section: Australia

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

  • AUSTRALIA

    Empowered shock jocks must also be accountable

    • Michael Mullins
    • 10 March 2014
    9 Comments

    The Federal Government plans to change the Racial Discrimination Act to give preference to free speech over protecting individuals and groups from vilification. It is not surprising that there is strong media support for the changes, as they will give investigative reporters and shock jocks alike the legislative freedom they need to do their job. But the Government must include robust legislation to penalise those who get their facts wrong.

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott-whacking Greens senator's emotional politics

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 07 March 2014
    7 Comments

    Greens Senator Scott Ludlam this week excoriated Tony Abbott, homing in on Abbott's politics of fear. Whatever you think of the speech, its implication was that politics includes a struggle over the cultivation, control and directing of public emotions. While our instinct is to think of our politics in terms of discussion and consensus, the public sphere also includes forms of expression beyond speech, such as ritual, recognition and mourning.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    West wasting breath huffing and puffing over Crimea

    • Tony Kevin
    • 05 March 2014
    18 Comments

    Tony Abbott's 'We warn the Czar' statements were ludicrously over-the-top, though clearly he was responding to a Washington appeal to friendly allies to say something. I hope Australia will not continue to overplay its hand in the Security Council. There is no point in gratuitously offending Moscow on an issue that is outside our strategic area of interest and raises no human rights concerns whatsoever.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In the half-light of insider politics

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 March 2014
    3 Comments

    The general lessons from the conflict of interest that claimed Alastair Furnival, chief of staff to Assistant Health Minister Senator Fiona Nash, are about the often-hidden world of political insiders. The numbers of Coalition aligned lobbyists has grown greatly, and include many former senior Howard Government ministers. But Labor supporters should not feel smug. There are plenty of examples on that side of politics, too.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ugly nationalism in support for Qantas bailout

    • Michael Mullins
    • 03 March 2014
    10 Comments

    In the face of the Federal Government's resolve to be unemotional in its attitude to financial assistance for Qantas, we have Bill Shorten warning us against 'waving goodbye to an Australian icon'. Underlying mention of Qantas as an 'Australian icon' could be the sentiment associated with the 1990s resurgence of nationalism and its racist undertones associated with Pauline Hanson.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The dawning of the Age of Unpleasantness

    • Brian Matthews
    • 28 February 2014
    7 Comments

    Joe Hockey's idea of an age of entitlement is shallow and facile. Announcing the end of an 'age' is just another way of obscuring the truth that you haven't the faintest idea what the hell is going on, or that you suspect what's going on but not how to influence, redirect or stop it. So you fall back on this persuasive notion of a great shift in the times. The next 'age' for those whose entitlement is disappearing will be marked by unpleasantness.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Time for Labor to disown PNG solution

    • Tony Kevin
    • 28 February 2014
    22 Comments

    Over the past week of Parliament, we have seen the strange and distressing spectacle of Labor timidly criticising the Government's handling of the events on Manus Island. If it were brave enough, Labor could use these events as a trigger for policy change. To call for the Manus centre to close, and for detention and processing centres in Australia to reopen, would be the moral policy for Labor at this point.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    $6 co-payment not what the doctor ordered

    • Michael Mullins
    • 24 February 2014
    22 Comments

    Health minister Peter Dutton has refused to dismiss the possibility that a $6 ‘co-payment’ for GP visits could be announced in the May Federal Budget. This would be no more than a quick and easy temporary fix that would penalise ordinary Australians. It would simply defer the government's need to tackle the vested interests that are arguably the major cause of the inefficiencies that have made our health care system prohibitively expensive.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Too little law in Newman's Queensland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 February 2014
    5 Comments

    'Three decades on, Queensland once again has a premier who finds some political advantage in skewing the balance between law and order, impugning the integrity and vocation of the legal profession. He has described defence lawyers as hired guns.' Professor Frank Brennan SJ addresses the Queensland Law Society Dinner, 30 years on from his book Too Much Order with Too Little Law.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Morrison's law of intended consequences

    • Tony Kevin
    • 21 February 2014
    36 Comments

    Manus is not subject to Australian law and public accountability safeguards, or only very imperfectly. Cover-up of atrocity is a lot easier in Manus than it would be in an Australian detention centre. And this of course is what was intended. Manus is part of the asylum-seeker deterrent system. The fear of death at sea, and the fear of death by security force brutalisation at Manus, are intended to deter asylum-seeker voyages. To stop the boats.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Toxic politics endure as Morrison gets nosy with the Navy

    • Ray Cassin
    • 19 February 2014
    22 Comments

    Scott Morrison is the first Immigration Minister to inspect ADF facilities. There has always been cooperation between the Defence Force and other government agencies, but Operation Sovereign Borders has radically changed the playing field. Indonesia's politicians might relish the irony of seeing in Australia an increasing interpenetration of military and civilian hierarchies — something that Australians used to see as a fault in Indonesia.

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