Category Archives: Politics

BOB BIRRELL and BOB KINNAIRD. Migration policy; All about numbers

The permanent skilled migration program should be cut by nearly half, from 128,000 (primary and secondary applicants) to around 70,000. This includes migrants granted visas under the points test and those sponsored by employers.  

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

PETER WHITEFORD. ‘Them’ and ‘us’: the enduring power of welfare myths.

Despite the evidence that deliberate fraud is a tiny fraction of social security spending, it remains a mainstay of much reporting of welfare in the Australian media. The Daily Telegraph is a repeat offender.  

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

RICHARD BUTLER. The many risks we run – Trump and the US. (Part 2 of 2)

The deep-seated argument taking place within the US polity, partly but not only because of the mess being presided over by President Trump, makes even more urgent the need for a thorough-going review of Australia’s foreign policy, including how we … Continue reading

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

JOHN MENADUE. The terrorism threat here is because our troops are over there.

Compared to other risks, we have little to fear from terrorism. In the last two decades only three people in Australia have died from terrorism. But there is a ‘vividness’ bias in terrorism because it stands out in our minds. … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Defence/Security, Media, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

JOHN DALEY and BRENDAN COATES. The latest ideas to use super to buy homes are still bad ideas.

Treasurer Scott Morrison wants to use the May budget to ease growing community anxiety about housing affordability. Lots of ideas are being thrown about: the test for the Treasurer is to sort the good from the bad. Reports that the … Continue reading

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

JOHN MENADUE. Pauline Hanson sides with the powerful while pretending to speak for the weak.

Pauline Hanson talks a great deal about battlers and people who are left behind and are fed up with the major parties . But she invariably sides with the wealthy and powerful.  

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CAMERON MURRAY. Affordable housing reform.

While the decline of our economic diversity, has failed the average worker, it has been a boon for the landlord class. Those who already own land and housing benefit at the expense of those who want access to housing for … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Housing, Politics | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

DAVID JAMES. Penalty rate cuts are the result of thinking small

 Australia is showing signs of contracting the American disease of rising inequality, which will ultimately spill over into low growth, especially when the effect of high household indebtedness has its inevitable dampening effect. In the last quarter of 2016 GDP growth … Continue reading

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

JOHN MENADUE. How the gaming of land rezoning by vested interests keeps housing unaffordable.

After Easter, we will be posting a ten-part series on making housing more affordable for all. One of the problems in housing affordability is the political muscle of some developers in gaming rezoning and reaping substantial capital gains from property. … Continue reading

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

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

Posted in Economy, Politics | 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

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

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.  

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | Tagged , , , | 4 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

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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

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

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.  

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

ALAN KOHLER. Hell, 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

IAN MCAULEY. Warning from Colin Barnett: Privatisation is on the nose

The WA Government’s proposal to privatise Western Power – the government-owned electricity utility – was one of the factors contributing to the extraordinary anti-Liberal swing in Saturday’s Western Australia election. Privatisation of electricity has also been an issue in the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

PETER PHIBBS. we must call governments out on this ‘Game of Homes’.

When politicians say supply will fix the problem, ask them why it hasn’t worked yet. And also send them a copy of the graph from Chapter 1 of any first-year economics text book showing that price is the result of … Continue reading

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

LESLEY HUGHES. Angry summers are the new normal. Our climate is on steroids.

The occurrence of the extreme summer experienced in NSW, for example, was at least 50 times more likely than would have been the case without climate change.  

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