section: Australia

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

  • AUSTRALIA

    The contours of an extended child abuse royal commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 July 2014
    17 Comments

    The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses of Child Sexual Abuse has asked the Abbott Government for a two-year extension until December 2017 to complete its task. The good news is that the victims' groups seem to think they can wait that long, as anything sooner would be rushed.  The bad news is that we will all be waiting another three and a half years for answers about how to restructure institutions ensuring the better protection of children.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    An opportunity to invest in Australia's needy

    • Lin Hatfield Dodds
    • 02 July 2014
    9 Comments

    Australia's welfare system was designed for an era where men were the breadwinners and women worked outside the home only until marriage. Australia is a different place now, and the McClure review is an opportunity to update and simplify the system. But it must not confuse short-term cost-cutting with efficiency.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why the excluded are still waiting

    • John Falzon
    • 01 July 2014
    29 Comments

    The Government's McClure interim welfare report is predicated on the big lie that welfare is the problem and the market is the solution. The long wait of the excluded for some of the wealth and resources, for some of the hope to trickle down, is one of the most audacious con jobs in modern history. It is not misfortune. It is not a mistake. It is not the fault of the excluded. It is an attack against ordinary people who are made to bear the burden of inequality.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Emergency relief fall guys for a heartless government

    • Mike Bowden
    • 30 June 2014
    37 Comments

    A week ago I get a phone call from the CEO of Northern Territory Vinnies, for whom I am council secretary. Could I come in and sign a letter about emergency relief before the next council meeting? 'Of course.' The letter is produced and, being conscientious, I actually read it. The Federal Government is offering Darwin Vinnies additional ER funds for the rest of the year. And I stop. I am not comfortable.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abuse and corruption the Australian way

    • John Warhurst
    • 30 June 2014
    16 Comments

    We should open our eyes and take in what multiple government inquiries, among them the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, are telling us about Australian society. It is not enough to focus on just one; we should consider the revelations cumulatively. It is little exaggeration to say that almost no major institution in our society, public or private, has been left untouched. We should join the dots and cry.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's Australia beds American Calvinism

    • Lawrence Cross
    • 27 June 2014
    30 Comments

    While a number of Cabinet ministers are Christian, their policies seem to lack any Christian emphasis on caring for the poor and disadvantaged. America's interpretation of Christianity is heavily influenced by the doctrine of the theologian John Calvin, according to whom the rich who work hard for their wealth are preparing themselves for heaven, while the poor not only deserve their plight, but may well be abandoned by God.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The capitalist and the Pope share a common enemy

    • Michael Mullins
    • 23 June 2014
    6 Comments

    Earlier this month, Pope Francis once again blasted capitalism. But it is not true that all business leaders dismiss those who appear chronically unproductive. Thursday's Vinnies' CEO Sleepout included investment bankers and other capitalist 'true believers', and now venture capitalist Mark Carnegie is proposing a war against growing inequality and disengagement, as if he is on a unity ticket with the Pope.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    High Court backs ministerial power over asylum seekers

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 20 June 2014
    6 Comments

    Over the last few years the High Court has made several decisions which found the Government wanting when making decisions regarding asylum seekers. Inevitably the cases are decided on the basis of whether a power was correctly applied or interpreted. Sometimes the results favoured asylum seekers, sometimes they upheld the position of the Government. A case this week in which the applicant lost may have significant consequences.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bishop's aid crusade must heed the poor

    • Paul O'Callaghan
    • 20 June 2014
    3 Comments

    Pope Francis and Julie Bishop both spoke this week, with passion and within days of each other, about how to address poverty in the world's poorest countries. Bishop launched a framework of new performance benchmarks, and her desire to improve accountability and transparency in Australia's aid program is to be commended. Hopefully the framework holds the voices of the poor and marginalised at its centre.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    No, Mr Hockey, the Budget is not fair

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 June 2014
    28 Comments

    Many Australians, myself included, believed that the Federal Budget was unfair. So Treasurer Joe Hockey's recent speech in defence of its fairness offers a welcome challenge. Hockey is right to insist that fairness can co-exist with gradations of wealth within society. But fairness is incompatible with gross disparity of wealth because the concentration of wealth in the hands of few people and corporations destroys equality of opportunity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Law disorder in Campbell Newman's Queensland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 June 2014
    11 Comments

    All is not well in the Sunshine State, where Premier Newman is running a strong 'law and order' line. Judges are used to politicians running 'law and order' lines, but enjoy independence from the executive government once appointed. The risky part is the sequence of events associated with the appointment. The naming of Tim Carmody as the state's chief justice has made a mockery of the transparency and openness of this process.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's eating Syria and Iraq

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 17 June 2014
    11 Comments

    In October 2013, Jesuit Fr Frans van der Lugt wrote about the suffering of the besieged people of Homs in Syria: 'Despite these difficulties, we keep grasping onto hope.' On 7 April 2014 he was executed outside his home. The rout of Iraqi forces in Mosul by the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant must be a worry to the Iraqi authorities and the US and Western countries that have invested so much in the new post Saddam Iraq.

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