Category Archives: Current affairs

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.  

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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.  

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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

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BEN NEWELL, CHRIS DONKIN, DAN NAVARRO. worried about shark attacks or terrorism?

The recent terrorist attack in Paris will attract a lot of attention. However, whilst terrorist attacks are very vivid, the risk is quite low.  John Menadue The world can feel like a scary place.  Today, Australia’s National Terrorism Threat Level … Continue reading

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. With talk of war, what should Australia do?

As the United States Trump administration now confronts North Korea, there is talk of war. Also confronted, but more indirectly, is China itself with President Donald Trump’s declaration that the US would go it alone to disarm North Korea if China … Continue reading

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TIM COLEBATCH. Yes, there is such a thing as too much immigration

Adjusting the intake in response to shifts in employment makes long-term sense.   Between 2008 and 2016, in net terms, the Australian labour market expanded by 474,000 full-time jobs. But only 74,000 of them went to people born in Australia. That’s … Continue reading

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

ALLAN PATIENCE. It’s time for Labor to think big about policy – a people’s bank!

Tony Abbott is not the only one anticipating a change of government at the next election. Voters across the board are increasingly fed up with the Coalition and there are even signs that some of its most devoted cheer leaders … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Infrastructure, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

DAVID JAMES. Deconstructing the privatisation scam

It is increasingly evident how pernicious the privatisation myth is. Two recent examples have underlined it: the failings in Australia’s privatised energy grid and the usurious pricing in airport car parks. Both examples demonstrated that it is folly to expect … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Infrastructure, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

TED TRAINER. Oil wake-up call.

Almost no one has the slightest grasp of the oil crunch that will probably hit them within a decade. When it does it will literally mean the end of the world as we know it. Here is an outline of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

TREVOR COBBOLD. How has education come to this?

For a country that prides itself on the egalitarian ethos of a ‘fair go’ for all, the latest results from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) are a distressing reminder that many are not getting a fair go … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Still demonizing North Korea

Following recent North Korean missile tests and American declarations that they have run out of ‘strategic patience’, the Western media and the governments they serve, are busily repeating time-honoured myths about North Korea.  

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DUNCAN MacLAREN. UK General Election: clever cunning or miscalculated folly?

Theresa May’s snap general election decision can be seen as hypocritical in that she ruled this out consistently (and as recently as 20th March) until, the Anglican vicar’s daughter hinted, God told her while hiking in Welsh Snowdonia over Easter … Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Affairs and Trade, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

TIM LINDSEY. Jakarta elections a very bad look for Indonesia

The decisive defeat of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known as ‘Ahok’) in Jakarta’s litmus-test gubernatorial election is a triumph for hardline Islamist mob agitators. It comes after years of pressure from the Muslim right and may flag a shift in Indonesian … Continue reading

Posted in Australia and Asia, Foreign Affairs and Trade | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

PETER BROOKS. Specialists gaps and anaesthetists.

The article from David Scott and Peter Seal (‘Medical specialists – maintaining a high standard and duty of care‘) is not an unexpected response from the organisation they represent – the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. However … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments