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  • AUSTRALIA

    It’s time Mr Heydon was taken to court

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 September 2015
    7 Comments

    Senator Penny Wong moved a motion requesting the Governor-General to sack Dyson Heydon from the unions royal commission. This is a disgrace. It evokes memories of Governor General John Kerr sacking Prime Minister Gough Whitlam almost 40 years ago. The unions must appeal Heydon's decision to the courts, or abide by the umpire's decision.

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  • MEDIA

    Ashley Madison leak exposes a prurient and uncaring society

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 25 August 2015
    15 Comments

    The media has greeted the infidelity website leak with unabashed glee. We could instead ask why so many ordinary people are seemingly so discontented with their marriages, and what might be done to alleviate the wretchedness both of those who cheat and those who don't.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why we aren't more shocked by Nauru revelations

    • Tim Robertson
    • 04 August 2015
    13 Comments

    The politicians have an excuse: they have vested interests. But what about the rest of us? Has the rape and torture of asylum seekers, many of them children, in institutions established at the behest of Canberra, become so commonplace that it no longer shocks? It's not that empathy is an emotion particularly lacking in Australia. But there remains a disconnect between 'us' and asylum seekers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Political donations reform is not so easy

    • Jack Maxwell
    • 28 July 2015
    5 Comments

    Political donations give privileged access to powerful public officials to those who are wealthy. But public funding does little to reduce parties’ reliance on private money and radical control measures can fall foul of the Constitution. A 2013 High Court judgment finding that a ban on donations infringed the constitutional freedom of political communication.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The depths of common cause between Australia and Nauru

    • Justin Glyn
    • 13 July 2015
    3 Comments

    In an impressive demonstration of how the revocation of citizenship can be made to work to defend the national reputation and lifestyle of a country against those who would wish it harm, five of the country's seven opposition MPs (in a 19 member Parliament) have had their passports cancelled for 'damaging the reputation and development of the country'. In Australia, at least for the moment, damaging of Government property will still be required for the Minister of Immigration and Border Protection to revoke citizenship under the new anti-terror provisions in s.35A of the Citizenship Act.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Intimidated ABC embraces self-censorship

    • Fatima Measham
    • 06 July 2015
    17 Comments

    Nine days after the Zacky Mallah Q&A episode, the ABC Board said it had censured the program's executive producer. It could have been a failure of the producer's editorial judgment, but there is a worrying sense that it was really a matter of the ABC appeasing the Government. There is a chilling echo of the Philippine media under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The media came to anticipate direct interventions from Malacañang Palace; eventually, none had to be made.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Whistleblowing and other new crimes

    • Fatima Measham
    • 25 June 2015
    7 Comments

    Ministerial discretion over citizenship can't replace court processes. Such executive overreach, which contradicts democratic principle, has already found expression in law. From July 1st, workers involved in immigration detention, including doctors and teachers, are subject to two years imprisonment for speaking publicly about what they witness. In other words, whistleblowing has been penalised.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    An Orwellian reading of our anti-terror legislation

    • Justin Glyn
    • 21 June 2015
    13 Comments

    In George Orwell's most famous novel 1984, the white face of the Ministry of Truth bears the slogans: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Australia is not approaching dictatorship, but a quick look at Orwell's slogans in the light of the past week's news makes disturbing reading.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Do working mums raise better boys?

    • Jen Vuk
    • 11 June 2015
    3 Comments

    Not only are we working mothers providing a leg up for our daughters, helping shape a new, improved, domestic male, and paving the way for stronger, adaptable, more spiritually-attuned human beings, but perhaps we're also part of a new thinking that's redefining and reassessing what success will look like in the future. Having a mother who not only goes to work, but works from home, I hope my sons grow into men who will have insightful and supportive relationships with the women in their lives.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Could Immigration 'secrecy' act trump mandatory reporting of abuse?

    • Justin Glyn
    • 08 June 2015
    6 Comments

    All Australian states and territories have mandatory reporting legislation requiring compulsory disclosure of suspected child abuse by relevant professionals. The Australian Border Force Act requires the permission of the Secretary before any disclosure of criminal conduct is made to the relevant authorities. Should an Immigration professional who works with children fulfil their mandatory reporting obligations if this permission is not granted (and face two years in prison) or not?

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  • ECONOMICS

    Management thinking in schools is a bad business

    • David James
    • 08 June 2015
    19 Comments

    Allowing such a flimsy discipline as management to co-opt an area as important as education, as appears to be the trend, is as absurd as it is saddening. Education has been with us for thousands of years and encompasses some of the most profound thinking the civilisation has produced. Management thinking has been with us for a few decades and has accomplished next to nothing.

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  • Frank Brennan, Ambassador from the Republic of Conscience

    • Kristina Keneally
    • 03 June 2015
    12 Comments

    'As a legislator and a Catholic, I often felt gratitude for Frank Brennan's ambassadorship from the republic of conscience. I found the need to weave, this need to take 'data points' from many places and form my conscience. I regarded Frank as a bit of a hero.' Kristina Keneally launches Fr Frank Brennan SJ's book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice at Our Lady of the Way Parish, North Sydney, 2 June 2015.

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