section: Australia

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

  • AUSTRALIA

    Eddie Obeid's need for legal aid

    • Michael Mullins
    • 11 November 2013
    4 Comments

    Corrupt former NSW Labor minister Eddie Obeid has sought public funds to cover his legal fees. It is true that the system provides assistance to a wide range of claimants, and he is entitled to make his case. But many of those who are genuinely disadvantaged really do need legal assistance but they fail to seek it because — unlike Obeid — they are not skilled and practised at helping themselves.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    War fires should be left to smoulder

    • David Stephens
    • 11 November 2013
    12 Comments

    Remembrance Day has always been for Australians a quieter affair than Anzac Day, particularly as Anzac Day in recent years has taken on a brassy, bragging style. The historian Ken Inglis described Anzac as Australia's civil religion. Although we were the first country anywhere to come together under a national constitution after a mass popular vote, we downplay Federation and venerate instead a failed military campaign in Turkey in 1915.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The case for funding legal services with public money

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 November 2013
    3 Comments

    From a liberal perspective the use of public money to fund free legal services to individuals is inherently undesirable. Even if the contracts are awarded under competitive tendering, the funding of the services is a distortion in the market. Ideally they should be left to the market to provide. And by definition they are less efficient than commercial organisations disciplined by a free and competitive market.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What the postmaster saw

    • Brian Matthews
    • 08 November 2013
    7 Comments

    Within an hour the shop is humming with talk and movement. Mac is courteous, but has some iron rules. A woman who talks ceaselessly into her mobile phone receives a steely glare and silence. Someone with both ears plugged into his iPod finds Mac has also suddenly gone deaf. Each new arrival is threaded into a sort of endless conversation which functions at two levels — greetings to the customer and side-of-the-mouth asides to me.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Coalition's car kill is crazy

    • Tony Kevin
    • 08 November 2013
    23 Comments

    The Coalition's impending destruction of the Australian car industry by calculated public stalling of decisions on government assistance is shaping up as its most disastrous high-visibility policy blunder. This industry — but none other — is to be wilfully abandoned as a victim of rigid free-market economic ideologies. It does not make sense, in economic, social or national security terms. This is Australia's version of US Tea Party budget brinkmanship.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cackling geese and taxes

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 November 2013
    23 Comments

    Whenever public funds are made available for frowned upon projects they are described as taxpayers' money. When I hear the phrase roll from critics' lips, I imagine taxpayers as prune faced and laser lipped, or like children watching with beady eyes as their mother cuts the cake, ready to howl if their slice of the cake is the smaller half by a crumb or two. Underneath the phrase usually lies a view of life in which the market is a sacred site.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor's light on the hill

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 November 2013
    7 Comments

    'There have been innumerable post-mortems and words of advice as to how the party with new structures, election rules, and policies can pick itself up, dust off, and win the next election. Sadly some of those post-mortems have come with more coatings of spite and loathing. It is no part of my role in the public square as a Catholic priest to offer such advice.' Frank Brennan's address to the Bathurst Panthers Club, 2 November 2013.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Big and little crooks of politics

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 November 2013
    12 Comments

    Unethical misconduct by public figures, proven and alleged, is in the public eye almost daily. No one is above suspicion, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Is it a case of a few bad apples or are there systemic problems? There are levels of seriousness in these cases and it is helpful to disaggregate them to keep a sense of perspective.

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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

    ACT makes a dog's breakfast of marriage equality

    • Frank Brennan
    • 29 October 2013
    47 Comments

    Marriage equality advocates are pursuing the issue at a state level in the hope of pressuring the Commonwealth. In the process they risk blowing apart the national coherence of marriage laws put in place in 1961. The marriage equality question is best resolved by the Australian Parliament exercising a conscience vote. Marriage is too precious a social institution to be put in the mix of a dog's breakfast.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ja'mie's disability

    • Michael Mullins
    • 28 October 2013
    18 Comments

    TV viewers are alarmed that they can so easily identify with Ja'mie King, Chris Lilley's studiously unlikeable comic creation in ABC1's Ja'mie: Private School Girl. In a previous incarnation, Ja'mie was sponsoring underprivileged Third World children about whom she knew little and cared less. People like Ja'mie have a pathological disability to feel the needs of others.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human stories of criminal monsters

    • Joe Caddy
    • 25 October 2013
    19 Comments

    For 11 years I worked as a chaplain in a maximum security prison. I would meet inmates who were accused of serious crimes that had shocked the community. In coming to know those who stood accused I came to see that they too had a story. More often than not it included enormous deprivation and sadness. They had relationships that they cherished, and I never met anyone who in their heart did not want their circumstances to be better.

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