keywords: Centre For Policy Developme

  • AUSTRALIA

    The moral conundrum of casting a vote on 2 July

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 June 2016
    46 Comments

    Sadly, the major political parties have forfeited any claim to govern in their own right because they have caused such disillusionment among so many voters about other policy issues with strong moral overtones. Any voter impressed with Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' or inspired by his visits to asylum seekers on the islands of Lampedusa and Lesbos could not blithely vote for either of the major parties, without first determining how to place some continuing political and moral pressure on them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    High Court not the answer to Nauru depravity

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 February 2016
    24 Comments

    Following Wednesday's High Court decision, the moral depravity of Australian funded offshore detention of asylum seekers, including children, is to continue. There is no joy to be found in our High Court applying a Constitution even more bereft of human rights protections than that of Nauru. It's time for our politicians to address the political and moral question: what purpose is actually served by sending this mum and her baby back to Nauru, when the boats have already stopped and will stay stop?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Aboriginal Australians' year of action

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 16 December 2015
    5 Comments

    At the end of 2014, the scene for Indigenous politics in 2015 was set. While it is rare to see a year where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people don't take to the streets to challenge government policies, Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett's announcement in November 2014 of the proposed closure of remote communities led to a large scale movement. It was one of several events that mobilised Indigenous communities during 2015. Next year is shaping up to be just as action packed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A Human Rights Day tribute to the Northern Territory's Tony Fitzgerald

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 December 2015

    I first met this Tony on my regular visits here to Darwin when he was working at the North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service and then when he set up the mediation services under the auspices of Anglicare. In later years I knew him when he was your Anti-Discrimination Commissioner. He was a quiet, considered, gentle, strong and principled man. On Human Rights Day, it is only fitting that I honour Tony by offering some reflections on the architecture for human rights in Australia, on the contemporary human rights controversies, and on the way forward for better protection of the human rights of Aborigines and asylum seekers, two marginalised groups who had a special claim on Tony's sympathies.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Growing old in Australia is a difficult business

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 07 October 2015
    9 Comments

    Well, I know the dehumanising rot began to set in a long time ago. I have a vision of George Orwell sitting on a cloud and wringing his hands in renewed horror, for now the business model and associated language appears to have taken over the world. In short, the changes in aged care could be counterproductive, as the aims of streamlined access and equity may result instead in the development of barriers and more inequity. Growing old clearly means more hard work, and more adjustment.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The type of leadership Australians want

    • Paul Jensen
    • 21 September 2015
    5 Comments

    Malcolm Turnbull's main justification for challenging Tony Abbott was that the former PM was not capable of providing the economic leadership the nation needs. Abbott's leadership style emphasised strength rather than consultation, which is what he thought people wanted. What they actually wanted was revealed in a recent survey conducted by Swinburne University.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How Abbott was defeated by his own pugnaciousness

    • Andrew Thackrah
    • 15 September 2015
    24 Comments

    After Malcolm Turnbull announced on Monday afternoon that he was challenging Tony Abbott for the LIberal leadership, commentators were unanimous in their speculation that Abbott would not give up the prime ministership without a fight. The pugnaciousness that characterised his political style was similarly part of the playbook of Canadian PM Stephen Harper, who was also seen to base his interaction with political adversaries on their 'standing' rather than debating policy. In Abbott's case this turned out to be a fatal flaw.

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  • The politics of popular evil and untrendy truth

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 September 2015
    1 Comment

    If you want to form government in Australia and if you want to lead the Australian people to be more generous, making more places available for refugees to resettle permanently in Australia, you first have to stop the boats. If you want to restore some equity to the means of choosing only some tens of thousands of refugees per annum for permanent residence in Australia from the tens of millions of people displaced in the world, you need to secure the borders. The untrendy truth is that not all asylum seekers have the right to enter Australia but that those who are in direct flight from persecution whether that be in Sri Lanka or Indonesia do, and that it is possible fairly readily (and even on the high seas) to draw a distinction between those in direct flight and those engaged in secondary movement understandably dissatisfied with the level of protection and the transparency of processing in transit countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The popular evil is that political

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why we aren't more shocked by Nauru revelations

    • Tim Robertson
    • 05 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

    Australia's low road to the Security State

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 April 2015
    33 Comments

    Only extremists regard Muslims as enemies. But if a populist and incompetent government were to scapegoat them and declare them to be enemies, as was done to asylum seekers, it would be a short step to build on the laws already introduced with further discriminatory legislation. That in turn would lessen the protections under the law that other groups would enjoy. Of course, this could never happen in Australia. But that is what they once said in Germany, Chile and South Africa.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Corruption and atonement in NSW

    • John Warhurst
    • 26 August 2014
    5 Comments

    Both sides of NSW politics claim to have turned over a new leaf and support tough new lobbying regulations, separating paid lobbyists from party office-holding, and increased transparency surrounding all dealings with ministers. But at the heart of the shambles are not commercial lobbyists but personal and institutional ethical failure, often driven by the lure of self-interest and advantage whether it is in getting elected or in feathering their own nest.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The unjustified secrecy of the Abbott Government

    • Jack Maxwell
    • 11 August 2014
    17 Comments

    Liberal democracies keep secrecy in check. Where secrecy is justified, this justification should itself be public. The Abbott Government has withheld important information from the public on questionable grounds, and it has shielded itself from criticism by stifling debate on whether that secrecy is justified.

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