Vol 28 No 9

07 May 2018


 

  • ECONOMICS

    Devils in budget detail

    • Gabriela D'Souza
    • 17 May 2018
    2 Comments

    There were the stories that didn't get much of a mention in the mainstream press but will net large gains for young people and new entrants to the labour market. Under the budget measure, inactive super accounts with balances of less than $6000 will have a three per cent cap on fees charged. But is this policy quite what it seems?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A heartbreaking tribute to the work mothers do

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 16 May 2018
    2 Comments

    Tully is a funny film, with a serious core: a tribute to the labour of child rearing, a dissection of the substantial physical and emotional burden of this work, and a 'show-don't-tell' critique of the social norms that frequently sees that burden fall, still, primarily on women.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    PC is reviving comedy, not killing it

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 16 May 2018
    11 Comments

    The views of Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson and Rodney Rude can be summed up in the quote: 'The soft new generation of PC-wary comedians need to grow some balls.' There seems to be a sense that comedy isn't funny nowadays unless it's offensive. But it's more than possible to create comedy that avoids this. In fact, it can be better.

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  • CARTOON

    Simple as ABC

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 15 May 2018
    1 Comment

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget slights domestic violence services

    • Eliza Berlage
    • 15 May 2018
    6 Comments

    Every year around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, politicians with white ribbons pinned to their suits deliver passionate speeches about protecting women from domestic violence. But when it comes to implementing life saving measures, their lack of action speaks louder than words.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Whose health matters?

    • El Gibbs
    • 15 May 2018
    6 Comments

    Health spending takes up a significant amount of federal and state government spending. But is this to keep Australians healthy, or to treat us when we get sick? The budget was a missed opportunity to invest in preventative health measures, and to fix health inequalities through policies informed by the social determinants of health.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Renters suffer rooftop inequality

    • Greg Foyster
    • 14 May 2018
    9 Comments

    This is Australia's looming inequality issue. Those who can take advantage of the energy revolution will have lower bills and more comfortable living conditions during the frequent extreme weather events we'll experience with climate change. Those who can't will be left reliant on a dirty, aging and increasingly expensive electricity grid.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Chelsea Manning at Guangzhou Airport

    • Barnaby Smith
    • 14 May 2018
    1 Comment

    ... the actuality of Her and me growing dimmer as the distorted glow of a new morning's haze illuminates factories in the distance as if deleted scenes ...

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  • ECONOMICS

    Japan could lead the way in forgiving debt

    • David James
    • 14 May 2018
    4 Comments

    As the world economy groans under soaring levels of debt, the place to look is Japan, whose current government debt-to-GDP ratio is an eye watering 253 per cent. It is Japan, which led the developed world into this mess, that is likely to lead the world out of it by cancelling debt. The consequences of such a move would be far reaching.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gods, emperors and the ritual of federal budgets

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 May 2018
    2 Comments

    On the surface budgets are exercises in financial accountability. At a deeper level they are best understood as a yearly ritual; one of the ways in which rulers acknowledge and try to manipulate truths about state power. We should evaluate these less on their stated intentions but with what the show of competence and generosity reveals.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Tax cuts good politics, but not good policy

    • Joe Zabar
    • 12 May 2018
    2 Comments

    The proposed tax cuts will create long-term structural changes to government revenue sources, which may prove to be economic folly in future-proofing Australia against global economic shocks, and in dealing with current unmet needs of poor and vulnerable Australians.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget fails Australia’s most vulnerable

    • Julie Edwards
    • 10 May 2018
    6 Comments

    The budget includes a range of tax cuts for many Australian workers and some funding for education and early childhood services but fails to address the ever-growing inequality across the country. Simply put, it is those in the greatest need of support who have yet again been left behind.

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  • EDUCATION

    Students need teachers, not technicians

    • Fatima Measham
    • 10 May 2018
    8 Comments

    For the past several years, education has been treated as solely a technical problem. One of the pitfalls of this is that political will becomes a function of money, which in turn rests on political expedience between federal and state governments, further complicated by external lobbying. Education gets ground to a grain.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Budget curses climate in name of growth

    • Francine Crimmins
    • 10 May 2018
    7 Comments

    With every passing year the government is siloing its building and expansion funding from the money needed to prevent the environmental consequences. In this budget, we see an environmental agenda hijacked to reinforce ideas of growth, using environmental buzz words which convince constituents it's for the earth.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget's arts flagship is, well, a flagship

    • Esther Anatolitis
    • 09 May 2018
    9 Comments

    The flagship cultural measure in the budget is, strangely, a flagship: the Endeavour. The government announced '$48.7 million over four years to commemorate the 250th anniversary of James Cook's first voyage to Australia and the Pacific'. A permanent presence on the first site of local trauma is not a vision for a nation.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The crimson thread of male entitlement

    • Roanna Gonsalves
    • 09 May 2018
    4 Comments

    A thread of male entitlement binds the American literary world to a shepherd's world in India's Kashmir valley. Days ago, the American author Junot Diaz left the Sydney Writers Festival amid allegations of sexual abuse. In India there is another, more sinister and tragic manifestation, woven with the use of rape as a weapon of war.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Confronting fear on the cusp of manhood

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 09 May 2018
    2 Comments

    The boys conquer one hazardous feat after another: entering the ocean via rocky cauldrons; sharing waters with a mythic giant shark; tackling waves that rear up over a deadly shallow reef. In so doing they confront their fears: of physical peril; of failing, or failing to meet the expectations of the group; of existential ordinariness.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ireland's 'hard border' irony has a bitter taste

    • Brian Matthews
    • 08 May 2018
    11 Comments

    The word 'irony' is sometimes preceded by 'delicious'. But it is sour and wounding in Ireland, where British withdrawal from the EU, Brexit, and the Irish Republic's firm intention to remain, raises the possibility of what pundits call a 'hard' border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

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  • CARTOON

    Hey, big spender!

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 08 May 2018

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What Anzac Day meant for Asian Australians

    • Tseen Khoo
    • 08 May 2018
    10 Comments

    For Japanese Australians, the connections with Australia's war-time history continues to be particularly fraught. Whether they are early or more recent migrants, Japanese Australians have many narratives and expressions of complex identities that are now gaining voice.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The meek find the violent absolute

    • Carolyn Masel
    • 07 May 2018

    Early traumas last, the experts say ... but memory can resemble an old wound that presages damp days or, like a sharp new line, make one gasp again. What violence do they endure who with nightmare slowness flee a wolfish past? And are theirs unexamined lives who have attained the modern armour-plated dream?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Addressing the democracy deficit

    • Lizzie O'Shea
    • 07 May 2018
    12 Comments

    A common response to voters behaving badly is to call for qualifications on the franchise, such as education, or the outsourcing of public policy decisions to experts. Instead, I'd argue the opposite: the problem is not democracy, it is the deficit. It is not that too many people have a say in how society is run, but rather not enough.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fearing and loathing that toad, Work

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 04 May 2018
    7 Comments

    Philip Larkin spent 30 years as a librarian, but famously wrote a rebellious poem in which he asks plaintively: 'Why should I let/the toad work/Squat on my life?' Technology is not the only force that shapes our destinies, an idea I need to remind myself of whenever I start worrying about the future of my children and grandchildren.

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  • RELIGION

    Finding my religion in Indonesia

    • Erin Cook
    • 04 May 2018
    9 Comments

    The church has always been more about family than religion to me - my grandmother's grandmother did it all in Latin, but isn't it cool that we went through the same motions? - and I thought it always would. Then I got lucky: I moved to the world's most populous Muslim country.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Tim Winton's model of manhood

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 May 2018
    5 Comments

    One of the challenges that faces any society is how boys will become men. In many societies the passage is mapped and enacted through ritual initiations or through military training. It also periodically causes great anxiety. Two recent books encourage reflection on different aspects of the passage from boys to men.

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