keywords: Christopher Pyne

  • AUSTRALIA

    They call him backflipper, but Gonski's still sliding

    • Ray Cassin
    • 04 December 2013
    9 Comments

    The Education Minister Christopher Pyne has spun the latest developments on education funding reforms as having saved Gonski and achieved what Labor could not. But it is an achievement derived from surrendering oversight of how the money will be spent. If public schools continue to be the losers in the battle for funds, the reversals of the past fortnight will be remembered as the start of a slow burn for the Abbott Government.

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  • EDUCATION

    Pyne's Gonski shambles

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 02 December 2013
    20 Comments

    Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne is correct in saying that the Gonski scheme is a mess, but culpably wrong to use that fact to ditch the whole idea. The Gonski mess shows few of the actors concerned in a good light, and some, including Pyne himself, in a very poor one. Pyne's contribution to this debacle was to act as spoiler from the day the Gonski report was released. In that role he has so far adopted no less than four positions.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hockey's space cadet schemes

    • Ray Cassin
    • 30 October 2013
    17 Comments

    There is a bizarre and remorseless logic to some of Joe Hockey's proposals, such as the absorption of Centrelink by Australia Post and making Medibank Private responsible for delivering the services of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. ACTU president Ged Kearney described the Centrelink proposal as 'moving into space-cadet territory'. She's right: the space cadets are flying the ship now.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Politicians' Catholic background

    • Ray Cassin
    • 16 October 2013
    31 Comments

    It may be that the press gallery sees no significance in Shorten’s 'Catholic background' because he supports same-sex marriage and perhaps also some other things that bishops don’t like. Is the gallery’s view that his 'background' somehow didn’t 'take'? The truth is that these days even being a practising Catholic, rather than the nebulous 'of Catholic background', conveys nothing about the course a politician will choose on issues of conscience.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's 20 years of asylum seeker dog whistling

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 06 September 2013
    11 Comments

    Throughout the electoral fracas over boat arrivals, Tony Abbott has been keen to isolate Australia's border control challenges from any international context: in his terms they are 'Australia's problem'. He may deny it, but the Opposition Leader knows full well that the Australian discussion is part of an international debate about responses to people movement. A historical perspective helps to illuminate this.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The small-l liberal tradition of brutal border control

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 12 July 2013
    8 Comments

    Many on the left might shudder at the mention of Philip Ruddock or think that his views on migration control were extreme and 'illiberal'. But in fact his views rested on mainstream liberal ideas of limited freedom. In Australia the concepts offered by the liberal tradition have been employed by both sides of politics to give a 'reasonable' varnish to inhumane migration control policies.

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  • RELIGION

    How can the Catholic Church contribute to a better culture for life?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 March 2013
    3 Comments

    Change is upon the Church. Just recall the scene when the new pope emerged on the Vatican balcony. He appeared with none of the papal trimmings of office, and did not once did he refer to the papacy. Could something of this new papal style help Catholics engage more creatively with their fellow citizens? Text from Frank Brennan's lecture 'How Can the Catholic Church Contribute to a Better Culture for Life?'

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  • EDUCATION

    Villains of Australian education funding

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 24 August 2012
    6 Comments

    Teacher organisations have advocated for one sector rather than opposing the whole flawed structure. Catholic bishops have insisted on public subsidies for avowedly exclusive schools. Governments have adopted policies which have entrenched a socially counter-productive organisation of a major public institution. How many more generations has this scheme of things got left to run?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blaming Batman for gun violence

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 26 July 2012
    12 Comments

    As far as US politicians are concerned, blaming Batman for the massacre at Aurora is as good as hiding their heads in the sand. The larger issue is not violent entertainment, but gun control. Ironically, the Batman films take a decidedly thoughtful approach to violence in general, and gun violence in particular.

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  • EDUCATION

    50 years since Australia's 'most poisonous debate'

    • John Warhurst
    • 09 July 2012
    10 Comments

    Labor speechwriter Graham Freudenberg observed that ‘the oldest, deepest, most poisonous debate in Australia has been about government aid to church schools’. The most dramatic episode in the history of church state relations in Australia was the Goulburn schools strike, which took place 50 years ago this month.

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  • RELIGION

    Schooling for a more cohesive society

    • Frank Brennan
    • 19 March 2010
    4 Comments

    The challenges and opportunities are to fund equitably all networks in education and to ensure that robust morale and community engagement are hallmarks of all parts of the network, including state schools and emerging schools such as Muslim schools.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Opinion polls still point to a new Prime Minister

    • Jack Waterford
    • 25 October 2007
    2 Comments

    Jack Waterford writes that Australia is likely to have a new government by December 2007.

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