section: Australia

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

  • AUSTRALIA

    Mannix, master conjurer in the cause of the underdog

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 March 2015
    15 Comments

    Daniel Mannix, who was Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne 1917-63, knew how to control an audience and shift the perception of events. He argued fiercely against conscription in the 1917 Referendum, and railed against the exploitation of struggling workers. On finishing his new biography, I imagined a meeting between him and Pope Francis, both masters of public symbols with a disdain for church clericalism and sanctimonious speech.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stepping on to mandatory data retention's slippery slope

    • Fatima Measham
    • 25 March 2015
    6 Comments

    Mandatory data retention was a bad idea when it was originally floated during a Gillard Government inquiry. It is a worse idea now, and is set to become law for political reasons, not because it has been properly scrutinised. There are important questions that we should be asking, and we should not let ourselves be put off from doing this if we don’t know the difference between data and metadata (there is none).

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia no longer a global Good Samaritan

    • Michael Mullins
    • 23 March 2015
    6 Comments

    It's a pity that Australia's ongoing emergency aid to other nations was tainted by the Prime Minister's suggestion Indonesia should grant clemency to Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran because Australia had provided $1 billion after the 2004 tsunami. Now that Vanuatu has been devastated by Cyclone Pam, its people and government might wonder what we expect in exchange for our $5 million initial commitment and promised follow up assistance in the form of medical staff and rescue personnel.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The enigma of Malcolm Fraser

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Through the rough and tumble of politics, Fraser helped the country find true north on issues relating to race and human rights. His friendship with Gough Whitlam has been one of the great signs in Australian public life that human decency and shared commitment to noble ideals can transcend even the most entrenched political animosities cultivated across the despatch box. May he rest in peace.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Confessions of a grumpy old man

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 March 2015
    18 Comments

    It is becoming common to describe people who offer political, economic and cultural comment in the mainstream media as Grumpy Old Men. It is a nice insult that warms the hearts of those of us whose commentary is confined to the fringe media. 'But, wait a moment', my inner self interrupts, 'Are you really so very different?' To blot out the sound of silent scepticism, I rush on, 'There is Grumpy and grumpy. There is surely a difference ...'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Political roadblock stalls remote kidney disease treatment

    • Brian Stacey
    • 18 March 2015
    6 Comments

    In 2011 the Commonwealth set aside $10 million for the NT Government to provide for dialysis patients from remote communities in Central Australia. But the funds remain in the Commonwealth’s bank account, while the need is acute. Community organisations and others including Vinnies and Caritas are helping, but it’s shameful that the needs of one of Australia’s most vulnerable groups are still unmet long after funding has been allocated.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Young people not supported after they leave care

    • Philip Mendes
    • 17 March 2015
    2 Comments

    There are currently two national inquiries into the experiences of children in out-of-home care. Yet neither is specifically exploring what happens to young people transitioning from care. This is like a football team putting in a good performance in the first half but neglecting the second, which decides the outcome.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Blessed are the taxpayers in Abbott's Australia

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 16 March 2015
    39 Comments

    In relation to the future of remote Aboriginal communities in WA, the Prime Minister said: 'It is not the job of the taxpayer to subsidise particular lifestyle choices.'  The statement raises this question: on whose behalf does the government govern? The logical response is: the taxpayer. We must then ask whether it works on a sliding scale – the more tax you pay, the more the government attends to your needs.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remote 'lifestyle choices' need careful consideration

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 13 March 2015
    13 Comments

    The PM's cavalier use of the term 'lifestyle choice' is totally inappropriate when referring to the people who will be affected by the proposed closures of remote Aboriginal communities. Undeniably it is expensive to sustain remote living, and effective schooling and health services are unfeasible. But we must avoid arbitrary decision-making, and implicit disparagement of people in remote communities.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Medicare co-payment failed to understand illness as a relationship

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 March 2015
    8 Comments

    The Medicare co-payment was not accepted because it was seen as an altogether naked attempt by the Government to control health expenditure without concern for people and their relationships. Chronically ill people move from ordinary human society into the impersonal world of medical science and health bureaucracy, and their condition involves testing changes in relationships, both at a personal level and with institutions.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nuclear weapons the biggest threat to our security

    • Sue Wareham
    • 12 March 2015
    9 Comments

    Competing for attention with the Gallipoli landing centenary is this year’s 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. New evidence suggests that even a nuclear war involving a very small fraction of the world’s arsenals would result in the atmospheric accumulation of so much particulate matter from burning cities that there would be reduced sunlight, agricultural decline and famine affecting possibly two billion people.   

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Q&A fails smart women

    • Moira Rayner
    • 11 March 2015
    23 Comments

    Annabel Crabb chaired it all really well, but the next day I realised that not only our Foreign Minister, but not one panelist, got one question about their extraordinary achievements. Bishop was managing partner of a big law firm. She has unique experiences and must have views on the world’s problems and their impact on Australia. But nobody asked.

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