Search Results: federal government

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nick Xenophon's tantalising gambit

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 October 2017
    4 Comments

    The decision by Nick Xenophon to leave the leadership of his Senate team to return to South Australian politics has rattled the political elites in his state and stirred the pot nationally. Xenophon's gamble raises two immediate implications and suggests one bigger and more tantalising question for Australian politics.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Access to housing isn't a reward it's a human right

    • Rachel Kurzyp
    • 28 September 2017
    10 Comments

    History tells us that we won't end homelessness in Australia by building more crisis accommodation, and it's clear we can't rely on the private market to fill the growing housing gap. We've known since 1988 that social housing plays a crucial role in reducing homelessness. So what's stopping us from investing in social housing and replicating the success we've seen in countries like Finland?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Refugee rift piques PNG's anti Australian sentiment

    • Ann Deslandes
    • 21 September 2017
    8 Comments

    One senior development consultant, an Australian with decades of experience in the region, told me they've never seen such significant anti-Australia sentiment in PNG public discourse. This makes sense. A former colony of Australia, PNG grapples with social problems on a scale unknown to our prosperous country. Why should they now have to also absorb the costs of resettling refugees who sought asylum in Australia?

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  • RELIGION

    Euthanasia bill could put vulnerable Victorians at risk

    • Hoa Dinh
    • 21 September 2017
    22 Comments

    Euthanasia legislation would lead to further coercion against vulnerable persons in society: the elderly and people with disability. Once voluntary suicide is legalised, to continue living becomes a choice that people will have to justify to themselves, their family, and society. It is especially the case for persons who have to depend on the assistance of others: the elderly, and people with disability.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Is Medicare-for-all an idea whose time has come?

    • Lesley Russell
    • 17 September 2017
    1 Comment

    Medicare-for-all is best seen as aspirational: it is shorthand for policy ideals and papers over political realities. With Republicans in control of Congress, there is obviously no immediate chance of Sanders's bill becoming law any time soon. But with Republicans and the President viewed as ineffectual in implementing their healthcare commitments and uncaring about voters' concerns, it is advantageous for Democrats to be seen to have solutions to the problems that confront their constituents.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The cost of living in the kingdom of fear

    • Justin Glyn
    • 07 September 2017
    17 Comments

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously said that 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.' From the roots of ISIS to Russiagate to North Korea to border control in Australia, current trends both international and at home bear this out.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Marriage equality postal vote further erodes democracy

    • Hayley Conway
    • 31 August 2017
    20 Comments

    The intended postal plebiscite is profoundly undemocratic. It will be conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in the hope that it will be considered a 'gathering of statistics', not an electoral matter requiring oversight by the Australian Electoral Commission and an appropriation of funds by the parliament. The federal government is circumventing the will of the parliament. This is part of a broader trend to attack, undermine, defund, and erode the democratic institutions we rely on.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Lawyers the last line of defence for dumped refugees

    • Kate Galloway
    • 30 August 2017
    7 Comments

    It is true that lawyers, in doing their work, have interrupted the government's agenda of attempting to deny the humanity of asylum seekers. However, it goes to the heart of our system of governance that power is exercised within lawful boundaries. It is therefore ironic that the Minister, whose own powers are circumscribed by the Australian Constitution, and who is looking for an easy workaround, should criticise lawyers for being 'tricky'.

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  • RELIGION

    Citizenship and the Common Good

    • Frank Brennan
    • 29 August 2017
    6 Comments

    'There was one controversy in which Lionel Bowen was involved that does provide good lessons for the contemporary Catholic considering the desirable law or social policy on a contested issue - lessons for the citizen weighing what is for the common good. Back in 1979 there was debate in the Parliament on a motion which was framed to stop Medicare funding of abortions. Bowen, a strict Catholic, was strongly opposed to the motion. He did not think the motion was about abortion. He thought it was about money.' Frank Brennan's 2017 Lionel Bowen Lecture

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Community torn over Kimba nuclear plan

    • Michele Madigan
    • 28 August 2017
    13 Comments

    On Saturday 19 August at a gathering in Port Adelaide, two modern beleaguered groups, one Aboriginal, one non-Aboriginal, shared their current experiences in striving to protect their own lands and ways of life. Like the Gurindji, their struggle is with the federal government and, indirectly, with another big business: the nuclear industry. In contrast to the Gurindji struggle however, modern day communities and even families are being torn apart by enticements and pressures.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Why musicians are the canaries in the coal mine

    • Terry Noone
    • 20 August 2017
    9 Comments

    To get a good idea of where employment practices are headed, a good place to start is the music industry. Musicians have been the canary in the coalmine. The gradual removal of their work place rights, and even basic remuneration, points to what happens when there are no effective constraints on employers’ behaviour. Instead, they are being offered ‘exposure’—and, as one muso quips, ‘you can die of exposure.’

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The twisted priorities of the same-sex marriage vote

    • Rohan Salmond
    • 20 August 2017
    53 Comments

    Same-sex marriage, the government tells us, is not a first-order issue. And yet it has grown to become a controversy so monumental it has overshadowed even the prospect of nuclear war with North Korea.

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