Search Results: federal government

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    No justice in rushing senate voting reforms

    • John Warhurst
    • 29 February 2016

    The government, the Greens, and Senator Nick Xenophon want to keep the debate about electoral justice as narrow as possible because they are offering some technical improvements. But they shouldn't be allowed to rush their reforms, which must be separated from the idea of a double dissolution election driven by a determination to cut short the terms of sitting micro-party senators. The anti-major party feeling among a significant minority of voters cannot just be condemned as mere populism.


    Baby Asha and the pyramid of suffering

    • Kate Galloway
    • 23 February 2016

    It is right and good that the outpouring of community and professional goodwill has at least delayed the return of baby Asha to what are reported to be the terrible conditions of the detention centre on Nauru. But Australia's asylum seeker laws involve unresolved systemic issues that such wins cannot by themselves resolve. Widespread community focus on individual cases such as that of baby Asha may in fact prevent action on the deeper issues from gaining traction.


    Turnbull's techno-optimism is a tad hasty

    • Ketan Joshi
    • 16 February 2016

    A government campaign declares 'we've always been good at having ideas. Now we need to get better at innovation: turning ideas into successful products and services.' The message is that we are on the brink of a technological revolution, driven by government. But really we've some way to go. As we have seen with wind turbines, the communities that host new technologies can react with anger and fear. If they are left out of the process, visions of grand, sweeping change can be undermined.


    Greg Hunt and the Sheikh Back-Scratching Theory

    • Greg Foyster
    • 14 February 2016

    It would have made a great April Fools joke, if it wasn't February. On Wednesday, we woke to the news that Greg Hunt, environment minister in the most anti-environment government in Australian history, had been awarded 'World's Best Minister' at an international summit in Dubai. But maybe the award had nothing to do with Hunt's track record at home. In the grubby way of politics everywhere, maybe it is a favour returned. A thank you from an oil-rich nation for making it look good in the past.


    Nuclear waste danger knows no state borders

    • Michele Madigan
    • 09 February 2016

    The South Australia Royal Commission into the nuclear fuel cycle will give its interim report at the Adelaide Town Hall next Monday. It is likely the Commission will recommend that the South Australian Premier's plan to import international high-level radioactive waste proceed, despite obvious risks and clear dangers. It would be a mistake for anyone living outside of South Australia to think that this is just a South Australian problem. Transport and containment risks are hugely significant.


    Electing a president in an age of superheroes

    • Jim McDermott
    • 07 February 2016

    Many Americans want a President who speaks to their deepest dreams and ideals. A champion. Trump's vision of reality is the polar opposite of Obama's, a hellscape where foreigners, the unemployed (and women) are eroding society. But, like Obama, he has positioned himself as a champion of those filled with frustration, insisting it doesn't have to be this way. Bernie Sanders is in many ways the Trump of the left, a political outsider who says what progressive Americans have long been thinking.


    No retrospective fix for traumatised refugees

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 04 February 2016

    The practice of governments using the Parliament to change the law in order to win court cases is unfair, as only one party to a court case has the power to do this. The M68 case decided on Wednesday, which challenged the detention and transfer to Nauru of asylum seekers, was effectively won by the government because they changed the law retrospectively to make sure they would win. No retrospective fix will be possible for people who fled persecution only to face a punitive and hostile policy.


    Alice Springs is still a contested space

    • Mike Bowden
    • 28 January 2016

    The Northern Territory News and the ABC reported this month that the Central Australian Affordable Housing Company had been unsuccessful in its tender for continuing tenancy services to the Town Camps of Alice Springs. Despite being a product of the Intervention, CAAHC had developed a powerful model of community housing and had the support of the Central Land Council and the wider Aboriginal community. It appears that these are not attributes the NT government admires.


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