section: Australia

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

  • 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why coal is not good for humanity

    • Bronwyn Lay
    • 21 October 2014
    19 Comments

    The French social scientist Bruno Latour referred to the 'uniquely Australian strategy of voluntary sleepwalking towards catastrophe'. His view conflicts with that of our prime minister, who said last week that coal is good for humanity. Abbott's thinking forgets that humanity lives within the earth's critical zone, a home that's not looking so good for humanity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The legal fiction that sealed Baby Ferouz's fate

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 21 October 2014
    8 Comments

    Successive Australian Governments have created fictions that aim to exclude asylum seekers. The latest example is the case of Baby Ferouz, whose protection visa application was refused in the Federal Circuit Court last week. Normally, a child born in Australia is considered to have the same visa as their parents. But Ferouz’s parents had no visa, so lawyers in Brisbane arranged for her to apply for a protection visa.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Red tape leaves Australia with compassion deficit

    • Michael Mullins
    • 20 October 2014
    14 Comments

    Australia has been unable to secure an ‘ironclad’ guarantee from a closer country that it would treat an Australian worker who contracted the Ebola virus in West Africa. Why would they open their hearts to West African Ebola victims and not to Australians?  Thinking that imposes red tape on Australian humanitarian workers with demands of ironclad guarantees defies the logic of compassion.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Quality childcare an investment in the future

    • Lin Hatfield Dodds
    • 17 October 2014
    4 Comments

    Children of the 1980s are likely to have been cared for full-time by a parent. But most of them are now combining parenting with paid employment as they become parents today. The Productivity Commission has been asked to make childcare and early learning services affordable and flexible, to ensure children don't get in the way of workforce participation. But the other priority, which is perhaps easier to ignore, has to do with the quality of care and learning offered. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fix poverty by getting to know a poor person

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 October 2014
    19 Comments

    Ultimately people will be prepared to accept responsibility for those who are poor only if they know them as persons and not as media fodder. If we do not have some personal acquaintance with the lives of people who are disadvantaged we shall come to see them as an abstraction or a problem to be solved.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Young people can't live on fresh air and sunshine

    • John Falzon
    • 13 October 2014
    35 Comments

    During Anti-Poverty Week we're asked to take the side of the people who are made to feel like they are nothing. We join those of us who believe in working towards the kind of society where vulnerability is respectfully shared and supported rather than brutally exploited. We believe that humanity will win against humiliation. 

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