Author Archives: John Menadue

Making Housing Affordable – Pearls and Irritations new series beginning 1 May 2017.

Next week Pearls and Irritations will post thirteen articles on the theme Making Housing Affordable. The series will focus on Australia’s housing affordability crisis. Articles will be posted daily over the week commencing Monday 1 May.   The series features … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Appeasement and learning the right lessons of history

The lesson of Munich for major powers Britain and France was that you do not buy peace with fellow major powers tomorrow by giving in to their demands today. But for smaller powers, the lesson was that faced with the … Continue reading

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ELAINE PEARSON. Australia Should Suspend Military Sales to Saudi Arabia

The Australian government should immediately halt military sales to Saudi Arabia following numerous unlawful Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Australia should also release details about military weapons and material it has sold to other … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Doing without private health insurance

Every year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reports on competition and consumer issues in private health insurance (PHI), and recent reports show increasing consumer dissatisfaction with PHI. Most complaints relate to unexpected charges when claims are made and confusion … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

MARK BEESON. ANZUS: Too obliging for our own good?

Malcolm Turnbull is dropping everything and travelling to America to meet a man that only recently subjected him to a very public humiliation. Although members of the Trump administration have tried to make amends for this initial snub to a … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. A rigged gas market and market failure.

Yesterday, the government announced that it would impose an Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism on gas exports from July this year.  This will give the government authority to limit companies’ gas exports if they are emptying Australian gas reserves to … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER. Malcolm’s Anzac Day Gift. Australian troops will be in the Middle East for the ‘long term’.

The Prime Minister’s statement that Australian military forces will need to remain in Afghanistan and the “Middle East” indefinitely must be clarified as must be the powers under which such decisions are legitimately made. 

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JOHN TULLOH. Trump’s first 100 days – so what?

   The media have been besides themselves in anticipation of Donald Trump’s first 100 days in the White House this weekend. It’s as if this is some magic marker by which to judge his next 1359 days in the Oval … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. The Liberal Party’s French Connection

The political future of Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services (presently on maternity leave) is uncertain, as Liberal Party members in her electorate move to disendorse her. On one level this conflict can be seen as the shenanigans … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

SAMANTHA PAGE. In defence of public investment in childcare

When childcare issues have hit the news lately, it’s either been about the Federal Government’s new $1.6 billion package to help make childcare more affordable, or about massive fraud cases where rogue Family Day Care operators have pocketed millions of … Continue reading

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GREGORY CLARK. Pingpong diplomacy and Whitlam’s first visit to China.

April 2017 is the 46 anniversary of the pingpong diplomacy – an event that changed the future of China. It also changed the direction of Australian politics, leading to the ALP Federal election victory in November 1972. But as I … Continue reading

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VIVIENNE MILLIGAN and HAL PAWSON. Ready for growth? Has Australia’s affordable housing industry got what it takes?

Australia lacks any enumerated and resourced plan for expanding affordable housing. Recent growth opportunities in this industry have largely been small-scale, fragmented and ad hoc. As a result, providers have been highly constrained in their ability to predict and plan … Continue reading

Posted in Housing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. How much lower are we going to go?

The current Australian values and new immigration visa debates, blusteringly initiated by Malcolm Turnbull and his would-be successor Peter Dutton, represent one of the lowest points in recent Australian political history. Are these panicking populists capable of dragging the country … Continue reading

Posted in Immigration, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

PAUL BUDDE. The role of the NBN in the development of 5G

From a network efficiency point of view fibre-based infrastructure will always win over wireless.  …  Don’t expect a rapid development of 5G services for the mass market. 5G will most likely be installed in pockets where there is a clear … Continue reading

Posted in Media, NBN | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

ROD TIFFEN. The Australian’s Wind Farm Reporting

The National Wind Farm Commissioner, Andrew Dyer, delivered his first annual report on March 31, covering the first 14 months of the agency’s operation since being set up by the Abbott government, with the support of conservative cross-bench senators. The … Continue reading

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KERRY BREEN and M.TAFFY JONES. Why mandatory reporting of the ill-health of doctors is not in anyone’s best interests

“Sick doctors will delay seeking help because of fear of stigmatisation and a threat to their professional status and livelihood through premature and unjustified reporting by treating doctors who themselves are made to feel insecure by the legislation. The distress … Continue reading

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MARK COLVIN. “Four Weeks One Summer” by Nicholas Whitlam

In the summer of 1936, over just four weeks, it all went wrong – for democracy and for Spain, even for the British royals. Politicians failed, and Hitler was emboldened to plan a new European war, and more.   When some … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. What Australian Foreign Policy?

Insider, analyst and adviser Allan Gyngell finds that Australian defence and foreign policy are more bipartisan than ever. But even as Australia’s national security agenda metastesizes, we have more to fear from an unreliable ally and an increasingly lawless world. … Continue reading

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SUE WAREHAM. The Australian War Memorial and weapons manufacturers.

The peace of the world for future generations is anathema to the interests of those who profit from warfare. As we commemorate again the “war to end all wars”, and every war since, one can only wonder what the diggers … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. It is becoming much easier to go to war.

We used to think that the gravest decision any government could make was to take its country to war. Not any more. Going to war for us has now become almost common place. We commit to war after war – … Continue reading

Posted in ANZAC, Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs and Trade | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

John Menadue. The Anzac Myth.

Conservatives and militarists want us to cling to a disastrous imperial  war. They encourage us to focus on how our soldiers fought in order to avoid the central issue of why we fought.  

Posted in ANZAC, Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs and Trade | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Turnbull’s lunge to the populist right.

And this is the big glitch in last week’s announcements – there was a lot of sound and fury, but it was hard to see just what, if anything, will really change – except, perhaps, the squalid dynamics within the … Continue reading

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PETER HUGHES. Citizenship Test Mark II – How much juice can you squeeze out of an orange?

It seems that Coalition governments have developed a habit of squeezing the citizenship “orange” for political advantage when there are some community concerns about migrants. Last week’s announcement by the Turnbull Coalition government, at a time of poor government performance … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Dog whistling about Australian values.

Housing will not be a centrepiece of the forthcoming budget, our Prime Minister assures us, while remaining vague about what, if anything, will be.  

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

CAVAN HOGUE. Let those who are without sin cast the first stone.

The USA is a complex place with its vices, virtues and differences. Despite its noble ideals and democratic institutions, it has a long history of aggression and of overthrowing democracies in the pursuit of American commercial or strategic interests. It … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Between tragedy and farce in the Korean peninsula

The world’s options on North Korea can be summarised as bad (strategic patience), worse (growing strategic impatience), and worst (military strikes).  

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JAMES O’NEILL. Just Who Does Pose the Greater Threat in Korea?

The election of Donald Trump as US President has seen the ramping up of US rhetoric about North Korea.  Trump recently demanded that China should use its influence with the North Koreans and if China did not intervene, then, according … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. Korean Peninsula – just where are we right now?

So much is going on in the different channels between the US and China, China and the DPRK and by now maybe US and DPRK that reading the tea leaves is an almost impossible – if not frantic – task. … Continue reading

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JUDITH CRISPIN. Indigenous Elders to Tackle Youth Suicide Using Mobile Technology

A groundbreaking collaboration between Walpiri Elders, cultural historians, technologists and a clinical psychologist aims to tackle youth suicide using traditional knowledge and mobile technology.  

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JOHN MENADUE. The unfairness and waste of private health insurance and the threat to Medicare.

History is repeating itself. Medicare was created by the Whitlam government because of the abject failure of private health insurance or, as it was then called voluntary health insurance.  As a result of the growth of private health insurance (PHI) … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments