section: Australia

There are more than 200 results, only the first 200 are displayed here.

  • AUSTRALIA

    Freedom of expression for the rest of us

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 04 April 2014
    6 Comments

    How ironic that, even as Attorney General Brandis ensures the rights of 'bigots', the rest of us find our own rights under threat. Liberal state governments continue to roll out laws that affect the more marginalised and less privileged among us. Victoria's new 'anti-protest' laws and Queensland's 'anti-bikie' laws threaten public protest and assembly, which for most of us is how we exercise our freedom of expression.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Refugee's march of thanks

    • Maureen O'Brien
    • 04 April 2014
    7 Comments

    Three members of Tri's family made it to the open sea in a wooden boat with 65 others. They encountered storms and shipwrecks, and pirates who raped the women and tortured and robbed the others. Eventually they were handed over to UN troops, who took them to a refugee camp in Malaysia. Tri's story is about trauma, but mostly his emphasis is on the welcome and kindness the family received in Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Count the cost of refugee legal aid 'savings'

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 02 April 2014
    8 Comments

    Despite presenting the end of taxpayer-funded immigration advice to 'illegal boat arrivals' as a cost-saving measure, Scott Morrison's announcement demonstrates once again the Government's policy of punishment for those who come on boats without a visa. As an immigration lawyer who does not do any cases that are government funded, in theory I should applaud this decision, as it means possibly more clients. Instead I am appalled.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor needs the Liberal Left

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 April 2014
    6 Comments

    In a party in which conservatives are dominant, life is rarely easy for centrist Liberals. They are a cultural minority within their own party and can be criticised for rocking the boat when their party is on a roll. Those who are further to the left, including Labor and the Greens, should not just hope that the Liberal Left is heard loud and clear, but they should respect and nurture this strand of liberalism.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's killing the charities regulator?

    • Michael Mullins
    • 31 March 2014
    5 Comments

    The Federal Government is moving to abolish the body set up to protect and regulate the non-profit sector. Vinnies CEO John Falzon describes the action as 'ideological', while Melbourne Catholic education chief Stephen Elder sees it as an opportunity to spend more time raising money and delivering services. The Government must explain the policy imperatives driving it to dismantle such an extensively considered piece of legislation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rhyme and ruin in Tony Abbott's court

    • Brian Matthews
    • 28 March 2014
    11 Comments

    Thomas Wyatt, poet and prominent figure in the court of Henry VIII, found life there not only perilous but repugnant and dreamed of escape. There is much that Wyatt would recognise in the court of Tony Abbott: the obsessive secrecy, the suspicion of foreigners, the cruelty, the ecclesiastical connections, the dames and knights, the aggressive Anglophilia. At least he wouldn't have had to encode his unease in poetry.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's hip to be a bigot in radical Abbott's Australia

    • Ray Cassin
    • 28 March 2014
    23 Comments

    The Howard Government's radical-right tendencies emerged gradually. By contrast, the Abbott Government has already sent multiple signals that it is intent to radically remake the political fabric. While the restoration of knighthoods to the national honours system is merely a wacky emanation of the prime ministerial psyche, the proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act are corroding basic principles of constitutional democracy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cardinal Pell at the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 28 March 2014
    82 Comments

    As an institution, the Catholic Church has been dragged kicking and screaming. Cardinal Pell has been put through the wringer, though admittedly nowhere near to the same extent as was John Ellis when the Church decided to unleash the legal attack dogs on him in litigation which was euphemistically described as vigorous and strenuous.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    You don't have to be a communist to stand up for the poor

    • John Falzon
    • 27 March 2014
    16 Comments

    I reject the dystopian vision of an Australia where people experiencing poverty are made to endure expenditure cuts while the people who have the least need for assistance enjoy overly generous tax concessions. From time to time someone comes out of the woodwork and accuses me of being a communist but that's the least of my worries. What worries me is the myth that people living in poverty are to blame for their own situation. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bullying artists and the art of conversation

    • Michael Mullins
    • 17 March 2014
    6 Comments

    Arts minister George Brandis has accused artists of 'bullying' corporate heavyweight Transfield. The artists' recent ultimatum to the board of the Sydney Biennale threatens to kill the event and possibly the entire model of arts sponsorship in Australia. Both sides of the dispute have lost sight of the opportunity that networking between artists and sponsors offers for civilised conversation that leads to a better world for all.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What Minister Morrison is giving up for Lent

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 11 March 2014
    19 Comments

    When I was young, I remember being encouraged to give up lollies or chocolate for Lent. On the eve of the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday last week, the Immigration Minister announced he would be effectively giving up granting protection visas for refugees for the duration of Lent, and beyond, until 1 July.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fence-sitters key to asylum seeker success

    • Fatima Measham
    • 10 March 2014
    19 Comments

    After more than a decade of refugee advocacy, campaigns still cater to small 'l' liberals and progressives. They are of course critical to consolidating support for asylum seekers and sustaining political pressure. Yet the debate has become so polarised that it would seem as if the left has a monopoly on compassion. This is a serious campaign problem because it alienates those who might otherwise be allies.

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