Search Results: tony abbott

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia no longer a global Good Samaritan

    • Michael Mullins
    • 22 March 2015
    6 Comments

    It's a pity that Australia's ongoing emergency aid to other nations was tainted by the Prime Minister's suggestion Indonesia should grant clemency to Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran because Australia had provided $1 billion after the 2004 tsunami. Now that Vanuatu has been devastated by Cyclone Pam, its people and government might wonder what we expect in exchange for our $5 million initial commitment and promised follow up assistance in the form of medical staff and rescue personnel.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Blessed are the taxpayers in Abbott's Australia

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 15 March 2015
    39 Comments

    In relation to the future of remote Aboriginal communities in WA, the Prime Minister said: 'It is not the job of the taxpayer to subsidise particular lifestyle choices.'  The statement raises this question: on whose behalf does the government govern? The logical response is: the taxpayer. We must then ask whether it works on a sliding scale – the more tax you pay, the more the government attends to your needs.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remote 'lifestyle choices' need careful consideration

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 12 March 2015
    13 Comments

    The PM's cavalier use of the term 'lifestyle choice' is totally inappropriate when referring to the people who will be affected by the proposed closures of remote Aboriginal communities. Undeniably it is expensive to sustain remote living, and effective schooling and health services are unfeasible. But we must avoid arbitrary decision-making, and implicit disparagement of people in remote communities.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    State elections the biggest opinion poll of all

    • John Warhurst
    • 03 March 2015
    6 Comments

    The Victorian state election that ushered out the Napthine Coalition government last November was a wake-up call for the Federal government. The amazing Queensland state defeat for Campbell Newman in late January brought on on the Spill against Tony Abbott. But the NSW election at the end of this month is an ambiguous marker.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    An ode to WOMAD

    • Michelle Coram
    • 03 March 2015
    7 Comments

    WOMAD – World of Music, Arts & Dance – and Adelaide go together in a portmanteau. Amidst the dirt, dust and crowds are moments of connection, transcendence and bliss. The magic happens for all of us in the park: the hippies and the yuppies, the artists and the vollies, the babies and the bats, in different ways and at unexpected times. This four day glimpse of the world as it could be sustains my own soul for a year.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Government's delusory tolerance rhetoric

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 02 March 2015
    10 Comments

    Prime Minister Abbott's National Security Statement quite rightly spoke of threats to Australia and the need to address them. Many of his utterances might seem uncontroversial: 'Those who live here must be as tolerant of others as we are of them'. But in fact they ignore the way people 'who come here' are treated according to 'how' they came here. The language used to describe them reflects an attitude that is far from tolerant.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Libs take some image advice from Mad Men's Don Draper

    • Jim McDermott
    • 01 March 2015

    The inner sanctum of the Prime Minister’s office, filled with smoke. DON DRAPER sits in a chair, cigarette in one hand, tumbler of Scotch in the other. Across, Prime Minister TONY ABBOTT. Around them, members of his cabinet. GREG HUNT (coughing weakly): We really don't allow smoking in here. CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Plus, how do you still look so good? It’s 2015. Draper turns Pyne's way. His eyes glitter like steel. DON: Really, that's what you want to talk about right now, my looks? TONY: Now listen, Don, I did it all just like you said. Pushed up the spill motion to keep the momentum from building, said I would be more consultative, got on with the business of governing. And yet two weeks later ... Read more

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's ill-judged crusade against red tape

    • Michael Mullins
    • 01 March 2015
    10 Comments

    The Prime Minister has been forced to announce a proposal to toughen food labelling laws after the recent outbreak of Hepatitis A was linked to 'Nannas' imported berries. This goes against his resolve to remove red tape that represents 'unnecessary' compliance costs for business. The government has fervently derided red tape and presented regulation as the enemy, without distinguishing between regulations that are redundant and those that are needed to protect the consumer.

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  • Mindfulness an alternative to fear in face of security threats

    • James O'Brien
    • 01 March 2015
    9 Comments

    With fear mongering talk of a national security emergency from our Prime Minister, perhaps we need practices which help us engage our reality with gratitude rather than panic.  We speak of health of mind and body as we are increasingly conscious of the mental health challenges we face as a community. Amidst the unrelenting busyness and worry of our days, the merits of pausing in silence are becoming clearer. Silence in mindfulness and listening to loud music while exercising are two interesting parallel experiences in our society. There’s a key question here about whether in our moments of silence or music listening we are seeking to forget our day or rest in gratitude for it. Read more  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Govt spending must match domestic violence rhetoric

    • Stephanie Dowrick
    • 26 February 2015
    16 Comments

    The Prime Minister's choice of Rosie Batty as Australian of the Year is wholly admirable. Her advocacy about domestic violence following the tragic murder of her son by his father has been passionate and effective. But the praise heaped upon Rosie Batty is meaningless, even insulting, while support services are diminishing or disappearing for all the other women and children in need of immediate protection.

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  • Soul-destroying refugee policy shames Australia

    • Aloysious Mowe
    • 24 February 2015

    Just before Christmas last year, the United States Senate Select Intelligence Committee released its report on the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program, and its use of torture on detainees between 2002 and 2006. Among the report's key findings was the fact that the brutality of the torture and the harshness of the detention regime went beyond what the CIA. had reported to policy-makers (in other words, the CIA deliberately misled its Senate overseers); that the CIA's claims for the effectiveness of torture to obtain information that was vital for national security were inaccurate and unfounded; that the torture regime had damaged the standing of the United States, and resulted in significant costs, monetary and otherwise; that personnel were rarely reprimanded or held accountable for violations, inappropriate activities, and systematic and individual management failures. Read more

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't keep calm and carry on

    • Tony Kevin
    • 23 February 2015
    29 Comments

    On Monday, Tony Abbott made his finest speech as prime minister. Yet it was also scare-mongering, heavy handed and intimidatory. It reminded members of the Muslim Community that the Australian Government has the power to control and punish them. It may be a vote winner for a while, but for long term effect it’s worth contrasting it with the British Government’s successful calming messaging during the 1969-97 terror campaign.  

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