Author Archives: John Menadue

RAMESH THAKUR. India’s democracy is strained by illiberalism

India continues to be robustly, even chaotically, democratic. But its freedom is under growing threat. 

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Gas bags and hydro hype.

So Turnbull gave his orders: ensure that there will be enough gas held locally if there are crises. And the bloated gas bags were only too happy to concur, at least a couple of them were, which was enough to … Continue reading

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

IAN VERRENDER. How the free market failed Australia and priced us out of our own gas supply

We are the landlords. The energy companies are tenants. If we had a controlling stake in the business, it would be much easier to ensure the kind of chicanery that has taken place in the past few years was never … Continue reading

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JOHN NIEUWENHUYSEN. Dark Days for Immigration Policy. Nation building or border protection.

The concept of Australia’s Immigration Department being a minor part of a version of the United States department of homeland security is a frightening one. What will have happened to the “Welcome to Australia” banners of years past?  

Posted in Immigration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The litany of failed privatisations.

Ideologues ,the self interested bankers and accountants and lawyers still persist with their fixation with privatisation despite the fact that it is failing in one area after another and the electorate shows very clearly that it does not want it.  … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

TIM COLEBATCH. Why gas prices went sky-high, and what governments need to do about it

There is an overwhelming consensus that the centrepiece should be an emissions intensity scheme, as proposed by the draft Finkel report, by the government’s handpicked Climate Change Authority, and by electricity generators and big users alike. This would give the energy industry … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Politics, Taxation, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

JOHN AUSTEN. NSW rail projects – a lot of explaining to do

Yet more questions arise about projects set off by former NSW Transport Minister now Premier Ms Berejiklian. This time about light rail. As for the port privatisations and metro, real answers are yet to come. The sooner a Commonwealth inquiry … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Opponents of political correctness have had a ball.

The elitist couch crusaders of the far right have had a busy but productive week – so many pesky lefties to sneer at,, so much political correctness to whinge about. It was almost an embarrassment of carnage, which was just … Continue reading

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PETER BROOKS and JOHN WILLOUGHBY. A call for doctors to take a stand on the Adani Carmichael coal mine

The comprehensive investigation, published as The Adani Files  (, provides a litany of stories of pollution, failed clean-ups of damaged environments, and allegations of corruption and of abuse of workers.  

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Health | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HANS J OHFF. A Future Submarine bonanza for France

Seen through the eyes of an engineering contractor and shipbuilder I suggest that the French have hit the jackpot. They will be falling over themselves to sign the proposed Framework Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ANDREW FARRAN. The hideous Syrian tragedy.

Our armed forces have been deployed abroad opportunistically, even cynically, for decades. This must be avoided in future if they are to serve Australia’s true  defence interests in future.  

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PHIL ROBERTSON. A new wave of atrocities is being committed against Muslims in Burma’s Rakhine state

The burned-out mosques in Sittwe, the capital of the Rakhine state in western Burma, loom as silent reminders of an atrocity, hiding behind overgrown bushes and cement walls amid the daily port city bustle.  

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees and asylum seekers | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

KIERAN TAPSELL. A Response to Francis Sullivan

I agree with what Francis Sullivan has said in the edited version of his speech to Catalyst for Renewal. But there is a recitation of history in the full version that cannot go unchallenged.  

Posted in Religion and Faith | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

STEPHEN DUCKETT. Labor charts a health policy rethink

The Labor Party has released a summary of the proceedings of its ‘National Health Policy Summit’, held in Canberra on 3rd March. Good on the ALP for holding the summit. Trouble is, the ‘communique’, while summarising the views of the … Continue reading

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

MACK WILLIAMS. Canberra wrong-footed in our region?

For Ms Bishop to be talking in Singapore about China and democracies, the Japanese “big ship” and rallying the claimants while pleading with the US to remain staunchly committed in the region certainly is risky. We could be exposed as … Continue reading

Posted in Australia and Asia, Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs and Trade | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

GEORGE BROWNING. The non-existent Australian government energy policy.

It has been clear for some time that the normal capitalist approach of privatising everything does not work in relation to energy. 

Posted in Climate change, Infrastructure, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

DUNCAN MacLAREN. ‘Game On’ as UK Split Looms over Brexit

Just as David Cameron’s idiocy in calling for an EU referendum to appease his rabid right-wing has made him the godfather of Brexit, so May, in treating Scotland like a trinket which the UK has to “keep”, to say nothing … Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Affairs and Trade, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

JAMES O’NEILL. Further developments in MH17 case ignored by our media.

In January 2017 Ukraine issued proceedings against Russia in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. The claim has barely been covered in the international media and not at all in the Australian media.  

Posted in Defence/Security, Media | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

JONATHAN PAGE.  Who Pays The Ferryman? Befriending Death.

The human experience is haunted by mortality. It is important to encourage deep discussion of the reality of our own individual death from an early age. The potential psycho-spiritual and behavioural benefits of this discussion are immense. 

Posted in Religion and Faith | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

IAN McAULEY. The National Electricity Market: What happens when economists get involved with electricity

John Menadue has asked me to write about the National Electricity Market – the NEM.  I should be qualified to do that: my first degree and my first years of professional work were in electrical engineering and in my later … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment, Infrastructure | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

FRANCIS SULLIVAN. Where to from here?

I don’t think anyone was prepared for the extent of the abuse and the appalling rate across male religious orders and within the priesthood. The posturing and spin of years past has been seen for what is was – an … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

ALAN PEARS. The solution to Australia’s gas crisis is not more gas.

Eastern Australia has plenty of gas. The problem is that most of it is being exported at prices lower than some Australians are paying. And the price volatility resulting from the present shambles is making life difficult for some Australian … Continue reading

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

MARK BEESON. WA and the politics of the resource curse. Take on the miners at your peril!

WA is but the most glaring example of the way that Australia’s politics have been directly affected by the politics of the so-called ‘resource curse’, when a powerful economic sector uses its disproportionate influence to shape political outcomes.  

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SUSAN RYAN. Older women need housing too.

In the growing discourse around affordable housing, the federal and some state governments are edging forwards. Recently proposed changes have merit, but they may exclude poorer older women in need of housing.  

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MICHAEL WEST. Gas crisis? Or glut? Why Japan pays less for Australian LNG than Australians do.

It is bizarre that gas customers in Japan buy Australian gas more cheaply than Australians. Some of this gas is drilled in the Bass Strait, piped to Queensland, turned into liquid and shipped 6,700 kilometres to Japan … but the … Continue reading

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

JOHN MENADUE. Making miners pay their fair share.

The victorious Labor Party in Western Australia has got off on the wrong foot in its timidity towards the mining sector. Its leader, Mark McGowan, has said that a Labor Government will not support a mining royalty proposed by the … Continue reading

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

CHRIS BONNOR. Selective schools: comprehensively routed?

When you are a school principal there are some days you don’t forget. For me it was the day the government ambushed my school by establishing a selective school down the road. No warning, no consultation – it just seemed … Continue reading

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Will Malcolm Turnbull seize the opportunity?

One Nation also copped a hiding, largely as a result of the Faustian bargain on preferences struck between Barnett and Pauline Hanson and her sinister adviser, James Ashby.  

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ALAN KOHLER. Hello, Elon? It’s Malcolm.

“Cannon-Brookes! That man’s an absolute nuisance. He’s been causing Arthur problems with our 457 visa plans, and now he’s trying to mess up the nice little wedge we’ve got going with Shorten and Weatherill over renewables and blackouts in Adelaide.”  

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

QUENTIN DEMPSTER. Michelle Guthrie’s survival strategy for the ABC

ABC MD Michelle Guthrie’s survival strategy for the national broadcaster is to re-invest brutally extracted payroll savings into new “extraordinary” content. While encouraging staff to come up with exciting new creative ideas to use the $20m available immediately and then … Continue reading

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