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The National Energy Guarantee can possibly be made to work – to improve the reliability of power supplies, to reduce emissions, and to reduce people’s power bills – but not in its present form. Continue reading
In Australia it is common to hear criticisms of the corruption in developing countries. It is a constant theme, for example, in media coverage of Papua New Guinea, our nearest neighbour. Continue reading
Australia was “unimaginable” without the dynamic presence of Chinese-Australians. Those were the words of Malcolm Turnbull last week, resetting the rhetoric of Australia-China relations. Continue reading
In failing to act on human-induced climate change, our political leaders are neglecting the rights of the next generation. Continue reading
Apart from Senator Anning’s appalling speech, the other big immigration news this week was that the stock of temporary entrants in Australia was over 2 million as at 30 June 2018. Since 2012, the stock has grown by over 400,000. This has been a long-term trend since the recession of the early 1990s. But is it inevitable this trend will continue, and if so, is that a good idea? Continue reading
Times change, but the Australian system of planning and funding schools is in a time warp, being held back by vested interests from keeping pace with the demands upon it. Continue reading
The styles of Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull may vary but on many important issues the substance is similar. Continue reading
The selection of the controversial and highly conservative head of the Indonesian Ulama Council as Jokowi’s vice presidential running mate is disturbing. It reveals Jokowi’s lack of political authority and is yet another demonstration of increasing intolerance among Indonesian Muslims. Continue reading
The National Party remains highly sceptical of climate change and its effect on farmers. Yet the science is clear that global warming has contributed to the current drought. Some farmers are pointing to the failure of the National Party to address climate change. Continue reading
Despite the failure of the strategy in the Super Saturday by-elections, Malcolm Turnbull is more determined than ever to kill Bill. What drives this homicidal obsession? Continue reading
Many US non-governmental trade experts describe the Trump Administration’s actions in regard to tariffs and the WTO and its Appellate Body as illegal, and as threatening the WTO’s continued existence. Continue reading
The leadership is in play. Diabolical polling ensures that. Continue reading
I often ask my students to think what it means to live in a country with a constitution that prohibits wars of aggression, and removes from national priorities war-mongering discourses, distractions and impulses? Continue reading
Revelations of corruption and actions that look suspiciously like corruption shock us but they shouldn’t: look for corruption in Australia – as in many western democracies – and you will never be disappointed. It’s as common as other national institutions – the barbecue or the Akubra – indeed, it’s been normalised. Continue reading
It is five years since I first went to China and I heard the plea of wool processors for Australia to do something to increase the availability wool from non-mulsed sheep. I responded with the well-worn rhetoric as to why we had to mules. You all know the lines; – “Mulesing is the lesser of two evils; a death from fly strike is much worse” Continue reading
Ethno-nationalism is resurgent in many European countries, in the United States and in Israel. Hostility to immigration and to refugees is widespread. The Australian debate about the level of immigration is a mild symptom of the present malaise. Andrew Bolt’s more strident recent attack on immigrant communities attracted widespread and cogent criticism. But it raised a number of significant questions. Continue reading
After following politics and elections for over 60 years, it is quite extraordinary to see the Liberal Party still complaining about Labor’s ‘Mediscare’ campaign. Malcolm Turnbull speaks in a continual and personally abusive way about lies and liars. In this case it is the ‘well funded lie campaign on Medicare.’ Continue reading
Desperate farmers in rural communities across Australia are being led into a cruel dystopia where reality is being smothered by false hopes. Continue reading
Hiroshima was the first city in the world to be attacked by an atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945. The last time that an atomic weapon was used was to bomb Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. By the end of that fateful year, an estimated 214,000 people had died from the two bombs. Ever since, a dedicated group of people all around the world have devoted themselves to ensuring that Nagasaki does indeed remain the last place where atomic and nuclear weapons were used. Continue reading
On Tuesday night, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani went on television to talk about the reinstatement of sanctions by the United States against his country. He prepared the country for more privations as a result of the sanctions. Responding to US President Donald Trump’s offer of a meeting, Rouhani said pointedly, “If you stab someone with a knife and then say you want to talk, the first thing you have to do is to remove the knife.” Continue reading
On 11 August 2018 the members of what became al-Qaeda met in Peshawar, Pakistan to form the movement which is now 30 years old. With Osama bin Laden’s money, political vision, religious fervour, and capacity as a modern communicator, it changed the course of the 21st century. Even though Its profile is lower now, there is still a lot below the horizon. Continue reading
After Barnaby Joyce’s demise as Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader, and his replacement by Michael McCormack, we might wonder what the junior Coalition partner’s leadership change means for Australia’s climate policy. Continue reading
A recent report from the Australian conservative, right wing think tankThe Centre for Independent Studies, 1. reckons that Australian millennials are lurching towards Socialism. In this report millennials don’t mention what they think about Socialism, or what shape or form it should take and how it could be implemented. I guess they are feeling that any alternative to Capitalism that promises a glimmer of social, economic and ecological hope is worth a go. Continue reading
Neg can be an abbreviation of either negative or negligible, both terms the vociferous critics from left and right have used to denigrate Malcolm Turnbull’s masterwork in progress. Continue reading
As an Australian schoolchild I learnt the history of England, including a long list of English Kings, but nothing at all about the Frontier Wars here in Australia or indeed the history of our Indigenous, the oldest people on the planet. Continue reading
In announcing the outcome of the migration and humanitarian programs, immigration ministers have traditionally provided extensive details on outcomes against planning levels by visa category, as well as other relevant information (see here for examples of such reports for past years). For the 2017-18 outcome, Peter Dutton rushed to get the news out via an exclusive for the front page of The Australian around a week before the Longman by-election. But unlike past years, Dutton held back the details. The report on the 2017-18 outcome is still under embargo almost a month after the exclusive for The Australian. Dutton is unlikely to release the report until at least after the next Senate Estimates hearings in October. Continue reading
Truth telling was the theme of this year’s Garma festival, held in northeast Arnhemland on the first weekend of August. It’s also a crucial element in the Statement from the Heart made by the indigenous National Constitutional Convention at Uluru last year but rejected by the Turnbull government. Continue reading
Indigenous Australians suffer racism when they seek or require medical treatment. The good news is that the medical profession acknowledges there is a problem. The bad news is that doctors are not doing nearly enough to bust the systemic bias against our First Peoples. Continue reading