keywords: Fast Track

  • AUSTRALIA

    Digital solutions to political reform

    • Kate Galloway
    • 13 April 2017
    8 Comments

    There are reasons to be concerned about the capacity of a government to govern in the current brief election cycle, and in dealing with what some describe as a 'hostile senate'. But the networked world we inhabit also calls into question the way in which politicians might be accountable to the public. Rather than focusing on changes to a system of governance derived from a different era, we should be asking what are the implications of emergent technologies on the way in which we are governed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Barbers of Mauritius and inner Sydney

    • Bernard Appassamy
    • 30 January 2017
    3 Comments

    I grew up terrified of my father's barber, Andre. He announced his arrival by ringing the bell of his black Raleigh bicycle at our gate. I was dragged to the chair where the towel was passed on to me. Andre did his best to keep his calm with me. I must have tested his nerves to a limit when he told me of the day he so badly severed one ear of a young boy who wouldn't sit still that a pig's ear had to be stitched on in replacement. 'I don't believe you,' I replied, but sat frozen from thereon.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Bread and circuses in modern Australia and America

    • Julie Davies
    • 24 January 2017
    11 Comments

    I can understand the Trump phenomenon. Hard-working Americans and many Australians are blaming various minorities as responsible for their decline. They are being blinded to the real culprits: our own governments and their wealthy backers. Juvenal's 'bread and circuses', designed to keep the people docile and distracted in Ancient Rome, have been updated to Maccas and manufactured news. And hatred. Are we so easily manipulated? Is the American model the future Australia wants for itself?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Turnbull's boat ban is crazy and cruel

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 03 November 2016
    20 Comments

    'Will this affect my case?' Hassan was worried about the survey that said nearly 50 per cent of Australians wanted to ban Muslims from migrating to Australia. I was working on his protection visa. He had a strong case. 'No,' I replied. Like any large religion, in Islam there are many variations in practice and beliefs, influenced by cultural and historical events. To simply ban them all is a crazy option. You do not ban everyone just because a minority are involved in criminal activity. Or so I thought.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seeker's long wait for judgement day

    • Shira Sebban
    • 18 October 2016
    12 Comments

    Finally he is having his day in court. After 13 months languishing in limbo in immigration detention, he has been given the opportunity to be heard. Hopefully, it won't be long now before his case is determined and his torment resolved. Or so I thought. But in today's Australia, asylum seekers are not treated the same way as you or me. I meet him not as originally planned in the courtroom itself, but in the bowels of the building where he has been confined for the second day in a row to a tiny cell.

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  • RELIGION

    Time to defuse Nauru and Manus Island time bombs

    • Frank Brennan
    • 16 August 2016
    23 Comments

    The suggestion that those camps need to remain filled in order to send a message to people smugglers is not only morally unacceptable; it is strategically questionable. Those proven to be refugees should be resettled as quickly as practicable, and that includes taking up New Zealand's offer of 150 places a year - just as John Howard did when he accepted New Zealand's offer to take 131 from the Tampa. It's time to act. Ongoing inaction will send a green light to desperate people to do desperate things.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Is your super doing dirty work?

    • Thea Ormerod
    • 21 June 2016
    4 Comments

    An accelerating number of institutions and individuals are moving their money out of planet-heating fossil fuels and into climate solutions. The total assets guided by some form of divestment policy was $3.4 trillion at 2 December last year, 50 times more than what was up for divestment 12 months earlier. It sounds like a lot, but it's a small amount compared to the $100 trillion-plus invested in the usual way. That's our money, in banks and super funds, managed funds and insurance companies.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A tale of two refugees

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 20 June 2016
    2 Comments

    Mustafa speaks very good English, and his professional skills are going to help him get work in Australia. He is not going to take an 'Australian's job' - he will work and contribute to the economy, as we all try to do. Ali's situation is far less certain. He came on a boat after being approved as a refugee by the UNHCR in Indonesia. He saw no movement in resettlement from Indonesia so he came to Australia. He is one of the thousands who, if they can prove their refugee case, only get a temporary visa.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Lonely lament of a stay-at-home mum

    • Suvi Mahonen
    • 01 June 2016
    5 Comments

    'Hi,' the text began. 'Just letting you know there's no pilates tonight. We're all going to The Hub to C an indie music jam. C U next week?' I put my phone down and stared numbly around my kitchen. Dirty dishes jammed the sink. My toddler's banana was smeared all over the fridge door, but I couldn't gather the energy to wipe it clean. I knew I was lucky to have everything I'd worked for - family, a new apartment, financial stability - but I also knew I had never felt so lonely. 'C U next week.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Good leaders need the confidence to listen

    • Esther Anatolitis
    • 24 May 2016
    13 Comments

    Universities and the CSIRO are attacked and funds cut while the government promotes an 'ideas boom'. Creative industries and the Australia Council are diminished and investment slashed while the government talks of an 'innovation agenda'. It takes confidence in your own skill as a decision-maker to recognise the expertise of others as something you don't share but can benefit from. Instead we see nervous leadership, too anxious to trust in those who can build that future.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Five reasons the LNP's carbon scare campaign is doomed

    • Greg Foyster
    • 03 May 2016
    6 Comments

    It was as if Australian politics had regressed four years overnight. No sooner had Labor released its new climate change plan than the Coalition was resuscitating Tony Abbott's 'carbon tax' line. The Coalition's attempt to revive the defining debate of the 2013 federal election won't work. As other commentators have noted, Labor's plan has been carefully crafted to avoid the carbon tax sledge. More importantly, external factors have changed to make a scare campaign less potent.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Paying for stopping the boats

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 29 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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