section: Australia

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

  • AUSTRALIA

    Do we have a right to assisted suicide?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 05 November 2014
    38 Comments

    Physician assisted suicide and euthanasia are back, in the courts of Canada and the UK, and in the parliaments of the UK and Australia. The Australian Senate is considering the Greens' formulation of a broad and fuzzy law that goes further than UK proposals in that it would allow Dr Philip Nitschke to administer a fatal injection.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Australian Christian Lobby will not go away

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 November 2014
    14 Comments

    The ACL's recent national conference was held in Canberra and featured Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as keynote speaker. Appearances at the lobby's conferences have become something of a political rite of passage in recent years. Despite serious academic criticism from Professor Rodney Smith of the University of Sydney questioning its claims to political influence, it is now established in the top echelon of lobbying groups.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Medibank Private is not the government's to sell

    • Michael Mullins
    • 03 November 2014
    12 Comments

    There has been a rush to purchase shares in Medibank Private since the Federal Government's sale offer opened last Tuesday. Past sales of government owned corporations such as Telstra have produced windfall profits for cashed up Australians able to invest. But what about the rights of the policy holders who were told they were members with ownership of equity in the company?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Who wants to be a capitalist?

    • Moira Rayner
    • 31 October 2014
    11 Comments

    Affordable housing ought to be a hot election issue. Sadly it’s not a government priority, with ordinary people being taught to be entitled to look to capital growth in bricks and mortar as the best path to financial security. That is producing a housing price bubble and public housing is being squeezed. As a result, an increasing number of Australians can’t afford to put a roof over their head.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Looking for depth in the selfie

    • Ellena Savage
    • 31 October 2014
    4 Comments

    I take a lot of selfies. Some of them are silly, coquettish, dramatic. Others are just my face looking into my computer, sitting where I work, dressed in work clothes. They mean more or less nothing. They’re just an inane collection of data on my laptop, or too easy self-portraits. Nothing means nothing, but it says something about the culture. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Weighing ANU's coal play

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 October 2014
    11 Comments

    When the ANU sold its shares in coal companies recently, it received a mixed response. Critics said investment decisions should be made solely on financial grounds. But investing is done by human beings, who should be guided by their effects of their investment on other human beings, not simply by the profit it brings them. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Overplaying the Immigration Minister's trump card

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 29 October 2014
    7 Comments

    Former Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans once expressed concern about how much personal power was vested in his position when making decisions about particular cases. The current Minister, on the other hand, is trying to increase the number of such powers, and is much more likely to use the ministerial trump card to avoid judicial scrutiny. In a parliamentary system that relies on the checks and balances between the Parliament, Executive and Judiciary, one arm of government should not be able to overrule another.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Toleration must include understanding

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 24 October 2014
    7 Comments

    The repeal of the burka ban in parliament followed woeful comments from ignorant senators and an obvious lack of real government consultation with Australia’s Muslim communities, spotlighted an embarrassing level of illiteracy with regard to Islam. We need to move beyond a token religious ‘tolerance’ that is paired with incomprehension of the religious other, towards promoting a more engaged understanding that entails some comprehension of how religious and other cultural traditions fit together. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cash for refugees shames both Australia and Cambodia

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 October 2014
    24 Comments

    Cambodia's agreement with Australia to receive refugees from Nauru is moving to implementation. The UN and other critics are saying it breaches Australia’s responsibility to provide protection for refugees. Clearly the Australian Government is doing it for the political benefit and Cambodia is in it for the money. It can be compared to surrogacy agreements in which poor Asian women are paid to bear children for wealthy Australian couples. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Memories of Gough

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 October 2014
    44 Comments

    What he did for me, he did for countless other Australians who dreamt of a better world and a nobler Australia. Even his political opponents are forever in his debt for having elevated the national vision and for having given us a more complete and generous image of ourselves. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Synod affirms Francis' vision of church governance

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 October 2014
    15 Comments

    The Synod was reported in some media as a defeat for Pope Francis at the hands of conservative bishops. Yet for one who had suffered a defeat, the Pope seemed remarkably buoyant at the end of the event. It's likely that he saw it as a victory for his vision of church governance, as it allowed participants to engage in open discussion in which nothing was put off bounds.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Church legally liable for pre-1996 child sexual abuse

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 October 2014
    47 Comments

    Reviewing Cardinal Pell's evidence to the Royal Commission in August, I have concluded that Catholics need to accept moral responsibility and legal liability for all child sexual abuse committed by clergy prior to 1996, regardless of what might be the moral or legal position after 1996 when improved measures for supervision and dismissal of errant clergy were put in place. 

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