section: Australia

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

  • AUSTRALIA

    Human Rights, the national interest and the will of the people

    • Frank Brennan
    • 11 April 2014
    1 Comment

    'Whether or not we have a bill of rights, much of our human rights jurisprudence remains partial, failing to extend rights equally to all. Once we investigate much of the contemporary discussion about human rights, we find that often the intended recipients of rights do not include all human beings but only those with certain capacities or those who share sufficient common attributes with the decision makers. It is always at the edges that there is real work for human rights discourse to do.' Frank Brennan's Blackfriars Lecture

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Palmer power! Lessons from the Senate by-election

    • Ray Cassin
    • 11 April 2014
    2 Comments

    The most insidious outcome of the WA Senate election is the bargaining power it has delivered to Clive Palmer, the Queensland mining magnate who dominates the party on which he has bestowed his name. He massively outspent all his rivals, raising yet again the question of whether limits should be placed on private financing of political campaigns. It is a question that, because of his newfound clout, will not be answered anytime soon.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Homeless young people need the means to flourish

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 April 2014
    13 Comments

    Curing homelessness is not simply a matter of finding homes for disadvantaged people. With backgrounds of family dysfunction, broken schooling, physical and mental illness and addiction, homeless young people come to the attention of many government departments. For all the good will involved, the effect of piecemeal interventions is to confuse young people who feel themselves the object of care, not the subject of their own growth.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The GST and Abbott's fair go for all

    • Michael Mullins
    • 07 April 2014
    7 Comments

    Federal Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson has called on the Government to increase the GST. In isolation this would hurt the poor and benefit the rich. But it could help the common good if it is part of a tax reform package that cuts tax avoidance strategies for high income earners, including superannuation concessions, negative gearing and trusts.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Harsh home truths for returned asylum seekers

    • Paul White
    • 07 April 2014
    13 Comments

    Returnees to the Congo have been harassed, imprisoned and tortured by state authorities. Some have disappeared altogether. Forced returnees to Sri Lanka are routinely detained and quite often suffer torture. Hazaras returned to Afghanistan are persecuted due to their ethnicity and their adherence to the Shi'a sect. Australia continues to forcibly return asylum seekers, placing them in tremendous danger, ignoring a 2000 Senate Committee recommendation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Freedom of expression for the rest of us

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 04 April 2014
    6 Comments

    How ironic that, even as Attorney General Brandis ensures the rights of 'bigots', the rest of us find our own rights under threat. Liberal state governments continue to roll out laws that affect the more marginalised and less privileged among us. Victoria's new 'anti-protest' laws and Queensland's 'anti-bikie' laws threaten public protest and assembly, which for most of us is how we exercise our freedom of expression.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Refugee's march of thanks

    • Maureen O'Brien
    • 04 April 2014
    7 Comments

    Three members of Tri's family made it to the open sea in a wooden boat with 65 others. They encountered storms and shipwrecks, and pirates who raped the women and tortured and robbed the others. Eventually they were handed over to UN troops, who took them to a refugee camp in Malaysia. Tri's story is about trauma, but mostly his emphasis is on the welcome and kindness the family received in Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Count the cost of refugee legal aid 'savings'

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 02 April 2014
    8 Comments

    Despite presenting the end of taxpayer-funded immigration advice to 'illegal boat arrivals' as a cost-saving measure, Scott Morrison's announcement demonstrates once again the Government's policy of punishment for those who come on boats without a visa. As an immigration lawyer who does not do any cases that are government funded, in theory I should applaud this decision, as it means possibly more clients. Instead I am appalled.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor needs the Liberal Left

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 April 2014
    6 Comments

    In a party in which conservatives are dominant, life is rarely easy for centrist Liberals. They are a cultural minority within their own party and can be criticised for rocking the boat when their party is on a roll. Those who are further to the left, including Labor and the Greens, should not just hope that the Liberal Left is heard loud and clear, but they should respect and nurture this strand of liberalism.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's killing the charities regulator?

    • Michael Mullins
    • 31 March 2014
    5 Comments

    The Federal Government is moving to abolish the body set up to protect and regulate the non-profit sector. Vinnies CEO John Falzon describes the action as 'ideological', while Melbourne Catholic education chief Stephen Elder sees it as an opportunity to spend more time raising money and delivering services. The Government must explain the policy imperatives driving it to dismantle such an extensively considered piece of legislation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rhyme and ruin in Tony Abbott's court

    • Brian Matthews
    • 28 March 2014
    11 Comments

    Thomas Wyatt, poet and prominent figure in the court of Henry VIII, found life there not only perilous but repugnant and dreamed of escape. There is much that Wyatt would recognise in the court of Tony Abbott: the obsessive secrecy, the suspicion of foreigners, the cruelty, the ecclesiastical connections, the dames and knights, the aggressive Anglophilia. At least he wouldn't have had to encode his unease in poetry.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's hip to be a bigot in radical Abbott's Australia

    • Ray Cassin
    • 28 March 2014
    23 Comments

    The Howard Government's radical-right tendencies emerged gradually. By contrast, the Abbott Government has already sent multiple signals that it is intent to radically remake the political fabric. While the restoration of knighthoods to the national honours system is merely a wacky emanation of the prime ministerial psyche, the proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act are corroding basic principles of constitutional democracy.

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