section: Australia

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

  • AUSTRALIA

    Disruption of government business as a good

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 November 2014
    15 Comments

    President Obama stole the G20 show with his mesmerising Queensland University address, after having dominated APEC with Xi Jinping and their climate change agreement. Such unrelated events challenge the belief that agendas can be centrally controlled, and that good governance is constituted by discipline and sole ownership of the agenda. More recently, the Senate has managed to call the shots and give priority to human good over ideology.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sleazy private lives should not affect our judgment of professionals

    • Paul Begley
    • 26 November 2014
    9 Comments

    It's easy to be swayed in our assessment of people's professional competency by whether we find their private opinions and behaviour to our liking. Individuals like Sydney University Professor of English Barry Spurr and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Peter Slipper have had their reputations as professionals trashed even though their performance in their job has been rated highly. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Jacqui Lambie and wildcard senators are not rogues

    • Tony Kevin
    • 25 November 2014
    22 Comments

    Jacqui Lambie has resigned from the Palmer United Party, apologising to the nation for weeks of acrimonious sniping and instability in parliament. We can understand the hostility of the major parties, and even the Greens, to independent and PUP senators who took office mid-year. But it is not in their self-interest to try to exploit differences and to weaken and destabilise the newbie senators.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Unauthorised maritime arrivals don't have names

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 24 November 2014
    20 Comments

    I recently received a letter for Ali in which he was referred to only by his boat number and the term 'illegal maritime arrival (IMA)'. He was worn down by the long process of winning his case and being accepted as a refugee. His self-esteem was destroyed by a long period in immigration detention. His identity is now also gone. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The things you can't get for free

    • Michael Mullins
    • 24 November 2014
    7 Comments

    Thanks to Senators Jacqui Lambie and Ricky Muir, we can once again trust our financial advisers. There are some things that are worth paying for. If somebody else pays for something, it's likely that we will get what they want, not what we need.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The ABC is not a business

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 21 November 2014
    25 Comments

    Governments are  tempted to use budgetary accountability as a neat cover for corporatisation of public utilities. As public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS do not inhabit the same philosophical territory as Sky News or Channel 7. The ABC's cuts are based on an efficiency report prepared by a financial officer from the commercial media. It does not seem relevant that balanced budgets do not deliver educated audiences.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis celebrates a homeless man's 50th

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 November 2014
    29 Comments

    Last week the Pope's almsgiver installed showers in St Peter's Square, for people who are homeless. This followed his meeting a homeless man, discovering it was his 50th birthday, and inviting him to dinner in a local restaurant, only for the man to decline on the grounds he smelled. The gesture was seen to have Pope Francis’ finger prints all over it, and it illuminates the differences of perspective between him and other church leaders.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Doing good and being happy

    • Shira Sebban
    • 19 November 2014
    4 Comments

    People of faith seem able to find an opportunity for growth, spirituality and meaning in every good deed they do, apparently experiencing true happiness along the way. By way of contrast, emotional happiness is often dismissed as selfish, elusive and unpredictable. But focusing on 'what works for us', and connection through family, friendship and community, also allows us to find purpose, and to savour many happy moments along the way.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott ready to put G20 behind him

    • Tony Kevin
    • 18 November 2014
    4 Comments

    Abbott's best G20 moment was his closing media conference, where he gave an outlined the meeting's achievement of a 2.1 per cent global economic growth plan  over the next few years. But on two important matters – climate change and Ebola - the dynamic of the meeting got out of his control and produced outcomes clearly not to his liking. Abbott's counter-strategy – quite successful in retrospect – was to set media hounds running to the side-drama of Vladimir Putin. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't let Vlad's side show distract from the G20's purpose

    • Michael Mullins
    • 17 November 2014
    10 Comments

    The Murdoch press was reporting on Friday that Australian warships had been dispatched to 'intercept' the Russian flotilla 'steaming towards the G20 summit in Brisbane'. Serious heads needed to prevail for the G20 to maintain its relevance and Australia its credentials to host important events that do not concern sport. The Brisbane G20 had an opportunity build on the climate change action momentum established at APEC, or yield to the new climate deniers who don't accept that renewable energy is also good for economic growth.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hun Sen's Cambodia a mirage on the Mekong

    • Tony Kevin
    • 14 November 2014
    1 Comment

    Phnom Penh is a lively, bustling, often happy city of energetic and industrious people, with amazing growth statistics. In 2004 half of Cambodians lived in poverty, and by 2011 the figure had dropped to 20%. But this belies the terrible state of public health, the corruption in education, the abuse of human rights, and much more.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope's G20 hospital pass to Abbott

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 November 2014
    18 Comments

    The news that Pope Francis has written a letter to Tony Abbott makes one pause. It is usual for Popes to write such letters, and luckily this one is no shirtfront. Instead it will probably be treated as a hospital pass. The trouble with swerving away from hospital passes, though, is that the watchers may see you as cowardly.

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