keywords: Senate Inquiry

  • RELIGION

    Religion and human rights

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 July 2018
    4 Comments

    'I voted 'yes' in last year's ABS survey on same sex marriage. As a priest, I was prepared to explain why I was voting 'yes' during the campaign. I voted 'yes', in part because I thought that the outcome was inevitable. But also, I thought that full civil recognition of such relationships was an idea whose time had come.' — Frank Brennan, 2018 Castan Centre Human Rights Conference

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget slights domestic violence services

    • Eliza Berlage
    • 15 May 2018
    6 Comments

    Every year around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, politicians with white ribbons pinned to their suits deliver passionate speeches about protecting women from domestic violence. But when it comes to implementing life saving measures, their lack of action speaks louder than words.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Newstart needs a new start

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 May 2018
    12 Comments

    The Turnbull government holds the view that tax relief for companies and middle-income earners is necessary to improve the economic prosperity of Australia, offering a financial hand up to households struggling to pay their bills. For those on Newstart, though, those same increased costs of living are being all but ignored.

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  • RELIGION

    Same sex marriage and freedom of religion

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 November 2017
    28 Comments

    Wednesday will be a day of celebration for those wanting a 'Yes' vote. It should also be a day when we Australians recommit ourselves to respect for all citizens, especially those whose beliefs differ from our own. Our politicians led us into this divisive campaign. Now they need to lead us out of it.

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  • RELIGION

    Seeking a true new start for all job seekers and workers

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 November 2017

    'We need to recommit to work for all those who are able and willing. We need to recommit to social assistance for all those who are not able. We need to ensure that a life of frugal dignity is within the grasp of all citizens.' 2017 Rerum Novarum Oration by Fr Frank Brennan SJ

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The many failures of our wild welfare regime

    • Amelia Paxman
    • 23 October 2017
    9 Comments

    Increasing the feelings of shame of being unemployed and restricting freedoms doesn't create more jobs and only grinds down a vulnerable group who are subsisting on a meagre payment. But the government is yet to show any meaningful concern over the significant risks of these draconian welfare policies.

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  • MEDIA

    The sad history of Australian media reform

    • Andrew Dodd
    • 19 September 2017
    5 Comments

    The big media players eventually get what they want by wearing down the government of the day and latching on to whatever opportunity comes their way. This month the government handed them the reform they've long craved while Xenophon attempted to win some concessions. We can assume Australia's media market will now become more concentrated. What we don't know is whether Xenophon's trade offs will do enough to protect public interest journalism and media diversity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Marriage equality postal vote further erodes democracy

    • Hayley Conway
    • 01 September 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

    Data, distrust, and the disastrous My Health Record

    • Amy Coopes
    • 06 July 2017
    7 Comments

    Plagued by sluggish uptake, clinician reticence and a substantial privacy backlash, the $1.2 billion My Health Record has proven, thus far, something of a lemon. The putative benefits of an electronic health record have been expounded at length by the government. But for success there must be buy-in, and for buy-in, there must be trust, according to the Productivity Commission. Both are lacking, and it is important to consider why.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The misuse of migrant labour in our backyard

    • Sayomi Ariyawansa
    • 24 March 2017
    5 Comments

    In 2015, Four Corners exposed the misuse of migrant labour in Australian horticulture. It found evidence that the labour hire providers routinely underpaid these workers. Once working on-site, some of these workers were required to work excessive hours and endure unsafe conditions. There is great potential for a licensing scheme to bring a degree of regulation. But there are complex reasons behind the prevalence of migrant worker exploitation in the industry, and a licensing scheme is no cure-all.

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  • RELIGION

    Let's amend 18C to say what it means

    • Frank Brennan
    • 14 March 2017
    24 Comments

    The debate over section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (18C) has gone on for far too long. It's time to bring it to a close. To date, I have been silent in the present debate, in part because I was a critic of such legal provisions when they were first proposed in 1992 and again in 1994. I have since been convinced that a provision like 18C could be designed to target racial vilification, leaving offensive insults beyond the reach of the law in a robust democracy committed to freedom of speech.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Seven warnings for Queensland as it considers a human rights act

    • Frank Brennan
    • 31 October 2016
    3 Comments

    'First warning: if you're going to be serious about a Human Rights Act, make sure that your government departments are sufficiently resourced and encouraged to produce meaningful statements of compatibility. Second warning, especially in a unicameral legislature: make sure that your parliamentary committee on human rights has sufficient muscle and status to arrest the progress of any bill until it has been thoroughly scrutinised for human rights compliance.' Frank Brennan's remarks at the Fringe Conference of the 2016 Queensland ALP Convention.

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