Australia.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/national-contact-tracing-system-aims-to-prevent-future-covid-19-spread-20200918-p55x0t.html
    As more than 25,000 Australians wait for the chance to return home, at least one legal expert says the travel restrictions may breach the constitutional rights of citizens, explains Karen Middleton.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2020/09/19/australians-stranded-overseas/160043760010443
    “Since when did old people’s lives become worthless?”, asks Sue Green.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/since-when-did-old-people-s-lives-become-worth-less-20200918-p55wy5.html
    Josh Taylor reports on the inquiry hearing tha the infection-control issues at two Melbourne quarantine hotels that ultimately led to Victoria’s second wave of Covid-19 cases could have been foreseen with an “appropriate” focus on health.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/18/melbourne-hotel-quarantine-failures-could-have-been-foreseen-inquiry-hears
    The editorial in The Age says that collective will is vital for Victoria’s long road back to revival.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/collective-will-is-vital-for-victoria-s-revival-20200918-p55ww1.html
    With imports restricted as international borders closed, the coronavirus pandemic exposed Australia’s inability to manufacture what it needs, prompting an urgent debate about how the country can improve its economic security, writes Margaret Simons.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/economy/2020/09/19/moves-build-economic-security/160043760010447
    Bruce Newton tells us that the PM has been rated a dismal failure by electric vehicle advocates.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/auto/2020/09/18/scott-morrison-electric-cars/
    Julia Baird writes about an insidious form of domestic abuse – controlling behaviour.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-most-dangerous-form-of-domestic-abuse-is-not-a-crime-in-nsw-but-momentum-is-building-for-change-20200918-p55wxr.html
    Tom Switzer reckons the good times with China are over and we should get used to it.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-good-times-with-china-are-over-get-used-to-it-20200917-p55wqs.html
    A series of streets and laneways in Sydney’s CBD will be closed to traffic while main streets will have roadside parking spaces converted into al fresco dining spots under a plan to save the city’s hospitality industry.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/streets-laneways-and-parking-spots-city-s-plan-to-turn-venues-inside-out-20200918-p55wxv.html
    Newswire service Australian Associated Press has been handed a $5 million lifeline, as the federal government says its existence is vital for maintaining regional news and media diversity.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/government-hands-aap-5-million-lifeline-20200918-p55wyy.html
    The SMH editorial does not hold back in saying that Angus Taylor’s gas plan deepens policy uncertainty.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/angus-taylor-s-gas-plan-deepens-policy-uncertainty-20200918-p55x3l.html
    Amanda Meade looks at this week’s article by Chris Uhlmann that created quite some ire.
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/commentisfree/2020/sep/18/chris-uhlmanns-damnation-of-daniel-andrews-delayed-at-the-age
    Kate McClymont tells us that yesterday the court heard that the Obeid family was working overtime on a secret deal to have associates purchase two neighbouring properties in the Bylong Valley before it was made public that the area had been selected for the creation of a coalmining tenement.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/obeid-family-lawyer-details-secret-deal-to-secure-farms-20200918-p55x07.html
    Unless and until a safe, effective and long-lasting vaccine is developed, manufactured, distributed and given to a very large proportion of the population, our society and economy are going to remain restricted and diminished, writes Shaun Carney.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/six-months-in-we-owe-it-to-ourselves-to-face-some-challenging-truths-20200918-p55wyt.html
    The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that something as microscopic as a virus is enough to weaken our strongest city technology, writes Dr Peter Fisher.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/battle-of-scales-our-cbds-are-no-match-for-a-micrometre-invader,14323
    Madonna King says that eating disorders are a sinister health challenge we need to talk about.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/09/18/madonna-king-eating-disorders-are-a-sinister-health-challenge-we-need-to-talk-about/
    A delightful contribution from Jacqui Taffel who wonders why people can’t bring themselves to say that somebody had died but use euphemisms instead.
    https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/please-no-more-euphemisms-my-mother-died-20200820-p55nmn.html
    Latika Bourke reports that Amal Clooney has quit as a special envoy for the United Kingdom on media freedom over the British government’s threat to renege on the Brexit deal it signed with the European Union less than 12 months ago.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/amal-clooney-quits-uk-envoy-role-over-lamentable-international-law-breach-20200919-p55x61.html
    Boris Johnson has just said that it was inevitable that the country would see a second wave of coronavirus and that while he did not want a second national lockdown, the government may need to introduce new restrictions.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/england-mulls-new-national-lockdown-as-european-covid-19-cases-soar-20200919-p55x65.html
    The Bank of England has taken another step towards negative rates amid rising COVID infections and a looming unemployment crisis.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/the-uk-moves-closer-to-negative-interest-rates-20200918-p55wta.html
    Radical Republicans rammed the Trump tax law through Congress without a single hearing or Democratic vote. And the results, which you won’t see in major news organisations, are in. The rich made out like bandits and the rest got three-fifths of bugger all, writes David Cay Johnston.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/ugly-numbers-of-trumps-tax-cuts-serve-a-warning-for-scott-morrison/
    On the current balance of probabilities, Joe Biden will win the November 3 US presidential election. We need to address the implications of this for Australia’s foreign relations, writes John McCarthy.
    https://www.afr.com/world/north-america/why-joe-biden-will-need-australia-20200918-p55wvu
    Julie Szego has an entertaining contribution about the US presidential election in which she says, “The playing field is not level. To win, Biden must outsmart an opponent whose weapon is bone-headedness.”
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-s-attacks-on-biden-s-competency-lead-into-strange-territory-20200918-p55wx4.html
    In an extract from his new book Rage, award-winning journalist Bob Woodward lights a fuse beneath the US president.
    https://www.afr.com/world/north-america/the-wrong-man-for-the-job-why-trump-is-political-dynamite-20200917-p55wjo
    Trump says he plans to establish a commission to promote “patriotic education” in the United States, taking issue with efforts to highlight the country’s history of slavery and racism. I didn’t think it would be possible to make them more insular and ignorant!
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/north-america/trump-promotes-patriotic-education-in-appeal-to-conservative-base-20200918-p55x3m.html
    Emma Brockes wonders if Trump is, finally, managing to repel even his own supporters.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/18/trump-supporters-pandemic-wildfires-wind

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope

    Alan Moir
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_828/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/f176743465536a94576e7758342eebcf24191e16

    Andrew Dyson

    Jim Pavlidis


    Matt Golding



    Peter Broelman

    David Rowe



    Jon Kudelka

    Glen Lievre

    Johannes Leak gets this one right.

    Mark Knight

    John Shakespeare


    Michael Leunig

    From the US












  21. Brendan Murphy proves once again what a good little government lapdog he is –

    ‘No clear evidence’ of drop in quality of aged care: Murphy

    While being grilled by the inquiry on Friday, the former chief medical officer conceded the aged care sector was under significant financial pressure, however, he argued there was “no clear evidence” yet that funding shortages had led to a direct drop in service delivery.

    “We don’t have any evidence at the moment that there is an impact on quality and safety from financial performance,” he told the royal commission.

    Professor Murphy said, however, he “absolutely accepted” more needed to be done to support the sector financially into the future

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/no-clear-evidence-of-drop-in-quality-of-aged-care-murphy-20200918-p55wvi.html

    Notice the resemblance?

    Well yes – bullshitting to the public must be fun. pic.twitter.com/kSzDCtwNM3— Coalition Tea Lady (@ItsBouquet) September 18, 2020

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