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The objections raised by Catholic leaders to the Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 funding model raise as many questions about the governance and operation of the Catholic school system as about Gonski 2.0. One of these questions is: who pays for the teachers in Catholic schools? Continue reading
Police, prison officers and politicians are standing side-by-side with drug users to call for law reform. They say the current practice of jailing people for personal use and possession instead of focusing on their health and safety leads to unacceptable outcomes: lives lost and lives ruined. But it’s hard to get your head around the idea that making drugs more easily available could actually reduce the risks. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug law reform. Continue reading
Senator Pauline Hanson denies any impropriety. We are told there is nothing to see in the Liberal Party siphoning cash from their MPs’ taxpayer-funded electoral allowances purportedly to fund the party’s voter analysis entity Parakeelia Pty. Ltd. ALP Senator Sam Dastyari’s failure to disclose that a party donor had paid a personal invoice was nothing but a regrettable over-sight. Labor leader Bill Shorten, exposed by evidence at the unions royal commission that he had failed to disclose a $40,000 donation from labour hire company Unibilt is allowed to make a ‘corrected’ disclosure years after the event. Continue reading
A number of recent, current and in prospect events emphasise the importance of clear thinking in regard to Australia’s policy stances in the Asia-Pacific. They include the Trump Administration’s warming to China (despite pre-election rhetoric) especially in regard to trade, where a major deal has been done very quickly, and cooperation in regard to North Korea; the successful “BRI-fest” in Beijing, which was attended by a US delegation, and by our own Trade Minister; the US “Freedom of Navigation” exercise in the South China Sea, the first for a long time and strongly criticised by China; the US request to us to increase our military assistance effort in Afghanistan; and, coming up, the annual meeting of our Foreign and Defence Ministers with their US counterparts; and the annual “Shangri-la” defence dialogue in Singapore, at which this year our Prime Minister is scheduled to deliver the opening address. Continue reading
If NATO cannot rely on a Trump administration, should Australian leaders not see this as an opportunity to face the facts? Continue reading
That the Australian media gives us saturation coverage of Europe but much less on Asia is obvious but the question is why? Have they done market research which shows this is what the public wants or does it stem from their own beliefs and prejudices? Is this really what most Australians want? Possibly it may be. Continue reading
It is all very jolly for Turnbull’s troops to indulge in nostalgia and sentimentality, but they should realize that those times are gone forever. Few Australians were even alive to remember them, and the rest of us don’t want to except in black and white movies. Continue reading
In the SMH of May 29, 2017, Adam Gartrell reports that ‘The private health insurtance rebate would e abolished, consumers would be charged more for extra cover and the states would be forced to find more money for public hospitals under radical funding changes being considered by top government officials. Documents obtained by Fairfax Media reveal the nation’s most senior health bureaucrats are part of a secret task force developing a proposal for a “Commonwealth Hospital Benefit” – a new funding formula for public and private hospitals.’
See below, my post from April 12 2016, about a possible ‘Commonwealth Hospital Benefit’. John Menadue. Continue reading
The war on drugs has failed.
There was a buzz across Australia in March 2017, when former premiers, police chiefs, prison officers and lawyers stood side-by-side with drug users and their families, to throw down the gauntlet on drug law reform. They called for an end to criminal penalties for personal use and possession and a new focus on addressing the health and social issues associated with drug-taking. Continue reading
This article was first published in Foreign Correspondents’ Association Australia and South Pacific website. Next week, John Tulloh will be writing on the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War.
It was mid-afternoon Sydney time on a winter’s Monday 50 years ago that events were set in train which to this day remain a major running news story. On June 5, 1967, Israel staged a pre-emptive strike against Egypt to launch what became known as the Six-Day War. It ended with Israel more than trebling the land under its control stretching from the Golan Heights in Syria all the way to the Suez Canal. Continue reading
Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs and Trade
Tagged Egypt, Golan Heights, Iran, Israel, Jerusalem, John Tulloh, Jordan, King Hussein, Moshe Dayan, Palestinians, President Nasser, Sinai, Six-day War, Strait of Tiran, Syria, Tiberias
School funding is a very complex issue in Australia. It’s now a poisonous political cocktail. David Gonski who had been the poster boy for Julia Gillard’s bold education reforms has now been showcased by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Education Minister Simon Birmingham announcing their new deal for school funding. Continue reading
The recently published draft text of a convention to ban the bomb provides a good basis to complete negotiations of a treaty to prohibit the acquisition, development, production, manufacture, possession, transfer, testing, extra-territorial stationing and use of nuclear weapons as major steps on the road to abolition. Continue reading
Recently Paul Keating, in launching Allan Gyngell’s book on Australian foreign policy, said that smart countries did not tie themselves too closely to fixed positions in foreign policy—rather, they “danced around”. He said this in the course of arguing that Australia should not be so overawed by its alliance with the United States that it felt it had to join in every US policy initiative; some haven’t been successful, he said, and we should decide on what we did based on our own interests and consideration. Continue reading
The following article was posted on 27 March 2017. Substitute ‘Manchester’ for ‘London’ and the story is very similar. John Menadue
I have often commented that a person from Mars reading or listening to our media would conclude that Australia is an island parked off London or New York. We saw that last week in the coverage of the London terrorist attack. We continue to cling to the coat tails of the London and New York media. Continue reading
President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia and then Israel served entirely cynical international and domestic political purposes. All contentious issues were ignored. The great power competition in the Middle East: US/Saudi and Russia/Iran has deepened. Continue reading
Catholics must stand up and become active citizens not loyal subjects within their own church community. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has pointed to weaknesses in culture and governance within the Catholic Church in Australia. Within the church the normal tenets of liberal democracy, including inclusiveness, transparency, equality and responsiveness do not apply. Continue reading
Legend has it that Charlton Heston flashed a Rolex wristwatch during a chariot race in the 1959 Ben Hur movie. Some recent Prime Ministerial comments could be considered flashes of a policy Rolex in an infrastructure discussion fitted to the setting of Ben Hur – in ancient Rome. Continue reading
Where do Australia’s values come from and what are they? Ten years ago, Australia’s then Minister for Defence, Brendan Nelson, was convinced that our Australian values were forged on the battlefield:No group of Australians has given more, nor worked harder to shape and define our identity than those who have worn – and now wear – the uniform of the Australian Navy, Army and Air Force. They forged values that are ours and make us who we are, reminding us that there are some truths by which we live that are worth defending. Continue reading
Tokyo needs to make peace with its neighbours, especially those that were its former victim.
The not-for-profit sector performs a vital role delivering services that meet important social needs. It provides a voice for some of our most disadvantaged groups and individuals. Not-for-profit status also allows organisations of professionals to represent their members under a regulated legal framework. The sector oversees the collection and expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars of other peoples’ money. So it’s critical NFP’s are well run according to the highest levels of good governance.
In my blog of June 3 “the Miners Lament”, I pointed out that the large foreign owned mining companies in Australia may yet regret that they rejected out of hand the Resources Super Profits Tax that the Rudd Government proposed. Politically of course the miners will never admit it but I suspect that at some point the wiser heads amongst them will look again at a tax arrangement based on profit performance rather than royalty taxes that the States are now increasingly levying. Continue reading
‘Sector-blind’ does not mean turning a blind eye to the shortcomings of any sector in distributing public funding received from government. Continue reading
Just a week after, it appears that nothing has really changed – another bad negative Newspoll, war on two fronts with the banks and the Catholics, and, of course, more brawling in the party room. There must be times when even the unquestionably optimistic – and egotistic – Malcolm Turnbull wonders why he bothers.
President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia does not sit well with a demand to fight the Wahhabi inspired terrorists but support for a dictatorship that suits American commercial and strategic interests is a long standing US practice. We may wonder whether getting involved in religious disputes is a good idea. Continue reading
The Turnbull government is set to introduce a new levy on telecommunications companies that offer 25 Mbps or faster internet connections to contribute towards regional and remote broadband. Continue reading
Before the advent of the “free enterprise market economy” model’s dominance of economic thinking, there was a distinction made between private and public goods. The idea was that some things had to be provided for a healthy, well-ordered society: such basics to our notion of civilization as universal water reticulation and sewerage (the most significant public health measure ever), electricity and gas services, public transport, education and telecommunications. These were to be provided generally and largely (as possible) equally to all, and NOT at the direction of “market forces”, which would discriminate in favour of the rich. For most of the last century these were provided by government monopolies, to guarantee fair and equal access. Seems quite sensible.