Search Results: Royal Commission

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Political donations reform is not so easy

    • Jack Maxwell
    • 28 July 2015
    5 Comments

    Political donations give privileged access to powerful public officials to those who are wealthy. But public funding does little to reduce parties’ reliance on private money and radical control measures can fall foul of the Constitution. A 2013 High Court judgment finding that a ban on donations infringed the constitutional freedom of political communication.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The problematic 'saving lives at sea' argument

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 27 July 2015
    35 Comments

    When refugee advocates criticise harsh policies such as boat turnbacks, they are confronted with claims that the measures are necessary for saving lives at sea. This justification has dominated the debate to the extent that any policy which further restricts refugee rights becomes justifiable on this ground. Imagine a proposal to ban cars because there were too many people killed and injured on the roads.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The depths of common cause between Australia and Nauru

    • Justin Glyn
    • 13 July 2015
    3 Comments

    In an impressive demonstration of how the revocation of citizenship can be made to work to defend the national reputation and lifestyle of a country against those who would wish it harm, five of the country's seven opposition MPs (in a 19 member Parliament) have had their passports cancelled for 'damaging the reputation and development of the country'. In Australia, at least for the moment, damaging of Government property will still be required for the Minister of Immigration and Border Protection to revoke citizenship under the new anti-terror provisions in s.35A of the Citizenship Act.

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  • Maintaining the humanity of the public square

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 30 June 2015
    3 Comments

    The phrase 'the public square' is peppered throughout Frank Brennan's work. The 1988 film Cinema Paradiso depicts the public square in a Sicilian village over 30 or so years, and its slow and subtle change from a place where human beings gather to laugh, play and discuss. Billboards and garish signs appear and it becomes a car park bereft of its humanity.

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  • Demanding justice for the small, still voices

    • Shannon and Kateena
    • 11 June 2015
    1 Comment

    'In chapter 12 "Respecting Autonomy and Protecting the Vulnerability of the Dying", Frank quoted my grandmother ... "Well there is not much to say about euthanasia is there? Just don't kill people and look after them while they are dying. What more can you say?" Well Grandma, I am not certain that I share your view. Just as Pope Francis did not know all the answers at age 36 years, neither do I.' Frank Brennan's nieces Shannon and Kateena help launch his new book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Royal Commission hatred is childish

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 June 2015
    30 Comments

    In my early years of secondary school there was a fine footballer in the senior team of another school. I had never met him, but I hated him with a passion. This memory returned in recent weeks when reading of the vilification of Adam Goodes, and some of the opinion pieces on the Ballarat sexual abuse. Hatred avoids questions by trying to obliterate those whose lives pose them to us.

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  • Call off the Cardinal Pell witch-hunt

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 June 2015
    22 Comments

    As we await Cardinal Pell's appearance before the Royal Commission, many Australians are baying for his blood. It is time for those of us in the Church to stop paying undue deference to those who exercise ecclesiastical power in a fashion at odds with contemporary notions of transparency and equality. It's also time for all commentators to play the ball, and not the man.

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  • The spirit of Redfern's Ted Kennedy a decade on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 May 2015
    7 Comments

    There are many things different from Ted's day, but he would have spoken of them without fear or compromise. A pope from the South who asks 'Who am I to judge?'; a 62 per cent Irish people's vote in favour of expanding the definition of civil marriage;  the long awaited beatification of Oscar Romero whose identification with the poor did not win immediate Vatican approval; the call by civic leaders for an Australian cardinal to return home and answer questions posed by a royal commission; and the election of a black US president.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Europe's more humane approach to on-water matters

    • Ellena Savage
    • 23 April 2015
    13 Comments

    Australian references to 'boat people' is simplistic and offensive. 'Queue jumper' inaccurate and moralising. Even the term 'asylum seeker' has become politically complicit. European coverage of this week's Mediterranean boat tragedy describes the victims and survivors simply as 'migrants', which is an open description of a person on a boat crossing borders.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The enigma of Malcolm Fraser

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Through the rough and tumble of politics, Fraser helped the country find true north on issues relating to race and human rights. His friendship with Gough Whitlam has been one of the great signs in Australian public life that human decency and shared commitment to noble ideals can transcend even the most entrenched political animosities cultivated across the despatch box. May he rest in peace.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Good race relations is not just an American thing, it's democracy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the voting right marches across the bridge in Selma, Alabama. The movie Selma is a great though imperfect study in race relations, which is still a hot issue in the US following the spate of police killings of young African American men. Good race relations still has a long way to go, as it does in Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's ill-judged crusade against red tape

    • Michael Mullins
    • 01 March 2015
    10 Comments

    The Prime Minister has been forced to announce a proposal to toughen food labelling laws after the recent outbreak of Hepatitis A was linked to 'Nannas' imported berries. This goes against his resolve to remove red tape that represents 'unnecessary' compliance costs for business. The government has fervently derided red tape and presented regulation as the enemy, without distinguishing between regulations that are redundant and those that are needed to protect the consumer.

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