Search Results: federal government

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Paying for stopping the boats

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 28 April 2016
    9 Comments

    This week we learnt that the human rights protection for asylum seekers in our former colony Papua New Guinea are more protected by the PNG constitution than they would be in Australia. The PNG government has quickly moved not to change the law and constitution, but to make arrangements to close the centre and ask Australia to take back the asylum seekers. Already PNG lawyers are talking about claims for compensation for the unlawful detention, and rightly so.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Negative gearing is the end of the Australian Dream

    • Kate Galloway
    • 27 April 2016
    14 Comments

    Historically, having a largely home-owning population has ensured both the social benefit of housing, and an economic benefit through enforced saving with long-term growth. In contrast, the negative gearing push splits the cultural and economic meaning of home ownership, because it focuses on investment. Negative gearing promotes property ownership but not home ownership. Thus the social benefits of home ownership that we have come to expect give way to bare economic indicators.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Domestic violence is more than an attitude problem

    • Kristin Natalier
    • 26 April 2016
    4 Comments

    The federal government's new ad aims to 'stop violence from the start'. It sends a strong message that violence is never acceptable. But it firmly positions domestic violence as a problem of individual attitudes of perpetrators, not the social and economic vulnerability of victims. Envisaging an end of domestic violence achieved through 'starting conversations about respect with boys and girls' sidesteps the need for the material resources necessary to stop violence when it happens.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sniff the rot in Australia's wobbly democracy

    • Justin Glyn
    • 19 April 2016
    9 Comments

    Last week, a member of Parliament, Jenny Leong, allegedly faced racist and sexist abuse by police from at least four separate commands. This abuse was linked to her opposition (in accordance with her party's stated policy) to the use of drug sniffer dogs without a search warrant. Whether or not one agrees with Green party policy in this regard, the treatment of Leong ought to rankle. Such ill-treatment at the hands of the executive is, unfortunately, not an isolated phenomenon.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget for a post trickle down theory world

    • Fatima Measham
    • 17 April 2016
    10 Comments

    People are sensitised to government-enabled corporate excess and doubt elected officials are capable and willing to serve their interests. The lesson from the 2014 federal budget is that there are non-negotiables around the function of government: to provide the conditions that ensure the flourishing of all citizens. Yet in terms of future-proofing living standards, the Coalition has so far presided over an ideas bust rather than boom, unless boom is the sound of something spontaneously combusting.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Bob Ellis and the other nuclear royal commission

    • Michele Madigan
    • 07 April 2016
    16 Comments

    The passing of Bob Ellis recalls his faithful accompanying of the 1984-1985 royal commission into the British nuclear tests conducted in South Australia in the 1950s and 1960s. His article on the Wallatina hearings described what he named as the commission's 'worst story of all': Edie Milpudie's telling of herself and her family camping, in May 1957, on the Marcoo bomb crater. Re-reading the Ellis article, tears stung my eyes. It's so good when truth is recognised and held up for our freedom.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Greens' senate reform spin is sweetened nonsense

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 22 March 2016
    19 Comments

    The idea that these laws are, as Twomey writes, 'more conducive to representing the genuine choice of the people in electing their Senate' is untrue. It is a view expressed by Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale, who suggested 'the Senate that's delivered after the next election is the one people vote for'. What these voting reforms actually serve to do is give the false impression of eliminating manipulation while diluting Australia's political base in favour of monochrome party politics.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Deja vu for Timor as Turnbull neglects boundary talks

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 March 2016
    10 Comments

    Rui Maria de Araujo, the prime minister of Timor-Leste, wrote to Malcolm Turnbull inviting him to turn a new leaf in the Australia-Timor relationship. It was not to be. But the Timorese are well used to winning the hearts and minds of Australians even when our political leaders appear to be tone deaf to their pleas. This time they have convinced the Labor Party about the justice of their cause, and there is every chance that the Australian community will rally behind them after the federal election.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Vacuous politics breeds vacuous politicians

    • Justin Glyn
    • 14 March 2016
    6 Comments

    The standard explanation for the rise of 'outsider' figures like Donald Drumpf in the US and Clive Palmer in Australia is that there is disillusion in democratic countries with 'politics as usual'. Neal Gabler has blamed the media for turning politics into celebrity theatre. While he has pinpointed the symptom, I suggest that he has it exactly the wrong way around. It is because politics has already been hollowed out to be a slanging match of personalities rather than ideas that vacuous celebrities can flourish.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Preselection esteems politics over merit

    • Fatima Measham
    • 13 March 2016
    10 Comments

    The debate over the Coalition's proposed senate voting reforms has highlighted the inter-party brokering that brings candidates into office. Yet if representative democracy were predicated on transparency, then another area deserves scrutiny: preselection. The mechanism for choosing party representatives clearly relies on powerful backers - politics - rather than merit. That is an obvious thing to say. But it carries repercussions for governance with which we have yet to grapple.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    A word to the wise on selling climate action

    • Greg Foyster
    • 10 March 2016
    3 Comments

    The best known examples of framing come from American cognitive linguist George Lakoff. He argues that George W. Bush replaced the phrase 'tax cuts' with 'tax relief' to reframe paying tax as an affliction. Embedded in those two words is a neo-conservative worldview against government intervention in the private sphere. If you accept the term, you absorb the worldview. In a similar way, a few words could build political will to tackle climate change. The problem is no one is sure what they are.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The night the Black Dog caught up

    • Peter Day
    • 08 March 2016
    12 Comments

    Our friend's not doing so well. The Black Dog has caught up with her. It's been chasing her for 20 years. She got tired; couldn't run anymore. So up to the emergency department she went: 'Doctor, nurse ... anyone, I can't run anymore. The Black Dog's too fast, too strong. I'm worn out - just want to be normal.' They heard her ... sort of. Into a tiny room she was sent ... to wait. Don't be fooled by politicians and bureaucrats holding umbrellas; the mental health landscape is in severe drought.

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