section: Australia

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Shaky surpluses and dirty nappies

    • Jen Vuk
    • 09 May 2012
    4 Comments

    You could you call it coincidence that the week I'm asked to write on budgets, ours blows out. I call it life. Such is the cyclic nature of our 1.5-incomes-and-two-kids lives that just when we think our savings are safe, a new enrolment fee is due, the kids' jeans are suddenly a size too small and I've run out of nappies.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Swan slights jobless

    • Paul O'Callaghan
    • 08 May 2012
    11 Comments

    When budgets are tight, governments seek savings by moving people from an expensive payment to cheaper payment categories. By moving a larger number of single parents from parenting payment to the cheaper Newstart allowance the Government will effectively remove $686 million out of the hands of low income families.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When humanity came second to research

    • Lyn Bender
    • 08 May 2012
    9 Comments

    The experimenters' intent was to observe the capacity of first year students to inflict pain by electrically shocking others. Many of the subjects were traumatised as though they had in fact committed acts of torture. Paradoxically the latest revelations may mean the researchers themselves need counselling.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Big media's NBN convergence challenge

    • Michael Mullins
    • 07 May 2012
    2 Comments

    The end of big media businesses such as Seven, Nine, Ten and the newspapers would be bad for media proprietors like Kerry Stokes and Rupert Murdoch, but not necessarily a great loss for the rest of us, given the NBN's empowerment of small media enterprises and the diversity that implies.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Erasure of an Aboriginal temple

    • Patti Miller
    • 03 May 2012
    21 Comments

    For thousands of years there was a temple on the banks of the Macquarie. A long avenue of trees carved with serpents, lightning, meteors and hieroglyphs led to a walled space where a giant human figure made of earth reclined. It was as important as the Acropolis or the temple of Horus. But it no longer exists. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Christine Milne's chance to scupper an Abbott Senate

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 May 2012
    25 Comments

    To prevent Tony Abbott from having total control of the Senate after the next election, the Greens need to attract votes from otherwise non-Labor voters rather than the easier task of picking up disappointed Labor defectors. The 15 per cent of Coalition-leaning Greens is generally forgotten altogether.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A tale of two refugee movement speeches

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 01 May 2012
    23 Comments

    Tony Abbott did not mention the term 'human rights' in his 3000 word speech to the Institute of Public Affairs on Friday. 'Illegal' appeared 11 times and 'asylum' once. In February, Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees gave a 3000 word speech to the Lowy Institute. A search of that speech finds 'human rights' five times, 'asylum' 21 times and no use of 'illegal'. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rupert Murdoch an example for older Australians

    • Michael Mullins
    • 30 April 2012
    20 Comments

    There is a lot not to admire about the business practices of Rupert Murdoch, but he stands tall as an elder who is able to maintain his stature in the face of great challenge. The Federal Government's new aged care blueprint has the potential to ensure that more Australians will retain their dignity in old age.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    To catch a despot

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 30 April 2012
    4 Comments

    Former Liberian president Charles Taylor's conviction by an international criminal court for crimes against humanity is the first conviction of a head of state since World War II. It does little to change the fact that it remains notoriously difficult to bring heads of state to trial for grave crimes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Unlocking the culture of clergy sex abuse

    • Michael Mullins
    • 23 April 2012
    27 Comments

    Victoria's parliamentary committee has much it could learn from Ireland's Murphy Report into clerical sex abuse, which identified the 'don't ask, don't tell' culture under which bishops did not talk about it even among themselves and were unaware of how widespread the problem was.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Greens moral vision safe in Milne's hands

    • Tony Kevin
    • 19 April 2012
    28 Comments

    Retiring Greens leader Bob Brown is not the avuncular teddy-bear politician some paint him as. He and new leader Christine Milne share the same steel and political acumen. The next promising generation of Greens leaders will be nurtured and grow under Milne's leadership. And there are many of them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fund facts about living with disability

    • Patricia Mowbray
    • 18 April 2012
    5 Comments

    At the end of each day, one of our three adult sons will ask, 'What's on tomorrow?' They don't ask this lightly. They have Down syndrome. Whether they participate in the community, go to work or remain at home depends on what funding we can access.

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